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Monday, April 29, 2013

Backyard Camping

One of my top priorities as a mom is to give my kids as many experiences as possible. Now that Zach and I are living life on a strict budget I've quickly learned that creating experiences does not have to mean spending money. It just takes a little extra effort to come up with fun things to do as a family that also won't hurt the wallet!

The weekend of March 16th was beautiful outside. Not too cold. Not to hot. Just right! One of those rare South Georgia SPRING days! We typically go straight from winter to summer around here :) I was trying to think up something for us all to do and came up with the idea to go "camping" in the back yard! Thankfully, Zach didn't mind hunting around in the attic to dig out all of our camping gear and we spent the morning setting it all up! I'm telling yall...I only continue to find out on a daily basis how blessed I am in the husband department!

Little known fact about me: I actually ENJOY camping! I know, try not to be too surprised haha. We haven't been legit camping since I was pregnant with Kye (remember?) but we have a TON of camping gear and really do both like to camp! I know once the kids are old enough to enjoy it that it will be something we do as a family on a regular basis. I just can't imagine expecting the kids to sleep in those type of conditions, ya know? And I def don't see Zach and I taking time away from the kids to go camping just the two of us haha if we're gonna be without our kids I wanna sleep in a NICE hotel bed ;)
We did a LOT of watching while Daddy did the work haha



Zach is hardcore about keeping the tent clean...seriously. He vacuumed it out and told us "no shoes allowed in the tent"

Hand on the hip action like his mama ;)
And Britt is like Daddy, keeping the tent clean ;)
Yup, Britt is wearing the same outfit she wore the weekend prior to this. The ONLY place she wore it that weekend was to our Target outing and I'm all about re-wearing clothes until they are dirty haha

Of course since we were "camping" we had to eat lunch outside!


During naps I went to a self-defense course (post coming up!) and wasn't home when the kids woke up so Zach took them back outside. Having the tent set up provided easy entertainment for BOTH of the kids! They had a BLAST!!!


Zach's "artistic" photography skills...
...yes of dog poop. Lovely.


Kye is at SUCH a fun age where his imagination is really taking off. I cut up a couple pieces of computer printer paper and stapled them together to make a "Camp Journal" for him. 100% free and he LOVED it. He took his exploring very seriously and it gave us an opportunity to talk a lot about the different things we could find. Even Brittlynn had fun on the hunt!


Daddy cooked dinner (on the grill, of course!) while we were on our expedition

He had to go into the tent to take his notes of all of his findings!

Britt relayed the findings via phone ;)

Dinner Time!
Feta burgers...AMAZING (and yes, that's my Omegaplex by my plate!)
Kye loves to fiddle with things. He will take AGES setting up his toys, organizing stuff, and creating things. He spends more time in his preparation than he actually does in play. He worked and worked on "setting up" the tent. Whatever floats his boat, right? :)





Using the doggie door haha

Doggie Door is now referred to as the Britt Passageway!


The kids took the Jeep to do some more exploring! We found lots of wild things on our hunt: sticks, leaves, grass, trees, birds, squirrels, and dogs ;)



That night we did NOT attempt a legit "camp out" and instead just did special things with Kye in the tent. We read his story, said our prayers, and listed our favorite things from the day (a tradition we do every night together when tucking him in!). 
The ONLY expense we had for the whole experience were the marshmallows to make s'mores. I was supposed to get them when I ran to the store after the self-defense class and then I FORGOT them (even though they were on my list! I blame Casey for distracting me haha) so I got all the way home then had to run back out to pick some up! Oops! 

Kye has never had a s'more before and I LOVE them so it was my favorite part of the camping experience. We used the little camping stove we have to roast them. It honestly didn't work that great. Zach has plans to eventually build a fire pit in the back yard!


Love at first bite!

The crackers were SO OLD and stale but we made it work and we so rarely eat sweet treats that they were yummy to us! We talked and told stories while we ate our s'more. It's not camping without stories right? Kye doesn't really understand the concept of a "scary story" so we told about some of our nightmares we've had instead. Poor Kye takes after me in the nightmare department. I've always had SUPER vivid nightmares even as a child. I told Kye about the nightmare I had over and over again as a kid: I was trapped in a toy store all by myself and this GIANT stuffed gorilla came to life and chased me around the store. Legit: my heart still races thinking about it haha. Kye told us about his nightmare about bears trying to attack him in his bed and then falling down dead on top of him. I think it's GOOD to talk out our bad dreams as we joked around about how silly they are and it makes it less scary :) 

Kye took this picture for us! He's getting better with his camera skills!
The camping fun also continued on Sunday. We had church and it's always a rush-rush-rush kinda of situation on Sundays but Zach and the kids made up this SUPER fun game inside the tent while I was cooking dinner. They had some big balls and were throwing them all around the tent. I didn't see it myself but I could hear their laughter and squeals of joy all the way in the kitchen! 

Kye has already been asking when we can get the tent out again and I think it made for a SUPER fun weekend without spending more than the cost of some marshmallows! Maybe next time we'll give sleeping outside a try??? Do any of you take your kids camping? How does the sleeping situation work out??? 

3 comments:

  1. That looks so fun! Zach's personality reminds me of my brother....he would vacuum out the tent too...and take a picture of dog poop. haha!

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  2. Oh, you should totally try sleeping in the tent! We love camping with our girls and go several times per year. (Last year they were 1 1/2 and 3, this year we'll be going with the baby too!) A campsite is so much cheaper than a hotel room, so we sometimes opt to camp instead of getting a hotel. Other times we just go to a local state park to spend a day hiking and exploring and spend a night there. I credit our experiences camping with making the girls super flexible about sleeping situations when we travel. Earlier this month the 5 of us were in Europe and ended up one night in a tiny hotel room with one king bed and zero floor space...so we all 5 crashed in the bed together (which would NEVER happen at home!) and while I didn't get much sleep, the girls slept fine.

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  3. This sounds as unappealing to me as going to the dentist - haha. But it looks like you guys had a BLAST! Kye will probably be able to sleep in the tent soon? Maybe he could sleep out there with Z one night!

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