Camp Tess and Spear

I mentioned in the Family Recap from May that Kye and Britt were SO thrilled to get to attend Georgia Bible Camp this year. It was canceled last year and we weren’t sure if they’d have it again this year or not.

It was also Britt’s first year at camp! When we found out they were having it we discussed asking for permission for Tess to be allowed to attend. The night campers have to be ages 7 and up and since Tess turns 7 at the end of July I felt like they might let her go…BUT when we discussed it Britt was pretty upset. And I get it!

When Britt was 7 the age to attend camp was 8 and then when she was 8 camp was canceled due to Covid. So now she’s NINE and just now getting to attend for the first time. She wanted HER moment to just be at camp and enjoy camp as a camper, not as a big sister.

Tess is the most easy going child on planet earth and she was quick to say “it’s okay I’m fine not going.” And while I worried if she REALLY meant that she was fine, she truly WAS FINE WITH IT.

We made sure our week of Mommy and the littles was super fun and I’m truly thankful she ended up not going to camp because it allowed us to have some greattttt bonding and I loved getting to enjoy JUST having her and Spear at home for a week! It’s a rare opportunity and next year Tess will go to camp so this was really the only year it could work out the way it did!

I planned one big outing for our week and that was our visit to the Jacksonville Zoo. You can read about our day at the zoo here and if you’re considering visiting Jacksonville Zoo be sure to check out my planning tips here!

Our week kicked off with Zach and I getting home from our trip to Charleston and meeting G-Mama, Spear and Tess at Carter’s and Colt’s joint birthday party!

Zach has a tradition with the campers to take them to get supplies for their week at camp so Tess really wanted to do our own supply run for supplies for OUR week of “home camp.”

It was such a fun outing to Target – I still had a cart full of babies even with half of ’em away πŸ˜‰

Tess is SO HARD not to spoil! She’s just so sweet and loving and so great with Spear! Spear was also allowed to pick out some snacks and he did a great job in choosing items!

Tess has a summer birthday and said she really wanted to have a “summer theme” birthday day as a family and that she’s “always wanted” a windmill thing so, duh, I got it for her party πŸ˜‰

We browsed the aisles for some birthday present ideas too!

It was SO much less chaotic than it is when we come looking for Christmas gift ideas with all four kids. Two kids is def easier than four when running any sort of errands πŸ˜‰

Tess loved getting to be the oldest and handled the shopping cart like a champ (I ended up finding pillows so we had to use two carts to fit ’em all). We also had fun organizing all the treats and goodies when we got home!

I had a campaign to shoot for Instagram and Tess and Spear both loved getting to have new clothes just for them. We had fun blowing bubbles and bribing with popsicles πŸ˜‰

I spent a TON less time working on the blog that week as Tessie is allllll about some quality time and how could I turn her down for it? We spent a lot of time “laying out” in the pool during Spear’s nap times and, of course, she put together a “snack bucket” to keep on hand too.

We also found our first dead rodent of the season – a mole in our pool. Tess thought it was SO CUTE AND WANTED TO TOUCH IT. No ma’am! I do love that she’s not skittish with stuff like that though!

We watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for a movie night as Tessie read the book at school and has been asking to watch it. The big thing Tess really, really wanted to do over our “camp week” was have a sleepover with Spear. …Insert dramatic music here…

Zach thought I was crazy but I told them they could TRY it. The read books and snuggled and “had talk time” and then when it was time to actually go to sleep Spear wouldn’t stop messing with her so we had to separate.

I told her it was karma bc Tess was ALWAYS like that with the others during sibling sleepovers or even during the times when she and I have shared a bed (like on our special trip to Disney together!). I remember feet in my face and even times of her literally LAYING on my face haha!

A favorite moment of the week though was night swimming together. I surprised Tess and told her we could swim after Spear went to bed. We had SO much fun together. We played the game where you both go underwater and one person talks and the other has to figure out what they are saying. We also played the game where one person spreads their legs out and the other swims between them and each time they go through you make your legs a little narrower. She loved BOTH games and they brought back such great memories of my own childhood.

Then a big added bonus made the night extra special – Daddy arrived to jump in with us! She was over the moon to have BOTH of us completely to herself swimming together! We raced and played and laughed and splashed together. She said, “we should do this more often!”

For a finale of the week I wanted to do ONE crafty thing. I am really trying to do better at not feeling like I need to do ALL THE THINGS ALL THE TIME. So I bought a tie dye kit and already had some shirts and thought I’d be a cool mom and we’d make shirts to have to remember our fun camp week!

It was surprisingly super easy and the shirts turned out adorable. Tess did hers completely on her own and I even let Spear do some too. I know, I was in an ultra-cool mom mood that day apparently.

We had SUCH a fun week together. Tess said she never wanted it to end and wished they would stay at camp for another week.

I have NO regrets on having Tessie stay home for one last year. It was SO good for Britt to have that experience on her own and it was so great for Tess to have our week together. They LOVE each other and LOVE being together but time apart is also a good thing and allows them to make their own unique memories.

It was a fantastic first week of summer with my littles!

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Love What Matters, Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

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