Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Camping....Day 1

You might need a little background information for this post. If so, go to Monday's post and read what happened the day before we were to go camping with the four grandchildren. By the way, I have 7 1/3 grandchildren. Thank goodness three were too old for this adventure and 1/3 was too small!

I was supposed to get G10 and B9 on Wednesday but G7 and G2 (seen here in her dress and bow as befits the princess she is) were coming on Tuesday. You know what that means….G10 and B9 begged their Dad to let them come early (this is a custody thing and Tuesday was his day). He relented, and in his defense I bet they begged until he ran screaming from the room. He had taken them to the lake on Monday “tubing.” Just in case you don’t know about tubing it means the children hang on to a big tire inner tube while a boat pulls them around the lake and the children scream “faster, faster”. I don’t watch stuff like that. I have visions of small bodies getting stuck upside down in the tube or falling off and nobody noticing for miles or….well, all the things grandmothers have visions of.

B9 (seen here trying to fit in G2's "truck") gets out of his Dad’s truck yelling, “Grandma, I completely and totally forgot that I had my tennis shoes on when I jumped into the lake yesterday!” “Really.” I replied, “And I guess that’s your only pair of shoes?” as I watched the tennis shoes in his hands drip water all over the ground. “Yep!” “Yes, ma’am” I automatically corrected. I said yes, ma’am and no ma’am 43,722 times in four days. Teaching, always teaching. The children said it, well, far fewer times than me. I loaned him my Birkenstocks, the only pair of shoes I had that might be construed as not completely female. G10 waited until Dad was gone and said, "We didn't have breafast. What's for lunch?" Of course. It's still an hour and a half drive to pick up the other two. And there are no McDonald's on the way.

Eventually I pick up the next two children (G7 and G2). They have enough luggage and toys for a third world country. “My mommy”, according to G7 (the would be acrobat on the left), “likes for us to take lots of toys everywhere”. After driving away, and getting out of earshot from their mother, G7 tells me that they are having a new baby. I (being the informed grandmother that I am) reply, “I know!” It’s a dream come true, she says! Hmmm, that’s not what her Daddy said when he told me. I ask about the missing teeth. With an impossible twisting of her mouth she shows me all four missing spaces and tells me the tooth fairy brought $3. Excuse me? I remember her bringing me ten cents. This could be what's wrong with our world today - $3 a tooth!

G10 is my helper in the car, keeping the others entertained as we happily travel toward Nirvana - the camper! We arrive at the camp grounds and Grandpa has already set up camp, yea! We have/had the nicest camper – still has that new smell, you know, like new cars? It’s a year and a half old but you can’t tell it. It’s pristine. Everything is in its’ place. It has a king sized bed and a full sized shower…heaven on wheels! It’s been to Colorado and back three times. It’s parked beside rivers and lakes. It has not been to the beach because sand would get in it. Sand doesn’t come out. That’s how careful we’ve been with it.

What’s the first thing the four children want to do? Why go swimming, of course! So we gather up beach toys and sunscreen and off we go. We’re walking? What? What do you mean walking, Grandma? Can’t we drive? It’s at least a block away! Uh oh, there’s the beach. It’s sand. They bury each other in the sand, up to their necks. And I think it would have been heads and all if we hadn’t been there to scream “NO”. Sand on their bodies, sand in their hair, sand stuck in their shoes, sand on the towels. What do you mean we can’t shower in the camper Grandma? Why do we have to go to the camp showers? Are their spiders in there? Because I don’t do spiders Grandma! We build a fire, roast wieners, make s’mores. One wants the marshmallow toasted, one doesn’t. One wants only chocolate, one wants only marshmallows. It’s been a good day, relatively speaking. The camper has some sand on the floor and Oreos on the carpet, but floors will clean, right? Bedtime. G2 goes immediately and climbs up into my bed. Of course. I surely don’t expect her to sleep with the other kids, because I know she’s the Princess, right? B9 gets on the mattress on the floor and the two girls on the sofa bed. Now about sleeping with G2: if the sun goes out for a week don’t worry about it because this kid has enough body heat to warm the world for several days. And she sleeps sideways. Except for when she’s kicking and screaming “NO” at the top of her lungs at 1:30 a.m. And 2:15 a.m. And 3:35 a.m. And… Finally I get up and see that all 3 big kids are asleep on the sofa bed, hanging off the edges and one upside down. The mattress on the floor is abandoned and calls my name, but I resist. I took 40 pictures the first day – we want to remember everything!

To be continued.


Julie said...

Oh, what a brave Grandma you are! We took our 4 kids and some of their friends on a 10 day motorhome trip back in my younger days. I survived, but just barely. No way could I do that today!

I absolutely love your sweet basket table topper. Just charming.

I think we are "from" the same era. I am going to try that little thought provoking exercise on my blog, too.

Dandelion Quilts said...

You put me in stitches about sleeping with the 2 year old. Been there (when he was feverish) and I would have climbed on the floor mattress! I am sure they loved it though despite the spiders!

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

I love your story, it is so real and true to life. My Mom and Dad brought their 4 grandkids camping and I could just hear the same stories coming from her. Now, it's fixing to be my turn and we have a trailer. Should I????? Thank you for coming and leaving a post for the apron giveaway. I'm going to read more of your blog. I love to quilt, sew, etc....
Have a Blessed Day,

The Blonde Duck said...

It's lovely to meet you! I'm glad you stopped by my blog.

It sounds like you're a great grandmother. My mom's just starting to get a taste of that with our "babies," two Chihuahua puppies.

I love that you quilt! It's such a wonderful art that should be preserved.

Purple Pam said...

Survival is the name of the game. It appears that you have survived. Congratulations. No spider bites, no teddy bears in the lake, no 911 calls? If the anwsers are no, then you had a great time I think! This reminds me of our Girl Scout campouts. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories.

Sharon said...

I think the labels on your post say it all: camping, children, insanity!! Glad you survived! I don't think I'm that brave.
I love your table topper! Very country and charming.

a portland granny said...

Ah, your story sounds so familiar! The fussy food habits, the inability to sleep where you want them, etc. Last year I had "grammy" camp for three days here at my house. We took daily field trips and activities. I was totally exhausted when they went home and they were 12,13,&16!! They knew they had a good deal and what I didn't think of, they did!! But isn't it fun...and I hope they will remember forever.

I had time to look back through your posts and I am so jealous of your beautiful quilts, table toppers, etc. They are lovely. I only have made one quilt and it was a total big job! Never had the courage to tackle another I am duly impressed when someone has the patience to create the lovlies you have made.

Keep loving those grandchildren. I think they are the nicest part of being older. They grow up too fast, however.


Tim Noble said...

You sound like a great Grandma. I've only just recently become a Grandad! I'm still learning the ropes. One day I have no grandchildren and then two years later I've got three! I might have to come to you for guidance!

Tamara said...

Soooo funny! I'm sure life camping with your own children wasn't much different, but I can tell you from our standpoint - it was nothing less than heaven on earth! Do you remember that spot we used to camp below the dam in Heber? It was always shady and cool... and there was a creek "in the woods" behind the camp spot - lots of cane growing back there too. Lori, Michael and I spent HOURS playing back there! Thank you for the work it took to create those memories for us... and the ones you just made possible for the 3G's and 1B!

Rose Mary said...

Wow! I can't wait to hear about the next adventure! I know you're loving all of it and the memories you are making are priceless! Have a great time.

Love the basket pattern table topper~the colors are just perfect.


Rebecca Ramsey said...

What a fantastic grandma you are! And what memories you're giving your lucky little ones.

I'm still awed by the loving story you shared about your dad and his love for your mom.
Stories like that make us all richer!
Something to aspire to!
Thank you!

Rob said...

Sounds like a great trip and time with the grandkids...I'm sure they'll remember that forever!!

Thanks for the kind comment and for the link to my blog. I appreciate you reading and I wanted to thank you for it.