Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ward Campout 2009

Wow, I'm gonna try and not skip a days worth of blogging stories. I just live too much in a 24 hour period to skip a day - hehehe. I apologize, but this is gonna be ONE LONG POST. hehehe.

So, Captain America got off work at 3:35pm on Friday, just like he thought he was gonna. Woohoo!!! He came home, changed, and started packing. I'd done a lot of the pre-work, so it wasn't gonna be too bad. But there was still a lot left to do.

He found the camping boxes (totes with EVERYTHING you could need to go camping - lanters, propane, utensils, plates, pancake mix, syrup, dish washing stuff, toliet paper, paper towels, oven mits, it's ALL there), the Civil War chairs, and some other needed things. He packed it nicely and neatly into the trailer. I got the food organized while he was at it. While the Church was providing the food (and my kids were excited to eat it), it's not on my menu, so Captain America and I brought our own. I got our dinner, breakfast, and lunch for the next day organized, plus snacks.

We finally were loaded and ready to go at 5:00pm. We headed out to the Shopette (Army gas station) to top off our gas, get ice, and, since it was getting late (dinner was served at 6pm, but it's a 2+ hour drive), get us some dinner. Captain America and I both got something at the shoppette. He got some tuna type fish in a pre-packaged foil thing, and I got the chicken. It was pre-seasoned. Kinda tastey. Kinda - hehehe. I ate my veggies that I packed for dinner, too.

It seemed like we were at the Shoppette for HOURS, but it coudln't have been that long. Could have something to do with the fact that we sat in the truck, and it was 100 degrees outside. No AC, remember. We were sweating buckets by the time we rolled out.

We stopped at LIttle Caesears to get the kids 2 $5.00 pizzas, and were off again. It was 6pm by the time we were finally leaving El Paso.

When we got to New Mexico, they had a boarder patrol station that we had to pass through. The mountains just behind it were SPECTACULAR!

Anyway, we waited for at least 5 minutes in line. Again, no AC makes stopping almost more than I could handle - hehehe. There were about 6 or 7 boarder agents checking vehicles. They asked if we were all citizens, looked inside our truck, looked in the trailer, the dog smelled our truck, then they let us pass. Pfew! That's a little nerve racking, and we weren't even doing something wrong :)

Here's tom and Jimmy, enjoying the drive :) Ok, maybe not Jimmy so much- ha!

And me :)

As we got closer to Alamogordo (Andrea called it Alamofat - LOL), and started up into the mountains, the terrain changed. I once again saw green and trees! It was amazing. Unfortunately, it was too dark for pictures. But it was gorgeous!!!

We got to camp about 30 minutes after dark. Nice. hehehe. But, we're pros at setting up in the dark. The camp was WAY up in the mountains, inside a pine forest. We had to navigate though the trees to find our campside. There was no road, they just spray painted a stripe of white on the trees that a vehicle could pass between. Nice, eh? Just a little stressful. Especially since we were towing a trailer. Those trees were pretty tight. The camp was owned by the church, which I thought was pretty cool. Each year, our ward has a Ward Campout.

Anyway, we found a spot next to the Reay's (who had gotten there before dark - lucky!), and one that wasn't too bad. The whole camp was on a hill. Our spots were relatively flat. We set up a ten for Tom, one for Eme, one for Joe/Jim to share, one for Captain America and I, and up above the fire pit, one for Jake. His job was to guard the fire :) It's his favorite job.

The kids really wanted to run off and find their friends, but we made them stay and help set up the tents. Finally, it was all set up. The kids were off, in the dark, to find friends. Captain America got the fire going, and we grilled up some Turkey hamburgers. By this time it was 10 something. We gathered the kids, and hit the sack.

I got to sleep on my cot. Sigh. My cot. The one that I slept on for 6 months when Captain America was at trainings, and I was at my parents house. It still hurt my hip - hehehe. I am ever so grateful for my nice, big, comfortable bed!

It was a long night. There were a ton of babies on the campout, and it was pretty noisy. I had a friend ask if I was annoyed by it, and I could honestly say that annoyed wasn't the word. Joyous that it wasn't me having to corral a crying child in a tent was more like it. I've put in my years with babies and toddlers. I'm just SO grateful that I've moved past that stage - hehehe. Yep, Joy was the right work - LOL! Sorry, girls with little babies! You'll be where I am some day :)

I was up for the day at 7am. Tom and I headed off to find the bathroom. There was a big lodge with showers and flushing toliets. Not too shabby! I got the fire going again, since it went out over the night, and got stuff ready to make pancakes.

The church was cooking Pancakes, Bacon, Sausage, Fruit, Juice, and milk for Breakfast, but I knew that woudln't be for a few hours, and I needed something to do (and to feed my kids until then). I made a few pancakes to tide them over.

Here's Captain America at our fire pit. Jakes tent is in the back.

And me. Don't you just love "hair hiders", or Bandanas - hehehe. And, I put on enough make-up on Friday before we left, and slept careful, so I had "leftover" makeup for Saturday - LOL!

I thought this pic was cool. The sun was making Jake's tent glow!

Here's our truck and campsite, inbetween all the trees.


See my perfect pancake? I just love cooking over the open fire. Propane stoves are for wimps - LOL! The trick is to have a nice bed of coals. Thanks, Captain America, for the PERFECT coals for my pancakes :)

So, no pancakes for me. I had my standard Apples and Yogurt.

The kids decided to go and play at the Reay's (Andrea's famiy) campsite. They were still asleep in the tent. Nice. I know I sure couldn't sleep through that. hehehe. Sorry, guys! But your campsite was the happenin' place to be.

Another shot of our site. The black/red/yellow tent was mine and Captain Americas, the next one was Jim/Joe, and the one in the back was Toms. Eme's is hidden behind them. Check out all the smoke from all the different campfires - hehehe.

Captain America tending the fire.

At around 9am, the food was ready for camp. We all wandered back behind the lodge, to where they were serving it. My kids LOVED the meat. Bacon and sausage usually aren't on the menu at our house :) I'm more of a "get a bowl of cereal" mom. Sad, but true.

Inside the lodge, there was a basketball hoop. The boys LOVED it. Here's Tom, who actually got the ball as I was snapping a picture. Perfect!

And, Andrea finally got up! The baby woke up at 3am, and didn't go back to sleep until 6am. He was still sleeping at this point with Ryan (his daddy)

Andrea and I went back to her camp to hang out, and Captain America, Jim, Eme, and Tom went on the hike to the waterfall. I was feeling tired (and frankly, weak due to altitude and lack of food), so decided to sit it out. I sent the camera with Captain America.

It's not a big waterfall, but not bad for 2 hours from the desert. :)

Tom got stung by a bee, and Bishop pulled out the stinger for him. Poor kid. Good thing he's not the least bit allergic to bees ;)


Eme, Jim, and Tom

Captain America

When Captain America got back, he was like "Man, we should have brought the stroller. This kid is HEAVY". Yep, he's VERY heavy. hehehe. Next year!

Joe was pretty sad when he realized that he'd missed the hike. He and Ben (Andrea's son) had stayed and played "snipper" in the woods. I don't think they realized that the group had left. Poor kid. Next year.

We sat around and chatted until lunch. Captain America and Ryan got to visit, and Andrea and I pre broke down some of our campsites.

We hung out until lunch, at 1pm. It was hamburgers, hot dogs, watermellon, chips, and left over enchaladas from the night before. Everyone had TONS of food. We even took a few extra for the trip home.

After lunch, we went back to camp to tear it down. I left most of it to Captain America, because he's very particular about how he likes things packed. I got all the sleeping bags, pillows, kid backpacks, and such packed and out of the tents, then broke down the tents. I didn't roll them up, because I knew he had his own way of doing things. He came over, and started tearing things down, and putting them away.

I decided to start on my tent, since there wasn't much left for me to do. I got out all the cots, and my stuff, then Captain Americas stuff. I put his loose clothes inside his plastic box, and promptly got "scolded" for it. Yeah, I wasn't feeling it. He got chewed out a little. He said that I called him Anal loud enough for the whole camp to hear. Really, it was just the neighboring campsites. Not the whole camp.

But he was being anal. Everything has to be done "just right". Now granted, I LOVE that we know where everything is. And that it all has a home. But I just don't like being "chewed out" for putting something in the "wrong" place. The old saying "Beggars can't be choosers" definitely applies. You can't ask people to help, then get mad at them when they put something in the wrong place.

Anyway, I called him anal, and said do it yourself. I went and sat down by the fire. Well, that didn't go over too well. hehehe. I did come back and start helping again when it started to sprinkle, and we heard thunder in the distance. I got the clothes/sleeping bags/pillows into the truck, and assisted with folding a few tents. We were out of there 30 minutes later.

Here's us right before departure.


Jake (he read his book the WHOLE campout - David Eddings Belgarid series - the same books I read when I was his age - and still some of my favorites!)

Me, doing my best not to look too upset.

And Jimmy - poor, tired little thing.

Boy was it a long trip back to El Paso. Captain America wasn't talking to me. I didn't know it at the time, but I'd hurt his feelings by calling him Anal. I didn't think I was telling him anything he didn't already know - LOL! Anyway, it was a long trip.

BUT, it was light outside, so I got some cool pics! Check out the green trees!!!

These houses were on the side of the mountain. Crazy!

Jimmy didn't last long once we started driving.

As we were coming down out of the mountains, the landscape started to change. These rocks were beautiful!

See that white strip off in the distance? That's White Sands Missle Range. Cool, eh?

We got home at about 5:30pm. Not too bad. I just fed the kids Cereal for dinner, since we'd brought extra hamburgers/hot dogs for the car. We got all unloaded, lickety split. Since my anal husband had everything packed up so nicely, it was easy to just put it in its place and be done with it. hehehe.

Then, the kids watched a movie, I retreated to my room to play on my computer, and Captain America retreated to his "closet" (aka man cave) to play on his computer. It wasn't until later that we talked about how he was feeling, and what happened, and got it all straightened out. I promised not to call him anal. I'll just tell him he's being picky, or something like that. But we'll all know what I mean - ROFL!

Anyway, I was tired, and went to bed by 9:30pm. We were up, getting ready for church by 7:45am on Sunday. Cutting it a little close, but we still go there before the opening prayer. It doesn't hurt that this ward consistently starts 5 minutes late. hehehe.

Church was good. I was just on crowd control, so it wasn't too bad. Next month, I'm sharing time again. That's a 20 minute lesson (twice) each Sunday for a month. Dang! I'd better get cracking :)

The Young Women in the ward were doing a fundraiser for camp. They're selling dinner a few weeks from Wednesday. Authentic Mexican enchaladas. For $5.00, you get 3 enchaladas (white, green, or red), rice, beans (from scratch), salad, and a brownie. Not too bad, eh? Or, a kids meal is only $3.00, and comes with 1 enchalada. I signed up for 5 White Kids meals. Not White Kids. White kids meals. LOL! But, I do have 5 white kids - ROFL! I was in charge of making sure that all the adults in primary had a chance to sign up, if they wanted to. We just have to go and pick it up. Then we can eat it at home. Sounds good to me!

We got home from church, had lunch, and took a nap. Well, I don't know that the kids did, but I took a nap. Well, tried, at least. I also made sugar cookies, with pink frosting, and purple frosting hearts, and we took them to our friends. Laurie's family was there, and got them. Andrea's family and Katy's family either weren't home, or weren't answering the door. We took the extra cookies home, and were gonna deliver them later.

Well, later, the cookies had been eaten . Oops. Oh well. It was the thought that counts.

After dinner, we all played a family game. Life. Remember that one. I LOVE it. I got to be a doctor. Sweet! Poor Jake. He went the route of college, and ended up getting a job that only paid $20,000. Dang! Joe and Tom didn't go to college, and one got a $70,000 and the other a $90,000 job. Some people are just more lucky than others.

The game went on and on and on. At 9pm ish, it was finally done. hehehe. Tom won, followed by Joe, then me, then Captain America, then Eme, then Jake. I ended up with 2 sets of twins, one boys and one girls. Woohoo for me!

What a busy weekend. I think I need a weekend to recover from my busy weekend. ha!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Fun Summer Day

So we were up bright and early on Tuesday, getting ready to take Jacob to another round of GT (Gifted/Talented) testing. This time, he was supposed to go and do a classroom setting thingy. He needed to be at Burgess High School @ 8:30am, with a pencil and colored pens/pencils/crayons. He took the markers. Boy, was that kid tired. He has problems falling/staying asleep at night, and he sure didn't want to get up and go do school stuff. It'll be a rude awakening when Fall rolls around again - hehehe.

The kids and I came back home and relaxed for a little while. I got a WordArt pack designed, and was just about to lay down and take a 30 minute nap when Jake called, and said they were done. Sigh. It just wasn't my day for a nap. We left the house at 10:10am, and were back home by 10:35am. We had a few minutes to change clothes, grab towels, and load up in the truck.

Ayden (11 yrs old) from church was having his b-day party at the pool. It was a good time. Check out little Joe in this pic. He found a poor little butterfly in the water, and tried to save it. He thought it was cute that it would sit on his finger, and not leave. Poor thing coudln't fly, because it was SO wet.

He sat on the bench holding the little butterfly for about 10 minutes.

Towards the end, it started to flex it's wings, and then few away. I was amazed. I thought the little thing was a goner for sure. Way to go, Joe! You saved the little butterfly!!!

Here's Tom, all wet and happy!

And Jimmy in the little pool. The little pool was quite nasty yesterday. Check out the difference in color between the big pool and the kiddy pool. Nasty - hehehe. It didn't stop Jimmy, though!

Eme in the big pool.

Jake in the big pool. He kept going under when I went to find him - hehehe.

And, the mommies went down the slide today. It was pretty fun! Here's Andrea.

And Laurie

And Andrea and I - aren't we cute - LOL

Us in the pool during pool break. Jake had her son and was keeping and eye on Jimmy, so we were able to play for abou 15 minutes. Thanks, Jake!!! Aren't we dorks - LOL!

And me - it's the 2nd time down, cause they didn't get me in the pic the first time - ha!

We left the pool at 1:20pm, and got home at 1:30pm. We had about 25 minutes to change clothes, throw on some shoes, and head out the door to the movie theater. Busy, busy, busy!

Here's Tom in the truck. No A/C, by the way. Dang, it's hot. We just hope we don't have to stop at traffic lights.



Joe - Dang, he's got the BEST eyes!

And me. Oops, my gray is showing - I think it's time to dye it again - ha!

The movie was REALLY good. Definitely going on my BUYING list. X-Men Origins : Wolverine. I really enjoyed it. Eme and Emily (Katy's daughter) went to Hanana Montanna instead. hehehe. I'm glad I picked Wolverine - LOL! I'm a big sci/fi / action movie person. No so much with the tweeny movies - hehehe.

We stopped at Fallas, a discount store, after the movies. It was in the same shopping center. I ended up spending some of my own spending money, and got 2 new shirts. After my 10% military discount, my total was $5.50 or something like that. Not too bad for 2 shirts. One is black/white, and one is red/white. SO cute! I'll have to take pics when I wear them.

By the time I got home, I had a migraine (or the beginnings of one), so I put hot dogs on the inside grill for the kids, and put Jake/Tom in charge of cooking them, took a pill, and went to lay down. Captain America was already home, and was already laying down. He'd eaten too much ruffage (salad - green peppers, to be exact) for lunch, and his stomach was KILLING him. He can't eat raw veggies. Well, raw veggies of any size, that is. One time, he ate a cucumber (without slicing or peeling it), and he thought he was gonna die. Poor thing. Ever since his spleenectomy, when they cut him open, took out his guts, removed the spleen, and pushed it all back inside, things haven't been the same. Food gets caught ALL the time. Poor guy!

I took a little nap, and got up at around 6:20pm. I made dinner, got the kids all situated with activities, and decided to work on my designing for a little while. All in all, it was a GREAT summer day :)

Here's a layout that I made before I went to bed :)

Kit: Graham Like the Cracker