Since the start of school, life has been fast paced and monotonous. We needed to take the time with just our family and get away from the house. We needed to forget about reading challenges, fractions and division, diagramming sentences and keeping the house picked up. This family desperately needed to look at each other in the eyes, listen and laugh together.
Going tent camping for a family of 8 requires so much preparation, all the things to pack and then, to get it all fit into the van. By the time Joe came home from work, I had lost my mind. All day I'd been fighting with the kids to stop fighting and saying horrible things to each other, to help me and to clean the house before we left in case there was a showing, which there was. I was one crazy momma and despite how hard I was trying to get into the mindset that this was going to be fun, I was not having fun, I just wanted to go camping by myself! And then of course, I had a bunch of guilt for not dealing with everything better. Eventually, I was able to let things go and be present, but it was hard. This mom isn't perfect and this family isn't perfect.
Tim Hawkins. Jenna is still at the age that she floats between the two groups. I have moments that I see the changes and I just can't move. All I can do is try to freeze time and remember the moment we're in, knowing these days are numbered. Our olders are closer everyday to being teenagers and our littles are fast nearing their siblings. I definitely feel the changes happening and coming. This is why we have to make the effort to do these things more often.
Despite the fact that our campground was between a Nightmare Forest and a Field of Screams, and we listened to sirens, train whistles, machine guns, chainsaws and loud booms from 7pm-2am, they all went to sleep just fine and woke up the next morning saying they slept great. Not the case for Joe and I, we both agreed we wouldn't be staying the second night... until the kids got up the next morning so happy and loving camping. We knew we had to endure the nightmare all over again the following night.
Jenna~Ahyoka~She broght happiness
We laughed alot at the meaning of names, like one name meant coughing fish. And when Jenna heard the meaning of Ahyoka, she said, "Call me Ahyoka Daddy! It means, she brought happiness!" and then she giggled her silly laugh and plopped herself into his lap.
Bethany likes to be dramatic, especially when I try to take her picture. Her favorite part of the weekend was everything. She loved going exploring, taking the little kids on walks around the campground or in the nearby woods. The three oldest slept in a tent and the 3 youngest slept in mine and Joe's tent. Bethany told Anne she missed sleeping with her. The two of them are buddies.
Anne is like Bethany in some ways and I can see looking up to Bethany. Bethany mothers Anne in a very good way.
The following day, we went to a creek and I told him I'd walk with him to look for treasure, because he was completely obsessed with finding things on the ground. I didn't have the heart to tell he couldn't keep the beer caps, because he was so happy everytime he found another one. He did have some pieces of broken glass and I told him he couldn't keep that, so when we saw a buried bottle that I thought might be unbroken, I was excited for him. I showed him how to use a stick to dig it up. I told him how Joe buried a bottle in the ground and put my ring in it. Sure enough, it wasn't broken. He was over the moon. He collected pieces of old metal, an old nail, some rectangle, flat rocks, a bunch of bottle caps, a penny and a quarter. I had to laugh at one point because Anne pointed to something on the ground and he said, "That's garbage Anne, I don't collect garbage!"
He came home from camping and that's all he can talk about. He can't wait to go looking for treasure again, it was the highlight of his life. Several times over the weekend he said, "Thank you Mommy and Daddy. You made the whole family have fun!"