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Monday, May 11, 2015

Campin' and Kidz

We decided to swipe a couple grandtots who needed us over the weekend.  It goes together naturally, hand in hand, to have kids out in the woods.  You don't need fancy video games, expensive toys or elaborate plans to have fun.   Just grab the kids, a couple changes of clothes (necessary!)  and head on out to the campground!

I have camped since I was a little kid, my children camped all the time with me as they grew up, and now it's only natural to have the grandkids camping too.  I hope we are creating memories for them to take along in their lives, and hopefully go camping with their own children someday.

First stop was Grandfaddah's workshop at High Cliff State Park!  The big equipment was getting ready for use in the park, so we managed to safely look around and check out the Big Boy Sandbox Toys....  Clayton was in his glory on this big red tractor!

This mule is more up to Chelsea's idea of fun.... 
(it's the one that I broke last week!) 

Now THIS is something they both got a kick out of..... 

Of course, we didn't actually run any of it while the kids were scrambling around on the machines.  They use their imagination and enjoy the pretend play. Probably more fun than the big roaring of scary engines anyhow.  Having the time to explore and pretend is great for their imagination.

Now we had a stop in Grandfaddah's office.  
Chelsea had to decorate his writeon/wipeoff board with her own version of maps of the park,
and of course personalized with a picture of herself!
A spin in his desk chair is on the list of required activities....

Steve shares his office space with the rangers of the park. 
There was an old set of handcuffs hanging on a hook 
that they decided was a fun toy to fiddle around with. 

Okay.. enough of that. let's get on to the campsite! 

We gave the kids a "job" to do... armed with trash pickup grabbing sticks, and safety vests, we went around the park and looked for "GARBECH"!   Basically, High Cliff is a pretty clean park, so we didn't find a lot to pick up.  They spent a lot of time posing in their vests for the camera.....

 "Whew!  Garbech Pickin is tuff work"

The dogs are very happy to have the little people around.  Binney is cuddled and coddled and snuggled and squeezed by Chelsea, who makes sure she is pampered and spoiled. Clayton chooses to snuggle up with Grandfaddah in his chair after a long day of work.  Finney just runs around getting pets and licking up any dropped treats from the grandtots.  Ya know, it was fun just spending time chatting and giggling and figuring out what to do next.  

Walking around the park and on the trails is a big highlight of the weekend.
Both dogs are learning to walk well with the grandtots.
The park is still pretty quiet on a Friday morning, so the roads are clear
and we can walk safely over to the trail head to walk in the woods.

The trails around the campground are nice and level, which the kids can run ahead and explore a bit too.  Finding flowers, seeing birds, scaring a chipmunk or squirrel... all that fun stuff they can find in the woods.  Clayton was collecting old acorn caps and filling his pockets with them.  Wonder if they will get dumped out before his shorts hit the washing machine?   Chelsea is learning to read maps and figure out where we are, where we are going, and where the playground is!!!

 (she later took her parents on the same walking path 
and showed them the shortcut to the playground too!) 

Birdwatching with a pair of kids' binoculars 
or searching for where that chipmunk went under the wood pile????

Bug hunting can be a blast too....  scouring the ground under layers of dead leaves, or flipping over rocks can expose some interesting things to examine.  This little plastic bug-catching container comes with a flip lid, a pair of tweezers to pick up bugs (for the squeamish) and even a magnified circle on the top lid to look at bugs up close.  Cost?  $1.00 at Dollartree!  Scientific fun? Priceless!

The Kids Camping Experience is never complete until you have "Some-mores" over the campfire.  Ooey gooey sticky fun, making memories as they sit in the same little folding red chairs that their mommy and auntie sat in 30 years ago when we went camping.   The tradition continues.... 

For bedtime, we popped both filthy dirty kids in the bathtub.... It is much nicer to put clean kids into clean jammies and into clean bedding.  As the layers of dirt swirled down the drain, we brushed teeth and hopped into their big blowup air mattress that Granfaddah set up in the livingroom of the motorhome.  They were so exhausted, they were zonked out before I even reached the end of their favorite bedtime story "Brown Bear Brown Bear" .... ahhhh

Peace and quiet. 

Until the sun came up...  6 a.m.
then it was time for two bundles of energy to hop up on our bed
and of course the dogs joined in....  

This is one of the best parts of camping with grandtots! 

Glad to have these monkeys along for a day or two,
and hope to keep bringing each one of our grandtots camping 
through all their years as they grow up! 

They went home on Saturday,
so Sunday was MY day to relax.... 
(we are getting together with ALL our kids and grandkids next weekend)

Steve cooked a wonderful breakfast,
and then a delicious dinner too...BBQ chicken, taters and salads.
I didn't have to lift a finger. 

I would like to extend a very Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there....

This beauty is MY mom....

Yup, I guess I am my Mother's Daughter! 

And Happy Mother's Day to our own darling daughters 
Erin, Heather and daughterinlaw Heather too! 


  1. What a great time with the grandkids! I agree that the memories you are creating with the kids are priceless, and I try to create memories with and for my own as often as I can. You and your mom are beautiful women!

  2. How fun! Loved the picture of you and your mom. Happy Mothers day

  3. You two are such great grandparents! And Happy Mother's day back to you also!


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