Thursday, October 30, 2008

Boy v. Wild

Dear readers, thanks for your patience regarding yesterday's crabby post. Every once in a while you need a forum to vent frustrations and also to document your experiences so that, years later, you can look back and realize how ridiculous you were for making such a big deal out of nothing. Memories.

Anyhoo, about camp. Tim, Alex, Murphy and I got our own little cabin to stay in, complete with cots, curtains, a shower, sink, and flushing commode. I'm not sure it would qualify as "roughing it", but we were out in the woods, and that's gotta count for something. Poppa, aka MacGyver, fashioned a partition out of blankets, rope, and binder clips so that Alex and his pack 'n' play would have their own space separate from where the rest of us would be sleeping. It worked great, and wouldn't ya know, I forgot to get a picture of it.

We had to drag ourselves out of bed Saturday morning after Friday's sleepless night and get ready for breakfast. But there is something strangely exciting about waking up as a family in a new place, and we really enjoyed that morning time in the cabin together, despite the fatigue. We met up with Grammy and Poppa, who were staying in the cabin next door and made the brisk trek up to the dining hall.

Breakfast was good, too good, and we needed to run around a bit to burn it off. A loooves to be outside, mostly because he is free to roam and explore and there are much fewer no-no's than he's used to dealing with inside.

Of course, it didn't hurt that Oliver had spent the week with his Papa and M'laine, who live in Eldo, and they had brought him to camp, too. We were so excited to hang with O, and we think he was excited to see us, too. At one point, he mentioned that he wanted to go to Alex's house to play, so we spent the next hour training him to go home and tell his mom and dad, "I want to go to Alex's house, NNNOOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!" While failing and pounding his fists on the floor, of course.

They especially had fun climbing the tree in front of the dining hall. Now, I realize that the following pictures of Alex, Oliver, and Oliver's cousin Payton will seem redundant, but it's the subtle details that make them hilarious. Like poor Oliver's face. In his defense, I think Alex had a chunk of his skin in that monster grasp he has on his shirt. Or maybe he was afraid that A would fall out of the tree and drag him down, too. Either way, the fact that Alex appears to be completely oblivious to anything but the camera makes the scenario twice as funny.

We decided to switch things up and put Alex in the middle, at which point he pretty much fell in love with Payton. I mean, who wouldn't, right? This boy was mes-mer-ized.

When he wasn't up a tree, he was hanging with his Grammy.

When he wasn't hanging with his Grammy, he was hanging with his Mamaw Meador.

He also went for his first ride on the teeter-tauter. Then Grammy showed him how it is really done.

Then, Alex and Oliver discovered "bodark balls". I've always known them as "horse apples" or "hedge apples", but whatever you call 'em, they are lots of fun to play with. And dangerous. Bodark balls kept falling from the trees and crashing down like canon balls around us. Luckily, I have cat-like reflexes and managed to avoid getting clobbered.

Good times.

After some vigorous hand-washing to remove bodark juice and whatever else Alex had gotten into, we had dinner. Grammy was turning the big 5-0 the following Tuesday, so while we were all together, we decided to celebrate. Leah had brought a giant cake and printed pictures of a "less mature" Vicki, which we plastered all over the dining hall when she wasn't looking.

Saturday night at Fall Retreat is known as "Fun Night" with Brother Sam. "Fun night" starts at 9pm, which, as you know, is two full hours past Alex's bedtime. We were torn about what do to because we knew Alex would enjoy the songs and the games, but we rarely let him stay up that late because he will be a disaster the next day. He had taken a good three and a half hour nap in the afternoon (after I cranked the heat up in the cabin, of course), so we decided to throw caution to the wind and let him stay up, then basically play the rest of the night by ear.

O was playing it by ear, too, so here are the boys in the dining hall, waiting for the festivities to begin.

Alex loved all of Bro. Sam's silly songs, and every time we'd finish singing one, he'd say, "mo'! mo'!" He started to fade about a half hour in, so we whisked him off to bed, around the same time we saw Papa and M'laine heading to their cabin with Oliver. I guess those two really are on the same sleep schedule, even when they go to bed late!

Sunday morning started out much like Saturday, although Alex slept all night and woke up around seven, so we were all feeling much more rested. After breakfast, we got the van packed up, and then we left Alex with Grammy so we could go play frisbee golf. His late night must have caught up with him, because when we got back, this is what we found.

Poor tired baby. He just slept...

...and slept...

...and slept. It was our turn to surprise Grammy for her big birthday, so when she got to our table at lunch time, she found fifty little presents to open. Which she had to do one-handed because Alex was still sleeping.

He eventually woke up just in time to have some cake.

We had a few more minutes before we started our long journey to burn off some energy and soak in as much of the great outdoors as possible.

Camp was as fun as I remembered, and even more so since we were able to share the experience with Alex. We can't wait until next year!


grammy said...

What a great post Sarah. You know I've probably celebrated 30 of my 50 birthdays at camp and they have always been special because of the the special friends that are always there and of course there is no place like Victory Bible Camp. But I will have to say that because of the celebration that ya'll and Leah had planned, turning 50 is not bad at all and being able to share it with Alex's first trip to Victory, Grammy will always remember this one as the best one of all. Special Mmries !!

Day Family said...

Those pictures of the three in the tree were hilarious!!!