Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Grandma Camping 2015 - Part 2 - Zombies!

Just before the kids arrived for Grandma Camp, I heard some unsavory rustling in the woods behind my house.

Zombies. :(

You can imagine my chagrin. Three young campers, aged six and under, would soon be exploring those woods, filling nature sketch pads and leaf collection folders, stooping to examine interesting insects by magnifying glass on the floor of that normally inviting expanse.

But now something had to be done! And soon!

I constructed a wall from the cardboard Kaylee's crib came in. It's quite wide - nearly 12 feet - and over 5 feet tall. There! That should keep those creepy intruders at bay I concluded, retreating to welcome my contingent of happy little campers........

But not so fast, grandma! In an unsettling development mere moments later, I found myself staring, horrified, at the peep holes those creatures had clawed and chewed into my wall!

They were watching us!!!

To the zombie gun locker I flew! I hastily handed weaponry to the kids and shouted, "GET 'EM!" The pending invasion was no match for my little sharpshooters. A blizzard of Nerf pellets rained down on those grasping, clutch-y fingered brain eaters! The kids picked off those vacant stares and toothless grins like there was no tomorrow. Last we saw, nearly two dozen unhinged un-dead were headed for the hills, shrieking in unearthly wails of terror.

And for that I am very grateful. I'll be able to sleep again tonight. At least for awhile.....

Join me right here for Part 3 of Grandma Camping!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Current Family Favorite!

How would you like to be eighth in line? For anything? Well, this little newcomer doesn't seem to mind. He's the one everyone's pounding the door down to see!

Our current family favorite is Kaylee's little brother, Ryan Joseph. He was born June 10, 2015 at 5:15 PM., completing my "grandma sandwich!" Let's see, there's the two oldest boy cousins on the top layer, two little guys on the bottom one, and four lovely ladies tucked right in the middle! All of them cute enough to just gobble right up!

Welcome to the world, sweet baby Ryan! We love you!

Portrait by Michelle Starr

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Grandma Camping 2015 - Part 1 - Pitched!

My lifetime's worth of camping experience can be condensed into one pithy paragraph. Here goes:

Daddy built us a small backyard play house. We loved it. One summer day, in the blazing afternoon heat, we filled it full, toting in pillows, blankets, dollies, bears, books and more. We three sisters were going to spend the night out there! Dusk arrived. Add another 20 minutes. The chirp of a cricket. The hoot of an owl. Back into the house we fled. Camping was never mentioned again.
The end.

Until now. After a 55+ year hiatus, camping is back  It's back and it's BIG!

WHOA pardners!!!!! First, let's just hold onto those horsies and define some terms. What I'm yappin' about here is Grandma Camping! Grandma-in-charge-camping. Grandma-in-charge-of-everything camping! Good bye heat stroke, hello central air. Good bye marauding bears, hello hovering-helicopter-grandma-on-all-night-police-grade-flashlight-patrol. Good bye mosquitoes, hello ladybugs. Good bye broken legs, hello Lego sets. Good bye mommy and daddy (and bedtime curfew and secret snack stash search and seizure), hello late night, lantern-lit cousin camaraderie, star gazing and waaay past bedtime adventure seeking. Good bye everything but tummies groaning with S'mores* and a cozy lil tent of your own!

*he he he! just kidding, mommies!

There are a few of us out here who really know what we're doing, Grandma Camp-wise. I'm not one of them. Yet. Grandma Shelley at "Grandma's Little Pearls" is. What an inspiration! This year, my camp agenda is a hodge podge of kid activities with no centralized theme. Some day I'll give my best shot at duplicating her "Top Secret Grandma Camp." Impressive, right? And did you see those other ideas, including the "kick off to Christmas" weekend? Wow. I'll take that one too!

No, I'm not Grandma Shelley. Just a wanna-be. I'll learn by trial and error, starting later this month with three oldest grandkids - twin brothers, six; one granddaughter cousin, four. So far, the only thing I have in common with Queen Shelley is a place to stash the kids at night for sleeping. My version is an indoor camp ground. Talented son-in-law, Keenon (Bree's daddy), whipped up three wooden tent frames for me in a matter of minutes after a quick spin through Pinterest. I'm delighted that they're set up, ready to go, days in advance of opening day. The strongest admonition any experienced Grandma Camp operator will offer is to plan and prepare. So far, I'm ahead of the game. And willing to share everything I learn from my first attempt at what I hope will become an annual event. I'll save a fireside seat for you right here, dear friends, and together we'll enjoy - or rue! - it all!

Happy Grandma Camping Days continue right here in Part Two!