Thursday, July 19, 2012

Camping in the Pines

Howdy friends and family!  

The twins played their way through another week of summer camp with just as many smiles and stories as the first time.  They were both excited to go back for the half-day, week-long camp.  Most of the same friends who attended before were there again with them.  Easton's hair stylist (a.k.a. Kendra) worked some gel-magic to give him an intentional crazy hair day for a change.  Layla is enamored with Merida even though she will never see the movie.  I blame her excitement on commercials during cartoons.  Those darn marketers are getting verrrrrry good at persuading my kids. 

The twins missed the Friday summer camp finale because we had other plans...  The 4 Webb's first official camping trip!  When I say we went camping, I mean we slept in a tent, but didn't poop in the woods.  The camp ground Kendra chose has a pool, bathrooms, showers, putt-putt golf, recreation center, and several other amenities.

The pool turned out to be the saving grace of a record-setting heat wave.  After setting up our camp area we walked straight into the pool for a long swim.  

Ouma just identified a picture she feels is worthy of posting as her Facebook profile picture.   It's about time...  I've been waiting for months and taking picture after picture.  Here's the winner!

Easton and Layla have two great looking grandmas and I'm not ashamed to say it.  The twins are blessed to have such great genes passed down to them.

This is Ouma and Oupa's home for two days as they toughed it out on the hard ground.  Nothing but a sleeping bag and some egg crate foam thing.  Now, that's love and sacrifice if I ever saw it.

The camp site was pure dirt with scatter leaves around the pine and oak trees.  Clear canopies made it ideal for us to play Frisbee with the Aerobie.  Easton's accuracy and form  are outstanding.  And this isn't just my biased assessment...  Uncle Casey is a pro disc golfer and he calls him a "canon".  :)

Oupa joined the leisurely game of catch, which made for a good mix because the twins were able to go fetch the errant throws.  Lazy, I know, but it's about time we start reaping the benefits of having kids!

One of the promises I made to Easton was a daddy date to go for a walk deep in the woods.  Being Phoenicians, the twins have almost no concept of what thick, dense woods really look like.  We found 'em and did some trail blazing.  And we didn't bring back a single tick!

Our tent is labeled an eight man tent, but I can assure you there is no way eight men could sleep comfortably.  Kendra and I each had an air mattress and the twins had their own individual sleeping bag, air mattress combo between us.  This was the first time since they were a few days old that they slept between us.

Easton and Layla stayed up until 10:00 PM both nights.  Their bed time is 8:00 PM sharp and only varies by a few minutes 99% of the time.  However, these special nights they were up late after looooong days of adventures.  Did they sleep in?  Nope.  6:45 in the morning came really early thanks to those two.

Our meals were well planned and well executed by the great team of Kendra and Ouma.  One of the clever ideas they had for breakfast was pancakes in a can.

Day two was supposed to be a mix of relaxing and adventures, but you know how relaxing never happens with kids around a camp site.  The Putt-Putt golf course was rugged to say the least and we didn't even get score cards.  Not that we would have used them anyway, but the lack of even getting one is descriptive of the kind of shape the holes were in.  The fun-factor far outweighed the difficulties in quality.  Layla took some pointers from Kendra as she learned for the first time how to swing her new putter.

The two of them took off through the course screaming for joy every time the ball dropped into the cup.  Oupa made an astute observation of how Easton has the potential for greatness because once he develops a passion for something (like putting) he does it over and over and over.

That reminds me... I ordered a book on Amazon based on my sister's recommendation some time ago.  it's called, "Raising Kids for True Greatness: Redefine Success for You and Your Child".  I'm excited to get it in the mail and will use it like a carrot dangling in front of a donkey.  when I finish my PMP certification... This book will be waiting for me.

The few relaxing moments we enjoyed were relished like a hot dog.  Oupa had the "king's chair" with the pull-over shade.  Easton was happy to sit in Ouma's lap.  Kendra was happy nobody was sitting in her lap.  Win-win-win all the way around.

The pool was slightly chilly by the second day because the temps cooled down.  Layla took a breather from recovering diving sticks by resting on the warm pavement in her owl towel.  As always, she welcomed the conversation and attention from Oupa.

The splash pad was one of the most outstanding aspects of the camp grounds.  Isabella and Megan joined us for the second day and night.  She was already a best friend for the twins so the moment she stepped out of the car they were off to races.

Layla claims Isabella as her friend and gets a little selfish towards Easton.  At one point she whacked him in the back and told him to leave so they could play princesses.  never thought I'd have to say, "share your friend, Layla..."  I ask them to share many things, but now "friend" is added to the list of expectations.

To cool down in the warm afternoon sun we stopped by the on-site general store and bought a round of ice creams for all of us.  Sticky mess with sherbet dropping on their clothes and on the ground.  It felt great not to care!  We were camping and all the rules of the house were out the window.

Rules like "no guns" also were ignored.  I brought our air soft gun for Isabella and the twins to fire off a few hundred rounds at a paper plate target.  Isa showed no fear and did really well holding it steady.  Very calculating kind of girl.

Layla pulled the trigger and is more of a shotgun kind of approach.  Just keep shooting until the bullets go where she wants them.  If she ever goes into battle, I want Layla as my gunner.  The girl has a way with weapons.

 Easton was delighted to meet the neighbors in the camp site next to us.  They were very cool, friendly kids and the yougest, named Panchito, became Easton's buddy for the rest of our trip.  Panchito made a bow and arrow out of twine and a stick.  He willingly gave it to Easton as we were leaving the camp site and that was one of the most touching moments I've seen of a selfless act of giving.  Easton appreciated it too!

With Easton out of their hair, the princesses devoted their full attention to what they do best...  be princesses with wonderful imaginations... and personalities.

Easton described "the woods" to the girls and they took a break from fantasy land to go exploring with us.  We wandered down some single-track trails and popped out by the RV campers up on top of the hill.  They were howling like coyotes.

The sun finally went down, which meant time for s'mores.  I say finally because the twins asked us, "is it time yet for s'mores?" every hour for the entire day.  We had all the ingredients and marshmallow roasters to make it all successful.

The three amigos were amazed watching the marshmallows catch on fire and ooze down the roaster stick into the fire.

The next morning we had enough time to run around in the play ground with our neighbor friends while we packed up.  Isa and Layla had happy hearts considering they were overly tired from the late-night fire side fun..

 The neighbor boys were a little too unruly.  throwing handfuls of wood chips at each other and shoving each other around was not acceptable.  When Easton joined in to be a part of the crew I rounded up the troops and headed for the packed cars.  Even though we were relaxed on the rules, there are certain behaviors I won't tolerate even in these circumstances.  As you can see Easton had a blast up to that point.  They crossed the line and then he crossed the line.  I had the opportunity to explain to him WHERE the line IS!  That lesson is what makes Easton and Layla better than average on the well-behaved meter.

I hope the twins are old enough to have the memories we made for the rest of their lives.  These family adventures are the stuff relationships are made of.

See you soon!

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