Posted by: Tricia | September 16, 2013

Camping with the Big Boys

To kick off the start of summer we decided to take a camping trip with the big boys. Although they had a good time together and made some sweet memories, David and Elliott didn’t have the best experience camping close to home last year so we thought we would travel out a bit farther and see what it was like to camp as an almost complete family!  We had a great time, took some notes, and are hoping to be able to go again soon…and perhaps next time we will bring Benjamin along!

We asked around about good places to camp and decided to try Lake Tawakoni.  Over all, we were impressed.  There was enough space and trees between camp sites that it felt private and there were lots of families there, too.  We liked this because it was nice and quiet at night.

We didn’t arrive until close to sunset so the first thing we did, even before fully unloading the car, was gather firewood to make a fire.  This proved to be a more difficult task than it should have been because the sticks and brush were still a bit damp due to recent rain.  I finally decided to go ask to borrow some lighter fluid from some nearby campers.  This turned out to be just what we needed to get our fire started.  Tip #1 for next camping trip: bring firewood and lighter fluid!!

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Once David had the fire going we quickly roasted our hot dogs and managed to get the boys’ marshmallows roasted for their s’mores before the flames fizzled out.  David was in no mood to try again, so we went the rest of the night without a fire.  Tip #2: bring s’more roasting sticks (purchased later in the summer) to make roasting easier for kids!

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After dinner we finished setting up camp.  Tip #3: bring twinkle lights!  I was envious of all of our neighbors who had  festive lanterns or twinkle lights strung across their site, which added a lot of warmth and charm.  They must all be frequent fliers!

The boys definitely had trouble settling down in the tent.  We went through our normal bedtime routine of getting ready, reading books, praying, and singing, but they were so hyper!  At first we had them laying next to each other on their sleeping bags with our air mattress on the other side.  But, after asking them to settle down over and over again we decided to split them up and put our bed in the middle of the tent.  This seemed to do the trick and by 10 o’clock they were asleep.

I was definitely a bit bummed about having to drink my glass of wine by “lantern light” instead of “fire light”, but it was still nice to sit and be with my honey.  Next time we will improve!

We all slept well, with the exception of being awakened to the sound of a “wild” animal rummaging about right outside our tent.  It turned out to be a big dog whose owner was whistling for him to return.  And, of course, just as he does at home, Jude woke up with the sun so we were up and at ’em early!

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We splurged and got powdered and chocolate covered mini donuts for breakfast!  Also on the menu were scrambled eggs, real bacon, and hot cocoa!  Mmmm, mmm!  It was fun using the camping stove and our camping cookware that had been given to us years ago.

Side note: packing for a camping trip is not easy!  It’s one thing to say, “Let’s go camping!”, but it’s not as easy as it seems at first.  You have to remember to bring everything!  I was relieved to discover that we really didn’t forget anything that we needed.  Thanks to the internet and Pinterest, I came across some really great camping packing lists.

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After breakfast Elliott read us the story of Daniel in the lion’s den out of the real Bible!  He is reading so well now.  It’s amazing what a year of school has done for him!

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And, Jude helped me do the dishes.  This kept him entertained for a long time!

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The boys had fun exploring the area around our site.  They spent a lot of time digging in the gravel and making “cakes” in their buckets.

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I would say that the most fun they had was inside the tent!  They could not get enough of wrestling and jumping on the air bed!

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After cleaning up it was time to go exploring!  We found a nature trail near our site and had the best time walking, talking, and discovering things.

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Lake Tawakoni is known for having a lot of spiderwebs.  It’s famous for having the largest spiderweb ever documented.  Kind of creepy, but cool, too.

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After our hike on the nature trail we explored the lake. It was too cold and windy to swim!  But, we found some cool shells and saw some neat fish bones in the mud.  We also enjoyed some sno cones from the bait shop.

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We stopped by the park Ranger’s station and learned that Lake Tawakoni also has a fully stocked catfish pond that we could have used without needing to purchase a fishing license.  We were tired and hungry from the morning’s activities, otherwise we would have loved to have tried it out!  There were also other trails along the lake side that we could have explored.

We enjoyed one more meal at our site before packing up to head home.  The boys napped great in the car on the way home and baby Benjamin was happy to see us!

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We can’t wait for our next camping adventure!


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