Last weekend, my ten oldest went camping with some friends of ours who were visiting from AL. I stayed home with John, Micah, and Sara Grace; however, we did go for a short visit on Saturday, which was very nice. I decided to ask Lindsay if she would write a summary of their time, and she agreed with pleasure. Here it is!
Some of our best friends, a homeschool family with seven kids, live in Alabama. Mama met them thirteen years ago; we had just moved to the neighborhood we live in now, and their house was about a block away from ours. Unfortunately, they moved to Alabama when I was five–seven years ago. We usually try to see them about twice a year. They almost always come to Georgia to camp at Amicalola Falls in September; this was the case last weekend. This year, they invited us to sleep over with them last Friday night.
These are the children’s names and ages so you’ll know who I’m talking about: Elizabeth, 16, Stephen, 12, Abigail, 10, Daniel, 8, Timothy, 7, Joseph, 5, and Lydia,1. Last Saturday was actually Stephen’s 12th birthday, so we got to celebrate that with him. (I’ll call their parents Mr. John and Mrs. Sharon, even though that’s not what we call them in real life.)
We didn’t find out what was happening until Thursday afternoon, and of course, we were all very excited. When we get together with this family, everyone has someone to be with. Elizabeth, Rhonda, and Carrie are together; Mark and Stephen; Abigail and I; Steven, George, Jackson, Thomas, Daniel, Timothy, and Joseph; and, well, Jayne and Lauren and Micah are kind of by themselves. They either play with Lydia, or tag along with Abigail and I, or Rhonda and Carrie and Elizabeth, or else just stay with Mama.
But I’m sorry if this is getting boring; I’ll tell you everything we did now.
On Friday morning we worked very fast to finish our school. We usually have an hour of outside time that’s inbetween breakfast and Bible time, but we decided to skip that. We had to finish school early so we would have time to pack our clothes and things and drive up there, since we had to be there at 3:00. After we got there and put all our things away in the tents, we played in the woods for awhile. That’s what we LOVE to do, all of us except the big girls and littlest ones–is a combination of playing outside and exploring in the woods, spying on the white people (which is the moms, usually) and playing Indians. We made up our Indian language with them a few years ago.
Abigail and I explored in the woods and found a stream, but it was more like a puddle. We could hear running water though, so we kept going until we found a little waterfall! We were so tired, so we went back to the campsite to rest. But the boys–all nine of them, who up until then had been playing nicely by themselves (they had formed something called the YBG, or Young Boys’ Group)–wanted to know where the stream was! So we had to go back through the woods and show them. Mr. John and Jayne came too.
We played Indians then, all of us together, until it was time for dinner. We had a fire, but we didn’t cook anything on it–we were doing that the next day. We just had sandwiches and beans and salad and things like that.
Then we sat by the fire, and talked, and then the boys decided they wanted to make a hammock in the woods. (It was only starting to be dark.) Abigail and I wanted to make one too, but we only had one quilt. So we just took turns tying the knots. We tied up each corner of the hammock with rope. Then Mark and Stephen tried to tie the rope onto trees, since they’re the tallest, but the hammock still dragged the ground when someone sat in it so Mr. John came and did it for us.
We talked a while more, and then Mr. John got out sparklers and Mrs. Sharon brought out cookies. After a little bit, we went to the bathrooms to clean up and put on pajamas. Then we fixed our beds. It took a LONG time–getting ready for bed, and making our beds. It was nineteen beds that had to be made. And then, after we prayed and lay down, we still talked for a long time. But finally we were asleep.
The next morning we had chocolate cinnamon rolls for Stephen’s birthday. He turned 12. We got to eat them in our pajamas! Then we went to get dressed and ready for a hike. We wanted to hike before it got too hot. Everyone except Mrs. Sharon, Elizabeth, Rhonda, Lauren, Joseph, and Lydia came; they stayed at the campsite.
When we got back from climbing up the falls–it was very pretty, but tiring, and it did take a while–Mama, Daddy, Micah, and Sara Grace were there. And then our Aunt Kathryn, Uncle Michael, and cousins Hailey, Joshua, and Emma came, too! That part was a surprise to us.
We got to stay until almost 4:00. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for lunch, played in the woods, and played in a stream.
I was going to write a few more lines, but I am helping lunch today and it’s almost time to go do it. (I got to write this during schooltime!) So I hope you enjoyed this, and we had a very great time camping!