Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Camping in the Ozarks

Two weeks ago Sammi spent the week with Jason's sister Julie and her family in Arkansas. They were going to be camping the following weekend, then we would be picking her up. After Jason had been gone for work for 2 weeks I thought we needed some family time together. So we packed up my dad's travel trailer and off we went to meet up with them at Devil's Den State Park.
What appeared to be a good idea at the time turned out to be more of a headache. Jason was originally coming home Thursday night and then turning around the following Tuesday to to back to Vail. That changed to him coming home Friday afternoon and then leaving Monday morning. But we still went! Granted, we didn't leave our house until after 10:00 pm. But we still went! Hauling a trailer what should have been 6 hours turned into 8! Really. Thankfully, Joshua slept well, but I felt guilty for sleeping even after Jason urged me too. By the time we got there, unhooked the trailer, got it set up and to sleep it was 5 am! I quickly went to sleep as did Joshua. Jason? Nope. He ended up checking out the fishing holes. I think I got about 2.5 hours of sleep. Sammi, Jason's dad, and Julie's family were already there and sleeping soundly. Around 8:00 each of the 5 kids trickled over to our campsite. We were in a great area where the kids could walk or bike to each of our trailers.

We found out quickly that Joshua is ready for his own big-boy bike. That kid was barely off of his cousin's bike the entire weekend. Excuse the small pictures, I took them with my phone since my camera is getting fixed as I type this.
After breakfast, we headed out on a trail with another friend of Julie's with their kids. They have 5 kids. It was 6 adults and 11 kids ages 19 months to 7. Yikes! But they did great. We came to a cave that the men went in with several of the kids. Mine were not really wanting to go that far in so they came back out. It was really far in and they were gone for about 30 minutes. It felt like much longer. I tried with Josh, but it was really narrow in the beginning which I would have needed to carry him. The ground was slippery and I just saw it turning into a disaster.

Here is Joshua and his cousin Easton. Not sure why he has his hands over his ears, but this was the best I could get!

All 11 kids outside the cave. I felt pretty puny with my 2 kids against Julie's 4 and Emily's 5. :)

Joshua and Carter. See what his shirt says? "Lock up your daughters". A guy from Belgium saw it on the trail and asked to take a picture of it.

Sammi and her best bud, Carter. They love each other so much, I just love them having cousins their age!

Don't they look like a newer version of The Little Rascals? Joshua, Easton, and my precious niece Noel.

A cool Salamander Julie found. After I took this it went back into the hole in a flash. It scared the poop out of me! Not really, I was poop-free, but I really scared me. I had visions of it jumping out at me, covering my face, and me running around like a mad woman trying to get it off my face. Have I seen too many movies with cats and squirrels doing that? YES!

Jason and his dad took all of the kids fishing later that night. I didn't get any good pictures of it. I can't freaking wait to get my camera back! Argh. A few caught some fish, but not as many as they had hoped. I'm sure them screaming and throwing rocks in the river didn't help.

On Sunday before we left we took the kids to the pool. As usual, they had a ball!

We had an amazing, quick camping trip with our family. But is it really considered camping with the luxury of sleeping in a bed with A/C? I love camping in tents, but not when it is in the 100's outside and 2 other kids to deal with! By the time we got home it was almost 9:00 pm...but it was worth it!


Angie S said...

How fun, and you are so blessed to have such a large family :) I love the picture of all the kids together!

Becca @ The Texas Darlings said...

Looks like it was totally worth the 8 hours to have that much fun with the cousins!!!

Are you sure that wasn't a snake crawling out of the tree....I about jumped out of my chair when I got to that picture!!


Amy B said...

How fun!!! And you are so lucky you have that camper to haul around with you and camp in. Makes a big difference when it's so hot outside!! Love all your pictures!

Lyr said...

Looks worth it... looks like a freaking blast!!! The pictures are awesome. BTW - Love the blog!

Christie in Dallas, TX said...

It looks like you all had a great time, Alli!