Lost

A picture from the day that I discovered that not only am I the mother in charge of finding lost shoes, lip gloss, jackets, knives, snacks, pets, blankets, pillows, slime, homework, pencils, LEGOS, doll clothes and golf balls but that I’m also in charge of lost people.

Not to worry, we were really more slightly misdirected. And I, mother and finder of all lost things, was on the job. I noticed, monitored, studied and corrected the situation before anyone’s legs actually fell off as they were, apparently, threatening to.

As much as I am asked to find the things, and as often as I know how to find the things, I usually make my kids find the things themselves. Possibly with a few helpful hints, if I’m feeling magnanimous.

And what I learned on this last trip is that it’s time to break out the maps, because map reading is not a skill any of them have. (And bless my husband, heaven knows he needs it, he tries really hard but I fear he’d have been lost right along with them.)

How are you with a map? Directional sense? If you have kids do they know how to read a map?  

Adventure

It had been years too long since our last car camping trip.

But, finally, children had been deemed old enough, jobs and school vacations aligned, gear was procured, animal care was found and we loaded up the girls in our giant truck, that seems a lot less giant filled with car camping gear for five, and headed out on a spring break adventure to…

… Illinois!

And it turns out Illinois isn’t the kind of place most people spring break to. But when you are from Wisconsin southern Illinois looks like spring..…and feels like spring. (Admittedly mostly in a – drizzly, wear all your layers plus a rain jacket, good thing we brought the long underwear – sort of way. But that is basically spring so I stand by my statement.) And when the rest of the world has traveled to warm sunny places you have campgrounds and hiking trails virtually to yourselves.

There were rocks to climb on…

…fires to light…

… tasty food to eat…

… and general shenanigans.

At the end it was deemed a most excellent adventure by all.

Then I got home and discovered that John’s theory that Poison Ivy loves me so much it jumps on me from the side of the trail must be correct because that’s the only explanation for the amount of spots I’m breaking out in after spending the trip wearing long underwear and a rain jacket!

But you know, every time a new blister pops up, I remember the trip with fondness. It was an excellent adventure before the itching began!

Camping Facilities

We recently got back from a week of camping.

This is the sort of news that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for.

There are the people who hear my family (as in Mom/Dad/Brother/Sister-In-Law/Nephew) were along and get a bit wide eyed.

There are quite a few people who hear we brought the boys (boys in my case always refers to my dogs) and raise an eyebrow questioning my decision making skills.

My boys, re-named “Fish Dog” and “Snail Boy” by the end of the first day due to their respective new odors.

There are even more who find out we brought all of our supplies to an island (Okay, this year it was actually a super long skinny peninsula, but it felt like an island) by boat and make some sort of surprised exclamation.

And then there are those who inquire and find out that our toilet facilities consisted of a nice long trail with a raised toilet seat over a pit in the woods and declare that it would never happen in their world.

Fortunately we only had a bit of rain (with awesome double rainbows as a reward for all the wet) the family got along well (and also there was Rum), the boys were fairly well behaved (if stinky), my brother and my dad had motor boats so we didn’t have to canoe all the stuff in (which was very nice) and so it was really quite an excellent trip.

But…

I wasn’t totally in love with that open air bathroom.

It wasn’t the long walk up the trail through the woods. That was quite nice and usually populated by cute tiny toads.

This is not a tiny toad, it’s a tiny tree frog. Toads are cute, tree frogs are cuter. Sorry toads.

It wasn’t the open air experience. I’ve been a camper all my life, a “throne” with a view is excellent perk.

It wasn’t the mosquitoes- well sometimes it was the mosquitoes – but it was pretty breezy so they weren’t much of an issue.

This face had nothing to do with bathrooms and everything to do with the smell of dead snails. Not coincidentally they smelled just like my dog Snail Boy.

It was the lack of locking door.

At home my kids, like everyone’s kids have magic sensors every time I go into the bathroom. In case it’s been awhile since you’ve had kids or you’ve yet to experience the fun, let me explain.  Once a mother goes toward the bathroom their magic sensors pick up on it and they come down with severe cases of “questions that must be immediately answered” or break out in rashes of “crisis’ that aren’t”. At home there is a door, and it locks and yet it’s still hard to break away from the children.

See how happy she is? It’s because her mom wasn’t trying to go to the bathroom while this picture was taken.

At the campsite there was nothing but a long trail.

I was at their mercy.

Our “island” home.

Good thing I like camping.

 

Island Camping

It was my brothers idea and it wasn’t even a bad one. (As his sister I’m required to say stuff like that.)

As kids we had taken many summer trips island camping in the flowages of northern Wisconsin and now that our own kids were all out of the major diaper/nap/crying stages he suggested we do it again.

The weather was rather…

…uncooperative……but it didn’t matter.

There was still fishing…

 

…and canoeing…

 

… and kayaking..

… and games…

… and sand to play in…

…and boats to learn to drive…

 

…and general silliness with cousins…

… and one very happy, very tired, rather stinky dog.

As we packed up on Sunday that brother of mine had another idea.

He said we should do it again next year.

I agreed wholeheartedly.

Because sometimes that brother of mine has really good ideas.


For accuracy’s sake I feel compelled to note that while we started with seven people more family joined us throughout the trip until we numbered 12. I however took more pictures of kids, bumblebees and my dog than anything else and they are all highly underrepresented in photos. Sorry family!