Papa-son and Mama-cita's Kiddos

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

The First-Ever Whitney All-Family Camping Trip - Part 1

We did it.

We went camping.  All of us.  Together.  In a tent.  And we loved it!

We planned.  We practiced setting it up.  We waterproofed our gear.  We made adjustments.  We made stuff.  We compromised.  We made more adjustments.  We packed and loaded it up and left!
Here's one of the practice runs in our wild-looking backyard.

The drive to the site was about 2.5 hours long.  We had lots of screaming and crying.  Unhappy Autumn and Miserable Paloma.  We arrived and had a fairly secluded spot.  Pops mentioned the screaming baby who could possibly keep other campers up at night and I think that really helped!  This was one of those spots that you had to walk to.  Not far, but far enough when you've got to haul your stuff along with 5 kids that can't really pull any weight just yet.
Here's Daddy running with the cart to unload all our stuff.

Setting up our temporary home away from home was a breeze, thanks to Pops' dry runs at home.

People laughed when they saw how big it was but with 2 adults, one pack-n-play, and four kids in sleeping bags, we needed the space!  The kids were so happy to finally arrive!


Our first meal was italian sausages (for Papa and Mama!) and nitrate free, uncured hot dogs (for the kids) with a side of campside fried potatoes and zucchini (from our garden) with diced onion.  DELICIOUS!!!!  (Since being pregnant, I can't get enough meat/protein!)  And the little leftovers of potatoes and zucchini went right into the fire to minimize trash!  Love it!

One of our compromises was a treat of smores.  You know, all the bad for you stuff, nothing homemade.  This was Joshua favorite part of the trip!  He and Daddy sitting in the dark by the fire after all the others were already in their sleeping bags.  (Oh- in case you're interested, Pops wanted a dessert he could bake/cook in our cast-iron dutch oven but I had a hard time planning for something like that!  Ideas?  Let me know!)
S'more face Saraina
Shocked Joshua intrigued by something.

So, bedtime arrives.  Autumn went down well, the bigger kiddos did okay.  Pops and I laid down and shortly after I heard a rumble.  I quickly say, "Is that thunder?"  It was around 9 or 9:15pm.  We were exhausted but we knew day two of our trip would be a travesty if our junk all over the campsite got wet.  So, out we went and in came all our stuff that shouldn't get wet (like our cast-iron pots and pans).  We had no other tarps to keep the firewood dry so we put the kids plastic square table over it, hoping we'd be able to make breakfast in in the morning.
Autumn somewhere under those warm blankets in her pack-n-play.
Paloma and Saraina and Kadin still snoozing in the early morning.
Joshua just waking up.
Papa and Mama's sleeping section.  No pads or air mattress.  PAINFUL!
Note: bring a rake to clear tent area of acorns and sticks before setting up the tent!

No rain comes.  We wake the bigger kids to have them go potty.  (NOTE:  this the ESSENTIAL for me if I ever go camping, especially being pregnant and needing to use the "facilities" often.)  Pops thought I was out of my mind when I asked him about 2 weeks before our trip to make a potty for me using the 5-gallon empty coconut oil bucket.  I had him cut a large hole in the lid for the potty seat and then doubled plastic bags and secured them to the buscket prior to snapping the lid on.  Voila!  A sturdy, clean, and available potty for us to use when needed!

The potty worked like a charm.  And then we went back to sleep.  And around midnight, the rain came.  And came.  And came.  It got much colder but we were fairly warm until Joshua woke up to tell me his blanket was wet.  Wet?  Pee or rain?  Rain.  Water was collecting under the tarp in certain places.  Out Daddy went to check the tent.  It rained a lot and for HOURS.

Morning comes early in the wild and this morning we woke to wetness all around.  Daddy was up and out of the tent right away.  His mind was on FIRE.  He had to get a fire going and keep it going.  I was thankful I packed rainyday toys, just in case.
Paloma and Autumn played well as Daddy prepared breakfast
and the bigger kids and I played  a matching game.

But then it slowed down and stopped.  And because I was keeping an eye on Autumn and Paloma, Pops had to make breakfast solo, for the most part.  He whipped up my soaked pancakes and some maple syrup breakfast patties (compromise food!) and then... when he was almost finished... it poured down on us.  Back in the tent, except for Daddy cooking still.

Check out this video of Daddy working it in the rain!

(Problem uploading video!  Sorry.)

Here's a picture of crazy Daddy drying off his shirt by the fire.  Later on he tried to do the same thing with his sneakers when he realized they were BURNING!

That was the BEST breakfast!  Because we had to run in the tent, we ended up making a pancake sausage sandwich which was DELICIOUS!!!!  And no need for silverware!

So, we made it through our first night of camping in the rain and God even provided a fire for us the next day as the wood under that little plastic table kept most the wood dry!

More to come... Part 2 to come soon!


  1. Okay! I'm ready for Part 2. I'm loving this tale!

  2. What a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing :) Please don't make us wait too long for Part 2. We love the Whitneys!

  3. Oh, how much fun! I love all it...we, too, cannot wait for more!