Last week Jim and I and over 50 of our family and friends, spent several days up north camping at Blue Ridge. (Shayla – I should have called you first!!!)
We had such a great time and I am so glad we went. We had 22 kids 10 years of age and younger with us – crazy huh? It was a pretty quiet and uneventful trip (rare but nice). I thought I would share just some pictures and a few little anecdotes from the trip.
Noah and the Stick
I love the way that kids tell stories. David told me this week that if Noah ever runs up to greet me and starts his sentence with “Um” that I better be prepared for the already drafted version of his tale. LOL. David called that one correctly!
Tanner, Noah and Zandi were playing a distance away under a tree. Tanner starts crying. I have a bit of a jog to get there. As David said, Noah meets me and begins his officially prepared statement with “Um…”
“Ummmm Aunt Sissy….a big huge stick fell from high in the sky and hit Tanner on the head.”
I get to Tanner and sure enough, he does have the marking of a big stick konking him in the head. Tanner than say’s:
“MOMMY!!! NOAH THREW THAT STICK!”
It was all I could do to hide my laughter. Noah told the absolute truth. He just didn’t mention how the stick got high in the sky to begin with .
Tanner and the Shove
Graham was crying because Tanner shoved him. Weird I thought. Tanner isn’t generally aggressive. Noah tells me that Tanner got mad at Graham because he was taking his toys. Hmmmmm. I asked Tanner what happened and he said “I just pushed him. Graham didn’t do nuffin.” I asked several times and got the same answer. Several day’s later we are driving down the road and Tanner say’s “Mommy do you remember when I pushed Graham?”
“Yes” I say.
“Well Alyssa had some toys and I wanted them but she was giving them to Graham.”
“So you just pushed Graham?”
“Yep. And he didn’t do nuffin.”
At least he did tell the absolute truth
Question for you. If you were in the wilds and had camped close to a narrow mountain trail with a rock wall on one side and a steep cliff dropping down to a reservoir on the other….would you agree to go jeeping with a gal who was lousy at driving a stick shift? Apparently mi madre would :).
Several people over the course of my life have tried to teach me to drive stick to no avail. However, now that we have a Suzuki Samarai, I have been trying to learn. I told Jim that I wanted to go out jeeping and he was about to play mountain golf. He, brave man that he is, said okay. No questions. No “where are you going….when will you be back…do you know what you are doing….???” So, with a calm reserve, I invited my mother along. I put on a brave face and climbed behind the wheel. As I attempted reverse, several friendly campers got the giggles. I saw their patronizing and smug little glances;), but I paid them no mind.
I told mom that we should go up the hill and see the reservoir. Anything in this sentence catch your attention? As in “up a hill”? Yes…didn’t think through that. I had never attempted a stick shift on a hill. I have only driven the jeep alone twice before as a point of fact.
So off we went. We had a lovely drive and we were enjoying ourselves immensely. I got a bit overly confident as we approached the boat dock though. It didn’t seem a good place to turn around so I choose the steep hillside knowing that there was a circular turn around a couple miles up. Never once crossed my mind that I would get into trouble. Am I an idiot? Sometimes.
Half way up the hill I had to stop due to traffic. When I attempted to put it back in first I realized my mistake. Oh great day in the mornin’. With every attempt I slipped a few feet backwards. Terrified of slipping towards the cliff side, I steered towards the rock wall. I later told my dad “Well one of my virtues is at least knowing my limitations. I gave it my all until it was no longer safe and then I waited for a rescue.” Dad said “And that is what I love about you “.
When I got to the point that one more attempt would take my rear bumper against the rock, I stopped. Mom, now quite wide eyes wondered what my next plan was. Easy – we flag down help. The next truck up the road was filled with teenage guys in the back. Turns out none of them could drive stick either. The driver, a man in his 40’s (probably), was valiant enough to offer his services. Poor guy. He looked at my predicament rather wide eyed too. I could tell he was in no hurry to attempt it either. At first he say’s “Well put your left foot on the clutch and the other foot on both the brake and the gas holding it at an angle.” My response to that was “Are you kidding?” Ya right.
He jumped in and turned it around and I happily drove it back down the hill. Later I asked Jim what the little gripper thing was on the stick and he told me that he put a hand control in for the gas so that you don’t need 3 feet for those predicaments. Wish I would have realized that sooner! Oh well…lesson learned . And yes, my mother still loves me. (By the way, the guy who helped was a college pastor at another valley church. Love it when God sends one kid to bail out another ).
Here are trip pictures:
While camping Tanner came up to me and said “I am picking up all the stuff that Ty may choke on.” How sweet. I didn’t inspect.
While doing laundry today I came across his camping jeans with pockets stuffed. Mother’s of boy’s always get afraid to dig into pant pockets. You never know what you may find. My MIL once found bird heads in Jim’s pockets after a hunting trip. YIKES! That caused post traumatic stress for me.
Anyhow, the picture above is what was pulled from Tanner’s pocket. I called Sweetie and said “Man I can’t believe what a precious kid Tanner is. He was literally cleaning the campsite so that Ty wouldn’t get hurt. He picked up glass, nails, and beer bottle caps (which were not ours by the way;). Mom and I just sighed and melted. Papa then adds his two cents. He tells us that he was finding cups all around the trailer filled with these items and he was wondering who did it. Wow! Now I really think Tanner is an incredible kid. Then Jim goes and ruins it. In typical “Jim” fashion he say’s “Babe your dreamin’. I know exactly why Tanner was picking all that stuff up and it wasn’t just for Ty’s sake. He told me he was collecting “shiny stuff”. I prefer the tale Tanner told mama:). This is only the beginning isn’t it?
Daniel, Noah, Tanner, and Alyssa on Daniel’s new Polaris Ranger. For some reason this Ranger scares Ty to death and he screams bloody murder if you put him on it. Haven’t figured that out yet.
My little honey Zandi who just turned three!
Devoted cousin! Tanner was in trouble and sentenced to the tent (this was for the shove incident). Zandi decided to take his punishment with him and sat outside waiting for me to end the banishment.
Jim and Ty on a merry little walk.
My beautiful husband.
This is Alyssa. She is our friend’s (John and Belinda’s) three year old daughter. Alyssa is a charmer and I love her. She batts her little eyelashes, puts her hands on her hips, and speaks very authoritatively with a deep little froggy voice. I love that voice – it is truly the BEST. Alyssa and Noah are quite close right now. That is FINE by me. Tanner is not all that interested in the female sex right now and I hope to keep it that way for about 25 years .
Grandma Cheri went camping with us too! Ty had great fun with TWO grandma’s around to cater to his every whim.
Me and Ty at Potato Lake
My 1 year old nephew Zane. I think that is fish bait in his hands. The kid had a fishin’ pole in his hands all weekend and if you wanted to see an old fashioned brawl, you’d take it away. Ask David what happens though when you put one wife, one three year old, and one year old child in a canoe with the intent to fish. I tried to warn him but he had to learn the hard way. Sigh….
My 1 year old niece Karsyn. This was her first camping trip and she loved every minute of it.
Jim and I drove up a 29 mile dirt rode one day – the rim road – to see Knoll Lake. On the way, there were several points that allowed a gorgeous view of the rim. Arizona is truly beautiful.
Potato lake was another site we visited. It was gorgeous. It was more like a pond though. Later the boy’s told me it is snake infested. That dampened my spirits a bit:)
On the way home we had the privilege of watching a beautiful AZ sunset! It was incredible. I took these pictures out my car window.
Lovely lovely trip. Can’t wait to go again soon.