Thursday, 11 June 2009

Christians Ain't Perfect

Just get 70+ of them together, add in their children and make them live together deprived of sleep for a few days... It's called church camp it proves the point but it's great fun.

We survived our weekend away and will consider camping again. Everyone started to get colds while we were away but upon returning to civilisation and having a shower to wash all that nasty nature off me it turns out mine wasn't a cold, I'm just allergic to nature... another stellar genetic hand-me down from my parents... I did have a bit of a clue when after a few hours there I was all red and blotchy with some random rash and the fact that any other time I have ventured into nature I have had issues. The other 3 however have just get snifflier and snufflier as the days go on.

There was a fire the first night we were there to roast "mammows" which uncharacteristically bored the boys quite quickly so we decided to lose Lion for a bit more excitement to the evening... the kids afraid of the dark but wanders off all by himself... I just don't understand.

The tent was GREAT. We had room to move, play, hide, make a mess. I can recommend the Kookaburra Chalet 500 or whatever it is called... we took to calling it "Chalet McTavish" after realising that it was called a Chalet on the side of the tent.

Dragon goes exploring amongst the river rocks.

The first night was quite warm... until 3am... then it was FREEZING! The second night was just plain FREEZING. A pregnant friend had a camping trip at Easter and found that a slightly under inflated airbed is wonderful for sleeping on (she is actually sleeping on an air bed at home until her baby arrives any day), I didn't believe her but was willing to try it. Ours was under inflated at the start of the night and was so comfy, no wiggling around to get hips in the right spot, no pillows needing to be re-arranged any time I moved, it was just comfy. Problem was as the night wore on it became less and less comfortable as it became more and more under inflated.

The cool kids playing with the cars in the dirt (clockwise from Dragon with his back to the camera... Dragon, S, B, J-Mac, Lion).

The kids spent the three days playing in the dirt with their matchbox cars. Straight from the shower... yep, that's okay, in the dirt. About to eat dinner... yep, that's fine too, in the dirt. The problem was that there was 5 of them who regularly played together in the dirt and we didn't bring along 5 identical matchbox cars... we had about 20 that were all different and 2 matching. There were a whole bunch of few squabbles over who had which van or jeep or dune buggy or whatever, I am pretty sure however that they are all still friends after the weekend. We all swapped children around and watched each others kids. It was kinda tiring when it was your tent they all wanted to be closest to but you knew that your turn would come when it was someone else tent they were closest to and they were watching them all.

Dragon with the coveted "van with the flames"

We were camped backing onto an access to the creek, the camp organiser had put orange safety fencing across the access so that it would be a visual deterrent to the kids and they couldn't accidentally run down the slope into the water but it was still just a deterrent, if they wanted to get to the water it was easy enough. That gave me the heebie jeebies to say the least. Especially when Lion went missing after only being there a few hours and we were up the top of the camp site a long way from the water and he was nowhere to be seen up there. Turned out he had taken his friend to go and see our tent (and leave it hanging open to fill up with mozzies and creepy crawly bugs) but he got a stern talking to about not wandering off and always telling mummy or daddy where he was. He repeated this offence (wandering off) quite a few more times over the camp but we did manage to bring him home in one piece and alive.

Lion searching for skipping stones (for lion that meant anything smaller than his head that he could throw in the water for a great splash).

Further down the camp grounds there was another shallower access to the creek with a bit of bush to walk through and rocks to navigate before the water and that is where the boys went swimming. Dragon never actually made it into the water fully but Lion went in on both Saturday and Sunday. Dragon preferred to pass the time by trying to contract giardia by lapping up the water and spitting it out in a fountain.

"Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those from those who kneel down to drink"... it just popped into my head while I watched him do this over and over again... it was a church camp after all.

He thought he was the funniest little thing... you can see it on his face.

He also spent a fair bit of time just looking cute :) I took SO MANY photos of him in all his cuteness.

I couldn't decide which pose was cutest from this little series so I put them all together... solved that problem. I'm not sure what was going through his head but BOY IS HE CUTE.

We did have one little incident down at the creek where the local wildlife took a liking to Lion... Wolf was trying to remove a little bug from him and Lion was freaking out about it... or so Wolf thought... Lion was actually freaking out about a MUCH bigger FREAKIER looking bug that was on him that Wolf hadn't seen yet. Of course I had to take photos of the freaky bug.

He gives me the heebie jeebies just looking at him... I would have freaked too if he had been on my bare skin... or my clothes... or on something I was touching... I used the long lens to take this.

We enjoyed spending time with friends and got to know some folk from church a lot better. The teaching was great and the big kids (Lion's age up) were taken care of with a kids program and the little ones (Dragon and 3 of his mates) were taken care of by a few of us skipping a session each to watch them play with playdough, fight over cars, colour in and read stories. This year the teaching was focused on church planting because our church is looking at a plant in the near future and it was very helpful to be able to bring a lot of the information together and look at scripture as our reference for which way to go.

Probably our favourite photo from camp. He is so cute isn't he???

My gripes (well the ones that I can share publicly, because there are some things you don't want to know about) about the camp... the three families with the youngest kids were left with little other space to camp in other than right next to the creek access... we all arrived on the first morning and most other families had gone up the night before so we took what was left... the kitchen facilities were a LONG way from the camping area (there were dorms up top) so it was butane stove or a long walk only to realise you had forgotten something essential to your meal... thankfully there was a fridge down in the camping area... but it was in the ladies toilets... I spend my days reminding my kids to NOT take food into the toilet and the first thing I did when we got there was go and put our milk and sausages in the toilets which I found kinda gross... the more kids you have the more you need to pack but the less room you have in the car... 3 days clothes at home equals about one load in the washing machine but three days camping equals about 7 loads of washing when we get home of clothes, bedding, towels, EVERYTHING... oh there's other things but the overall feeling is that we had fun.

I'd love to have sleeping bags but we don't camp enough to make them worthwhile (even if they are cheap like they were last week (buy one get one half price) you still have to store them when you're not camping. Quilts don't pack down small enough to fit nicely in the car and are a pain in the butt to wash when we get home (but I had a new quilt and cover to go on our bed when we got home so I didn't mind taking ours camping). Thankfully I put in the boys small/thinner comforters and some polar fleece throws to put on them because that was less than the space one of their quilts would take in the car.

I would have taken more photos on camp if I didn't misplace a child every time I pointed the camera at something other than them. There was so much I wanted to take photos of but it was a bit impractical unfortunately.


  1. Did you try taking an 8/sec series of the water spitting child? That could be cool. The camera can be tricked into doing 10/sec, but I don't think we'll ever need that. You do know that I still have your sleeping bag?? And yes, they are sooo cute. I love the pic of all the little fella's together in a circle.

  2. I can't find my tropical wildlife book, but I can tell you that your freaky bug is a member of genus Scutigeromorpha, a type of centipede. Nothing I read about him/her mentioned any nasty venom, and I know that none of our Aussie centipedes are deadly. That's comforting isn't it????
    Check him out here-
    Some crazy people love these creatures.

  3. That bug is gross. Period. Yuk.

    But Lion....ohmylord (sorry to take His name in vain, but we'll count it as a prayer, like "Oh my Lord, thank you for Mummy and Wolf M's cute little boys!) he is adorable!

    What great photos and what a blast it must have been. We used to go to a Christian music festival about three hours from home and that was exhausting and did test a lot of people's faith... especially when you were camping next to people who never went to sleep!

    I can't say I miss going actually...even after seeing your photos.

  4. The kids looked like they had the time of their lives. And you are totally with out biase - those boys sure are cute.
    You haven't quite convinced me that I could make camping my thing however. But the Chalet sounds awesome!

  5. So, when are we going camping?

    I'm not sure what to think about the fact that in the photo with all the boys playing cars, my son is holding a doll...

  6. You can get sleeping bags that pack up really, really small. They're not heavy-duty sleeping bags (which is ok if you're only ever camping in the tropics) but they keep you warm enough for what we need and they are easy to pack up even though they pack up so small. Mum & Dad's family has two (along with all the other sleeping bags they have). They're easy to store. (Not really a requirement for us anyway... Mum and Dad have an entire shelf in their linen cupboard dedicated to sleeping bags!)

  7. OK, I was enjoying your sweet post. That is, until I saw that bug! And, it was on your baby?! That is just not right!!!

    Sounds like a good time was had by all. This city girl is just glad it was you and not me.

    But, I'll spent the night in a hotel anytime.

    Mrs. Nurse Boy

  8. The preparation and packing away afterwards is never fun. That last photo is just perfect.

  9. The creepy-crawly creeped me out when I saw it!! But what a great close-up with your long lens!

    I love all of your pictures. Capturing the water coming out of Lion's mouth is priceless. I would've worried about the whole giardia (sp?) thing, too!

    It sounds like a true adventure and brought back many camping memories. When you talked about losing a child every now and then, I thought about the time my daughter was about two, maybe three, and we camped in our pop-up camper. I slept on the side-bed with her. During the night, I realized that only her head and arms were still on the bed with me. She had rolled out and was just dangling in the air. Luckily, her arms caught her. I managed to pull her back into the bed. Found out later that my husband got sidetracked when someone stopped by for a chat, and he forgot to put the brace supports in place! Yikes.

  10. Oops... it was Dragon not Lion reenacting a fountain!

  11. 3rd comment from me for this post - sorry, but late last night I found out the Scutigeromorpha does bite. For most people it is a bit less painfall than a bee sting, but for some it causes aniphylactic shock. I thought you might like to know. My poor Lion.
    What a brave little soldier!

  12. Glad it all went well - except for loosing a child that's just scary - I can imagine your worry. That bug is gross - even from someone who doesn't usually mind bugs. I always start with airbeds harder than I like because they always start to go down overnight (what is it with them??) It's hard to imagine it's warm enough up there to swim - wow!

  13. So much fun! The boy (boys?) look so happy in the pictures. (Sorry, I can't tell them apart unless they're in the same shot, and even then...


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