Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We are now home from our vacation. It was wonderful, long, rejuvenating, and crazy. We decided to take our seven children camping. Camping. Sounds crazy already, huh. My Mom and Dad decided to come along with us without me having to twist their arms or anything. Bet next time, I'll have to promise prizes or something. Anyway, we packed up our family and headed out west Thursday morning to see what New Mexico and Arizona had to offer.

We made it to our destination of Santa Fe that evening. The kids were great. Of course the massive amounts of cookies might have had something to do with it.

But then the fun began. We got to camp a little later than expected, so by time we got pulled in, got the tent set up and the camper all pulled out, it was late for dinner. But never fear. I had made up meat pies and froze them during the previous week, so we just had to heat them up. The kids thought they were great, and as soon as they were finished it was time for the whole nightly shower ordeal.

Heath was in charge of the three older boys, while I had Jeffie Jean, and the three youngest as my charges. In theory it was a fair split. I had the easiest child and the three most difficult children, and Heath had the three boys you have to double check to make sure they didn't just stand in the water and get wet. Plus, I had my Mom helping me. We took a plastic tub with us to bathe Paulee Rea and Anderson, plus his Bumbo so he would have a place to sit after his bath. Terry was the conundrum. How do you bathe a three year old who hates showers and is way to big for the make-shift tub? Mom took the reigns with the two babies, while I tried to convince Terry the shower wouldn't drown him. I was VERY unsuccessful. We're talking the screams were so loud, Dad heard them back at camp. Maybe even part of Texas too. It was unreal. I can't believe Child Services didn't show up that night. And to make matters worse, as the soap and water slid down his leg, we discovered he'd been attacked by a cactus. Really. The screams multiplied in volume, strength, and urgency. By now all the dogs in camp were howling their discomfort. All the while, Paulee and Anderson were splashing it up with Gram, and oblivious that Terry was dying a thousand deaths.

Then the ardent task of plucking the cacti spines out of Terry's ankle ensued. I checked my watch to make sure it wasn't quiet hours yet, and took him back to camp where I laid him out on my bed with lots of extra hands available to pin him down if necessary. He laid there and never moved while I took each spine out one by one. Of all the insane things. Water running down his back causes pandemonium, but yanking cactus spines out of a swollen ankle is no big deal.

It took a little bit to get the little pistol named Paulee to sleep. The boys were having a wonderful time sleeping in sleeping bags in a tent. It is a guy thing. Anderson decided to get up in the middle of the night to eat. And eat. And eat. And eat. I do not exaggerate. It got so cold that night, I didn't have the heart to put him back in his crib. Boy was that a mistake. He would have been warmer there, and I would have gotten sleep! Nearly every hour he woke to eat. I think at some point he was just testing me to see if I would still feed him. But what was I to do? I couldn't let him cry. He would have kept up our camp, not to mention the others around us. Needless to say, when the sun came up, and everyone got up (UGH!), I was exhausted, and Anderson was the happiest, round baby in the world!

I have so much more to post, and many pictures to share. As I'm looking through them I have left out some things from day one. So you'll just have to indulge me. I want to post this, but also want to go to bed. So we'll backtrack a little tomorrow!