Friday, July 19, 2013

Go Camping... in Your Backyard.

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Itching for a family getaway, but not wanting to spend a bunch of money! Or pack a bajillion bags for yourself and all your kids, for that matter?
Seriously--how is it possible for such tiny people to need SO. MUCH. STUFF!?!?

Drag out your tent, or borrow one from a friend!
Set it up in the backyard--or... have your handsome-pants husband set it up--and fill it with blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows!

Yes. This is a HUGE tent for two adults and two littles. But the other tent was busted. So we defaulted to the tent mansion.

We roasted hotdogs and s'mores for dinner over a firepit in the backyard to play up the camping theme.
 Mmmm... Fire-roasted hot dogs really are the best!

I have a confession. I've never really liked s'mores. 
I know, I know. There's just something about the plain old room temperature chocolate ruining the heavenly gooey texture of the freshly roasted marshmallow that has never sat well with me. I've heard all sorts of alternate s'mores methods (like substituting the chocolate with a reeses peanut butter cup), but have yet to find a real winner. 

But this time around, I had an epiphany!
Do NOT tell me you figured this out when you were seven. I'm feeling all proud of myself for my astounding creativity!
I decided to fix the problem--the plain old boring chunk of chocolate. 
I roasted the mallow, just like normal, and built the s'more just like I usually would.
But I didn't stop there!
I roasted the entire s'more for another 30 seconds or so.
(I just rested it on top of our double pronged roasting sticks. Not the most secure, but my s'more made it out unscathed!)

The result? A warm, gooey, melty sandwich of goodness.
Tell me that doesn't look amazing.

Next on the schedule?
This is what the husbands are for, right?

I'm not exactly sure what was happening here, but it looks pretty fabulous!

I've also been trying to get more "selfies" of the entire family, so... I subjected my family to some camera time, too, while we were at it.

The two-year-old needs some practice on focusing, sure. And her older sister looks SUPER happy, but you know. We've been documented. We'll go ahead and call this Family Selfie a success.

Once it started to get dark, we gathered in the tent for stories.
The Spooky Old Tree is one of my kids' favorites.
Here it is as told by my three-year-old:

Then came the tricky part. Sleeping. 
Did my children fall asleep right away?
It was a WINDY night, so that made it a little more difficult for them to drift off.
My two-year-old is still in a crib, so the lack of boundaries freaked her out a bit, too.
But man, once they were out, we were in business. They slept WAY better than their daddy and I did, that's for sure! 

Hang on, hang on--we're not through yet! Don't forget the most important part! 
Bedhead pictures!

Mr. Handsome-Pants and I were a bit weary the rest of the day, but it was totally worth it. The girls LOVED it, and keep asking to do it again. 

What sort of activities would you incorporate into your backyard campout? What are your favorite treats to roast over the fire?

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