Monday, July 5, 2010

Homemade Bug Spray and First Camp of the Season

A huge batch of calzones, a batch of homemade granola bars and pancake mix and a test recipe of homemade bug spray can only mean one thing -
Our first camping trip of the season.  We headed out on Wednesday to meet up with some homelearning families for a long weekend camp-out.  Our family camps a lot but it is a special treat to go camping with friends.

There were fun hikes and lots of wildflowers to take photos of.
There was lots of rain and lots of dewdrops.
We all had lots of paddling time - I so enjoyed going out on my kayak and seeing S spend some time fishing,
coming across the "big boys" exploring the shores with their canoe,
coming upon the "little boys" trying out a homemade fishing rod in the canoe all by themselves, (E was very proud to be able to be out on his own with his friend.)
and just sitting back and enjoying the sights and sounds from my kayak whenever the sun came out.

There was lots of fishing.
And Catching!  E's first fish - he brought in two and cooked them up.
There was a busy mama!  12 babes.
There was time for games and campfire songs.  We taught our friends one of our favourite campfire games - the burning ember game. (Truly, it IS good to play with fire!)
E made a torch out of a stick, old man's beard and lots of pitch.  It worked really well.
There were the obligatory s'mores.
And, my favourite, rocks warmed over the fire, wrapped in a towel and tucked into our sleeping bags.  Bliss!  The weather was not quite as warm as usual and so these rocks, as well as impromptu hot water bottles made from our Kleen Kanteens filled with boiling water and tucked into an oven mitt, made sleeping in the tent cozy and comforting.
Such a fun time.  Now, since we have such a good recipe for homemade pancake mix we'd better see how many more camping trips we can fit into this summer. 


Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

What a beautiful area to camp. That lake is breath taking.

Mary-Sue said...

YAY!!!! looks like SO much fun! you really do know how to camp... will have to learn lots from you!

Lise said...

Oh, it looks like so much fun! I haven't been camping in years, but it feels like time again...

sheila said...

Fun! What's the homemade bug spray consist of? I usually buy mine.

You know what's strangely weird yet oddly compelling? Douse potatoes with those glow in the dark wands then shoot them into the lake. They glow as they fall.

Spleo: the sound a potato doused with glow in the dark fluid makes as it hits the lake.

Lorie said...

It does look like such fun. Our family loves to camp. Your granola bars look so good, would you consider sharing the recipe?


The Apple Pie Gal said...

Wonderful pictures!! I hope we can get some camping in this year too!

affectioknit said...

Just beautiful! It looks like so much fun!

Erin said...

It's definitely summer when you can camp! Camping is such a lovely way to meet so many needs all at once.

It's wonderful to see that our boys (and girls) can find ways to create and experiment with fire, many do enjoy it so. Sometimes it can be a place where the (very legitimate!) concern for safety can over-ride the awareness developing in the chld from supervised exploration, and trust in their own boundaries. I loved seeing their exploration and "play" with fire, Heather!!

My favourite photo is the one of E with his fish...such delight, and he is adorable!

Hoping to go camping many times too, after we get my Mom settled into her new smaller home. Keeping us very busy with that first.

Katherine said...

Looks like the first camping trip of the season was a good one.
Congrats to E on his successful fishing!
If I know you at all, this will be the first of many great camping adventures this summer. You do know how enjoy this season. I'll have to take a page from your book and get our gear together. Thanks for sharing such great shots, Heather. Feels almost as if I was there.

Heather said...

Shelia, I used yarrow as the base for the bug spray. Are you going to tell us how you came to find out about glow in the dark potatoes?
PS- now I am picturing you as the rowdy camper with a potato gun!

Erin, we were talking about the playing with fire safety issue while we were doing this. Another mom and I agreed that it was actually very important to our kids to have the opportunity to "play" with fire (not to mention knives, etc). It is such a balance, isn't it, watching our kids grow up and knowing (?) when they can "handle" things without being in danger. Our boys have been using knives and axes and working with fire for awhile now so the stretch for me this time was to watch E out in the canoe without an adult right in it with him. I could feel those mama strings pulling but I could also see how tall he was sitting up in that canoe and how proud he was to be on his own. Wishing you some fun camping times when your mom is settled.

Katherine, you DO know me! We have an awful lot of trips planned, we're squeezing them in - why does summer have to be so short ;-)