Knight Camp 2014

I knew it had been a while since I had blogged...but this is insane. The last entry was last October's Knight Camp and we just had this years (yes, early but more on that later!) I was feeling overwhelmed with my growing "to-do" list but now I am at a whole new level of feeling so behind on things that I want to do! Ugh....oh well...on to something fun and exciting to talk about....

Knight Camp 2014
We really don't like doing Knight Camp in the summer because basically Larry and I are not big fans of the hot weather but we knew as kids started going to school we would need to make that transition. Even though we had another year to make that happen, we just decided to go ahead and make it happen. To be honest, our summer has been insane and exactly a week and a half before we left for Knight Camp...the idea popped into my head that we should do it in August. So, we quickly and I mean quickly secured a location (a river house in Boerne) and went into major planning and scheming every waking (and a lot of night time hours for me when I should have been sleeping!) hour! We pulled it off! Whew. 

Lots of changes have happened in the past few months and a big one is the fact that David and Ashley have moved to Katy, Texas. So, we decided Boerne was a half way mark and thus a good meeting place.

Knight Camp 2014----Rolling on the River!

We picked up the boys bright and early on Wednesday, August 13th and headed for Boerne. We had so much fun talking to the boys on the way and even taught them the Knight Camp Song! A song was a first but we couldn't resist re-writing the old "Rolling on the River" song! The kids caught right on to it and it was a blast to see them sing it along with other fun skits at our 1st Annual Knight Camp Skit Night! Whoops...I am getting ahead of myself. 

We arrived in Boerne and started unpacking the mass of groceries, crafts, etc until Emma arrived!
It warms my heart to see these cousins together! Oh how they love each other and the fun they had! Ashley and Hudson stayed for a couple of hours to give Mr. H a break from the car before heading back to Katy.

Our week was filled with all sorts of crafts, scavenger hunts, games, books, food, playing in the river, fishing, throwing rocks, hiking, water cannon fights, movie night, skit practice, feeding the birds and watching wildlife and the list just goes on and on. 

Here are some of our MANY pictures from this years Knight Camp...
We were all hungry so the first thing was to eat some lunch. As is tradition, we had box lunches (I have found if I can have the first "meal" ready to go in fun little boxes it sure makes it easy when you are trying to unpack and get settled if lunch is ready to go!) I loved hearing all the chatter at the table and all the "what's next Bud and Honey" questions as they are always so anxious for the party to start!

 Will-6 3/4 years old and his 5th year to attend Knight Camp
 Clay-8 years old and his 7th year to attend
 Emma-almost 5 years old and her 3rd year to attend
Owen-9 3/4 years old and his 8th year to attend.
How is that possible? They are growing up way to fast for this Bud and Honey!!!
And our special guest of honor...Hudson! He is still probably a year from his first Knight Camp but it was fun that he got to bring Emma and have lunch with us! Thanks Ashley and Hudson for driving over 6 hours in one day to bring Emma and then had back home! We appreciate it!!!

 Dessert...why not a little a little wildlife bingo...complete with starburst "markers". Hmm...if you win (or anyone else wins...you get to eat one marker)! Funny how much they love playing this game...even though Owen's expression doesn't reflect it! Ha.

 Honey explaining this years "visitor" (last year Flat Stanley came and was a huge hit!) so Flat Stanley's friend Mr. Woody came to camp and he would hold a clue in his hand each time we were fixing to begin a new activity! He was quite the hit!
 This year our "river raccoons" got new stuffed animals, raccoons of course! They love stuffed animals and these were a huge hit! They had the rest of the first day to decide on a name and revealed their raccoons name at dinner and then they made bead collars after supper with the name.
 Meet Emma's raccoon, Addie (named after her friend in Mansfield that she misses dearly!)
 Will picked the name Ricky Raccoon
 Owen selected "Rocky Road" as his raccoons name.
Clay, of course named his "Choco" raccoon since that is what we nicknamed Clay many years ago after his parents discovered he had been sneaking into the chocolate chip bag at night after bedtime!
 We started by reading an e-book about pond & river life and then each camper got a new sketch pad and some map colors. In the book, the character would draw things he saw at the river and the kids had such fun doing the same on our first trek down to the river.
 Its hard to explain how much it warms my heart to see how the boys care for Emma. Even though she might not really need as much help as even last year, they were forever picking her up and carrying her over rough places, holding her hand or warning her of dangers throughout the week. Very sweet and protective of their girl cousin! She adores them and follows their every footstep!!!
This years motto at camp: Where cousins become best friends!!!!

 We visited the river a lot over the next three days so this is just a combination of some of my favorite shots! They loved being in the water!

Owen and Clay looking for rocks to build a dam.
Let me just say we for sure added a lot of rocks to the riverbed over the course of three days!
The river was really really low. To the point that one of our mail activities, floating down in kayaks and tubes had to be scratched. We were bummed but it didn't keep them from having a good time. They loved skipping rocks, building dams with rocks, fishing, splashing each other, catching minnows in their butterfly nets and my very favorite...just hanging out and chilling! This is maybe one of my all time favorite camp pictures...its a framer!

 Emma was more for the big splash than learning the art of skipping rocks!
The boys worked so hard catching minnows and it was so fun to watch them scouting them out and then sneaking up on them! 

 We took lots of breaks from the heat in the comfort of the house and what better way to spend it than with craft time! These kids are like me, they love to do crafts!
Our first craft, and the biggest hit, was making our own boats to race down the "rapids". We had lots of corks, popsicle sticks, fun foam for sails, etc. They got to design and build two different kinds and decorate them however they wanted. It was such a good craft for all the ages and the older ones certainly got into making boats that would race fastest while Emma was most interested in having the cutest, most colorful and of course that her colored sticks were in a "pattern"! I love their little personalities!

 While glue was drying I noticed Clay and Emma checking out the birds and squirrels with the binnoculars! We had a wildlife tally sheet that we documented all the different types of birds, deer, etc. we spotted through the week so they were busy working!

After supper, which was very yummy macaroni and cheese dinner complete with all sorts of add-on's such as more cheese, sausage crumbles, bacon bits, etc (big hit!) we played another game...which has become quite the hit. Each person gets jelly beans and we have to try to figure out the flavor! Such a simple game but we get so tickled at the flavors they come up with! Plus they love to see the color of their tongue at the end of the game...its the simple things in life that are so much fun!

 Another fun craft was decorating our own "treasure cans" (aka pringle cans) with fun colored duct tape and stickers. We used these cans to store our River Rock Tic Tac Toe boards in, that we made the next day.

 Always fun to watch their creativity at work. I love all the colors and patterns of duct tape and what an easy project for them to do!
I regret that I didn't get a picture of them in bed, but I completely forgot. This might have been one of Emma's favorite parts because for the first time, she got to sleep with the boys instead of closer to Bud and Honey. Owen asked right off if he could room with Emma and they had such a sweet time together. Emma told me at the end of camp that one of her "favorite memories" was getting to sleep in the same room as Owen and that "after we turned out the lights and told them goodnight...they still talked and laughed!" So sweet. Owen was so good to watch after her, again, I was blown away with how well they all got along.

Movie Night, complete with a full blown concession stand! Will sweet little smile says it all. To say they were excited with getting to create their own box of goodies is an understatement!

 This picture melts my heart! We looked over to the couch and found these two all snuggled up together watching the movie! So sweet!!!
 Caught this sweet picture of the kids feeding the birds early one morning!
After breakfast, we headed to the river for our Boat Races!
 Owen and his blue creation...came in 2nd
 Emma's creation...very cute...not so fast! :)
Will's was the most creative and included the most sticks...but had trouble staying upright!
 Clay-the winner!!! And his favorite color of course!
Boat races on the Guadalupe River

Afterwards, we played around on the river, fished a bit and Emma found this...
She pulled back these trees and proudly exclaimed...
"Look everyone, its the ENCHANTED river"!!! 
What an imagination this little one has!!!

Sweet cousins Will and Emma
At our 3rd Knight Camp, we took a picture of Owen & Clay on this swing. As we were walking back up to the house, Will ran over to me and ask if we would take a picture of him and Emma on the swing for the scrapbook! Love that he wanted it...and it is such a sweet picture!!!
We always read lots of books at Knight Camp.
I loved how every time we read...these two would snuggle up for book time!

Some of our craft time was used to make masks for our "1st Annual Skit Night" and these two were having so much trying their masks on and giving us their stage faces!
 Emma the "Owl"
Will the "deer"
More on the skit later....
This is how we looked on most hikes down to the river...loaded down with gear!

Funny how something you don't give a lot of planning to can turn out to be the most fun!
We bought $1.00 water cannons at the dollar store, filled up two bins with water and divided the kids into teams for a water fight. We have never ever heard so much laughter and seen the four of them have as much fun as they did! It was such a great activity for a very hot afternoon!

 For 3 fun filled days even though we were super busy with lots of fun activities, we also introduced the
We practiced off and on all week, learning a very fun song, practicing 3 skits and they could hardly contain themselves Friday evening for their parents to arrive. They were SOOO excited to wow their parents...and wow them they did!
 Singing our rendition of "Rolling on the River"! So cute!!!
One of our skits, this would be Chief Clay

The boys really hammed it up and learned their lines perfectly!
 And Emma loves to pretend so she rocked her puppy role!
More singing and more laughter!
We couldn't get over how amazing the kids did in their first skits! They loved working on them, were always wanting to sing the song again or practice! They would get so tickled at each other and our hearts are full with fun memories! The parents loved it and we are pretty sure it was the best end of camp EVER!!

Zach, Meg, Ashley and Hudson (we missed David so much but he lost a very dear friend and went to Longview and so he was where he needed to be!) came on Friday evening, were throughly entertained and welcomed by their kids and then we made some very yummy s'mores for dessert. A repeat dessert from last years menu because they were such a hit! Waffle cones and then you fill them with whatever suits your fancy...chocolate chips, marshmellows, nutella, nuts, peanut butter chips, etc. Yummy!

 After a good night's sleep...we enjoyed a yummy breakfast brought in by the sweet moms and then we played at the river and just hung out, played games and enjoyed some time together! It was such a fun family day. 

Can I just say how much I love this man (Bud to the grands)! He is such a wonderful husband who helps me with all my crazy ideas! He is such a great Bud and I love to watch him with our grands!
The last evening, we drove to Comfort to The Comfort Pizza Company. Zach and his family had discovered this little jewel earlier in this year and oh my...it was such a fun place and had amazing pizza!!!

 Once again, it was such an amazing time for the two of us to spend with the kids.
It makes us so happy to see the relationship growing between these kids.
It was so fun to watch them play together, laugh with one another and at each other and help each other! These memories are priceless!
Although we were all exhausted...kids and us, our time was sweet and we look forward to next year!

...Big Wheel keep on turning,
Bud and Honey keep on burning...
Rolling Rolling Rolling on the River....