Happy Halloween Ya'll

Happy Pumpkin Day...
I thought I would just say I think this are four little ones are just too stinking cute!!!
 Emma-3 years old and determined to be a "Kitty Cat...a Pink One"!!!!
Will, Clay and Owen-4, 6 and 7 years old and posing as some pretty cute Lego Ninja Men!
All I have to say...I think they have some pretty creative mommy's!!!
Thank you girls for making Halloween a very fun holiday for your children!


"Hanging out with critters & cousins at Knight Camp 2012"

It was our first time to have Knight Camp with cousins. The past 5 years it has just been "brothers"but this year we added a cousin. Emma Grace was old enough to attend this year so it was such a very sweet year. For Emma, Owen, Clay and Will are not only her favorite cousins but her ONLY cousins. The boys have lots of cousins on Meg's side of the family but as yet, Emma has none. So they rank as high as you get in her books!
Because it was Emma's first year, we returned to Abilene State Park for our "welcome a new Knight Camp member" to our little tradition. This years theme was based on woodland animals and hanging out with cousins, Bud and Honey. We had a blast! First order of business, is getting our new shirts! Thank you Ashley for helping me out this year...I had an idea but Ashley worked it out for me! I love them and I think the kids thought they were pretty fun as well! I love this picture, when we asked them to turn around so we could take a picture of the back, Emma sweetly put her arm around Will...like I said, she loves her cousins and has been so excited to join them at Knight Camp!
We were very fortunate that Zach and Meg recently purchased a new-to-them travel trailer and so graciously allowed us to take it for our event. Sure beats the pop-up! In fact, it is so nice that we weren't sure this qualifies for camping out! Nonetheless, we loved it!!! Larry and I went out the day before, set up camp, got everything ready and had a chance to catch our breath before the fun began! (I have to admit that was a last minute decision but a very very wise one!)

Zach, Meg and Ashley delivered their kids to camp and were so sweet to bring lunch out so we started out enjoying a quick BBQ lunch with everyone. We thoroughly enjoyed the adult conversation but we could tell the little ones got very "antsy" for the parents to leave so we could start having fun! Sorry Mom's and Dad's...we do love you a lot but as Clay said right off the bat, "Now we get to have Honey and Bud rules and not Mom and Dad rules"! Ha. Don't worry Zach and Meg, we really don't do anything wild and crazy...I think it had more to do with they knew we might stay up slightly past normal bedtime...and I guess to a kid that is "breaking the rules" big time! :)

We started out talking about our traditional scavenger hunt, which pretty much last the entire time we are gone as we are always looking for things that are on "this years list". We gave the kids each a card with pictures of all the things we would be on the watch for so before we took our first little hike, we made new walking sticks! They had so much fun designing their own. Larry had made the sticks for each of them but the kids got to decorate them with all different colors and designs of duct tape!
They loved it and it was such a "clean" craft!!!
 Owen and Clay hard at work
 Will showing off his stick
 Emma's stick in progress
 Owen hard at work

 Clay's creation
 I love this picture! Cousin love! And who can resist a toothless grin!
 Ready to hike!
 And of course, they think a silly face picture is always fun!
After we had a walking sticks HIGHLY decorated, we went for a little hike and they were quite excited we were able to check several things off our list...fall leaves, acorns, a red bird and a squirrel.

Then it was time to go fishing! When it is your first year to attend, tradition is you get a new tackle box. The boys have been telling us for 2 years to be on the watch out for a pink tackle box, they just knew that would be the color Emma would want! So sweet. She was so excited and carried that box around almost the entire time! She wanted to carry everything around...her walking stick, her butterfly net, her new backpack, her tackle box, the bug box and the binoculars! We had to talk her into leaving a few things behind as we knew good and well we would all be "helping" her carry things before the hike was over!

Fishing the first day was unsuccessful but thankfully they don't really seem to mind! They love the hike to the pond and we love to hear all the chattering from them as they discover and re-discover things they love at Abilene State Park. It is so kid friendly and has lots of fun trails! We went back to camp and washed up for supper. Tonight we had packed little dinners for them in sacks.

They love when they get their little meals all prepared and cut out in fun shapes. Bear shaped sandwiches, cut up fruit and a fish shaped rice krispie to finish off the meal. We sat outside in our camp chairs and enjoyed all the fun talking these little ones can do. Emma was having the time of her life and her cousins were so precious to help her with everything! As soon as it got dark, we gave them all a new flashlight and so of course we had to stay outside long enough to shine them around and check things out! Then it was time to go inside and all pick a book out to read. We add a book each year to the Knight Camp Library plus I usually bring a load from the library.
We read books and all got in our PJ's and finished the day with a new game. The boys went to sleep quick and even though it took Emma a bit longer to settle down, we all were so amazed at how comfy we all were in the trailer!
The next morning, we woke up to some very happy campers raring to go! The were so excited to get out and start exploring! First order of business: Pancake & sausage! The kids wanted to help mix the pancake mix...trust me, we didn't have any lumps after they had finished shaking it!!!

 Owen & Clay had moved a big log over to sit on by the fire...and of course Emma wanted to be just like them! There was a great tree in our campsite area that got a work out! The kids were constantly climbing it and "just hanging out".

The kids were so excited to go fishing but it was really beginning to cloud up so while Larry put away everything in case it rained, the kids and I took a hike and worked on building a little
"Log Fort" near the campsite. The boys were so sweet and took such good care of Emma. This picture is a perfect example, so often they would get her little hand and lead her through "the forest" and were always including her.

 Working on their fort!
 I think next time we might need to make it a bit bigger! Ha! It was pretty tight but they managed to all get in it and were SO proud of themselves!

Here we are after our hike! It was so sweet, even though Owen had worn his new Knight Camp shirt the day before he begged to wear it again! That made me feel good...I like seeing them enjoy their shirts!

They had so much fun and we played in "the forest" as Emma referred to it until it started thundering and so then we spent the next 4 hours in the camper listening to rain and thunder! Good thing we came with lots of crafts and indoor activities! :)

Here the kids are making little "lightning bugs"! They had so much fun making them and later that evening we popped a glow stick, slipped it inside and put the little "head/top" on it and flew them around outside! They love doing crafts and are always so precious about them.

Owen kept telling me that the crafts were the "best ever" this year. Sure does know how to make Honey feel good!

Owen's quite proud of his bug little legs!

Clay's bug has some very straight and long antenna's!

Emma giving her bug a test run in the camper!

Will's bug is ready to fly!

The next few hours we played several games, read lots of books and even watched a little "Mickey Mouse Goes Camping" movie while it poured outside. Living in Texas we can never be mad when it rains! So, we just made the most of our time in the camper. We got out our new journals and drew a few pictures, ate lunch and the clouds blew over so it was time to go fishing!!!
All the boys caught fish when we went back to the pond and though Emma didn't catch one she had such a fun time watching them fish! She also enjoyed eating snacks to pass the time! :)

 Emma also loved standing on any little stump she could find and singing! I think she thought they were little stages and she does love to perform!
Emma. Owen and I headed back to the camp a few minutes before the others and Owen so sweetly carried Emma part of the way as her legs were getting tired! Such a good little helper!

Emma had been fighting allergies the week before Knight Camp and little did we know but she wasn't feeling so great. By late in the afternoon, she hit rock bottom. She would cry, grab my hand and push it as hard as she could up against her ear and just scream. She was obviously hurting so after trying everything we knew to do, we made a call to Ashley and made the decision that I would run her to the Walk-In Clinic. We left the boys building a fire to roast hot dogs and Emma and I headed to town. Sure enough, she had a ear infection (her first) and a respiratory infection. Ashley headed back to Abilene when she got the call as she was afraid it would be a hard and long night for Emma and she didn't want Emma's not feeling good to ruin the end of camp for the boys. We were totally bummed to see her go but Ashley took her back to our house for the night and then headed home the next morning. The boys were really bummed that Emma had to leave and felt so sorry for her. We could not have asked for them to be any sweeter or more helpful with her and her first year. It has amazed us every time we have had a "new" camper how the other kids have really been such a huge help!
The last day we hiked, fished, played games, painted wooden fish and made a picture frame.

 We saw a lot of wildlife, had such fun hikes, caught fish and enjoyed our time in the wide open spaces!
I love this first picture...I love my little and big men!

We had fun at the pond, but we didn't catch anything today! We did see lots jumping so I guess we will have to come back another day and see if we can catch them!

Our sweet
guys are such

We went back to camp and had a little lunch before the boys and I took another hike and a stop off at the playground while Bud finished up cleaning up the camper. The boys kept telling us they were not ready for Knight Camp to be over and neither were we! It is so fun to be in the wonderful outdoors, talk to them about all the things that God has given us to enjoy & just hang out with these sweet little ones!
Here are a few more favorites from Knight Camp 2012!
 Owen, Clay, Will and Emma...our four little stair steps!

After we got home, unpacked and Larry and I were having dinner...what was the topic of conversation...what will we do next year?!?! Hmm....