Monday, August 1, 2011

Cousin Camp - Day 1 - Beyond the Edge of Reason (or Aunt Beke Overdid It)

So I am back at home in my own widdle bed...clomping away on my laptop. There is central air. And no sounds of hysterical giggling and plotting from beyond the door. A few weeks ago I came up with the bright idea of hosting a "Cousin Camp" for my parents' grandkids. My Baby Sister who lives in OHH-klahoma (I believe I've covered this before) couldn't bring her kiddos and my oldest niece, Kalynn, is being tortured daily at Band Camp (she is going to be a Freshman at Nixa High). So we gathered together at my parents' farm with my guy, Josiah (age 9) and my brother's remaining kids. Christopher (age 14 - and also Kalynn's twin), Alexandra (age 8) and Madalyn (age 7). Of course, my parents don't have their central air installed yet and are in the middle of major renovations on their farm house. But that didn't stop us! We just cranked up the window units and made a "tools off-limits" rule.

When planning the Cousin Camp I had a certain theme in mind. We called it "Down At The Farm"...which was a no-brainer. But we also wanted for activities to be old-fashioned in nature. There was seldom any TV watching. We cooked, did Arts & Crafts, played lots of chess, marbles & Battleship and basically had some good, clean, uncomplicated fun. least it was uncomplicated for the Cousins.

So here are some pics (and commentary) from Day 1. I was home by myself with the kids. My parents both work and weren't able to be there during the day the first 2 days. I used to wrangle classrooms of kids...I figured, "Hey, how hard could this be?"  Heeh.

Cousin Camp Day 1

The Cousins

Camper of the Day - Christopher
Age - 14
Favorite Food - Beans & Ramen Noodles
Favorite Pastime - Playing Video Games & Pestering his sisters

I chose a Camper of the Day to be the "Helper" and general gopher. This was a pretty big honor. While the boys thought the idea of being the "Camper of the Day" was cool, I have to say that the girls (especially the 7 year old) were more efficient. But not quite as cool.

Cooking School - Biscuits

We used my Great-Grandma's recipe. She was a pastry chef at the Brown Hotel in Rockaway Beach, Missouri way back in the day when Rockaway Beach was more than a bait and tackle shop and a pizza joint (which does have pretty good pizza if I remember right).  Because it was just biscuits and I am always overly ambitious everybody had their own bowl of biscuits to make. We ate biscuits for daayys.

Cooking School - Old Fashioned Lemonade (translation: Lemonade not coming from a powder or bottle)
As if making biscuits were not enough I had to bring lemonade into the mix. (haha) It was absolutely delicious though. The kids were really pleased with themselves. We tried both a glass & electric squeezer. Not surprisingly, the electric squeezer won the popular vote.

Arts & Crafts - Design Your Apron

If we were going to any kind of serious cooking that week we needed our own aprons.  This was pretty serious stuff.  I'm just glad nobody decided to paint me. You never know with this bunch.

The finished products

Afternoon Tea

Every afternoon we tried to have "Tea"...though we never really drank tea. This day we had our lemonade and some fun cookies. Josiah was always ready to entertain. 


A couple of nights we made smores.  I could do with a smore right now.  We cheated and used the microwave this first night. We afraid the grill was going to explode and wanted to wait until Papa lite it to use it. True Story.

Sing - Along

I come from a long line of musicians on both sides of my family. My mom is constantly buying instruments for the grandkids (we actually made some instruments later in the week). In addition to the guitars and Glockenspiel you see in these pictures the grandkids own lap harps, harmonicas (thanks, mom :<( )& Indian flutes. The noise was deafening. I couldn't hear to sing. I took some video I'll post when we made our gourd instruments. You see though that we eventually put Christopher out. Teenagers. And yes, the turquoise percussion thing is really a Glockenspiel. And my mom really did buy it. I just like saying it, "Glockenspiel."

The next group of pictures are just odds & ends of Day 1.

Here are the findings of the Scavenger Hunt the kids took earlier in the day. I had made up 5 different scavenger hunts (we only did 2 thoughout the week) and sent the kids out with a paper lunch sack. There were a few items that I had to veto from being brought into the house ("I know a chicken is technically 'soft', but you cannot use it has one of your scavenger hunt items!)

This is a picture from Maddie Paige (age 7). I'm loving the two-toned hair-do and her lips. She drew this picture in honor of Cousin Camp and we kept it on our board all week.

Another random picture. I made "Bento Boxes" for lunch every day. You can make anything fun to eat with a Bento Box. The dips are ranch dip & cheese dip.

Shucking Corn. It is great to have children at this age who think this is really fun.

This wound up being really yummy corn.

They are pretty proud of their "corn shucking" abilities.

This was our "Camp Board." I posted the daily activities on it. The younger kids helped me decorate all of my sign posts. I also had a table that I decorated with our theme in mind. We kept our afternoon tea items on it and out of the way. Yes, I know. I need an intervention.

Shew! I'm getting the shakes just looking at the pictures. If you plan on doing a camp for your kids just remember to either a) pace yourself or b) run away.

Cousin Camp - Day 2 (coming tomorrow) Chocolate, Chickens & Aunt Beke has a nervous breakdown.

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