Friday, July 18, 2008


I sort of feel like I am cheating here. I wanted to write the history of how each of our children came to our home before I got into day to day stuff. Partly because i thought it might help to give me perspective. How they act is greatly informed by their previous life experiences and it is easy to forget that when things get crazy. Partly because I treasure them all so much and I think memories are the most important possession we have. I never want to forget the roller coaster rides that involved bringing each of them home and being able to read those stories brings it all back to me.

However. . . we are newly back from a short camping jaunt and it was so much fun that this is my topic instead. We have a favorite area of Maine--Old Orchard Beach or OOB as Kirsty keeps saying when she sees those silly stickers people buy for their cars to show they went someplace. :-) The campground is very family friendly, very quiet and we very much love going there. this year was the first time that we would be camping with Elisabeth walking and with the dog. Blake is just a bit over a year old, a Brittany spaniel just big enough to squeeze into the space where i normally put my feet when sitting on the passenger side of the van. Trust me this was the only space left for him at this point. When the kids are into booster seats and he is a bit older, I can envision him lying in the center aisle but for now, he still gets a bit too antsy for the younger kids to feel comfortable with him there.

Off we went. I was really depressed initially. The start to the week had been horrible. Kirsty had been fighting with the kids during the week just before we left. It was so intense I didn't like being home. it was so horrible KC was acting it out for me in the front hall as I came in from work. To say it put a damper on camping joy would have been an understatement. But once we left, the mood began to lighten. Setting up camp went quickly; I took the kids to the park while Kirsty did a lot of the set up. She prefers this and it lets the kids burn off steam after a long car ride. We had an easy supper (take out) and walked to the beach in the evening. Kirsty even came, with Blake on lead. Last year she didn't usually come to the beach with us. It was neat being there all together even though I know she really hates sand. Weird but she does! I love the ocean. I love watching the kids at the ocean. I am always counting heads, not giving myself up to the hypnotism of hte waves, but I love it none the less. Back at the campsite after fun in the setting sun, we had a camp fire and went to bed. Not to sleep peacefully, as Lissa and the dog both had trouble settling in. But eventually sleep did come and the next day dawned also sunny and beautiful.

We breakfasted, played at the playground and set off early for Portland Head Light. This is a beautiful light house and KC is enarmored of all things lighthouse. When we turned up the long sweeping drive to the light house and he could see it, his face lit like a Yule tree and he screamed "Look guys! The REAL Portland Head Light!" He could not wait to see it, touch it, and walk all around it. All of which we did, and a trip to the gift shop. From there we went to the beach and picnic area on the grounds and spent more time eating and messing around. Chet's love was looking for periwinkle shells which were hard to find this time. Everyone liked watching the variety of boats going in and out of Portland Harbor. From lobster boats to a tanker being pulled by a tug boat they engendered much excitement and conversation.

After that we explored the remains of an old mansion on the grounds and finally left. Returning to the campsite I took Rob, KC and Lissa to the pool and K had a nap, and Chet read. Then it was time for supper and for a campfire. Everyone settled much better on night #2 and we actually woke refreshed. Sadly it was going home day but everyone pitched in and I think we broke camp quicker easier and more smoothly than ever before. I am so glad we went. My spirit is lighter for these days together. I am blessed.

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