We decided that it would be fun to kick off Memorial Day weekend with a camping trip. We camped out this same time last year in my parents backyard, but this was going to be the kids first "official" camping experience. They were beyond excited, and several weeks ago they started counting down the days until our trip. They couldn't wait to pack up their gear and hit the road.
So Friday afternoon, after the big boys got home from school, we loaded up the mini van and headed for the hills.
For our first camp out, we decided to keep it close and not venture too far from home. The park we went too was only about 45 minutes away from our house.
And to make things even easier on us, this particular park offered "rent a tent" camp sites. These sites included your tent, an electricity hook-up, and running water. Oh, and we got a site not too far away from the bath house! With five kids in tow, that was by far the biggest perk;)
Once we arrived, the kids had fun exploring and helping us set up camp.
After we settled in, and got a fire started, we were ALL ready to eat!
The kids had fun roasting hot dogs in the fire for dinner.
After supper, we decided it was the perfect time to go fishing. Hudson got a new fishing pole and he was dying to try it out.
It was such a gorgeous night, and the Lord painted the most BEAUTIFUL sunset for us to enjoy!
It was breathtaking!
Once it got dark, we headed back to our campsite for smores and a little game of flash light tag.
We also enjoyed a fun night around the camp fire before calling it a night.
The kids must have been flat worn out, because in no time at all, EVERYONE (including Shane and I) were asleep.
In the morning, Shane broke out his camping stove and whipped us up some fried eggs (and coffee) for breakfast.
We hung out around the camp fire for a while before heading out for a brisk morning hike.
Shane found a great (2 mile) path which took us down to the lake, through a few creeks, up and down some rough terrain, but eventually we ended up at the nature preserve.
Every time we hike, the kids impress me more and more with how well they manage. There is little complaining and LOTS of exploring as we walk.
We all had lots of fun at the nature center and enjoyed observing the wildlife they had on display there.
Before long, it was time to hit the trails once again and make our way back to camp. By the time we got back, it was mid-afternoon and we enjoyed one last picnic lunch together before packing up and checking out.
And of course, our little adventure would not have been complete with out a quick ice cream stop on our way back home.
What a sweet way to end a super sweet weekend.