A GREAT WEEK

Hello friends.  I am back after taking a little break to host my annual Cousin Camp. If you don’t know what Cousin Camp is, you can read about it in the post from last year.

Cousin Camp is one of my favorite weeks of the year. It is exhausting, but so much fun. This year I had seven children, ages 3 to 10 at my house from Wednesday through Saturday; actually they were here until Sunday afternoon because most of the parents ( who are my children,nieces,and nephews) came on Sunday for a family reunion and took their kids home with them when they left….except for two, who will be here for two more weeks. 🙂

How can I describe this experience to you? It is full of love and laughter, and crafts and games, water balloons, and field trips. It is full of chicken nuggets and peanut butter sandwiches…not one vegetable crosses anyone’s lips, unless you count the tomatoes in the spaghetti sauce. It is noisy, it is messy. Kids get homesick sometimes. There are little spats here and there. Paint is spilled. Juice is spilled. Cereal is spilled. We have “pool baths” and popcorn picnics.

Kids dress themselves, and the only requirement is that you have to wear shoes if we leave the house.

The theme this year was Animal Kingdom, so I thought it would be a good idea to go to the zoo one day. Here is what that entailed:

  • Had to hire a college student to help drive since my car will no longer hold all the kids
  • Left later than we planned, because we could not find everyone’s shoes, even though they were all supposed to be in a pile by the door

  • Got stuck in a super heavy traffic, which made the less-than-one-hour drive almost a two-hour drive
  • Got stopped by the longest, slowest train ever after we got off the interstate
  • Could not find a place to park when we got there
  • Finally figured out there was another parking lot a few blocks away, with  a “shortcut” to the zoo
  • Every day-camper in the city  was at the zoo
  • Every mom with multiple children was at the zoo
  • One child wet her pants on the way down….I had not packed any changes of clothing
  • One child had a nose bleed as soon as we got there, and had to sit in first-aid for twenty minutes
  • The child with the wet pants was tricked into wearing a clean “pull-up” which was actually a diaper from the gift shop
  • Everyone was starving, so I spent $80 on hot dogs and french fries
  • The starving children ate about $5 worth of food and the rest went in the trash
  • It was 98 degrees in the shade
  • We split into 3 groups, and I had the youngest kids, so I let them ride the carousel (@$3 a pop) since there were only two of them
  • They ratted me out and told everyone else as soon as they saw them, so I shelled out another $15 for a 2-minute carousel ride
  • Kids did not notice any problems and had a great time 🙂

After going to the zoo, we used my extensive Beanie Baby collection from back in the day to classify animals, and later play zookeeper:

You will notice that I got smart and had all the activities in the basement. Oh yes, and all the meals too. Easy to hose down!

Besides zoo day, we had museum day, and a day of crafts and games, plus 2 other half days, so you can see why I need a 6 day nap.

My featured photo looks nothing like what I looked like this week, but don’t want to scare you with what I really looked like. My helper did take one picture of me, but I looked like a 90 year old bag lady who hadn’t showered for days, so you will not be seeing that on on the internet. HAHA

Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back soon with more of my usual fashion experimenting.

TOTAL FASHION BREAK

I have just returned from a trip where absolutely ZERO fashion was in evidence anywhere. Every year in July, I host a camp for my grandchildren and my great nieces and nephews. Cousin Camp only lasts three days, but it seems like three weeks! This year there were seven children between the ages of two and eight, and it was held at my sister’s country house in the middle of nowhere in Alabama.

It is the kind of camp where you are lucky if you take a shower, much less put on a nice outfit.  I wore some lovely men’s t-shirt- and- old shorts ensembles, but I will spare you the pictures. LOL

Here is an example of what one of the boys wore one day:

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It is that kind of camp!  If you can’t find two shoes that match, who cares?

It is a LOT of fun for the kids, and I look forward to it every year, even though it is more than exhausting for the adults. (The adults consisted of my sister and myself, and a teenager. I have learned that it is worth any amount of money to hire a helper ).

I spend time during the year planning for it, and have plenty of games, crafts, and activities ready for the kids. I have to overplan, because I have learned through experience that when you read a Pinterest post that says “This entertained my children for hours, and they said they never had more fun”, it is good for about 8 minutes, and at least 3 kids will say it is boring.

It was almost 100 degrees every day, so had to make some adjustments in the outdoor activities I had planned. Picnics and relay races were definitely not a good idea. We needed water activity!! We found some, but it did not turn out exactly as planned. (Nothing ever does at Cousin Camp.)

Here is my total fashion fail story:

One day we took the kids to a lake about an hour away. It was supposed to be about 25 minutes away, but we got lost, and ended up in Mississippi before we turned around. Do not ask me why we drove over 10 miles into the state of Mississippi when we knew the lake was in Alabama. Maybe our brains were scrambled from lack of sleep. We finally made it and the kids had a great time swimming.

As I said before, my sister’s country house is in the middle of nowhere, and since the kids had eaten almost all of the three tons of food I had brought with me in the first day and a half, I decided that I would have to stop by the grocery store on the way home, since it was about 30 minutes from the house and I did not want to come back. I did not want the children telling their parents that we had been eating white bread for snacks.( It was true, but I did not want them telling their parents. LOL)

You cannot possibly imagine what I looked like. I had on an old bathing suit and an old men’s shirt, water shoes covered in sand, and my hair was wet and sticking up.  I told myself that I did not know anyone in this country town, and I would never see anyone here again. The kids were hungry, and I just had to suck it up and go in the store! So I did.

I truly hoped that no one would notice my odd appearance. You have to remember that the grocery story was nowhere near the lake or any other water source. I did notice that people were doing double takes when they saw me. As I was checking out, the “lady” (I say that in quotes because she was buying cigarettes, beer, and snuff) in front of me stared a hole through me for about 3 minutes, and then asked, “You been swimmin’?”

I hope I never have to relive that visit to the store, and I am so glad that other than the security cameras in the grocery store, there is no photographic evidence of my “fashion.” You will just have to use your imagination.

The point of this post is that sometimes some things are more important than how you look.  And making special memories for seven of the most awesome children in the world is in that category!

I love to read your comments. Do you agree that sometimes how you look is not at all important? What is your biggest fashion fail? Was it for a good reason?

Thanks for reading! Back soon with more pictures of myself. I am sure you can’t wait for that!

Today I am linking up with Tania onWednesday’s Wardrobe.