Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Camping...fun for the whole family!

Now, before I start, you have to understand that I love to camp! I grew up camping with my family and my kids have all camped since they were babies. I am not a rookie camper or naive to the challenges that come with spending the weekend in the great outdoors. This trip however, runs a close second in the race for the worst camping trip ever (first being Hunting Island in May where two out of three kids had the pukes).
First, here's a picture of Luke as we packed the enormous amount of stuff that we need to camp these days. Our backpacking days are on hold and we fully embrace car camping and strive to fill every inch of our car. This is actually right before we crammed the rest of our stuff in and slammed the trunk to hold it all in place.

We were excited as we started on our way to Black Rock Mountain (in North Georgia). Chris was able to get off a little earlier than we had expected and with dreams of cruising peacefully through the 1 1/2 hours that it takes to get there we were excited to meet our friends who had left a couple of hours before us. I knew we were in trouble when we hit major traffic leaving the ATL. First, Chris does not do traffic. I don't mean that he doesn't handle traffic well. I mean he DOES NOT handle traffic at all. That's why we live where we can spit on the hospital. He can't stand commuting 5 mins. to work much less wrangling the 2nd worst traffic in the country. So, needless to say, 10 mins. into our trip he was furious and already saying that we should have just stayed home and driven up Sat. morning. No matter what I tried to talk about, his response had something to do with how terrible the traffic was and how he couldn't understand why people would want to torment themselves by living so far away and driving into work everyday.
Nice cheery way to start the trip! : )
Once we got there, it was almost dark and come to find out, our short "walk in site" was somewhat short but mostly up a steep hill. Wow, now there's nothing like hauling everything you own plus three small children up and down a hill in an attempt to get set up before it gets dark. In the midst of unloading our stuff, we stopped at the bathroom (also at the bottom of the hill) and noticed the big "Don't Feed the Bears" sign. It was followed by a long list of things that you had to do to make sure that you and your family were not eaten alive by a family of bears that apparently could smell the remains of the food that you had eaten on the carride up there. One of the things that it included was that you needed to haul all of your food/coolers down to your car ever time you left your campsite. Hmmm...sounds like a relaxing weekend ahead!
I will say that after the stress of settling in the first night was over, things were looking up. The weather was beautiful! The kids were able to hike and even though I missed the hike for Caleb's nap I did get to read magazines in total silence while everyone was gone. Now, that's a treat!!!

This is a picture of the 400 kids that we took camping with us. Okay so it's only 10 (including Caleb who is not pictured) but it sure felt like 400 at times. lol

Later that afternoon, Chris and I took the boys to explore around Black Rock Lake. It was so nice to be out and to watch Luke and Caleb play. It's a cold water lake so it actually has trout in it. Luke LOVED to watch all of the fish swim around and I'm pretty sure that he's trying to peg one with a rock in this picture.

This is a sweet picture of Chris with the boys!

So, after a beautiful day together with no one (child or adult) being eaten by a bear. We were tired and very excited to hit the tent. Unfortunately, after spending an hour and a half trying to get our kids to sleep, Caleb decided that he was going to get some GI bug that would last until the wee hours of the morning. Luckily, in the midst of having every piece of clothing that Caleb and I had doused in vomit and poop, Chris and I were able to laugh. Well, really we didn't have much choice. It was really such a horrific situation that you couldn't help but laugh just from shock and disbelief! So overall, our trip, though creating a few fun memories, will mostly just be that trip that we're glad is over. And hopefully our next round of outdoor adventure will have a little less of THAT kind of adventure...
Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 10, 2007

A weekend full of fun

The kids have been dying to have a lemonade stand. They have talked about it all summer. And being the fun, energetic, creative parents that we are, we have postponed the great economic endeavor until what we felt like was the last possible day. The kids gathered all of the supplies and set up outside the back fence. Full of excitement and anticipation of all of the quarters they would rake in, they were ready to take on all of the thirsty athletes who would cross their paths. Little did we know that it was the first day of baseball season, which turned out to be in our favor. The sun was bright, the temperature was toasty and the concession stand was closed, which made Kate and Luke the best and only option in the area. They had a blast and ended the LONG 2 1/2 hours of business with a total of $8.35 which was divided as equally as possible. They were super excited and already discussing plans for next weekend. They felt they had built a rapport with their customers and were confident they would experience some loyalty next Sunday.

Here Kate and Luke work on the Lemonade sign. Kate was gracious enough to allow
her brother to color at least 2 of the letters on the sign.

This is their first customer. He stayed a LONG TIME (according to Kate). I think he would have stayed longer
had his parents agreed. He actually tried to go inside with me once just to check things out.
He's one of those kids who feels VERY comfortable minutes after meeting you.

Kate was vigilant to man the stand. Luke, on the other hand, was a little less focused. You can see his feet in the background which is where he spent most of his time.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Caleb loves to climb! I'm continually finding him up on top of something...
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

We're officially bloggers...

Well, Team Larsen is entering the world of blogging. Now I'm not promising anything great, but this might be a way for our family and friends to keep up with our happenings here in the ATL. Hopefully I'll be able to add some pictures soon and keep a few of the humorous (or not so humorous) events in our life chronicled here. But as I mentioned before, I would appreciate if you would keep your expectations low. : )