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November 19, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 17:  I am thankful for thousands and thousands of stars, cold fall air, frost over everything, waterfalls, shallow rivers, and a campfire.

Putting aside our better judgement, we headed to Colorado Bend State Park to camp this past weekend.  I figured if I had enough energy to get us ready to go camping, camping would probably be more restful than be at home for the weekend.  I was right.  When we camp, I don’t work terribly hard.  Curtis makes breakfasts and I make suppers.  We share cleaning up duty and kid watching duties evenly.  Afternoons are set aside as quiet time and I was able to take a nap Saturday afternoon.  We hiked, we sat around a campfire a lot, and we spent time together.  Wonderful. We had some nice trees around our campsite.  That easily made up for not having a playground at the campground.  John spent most of his waking time at the campsite in the trees.

Day 18:  I am thankful for camping after the end of daylight savings time.

I didn’t realize how much easier camping is once it gets dark earlier!  Friday night we were worried–we arrived after dark.  We had reserved a walk in site and had a hard time picking the “perfect” site when we couldn’t see.  Even harder was carrying our things down a steep bank to get to our campsite.  Once the car was unpacked it was fabulous.  We lit our lantern and had a warm glow as Curtis and Madeleine set up the tent.  I started the fire to make hotdogs over.  All of this was in the dark, which was nerve racking at first, but quickly became not an issue.  Once everything was set up, we ate supper.  Then, the kids all decided they were ready for bed.  They put on their pajamas, crawled into the tent, and put themselves to sleep without any assistance from us.  What!!!!????  That has never, ever happened.  In the morning, no one was awake before 6:30, which was also incredible for us.

Saturday night was just as wonderful.  We ate an early supper, made over the fire.  The sun set around 5:30 which left us plenty of time to roast marshmallows in the dark.  Again, the kids decided to crawl into the tent at 7:00.  Madeleine told the boys stories until she and John fell asleep.  Isaac needed a little help, but Curtis didn’t lay with him long before he fell asleep, before 8:00.  Again, amazing.

I had also forgotten how much I enjoy camping when it’s cold, especially when we can make a fire (unlike our October camping trip when we were under a burn ban).  The first morning it was probably around freezing, the second morning was probably 10 degrees warmer.  It warmed up nicely in the afternoon–enough so the kids played in the shallow waters of the Colorado River (not the Grand Canyon Colorado River).

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