Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Great Outdoors i.e. Sleeping in The Back Yard

    I am sure that we are not the only family that has to account for every single penny in their budget.  A few years ago we made a promise to ourselves to live debt free.  This sounds really smart and great in theory, but the reality is really tough.  It's much easier in some respects to live in the now, i.e. instant gratification.  If you want a new T.V. put it on credit.  We don't do this anymore.  It was great in the now, but very stressful when it came time to pay it off.  We now buy things when we have the money, in theory great, but sometimes it's tricky to save that amount of money on one income.  It also means that we do not live a lavish lifestyle.
    This last March we took the kid's to Disney.  Disney has a great program that allows you to essentially "layaway" your vacation.  Having said that, it also ensured no summer vacation, because it used up two weeks of Christopher's three weeks of holidays.  A further four days of the three weeks holidays was taken up when Christopher took time to look after me after my nose surgery.  Why am I sharing all of this?  Because we just don't have the funds or time this summer to do a big family vacation.  Most of our summer is being used up driving Grace back and forth to Stirling.  We are running out of summer.

   Christopher and I made a vow that this summer we would make the most out of it.  We knew there was not a lot of extra money, any extra money (three birthdays in a one month period is pretty pricey).  We knew that there would not be much time, but as we sat sipping our coffee on the deck just before the end of June, we made a vow to have the best summer that we could.  Along the way we forgot about that vow.  The summer began to slip out of our fingers.  This summer has been the hottest that I can remember.  Because we have had scorching hot weather with no rain, our municipality has placed a water ban, and a fire ban.  That means no back yard fires!  Back yard fires are a staple for our family in the summer.  As well as being the hottest summer that I can remember, it has also been the worst summer I can ever remember for mosquitos (see outdoor movie blog).  Bug repellent has no effect on those little blood suckers.  That limits our outdoor movies, another staple.  Not only were Christopher and I forgetting our vow to make this the best summer that we could, the summer itself was doing it's darnedest to make us forget.
    Last night it was Daddy to the rescue!  While I had Gracie out for a hair cut, Christopher set up our tent in the backyard.  Every year since we moved into this house (10 years), Christopher has set up the tent and slept in the back yard with any kids old enough to camp out.  Usually it involves a fire, but not this year.  The kids were so excited, especially Rowan.  They could hardly wait to take things out to the tent.
    Dusk finally came, and saw children in pjs make their way into the tent with walkie talkies.  You will notice that no where in this blog you see that I sleep out with them.  I prefer my own bed, and the peace and quiet that I only get once a year.  I do the nice mom thing and take them out a snack once they are finally settled, that's my contribution.  I also answer hundreds of calls on the walkie talkies "Momma bear ... Momma bear, this is baby bear, are you there?"  It's cute for the first twenty calls, but it gets a bit much.  Last night was no different.  This year's treat was chocolate chip cookie s'mores ( I did not have any graham crackers so I substituted chocolate chip cookies).  I made them in the oven (stupid fire ban).
    At midnight I finally called out to the tent "If I can hear you in the house, it's too loud.  We have neighbours." (yes the biggest kid was out there with them aka my husband.  No, I have no idea why he didn't tell them to quiet down).  After the call from the Wicked Witch of The West, things quieted down.  It was shortly after that Grace came in.  She decided she would prefer her own bed, to the hard ground.  After that I did not hear from anyone until this morning.  
    One back yard campfire does not a summer make, but it does remind us that it costs nothing to give the kid's amazing memories.  We just need to remember our vow and try a little harder.

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