Archives for posts with tag: campfire usa

The Boy and I had a wonderful weekend, hands down.

The Campfire Spring Camp Out was a lot of fun, even though I was gimpy and useless. Brooksy really enjoys Camp Mitchell. How could he not? Camping, with it’s hikes and activities, ghost stories and campfires, comprises what childhood memories should be made of.

I had doubted the sanity of attending a campout with a foot still healing from surgery. My incisions aren’t even wholly closed so the risk of infection weighed heavily on my mind. I’m glad I went and that we were able to enjoy all the activities. I even ventured out on a short hike with the kiddos to collect leaves for a leaf book they were each making.

Obviously, none of it would have been possible if I would have been where I was a few days ago, still in pain, still sore, still¬†miserable. I really like that I’m over the hump, in terms of pain management, and I’m so thankful for that because it feels like life might be able to resume in some pattern of normalcy now. I felt like myself today, and I’ve really not felt that way in so long.

So after spending the morning at Camp Mitchell Stephanie and her husband packed up the cars and we got ready to head home. On the way out we stopped to look at a field full of bluebonnets near the entrance to the camp. Now, I’m not from Texas but I know it’s a tradition around these parts to load up your kids in their Sunday best, or some semblance of that, and plop them in a field full of bluebonnets and go picture crazy. Everyone keeps mentioning Easter pictures. I’ve been here five years and just finally got the inkling desire to go out there with The Boy to photograph him in the midst of it all. Like I’ve said, Texas is really growing on me. Even Little B asked me the other day if he could call himself a Texan even though he was born in Pennsylvania (at the hospital his Daddy was born in, nontheless). This state is really growing on us!

I felt kind of silly taking a pic of Brooks as we left Camp Mitchell because my friend Tanja had planned for a day trip for us so that we could follow one of the bluebonnet trails here in Central Texas. But off I gimped off to take a picture of him, dirty as he was from the camping trip.

In hindsight, I’m glad we did ūüôā

After the camping trip we hurried home to get ready for Tanja to pick us up so we could follow a bluebonnet trail. I was pretty excited. I could just see Brooks, in my mind’s eye, handsome, bluebonnets all around him, softly fluttering in the wind.

The trip out past Burnett was BEAUTIFUL. Tanja and I both agreed we’d have to go back on a picnic or even camping. The drive was gorgeous, but alas, we found small patches of bluebonnets here and there, but nothing the kids could have sat in to be photographed in. I found the whole thing amusing, though I felt bad for Tanja since she’d done her research and had planned a whole afternoon for us centered around the bluebonnets.

I’m super thankful we were able to spend the afternoon together. Tanja is always fun, we laugh constantly, and talk much. It’s always a treat to spend time with her. So even though we didn’t locate the treasure trove of bluebonnets we’d aimed for we had a great time searching.



The Texas Memorial Museum is located at the University of Texas campus in Austin. My Campfire kids have been working on their Environmental Emblem and I thought the museum would make a perfect outing for a weekend field trip. Our group has steadily grown over the past three years, with a total of eleven members this year. Thankfully all 11 kids plus 2 adults fit in two cars, thanks to my co-leader’s huge vehicle.

This museum was one which The Boy and I hadn’t visited yet, so I was pretty excited to check it out. After a picnic lunch with the kiddos on campus we headed to the museum. The museum consists of different rooms, and contains a working¬†paleontologist¬†lab, tons of fossils, and opportunities in abundance for learning and exploring. Although this museum was more of a “Shush” museum the kiddos were really excited about the different displays and opportunities for hands on exploration. ¬†The trip ended with a visit to the museum’s store (a favorite, of course) and a peek at some of the best dinosaur tracks ever found (found near Glenrose, Texas).

At the museum store we picked up a tiny little dinosaur to include in next month’s time capsule for D.Brooks. It’s impossible to go anywhere and not miss him. I always wonder how differently we’d experience our days with him in the midst of it all. He has a unique way of coloring everything we do. We’ll¬†definitely¬†have to visit again with him in tow.

We all had such a pleasant day. I love my Campfire kids and was so pleased the museum was as fun as I had hoped. Next weekend we go camping! The fun never ends ’round these parts!

So I woke up this morning with the pressing desire to get a good art project into our day. When our days stretch too long with errands, or activities, like they did earlier this week, then something has to give and sometimes it’s an art project that goes by the wayside. I’ve been wanting to get some bubble wrap printing done, like I saw on the The Artful Parent blog, but then I saw something else that caught my eye: tissue paper stained glass inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. Here is the link:¬†

When we moved on post I was thrilled. We were fortunate enough to be given housing in a neighborhood that we actually wanted. The commute is awesome for D.Brooks, there are tons of old trees everywhere, and some of the houses are cute. Seriously, only some. It’s an older neighborhood, and we really love that. We love our hardwood floors, the layout of the house, the yard… you get the picture. What I’m not crazy about are the kitchen counters and the window in the door leading out ¬†into the yard. The window, at one time, had the ability to open and close. It no longer has that ability and unfortunately, the glass is all gross but I can’t clean it because someone has nailed it shut. But I love the house and I’ve begun to ignore the counters (or I’ve become used to them, one or the other) although the window has always been another story.

So when I saw the tissue paper stained glass project I immediately thought that I would commission Brooksy to make me something to help cover up the awful window. I don’t like to ask Brooks to make me anything in particular because I feel like it may stunt his creativity. Thankfully he was excited to learn all about Frank Lloyd Wright and was even more excited to start working on his own piece.

I had no idea what he would end up creating. I shouldn’t have been surprised that what he came up with included monsters, because he spends hours sketching them in his notebooks, and imagining the places they live and what they do. He asked me to be his assistant, which entailed cutting shapes to precise specifications and handing them to him when needed. This was his process:

I’m not quite sure of Broooks’ room specifications when he finally gets to where he’s supposed to be mostly, but I think this might be a good project to include in one of his care¬†packages… just in case he’s got an ugly window he wants to cover up too!

After he finished his commission it was time for our Campfire USA club meeting. The Boy and I look forward to the meetings. He enjoys spending time with his friends. I enjoy putting together lesson plans for the kiddos in our group. We’re finishing up our¬†environmental¬†emblem and were learning all about habitats. After a lesson, a group activity, a video, and individual projects it was finally time for what most of the kids were excited for: creating a habitat in a jar.

It’s a super simple concept: the kiddos take a jar, fill the bottom with pebbles, layer some moss on top, then add a bit of dirt before adding a small plant. The last step is to fill in any gaps with soil and to water the plant. After the children screw on the lids they shouldn’t have to reopen the jars to rewater their plants. They have created a virtual ecosystem in a jar, replete with it’s own water cycle. Little Brooks spent some of his own allowance so that he could purchase a jar of his choice. His finished project is pretty neat, and I’m kind of hoping he’ll let me keep it in my kitchen it’s so pretty. But we’ll see!

So after a full day of learning, play, and fun my little boy left to spend the night with his best friend. Thankfully I got a big hug and kiss or I’m not sure I’d make it through the night with both Brooks’ gone. I’m that he’s helping his best friend celebrate his birthday and that, as much as I miss him, he’s creating some special memories all on his own.