Our niece, Taylor, spent a few days with us last week — coincidently just as the Olympics on television were drawing to a close. It was fun to see how the Olympians inspired 10-year-old Tay… especially the beach volleyball women!
Tay does so good with our kids. She brainstormed, organized, and produced the Kid Olympics with their help while she was here, and she even made gold, silver, and bronze medals out of paper and string! Throughout the week she coached, participated, and officiated as they (and sometimes we) competed in gymnastics, track and field, canoeing (yep, we paddled the canoe around the reservoir in the horse trap), swimming (yep, we swam in the reservoir in the horse trap — even me, and my feet will probably never smell right again), rifle shooting, biking, and, of course, beach volleyball (which we played in the living with adults on their knees in accordance with international regulations). There may have been other events going on too… I kinda lost track. Tay was very concerned that we should represent international competition correctly to the little kids; she didn’t want Team Kid USA (or should it be Team USA Kids? maybe Kid Team USA?) to be “winning” every single event, because that would have portrayed competition incorrectly to 5-year-old Asher and 3-year-old Emi. In the real world, of course, you can’t win all the time. So, I am sorry to report, in many of the events — despite their best efforts — the USA Kids were bested by Russia and China. Tay kept a running tally, though, and at the end of it all… come to think of it, we never did get around to putting on the closing ceremony! We’ll never know the final results of the 2016 Kid Olympics!
That’s because we were busy doing other things, too! One day Tay practiced her scone recipe in preparation for the Custer County Fair, which was held this week. The scones were delicious:
Tay says she’s going to be a chef and a beach volleyball player when she grows up… and I believe her! I’ll definitely go to the Olympics to watch her compete.
Another thing Tay really loves is camping, and Asher loves it too, so of course our whole crew went camping one night. We are the parents who never set up a tent in the daylight because we usually rally ourselves to actually take the kids camping at about 8 o’clock in the evening. True to our style, we heeded our little beggars this time and, after checking our schedules for the week and the weather forecast, decided the camp-out would have to happen now or never. So we loaded up a ton of stuff, left the house in the twilight, and set up our (4-person) tent (yes, were 6 of us) at about dark thirty. We had driven way up into the pines in the northwest pasture to pitch our tent. I’m sure the view from the campsite was breathtaking, but I can’t prove it because I realized about halfway to the site that I’d forgotten my camera, so I have no proof that we were ever even there. Anyhow, I never really got to see the view anyhow, because we arrived in the dark, got everyone bedded down in the tent only to endure a night of persistent wind, and finally called it quits about 6 a.m. when the rain started to leak through the tent and onto the sleeping bags. We loaded up again under dark clouds and mudded it home in the Polaris Ranger. Once we were home, I penned this list of…
Camping Rules for the Blake Family (I don’t mind if you use them for your family too!)
- No matter your age and size, you count as 1 whole person in a tent; i.e.: 2 adults, a 10-year-old, a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, and a 1-year-old don’t really fit in a 4-person tent, even though it seems like it should all work out.
- Never camp with a nursing baby.
- No more setting up the tent in the dark. If you can’t get there with enough time to enjoy the scenery and scope out the perfect campsite, don’t go.
- Just camp in the yard. Explore and stake out every corner of the backyard and the front yard and the side yard and get really good at camping before even considering going through the effort of a grander adventure. Why load up a bunch of junk, unload it at a distant campsite, and suffer through what you could be suffering through right there in the comfort of your own yard?
- We need a bigger tent.
- I need a cot.
- Or maybe just a camper.
Ha ha! We sure enjoy having Tay here. She’s headed back to school this next week and we wish her well in FIFTH grade! (P.S.: The news is that she won a special award in cooking at her fair this week!)
Love you, Tay! USA! USA! USA! USA!
© Tami Blake