Thursday, November 12, 2015

Peyton's Camping Party

This year, when I asked Peyton what kind of party he wanted, he emphatically said, "I'd really like a camping party." I slightly winced at those words, since his birthday is in mid November and in Arkansas, weather can be volatile not to mention the idea of several boys "sleeping" outside, sounded a little bit intense, but after Adam and I let it roll around in our heads for a bit, we decided it really could be a lot of fun.  So the planning commenced!

Last weekend we had nine of his little buddies join us as we celebrated Peyton's 9th birthday.  We rented a camp site toward the back corner of Maumelle Park.   There was a field right behind our site so it was a "perfect" location for learning a little bit about land navigation (which my prior Army husband thought would be fun for the boys).  My one warning that I would give someone who is doing a camping party OUTSIDE at NIGHT, is to remind them that taking pictures will be difficult.   I totally had trouble getting good ones, so I went so far as to turn my headlights on to help shine light on the camp site, in turn, my battery died, thankfully we had jumper cables, so all was not lost!  Looking back on what I was able to capture, I think they had a terrific time!
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Here is what the invitation looked like.
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Along the way we had some signs directing people back to our camp site.
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These kiddos had a big time setting up and playing while we got things situated and arranged.  Sitting on the back of Dad's tailgate was a highlight, but the best part was getting their faces all camo-ed out, which they all loved!
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We couldn't have done the party without all of Poppy's camping equipment or G-Dad's firewood!  A big thank you to you two for helping pull off this fun celebration!
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Peyton enjoyed helping set up some of the tents while Lawson preferred keeping the fire manned.
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I think the boys had a great time being outside in nature. The leaves are really starting to change colors and it ended up being a nice night after it misted and rain all afternoon.  (God answered my prayers for it to stop, which truly was a blessing!)
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Dinner consisted of frito chili pie and drinks.  Apparently the drink of choice was Root Beer, which I ran out of within the first hour of the gathering (I'll make note of this for next time!)
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After dinner, Adam gave a brief explanation of how land navigation works (and there is a whole mathematical equation to figure out your pace count per so many meters) but he decided to just give them a short version using their compasses and counting their steps.  I think they had a great time on their "treasure hunt".
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Each boy got a draw string backpack with a compass and a flashlight.  Then for the treasure hunt, they learned land navigation.  Adam had five different spots in the woods that were marked by a glowing chem-light which the boys thought were awesome.  As they learned to use a pace count in order to determine where the next "treasure" was hidden, at each stop they received some beef jerky, peanuts, trail mix and candy as well as a few lessons in character along the way.   Dad's and Grand Dad's were scattered throughout the field at each of the spots and talked about a character trait such as perseverance, loyalty or integrity, before they received their treat.  I think it was pretty fun for the boys!
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Next up was the cake.  I was thrilled with the Bluecake Company's rendition of what I imagined the cake to look like, I thought they pulled off quite an adorable and delicious camp themed cake.
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This is the only picture I got as we sang Happy Birthday…oh well!
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As if the sugary marshmallow fondant icing wasn't enough we added to it, we definitely roasted smores and ate more chocolatey goodness!   Emerson, Jojo and Ava Jane enjoyed that little treat!  Us Momma's sat around the fire pit trying to catch our breath from all the activities while the boys ran through the field doing their treasure hunt.
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Saturday morning the boys enjoyed running around and playing chase while Adam whipped up some fluffy pancakes and sausage.  While they waited for breakfast, sticks and fire and "smoke signals" helped to keep them occupied…they are truly boys! Give them a stick and some fire and they were good to go!
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I love this boy and was so glad to get to celebrate his birthday, though he's not actually nine just yet, he has a few more days as an eight year old!  I can hardly believe he's only got one more year as a single digit!  Happy Birthday sweet boy, Daddy and I love you so much!
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