Sam's bday invite  Here was our plan for the day :) That's a stegosaur back in case you can't quite tell... P1220006 (2)  Making the beetle brownie cake! Another attempt to do something only a professional should really attempt...but mom and I try every year to do something cool. Whatever Sam wishes for...we create in America's test kitchen :) P1220001  Setting up camp for birthday campout 5! P1220002  I love my friend so much - thank you for hepling me bang those stakes in!
P1220004  Ben is not so helpful - but cute! P1220006  Look - Sam even blew up our pillows on our self-inflating air mattresses (why aren't the pillows self-inflating?) P1220008  Out collecting sticks for s'mores later. Friends will be arriving for the party any minute. Ben is supposed to be napping, but he's in his "pig pen" chatting away. P1220012  Mom and Sam are staying out of view, and chatting away, too!
P1220017  And being pretty goofy as we like to do :) P1220021  Look at the man hands this guy has! Those are pretty clean hands considering all the bug-catching that's been underway already! P1220023  This little dumptruck serves many purposes. It hauls camp toys, bugs, chalk, cars... P1220031  Sam is studying a stick. Loved the afternoon sunlight on his little face.
P1220032  Making a nest for dinosaur hatchlings. This birthday party was all about dinosaurs - from flicking "eggs" (small pine cones) into the "nest" with sticks to a good game of tug-o-saur...we had a great time. P1220033  This is how you play the game. It's like tiddly winks but the outdoors variety :) P1220034  Daddy back from errands and playing our new game, too! P1220035  Doug - thank you for this book. We learned many interesting things and it was a good read while Ben was "napping"...
P1220036  Mom in with Ben, trying to get him to go to sleep :) "Lie down Ben...really, lie down!" P1220037  Jumping around the campsite is so much fun! They are doing "horsie rides"! P1220040 P1220041  Like - if the moon rises before the sun sets, then the lit side faces west. Works in both hemispheres. Pretty cool! Ben was pointing out "mooon! mooooon!" and took us right to this spot to point up between the trees.
P1220045  Daddy came over to join us for first night dinner - this is Fri night. I am spending the night with the boys, while Dave has to rough it at home alone (he is still coughing a lot due to pertussis and the vog here is not helping). P1220046  Making s'mores! Look at how grown up Sam is - he is a roasting pro now. SO many things change from year to year. I remember his first campout here in Hawaii when he was just turning 2. P1220048  Ben enjoying the camping tradition! P1220053  Steve - can you tell what book we're reading? Ben and Sam both like Bossy Casey in particular :)
P1220056  Sam didn't want to just sit and watch the fire with us. He insisted on going to get a book, saying "Dad, I just have a lot of things on my mind and want some quiet time to myself." Ben is enjoying reading with Dad, although he squirms a lot - like trying to hold a writhing centipede...which will become relevant as you near the end of these photos... P1230057  Good morning Ben!!!! P1230058  Sleepy mommy and Sammy! P1230059  Ben in his pig pen looking around the tent. The "Ben show" the previous night was quite long. Sam and I listened to Ben as he talked and talked to himself - he'd say "kayak. kayak! daddy's boat. drive daddy's boat. kayak, kayak, kayak, kayak!" until you say "ok! kayak! quiet!" then it'd be quiet for a minute. Then "song. song! SONG!" (hearing country music playing from another site). "Ok! Song! Quiet! Shhh!" Then quiet for a couple're just drifting off. Then "quesaDILLA! Ques-A-DILLA! QUESADILLA!" Ahhh..then Ben show is always interesting!
P1230061  Chocolate milk treat for camping morning trip to bathroom. P1230063  Climbing around a bit while we wait for Daddy to show up with a latte for mommy and join us for breakfast Sam is planning one of his party activities here - "tree jumping" he called it. Jumping off these roots as far out as you can. P1230010  Mom and Sam are now hard at work decorating our beetle. This cake was carried over by Dave in the morning, covered, kept in the truck, then frosted before the flies could devour it, then decorated with lots of pretty colors :) Those are dinosaur candles on top, too. P1230014  Just a few tasted to be sure it's ok.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA P1230064  Mom playing with the kids in the tent - they really liked having their own tent to totally mess up. They had a great time rolling around, zipping in and out. Mom was grabbing onto their legs from outside and they're in there going "who WAS that?!" I think all four kids were in there at this point. P1230067  Sam has a DINO balloon! The first of two, actually. One met an untimely demise and Gramma raced out 4 miles away to go get another one. That was so nice of her! "Rain can come another day," she said, "but no rain should fall on my grandson's birthday." Sam has always loved taking balloons for walks around the woods. Look at the kids having such fun running around just outside the campsite. So much room for them to roam, unlike like our tiny yard at home. It must feel so good to be a kid and have space even if just for a weekend.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA P1230018  Dave back from errands. In his hands is our new guest bed - self-inflating (with motor) queen air mattress with built-in mp3 player. Dino is checking it out. P1230070  Other friends starting to arrive! Michelle and Dennis brought their three kids, the middle of whom (Aiden) is Sam's age. P1230024  Cake finally ready - here we go! Let's get the sparkler legs (beetle is on his back) to light up!
P1230028  Ready to blow! P1230031  Cutting up the cake took some doing. After all, beetles have a hard carapace over their wings. Jon to the rescue with his camp knife! P1230032 P1230071  Ben is having his share of birthday cake!
P1230073  Sitting nicely with Richard before the first of many face-plants into the sand. The insides of his nostrils had a good amount of camping dirt by the end of the weekend! P1230077  Doing some bug races! The kids and parents went out to catch their "family bug" - I think there were two millipedes, a grasshopper, and a roach! They're on the starting line. P1230078  Woooops! The grasshopper went a bit off course! P1230079  Go grasshopper, GO!
P1230081  Yes! Victory! Grasshopper wins! P1230082  Those millipedes steer straighter than the grasshopper, though, unless they curl up in a spiral! P1230083  Look at all the hands and feet, intent on those small creatures racing down the cement. P1230084  Helping the hatchlings into their nest now...some were more vigorous sand flickers than others, but eventually the hatchlings all made it in, after which we buried them under sand to keep warm, then marked the mound with sticks.
P1230085  Time for steg-o-war tug-o-saur! I tied up beef jerky to the middle of the rope for the "meat" the dinos were pulling and tugging over :) We tried hard to get the other team into the water. Miss Kathy dragged my butt across the sand! But we girls almost had the guys... P1230034  Mom grabbed lots of cute pictures of us down at the water. Thanks mom! P1230035  This stream dumps out into the ocean...nice afternoon sun! P1230036  The great tug-o-saur! I have beef jerky tied up in the middle for our "meat" prize! (We are dinosaurs fighting over our meal.) Guess who won...
P1230088  The boys won!!! It was good afternoon fun, cleaning off after all the cake and bug hunting. P1230089 P1230094  Ben stuck his tongue in this water and said "Ick!" Indeed! I usually don't let the kids in brackish water but the locals say their kids have played here for years and all were fine. We shall see... P1230058 (2)  Richard and Sam doing some fishing...
P1230059 (2)  Now they're looking for beetles on the way home. P1230096  Ronnie chomping down on beetle brownie cake! That hard carapace didn't put him off at all. Neither did the crow bar I used to cut up the remaining cake! Go Ronnie!!!! You are so fun :) P1230099  And Giji and Kathy with Ronnie looking from behind :) Giji and the kids brought a huge jar of pennies for Pennies for Peace! (see to left of her right elbow) Thanks Giji!!!! Thanks so much for bringing the kiddos by to see us - Sam really enjoyed seeing his buddy and so did Ben! P1010101  More s'mores and hanging out with fellow campers who joined us for night 2.
P1010107  This is how you relax while camping out in Hawaii where centipedes reign supreme at night. See headlamps? Dave's weapon? Jon's weapon? (A crow bar, which also did a nice job on cutting the beetle's carapace on the cake!) Dave is not a big centipede fan, so he was very brave. A few millipedes gave him a little opportunity to test his reflexes :) Our tents zip up tight so we are fine at night, you just get a little creeped out, especially if your mother-in-law leaves your tent unzipped after tossing your pillow in there!!! P1010111  Sunday morning sunrise. Couldn't be any prettier. P1010112  I took a bath in the ocean before setting about the business of packing while Dave made pancakes and bacon for all. P1010113  Millipede races! First one out of the circle wins! The kids had an absolute blast and did not want to leave. They collected about a dozen millipedes and made a little habitat for them, carried them around, talked to them, raced them again, then went on more hikes through the woods. The kids were so much fun to watch together.
P1240061  Kathy doing some fine tatoo-ing! I always get confused by those directions, so thanks girlfriend for making sure their tatoos looked fabulous! P1240063  Nice! P1240060  They stay on really well...this one is on for the night! P1240064  Millipede friend! We joked about wearing one to school as a ring. Anneliese was very animated saying "Noooo Miss Alli!!!!" as she shrugged her shoulders and flung out her arms :)
P1240067  Really neat castle...makes me want to do a medieval feast with knights and damsels and such next year. P1240068  This was the last in Sam's line-up of dino-Olympics - tree jumping! He woke up this morning saying "Mom, we skipped tree jumping yesterday. Maybe we can do that today since Anneliese and Caleigh stayed over!" And so we did...thanks to our intrepid friends, game for anything. I love Anneliese's gymnastic style here :) P1240069  Nice jump! And look at little sister Caliegh climbing up like a pro! P1240070  Sam has a very solid landing - kind-of a full-body landing :)
P1240071  And an all-out assault on the ground! Love his faces as he jumps. Thanks to mom for these shots. P1240072  Kathy and I are not to be outdone by the children. We had to have a go of our own! I'm training for the Waimea rock. Kathy is WAY more brave than me, but she'll get me to do it! Love the stylin' socks... P1240073  Another great face :) Is Daddy looking at the bottoms of those dirty camp feet? We're about to take care of that, too. P1240076  Time for after-camp bath! Love how Ben is strutting right in, no clothes on, and Sam is ready to go in with all his clothes on.
P1240079  We don't normally swim in our birthday suits, but it was a birthday weekend, right? So... P1240082  Brothers. So cute. P1240087  Sam did a lot of good body surfing... P1240088  Water felt cool to us, but he is a polar bear in the mid-70s water. What a great weekend! Looking forward to the next camp-out already!!!