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July 10, 2012

Happy Campers

Camping is always such a fun time and the kids have such great memories of our past camping trips.
So this year we decided to dust off the ol' camper, pack our bags and go a campin'!

We started out camping with a tent when we had four young children.
Even though that particular camping trip was very wet :) we still have fond memories of good times!

Then we took a few years break from camping and instead went on winter travels visiting family and friends. This was a fun time too and many memories were made. But it didn't take long for the camping bug to bite us again! 

For one year we camped in our van. That was a bit challenging! We took out the back seat and made a makeshift bed for Mark and I and the kids slept on the benches, the floor, or the front seats. I can't say that this was one of my most favourite camping times! Especially being a few months pregnant and having to crawl out the back doors in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom!!! 

Eventually we decided to invest in an hybrid camper (hard shell with flip out canvas ends). In my opinion, this was a very wise investment and again we have made great memories in this camper! A built in bathroom and air conditioner were welcome luxuries for this often pregnant mama!!   
When shopping for this camper, it was impossible to find something that would fit our whole family and still be light enough to pull with the van. So we never did have quite enough room to all fit into the camper. Some had to sleep in a tent or in the van.

We didn't camp at all last year and I think everyone missed it.
There is something warm and family like about it that you just don't get anywhere else.
Being squished in tight corners makes you have to spend time together!

But a few weeks ago when we went camping we camped in style when we pulled up to the campground with two campers! One was our trusty ol' hybrid and the other one we borrowed from Mark's parents. Finally we felt like we had some room!!! 

 We took our first camping trip with our church. A great time was had by all of us and we talked about it for days! We were excited to have Henry and Megan join us and keep control of the teen camper!!!!! Of course the huge water fight(s) were a definite highlight!!! It was a great time getting to know our brothers and sisters in Christ a little better....some a LOT better :)

So here is a glimpse of our first campout. Thanks to Megan for letting us borrow some pictures :)

Josiah being his cute, quiet self!

Nathan enjoying some yummy food! What is it about camping and eating...and eating...and EATING!!!

Jaden and his infamous scrunchy "cheese" picture taking face.
Oh, as a side note, the other day at the supper table Jaden wanted some cheese so I said he needed to say, "Cheese please". He said it...with his scrunchy "cheese" picture taking face!!!! You gotta wonder what goes through his little mind when we all say "cheese" at picture taking time!

Not sure what had Elijah so excited here!

Henry and Mark co-conspiring to build a water balloon shooter. 

In the end they had it perfected and shot those balloons amazingly far!

Filled water balloons, ready for ambush.

And no matter how many high tech devices you have, a water fight always ends up with buckets of water :)

Jesse and Elijah enjoying some brother to brother cuddle time.

Bubble blowing, always a fun time for the littles.

And of course what would a camping trip be without some swimming!
Here's Jaden in his beach attire.

Believe it or not, this little innocent looking guy was the instigator of a few water fights :)

I think he takes after his daddy!!!

The whole group of us decided to rent a paddle boat for the day so our family got it for a couple of hours. Here are Jen, Kerri, Jesse and Nathan taking it for a spin.

Brooke warming up in the sunshine.

Zach volunteered to be buried alive :)

Wonder how this little guy gets in so many pictures???

And when we got back to the camp that evening, whadayaknow...another water fight :)

And here come the bowls!!!

They had a really nice beach volleyball place there so we were able to get in a few games.

A sweet guy from church offered to feed everyone a pancake breakfast Sunday morning. It was yummy! Thanks Dave!!!

Church service outdoors

This little guy loves to sing! Probably what he was doing here.

And this concludes part 1 of camping with the Pauls'! 
Will get to see part 2??? Well that has yet to be seen :)
I will try though!!!!

What are some of your favourite camping memories?