Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Camping anyone?

Long weekends are great. They're just very tiring. I think today wins the award for most things accomplished. There was the tail end of the LIFE group (aka Small Group for all who are not as enlightened as McBICers) annual Memorial Day weekend campout, and then it was my plan to take a nap but had only enough time for a much-needed shower before heading to Home Depot to meet with the bathroom remodeling expert and a good laugh as I watched 3 grown men try to fit a bathtub, wainscoting, linoleum and miscellaneous other necessities into our van. After that it was time for a King's Strings practice (you are coming to hear us at the Governor's next weekend, right?), supper, rehearsal for Bye, Bye, Birdie and a movie for Andrew and friends.

Since I threatened to talk about the annual camp-out, I feel it is my duty to follow through. This tradition of camping out together has become a highlight of the year for the King family. Spending two days in the great outdoors, sleeping in tents with the spiders and mosquitos, cooking our meals over an open fire, fellowshipping with good friends (even though one did give me my third invitation to the upcoming women's conference!) - all in the comfort of the Armstrong's backyard, complete with indoor plumbing and full kitchen, and the grandparents' pool right down the road. What more could you ask for? That's my kind of camping! Especially when it comes with a few good pranks.

First, you have to visualize the set-up. We have a tent for Tim, Diann and dog, Frankie. Then there's the tent for Dave and Beth. The next tent in line is for 4 Kings; John, Eden, HopeAnne and me. The smallest tent is for Lindsey and Mariana. Finally, the King family 8-passenger indestructible tent is saved for all the boys - Andrew, Jesse, John, Trenton, Isaac and Josiah. The boys were clearly planning a trick on the girls. So the moms helped the girls out a little bit by donating my cell phone to bury under the boys' tent. After all the kids were tucked into their sleeping bags for the night, the girls made a fateful mistake. They went into the house for something. That's all Jesse needed. He snuck into their tent and scared the pee out of them when they arrived back for the night. We sent everyone back to his/her own tent and about half an hour later the girls started their cell phone campaign. The final joke was on me when Andrew came running out of the tent shouting, "It's just like Christmas! I got a cell phone!" He still hasn't given it back. He claims the old finders keepers line.

So now you know that I'm a camping wimp. I'm willing to spend the night in a tent as long as there is a real bathroom not too far away. But before you start making fun of me you do need to know that it wasn't always that way. I actually spent 2 summers working at a camp in the middle of nowhere in Vermont. We slept in shelters and cooked most of our meals over an open fire. The goal of every Bethany Birches counselor is to be able to light your campfire with just one match. Yup, you're looking at an expert here. But, as always, the pranks are the best part.

I suppose we shouldn't have played tricks on the campers but why not? There were a few of us counselors from Pennsylvania so we often tried to tell the campers that life in PA was very different from life in Vermont. One week of camp we had the campers convinced that in PA we say mo-squweeeeee-toes instead of the normal pronunciation for this little pest. I have to wonder if there aren't a few young adults in Vermont still in the habit of saying mo-squeeeee-toes properly as the Pennsylvanians do. One night we decided to join with another cabin and sleep under the stars. In the morning the other counselor and I discovered that although we had remembered to bring all of the food needed for breakfast, neither of us had remembered the all-important frying pan. No problem because in PA, of course, we don't use frying pans to cook our eggs. We roast them, the same way you roast marshmallows. We had the girls rounding up sticks and sharpening the ends. Not knowing what was going to happen, we showed them how to carefully put the stick through the eggshell and hold it over the fire. Try it; it takes some skill to get the stick through the shell without completely cracking the egg and losing most of your yolk. The joke was on us, however, because believe it or not, "eggs-a-la-stick" does actually work. We all had eggs for breakfast after all and learned a new survival skill in the process.

But now I'm tired. Too tired to write. Too tired to be funny. I'm going to bed. Good night. Good-bye camping. So long vacation. Hello regular schedule.

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