We borrowed a small pop up tent from some lovely friends and Mark and the kids spent the morning setting it all up. A BBQ for dinner seemed fitting and whilst at the shops Mark let the kids pick out a bag of marshmallows. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say Eli carried that bag around, clutched tightly in his little hands, for the rest of the day, asking only about every five minutes if it was time to eat them yet!!!!! Yeah - seriously!
With all the excitement and spotlight on the new little dude in our home, it was really special to have an evening focused on two amazing kids who are simply the most devoted, loving, affectionate and least-jealous siblings that parents could ever hope and pray to have. So very grateful for their beautiful, selfless attitudes! It was a really simple and fun evening doing something that seemed so 'radical' and hugely exciting in their little worlds. Yet it really took no trouble (just borrowed a tent and set it up) or money (just the cost of the marshmallows, haha) for a whole night of adventure and quality time - those invaluable and immeasurable things!
Lily was so excited she could not stop squealing all day about how happy she was. The grin was perma-fixed to her sweet face. Eli was just out of his mind with glee - possibly mostly about the marshmallows!?
|Spending the afternoon 'trialing' the tent and playing house.|
|Testing out the cosy beds. (Note marshmallows in hand)|
|A boy and his bag of marshmallows.|
|BBQ picnic dinner - for the genuine camping vibe! Yes, Eli had to put down bag of marshmallows in order to eat, haha!|
|Working those utensils!|
|Little girl verrrry ready to roast her first marshmallow!|
|The thrilled look of a girl who just toasted her first marshmallow!|
|I got one, Mummy!|
|Dressed in warm PJs for a night outside!|
Little bit in love with this pic... though I just remembered there is actually
a third little one to be included now!
Every now and then it still hits me I have three kids!
|Waiting for Daddy/Bed time|
|Little brother Miles comes to check out the excitement and looks forward|
to the day he can join in on the fun!
|A pre-bed brotherly cuddle|
|Yep, this is my crazy family. But I still love them!|
After a BBQ dinner and marshmallow roasting, the kids got into their PJs and scampered eagerly into the tent for bed time. Miles and I retreated inside for the night (yeah, I'm not that brave, haha!) after kissing Mark goodnight and wishing him luck!! He was armed with a flashlight, iPod and book to keep him entertained whilst the kids slept. For about an hour I heard peels of laughter and happy squealing drifting in through the open windows. That's the sound of childhood, magical memories and an awesome Daddy giving devoted time to his kids. Made me just so happy!
I wondered if they would last the night out there but indeed they did! Mark reported the next morning that they told stories and jokes for ages, wrestling, laughing and singing songs. So cute. Finally close to 9pm they started to drift off to sleep. Lily was the first to fade but Mark said Eli kept whispering in the dark. He asked him to quiet down so to not wake his sister but he kept going so Mark crawled over there to investigate and found Eli whispering stories to Lily's baby doll!!! Too funny! Anyway, they all (yes, including Daddy) fell asleep shortly after!
The only night time drama was Eli waking at 2am to go to the toilet. Mark started to take him inside, Lily woke and freaked out at the idea of being left outside so all three of them trooped inside so Eli could use the facilities!! Thankfully Miles and I slept through that one, and they all went back out and slept till morning.
Well, I call that a success on every level!
So, honey, when are you taking the kids camping out bush??!