Sunday, October 23, 2011

Westward Ho - Camping at Mill Hollow

This summer, the Buchanan Family Reunion was held at Mill Hollow, a Buchanan Family Tradition from the Mr's childhood.  This was a first for the kids an I....and we had so much fun!  There is truly something magical about spending several days out in the woods with the ones you love!  I loved watching my kids with their cousins - though they hadn't seen one another for over a year, (and Wiggles didn't even remember the cousins), they wasted no time and were instant friends, as though they'd seen each other only yesterday.  

(Sorry for the randomness of the pics!  I didn't have time to reorganize them into chronological order...)

Cousin Lily was so patient and sweet with Wiggles - and Wiggles adored her!

Gavin and Grins!  Grins was thrilled to have a boy his age to play with, and they were inseparable!

Angel loved the stream running through our campsite!

On our last day, several people worked to build a little 'pool' in the stream.  They actually got it quite deep - such that, when sitting, they were nearly submerged!  It kept them busy for most of the day!

Oma had so many fun activities planned!  One of the favorites was painting these little wooden cars and then racing them.  I can't remember how many races we had....but I don't think the boys (especially Grins) would have ever stopped if we hadn't insisted on having dinner! 

Angel got shooting lessons from Kel and Uncle Quinn.  She loved it!

Wiggles and Hava hanging out.

All the cousins loaded into the back of the truck and headed for the lake!  I went in the raft....but Angel jumped right into the lake (along with several cousins)!

Cousin slumber parties in the tent!  Oh yeah!

Grins learned how to chop wood!  

One day, Uncle Quinn 'hooked' all the kids up to a long rope with a box tied to one end, and they took turns pulling one another around in the box.  They went around and around the campsite for hours!  They loved it!  They would probably have kept on all night, except that the bottom of the box finally gave way. :(

And, what camping trip would be complete without roasting marshmallows and making s'mores?!  Oma brought some GIANT marshmallows the size of the kids' fists!  Naturally, they were a big hit!

Angel, the crafter, spent hours constructing a boat (complete with a sail - decorated, of course), and floating it down the stream.

Wiggles LOVED this little water toy!  But I had to laugh; at first, she couldn't figure out how to get it to work.  I demonstrated how to stick it in the water, then pull the handle up to suck water in, saying "Suck the water up like this."  I then returned it to her and she proceeded to stick it in her mouth and suck out the stream water.  Eewwww!  

Poor little Wiggles!  On the last second to last day of our trip, she became very clingy and wouldn't let me put her down.  I assumed she was hot and tired.  That night, she started saying her mouth hurt, and by the next morning she was running a high fever.  She ended up being pretty sick so we cut our trip short and went home a day early.  It was a pretty rough ride home, with her being so sick, but we managed to survive after all.

The Pinata - every child's dream; adults telling you to hit something, and then you are rewarded with candy.  What's not to like?

Look at this handsome kid!

Angel and Lily spent hours creating puppets out of paper plates, then spent nearly an hour putting on a show with said puppets.  The show might have gone on longer but we told them we needed to eat, eventually.... (I told them they could each only have 3 plates - or we would have run out of plates very quickly, since they could have drawn all day!  So they made puppets on each side of the plate - very resourceful!) 

I feel so blessed that, despite how far we live from family, my children had the wonderful opportunity to spend so much time with their loved ones this summer!  So many life-long memories were made, and we are already looking forward to our next trip West!

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