As a rule, Luke and I generally save our fun vacations and travels for the summers when we have a 1 year old rather than a new(ish) baby. But this year, I let him convince me to make a couple exceptions. It’s a rather arduous ordeal packing up 7 children to go anywhere other than the park together, hence my usual hesitation. I’m happy to say that not only did we all survive, I actually enjoyed myself!
Our getaways included a day trip to Saguaro Lake (the closest lake to Phoenix) and an overnight camping trip with our church ward (congregation). Surprisingly, the camping trip was actually more enjoyable than the lake…maybe because we’d done plenty of preparation beforehand like reading through all the advice on campingfunzone.com, but mainly because it was much cooler up north where we camped. Plus, ahead of our trip, I managed to pick up lots of helpful camping and hiking tips from outdoor websites like outdoorcommand.com. But watching the kids kayak around the lake was pretty entertaining too. It’s amazing the amount of memories we created over the summer, especially during this camping trip.
We actually saw some wild horses on our lake trip too! I had to share this shot I got of them because it cracked me up. They were really lean and kind of skittish but it was cool to see that these awesome animals are actually surviving in the desert. It was truly amazing to see. I only wish that we had the opportunity to see more animals, like deers. But we just couldn’t see any, which was a shame. I’m almost certain that if our friends were here, that they’d find them and catch them with the help of the best arrow rest that they could find. They’re avid hunters, you know? They know how to find and catch these types of animals. I’m not too keen on this myself, but each to their own. I’m just glad that we were able to see these wild horses; it definitely made the trip better.
We joined some other homeschooling friends early at the campsite to ride some ATV’s. Toby and Liam actually learned to ride dirt bikes when we visited a friend of mine in Washington last summer and they hopped back on this year like they were old pros. It was also pretty freaking hilarious to watch Finn and the twins try to wrangle some pint-sized electric vehicles.
Vivian even tried out a mini 4 wheeler…aaaaand nearly took out our whole campsite by driving through it. No harm, no foul!
Luke did his job as a white-trash outdoorsman and bought Finn some Walmart overalls for the trip. He makes a cute hick.
The boys especially loved our friends’ go-cart and drove it for hours. That is, until a spark set it on fire and it burned to the ground. No joke. No one was hurt though, and the kids all got a kick out of watching it burn (side note, the POP sound of burning tires exploding is REALLY loud :). We also kept it from burning down the forest and our friend who owned it wasn’t too heartbroken. Non-stop action, I tell ya.
Marilyn, true to form, was a fantastically awesome baby and slept all night on the camp out. The other kids were in 7th heaven rolling around in the dirt and messing with fire. And I just stuffed my face unceasingly for 24 hours. A raging success!