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Family Camping {Church Campout 2016}

{Post may contain affiliate links…then again, it may not. I’m not sure since I haven’t finished writing it yet.}

Hey friends, I just want you to know that I just returned from a terrific weekend of camping. With my family (and our entire church).

I did not swim in cat pee.

I did not find Mystery Poop anywhere on my body.

I did not see any dead cats.

As you can see it was darn near perfect.

Jubilee's special find on this trip...

Jubilee found this well-preserved bird carcass…I’m not entirely sure why she was compelled to pick it up and have me photograph it…

I could describe to you the trials and tribulations I went through to ensure that seven (only SEVEN?!) kids and two parents had a great weekend of camping, but it is probably easier to just have you read this instead.

Family camping in the Pacific Northwest is always an adventure. Especially when it's my family.

And just so you know, there are many reason to camp as a family:

It’s a chance to enjoy the great outdoors, God’s beautiful creation.

It is a chance to spend time together as a family.

It is a chance to live a simple life, waking early and warming one’s self by the fire.

It is a chance to play in the dirt and not shower for two days.

Family camping in the Pacific Northwest is always a treat!

Of course, all of those things are true in our daily life as well…

since we live together

in the woods

and heat our house with a wood stove and wait in line for a shower

but it’s all just that much more fun when camping…right?

[Just agree with me here, it makes me feel better]

Then again, if the whole idea of camping is to get away from it all, we should “get away from it all” by staying in a nice hotel, with cable TV and room service…

But I digress.

Family camping is a great time to bond and enjoy the great outdoors.

In all seriousness, I love our church campout. It is a chance to spend extended time with other families from our church. We had some first time parents in the site right next to us and we loved getting to know them (though I’m pretty sure their son is destined to be an only child after a weekend next us!)

Family camping in the Pacific Northwest is always an adventure. Especially when it's my family.

Tucker was resident Fire Man as he worked to perfect his fire-making skills.

We had an amazing gourmet menu of things like Philly Cheese Steaks cooking over the fire (I took pictures but that meal deserves a Pinterest-friendly post of its own). We took along these Magic Milk straws…and forgot to use them (as usual).

Family camping is a way to strength bonds (and body odor) in a relaxed environment.

And, by special request of the lovely Jubilee….

Family camping is a great way to bond and enjoy God's creation...together.

Boxed Macaroni and Cheese. Or, as my Canadian friends and family call it, Kraft Dinner…which is now changing its name to KD…which is weird because I’ve never once heard anyone refer to it as KD (and I live 20 minutes from the Canadian border).

Gourmet meals should always be served when camping as a family.

We also made a discovery. Twelve-year-old Hezekiah has never had boxed mac and cheese; only the all-natural homemade variety. Poor kid.

Yogurt and granola parfaits are a great family camping breakfast!

Apollo enjoyed yogurt, granola and fresh strawberries for breakfast. 

No family camping trip would be complete without roasting marshmallows.

Family camping is a great way to bond and enjoy the great outdoors.

Family camping: build memories and campfires.

Now I’m back to home to:


mountains of dirty laundry

a messy house

and sleep-deprived children.

Happy Monday!


  1. Lindsay

    Ah, you are such a good mom. I gave up tent camping a long time ago and feel only slightly guilty about it.
    Great pics!
    (p.s. we’ve always called Kraft Dinner ‘KD’ 🙂

    • Renee

      Thanks for sharing! Yes, I saw this. It is so cool and will no-doubt help many people. If only it weren’t in Chicago…

  2. thissquirrelsnest

    Before camping with our then two year old I asked older friends for advice. Friends who’d camped a lot with their children. They all said, “you don’t want to do that.” They were correct…Kestrel thinks the dead bird skeleton is awesome and wants us to go find one of our own. She was once angry I didn’t pick bird bones out of cat vomit for her. But I have limits it turns out.

    • Renee

      Man, couple that with your recent shoe-in-the-store incident and you really are a mean mom. Too bad Kestrel isn’t here to enjoy the half-mummified bird that Jubilee picked up with her BARE HANDS

  3. Lynn

    I love the picture you have for your header. At first I just saw five lovely children. Then I noticed the face of another one and burst out laughing. Cute!

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