The camping night snuck up on me big time. It was one of those things where you know it's coming and you know you need to plan, but other things come up and by the time you know it, it's here and you weren't ready! I literally was in the grocery store at 5pm still getting stuff for our “camp out”!
Here's the funny thing about me doing a “camping night” for my kids. I have NEVER been camping! I know, that's crazy and unheard of, but my idea of camping is Motel 6 instead of Marriot. Crazy.
Aaron made some of the most wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches on his grill that I might have ever tasted. I imagine that if we were really camping they couldn't possibly taste this good, but they did.
Since I was still frantically at the grocery store at 5pm I decided to pick up a little something for each of my kids to make up for my lateness to this party. They each got a special new cup to drink out of that night. Isn't it funny how the little things in life mean so much to kids. They loved these cups and you would have thought I'd given them each $100 to spend however they wanted! Momma was happy she stopped to get them on the dollar aisle!
In my craziness of the day I thought we needed a tent to play/eat in. I mean how can you have a camping night without a tent. The only problem is that we have never camped, therefore we don't own a tent or anything that might resemble a tent. My friends Kim & Philip pulled through and we loved this! I found the kids telling “scary” stories in the tent and by the end of the night they all had their sleeping bags in there acting like they were sleeping. If I ever do this again, it will not be on a school night and I'll see if any of these kids truly could sleep outside. I'm betting none could, but you never know.
The night ended with a dessert that my kids LOVED! I found this on someones blog and knew that this would be a great camping night dessert. It's called banana boats, and basically you open a banana peel, stuff it with all kinds of yummy goodness and wrap it in foil and then put on the grill and wha-la you have a dessert! We had fun stuffing them with as much as we could get in, and then eating the gooey dessert was fun as well. I recommend silver ware for this treat!
Camping night was a success and a failure for me. Success because my kids had so much fun and failure because it was a drain on me more than it was fun. I know, it's for the kids and truly they had no clue it was a drain for me, but I realized that planning stuff is hard for me. Not my strength. Birthday parties around here come together the day before. Making a cake for Jesus on Christmas day is usually thought of the day before and I realize I'm missing half of the supplies. This is not my strength.
This is my friend Amy's strength. She loves to create experiences and themes and parties and frankly she is so good at them I want to throw up when she sends me pictures of fun things she does for her kids. She is good. She also enjoys it. It's not a drain for her, it's a fill for her and that's why it works for her. Not this momma. Look at her recent “camping” themed night for her son's birthday party. I'm serious here. These are not from Pintrest, these are my real live friends pictures from her recent party. Enjoy and be envious!
Do you see that cupcake? Yes it is a campfire and yes the marshmallows are roasting. Oh my goodness she is good at this stuff! So, if you are wanting a camp night you can take both of our creations (which mine involve getting a tent and sitting in it) and run with it. If you recreate this cupcake I would love to see a picture of it, because as much as I hate people that can whip this kind of stuff up, I truly love them!!!
While your friend Amy’s pictures are gorgeous, take heart. Your stories of rough planning (despite you not being a planner) inspire THIS uncrafty mama to at least give it a shot. Amy’s perfection intimidates me. Your lack of perfection is beautiful, attainable, and makes me want to make tonight special at our house. 🙂
Noelle first told me about your blog last year and I love it! I just saw the year of motherhood on inspired to action the other day and, I’ll be honest…I’m totally stealing your idea. I sat down and looked at things I’d like to change for the benefit of my family. Here goes! Thanks for sharing your life, Jamie!
Rachel……please know that Amy is not perfect nor intimidating!!!! This just happens to be something I do well. I lack in so many other areas…….trust me!!! I encourage everyone to try…….it will be perfect in your own way!! Blessings, Amy
Jamie, I think it turned out great, and I’m inspired…my great ideas usually end at just that. I can think ’em up, but I’m exhausted when I just start to think about doing it, and that’s where it comes to a crashing halt! But you DID it!!! Good job! 🙂 Love the kids with their cups, btw.
Amy you are so good at this planning party stuff … you should start a business … in your SPARE time!
So Jamie, your kids obviously had fun, right? I think as parents it is important to stretch ourselves, yes, but not to spend too much time wishing we were different than we are. I am sure that you have certain strengths God blessed you with, that your kids love and enjoy. There are millions of ways to make special memories for kids, and most of them don’t have to involve a theme/planning/etc. What about using the kids to help with the organization and planning instead of doing it all yourself? That would be stressful to me for sure! The theme nights seem fun for sure, but as a regular event my family would stick to taking bikes to the park, a family walk looking at stuff and talking, hanging out in the back yard while the kids jump on the trampoline, eating dinner outside suddenly makes it fun, etc. Good on you for stretching yourself to show your love for your kids in new ways! Also, you don’t have to be supermom, Jamie-mom is awesome already!