2005 Annual Family Campout

Memorial Day Weekend, 2005

Every year (since 1999) we have an Annual Family Campout at the Stork's Nest.
Though much works still remains to be done, we tried to focus on just fun this weekend.

Kyle (5), Shelbi (3), Jeremy (9) and Jeremy's
friend, Lane, pose for Grammy.


Trevor (12) brought his friend, Chris (in the red
shirt) along for the weekend of camping.

Our granddaughter, Danielle (15)
brought her friend, Kayla.


They were quite a team!

This was Shelbi's first camping trip.
She is usually so concerned about staying clean.
As you will see....she discovered mud and bugs!


Of course, Shelbi found a mud puddle
and was soon making big splashes!

A little mud on the face never hurt anyone!


Ryan finally agrees to let me take
his picture!

Kyle discovered tadpoles wriggling
in Mike's cement bucket!


And soon he and Shelbi were busy
catching tadpoles with their net!
Trouble was....Shelbi wanted to pet them!


Evening Campfires

Every camping trip involves S'mores.
As you can see, Jeremy loves his burnt!


Even Shelbi tried to toast a marshmellow.

Of course, s'mores and little boys soon
becomes messy!


All the boys got wet and muddy playing in the
creek. Here Jeremy is trying to dry his
jeans by the fire.

Matthew kept the campfire going so we could
enjoy each other's company in the evenings.


Chris and Trevor sharing breakfast
while we were cooking the real breakfast.

One night Matthew was putting Kyle to bed and came out to the campfire to see if we
had heard the "racoons fighting" -- we had not. He then started looking around and found
three baby racoons under our front porch. Matthew and Damon shushed them out from
under the porch but they ran down the hill and right into the basement!

They ran to the far corner of the basement
where there was no escape.


And they desparately looked for a place to hide
as we all came rushing in with our flashlights.

This poor little guy just curled up, afraid to move.


The other two climbed up the wall to the ceiling!

Meanwhile, this one tried to make himself as
tiny as possible! Finally Rene' and Matthew
put on leather gloves and picked each one up,


opened the window and put them on the ground
outside the window! We watched them scurry
down the hill to Mama. Exciting evening for
the childen who were still awake!

The Treehouse

Our big project for the weekend was to build a treehouse for the children. We have been saving
all the leftover building materials....scraps of wood, dropped and bent nails, roofing materials...
ever since they began building so the the children could build a treehouse.

We spent a lot of time choosing a tree. The first
tree we chose in 1999 fell down! Then the
children picked a spot in the pine forest and
wanted to build the house using four trees.
Finally we found this maple...not very far from
the house with great branches down low!

This tree is just up the hill from the back of the
house and will be close enough that in the


wintertime we might even be able to see
it from the house...and close enough so
we can get to the children quickly if anyone
gets hurt....heaven forbid.

Heather and Damon cleared a path
from the back of the house to the treehouse.
There was even a natural bridge over the
creek where the water goes underground.

We had decided that the adults needed to
build the main platform for safety's sake.
Matthew and Damon began the process,
starting with a small platform they could
stand on to build the rest.


Damon checked it out for sturdiness!
We figured if it held him, it would hold
several small boys!

Of course, the boys could not wait for it to be
finished to begin climbing on it!


There goes Jeremy!

No fear in THAT boy!


Now Kyle and Jeremy are both up there!

Now Lane is checking it out as the
treehouse begins to grow!


Building a treehouse in the middle of the
woods with no electricity has its own
special challenges.

Meanwhile, Dani and Kayla ran the gator back
and forth, bringing scrap wood to the site!


Matthew came up with a unique solution to
the bugs buzzing around his head!


Trevor and Lane are checking it out now. Notice
they had to add some steps because the boys
were so anxious to get up there!

Now we put Jeremy to work with a hammer.


They added some strong support to the corner.
Now if we could just get a few more long,
treated 2x8s!

The platform is getting big now...Damon calls it
the "treedeck". LOL


Well, we found some more big 2x8s so next weekend, Heather, Damon and Matthew plan
to return to finish the platform. (note the generator in the lower right...that made it easier!)

Current view of the house from the lake site.


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