Since our kids are scattered all over creation with their children, almost the only time cousins have time to bond is in July at the family reunion. And the only time I get to have those groups of cousins together without their parents is before and after the family reunion at what we call Grammie Camp.
They are divided by age and sometimes by gender. This year this is how it goes::
Group 1: The Old Faithful's, ages 13-16
Group 2: The Three Amigos, ages 12 or almost 12
Group 3: The Babes, ages 8-10
Group 4: The Guys, ages 7-9
Group 5: The Princesses: Ages 5-6 (Grammie Camp starts at age 5)
This year we started Grammie Camps with “The Guys” which is five darling boys who are hysterical together.. They came to the Lighthouse with me for an overnight and a next day adventure.
They are bouncing off the wall by bedtime but brushing teeth and ancestor stories when they are stretched out in their sleeping bags helps to calm them down. I drink in having them all to myself for a few hours!
We have a Grammie Camp song and we learn a new scripture together every year. This year the there were two scriptures, II Nephi 2:25 and II Nephi 25:26. They loved their bag of Gummy Bears for saying them perfectly. Group 4 also put together our fun family puzzle from last year.
This year our emphasis was on classical music. I sent the little boys Peter and the Wolf to listen to about three weeks before Grammie Camp so they would know the story and the music. Then we acted it out which was more fun than a barrel of monkeys! I had some collected hats from years of Halloween and a trip to Romania. It was hysterical1
Here is the bird…
The supposedly “dead duck”.
Since I don’t know how to insert video into a blog, you’re just going to have to imagine the fun we had whilst acting out this wonderful piece of music by Prokofiev!
Next we had a talent show and I was amazed at what they have learned since last year. This year it was pretty much drum and piano extravaganza.
McKay has really whizzed along this year….
Charlie could still play up a storm, even with a broken arm! As you can tell, his hands are moving so fast that they are blurry!
Camden and Silas played thoughtful drum solos….
Oliver made up a beautiful song called Waterfall on the piano and at the last minute Cam plopped down on the bench and played a beautiful classical solo.
We stopped to see how the horses liked watermelon rinds (Lady, yes, Duffy, not at all) on the way to dinner at a new place in St. Charles called Coopers. Those burgers and the play set behind the restaurant were a real hit!
Ancestor stories and a visit to the cemetery where those ancestors are buried is always a big part of the Grammie Camp. They know just where to go to pay their respects to those who sacrificed so much and worked so hard so that we could live in relative luxury.
Stopping to see my cousin Kay who,at 82 lives at his parents’ home during the summer was great. It is the old home where my Grandmother Nellie spent most of her life after her husband Freddy died at an early age and he takes such good care of it. He was delighted to see us and gave MkKay an American flag which he was thrilled to have! Oops, sorry Oliver, you were obliterated by the flag!
As the child of a long line of farmers, work is always a part of Grammie Camp. Usually I have them pull weeds but since all the weeks were gone this year because of the new landscaping, Group 4 hauled rocks from one pile that had too many rocks to another that needed some. They did a great job.Oliver demonstrates just how hard that was!
I must admit that after hauling a certain number of rocks free, they got prizes for the next 25 rocks. They were pretty excited about their prizes after all that hard work!
Oops, again, sorry Cam! Here was Camden’s prize:
Another fun Grammie Camp comes to an end!