Winter Camping


Indoor winter camping, that is. We’ve had many too-cold-to-leave-the-house days because of this Polar Vortex hitting the midwest. Jack was still entertained by his toys, but I was getting a little bored. What better time to set up our new tent in the basement? Here are some tips to follow:

Check the dimensions of your tent and make sure it fits in the space you have.


This new tent was given to us by some great friends who borrowed our old tent for a youth group retreat and our tent got damaged. However our old tent was from high school, a friend of ours had bought it and didn’t want it so Jeff took it, and it was already falling apart. We told our friends not to even worry if anything happened to it. But they’re so nice they bought us a brand new tent! Unfortunately this tent has not been used because we haven’t dared camping with a baby yet. Having never even set this tent up, and since our basement is pretty big, it never occurred to me that the tent wouldn’t fit in our basement.


Make sure your toddler who agrees to help you in the beginning, is committed to completing the project.

Notice the poles are almost hitting the walls, and the toddler is just watching tv.
Notice the poles are almost hitting the walls, and the toddler is just watching tv.

Jack do you want to set up the tent? “Yeah!!!” His enthusiasm waned quickly. He seemed most excited about closing the door to the under-the-stairs-closet, trapping me inside while I retrieved the tent. This should have been a warning for me. Jack helped get the poles in, but when it came time to hook the poles into the four corners and pop up the middle, Jack was more interested in The Cat in The Hat.

Jack can you come hold this for Mommy? “No. No. No.”¬†Ok then can you bring the chair over? We both looked at the blue computer chair which I planned on using to hold up the middle of the tent so I could get the pole ends hooked in. “Ok,” Jack said and he went to get the chair which was just a few feet away. He returns and hands me a little toy grill brush as if that was exactly what I asked for. I was laughing, and confused. Jack proceeded to go upstairs and find himself a snack. However I was too far into this project to abandon it now.

Fill the tent with fun.

IMG_3357Once the tent was up, we grabbed a chair, some books and toys and had a little fun. We especially had fun with Jack’s chair which kept flipping over. It made a cold day a little more fun!


Goals For 2014

I tried to think of a more creative title, but figured I might as well just write and not delay this post like so many others I’ve started writing in my head and never actually completed. Since everyone else is writing or talking about what they’re going to do better or different in 2014 I thought I’d join them. But instead of having real defined goals, I’m going to list broad categories in hopes that I accomplish some of this some days in the coming year.

1. Meal Plan. With all the blogs, recipes, ideas online this could be really easy… if I do it. I bookmark sites with “25 Freezer to Crock Pot meals” but the grocery shopping and cooking often doesn’t happen. Around 5pm each day dinner surprises me. What is it about husbands and children that they want to eat dinner every night?

2. Reorganize my Kitchen and Pantry. It’s not even that bad. It’s just that some breakables and open bags of chips need to be moved to a shelf higher than the toddler can reach. Anyone an expert in this? I think it might take an outside perspective.


2B. Not use the Dining Room as Temporary/Permanent Storage. The dining room is rarely used for dining so it seems like a perfect place to drop my things when I don’t have time to put them away. Then about two months later Jeff will find a place to put them for me. (True story)

3. Clean More. I keep asking for a cleaning lady but no such luck. And despite the fact that I’ve been following the Clean Mama blog for the last year, it has had little impact on my life. Apparently you have to actually do the cleaning tasks, not just read the blog and download the free cleaning calendar.

4. Read the Bible. This could always be on my list. When can you ever read it enough? In all seriousness, I’ve read through the whole Bible several times and I still learn new things each time I read it. It is the only thing that truly gives me peace, joy, and hope. It is life-giving and I want it to be part of my every day.

5. Blog Again. It’s not like I ever intentionally stopped. It was easy to write while I was on bed rest but having a mobile, attention-seeking, adorable little boy (who sneaks into the pantry every time I turn my back) has given me plenty of funny material for a blog, but little time to write it. Poor excuse, I know. But my desire is to write again so we’ll see how that goes.

What’s on your list?
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing…” Isaiah 43:18-19