Camp Grandma’s – 7/27/08 to 8/2/08

By Sandi Hannig



Sunday, July 27: This sounds like a repeat of last year’s beginning of camp and it was. We went to Scott & Tammy’s to celebrate Julia’s 6th and Will’s 12th birthday. Scott & Tammy had just finished the upper level of their deck. After the gifts were opened and the cakes eaten, Grandpa and I left with Joe, Wes, Daniel and Will. On the way home, I read them the camp rules, the planned activities, and we talked about so many things. New activities this year include going to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY and to the Cincinnati Observatory to observe Jupiter.


When we got home around 6:30, they went through their bags of goodies, picked a model car, and made trades.  We (minus Grandpa) headed up to Beech Acres Park for the Anderson Township Days (Fireman’s) Festival. We again parked at McNicholas and took a shuttle bus to the festival. We walked around and then the three oldest took off as Will was played Wii games. So Will and I did our own thing. We found Uncle Mike, Jill, Katie, and Chris playing Let It Ride. Will & I played a few gambling games such as Big Six, Money Game and the Baseball game. I also bet on a rubber ducky race. Will got a Sno Cone and we found our place to watch the fireworks. The boys joined us as did Jill & all and the fireworks were spectacular!


Monday, July 28: Since our guest bathroom shower was leaking, we waited for a plumber to arrive so we didn’t make plans to leave until he came and the boys took showers in our bathroom. We just chilled after having cereal and Toaster Strudel for breakfast. We played two survivor games. The first was a ‘Survivor” type quiz where they had to write their answers on a white board in a matter of seconds. Daniel got 7 answers correct and won. We then did a word search I had created and after a three-minute time limit, Wes was the winner.


After the plumber left, we ate sandwiches for lunch and headed to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY. I was under the impression that it was an evolution exhibit and it was that but it was according to the Bible. The exhibits were awesome, however, and very well done. They also had a beautiful garden and petting zoo. They had donkeys, lamb, a pig, peacocks, zebra-horses, a camel, and other birds and animals.


We got home around 5:30 and had a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. After dinner, the boys tie-dyed their shirts and painted their baseball hats. They spent the rest of the evening playing on the computer and playing games on the PS2 that Wes had brought.


Tuesday, July 29:  I ran up to Servatti’s for donuts but the boys didn’t get up until pretty late! After breakfast, we headed to Eastgate Adventure. The boys played in the arcade for a minute, rode the go-karts, played putt-putt golf, (Joe won), and rode the go-karts again. Next we hit the batting cages where they could have one practice round before the contest. They could pick any speed or hard/softball. Joe went last and wanted the 70 mph cage but it was occupied. He chose to not wait and took the 40 mph cage and it was his downfall. He ended up in last place! Then just to prove to himself he could do it, he hit all 12 balls in the 70 mph cage. He was kicking himself for not waiting.


We then went to Scallywag Tag where they played two games. Wes won that contest. Next we went to Cappel’s where  Will bought a laser pointer that shocks and a pair of handcuffs. Headed home to fix dinner of ham, macaroni & cheese, and fresh corn on the cob. Then Katie and Jill came over to help judge the Talent Show, which I videotaped! Will went first and spit water through his teeth. He then put his entire fist in his mouth. That was his talent. Joe was next. He put some kind of candy in his mouth and was spitting up in the air! What talent these Hannig boys have! Daniel stood up and said that the only talent he had was that he loved his family. Wes ended the show by saying that he was willing to pay a ‘Lincoln’ for anyone to vote for him. We voted Will as the winner!


We sang Happy Birthday to Will as he blew out his candles on Brownies. We played Let It Ride that Jill had brought. After Jill left, Katie & I went outside with the boys to set off fireworks. In years past, I had only bought sparklers and smoke bombs but this year, we added real fireworks from Phantom Fireworks which included fire crackers and Roman Candles, etc. After we all cleaned up, they played flashlight tag. Joe was reluctant to play at first and Katie convinced him to play even though she just watched. But afterwards, he stated that it was the most fun he had had in a long time! They played beer-pong on the kitchen table but instead of water, they used coke. They only spilled a few!


Wednesday, July 30: Will’s 12th Birthday! He wanted his ‘mancakes’ for breakfast so we had bacon, link & patty sausages, blueberry pancakes, and eggs. Unfortunately, this was the day we were to go to Coney swimming and on rides as the Van’s Warp Tour was playing at Riverbend but the weatherman was predicting torrential rains so we opted to go to the movies. Before we went, I washed the tie-dyed tee shirts. They had opted to also paint them. I told the boys that if the contest for the best shirt design was for tie-dye only, Joe would win, followed by Wes, Will & Daniel. Will thought Joe’s shirt was his and he started painting on it! Nobody else wanted to paint their shirts. A few days later, I looked again at the way Will had painted Julia’s tie-dyed tee shirt with her name in rainbow colors, flowers and grass so I declared Will the winner and Joe the runner up. We played Ohio Bingo and Joe was the first one to win three games.


We headed to a 1:15 Dark Knight movie at Milford and I saw Mamma Mia (which was awesome by the way). The boys did enjoy their movie too. Their movie didn’t get over until 4:00. They chilled as I fixed chicken wings, popcorn chicken, French fries, fresh corn-on-the-cob and fruit salad.


Zak came over around 7:30 and horsed around with the boys. They tried to set up beer-pong (really water) on the deck but Zak squirted Wes with a water gun so Wes threw one of the glasses of water on him. Caroline from next door was visiting with her mom and she very politely emptied most of the other glasses into the flowers before an all-out water war started. End of beer-pong! While waiting for darkness for another round of flashlight tag, we did the State Capital Flash Cards on the deck and Joe won handily. Finally it got dark and the boys had convinced Zak to stay and play. It was spitting rain so grandpa and I came in and the neighbors went home. At one point, Joe came in and stated that he thought Zak & Wes had left in Zak’s car but we found out they ‘hid’ in his car! They must have been noisy outside and the boys reported that some neighbors in the back were turning on their outside lights and looking out their windows!


Thursday, July 31: Yesterday, it seemed like the boys were spending so much time on the computer and play station that they were not the least interested in doing any of the camp-stuff that they had said they wanted to do. They had said they wanted to prepare a dinner but hadn’t bothered to create a menu. They had wanted to make posters but hadn’t started. So in the morning, I sat them down and told them that today would be a no-tech day with no computer and no play station. I explained that they could do that stuff at home or in the winter but we had so much to do here, we needed to start doing it. They were fine with that and later teased me by saying we had an “Amish” day!


After a breakfast of Toaster Strudels and sandwiches (it was brunch time), they gathered their laundry and we all headed for the basement for the pinball tournament. Each one was to play four games at once and high total would win. Joe went first. He was about half way finished when the ball got stuck. Wes tried to help by picking up the side but he inadvertently shut it down. Joe was upset as his scores were pretty high. They agreed to just play two games and Joe ended up coming in last! And his morning didn’t get any better. They were working on their posters and Joe starting scooting his back but he was hitting other papers and smearing the paint. I reached to help move it and smeared more. Poor Joe! First the pinball, and then the poster. So he gave up on the poster for a while.


We left around 2:30 and headed for River Downs where met up with Uncle Mike. He helped the boys study the race book so they could pick their horses. We only bet on the live races, not the telecast ones. And there were no ponies to ride. None of us won the first race but I won $10.00 on the second one. When we got home, we did another contest—Sign Language Flash cards. I had let each one select four cards and let them study them. Daniel & Joe tied with the most cards.


We headed to Skyline for dinner and then to Kroger’s for a watermelon, donuts, and a few items. After putting away the groceries, we headed for the Cincinnati Observatory in Mt. Lookout. I had made reservations as they have small groups. One man gave a talk and slide show about astronomy and in particular, Jupiter, which was the planet that would be visible this night. It was quite fascinating as the telescope is the oldest, professional telescope in the Western Hemisphere still in use. And the building is a National Historical Landmark. It was made in 1843 and the cornerstone of the building was laid by John Quincy Adams at their original location in… Mount Adams (changed from Mt. Ida)! After the city sky got so filled with coal-burning smoke, it was moved to its current location in 1873… Mount Lookout!


We went to the courtyard to see Jupiter through a smaller telescope until Jupiter was higher in the sky as tall trees in the neighbor’s yard were blocking the view from the observatory. It wasn’t as close as I thought it would be but you could see some of its four moons. While we waited, we were able to take a tour through the larger observatory and that was awesome. Watching him pull on a rope to move the ceiling made you feel like you were in an Indiana Jones movie! I asked why we couldn’t look through the newer telescope and was told that it took a team to operate that one. When we got to finally look through the oldest telescope (operated by one man) after 10:00 pm, we had to go up a moveable wooden ladder, look through the telescope, and then walk down backwards. What a wonderful night!


Friday, August 1: We indulged in Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast and then headed for Coney Island around 10:30. Katie was saving a few lounge chairs for us at Sunlite Pool (the world’s largest recirculating pool) since Will didn’t really want to go on the rides. Joe, Wes and Daniel headed for the canoes and the other Coney rides. Katie saw us getting the float blown up and took us to the lounge chairs. Will was a fish in the water and going down the Cyclone slide. Katie and I did get a chuckle after I asked Will to tell Katie where we had gone the night before. He first said, ‘to the race track with Uncle Mikey,’ then he said Skyline, Cappel’s, and a few other places and couldn’t remember the observatory until I cupped my hands like a telescope and looked up in the sky!


The three boys were back in no time and the reason was that after going on the canoes and the Ferris Wheel, they went on the Viking Ship and Joe promptly threw up! After a LaRosa’s pepperoni pizza for lunch, Joe convinced Will to try the Zoom Flume, the highest water slide at the pool. Will got brave, tried it, and loved it! Then, the boys talked him into Pipeline Plunge and he loved that too. He had a right to be proud of himself.  We stayed at the pool until 4:00. We found out the next day that they are going to dismantle the Zoom Flume after this year so it was good that Will rode it.


After showers and chilling out, we had sort of a rerun meal (that Grandpa requested). He had gotten fresh corn-on-the-cob and he wanted chicken fingers. I also had some wings left, and made fries. I told the boys that they didn’t have to get up at any special time the next morning so they decided to go for an all-nighter! It was extremely hot outside so they just stayed in and enjoyed the air conditioning and their technology!


Saturday, August 2: Wes was awake when I came downstairs as he had stayed up all night long! Joe & Daniel had lasted until 6 or 7 but had gone to bed. Will made it to 3:30. It was a slow moving morning. We had a few more contests to finish so after everyone finally got up (around noon), Will and Joe finished their posters and we conducted the football toss contest which Will won by getting 5 out 5 tries. I judged the poster contest which was to be an advertisement for Camp Grandma’s or a memory board. Although Daniel’s was the most artistic, Will wrote on his, “Your grandchildren will love it and so will you! Guaranteed to pay for itself in a week of fun, movies, golf, go-karts and your family. You will love it and call it your best purchase ever. Tell your friends and family because you’ve bought Camp Grandmas!”


We sat down for lunch around 1:00 for our final meal of Camp Grandma’s 2008! I had previously told them that this would be the last one the way it has been. Since Joe and Wes will probably be working next year and since they didn’t want to do survivor games anymore (Joe said it’s more fun to work together than to compete against each other), next year will be different. There will be no competitions, no journals, and no crafts. Just community activities (movies, etc.), and hanging out with each other. Julia will be able to come next year too.


It was then time to have the award ceremony. Joe came in 1st, Wes 2nd, Will 3rd, and Daniel Honorable Mention. Daniel wanted the last place ribbon as he had all three of the other ones and needed that one to complete his set. Will was finally happy to not be in last place as he had been in every other year (but remember, Will, you are much younger than the other three!) Joe was happy to be in first place in the final year of competition.


They packed up all their belongings and goodies and we just hung out until it was time to head out around 3:30 to go to Brent and Kindra’s for a cookout. The boys got along so well and were just plain fun to be with! As always, I had just as much fun as they did!