Camp Grandma’s 2010

 

Sunday, July 18: We started camp about a week early this year so instead of starting out with Julia and Will’s birthday party, we ended camp on that day. We had two other birthday celebrations to begin camp. We were celebrating Tammy’s birthday but she was kind enough to share her birthday dinner and party with Scott, whose birthday is August 10th. He doesn’t get a birthday dinner because it always falls around our family golfing weekend. We decided to surprise him so when they arrived, Brent told them they had to go around the back where we were all gathered. We yelled ‘Surprise’ and sang to both of them. Dinner consisted of Chicken Fried Chicken that the boys fixed at camp a few years ago, barbequed chicken, baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese (Jill made), corn on the cob, steamed veggies, tossed salad, fruit salad, rolls, and for dessert, cherry cheesecake and chocolate cupcakes. Scott and Tammy then opened their presents. The last of the guests left by 8:45 and camp began! Joe had to work Sunday so he was not able to join us this day.

 

We brought down the goody bags, the snacks, and a bag of items for camp. I told them we would also be playing “Minute To Win It” games. (http://www.nbc.com/minute-to-win-it/how-to) I told them I hadn’t found 1st Place ribbons so asked them what the reward should be. Since I had planned to have them do 20 games, I told them I thought I could pay them one dollar for each one they completed and they were all for that! They spend some time going through all the ‘stuff’ and trading candy. Then they went outside to run around, catch bugs, and play flashlight tag. Good start for camp!

 

Monday, July 19: We didn’t get going until around 10:00. They all weighed themselves this morning and again Sunday morning to see if they gained weight during camp. (Check Sunday’s entry to see their beginning and ending weights). Wes was going to have to leave in the late afternoon for work so we let him pick the activities for the day. So after a breakfast of Toaster Streusels and cereal, we headed for Woodland Mound Park. They tackled the Fitness Course with zesto and most of them did every challenge. Julia scraped up her knee when she jumped off a board and fell on the gravel. She is a trooper! After that, we visited the Nature Center and then played about six holes of Frisbee Golf. Wes and Daniel had brought their own Frisbees for golf. We went to the Dollar Tree on the way home.

 

After a lunch of peanut butter and whatever else they wanted with it, we began our Minute To Win It games (hereafter referred to as MTWI) on the deck. In these games, each person gets three times to finish the task. The first one was Face The Cookie:  Contestants, using only their faces, must move three Oreo cookies individually from their forehead to their mouth. I changed it to one cookie as it was very difficult. It was quite hysterical! There were dropped cookies everywhere. Wes was the only one to accomplish this feat. Then we went down to the basement and did Hangover: From a curtain rod, contestant must hang five hangers one on top of the other so that no hook is resting in the corner of another hanger.  Wes, Daniel, and Will were successful in this contest.

 

They were game for one more contest! The next one was Caddy Stack: Contestant is given three golf balls. The balls must be stacked vertically and they must stay upright for three seconds without falling. When I practiced this the previous week, I could only stack two so I told the kids this. Well, leave it to Wes to be the only one to stack three golf balls. He was awesome!

 

Scott, Tammy, and Joe arrived around 2:45 as their entire family had dental appointments. While they were gone, Wes, Daniel, and I played Euchre. I do believe I won two games but they were fierce players.

 

Once the dental appointments were over, Scott, Tammy, and Joe headed home. Wes left around 4:30 as he had to go to work. We enjoyed a dinner of Polish Kielbasa, leftover chicken-fried-chicken, fried potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, and Jill’s leftover macaroni and cheese. They spent the evening painting their shirts and messing around outside.

 

Tuesday, July 20: I cooked up a batch of French toast which they seemed to enjoy. No one was in a hurry to anything but just be together. This is what I observed most during this year’s camp. Everyone needs downtime and we all got some. But as the kids spent time playing together on the computer, watching TV, etc., they were very much bonding and enjoying each others’ company. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

 

Lunch consisted of peanut butter sandwiches or Skyline chili. Then they packed my purse with candy and sodas and we headed for Milford Theater to see “Toy Story 3 in 3-D.” Daniel had already seen it but was gracious enough to sit through it again. We loved it!

 

After the movie, we went to the batting cages. Daniel, Will, and Julia each had two turns in the cages and did well. We headed home and played three more MTWI games. The first one was Penny Hose: Two pennies are placed in the ends of the legs of a pair of pantyhose. Using only their hands, the contestants must inch their way down the legs to retrieve the pennies and pull them out. Each arm must work independently and the player cannot use one hand to stretch or hold the hose for the other. Daniel and Will accomplished this and I think Julia’s arms were too short.

 

The second game was Nose Dive: Contestant must transfer five cotton balls, one at a time, from one serving bowl to another 12' away using only the nose. Vaseline on the tip of the contestant's nose is used as a transfer agent. All three did well with this one. As I was typing up this journal, I noticed that the two bowls were supposed to be 12 feet apart but I put them only twelve inches apart. No wonder it was so easy!

 

The final game of the day was Noodling Around: Pick up six penne noodles placed around the perimeter of a table using only a piece of uncooked spaghetti in your mouth. Will had a funny during this contest. On Daniel’s first try, his spaghetti was a bit wobbly so Will stated, “I haven’t seen that much shaking since Michael J. Fox!” Daniel and Will again got the job done.

 

We attempted to have a cookout. I was able to grill the burgers and had all the food in the kitchen, buffet-style. As they filled their plates and headed outside, the rains came down. Oh well, we tried. We were able to roast some marshmallows after dinner.

 

Wes came back to camp in the evening around 9:00 after working and playing hockey. In the end, Wes drove to camp three times. They chilled and watched TV.

 

Wednesday, July 21:  We had a late breakfast of cereal, pop tarts, toaster strudels, etc. I conducted interviews with each of them (Joe later). See the questions and their answers at the end of the journal.

 

Around 11:00, we first went to Eastgate Adventures where Wes, Daniel, and Will drove the Go-Karts. They spent some time in the arcade where they graciously gave all their tickets to Julia. She shared what she got with the tickets. Then they played their traditional putt-putt game where Wes was victorious! Scores were: Wes-50 which included a hole-in-one; Daniel-54; Will-71; Julia-75. We then headed to one of their favorite restaurants, Cici’s Pizza where it’s all-you-can-it! After that refreshing stop, we headed to Cherry Grove Bowling Lanes where they bowled two games with these scores: Daniel (129+111=240); Wes (85+152=237); Will (92+102=194); and Julia (73+70=143). Before we headed home, Will wanted to make his run to Cappels, his favorite store. I actually found prize ribbons there! We stopped at the butcher’s on the way home so we could get some lunchmeat plus the chicken pretzels they love.

 

I fixed the chicken pretzels plus chicken strips, French fries, corn, etc., for dinner and then the boys vegged while Julia and I went to Kroger’s for donuts and other miscellaneous camp food! When we got home, they wanted to do more MTWI contests. The first one was Sticky Balls: A strip of double-sided tape is placed at the end of an eight-foot table. From the opposite end of the table, the contestant must roll five marbles so that they stop on the tape without rolling off the table. All four kids were successful!

 

Next we did Loner: Contestant must knock over one pencil with marbles. The contestant is given 20 marbles to knock over one standing pencil. The contestant will roll one marble at a time while lying on their stomach. To complete the game, the pencil must be knocked over within 60 seconds. Again, all were successful. I need to make the games harder next year!

 

Another game the four of them were successful in was Movin’ on up: Contestant is given a stack of 36 large plastic cups and races to move their one marked cup through the entire stack. Contestant does so by holding the stack in their hands and one-by-one continuously moving a cup from the top to the bottom. All did well!

 

Joe finally made it to Camp Grandma’s around 11:30! I would only have all five campers for a very short time.

 

Thursday, July 22: I had to set the alarm for 8:00 to get Wes up so he could go to work, which he did once he had his fill of donuts. Daniel and Will got up and ate breakfast but Joe and Julia were still sleeping so I went out and cut the grass. After everyone got their showers, I did all the laundry so they wouldn’t run out of clothes. Since this was Joe’s only day at camp, he got to pick the activity and he picked Scallywag Tag for the afternoon.

 

They quickly devoured sandwiches for lunch and off we went to play laser tag. There was a special that day—pay for two games and get the third one free. Awesome! The boys took Julia under their wings for her first laser tag adventure. Even though she stuck it out for all three games, it was not her cup of tea. Maybe next year!

 

We stopped at Speedway for Icees before heading home. Even though Joe hadn’t been here for the previous MTWI games, he enjoyed participating this day. We played Ping Tac Toe: In this game, the contestant must get ping-pong balls to land in water-filled glasses. There are nine glasses and the contestant will bounce ping-pong balls until they complete one three-ball line. They had to alternate using orange and white ping pong balls. Joe, Daniel, Will, and even Julia pulled this one off! Next they played Double Trouble: Contestant must get two ping-pong balls to bounce from a table and into two glasses on a single throw. Daniel, Will, and Julia were victorious.

 

The boys entertained themselves while Julia and I baked Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I need to be honest and confess it was a box mix but they were delicious!

 

We went to Skyline for dinner as that is one restaurant they all agree on. We got some movies at Blockbusters and headed home. They spent the evening playing Playstation, watching TV and movies, and playing together on the computer. Wes came back around 11:00 pm.

 

Friday, July 23: Since all five kids were together, they had decided earlier in the week that they would have their favorite breakfast today. It, of course, consists of blueberry pancakes (or as Will used to call them, mancakes), bacon, sausage, and eggs. Once their stomachs settled, they had some wild games of balloon volleyball in the living room. They used our dining room chairs covered with throws for the net. It’s a picture to behold. We then had two more MTWI games: Separation Anxiety: Contestant must separate a pile of 50 multicolored M&M'S Brand Chocolate Candies into five separate containers in a set color order. All five got this done in a minute. Then they did Matchmaker: Contestant must pick up one of 18 plastic cups on a center table and place the small candy from under that cup into 1 of 3 glasses placed around the outer rim of the stage. Object is to get 6 of each designated color into the 3 glasses. And the wonderful campers were successful again.

 

Joe left (his stay was way too short). After a lunch of grilled cheese and vegging, we went to Pierce Point Theater in Amelia. Julia and I saw Despicable Me (wonderful movie) and the three boys saw Grown Ups (very funny movie, they said).

 

I fixed some pizzas for dinner. Then the boys stayed home while Julia and I ventured out. We got a movie for Julia (Chestnut) at Red Box then got Alice in Wonderland at Blockbusters. Then we went to one of Julia’s favorite places, Julifs Park where she played a very long time. That girl makes friends wherever she goes. Way to go, Julia. As we were walking to the car, she balanced her water bottle on her hand and told me that what she was doing should be a MTWI game. I told her that it was a good idea that I would talk to the boys about that at the end of camp. When we got home, we all watched Alice in Wonderland.

 

Saturday, July 24: We grabbed something quick for breakfast and headed for Coney Island to swim. Will was in his glory. He lost count of how many times he dove off the boards or went down the Twister. LaRosa’s Pizza was lunch and later we all had creamy whips (yummy). We all went down the Twister as Daniel talked Julia into doing it. She did not like it but the rest of us sure did. We stayed until 2:00 then headed home for showers and laundry.

 

After chilling for a while, we ate ham, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, and mixed fruit for dinner. None of the boys were interested in going to the Greater Anderson Township Festival but Julia sure wanted to go! I mentioned earlier that they painted shirts but I forgot to mention that I had purchased glitter and glitter paint. I realized that her parents would not be happy if she brought home a glittered shirt. Our basement floor looked like a disco ball! So I put her shirt in a bag and took it with us. When we arrived at McNicholas High School to catch the shuttle bus to the festival, she changed into ‘the shirt!’ Julia had also made a shirt for me which all the kids signed and I wore that to the festival. As soon as we got there, we were going to look for Jill, Katie, and Chris at the card tables but as luck would have it, they were just heading there when we crossed their paths. We chatted for a while and parted company. Julia played all the kids’ games and collected many valuable prizes. She got many, many compliments on her shirt and even mine. The boys enjoyed their quiet time.

 

Sunday, July 25: Julia’s 8th Birthday!!!  After everyone took their showers, we took everyone to Frisch’s (her favorite) for breakfast for her birthday. She and Will actually ate lunch while the rest of us enjoyed breakfast. When we got home, they weighed themselves.

 

Here are their beginning and ending weights:

 

          Wes            148.5           151

          Daniel 154.5           160.5

          Will             131              131.5

          Julia             57               58.5

          Joe                                 135.5 (he only got weighed once)

 

There was a tie for the Minute To Win It contest between Daniel and Will so we had one playoff game. I knew they would both accomplish it so I told them whoever did it the fastest would be the winner. We played Wheel of a Deal: Contestant must place 20 playing cards (four kings, four queens, four jacks, four 10's and four aces) on five tables set in a circular pattern on the stage. The contestant will grab one card at a time from a central table. Once they determine what the card is, they will run and place that card on one of five tables. Each of the five tables must have four-of-a-kind to complete the game. Daniel came out the winner!

 

The kids packed up all their belongings and we had our closing ceremony. Daniel received the first place ribbon and Will the second place. And then I awarded the 3rd place ribbon to Julia who beat Wes! He did say he would have done better if he had been here during all the games. I told them about Julia’s idea of creating their own MTWI games and asked them to try to come up with some of their own games for next year.

 

It was time to pack up and head out. Jill came over to ride with us to Julia’s 8th and Will’s 14th birthday party at 2:00. Daniel rode with Wes. Camp was officially over when we arrived at Scott and Tammy’s. It was a wonderful week.

 

Interviews: All five kids answered the questions about each other as did grandpa and I. Only they answered what they thought about their parents and their one thing that wanted to do during their life.

 

What they liked about Joe:

He is sweet and kind. He lets me stay in his room to hang out.

He is athletic, good kid, fun to hang around with.

He is mature and responsible. He takes good care of his siblings.

He is cool to hang out with. He gives me rides. He does stuff with me.

He is fun to hang out with and is hard working.

He is a swell kid. He works hard. Loves his grandpa!

 

What they liked about Wes:

 He works hard. He studies hard and loves his grandpa!

He is an individual. He cracks me up!

He is my buddy at camp. He makes me laugh. He picks me up at weird times.

He is very thoughtful and caring. He agrees to go along with whatever everyone else wants to do.

He is goofy, fun, and he’s cool.

Best older brother ever! He drives me places and he’s funny.

 

What they liked about Daniel:

He takes me to my pool. He makes up funny jokes. Everything he sees he says is his and he’s good at Frisbee golf.

He studies hard. He does whatever grandpa asks and he loves his grandpa!

He shares, he cooperates, he is somewhat goofy.

He never forgets to say thank you. He is always helpful. He is fun to be with.

He is mature for his age.

He is very athletic and tall. Big Man On Campus!

 

What they liked about Will:

He does his own thing. He is very much an individual.

He thinks outside the box. He is very creative and entertaining.

He is still goofy, creative, and artistic.

He is a funny boy. He always sees the funny part of life. And he loves his grandpa!

He makes me laugh. He lets me spend the night in his room. He shares everything.

He has got his own cool imagination. He is a nice kid.

 

What they liked about Julia:

She shares and is considerate.

She is helpful and likes to do stuff with me, like swimming and special effects.

She is very helpful. She is fun to be with. She has a terrific memory. She shares and is very caring.

She is caring and affectionate.

She is a leader. She is cute.

She is a smart girl. She works hard in school and loves her grandpa!!!

 

What they thought about their Moms:

She is helpful, well-rounded, and considerate.

She cheers me up all the time and takes care of me when I’m sick. I just love her.

She is protective and a great cook.

I can go to her with any problem and she will listen. She is a good cook.

She is fun to exercise with. She puts up with us. She is pretty and fun.

 

What they thought about their Dads:

He is cool. He’s a tall kid. He helps me with my projects and is artistically creative.

He always wants to play. He wants to teach me life lessons.

I can talk baseball with him any time of the day.

He makes funny noises. He is funny and I love him.

He is competitive. He is hard working and financially responsible. He drives like an old personJ.

 

What is the one thing you would like to do before you die?

 

Joe:             I want to travel and visit all the continents.

Wes:            I want to get my own dog.

Daniel:         I want to go into space.

Will:            I want to make at least one successful movie.

Julia:            I want to see a 4th of July parade and get married and have two kids, one boy and one girl.

 

Thank you for being such wonderful grandchildren and making me proud to be your grandma!