Saturday, June 26, 2010

Great American Backyard Campout 2010

So last year, we participated in the Great American Backyard Campout.

And it's been on our calendar for this year since I made them last October (:

In Alabama, at the end of June, we don't spend the entire time outside. It's a cross between upper 90s (without the heat index) and thanks to hurricane season, rainstorms. So we've been in and out all day (:

We started this day with both of my little boys VERY excited (: We headed to Lowes to get the two remaining bricks that we needed for our fire pit,

as well as bird feeders. My boys have wanted them for years, and having seen my friend Renee's Aunt's house, I was finally inspired to get them (: We've already had a couple of birds start checking them out!

Mine is the ceramic one, and the other is my youngest's.

My oldest's is between my lovely flower baskets, where we can see the birds come up to it.

When we got back home, before setting up the bird feeders, I started the grill. Took four hours to make pork ribs for lunch-- when we were in the store, I couldn't remember if we'd always made short ribs or long ribs, so we got them both.

I made a dry rub for them, as Mark let me know he doesn't like wet ribs:

brown sugar
garlic powder
onion powder
a little cardamom
and a bit of cajun seasoning

stir it all up with a fork, then rub into the ribs on both sides.

I used the charcoal side of our grill-- set the coal up on the left side. When they were ready, I placed a cast iron skillet full of water on the grill grate directly over the coals, then placed both ribs, lightly wrapped in tin foil to the indirect heat side. At 1/2 an hour, I switched their spots when I flipped them over. All in all, it took 4 hour to prepare the ribs.

During the time they cooked, the boys and I went swimming in the pool and had a grand time, before the first rain drove us in the house just in time to eat lunch.

view from the back porch. Made sure to cover the pool before going inside.

Then the boys started watching The (original) Karate Kid, while Mark and I set up the tent-- when we headed out the rain had stopped-- but as we started, so to did the weather. We set the tent up anyway.

Then the boys helped gather up sticks for the camp fire and played in the backyard while Mark got the fire started.

Our dog Ruby helped (;

We love that she climbs up on the logs with us (:

Mark, getting the fire started while my youngest brings more sticks from the yard.

My guys loved getting to toss the limbs/sticks into the fire pit (:

Mark, trying to get the fire started...remember the rain? He did a great job, especially considering most of the wood was damp/wet (:

My youngest, watching the smoke cloud.

My oldest decided to write in his journal about the campfire (:

After my four year old saw that his brother was writing about the fire, he dashed into the house and vanished into his room to do this:

Then headed off to enjoy the tree and their play set before it got too dark to see.

They enjoyed getting to climb and play in the twilight/early dark.

Then, they were showing me what great climbers they are (:

I love that my boys are friends (:

I also love that they're hams (;

We roasted weenies over the fire, as well as marshmallows and making smores.

My oldest was very proud of his roasting skills (:

And -everybody- got to share in the treats.

Mark is the resident smores expert (:

After the boys had their fill of marshmallows, we finally had a chance to roast a few of our own. That's when we introduced the boys to intentionally setting them on fire to char them.

which, of course, they both wanted to try!

Then I played the drums (My oldest had asked me the last time we'd been burning branches if I would-- and I said I'd do it the next time, when we roasted marshmallows). And the whole family was out there together enjoying the night. We even had a couple of songs and some ghost stories before the weather drove us back in.

See? The -whole- family came out for the evening (:

Because we couldn't camp outside due to the thunderstorm, we set up the living room and 'camped in' (: My boys loved it!

My youngest on the left, my oldest on the far right.

and Ruby slept with them (:

All in all, we enjoyed the Great American Backyard Campout-- even though we didn't spend it all outside.

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