Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nanny and Papa Camp: The Wizard of Oz

"Welcome to Emerald City!!" 

As a family, we skipped up the yellow brick road right up to Nanny and Papa's porch singing, "Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!!"  We had received an invitation to the Wizard of Oz in Southwest Missouri, so the anticipation had been building for months.  Green lights and shimmery green material adorned the porch.  Hooray!!  The Wizard of Oz!!  -at Nanny and Papa's house!!

We even discovered the remnants of the squashed witch of the East!!  Only the legs were left hanging out from underneath the house!

Every summer we spend about a week celebrating many of the holidays with Nanny and Papa and cousins that we miss throughout the year!  What fun!

Nanny and Papa Camp Christmas

We bought gifts at 2nd hand stores and dollar stores for each other while Nanny set up the Christmas tree.  The children quietly and excitedly wrapped presents for each other late into the night.  The following morning, presents encircled the tree and everyone showed the greatest gratitude for such thoughtful and sometimes very goofy gifts.

Nanny and Papa Camp Halloween

Everyone dressed in costumes and went trick-or-treating to several doors within Nanny and Papa's house!!  

Mariah took her job as the "Resident of the Bathroom" very seriously.  She talked with the cutest accent as a woman from the city offering candy to the cousins who knocked on her door.

After visiting the residents of the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom, all 14 cousins crossed the street and knocked on their great grandmother's door.  Grandma Oz, at age 94, was ready with even more treats for all the great-grandchildren.

All the neighbors know about the crazy week of Nanny Camp and honk their horns as children cross the street dressed in crazy clothes.  For the last couple of years, several neighbors spontaneously set out candy for our big group of Summer trick-or-treaters too!

Nanny and Papa Camp Easter

All 22 of us woke to an Easter basket of goodies.  For many years we've also had Easter egg hunts, but this year was special... Nanny placed fake poppies throughout her front yard in honor of the "Wizard of Oz."

The children sniffed the poppies and promptly fell asleep (just like the movie).  Nanny, the good witch, woke them by sprinkling real snow all over each child throughout the yard.  She had saved little baggies of real hail and snow from the previous winter!

Soon after, the Wicked Witch of the West (Jordan) was melted by buckets of water from Nanny.

After exciting days of swimming, fishing, tubing, rock climbing, and wrestling with Papa, it was time to go home. :(

...but before we could leave, Nanny held a ceremony giving gifts and reading from her official decree announcing the things we learned with our hearts, courage, and brains.  

Nanny made each of us a pair of our very own red slippers, so we clicked our heels and went on our way promising to return very soon!! 

Mariah always asks if she can live at Nanny and Papa's house forever... Jayden... not so much. :-)

I admire the way Nanny and Papa share every gift and talent they have been given to uplift and inspire those around them.

The result:  grandchildren who know they are loved.  I believe that when we give all that we know how to give, God works miracles with our abilities.