Our opening number in Fiddler on the Roof is TRADITION. We sing of families and how each person in the family is important and has a role to play.

We have many family traditions as well. For the past decade or so, we’ve held a Coleman Family Campout. Most of the time it’s at Payson Lakes, which is about an hour south of our house. Some bring their nice big trailers and campers, and some of us are setting up tents. Sadly, we are still of the tent variety. The way it worked out with our schedules, I took the kids (plus Larissa) up on Thursday, we stayed over night that night, then Ryan came up on Friday, and I took Natalie back home with me Friday afternoon to get ready for our play that night, and Ryan stayed until late that night, and brought everyone home.

We were pretty full with our tent, 6 chairs, 6 sleeping bags, and our stuff AND our food.


One suburban doesn’t hold all of that stuff too well, but I didn’t want to have to haul up a trailor, so we stuffed it in.

I decided to stop at the Grotto trail so we could take a little hike as a family.

It’s a short hike so we didn’t have to haul water or snacks with us, and it’s fun to cross the bridges back and forth over the tiny river.

When we got to the top, there was the small waterfall and a little pool. I guess if you go in spring that pool is bigger and you can wade deeper, but right now it’s just a few inches deep, which is PERFECT. SO cold, though.

It was fun to get our feet wet, and Natalie even put her head in the waterfall.

And of course we had to take some selfies.


What’s that on Larissa’s knees? Oh, she went roller blading the day before our camping trip and wiped out. Major road rash. I feel so bad. So, we bandaged her up the best we could, but the bandages weren’t sticking, and what with going camping and all, we didn’t want her wounds to get dirty, so we secured the bandages with duct tape.


When we got up to the campsite, we were pretty chill, reading our books and relaxing. Later, after the tent was set up and we had eaten dinner, we went to the lake for a bit. It was beautiful.

I’m so thankful my mom was so organized. We planned our meals together so I didn’t have to figure out by myself what we were going to fix for a couple days, and we even cooked it inside their trailer.

That night we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. Can you believe Larissa had never had a s’more before? Shocking, I know. We played some games, then went to “bed”. There was plenty of room for all our sleeping bags, but it just wasn’t comfortable at ALL. Add to that the fact that we hadn’t put the rain fly on, so the top window was open, made it too cold in that tent. I’m used to sprawling out on a King bed, not confined to a sleeping bag, and I tossed and turned all night. Oh, and the COWS. The COWS were MOOOOOOING all night. It sounded like a cow was in distress, mooing and mooing for his friends to come and find him, or help him out of a barbed wire fence. I don’t know what the problem was, but that cow kept us awake for a very long time.

Anyway, we made it through the night. The next day, after breakfast, we went to the lake to play.

Everyone got a turn in Grandpa’s blow up canoe, some kids swam, we talked, they played with cousins, and it was a very nice day.
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I’m so glad that we have this tradition.