Just Life

Marmie & Poppa Camp | Week Eight.

This week unraveled in a particularly delightful way. Marc and I hosted Charlie for two nights and the 8th iteration of Marmie & Poppa Camp. We had BIG plans … and we managed to do even more 🙂

On the left is the list we penned on Monday morning and on the right, the one we ended with before Charlie left yesterday, with lots of checks, a few revisions and only one missed activity (watercolor … maybe next time). Two-on-one camp with an almost six year-old is much different than what we experienced the first seven weeks. Based on Charlie’s feedback (most fun ever!), maybe we found our sweet spot!

Here a few highlights. First, the birdhouse – a solid two-day project for Marc and Charlie. Marc had the pieces pre-cut. On Day One, they glued and hammered. and then on Day Two, they painted (and later on Day Two, Marc added the eye hooks to hang it). Charlie’s dad does lots of woodworking and big projects at home, so Charlie knows about tools and has a little practice with them. But this was his first time making something (mostly) start to finish with just a little help. For sure, there is gonna be one lucky bird family in his family’s future.

Cooking shows and baking were two things on Charlie’s wish list for the week. We knew we’d make pizza together, but finding a dessert (and a breakfast) was an activity. Monday evening we watched a couple of cooking shows and chose Pioneer Woman’s Peanut Butter Banana Panini and Girl Meets Farm’s Olive Oil Blondies to try. Charlie had a great time with all of it, especially the sprinkles on the blondies, and eating the panini (we don’t have a panini press, but the frying pan worked fine) … he also loved using the carrot peeler to make carrot sticks for lunch. 

Games were also a huge hit. Charlie loves Jenga, and we spent a fun hour before it got too hot at a newly opened city park tossing a frisbee and kicking a soccer ball. Two-on-one FTW here for sure!

Two new camp things about Charlie-by-himself were “Quiet Time” (no more naps) and Movies. Quiet Time happens for an hour after lunch. You can do ANYthing you want, but you have to do it by yourself. I am pretty sure Charlie is an Introvert like me … and not so much like Marc. I spent most of that hour in a different room with a little dog and crochet project.

We had planned Movie Nights for both of the nights … full-on kid stuff and popcorn. Charlie chose Ralph Breaks the Internet for Night One and all of us were surprised how good it was. There were great story lines for kids and adults (oh my goodness, the way The Internet is pictured … it’s pure gold) and we ALL WATCHED. and sadly ate no popcorn (maybe Charlie is about to lose another tooth?! he was totally – and totally disappointingly – anti-popcorn). I was thinking Night Two would be a tough call … and then we had a huge round of storms blow through in the afternoon. Movie Night turned into Movie Afternoon and we watched Home Alone AND Tarzan (before dinner). I hadn’t seen either of those movies in years (I think I first saw Home Alone with Charlie’s mama when she was about that same age?) This is Charlie at some point during the last 15 minutes of Home Alone. I’m pretty sure the 5-star rating for this round of camp is entirely due to this. and I am delighted we shared it with him!

and then, of course, there were LEGOS. Marc wondered if 1500 pieces might be too much?! and no.Charlie is spending next week at LEGO camp. I think he’s gonna love it.

…and we are going to enjoy a “quiet week” at home.

ha! tongue in cheek. I took this photo last night when I noticed for the first time that it was getting dark earlier. (sadly I noticed earlier in the week that it was getting light later …) I am making good progress on this afghan and feel pretty good – still! – about finishing it in time for the wedding.

This weekend – starting at 2pm tomorrow – I’m participating in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Stay at Home Bookclub Retreat. EIGHT HOURS of bookish delight. I promise a report here next week (and for our Zoom meet-up on Sunday). and I look forward to catching up with all of you.

Have you noticed the shortening days? are you doing anything differently?


  • Juliann

    Bookish retreat sounds fun. Ellis has just discovered Jenga and Candyland and Mousetrap. So good we never get rid of anything around here.

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    I can’t wait to hear about the MMD retreat! It sounds heavenly.

    I loved this post about your time with Charlie – what lovely memories! And yes – quiet time is so necessary, haha. My oldest is also an introvert and he’s just learning that it’s okay to go upstairs to his room and play there by himself. It’s made such a difference in his mood – it’s a miracle! 😉

  • Sarah

    All of this looks like so much fun! I was surprised how much I enjoyed Ralph Breaks the Internet — the sequel is good, too, if you’re looking for other movie night ideas!

    I didn’t get out for my walk on Wednesday until after dinner (my husband went to the office that day), and I noticed that I didn’t really need my sunglasses as I usually do because it was getting darker. Boo! I know it’s not a surprise, but the long days really seem to go so fast and the dark days of winter seem to last forever.

  • Vera

    What a fun camp Mary! Looks like all 3 of you had fun. I love that there were so many different things to do. I have noticed the shortening days…and I for one don’t mind. Fall is my favorite season and I really don’t like the heat and humidity of summer. I think I’m in the minority which is ok.

  • Bonny

    I hadn’t noticed that it was getting dark earlier, but I’m glad you pointed it out! To me that means fall is on the way and that means cooler temps. I’m so tired of heat and humidity. I love your camp plans and the execution looks wonderful. My boys always loved building and painting birdhouses and we still hang them 20 years later!

  • Patty

    What a fun couple of days with Charlie! I love the joy in his face. I go on vacation the 8th of August and that is about the time it really becomes apparent that the days are changing. It’s the one downside of that week! Have fun “at” the book retreat…it sounds like so much fun!

  • karen

    what fun! I especially admire the list of to do’s and then crossing off. He sounds like at the perfect age to have fun with. Thanks for the ralph recommendation. I haven’t see that movie yet. But now will.

  • Kat

    I am barely noticing the light differences… I am noticing the beauty in my little garden as I water each morning and evening…these hot humid days are weighing me down! I am with Bonny with an eagerness in my heart for some cooler weather (or at least nights that are not in the 80’s with a gazillion percent humidity! lol)

    Fun times at your house! That bird house is too cute!

  • Jane

    What a fun week for Charlie. He is going to remember this camp for the rest of his life. I am noticing slightly shorter days and trying to savor the summer days and especially enjoy the evenings. The afghan is coming along. Whew! You have had your money’s worth out of this pattern.