I will have to say that this episode is better than most I have seen lately. There is emphasis on having a simple, inexpensive good time by camping out in the family's backyard. The kids are extremely excited about it.
The family goes to the sporting goods store to buy tents, sleeping bags, lanterns and other supplies. Leah suffers a bloody lip when she runs into one of her siblings.
The weather forecast is dismal and it has been raining most of the day so they aren't sure they can make it happen. Jon doesn't want to disappoint the kids so he decides to set up 2 of the 3 tents in the garage. Around 6pm there is a break in the weather and he is able to set up all 3 tents outside.
They make a fire in a fire pit, roast marshmallows and make smores. There are several close encounters with the little kids getting too close or being too careless near the fire or with the hot marshmallow roasting sticks. But Kate emotes that "windows of the world" are opening up for them now that the tups are 4 years old. They couldn't have done a campfire last year when they were only 3. Kate is amazed at how large the campfire circle is with everyone seated around it. She sometimes forgets just how big their family is.
It starts to rain around bedtime and continues to rain through the night. Everyone sleeps well, although the girls in Kate's tent get wet. Mady and Cara had to go with Jon and the boys in Jon's tent because their tent leaked. So that meant 6 in Jon's tent and only 4 in Kate's - hmmm, does that surprise anyone? The twins wanted to go in Kate's but she told them to go to their dad's.
At the end, Jon and Kate talk about what a rewarding family experience it was. It was a great, "bonding unity thing" that they will always remember.
I like that there was emphasis on good family fun without it having to be some exotic, expensive trip. I still think there is too much Kate-time and not enough of the kids.
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