They are all amazing.  I love our whole family. ~Jeff Leibbrandt, uncle and newest member of our family, after a day with these kids

Tuesday was another fun day of Cousin Camp.  It started like this:

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Shortly after, the other 4 cousins straggled in to breakfast with bed head and stinky breath (well my kids had stinky breath at least).  The morning was delightful.  They sat together over cinnamon chip toast and blueberries and started chattering which didn’t stop all day. I wanted to take pictures of it again but held back.

From breakfast the boys went to the Skylander Den aka our basement.  They are in heaven with that game; it’s another thing that wouldn’t stop all day unless we put the kibosh on it.

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The Official Camp Agenda had a day with Missy planned for the girls and a day with Jeff for the boys, while I worked.

Missy took the girls to create things.



Jeff took the boys to smack balls around.


We finished the day with a party for Max’s baseball season, and girls choice for dessert at Serendipity.  The Barmann kids advised me *not* to eat my entire two scoops of ice cream but I totally ignored them.  Then off to baths and books and bedtime.  These kids have gone to sleep without one single shenanigan this whole week.  It is unbelievable.

The craziest part of the week, so far fingers crossed, happened when a Facetime call came in from Ireland.  The kids have been cool, calm and collected all week.  They essentially blew their tops when they saw their parents’ faces.   This subtle outburst in emotion speaks volumes to how well the Barmann kids have been handling their time away from THEIR ENTIRE WORLD.

They have each cried only once this entire week, so far:

Addie when she fell off the monkey bars in the rain at Max’s baseball party.  That one was my fault as I was so concerned about Walker on the wet playground equipment that I forgot about Addie.  She pulled it together quickly when Popsicles were given out.

Nolan when Walker threw one of his skylander giants into the bathtub.  He pulled it together quickly when I put the giant into a bowl of rice (per his suggestion that that was the only way it would ever work again).

Walker when … actually Walker hasn’t cried once.  I wonder if he feels like crying when he whispers when he’s tired.  I’ve asked if he wants his back rubbed to fall asleep and he responds with a tiny whisper “sure”. But he hasn’t cried once.  He has, however, told me he loves me every time I go to do something without him.  I have cried plenty over that (tears of joy, of course).

This week is a dream come true for our family.  The friendship that comes from the closeness of cousins is unmatched.  Tucking in nieces and nephews for a solid week is heavenly.  Did you know that you can never run out of kisses and hugs?  Or love for little souls?

This is the stuff that makes the good life.