Improv Night and Birthday Oscars

My family got together last weekend for our yearly extended family camping trip.

One of our traditions is an Improv Night – when we entertain each other with skits we pull together at the last minute.

Each family brings an unmarked bag of 10 random items that we distribute one evening. Each family is then given about 15 minutes to pull together a skit using those items.

The results are hilarious!

This year – however – was different. But I didn’t learn that fact right away.

You see – my siblings used our annual Improv Night to surprise me for my 50th birthday. (I should have expected this – since I have a history of surprising my siblings on their 50th birthdays!)

I was very active in speech and drama in high school and have always been a bit disappointed that I was never given a lead role in any of the high school plays.

So this year – my family gave me the lead role in each of their skits.

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They just didn’t tell me.

After the kids and I did our skit – which was a true improv – using the special bag full of random geriatric items they gathered for us – I was called on to act in every other skit.

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Skits that were written in advance, with appropriate props and – not surprisingly – were full of family memories and embarrassing moments for yours truly.

There were certain “This is Your Life” kind of moments.


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And some wild “I can’t believe they are making me do this” kind of moments.

Each skit was different – I was handed a prop or a costume or both and given a few instructions.

16 06 18-M500- 32-6 (1)And I winged it.

Acting my heart out to tremendous applause and wild laughter!

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And when the final skit was over – they had me walk the red carpet and handed me a plastic imitation Oscar for my performances – before spraying me with silly string.

Because they love me.

I guess.

Hollywood here I come!

Or not.

After a career like mine, it might be time for retirement.

One Amazing Weekend

We spent weeks planning, days packing, and hours driving for an amazing weekend with my family that was full of…
4th of July…epic multi-generational hikes through the forests with mosquitoes as big as small planes.

…lots of creek wading, splashing and water fights – including one that ended when 2 of my nephews dumped a 2 gallon thermos of cold water on me.  Would you believe me if I said I didn’t start it? Yeah – I didn’t think so. 😉

Improv night…a side-splitting “Improv night”. Each family brought a bag with 10 random items in it, we each took a different bag and created a skit with the items inside. Let me just say – my family is crazy funny.

…a sweet rubber horse’s head. What? Don’t you go camping with a rubber horse mask?!

…way too much food.

…non-stop fun and laughter.

…and lots and lots of family.


A special thank you to Angel Girl and my niece Faith for the amazing pictures!

Family Camping at It’s Best!

State Park Trail

I have a large and very fun-loving family who who actually enjoy being together! Several years ago one of my sisters suggested a family camping trip. Since most of us don’t have campers and there are a few of us who are more, (ahem), should we say “high-maintenance?” then others, we needed cabins.

After some research we found a state park that works perfectly for us. Each family rents a cabin for themselves and there is a kitchen/dining hall and shower house that we rent together.

So once a year we take a three day weekend and enjoy some wacky and wild family time! We eat way more than we need (we even have dessert at breakfast- but don’t tell the kids!), stay up way later than we should (we just can’t stop talking!), and laugh so hard that it hurts!

We wade in the creek, hike the trails, have a hot dog roast, and dance with sparklers! Every year each family is responsible for a skit for our annual skit night and we’ve even plan our own version of The Amazing Race. On Sunday morning we gather for our own church service, worshiping outside in God’s creation.

Each family does one meal and the kids are all assigned KP so the kitchen duties are light. The cousins all play from dawn to well past dark while the grown-ups sit and enjoy each others quick wit and funny stories.

My kids look forward to it all year. (So does their mom!)

Oh the memories we make!