Last night about 7, daddy helped us set up the tent in the backyard. Remember, our backyard is locked and completely surrounded by a 8 ft. tall wooden privacy fence. I took blankets out for padding, put down their sleeping bags, pillows, my twin sized air mattress, and brought out flashlights, glow sticks, books, and a couple of games. The dogs were out in the backyard with us as a 'early warning' - they go nuts if anyone comes near our fence (they generally sleep inside in their crates or with us because of this - we don't want them barking and waking the neighbors, but for the campout, we made an exception).
Around 8, we went out and started reading stories. Since it was still light outside for a little while, we also ran around the yard talking about bugs and all of the plants in the garden. As the sun went down, we settled in for more stories. We played with the flashlights and glow sticks, and got the dogs chasing them inside the tent. As they started to get really tired and grumpy, but didn't want to go to sleep, things started going bad for a short while. I was tired, it was like 11:00, and the kids decided they needed to go to the bathroom. Michael always wanted to pee outside, and we told him you do that when you go camping, so we dug a small hole in the corner of the yard and he peed in it *laugh*. Matthew would have NONE of it, so we all trekked inside to use the bathroom. Back outside, we found that one of the dogs had gotten sick. We closed up the tent, locked the dogs outside (after cleaning the sick one up), and settled in for the night.
Why I thought the boys would sleep on their sleeping bags and let bad back momma sleep on her air mattress, we'll never know. Michael fell asleep first curled up next to me on the mattress, and Matthew soon followed on the other side. I had just a few inches in between them with me on my side. I got up, turned around so my feet were between them, and tried to sleep like that. About 1:30, somebody in the neighborhood started screaming at someone else. I guess a typical Saturday night drunken fight. Thankfully, we hardly ever have that around here. A few cars went by way too fast for a neighborhood, but other than that, it was quiet. At some point in the night, both kids slipped off to the side so I covered them up and put a pillow under their heads. When the heat burned off around midnight, we had a good breeze and it actually was a bit cool. VERY nice sleeping out there.
This morning, Michael and I got up around 5:30 and spent an hour talking and playing games while we waited on Matthew to wake up. Unfortunately, my back didn't do too well being out there so I think I'm out of commission for the rest of the day. I brought them in for breakfast around 7, took some of my medicine and curled up on a heating pad.
All in all, it was a great night and the boys say they had a really good time camping out. They don't understand why we can't do it every night :)
Thanks everyone for your advice and for backing me up with my husband that they are still too young to do things like that alone, even in our own backyard.