Thursday, August 27, 2009

Family Camp

Our annual church Family Camp last weekend was the best ever for our family! We finally managed to last for two nights of camping and fun. It was great.

I'm amazed at how much our family is changing as the children get older. It's so much easier now to do things like camping than it has been for us in about ten years! I can see all kinds of new adventures opening up before us.

This year, we opted to let the big boys sleep in their own tent, next to ours, and the girlies were invited to share a tent with a couple of their best friends in the campsite next to ours. That left only Roger, Andrew, Micah and me in the big tent.

It was wonderful! We slept much better. Well... we slept... which was much better!

Roger was also kind enough to agree to keeping our menu super-simple, which allowed me to enjoy camping much more, rather than cooking and doing dishes all weekend. It worked out great!

We also joined forces with another family. My friend, Jeanine, who was in my high school youth group 25 years ago, and her son, Ike, camped near us and we shared food and fellowship. She is the BEST. I have never seen so many hot dogs and marshmallows in one place, outside a grocery store, before! We had a blast sitting by the fire together in the morning as everyone else slept. And SHE built the fires before I got up!

I really did have a wonderful, relaxing weekend.

I should have taken more pictures. I realized when I looked at them that I only really got one picture of Mary, for some reason. And it looks like this:

Which is, in fact, how the icy cold swimming hole made her feel. But it's a terrible picture! So I included these for her benefit:

Another terrible picture, but at least she's smiling, which she did almost the whole weekend! Here, she is chatting with friends while waiting for the evening service to start.

And this one:
Which is of the back of her cute, little head, while listening in the evening service... I guess I owe her a good photo shoot some time soon!

Noah is a master marshmallow roaster. And he usually shares the best ones with me! He's an amazing kid! He was able to enjoy LOTS of freedom at camp to go and hang out with his friends, but he stuck pretty close for the most part, because he's such a great kid!

The swimming proved to be too chilly for my swimming pool lovers. At least they played on the beach and they all gave it a try to some degree.
Micah LOVES playing in the water, but even he didn't get very wet in the river.
He did enjoy his buddy, Nathan, though. The family we camped next to has five adorable children. With us and with Jeanine and Ike, we made quite a conglomeration of little people!
This is NOT a great picture of Jeanine, and I blinded her terribly when I took it with a flash as we were sitting around the campfire in the dark. But I had to capture her snuggling my little one off to sleep as we were singing worship songs around the campfire on Saturday. Too sweet!
Daniel was the only one remotely brave enough to swim in the chilly water. We actually bribed him to swim across the river and jump off this old concrete foundation. I think he really enjoyed it... although he wouldn't have done it without "incentive."
Anna had a great time with her friends!
They made sand sculptures at the beach.
Andrew was born to camp. He LOVES playing outside and being dirty and eating junk food. He also managed to sleep until 10:00 both mornings, laying in a sleeping bag on the concrete pad where we pitched our tent. And he never once mentioned anything about it being uncomfortable. Ah, to be five again!
He also loved the swimming hole, although he shivered the entire time we were there, in spite of it being like 90 degrees outside.
None of this family fun would have been possible without my amazing man. Roger and I have loved camping together since the beginning. We are doing it very differently now than we did when it was just the two of us, but we are finding that we are entering a new phase of our family, in which camping may again become one of our favorite things to do.
I can't wait for next summer!!

..the LORD your God went ahead of you on your journey... to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. ~Deuteronomy 1:32-33

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

'Tis the Season!

Cat fight? Barbed-wire incident? Over-zealous ex-foliating?

Nope. Just time for some good-ole blackberry picking!
(Yes, Tami, that is MY ARM! It looked fine when I was done picking. The fine scratches don't really show up until the next day... It doesn't hurt, though.)

My berry picking friend and I agreed that long, leather gloves with the finger tips cut out would be a great bit of gear for this job!

It was well worth it, though. I came home with a couple of gallons of gorgeous, juicy berries - easily my best haul of the season to date.

We made some jam. I say "we" because it was too much fun for anyone to miss.
(Jeanine ~ my jam recipe is on the back of the fruit pectin box: lots of sugar, crushed fruit, pectin. I do freezer jam, so there is no canning involved. Canning it is easy, though, if you don't have freezer space.)

The kids even enjoyed scraping the seedy pulp out of the food mill and eating it straight. No waste here!

My little jam boys needed a bath afterwards, but it was well worth the clean up to see their happy faces slurping up the healthy goodness!

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." ~Genesis 1:29

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tired Family

We are having another great weekend of doing this:
And then we threw in some yard work for good measure this afternoon.

Now we are all feeling like this:
I really want to start blogging more often! Having swim meets six out of the last ten days has really wiped me out. We're headed into a swim team break, though, and this past Friday marked the end of summer swimming for the younger kids, so I'm hopeful that we are about to slow down a bit and find some kind of routine.

I'll let you know how that works out...

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-- yes, establish the work of our hands. ~Psalm 90:17

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fabric Give Away!

Free fabric being given away here:

Enter to win some beautiful designer quilting remnants!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Interview with a Two-year-old

Terrific Twos!

This is such a great age! If you don't want to watch the whole thing, at least skip forward to around 50 seconds when he says "hunkleberries."

He keeps us smiling all day long!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just for fun...

Remember when sleeping on the floor was fun?

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. ~ Psalm 4:8