July 23, 2014

Family Camp - Wrapping it Up

After Train Day, the end of the week went too fast for all of us.  Family Camp is such a great experience, and we'd love to have any of our family or friends come along with us.  There is something there for everyone, and it would be so fun to have even more people we love up there with us.  It really goes too quickly…except for one thing.

Wednesday night, very late at night, there was a loud and bright tow-truck outside our cabin window.  Strange, right?  Jeff was trying to swing/hoist himself up to the window to see what was going on while I was asleep.  It was very dark in our room, of course, and he accidentally kneed me…in the tailbone.  It hurt.  A lot.  I woke up sobbing, and he felt horrible about what he had accidentally done.  I didn't get much, if any, sleep for the rest of that night, and I nursed a bruised tailbone for the rest of camp (and awhile afterwards at home, too.)  After the tailbone incident, I came down with a bit of a cold.  So, I didn't enjoy the rest of camp as much as I normally would.  BUT, everyone else did, and I'm so happy about that!

Here are Jonathan and Grace on their second dose of ropes course.  I didn't see this one - they were just with Jeff while Benjamin and I observed nap time at the cabin - but this is the time that Grace made it through (although with tears, but I was still proud of her and, of course, still proud of Jonathan for doing it again.)

One of the many great things about camp is the camp for girls going on at the same time.  Ask me about it!  The girls are getting all their babysitter certification (CPR, etc.) and anxious for some experience babysitting, so parents like us can sign up for two-hour slots and then go do our own thing.  Jeff and I took a peaceful walk during our slot.  Jeff had been really stressed about work, and this day was really the first day all week that he relaxed, since he had been in contact with work all week.  Ugh.  Anyway, I was enamored with this mama duck and her babies.  It was fun to watch her protect her babies from us.

Yeah, life at family camp was good.  The kids enjoyed scootering on our little deck.  Or relaxing, as you can see.

Here are two of my favorite boys at the family campfire.

And, a few artsy-naturey pictures that Jeff took.

And these are pictures of the second-to-last morning.  The kids had such a great week, and so did Jeff and I. 

 Here are pictures from the final night.  All the different kids' classes share a song and what they've learned with the parents.  I love this pic of Benjamin perusing the Bible.  Hopefully he'll spend some more time doing that when he can read!

The preschoolers

Jonathan's class

After the sharing program on Friday night, there's a party for everyone that includes cotton candy and sno-cones.  After an unfortunate experience with cotton candy our first year, we make sure our kids stick to sno-cones.  Here are B and G with theirs.  And my knees.

The last morning, we had to pack up, go to breakfast, and head home.  Time to let other families enjoy camp.  The kids got some major bed-jumping in before we vacated the cabin.

It's fun to do things at camp that you can't do at home!

 On the way to breakfast.  You can see that they're not thrilled to be leaving.

But, breakfast is still good.

All week long, I had meant to get a picture of the new sign in the auditorium, and I finally remembered to do it.

A few more nature pics…and a farewell to a wonderful week.  The kids are anxious to come back next year, and hope that next year comes quickly!  I'm anxious to come back, too, but I know better than to wish the time away.  I'm trying to soak in these moments with my kids, because they are growing up too fast.

July 18, 2014

How to Catch a Frog

The other kids were in bed and Jonathan was up a bit late,  with Jeff and me, looking at a math workbook full of decimals and fractions, which was the kind of workbook he requested from the local teacher supply store.  He was explaining a very elaborate method for finding the least common denominator of a pair of fractions.    His method was elaborate, and it did find a common denominator, but not the least common denominator, which I told him.  So he told me, "There's more ways to catch a frog that just putting a cup over it."  Which I thought was a very funny and clever metaphor.  (Poor Jeff was caught in between us.)  I told him that I wanted to share his quote.  And he said, "That's fine, my talking isn't under copyright."  Ha!  And then I explained to him that even though there are other methods for frog catching besides the cup method, he'd need to learn how to do it with the cup before he used his own methods for catching frogs.  And he knows he's going to have the mandatory opportunity to learn the more typical way of finding the least common denominator, even if he prefers to use his own seventeen-step method later.  Love that crazy kid!


One of the many ways that Benjamin is his own little person, different from his siblings, is that he's constantly asking.  The others ask, too, but not as much as Benjamin.  Often he's asking about songs - what the song on the radio is called, what the words mean, why the singer is saying them, etc.  One of the perks of the radio in my van is that you can push a button to find out the name of the song that is playing.  I use that one all the time!  And, I'm glad we're listening to songs that have nothing to hide, and I can explain the lyrics to him without editing them.

He also asks a lot about the world around him and what those words mean.  Today he asked me, "Does an airplane spray out air?"  I told him no, that an airplane flies through the air, and that's why it's called an airplane.  And then he said, "And a helicopter flies through the helicops."

Um, no, that's not why it's called a helicopter - a helicopter also flies through the air - but I sure didn't know why a helicopter is called a helicopter.  I guess Benjamin and I need to find out!

July 15, 2014

Train Day at Family Camp

On Wednesday, our camp sends us to the beach boardwalk on a train that winds through the redwood forest.  Now, I have to confess that when the kids were younger, this was my least favorite day of the week.  It was complicated, stressful, and exhausting.  (How did I manage this while nursing?  Thankfully, the memories of the hard parts are vague, but the fun parts are clear.  You can see them if you look at June 2011 on the blog.)  However, it has always been the day that we see the most of Jen, Ella, and Delia, so that's a highlight for us.  And now that train day is so much easier, it's a favorite day, even for me, and having time with Jen is still a great perk!

Here are some pictures of our train day.  This first one of my three favorite guys may be my favorite picture from the whole week.

Jen and I don't have many (any?) pictures of just us, and this one's blurry, but I'm still glad we have it.

Jeff and I are so thankful that God has blessed our family with the tradition of going to family camp four years in a row now.  And the kids can't wait for next year!

 Off the train, and on the boardwalk...

Goodbye to the boardwalk, and back to camp...

Even the big kids are tired.

But, there's still time to ham it up for the camera.

Yup, tired...

Back at camp, we treated the kids to some Marianne's ice cream.  1020 is the best flavor, take my word for it.

And when the younger kids were resting, Jonathan and I got some good one-on-one time.  He plays a mean game of Connect Four.  But, so do I!