Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Week At Camp ...

Many of you already know that my family and I are away at camp this week. I had meant to update each day with the blessings each day has held for us, but it has been one of those weeks where I have enjoyed just being in the moments and when I am not, I am snoozing! Wow, I can not believe how a change of pace and schedule can bring out how tired I am! But it is a very good and content tired.

Matt and I have brought campers up to Lake Ann now for two years and we have been blessed by the camp in the fact that they provide our family with a cabin retreat for the week, giving my husband, who is a youth pastor, the chance to refresh, rest, hang with his family and also get to know the camp and be a part of the activities going on. We bring our oldest child to be one of the campers, but the other four of our kiddos stay with us for the week in a fun little log cabin on camp grounds. For us, it is a slow paced week in God's beauty and time to enjoy sitting in on chapel services with the different age groups who are here at camp, but not have the normal ministry responsibilities of life back home. Matt has a chance to study, return messages, and prepare but on a more relaxing time schedule. I believe the Lord really blesses Him during weeks like this.

So, while he is down at the beach with our younger kiddos, I thought I would do one big blog update for everyone.

We drove up on Sunday, it is a 7 hour drive, and the trip went very smooth. We arrived pretty late at camp and had a few kinks to work out with lodging for the night. Normally Matt stays with the guys the first night until camp begins on Monday morning and i get us settled into our cabin for the week. But, this year our cabin was not ready for the kiddos and me, so we had to bunk it in a camp cabin. The thought "hotel" crossed my mind and we even called to get rates, because I had not packed bedding for staying in a camp cabin, but the girl's and I roughed it for the night. Let's just say it was an adventure! With no bedding, no cell phone(I realized I forgot it when we got to our cabin), and not knowing where my husband was staying with the guys, I was also unable to get into the van and trailer for our "stuff"- BUT-the girls and i survived and it turned out to be just fine, and I learned how to be flexible and laid back! I can definately use that lesson more often in my life-so thank you Jesus!

Monday morning started at 5:30 am with my lovelies wide eyed and ready to get out into camp. So we did our best to clean up and we explored around camp while everything was still hushed and the sun was still fresh in the sky. Once everything was abuzz with preparation for the first day of camp, we met up with our crew again and got everyone fed and registered. Cole, our son, and a friend from church, Andrew, were already having a blast. Cole was covered from head to toe on dirt before he was even registered-yikes.

My Coleman is the lovely man with the "Silent but Deadly" Tshirt on. I made the mistake of showing it to him as a joke when we were shopping for clothes. What was i thinking, he is an 11 year boy, like he wouldn't want that shirt! All the kids were busy collecting these caterpillars around camp, kind of creepy, I know!

Cole's age group of campers is bunking in the woods. Their cabins are up on stilts and they do a lot of thier meals over the fire. They even have some of their chapels out there as well. It is Wednesday, and I haven't seen him around, but my girls have and says he is having a great time and hasn't brushed his hair! I guess he is trying for dreds! I sent him a care package with the mail and included amongst the goodies-A BRUSH-since I have the sneaking suspicion he did not even bring one!

Last year was my first time as a mom, having to give up one of my children to a stranger to care for them. Ouch, did my heart ache. The lucky thing for me is that I was actually here at camp the whole time and got to spy on him and watch him having such a good time. By Friday though, I couldn't stand it anymore, and I had to go and tackle him for a hug. I behaved though, and waited until his buddies were not around, so I would not completely embarrass him! Well, this year, I am doing alright with it. But I did get a bit misty when I said goodbye to him. I actually ache more now for the disappointment he goes through when camp is over. I remember those times as a kid! He will probably be just like his dad was and work at camp all summer as soon as he is old enough. Camp really changed my husband's life as a kid and that is where he felt his call to full time ministry, so we have a very big soft spot for camp!


Here is the kids bunk room in our cabin. All four of them sleep here, it is pretty sweet. The cabin is pretty much in the woods, but we have some great neighbors! It is pretty fun this year, another Youth Pastor friend and his family is up here for the week as well, and they are right next door. Our kids are having a great time playing together and it is so good to just stop and chat throughout the day!

Noah and i are taking a walk through camp and will show you a few sights. He is just so excited to be free of four walls, our little wild man!
Here is the beautiful center of camp, if you want to watch all the activities and kids running around, you can sit out on the swings and soak it in!

The next picture is of a super fun game that they play here called octiball. It is always fun to watch no matter what age group is playing, wether it be 5th graders or sr high!

Here is the lakefront. They have a waterslide, the blob(which is always hilarious to watch), and a few other things.

Noah is sacked out after a fun day of hiking and playing at Lake Michigan.

Bell fell asleep right on the floor after walking in the door after a day down at camp! Ah, the fresh air and lots of exercise!

We took the afternoon on Tuesday to swim at the beach on Lake Michigan. It was a very HOT day, but the water was still frigid, so only the girls braved swimming. It was a very fun afternoon! While i was a good mama and caked on the sunblock on the kids, i was silly in not putting some on myself-and OH HOW I AM PAYING NOW! Let's just say I flinch when anyone comes around me for fear that they will actually touch me! I can barely stand matt putting on the solarcane.

It is always a bit sad to be making family memories without Cole, and yet, I love that he is making his own memories!

There is a bunch more to share, and I will share it later. it is time for me to go find my family and get some grub! Have a wonderful week!

And yes, I brought my sewing machine, if any of you were wondering how I survive a week without sewing-I don't! It travels with me! I was working on a quilt late last night as Matt was studying. I t is pretty peaceful quilting in a cabin in the woods!


  1. Amanda! The photos of the girls on the beach are breathtaking! So beautiful, just like their mom. :)

    If it makes you feel any better, I too did not put on sunblock last weekend and also am paying for it. And everytime I am sunburnt I am reminded of the time Matt burned in Utah and the photo I have when the blisters were torn during a "Hug your youth pastor moment." I can't even imagine the pain - but it makes me feel better that my sunburn isn't that bad. ;)

    Love you!

  2. Thank you sweet girl! Matt and I had a good laugh about the fact that you remember his "breaking in" of being a youth pastor! I still just laugh to think that he didn't think he needed sunblock in the desert at a waterpark!-he has not made that mistake since though! I remember the picture too! I sat through all the doctor's visits when you got home as they treated his 1st degree burns! Yikes! Maybe i should have learned a lesson from watching that!

    Love ya! Hope your pain is going away!