Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Days!

Last week was my first "free" week all summer.  Not so "free" as I have been playing catch up a bit here at the house.  Dale and the kids did great while I was gone, so not so much to catch up as far as laundry, chores, etc. go.  It is more the impending new school year and routines that will soon be in place.

We had a pre-term school board meeting with all the teachers from the school last Thursday night.  It was very informative for me, and I was able to get my long list of questions answered.  I've also gotten a teacher's planner, and Mrs. Greene and I spent a couple hours Saturday setting it up.  She is a very organized person, and uses the same planner, so when she offered to help me get started with mine, of course I took her up on it!

This week is VBS at our church, and it is also the week for the county fair.  I haven't been to the fair yet, and was planning on going Tuesday, but Mr. Greene called Monday before VBS and offered riding up at the camp for any of our kids that wanted to go, and to invite the VBS kids too.  We did, and Tuesday morning we all convened on Mr. Greene and his horses and had a good time in the ring!  I didn't think many of the kids would be able to go on short notice, but we had quite a group there!

VBS this week has been keeping us busy.  Dale and I are doing a skit each evening, so we've been working on that  during the day.  We have also been swimming down at the swimming hole, and keeping up with laundry, and baking, and all the "stuff" that needs to be done with a family of 9.  Elizabeth and I have been enjoying some nice, long, bike rides now that the weather is gorgeous and not hot and humid.    I'm still trying find to work on some quilting, but that seems to be harder to do right now.  I've also been working on some organizational plans for our new school routines and paraphernalia that goes with that.  And, yay, volleyball practice starts on the 13th of August.  I think I'm looking more forward to that than the girls are.  

Hopefully I'll remember my camera for VBS tonight and be able to post some pics soon!  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Home Sweet Home!

Well now, it has been a month since my last post.  So much for my goals of catching up on the weekends!  I cannot describe how very busy every got for a few weeks.  And I won't get into all the details, but hit the highlights of each week of camp.

First of all, the week I had home during Boys' Adventure camp was put to good use in getting some more culottes made for the girls and I.

Boys' week was the last thing I mentioned, I believe in my "Horsing Around" post.  Caleb and Josiah went, had a blast, and came home with minor sunburns, and a few bruises, and overflowing with high praise for their week.  To say they had a good time, would be like saying "the sun in kinda warm".

Girls' week was SO busy!  We had over 40 girls at the camp, ages 8 to 18.  Our activities that week ranged from trail rides, a day at Lake Kinzua, bonfires, go carting, canoeing, swimming,archery, and listening to our special speaker, Steve Piggot.  If you have never had opportunity to hear him, please try to find one!  A wonderful preacher, and was SO funny! I felt like I was basically on high alert all week.  I was once again given a group of teenage girls, which was fine.  All the teen girls got put up in the mountain cabin.  It was approximately about a quarter mile up from the main camp, yup, in the mountain.  There was no electricity,and no running water, but it was gorgeous and the view was lovely.  We were graced with one of those blue portapotties.  Using those is always kind of .... interesting.

The cabin was two levels, and my group was in the upper level, and Mrs. P's group was in the downstairs part.  It had a partial wrap around style deck. One night we all just hung out on the deck, star gazed, and sang quietly and chatted.  It was a sweet time, and one of my favorite memories of that week.


This was the view from the top of the trail at Rim Rock.  We had a picnic lunch there on our way to Kinzua.  It was very pretty!  

My cabin girls and I on the trail at Rim Rock.  

This pic is the epitome of our cabin.  We had to pick out cabin names at the beginning of the week.  Ours was "Accident Prone".  You can guess why.  

After a day of swimming, tubing, and splashing around, we had a BBQ supper with hamburgers, hot dogs, and every side dish you can imagine.  The girls made this braiding line after they had changed out of their swimsuits and were getting ready for the bonfire that night.

During the devotions at the bonfire, a few of the smaller girls (pictured here, Jerusha and another camper ) succumbed to the comforts of the warm bonfire, and the busyness of the week.

Okay, if you look in the right corner, you'll see a girl who just flipped over in her chair.  I was just snapping the picture when that happened.  It looks staged, but I assure you, it was a very humorous mishap!

 Saturday morning we gathered our stuff, then went home.  I spent another weekend trying to catch up on laundry, repack for the next week, which was Volleyball camp week, and maybe get in a nap on Sunday afternoon.

Volleyball camp was probably my favorite.  Although I did love Horse camp, too.  We had "Doc" Elaine Brown as our special speaker and clinician.  I cannot give high enough praise for her wonderful insights, both spiritually and physically.  Being immersed in the sport of volleyball for a week was so demanding, but I have to admit I loved every single second of it, and wish the one week could have gone on to two.  I saw marked improvement too in Esther and Elizabeth's budding skills.

Doc Elaine Brown and Me  


At camp, there is a wonderfully fun tradition:  if you receive a letter, you have to ride the moose.  If you receive a package, you have to KISS the moose.  I couldn't keep this fabulous information to myself, and let it , um, "slip", to certain grandparents.  So guess who had to kiss the moose ?  Mwhahahahahaha!

Sadly, after Volleyball camp was over, I had to go from being a kid to being an adult.  I had A.C.E. supervisor training in Batavia, NY last week.  I was able to bring Elizabeth with me.  She is quiet, can take care of herself, and was a great moral support and companion for me for the week.  At any rate, I graduated Friday afternoon, and am now certifiable... er, certified.  Ahem.  Here I am, getting my official certificate from my trainer, Phil Floyd.  He did a great job!

The whole class!

While I was in Batavia, I stopped at the P.W. Minor outlet store.  I know I needed some good shoes for being on my feet all day while at school.  These are the best American made shoes you'll ever find. Phil told us about the outlet, and Thursday afternoon, since I got out early, we went to the store.  

Okay, they aren't high fashion, but I managed to find two pairs that I could live with.  I spent a total of $52, and the two pairs of shoes would have been around $300 together, retail.  Oh yeah, I'm happy about that deal!

Now I am HOME and I don't have to worry about packing up again for a couple weeks.  We'll be taking a short vacation in August.  For now, we are getting ready for our VBS next week, and I'm gearing up for school.  Also, I've been getting back into the sewing groove.

This nightgown was started before I left for Volleyball camp.  Jerusha picked out the fabric herself a little while back.  

I've got a couple of quilts going.  Here, I'm playing around with some nine patches for a D9P.  

That's it for now!  It is good to be home.  I've been enjoying family time, and getting back into home routines.  Our pool still isn't up yet (somehow Dale has been busy while I've been gallivanting around all summer) so I've been taking kids down to the swimming hole not far from us.  They've had fun splashing around and swimming in the river.  Everyone except Isaac, who stays with Daddy (neither one of them can swim).  Jerusha doesn't really swim, she wades, and I've been trying to teach her some while we are down at the swimming hole.

Have a blessed evening!