Friday, April 23, 2010

Camping pictures

Here's a little collage of some of the fun we had. Everyone arrived on Friday, and we set up our campsites. There were 3 pop-up campers and 2 tents, and my happy little family was in one of those tents sans heating and air conditioning. We ate at the lodge the first night, and it's a good thing the wait staff and other patrons were understanding of how loud and rowdy 10 kids can be.

Saturday morning Heidi made eggs, biscuits, gravy and bacon. It really sounds like we were roughing it, doesn't it? After everyone was wide awake, we hit the trail to see the water fall. It was only a 2.2 mile hike round trip, but most of it was very steep! When we returned, we had tacos for lunch. It just wouldn't be a weekend this time of year without baseball so Gene and I listened to the Hogs while Lydia napped (ok, so we all sort of napped). Saturday night was brats, hot dogs & hamburgers with cheese dip. Some of the kids went fishing with Josh while the baseball/nap was happening. I took a bunch of the little ones (some in their pajamas) through a wooded area to listen to a park ranger presentation on the 7 Wonders of Petit Jean. That was a hoot as another little kid kept thinking he saw an owl at the back of the building and kept interrupting the show to point it out (pun sort of intended there). So the 8th wonder must be whether an owl was really in the building or not.

Sunday mornign brought us pancakes and waffles. Obviously, I need not have worried about the food on our trip: it was all delicious! Did you know Walmart sold waffles in aerosol cans like whipped cream? After eating we headed out for a short hike to a cave. Lydia loved everything about camping and our trip, but when we came to the trail she wanted to know what we were doing. I said, "We're going on a hike!" Her response? "NOT AGAIN!!!" I had to reassure her it was an short, easy hike nothing like the day before had been. After the hike, we loaded up our tent and headed back home.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

I was WRONG (again)

I have had a deep and abiding hatred for camping for at least 2 decades now. My dad used to take us camping, and we simply threw a sleeping bag down on the ground and slept beneath the stars. He even cooked over an open fire. No showers, no toilets, no tent, no electricity, no running water, no park rangers - no park, for that matter. And I used to think that was fun.

When we moved to Arkansas, I had my first encounter with poison ivy, and camping ceased to be fun. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I got poison ivy. Knowing that poison ivy was pretty much a given, I started finding fault with everything about camping. You get dirty, you can't shower every day, you can't blow your hair dry, there's no internet access (isn't that like saying there's no oxygen to breathe?), no fun. Instead you get: bugs, ticks, dirt, sweaty or rained on or frozen, hiking, smoke, and poison ivy.

Needless to say, I was not a fan of camping. So, when we were trying out our new community group and they mentioned camping trips and wanted to schedule them at our first meeting, I was ready to ditch said community group. Camping=Deal Breaker for Suzy. God loves me, though, and he rained out the first trip in the fall. Thank YOU, God. Thank you!!!!Thank you!!!

You know that saying that God loves you right where you are, but He loves you too much to leave you there? You guessed it: He provided perfect weather for the scheduled camping trip this weekend. I could not see a way out of it, either, unless I had a body organ removed. I am running short on those nonessential organs though, so I didn't even ASK God to intervene there. I was pretty snotty about it though. I really, Really, REALLY did NOT want to go camping. In a tent. Outside where there is a LOT of dirt & bugs & no climate control. Puh Leeeeeeze don't make me GO!!!!!

No way out of it. I went, and I had a super duper time. I don't mean that it was tolerable. It was really FUN. The company of my community group was a big part of it. Lydia's joy in getting to play with other kids all weekend was part of it. Watching my husband work his logistics magic was part of it (but for the record we need MORE than 2 towels, we need the heater AND a fan). Seeing how lovely God made the earth was another part of it. The whole of it, though, was more than just the sum of its parts.

I'll blog about it more & have pictures later, and I'll be SURE to let you know if I got into any poison ivy.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

We (even DREW!) attended the church Easter Egg hunt this morning. Is there anything more beautiful than families gathered to celebrate Christ's resurrection? Sure, there was candy, a bouncy house, an inflated slide, singing, a puppet show, and other things that don't appear to have much to do with Jesus, but isn't it sweet that He loved us enough to die for us? Don't you want to jump up and down with excitement that you are forgiven? What is a better way to celebrate?

After spending some time at church enjoying the glorious weather, we ate lunch then went to a nursery to buy flowers for the yard. Gene and I dug in the dirt and listened to the Hogs play baseball while Lydia napped. I hope you had an even better day! Tell me all about it, won't you?