Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Camper's Life for ME!

We had so much fun at camp! We told Jeff "it was so fun that we got paid to go on vacation!" I thought when we were going that I would lose a lot of weight because of all the walking and all the activities we would be doing but THANK YOU SAMATHA - that didn't happen. Who knew that you could eat so good at camp. I thought camp was all about eating slop!! NOT AT PONDEROSA! We ate three full course meals every day with snacks in between. I actually gained a few pounds while I was there! I'm even getting a recipe of one of the meals we had! Thank goodness we walked everywhere. The kids would try to hitch a ride with Ann on her golfcart but I never did - not once. Jason and Mary hitched a ride with Jeff once and I said - no thank you - I need to walk! And it felt so good to walk! Anyways...Thank you Ponderosa staff for asking us to come!

Here's some highlights from the trip...

First of all this was Mary's first vacation! As I mentioned before she did GREAT sleeping through the night! Every night she slept around 7-9 hours! I was personally shocked - very happy - but shocked. I think she had a great time! We took our trustie "Yella Momma!" (a stroller) - which hasn't seen the sun since Noah was 2 1/2! Mary is now a Yella Momma baby! She was strolled around the whole camp and loved it - it wasn't a smooth ride either - mostly gravel! This week she will probably be wondering where her stroller rides have gone! She also drove her first four wheeler (pictured below) - she didn't really but it was funny to see her on it! We got lots of smiles from her to let us know she had fun! She was adored by all the staff and Nelson girls! Especially Kelly - who loves babies and wants a baby girl! I will be praying with her that she gets one! You can thank me later Ann!!

Noah had the most fun! He really considered living there. This was right up his alley! He loved playing with the staff kids - the ones that were his age were boys which was great! He loved being outside all day! He played baseball with the boys and he learned a little basketball - that was pretty exciting. He loved going to the pool and swimming without floaties. He got brave and jumped off the diving board (with floaties) - he just loved the pool. It made me a little nervous because a couple of times we swam during "boys swim" and they get rough. They made a whirlpool one day - which was pretty neat, but most of the time they wrestled in the pool - I'm so glad I'm not a boy...I hated that - but Jason said it was good for them - WHATEVER!! Noah also found two buckets; one had a king snake in it and one had two turtles. He picked the turtles up with no hesitation! He knows not to touch snakes!! One afternoon Noah and Jason went on a canoe ride. We rode horses - which both the kids really liked and Noah shot a bow and arrow! So as you can image - for a six year old boy - he LOVED CAMP! He said he hopes he gets to go back! Hint, hint...

Anna would have lived there but she forgot her Barbies! She kept saying that - "I can't believe I forgot my Barbies!" She also is scared of dogs and the director has two dogs - sweet dogs - but she doesn't care - she didn't like them. So she said, if she could have her Barbies and if there were no dogs there - then she would live there too! I think her favorite thing was swimming but she was pretty excited to ride horses. She got on one and while I was getting on my horse - her horse looked back at her and she changed her mind about riding so we all had to switch horses so I could ride with her...then she loved it! She was a great sport about everything! She also learned how to take showers there - now she likes taking showers - which I'm so happy about! It really hit Jason and I just how grown they are getting. We played UNO on the down times everyday (we have a tournament going) and they just looked so grown up talking and playing the game! Anna is great at the game - she beat Noah every time they played! We have to beg her to play too - she's so funny! She has us wrapped around her finger!

Jason did GREAT teaching! I really enjoyed all his lessons and I think the kids did too! We also met Theo - who is a missionary to Africa. He was a really neat guy - he asked Anna if she would be willing to go to Africa and be a missionary one day and she said, "Yea, I'll go to Africa!" and Noah said, "I can't - I won't ever see my Granny!" Then as we were walking away Anna said "Mom, is Africa far?" She had no idea what she was getting into! It was fun hearing Theo and seeing that God is working near and far!

I was so excited to make one of those ceramic Christmas Trees with little lights in it - My mom and Sally both have big ones and I love theirs...Well, I was talking with Dawn, the crafts teacher, while Noah and Anna were doing crafts and she said...I have one of those and so I got to make my very own miniature one! So, Sally and Mom you can keep yours!! HA! Dawn is putting the finishing touches on it and I should get it in a few weeks!! So proud of it!!

One last thing about our adventure to Ponderosa. Noah was really itching to get out - he wanted to be outside all day long. So we told him to go to the gym and play there. He did this several times - so we thought he was gaining independence being very obedient! We told him you can go with the STAFF kids - just tell us where you are going! But the gym was home base. So one day I was home with Mary and Anna - they were napping and Jason and Noah were in the chapel and Jason was asked to lead review games...Well, Noah left - now if he left the chapel he was to go play in the gym. Well, after review games we were going to dinner and Jason said - "I'll go get Noah (in the gym)." But Jason took a long time coming back and then I heard him calling for Noah! My heart immediately dropped. We lost Noah!! I had just had a conversation that morning with Ann about my fear of losing my kids now that I have three running around - never thought it would be Noah! Jason got a go-cart and a counselor that had a loud intercom and they are yelling Noah's name - they start to send a lifeguard and counselor down to the lake - which completely freaked me out. I'm starting to shake - can't think about where he would want to go...I've also got Anna - I'm trying to stay calm...She's saying..."We have to find Noah, I've got to play UNO with him!" Just scary...then I hear - We found him - he's with Jeff and Josh!! HELLO!! He was with the Director and his son!! Jason looked for Noah alone for about five minutes and the frantic search lasted about five minutes but VERY SCARY...I'm not sure how many people have lost their kids...BUT it is so scary! I remember my mom losing me once and "NOW I KNOW" - Noah still doesn't understand. In his little mind he wasn't doing anything wrong. He was with an adult! Wow...that was the highlight of my trip! From then on we had to know, and all the other kids knew, where Noah was at all times.

The story is...When Noah left the chapel - Josh was riding a four wheeler and Noah asked if he could ride - Josh who is maybe 16 said sure - they went up to the horses to lay some dirt or grass or something. That's why he couldn't hear Jason calling him! The first thing Jeff asked Noah is - does your parents know where you are? I guess he shrugged - I never got a clear answer on what he said. I asked if they had ever lost anyone up there - and everyone I asked said the same thing..."Only the staff kids!!" YIKES...that's who we told Noah to stay with!! Thank goodness for walkie talkies though the minute they said - has anyone seen Noah - Josh called back and said - "He's with us!" YAY! So we all made it home safe and sound! And Noah no longer has independence and he is back under my thumb...Just kidding!!

ALL IN ALL!! We had a GREAT time! A highlight of our summer!! Enjoy the slides...

Monday, June 23, 2008

We Made It!!

We made it to camp Ponderosa yesterday! We had a great trip up and the kids did WONDERFUL traveling. They are so excited to be here. They have looked forward to this for a while. They are ready for lots of adventure!! We went to bed last night at 11 and Noah and Anna were up and dressed at 5 AM!! They woke before Mary! Mary did GREAT sleeping too. She went to bed at 10 and woke up at 7! I'm sure they will sleep a little later the more we wear them out! I asked Noah how he slept last night and he said..."I didn't!"

I didn't bring my cord to the camera so I can't post pictures until we get home! But we are here and having a good time! YAY for camp!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fabulous Fathers Day - WEEKEND!

We had a GREAT weekend. The kids have ABSOLUTELY loved being off for the summer. Last week the kids went to VBS at Clearview and they gave it a TWO THUMBS UP! Way to go peeps at Clearview...the kids had fun which in turn made Jason have a GREAT week full of SHALOM and quiet!

Then Friday after VBS the kids went to play with Will and Francie at Recreation Station...SO FUN! Let me just tell you the one secret we found out...go at 3:30 - Day Cares bring kids and it can get wild but at 3:30 we practically had the place to ourselves! Noah learned a valuable lesson about gambling too! DON'T PLAY MACHINES THAT DON'T GIVE TICKETS!! He tried to win a stuffed animal and used all his tokens on a machine that didn't give tickets...come ticket time to pick out a piece of JUNK (I mean a prize) - he had none. But my heart felt bad for him (he was trying to win the Kung Fu Panda for Will) so I let him win a FEW tickets. Next time he isn't playing games that don't give tickets...WHICH BY THE WAY - I HATE THAT SYSTEM!! I paid $2.00 for a tattoo and a piece of CANDY!

Let's see...Saturday...I can't remember - must have been good. Let me see...I slept late and by that I mean I slept in between feedings. That was the highlight for me. Oh, and Mary is learning to sleep through the night. Thursday night 9 1/2 hours, Friday night 8 hours, Sat...not so much, Sunday 6 and last night 6!! YAY MARY!! Keep it coming! Below is how we wrap her so she doesn't wake up - works beautifully!

Sunday...Jason preached at CHBC and Michele...I went! He did great and it was so good to see people I haven't seen in years! They all seemed happy to see me and my "growing" family! Ms. McKinney said..."Well, you've been busy!" That's funny for those of you who know her!! She's sweet!

Then we headed out to Silena's house for Father's Day much fun and pictures to prove it. I was so happy to get to see my Mamma - they drove down to drop a computer off to my Dad and stayed a while. I got an awesome picture of my grandmother, her daughter (mom), my mom and her daughters, and my sister and me with our daughters...LOVE IT!! Well, pictures say a thousand words so I'll just let you enjoy the pictures!

All in all...GREAT FATHERS DAY! And so far GREAT SUMMER!

Happy Fathers Day Jason! You far EXCEED what I could ever hope or image in a husband and Father! You are adored by all of us!! We really, really, really love you!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Two Months Old...

Happy Two Months My Sweet Mary Mae!!

Our sweet little Mary is already two months old. We call her our mysterious child. It goes back to the fact that we didn't know if she was a boy or a girl throughout my pregnancy but even now she's a little hard to figure out. We will try and try to make her smile and she will just stare at us then out of no where she occasionally smiles (I know - y'all think it's gas...but it's not). It's kinda hard to figure out a baby after you have two already past that stage. And when I say "figure out" I mean figure out who she is personally...not sleeping habits, feeding, diapers, etc. I wonder what she likes and stuff like that. Anyway, she is so sweet and we all just adore her.

We know this...she likes her bath!

This last one is Jason's personal favorite!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

We're Sure Gonna Miss That Microwave Stand

Those are Jasons words...

This has been our "Entertainment Center" - It's very messy with all of our games and the DVD player - When cleaning up I unpug everything and put them to the side to try and make it look better but that just frustrates Jason and Noah - Noah because he can't just play and Jason because he has to replug everything back up. But come on I hate the cords everywhere! And if I can unplug one - I will!

Since we've been going to Community Group at our church we have been traveling to different houses and everyone's house (from my perspective) is so put together and they all have "real" furniture - my vanity made me a little embarrassed of my microwave stand. All that worrying and the truth is - no one cares. I mean it's fun to go to a house where everything is "decorated" but if it's not no one tells you. They say things like - "I love the open space here" - instead of "I love that painting or picture or that piece of furniture!" I've wanted an entertainment center for a while but we just don't have the money to spend on one and personally - when it comes to big purchaces like that - Jason and I would rather spend our money on other things...Hence we have no curtains either - those things are expensive!

So, the other day my Sister calls and says that a guy in their community group is getting one of those big TVs that hang on the wall and wanted to give Silena and Clint their big screen TV. My sister is a MEGA homebody and a great decorator so she has no qaums about spending money to make her house look good - since that is where she desires to be most of the time! So anyway, their new big screen TV doesn't fit in their entertainment center...So guess what...she gave it to us!! It's BEAUTIFUL - a funny thing about this entertainment center is that years ago when my sister moved from her one bedroom to three bedroom apartment Jason helped Clint move it down steps and then up steps again and we think it gave Jason a hernia that had to be fixed. The thing weighs 1000 pounds! When they moved into their new house Jason was all about helping them but he thought..."OH, we have to move that EC!" and then when Silena called about their big screen TV that's when he said..."I'm gonna miss our microwave stand!" - it's lightweight! HA!

I'm so excited that I finally have an real entertainment center!! Now I'm in a decorating dilemma. First of all I don't know what to put on it - I'm not gonna rush to put stuff on it for the sake of decorating and the pictures that were on the wall need a little rearranging but I don't know what to do with those either - I'm so NOT a decorator! So, I patiently wait for the decorating part and just sit and enjoy some TV and games with the family! All the cords are plugged in and you can't see any of them! YAY!