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...


7 comments:

Keith said...

Whew, that IS the longest blog post ever--but it's a good one! Sounds like you guys had a great time at camp...makes me want to go. Glad you're home safe!

Anonymous said...

So glad to see your family enjoying ministry together! God is so good :)Mary Mae is adorable!

Welcome to motherhood of three...life will never be the same. Who designed cars anyway, we need room for carseats, boosters, bags, snacks..
Carol Crain.

Dollar General said...

Yeah, I read your blog today (Amy's) and thought we should do a comparison of our two "vacations" - I wish I would have taken a picture of our cabin to further show the difference!!

care-in said...

That is my biggest fear too. Glad you guys had a good time otherwise.

Trace Car Driver said...

love the long blog - it's the best! wow, i have sooo many memories of growing up at camp in the summertime... from being a camper to team member to jr. counselor and life-guard. some things don't look like they've changed at all!!! i'm so glad god used ya'll and jason was able to speak to the campers. also, def. looks like noah, anna, and even mary mae had fun! glad ya'll are home safe... oh, and glad ya'll found noah!! josh nelson used to be noah's age when i was at camp - crazy huh!!!! love ya!

Silena Cvacho said...

I am so glad you are back from camp! It felt like you were gone longer than a week!! It looks like you had a lot of fun! I love the pic of Anna on her horse, she looks like a pro- like she should be a horseback rider for real!! I love the pic of Noah and the turtles too!! Mary seems like she is getting a lot more personality- TOO CUTE!!
Love Ya, Silena

The Ferrill's said...

Page what a great camp update! Thanks for not spoiling it for me the other night! It sounds like yall had the best time ever! I wanna go now! Anna is cracking me up about her Barbies! Hysterical!
I bet that was scary when you couldn't find Noah...We lost Clay at the McWane Center when he was 2...I know that sinking brick in the gut feeling.
Can't wait to see that ceramic Christmas tree...you crack me up!
Can't wait until the next RR!