Friday, August 5, 2011

Camping with teenagers, Oatmeal crust among friends, and Water obsessions

I have two weeks of "Fess Ups" since I wasn't able to blog so hopefully this won't be too long to bore you!


We, my fellas and I to be specific spent last week at Youth Camp. We were up in the woods, in a camper, with just over 100 pre-teen to post-teen-agers. What a precious time!

My first "fess up" - I adore this age group of kids. I find them beautiful, silly, ambitious, energetic and full of crazy curve ball type behavior! Funny how that description is a very specific description of my own kids too, even 10 years younger than most of the Youth. Guess I adore my kids too, but you knew that...
My youngest snagged the megaphone more than once. This kind fella was showing him how to use it.

It was super cool when he figured out how to use the alarm button INSIDE the dining hall!

These are the precious people that took care of my fellas and 5 others while we cooked for the Youth. They did not look this chipper after spending a week with my guys. I should have snagged an "after" picture. The look on her face, I have seen in the mirror a million times!

Shootin' hoops like the big boys!

This week enhanced my youngest sons passionate fixation with water. He and the other "littles" did their best to turn the sandbox into beach front property.

My feet were this dirty too, I just thought it was more fun to take a pic of my friends filthy feet. We were both camping with our littles. Note the gun in the pic too.

This time two years ago this bike was SO big for my middle fella! Sigh. How time flies.

Seriously, the kid MUST make water happen. Why not reload a squirt gun with the straw on your water bottle? You have all day anyway!

At one point my youngest cracked in half. Over done, over tired, over stimulated and all Mommy had to do was say "Time for a NAP" (silly me!) and the meltdown happened. BUT, along comes this kind fella to distract him with the "removal" of his thumb.

Mr. Grumpy went from full wail to whiny moaning. God bless that precious big kid for blessing my little kid!

Another of the mommies cooking with me that week took a few minutes to play princess Yahtzee with my guys. No, it is not our game. Yes, each princess was referred to as "The Yellow Girl", "The Pink Girl", "The Blue Girl" etc. Desperate times call for girl games sometimes.

Mr. Water is at it again...

Two three year olds and a water pumper, what could go wrong?!! Actually only "getting wet". And they did take the entire handle off the pump. I am sure it took them less time to take it apart than it took me and the other mommy to put it back together!

Okay, so stealth mission... squirt unsuspecting kids in the pool with high volume water gun. Did I stop them? Nope.

They were already wet anyway & my guys were having a blast!

Yes, she is one of my babysitters! Awesome! :)

One of the best parts of the week was watching other kids and grown ups bless my kids. My biggest thought it was cool to pitch baseballs at the batter's head in this borrowed baseball game. nice.

Mr. Bossy telling one of the kids that his feet don't belong on the furniture. Hilarious for a guy who thinks the couch is a trampoline when I am not looking!

Muffins for breakfast, again!

Yup, two out of my three got a hold of the megaphone. Maybe I should get them each one for Christmas. Yeah. Sure.

So it seemed easier to caption the photos with the antics of the week. I did not get pics of :
- The 900 times my kids said they had to go potty so they didn't have to do whatever the teacher wanted them to.
- the scowls and tongue sticking out that happened when someone dared cross my youngest
- the gallons of Gatorade consumed when no adult was watching over it
- the spectacular crafts and Bible lessons the couple did that blessed the socks of my fellas
- the last night when my eldest requested to worship with the big kids, told me his heart was full after about 5 minutes and could he please go to bed. 
And finally,
- the gorgeous little boy rendition of "what can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus" that they learned in class.

My Love doesn't travel as much as he used to, but the day we came home from camp and the day he came home from working out of town was best expressed by these pictures. I was a little jealous. After all, he was mine first! :)

 Okay, so not REALLY jealous, just super duper extra double grateful for moments like these.

We are getting ready for a short trip. Today we began packing. Here is what we are taking. Can you blame me for actually considering this mode of transportation for my smallest but most vocal fella?

See, he looks pretty happy, doesn't he? Hmmm....

My friend Kira talked about her first trip to the beach this week with her kids, all by herself. I did not have that much courage. I have been so tired training for my big triathlon swim that when my Love reminded me how important it was for me and the kids to get to the beach I cried. Actual tears. Tragic huh? BUT, I knew he was right and so I invited/coerced/begged Nana to join us. She came and we had a nice time. There were a few mishaps, but the kids emphatic and profuse thanks on the way home let me know I made the right decision. Once again, listening to my Love was a really really good idea.
Life vests kept my beginner swimmers afloat and I actually enjoyed watching them enjoy themselves, knowing I could swim out there and grab them if anything went awry.

I asked for goofy faces, I got them, sort of.

He was instructed not to go deeper than his belly button without Mommy. He got pretty close... just like he does everything else.

We need to get Nana a pony. She fed my middle little gummy bears from her hand.

This appears to seem like a mostly good idea. Until the whale tips over and the death grip refuses to release. And I dash out into the water to retrieve my screaming cherub. Oh well. The sweet little lady apologized (it totally wasn't her fault) and she did a fabulous job holding his head while he obviously had NO trouble breathing. 

After writing my blog about "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" I didn't see this one coming:
Monday morning

Tuesday morning... he was so happy to get a whole dollar! (I would be too, I think I got quarters!)

Tuesday afternoon (he was brushing his teeth and it went down the drain) Tooth Fairy paid off anyway, he was hoping for $35 for the Star Wars Lego set he wants. He only got a dollar. He wasn't as impressed.

But here we are, reaching another growing up milestone. It really surprised me how unsettled I was. Those sweet baby teeth we worked so hard to get in all those years ago are on their way out. Sigh. Thank you Lord for growing up, memories, and joyful anticipation of all that is yet to come!
I love this picture one of my fellas took of me. It is a great reminder of what this week really looked like for me. Happy AND exhausted. God is good! There were actually several days this week my hair didn't leave the knot formation on the back of my head.

Other Fess Ups-
- I cried in my goggles while swimming in the lake every time this week.
- I have to drive 6hrs with my kids tomorrow then chase them around the park for 5 hours tomorrow and it is 12:24am
- I had a friend beat me to my house today for a meeting and SHE had to scrape the crusty oatmeal from breakfast off the table, floor and bench before she could sit down.
- I have been so tired and so busy that my brain is becoming so full of blogs I am afraid they will all merge together and become one big "Alphabet Soup" type blog that will make sense to only me, the crazy girl who is up past midnight but should have been in bed HOURS ago!

That's all for now! Happy Friday!


Kira said...

Oh Jennifer, what a blessing this post was to me. Not the specifics (although they were certainly entertaining and I loved your photos) but just the way your heart comes through in everything you say. You encourage me to be a better mom and to show my boys how much I love them with my actions, and not just my words.

Thank you for your encouragement today. God must have prompted you, because I really needed that today. Just so you know... I had a friend stay at my house after I left this week and she folded all my laundry, including my underwear, and scraped the old oatmeal out of my microwave. I had to really swallow my pride in order to feel thankful for that, but I did eventually get there.

Blessings on your drive (where in the world are you going?!)

Rebecca said...

Oh, woman! You need a nap! Some definite recovery time-what a week! I love that pic of you on the couch too! And the dirty feet of the 'otha motha's'-lol! Cute nails and flip-flops if I do say so myself, though. We're going to 'brave' our first camping experience in 10yrs w/the kids next weekend....gulp...I've seriously thought of backing out a handful of times-but, I've been itching for a 'vaca' w/the fam, and this is the cheapest option :P But, I seriously do pray that you get some alone time and much needed rest-have a fabulously restful rest of your late summer, sister :)

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I have been married to my best friend for over 29 years and our children are 16, 15 and 12 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost dear friends to tragic death. I have a personal relationship with Jesus which is essential to surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by my heart and words. Thank you for being here..