Family Camp

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Family Camp was AWESOME!!

We got there on Friday night and it was kind of stressful at first. I spent the day running around, packing, and cooking trying my best to prepare for our trip, so we were a little frazzled by the time we checked in. Our friends had a nice burger meal waiting for us, though, so we tried our best to settle in. People were EVERYWHERE doing various things - biking, eating, talking, bike-riding, swimming. I was like watching an ant hill from the inside! With our tummies full, we got into our room and attempted to lay Robby down for the night, but unfortunately, we were downstairs and right by the door, so it was incredibly noisy. After over an hour of trying to get him to go to sleep, we sorrowfully decided that we had to go home. We went and told a few people what we were having to do and started packing. Next thing we know, someone takes Robby to distract him and someone else starts looking for another room upstairs for us! When they find us another room, a few more people jump in and start helping us lug all our stuff up the stairs. I have to say I was shocked, but then again, it's my church, and that's just how incredibly sweet they are! When we got things settled in our new room, we laid Robby back down and he fell asleep almost instantly. Praise God! We went back downstairs to socialize and play a fun game called Mafia. We ended up staying up until 1AM!

Saturday Robby decided to wake us up at 6:30AM - which was painful after staying up so late, but we got up and started our day. There was so much to do! After eating breakfast, we loaded Robby in the stroller and went for a photo walk, snapping shots of the old buildings, the odd assortment of birds (turkeys, peacocks, chickens, and an emu), and then on to a neighboring farm. It was a glorious morning! We headed back for lunch and then laid Robby down for a nap (our baby monitor's range is REALLY far, by the way!) and headed downstairs to our self-proclaimed "internet cafe" to check out our photos. Then we headed outside to take some more shots of the going's-on's. The Family Olympics started soon after and Matt participated and I took pictures. How fun! First was frisbee golf, broken up by a horseshoe tournament (not part of the Olympics, but Matt also participated), then a water balloon toss, and an incredibly difficult obstacle course. What a blast! Somewhere in between, Matt took Robby swimming in the pool (always a favorite of his) and I took photos of the crafts and face painting. 300+ shots and a nasty sunburn later (in my defense, I DID put lotion on!), I was pooped! I laid down for a little bit and then we had dinner. We shared meals with another family, so this was our night to provide dinner. I made a baked chicken and broccoli alfredo (a huge hit with everyone who chose to partake - recipe coming soon) and then we wandered outside to relax as Robby napped again. As we were sitting in the shade, we remembered that they were having a Dutch oven dessert sampling. Stuffed, we "forced" ourselves and had some of the tastiest treats we have ever had! Num! Soon after, our pastor gathered everyone up for a group shot (seen above - my very first large group portait!) and then it was teaching time. We sang, played Name That Hymn, and then viewed the photos taken by an elder from his trip to Israel (so much history!). Dispite it being around 11PM and being completely exhausted, we stayed up and ate some smores and played another two rounds of Mafia, stumbling to bed at 1AM once more. I'm a glutton for punishment! I do have to note that during the day, just before I laid Robby down for his first nap, we had a little accident. While changing him before bed, I turned away for a split second, and he had rolled off the bed and onto the floor, splitting his lip. He screamed and bled quite a bit, but after a bit, he was just fine and still is. I felt TERRIBLE and went downstairs to tell the other moms, only to have them assure me that it happened to most of them to atleast one of their kids. Yikes, though!

Sunday, we got up, got packed, ate breakfast, laid Robby down for a nap, and headed to service outside. A few families came from to join us for service, since we weren't having service back home, so it was a rather large group. We sang and then our pastor handed out awards for the Olympics, horseshoe tournament, and the Name That Hymn game. I took shots of the winners and their trophies, which was a fun privilage! Then we did something we never had done before at our church. Pastor Bear warned us that it would be a little unusual for our group, but explained the meaning behind it. We did a foot washing. I was a little uneasy about the idea at first, but then Matt further explained to me the symbolism behind it and I understood better. It isn't a requirement to be saved or a new rule at our church - just a one time deal, but how it related to Jesus and the church, husbands and families - it really moved me. The humility and service of the washer and the appreciation and humility of the one being washed was amazing. We took turns going to to the stage as families, an elder or the pastor washing the man's feet and then in turn the man washing his family's feet. We were honored to end up having our pastor wash Matt's feet and then Matt washing mine. Wow. I'm learning something new every Sunday! We then hurriedly cleaned up the grounds, trying our best to leave a postitive testament of our group being there. Matt helped tear down the big church tent while I packed up the car. I was sad to leave. I wanted to stay longer! We headed home, picked up some lunch, ate, and then all took a nap.

I felt incredibly blessed to have been there with so many wonderful families. It was a fantastically-fun time filled with learning and laughter. It was somewhat tough for us to afford the expense (even with it being halved), but it was worth every red cent. Our "Family Camp Coordinator" booked another Family Camp for June 2010, so we're going to save and make sure we're there again. I really can't wait! What a great weekend!

To view all the photos that Matt and I took while at Family Camp, please visit this link:

Family Camp Photos

A huge thank you to Cher for letting us borrow her Escape to make it out to Albion with all our junk and an even bigger thank you to our church family for helping us with Robby and making us feel accepted and loved!!

Also, please be praying for me - I had an opportunity to sing with the Praise Team this weekend, but I chickened out. I'm prayfully considering joining them all together, but I lack the confidence. Please pray that if it is God's Will for me to serve the church in this manner, I am able to muster up the courage to do so. Thank you!

Also also, I get to shoot my very first wedding next month! Please be praying for me as I study up and prepare!!