Oct 4, 2010

Camp What-A-Family 2010

Friday night we packed up Reagan's truck with our sleeping bags, an ice chest full of Diet Mt. Dew, and anything else we thought we might need for the next 48 hours, and headed north for a family retreat sponsored by the Married Ministry at our church. It was our first time to attend, but we had heard nothing but great things from our church friends about the family weekend. We knew going into it that we'd have to keep our own schedule since we had a two-year-old, but we looked forward to getting away and spending time getting to know people at church that we had met, and also meeting a few new people.

Now, when I say we were looking forward to getting away, I'm not quite sure I meant getting as far away as we ended up traveling. It was around 8:30 when we turned on to the road that we had been told was about a 9 mile dirt road. About half-way down that road, we lost cell service. Then, we drove past a cemetery. I looked at Reagan and said, "I'm not so sure we're headed to a retreat. I mean, how well do we really know these people?" I was only joking, of course. But we were waaaayyyy out in the woods. I'm not kidding about the cell service though. We had zero bars of service on our phone from 8:30 Friday night until about 11:00 Sunday afternoon. It was refreshing. And by "refreshing" I mean I kept checking my phone every time we came back into the cabin just to be sure I still didn't have service.

Sara Madalin had fallen asleep on the way to the camp site. When we got there, we went into the cafeteria where everyone was gathered. She woke up while in there and that just got her wound up. When we went to our cabin to get ready for bed, she was wired. She normally goes to bed around 8:00 every night. Friday night she was up until midnight.

We got up around 7:00 Saturday morning to get ready for breakfast and the morning's activities. We had brought Sara Madalin's 4-wheeler. She and Reagan went outside while I finished getting ready. He said she rode all over the area in front of our cabin.

After breakfast, we participated in a run/walk/bike around the lake. Here are my walking buddies.

I'm happy to say we came in first in the stroller division. (No need to ask me how many strollers there were in addition to ours.)

All the older children brought their bicycles and tricycles. We've tried to get Sara Madalin to ride one before, and she was never interested. So, we didn't bring her one. Well, of course, when she walked outside the cafeteria Saturday morning and saw all the bikes, she wanted to ride one. I told Reagan she thought it was a store. She walked over to one, smiled at me, and said, "I want this one." I had to explain to her that it didn't work that way. That those bikes belonged to someone else and we didn't have one. Luckily, we did find a tricycle someone had brought but wasn't using. She was able to ride on it for a while.

About mid-morning, there was a treasure hunt for all the preschoolers. They got a cowboy hat, an inflatable microphone, and lots of other little goodies.

Here she is with a new friend, Audrey. They seemed to find each other during most of the activities. They are close in age and it was sweet to see them together.

After lunch, there were lots of activities that we could sign up for - zip line, horse back riding, tubing, etc. Sara Madalin was too young for all of that. Besides, it was time for her nap. So, Reagan went to watch the ballgame with some of the other men (Somebody brought a satellite dish and hooked it up to watch the game. I had no cell service, but they brought a satellite.), and SM and I went back to the cabin for a nap. That baby was tired. She went right to sleep and slept for 2 1/2 hours. Our neighbors in the cabin next door came in a couple times and she woke up, but she turned over and went right back to sleep. That rarely happens at home.

After her nap, we walked up to the horses so she could pet them. She LOVED it. I think it was one of her favorite things of the whole weekend.

Because I knew that she wouldn't be able to do some of the activities of the weekend, and that I would need something to entertain her in our cabin at times, I brought some of her paint and construction paper. She spent some time painting Saturday afternoon. She was just as happy doing that as anything else. She also played with her play dough a good bit in the cabin.

Saturday night was western themed. We all dressed in our country gear and cowboy boots for worship service. Baby Doll went with us. She went most everywhere we went all weekend.

Here are SM and Mr. Rodney before worship service.

After service, we all square danced. Sara Madalin loved it. Mainly because there was a lot of stomping and clapping.

After the dancing, we all took a group photo, then she walked over to me and said, "Mommy, I go night-night." So, we went back to the cabin, changed her clothes, and she climbed in her bed and went night-night. Too bad every night can't be that easy.

Reagan and I sat outside for a while on the porch swing after she went to sleep. It was really nice. Some of the kids and adults went on a hayride around the lake. We watched them pass by several times. After a while, we went inside and went to bed. Around mid-night we woke up to a scratching sound at our door. I thought it was our friends trying to play a joke on us and frighten us at first. Then, Reagan turned on the porch light and the scratching continued. All I could think about was that movie, "The Village." I just knew there was one of those creatures outside my door about to come in and scare us. I think we decided that it was probably a raccoon. Rodney and Becki also heard it a little later in the night at their door, and Reagan said when he went outside the next morning that the trash can on our porch had been turned over.

We had a great time at camp. There were plenty moments that weren't perfect. There were several tantrums and I had to discipline our little 2-year-old quite a few times. The first morning I kept thinking I wasn't ever going to eat breakfast because I spent so much time taking her back and forth to the bathroom to stand in the corner. ("Don't touch my bi-cuit!" "Stop it Mommy!") But after a few times in the corner, she actually started using better manners at the table and we all enjoyed our meal.

We went into it knowing we'd have to be flexible and operate more at her pace than at ours. And we all really did have a good time.

We hated missing some of the late night fellowship on Friday and Saturday night with the adults, but I know there will be a time in a few years where she'll go her way and we'll have more than enough time to fellowship. Then, we'll want her to want to be with us more. So, we really tried to enjoy where we were, both physically and developmentally. She loved it and we just enjoyed being there. We look forward to going back again next year.

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1 comment:

Penny said...

LOVE the pictures, especially the ones taken of SM at the dance. Too cute! :)