Monday, June 30, 2008

Catching up...quickly

Well I left on Thursday to go to Fayetteville with Christy and Kipplyn. It was such a fabulous time! I really enjoyed getting to know them better. I hope to have the opportunity more as they both are just incredible women! I didn't take my camera, but they both did, and both took pics, so hopefully I can get copies, and/or they'll post them on their blogs! :) The place we stayed at was unbelievably gorgeous and definitely a RESORT! I can't believe it is a home that people live in on a regular basis. I am a homebody...and if I had a home like that I.WOULD.NEVER.LEAVE. for anything I don't think. :) It was fantastic. Thanks for inviting me! I had a really great time.

I came back Saturday from Arkansas to prepare for Jackson's birthday party. I will post pics later today or tomorrow. My husband and Philip got a ton of stuff done before I arrived (thank you both so much!). So I didn't have to do a whole lot. I decorated Jackson's cake and I think I did a decent job (first time doing it!).

The party went well. I think everyone had a good time. We got the trampoline set up afterwards and then went to dinner at Luigi's which was great! My kids were SO hyped up on sugar it was a little chaotic, but still good. Somewhere in this time frame my phone ended up in Debbie's purse and now is in Enid (hopefully back on it's way here). Way bummed about this. And our computer has been down till I have been technically challenged/restrained. Oh well.

Then we had church yesterday which was good because our friends the Colaw's were back in town...but we didn't make it into the service...oh well. Then we played very hard and had lots of fun on the new fort, the trampoline, and the pool yesterday afternoon. They went down for naps, and then we headed down to my mom and dad's church for Freedom Fest. It was a long day but a good one.

Oh yeah, and I have joined the ranks of "Soccer Mom"...we got a minivan. I actually like it. It is super nice! :)

The kids are at school today! I am trying to get unpacked, organized, laundry done, clean house, only to pack it all up and get ready to leave on Wednesday. WE are all going to Branson with my Mom and Dad and brother and his girlfriend and the 4 of us. It will be interesting. I hope it goes smoothly....I bet either way we'll have fun.

That about wraps it up. Well good enough anyway.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

$H1+ Happens...

...I just about wanted to hurt Jackson tonight.

I was getting ready for Nikao tonight...which was a themed night--80's Aerobic Workout Night! I typically don't get dressed up, because costumes aren't my thing...but tonight I did. I was so proud of myself too, but thankfully on the same note, I don't think it was documented via video or picture--whew! Anyway, back to my story...

I came out of my room, and thankfully Rae was with me in my room playing NICELY by herself (Praise Jesus! I have to look for the good in the situation, right?), to find my son, who WAS watching a movie NICELY and quietly. He was covered in his own poop. This isn't the first time (the second) that this has happened.

I am seriously beginning to think his nose doesn't function like the rest of the worlds. (I know one of my friend's doesn't work in smelling). It was WRETCHED. He had a pullup on--dang those stupid things and had just pulled it down to his knees, was sitting on the COUCH, and was smearing it everywhere! Why? Why? Why?

The day was going relatively smoothly (great while they were at MDO) and we were all going to be on time tonight, AND I had even made a homemade dinner (with it all packed up and ready to go to eat at church---which NEVER happens on Wednesdays. Ever.). Then, H.A.L.T.

We were at least 20 minutes late. I cleaned him up as best I could, although the kid still stunk (in my opinion). I was livid. But I held my composure with him thankfully. I got him dressed and then told him that I wanted him to remember that we NEVER.PLAY.WITH.POOP. so I spanked him really hard about 5 times. He of course was very upset about this, but certainly not to the extent that I was about it all...

I was useless at Nikao. Thank heavens today is almost over and tomorrow starts anew and also I am leaving at 3 to go with some friends (Christy and Kipplyn) to Arkansas till Saturday...

The Birthday Extravaganza!

The Birthday Boy!
Trying very hard to hold up only 3 fingers!

Started the morning off with a birthday donut. After he blew out the candles, the sweet lady brought him ANOTHER donut (for free) because of his birthday!

This was all that was left of the TWO donuts!
After the Donut Shop we went to the Duck Pond to feed the ducks, but I didn't get any pics there. There were hundreds of geese and ducks though...most I've ever seen. They didn't really like it too much since there were so many of them SWARMING us.

So we didn't stay there long and headed off to the pool. This pool is amazing. They had so much fun and we were there all to ourselves. Thanks Caroline!

They rocked climbed to see the view...

...of the horses and the pond! They loved it! They jumped off the rocks into the deep end at least 50 fun. (and great exercise for me as I had to keep myself in the deep end for so long).

Then we went to McDonald's and again he blew out candles from his hamburger! :)

Of course all he wanted to do was play on the playground! But the nice lady at McD's gave us a birthday cookie and so we got about 8 big bites (and lots of fries) down so he could have the cookie!
We came home and took naps. He took a great one. Creighton not so much. Then we watched Atlantis (his choice). He loves watching movies! LOVES IT!
Then we made our cupcakes and they were so cute wanting to help with every.single.step. They are pretty decent with the mixer :)

Here is the outcome! This we took to dinner with us.

These we took to school! He chose Mater on his, but then this morning decided he wanted Lightning too! So, he got it. There was an extra one and so now Mrs. Nadine just will have to do without a cute little guy on her cupcake...I think she'll be okay.

He chose to go to Mazzio's for dinner. My parents came up and met us. I didn't get any pizza pictures, and there is only video of him blowing out his candles. I will try to upload videos to YouTube later. But he REALLY enjoyed his cupcake.

Sweet family picture! (a cute little boy walked in the room and distracted Creighton)...Again, he was trying to do "3" but it is very hard for him.

After dinner my mom and I headed to Kiddie park with the kids. They had a blast, as always! I liked this pic of him.

This was the last ride of the evening. My poor mom got the "pleasure" of riding all the rides with them this time. She was sick with dizziness! She rode the roller coaster, the carousel, the spinning (like the teacup ride) crazy ride, and then the train (which I rode too).

We headed home to find that the trampoline was not going to happen because all the parts were all messed up (not packed correctly, missing some, having tons of some, etc.) Good thing it was late, I never mentioned the trampoline to him, and they (and I) were so pooped I am not sure we could have cared any less about it! (he's going to get it later)...
It was a wild and amazing day! I was exhausted and so were they. I don't think either of them moved at all, all night long. It was a fantastic night of sleep! A great birthday!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Last day of 2--Jackson

Wow. That is the last time Jackson can say that he is two. My little boy is turning 3 tomorrow (tonight at 1:38am). I didn't get all that upset at one or even two...but THREE? Three is big. Three is not a baby anymore. I am sad, but happy in the same instant. Three.years.old. THREE...
I really don't know why but I am just kind of shocked by this. I bought all his party stuff today for Saturday's party. It is the Disney's Cars theme and I love it! He loves Cars! I love him.

We have his day planned out tomorrow with all of his favorite things. For breakfast we are going to the Donut shop and getting donut holes. Then we are going to feed the ducks bread (and play with sticks). Then we might go swimming (if it is nice). Then we are going to McDonald's for lunch and play. Then (not on his list) we are napping. Then we'll have snacks (probably fruit snacks and yogurt). Then we might go to the park (the green one) and get a snow cone. Then we'll probably play video games at the mall for a little bit (maybe even with money tomorrow). We'll make cupcakes for his class on Wednesday. We'll make cookies and eat them all! Then we'll decide (haven't yet) about what he wants for dinner. Then we'll go get Maggie Moos while my parents set up his new trampoline at our house. We'll jump for a little while and then go to Kiddie Park...and then go to bed all exhausted (I hope). That sounds like a terrific day! Happy Birthday to Jackson!

I love you little man more than I could ever tell you, although I try--everyday! You are so incredibly sweet and smart and loving. You are starting to "get" life and that is fun. You are curious and brave and more handsome than you should be. I love you like I have never loved before. Thank you for letting me be your Mommy. I love that job! I love watching you explore and imagine and discover. I love watching you kiss me and hug me. I love watching you be a big brother to your little sister. You are such a sponge right now and you take in everything that people around you do, say, and are. (Sometimes that scares me because you are a youth pastor's son). :) You are serious, you are silly, you are crazy wild with unmatched energy, yet cuddly the next minute. You are everything boy and then some. Your smile and tender voice melt this heart of mine on a daily basis. You are so happy. I couldn't have hand picked a better son...I am sad that you are growing up, yet so excited to see what and who you become. I trust that you will continue to grow in strength, wisdom and stature. I pray that you are able to come to know the God that your Daddy and Mommy love and serve...and that you'll come to the place where you choose to do the same (for yourself, not anyone or anything else). I want so much for you...but nothing I want more than for you to know Jesus. Can't wait to see your journey from this seat of being your Mommy...

Love you so much sweet boy!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Late Nights, Great Friends, Dates....Equal Awesome

Last night we hung out with the Colaws after the rehearsal. We (I) had a total blast. I miss them terribly but didn't know quite HOW much till last night. I just really enjoy their company and friendships. We stayed over to their place till 2 in the morning. It's been a long time since I have done that with friends. (youth, yes, friends, not so much!)

Thanks Becky and Brent for being such sweet friends of ours! We love you dearly.

Tonight Jeff took me out to a really nice dinner in Tulsa to commemorate the first wedding...and of course to spend the money he made in one fell swoop ;) Had a blast with my hubby. Kids are away in Enid :) Its been fantastic to just have him all to myself (minus the wedding)....But I must say he looked quite handsome today all jazzed up.

Two nights in a row of really late nights though...I am tired again :) That is the story of my life...from here on out I think. Oh well.

Life is good. I am so blessed!

The Wedding.

Wedding went well. It was stressful for me trying to make sure everything went as smoothly as possible...but it went well. It was stressful for Jeff, but he did great. It was THE shortest wedding I have ever been to or heard of in my entire life, but that is what they wanted. It was literally 15 minutes. But, hey, get there, go down the aisle, say "I do", kiss the bride and get out of there...that is basically how it happened! So much planning for such a short time.

That was the only thing I didn't like about the wedding day (mine)...I planned for 7 months to the very detail (okay, so my mom did a lot of it) and then the day came and went in a blink! I worried about so much and fretted over things that would have NEVER mattered one way or the other...but's a blast being on this side of marriage...I'll say that!

I really really really LOVED being the wedding coordinator. It would work too. I think I could do Jennifer Lopez in the Wedding Planner...I need to watch that again...and of course there aren't really those kind of weddings too often here in Bville OK, so I think I'd be okay, but man, it was just riveting...I loved every minute of it...even the stressful ones. It was like, "yeah, bring it on!"

I sound cheesy...I know. But it was good for my soul and spirit to have that...I hope to get to do it again! I had fun!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Jeff was ordained as a minister earlier this year. Because of that he can now "Marry and Bury." Over the last few months he's been meeting with this couple for pre-marital counseling. Now, today is their wedding. The way it has all worked out has left it as this: Jeff's first wedding (ministering)...I am coordinating (obviously my first time) and Chris (one of our favorite youth guys) is doing sound/tech/lighting and it's his first time for a wedding too! Its all a bit insane...but good at the same time. It's a rookie wedding. We all have a lot to learn and there is plenty of room for mistakes, but we'll see.

The good thing is this...yesterday at the rehearsal we found out that the groom has only been to one wedding in his entire life and the bride...NEVER has been to a wedding. I am not sure how that is possible, but it is. So they really don't know what to expect (which may prove to be a REALLY good thing). :)

However, in all of this process I did find out that I REALLY REALLY like this...a whole lot. It was so fun. I get to help make it all happen and that gets something in me going:) It is SO scary how much I am like my mother...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I was changing Creighton's diaper and Jackson walked in. It isn't unusal for him to comment about the lack of male body parts on her, but he added to it yesterday:

Jackson: Ta-ton no haf pea-nis wike me an Daddy, she haf a bumper dare

Translation: Creighton doesn't have a penis like me and Daddy, she has a bumper (our word for butt) there.


Translation: hahahhahahahahhaahhahahahhahahahahahahhahahhahahahhahaha


Well my post about my dad and Jeff just seems silly now being that it is so

Dad, you're awesome! (even though I think with your new hair-do, it's official, you are going through a mid-life crisis ;))

Jeff, you're awesome!
Truly, both of you are incredible. I love you both immensely and can't imagine life without either of you. You are both unbelievably good fathers, daddies, friends, and spouses. I couldn't have picked a better husband in Jeff because I knew what to look for from you Dad. Thanks for making me feel like a princess and making my kids feel the same! We all adore you...

Monday, June 16, 2008

A game of tag

Nearly every person I know via this blogging community has tagged everyone else...including here goes...if you aren't bored by all these by now. All of you who haven't posted again since should get busy :)

The inquisition...
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves
3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5-6 people, posts their names, then leaves a comment in their respective blogs to let them know they've been tagged.
4. Let the person who tagged you know that you posted your answers.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
June 16th 1998 I had just graduated High School in May, just turned 18, and was working my tail off (athletically speaking) to be in shape for my freshman year at Tulsa (volleyball). I was getting ready for Nationals also, so probably practicing 2-3 times a week. Pretty much I was a gym rat. :)

2. What are 5 things on your to-do list today?
For tomorrow: 1) Finish my father's Day post (now 2 days late) 2) Love on my kids 3) Go to the Price Tower Tots at 10 4) Workout 5) LADIES NIGHT OUT!!!!!

3. What are some snacks you enjoy?
I love sweets and salty, so pretty much anything called a snack (that isn't healthy) I enjoy. Favorites: Cashews, Chips & Queso/Salsa, chocolate with carmel or peanut butter, skittles, gummy bears, popcorn, cookies!

4. What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Buy my husband a yellow jeep wrangler, send my kids to college, pay off debt, hire out housecleaning, fund Camp Barnabas...and that might do it all in!

5. What are 3 of your bad habits?
biting nails, pacing, talking without thinking first

6. Where have you lived?
1)Pasadena, Texas 2) San Antonio, Texas 3) Clearwater, Florida 4) Pasadena, Texas (again) 5) Tulsa, Oklahoma 6) Branson, Missouri 7) Bartlesville, Oklahoma

7. What are 5 jobs you've had?
1) Babysitting 2)Nursery worker volunteer at church 3)Sales Associate 4)Secretary/Admin. Asst. 5) Front Desk 6) Asst. Volleyball Coach at U. of Tulsa 7) Kanakuk Counselor 8) Freshmen Volleyball Coach 9)Mom

8.What is currently playing on your IPOD?
Rascal Flatts, Monk & Neagle, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Mercy Me, Chicago, Jennifer Knapp

9. What are the last 5-6 books you've read?
1-4) Restoration Series by Terri Blackstock 5) Bible 6) It's A Jungle at Home by Debra White Smith 7) Romancing Your Childs Heart by Monte Swan 8) 90 Days with Jesus the One and Only by Beth Moore 9)A Heart Like His by Beth Moore 10) Raising Your Kids for True Greatness by Tim Kimmel

10. Who do you want to tag? Maria, Jennifer, Angel, Caroline, Denise, Vickie

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This does a better job...

Here is an amazing video that does a much better job of summing up my jibberish below! :) Enjoy and you might want a box of kleenex! (I warned you)

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Big Kahuna: Camp Barnabas

**Disclaimer**This is incredibly long and actually is missing LOTS of details. But it is more for my remembering and experience, so I won't be hurt if you don't read it, or just skim it. I haven't read through it all yet, but I am sure there are grammatical is part of my heart and part of the really know it you have to experience it. There just aren't words...although I certainly tried. :)

My Camp Barnabas Experience...

I was so excited to get to go on the mission trip this summer, as it was my first since children (ie. three years). I love getting to hang out with the youth group, serve alongside my husband, and just have a change of pace and scenery. Well I did get to do all of these things this year, but I got much more than I bargained for.

Camp Barnabas is a camp for the mentally and physically disabled (young and old). We were there during Adult Friends Week (18 & older with Mental Retardation/Down Syndrome as the main disability). I was kind of sad on the way there that we weren't there for the "kids" weeks, which is mainly every other week all summer besides week 1. But hindsight, it was such a blessing and truly think that we probably had it the easiest as far as the neediness of the group (certainly as a whole, not all individually because some of the campers were INCREDIBLY difficult, but as a whole, much easier probably to handle than the rest (as a whole)).

The theme this year was Deeply Rooted, Jeremiah 17:8

Day 1:
We arrived at camp and were immediately kind of thrown into a mass amount of confusion and chaos. The first 24 hours of camp is training for the CIAs(Christian in Action) (aka volunteer workers). I think I had pictured that there were going to be only a few others working alongside of "us" as we were a big group of 30. We arrived to see lots and lots and lots of other people. Then we all got our assignments to realize we were completely split up all through camp and that 7 of our youth were not assigned to be CIAs but rather Barnstormers (age 14-15 year olds that clean camp, clean bathrooms, serve food, and clean kitchen/dishes for 500 + people all week). I think that had we prepared them for this, it wouldn't have been such a shock to the system, but none of knew this was coming. So, this was our first real "kink" of the week. However, our kids did a superb job of stepping up to the task and sucking it up...well at least by the end of the week for sure :).

We got all of our things unloaded (rather chaotic) and figured out (after 3 hours) exactly where everyone should be. Training had begun and we were just thrown into the mix of things...and when I say mix...I mean MIX...the whole first 24 hours of camp could be described as a CHAOS and only chaos...

Our kids were very upset and really just didn't have any foundation at all because we were so split up that they really were forced (in the end a good thing) to make new friends and/or get really close with God :) (awesome). Training was good. I think they do a great job of getting it done and done well in a short time period. However, there are only so many words that can be said before you just have to jump in HEAD FIRST and experience it and hope you don't screw up.

So by end of this day we've already had lots and lots of tears, angry words, sad words, frustration by all, but we're here. And trying to grin through it.

Day 2:
We had rest (although I didn't sleep AT ALL that night) and got up to have more training through the whole morning. That went well although I do believe some of our kids were way scared by this point. Changing diapers, feeding, bathing, changing, dressing, and looking after someone who could be their (grand)parent yet had the mental capacity of a child aged 3-12 was starting to sink in...

We were also told that there would not be time for us to ever meet as a group and this, needless to say, ruffled lots of feathers--roughly 30! We weren't prepared for this at all. The kids thought (as well as all of us) that we'd have time to be together for support, debriefing, etc, but when you have to be "on call" 24 hours a day with your camper/cabin it makes it difficult to do. We managed to get one meeting in one day during nap time and that was great...and so needed.But that was a hard pill to swallow!

Campers come ("the Campers are Coming") after lunch. That is just insane (in a good way). I cried a lot. I teared up with almost every new coming camper. They were tears of fear, joy, excitement, overwhelming inadequacy, etc etc. It was tough. But most every camper was there as a returning camper (only 10-15 first year-ers). They love this place and it is HEAVEN ON EARTH for them in every way imaginable. They just light up. We welcome them Kanakuk style (crazy loud cheers, chants, jumping, high fives, dress up clothes, music, etc) was hot but fun.

The camp had begun. Everyone had their camper assignments. Some had only one camper and some had two campers (typically easier, more independent ones). Campers arrived at 4-6 and by dinner at 6:30 some of our kids were wiped out. There were LOTS more tears from LOTS more kids this evening.

My role at camp was a little different than the ENTIRE rest of our group. I was kind of sad about it at first, especially when the campers were barrelling through and I didn't "get" one. But I was assigned a cabin to be with and I spent lots of time with them. I also had the opportunity to meet ALL the campers when they came through arts and crafts. I helped out 3 other ladies and we had lots of fun in there. I liked it. Eventually I got to see why God had me there and that really I wouldn't have rather been in any other situation. It was perfect, it just took me a little while to see it.

Back to the evening. We have parties every night. This night was the Game Show party. It was one of my favs for sure. I enjoyed it. The campers LOVED it. They loved it. I won't go into all the details, but it was hilarious. My jersey (volleyball from college) was worn by 2 other people and myself! That was fun to see.

That night a torrential downpour came and destroyed camp. Literally a huge tree fell on the ropes course making it irreparable for our week. The pool was FLOODED with basically it was a lake and therefore not swim-able (these campers FAVORITE activity is the pool). Not to mention, first night of camp in a "weird" place with lots and lots of thunder, rain and lightning and then also the power went out for several hours. I don't think one person in camp slept that night. It made for an interesting next day.

This night (and the night before) I was holding one of our girls from the youth group and trying my darndest to convince her to stay while the ONLY thing in the world she wanted to do was to go home. She stayed but this was emotionally draining for sure. But again, it was a neat thing in the end to see her have pushed through her fears and stuff. If I had been in a cabin I would not have been able to spend this time with her...I am thankful to have been given that opportunity. Although two nights up till midnight or later with a kid crying at the time seemed not so "fortunate" :)...but it's all good.

Day 3-5:
First full day of camp with campers on the typical daily schedule. I was in A&C all activities this day because they needed help getting them all prepared. It was fun getting to see our kids (and all the others) do such a great job with all these campers. The campers were amazing. So unique and amazing. My heart began changing on the first day I heard about them, then seeing them on opening day, I was amazed...but in the actual interaction with them through out the week, the real amazing transformation in my heart (and most of our groups') began.

The daily schedule went something like this:
6:30 CIA wake up/get ready
7:00 Camper wake up/ready
8:00 Meet for silly songs at IP (Inspirational Point)
8:30 Breakfast
9:30 Cabin clean up
10:00 Devotions (as cabin)
10:30 Activity 1
11:15 Activity 2
12:30 Lunch
1:30-3 FOB (flat on bunk, aka. nap time)
3:00 Activity 3
4:00 Freeze (pass out Popsicles)
4:00 OATs (Open Activity Time, aka, free time as cabin)
5:00 Shower/Ready for dinner & party
6:30 Dinner
7:30 Party
8:30 Wrap-up (praise and worship, devo, prayer, announcements)
10:00 Camper sleep/CIA Family Time (individual cabin CIAs together)
11:00 CIA sleep

The schedule was very lenient because some campers/cabins were NEVER on time to anything but with some walking slowly, some in wheelchairs and some completely capable of running (faster than you would think) it was a little bit of chaos...still!

But it worked. The campers were exhausted by FOB and exhausted by bedtime. It was great! They got to do everything there. It was so neat. They danced, sang, played games, went into tree houses, rode horses, (would have swam and done ropes course), did arts and crafts, canoed, fished, played field games, learned about gardening, drank coffee, played in the playground equipment. It was just fantastic. They aren't "different" at camp. They get to be "normal" (not a fan of that term anymore...what is normal anyway?). It was just fantastic to see...

I had lots of conversations with campers throughout the week that blew me away! Some of them are so smart and even the non-verbal ones you could communicate with if you took the time. I loved that the most...taking time. Lots of time. I got time with our kids, I got time with our campers, I got time with other campers, I got time with the nurses, I got time with the head people (Cyndy Teas) was just neat for a week to have real genuine conversations with people face to face...not through blogs, emails, texts, or even phones. I wrote over 30 letters (at least one to every person there with our group and some other people too)...snail mail....its a good thing.

By the end of Wednesday I think we were all worn out and beyond tired. It is so wearing to care for someone 24 hours a day...especially those that are 200+ pounds in wheelchairs up camp hills...But at the same time when you can't possibly do it yourself, you have to do it somehow, God shows up and gets you through it all. He did that in mighty of our youth surrendered her life to the Lord this week...and for that ALL of it was worth it...:)

We had some serious "kinks" this week:
Virus (stomach bug with exits out both ends) for several kids
Broken foot
Hyper extended arm (elbow)
*I got an eye infection from a cut and wore a patch and was without my contact in my right eye...not fun...not one bit!
Ticks (with Lyme Disease)
Drama, Drama and more Drama than I could have ever imagined!

We had really tough campers that were matched up with some of kids...there were others that were tougher not matched with our kids specifically but that were in cabins with us. It was eye opening. It was so tough for all of them. It was draining on every level imaginable and then some. But. IT.WAS.GOOD!

Overall the trip was so good. It was harder than anyone thought possible...but it was amazing at the same time. All the girls (and boys) that were crying daily to go home the first 4 days weren't wanting to leave by the time Saturday rolled around. This camp isn't for everyone and we certainly had a few that probably won't come back, but man, it was fantastic....this camp is amazing and is such a dire NEED for these sweet special people! I can't wait to go back.

Last Full Day of Camp:
Everyone was tired but in a good routine and realizing that it was all going to be over very fast. That night was the only non party night. It was Cross Carry night and that was hard on the campers. It is where the cross is removed from IP and is carried down through camp from cabin to cabin in honor of all the campers who have passed away (camp has been running for 13 years). They are all high emotion people and this was a crazy night of lots of comforting and tears and fears etc. It was hard but good. After this was what they call Say So where campers can tell what the learned, what camp means to them, etc at the mike. They all love to be center of attention as it is, so add a mike to the mix and lets just say it was a long night, but so sweet to hear their hearts. Neat people there...neat neat people they are!

Closing Day:
Up and ready for breakfast like normal and then packing and cleaning and signing shirts and exchanging contact information galore. The parents (guardians) begin to arrive and that is sad. The campers don't want to go home. Most of us don't want them to. Sad day.

This is really where my heart lies on my whole experience: my heart breaks for the parents. We had the adults...some only in their 20s but lots in their 40s-60s and their parents for their whole lives have been taking care of them 24-7. There is NO light at the end of their tunnel. There is no hope for them to heal (on earth). They don't get to have date nights with babysitters. They are getting old themselves and are scared about what will happen to their children once they pass on. I can't imagine. It makes me sick that I complain so much about being a parent to two healthy children. I get a light. Right now it is 16 years out...but it is there. I have hope that by the time they reach 6 they won't be in diapers, nursing, and will sleep well. Those parents don't have that and never did! I can't imagine. I feel for them so deeply. Lots of them were spectacular parents and I am so glad we were able to help serve them by giving them a much deserved and needed week off...however there were some there that the "job" had been too hard for them and you could tell it was not with excitement that they picked up their child (adult). That was hard to see too...but I am certainly not one to judge them...they absolutely have the hardest job in the world...

I loved Camp Barnabas. Loved the overall experience! It is tough. It is taxing. But there is nothing better...

If you think you might be interested in going next year as a volunteer in ANY capacity please let us know, or just contact Camp Barnabas (Laura Edwards) directly too. We are going back!

I left out so much...but I am tired. There are specific things I am still chewing on and might share here later...

Please visit pictures at our flickr site...there you can see them all! (I still can't add photos for some reason)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ramblings of a Windblown Momma

Not yet. I know you can hate me...but it has started but it's going to be a big one (or several good sized ones) to get all my thoughts out. Life has still not returned to normal for me and at this point I don't know when that will happen. This week has been a whirlwind of catastrophic proportion. Tomorrow and Saturday are the big annual garage sale at Grace to raise money for the trip we already took (yes, the one I have yet to write about!). So, if you live in Bartlesville, or anywhere near, come on over and spend some money. We actually have some great stuff this year and LOTS of clothes too (many with tags still on).

Today we spent ALL day long getting, sorting, and pricing LOTS and LOTS of things that people are giving to us to sell in the big sale! (thanks everyone who donated their things!) Long long long day. My poor babies spent a ton of time in the church nursery today (sometime with other kids, sometimes just themselves, sometimes with supervision, others without)...

The kids and I spent some good time this week playing. However, Creighton is absolutely driving me nuts. I sent her to school 3 days this week....she is just too much to handle on the exhaustion level I am currently attaining. She wants to nurse! I hate it. I want to stop all together but seriously I don't know how. She cries a lot! A lot! A lot! as it is with me trying to keep her to 3-4 times a day. It is such a battle and a huge one that I have no energy for. It makes me so angry at her (I know this is why I must quit soon...) I feel awful for saying it but it is the truth. I feel I am going to screw her up emotionally or something because she "needs" it so much right now. I don't know what to do?

Jackson is pretty much the sweetest thing EVER though. He is just so helpful and loving and cuddly. He is typical first-born and is a pleaser for sure. He is independent yet dependent enough on us and others (and his blanky and binky) to keep him stable. He is kind and gentle (at least most the time). His heart is gentle and kind and that is what is so sweet about him. He is the cutest thing I have ever seen. His communication skills are skyrocketing exponentially and I love that. He is so smart and doesn't forget a thing. I love this little boy so much!

I do love my little munchkin too, didn't want to sound that I didn't. She is unfortunately just like her mother and so we clash a bit. She is so head strong, independent, stubborn, prideful, and yet at the same time she can be gentle, so needy (dependent on nursing), loving and cuddly, too. She has the world going for her if we can somehow get her to control her radical-ness in "power" and bulldozing the world...(I am still learning). Oh I do love that girl so much, but she scares me...really, the world doesn't need another me...and she might be worse....what on earth do I do with her? I think that is my theme for her. I love her, but the next 16 years (and beyond) are going to be difficult for us both. But I guarantee you this: one day, she'll be someone's in her. I feel it!

i tried but failed 4 times to add pics to this post...going to bed now...sorry

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cabin Pic

Unpacking has been exhausting and cleaning the house and laundry even more so. I don't know what it is exactly, but I am just beyond newborn stage exhausted. My every muscle aches in my body, and my mind, well, it is just gone. My emotions are shot. This past week was everything I could have ever (and never) imagined. It's late (again) and so I am not going to try to post about our week...sorry. I am, however, going to try to do that tomorrow with stay tuned! :)

I'll give you a little is my cabin!
I think it wears me out to try to sort out my thoughts and emotions on the week. It was crazy in every way: good and bad! I loved it and kind of on some levels wish I was back there...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

We're Back

We are back. It was a long and tough week but a really really great one! I love Camp Barnabas. Still processing lots. Exhausted beyond belief at the moment. House a WRECK, but man is it GOOD to be home! God is so good! Update(s) and pictures to come...and I am sure I have lots of reading to do too :)