Annie

Archive for the ‘Camp’ Category

Beautiful, Bald, Baby Sister

In Camp, Farm and Family, Pictures on October 8, 2013 at 12:32 am

Sixteen years ago I my life changed forever. My little Meglet joined the family. My incredibly comfortable life as an only child came to an end. I had no idea what it meant to be a big sister, in fact, I only recently have been learning what it really means.007

It has been amazing watching Megatron this past year. This practically bald three year old has become such a powerful young lady. She’s always been more of a lady than I am. She liked pink, horses, playing house and girly stuff like that. I liked climbing trees, making mud holes, playing surgeon, hiking, and wrestling. I dragged her along and she learned to like my stuff too, but she’s always added a touch of flowers and sparkle (we seriously were the Powerpuff Girls, even though mom wouldn’t let us watch the show).006

I was quite happy being an only child, and I did my best to get rid of her when we were little (subconsciously of course). As she was learning to walk, I used any opportunity to make her fall on her face. Mom was pretty sure that her 4 year old was going to be a convicted criminal (hasn’t happened yet…). When she was about 4, I covered her in mud from head to toe. And, not just a light coating, I caked her in mud. Oh, by the way, I think it was maybe March or something? It was cold outside. I guess it was when I was around 8 years old that I accepted that she was here for good. That’s when all our best stories are from. When we started working together to create our mischief.

Megara has always learned faster than me. When I was 7 years old and struggling to learn how to ride a bike, she stole my bike and rode away. She is the only one of my siblings that I didn’t teach how to ride a bike. She learned to read pretty much at the same time as I did. She watches me do something and fail, takes notes and then does the thing better than I ever could. That’s how it’s always been. Meg can do pretty much anything extremely well. She gets frustrated if it doesn’t work after 2 tries. This drives me crazy. If I get it within 2 tries, I’m shocked, and it probably was just a fluke.008

This summer at camp I was so proud of my baby sister. Her counselor and DD, both ladies that I love and look up to, would talk about her. They told about how she was helping the other girls in her cabin and how she was so mature. Every single time I heard them talking about her I started crying. My little Meg, blossoming into such a leader. I just can’t help but think of how fantastic she is going to be as a CILT and then on staff at camp.

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I love you my creative sister.

Megan, Megara, Megatron, Meglet, and most of all, Meg.

That Will Suffice

In Actions in Activities, Camp, Musings, Pictures on September 24, 2013 at 12:22 am

Sunday they had a Summer Missions ice-cream social at church. I didn’t get to share anything, we started going to this church right after camp, but there were several people who spoke about their time at one camp or another.

There was a lot of the normal “what was the highlight of your time there?”, but there was also a good bit of “what did you learn?”. You may remember my five part series, “Re-assimilating“, about my first time as a counselor at Camp NeKaMo. It was really cool to hear all that God did this Summer.

This got me thinking, what did I learn? I mean, I wrote about what happened and about the adjustment of going from camper to counselor, but what did I learn this Summer, not just at camp, but when we got home and got our sleeping bags hung up?

Even before my two weeks as a counselor began, I was feeling overwhelmed. My lifeguard training is a more obvious example of what I was learning in subtle ways the whole time. I am not sufficient on my own.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can’t do anything on my own.

Everyday, up early to go to Bible Study, full steam ahead all day long, and then try to get to sleep before midnight. It was exhausting. By the end of week one I was so tired I couldn’t think straight (and I have enough trouble with that anyway 😉 ). But, it was so rewarding to pour love into those girls and I feel so blessed to have gotten to be a part of their lives. I had to lean on the Lord. I’m not very confident in my teaching abilities, and I have a hard time praying out loud in front of people.  It was a really stretching 2 weeks.

After camp was over I was trying to find a job. I was pretty much broke and there were no babysitting calls. I never did find one, not even at McDonalds or Taco Bell. Quiz came around. We were talking about goals for the season. I really want to go to Nationals this year. It’s my very last year as a quizzer and I’d like to go out with a bang. I started praying that God would get me to Nationals. I didn’t know how He was going to do it, but the best way I could think of was to give me a job.

I was lying on my bed one night after a long day of babysitting and running errands when I realized something. It was only a couple weeks after I started praying to go to Nationals that I got my steady childcare jobs. As I was trying to fall asleep, it struck me. God gave me a job. It was so amazing to see God answer a prayer in such an obvious way, and so quickly. It really gives me chills. God is so powerful. He listens to us. He loves us.

Me and my Squishy! This picture doesn’t really have much to do with the rest of the post, but I love it. Josh is living proof that God does amazing things. 🙂

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do.

I Think She’s Trying to Speak To Me

In Actions in Activities, Camp, Musings on September 17, 2013 at 12:09 am

You may not know this about me, or maybe it’s so ingrained in my being that I do it here too, but I’m kind of known for my strange metaphors and correlations, and very creative and abstract imagery. I find links in things that, I’m told, make people’s heads hurt. 

One night at camp we were having Divisional Campfire. Banty was telling the story of Joseph. She asked the girls what kept him going. What gave him strength? Several girls piped up with answers that were good, but not quite what she was looking for. Banty was about to move on, but I noticed one of the girls was kind of sitting behind her and still had her hand up. I said “Faith has an answer!”

Banty has this face she makes when I say something weird. It’s like she can tell I’m serious, but she’s not sure what planet I’m from. I could tell it wasn’t registering, so I repeated myself and pointed. She finally translated my alien dialect and got the answer she was thinking of. The next day we were talking about it. Banty was one of my CILT instructors, so she’s seen me in a Bible study. She said “I know Annie says things that make me think sometimes, but I wasn’t getting this.” That is a good illustration of what I mean about strange phrasing. “Faith has an answer” would be something I would say! 

I did this again at Bible Quiz practice last week. We were having a time of sharing about things we’ve learned from our chapters. Several people shared about James 1. This wasn’t a surprise, it’s a great chapter and pretty much everyone has it memorized. They were all saying pretty much the same thing. If you have faith God will give you wisdom, or that we should be doers of the word and not just hearers. And then raised my hand.

The main thing I see in this chapter is the focus on our actions and reactions.

In the first half it is talking about testing and temptation. It is about exercising your faith muscle. Under trial you strengthen that muscle and it shows up as perseverance , and that strength helps you through temptation.

The second half is about not just looking at the plaque on the wall for it’s beauty, but actually doing what it says. Instead of just studying it and saying “My, what a beautiful piece of work. I wonder where the bathroom is?” actually following the directions on the sign and finding the restroom. 

This really made me think about how our actions and words affect everything. It made me think about being intentional in our words and deeds. Not being absentminded or careless. If we don’t do things on purpose we are just hearing the word. We are letting things just happen, we aren’t doing them. 

I shared this, in a slightly more rambling way and not in as many words. Everyone in the room got that same look. That “You’re really cute, but I don’t know what you’re saying!” look. I like to think I just dig, not necessarily deeper, but at a different angle, than most of the world. 

Last week Dad showed me something in his sermon notes that made me make the same face. He was using Greek letters and other symbols to make some sort of pictograph. I had no idea what he was doing, but at least I know I come by it honestly.

Re-assimilating; Notes From a First Year Counselor, Part Five: the Weekend and the Week to Come

In Camp, Pictures on July 30, 2013 at 10:02 am

As it is written; If you have not clicked the link and read the posts you shall never understand the things to come.

Part One: Poisoned by Sol

Part Two: Return of the Ninjas

Part Three: Brand Spanking New

Part Four: The Very First Week

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Now, I know this is getting kind of long, so I’m going to try to sum up as best I can. It was such a superb fortnight! It’s hard to do it justice with so few words! I have so much to write about once I’m done with this series!DSCF0385

Last year was my first time staying the weekend. It was awesome, but I’ve come to a conclusion. If you are a camper staying both weeks, by all means stay! It’s a lot different and you can make some really great memories that you may not otherwise. Nemo Boy for instance (many will wonder, few will understand). As staff staying both weeks, just go home. It is hard to just rest and relax at camp (at least for me).DSCF0384

After the camp week was officially over, all the first week campers were gone and we had the cabin cleaned up, Mom and Dad came and took us all out to lunch. I had only been to town once before (last year) so I really didn’t understand what a big deal it was. Everybody said it was redneck, but I assumed they would call HV redneck as well. We only went to McDonalds and Walmart, but that was enough. I’m not sure we saw anyone who actually had all their teeth, and there were several people in flowered nighties. Wow. Well then.DSCF0381

We got back to camp and took a very long time saying goodbye. They helped us move our stuff to our new cabins and then left us there. 😦 At this point I pretty much wanted to come home. Oh well. Claire and I took our laundry over to the Taj. I had already had a run in with this washer.  It hates me. I’m usually really good with mechanical stuff and electronics. I can usually get things to do what I want them to do with little trouble. Notice how many “usually”s I just used. Yeah, this thing hates me. I had I think three people show me how to get it going. I still don’t know what they did differently. For what ever reason, it works for everyone else.

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Snow and I were co-counselors for the second week. This was super cool because she was in my CILT class! Over the weekend we spent most of our time working on laundry and prettying up the cabin. We took our theme from The Music Man and decorated it like a library. I wish I had gotten some pictures, all I have is a screen shot from one of the  videos we took. MPlibrarylibrary  That Madison Public Library sign took me so, stinkin’ long to paint. I got completely done and it was dry, and then I stood there, admiring my work, when I realized how I spelled Library. Libarary. Noooo!!! How to fix it. Cut and paste! I cut “Madison Public” and pasted it to a freshly painted Library. I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, but we made a bookshelf and made little books with the girls names on them. I t turned out to be really awesome! All our girls had really literary names! Some of them were actually the titles of books! They were great Heroines. 🙂 I really love how the door turned out, I just wish we had more time to make it look more clean cut.DSCF0386

After all the girls got there it was time to sign up for activities. When we got there the girls had a big surprise. They had opened canoeing up to the Trailblazers. This doesn’t happen often. Canoeing is usually only for the older girls I think mainly because of the swim test. You have to tread water for 5 minutes in jeans and a t-shirt, take them off (swimsuit underneath of course) and then tread for 5 more minutes. Two girls in my cabin took the test, one of them ended up doing crafts instead of canoeing. I really admire her for trying, but then knowing her limits. It’s so hard sometimes. I know I’m not good at this. DSCF0387

It was a really awesome week. At the beginning of the week I was really nervous. There was no way week 2 could be as good as week 1.  It had to get worse. God was so good! IT was different, of course, but it was still amazing! I’m finally rested up, over a month later, but I’m so excited for next year! Meg will be a CILT I!! Oh! Something really cool! Snow and I (same class) have younger sisters who will both be in the same class! I’m seriously stoked about this upcoming CILT class. You guys are going to rock. 🙂

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A note about the pictures in this post: I know they have nothing at all to do with anything mentioned, they are just too cute to miss. Everyone got Mexican S’mores and enjoyed them so much I had to preserve the moment (good thing too as we didn’t get a cabin picture with Snow and me included 😦 I love the one we did get, it is such a great representation of the personalities!)

DSCF0335 Well, like everything here on this earth, this series must end. So I wish you farewell, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Re-assimilating; Notes From a First Year Counselor, Part Four: The Very First Week

In Camp, Pictures on July 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Today’s post will be a general summary of my first week as a counselor. If you haven’t read my previous posts, I would recommend doing so before proceeding.

Part One: Poisoned by Sol

Part Two:Return of the Ninjas

Part Three: Brand Spanking New

In part two I started telling about week one, but I just barely got through the girls arriving! Recap time!

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For week one I was Co-Counselor with Polly (mentioned before). We had 5 awesome girls who despite all oods 😉 meshed and congealed fabulously!

Back before camp started I signed up to do Vespers. I didn’t fully realize what that meant until I got to camp and no one else had signed up. I freaked out a little. I was so thankful when Flicker and Pippet  came along side and helped me! We also recruited some others to  help us out with various parts of the program.

Hang on though, what is Vespers? Vespers is sort of our “get-to-know-you” program. It often involves dressing your counselor up, a skit, a game of some sort, and/or a song. There is always a songfest and then a message. It is basically a fun kick off to the week.

Our theme for the week was “Time Machine”, so we worked around that. We had the girls dress their counselors up as a time traveler and her time machine. They were then to give a presentation and everyone else could guess when and where they were/just got back from. It was all kind of up in the air and disorganized, but it left room for a lot of creativity and the potential for tons of fun.

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One thing we forgot to plan was who was going to emcee… So that fell to me.

Part of CILT I is planning and leading vespers, so I should have been fine. But then there is the size of my class. There were 11 or 12 of us. There is a big difference between standing in a group of 11 and leading, and standing by yourself and leading.

The fantastic females of four wrapped me in gray wrapping paper and stuck buttons on me. We were running out of time, so we just taped the paper to my shirt. This was all fine and dandy for standing in, but when it came to walking, climbing stairs, sitting, and just moving in general, it was another matter. I was a robot without hinges. Oh! Can’t forget my marvelous antenna. I basically looked like a space age unicorn. This was fine with me. It was really fun to dress up and be goofy. I’m sure it was great fun to watch! 😀DSCF0206

We decorated the Trailblazer cabin with a space theme. This was an uncoordinated thing. We just both got there and started setting up and realized we both did the same thing! This picture is of the door to our cabin. You can’t really tell in the picture, but the buttons have our names on them. We did glow in the dark stars on the ceiling and planets for bed markers. The other Trailblazer cabin did a bunch of star charts and things from Doctor Who and Star Wars. It was basically, their cabin was the star-ship, then you open our door and get sucked out into outer space.

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For my activity I assisted Rufous in Outdoor Cooking again. It was awesome. I really love working with her. I lead the fire building team and Rufous headed up the cooking department. This was great for me, I’m not all that wonderful at the actual cooking part of Outdoor Cooking.

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Claire was in my activity! It was really nice to get to see her! Even though we were all three at camp that week, I don’t feel like I saw Meg at all. Most of what I heard about her was second hand. It was amazing to talk with Flicker (my counselor last year first week, Meg’s counselor this year first week! Such a cool/awesome/weird thing to have happened. She just can’t get away from us! 😉 ) and hear how she was doing in the cabin. Then at another time Robin, the Explorer DD, came up and told me about Meg. I just about burst my buttons, and did actually cry, hearing about how my baby sister was growing up. It was even better coming from people I look up to so much.

Re-assimilating; Notes From a First Year Counselor, Part Three: Brand Spanking New

In Camp, Musings, Pictures on July 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Previous Posts:

Part One: Poisoned by Sol

Part Two: Return of the Ninjas (One of the lovely ladies from camp had a longer clip of Ninja Guard! View Here)

The hardest part about being the newbie on staff is the staff. Everyone already knows each other and has relationships, and here you are. Brand spanking new. I just realized where that term came from! DSCF0375 When babies were born they used to spank them to get them crying, which in turn opens up their airways and kick-starts breathing. While I don’t particularly agree with this practice (doesn’t sound very helpful to me, but what do I know?), this is a great metaphor for how it felt. A small shock after the arduous journey, but still enough to wake you up with a start. DSCF0278

As a camper it’s not hard to know the names of most of the staff, especially the “top dogs”. You look up to them and remember what they say. But as staff you may not remember every camper’s name. There are a lot more of them than you. Coming from being a camper to being on staff was really different. Even with CILT there really is no way to fully prepare. It was really hard for me to get used to being, not necessarily peer level, but working together with these ladies who you look up to as role models. You feel like you know them, but they really don’t know you at all.DSCF0353

It’s like going from standing on the deck of the pool to diving in. Looking down you can see everyone clearly, in fact you are watching them. They are doing their own thing down in the water; aware of your presence as part of the group on deck, but not really you individually. When you jump in you are suddenly no longer part of the group on deck, you are down in the water. The others have been swimming longer, so they already have their routines, but you are just getting started. Are you going to do laps, or are you just going to splash around? You may swim up and start chatting with a group, but you are coming in half way through the conversation.DSCF0251

Some of the staff remembered me from my years as a camper, even though those years were few. There were times when I was having trouble keeping a kind, happy face. Talking with them always helped. Hearing about when they were in the same spot of being the baby. Listening to things that were happening in their lives, things that they remember about me, things that they observed me do with the girls. I’m not sure if any of them really know how much it means to me. I’m often forgotten, it seems. Sometimes I feel like a stalker or a spy. I’ll remember something someone said, and they have no idea who I am. I think this will come in handy someday. It’s very useful at camp. DSCF0236

You have a short amount of time to learn and mesh. Remembering about a girl can make or break the relationship. Not just her name, but specific events, things you share. Like, I remember sitting in a canoe for an hour talking with my counselor. I remember walks up from the pond and who said what. I remember walking to the nurses cabin for a late night headache and what we talked about, and even in the dark the facial expressions. From the position of staff it’s easy to get the mindset of the campers being a  mass. You have to remember that they are individuals, created in the likeness of God and equal with you where it really matters. From the position of a camper it means the world to me if you remember me. I look up to as a role model of what it means to be a woman of God, an expert fire builder, the glue gun guru, or just a really awesome person.

So.

Be careful.

They are watching.

They are learning.

They want your affirmation.

Re-assimilating; Notes From a First Year Counselor, Part Two: Return of the Ninjas

In Camp, Pictures on July 10, 2013 at 1:56 am

I last left you recovering from sunburn. Actually I left me… and… now I’m slightly confused… and… not sure how to move on…

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Week one.

I was co-counselor with a fabulous lady named Polly. It was so cool to talk with her! She has been coming to camp longer than many of the staff have been alive. She has so many tips and stories! Things like having the girls keep their Bibles, pens and groundcloths all in one spot so they are ready for Morning watch and Bible Ex. Having playdough and tic-tac-toe at the table for after meals.

On the way to meals the girls are supposed to walk single file. It didn’t take long for us to realize it was a losing battle and we just let them walk however they wanted. We joked that they walked single file, horizontally. It was really cool when we figured out why they were doing that. They all liked each other. This was something I had been really worried about. Four out of our darling five knew each other and the one left out hadn’t ever been to camp. All the worrying was pointless! The cabin integrated SO well! I could not have put a better cabin together myself!DSCF0321

Something really amazing happened on the first day. In the chaos of the girls were coming in and getting settled, one of the moms came back in asking for Annie. Now, I had been trying to get used to responding to Pigeon, but I turned around anyway. She held out what I recognized right away as my Ninja Guard shirt. DSCF0233

It is tradition that the Explorers do Color Guard (flag raising) everyday. There are some basic marching routines, but sometimes they shake it up. Even though I only did Color Guard around 5 times, I have done at least three of these with special routines (for example). My very first time we marched out and then in a circle  before we lined up to actually raise the flag. I’m not particularly coordinated, so it was never my best activity, but I really enjoyed it. On our last week as campers my cabin did Ninja Guard. The link will take you to a very short clip of what we did (we are the ones in black that kick). First, instead of marching up to the flag pole, we ran around behind the campers and came in the back (Someone held the flag for us and handed it to Raven). On the way back we did kicks, chops, rolls and general ninja stuff while Raven did  Tae-Kwon-Do forms. We got in position back on the concrete pad and she said “To the Trees and halt, one two” we ran behind our designated tree. “At ease” we peeked out. It was fantastic and all the girls loved it.DSCF0227

Later the Explorers made t-shirts with stencils and spray paint. We had been thinking we needed to do something like that, so most of us made matching shirts. We cut out  our own stencils and used up about 3 cans of black spray paint. It took so long. It could have easily been around three hours, start to finish. We were there longer than anyone else.

I wore my shirt the night we had a giant shaving cream war. I took it off to clean up and it disappeared. I checked the lost and found, and then after camp emailed people asking if they had seen it. No one knew where it was and I had just given it up as gone forever. And yet here it was.

During the chaos one of the girls had set her stuff on my shirt and it all got mixed up. She ended up taking it home with her laundry and her mom found it and saved it back.

I am totally amazed. I had completely given it up. I just about cried when she came in with my shirt. I really think that was a God thing. He used that to encourage me that He cares about the little things. It was like a little reminder that God was there and everything was going to be great. He gives us so much more than what we need.

Re-assimilating; Notes From a First Year Counselor, Part One: Poisoned by Sol

In Camp, Pictures on July 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I started working on my traditional back from camp post, but I realised something.  I was typing along and I looked down. 300 words and camp hadn’t even started yet. That plus the fact that I have dozens of picture lead me to the conclusion that it is time for another series! Therefore I bring you my longest title in four years!

Re-assimilating; Notes From a First Year Counselor, Part One: Poisoned by Sol

On June 3rd Mom took everyone but me and Dad to Metropolis for the week. Dad was at work all day so I was basically home alone until I left for camp on Thursday. This was ok… but the first thing I did was really dumb.

I love reading. Even more than that I love reading outside. And even more than that I love reading good books outside!

I had been trying to get a little bit of a tan before camp so that I didn’t burn (Learned that the first year, if you go to camp still wintry white you will burn).DSCF0334

I put on my cami and shorts, grabbed my Bible Ex book (cabin Bible study) and the diary of Anne Frank and went out. Long story short, I was an idiot and spent over an hour outside, without sunscreen but with my paleness. As soon as I got in I started seeing a bit of red. This should have been a big warning.

Fast forward to Saturday morning.

This was my third day at camp doing life guard training. Everyday, as a warm up (which we needed in the 58° water) we had to swim 550 yards without stopping. In the pool at camp that is 13 1/2 laps. I had done this for two days with very little sunscreen. Outside of the laps we had a lot of diving and other swimming. Basically, by Friday night we swam over 1100 yards. A football field is 100 yards.

Every day my sunburn was getting worse and I was getting more and more fatigued.

After thinking and praying all morning I decided it was time to quit. I didn’t want to be exhausted before camp even started.

Looking back it is pretty obvious that I had sun poisoning. At the time I attributed all the symptoms to extreme physical activity, but after careful analysis I am thoroughly convinced it was sun poisoning. Right after I decided it was the right thing to do the blisters started coming up.

It’s really hard for me to quit something like that, but I felt peace about it and now I know what to expect when I try again next year. Next time I will not fail! DSCF0323

Of Camp and Birthdays

In Actions in Activities, Camp on May 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I can’t believe it’s only 12 days ’til camp!

I’ve been getting things together for months, so it’s really strange to actually, really almost be there! I’m finished reading the staff manual (which apparently makes me an over-achiever lol) and almost done with the Bible study.

For first week our theme is “Time Machine” and we are going to decorate the cabin all futuristic and spacey (wacey). Lots of chrome and white. 🙂 I’m looking forward to it! I plan on making full use of our enormous roll of white butcher paper and stocking up on silver wrapping paper from dollar tree.

Second week is “NeKaMo, The Musical”. It’s taken me a while to think of a way to decorate for that, but I think I’ve got it! At first I was thinking of doing something from Phineas and Ferb, perhaps “Roller Coaster” or something. But after trying to figure out how to decorate for that I decided on “The Music Man.” It is, after all, my favorite musical, plus, much easier to decorate for. One of my favorite scenes is the library scene where they all dance through the bookshelves, over the tables, up the stairs and all along the catwalks. Note: I am referring, of course to the 1962 version with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. Matthew Broderick is, always has been, and forever will be, Inspector Gadget.  Welcome to Madison Public Library! To do this I plan to use my handy dandy butcher paper as shelves and construction paper as books. I may do some names on some of the spines, but I’m not sure how much time I will have to work on decorating.

Friday was Claire’s 13th birthday! We now have 3 teenagers in the house! She had planned to have her tea party on her birthday, but no one was able to come so we have to reschedule. We still wanted to make her day special, so we planned a day of surprises! She started by waking up to a gift of soaps and bath things and then going out to eat with Mom and Dad (she knew about lunch) in her birthday TARDIS. We painted the car with “Traffic And Relative Distance In Space” and a bunch of other DW related things along with the obligatory “HAPPY 13th BIRTHDAY!” After they were done eating Mom and Dad gave Claire a chocolate bar and the clue to their next stop (all clues penned by  Mom, Meg and me):

Your next destination

With chocolate goes well

The poem proves that

You think it is swell

 

Next she had a surprise trip to Starbucks. After they got Frappuccinos they gave Claire a new hairbrush and:

You’ve wanted to do

This for quite a while

A tip of the hat to

Your Clairey-flair style

 

They took Claire to get her hair cut and (Surprise!) we met them there. She got a SUPER cute bob/chop thing. I’m not really sure what to call it, but it’s very short in the back and slants forward to chin length in the front. She got socks and money and her clue:

Put them on after socks

That is what you do

You’ll think this place rocks

We think you do too!

 

This was the only one that she figured out. Claire, Meg and I went to The Legends (a huge strip/outdoor mall kind of thing) and went to the Converse Outlet. She got a pair of Tardis blue high-tops! What she didn’t expect was a stop at Hot Topic to   get a Doctor Who t-shirt. We hadn’t ever been there before, but I heard they had DW stuff so we checked it out. I have discovered my new favorite place to get shirts. Not only do they have most of my favorite memes in t-shirt form, they have Doctor Who and My Little Pony stuff!. Claire got a shirt with a weeping angel as “Michelangelo’s Man” and I got “Keep Calm and Don’t Blink.” ❤ After we got done shopping we gave her a flashlight and the last clue:

Dark it will be

With food to consume

But with this you can see

It won’t be in a room

 

She assumed this was referring to the graduation party we were going to on the way home. Wrong. We did go to a friends party for a while (and got to see a bunch of camp people!) and eat outside, but the surprise was waiting at home. We got back and Dad had the tent up and a fire going. We all started talking about the shopping trip and showed them our shirts. We were about to go in when Dad asked Claire to go get the bikes out so Hannah and Adam could show their tricks. Claire went to get them and the whole shed erupted with squeals and laughter and Claire and her friends came running out!  We had a lovely sleep-out! BTW a “sleep-out” is a cross between a sleepover and a campout. You take all the sleeping bags and movies and giggles of a slumber party and put it in a tent (with an extension cord for the TV).

It was all great fun and Claire said it was her best birthday ever! 😀

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In Actions in Activities, Camp, Farm and Family, Pictures on January 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s really weird. I love that button. I know it must not seem like it from time to time when I abandon my blog for weeks on end. I love getting to start from scratch. A blank field, a keyboard and an idea.

2012 was the shortest year I’ve ever experienced. How could we fit so much in just 366 days? Ah! It must have been that one extra day! I’ve always thought it was neat how leap year coincides with the Olympics and the presidential election.

On February 2nd Joshua David was born.  10 lbs 4oz of boy. He spent a week in the NICU for an unidentified infection. Not only was this our first C-section, it was our first experience in NICU. That week was the longest 7 days of the year, and yet, it feels like a blur. No fanfare. No applause.

In June Meg, Claire and I went to NeKaMo Camp. I went for both weeks, working on my CILT. While it is sad for my years as a camper to be over, I really do feel like it is time. Looking around, I saw girls that had been Challengers my first year were now Explorers. My baby sister was in her last year as a Challenger and my even babier sister was a first year Challenger! I am so looking forward to being a counselor next year, I’m already collecting ideas!  My first year of CILT was the first time I had been away from home for more than a week and I got really homesick. I was thankful to get to go home for the weekend. This year I had so much to do it didn’t feel like more than a few days. I didn’t go home for the weekend, so I only got to see my family during check in for Meg and Claire. Even then I only had a few minutes because I had to go with Rufus and Raven on a nature hike.

The day I remember the best is the very last day. After the excitement of graduations was over. We were on staff. Part of the mysterious club of grown-ups with bird names. We were Ginger, Snow, Raven, Sparrow and Pigeon. We got up early that morning and went to the Staff Bible Study. This mystical thing that our counselors get up crazy early for. It was a cool, misty, early summer morning. The five of us walked to the dining hall and sat at our table; Cabin 12.  Other counselors and staff came in and sat around us, just like it was a normal day. Like we belonged there. I felt like a babe among giants. There was Robin, Ducky, Rikki, Tweety, Grackle, everyone was there. Tross spoke in a tone of voice I had rarely heard before. Like she was talking to adults, not a camp of girls.

After the meeting was over, we started working on CILT Guard. Nearly all the past CILTs, now joined by the 5 of us, came together for the biggest Color Guard I’ve ever seen. Sparrow and Raven were part of an amazing Rifle Guard. It’s really hard to explain the feeling, other than a small fish in a big pond. Or maybe a small Pigeon in a big sky. No fanfare. No applause.

On July 25th I turned 18 years old. Every so often he tells me about right after I was born, usually when he wants me to look him in the eye or when I already am, we’re easily distracted like that. He held me in his arms 18 years ago and said “Hi. Your name is Annie. I’m your Daddy and I love you.” and I looked him in the eye. No fanfare. No applause.

October was a big month. My baby cousin PB was born just a few days after Meg’s birthday. Like Josh he spent some time in the NICU. Shortly after that my Great-Grand-Father died. We drove down to South-East Alabama for the funeral. It was good to get to see Oma and all the relatives, except for the reason. We got to go down to Panama City Beach while we were down there, something we haven’t gotten to do in a few years. It was raining, so we didn’t get to swim. I had never seen the beach in the rain before. It is so unlike anything I can describe. Such a lonely, roaring peace. There was no one in sight. The ice cold rain poured steadily. The surf was balmy. The constant roar of white caps. The gentle patter of the raindrops on the sand. Peace in the midst of such an emotional trip. Once we got done on the beach, we were soaking wet, and some of us were in regular clothes. We went over to a Walgreen’s and changed clothes, some of us into real clothes, some into our dry swim suits. On the trip back we home stopped for ice cream at Peach Park. No fanfare. No applause.

Who would be surprised that November was a big month. In the flurry of political hype, it’s good to remember a few things. These are real people. Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins, just like He did for mine, and hopefully for yours. This is all going to burn. No matter who wins what and who is in what office. Jesus Christ is Lord of all. That means all kings, all rulers, all presidents, all offices. Everything. And in the end, that is all that matters. I voted for the first time. No fanfare. No applause.

This was PB’s and Josh’s first Christmas. We are SO blessed to have these precious boys with us, especially after their bumpy starts.DSCF8674 No fanfare. No applause.

Forget New Years Resolutions. Add New Post. No fanfare. No applause.

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