Sunday, June 06, 2010

Camping with YFU

Over Memorial Day weekend we planned a camping trip for the YFU exchange students and their host families in the area. We enjoyed this so much and hope to do it again with the next round of students. We hope the idea catches on and more people join us, but we definitely had a lot of fun with all the people who came this time! Prepare to be blasted with photos. There are too many and I just can't decide which ones to cut out.

We were supposed to go out to the campground on Friday night, but our plans changed because we were just SO busy and short on time. We headed out on Saturday morning instead. We were setting up camp by Saturday noon, and the weather was perfect--warm (getting warmer) and sunny.

{Malachi & Josh helping with staking the tent down.}

{Eden and Syd sharing a "girls' tent"}

{A good view of our tent--plenty of room for our whole family!}

{Tirzah...cute as ever.  It was hard to keep her out of stuff around the camp, but thankfully there were lots of people to help!}

{These chairs were great for the little people.}

{After camp was set up, Mitch cooked us some lunch.  This was his act of grace towards me this weekend--he relieved me of any cooking responsibilities.}

{On Saturday afternoon, temperatures soared towards 90F, so by the time camp was set up and lunch was finished, everyone was begging to go to the beach.  Here Mitch helps Tirzah in the water.  She LOVED it where some of our kids have been afraid of the lake the first time we took them.  She wasn't afraid at all...she loved the sand, the water, everything.}

{Of course, after getting wet, the boys took to digging holes and building castles.  It's what they do.}

{Not to exclude the girls, they seemed to enjoy their fair share of digging.}

{Check out Caleb's long hair.  I can't say I love it, but he is firm about leaving it long and not letting me cut it.  :P  He said I'm supposed to say here, "Has anyone seen my shorts?"}

{Love the sand on Malachi's face!  He was afraid of the water at first, but gradually overcame his fear.  He was a social butterfly and made friends with other kids his size playing on the beach.  We had sand EVERYWHERE.  And with no showers at the campground...well...we just lived with it.}

{Eden.  See, my old canon point and shoot does occasionally take good pictures still.  ;)}

{In the evening mosquitos came out in throngs.  I dressed Tirzah in long pajamas so I wouldn't have to spray her skin, even though the temperature stayed really warm all night long.  Patrick & Tirzah are playing a tickle game called "Round and Round the Garden."}

{Micah at the campfire.  This is what camping is about--sitting around the campfire and talking and just relaxing with no other worries.  This is probably one of my favorite pictures from the entire weekend.}


Sunday was cooler and cloudy all day.  There was a chance of rain and we did see a couple of little showers.  The kids woke up earlier than all the adults--ha--and Eden built the morning's fire all by herself.  Way to go! 

{Josh is superman.}

{Yes, Tirzah's jammies got really dirty.}

{Micah and Spice.  See?  He lets me take his picture once in a while and he even smiles!}

{Mitch and Patrick got on breakfast duty and made us pancakes and sausage.}

{The kids hunted for bugs and critters.}

{Tirzah finally got Ruby right where she wanted her.}

Then while I wasn't watching, Aiden got my camera and took some "interesting" shots.
IMG_1901 IMG_1861 IMG_1891 IMG_1903
{Josh.  The saw.  Me giving a camera lesson--maybe he was listening.  Josh and the saw.  Doh!}

I did give some camera was a lot of fun to share and learn together.  We didn't have the best lighting because of the heavy clouds overhead, but we still tried to practice together, and that was a lot of fun.

The kids begged to go to the beach in spite of the cooler weather, and we complied.  It was deserted (smart people) and just after we got there it began to rain.
{So the swimming was short-lived and we headed back to camp.}


{Patrick played the guitar for us.  At first he tried to hide out in the van, but we all followed him and convinced him to join us at the fireside.}

{Only problem with that was he had to deal with adoring fans.}

{We gathered up a game of Kuub and later a tournament of Ladder Golf.}

{Patrick & Tirzah}

{We relaxed around the campfire then gathered for group photos.}

{All the kids}

{Everyone in our group except me...Patrick is going to photoshop me in later.  :) }

Monday the weather was much nicer, but my camera battery was dead.  We woke up, had breakfast, packed up some stuff, and headed to the beach again.}

{Caleb and Tirzah in our hammock}

{Racing out to the buoys.}


{Patrick won!}


After swimming we went back to camp, took down the tents, had lunch, and headed for home.  But the story doesn't end there.  Once home we had to unpack, put away, wash laundry, wash kids, wash ourselves, make a shopping list, go grocery shopping, take Patrick to a grad party...oofda it was a busy evening!  The whole week was SO busy, and I feel like I still haven't caught my breath.  More posts to come, so stay tuned (and I hope your internet bandwith is good enough to handle all these photos)!


  1. It makes me tear up seeing all the pictures of Patrick and Tirzah. He's been a big part of her life for as long as she can remember and she's not old enough to understand why he's going to disappear. Aww.. man, now I'm full on crying. Stupid hormones!

  2. Courtney, all I have to do is think about that first time we'll be skyping with him when he's back home and I start crying. Yes, it's going to be awful. :'( But I watched him skyping with his parents the other day--he was so excited, and they were grinning from ear to ear--and I have no idea what they were talking about (well, some things I know)--but I couldn't help but think how it will feel for their family to be back together and whole and how much joy they will have.

    I can't help but hear the last dialogue between Frodo and Sam in The Return of the King:
    "'I wish I could go all the way with you to Rivendell, Mr. Frodo, and see Mr. Bilbo,' said Sam. 'And yet the only place I really want to be in is here. I am that torn in two.'
    'Poor Sam! It will feel like that, I am afraid,' said Frodo. 'But you will be healed. you were meant to be solid and whole, and you will be.'" (Emphasis mine)

    yeah, I'm a little nerdy like that. ;) But I do know that we will be "healed." We trust that God has a plan behind everything that has happened and will happen and it is SO GOOD!