Jun 30, 2011


Oh, kids say the best things!  When you take the time to enjoy them, it's really entertaining to hear all the things they say—and what they actually say, not just what they mean (though that's important too)!

"Do you remember when you used to call me Brandon?" — Brandon
"Can I have a knac?" —Tyler ("snack".  I had no idea what he was talking about!  When I finally got it, Stacy and I laughed for a good 5 minutes)
"Your 'rudolph' isn't brown anymore!"  —Brandon (Poor Stacy scrapped her nose last week.  Brandon noticed that it is healing nicely)
"I'm gonna twickle you!" —Micah
"Bel-bow" —Ben ("elbow")
"Those Poopers!" —Tyler and Brandon (they call the geese 'poopers' because, well, they poop everywhere!)
"Why dows it tay 'no tish watching'? —Tyler (why does it say 'no dish washing')
"I'm trying to get a sun burn!!" —Tyler (he was laying on a beach towel and we told him it looked like he was getting a sun tan—Rose came by and asked what he was doing and this was his response)

ps. photo of me taken by the lovely Emily before I got to ride the ZIP LINE for the first time!

Smile. I Dare You.

It’s just been one of those days.

There are tons of people at the campground—which is fine, really, it’s only a sneak peak into what Family Camp will be shortly—but the level of rude that people can reach has surprised me today.
Maybe I’m more sensitive to it today?  I don’t know.  But I was struck by how impatient everyone was in the bathroom this morning—so short tempered and offended that the paper-towel dispenser that they were banging on had quit working, so angry that they had forgotten their soap, and appalled at the sight of a handicap shower.
You might not have known this, but people who are physically handicapped don’t shower.  Yeah, it was news to me too.  Needless to day, it wasn't too much fun getting ready this morning... especially in my staff shirt.

It didn’t stop there.  At 9:00 and we only had about 9 kids.  Awesome!  A super manageable size, but we can still do a lot of fun things!  And then 9:45 rolled around, and in the middle of our morning routine, 6 kids walked in.  Oh, and I forgot to mention: drop off time ends at 9.  Coming in 45 minutes late, and ‘mom’ was not too thrilled with me.  Apparently we charge too much?   Sorry, I don't set the prices...?

Ugh, but despite that, it's been a pretty fun day. The campers are great and not to blame for their crazy parents or the strange visitors in the bathroom.  It's super hot outside, (FINALLY!) and some fun activities at the horse ranch planned for this afternoon.  Should be great :)

Jun 28, 2011


So, yesterday we had 18 kids.
Yes. 18.
Remember when we were worried that we would get any campers? Well, that feeling has long since passed.  Today we have 22 kids, most are around the ages of 6 and 8.
It's been a blast, but it can completely wear us out.  On top of that, I'm still recovering from the cold I had this past weekend—which has left a cough and a runny nose to keep me company :(  Hopefully I'll have pictures to post soon!

I'm taking pictures for the senior teen campers this week too, so I've been plenty busy in the evenings!  I want to be involved in the over night camps, but that leaves little rest time for me after a full day with the day campers.  And most of my quiet time is spent trying to sort through the pictures and edit those that I do have... which I have been behind in lately... oops!  But it's worth it—I've also had a chance to see some of my girls from last year! And that was super exciting :]

But now I'm tired. Hopefully more later, but with only a few minutes left in quiet time, I need some rest!

Jun 24, 2011

Adventure Day Camp—Week 2

Look at these silly boys!  We had a blast with them (though still dealing with some bad attitude issues from the little man in the hat...).  But we love the hay rides!  Hopefully we'll have more kids on the next one though, because without the weight to hold it down, this one became VERY bumpy!

 And how can you not fall in love with this face?  Isn't he darling? :)  Unfortunately he got sick yesterday and had to go home early.  And I'm blaming him for my current state.
More time at the beach this week! They made some epic sand castles—the one above had the largest 'moat' of them all!  It was pretty intense, and she was very proud :)

 And my lovely co-workers :)  I love getting to spend time with them every day.

Tag games! 

Sick and Random

It's the end of June and I am stuck in bed with a cold.  Runny nose, congestion and fatigue.
This is not how counseling is supposed to go.

And just as a warning, my thoughts are so scattered right now that I can hardly stick to one topic for very long, so this post is probably going to jump around a whole lot!

Not doing so hot on the sleeping thing.  I've been able to dose quite a bit, but only one real nap.  Although, it was so heavy, that my spinal cord felt fused into place when I woke up.  I just remember laying there wondering if I would be able to move at all.  And realizing how much I had to go to the bathroom!
Wow, you don't realize what a blessing indoor plumbing is until you're sick and have to walk a block in order to use the bathroom or to get a drink of water!  And to top it off, it's a big weekend here at the campground, and there are people EVERYWHERE.  Because, you know, that's what I want to do when I'm sick, walk past tons of people—feeling and looking as bad as I do—trying to get to the bathroom before I a) explode, or b) get too tired and have to sit down and rest.

But during one of my ventures out, my ADC campers went by on their friday hay ride!  I had mixed feelings, because again, I didn't really want to be seen—but they all yelled and waved to me and I felt so loved afterwards!  And they don't care what I look like anyway :)  It was nice to hear the "hello"s and "I love you"s and the screams of "Mother Dearest!"  haha
I just wish I felt well enough to be with them...  I've missed them a lot these past two days!

And I got a text that some of the other counselors had a chance to try out the zip-line today!  I turned green.  It could have been because I'm sick, but I'm pretty sure it was due to some untimely envy.  Not that I would have been able to go anyway—because I would have been with my ADCs—but it's another reminder of what I'm missing today.

Being sick is so not fun.

You know, it's so great when you have people in your life who will put up with the fact that you're sick, who still like to be around you, will give your germ-y persona a hug, and can really make you laugh.  And laugh hard, despite the fact that you've felt more like crying all day.  And you know you're blessed when one of those people is your handsome boyfriend.
Thanks Superman, I appreciate you more than I can say—now go sanitize! :P

Jun 23, 2011

The Boss

I bet you wish your boss was as cool and sophisticated as mine.
All-staff softball game was this week, hopefully more pictures shortly :)

Jun 22, 2011


So this is what Brian did to me.  Don't give your friends hugs people!  They'll betray you, and then trip on the sidewalk.

Jun 21, 2011

Chalk and Nikie Names

Our theme this week is "Growth".  So we went outside yesterday (during the few moments that it wasn't raining) and drew things that grow on the sidewalk!
Hoping to incorporate some home-made sidewalk paint within the next few weeks, but we'll see how that goes.  Anywho, here are some photos that I snapped during that time.
Also to share: some newly acquired nick names! Compliments of Head Lifeguard (Nikie)
For the 3 leaders of the Adventure day camps:
Becca — Boss Lady
Stacy — The Teacher
Katrina — Mother Dearest

Theme Verse: 2 Peter 3:18, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ"

Relays Gone Rogue

While planning our schedule last week, we were informed that the beloved 'swim time' was not going to be available for Monday.  Not that we're really attached to the 10am swim routine, but we were informed that we couldn't go on the water at all on Monday—not morning or afternoon, for either swimming or boats.
Not okay!
The campers love being in the water, and as a campground, that's one of the biggest perks that we have to offer to them—not to mention, it's pretty easy on us to just play around in the water, or to sit on the beach and keep an eye on them.
But we planned some water relay games to do instead.  We figured that they would still be getting wet that way, and it could be fun—right?  I think the Becca and Stacy joined me in being a little unsure about the activity.  Not that it wouldn't be any fun, but that it wouldn't quite measure up to the fun of the beach and sand.  And did I mention that it was overcast and gross outside?  Cuz it was overcast and gross outside.

But oh! We had an absolute BLAST!  We started out with the relays, and though we had about 6 planned, we only did the first 3 and a water ballon toss before ambushing them with water balloons and sponges filled with water. It was the most fun I have had in a while!  Dripping wet and screaming, we ran around the field, dodged between picnic tables, and tried to get everyone else as wet as we were!  SO much better than the lake!

I don't have any pictures of the fight, because I was quite busy getting my campers wet and trying not to get hit by another bucket of cold water—but I will add some photos of my war wounds soon.  While giving a hug to a dry friend (who dumped a bucket of water on me!), we tripped and fell on the cement.  We weren't hurt very badly, but I've got a few scrapes to show off now  :)

Oh, how I love counseling!

Jun 20, 2011

Quotation Marks

m Oh, how I love working with kids—they say the best things! haha
Here are some of my favorites from week 1 and 2, hopefully more to come :)

Week 1
"Rubbish" — Adam
"I'm allergic to girls" —Jack
"We used the other-different-kind-of-baby-turtle-food" —Brandon
"It's not the 'Amazing Race', it's the 'Handsome Race for all Super Heros and Princesses'" —Jack
"We hugged for longer than 7 seconds, that means it was a real hug" —Allison (which explains the death-grip around my neck...)
"You dot to be tidding me" —Tyler ('you've got to be kidding me')
"Baa" —Ben ('bye', said like he's from the deep south)

Week 2
"Why can't you talk right?" (Brandon to Tyler, who doesn't say his 's's)
"Are diamonds poisonous?" —Tyler
"I'm dur-ty, I nee a dink" —Tyler (no, not 'dirty', but 'thirsty')
"Is this for fake?" —Brandon
"I'm going to wear my cow girl clothes every Thursday..." —Lindsay
"Reach for the sky" —Jack

There were so many more, but my lack of preparation caused me to slide on the whole "write it down so you remember" thing, so this is all I have right now

Jun 17, 2011


Well, yesterday was Day 4 and we had 4 campers.
Today we have officially reached the esteemed Day 5 and were joined by 5 campers!
This has been great so far God, but don't get too carried away now...
But it's been great—we're working with our own schedule, so the great thing is that we can spend more time on what they love (or need, like nap time), or we can spend less time on something that they don't have as much fun with (or we don't have enough people for...).  And in the end, it's just really neat to be in this position!  I could live without the 6am wake up, but the quiet time in the morning is kinda nice.

T-man—shown in the bottom picture with the shell he found—is learning to say "please" and "thank you" this week.  He's getting pretty good at it :)

Our most loyal camper's favorite word is "rubbish".  Everything is either "rubbish", or "better than that other rubbish".  Haha, it's pretty funny.  And we're breaking through to him—he was refusing to admit that he was having fun (responded to everything with "eh" when not using "rubbish"), but yesterday we caught him saying "yay" about our next activity! hahaha, victory is sweet!  He also started reading the Bible we gave him‚ which is really exciting!  Praying that it continues :)

Our theme this week is "Treasure", with the theme verse being Matthew 6:21 — "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also".  So we have spent plenty of time finding God's treasure—both in nature and with the people that we meet—and we are seeking after His treasure by treating His creation well.

The other counselors are finally back—I'm so glad!  Even though we don't get to see them very much, it's nice to know that they are there, and to at least see them at dinner again.

Jun 15, 2011

Three for Three

Today started off rather slow—but a slow pace that I needed.  The majority of the drop off time was spent without any kids, though towards the end I started to fear that we wouldn't have any!
Day 3 brings 3 kids (if this pattern continues, we shall soon be too full to function!).
And despite the cold, we have been able to have some fun today.  We built sand castles on the beach and played some on the playground before roasting hot dogs over a fire for our "fun" lunch of the week.
We're currently enjoying some down time—though it is becoming clear that the personal quiet time (PQT) is more for the counselors than the kids.  Oh well, we'll stick with the theory that it's good for them! haha

One of the funniest things of today happened right when we got to the beach.  Head Lifeguard proudly displayed all 700 layers of long sleeved shirts, her pants and her hat and informed us that she was still cold.  Once we got onto the beach, the oldest boy, Adam, requested to take the swim test that would allow him to swim in the "shark" zone (deeper water).  He hasn't been interested the past few days, but he really wanted to this time.

Nikie looked at him in stunned disbelief.  In order to give him the test, she would have to go into the water herself—something she had no desire (or intention) of doing.  The rest of us busted up laughing while poor Adam was entirely lost and Head Lifeguard sputtered her refusal.

It was super funny

Jun 14, 2011

Camp Surprises

Well, it's been a crazy few days.  I don't even know where to begin.  As of Saturday (i.e. day before I move in / day of brother's party), I was switched to a slightly different position at camp.  Instead of being the traditional counselor, I am now co-directing the new program: the all summer day camp.
So now my responsibilities have doubled as I not only have to care for the children, their needs and interests while they are here, but I am also coming up with lesson plans, creating a schedule for each day, back up plans in case of rain or other set backs (more on that soon), communicating our plans and needs to the other staff members, themes for each week, and take home material for the parents (thankfully with the help of 2 other people—soon to be reduced however...).  Needless to say, it's been a rather prayer-full last few days.

Very dependent on God.
Very experimental.
Very on our toes.
Very tired.

We came up with the majority of this week's schedule on Sunday night—it was the first time that all 3 of us had a chance to get together with our bosses and talk over our plans (and fill me in on what was going on!).  We expected about 4 kids the first day—not bad, we could start off easy and get into the grove of things.  Small, but totally do-able.
Monday morning came—pick up time is from 7-9, and by 7:30 we had our first child!  Yay!  Filled with excitement, some nerves and anticipation, we eagerly awaited the other children.
All of whom didn't show up.
So we had a very different kind of day, but it went well overall.  We were able to delight in him and get used to our new schedule.
Today we doubled our number of campers: A grand total of two.
More fun, but now getting kinda discouraged...  but it will get better when more of the schools are out—we are expecting quite a few more in two weeks if not before then.

Only expecting two again tomorrow, and rain.  Well, pray for some creativity this week as we strive to show them how fun camp is despite some limitations :)
(oh, and I'm leading the lesson / "story time" tomorrow—extra prayer towards that would be much appreciated.  Pre-planned teaching isn't exactly a talent that I have really worked towards...)

No Stopping This Party

This past weekend was Blond Brother's Grad party, and to say the least, this place was pretty crazy!  I have never seen so many people try to smush themselves into our tiny backyard.  At one point I was quite literally stuck!  I had no room to move out of the walkway that I had inconveniently placed myself in!
Oh my.
But it was a lot of fun—great to see so many people that I love and care about, and so great to see my brother supported so much :)

Love you bud!

Jun 9, 2011

Shipshe, Italy, Parties and Camp

Oh my, it has been quite a week.
The annual girls trip to Shipshewana was this week, so Grandma, Mom, Sister and I packed up the car and met one of our Aunts and Cousins in Shipshe for Monday and Tuesday.  It was great to hang out with all of them, and to just share stories and laugh together!  But it was HOT.
I mean, smoking hot.
The first day we spent largely in the air conditioned shops around town, in the fabulous restaurants (yay Amish food!), and in our hotel room.  But the second day was spent at the flea market, and we cooked.
It was 97* when we got back into the car.
But it was fun anyway—we always get a good laugh over some of the things around the flea market, but the strangest thing we saw this time was people walking around with bundles of sticks.  Tons of people walking around the flea market with their little bundles of sticks.  Why? We haven't the slightest idea!  It was buzzar.  We're starting to get used to the little unbrella-hats, the Asian dollar–store booths full of junk, and the ... interesting clothing selections available.  But the sticks are beyond me.
As soon we came back, I was greeted by the lovely Hillary!  She was in Italy for a while and stayed with us for a few nights until her parents were able to come pick her up.  So that was great, we were able to catch up nicely :)
But no rest for long!  We are getting ready for Blond Brother's graduation on Saturday.  LOTS of cleaning to do for that.  And I leave for SBC on Sunday, so I need to start packing if I'm going to spend all of Saturday hosting.

This is one of those times when I wish I was the type of person who could pack quickly instead of needing to think everything through 10,000 times.

Jun 3, 2011

He's a Wit

I spent quite a bit of Tuesday evening in deep thought.  I really have been blessed in so many ways, but there is always a time when the reality of money (or lack-thereof) will cause me to muse—and not necessarily in a good way.  The frustrating part is when I have nothing to do in order to earn money, and have made endeavors to continue making money—like earlier this week for instance.  I had contacted all of my clients for my while-not-at-camp summer jobs, and did not get a single bite.  Nothing.
So after talking it over with mom, I took the college loans, the upcoming bills and all other fast approaching expenses and I told on them.  Yes, I told God on them—it's His battle to fight, not mine.  I spent that evening in prayer over the high priced demands on my life, and soon felt better about it.

The next morning (Wednesday) I checked my Arborshire Email to find some unread message—holding my breath, I secretly hopped that they were from my clients, but alas, they were not.  In fact, they were all from the school.
So I skimmed through the weekly announcements, few of which applied to me now that I am not on campus and clicked through other writings—only to stumble upon an Email from the Student Development office.  Oh, how nice.
I had received an unexpected grant for $1000!!!  "Please reply if you would like to accept."  Is this a trick question...?  Umm, yes, I would love to accept the grant!
I had filled out an application for the grant in April and had completely forgotten about it—I had no expectation of getting it, so after I wrote the essays and sent it in, in completely slipped my mind.

Yes God, you are very funny.  Letting me sit and think and think, just waiting for me to hand it over lock, stock and barrel before telling me about this.  So funny ;]

Jun 2, 2011

Check List — June.2.11

- Wake up late but still get out the door on time by taking the fastest shower evah: Check
- Road closed, take the long way—still make it: Check
- Work in June's garden: Check
- Take cans back and collect $$: Check
- Make dinner with mom: Check
- Save teenager bird: Check (more to come on that...)
- Do something nice for Sick Brother:  Check
- Rip thumb-nail on mysterious invisible object while trying to do something nice for Sick Brother...


- Clean blood off what is left of thumb-nail, squeak out exclamations of pain, get laughed at by mom, apply medical tape: Check
- Finish doing something nice: Check