Monday, September 26, 2011

Church Family Camp pt2

The next morning dawned bright and early once again and I realized a mistake I'd made.
In my wanting to be near adults and not away from the camp (you know, in case we had to make a run for it in the middle of the night if lightning started up again), I had pitched my tent in the middle of all the cabins.
Tents get light early.
Kids wake up early when it's light.
Kids are not easy to keep quiet when they are excited about camping out for real for the first time.
Kids have to pee as soon as they wake up.
Oh dear, the bathroom was not close.
I was tired.
I was cranky.
I had not slept much that night and wanted them to go back to bed.
They wanted to practice somersaults and hand stands in the tent.
They wanted to roll to the bottom and crash against the side and make the whole thing shake.
I yelled.
I, for the first time in my life, told my kids to "shut up!
You're going to wake everyone else up around us!"
Instantly, their laughter turned to tears or anger and I covered my face with my hands and cried.
I wanted to go home.
Nater Mater marched around the tent singing, "shut up! shut up! shut up!" Giggling and looking naughtily at me.
Good Lookin' joined in "shut up stupid! shut up stupid!" and marched behind his little brother.
Double blow to my already deflated pride.
I hadn't said THAT!
I gathered them up, apologized to them for saying the forbidden and asked for their forgiveness.
Precious Jewel asked if I had to lick soap since they had to if they said those things.
I said yes, they could watch me later if they insisted.
She gleefully accepted.

The rest of the day went well.
I stumbled into breakfast far too early, but they had been up nearly 2 hours already and I couldn't contain them in the tent anymore.
When I was told that breakfast was not yet open, I pulled out our pound of animal crackers and told the kids to have as much as they wanted.
We waited until everyone else arrived and it was officially time to open breakfast.
Hot chocolate...can I say I love it?
It keeps cold and hungry tummys quiet and mommas happy.

Much of that morning was spent stomping around in puddles and wet clothes and finding treasures like frogs and bugs.
Good Lookin' loves his little friends and I'm glad that even though he is ALL BOY he doesn't mind that his closest friends happen to be mostly girls.
It's who is in his Sunday School class and who we mostly play with.

The kids followed around the one college student who had also fattended like little mice after the Pied Piper.

Later that morning we had a small worship service.
Oh yeah, can those kids dance.

But sitting still for long is another story.
I ended up with most of my little Sunday School class beside me and I gave them my camera to keep them occupied.

I have to say, Good Lookin' takes good pictures!

When the music slowed down, I took them to the back.
My older 2 had already been sequestered by another parent to my relief, so I was left with just the younger 2 and their little friends.

Nater Mater spent the first 10 minutes silently rolling around on the floor throwing a fit because I wouldn't let him up on the stage with the worship leaders.
At least he was silent!
i don't know where the child learned that he could throw a rolling around on the floor fit as long as he was quiet, but he's done it more than once and I let a good thing alone.
Throw your fit baby, just don't disturb the rest of us.
He eventually gets bored and joins us anyway.

The other little kids were old enough to sort of know what was going on, but too wiggly to sit still through it all.
I let them each collect as many hymn books and pew Bibles as they wanted and they stacked and lined them up on their laps and beside each other and "followed along."
None of them can read and it was so stinkin' cute.
They had their little fingers on the music notes and random scripture passages and thought they were so big.
They WERE LEARNING. They just didn't know it.

After Chapel and in spite of the cold, we moms finally said yes to swimming. There was a break in the rain but it was still freekishly cold for getting wet on purpose.
It's doubly cold for those who don't possess an ounce of body fat.
Good Lookin' didn't last more than 5 minutes before he begged to go back to the cabin and get dressed.

The others had a blast for all of about 15 minutes before the cold water and air drove them out too.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend in spite of or even with the heavy rain and cold.
I am so blessed to be part of a church that loves each other like a family.
No church is perfect but we do Caring for Each Other and Encouraging Each Other and Inter-generational well.
I believe it leads to good discipleship and healthy families who can minister to others around them better.

And I hope that we can do it again next year with Luke along.

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