The reason we make the effort to come together with our friends every year at Family Camp is simply this: We are not trying to raise Godly children. We are trying to raise Godly parents. Get the difference? Our vision cannot be merely one generational. It must be broadened to include and affect so many more. The choices we are making today and tomorrow are going to impact our family and society far into the future for better or for worse. A key phrase that was tossed around quite a bit this last weekend around campfires, across picnic tables, on hayrides, in prayer, through embraces… Building intentional community. Something purposeful. Surrounding our children with friends who share the same vision for the future. Friends who value the same commitment to honoring God. Friends who recognize the importance of family. Friends who are willing to come alongside with encouragement, and yes, sometime admonishment and stick with you for the long haul. Stick with you down in the trenches when it gets a little muddy, a little bloody and a little stinky. Because they know and you know that what you are doing matters. A lot. Our decisions to homeschool, to embrace the blessing of children, to strive to maintain purity in the “dating” culture, to raise young people not in the world, but not afraid to change it either. These are not easy choices. These things make you “weird”. Even in a “church-y” environment. So when 60 something like-minded families come together for the weekend for a time of fellowship, something special happens. Something more special than a game of wolf pack, or jailbreak. Something even more special than smores or tye-dye. The Spirit of God moves. And He fills His people with Power. So when we pack up the car every year, strap on the bikes, and make arrangements for an animal babysitter, and remind ourselves that every trek North has cost us extra money in terms of broken down cars, campers or trailers, we also remember that those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled”. And we need to be filled and renewed with His Spirit at Family Camp.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”
This trip up north was not without it’s mishaps. While driving down the highway on the way to camp, Jeremie noticed bright orange sparks coming from where our tire ought to have been. Yikes. Our tire had fallen off because the lug nuts had not been tightened enough when the wheel was taken off to replace the brake drums. So we had to search along the side of the road for the tires (found after 1/2 hour) and the bolts (found 1, but no others) in the dark with flashlights.
Then while we were at camp, Jack fell off his bike and said he couldn’t walk. After a few hours of watching him shake and cry and be miserable, the camp doctor advised us to take him to the ER. No problem. I’ve been to that ER before when Charlotte split her chin and got stitches a few years ago, while we were at the same campground. The leg turned out not to be broken, but Jack couldn’t walk until almost a week later.
So, yes, in keeping with tradition, we had a few unexpected expenses on the trip. Always an adventure.
Who we saw… Cousins!! Friends!!
Our buddy S.P.
Tommy’s best bud, Joe.
Jimmy and Benja’s dear friend, Judah
What we did…GaGa Ball!! Zip Line!!
Good lookin’ bunch, doncha’ think?
My four oldest.. all zipping at once!
High Ropes!! .
Our own American Ninja Warriors!
Pocahontas and Sacajawea
We all LOVE the leather shop.
It was so fun watching the kids watching…heads swinging back and forth following the ball.
When… Only Friday -Sunday. We meant to be there Thursday as well, but our tire came off the trailer (SPARKS!!) and we didn’t make it to camp til 11:30pm. Friends had our site ready and were waiting with flashlights to help us set up. Priceless.
Where… ICHE family camp!! See you there 2015!!
It’s quite the mess in there.
Working on the greenhouse. I feel like winter is just around the corner and I know I’ll be wanting to start some seeds in here soon. The animals have wreaked havoc on the siding so Jeremie has a lot of mending to do. And he is adding glass to the east side which should let it a lot more light. I have set a deadline for November 1 for it to be arranged such as that I can at least walk in there. Now that I’ve made that deadline public, perhaps there will be more pressure to complete the project? No nagging allowed.
Benja measuring boards for daddy.
Knitting again… I feel the nibbles of a knitting bug. Perhaps he only comes out in cooler weather? I love this little Milo sweater. This cute grey number is for a friend’s baby, hopefully arriving soon!
Helping out friends, selling soap at the farmer’s market. Girls manning the booth, so the mama’s could go to a “coffee meeting”.
Maude, being a lazy bum! But we love her..Life has been a whirlwind of activity since we came home from camping. Friends, meeting, trips to Jackson, work, butchering, gardening. I feel like we jumped back into real life with 2 feet and a major splash!
The answer to last week’s riddle…
“How do animals blend into the desert?”
Camel-flauge! HA HA!
All answers will be entered in the drawing on September 30th.
Riddle #4 Why did the chicken cross the park? (submitted by Jimmy..he loves jokes!)
I have been remiss in my blogging responsibilities!!!! We have been busy having fun at family camp this past week. While I have many, many thoughts and photos to share with you, it may be a few days til they get posted here. But in the meanwhile, I am so sorry to have let that nasty rabbit picture be the first thing you saw on our blog page for so long. Here’s a little cuteness to make up for that …Oh, wait. There are no pictures of cute kids camping. Why not? Well, first of all because they were whirlwinds of activity. I could barely shove food at them before they were off again on another adventure. But also partly because you can’t find them behind the dirt. We have plenty of pictures of grubby, marshmallow-y sticky, sweaty kids. But cute kids..not this time ’round.
How about a funny picture instead? 10 bikes strapped to the back of the van for the 500 mile trek to Wisconsin. Fun times to be had.
Doesn’t everyone have to get the butchering out of the way before leaving for vacation? Just filling the freezer with rabbit meat and chicken. We still have 2 tractors of broilers for our animal babysitter to care for, but the headcount is a much more manageable number after today. Tommy is my main helper with butchering the rabbits. Doing rabbits is so much easier than chickens.. no feathers. We knocked out 12 rabbits in about an hour. I have another generation of bunnies ready to run in tractors for about a month before they end up in the freezer. I am finding that rabbits are cheaper, easier to raise, easier to butcher, and more beneficial for my garden than raising broilers. And the meat tastes very similar, so I may intensify my breeding schedule to get more meat per year. Then later in the day, Jeremie, Tommy, and I processed a few chickens. Our pens were getting overcrowded and our watering system (5 gallon buckets fed by a tube to a hanging waterer) was getting emptied too quickly for our once – a – day animal sitters. I was concerned these birds were not big enough, but dressed out, they came to an average of 4.5 pounds, a decent size. We’ll process the rest after our vacation. It was a cool overcast day. A huge blessing considering it has been in the high 90′s and sunny all week.
I wear my trusty yellow gloves all day on butchering day. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to go gloveless…maybe not.
I have weird kids that like to play with the wind pipes and feet of dead chicken.
Maybe we should buy them some real toys?
Into the whiz-bang plucker on loan from a friend!
Benja was so helpful in putting together our drying rack. We dry the chickens and rabbits before we bag them in shrink wrap freezer bags. Eliminates freezer burn.
After Jimmy and Benja entered their castle and log cabin in the Henry County Fair, there wasn’t much to do with them. So the boys decided to burn them. Let them burn, baby, burn. They put a few firecrackers in there for added drama.
That is the English pronunciation for “Hello!” in Korean. I have befriended a lonely Korean lady lately. She has only been here for a few months and her American husband has had to leave for Hawaii, for his job, while she remains here in Tennessee. She has some kind of complications with her green card. Her name is Ji Yeon and she told me she was overjoyed to see another Asian face. It was fascinating for me to visit with a ”real” Korean. As opposed to me, a “fake” Korean who imagines herself American. I kept laughing while she was talking because… well, I’m not sure why. She probably thought I was crazy. She and her husband lived in Seoul, South Korea for the first 5 or 6 years of their marriage and she hopes to return there soon. She is not loving America, I am thinking. So she came over for dinner one night this week and brought along her young son, who, up until 2 months ago, lived in a downtown apartment with his family and extended relatives. Now, he attends public school from 6:30 am to 3:30 pm. I was happy to see him be able to run around outside and enjoy our farm animals. He really enjoyed the horse ride and informed us all that he will be back soon for another one. He thought it was quite hilarious to chase and catch a baby piglet as well. How good for him to be able to experience nature and fresh air and exercise. His mother and I have plans for an excursion to Fort Campbell where there is a large population of Koreans and, best of all, Korean restaurants!