June 06, 2011

Kids at Camp, Day 1

Charis, Tobin, and Arden are experiencing something new this week--day camp nearby!  Here's how the camp itself describes the program:

"Campers will participate in a weeklong variety of activities that will encourage them to explore and appreciate the outdoors in a biblically informed way. Programs can include a time of wilderness education, map reading/orienteering, games, gardening, fishing, archery, and horse riding/training. Riding classes incorporate patience, emotional control, and learning how to communicate with a horse without the use of force or intimidation. We teach respectful boundaries with horses; how to keep an animal out of your space while improving leadership and love. A period of Bible instruction and reflection is included to encourage the campers to enjoy a daily walk with Christ and appreciation of his word. A climbing wall, paddleboats, a planned zip-line and giant swing, or exploring our woods provide an outlet for excess energy in a non-harmful way."

I knew Charis would love it, since she's a girl and therefore in love with horses.  And I figured the boys would enjoy it as well, since their pal Justin has been attending the past couple of years with his older sister Jessica.  Stefanie and I are carpooling--I take the kids in the morning (we leave at 8 a.m.), and she brings them home in the afternoon (camp ends at 3:30 p.m.).  

Today was the first time we had set foot on the campus, and I was glad to see it in person.  We had looked at a lot of pictures to prepare the kids for what they would see and do.  This week is the homeschool session, and it's a small crew, only 14 kids total.  But I think that's just fine!

The only bad thing is...apparently Arden has inherited his dad's allergy to horses. :-(  In typical Arden fashion, however, he took it all in stride, did NOT want the camp leaders to call Mom, and didn't complain a bit.  I promptly gave him Benadryl when he walked in the kitchen and I saw his red, puffy eyes and heard from Stefanie what happened!  I made him go shower and change his clothes, too!  The kids are only around horses Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so we'll see what he wants to do the next couple of times.  The leaders said he could double up on the other activity--they split the kids into two groups, and while one group is with the horses, the other group does something like the zip line or ropes course activities.  So, if he prefers to not put himself through that again, he can do that.  Or, we can give him more allergy meds before he goes and have some on hand to keep in his system to get him through the day...I think he really DID enjoy being with the horses, so I wouldn't be too surprised if he chooses this option.

They have a Bible study during the day as well, and it sounded really neat.  All in all, I think it will be a great week for all of us.

When I got home from dropping kids off this morning, Eilene picked Kenna up to take to the dog park with her, and Chris came over to get Lucan and take him to her house across the street for some play time.  I happily organized our bookshelves and brought out ALL of our Sonlight books to put on their own special shelves!  I decided I would much rather let the kids have the opportunity to read/reread all these great books rather than have them perfectly organized and separated and sitting in boxes in our closet.

I gathered a sackful of trash from around the book case area and filled 2 1/2 bins with items for the July community garage sale.  Woohoo!  All the shelves got cleared and dusted at some point, and all the shelves now have books neatly aligned on them.  I'm going to be VERY strict with the Sonlight shelves, but we'll see how long that lasts...  I put all of Lucan's board books in a Rubbermaid container to keep beside the bookshelves, so that freed up a lot of space, too, and will make it easier to clean up his books, since they are the most awkward and bulky pieces of our library.  We actually have a shelf and a half EMPTY!  Probably not for long, once I have all the kids retrieve the various books from the Suburban, their rooms, etc.

I should note that I only worked on the two bookcases that house kids' books...I didn't even attempt to change anything on Ted's and my shelves!  I'm sure as the garage sale dates get closer, I may want to purge some more, but as I don't want/need to add anything to those shelves at this point, I wasn't concerned about doing anything there.  It's really amazing how two bookcases could take up so much of my time!  But I'm thankful for the opportunity to get to this project, as it's been bugging me for weeks now!

I took lunch over to Chris's back porch, and we all ate (Kenna had joined Lucan by that point, and the two were happily playing in the kiddie pool), and then I brought the kids home for Lucan's nap.  Kenna puttered around, watched part of a movie, and mostly waited for me to give her some attention. :-)  So we did a few things together, and I still managed to finish up what I wanted/needed to with the book shelves.

Then the older kids came home and cleaned and showered, and I...drum roll, please...actually got a night out!  Our church moms' night out group was meeting at The Cheesecake Factory, and I had posted on our Helping Hands web site about the event awhile ago, but no one had signed up as of yesterday.  Megan gently reminded people, and a friend from church signed up and came over to watch the kiddos for me!  So I got to escape from the house WITHOUT KIDS!!  First time since Ted left...has it really only been two weeks and a day?!  So, I feel slightly spoiled by all the time I had to myself today.  I could get used to this, LOL!  

I tucked the older kids in when I got home and had some sweet moments being able to hear more from each one individually about their camp experiences.  It was after 9:30 when I left their rooms...I hope I'll be able to drag them out of bed for their early breakfast tomorrow!

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