Monthly Archives: July 2013

Our family has grown by two feet!

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Our family has grown by two feet!

Our family has grown by two feet!

There are certain moments in my mothering journey that are ingrained in my memory forever. Moments when time stands still, when I am completely present and aware of the magnitude of the blessings, moments that will stay with me forever and will be replayed and enjoyed as I reflect on them years from now.. Yesterday was one of those days.

As I sit here in the darkness of the night I have the joy of reflecting on the day. With the births of each of my children my favorite part of the day was the night after giving birth. After the sun went down, and everyone went home and I was left alone in the hospital room with my new child. My heart overflowed with gratitude and relief that it was done and all was well. All the worries about what could go wrong were set aside as the enormity of the miracle was laid before me. Tonight I find myself feeling those same emotions. Labor is over, the worries about everything that could have gone wrong were unfounded and I am humbled by the miracle God has laid before me. Tyler is mine. It is done. I feel the weight of worry lifted from my shoulders and my heart overfloweth.

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Today couldn’t have gone any better. I saw God’s hand in this beautiful day from beginning to end. Our scheduled court time was 1:30 but we were told to arrive at 1:00. Mimi Joy followed us down to Pittsburgh where we met my parents, my grandma, and my sister and her kids for the ceremony. It was so special to have the people most important to us join us on our special day and it was with great love that they traveled from New York, Michigan and Ohio to join us.

We arrive!

We arrive!

When we arrived we went through security and then took the elevator up to the 9th floor. Tyler was quieter than usual and I could tell he was nervous. As we walked into the auditorium where we would wait with all the other families adopting that day we were greeted with a sign that read, “Happy Adoption Day!” ..my tears began. The reality that we made it, that we were in the home stretch, hit me.

When I walked into the waiting room I found myself overwhelmed by the sheer joy that filled the room. The room was full of families and children that were there to finalize their adoptions. The atmosphere was one of celebration. There were cookies and cupcakes. There was a photographer taking family pictures as well as taking pictures of the children being adopted and making them into buttons. There was also a woman doing balloon animals for the kids. She was amazing and the kids all had fun getting  balloons made.

Tyler picked Mickey Mouse

Tyler picked Mickey Mouse

Lydia picked Ariel

Lydia picked Ariel

Gracie picked Belle

Gracie picked Belle

It was soon time for us to head to the courtroom. The entire family came in. Toby and I sat in front of the judge with Tyler on Toby’s lap while everyone else sat behind us. The judge introduced himself and welcomed us. He was wonderful. He joked with the kids and put us all at ease. He also told us that he personally knew the joy of adoption day because he had adopted his child. The hearing itself consisted of a series of questions that we had to answer and then a series of questions that the social worker had to answer. Within minutes we heard the judge declare, “From this day forth Tyler will now be known as Tyler Jacob McCleery.” Even now I find the tears falling as I think back on the emotions I felt at that moment. He was ours..finally ours.

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The judge then presented Tyler with a teddy bear he had signed with Tyler’s new name on it and a goody bag of treats.  He then invited us up on the stand to have our pictures taken with him. He joked that our family beat the previous record for the most people up on the stand at one time.

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As we filed out of the courtroom there were tears,  hugs of congratulation and goodbyes as we said farewell to the social workers who have been such a big part of our lives for the last 10 months.

The social workers who have been walking side by side with Tyler for the last few years..

The social workers who have been walking side by side with Tyler for the last few years..

Afterward we all drove to Saga, a Japanese steakhouse, to celebrate. It was so much fun. We did the hibachi dinner so we sat around a grill and watched our food be cooked. It was perfect. The little kids loved the show and we all enjoyed the food. It was a special way to end a very special day with the people we love most.

Cousins!

Cousins!

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Dinner ended with a happy birthday song for Tyler in honor of “being born” today!

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As I sit here and reflect on this adoption journey I am amazed at the difference a year makes. Last year at this time we didn’t even know Tyler existed and here we are today with a son. It feels like he has always been ours. We have witnessed first hand  God’s goodness as He laid the foundation for this day over the course of many years. He put upon our hearts the desire to adopt 10 years ago and from that moment on  He provided opportunities to grow and prepare for this moment so that when the time was right, and we were ready, our son would be placed in our arms. It was a long pregnancy and a long labor but the blessing of watching God’s miracles along the way made it a journey of joy. When I started this blog.. soon after Tyler was placed in our home.. it was so you could walk beside us as we navigated this unknown terrain called adoption. We are grateful for all the prayers you have prayed on our behalf, for the words of encouragement that always came when they were most needed and the support we received from so many. It is with great joy that were share this day with you. God is Good!

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“He may not have my eyes or smile but from that very first moment he had my heart!” 

Cousin time!

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Saturday morning we drove out to Ohio to visit my parents as well as some other special visitors…the cousins! My sister drove down from Michigan  with her 4 kids in tow to see my parents and to be here for Tyler’s adoption. We don’t get to see them very often so we always squeeze as much visiting, laughter and fun into whatever time we have together as we can.

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Gracie and baby Noah

We drove out on Saturday with plans to take part in the local Johnny Appleseed Day activities in the community but ended up having so much fun at the homestead that we never left.

The cousins had a lot of fun playing together. It was a wonderful opportunity for Tyler to become acquainted with his new cousins before we all go on vacation in a few weeks to the U.P. of Michigan for the week. Tyler has only met my sister’s children once before.. last Thanksgiving.. so it took him a little bit of time to warm up to them initially. It wasn’t too long before they were all playing together.

Cousin time!

Cousin time!

My mom, sister and I had the opportunity to go out shopping without kids in the morning. We had to run out to pick up the KFC chicken we were having for lunch so we took advantage of our freedom and did a little shopping while the men watched the 8 kids. We stopped at a thrift store in town that we all love. My mom slipped my sister and I $20.00 each to find a “treasure” for ourselves. We had fun shopping and visiting and each ended up with some new treasures for our homes. It is a rare treat to have time with just the three of us together. We might get it once a year so when we have the opportunity to escape without kids for a few hours we squeeze in as much visiting and shopping as we can. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful mom and sister. They truly are my best friends and I am so grateful for both of them!

Sammy and Nate

Sammy and Nate

When we returned home (Yes, we eventually came home) we had our KFC lunch and then the kids went swimming in Mimi and Pop Pop’s pool. It was a hot day and the pool was nice and cool.

The girls!

The girls!

Grace and Sammy

Grace and Sammy

Nate enjoying the pool!

Nate enjoying the pool!

Silly girls!

Silly girls!

In the afternoon, after the kids dried off ,we celebrated birthdays. We don’t see eachother as frequently as we would like so when we do get together it usually results in a few months worth of birthday celebrations in one sitting. On Saturday we celebrated Toby’s birthday, Dad’s birthday, and Father’s Day. Toby’s received a beautiful hand crank ice cream maker from my parents that we can’t wait to try out!

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While we were there we also celebrated Buster’s (the goat) half birthday. The kids bought him two bandanas to wear. He is now guaranteed to be the most stylish goat in the barnyard.

Buster is 6 months old..

Buster is 6 months old..

While we were at the barn celebrating Buster’s birthday we also helped milk Buster’s momma. Sammy wanted to try milking so Molly tried to teach him how it was done.

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Out in the farmyard the kids enjoyed brushing the animals, peeking at the new baby chicks, and playing with all of the critters.

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All too soon it was time to head home but only after a quick hay ride. Pop pop took the kids in the wagon that he pulls with his tractor. The kids had fun going up and down the driveway.

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We hated to leave but saying goodbye was easier than usual knowing that in just two days we would be seeing them in Pittsburgh for Tyler’s adoption. It’s almost here.. 🙂

A look back at our vacation with Dr. G!

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Last week we had a blast vacationing with cousins but they weren’t the only ones we knew at the shore..we also had Gracie’s orthodontist popping up at many of our vacation destinations.

Hey there, Dr. G!

Hey there, Dr. G!

We love Dr. G!  He and the staff at Gulland Orthodontics are always coming up with fun activities, community service projects and monthly contests to make the “braces experience” a bit more fun. This summer they are having a “Doc on a Stick” contest. We were given a Dr.G face on a stick, reminiscent of Flat Stanley, that we then photograph while on our summer adventures. There is a cash prize offered for the top three photos so Dr. G joined us on vacation and had all sorts of crazy fun!

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Here are some of the places he popped up at this week..

At the shore:

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Hey there, Dr. G!

 

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On the rides at the Ocean City boardwalk. He was quite the thrill seeker!

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On a rainy day at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum:

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Dr. G  “photo bombing” a poor old lady. He is such a ham!

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..and her husband 🙂

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It seemed everywhere we went he would pop up!

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We even stumbled across him at the beach. He was buried in the sand, enjoying the sun.

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Well, Dr. G, it was a blast. We laughed.. we cried.. we ate boardwalk fries. Thanks for the memories! 🙂

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One step closer!

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We are back! After a wonderfully relaxing week at the beach we arrived back in the Pittsburgh area on Sunday night. We walked through the door around  9:00 after a short stop in Cranberry for a youth devotional about the pioneer trek activity Gracie attended in June. Although we were all tired after being in the car for eight hours we decided to stop so Gracie could participate in the trek reunion before we headed home. While Grace and I listened to speakers talk about their experiences on trek as well as see video and  pictures of the event Toby kept the others entertained in the church parking lot. It was a wonderful night but we were glad to get back on the road and officially be home.

When we arrived home we found the grass higher (it was like a jungle!), the garden filled with vegetables, a new litter of baby bunnies and Bailey’s collar laying on the table. Earlier in the week we recieved a call from the man who was animal sitting for us that when he arrived for the evening chores Bailey was curled up on her bed, not moving. She had died in her sleep. When we received the news on Tuesday we made the decision to wait to tell the kids until the vacation was over rather than spoil their week with the sadness that we were feeling over this loss. We told the kids on Sunday before we arrived home. All the kids were heartbroken and there were many tears shed for our beloved dog. Rusty took it especially hard. He was the one who took care of Bailey everyday. In addition to feeding and watering her he was the one who would administer her medications morning and night. It was a true labor of love as he sorted and hand crushed the many pills she was taking to keep her heart and lungs working. He would crushed them up and then cook them into scrambled eggs every morning and night and did so with great love and care. It is always hard to lose a beloved pet but there is a part of me that recognizes the blessing of her passing happening when and how it did. She hasn’t been herself since December when she first became sick. We made every effort to bring about healing but the vet warned us that due to the damage her heart had suffered she was likely to pass away unexpectedly from her heart simply “giving out.” I am grateful for the time we did have with Miss Bailey. I am grateful that she passed peacefully as she slept and I am grateful that it happened while we were gone so Rusty or Tyler weren’t the ones who had to discover the body. Matt buried her body under a small willow tree in the yard. It is our “Giving Tree” …the place where we lay to rest our dearest furry companions. Like the tree in the book, The Giving Tree, these pets have taught us the lesson of unconditional love..always freely giving and expecting nothing in return.

Miss Bailey

Miss Bailey

Soon after arriving home everyone was tucked into bed. We had a busy day the next day and needed a good night’s sleep. The following morning we were up with the sun as we prepared for our final safety inspection and social worker visit. After being gone for two weeks there was a lot to do before she arrived at 9:00 am. As Gracie,Molly, Rusty and I raced around wiping, vacuuming, cleaning toilets, etc..Tyler slept. Tyler, who is usually up before 7:00am, finally had to be shaken from sleep at 8:45 to be dressed before the social worker arrived. I think all the excitement from the week finally caught up with him.

Our adoption social worker and the county social worker both arrived and after doing the final safety check of the house (we passed) proceeded to go over the final paperwork and procedures for next week’s adoption day in court. We are almost there!

After they left it was back into the car..again. We had to pick up Toby from work and then drive down to Pittsburgh to a law office to sign our intent to adopt paperwork. The law office was located in the heart of Pittsburgh and as we drove through the crowded streets I was grateful Toby was behind the wheel. We soon found the PNC building and then the search began for parking.

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We finally found a parking garage a few blocks away and drove 7 stories up to find a parking spot. Poor Gracie was a nervous wreck when she saw the elevator we would have to ride to get down to street level. She is terrified of old elevators and has been for a couple of years after having a nightmare about falling to her death in one. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to find stairs so she walked in, squeezed her eyes shut and held on for the ride! You’ll be happy to know that she lived to tell the tale. 🙂

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As we approached the building Tyler nearly jumped for joy when he discovered that the office building had a “spinning door.”  I don’t know what it is about kids and revolving doors but Tyler, in particular, loves them. His face was one of sheer joy as he revolved himself into the lobby of the law office. This law group was assigned to us by the county so we weren’t expecting such an extravagant building and office. When we walked up to the front desk we had to show id and then were given security badges that we had to scan to unlock doors and elevators. We were told to head up to the 12th floor. Tyler soon commandeered the badge and had fun gaining us access to the elevator and law office.

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The view from the 12th floor was beautiful and the kids had fun standing in front of the floor to ceiling windows looking down on the world. We were soon called back to the conference room where we sat in “spinning chairs” around a large conference table. We were given a stack of papers filled with legalese and told to read it over. It kind of felt like we were buying a home as we read and signed paper after paper. The kids were so good but I did worry that Tyler’s constant spinning was driving the lawyers crazy. 🙂 We were soon done and our lawyer told us that she would see us next week in court..Yea!IMG_8234

As we were leaving we stopped in the lobby to take a picture. As I was snapping pictures of the kids I saw one of the employees from the 12th floor walking quickly toward us. I thought perhaps we were going to be told that we couldn’t take pictures in the building for security purposes but instead she approached with a smile and said, “I just wanted to let you know what sweet children you have. We have a lot of kids coming to the office for adoption finalization but rarely are they as nice and well-behaved as yours were.”

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I was so touched by her words and the effort she made to share that sweet compliment with me. Tyler is not always easy or calm when we are out in public so to have someone acknowledge his good behavior within earshot of him was a blessing for both him and I.

Well, we are almost there. A week from today we will be sitting in the courthouse, in front of a judge and be declared a family…officially!  God is good!

A Stroll on the Boardwalk..

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Tuesday we headed back to ocean’s edge but this time rather than putting on swimsuits and flip-flops we laced up our walking shoes because we were spending the day at the boardwalk! My older kids have been to the beach a few times in their life but we have never vacationed at a spot where there was a boardwalk before. When we step onto the Ocean City boardwalk there was a collective gasp from the kids as they took in the sights and smells of that iconic place. As far as they could see there were kites flying, restaurants and souvenir shops bustling with activity and miles of wooden planking beneath their feet. There is something thrilling about the atmosphere on the boardwalk.

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After a quick stop at the bathrooms we headed to the boardwalk rides. Faith had the opportunity to purchase ride tickets in the off-season for discount prices so we headed over to the amusement park area to use them. We ended up spending a few hours there. It was fun seeing the different personalities and ride preferences of each of the kids. Grace, Ashley and Tyler were willing to brave just about any ride although Tyler was a bit nervous that he would throw-up on “really spinny” rides. IMG_8003

Molly and Lauren prefered the “middle of the road” rides.

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Rusty liked the “there is no way I could be injured or killed” rides. Unfortunately there weren’t as many choices for him. He exceeded the height limit on many of the rides he was interested in. 🙂

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Bumper cars was one of the few rides that appealed to everyone!

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I had fun just visiting with Mark and Faith, watching the kids squeal with delight and soaking up the ambiance of the boardwalk.

The kids loved the swings!

The kids loved the swings!

When everyone had their fill of rides we continued strolling further down the boardwalk. It was fun peeking in the specialty shops and looking at souvenirs. The girls were excited to find a “dollar store” that sold shell bracelets and necklaces for a dollar and used some of their own money to buy some.

The view from the boardwalk.

The view from the boardwalk.

After walking for a while we stopped to buy some boardwalk fries to share. Ashley said that we couldn’t leave without trying the boardwalk fries and boy am I glad we listened to her..they were delicious!

Boardwalk fries..YUM!

Boardwalk fries..YUM!

As we neared the four-hour mark it was time to start walking back toward the car before our meter ran out of time. We just had one more stop to make along the way. Earlier we had passed a candy store that advertised chocolate covered bacon and Toby couldn’t resist buying a piece for us to all sample. It was better than expected. It had that salty/sweet combination going for it. I don’t know that I’d ever eat it again but it was fun to try. Here is what Rusty thought of chocolate covered bacon..

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Don’t you love it?!   

A gift from the sea

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I don’t know what it is about the sea but it has transforming powers. Perhaps it is the scent of saltwater heavy in the air, or the soothing sounds of waves crashing against the sand, or maybe it is just the sight of endless sea, but when I look out upon the sea it is as though my whole body exhales and my soul lightens.

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This week we are enjoying the blessing of family time and beach time as we spend the week with Toby’s cousin Mark, his wife, Faith and their girls. We left early Sunday morning after an evening of laundry, unpacking camp supplies, repacking beach gear, and getting a few extra hours of sleep before we were on the road and headed for New Jersey. We stopped first at Mark and Faith’s home to meet up with them and then headed on to the beach house that we are using for the week, compliments of Faith’s family. The home we are staying in is charming. It is in an association with other homes, a community pool, a playground, and plenty of paths for the kids to explore on bike or foot.

Tyler touches the ocean for the first time.

Tyler touches the ocean for the first time.

After a good night sleep we woke Monday morning and headed to Sea Isle City. The kids were excited to play in the waves and search for shells. Tyler was excited to see the ocean for the first time. When we arrived the kids headed straight for the water but then quickly turned around and headed back out after feeling how cold it was.

Lauren trying to convince Molly to get in the water..

Lauren trying to convince Molly to get in the water..

Then Gracie tries to convince her!

Fun with cousins!

Fun with cousins!

Tyler was more hesitant. He was certain that there was a shark lurking nearby ready to bite his toes. 🙂 He did enjoy skimboarding, though. It was all the fun of the ocean without any of the risks!

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The best part of the day for the kids was collecting shells and sea critters. They discovered that when you dig down an inch or two in the wet sand there is an entire world of sea life just below the surface. As they dug they discovered sand fleas, little crabs and  tiny, shelled creatures that would burrow down into the sand when exposed to the air.

A tiny crab that Toby found and picked up with a shell to avoid being pinched.

A tiny crab that Toby found and picked up with a shell to avoid being pinched.

Looking for treasures..

Looking for treasures..

Rusty set about the task of collecting all of the tiny, shelled critters that he could find on the beach. By the end of the day he had quite the collection…IMG_7864

Toby even found his own mussel necklace. Hail, King Triton!

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It was a wonderful day. It was a gift to be able to sit with my face to the sun and enjoy the blessing of family. It was a gift to be able to lay aside the worries of life at home and the perpetual “to do” list. It was a gift to beathe deep the salty air and exhale the weight of worry. From the sea I received the gift of today… the reminder to be in attendance at my own story, to be engaged in the moment and enjoy the “present” of the present.

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“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless at the beach- waiting for a gift from the sea.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Hi ho Hi ho..It’s off to camp we go!

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We left for camp around noon on Monday. Toby helped us pack the car the night before so all we had to do was hop in and drive. We had a two-hour drive to get to the Laurel Hill Campground we were staying but along the way we had to make a few stops for gas, lunch, and a couple last-minute items that I forgot to purchase earlier in the week. Our car was filled to capacity with sleeping bags, items for the camp store, pillow treats, suitcases and craft supplies..

Our very full car!

Our very full car!

When we arrived we were able to get all of our gear unloaded before the rain hit. On Monday night the camp is filled with leaders, youth leaders and the daughters of the leaders who have to be there Monday night. Monday night is a prep/set up night so our evening was spent unloading supplies, moving cots to the appropriate cabins and preparing for the following day when all the campers would arrive. After we were done helping with camp chores the girls and I decorated our cabin. The before picture..

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After set up and decorating..

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Tuesday morning we woke and had a few hours of preparation before the other campers arrived at 1:00 pm. This gave me a chance to work with my 7th year girls. This is my third year being the 7th year leader and I love it! The camping program only goes to level 6 so the 7th year program was developed so senior girls could come back and serve in leadership as a junior camp director. Their responsibilities include: running our camp store, planning and making appreciation gifts for all of the wonderful staff that works so hard to make camp a success, as well as other tasks set before them. These are the wonderful 7th years I had this year..

The JCDs ready to check campers in!

The JCDs ready to check campers in!

Tuesday morning was spent preparing the camp store. The JCDs are in charge of the set up and running of the camp store and it is a big hit with the campers. We begin with a meeting months before camp to decide what we want to stock the store with. I then take the shopping list to the dollar store and purchase as much product I can for $125.00. Tuesday morning we then empty the bins and it is like Christmas as the girls check out all the supplies and then go about he task of organizing and pricing the inventory. Our camp store isn’t a typical store though… we don’t accept money. Our store is run on a token system. The leaders and youth leaders at camp are all given tokens to carry around in their pockets and when they spot a kindness or good dead happening they are able to show appreciation for that kind deed by handing out a token. The girls can then bring their tokens to the store and shop. It is a lot of fun fo everyone involved!

Our camp store.

Our camp store.

This year we had some new faces at camp..one being Mimi Joy! The girls were thrilled to find out that she was coming to camp to serve as a chaperone for Cranberry’s cabin and had fun seeing her as they popped in and out of activities all week long.

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One of the highlights of camp, in my humble opinion, is the camp food. 🙂 It is lovely to have an entire week off from cooking, clean-up and dishes! Our kitchen staff is wonderful and the meals are delicious. Here the girls eagerly await their favorite part of dinner..the homemade bread!

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Wednesday was our service project day. As a thank you for the wonderful facility we are able to use we participate in a service project each year to thank the park. The rangers let us know what they need us to do and we do it. Usually we are given the task of weeding and mulching the gardens by the beach but this year they asked our group to rake and clean up the fallen sticks at our camp. The older girls were given the task of working with the rangers and some volunteer staff to clean up an area that had flooded and lay down fresh mulch. As we were leaving the ranger expressed his gratitude for the service our group offers the park each year. He commented on how hardworking our girls were but then gave an even greater compliment when he said, ” We are so impressed by how hard your girls work, but what really impresses us is that your girls are always so happy while they work.” Isn’t that what it is all about..service with a smile! 🙂

After working hard the girls were treated to “walking tacos” for lunch and a few hours of beach time to play and relax!

Molly with her other level 2 friends.

Molly with her other level 2 friends.

 

The rest of the week was filled with games..

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..morning scripture study in our cabin..

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..”Skit in a bag” night..

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..Wonderful classes and devotionals..

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..Crafts..check out Gracie’s tie-dyed T-shirt..

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..and fun with friends!

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Saturday morning was spent packing up, cleaning out the cabins, and doing final chores around camp. We climbed in the car feeling tired, hot, stinky and sore but immensely satisfied. We decided it was the best camp year yet! Now onto our next adventure!! Look out Jersey Shore, here we come!

Riding the waves

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Friday was our annual trip to the wave pool. Every year those working with the young women at church try to plan a day at the wave pool. It is an outing that all the girls look forward to. We go to the one at Settler’s Cabin. It is a nice wave pool that is also quite affordable at  $3.00/4.00 per person. We had planned to meet at church and carpool our way to the pool but as the morning wore on and the sky grew darker I debated whether to reschedule. I looked online at the weather report and saw that we had a 40% chance of showers. 40% may seem like a high probability of rain but living in western PA has made 40% chance of rain and gray skies a way of life so we decided to go ahead and try the wave pool.

My young women..love these girls!

My young women..love these girls!

We met to pick up girls and then headed to the pool. When we arrived we sat in the parking lot so everyone would have a chance to eat their sack lunches before we went in. (No outside food is allowed to brought in) As we sat in the parking lot eating and visiting we heard the first ominous rumble of thunder followed by someone on the loud-speaker informing us that due to thunder they would delay opening the gates for another 30 minutes. We waited and watched the dark cloud roll by followed by a patch of beautiful blue skies. 30 minutes later we were allowed to enter. The girls changed into their suits while I took my boys and those who were already changed down to the water’s edge. Everyone had a chance to do one round of playing in the waves before we heard another rumble and whistles were blown. We were told that everyone needed to gather their items and go sit under the roof of the snack bar area until the storm passed.

The wave pool..

The wave pool..

Tyler loved it!

Tyler loved it!

Their policy with thunder is that for every rumble heard we must wait 30 minutes to be allowed into the pool. Each time thunder is heard the clock restarts. As we sat waiting on the concrete ground you would hear a chorus of groans after each rumble of thunder. Soon that rumbling turned into a down pour of rain.

and the rain came down..

and the rain came down..

The sky went black and then the hail began. It was an impressive display by Mother Nature and I was waiting for a cow to fly by next but the sky lightened and the sun came out. After 90 minutes of waiting we were finally allowed back into the pool.

While waiting for the whistle that allowed us back into the pool Tyler took advantage of the sun and the puddles!

While waiting for the whistle that allowed us back into the pool Tyler took advantage of the sun and the puddles!

The kids all had a good time. They played in the waves and spent time jumping off the edge of the pool into the waves, buying time until the diving pool opened at 3:00.

One, two, three..jump!

One, two, three..jump!

At the diving pool there is no swimming. It is a deep pool surrounded on three sides by diving boards: 2 low boards, 2- 3 meter boards, and a pillar of concrete at one end with a 5, 7 and 10 meter diving platform. My older kids all wanted to  jump off the diving boards but I told Tyler that he could only watch. He is not as strong a swimmer as he feels he is and I didn’t feel confident in his ability to make it back to the side of the pool after jumping in. We sat and watched the kids and he kept asking to try it too. I finally relented after some of the girls offered to wait at the water’s edge in case he needed help. He climbed up on low dive and jumped. He resurfaced and dog-paddled his way back to the side of the pool. He climbed out and asked to go again. The next time it was his turn he walked to the edge of the board and then proceeded to do a flip into the water.

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I watched in horror and awe having had no inkling that he could or was planning to flip off the diving board. He climbed out of the pool to a chorus of cheers by the young women. He then asked to go off the high dive (3 meter) I said yes but then yelled to him, “No Flipping!”

You could tell he was nervous as he climbed up…

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He walked to the edge…

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And jumped!

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Luckily he was content with the high dive and didn’t want to try the diving platforms because I don’t know that I could have handled that!

After diving we had a little more time to play in the wave pool before we needed to get everybody home. Luckily Mother Nature’s timing was perfect. As I was trying to convince the boys to get out of the pool the whistles were blown because of lightning so it made for a perfect exit. We ended up having a few hours of beautiful weather between storms..typical Pittsburgh weather. It was a fun day and my kids all came home tired from swimming and riding waves.

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Rusty helping Tyler to the edge of the pool.

Rusty helping Tyler to the edge of the pool.

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Today the boys were up early to be dropped of at daycare because the girls and I are leaving for camp! We will be gone Monday-Saturday. Both boys are excited about daycare, having never been there before. They are going to the same place where we took the animals a few months ago. Hopefully they will enjoy it as much as Buttercup did. 🙂

See you in a week!