Father/Son Campout and Girls’ Night Out


Friday evening, after a fun day in Punxsutawney, it was the boys’ annual Father/Son Campout with the other men from church. The boys look forward to this every year and Toby has been going with his sons since Rusty was two years old. There was some debate as to whether it was worth going since there was rain in the forecast.

Last year they went and the rain made for a less than ideal camping experience.

But the boys begged, and Toby gave in…

although he did take the trailer rather than the tent just in case they were in for another rainy night


But lo and behold the sun came out, along with a beautiful rainbow, and they had a wonderful time!

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Meanwhile the girls and I had a few fun things of our own planned. Since the first year Toby took Rusty to the annual Father/Son campout, the girls eagerly look forward to our annual “no boys at home” night. When they were little this meant happy meals and watching movies in Mommy’s bed. As they have grown older “Girl’s Night” has evolved into dinner out and makeovers.

For the last few years we have taken advantage of the Father/Son Campout occurring a week or two prior to Spring Formal and have used the night to go dress shopping.

When the boys left we left as well

to go shopping!

For the past few years our first stop has always been the thrift store to see if we can find a used semi-formal dress that meets the modesty standards we expect. The last few years we lucked out. This year, however, we had to shop new and we ended up at the mall.


We began by hitting the four major department stores but quickly found their selection to be unsuitable. We were looking for dresses that were at least knee length and covered their shoulders. We were shocked by how few met that criteria. We were quickly becoming discouraged when we stumbled across a hidden gem in J.C Penny. In the far corner of the women’s department we found a treasure trove of suitable dresses to pick from. The girls loaded up their arms with possible choices and headed to the dressing room to try them on.

We didn’t have a lot of time. The store was closing in 20 minutes so they had to try things on quickly.

But we found a dress for each of them that they both loved. The perk was that they both were perfect fits and already modest, so we didn’t have to worry about alterations or extras.

And the cherry on top…

They were 50% off! Yea!!


After we were done shopping we headed over to Panera Bread for a late dinner. We got there just before closing so we had the place to ourselves.

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Then we drove home to enjoy a night of snack foods, face masks, and pedicures while we watched the movie, Unbroken. It was a great movie with a great message, which led to a great discussion with my girls. It was a perfect night and so nice to have that special one on one time with my sweet girls. How blessed I feel to have daughters!

The next day the boys arrived home early. Tyler had a soccer game and Toby had a metal detecting hunt. Toby is a member of the Beaver County Metal Detecting Club. They get together monthly for meetings and to hunt together, but twice a year they have a formal hunt. The club purchases silver coins and prizes to win, in addition to all the coins that are buried to be found. The hunt lasts for hours, as the club members search a roped off area where the coins are buried. Toby looks forward to these hunts.

This past Saturday he had a particularly successful hunt. Here are his findings for the day and some of the prizes he won.


While Toby was “hunting,” and I was at soccer with the boys, Gracie had a job of her own. She was hired by a family at church to be the photographer for their sons’ birthday party. They wanted to be able to enjoy their special day with their sons and their guests and not worry about pictures, so they offered Grace the job of coming and taking pictures at the party. Grace was thrilled! She has been wanting to open the door to this sort of experience, and I thought it was a brilliant idea on the mom’s part. I wish I would have thought of it when my kids were little! 🙂

Grace had a blast and hopes for more opportunities like it in the future!


“Say Cheese!”

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