We find ourselves fully emerged in summertime livin’, complete with cook-outs, trips to the pool, travel and activities that only roll around this time of year. This week we find ourselves down one child as Rusty heads off for a week of fun at Scout camp. Scout camp is always the highlight of Rusty’s summer and this year will be his final year. Last weekend was spent preparing and packing for his 4:45am send-off on Monday morning.
In addition to packing and juggling multiple work schedules, we were able to carve out some summer fun in the midst of the craziness.
Our weekend began on Friday with Grace and Molly both taking the day off work so that we could travel two hours to the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania to join up with 100+ teenage girls and their leaders at Girls Camp.
This year marked the first year in 10 consecutive years that we wouldn’t be at camp for the week. In the past I have served as the leader over the 17/18-year-old graduated senior girls. It has been an assignment that I have loved, but this year, given the precarious nature of things at home, I simply didn’t feel comfortable committing to a week away at camp when I was asked a few months ago. It was with such mixed emotions that the girls and I declined to return as camp leaders, so when we were asked to come to camp for a single day to teach one of the spiritual focus lessons, we were thrilled!
It was the best of all worlds. We got to get our taste of camp and the special spirit felt there, in a way that was manageable to the family as a whole. We spent the weeks prior to camp pondering possible directions we could go on the lesson topic we were given. We were asked to speak on the topic, ““If you don’t have the Spirit of the Lord, you can not stand.”
Inspired by handouts we found at Dollar Tree, we built our lesson around a flamingo theme and how we can be like the flamingo and stand tall. We each took a portion of the lesson to teach and Grace signed to the song, “I Will” by Hilary Weeks.
It was such a joy stepping back into camp and seeing so many familiar and loved faces. After our lesson we stayed to watch the slideshow of all the week’s activities and joined the campers for dinner before trekking back home.
Saturday was a busy one with everyone working except Grace, Tyler and I.
It was $1.00 ice cream day at Handel’s, the ice cream shop where Rusty and Braden work, so it was an “all hands on deck” day for the staff.
Rusty and Braden worked back to back shifts mid-day, so while we were in the process of dropping off one and picking up the other we stopped to take advantage of that awesome deal!
Is there anything better than ice cream on a hot summer day?!
From there Molly headed to work at Eat n’ Park.
Molly has been working like crazy this summer, trying to earn all the money she needs for her upcoming year of college. Her hard work has paid off as she is almost to her goal. It hasn’t been easy, though. Molly works almost every day of the week, with the exception of Sunday, often being assigned shifts that have her on the floor from 6:00pm to 4:00am. Eat n’ Park has recently lost key staff members, leaving those who are still there hustling to cover all the shifts. The blessing is that Molly will have no trouble reaching her monetary goals, but the poor thing hasn’t had much of a summer break.
In the afternoon, Tyler and I headed to Zelienople for his weekly equine therapy session at Glade Run Adventures. Since Braden was working, Tyler got to enjoy an individual session without Braden. Because of this, Tyler was put on Leo (the tallest horse at the stable and typically Braden’s ride) to see how he would do with a more advanced horse.
It was an exciting day as his equine therapist, Ashley, let him canter Leo for the first time, unassisted.
Tyler did amazing!
It is so exciting to see his growth since beginning equine therapy…both emotionally and in the area of horsemanship.
On Saturday evening we decided to tackle one of the items on the family’s summer bucket list: A Drive-in Movie!!
We have discovered that the stage of life we find ourselves in makes it challenging to get everyone together for family activities. With 5 family members working, 2 going to school, and multiple commitments in the areas of family, friends, church callings, wedding planning, college preparations, etc. we tend to pick a date and time when the largest number of family members can attend, and schedule that way.
Sunday is our one day of the week where everyone is home in the evening, as all have committed to not work on the Sabbath, so that is the day for worshipping together at church and enjoying family time at home. It is also the day we sit and calendar out our week so that everyone knows what is on everyone else’s agenda. It is a necessity for our large, busy family. Last Sunday, as we planned out our week, we decided we would go to the drive-in on Saturday night. Molly, unfortunately, had to work, but everyone else was free.
Grace invited Zach to join us. We met up at Dependable Drive-in at 8:00pm to watch a back to back showing of Toy Story 4 and Aladdin.
After finding spots side for our car and Zach’s, we set up our chairs.
The boys brought a football, in anticipation of the one hour wait until showtime.
It felt like summer, surrounded by the smells of the concession stand,
And the sounds of parents visiting and children playing, as we waited for the movie to start.
As dusk rolled in the screen came alive with the sounds of the national anthem.
Everyone got settled in their spots, prepared for 4 hours of movie-watching fun.
Both movies exceeded my expectations. They were both wonderful and we enjoyed them immensely…
Well, most of us did. Tyler was fast asleep by the time the second movie, Aladdin, began to play, but the rest of us made it through the double showing and had a wonderful time.
I love the not-so-lazy days of summer!