Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Break week = God's Mountain Camp

Spring break week this year was spent about 5 hours south of here in a little community outside Rushville, MO. The two kids and I (Jess) headed down there to spend our week together with a group of high-school students, a few leaders, and my dear friend Becky and her little guy, Boaz. The group of students and leaders went to help on projects around the camp and Becky and I tagged along as "cooks"! I LOVED going on and leading mission trips before I started to have children and this is the first opportunity I've had to go on a mission trip WITH my children! The last trip I led (with Dave) was to Washington DC six years ago and I really wanted to go to serve!!! Though I love to cook and even more so for people, I knew I couldn't tackle this week without a trusty partner and some help with the little ones. My friend Becky and I work so great together and I was thrilled beyond words when she agreed to do this together! She was the perfect partner for this adventure and I thank her for making it go so smooth!! Natalie Patterson (a high school senior) joined the trip and said she wanted to help with our boys and from there on I knew this trip was meant to happen for us :)
The week was filled with many meals being prepped alongside fun and servant hearted students, quality times spent outside surrounded by nature, wonderful converstaions with old friends and new ones, lots of laughter, early mornings, no distractions, and the presence of God. It was a wonderful week for me... better then I ever expected and I'm so thankful I went along. I hope to go back and the boys do to! I think Jaxon and I both shed a few tears when it was time to leave!

Here are some pics to tell a bit about our week... one can never fully explain in words what a trip like this does for one's heart (or any mission trip!), but I hope to do my best to give you some what of an idea. If you've never gone on a mission trip before I really encourage you to try it out sometime. You'll be challenged and changed more then you know!

Dinner time! A very fun and BUSY part of our day! Thank you to all the great small groups for pitching in!

Jaxon was such a good helper all week! He jumped right in and helped where he could and when he couldn't he had fun delivering snacks or just hanging out watching the crew. Thank you to all of you who included him in so many projects! Your actions spoke volumes to him about serving, being kind, and being a helper.

Lots of smiles from these two all week!

I was trying to keep count, but lost track. I'm pretty sure Jaxon played more then 50 games of Guess Who with pretty much anyone up for the challenge :)

There were 5 little ones on the trip total... here are 3 of the toddlers. Boaz, Addelyn, close as I could get them to sitting 'together".

Jess, Jaxon, & Austin...Spring Break 2009

Jaxon made a fast buddy with Luke Williams. His parents own and run the camp. Luke is an amazing 14 year old who I hope my boys resemble someday!! He was such a great influence on Jaxon.

There was a family from Minnesota there also who had a van full of little ones! A perfect mix of kids for a fun sunny day!

Austin loved this poor dog! Austin would run up and just lay on Hummer... by the end of the week Hummer would dart for the other direction when he saw Austin coming. :) He was such a good dog!

Some of the girls included Jaxon in their playground painting project. Jaxon got to paint his feet up the steps of the slide... when he was done he was washing his feet and he said "look, I'm washing my feet like Jesus did!". Thanks LaRae and Amanda for letting Jaxon join you!

trees, trees, trees! Jaxon did LOTS of tree climbing all week!

My baby boy turned 15 months old while we were there...

Jaxon was found many times entertaining this group of girls. They were so sweet to him and had lots of energy to keep him laughing too! Thank you for spending time with Jaxon! You helped make his week!

Ellen! She always had a free hand to help with a little one, help in the kitchen, help with my sore throat, or just hang for a good chat! Jaxon and Ellen made some awesome apple crisp for an awesome evening snack one night!!

Addelyn and Austin spent many evenings hanging out outside our apartment building. It got up to 80 one day and these babies got stripped down! Look at those cute pudgy legs!?!?

An evening walk up the big hill!

There was a fish pond and we fed them lots of times during our stay. I really started to wonder about the benefits of raising boys in the country after this week!?!?

Many of our evenings were spent just like this... lots of kids, students, leaders, the dog...anyone just hanging out as the night started to fall and we ended our day in peace :) Oh how lovely it was! It was a beautiful picture of community all week.

And last but not least... i had to post this. My kids were so dirty and worn out by each day... but it was the feel good had a great day kind of dirty! Gotta love those days!

What a wonderful week! The kids were so well behaved, traveled perfect, and things just went so smooth. I returned to a husband who had worked his tail off while we were gone... 12 painted window shutters, a painted kitchen, painted dining room, fixed basement ceiling, painted trim, and a new dishwasher later... and I must say I had one AMAZING week!!! Thank you honey! and thank you to everyone who helped make the week at God's Mountain so perfect!

1 comment:

Becky Bartlett said...

This was a great week!! I loved seeing your pictures. Ready to tackle that again? :)