Tuesday, March 23, 2010

God's Mountain recap, 2010 trip!

The boys and I headed down to God's Mountain camp for our 2nd mission trip in Rushville, MO. They were amazing traveling kids! I don't think I ever heard a cry and I only heard a "are we there yet" about 30 minutes from the camp! Answered prayers for the first part of the trip!!

One of the super fun things about this group... Jaxon had one of his good buddy's on it!

 The college students worked hard, played hard, and slept hard! One of their many projects here...re-siding Cliff's home. Cliff is a faithful server at the camp. He is 76 and is kinda goofy, but he has a big heart and lots of skills to share!

 Part of being able to go is having amazing helpers... I could not go and serve the way I do without the loving hands and time of such wonderful people! Ellie, Cindy, Faith, Sarah, Pam, Heidi, Erin, Becca, Olivia, Hope, Anna, and everyone else who spent time with my kids when I was in the kitchen....THANK YOU! Your kindness left a huge imprint on my heart!!!

 You may wonder what the heck a mom with 2 kids does with a group of college students on a mission trip? Well, I wondered at times what the heck I was thinking too...  but I have a great system set-up (partly due to past expereince with my dear friend Becky who could not come this year) and staying organized and on task is one of the keys to pulling off a mission trip with 2 young kids! Small groups would come in and help at meal times and with everyone pitching in we pulled it off quite well. (It also was a huge bonus that the leaders on the trip were AMAZING and some of the hardest workers in the kitchen!! Thank you Chestnut's & Mickey's & Heidi!)

One thing I love is that Jaxon will dig right in at times when he can.  Power washing some steps here so they can be painted later.
Hauling some junk to get burned up. 

Some great kitchen helpers! I got to have some great conversations with a variety of people this year. What a treat for me and it just made the trip even more special.

Some of the gang hanging out during a quiet time. This mountain has many opportunities to find quiet and peace in your heart, your mind, and for your body too.  I think I could just hang out here amongst the calmness and never get bored. Made for great bonding and relationship building!
 Plenty of time for silly fun too... feeding the fish at the pond. 

Hikes & walks on sunny days were an extra bonus from being there. This was a beautiful afternoon with all the kids at camp this year.

the boys... WELL past their bed-time but so worth it!We watched the sun go down together this night, hung out on the roof for a loooong time, and sat by a fire. A perfect ending to a long day.

What good mother doesn't stick a bowl of carmel corn in front of their clingy 2 year old when she has to get dinner on the table for 100 people? He loved it and I went with the whole "we're on vacation" excuse :)  Look how happy he is!
Of course their is PLENTY for boys to do here... it is after all a camp that focus's on raising up strong men.  Hiking, burning stuff, paint ball, car racing, 4-wheelers, fishing, and yes, running around with a chicken's head just butchered off. My dear son met me at the kitchen door with this lovely surprise.  I had to practice my acting skills very quickly... "oh, cool!". or not. Gross, son!! (PS I am sorry to all you girls whom he chased eagerly around the camp :)

Of course, the boys fell into a deep sleep late each night.  Once we figured out good sleeping arangments we were all functioning better after a rough first couple nights. One of my favorite things about coming here... a great excuse to snuggle and sleep with my two boys every night!!

We met some sweet little friends here last year from MN. They came back this year for the last day and Jaxon got to spend some fun time with them before we left. Here's the crew watching a live owl on-line getting ready to hatch some eggs! Cool!
 The boys being great listener's as they follow the 1 finger up rule about being quiet and listening to the person giving directions.

Less then 10 miles away from camp once we left. Two boys completely filled from the past week with joy, peace, friendship, and well... exhaustion!  They slept 3 of the 5 hour trip back home :) Gave me plenty of time to cry, reflect, laugh, and sing worship songs after a wonderful week at the camp.

 I wanted to include this final picture to reflect a bit.  Last year this was a dorm that our group spent a good chunk of time fixing up.  In December it burned to the ground, probably from a chimney fire coming from the wood burning stove.  When I arrived I felt a little disappointed that all the work the crew did last year now seemed wasted.  By the end of the week I saw this pile of ashes differently.  So often we come to camp or go on a mission trip to do the work. To serve someone physically.  We take that with us and feel good knowing we bettered someone else's life this way.  I think as Christians we get caught up in the "doing" for one another and sometimes over-look the "being".  I truly believe we have to be do-er's in life but this comes in short of truly living when we forget the "being" part of it.  That group from last year that worked so hard has nothing left to show physically from their trip. It burned up in flames and is no more. What IS still going strong is the relationships that happened during that week.  Relationships and people. We made great connections with the William's family and even though their building burnt down, that relationship was still there and meant even more.That is what has stood out for me so much this week.  We can do and do and do, but until we are still and just be with people we lack a lot of the way I think God intends for us to "do" life. My heart was touched very much this week by different people.  I came back with an urge to create more time to just be with the people in life whom I care so much about and making time to just be with those I want to know better or whom I can share life with. That burnt down building reminded me that sometimes being still and taking time to know God more and the people in my life is far more important then any meal I can cook for someone, house I can repair for someone, things I can provide for someone, or any "doing" thing.  I want to become a better "be-er". (I made that word up :) 
It was a crazy but wonderful week! Like last year, we're already looking forward to going back! Sorry this got long.... just didn't want to forget the great week !!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Goodbye my sweet 5 year old!

Jaxon turns the big 6 tomorrow! Wow! The last 6 years have been amazing with him in our lives...  I have some fun birthday party pics to share but I think I will wait to post those until next time. For today, I want to remember some great Jaxon things...

I have a feeling I have seen the last of some of these things about Jaxon in the last year... 

So, Jaxon I have to say...goodbye to Peter Pan and Captain Hook. The ships rarely get drug out anymore to battle between good and evil and save your sweet Wendy.  I think the pirate stage that we played for days and days may have come to a silent halt. I don't know when it happened for sure but know it was between 5 and 6. Good bye to having a bed full of stuffed animals each night before you fall asleep with them all in their very own special spot. What used to be 10-12 "buddies" has dwindled down to 2-3.  Thank goodness for Bunny, Cheetah, and Bear :)  Good bye to needing your mama right by you in the swimming pool. This last year you found great confidence in the pool waters and often had friends there that you'd rather play with then your old mom!  Along with that skill, you've mastered shoe tieing, showering by yourself, making your bed, setting the table, cleaning your room (most the time :), putting your toys away in the right spots, going to school everyday, and helping your brother with so many things to name a few.  So many things I used to do for you have been replaced by my ever so capable boy!  You rarely want to hold my hand anymore when you cross a street or are in the parking lot. You rarely want a real kiss, but prefer "cheek to cheek" and eskimo kisses instead.  Hugs have turned into "knuckles" this year and bear hugs have become scarce too. However, I love the rare moments when you are overly tired and crawl into my lap to cuddle and fall asleep. As you told your little brother last week "it's my turn, you have been on mom's lap your whole life!". True, but there is plenty of room for you still big boy!! 

This last year as a 5 year old you had some firsts too... going to school at the big school was the main one! Wow! We are so proud of all you've done at school this year! You've been an awesome student and we are so proud to call you our son. We have also had the begining of many games this year I believe.  They aren't official games yet, but never mind that you ask us to attend one of your prescheduled games almost daily!!!  You seem to keep up with whatever season it is... football, basketball, baseball, soccer. I have no doubt we will proudly sit in the real bleachers someday and cheer you on. It has been fun to watch you this year as you really plug into your love for sports.  I guess your dad was right when you were in the womb... you are our little sportster! I really did  play lots of music for you when you were developing, I promise :)  This year you also really started to get a hold on remembering some of your scripture. I think you memorize verses quicker then me and I have to admit I am thankful for your memory since you keep me on my toes in this area. I have to work hard to keep up with you! 

Jaxon, you are a active, outgoing, sensitive, brave, funny, and a natural leading little boy.  You are now closer to 10 then 0. We've been saying that for awhile now and it is here!  You remind me of your dad so much at times.  Not a bad thing since your dad is a heck of a guy!  I love you lots and am so happy to celebrate 6 years with you! Happy Birthday my big boy!  Have fun at God's Mountain and all of your next year as a 6 year old!!! You are my most favorite 6 year old boy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

february days...

Jaxon made his 'fort' area cozy for quiet time!

A & A just hanging around...

pre-haircut :-)

Can you believe Dad grabbed this off the front of our house?

Austin's first "semi" sleep-over... Jakey went home at midnight when daddy got off work!

water table fun


"SO BIG" with Ave's under the table... a regular hang out spot for these two :)

Special Valentine lunch!

and a little valentine day fun :)
Hello March! You are VERY WELCOME this time of year!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

50 reasons why I love ALDI's!!

But don't worry, I won't list all 50 :)  My new favorite reason though is this...

...I just purchased and tried this salsa this last week. It was only $1.99 and it is SO GOOD!  If you have followed this blog for awhile now, you know I love to make a home-made sweet salsa each summer/fall. This ALDI salsa is almost exactly like the one I make. I love it. I get to enjoy the yumminess without all the work :) It's so good my kids even eat it! Yum!

P.S. yes, it's so good that I took a picture and blogged about it!