Friday, July 23, 2010

Swim Lessons

Today seemed like a monumental day in the lives of our kids.   Braden got another haircut and didn’t even shed one tear.  I think mom and dad are becoming wiser on how to make it a pleasant experience for him. 

Ella also had her first swim lesson today!  James Grimmer works here in town for K-life and during the summer has also been teaching swim lessons.  He was gracious enough to fit us into his busy schedule and I have been so excited to have Ella learn more about swimming.   She loves the water.  Just two days ago she jumped of the diving boards by herself for the first time, and she has really been practicing going under water.  She is so eager and has really improved this summer, but needed a few more techniques.

Ella, in her wonderful eagerness and full of life fashion, literally jumped right in to lessons.   She was in the water before James could even tell her to jump.   She is fearless!   I stayed at the pool and watched from a distance on top of the bleachers.  I felt like such a cheezy mom because I kept watching her and tearing up!  She did so good.  She listened, tried so hard, and even when she swallowed water, she just kept trying again and again.  The smallest successes like watching her jump in by her self and then swim back to the wall, just made me well up with pride.  I also got emotional just realizing how big she is getting.  I thought for sure at the end of the lesson she would be exhausted, but she only wanted to keep swimming.  

I feel so blessed to have her as my daughter, and today was one of those moments I don’t want to forget.   I didn’t take any photos but I will at the next lesson.

Way to go Ella!  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Great Read!

I just ran across this blog post from a K-Kountry session 1 counselor.   Emily Crane posted her thoughts on her time at K-Kountry and I don’t think any one could have described K-Kountry from a staff perspective any better!   It is an incredible read and reminded me again how much the Lord uses this place to impact kids lives and all of our staff as well.  For those of you who don’t really know what I do in the summer, this is a great window into my job.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Summer Night

We had such a fun night tonight just enjoying summer!   Our garden is doing incredible, so to start the night I got to make some fresh summer squash and zucchini for a few of our staff.  How fun to cook with things out of the garden. I had no idea how much zucchini and squash a few plants could provide!  

Today Sarah (our incredible kid sitter!) and the kids found a small baby turtle.   Ella immediately named it “Sparky”, hilarious that she picked that as its name.   Ella loved the turtle and would even touch it, which is a big improvement over last year, but Braden was terrified of it.   He loved to watch it and have other people touch it, but he did not want to get close to it.   We kept it until after dinner and then Ella decided it needed to go back to its momma.  So we all went down to the slu to release it together.   It was so cute to watch Ella and Braden wave goodbye to the turtle. 

Next we headed over to a wild blackberry bush at the bottom of the K-Kountry fields and picked blackberries.  So yummy and really summery! 

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Free Sparky!

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Sarah and Sparky

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One more close up look

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Go Sparky, Go!

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Picking Blackberries

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Yes that is me and my big belly that seems to get in the way of everything, even pictures!

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Braden was mostly being a boy and just hitting the bush with a stick.

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Sweet Braden giving sister kisses on the golf cart ride home.

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July

Collin stated last night that yesterday was maybe his most fun day at kamp in 12 years.  It was really an incredible day.    I have to say that I was a little bit sad going in to the day to not be at the lake with my family.  My family always comes in for the 4th of July and for as long as I can remember we have celebrated it by being at the dock all day.  That means I don’t think I have ever had a 4th of July in kamp.  But this year my family was in Europe for vacation.  Although, we did have family here because the Tuepkers were so gracious to invite us to spend the day with them. They are our extended family, and we have always spent the 4th of July with them too.   We did miss being at the lake with everyone, but it was a really fun day in kamp.
One funny story from the day.   Ella was trying to take a nap with Ashlyn our kidsitter and was bouncing all over the place.   Ashlyn said “Ella you are like a mexican jumping bean.”  Ella looked at Ashlyn and said, “Ash I’m an American jumping bean.”  Obviously she was taking the American pride thing very seriously! 
Here are some more highlights from the day. 
Our whole family after we finished the K-Kountry parade. We got to ride on a 4-wheeler and Ella through candy.  She felt like the star of kamp once again. Braden just loved the 4 wheeler!
This is Ashlyn who has been our great kidsitter for the last 6 weeks.
Watching Dad set off Roman candles.
Ella’s first sparkler.  Braden held one too, but I was a little more nervous with him and a sparkler.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ella’s First S’more

Tribal night has become such a fun night with Ella.  She has started to love getting dressed up with me to do the Indian ceremony.  It’s hilarious because she refers to Collin all night as “Big Chief”, and asks when we get to go see “Big Chief”.  It is fun to see experience the magic of the night through her eyes, and she really does a great job.   She gets all painted up and stays totally quiet when she is supposed to.  How many 4 year old have parents that dress up like Indians.  Ha!  And, me a pregnant Indian, really funny and kind of crazy.  This time after Tribal “Big Chief” decided he wanted some family s’more time and it was so fun.

I can’t believe that it took 4 years, but Ella has now had her first s’more.  Her reaction cracked me up, because she really didn’t like it that much. She didn’t like that it was sticky, and she really just wanted the chocolate, who can blame her.  All around great memory and another time I feel so blessed to have my whole family get to experience kamp.



Ella and Katie.  I have such sweet friend that are great at loving my kids.


The incredible K-Kountry girls leadership team minus Jana and Liz, don’t know why they are not in this pic.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

First Fruit From the Garden

We decided to try a garden at K-Kountry this year.   It has been so fun to watch it grow and really to learn about something brand new.  We know there will be much trial and error to come, but so far it has been fascinating to watch things grow and really fun for the kamp.  Today was a big day as we picked our very first yellow squash and one green pepper.   My dream is to have many things that the campers can help pick, but we might have a long way to go for that.   Here are some beginning pictures and then some that I took today.  The zucchini is taking over, ha!
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Herbs and the beginning of the squash and zuchinni
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Peppers and Tomatoes
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I love having fresh herbs. This is the before picture they are so much bigger now.
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Our blueberry bushes did great.  We probably got about 150 blueberries this year.
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We had a rabbit eat our potato plants to the ground.  I was so surprised when we dug them up to actually find potatoes.  They were small but really tender and yummy.
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Ella picked our first squash. 
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Herbs are overflowing, yeah!
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First cherry tomatoes
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The zucchini is taller than Ella!
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Ella took this picture with our first green pepper, I don’t even like green pepper, but it is so fun to grow them.