Tuesday, August 17, 2010

39 Weeks Today!

Well today I am officially 39 weeks and it is our 8th Wedding Anniversary!  Still waiting for baby, and not really having any signs that he is coming soon.  Please pray that I don't have to be induced and that this baby isn't too big!
I also can't believe that Collin and I have been married for 8 years!  I love getting to do life with my best friend.

The Swimming Sparks Family!

On August 13th in many ways our summer just begins.  The past two days have been two glorious days of summer for us.   It has been so nice to not have an agenda or places that we needed to be.  
First, we got to join my parents out at their lake house for the afternoon on Sunday.   They have been working so hard every weekend on the lake house they are building.  It is really coming along and it was so fun to see the progress that they have made.   My younger brother Nicholas was in town from Arizona, and it was also great to see him.   He is a pilot and if anyone knows of any good jobs for pilots, please pass them along! 
They took a break to swim with us for a little while at the lake and it was so fun and relaxing.  We swim with life jackets on, but Ella is still such a dare devil jumping off the dock.  Braden loves the water but on this day was still terrified to let go of us.  He had to have a hand clutching us at all times. 
Our dog Izzy has also never ventured all the way into the water, but my brother Nicholas taught her how to swim and she loved it!   This was a big milestone for her. I think this is going to be a great way to wear her out, yeah!
Yesterday, we also got to go to the K-Kauai pool.  We had so many friends there!  It was a beautiful day and just felt like a summer day.  It was so fun to reconnect with people and see all the kids have so much fun together.   Braden also swam on his own, such a difference from just a day before.  He has always been terrified to let go of us, and he swam on his own with floaties.  All of a sudden he just let go and said, "I do it."  He would swim off on his own, and then turn back and say, "Momma I'm coming".   It was so cute and I love getting to see Braden learning something new!  
I promise to get some video to post soon. 
We also then got to come home and make fresh pasta with tomatoes from our garden and we made fresh pesto from our basil.  Yum!  Ella has so much fun picking mint and smelling it.  I love it, because I remember doing that as a kid from my mom's mint bush.   
I love summer! 

Sarah and Brad are Married!

Sarah Bishop was on our leadership team at K-Kountry this summer as the Assistant Director.  She juggled camp and planning a wedding all summer, and did a great job.   We went to her wedding this past weekend and it was beautiful.   Congrats to Brad and Sarah!

Kamp is Finished!

It is bittersweet to close down camp at the end of the summer.  Collin and I feel like we have run a marathon and just crossed the finish line!  We hate saying goodbye to the kids and staff, but also look forward to getting back to just being a family.  Especially this year with baby on the way!
We really feel so thankful for so many things this summer.  Collin has said that this is his best year at kamp in 13 years, wow!   We see how the Lord provided in so many ways!  Safety, staff, great kids, a great leadership team, so many blessings!   It really felt like a smooth summer.  I wasn't sure what it would be like to go a whole summer being pregnant, but I did it and it wasn't so bad!  Don't know if I would like to do it again, but.....I'm glad I don't have to think about that now.   Once again I love getting to work with my husband and I am so proud of him.  He is really a great director and I love getting to be under him and a team with him.
Here are some more highlights of the summer:
1.  Great leadership team:  Our team was really united and looked for ways to help and serve everyone.  I loved the times that we laughed together, but then was great at getting things done.   I am so thankful that they support us as a family and freed us up many times to be married and be parents.  So thankful for all of you!
2.  Great kidsitters:  When my kids are happy, I feel so free to be able to be a better director.  Thank you Sarah and Ashlyn for loving on our kids.
3. Walks with my husband:  Every year we try to learn how to be married at kamp a little bit better.  We have set many goals, and sometimes they work and sometimes we fail.   This year we carved out a little time in the mornings to take a walk and it was glorious.  It made me move and get a little exercise along with taking our neglected dog for a walk (poor Izzy).   It was a great way to get on the same page and connect.  At the end of the summer, Izzy even started to be able to come with us and not have to be on a leash.  For Izzy this is huge!  She doesn't come very well, so it was so fun to have her fun and stay by our side.
4.  Tribal Night:  I've already posted about it, but it was so fun to see my kids enjoy tribal so much, especially Ella.
5.  Ella learning to swim:   I can hardly believe how fun it has been as a mom to see Ella accomplish such a great thing.  Hats off to James Grimmer, he for sure was the turn around in Ella's swimming.  She gained confidence and the skills needed to take off from there.   She is adventuresome and fearless, and I love to see how those qualities have gone into her swimming.  I am just so proud of her.
6.  Golf Cart Rides:  What would my kids do without a golf cart?  They love to take rides around camp.
7. Hearing Braden learn to talk more:  He is a non stop talker now.   He loves to talk and really wants to be heard.  He repeats things over and over until you repeat it back to him and he is sure that you have understood.  Sometimes a little annoying, but fun to hear him express his world.
8.  Seeing Kamp embrace our kids and our kids embrace kamp:   Ella and Braden are the king and queen on camp. They both walk around saying hi to everyone, and everyone knows them.   Sometimes this can be too much, as they both learned how to tell kids to go away, but they also love it at times.  They get loved on by everyone.
9.  Both kids birthday parties:  So fun, everyone helped to make both of them so special.
10. Having a garden at kamp:  I loved getting to have a garden for K-Kountry this summer.  We learned alot, and I will do many things different next year, but I loved having fresh herbs, tomatoes, and zucchini share with kamp.   There is something so gratifying about picking something that you have grown, and then being able to eat it.
11.  Ok, more to come but this is all I can think of now.   Feel free to add comments with any of your highlights!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Two Little Indians

Our Tribal ceremony has been magical not only for campers but also for my kids.  Ella loves getting dressed up and joining in.  She has done such a good job being quiet when she needs to be, and listening to directions.   Her favorite part is going to see "Big Chief".   This last time Braden got to stay up late too and join in.   He was so cute!   He let us paint him up and was even great about wearing the headdress. Big Chief called all of us to join him for the beginning of the ceremony and there was something so magical and sweet about it.  Collin and I still have many moments during tribal that we laugh that we have college degrees and it is our job to be dressed like an Indian!  Ha!  A 9 month pregnant indian is an especially funny sight to see, but we love it! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back to School Bash

We can hardly believe that people are already talking about going back to school.  I still feel like summer is just starting.  I guess that is because in some ways our summer starts on August 12th once kamp ends. Either way 1st Baptist Church threw a great back to school party.  Sarah our great kidsitter took the kids for a really fun outing.  

Summer Days

Nothing beats being a kamp kid.  Only at kamp can you play in a sprinkler, jump on a tramp and fly high in a harness all at the same time!   Last week one of my best friends came to kamp for a visit.   Ritchey Cable brought some of his youth group to volunteer at K1, and so Melissa got to hang out a little bit while he was here.  The all of our kids had a blast hanging out together, and it was so good to catch up with Mel a little bit.  

Sophie, Parker, Cooper, and Braden

Melissa was the champ and pulled all the kids in the harness

Braden and Sophie, they are only about 6 weeks apart. 

Flower Girl

A couple of weeks ago Ella had the honor of getting to be a flower girl in our dear friends wedding.  The Tanners and my parents have been friends since their high school days.   Now all of us kids alongs with the Tuepkers have all grown up together.   The Tanners daughter Lindsey got married in St.Louis and the wedding was beautiful.   Ella and her cousin Hannah were two of the flowers girls.  Congrats Lindsey and Matt!

Once again, Ella danced the night away!

Birthday Wheels

Ella and Braden both got some new wheels for their birthdays.  Both Grandparents spoiled the kids with some great new toys.  Tatu got Ella her very first big wheel and Nana got Ella and Braden a power wheels Jeep.   Needless to say they have both been such a hit this summer!  The first couple of days that they had the jeep Ella and Braden told everyone they saw that they got a new car.   All they wanted to do was drive it each day.   Thanks grandparents! 

The big reveal

Braden can't believe his eyes!

Here we go

Our cousin Hannah spent the day with us and Kamp, the girls love to play together. 

Our friend Laurel was also with us at Kamp that day.  Loved hanging out with you Laurel! 

I'm a big girl on my big wheel!  Pretty soon she is going to be flying down our drive way like her daddy used to do!