Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Years 2013

New Years Eve we went on a camp out with the church we have been attending in Pensacola, Florida - Providence Church, which is in the CREC (Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches) denomination.

Right so yes, we went on a New Years Eve camp out with the church. We did not get very many pictures because we were having so much fun but I will share the few we have with y'all.

We arrived early and so we had time to explore the site.

I played Horse with Bethany.

Mom and Dad went exploring with the baby.

My not so little sister rode around with a bunch of little ones. She also had fun talking with Abby. You can see the back of her hair in this picture.

Someone had brought a tent for us. I believe it was the Smiths. My two younger siblings and I would sleep in the tent that night and Mom and Dad and J-----, the baby, would sleep in a little cabin. Well, its just a single room like a motel except smaller. We put our stuff in the tent for later. Not much happened until around five o'clock. As we waited for the hands to turn themselves around we amused ourselves with various things. What I have said above and in addition, another game of basketball with Jerry and my brother, a trip down to the river, and a lot of time spent exploring the clay pit.
We had a feast once everyone got there. And I can tell you exactly what kind of feast. A crock pot feast, everyone brought crock pots. The only food that wasn't in a crock was the deserts and some chips and one lonely plate of fresh vegetables. I am almost sure the tables must have been bowing with the weight of all that food.

This is while it is still being set up. The picture doesn't say much but when I walked by I was very impressed with all those crock pots.

Someone made venison stew and that was really good. I knew it would all be gone if I didn't get some right away so I got some - a good thing too because when I came back nothing was left!

After our feasting there were some fun things to do. First I believe we went on a maze hunt with flash lights and reflectors tied to trees. The three of us and a young man named Colby went together on the hunt. Well actually I think before that we played a little basket ball with Colby and a few of his friends. At any rate we did both of those things sometime during the night. The funnest game we played was capture the flag in the clay pit. (Now you see why we did some scouting out before hand.)

The clay pit is a big hole in the ground. There are ledges and short cliffs and odd shaped mounds of clay and sand. It reminds one of a scene from a Dr. Seuss book. There are all sorts of places to hide and a small open area in the middle. The pit was divided in half as well as the group of young people. We used bowling pins for flags and hid them. Jails were picked out and the game began. It was a lot of fun. I ended up being the jail guard most of the time which was quite a job. Our cells were packed full and illegal jail breaks were frequent. (Yes, there is such a thing as a legal jail break.) We played two games and the second time we swapped sides. I wasn't a guard this time and I got caught by Colby and my brother sneaking onto our former property. I was brought to jail and sat there until I was let out again. The second game was cut short because it was time to start the fire balls.
(I am told that while we were playing capture the flag the adults were playing card games, or maybe charades.)

Fire balls are made out of balls of cotton yarn that have been soaked in kerosene. Kerosene burns at a lower temperature so it does not hurt to pick up the flaming balls and toss them around. You do have to be quick but it won't burn you as long as you toss it soon enough.

Oh yes and it doesn't hurt the grass either. It catches a little but the little ones have fun running around and stomping the tiny flames out. That is what my baby brother did with Mom.

Some people juggled them. Someone even passed them underneath his legs and caught them again. Kind of like a basket ball.

Some people like myself, were barely just brave enough to pick it up and pass it back and forth between their hands before tossing it back to someone else.

Others pitched them like a flaming candle. The whooshing sound was quite impressive.

After the fireballs burned themselves out there were fireworks.

He ended falling asleep in his portable bed that my parents had made for him.

After fireworks we had a short "hayride" back down to the room where we had our feast in. As we rode over we sang a stanza of "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" I was pleased to find that the folks from this church knew the song as well. Our church sings that song back in Missouri.

Most people went home after the fireworks. A few families stayed over night. Bethany was among one of the families that stayed and we played shuffle board with Abby (who was also staying) until almost midnight. Actually I didn't play I was so tired I was stupid. It was my idea to head back up to the tents. When we got up to the tents it was just about to be Two thousand thirteen. When the digital clock on the cellphone did not strike midnight we all cheered "Happy New Year!" We had a small campfire and Bethany passed around drinks. Riddles were told and puzzled over. I sat in my chair very quietly and eventually Mom claimed that I was falling over. I vehemently opposed, I know I wasn't, but shortly after that we all went to bed.

In the morning we had egg casserole, pancakes, bacon and sausage. Everything was cleaned up and swept up from the night before and everyone went home.

It was a good New Years celebration.

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