Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Presbytery 2013

Early in the morning, a few hours before it was even grey out, I and my family excepting the baby, woke up and rushed around the house like chickens with their heads cut off. We had to leave the house by six o'clock in order to get to Presbytery in time on Wednesday morning. Every year the Covenant Presbyterian Church denomination has two big business meetings. One strictly for the elders over the phone or on Skype and the other combined with a family camp. The family camp one is usually held in May and we try to be there every year.
Savannah and Lauren

Well, all went as planned on Tuesday morning and we managed to get out the door at 6:15 am. Pretty good I'd say. We drove all day long. I slept a lot, did four math problems, and patted myself on the back because of it. We talked with Jubal, gave him animal crackers, walked him around the gas stations, and just overall kept him happy as much as we could. Tuesday night about six o'clock we arrived at the J-----'s family's house.

There is a program called Candle in the Window. It is a Christian travelling network. Whenever you go on vacation or a trip you can log onto this website and search for host families in the area you are going to be in. Each family has to get a letter of recommendation from their pastor. When you arrive they let you into their home, have places to sleep prepared for you and a meal. You have to be signed up as a host family in order to be hosted by someone else on your own trip.

The J-----'s were very nice and we hit off splendidly. Mom and Mrs. J----- stayed up late talking. Actually everyone stayed up late - but they stayed up really late. ;) For supper we had nachos and burritos, for breakfast pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream.

Here are some pictures at the J------'s house.

Jubal and this little boy had a lot of fun playing together.

Time for music!

The J---- ladies and the boy they baby sit. The three men were all at work when we took this picture so we didn't get all of them. 

We stayed as long as we could the next morning and left with just enough time to get to the camp for lunch. While we were waiting for Dad to come from the office we saw Pastor Peter walking by. I hopped out of the truck as fast as I could and Pastor Peter gave us a huge smile and a wave. Hugs went all around and soon Dad came back with the keys. We left the truck and headed to the cafeteria. Pastor Peter joined us at lunch.


The rest is kind of hard to relate in a coherent order. So much happened in that one short week. We saw so many friends again, and just had a really good time. You know, I should start making little daily notebook journals for trips like this. That way later I can write it up by a day by day basis. Anyways the rest of this post will be pictures and a few comments as I remember specific little stories to go with them.

We met our friends from Texas and helped them pack into their room. Then we went to the activity center and talked just inside the door way. As we were talking I saw my favoritest big brother in the whole world and his friend Brian, and Dad walking up. I could barely stand still for five more seconds trying to find a polite place to jump in the conversation and say Zachary was here. Well the opportunity didn't come soon enough and I found myself bounding away with no waning and rushing to the door. I ran out and jumped to Zachary and gave him a huge hug. "I missed you! I'm so happy to see you!" He smiled and crinkled his eyes. He was happy too. Then I saw Brian and still hanging on to Zachary said, "And you too!" He smiled really big.

I don't know what happened next exactly. I followed Zachary around like a faithful dog for about an hour or so. We were in the gym at one point. Another time we all sat on the trailer we had brought with Florida. Around two o'clock our friends from Arizona arrived.

When they were about thirty minutes away I sent Lauren a text message, "Call me when you get here. Call me when you get here. Call me when you get here! ;)"

Okay, pictures.

The biggest boy and the littlest boy swap hats. Jubal didn't like the idea too much.
Water bottle bowling. The bottles were being tossed so hard that it broke off the corner of an outlet cover. We decided it would behoove us to set up a few of those cushy red chairs on either ends of the table.

Talking in between rounds of dodge ball.

This is how you play ping-pong with a two-year-old.

The ping-pong tables were frequently visited by us through out the week.
Gabrielle and I face off.
Lonna and Lauren try out the tables.

One day we six girls went on a walk in the woods. We found the amphitheatre. It didn't look like it had been used for a while.
Oddly there was a huge pile of wood chips at the top of the hill which is opposite the bleachers in this photo.
Little guy gym time.
Another favorite activity was air hockey.

Sebastian and Jacob duel.
Also another favorite in the arcade room was the fooze ball table.

On Thursday Savannah and I went swimming with Claire and Anna. Later Zachary and I met Josiah C------ and some of his friends.

On Friday the climbing wall was open.

Claire and I both climbed up to the same place and then stopped.
Brian crawled up like a spider.
I'm pretty sure Elijah made it all the way to the top too.
Dad got all the way to the bend up there.
The picture below cracks me up. Ha!
Zachary and Brian hang out with friends.
Such a pretty picture.
I never knew about this fountain lighting up until after this whole thing was over! It would have been fun to sit out there with ice cream cones from the snack shop after the dance.
Pool sharks, my Dad and Mr. Piotr
The pool tables were a popular spot for everyone. One day I was watching Jubal for Mom and he and I went to the pool tables. I asked for a cue ball so Jubal could keep dropping it in the pockets over and over again. That is his favorite thing to do. Whenever we play pool at our friends house he waits for the balls to come down the tracks and then puts them in the pockets over and over again. On these tables you have to pay so the only ball that would keep coming out was the white ball.
As I was watching him a girl came up and we started talking. She said her name was Maddie. She was very nice and thought Jubal was cute. (Which he is I'll have you know.) Maddie told me that she was working on a documentary and that she was here for an interview and that this was the only day she would be here. After a while my Savannah and Clair joined us. We talked for a while and missed the first part of the Winton's concert. Lonna came up and asked if we were going and said they had already started.
Jubal colors.
The Winton's are a bluegrass band and have played at Presbytery before.
Jubal had so much fun climbing up that ladder over and over again.
Friday evening was the dance. Every year at Presbytery there is an English country dance. It is one of the things I look forward to most.
Gabrielle, Levi, Anna, and Mr. Garry.
Claire and Savannah
Matthew, Me, and Levi.
Matthew and his brother were room mates with Zachary. I noticed that sometimes they ate lunch together. We talked a little bit and he asked me what kind of music I play on the piano. I was about to answer that I play for church and I play classical music but the dance started up again. If you're reading this Matthew, there's your answer. :)
This Apples to Apples game was really long.... ugh!
Saturday from one o'clock to three was the high ropes course. That was a lot of fun.
Out of our group of friends theses are the people that went. Anna, Claire, Savannah, Zachary, Levi, Lydia, Mr. Piotr, Sebastian, and Jacob
Savannah was scared but her older brother helped her across.
Jacob and Sebastian
There were two levels to the course. Everyone except Savannah chose to go up to the highest level.
Zachary and I wait our turn.
There was a lot of waiting. You would sit for about fifteen minute in between each challenge. Now I know why it takes three hours. It was still fun though.
Anna hops across.
Every day after lunch there were panel discussion. Certain elders would sit and pass the microphone between them and discuss questions. Topics varied. At the end of each session there were opportunities for people to ask additional questions. Through out the week meetings on church business were held in a room in the activity center. Dad and Zachary attended some of them.

And that was it! We stayed for dinner and packed up after that. We left the camp while it was still light out. Even so it was still almost dark. We drove all night and stopped at the Super 8 Motel back in Richmond. And I'll tell you why and what we're doing back in Missouri in my next post. (Or at least the one after my next one.)

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