Saturday, August 17, 2013

Off to Camp!

Last week, my sister and I went to a Christian camp, called LIFE Camp, by Lake Lopez. The goal of this camp is to help kids live in faith effectively. The fruits of the spirit was the theme this year and our “challenge passage” (a passage out of the Bible for the kids to try to memorize as well as the daily and theme verses.) was Galatians 5.Our mom and dad dropped us off Monday morning and picked us up Saturday. Although it was a long time to be away from our parents and home, my sister and I had a marvelous time growing closer to God and having fun.

I like everything about Life Camp especially just growing nearer to the Lord. In the morning, the first of our three classes is Missionary where you learn about one missionary all week. This year it was Dr. Carl Becker, missionary/doctor to the people in mid- Africa– especially the Pigmy people. Our second class of the morning, Biography, was taught by the director. We discovered the lives of a different person every day. A few examples are Joni Ericson Tada, Eric Liddel, George Washington Carver, and Jim Elliot. Our last class was Bible where we learned about Ruth, Paul, Joseph, David, and more. In the evening we had chapel with a different speaker every night.

Life Camp offers lots of fun, active activities. After lunch girls go swimming for about an hour to an hour and a half. Directly afterward is field games where we play multiple different games such as: capture the flag, belly bumpers, soccer, dodge ball and that is only scratching the surface of all the games. Soon afterward, everyone enjoys what is probably most people's favorite activity– free time! At this time the campers are allowed to do just about anything. The only hitch is that if you want to go outside the boundaries or into the creek that flows by, you must have a staff person who is willing to accompany you or at least keep you in their sight. During some free times the staff have organized activities for the campers. One day there was a gold hunt in the creek where whoever wanted to go could learn how to pan for gold and the likely places gold would be. Another exciting expedition was when a group of campers hiked a ways up the mountain to search for fossils. Most kids found one– or two– or even more! I was in the category of “even more”. I found two rocks but combined in the two rocks was a total of three clam fossils. I was given two more rocks with fossils, their total– six plus!!! The last activity at the end of the day is “night games”. During “night games” we mostly play “blob tag” which is similar to family tag. The only other game that I can remember playing at night was capture the flag.
My LIFE Camp cabin group.

Everything about Life Camp was a lot of fun- so much fun that is- that I can't choose which thing was the funnest. I was blessed to be in a small cabin with only three other girls and one fantastic counselor. Between night time Devotions and Missions, swimming and free time, snack and dinner, everything was so fabulous. I feel like I grew closer to God and will be able to be better at the fruits of the spirit. Thank you, Jake, for putting on Life Camp so faithfully each year and for being interactive with the campers! Thanks everyone who sent me and my sister letters at Life Camp! It meant a lot!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Riley, Our Long Awaited Dog

Riley and me.
God has so blessed our family! I have been wanting a dog for what seems like forever. At the end of last month, we got a dog. We don't know exactly what breed or mix of breeds he is but he is an awesome dog. I've known him longer than anyone else in our family has known him and from the start I knew he was meant for us. His name is Riley.

He showed up, as a stray, in Lockwood one day and a friend took him in temporarily. She had Riley for a while before giving him to our neighbor. Does that sound like God or what? Often, Riley would come down to visit us. Then, our neighbor moved about 4 months after getting Riley. Our neighbor returned Riley to our friend and left. However, what I think is the most crazy part is that in the 16 going-on-17 years that my mom and dad have lived here, they have never been offered a bag of dog food. Well, when we were at a friend's house, as we were leaving our friend asked us if we had a dog. Mom looked at Dad and said, “We might have one in about a week.” (Because we had been offered Riley and we were considering.) :) So, you can guess what happened, he gave us a LARGE bag of dog food. By now we are thinking that God is making it pretty clear to us “GET THAT DOG!” So when we returned from the homeschool convention we unloaded and, the same day, went to pick up our (big) puppy.
My family giving Riley a bath.

The first thing we did when we arrived home was to walk him around, but other than that, “Bath time!”. That night was a rough night because he was restless and the only one who slept well was my sister. The rest of us hardly slept at all. That night he also ripped our screen door. By morning, neither my mom nor dad were sure we could keep him but we had thought that God had brought him to us, I mean, we prayed, the whole dog food thing, our neighbor getting Riley, we just thought God had wanted us to have him. :( It didn't make sense. Finally, after much prayer, Dad said that we would give him another try. Phew! Our next step was to set aside an area where we attached a cable to two poles and then made him a leash out of cord as well. This way Riley can run but not have complete access to our yard. We call it a runner or “zip line”. We put a large tarp over half the area so that he has lots of shade. That completed, my sister and I played with Riley for the greater part of the day. That night, he was WONDERFUL! Thank you, Lord! Yesterday, we (my sister and I) played with him again and trained him and had a blast! He is a very good companion. Riley is smart and powerful. Last night, again he was a charm! Today, I spent some time with Riley and I am convinced that Riley was meant to be our dog.
What's wrong with this picture?

Thank you Riley family for letting us keep his name “Riley”! Thank you EVERYONE who played a part in us getting Riley! Especially, I want to thank, with all my heart, you Lord! It is because of you that we have Riley. :)