Friday, July 13, 2018

Middle School Camp

Evelyn has just returned from a week away at middle school camp with our church. She has never been away from us for more than a night. To say this momma's heart was full of big and mixed emotions would be an understatement for sure.

As both our kids grow, letting them go and find their way has been a big challenge for me, even tho I know it's the right thing to do. Trusting the Lord with their lives, wherever they are, is something I know I need to work more on. Sending my baby girl away was a great leap of faith for me, but a leap that was needed.

Evelyn has been so excited to go to Camp Tadmor. She was ready.. in lots of ways.. and was looking forward to this new adventure. One of the biggest challenges for her (and for me) was prepping food for her to take, as Tadmore doesn't offer gluten free specific options. Thankfully the camp worked with me and together we created a good plan. I had to pack lots of extra food for her to bring, but Evelyn knew the plan and was ready to manage her diet on her on for the first time.

She was very involved in packing and getting herself ready to go. She had Tadmor's packing list and made sure we followed it to a T! I am notorious for OVER packing.. thankfully Evelyn is more a minimalist like her dad in this area. She packed what she needed and nothing more. It still was a lot and I know she was grateful for my help in organizing her stuff. :) 

My big girl.. ready to go!

Matthew was a bit sad about his sister leaving, but excited for some one on one time with me! 

At church ready to load the bus. 

Evelyn has known most of these girls her whole life. SO thankful for the friendship they have built over the years in Sunday school. AND... her leader Jenn (who happens to be a friend of mine....YAY!) is also gluten free and has been to camp several times. She was a great help to me, food prep wise, and I knew she would keep a good eye on Evelyn regarding her diet. 

And she's off. I kept it together the best I could but I had a mini meltdown after the bus pulled away. I was just going to miss her so much and hoped she'd be safe and make good choices and.. and.. and..... Sigh....


My dear friend Kori's daughter Grace went to camp as a counselor for 7th grade girls. She knew I was going to miss my girl and was so sweet to text me these photos of Evelyn and her friends. Huge for me to see her smiling face!

The week went by super slow, but Matthew and I had some good times together. However, we were SO excited when we saw the bus pulling in to church with the campers this afternoon! Evelyn was looking for me and her eyes lit up when they met mine. She may be growing up, but I am thankful she loves me so! :)

"Really, mom??"

Love these tired, hot and hungry girls!!

We grabbed a milkshake on the way home. It was very well received!

She seriously talked my ear off the rest of the afternoon (after she took a shower..haha) and into the evening, repeating stories to Doug when he arrived home from work. Oh my goodness she had so much fun! She took risks, took care of herself, and learned a lot. I couldn't be more proud of her!

My friend Anne told me Evelyn would come back from camp a different kid. And you know what, she did! I love her and who the Lord is shaping her to be. I am thankful for our church who provide such a great middle school ministry, and her "peeps" (as she calls them)  who love her well. 

And I am excited to watch her start middle school and grow even more. I think..haha!!

Love her to the moon and back!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Beach Trip/Fourth of July 2018

We're back from our annual beach vacation! What a restful and fun time we had this past week! We have never been on vacation over the 4th of July, so this was a first for us. And it was so great!

**Warning: LOTS of photos ahead   😀***

(I always have this inner conversation/conflict with myself over how much to write when I have a lot of photos. I think I'll just post a few stories but let the pictures do most of the talking this time around!)

Let's just say that Matthew and Doug threw the football A LOT!! 

"Digging to China".. a generations old tradition at the beach, I'm sure!
Love this guy!
The kids' room at our condo. They love having their own space...and their own big bed!

We have the best view from our condo!

They bond they have is precious....

Rockin' the boots for the tide pools!

Deep in coversation. They are two peas in a pod, these two!

My heart....

The (one mile) walk back is always fun too!

Flying kites on a perfect day!

She cracks me up! And Matthew was willing to take a wave for her. He always is. 

Yes, that is Evelyn. Throwing a football! :) 

We got some pool time in, too!!

The sunsets were AMAZING this week. This one just one of them!

Family game time at the beach is the best!

We went to Gleneden Beach's Fourth of July Parade. Small town feel, good people, fun times!

Matthew loved all the cool cars!

It was a super sweet time in this cute little town!

There is a huge fireworks show on Taft Beach in south Lincoln City. Instead of joining the masses on that beach, we know of a little beach just across Siletz Bay from Taft that is less crowded but still in great view of the fireworks. It was perfect!

We weren't sure if others had the same idea so we got to the beach around 6.. and had at least 4 hours to kill until fireworks started. The kids were rockstars and we had a great time playing football (shocker..haha!), uno, and having good conversation.

Kid art.... love it!

Matthew dug underneath this log and was pretty proud of himself! :)

I kinda love these two!

Beware of the gluten...haha!

See all that smoke haze? That's Taft. So many people with so many beach fires. Glad we were across the bay from them. We still could enjoy all the live music, too.. which was awesome!

Reading... of course!

We had an Uno competition.. very heated I may add. :) 

To say the sunset was beautiful that night would be an understatement! The camera doesn't do it justice.

We bought some red white and blue glowsticks to use for fun. 

The fireworks show was amazing and the kids were in total awe. They have never been to one, and it was so great to see their reaction. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. We were a little concerned about traffic getting back to our condo, but it only took us about 40 minutes and we all were in bed a little after midnight. It was the best day. 

We headed back to Gleneden Beach the next morning to play and have a BBQ lunch. It is one of our favorite beaches and it was a fun morning. 

Before we went to Gleneden we drove past it and headed to Newport to sign up for a Yaquina Head Lighthouse Tour. We have missed our opportunity a couple of times over the years(you have to sign up in person and the times fill up quickly) so we got there early. We headed back after lunch and enjoyed the tour of this beautiful place. 

Tour guides dress in character. It's awesome!

Beautiful staircase leading up to the lamp itself.
The lamp that lights the way...

So thankful we got to see this!

We spent our final afternoon on the beach making more memories....

The tide was coming in but the kids wanted to build a castle with a mote and see how long it would stand. It was great teamwork!

Keeping an eye on the water....

 The water started coming in but the moat held it for quite a while. In the end, tho, the ocean won and the fortress was lost. It was fun, tho! 

It was a beautiful afternoon!
Chillin' on the balcony one last time.

Our final sunset....

Matthew, unprompted, wrote the sweetest thank you note to the housekeeping staff and left them some of our parade candy. Love that boy's heart!!

With that, we headed home. With thankful hearts and many priceless memories. Until next time, Oregon coast.. we'll miss you!