Well, I'm finally home from running around for over a week. Everything was great fun, but now I'm fighting off a cold and trying desperately to get better, especially since Sam is leaving (again) tomorrow for SRP (Soldier Readiness Process) for a few days and I want to be productive while he's gone.
Since someone has still not returned my camera memory card (grrrr....) I will have to wait to post pictures from camp, but I still want to give some highlights of my two trips.
Camp was amazing! Of course there were the normal stresses of being in charge of 26 kids and 3 leaders, but other than that, it was awesome. The main speaker really held the kids' attentions, which was great. Especially since the theme of camp was doctrine and I knew it would be difficult to get junior high students excited about doctrine (even I was yawning at the mention of the theme). He did a great job discussing God, sin, sanctification, etc. without using any big words and really challenged the students to live authentic lives.
My favorite night was Thursday night. It had been a long week for me. Some of our boys were being real jerks and some of my girls were just not getting the purpose for camp. I was tired of not sleeping well and had spent the majority of my free time dealing with drama of some kind or another (kids getting bullied, our kids bullying other kids, leader drama, etc.). However, on Thursday night John (the speaker) really challenged our students to live lives that were completely surrendered to Christ. He explained clearly what it meant to "deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him." He explained that becoming a Christian meant denying the things that you desire and doing the things that God desires. He then invited the students to commit to living for Christ. As students stood up to make that commitment he challenged them to do it because they really wanted to, not because it was something that their friends were doing. Imagine my delight (and tears, I am pregnant, after all) when some of the kids who had been acting out all week seriously stood up. Of 25 students (one had to go home early during the week because she was flying home to Japan) 14 stood up. One of those students (a girl who got to go last minute due to someone dropping out on Friday) decided that she wanted to become a Christian. It was a great night and it really made everything worth it.
I will update with pictures of camp and stories of fun free time activities later.
San Diego/Sea World
After a super long and hot bus trip back from Hume (the air conditioner sucked and it was over 90 degrees on our bus) I got home, Sam did a load of laundry, and we headed down to San Diego. On Sunday (our 6th wedding anniversary) we went to Sea World. It was a lot of fun to watch Nathaniel experience the dolphins and the whales and other animals. We sat up front for the Shamu show and Nathaniel did not enjoy being splashed. He cried so hard! But, then he was fine and was his happy little self again. We had a hotel near the park so during nap time we headed back to the hotel so that Nathaniel could nap (I napped too). I think the highlight of the day was watching the Beluga whales swimming. They were playing around and kept swimming right next to the glass window. While they were doing that one of the whales pooped, which answered the age old question from the book "Everyone Poops", "What does whale poop look like?"
Yesterday we drove around San Diego and went to the Gas Lamp district to walk around and eat lunch. We got coffee from the Ghiradelli store and Nathaniel got chocolate milk, which was so sweet that he then proceeded to bounce off the walls for about 20 minutes. We are great parents (I didn't drink coffee, I had the drinking chocolate. Yum!). We got home around 4 yesterday afternoon and I spent the rest of the evening on the couch because I felt terrible. I will post pictures from that trip later.
Overall, we are tired but rested at the same time. We got some great family time, which was much needed since we really haven't spent any time together this summer. An update on Sam's deployment: He is leaving November 17th for some training, he gets 4 days leave for Thanksgiving and then he's gone. I'm actually happy that he's leaving earlier because it means he'll miss less of our second child's life.
Sorry for the marathon update, it's 8am and my whole household is still sleeping! That is rare! Glad to be back on the net!