Thursday, September 27, 2012

American Heritage Girls Fall Camp

As a Pioneer Unit Leader, I get the pleasure of watching the 12-14 year olds explore new activities, begin developing new friendships on a deeper level and learn about themselves.  I also get the "pleasure" of tent camping.  Ummmm...for the record, I'm not a tent camper, but my oldest daughter loves to camp so as her leader, I go as well.

We did our fall camp this past weekend.  For someone who does not consider themselves a tent camper, my biggest fear came true.  RAIN!  Yep...all night on Friday night.

We had just enough time to get tents set up before the rain really started coming down.  Needless to say, we could not build a fire to prepare our yummy snack on.....p-nut butter, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips in a tortilla, wrapped in tin foil on a fire.  The girls certainly did not like the idea of missing that.  We were able to take our small propane grills into a pavillion and still make snack and play some Bible charades.

When we returned to our site I thought I would go check out the tent that the other leader and I would share.  I am so glad I checked it before laying down for the night!  It leaked!  There was a puddle on my air mattress and my pillow was wet.  YUCK!  Thankfully one of the other adults had room in her tent for us.

It rained all night and was about 50 degrees that night.  

By morning the rain had stopped as the sun tried to peek out.  The girls got  fire going first thing and began breakfast.  We had breakfast burritos, which was very easy.  We cooked sausage and scrambled eggs while we were there and all the fixin's that were for the inside were brought to camp by the various girls already diced up.

We then headed for our horse trail ride!  The girls were anticipating this activity the most.

D-Bar-A is a local boy scout camp (about 30 minutes from us) and is beautiful.  The barns are all lovingly cared for, the fields and wooded trails are beautiful.

Here is Sissy as she mounted her horse Joker.  Notice the winter coat?  Even though it was dry and the sun was shining, it was cold!  I wore a winter hat all day and had gloves in my pockets!

Here she is again.  She was one of the first up on her horse so she was able to spend time on Joker while the rest of us were helped safely up on our horses.  There were 4 adults with us and  9 girls.

Everyone is ready to head out on the trails.

The ride was beautiful and it had me thinking about a camping event they do at D-Bar-A called the Yucca Trail.  When you arrive at camp you mount a horse with all of your necessary camping gear - including your tent and food.  Then you ride your horse out in the woods scouting for a place to stop to camp for the night.  You stop, pitch camp, make dinner and sleep.  The next morning you mount your horse again and do the same thing.  Other than the sore bottom and legs I would have, it sounds fun.  Even the tent camping part - if it weren't raining!

We went back to camp to have lunch and the girls played a short game of  Human Foosball. (Sorry, I don't have any pictures I can share of that one).  After their game it was time to head out for the Boulder Wall climb.

Boulder Wall climbing is different than rock wall climbing because rather than attempting to go high, you are learning to scale the wall horizontally.  This did not offer as much of a challenge to Sissy as she likes (she likes to go HIGH), but she still enjoyed it.

That evening we had foil dinners on the fire and an impromptu hayride through the woods.  It was pitch black and as beautiful as can be.  The girls began singing silly camp fire songs on the hayride and then added some praise and worship music as well.  It was wonderful to hear them sing..."Oh Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy and true."  This is one thing a Girl Scout leader would not be hearing on a hayride.  I am so blessed to be a part of this program.

Finally, you need to know that the rain held off, but the cool temps blew it.  It was around 35 degrees Saturday night.  Cold - but nothing that a down sleeping bag, down comforter and winter hat could not help with.

We did not really work on to many badge requirements this weekend.  Four of the girls at camp were returning girls and 5 were still needing to work on their Joining Award so we spent some time around the camp fire talking through some of them.  Despite the rain is was quite successful!  We have a unit that totals 10 Pioneers - up from 5 last year!  At camp we had 5 girls who were new to the program and that meant there were relationships to be made.  The girls meshed very well and that alone means that camp was a success, no matter how many badge requirements were done.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We Love Snickers

We have a new family member.  We have added to our  3 kids, 6 chickens and one dog - a bunny.  A little mini rex. 

Peanut has wanted a kitten for as long as I can remember but I've not wanted to deal with a litter box.  So...she recently began asking about a bunny.  Her great uncle once raised dutch rabbits and was quite famous in "rabbit raising world".  We thought it through and figured, why not?

We had friends offer to give us a very nice hutch so the only other step was picking the rabbit.  Initially Peanut wanted a Holland Lop.  She wanted a rabbit that would stay relatively small, even as it grew to adulthood, so she would feel comfortable picking it up.

We contacted someone locally about Holland Lop babies, but we were going to need to wait till October and they wanted $45 per bunny!  That was just a bit more than we wanted to spend on our first rabbit.  So, we took a trip down the road (literally) to a house that has had a bunny sign in it yard for years and asked about their rabbits.  

The rabbits at the farm down the street were only $25 but after talking for awhile he said he would let this one go for  $10 since it was getting to the end of the season and he could tell she was going to a good home.  Not only that, but he took some of our honey in trade.  So, this is Snickers.  Snickers is a mini rex.  I believe she is a brown otter.  I'm not all brushed up on my rabbit verbage yet.  :)

The girls all really love Snickers and she is a delight.  We are lucky enough to have a large screened in porch on the back of the house, so we can bring her in there and let her hop around and explore while we read or just hang out.  

She's even getting musical instruction :)  Honestly, this is Peanut's rabbit, but I can hardly help myself - picking her up wanting to have her hang out with us.  She is a sweet little thing to be sure.

Peanut's First Recital

I'm not musically inclined.  My husband played the saxaphone in middle school, but other than that, no one in our immediate family has any musical talent.  My husband does have an aunt however who plays the piano beautifully.  It is a shame that she lives on the other side of the country. 

We have friends who live within 5 miles of us and whose sons have been taking piano since they were quite young.  They are a delight to listen to.  About a year ago Peanut began taking lessons with the oldest son and she has really enjoyed it.  She started using a keyboard here at home to practice on and then in February we surprised her with a real piano....a Craigslist find for just $ has been well worth it. 

Her teacher's teacher was allowed her to join his students in their recital.  It was L O N G, but much fun.  Some kids have so much talent!

Peanut chose to play Shubert's, Marche Millitaire.  Here she is after the recital sitting at the grand piano.  She looked beautiful sitting there.

A little closer shot because I was really quite a proud momma. She had been so nervous but pulled it off so well.  Not many adults would get up in front of a bunch of people they don't know and perform.

After the recital we surprised her with some flowers.

Grandpa drove 45 minutes to watch and support her. she is playing.  The church was packed..literally standing room only, so we could not see her playing, only hear her (and we were 1/2 hour early!).  So, enjoy the shot of the hymnal.