Posts Tagged ‘camp’

Goodbye Butterflies!

January 12, 2014

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My grandmother gave me this butterfly quilt years and years ago…. probably 25 or 26 years past.  It was filled with that old fashioned batting that made the blanket hug you and keep you warmer than the average quilt.  At one time the colors were vibrant and cheery, the sweet soft pinks, turquoises and lavenders of the 40s.  The pea-green backing was less than my favorite color, but hey, it was on the back.  This quilt was well loved! Several times over the years, before it was completely shredded, I thought of re-doing the blanket stitch around each butterfly…. but that task never made it high enough on my daily to-do lists. So the butterflies slowly flew away as did the days of the quilt’s life.

chickens quilt 006

It became my son’s favorite blanket that he used on his bed for years.  It was under a presentable comforter so I didn’t care how ratty it looked.  Then he went on a church camping trip and took it as his only blanket…. making us look worse than homeless people.  I tried to simply talk him down from using it, but NO!  This was the coziest quilt in the galaxy.  I waited to confiscate it until the dark of the night when it had fallen off his bed and he was snoring.  Hidden under my bed is where it remained for several years because I was not sure if I could throw away the quilt my grandmother handmade and gave to me.

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Yesterday I was obviously low on nostalgic sensibilities.  The quilt came out from under our bed and I seriously took in each butterfly, analyzing if they were still redeemable.  Some had no wings.  At all.  The ones that did have wings also had holes that could not be repaired.  Rolling up the shabby blanket as I headed for the garbage can I realized that if I didn’t take a picture the memory of the butterfly quilt would fade.  Hence, the photo and the story written for posterity, so my grandchildren will know the tale of the pea-green, vintage quilt that they never got the pleasure to wrap up in.

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Goodbye butterflies!  You served us well!

P.S. O.K., after writing this, I went and got it out of the garbage and cut out and saved a few of the butterflies.  I figure I could frame them for the laundry room or for my future sewing room.  I guess I have a bit more nostalgia today than yesterday.  Thankfully it wasn’t garbage pick-up day!

VBS = Very Busy Sistah!

June 12, 2011

Last week I only had 50% of my kids in the house.  One is still in Africa and one was at camp in California.  So the two that were here participated in a Vacation Bible School program that lasted from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.  I love summertime!  It was a little slice of heaven for this sistah!  I felt like a mother who sends her kids away to school…. but just for five half days.  I didn’t quite know what to do with myself…. so I went shopping, out to lunch, bookstore browsing, shopping, out to lunch….etc.  And then the last day I just came home and did nothing.  Nada.  I didn’t even blog.  Seriously, I sat and looked through a few magazines… stared out the window enjoying the silence… nothing.

Nora has not really been away from me in a setting with other kids, other than Sunday School…. and that only lasts one hour!  So this was a stretch for her!  She told me on the second day that she had no friends.  I asked if there were other girls her age and she said there were.  So I explained that she needed to go up to them and say, “Do you want to be my friend?”  And she did.  She got in the van that afternoon and said, “Now I have lots of friends!”  If you want to have friends, show yourself friendly.  It works!

One of my FREE mornings, my mother and I went to a fabric store…. and my sewing creativity that had been dormant for over eight months burst forth into life.  I purchased two dress patterns for Nora and came home to check my fabric stash.  I had ample pieces for little dresses, but needed some zippers, some rick-rack, some sequin trim and a few extra pieces of material.  I finished two of the dresses and I’m onto number three.  They all have lime green, turquoise and dark brown in them, so I’m also working on a corresponding purse that works with all three!  Matching is SO important! 

Did I mention that I love summertime?

Checking In with Mom

June 7, 2011

My fourteen-year-old son called home from camp tonight.  It surprised me.  He started by saying, “I thought I’d call you………….  ”   and then I asked questions for five minutes.   Is the place nice?  How’s the food?  Who are you rooming with?  Are there girls on your team?  When do you come home?   Then there was a 20 second pause and he asked if dad was home.  Nice.  Yeah, I love you and miss you too, son. 

This is my not-highly-emotional-or-physical son.  Physical for sports – yes.  Physical for hugs and kisses – no.  I don’t even think he writes “love” at the bottom of his cards to me.  I think they say “from”.  Nice.    Anyway, there is a sign on the fridge in CURSIVE that says, “Mom, I love you.  Thanks for taking us camping. Austin Crosby”  It totally made me laugh because it was his signature, but my husband wrote in messy cursive to make it look like Austin wrote it.    I left it there because it makes me smile.

Several years ago…. probably five years ago… this same son called home from camp.  It surprised me then too.  That time his sole purpose for calling was to make sure I put the garbage can to the road, because it was Wednesday, after all!

When he left on Sunday morning my parting words were, ‘I love you.  Be a leader.”  I expect a full report upon his return.

Two Player Bicycle

June 13, 2010

There is a bicycle-built-for-two at the home we’re vacationing in right now.  It had flat tires when we arrived, but when my boys discovered it they rectified that situation quickly… because they have never ridden such an inviting contraption.  They went on their first ride down a paved path that leads to the beach…. but the path stopped and the sand started more abruptly then they anticipated.  They were being followed by another 11-year-old who witnessed the initial adventure.  And an adventure it was.  There was a group of kids at the park/beach on a day camp trip who also witnessed the initial adventure.

After the bike hit the sand, it slowed considerably, but not quite slow enough to disembark safely.  My strong and brave sons went over a small hill and crashed, face first, into the sand.  Their following friend said he saw them disappear and then there was a large cloud of dust.  Keeve appeared over the hill first, raised his hand and yelled to the wide-eyed kids who witnessed the out-of-control bicycle-built-for-two crash, “We’re OK!”  I wish I could have seen the whole trip down the hill… and to video tape it would have even been better.

When they got home, they still had sand all over their faces and shirts and shorts and arms and legs, but were so full of hilarity as they told us the whole story of their trip and wipe-out on the “Two-Player Bike“… like it’s a Wii game for two players.  The bike is the biggest hit yet!  Who knew?!

The RR Camping Saga

October 6, 2008

 

Photo by T. Robertson

Yes, the men and boys arrived home safely yesterday from two nights in the woods.  This was a highly frustrating trip for those who like comfort and order.  It was a highly amusing time for those who like to laugh in the face of confusion.  And it was a highly entertaining time for ALL the boys.  They’ll remember this trip for the rest of their lives.

The Royal Rangers (fondly known as Ritalin Rangers) from the Arizona District had their Grand Fall Pow Wow with several churches participating from around the state.  Poo Bah Poo Bah.  My dear husband is one of many commanders at our church and arranged for our RR boys to go. The plan was to leave on Friday around noon and head to a Boy Scout’s camp near the Grand Canyon, 3.5 hours northwest of us.  Then Tuesday they get an email that states that the camp in closed for construction and the Pow Wow had been moved to Payson, 1.5 hours east-north-east of us.  OK.  No problem.  Then THURSDAY they got an email that said it was indeed back at the Grand Canyon camp.  FINE.  Off they went on Friday.

 

Photo by T. Robertson

Can I just add here that on Thursday night close to midnight, my dear husband handed me the grocery list for the 26 campers and asked me to put quantities beside the items…. AND put the list in the order of the Walmart aisles.  Well, one look at the list and I started crossing off stuff.  Saturday morning breakfast included eggs, bacon, pancakes, syrup, bagels, cream cheese, coffee, hot chocolate, milk and orange juice.  No names mentioned, but the list was made by two of the cushy-hotel-campers.  I chiseled it down to pancakes, syrup, bacon, coffee and milk.  There.  (And there were no fruits or vegetables on the entire list for five meals…….)  I digress.  And yes, I put it in Walmart order and saved my dear husband at least two ours of wandering time.

SO, they get up to the Grand Canyon camp to find the gates locked… and an Under Construction sign.  Sigh.  They couldn’t just turn around and head to Payson because there was another truck load of boys and dads on their way.  For the next three hours they drove around and around and around looking for a camp ground.  By 9:30 p.m. they pulled off a lonely road into the trees and set up camp.  No bathrooms.  No running water.  My husband was in his Native Canadian Indian element… this is how he spent his summers growing up.  No big deal.  But for the clean-fingernail-crowd, it cramped their camping style.

They returned with smiles on their dirty, unshaven faces with every sleeping bag, foamy mattress and pillow WET!  Lovely.  I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad it was a father-son trip.  :o)

I’m BAAA-AAAACK!

July 12, 2008

A special thanks to my hubby Rick who wrote his first blogs this past week here at My Sister’s Jar!  Well done, honey. 

Kid’s camp went great!  I survived another year and lived to tell the tale.  This year was like no other.  We’ve never sent kids home before. It was a new adventure. These were kids from MY cabin too.  Five girls, to be exact.  Nothing builds your self esteem as a dorm counselor like children who needed spankings years ago and their parents failed them… miserably.  They were given three major chances to improve their behavior, but simply weren’t interested.  And frankly, I wasn’t interested in any more chances.  I took the 80 minute drive home as an opportunity to preach hell fire and brimstone…. just kidding.  I did tell the girls that they were good kids who made bad decisions…. and if the pattern didn’t change, their lives would be miserable.  Who knows if it even broke the granite surface of their hearts.

Here’s Lacey Jane sliding through the rainbow.  My son, Keeve, is the boy standing in line wearing a t-shirt and jean shorts because he forgot to pack his swim suit (even though it was checked off on the list) with the red lightning bolt painted into his hair.  Makes a mama proud.

I put my earplugs in the night after the girls were gone and heard buzzing in my head.  I’m lying there thinking, “Does that buzzing mean my blood pressure is sky rocketing?  Is this what internal self combustion feels like?” But then I fell asleep and all was well when the sun peaked through the gaudy flower curtains on the PVC pipe curtain rod that was screwed into the wall.  (Design on a Dime could learn a few tricks at this camp!)

We were the Longhorns this week and we came in fifth place out of eight teams, but our cheer and our sign were the bomb, baby.  We lifted both arms up but tilted our hands down, you know, like longhorns.  And like the Karate Kid pose from days gone by.  Anyway, after an eating/drinking/ turned-into-ralphing game for our team’s contestant, we lifted our arms and yelled “Longhorns!”  and ended with a barfing noise.  It was the only thing that kept us sane the whole week.  :o) 

Our speaker was a totally fabulous story teller named Kevin from Washington.  He conveniently chose me to assist with a Bible story as one of four bad guys who could only answer in opera singing.  Can I just say that I may have missed my calling in life?!  My boys were amazed at how well I sang opera.  If only I knew some Italian, I could’ve brought the house down.

See, you can act like a kid at kid’s camp and everyone’s O.K. with it.  That’s why I go.

BFZ is Rocking the House

July 7, 2008

 

That’s Bags For Zaza… the sewing fundraiser my sister-in-law, Jennie, started for our adoption.  She also nicknamed our little girl Zaza for the time being.  Somehow, after all this, I think the nickname will stick.  Stick like glue.

Last week the bidding for the five bags went like gangbusters all week… right up ’til the last minute.  It was like eBay, but free on blogspot.  New bags go up on Monday morning, so go have a looksie and tell a few friends, and link the site, and write a blog about it, and bid and help bring Zaza home.

We’ve sewn until our fingers are poked and raw.  We’ve made new friends.  We’ve enviously mailed our bags to strangers new friends.  We’ve horded fabric.  We make up bag designs in our sleep.  All for Zaza.  Come and join the fun.  www.bagsforzaza.blogspot.com

P.S.  I’m off to kid’s camp tomorrow morning as a Dorm Staff  (read: referee for 5 eight year old girls.)  So keep me in your prayers and I’ll be back on Friday.  Not sure if there is wireless up in the mountains. BEWARE: Rick is threatening to blog in my absence.  I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE for what he writes.  :o)

Abiding the Adoption Wait-time

July 6, 2008

Zaza could look like this lil’ darlin’.

Tomorrow is officially the start of our sixth month of being waiting parents for our little Colombian daughter.  Adoption is a weird deal.  It messes with your emotions.  You get hooked on the idea and you cannot stop the daydreaming about your child that you haven’t met. 

There were several little girls Zaza’s age around the house this week.  They are busy little bees. It makes me question our advanced ages for adopting a 3-5 year old.  I just keep quoting my mantra, “I was in my thirties when she was born.  I was in my thirties when she was born.”  It makes me feel like I’m youngish and ready for a pre-school age child.  DRE-E-E-E-EAM, DREAM DREAM DRE-EAM.

On nights like tonight when I’m dead-dog tired, I wonder if I will hold up like the days of old when I had my first go-around with young children.  Looking back I seemed invincible.  I handled it all so effortlessly.  I’m not feeling invincible these days. And nothing is effortless anymore.  Is it my age?  Or is it just the pre-camp counselor blues?  Did I mention DEAD-dog tired?

On a cherrier note, I cannot wait to hold Zaza in my arms and kiss her and wet her black hair with my happy tears.  I’m sure that’ll be a new deal for her… someone that is so happy to see her… overcome with joy… and crying crocodile tears.  I’m not the poker face type.  I’m more the wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve type.  I think Zaza will appreciate it… on maybe the eighth day, or ninth. 

Mama’s coming, Zaza.  Hold on, girl!

www.bagsforzaza.blogspot.com   and    www.LindaCrosby.com

Another FUN Saturday! Yippy!

July 5, 2008

I’m supposed to be cleaning my house.  We have a family of ten coming over tonight for dinner.  I’m drawn to things that don’t need to be done… and turn my head from those things calling me names.  Names like “Miss. Piggy” and “messy” and “bad housekeeper” and “disgraceful.”  That last one is ultra-applicable as my mother’s name is Grace and she’s a clean freak.  Sorry, Mom.

Why, oh why, did we choose horizontal dust-magnet blinds for every single blinkin’ window in this house?  It seems like they are always covered with a layer of fuzz… even the day after I clean them.  I need to market my phenomenal wonder of an idea…. flocked blinds.  They will be delivered to your door with a layer of decorative fuzziness already on them… and they’ll always look clean.  Can’t you just hear the sales pitch???  “And these flocked blinds NEVER need cleaning!”  It will be a QVC smashing hit.  I’m sure of it.

And baseboards.  It was a man who invented baseboards because he couldn’t cut straight lines in the sheet-rock to have it line up with the flooring…. creating yet another cleaning opportunity for the woman in his life.  Once upon a time, my baseboards were really and truly white.  Now they’re the color of almost chocolate milk… like when the Quick ran out too soon. 

The plethora of engaging items drawing my attention away from cleaning are unbelievable.  The weeds grew overnight.  They need to be pulled NOW.  I know our guests will already have assumptions about my housekeeping, but my yard could be my excuse if it is weeded.   But it’s 107 degrees and it’s not even noon.  Weeding will have to wait until wintertime.

The boys have built a blanket fort using 4 mattresses, Zaza’s purple canopy bed and all the sheets from the linen closet.  I asked them to put it all away before our guests arrive.  They looked at me like I had a third eye in the middle of my forehead.  “We built the fort to play in with THEM!”   Oh.  Well, I won’t have to vacuum that room.  Maybe I could throw the load of dirty sheets in there too… and eliminate one load of laundry.

Did I forget to mention that camp is in two days (Yes, I’m going to be “dorm staff” for screaming little girls for a week) and I just threw in load #1 of 8.  In my next house, I’m having a laundry room on the same floor as the bedrooms, behind a secret door with a big screen tv in there, plush carpet with triple padding so it will feel like I want to go in there.  I can play the movie Miss Potter all the time, and dance with one of my husband’s dirty shirts to “Shall I teach you how to dance.”

Maybe I simply need to get some matching pink cleaning supplies.  Then I’ll want to clean the house. 

One can dream.

Train Up a Child

June 27, 2008

Our goal with our kids has always been to train them in the ways of the Lord.  Period.  There’s not much gray area in that sort of thinking… well, maybe hockey fights…. but seriously, we’ve aimed at excellence as much as it’s been in our capabilities.  We’ve been those parents that the other kids use as moral yardsticks: “But even Mrs. Crosby lets her kids watch that movie!”  Which means Jesus would watch it.  We’ve thought long and hard about the kids’ friends.  We’ve prayed for new friends.  We’ve seen answers to those prayers.  We’ve prayed for wisdom in parenting over and over…. while the kids were listening.

But somehow, deep inside, we pray that it sticks.  You know what I mean?  We speak positive words to them and Biblical promises over them.  We pray the scriptures over each one, including Zaza, our Colombian daughter who is not home yet. 

But somehow, deep inside, we wonder if we’ve sheltered them too much.  You know what I mean?  Will all this time with mom homeschooling REALLY make that much of a difference?  I could get on my homeschool soap box  and spit out the plethora of worldly things they’ve missed by skipping public school… but I’ll spare you.  (This time.)

Every now and again, we are humbled and discouraged by the children’s behavior.  But hey, they’re just kids.  They try dumb stuff, push our buttons and say unbelievably stupid things at inappropriate times.  Once our son completely insulted one of our daughter’s friends…. and was rightfully punished and apologized… I was mortified.  Rick and I sat on the couch that night saying, “We are good parents.  We are good parents.  We are good parents.”   

And every now and again, we get a glimpse of the fruits of our labor.  Our soon to be ninth grader came home from highschool church camp this week.  It was her first time with the youth… who unashamedly pour out their hearts (and sins) for all to hear and forgive en masse.  The camp speaker called on the girls to forgive their father’s…. and 2/3 ran to the altar to pray.  Our daughter was shocked.  Her sheltered eyes were opened.  She had no idea of the circumstances that most teenagers live in today.  Her heart broke for them.  She prayed for them. 

And then, glory be, she came home and told us that she didn’t realize how awesome her parents were.  WHAT?  You’re not supposed to figure that out until you’re 27 and having your own kids.  DUH!  Why do you think we ride you like a drill sergeant?  Make you do chores?  Ask you to pray?  Teach you God’s rules from the Bible?  Drag you to serve Thanksgiving dinner to those without family??? 

Anyway, we know there is an uphill battle for each kid that parents wage for many years.  We’re in for the long haul.  Pray!  Pray!  Pray!