Another trip to Camp Utopia

Monday, June 30, 2014
Sorry for not posting for over a week. I seem to be posting in spurts. We got back from vacation and had minor things go wrong everyday and I had clients/work to catch up with and then had to get the boys ready for 2 weeks of camp.

I still have some vacation posts to work on but yesterday the boys left for 2 weeks at Camp Utopia (not its real name). Ideally, Kate would have gone one of these weeks too but there were no spots for her.  And in the end, I think it was good that she went on her own.  In fact, I need to do a post camp blog about her first camp experience so we have it for memory sake.

Anyway, yesterday we got up in the dark to take Will and Harry to the camp bus.  It was bittersweet.  This will be Will's last year of camp.  They could not go the session they normally go (and have made friends in) because of schedules with school and sports so Will was going for the last time not knowing anyone (which is a weird feeling).  And I think at 17 years old (yes, he had a birthday last week! post coming this week) that has to be hard.


Harry has a long time family friend going to camp this session with him.  They are in the same cabin too which is nice.  They were not pleased that I was taking their picture at 6 am!


Really Mom?!

Will kind of disappeared for a while (probably to avoid the camera:)




Harry and Kate started playing some slapping ninja game....


Then they hugged goodbye....


How sweet is that?!  She is gonna miss these boys (especially Harry since Will is always working and out with his friends).

And another one...



More goodbyes...



Love the side-eye Will is giving me for taking a picutre:)







We did not even wait for the bus to pull away this time.  We headed to the grocery store and then off to church to get our Sunday started.  I woke up at 4:30 am so I knew my energy would plummet later in the day and it did.

I was wondering to myself why I always love the camp send off photos so much. I am sure they are quite boring to readers. And it hit me.  They truly capture our family.  There is no special occasion.  No one is dressed up.  We are all tired and some are grumpy (dave). BTW---he called me "sparky" cause I am kind of a morning person.  But they capture the true love of our family.  And a lot of other occasions don't.  For example, the night before the boys left, we had a fabulous family dinner.  Dave smoked ribs and we did these family questions (see below) we like to do.  Then, we played apples to apples.  Seems whenever we play games, the critical bickering comes out.  It did not end well.  For some reason, when it is just our family---game night does not end well.  Feelings get hurt.  People are unkind.  But at camp send off, we joke around, hug, play.  It is all good.

My children LOVE LOVE LOVE this camp.  I cannot tell you how much it has shaped who they are today.  I think aside from the spiritual base we have given our children at home, this camp as made them grow closer to God and mature and become better people more than anything else in their lives.  And they have so much fun.  I know it will be one of the best parts of their childhood memories.   In fact, I am often quite envious because I never went to anything like this. I would love to go to their camp. I share this because I have had a few readers share stories (e-mails) with me over the past few years about how they looked into camps for their kids based on how influential Camp Utopia has been in our lives and they have had amazing, life changing experiences too.

It will be a quiet 2 weeks but luckily, I have already spotted both the boys on the camp website and they look very happy:)

P.S. These are the box of questions we currently use at dinner.  We love them!   Chat Pack: Fun Questions to Spark Conversations

Another P.S. -- I cleaned out Kate's closet and will be listing a lot of her clothes for sale in the next week or so.  I donate the majority of them but try to sell some as well.  She had a big growth spurt so there is a lot to sell.  If you are interested, check back often.  They sell out quickly!!!


  1. I can't wait to see what you have. Remember me on the "Halloween costume" if you are selling it. I remember asking you about it last year. It was too adorable and really unique!

    1. Hi Dawn, I am sorry butI don't think I am ready to sell that particular costume yet because I think Kate will wear it again. But--- I will probably be listing this one.


    2. Love that costume! Sophie wants to be Elsa this year... I bet it could easily become that without the wings! Anxiously awaiting your posts since Sophie is probably tinier than Kate now!

  2. PS I really like the SEND OFF pics!

  3. So funny, when we play games our family quickly becomes very dysfunctional!!! We are much too competitive with each other and Paul and I are usually the ones to try and bring peace into the house again! Hopefully you and Kate can have a lot of girl time while the boys are away. Enjoy!


    1. So funny. Yeah..we don't do well with just our family and games. It is not even competitiveness as much as snide comments over rules/strategy. It is just not a good arena for us. We have fun doing a "loser dance" if you lose and the winners clean up so generally we don't care about losing and winning.

  4. Hope your boys have a great week!

  5. I love your blog, and I love Kate's clothing (I've bought several times from you before). Looking forward to your purge :)

    1. Thank you so much! I am working on getting the clothes online. There is a lot this time.


  6. What size clothes will you be selling? I love what you pick out for Kate and especially love the 2012 Halloween costume. I should have Carissa look at it when she is back from fishing with her daddy to see if she would like it.

    1. Hi Pamela, I sorted through the clothes and washed everything yesterday and there are lots of different sizes (even some really little things I just don't have room to keep but thought I would). But I would say the majority of sizes will be 4,5, and 6. I still need to photograph and list it which is time consuming. But I hope to work on that this weekend.


  7. I know exactly what you mean about grumpy bickering during family game night. We have improved but it's still about 70/30 and you just never know.

  8. Is this the same camp that Kate goes to I'm sure you miss the boys! but I am sure they are hVing the time of their lives!

    1. Yes MCW it is the same camp. I just could not get them all in the same session this year:( And that is a bummer cause it was the ONLY year all 3 kids would be going. We don't really miss them yet;) But I am sure we will soon.


Thank you for your kindness.