katie ru is off to summer camp

Sunday, June 1, 2014
If you're a long time reader (I cannot believe I've been blogging for 7 and 1/2 years!) you know the boys have been going to what I refer to as Camp Utopia for a while.  This will be their 6th year.  So, for six years Kate has woken up at 5:30 to see her brothers off to the camp bus.  Their camp is far away in another state.  She has always been kinda sad and grumpy at drop-off because a) she is VERY close to them both and b) she could not wait for the day that she got to go to Camp Utopia!  In fact, here are pictures of the drop-off the first time the boys went to Camp....

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Look how young and little they were!!!  Harry was just a little older than Kate is now.


This morning was really hard for me as we put Kate on that bus for camp. Last year, Kate was just barely old enough to go.  She really wanted to go.  I am not sure if she was ready or not last year but I know I was NOT.  I told her that she could go this year. Look at the photos here.

We try to be a really intentional and pro-active parents.  I  hope my kids will be strong, independent, well rounded Christian adults.  So, I am thrilled that they go away to a Christian camp to grow in their relationship with God and others.  BUT, it is always pretty hard for me to see them go. I worry a little.  I miss them terribly.  It was hard for the boys but they had each other.  Kate went today knowing no one really.  She had no buddies and no brothers going with her (that's the way it worked out).The boys go in a few weeks.  A Mom that I am friends with has a daughter a year older going and Kate has met her and had one play date with her so that sat on the bus together.  But Kate doesn't really know her.

Since Kate has always gone to see her brothers off (sometimes 2 weekends in a row when Will went for 2 weeks and Harry went for 1), the plan WAS that they would wake up and go see her off for the first time.  However, Harry had a horrible migraine last night and Will went to his first big concert yesterday and had a really bad headache too.  So, we told them just to sleep.  Will got up and said goodbye to Kate.  And I heard Harry yell..."wait, I'll go with you!"  He still had a migraine but he popped out of bed, took an Excedrin and came with us.  He LOVES his sister like nothing else.  It always amazes me.

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{waiting in line to check-in and have her temperature taken}

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Dave is embarrassed that I take photos at drop-off.  I will be honest though...these are some of my very favorite photos on this blog.  I love the drop off photos each year.  And I go back every year to look at them.

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While we were waiting to board the busses, Kate pulled out a new journal that Harry gave her for her birthday and began writing in it.  It will be fun to see if she journals each day at camp.

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Time to say goodbye...

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After some hugs goodbye, we waved to her through the bus windows and blew kisses.  I was talking to some friends I knew and got quite emotional.  As the bus started to pull away, I thought I would lose it. I have never been away from Kate.  Even as I type this I feel like a little piece of me is missing (I know it sounds weird).  Anyway, Harry did the SWEETEST thing ever.  He ran along side of the bus waving to his sister! He was the only one (and their were 2 full buses!).  He ran alongside all the way to the highway.  It was so funny and so touching at the same time.  It made me laugh and I did not cry after all :)

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That is his little head at the top of the edge of the bushes as the bus pulls out to the freeway!
What a brother!

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I know she will have a blast!  I know it is all good.  I will be stalking the camp website all week looking for pictures of my little dumpling.  Thanks for all the prayers you have offered me via e-mail, real life and instagram.  I know it helped.  I had no anxiety at all this morning.

27 comments:

  1. Kim, I remember how hard it was when Shelby went off to Camp and she too knew no one. She was so excited and thrilled and I lived waiting for them to post pictures to spot her among the hundreds of other kids. The minimum stay was TWO weeks...so hard!! I wrote her emails every day and mailed letters every day. It was pitiful!! Seeing the results of sending her off to camp is a good reminder of why we do this. Hang in there and she will love you even more for it!!!!

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    1. You are SO right Marylinda. Congratulations on your daughter's graduation!!! They grow in ways at camp that they could not possibly grow at home. I am so glad our camp has a one week option because until Harry was 12, he only wanted to go for one week and I could only handle one week this year for Kate. The boys go for 2 weeks now and that feels long. They'd love to go for 3 but it is too $$$

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  2. I know how you feel!! I always get so emotional when I drop the kids at camp...then I get a nice quiet feeling :) And those picture of harry running by the bus are so sweet!!!

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    1. Thank you. I have already seen picutres of Kate on the camp website and she looks very happy:)

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  3. Oh my! It's so hard to let them go! Does she happen to be heading to MO?

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  4. I have been following you for years and years. What a sweet family you have created!! Thanks for sharing with us. Hang in there this week!

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    1. Thank you so much Kathleen.That is such a kind thing to say. My boys really love their sister. So far, it has not been to bad. I have prayed for peace and God is providing it. And I have seen her happy face on the parent photo website so she looks like she is doing great!

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  5. Awww -- sweet Katie Ru! Hope she has a fabulous time and you are able to see lots of photos of her while she's away!

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    1. Thanks Janet. I have already spied a few photos and that made my heart very happy.

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  6. Wow! Your family is just amazing! I love that your boys are SUCH good big brothers!!!

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    1. Thank you Jules. They really are incredibly sweet to Kate and pretty good to each other too. But we are a normal family and they bicker and tease each other too.

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  7. Well…as embarrassing as it may be…those photos of "drop-off" are definitely priceless moments to cherish forever! Your son…so uninhibited in his love for his sister. Very wonderful. She will have a fabulous time. You are great parents.

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    1. I think so too Sunny! I love how you called it his "uninhibited love" that is exactly what is. he will walk around with his arm around her sometimes. He does not care what others think about that which is unusual for a 13 year old boy who definitely cares what other people think in other arenas. Thanks for your kind words.

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  8. Well, as embarrassing as those "drop-off" photos may be, they are absolutely beautiful moments that are to be cherished forever. Your son…so sweet. His uninhibited love for his sister must make you beyond proud. Hopefully the time that Katie is away will go very quickly for you! You and your husband are wonderful parents.

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  9. I love that you photograph those moments before she leaves. They capture so much! I cannot get over how sweet Harry is to run along the side of the bus. That is the sweetest thing EVER! Seriously, I would have been a crying mess as well!

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  10. Your post made me cry, our oldest (8 yo) will be off to summer camp for the first time next week. We are flying up with him and picking him up in 2 weeks, but I have stomachaches just thinking about him being away from us for 2 whole weeks... I've been an emotional mess :)
    I hope Kate has a wonderful, amazing time and I look forward to your updates on her camp experience!

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  11. bless Harry's heart... you can tell he didn't feel well. I love all of your peanuts but I have a soft spot for Harry..and those freckles! Sigh~

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    1. Beth, a lot of people have a soft spot for Harry 😊

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  12. I so remember all of these pics I think except the very first one of Will and Harry. Love the photo of Harry running beside the bus. What an awesome big brother!!

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  13. God Bless Kate for a safe journey. You are one brave mama Kim. Don't know if I could let me daughter go. She would probably be fine, it's me who would be crying. Harry is the sweetest brother ever. Love the photos. Hugs from CT, Caroline

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    1. Thank you for the sweet thoughts. I am missing my lil girl but seeing her very happy face on the website helps me.

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  14. bluehydrangea, I read about Camp Utopia and have thought of a camp in MO several times as well. Loved watching Harry love his sister so openly. Poor guy, I was praying his migraines were getting better. This will be my daughter's 3rd year going to camp and I cry every year and I take drop off pictures but so does every parent there. :

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    1. Julie, Harry's migrianes have improved significantly. He had been up very late the night before at a sleepover and lack of sleep is a huge trigger. So glad to hear other parents take pics at drop off. I think not many take them at ours cause it is SO early in the morning and often dark. This year was lighter but often I crank up my ISO and exposure so it looks lighter than it really is.

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Thank you for your kindness.