camp update (and other updates too)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Well, Harry and Will are coming to the end of their 2 weeks at camp and it looks like at least Harry has had a great time.  There have been a lot of photos of him on the camp website but hardly any of Will.  I even called because Dave and I were beginning to wonder if Will was really there.  We would see photos of his cabin mates but he was in none of them.  I called to check.  He is doing a leadership course there and I don't think the camp photographers go into the class.  Will has always been an "under the radar" kind of kid as it is.

Here are a few pics from the website this week:

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Harry and his buddies.  One night is a water party and there is a giant bubble pit.

I love these next few.  Harry loved wake surfing....

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And here he is doing some kind or craft/science experiment thing...

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Will playing beach volleyball.  

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And playing mini-golf with a younger camper...

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And finally doing the talent show with his cabin mates...

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They get home Saturday night and the laundry marathon begins.  Their clothes come home so gross and dirty and smelly and I am a stain removal fanatic.  I will inspect every piece of clothing and work on getting them really clean.  I try to send old junky clothes but sometimes they bring a few good things too.

I have missed them a little but honestly it has been pretty nice around here.  I like having the one on one time with Kate and more time with Dave too.  We have accomplished so much. We did a MAJOR purge and organization.  We even cleaned out the garage a bit and unpacked boxes that have been in there since we moved back almost 6 years ago (I know, awful!)  I think the guys at the donation centers and the paint recycling center recognize us and our cars now.

I also wanted to update about Kate's camp experience.  She went for just a week at the beginning of June.  The first thing Kate said when she got off the bus (besides, "Mama!") was "Can I go for 2 weeks next year?!"  She absolutely LOVED it!  I mean LOVED it.  And she grew up a bit too which is one of the things I love about sleep away camp for kids.  Kate needed more independence.  The boys tend to parent her a bit and so she needed to venture out and find her voice. And she did!

Our camp only gives out two awards and they are very special character awards.  Kate won one of them.  I saw the special wristband on her and recognized it immediately (because Harry has won it as well).  I am proud of who all of my kids are inside but it is also nice when other people notice their values and character as well.  If you win these awards 3 times, you get your name on a plaque in the dining hall.  Harry has won both of them twice:)

Kate's counselors also gave her recognition for having integrity and respect.  They also wrote me a letter telling me what a joy she was, how wise she was for her age and that she definitely won the award for the most mail received.  That made me laugh.  She was there for her birthday so lots of friends and family sent cards.  One of my friends was sweet enough to send Kate a letter for each day at camp.  I have good friends.


Even though her first letter indicated that maybe horse back riding was not her favorite thing, she ended up loving it.  Her horse was named "Shorty" and she talks about him all the time.  She really bonded with him.

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She also loved her hip hop class.  She came home and showed us the dance she learned.  I love that it was paired a fun Christian rap song.  I did not even know there was Christian rap:)  Kate also LOVED the cooking class.  She was by far the youngest in it but she loves to cook.  They made spaghetti squash and kale chips and my fussy, unhealthy eater enjoyed them all.  Somehow, her cookbook did not make it home so I called the camp and asked them to send another so she can cook us some of these healthy meals.

Kate has changed since camp.  She is more apt to try new things.  She has always been afraid to go on the water slides at our pools.  Just this week, she has tried 2 water slides, done a flip off the diving board and she jumped off the high dive.  That is HUGE for Kate.   

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(phone pics)



There is something about going away from home and meeting new people and doing things on your own that is so good for our kids.  I sincerely wish every kid had this opportunity.  I know our kids are blessed and fortunate to be able to do this.  In fact, one of the things I love about our camp is that the last session is for kids who cannot afford camp.  It is funded completely on donations and kids who would never get to go to camp, get to experience all of this too.  And the counselors volunteer their time that week! BTW ---I never went to sleep away camp as a kid.


And the boys were so happy to see Kate when she got back.

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I got the first hug and then tried to get pictures but they are blurry:)

Another little update.  Kate's garden is doing well.  Our first tomato did not make it (fell to ground) but there are two more going strong now.  We are still waiting on cucumbers and peppers but the plants look good. We have had a small harvest of green beans.

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I am most surprised that no critters have gotten anything yet because we don't have any fencing or netting around it.  This is our first garden with Kate so it is all a learning experience for sure.  But we enjoy checking on it daily and we get so excited when we see veggies.  The lettuces are VERY slow growers!


And finally, the last few weeks, I have been surprised to meet some readers out and about.  Last night we were walking the dog and I heard someone yell "Scout!"  I asked her if her dog was named Scout too.  She said yes and added, "I love your blog."  We started talking and she has been a reader for a long time.  How funny. I don't know her IRL but she recognized Kate and Dave once too.  She was so sweet and cute.  I had been cleaning all day and had not even taken a shower so I was looking pretty bad. Oh well.

Then at our 4th of July neighborhood gathering, a woman said , "Kim!"  I hugged her thinking I must know her but I did think my early onset Alzheimer's was kicking in again because I could not place how I knew her.  She saved me by saying, "Oh you don't know me but I read your blog." I apologized for hugging this virtual stranger but she was sweet and said I seem like I am nice and would hug people anyway!  We talked for a while and I really enjoyed meeting her (Hi E!).

And finally in Seaside we often meet other adoptive families.  One night it was storming but we had run into the Seaside circle for something. Kate was playing with the sweetest girl (also adopted from China) in Seaside Kids.  As we were leaving the store another adoptive family was coming in. The woman looked at me and said, "I know you."  We stood talking for a long time. She and her husband were so nice.  We talked about Harry's migraines and they briefly met Harry.  Kate and their daughter hit it off so well and they played and played in Seaside Kids. The girls had an instant bond and Kate wanted to see them again:)  I am not going to name names from privacy (for them) but they did say I could post these photos..


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With their son as well.  These children were SO sweet and well mannered.

I have LOVED meeting random readers the last few weeks.  Blogging has changed SO much.  Most of the big blogs now are a business with people making money off links and advertisers.  There is not as much community as there used to be in blogging. People rarely comment anymore and have moved onto facebook and instagram and twitter.  I honestly wonder most days if anyone reads anymore.  And that is okay too because I do this mostly for our family and friends.  However, it was so nice to meet really kind people who enjoy reading the blog too.  I kind of miss the supportive blogging community of the early days.

And finally, in a few days, our good friends are coming to visit!  I am so excited!  Stacy was my first childhood friend.  I have known her my whole life and we re-connected last summer at the beach.  I cannot wait to spend time with their whole family again!!!

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21 comments:

  1. Well I STILL read and enjoy your blog a lot!! All the pics are wonderful and would love to find out about the camp possibly for Bre next year!

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  2. I read! I read! I feel the same way about TRUE blogging kind of fizzling out. I actually have a very very short blogroll now (only 5 blogs - including yours!) which I shaved down from HUNDREDS that I was following a few years back. I used to run a beauty blog that turned a bit business-y and honestly, it was exhausting to maintain. It actually made me dislike blogging for a long time and I left it high and dry for a few years. Now, I'm back with a personal blog and it's a refreshing change. Much nicer to write for yourself and not for others :) But I wanted to let you know that I absolutely adore your blog and it's so fun to watch the kids grow and evolve. You have a great family & I truly look forward to all of your posts - you're a very engaging blogger! Keep writing :)

    Love from Pittsburgh -
    Kelli

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  3. I too read your blog - my children are about 8- 10 years older than your oldest child but your blog brings back many happy memories for me.... the going to camp, working, friends, driving, vacations, etc. are some of the fun times we had in my house. I can understand why "strangers" would approach you - your warm, loving personality comes through in your blog and makes you very approachable. Thanks for sharing your memories!

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  4. Hi Kim,

    Just wanted to say hello and let you know people are still reading! I have always loved your blog, and I agree with what you said about how the blog world has changed and I am SO glad that yours hasn't. It is still one of my very favorites! I love reading about yours and Kate's garden - I have my first garden this year too and would love to see more pictures of how everything is growing. And since you mentioned Scout, I would love a post about the dog and whether the children take any responsibility for her. We adopted our very first dog a year ago and just adopted a second (a puppy) a few weeks ago. We will be adding to our family in a year or two (we hope to adopt) and I'm interested in hearing more about children and dogs in the house. Thanks again for all you post and share!

    Best,
    Tamara (New Haven, CT)

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  5. I totally agree with Kell (above)! I stumbled upon your blog about 5 yrs ago while we were waiting to get matched to our daughter and have enjoyed it ever since! And yes, I feel too that "blogging" as it was back in 2009 is very different today. It WAS much more a community thing and "3 Peanuts" is one of the 4 blogs that I follow now. PLEASE dont stop....I really look forward to hearing what you guys are doing! Debbie from Scotland UK x

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  6. I stumbled across your blog last summer and have been enjoying ever since! I had to go back to some old posts to catch up though! I love that the Richmond airport is where you met Kate! I'm from Richmond, but it's so fun to follow your Texas life! I also love that your blog is all about your everyday life with your sweet family and not promoting random products! Keep up the fab work!

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  7. I still read blogs and try to write on a couple times a week! Love the ones that have kept going and not just drifted off to FB and IG! So, you know I'm here reading and wishing we lived closer so we could become real life friends! :) For my own sake I like to blog so I can remember what we've been doing -- kind of a little scrapbook since I am not a scrapbooker! Looks like everyone had a blast at camp. What fun! Keep on blogging! :)

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  8. I love your blog! I don't comment but I am reading and love your faith and how loving and intentional you are as a parent. I also love how your family dresses and all your pictures! :)

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  9. I love your blog, and have for years! I have learned so much about marriage (I'm a new wife!) and parenting from you. You and your family are inspirational to me, and I am grateful that you have shared your life with us. I selfishly hope you keep blogging, only because you are a wealth of information to me, and I know to many more.

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  10. Love the pic of Will with the little guy mini putting....glad you finally had a couple of pics to put your mind at ease! I followed your journey to Kate while I waited...and waited...and waited for my own daughter. Somewhere during my wait I lost touch with many blogs, but once it was finally time to blog my journey in early 2012, and then later when I was introduced to Instagram, I rediscovered your blog and, of course, saw your Instagram. I was in awe by how much your children had grown and changed! I love reading blogs and following Instagram, especially now that my little one is home. I tend to use Instagram far more than blogging, simply because I find it faster! Every once in a blue moon, I'll blog something. You're right though, it has changed.

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  11. I've slacked off blogging myself...same reasons you mentioned: IG and FB but still adore yours! Thanks for sharing with us! P.S. Camp changed my life and the lives of my children. No better childhood memories. Hate you missed that as a child. My husband never went away to camp either and he so wishes he had!

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  12. I rarely blog anymore but decided to put up some posts just because it's the only "photo album" I have for the girls. I know my mom reads it at least! :) The pictures of you and your friend are darling. It's great you take the time to get in front of the camera.

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  13. I have followed your blog for years. I don't have a blog of my own. I now follow you on IG and find it easier to comment on there. My screen locks up on here. Who knows why. Anyways, Iove your blog and love watching your children grow. I am also a fellow adoptive Mom. Please keep blogging. I enjoy it so much!! Kathleen

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  14. The smiles say it all and this is just exactly how summer should be! Enjoy every minute!

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  15. I still love reading blogs. There are so many stories that you can't get from facebook and instagram. I think it is awesome that your kids have such wonderful camp experiences.

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  16. I love to read blogs, but I find that more and more, the blogs I used to read have no new posts. I know that it takes a lot of time and effort to write a good blog and I am glad that you are still willing to let us see a sliver of your family's life. Thank you!

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  17. I have read your blog for several years. I began reading it prior to our own trip to China in 2010. You have a beautiful family and I enjoy your blog.

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  18. I love your blog too! I have been following it for years; even though I don't comment often. I miss the days when other adoptive families were blogging, and talking about the new additions to their family. Thank you for allowing us inside you world.
    Andrea

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  19. So true about blogging. I used to comment on blogs all the time and now I never do although I still think your blog is the best and that you are a great role model for many women. Hugs.

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  20. Like Debbie, Katrina, and others, I began reading your blog during our wait for our daughter from China (2010). I am often inspired by your faith, photography, and parenting and I have loved learning about your adoption journey. I appreciate your candor and transparency, and many times find that reading your blog is part of my quiet time on Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee (before the rest of my family is up and about). Thank you for sharing and writing about life's moments; the real, the raw, the good, and the great! Sending hugs from the far north!

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  21. Keep blogging! As my husband and I hope to start our family soon, I love reading mom's blogs - yours especially!

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