One Big Adventure
An opportunity to log in some of the thoughts and activities of our homeschooling family of eight. We love books and good food and aspire to a Christ-centered, multi-generational, agrarian life.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Since I last wrote...

.... a lot of things have happened around here! Here is a sample from the last almost-month!

We celebrated Owen's 12th birthday with a work day and all the food (a BIG part of our birthday celebrations) was cooked outside over the fire. For breakfast, we have French Toast, fried eggs, sausage and orange juice to drink. For dinner, we came inside (because of a wind storm), and enjoyed Low Country Boil and Berry Cobbler with Butter Pecan Ice Cream (which was NOT cooked over the fire!).

We burned our HUGE pile of brush, cut and stacked firewood, moved dirt (lost some to a downpour), and done general land improvement.

Our garden has been growing and flourishing and we have eaten lettuce, spinach and a few peas. The broccoli is getting bigger, the cabbage is looking like a small head and the potatoes are growing like weeds! We are looking forward to eating more of 'the fruit of our hands'!

We celebrated the incredible resurrection of the Lord who has walked with us, and at times, carried us through this past year. We are grateful for the abundant life He rose to give us!

We always enjoy making Resurrection Cookies the eve of Resurrection Day. They go into the oven overnight... kind of like Jesus went into the tomb after He was crucified... and they come out as sweet, hollow treats (a reminder of the empty tomb!) in the morning! Making them is a great object lesson devotional and has become a cherished tradition for our family.

After a sweet Resurrection morning service with our church family, we spent the day at home, enjoying a traditional "Easter Sunday" dinner, candy, egg coloring and a Resurrection egg hunt (we have trinkets, representing various events of the Passion Week, that we place in plastic eggs and hide in the yard (weather permitting...and it was a beautiful afternoon for this activity!) I did realize that it is time to find more plastic eggs! They don't last forever!

The flower arrangement on the table is all from things on our little homestead that are BLOOMING!

We went to Camp Sunshine Family Camp, a special camp held for children with cancer and their families, at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, GA. We were thoroughly impressed with the camp facilities. Several organizations that assist families with children with special medical needs, and other limitations, came together to start this camp to meet needs that other facilities could not. The whole camp was first class and totally accessible. We had a cabin with plenty of room for our family (it had twelve beds, 2 toilet stalls, 2 showers (one of which was wheelchair accessible) and two sinks. it also had PLENTY of windows to look out, heat (which we didn't use) and air conditioning (which we did use) and places for all James' medical supplies.)

Courtesy of Camp Sunshine, it's staff and volunteers, we did not have to cook a thing. We only bussed our tables, swept the dining area and our cabins and had a wonderful, refreshing time together. We also met some other families facing similar things with their children. The biggest blessing was that we only paid for gas to get there and a small registration fee ($25)! Thanks to the great folks at Camp Sunshine!

We enjoyed early morning fishing (and catching!)

A family hike.

Pedal-boating--we FILLED two boats!

All the children got to shoot a compound bow. Archery has been a family dream and now we know it is do-able.

We played putt-putt--some at a very relaxed pace!

The children enjoyed a rest time pillow fight, since James was all wound up and wouldn't sleep.

Until we went to the dining hall to play BINGO--because it rained.

Since Carrie's birthday was Sunday, she was given some cupcakes, some of which we enjoyed on the ride home!

Carrie Rose, our princess, turned FIVE! She enjoyed her day along with brunch, a dress up tea party (with no reading)and a picnic dinner and movie with a wonderful stacked berry trifle cake!

We celebrated a new addition to the family. For those who didn't know...

our friends, Jarod and Anna (whose wedding we came down for in January 2007) welcomed their first child, a son, named Ezekiel, in December.

Anna came to help us when Becca, Carrie and James were born. She has a special place in our hearts (so do Jarod and Zeke, now) and it was a real pleasure and privilege to have them down for dinner and a visit and to take some of our 'traditional' baby pictures. And one of Jarod's traditional family funny pictures (bottom right, below).

Hannah was a little disappointed we couldn't get the photos before April 1st so we could have done a photo with the children, Zeke and Vern and me for an April Fool's joke. Ah, well.

In addition, we had plenty of unphotographed activities. James had counts and chemo twice--his counts remain good, but not TOO good. Which is good. Vern was home for spring break this past week (which has been wonderful!) and we have gotten a lot of things moving around the homestead. We actually finished a few things!
The girls and I did some sewing for our Camp Sunshine trip. We made three jumpers (one for me, one for Katie and one for Carrie), pantalettes for play and sleeping, pajama pants for Owen and a skirt for Hannah. We are looking forward to doing more.
We also made the trip to Atlanta for James' counts and then toured Your Dekalb Farmers' Market. We hadn't been there since 1998, we think. It was quite the education and we picked up some fun-to-eat treats--including sugar cane and a coconut!
Thanks for thinking of us, for stopping by to check on us and for loving us. We treasure your notes and comments still... your prayers even more.
Have a sweet and blessed week!
Love, Stephanie


Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie:

Boy, you folks have sure been active in the past month. I liked how you said that Jesus walked with you sometimes, and carried you other times. That is so true for all of us.

Sounds like Camp Sunshine was a wonderful get-away for your family. And what a great price! Those who donate their money to keep the fees so low, and those who maintain the camp and cook and clean, are absolute angels!

Hugs to you, and God Bless,
Marie G.

Donna said...

Wow! You write just like you talk!!
(I guess this is Stephanie... hope so!). I know your fingers must have flown writing this!

REALLY enjoyed the pictures! There are some great ones here. Don't know how you loaded them, but they sure are nice!

I finally got me an account on here, so I can post comments. Well, at least I am trying to post comments... It got lost in cyberspace last time!

Love y'all!
Aunt Donna

Cathy Winkley said...

Thank you for signing Isaiah's guestbook and for your prayers. He is doing great and we are thankful. We also pray for James every morning. Glad you all had a chance to go to Camp this year, we always have something going whenever they have a function but this year Isaiah is going to try to go himself! I love to visit your site and see the picts of the family and all the work y'all are doing, such an inspiration! Have a wonderfull summer! Cathy