Well, Hello again.  It’s been a very long time, I know.  Our new home is so perfectly situated amid tall trees and mountain ridges as to render cell service and internet connection impossible.  I had already figured there wouldn’t be much need to continue blogging now that there isn’t a giant ocean separating our boys from those people who have a keen interest in their daily activities (mainly their grandparents).  What I hadn’t figured is that during our four years in Hawaii we would acquire other “Ohana” who now want to be kept informed about what’s going on in our new neck of the woods.  So how does one go about keeping in regular contact with various acquaintances spread about the planet?  In the olden days, we wrote letters or newsletters and sent them in the mail.  Thankfully we have a handful of friends (Hi Labuns!) and family members (Hi Idaho cousins!) who still indulge in such old fashioned antics.  Now days I hear Facebook is the best way to keep in touch.  I’ve never had a Facebook account but the other day a friend showed me what it looked like and some wise lady had just posted a quote that said, “Cleaning with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.”  That is so true!  If Facebook is full of wisdom like that I can see why people are so addicted.  But alas Facebook requires internet, as does email and blogging, so I’m struggling to find a way to keep in touch with folks.  And boys grow fast and uncultivated friendships fade and there are so many of you that I want to keep a part of our lives.  Of course, the best way to keep in touch is with a good, old-fashioned face-to-face visit and we really appreciate friends from far and near who made the long, winding trip up to see us.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So I just wanted you all to know that I haven’t forgotten you and if you have the time try to remember us in prayer here at Hartland Christian Camp.  We just said good-bye to 200 homeschoolers who spent 4 days fellowshipping together at our Fall Homeschool Family Camp (there’s another one in May, if you’re interested, click here for some reasons why you should be).  This afternoon the sky is brilliant blue but this morning, just as it has often been for over a month now, the sky was a smoky reminder of the 100,000 acre wildfire burning just miles away.  The Lord graciously spared a sister camp (Hume Lake) and we pray for His protection over Hartland as well.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When the internet provider was trying to explain to me why we couldn’t get service I said to him, “So the bad news is because of the trees we can’t have internet but the good news is you just saved us $60 a month.”  I really, really don’t want to suddenly make an appearance on-line and announce, “The bad news is the entire Sequoia National Forest just burned down but the good news is with all the trees gone, I now have internet connection.”  So please pray that this camp which has been ministering to families just like yours since 1946, and the homes of all the staff members who serve here and the beautiful Giant Sequoias which have graced this rugged landscape for millennia would be spared.

As for future updates, I’ll just have to figure something out.  In the mean time, here are some pictures of the boys in there new stomping grounds.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oh, and “Happy Fall Y’All!”  This is the first time I get to experience my favorite season in four-long-summer-filled-years.


Resolve: Take the Family to Family Camp

If you haven’t made your New Year’s Resolutions yet, put this one at the top of your list.  Resolved:  this year we will take the family to family camp.  Moms, imagine a vacation where you drive to one place, park the car, and don’t get back in until it’s time to go home.  Imagine the fun of the whole family falling asleep in close quarters as you giggle and talk over the adventures of the day.  Imagine 3 meals a day prepared by and cleaned up after by other people and all you have to do is show up.  Imagine enough activities at your disposal to keep the whole family so busy that by the time it’s bed-time everyone actually WANTS to go to sleep.  Imagine spending meaningful time worshipping and being encouraged through the Word all together.  Imagine, just imagine, a few days without cell-phones, lap-tops, video-games, and T.V.  Imagine nothing to distract you from the beauty of God’s creation, the bounty of His Word, and the blessing of fellowship with other believers.  That’s family camp and it’s the best gift you could give them all year.

If you are blessed enough to live in California there are probably any number of Christian Conference Centers offering family camps within a few hours drive.  My husband grew up going to Mt. Hermon and Hume Lake and I grew up going to several smaller camps.  But our favorite by far was Hartland Christian Camp near Sequoia National Park.  Years ago we were thrilled when some good friends of ours (Hi Eric and Amber!) went on full-time staff there and not long after Tom joined the summer staff team.  Our family has now spent 8 summers living the camp-life and loving every minute of it.  If you are a homeschooling family, you may be interested to know that Hartland offers two Homeschool Family Camps, one in May and the other in September (the perfect way to end or kick-off the school year).  Dads, if you have an overworked homeschooling wife on your hands, this is probably the most relaxing and rewarding family vacation you could give.  It’s an investment, but it’s worth every penny and it will absolutely be the highlight of 2015.  Happy New Year to all you friends, family members and long-suffering blog followers!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.