Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We are having absolutely lovely Michigan summer weather this week.  The temps are in the high 70's, low 80's, with very low humidity.  Sunny days, beautiful blue skies with white fluffy clouds, light breezes.  Loving it!!

Yesterday Big Sis had a project to help Miss Wanda paint the wheel hubs on our second camp hay wagon, which didn't take very long!!  In the afternoon she worked in the Craft Barn.

Meanwhile Princess and I had to work at the ILNC office.  She is everybody's assistant now, so she has a variety of office jobs, and loves helping people.  We took a DVD player out to the office, and in her free time she watches movies (mostly Veggie Tale, which she says she loves).  

Last night was Big Sis's annual sleepover with her two ILNC sister friends.  They stay in the cottage, and normally they sleep on the porch and Princess and I sleep in the queen bed in the bedroom.  Last night Princess stayed in her own bed here in the house with Grandpa, the three girls slept in the bedroom at the cottage, and yours truly slept on a reclining love seat on the porch.  I enjoyed hearing the trains in the nights, and watching the security guards go by, and we had lit a large candle in the yard, which burned most of the night.  I didn't sleep much, but it was a nice night over all.

Big Sis had planned a scavenger hunt for her friends (something I used to do for the three of them), with clues that led them to ten different locations on the campground.  They rode their bikes to find the clues, and they had a  walkie talkie to call Big Sis, if they were "clueless".  The clues eventually led them back to the cottage where she had treats waiting for them (snacks).  They had a lot of fun chatting and working on crafts and playing on a keyboard.  They've been good friends now for 7 years.

Princess is still making friends her age.  We mostly meet them at the beach or the playground.  Last night she and I watched a movie together ("Babe") with Grandpa and had our own snacks.  We sat cat traps, and this morning we sent two kitties to animal control for adoption.  She didn't complain at all about not being part of Big Sis's party this year (she's been part of it in years past, but it's time for Big Sis to have her own friends without Little Sis around all the time).

The girls slept until almost noon today, which was fine with me.  Princess and I had things to do on the porch, and she played some computer decorating games.  We spent some time at the office today, but not much.  We took the dogs on a golf cart ride while Big Sis worked the Craft Barn today, and we had an afternoon video and time of rest.  

After lunch the three of us spent over an hour at the beach. We had it to ourselves, and it was just perfect weather.  Even I didn't want to leave when we did, but Big Sis wanted to get to her "job".  She is loyal!

After supper Miss Wanda helped both girls do a butterfly craft out of plastic soft drink bottles.  It was good she was with them, for hubby and I had a medical emergency with a camper which we tended to during that time.  Afterwards the four of us rode around on the golf cart for a while, then came back for the girls to watch a movie, "Mouse Hunt".  

It is bed time for Princess now, so time to go have our bedtime chat!  This is a less structured week, and we are just enjoying each day as it unfolds.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Night 6/27/11

Princess had quite a day.  After breakfast she was playing on the porch as a one-man band.  I asked Miss Norma if she would like to come and play band with Aria, and she was tickled to do so.  Sister was working on glass artwork on the porch, and I was working on the monthly budget.  Mid-morning I dropped the girls off at the Craft Barn to work on ceramics while I went to work with Senior High Camp Registration.

After lunch at the Dining Hall (a repeat schedule of meals from last week), I worked at the office with Princess as my assistant, plus she helped the other ladies in the office also.  Big Sis was at the Craft Barn all afternoon.  She is working as an assistant, helping campers get their paint colors.  She loves doing this.  She gets free ceramics in exchange for her help.  She's working on a train/village setting.  

After supper Big Sis went to visit her girlfriends for the evening, and they took a bike ride around the camp.  Tomorrow night they will have a sleepover at the cottage.  

Meanwhile, Princess helped at the office again until she had a chance to ride around on a golf cart with Miss Chris.  They stopped for a Popsicle at the Lewis' and then went to the play ground, which is where I joined them when my work was done.  She had three little play mates her age to play with, so we spent quite a while there.  Then we came home and played in the bathtub for a while, before watching a Veggie Tale movie and going to bed. 

Big Sis was back at the Craft Barn at 9:30 for half an hour to once again assist campers with their paint selections and ceramics.  I picked her up and we drove around to check out the traps we had set for the cats...six traps.  Nothing caught so far.  She's watching a movie with Grandpa (Beethoven), winding down for the night.  She has a paint job in the morning with Miss Wanda.  They are going to paint the hubs on the camp wagon a bright yellow.

So both girls had quite a busy day, plus play time with the dogs throughout the day.  Big Sis helps me by walking the dogs when I am busy with other things.  Princess helps me around the house...setting the table, dusting, taking care of things.  

All in all, a lovely day.  We have about 210 senior high campers this week.  This will lead us right up to Family Festival this coming weekend (annual 4th of July celebration Friday-Monday).  A very busy time, a busy month ahead.  It will all be over far too soon, and life will once again be quiet.  So let's enjoy it while we can!!

Monday Morning - Beginning of Senior High Camp

Today starts another week of youth camps...this one being Senior High Camp.  Registration is at 11 a.m. this morning, and the camp runs until after lunch of Friday.  

My granddaughters are now in their second week of their summer visit.  Big Sister will help out in the Craft Barn this week as an assistant...passing out paint, pouring ceramic molds, working on projects.  She's also been given a painting paint the wheel hubs on one of the new hay wagons.  She'll have a fun week, for she loves ceramics (Craft Barn), and painting.  Princess will be on a less structured schedule this week...just going with the flow.  Beach every day is her highest desire.

We sat six traps for cats/kittens last night.  Have to go check them out soon.  I'm going to continue to trap while I have the girls here to help me, then I may take a break until fall.  I don't want to trap cats and keep them in cages while it is rainy or hot.  Last week was a rainy week, so I only trapped one night.  That's when I caught two little kittens that I had to send away.  That's hard...they are so cute.  But we have plenty of cats, and more to come, I am sure.

Yesterday we attended the Come As You Are service in the Learning Center.  Both girls were dressed very nicely and looked absolutely stunning.  They are as well behaved as they are beautiful.  Such a delight to have them with us.  So many people speak with them, for they have come to know the girls across the years since we have been here at ILNC.  We are not the only ones who anticipate the annual visit of Big Sister and Princess.

It was hubby's 57th birthday, so the girls made him chocolate chip/oatmeal cookies.  We also took a pontoon boat ride yesterday afternoon...our first boat ride of 2011.  It was a gorgeous day...high 70's, a great day for a boat ride.  The girls also rode their bikes in the afternoon.  At night they caught fireflies and helped me set the traps.

I had to go with my dear friend yesterday afternoon to transport her mother to the hospital, first to Vicksburg, then to Kalamazoo.  Her mom, who is 96, was having migraine headaches, and she hardly ever even has a headache.  Turns out her blood pressure was extremely high, and they thought she might have the symptoms of a stroke.  She is back home now, thank the Lord, but I have a feeling this is the beginning of the rest of her journey to her heavenly home.  I pray both daughters will be with her when that time comes.  She has lived a beautiful life, very calm and caring, but she longs to join her husband and others who have gone on before.  I pray her prayers are answered soon.  This friend I went to the hospital with is my "confidant"...the one person I can talk to about anything (in lieu of not having Mom any more). 

Well, time for the day to to go check my cages,  The girls will be up soon, and I'm fixing strawberries and biscuits for breakfast, another birthday meal for my hubby.  I didn't have time to fix it yesterday because of my hospital trip.  He could use some extra treats these days...these are stressful times making sure the camps are all running smoothly.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Night 6/25/2011

Camps ended yesterday and we are still trying to catch up on our sleep.  I woke up early this morning and went to work at 6:30, back home at 8:30, just as the girls woke up, and hubby had to leave.  I spent another hour after lunch working at the office, getting ready for the next camp coming in...Senior High, which starts on Monday.

I took the girls to Vicksburg to do some shopping...the resale shop (clothes for big Sister), and groceries at Family Fare.  Late afternoon we all went to Portage.  While Grandpa and Big Sis went to the driving range, Princess and I did our Walmart shopping.  Then we all went to El Jimador Mexican Restaurant for supper.  Back at the campground we went to the snack bar for ice cream.  The girls are in bed early tonight.  

A recap of my weekly devotions:

"The Word for You Today":

  • Having the right focus comes about by simplifying things:  a simpler life style and a saner schedule gives you direction, energizes you, and determines your legacy.  What matters is not what others say about you, but what God says.
  • Protect yourself spiritually by taking time to rest in Jesus to renew your strength.  Weariness makes you vulnerable to satan, who starts with attacking your mind.
  • Give your marriage a tune up...the secret to closeness in marriage is old-fashioned thoughtfulness and kindness.  Show respect, sensitivity, attentiveness, and care.  Hug, do small things which show thoughtfulness, have good manners ("please", "thank you", "I'm sorry").  Compliment each other.  We need to feel valued by the one we cherish.
  • You can get beyond the past.  Through God's grace, you can live in the present and let go of the past by spending time in God's presence and allowing His love to touch the hurting places within you.

O, Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit or stand.  When far away you know my every thought.  You chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest.  Every moment you know where I am.  You know what I am going to say before I even say it.  You both precede me and follow me, and place your hand of blessing on my head.  (139:1-5)

You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion!  You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe.  Every day was recorded in your book!  How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly!  (139:15-17)

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts.  Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.  (139:23-24)

A cheerful heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit makes one sick.  (17:22)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday - The Treasure of Helping Others

After a typical breakfast, today we went to Topaz River (lakefront at the point) for our lesson on Helping Others.  We read the story "Help, Help" from God's Word for Me, about the prodigal son.  We watched The Story of Esther on Charlies Churchmouse DVD and played a game of decorating cookies for the king.  We printed out picture pages to color, which we did, and we made a Princess Castle. It needs to have sparkly stickers put on it yet.  We were going to make cookies to give to others today, but we ran out of time.  We'll probably do that on Sunday afternoon.

After lunch (pizza, salad bar, cake) it was time for sister's camp to dismiss.  We picked her up on the golf cart and checked out and took her stuff back to the house.  Then we rode around on the golf cart for a while, showing her where all Princess had been this week (Diamond Mountain/tabernacle; Ruby Cavern/prayer cottage; Emerald Forrest/craft barn; Sapphire Glacier/snack bar; and Topaz River/the lake at the point.  She had her lessons in these various spots, and she learned about Jesus, Prayer, Sharing, the Bible, and Helping Others.

We also rode around to see the boundaries Sister's camp had stayed within.  They had a wide spread area which contained all their various activities.  They listened to a missionary tell stories in the morning, and had another cool speaker for the evening worship service.  He was funny and related well with the kids, according to Big Sister.  She made many friends and had a great time over all.  Some of the activities weren't her favorite, but she participated in everything.  

Princess learned the Bible verse John 3:16, and she has asked to say the Lord's Prayer at meal time all by her self the last three meals.  She remembers that from last year.  Today she watched the Veggie Tale video on "Esther, the Girl who Became Queen", to go along with her lesson.

This afternoon it was misty and cool out, so we just snuggled in blankets on the reclining couch and watch two Christie videos, Sister's choice.  We went out to Logan's Steakhouse for supper with Wanda and Dave, our summer volunteers.  We came home, Princess had a bath, and went to bed early.  Sister is taking a shower, we will watch another video, her choice, and then straight to bed.  I trust all of us will sleep in tomorrow morning, and do some catch up on our sleep!

It's been a terrific week in both camps...everyone is happy and ready to come back again next year.  Sister learned how to do table rhythm slapping to kill time while they waited for their turn to go through the food lines.  She's teaching Princess.  They also were stacking cups at supper tonight.  Oh, yes...the things to do in groups to kill time!!  As Sister said as we rode around on the golf cart after the campers were gone..."It's so quiet!"

I'll try to update our activities over the next couple of weeks every day or so, in case parents or other family members are interested.  Good night!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday - The Treasure of the Bible

This has been a rainy cool day, and we had raincoats or jackets on most of the day.  We did not go swimming.  In fact, we spent a lot of time at the office.  While I was working, my little helper shredded papers, put stamps on the envelopes for mailing, and worked on her own paper crafts (cutting and pasting or taping).  We didn't even start Grandma Camp until after lunch (hamburgs, homemade potato chips, salad bar, brownies).  Breakfast was pretty much the same.  Princess chooses to have oatmeal and pink and green cheerios (I don't know the name of it) with milk, and a little bit of orange juice.  She has had a couple of toaster pastries since she's been here.  Her favorite things at the salad bar are pickles, black olives, jello, and chocolate pudding...and sometimes cantelope.

Today we went to Sapphire Glacier (the Snack Bar) for our lesson after picking up some M&M's with our Sweet Treasures dollar.  Tomorrow we are going to skip the candy and just save the dollar for a Barbie doll at the yard sale during Family Festival.  She has several treats left, as we have spread them out, and given some away.

Our lesson was about "The People Read Their Bible" and Charlie Churchmouse was about "The Prodigal Son".  It had a game to play and we printed and colored a picture page.  We continue to work on our Bible verse, John 3:16, and singing some songs as we ride around on the golf cart.  The Veggie Tale movie today was "God Wants Me to Forgive Them?", since we learned about forgiveness in our stories today.  

Craft Treasures with Wanda tonight was decorating a picture frame, playing with play dough, and going to the playground.  Princess is ready for bed and watching the Disney movie "Bambi" while I blog.  It's an earlier night tonight, plus we had a good nap this afternoon.

When we go to meal times at the dining hall, Princess has so many adult friends to chat with...Miss Wanda, Miss Ranae, Miss Norma, and so many more (but those are the main ones she goes to).

Today we had to transport one of the life guards from the canoe landing on the river back to the beach front, so we got to take a golf cart ride through the outback.  We went back out tonight to watch Grandpa load the canoes on the canoe trailer and transport them back to the beach front where they take off from.  Sister was the lead canoe this morning, having the life guard with her in her canoe.  Her group also did archery, the mud pit (yuck) and super slide bowling today during activity time.  Looks like she's been hanging around with a redhead named Katy.  She says she's having a great time.  Now that she has a steady friend, I'm sure she's enjoying camp much more.  Plus, there are so many activities...such a variety to choose from...that she's not been bored!

Such a damp day today, it feels good to cozy in tonight.  One more day and the camps are over for this week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday - The Treasure of Sharing

A day of you-name-it weather.  We had hot and humid, we had cool and windy, we had rainy and cloudy, and we had sunshine.  Put the jacket on, take it off.  The weather just could not make up its mind.  The one time it rained and was dark and cloudy was during our swimming we stayed home for that hour.  The rest of the day we could be out and about, just had to have a jacket with us.

After breakfast (french toast, sausage, biscuit and gravy, oatmeal, cereal and bread bar, fruit and juice bar) Princess and I headed into Vicksburg to make some bank deposits for the camp office and to find some sneakers for Princess so she could climb at the play ground.  All she had with her was a pair of flip flops.  We went to the resale shop, but they didn't have any shoes her size.  We did, however, find some other clothes for her and a beach cover-up.  We ended up getting her five outfits and the cover-up for around $25.  She's wearing about a size 5 at this time.  We went to Dollar General again (had gone there on Sunday) and this time we did find a pair of pull on sneakers for $5.  They work fine for the play ground, and she is happy with them.

We got back from town in time to watch her sister go on the zip-line.  That was one of four activities her group had chosen for today.  The other ones were:  dodge-ball in the caged court, water dodge-ball in the field, and swimming.  Their swimming time was rained out also.  Looks like she has made a friend to hang around with.  She seems to be having a good time and enjoying everything.

Before lunch (deli sub sandwiches...ham or turkey with cheese...chips, salad bar, cookies) we had our third treasure bag and had our lesson at Emerald Forest (the green craft  barn).  The lesson was "The Church Shared with One Another".  Our focus today was on the treasure of sharing.  Our Charlie Churchmouse DVD was on Elisha and the Jars of Oil, where people shared their oil pots with a widow.  We colored picture pages from the DVD, and there was a game to collect oil pots from the neighbors (on the DVD).  

Princess received various colored plastic bracelets in her treasure chest today to share with friends.  She gave two green ones to her sister, and her new friends at the playground each received bracelets and some candy.  In return one of her new friends (we call her Smiley) gave Princess a crown to put on a Barbie doll's head.  How fun to share with one another!

We did not have time for the GiGi Book and DVD that was in today's treasure bag, but there was a GiGi doll with it also that went to town with us.  We are saving that activity for tomorrow, or when we have time.  Today was a very busy day!

We went to the snack bar after lunch for Sweet Treasures and Princess selected a Bottle Pop today (a sucker, basically), which she sucked on during the afternoon videos:  Veggie Tale's "Lyle, the Kindly Viking", and "Kids Sing Praise 1".  I rested during this time, and when the videos were over, we took the dogs for a golf cart ride and picked up two friends to go to the playground with.  That's when the sharing took place.  We were there about an hour.  

After supper (spaghetti, rolls, salad bar, desert bar) it was time for Craft Treasures with Wanda on the cottage porch.  Tonight Princess made a plastic bead necklace and a foam art sun viser.    She rode a golf cart around with Wanda and watered flowers also (even after all the rain!)  Our last video of the day, to calm us down for bedtime, was "Psalty's Songs for Little Praisers".  

It's been a long day for me, as I didn't sleep well last night, so I am out of here and into bed, to rest up for another day.  I sure enjoy those nap times during the afternoon!!  I'd never make it otherwise!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday - The Treasure of Prayer

We were awake early this morning, so we rode around with Grandpa on the golf cart for a bit before breakfast (scrambled eggs, biscuits & gravy, oatmeal, cereal and fruit bar, bagels & toast & donut bar).  

Our Treasure Bag today contained our lesson with stickers, a Bible story, a disposable camera, and a treasure chest which had a bracelet with pretend rubies and a necklace with a cross.  We headed to Ruby Cavern (the Prayer Cottage) for our lesson about how God answers prayer.  After our stories and our sticker activity, we had prayer to thank God for our families and friends, our food, for sick people, and for mean us to be kind to them so they won't be mean to us.

I had to spend a little time at the office, so Princess shredded papers for the office ladies, and delivered messages from the FAX machine.  She made a poster to hang up in my office also.  We rode around on the golf cart so she could take pictures of she liked and friends and buildings.  After lunch (hot dogs, macaroni & cheese, salad bar, cookie) we went to the snack bar for her to spend her money on sweet treasures.  She bought a tootsie roll and some fruit chewies, but she's saving them to maybe give away to friends.  

Today it was hot...heat index over 100, so it was a good day to go to the beach for an hour.  She had three playmates to play in the sand with.  She really didn't get wet except to get water in her pail.  Beach time is never long enough, but we had to leave at 3 pm because the campers were coming to swim.

We watched a Veggie Tale video about being thankful..."Madame Blueberry".  We did our Charlie Churchmouse DVD, "Nehemiah Rebuilds the Wall", and played a computer game where she had to catch following bricks to build the walls with.  We printed out a color page to color.  We watched another Veggie Tale video, "An Easter Carol", before going out to watch sister play "Human Foosball".

We made a paper chain with one word of our Bible Verse on each link.  The verse is John 3:16, so it made a fairly long chain.  After walking the dogs it was time for supper (taco bar, salad bar, pudding cake).  During craft time with Wanda, Princess painted a bird house, and they played Food Show with their dishes and play dough.  It was storming pretty hard so they came over to the house from the cabin porch.  The campers moved from the Dining Hall to the activity center just prior to the storm, and the rest of their activities were inside.  (I might add that our older Camper and her group had to choose four activities for the day, and they chose Craft Barn, 9 Square, Whiffle ball, and Human Foosball.  Each night they have to decide as a group what their activities will be the next day.)

Tonight as we winded down for bed time, Princess and I watched a Hannah Barbara movie on The Nativity.  Other than the video I pick out to go along with the lesson, she selects any others we watch....and I have a slew for her to choose from!  

We have talk time before she goes to sleep, and tonight I put a tape in a tape player for her to listen to music while she fell asleep because it is still storming outside.  She's in the basement, and I don't think she can hear the thunder down there, but music helped her relax.  

Time to prepare for tomorrow!!  This week is going fast!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Treasures For A Princess - Monday - The Treasure of Knowing Jesus

My little princess has just ended her day by climbing into bed, and now it's time to recap the day.  It's been sort of crazy because it was Middle School Camp Registration day, and that took some of our time away from Grandma Camp.  However, we got her sister registered for her camp, and went to see her dorm room.  

Prior to registration this morning, the three of us went to check out the cat traps we had set last night.  We had set five traps, and caught three cats/kittens.  Cole, our black cat who was caught a couple of weeks ago and neutered, was caught again...for the 6th time.  He just can't resist that bait food.  Another cage had two small kitties...perhaps a couple of months old.  Animal Patrol has taken them and will try to adopt them out.  We have many more cats and kittens on the grounds, so we can't keep them all.  Still, it is hard to give up cute kittens.  I just have to remember they grow up to be wild cats.

We had a rainy day, so we had rain coats on as we rode around in the golf cart.  After lunch (sloppy joes, chips, cookies, salad bar) with the campers, Grandma Camp began. Princess opened her Treasure Bag for the first day, and in it was her lesson and activity sheet with stickers, a Bible, a case containing scissors, glue, Princess Belle pen, and crayons, and her treasure chest.  In today's treasure chest was $1 for Sweet Treasures at the Snack Bar, and some play jewelry, which we pretended were diamonds.

We went to Diamond Mountain (tabernacle/garden) to have our lesson about Knowing Jesus.  Our Bible story was about Lydia, the seller of purple cloth, and how she found Jesus.  Our songs were "Jesus Loves Me" and "Oh, How I Love Jesus".  Our verse was John 3:16, which we will work on all week.

At home we watched a short Charlie Church Mouse DVD on the computer and played a game and printed out color pages.  The story was "The Birth of Jesus" and we colored a picture of the manger scene.  We watched the video "The Crippled Lamb".  Today's activities were all reinforcements of learning about Jesus.  At the tabernacle prayer garden we talked about how Jesus died on a cross for us, and some day we would be with Him in heaven if we believe in Him.  

While Princess watched a video, Lion King II, Simba's Pride, I sat beside her and took a nap.  That felt good!  I had been at the office at 6:30 am for an hour while Grandpa was home with the girls, and it had just been a rush rush day.  

After supper (chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, salad bar, brownies) Princess had craft time with Wanda on the cottage porch, and I went back to work for an hour and a half.  When they were done with their craft (they decorated a doctor's glove), they played with play dough and took a golf cart ride, stopping at the play ground.  

We walked the dogs before we got ready for bed, and then watched a video "David and Goliath".  Then it was bedtime.  I hope to blog each day about our activities after she goes to bed.  She had a great day, got to see lots of her friends here on the campgrounds, and seemed ready to go to bed to rest up for tomorrow.  Our day begins at 8:30 each morning and goes to 9:30 at night.  Rest time comes in mid-afternoon.  Now I must prepare for tomorrow's lesson.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Fun Is Just Ahead!

Saturday night, and all is well.  It's the calm before the storm.  We are supposed to get severe thunderstorms, starting tonight and going through next Thursday!  But I'm talking about the calm before Monday morning camp registration for 175 middle school campers (one of which will be our granddaughter).  And that's the second "storm"'s quiet in the house tonight, but as of tomorrow there will be two giggling girls, whose Grandpa likes to tease them.  They will run the dogs ragged...sometimes the dogs have to crawl under the bed to get away for a nap!  They aren't puppies any more.

Oh, but what excitement lies just ahead for us!  We anticipate our son arriving with the granddaughters in the next few hours.  I have made cinnamon pecan rolls for in the morning....Father's Day.  I am preparing a favorite meal for hubby and son...roast, potatoes, carrots, green beans, rolls, sea-foam jello salad, and punch bowl cake.  We'll have that for lunch, and then son has to drive back home 8 hours.  He just moved and has to get settled into his new house, plus head back to work on Monday.  I'm anxious to see their house, but will do so after summer's busy camping season.  The girls each have their own bedrooms for the first time, and are so excited for that!

I put in another 40 hour work week getting ready for our first camp.  Still have more to do to be ready for Monday morning registration.  I wanted to have the work behind me when the girls arrived, but we have had a lot of last minute registrations.  Once we get this week done, we start right into Senior High Camp.  Then we have a month of other activities during July.  Girls Camp and Boys Camp are both in August.  Before we know it everyone will head home, head south, and we will be back to a lonely and quiet campground.

This past week we've had beautiful Michigan weather...sunny mild temps during the day and just a little cooler at night.  Windows have been open, breezes have been nice.  However, this weekend we are having very humid weather, and we do have our air conditioning on.  The camp just ahead has so many neat outside activities planned, I hope they truly don't have rain all week.  But they do have inside activities as well.  Archery is inside, and broom ball, ceramics, and various other games and activities.  

We've been busy getting the grounds mowed and looking nice, and getting all the buildings set up to accommodate the camp activities.  Several of us took our Nazarene Safe (zero tolerance of sexual abuse) class this week...a two hour training class mandatory for all employees and volunteers working with children and youth.  The office staff has put in long hours, lots of phone calls and emails, getting all the campers registered in the computer.  My part was to apply the credit card charges and checks to our accounting software.  I enjoy that more than making phone calls!!  I really don't like to talk on the phone at all due to my hearing aids and the feedback they create.  So working behind the scenes is good for me.

Last Sunday and Monday nights I spent planning Grandma Camp for my younger grandchild.  Our theme is "Treasures For A Princess".  She will learn about the treasures of:
Knowing Jesus
The Bible
Helping Others

She will have a lesson each morning in a different spot on the campground, where she will get a treasure bag containing what she needs for that day's activities.  We will have a story from the Bible, a memory verse, and an activity to reinforce the lesson.  We will sing our songs while riding on the golf cart from place to place.  There is a Veggie Tale video to go along with the theme of each lesson.  We will probably watch that in the afternoon during "free time".

One of the items in the bag each day is $1 to take to the Snack Bar after lunch for a Sweet Treasure (candy, ice cream, snow cone...her choice).

We will go to the beach after lunch before we come home for three hours of free time where she can decide what she wants to games, watch videos, work on projects, play with the dogs or her toys, or simple rest with Grandma (!!).

In the evening, after supper, she will have Craft Treasures with Wanda, and she will help Wanda water the flowers around some of our buildings.  During this time I will work at the office and try to stay caught up.  The last thing before bed will be Movie Treasures, and bedtime is 9:30.  The next morning starts at 9 a.m. with breakfast at the Dining Hall.  We'll be eating with the campers all week...that way we get to see her sister from time to time.

I'll probably try to blog each night about what took place that day, as a journal entry for her parents to be aware of what we are doing. This is my second year of planning a camp schedule for the week so my sweetheart will feel she is in camp, just like her older sister.  Then one day she will attend Girls' Camp for real, like her sister did last year.  I'm excited to have this week with her in a more structured setting.  A time of learning values and stretching her mind with things to memorize...getting her ready for kindergarten this fall.

Frisbee golf course and human Foosball court.  Put up 9 square in the air court.  The landing dock for the canoe landing on the outback river was completed this week also.  

Anyone reading this really needs to check out our web site for pictures of cool things happening here at Indian Lake (  Pictures of our new activities will be posted later, but check out the events going on here this summer, check out our motels and RV park, the swimming beach, the boat slips, our cabins, our climbing tower and zip line...  We are an exciting place to visit!

I have been keeping up with my devotions, despite how hectic life is right now...all the more reason I need my quiet time with Jesus.  Here's a few tidbits:

The Word For You Today:
1.  When God says wait,

  • He already has a plan for your life from the start to the finish, so trust Him to work all things out to His glory and your good
  • God has the lead role in our relationship with Him, follow
  • unanswered questions create trust
2.  Live in peace instead of going to so by obeying God, following Him

3.  Characteristics of a great Dad
  • make your children feel loved
  • share your life with your children by sharing:  your values, God's ways, moments of laughter and fun, tell them how precious they are to you...again and again
  • work hard...set an example of work ethics
  • have the children share the work around the house to teach them skills and ethics
  • nurture children in attitudes and abilities
  • be a spiritual leader, represent God in your kids' lives
Love forgets mistakes...  (17:9-11)

Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven, for his loving kindness continues forever.  (136:26)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We went from mid-90's weather during mid-week, to 50 degrees this morning.  Cat trapping stopped during the heat, but with milder temps, should start up again this week.  

I put 83 hours in at the office the past two weeks (3 hours of mowing).  My average is perhaps 30 hours for two weeks, so I've picked up 50 hours.  That's a clue as to how busy we are getting our new "on-line" registration ready for campers to arrive in 8 days.  Glad this is supposed to be "easier"!  It will be...this is just the first year and we continue to learn and work through the kinks.  Without our extra staff person coming on board last Monday, we would be drowning.  

Nice to have a larger pay check coming this week since my SUV just had to be repaired, to the tune of $1200.  God meets our needs, always...but I can forget about putting money in the bank!  I guess He continues to want my total dependence on Him.  That's a much wiser and safer plan than I could come up with, I'm sure!

I made a huge decision this week, a matter I've been praying about for some time.  It will affect the rest of my life, and has to do with a conviction of mine I've wrestled over.  It was while reading Jim Cymbala's book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire that I made up my mind, and ordered the change.  I'm not sharing this decision with anyone outside my husband, a pastor, and my "sister"...the one person I can talk with about anything, like I used to do with my Mom.  But you will find the clue on page 92 of Jim's book.  I've been rereading two of Jim's books, and they have spoken to me again, loud and clear.  He speaks the truth in love, and doesn't back down from his interpretation of God's Word.

Got my hair cut for summer this week.  I don't want hair hanging in my face when I'm picking up branches and sticks, clearing the yards for mowing.  So when it was in the 90's and I was facing that chore, it was time to get it cut.  It's easier to care for also.

Notes from this week's devotional material:

The Word for You Today:
1.  When we put God first, He is faithful to meet our needs (just as I mentioned above!).
2.  Allow failure to be your teacher, turn defeats into learning experiences.
3.  Your spiritual gifts are not so much knowledge of them or understanding them, but getting on your knees and asking God to dominate and control your life; as the Spirit of God operates through you, you are using the gifts He has given you.
4.  What God has extended to you, do the same for others; have enough compassion to truly care about embracing others. 
5.  People who have been hurt need to learn to trust again; God will use you to bring them healing and hope if you keep loving them.


  • We must obey God rather than men.  (4:29)

  • ...God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest.   (127:26)


  • Kind words are like honey...enjoyable and healthful  (16:24)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Campers Are Headed Our Way!

This has been one very busy week.  I put in 39 hours at work just this past week.  I normally don't get much over 30 hours in two weeks.  We are busy for a good reason, though.  Campers are headed our way!!  In just two weeks we have our first summer youth camp...Middle School, grades 6,7,8.  This will be a special camp this year, because one of my granddaughters will be attending.  The other granddaughter, quite a bit younger, will be attending Grandma Camp. I still need to prepare for that!  

Last year is the first time I had Grandma Camp...I should have thought of it earlier.  We try to follow the typical camper schedule that is currently in session at ILNC.  We have lessons, memory verses, activities, swimming, meals & snacks, crafts, movies...just like a real camp.  It's focused attention one on one, and my little sweetheart loves being the center of attention!  She's the youngest in her extended family, so it's nice to be "first" and "most important" for a week.  Last year she learned the Lord's Prayer.  This year I think it will be some verses from John.  (I will NOT be putting in 39 hours that week!!  Or even 15!  This is one special week in my life where it's all about my granddaughters.)

We've spent the week cleaning up from last week's tornado/storm.  We were on the outskirts of the eye of the storm, so we mostly have severe wind damage, trees and branches down.  A mess to clean up.  My heart goes out to those areas so hard hit, with loss of lives on top of homes, hospitals, schools, businesses, vehicles.  I have nothing to complain about in our minor storm.  Our week has mostly been mild weather.

We have teamed up with Kalamazoo Humane Society and are trapping feral cats.  Those we want returned (to keep the mice and rodent population to a minimum) will be spayed or neutered and given rabies shots.  Their ears will be clipped and they will be returned to us.  The others, and other various "wild" animals that we do not want returned will be turned over to animal control to be taken care of in the kindest way.  I had up to 12 cats on my porch through the winter, and I know that number has grown by now.  Our residents complain about so many wild cats getting their birds and messing in places they don't want messes.  So we think we will have about 4 cats returned to us.  This will be an on-going process this summer.  Last week we set 7 traps and caught two.  Both of those we had returned to us, and they are currently healing.  They're sort of angry with me, I think.  Cole and Shadow, a male and a female, and so cute!!!  In fact, it could be hard for me to decide which ones don't get to come back to camp.  Cats are very smart...they know how to avoid a trap!  They make sniff at it (food inside cage), but they aren't about to walk through that wire door!!  They'd have to be really hungry to do I assume Cole and Shadow were really hungry.  I can hardly wait for the girls to get here to help me care for the cats!

Some of our staff went out to supper the other night, and then all of them except me headed to a bed bug seminar.  What a frightening thought that just one person coming on the grounds with even one bug in their luggage, or wherever, could infest the facilities.  We are taking all precautions to maintain our status of "bed bug free".  We have heard of the nightmares some other camps have had to go through to get rid of the problem, and it's not easy, and not cheap.

Most of my week has been involved with camper registrations and all that goes with that, plus mowing and grounds cleanup.  It's been a very nice week weather wise, and I love being busy, so I've had a great week!

From my devotional readings:

The Word For You Today (see side-bar)
1.  Living without regret:  
  • renew your mind with God's Word
  • use your talents and treasures to build God's kingdom
  • disciple someone
2.  How to avoid burnout:
  • seek God's input
  • realign your priorities...learn to say "no"
  • practice gratitude
  • learn to relax
  • exercise
  • develop your own relief devices
  • find a person you can share with
3.  Bring out the best in others:
  • believe in others and look for their hidden capacities
  • your words can encourage others to discover their gifts
  • we all have God-given drives to achieve others achieve
  • it is a Christian attribute to encourage others
  • your praise must be immediate, specific, and sincere
  • Let everything you say be...helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.  (Eph. 4:29)
4.  Your best days are still ahead:
  • build your life on who you are...your "person", not your when your role changes, you will not lose your self-worth/self-image
  • when your role changes, move into your next assignment with joy, and keep on living and giving
  • it remains to be seen what God will do with your life before it's over

Then Jesus told him (Thomas):  "You believe because you have seen me.  But blessed are those who haven't seen me and believe anyway.(20:29)


Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.  (16:18)

Better poor and humble than proud and rich.  God blesses those who obey him; happy the man who puts his trust in the Lord.  (16:19-20)

2 Samuel:
As for God, his way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is true.  He shelters all who who hide behind him.  Our Lord alone is God; we have not other Savior.  God is my strong fortress.  He as made me safe.  (22:31-33)