Thursday, July 09, 2009

Zenith and Beaver's Bend

Summer is in full swing around here with lots of youth activities, camps, as well as some fun times with the fam.

At the end of June we headed up to Oklahoma Christian for Zenith, a camp for high schoolers. The girls went to Wes's parents house. This was the first year they did not come to camp with us. It was a little weird. I was able to spend more time with our teens, but I sure did miss the girls.

Zenith was amazing, as usual. Hearts were broken and hearts were transformed. There were over 500 teens there. There were great classes taught by the youth ministers and great times of worship with wonderful lessons from Mitch Wilburn. He really knows how to cut to the heart. God has given him a great gift! One afternoon, a group of us got to help out at a pregnancy crisis center. It was neat to get to help out, but it was also rewarding to see our teens get so excited about serving and loving on some children. It is also nice to fellowship, laugh, and cry a little with all the youth ministers and their wives at camp. There is a neat bond between us that I consider such a blessing.

One of the best things that happened at camp is that Jessica was baptized. Yay!!! Happy Birthday girl! About ten others from other youth groups were baptized during the week as well.
Praise God!

Wes and Jessica before the momentous occasion.

Getting ready for worship to start.

Pumped about camp!

Our entire gang from Denison.

Karla, past youth group member, a wonderful friend, and now a fellow youth minister's wife. Love ya, girl!

After Zenith, we were home for two nights and then we headed to Beavers Bend in Oklahoma with the Chownings and Slechtas. We rented Finch's Nest, a beautiful log house in the woods for four nights. We had a blast swimming in Broken Bow Lake, canoeing and splashing in the river, horseback riding, and much more. All the kids enjoyed playing with each other. Poor Mylen, being the only boy, had to play some princess games at times, but he survived. The adults had fun playing games like Apples to Apples and Scum. There were also movies to enjoy (OK, so I kept falling asleep during them. What's new?).

Our home away from home.

The guys went to play golf one morning. The rest of us went paddle boating in the river and then back home for some slip n' slide action.

Mylen is relaxing. Unfortunately, for us moms, the kids legs were a little too short to reach the paddles, so we did the hard work ourselves. That's OK, we can handle it.

The hot kiddoes were ready for a drink and a break from those pesky biting flies.

The guys took the kids one evening to a go-cart race track. Janet, Carrie, and I enjoyed the break and went driving around the state park.

The kiddoes getting ready for their first canoe ride ever.

Our canoe members. Abby really did have fun. She was just in a funk for the picture.

During our canoe trip we stopped to take a break in the river. It was chilly!

Aaron ventured off toward the middle of the river, slipped and fell, and this is what happened.

Little cold there bro?

Little Aivlyn trying out the river water. She loved Abby on this trip. You could often hear saying, "Aaaaabbbbbbyyyyy! Aaaabbbbbbyyyy!" It was pretty cute!

Team Chowning.

Team Slechta.

Avery and I riding on King. It was funny, before we started, we joked about who would get stuck with the stubborn horse. Well, Avery and I definitely did! King wasn't terrible. He just liked making his own trails through the woods even if it meant scraping his riders up on trees and brush. We forgive you, King. It made for an adventurous ride!

Wes and Abby riding on Frosty. Abby looks like she is frightened, but she had a great time. We did see a little deer that actually let us get pretty close.

After the horseback ride we went on a ride through the forest on a train.

The girls enjoyed getting to ride with Sybil in our car.

Let's get our miniature golf game on! Should we keep score. Nah!

Pink ball and putter, of course! We couldn't have it any other way.

Avery thought it was a race. She kept hurrying through the course.

The Chowning clan resting from the game for a bit.

The kids had a ball playing in the hot tub at our house.

Aivlyn wore Aaron and Janet out. She has no fear of the water and was perfectly happy jumping in the water, going under, and being fetched out by her parents. This hilarious cycle was repeated tons of times.

I can't believe I didn't get a picture of us swimming at the lake. I guess it was because we were too busy having fun in the water the entire time. The girls decided this was their favorite part of the trip. I think it was mine too.

This was a great place to visit. I am sure we will be back to visit in the future. The day we left all the kids kept saying, "I don't want to leave."

Soon after our trip, we headed to Blake and Katy's to celebrate the 4th of July with Granny, Ernie, Chad, Miranda, Ranger, and Jeff. Blake grilled for us and we all brought side dishes. It was yummy! I especially enjoyed the homemade ice cream. Katy, you really shouldn't have sent some home with us. The only pictures I got were of this cutie who just recently started crawling and pulling himself up. Way to go Tripp!

He is on the move, now!

Yay, you made it! This toy was one of Abby and Avery's favorite toys that we got from Karla's family. I am glad Tripp is getting some use out of it, too.

This past Sunday we had another exciting occasion. Cody Scott, another member of our youth group, decided to be baptized. I think half the church was balling out of tremendous joy! Woohoo!

I am looking forward to seeing God work the rest of the summer!


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