As the days of school wound down and summer approached, Ian and I began to realize just how busy our summer was going to be. We looked at our calendar filled with trips to visit friends and family, weekends our house was going to be full to the brim with folks we love, and plenty of dental, orthodontic, vision and other medical appointments and realized that if we wanted to get in at least one weekend of camping, that the first weekend of summer vacation was going to be it.
The only issue was that weekend just happened to include Father's Day...
Of course I am married to the guy who said, "A weekend in the woods with my family is WAY better than a tie for Father's Day!" So I took him at his word and booked our tent site in Fancy Gap, VA.
We explored the quaint town of Meadows of Dan, sampling our way through Nancy's Candy Company and trying on various hats in the Poor Farmer's Market.
Our location also provided the opportunity to spend time on the Blue Ridge Parkway, complete with a stop at Mabry Mill, a historic site that brought the days of Little House on the Prairie alive for Kylie.
Ian gave the kids a living history lesson on farming implements,
|such a good lesson...and our kids were so attentive... that we were were asked if we were homeschoolers|
It was a blissful weekend with no technology distractions. The kids fine tuned their "patty cake" games.
They dug in the dirt.
They helped with meals...while they played Yamslam.
And they played Yamslam some more...
|if you don't know this game, think "yahtzee meets poker"...it's awesome!|
(Yes, we realize it is "camping with a K," but at this point, we'd need a packmule to carry the food required to feed our kids for a backpack camping weekend cause they can't carry that weight just yet. At least we're getting them acclimated to weekends in a tent...)
In addition to a really friendly staff (adoption friendly at that!) and super clean bathrooms, there was a pool, a fishing pond with paddle boats, and even a gem mining sluice way.
Our crew was totally not ready to head home at the end of our time. Luckily Ian and I had one more little surprise up our sleeves. There were two ways back home...the short way, and the way that wove across the mountains a bit and right by the Ayer's Cherry Orchard.
As they read signs and tried to guess our mystery destination, my favorite quote was, "Cherry orchard? We're going cherry picking? I love picking cherries. Well...I haven't been cherry picking before, but I think I'll love it!"
And when you can't quite reach the best cherries in the trees, it's a good thing to have a tall daddy who can serve as your ladder.
We came home rested, reconnected, and laden with sweet black cherries. It was truly a Father's Day weekend for the memory books!
Posted by Kristi at 10:38 PM
|July 17, 1999|
Posted by Kristi at 3:21 PM
It's exhausting, but I do somehow enjoy my time in the kitchen at Camp Loy White. The only part that is super duper tough is saying goodbye to my kids at the end of the weekend.
|when did my baby boy get so long?|
In the immediate days after I got home, when I was exhausted, my knees hurt from standing so long, and I just didn't feel like cooking a thing, I probably would have told you that 2014 was my last summer. But now that a little time has passed, I find myself mentally tweaking recipes in my head and wondering how to make them work for a large crowd...
Posted by Kristi at 11:45 PM
Several weeks ago Ian, the littles and I had a special lunch date.
Natalie for one could hardly believe her eyes when she saw who it was...after all, we did part ways with "our Hannah" in Changsha back in September.
We were blessed to share a meal with three-eighths of the Samuels family!
Just who are these folks?
Well, Hannah spent a crazy week with us as we
And dad and eldest brother ~ Brian and Jeremy ~ of the family...well, they were part of Daniel's story before we were. They knew him back in the time he was called Jamison, when his color was primarily blue before heart surgery and through his days of physical therapy to catch up on developmental milestones. As the years have passed, Daniel can't quite seem to place them, but it is clear that he feels a connection on an instinctual level.
|jeremy is the pied piper with kids!|
This is a family (along with the other five members, an amazing mom, another cool brother and three sweet spirited younger sisters) that is near and dear to our hearts. We're pretty sure that these are folks we'd love to be in community with on a regular basis. There's just the issue of an ocean between us...
Anyway, Hannah and Jeremy are both in the states to take some classes for a season, and Brian came over with his oldest kids to help them get settled into their digs with friends. During a brief time in NC to visit family, they managed to squeeze us in for a lunch date. We were honored indeed.
We laughed and chatted and reconnected. All too soon though they needed to get back on the road to help prepare for a big family dinner.
|you really have to go now?|
But we sure enjoyed our little piece of time with some amazing folks. We got the scoop on the latest of what's going on up in their corner of the world. It's exciting stuff y'all! We'll be following their work at New Day North and if you like to see miracles happening in the lives of beautiful orphaned children, I suggest you do too!
Posted by Kristi at 9:10 AM