Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pine Cove Family Camp

We were blessed to attend Pine Cove Family Camp during the last week of June.  This was our second year to attend at Crier Creek, Pine Cove's family camp in Columbus, TX.  It is a little less than 2 hours from our home.  Camp lasts from Sunday afternoon until Saturday morning.  It includes programming for the kids, speaker sessions for adults, date nights, theme nights, and lots of great activities:  swimming in an awesome pool, playing in the lagoon, breakfast trail rides, fishing, playgrounds, wake boarding, a craft room plus just awesome time as a family.  The counselors and staff are fantastic and do an incredible job at serving our family in many ways- everything from loving on our kids to helping us get sippy cups, food and high chairs at meals.  

This year the speaker sessions were on Grace Based Parenting which was a great topic for us.  Many of the concepts overlap with some other adoptive parenting methods we have learned but there was plenty of new material as well. Our speaker and his wife are also adoptive parents as well as having biological kids, so that was a great encouragement to us specifically.  

This was Hannah's first time to go to child care and we were a little anxious about it.  Luckily the camp director was able to put a familiar face in Hannah's child care room - Courtney or "Monkey" as she is known at camp.  She and the other counselor in that room were fantastic and it really put my mind at ease to have someone who knows us and is familiar with Hannah's background.  Hannah did cry when I would drop her off but would quickly settle down if they took her on a walk in the stroller.  There were plenty of camp videos and pictures of her laughing and smiling in her room so I am thrilled!  I chose to have her nap in our cabin rather than with the counselors and she took nice long naps every day.

We love the other families that attend with us during week 4, including our dear friends the Nichols.  It is so fun to see our kids play together and consider one another friends even though we live far apart and don't see each other nearly enough.  We love having dedicated time to spend as a family and as a couple.  The environment of Pine Cove is so supportive, encouraging and FUN-- a perfect place for our family to spend a week every summer.  

Loaded up and headed to Crier Creek!

We have arrived!!

Checking out the top bunk in the boy's room

Crying because I told her to sit down on her bottom!  Ha! 

Playing with Mason before dinner

Our 4 boys lined up and ready to run 

Run! Run, children! Wear yourselves out!

This is how we got around camp!  Our cabin is located on the far side of the lake from the buildings where we eat, have speaker sessions etc.  Bryan was a trooper to pull nearly 100 lbs of children several times a day! 

Our first theme night was on Monday.  
The theme was "Medieval Melee" and we dressed as vikings.  All the kiddos ready for theme night

Our family of vikings

One of the staff members played multiple skit characters during the week.  He was so funny and we really enjoyed him as a 'king' this night. 

Hannah loved the beef stew! 

A picture Hannah took with my camera!

Sitting outside White Tail Lodge (where we eat)

After dinner there were medieval games.  
Caleb & Bryan doing a jousting game 

Now Joshua's turn: 

The older kids got to launch playground balls  across the field using giant slingshots.  The goal was to knock down these cardboard structures.  They played Angry Birds music while they played.  Caleb was in HEAVEN.  Right up his alley!

Bryan doing a spoon race relay

Travis' turn with the egg
Meanwhile, Katy and I sat with the little children :)  

Bryan taking Hannah & Joshua around during a large group game 

We had several rainy afternoons while we were at camp.  Luckily, it kept things much cooler but we weren't able to swim as much.  We spent one afternoon at the craft room painting.

Getting ready for our second theme night which had a nerd theme

Headed to Nerd Night 

Bryan and I wore shirts that said
"Never Trust an Atom.  They make up everything".  Ha! 


On Thursday morning Bryan and I went on the breakfast trail ride. The Nichols and their friends from Boerne, the Scotts, also came.  Counselors watched our kids and took them to breakfast while we did this! So great! 

Bryan on his horse

Katy & Travis

Reunited with my boy Harvey
Luckily he behaved better this year.

On Thursday night we had 'banquet night' and sat with the Nichols and Scotts at dinner.  

Beautiful view of camp on banquet night

Banquet night 

On Friday each class had 'character quality' awards.Here is Caleb with his class. 
Caleb did not want to stand up to receive his award ("Adventurous") or have anyone clap for him because he hates the sound of clapping.  Fortunately his classmates and the other parents were understanding and everyone just said "Good job!" etc to Caleb as he received his award.
A lot of the camp activities tend to be outside his comfort zone and we were so proud of him this week.  He really pushed himself and participated and had a fun time even when it was hard for him.

Friday night there was a Carnival!  

Joshua got his face painted by one of the counselors

He requested "a rainbow princess" and enjoyed a purple snow cone

Standing like a big girl in our cabin

A group photo on Saturday morning before we left camp.
See you next year, week 4 families!!! 

So thankful for a week to spend with my best friend, Katy.
We are still in a stage of life when things are hectic with small children and sleepless nights.  It is a blessing to share this season with her and to have a week to enjoy each other's families! 

Pine Cove is fun ... and tiring!!! 

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