Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just Campy

Hello! The Frees are finally home, though we leave again next Wednesday? for a few days to Golden, Colorado. Yeah. That should be really nice. It looks to be a pretty place.

Last week was camp. I think the boys are recovering. Here's Ranne and me over breakfast. Again, on this trip, we ate too much.
Can you already hear Ranne saying, "Ah, Mom..." when you see this photo?

Scott's afternoon time for study prep.

Here is Curtis Burnett, our camp director for High School session.

Some of our favorite people, the McCalls, who come over from AZ to teach.

Donna O'Rear? here, Tony Lewis' sister. Her hubby is wearing the blue jacket in the picture above.

One of the kids' activities is pictured below. They had to get the song book without touching the ground between the tape in front of the crowd and the book. After that is a picture of Ranne conversing with Zach Lane (he was a counselor, comes to the CSC some), son of Walter Lane, son of some Lanes the Frees have known.

Precious boys hanging around outside the mess hall as Dad does his studies.

Here are some of our camp staff. The woman in the green apron was in charge of canteen with another lady. They were both sited at Kangaroo Court for loosing their canteen cheer. Very funny. This is after that charge, so she's hamming it up with the campers who are getting their food.

Crazy story about the Wednesday during camp week. The evening worship time happened with the boys, but we took them off to bed before the 'festivities' of Kangaroo Court began. The KCourt is just a time for campers and staff to bring up charges against one another in a silly way. The weather that night was getting quite stormy feeling. There had been serious thunderstorms daily, so it wasn't a surprise. We tucked the boys into bed in a cabin that was furthest from all the activity. It was on the top of a hill at the end of a road that ran alongside the staff cabins. As you look down from the door, you can see the pavilion way down the hill. Scott told Ranne, "Don't worry about the thunder. Just think about how strong God is when you hear it." I told him, "It's going to get rowdy in the pavilion. Everyone's just being silly, so don't let the noise worry you." We left them to their sleep after a little while and went back down. After 20-minutes or so of Court and loud thunder, I looked across the pavilion to see Ranne watching the event in his t-shirt and shorts--no shoes. It had just started raining and was cold, but there he was totally absorbed in what he was watching. He hadn't even come to look for us. Scott took him back to the cabin.

The next morning, we looked at his feet and they were all scratched up. As I walked him to the bathroom he said, "Mama, where were you? Did you hear me calling you last night? I was going down and the thunder scared me and I called for you but you didn't come." UG. That made me feel so sad and terrible! I guess it was too dark to see the cabin after he left so he was frightened; all he could do was go toward the light. The pavilion was at the bottom of that hill, all aglow, so he just kept walking down. Poor little man! Terrible, bad Mama. He seemed thrilled by it.

Last day: Scott and I took the boys to the creek to play.

Can you see Toby's excitement? This is his usual reaction to new things. I thought he'd be kamikaze kid, but that's apparently not the case.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sweaty Summer

We are now between trips. I have a load of things to do, but no motivation other than to share these pictures with any interested party. The last 2 1/2 weeks have been a true blessing. We have not had such a length of time in what seems like ages, filled with loving folks and gentle fellowship and minimal stress. The Friday before we left, Brendan and Sarah had us over for supper. It was a wonderful and rejuvinating evening.

Here sweet niece shows off her pink toenails.

The swings were the main event of the evening.

Dear Sarah made coffee after supper and we enjoyed being outside.

Hm. All I'll say is, "This is when the boys begin to learn how to play 'together' and WITH OTHERS".

The day after, Sunday, we were invited to share lunch with some old friends from the CSC and Schmille family. Wonderful. They are very diligent parents and friendly people who treated us to a delicious lunch. Unfortunately conversation was cut short as we had to take off to prepare for the Taco Hut Benefit Dinner the following day.

The drive to TX was awesome. There were only two, maybe five-minute, points when Toby was unhappy with being in the car, but otherwise it was totally pleasant. I am so proud of the little travelers. Ranne watched trains and windmills and 'nodding donkeys' the whole way. At one point Ranne asked what trains ran on. Scott said deisel and Ranne responded, "NO, they don't. They run on buggers and bears because they're going to be mean to each other." He proceeded to discuss fights between trains. Eh? Here's Toby below, navigating Texas for us.

We stopped in Abiline to visit some of Scott's fam. They have a beautiful home in the boonies. Their daughter greatly entertained the boys. Unfortunately I did not get good people pics there as most of our visiting was outside at dusk. But here's one shot from their backyard.

When at Dad and Brenda's, we relaxed a lot, took evening walks, ate a TON of food (I can still feel the effects), and had a few fun jaunts as well as met with their church family three times. Here's our general feeling after most meals:

It rained a lot:

Ranne enjoyed a fishing expedition with the guys. They caught several fish. Ranne talked with the church about it, a stocker in Wal-Mart and everyone else. He enjoyed practicing with his pole out in Papa's yard. He really does well casting!

Enjoying around the house time:


Delicious hot dog supper with fruit and homemade ice cream.

Toby watched quietly without getting more than a little upset, but he did grip Scott's shirt and cuddle throughout. The fireworks were put on by a Bellville citizen and were great. Everyone parked in his yard and down the streets and enjoyed the time together. Very fun.

We also were treated to a day on the boat. Ranne liked it, especially swimming around with Dad, Mom and Papa, as well as climbing up and down the boat ladder. Toby, well, here was his general feelings:

He did crack a smile once as Nana tickled his feet and when the horn was honked. That was IT.
Here is a great shot of Ranne's boat hair:

The view at the lake:

Scott's fun. He was the only one to ride as it rained us out for the remainder of the day:

Oh wait, Ranne did ride. Sort of.

The after effects:

We went to the Houston Zoo: very hot and humid. Great zoo, BTW. Go in WINTER. Do you see Toby's glazed eyes and red cheeks? I felt like I was under a faucet. Yuck.

Sadly, we had to leave and not wear out our welcome. Dad and Brenda treated us so well. I even had a day to shop without any agenda or curfew. Scott and I enjoyed a B&B for our anniversary as well. It was the best to catch up with them and be without a mission for a few days.

The trip home was rewarding and great! We visited with the family of one of Scott's cousins. They are house sitting for his parents in Cisco. Another ranch. As you can see from this first picture, the boys were thrilled to be there:

The boys played in water, watched the older boys fish, rode a tractor to feed cattle, ate generously some roast from their own beef, and just had a blast. We were greatly affirmed and appreciative of the visit with Theresa, Beth, and Percilla. They were all so positive and fun.

The ride home:

We shared lunch with Van, another of Scott's cousins in Muleshoe. That was nice. The boys devoured the food he bought us at Lealls.

Now it's almost one in the morn and I have to wake early to ready for the church meeting and finish packing to leave for bible camp teaching duties. UG. Sweet dreams, all.