Friday, 16 January 2015

camp life

Once more we filled the gap between Christmas chaos and a brand spanking new year with a retreat to the bush, surrounded for a week by some wonderful folk. Camp Challenge is always a wonderful time of refreshment, faith and fun but this year was really something special. 

I kinda got too lazy to photograph much of it, too busy chatting with friends old and new! The other 'issue' was the kids were having just wayyyy too much fun, zipping around camp with a tribe of little friends, I could hardly keep track of them, let alone photograph them ;) They went to wonderfully engaging Bible classes, plus they swam, played games and sports, and just explored like little wild things. Lily and Eli barely even ate meals with us in the meal hall, constantly slinking off to join little friends at their table - too cool for their parents already!?? ;) Lucky we shared a cottage so we got to see them at bedtime, haha. They grow so much every camp, transforming between the start and end it seems. I love to watch them flourish during our annual family pilgrimage. I love the quiet time away with God and church family, and the amazing memories we store away each year. Good times, all around :)

Our camp theme banner. The amazing woman who organised the children's classes asked Lily and Eli to each paint a picture of a sky on an A4 sheet of paper. She took those away and then projected and merged the two pics onto this huge banner which she hand painted! Isn't it amazing!! Needless to say, Lily and Eli were impressed when they saw it :) Eli painted that adorable sun and Lily painted the rest of the scene. Love it :)

But whyyyyy can't I have everything I want, Mama?! 
There was a little station for writing encouraging notes to other people at camp. I loved glancing over to see Lily and her buddy Ella, discussing the note table and writing one themselves!

Blurry photo of my little Batman, zooming around the fort playground. The kids spent many happy hours on this fortress over the week.

Each night of camp I organise a different kind of entertainment. Each year we hold a fundraising auction to help people come to camp who can't afford it. The auction items are wide ranging and mostly just fun, silly or sweet stuff (like auctioning off being your friend for a day, or collecting your meal in the cafeteria) - people are so generous, they might bd $100 for the honour!! Lily and Ella decided to get involved and auction off their considerable face painting skills. Completely unprompted, they spent the afternoon practising and even wrote out this adorable script. MELT!!! As I was hosting the night I didn't get any photos but suffice to say, it was so sweet. I didnt think they would quite make it through but they followed their script perfectly which made it even cuter. I think they thought everyone was going to line up for face painting right away?? Love the end line about rushing off to wet their face painting brushes! :)

These gorgeous teen girls were auctioning off their hair braiding skills - and did a few sample strips on me! Ooh, I felt fancy :) It brought back memories of primary school, friends going off to holiday in Bali and coming back with a head full of tiny braids. Oh how I longed for a head full of tiny braids!! And ok, maybe a Bali trip too ;) This is as close as I will probably get :)
Tshirt painting was a fun craft. Lily painted this message on her own shirt, saying 'Now I don't need to tell people I love them, I just wear this shirt!!'

Friendships blossoming between all ages - one of the best bits of camp. Miles was having a glorious time with his friend Samantha. He would scurry over to this wall and stand there grinning, a glint in his eye, pretending he didn't want to be caught....
Till Sammie came and scooped him up and upside down.... with peals of laughter and giggles. She would put him down, he would scurry back to the wall... rinse and repeat till long after I wandered away :)

NYE - We always have a dress up theme. This year was 'Back to the Future'. Not sure how
Peter Pan fits into that, except it was a little outfit we had that fit, so we went with it!

Peter Pan quickly joined by a fierce yet cheery (though rather wild-haired!) Captain Hook!
It's a sort of Love/Choke kind of relationship....
Peter Pan and Captain Hook, putting aside differences to celebrate the new year!

Our rag tag family. 
Mark and I went back to the 70's in our vintage London gear. 

Peter Pan was in awe, upon meeting a beautiful Belle...
And had to immediately tell her about an emergency at the playground...

So I am beginning to realise I no longer have a girl, a boy and a baby. No, no, I now have a girl and two boys. And this littlest boy is really getting into gear. His latest joy is tackling Eli (much to E's pleasure). They then fall to the ground, rolling around and laughing. Half the time it ends in tears but it doesn't seem to stop them. Oh brother ;) 

Brotherly love looks a lot like this :)


  1. What gorgeous pics! Looks like you had such a lovely time. Thank you for sharing them with us. :)

  2. Oh too many gorgeous pics for me to even start!! Camp looked amazing! I LOVE Lily's script. I love that she prepares these little things, and with such confidence in herself. What a joy she must feel in herself.

    I honestly thought Miles was a little girl in the first Peter Pan pic. Such a sweet little cutie he is. And how stunning are you and your handsome beau in your 70s wear! So beautiful.

    1. i was pretty in love with lily's script too. she is a real 'self starter' that kid :) and yes, her confidence blossoms each time, it's pretty cute.

      lol - yes i brushed Miles hair over with a part!!! showed off that angelic little face even more ;) he is too pretty huh, lol.

  3. Looks like you all had an amazing time!!

  4. Oh wow, looks like so much fun! (PS: great photography too!)

  5. What fabulous lifelong memories you are all making together, so precious :)

    1. thanks christie - yes some very special memories indeed. i love how we build on them year after year too :)

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  7. What a special way to start the year! Looks like you all had a fun filled time and now have lots of treasured memories from this retreat. Elise @ Creative Play Central.

  8. Gorgeous pics! looks like a great place to be.

  9. What a beautiful time of connections. Some gorgeous family shots here.

  10. Goodness what a glorious set of photos. Precious memories!


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