Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kid's camp and a new bar of soap

Can I just say that we are soooo blessed to be with Josiah Venture!!! There are many reasons that we say this, but for today's post, we are talking specifically about the care and love they show to our kids! The boys just returned from their week at JV Kid's camp, and have had so much to say about their week there, having loved every minute of it!

A typical question I ask my kids after an event is to rate their time from one to ten. This gives me a quick overview in one word. When I asked the boys this question, Jayce responded with an immediate "10" and Tate thought a second and then gave it a "9". So I asked Tate what kept it from being a "10" and he said that it would have been a "10", except that it was only one week long instead of two!!! I guess that summed it up pretty well!

From all the stories we heard on the trip home, and the stories we continue to hear, we can see how the week was ranked so high. Other Josiah Venture missionaries were the staff at the camp, planning, organizing, preparing, running, counseling, discipling, and managing, to make it the most meaningful experience possible for the kids. All of the kids that attended were JV MK's just like our boys, and they are really becoming like family to our kids! We were so impressed how the older kids took our boys and their friend, Marco, the three newest campers, under their wings to include them and welcome them and help them! We are truly grateful for the way that God has graciously placed us into this organization that cares so deeply for our children.

So, in light of the huge impact that this week has had on our boys, encouraging them to deepen their relationship with our Lord Jesus, and developing stronger friendships among the other MK's, I figure that I can overlook the fact that the brand new bar of soap that I sent with the boys came back as a brand new bar of soap! For the record, they did say that they brushed their teeth almost every day. :-)

Thank you to all JV staff who gave their time and energy to be a part of camp this summer! Our boys are already looking forward to next summer's camp!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Packing, unpacking, laundry and repacking

I should be packing again, but am running low on motivation as it is our fourth and final trip of the summer, including the two camps and that trip to Austria. We leave tomorrow for Slovenia where Jayce and Tate will attend JV Kid's camp for the first time. The rest of us will stay down in that part of the continent, to avoid 4 eleven hour drives there and back, there and back. We will be visiting a few different friends along the way, as we travel around Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

The boys are super excited about camp, I'm just hoping they remember to brush their teeth!!! It will be a great opportunity for them to spend time with the other Josiah Venture missionary kids from all over Eastern Europe. The leaders and counselors of the camp are all JV missionaries, most of them single or married without kids. Mel and Amy Ellenwood are heading it up, and the boys find great comfort knowing that they will be there, along with their three kids!

I am including a few more pictures of our family's time in Austria with my parents. Ed and I were thrilled to tour Salzburg with only Jayce and Tate, seeing many famous Sound of Music sights. My parents graciously babysat the three youngest for the day, so we four could better enjoy walking all over that beautiful city. Dad, Mom, and the three "littles" had plenty of their own fun back at the hotel and surroundings.

Thanks for coming, Mom and Dad!

We are home from our vacation to Austria with my Dad and Mom. They are now back at their home in Florida. They visited Europe for 5 weeks! Three of those were with us, and for two weeks, they toured on their own, visiting Germany, Switzerland, France and Austria. They saw many things that they remembered from when they lived in Germany 40 years ago. Their dream has always been to return to these beautiful places, and now they have lived their dream.

We enjoyed every bit of our three weeks with them. We packed our schedule full of fun, to store up for when they left. Many late-night games of Monopoly and cards, long walks, good talks, visits to the square and to the woods, visits with our friends here, many Magnum bars, and a great relaxing trip to central Austria to end with a bang!

They were a tremendous addition to our Bardejov camp, and we are praying that it works out for them to return next summer to the same camp, to continue with all of the relationships built between them and the students and team members this year. Mom and Dad, thanks so much for being here for so long with us. You were a true encouragement and blessing! We love you!