Friday, July 31, 2009

5 Years Ago Today...

...#1 and I got married! One of our neighbors was shocked we've only been married 5 years. "You've been busy" she commented. NOT sure how to take that. Anyway, up on top of my (apparently dusty, but it stands a foot over my head so give me a break) TV stand thing is this huge vase we got as a wedding present that I have never used. It stands between a picture of #1 and I with Snug as an infant (left) and with Baby J (right). Tonight it is being used, as it is housing two dozen roses! Happy Anniversary to us!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alphabitty Moments

Welcome back to week 23 of Alphabitty Moments! This week is W and for us, W is water! Click on over to Mama Bear's site to see what other families are remembering with the letter W.

Look who finally got her photo editing software installed! About time, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Horsing Around

A whole post of horseback riding and fun at the barn. I can't blame Snug for loving the horses. I was a bit horse crazy as a kid. I still really like them, but the dream of owning my own someday is just not happening. I am not going to write much, just enjoy the photos!

Tonto has always been one of my favorites. He is a pony and his wild days are about over...very gentle and a bit dog-like. He and I have had some adventures.

Someone enjoys posing for pictures.

Uncle Nathan and Aunt Danielle hanging out at the barn with Baby J and Snug.

Riding double. Excuse my poor riding posture, I was trying to keep Snug from being pinched between me and the saddle. See the extra set of stirrups? So cute!

Baby J didn't ride, but he did enjoy the photo op.

Till next time...

First Dentist Appointment

Yesterday was Snug's first trip to the dentist. He went last week with me to observe, and was pretty excited for it to be his turn. Last week he got his fingernail "polished" with the dentist toothbrush and had a "ride" in the chair. He also got to see the "tooth dirt" they got out of mommy's teeth. Not too much, I assure you.

He hopped right up into the chair for his turn. Although he thought it was funny to get his tongue in the way a bit, he did really well for the hygienist. She was really impressed with how still he sat and how cooperative he was. They don't normally take kids until after their 3rd birthday, but took him a couple of week's early to ensure we still had dental insurance (still not sure what is going on with #1's job). Not that a couple of week's would make that much difference in how well he did, just it was nice they took him early.

He was delighted with a new Tigger toothbrush and berry flavored floss. The hygienist is #1's softball coach/co-worker's mom. She was as happy to clean his teeth as he was to get them cleaned. Maybe having "Uncle Mark's" mom do it helped him to relax also. So no cavities or problems with his teeth. He is getting his last "2 year old molar" and is missing a tooth on the bottom that never grew in as a baby. They aren't worried about it, but will do x-rays in about a year to make sure his permanent teeth won't be affected by it. He is a great candidate for braces someday seems how his top teeth as baby teeth already have no space between them. *sigh*

Monday, July 27, 2009

300th Post, Camp Style!

Yeah for my 300th post! Megan, I'm so glad you inspired me to do this! I will honor my 300th post (honor? that sounds weird...celebrate?) by having it be the beginning of sharing what camp was like this year. Grab a beverage as this post will be long...took a few days to put together. This one is just of Family Camp, but I will post 4th of July and Girls' Camp pictures, along with pictures from camping this past weekend as I get to them. I decided to also do an entire post just on Snug riding horses, as that was always one of my favorite things about camp, and he also loved it. The post was getting quite lengthy, and you'll probably be glad I decided to break it up a bit!
Huron Forest Camp Cherith is one of my favorite places on earth. I could live there. Every year is special, and this year, being a camper for the first time in 12 years, was no different. I've gone to/worked at Camp Cherith since 1989, so this was my 21st summer. I've never missed a year except last year when I had Baby J, but I think since I met with/trained counselors all that year it can count. Sharing the joy of camp with my boys (Snug had been as a baby, but didn't remember it, obviously) was so much fun.

We will start our camp tour with Lumberman's Monument. This scenic site is where #1 proposed to me July 12, 2003. I think he picked a pretty place, don't you? However, this scenic spot seems to attract sickness. When he proposed, I was feeling miserable with a cold and when we stopped briefly just before arriving at camp, Snug tossed his cookies several times. I also had been feelin queasy, but we thought maybe morning sickness. Nope, just a bug.

You wouldn't know from this picture of him climbing on the "log jam" that he wasn't feeling well. We all ended up with the stomach bug that had you retching and then feeling just fine.

Baby J was glad for the chance to get out and stretch his legs. Camp is 8 hours from our home, and although we didn't do it all in one stretch, everyone was glad to get out of the van.

I can almost smell "up north" as I look at this picture.

We did many fun activities as a family. One afternoon we got to go canoeing on the Au Sable (same river as the dunes pictured above are located). Baby J did not get to go out as he doesn't sit still enough yet. Yes, I realize that we are both paddling on the same side in this shot. My canoeing experience is limited, and was years ago and my husbands is almost non-existent.

Not only is the camp very close to the river, it is about 20 minutes away from Lake Huron. We spent an evening in town one night enjoying ice cream and the lake.

I can't remember this little girl's name, but her brother was probably the closest in age to Snug. Most of the kids were in elementary school. Most families probably wouldn't bring kids quite so young to family camp, but because all of our family members in attendance (except my sister-in-law) has worked at camp at one time or another, we felt we could ensure that they had a good time anyway. Trust me, they did!
Baby J hanging out on the steps of our cabin. Notice he is wearing several layers of clothes. Even though it was the end of June/beginning of July, the weather was chilly!

Campers stay in either cabins or tents. The tents are on big platforms, and the cabins are "rough". We keep the camp rustic so that kids can really enjoy God's creation and living in the out-of-doors.

Snug was thrilled to sleep on a top bunk. It was the safest place for him as it has rails and the bottom bunk doesn't. He used my Pooh Bear bedding from college, and he felt very grown up. I'm not a big fan of sleeping bags, so we "rough it" with real bedding :o)

Here is a picture of our whole family at the canoe landing. My brother and sister-in-law joined us from sunny Florida.

Uncle Nathan and Aunt Danielle were a hit. The boys loved spending time with them, as did we all. At night, because our kids had to be in bed so early, we didn't usually get to enjoy evening activities, but the "craft cabin" was close enough to our cabin that we could sit around and play games together.

Uncle Nathan reads a story to Snug, who would sit and listen to stories for hours. It is pretty much the only way to get him to sit still as he is constant motion-even during meals!

Pop Pop and Daddy keep Baby J company down at the "Rec Field".

Hanging out in the dining hall. LOOK! Baby J and Uncle Nathan have short sleeves! It must have been the first day we were there...don't remember doing that much any other time.
One morning we did a challenge course together. Aunt Danielle likes to wear my children as much as I do. Behind her you can see the rock wall (I'm sure that is not the technical name for it). You cannot see the rattle snake that is at the end of the wall. We kept clear of him.

Just hanging out at camp...

Part of the challenge course is "The Bermuda Triangle" which is a low ropes type-course. Grandmommy is spotting for Baby J and I. Don't worry, he was safe.

See? No worries, even Snug got to do it.

My favorite part was the group challenge where we had to use two big beams and some stumps to get across a section of land without touching the ground. We did pretty good! This was before my knees started hurting...this may have been part of why my knees started hurting! All the deep sand and hills really bother my knees and this year the pain was intense at times during girl's camp.

We let Snug stay up late one night for the evening activity which was a campfire with sparklers and S'Mores. What would camp be without S'Mores? He enjoyed his sparklers very much.

S'Mores were also a big hit! Doesn't that make you want one?

I'll post more later...

Stellan & Abby

I am currently working on a post of camp, but wanted to put this one up first. Please pray for Stellan from My Charming Kids. I have posted about him and his heart condition before, but he is very sick again. They are, last I heard, flying him to Boston. He is in grave condition. His mom posted via Carrie earlier today, and was obviously upset, so please excuse any language you might not agree with. Unless we have been in that situation, I don't think we can really know how bad it feels.
Although I have never met MckMama personally, I consider her a sister in the Lord and ask you to pray for her and her family during this awful time.

Ok, so then I read about Abby who has battled with cancer for the longest time. She is also back in the hospital and hasa serious infection. Please pray for her also and her family and doctors as they decide what to do.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Alphabitty Moments

I'm so glad to be back into Alphabitty Moments! I have the perfect V this week! Go on over to Mama Bear's blog and see what she and other people are sharing with the letter V!

V is for Vegetables!

This is the harvest I returned home to after camp! My carrots look a bit dirty as they had not been washed yet, but wow! I was so excited! Snug helped me just today wash and get everything we will not be eating in the next few days ready to be frozen. We also gave out cucumbers and carrots to six neighbors. Lots more veggies are ripening in our garden as I type.

Baby J loves the fresh peas. Sorry he looks a bit...scary in this picture, but he has had a cold and ear infection for the past couple of weeks, so he is feeling pretty much how he looks.

Snug has eaten more veggies than some kids eat in a year in the past two days! His favorite are the cucumbers, followed by the peas, and he isn't a big fan of the carrots, but has been dutifully eating them anyway.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where To Start?

Oh my goodness! I want to post so many pictures of the past three weeks and tell you all about camp, but I am overwhelmed.
Not only am I adjusting to life with diapers and tantrums and cooking and dishwashing (I had NONE of that at camp) I am also slowly going through 200 e-mails and trying to catch up on other people's blogs. WHEW!

No pictures at this moment, but just a quick update on what the past three weeks held for me (us). I will also go back and post pictures and catch you all up. Because this is The Drays Today I'll also try to start updating things that are currently happening. You know, like Baby J taking his first steps :o)

The first week of camp was family camp. We were joined by my parents, brother and sister-in-law along with a few other families at the camp I grew up at. It was a cold and overcast great time to relax and hang out as a family. Although the weather was not terrific by any stretch of the imagination, the rain held off most of the time so that we could canoe, horseback ride, play games, and do lots of fun activities. I had not been a "camper" since 1996 so it was kinda weird to go back to that role there. This was my 21st year with the camp.

We spent a short but nice 4th of July weekend with my aunt and uncle who live about 45 minutes from the camp. #1 headed home on the 5th and I headed back to camp. The boys stayed there with my parents during the next two weeks.

The next two weeks I got to see the boys three times, but poor #1 was back in Ohio by himself. He had the added stress of losing and then getting his job back several times (more on that at a later date) within the three weeks I was gone. He had no official break in service, but it was still quite a roller coaster ride that is not done yet.

We have a program at our camp (and other Camp Cheriths) called CILT (Campers In Leadership Training) and I am the CILT instructor. This is my 6th year doing the program and the girl (CILT Counselor) that I had done it with the previous five years did not continue. Instead a new counselor came on board and I LOVED working with her. Although there is a ton to learn about the program and it is very different from what the regular camp schedule looks like, she did a fantastic job and I am excited to have her.

Snug would live at camp if I let him (Ok, I'd live there too) and loved every moment of camp life except "rest hour". He enjoyed campfire, singing, horses, and all the silliness that goes along with camp.

Baby J did not love camp and probably could care less if he ever went back. I think that will change when he gets older, but any craziness or loudness really bothered him and he cried through more than one meal time. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with his sensory issues and I tried to be sensitive to his needs as much as I could. He did like the camp dog "Rufous" and all the sand there is there. He would have loved the pool, but @ 68deg he wasn't getting in.

After spending another weekend at my parent's house #1 met us in Toledo and we returned home with him. Snug was clinging to his neck and Baby J had nothing but smiles for his daddy. I don't know how military families do it. We are finally recuperating and trying to get life back to "normal".

Baby J had a HUGE growth spurt. We had him at 29 inches and 18lbs 14 oz on his first birthday. When we got home we measured him at 29.5 in and 20 lbs 1 1/2 oz. He went to the doctor (another ear infection) yesterday and they had him at 30 in 20 lbs. Hard to tell exact gains when he is weighed and measured so many places, but he is longer and heavier. His "exact" measurements are done at his GI doctor, we'll be there Aug. 12.

Anyway three week long story short, we had a good time and are ready for the next adventure!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Hello again blog world! I've been gone for 3 weeks, out in the boonies, but don't worry, I took TONS of pictures. This week I ♥ Faces is doing a feet theme. I am so excited I made it back in time to enter, as I love feet shots. These are Snug's feet. His toes are perpetually dirty as he, like his mother, prefers to be barefoot from the moment the snow melts in the spring. I captured this moment as he was playing with some dandelions in the backyard one afternoon.
Please go to i ♥ faces and see what other people entered this week. Whether you take photographs to preserve memories or as a hobby or professionally, this site is sure to inspire you!

*Posts about camp and photos to come...soon!