Shaver Lake 2016

Finally getting around to uploading some pictures I took from our Shaver Lake Camping Experience with Mimi and Bapa. What an adventure! We inaugurated their 6 person motor home by loading up all 10 of us and making our way all the way up the mountain.

Do they look like the poster couple for an RV ad or what? 😉

csc_00113 out of 4 of us adults, to remain nameless, had some sort of outburst as a result of a collision of unrealized expectations, uncommunicated needs or just plain frustration from waking in the middle of the night in a freezing tent shooshing babies because of the paranoia of waking everyone within ears distance or being dog tired from hiking up the hill twice a night to pee, not that I would have any idea about that (darn post-6 kid bladder) 😉

But, once we all had a chance to get some solitude to process the frustrations, the possible expectations and assert our needs since we were “living together” (not to mention in very tight quarters for a week), we got in a really good groove.

dsc_0021And we could let out hair down (literally) take a deep breath

dsc_0024and allow the beauty to take our breath away.

dsc_0306Wherever Bapa is, you can find a swarm of bees, I mean these three (or more) kiddos

csc_0230I was thinking a lot about how blessed they are to have him as their own. I start to see how blessed I am through their eyes. To be so close to him. To be able to observe from the outside his willingness to teach through quiet actions, his example of manliness, his patience, his kindness, just watching his strength, I can tell they feel so secure. Wherever he is, they want to be there. Isn’t that how God intends it to be with Him?

So beautiful.

dsc_0173I mean, not too many 5 year old boys get to learn how to use a power tool to cut up trees for firewood barefoot in the forest with their grandpa..

dsc_0201That’s good stuff right there….little boy heaven… and the stuff that I know he’ll remember for his whole life!

dsc_0207Bapa also spoiled us as our campsite chef with some help here and there…

dsc_0257Wish I could always cook for my people with such cheerfulness…

csc_0229Hoarding her treasure finds…

dsc_0292Yvette, it was adorable hearing you sing your very favorite “Daddy Finger” nursery rhyme about your rocks and placing them by size on the stump as you sung about each “family member”. These were the “baby rocks”

dsc_0271One of the days we rented a pontoon boat for half a day and had lunch and drinks out on the water. The older 4 each got a turn driving in Daddy’s lap…

dsc_0405Can you tell they had fun?

csc_0671My boy

dsc_0420Yvette earned the camp award for the most dramatic, the most loud, the most tough and the most charming kid 🙂

dsc_0370We docked the boat and explored a private beach area for awhile…

dsc_0380There’s an inside joke behind that laughter which I’ll leave out to preserve my daughter’s dignity. Let’s just say she was a trooper for not uttering one complaint that momma forgot her bathing suit at home and she had to wear her baby brother’s trunks the whole week which somehow had a hard time staying on her waist 😉

csc_0668Back at the shore while the guys leave to return the boat

dsc_0435Soren, my handsome little guy, you are finally learning how to look and smile for that shot I’m always after…

dsc_0459Good teamwork Frick and Frack 😉dsc_0486Genevieve, I just love your confidence, your independence and your love for rocks. Like momma, like daughter

dsc_0512I am constantly in awe at how close these two are. The intense bond they have spending close to every waking hour together of their nearly 7 and 9 years of life and still wanting to share everything with each other is so special.

It blesses me daily.

csc_0468Today, someone was just asking me if they fight and I was so proud and humbled at the same time to be able to confidently answer with a clear honest conscience, “no”. They have “misunderstandings” as Alizea calls them which always come as the result of one or both being overly tired, mentally, physically and/or emotionally but it is glorious to witness the fruits of years of laboring and coaching them how to take a “time out”, create space to think and pray (& breathe, we do a lot of deep breathing exercises around here) 😉 , to confront one other in conflict assertively but kindly, to be able to say I’m sorry and to forgive each other. My little women.

If only I could apply what I’m always preaching to them 😉

dsc_0463When we weren’t soaking up the sun down at the water or taking a hike in the forest, we were working at our campsite,

csc_0641The rays of sun peering down through the massive pine trees illuminated by the smoke from our fire had such a cool effect!

csc_0647Yvette Bella, you would never know by this angel face the tantrums you are capable of 😉

csc_0661Our youngest little tent camper lived up to his name.

Oh Gideon, feller of trees, mighty warrior, for now, you are just the sweetest, most happy baby.

I am so in love with you and you have a very special part of me.

csc_0652You loved watching all the action of fire building and meal prepping going on around you while you soothed those teething gums.

csc_0654It wouldn’t be a camping adventure without some scrapes and burns, right?  I’m so glad Mimi was able to calm a sensitive little girl with her soothing words, her sweet touch and some magical fairy dust 😉

dsc_0231Caught some really cool lighting in the motor home one evening as the kids were watching a movie.

dsc_0222My Amelie…You are so strong willed, feisty, determined, hard working and smart and those beautiful blue grey eyes and that perfect smile just melt me!

dsc_0225My amazing mama bear who worked tirelessly attending to the kids who slept in the motor home, helping with bathroom trips, keeping them entertained so Dean and I could sneak out together for a boat ride and so I could go water skiing for the 1st time in 15 years (thanks also due to some amazing friends!) What. A. Gift! Insert praise hands emoji!!! haha.  Don’t know what I would do without you. And don’t know what I would’ve done had you not figured out how to find a spot in the motor home for all 10 of us to lay our tired bodies like sardines, ah, but warm sardines 🙂

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!! You are such an incredible blessing!

dsc_0571We met a group of Australian guys who camped next to our site for a night on their way to Yosemite and then on to Las Vegas where one of them met his fiance and was getting married before moving back to Australia together. They were great. So friendly, down to earth and funny. And they left a little handmade gift behind that the girls had fun playing with in the morning while we were packing up. Actually, we brought it home with us and they still use it almost daily during all kinds of imaginary play.

csc_0674They were so funny. I didn’t say a word to them about posing but they somehow knew bow and arrows are for tough girls. Future Joan of Arc’s??? 🙂

dsc_0578Alizea, you are my joyful, sweet little lady. You are always smiling, always reminding me to slow down and ENJOY this beautiful life. Thank you for being so incredibly helpful to me and for your cheerfulness in every act.

dsc_0586Not only was Shaver Lake an absolutely beautiful place but the experience of togetherness was equally beautiful, even and especially in its messy, loud and chaotic moments.

As the saying goes, no pain, no gain.

csc_0666Just a fabulous experience for all of us on so many levels.

dsc_0327Discovering better ourselves.

Discovering better each other.

Discovering better our Creator.

dsc_0334Mom and Dad, a million thanks for being so adventurous to join us and bless us with your luxury camping vehicle 🙂

csc_0564Until next time…

(Link to imovie):

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