Caleb's birthday camping trip- Part 2

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Before I get back to where I left off in my last post, I have to tell you that you might want to grab yourself a cup of coffee.  This is a long one.  And before I tell you about camping, I must first tell you that the birthday boy participated in a tennis tournament this past weekend and took second place in his division!!!!  He played against all twelve year olds, some of whom have been playing for several years.  I snapped a few photos after the trophy presentation with my Fujifilm and will share them here when I get them uploaded.  I just had to share this news because I'm kinda bursting at the seam with pride over here.

Okie dokie...back to the camping trip.  We knew it was going to rain at some point on our second full day, so if we were going to watch a sunset at all, it would be on our second night/first full day.  The sky didn't look super promising, as the clouds weren't high enough/thin enough in the west.  So we didn't venture over to the beach.  Instead we walked over to an empty campsite and watched it set from there.

When we got there, the light was just spilling down.
Seriously, doesn't Havi look bathed in this gorgeous golden light?!  
It's not called the golden hour for nothing!
Apparently it was a little too bright for Havi.  So she kept her eyes covered.  Caleb and Madeline were more interested in riding their bikes than watching the sun set.  So they were MIA for these photos.
Just after I took the shot above, the people who reserved the site showed up in their SUV and started pitching their tent.  So we had to scoot.

I shot the next two from another empty campsite.  If you're wondering why we didn't reserve one of these water sites, it's because all the ones big enough for our trailer were already booked.  You better believe we'll be keeping our eye out for one of them in the future. lol
Then I decided to shoot what was right above me. 
Don't the clouds look painted?
We often try to end the night with roasted marshmallows, even s'mores.

The next morning the sun tried to rise.  So we went for a walk along the campsites and wandered into an open one facing the north and east.
We really need to get a bike rack set up so Baba and Mama can also bring their bikes.  Caleb and Madeline bike everywhere.  Well, as I said, we were expecting the rain to come down the following day.  So we let the dumplings hang out outside with electronics while it was still dry and they were too tired to bike anymore. 
And since the rain kept holding out, we decided we should try to check out the fort at the park.
The canons were pretty big!
Not only were the canons big but so was the raccoon population!  Yep, you read that right.  They have a run of the place.  When we went over to the fort, we actually saw a mother with her two babies.  I didn't have a telephoto lens with me, and I wasn't going to try to get close.  So my photos didn't turn out very nice. lol
Caleb walked into part of the fort and declared there were no raccoons hanging out inside.
Then they all pretended to be locked up.
And since the rain still hadn't fallen, we decided to head back to the beach for lunch.
It's hard to appreciate in the photo, but to the right of Havi is about a 5-6 foot drop!  She kept making me so nervous wanting to sit on that ledge.  And what better way to up your nerves than to take a photo of the whole moment. Ha.

Well, we headed back to our campsite and hung out for a wee bit longer when we decided we should hurry up and grill our dinner before the rains came and thwarted our efforts.
And that's exactly what we did.  We ate early before the rain came AND we still managed to roast a few marshmallows too. Caleb likes his slightly warm and white.
Madeline, on the other hand, likes hers unrecognizable. lol

Our last morning we spent packing up and heading home.
Since we had eaten most of our "meal" food, we stopped off for lunch at a KFC.
 The KFC would be behind that stop sign you see.
This is how we have to park....far away, like in the back of the Lowe's parking lot.
 Well, imagine our surprise when, after ordering and it's time to pay, the cashier swipes somebody else's credit card!!!  Yep.  She told us that this man wanted to buy our family lunch!  We were floored.  And humbled.  And almost cried.  We thanked him several times.  I had to tell him that it was actually Caleb's birthday that day, and no doubt this will be a birthday he/we will never forget. To receive such a blessing from a complete stranger was just overwhelming.

Well, we eventually made it back home.  Patrick picked up a few cupcakes from Publix so Caleb had real birthday candles to blow out.  And we gave him his big gift.
The boy who lives across the street has a pair of roller blades that Caleb has borrowed a few times recently.  No sooner was he up on them the very first time, he was zipping through the cul-de-sac.  It made me so nervous, even with all the gear (I think because I've personally never roller bladed.)  Well, he declared that he wanted his own pair of roller blades for his birthday, and he got his wish.  Now, of course, Madeline is requesting roller blades for her birthday.  I guess we're gonna have to make good on that one too.

Speaking of that precious girl, she's also been playing a bit more tennis with Caleb.  So we just might start her in some group lessons some time this year.  Being the big brother comes with lots of responsibility and influence.  Madeline and Havi have such a great big brother to look up to.  He makes us so proud.  He's so smart and is such an amazing athlete.  He's also so kind and caring and loves Jesus a lot, too.  He fills our hearts with so much joy. 

We hope you had a wonderful 9th birthday, precious Caleb.
We love you like crazycakes!

Caleb's birthday camping trip- Part 1, mostly

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

As I said in my previous post, Caleb would play in a tennis tournament every weekend if he could.  But we decided that, for his birthday, it would be best to take a break from tennis and enjoy some togetherness with Miss Peggy. So we made an early weekend of it by packing up Miss Peggy and heading out of town on a Thursday morning (as in, two-weeks-ago-tomorrow-kinda Thursday).

 Since we live on the East coast of Florida, we wanted to venture over to the West coast so the dumplings could check out the Gulf of Mexico.  It has been almost two years since we've done that.
 Since Caleb's birthday fell on Sunday, we knew we would be celebrating early...well, the cake part....because there was no way I was going to attempt baking a cake in the trailer. 
 Nope, instead I baked it up the day before and frosted it the morning we left.  A bit of advice?  Don't frost a cake the morning you're supposed to pack up and head out on a camping trip.  Poor Patrick ended up doing most of the work.  Well, we forgot to pack candles to put on the cake. So a citronella candle played the part of birthday candle. And instead of Madeline blowing out the candle prematurely as has happened in years past, this time it was Havi!  That's why Patrick had to cup his hand over her mouth, that stinker!  Candle blowing out- take 2!

 And here's my feeble attempt at a tennis inspired cake- tennis court green with 'tennis balls' on top.  I am in no way an artist.  Remember the key word is inspired here.  Then Caleb opened up a few presents- a Wii Resort replacement and some match box cars to zoom through the trailer.
 As we were settling down for the evening that night, Patrick kept asking me if I had seen the keys to his truck.  Nope.  Well, eventually he told me he locked them inside his truck.  Yep.  That's kinda fun, well if you get paid for a living to break into people's vehicles.
 The dumplings spent the morning riding their bikes around the campsites, playing on the playground, and just hanging out.

Then after lunch, we decided to head over to the beach.  We couldn't just walk out to the water like the campground close to home.  So we had to hop in the truck and drive over.  The temps were only in the high 70s.  So I knew the surf temp would be too cold to swim.  Silly me.  I should've put the dumplings in their swimsuits anyways. They played in the sand and water until they were soaked through and shivering.

After stripping down and drying off, we headed back to the campsite.  The kidlets played outside, riding bikes, digging in the dirt/mud, and watching the sun set.

And it's funny, as I sit here and type, I am thinking to myself, "Didn't I get any photos of that?"  Well, sure I did.  I just completely forgot about including them in this post!  And since it's so very long already, I'm going to awkwardly cut this post short, right in the middle of the day. lol  I hope you don't mind.  

And on a completely different topic, our social worker is coming tomorrow for Havi's 6 month post placement visit.  How crazy is that?  It's almost a year ago that we first saw that precious little face of hers.  It's hard to believe she's been in our arms for half of that time.

Blog Archive

About This Blog

This blog is the place where shared our lives while waiting to bring our daughters Madeline and Havi home from China. (Our son Caleb was already home before this blog began.) It is now the place where we continue to share our life experiences, both big and little, as we try to glorify God and raise our 3 dumplings from China.

Feel free to join us as we journey through life, while I try to capture our days...

  © Free Blogger Templates 'Photoblog II' by 2008

Back to TOP