Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm all About the Fun

Normally I am adamantly opposed to playing games "just for fun." My personal motto is "if you're not keeping score, why bother?"

However, I do not have any wedding photo's for this week's I Heart Faces contest, so I figured I might as well enter in "Just for Fun" - because y'all know that the fun? I love it.

Speaking of fun, my entry is nothing if not "fun." Or cute. Whichever you prefer.
This is Nick wearing a hat which belongs to "cowboy." And yes, that is what he introduces himself as.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Week in Review

I'm not sure how many of you have noticed how lengthy my weekend reviews tend to be - so I am not making any promises to keep it concise when I'm trying to condense an entire week.

As I already explained earlier, Monday started off a little rocky. From there, however, things only got more rocky. Oh I kid. But seriously, this was the most chaotic week of camp I have experienced in three years. Luckily (ok so I'm guessing it was more providential than lucky), we had the easiest week of campers that Camp Grace has ever seen. I even got called Ma'am, which is practically a miracle for the kids we usually work with.

We took kids on the zipline, both into the lake and 50 feet in the air. They did a great job conquering fears and learning what it looks like to step out in faith. One child, however, refused to step out in faith, meaning that Adam was stuck up on the zipline in the 100+ degree heat for over an hour. Which was really fun for him.

On Thursday night some nice folks brought stuff over for "pony rides." However, as one counselor so kindly pointed out, these were really more like "full-grown horses" than ponies. Luckily, the kids didn't mind and none of them got kicked.

And now kids are starting to arrive for THIS week's camp (clearly I'm a little behind), so let me leave you with a few more pictures and I will promise to be back soon with more updates and more of the words.

As an aside, who would have thought that having a child would make camp so much harder? Oh, I should have realized that? I can't help being a little slow sometimes. I blame sleep deprivation.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bottle-Feeding

Since a few months ago, Jayci has been bottle-fed. Since then, measuring and mixing and shaking and warming and spilling and so on and so forth have been a part of my daily routine with Jayci. Lucky for them, these kids have also been able to experience the joy that is bottle-feeding.
Both Jayci

And some other babies

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Week's Worth of Pictures in Two Days

We've had two days of camp so far. And it is SO different than camp has been the past 2 years. Probably because we have 35 kids instead of 95, and camp is half-built so everything is sort of "jimmy-rigged" . . . never-the-less, the kids are LOVING it (and we are too).

Quote of the day:

Counselor: "well run to the cabin since you have to go to the bathroom"
Camper: "I can't run, because it makes my pee jiggle"




Monday, June 22, 2009

A Fort and Some Kids

So as it turns out, camp started off to a little bit of a rocky start. This year is our first year holding camp on our very own land (in the past, we have rented a camp). So we built camp and REALLY came down to the wire with everything. As in, we still didn't have our certificate of occupancy at 10:00am this morning, when van-fulls of kids started pulling up. So we tried to keep the kids distracted with HORSES and PUPPIES and LAKES and BALLS and HOSES and LUNCH. Small children, however, can usually be distracted for only so long before the burning questions have to be asked: 'but where will we put our stuff?' and 'where are we going to sleep?' To which I responded with my usual grace and charm: "ummm . . . but look at the miniature horses!"

Luckily (or rather, PRAISE THE LORD!) we got our certificate of occupancy after lunch, and the kids are moving their stuff into the fort as we speak!

I'll be back later this week with more updates - but wanted to share the good news!

ps - I waited to post this because I wanted to add some pictures. But unfortunately I cannot currently find my camera cord. Clearly, I am very organized. Pictures will hopefully come soon!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Unfortunate Mishaps

Ok so Adam and I spent a good deal of time preparing a truly delightful video tour of camp for your enjoyment. Unfortunately, I'm not always the brightest crayon in the box . . . and I accidentally was NOT recording when I thought I was and WAS recording when I thought I wasn't. We will try to re-record it at some point . . . but let's be honest, I wouldn't get your hopes up too high with this track record.

To make up for your loss, please enjoy what we like to refer to as our cute little inch-worm.

Our Little Inchworm from Becca Stanley on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Because You Are 9 Months Old . . .

Although I am fairly positive Jayci was born less than 9 months ago, her birthday and the calendar beg to differ. My little 9-month-old baby is all of a sudden like a different person or something. She just started having this "separation anxiety" or something, and now anytime someone holds her who is not, well, ME, she cries (whines really). It's endearing in that I enjoy being so so loved, (I figure enjoy it while I can) but it's also slightly annoying in that, you know, I also enjoy the breaks which come when other people hold her.

It probably doesn't help with anxieties and separation issues that we just lugged her down to camp, stuck her in a house with, oh, 20 new people and then expected her to sleep her customary 8pm to 8am (um, this didn't happen last night FYI). But I'm hoping it will just take her a few days to warm up to being here, because she is usually VERY social and more comfortable/happier around big groups of people than anywhere else. She takes after her daddy-o in that regard.

Besides separation issues, she also threw her first bona-fide temper tantrum yesterday. We're talking arched back and loud cries of protest because (heaven forbid) I wouldn't let her crawl under a metal bed. I wasn't sure how to handle it, exactly, besides giving her a time-out with strict instructions to think about what she did. Oh I kid.

I love Jayci so much, sometimes it aches a little bit inside. I mean, for serious, she is cute. I love watching her learn new things and try new things and just explore what it means to be alive. She loves pretty much all vegetables and cereal. She loves feeding herself. She constantly pulls herself up to standing, and she does a mean army crawl. She loves the water (at bath-time OR in the pool) She HATES the sand at the beach. She is fairly obsessed with waving, and also clapping her hands in delight, particularly at her own accomplishments (heaven knows where she got THAT from). . .

At her 9 month check-up, Jayci weighed 16 lbs 13 oz and was in the 22% for weight and the 45% for height. And she was healthy as a horse, whatever that means.

Please enjoy the following pictures for your viewing pleasure:



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Beachy Wrap-Up

A list for your reading pleasure (ok so "pleasure" might be a stretch, but list is all my mind is coming up with right now)

1. I forgot to tell you one more thing about Friday night. When I got up on the diving board at the girls' urging, ready to show off my fantastic diving skillz, one of the girls yelled out "look at Becca jiggling up there . . . " That's right girls. Santa's got nothing on a new mom.

2. So I dont even have much to tell you about my beach trip. (Not that a lack of valid info to share has ever stopped me from rambling sharing with you before.) However, these few days at the beach have been rather uneventful, yet delightful

3. We went out on the boat this morning, and saw a whole bunch of dolphins. (I've just been informed that the correct term for "whole bunch" is "pod", but I think we all know that I don't care all that much about "correct terms") I was inordinately excited about having dolphins so close to our boat. It was embarrassing really.

4. In the last two days, I drank a lot of diet coke and ate some seriously delicious macaroni and cheese. And let me just tell you people, it wasn't Kraft, and it didn't involve processed or powdered cheese. I'm pretty sure I could have eaten this treat for every meal for 2 weeks straight without getting sick of it. Because that would do wonders for all the jiggle.

5. As much as I long to share some of the twenty or two hundred pictures I took of Jayci at the beach, I simply cannot do it. Why? Well, because I had to add my camera cord to the list of many, many things I need my sister to bring up to camp next week.

6. Speaking of camp. I will be heading there tomorrow morning. Maybe, if you're lucky, I'll even take you on a tour. Please try to contain your excitement.

7. Today marks the nine month anniversary of sweet Jayci's birth. And I must confess I have counted the months on my fingers more than a few times, just to be sure it's really already been nine months. Because I could have sworn it was yesterday. Alas, she has now been outside of me roughly as long as she was inside of me. And with this milestone, come the death of my plan dream. You know the one: nine months to put the weight on, nine months to take it off. But don't worry, I have come up with a much more reasonable and realistic plan: nine months to put the weight on, nine years to take it off.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This MIGHT get lengthy.

I just felt I needed to warn you that this could get long. Shocking, I know. Especially considering how CONCISE I usually am. But I just have SO much to tell you about. And it's all so fascinating (Or not. Whichever).

First of all, I need to brag humbly point out a few things about myself. As you may have noticed, I enter my gorgeous photography over at a little website called I Heart Faces(which, by the way, I adore. Oh and did I mention how humble I am?) In all seriousness though, there are some seriously talented photographers over there, and I feel like I learn so much from them all.

A few weeks ago, I entered my favorite face picture ever into one of their weekly contests. And they picked my entry as one of their winners! Seriously, I was shocked. Shocked I tell you.

And THEN they featured Jayci in their collage this week.Can you find her? Shhh - don't tell but she was celebrating a "pretend birthday" here. But doesn't she have the "oh I'm so surprised and happy it's my birthday?" look down pat? For realz y'all.

And THEN (as if it could get any cooler) I went to their website this week and saw that they picked me as their Fan of the Week! What an honor! And the sweet words about moi? Brought tears to my eyes (apparently, I'm both humble AND emotional).

Geez, even I'M starting to get sick of hearing about how great I am. So let me tell you about my Friday night, just to bring myself down to size a little.

So we had a girls' night for some of our kiddos downtown at my friend Amy's parents' house. My best friend Courtney is a professional make-up artist, so she gave the girls amazing make-overs. And they returned the favor.
(Please ignore my ridiculous "show off your make-up" expression. I dont have much practice with said look)

So as it turns out, I am clearly FAR too old for "slumber parties" (do they even call them that anymore?) How do I know? Well, on the morning after getting NO sleep on a sofa (because my legs are ridiculously long and gangly and didn't fit) I was walking down the stairs to wake up the girls, and my hip gave out. I'm lucky I didn't tumble to my death, or need hip replacement. And ever since then, I've been limping around with my hip slightly disjointed or something. I know right? I should start wearing depends and get fitted for dentures any day now. . .

The Face of Camp Grace

Well as it turns out, I decided (very last minute because I'm spontaneous like that) to go to the beach with my in-laws for the first half of the week this week. I know, I know, I told y'all I was leaving for camp today. And I fully intended to do that. Until, that is, Adam explained just how much manual labor there is left to do during "training week" at camp. I am far too lazy delicate to do manual labor. So I will head up to camp on Wednesday or Thursday. Hopefully, all that will remain is actual counselor training and planning, as opposed to work that involves physical exertion of any sort.

I am, however, very excited for the kiddos to start arriving at camp(which will be bright and early really late next Monday morning). So to hold me over until that time, I thought I'd enter one of my favorite faces from last year's campers in this week's I Heart Faces contest. (Sorry for my lack of coherent sentences today. And I dont want to hear one word about that being usual around here.)
Couldn't you just die? She's so beautiful and happy. And isn't camp clearly so much FUN?!

Check out all the talented photography over at I Heart Faces this week. I've said it once, and I'll say it again. You will NOT be disappointed.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tales From the Camp: Vol 2

Well, tomorrow's the big day. That's right - tomorrow, we leave for Camp Grace.

And would you believe it? My house is clean. Thanks mostly to my sister who came and helped me tackle it. Seriously, it took 2 days. Not that I would have ever let it get that bad or anything.

Anyhow, I thought that in honor of our departure (and because who knows when i'll be on here next with camp being in throes of finishing construction right now . . .) I would share one of my favorite moments from camp last year.
------
*Once again, names have been changed for protective purposes.

Meal times at Camp Grace are particularly fun affairs, full of laughter, spills and loud exclamations of delight over the quality of camp food. Or not so much that last one, but whatever.

Meals are taken in the large “Lodge” which is decorated with all manner of deer heads and stuffed quail. It’s charming, really.

After meals are over, cabins are dismissed one by one once they stack their chairs. This gives some of the leadership a chance to talk to the kids who are left hanging around and waiting for dismissal time. On this particular evening, one of the leadership team (we’ll call him Yelnats), was joking around with the youngest boys cabin. The littlest boy in the cabin, we’ll call him Junior, was also the most spirited and excitable kid at camp that week (and he threw the best tantrums but that’s another story for another day).
Yelnats noticed Junior was peering up at one of the large deer heads hanging on the wall next to a window. Then Junior would stare out the window, before walking back over to the deer and wrinkling his nose in confusion. Finally, Junior came up to Yelnats and asked him:

“Is that thing real?”

“Well, I suppose you could say that. Actually, it USED to be real and now it’s stuffed by what's called a "taxidermist," but yes it is a real deer head.” (notice how concise and well-spoken Yelnats is)

Junior furrowed his brow and peered out the window again. Desperately trying to see behind the deer's position on the wall.

“Well then,” he asked, “Where are its feet?”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An Ode to Cheese

As I may have mentioned a time or twenty on this here blog, I love me some cheese. I mean really love cheese.

Let's review the cheese-related deliciousness I have consumed so far this week:
Monday: Went to my favorite Mexican joint with my sisters and ordered cheese dip and a cheese enchilada (which, lets face it, is basically just cheese wrapped in a corn tortilla and covered with more cheese)
Tuesday: Took Sabo and his brother out for pizza - with extra cheese of course.
Wednesday: Made yummy corn/cheese dip (which consists literally of just corn and cheese) for my small group. I might have had ulterior motives. You know, like wanting to eat more cheese.
Thursday: Good ol' Kraft Mac and Cheese (with ketchup on top -- what? that's totally normal) for lunch.

So basically, it's been a good week. Now if I can just keep up this streak tomorrow, I'll be all ready to wear a bathing suit at camp for the next seven weeks. Actually, I read once that consuming dairy can help you lose weight. I'm positive they were talking about cheese of the fried variety. Absolutely positive.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Family First - A Vacation Tour

Well happy monday everyone. And I use the term "happy" loosely. I had a TERRIBLE day yesterday, and I managed to let those less than stellar feelings spill over into today.

Really, it's just a matter of slipping into forgetfulness. Forgetting to put my family first. Or rather, forgetting to put my Savior first. All of a sudden, I look around and realize that I am trying to minister, parent, lead, and accomplish on my OWN strength. And I feel like Peter, flailing and drowning because I took my eyes off my Master and the waves are threatening to overwhelm me. Waves like kiddos pushing back and acting disrespectfully. Like Jayci refusing to nap. Like our air conditioning crapping out right when Adam leaves for camp. . . It is in moments like these (and they come more often than I care to admit) that I am so grateful that we serve a God who is forgiving and merciful and loving. Because if I were Him? (And I think we're all glad I'm not) I would be flat-fed-up with me.

Since I could really use a vacation today, I figured why not take a virtual trip back to our first family vacation since having Jayci? Oh plus that's the theme this week at I Heart Faces.

Even though our trip was our first "family" vacation, we went with friends. But they're practically family, so I'm still counting it.
My little beach babe.
The girls and babies.
The boys spent probably 78% of the vacation trying to catch lizards. Oh look, they caught one!
And here's what they did when they weren't lizard hunting. Or eating, because we love to eat.
A good time was had by all.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tales from the Camp

*Please note that names have been changed to protect the innocent identities

One sunny day at Camp Grace, our fearless leader, let’s call him Pastor Steed, was busying himself with the business of the day. It was right in the middle of his morning game of Ticket to Ride that he heard it, a knock on the door that held a familiar insistence. This insistence could only mean one thing: discipline problems. Pastor Steed knew that since the problem had made it this far up the chain, it had to be serious. With a loud sigh, he went outside to deal with the boy, let’s call him Los.

Los was smaller than Pastor Steed anticipated, with deep brown eyes and sullen scowl on his face. The counselor in charge explained that Los was being insolent and fighting over everything, unwilling to listen, obey, or to participate in any activities. Los kept his face screwed into a scowl, with his arms crossed tightly across his small chest, throughout Pastor Steed’s talk with him about respect, obedience and so on and so forth. Finally, in exasperation, Pastor Steed told Los how rude it was to refuse to respond when adults were addressing them. Los shook his head slightly and uncrossed his arms. Pastor Steed felt a glimmer of hope and triumph; clearly he had broken through to this little boy.

“What do you have to say right now, Los?” Pastor Steed gently yet firmly prompted the young boy.

Los responded, with a look of obvious disgust: “Um, when is the last time you brushed your teeth?”

It is tender, sweet moments like this that make all of our hard work worthwhile.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Snapshots from Charleston

Adam and I just got back from enjoying a few days in Charleston. And can I just say it was delightful? For someone who is decidedly NOT Southern, I really do love southern food. And Charleston has plenty of it. And we pretty much plan our vacations around food, so this was a perfect trip for us. What? Y’all don’t do that? For me, once I finish breakfast, my mind immediately jumps to lunch.
We enjoyed shrimp and grits at SNOB (thanks carpoolqueen!) and some delicious biscuits and fried chicken at Poogan’s Porch.
Besides eating, we basically just walked around and took in the art galleries, boutiques and lovely charm that is Charleston. At one point, I’m pretty positive we walked at least 13 miles looking at obscenely large historic homes. Never one to stay quiet when I could be complaining, I loudly exclaimed to Adam that I could NOT WALK ANOTHER STEP. He laughed and kept going: which is a weird response, if you ask me.
I kept insisting that we had walked at least 13 miles, probably closer to 20. So Adam google mapped it when we got back to the hotel. And google maps said it was only 7.1 miles. But I still maintain that my ACHING FEET and sore muscles are far more accurate indicators of distance. Particularly because I keep them in such tip-top shape by exercising regularly. Or not.
I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I anticipated I would. Probably because I was missing my favorite subject (Jayci obviously). As it turns out, I don’t look as cute in a sunhat and chubby legs as she does. Anyhow, here is a few of the pictures I DID take. Charleston is a beautiful city. And I enjoyed it immensely, thanks for asking!




*Oh and look what Jayci learned how to do while we were gone. Yup, she can army crawl now . . .and pull herself up to standing, and go from her tummy to sitting up. Geez, you'd think we were gone for 2 weeks and not 2 days!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Heart Pretend Birthdays

Well Jayci has clearly not had an actual birthday yet. So I may or may not have "faked it" for this week's theme at I Heart Faces. Because I refuse to NOT enter two weeks in a row. I am persistent like that.

Since I'm on vacation (yay for relaxing in Charleston!) that's all the explanation you get this week. For more pithy and witty statements, you will just have to read my blog again sometime . . . Trust me you won't be sorry.

And don't forget, as always, there is LOTS of talent and fun over at I Heart Faces!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

Don't you like my post title? I just made it up, aren't I clever? Or it's a song title. Whichever.

For those of you who are regulars around here, (hi mom!) you might have noticed a little trend in our lives lately. I like to call it "the year of being entirely too busy to breathe, let alone clean my house." Because I am all about the succinct and pithy catch-phrases.

Needless to say, our weekend was busy. I honestly cannot remember what we did on friday. I apologize if anyone is reading this and I was hanging out with you on Friday night. It's not you, it's me.
*will somebody please get this poor girl a hair bow?!
Saturday we visited our kiddos (as usual) and had dinner with some long-lost friends. Sunday we had middle school group (which went MUCH better than last week, thanks for asking) and then brought some of the kids home with us. I need to sleep for many hours to make up for the amount of swimming we did with our kiddos. Here's photographic evidence of all the swimming.
My timid, shy little girl (note the sarcasm) LOVED the water. And I'm pretty sure that in this picture she is wondering why her daddy is wearing a headband.
And tomorrow morning? Adam and I leave for a MUCH NEEDED time away. Not to mention we are celebrating our anniversary a few months after the fact. We're headed to Charleston (I've never been. Dont worry, I'm sure I'll take LOTS of pictures!) and leaving Jayci for the first time for a few days. But I tell you what, a little bit of resting is going to do WONDERS for me as a mom, I just know it!

That said, I will catch y'all on the flip side. Oh I am on fire with the hip sayings today.

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