This year has definitely been a year of firsts and year of stepping out of our comfort zone. None more dramatic than our July 4th holiday. We found ourselves in Syracuse spending the weekend with some precious friends and their extended family, who happen to have 12 kids. Altogether that boils down to 1 grandma, 6 parents, 23 kids.
We thought we were heading to the mountains to escape the heat for a few days. Seriously, our friend told us the evenings would be cool and we might consider packing a space heater for Addison. I think you duped us, Dawn! I am glad we skipped the heater since we ended up in the middle of what they claim is an unusual heat wave.
Seriously, it was so hot! It wasn't actually any hotter than it gets here in the summer but at home we have lots of creature comforts like the pool, a bath, fans and air conditioning! The girls and I finally gave up on makeup and hair. You won't see many photos of the ladies in this post. But we were actually there, sweating it out, having a million laughs, sharing good fellowship and just having a great time.
And Samuel liked joining the back seat club. Who knew this would be our last car trip in the beloved Mr. the King!
Let's see, who could those pink suitcases belong to?
Mella passed the drive looking at photos on my phone and playing with the princess glasses.
Yeah, breakfast at Starbucks. It makes everyone smile.
Adams Eden Camp by early afternoon. It was a lot later than we had planned and did I mention it was HOT!
Hannah and Elisabeth immediately settled into a bunk with some books while the rest of us unpacked and shopped for groceries. It took Emma about 30 minutes to get beds made and everything arranged just right. She is such a great home maker!
We got to know our hosts, Paul and Linda Adams, over a cook out for dinner. Than manned the grill.
And the beautiful Miss Linda with Addison. Can you imagine she has 12 children?
Don't worry, Emma. That manicure will not last very long.
Exhausted, we decided to skip the fireworks and put the little ones to bed early. Kaitlin said Matt let her win this game.
Friday morning we had a great 2 mile hike... all up hill.
Three fourths of the Adams family... Hannah, Matt and Dawn. Look, they are still smiling!
How cute is this group of little blondies?
The view at the overlook was absolutely breathtaking.
And look at those smiles.
We are still smiling because we knew the way back was all downhill. ☺
With the heat it was hard to get Addison to wake up most of the weekend. He did open his eyes long enough for us to show him the vista.
The camp has lots of natural beauty and lots of different ways to experience God's nature. The river walk sounded like a lot of fun but was not something we could do with the babies. Us mama's hung back with the little ones and the fathers took the bigger kids. There are several amazing waterfalls and a mud slide along the river.
And if they didn't get wet enough on the hike, an incredible rain storm came through as well. Which made those of us back at the lodge very grateful.
Ellie spent some time dancing in the rain and splashing in puddles to cool off.
It seems there were piles of muddy shoes every where I looked through the weekend.
In the evening, the older of the Adam's children came to hang out with our kids and play games. Our boys got a game of monopoly going with the younger boys, the little girls colored pictures and the big kids pulled out a lot of food and card games while swapping stories of home school life and big families.
Elisabeth wasn't so sure about it but she finally decided to go for a trip harnessed to Pa.
After harnessing in, Samuel was hooked to a cable.
They take off running down hill
And brave Kaitlin ends up hanging like a rag doll 50 feet in the air.
I was shocked that Hannah and Elisabeth thought this was amazing fun. Personally, I was more than happy to observe from the ground.
Addison got cuddle time in with everyone.
Refreshed and well fed, Saturday evening we headed back to the overlook for a bonfire. This time we went up by tractor. There were s'mores lots of chit chat and some good old fashion hymns to see us through the evening.
In the afternoon the Pas took the kids to the pond to swim and paddle boat.
After dinner we planned on shooting off some fireworks and playing with sparklers. When the rain delayed the fun we got a game of Ship is Wrecked going.
When we all finally came indoors, the kids played cards and ate... again. It truly is amazing how much food young adults can put away and still stay tiny! Allen and I had a sweet time of fellowship with both sets of the Adams family.
Monday we had to pack up and hit the road. It is never easy going back to reality after vacation. In this case, though, we were grateful knowing we'd have private showers and air conditioning waiting for us at home.
Usually when we are traveling we stop for just a five minute bathroom break or two. But on this day we just kind of felt like puttering. We stopped about half way and had a long leisurely lunch at Pannera.