Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Yay, I'm Back!!!
A Weekend Update for Random Tuesday

Let me just start this by saying (or screaming, actually!): "I can't STAND IT when my Internet is down!!!!!" Ugh!! I got home from our weekend at camp on Sunday evening, all ready to update with pictures and stories, and my Internet was down! Then yesterday, the girls were home from school for President's Day, so I had plenty of time to update my blog. But what's this? Yep, the Internet was still down!! I had pretty much given up--and figured that you all would think I had dropped off for the face of the earth and that I would never get to answer some important emails I had waiting for me. And then, lo and behold, this morning it reappeared! So, here I am at last (not the any of you were eagerly anticipating my return that much, but one can dream... lol!)

Well, we had a WONDERFUL weekend at camp although we came back SO exhausted. That always happens! We stay up very late both Friday and Saturday night, playing games and talking with friends and then have to sleep on not-so-comfortable bunk beds, and then we pay for it on Sunday. But... it's a price worth paying!

The weekend was SO cold that we spent most of the time indoors. We rocked by the fireplace, played games, sang music, and did as many activities inside as possible. Delaney did venture up the mountain with friends (this is a BIG activity for the weekend; we usually trek the mile and a half up the mountain to reach the cross and chapel on top), but it was too cold to get Sydney out for that long. (And my camera's batteries died at mid-day on Saturday, so I couldn't send the camera with her for some gorgeous photos of the view! wah!)

It SNOWED on Saturday night and the kids were all insane with happiness! Squealing, jumping around, catching snow in their mouths (or, wait, was that me doing that? Yep, I think it was!) Sydney even made up the Snow Song ("snow, snow, snow, snow... snow, snow, snow, snow" in the cutest little tune!). That was fun!

We had an awesome speaker with us for the weekend who did three sessions for us on Loving God and Loving One Another. He was so funny (he's also a stand-up comedian!) and inspirational! My favorite quote of the weekend was: "We can only truly know and love one another when we know the songs of each other's hearts." He challenged me to reach out to those around me and try and discover the "songs" of their hearts, so that I can really connect with others--both friends and those that I "know" I like, but also those who are "un-loveable" to me.

How about some pictures?

A glimpse of the scenery, looking down on the lodge where we stay (and then two other shots outdoors) ...

The first big "event" of the weekend is making signs for our room door. Here are Gary and Scout in front of ours...

Home away from home (very rustic and uncomfortable, but part of the appeal. LOL) ...

We spent a lot of time by the fire . . .

Playing games with friends was a highlight of the weekend. We played 80s Trivia (none of us did as well as we'd expected!), Phase 10 (our current fave card game), Apples to Apples (SO fun for a big group, we played it many times and just laughed and laughed!; need to check that one out!), and Scrabble . . .

Lots of free time meant Sydney racing through the halls . . .

Jump rope...

Camp food (it was nice to get home to "real" food) . . .

Wonderful music . . .

Fun with friends...

Hanging out at the playground (it was SO cold, but Sydney did not want to leave!). . .

Camp Sumatanga is SO gorgeous! The natural beauty of the place just blows me away. It is so relaxing and serene, and it is a place that really connects you with God. A few shots of the views . . .

So, as you can tell... we had a wonderful time and can't wait for next year!

Since I'm up and connected again with the Internet, I haven't been to any of your blogs. But I hope to stop by today sometime! I hope all of you had a great weekend too!

Now, this is Random Tuesday but since my weekend update was a day late I'm not doing anything "sexy" for my post today. Just thought I'd give you my list of 5 Things I'm Looking Forward to This Week:

(1) Seeing my friend Jeff this weekend!!!!!!! Jeff was one of my best college friends and he is flying in from New York City this Thursday. He and my best friend, Angela, and I are all getting together either Thursday or Friday (still making the arrangements!). The three of us had such a wonderful time back in school (can it really have been almost 20 years ago??!!) and we can't wait to all see each other!!

(2) Teaching my Calendar Class at Scrapbook Mania tonight! I'm teaching this class each month through the year, and we will be making a new layout using a different technique each month. Really looking forward to it! (will take pics!) (I am also looking forward to Maniac Madness, a scrapbook weekend being hosted by the store this coming weekend; I won't be able to go to all of it, but will be helping with a mini album class and hope to get some cropping time in!)

(3) Celebrating my Dad's birthday on Saturday! My Dad's birthday was Sunday (Happy Birthday Dad!), but we can't get together to celebrate until Saturday. Will be fun, as always!

(4) Watching Alabama play their way into the NCAA basketball tournament! We had a big win Saturday against Kentucky and have two more games this week. I'm gonna cheer REALLY loud this week for them. Roll Tide!

(5) Getting started with Softball!! It's the time of year that Softball becomes the all-consuming activity for our family! McKenna plays at our local park (Gary will be coaching her team this year, which is going to be really different; he has coached Delaney since she was 5!), and Delaney plays both for the park and also for the Birmingham Thunderbolts travel team. Delaney has been having Bolts practices all winter long and we will start tournament play on March 10. Our park practices will start this week! It takes up pretty much ALL of our time, but we LOVE it!! (Scout was at the ballpark when she was 3 days old and we all love sports so much--we just have a blast with it!)

Okay, so if you want to join in... let us all know about 5 things you're looking forward to this week!

So glad to be back online!!!


aimee said...

So glad you had a great weekend. It is always nice to get away!

Have fun with your class. That sounds great!

Mississippi Songbird said...

Oh, Wonderful Pictures and great blog!

I'm so glad you had such a good time..I'm so ready to get away myself..
That looks like a very exciting place to be..


Anonymous said...

Looks like a GREAT weekend!

Amanda said...

Hey Cheryl, the pictures are amazing and it does look like you had a WONDERFUL WONDERFUL time....how nice and what a wonderful time with the family, it always rejuvinates you.....looks like FUN! Looking forward to family, fun, fellowship, food, and something else that starts with an F???? Talk to you soon!!!

Ryan said...

Yes, camp was a blast!! I'll be uploading my pics tomorrow and will send you copies of the ones I took of Syd. Later!!

Linda said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend Cheryl. I have loved retreats since I was a teenager. There is just something about them that is such fun. The pictures are wonderful.
Your week should be full and fun. Glad you're back!!

jessi said...

so happy to have you back!!! glad your weekend was such great experience!! looks like it was a total blast!!! love those photos...reminds me of BC so much!!! beautiful!!! have a great day!!! ciao girl!!

NMOTB said...

Geesh I am glad you are back - I was getting abit worried, hence the comment I left on the previous post!!!!!!!! Looks like fun was had by all!!!

Take Care

Adrienne " A little dramatic at times" said...

Great pics!! Glad you are back yay!

Cheryl Wray said...

Aimee--It was so nice to get away! Can't wait for my class!
Songbird--You would love this place!!!
Anon--Oh, it was!
Amanda--We did have a great time! All those Fs are good!! lol
Ryan--Yay! I can't wait to get that pic of Syd you took at the playground!!
Linda--Yes, retreats like this are just so great! I also have fond memories of church camp from WAY back!! Love those memories!
Jessi--It is such a pretty place! And great times!
New Mom--I hate being out of the loop, even if for a day or two! I always worry about blog friends when they don't reappear like usual!! lol
Adrienne--We made it back, just a little tired!!!

Stephanie C said...

So happy to have you back gf!! And no it's not your imagination...You are very much missed!!!!
What a great time it looks like you guys had!!! Hehe I will trade ya temps...we were at -10 with the windchill this weekend...neener...wish I could walk around in a hoody!! But spring is coming!!
I am going right now to post my 5 things on my blog :)

Susie Q said...

I am so glad to see you had wonderful times in such a beautiful place. Loved your pictures...: )
Have fun with your class...lucky people to be able to have you as an instructor.
You have such a great week planned! Have fun!
I am looking forward to this coming Monday (less than a week!)
since Bill will be home for good! Yippee! he will be working here in OH now! Yippee!

Have a good week dear Cheryl!


Phats said...

1. Cheering loud for Purdue
2. Cheering loud for Purdue
3. Cheering loud for Purdue
4. Cheering loud for Purdue
and 5. Did I mention cheering loud for Purdue

Such an exciting time of the year!!

Our snow is FINALLY melting in the 40's today YAY that feels like a heat wave compared to what we have had

Michelle said...

welcome back! It looks and sounds like your family had an absolutely wonderful time at this camp retreat!

Jeff said...

Good to hear you guys had such an awesome weekend. Here's my five for the week:

1) Well, it equals Cheryl's. I'm looking forward to coming down to Bama and seeing my mom along with Cheryl, Angela and some other friedns.

2) It's only a two day work week! With President's Day off and then leaving for Bama on Thursday, it's a short week and that's always a good thing.

3) The icky black snow is finally melting. We got into the mid-40s today (it's actually 43 even now as I write this at almost 9pm). Will be very happy to see that gone.

4) Getting my back to stop hurting! I tweaked my lower back pretty bad playing hockey Sunday night. I'm ready for that to stop, and it nearly is. Hopefully tomorrow will put an end to it.

5) Will be very happy to come home to Will Sunday afternoon. As good as I know the trip to Bama will be, it will be most excellent to be back home becuase I know I will miss Will the days I am gone.

See you Thursday or Friday (I'll email tomorrow morning to confirm, just gonna talk to my mom one last time)

Crazy Working Mom said...

I always love to come see all of your lovely photos! That Scout is too cute...all three of your girls are beautiful.

Glad your internet is cooperating now!

Tawnya said...

I love this post. It was exactly what I needed to read. Thank you. The weekend sounds wonderful. Sounds refreshing. Hugs, Tawnya

Phats said...

Any idol thoughts?

toya said...

great post, I love the photos, and I'm happy you had a fun weekend!

Missy's Blog said...

Wow ... the camp sure is a beautiful place. So glad your family had such a lovely time!

Gin said...

Gret pics, Cheryl. I love em! (Makes me wish I could have a get-away!)

Silent One ~D~ said...

Great post... LOVED The pictures... what a beautiful place!!!
Sounds like everyone had a great time!!!

The things I am looking forward to this week are. My daughters final 2 hockey games before the playoffs. My son's 3 hockey games. My hubby's birthday on the weekend... and hopefully taking in a movie this week. Oh and watching LOST , Heros (which scares me) and Amazing Race!

Rene said...

You are so much fun!!! And making me want to go camping with these FAB pictures!!!

I'm going to post the "5 things" on my own blog today...