Friday, October 21, 2011


On the weekend of Joey's first birthday, our church hosted a family retreat at a  beautiful

and rustic camp in rural Maryland.

We made plans last year to attend, loaded the car and drove to pick Joe up from the metro station.  While we were waiting to pick Joe up I started having contractions.  Needless to say, we missed the retreat last year with another kind of wonderful adventure, but we were glad to join in on the fun this year.

We enjoyed: family-style dining where Xandra spent a meal at a table with other kids instead of our family's table;
times of corporate worship,

where our kids were more entertained by playing with the pills from this doormat than by the service;

a chilly swim in the pool,

where Joe raced Colin only to find out he was the only one racing and where Aliyah proved how big her mouth really is;

smores by the campfire, where Joe found the PERFECT marshmallow roasting stick and Joey was so exhausted that he slept in my arms;

pretend cakes created by Xandra

this was Joey's birthday cake.

and lots of

family time,

sweet smiles

outdoor adventures,

and fun.

Also on the list of adventures was Theia and Xandra's first night in the top bunk of a bunkbed and two nights in a room with the entire family.  There are some advantages to sleeping three children ages 5, 3, and 2 in the same bed in the same room at home.  They don't bat an eye when three other people join them for the night.

All in all, it was a great weekend, however, sleeping six to a room, chasing kids around camp for a weekend, killing spiders bigger than Joey's hand, staying up late playing the train game and enjoying the company of fellow friends has a way of making one feel like they need a retreat when they get home from the retreat.

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