Sunday, July 22, 2012

Girl's Camp 2012 - Tom the Toad's Revenge

As you know, we went to Girl's Camp 2 weeks ago.  We go to a camp in Georgia that is about 1 1/2 hours away.  It is on an island in the salt marsh in the Brunswick/Jekyll Island area.  It is also in the same area as The Cloister where Travis and I get to go each January and enjoy a very luxurious 3 days.  Camp is the polar opposite of The Cloister in all but one area - the food.  I really dreaded camp this year.  I really wanted to be at home.  I have done nothing but go to camps and be with teenage girls.  The very thought of packing my bags once again was overwhelming.  But I had given my word and was bound.  We arrived at the camp and everything was nice.  As you can see from the pictures,  it is really pretty.  It was hot.  Very hot.  However, at about 3:30 each day, the sea breeze would start to blow and I knew I'd be ok.  I suffered swollen ankles; however, a swim in the pool was all it took to bring them  back down for a few hours.  I would shower in the mid-morning.  By around 2:30-3 I was ready to jump in the pool.  It felt so good.  The girls were scheduled for swimming each day and it was the right thing to do.  I really encouraged the girls to get it and cool down their bodies.  Thirty minutes was all I needed to get the swelling down and feel like I could go on.  By the end of the night, it was time to get back in the pool for about 45 minutes.  Then the swelling was down and I was all cooled off to go to sleep.  Luckily, the girls were all well behaved, the crafts were fun, and enjoyed getting to know the ladies in the stake.

Each year, I have tie-dyed t-shirts with the girls in the ward.  This year the Young Women's presidency thought they'd give me a break and do something different.  The girls just stared at them and said, "ok, but we tie-dye."  So we tie-dyed.  We did camo colors for the jungle theme of the camp.  On camo day, we all wore our shirts and took a ward picture.  We also did "sister" pictures:
Sisters picture in their tie-dye camo shirts
Rozzie was a YCL (youth camp leader) this year.  She initially didn't like it because there is a lot of responsibility involved.  It didn't take long for her to decide that YCLing is really fun. Maddie was a 3rd Level camper this year.  Next year she'll graduate!!

As I have said, the food is the best at camp.  We have ladies from the stake who come up and cook for us.  Travis spent the week in the kitchen helping him and he learned what hard work it is!!  It is constant work.  But look at these cupcakes!  There was lemon, banana pudding, chocolate strawberry, red velvet, oreo, and s'more to choose from.  The rule was "One Cupcake", so I obeyed - I chose lemon.
The hardest part at camp is deciding which cupcake to choose.
Maddie's zebra outfit.
Skit night is another favorite.  I am always so amazed at how clever the kids are.  The leaders are always so worried about skit ideas, but the kids just love it!!  Maddie's group did a "Madagascar" scene.  The YCLs always do a skit about the camp.  Rozzie was the camp director, Sister Lyle.  Now, each level at camp was assigned a different animal.  The leaders were the toucans.  One day at camp was "wear your animal" day.  All the other leaders found or made toucan shirts, but Sister Lyle couldn't fine one so she strung up two cans and pinned them to her shirt, thus her two-can shirt.  For the skit, Rozzie got hold of her visor and cans and did a GREAT impression of her.  Sister Lyle has a VERY strong southern accent and she talks very slowly.  We were all cracking up!!
"Ah think...ah'm gonna make...the last!"
The car accident.
Something new this year was the mock first aid drills.  All week the girls had learned some first aid things and now it was time to put it into practice!!  The YCLs had different scenes set up.  One girl was "drowning" in the pool.  Some girls were suffering heatstroke and frostbite.  Then there was the car accident.  The girls went all out on each of the scenes, but the car accident was definitely the bloodiest.  They had a white hefty bag blown up and taped to the steering wheel.  The girls even had a reason for the accident:

O Tom the Toad
O Tom the Toad
Why did you hop
Out on the Road?
(repeat 1st stanza)

You used to be
A friend of mine.
But now you're just
A ball of slime.

O Tom the Toad.... (sung to O Tannenbaum)

While we were all camping, Morgan was home by herself being rather bored.  Our friend Linda took Morgan out for Yobe (Frozen Yogurt - totes the best hun cal fro yo) and they hatched a plan.  While we were posing for pictures as a family...
The Smiths at camp before we knew Morgan was coming.
Morgan and Linda were driving up to Camp Glynn.  Linda had to pick her kids up early, so Morgan came up for the evening and crashed camp.  She got a hero's welcome!  She was mobbed by bunches of girls.  It was fun to have her there for the last night/testimony meeting.  We are all home now.  The laundry is done.  The suitcases are put away.  The swelling has gone away.  We are clean.
Morgan's hero welcome!
Happy to have Morgan with us.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer and more Summer


Ok, now that you have recovered from your faint, here is what has been happening.  I have been asked, "How many days were you at home in June?"  The answer:  very few.  After a grand trip to Minnesota, I was home for one day to prepare for cheer camp at UCF (Univ. of Central Florida) in Orlando.  It was stressful getting everyone organized and down there, but once we got going it was fine.  There were 20 other teams at the camp and my kids learned some fun stuff - co-ed stunting will be fun and new for FIHS!  I was relieved that my kids were very well behaved and easy to be around.  I think I'll really like this group of kids.  They have a lot of fun together and seem to want to be there and be friendly to each other.  Here are my kids on the evening of the "Summer Splash Pep Rally" in all their pool floaties!!  The little flamingos are actually inflatable cup holders that they stuck on their pony tails.  Notice the boys dressed as the lifeguards!
 I brought the Varsity team home and the next day I took the JV team to Jacksonville University for their camp.  I don't have a JV coach right now so I had to do it.  I have was at cheer camp for 8 days straight.  It gets to be a lot.  Luckily, the JV team was also very well behaved and I had no problems with them either.  I almost wish I could be their coach, too, but there aren't enough hours!!

During my short time at home before dance camp, the dance team had their annual kidnapping.  Roz is now on the "kidnapper" end of it.  She slept at Nora's and then they came over and got Maddie at 5:00am.  Nora is Maddie's big sister.  (It is so strange to have these two driving!!)  It took Maddie a minute to figure out what was happening and then she paused and said, "Is this the kidnapping?"  She was game to go along then!!  They enjoy dressing them up in goofy clothes and hauling them off for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.
 Then we were off to Panama City Beach for dance camp.  This was rather exciting in that Tropical Storm Debby was churning in the gulf right off the coast of Panama City Beach!!  It is a 5 hour drive out there and we were really nervous about going.  Their coach had called to make sure the camp was still happening.  She was told that half the teams were already there.  When we looked at the radar on Monday morning and the storm was RAGING here in Jacksonville, we saw that it seemed to clear up a bit toward the west.  So we decided to go to Panama City Beach.  The rain was AWFUL for the first hour.  It was hard to see.  I got horrible gas mileage.  Then it cleared up and we just had rain showers the rest of the day.  It rained all that day, but then the next day dawned bright and beautiful!  Guess what...Debby turned eastward, forgot about Panama City Beach, and made a bee-line for Jacksonville.  We lost electricity, homes were flooded, roads washed away.  It was the right choice to leave town!

At the dance camp, I was able to relax a little bit.  I stayed with a friend from the neighborhood who moved out there.  She lived 2 miles from the resort where the girls had their camp AND she is across the street from the beach.  It was a great trip.

Here are the new freshmen for the year.  This year there are 7 freshmen which is a lot to think about.  We are really excited that Maddie is one of them.
 Rozzie is moving up in the dances, now that she has more experience and is the junior officer.  She is easier to see now - close to the front!  She is getting to be a pretty good dancer, too!!  So here she is dancing and then with her senior officers.  This picture is taken on their 13th floor balcony on the day that Debby was deciding what to do.  They opened the balcony door and the curtains were sucked out the window and stuff started flying through the apartment/condo like a tornado.  It was really funny.
Rozzie dancing in her home routine
 And here they are, both together on the team.  And we also think that Maddie has grown recently.
 We all went out to eat one night on the beach.
 And now for another beach.  Travis turned 50 this year and I got him a baseball stadium book and tickets to see the Tampa Bay Rays play the New York Yankees in Tampa.  Well, Tampa is 4 hours away so I also booked us two nights on Anna Maria Island.  Ten years ago we found a little tiny beach cottage rental - nothing fancy - but nice and cute.  I re-found it and that is where we stayed.  Our first night there we walked the beach and watched the sunset.  I was very intrigued by these little shells.  As the waves came in and out these shells would be left behind and then they would burrow themselves into the sand.  Sometimes it was the opposite.  Waves would cover them and so as the wave pulled back, these little shells would climb out of the sand.  Upon close investigation, we could see the little, clear legs or feet of these creatures.  I could sit and watch them for hours!!

Rays up to bat
Yankees up to bat

 At the game we were on the 3rd deck right behind home plate.  Here is a picture of the usher in our section.  I called him "Eddie Two Hats".  I got his name "Eddie" off his name tag and he got the "Two Hats" because he wore...2 hats.  It didn't take long to figure that the white hat was on top when the Rays were batting and the black hat was on top when the Yankees were batting.  Also notice the tattoo.  It is a sleeve.  Trav and I spent a lot of time watching him.

There was a foul ball hit two sections to the right of us, then one was hit two sections to the left of us.  I mentioned to Travis that maybe we needed to get seats in those sections the next time.  I spoke to soon! A little later on, a foul ball was it way high up and it kept coming down, down, down...and I started to worry, and panic, and think that I don't catch, and this was going to hurt really bad, and I couldn't get away. and then the man in front of me put his hand up in front of my face and tipped the ball into the lap of the girl behind me.  Travis was focusing on texting Rozzie and I had asked him to and didn't catch onto what was happening in time to react.  We were so close to a broken nose and a foul ball off Swisher.  It was rather exciting.  

Here is a picture of the little place we stayed.  There are a few little buildings in this place and we had a little studio off the back with a little kitchenette.  There was a grill that we used one night.  It was all very nice and a great couple days of down time.  
Now I'm all packed for Girl's Camp which starts tomorrow!!