This past weekend we had a couple of families staying with us (the Corders and Davidsons) while they were here for the Winter Retreat at church. We had a lot of fun and stayed very busy (and are tired now! :-) ). This post has a bunch of pictures from various things that we were involved in.
On Friday before the Retreat actually started we and the Corders went over to my parents and had fun sledding. There was a lot of snow plus a steep hill (the picture doesn't do it justice) and the snow was spraying like crazy and left us gasping for breath but we had fun.
We also got a lot of good exercise, especially since not only were we climbing the hill but also hauling little kids up.
Mara got such pretty rosy cheeks.
Friday night was the official start of the Retreat. That night most out of towners are just arriving and we have a time of fun and games, usually relating to the bible. We also end with snacks. We usually use it as an ice breaker and it is for the whole family so we try to make it fun for the kids. We also broke up into teams to try to mix people up.
This year our emphasis was from the verse: "Love the Lord your God with all hour heart, with all you soul, with all you mind, and with all your strength."
For the game that is pictured above each team had a specific colored balloon tied to their ankle and in the balloons were color coded papers that had a portion of a verse on them. All the teams had to try to pop balloons belonging to the other teams and try to find the papers that belonged to their team so that they could find out what their verse was. All the verses had to do with our soul.
We also had some impromptu skits where each team was assigned a story as well as 15 odd words that they had to include in their skit. The picture above includes Billy Wallace (one of the speakers at the Retreat) dressed up to be Daniel's "Wife" for the skit of "Daniel and the "hippo" den." It was quite humorous.
Saturday we had some good sermons by Billy and Jason. They team preached both morning and afternoon. The theme was "Step into the Fire". They spoke a lot on Truth, the need to except the truth, stand up for it and be honest about ourselves and be willing to confess to others the struggles that we have.
The weather was incredibly warm. In the afternoon many played broomball and the kids had fun making snowmen and snow forts. Megan and I had fun working on a snowman and Keren, Peggy and Becky helped us too.
Some used the afternoon for music making. I thought this little scene with Dale (Blanshan) playing and singing and D.J. intently listening was very cute.
Saturday afternoon before the second sermon we acted out the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. It was rather fun. Ken did video it for us but I haven't uploaded it yet.
Saturday evening we went home and hung out there and my sister Anna and her kids came over as well. We had 15 kids in the house. The youth (teens and college age) were having an activity which included doing some service projects. I was asked if some could come over to my house to do some sort of job and then I would "pay" them with something they could take to the homeless shelter (all my Walgreens deals came in handy!).
We had a group of 7 come to our house and that ended up being quite fun. I decided since we had an abundance of children we would have activities that went along with child care. Above Peggy is reading stories to several of them.
Summer also got in on the story reading.
Here Becky was making the kids a snack of popcorn and Joel had volunteered to do the clothes folding (he comes from a family of nine kids and I suppose he has had to do that quite bit). Michelle is in the picture watching and visiting. Anna, Michelle, Christy and I all had fun doing that.
Anya played Dutch Blitz with Alexis and Malia. Dutch Blitz is a pretty fun game, by the way.
Kalai put curlers in Mara's hair and Margaret was waiting in case she would have time to fix her hair too.
Cassie played "Connect 4" with Jonathan.They all did a great job and we had fun having them over for a little while.
On Sunday morning Emily and I taught a class for the kids ages 3-12. We taught on the Armor of God. We kept it pretty active with a little skit/lesson, a game of Hunker Houser (above), a object lesson about how armor protects us, reading about it in Eph. 6, singing a song and playing "pin the armor on the man.". It went pretty well but was a little chaotic with a lot of kids in a wide range of ages. We are a little in awe of how public school teachers manage bunches of kids by themselves day after day!
Though it felt like was almost constantly on the go at the Retreat it was still a lot of fun and quite encouraging. I loved all the fellowship with Christians from near and far.