Last weekend we headed up North to go to the Jackpine Retreat. That is an annual weekend church camp that I have attended since I was a baby (I have missed two years of my life - both times I lived out of state and one of those times I was nearly due to have Mara). It is one of the highlights of our year. We meet up with a bunch of other Christians (and most of them homeschooling families) in the woods of Northern MN to do some rustic camping together for a weekend. We sing praise to God sitting around a campfire and spend some time listening to sermons together as well. It is a blessing to us. We love the relaxed times of fellowshipping with others.
Most all of my extended (brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and my parents for one day) go as well. It is always fun to spend more time with them.
My sister Anna and my Brothers son, my nephew, Buirlen.
My in-laws got to go for the first time this year as well. It was fun to have them there. They are used to camping but I don't think they normally have gone when it is this cold and wet. But they came prepared.
Ken and his Dad enjoy playing games together (our family in general enjoys games) and here they and Ken's cousin Christy and Mara and cousins were playing Settlers of Catan.
We all set up our own little campsites here and there and cook our own meals though some groups tend to cook together. My nephew Ephraim who is one was camping at a different spot but he walked over on Saturday afternoon to say "Hi" and then he and I had fun hanging out together for a little while.
My brother Luke built a new outhouse for one end of camp while we were up there this weekend. The one that had been on that end was rather old so it got burnt down. Many turned out to watch. :-)
Rain coats were the jacket of choice this past weekend as it rained off and on sometimes really hard and sometimes really lightly. My niece Molly had been wearing her papa's raincoat around and she thought it was rather big so she and Bea (another niece) decided to share it.
When cleaning up from camping Ken always likes to vigorously shake out the tarps. I guess that was something that he learned from his dad and he remembers fondly doing that with his dad as a child. It was fun to come up on them shaking a tarp together when we were packing up at Jackpine.