summer time and the livin' is lazy...

too lazy to type on the computer anyway. 

and it has rained all summer. everyday i think... 

though all it has harvested in our yard is some monster weeds that are threatening to take over our home. unless i do something about these weeds. and if i am not getting up to type on the computer, do you think i am getting out to pull weeds?

i know that this season of rain and afternoons spent on the couch with my kids, spent at the beach house with my family, spent eating late night dinner and even later night popcorn with my teenagers, not doing anything of any importance may yield something... 

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hosea 6...

Come, let us return to the Lord.

He has torn us to pieces

    but He will heal us;

he has injured us

    but He will bind up our wounds...



...Let us acknowledge the Lord;

    let us press on to acknowledge Him.

As surely as the sun rises,

    He will appear;

He will come to us like the winter rains,

    like the spring rains that water the earth...

Also for you, Judah,

    a harvest is appointed...

 

i feel like this spring was a tearing to pieces of some things in my life in a sense and now is a season of rain... and one day a harvest? 

that is usually how God works. let me only press on to acknowledge Him...

that word "acknowledge" in the hebrew means "to know by experience".  not to hear about it and know. not to read it and know. but to LIVE IT and KNOW.

and to "press on" is to pursue it, to chase after this experienced knowledge. TO RUN AFTER these experiences that cause me to KNOW that He is loving and He is good when all the things happening are contradictory to those conclusions. what?!?!? chase after THOSE experiences? for me it is more like drag myself reluctantly (is there a hebrew word for "drag yourself reluctantly"? it would be really handy for situations that i find myself in...)

a harvest is appointed for those who press on... 

on the road again...

home for less than a week. and heading out again. up to camp crestridge and camp ridgecrest to pick up our happy campers.

then spending the weekend in brevard, nc with adam's family.

on sunday maxx, his friend wil (who is spending the weekend as part of the marshall family. for the second year in a row.) and i will head down to the north georgia mountains for leon high school cross country camp. the boys are running. i am cooking food for all the cross country runners. not sure which is harder. okay, the running twice a day might be the harder gig. but meals for 20 runners? that is quite a marathon in itself...

adam and the girls head home. i will head home wednesday night after dinner and arrive home late in the night because millie is scheduled for wisdom teeth extraction early thursday morning. watch for youtube videos of her under the influence of the drugs to be posted soon. let's hope it is even greater than this video...

maxx and the cross country team will come home on sunday. hope they can forage for food without me for a couple of days (oh, who are we kidding? i will be leaving them lots of food in the fridge. spaghetti sauce. casseroles. taco soup. etc...)

and Lord willin' and the creek don't rise once maxx is home... all marshalls will be together.

and then school starts again. boo.

let's look at some pictures from the camp website of my kids at fun fun summer camp to drive that last sentence about school out of our consciousness, shall we?

there aren't many maxx sightings because he is in the sioux tribe this year and they are out hiking the appalachian trail for the majority of the two weeks. can't wait to see his laundry...

don't you wish you were me...

...maybe not with over 300 blog posts to still be added to this blog. one by one. photo by photo. it is a bit unnerving and overwhelming and tedious BUT it has its moments of fun as i slowly wade through the past 6 years post by post. and it is a bit disconcerting how many things i had forgotten ALL about until i reread my blog posts. they say the memory is the first to go. the second is the ability to finish what you...

so you may not wish to be me ...but then let me remind you that i am going on a cruise later this week!

are you rethinking your answer?

and not only am i going on this cruise BUT i am in charge of planning and implementing all the teenager activities. so not only do i go on an awesomely fun cruise BUT i hang out with cool young people on the cruise. win/win!

and to really make you all jealousy here is a sneak peak at one of the activities that i am planning....

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i have been working on getting all of the games set up (the amazing race one will be planned mostly on the boat once we see the ship and figure out what the road blocks and detours can be for each stop along the route. but i do have all the detour, road block, route info and route marker flags ready.) sometimes being a meticulous planner AND a spontaneous wacky game lovin' gal works itself out in some kind of perfect storm of magically delicious fun. this is one of those times.

i am super duper excited about the FOUR teen only events that i am in charge of... first because i love to be in charge. second because they are going to be so much fun! and third because i have maxed out on the cute graphics and lamination with the little details of the games and that makes me very happy. nothing like the smell of laminating in the morning...

i am going to try to blog some from the ship. especially with my new cool squarespace blog that enables me to blog from any place where i can get the internet and have access to a computer. my me.com blog could only be updated from my own computer. on my own desk. in my own house. a bit more limiting indeed. 

affable blue whale...

that is maxx’s new name. because he obtained the rank of little chief at camp ridgecrest

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here is what he had to do to obtain this rank. it was his second attempt (he was tapped out last summer but didn’t pass the “fire portion” of the test due to ALL the rain they had experienced that week.) 16 boys were tapped out and only three passed the test for his session.

The highest rank attainable at Camp Ridgecrest is that of Little Chief. Once a camper has reached the rank of Scout (and is at least 12 years old), he is eligible to be tapped out for the Little Chief Test. The Test consists of the following: at about 11:15 at night, the candidates are brought down to Roger’s Retreat, the staff lounge, where they are read the Little Chief Charge. They are then led in prayer and walked to the Catawba Trail, where they are given an hour to collect wood. At the end of the hour, they must strike their first of two matches. If their first match does not light, they are given an additional half-hour to collect more wood and restructure their fire. They then must light their second match. If their second match does not light, they have failed the Little Chief Test. They may not use paper, straw, leaves or any other artificial material, to start their fire.

If either match lights, they must continue to feed the flame and keep the fire burning until approximately 6:00 AM, at which point they will be instructed to extinguish their fires. They will then be driven to the base of Mt. Kitazuma, which they will run up at a pace determined by the Little Chiefs. There will be a Little Chief in the front and in the back. They may not pass the Little Chief in the front or be passed by the Little Chief in the back. They may not take any shortcuts, walk around corners, or otherwise break the pace of the run. If they fall, they must get up again immediately and continue.

Upon reaching the top of Mt. Kitazuma, they are led in a devotion and given an opportunity to focus on the One who will continue to be with them throughout the day. They are driven back to camp and allowed to shower and eat breakfast before writing a 1500-word essay entitled “What Camp Ridgecrest Means To Me.” The essay must be coherent, relevant to the subject, and 1500 words in length. It must be turned in to the Camps Director by lunch.

After lunch, the candidates perform hard labor for Council Ring, such as moving logs, making torches and smudge pots, and dying sawdust. The hard labor continues until 6:00 at Retreat, at which point the test is officially ended by the Camps Director.

For clarity’s sake, one of the hardest parts of the test has been left unexplained until now: the silence ban. From the moment the candidates step off the porch of Roger’s Retreat until the moment the test is ended by the Camps Director (that is, for approximately 18 hours), the candidates may make no audible noise. They may not speak or even grunt. Notes of communication are allowed only to members of the Central Staff and to Little Chiefs. The Silence Ban is a very important part of the Little Chief test, because it tests the candidates’ own self control. If a candidate fails any portion of the test at any time, he is honor bound to turn himself in.

Candidates who fail to complete all sections of the test are given the rank of Buck. Buck is a rank of extreme respect and honor in Council Ring. Bucks are eligible to be tapped out for Little Chief if they return to camp next summer.

Candidates who successfully complete all sections of the test are given an Indian name and a Little Chief knife along with the sign and rank of Little Chief. They are the only campers with Indian names. Little Chiefs are the only campers allowed to talk in Council Ring. They are the only ones who may wear the blue and white war paint or breastplates. The Little Chiefs are responsible for setting up Council Ring every Sunday night. Little Chief is the highest honor a camper at Camp Ridgecrest can attain. It is also the highest rank one can carry in Council Ring.

really, i have never been prouder as the mother of a blue whale. bring on the krill...

the BEST part of the whole ceremony was when his counselor told me what happened right before he left the camp to start the test. millie was able to come over from the girls’ camp to pray with him before the test began. right as maxx was leaving to go out and start the test millie RAN back over to him. she untied one of her thread bracelets from her arm and retied it onto his arm. maxx’s counselor said that it made tears come to his eyes to see how sweet their relationship was and how she did that right at the end for him. 

millie AND rosie were able to go back over to see him complete the test successfully and be among the first to congratulate him. i love that they let siblings do that. i am sure that it is one of the moments that he will remember forever. no photos. no video. just their memories of rejoicing with each other.

there is a GREAT moment in the camp DVD that we were given of his whole cabin running up to hug him after he was announced as a little chief. this year four of his BEST friends were at camp with him. the luca boys, our former neighbor harrison (who just moved to orlando), and christian (another friend who has been in school with him for 9 years now). and to see these childhood friends running up to attack him with congratulations is just so amazing. i could watch that 3 seconds on the DVD over and over (and have done so several times).