Monday, May 14, 2007

Camping with the Meeks

We spent the first weekend in May camping with the Meeks family. Will and I stayed with them in Jelico, TN back in the fall. They spend their time ministering to and serving the families in the community. Before they moved to Jelico, they were missionaries in Africa for 15 years. Needless to say, they are very inspiring to Will and I, and we just completely try to soak in all their advice for the ministry and child training. They are amazing parents and great servants in the Kingdom. We hope to share a lot of these camping trips with them in the future. We are taking our youth group to stay with them in Jelico the third week in June. I know all our kids will greatly benefit from the experience! We are so thankful that the Lord has blessed us with these new friends. This is a picture of Gaines in the tent. He thought the whole tent experience was the greatest thing ever! He especially loved wrestling in the tent. The funniest thing of the whole trip was Friday night when I brought him into the tent to put on his PJs. After I changed him he said, "mommy, you go out there and I'll sleep in here." I repeated what he said to make sure I was hearing him right. He said , "yeah." So, I gave him a flashlight and told him to turn it off when he was ready to go to sleep. I walked over to the camp fire and told Will what happened. We couldn't keep from laughing as we continued to look over at the tent for the next 10 minutes or so watching the light of the flashlight wind around the tent. We checked on him a few times, but before long the glowing light slowed down and eventually stopped. He was asleep! Our two year old put himself to sleep in a tent by himself in the the middle of the woods. Does this seem strange to anyone?!

This is Hannah and Donna fixing the veggies for dinner...everything taste 10x better roasted over a camp fire. They were delicious!

Our little fisherman.

Thursday night we ate steaks, drank Chai and chated around the campfire. Everything was great until the drizzle set in. I love camping, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHY IT ALWAYS HAS TO RAIN WHEN I GO!!!

This is Josh and Ben...our firewood collectors. They were quite the outdoorsmen.

Here is a picture of the Elk. We camping in Cataloochee. It's about an hour and 15 minutes from us. They reintroduced elk back into the area several years ago and now they roam around nearly like pets.

The boys watching the elk.

Here we are roasting "snake biscuits." A new camping treat we learned from the Meeks. Wrap biscuits around a stick, roast 'em and then sprinkle powdered sugar on 'em...mmmm!

Josh and Gaines were "fishing" in the puddles, Gaines would pull up his stick and say, "got a big one!"

Josh tought Gaines how fun puddles can be!

Yah gotta love the comfort of wet sweat pants...cozy.


At the end of April we went to Nashville for the weekend. Andrew and Erin had flown in as well. (By the way...they just found out that they are having a boy! She's due September 26...yeah!!!) Anyway, we got to see those two and the whole Tucker, Cromwell, Townsend clan. The highlights of the trip were Tucker and Karley's soccer games. If you haven't ever seen three year old playing soccer- you are really missing out! Below is a picture of Molly ( who wasn't feeling so hot). She has really grown since our last visit...she's walking all over the place.

Charlie and Gaines

The joy of Potty Training...
The park...our second home!

Meet Al. Al's mom (Ella) is Charlie's pony. He's pretty spunky for only being a couple days old!


Gaines had a fairly boring easter egg hunt due to the crummy weather on Easter. He didn't know any better fact, he thought it was pretty cool that there were eggs all over the living room. In the coming days I would catch him with chocolate all over his face and fingers as he had once again gotten into the eggs. He learned to climb whatever he needed to in order to get into that basket of chocolate paradise! I'd laugh and ask him what he was eating and he'd smile and say, "chockit...I want moooore." I think Mae Mae passed down her choclate taste buds to ol' Gaines.