Day One

Well here she is, the little camper!  Can you imagine the day when she goes to camp "for real??"  I think I will cry :)  I would love for you to know that she is having a wonderful time so far and is adjusting to her surroundings and "schedule" beautifully.  I am so grateful tonight that after all my worrying and dread, the Lord has very faithfully answered my needs and given me a day that has been very smooth, from start to finish.  We've had a good first day at camp, nothing terrible has happened and the weather has been picture perfect.  Last night, we even got an incredible lightening show as storms brewed all around us, but left us untouched.  So neat to see the Lord cover our camp from that with His hand and keep our campers safe and dry.

  Travis talked to the kids about their heritage last night and what that means and today Jason talked to them about heroes.  It's been great to see them respond so well and to know that all these seeds that are being planted in their hearts and minds, may be the one thing God uses later in their lives to speak truth to them.  We know that camp is a different experience for every kid and we are trying our best to tailor our care to their needs.  I keep asking the Lord to give me eyes that see the kids who need us most here.  I've been asking Him to bring the "un-lovables" to my attention so I can pray for them this week and give them the encouragement that they might need.  Even though it's church camp, you'd be surprised at how many of our students are going through some very hard things.  But we're so glad they're here and that we get to love on them this week!  We know God brought each one of them here for a reason.

Anyway, on to some pictures for the day!
Nothing says summer like hot pink petunias!
We are at a new camp this year and so far we like it!  The grounds are really pretty and so clean.  It almost makes me nervous to have so many junior high kids here!  I don't want to mess it up :) 
One of the little gazebos by the lake.  A great place to escape the sun during the day.
The lake tonight, so still and quiet.
Because God heard my prayers and yours (thank you), I got many breaks today and Ava got lots of love from our friends at camp.  This is Christina, she is our high school associate and she has been such a blessing to me already!
This is the look on Ava's face most of the day :) I'm not sure if it's because of the noises she's hearing or the bumps she's experiencing as we push her stroller on the gravel!
But we do get lots of smiles out of her too!  This girl LOVES to be outside and she is getting her fill here.  We had a beautiful sunny day clouds in the sky and 85 degrees.  Perfect!

The sweetest little girl, her wild, red hair blowing in the wind!
Grass volleyball?  No sand, so I guess that's what you must call this!
One of the Dads drove to camp today with his boat and pulled the kids on tubes this afternoon.  It was so much fun for them.  He's also going to be with us tomorrow, so that all the kids have a chance to go if they want to.
The obligatory lake slide :) 
This student has been very interested in Ava ever since we got here.  Today I let him hold her :) 
Ava's cousin, Emily Page, playing with her :) This one's for you Jenny!
And this one is for you Amy!  Another one of Ava's cousins, Emma, on the tube with a friend.
The most handsome guy on the beach!
Ava and I found the perfect spot in the shade to spend the afternoon.  We had lots of visitors on our towel, but we also got to see the kids having tons of fun in the water!  Looks like this might be our afternoon spot this week  :)
She looks so old to me in this picture...can you believe she'll be 4 months old on Friday?? 
We played, we watched the students, and we went for a walk with Daddy.
Finally, it felt like a hot summer day here.  Just a perfect way to start the week off!
So perfect in fact, someone fell asleep lakeside and gave her Momma time to nap in the breeze too!  Thanks for praying for us.  Today has been a great first day!


Jesse and Stacie said...

Those pictures are too cute!! What I would give to lie on that blanket with her!! I miss her so much. Her hair is still so red and wild. :) Hugs and kisses little baby..xoxo.
Aunt Stacie

Anonymous said...

So wonderful to see the water, sun and flowers with all those young ones having fun and being ministered to. Ava must be in heaven - outside so much - I know you are glad you went now! I am cooking away for our gathering. I think of all of you, praying for both you and Travis as you respond to the needs of your little sheep. Love, Texie

petrii said...

It looks like ya'll are having a GREAT time at camp!! Can I just say, as a mom of a teen, it is really true that some of our kids are going through major issues in this world in which we live. Even the kids that have grown up in church and love the Lord are really struggling at times. I love it that you are so in tune to this fact.

That little Miss Ava Page is a sight to behold in her beautiful cap of red hair. She is just beautiful!!!

Have a Blessed and terrific rest of camp week,

Rebecca Jo said...

Love that face in the stroller with the noise from the gravel... those eyes!

And I love how she's got her arm hooked around that young boys arm who was interested in her... so sweet...

Toni :O) said...

So many great that the kids are interacting with her too. Glad to hear the first day went perfectly....big sigh of relief I'm sure! Hope the rest of your week is as beautiful as the first day was. Enjoy because she is just too sweet for words!

Joyce said...

so glad to hear all is going well...praying that continues thru the rest of the week

Erin said...

What a great 1st day! I can't wait to hear about all your other days at camp! How many kids are there total?!

Heather said...

Steph- I have been thinking of you and praying for you! SOOOO glad that God is already answering!
I worked at camp SO MANY SUMMERS when I was in youth ministry....these pics took me back!
Praying for you and Ava, for Travis and the leaders, and for the students this week!

Melissa said...

glad you guys are loving it. and i have to say, you have the cutest red head i have ever seen. ever!

Jenny said...

Thanks for the picture of Ava with Emily. I love it! I miss that girl!! Glad it was a great first day.