Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm Coming Back

I promise.
If you could see the pile of bags in my living room, plus the pile of work, plus the pile of laundry I have to do: you would cry your eyes out and not blog for a little while either.

I have lots to blog about. Get excited to read and see.
We've just been gone! Away from the internet! Shocker!

I'm back, it's just gonna take me a little bit to catch up...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Digging Out

We are digging out here at the Sloan household.
I have been busy uploading some videos onto YouTube from our last week at Frontier Ranch.


Here is a video of Lucy giving a little summary of the program. It makes no sense. So you can get a good idea of why none of these other videos makes sense either. Young Life camp is a place to experience, not just watch through video!

These are the Lumberjacks. Matt and Ryan Eaton's characters. They rap, it's really silly and they made us laugh all week long.

This is the giant swing "The Screamer"
The wives did the swing before the men got there, so there is of course no photographic evidence. All that exists now is this video and lots of snarky wives standing around. Enjoy the commentary you can overhear!

Asher and McKenna Hennigan doing the Virginia Reel together. Of course I missed the moments of them Kissing on the Cheek and Bumping on the Rump. It was adorable!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Velveteen Rabbit

To whom it may concern;

Thank you so much for sending me the Velveteen Rabbit pendant and journal. It was unbelievably thoughtful and I haven't stopped wearing it. People keep asking me and I get to keep tell this story and thus reminding myself of the eternal truth that I have learned this month and will continue to learn.

Thank you for loving me so well.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rancho Caballo

Last Thursday, (I know, I'm slack) all of the families were invited over to Young Life's Trail West (the Family Camp) and we got to visit Rancho Caballo. This is the horse ranch where if your family is at camp for the week; you get to ride horses, play with rabbits, spend the day down on the horse ranch.

Needless to say my kids had the time of their lives.
Evidence is to follow:

Asher and McKenna Hennigan on the horse cart. Every kid had the time of their lives on this thing. If we lived in another era, I could just see him riding around town visiting all his friends with this horse being his best friend.
Asher and all the kids were swinging on the hay bale pulley. Safe? Probably not.

Cade Acker and Asher were roping steer.

Lucy is determined to drive. Always.
It has been beautiful. Seriously.
Is there anything cuter than a piglets tail?

Well, maybe just a little girl holding a bunny rabbit.

Have I mentioned that there are 17 staff children on this assignment? That's right 17.

It has been chaos, but awesome. We have had a great time and our kids ALWAYS have someone to play with.

We are definitely attempting to get our ducks in a row to line up at Trail West trip next year. Check out the video here Who's in?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Note to Self

It is the summer, so be warned:

This is NOT the way to park a jet ski!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Under the Colorado Sky

Last night, our family had a photo session with Sharon Clark at Smitten Photography at the foot of these Colorado mountains. Words can't describe how much fun we had and how she captured our family.

Sharon will gladly travel for any and all of your events this woman!

To see the rest of the pictures from our shoot, click on the Smitten Photography link above.

Frontiersville Part Deux

Pretty sure I'll be framing this one. I love the blue bucket.

Asher and Lucy with classic "Lucy girl" face.

The Prohibitionists are a part of the Tableau. And their signs really make me laugh.
*I don't believe these signs are the official stance of Young Life regarding alcohol: simply a historical reference.
So laugh away!

And the whole night ends with a big giant square dance under the lights in the infield.
It is romantically beautiful and amazing to see 450 high school students learn how to square dance in under 5 minutes AND love every minute of it.
It's one of my favorite nights, but mostly because of how kids get to be kids again and not mini-adults pretending to be busy on Blackberries and iPhones and coffee dates. They are dancing and laughing and being silly. They are under the stars, dressed up, enjoying friends and THEMSELVES maybe for the first time in a long time.
There are so few places that offer the space to do that anymore. No performance necessary.

They just to be themselves. The freedom and the lightness that you can see in their faces would make you weep if you stopped to think about it.

I love this place and that we get to be a part of something great in someone's life.
We get to be a part of someone's STORY.
How amazing is that?


Another week, another fantastic night of dressing for the Chaffee County Restoration Society.
Lucy was very excited to dress like a "cowgirl" until I made her wear a bonnet.
Then the lip came out.

But wasn't it worth it?
After several people told her they loved it, the lip went from a frown to upside down and she had a fantastic night. She never left my side, so she is in every picture I took.
But that is another story.
Strong to quite strong. Carry on men.

Asher thinks that the outhouse/hideout is hilarious.
More Lucy!
Take a look at all of the materials that are going on in this little girls outfit.
I love it.
And how much butt is getting sent out to the world.
J Lo: You are officially "on notice"
Lucy and Cruz Rockwell.
Total cutey.
Asher and Lucy are surveying the scene set before them in the Tableau.
It is really a sight to behold seeing all of this go into motion.
Lucy alas has fallen for yet another single program guy.
Ryan Eaton.
She is smitten.
She couldn't stop giggling at dinner.
What will we do with her?
I absolutely love this picture.
I know it is hard to tell what it is:
But Asher is trying to make the Non-Laughing Indian Summer Staff guy laugh at the Carnival by telling him his terrible knock knock jokes.
It was hilarious.
You had to be there. Just trust me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Week 2 in Pictures

The Table

This is "The Table"
On the last night of camp, the work crew sets up one long table and every kid and leader sits down at a giant table to eat dinner.

The vision stirs in you the hope that one day, we will all sit and feast at one table with God in Heaven.
It produces buckets of tears every time you see kids walk down the stairs to the infield and are wowed by the sight. Then pull out the chair simultaneously and sit to eat together; one last time.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What is REAL?

Here at camp, without the distraction of the "real world" you tend to have more energy to devote on yourself and pay more attention to the things that perhaps you would like to improve upon, think that God thinks might be more important in your life at home than you have given credit to, and also you struggle. You tend to struggle with your own inner demons.
The things that you think about yourself that no one else knows about.

The quiet here is so deafening that all you hear is your own self-doubt sometimes. It can turn into something great. It can turn into your worst enemy. It all depends on who you turn to in those moments.

My hope is that after all of these years, that I will learn (at some point) to listen to proper voice and that these struggles will help me to continually shed the personality that I "put on" in order to become the person that God has made me to be. Whole and complete. Without doubt. Without fear. It will be great.

Well, that truly is my hope. But unfortunately; I live my life thinking that I need to look like I have already arrived at real. Totally put together. Not a care in the world. I have no issues. No problems. I am me. Me is fine. I look good. Inside and out. My house is clean, my dishes are put away, my kids are nice and polite and life from the outside looks "solid, sweet and what I've always dreamed of." And if it were, then wouldn't that fill me up? Wouldn't I be made whole if all these things were so good? According to the way I have been living, this has been the true goal of my life, not necessarily becoming "real".

How do I know this?

I just finished reading my kids "The Velveteen Rabbit" to put them to bed. And it sort of put me on my back. Do you remember it?
A kid gets a stuffed rabbit for Christmas, he loves it like crazy. He gets scarlet fever, the doctor says everything has to be burned...including the rabbit. Geez. Real upbeat book huh?

But this section here, it has so much to chew on that I don't even know where to start:

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.

New goal: Become Real. It may not look pretty all the time. But it will be me. And it doesn't happen all at once. So hopefully I will be okay with it, eventually.

(BTW: that is not my image. It is from this ETSY store. I hope the artist doesn't mind)

Monday, June 7, 2010


It is hard to believe that a nearly five year old and a three and half year old would conspire to make a few days as hard as they possibly can all the while, on-the-surface, looking cute and innocent and making it look like I am simply losing my mind over minor and insignificant little things. That's how two small preschoolers do it.
It's subversive.

But every now and then.
They slip up.

Like yesterday.

When one of the children (and I won't name names *cough* girl *cough*)found and ingested several tabs of Sudafed while I took a shower. And I got to call Poison Control to find out that she could spend the next few hours hallucinating. And she did. A little. It was special.
She also spent much of that time crying. I could be patient, if not with a little eye roll thrown in there for good measure.

But after the kids were playing on the playground and Asher slammed her head into a doorway, it was time for an early bed time-at 7:50.
Normal at home. Early at camp.
They've been going to bed at nearly 10 every night here since they have been going to club.
So I felt like a mean mom, but I had enough. It was a long day.
So they went to bed, I went to club. Because well, my kids NEVER WAKE UP. They sleep like the dead.

Club was over, the Obstacle course was being sold when a work crew boss came to find me and told me that "my kids need me."
My kids who normally sleep like rocks, woke up to find camp totally blacked out and Mission Impossible music blaring. I'm sure that wasn't too traumatizing.

I found Asher in the dining hall. He was fine. Lucy was in our cabin wandering around covered in tears. They went straight back to bed and were asleep in 30 seconds.
I didn't think it was possible for them to make it a longer day.
But they sure did.
Way to go kids!

They almost look innocent don't they?