Monday, August 11, 2014

Kingdom Bound - In Pictures!

This is the longest post ever…but wanted to do this recap all at once instead of multiple posts. Don’t got time for that!

Day 1 - all ready to go!

Our day started off with this cute little boy!

We attended church and sunday school and then our caravan headed out.
(a suburban hauling a camper, a RV, a van, and then us)

All in all, we had 17 teenagers, 6 adults and a Jaxen.

Jaxen was ready to go - he had his drink and sunglasses on!

After a few hours, this is what we were driving into!

We finally arrived at Darien Lake Theme Park!
all that rain...

Nik and Tammi (one of our sponsors) figuring out what our first move was going to be!

The suburban was stuck and spinning in the mud - 
Little did we know….it had been raining for 2 whole days! 
All the vehicles were just sinking!

We finally decided to set up camp in the rain.
All the teens were in tents, and had to set them up themselves.

After being in the car as long as we were…I had to let Jaxen out.
And he was a big help - Ha ha!

If you look closely, you can see all the mud spots on his clothes and his feet were covered!

Maureen with her tent (the only sponsor who actually slept in a tent)!

This was the view from the RV we stayed in.
We were very close to the Theme Park and could hear most of the concerts!

Scott (another sponsor) was very kind to share his RV with the three of us. It had plenty of room and it was much easier to get Jaxen down for naps and asleep at night. Each night was a little difficult because the concerts were so loud and there were fireworks each night and then just the traffic of excited teens all through the campsite…but like I said before…he slept through the night!

Day 2 - It was a good day, perfect weather, with no rain!

Tammi and Jaxen, sharing chips.

Jaxen hanging around the boys. He followed them everywhere they went -
And did exactly what they were doing!

John and Scott, grilling dinner!

Dinner at the campsite.

That night, Nik and I had some time to walk the park with Jaxen and let him
experience some rides…this was his first “roller coaster” ride!

He loved every minute of the ride.
But hated waiting in line, and the getting-off-of-the-ride part!

Next up…driving a Jeep with dad!

That evening, instead of listening to the concert…

Jaxen decided to play in the water puddle!

Throughout the day, they had various concerts mixed through the park along with interviews and talk-backs from different bands. Each night, they highlighted one speaker and a few bands in the “Big Tent”.

Day 3 - Cool and little rainy…but that didn’t stop anyone!

Every morning they held a worship service in a smaller tent area at 9am. This was our first event of the day and it was mandatory. The rest of the day all the kids pretty much got to go and do as they wished. Nik did require some check-ins through the day and everyone had to be back at each meal time.

Morning Worship

Even Jaxen and I went to Worship time…although he was still a bit sleepy!

It’s kind of hard to see, but this is a group picture of (most of) us,
after riding the Super Man ride. Very fun!

This was one of two rides I actually got to ride!
And I had a great time, hanging out with these girls - Emily, Sarah and Ciersyn.

This picture cracks me up…look at the mess on his face after eating cookies!

Day 4 - our last full day!

We found out that anyone could ride the big Ferris Wheel, so we did it!
(This was my second and last ride of the whole trip).

Jaxen was not happy at first...

But finally decided he liked it, once we started moving!

A view of the park...

Some of the teens talked Nik into riding some kind of weird Moose ride.
He did, and apparently had a blast! Ha ha!

Jaxen pretty much slept the morning away, in his stroller. 
He was very tired on this day!

Lunch, back at the campsite.

For breakfast - we didn’t cook anything - but put out cereal, pop-tarts and granola bars with milk or juice. Lunches were cold sandwiches (one day a grilled pizza sandwich) with chips, fruit, cookies and bottled water. And for dinner we cooked pulled pork with corn, hamburgers and hotdogs, and even had a taco night. We had 6 ladies in the church make homemade desserts for every lunch and dinner (a great treat). We ate out a few meals as well, on travel days.

On the last day, I wanted to take Jaxen to the water park.
He loved the pool area and this slide in particular!

We also took him on the lazy river…but after a few hours, he was worn out!

That night we hit up the concert…except Jaxen had to have 
a wrestling match with his dad!

The concert.

I kept Jaxen up pretty late on the last night so he could 
watch “Ignite the Night” - a light show!

Actually, it was pretty lame. But he loved the fireworks and the
laser lights. I’m glad he did!

After we put him to bed, we headed out to join the campfire with the rest of the group.

It was the last night and everyone was trying to hold on to all the 
fun and memories made, just a bit longer!

I am so glad we had this opportunity to go on this trip with the teens. Pretty much, Nik’s first week here, he had to make a decision on wether or not to go on this trip. The part-time youth pastor would be on maternity leave, and so it was up to him. Even though we had no clue what to expect from this trip or how things were going to work…we are both so glad we went! It gave us a great chance to bond with the teens and get to know some new sponsors.

The other 2 churches we have been in, we have had THE BEST youth groups, ever. And every time we leave, we say “I just don’t know if another youth group will be this great”. And although each group is different, they are always great. We are excited to be a part of this one.

Day 5 - packing up to head home.

Pretty much the whole time we packed up camp, Jaxen played with sticks and leaves and trees!
Didn’t bother me one bit…he was entertained, and not in the way!

Headed home. If you look closely, he is eating an apple (right hand) and a cookie (left hand).
That is how we roll - balancing the healthy with the unhealthy!

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