Caleb's birthday camping trip- Part 2

1.28.2014

Before I get back to where I left off in my last post, I have to tell you that you might want to grab yourself a cup of coffee.  This is a long one.  And before I tell you about camping, I must first tell you that the birthday boy participated in a tennis tournament this past weekend and took second place in his division!!!!  He played against all twelve year olds, some of whom have been playing for several years.  I snapped a few photos after the trophy presentation with my Fujifilm and will share them here when I get them uploaded.  I just had to share this news because I'm kinda bursting at the seam with pride over here.

Okie dokie...back to the camping trip.  We knew it was going to rain at some point on our second full day, so if we were going to watch a sunset at all, it would be on our second night/first full day.  The sky didn't look super promising, as the clouds weren't high enough/thin enough in the west.  So we didn't venture over to the beach.  Instead we walked over to an empty campsite and watched it set from there.

When we got there, the light was just spilling down.
Seriously, doesn't Havi look bathed in this gorgeous golden light?!  
It's not called the golden hour for nothing!
Apparently it was a little too bright for Havi.  So she kept her eyes covered.  Caleb and Madeline were more interested in riding their bikes than watching the sun set.  So they were MIA for these photos.
Just after I took the shot above, the people who reserved the site showed up in their SUV and started pitching their tent.  So we had to scoot.

I shot the next two from another empty campsite.  If you're wondering why we didn't reserve one of these water sites, it's because all the ones big enough for our trailer were already booked.  You better believe we'll be keeping our eye out for one of them in the future. lol
Then I decided to shoot what was right above me. 
Don't the clouds look painted?
We often try to end the night with roasted marshmallows, even s'mores.

The next morning the sun tried to rise.  So we went for a walk along the campsites and wandered into an open one facing the north and east.
We really need to get a bike rack set up so Baba and Mama can also bring their bikes.  Caleb and Madeline bike everywhere.  Well, as I said, we were expecting the rain to come down the following day.  So we let the dumplings hang out outside with electronics while it was still dry and they were too tired to bike anymore. 
And since the rain kept holding out, we decided we should try to check out the fort at the park.
The canons were pretty big!
Not only were the canons big but so was the raccoon population!  Yep, you read that right.  They have a run of the place.  When we went over to the fort, we actually saw a mother with her two babies.  I didn't have a telephoto lens with me, and I wasn't going to try to get close.  So my photos didn't turn out very nice. lol
Caleb walked into part of the fort and declared there were no raccoons hanging out inside.
Then they all pretended to be locked up.
And since the rain still hadn't fallen, we decided to head back to the beach for lunch.
It's hard to appreciate in the photo, but to the right of Havi is about a 5-6 foot drop!  She kept making me so nervous wanting to sit on that ledge.  And what better way to up your nerves than to take a photo of the whole moment. Ha.

Well, we headed back to our campsite and hung out for a wee bit longer when we decided we should hurry up and grill our dinner before the rains came and thwarted our efforts.
And that's exactly what we did.  We ate early before the rain came AND we still managed to roast a few marshmallows too. Caleb likes his slightly warm and white.
Madeline, on the other hand, likes hers unrecognizable. lol

Our last morning we spent packing up and heading home.
Since we had eaten most of our "meal" food, we stopped off for lunch at a KFC.
 The KFC would be behind that stop sign you see.
This is how we have to park....far away, like in the back of the Lowe's parking lot.
 Well, imagine our surprise when, after ordering and it's time to pay, the cashier swipes somebody else's credit card!!!  Yep.  She told us that this man wanted to buy our family lunch!  We were floored.  And humbled.  And almost cried.  We thanked him several times.  I had to tell him that it was actually Caleb's birthday that day, and no doubt this will be a birthday he/we will never forget. To receive such a blessing from a complete stranger was just overwhelming.

Well, we eventually made it back home.  Patrick picked up a few cupcakes from Publix so Caleb had real birthday candles to blow out.  And we gave him his big gift.
The boy who lives across the street has a pair of roller blades that Caleb has borrowed a few times recently.  No sooner was he up on them the very first time, he was zipping through the cul-de-sac.  It made me so nervous, even with all the gear (I think because I've personally never roller bladed.)  Well, he declared that he wanted his own pair of roller blades for his birthday, and he got his wish.  Now, of course, Madeline is requesting roller blades for her birthday.  I guess we're gonna have to make good on that one too.

Speaking of that precious girl, she's also been playing a bit more tennis with Caleb.  So we just might start her in some group lessons some time this year.  Being the big brother comes with lots of responsibility and influence.  Madeline and Havi have such a great big brother to look up to.  He makes us so proud.  He's so smart and is such an amazing athlete.  He's also so kind and caring and loves Jesus a lot, too.  He fills our hearts with so much joy. 

We hope you had a wonderful 9th birthday, precious Caleb.
We love you like crazycakes!

6 sweet words:

Cheri Tuesday, January 28, 2014  

What a fun time! I'm jealous. I'd love to camp...Mike, not so much. The weather looks wonderful. It's about 20 her today.

the meaklims Tuesday, January 28, 2014  

Happy Birthday Caleb!
Oh your camping looks like the best fun! You guys are obviously really enjoying it. My parents did this when I was a child, (our caravan wasn't half the size of yours though!) and I loved it... I had my own special bunk bed! And oh that sunset is dreamy. Really. Beautiful.

lisacng @ expandng.com Tuesday, January 28, 2014  

Yes, golden light spilling around her! I love the one of her silhouette, with finger to lip. So precious. And the setting sun just above the horizon. And the puffy clouds. Perfect. Just perfect. Yum, s'mores. If we ever go camping, I know that'll be my son's favorite part! Oh my gosh about that 5-6 foot drop! I would have been nervous too! And how kind of that stranger to pay for your meal at KFC. Wowee! Happy birthday Caleb!

Deb Tuesday, January 28, 2014  

Just love seeing the photos of your awesome weekend. I can't believe that Caleb is 9 years old. My how the time has flown by! He is so precious with his siblings and his cousins. He is an amazing young man. We love you Caleb!

Grandma (Bammy) Tuesday, January 28, 2014  

wonderful memories being made and recorded - so good to see the family.
Sending lots of love
Bammy

michele Saturday, February 15, 2014  

Lydia and I enjoyed looking at all the pictures! Happy Birthday!! See you all soon!
Love,
Michele & Lydia

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About This Blog

This blog is a place where we have shared our lives with family and friends while we waited to bring our daughter, Madeline, home from China and while we actually traveled to China for her. It is also a place where we will continue to share our life experiences, as we try to glorify God and raise our two precious dumplings from China.

And now we wait to bring Havi home from China.

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