Sunday, June 27, 2010

Assateague Island (the rest of the story)

My facebook friends heard the abridged version of this year's campout. "Cristi wonders if the whole point of camping is to come home with the best stories. Yesterday included a gorgeous day at the beach, gator wrestlin', severe thunderstorms, several inches of rain in the tents, and finally a midnight ride by the DC monuments." And, now, as Paul Harvey would say, "Here's the rest of the story"...

We arrived at Assateague Island in time for dinner Wednesday night. It was miserably hot in DC when we left, but thankfully 90-something degrees doesn't feel nearly as bad when there's a nice breeze blowing off the ocean. Our campsite was barely 50 yards from the beach. After pitching tents and lighting our campfire, Tim and the kids went exploring.

The next morning it was all we could do to keep the kids near the tents long enough to cook breakfast; they couldn't wait to get in the water. Perhaps the most fun activity of the day was "gator wrestling."

Lauren was a bit skittish about the water the first time she dipped her toes in, but by the end of the day she was laughing every time a wave came up high enough to nearly knock her over.

Just seconds after we took this picture of the kids on the beach, a wave came up a bitter higher than I thought and splashed all the kids. That's the picture I would've loved to have captured.

Assateague Island is known for the wild ponies that roam freely. The last time we camped here, we were amazed that the horses didn't really seem afraid of people at all. They are even more fearless now. Several times they came right up to our campsite looking for food. On Thursday night, Tim was grilling ribs and a group of five horses decided to hang out nearby. I was standing at our picnic table and one of them walked within a few feet of me. The biggest horse started inching closer to the grill, but when Tim kept staring at him, he eventually gave up and wandered away. (It's a good thing -- Tim would've fought  to keep his dinner, especially ribs.)

As sunset neared, we noticed the horses gathering on the ridge between the beach and the campsites. I think we counted 20 in all.

This was the calm before the storm. Shortly after Tim took the photos, we heard a loudspeaker coming from a police car that was announcing a weather warning. We took the wind and thunderstorm warning fairly seriously and staked down both tents a bit more securely. When the lightning got bad, we figured that the van would be a safer shelter than the tent. What a storm! When it cleared a bit, I did a quick check of the tents. The bigger tent took on several inches of rain, and much of the gear in the kids' tent got wet too. As we saw the rest of the storm moving our direction, we decided to start loading up wet gear. It would only take about 3 hours to get home, and that seemed like a better option than toughing it out in wet sleeping bags. We got one tent down before the next round of thunder and lightning. Finally, about 10 pm, we managed to squeeze the rest of the gear and a very wet, sandy tent into the van.

Somewhere around 12:30 in the morning, Tim and I discussed the best way to get from one side of DC to the other. Shortly afterwards, we drive past all of the big monuments. Oops. The next morning, Addison pipes up at breakfast and asks, "Can anyone tell me why we were driving past all the monuments in the middle of the night?"

Like I said, if camping is about having the best stories, I think this trip was a winner!

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday -- Five Years ago

I know... there's a reason it's called "Wordless Wednesday." I can't help but elaborating that I chose these pictures to share on the day that we're heading back out to camp on the beach at Assateague Island. Hopefully we'll have just as much fun camping on the beach this time around...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Come on, Moo!

In case any of my blog readers ever see me out with Lauren, I thought I'd explain the phrase I mutter quite often -- "Come Along, Moo!"

I'm not sure where it all started. I have a friend who often refers to her daughter as "Maggie Moo." Maybe I read too many of her status updates on Facebook. In any case, one day instead of calling Lauren "ladybug," I called her Missy Moo. I've probably called her Missy Poo on occasion, but Missy Moo seemed to fit better that day. (In hindsight, it's a good thing that I didn't settle on Missy-Poo.)

Anyway, when I'm out with Lauren, she finds so many interesting things to look at that she's often trailing three or four or fifty-seven steps behind me. Sometimes I say, "Come Along, Daisy" because of a favorite children's book that we've read several dozen times. More often than not, I say, "Come along Missy Moo." Eventually, after repeating that for the three hundred and fourth time, it gets shortened to, "Come along Moo."

So, no, I don't think my daughter's a cow. I just get lazy and start shortening my phrases, especially if I'm trying to get somewhere before the end of time.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Blessed Be Your Name

Last Sunday morning, we sang, "Blessed Be Your Name" in worship, and I was reminded of just how blessed I am. I'll even admit that I shed a few tears as I sang.

Several years ago, "Blessed Be Your Name" became the Schwamb theme song. I remember singing along to it on a new CD the night that Tim and I rushed to the NICU to see Lauren before she had emergency surgery.

Later, we used the song to help tell Lauren's story for Defining Moments. (The video is included on my very first blog post here. If you haven't seen it before, I'd highly recommend grabbing the nearest box of Kleenex before you watch.)

When Lauren and I were in the hospital, it was one of the songs on my iPod that I played most frequently. While I was singing last week, I remembered the state-of-the-art audio equipment I used for our Sunday morning worship times in the hospital:

Last Sunday, I was surrounded by hundreds of people worshipping God. Lauren had hurried happily down the hall to her Bible class, Brennan had joined a handful of friends in Kids' Worship, and Addison was singing with Tim on the praise team. I am truly blessed!


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