I’ve been pretty much offline now for 3 weeks: no blogging, no newsletter, and hardly any facebook. Our family took a holiday over east. Here are some of our highlights:
Family Reunion: My family, my brother and his family, my sister and her family, and my parents, spent a week together at Noosaville , to celebrate my mum’s 70th birthday. The weather was wonderful – last time we did this we were rained in and had to stay in the apartments due to flooding in Queensland. This time though we were able to get out and about – we went Ten Pin Bowling, the kids and men went Lazer Tagging and to a movie (Captain America – the Winter Soldier). Actually while they saw the movie, Mum and us adult-girls went out for Tea. Every night we ate dinner together around the pool – though very few of us swam (too cold for my mob!!) We surprised Mum with a special party beside the pool, with paper flower decorations and candles and lots of food! Being together for a week is a great time to catch up and get to know each other – being away from family is one of those things that makes us sad living on the other side of Australia.
Family Camp. We then dropped our kids off to the Growing Families Australia Youth Camp. They had a ball catching up friends they had met other years, as well as making new friends. The camp is a good mix of being encouraged in their walk with Jesus, and simply having crazy fun together.
While the kids had these few days we went up to Toowoomba to catch up with Pete’s folks. And then back to the coast to join with the kids for the Growing Families Australia Family Camp. This was a time of great fellowship, lots of talking, once again with old and new friends. The theme of the camp was Passing on the Faith. The morning sessions were on Marriage and the evening sessions on Speaking Words of Life. Peter and I spoke at two electives: How to use Character First in your Family and Be Intentional Parents. I also helped at an elective where the topic was that last stage of parenting – over 18.
My highlight – and biggest blessing – was seeing my kids have the opportunity to give. Jess ran the kids club 4-8year olds. She had 70 kids, and close to 20 other teens to help her. She had been preparing this for months and she did an excellent job. Her heart was to empower her teen team to build relationships and share / teach instead of it all coming from the front. Naomi and Daniel were a part of her teen team. It was exciting to have Daniel especially (a first for him) lead a small group of 4-5 year old boys. Naomi used her story telling skills to give one of the story/object lessons from up front.
Meanwhile Josh helped out with the older group – 8-12 year olds. He was there on the sides doing whatever needed to be done to make things run smoothly. That group also had a group of teens helping pass on the message to small groups. Josh taught one session himself – pulling out lessons on discernment from the story of Daniel. Josh also took the older teens 17+ for a guided conversation one night – with the hope to inspire them to consider their faith more than just salvation, but rather a premise for all of their life. It was exciting to see the kids building relationships with each other as the week’s activities wove in with free time. (No photos since they were all taken with other peoples kids)
Easterfest. When the camp came to a close, and we said goodbye to good friends, we headed back to Toowoomba for Easter. The girls were so excited to be able to go to Easterfest – the largest Christian music festival in Australia. We stayed with Pete’s folks, so it was an opportunity to be with them, help them and be an encouragement. Pete’s Dad is very frail after a series of strokes over the last 18months. I caught up with a few friends and heard a little music (I don’t have the same appetite as my girls do!). Since a few friends from family camp also went up to Easterfest we were able to continue to get to know them in a different environment. Other than that we were able to spend some time with some Letchford cousins and the girls and I spent a day shopping.
The End. We headed back home – exhausted, but built up both in family relationships, friends and purpose.
Its been a good holiday – just very full. Now for some chill time at home!