Monday, September 26, 2011

The Story Of My Summer Part 2

  Ahem, now for part two :)

  Our days where pretty full of work; we got up early in the morning, had breakfast, and started right off working with Heidi in the garden til lunch. But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy; so after lunch on most days, unless we were preparing for a retreat or were doing some odd jobs, we spent the afternoon having fun. Our activities included playing volley ball, (one of my absolute favorite outdoor games) horseback riding, basking in the sun down by the river, swimming, hanging out with friends, and playing pool (which I also love!)~ that's not all of course, but just to name a few. :) We also spent a lot of time with Heidi and her husband Leval. They always liked to include us in the things they where doing, and wanted to make us feel welcome. Well, just this summer, Leval bought a speed boat to take out on the river and to the lake. He invited us to go out with him several times, and we always had such a blast! When he floored it, that boat went about 65 or 70 mph. Now that's what I call a boat ride lol! Alas, I have no pictures of it; I would have liked to take many pictures while I was there at the ranch, but I didn't have a camera. Ruth was very gracious to allow me to borrow her camera while we where on the hike.
   Another fond memory I have is the day us girls (Heather, Jess and myself) worked away in the warm sun bucking hay! Yes it was such a welcome change from working in the garden pulling weeds; we actually enjoyed the manual labor very much surprisingly! :) Leval helped us, and we bucked a 9 acre field in about 7 hours. Some of the bales were around 60 lbs, but most were 80-100 lbs bales. We loved it, and that night we slept out on the hay stack. Not to comfortable naturally, but in that area of Washington, there is almost no light pollution, so the sky was absolutely beautiful in all it's wonder! We gazed at the stars for hours, talking of it's vastness and pointing out constellations. It was such a clear night; we could even see an arm of the Milky Way! Oh, and how many shooting stars we saw! I would so do it all again!
  Then there was the music camp~ the highlight retreat of the whole year! And we prepared  for it many days in advance. But it was all so worth it.:) We worked hard in the kitchen too so that we could have more time during the retreat to visit and play music. One of my favorite things about this retreat was the singing~ I LOVE to sing! So we had a whole choir and orchestra and we practiced every day of this week long retreat for the performance at the end of the week. And there where specials every day...some people sang, and some played their instruments. I did a special with some friends~ we organized a quintet (5 violins) and played two hymns; 'Channels Only' and 'Once And For All.' It was four part harmony, and sounded just beautiful!

Practicing for our special
  L-R: Victoria, Yours Truly, Anna, Charles, and Natalie   
  In the free time between sessions, we all just gathered around and played our instruments together. Guitars, violins, penny whistles, flutes, and banjos. Oh, and you can't forget the harmonica!

Anna, Zack, Mrs. Sherman, Daniel, Nathan, Mr. Owens, and me
  Those were the times I loved~ when everyone got together and played. I just enjoy the company of Godly people. That's what I like the most about this ranch!

Gotta love this picture of Nathan and my baby brother Micah; he's so darling, and he was Nathans' little buddy all week :) Everyone enjoys this sweet boy!

  Now I'd like to thank my parents for raising me in such a Godly way, and for teaching me to love the Lord. I missed them so much while I was at the ranch and I prayed often for them. I appreciate their sacrifice in allowing me to spend my summer at Peniel Ranch~ as you can guess, it was a little of a challenge for some of Moms best helpers to be away for a while! But God worked in all of us, and blessed us mightily too! :) 

 L-R: Gracie, Marisa, Lindsay, me, Kathy, Katelyn, and Kathlyn.
 Some of my wonderful friends and I at the ranch.

  So that's how my summer went.:) I miss the ranch naturally, and can't wait to go back, but it's good to be home and be with my family.

For now, good night world!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Story Of My Summer Part 1

L-R: Jessica, Me, and Heather. Taken at the ranch a few weeks before we came home:)

   Oh the joys of a summer spent in meeting new friends, working hard in the garden and kitchen, laughing and visiting, and singing God's praises with those you love. The time flew so fast~ but good memories where made, and God blessed me so much while I was there at the ranch. Lord willing, I'll be going back next summer also. Fun times!

  Probably one of the first exciting things we did  was to go on a (what turned out to be) hours long hike! I'll never forget the fun we had that day! We all started out across the river, and then up into the hills.

  And so we hiked for a while, carrying our lunch and our water with us. I snapped photos along the way, and ended up taking quite a few! Up steep hills, through sagebrush and weeds, and down into a small canyon. There where plenty of trees where we stopped for a rest, and we played around for a bit. The guys found a mud puddle of water and decided to dig it out a bit so the dirt would settle down to the bottom, knowing we'd need more water for our group on the way back. There were 8 of us in our group: Ruth, Marcus, Malachi, Mya, Joe, Jeremy, Rebecca (my sis), and yours truly.   

Going down into the canyon; yup, that's Jeremy and Ruth way down there!
Digging in the mud puddle...the rest of us where just hangin' out in the cool shade. It was about 95 degrees or so outside.

Marcus, (red shirt) and Jeremy
L-R: Malachi, Joe, Jeremy, Rebecca, and Ruth. Jeremy is blowing through a piece
of grass:)

Then they took it upon themselves to weave grass hats, and declared it was actually cooler; a wonderful shade from the sun. Yes, we are weird~ no, we don't care :) Lol!
L-R: Jeremy, Mya, Malachi and Marcus
  And so we were off again...out of the canyon and across a big field. 
L-R: Malachi, Marcus, Jeremy, Ruth and Mya. Oh, and Cassy, Ruth's Dog.

And down a long road~ I was enjoying it the whole way!

Jeremy; juggling bottles as he ran :)
  We walked for quite a long while, stopping to take one more break. I took some pictures of the scenery and flowers. You should be able to tell by now that I am an avid photographer, and love every minute of it!

  We'd been hiking for about two hours when we stopped for lunch in a shady clump of bushes and trees. This is where the story turns very interesting. I noticed that Rebecca didn't eat much for lunch~ not such a good thing for the type of dry hot weather we were walking in.

Eating our delicious lunch
Resting after lunch
  So we started hiking up the hill again, and our goal was to get to the top of the third plateau which was a long way up. Everyone was encouraged to drink plenty of water, and so we all did...or so we thought. At this point, I'll add a few photos of the scenery to give you an idea of the vastness of the landscape, how far up we hiked, and the beauty of it all!
Here in the distance you can see the big field we crossed, coming from the river, and the long road we walked up. Note the black specs in the great expanse of that land. Yes, that is a herd of cows; just for perspective.

And this is where I stopped to take a short rest; the top was in sight and a few of us had already made it to the top. But Rebecca, Joe, and Marcus legged behind and where still a ways down. Then they stopped 
climbing altogether and Marcus yelled up to me that Becca needed me. I was alarmed and dashed down the hill til I reached them. Rebecca was sitting there crying saying she couldn't go any farther. I felt her~ hot. So I grabbed her water bottle~ almost full. We determined that she came down with heat exhaustion and I was ever so thankful to have Ruth with us on that hike; she has some medical experience that came to be useful. After talking it over, we decided that because she didn't have the physical ability at this point to even get up and walk, that we would have to move her someplace that was shady, and then send someone back to the ranch to get help. Joe, Jeremy, Marcus and Ruth took turns carrying her, which was no small thing as you can imagine. It was also stressful for Becca, having to be moved, because of nausea.

Once we got her to an 'ideal' place to rest, Jeremy, the fastest of us all, ran the whole way back to the river; it took him 45 min. to an hour to get back, and he only took two 30 second breaks. Then he got into the boat, crossed the river and got back to the ranch. Him and his dad reached us by back roads in the excursion in another hour. So all in all, we ended up waiting for about 2 1/2 hours which wasn't so bad. 
Waiting in the shade~ she started to feel better :)
   Finally they came, and we all piled into the excursion. All felt relieved and better thanks to the ac. :) To get back to the ranch, we drove through Grand Cooley City and Jeremy treated us all to ice cream; which, of course, makes everything better!  
Driving back on that long road we walked on.
We stopped at Grand Coulee Dam to take some photos and eat our ice cream~ and that marks the end of our adventure!
  In conclusion, it was one of the most event filled adventures of the summer, and I cherish the memories! I shall tell some more of my memories in the next post, and I hope that this one wasn't too long! Maybe it will help make up for the summer when I couldn't do much blogging lol.:)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Coming Home

Hi there everyone! The summer has just flown hasn't it? Well, I'm coming home now next Tuesday, and then I'll post a long story of how my summer went and all. How does that sound? I bet ya'll are just starved for news about where I've been for so long! Sorry to keep you waiting~ I tend to like suspense lol. :) So, wish me God speed, and I'll be home before I know it!