Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Piece of Heaven-Fall Barnabreak 2017

It's weird to think that one week ago I was at my favorite place on the planet. Where did the time go? Can we rewind time? I know, we can't, but gosh it was amazing! I am going to try to put in everything that I remember, but unfortunately you won't be able to get the entire feel, because you weren't there. *grin* Yes, it's amazing to watch, much like your favorite sports team. At the same time, you can't "feel" what they feel because they're the one experiencing it. *grin* Anyway, scroll on, or switch links, doesn't matter. As usual, this is more for me than for you. *giggle*

My trip started with a stop at the Lamar Dairy Queen for some quality time with Karen. Over ice cream, we got caught up and shared our hearts. Time with Karen is always time well spent and it was encouragement I needed in a way you'll never know. I pray everyone has a Karen in their life, someone to encourage you unconditionally even after the sharing of hearts. By the way, Karen has called me to the carpet in the past. However, she knows how to balance those two things. I'm blessed to have her in my life. *grin*

After our chat, I headed to Camp Barnabas, and arrived during the dance party. It was so fun to connect with my amazing family at Barnabas. I love how people love out at camp. I spent time talking with people during the dance portion, and then looked for Ronni at Wrap-Up. I saw her, and walked right over. *grin*

I came up from behind and said, "Hi Ronni". She stopped and then said, "Shannah!" We hugged and I felt like the weekend at Barnabas was going to be AMAZING. I was right. *grin*

I was assigned to Ronni's cabin, which was full of some girls I already knew and some I didn't know at all. I found myself in wonder as the girls jumped in and did whatever was necessary for the campers. I love how the schedule doesn't change out at camp, so I knew what was going to happen when. I like that. *grin*

Saturday morning we had IP, but I found myself chatting with the Brawners during that time. They were headed out to a wedding, but it was soooo good to see them and catch up. They headed out and I headed to IP. I didn't make it all the way up, as I met the new maintenance man's family. They were precious and I LOVED their dog. They will be an amazing addition to Barnabas. I truly believe that.

I met everyone as they were leaving IP, and Ronni was SO SWEET. Ronni reminds me of Jay when we're visiting people at their house. He can wonder away, but he ALWAYS has to know where I am at. I think it's sweet, in both cases. *grin* Breakfast flew by, and we were back in the cabin in no time for devos and cabin clean up. I did a little laundry, but it wasn't much. One of our campers was having some rough moments, but the people with her did an amazing job. Totally. *grin*

Our morning activity included an impromptu nature walk. We walked all around camp, and wound up in the dining hall for activity number two, pumpkin decorating. It was precious to walk around and be in awe of God's creation. Not to mention how fun it was to see the campers and missionaries get along so well. It was precious. I knew that the afternoon would include pumpkin smashing, but it was still cute. I talked to several people through that time, and it was precious. *grin*

Lunch flew by, and next thing I knew it was time for naps. Gosh, I love naps out at camp. It's hard to describe, but due to the schedule of camp, sleep is precious. Probably because it's not a priority there during the rest of the day. I was exhausted from parent/teacher conferences and sleep was priceless.

Next up was the activity in the field. I love how they have put down cement in a portion of it so I could balance better. *giggle* Yes, camp life means balancing various ground challenges. *grin* After pumpkin smashing, we could choose from tug of war, a hayride, bobbing for donuts, and bobbing for pumpkins. I thought it was all well thought out and a good time was had by all. I experienced the hayride for the first time, with one of our campers. It was tons of fun.

After the ride, as we were getting off, two campers had a little trouble getting off the hayride. I loved how well everyone handled it while various staff and missionaries helped the two campers. Afterwards, I was with one of the campers who was shaken from the event (even though she wasn't involved) and one of the staffers came over to cheer her up. She arranged for the camper's favorite song to be played on the music system. It was precious how hard the gal worked to cheer the camper up. It was awesome. *grin* Following that activity was showers.

I loved my cabin, as their Daily Living Skills were pretty good. I was a third at times, but really hung out with people during that time in the cabin. Okay, mainly Ronni. *giggle* That girl makes me smile TONS. It was so cute. *grin*

After that was dinner and the party. Dinner also flew by, but what can I say? Time flies when you're having fun. *grin* The party was a Talent Show, and I have to say that was probably my favorite event all weekend. Watching young people with disabilities go up and sing, dance, or even do the hand jive in front of everyone was precious. Ronni went up and sang an original song. That was precious to me. However, the most impactful was the level of encouragement through the show. Teens were cheering the kids on, saying things like, "Look at that coordination!" It was full of laughter and smiles. It was what I imagine Heaven will one day be like. We were sitting on bean bags in the dining hall, which was GENIUS! I loved it. I was comfortable on the floor! (That's when I miss my young body the most. LOL) I took a lot of pics, and it was tons of fun.

We walked back to the cabin, and then I was sent to get something from the Wellhouse. When I came back, the girls in my cabin were outside, waiting. This sometimes happens when a camper needs more space. Leadership came, and took care of it. Frazier and I had a brief chat about camp life, and then he moved on. I love hearing life stories and he shared a snippet of his family's. It was fun. He also met Ronni, and when he walked off I immediately said to Ronni, "He's married with kids, so don't think he's single and develop a crush." I mean, Ronni loves guys, so I could see where it was headed if I didn't say that. *grin* It was precious. *grin*

Next up was bedtime, family time, and bed. Ronni was fun with the girls, and we had some amazing teens that made it all fun. Family time was precious, and I loved how transparent the teens were with everyone. It was amazing. I was exhausted, but it was so worth it. *grin*

Sunday morning was busy with church, breakfast, and camper preparations to go home. I loved that we didn't have to clean the cabin as thoroughly as usual due to there being a maintenance team now. *grin* The weekend went by so fast, I found it hard to believe that it was all over. However, I truly believe that fun means fast time. *grin*

I wish everyone I know could have some time at Barnabas. Not only are people incredible to people out there, but it's a family. *grin* I love so many of the people out there. *grin*

I was in charge of taking Ronni home, so I made her go to closing ceremonies with me. *giggle* Closing Ceremonies are unforgettable because you get to say your last good-byes and take tons of pics. Ronni won the award for the female camper who embodies the spirit of Barnabas. It was SO MUCH FUN to watch because I didn't know ahead of time. She didn't know either. I smiled. Priceless. *grin*

On the way home, we stopped and got McDonald's for lunch. This was memorable because the car ahead of me paid for our lunch! I'd never experienced that, so it was fun. I also paid for the car behind me, which was cheaper, but so much fun! How cool is that? *giggle*

Last weekend was a weekend I wish I could re-live. At the same time, Jay is asleep on his recliner in the sun, and I'm still in pajamas at 1:45pm. I love both weekends, but the best news is that I will be back at Barnabas in a few months. I'm so blessed. *grin*

On the way home I stopped and saw a dear friend in the area. It was tons of fun. Totally. *grin* I drove off smiling. The weekend was one for the calendar. It was that good. *grin*

I don't plan to get out of PJ's today, and to rejuvenate with the furry kid. Camp was fun, and I'll be there before I know it too.


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