Brave Girls in the Bible

I saw this book at the Mount Carmel book store and was so thrilled. Elsie is into princess everything. I love that little girls know they were created beautiful and powerful.

I have wondered what to do with all of this energy towards princesses, because the Disney storylines all lack the actual values I want to instill in my little girl. So I was so excited when I saw this book. The women are not all royalty, but the stories are told showing how each one (over 30 women!) was brave. The writing is fantastic and Elsie has had us read ten stories to her already. (Rory likes the book too.) And the pictures are beautiful.

If you have a little girl in your life, I'd recommend this book as their next gift. It's part devotional, part story and ends with some processing of the story pointing out how that woman was brave and showed strong character. Here's a link to Amazon where you can get your own. :)

family camp

We spent most of our week at Mount Carmel down at the beach. It was a great week to be on the water, building rivers in the sand down to the lake, floating with noodles and sitting in camping chairs eating snow cones.

We lived in that yellow cabin below for the first half of the week. It's a duplex and Annika's family was on the other side. This thrilled all of the cousins to no end. The second half of the week our family moved into the lodge and shared a hotel-like room. The switch was due to our late registration, but in the end we sort of lucked out as we moved into air-conditioning for the hotter half of the week!
The camp looked great and most exciting was to see the Youth Chapel looking all spiffed up after a total overhaul by volunteers. This was my 33rd summer attending family camp. I've only missed two summers, both because I was working at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp in Montana. Which I think is a good excuse: one Bible camp for another.
My kids love Mount Carmel so much. It is such a joy to have their excitement match my own! I'm not sure I ever thought that would be possible, but it definitely does. They love this place like I do and as I told them on our last night, "one day I'll be a grandma, and you'll be here with your own kids and we'll all play at the beach together." I told that to my mom and she said, "and that is true! I was here with my grandma when I was their age. Just think of that!" It is a wonder to think about. If any reader is interested in coming to Mount Carmel next summer, PLEASE DROP ME A LINE! They already have their speakers and teachers and preachers lined up. You could get your week on the calendar (and get the best cabins! I'll tell you what you need to know!) even before this summer is over. :) Because Family Camp is the best!

back from vacation

This yearly picture of the back hatch all packed and ready to go is becoming one of my annual favorites. There's lots going on in that picture above: a certain 5-year-old's fishing pole, a certain 9-month-old's favorite animal pop up toy, a certain 3-to-turn-4-on-vacation-year-old's birthday presents. And the art supplies of a wishful mama that never got used during the entire week away. Which means it was a good and busy time.

We are home again now and had a fantastic time at Mount Carmel Family Bible Camp. This was the longest we have been away from our farm in the four years since we moved here. We were gone six nights and it felt just right. We loved every minute up there and were excited to come home to see our animals, sleep in our own beds and check out the garden. But oh, vacation. We all have an ache now that it's over. Vacation just feels so good. Only 51 more weeks until we go again. :)

three kids

Well, it seems blogging has taken a back seat... But mostly because motherhood is taking the front seat. And it's good. I'm absolutely in love with these three and my gig as their mama is so awesome. And exhausting. My friend Kari sent this thought written by Joanna Gaines to a group of friends today...I loved this thought and felt inspired. I hope you do too! Joanna wrote:

"There's an Adonis blue butterfly bush I planted by the girl's window almost five years ago when we were renovating the farmhouse. I wanted butterflies by the girl's windows that they could see and enjoy. I never told them about the bush and honestly I forgot about it over the years. This morning I found my little Emmie sitting by her window looking excitedly at the bush and saying "Here she is! My little hummingbird comes every morning mom!" First, I didn't know she looked out for her bird every morning. Second, I forgot all about the bush and never told her if she looked out the window she would see the prettiest butterflies and hummingbirds gathered around it. It's hard not to think this is a lot like parenting... You sow seeds early on and work hard to be intentional and then over time you move on to new lessons and challenges. Then one day you look up and the seeds you planted in your little children's hearts are now in full bloom. Be encouraged today to keep pressing in and tending to their hearts. It will be worth it."

playing possum

I read in a book recently about the whole "no girls allowed" phase and I thought naively to myself, 'boy, Ivar is so good at playing with his sisters. I wonder if he missed that phase.' I think it was the very next day I found this sign outside of his little fort. He told me it was a picture of Elsie and Harriet and that they were not allowed in his Possum House. And I couldn't decide if I was more amused by his awesome drawing or the fact that he was playing possum.

Then Elsie assured me, "it's okay because I am playing blossom over here!"