Monday, April 28, 2014


A hodge-podge from our lives the last weeks...

 Today I found the first tiny pea sprouts. It is wonderful to feel warm sunshine after a long cold winter.

Spring growth is also found indoors.

But we haven't been just sitting around watching seeds sprout.

On Easter weekend, we visited Ed's sister Jean.  It has been almost three years since Jason's death. I appreciate the many who continue to ask about their family.


We spent a day in Richmond, VA visiting Civil War sites...

searching for geocaches (our latest hobby)...

and enjoying the scenic beauty of an island on the James River. The children loved spending time with their cousins.

This past weekend we were on the road again, this time to Ohio.

A few months ago my brother Todd joined the staff at Ohio Wilderness Boy's Camp. As a counselor, Todd lives in a rustic mountain setting with ten boys. There they build and maintain their own shelters and learn to handle their problems in a positive way. We were familiar with the therapeutic wilderness camp concept since Ed is on the board of the Alleghany Boy's Camp but this was the first time we visited the Ohio camp.

The camp held a Trail Run on Saturday and all of my siblings except two plus our spouses and children came out to show our support for Todd. It was too bad my parents couldn't come but someone had to stay home and milk the cows.

This photo shows Todd and his family and friends that completed the run. This was no simple trail. There was very little level ground as the trail zig-zagged up and down steep mountain trails. Add some rain and mud to the mix and it was a real challenge - at least for some of us who don't climb mountains every day!

Most of the men did the 10K while the ladies ran/walked the 5K. My brother Brad did the 5K with two of his sons.

Not knowing if we had lost our sanity, Ed and I attempted the 5K with our children. A four-year-old nephew joined us. We all made it over the finish line. Ed gets double credit for carrying the baby the whole way! This was definitely an accomplishment our children will long remember!

That evening we enjoyed making pizza in a wood-fired pizza oven with some of the camp staff. Good food and fellowship!

But for the boys, the best was yet to come. Since his team of boys were at home this weekend, Todd allowed the men and his five oldest nephews to spend the night back at the campsite. They were able to get a real feel of Todd's life in the woods.

Both my boys said their favorite part of the weekend was cutting firewood for breakfast. By hand. No power tools are used at camp.


We ladies with the younger children and babies hiked into the campsite in the morning to join the campfire breakfast.


My family always enjoys good food - as any of you who read here often already know from our butcher days, doughnut making, dutch oven cook-offs, or apple cider pressing!

Then we took the 15 minute hike through the woods to the outdoor chapel for the Sunday service. It was a perfect spring day to enjoy the outdoors. But by this time my muscles were beginning to complain about the abuse!


It was a privilege to see where Todd is serving and meet many of his fellow staff members. If you want to know more about the camp or know of troubled boys who could be helped by camp, visit the websites for Ohio Wilderness Boys Camp or Alleghany Boy's Camp.


  1. Oh what great fun!! Always neat to mix learning with fun! I appreciate what Todd is doing...I worked with incarcerated youth on a wilderness adventure program. Blessings!!

  2. So fun to read - here- knowing exactly what you're talking about since my sis works at the Bald Eagle Camp.

    Sounds like ya'll really got a First-hand Experience!! Or at least some of you - with the sleeping in one of those tents. Brrr....depending on the weather. :)

  3. Just last night I researched geocaching for the first time! It made our family's list of "must-try" activities for the summer. Can't wait!

    1. You will love it! It has been such a fun way for our family to enjoy the outdoors and discover new places! \

      Besides, the children are better at finding them than the big people - which always makes for good times!

  4. Why do the women only do the 5K?

    1. Oh, there was lots of women who did the 10K - just none of the women in my family were willing to attempt it!

    2. Oh, OK. My children are all runners. They all did cross country in school. They're always looking for races. My oldest and middle girl did a trail run the day before the oldests wedding. We could see bandaids all over their feet through their pretty sandals at the wedding.


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