Monday, June 29, 2009

CAMP PEAPOD

Last week I had the joy of having 3 extra kids around the house. I offered to watch some friends kids while the Mom and Dad were in Ethiopia picking up their new daughter. I wasn't quiet sure how the week would turn out, so I did myself a favor and treated the week like camp. We named it CAMP PEAPOD, and we had a blast.

Each day was full of fun activities and I had an organized schedule so everyone knew what was expected at each part of the day. Our daily schedule included (this is for you Tiffany)...

7:00-8:00 Rise and shine
8:00-9:00 Breakfast and get ready for swimming
9:00-11:00 morning activity (some kind of water activity - swimming at the pool, water slide...)
11:00-12:00 return from swimming and get cleaned up
12:00-1:00 prepare and eat lunch
1:00 - 2:00 rest time on beds (reading or games but no talking)
2:00 - 3:00 craft time in the basement
3:00 - 4:00 project time (we made an Ethiopian lapbook)
4:00 - 5:30 free time (this included a TV show, or free play or hand held video games)
5:30 - 6:15 dinner prep including kids helping set the table
6:30 - 7:15 dinner
7:15 - 8:00 outside play on playset or in the yard or catching fireflies (coolest part of the day)
8:00 - 8:30 group bible time and recap the day
8:30 -8:45 jammies on and tuck in
9:00 lights out

It really helped me to have a schedule and it prevented me from being on the computer or getting distracted by other time wasters. I think it helped the kids know what was expected of them too, and they knew that there were expectations of each part of the day. And to be honest, we were able to get those lights off each night by 9 (the youngest kid was 6 and everyone needed rest).

For our bible time each night, we learned a name of God and talked about how in order to praise God for who He is, we need to know His character. And these were names that all kids can relate too. Jehovah-Shammah -- The Lord is there (present). It was neat for the kids to learn that God is with their mom and dad and their new sister in Ethiopia. Jehovah -Raah -- The Lord is my Shepherd. We studied Ps. 23 and talked about how God cares for us as a shepherd cares for the sheep and comforts us. El Elyon -- The Lord Most High. God is above all and over all. He is in charge of every detail on earth and none of it is a surprise to Him. Jehova - Jireh -- The Lord who provides. God provides everything we need, including a savior. God provided the money that it took to complete this adoption for their family.

During this same time, the kids either wrote or drew a picture on a card of a favorite part of the day. That way when they get back together with their parents, they would be able to share highlights about their time apart. It also helped the kids focus on positive things and not focus on just missing their parents.

On the last day, I took the kids to a nature center and we explored around and then did some nature rubbings. I had little pieces of paper and peeled crayons and they each did 3-5 rubbings, and then we had to try and guess what they were. Even though most of them looked like a bumpy sidewalk, the kids had a good time sharing their discoveries.

Lastly...a few pictures of the week. It was a blessing to serve part of the body of Christ in this tangible way. And to see theses friendships blossom was great to witness.

Craft time
Water time
Just having fun.

17 comments:

Julie said...

Looks like so much fun!!

Amy Sue said...

Seriously - Will you adopt me?

Hevel Cohen said...

What a fun "Home Camp!" We tend to do something similar we call "Cousins' Camp" for part of the summer.

Just one little note: the Tetragrammaton YHWH was never pronounced as "Jehova". That is a mistake the early gentile Christians made because of their lack of their Scripture (history) knowledge: the vowels in the Tetragrammaton are that of "Adonai", or, in certain cases Elohim, so that the Jewish reader would be reminded not to utter the name of G-d, but say "Adonai" every time YHWH is written. (That said normally "Adonai" is replaced by "HaShem", meaning The Name by most religious Jews outside prayer and synagogue service.) So however YHWH was pronounced, it wasn't Jehovah. For one thing, the יin יהוה is not pronounced as "j".

Sorry about the names of G-d lecture. :-) For more on G-d's names and some wonderful music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQq4mBhCBy0

There is a jump in the beginning of the song, so you might want to find other versions, but this one has the English words.

By the way, I have been reading your blog for a few months now, and am trying one of your salads for Shabbat!

Cindy said...

you are awesome, Cris! Love the idea of doing a lapbook of Ethiopia-I'm sure their parents will treasure it, along wuth the daily cards. Can I come to Camp Peapod?!

Sean and Lisa said...

Yeah, I second what Amy Sue said. :) So creative and looks like fun was had by everyone. Great job and great memories for all the kiddos. I loved the bible study on the names of God. How awesome!!1

K-Sue said...

I've been looking forward to hearing about Camp Peapod. What a blast!

Tiffany said...

I love it! A schedule sounds so appealing to me right now, it always does this time of year. I start craving structure.
I think these parents are incredibly blessed that you gave their kids such a memorable week! And good Bible Study to boot.

carrie said...

It sounds like you had a great week. Great job keeping them busy with fun activities!! I'm sure they will all have fond memories of Camp Peapod!

Permission to Mother said...

Where did you get that great water slide from?

I appreciated all the comments on this post especially the YHWH lesson. I'm glad that slide got my curiousity going to see if my slide question had been asked.

crispy said...

Got the slide from either Costco or Sam's Club a few years ago. We have used it hard and it still has held up.

Lee and Bev said...

Thanks for your ministry to the Body of Christ. I'm sure you helped these children make a memory and enjoy the aniticipation of their new sister.

Salzwedel Family said...

What a blessing to give to your traveling friends and their children. I want to come to Camp Peapod!

Karen said...

I WANT to come to "Camp Peapod".... it really sounded fun!! I am thinking that I may do something like this for my own kids this summer.... it costs so much to send them all somewhere but I think that I can think up some fun things to do for a week.

You are SO creative and really remind me of myself when I only had 2 kids.... I NEED to get that back. I have spent so much time working with our adopted kids and helping them heal that I haven't had as much time doing fun things~ Thanks for the inspiration!! You have surely created some great memories for your kids and the ones you were watching!! Love it!

Karen said...

I WANT to come to "Camp Peapod".... it really sounded fun!! I am thinking that I may do something like this for my own kids this summer.... it costs so much to send them all somewhere but I think that I can think up some fun things to do for a week.

You are SO creative and really remind me of myself when I only had 2 kids.... I NEED to get that back. I have spent so much time working with our adopted kids and helping them heal that I haven't had as much time doing fun things~ Thanks for the inspiration!! You have surely created some great memories for your kids and the ones you were watching!! Love it!

Tim and Susan said...

So glad you could be such a blessing to your friends...and their kids. I am sure it was tiring, but fun too. Sounds like you did great!!

Wife to the Rockstar said...

Looks like fun! I think I want to come to Camp Peapod.

Smith Schoolhouse said...

can I send my kids to your camp? Can I come?