Tuesday, August 7, 2018

YW Girl's Camp Catalina

 Being in the leadership for the teenage girls at church for 7 years now, I've had the opportunity to go to YW Girls' Camp every year.  It's actually my favorite activity to do with the girls.
This year, I was the one to choose the camp.  Fortunately, we were able to go to Catalina Island to a camp at White's Landing called The Catalina Experience.  They share the area with the San Diego Yacht club (who have cabins in the shade of the trees).  We also got to share the camp and do some activities with two other LDS Girls' Camps.
My biggest fear of all was sea sickness for the group on the 2 hour boat ride.  Thankfully, our repeated warnings of taking motion sickness meds worked because only one girl got sick going over and no one got sick going back.  
Crisis averted!! 

 We had 8 tents with bunkbeds for 8 people each.
 Esther was a real trouper during camp.  This was her first year to be a Youth Camp Leader.
 We were fortunate enough to have the adult leader tent close enough to the beach to hear the waves all night.  One of the mornings we woke everyone to do yoga on the beach.  Esther was the teacher, while I demonstrated.  She did a fabulous job of leading the girls.  It was so refreshing to practice yoga in the morning sun on the beach.  I highly recommend it!
This is the closest I came to the local bison who would roam into our camp daily for fresh water, a roll in the sand or a scratch against the pier.  Lisa and I almost walked into him as we checked the tents.  Thankfully other girls yelled a warning in time for us to hurry into the tent out of his way.
It's not every day that you see a bison on the beach!
They aren't native to the island but were shipped there in 1924 for a silent movie.
The herd grew to 600 at one point but are now down to 150.
Water activities were a big winner.  We were all able to rotate between snorkeling, paddle boarding, and kayaking.  I so wanted to take pictures with my water camera, but it broke.  Bummer!

This year for our hike, it was planned to rise at 5 am and watch the sunrise over the ocean from on top of the mountain.  I've done this for a few years now and I have to say that this was a TOUGH hike even though it was short.  We scrambled up jagged rocks and 
slippery gravel paths flanked with cactus.
Quite a few suffered scrapes and thorns but it was well worth the trouble.
It's quite the experience to see desert next to the ocean.

At the top, we watched the sun rise and received an inspirational message, listened to the song Peace in Christ and the girls read uplifting letters from their parents.  
I think more than a few tears were shed.
Words can't adequately describe the emotions of hope, grandeur, gratitude, love and peace that were felt there.
Truly God has blessed us with not only a beautiful world to inspire us, 
but He has given us a a Savior who makes peace possible.
While most went back down, a few of us took the extra hike to the next peak.
This was our view.  Then ...
This crazy bunch (Esther and Lisa included) decided to take the extra extra hike to the very highest peak on Catalina.  Not me!  I happily volunteered to take a group of girls down the mountain.
While going up was hard on the breathing and heart, going down was a major workout for the legs.
We were all feeling it the next day!!

I'm so grateful for the YW camp program.  It's priceless to be able to leave the commotion of the world behind, including cell phones, and focus on your relationship with others and with God.
I've seen hearts soften, friendships made, hatchets buried, and testimonies grow.
All of them miracles.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Mermaid bridal shower

I was going through old blog posts and found this draft that I never posted.  So many people helped with this bridal shower, it's sad that I never acknowledged them.  Thank you ladies!  This was such a fun party!!

June 2015
 From the day that I offered to help with the shower, I've been collecting items.  Lisa's sisters had the idea of a mermaid theme because Lisa loves them and she's almost one herself.  So we went with it.  Her colors are Tiffany blue and pink and she loves anything retro.  Love it!!

My very first find was this beautiful "modest" mermaid I found on Amazon.  She's perfect because of her colors.  She even looks like Lisa!  And boy let me tell you, it's hard to find modest mermaids.  So be careful when you use a search engine because you'll get an eye full.

I put her on the largest wall and was actually wanting to put more things on the netting but in the end I got busy with other things and it didn't get done.  Oh well, she still looked great!

We added strings of balloons around the room to look like bubbles under the sea.

The pearl idea came from a Christmas post on My Heart's Ease.  I love its magical feel!!
 I simplified it for our purpose.

Mermaid 2 Cropped

I made this sign the night before the shower.  I was saving it til last because I wasn't sure I would have time to paint it.   But in the end, I just had to do it.  I love how it turned out!!
You can't see it, but in the picture frame next to the sign is a picture of Jacob and Lisa
swimming among the kelp under the sea.  Perfect!

The buffet table was set with all sorts of treasures and even a picture of Lisa wearing a mermaid type fin.  The cute mermaid and sea grass on the hutch were borrowed from my friend Kim.
If you look between the water and pink lemonade servers you'll see another one of my great finds.
It's a girl surfing!!

She was one of my early finds in an antique store.  Since Lisa was a state champion surfer,
this little metal surfer was perfect.  She was even the right colors!1

The food had a definite sea theme.

Crab salad sandwiches, get it? 

Spinich artichoke dip with a cute pepper crab guarding his stash made by my friend Kim

chicken salad with cranberries  star fish sandwiches
Cucumber  sandwiches, both sandwiches made by my friend Linda

These cute oyster cookies were put together by my mother and sister Colleen.  The yummy icing was
made by Colleen's husband (cream cheese and butter!!)

The mermaid tray had pink goldfish, pastel mints, and salted toffee oyster crackers (love these!!!!)
Sam's cupcakes with chocolate candies made the night before in my kitchen.
We also had some other yummies like fruit salad brought by Lisa, clam dip (our family favorite), and tastey lettuce wraps brought by Janene Z.
Janene Z brought 3 tables with chairs to set up utside along with some table clothes and Linda loaned us the lanterns.

Better late than never, haha!!
Thanks Ladies!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Summer color

Over our summer travels, we've seen some beautiful countryside full of lush green pastures, quaint red barns, bright yellow sunflowers and blue skies.  Although I didn't plan on changing my decor colors again until fall, I felt the need to bring home a little farm cheer.  Red, yellow and blue with a touch of green is my favorite color combination. 

My Fitz and Floyd roosters are my favorite inspiration.  I found them in a vintage consignment shop and the big rooster was given to me by my parents.  They felt bad for me since the kids had broken  several pieces.

Zeus is so impressed.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!
I'm off to Girls' Camp on Catalina Island in the morning!