(Pete and Taylor canoeing)
This past weekend our family discovered Zion's Camp.....a privately owned campground of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but usable to anyone whether you are mormon or not. For the price of just $10 you can get into the camp for day use or even to stay the night. They give access to row boats, canoes, paddle boats and life jackets and have a couple rope swings over the lake that even the young kids can use. There is plenty of play areas and another big rope swing that my kids also enjoyed. They have volleyball and archery there too which we didn't take advantage of, but would have if we were spending more time there. My boys had tons of fun on the obstacle course that the YW use during girls camp....we all remember those! We loved roasting our hot dogs and making s'mores around the campfire and exploring the campground together. One of the missionaries there said we came on the perfect weekend because it was very unusual that there were only a couple other families there, so we really did have the place to ourselves! We were just amazed at how much was offered for entertainment for such an affordable amount. This is wonderful for those on a budget in this recession! I know that we are, and have had to trim down our spending, but we had so much fun at Zion's Camp on Saturday, we truly did feel like we were on a vacation for a day and we can't wait to do it again!
I have to THANK my family members in Spokane who were so willing to change and re-arrange all the housing plans when Pete and I thought maybe we would be joining them at the lake at the last minute. Even though it took a little chatting to one another to see what could be done to accommodate our family, it did make us feel important and like everyone really did want us to be there. We ended up missing out anyway, but we so appreciated the effort and kindness on my family's part to make sure we felt included and important. I really have awesome siblings who would go out of their way to make me and my family feel wanted and needed and that rearranging things was totally worth it and no problem at all. It was a great message to me about what families should be doing for one another and I hope that when someone else is in my position, that I am a person who is willing to make room for somebody else, even if I have to change my plans to accommodate that person or family. Hey, it's much funner in the end if everyone you love and care about is with you anyway, so really...everyone wins. Notice my first song on the playlist is titled "BETTER TOGETHER". We truly wish we could have been there....thanks for all your effort to make new plans for us! :)
Speaking of being on a budget....and I know a lot of us ARE in this financially uncertain time, I have been so thankful for our church leaders who have put out such wonderful, inspired articles in the Ensign magazines lately to help us. They have talked so much about being prepared, provident living, stretching your dollar, living within your means, paying off debts, being self reliant and so forth, that it really has helped Pete and I change the way we view our money and spend our money. It has helped us to re-evaluate and prioritize our spending and has given us the information necessary to get rid of any debts we have and how to be better prepared for the future. My mother-in-law and I even had a little fun on Provident Living, using the financial calculator to see how fast we can pay off our credit cards! Anyway, enough chatter...onto the pictures! :)
First, after finding our campsite, we went down to the lake where the boys swam and played on the rope swing. Pete and Taylor also went on a canoe ride together. Austin loved getting in and out of the water and was totally occupied going in and out of the 'boathouse'...this cute shack that stored all the lifejackets.
Caleb was a bit more into relaxing....what a cutie. :)
After that, everyone was hungry so we headed back to the campsite for roasting!
After all this, basically it was play time! At first we were worried about how much longer we would be entertained here, but we ended up staying until almost 9 pm and surprised ourselves at how much fun we had and how there was plenty to keep us all entertained!
I thought this old sprinkler was just too cool...especially with it being red!