Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Great Outdoors

I would camp 24/7 if I could. 

We had a great time at the Outdoor Show in Bakersfield a couple of weeks ago.   It felt like old times when we used to visit the one in the Northwest.  With so many different ages of children, it can be a challenge to find activities that we all enjoy.  This was one of them for sure!  We were a proud family to see our Salvation Army C-Carts outside the Gate collecting canned food for the Corps and ARC.  We added some corn ourselves. 


Among all the RV's, Trailers and 5th wheels to tour were also outdoor vehicles. 
Even for the little kids. 

Elijah and I took tried to take this baby for a spin, but the owner was on lunch. I think a tandem bike would be a great team-builder.

David hiding from my pictures.

Ann launching herself into the sky.  She was laughing and enjoying herself the whole time.

After the workers harnessed the girls in, Paul doubled checked to make sure they were really secure before take-off.  He is such a good daddy. 

Hannah is so light that the workers had to keep launching her, but she still had great time.

Elijah took our portrait.

The free trout fishing for kids was the best part of the day!  Hannah learned that a real fishermen is very patient.  She took the longest to catch her fish.  The men at the pond helping us were so positive and patient even though they had been doing it all day long. 
David did pretty good on his own.  He kept coaxing Mary to catch a mermaid.  She was a little disappointed to catch a fish and not Ariel.


Elijah kept at it and caught the second biggest fish.


Ann caught the biggest, and I just realized I didn't have a pic of her fishing.  She was actually the first Chouinard to catch one.  Those fish flopped all over and we made them hold their own fish.  I kept telling them "Hang on and don't let go no matter what or how much blood!"  Much where we are in life right now,  no matter how much flopping, we won't let go :)   "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2-4    
Hold on, Don't Let Go, Persevere

We have had such beautiful weather here.  I keep all the doors and windows open and spend as much time as I can outside.  It just re-charges me like nothing else.  All the trees are blooming.  Is it spring yet?  We have to wait 30 minutes at school after picking up Ann, but before picking up Elijah, so when the weather is good I bring the girls' snack and we lay out on the grass at the school.  So nice.  I usually bring books or paperwork or sermons trying to squeeze in "productivity", but lately I just lay there and watch the girls climb the tree, or chat with other moms,  or plot out how I could pick the lemons off the tree that were too high for the school children to reach.  Then we wait another 30 minutes after getting Elijah but before picking up David.  That wait is in the car and although I play Adventures in Odyssey and bring books and such, it can be a looooong 30 minutes with 4 children strapped in the car with nothing to do but "toy" with eachother.  I've been bringing my earplugs.  I am eager for summer when I don't have to spend 3 hours a day transporting children here and there.  

Many people I know are experiencing tremendous pain in their life right now.  We are praying. You never know who is suffering.  Be kind and tenderhearted to those around you today.  Be patient and understanding. Withhold judgement and criticism that comes from a jealous,mis-informed or thorny heart. If it doesn't come from true Christian love, then it doesn't belong.   May God's grace help us all.









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