This was a missions trip with several of our high schoolers from church. We had 3 vehicles, 3 drivers, 23 people, 2 small children and 17 high schoolers. Tim drove a 12 passenger van with a bunch of the boys, and I drove our van with our kids and several of the girls, whom Sophia now refers to as "my kids." Let me just say that I was TIRED at this point. We stopped 3 times during this 9 hours (yes, that's right, the high school kids require more stops than my toddlers!), and I was actually quite thankful for a each stop for the chance to stretch, get some fresh air and try to get refreshed for the next bit of driving.
The purpose of our trip was to partner with an organization called World Impact to run a camp for the kids from their ministries. World Impact is an organization that exists throughout several inner cities of the US to bring the love and hope of Jesus Christ to the people of the city. For those of you who think it sounds familiar, you may remember that the camp that I worked at for several summers, The Oaks, is also a World Impact camp. The connection is "coincidental" if you will, as Tim found this opportunity for this trip randomly online one day, but I was all too excited for the opportunity to tap into my past experience and passions.
The trip was nearly perfect in all ways. Our kids were impacted beyond what Tim had hoped for, the people we worked with at Morning Star Ranch left lasting impressions on us, we formed a connection and partnership with Tim and Kim who run the camp programs at the Ranch, and we were able to not only help their staff, but to also put on a great program for the campers.
We spent a couple of days at the camp training, preparing, and exploring Wichita, where many of the campers come from. And then on Monday, the campers arrived. They stayed until Friday, and once they left, we headed out for Hayes, KS where we spent a night in a hotel playing and debriefing.
Sophia and Noah were all too excited about the hotel. It was their first experience in a hotel and they had a hard time settling down to sleep for the night. Sophia, Noah, and I all stayed in one room, while Tim spent the night in a room with several of the high school boys. He says he felt bad that he couldn't be with us, but I think that he really took the easy route that provided sleep!! The three of us didn't sleep much that night, not for lack of tiredness or trying!!! We tried putting Noah's pack n play in the closet, only half of which fit. Sophia had her own bed, as did I. That only lasted until Noah woke up in the middle of the night crying (probably b/c he was somewhat stuffed in a closet!), and in turn woke Sophia, which caused me to crawl into bed with her so that Noah wouldn't hear her and remember that she was right there and want to play! So needless to say, we were up and at 'em early the next morning ready for a quick swim and hotel breakfast.
And that, FINALLY, brought us to the last 6 hours of our driving, from Hayes, KS to HOME SWEET HOME!!!!
Where we plan to stay for some time!!!!