Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Catholic Family Camp!

 We went to a Catholic Family Camp a couple weeks ago and had a blast!
The weekend started on Thursday night, loading up the van from home,
this little Sweetie Pie was trying to help and fell out of the van, 
head first and banged up  her head and cheek, and lost 2 bottom teeth!!
Nothing a Mr. Freezee couldn't cure!
(we had our doctor neighbor come check her out before we left)
She won't be eating apples for a few years....at least not whole ones.
She's 3 1/2, so she'll be toothless for about 3 years!
 Country roads, take me home.....Oh, how I love the country...
but you already know that.
This camp is in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Minnesota!
Camp Lebanon Christian camp
  rents out their facilities certain weekends 
for certain groups of people
Ours was a Catholic Family weekend.
The evenings brought many storms
and kids in the bed with mama.
(yes, I fit there on the edge)
 The storm's strong winds took several trees around I think all of Minnesota
 Glad we were not staying in these cabins...the trees actually did not even break through!
 Look at the roots on that thing!  
 There was always something to do
 and someone to chase after
 trails to hike, places to sit
 Here's "Rosie" on the water trampoline/catapult!
 going up the high water slide
 View from the beach 
There was this Saturn thingy that the big kids kept trying to get on,
once on, they all try to knock each other off...
Fun times!
 Beach time!
I didn't get pictures of Little Red while on the beach with him
any beach pictures are taken while he's sleeping with daddy!
 Jedi with my good friend T!
(she's married to Christine's cousin! Small world, huh?)
(I knew T before Christine!)

 Lots of friends were made!
Look at these sweeties!
Esther is telling Sweetie Pie something...
 She's like "What did she say?"
 "Oh, OK, let's go to the dock!"
I could take pictures of the littles playing in the sand and water all day!

 Had to add this picture just because of the boingy curls!
(it was humid)
 She did this for hours!
 Click on the picture, doesn't that wet sand make you want to play?
 Esther is photobombing our picture!  
(Oh, they are sooooo cuuuuuute)

 Swimming, canoeing, paddle boating...well, we tried to paddle boat,
after the lifeguard emptied the boat of water, fixed the seats for littles to fit,
we got out about 10 feet and the littles cried and were scared to death.
 One of the best things was NO COOKING!!!!
The food was great, lots of fruit and veggies and OATMEAL for breakfast!
(my favorite)
Tom was holding Little Red when  a little boy came up to him 
and said, "What's your name?" Tom said, "His name is Simeon."
The little boy excitedly said, "Simeon?!! We pray for you every night!"

(You'll meet his mama at the bottom)
 Crafts on Saturday morning
 More friends to be made....Awwwwwwwww!!!!
Gosh these kiddos are so cute!
 Zip lining!!  She's ready to go!
Jedi is thinking about maybe doing it next year!  
(He's the more cautious oldest child)
 All ready to go, walking the walk to her death, the walk to the other side
 Here she comes!  Get out of the way you man!! I'm trying to get a picture of my daughter!
(I actually got a video of her, she went twice!)
There was also paintball...
 Outside floor  hockey and basketball!

 3 goalies!
Tom's back was killing him the whole time, poor guy.
He couldn't do much of anything...
 The kids played this game they called "Ga Ga Ga", I guess because this is an 
octagon shape, some little kid called it the "Ga Ga Ga"
It's kind of a mini dodge ball game
They also had lots of games inside, like carpetball, Foosball, and pool
I didn't get pictures of the playground, volleyball court or the campfire!
There also were swings by the lake--I loved sitting there with Tom or the kiddos!
This is what our room looked like, we stayed in this building that housed 
6 families in the upper level (not sure if there were rooms on the main level or  not)
The basement was where everyone ate
There were 10 beds (5 bunks)
Tom is so tall we needed this place,
 because one of the beds has a full size on the bottom,
so he could sleep diagonally
 Our rooms were air conditioned and we had a little sink in it.
There were shared showers and bathrooms down the hall
 (I must be talking here, or just  holding my mouth weird)
(Hey, I'm wearing that same outfit today)
Anyway, here's me, Heather--Happymomonline
and a mutual friend, Lisa! 
(she's the mother of 9 beautiful kiddos)

Heather and I met online and now in real life!!
She's a sweetheart and the mother of sweet Esther 
and 6 other great kiddos!
(including that little boy I talked about above)

There was a family rosary every night and usually Mass 
(but this weekend, there was no priest available on the weekend)
We had a priest there for our rosary Friday night though

I loved that the big kids could go off and be with their friends and do so many things
and they were safe!!  
I loved that there was so much to do constantly!
I loved that I did not have to cook at all!
I loved being around other families that had the same
love of God, faith and family!

We can't wait to go again next year!


  1. What a wonderful place and a great weekend! Love the pictures!

  2. That looks like an awesome few days! I can't wait till my kids are a little bit older to fully appreciate fantastic things like this :)

  3. That looks like so much fun! Poor baby girl, breaking her teeth, but thankfully she wasn't hurt worse and they will be growing back. Can't get over how big Sims is getting! The kids are much braver than because I could never, ever, ever zip line!

    1. Something to add to your retirement list: Zip lining!! (in Minnesota!)

  4. ugh..my comment got deleted. KNow how you write a long long one and then it disappears..ugh.

    Poor Baby Girl! Lost her two teeth. Must of hurt so bad. She still is adorable.

    Looks like a wonderful time. Even with the storms. I like that it is all Catholic with good Catholic families.

    now ya cannot call that "camping" especially if you are not cooking you spoiled resort person you!!!!!!!!

    glad to see everyone had a good time. Just hope Toms back feels better. Back problems are a bummer.

    So cool you made some more friends.Jealous!!

    1. I am actually a Pool person. I don't like lakes...but the kids have such a wonderful time, it's all worth it!

  5. Jamie Jo...what a great post! I was so happy to share your wonderful experience with you! So many wonderful pictures of a happy,busy week...I enjoyed them all. And zip lining! Amazing!

    Loved that you met a bloggy friend! Someday my friend, I am crashing in on you and Christine! : )

  6. Looks like a great time! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Oh! I am so happy that your family got to have this great vacation!! It looks like so much fun was had by all of you.

    I cringed when I read about Sweetie Pie's teeth. One of my front teeth was knocked out when I was 18 months old. I had a toothless grin for quite a long time.

  8. That looks fun.....I haven't seen family camp here...is it many parishes? Darling pics!

    1. I think it starts with one big parish in the Twin Cities and then those people branch out getting families they know to fill it up...so there were a lot of people from all over MN there.

  9. Hi,Jamie Jo! I have been trying to find a Catholic Family camp for our family for many years. We live in Virginia. There is one in Ohio, but it doesn't have all the water activities like Camp Lebanon has, and you have to bring and cook most of your own food. Do you have an opinion whether it would be worth driving 19 hours for? And where is the information about when it would be for next year? (It's not on their website, for what I can see). Thanks so much!

    1. OH, gosh, 19 hours? It's actually only a weekend, from Thursday evening (after supper) til Sunday morning after breakfast, so not sure it would be worth it to travel so far for just a few days. There is no information on their website, I think the camps that are on their website are week long camps, and it's actually owned by Baptist people and they have Christian camps. I think how it started was a group, like the one we went with, a Catholic church in the Twin Cities, Epiphany, got a group of people together to go, they probably had to have a certain number of people in order to rent (the camp) it for the weekend, so they branched out to other friends, etc....so someone in our Catholic homeschool group sent a notice about needing families...this family I know has gone for the last 4 or 5 years, so it's been going on for a while.

      I was told by the other blogger I met, Heather, that she thinks there is another Catholic group that goes later in the summer, Margaret, (MN Mom) has gone with that particular group.) Again, I'm sure it's started with one parish and branched out to fill the camp so it can be rented out.

      The cost was (for our "Chalet" place) $635. My husband thinks that's kind of spendy, but I think it's reasonable, considering all the meals and that it didn't matter how many kids you had...There are other options, cabins are cheaper and there is another building similar to ours, without sinks in the rooms, and kind of farther away from everything, about 100 bucks cheaper. (we needed the bigger priced one because Tom needed the larger bed ours featured, he's really tall--6 ft 6, so he slept diagonally in a full size bottom bunk)

      If you want to email me your information, I can always send you the information next year when it comes out and you can decide if it would be worth it (of course I'd love to meet you!)

  10. Oh, one more thing.... Do you know of any other Catholic family camps on the east coast?

  11. What a blessing! Looks like it was a blast!

  12. Yes! What a blessing. So much fun and I agree with what you said about the older kids being able to go off and do their own thing (and stay safe at the same time.) Poor little one with the nasty tumble and lost teeth. And so awesome that you met Heather! I thought little Esther looked familiar! That's so great when blog friends become real life friends :) And yes, I hope your husband back is on the mend sooner than later.

  13. Can you go any week, or just when your parish goes? This looks ideal for campers like me!

    1. Just when a group like ours has it planned...I think Margaret's church goes another weekend...

  14. So sorry I don't have time to answer everyone!! I tried to answer all the questions though!

  15. Jamie Jo - That family camp looks so great. So nice that you were able to participate. I made my old blog private and have started a new blog due to "cyber-security" issues on the old blog. Link below. Please visit, comment and follow along if you like. Happy 4th of July!

  16. Awww...now you just made us (Lily's reading over my shoulder) really sad we missed it :( Of course, with the storms and almost two days without power over that time, we may not have been able to go any way. *sigh* I guess God had it all figured out. I hope next year!!

    Fun to see some familiar faces posted ;)

  17. Holy Family church does this every year! Is this how you heard of it? Me and Dennis were going to do it, I think, last year, but never got around to getting the money out in time. Maybe next year. It helps to have pictures, makes me want to go!

    Poor Sweetie Pie, bumping her head like that. I can relate, poor Henry still has a scab on his nose. It's really deep and may end up scarring.

    Oh yeah, I was also going to say that the picture of the fallen tree reminds me of the one that fell on our back porch during a storm last year. Me and Dennis never heard it fall. (Our bedroom window faces the back porch.) I woke up in the morning and looked out the window and saw nothing but leaves, lol.

  18. The pictures were all awesome and it was like I was there with you with the naratives so thanks for sharing with us and know you are thought of often way down here in NC

  19. Fun times! Next year we may have to join you!!!


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