Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shenadoah Valley Resort Trip

"Moreover You led them by day with a cloudy pillar,And by night with a pillar of fire, To give them light on the road Which they should travel."
Nehemiah 9:12

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We did but I'll post more on that later.


Our family had a wonderful time at the Shenandoah Resort. It would've been a much nicer stay had it not been so cold...nevertheless, we spent lots of time together and enjoyed the mini-vacation very much!

These pictures all come in order (that I know of) so just scroll down and I'll tell you the story of our trip, picture by picture!


In the Car

We left our house around 12:00 Monday morning after cleaning the house and packing. We started on our way toward the resort about 45 minutes later.

Alexis and Seth

We are at a gas station re-fueling


Lydia again


At the Resort

Checking in and Getting Settled in Our Log Cabin

Well, we arrived at the cabin around 3 p.m. Our log cabin was in the middle of the woods (other cabins were close nearby) and it had a beautiful wood walkway to get there.

Nursing Lydia...

Washing dishes...

Putting food away...

...was all part of settling into our temporary abode.

Eden in 1 of the 2 bedrooms.

Hannah and I (Kimber) slept in this room both nights and one of the nights Eden and Josiah slept on the floor at the foot of our beds.

Lydia was enjoying trying out her standing technique in the rocking chair!

Lydia getting ready for bed

Hannah stopping for a smile before continuing to read her book.

(You know I had this new camera to figure out so I was taking tons of pictures so she graciously gave me this smile after the 4th or 5th "Smile, Hannah!" - though she wasn't very excited!)


Visiting the Horses

After settling in - for the most part - we went for a drive to explore the area nearby

A short car ride away was the stables and fields. Since there are a few horse-lovers in the family we decided to drop a visit by the horse field!

A miniature horse and pony

The family petting the horses

(Hannah stayed at home, to read and keep an eye over Lydia as she slept)

A draft horse and Alexis - doesn't he look so sweet!?

Eden and the draft horse - to give you a little perspective on how big he was!

Seth and Alexis in the car as we drove around!


Pictures of the Family

On the Boardwalk Connecting to our Temporary House

I set up the tripod that went with the camera and found an ideal place to take pictures - our walkway!

There is a picture of each individual family member below (starting with daddy) - from far away and up close.


Close-up of Daddy

Daddy again
(I think he looks a little cold - what do you think?!!)


Mommy's close-up

(See how much richer in color this picture is compared to mommy and daddy's? It's because the sun is shining)

Once again, Hannah wasn't very happy about coming outside into the 'freezing' outside for 2 pictures (especially since we were watching The Incredibles) so that's why she's not really smiling. When I showed her the picture later she didn't like her smile and I told her that I was putting her pictures on the blog. She was like "Oh, please don't put my pictures on there! I look terrible!" Well I said, "That's what happens when you don't smile for the photographer!" ;)

Me (Kimber)

Me again


Alexis close-up


Caleb close-up


Seth close-up


Ah! I forgot Eden's pictures! I'll post them later - sorry!


Josiah close-up
(I love his smile! :)

Lydia underneath the tripod, crawling around

Lydia close-up
Doesn't she look so grown-up!? Mommy said that is because I don't have her crawling, sitting etc. - so it looks like she's standing up.

Lydia on the steps
I was a little scared that she would fall and hit her head or fall through the guard rails so I had Caleb with me to be with her until I took the picture. (I didn't want another trip to the hospital!) I wanted her to sit but she kept trying to crawl forward, so she would fall off of the step she was on if she crawled forward, so I just let her do her thing and took this picture.

Pictures of Lydia
My adorable baby sister!
For some reason this photographer loves taking pictures of her darling sister...I'm guilty of partiality while taking pictures. Sorry...:)
(Well, Hannah took some of these too)
Happy baby!

Should I smile?
(And yes, Hannah thought I liked being excluded from pictures - a little close to home - so she insisted that I be in the pictures. I wouldn't let her see my face though...)

Okay, I'll smile!

Eating some food

Still smiling - baby teeth shining!
The Squirrel Photos
I had prayed that Jesus would bring me some sort of wildlife (even something like a bear) to take pictures of because I really wanted to try out this new camera - plus I'm a photographer...hence I like taking pictures (especially of nature and wildlife).
And, as always, Jesus was faithful and brought me a chubby, bristling squirrel!

Here he/she is in a tree eating a nut

Isn't he cute? Just sitting there, chewing on a nut like nothing was going on...that is until he saw me. And then he ran up the tree where I took the picture before this one.
I took another picture of the squirrel looking at me, nut in mouth, that I'll add later (for some reason it's not on here)

Different squirrel, same adorable personality!
The color is a little odd in this picture.

We put out some "squirrel feed" - homemade of course! :)
I don't think the squirrels were greatly tempted, though there was some lettuce gone - it might have just fallen off the edge.
Time shares, lunch and pool time
As I said before, we were watching The Incredibles when I took the pictures of my siblings. Mommy and Daddy were gone listening to a talk on bluegreen resorts. They came home later than the time they said they would and then we all left our cabin as soon as we could, after lunch, to go back to the conference room.
I know this sounds really crazy with all the bad things said about time shares, but they were seriously considering becoming an owner of bluegreen resorts (a time share). The end result was that......they bought the time share...........
..........and canceled it a few days later.
The reason they became owners was:
  1. All the first-time incentives they offered
  2. They could provide honeymoons for all of us children when we get married
  3. We could take a trip to the Grand Canyon, like we've always wanted
  4. We've wanted to go on more family vacations together
  5. We could come up for the day to Shenandoah Valley and ride the horses, rent the boats, fish etc. all for free and not have to give up any of our "points"
  6. The cabin was nice and a lot of fun!

The reason they canceled it a few days later:

  1. Daddy's vision for the family had always been for us to minister to people here in our home and we couldn't do that if we were away on vacations.
  2. The cost. It cost $8,000 plus a yearly fee of $600 for maintenance fees forEVER!
  3. All of the money that we would've spent for the timeshare year after year could be spent futhering daddy's God-given visions of an animal farm, more chickens, a tractor to clear the under brush away in our woods, ministering to others, adding an addition to our house, enhancing the landscape on our property, adding a lake, making a huge kitchen for when we all have children and come over for dinner, a wrap-around deck, etc.
    4. They had to charge the amount on a credit card- and we had vowed not to use credit cards anymore after getting out of debt several years ago.
  4. 5. They didn't want to create an appetite for luxurious resort-style vacations- when all that matters is that the family is together enjoying God's beautiful creation!
  5. 6. The Lord was kind enough to put 2 different families in our path the day after we "bought" the timeshare- and their experiences were not all bells and whistles so we thankfully reconsidered within the time period we could cancel (within 7 days). Whew! We felt so relieved once we sent our letter of cancellation. God is sooo gracious to us!
For lunch we had hotdogs......

.....cabbage salad and pringles.
Mommy and I went to the store and bought lots of goodies that we normally don't get, like Pringles, Golden Oreos, Ice Cream (on sale of course!) and more!

Here we are waiting in a room for mommy and daddy to make a decision on whether to become owners or not. We were in that room for about 1-2 hours.

Lydia playing with a horsey.
She fell asleep on me while we were waiting.

Eden and the horseys.
We went swimming that night (we also went swimming the night before) in their pool and sauna. The pool was warm and the sauna felt even better. The ideal spot to relax was with your body in the pool and your hands hanging over the wall seperating the pool from the hot tub and letting your hands float in the hot water. I almost fell asleep!
Miniature Golf a.k.a Putt-Putt
After temporarily making a decision to become an owner of bluegreen resorts we went putt-putting


Daddy was our score keeper

The girls
(except the photographer)

Caleb and Seth
Seth is wearing daddy's coat if you're wondering what that big, Mexican-looking sweater is! :)

Alexis helping Josiah hit the ball

The setting sun shining through the trees - see the rays penetrating through the trees?
I woke up 'early' Wednesday morning and went outside and sat on our picnic table and watched the creatures all around me. While I enjoyed their cheerful company I took a few pictures

(taken Wednesday morning)

A woodpecker

A little bird who was chirping away!

Three trees.
I couldn't resist putting this picture on here because the colors came out so beautiful - and that picture was taken with the flash on.
The Horseback Experience
Since Daddy and Mommy had become "owners" of Bluegreen resorts we were able to go on a 45 minute trail ride (which was $35 per person if you weren't an owner) and the little ones were able to have a pony ride.
(These events occured on Wednesday)

Mommy, Hannah, Alexis and I (Kimber) were the ones who went on the trail rides. We all rode beautiful, chesnut ponies who were the sweetest little things. If you went through a muddy part, my horse and mommy's would start to trot all of a sudden because they didn't like the muddy trail holes. But...the trail guide (who smiled barely any, if at all) was constantly telling us to not let our horses trot...only walk! Sometimes I really wanted to trot instead of plod, plod, plodding on but I tried to obey our guide as best as possible. Mommy on the other hand...she hasn't rode a horse in a long time so she would trot until she was told not to. Later in the cabin as we were re-telling our adventures she had these big eyes while talking about Obi (the horse she rode) she was like "He was the sweetest little thing, and I so wanted to trot with him..." :)
A bay horse and a goat.
I didn't take any pictures on the trail ride.

Some lady peacocks

Daddy and a "tom"
The turkey didn't really appreciate daddy holding on to him so he moved away as soon as he could

Josiah and the Tom
The turkey stayed with us constantly. If we went anywhere, turkey followed.

Eden on the pony

I think the pony's name was Windy - she was so cute!

Seth and Mommy

I thought the sky was so beautiful I couldn't exclude it from the picture!

Caleb, Windy and Mommy

Josiah Riding Windy

He came up to Windy and he started petting her nose and talking to her like mommy said.
"Now, I'm going to wide u, Mindy, be a good girl" or something along those lines.
Then he got on and started clicking to Windy to move, like Eden said. It was so cute!
We had a great time at the resort but we are very glad we canceled the time share!
Willingly Jesus',