Monday, March 30, 2009

Father & Daughter 2009 Retreat

"That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style;"
Psalm 144:12

As some of you have probably already read, Daddy and I (Kimber) went to a Father & Daughter Retreat hosted by Vision Forum ( that took place Friday the 27th through Sunday the 29th. We went to bed earlier than normal Thursday night because we were getting up at Midnight and driving the 10 hours and 47 minutes to Pine Mountain, GA. Mama stayed up and made us some muffins (freshly baked at 12:00 midnight - what a Mama!) and bid us goodbye as we left. (We had packed and loaded the car before going to bed) I fell asleep in a few minutes into the drive and woke up as Daddy passed a detour and went offroad freestylin' around 6-7:00 A.M which woke me up. I stayed awake the rest of the time and we sang, talked, etc. We actually arrived at the Callaway Gardens in GA around 9-10 hours(if you want to know how ask my Dad). :)
We went and signed in at the front desk and the lady handed us the key and we went to our room, which was supposedly #162. Daddy and I had our hands completely full but I managed to insert the card into the door (for access) but it was giving us a red light instead of a green and Daddy was making high-pitched noises to warn me that everything was about to fall out of his hands (to add to the confusion) when the door opened and this 50-60 year old woman peered out at us through a tiny crack in the door and asked if we needed any help. So, we got the wrong number and disturbed a lady so Daddy left me with the stuff and went back the front desk and returned with #182 which worked! :)
Our bedroom - very cozy.
I thought the beds were extremely comfy but it might've been that I never got into bed until around 11-12:00 P.M and woke up every morning around 7:00-8:00 A.M.!

Our bathroom and dressing room.


Mama went to the store the day before we left and bought us food that we rarely ever buy for the retreat! :) She bought us Oreos, Nerds, Fig Newtons, POM drinks and more (of course she gave us apples and bananas also! :)

We started unpacking and hanging things up, put food in the refrigerator, ate some food, relaxed etc. and when we were done we decided to drive around since the first session didn't start until 3:00 that afternoon and it was around 1:30 P.M.
We went through some of the many trails Callaway Gardens had to offer and then we visited the Butterfly Garden.

No, the butterfly didn't just land there - he had a little help!
There were tons of different butterflies and I took lots of pictures but I took so many that I'm posting the pictures of the butterflies on an entirely different post since this one is already going to be extremely long (just as a heads-up).

Daddy in one of the trails.
I forgot to add that it rained practically the entire day on Friday and all Saturday morning, clearing up that afternoon. So, in order for me to take pictures outside without my camera getting wet I put a little blue microfiber towel over my camera. It worked most of the time.

Along one of the trails (you could drive to lots of them which was very convenient) was a small chapel, a "quiet place for meditation and worship." We decided to stop there and see what it was like. Not surprisingly only 3-5 families came during the time we were there out of the many that were everywhere else. In the picture Daddy is reading the Bible that was propped up against the cross and resting on a stone (Christ the Solid Rock) isn't that stained glass beautiful! :)

A close-up of the Bible, Rock, and Cross.

Outside of the little chapel was a small waterfall.

Daddy peeking around the tree by the waterfall.
I don't completely remember when we went to everything so when I say "next" it really might be "before," so bear with me! :)
One of the trails we walked on Friday afternoon was the Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl. There were hundreds of blooming azaleas of all different types and species. (I have another entire post dedicated to the flower pictures since I took so many also!)

Daddy on the bridge that went over the lake in the middle of the Azalea Trail.

We went back at 3:00 to see if we were doing the games on the "Big Lawn" like we were supposed to but they were canceled because of the weather, so we drove around some more. When we were done driving around, we went back to our room, got warmed up and then went to the conference center. As soon as we walked in the door we saw the Whitsons, some really good friends of ours. I had not met them before but Daddy and Hannah had at a previous Father & Daughter Retreat. Daddy and Mr. Whitson hit it off immediately and I started talking to Taylor and Abby Whitson as we got in line for dinner. Dinner consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, cole slaw, etc. The Whitsons, Daddy, and I sat at the same table together and talked until the seminars started after a really yummy ice-cream social (they had Neapolitan ice-cream and a nut cookie).

Daddy at the dinner table.

One of the chandeliers in the conference/dining area.

Daddy and his yellow teeth - just kidding - that's Juicy Fruit gum! :)
The two seminars that night was:
Mr. Doug Phillips (president of Vision Forum) on What the Bible Says About Fathers and Daughters
Mr. Voddie Baucham ( on Why Every Father is Leaving a Legacy Whether He Knows it or Not.

They were all great seminars and after saying goodnight to the Whitsons I went to bed after some discussion on the things said in the sessions and Daddy went to work out at a Fitness Center they had.
Saturday morning I woke up around 7:00 to take a shower and then we rushed to get dressed to make it to the breakfast room before 8:30. Daddy and I dressed up in our "Sunday best" for the High Tea that was going to take place that day. Breakfast was delicious. I had some really good hashbrowns, biscuits, and pineapple while Daddy had bacon (and lots of it) with a few other things.

Daddy insisted on taking my picture, so here it is.

Daddy at the breakfast table.
To ask Daddy to smile is just the result of a terrible picture, so I like his funny faces a lot more (seems more like him)! :)

This was a Q and A panel discussion with (left to right): Mr. Scott Brown, Voddie Baucham, his daughter Jasmine Baucham, Mr. Geoff Botkin, his daughters Elizabeth and Anna Sofia Botkin. They were asked different questions and then answered them.
The Q and A happened after three sessions that morning.
After the sessions Daddy and I went to the "Peach Room" where we found our names at a table and sat down to lunch. We had 4 different fathers and daughters with us at the table and Daddy really hit it off with the Dad beside him who lived in Montana and was a self-employed lawn care worker (figure that). The food on the table was, there's no way nice to put this, so I'll just say "different." They had cucumber and something sandwhiches, fruit, small chocolate covered cake things, etc. Practically nothing we'd ever seen or tasted before. The food hardly filled us 1/8 of the way. Daddy just asked for rolls half the time. The waitresses thought he was hillarious (along with some of the people at the table with us). One waitresses kept insisting Daddy was a po-lice (she pronounced it as, poe-leese) which cracked those left at the table up. Eventually we convinced the lady that Daddy wasn't a "police" but a lawn care worker!

One of the place settings. We got to keep the teacups and saucers. Underneath one of the teacups on each table would be a sticker and whoever had the sticker on their teacup was the winner of the bouquet of flowers on the table. Daddy prayed I would get the sticker and I did! (Hannah also won the flowers when she went 2 years ago but she gave them away)
After lunch we had the entire afternoon to ourselves. I went and knocked on the Whitsons door and asked if they would like to come to the Buttefly Garden with us again (they stayed on the same floor as us, we would've been right beside them if our room number had been 162 because their room number was 160! :) and they said yes. Daddy changed (I stayed in my dress all day) and then Mr. Whitson drove us around. We brought some "power pills" (nerds and oreos) with us. Daddy had started a tradition of giving an Oreo to the lady who let us in the gardens, which was pretty funny because the lady thought it was hilarious, so we gave her an Oreo each time we went to the gardens.

Daddy pointing out some dead butterflies/moths! :)

A real butterfly!

Abby and Taylor in the butterfly garden.
It stopped raining when we were admiring the butterflies and flowers in the garden so we then went through some of the trails again.

Taylor and Abby on the trail to the old chapel.

Abby and Taylor again.
Abby put flowers in my French braid as we walked along the trail.
The stained glass, cross, Bible, and rock again.
When we went in the chapel this time there was someone practicing singing for a wedding that was going to happen in the church a hour or two later so we left soon after.

Daddy and I in the front of the chapel.

Abby, Mr. Whitson, and Taylor.
Next we went back to the azalea trail.

Abby was zooming all over the place taking lots of pictures of the flowers! :)

Daddy in a Japanese cedar tree.

Taylor and Abby in the Azalea bushes.

Taylor, Abby, and I on the bridge on the trail of the Azaleas.


The trail

Mr. Whitson and Daddy walkings and talking.
It was nearing dinner time so we started "speed walking" to hurry to get to the car to go eat dinner. We ate dinner at "Alpen's Mountain Grill," a few miles from the lodge. They had some really great chicken fingers! :)
After we finished dinner, Daddy and I made it just in time for the portraits (they had a photographer there) of us two. They'll send us the pictures in the near future. We then went to the night seminars and sat with the Whitsons - talking whenever we got a break! :)

One of the games that they played that night was the "getting Daddy for work" game. They picked out 8 groups of fathers and daughters and the daughters had to "shave" (with a plastic knife and shaving cream) their daddy and then put his shoes and tie on. It was pretty funny! :)
One of the other contests they played was where a father had to sing eidelweiss or You Are My Sunshine to their daughter and then we would vote for who won best for "wooing" their daughter. That was lots of fun listening to, also! :)

(This is just an abstract picture I took during a walk on one of the trails! :)
Sunday morning we were supposed to wake up early to go to breakfast with the Whitsons but somehow the alarm clock didn't go off and we finally woke up when we heard Abby knocking on our door. (It was around 8:00) They came by and said goodbye and then they left for home. We went to breakfast soon after and had another great meal, as we talked over the weekend. We could've stayed until 12:00 that day but we left around 10:30 instead after we had bought the family some gifts. Daddy bought me a Mint-Oreo sundae at a gas station that had a Dairy Queen near it - he got cookie dough! They were really yummy! As we drove, I asked him the questions included in my portfolio from the retreat, and that took probably around 9 hours for him to answer; then we talked the rest of the way home. We got home around 9:00 that night and we let everyone see their presents. Josiah got a little velcro-monkey, Eden some lipgloss, Hannah, Alexis, and Mama got some pretty notebooks and Caleb and Seth got firecrackers(a boy present for sure! :).
My favorite session was the one by Mr. Voddie Baucham on The Ministry of Marriage: Why Putting Off Marriage to Do Ministry is Unwise and Unnecessary. One thing he said encouraged me a lot! He was speaking of righteous young men and how you can hardly find 1 anywhere and he said to not despair (1 Kings 19:14-18) because the Lord has one reserved for me, if it's His will for me to get married. Then he gave the example of Adam. There were literally NO women for Adam to choose from and yet God brought him a woman, a help-meet. That was very encouraging for me.
Daddy and I had a really great time and I know I'll remember what the Lord showed me, and remember the great time we had with the Whitsons for the rest of my life!
Overjoyed to belong to Jesus,
P.S - There will be 2 more posts following this one on the Retreat.

No comments:

Post a Comment