Friday, July 27, 2007

SOTO '07

Three words:

Family.Camp.Amazing.

This past week, we joined several other families from our church at Family Camp at Shepherd of the Ozarks retreat center...SOTO for short.

Five Days of Playing.
Five Days of Laughing.
Five Days of Swimming.
Five Days of Staying Up Late.
Five Days of Fun.

The most wonderful thing about SOTO was getting to know the stories behind the faces we see almost every Saturday/Sunday. Like physical growth spurts, church growth spurts come with growing pains. Though the past four and a half years have been amazing, Matt and I have grieved the fact that we don't know everyone. We know it's impossible, but if it were possible, we'd love to sit down and have dinner with and hear the hearts of every person that walks through the doors at The Village.

This week, we got to indulge a bit into that dream. We got to hear how the Lord is stretching and loving the people at The Village...how He is glorifying Himself through these "oaks of righteousness." Thank you, families at SOTO, for letting us indulge.

SOTO itself was beautiful. Set in North Central Arkansas, resting quietly in the Ozarks, SOTO is everything camp-ish and more. The lodges are comfy and roomy. Audrey loved finding sleeping nooks and lofts nestled in the most unlikely places. Tadpoles, frogs, crawfish and minnows abound in the crystal clear creek. A ride on Milkshake the pony or the old-fashioned yellow fire truck was the perfect ending to a play-filled day. And the food. Much better than decent! We even had incredible steaks on Wednesday night...with a III Forks salad to boot. Needless to say, we will be back for SOTO '08, Lord willing!

Trip pics...


Holly, Kinsey Grace and Audrey


The flowers were her idea :)


After our horseback ride. Didn't have a free hand to take a picture on the horse!


Reid's favorite activity: throwing rocks into the creek.




(UGH! I can't get this pic vertical!...too cute to not post!)


The swimming hole.


Mountain view of the swimming hole...hope your neck doesn't cramp up!!


Reid on the stairs to our lodge. We were on the bottom floor of the 3-story lodge. Bottom floor pow-wows rocked :)




Asleep in the car...hallelujah!


Lunch on the way home at Firehouse Subs in Little Rock. Hannah, Mia, Audrey, Ryan, Holly and Maddie Grace.




I'm already missing family camp!!

13 comments:

Megan said...

I am a fellow reader of your blog (through Amanda's blog), and ya'll are just the cutest family! Love hearing about ya'lls adventures; I am addicted(in a non-scary, non-stalker, non-weirdo way)! :) Take care!

Amanda said...

Looks like a blast!

Debra said...

This place looks downright amazing.

I never of a family camp to be a fun time but you make it look amazing.

Stephanie said...

We're "in" for next year!!!

David Campbell said...

Welcome Home! Soooo not sure if I should even show these adorable pictures to my kids! They will wonder why in the world we weren't there...in fact, I am wondering why in the world we weren't there! Next year...watch out: CAMPBELLS CAN'T WAIT FOR SOTO 08!! This can be our mantra until then.:)
So happy you guys had fun. Thanks for sharing the great pictures.
Keri Campbell

David Campbell said...

Welcome Home! Soooo not sure if I should even show these adorable pictures to my kids! They will wonder why in the world we weren't there...in fact, I am wondering why in the world we weren't there! Next year...watch out: CAMPBELLS CAN'T WAIT FOR SOTO 08!! This can be our mantra until then.:)
So happy you guys had fun. Thanks for sharing the great pictures.
Keri Campbell

thosetonnes said...

I heard that is was awesome from other families too! Hopefully Matt and I will have kids soon and join everyone up in Arkansas next year!

Lindsey Brittain said...

That water looks amazing....glad you guys had some good family fun. Do you want to go out and shoot around sometime next week? Let me know if you have the time!

Meg and PK said...

Lauren, I so want to go to family camp! In fact, I asked Patrick if he could check it out for our church here in Amarillo. Love the updates on your precious fam!!!

Josh, Nat, & Lily Pat said...

hey- you've been tagged! check out my blog to see what I'm talking about...

kittyhox said...

What a beautiful place.

Someday I hope to be able to try family camp because my husband always wanted to go to summer camp and never got to go. How sad is that? And some of my all-time favorite kid memories were of sleep away camp. Can't wait to experience it as a family some day!!

Glad you all had such fun!

Kellie said...

so much fun!

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

I'm a little obsessed with that swimming hole. Looks amazing!