Well, if we have the 3-room tent (condo) out, it must be Sukkot again. :) Sukkot is all about living in temporary dwellings for a week to commemorate the Israelites living in the desert for 40 years before coming into the promised land. While it may look like we had an elaborate setup, I can only imagine that it wasn't too different from how they did it 3500 years ago. They were carrying their entire households with them wherever they went. For our family, we also choose to celebrate the birth of Yeshua (Jesus) and commemorate God coming to dwell in temporary form among us.
We camped at Hagan-Stone Park in Pleasant Garden again this year, but couldn't get the nice, big group site that we had last year. Fortunately, there was an individual site large enough to fit our tent and other constructs.
This year we decided, since we were in an individual site rather than off by ourselves, to forgo building a true sukkah and instead put up a couple of screen tents to preempt the swarm of yellow jackets we had last year. We even had a separate kitchen tent.
Emma helped me untangle the lights to decorate the dining tent.
We lost count of how many times Emma fell out of her chair over the course of seven days, but it was at least 10. She never sat still for long and wound up tipping her chair over many a time.
We borrowed a cornhole set from friends and the kids thought this was the greatest thing ever.
At one point, Gabe started "defending" the hole and a new game was born that combined baseball and cornhole.
Emma started being "helpful" and pushing any bags she could find right into the hole.
Perhaps the favorite "toy" of the week was the dirt.
The kids whiled away several hours digging and piling and scraping the sand together.
Emma took many opportunities to practice her standing as she dumped sand on Ezra and Gabe by the fistful.
Other fun discoveries included worms,
which later in the week became cocoons,
sticks (show here are Ezra's jet and gun,)
Ezra displaying his wings as "jet-boy".
Grandma and Grandpa Baldwin were kind enough to come visit for a morning while Rebecca and I ran the Mudbug Run again this year. More pics from that in another post.
Naps were a fairly regular occurrence as they were usually wiped out in the afternoons.
Even Irene had a great time.
Sadly, it wasn't all fun and games... Ezra had a mishap involving a camp chair and the bridge next to our site...
He and Gabe were stacking chairs into towers and Ezra decided to climb one.
Unfortunately, he fell, hit his face on the rail and tumbled into the ditch below, hitting his head.
The aftermath. The cut on his forehead wasn't large, but it was deep, so after a little cleanup and a sandwich, Rebecca took him to our pediatrician.
He put some Durabond (glue) in there and made him as good as new. Mostly, anyway. Dr. Cooper said Ezra was the best patient for this kind of this that he's had in months. He lay quietly still while the doc washed out the cut and glued him up.
And then, on a walk the very next day, Ezra was being "jet-boy" and, because his hands were trapped behind the stick, fell on a root and cut his chin open. We didn't go to the doc for this one.
This was Rebecca's and my favorite part of the day.
Kids in bed, stars overhead and a good fire to sit next to.
Our nutty kids.
But they can be sweet, too.
This year, we had wonderful weather for most of it. It only rained one afternoon and night, though it rained hard enough for me to take the kids home for that night for fear of a flash flood.
Reflections on Sukkot (from Rebecca): It is customary to read Ecclesiastes so I spent time there. I also spent time thinking about the day to day provision the Israelites experienced in the wilderness and reading in Matthew 6. As we were camping each day, we experienced a simpler life. We didn't have our beds to sleep on each night, we didn't have a refrigerator or pantry full of food choice, we didn't have all our toys or books, we didn't have the TV, computer or other such pleasures. Each day we got up with the sun and went to bed with the sun. God was really speaking to me about trusting him for our provision. Not worrying about what tomorrow will or won't have. Each day has enough trouble of its own. And all those extras don't matter like having one another and knowing God. The other thing I kept thinking about was the day when Messiah will return. Oh yes, come quickly Lord! Come dwell among us again. In the meantime, thank you for the time you spent on earth being our living Torah and dwelling so intimately with us. I am thankful for the Spirit that lives in me and that you would choose to include this Gentile in the blessings of your chosen people. I am blessed to call the One True God of Israel my own!