Monday, July 07, 2014

Kid Quest at ACU | 2014

The last full week of June, my friend (Christina) and I took our four boys to Abilene so our big boys could attend ACU's Kid Quest day camp. This was their first year to attend, so we were all new at everything. 

First...sleeping arrangements and where we stayed. We stayed at a hotel very close to campus that allowed us to book a 2-room suite. There were two separate rooms with this common room in between. There was a sofa bed as well as a full kitchen, which came in really handy since we were staying with our 4 boys for a whole week. And on top of that, breakfast was included with our stay and was served downstairs every less meal to worry about. That was perfect. (The boys especially loved the Texas-shaped waffles). 

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From this angle, you can see the two bedrooms (with attached bathrooms). We also had a large balcony with outdoor table (not pictured). This was really perfect for our situation and gave us plenty of room. 

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The first morning of camp there was a huge downpour just as we were arriving on campus. We had umbrellas but still got soaked. It was just that kind of rain...which is great for Abilene. But, here are the two eager campers right before they checked in. They really were excited, and even though they ended up in different small groups, they had no problems going right on in that first day. 

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Since the big boys were going to be at camp from 8-4 every day, Christina and I knew we would have to do some things with the little boys to pass the time. On Monday morning, we went to the movies to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. 

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They inhaled that popcorn, and Logan only needed to go to the bathroom once during the movie. They stayed pretty engaged in the show, but toward the end started getting a little antsy. But, we were nearly the only ones in there so it was not a big deal. 

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Later that afternoon...still with grey skies...we walked around campus a little bit. 

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The boys brought some stuffed animals along for the adventure. 

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We walked from the Welcome Center over to the Jacob's Dream sculpture on the trail.

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Just before picking up the big boys, we ducked inside the Bible building to have a look at the huge globe and the well  my grandfather's old office and conference room. 

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The next morning, after dropping off Ethan and Ashton at camp, we headed over to the park by the zoo. We were waiting for it to open. The little boys didn't mind...they loved the tire swing. 

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We were some of the first ones to enter the zoo that day. 

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They got surprisingly close to that peacock before it started walking away. 

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We took a little train ride through the zoo, which was a big hit with both Logan and Brennan. 

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But the highlight for them may just have been feeding the giraffes. They thought their long, black tongues were so funny. 

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After camp that day, we took all the boys back to the park to get some energy out before dinner. 

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The day before, the big boys had come back from camp completely exhausted. They were just worn out by the new schedule. By day two, they were still tired, but had plenty of energy for the play ground. 

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On Wednesday morning after drop off, we took another walk around campus...this time the opposite side by the old administration building. It was really a beautiful morning. 

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The little boys ran and ran around all over the place. There was hardly anyone on campus so they were pretty free to run wild. 

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We ended our walk over at the campus center and then headed back to our car. 

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After the temperatures warmed up a bit (it's crazy that they were so pleasant in Abilene at the end of June, but they were), we changed into swim suits and headed over to the splash park. 

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Splash park photos may be some of my favorite photos ever...doesn't matter which park, I just love the pure joy on kids faces when they are playing with water. So, I had a hard time just trimming down the ones to share here. 

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Obviously the boys had a blast. 

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It ended up being so warm that day that we brought the big boys back over to the splash park that afternoon after we picked them up. Even Christina and I got wet because it was so hot. 

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Ashton and Ethan getting soaked under the big bucket dump...

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They played at the splash park until they were starving for dinner.

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On Thursday morning, Christina was kind enough to take a photo of me and my boys on campus. 

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All four boys ran around and played tag while we waited for drop off time. It's great that they all get along so well since we spent the entire week together. 

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After that we took the little boys to a couple of parks while we waited for the Grace Museum to open. We spent some time in the park right across the street from the museum. The boys got to watch a train go by on the elevated track that runs parallel to the park, and they loved seeing all the storybook character statues. 

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But the sculpture they played on the most was this metal canoe. They climbed up and down and all around it for what seemed like forever. Casey and I actually have some (very silly) photos of us on this same sculpture from when we were in 2002 (we were both 21 at the time). 

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When The Grace opened, we went straight up to story time in the children's part of the museum. It was a cute story about Calliope, a rhinoceros.

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After the story, the kids were able to use modeling clay to make their own Calliope figure. The boys really loved this part...more than I thought they would. Logan played with his Calliope for the entire week. 

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After completing the craft, we spent a good bit of time exploring the children's museum. Here, the boys are looking at the "tornado." 

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They had the best time up here and we practically had to drag them away to go get lunch. 

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Almost every day we spent a few hours back at the hotel letting the little boys - and us - rest. They didn't sleep, but we all had some down time. After rest time, we went to the WACU museum near campus. Neither Christina nor I had been inside before so we wanted to take a look. They were having a bake sale fund raiser that day so there were several WACU ladies there. They were really sweet to let us look around on our own, but were a wealth of information too. 

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There were so many fun ACU "artifacts" inside the old house. It really was fun to look around and see what we might a binder with a ton of vintage Sing Song programs. We only spent about 15-20 minutes inside, but that was good since we had 2 little boys with us!

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That evening we thought we'd get ice cream as a fun treat for the boys at Dairy Queen after we swam at the hotel pool. Judging by these photos, you'd think that Ethan and Logan enjoyed their treats...but they didn't. They still don't like ice cream. But, I got some too, and I most certainly DID enjoy it! (We were able to use our balcony and outdoor table for the ice cream, which was great!)

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On the final morning of camp, the boys insisted on walking in all holding hands. 

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The two happy campers were sporting their official camp shirts that day too. The story behind the huge size is that we thought we ordered a child small when they actually ordered adult smalls for us. I have no idea why they thought we'd want an adult size for the boys, but whatever. The boys really didn't care. And because there's not a lot of photos of them...and none of them AT camp...I'll just say that they totally and completely loved it. They had the best time. 

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By the last couple of days, the boys were checking themselves in each morning. 

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Then, they were escorted into the room and announced for the whole room to hear..."Kid Quest, Ethan and Ashton are here!" They loved that. 

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The little boys rang the bell on the way back to the car that morning. I don't really remember what we did that day. We had to check out of our hotel room mid-morning since we were heading back to Dallas after we picked up the boys that afternoon. There was a video that we were all invited to watch, and the kids showed us some of their camp songs and dances. Such a fun week for all of us. It's likely that we will do this again next year!

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