Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Did you really just pee in the sink?!"

IT'S LIZ'S BIRTHDAY! Two summers ago I was with Liz when she ate 21 buffalo wings. Last summer she got a surprise birthday party in the boat house at the Richard G Marsh Lake. It's been our goal to top it all and make this the best birthday ever. 

We snuck into Abnaki before Liz woke up and suspended a ruler chandelier over her bed. Each ruler had a compliment written on it. 

Next we woke up all the girls from Choctaw and Hopi to come with us to wake up Liz. First we serenaded her with Riptide, her favorite slow song, and then had a dance party to Super Bass, her favorite fast song. Liz was BEAMING. (This would be a trend of the day)

Liz got Emily's birthday crown, a Diet Coke to start the day and Fruity Pebbles, her favorite cereal. Breakfast was filled with so many hugs, like a dog pile from the Catawba girls.

We cut out 180 little Liz faces and passed them out to every CILT, River counselor and all of the Day Camp counselors. Everyone taped Liz on their shirt for Liz Shirt Wednesday. Even Mama Kat has one in the office.

Chapel was AWESOME today. Their skit was the Rainbow Fish and it was the best rendition I've ever seen. They made a sea backdrop to cover the wall but the coolest part was the people behind the stage blowing bubbles the whole time so they drifted out into the crowd.

At the end of the skit when Becky gave a rainbow scale to the small blue fish she also started tossing them out into the crowd like when Cady threw out the pieces of the crown at Prom in Mean Girls.

 We got to take a whole Liz Shirt Wednesday pic with the CILT Pack. If you look close you can find up to 100 little Liz faces in there.

We told the CILTs we were going back to the Party Room to take Times Table Tests and practice our long division, but we had another surprise waiting. Alli has been working for two weeks on putting together a video. We had clips from counselors, campers, her friend Melissa from Day Camp, Tom, Joel, Matt, Jamie and Matt, CILTs, Abby Murin, photos of Llama, Malik and Dave Wright and even a full minute clip from her parents Anne and Collin.

Liz was totally shocked. Partially beaming, partially crying, watching her was just as fun as watching the video.

Next everyone came outside and Liz spotted a piñata hanging from the tree by the Longhouse Porch. She immediately started freaking out. I blind folded her and then led her over where everyone else was waiting. Tim pulled the Cupcake Piñata up and down as Liz swung with a wiffle ball bat.

We had the CILTs serenade her with Riptide as she kept hitting away.

Eventually we ripped open the side of the cupcake so we could pour the Fruity Pebbles inside on her like rain.

Having your favorite cereal poured all over your face and straight into your mouth is pure joy.

We worked on a special surprise that won't be unvieled till Friday but it's going to be so, so cool.
Then the CILTs were broken up into 8 different groups for a Photo Scavenger Hunt all across camp. They were sweaty and out of breath when they returned 45 minutes later. Tim and Alli are very organized and techy so they projected all of the pictures from each group for the rest of us to see.

We got to play outside before lunch--always one of my favorite parts of the day. I miss the rest of resident camp when we're doing CILTy stuff and this is the time we all reconnect.

Grace came back from the Nightengale this morning and I watched this girl run and jump on her she was so excited.  And Diggy's kids love her too. Liz is so good at making friends with kids in the Riv these days.

So many Liz Shirts and Wolf Shirts and friends today. I love Ellyn and Lilly and Maggie and Bridget and Molly.

CILT girls like Grace, Katie Giovani, Mags and Emily make being a counselor worth it every single day. I love getting to live life with them.

Lizzie got the Order of the Oar during lunch. J-Boogy led the pack through the dining hall and then circled her table.

This has been Liz's first summer in the Riv of her four at Tecumseh, but she has been so, so loved. We're so thankful that we get to play and work and live and pray and cry and cheer and sing and dance with her every single day.

Liz went to check the mail for Abnaki, just like any other regular day, but she was surprised to find an extra large stack of emails. Yesterday we contacted all the CILTs from Sessions 1 and 2 and asked them to each send Liz a birthday email through the camp website. They followed through and she was thrilled and of course, beaming.

The birthday fun continued after rest hour. Liz, Alli and I headed up the hill to Lake Village to play Empire. Liz was ecstatic and we ran around collecting chips, searching for keys, using cards and finding our LV friends in all the different kingdoms. We were all on Quinlin so Alli could run around with Hannah.

Anna and Sarah Ryan share my love of SPORTS!

At one point I was running and realized that the little girl in front of me was a camper I had two summers ago. We saw each other at the same instant and ran to hug each other. Somehow Paige hadn't seen Ellyn and me yet this week. She's a gem and we love her guts. Mel showed up with Lillia which always a plus and Liz gave up sports for awhile to hold her.

 Once the game ends, all of the kingdoms meet in Kampen to count the treasure in each chest. We only had two keys but had a whole load of chips.

SOMEHOW QUINLIN WON!!!! By the grace of God and a whole lot of chips, the team we were on pulled out a victory by a slim margin of 100 points. LIZZIE GOT TO WIN EMPIRE ON HER BIRTHDAY!!!

Next Liz and I headed to the Richard G Marsh Lake where John Amy let us be on the blobs all of lake time. It was amazing. We'd only been out there once before this summer and that was only for a few minutes. Today we got to blob small children and bounce around for nearly an hour.

It's RFAJWD night, so Liz, Alli, Tim, Ellyn and I were all on. We still wanted dinner to be special so we ordered Liz's favorite pizza, pineapple and bacon, from Monical's to surprise her. She was shocked. The rest of us ate pepperoni and breadsticks which hit the spot.

As we walked around camp during RFAJWD we ran into some great friends like Emma, Cari and Maddy. I love these people.

The surprises just kept coming for Liz-- Hershey's cookies and cream chocolate...

 Birthday cards from all of the Session 3 CILTs, strawberries...

Reece's that had words printed on them...

Cookie Dough Swirl Klondike bars... Then she and I both said 17 when I "What are the odds" her to jump in her puddle again. She never ended up doing it, but the look on her face when we both said 17 was priceless. 

 Liz got to see her favorite horse pals and jumped right into the pen to give them each a hug.

I'm so thankful for Liz and how much joy, enthusiasm, grace, prayer and confidence she has brought to the CILT program this summer. We're better off because of her. Getting to plan and celebrate her birthday festivities with Ellyn and Alli was just as fun as the actual birthday itself. It's to celebrate someone that we love so much.

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