Julie here! I’m baaaaaack! I’ve gone dark for at least 2 weeks since I was out of town last week in North Carolina, and not cooking but eating camp food. I went with our youth group at Redeemer Lutheran Church on a mission trip to Camp Linn Haven, in the mountains of North Carolina, north of Asheville and not too far from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It was a wonderful week, but it definitely depleted my energy. We had four adult chaperones and one college student along to take care of our 13 high school youth. So no one person had too heavy a load. But still, it is a little stressful being “mom” to so many additional children! Our kids, however, are really awesome. They care for each other, are open to new experiences, and other than having a couple of picky eaters, are easy to travel with. I hardly ever hear whining. That’s a win in my book! Even as I get caught up on the mountains of laundry to be washed, the bills to be paid, and the cleaning to be done, I’m truly thankful for such a great experience last week.
I’ve shared a lot more on our youth group blog, but I’ll share a couple of photos here too of one of my favorite events. On Wednesday evening, we climbed up a trail to Flat Rock where we had a true “mountaintop” experience. The weather finally broke for a beautiful hike among the ferns on the forest floor. The woods are dense and thick, but finally open up as our boots hit the granite rock at the top of the mountain.
The views atop the mountain highlight the layered, shadowed mountain peaks, blue in the distance. While I’m partial to the snowy peaks of the Rockies, this view has its own beauty with its green, green hills and the haze hanging in the air.
On top of the mountain, we sang “Amazing Grace” as the wind gently blew through the trees. After that, we broke up into small groups to discuss our bible study for the evening.
Every evening at camp during our church group time (as opposed to being mixed up with 100 other campers from at least 6 other churches), we shared our highs and lows of the day. Highs included relationships forming with other campers or people from our work sites; special food treats; getting sleep ( because many lows included the opposite). One of the highs of my week was atop Flat Rock where we could easily see the Creator’s hand at work–in the surroundings as well as in the faces of the people in our church family.
Taffy Apple Salad
Well, this is more like a dessert in my book, and a great one at that! It’s chopped apples, pineapple, peanuts, and marshmallows, tossed with whipped topping and a pineapple/sugar sauce.
Here are the main ingredients, ready to be stirred in with the sweet sauce (glaze?–I’m having trouble with food terminology tonight).
And here’s the glaze:
It’s like one of those delightful potluck salads at every good church picnic. Love it. Thank you, Joan H. for another winner!