Camp Charley at the Center for Courageous Kids

This weekend our family had the incredible opportunity to attend a wonderful camp for children who have had certain types of illnesses (leukemia being one of them) and their families.  The Center for Courageous Kids is in Scottsville, Kentucky and they host week long camps and weekend long retreats all year round.  The kids definitely want to go back again, both with their entire family but also for the week long oncology camp.  Siblings can attend that camp and both Hunter and Ronin are open to that possibility.

The location isn’t very far from our home.  The facility was beautiful and everything was neat and tidy.  Our only complaint was that we didn’t bring any of our board games so we’ll know to do that next time!

This weekend was jam packed with loads of fun activities, most of which my kids either had never experienced or had only experienced on a limited basis.

There was:

Trick or Treating,

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Fishing,

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Woodworking,

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Horseback Riding,

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Paddleboating, Archery,

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A bowling alley/game room, roasting s’mores, an open gym, and a great dining hall.

ImageThe staff accommodated for Hunter’s special dietary and sensory needs beautifully.   I also appreciated the medical presence on site as well as the fact that there is a small hospital less than five minutes from the camp’s property.  While this isn’t so important for us now, it made me smile to think that a child, no matter where he or she is on this medical journey could come and safely participate in camp activities and just be normal for a while.  While we were in the dining hall, Hunter got into the habit of putting on noise cancelling headphones in order to help block out the music and sounds from the crowd.  Now I know that we must own a pair for home.  I can’t wait to buy some tomorrow!

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Traditionally, each camp group signs a “Cubby” poster that is displayed in the dining hall throughout the year.

Our “Cubby” was a Halloween-themed Jack-o-lantern.

ImageAlso, we were assigned a wonderful volunteer to help us navigate camp all weekend.  We enjoyed getting to know Lauren.  Her favorite tv show is “Gilmore Girls”… we had plenty to talk about and the kids really had fun hanging out with her.

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Happy Halloween and Happy Fall!

Thank you, Center for Courageous Kids, for creating a full-filled weekend that our family will never forget.

See you next year!

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Everybody likes Butterbeer! A gluten, dairy, sugar free all natural Harry Potter-inspired treat

Recently we have jumped aboard the Harry Potter bandwagon.  Neither big kid was enthusiastic when I informed them that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was going to be part of their third grade experience.  In fact, my daughter Ronin was miserable over it all.  But I insisted that she try listening because there was a good possibility that she would like it.  Enter Hagrid.  That was the end of her resistance.  Hunter, the nine year old, wasn’t apprehensive but rather neutral.  Now he’s picked out another HP Lego set to ask for at Christmas time and he’s helping plan our trip to Universal Studios for his birthday in the spring.  Yeah, I’d say he’s hooked.

Butterbeer!!

Butterbeer!!

While we have only made it through book one and movie one so far, I must admit to my new little habit of scoping out the internet for fun HP-related things because I may or may not be planning an HP-themed party for next year.  In all of my searching I learned about butterbeer which I understand isn’t introduced until book three.  It sounded so good and I liked the idea of the kids already knowing butterbeer personally before reading about it, so, after reading a few recipes, I came up with my own recipe.  Whether it is authentic to the one that Rowling tasted in her mind is hard to say.  But at least it’s not chock full of chemicals and sugars.  It’s a healthier version that is more compatible with our diet.

Here are the ingredients we used:

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Recipe for Gluten, dairy, and sugar free butterbeer

serves 4

Ingredients

about 2 cups of shaved/crushed ice

2 cans chilled cream soda zevia

3 tsp butter flavor

stevia to taste

1 can chilled full fat coconut cream

To prepare whipped cream:

Open can of chilled full fat coconut cream.  Scoop solid cream into bowl and do not include the liquid at the bottom of the can.  Reserve that for something else (mine went into my smoothie the next morning).  Whip to creamy perfection (about a minute or two) with a hand mixer while also adding stevia to your own personal taste and 1 tsp of butter flavor.  Set aside.

Fill four glasses with approx 1/2 cup of crushed ice.  Pour half of each can of cream soda flavored Zevia into each glass over the ice.  Add 1/2 tsp butter flavor to each glass and gently stir.

Distribute whipped coconut cream over the top of the drink.

Serve immediately.

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This was the finished product.

(The title of this post is a reference to a goofy song by my favorite band, the B-52’s.  Everybody likes Butterbeer but they feel the same way about a Butterbean!)