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  • Todd Unruh

a mama/daughter camp

At the ranch, we highly encourage the mama and daughter to build a healthy bond. It's crucial for healing. At the end of July, we had a mini retreat/camp-like thing for the mamas to come to. It was 2 days long. After both days, I briefly typed up a report on the unit phone to send to my mama. Now on my break, I took the time to edit it and add more to it. I want to share it with you all, cuz it's not necessarily a typical letter I write. and also it shows a lil bit how we encourage mom and daughter to bond. For example, the daughter is supposed to be within 6 feet of her mama. They are paired up, just those two, to do different tasks together. and so on....

anyways here is the letter Friday. july 30 Eddy n i headed over to the ranch. I quickly did chores while Eddie ran up and got breakfast baking. Breakfast was at 8. Since us unit girls were in charge of that duty, Eddie made cream cheese stuffed french toast and an egg casserole. and blueberry sauce for the french toast! It was just as scrummy and filling as it sounds. After we had stuffed ourselves, we had devotions... idk if i have ever explained how we do devotions in the morning. We take turns reading what we read for our personal devotions. Sometimes one of us will share an inspiration we had. Lately we have added a new addition to that - we all share 3 things we are grateful for and why we are grateful for those things. It's really neat I think! After breakfast, eddie and i took one mom and her daughter down to the tackshed. The mom and daughter did their own horsemanship while eddy and i worked with our own horses nearby in case they needed us. Then hr or so later the next mom and daughter pair come down. One delightful moment occurred... i sat on saoirse! Bareback. Once i got off, i danced around like a 4 yr old kid on Christmas morning. We headed up to get ready for lunch. Once our sweat soaked clothes were replaced with fresher looking apparel, the 11 of us humans crammed into vehicles and drove to ms Jess's place for a ladies luncheon! It was just as fancy as it sounds! They had the table decorated to the t, we had three different kinds of drinks, a three course setting meal, and so much laughter! Once home, the girls went for quiet time while the moms each took turns having personal visits with ms lora and a board member's wife. Us unit girls went swimming the rest of the afternoon. And got toasted. Chores. For supper, one of the mom/daughter pairs made the yummiest chicken wrap meal. Afterwards, us unit gals set up the living room for spa night! We had 4 stations: a foot soak/ massage station, a neck massage station, a face mask station, and a hair combing station. Since someone once did a lemon grass fundraiser for us, we have oodles of spa-like items. We lit candles, turned the lights low and turned on mozart. Each girl was paired up with their mama of course! They went to each station and took turns pampering the other one. After that, it was prayer time. That was a successful disaster! Imagine 12 females sitting in a circle on the living room floor while we ALL have uncontrollable giggles bursting at our seams cuz there were countless comical scenes and noises and comments occurring! I had grabbed one of the girl's baggy hoodies and plopped it over my head for a covering but one of the mom’s didn't have anything to cover her hair with, so I reached over and gave her a sleeve of the hoodie to use. But that didn’t result in success. So once I was done praying, I handed the hoodie over to her to use. Well she got hot and stuffy with this hunk of material on her head, so i took it back. Eddie had grabbed a kleenex for a covering but another one of the moms was still covering-less so eddie proceeds to rip a chunk off her kleenex and hands it to the mom to use. Half way through the prayers, that mom was laughing so hysterically she was crying so she grabs a lil slice off her kleenex-covering to gather up her snot and tears. Meanwhile sometimes the person praying would lose their train of thought. One time one of us tried to help the other one out with words and that did not produce successful results. It was all slight chaos. It's one of those moments, everyone is laughing at funny things and then finally you are laughing just cuz you are laughing. Our souls needed that laughter. And so that is why I described it as a successful disaster. I think it took a solid 20 minutes to finally get through those prayers! It was such a refreshing way to end the day! Came home and played with jade while sitting with the rest of the trailer residents in the living room. We chatted and teased one another. Good times. This was a good, good day!!! Saturday july 31 I got up early and enjoyed an early morning walk with Jade. The big golden ball had recently made its appearance in the light blue sky, the slightest breeze whispered through the air, and the only sound was my flips on the gravel. A joy moment. Then eddie and i headed over to the ranch by 7:30ish. Chores. And then up for a delicious crepe breakfast created by a mom and daughter. Afterwards we all, probably 14 of us, packed into the living room and watched an info-packed, inspiring, incredible talk on shame by Tim Fletcher. For anyone interested, his videos are on youtube. The next activity was horsemanship for another daughter and mom so eddie, the mama daughter pair, ms regina, mia and myself all headed down to the tackshed. We all got out a horse and groomed/worked with it. It all was dandy until jera mounted saoirse bareback again. It did not go as well as yesterday. Saoirse started performing bunny-like movements so I sprung off real quick. As I descended, my leg and a five gallon bucket came into rapid contact with one another. There was literally an indent in my leg but it popped out after a bit and now there is an out dent. Lunch was made by another mama and daughter pair. Us unit girls spent the afternoon in the pool or making nachos for snack or sitting on the table and hashing stuff out with one of the moms. This afternoon the mamas had another visit with ms lora but this time the girls got to join. And then of course, chores. Next, i crashed out on the couch. Thankfully, i got up right before all the board members and their families started piling into the house and since my brain was still in la la land I quickly sprinted to the kitchen and started washing dishes so i didn't have to talk to anyone. Cuz speaking right after getting up does not work well for me. Supper was a delicious taco salad bar. After the meal, mr todd gathered us around to sing. We were probably 25-30ish humans...It was certainly enjoyable to sing with a group of people again. Then the board and their families left. So in the living room it was the mamas, the girls, and us authorities all sitting around. Things escalated quickly! It got crazier and crazier and crazier. Everyone was down right tired. I honestly truly don't think I have EVER laughed that hard in my whole life. The best way to end the night! Home. The next morning the girls drove home with their mamas. And home visits began for them. Home visits happen every 8 weeks. The girls spend that time with their family.

writtten by Jera Doerksen

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