3.3.13

McCropder Retreat

by Jessica Cropsey

After a stressful last few months, everyone on the McCropder team was looking forward to the late February winter break.  Alyssa had the wonderful idea to take a mini-retreat together.  About 3 hours away from us, there is a terrific little place in Entrepierres called the Association Pierres Vivantes (Living Stones).  It's basically an old village that now serves as a retreat center for those in the ministry (pastors, missionaries, etc.).  Fortunately for us, La Grange (the barn) was available and had just enough space for our entire crew.

Entrepierres means "between stones"

The idea of the retreat was simply to rest and enjoy being together.  No agenda.  No plans.  No talks.  Simply lots of fun, games, and relaxation.

The plan was to depart Saturday morning after we picked up our rental cars.  After a nearly two-hour delay in picking up some of the vehicles, we were finally off, all packed into our 4 economy-sized cars.  Trust me, it is no small feat to pack three car seats into the back of a Volkswagen Polo, but John's mad packing skills were eventually victorious.


Unfortunately for us, it seemed that everyone else in France also decided to leave for vacation on Saturday morning and we spent a good portion of the late morning in very slow traffic.  The families decided to make a pit stop at the IKEA in Grenoble in order to break up the drive with our wee ones.  We enjoyed a tasty lunch, a little shopping, and some play time.  Much to our chagrin, we later learned that the horse meat fiasco which has spread like wildfire across Europe has also visited IKEA.  Ignorance is bliss.  (Note:  John holding the suspicious "meat"ball with his fork.)


During the second half of our trip, we encountered a snow storm which again significantly reduced our speed.  We crawled our way to our destination and finally arrived around 5:00pm.  The man who greeted us was quite astonished that none of us had snow chains on our vehicles.  Oops.  Our 3-hour trip turned into a day-long event, but we were thankful that everyone arrived safely.


The "barn" was absolutely gorgeous.  It had a large living room area and two large tables, one in the kitchen and one in the dining room.  All the adults had a bed with the kids on mattresses on the floor.  It was absolutely perfect for our group.  After choosing our rooms and getting settled in, 

 we had dinner followed by an early celebration of Rachel's birthday.


Over the next few days, we enjoyed lots of activities together....

an informal worship service on Sunday morning (including Father Abraham), ....

  
 reading at the little library just next to our building, ...
 
fascinating stories about Narnia from Miss Kathryn, re-enacted with some animal game pieces... 

playing Hangman on the I-Pad with Aunt Sarah, ....

(or playing the I-Pad by yourself can be just as fun), ....

 
male bonding, ...

discovering new French curiosities (the bidet - AKA "the sink for kids"), ...

sledding, ...

 
and of course no vacation is complete without a good puzzle! 

We had a wonderful 3 days together.  On our way out of town, we stopped at a nearby fort in Sisteron.  The inside was closed for the winter, but we still had fun exploring the perimeter.  




We are now entering our second week of vacation, but with exams on the horizon the week we get back to class, the remainder of our vacation will involve quite a bit of studying.  Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare. 

3 comments:

Janet said...

Looks like a delightful time! So glad you had some good rest/play time all together.

Terri Cramer said...

What a wonderful vacation! It looks like you have been blessed with a very special family, Sarah.

Terri Cramer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.