Monday, September 26, 2011


Charlie is now in soccer.  His team is called the Hurricanes!  He is number 6.  Saturday they played their first real game with uniforms and all.  The played against the Green Galaxy team.  Not to be too proud, but the final score was 13 to 0.  Yes, the Hurricanes won!!!  But who is keeping score anyway.  Here are some shots from his first big game! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Yes We Did!

Welcome the newest members of the Towler Family, Dora & Diego.  They joined our family on Tuesday, September 6.  They are both lab mixes, are brother and sister from the same litter, and are just about 3 months old.  Dora is the lighter one and Diego has more red in his fur.  Charlie & Gracie are mostly enjoying the puppies.  They have really sharp teeth and nails that they don't play with them much yet.  They are really crazy and easily scratch us all.  We will have to fix that real soon! They are a lot of fun! 

Family Fun!

We were able to spend some time with family for Labor day weekend.  We were blessed with a trip to Knott's Berry Farm and had a fun family BBQ and home made water park. Check out the great pictures! 

Monday, August 29, 2011


Charlie & Gracie both started school on Monday, August 22, 2011.  Charlie is in first grade at Idyllwild School.  Gracie started the preschool program.  So far, they are enjoying being in school.  It is an adjustment to the new routine, and transition from camp life.  Here are some pictures from the first day of school!

They both got their backpacks on and are eager to go!

This is Gracie's classroom. It is full of great toys, learning centers and activities. Each day the children sit around this rug, each on their own bee, and sing songs, hear stories and much more.

This is just outside the preschool classroom. There is a jungle gym with slides and swings. Here, Gracie is playing in the sandbox with her friends.

Here is Charlie with his best buddy, Levi. They were both so excited to discover that they were in the same class again.

Not shy at all! Charlie just jumped right in and began playing with friends and activities. Before mom and dad had even left the room, these guys had build a change of blocks about 7 feet long!

Camper Comments!

What is the most special thing about Camp Alandale to you?

·       Having Doug as my counselor! And getting to be on the Red team! J

·       The Pine Cone Ceremony because it is a way to let stuff go and a safe place to cry and let your feelings out and let them go. It’s just safe.

·       Testimony and have more friends and seeing the Lord in every person @ camp J THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

·       The most special thing that I admire was that I got to see and admire God’s creation. I also loved that everyone was super close because of God and everybody is similar in their lives. Doug and Cheri were awesome!!!

·       Testimony time I’ve never shared all of my story to people who aren’t close to me so that was big for me!

·       Relationships

·       I have learned a lot. I love the Lord. I plan to give my life to him. I hope to come back as a JC and help kids. I have experienced a lot. I love to help. I am truly blessed by coming this year J

·       The people !! They all shine Jesus through them and I love it and reminds me I’m still loved. Thank you. LOVE YOU.

·       If the earth was the size of a golf ball!

·       Friend, family you did the best this year

·       One-on-one

·       Being with the other campers is just a special experience. I vastly enjoy watching and helping the growth of others whether it be by being a friend or explaining my story.

·       Helping me grow more in God and help me to decipher what verses mean

·       People that care about me and the friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. I trust Camp Alandale about sharing my story.

·       Meeting/getting to know all the people here. Learning more about God. It taught me to just let things go and be more truthful.

·       Learning about God and all the armor of God. I would love to become a JC because I love camp and I love everyone here. Everyone makes me feel so special.

·       I loved the way that I shared my testimony. Also that everybody was there to support me and be there to share my life. I love the way that everyone is supporting to me.

·      The fact that everyone here has strong faith and are understanding and helpful. When I come to camp I feel special. THANK YOU!

·       The Pine Cone Ceremony and when other campers share their testimony and when we sing and worship GOD!

·       Just being able to meet people that care about you and know how to help us get closer to God

·       Everything from the grass to the majestic stars and skies to God! Everything! Accepting Jesus Christ into my heart 4 eternity!!!!! (drawing of him kneeling before God with Bible at his feet and rays coming down from clouds)

Pictures from Summer Camp 2011

The theme this summer was the Chronicles of Victory: The Armor of God.  Eddie & Lucy journeyed through Battles Galore collecting all the pieces of the Armor of God.  They fought many battles and got the victory because of God!

This was quite a skit about Joseph and Potiphar's Wife.  Mike & Lisa played the roles one day.  It was sure a sight!  The point was that temptations come, but we can stand up under them when we have God's armor on!

Here is the mighty red team during Bible study.  Each day the campers met with their counselor to review the daily memory verse and study God's word regarding each piece of armor.  The campers really seemed to dive into God's word and get a lot out of their time together.

Here in the amphitheater are Jonathan & Barry leading a worship time with the campers.  These times were often sweet and encouraging.  The campers enjoyed singing crazy kid songs and getting serious during worship times. 

Mike and Lisa again, in normal clothing, teaching a Bible lesson.  This summer we shared the stories of Joseph & Potiphar's Wife, Moses & The Red Sea, Noah's Ark, Daniel & The Lion's Den, and David & Goliath. 

While the campers have Bible study with their counselors, the Junior Counselors (JC) also have Bible study.  Here they are in the living room at camp with the JC Coordinator, Lacey.

Charlie & Gracie enjoyed pool time a lot this summer. Normally, it takes them all summer to get over being afraid of the water. This time, they were eager to jump in. Charlie ventured to the deep end and even jumped off the trampoline. Gracie was a bit more reserved. She preferred to swim with the campers over mom or dad. They both had a blast!

Camp Week August 1-6

This week at camp, August 1-6, was the first high school group.  We are often super excited for the high school aged campers to come to camp.  Most of them have been to camp before, and we have already established good relationships with them.  They know about camp and even about God and are looking for discipleship and encouragement.  The biggest difference with this group was that 11 out of 16 campers were boys.  We wondered how that might play out over the course of our week together!?!?

As the week began we noticed that the red team was bonding so much so that at the end of each meal time, when most everyone else was cleaned up and playing in the yard, they still had a messy table and were all enjoying each other’s company.  This is always a great sight to see.  They needed a lot of encouragement to get moving to the next activity.  But these times proved so beneficial.  As the red team sat at their table, the sights and sounds were just over the top.  Multiple Bibles were open and pages were flipping.  Questions were flying about God’s love and what His son did to make a way for us to be near Him.  The answer to one question led to more and more questions, and not just from one camper but from the whole team.  God’s word and love were being shared, and it was penetrating the hearts of those who have been so hurt. 

One of the young men on this team was so eager to hear and learn more and more about Christ, he ultimately surrendered his whole heart to Jesus.  He asked his counselor to pray with him to ask Jesus to come into his heart and to forgive him of his sins.  What a huge praise and answer to the prayers of the red team counselors and all involved!  The questioning and learning did not stop there.  He continued seeking all week long.  We believe he truly grasped God’s love and healing touch last week at camp.  Please pray that he can take all this great information and his new found relationship with God home and live for Jesus on a daily basis.

We did see a little bit of an effect because we had so many boys at camp.  Our testimony times were pretty short.  Only 7 campers shared all week.  There was some concern that the feelings and pain that the campers deal with were not being expressed and released.  But, then again, most of them were boys.  The benefit of our counselor prayer time is hearing that the boys really opened up to their counselors at one-on-one time.  They shared their deep hurts and really let go of so much.  Praise God for this time of genuine pain being surrendered!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Camp 2011

Summer camp sessions have begun here at Camp Alandale, and we are amazed at the incredible work God is doing.  The first week started very smoothly.  We had overwhelming peace as we headed into the week, and the peace continued throughout the week.  There were only a few little things that we had forgotten to prepare or hadn't gotten to before the campers came, so our week was full of fun and love.  The group was sweet.  They enjoyed each others company and played well together.  And played we did!  It was a blast. 
We wondered if the campers were seeing and feeling the love of Christ, and then we saw it.  One camper shared that she was not sure about Christ.  She had heard about talking to God through Angels, but not directly to him.  Then, pretty early in the week, she turned to her counselor and said, "I think I want to give Jesus a chance and start fresh with him. Will you pray with me to ask him into my heart?"  Her counselor was quite surprised and overjoyed!  They prayed together and then had the rest of week to learn more about Jesus. 
At the last campfire on Thursday night, the campers really bonded. We had our Pine Cone Ceremony, where we give the campers the opportunity to throw a pine cone into the fire, symbolizing giving their cares and hurts to Jesus.  It was incredibly powerful watching each camper come up, throw their pine cone into the fire and then walk away.  After, we sang "The Family Song" where we all hugged and swayed back and forth together.  The love of Christ was evident in the hugs and tears.  God is good.  He touched each one just as they needed and lives were changed.  What an amazing work He has done and will do!
Thank you for your prayers, we surely felt them.  Please continue to pray for each camper's heart, that they will hold on to Jesus in all that they do.  Please pray for more counselors for camp, as we are still short for many of the weeks ahead.  Please pray for our family as we get used to our summer schedule, for safety and wisdom in leading camp and in our family time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Race Day

Mike and Some Friends went to Phoenix International Raceway on February 27th to watch the Nascar Subway Freshfit 500.  Mike's favorite Driver Jeff Gordon won!  Here are some photos from their trip.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Snow!

We haven't had this much snow in a long time!

Daddy & Gracie are throwing snow balls!

Check it out!

Gracie is 3!

We had a great little Strawberry Shortcake party with family and friends. It was a lot of fun.

Just a ham!

With her new bike!

A tutu bathing suit from Grandma Ellen

Happy Birthday to Me!

Gracie, how old are you?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Towler Christmas Reflections

We had a wonderful Christmas season with family and friends.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from our time together!