Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Home from the Father Daughter Retreat!

Whew!!! Last week resembled a whirlwind and it culminated (or slowed down a little) with Daddy and I attending the Vision Forum Father Daughter Retreat held at Calloway Gardens! We have been three times now, and each retreat seems more memorable than the last!
Well, let's get to the pictures!

"Father Daughter Unity Games"
It all started Friday afternoon with the Unity games. There are four games and each one focuses on a different aspect of the Father Daughter relationship. Pictured above, are fathers and daughters getting ready to do the Three Legged race and I will admit that this is the game that I dislike the most! In this race you have to work together to keep from falling and to stay "in sync" with each others footsteps! It can be rather interesting!! We saw one father that had three daughters doing it all together!!!
Another game was Father Daughter Croquet and the aspect here is the Father correcting the course that his daughter is taking as she strays off the path.

"More Unity Games"
Oh, this one was fun!! The Daughters had to jump rope with their eyes closed and LISTEN to their Fathers' command to "JUMP!" in order to be successful at jumping over the rope! It was a challenge yet fun too! The aspect of this game was listening to your Fathers commands when you can't see the "big picture".
The last game was an obstacle course that Fathers led their blindfolded Daughters through. Daughters had to step over small brush piles, go around trees (one of which was near a creek!), pick up a pine cone and then drop it in a bucket! This teaches listening to your Father's instruction even though you can't see the way or understand where you're going.
After the games a picnic was held up near the building in the picture and following that was an ice cream social inside.

There were roughly 575 people in attendance of the retreat and this picture doesn't even begin to do it justice!

"High Tea"
Noon on Saturday found all of the Fathers and Daughters enjoying a Victorian High Tea! All of the girls wore their special dresses and I can honestly say that many of the dresses were made 'specially for the occasion!
After the tea everyone went out to the patio to get their picture taken by the staff.

"Pioneer Log Cabin"
The afternoon was ours to do what we pleased with! Many Fathers and Daughters had brought their bikes and were biking many of the trails that Calloway gardens has, others, like us, headed straight over to the Butterfly Center! We took a quick detour to the pioneer log cabin though. They had a lady playing some sort of folk instrument on the front porch which was really neat.

"At the Butterfly Center"
I love the butterfly center....... I love seeing the amazing different varieties and colors of butterflies.... I love seeing their playful tantalizing flights..... I love watching the butterflies!

It was a special treat for some to have a butterfly land on you!

"Mr. Cason's Vegetable Garden"
Daddy and I like going here and seeing the different things that are growing. There are two parts.... first you have the actual vegetable garden, second you have the flower garden (inside the fence in the above picture) which is in the "center" of the vegetable garden.

"Vegetable Garden"
From what I understand everything they grow here is used in the kitchen at the Inn and possibly other places.
I really like the straight rows and how everything is neat and orderly!

"Look what I found amongst the Parsley!"
This was too cute!!

"One of the many ponds"
The azalea's were in the last throes of blooming and it was neat to see the different colors on the other sides of the different ponds.

This years' Father Daughter Retreat was a big encouragement for me. I had started "So Much More" by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin about a week before leaving, and things in it and things in the conference seem to finally click with me over the weekend. For example, it finally hit me that even though my Daddy is at work all day, I can still be a help to him by simply helping my Momma with the housework, laundry, or what have you.

I can help my Momma make a comfortable clean house for him to come home to each evening, which I'm sure is what he would like!
I have many other things running through my mind about the retreat, but I need to run. Be prepared to see more pictures and thoughts from the retreat over the next week or so!

"Before I close...."
I had to post this!!! We all got a kick out of seeing this advertisement somewhere on the other side of Atlanta!!! It somehow reminds me of my brothers!!


Paula said...

Dear Ashley,
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful time at the Father Daughter retreat. I enjoyed the photos so much. It is very beautiful there and I can see that you and your Daddy enjoyed it very much! You look so pretty in your lovely dress you made!

What a blessing these Vision Forum retreats are and how wonderful that so many were in attendance! The games sounded so fun and the "High Tea" looked wonderful! I am so glad you had such a lovely time. The butterfly garden and the vegetable and flower gardens are just beautiful! I love the rabbit amongst the parsley, and the Pioneer Log Cabin.

I have read what a wonderful book "So Much More" is! Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin are true "Visionary Daughters!" I have also read about "The Return of the Daughters," and how wonderful that is! The trailer for it was excellent! I am so very proud of you for choosing to stay at home until marriage, and preparing for it by helping your parents. It is just wonderful to know a young lady that is doing this, and that is so willing to help their Daddy and Momma. I love what all you said about helping your Daddy by simply helping your Momma! The Lord bless you dear Ashley!!!

Ashley said...

Mrs. Paula,
Thank you for your sweet comments! You always find something to be thrilled about in my posts, and for that I'm thinkful!
I will admit that I thought of you when I saw the rabbit amoungst the parsley!
If you haven't read So Much More or seen The Return of the Daughters, I would highly reccommend you do so. I'm reading through So Much More for the 3rd. or 4th. time right now, and I'm taking notes/ writing down quotes this time around so that I have something to look back on. Anyway, I find my "reasons" for doing what I'm doing challenged (in a good way... a Biblical way) each time I read or watch them. I've also found great encouragment in The Return of the Daughters. Sometimes I feel all alone in the path that the Lord is leading me down, and I thrill to see pictures of other young ladies like me. I also have seen how far I have to go down this path and I pray that I will be teachable.

Paula said...

Dear Ashley,
You are so welcome! You are so sweet, and I want you to know the reason I find things to be thrilled about in your posts are because you write about such things! You bless me!

I must tell you when I saw that rabbit, I could not help but think that I might of crossed your mind since we both love to garden and decorate our gardens with rabbits! Isn't it nice to know a "kindred spirit?"

I am so glad you suggested I read So Much More, and watch Return of the Daughters. I was going to purchase them today, but Vision Forum just released The 200 Year Plan: A Practicum on Multi-Generational Faithfulness... the conference you and your family just attended. I am so excited! We can hardly wait to listen and learn! I noticed Vision Forum has the Virtuous Daughter collection and I will order that next time. I can hardly wait to read the book and see the dvd!!!

I am glad you are reading through So Much More several times, taking notes and writing quotes down. I am just so very proud of you! Ashley, I truly understand how you can feel alone on the path the Lord is leading you. There are just not a lot (or any) like-minded Christians to fellowship with that live nearby! But, as you are watching Return of the Daughters you are seeing that there are other young ladies choosing the same path, the narrow path, that you are on, and I know it encourages you. I am sure there are other young ladies that feel alone too.

Just think of what an example you and your family are to others. You are a Visionary Daughter!!! Though we can feel alone the Lord Jesus is always with us, leading us in the right direction!

I can see you are very teachable! Just keep doing what you are doing... seeking God in all things and surround yourself with books and dvds that support and encourage your and your family's vision. I am so thankful for the resources Vision Forum provides. I have so much to learn and to teach my Justin!

Isn't it so exciting to know you have such a strong desire to live for the Lord Jesus, and to live to very differently from the world? I do so wish I had been raised differently, but I am so thankful for all the Lord has taught me, and continues to teach me!

Bless you!

Ella said...

Ashley, I enjoyed the pictures of the Father/Daughter retreat. Unfortunately, Georgia is a little ways away from Idaho. I would dearly loved to have gone!

So, were the Botkin sisters there? I love So Much More and Return of The Daughters. They are such encouragements to me as I walk the road less travled!

Ashley said...

Thank you for your comment! There were people from California at the retreat, but I totally understand what you're saying!
Yes, the Botkin sisters were there and spoke during one session. Their book and the documentary have been an encouragement to me as well.... I only wish I would have been open to what they are saying years ago. I love seeing how the younger girls are desirous of learning how to be Virtuous Daughters!

Rose said...

Dear Ashley,
Hi, my name is Hannah. I found your blog while Googling 'Father Daughter Retreat.' My dad and I went to the F/D Retreat last year, and I saw you there! I love your blog, it's very nice.

Anyway, just thought I'd comment.
Have a nice day.

In Christ,
~Hannah Rose