I've been thinking about this post for about ten days now but finally got the pictures downloaded today! Last weekend Jeff had the privilege of taking Payton away for his very own Passport to Purity weekend. This is something that I did with both Brooke and Sydney as they entered their teen years and now it was Jeff and Payton's turn!
Jeff spent much time planning a very special weekend away, complete with a very special written invitation for Payton delivered a few days before they left. He was completely surprised and sooo excited. Although he did express some dismay at having to hear all about "hair and deodorant", which to our delight was the extent of his knowledge about this mystery called "puberty".
Late Friday morning, they loaded up the car and headed out to Canaan Valley Resort in Davis, West Virginia. On the way they listened to the first few CDs from the Passport to Purity program and once they arrived at their destination, Payton enjoyed a few hours at the skateboard park, tried out the euro bungy, and enjoyed a swim in the pool. After picking up dinner at a local pizza joint (Payton wanted to eat in the room like they had gotten room service!), they headed back to the hotel and had fun watching television and hanging out together.
They also spent time listening to the next cd in the purity series. The one about the "birds and the bees" elicited more than a few "oh gross" exclamations and lots of questions (those of you who know Payton aren't surprised by this!), but the subject is dealt with in such a great and godly way that both Jeff and Payton were comfortable, or as comfortable as a parent and his 11-year old son can possibly be in this delicate situation!
The next morning, after breakfast at the hotel, they set out on their big adventure, which was a whitewater rafting trip!! In spite of few showers at the beginning of the trip, they had a GREAT time navigating the rapids, sharing a picnic lunch on the side of the river, and making some new friends! After their big day, they enjoyed a prime rib dinner, which they both LOVED, and then went to see the Mummy 3, which they also LOVED!
Sunday morning before they left, they took a few runs on the turtle slide and then made a pit stop at the "smallest church in the lower 48 states" before heading home. Because Sunday was so busy, Jeff and I waited until Monday evening to take Payton to Olive Garden for the final part of his special weekend. We were able to talk with Payton together about the importance of purity--not just sexually but in every area of his life--and we presented him with a purity necklace, inscribed with the letters TLW (True Love Waits), in the hopes that at some future date, he will be able to give it to his new wife and tell her honestly that he saved himself just for her. It was a great weekend!
One final, funny Payton moment: When they got home on Sunday afternoon, I asked him what he had learned about "hair and deodorant"? He looked at me with a sheepish grin and said "More than I ever wanted to know, mom, more than I ever wanted to know!" :-)
If this is a subject you have yet to approach with your tweens or teens, I encourage you to check out the Passport to Purity program by Dennis and Barbara Rainey of Family Life Today. The kit provides step-by-step instructions for the entire weekend and gives you great ways to make it very memorable for parents and kids! Don't take your responsibility in this area lightly moms and dads! Your kids need to hear about purity, in every respect, from you! Even if you don't choose this program, make sure you choose something and make it fun and memorable! I'll be the first one to tell you it's not easy, but it's worth it, I promise!
Now for the pictures!