Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Yummies...

Hey Kanakuk Friends,
Okay, so it's Wednesday so therefore it's time for the 1st time ever...Wednesday Yummy post! This is for everyone...
Teens: go make them and eat for a relatively healthy snack and energy boost!
Moms: go make them and involve the teens/kids/babies wrapped in swaddling wraps layered on you (just don't drip hot melted chocolate on baby head).

Seriously my littles (and they are all little) get involved and help pick out the trail mix for each one. Great exercise on sorting the sames. So here it is. I found this HERE but in Branson, USA there is no Whole Foods. Boo! So Target to the rescue. Here are the TWO INGREDIENTS you will need:

Yep, that's it. All I do is melt a handful or a heapful of the dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. I melt by doing 20 seconds > Stir, don't want to burn your chocolate. Then use a spoon to spread onto wax paper (or if you don't have any use foil...I love how there is no prettiness to my pictures. That's what we all need...a little bit of reality in all the beautiful Pinterest pictures of pans, gourds and everything else for that professional picture...just a mom during naps trying to blog). Then place some trail mix into the chocolate. I do an almond, craisin, golden raisin and then a handful of seeds for mine. Place in fridge to let them set and harden. It's so yummy! I may have eaten the 1st batch all by least I did yoga that day. They counteract each other...right?

Again, my make-this-photo-beautiful skills are just over the top. I mean a pyrex lid and foil...don't covet my abilities takes time. Hahahahahaha!

Enjoy! Have great weekends friends, mommies, little ones and staff!

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins
We eat cake for breakfast: come to camp!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Why Pumpkins are Awesome...

Hey Kanakuk Friends,
I love them...well, except pumpkin pie. I know it's tragic. I love this season. Even now as I type my windows are up and the breeze is gently flowing all throughout our home. (the windows being open could also be because our a/c unit got fried by lightning...what?!). All the same Fall is Upon Us! It's glorious! The trees just up the road from us are my favorite place to drive by during this season in Branson, USA.

So continue to read or not but I love pumpkins and you should too for these reasons...
1. You can carve them...and that slows down your family to sit and laugh and throw pumpkin guts at each other and laugh more.
2. You can eat them in anything...pie, drinks, casseroles, and anything else, I'm sure of it. This also lends to family time and actively doing and making memories together.
3. You can launch them...once they are rotten or one of your kids just pulls off the top of it (happened twice people) you can launch them off a high point and all laugh at the explosion.
4. You can paint them...with melted crayons, finger paint or professional-ly (is that a word? Sorry english teacher mom! I'm making you proud). Again you are together, covered in paint, perhaps, but the memories...the best.
5. They can guard your home...when placed at the door of your home those carved/painted/exploded pumpkins can guard your home from...crickets...(this post has quickly gotten out of hand).

So go get some pumpkins...and be together.

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins
Fall means summer is coming...Come to Camp! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why I will Always LOVE Working with Teenagers...

Hey Kanakuk Friends,
It's funny when you blog and you think about 56.4 things to blog about and other days it's just 1 thing. Just one thing you want to, encourage, or just write your heart. That's today for me...just my heart.

This summer would have been my 16th summer at K2. I was such a bonehead when I got hired in college. Our staff now is so incredible but it literally is an act of Jesus that I ever got a call from Kanakuk. 16 summers of teens...being immersed into their lives, hearing all the good-the bad-the hard-the sad-the horrific-and everything in between, just learning so much from them. Some moments filing them under "remember to never do this with my kids when they are teens." Some moments as I watch the rare gal that still has an innocence and genuine spirit to her and thinking..."go talk to her and see what her parents did." Always learning in those 16 years...always.

I am in a little season on life...little hearts, little toes, little hearts. But my summers were full of big kids, big problems, big dreams and big decisions. K1 will fill my heart just like K2 did...but I am pretty sure that K2 and teenage ministry will always be there. To sit down with a teenage girl that is so desperate for Jesus and for Jesus to use a goofy director of a summer kamp...yep, that will be missed. So enough of the missing it...why am I blogging about it?

So many avenues to go with this...but in summation of whether you are a mom of teens, a discipler of teens (all K2 staff...THAT'S YOU!), teenage ministry full time or just volunteer for teen retreats...don't lose hope in them! EVER. They need to be believed in. They need hope and love and OUR TIME. They need our face, not face time with their phone. They need hugs, not likes to their instagram accounts. They need truth, not more whatevers. They need the unconditional, ever powerful unending grace and love from a Savior that created them and has a wonderful, beautiful story written just for them.

They might be hormonal and a bit cray-cray but they need YOU...

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins
Teenagers...come hang out here for your summer!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Never Ending Laundry is Good, Really Good, for Me...

Hey Kanakuk Friends,
It's Tuesday...I like Tuesdays. They are slow in our house and filled with snuggles and a choo-choo show and lots of POP cereal. My littles love that stuff. It was also overflowing with LAUNDRY. As I sat with friends and lots of kids this morning for an impromptu play-date I folded laundry...lots of 3 baskets full...that had sat there for 2 weeks. Oh the shame...

As I sat down to blog today it's all I could think of...laundry. I honestly don't mind it. We do cloth diapers so it's a part of my every day-and-a-half life. But I chuckled as I pondered laundry because I just kept feeling the message of...laundry is so good for you Ashley. Over and over...

So Why? Why is never ending laundry so so good for me...because I have to see Jesus in the mundane of life. The routine, the scheduled, the cycle of life...where is Jesus there? I think about women on mission in Africa (why is it always Africa...), college students weekend retreats for Passion and more, small business owners that are women who navigate it all...they must see Jesus more in their life. What a joke to the Lord? How I limit Him? Laundry is good for me because as I sit in a quiet house most times folding the 3 basket my soul feels His peace. My heart senses my calling right now and I'm at rest. I breathe deep as I know faithfulness and steadfastness are qualities deepening in my soul during these years. So laundry...I hope it doesn't end...because I see Jesus in each basket.

What feels mundane in your life? Do you believe Jesus is there, even in the small of your life?

* College staff and teenage girls: send this link of a blog post to young moms you babysit for or know...older sisters or your mentor that has young ones. Add a note that you see Jesus in their will literally make their day!

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins
Hey Moms, Send your kiddos to KANAKUK! 

Monday, October 20, 2014


Hey Kanakuk Friends,
I know I have posted on Simplicity somewhat recently (here) but it continues to be a word, a concept, I am just entrenched in. My heart feels absorbed in this simplicity of life. I wrestle with wanting to sell our home and our clothes and move to a farm with a teeny, tiny farm house and live off the land. (Some of you might have giggled thinking "she's funny." Alas, that is no joke). I just crave chores for my kids, sunlight beaming in through open windows, picking the ripened vegetables each day, dirt in my nails and no form of social media anywhere in my home...

Naive? Maybe. Crazy? Totally. Serious? Yes and No.

What needs to be simplified in your life? Focus on the simplistic...the friendships, the moments, the laughter, and even the chaos at times.

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins
Seriously, come to the most wonderful place ever! Kanakuk!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Minivan Moments...

Hey Kanakuk Friends,
Oh the joys of minivans. Let me be the first to say I LOVE OUR SWAGGER WAGON! Seriously I love it. I was never that girl totally opposed, or even slighlty opposed, to the life of minivans. Minivans can say a lot about your life...what matters, what state it's in and probably so much more. Good things minivans can't talk...oh the stories they would tell.

So let's get is my minivan. It honestly shows my heart and life right now. It's a bit in disarray but yet perfectly imperfect all at the same time. It shows that the son, referred to as the beast, never AND I MEAN NEVER keeps shoes on. It tells you Belle love dolls and taking care of little ones. Books are devoured in our house...our firstborn loves the adventures of Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy! (Thank you free books from Dolly Parton!). It also shows you we are never without snacks and sippy cups. And funny enough it shows my peaceful space of yoga, the blue mat in the corner. Yep, I'm a yoga girl! I'm still new. It's a splurge for our family but the hunter (my husband) says it's all worth it b/c I love it so much! I do! It's an hour where I get told what to do, sweat like I just pounded the pavement for 10 miles, and stretch all the stress away. I pray or try and think about nothing or just try and do the crazy move the teacher is doing. No plug for you all to do yoga...just showing you my minivan.

So there is a piece of me...well, a piece of my minivan. Which to me equals a piece of my heart...
This is the husband is always ready to shoot something. So much camo!

Oh and we have toilet paper. Why you ask yourself? Because this family went camping with all 4 children in one tent, overnight! It was hysterical! And Memorable! And perfect! And chaotic! And sleepless...

Look at your car...what's it say about your heart?

Adventure and Wonder,

kanakuk ashley robbins

Friday, October 10, 2014

What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about...Change...


Hey Friends,
Who knew there are so many inspiring quotes on change...seriously! I feel so inspired just from finding a picture for this post. I kid.

So here is the next addition to the "What I Wish I Could Tell My Teenage Self about...". You can find part 1 here, part 2 here, the popular part 3 here and part 4 here.

Junior high and high school are years I must admit I squirm to look back on. Mistakes and ego and just loud insecurities. I must admit the thought of my 10 year reunion was not one of glee or nostalgia...more of just awkwardness and still at 33 years old loud not much has changed...ha!

Looking back to those days are what prompts these series of posts...for life in the Robbins' home right now Change is something that is moving like a freight train. So therefore today's post for teens...Change! What I wish I could tell my teenage self about...Change.

1. It happens. Change will come. You will change. Life will change. Others will change. Simple to the point.

2. I just typed "embrace it" and even for my heart that seems overwhelming and scary. How do we embrace change when it feels like for women change is all things scary. But what if we looked at change and embraced not the change but the One who is in charge of that change? (hello...conviction in my life!)

3. Cling to Jesus when the change feels hard or scary. Oh sweet friends/girls...I type with tears in my eyes to think of life for some of you. For someone reading this maybe last night your folks sat you down and said "we are separating." For someone reading this maybe all your friends have walked away from you this year. For someone reading this your dad got transferred jobs so at Christmas you are moving to a new town and new school. Sweet friend, cling to Jesus. Ashley, cling to Jesus. What if we really did? What if the vision of holding as tightly as you can the hand of your Everlasting Father was ever at the forefront of your mind and heart. My husband has been an anchor to my overwhelmed soul. He sent me this verse the other day...

" My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness (Ashley paraphrase: perfected in changing life on you.) Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me."

Oh, Jesus, Dwell in me...

4. It may just be what makes you, YOU. If we believe our journey is ever unfolding before us then change is inevitable. So even in the midst of hard change, fun change, great change, exciting change...change is what tends to make our reflection more like our Maker. Why does it hurt so very much to be more like Jesus? Ponder that...the answer makes me giggle and nod my head at myself and say "bless her heart" (about myself). I forget sometimes who I am and whose I am...

5. Change...I think I am daily learning that with any change, good or hard, comes with a question. Who do I trust? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight."

Hold hands with Him...He's got this!

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins changing summer camp!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's just 1 number difference...

Hey Friends,
I sat at the keyboard for like 10 minutes not quite sure how to begin.
Shay and I are moving our summer camp director roles from K-2 to K-1. It all started when Kris Cooper and his wife Diane, long time K-1 Directors and dear friends of ours closed a 37-year chapter of ministry at Kanakuk. We can't even begin to imagine filling their shoes and we will miss them!
I keep telling myself that moving from K-2 to K-1 is just 1 number difference...just one simple number.
But it's not. It's 250 teenage girls staring at me like I'm crazy as I try my best to get some laughs during our Komo Rules talk. It's being the caboose in triathlete every day...literally always last. It's the shaving parties during FOB, the dance parties to Lecrae and the girl pageants when you make over your counselor. It's all those things that make this so much more than just a 1 number move.

Shay and I are so excited to be on this crazy twist of a turn in moving to K-1. It's good. It's really good...mostly in part because Jesus is truly at the center of it. K-2 has been my home for 15 years, 12 years being full-time. Trish, although honors me like a co-director of K-2, is the best executive director in the whole wide world. We know each other so well and I treasure all she has taught me. She saw potential in me...she shouldn't have because I was a mess of a 19 year old. Joe and DJ, oh tears tears...I love your umbrella of love, friendship, laughter, tears and grace. You have poured your guts into Shay and I. You have taught with example and then used words. You have sacrificed so much for us to have the amazing life of being directors for this amazing Kamp that you basically built with your own two hands. Oh our hearts will miss you (I know a rather dramatic statement as we are just going to K-1 for the summer months but you know what I mean!) The summer staff teams...past and present...I have memories, so many memories that could fill all of K-2! So much laughter! I will treasure those. KAMPERS! Some of you "Kampers" are now moms (what??!!!) and wives and business women and church leaders and amazing women...You made me the woman I am in so many ways. Kampers are what make Kanakuk. Kampers are what make K-2 so dear to me. Kampers are what bring life and laughter to the gates. You bring magical moments when you raise your hands in worship. You bring the rawest of hearts in your questions in 1-on-1's. You make Kanakuk…Kamp to me. 

This little blog will stay somewhat the same as I don't think many 10 year olds read blogs. Maybe I'm wrong...but I guess we are just expanding the gaze. Or maybe narrowing it to just what Jesus puts on my heart. No matter the age or Kamp...just Jesus. That's probably the best idea anyways. 

Our mission is still the same. I love the heart of Kanakuk Kamps! I love the heart of Jesus that dwells in every office at Kanakuk Kamps. May we always be about our Father's heart…

Be awesome & Love Jesus,

kanakuk ashley robbins