Tag Archives: Family vacation

gratitude.

Standard

It’s pretty easy to take a look at a heaping pile of laundry after a week away from home and want to crawl in a hole—-been there?!

It’s also pretty easy to look at my kitchen table full of deliveries that need to be made, VBS materials looming to be organized, finalized, and ready for a huge weekend of hopefully life changing fun — and think…just take me back to last week—please?

It’s just the reality of vacation. It must come to an end. And reality sinks in and you wish it was three or four days later when the comfort of routine has taken up residence once again. To be honest, it will probably take me longer than that. Although there is only one load left to wash!!

20130728-224641.jpg{don’t they look happy folding laundry? And not sure it was appreciated the question of which was better—laundry or hiking 7 miles! Ha! I think I am quite funny sometimes.}

In all seriousness, we were able to capture the virtue of thankfulness. And gratitude. This past week was filled with the beauty of creation. Perhaps some of the most beautiful sights we have ever seen. And when we walked in next to a family with a blind adult child, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness that we can see. While on the train we were next to a family of 5. As we rode together, it became obvious that the father was deaf. At first you wondered if there was something wrong between him and his wife– as it appeared they were not talking to each other. But we soon realized, as his wife signed to him, that he was deaf. As I heard the exclamations from his children as they would see something and point, it became blatantly obvious that I got to hear the joy and excitement from his kids–and he didn’t. I was overwhelmed with the ability to hear. It seemed as though he was missing out on so much interaction. And yet, both Steve and I found ourselves wishing at different times that we couldn’t hear bickering, yelling, and whining. How quickly this turned us around. How quickly we were reminded of the gift of being able to hear and see with our kids.

And on our huge trail. How many times I thought—-not everyone could do this. Not everyone is healthy enough to experience a hike up in the mountains with their kids and family. There are kids who can not walk. There are chronic illnesses others are faced with that would never allow them to experience what our family of six was able to experience—together.

We were able to talk with and introduce the kids to someone who is homeless and had not seen his parents for three years. He lived in a bus. And here we are, able to vacation together–stay in a mountain home and GO home when our week is through. Go home to a house with plenty of food. No worries of keeping cool or warm.

We are home. We have learned to be grateful. We were experiencing what it COULD be like. We were experiencing what we take for granted. God showed us and gave us opportunities to talk with the kids about how blessed we really are. Because it can be pretty easy to get caught up in what isn’t “right” in our own little world.

And to think we came home at the end of July and Steve was wearing this to go outside? Gratitude.

20130728-230857.jpg

the best for last…says miss kass

Standard

20130727-191239.jpg
And now we hear from Kass…

“We went white water rafting today!! I started my day off with a pain in my back after sleeping three to a bed last night.

We woke up, ate breakfast and headed to white water rafting at Mild to Wild. We got through the whole safety schpiel (sp?) and we were off! And of course we got the weirdest guide there…he was a total adrenalin junkie!! I have to admit, it did make the rides more interesting.

The ride started off pretty slow, but then we all had to get in the frigid water–in the morning!

20130727-192923.jpg

Towards the end of the ride we hit some rapids and I about fell out. Then we finished the ride and rode the bus back.

We went back to our hotel and packed up our stuff. For lunch we went to HomeSlice Pizza. We ate some really good pizza!

20130727-193242.jpg

Now, we are back on the road. Our original plan was to drive to Colorado Springs, but unfortunately plans changed. We are heading home. The whole 13 hours home. It’s gonna be a long night”.

20130727-194605.jpg

20130727-210115.jpg

20130727-210133.jpg

18 and counting…

Standard

It’s my day. And what strikes me the most about this vacation is…18 meals TOgETher!!!! Say what?! All of us together at a table or a nature made picnic table. And we’re not even done yet. It has been the best part of our week for me.

Togetherness…something that is hard to come by with our jobs and activities. It has made me all the more intent on finding a way to get back around our table. Especially as we look to the school year. When we are gone to activities in the evening? An intentional sit down breakfast around the table together. I want to make it happen. These past 18 meals have shown me what we have been missing. And an extra hour of sleep is not worth it if it means it’s our only meal together that day. Now to hold myself accountable to this!

We spent our day at Mesa Verde National Park. Completely fascinating!! Looking first hand at a civilization from so long ago. And the girls were excited that we got in a good deal of hiking. Again! Ha!

20130726-194726.jpg

20130726-194802.jpg

20130726-194834.jpg

20130726-194915.jpg

20130726-194948.jpg

20130726-195052.jpg

Steve and I have had some early morning talks. Some hard talks –mostly due to the realization that we have only four summer vacations left before Natalie heads to college. Where and what we need to do before we are at that point because it is going to be here before we know it.

And then, both of us got to experience this…

20130726-195602.jpg

20130726-195631.jpg

A little boy who thinks he’s pretty big most of the time—-that still wants to hold his Mom and Dad’s hand. I do not EVER want to lose those memories and praying that it’s not a “last”.

a fave fam vacay idea…

Standard

A very good friend of mine and awesome mentor gave me such a wonderful idea for family vacations. First, purchase a journal specifically to document your vacation. Or if you have a blog, that works great too!

20130723-172952.jpg
Each day of your vacation, a different family member documents that day’s events. We started this a few years ago and it is so awesome to read through and remember things we did. And we have found that we forget so easily.

It’s also an awesome way to get different perspectives from each person. This may be my favorite idea ever. And for this year, the kids and Steve are going to tryto document via the blog. We’ll see how this goes.

20130723-173422.jpg

Kourtney is excited to share about our first day. As you will see, there is nothing she wants to remember about our 13 hour drive to Ouray, Colorado.

“Yesterday we got there and we went to our house and we saw some deer. We ate out at a pizza place. Then me and Landon went to a hot springs. It was fun. Landon had a bloody nose. It was bad. That’s pretty much all.”

20130723-211710.jpg

20130723-211808.jpg

I love you, you love me…🎶

Standard

🎶We’re a happy family! Or are we?

For the record, it was not Steve or my idea to leave early in the morning. Early in the morning, yes, which to me means 5:00 am. Anything earlier than that is late—late in the night. Are you with me? So, being a family of 6, there are times when the majority rules. And the majority ruled to leave very early (er,late at night in my world).

I do remember as a kid doing the same thing. The excitement of family vacation!! Getting up when it’s dark for a long road trip and all is happy and jolly…at least for the first 15 miles or so. Of if our parents were really lucky, it lasted until the snacks ran out. Which could be within 15 miles.

Well, my kids did not get the memo. Now remember…THEIR idea. So the bickering about who gets what seat, where to put your legs, how heavy you are breathing, and what movie to watch…well? That was not happening. I want to yell from the depths of my being AT LEAST YOU HAVE A MOVIE!! You know back when we were kids…ha!!! I only said that one time.

20130722-041124.jpg
It was a bit of a rough start this morning. God was waiting on us to ask Him to be with us. So after a prayer time, we are off.

20130722-041527.jpg
We packed all of the essentials. Food for a family of 6 requires a big cooler. And it doesn’t fit in the back of a suburban. But you better believe we made room for a basketball…

20130722-041807.jpg
And don’t forget Grandma’s yummy s’more bars. But we could not leave without THE essential for Steve and I…

20130722-042000.jpg
As I write, half are sleeping, half are watching a movie, and all are anticipating a yummy breakfast here in a couple of hours. I love you, you love me…we’re a happy family. 🎶