So I have been prompted by a friend's blog about her summer road trip from Washington to Mississippi (and yes, I did just sing-song "Mississippi" like a child to make sure I spelled it correctly) with three young ones to reflect on my summer plans.
I was born & raised in the O.C. - before it was cool - and like salmon, I seem to return every year. This year I am excited to be attending the fourth Boies family reunion to be held in Newport Beach. Last year we carefully considered the different modes of transportation. After realizing that the most expensive part of flying was a rental car for the week, we decided to bring our car with us (a.k.a. - drive). But how would we spend 24 hrs drive time in the car without anyone (i.e. me) losing her mind?
And that is when I came up with my first rule:
Rule #1: Always travel as much through the night as possible.
Very important! A good friend baby sat the kids the day we left for a few hours in the afternoon so I could take a nap. (I'm the one who can never sleep before a big event, but I figured it was worth a try.) We left home at bed time. We made it from home to mid-Oregon before Matthew even knew we were in the car. We drove until about 4pm and then stopped at a hotel. I went to bed at about 6pm - eyes crossed and deliriously tired. We were back on the road by about 4am.
Rule #2 -Keep them guessing.
For weeks before we left I just kept "road trip" in the back of my mind and whenever I saw a small toy or activity I would buy it and then hide it in a designated box in my closet. I bought a bunch of non-perishable kid-friendly snacks. I packed up three bags for each day of our journey. And yes, I did have them labeled "Thursday bag# 1", mostly because although each child's bag was geared towards the individual child, the items also complimented each other - such as Samantha would have a new Princess coloring book when Christopher opened a new Star Wars coloring book. Instead of hearing "Are we there yet?" I heard "You're the best mommy EVER!" -three times a day. That alone made my vacation!
Yeah, ok, so that's it. I'm out of ideas. And this year the kids will already be expecting activity bags. So friends, I need your ideas, tricks and suggestions. Please - help! :o)
My family and some close friends attend church at New View Church on Camano Island. We meet at the gorgeous grounds that is Four Springs Preserve. From the nursery and preschoolers room you can see a beautiful pond down below. The older kids love that they get to worship in a barn!
Like a family should do, when someone is having a hard time others at New View come alongside him and help him along. When my family was pretty new to New View Church I had a cholecystectomy. Our wonderful campus Pastor, Brett Kinney, and his lovely wife Cindy brought meals to my family not once, not twice, but three times while I was recovering!
Now, our family had a big decision to make so we called a family meeting. But first, we had a bbq together after morning service. Pastor Brett grilled up some delicious cheeseburgers and hot dogs. We has salads, chips, watermelon, homemade ice cream, and brownies!
The little ones ate and the ran around and played for a little while as the grown-ups chatted.
It was a great time to just enjoy the company of good friends, of family.
Matthew managed to get himself some lovin' from Teacher Cherie. He really loves her!
While we ate our worship team played music - with a brand new up-and-coming drummer!
There are no pictures of our family meeting. In the room we were just there listening to all that our senior pastor, Mike Acker, had to share with us. We discussed the issue at hand. The pastors really listened to everything we had to say. I loved that they were open to us; the weren't the dictatorial parents telling us how it was going to be. They openly shared the information and listened to our comments and addressed them. At the end, we prayed together like a family does when faced with a large issue. There were tears, confessions, praise, and best of all, Jesus was there! It was absolutely awesome!
Growing up I always wished I was from a big family. Please, come join us if you want to be a part of the family at New View Church. I promise you, the view will definitely be new!