S’More, Please!

Our RV vacation hit the spot (even with a nasty 24 hour bug that hit two of my kids!! It was bad. And I know bad.)

But before and after all the bad, there was hiking and swimming and creek-wading:

Chigger-scratching and geocaching:

And some serious mudpie-making (this alone won me the title VACATIONING MOTHER OF THE YEAR):

I hope you’ve had at least a day or two to stay(cation) or vacation….what did you/are you doing to “get away” this summer?

Tell me s’more, please!

P.S. Is there really anything better than campfire s’mores?

What I Want My Children to Know -A DIY Project

“I believe I am here for a special purpose and that God has given me all I need to carry out His plan for me.”

I can’t remember where I read these words. But they impacted me so much, I jotted them down on the back of a receipt and held them close.

To see the little DIY project I created with these words, visit me over at (in)courage.

P.S. I’m taking the rest of the weekend for family. See y’all on Monday!

Modern Family Fun: Geocaching

Now, obviously I’m not in the know or up to speed on all things modern. Are you in doubt? Evidence: in 1999, I thought the Internet was a passing fad and possibly of the devil. Okay, I might have been partially right on the second one.

And we just started our first trial of Netflix.

Point made.

But, why am I just learning about  Geocaching??

Oh my goodness, our family was created for this frugal treasure-hunting-through-the-thicket adventures! (In case your as behind-the-times as I am, here’s a brief definition:  Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. Search for a geocache below or learn more about getting started.

And it’s fun!

We had a GPS, Delilah was her name. She was a bossy gal until she was stolen from our car during church. (May the lost thief find their way. Amen). But you don’t have to have one to play this great family game! You can download an app off iTunes (the free trial lets you choose three hunts) for $9.99. There are also cool Geocaching devices for kids. I think my son wants to ask Santa for a child’s version. Anyway, there are many ways to play.

The iPhone app allows you to plan your road trips and it marks all the Geocaching spots. There are thousands and thousands, many that allow you to take a treasure/leave a treasure (just a small object).

This week we’ve been Geocaching in our recreational vehicle. We are official nerds.

Here’s our first Geocaching adventure:

The treasure:

There was a little trinket for us to take and we left one in it’s place. There are usually logs to where you can write a note, your name and date.

Have y’all gone geocaching before? Or even heard of it for that matter?

(P.S. There are hundreds of hidden treasures in the State Park we’re visiting!)

WFMW: Driving with Kids

Last week, my ghetto mom van was in the shop for over a week. We had a few issues the dealership agreed to fix on our paid-for 2006 van and we weren’t about to turn them down. Because we like free. A lot. In exchange for my minivan, they gave us the tiniest car that seats 5 people.

I never thought I’d say this: but I missed my big white stinky, crumb-filled automobile something fierce.

Because noise and smells are magnified in a small car and the little people are VERY close to you.

For a split second, I rethought the whole driving for days and miles in a recreational vehicle.

The tight space reminded me that I really needed to have some activities ready for the long drive (it also reminded me to wash my son’s shoes).

Moving on.

A couple of years ago, I wrote this mega post of travel tips while on-the-road with kids. I thought I’d share it again with y’all:

  • Audio books (my library checks them out) or you can download them here
  • Ice chest w/drinks
  • DVD player, preferably with movies that haven’t been seen
  • We’ve been driving our smaller less gas-consuming car that doesn’t have a built-in TV.  So, we strap our laptop on an ice chest with a bungee, so the kids can watch a movie. (Yeah, we are THAT family).
  • Bag or backpack with coloring books and small toys for each child.  
  • This site says pack a plastic box for kids personal things and then use the lid as a tray to eat on.
  • Lap Desk for writing and drawing
  • Headphones for MP3 players and/or DVD player
  • Kid’s camera
  • Sketch pad/pencil
  • Extra change of clothes, separate from luggage.  Because if it can happen, it probably will.
  • If you’re traveling with a toddler, leave when they are tired.  If you leave first thing in the morning, this is their active time and they don’t make the best travelers
  • A package of pipe cleaners (to bend, twist and create)
  • Pack paper towels, wipes, and a couple of blankets.  Remember, we’re talking kids.
  • Buy $5 Tape Recorder and ‘Read’ stories to your kids in your own voice
  • Put a trash box in the back seat
  • Travel Journal
  • Sing silly road trip songs
  • Travel games from the store  (Target has some great ones in the stationary section that are cheap and magnetic!)
  • Travel freebies-links to free stuff for traveling
  • Play the I spy game with license plates
  • Wipe-off white board/marker
  • Magnetic sets (paper dolls, fire trucks, found in book sections)
  • Snack bag filled with pre-portioned zip-lock bags of non-messy foods
  • Kid’s music
  • Tin foil for creations
  • Play Go Fish
  • Make string figures
  • Check out these awesome games (like Noah’s Ark, Build a Story and Fooler, Fooler) to play in the car!
  • Kids pillow and blanket
  • Treasure Jar
  • Rest Stop Box-stock with jump rope, frisbee, inflatable beach ball and Nerf ball, according to July’s issue of Parents Magazine.
  • They also encourage travelers to ‘crank up the radio, open the doors and have an outdoor dance-a-thon).
  • Printable Car Trip Check List
  • Child-safety scissors and paper (it worked on a long flight w/my preschooler)
  • Invisible markers/Magic paper
  • Chalk Cloth Oil Mat
  • Moon sand on a tray
  • Post It Notes-draw on them, then decorate the car (Women’s Day, July Issue)
  • Spill-proof Bubbles (yes, in the car.  My toddler loves this).
  • Printable Car Bingo
  • Stickers
  • Band-aids (again a toddler-pleaser)
  • Leapster, DS Lite or hand-held game
  • Magna Doodle
  • Cookie sheet with magnetic alphabet letters
  • The following incredible ideas came from MomsMinivan:  travel tickets, surprise packages, and more (Actually EVERY idea on this site is amazing!)
  • Printable Boredom Busters
  • I spy bags/jars
  • Ear plugs for when the “how much longer questions begin”

What works for you on road trips?
Thanks for joining in, you can read the WFMW guidelines here

The Lovely LaBella Jewels {Giveaway}

*UPDATED with WINNERS* Congrats to Darla Baerg and Lindsey (Behind the Bur)!

La Bella Jewels has been one of my longest sponsors. She made a lovely necklace to memorialize my daughter’s water baptism and created a one-of-a-kind necklace for the work of Amazima (Kisses from Katie). My mom bought this one from her with her grandchildren’s names.

Her work is beautiful:What do you like?

Please let me know and that will be your entry. Two winners will be chosen from the comments to win a $50 gift certificate!

This giveaway ends Thursday.

*Shop early for the holidays because Mrs. LaBella is closing shop from November to January to welcome her new baby bundle.