Saturday, February 28, 2009

It gets better all the time


I've always had the mentality that I would rather deal with the complications of taking all of my kids out and about rather than stay at home. I really want to show them the world, or at least be there when they are experiencing a new part of it. It won't be many more years that they will all be home together and available. Soon there will be more commitments and schedules to juggle. But for now, I'm taking full advantage of the time we've been given.

Sean was out of town the better part of this week, so we headed and hour south. During the winter our state parks have a 2 for 1 rates on their cabins and hotels. We've been saving up for a few months to surprise the kids with a get away just for them. Our favorite state park recently added an indoor water facility so we had to check it out. It's nothing big, but it was just what we needed to get a bit of fresh air and to remind us that, yes, summer is coming again. It was also great because there were only eleven kids there and seven of them were mine.

We hiked, drew, learned, snuggled, played games, stayed up late, slept in, had school, read, ate special snacks, played basketball, climbed, made pancakes and made memories. Except for the fact that Sean wasn't there, it was perfect.

This trip was the lowest stress ever for me. They all really pitched in packing, unloading, organizing, planning and even cooking while we were there. They acted like they were playing "house" on a big scale. It was rewarding to watch.

We are already making plans to do it again next winter.





















11 comments:

mindi said...

You have to tell me where you went!! An hour south? That can't be too far from where we live and that sounds awesome. With a waterpark no less!!

Aaron Tague said...

That sounds like a blast! I take it you went to Brown County? I keep getting their advertisements in the Money Mailers- wishing we were headed there. I am proud of you for venturing out on your own and making great memories with the kiddos. Before you know it you will have a highschooler!!! AHHHH :) I am sure the kids will remember your trip for a long time to come.

Michelle said...

Oh! I'm so glad it was a great trip! We certainly missed all of you on Thursday. Hey, I recognize those sticks in the woods!!! I was thinking in January that it would be a perfect place for my boys to play and have an adventure!

Monica said...

That's great that you were brave enough to travel with all the kids. It looks perfect!
I love the picture of you and your daughter, so sweet:)

Tara said...

I want to come! It looks FABULOUS!

Heather L. said...

I'm so glad you had such a fun time!!! It looks like it!!

eally said...

I just love looking at pictures of your kids - they are precious! Sounds like you all had a nice, refreshing break (from reality) for a few days. :-)

Mary@notbefore7 said...

That looks like a great time! YOu are an adventurous mommy, but it is clearly worth the memories.

Anonymous said...

I'm a reader in Atlanta with 5 little ones. I love this post. This is exactly what I have in mind for our family. I feel very simiar to you in terms of what's important. What a great trip! I am truly inspired. I feel so different, especially when I check out my friends comments on Facebook...
I am confused by your statement about getting to see the world. Did you stay home a lot when they were little? Isn't it good to be home a lot to get in the "big rocks" and have quality time? Maybe by not having too many activities you are able to do these trips. Great! God Bless you Mary Brooke

Monica said...

Mary, nice to meet you.

Yeah, I had difficulty putting into words what I meant about showing them the world. I think I changed it several times and that was the best I could do.

We live in the suburbs- big house, small yard. Everything around us is fairly built up. I grew up in the country with acres and acres to explore. We really want our kids to see firsthand (as much as possible) God's creation. We want them to have a sense of His greatness and handiwork. That's a part of the world we want to show them.

We also feel it is our privilege as a homeschooling family to explore and learn through science and history museums, plays, exhibits.... That's another part of the world we want to show them outside the bounds of our home.

Our kids are spread out over 11 years. We have spent the majority of our time at home because for the past 10 years there have been at least 2, sometimes 3, in diapers who need naps. It's been time well spent.

Now that our family is complete and the youngest is two, there seems to be so much more that we can take in and enjoy together outside the home. I really don't think that I could travel with them alone like this had we not already laid the groundwork from being at home those years in terms of discipline, gratitude and fostering a joy for learning.

I plan on taking a one or two night getaway with the kids each semester now if possible. My kids work hard around the home and in school everyday. I think they look forward to a change of scenery as much I do:)

Anonymous said...

Monica, thank you for your thoughts. Our oldest is only 6 and the new babies are only 5 months old (also a 4 and 2 year old). We enjoy much love at home..love rich learning...and need a lot of training...lots...with love!

We also greatly desire for our children to spend as much time as we can manage in God's creation..it's a priority. I am also taking advantage of a few wonderful field trips. It will be a matter for much prayer because I want to look back and see that we hiked, did state parks, art museums,etc. Your family looks so loving. We are incredibly thankful for ours. Mary B.