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Showing posts from October, 2015

Binary hopscotch

I used to get frustrated when my parents would tell me that they were doing something just to make me ask questions - this was always said to me with a thick coating of sarcasm.  Yet, as a parent, I find myself doing almost the exact same thing as I attempt to introduce some humor into some of the more mundane games that I play with my children.

Don't get me wrong.  I love playing with my children, but there are only so many times I can play Candy Land, dress up and have a tea party, or even play hopscotch with my kids before I find myself trying to re-imagine the game into something a bit more exciting for me, as an adult.  I find myself changing the "rules" of play and suddenly we're having a lesson on gravity because our Mars tea party is causing all of our tea cups and tea to float away (not to mention the difficulty drinking tea through a space helmet). 

My favorite way to change things up with my kids is through hopscotch.  After all, there are numerous ways th…

Road trip with kids: Missoula, MT

As we continued eastward out of Spokane, the kids and I enjoyed the stunning beauty of Lake Coeur d'Alene as we traveled through North Idaho.  This is one place I wish we would have had the time to stop, and is a place we will definitely include in future adventures.  But, on this trip, we had to continue on.
 Unsure of exactly how far the kids and I would be able to travel, I didn't make any hotel reservations.  The plan had been to travel as far as Bozeman on this second day of our 5,100-mile journey.  We didn't quite make it that far.  The exhaustion of preparing for the journey and the multiple 30-minute minimum restroom stops made travel a bit slower than planned.  So, we pulled off the highway in Missoula, MT.

Having never been to Montana before, I didn't know what to expect.  I found out I had essentially zero cell phone service and absolutely no data coverage.  So, looking up and booking hotels on my smartphone wasn't an option.  Instead, we did things the…

Road trip with kids: Spokane

I love traveling.  There's something about the freedom of being in a car, just taking off and driving - seeing Mother Nature!  However, travel is a bit different with kids.  They don't always appreciate God's creations the same way that I do.  They also "feel the call of nature" more often than I do.  This made for an interesting day of travel through the sparsely populated areas of eastern Washington.


The first true problem I had to deal with on this road travel was that I had a VERY newly potty trained child.  Granted, I decided he would wear pull ups during this road trip, but it was still an issue.  When he said he had to go, we stopped.  But, where do you stop when there are no towns or rest areas in sight?  Well, I learned how to teach a child to pee on the side of the road.  With a husband half a world away, this had to have been humorous for the few people that passed us, as I had no clue how to teach a boy to pee standing up.  With this problem dealt wit…

Journaling with kids

This was going to be an amazing idea!  My husband was deployed, we had very little cell reception due to our travels across more remote areas of the northern part of the U.S., and I wanted my road trip to be an educational opportunity for my young kids.  We were going to journal!

Well, since my kids aren't quite to the writing stage yet (still just 3 and 5), journaling really meant that the kids were going to draw pictures and I would write what these pictures were.  Each day, the kids were given specific instructions to draw something that they saw or did that day.  How hard can this be?  Dad's going to love reading these journals when we send them to him in his care package!

Then, I get this at the end of Day 1:


Maybe we did actually see rocks with stripes.  That could have been a possibility.  We were, after all, driving through forested mountains and up into the dry desert of eastern Oregon and Washington.  However, I'm pretty sure I didn't have the pleasure of see…

This is deployment

Deployment is never fun. It's not fun for the person being deployed nor the loved ones they're leaving behind.  Deployment isn't better or worse depending on the branch of service, rank, location, nor if you're active duty, reserve or guard status.  It's not even better or worse depending on the length of the deployment - neither the length they tell you it's going to be nor the length it actually ends up being.

Here's what deployment is...

Deployment is going somewhere far away - somewhere that may or may not be classified.  It is time zones away from loved ones with sketchy Internet connections and even worse phone connections.

Deployment is tears - both adult and kid.  It is anger.  It is fear.  It is worry.  It is sadness.

Deployment is meals spent without loved ones - often times just scraped together because you don't have the energy or means to get a real meal.  It is figuring out how to change the batteries in your smoke detector at the top of a…

Road trip with kids: A 5100-mile journey

Many thought that I was crazy. They assumed I would end the nonsense and turn around.  They were certain, if I didn't, I would be committed, and I agreed with them.  But, I'm a stubborn mom and was determined to prove everyone wrong.  So, thus began a month-long journey, covering over 5100 miles (round trip) through the U.S. with just Mom and two kids, plus an SUV half-filled with food, DVDs, and busy boxes.

The trip was planned not only for summer vacation but for sanity during a military deployment.  It was also planned to maximize the number of family members we could visit.  The route was planned but no hotels were booked due to the uncertainty of traveling with young children. I researched the best way to keep kids sane during road trips, buying books, craft projects, educational materials, and new DVDs.  I built a new Spotify playlist with songs that would be soothing to me as the driver, but also be something suitable for my children's listening ears. The car was pa…