Thursday, July 21, 2011

Off on a Mini-Adventure!

Tomorrow we leave on a mini-adventure...or "edventure" as I might start borrowing a phrase I read elsewhere.  We are busily packing up Big Bertha for our first real camping trip!  We have never camped more than about 3 days, and this time we are going for 6 days, heading to a local campground about 45 minutes away where we will launch Science Camp '11.  We purposely selected this location for our first longer outing so that we could A) Be close enough to home for Dominick to work and drive back and forth and B)  Be close enough to home in case we have an issue with Big Bertha that needs to be worked out.

Because we realize that we are likely BB's last stop, we decided to throw caution to the wind and ignore any concerns about resale value.  To heck with that, we are going to make her ours!!  So, the carpet is now out in the main area, the floor is sanded and painted a lovely shade of tan (thanks to leftover paint from the boys bedroom) so it is now sweepable and mopable, we have some old computer speakers that are now mounted and can plug into our cell phones/MP3 players, hooks are everywhere to hold virtually everything, and as of late this afternoon all the lovely and newly stuffed chairs and couch were cleaned with a Bissel Green Machine along with the little remaining carpeted areas.  Our new shelves are in...woo hoo...and such a simple change creates tons more useable space.  Grocery shopping will happen late tonight, clothes are sorted and ready to be loaded, and marshmallows are stocked.  We are going to look like the Clampets hauling along our trailer as well with bikes, scooters and firewood as well :-)

We are taking along school work and are going to do some block learning with Nancy Larson Science, as well as squeeze in some math and history.  The kids are SO excited, over the top, and can't wait to get going tomorrow.  They have worked very hard to get our BB in shape, and deserve to have some fun with her.  We are camping here:  which is a beautiful park with a swim beach, fishing ponds, and hiking trails.  In between working on school work, we are going to have some great outdoor fun, might try and geocache as we learned there are 3 caches somewhere there in the park, and of course the nightly campfires are what we are looking forward to most.  If we all goes well we will come back somewhat bug bitten, sunburned, filthy and smelling of smoke, and having had the time of our lives.

I feel so lucky!!!!  I can't believe we get to have Big Bertha to camp in!!  And NO PAYMENTS!!! She isn't pretty, but she will be dearly loved and hopefully filled with tons of great memories.

You know, these are the things life is made of...evenings together reading books and sharing stories, being rained on and remembering how we once had 13 or 14 people crammed into our old popup trailer, remembering old friends who camped in a tent and laughing as we recall how they hauled along a microwave and a mini fridge for a weekend trip, and grinning as we think of how we ruined TShirts one time when the kids broke apart glow sticks and sprinkled everything with the chemical so it looked like a glittery Disneyland at night.  It is THESE things that are remembered most...the simple things...and we all love sleeping in the same room in the RV so we can whisper back and forth and no one has to sleep on the floor :-)

Sometimes weall  fall prey to thinking it is the Big Trips or Big Gifts that will "wow" and amaze our kids.  While we had an awesome time in NY and DC, I am actually deeply moved and profoundly grateful that our kids rate other memories among their "bestest".  Oh sure, we all loved seeing things we never imagined seeing before, and we will never forget having such an "Edventure" which we know we were terribly fortunate to have.  But in the long run, we ALL know that's not what it's all about.

It's about us...about relationship with each other and those outside our family.  The kids talk more about the friends we met than the monuments we visited.  They loved spending so much time with Dominick and would have taken that over the White House any day of the week.  What we see and where we go is about exposing our kids to the world around them, trying to make up for lost time with some of them, but really...the truth's an excuse to do something new together.  The "together" part is what matters.  We could go learn how to haul logs, pick potatoes, build houses, or wash cars, as long as it is together.

I love that they get it, that they understand what is truly good in this world.  Holy, actually, for family and the love shared within it is the holiest of holy's, isn't it?

So, I'll leave you with a couple of pics to whet your appetite, and as long as I don't drop my camera in the lake I will surely have a vast array to share with you all when we return!

I love that Dominick is so handy and willing to try anything to save money!

Our RV couch being restuffed...lovely orange, huh?

I know Kenny is missing, and only a small pic of Olesya...sorry, I don't always get decent ones of every kid every time!  No worries, Kenny will appear soon.  That grin of his is too contagious!

Colorado's beautiful state flower, the Columbine,  prettiest flower ever, especially when found like this one in the wild.


Shannon said...

Sounds like a perfect vacation! Have a great time, LaJoys!!

Anonymous said...

Good night, John Boy. Good night, Mary Ellen. Good night, Olesya. Good night, Kenny. Good night, Angela. Good night, Joshie. Good night, Matthew. Good night, Mommy and Daddy. And have a great edcation while I have a great facation.

Joy and love,

Anne said...

We're going to Colorado for our first 'real' family vacation. We haven't been anywhere for more than a weekend in over 3-1/2 years. I can't wait!

Have a fab-u-lous time on your vacation with BB!

Anonymous said...

Hi LaJoy's,
Hope you have a Lajoyish time! I hope Big Bertha will carry and take you to Ridgeway safely!

Have a fun trip!

Mary in Virginia