We had a pretty crazy summer this year!

We had one daughter who had just left for an 18 month church mission to Germany.

Celebrating Austria, Germany & Switzerland

Our oldest son returned from serving a two year church mission in Missouri & Kansas.

Excited to be Home!!

Our daughter graduated from high school and was a little schizophrenic about choosing a college-

Graduation Day- Ready for a new stage in life

We had swim team, with everyday practices and weekend meets-

We bathe in chlorine…

 

… strive for the perfect dive,

 

… take time to enjoy a friend,
… and pray we don’t start too early!

Blah, Blah, Blah…

Does your life ever sound like this???

Well, we thought we had things all planned out,
so the summer could be balanced with some relaxation
in the middle of all this chaos-

until one kiddo changed her mind on where she was going to college,
and the plan-
my perfectly thought out and prepared to execute plan,
the plan that took me to Hawaii for a week in September,
got put to rest and we scrambled for a new plan!

All of a sudden we had just a few days to figure out how to get the college kiddos & and all their belongings to Utah in the small car we were letting them take with them.

So in a mad dash trip,
my hubby and I packed part of their stuff, our own stuff & our three younger children
and set off for a wild (and very short) drive half way across the United States.
Unfortunately for the kiddos,
I have been on the warpath to reduce the amount of screen time in our lives-
so I was determined to limit what time they spent on their phones, i-pods, i-pads-
anything portable, with an on/off switch and a screen!

So the hubs decides to get some books on tape-
which my big three kids used to LOVE for road trips
when they were younger-

But these three kids
(who I admit have grown up just a little different than their older siblings)
balked and moaned 
and acted like we were pulling all of their teeth out through their ears!

I mean seriously-

The hubs ALMOST gave in,
and by almost I mean, he totally gave in!
He turned the radio off and uttered a threat to take ALL screen away for eternity because they were too dependent on visual entertainment!

Luckily this momma had a little sense to stop this carnage
before it turned into blood shed-

So I suggested that we give the book on tape a chance-
that we give it twenty minutes.
If they hated it, they could nap and earn 20 bonus points towards the screen time they wanted
(I made them EARN their screen time on this drive)-
AND if they loved it-
well, if they loved it,
Mom got ice cream in Little America, WY :)
(a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, and I took one for the team)

Anywho…

As I quietly sat in the passenger seat,
listening to the story of the Wizard of Oz,
I was mesmerized by the sweet peace in our car.
We were ALL in our own little world,
but yet we were sharing the same experience.

Occasionally, someone would ask daddy to pause the tape so we
could explain the differences between the movie and the book adaptation-
or they would share their thoughts as they saw connections from the book to the
Broadway play Wicked!

On our way to see Wicked

We would have a little chat, and quickly move on to the book!

A nice & peaceful 17 hours in the car

It was nice-
really, REALLY, REALLY nice!

Let’s be realistic, at some point everyone falls asleep in the car

 

And there is always someone who sprawls out

But it was something we ALMOST gave up on!
The conflict and the opposition was more than hubby could bear,
so this moment-
this really long moment of peace and serenity
ALMOST didn’t happen!

This experience,
plus the one I will share tomorrow
have made me keenly aware of my life and my reactions to situations.

I guess it is easy to hit what looks like a brick wall and decide to back away and
try another approach-
but I wonder,
how often are these brick walls made of made of sponges instead
and are easily knocked over?

Our families are the single most important thing in our lives,
but we get distracted and discouraged,
maybe a little too easily-

Don’t give up,
Make the changes you know you need to make in your family,
with your spouse,
with your children,
with your community-

I promise,
it is SO worth it in the end!

Stopping in for some delicious Kansas City BBQ

 

Arches National Park; an unexpected detour

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