Grateful Today

I have a game  I like to play with my kids when a strong case of the woe-is-me attitude hits. It’s called Tell Me 5 Things You are Grateful For. The first time we played it went something like this…

Me to my then 5 year old son: Tell me 3 things you are grateful for.

Him begrudgingly but trapped in a car seat so no choice but to play: Cake.

Me with uber enthusiasm: Oh, me too! Especially chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting and whipped mousse filling. That’s one, what else?

Him still a bit unsure: Ice cream.

Me, again with the enthusiasm turned up mega: Me too! Like, with hot fudge and whip cream and you take that first bite with the cold and the hot and the whip cream in the middle, hmmmm you are making me drool Pumpkin! What else?

Well, you get the idea, we continue this till smiles are all around and our outlook has improved. And I wish I could tell you that we do this all the time, but in fact I often forget. In fact, I even forget our nightly What We Are Thankful For Today habit my husband started with them…until one of my children remind me.

Generally I am so rushed and harried at the end of the day desperate just for a few moments peace that I forget to pursue peace and the One who gives it. Yes, I pray with them every night but often stories are left out and our “What I’m Thankful For” just sounds like too much time away from…me. Ouch!

So, imagine how I felt when I started reading How to Raise Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. It was like Kristen was reading my mail and it wasn’t pretty. Oh, and I have my list of who and what to blame my behaviors on and yep, I’m not on that list. Double ouch!

“Parents who want less entitled kids have to be less entitled themselves, and parents who want to raise more grateful kids need to start by living more grateful lives.” Kristen Welch from her book Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

The buck stops with me. It’s my turn to play the 5 Things I’m Grateful For game. It’s my turn to pick up the habit of what I am thankful for. It’s my turn to point my kids to the goodness of God in our MY life. It’s my turn to live my life in a way that shows my kids how great it really is…and isn’t that easier said then done.

I’ve had the chance this week to get away just the kids and I, while my husband packs up our house, and the slower pace has been wonderful. Cut off from most technology and less house to clean has given me the time to develop some some new habits and I am GRATEFUL for it! I know it’s not possible for most people to “run away from home” and start over again but here I am with that chance! No, it’s not been perfect. Yes, lots of bugs to work out. But…

5 Things I Am Grateful For TODAY

  1. More time for stories.
  2. More time for play.
  3. More time sitting together and being present with each other.
  4. Swimming with my kids.
  5. And the chance to recognize how wonderful these things are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Maiden Voyage: Part 2

Another night, this time prepared with an electric heater and RedBox. I mean, why drive back to our “sticks & bricks” on New Years Eve when I can spot more DUIs then gas stations. So instead of heading back late we boondocked again. And this time it was way easier! We put out the slides, turned on the portable heater and tucked the kids into bed.

Husband and I snuggled up with a Deep S snack plate (Trim Healthy Mama) and a little Mission Impossible 5 and before long we are both asleep and except for fireworks at midnight (been in the middle of no where) it was an uneventful night. However, the morning was less so.

Knock, knock, knock! Now it’s still pretty dark out and I know their is no good reason to be knocking at our RV door. So I wake my husband and here is some crazy guy (drugged out?) at our door. Safety one-oh-one, you DO NOT open your door to strangers. Especially ones who show up at your home on wheels in the middle of the night asking for directions. Ummm, where did he come from? So he leaves and as we are preparing to roll out, HE COMES BACK and starts walking around our rig! Fourunatly nothing bad happened, but it gave us a bit of a scare and a whole lot of wisdom to use even MORE caution when choosing a boondocking site. (Looks like all the folks we thought were hanging out with us were just parked, oops. Well, at least we got a good chuckle out of that.)

So we jetted out of dodge and found a populated grocery store parking lot to wake up in. The Starbucks and McDonalds with the HUGE Playplace was just a bonus. Glad to say the rest of our trip back to pack up the house was uneventful with only the delighted exclamations from the kids over the new views they get to enjoy.

Yep, that’s us. A family who doesn’t camp, who have never driven a motorhome let alone owned one, on our maiden voyage.

Oh, and THAT SOUND, super easy fix and we are enjoying heat once again!

Our Maiden Voyage: Part 1

Well, we survived our first trip to the dump station! It was dark, cold and stinky but we managed to empty our gray and black tanks with a little help from YouTube and prepared for our first overnight….BOONDOCKING! Thank you Cabelas for providing us with both services.

So, here we are in the middle of a parking lot (hello fellow boondockers), it’s way past the kids bedtime so we are getting them tucked into the main bed. My husband and I snuggle into the couch and since we have not figured out how the real TV works yet, we propped up my kindle and watched some Kate and Leapold thanks to a pre download Amazon Prime.

Sometime early into the movie, after we folded out the couch and I fell asleep, my Cupcake (4.5) wakes up in tears! A bad dream or the new environment, I’m not sure but being wrapped into mamas arms and tucked back into bed did the trick for drifting back to sleep. Then THE SOUND! Loud, from the furnace…Dear-God-what-is-that-are-we-going-to-blow-up SOUND! We turned off the gas heat, checked the detectors, and tried electric heat instead.Nope, still have the sound! There is for sure something going on with our heater.and because it’s 2am, we are boondocking and really have no idea what we are doing…we turn off EVERYTHING and crawls into bed with the kids.

Now here we are, in Southern Washington in winter huddled in our own 40′ igloo. Only I’m pretty sure and igloo would be wRmer. So around 6 something we buckle everyone in and head off in search of a Starbucks and shop for a space heater till we can figure out why ours is making THAT SOUND!

 

Allons-y

We have wanted to more somewhere warmer since before we were married, the PacNW is beautiful and on a warm sunny day no place better. But let’s face it, there is a reason Twilight was set in this neck of the woods! However, the debate on where that someplace warmer has been ongoing. California is out, it’s just not us. Arizona, Southern Nevada…maybe. Texas or Florida…likely! But have you noticed how BIG those states are? And even if we choose a state, how do we choose an area to buy a house and put down roots from half or a full country away? Our solution, buy a motorhome and go check it all out.

So that is what we are doing folks! We are packing up the house, selling donating and storing very little and hitting the road in search of our new home. Along the way we are going to have the best field trip ever! And when asked the question “So you know you are going to be gypsies, right?” Yep, we are….for a season because like Dr. Who says “Allons-y”.