Friday, August 30, 2013

3000 Mile Field Trip

No.  You did not read that wrong. 
1500 miles one week....1500 miles home a few weeks later. 
Mama, 3 kids, 4 generations of love, and a mapped out route. 
But mostly, like last time, we will get there on
Gasoline & Prayer
Those last 2 aren't in order of importance by the way!
We've done this before and we'll be fine doing it again.  But let me tell you, it is a BRUTAL drive!  Completely worth it, but exhausting and trying all the same.  And to share the's kind of nice too.  In a liberating, I can do ALL things, something new and something free kind of way.  It is good.  It will be good again.  I will need another year to recoup after this trip too!  But all the same, it will be good.  Always worth it. 
Here's a list of my 'secrets' and a fun new DIY I'm super proud to have pulled together this year! the key!  I mean it when I say that I believe prayer carried us across country last year.  And I know that it will again.  Constant updates via social media and/or text with a location, thank you for praying, and reminder to friends and family to keep doing so.  This is crucial.  The rest are minor details in comparison...
1.  Planning.  Lots of it.  I have a folder just for my maps, instructions, hotel info, etc.  You may have a better sense of direction than I do.  But it doesn't matter if I'm a mile down a 4 wheeler trail or 1000 miles across country....chances are I will need directions EVERY time!  So yes, lots of planning.
2.  Comfort for the kids.  We roll with blankets, pillows, and designated STOPPING points on this ride.  They're courageous enough to take the ride....does that really count if they don't have a choice? LOL!  Safety first, which means seat belts the whole time.  That also means we dress and pack the car to make the best of it!  And lots of electronics....did I mention that?
3.  Comfort for Mom.  This is easy...Sunglasses, caffeine, cell phone with charger, something to chew on, and of course Audio Books!  Music relaxes me, so while I'll listen occasionally, I need TALK for 12 hour driving days! is this girls best driving friend!  Along with FocusOnTheFamily Podcasts and radio news!  I use headphones because it usually drives the kids nuts.  I'll have one ear bud in and the other out so I can stay tuned in to the little ones!
4.  STOP!  As mentioned above, we have designated stopping points, for two reasons.  The first is the obvious 'stretch your legs, get out of the car, potty break' reason.  The other is because in doing this, we stay on the road the rest of the time, making the miles  pass.  And trust me....there's WAY to many miles to be pulling over anytime it's not necessary!  So, we start early in the AM, stop a few hours in for a break at a nice truck stop, stop to eat a laid back lunch, truck stop again a few hours later, and then we call it QUITS for a late supper!  Food, hotel swimming, and a good nights rest, and then start over the next morning.... 
5.  Enjoy....the memories, the journey, and mostly in this case our destination.  Family, precious time together, and going home for a few weeks is worth the drive.  ANY DAY OF THE YEAR!!!!  We are exactly where God would have us, I love where we live...but I will always need my Mom, Grandma, sister, best friend, and the other hearts and faces that will welcome us next week.  So for us, instead of year long daily life together, we get treasured weeks.  Weeks that cost a marathon drive, but are worth every mile!
This year is different.  Our first year of homeschooling completely freed our scheduling for the trip home!  So, we go in September.  We journey out next week, and I've put together some fun for the way!  We will be taking school with us, so look forward to a post for tips and stories of how we made this work!  It should be fun!  But today, I want to share what I've put together for on the road entertainment....
Okay, get this.....
-Each kid-different colored binder & pencil 'box'
-Each binder partially full at the beginning of the trip
-Grandma wants collected items from on the road for a special scrapbook project
So, I've set them up like this.....
Each pencil box has an assortment of colored pencils (crayons melt) and dry erase crayons.  I've also included the dry erase wipe off cloth and a small pencil sharpener.  NOTE-this is the first time I've bought Dry Erase Crayons and I LOVE THEM!!!!  I will be buying more for the schoolroom when we get home!  They are completely not what I expected them to be! 
Each binder has a few page protectors toward the front.  These work perfect with the dry erase crayons (not markers, they'd stain).  Inside those I included everyone a mapped out route of our trip (not pictured for privacy reasons), a map of our country broken into states, an alphabet for the old 'find the letter' game, and a copy of road trip bingo!  (Printed from OOPSEY DAISY-awesome find!!! ).  For my older son I also included a list of pictures for each state's license plate for him to see how many he can spot!  These are in page protectors to be used over and over with the dry erase crayons!
The next section is for pages outside of the page protectors.  You see that I started with a state's outline.  This is for them to draw, write, or color on.  Facts of the state, memories of driving through, or just whatever will keep them occupied really.  What they don't know is that I have a copy of EVERY state's outline we will travel through for each of them.  So, when we cross a state line, I will hand them out.  But it will ONLY be done after our tradition of whooping and hollering "YAY ___(state name)___" when we cross a state line!  ;)
Finally, I have a Ziploc bag hole punched and included at the rear of the binders.  This is for the items they will collect along the way.  Now, we won't have time to stop and search for these collectibles because of the distance we are traveling, but will look for postcards at the truck stops, or small items of nature on the stops!  This will be fun for them and bring Grandma just what she's looking for to make their books!
And finally (yes, once again), I will add more basic activity pages to each binder before we hit the road!  I'm excited to give them these binders and let them start to work through them on the way.  
So, was this for education, entertainment, fun, or what?  All of the above really.  It's neat to me how homeschooling has already become a lifestyle of learning for us.  An unplanned, natural rhythm to our family and life.  It is joy.  It is a gift.  
Today I give thanks.  Today I am excited.  Today I thank God for his ever watchful and loving hand over my life and family.  For the gift of time together that we will unwrap and cherish in only a few days.  Here's to a safe trip....
We're Goin' to Grandma's!!!!! 

1 comment:

  1. Great to meet you. I am following you from Hip Homeschool Moms. I too work at a Pregnancy Care Centre in our town.
    Bravo for you for figuring out how to travel by yourself with your kids.
    If you do a turtle or reptile unit with your kiddos - please check out my book Tadeo Turtle. It also comes with a free curriculum.
    Janis Author of Tadeo Turtle.


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