Thursday, July 28, 2011

How We Pack for Camping

We have a minivan.

When we camp, we tent camp.

When we camp, we have a lot of stuff.

When we camp for an entire week, there's even more stuff.

Which means you have to be very precise and organized as to how you pack your car.

My father in law has never seen how loaded down we are when we go camping, so I took these step by step pictures to share how it is that we pack our car.

We start by removing the last seat in our van, and switching it with the middle seat. The back seat actually allows for better positioning and adjusting than the middle seat. The spare seat is placed in our dinning room for the week. Then we load our camp box and large ice chest. They must be placed on the sides. Now is also the time to pack the boogie boards and large flexible freesbie against the seat. Our EZ Up and double camp chairs and umbrella go in next, in between the ice chest and camp box. The single camp chairs for the girls are then positioned onto the ledges of the back windows. Our small camp table is also slid in alongside of the ice chest. Next to pack are the rubbermaid boxes. Usually two are filled with non perishable food, especially if going for a week. One box has our air mattresses and tarps. The other box is a one filled with other camping necessities - hammer, mallet, air pumps, lanterns, etc. More stuff is also strategically positioned along the sides of the cars in the window spaces. Next comes the beach chairs and blankets and bedding. Chairs laying flat atop the ice chest, blankets being stuffed into every nook and cranny that could possible hold something. The girls luggage and beach bags of beach towels are backed and our tent is packed at this point. One of the last things to be packed into the car so that it can be easily accessed and set up so everything else can be loaded into it. LOL. The only thing missing from this picture is the large duffel bag that Steven and I pack our clothes for a week in. It gets shoved in last minute along with our pillows. The one picture I failed to get was the front of the car. This trip, there was an ice chest between the girls, sitting on the seat with our electric coffee pot in it, bike helmets and scooters fit in the nooks beneath the seat, bucket of sand toys beneath Rachel's feet. As well as stuff between mine and Steven's seat. We were loaded!!!

And as if the inside of the car wasn't fully loaded, we have a bike rack that straps to the back of our car. Normally there are only three bikes, but this year I had a bike, therefore Rachel's was strapped to the roof. In this picture, Rachel was upset and crying because she feared her bike would come off in the drive to the campground. LOL. Daddy assured her if it did, he'd buy her a new one...after the tent was put up. LOL. At the end of our camping trip, and we're loading up the car to come home, everything pretty much has to be packed the same way! There's no way if we want to continue camping that we could ever get a smaller car. LOL.

Monday, July 25, 2011

God's Hand

Have you ever gone through something and after it was all said and done, after the dust had settled, you could see God's Hand all over the situation, all over the events of the circumstances??

The day after Hannah's accident, we saw just that. We saw how the Lord's hand was all over that day...

* My parents were at the campground for the day visiting us. Had they not have been there, they would have been the first ones I had called about the accident and I know they would have been making their way to San Diego in rush hour traffic, not really knowing where to go.

* Because my parents were visiting for the day, the friends we were sharing the campsite with parked their truck out on PCH for the day so that my parents car would be right there at the campsite for them to work out of (their chairs, extra shoes, jackets, ice chest, etc, etc). And because their car was RIGHT there, it allowed us to jump right in the car and follow the ambulance right on out of the campground.

* Hannah fell off her bike in front of a campsite that belonged to friends whom we were camping with. Our friends son saw her and knew exactly where to go to get help. Had she fallen at some other location in the park, no one who knew her might have seen her, therefore we might not have been alerted as quickly as we were.

* Hannah's accident happened in front of a campsite where off duty firefighters and paramedics were camping. They were able to jump right in there and start assessing the situation, asking the right questions, giving the right instructions until the on duty medical professionals got there. They were also the ones who ultimately cut her foot free from her bike.

* Because we were camping with friends and family, all believers, they began praying as soon as the urgency of the situation came to light. I know they were praying throughout the evening as updates were texted to them, etc. I believe with all my heart, it's because of all the prayers said on Hannah's behalf that the CT Scan was negative, the foot xrays were negative, and the blood results checking for brain trauma was negative.

I know God's Hand was probably on many of the other details surrounding this accident and we may never know the others. But His hand was on the evening, and I'm so thankful, very, very thankful.

Back from Camping

We were camping last week at the beach. We left on Sunday afternoon after church and came home on Saturday afternoon. We had a great time away. In the middle of the week, Hannah was fell off her bike which resulted in being taken to San Diego Children's Hospital via an ambulance. You can read the entire account on her blog.

And now, we are vacation detoxing.

There's a ton of laundry.

A kid out of commission.

And school starts one week from today!

So much to do and so little time left!! So many more adventures I wanted to do while on break, but seven weeks just isn't enough time.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dressing Modestly

Dressing Modestly. Not a subject often talked about these days. It's certainly something that is becoming more and more less seen in today's society. Billboards. Commercials on TV. Magazine covers. Sales Ads. Are all guilty of not promoting modest dress. The majority of women, teenage girls included, lack modesty in this day and age. And sadly, a lot of Christian women fall into this category as well.

The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:9-10:

"I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

We were somewhere recently surrounded by other Believers, where the teens were swimming. The girls were wearing bikinis. Very low cut bikinis. The lack of covering wasn't leaving much to my own imagination, so I know it wasn't leaving much to the imagination of the teen boys that were swimming in the pool with the girls, much less all the single men and married men sitting poolside.

I have two daughters and it is my job as their mother to teach them how and why we need to dress modestly. Summer time is upon us and when it comes to bathing suits, my girls wear one pieces. Yes, when they were toddlers, they had cute little ruffled two pieces, but that was when they still had some baby chub on them and it was cute. But we're at a stage now where we're trying to teach them modesty, and it's tough, especially when fellow believers don't hold modesty in the same regard.

Hannah recently attended our church Youth Lock In, aka all nighter at the church with devotions, music, games. There was a young lady who spoke on the topic of what things are pleasing to the Lord. One of the things she addressed towards the girls was the subject of dress and presenting themselves in ways that are pleasing to the Lord. The days following the Lock In, Hannah asked me if I thought the purple nail polish she was wearing was displeasing to the Lord. Of course it wasn't. But it opened the doors for me to tell her exactly what would be displeasing to the Lord as far as clothing went.

A couple weeks ago, my Mom and I took the girls to the beach, to escape the Inland Empire heat, and to have a picnic on the beach. We were all set up, chairs, blanket laid out, just chilling and relaxing under the umbrella, when a teenage girl and her boyfriend set up their spot down a ways in front of us. It wasn't long before she was peeling off her clothes, reveling the bikini that laid beneath. The topic of conversation that came next for us, was explaining to Hannah the lack of modesty the young girl exhibited.

I'm not saying that two piece bathing suits are wrong. In fact, Old Navy and a lot of other stores these days sell very cute two pieces that include board shorts and rash guard shirts. Very cute. What I am saying is that we as women, especially those of us who claim to love and follow the Lord, need to think about our bathing suits, in fact think about our entire wardrobe, and ask ourselves if the article of clothing might be lacking in modesty, perhaps even displeasing to the Lord.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Favorite Kitchen Gadget

I'm a water drinker and an iced tea drinker. I'm not really a soda drinker. The only exception to that rule is a fountain Coke at Disneyland. It burns all the way down and I cannot find Coke that tastes that good anywhere else.

I love iced tea year long, but especially in the hot summer months! I also have a sun tea jar that I take camping and make tea the old fashioned way!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Bible Study

Not only is it that time of year where the kids go back to school, but it's also that time of year where typically new Bible Study Fellowships start up. New books of the Bibles to be studied, new groups to be formed, etc.

I don't like going to the formal Bible Study Fellowships for a few different reasons. So when my Mom came up with the idea to do one together, that was right up my alley. And when she suggested including my sister in law (brothers wife) and her Mom, that made it all the more appealing. To do a Bible Study as the women of the family was going to be great!

This morning we started our little Bible study and it was GREAT!

We are doing Beth Moore's video series called "Wising Up". It's a video series that concentrates on Proverbs and focuses on practical things that women face, all pointing and steering us to be better Proverbs 31 women.

We are starting off very simple. There's no homework with this study. Our plan is to get through these videos which takes us up to the holidays. Which will give my sister in law time to adjust to homeschooling my nieces (first year!) and me time to adjust to my duties at school, etc. And then after the holidays, we'll perhaps start a series whereas a workbook is involved.

So far, I really LIKE Beth Moore. I think she'll only get better and better. I'm really looking forward to the series and looking forward to the women of the family growing not only closer to the Lord, but to each other.

It's the Middle of July!

I can hardly believe that we are more than half way through our summer vacation. In less than 3 weeks, we go back to school. Back to homework. Back to packing lunches everyday. Back to getting up and out the door by 7:30 every morning.

I think that last one is really going to be tough...on ME! LOL. I've been enjoying sleeping in, lounging in bed surfing Facebook on my phone, reading devotionals, slow to getting up and dressed. It's been nice.

There's also a part of me that is excited about the upcoming school year. We unexpectedly lost the PTA president whom we voted in for the 2011-2012 school year as a job for her husband opened up a few hours away. After an email was sent out soliciting any interested in the position, I was the only one! So if all goes well, once being voted in at Back to School Night, I will be the PTA President for the upcoming school year. Which is kinda exciting. I have lots of ideas, lots of people to convince to come to meetings, LOL.

We go back to school Monday, August 1st. Which is right around the corner!

Meanwhile there's still lots to do! At least one more trip to Disneyland! Would love to make a trip to the LA Fashion Market to get Rachel stocked up on headbands and hair accessories for school. There's a few other things on our calendar as well, that I'll blog about down the road...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Heat has Arrived!

The heat has finally arrived in Southern California.

The weather has been pretty mild up until this point, and we've been thankful. The last two days have see triple digit temperatures and the humidity that accompanies the heat is almost suffocating.

This afternoon after getting home from church, I had a hard time cooling down. We decided to go grab something for lunch and had an enjoyable family lunch at Applebees. After a stop off at the grocery store for some ice and a few things from Redbox, we came home to hibernate for the remainder of the day, or at least until around 8:00 when a trip to Dairy Queen for an ice cream was in order.

The car thermometer read 110 today, which is waaaaay toooo hot!