Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Top 5 Reasons Travel Changes You! {#5faves}

If you're a regular here, you know my family travels ....
and travels...and travels.
Each summer, another area of the country gets explored and hiked and
photographed and enjoyed and camped and memory-ed!
 In addition to the general fun that each of these journeys provides,
we have realized over the years that our travel experiences
have enriched our lives in  deep, meaningful ways,
which I'd love to share!

~ 1 ~
 The educational value of travel is without equal.
Every September, when my kids crack open their history 
and geography books, they begin a tally of all the places we've visited.
In fact, most  of the time they literally cannot find any  
 photos in their books  of historic sites that we have not explored.
How's our world perspective, 
our knowledge of US and world geography
our level of interest in American history from our early Native Americans
to the present time, our understanding of the nation's political system - 
its origin,  development and leaders? 
And that's not due to some magical curriculum
or terrific textbook...or even  an amazing teacher 
As their homeshcool mom of twelve years,
 I'd like to take credit, but no.
When you live it, you learn it.


~ 2 ~
The family that travels together, stays together.
 We have no formula for harmony on our trips.
In fact, there have been times in which we've strongly strongly
considered turning around....whether a few hundred
or a few thousand miles out of the driveway.
But we stuck it out.
And with  no downtime, no personal space,
 sometimes even  while taking that hike, 
roasting those marshmallows or
 driving that day's mileage to the next stop.
You get past it and you all aquire 
a little more  patience and humility with each other.
 Because life is at least trying to dodge those curve balls  with grace.
And there's not much that's more important than
 time with family, set against the  backdrop of our great country.

  ~ 3 ~

Travel builds self esteem and confidence.

When I was fourteen, I took two buses and a subway to high school.
I learned how to navigate mass transit in the New York City boroughs,
 whether I wanted to or not.
It's the same with any situation we're thrown into, right?
If you can set a course across the country,
( and no fair using GPS!!!!) you can do anything.
I mean it.
My kids have been able to read maps and road signs,
calculate   distances and choose the best route to our destination
  since they were tiny.
Add to that, setting up  and breaking down a tent,
lighting  and cooking over a campfire AND packing personal, cooking, travel,
vehicle and camping essentials.

 ~ 4 ~

Travel teachers you how to deal with adversity.

Despite the perfect pictures we share,
it's not all sunshine and rainbows out there on the road.
You'll undoubtedly encounter certain misfortunes
 such as  inclement weather, traffic accidents,
family illness, auto breakdown ( and mom breakdown!)
Not to mention many  lesser inconveniences.....
  such as needing to hit the supermarket because local wild life devoured
the food you thought you packed away safely overnight!
Yes, it's happened !

When you can deal with life's obstacles on the road,
you can deal with anything.

 ~ 5 ~

The people you meet on the road 
enrich your life unquantifiably!

And you never know when you'll meet them.....
It could be on the shore of The Great Salt Lake, 
on the buffet line at that cowboy chuck wagon supper in South Dakota
or even while paying for gas in the middle of nowhere, Oregon.
One conversation with one person is all it takes to change your
perspective, broaden your horizon  or  enlighten your viewpoint.
My kids said, way back when they were small,
that they felt "sad" for children who don't get to travel they way they do.
And this was not after an amazing hike to see the sunrise over the Grand Canyon.
It was after a lengthy conversation in the parking lot of a KOA
with a fascinating family who could not have been more different than us
as we were pulling out to head into Yosemite for the day.

And, hey,  before you tell me that you cannot afford to travel~~
hold that thought!
It saddens me greatly to hear that people with a wanderlust
fear the expense of a trip.
There are practical  steps  you can  take r-i-g-h-t n-o-w to get
planning and  get out the door  with your family to explore
the natural and historic jewels of  America!
I'm not an expert in much, but on this, take my advice, okay? 
Here you go~
5 Tips to Frugally Taking That Cross Country Trip!

 And if you've a minute and would like to peruse some of our journeys,
All our travel posts...from sea to shining sea! 

I'm happy to join the weekly #5faves linkup
 Please click over to peruse many bloggers' favorites...
                                        and thank you, Bonnie and DeBalino, for hosting!

                                                               Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

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Until next time,


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Weekly Wrap: The End of the School Year Edition ~ On the Blog in the Past ~ 6/18/16

As the year winds down, we've less of a focus on school and more, 
on home!
We're finishing the curriculum, choosing courses for next year,
planning for  summer travel,
(the prep for these trips takes on a life of its own, doesn't it? )
 generally catching our breath and
 reclaiming the house from the home school  paraphernalia~ 
 stacks of books and
heaps of office supplies that made their way from the 
once- neatly organized  schoolroom to every corner!

Soccer is done for this season~ time and tryouts will tell 
where my son will be playing in Fall.....
town team or school team...neither or both!

We've been sprucing for summer~~

Doing a bit of baking~~~

I have no idea what happened!!
 My meringue hardly rose and after literally
an hour of beating, I gave up.
It stiffened, but no peaks and no fluffiness!
Usually we have no problems and turn out a light and airy topping....
Ah, well,   we'll try again soon!

We've been grabbing some quiet deck time at night,
even if only half an hour, to play some board games....
Mancala and Othello are the fave choices this week.

Mancala's addictive, isn't it? 


On the blog this week~~~ 

< Artful Friday > 


{ #5faves }


On the blog this time last year

Geology Rocks

On the blog this month in 2014 :

On the blog this month in 2013 :


 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

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and Pinterest as well.....

Until next time,


Friday, June 17, 2016

Footsteps ~ Paint & Poetry Father's Day Craft < Artful Friday >

 Father's Day is this weekend and if
you're looking for a quick, easy and meaningful gift 
with sentimental superpower, I've got you covered!

You need only items that are already around the house,
plus your kids and their FEET!
And you're all set~

Here's what we'll create for a super Father's Day gift: 

 <We made these projects for Father's Day 2008!
When I was perusing photos for a collage I'm making,
I thought this would be a fun craft to blog! >


Here we go~
So, for your Footprint poetry gift for 
dads and grandads, you'll need~

~ whatever color paint you'd like
~ thick paintbrushes
~ poster board
~ a copy of one of these two poems:

1. Choose and copy your poem: 
You can either move this copy of the poem,
"Walk with me Daddy,"
to your desktop to download and print:

...OR  older kids might like to copy the poem
in their "best" print or cursive....
so here it is:

 Walk With Me Daddy
Walk alongside me, daddy
and hold my little hand.
I have so many things to learn
that I don’t yet understand.

Teach me things to keep me safe
from dangers every day.
Show me how to do my best
at home, at school, at play.

Every child needs a gentle hand
to guide them as they grow.
So walk alongside me, daddy -
We have a long way to go.


Another lovely poem that works well with its beautiful,
heartfelt language  is "Footsteps:"
Again, if you'd like to print out the poem,
drag this to your desktop and then download and print:

............OR, your kids might like to write it out themselves.
So here's an easy to read version:

"Walk a little slower daddy,"
said a child so small.
"I'm following in your footsteps
and I don't want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast,
Sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower, Daddy,
For you are leading me.

Someday when I'm all grown up,
You're what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child
Who'll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right,
And know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy,
For I must follow you." 

 Once the poem is all set,  
attach it with glue/tape to a larger poster board.
We centered our poems on the poster, like so:

3.  Paint your kids' feet
and slowly and gently :

 4 Help them to 
"step on" the poster board, 
decorating around  the poem.

   wow I wish I had taken pictures, but I think my hands 
must have been  paint covered!
Would've been fun to look back at!

 5. When the paint dries, dress up your poster as you like!

Here's the other finished product:

I've mentioned in the past that I don't post pictures of my kids on the blog.....
but I make exceptions when the  shots are 8 years old and 
my kids don't look like this anymore ( ! )
Enjoy your fun, easy and super sentimental project!
I would LOVE to see pictures of the final effort!! 

...All these shots were  

I don't go anywhere without it!

For my previous "Artful Friday" posts, 
you might like to click below.....
They're all here if you'd like to dust off something from the archives:
                                             ( knitting, winter crafts, the theater and piano)


Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 
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quickly and easily  so we can be in touch regularly!
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Until next time,