Traveling With Kids? 65+ Free and Inexpensive Ideas to Make the Trip Easier and Fun!

Forget the parts about babies screaming in their car seats, siblings getting in each other’s space in the back seat, and ineffectively trying to get restless children to actually sleep in a hotel bed.

Traveling is fun!

Well, parts of it anyway.

65 Free and Inexpensive Road Trip Ideas

If you’re hitting the road this summer with your family, we pray you make more great memories than bad ones (though I speak from experience when I say that even most of the bad ones turn into good ones eventually). We pray for wonderful experiences and fantastic adventures. We pray that even Mom and Dad have a good time and get to relax! Is this too much to ask?

Free and Inexpensive Road Trip Ideas and Activities

To make a road trip fun for the kids and hopefully more relaxing for the parents, we’ve put together a fantastic list of ideas and activities, as well as a huge packet of free printables for you. A huge thanks to my friend, Kim, for once again helping me compile this list of ideas. Wait till you see!

First the free printable pack!

Free Summer Travel Printables

You will want this packet of printables to go along with many of the ideas listed below! Print the pages that work well for each of your kids and put together a binder for them to take along on the trip. With these printables your kids can:

  • Journal with pictures or words throughout the trip
  • Play “I Spy” with Letters, Numbers, Shapes, Colors, and State License Plates
  • Spot road signs and different kinds of vehicles – challenging themselves to see how many they can find
  • More (details to come!)

Sign up to receive this FREE Printables Pack here. Once you’ve signed up, watch for an email, confirm your subscription, and your printables packet will be in your inbox soon!

More Travel Ideas that Are Free

vintage toy truck isolated in white background with clipping path.

Are you ready for this? We’ve got over 65 great ideas to help make traveling with kids fun and easy. Here we go with ideas that cost absolutely nothing!

  • Toy Swap! Borrow toys and books from a friend to take along on the trip. This will seem like “new toys” to your kids but will cost nothing!
  • Take along library books, audio books, and movies.
  • Coupon Fun! Use the printable coupons in the packet above to provide your kids with fun incentives and treats to look forward to. (For example: “This coupon entitles you to sit by Mom. …to choose the movie. …to have a special drink.)
  • Borrow fun music CDs from friends that will be new to your family.

Super Inexpensive Travel Activity Ideas

  • Hit garage sales and thrift stores to pick up “new” toys and books inexpensively. Pull them out one at a time on the trip!
  • If your kids are old enough, aluminum foil is great for making origami shapes or molding/scrunching into various shapes. It can be used over and over!
  • Take stickers and a spiral notebook or scratch paper: Little ones enjoy the fun of peeling off the stickers and putting them on paper at random. Bigger kids can make scenes with them, then use crayons or colored pencils to make a bigger scene. (Consider including this in a binder in put together for your kids which includes the above Travel Packet Printables!) Here’s an awesome sticker pack that is a great value.

Inexpensive Travel Activity Ideas

finger puppets

Arts and Crafts on the Road

melissa and doug water paint

Travel Items Worth the Investing In

playbee

Audio Book Suggestions

adventures in odyssey

Borrow these from the library or invest in them to keep in your car for all your road trips!

Rest Stop Activities

sidewalk chalk

Hotel Activities

jungle puzzle

Travel Games

hungry hippos

Fun Travel Snacks and Drinks

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*TIP* Purchase a gallon of water to keep in the car. Refill individual water bottles as needed. Sometimes it’s fun to surprise the kids with a new water bottle for a big trip! These choices are great for bigger kids. Here’s a great sippy cup for littlesGrown-ups and teens might like this one.

Recipes for the Road

Peanut Butter Cookie Bites - No Bake!

I am so in love with all these ideas! Thank you, Kim, for lending your expertise and creativity!

Everyone please pitch in to share your ideas too. And be sure to sign up to receive this FREE Printables Pack here. I love the fun of this packet to make traveling more enjoyable!

Gratituesday: Play Time!

I’m not very good at taking down time. I love being productive with my time, working hard, feeding people, doing-doing-doing.

But getting away, taking turns cooking (and cleaning!), playing games, going on fun outings – I have found it so refreshing the past few days.

Branson is full of fun things to do. We took the kids to the fish hatchery (I’ll try to share pictures after I have a chance to upload more of them) and then did a little hiking (all free!). Our hike took us to a beautiful lake, where the kids had a blast skipping rocks. And hooray, the sun was shining bright that day!  I LOVED being in the sun after months of winter cloudiness!

lake

We splurged and took the kids to The Price is Right Live show one evening. We all had SO much fun – even if none of us got called up to be on contestant’s row. :)

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I’ll share more about our adventures another day. (Hey, I’m still on vacation while I write this, after all.)  :)  Today, I’m thankful for a fun get away with extended family. I am well rested and ready to go again! That’s a good thing, because there is a lot of work waiting for us once we get home!!

Share how God is working in your life on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for! Please read through the Gratituesday Guidelines so that you understand what kinds of posts you can link up to share here. Posts that are linked but do not fit our Gratituesday theme will be deleted.

If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday, please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Our Mini Vacation (Part Two)

The first day of our mini-vacation was spent at the Durham Museum, Red Mango and our hotel swimming pool. The next day, we headed to the Henry Doorly Zoo, truly one of the best zoos in the U.S. 

I will say that our day at the zoo wasn’t perfect, but that was due to the 101 degree heat that threatened to do us in a time or two, which of course wasn’t the zoo’s fault. And thankfully, there were some lovely air conditioned areas we took full advantage of!

Here we are enjoying the “Desert Dome” (which our oldest said he wished was the “Dessert Dome”, because wouldn’t THAT have been fun!). We saw some really amazing birds, some (not so) cool snakes, and my favorite – a little armadillo that I totally wanted to bring home. Me, the girl who doesn’t want pets. Cutest little armadillo ever, he was. Ran so fast in his little round shell he looked like he was on wheels. Mmm, so adorable.

We only missed a few of the zoo’s great attractions, pumping our legs hard in that heat to make the rounds. We left the Desert Dome and followed our map and we were not a bit disappointed with what we saw.

Isn’t this bear a sweet one? Amazing how sweet they look when they aren’t growling in your face. Kinda sounds like me.  I can be real sweet when I’m not growling in your face. It’s true. Just ask my kids.

We stood and stared at the penquins for a long, long time. Ever read Mr. Popper’s Penquins? Oh, you’ve got to read it. And then stare at some real penquins for a while. They’re fascinating.


We saw the biggest butterfly ever. Except that it was really a chair and Malachi and I sat in it to take a little break from walking. 

Possibly our favorite area (although it truly is hard to say) was the Aquarium. This place is incredible, with glass all around you so that you can see all of the amazing creatures swimming. Yes, sharks swam over us and beside us, as did sting rays and sea horses. We also made friends with a big turtle, that in my opinion, had a lovely personality. I’d never seen one like him before and I named him Fred.

It was hard to walk away from this round “tube” of fish. Again, we stared and stared…

We left the zoo exhausted and fulfilled…with still enough energy to talk all the way to dinner about “Remember the monkey on that rope?” and “Are you sure we can’t go back and get the armadillo?”. Not really. I didn’t really say that. I’d never contemplate something like that. Really.

Dinner was fun at Ci-Ci’s Pizza where we’d printed off a coupon and were able to feed our family for an incredibly low price. What a treat!

Last but not least, we stopped at Whole Foods, because if I can’t have an armadillo, I at least need to have a Whole Foods fix while I’m in Omaha, right? Thanks to those of you who signed up for Shop it to Me, we had accumulated a few Whole Foods gift cards to use.

Can I tell you what a blessing those are to us, and how much we appreciate those of you who take the time to (painlessly) sign up for the Shop it to Me email? It means a lot to us, and provides us with a few gift cards to spend on wholesome groceries for our family. I hope that you too are taking advantage of the Shop it to Me  referral program and telling YOUR family and friends about this so that you can earn gift cards as well!!

Here’s a picture of some of the items we grabbed at Whole Foods. We also got some chicken breasts while we were there, but they were in the freezer at the time of this photo shoot and refused to come out. Stubborn little chickens.  (Should have got me an armadillo instead.)

And there you have it…our Mini Vacation. It was a wonderful getaway and I’m so thankful we were able to do this!

Now you tell me – do you have fun travel plans this summer?  (And if you’re coming through Nebraska, do you think you could bring me an armadillo?)

Just a little reminder, Friday, June 10 is the final day for our Heavenly Homemakers eBook Overload sale!! Read details here!

Fun Stacations All Over the U.S.!

While I hope you had fun reading about a few of our exciting Nebraska adventures yesterday, you’ll really have fun clicking around and reading through this awesome list put together by Carrie of Springs Bargains and Toni of The Happy Housewife!

New England

Connecticut – Parenting Miracles

Boston, Massachusetts –  Maven of Savin’

Manchester, New Hampshire – Common Sense with Money

Western Maine – Bubblegum and Lollipops

Mid-Atlantic

Erie, Pennsylvania – Growing Kids Ministry

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – Somewhat Crunchy

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Family Balance Sheet

Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York – Coupons, Deals and More

New Jersey – Oh! Diane

Midwest

Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Indoor Garden Musings

Mansfield, Ohio – Live the Adventure

Cincinnati, Ohio – Savings Lifestyle~Cincinnati

Mount Vernon, Ohio – Living Better One Day at a Time

Dayton, Ohio – Savings Lifestyle~Dayton

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Kitchen Stewardship

Metro Detroit, Michigan – “Cents”able Momma

Oakland County, Michigan – Bargain Shopper Mom

Warren, Michigan – Saving Dollars and Sense

Grand Forks, North Dakota – Frugal Front Porch

Indianapolis, Indiana – Bargain Briana

South Bend, Indiana – Excuse The Mess

Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri – Kansas City Mamas

St. Louis, Missouri – The Pickledpigsfeet

Branson, Missouri – Getting Freedom from Debt

Springfield, Missouri – I Think I Can

Rochester, Minnesota – Everyday Notions

York, Nebraska – Heavenly Homemakers

Omaha, Nebraska – Mom Endeavors

Madison, Wisconsin – Many Little Blessings

Oshkosh, Wisconsin – A Little Bit of This and That

Chicago, Illinois – Chicagoland Homeschool Network

Champaign, Illinois – Chambanamoms

Black Hills, South Dakota – Little House on the Prairie Living

South Central

Checotah, Oklahoma – Blessed With One Income

Tulsa, Oklahoma – Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Gadsden, Alabama – Aint Mimi

Dallas, Texas – Funky Faith Girl

Dallas, Texas – Grocery Shop For FREE

East Dallas, Texas – Surviving The Stores

Fort Worth, Texas – Smockity Frocks

Austin, Texas – Stetted

Houston, Texas – Moms Travel Tales

McKinney, Texas – Wisdom Begun

East Texas – The Full Pantry

Murfreesboro, Tennessee – Life in a Barn

Nashville, Tennessee – The Country Chic Cottage

Mobile, Alabama – A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

Birmingham, Alabama – iGoBOGO

Brunswick & the Golden Isles, Georgia – Teri Lynne Underwood

Alpharetta, Georgia – Cuponeando

Atlanta, Georgia – See Jamie Blog

Augusta, Georgia – Hyperactive Lu

Athens, Georgia and Mississippi – Tractors and Tire Swings

Little Rock, Arkansas – It’s Real Life

South Atlantic

Ft. Bragg, North Carolina – Military Wives Saving

Charlotte, North Carolina – The Carolina Clipper

Charleston, South Carolina – The Tween & Me

Greensboro, North Carolina – Mrs. Happy Homemaker

Jacksonville, Florida – Saving The Family Money

Orlando, Florida – Orlando’s Best Deals

Virginia Beach, Virginia – The Singley Fam Blog

Richmond, Virginia – Daily Dwelling

Hampton Roads, Virginia – A Home Made by Kiki

Charlottesville, Virginia – How to Have it All

Blackwater Falls State Park/Davis, West Virginia – Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling

Treasure Coast, Florida – The Cardamom’s Pod

Saint Augustine, Florida – Jypsie Visions

Lake Norman, North Carolina – Stretching Pennies Saving Dollars

Washington, DC – The WiC Project

Baltimore, Maryland – The Happy Housewife

Brunswick & the Golden Isles, Georgia, Teri Lynne Underwood

Mountain

Tucson, Arizona – Saving with Pam

Phoenix, Arizona – Mom Endeavors

Albuquerque, New Mexico – The Chou Life

Kalispell, Montana – Our Family Adventures

Salt Lake City, Utah – Just the 2 of Us

Thermopolis, Wyoming – The McDonald Family

Denver, Colorado – Denver Bargains

Colorado Springs, Colorado – Colorado Springs Bargains

Pacific

San Diego, California – Life As Mom

Yosemite National Park, California -Handbook of Nature Study

Seattle, Washington – Queen Bee Coupons & Savings

Whidbey Island, Washington – Manning the Homefront

Olympia, Washington The Coupon Savant

Portland, Oregon – Frugal Living NW

Willamette Valley, Oregon – An Oregon Cottage

Frugal Vacation Tips

Vacation or Stay-cation: Eating without Busting the Budget – Eat at Home

7 Tips for Saving Money When You Fly on Vacation

This post is written by Craig Ford, writer at Money Help for Christians.

It’s definitely not too early to start planning your next family vacation, but the only danger is that it’s going to be really hard to trudge through the next few months of work before getting to kick back for an enjoyable summer vacation.

While I’m all for summer vacations, I have this little personal mission in life. I want to be the person who does the exact same thing as everyone else, but I want to do those things without paying the same price as others.

For example, if I’m going to be spending the night in a hotel, I want to have the room that costs $50 per night while the person in the next room is paying $129. It just makes vacationing more enjoyable knowing that I’m not spending a lot of money.

Today, I’ll pass along some of the things I’ve learned trying to master the art of cheap (and even free) travel.

7 Tips for Saving Money on Your Family Vacation by Air

1. Know your vacation style.  While I’m all for saving money on vacations, a vacation isn’t a vacation unless it is relaxing to you. In order to help you plan your vacation strategy, you need to know where you’re happy to cut corners and where you won’t skimp pennies. As an example, my wife and I have concluded that eating out, while a nice perk, doesn’t make the vacation for us. When we look back at vacations gone by, we rarely talk about what we ate. Thus, our strategy includes trying to minimize the cost of food on vacation. However, when we are able to get two hotel rooms (or a condo) for our family, we love having some space to ourselves.

2. Use opaque booking sites (like Priceline or Hotwire) for hotels. Both of these sites allow you to book a hotel by knowing the location and the style of hotel without initially knowing the actual name or exact hotel brand. In exchange for this lack of information, you can book hotels up to 50% off. Learn how to get the best price between Hotwire and Priceline.

3. Earn miles and points by getting credit card bonuses. If you have a decent credit score and avoid credit card debt, you can earn lots of mostly free travel by signing up for credit cards . Over the last year, my wife and I have each collected over 200,000 air miles, $1,000 worth of travel spending, and 2 roundtrips flights in the US – each. It took us 5 credit card applications to get all those points, rewards, and miles. Right now you can even get 100,000 miles for a British Airways Visa. If you’re not familiar with the concept of getting mostly free travel, you can get more information from the Travel Free Coach (yes, that’s me!).

4. Be flexible.  If you are flexible and willing to go almost anywhere, you can check out AirfareWatchDog.com. All you need to do is enter your home city, and this website will show you the prices to a bunch of possible destinations. Also, if you subscribe to airline emails, you’ll find some great last minute fares to some really nice destinations.

5. Think about meal times when flying.  You might laugh at this, unless you have a large(r) family. If you’re going to fly out at 1 p.m., there’s a good chance you’ll need to pick up something for lunch at the airport. Even a small meal can easily run a family $30-$50. I used to recommend that people take a lunch with them, but when you’re trying to get yourself and three kids through security, you need all the open hands you can get. Instead, find flight times that avoid mealtimes.

6. Book early or book late.  The best deals can often be found 3-6 months in advance or less than 3 weeks in advance. In my case, I’d rather know we have everything booked because I’d get anxious a few weeks before if we still didn’t have all the booking in place. If you book through Southwest you can always change your flights without an extra cost.

7. Capitalize on the extra bonuses. Be sure to book your vacation on a cash back website like Ebates  to get a few extra percentages cash back on your travel. Additionally, be sure you have the best miles credit card too so you can get bonus miles towards your next trip.

8. Plan for baggage – The cost of baggage for a family vacation can easily add up to several hundred dollars. The two best ways around the cost of baggage (short of only taking carry-ons) is booking on Southwest Airlines (no baggage fees) or having an airline branded credit card that allows free baggage. As an example, the Delta American Express lets you check bags for free. 

What do you do to save money when you fly on your family vacations?

Be sure to visit Money Help for Christians where Craig promotes a frugal, simple, debt-free, and generous lifestyle so Christians can faithfully maximize their resources by putting them at the disposal of God’s Kingdom.

3,800 miles, 64 hours, Foot Funk and an Elephant

That’s how many miles we traveled during the past three weeks…3,800. 

I never mentioned that we were going on this big, long trip until after we got home because I always feel a little bit funny announcing to all the internet that our house is home alone. But now that we’re back…I get to fill you in on the details! We drove all the way to California and back and lived to tell about it. We were able to visit many in Matt’s family and see so many great friends along the way. It was just wonderful!

Here is our family with Matt’s grandma!

We loved everything about our trip, but wow is it great to be back home! That’s a very long time to be gone and 64 hours is a very long time to be in a van. 

And did I mention that one of our boys’ shoes got wet somewhere along the way, making for some strong foot funk all the way home? It is very much time to work the newspaper treatment on those shoes. If it wasn’t the only pair of shoes he had with him on the trip, and if they weren’t his new Christmas shoes, and if I weren’t very opposed to littering, and if I wasn’t afraid of them smacking the car behind us…I might have tossed the offending shoes out the window as we drove down the interstate. 

Foot funk aside, and even though we were in the van for what felt like forever and a half…it truly was a fabulous trip. (Oh, but I might advise that you not stop for bean loaded burritos when you have a van full of boys and a 12 hour trip ahead of you.)  The boys traveled wonderfully, meaning that there were only a few times I had to holler something toward the back of the van like, “If that sword touches the back of my neck one more time I will grab it and snap it in half.”

Yes, because of course, we do travel with swords. They are a Coppinger traveling necessity.

I didn’t really threaten to snap his sword in half (out loud). That would have just been mean, and no matter how many times the sword gouged me in the face while I breathed in the foot funk, I would never be that grumpy. {cough}

Matt and I listened to a couple of books on tape, which was a great way to pass the miles. I highly recommend Quiet Strength, by Tony Dungy. Even though he was an NFL coach and talks a lot about football in his book, and even though the only thing I know about football is that some big men in helmets make big piles of themselves all over football fields in an effort to get a funny shaped ball across a line…I loved this book!   Tony Dungy is a Christian who lives his faith while leading a team. The book was inspiring and encouraging. 

I have to give kudos to Matt, the great van packer. When driving to California from Nebraska with six people at Christmas time, one must do some strategic van loading. There were backpacks and gifts and suitcases and food…and on the way home…there was an elephant.

It weren’t no small elephant neither.  Nor was it stuffed so that it could be squished.

Matt’s Grandpa Coppinger had traveled to Ghana, West Africa doing mission work many times during his life. Often, he brought back a beautiful, hand crafted wooden elephant. They were all different sizes and they were all beautiful. Matt was even able to travel to Ghana with his grandpa back in 1994. (Matt and I went to Ghana together in 1995…Ghana is a very special place to us.)

The last time we got to see Grandpa was Christmas of 2008. He died just a few months later. Each grandchild has been privileged to receive one of these special elephants. We were thrilled when Grandma showed us the elephant she’d picked for us to take home – one of the biggest of the bunch. We were a little bit uncertain about how we could make it fit in the van, but we figured that if Grandpa could bring a huge elephant back on an airplane from Africa, surely we could get it from California to Nebraska.

Matt packed well…and now that elephant is sitting right in our entry way.

I have more to tell you about our trip…but right now I’ve got to go finish airing out our mini van and stuffing newspapers into sneakers.  Stay tuned for more tales from our California trip. 

Don’t worry…the other parts smell much better.

Did you do any traveling over the holidays?

Family Vacation, Part 3

Okay, okay…we didn’t really get to go to a U-Pick Chocolate Farm after our U-Pick Blueberry Farm and U-Pick Peach Farm visits. Chocolate doesn’t grow on trees, ya know. (And if you are one of my sons, you will now say, “Well actually Mom, cocoa beans grow on trees which means that chocoate really does…”)

Anyway, we DID stop at the next best thing! Right along the way to the peach farm, we spotted Vineyards Gourmet Chocolate. Matt looked over at me in the van with his eyebrows raised as if to say, “You want to stop there next don’t you?”  Who am I to say no an offer like that?

vineyards_gourmet_chocolate_1

Vineyards Gourmet Chocolate is family owned and operated. We had so much fun with the gals there!

vineyards_gourmet_chocolate_3

Ooh, and they kept giving us samples to try. We are now friends forever.

We got to watch one of the owners make a HUGE chunk of fudge. It was so cool.

vineyards_gourmet_chocolate_4

They were featuring a new item:  Chocolate Covered Bacon!!! We figured that the chocolate draws in the women…the bacon draws in the men and everyone wins!

vineyards_gourmet_chocolate_5

For the record…we tried some Chocolate Covered Bacon and it was rather tasty! Who knew?

Next up…we go to the beach!

Family Vacation, Part 1

I have quite a few pictures to share from our trip to Michigan. Here’s something funny:  We went to Michigan for a wedding. I took no pictures of the wedding. Sometimes I amaze myself

Matt and I decided that since we were taking the time off to travel so far, we would turn this trip into a vacation. We took our time on our way there and back, stopping along the way to make memories. 

One of the first things we did was stop just inside the state of Michigan to pick blueberries!!!!!

Pardon me for gushing like an idiot…but you have to realize that blueberries don’t really grow well in Nebraska. We’ve picked and eaten our fair share of fresh strawberries and raspberries. But blueberries? We’ve never even seen a blueberry bush before. 

I can NOT even tell you how much fun the six of us had. The weather was perfect. The kids all cooperated. The blueberries tasted fantastic!!

blueberry_picking_1

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After Malachi (age 5) got tired of picking berries, we handed him the camera. He took this picture…

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And this one…

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Matt and I had to tear ourselves away from the field. The whole time we were picking, I could NOT stop smiling. It was one of those family moments that is everything you dream of, you know? 

We finally stopped after we had no less than ten pounds of blueberries. Do you know how much all those berries cost? $17.00.  Are you KIDDING? I’ve paid $3.00 for a tiny half pint of blueberries before and the taste wasn’t even comparable!!! $17.00 for all those berries was the best deal ever!! 

blueberry_picking_4

Cost for one of the most fun family moments ever? Priceless.

After we left the Blueberry Farm, we traveled a few more hours to spend some time with some friends we used to be in the ministry with in Colorado. We hadn’t seen each other for eight years and it was just wonderful to visit and catch up.

Oh, and you might be interested to know that on our drive to their house, we all sat in the van consuming blueberries like there was no tomorrow. We tried to stop eating…really we did. 

And then I dropped a blueberry on my seat. I looked and looked for that blueberry, both because I didn’t want to waste even one delicious blueberry…and because I really did not want to sit on said delicious blueberry. I never did find the silly thing.

Oh, until we pulled up to our friend’s house and I got out of the van. There was the blueberry squished all over the seat of my pants. Grrrr. It was so not cute.

Thankfully, our friends let me in anyway.

Here I am with my lovely friend Jill. Incidentally, she’s the lady who taught me how to make homemade vanilla!

Jill_and_Laura

After a wonderful (but too short) visit, we got ready to leave. Ah, but wait! The boys discovered that our friends had a cool hanging-upside-down contraption and just had to try it out!

And yeah, they insisted that Mom try it too.

There I was all locked up and helpless…and Matt started clicking away on the camera. Stinker.

upside_down_1

Good thing you can’t see my squished blueberry stain.

Stop looking, you really can’t see it in this picture.

Coming up next…we visit a Peach Picking Farm!

Gratituesday: A Real Vacation

gratituesday

We are just pulling back into town after a five day (LONG) trip to Michigan! Matt performed the wedding ceremony for one of the sweetest couples on earth, which is what took us so far north.

I will admit it:  I was not looking forward to the trip. I was looking forward to the wedding and I was looking forward to staying with our friends in MI…otherwise…I was sort of dreading the getaway.

I don’t like spending money on gas and hotels. I don’t like sitting in a van for hours. I don’t like compromising what we like to eat for days on end. I just like being home. I’m a stick in the mud when it comes to travel…and this summer has been FULL of travel!

I now completely and totally take back everything I ever felt about traveling. Before we left, I talked myself into relaxing and calling this a “VACATION”. Why do I have to talk myself into these things? I pre-wrote posts and set them up to show up on my blog each day without me needing to be on the computer. I got the house clean, packed food, made an inexpensive hotel reservation for our stop on the way there. 

And then I relaxed.

You can’t see me right now…but my face is beaming. I just spent HOURS of car time talking with my husband. Do you know what hours of time talking to your husband will do for a gal’s disposition? We NEVER have enough time to just talk…and oh we just talked and talked. The boys were fabulous riders and only argued a little bit about whose turn it was for the laptop. ;)

We not only enjoyed a wonderful wedding, but we were able to spend time with people we haven’t seen in years. We stopped along the way and did some things we’ve never done. Wow, it was absolutely awesome!

I’ll tell you more about all the wonderful fun as soon as I unpack my camera. And catch up on laundry. Okay, I’ll share the fun before I catch up on laundry, because you’re likely to not want to wait that long. ;)

For now, I’ll just tell you how grateful I am for an incredible getaway filled with joy and memory-making for our family. It truly was a vacation.

(Ooh, and it just so happens that this Gratituesday is my birthday! Friends are coming over for lunch, which is a perfect welcome home for us!)

What are you thankful for this Gratituesday? Write about it on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for!

If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday,
please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!


Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Gratituesday: No Place Like Home

gratituesday

I’ve been traveling, so my post today is short and sweet. :)

I love family reunions. I love the chance to reunite with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other loved ones. I love meeting and holding new babies. I love meeting new spouses of my cousins. 

I love laughing and crying together with family. I love sharing memories.  I love making new memories.

We’ve had a wonderful time this weekend traveling and loving on extended family members.

Now I’m home…back to my favorite place on earth. I’m back home to my husband…back home to the garden and the laundry and the mail.

I’m back home…and there’s just no place like it. I am so thankful.

What are you thankful for this Gratituesday? Write about it on your blog, then come link up with us here. If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for!

If you are linking up a blog post for Gratituesday,
please copy and paste the following sentence into your post! Thanks!


Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!