Posted in bible study, books, Christian, Daily Devotional, encouragement, Faithfulness, family, God, Love, obedience, relaxation, Uncategorized

November Bible Study

i may earn a small commission from purchases made following this link, this is at NO cost to you. 

Book: Copy Bible Genesis 1-9 by Springer

Each day you will answer ALL of the questions in the front of the book for the verse(s)

  • November 1: Genesis 1:1-2
  • November 2: Genesis 1:3-5
  • November 3: Genesis 1: 6-7
  • November 4: Genesis 1: 8-9
  • November 5: Genesis 1: 10-11
  • November 6: Genesis 1: 12-13
  • November 7: Genesis 1: 14-15
  • November 8: Genesis 1: 16-17
  • November 9: Genesis 1: 18-19
  • November 10: Genesis 1: 20-21
  • November 11: Genesis 1: 22-23
  • November 12: Genesis 1: 24-25
  • November 13: Genesis 1: 26
  • November 14: Genesis 1: 27
  • November 15: Genesis 1: 28
  • November 16: Genesis 1: 29
  • November 17: Genesis 1: 30
  • November 18: Genesis 1: 31
  • November 19: Genesis 1: REFLECT

Chapter 2 Verses will be posted soon.

if you end up being like me and you just cannot get enough from doing one page, I encourage you to check out the other books in the Copy Bible Series

Copy Bible Ruth by Springer

Copy Bible Esther 1-5 by Springer

Copy Bible Esther 6-10 by Springer

Posted in bible study, books, Christian, Daily Devotional, encouragement, Faithfulness, family, God, Love, mommy, obedience, Parenting, relaxation, Uncategorized

Finding a home

Let me start out by saying there is a Spiritual Revival brewing. I think you can feel the static rising. A revival the likes our generation has never seen before. As a society we have been straying further and further from the word of God. First its small things that slowly become more and more acceptable and then in the last year the sense that as a Christian i no longer am able to have a voice in the conversation of morality. If you’re looking for a home, you will find it in God the Father.

i may earn a small commission from purchases made by following these links. This is at NO cost to you.

I want to be clear whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, etc I love you. I don’t care if you’re black white or purple, I love you. I dont care if you believe in two genders or fifty, i love you. it doesnt matter to me if you identify as gay, or if you believe that being gay is a choice, I love you. democrat or republican, i love you. I may not agree with you, and that is fine. Do you know why? because it is truly not up to me how you identify or what you believe. It really doesn’t affect me if you believe something other than what i do. Do i want you to think like me? Maybe. Do i want you to be Christian, yes. But thats because i truly want to share in the love of God with you. I want you to enjoy and revel in the peace God has to offer.

Love will win, is something i hear a lot in the media these days. i feel like the meaning behind this has almost been corrupted. Because Jesus is love. And if all you do is in his name YES Love will win. It doesnt matter what other people are doing, LOVE them. Why in the world would you want to show anything but Love, to the person who cut me inline at Best Buy, i love you. To the person who cut me off? i love you. Loving people and showing them kindness is my job. If i have a negative reaction or hatred to spew at them what does that do? it leaves us both hurt and upset. it does nothing for furthering the kingdom of God. If i show kindness their OWN guilt may or may not affect them, BUT you know what will affect me? the thankful loving peace of mind knowing that i didnt do anything to cause pain to SOMEONE else.

Ok before i lose you, i completely understand reading that and thinking “ugh another Bible Thumper” because do you know how many times over the course of my 32 years i have thought that EXACT same thing? literally toooo many times to even fathom. I would instantly roll my eyes and change the channel or radio station if it was something Christian on. I would roll my eyes and think how can anyone really believe like this? I mean im Christian and believe in God and Jesus but is all this other stuff necessary?

I would hear preachers say “if you only knew. if you only understood what God can do for you” and i would think they were fake.

But you know what? They were 100% right! something has awakened in me in the last few months that i didnt even know was there. God reached out and held me. I have tried and tried over the years to pray and turn to God but it all felt forced and like it wasnt for me. Recently i heard a minister say ” Just because you tried going to church doesnt mean you tried God” And that really spoke to me. It hit me that all the times i attempted to go to church but was turned off by the judgment, wasnt God it was just a bunch of other truly flawed individuals trying to find the peace as well.

I can very clearly tell you that i have found God. In all of his wonderful blessings and healing. The peace and love and everything those preachers talked about for all those years. And i know you must think the same thing i did all those years. But if you only knew! if you could only feel and grasp this sensation inside me you would want it too!

In the news recently we have been seeing more and more artists come out in support of Christianity and God. How these individuals who by all practical units of measurement “had it all” but found it rang hollow. That they were not truly living until they found God. And that all of the material world lost its allure, its luster, it failed to hold sway next to the Almighty. And what we have seen from the media, from the so called #wokenation , is hatred, lies, dismissal. For a group of people who claim to be accepting of everyone for who they are, they certainly do not seem to be able to accept that the key to happiness and contentment is God. That the only valid differences or ways to think are JUST LIKE THEM. I bear no ill will towards these people, because if they really knew what God could offer them they would want it too.

Im sure you know that the more time you spend trying to do the right thing, the harder the world comes at you. If you try to work on your marriage, have you noticed how it seems like it gets worse? maybe youve tried praying for patience, but seemingly all you get is more opportunities to fail? Thats how its MEANT to be, you start focusing on pulling out and correcting something but you notice its going to be work. think of it this way, you keep shoving junk in your junk drawer in the kitchen (midwest thing?) or maybe the back of your closet… then one time you think nothing else is going to fit in here. I need to clean it out. (like in marriage, issues keep getting pushed aside, ignored, suppressed, until you explode and think you cannot do it any longer, you can either walk away or try to fix it, we all know walking away would be easier than spending time addressing it all) back to the junk, so you start pulling everything out, the birthday candles half used, the empty carton of chalk, the 52 cards half bent, the dried up pens, the dull pencils, the wine opener, the scissors, etc… none of which probably belong in that drawer. You begin to become overwhelmed with the new mess laying on the counter, where does this stuff go, why is it even here ( much like marriage, why am i mad about this, why didnt we talk about this before, why have i let it get to this point?) so the initial time is spent overwhelmed seemingly that you cannot handle it all, that there is too much to fix.

This is what it is like when you give over something to God, things that maybe never bothered us before begin to whisper into your ear. Maybe its the way you’ve been dressing, or the language you’ve been using. Suddenly you feel you have so much to fix all at the same time. its certainly easier to walk away and go back to ignoring it right? but deep down we know nothing is getting better. Facing the issues and handing them over to God is probably one of the hardest things to do. We humans LOVE our sense of CONTROL, its fake we know, but it makes us feel better to think WE can do something. But you know what? WE cannot do anything, GOD does it.

I can say that i am probably as amazed as anyone at my turn of heart. I know my mom sure is and i honestly have never been more at peace with myself. I know that i cannot do it alone.

NOW onto what ive been up to. I have been doing a daily devotional style book called COPY BIBLE GENESIS 1-9 by Springer, and COPY BIBLE RUTH by Springer. This has completely changed my commitment and time with God. I don’t feel forced or stuck, in fact i find that i cannot put it down. The old saying about not needing anything but God really has a new meaning, bc i can spend hours up at night doing this and want to wake up and do more. Eating, snacking, watching TV hold none of the comforts they once did. I used to use those as a place filler, to combat boredom. but it was like throwing junk in that drawer. It didn’t do anything for me and if anything just put off the issues for the next day.

I am starting a bible study with the Genesis Book, if you’re interested you can follow along each month. I will be posting Daily Verses from the books. There are questions and space to reflect in the book as well. I have found that more than the actual verse i read for the day, the true benefit has come from answering the questions on each verse, and the cross references.

If your here thinking But why? my only answer is but why not? best case? it helps, worst case? it does nothing and youre no worse off>>>

all of this to say that i FINALLY have found a home! i am at home with GOD and no matter what comes against me it will not prosper bc God is on my side and no one can succeed when my faith is in HIM!

Head over to my instagram account @thetinypinkclover_ to follow along

Posted in books, debt, encouragement, family, finance, food, kids, money, obedience, Parenting, parenting advice, relaxation, savings, travel, Uncategorized, vacation

How to Change your life by changing your attitude.

So Ive been a little MIA from writing the last week or so. We just started back with full force of homeschooling. We have also just gotten back from a couple trips. So with that let me update you on where we stand with the debt.

I refigured the grocery bills, i was over, but after talking it over with hubby, a good portion of the overage was the groceries we bought for our camping trip so we took it off the grocery total and put it on the vacation total. Still it was money spent. I mentioned before hubby is having a hard time sticking to the plan, and that i feel i cannot do much about that. He works incredibly hard and telling him not to purchase a case of beer or some donuts seems a tad too controlling. I believe by leading by example he will follow along willingly when he starts seeing the results as well. That said I do most of the grocery shopping so I have been sticking to the plan, and if he WANTS something not in the budget he has to go get it. This seems like a fair compromise.

We also had the majority of the school expenses come out this month. Which seems like A LOT but in the scope of comparing to what we would have spent of private school, were way ahead. below are the bulk of the costs

Classical Conversations Tuition for 2 kids $1050

Classical Conversations Audio Memory Work CD Cycle 2 $30—– if you’re new to homeschooling or even considering it THIS is the NUMBER 1 purchase I suggest. I would even recommend the Audio CDs for non homeschool, or kids not in the Classical Conversations circle. While I LOVE the classical model of education I do understand it is not for everyone and every child, the CDs however are an easy intro to the topics.

Old World Tales $17 with shipping, this is another book new this year to CC and already loving it. Its a great way to jump into reading time in the morning each day. The kids like the stories and it is a nice way to spend time together. This would be another HIGHLY recommended item for families homeschooling or not!

This year we also decided to dive into the AMBLESIDE online world of education. I stumbled on this by accident and really really loved it. If you follow the blog you know im a giant book nerd so this was right up my alley. We are not following the schedule but instead reading some of all the books everyday. I am less concerned with completing all the years on schedule as i am with fostering a LOVE of reading. The other thing i love about this ‘curriculum’ is the focus on narration . If you dont know much about that i HIGHLY recommend reading the book know and tell. In essence, it is teaching the kids to not only listen when were reading, but to learn. Meaning i do not want them to simply parrot back to me the books we read. This may seem counter intuitive with the classical method and classical conversations as a whole, BUT from my stand point i think it fits in perfect. That is bc the classical method is teaching them FACTS, but the Narration is teaching them to not only listen to the facts BUT to understand it.

The Ambleside year 1 books did make up a heafty investment BUT i will say that books are in my opinion NEVER a wasted investment. I am currently trying to decide if I will purchase the YEAR 0 books for my younger kids as i think they would enjoy the stories, but they are not cheap.

Again this year we are continuing with the teaching textbooks for my sons math, he started the subscription mid last year and it is a year long, so we will not need to renew and get the next years work until around february 2020.

Handicrafts is another investment we are making, this is something charlotte mason touts and while i dont feel its as crucial to an education as she does, i do think it plays a part in breaking up the day and having more fun.

the Ambleside Art is another FUN thing. my kids and i appreciate art and painting and so were printing the art suggested and the kids will be talking about it and painting their own based either on reproducing, or using the same method, colors, etc… i have decided to take a picture of their work and at the end of the year print using google photo books to keep as their portfolios. If you live in a state that requires portfolio i find this is a simple way to just take pictures of the work and they line up nicely on the shelf instead of files and files of crinkly missized papers. plus the kids enjoy flipping thru these.

Other costs this month that we were NOT expecting, the brakes AND air-conditioning went out on our truck. i realize this is a mainenance thing and periodically need redone BUT wasnt expecting it. SO i am 100% happy that we started the savings plan at the beginning of the month BC we had the money available CASH to pay for it instead of going further into debt to cover the costs. That said the SAVINGS plan has been reduced to not much BUT thats ok were still on track for basically everything else.

Another EXCITING piece of information is i published a short work of poems! this has been something ive wanted to do for ALOOOOONNNNNGGGG time. I was o nervous to do it but am really so proud of myself. I do not care if a single copy sells. Just the fact that i did it and its out there is such a personal accomplishment. In fact i have taken the step to publish more works. I have purblished a short math workbook for pre-k students. I didnt do this for the money but found that what we have used for our kids in the past for math hasnt worked great and so made a book based on what OUR kids needed. I was tired of printing them all off the computer and having loose papers all over the house, so them being bound is a nice option and also makes my pre-k student feel like big stuff. I intend to publish more as she needs them. I published it bc i figured if my kids need this other kids may need it as well and instead of waiting for someone else to do it i did.

This month also saw the second check off of my bucket list. I finally saw Joyce Meyer in person! she has been such an inspiration in my life and I love listening to her ministry. One of the things she said this weekend is that People try church thinking theyre trying God. then when they dont feel welcome or they see hypocrisy in the church they think they dont like GOd. The church is made up of sinners and as such will never be perfect like God. it is made up of people who WANT to do better. So if you feel like you dont like church maybe you need to try another one, OR try listening to online church sermons. Find a minister you like. One thing people seem to not like about sermons is that they feel called out. THAT IS THE POINT. to be convicted on something in your life that you can change. it doesnt even have to be something big. this past week she talked about forgiveness and how it is for YOU not the other person. THIS is something ive heard a million times before but sitting in that arena it came to my heart what that MEANS. instead of turning my complaints and irritations to prayer and praying for the person who offended me i have been stewing in the offense.

Example: someone cuts me off in traffic, now ill be the first to admit im NO saint and suffer from road rage. I KNOW the person cannot hear me yet i yell, cuss sometimes, ANGER flares, my heartrate increases, you can feel the rage in your heart and head. I sit there with my anger physically consuming ME, while the person who cut me off drives on with their day. THIS is what unforgiveness does to us. When someone in our family, our kids, coworkers, etc hurt us they may not even KNOW, yet here we are MAD and angry for hours, days, years even. What i took away from the forgiveness sermon was that i need to turn the offense into a prayer. back to the road rage example: instead of yelling at the other driver i can say “THANK you father for giving me eyes to see and that no one was injured in an accident” By changing our WORDs and ATTITUDE away from complaining about whats wrong INTO what were are thankful for we can be happier as a whole.

Joyce mentioned how were all a bunch of winers, and wow she is write, my foot hurts-yea but thank you father i have feet to walk on. My kids dont listen- thank you father for my kids.

You may not even be a Christian and thats FINE, the point of this is that our WORDS have an impact on our attitudes and emotions, which impact our actions and being. TRY it for a day, try NOT to complain and to change the complaint into a thanksgiving. She asked us to do this as we left and BOY what a lifechanging day that was. Something as simple as that gave us SUCH joy and exuberance we were giddy with laughter realizing all the mundane things were THANKFUL for in life.

So as i sign off with the update on debt and our last couple weeks i encourage you to try the same.

Posted in camping, canoe, coffee, family, food, kids, Parenting, places, relaxation, river, savings, travel, Uncategorized, vacation

River Tripping with Kids

We’re millennials, my husband and I, and as such are financially eh well out of necessity, frugal. If you’ve been following my blog you have seen the debt journey we’re on and know we don’t have a lot of disposable income for traveling. But we have a passion for travel. So what do we do?

We’ll ever since I was a kid I’ve been an avid outdoors(wo)man. My dad was an avid camper and taught me many things. My parents didnt have a lot of money when we were young so they often took us on camping trips. i gained a passion for the outdoors thru these adventure!

My husbands and my first date was actually camping. We knew each other prior it wasn’t like we brought a tent and made reservations with some random person we met online(not safe) but we had known each other for a few years, and one night decided to grab a tent some blankets and firewood stop at Walmart for some food and head to a local campground. It wasn’t anything improper he was a regular proper gentleman, ruggedly handsome as he tried ever so hard to get he fire going (my bad I got green wood (fresh cut not dried or good for burning for those who don’t know)) we smoked hot dogs over the smoking logs, and spent the whole day talking and getting to know one another. To say our relationship is anything but fate would be a lie.

I like to think of camping/ canoeing as marriage counseling. And really what better way to work on your communication skills then being trapped on a small canoe in the middle of the wilderness without any communication or distraction from the outside world? You have to rely on each other solely for transportation, shelter, food, security. You are forced to work together to solve your basic needs. Shared hardship builds your intimacy with one another. Yes you will fight, it’s inevitable. BUT you will learn new ways to work thru it, that facing the issues head on instead of dodging or beating around the bush will bring you to the other side FASTER. EVERY trip we take it’s the same thing, and every time we return home it seems like a balance has been restored in our relationship. A peace and deliberateness takes hold. A greater appreciation for the contributions your partner makes.

Ok Fast forward a few years and many trips later, this past weekend we decided we wanted to take our kids on a trip and foster their enthusiasm and interest in Mother Nature. It’s a trip we’ve done a few times already and with two of our kids prior but this time would be three kids 6,4,2. As you can imagine a lot of planning goes into this. But one of the reasons we camp, hike, canoe, is the cost aspect. For not very much you can get out in a new environment, breathe some fresh air, disconnect from modern life, and do some physically demanding manual tasks. It’s a wonderful way to bring gratitude into your heart as you begin to realize all of the modern amenities you take for granted. Indoor plumbing, central heat/air, insulation, food readily available, fresh water, modern sanitation, phones, internet, and more.

Now I said cost is my favorite part but it can still be costly. The more you go the more you invest in upgrading gear. So by no means should you run out and get ALL the gear I recommend all at once! gradual additions builds a great gear set. I am just going to share the things they many trials and error that we have found to meet our current needs. Gear sets are fluid. But it is very inexpensive to grab a cheap tent at walmart, toss in some sheets and blakets, and grab some meh meals! the following are what we CURRENTLY use not what we began with! but if youre experienced at all and looking for some new options to add, peep these!

Tent, arguably one of the most important items for a family trip down the river. You will need shelter. There are many options across the cost spectrum BUT as opposed to backpacking or total primitive camping, on the river weight is much less of a concern. You can( I would strongly encourage) use a larger heavier tent. my husband and i prefer the big agnus brand for the lightweight/size aspect, BUT we needed a larger tent for this trip so we brought our much bigger heavier Fiend and Stream 8 person 8×14 dome tent

Canoe/scanoe, also very important as you need a mode of transport, depending on ages of kids you might be fine with a flat bottom canoe, but we prefer a scanoe which is wider, flatter, and squared in the back. They are sturdier and less likely to capsize with wiggly kids, they are also quite heavy. they are harder to find and cost around $500. for more remote locations where there is much more portaging involved we use the much lighter, yet more delicate, kevlar canoes. Or you can RENT, if you’ve never been or don’t want to invest hundreds on a canoe I would recommend this option. Until you know what you want for sure, rent.

Packs, well you have to have something to carry your thinks in right? We prefer Duluth packs, they’re expensive and high quality, very durable ( in fact I have a photo of a moose print on mine where it stomped thru camp) no rips, tears nothing! But there are so many options available. Make sure you select what will be of most use in the most circumstances. For the kids we got small jansport bookbags for each of them, doubles as book bag, travel bag.

Duluth packs are not waterproof so you will need to take that into consideration when packing. We use extra large medical grade plastic bags twisted up inside army water proof bags twisted and tied. All of our clothes and sleeping bags go inside.

Stuff sacks/ compression sacks, a necessity as they compress down all of your fabric into much more manageable sizes, while you can go heavier and more extra on the river excessive gear is not your friend. We have upgraded to our preferred compression sacks, bc they are waterproof and very durable. this will be one of the expenses on your trip that probably needs to be made, we use two waterproof for sleeping bags, and two regular for clothes(goes inside food grade plastic bags and army surplus bags) but cost wise it might make sense to go with 4 waterproof ones.

Sleeping bags, at this point my husband and I have very expensive lightweight and warm bags. This is a place that over the years we have improved and due to Christmas gifts been able to have something really nice. The reason we love them is bc they compress so much and take up so little room, yet insulate to below freezing. you can certainly purchase inexpensive versions from walmart, target, or fb marketplace.

Optional sleeping pads, you can sleep on the ground just fine and commonly we do, but I have camped enough times to find try value in a good pad, especially when pregnant. I’m not the spring chicken I once was so the long nights on the cold hard bumpy earth are not really what I long for. However in the attitude of saving money, this really is a vain unnecessary piece of gear. The two we currently have and use are big agnus, and thermarest. They’re the size of naglene bottles when compressed. i would recommend against large air mattresses, but its youre trip so you decide.

Food, for sure you’re going to need this. There is somewhat of an art to this bc you want the most for the least amount of weight. By all means feel welcome to carry a giant cooler (we did a few years ago, pelican, to keep my breast milk Cold) or like we more commonly do a small cooler for accessory items like cheese, meat (freeze as an additional means of cooling, ketsup, etc) don’t go overboard. Non perishable foods high in protein and calories are what you want to aim for. see below for meal ideas.

Toilet paper. Don’t forget it! I like scots brand with the cardboard roll taken out. Seriously even if youre staying at less primative and established sites with outhouses or indoor plumbing, they are not always stocked and you really dont want to be out hunting leaves trying to decide if its poison or not. its super light just toss it in.

Dry box, this is something we include on every trip now but started on our remote primitive trips, we do what’s called day bags, small bags of items we take on our day trips, makes sense right? So What do we keep in them? Even on our full moving days we keep things we need dry yet easily accessible in here. For a river trip with kids you might want to consider car keys, glasses, phone, medicine, toothbrushes, flashlights, lighter, fire starter, feminine hygiene items, mirrors,The best dry boxes we have found are actually gfs bulk large gummy bear and cashew containers. Inexpensive plus you also get to enjoy the tasty treats.

Cookwear, we have upgraded over the years on this also. We have a tiny stove and collapsible dishes. However not all new is better. With a larger group we use a cook pot from the 50s, and a coffee pot from the 70s. Now coffee pot? You’re probably thinking this is a bit much, but if you know me you know I can’t go without coffee, this old percolator gives such ambiance to the camping experience with little hassle. Sea to summit is one of the brands we go back to bc of weight and size. But there are many cheaper versions that do just as well. Sporks are really a must have. As are dish soap and a scrub pad. A medium size mesh bag, or even an onion bag will due, to hang dishes in to dry. Also you will need a larger knife and spatula. Water filter or water tablets. Not always will you have potable water easily accessible, and drinking straight from the source should never be an option. You can invest in any number of options, a water filter, water tabs, or the cheapest option just boiling the piss out of a pot of water, in this case don’t skim off the top but take it down a little ways out and bring up.

Life vests and basic safety gear are something I cannot stress enough. We carry a small sos with us in case of emergencies, it’s a yearly substitution but there are other options, if you will have cell service it’s less of a concern, we have rented satellite phones before and all things considered the cost was worth the piece of mind. First aid kits with liquid skin, bandaids, gause, antiseptic cream, tweezers, moleskin. Know you’re abilities and don’t try to impress anyone safety first.

Random accessories: pillows are a luxury but sea to summit has an inflatable option that takes up next to no room. What we more typically do is take one of our fleece jackets and wrap around our life vest. Chap stick, sunscreen and bug spray. Deet free is the way to be, rain gear(even if you dont think its going to rain i suggest tossing this in) we get the basic ponchos for the kids and then we use, marmot, columbia, and frogtoggs for ours, thats bc were not growing so investing in costly raingear plays out fine over time, but the kids if yours are like ours, will be wet anyways and going thru the woods likely will tear them anyways.

Paddles: we found inexpensive children’s paddles at for 15.99 theyre two feet approx. if you have the time prior to the trip these need sanded and polyurethane like 4 layers, if not make sure you do this when you return home bc this type with mixed wood will split. adults you can usually rent along with canoes at a local outfitter, if youre not a frequent river tripper this would be the clear winner cost wise.

Clothes: depending on the time of year I recommend one heavier fleece jacket, one lightweight long sleeve shirt, two water wicking t shirts, two pair shorts, one pair pants, long underwear, three pairs socks, bathing suit, gloves and hat. per person. Use your best judgement considering time of year and location. but also that weather can change.

Shoes I recommend boggs boots of hiking any distance, but crocs if you’re going to be mostly in the canoe or just around camp. They’re very light weight and dry incredibly fast. they also float, i recommend a bright color in case they slip off. Just slip on a pair of socks sit by the fire and stay warm. kids i would recommend crocs as well, but we also like the grippyness of the speedo water shoes.

Firewood: leave no trace please do not go out scavenging around campsites or along the river for wood to burn, you’re taking vital habitat for creatures and also disturbing the natural equilibrium of nature. Best to leave it be so people who come after you can experience the same natural wonder you did when you arrived in camp. Instead stop at a local outfitter before going on the river and buy some locally logged wood. You do not want to bring wood from home as it can carry invasive species and risk damaging the environment and delicate ecosystems of the river lands.

As this is about tripping with kids some special attention should be given into what to bring for them. We try to bring things that will compliment nature not detract from it. We bring marbles, paper and colored pencils, footballs or baseballs, stuffed animals for the tent. But really we encourage the kids to find their own amusement finding bugs, rocks, minnows, etc. one thing we tried and loved this trip was solar fairy lights. These are indoor outdoor but all day I would leave the solar part out to collect sun and then hang the lights in the tent during the night bc the kids don’t like sleeping in total darkness.

Ok gear down now what? Choosing a location

when traveling a river with kids you really need to take into consideration the time of year you are going. the speed and depth of the river should also play highly on your mind, for example is there any white water? then you probably dont want to take kids, you want to aim for calm shallow rivers, and a temperate time of the year, like winter in the north probably not ideal.

make sure to plan ahead and have a game plan in place. you need to have an idea how far you plan to go each day and where you plan on staying each night. try not to over do it. you want to give yourselves enough time to enjoy the scenery not rush and over exert yourselves. take the time to swim, or stop for lunch. the easiest rivers will be ones that have established campgrounds along the way. usually for a nominal price you can stay the night, and self pay. please dont skip this for two reasons, your fee provides for the camp to stay in commission, to have the toilets maintained, and water flowing. when you skip paying you also risk the dnr stopping and fining you in the middle of the trip, and no one wants to sour their vacations with fines. like i said the price is nominal just pay it.

check for warnings and notices before heading in, is there a fire out( no fires allowed), are there wildlife issues you need to avoid? like bears have been a real issue at campsite x y z, ect.  also in some states you will need a permit PRIOR to going in and if you do not have it you might not be able to go in. the dnr only issues a certain number each day in order to minimize the affect on the ecosystem. some of these book up months in advance, but if your dates are flexible usually you can still get in. dont procrastinate on this tho.

Camping meal ideas

camping tacos: box spanish rice a roni, canned chicken, pkg taco mix cook the rice add the seasoning, then chicken, add to tortilla shells, top with cheese, rotel and corn.

chicken noodle manhattan: camping version of a turkey manhattan:Ā  pilot crackers topped with chicken noodles, instant idaho pototoes, canned corn salt and pepper to taste. and thats it! super easy

kielbasa: several options here but a favorite of ours is two cans sliced potatoes, two cans green beans, one kielbasa sausage, slice up the keilbasa and fry until browned, then add the green beans and potatoes, salt and pepper to taste.

eggs and spam: just like it sounds slice up the spam fry it up the add in your scrambled eggs, top with shredded cheese

bacon, eggs, and pancakes: fry up the bacon use the grease for pancakes, and eggs, use an egg carrier, and bisquick instant pancakes, we use both frozen bacon strips and precooked, either just depends on your preference, and if you use the bacon as ice in the cooler. we use syrup in small plastic bottles from archer farms at target.

oatmeal: honestly super easy cheap and lightweight

granola and protein bars, rxbar, cliffbar, luna bars, are our go to

chicken bone broth: high in protein tastes like chicken broth.

shakeology or juice plus or vega individual serving protein shakes

shepherds pie: instant mashed potaotes, frozen peas, carrots, corn mix, beef jerky, salt and pepper, soak the jerky in boiling water then use that water to mix the potatoes, warm up the veggies mix and youre good to go

chicken packets and pilot crackers.

smores (these make a mess but kids go nuts for them)

fruit leathers


summer sausage

and many more options

when you river camp weight isnt as much of a concern so while it should be considered when making plans, it shouldnt prevent you from making some really tasty meals, we tend to use the cold and canned foods first so that it lightens the pack.


one of the most difficult things to do when camping and river tripping with kids is getting them to go to sleep, there are so many noises. the fairy lights mentioned above helped, but also reassure them. it ,might be hard to convince them that sleeping on a bear is as good as a pillow, or that the hard ground is fine. just be prepared and patient. the first night will be the worst, it is a new experience for them but by day two their pros.

riding in the canoe can be tricky as you have to carefully consider how you organize gear, typically you want as much below the rim of the canoe as possible. we set our duluth packs upright so the kids could lean back against them. we make sure to have the kids in their swim wear for the day, bc we get out and swim and canoes are just gonna be wet. once we get to camp we hand a line or toss over a fence anything that got wet, hats, shoes, lifevests, bathingsuits, etc. these portable clothes lines are amazing bc of the clips. make sure to have water for every person easily accesable for the day, and make sure to encourage the kids to drink, it is very easy to become dehydrated out on the river. if you think they may not like the water, we pack gatorade powder to add for flavor and extra electrolytes.

HATS SUNSCREEN BUG SPRAY, apply apply apply. the sun reflects off of the water so make sure the kids (and yourselves) are covered. long sleeve bathingsuits for the kids are preferrable. wide brimmed hats, and high spf sunscreen.

and there you have it, basic river tripping with kids. you will surely create memories to last a lifetime! the kids will come home talking about all the fun they had, the bugs they found, the messes they made.

Posted in books, relaxation, Uncategorized

My Obsession part 2: Premonition Series


Premonition Series: Amy Bartol

Im going to be completely honest here, when i chose this book it was not because i read great reviews, or it was a best seller, it was based on the cover, the length, and being part of a series.

cover?! did i just say that? that is the one thing youre not supposed to do right? well hear me out, it was only PART of the decision, but i have read some awesome books because they grabbed my attention in the store and i impulse bought, which is sort of how this occurred….

now mind you i was already on an aircraft preparing for departure, i was desperate for a book, any book, that would download in time. the thought of enduring an entire 6 hour flight with nothing to read was unimaginable. It made me wish i was more organized and a better steward of my time (more on that another time). Why did i insist on procrastinating? perhaps i was face-timing my kids or taking too long on my hair, more likely trying to sleep for as long as possible before our early morning flight. whatever the reason i was now impatiently waiting for this book to download. ( to clarify my kindle is the first gen and the downloads not as instant as the newer ones) I am normally a paper book person but the e-readers have definitely made for a convenience i didnt know i wanted. finally the book downloaded and i opened with the giddy anticipation of a flight well spent in another world.

now at this point i will point out that this series is in the young adult genre, which is far from my favorite genres. But the way that Amy tells the story, i was fully invested in my highschool self. the passion for life, the invincibility of youth, the hormones… as a, not so young adult, i fully enjoyed this series. in fact i finished book one before the plane landed and upon landing promptly downloaded the next one in the series. This series in fact made me reexamine my own relationship with religion. As a non so practicing christian, i began to devour every verse in the bible referencing angels. i began to research and read the ancient texts with any kind of link to the angels. Admittedly i had never really cared much for them, but i became so engrossed in the subject that i began my own canvas series on them (amateur). the impact of this book was more than just entertainment, though it was entertaining.

a brief synopsis with slight spoilers:

this is about a young women who finds that she is not what she believed she was. it is about a coming of age and a realization of life beyond ones self. That there is a greater purpose and existence beyond what we may see at first glance. Everyone one around us may not be as they seem and the supernatural surrounds us at every turn. Angels, demons, and other supernatural creatures living among us, being us. As i think all books are an escape from our reality into a reality that could be, this is one i would recommend others to experience. the impact was profound beyond just her writings and something i recall frequently.

Posted in books, family, relaxation, Uncategorized

My obsession part 1: Outlander


 The outlander:

by diana gabaldon

they say when you become a mother not to loose yourself to the job. well easier said then done right? books have been the one thing that always keeps me feeling like me. strange as it sounds, diving into and imagining life thru anothers eye being what makes me, me. maybe its the continual attention and focus on one task, or the ‘adult’ feeling reading leaves me with.

one of my favorite books to pick up is The Outlander, by diana gabaldon. if ever a love story existed this is it! ironically its also the book that somehow got me a stalker (come back later for that incident). when i finished the series i felt a deep depression as if all my family, lovers, and history had passed beyond my grasp. I wanted to live in that world. now im a fan of modern amenities, medicine, and comforts BUT with a love that spans the millennia i think i could give it up. If you think a time traveling story isnt your style, i beg you to reconsider. the first few chapters will leave you questioning my love of this book, but then it happens. and after that youll be staying up into the wee hours of the night, sitting on the toilet until your feet tingle, and planning you next vacation to Scotland.