Having a sleepover with Uncle John and Aunt Bonnie was such excitement in the first place, but then this morning after breakfast, the kids also got to look inside the dread Pirate Robert’s treasure chest and pick out some treasure! Amazingly, the treasure he had found had things that were just right for our kids! Imagine that!
It was so sad to say goodbye to the Edwards this morning…but we know that God will cross our paths again someday, and we’ll be encouraged by their joyful loving hearts!
Such a gift to visit with Uncle John and Aunt Bonnie!
Well, we missed the North Carolina sign as well…I was in the middle of teaching Jonah about adding mixed fractions and missed the picture…
We visited the museum of natural science with some new friends who plan to serve in Ecuador!! It was so great to meet the Holcutt’s and get a chance to visit for a little while we explored the museum!
And then we got to see Miss Shannon (and her family!). Miss Shannon was our dearest friend during our time in Costa Rica and she was so much part of our family there (AND she let the kids play on her ipod!). Miss Shannon moved to Honduras where she’s been ministering to young mothers since 2011 and we’ve missed her so much! God’s timing for a quick trip home for her coincided with our departure on this trip and it didn’t take much effort to decide to start off our travels heading south so we could all see Shannon and catch up! We realized we’ve never been together in a country where you need to wear socks!
They got some ipod time this morning!
Seems JJ loves Miss Shannon too!
2011…yes, that’s Taylah Shannon is holding!
Shannon’s brother Xan is teaching them magic tricks this morning!!
Magic school this morning!
So, what’s it like traveling with our crew? People often give us sympathetic sighs when we tell them we’re heading on a road trip…especially when they seem how many kids we’ve got! But, really, we’re pretty VERY fortunate that our crew travels really really well. They haven’t had much choice, really. From the time they’ve all been small babies, they’ve done long road trips and that’s helped lots!
Our expectation is that we’ll all travel well as a family and that it is not a time for complaining or fighting. We don’t always have great days, but they understand our expectations, and they do well as they work to meet them. It’s amazing what kids can do when they understand what is expected of them!
Somehow, they’ve all learned how to entertain themselves in the car electronic-free– looking out the window, playing quietly (or mostly quietly), or working on schoolwork now that they are older. And, now that there are some avid readers, that helps lots! The kids bring some of their toys along, or sometimes we have different car activities they can do with dry erase markers (battleship, mad libs, license plate games). Sometimes, on a particularly long day, we’ll watch a movie during the last couple hours as a special treat! We’ve tried to keep our days shorter…7-8 hours of driving time meaning 8-10 hours in the car TOPS!! After that, we all start to melt down and it really isn’t very fun. If we finish the day before melt-down time, we get to celebrate a great day of driving, and it is STILL fun to be a Messick!
It’s a little crowded with all our stuff!!
We also try to use stops to get our energy out. We try to eat while we’re driving so that when we stop for a pee break we can run around for 20 minutes playing a game, throwing a football or following the leader. It helps everyone move a little and gives us a chance to put some time into the kids for a few minutes. It is amazing as we travel in such a small space, that Matt and I can get to talking and the kids do their thing and (except for the constant questions), and we haven’t been interacting a whole lot! That being said, the questions can get to be a little much some days. This morning every 23 seconds or so, someone had a question about their schoolwork and with the road noise it is hard to hear them. I was getting pretty frustrated as I tried to work on something myself, and had to keep stopping to answer them, but we figured it out, and the issue really had much more to do with my own pride, impatience and self-importance than anything else…
We’ve been truly blessed with kids who travel well. And, oh I am so so so thankful! These trips have been exhausting and challenging in many ways, but they’ve also been special times traveling together and experiencing things that hopefully our kids will remember (fondly we hope) for a lifetime!