This paper airplane letter post is an updated version of a popular post from the archives. I’ve included paper airplane patterns with letters to my Compassion International sponsored kids, and am trying them out with my grandchildren when they visit. Simple. Easy. Fun
A Well Nourished Lunchbox
Meal planning for a Cross Country runner can feel like a marathon! As my daughter’s cross country career takes on a greater role in her life this year, I am learning more about what it takes to not only prepare healthy meals, but to create a well nourished lunchbox.
Runner Girl’s weight began dropping in recent weeks, so she downloaded an app to track her food and nutrition intake. It has been a surprise to find out that she isn’t getting nearly enough protein nor carbs. We had a good conversation on the way to school one morning this week. It was decided that I need to go back to making her breakfast and packing her lunches. This shift will actually allow Runner Girl more time to eat in the morning, and help her focus on the more necessary things in her life (like school and lowering her 5K time) while I research and correct the nutritional deficiencies in her diet.
El Salvador Trip, Days 1 & 2 Preparation
As I told you all in May, a few of my daughters and I joined a Compassion Tour Trip in July. Because of the way the flights worked out to reach our group and the connection in Miami, I was able to build in a couple of days on either side of the long weekend in El Salvador. One of my older teens has had an extremely full summer with summer classes, an internship with a big project and working her “day job”. We also had a change pre-trip and one of the daughters scheduled for this trip decided not to go, and another daughter jumped in at nearly the last minute. All of that caused me to believe that a short break from regular life before we entered into what the trip held for us would be very good for us.
And it was so good.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado Travel
For several years, as I looked at the Colorado map and thought about where to go next, Steamboat Springs and Dinosaur National Park were high on my list. But from home we have to drive somewhat diagonally across the state for many hours. Well in early January when Builder and I were talking about Spring Break, and we decided to make plans to stay in Steamboat Springs and explore.
Ever since our fantastic Florida Keys vacation a few summers ago, we have sought to stay in houses or townhome. Through Retreatia we rented a great 2 bedroom 2 bathroom townhome. The house had a washer and dryer which was a bonus after our day at the hot springs pool.
Fish Creek Falls always shows up when I search pinterest for Colorado Waterfall Hikes. All of the trails were snow covered and I forgot my trekking poles, so we simply took the .5 mile overlook path to see the falls.
We also spent hours at the Old Town Hot Springs, which was a blast. Just imagine how fun it is to spend an afternoon in a hot springs pool with teenagers, laughing as the snow falls in nice big flakes, then an hour later enjoying the sunshine while relaxing in one of the smaller pools. It was fantastic!
A gem that we found was the Off the Beaten Path book store! Two floors of books and a coffee shop.
We spents a couple of happy hours here. I enjoyed a Mr Darcy cinnamon mocha and this good book.
We also found some of the other hot springs, and enjoyed a visit to an art museum.
None of us are skiers, so I can’t tell you about that action in Steamboat, but explorers and hikers we are. It is quite a drive to get to this area, but I sure look forward to another visit in the not to far off future!
Backpacking for the First Time
During the summer of 2017, I headed out on my first backpacking trip with one of my daughters. To be honest, I had spent more time pinning hiking and backpacking articles to my pinterest board, than preparing for this venture.
But the geared was gathered and packed in my new Osprey backpack, off we went. Our first trip was in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park. This park is just about my favorite place on earth and I was pretty excited to experience it in a new way.
After picking up our back country permit, we headed to the trailhead. With backpacks on, we began hiking. There is a lot to learn in any new endeavor. It didn’t take us long to realize that we had the backpacks unequally loaded weight wise. We corrected this the next morning!
About 2.25 miles in we found the sign we’d been looking for. Much to my surprise, we turned off the trail and started heading DOWN. Way down. All I could think is, tomorrow we are going to have go climb back up. Crossing a stream at 2 different points, we suddenly came upon the campsite.
It was so exciting to be there. We found the best spot to hang our hammocks and prepared dinner. Our meals were quite simple. We ate macaroni and cheese with freeze dried broccoli for dinner, and oatmeal with freeze dried fruit for breakfast. We carried nuts, granola bars and apples to eat for lunch and along the trail as needed.
By the time we finished eating and setting up camp, it was beginning to get dark so we stashed our bear canister way on the other side of our site, in the trees, and we climbed into our hammocks.
Right at the moment of wishing each other a good night…a coyote howl. Now we had heard all about how to be bear aware, but coyotes? After a few startled moments I decided to just enjoy the experience, pray that the animal was in fact miles away, and drift off to sleep in the swaying trees.
After a chilly night’s sleep we rose to make breakfast and coffee. I woke many times that night from the cold, so I’ve been thinking it through and I think I have a lightweight plan to stay warmer next time!
Knowing we were not prepared for the snow that was deeper into the wilderness area, we went the other direction to do some exploring of different sites.
Backpacking the first time didn’t go quite how we planned, but it went perfectly. We learned a lot, and are better prepared for the next time.
Have you ever backpacked? Did you sleep in a tent or a hammock?
Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children
Bible study and prayer books fill sections of christian book stores. Most of the time, I can pass right over them all. This is not because I don’t need help and additional insight, oh no! But I find that too often we rely mostly on our own words, and miss the beauty, simplicity and completeness of the actual Words of God.
”Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children” by Jodie Berndt is a tool that is just the kind of prayer-book that I keep on my study shelf. A copy of “Praying the Scriptures” has been with my Bible and prayer journal for 2 months, as I find fresh inspiration in praying for my kids. Of the 7 kids, four are now married, one is a young adult and in college, and the other two are mid teens.
There is a fuzzy line between teen and adult. I find many of the prayer topics covered in this book can be combined into the prayer for each of my kids.
Many times, as I do my daily readings, I find words to pray directly in the passage. Other times, when there is a need, or a topic I want to take to the Father, I fumble in my words. It is a gift to have this book at my finger tips, and as you can tell, I am praying through different topics and scriptures at this time.
I am thankful to Handlebar Publishing for this ARC of Praying the Scriptures for Your Children, in exchange for this review and blog post.
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