"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Posts tagged ‘hiking’

Top 10 reasons I love camping

Camping trips rock! Camping in October in the middle of the week and practically having the whole place to yourselves is even better. Our family just returned from an incredibly fun, relaxing trip to Palmetto State Park, and I thought I’d share with you my personal reasons for loving the family camp-outs. Of course, it’s a given that camping is the most inexpensive vacation possible…but here are ten more reasons I love camping, along with some snapshots of our recent trip.

Reason #10: We get to choose a beautiful corner of the world and call it our home and yard for a few days. 

Our HOME for this camping trip

Who wouldn't want to call this home?

Birds chirping, breezes blowing, no dusting or sweeping or toilet cleaning…that’s my kind of home!

Reason #9: “Wasting time” isn’t considered a waste of time while camping. It’s what we’re SUPPOSED to do.

For those of us who struggle to relax at home amid a never-ending to-do list, a campsite is the perfect destination. We are going somewhere with the specific goal of being lazy! (How cool is that?)

This is the life...

Reason #8: I get to see my man in his element. 

This makes him so happy…and that makes me happy!

"Feeling" that big bass

Reason #7: We get to see some amazing sights, designed by an Amazing Creator.

Note the way this tree has grown around this old wheel:

Reason #6: Because we’re busy enjoying the beauty of nature, we don’t have to worry a bit about how WE look. 

I know we packed a hairbrush…but whether or not it ever saw the light of day is another story.

When we’re camping, we can stay in our pajamas just as long as we want to.

Addy catching perch in her pj's

"Flowers for you, Mommy!"

And no one really cares how filthy we get, either…

These clothes and shoes might never come clean...SO worth it!

So much dirt on those happy faces

Reason #5: We get to enjoy living the simple life.

A boy and his canteen + sunshine and a place to explore = a perfect day

Simple living includes simple surroundings. This was our centerpiece, provided by the girls:

We ate food that would never pass for meals at home, unanimously voted on by all the kids (and their dad) and super easy to fix.

Their compromise was to let me at least heat things up.

Simple, sometimes boring, routine tasks somehow become more fun while camping. One of Remi’s favorite activities was “helping” with the dishes.

Reason #4: We’re able to get up close and personal with all kinds of creatures.

We spotted 69 deer, plus plenty of rabbits, bats, squirrels, butterflies, lizards, toads, cardinals, raccoons, and this armadillo snuffing around right in front of us as if we weren’t even there:

At night we could hear the crickets chirping, owls hooting back and forth, and coyotes howling.

Some of the most enjoyable times were spent watching the girls playing with the ducks.

The males would eat right out of Addy’s hand…

Their aggressiveness freaked Remi out, of course, and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have fun watching her reactions.

Unfortunately, they liked Addy a little too much, even when she was out of food for them…

Reason #3: There’s plenty of time to play.

There’s time to kayak…

…and time to fish…

Addy's crappie

(Troy cooking breakfast meant I got to sit by the lake with a fishing pole…

…but, unfortunately, this little guy was all I caught.)

…and time to hike, and hike, and hike…

…and plenty of time to splash in the river…

Reason #2: The unhurried time away from it all seems to strengthen our family bonds.

I love watching the way the kids interact with us and with each other during times like this.

Reason #1: Everywhere we turn, we are reminded of our Almighty God.

My favorite memory from this trip is of our whole family sitting by the lake in the dark, looking up at the stars and talking about how incredible it is that God made it all…and keeps track of it all…and knows all. I loved letting Remi sleep on my lap while Troy and I listened to the bigger kids marvel at God’s power and His artistry, and while I don’t have photographs of that time to share with you, I know I’ll never forget it.

And that’s why I {heart} camping!

Thanks for stopping by!

Celebrating twenty in tranquility

Twenty years. I still can’t believe we’ve been married for twenty years.

As much as we love our kiddos, we knew this called for a celebration without them, so we left all four of them with their grandparents and headed to Lake Whitney to celebrate in peace and quiet…just the two of us, and God, and nature. As expected, the trip flew by in a moment. Come along for a little peek at how we spent our time…

We sat around our campfire having long, uninterrupted conversations. We looked up at the stars and tried to find and name the constellations. We relaxed in a hammock hung between the trees. We picnicked among squirrels and wildflowers.

We spent LOTS of time fishing. We fished from the rocky bluff right behind our campsite…

and from our kayaks…

and from places all along the shore.

(Did you notice the little rainbow just below his reel?)

We seined together for bait (which was unsuccessful, but fun).  Troy threw out the cast net hoping for bait, and actually caught several good-sized fish in it.


We both did lots of wading, too.

Silly as it may sound, watching our bobbers floating side by side created a feeling of happy contentment. Very. Very. Relaxing.

Of course, actually catching  fish is just the icing on the cake…

I caught this guy just before midnight our last night there. Night fishing rocks!

We both LOVE to hike and rarely get to do it, but on this trip we enjoyed hiking several trails together…

and taking lots of walks…

and quiet strolls around the lake.

We continued our uninterrupted conversations and enjoyed lots of peace and quiet. Most of the time, all we could hear were things like the wind rustling through the leaves…

and crickets chirping overhead…

and water lapping against the rocks…

and birds singing in the trees…

and our campfire crackling.

(Did I mention we were able to have lots of uninterrupted conversations? NICE.)

Oh, and I sure loved waking up to this beautiful sight…

I also loved that just at the edge of our campsite, this little trail led right to a rocky bluff overlooking “our” part of the lake…

One of my favorite memories of the trip was taking our chairs out to the bluff to watch the sun go down. We turned a bucket upside down to hold our big jug of sweet tea and while we talked (uninterrupted), we were blessed with this for our view:

Troy found these HUGE marsmallows for us to roast…

and they made for some enormous s’mores.

We also roasted jalepeno-cheese sausages to put on buns for our lunch…

and ate Frito pie by firelight and moonlight.

We saw some AMAZING sunsets.

On the first night of our trip, I was sneaking past my sleeping husband to go out for a drink of water. I had my hand on the tent zipper when I saw the shadow of the hefty raccoon that walked right by our tent and started exploring  the area around our picnic table. (Yes, of COURSE I woke Troy up to scare it away!) We saw lots of deer, wild turkey, raccoons, birds, armadillos, squirrels, snakes, and rabbits.

The sunsets, the  lake, the wildlife, the stars…..They all reminded us that our God is The Great Artist.

Even some parts of the trip that weren’t perfect were pretty much perfect. One night there was a magnificent thunderstorm. (Remember, we were in a tent!) We ran to our vehicle in the middle of the night….Our intention was to keep safe, of course, but we ended up driving out to the end of a peninsula where we were able to watch a “show” better than any we’ve ever paid to see.  And, we were the only ones at this drive-in!

I guess the same (imperfect=perfect) could be said about marriage. These last twenty years haven’t been perfect. They haven’t always been easy. But, they’ve definitely been worth it! I thank God for blessing our marriage, our family, our lives together. I thank all of you who have served as our role models. I thank Troy for hanging in there with me for twenty whole years, and I’m looking forward to the next twenty.

Thanks for coming along to check out our trip. Here’s one last photo for you, of something only God can do:

Thanks for stopping by!

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