Anywho, we're in the midst of packing and cleaning and - to coin my husband's favorite phrase - "buttoning things up" around here, in our effort to leave tomorrow night after church. We're making a good part of the drive through the night to try to avoid sibling rivalry as well as road-trip burnout...which is characterized by hearing the phrase "are we there yet?" fifty-nine times in one hour, and equal amounts of "I'm bored" or "I have to pee".
So in the middle of all this pre-trip buttoning up, Tyler is battling a severe sore throat, and Abbi woke up with her entire left jaw swollen up like a balloon. I now have doctor appointments scheduled for this afternoon to add to my list of things to do... picking up our van from the shop...last minute laundry... and grocery shopping for capri-suns, cheese sticks, and a host of other road snacks to keep a super-sized family happy while traveling.
It's not easy taking a family our size on the road for ten days, but it is worth it.
The same could be said of the financial investment to takes to make this kind of trip. Several people asked me on Instagram how we can afford to take a large family to Disneyland...three words: it ain't easy. Which is why we only do big vacations like these every five years or so. Typically we save for a few years and invest every extra penny into the family vacay fund...this trip was thrown together at the last minute, thanks to a very hard working daddy who got double bonuses in January.
A few other money-saving tricks fell into place to make this doable...we scored a terrific hotel with a family suite that can accommodate all of us and is very affordable. They serve free breakfast AND dinner, and they have a shuttle to and from Disneyland. So we're bringing several suitcases (okay, backpacks) full of snacks for the three days we'll spend in the happiest place on earth, and gorge ourselves on the complimentary hotel meals in between. We have a relative in the military whose wife is going with us (hooray, Emily!) so we landed a bunch of half price tickets. Grammi sent the kids birthday money to spend there - THANK YOU, GRAMMI! - and we are skipping all the March birthdays - seven of us this month - in lieu of taking this trip. So there you have it: Disney on a dime. Well...not quite...but less than it would have been.
Maybe we won't have the jacuzzi tub I've been scouring Craiglist for the whole winter - I miss my garden tub at our old house :( :( - but we will have a week of wonderful memories to make. And when my kids are grown and gone, I trust that these trips are the things they look back on and cherish. And I know I will too. Childhood is so fleeting, and we won't always be able to be together as a family like this... I'm soaking up every blessed minute of it while I can.
When we return I'll be hosting a big giveaway called Saving Penny to help her family with their adoption. If you missed that post, please go back and read it... after taking a break from fundraising for a few months, I am totally pumped to enter that arena again. I was so upset about the whole Russian ban on adoptions, and I still am...this giveaway is my way of fighting that feeling of helplessness after watching those events unfold. I'm not giving up on fighting for orphans with special needs, no matter what insanity is happening elsewhere in the world. These kids are WORTH the fight, and I intend to do everything I can to help rescue them.
In my absence I have asked several mamas to contribute blog posts for a series I am doing on grief, hope, and miracles.
I've been in touch with an amazing young mama over the past few months who inspired this series. After being told her unborn daughter Emma had a rare chromosomal problem, she just received news that her baby has very little, if any, chance of surviving once she is born this month. Emma's mommy and daddy are praying their hearts out for wisdom and strength, and of course for a miracle. I'm asking Lily's readers to join in prayer for Baby Emma and her family. If you have any stories of faith and encouragement you would like to share please leave them in the comment section here. Our family believes in miracles, and we're praying earnestly for one for Emma.
|seven out of eleven of my treasures (baby on board)|
Please keep coming back to read while we're gone - you don't want to miss these upcoming posts from the hearts of mamas who have walked through incredible trials. And please spread the word about our upcoming giveaway for Penny - I can't wait to see all that God will do.