Our Secret to Surviving Long Road Trips

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Anyone have some long road trips planned for this summer? We don’t, but that’s only because we clocked about 60 hours in the car at the end of last year…  Surviving with your sanity intact is imperative.  Being ready and willing to do it again is the cherry on top.

I want to share our biggest secret to surviving long road trips and doing so screen-free!

A few years ago I wrote a post about Creative Travel Ideas for Young Kids. When my kids were little, I took as much care with preparing for a road trip as a general would planning an invasion. For our really BIG trips (6 hours to California) I loved to do an hour-by-hour countdown with special activities to pull out along the way.  And when we would fly, I’d break my little to no screen-time rule to let them watch a movie.  I figured that being stuck in a metal box in the sky was NOT the place to be for a melt-down or restless child, so we’d sedate them with a movie which was a special treat for our screen-deprived children. I broke that tradition a few years ago when we flew over the same weekend, that I had agreed to participate in a national “Screen-Free” week. I lived to blog about it later.   But even with the movie my kids would watch on our trips across the country, I was still careful to pack special toys or books to occupy them during the remainder of the flight.

Everything has eased up since then. Now that the kids are older, I throw a few things in a tub for the car, being sure to pack some special items to occupy the 4-year-old and we set off.  Only now we live in Texas where you can drive A.L.L. D.A.Y. and still be in Texas.  Anything under 6 hours is now considered a quick road trip because it takes 15 hours to get to see my family and 9 hours to drive and visit my hubby’s family.

While the kids are older and better able to sit still, we’ve honed in on the BEST way to pass time in the car…  Audio books and audio dramas!

Our absolute favorites, hands-down, are the audio dramas from Heirloom Audio. Have you heard of them? Listened to them? If not, you seriously need to check them out!  This is the newest venture from the former producers of Adventures in Odyssey! The boys received their first one for Christmas 2 years ago.  They fell in love with In Freedom’s Cause, which takes us into the life of William Wallace. He was an amazing man of faith and conviction – a true hero that I love introducing to my boys.

Last fall, I shared about how sick I had been and how we fell in love with In Lee in Virginia which was the perfect companion to our study of the Civil War. We loved them so much that I packed a portable CD player in our aging minivan on our road-trip that we took around Thanksgiving because our CD player in the car was broken. You would not believe how quiet a car full of kids could possibly be as they strained to hear the story from my portable CD player. Thankfully, we had a new-to-us minivan for our 15-hour drive to Arizona. Yes, 15 hours of me with 4 kids as we departed for Arizona for a couple of weeks before Rich joined us at Christmas.  Yes, that was the time we drove ALL DAY and were still in Texas…

We survived, thanks to hours of these audio adventures!

In recent weeks, as we’ve simply been driving around town, we’ve been listening to one of their newest adventures, The Dragon and the Raven. After listening to it one weekend, my middle guy surprised me with this little impromptu note on Monday morning…

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He’s especially excited to now jump into the book that inspired the story that I just happened to have on our bookshelf and was hoping he’d read this summer! #win

Let’s Give Them Access to Real Heroes

The more I look around at what the world has to offer our boys by way of entertainment, the more I’m sold on reading great books to them, exposing them to these kind of heroes via audio dramas. Boys need heroes.  Girls do too, but in an age where boys tend to be adrift without a sense of purpose, I’ve found that filling our boys minds with the stories of brave men who have gone before, performed heroic deeds, made a difference in this world is so very important. These accounts inspire my boys to want to make a difference too. They inspire them to apply themselves to the work of learning and growing up so that they too can make a difference in their culture, in the world they will be thrust into.  And with how things are going, we are in desperate need of modern-day heroes, people who have firm convictions, people who are willing to live selflessly to serve others, to serve a greater good and to draw people to the truth and the One who is Truth.  And I love to watch the role that these audio dramas play in this unfolding of their going from boys – to – men.

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So if you are looking for a way to make the hours in the car just speed by, if you are looking to inspire your kids with some amazing real-life heroes, and you want something they will want to listen to over and over again, then check these out. I’m sure they will become favorites in your home and car, just as they have in ours!

If you would like to order the series now click here.

With this special package you will get:

  • All four audio dramas (The Dragon and the Raven, With Lee in Virginia, In Freedom’s Cause, Under Drake’s Flag –there are 2 copies of each audio drama so that you can give one to a friend!)
  • Study Guide and Discussion Starter Sets for each audio drama
  • Award-winning soundtracks from each audio drama
  • Poster Art from each audio drama
  • Four limited edition Henty Collector Coins
  • ALL of this for only 79.95 !!!

Here are the details:

Recommended Ages: 6+ (some intense action and war scenes, complete with sound effects)

The Dragon and the Raven
Historical Setting: Alfred the Great, 800’s AD, England
Lessons: Mercy, Courage, Faith,
Duration: 2 hours

In Freedom’s Cause
Historical Setting: William Wallace, 1290’s-1305 AD, Scotland
Lessons: Persistence, Courage, Humility, need for God’s guidance
Duration: 2 hours

Under Drake’s Flag 
Historical Setting: Sir Francis Drake, 1500’s, England
Lessons: Courage, Conviction, Character, Faith
Duration: 2 hours

With Lee in Virginia 
Historical Setting: Robert E. Lee, Civil War – 1860’s, United States
Lessons: Loyalty, Freedom, Human Dignity, Honesty, Faith
Duration: 2 hours

{Disclaimer: While we have listened to and loved these audio’s for a few years now, I was sent The Dragon and the Raven for free and compensated for my time invested in putting this post together. All opinions are solely my own. Please see my disclosure for more information.}

What our kids need to know about FAILURE!

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No one likes failure, but I think some of us may struggle with it more than others.

I have one child in particular who loathes failure. He is often paralyzed by merely the thought of it; so much so that he can’t seem to get started. Now this isn’t all bad. He’s my cautious one, the one who thinks before jumping into things and takes the time to analyze.  But there is a fine line when analyzing and thinking about something can slip into speaking doubt to oneself and stalling out.  Because let’s face it, there are things we are all called to do that seem impossible from the outset. And if you engage in negative self-talk you will talk yourself out of doing just about anything before you have even begun. You won’t fail, but you also miss out on doing anything. You’ll miss out on witnessing that seemingly impossible feat happen!

We have opportunities to learn from our mistakes each and every day. Just this last week, we went to the airport to drop my older two off.  They were meeting my mom at the gate to leave for Washington DC.  Maybe I’m paranoid, but in this day and age, I wasn’t about to let those two out of my sight at a busy airport until we met up with my mom which meant getting a gate pass for myself and the younger two so we could get through security.  Everything was fun and smooth sailing until starting loading up the conveyor belt at the security checkpoint.  At this point, my youngest boy turned to me with a horrified look and whispered his confession as he peeped his swiss army knife out of his pocket. #facepalm  With a hint of tears, he surrendered his beloved knife after I unsuccessfully tried to figure out a way to have them hold it for 30 minutes while we dropped the older two off.  That was a “no-go”.  It was a painful mistake to make and after using his allowance money to get this new Leatherman-ish replacement, I think he will think twice before taking that to the airport again.  THIS was an opportunity to talk about how we can learn from our mistakes.

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So what is it for your kids? Not understanding that math concept the first time around, saying something stupid (welcome to the club, kid), breaking something because they weren’t careful enough, performing in that recital after you bombed the last one…

Opportunities abound to help our kids walk through mistakes and failure.  We NEED to let them make this walk.

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Because here’s the thing that they need to know about failure.  Here’s truth that we need to revisit over and over again as we move out bravely into new territory and unknown adventures…

FAILURE IS THE BEST WAY TO LEARN 

We need to learn to embrace failure and the opportunities that it affords. Failures are a part of life. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn. If you don’t learn, you’ll never change.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison

FAILURE ISN’T FINAL

tryFailure isn’t final unless you remain where you’ve fallen.

It’s okay to not know, but its not okay to not try.

You are stronger than you think.

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Failure is the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.

FAILURE AND SUCCESS GO HAND IN HAND

Failure is success in progress.

You always pass failure on the way to success. – Mickey Rooney

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill

Reminding ourselves that we are not alone: “When we are weak, HE is strong.” 2 Cor 12:9

WE ALL FAIL.

progressI think it is easy for our kids to think they are the only one’s who fail.  Helping them to see when others fail and then pick themselves up is important.

I had the opportunity to do that with this child of mine earlier this week. In my rush to get the last blog post out, I forgot to size a couple of pictures and then something wonky happened with my formatting.  Everything looked fine on the blog, but the mortification I felt when I saw the email that went out was enough to make me want to give up on the challenge of the techie parts of my blog. I had to talk myself down from that tree where I was flirting with the idea of running away from it all.  Having recently given my son a pep talk on failure and moving past it, I decided to listen to my own advice and see how I could learn from it.

I chose to show him that what should have been a beautiful email with lovely pictures and how it went horribly wrong. I gave him a glimpse into my failure and then walked him through things that I was going to do differently to try to prevent that from happening next time.

Bringing our kids into our failures, owning up to them, and then letting them see us working through can have a big impact.

We can be our own worst critic and in our family having visual reminders really helps us speak truth to ourselves.  I’ve put together 8 of our favorite phrases to combat fear of failure into a free download for y’all!

Subscriber FREEBIE!


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(For those of you faithful email subscribers, you can simply enter the same email address in the form below again for immediate access to the download.)

Learn thru Failure Cards
8 printable cards with to inspire and equip our children (or ourselves) to overcome their fear of failure in order to learn and grow!

 

 

My favorite way to vacation with kids…

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"Wahoo! This is the coolest place ever, mom!" Jubilant shouts could be heard as we pulled through the trees into an opening that enclosed our hideaway for the next couple of days.  We were hear to unplug, to unwind, and to reconnect as a family. … [Continue reading]

Introducing Children to the Wonder of Prenatal Development

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Mommy, mommy!  Look at my blood. My breath caught in my throat as I heard my daughter screaming this while running in from the backyard. Normally tears accompany blood, but this girl of mine is tough, real tough. I exhaled, as a quick look … [Continue reading]

Easter Finery: Iconic or Idolatrous?

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When I was a young teenager my mother would not let me wear a black party dress.  She told me that it was “too mature” for me.  She said it sent the “wrong message” to the young men.  And yet a century earlier a young girl dressed in black sent the … [Continue reading]

Giving away my favorite preschool resources

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“Mommy, can you do something with me?” It’s a common refrain that I’m hearing these days.  Instead of simply making sure my youngest doesn’t get into trouble, we’ve transitioned quite fully into the phase where she is wanting to do “real school” and … [Continue reading]

How to Get the Most Out of Your Read-Aloud Time

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So you want to read aloud to your kids more...  You understand how important that can be... Where, oh where do you start with growing those precious times of reading aloud to your kids? Here are 6 ways to cultivate your read-aloud times! 1. Keep … [Continue reading]

Why play is so powerful: Easter edition

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Reading and playtime.  They are two powerful forces that shape our minds and tug at our hearts. Read great books to your kids and you ignite the imagination. Encourage play and you take that imagination to a whole new level that cements learning into … [Continue reading]

Why It’s So Vitally Important to Read-Aloud to our Kids!

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Reading aloud is an honored tradition.  Reading together is such a special and intimate activity that we get to do with our children. But with so many things competing for a family's attention these days it is easy to put it on the back … [Continue reading]

Learning to Cast our Cares…

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Lessons for Him, Lessons for Me... “I just can’t do it,” he shrieked completely losing control of his emotions. What should have been a quick, easy task has ended in a fit of tears.  I battle frustration. As I sat talking to this then 6 year … [Continue reading]