Thursday, July 14, 2011

Off On Another Adventure!

Here is my son leaving for his survivor camping trip this weekend. He's been pretty excited about this trip for a few months now.
Here he is with the crew. Ready to begin their journey! Here are the rough plans...they are starting out with an all day hike in Western Maine ending up at a lake. Then from the lake they will meet up with the boat and head to a camping site. Later, my husband will meet up with the them with my other sons.
I'm very happy that my husband has been able to get the time off to go on this father/son camping adventure. With me finding out we were expecting baby number 6 a month before this trip was supposed to happen, I mutually agreed to give up my part time daycare job so the extra money never was there to afford for the boys to take this trip. When my husband let the group's leader know that we weren't going to be able to do the trip because of the lack of funds, they graciously offered us a full scholarship for the boys to still go.

What a blessing because Brandon has been studying a ton of botany as well as survival information all on his own this year. I'm usually asking him if he's finished with his Algebra and he usually will respond that he's almost done with the lesson but he was in the middle of researching some cool project like how to make a pillow out of cat tails!

Bringing Brandon home to homeschool this year was quite a process. I have prayed hard that he would have a heart for home and family at a time when most teenagers want nothing to do with their families and only want to hang out with their friends. It has been an exciting year watching him develop his own thoughts and interests free from a "school's agenda". While we have the required subjects he has been free to explore God's amazing creation as he wishes. He has also taken a huge interest in playing the piano which makes my spirit soar everytime he plays. We bought a DVD piano instructor and he has learned so much from that course. Learn and Master Piano has been well worth the money we paid. They offered an incredible "buy one get one course free" last year so my other son is taking their guitar course and loving that!

But back to the packing which is my reason for writing this post today! My husband has been doing a ton of packing and really that's all it seems we've been discussing for several months now is "do you have everything you need?" With Brandon's big trip out west and now this survivor, father/son "Future Men" camping trip, there are a lot of lists and a lot of supplies we needed to either find or buy.
It had me thinking a lot back to one of my first Mom to Mom meetings I went to back when Brandon was just a toddler. The leader did a Bible study on filling our children's hearts with God's love. She told us to think about each day in our mind as though we were packing our children's bag to leave our home. What were we filling our child's "suitcase" with? It has made me pause each day to reflect on what we did that day and what my children may have come away with. What had I done wrong? How could I make tomorrow a better day? What had we done right? What did we do to enjoy our life together? How did we see God show up in our life that day? Did I use a "teachable moment" appropriately or did I waste yet another opportunity to teach my kids about God?
Because the truth is...the children grow up way too fast. Before we know it they're packing their REAL bags and the leaving is real. We are just in "trial mode" right now. Releasing our son little by little turning him off on his own on his journey to manhood.
What have we packed in his bags? Hopefully good things that will carry him forward for a lifetime. A love for adventure, hard work, honesty, integrity; love for God, family, country. Just a few things hopefully one might find packed in our son's bags!
Have a great trip Brandon! May you come away with many wonderful memories to carry with you for a lieftime!

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