So Far, So Good

Due to Adventures in Odyssey, the kindness and creativity of friends, and McDonalds ice cream, we had a good trip to Whidbey Island.  Our friends dropped off a travel box with a bag for each of the five younger children and another combined bag for the older kids.  As we drove out of town, we opened a card with instructions telling the kids to open one gift each hour.  The gifts were numbered and had a question on the outside that had to be answered before they could open the package.  Some of the questions were “What do you most like about your Dad?” and “What are you most looking forward to on this trip?” and my favorite, “What do you like most about your Mom?”

The kids loved this and looked forward to each hour passing.  There were journals, Mad Libs, treats, and even Flarp “noise putty.”  I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what kind of noises we enjoyed for the three hours following opening those packages.

We stopped in Ellensburg for a bathroom break and ice cream, arriving at the ferry dock just in time to see the last car drive  on the boat,which put us at the front of the line for the next one.  Happily, it was still light when we got to the lovely vacation home.  We quickly unloaded the big van, then Russ and the kids made a dash down the path to the beach while I made a simple dinner.

Sweet Pea arrived from Seattle later that night and we stayed up talking until none of us could keep our eyes open.  She is here for a couple of days and has one more day in surgery before taking a month off to work on her residency application and catch up on three years of lost sleep.  The other big kids will join us as they are able to get away from work. (Kids, if you are reading this, we miss you!  The beach is great, the house is beautiful, hurry to get here!)

The kids have spent hours on the beach today which is a huge improvement from last year when Honeybee declared it to be “gross” and “stinky.”  She is not a fan of seaweed.  Last week she told me that she was now a “family girl” and was going to have fun on our family vacation.  It makes me realize just how far she has come in the past year.  She even asked me recently if I would write a post about how she has become a “big girl” and I need to do just that.

Russ and I are going to take a walk down the road while Sweet Pea holds down the fort.  I’m still holding my breath a bit, but so far, vacation is going well for Dimples.  She has been alternating between playing with her siblings and hanging out with the adults.  She has played numerous games of Solitaire and just wrapped up a few rounds of Dutch Blitz with Russ.  There are no friends to call, no computers to play on (laptops are off limits), and no movies to watch (unless we get desperate).  There is a great beach, volleyball on the lawn, fun treats to eat, and blackberries to pick.

Little Man just came to me and said, “Mommy, if you need to buy anything, don’t use your money.  You can use mine,”and he unfolded his hand revealing a quarter and a penny.

It’s getting even better.  He came back while I was proofing this, sat next to me and said, “Mommy, if you want to buy something really badly in your heart, you can just ask me and I’ll buy it for you with my money.  I get to do all the paying and you get to have it.  I’ll do all the shopping.”

This is a good day.

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This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Kim
    August 1, 2011


    I've been seeping myself in your attachment and trauma section this morning (we're home 1.5 months with our 8 yr old and S.T.R.U.G.G.L.I.N.G.) and after feeding my small ones, I'm right back to it. I was so glad you are having a great day and praying that your family vacation is everything you hoped. Thank you so much for all you do for us and blessings!

  2. Mary
    August 1, 2011

    A mother's heart, full to bursting I bet. So happy for your very happy day!

  3. mommafoster
    August 1, 2011

    So happy for you! Praying it continues!

  4. coffeemom
    August 1, 2011

    Love this. Love it! The beach seems to be so soothing perhaps especially for our kids from hard places or w different needs. So glad for you!

  5. Mama D's Dozen
    August 1, 2011

    So glad that your vacation has started out so well. The fun gifts to open every hour on the road sounds like a wonderful treat. And, our kids (big and little) have enjoyed Adventures in Odyssey for the past 20+ years. They have highlighted many, many miles of our road trips across America.

    Hope to see you soon. I'll pop you an email.

    Laurel 🙂

  6. Phyllis
    August 1, 2011

    Absolutely precious of Little Man!! Praying that the rest of your vacation will be just what you and Russ need.

  7. Paula
    August 1, 2011

    That whole experience sounds just wonderful. Hope all continues to go well.

  8. Laura
    August 2, 2011

    Hope it continues and that the good weather does too. It's like summer finally arrived in Western Washington—guess we will have more than 78 mins!

  9. jen
    August 9, 2011

    Little Man = awesome!


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