McKinney Falls State Park – Thanksgiving 2013
My family seems to be making it a tradition to go camping for Thanksgiving. We’ve done it the past few years and always have a great time. This year we went to McKinney Falls State Park and met my brother’s family, my sister’s family, my mom, and my aunt there for the week. We also broke in our new camper for this trip. It was a little cold and rainy the first few days but then ended up being really nice. We did a little geocaching with the kids, rode bikes, hiked to the waterfalls, and even took a little road trip to Lockhart for some great BBQ. (Black’s and Kreuz’s) It was a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving.
I’m grateful for Jesus, family, friends, camping and our new camper, football games, and time to get away from normal life and remember the things that are truly important.
I had a great conversation with Kasen, my 4yr old boy this past week. We went camping in Cuchara, Colorado and were hiking by a spring on our way back from “Blue Lake.” We took a little break from our hike and I convinced him to get a drink of water right out of the spring.
Kasen: Why can we drink it?
Me: ‘Cause it’s good water. It’s clean. In the Bible, they call it “living water.”
Kasen: Living water?
Me: Yeah, ’cause it moves. . . like it’s alive. It’s not dead like the water in the lake.
Kasen: Why is the water in the lake dead?
Me: ‘Cause it doesn’t move. It’s not good to drink ’cause stuff grows in it.
Kasen: Stuff grows in it?
Me: Yes. In the Bible, the best water to drink came from springs like this one. It’s good for you to drink. It’s healthy and makes you feel better.
Kasen: And it tastes good.
Me: Yeah – and it’s cold too. I like it.
Me: In the Bible, Jesus says He has the “living water.” He is good for us and makes us feel better too.
Kasen: Jesus is the “living water.”
Me: Yeah, He nourishes us and quenches our thirst. Jesus is the best thing for us. Even better than this water.
Kasen: Daddy, Can I get some more water?
Me: Of course. I’m gonna get some with you.
Check out these verses:
John 4:13-14 – “13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 7:37-38 – “37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Summer is the season for road trips and so I thought this little post might be helpful – Or at least a little fun. I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time I load the car, I start feeling a little like Clark Griswold. “We’re all gonna have so much . . . fun we’ll need plastic surgery to remove our . . . smiles.” I think it’s a dad’s job to make sure the family has some fun, whether they like it or not!!
Anyway, here are some of our rules for road trips. I’d also love to hear your ideas. You could make our family road trips better this year!
1. Daddy is in charge of music.
2. Kasen & Kesleigh choose movies which supersede any music choices daddy has. (Well, sort of. Daddy could override but chooses to give Kasen & Kesleigh preference out of his GREAT love for them. . . OK – maybe it also has to do with mommy and daddy’s sanity.)
3. Bathroom stops must be at least 2, NO! wait . . . 3hrs apart. Kasen is still being potty trained and so he can stop and pee on the side of the road whenever he chooses. Kesleigh can pee in her pull-up. Miranda can stop drinking Dr. Pepper!
4. Bucee’s is the best choice for apit stop. All other rest stops are inferior. (One exception: The Czech Stop south of Ft Worth on I-35. Their kolache’s are amazing.)
5. Cherry Sours are vital to daddy’s road health. Judson-Atkinson are the best! (Thanks to my friend Jason Hess for the introduction.)
6. If you must travel with your dog, one should use extreme caution when navigating the “mine field” found in the Bucee’s patch of grass.
7. Good food choices for places to stop include but are not limited to: Arby’s, Braums, and Chickfila if they have a playground.
PS – Louisiana Exit 80 on I-10 used to be on the list, but evidently has a new less cleanly owner.
8. NO STOPPING IF BOTH KIDS ARE ASLEEP!
Extra Rules added by Miranda: 1. Car must be loaded down with Capri Suns, Fruit Snacks, and Dum Dums for kids.
2. Milkshakes should never be placed on the center armrest and then immediately elbowed onto the floor! (My bad baby. I’m sorry.)
3. Country music must be allowed on beautiful sunny days. (Can I veto this one?)
We’ve been in the car a lot lately. Kasen and Kesleigh are pretty good travelers, but on our way back from Ft Worth recently, Kasen had a little meltdown. He was tired of being in his car seat, and kept repeating, “I want you.” to Miranda and I. It’s a phrase that he says quite often when he wants us to hold him, but the number of times he repeated it that day in the car was overwhelming. Sometimes we can get away with just holding his foot, but he was having nothing of it that day. By the end, he was screaming “I want you!!!” over our explanations of why he had to stay in his car seat. He asked. He cried. He yelled. He squirmed. He mumbled. He kicked. Whatever it took – he was willing to try anything to be with us. Unfortunately, for his safety we couldn’t allow it.
Do I scream “I want you!” to God like that? Am I willing to do whatever it takes to be with Him? When I feel trapped, do I cry to Him at all? Or do I just squirm around trying to get myself out of the mess on my own? When I do cry out to Him, what if He remains silent ’cause He sees some sort of danger or purpose that I can’t see?
We had an incredible time on our vacation to Gulf Shores this year! We spent the week with all the Mathews family and even got to spend a couple of days with Gran. (We went up early.) We spent most of our time on the beach or in the pool, (Kasen liked the pool better.) but we also went to the local zoo one day. We decided that if we ever go back, we’ll plan on a special outing at the zoo ’cause they offer an experience where you can play with monkeys for an extra $10. (We were too late to sign up this time around.) Anyway, I posted all the videos below and here is the link for all the pics from our trip: http://cornphotos.shutterfly.com/5456 (Some of them look professional.)
Thought I’d put this up just in case anyone ever wants to go on a cool trip. Miranda and I would be happy to be the guinea pigs – you pay and we’ll go to Fiji to check this place out for you – and we’ll even take plenty of pictures and tell you all about it (or write up a report for you) so you wouldn’t miss out on the best things they have to offer. Any takers?
Week 8 – Well, I guess I’m a quarter of the way now. Down to 227.5 lbs. I have lost 12.5 lbs of the 50 lbs that I need to lose – that’s a fourth of the way – 25%!! Since this is a lifestyle (and lifelong) change, and I’m only 9 weeks in, I figure I’m doing pretty well.
Last week was interesting. I didn’t eat well at all! I was on a mission trip with our youth and I ate anything and everything that I felt like eating. Sometimes (but not always) there were more healthy choices, but in general, I still just ate what I wanted. I knew that I was working hard and sweating like crazy on the work sites for large portions of the day, so my hope was that it would somehow balance out. Luckily, I was right. Even with the bad eating habits, I ended up losing another lb and a half. That puts me @ 227.5 lbs now. I wonder how much I would have lost if I had done well with the eating part too???
No pics this week – something is wrong with the camera. 🙁
Just wanted to post a quick pic of the view I had last week on our camping trip. McKinney Falls State Park is a pretty cool place.
We had 13 youth/adults with us for 4 days worth of camping. It was a great trip. Swimming, Hiking, Hanging with friends, smores, cooking over the fire, a side trip to Volente Beach Waterpark, etc. Good times. I missed my bride and kids, but had a good time too.