Monday, May 23, 2011

Road Trip Tips

As we prepare for a cross-country journey, I thought I'd share a few of the things that help Team Tapper survive...even enjoy...long road trips!

1. Packing Lists

I am a list maker. If it is not on my list, it may very well go undone. I found this packing list which includes space for specifying four children! What a help!

2. Van rules

Here is our version (simple and to the point):

3. Recorded Stories

My aunt gave us a box of old Adventures in Odyssey audio cassette tapes a while back. We have been enjoying them in the car. For a long trip, we also enjoy downloading stories or books onto our mp3 player (which plays through the van sound system thanks to our handy cassette converter plug). Storynory is a unique website with downloadable classics and traditional fairytales as well as contemporary, original stories. (For our upcoming trip, I gathered, among others, a few traditional favorites like Cinderella, Snow White, and Aesop's Fables. Andrew has still not heard or become familiar with some of these stories and, sometimes, doesn't "get" allusions to these narratives. It will be fun to listen to them together!)

4. Snack packs

I pack each child's lunch box full of all different snacks. Some are truly healthy. Some are sweet treats. We have various points during our trip where we invite them to take something out of their snack pack. They can choose whatever they want at each time (and it always kind of amazes me how they don't just eat up all the junk first!)

5. Activity packs

In addition to their lunch boxes, we bring their backpacks with various activities. For this trip, I made up individual notebooks for each child. Each one contains a pencil case (with markers, pencils, an eraser, and a sharpener), math worksheets, a license plate chart, mazes, coloring pages, mosaic sticker sheets, writing paper, and blank paper. We also include books, a few small toys, and some travel games in their activity backpacks.

6. Family games

Some of our favorite road trip games include the following:

I Spy, I'm going on a picnic... (alphabet game), I'm thinking of (Yes/No question/guessing game), Find the ABCs, counting cars (or finding a specific color/style), I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with...(guessing game), and random trivia.

Perhaps these ideas might be helpful to someone else. I'm wondering if you might have some ideas that would also benefit others...What do you do on your family road trips?????

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Few Reasons Why I Love Sundays

worship services
shared meal and conversation with friends
going for a run (with my son)
simple suppers
Simon Says
early bedtimes...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I've had the following poem posted at different places around my house for some time now: near the computer, the microwave, the mirror, the washing machine. It orients me.

...If, on our daily course, our mind

Be set to hallow all we find,

New treasures still, of countless price,

God will provide for sacrifice.

The trivial round, the common task,

Will furnish all we ought to ask,

Room to deny ourselves, a road

To bring us daily nearer God...

from Morning Hymn by John Keble

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Andrew's hockey season is almost done. He is learning a lot and enjoying himself, too. He's been playing solid defense but also likes to get in a few goals, too. As a bonus, watching his games is great fun for the whole family! This weekend's tournament involved two heart-stopping 1-goal games. One ended in a regulation win and the other in an overtime (shoot-out) loss. Andrew was picked as a shooter in the shoot-out and SCORED an important goal for his team! Unfortunately, the other team's players scored more, but Andrew's coaches gave him the MVP award for that game. Hooray, Andrew!