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The best thing that you can give your children, next to good habits, is good memories. ~Barbara Johnson

My mother always told me that it wasn’t a real vacation for a grown woman with children in tow. I used to really begrudge that supposed wisdom. But over the years I’ve found a way to turn it around to the positive.

Today I’m presenting a vacation package for everyone – all inclusive. These ideas can be implemented for the every day. Take what you need. Whether you are near the surf or right on your own turf. Just snippets of time are all a mama gets on vacation. All a mother gets any day of the week. But if you know that ahead of time, you can make the most of it. And if you make the most of it, you will, in turn, build beautiful memories for your family.

Start with just the basics. Simplify so you can enjoy your vacation. Enjoy your family even with all the needs of children.

Food. Clothing. Rest.

Food. Plan to be spontaneous. We proved the fine example Kerri set in her series. We made a last minute decision to head to the beach. Since I already had our menu plan set, we just loaded up the ingredients and took off.

Make a simple menu plan so you don’t have to think. (Here’s a few to get you started). Make it your own by adding in dinner out and your favorite meals. You can sip your coffee watching the sun rise and already know what’s for supper that night. The whole week stretching ahead of you. You can slip out the sliding glass door and head to the shore, your crock pot taking care of all the hungry needs ahead of time. Maybe on your own turf, this gives you the freedom to pack up for a picnic.

Clothing. Keep it simple. Take only three outfits for everybody. Honey, nobody is going to be seeing you on your family vacation. If you need a nice outfit, wear it on your traveling day. Then, when you get there, you have a break from laundry for a couple of days. Did you hear that? A couple of days! Though I do like Kim’s idea for vacation laundry. She said each day of vacation everyone brought their own laundry down. Piled all the clothing in together and wash. Then everybody carries up their clean clothes the next day. On our own turf, we follow a laundry habit in our before 8:45 list.

Rest. We all think that we get to sleep in on vacation. Realize ahead of time this may not be the case. Especially with little ones. It’s ok though. The benefits of rising early? You can watch the sunrise. Also, you will probably want to stay up late and star gaze.

Accept that vacation may mean sleep deprivation. Soak up your time, enjoy, and then,  just take a nap. The same applies not only on vacation but on your own turf as well.

One habit my husband and I started a few years ago on vacation is taking turns for morning walks on the beach. That was the one vacation indulgence I really missed. Heading out for an early morning solo walk on the beach. So we struck a deal. Take turns. One heads out for some beach quiet time. The other leads the herd in breakfast, bathing suits and sunscreen slathering. On your own turf – maybe there is something you and your spouse could take turns with.

Keep your home habits. While at the beach we still have Quiet Time. It’s the hottest part of the day, don’t we all need to rest? Followed, of course, with Afternoon Iced Coffee.

The point is the attitude of vacation. Realize that you really will only have snippets of what we all consider true vacation. Lounging and leisure do not go hand in hand with a Hodgepodge full of children.

While on vacation last week, I was worn out every night. But I took a few minutes to write down things I was grateful for. My beach journal kept me focused on just how blessed we are. At home we practice family journaling.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more…It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend… ~ Melody Beattie

You can indulge in small slices of vacation right where you are. A mama on vacation right on your own turf. Refreshed so you can build good habits and good memories for your children.

Next week, here on Habits, we’ll talk about goal planning for the school year while on vacation – or on your own turf. Goal setting for homeschool, life skills, even Mama goals. I know Kerri gets away by herself to do this over the summer. I grab my coffee and spiral notebook. Get up early on vacation to watch the sun rise while all’s still quiet…

If you are headed out of town, lucky thing you, then you can use the specifics I’ll be offering on Hodgepodge. A virtual vacation over the next week.