Cali – Week 1 Recap & Joshua Tree Day 1 (and some parenting lessons)

I may or may not be writing this post in the hot sunshine by the pool. It’s in the 80s today. Okay I will admit it – I’m at the pool! Can you hear me singing where you are!?

This month seems to have turned into the replacement of June for us back “at home” where we would be at the Mag Greens pool with MomMom every day! (minus MM and our friends boohoo).

The Lord continues to direct our days, of course, and it’s a fun adventure to see what He’s got planned at each stop. Brandon worked a lot this last week so it’s been a blessing to have such a fun RV park (it’s a resort really) that we can enjoy each day and easily stay out of his way.

We like to do our school work in the picnic areas.

And the girls are SO happy to have thick, real grass to dance and play on:

RR enjoys the smooth paved roads for bike rides. Our “field trips” this week have been to Big Morongo Valley Preserve after work one day and Joshua Tree National Park both weekend days!

When we went to Big Morongo for a hike, I saw that we were entering San Bernardino county. How fun. – this is the area where BSF classes first started! 🙂 More on our BSF headquarters visit in Texas here. So many BSF connections. The first day we went to the pool here, I saw a lady reading her BSF notes! I have a feeling my service with BSF isn’t finished and there’s a future calling in that ministry…. we will see :).

Soooo here’s an honest confession for ya: hikes on weekday afternoons haven’t been as successful as B & I dreamed. 🙂 We thought that since he is staying on eastern time, he could get off at 2pm Cali time and we could have the whole afternoon to joyfully exercise, enjoy fresh air, have lengthy conversations about life, and happily skip off together into the sunset. Oh what silly dreamers we are. Haha. Reality is so far below our expectations sometimes. And then when we seem to have no expectations, the Lord goes above and beyond what we can imagine!

We see now that last week’s behavior circus was a chance for us to let go of high expectations and accept that we aren’t perfect. Really intentionally working on our family relationships has been the real focus of this journey. And without the crazy chaos of the past year – so many habits and things that we would have just let go / “ignore” have come to the surface for us to have to acknowledge and plan how to conquer. We want so much to be a witness of the Lord’s love to each other first THEN to others. We want to be more loving, considerate, respectful, in control of our emotions, be quick to listen and slow to anger.

Saying all that – we came to a great reminder as a couple that even though the relationships are the focus more than ever this year…. we can’t control/ force things. We still have to MOSTLY just love love love the kids and enjoy them. Love is both grace and firm yet gentle truth, of course. But we have to think mostly on the good not the bad. We have to look at today and not the past and things we’ve done wrong. We have to believe in our kiddos more than anybody else on earth and see the good in them! Even though we are intentionally looking for progress in the family — we only get there by love.

We are determined to have faith that God’s going to take care of us ALL. These children are HIS so we have to continue to keep them in His hands. I’m learning (again) that if I can’t correct in a godly way because I’m so angry or frustrated then I need to totally zip it or I will truly just make it worse worse worse. The kids need my example more than anger and control.

The anger (of mom) does not bring forth the righteousness of God James 1:20 RJ version

So for those who think this is all rainbows and sunshine – this is one of the hardest things I’ve (we’ve) ever done. And it’s the best work I could ever ask for! We calculated that we have 12 different relationships we are trying to direct and work on between the 5 of us! That’s a lot. But more than being critics – we need to be coaches, cheerleaders, and examples!

We’ve faced the reality of how far we have to go, we’ve had our discouraging hours and the feeling that it’s all impossible and hopeless but as RR reminds me – nothing is impossible with God! (Luke 1:37) We always have hope in Him. We are more than conquerors cuz of Him.

So without further ado – the happy moments of the week that we will focus on:

Here are some memories from Morongo Valley. These pics were after one of our kids informed us they were never going on a hike ever again and just wanted to be dropped off at the beach in NC with their sleeping bag….. and before another child demanded to know why they had to have siblings.

They both did feel guilty right away and turned it right around and the happy moments were great memories!

E pumped this hike out big time! She is growing so much. Can’t believe she will soon be 9.

I guess it’s a real great thing they take turns being unhappy. I can’t imagine all 3 having a tantrum or breakdown at the same time haha. B and I would have to run for the hills. We are learning to just enjoy the happy content moments and push through with prayer the discouraging ones that make us want to pull out our hair.

On this hike we saw a family of deer! This is as close as I could zoom and not be blurry- but they were adorbs! So glad they caught our eyes. See if you can spot them. It’s like I Spy…

I love these snow capped mountains in the distance and it’s so nice to see so much undeveloped land even in CA!

So we finally learned to scratch off trying to do hikes in the afternoons. Now, when B gets off work – we just plop those birds in the pool and try to be as inconspicuous as can be in the corner so they can work out their own afternoon fatigue stuff.

Saturday was our first try at Joshua Tree National Park and it was great!!!

We enjoyed the hike around Barker Dam and loved the little lizards we saw.

The kids love to find the little cozy comfy spots and they loved this Native American exersaucer

We scrambled up all kinds of rocks

And then B got an itch to show us up. See him up there on top in each of these:

We spent the rest of the day near “Hall of Horrors” climbing and exploring.

What an amazing treat the Lord had for us to see this rare and wild kit fox!!!!! I can’t believe we spotted him.

I wish I had my big zoom. He was just ADORABLE! When we zoom into his face it’s just sooo cute. We want him.

And I finally got to pull over and take some pictures up close of the super bloom!!! What an amazing year this is for travel.

Thanks for following along. God is so good and He makes His love and guidance clear every day. We pray to just trust trust trust Him more every day. We don’t have to be perfect – just have to rely on Him more more more.

Tomorrow I’ll post about some of the interesting friends we’ve met and Joshua Tree National Park day 2 ! …..

6 thoughts on “Cali – Week 1 Recap & Joshua Tree Day 1 (and some parenting lessons)

  1. Pingback: Ryan Mountain & Thoughts on Eternity – Rookie Roadsters

  2. Pam Mullen

    You all are experiencing some great life lessons. No doubt these days are making indelible marks on your hearts. I know you can see His hand. Carry on! Have fun.

  3. Pingback: Joshua Tree & More of Cali Week 1 – Rookie Roadsters

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