You Must Do This

From the archives because this is the week Eldest Son goes on his twelve year old trip.

Make the plans, slowly set aside the money, move forward praying through the obstacles…

Soak up the reward, laugh and laugh, enjoy the freedom to focus your time, twirl and play, relax and be honest, channel the investment in your child’s life…

Revel in each detail falling into place and recognize the One who designed three days you couldn’t possibly have…

Hug that girl super tight ‘cause she’ll only be twelve once.

~August 2009


Mother/Daughter Trip: We’d always wanted to mark this milestone birthday in a special way. Twelve is that age when a child is no longer a little kid but just on the brink of really growing up. Choices will be made and standards set in these next short years we are privileged to parent her. Read Hodgepodgedad’s thoughts on growing up here.

Just as we were pondering the importance of the occasion, our friends shared about a special trip they were planning for their 12-year-old son. Each of their children get to pick anywhere in the continental U.S. for a two to three day get-away. Special time for just the child and the parent to go away and have fun and talk about the growing up years.

This was an answer to our prayers and wonderings. So for about a year and a half we planned this three day get-away for our daughter and me. We will plan a special trip for each of our children when they turn twelve.

Since our friends have already explained it so well, please click over and read these two entries.

Here’s a detailed description at Christian Book Distributors of Dennis and Barbara Rainey’s ‘life-changing getaway with your preteen':

Our eldest chose Disney! She and I went off to Orlando, praying tropical storms steered clear and that she and I would have such fun building incredible memories. (Which, as you can see above, we sure did!)

Proverbs 4:23:

23 Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.

Oh the blessing of a parent/child trip! Plus these gifts…

2447. praying for, thinking of Hodgepodgedad and Eldest Boy at the Creation Museum!

2448. all the many blessings of a drama filled week!

2449. a package from All Things Beautiful and participating in Pay it Forward (post to come soon!)

2450. a package filled to the brim with Tapestry of Grace Year 2!

2451. officially finishing up our homeschool year.

2452. Looking forward to summer activities ahead, Vacation Bible School and more.

2453. my $5 Dinners friend Erin scheduled to be on The View this Friday.

2454. a family reunion full of fun! Cousins, cousins, cousins! The whole bunch of us together for an afternoon.

2455. the children finding this tiny guy and releasing him back to his spot by the creek.

2456. cousins in the creek.

2457. and snow cones afterwards!

2458. Aunts and uncles who plan, prepare and host an annual family get together.


…love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life” (Deut. 30:20)


  1. 1


    We had a similar thing when Katie turned 16. We had a sweet 16 birthday party, which was a square dance complete with a caller. It was lovely and sweet and she was so happy to be innocent and a modest young lady.
    I cannot tell you how much of an inspiration you are to me. I love your weeks, your advise, your gratitude, your devotion. Thank you for sharing your gifts.

  2. 2


    What a wonderful idea! I’d already thought about a “big” trip — to Europe or Britain — when each girl reached 15 or so, but the continental U.S. and the age 12 sound much more doable. What sweet memories you have of your eldest girl, and for each child thereafter!

  3. 3


    Phyllis – Katie’s sweet 16 sounds wonderful! And Ellen, a European visit sounds like a dream! Thank you both for your kind comments, friends! Just made me tear up about sweet memories.

  4. 4


    This is a wonderful plan!! Thank you for sharing it with us!! I better start planning now. I can’t believe it but 12 is not to far off for my oldest!!

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