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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our Second Home

We took our first camping trip with the kids in 2008.  We loaded up our tent that we had used so many times in our back yard and went to Mena Ark.  It was a lot of work but so worth it.  We didn't take another camping trip until a year later, and this time we had our newly purchased pop-up camper. It was used but new to us and so much easier than the tent! For the next 2 years, we took that pop-up all over the place and made so many amazing memories together as a family.  We loved our camper, but as our kids grew...and they did a lot in that two years...it seemed to get smaller and smaller.  Jeff and I decided that we wanted to make the most of the years that we have with our kids, and we wanted them to be enjoyable for all of us.  We started talking about getting a full sized camper, and on a weekend trip for the two of us to Hot Springs for Christmas shopping, we purchased a one.  We had no intent to buy...we just wanted to look at some.  We ended up spending a few hours at the dealership and left there with a new camper.  Well, we didn't actually leave with the camper because we were in my car and not the truck, which we would need to pull it.  We had to go home that weekend without that camper, and it was extremely hard for both of us, especially because we had decided to keep it a secret from the kids until we brought it home.  A couple of weeks later, Jeff and I drove back to Hot Springs and back in one day to bring the camper home.  I will never forget the surprise and joy on the kids' faces when we pulled in with it and when they stepped inside it for the first time!  We slept in it in our driveway that night.
From December of that year until August, we averaged one camping trip a month.  It has been great to have the extra room to invite the kids' friends to join us for some of our trips. 
New Year's Eve
Lafayette
First time to camp with our friends, Jodi and Candace
Jan.
Ruston
Madison's Birthday
Feb
Lake Claiborne
We took our neighbor's son, Josh, with us, and Madison's boyfriend, Trent, met us there one day.
March
Lake Bruin
Kinley joined us for this trip.
April
Lake Claiborne
Camped with our friends, Jodi and Candace, again.  We also took Josh as well as another friend, Devin, with us.
June
Bastrop
Madison and Patrick were both with friends, so Jeff and I took Carter and Josh camping.
July
We met Jodi and Candace, along with their families, in Alexandria. Kinley went with us.
 
July
Lake Claiborne
Madison's boyfriend, Austin, and his family met us for the day while we were here.  We also took Josh and Blake with us. We had a great time with the boat, tubes, and knee boards!
August
Branson
This year we decided to take the camper on our summer vacation again because saving money that we would have spent on hotels allows us to do more fun things while we are there. The campground was right behind the main strip yet hidden behind a fence.  It was the both of best worlds and turned out to be an amazing trip!!!
 
I feel so blessed to be able to take our children some of the places that we have been able to because of our camper and look forward to many new places to come!

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