Maiden Voyage :: A Daybook Following our First Camping Trip of the Summer!

by | Jun 12, 2014 | Camping, Daybook, Motorhome, Pentecost | 16 comments

Outside my window… 
Our family arrived home Monday night after spending four days and three nights at a beautiful, secluded campground in the midst of an old growth forest along the river. This particular campground is a favorite of my parents and they suggested it might be a fun place to visit for our “maiden voyage” in the motorhome!

I am thankful… 
that we weren’t camping in tents and I had driven the van, otherwise I wouldn’t have made it through even the first night. Rose ended up coming down with a high fever around 2am and my husband ended up leaving the campground to make a 2 hour round trip to the closest 24 hour store to purchase Tylenol, while I kept cool rags on her forehead. We have quite a long list of things to remember to pack next time!

I am thinking… 
We should have known better than to plan a camping trip the day after swimming lessons ended.  I guess I thought we’d make it through without catching any bugs this year since the classes were smaller. . .  Rose felt better by morning, but the next evening Chiquita started throwing up and Bud had a runny nose. Once again I considered driving home, but at least we had a bathroom for her to use in the motorhome and if I left with the van the rest of the family would have had a difficult time getting to Mass Sunday morning. Ultimately we ended up staying and I stayed at the campground with the sick ones while Sean took the rest to Mass on Pentecost. Thankfully it was a quick moving virus and it didn’t seem to last for more than 24 hours for anyone, except Bud who is still fighting a runny nose.

Learning all the time…
Sickness wasn’t the only challenge we had. Half way to the campground I called my Dad to ask a question and he asked if we remembered to fill up the water tanks. . . ummmmm.  no.  we hadn’t. Thankfully the gas station we stopped at to fill up the gas and propane tanks had water available too.  whew!  It was a good thing too.  On Sunday our campground and everyone else in the area was without running water do to some plumbing issues up the mountain.  The water faucets and bathrooms were all out of service for the day. The whole weekend was a learning experience when it came to operating the motor home, but I think we are starting to figure it all out!

Celebrating the liturgical year…
It was interesting spending Pentecost in the forest!  While Sean took most of the children to Mass I stayed at the campground with Bud and Chiquita.  I built a campfire to heat water for white cocoa, washed strawberries, and filled a paper tray with some white donuts.

I had also packed along some candles, strawberries, whip cream, and angel food cake for a simplified version of our usual cake, though we kept the “mighty wind” to a minimum since a couple of the kids were still not feeling well.

My parents actually met up with Sean and the kids at Mass and drove up to stay the last night in their motorhome, which kept me from heading home on Sunday afternoon! 😉

We had so much fun playing Apples to Apples, roasting marshmallows, and listening to all of Grandpa’s stories around the campfire. 

From the kitchen… 
I learned how to operate the motorhome stove and cooked the eggs inside…

…while Sean cooked the delicious Applewood Smoked Bacon outside! 

I am working on… 
a separate post with all the pictures from our hike on Saturday.  I already have way too many pictures in this post! 🙂

I am creating…
Snuggles enjoyed creating boats to send down the river.

So did Captain… when he wasn’t busy skipping rocks.

Ranger had fun fishing…

… while the girls learned all about Grandpa’s various hand-tied flies.

I am going…
to have to talk my my Mom and Dad into coming camping with us more often. It was such a treat for the kids to have this special time with their grandparents!  

I am hoping…
to see a beating heart in the morning. ♥

I am praying…
for the baby.  I haven’t been feeling nauseous this week and that has me worried.  Please continue to pray for us.  I will be going in tomorrow morning for a 3rd ultrasound.  Last week’s ultrasound didn’t go as well as I had hoped it would.  {Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary. . .}

I am reading…
not much.  Please forgive me if I owe you an email. After being offline for days (we didn’t even have cell phone service at the campground) I’m even further behind than usual.

Pondering these words…
from Mother Teresa:

“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

I am listening… 
flowing water, forests alive with birds singing, wind through the tall trees, crackling campfires, the hum of the mosquitoes, and happy children!  I love (almost all) the sounds of camping!

Around the house campsite…
Chipmunks!  Bud had so much fun watching them each day.

One of my favorite things…  

This week’s plans…

  • Monday: Arrive back home from Camping!
  • Tuesday: Laundry, laundry, laundry. . . 
  • Wednesday: Doctor’s appointment for me (Blood Tests) in the morning. Friends coming for lunch and to visit for the afternoon! 
  • Thursday: My 3rd Ultrasound in the morning and another doctors appointment in the afternoon. 

A little peek at my day
The campground had an amazing children’s play area and I took some pictures of the children playing just before we packed up to head home on Monday. 

Despite the challenges we had such a great time creating wonderful memories as a family.  I’m looking forward to our next trip, wherever it may be! 


  1. Tracy Bua Smith

    WOW! You had all that going on AND you still managed to take such great photos and blog about your wonderful trip! That's quite impressive! 🙂 I will say a prayer for your baby and the ultrasound. This post of camping and sickness reminded me of when our family went camping several years ago and my husband and one of my children were emptying the contents of their stomach. 🙁 Thank goodness we stayed in our in-laws stationary camper and we ended up surviving the trip. Here is that post if you are interested in reading it and have a second:

    2014-06-12 03:31:50

  2. Elizabeth C,

    Prayers! And lots of them. Love the pictures, but so sad some of the kids fell ill. Being sick while camping is not fun, but it IS better in an RV LOL. I haven't posted in a while and I just shared our news on FB recently…but God has saw us worthy in blessing us with another child. Yep, we are also expecting, due in early January. If you remember our last pregnancy ended in miscarriage :-(. Now 3 years later another baby, wow! I could still use some prayers though. Victor still hasn't been able to return to work and he is facing another surgery. That and because he has extended his year; our medical insurance was cancelled. Yes, right after we found out we were expecting. We are in awe of God's timing and are trying to LET GO AND LET GOD 🙂

    2014-06-12 03:52:53

  3. Eileen

    Hello Jess, I haven't checked on you for a while. I so enjoyed all your pictures of the family and beautiful campsite. I am reminded of when your mom and dad brought you kids to Silver Lake, in the Sierras, and you were there less than an hour when your brother Sean cut himself and had to be taken "down the mountain" for stiches. I pray your baby will be safe and healthy. Eileen

    2014-06-12 04:55:57

  4. Megan

    Oh my how I can relate, except we had to actually pack up a couple times when we attempted to tent camp with our little ones (8, 6, 4, 2, 3 months). I forgot extra coats and pajamas one trip. It rained and we risked hypothermia if we stayed…I got to drive home. Luckily it was only over an hour away. Another time one tent was leaking and after being soaked during a hike we packed up and drove home…got ice cream on the way back 😉 Most destinations are a couple hours or more. I too did not think about brining Tylenol! I will have to put that on my packing list. How do you organize everyone's clothes etc. when you go? I over pack, especially pants and socks. Those tend to get wet fast. Towels are our friends for car sickness. I have to pack layers because the nights get into the 40's. In Alaska during the summer the high is in the 50's and 60's. It can be sunny one minute and then a sudden down pour of rain for hours. Most of the summer is full of mostiquitos, over cast skies, rain, and it being light out until 2am. The hiking trails, views, mountains, awesome people, wildlife, and beauty make-up for the weather. Thinking about you and Baby too!

    2014-06-12 07:27:59

  5. Eliana

    Praying for a good ultrasound!

    2014-06-12 09:40:19

  6. Theresa

    That playground look wonderfully fun!! (no hover parent in sight 😉

    2014-06-12 12:33:20

  7. Christine

    What wonderful memories! You and your baby continue to be in my prayers.

    2014-06-12 12:52:41

  8. ELMsTreehouse

    FUN!!!!! I sure miss our RV. Hope you have great fun with yours! Blessings and prayers for you and little baby.

    2014-06-12 13:40:06

  9. Christine M.

    Praying for you and your baby (and whole family). I hope everyone is feeling better. It looks like such a beautiful area, and I loved the quote. I often find myself wishing I was in the middle of the forest. I grew up surrounded by nature, and it is so relaxing…the quiet and peace and calm…easier to see God in everything. God bless!

    2014-06-12 13:53:53

  10. Melanie

    beautiful camping…I have never seen square marshmallows! lol! praying for reassuring news about baby today.

    2014-06-12 14:09:17

  11. Ali

    I love your camping pictures. We hope to go camping with the kids this summer too but we shall see how it all pans out. (BTW: I think in the fishing picture you meant Ranger – not Rascal). Prayers for you and your family. Babies are so much fun. Congratulations.

    2014-06-12 14:20:16

  12. jbc2789

    Lifting you and your baby up in prayer today. That first trip in a camper is definitely a learning experience! It took several trips for us to finally get our act together and remember everything! Glad everyone is feeling better!

    2014-06-12 14:25:03

  13. Krista

    Bummer on the sickness!!! 🙁 Talk about timing…. Your pictures are so wonderful and the gorge looks similar to one not too far from where I live – they ARE gorgeous!!! LOVE SMORES and campfires! It reminds me of Snuggles' birthday cake last year! (I wonder what he's going to have THIS year for his party soon!!!!) PRAYING for a good ultrasound!!!!! I know all too well that worry…. May God give you peace and grace and strength whatever the outcome/result of your testing. Blessings!

    2014-06-12 14:37:21

  14. Jessica Gordon

    You are right! I just fixed it! I am having such a hard time with the nickname change, which is one of the reasons I haven't changed "Snuggles" yet. (Thankfully he doesn't seem to mind it.) Thanks! 🙂

    2014-06-12 14:40:14

  15. Mom2Seven

    Jessica, my heart skipped a beat when I read this… prayers for you and your little unborn one. +JMJ+

    2014-06-12 17:10:51

  16. Ellie

    Praying and praying for the baby, Jessica. {{hugs}}

    2014-06-13 01:15:56


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