Sunday, June 7, 2015


Chris and I had the amazing experience to be a Ma and Pa for our church's youth Trek trip. We left our kids with Grandma Dixie (a Saint!) dressed up as pioneers, 'adopted' 7 teenagers, pushed a handcart, walked a lot, slept in tents and used porta-potties for 3 days.

We feel we were blessed with such great, helpful, kind, interesting, strong, smart kids for our Trek Family. They were all kind of quiet - well, all but one. Emma Grace doesn't fit that word.  I really surprised myself with how quickly and how strongly I loved each one, like my own child.  I was worried about being able to really love them, because sometimes I think teenagers can be a little obnoxious in large group settings from an I-just-met-you kind of standpoint. But with these kids, I could see their strengths and their hearts and I just loved them - Emma, Kobe, Tyson, Derrick, Madelyn, Brody and Jessica.  Chris and I had so much fun talking with them, playing with them, working with them, dancing with them and just watching them.

Another pleasant surprise from the Trek experience was how great it was to just be with Chris.  I love that guy. I loved watching him interact with our Trek kids. He's a great conversationalist one-on-one and loves to look out for the hurting ones. He is a great square dancer, a willing partner-in-crime to whatever I wanted to try, a master packer, and the best kind of quiet leader. I love camping with him as it provides him with many chances to "save me" from the bugs and spiders. Oh, and he looks so HANDSOME in pioneer clothes.

The hard parts were bugs, fear of bug bites, a little chaffing, the heat, and trouble sleeping super great at night. But those aren't so bad. I loved being out in nature, wearing long swishy skirts, feeling a breeze on my face under a bonnet and holding Chris' hand as we walked. I loved the adrenaline rush of getting the handcarts over tricky parts of the trail - over big ruts, through streams, between trees, etc. We even had to unload most of it and tie it to a rope to get it down and back up a big, steep gully. My favorite physical part was the awesome challenge of pushing/pulling the handcart during the Womens-Only pull. I wish it could've been longer. My daughters and I pushed away some of the kind but unnecessary offers of help and did most of it by ourselves! Chris was great and respected our wishes and only helped when he absolutely had to...which he (and another Pa) did or we would've had a run-away-cart on our hands.

Trek was a BEAST to prepare for (making most of my clothes, gathering all the supplies, getting our real kids taken care of, etc..) and some things I would do differently but I would be happy to be involved again. If Chris is with me, I'm game for almost anything.

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