I have a confession. I am currently on vacation. I have actually been on vacation for the last 7 days. You couldn't even tell, could you? Well, except that I haven't replied or commented anywhere on the internet. You may have noticed that. I didn't tell you, since I don't know how many thieves are out there, just waiting for me to leave so they can break in and steal all my killer...all my valuable...my antique...yeah. There's nothing worth stealing. Regardless, I'm on my way home, so there's no time for a thief to take anything anyway.
How, then, do I have my 10 Things of Thankful, you ask? Easy. I wrote them before I left, then scheduled them to go live today. It's pretty easy to predict what I'm thankful for on this vacation. Every year, for 11 years now, we go on vacation with another family. It's always a different location, but we always rent a house and do roughly the same things. So, I wrote them early. If anything is different than what I predicted, I shall change it for the Sunday portion of the thankful hop.
Aaaand since I wrote this so very early, I don't have the link-up HTML yet. You're going to have to go to the site of our Hostess with the Mostes' and link up there. Please. Pretty please with sugar on top?
To the list...
10 Things (I Predict) of Thankful
1. I am always thankful for the couple who take such good care of our animals while we're away. When we first moved to the farm, we carpooled to school with a family. It was for one year only, as they went to a different school the following year. During that school year, we were planning on going out of town for Thanksgiving, but had no one to watch the dog and chickens. We mentioned it to the mom of the carpool, and she mentioned her neighbor who dogsits. I called the woman and learned she grew up on a farm, had several grandchildren, and would love to help us out. For eight years, she and her husband have been coming and taking wonderful care of all our animals. Since she grew up on a farm, she knows all about chickens and pigs. She brings her grandkids and they spend an hour out here keeping everyone company. Her husband goes around and fixes things for us, too. Plus, they never go out of town, so they come even on Christmas Day. I could not be more grateful for the love these people show our animals.
2. I am thankful for our annual vacation friends. As you know, C.O.W. and I went to high school together. We vacation with one of our friends from high school. He has a wonderful wife, and they have one child who gets along beautifully with Phoenix. (Can you even believe a family with one child WANTS to vacation with us? We made sure that they always will by making them godparents to Giant and Turken.) He is a Catholic elementary principal, and she is a math teacher. It works out very well. For now. I'm a little worried about what will happen in four years when their only child heads off to college and we still have 5 kids in tow.
3. I am thankful for Lake Michigan. It is an awesome place to vacation. Honestly, it is just like the beach at the ocean, but without the salt in the water. And, it's only 4 hours from our house.
4. I am thankful for VRBO. With this many people, vacationing in a hotel is not practical. So, for years now, (all 11 vacations with this family, plus some others we've taken) we rent houses through Vacation Rentals by Owner. There are wonderful, affordable properties all over the country. We've never had a problem with one, and they have all helped us to have fantastic vacations.
5. I am thankful for late-night card games. Every night of every vacation, after the kids are in bed, we adults stay up and play "hand and foot". We play, we talk, we eat junk food the kids don't know about, and we laugh until way past our normal bedtime.
6. I am thankful for morning walks with the little boys. The little boys go to bed, and thus wake up, way earlier than everyone else in the house. To keep them from waking the entire house, I(C.O.W. needs his beauty rest) always take them on a morning walk. With PJs on, the don some shoes and off we go to explore.
7. I am thankful for this year's house more than any other. This year we managed to rent a Buddhist retreat center for the week. It is on 10 acres, with a private pool (!!!! No public pools for us this week!!!!!), a playground, and wide open spaces to play.
8. I am thankful for peaceful drives. "How can you predict this?" you ask? Because our kids are very used to going on long drives. We have Cross your fingers that no one throws up. That does seem to happen with alarming frequency on road trips.
9. I am thankful for our vacation song. We took very few vacations when I was growing up. The first real family vacation I took with my family (with my dad) was when I was a senior in high school. He borrowed an RV from a friend, and we hopped on down to Myrtle Beach. The RV was just for the trip down. Once there, we stayed in a condo on the beach. As soon as we were on the road, my dad started singing a little ditty he had made up. Basically, we just sing V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!, with the T-I-O-N part being sung really fast. From that point on, every single vacation we have ever gone on (C.O.W. was on that Myrtle Beach vacation with us. By that point, my parents thought of him as a son. Don't worry, separate bedrooms.) has started with that song. My kids actually know how to spell "vacation" before any other word.
10. I am thankful for Lucky Charms and PopTarts. Same Myrtle Beach vacation, we stayed at the condo while my dad went to get groceries for the week. When he came back, we were all in the common room as he started unpacking. He plopped a big bucket of ice cream down on the counter and said, "There will be ice cream!" One of us kids said, "I don't think that will be enough for all of us for a whole week." Dad's response? A very excited, "We'll just buy more!"
Thus started the tradition of eating things we don't normally eat in abundance. Junk cereal is never, ever allowed in our real home. But the vacation home? It is made for it. Before vacation, I take the kids to the grocery store and let them pick out their favorite cereals. We also stock up on Oreos, chips, and candy we don't normally eat. Through this week of vacation, we have devoured Cookie Crisp, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, and Reese's Puffs, as well as some brown sugar cinnamon frosted poptarts. Don't worry, I make them eat some fruit on the side. Don't want to go overboard or anything.
So, what have you been thankful for this week? If you have a blog, link up at Considerer's. If not, just let me know in the comments.
I'll be putting the link into my post as soon as I get home!
Have a lovely day!