Home Grammie more summer independence –the Grammie and Grandfather motor home trip

more summer independence –the Grammie and Grandfather motor home trip

by Shawni

After a LOT of anticipation, and “plan A” and “plan B” falling by the wayside, my parents took Lucy’s “group” of grandkids on their much-looked-forward-to “motor home trip” this summer.

You see, when each “group” of grandkids reaches a particular age, they get to do certain things. At some ages they get more “Grandfather’s Secrets.” At others they work up from an afternoon of “Grammie Camp” to an actual Grammie Camp sleep-over. But I think the highlight for all is the “Motor Home Trip” they get to go on with both grandparents I think supposedly at age 14 (it has changed a little for each “group” according to ages and availability, etc.)

(Yes, I have started warning my kids that their dad and I will never be able to match the wonder and glory of the brand of Grandparenting my parents offer. I know I’m biased but man alive, they melt my heart with the intention they put into Grandparenting….links about that at the end of this post.)

Every “motor home trip” turns out a little different….I think only a couple of them have been with an actual motor home, but hey, they make it work!

Max, Elle and their cousin Ashton were the first group that got to go years ago (Max & Elle are the oldest grandkids, so happily Ashton came along a couple years later so they didn’t have to be the only ones in that group!:). My parents borrowed my aunt’s motorhome and headed to Yellowstone National Park in that thing, learning all kinds of things from my parents and coming home with their group dubbed the “Old Faithfuls.”

Grace’s group (with cousins Isaac and Ana) somehow ended up going to Lagoon for their trip. Ha! Not sure how that happened, but they came back named “The Goonies.” (And they LOVED that trip just as much as Max and Elle loved theirs, infiltrated with all kinds of goodness from those grandparents.)

Claire’s group ended up going to Las Vegas of all places, and I’m so happy I had her write her own little wrap-up of that trip back HERE.

Lucy’s group, the beloved “LELE’s” (Lucy, Elsie, Lyla and Emmeline), had a trip all figured out a couple years ago. My Dad gave the girls all kinds of clues as to where they were going, and they finally guessed (pretty funny story for that if I ever have a chance to share another day), it was also set to be in Las Vegas. But then Covid hit and those plans were foiled.

Those four girls kept wishing and hoping and anticipating and plans got half-way made a couple times, but finally the stars aligned and they got to meet up with those awesome grandparents of theirs this summer (before the reunion), and my parents pulled off the real-deal motorhome thing once again.

This meant that Lucy would need to leave early from our family gathering in California for the 4th of July.

All by herself.

Was she nervous about that?

Nope. In fact she was over the moon about that little fact. She couldn’t think of a better way in the whole wide world to practice her independence.

Was her mother nervous about that?

You bet your boots she was.

But she also knew that girl could make it just fine.

She has flown more than any other kid I know (all those trips guiding her mom or dad around airports getting to and from Wisconsin for all her doctor appointments), and my parents could get a pass to meet her right at the gate when she arrived.

I could also get a gate pass and got to follow her through the longest security line ever and on to the gate.

Pure excitement oozing out.

She had a guy help her put her bag in the overhead compartment, and texted as soon as she landed, and was off on a pretty grand adventure.

They made the rounds to many spots where their ancestors lived, Star Valley, Wyoming I think being the beginning, where they now have a tiny temple:

They overlooked gorgeous beauty in Jackson Hole:

They visited the graves of their grandparents and heard all kinds of stories of their lives, “turning the hearts.”

They visited where the people lives who’s blood runs through their veins.

This particular house is my Grandma Hazel’s:

They swam at Jenny Lake.

And so much more that is really their story to tell.

I hope they will always remember that trip, and being surrounded by those grandparents who fill up their lives with all kinds of goodness. Forever grateful for them and how intentional they are, and that they are such a big part of Lucy’s village.

Grandparenting ideas:

(from my parents)

Grandparenting 101

(My parents are going to start doing a course for grandparenting, which I think is pretty cool. Let your parents know if you think they would like it!)

Ripple effects of Grandparenting

Groups and Grandparents

Other Grandparenting links

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13 comments

Jenny also August 8, 2022 - 9:51 am

This is a great motivator to stay healthy and active now so I can be in good shape to bring joy and connection to my eventual grandchildren when I’m 15-20 years older (And the best rationale I can think of for having kids while young)!

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Laura August 8, 2022 - 9:57 am

I’ve been a long time blog reader and love that your family is so deliberate about having meaningful, memorable moments together! I seem to remember your family doing some trips to do service abroad…do you have a few organizations you would recommend for that? I’d like to see if one would work for us

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Shawni August 8, 2022 - 10:37 pm

We love Family Humanitarian here:https://www.familyhumanitarian.org/expeditions/ (went to Africa with them back here: https://71toes.com/2019/07/africa-introduction-to-why-we-wen/ and I think they do such a great job), and right now we are learning a lot about an organization called CharityVision you can learn more here: https://charityvision.org/. We have worked quite a bit with an organization called Rising Star Outreach here: https://risingstaroutreach.org/ (went to India with them back here: https://71toes.com/2012/07/friday-q-aindia-and-rising-star/). My growing up family worked together with CHOICE Humanitarian, and Dave and I worked with Ascend Alliance (you can google those, that was before blogging days!). I hope that helps!
xoxo

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Laura August 9, 2022 - 2:42 pm

Thank you! I’ll look into each of these. I know keeping up with this blog must take a lot of time, but I sure appreciate the the example your family provides for me!

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Shawni August 23, 2022 - 7:05 am

❤️❤️❤️

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Cindy August 8, 2022 - 1:29 pm

Love this so much. Intentionally doing for their grandkids. I have been a long time reader and admirer for some time. I wish I could enjoy mine but they make me so nervous. How did they travel for so many days ? I just have a hard time babysitting an evening. I do well when the parents are present. I just do not have the ability to “engage”, run out of things to do or to say. Their lives are the richer for their presence. Wish I had that strength in my fiber. Thank you so much for all your sharing. I long to read and to watch the beautiful loving family you all enjoy. Such a blessing.

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Molli August 8, 2022 - 5:07 pm

Cindy please know that just being present for your grandchildren is enough. No need to go on trips or plan long extended activities. Just showing interest in what they are into is enough. Tell them you love them and are proud of them. I always knew My grandparents were proud of me and that was priceless.

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Christine August 8, 2022 - 9:06 pm

I second what Molli said — just being present with them is a great gift! I was very close with my grandparents. They never had the capacity to take me on big trips or things either, but I fondly remember walking on the beach looking for driftwood together, my grandma letting me watch while she cooked and telling me stories, watching world war II documentaries with my grandpa while he told me about his time in the war, etc. Really it was the little moments and knowing that they loved me, were interested in me, and always had my back. One of my fondest memories is the time they invited me to sleep over and wake up at 2am to watch a comet together. It’s something they would have done anyway, but they invited me to be a part of it and it made me feel so special and valued. Anyway, I share all this to say — just show your grandkids you’re interested in them and invite them to do little things with you, I bet they’ll appreciate it more than you know!

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Shauna August 8, 2022 - 9:08 pm

You are present and that is more then a lot of kids can say. My kids great-Grandma (86 years young) has become quite the texter. I am so impressed with the efforts she puts forth to stay involved in her grandkids and great-grandkids lives… All through simple little text messages

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Shawni August 8, 2022 - 10:43 pm

I third what Molli said (and Shauna and Christine too!). Everyone does grandparenting differently and it is the intentional “being present” that matters. It doesn’t have to be in a motor home or even being together physically (love Shauna’s sweet great-Grandma’s texting involvement!), just knowing what is going on in their lives, asking questions, being engaged. That kind of thing can just mean so much to kids! Good luck with that bonding, sending on over lots of love for you as well as for those grandkids!
xoxo

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kt August 9, 2022 - 4:44 pm

We live thousands of miles away from my elderly parents (who are definitely NOT up for any of the things these awesome grandparents do!). One thing my mom has done is she reads to my kids every day over lunch. We homeschool, so we can do it daily, but maybe a Sunday book date would work if they are in traditional school. We’ve read dozens of great chapter books this way, and everyone loves it. It gives my kids and my mom a shared story to talk about, and my kids feel like they see my parents all the time, even though they see them at most one week a year.

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Katie August 21, 2022 - 4:49 pm

Cindy, I have a grandma and grandpa who are both quiet, and so am I. We don’t have lots to talk about but we see each other often and those relationships get built regardless. My kids mow their lawn now, so we catch up a bit each week. And they remember all the things my kids are into (though they struggle with names now!) and smile and make us feel like a million bucks, even with few words. When they do open up about their past experiences I just LOVE it. They think they’re boring us but we all love to hear about life in high school, the navy, what work was like, what they did for holidays, etc. So keep trying and it’s ok if it’s just a little bit at a time.

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Shawni August 23, 2022 - 7:07 am

Love all these comments. I love that connection can come in so many different ways.
❤️

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