Let Them Eat Dirt

Everyone in Southern Cali thinks we are crazy!  The campgrounds are booked solid every weekend, yet the beach is deserted.  WE are the only ones in the water … everyday!  It’s true, In fact, arctic winds could not keep us out!  The only people we have seen are those who venture out of their RV’s to take pictures of the loons in the water, an elderly guy who loves the water as much as we do and a couple who were bundled in parkas and gloves!!  The lifeguards have proclaimed our awesomeness (and down right curious nature) and have told us that Californians believe weather in the 70’s and low 80’s to be freezing. The beach is fun, it’s a blast, nothing can keep us away!  We are living it up!  I want to be a Californian!!  But that’s how we approach everything.  The beach would be no fun if we couldn’t play in the ocean.  I like to have my cake AND eat it too~a character trait that my parents found downright infuriating!  🙂

One thing I’ve learned about my family is that we take advantage of every opportunity and blessing, no matter the circumstances.  When we are at the river, we are IN the river … our kids paddled all winter long in drytops and shorts while everyone around them was in drysuits and fleece!  They ran the Shoshone New Year’s Day Paddle, covered in icicles in the same … possibly the youngest crew ever.  They ran a fundraiser for First Descents (if you haven’t heard of FD, google them … incredible organization for young adults with cancer) where they kayaked every day during the month of November, again covered in icicles because November in Colorado is freezing.  Not one complaint!  Kenny was 10, he didn’t even have a drytop … he playboated in November in Colorado at the age of 10 covered in icicles in a semi-dry top because he knew he was healthy and blessed and wanted to help those who weren’t!  They raised $500!

They stood outside Planned Parenthood in the cold and rain and snow and wind for the full 40 Days for Life campaign, at least one hour per day because they were alive and their mom was pregnant with a little baby, who was loved and cherished before we even knew him or held him. They experienced some heckling, but they didn’t care, they knew what they were doing was important.  At the time we were all terrified because there were some complications with my pregnancy and we thought we were going to lose him … I’m getting teary just writing this.  I wonder why it’s a tragedy when a mom miscarries, but not when she aborts, but that’s another blog …

Many miracles occurred during those 40 days … one of which was that Coby was not only alive, but thriving, the other being the purchase of an RV.  Not the fanciest RV, not the best looking RV, not the newest RV, but OUR RV.  We love it.  We take full advantage of it and use it to enhance our already epic life.  Our goal is to be thankful and joyous with whatever gifts God has given us.  Some people assume we are wealthy, we are not, we are creative!  🙂  We think outside the box with the mentality that nothing is impossible!  Try it, its liberating!

Every day is a gift, a blessing and we try to make every day count.  We do this as a family, having fun, in nature.  We are avid outdoorsmen & women and this does not come without some fear and some consequences and some discomfort.  Caving, Dan, Grady & Brody found a deceased man … no lie!  Snowboarding, I separated my ribs (epic pain), but with Vicodin was perfectly capable of hiking Moab three days later for one week! Kady injured her back hitting a jump and was ambulanced off the mountain as a precaution (thank God she was ok).  Kayaking, Dally & Maddy have both had stitches and Grady demolished his fingers last March moving boulders in a creek!  Dan is solid, never injured never hurt-he’s a rock!  We’ve had incomparable adventures, met with some  misfortune.  But these are minor injuries that heal. They don’t hurt our souls or our spirits.  They don’t squash our adventurous nature nor do they make us more fearful! They don’t make us dependent or victims. They make us strong, thankful and more determined to succeed.  We also become more aware!  Most importantly we value freedom to make our own life altering decisions, freedom to screw up, freedom to try again and freedom to reap the rewards when we succeed.  We are lucky, we are blessed!

I read Matt Walsh’s Blog this morning, (We Hate Education) after I had written the entirety of this blog (except for this paragraph) last night and instantly I was blown away!  I realized how completely upside down we are from the mainstream parenting.  How? you inquire.  Well, we let our kids do crazy stuff, some pretty extreme stuff.  You know, you comment on the life we live. To some people we appear reckless.  But then to others we appear overbearing because we keep our kids close. We adore our children, they are our first priority.  We protect them and shelter them, just in a different way.  We don’t shelter them from living … we shelter them from idiocy, evil and cruelty.  Not from disappointment and boo boos.  They win, they lose, they succeed, they fail.  As a result, they live, grow & persevere. They are persistent little buggers!  I’m proud of their mental, physical and moral toughness.

I guess the point of my blog is that kids are amazing, they are resilient and they are tough.  Sure they need boundaries …  but they need to get down and dirty!  They have such passion for life, we should emulate this passion for everything from lego building to kayaking to mountaineering to snack consuming. Kids go at everything they do with such vigor and energy, I’m always amazed at their excitement and creativity!  Honestly, they could solve world hunger if they took a stab at it!  I mean, all the brilliant technology minds are now High Schoolers, right?

Society spends so much time hindering them, labeling them and cautioning them that they feel defeated before they’ve begun.  They are sheltered from all discomfort (no score keeping, awards for everyone) and then wonder why they are such wimps as adults. Yes, I said it.  Failure should motivate instead of devastate.  Inspiration and Independence should be at the core of every person.  Sacrifice ought to be prevalent in every person’s life — sacrifice for love, for children, for elderly parents, for the poor … sacrifice, putting yourself behind others is virtually non-existent in today’s society.    Some bumps and bruises in life make us tough, equip us with the strength and resilience to get through inevitable tough times and know that better times are just ahead!!  🙂


4 thoughts on “Let Them Eat Dirt”

  1. Your family is one of the most amazing I’ve ever met. Surely you come upon obstacles, but every day you are smiling and being joyous, while most choose to mope and complain. I would be eternally grateful to be your mother or father and to have the blessings of such gorgeous faith filled grandchildren. God bless each of you, I pray for you daily.

  2. My husband, 2 children, and myself have also been traveling this Big Country of ours, since 2010. I really Love being able to Roadschool my children. So, far we have made our way through several states, but have not yet reached California, which sounds Wonderful! I can not wait till we get to explore that state. Soon I hope. I can tell you that when I make it there, I will also be jumping in the Ocean, no matter what looks we get 😉


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