Planning a Road Trip

One of my favorite things is to plan trips. I love dreaming about places to go and making lists. Each summer we take a big road trip, sometimes it involves camping, sometimes not. This year it does. We will be taking 3 weeks to travel and camp. My oldest child will be in Austin, TX for the month of July, and we are going to roadtrip from Seattle to Austin to pick her up, then come home again.

When planning a road trip the first thing I do is decide where to go. This year we have a particular place to go already built in, so this was easy for us. A couple years ago we just decided to go to the Grand Canyon because we never had before, and then visit all the other National Parks in the areas along the way. Cost can make a big difference in where you go. Disneyland is going to be a bigger budget trip than camping in Yosemite. Both are awesome, but very different.

Once you have a destination(s) in mind, you have to choose a route. Depending on how far away your destination is, you may need to decide how long to take to get there. Sometimes we roadtrip for just a couple hours and stay in that area for a whole week (like a trip to Ocean Shores). For this years trip to Texas the most direct route is well over 2,000 miles. I know I will not be attempting to do this in 2 days.

This is where I usually start a trip on Roadtrippers. I put in my starting point and destination, then start exploring things to do/see along the way. I like camping, and there are lots of national parks between Seattle and Austin, so I put them into my route. It makes the trip take longer, but then we get to spend time outdoors in some of the most beautiful places in the country.

While figuring out the route, you have to decide how much travel to do each day, and where to stay each night. Last year we went with hotels the whole trip. It made packing easier. It made the kids a little happier. It made things more expensive. This year my kids are a little older. We haven’t camped in a while, so they are more enthusiastic. And we are saving a ton on money. A $15 campsite is much cheaper than a $75+ hotel room (especially when you have a family of 6 and need 2 rooms).

Knowing these things can help you make a definite budget and determine packing and meals. I have a packing list that combines camping and long road trips. When camping close to home the list is pretty much the same, but maybe fewer car entertainment items. When camping we do most meals in-camp, so having a food planner is important. I use these every time we take a trip and find them invaluable, so I’m sharing them with you (yay free printables!)

                                                         Camp Roadtrip Packing List

                                                         Camp Meal Planner

Ballerina Party

Both of my girls have danced for a number of years. One still does, and loves it! Most of her friends are dancers. So we have seen our share of ballerina birthday parties. One of the dance teachers recently had a baby, so we even went to a ballerina baby shower.

Since I like printing my own things for parties, here is a Ballerina Party Invitation. I am sharing 2 versions, one with the silhouette of an actual ballerina I photographed, and one without. Perfect free printable for your next party. Just right-click and “save as”.

I have a whole set of coordinating ballerina party printables in my Etsy shop (PrakashStudio). Enjoy!

LDS Mutual Theme 2017

LDS Mutual Theme 2017

The LDS mutual theme for 2017 is James 1:5-6. I haven’t made any printables in a while, so when my own young woman asked about something for the theme I made this. It’s just a quick basic (read: little ink used) sign with the scripture on it in a kinda cute way. I’m putting it here for free, because I love to share printables.

Ask of God - Free LDS 2017 Mutual Theme Printable

Click here to download the 8×10 jpg

File Folder Games

My kids are busy little things. They seem especially busy while in church, when they are supposed to reasonably quiet. So, file folder games to the rescue. I found several nice sites via pinterest (this is a pinterest challenge after all).
I have a book from Finch Family Games that I got several years ago (like 8 or so). I got some of the games from there.

Yarn lacing pages:

From Melonheads LDS Illustrations I got some word finds (great for my 6 year old who is learning to read) and made a matching game.


 From Sugardoodle I found a crazy cartoon tracing set (perfect for my 9 year old).

Sugardoodle also had a file folder link called commandment cones, but I wasn’t thrilled with the copy, so I made my own. You can get it free here: Commandment Cones. You match commandment with its number order (this photo shows the correct placement, in case you need a refresher). The past month or so our church has been talking about the ten commandments, so this is nice for the kids to get to know what they are.

LDS Primary song booklet

For today in my pinterest challenge I am making a song booklet. The original pin is here. I thought that since my kids sing songs in church every week, it’d be nice to practice them at home once in a while too. I typed up the words to some favorites and those frequently sung. I still have to buy a ring to keep them together, but otherwise they are finished. I laminated them using my xyron machine, such a time saver.

You can download the songs HERE if you want. And after I got them all printed I realized that I should make sure I had all the songs for this years primary program, so I had to make an extra page which also includes some of next years program. You can get the extra page HERE.