Monday, January 23, 2017

Family Cabin Trip

Our main Christmas gift for the kids was a 3-day cabin vacation up in northern Arizona. As our family continues to grow and our house does not, we have found it necessary to switch to giving them gifts that create memories rather than clutter. This has really turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Speaking of family size, we had to rent two cabins right next to each other to fit us all. Each of the cabins was huge and had an identical floor plan, though the decorations were different. The downstairs consisted of a a living room, complete with full size kitchen, a bedroom with a queen size bed, a full bathroom, and a laundry room. The upstairs had a spacious loft with two twin beds. In all, each cabin slept 6 people, with tons of space to move about.


We separated the cabins by big kids and little kids, that way even when the younger ones were napping or asleep at night, the older ones could keep playing and being loud. At night, I slept in one cabin with Chloe in my room, Boaz and Stephen on the sleeper sofa, and Anna and Becca in the loft. My husband slept in the other cabin with Miriam and up. 


Both cabins also had a large covered deck in the back with a spa. The kids had a lot of fun with these, and the washer and dryer sure came in handy for all the towels they were going through.

Through God's providence, we were able to book these cabins for a third of their usual rate because their owner is a business associate of my husband. Our goals for this trip were easy - just relax and enjoy time together making music, playing board games, eating great food, reading books, and enjoying the outdoors.

We decorated a gingerbread house, which we enjoyed with hot cocoa and whipped cream. We also made cookies from scratch easily with a nifty kit in a jar from Trader Joe's.

I love this picture with Isaac in the back holding a laughing Chloe.

Two teens and an almost teen. They are such good kids, and so much fun to be around!

Cookie monster!

Chloe was getting spoiled as usual, being everyone's favorite person to hold and play with. It's funny to see how each of the kids has their own unique tricks to keeping her happy and occupied.


On the second day, my husband took all the kids except Chloe to Show Low for the morning, giving me quiet uninterrupted time to read my Bible in the middle of the day (a very rare treat!) and just enjoy myself. 

 The view from my rocking chair. I loved the high ceilings and huge windows.

I was hoping there would be snow for the kids' sakes, and hoping there would be none for my sake. As it turned out, in spite of the elevation, there was no snow during our stay which I can't say I minded. Being from the desert our kids are not used to being in the cold anymore, so they didn't mind much either.

Bible time - evidently everyone except Anna was tired after staying up too late the night before.

We had a wonderful trip, and hope to be able to go again sometime.


  1. Woa, thosr photos.
    House is shockin nice.
    Smthng Amzng
    I bean really amazing :)

  2. Hi Szuszanna! I really enjoyed reading about your family cabin trip! Such a great collection of memories and photographs! I think my fav picture you posted is the one with Chloe and daddy in the rocking chair, she is soo adorable, and there is just something that melts a moms heart to see dads with their little ones.
    I LOVE the idea that you guys have switched over to making memories rather than more clutter!!!
    We have a family of 8 total and financially, we can't do yearly or even bi-yearly family vacations on our one income...but we could if we stopped doing presents. We have actually decided to put celebrating Christmas in the traditional way behind us anyway after this last year, so maybe we will decide to do the same as your family and make some memories instead that week!
    Thanks for the inspiring idea, God bless your beautiful family!

  3. All the kids are cute but Chloe sure is something special, she is so happy and it´s wonderful to see.

  4. Can you ask your husband if he can recommend any churches in Oklahoma? Thank you.
    -A Sister In The Lord

  5. That looks like a lovely trip!

    I've thought lately that I too would like to switch to more experience-based gifts than physical items - as you say, the family grows, but the home doesn't. And I'm so, so tired of the continual need to shovel out STUFF so that I can make room for MORE (mainly in the form of children's gifts!!). Thanks for the encouragement to move in that direction!

  6. How fun! Looks like y'all had a blast! I want to squeeze Chloe, she's such a doll! Great memories for certain!

  7. A wonderful non-traditional celebration. I am sure everyone is looking forward to the next one. Did you notice the calm, soothing nature of being around all that wood? A close friend of mine has a log cabin in Texas and I love the feeling of it.

  8. I am so happy I stopped by, I have missed you! Of course you have been busy with being a sweet family and life, but it is nice to see all of the children and smiling faces. What a great idea, by the way. Now that my children are all adults I promise you less is best and time is better, even if it is making smores in the backyard. Thanks for the photo update. Your family is in my prayers. Jennifer

  9. Beautiful location, and wonderful pictures. Could you please share the name of the place?

  10. That's really lovely. Great post, God bless you

  11. Wonderful to see such a close family! Thank you for everything you do to get people saved, God bless you all.


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