It all started the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Shopping, prepping, cooking & getting ready for a wild weekend. Kim made an amazing spread as we had her sister & family over for an all day EAT-FEST. My wife marinated a Turkey for over 24 hours, prepped it, prepared it, cooked it then we devoured it.
Family left & I started packing. I took my two boys to meet up with a friend, Brian, in San Diego who has 4 boys & two of his friends with there sons to give us a total of 15 guys. We headed out to Ocotillo Wells, California to have a guys only trip to the desert.
It was the first major trip with just me & the boys and it was amazing!
- We went through 1500 rounds of ammunition with .22 rifle's & 12g shotguns.
- Launched model rockets.
- Built a HUGE bonfire.
- Launched the potato gun
- Created some explosions in the bonfire.
- Ate great food
- Ran our kids on a zip line Brian had made
- Endured a very cold & crazy rain storm
I always have highlights spending time with my boys but four things stuck out to me in a big way on this trip
1- I love seeing my kids experience new things. Whenever Cody & Cole can try something new they tend to take advantage of it. I have learned not to push the new experience but allow them to be comfortable & encourage them to try it. Once they do the new experience I can see in their posture this feeling of "I AM SO COOL FOR TRYING THIS". I see it building in them confidence as well as curiosity. I also see them learning what it means to be ok to try something even if you fail, you at least attempted it.
2- Sharing life with friends & allowing boys to be boys is fun. Brian is on my JANITOR list. If i could work with Brian i would consider being a janitor for him just to get that opportunity. I enjoy sharing life, ministry moments & random craziness with him. To see my boys meet 7 other kids roughly there same age, hang out & smile for 2 days straight in an environment that says "YES have fun" allows me as a dad to sit back & enjoy so many moments.
3- Life is too short to not play. We live in this crazy, busy, on the go world. We are so connected to dysfunctional living we don't know what end is up sometimes. We never pause to breathe. I REFUSE to be a dad who models business instead of intimacy. I REFUSE to be a dad who doesn't show his boys what life is about. My boys have yet to quit talking about how much fun they had on this trip, what they want to do next time we go to the desert & the stories they are telling make me smile. I want my sons to be able to play with freedom, excitement & be able to make memories that'll last forever.
4- If you are going to endure 40mph wind gust through the night, freezing & drenching rain you better be able to have a sense of humor while doing it. We were running kids on the zip line & I looked behind me over a mountain ridge & saw a massive rain front coming. I told Brian we may wanna go soon so we had 3 more kids to get across the zip line then we'd go. Well we got 1 more kid across before the heavens opened up. It was crazy. We got wet & I mean wet. Kids were chattering teeth, sweatshirts were soaked, dads were getting camp broken down as best as possible in the rain...it was funny. Part of the cable got stuck under a rock so Brian grabbed a shovel & a handle (no bolt cutters handy) to pry the cable out. You have to smile in the midst of life, even if the circumstances suck!
You also want to grab the arm of the guy who lost his balance before he tumbles 25' down a wet rock face ridge.
Here are some pics of the trip & a quick video i did to show some students at our high school gathering