I Love Family Time!

I love family time and I also love Joshua Tree!

Our recent trip to the desert was a great time for our family.  Not only did we have one week of solid time together, building awesome family memories, but our kids experienced the value of togetherness.  

As my husband and I tell our children, “Someday we will be gone and you will only have each other.  So build your relationship now so the years ahead are strong and vibrant.”

We love having our kids’ friends come to our home, but on family vacations it’s different.  We find that we don’t get quite the family-dynamic effect- the quality time that we crave – if other kids tag along on vacations.

Our family may be different than yours, but this works for our family now, and for this season in life.  Because in another year or two, we’ll be facing a new season as our kids start leaving the nest. (Interesting how we’re all facing different directions …)

Joshua Tree is a national park outside of Palm Springs, California.  We hiked in the cool of the evening last week, enjoying God’s creation.

We were thankful for the warmth of the sun, while it lasted.

The laughter, joking, and bonding that took place.

And for an overall awesome family time.

I’d love to hear if you take vacations alone, or with other families?

For those of you wondering why my husband is never in our family outdoor photos, it’s because he’s the photographer!  I wish we could airbrush him in, but I did sneak up and take this photo …

20 comments on “I Love Family Time!”

  1. I completely and totally love this. Family vacations with just “us” is my favorite… we don’t get to take vacations often so what we do is pick weekends when it’s no outside friends to play with … no phone and just be a family. Your family is very inspiring.

  2. Great pics. We’ve done both things when it comes to vacationing. When we go to Sunriver we usually go for over a week and so we’ll spend part of the time with just us as a family and then we’ll invite others to join us. We usually take vacations in the off seasons so most of the girls’ friends are in school so they can’t usually come. We would take them though if we were maybe just going to the beach for a weekend, but maybe not on a long out of state vacation.

  3. Such wonderful pictures! Our family doesn’t really take vacations. . .me and our two girls usually go to visit my family for a couple of weeks during the summer, but my husband doesn’t usually come along. If we did go on vacation, I don’t think we would have others come along. Not only for the together time, but it would be that much more difficult deciding what to do, where to go, where to eat, when to stop. . .you get the idea. :)

  4. These pictures almost look fake, the scenery is gorgeous. What a wonderful time you all had. :)

  5. Oh, and yes…we also vacation alone…BUT we have said we would like to include our childrens’ friends as they get older on various vacations. My reasoning behind this is that as a young girl my friend’s family included me on some vacations that made very special memories to me…I want to be able to do that for special people in my children’s lives too.


  6. Absolutlely BEAUTIFUL pictures!! The park looks amazing!

  7. What breathtaking scenery! Wonderful pictures too! What a fun way to spend family time.

  8. Oh what memories must have been make over this holiday. Don’t you just know that fifty years from now your children can still recall the time spent and remember the fun. What a precious gift.
    Happy Twirls

  9. We have enjoyed mixing it up a little with family vacations. We travel as a family but at times, make plans for a short visit w/another family where we may be passing through.

    What beautiful scenery in your pics.

  10. Hi Sandra- Great photos. Awesome. What a wonderful trip! We take family vacations solo. It’s mostly a timing issue to get with other families, I guess. Also, there is 10 years between our oldest and youngest (who is 3) and it’s hard to find activities that all of is can do together with ease. Even going to the pool right now involves one parent being totally devoted to watching the toddler. In a couple years, we will be much more flexiable in that regard. (And I can finally sit and read a book at the pool again after nearly 13 years – ha!)

  11. We love Joshua Tree – great pictures. I am glad you brought this up. My oldest is 15 and his brother and sister are 8 and 10. So, I was just thinking about letting him bring a friend this summer on our trip to San Fransisco. I may re-think this as our vacation time forces us to rediscover what we love and appreciate about eachother. It is going to be too soon when we will find eachother apart.
    I can clearly remember the last vacation I had with my parents and brothers. I am glad no other friends were there.

  12. Last summer we learned how bonding our time together as a family unit is. We most often visit family for vacations, but this one found us spending more alone time together as “a family” and it was eye opening. We plan on making more of our visits to family include some time for just our family. We need it and deserve it.
    Love your beautiful photos- (glad you got one of your husband!)

  13. Beautiful pictures! Looks like great family time! Our kids are young so vacations work with just us or other family (cousins, grandparents, etc) But we’re looking forward to times when it’s just the five of us. No others!

    Family is the only thing that lasts!

  14. Gorgoeus pictures-I live about 30 minutes from there-next time wave when you pass by!!


  15. Oh that’s a great shot of hubby at the end! I like it. Love all the photos. You’re the second Oregon family that I know of who escape to the desert for vacation :0)

  16. What a beautiful place that Joshua Tree Nat’l Monument is! Our family lives very close to there- my husbands home town. It is beautiful- whata great family time!!

  17. What gorgeous pix, Sandy.

    We just took a 10-day family vacation to Chicago and Seattle (part of it to visit an ill relative). But we had a lot of good family time and enjoyed the sights and sounds (and tastes!) of these 2 wonderful cities.

    Since our middle son is nearly 20 and soon joining the army (following in the steps of his older brother), it’s probably our last hurrah together, which made it a poignant time. *sniff-sniff*

  18. What a great vacations but more importantly what an important lesson you are teaching your family. You, as always, are such an inspiration.

    I heart you!!!


  19. Our main vacations are just family and maybe grandparents. But, when we go up to my parents lake cottage…it is a different experience if the kids bring friends….

    Friends are important…but they come and go…even the life long ones are not “family” so I totally agree with you!
    sandy toe

  20. Beautiful pictuers, Sandy! Looks like a wonderful time.

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