The First State

Delaware’s state nickname is “The First State” and it was fitting for us as this was the first state for us as we officially began to travel. We purchased the trailer in New Jersey and stayed in it for more than a month in Pennsylvania, but as we began our travels beyond visiting family and friends, our first state was Delaware. Coincidentally, it was also in this first stop in Delaware that we welcomed the new year. Lots of firsts in The First State for us!

Family shot (minus the photographer) with our new home, parked at our Lums Pond campsite

Lums Pond State Park, near Newark, DE, has a recently renovated campground at a reasonable cost. We didn’t have a reservation, but on New Year’s weekend, there was plenty of availability. We set camp and needed to run a few errands, but then we had a calm and cozy New Year’s Eve planned for our family. In a manner befitting 2016, the errands didn’t turn out to be quick, unforeseen circumstances arose, and we were forced to abandon most of our plans and improvise. As I mentioned when writing about Christmas, special occasions in the camper seem to take a bit of extra planning and creativity for us, and I was sad and frustrated to let go of my plans. We didn’t make it home in time to watch the Swedish countdown with the kids as we’d planned (convenient that midnight in Sweden is 6pm EST since our kids aren’t ready to stay up until midnight yet) but thanks to modern technology we were able to watch it on a cell phone in the car. There was no toasting and the special treat we planned was in the back of the car, which was just as well since we hadn’t had any dinner yet either. But in the end it seemed ok to end 2016 in much the same way as we’d lived it: chaotic, adapting often to changing plans, but together.

The new year started off much better and we’d love for it to be an indication of the year to come. We were close enough to worship in the church that we consider our “home church” in the U.S. In the afternoon, we went for a hike around Lums Pond and did some geocaching. We came home to a semi-traditional pork dinner (none of us eat sauerkraut so it seemed silly to make it) that cooked the whole time we were gone in the slow-cooker that we got for Christmas.

At Lums Pond with my 3 beautiful kids (even though you can’t see Micah – he’s sleeping in the wrap/carrier)


Is there anything quite as fun as a hollowed out tree?


Another hollow tree to explore!


We found the hidden treasure! They left some small toys they don’t play with anymore and traded them for new small toys (that they already don’t play with anymore)! So much fun!

We hope that this started off a year of spiritual health, outdoor exploration, and lots of time together for our family. May 2017 be a year when our lifestyle more truly reflects our family’s values:

Simplify, Learn, Explore. Together.

What are your family’s goals for 2017? Were you able to start the year off in the right direction?

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