Camping Prep 101

Memorial Day weekend is coming up and if you know anything about camping, this is a HUGE camping weekend!  Reservations for a spot at Beeds Lake State Park (right outside our hometown) happened back in February when the Iowa DNR opened up reservations for the season!  It will be jam packed that weekend!  The boys aren’t technically scheduled to be with us that weekend, but camping at Beeds Lake with friends and family is a tradition, so they are choosing to come with us.  We don’t venture too far away on Memorial Day as we usually have baseball games scheduled and we never know T’s schedule with field work and farmer support!  So, now that I know we’ll be there for 3 nights and 2 full days the planning must begin!  (Yes, we are only about 3 miles from home, but what’s the fun in camping if you’re constantly going back forth!)  Here is how I prep for several days of camping (especially with kids)!

  1. Meal Plan – I figure out how many of each meal (breakfast, dinner, & supper) we’ll be having at the campgrounds and then
    Meal planning for camping!

    Meal planning for camping!

    make sure I have a “main dish” for each of those!  I fill in around the sides.  Now, this doesn’t mean we have to eat these meals on certain days, but I want to make sure I have enough food for meals and snacks of course!

  2. Plan Outfits – Now, this might sound ridiculous and I don’t do it so much for T and myself or even R for that matter (although I do make sure he has enough of every item of clothing), but this is HUGE for M!  I do this when we camp for weekends and especially when we go on family vacation!  I figure however many days we are going to be gone and add at least 2 extra outfits, plus extra socks & underwear!  Then, I place them in “packs” together like in the picture!  This makes it so easy for a couple different reasons!  The main one for us is that M awakes usually before the rest of us.  He can grab a “pack” and get
    Clothes packs make it easy for kids to get dressed by themselves while camping!

    Clothes packs make it easy for kids to get dressed by themselves while camping!

    dressed without disturbing anyone else.  No need for me to worry or monitor matching of clothes because let’s face it…guys don’t really care!  I do and don’t want the boys looking like homeless children, so…I have everything prematched and no fear!  I then place these in a tub or on hanging shelves that we have put in their closet.

  3. Make Lists – I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I typically make at least 2 lists.  I make the list of items to get from the grocery store and I make a list of things that need to be taken from the house.  That list might include perishables that we don’t pack ahead of time in the camper, the dog dish, food for the dog, a lighter for starting fires, etc.  Again, it seems like an easy one, but does help make the final steps of leaving home much smoother.  We actually have a list started already from 2 weeks ago when we went camping!
  4. Know Your Role – This is something that T and I have fallen into without even trying, but it works so well.  We both know what each other is taking care of without even really discussing it!  He takes care of filling the camper with water, loading the truck with fire wood, getting fishing poles, bikes, etc.  I’m responsible for clothes and food.  Then, the rest of it we work together on.  Similarly he hooks the camper to the truck, I lift the 4 corner jacks, same when we get to our site…we have a routine.  Find a routing that works well for your family and stick with it every time you camp.

While camping is never without hiccups, these four simple steps can help ensure that it goes smooth and with as few as hiccups as possible!  Have a great holiday weekend!


One Hat, 2 Hats, Red Hat, Blue Hat

I know, a cheesy spin-off of Dr. Seuss, right? But, honestly…it describes my life right now. A few months back a friend of mine, Jen over at Just A Mom Giving It A Tri wrote about the different hats that she wears as a woman! Without even realizing it today, I started a Facebook post related to that topic and suddenly I decided it was much better as a blog post! (You can read about Jen & her hats HERE!)

So, how many hats do I wear?  Well, this week for example I am a City Clerk (my full-time big-girl job), wife, step-mom, daughter, daughter-in-law, Norwex consultant, social media expert, and Jamberry Nails consultant.  Whew, I’m exhausted!  So, why do I “do” all these things?  Well, to be honest, I’ve gained so many great skills and experiences, that I can’t help it!  Let’s look at these individually!

  1. City Clerk – I kind of fell into this job!  Ok, well, pushed really!  I was unhappy in my previous job, burned out really, and T basically forced (not really, but I like to tell people he did) me to apply!  So, here I am!  I love the job and the people that I’ve met while doing it.  The experiences and skills that I’ve gained.  But, the why?  Well, to be honest…I helping to raise 2 very active, fast growing boys…they are not cheap to feed!!!
  2. Wife – I do this because I found that person who complimented me!  He is calm when I’m not, he is strong when I am not, and we make a fantastic team!  I’ve also gained skills from being married: negotiating, compromising, patience, growth, etc.
  3. Step-Mom – oh boy…talk about learning!  I have learned that I can love someone who I did not give birth to, more than I love myself!  I’ve learned selflessness and patience, gratitude and strength!
  4. Direct Sales Consultant – I not only have developed my people skills even more so than before, but I’ve also developed a sense of worth by doing “extra” to provide for my family as well as gaining friendships that will last for a long time!  My communication has also been challenged and I’ve been forced to learn different ways to not only read people, but how to respond.

Obviously I’m a daughter, daughter-in-law, and the rest that I listed by default of the other hats that I wear, but it doesn’t mean that those hats haven’t taught me several lessons and have helped me to develop all the other skills that I listed previously.  While some days I’m so busy my own head spins and I feel like my list of “to do’s” is never ending, but I am grateful for the experiences and hats that have been brought into my life.

What hats do you wear??  What have you learned from your different hats?


3 of the hats I wear: wife, Norwex Consultant, Jamberry consultant

3 of the hats I wear: wife, Norwex Consultant, Jamberry consultant

If you’d like to connect with me on my other Social Media profiles, you can click the links below!

Katy Flint – Norwex Independent Consultant

Katy Flint’s Jamberry Nails




My True Feelings About Mother’s Day

Can I tell you a secret? I hate Mother’s Day! I love honoring my mom, which I feel that I do throughout the year and of course do my best to make her feel extra special on Mother’s Day, but being a step-mom on Mother’s Day is hard!  This is one of those real times that choosing the path I have is very difficult and the feelings are very raw!

R & M have a mom who is very present in their life and she is a good one!  I will NEVER try to take that away from her!  However, I’d by lying if I didn’t say that it hurts to not be recognized on Mother’s Day for the things that I do to help support and better the boys’ lives as well as love them unconditionally.  I don’t blame anyone for this, I’m not angry with them, T, or anyone else.  It just sucks and there is no good solution.  We try very hard to be very respectful of the boys’ mom and so we don’t make a big deal out of this type of thing (until now…whoops!)  In fact, while I was driving R to his moms this morning, I said to him, “you know Sunday is Mother’s Day…you need to make sure to make your mom a card or something!”  I encourage their relationship and focus on that she is their mother!  However, I will admit that every once in a while, it would be nice if someone recognized me for what I do for the boys.

Continue reading

To Child Athletes & Parents, Part 2

This is the second post in a 2-part series. If you missed it, catch Dear Child Athletes HERE!

Dear Parents (of Child Athletes),

First, you won’t a more enthusiastic parent in the stands than myself!  I’m the biggest cheerleader there is for my boys and am not afraid of who sees or hears, so before you start thinking that I’m one of those parents who sits on their hands and is silent (ironically, that is T), think again!

These Are Kids – I know that you think you’re setting your kid up for the future, but remember…right now they are kids.  Let them be kids!  Let them have fun and play their sports.  Let them run and get dirty, let them play with their friends…don’t fill their schedules with endless teams and practices.  Make sure they have time to just be kids!!  Be positive and upbeat.  You can provide criticism and coaching and still be positive!  Don’t kill your kids’ spirits!  Remember, they are JUST wpid-1430873347595.jpgKIDS!

Continue reading

A Goulash Recipe Roundup!

The other night, R was at our house and I asked him what he would like for supper and he declared Goulash. It happens to be one of his favorite recipes. As I was stirring my recipe together, I got to thinking about all the different options and recipes for Goulash in today’s world. While I was in Australia in college I got the privilege of staying in a lot of homes (host families) during my tour with the Castle Singers of Wartburg College.  While staying in Canberra (their capital) I was placed in a home of German immigrants.  They had immigrated to Australia in the 60’s and still spoke German in their home and their accents were so thick that it made it hard to understand some times.  They were great people (even though our host-dad did think the answer for everything was a little “vhisky (whisky)”.  On our second night there our host-mom asked if we liked Goulash!  That sounded so good!  A home cooked meal just like mom made! HA!  Little did I know at that point in my life that not everyone made Goulash the same way.  Imagine my surprise when we sat down for supper and I was served something similar to THIS over noodles! While it was good (hers had quite a bit of a kick) it definitely wasn’t “like mom makes it”!  So, what better than a Goulash round-up with all these thoughts floating in my head?

Continue reading