Packing the Circus


After a week of fun, friends, field trips, house work, sleeping in, and even a camp fire, we’re topping off our Spring Break with a long weekend at Grandma and Papa’s.

I have found that packing up the circus crew of 6 for even a weekend away, can at times be a bit overwhelming.  And while the kids love to help pack, sometimes they are anything but helpful.  So, I found a system that works pretty well for us.  It utilizes there eagerness to travel, but keeps us from showing up at Grandma and Papa’s with no shoes.  (yes, once we did arrive at my parents house…. 5 hours from home with no shoes for my youngest daughter…when I asked her where here shoes were she replied, “I couldn’t find them so I just gave up and got in the car”… thankfully it was July and she happily went barefoot all weekend ). 

I give each kid their own bag.  I make a list of what they each need to pack on the dry erase board and they initial off  each item after it is in their bag.  I even draw pictures for those that can’t read as well. IMG_2588


It makes things in the van a little tight by giving each kid their own bag, but it is SO worth it in my opinion to have them each pack their own stuff.  All that leaves me to do is wash everything, pack my and Scott’s clothes, pack toiletries and other general items (nebulizers, BB guns…)

Even though this works really well for us, it is still CRUCIAL that I double check their bags…. sometimes ones idea of church clothes is not the same as moms… nor is one idea of play clothes…  but double checking is still quicker than starting from scratch. 

My 2 year old packed his bag the minute we told him we were going to Grandma and Papa’s.  (we told him on Tuesday).  He has then lugged his bag around all week just incase it was time to go.  I was impressed to see he threw in a few shirts (and even his Papa shirt)… underneath however was QUITE the stash of toys.


Ya know how sometimes you’ll hear men joke when they carry a ladies heavy suitcase?  “What did you pack in this thing, a bag of rocks?”

Well, in the case of my 5 year old daughter, the answer is yes.  Yes, she did. I opened her suitcase to find a literal bag of rocks packed in there.  Apparently it’s her “collection” which she gathered from under our deck.


Clearly the system still has a few kinks to work out before our big vacation this summer.   We are very much a work in progress.


  1. Oh my goodness, I am still laughing OUT LOUD about the rocks. That is hilarious! And your little one with his week-in-advance suitcase prep. I can totally picture him lugging it around the house. Too adorable. I SO love your family. :)

    Rocks... she slays me...

  2. I lol-ed about the time your youngest daughter gave up on finding shoes. She's so real. I love it. The first rule of a weekend away is to get your rock collection together. Never know when you might need it! :-)
    Have a fun and safe trip and a Happy Easter!

  3. As I'm packing for my ONE 6-year-old child and a week away, Mandy told me I had to read this. The things our kids want to pack (she had lots of Barbies, books, and games but no clothes) are not necessarily those we want them to bring :) Love your blog!


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