This was a question presented to me over the weekend and I said to them not a thing and we laughed, I told them this year we just couldn't afford a vacation. Vacations to us an educational field trip, last year went to Vernal Utah and saw the dinosaur museum and did hikes through the hills and saw the rock drawings. The year before we went on a fossil dig and to the Zoo but missed some of the larger animals the elephants and rhino. This year though we had so many things come up medically and in our remodeling that we just couldn't afford to do anything.

But as I drove home I realized we learned quite a bit. We couldn't afford a "vacation" but we did do many things that were learning experiences. Here are the things we learned this year that I didn't realize when first presented with the question. In January, my stepson messed up his knee, for my 2 homeschoolers we explained how he injured it, the tendons that he tore and how the surgery was going to fix it. We discussed his care afterwards to ensure a proper healing. My stepson also had gotten picked up for minor under the influence on New Years Eve. We disscused why it was wrong, even though he is 18 the law states he can not have alcohol, we discussed the cons of drinking, how he now has this on his record, how the courts handle it and what probation is as well as fines and Jail time. Unusual, but still a learning experience.

In April we started our daughter on the road for her eye surgery, they showed her through the eye model how they were going to fix her eyes, how her eyes work compared to mine (I have a similiar condition) and her father's (who has great vision). We learned a week ago how brave she was on the day of her surgery, we also learned how to care for her eyes while they are healing.

We were able on one of her trips to the doctors we spent the afternoon at the zoo to see the elephants and rhonos we missed before, we also got to enjoy the madagascar exhibition. It also helped with the the nervous trips to the eye doctors, to look forward to doing something fun afterwards.

My middle son, who I homeschool, helped us with our remodeling, he helped with putting in the counters, the cupboards, he learned about why it is important to make sure everything is level. He learned about taking precautions using safety first in demoing the kitchen. He also learned about laying tiles and grouting, about the tools we used. He helped with the patching of the walls and painting. Just some construction knowledge for all us, his most fun though was the demo process.

I could write pages on the all the learning we did this summer but to make things short, we also learned about skin cancer, something my father was diagnosed with. We also learned about the economy and how it is affecting us, our older boys, and our local community. They learned about the process of refinancing our house for the lower % rate.
My brother went on a fossil dig when he made a rare visit to Wyoming, he took my 14 year old with him and my son was able to show off all he knew about the dig and showed how far he has come with his adhd. I was so proud of him when my brother came back and talked endlessly about how he wished his son was this far with his adhd and this mature. My brother also talked to us about how he looks at the health care bill (he his a doctor) with my son there listening in on. He asked some questions making me sure he was listening and learning. We also learned my son has aspergers and what they entails.
The list goes on and on…..

The best thing I learned was, no matter what life brings your way, you will learn something new in the experience.