Monday, June 27, 2011

Kansas Bound

Kansas is very interesting

We left Guthrie, OK and made tracks towards Kansas.  We planned to stay at Hillsdale State Park, and stay we did.  Parking/backing in was not an easy feat, and that is kind of an understatement.  The plus side of that is that we attracted some help, a guy that we learned has cancer and was given two months to live, and that was almost 18 months ago.  Don’t know his story other than that, but he was a God-send for Steve.  He helped him back into our site when I was clearly not the help he needed, so the cars backed up behind us could get by and on about their business.  We attempted some fun & relaxation & met our next door camping neighbors over dinner.  Kind of sad story…long & short of it is that we tried to be hospitable & pour some love into these kids in the short time we were around them.  The plus side?  I think we accomplished that, plus the girls got to fish & pick blackberries with new friends, & we got some farm fresh eggs, some awesome venison jerky, sausage, & burgers.   We also learned that we do need to establish some rules/boundaries for new visitors.  I’m just not that comfortable with those we’ve just met bounding in & out of our home without knocking first or searching through our drawers  & cabinets to see what we’ve got, even if childish curiosity is the motivator.  
Corban and Steve.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

The day we've been preparing for and praying for over the last year has finally arrived! What a year, what a week! Just a few of this week's events:
-One last North Texas-style crazy storm, complete with hail...what a blessing we weathered it all just fine!
-Steve's last week at work with a decision coming just yesterday that they will keep him on for about 16 hours a week of remote work short-term.
-Time spent working on a very special project for a very special nephew we are now on our way to meet for the first time!
-Laptop crisis because what is life without some sort of computer issue??  I'm happy to say the crisis was resolved yesterday, but I'm still not sure where some of my offline blog posts are hiding...  And of course, I must always remember that just because a campground advertises wifi does NOT in any way mean that it will not be down for maintenance when I'm staying there.
- We also had our first birthday celebrated in the RV.   Genevieve turned 3 years old on June 9.   We got her an American girl type doll so she wouldn't feel left out when her sisters played with theirs.   As you can see, she is very pleased with her present.
Genna and her birthday present

-Last but not least...lots of memory making with dear friends and family before heading out. It sure feels good to love and be loved! How blessed we are with the best of friends!

They finally really like each other! :)

There are no words to describe how much fun the cousins had together that day!

My sister and her three little munchkins

Two Little Mischief Makers!

Me and my wonderful friend Kim who visited us when we were RV bound

And so, after a bittersweet sendoff this morning, we made our way to Guthrie, OK. The drive went well, I'm happy to say!  We are staying overnight at Cedar Valley RV Park & Golf Course.  With Passport 

America, it is $17/night for a 50amp/full hook-up, pull-through site (read:  can run both air conditioners, allow water to cascade recklessly from the faucet down the drain, and no stress, time, or effort required to get into the site or out of it). Not only that, but the site has a concrete pad that is level, making leveling effortless. Bathhouses, if you use them, are impeccably clean and nice.  Laundry facilities on site, too.  And the town of Guthrie looks pretty neat. We saw drive-in movies that were tempting, but we have another driving day tomorrow, so we'll have to save exploring for another visit.

Steve also wanted to mention that the truck did great on the highway; he was very impressed. He had no trouble maintaining the speed limit of 70, and was even able to effortlessly pass some erratic drivers. We averaged 11.2mpg, which is not bad for an RV, and the route was a gradual uphill most of the way.  Onward to Kansas...
Sure are gonna miss you guys!  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Not a good way to be. More importantly, not a good way to feel! Our move on Father's Day was a rather chaotic one. The day was packed fuller than it should have been, and even though we were moving to a back-in site with no real obstacles, we somehow made it harder than it had to be. It was so hot and so windy, and try as I might to help Steve back into the site, it just wasn't working all that well. To compound matters, the couple that agreed to buy our Traverse was coming to pick it up, so we really needed to be in the site & somewhat settled to smooth that transition. Ultimately, it took so long that a lady stopped to talk to Alyssa & Jake about where her parents were (she was sitting in the Traverse in the shade with the windows down right in front of the bathhouse, a short distance from and in clear view of us attempting to park). We had some issues with the water & electrical hookup being at the very rear of the site; our water hookup is near the very front of the RV, so we had to back way far in so the hose would reach. Finally, Steve declared the job done right as the couple came for the Traverse. The RV was tilted, but Steve was sure it wasn't so bad.

We went out for the evening, came back, worked on the blog, and went to bed. When I climbed in bed, I noticed that we were really unlevel because I normally can't feel it in bed, but this time, it was noticeable, for sure! Monday morning, Steve left for work, my neighbor from our old house came for a visit, and I was bothered by the tilt in the main part of the RV, particularly. After she left, I worked in the kitchen to get lunch ready & put lasagna in the crockpot for dinner. I had to be especially careful that things didn't tumble out of the fridge, the cabinets, or off the counters. By the end of that, I had a nasty headache & my tummy was upset! And I was trying to find a way to sweet talk Steve into working on getting things more level since we are here all week! I got the kids out of the house & we went for a walk. It took about an hour before my head and stomach stopped hurting! And I vowed I would not return to the indoors until Steve came home from work. It was hot & super-duper windy outside, but that was preferable to feeling like I just walked out of one of those tilted houses at an amusement park.

Sure enough, Steve was more than delighted to hear my dissatisfaction with the tilt of the RV, NOT!! Annoyed doesn't cover that, and he was convinced I was making mountains out of molehills. Nonetheless, after actually going into the RV, he was forced to admit that it was making him feel a bit nauseous, as well, and thus, I managed to convince him we had no other real choice except to move the RV over on the site, like it or not. And you know what, he did it, in short order! And he learned from those older & wiser & more experienced than him that the place to check for levelness is right over the axle. Hallelujah! Sweet Success! And I discovered that the real reason I usually get a headache on moving day has little to do with the stress involved & everything to do with the fact that Steve typically removes the stabilizers & throws the balance off in the RV while I am still cleaning the indoors to prepare to slide. Important lessons learned!! 

Monday, June 20, 2011


We are publishing the blog.  It isn't perfect...still working on our set up & crew posts & so those links are not currently working, and there are certainly not as many pics as we should have going forward, but we finally have internet this week to work on it, so it is up & running! Thanks to Steve for making the time to get it publish-able.  If you're curious about how this all got started, please check out the post titled Processing

The Final Big Sell

The last item we needed to sell was our Traverse. The tricky part is that when we sell it, the kids & I have no vehicle, so we are "stuck" wherever we happen to be staying while Steve continues to work.  Once again, the details really couldn't have worked out better.We had a couple interested in looking at it in Fort Worth, so we combined that trip with a visit to the aforementioned Fort Worth Museum of Science & History, and they wanted it, AND they were willing to let us keep it & drive it for another week before picking it up. Soooo...on Father's Day, we moved our final time from a sweet spot on Pilot Knoll, Site 6, back to Lewisville Lake, and said goodbye to our family car. We are now a one vehicle family.  And I admit that I haven't been thrilled about losing that bit of freedom, but I will cope!

Friday, June 17, 2011

What a Sweet Spot!

There have been things I've loved about each place we've stayed so far, but I have to say that I think I have found my favorite site so far...Pilot Knoll, Site 6. Temperatures this week were 100 and above, and it was still a pleasant place to be.  Beautiful grassy backyard, great breeze, awesome view of the lake...the only real down side was the snake sighting in the water about 15 feet from where we were swimming with the kids.  And that was on our last day here before leaving anyway, so I can't complain about that. Honestly, I wasn't surprised because we were in a shallow spot, and he wasn't the least bit interested in us, but we still moved pretty fast exiting the water, lol!  

Monday, June 13, 2011

What I Miss

Well, I mentioned hi-speed internet already, so I won't belabor the point. I also miss regular showers by myself. Showers really are sanity savers, totally underrated. In my world as a mother of four children, good showers by myself qualify as therapy. I will admit to feeling a bit jealous of Steve's daily showers alone. Not that the kids are bad in the showers. Genna loves showers, so I shouldn't complain, it's just that there is precious little time in my day that it could qualify as “me time,” and some days my selfish meter kicks into overdrive, & I long for a chunk of time without a cute, hot, sticky, sour-milk-scented babe in my arms. I know that this is a normal feeling for this stage in life because this is my fourth, but it is even more difficult to come by peaceful time without someone needing something that it is my job to fulfill in an RV with Steve still working. I'm looking forward to the time when he is around more.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What We're Loving & What We're Not

We're loving the peace! Our last campsite over Memorial Day weekend was sooo incredibly peaceful ('tho Steve did apparently encounter a crazy skunk and an armadillo several mornings in a row...thankfully he managed to not set off the skunk!).

We're loving time with friends. It is setting in on all fronts that our time here is short now. We've enjoyed more time with friends in the last two weeks than we have in the last six months put together, I think! Life is too short not to spend time with the people you love, but it is oh so easy to be caught up in the busy-ness of life, the need to be a part of this, a part of that, to have your house just so before having others come over...

The kids and I are loving have Steve around more. He took a week off of work, & though it is apparent we have some adjusting to do still as we learn to mesh our schedules & routines, it really has been awesome to have time to play together.

Steve is loving having no yardwork or house maintenance. Now, in all honesty, there is still maintenance. RVs break, plain & simple. It is still less time consuming than a regular house, though, & he is happy about it.

We all love the changing surroundings. Different views, different flowers, different playgrounds... Each time we arrive at a new site, we talk about what we like or don't like about it, but nearly every time it's time to move on, we marvel at how quick time has passed & how we'll miss that particular site. Great times!

Not loving how blazing hot it gets between about 2 & 5 pm here in the RV when we are at a 30 amp site, which means we're only running one AC. Grump city. It requires experimenting to figure out the best way to handle it, and each day is its own experiment. Still working on the solution.  It is still quite pleasant out in the evenings, especially with an ice cold beer in hand, but not so much in the afternoon. And the thought of adding more heat by cooking is just intolerable. I'm looking forward to heading north to more moderate temps!

Also not loving the flies...biting flies AND the flies that send stat messages to all their millions of friends that a tiny morsel of food and/or beverage has arrived on the scene. It often seems like it would be so much more pleasant to eat outside than in the hot, sticky RV...until scads of flies show up & descend upon your food. Nothing like going to take a bite of your salad & three or four flies fly out of the depths of it. Gross!

Not loving fussy, whiny toddlers, bickering children, and spitty babies...but you know, we had those at our old house. They will follow us wherever we go, unfortunately, but as with most things, some days will be better than others. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011


Now that we know we really ARE leaving, there is a certain freedom to spend an afternoon or even an entire day with friends...either here at our new place, wherever we happen to be parked, or at our friends' houses. At times, I feel like I'm throwing a monkey wrench into their day or week because it seems that life is so busy and full of obligations, but I know that our opportunities to share life like this are limited, and our kids are absolutely loving the chance to spend such intensive time with their friends. There will definitely be some withdrawal when we leave. They will be okay, I know, but I think we may see some tears over leaving friends...and that's okay, because people matter so much more than things, and when it is all said and done, the people are what we will really miss. God brought dear friends into our lives here, and we trust that he will provide friends along the way, too!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Miss High-Speed Internet

Enough said, right? Steve has the cool EVO phone with all the bells and whistles, so he always has internet at his fingertips. I actually have internet on my phone, but it is a base model, and the effort it takes to get to a website is absolutely not worth it. In fact, assuming I'm actually able to pull up a website before there is another crisis that I must attend to, chances are good that I actually can't read it on my phone. I am realizing how many recipes I pulled up online, all the time, every day. I miss email. Sometimes, I just don't want to make a phone call; I just want to send an email. And sometimes texting is an acceptable substitute, but sometimes it isn't. I just plain miss internet at my fingertips. I knew I was dependent on it, but I didn't realize just how dependent I had become. I will live, for sure, but some things are just so much harder without it. Answering Alyssa's one million and one random questions, for one, figuring out what to make for dinner, printing coupons, getting directions, finding out if there is any wickedly evil weather headed our way....yeah, I'll stop now. ;)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Moving Day Adventures Continue

Hickory Creek, Site 37

Maybe one day Steve won’t need naps when we move. ;) I know it is stressful, really I do. We moved from Lewisville Lake Park, site 25, back to Hickory Creek today. The day went something like this: breakfast, clean up to prepare to move, and then to church for the 9:30 service, followed by a baptism information class for Alyssa at 11:00, pick up Subway with a whoooole lot of whine from Genna for lunch, rush to take off by checkout time at 1:00, then off to Hickory Creek only to be told, “Your site is occupied, and they have until 3:00 to be out. I’m going to have to ask you to turn around & leave.” What??!? I admit that I wasn't thrilled. I texted Steve to tell him we had nowhere to go. We ended up at Walmart…not my favorite place, especially on a weekend afternoon. Nonetheless, we did need to go shopping for things to eat, so it wasn't wasted time, and when we returned to check in, it went according to plan.

We had a back in site again, and although they don’t stress Steve out as badly as they did at first, they still get to him. While I was trying to direct him in, my flip flops broke, so I got to hop around on scorching hot pavement in just my bare feet. Not only that, but a police officer & another truck were waiting for us to get into our site, so they could get past, so that compounded the pressure, for sure. Soooo…now we have a forty-one year old, an almost three year-old (birthday this week!), a five month old, and a dog ALL napping in the master bed at 5:53 p.m. Not the best time for naps, I think, but it is what it is, and it is peaceful, so I’m not complaining. I am also delighted that we have a 50 amp site again, which means we can run two air conditioners at once. Plus, we have shade! I actually managed to summon up the gumption to cook dinner without excessive irritability. In fact, even though it is a haul to the bathhouse, I really don’t care! Something about being so hot (the car is already registering over 100 degrees & June has just begun) & having to feed a whole lot of people just gets to me. It is definitely getting close to time to head to more moderate temps, where I can hold aforementioned hot, sticky, sour milk-scented babe in my arms and actually enjoy it!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

First Attempts to Use Our Reciprocal Museum Membership

Lewisville Lake Park,
Site 25 -- great site unless it is going to be blazing hot

Steve decided today would be a great day to spend indoors at the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History  and make use of our newly purchased membership to the reciprocal program for museums, zoos, etc. In short, make sure you read the fine print carefully because museums are always happy to sell you a membership but they are fastidious about making sure they are not missing another opportunity to make you purchase tickets despite your membership. Steve spent a lot of time on the phone and the internet, and we determined we would not be allowed in because our drivers’ licenses still have our old address on them, which is within 90 miles of the museum we wanted to visit, though far away from the home museum we bought the membership through. Now, to be fair, we did finally get a phone call telling us that they would honor it, but that was hours after our initial call & too late for us to go that day. Instead, we went to buy a bike helmet and tennis shoes for the eight year-old that has been growing & growing & had outgrown both of those things. Bike helmet=easy…tennis shoes=slow form of torture. Not sure how many shoes she tried on, and Steve lost patience early in the game, so I took over while he kept track of the other three. I was nearly ready to give up, when we finally found a pair that she said fit well and were comfortable! I bet it was at least 15 pairs, and she did point out that we had never had to buy her a brand new pair of shoes before because she had always gotten hand-me-downs from her big sister. There were none to pass on this time…so we had to do the hard work, but we survived! The reward for all that was a trip to the dollar theater to watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Thought Life Would Be Simpler By Now

I know that we're dealing with a learning curve here, and I know that Steve is still working, and that affects things, for sure. However, washing dishes, doing laundry, cooking, going to the bathroom, taking a shower...all those things that are basic & admittedly endless, even annoying & monotonous at times in our old house have taken some adjusting to in our new home. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it, thank goodness.  

For example, we've learned our black water tanks are much bigger than we thought they were, which means no longer panicking about using the toilets here early in the morning or late at night or for the two year-old. Plus, I've learned that rather than deal with the stress of using too much water for doing dishes, it is a much better option to do dishes outside in dish bins, so the kids can actually help. I felt like I was drowning in the kitchen between meal prep, cooking, and clean up. In our old house, the kids did the dishwasher, helped with meal prep, and even were starting to do a fair amount of cooking, and I was loving it!! Learning how to do things so I can teach them how to do it, so I can delegate more responsibility to them is crucial. I was really feeling like I never got a chance to relax, and meanwhile, I was watching them play, play, play! Now, don't get me wrong, I get pleasure from watching my kids enjoy life, but we are also a family and we help each other and share the work. Soooo...I'm working on daily chore lists and figuring out how to divvy up responsibilities. 

And we even survived our first trip to the laundromat...five huge loads, $14.50, and two and a half hours later, all laundry was clean, dry, & folded! It sure was a chore to get it all sorted, and loaded into the car, especially since I first had to unload miscellaneous junk, items for donate, items for storage in order to make room for all that laundry, but it sure was sweet to have all that laundry DONE in two and a half hours!