Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Day 73

What is it with my kids and my feet?  Am I the only one that seems to have magnetic feet?  Or is it a mom thing?  It never fails, I am standing talking to another adult and one of my kids comes up to me, and stands on my foot.  When I walk down the isle of the grocery store, and one of my kids happens to be pushing a cart, I can't help but look behind me every two seconds.  I am just sure they are going to ram the cart into  my heels.  Today, while I was at the Library, I started walking, and at that same moment someone stepped on the back of my flip flop, which caught me totally off guard, I lost  my balance, and almost stumbled.  I was holding a baby, so that didn't help the whole balance thing.  Shortly after, I am reading a book to one or two of my kids, and other kid comes along and stomps on  my foot as they try to climb up to sit by me.  OH!  And then there is the toddler trying to see better that thinks the one or two inches he or she will gain from my foot is worth the risk.  Thankfully Little Dude has grown out of that one.

If anything the camper has magnified this problem.  There is not much floor space in the camper, and to make matters worse, the camper is at an angle.  One kid or other is stumbling onto my foot at one time or other.  It's like they are unable to look where they put their feet.  I suppose I was the same way, when I was young.  There must be some sort of brain development going on here.  Their little brains are learning that when they tell their foot to do such and such, such and such happens.  So, would it be helpful to the process if I smacked them upside the head every time it happened?  Kind of like Pavlov's dogs?  No?  Me either.  So, I will continue with the, "That's my foot," response.

This also reminds me of when I was a kid and my mom would always get so mad at us when we would step in front of her and slow down.  It was like her biggest pet peeve.  We would all be walking, and then my sister or I would step in front of her, and she would find herself having to stop or slow down.  I always thought she was crazy.  But now, after having kids of my own I finally understand!  It IS irritating!  I am walking along, and sure enough someone steps in front of me, and then they get distracted and slow down!  Sheesh!  Or, we are out of a walk, and one of the kids thinks they know where we are all going and tries to turn, but ends up just cutting me (and most times the stroller) off.  Not fun!  But considering the fact that I use to do this, and I don't do it any more gives me hope!  Someday my feet will be my own!

Monday, August 27, 2012

RV Toilet Paper

Day 58

This is what a roll of RV toilet paper looks after it has been sitting in a puddle in the bath tub.  It's my fault really, I should have put it on the roll, even though I wasn't the one to empty the previous roll.  Or maybe I should have made sure the bath tub was completely empty of bath water.  It's kind of tricky.  The camper is at an angle, and the drain is on the high end of the tub.  We rarely use the tub.  I have to fill it with water from the hose, which means I have to get the hose into the camper.  It's annoying.  To empty the tub completely I have to use my hand and continually push the water up towards the drain, over and over, until it is all gone.  If I want it dry, I have to finish the job with a towel.  AJ learned to do this job.  But true AJ style he didn't quite finish the job.  Little Princess set the toilet paper on the edge of the tub, and who knows who knocked it in.  Probably Little Dude.  He is good at that kind of thing.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

God DOES answer prayers

Day 56

So, last night before I went to bed I prayed with all my heart that tomorrow morning would be the morning that I finally got out of bed before my kids.  I have been pray and asking for help with this.  The mornings go so much easier when I get up before the kids do.  But I never seem to actually get up.  So, I earnestly prayed for help.  And he answered my prayer.  Here is how I woke up.

This morning I slowly woke up to whispering.  I was still kind of in a fog.  As I came closer and closer to consciousness the whispering became more understandable.  It was Little Princess and AJ, to be sure.  I moved my head, straining to see the clock to make out the time.  It was useless, it always is, I don't know why I keep trying.  Then I hear, in a harsh whisper, "get your feet off me!"  I kind of groan and say, "what time is it?"  They tell me it is 7:23.  Nice.  Usually at this point I tell them because they are talking before 8:00 they now have to stay in bed until 8:23.  Tricky, aren't I?  But I must be really tired, because this little trick doesn't come to mind.  Instead I remind them that they shouldn't be talking yet, and to lay back down and be quiet.  This doesn't work.  More bickering ensues.  Ones being mean, the others not giving the other one space, he took my pillow, she has my book, blah, blah, blah.  Seriously?  You'd think they'd realize that I don't care.  I never do.  So, what do I do?  I get mad.  I give them each a little swat on the rear (so they know I mean business) and tell them if I hear another peep out of them they will be sorry, and to stay in their one section of the bed.  Then, I look at the clock again, and I am standing on my own two feet, out of bed before the kids!  It's a miracle!  God is so good.  And I laugh to myself, and open up my Bible and write in my journal, and laugh to myself again.  Hehe.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Laundry Day

Day 55

In my mind there is a perfect solution to every thing.  If only the kids would change their attitudes.  If only they wouldn't make me repeat myself, over, and over, and over.  If only they cared about how organized the inside of their suitcase are.  Sometimes I even trick myself into thinking that I am really allowing my kids to make their own choices sometimes, knowing that they will learn that I know best, and take my advice from now on.  But what really ends up happening is they make the wrong choice, and they still don't get it.  At these moments I have two choices, cry, or laugh.  Tonight, I laughed.  Here is the detailed run down of the evening, from 7:34 pm (when we entered the camper for the night) to 9:33 pm (when I tucked them in and said good-night).

I have just pulled all the clothes off the line, and gotten the last load out of the dryer.  My little papoose is on my back.  Little Princess is prancing around in her underwear telling me things like, "I changed my mind, when I grow up I want to sing songs to God," and, "I can't decide if these pants go in the light hamper or the dark hamper, they are pink on the outside, but kind of white on the inside."  I start to fold clothes, watching out the window for what the boys are doing.  Little Dude pulls out some toys, and AJ starts taking down the clothes line.  I pound on the window to get their attention.  They were told to come into the camper, and forgot.  In they come, I tell them all to wash their hands, arms, faces and feet with baby wipes.  Then I tell them to get out their suit cases so we can put their clothes away.  AJ starts to tell me why he can't do that.  Little Princess drags her bag out and puts it in the most inconvenient place in the entire camper.  Little Dude tells me he needs help, and then stretches out on my suitcase.  There is also a mountain of blankets and pillows and sheets on one of the booth seats.  This is the seat the kids use to climb up into the top bunk.  I catch Little Dude trying to scale it like a monkey in a tree.

AJ finally concedes that he does indeed prefer his bag to be organized.  He has been living with it unorganized (because I refuse to repeatedly organize it, after the third time I was done) for about three weeks.  It's almost a daily battle.  He whines and complains, and I tell him I don't want to hear about it, if he wants his bag to be organized, he knows what he needs to do.  Or he will say he can't find socks or underwear or something, and I will tell him they are there, he just isn't looking hard enough.  So, we have decided, together, that he needs a different suitcase.  The one he has is hard to keep organized.  Fair enough.  So I give him a clear tub.  He is organizing clothes into it, but he keeps sitting up on the top of the booth seat which has the kitchen sink behind it.  This also just happens to be the location of our awesome new fly paper trap!  What do you know, it works on flies and kids.  Of course, I don't know about your kids, but my kids never learn their lesson the first time.  Not unless it is something super painful.  So, does AJ remember to stop sitting up on the booth seat, and stop sticking his arm in the fly trap?  No.  So, after wiping sticky goo off his arm four times, the next time he does it, I tell him he has to wipe it off himself.  What do you know, he doesn't do it again.  In fact, he takes steps to keep himself from even going near it, by moving to the other booth seat at the table (which is now blanket mountain-less, because in between wiping the goo off his arm, I have been able to fold the blankets for my bed and put them aside, and help Little Princess make the kids' bunk bed).

Little Princess is done putting her clothes into her bag.  Little Dude is in the way of her bag, and she plows right over him, causing him to fall over, as she drags her bag back to it's place in the camper.  Little Papoose has fallen asleep now, but I have no place to put her.

The kids start singing some annoying song (which I don't even want to try to remember) over and over.  We have another discussion about what I have coined as "unnecessary noise" in the camper.  Then I suggest some TobyMac.  I suggest that Little Princess read to me from one of her books.  She picks a Animal Joke Book.  Lovely.  Now I am listening to jokes and punch lines that don't really make sense because she isn't pronouncing the words correctly, mainly because they are play on word type jokes.  I give up trying to correct her pronunciations after the second joke.  Then I hear Little Princess say, "Then you trying reading, DUDE!"

Little Papoose is now awake.  TobyMac's fault.  Little Dude is trying to convince me he should wear footie pajamies.  AJ is making a good case for why I should let him keep six small pieces of black broken plastic in the camper.  No, scratch that, it's not a good case.  By this time I have all my clothes into my suitcase, a clean table, a semi clean floor, still no place to put Little Papoose, sore shoulders, the kids' beds made, Little Dude in front of the computer clicking repeat the minute TobyMac's song is over, and AJ crying because he can't get all the goo off his arm, even though he is used "twenty wipes".

Oh, look at the time.  :)  I pull out The Wizard of Oz.  The kids get in their beds, and finally there is silence as I read to the kids from their book.  Well, that is until Little Papoose starts jabbering and screaming and shrieking, over and over and over.  Thankfully my kids seem to be paying attention and enjoying the store, despite the noise.

And now, everyone is asleep.  I need to be too!  Wait, one more load in the washer, better move that over...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blackberry Rookie No More!

Day 42

This is what a rookie blackberry picker looks like, after she is done picking her first batch of blackberries.  
I am a city girl.  I have never picked blackberries before.  When my friend asked me if I wanted to come pick blackberries I was so excited.  She said some key words in her email that any normal person would catch on to, like "thick" and "scratched".  I, however, did not catch on to these little clues.  So, I showed up in shorts and a t-shirt (thankfully I had a sweatshirt in my van), with Anna strapped to my back.  Thankfully my friends have a great sense of humor, and are also helpful people!  One friend gave me her gloves and offered to hold Anna while I picked.  The other friend let me follow her around and watch what she did for a little while.
 These are the scratches I got on my legs.  You can't see them very well, so just take what you do see and imagine them all over my legs and arms, and finger tips.
I had to dig out two thorns from my flesh.  The picture above with my hair all crazy...yeah, it wasn't THAT crazy when I went in to the patch, I promise.  I say, "went into" because I literally went into it.  I disappeared from view into tall thorny bushes.  IT! WAS! CRAZY! COOL!

I was a bit timid at first, picking only where I could safely reach, staying on little paths other people had made in their trail blazing.  But picking berries is addictive.  Once your bucket starts to fill up there is really no stopping you.  It wasn't long before I was on my hands and knees (no lie) crawling on the ground, through thorny blackberry bushes, trying to reach clusters of ripe blackberries, just calling to me.  At one point I was practically laying on branches and reaching for berries.  I also found myself unable to stand fully upright in spots (and that's saying a lot, because I am not tall by any means), so I would hunch over and pick berries.

So here are the things I learned from my blackberry picking experience:
1. Denim is a must.
2. Boots are very helpful.
3. Gloves with the finger holes, and the mitten cover you can pull over them are ideal.  The mitten part can be kept off, and used as extra padding when pushing thorny bushes to the side.
4. It is more fun to pick with another person (or more) there.  Then you can feel each others pain as you cry out from thorns scraping your flesh.  Someone will know how hard you worked for that bucket of berries, even if it isn't your husband.
5. A hat or head covering of some sort is helpful in keeping your hair from getting pulled.

Overall it was a great experience.  I am so glad I got the chance to do it.  I hope to go again next week.  I came across several patches of berry laden branches that were not ripe yet.  It will be the mother load in a few days or so!  And when I do go back, I will not be a rookie!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Uh Oh

Day 41

This is the scene of the crime.  This is where it all happened.  It was 7:45 in the morning.  I was lying there, sleeping innocently when I heard him above me, "Mommy, I have to POOP!"  He sounded frantic.  Being four it is always an emergency when he has to poop, I know this.  That's why I give him the go ahead to poop in the camper toilet, rather than make him get his shoes on and go to the house.  I start to drift back into dream land.  Then I hear it, the words you HATE to hear coming from the bathroom, "Uh oh."  If I had been more awake I might have ran to the bathroom to try to make the damage minimal, but I am still kind of out of it.  I hear, "I'm so sorry mommy.  I am so sorry.  I didn't mean to get poop on the seat.......and my leg.......and the floor.....oh wait, not the floor."  My brain finally kicks into gear.  I LITERALLY roll out of bed, because Anna is asleep and silly me I want her to stay that way because I actually think I might be able to crawl back into bed when this is all over.  I stumble to the back the camper.  There he is, standing with his pants half down, poop smeared up the back of his left leg and poop smeared on the toilet.  But it's not the seat.  It's the rim of the toilet.  He tells me he was scared of falling in.  Well, no wonder, he wasn't sitting on the toilet seat.  Sheesh.  I then see that it is indeed on the floor.  The CARPETED floor I might add.  See the discolored carpet in the back.  It's not dirty.  I promise.  It is just faded or something.  I am sure it is from the years of urine getting on the carpet and being washed over and over.  It doesn't smell, it's just really faded.

So I wipe little dudes leg.  I take of his pajama pants, it is on them too.  I toss them in the laundry.  I send him to get some underwear on.  I wipe up the toilet and the floor.  Then I hear AJ yelling (so much for going back to sleep), "HE'S GOT POOP ON HIS FOOT!"  This is where I smack my palm to my forehead.  It is really too early to be dealing with this.  I grab the baby wipes again and clean his feet off, and look more poop on the floor and or bed- my bed.  It is now 7:55, and we are all up and ready to start the day.  Well, the kids were ready to start the day, I was ready to sleep through this day.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Discovering Worms

Day 40

Apparently hunting for worms is nothing new.  This does not surprise me, but how we stumbled onto this is surprising.  In fact we would have never stumbled onto this if we were not washing dishes out side in tubs with a hose, one of the things I hate the most.

The kids' picnic table is outside.  I put three buckets on it, one to wash, one to rinse and one to sanitize.  Then next to those goes the dish drainer.  They never all fit in the dish drainer, mainly because I HATE washing the dishes, so I put it off as long as possible.  When I am going to the dirty dishes pile outside to find things in order to finish making dinner I know I can't put it off any longer.

I take the hose and spray water in all the tubs (or buckets, whatever) and then I put a bit of bleach in the last bucket.  Today I also needed to wash the trash cans.  So there was a lot of water spraying going on, and with the rain all day today the worms were coming out of the ground at an alarming rate.  In fact it reminded me a lot of Tremors.  Ever seen it?  The giant man eating worms come out of the ground and attack the little town in the middle of no where?  Crazy cool!

Of course my kids had no problem picking up the worms.  Which was a good thing because the minute I saw them I wanted them....IN MY GARDEN!  I have looked at all kinds of articles talking about worms and how good they are for gardens.  There are even websites that sell them.  Of course I am not going to pay the money for them, especially if i already have them.  But you never know if you have them, they are hiding in the dirt.  So I just hope I have them, until tonight!

I am not sure how we first spotted them, but I believe it was AJ.  I didn't think to grab the camera til after they had gotten most of them.  AJ would pick t hem off the ground and put them on the seat of the table.  Little Princess would take them from the table and put them in the garden beds.

You could tell the worms were coming by the water rippling.  It was so weird.  You would see the water start to move, and then a little worm head would poke it's head out of the grass.  

This is the smallest one we found.  Some of them were HUGE.  One of them was on it's way into a new hole in the ground when AJ grabbed hold of it and he almost lost it.  The worm was strong and fat!  But he got it!

Little Princess has NO problem touching worms, and this disturbs me.

See the little worm head?

AJ the Worm Wrestler.

AJ putting the worm on the table for Little Princess to collect.

AJ had a worm on his finger and started to drop it...

...and almost caught it.

Little Princess the Worm Whisper.

At least my son looks a bit disgusted.

That is one long worm.  Hopefully they do wonderful things for my garden!  Go little worms, be free!  I bless you!  May you prosper, and make my garden prosper!  :)
Thank you Lord for little blessings, even when I have to do my least favorite things.  Thanks for worms, gardens, and kids that like worms.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Days 28-39

Here are the highlights from the last two weeks:

1. Something inside my grill caught on fire and all the zucchini and brawts I had on the grill started to turn grey with soot.  After much deliberation I decided that I didn't want to eat the soot.  Since I didn't want to throw away the food and start all over either, I came up with the brilliant idea of filling a small white tub (the kind I use to wash dishes in) and kind of washing the soot off of the brawts and zucchini.  It worked okay, but what I didn't count on was the black mess I would have in the white tub when I was done.

2. We went to the Secretary of States office to get our address changed on our drivers licences the other day.  We decided that we didn't want to drag the kids in, so I went in first.  After about 5 minutes I came out because I saw a sign inside that said they didn't take VISA.  We head to the bank for some cash before I realize that one, I could use debit and two, it doesn't cost anything to change your address.  We then head back to the SS office and I go in and come out in about 10 minutes.  My husband then goes in, and the door is locked.  It was the lunch break.  I must have barely made it inside in time.  So we go to Taco Bell for lunch, and then head back an hour later, and the waiting room is PACKED!  I thought Josh would be in there for hours.  I take the kids back to Taco Bell because they all have to go to the bathroom now.  When they are all done I head back to the SS office and see Josh walking towards me.  Apparently they move quick when there is a whole waiting room full!

3. There was a berry fiasco, which looking back now I kind of feel like a drama queen even talking about it. But in my defense I was VERY tired and VERY over whelmed.  Washing and drying and freezing blueberries is quite a time consuming task, not to mention picking the berries.  I had spent a lot of time doing all of those things while I was in Ludington, just to arrive home to find my cooler filled with blueberry and strawberry mush.  It was SO disheartening.  I felt like a complete moron for failing so miserably.  If I had taken the time to stop and think through what I was doing it would have never happened.

4. GAPS Blue Berry Cobbler.  YUM!  It was so nice to have dessert while we were visiting my mother.  Blueberries are the best berries on the planet, in my book!

5. I was with my mother for 9 days, and I took a HOT SHOWER every single day!  I was feeling so relaxed, in fact, that the first day back to living in a camper threw me for a loop.  How had I forgotten that it wasn't easy?!?!  Sheesh!

6. When I got back from my trip my garden had turned into a JUNGLE!  I didn't recognize it!  I had almost given  up hope for it.  It is very clear to me, now, that I am going to have more tomatoes than I know what to do with!  WOW!  Thank you God for such an amazing gift!  Paul says, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

7.  I got an electric skillet from my dear grandma!  It is AWESOME!  It is big enough to make soup in, and to hard boil eggs!  I am so happy to have another option for cooking, other than the grill.

Here are some highlight pictures.  :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Yesterday I did NOTHING.

Day 27

Yesterday I did NOTHING.  Well, maybe not NOTHING, I did go to the bathroom, brush my hair, feed children, wash some dishes, eat, change diapers, visited with my mother, jumped on the trampoline, pushed the kids on the swings, played a VERY long game of Parcheesi....  What is wrong with me?  I did a TON of stuff yesterday!

Being what my husband and I like to call a "Do-er" I have a really bad habit of defining myself by what I do. On many occasions, when Josh comes home and asks how my day went I will respond with, "I didn't DO anything today.  I was a bum."  To which he usually says, "Well, our children look clothed and feed, so you must have done SOMEthing."  What a great man!   God knows I need to hear that on a regular basis.

So, I guess what I mean to say is I didn't do anything too exciting yesterday.  Definitely nothing blog worthy, unless you consider me watching the movie The Devil Wears Prada blog worthy (such a good movie).  But, I promised I would write something every day for 30 days, so there you have it.  I had a nice relaxing day yesterday.  *phew*

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rocks and Sand

Day 26

Time.  No one has enough time.  Never!  It is in constant demand.  I am no different.  And despite my many attempts to manage my time wisely, I don't have the secret to successful time management.  I don't think ANY woman with 3 kids and an infant does.  Of course I have my moments, or even days of successful time management, but they are usually so exhausting that for the next three days I am completely useless.  As I was driving the three hour drive I had today, bemoaning my lack of time, and inability to ever catch up on anything, or get ahead on anything an experiment I had seen in college came to mind.

Here's the experiment:
There is a glass jar, several large rocks, lots of little rocks, and a bunch of sand, all in their own respective piles.  First you put all the sand in the jar, then the little rocks, and then you try to cram as many of the big rocks in as you can.  You can never get them all.  So, then you dump it all out, and you put the big rocks in first, then the little rocks and then the sand, and it ALL fits.

The rocks are supposed to represent the big events in life, or the important things in life, and the little rocks the not AS important things, and the sand the unimportant things in life.

Sometimes I feel like I am in quick sand.  The unimportant things in life seem to surround me, and pull me down.  In the grand scheme of life, washing dishes really isn't that important,  However, there is no way I would be able to survive if I never washed the dishes.  So I wash them, and I tell myself as soon as I have all the dishes clean, and all the laundry folded, and all the meals prepared I will play with my kids.  Yet, it is never ending.  It keeps coming and coming and coming.

Back to my epiphany as I was driving.  The cool and fun things I want to do with my kids are important.  Instead of waiting around until all the dishes are done I need to just plan them in, and fit washing dishes around THEM.  DUH!  I mean seriously, what was I thinking?  It's just like reading my Bible.  If I want to read it, and it is important, I should put it in the jar first, otherwise it is never going to fit in.

I am excited to get home and plan some fun outings and home school field trips with my kids.  My eldest A is almost half way grown!  That means I have already had him for half of the time I will have him in my home.  *Jaw dropping to floor*  It's just crazy how fast time is flying.  And if I wait till I don't have an infant in the house any more, I could miss out on many great experiences with my son.  So, to my stack of endless dishes, YOU MUST WAIT!  To my OVER organized camper, I will leave you be!  And finally, to my computer, see ya later!

The Journey

Day 25

Today I drove 7 hours through endless forests, passed rivers and lakes.  It's a blessing and a curse to live in the middle of no where.  It's beautiful, but it takes forever to get back into civilization.

Lately I have been struggling with temptation.  There is so many things that I can spend my time on.  I love to watch movies and TV series on Netflix.  I can be obsessed with computer games.  I love math and logic puzzles and then there is ALWAYS Facebook.  I could spend hours on Facebook.  It's so tempting, when things get overwhelming, to just check out, and spend hours entertaining myself, vegging out, and tuning out.

So what does that have to do with driving 7 hours?  Well, during this long drive, it occurred to me that we are all on a journey.  Eventually, at the end of our lives, we will come to the end of the road.  And while the destination is important, how we get there is just as important.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

How easy it is to get distracted from our true purpose in life.  I think our culture of entertainment is the most distracting and hindering.  And when I find myself taking my eyes off of Jesus, and putting them on myself, and my need to be entertained, it's like stopping along to side of the road.  Every time I stopped to let the kids go potty, or to get some coffee I postponed my arrival by 15 or 20 minutes.  The trip should take six and a half hours, but since we stopped 3 times, it ended up taking me seven and a half hours.

My life is a journey.  I am heading somewhere.  I can't get distracted from that.  I need to lay aside the things that weigh me down and sin that entangles me, and keeps me from my destination.  I need to keep my eyes on Jesus, the one who makes this journey even possible.  His sacrifice has brought me to this journey, and it will continue to lead me home.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My New Neighbor

Day 24

So.....I have this neighbor.  She is AWESOME....but very different from anyone I have ever met.  I love her to pieces already, but I got to thinking about it tonight, and I realized that God gave me the perfect neighbor, for me.  I know a lot of you may be surprised by this, but I am SHY, at first.  Really.  I have self esteem issues (what woman doesn't) and it is very hard for me to make the first move in friendships.  And then there is the whole social protocol, which I am always wondering if I failing miserably.  With neighbors the anxiety I feel increases two fold.  Do I make the first move, or do they?  Do I cross the imaginary boundary line between our properties, or do they?  And then there's the generational gap, and the four very energetic children who will talk anybodies ear off, if I let them.  And then there is the giant Elephant in the backyard- I am living in a camper, cooking, cleaning and showering outside in my back yard.

Of course, God knows all of this.  He knows my weaknesses, and my insecurities.  He could have given me a neighbor who was my age, and looked like she had her life all together (which is how I imagine all woman my age).  He could have given me an elderly woman with a sour expression, and condemning eyes.  But no.  My merciful and all knowing God gave me Ms. P!  The kids lover her, and I love her.  She has brought me fresh bread from the oven, freshly picked raspberries, thimble berry jam, and lots of good advice.  She laughs at everything, and finds my kids quite amusing.  Tonight Abby had her arms around her neck, and was whispering something about how much she liked her.  She always encourages the kids to help their "mama".  She comes on over anytime she seems me in the backyard, and we chat.  She is a wonderful blessing!  I have never met anyone like her.  She is definitely a Yooper (accent and all), and I can't wait to get to know her even more!

With all that I have going on, and how weird my life seems right now, it is so comforting to know that I don't have a neighbor who is sitting on the other side of the "boundary line" judging me, or thinking I am weird.  HA!

A Day In the Life of Little Dude

Day 23

Hi!  My mom calls me little dude because I am so cute.  I know I am cute, and I use this to my advantage.  I also like to make friends with random people I see in restaurants and stores.  I can say lots of big words, but for some reason I can't blow air out of my nose.

Today was like any other day.  I woke up, dug through my duffel bag for some clothes, then slid down out of the bed.  My toes can't touch the edge of the couch yet, but I point them really hard, and keep inching my way down, trusting they will hit the edge.

My mom asks me to help her a lot.  I am a big boy, you know.  I got to put my little sisters hat on her head.  It didn't quite work right.  I kept getting it in her eyes.  My little sister was on my mom's back, in the backpack carrier, and my mom couldn't reach her to put her hat on, so I did it.

While I was helping mom make breakfast I made a really funny joke.  Well, at least I thought it was hilarious.  I asked mom if I could crack eggs.  She said not until I was a little older.  So I asked her if I could crack eggs when I was five.  She said probably.  Then I asked her if I could crack eggs when I was a grown up.  She laughed at me and said of course.  I ran off to tell my big brother and sister my clever joke.  They ran from me, and ignored me.  They do this a lot.  I am not sure why.  My mom thinks it is because I talk all the time.

I got to stir the scrambled eggs while they were cooking.  I like to pretend I am a cook in a restaurant when I get to do this.  I also like to tell stories.  I make up all kinds of things.  My mom says I have the craziest imagination.  Today I told her about a dream I had about Batman and me.  In my dream Batman gave me all of his cool stuff, and I got to fight the bad guys.

My big brother was trying to scary me again.  He told me about a monster.  But I said, "Monsters don't exist, remember?"

My mom found another piece of junk in the backyard.  She always finds things.  I don't know why she calls them junk though.  I think they are awesome.  This time she found a wrestling dude!  I call him Popeye the Sailor Man.

I got a Captain America mask for my birthday from my Auntie and Uncle!  I love it.  I put it on today and showed my little sister.  I told my mom that I thought she was saying (in a high pitched voice), "Ooooooo!  Captain America!"

We have a wood deck with a ramp.  It is kind of old, and my mom says it needs to be painted or stained or something.  I like to slide down the ramp.  My mom hates it when I do it.  She says I will get splinters in my stomach, or my legs.

My big brother and sister are awesome.  They play the coolest games, and I try to play too.  Sometimes they are so nice, and let me.  Other times they tell me I am being too silly.  We also like to dance and wrestle.  Sometimes we start off dancing and end up wrestling, with me on the ground.

Our new house is so cool.  I keep asking if I can walk through it and look at everything.  It is a mess right now.  I am also a bit of a clutz, and I keep tripping on the step into the house.  I also can't reach the door knob to the house, so when I have to go potty, and the door is closed I start crying and screaming for help.  My big brother or sister usually come and save the day.  I love them.

I get to help wash dishes too!  My mom fills three square tub bucket things with water, and she puts bleach in the last one.  Then she washes them, and my brother and sister and I get to rinse and then sanitize them, and then stack them in the dish drainer.  We don't do this every day though, like we probably should.  My mom hates doing, so she usually puts it off as long as possible.  Then we have a huge pile of dishes to do.  My dad felt bad for my mom, so he bought her some more paper plates.  She hates using paper plates and bowls and stuff.  I think it is because they blow away in the wind, but daddy thinks it is because she doesn't like to waste stuff.

Tonight my big brother and sister and I tried to sleep like lions in our bed up top.  We piled on top of each other, and shut the curtain.  Mom caught us, though.  She made us sleep in our spots.  Mommy knows best, I guess.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Day 22

Imagine living in a house that had a kitchen that was 40 feet long and 20 feed wide.  Sounds good, right?  Well, maybe a bit big.  But anyway...now imagine that in this kitchen the cabinets are on the west wall, the table is on the north wall, next to the stove, the trash can is in the south east corner, and the refrigerator is on the south wall.  Now take away the walls, and you got my "kitchen" set up mapped out perfectly!  HA!  Oh, except the water....it depends on what I need the water for.  I have three sources.  The first source is the hose (which floats around the "kitchen").  We don't drink this water though because it tastes like rubber.  Very nasty.  We even tried using a super duper RV filter thingy that attaches to hoses, still disgusting!  The hose is used for filling up the buckets to wash dishes, cold showers, watering the garden and filling the kiddy pool.  On occasion it is also used for rinsing veggies or random things that fall on the ground and get dirty.  I also have a sink, which, going with the "map" theme here would be halfway between the "refrigerator" and the "stove" (aka- coolers and grill).  The faucet is very low though, and it's hard to fill things with it.  Usually we have to fill a bottle, and then use that bottle to fill other things.  We can rinse veggies in the sink, most times, but there is no real counter.  The kids usually rinse the veggies, one at a time, and bring it to me.  It keeps them busy anyway.  The 3rd water source comes from the sink, but we store it in bottles in the camper.  This is AJ's job.  I use the sinks to rinse veggies or my hands, but I have to pour the water from the bottle because when we hooked up the hose to the camper we got serious leakage under the camper.  It was dripping everywhere.  It was very hard to see where it was coming from too, so we gave up, figuring it was better for Josh to spend his time fixing the house, rather than the camper.

And there you have it.  :)  I get my exercise for sure!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Flies & More Flies

Day 21

I can not even begin to imagine what it would have been like in Egypt during the plague of flies, but I can believe that it was complete torment.  We have successfully managed to keep the mosquitoes and biting flies at bay.  There are a few random bites, but nothing like when we first moved out here.  The one thing we have NOT conquered is the fly!  The common ole' house fly!

We have been tempted to buy one of those screened in pop up gazebo type things.  They just love to be around us when we are eating, which I would take as a compliment to my cooking if I didn't see them swarm around fecal matter and other such things!

They quite frequently find their way into the camper as well.  The door system to get into the camper is not the best.  And with that and the 4 children I have under the age of 8, you can see why.  These flies are persistent little buggers!  Bugs are gross.  Yeah, we all know that, but it is convenient that most bugs stay out of eye sight.  But these flies seem to find enjoyment in tormenting the human race, or at least my FACE!

A few days ago, I piled the left over food from our breakfast meal onto a plate, and I set it aside to go inside to look for something to put it in.  At home I did this often, with no problem.  Well, when you cook and eat in the great out doors, this is NOT a good idea.  I repeat, NOT a good idea.  I came back to the plate not even 5 minutes later to see it COVERED with flies.  I mean COVERED!  Ugh!  I can tell you with conviction that it hasn't happened again, and it WON'T happen again.  *shudder*

Well, this morning guess what I awoke to!  A fly!  That's right.  A nasty little fly decided to perch it's nasty little body on MY head, over, and over, and over, and over!  NOT COOL!  Of course, I wasn't fully conscience at first.  It didn't take long.  Soon I had littlest A's head and mine under the blanket.  I think this is the worst way to wake up.  There might be one way that is worse.  Maybe Eldest A throwing up on my head, as he is falling out of his bed, and landing on me and the pile of throw up.  Yeah, that is the ONLY thing that would be worse.  ;)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Top 10 Reasons Why Living In A Camper Isn't That Bad

Day 20

10- The passenger seat doubles as a nice cushiony office chair.
9- You learn to condense your junk.
8- It only takes a few steps to get from one "room" to another.
7- As a kid didn't you dream of camping all summer?
6- There's a 20X10 foot section of the lawn that doesn't need to be mowed.
5- It takes 10 minutes to clean.
4- The back bumper doubles as a make believe Garbage Truck.
3- Sleeping on the couch doesn't mean your in the dog house. 
1- It increases your thankfulness to a great benevolent God and gracious good friends.

by Josh and Katie

The Day In Pictures

Day 19

Spoiled by the hubby, once again.

Beans cooking in the crock pot.

Coffee brewing in the coffee pot, just for my hubby!

Litte A on the bike, with an umbrella I rigged to keep her protected from the sun.

Isn't she the cutest!

Little A and Mama.

I love her.

Are you done taking pictures AJ?

Seriously, what are you doing AJ?

Eldest A and Little Dude.


Riding bikes in front of house.

"Mom, take a picture of our parade."

Love those lips!


"Here are some flowers mom."