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.  :)