Thursday, December 30, 2010


Yesterday, hubby and I did some serious work on the camper.  We ended up taking out the table and chairs and all the carpet in the main area.  As I was ripping out the carpet I was reminded of our first house together. 

Right after we got married we ended up renting a 3 bedroom, 1 and a half bath house.  We were renting it from my old church so in exchange for a cheap rent we were asked to do some improvements to the house.  One of which was to pull up the old carpet (which was hiding beautiful hardwood floors).

Tomorrow we will be putting in Pergo flooring in the areas we took the carpet out.  This brings back some memories as well.  When I was 8 months pregnant with my first child, I helped hubby put down laminate tile.  We ended up having to redo that floor a couple years later and put down Pergo.  We spent a couple nights doing that while the kids were asleep.

To be honest, these times when hubby and I are doing "home improvement" types of things are some of my fondest memories.  Even though the carpets have been GROSS and laying Pergo is a sweaty job, it's been fun.  We've had some interesting conversations and some funny mishaps.

I'm hopeful that we can do more in the future.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Not Much to Open

As we approach Christmas this year I've been trying to focus on the real meaning of Christmas with my kids.  We have never celebrated Santa Clause (we're evil I know).  That said, we have told our kids that there was a man named Nicolas years and years ago (I just found out how long ago - I had no idea he lived that long ago) who was known for leaving gifts for the underprivileged. 

I am happy to say that when asked, both of my children now respond that Christmas is Jesus' birthday.  It warms my heart every time when they tell me why that is so special.  They now understand that we give gifts as a symbol of the ultimate gift we were given by Jesus coming to earth in the form of a baby and then 30 or so years later dying on the cross.

This year I have also been reflecting on how our current living situation has made it so that gifts this year for our kids are more in line with things to do (trips to fun places) and not things to play with.  I have felt a bit guilty about it to be honest until I just realized as I was writing this, that Jesus was given 3 gifts from the wisemen. 

Think about kids in this generation being given only 3 gifts.  There would be a revolt!  I think this year we are going to focus on the fact that the "stuff" doesn't matter.  Does that mean that my kids will be receiving no "stuff"?  No.  It means that my kids are going to learn that we give them "stuff" because we love them (not because they deserve it as kids are told with Santa Clause), but we also don't go overboard... because we love them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Conquering Hero

I did it! I did a bunch of errands driving the truck.  What's more is that I got to the point where I feel comfortable driving the "Beast."  I still have not gone through a drive through but I think I've practiced in enough other situations that I can at least determine if I should even try a given drive through.  For example, I will be able to do my bank with no problems.  The Wendy's however is another story.

For those of you keeping track.. hubby is conquering the travel trailer (meaning the upgrades are in progress).  The hope is for us to be leaving Virginia by Jan 5th or so. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baby steps

Yesterday I took the next step in learning how to drive our new truck.  I got rid of my training wheels (aka. hubby) and drove the truck by myself.  OK, maybe not totally by myself since the kids were in the back seat.  I was even driving it in the rain!  I did park WAY out so I didn't have to worry about crashing into anyone else.  Overall, a very good experience.

Today however I was a bit chicken.  I decided not to drive the truck while doing some errands with the kids.  Specifically, I was afraid I would not be able to park the truck at the library or make it through the Starbucks drive-thru.  I would have been able to park at the library, but when I saw someone trying to park a truck of the same size at the Costco I knew I'd made the right decision.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Diamond in the Rough

As I stated in my last posting, we recently decided to buy a truck and camper.  Good news!  My husband has the truck he's always wanted, and we have a pretty nice place to call our own. 

It was very surreal to be driving the truck the other day with my husband in the passenger seat giving me pointers like I was just learning how to drive.  I admit, the truck is a BEAST and is very different than anything else I've driven. 

Thankfully we did not get a dually.  If we had, I'm not sure I would be willing to drive it.  You see, the truck we bought has a long bed.  It makes it nice when you think about storing things (especially since it also has a locking topper) but it is VERY hard to park.  Let's put it this way... for the next few months or so I will probably be "that" person who parks across two parking spaces (sometimes side-by-side and sometimes front-to-back).  I also intend to park so there is no chance anyone else will park next to me.  There is no way I will be able to park between two cars without hitting one of them... at least not for a while.

There is an up side to "the beast."  I have never felt more safe (from deer and stupid drivers in particular).  How can you not when you are the same height as a school bus?  I kid you not; we were driving in town and I could look straight from my window into the window of the school bus next to us.

The trailer is also a beast!  It is 38 feet long and has 4 distinct rooms. There is a room with bunks in the back for the kids.  Just in front of that is a bathroom (with a full corner shower).  Then comes the kitchen/dining/living area.  In the very front is the master bedroom. 

We have some work to do before the trailer is ready to go, but we hope to be going South before the end of December.  With the weather the way it's been lately we can't get South soon enough. 

It's taken a lot of searching but we've finally found our diamond in the rough.  Let the fun begin!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Appologies from a slacker

I knew it had been a while since I had posted anything and I just realized it's been almost a month! I feel like such a slacker.  I have a friend right now who is working full-time, taking an accelerated cohort college program, and is a wonderful mother to a 4 year old.  Did I also mention she regularly posts on her own blog?  In fact, her posts over the last few days have guilted me into staying up a bit late to get something posted today.

My intent for this blog was to let you know what is happening as it relates to our travels.  I think the reason I have not posted anything has actually been because I really wish I was sharing different information.  I was hoping to be in Australia for Christmas this year.  Granted, we've known for a while that that wasn't going to happen.  Our most recent hope was that we would drive South in an RV just days after Thanksgiving.  That hasn't happened either.  The RV we were going to take has engine issues and we've decided not to fix it.

Now we are on plan 3.  Last week, we drove all over Virginia in search of a 1 ton truck and a travel trailer or 5th wheel camper.  This new plan is a bit exciting because newer camper layout's seem to be better than the RV we had.  It's a bit unnerving at the same time because we're going to be trading in our (read: "my") car for the truck.  I will miss our car.  It has just about every bell and whistle I could ever want. 

We are still hopeful that we will be going to Australia, but I feel like we've given up so much already (e.g. a great house near my family and friends as well as our cat) that to give up "my" car would just irk me that much more if we don't end up in Australia.  I feel a bit selfish and guilty considering what others are going through, but my husband has always wanted a truck so I am trying to suck this up and let him get his toy. 

This does seem to be the logical thing for us to do right now.  We could still move to Australia, which means we don't want to commit to a long-term rental. Not only that, but we don't have any furniture!  A camper means our furniture travels with us and we don't have to commit to staying anywhere for more than a night.  Not only that, but if we end up staying in the US, we're both thinking we want to buy a fixer-upper and having a camper will give us a place to stay while working on a house.

I am sorry I have been hiding from you.  I will try to be better about posting.  The next few days could be a bit hectic though (I'm pretty sure we will be buying the truck and camper this week) but I will certainly let you know what's going on.

Keep us in your prayers as we try to firm up our plans (and purchase a few rather big ticket items).