Squishy baby birth

My sister had her baby on Thursday, the nineteenth, at 7:07 A.M. I was happy and honored to be in attendance during her labor and birth. It had been awhile, I would guess three years since I’ve attended a birth now. I used to be attend births many times during one month.

It was, at least to me, a nice and easy labor and birth. Though I felt weary after as I’m not used to getting up so early in the morning(3:30 A.M. I was awoken).

I spent most all of the day at her house helping out with laundry, dishes, and food. Also making placenta prints, along with assisting in photographing the placenta. Then I helped with preparing the placenta to be dehydrated and made into nourishing capsules. https://www.mamanatural.com/why-eat-your-own-placenta/

Friday we got our things ready to hit the road as my sister had her baby and we’d been camping on her land for the past month.

We are at our home base in Tennessee for two weeks before heading to Missouri for a rally with other fulltime RV families. This is my first rally to attend and I’m excited to meet more folks like us.

Saturday I did a major Costco haul as I hadn’t been near one in over a month. I also hit up the grocery store. Whew, it was a long day getting stocked up on food and then the fun part, finding places to put it all in an RV.

Today was completely a time for relaxation. We caught up on some shows on Netflix and Hulu as it was a rainy day.

I’m hoping tomorrow I will be back into my routine of journaling and reading. But, these past few days have been good and busy. I am still waiting on the rest of the photos from our RV photo shoot. I’m excited to share these with you all!

Journal Entry No. 16

If I could snap my finger and be any where, I would be in Belize right now. It’s cold and rainy here where I am currently.

I would be lying in a hammock near the beach, sipping on a Mai Tai. The breeze would carry the salty scent of the ocean spray and cool me off. The sound of the ocean waves would sing a sweet melody to my ears. My hunger would be satisfied on a sweet snack of local cashew nuts until it’s time for dinner.

Now, I’ve never been to Belize, but it sounds like a very nice place to relax. I also read up about the Mayan ruins there, which would be interesting site to visit, if I ever got up from the hammock.

Journal Entry No. 13

I don’t usually wait to do what I dream of. I do make sure to look into what I’m passionate about or dream of and research it, if needed.

It took me about two years before going out in an RV fulltime.

As I’ve written in past journal entries, I do wish to travel more internationally. I am going to Cambodia this August, but it is not a trip for pleasure, but to serve the Cambodian people(http://www.lohintl.com). I am still excited to go though!

I have thought of obtaining my master’s of family nurse practitioner, but it won’t behoove me now as I travel and my children are so young, needing help in schooling themselves.

Journal Entry No. 12

If I won the lottery jackpot, I would first donate 10%(before taxes) to Legacy Of Hope International(LOHI), the mission group I’m involved in. Then, I would pay off my debts we have. I would put some aside for each child of mine. I would buy an RV Park for Brent and a birth center for myself. I would get weekly massages. I would travel internationally several times a year. I would invest the rest, like a responsible adult should.😊

Journal Entry No. 11

Recently, my most memorable experience with nature was in Sedona this winter. It was unlike any landscape I’d experienced before. So different than here in the southeast.

I gasped and exclaimed at the redness of the rocky hills. The shapes of the rock formations were so interesting too! I loved the contrast of colors; greens, reds, and browns.

The coolness of the air and the warmth of the sun, all at once while hiking the trails there. It was phenomenal. I cannot wait to visit Sedona, Arizona again. Daphne McIntosh Sedona

Journal Entry No. 9

I am living an adventure that I love. I dreamed of living more simply. Traveling with my family. We are living out an adventure everyday. It may not be heart-thumping adventure each day, but we get to spend time with each other exploring the United States in an RV.

I do still wish to do some international traveling(I do get to go to Cambodia this year!). I’ve always wanted to visit Spain and Greece. I’m hoping one day I will!

Journal Entry No. 5

I would like to be Angelina Jolie for 24 hours. I would want to be her because she has a heart for humanitarian work, promotes varies cause, has lots of children and of course, is absolutely gorgeous. Angelina Jolie with son, Maddox

I particularly like that her first interest in humanitarian work was during the filming of Tomb Raider where she found out about war-torn Cambodia. This is where I am going to this year! One her son’s is Cambodian that she adopted. She was awarded Cambodian citizenship in 2005.

I would like to spend time as her doing humanitarian work.

Dirty and Dry

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We are in Camp Verde currently and it is chilly here! It’s really nice as there’s hiking trails right next to where our coach is parked, as you can see in the photo above.

After spending a month in the warm Phoenix area, the cooler weather is refreshing. We also had rain which we hadn’t seen in a month.

We met so many nice full-time families in Phoenix. We had a great time becoming acquainted and learning their story of why they went full-time on the road. The scenery was so interesting there as well. Very different from where I’ve visited in the past(mostly south east part of the U.S.). Brent loves that there were no mosquitoes around to bite him. It’s so dry and dusty here! Our family did several hiking trails there(only short ones with all three girls). We really relaxed a lot while there. They had a nice swimming pool and hot tub on the camp grounds.

Brent bought a cool portable speaker so we can listen to music outside since he was able to be outside without getting bit.

I’ve been doing the 30 day yoga challenge through Yoga with Adriene this month. I also have continued doing daily, guided meditation. This has been my self-care. It’s nice to do something little like this and not spend a lot of money on self-care(nails done, shopping, etc.).

I do enjoy adding in essential oils or a nice incense to my daily routine. I also love the warm glow of my salt lamp.

I’ve been trying to do more weekly meal planning as it’s hard to put any extra food away in the RV kitchen area. One meal that was a big hit is Ancho Chile Chicken with re-fried black beans and roasted red bell peppers that I found in a magazine I had.

For breakfast, I’ve narrowed down my girls’ choices to: Kodiak Cake mix

Eggs, bacon or sausage(once a week), cereal or smoothies. I typically have a smoothie, oatmeal or eggs with veggies or even leftovers from dinner the night before.

We do our school in the usually in the morning. The girls have enjoyed doing the workbooks I got them and I read aloud to them. We are currently reading the Little House and the Prairie series.

They continue drawing every day and have enjoyed using Art for Kids Hub on Youtube that another full-time family recommended. The drawings they do are amazing from this channel!

We explored Sedona this past weekend and it was amazing! The beauty of the red rocks and landscape were breathtaking. This photo doesn’t do it justice, you’ll have to come see it for yourself.

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We hiked a couple trails at national parks, Red Rock State Park and Slide Rock State Park. Also, we went to the Montezuma Castle. That place I liked for all the vegetation they had labeled there. I learned about so many neat plants that the people there had used medicinally and eaten.

We had originally planned to go see the Grand Canyon, but with the temperatures in the teens and none of us have cold-weather clothing, we are heading back to Tennessee this week now. There, we will catch up with friends and family, go to the dentist, eye doctor and general doctor check-ups. Yes, we still do normal, everyday things like everyone else.

It’s been a great few months exploring different places and I look forward to exploring more in a couple months!

The Places We Go!

It’s been another month already. Boy, how time flies when you are having fun or are busy?! It’s a new year as well. Fresh starts for many with new year’s resolutions. I am not a big proponent of “once a year resolutions.” I believe that we should make goals throughout the year as  they are more often than not, kept.

In December, I started meditating and used Headspace’s ten days of free meditation. It was really nice! I loved how I felt after each of the sessions. It can be hard to find ten, solid minutes undisturbed when you’re a mother of three young children. There were days where I was interrupted, but I tried to take it in stride. One day, I did not. On that day, I did another five minute meditation on anger, haha. After those ten free days were over, I tried out the app, Calm and have liked it over-all. Both Headspace and Calm are a bit different from each other. Calm is less expensive, but I’m leaning toward Headspace. I will keep trying the free sessions both offer and try to decide if I want to join one or the other.

I have been trying to get my children to listen to meditations as I believe it helps their minds and may help them in their day to day life. Especially, my oldest, as she could benefit from the calming techniques meditation offers.

In the beginning of December, I went to Jacksonville, Florida with Brent and the girls while he was at a three day work meeting.  I was hoping for hot, sunny beach time, but alas, it was not. It was rather cold, but the girls still played in the ocean. The hotel had a nice hot tub and heated pool, so that was very nice. The staff at the hotel was the nicest! Very accommodating to the young children.

We then headed back to our RV in Orlando. We were at two parks in Florida. The first one was nice, but the second one was a bit different. The spaces were very close together, with only grassy areas to park on. There were many families that lived there all year round. It was also next to some not so nice neighborhoods and a very busy road which we heard loud music, cars and motorcycles with no mufflers, and sirens going off all night long.

We then headed to Louisiana again on our way to Texas. I thought this would be our first Christmas spent by ourselves in the RV, but Brent decided to head out sooner(due to all the racket at that park) and we were able to spend several days visiting my grandfather, mother and father.

Christmas was nice. We didn’t do as many holiday activities as in the past. It felt weird, but I think it was a good thing. The girls didn’t even miss any of the activities that we had done in the past. I think as parents, we sometimes put too much expectations on ourselves and the children don’t even know the difference. Especially with us traveling fulltime and roadschooling, the girls don’t have peers to compare what their families are doing. This has been really noticable with the clothing aspect with girls. One of my daughters had already been asking for name-brand clothes(such a young age to ask for that kind of thing!). But, as parents, we are able to create the family atmosphere that we would like, though in certain circumstances, it may be more difficult than some. For those times, it is good to spend quality family time with them so that your children spend just as much time, it not more with you, than their friends. IMG_0185

For the past nine months, we have been in a gas RV. It has been very expensive filling it up as we traveled. Brent and I have been discussing getting a diesel RV for several months. So, we bit the bullet(which we learned that saying came from when a soldier had to bite a bullet during surgery in the past, more on where we learned this later), and headed to Alvarado, Texas to trade in the gas one for a diesel one. My father came along with us as it was only six hours from Louisiana. We are now proud owners of a new diesel coach! We’ve only been in this one for a couple weeks, but are loving it. The heated floors have come in handy with unusual cold weather in San Antonio, Texas. My father was wanting to experience the area, but with these frigid temps, he decided to go back home. But, not before visiting the Alamo located here in San Antonio.

The RV park we are at in San Antonio is very close to downtown. It’s been nice being parked right across from the facilities playground. Avery loves to run over and play at anytime since I am able to see her from the front window of the coach. We are also right by the River Walk which is a paved pathway that goes along side the San Antonio river. It has seating along the way and playgrounds too. There are city bikes that are available to rent to ride on the river walk. A guided boat ride is available as well.

It’s been much more enjoyable here with the warmer weather now. We have been able to explore the city more. This weekend we went to the local Farmer’s Market in an area called the Pearl. It was such a nice area! Saturday morning we stopped by the San Antonio Coffee Festival. It was located in a historical shopping district. The lines were very long, so after chatting with a friendly family and them recommending the farmer’s market, we headed to there. We then had some yummy mexican food at a restaurant called Pete’s Takos. It was delicious!

Sunday we went to the Alamo. This is where we saw a demonstration on medical practices during the 1800’s and learned where the saying, “bite the bullet” came from. The Alamo wasn’t very big, but it was interesting to read more on the history. After, we walked to the Tower of Americas. It is a 750 foot tower with an observation deck and a revolving restaurant. The food was wonderful and the view was spectacular! The whole family enjoyed it. We found a cool little park area on our walk back to the truck.

We also celebrated my oldest daughter’s tenth birthday and mine and Brent’s 13th anniversary in December(see, I told you December is a busy one for us!).

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Crepes with sprinkles for a birthday breakfast!

Iliana and Emme have been wanting to earn money, so with limited chores to do in an RV, they have taken to selling their artwork. They started painting rocks and those have been their best sellers! Emme has also been doing “body art” with markers. Iliana likes to sketch with pencil and sell those. They got a henna kit from grandparents for Christmas, so I’m hoping they learn to do that and I believe that will be a good thing to know how to do since they both love artsy things.

This will be our last week in San Antonio before heading to Phoenix, Arizona.

For those readers of mine that enjoy food, with the cold weather, I have been craving hot soups again. I like to make a big pot in my instant pot, but do the slow cooker mode. These past couple weeks I have made potato soup(subbing half the potatoes for riced cauliflower, my girls didn’t notice even!), chicken tortilla soup(I like to make chicken taco meat, which is chicken breasts, a jar of salsa and a few tablespoons taco seasoning(I make my own) and save the leftovers for this soup), and a tasty sweet potato and kale soup. I did use up my frozen bone broth, so next week I’ll need to make some more. Soup is great for warming up throughout the week for lunches or even breakfast! I don’t hold to the standard breakfast foods for breakfast and so forth. I actually find “dinner-type” foods to be more hardy and filling for breakfast.  Many times I’ll just eat leftovers for breakfast. Now, I do enjoy some good, plain yogurt and home made granola(my fav: https://ancientharvest.com/recipe-items/honey-nut-quinoa-flake-granola/  I do add in maple syrup for part of the honey and I like walnuts for the nuts) on some mornings. I made yogurt for the first time in my instant pot and it turned out well! I strained it, so it’s nice and thick. I used the whey from it in the girls’ pancakes this morning. With the warmer temps, I plan on making a kale salad today to munch on the rest of the week. One kale salad that I like a lot has dried cranberries, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan in it. The one I am making today is from the Minimalist Baker and it looks phenomenal! After I make it up and perhaps wash these dishes up, we are going bike riding on the River Walk.