Most days I crawl into bed, beneath my white quilt scattered with colorful feathers and a soft, fuzzy throw blanket(we keep it cool at night to promote sleep). This is where I think of you. You, as in my blog and readers. Several months ago I was all about writing everyday and seemed to have a pretty good routine down. Now, I thought 21 days was a magic number in helping one establish a habit. I wrote practically everyday for that amount of time and see here I’ve been missing many, many days as of late. I wanted to put myself out there, be more open and vulnerable. I can say, it is harder than one would think. Some of the journal prompts were so easy and seemed quite silly to me, but others made me delve into myself more than I had done in awhile. A couple made me wonder why I hadn’t thought about that particular thing before. I actually had to look some facts up(on Google if course☺️), to be able to answer the journal prompt fully.
This afternoon, while waiting for the charcoal to be ready, I read a short blog post on writing for just ten minutes a day. Now I could at least try to do this. So, thank you, Kara, from http://www.kelizabethfleck.com/ , for inspiring me to hop on my blog for just a bit of typing a day.
You may see a journal entry or just something that I felt I needed to write that particular day.
Now to read for a bit before this cold room induced sleep over-takes me.
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!
Today was cold with light snow being blown by strong winds. The girls and I snuggled in bed a bit longer this morning since it was so chilly out and Brent is out of town. It was close to 9:00 A.M. before we were done with breakfast and started book work. After this was done, we watched Pippi Longstocking. Then the girls went outside to play with their cousins while my sister and I went for a walk.
I made lactation cookies today for my sister. My phone was disabled for many hours due to an update(the recipe is saved to my phone), so I used a different recipe this time, but my favorite is this one: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lactation-cookies-recipe-increasing.html?m=1
So, on to my journal Entry for today.
What five things would I spend $5 on for fun or self-care?
I know I need to be more accepting of myself. Like I wrote in Journal Entry no. 1 about being a critical person, I tend to be critical of myself. I’ve read many books and articles that say to “just accept yourself.” Why is it so hard for me to just accept myself? I’ve come to see I need to set my mind, daily, on being grateful and happy about things unique to myself, that make me truly me. I like when I did a yoga video from Yoga with Adriene, and she had me place my hands on my abdomen and say a word of thanks for all it does for me, day to day. It is one area of my body, in particular, that I’m unhappy about. But, in doing that exercise, I see I’ve been very ungrateful to this body part. It has done, is doing, and will do so much for me. My abdomen area has helped carry four babies, helps hold in numerous, vital organs, helps me stand tall, helps me with breathing, so, so many functions in which I seem to take for granted.
I accept myself. I love myself just the way I am(even if those statements sound cheesy😊). xoxo tummy
I am taking these journal entries straight from my paper journal. I’m also following the book, “365 Journal Writing ideas.” I will not write exactly what each prompt is as I want you to still want to perhaps get the book yourself and try it out as well. So, I’ll title these as a daily entry with a number to set them apart.
Happiness to me is a feeling of contentment. It is where I feel satisfied with what I’m doing day-to-day. In the past, I would have described myself as rather unhappy and a worrisome person. Over the years, I have(most recently), learned that happiness is really a “mind-over-matter thing. I tend to be an overly critical person and that can make one an unhappy person. I have to work daily on my habit of being a happy person. I do this by meditating, prayer, reading something inspirational, exercising, eating well, and trying to keep a positive attitude throughout the day.
One memory(of many!), of when I felt really happy was after the birth of my second baby. I was able to have her at home and she was such an easy-going baby! I enjoyed my post-partum time with her a lot.
I would say a time when I made someone else happy is when I make them a favorite meal. I enjoy cooking and it gives me pleasure to see someone enjoying he food I made for them. I know if I make one of my children or husband a favorite dish or meal, that makes them very happy. I love sitting down with my family for a meal and enjoying it with them.
The other day I received an email from a homeschooling email list I’m on and she had listed in it free or reduced rates Kindle books. One of the ones that came up when I clicked the link was, “365 Journal Writing Ideas:A year of daily journal writing prompts, questions, & actions to fill your journal with memories, self-reflection, creativity & direction.”
I’ve pondered journaling and have done a little here and there in the past, but never was dedicated to it. I ended up downloading the book. During one of my reflection times last week, I felt that I should take what I’m writing in my paper journal and post it to my blog. Now this is a big step for me. I am not a very open person and I believe this will make me vulnerable to my readers. But, I had such an overwhelming feeling that this is what I should do and that so many who read blogs actually crave that close, personal look into someone’s self.
So, I will continue to post about our travels and health stuff, along with my daily journaling. I may not get them up every single day, but I promise I’ll get them all posted within the week of writing them.
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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.
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!
I have a confession. I put off writing many times here due to perfection. My imperfection is perfection. Putting yourself out there, like I do on this blog, is a lot for me. I do enjoy the platform as it’s enjoyable for me to write out my thoughts, musings and day-to-day life going-ons. But, I admit that fear gets the better of me somedays and I feel that I shouldn’t publish a certain blog post due to it not being “just so.”
I worry the pictures I post won’t be good enough or what I post won’t be interesting enough.
There, I said it and I am working to be kinder to myself. In this way, I will feel accountable now that it is written here.
In what ways do you feel that you’re lacking or judging yourself?
Write it down, say it, tell someone what it is. Now, doesn’t that feel much better? Let’s all give ourselves more self-love. You are worth it. You deserve it. Only the best will do(but no need for perfection 😉).
Especially with such ease of access of social media, we are inundated with pictures of perfection. We are not meant to be perfect. Life is messy. Life is good even in the midst of day to day grind. Let the online friends and followers know you are human. They’ll like you even more!
I want people to remember me for my kindness, humor, and love, not picture-perfect or even eloquent words on a blog.
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.
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!).
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.
With spotty WiFi in the RV parks we’ve been camping in these past couple of weeks, I haven’t had a chance to do much blogging. Brent says that I just don’t like to have Wifi, but it is a struggle to find a good Wifi signal at these parks. Many times their websites will state that there’s Wifi available, but like the current one we are at, it is only available in a room next to the office. So, while my laundry is washing, I will try to update all of you on our where a bouts and going-on’s.
We pulled out of our “base camp” site in Tennessee and headed to Louisiana for Thanksgiving with family. My father installed a RV plug for us to plug into and we parked in the front yard. I kept joking we were Eddie and Catherine from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Some of our family from around was able to join us and we had a nice time visiting with cousins.
After spending a week in Louisiana, we drove to Florida for our first winter in the sun. We stayed overnight in a truck stop on our way here. That was an interesting experience. It was rather loud all night with trucks and cars coming and going all night. The big rigs also ran their diesel engines all night. This actually was our second time staying overnight in a truck stop. We couldn’t open any of the slides, so we had to squeeze into the beds at night. I realized we had too much “extra” items around to sleep and move about comfortably and easily with the slides all closed. So, when we arrived in Florida, I went through our stuff to purge more items. Now we won’t have as much to put up on the beds as we drive and then we are able sleep in the beds without moving containers(I had a small rolling cart with some art supplies in it) off of them from the drive.
Aside from the stay in Northern Georgia this summer at a RV park, we’ve been spoiled by being able to park in family and friend’s driveways(and front lawns!).
We met a very nice full-time family here in Florida at one of the parks we stayed at for a week. They’ve been traveling for about a year and a half now. Check out their YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/ng2ZTS31rtA , called Unroot Me. Their son also has an Youtube channel about nature and animals. https://youtu.be/irWZ8t-Fbxg
They are off to another part of Florida. Hopefully we’ll meet again!
Since the internet is spotty here, I bought some school workbooks just at Target to work on while we are here. We’ve been doing this program online, loosely: https://allinonehomeschool.com/ We generally lean toward “unschooling” type of homeschooling. I incorporate lots of hands-on activities, outdoors time, playing, and exploring the area we are in.
I’ve been doing a lot of cooking in my Instant Pot( Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer)* as of late due to not having much propane in the tank to use the stove top or oven. I’ve tried out the convection oven and it works nicely, but it is only able to bake small amounts at one time. Some of my favorite meals to make in the Instant Pot are, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/199706564709843715/, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/199706564709819038/, https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/minimalist-baker-3831052/vegan-sloppy-joes-4825066241are just a few. We love to make sweet potato fries and I make them successfully in the convection oven!
We decorated the inside of the RV for Christmas yesterday. It’s not much as we don’t have much space. My three year old and I made a paper chain to help it look more festive. She loved helping making it! It is made from pink and orange papers as that’s all the extra paper I had available, but it matches some of the other Christmas decorations as I used many of my daughters’ decorations from the years past that were used in their bedrooms, which equals lots of pink.
We went to Animal Kingdom this week. It is the girls’ Christmas gift. We only spent one day there and goodness, there is a whole lot to do there! It is pricey, so we only had one day to explore. We all loved the new Pandora ride, except for Avery as she was not tall enough. I was given a fast pass since I wasn’t able to go on with Avery. It worked out because Iliana and Emme were able to go again with me. While Avery and I waited on the others to get off the ride, we explored Dino-land. Avery has been into dinosaurs as of late. When I met the others back in an hour and a half(yes, it took that long to wait ti get on the ride), I passed Avery off to Brent.We all thought it was an amazing ride. It was so realistic! We also went on the Safari ride, which is on a safari-like truck. It took us around an area to show us various animals of Africa. Then we took a train to a petting area and a building with so many insects and amphibians in it! Avery saw some characters too there(one was Doc McStuffins, the other was a character from Lion King). We all enjoyed the day and were so tired by the evening time. The only thing that my girls’ wished was that there would’ve been more rides in Animal Kingdom.
We are not doing Christmas gifts this year, only stockings as we don’t have the space for more toys. The girls did agree on going to Animal Kingdom in lieu of physical gifts.
Well, I’m going to stop here and update everyone in a couple weeks! Have a wonderful holiday season!
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