Giving thanks for our food

Even if you aren’t religious, giving thanks for our food is something that really benefits us. Many may be worried about over-eating on Thanksgiving Day with all the rich-tasting foods, many of the dishes being ones we don’t typically have throughout the year. The day becomes a dreaded day when we feel we can’t hold back and may feel that we will ruin our diets or gain weight. This doesn’t have to be true and it isn’t true. Be thankful for the abundance of food available to you. Offer up thanks for your food. Be truly grateful to have food to fill your belly. Savor each bite you take. Sip on a favorite drink. Enjoy the company you’re with. Don’t rush through the meal. Only take a small serving of each dish. If you really want seconds, take it without feeling guilty. Eat a piece of pie.

Go for a 20 minute walk after eating, even if it’s cold.

Hug someone. Tell another how much they mean to you or what you’re thankful about them.

Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in awhile.

Text your co-workers a quick “Happy Thanksgiving.”

In all, enjoy this day and don’t let food get in the way of your happiness.

Musings of the day, in the life of a mom

Time management. What does that make you think of? Perhaps I’m not a very good time manager. The day seems to just slip away. Before I know it, it’s time to get to bed. This is typically when I stop and think. I may be tired, but my brain is still ticking. I believe my body is physically tired, but I’m not mentally tired. Being a mom you may not necessarily be stimulated mentally(perhaps from some mom-life situations, like, “Sweetie, don’t do a headstand on the ottoman. “No, we don’t want to collect and keep all the frogs we find.”).

So I am here to do a brief post tonight as I ponder what my day consisted of.

I may be lax on my time management as I do recall scrolling through Instagram this A.M. I did manage to complete my housework that needed to be done, plus grocery shopping and a quick work out. My children are all alive and well too. I believe it has therefore been a good day, right?

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. 8

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 cheesyūüėä). xoxo tummy

Journal Entry No. 7

#grateful

My family

My friends

Being able to travel

Access to good food and clean water

A vehicle that runs

A nice RV to live in

Freedom in my religious preferences

Right to vote

Running water and electricity

A washer and dryer

Able to do the work I love

Able to homeschool my sweet girls

Heat and AC

Opportunities in my past, present and future

Ability to see and read

Music

Knowledge

The ability to be joyful

Creativity

Sunshine

Journal Entry No. 6

Book intelligent womanI’ve never much cared for this question. I mean, if one was extremely intelligent and less attractive, to what extreme is this “less attractive” look? Who says they’re less attractive? By societies standards? Also, if one really wanted to be up to societies standards of attractiveness, there’s also plastic surgery. Not that I’m saying one should get plastic surgery just because they’re less attractive, but it’s always an option. See, it’s a catch 22. If I say one over the other, there’s always something to comment about the way I perceive it. Does it make one a more shallow person if one says they’d rather be extremely attractive over being intelligent? What’s not to say that a person couldn’t overcome their being less intelligent? Who’s saying they’re less intelligent? Tests? Ba humbug to standardized testing!

I never felt I was very intelligent growing up due to the fact I struggled understanding math. Then, in a remedial college math class, it clicked. Finally, I understood math! After all those years struggling to understand it, I understood it! It felt so good.

Could not a less intelligent person somehow learn in a way to become more intelligent? Even those that have an actual disability in learning many times has other qualities about them that they’re able to let shine.

If one is extremely attractive, one could excel in acting or modeling and make it in life. As for being extremely intelligent, one could succeed in life by being a scientist, mathematician, doctor, or researcher, for example.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Look how busy we’ve been!

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, Saut√©, 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. christmas in rv

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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Too long to wait expectantly

Oh my! It has been over a month since my last blog post! I do thank all my readers for being so patient with me. Seeing that having my children home all day and schooling them takes up a good portion of my time that I would otherwise have allotted to work, I am behind on keeping this blog up-to-date.

Since my last post in September, What I have been up to, I have successfully completed the Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N Expectation training. I am now certified to teach these workshops! For now, I will be offering these workshops via video calls as we have several months of travel planned. We will be returning in March of 2018 and I would like to offer some physical workshops for those in the Middle Tennessee area.

I am excited about this certification since it goes hand-in-hand with my past midwifery work. I am so happy to be able to be involved again working in the pregnancy and post-partum arena!

At the end of September and into the first part of October, the girls and I drove to Lafayette, Louisiana to visit my mother and grandfather. It was so lovely to visit and catch up. A funny thing to note, I didn’t eat much cajun food while there. I did eat a yummy beignet, which I bemoaned the next day as I’m not used to all that sugar, wheat and gluten! We celebrated my mother’s birthday while there and I made a flourless chocolate cake, which was a big hit.

Then back up to Tennessee to drive to Kentucky for a wedding of one of my sister’s. She is expecting her third child in April and I have the honor of attending her birth. We will be parking our RV next to her home as it is almost a 3 hour drive from our home base in Columbia, TN. I am so ecstatic to attend a birth and no less, a new niece or nephew.

After her wedding, we traveled up to Louisville, KY so that Brent could visit some cafes in the area and also my in-laws were taking care of our girls while we went on a cruise.

So, haha, in October, I turned 40! Many say this is a huge land mark in a person’s life. I’m not so sure if I felt it as much as turning 39 last year. For me, 39 was a time of reflection for me. It was the year we decided to fulltime in an RV and I got my first tattoo(one to remember and honor my daughter, Ansley, who died three days after birth).

Back to the cruise now! Brent booked this cruise for my birthday present and he also knew it was something I had always wanted to do. We took a shorter cruise as it was our first, three nights/four days to the Bahamas. Another couple went with us and we all enjoyed the cruise and each other while celebrating my birthday. This was October 19th to the 23rd. We also stayed in Miami, Florida for a day before and after the cruise. We had some amazing Cuban food while there at a restaurant called, Havana 1957. We strolled along the beach front and also enjoyed sight-seeing. We toured Vizcaya, which was lovely, especially if you enjoy antiques and architecture. http://vizcaya.org/

Unfortunately, I did pick up some virus while on the cruise ship. I believe it was due to eating sugar(which lowers the immune system). The desserts offered at the restaurants on the ship were hard to pass up! I don’t regularly eat processed sugar so I am sure my body was having a hard time handling it! So, I spent almost two weeks recovering from this. Now, I am feeling better and will be able to get in the flow of things.

Brent and I also took time to do a “family re-set” plan with Mama Says Namaste. I would highly recommend this to all! It really helped us prioritize what each other means to us and what our family means to us. Go here to read more about her coaching packages: ¬† https://www.mamasaysnamaste.com/coaching/

In December, we leave for Florida to stay at a campsite for the month in Orlando. We will be taking the girls to Disney for their Christmas present. From there, we will drive to San Antonio, TX to explore the area and surrounding it. Then we head to Phoenix, Arizona for a month. We will need to return by the beginning of March to await for sister’s birth. On our way back, we will stay in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which my mother and her family lived for many years when she was a child.

I hope that I will not keep you wonderful readers waiting as long as I did this time!

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