Monday, December 28, 2009

Forgot it was Monday

Well, things seem to be settling down here a little bit. We are getting a little more used to living in a camper and it seems more 'like home' when our things are all put away and in their own spot.

We have now moved to our 'permanent' spot (we were in a temp spot since someone was in it when we got here and bc of the snow they couldn't get their camper out) and it's way nicer being in this spot. It's more in the trees and we have a long driveway so no one has to walk past our camper or anything. Plus we are on the end so we only have one neighbor on the one side of us. (And since we have already 'moved'...I know what it's going to be like going from one job to the next...just unplug and go! HOW NICE!! No rentals, no packing, no u-hauls...!!!

There have been a few tricky things that we've learned, like having to put heat tape covered with insulted tubing that is duct taped on along our water hose so our water lines don't freeze over night, or unplugging the heater while we have our skillet or toaster plugged in so we don't trip our breaker. (We've tripped that thing so many times since we've been here!..but now that we are getting used to what we can and can't have on at the same time, it's getting less often :)

But there are some things that I just love about camper living. 1) Everything HAS to be in it's place or we can't walk, etc. I LOVE having to be so organized. 2) I LOVE having to do the dishes right's not even an option. If we dirty a plate, it's washed, dried, and put away before we leave the kitchen. 3) I LOVE my central vac! We plug that puppy in several times a day and just suck up anything that's on the floor and it makes it look so nice in here! 4) I LOVE being right where the action is. ex) when i'm making supper, my whole family is right behind me in the living room or at the table.

Yes there are certain things that you have to get used keeping my bananas and bread in the oven bc there's no other place to put them, or storing my crock pot in the 'spare' bathroom (we turned the 2nd bath into a storage room :) or feeling like you're in an airplane bathroom sometimes when sitting on the toilet bc the kids are running around shaking the place...I can actually say it's starting to feel like home.

(Sorry no Not Me Monday this week...forgot it was Monday so didn't think of anything...gotta wait til next week!)

Is she not just the prettiest little girl you've ever seen?!?!

The kids on Christmas day before going to Uncle Jack and Aunt Sarah's

We couldn't find Brayan at Sarah's house for a few mins...then we found the closet eating a candy cane :)

Ariella taking a little nap with Aunt Sarah

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas day

I tried to update this last night but my internet wouldn't stay connected. Must have been because of the rain? It poured all day and all night last night. It was weird to be driving back from Nathan's sisters house last night with a couple feet of snow on the ground and then have it pouring rain at the same time....strange!

Anyway, we had a great Christmas day over at Nathan's sisters house with her family and then Nathan's other sister and fiance who live in D.C. It was only 45 minutes to their house too!! So wonderful to be close to something and someone familiar! We spent the day eating TONS of AWESOME food, playing games, watching movies and hanging out. I'll post some pics later.

We have been trying to get settled in, unpacking boxes and trying to find a place for everything. Various problems or hurrdles keep popping up with the's definitely been a huge learning curve having this thing!!

Wow...where am I to start???

Getting better....

The kids can actually sit at the table!

This is what I did with the boys while I was trying to worked well for the most part!

Ariella 'helping' with unpacking.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We Have Arrived!

Just a quick post to let you all know that we made it to Culpeper VA safe and sound! It has definitely been a trying time for us since everything seems to be going wrong with pretty much everything, but we (I mostly) are trying to take it in stride and keep calm. So what exactly has been happening? Well....

1) RV got dented/scratched/banged up on the side by the snow blower at best western before it even got out to our campground

2) The RV that is in our spot in the campground hasn't moved yet so we are in a temporary spot that is only 30AMP electric (we have 50 amp) so some stuff doesn't work and we don't want to set up our septic, etc only to move in a couple days.

3) The water was leaking outside (..Nathan fixed that)

4) The water under our sink leaks (..Nathan kinda fixed that)

5) We couldn't get out outlets to work all day (a few mins ago we figured that out)

6) Our microwave doesn't have any buttons on it, it's supposed to be operated by it's matching range...yeah well we don't have the matching range....nice.

7) Our water filter doesn't work since we are at a different elevation it has to be reset...don't even ask me where the reset valve is.

Those are just a few things...

BUT....we DID meet some AWESOME friends who live about an hour away who's house we stayed at last night. (yeah, the first time we met them was last night and we stayed at their house...but they were cool and they are cousins of some friends of ours back in NE so it was all good!) AND they gave us 2 bags full of groceries AND a crock pot full of chili to bring home! Awesome! Thank you guys!! We love you already!!

AND our kids love their new beds (pics to come later..I'm tired :)

AND our heat works

AND out water works

AND I have all our clothes put away and my bed is made.

So I'm trying to focus on the good....

Oh, AND my internet works!! YAY!

More updates later, for now....SLEEP!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I have not traveled in and through 7 states in 2 days with my family, nope not me!

I am not about to leave the hotel to travel to our 8th state this morning, hoping the weather on the east coast is good enough to drive in, nope not me!

I did not buckle my kids into their carseats while we had it in our house while packing just so they'd stay outta trouble for 2 solid minutes, nope, not me!

I did not try to keep my husband calm when we were told the interstate was closed and we couldn't find a hotel that wasn't booked and our 2 yr old was puking all over the car, nope, not me!

And I did not have to tell the nice 911 lady that called out hotel room that it was "just the kids" that were playing with the phone and no we didn't have an emergency. Nope, not me!

What haven't you done this week?

Not Me Monday is a blog carnival created by McKMama.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh Boy

I had to go back and read my last post to see where I left off since SO much happened yesterday!!

We had a great night in Mt Vernon and the hotel (Fairfield Inn) was EXCELLENT!! The beds were the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in and the breakfast in the morning was amazing....anything you wanted was there!

So we left about 8:30am on our way to Charleston WV. We didn't know if the road conditions were going to be rough or not, but to our surprise, it was actually very good driving. It was raining/snowing almost the whole drive, but the interstate was clear, just wet. So we were able to keep cruisin at a good 70 mph most of the way!

We stopped to get gas (yes, nathan filled up this time! :) about an hour from Charleston and it was only 3:30 in the afternoon. We traveled in another 4 states, 3 if you don't count Illinois again...Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia. We were looking forward to a relaxing night at the hotel.

Well, that all changed once we got into Charleston. All the hotels were booked because of the snow storm, and we mean all the hotels. So we decided we'll just keep heading east until we get to the next town and stop there since the weather wasn't too bad, just wet. Well, we got about 15 miles out of Charleston were the toll booths were and they told us the interstate was closed, we needed to turn around and go back into Charleston!

Ok, that's not so bad, we'll find a place......NOT!

We stopped at several, all booked. I called dozens, all booked. Traffic everywhere, dark out now, snowing now, getting late, no place to stop and to top things off....

Brayan was puking all over.

So with a child who keeps on throwing up and all things going on, with me trying to keep close to Nathan's car, in a city or state for that matter, that we had no idea what was what, we headed back west hoping to find a place to stay....ANY PLACE!!

I was on the phone with my dad and my brother trying to do internet searches and calling hotels to book a room for the night.

Well, after BACK TRACKING for over an hour from the toll booths (which isn't exactly fun after already driving all day!) we had a place to stay, thanks to my parents who called and booked a room for us....the last room in a new 5 story Holiday Inn. We were so happy to be able to be inside, out of the car, off the roads so we could get brayan some new clothes and give us a chance to unwind from the crazy last couple of hours.

The couple who is hauling our camper for us got stuck sitting on the side of the interstate in a line of semis for the night but I'm happy to say that they did arrive to our destination safely today and now are just waiting for us to get there. They told us not to drive today as the roads were still horrible and many many cars/trucks still in the ditches, etc. So we decided to stay here for the day and relax and we'll venture out in the morning.

Nathan thinks it was okay that we stayed least he could watch football :)

So that's my update for now. Hopefully next time I write we'll be safely in Culpeper. I got a internet card for being out there so not exactly sure how good it'll work. Hoping good so I can post again soon.

Thank you for your prayers for safety, they are greatly appreciated!!

Bray Bray is nice and comfy in his 'bed'

Kids jumping on the beds, so happy to be out of the car!

Ariella thinks the beds are comfy...

View of the pool Tiernan and I swam in

View from our hotel room

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mt Vernon and Humble Pie

(sorry can't get pics in right order...just deal with it! :)

Wowzers! It's been a busy couple days!!

We got the van all loaded the night before Nathan was going to go to put the last of our stuff in the camper.....and the van wouldn't start!! after a little thinking and phone calls, we found a friend who had a battery charger and that did the trick! So thankfully it wasn't a whole day wasted! We thought we had most things already loaded in the camper when my dad was here so we'd always say 'Oh, we just have our clothes and some dishes to pack still..." Does this look like only some clothes and dishes?!?!

And that was with EVERY seat except the front two OUT and it was PACKED!! I have a feeling I'll be getting rid of a lot more things once we get to our camper!! (We did get rid of a TON more stuff yesterday though...a family from church came and got all our furniture (table, chairs, couch, tv, lamps, etc) and then I gave garbage bags and bags full of stuff to other friends and then I brought a car load full to the thrift store. It was funny bc the older gentleman at the store helping me unload it says "man, you do have alotta stuff...your house is going to be empty!" I said "That's the point!" :)

Interruption of story to show you a couple pics of the snow we got last week....

The guys plowing out our driveway...notice how high it is and how little their snow blowers are?! I don't think they make blowers in NE like they do in MN!

Nathan "sweeping" off the snow after a dusting since we don't own a shovel :)

Ok...back to our move...

So, anyway, yesterday was filled with cleaning, packing, cleaning, packing...and then some more cleaning and some more packing...

Tiernan had to clean the walls downstairs bc he wrote on them with pencil...(sorry, I couldn't get the pic to line up)

We FINALLY left this morning and are now on our way to VA!

BUT....we've had a couple obstacles so far and I think we'll have a couple more on the way!

Today we drove 600 miles and it took us about 9 hours and 40 mins (those 40 mins being our ONE stop that we took...yes, 9 hours in the car with 4, 4 and under and only one stop! Not bad!) The weather was okay for most of it, but we did go through some rain/snow for a few hours, but since it was just wet when it hit the ground, it didn't slow us down too much.

But here's the story for the day...well, one of them anyway...

When we were at our 'potty break' stop half way through, I told Nathan I wanted to gas up since we were there and I was at a half tank. He told me I should wait but I really felt like I should so he said 'fine' and waited in his car while I gassed up. I suggested that he gas up to so we wouldn't have to stop later and since we were already there yadda yadda...Well, he didn't take my advice and we just left after I filled up. we were (not kidding you!) ON THE RAMP coming off the interstate AT OUR DESTINATION FOR THE NIGHT....guess what happened?!?!


And yes, ramps are usually UP HILL. I think he ate a huge piece of humble pie as he walked to my car while both of us are stopped in the shoulder with our hazards on.

"I'll run to the gas station and get some gas and I'll be back," he said. "Yeah right!" I said. "It's a long way and there's 2 cars with kids in each and it's dark out...I'm not staying here!" "What are we going to do?" "Get in your car, I'm pushing you!" "You're what?!?" "I'm going to push you!, I said"

So, I pushed him....with my minivan....up the ramp (which was 2 lanes by the way, with TONS of traffic)...around a semi truck in our way on the shoulder...turned at the stop light...and from there with a little push from me, he could coast all the way to the gas station that was on the next block.

He thanked me later for not getting too mad at him. His exact words were "Thanks for not getting mad...well, you got mad but you controled yourself a lot" (I interpreted it to mean "I know I'm such a loser for not filling up while we were at a gas station and next time I'll make sure I do that bc now I feel really stupid that I ran out of gas 1/4 mile from our destination and that you had to come up with the idea to push me bc I would have never though of that (which he did admit)"

You're welcome, Honey.

So after being in...lemme see...4 states today (Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois) we are settled for the night at a hotel in Mt Vernon. But I think our fun has just begun....

Apparently there is "historical" snow falls on the east coast, directly in the path that we are going....great.

Actually, I looked at the weather for the town that we are moving to and it said 5-8 inches of snow tonight and 8-12 tomorrow!!! Whew! And they said they usually dont get snow. HA! That's what they said about NE too and you see how that went! Maybe it's just us?! Maybe we just can't get away from snow?? Maybe we should move to AZ and see if it follows us there?!

So anyway, now it's late and I need to go to bed. The kids are out and it might be a long day tomorrow...although if we get snowe din somewhere, maybe I'll have less driving tomorrow than I did today!

I guess we'll wait and see!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Cards!

Yes!!! I still want to get yours!!! But you just have to be patient until I get ours out and I'll have our new (for the time being) address in there!

Well, our time in Nebraska is coming to an end and we are prepared to start our "living in our 5th wheel" venture!

We will load the last of our stuff in the camper tomorrow and then head out Friday morning. We will make a couple over night stops along the way to break up the drive...ya know, since it's only 8 states we'll have traveled in on our way! And then plan to be in Virginia on Sunday.

The guy who's hauling our 5th wheel will meet us at our campground on Sunday and then the real fun should start!, how in the world do we hook this thing up? Where are all the levers again? How do I start my oven? And so on... Good thing our friends Matt and Meggan are there to help!!

For now I will continue packing (by myself since Nathan's at work...while trying to entertain 3 toddler boys with nothing to play with/do and a baby who likes her mama, figure out what to fix for meals and what we'll eat on since the plates and silverware are all packed...) Oh the joys of moving! Did I ever say how much I hate packing and moving?? You'd think it's one of my favorite pastimes since we do it so much (5 times in 2-1/2 years, over 4 diff states) and that, my friends, is why I'm SO excited about the RV...NO MORE PACKING!! I'll just move my house! YAY!

So anyway, back to the Christmas cards and letters...please don't forget us this year!! For those of you who already sent them, THANKS!!! If you sent it to our "other address(es)", don't worry, it'll get to us through forwarding. And if you know either one of our parents and can't wait to send it, just mail it to either parents and they'll make sure it gets to us.

I will get them out ASAP once we are in VA! Merry Christmas (early!)

Good 'Ol Pomona's

Ever since I started making my own jam, I've always wondered if there was a way to do it without using so much sugar! And since Nathan brings PB&J sandwiches to work with him almost everyday, I was determined to figure out something else that would work. I was told by several people that you needed that much sugar for the jam to "set" correctly and through trial and error, I found that to be true if I used the typical 'Certo' type pectin.

Sure I've made it with certo using less sugar or with honey but it still had a real runny consistancy and wouldn't firm up the way that jam should. Well, my searching has ended when I found "Pomona's Universal Pectin"!

I found it online and bought it at a health food store. (You can also order it from their website) Since it 'jells' with the use of calcium instead of sugar, you can use as little sugar/honey/stevia/rapadura etc as you want! You don't even have to add any if you don't want to! And I normally do the quick freezer jam but since we got rid of our freezer last night in anticipation of our move (less that 2 days!!) I decided to try canning it!

Well, overall I've canned 27 jars of strawberry, blueberry and cherry jam to use up the rest of all our fruit in the freezer. And 1) they all sealed (yay! it was actually the first time I canned anything!, esp by myself! and 2) they firmed up very nice and have the perfect consistancy! and 3) the certo cooked recipe called for 7 cups of sugar, I used 1! And they taste fabulously!!

So if you want to make jam but don't mind forgoing all that nasty sugar, just look for Pomona!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fun at G & Gs

Here are some pics from Thanksgiving at G & G Legatts!

One of our several stops to add another roll of duct tape to the mattress cover so it didn't blow away!

Look at all those cousins! There were 13 of the cousins here (there's 28 total with 3 more on the way!) and 11 of these 13 are 5 and under in the picture!

Mommy and daughter

Ariella with Grandma

Reading a story with Uncle Jeremiah and cousin Eli

Monday, December 14, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Our 3 youngest children seem to be getting up quite often during the night, for one reason or another...potty, lost nuk, wants to nurse, etc...and since I have so much patience and never want to just ignore them so I can continue sleeping, I don't ever make a ridiculous statements or suggestions. Like I totally did not just tell Caedmon to "wipe it on his shirt" when he came into our room during the night whining because he needed a kleenex. I mean, that would be gross and would be teaching him bad manners so I would have never suggested (or demanded!) that just so I didn't have to get up and get him a kleenex..nope! Not me!

I did not leave my jar of homemade jam out on the counter for an extra few mins after making sandwiches so my 2 year old could find it and eat half the jar! Nope! Not me!

I also would never give in to my children who were asking for ice cream first thing in the morning. I mean who would give their children ice cream at 7:30AM after they were done with their breakfast just to get them to hush up! Nope! Not me!

And while I was at the thrift store in town browsing, I totally did not find a skirt that I donated to them only to decide that I actually did like it and that I wanted it back. So there's no way that I spent $2.50 to buy back one of my own skirts. Nope! Not me!

What haven't you done this week?

Not Me Monday is a blog carnival created by McKMama. Check out her blog to see what others haven't been doing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

St. Nick

Last weekend our friends from church invited us over to their house to celebrate St. Nicholas! We ate all German food (German potato salad, runzas, etc) and then had the story of St. Nick read to us from a 'real' German! We ended the evening with wonderful fellowship in the glow of the Christmas lights!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What happens when momma sleeps in...

Can you guess what these pictures are of???

If you guessed "a big mess in your kitchen made by your boys while your husband made breakfast", you were right!!

Remember me telling you about the mornings last weekend that I slept in while I let Nathan get up and deal with the kids? Well, one of those days I woke up and walked out into the kitchen and was greeted by this site! Nathan was right there, obviously not affected at the time by the huge disaster our crazy boys were making. But you know what the best part was??? I went to the store and when I got home, it was all picked up :) I know, I know...I have THE best husband in the world!...lets me sleep in, makes breakfast, AND picks up!! (Well at least that day he did!!)

And yes, Brayan was running around only in his diaper...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


What do you get when you add together.....

a $2.49 dress from Goodwill....

and a $1.50 jean skirt from the local thrift store...???

Well, a pretty darn cute and cheap homemade long skirt if you ask me!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


7 loads of laundry done.....check!

yogurt made....check!

10 jars of strawberry and cherry jam canned....check!

butter made....check!

5 loaves of bread made....check!

5 aprons and an I spy bag sewn....check!

cherries and blueberries dehydrated....check!

supper for company made....check!

watch car after car get stuck on the road outside our house trying to go up the hill and can't because of the snow....check!

caramel corn popped and baked....oh!..that's still to come!

Better go!!

(I hafta share details of some of this later! For now, I gotta run!!)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I have not, on several occasions, used a sock that I found on the floor to wipe Ariella's nose since I knew it was going into the wash anyway. Nope! Not me!

I did not take the weekend 'off' from housework, leaving a whole lotta laundry to be done which meant Nathan didn't have clean pants to wear to work today. Nope! Not me!

It did not take us several attempts to get up our driveway last night because of the snow. And it did not smell comletely horrible once we did finally make it up from having the peddle to the floor for an extended period of time. Nope!

I did not sleep in until 8am both days this weekend while letting my husband deal with the kids. I would never do such a thing since it was the first weekend he's had off in months. Nope! Not me!

What haven't you done this week?

Not Me Monday is a blog carnival created by McMama.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I have been dehydrating like mad, tryin' to empty out freezer before we move! Remember a few months ago when I posted about getting all that fruit this summer? You can click here if you don't remember. Well, that was before we knew that we were moving into an RV and would have to sell our freezer!! So those 75 pounds of blueberries, 36 pounds of cherries and 50ish pounds of strawberries have to go somewhere! We've eaten some of course, but we still had a good 3/4 of our deep freezer full of fruit. The last several weeks I have been dehydrating them so they can be a pantry item instead!

Did you know that once you dehydrate blueberries, they can keep up to 8 years in the freezer? And if you vacuum seal them and then put them into the freezer, they can last for 32 years! Holy smokes! I don't plan on keeping them around that long, but it's interesting!! :)

Dehydrated fruit makes such a yummy snack when just eaten by themselves! Or you can put them in muffins, bread, or whatever you are baking! Dehydrated strawberries taste just like...well, strawberry fruit snacks! (imagine that?!)

Today I did 6 tiers of blueberries like this...

And 2 tiers of cherries like this...

And this is what they look like dehydrated and vacuum sealed...they take up a lot less room!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Afternoon Project

I wanted to make a skirt from a pair of I did!

I was in the thrift store in town with all 4 kids (so needless to say I wasn't lolly-gagging!) and I passed the jeans. I shuffled through them quick and spotted one that I thought might fit me. I took a chance and bought them, tried them on when we got home, and bingo!, they fit! I had the idea of trying to make a skirt from a pair of jeans in the back of my head and since I only paid $3 for the jeans, I thought these would make the perfect pair to try.

So I googled how to make a skirt from a pair of jeans and read a few directions. I grabbed my jeans and my seam ripper and away I went! I was finished in time to take a shower and get dressed (with my new skirt on of course!) before Nathan got home. Once he got home, he noticed my skirt so I asked him "Do you know where I got it?" He said "Etsy?" Which is a HUGE compliment since we were looking at skirts on there the other day (that's the website with only handmade things on it and some ladies make some sweet skirts! But those skirts also have some big price tags of $100 or more!) So anyway, him thinking I got it from there was nice to hear :) Although he should know better since I don't think I'd ever pay that much for something I could possibly figure out to do on my own! :)

And it also was a compliment that he thought I bought it since I've only been sewing for 3 months, and that's mostly been aprons and I Spy Bags :)

But one thing I did learn, which I guess I already knew but this just confirmed it...that I could never and I mean never be a quilter!! I don't know how my mom makes such awesome quilts. I am sooooo not a precision seamstress (I just realized why they say 'seamtress' instead of sew-er...because then it would be written as sewer..and that's no good :) Anyway...about the precision...I just sew and hope it looks good when I flip it over! Haha! For real, I use pins, but most of the time I have no idea what I'm doing. I just learn as I go!

Here are some pics of my skirt as I'm making it and then once it's done. I was goin' for the 'flowy' look. (which also gives me room to move!) What do you think??

Ripped out the seams.....

Sewed the front together, the back is open to place the fabric on....

The finished back view....

Sorry for the blur...silly camera...

Side view (although the bottom cuff is curled really is straight :)

Ready, Set, GO!

So what do 3 little boys do when they have no toys to play with except their bikes? Make a race track and race each other, of course!!!

I've packed up the kids' toys and sent a few of them to the camper, but have also got rid of a lot because of space, etc. It is amazing but the boys don't even seem to care! They haven't once asked for their other toys! I have about 7 matchbox cars that are floating around the house that all 3 of them play with. Brayan was playing with all of them and as I sat here, I heard Caedmon go up to Brayan and say "Can I have this one?" After thinking about it for a second, Brayan picked it up and handed it to Caedmon! I love that!! They continue to learn to share and I am learning that less is so much more!!