Saturday, January 30, 2010

Main Bath

No, I didn't forget to give you a tour of the rest of our's just been taking me awhile :)

One of my points of doing this tour was to give you an idea of 'how we make it work'...ya we live with 6 people in a 300 something sq ft home! I didn't really explain our bedroom very well so I'll just go over that quickly and you can look back at the post to see the pics if you need to.

In the closet I have my clothes hanging up, my creative memories stuff on the floor and a storage unit with 3 drawers holding misc stuff (I moved one of the units that was in the pic on the dresser to the closet to make room for our copier/printer on our dresser). Above our closet I have my jeans, skirts and sweatshirts. In the cupboard above our washer/dryer I keep laundry soap, binders with paperwork, etc, a zipped bag with extra blankets, cleaning supplies, and a bin with mailing envelopes, notebook, etc in it. In the cupboards next to the tv, we have books in each one. In the 4 drawers in the dresser we have socks/underwear in top drawers, Nathan's t-shirts in one bottom one and my tank tops in the other. And then under our bed is mostly my sewing stuff...machine, fabric, etc.

And I've tried twice now to load the bathroom pics and it isn't I guess you'll hafta wait til next time to see! I'll try later today...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Before the Store

I decided we should go to the store today to get groceries, rather than waiting until Nathan got home since we like our family time.

Here's how getting ready went....

AFTER breakfast, decide to go to the store. Take Ariella's chair off table so table can come down to make bed. Hang blanket from wall with tacks. Build a cave. Finish putting dishes into sink. Tell Caedmon and Brayan to get off Ariella. Fix the cave. Decide to throw supper in crock. Cut up veggies. Fix cave again. Take garbage out. Tell Brayan not to play swords with the table legs. Finish with supper in crock. Tell kids to get their socks on. Tell Tiernan good job. Help Caedmon get socks on. Help Brayan get socks on. Ask Brayan to get Ariella's socks. Thanks Brayan but your socks are too big. Get Ariella's socks myself. Get Ariella dressed. Put Ariella's hair in pony. Get pants on Brayan. Change into my jeans. Brush my teeth. Brush Tiernan's teeth, brush Caedmon's teeth, brush Brayan's teeth, brush Ariella's, wait...she doesn't have any teeth! Tell boys to pick up toys before we leave. Put makeup on...scratch that..go without..don't know anyone anyway! Trip over toys that were supposed to be picked up. Ask if anyone has to go potty. Caedmon goes. Brayan goes. Pull all 7 trucks out of Brayan's pockets so he can sit down. Explain why they need to stay home. Look in mirror. Decide to put earrings in so it doesn't look like I just rolled out of bed. Tell Brayan to quit wrestling with Ariella. Go outside to start the van. Listen to kids cry as I am outside. Come in and decide it's too cold out. Change shirt. Tell kids to quit playing with the heater, again. Tell kids to find their shoes. Put Caedmon's shoes on. Put Brayan's shoes on. Put Ariella's shoes on. Turn lights off. Grab diaper bag. Tell kids to quit playing with the door. Grab Ariella's blanket. Grab Ariella's nuk. Tell kids to go directly to van. Open door. Go to van. Put Ariella in. Tell Tiernan to buckle. Buckle Caedmon. Take 7 trucks out of Brayan's pants, again. Buckle Brayan. Get into van. Hope to come back in one piece!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Daddy's Boots

Those are pretty big boots to fill, Brayan...

probably won't be long before he can actually fit into those boots...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Our Spot

Wow! I can't believe it's been almost a week since I've posted anything!! Sorry to those of you who check this everyday in hopes of a new post!! Time just flies around here! I often think of posting, but some times I don't actually do it!

I'm still trying to re-arrange and organize in here to make everything as efficient as possible. It's hard though because I want to make as much use out of one cupboard but I want to be able to have easy access to it all, therefore I'm trying to figure out exactly which stuff I don't use as much, etc. But since I don't have that much stuff, I seem to need to use it all!

The weather has been wet here lately but the temps have been good. It was 63 here the other day, even though it rained and rained! Nathan got to be home last Friday and again on Monday because of the rain. We are enjoying our time with Daddy since this next Sunday will be his last day off before they go to 7 days a week, 10 hours a day for 4 months straight! (right now it's 6 days, 10 hours).

See...I'm not even kidding about our shower! It works great for keeping things out of the way!

Here is our camp site. It's nice to be on the end so we don't have any neighbors to the right of us. The guy that lives to the left is a co-worker of Nathan's who is real nice, so that's a blessing too!

If you're at our place and look across the campground, you see this... The white car in the middle of the pic is my friend Meggan's. So that is how far we are away from them!

A typical view of mine each evening...the kids love to tackle Daddy! (can you see Ariella gettin' in on the fun too?!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mountain View actually the name of the church we have been attending since being here...but that's not what this post is about.... It's about this....

All I can say is "Gorgeous!!!"

That is the view from the horse farm just a hop skip and a jump down the road from us! A co-worker's wife has a horse at the farm and since she loves to ride and just be around the horses for most of her time, we have walked down there a couple times on those nice days to check out the horses and give them some treats!

The kids on the way to the farm looking at some cows. They loved getting out in the fresh air and having room to run! Tiernan, Caedmon, Brayan, and Emmitt (my friend Meggan's little guy)

The farm is absolutely gorgeous (obviously as seen above!) and has great views of the mountains and surrounding pastures!

Tiernan giving the horse a treat!

Caedmon's turn!

Reach, Tiernan!

Tiernan really liked the horses!

The younger kids found a pile of snow to play in...who cares if it was tiny?!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flip the Switch

Nathan and I before our Anniversary dinner date!

I forgot to blog about this a couple weeks ago...

Here is another example of us getting used to camper life and how we probably would have given up by now if we didn't live next to friends and co-workers of Nathan!!

The propane ran out during the middle of the night, which is used for our furnace and hot water heater, so before Nathan left for work, he switched tanks. All was well and good until I wanted to use the hot water and it wasn't hot! The water heater needed to be re-lit and I didn't know how to do that. So I waited for Nathan to get home. The only problem was that he didn't remember how to do it either.

Determined to figure it out, we took shifts outside, holding a flame to ignite the pilot where ever we could (I know, probably not the smartest idea when dealing with propane but by that time we were desperate!). I told Nathan to call Matt. He refused. "I've done this before! It's not that hard!" he told me. "Well, then do it!" I said. "I can't remember how I did it!" Ugh....

This continued for a good hour or more. Freezing our hands off holding that darn lighter outside and trying to monkey with the pilot. Nothing was working.

Finally he gave in and called Matthew. He said he'll be right over. A few minutes later he walked over, gave us a smile, walked into our camper (yes, inside), opened the cupboard that has all of our switches in it, and flipped one off then on again. water.

You've got to be kidding! We spent all that time outside and all we had to do was flip a little switch inside?! We've got a lot to learn....

So that's about how it went down. We are finding that we are learning a lot and that things seem like they are going a little smoother when we know how to run stuff, ya know?

So anyway.....

Our weather has been SOOOOOO nice here! Yesterday it was 63 and the day before was 60!....both sunny days! I even hung some clothes out on the line the day before yesterday! I still can't believe it...mid january and I'm hanging clothes on the line, without a coat on, while listening to the birds chirp! Amazing! I could really get used to this!!

A couple days ago we made it over to Nathan's sister's house to hang out for the day. The kids and I had a blast! I hardly saw the kids actually...they were too busy playing with their pong, video games, hide and seek, kickball, building forts, climbing trees....we even went for a walk!

And they even watched the kids while Sarah and I ran to Target and Walmart boyless! :)


Tiernan climbing the tree....and yes, those people are wearing was that nice out!

Here is Ariella starting to get into stuff...she loves to explore!

Oh! And I was going to tell ya that Brayan is potty trained!! Yay!! He's even dry through the night!! And that Ariella is sleeping throught the night now!! (I'll go into detail later with both) For now, it's a great day here!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not Me! Monday

I did not just celebrate my 6th wedding anniversary with my hubby last night with a date to Chilis! And we did not leave the boys with our friends Matt and Meggan so we could eat in peace. And upon returning home, Matt did not say that they would maybe have one more kid, but that's it! (they have a 2 yr old) Because I'm sure that my kids were not rambunctious at all and they just sat nicely in our friends camper and didn't cause any chaos!

And while eating at Chilis, I totally did not pull out a strand of my hair to use as dental floss to get a piece of food out that was stuck between my front teeth! I mean, who would do such a ridiculous thing in public! Nope! Not me!

After eating supper with the kids, I did not give Nathan my dirty plate to eat his supper off of just to save from having to wash another plate. Nope! I'm never looking at ways to limit my dish washing...Not Me! And I certainly didn't give him my fork as well! Nope! Not me!

Since we've moved here I've been going by my first and middle name for a nice change but I never have a hard time remembering that and often forget to say both names when I introduce myself to people! I mean, who forgets to say their correct name?? Then I don't complete confuse people when I talk to them by correcting them when they only say my first name, as if they had it wrong! Nope, Not Me!

And I have not started to keep our dirty clothes basket in the shower (yes, along with our bananas and oranges) to save room in our bedroom. Nope! Not Me!

And my days never fly by and I never forget to post something on my blog! Nor do I ever forget the things that I was going to post for my Not Me Mondays! Nope! Not Me!

What haven't you been doing this week?

Not Me Monday is a blog carnival created by McKMama.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

By Popular Demand

I found a recipe for these to use as a base and then changed it to make it my own and how we like it! But it's taken me all morning to try to figure out what I did though...I hate it when I forget to write stuff down!! But I think this is how it goes....if I forget something, I'll let ya know :)

Dawn Marie's Chewy Cinnamon Rolls:
2 cups warm milk
2 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
3 eggs
1 Tbsp salt
6-8 cups freshly milled hard white wheat flour
1/4 cup vital gluten

Caramel Topping:
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 to 1-1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans or whatever...or you could leave them out!)

Cinnamon Roll Mixture
1 cup brown sugar (or rapadura, sucanat, etc)
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine yeast, vital gluten and 6 cups flour in large mixer bowl with dough hook, Add milk, oil and honey. Mix well for 1-2 mins. Turn off mixer, cover, and let dough sponge for 15 mins. Add eggs and salt. Turn on mixer and add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl. Knead for only 5 mins and keep the dough very soft and manageable. (Stiff dough will produce heavy, dry rolls.) If the dough becomes too stiff while kneading, drizzle water as you knead.

To prepare:
Melt butter and syrup and add nuts. Divide this mixture evenly into the bottom of two 9x13 pans. Divide the roll dough into 2 equal portions. Roll into a large rectangle (shoot for about 20"x28"). Spread 2 Tbsp of melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle with half of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up jelly-roll style (from the long way), seal the seams and cut into 1-1/2 inch thick pieces with dental floss (put the floss under the roll, bring it up and cross the floss on the top and pull in seperate've got a perfectly cut roll!) This will yield about 12-15 rolls. Place rolls in prepared pans. Repeat with other dough. Let rolls rise in a warm place until doubled (about 30-60 mins) Bake at 350 for 30-35 mins or until browned. Remove from oven and let stand in pan for 5 mins. Turn out of the pan to cool onto a rack with tin foil underneath it to make clean up a breeze!

If you want to have freshly baked rolls in the morning without having to get up at 4am to do it, just put the shaped rolls into the fridge to rise overnight (instead of in a warm place) and then in the morning, take them from the fridge and put them into the oven! (Just cover them with plastic wrap while in the fridge)


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Onion Rings and Cinnamon Rolls

Ok, I would NOT be a good friend if I didn't share this AMAZING onion ring recipe with you all!!!

If you love onion rings, like I do, you'll think these are 'da bomb!' Even if you don't really like onion rings, I'm sure you'll like these!! And the greatest part??? They are SOOOOO easy to make!!

I can pretty much guarantee you that if you have anyone else in your house while you make these, you won't be able to keep any on the plate long enough to bring them to the table, they will be devoured as they come out of the pan!!

Ok, ya ready for the super simple recipe?

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 large onion
oil to fry in (I used coconut oil...UNrefined, organic, extra virgin b/c it can handle high temps, and b/c it's SOOOO yummy and good for you!)

Mix together flour, salt, egg and milk with whisk. Cut up onion into rings. Heat a few big tablespoons oil in frying pan. Dip the onion rings into the batter until well coated and then place into hot oil. Fry for a couple mins on one side, flip and couple mins on other side. Place on paper toweled plate to be devoured by the whole fam!!

Then the other day I made some caramel cinnamon rolls...oh were they FABULOUS!!! I'll admit that I usually don't like roll-type stuff very much but these were excellent! Soft, chewy, and wonderful! We had a couple left over pieces after a few days that had been sitting on the counter wrapped in plastic wrap, and THOSE were even good! I don't have the recipe handy right this second and I gotta get going b/c it's the morning and mornings a crazy time around here....wait, every time is a crazy time around here...but we have to finish breakfast! So a few pics will have to suffice for now!!

Aren't they beautiful?! I absoultely love the way the cinnamon makes the swirl designs! This was before I place them in the fridge overnight so I could just whip them out and bake them in the morning! That way Nathan had fresh out of the oven rolls at 5:30 before he left for work!

This was after I baked them but before I flipped them out onto the cooling rack so the caramel and walnuts would be on top.

And this was the final looking product! As you can tell, I couldn't even take a pic of them before some hands were into them!

Makin' your mouth water yet?!?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Our Humble Home--Part 1

During the next several days I will be taking pictures and giving you a tour of our RV, aka our home!

Tonight's room that will be toured....the master bedroom!!

The room is a cozy 7 ft by 9.5 ft (plus the closet) with a queen bed and actually plenty of storage, including a cupboard that is home to our washer and dryer. We have 9 inches of walking space on one side of the bed, 12 inches on the other, and 17inches at the foot of the bed.

Our lovely bed, which is part of a slide out. (Little tip for space saving...I'll have lots of these as time goes on!....If you need a place to store your extra sheets, blankets, etc, put them in a pillow case to make decorative pillows! The large pillows on our bed are just stuffed with extra blankets since we don't have any extra pillows b/c of limited space! I should really put a couple more in them to make them fuller, but that's all I did for now...nobody would ever know!

The closet, which is fairly deep and can 'hide' quite a bit of stuff in. I use those hanging organizers to fit a lot of things in. Also the storage above is just as deep so that is home to my skirts and some shirts. Actually, I have the whole closet to myself, Nathan's clothes are in another cupboard right outside our bedroom. The the cupboards on the right are just storage on top and our washer and dryer below.

The washer and dryer. It's a combo unit so as soon as it's done washing, it switches over and starts drying, no changing machines! (Although we found out that the lovely Camping World dealership that we bought the RV from didn't vent the dryer at all so I have been washing my clothes in the evening and hanging them up out in the living room to dry overnight. Yeah, a pain in the butt. They are supposed to be coming out tomorrow to vent it. I mean, really....put a dryer in a closet and don't vent it?!? I was wondering why the first time we dried clothes my walls were soaked! And the funny part is that when we told them about it, they tried to tell us it was a ventless dryer..HA! That's why right on the front of the unit it says "automatic washer and VENTED dryer"....

At the foot of our bed, the dresser with 4 drawers (nevermind the piece of clothing sticking out of one :) and then my 2 three drawer storage units with misc stuff in one and all the kids craft stuff in the other. I covered the fronts of them with a little bit of contact paper to make them not so much of an eye sore. Above those we have a built in storage unit where we keep books on both sides (and a few of Nathan's clothes) and then our TV in the middle. I just bought the TV yesterday actually (that's why the sticker is still on it :) for Nathan for our anniversary (which is next Sunday) and I got the bed spread too. Now we have a little get-a-way retreat in our cozy bedroom for after the kids go to bed. It was important for us to have somewhere for 'our quiet, no-kid time' since we don't have anywhere else to go in here! Now it feels like a little hotel room, we love it! Next to the storage unit I have nailed a hanging organizer to the wall, (brillant...I know!) to hang up shoes and in that little white basket is where we keep our toothpaste and toothbrushes...yes, in the bedroom :)

The other side of the bed where we keep the clock, CD player and a drawer to hold CDs, head phones (so Nathan can listen to Frank Peretti as he falls asleep!...I don't know how he can do that!)

The coolest part of the room....all the storage space under our bed! The bed lifts up real easy since it has those little springs or lift things and I can fit all sorts of stuff (obviously!) under there. It's really mostly all my sewing stuff!

There ya have it! Next up....the main bathroom :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Quick post from my phone....

Everyone is doing fine and Nathan enjoys being back at work. He says it makes him appreciate home more :). I have been so extremely busy, it's crazy! I thought I'd have all this time to do stuff but I haven't experienced that yet! I'm working til 10 or later at night doing dishes, planning meals (which I will soon be menu & some great recipes). And as soon as I figure out how to post a video from my phone, I'll try to show you the ins and outs of camper living. Ya might have to settle for pictures if I can't figure it out :). But the more we get the hang of this place, the smoother it's coming along.

We just switched around the sleeping situations. At first we had tiernan & Caedmon sharing a bottom bunk (one head at each end..they were used to that since they shared a sleeping bag the same way in Ne for about the last month or so) and then Brayan was in the other bedroom on the bottom bunk while ariella just slept with me or in a pack n play out in the living room. We got sick of putting the pack n play away every day etc so we decided to put all the boys in the same room (eeek!) Having 4, 3, & 2 yr old BOYS share a room is tricky some nights esp if they aren't that tired when they go to bed but for the most part it's worked out well. Then in the other bedroom we have Ariella in the bottom bunk in a little contraption that I made so she doesn't fall out. She's doing awesome and even slept thru the night last night! She hasn't done that in months and months! Then I use the rest of her bunk and the top bunk for tote storage, works out well!

Well time for beddy-by. Going to try to get up early to spend some quiet time with Nathan before he goes to work.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Can Ya Tell??

Part, okay most, of the battle with moving around for us is finding our source for meat, eggs, milk, and produce since we want these to be organic, if possible, and farm fresh. Each place we have moved, we've connected with amazing people and families with hobby farms or bigger farms that have been kind enough to let us buy right off their farm.

In Virginia we have learned that selling raw milk (milk straight from the cow) is illegal and in order to get your hands on some of that extreme goodness you have to purchase part of a cow and therefore you have rights to some of the milk. (One day I'll tell you all the benefits of drinking raw milk and what the horrible pasteurized and homogenized milk does to your body since it's something we've research quite a bit, but for now I'll skip that part since it's late :)...but if you want you can check out or for some great resources on raw milk...)

Anyway, so we have yet to find a dairy farm period around here, as they are few and far between or anyone who has a cow that we can purchase, or some of it anyway, to get some milk.

BUT, we did find a farm just a few mins down the road that has grass fed beef and eggs that we were able to get a few days ago. We couldn't buy too much at a time since our storage facility (aka our tiny freezer) isn't that big. But I did want to show you something....

Take a look at this picture....

Can you tell which egg was from the farm and which eggs are from the store??? Amazing isn't it?? One of those eggs was from a completely free range chicken, eating all the bugs and grass that it wanted, out in the daylight and fresh air. You might think that the other eggs are the typical white eggs from a 'golden plump' type farm but they are from an organic brand, claiming to be 'free range'. So you see my friends, even 'organic free range' eggs from the grocery store is no substitute for the wonderful fresh farm egg.

Which egg do you think has more nutrients, minerals and benefical fats to it?? Pretty easy question if you asked me!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Not Me! Monday

I totally do not have to think of creative places to keep things around here, like I do not keep the avacados and bread in the oven to keep them off the counter, nor do I keep the bananas in the shower or Ariella's nuks in the silverware drawer. Nope! Not Me!

I was not completely thrilled when I found a way to fit all 5 loaves in my teeny tiny oven to bake all at the same time! Nope! Not me!

And the reason why I wanted to bake them all at the same time wasn't because my husband and I are obsessed with finding ways to limit our propane use (the oven runs off propane).

I did not wait in line at walmart to make a purchase of 1 item only to find out I was in the "returns" line once I got up to the counter. Then I totally didn't act like I had forgotten the receipt with my husband and excused myself out of line, just to go back to the end of the "check out" line. That would be embarassing...Nope! Not Me!

And I wasn't up ALL night long with a baby who wouldn't stop coughing, a toddler who wet the bed, the same toddler who fell out of his bed all the while listening to the wind bang our awning above our slide making a very loud sound. And all this did not happen on the night before Nathan needed to go to work for the first time this year. Nope!

And I totally did not just make cookies for breakfast. Nope! Not me! (They were healthy breakfast cookies...and the kids didn't think it was totally awesome to have cookies for breakfast!)

And since this full time camper living thing is coming so easily to us (ahem), it did not take us a whole 20 minutes to figure out how to turn on our darn oven. Nope!

Nor did we learn the hard way what happens when your grey tank is full and you continue to wash a load of clothes without emptying it first because you didn't check it before the laundry started. Nope!

What haven't you done this week?

Not Me Monday is a blog carnival created by McKMama.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wow! My first post in 2010!!

We normally don't do anything special to ring in the new year. Ever since we've had kids we've gone to bed by 9 or so and pretty much treated it like any other day. Well not in Virginia!! We spent last evening over at our 'new but seem like old friends' house eating wonderful munchy type food and playing games. One of their kids asked me earlier in the night "are you guys staying until midnight?" I about spit out my pop. I'm thinking...Midnight?! Do you know how long it's been since I've stayed up until midnight?! I have kids!! 6AM comes rather fast if the clock already says AM when you go to bed. But I just said "um, I don't know?" Well, it's turns out that we did. We rang in the new year with a glass of sparkling grape juice and smiles to go around. All of my kids were still up at midnight....and they were still up at a little after 1 when we finally left too!! But they were soon sleeping in the car for the hour drive home. By the time we got home and got into bed, it was about 2:30am. We were very thankful that the kids slept in til 10!! Yes, my kids....and yes, it was 10:00! WOW!

Here is the view of the mountains from the 'main drag' in town....nice and pretty!

People ask how big our fridge is....I'm not real sure...about this big :) It's a lot smaller than a normal size house fridge but bigger than a dorm fridge. But surprisingly we can get a LOT of stuff in it, we just need to place it stratigically..

We grabbed lunch the other day at Five Guys...Brayan ate mostly ketchup :) Remember this post from last year? He's our ketchup freak.

Gotta love the carts like this one at Lowes. It's the only way I'll take all 4 kids in the store with me by myself. Not a lot of room to put groceries or anything though...

The nice side swipe our camper got before we even moved into it...ugh...