Saturday, March 21, 2009

Its Official!

We have finally decided on an actual move date! It has been decided that we will be moving the first week in May. YAY! Now I can truly get serious about packing things up!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Children and Long Trips

As we get closer to moving, I have to start focusing on how we are going to get there. As you should know by now (if you've been following along for any length of time), we have three little boys. They are six years, three years, and almost two (at the end of April). This makes for some interesting dynamics for traveling across the country. Lucky for me they all love traveling. We did a trip to California last August and they all did beautifully the entire way. Thank you Dodge for having a built in TV in my van!

We will be taking longer to travel this time however, making a couple of stops along the way instead of trying to just shoot through in the shortest time possible. This means that we have to find ways to entertain the boys other than movies. So I wanted to go over some things we will be doing to occupy them and ourselves for the trip.

Backpacks! I have backpacks for each of the boys that I will be filling with toys and stuffed animals so they don’t have any way to complain that they are bored or don’t have anything to do. This is especially handy when you are in a hotel and all they want to do is play but you just want to sleep!

Toys: Most kids have at least one toy or type of toy that they really like to play with. For us that is cars. Thankfully we have plenty of them around that even if we left one at a hotel, it would never be missed! Another thing that works wonders for us is the dollar toys that don’t mean much. You can find the generic brand of magnadoodles at Wal-Mart and the kids absolutely love them. They are good for hours and hours of fun.

Movies: I mentioned the fact that we have a built in TV in the van. Wonderful invention I think. This makes for much easier driving. Before we had one I thought that it would be distracting to the driver, but really its not. It’s just distracting to the driver behind you! Seriously though, its not that bad. It breaks up the monotony of having to either find a radio station or putting in a music CD, and it keeps the kids occupied for a couple of hours at a time.

Comfort Items: Pillows and blankets are great things to have on a road trip, but I didn’t have to tell you that! :) My guys also like to have a stuffed animal to hang on to. They like the soft fuzzy feeling of their little friend.

Food: Coolers are wonderful things, but there's only so much you can put in them. I try to have a dry cooler and a cold cooler. The dry cooler is for things like snacks, bread, fruit, condiments that don’t need to be cooled, and drinks that don’t need to be cooled. The cold cooler is for things like sandwich meat, cheese, and cooling off sodas. I like to bring along things like string cheese, grapes, apples, oranges, granola, jerky, chex snacks, peanut butter, jelly, bread, and deli meats.
Drinks: I separated this because it is a subject in itself. Having the proper hydration is a good thing on a long trip. Sodas are great for a pick me up but it shouldn’t be your only fluids for a trip. Keeping a couple of water bottles in the vehicle is a good thing. You don’t have to have a huge box of them, but having at least enough for the trip. Or better yet you can fill a large jug of water and get refillable bottles. For the kids I like to get Capri Sun for their flavored drink. It has less sugar than the other types and its real juice instead of fake flavoring. They need water too, don’t forget. You might want to get them a sports bottle to make it easier for them in the vehicle.

Take a break! It’s a long way from Arkansas to California. A loaded down truck and trailer plus a handful of kids dictates that there will be plenty of opportunities to stop along the way. Bathroom breaks are a great time to check the trailer for any issues, but its also a great time to check out the town you stop in. Find a park and let the kids run around a bit and stretch your own legs.

Act like a tourist! Since we will be taking our time on this move, we can actually stop and see some of the sights. I like being a tourist. I've driven past the Grand Canyon three times now and have not yet stopped to see the sights. I intend to do so this time.

This is the first in a series on moving long distance. Look for future installments on the subject of packing and preparing little ones for the big move.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rubbermaid Tubs Work for Me!

When we moved from California we had limited space to bring things with us. We had our Jeep Cherokee and a small trailer. So we had to find the best way to bring things with us without leaving the important things behind. Lucky for me, Hubs is very good at packing things so that you can fit the most in a small space. In order to maximize our space usage we bought a bunch of 18gal Rubbermaid tubs (they sit together much better than some of the other brands) to put our things in. We were able to stack about 20 tubs on our small trailer. What didn't fit in the tubs was put in the Jeep. We had another car at the time as well so we could fit everything that was necessary in the Jeep without worrying about sitting room. The best thing is that the tubs were waterproof. It came in handy since we hit really bad rain in Texas! You can bet that when we are headed back to California we will be using the same method. We have a few more things to drag with us this time but we also have a lot more room to put things. So that's what Works for Me!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's been going on

The house is getting cleaner and more clutter free. Bonus for me, I can finally see the floor in my room! I swear that we have WAY too many clothes!! I think that I'm going to start getting rid of the things that either don't fit or we don't use anymore. Its no use having them around if we don't use them right? I'm slowly getting rid of things around here. It's so freeing not having so many items around the house. I want to keep up with that. I think I will have a strict policy of not bringing in too many things when we don't really need them. There's a few things that I really want to have for the boys and for the Hubs and I but aside from those things there's no reason to go overboard.

I'm not sure what's going on as far as the move is concerned. We are in a holding pattern right now. Waiting for the job to show its face. To be completely honest with you, I really want to get this move over with. It seems like the longer we wait, the harder its going to be. Its already going to be really hard as it is. We've made a lot of friends here. Every time I see a friend, I hear the comment that they wish that we didn't have to go, or "That's so sad!" with a big frown added for emphasis. I think that part is the worst in this whole thing. As if I need another thing to bring me down on this whole issue. *sigh*

I have some pictures of the truck and trailer for you. I'm a little excited about them because I think that we did really good in getting them. What a great deal don't you think? And we've sold enough stuff to pay for three quarters of the price of the trailer! God is great! Now we have that money to put into the truck to make it better than it was before.
The Bull!

The tag along!

So there you have it folks! Proof that we are actually going to do this. I'm still anxious but I know that my God has me covered. I just pray that he gives me a spirit of thankfulness and obedience. Ive gotten so comfortable here that I don't really want to leave. However, I know that he has something special planned for me and my family so I wont complain. It'll be nice to have family and friends surrounding us and maybe even helping us out.

Friday, March 13, 2009


As we get closer to the time of moving (Im not calling it a move date until we know the actual date), I wanted to talk about some of the things that we are doing to prepare for the move and other thoughts rattling around in my head. Since we have children I thought it would be a good thing to post about moving with children across the country. We also dont have a lot of money to invest in this move so a lot of our solutions for things will be quite frugal. We wont just be hiring a mover to take our stuff to California (thus the truck and trailer). So be looking foreward to more posts in the very near future.


I thought I would share a few pictures of my soon to be (used to be?) home.

This is the old hotel downtown. Its technically a historic landmark but its still used as a hotel.

The old Nevada Theater. I've heard rumor that Mark Twain used to watch plays in this theater. It's still in use today as well.

This is a classic example of all the old covered bridges around the area. It truly is a historic area. I enjoyed much of this as a kid and I delight in the wealth of history and information there is even now as I am homeschooling my children. I can see a lot of great lessons in the future.

Tell me, is there a place that you love because of the history? Where is it?

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Truck and a Trailer

Why, you might ask?

The answer: Because we are planning a move. Where? To California. When? Ummm .. I guess you can say that it is TBA.

Here's the scoop. The Hubs and I have made the *Very Difficult* decision to move back home to the wiles of California. This is an extremely difficult decision for us because of so many factors. While we are comfortable here in our bubble of Arkansas, the Lord has put it on our hearts to make this move. As you are aware by now, we have 3 little's. That makes things here a bit difficult since we don't have any family close. Matter of fact they are all 2000 miles away from here in, you guessed it, California! So that is a major factor for us. The ability to drop the kiddos off at the grandparents house and actually have a DATE!!!! Oh its such a wonderful thing.

Another wonderful thing about moving to California is that because we are homeschooling, we have many more outlets to teach culture and history. Unfortunately, we don't have too much of that here in our bubble. We would have to drive a few hours in order to get culture and history. Its a sad fact of how this area grew so fast that it didn't have time to gain the history and culture of a slower growing area. There is a little bit of it but not enough to keep you going for long. As for science and math ... that can be taught anywhere. :P

There's so much here that I am going to miss and so much there that I am looking forward to. Its hard to put words to it all. Needless to say I have had a lot of anxiety about the whole thing. I think for the entire first week after we decided that we are actually going to do this thing, I was so nervous my stomach was in knots. (It still kind of is.) I really wish I had a lot more time to plan and prepare. But as it is we are thinking sometime between now and May. So much to do and so little time!

So that brings us back to the truck and trailer. (You thought I forgot about that didn't you!) This last week we received our tax return. I was very thankful to actually get one because I wasn't sure we would. So with that return we have purchased a used truck at a really good price and a trailer also at a really good price. Its so hard to find either one of those priced well even in this economy, but we did it!

The truck is a 1994 Ford F-150 4x4. Its in good shape for its age, but still needs a good tuneup. The trailer is a 16' tandem axle with brakes in really good shape. The Lord truly blessed us with these because I have been looking for a while and the cheapest I could find a trailer of the same sort that we bought minus the brakes was more than 1000 with another almost 200 for the brakes. I was not prepared to pay that much for the trailer. Especially since that was almost as much as we paid for the truck! So we are prepared for rain now. I think! I hope! You know how when it rains, it pours ... Knowing that, I'm preparing for a downpour!

If you think about it, please, pray for me. Pray that I don't go completely mad in this endeavor. Pray that things will go smooth and easy. Most of all, Pray that we are able to do God's work wherever we go. Because its ultimately about furthering the Kingdom.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Fun New Recipe I Made Up

Up until recently I figured that the rice cooker was only for rice. Well not anymore! I've been experementing with it and trying to make this single use item not so single use anymore. Its working too. About a week ago I had bought a big bag of frozen ravioli's from Sams Club. These are the type of ravioli's that dont have any sauce and that's a good thing. So here's the recipe.

BBQ Ravioli's
20 ravioli's (aproximate depending on the size. Mine are fairly large)
1 cup BBQ sauce
2 cups water

Put all ingredients in rice cooker and turn it on. You might want to stir it a little while its cooking to mix the sauce.

Serves aproximately 4 (we have three small kids so it served 5 for us)