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Skool-time Goals

A couple of weeks ago on a Friday evening, friends and I were talking about purging.  We’ve been doing a great job in the house, but as Autumn is falling in our laps, I’m starting to feel a strong nudge toward purging excess outside loot.  While discussing, I shared my emotional ties to our commercial processing trailer, all the while admitting it was no longer needed, and was worth quite a lot.  Our good and logical friend Peter said: Well, why don’t you sell all of that, and continue your progress on the bus?  His plan was perfect.  Let’s invest now in the things we are actually pursuing, instead of holding on to things of the past.  Funny how sometimes it just takes someone else stating the obvious to act.  We spent the next day taking photo’s and posting to various homestead groups and sales lists, and got quick response!  Instead of being sad as it left the farm*, I was excited because each dollar that comes in means we can work on the next project in the bus.  Projects I figured would be several months off, at best.

You see, we choose to upgrade the school bus debt-free, and not dipping from the “family pot” either.  This means that we earmark things we sell/purge to go toward the next project in the bus we’d like to do, then do it only when the pot is big enough to cover it.  It’s worked really well so far.  But this means we do a big project every six months or so.  No problem – truth is, Scott’s been working a lot, and we don’t always have time, so it’s all good.

Well, this last summer traveling to Alaska really inspired us to be creative as a family and find a “business” that would help us continue exploring this earth and visiting family – one particular potential trip for 2018, but with the long-term goal of others.  Our plan: Finish up a few things on the bus to make it completely functional (remember we took the toilet out to replace with a more efficient one?  Well, right now it’s toilet-less.), then rent it out two weekends a month starting in the Spring.  With the income, we’ll divide it in two: half back to the “bus pot,” and the other half toward our “Adventure Fund.”  This way the bus will continually be improving, will be used, will stay clean and tidy for upcoming guests, and will pay for itself along benefiting the family.

One of the rules I have for myself when I blog is that I never talk about future plans.  Until something actually is happening, I don’t want to jinx myself.  Or fail y’all (or us) by changing courses or dawdling.  But here I am, sharing a pretty exciting new adventure that we’re really motivated and excited to be working on.  We’ll do a soft launch of it sooner than later, then our Airbnb ad will go live in the Spring.  At least that’s the goal!

So what does this look like right now?  It means we’ve spent the last couple of weeks preparing.  We officially got a coat of primer and one coat of paint on the entire exterior last Sunday – the last slated sunny day for a while!  Goodbye school bus yellow!

Did you know in some states it’s illegal to drive around a non-government school bus without having painted it a different color?  In Washington State, it can be the original color, but the words “School Bus” must be removed, along with a few other minor changes.  After these changes, a lot of folks will have the Department of Licensing convert the title to a Recreational Vehicle.  One reason is so that the driver will not need a Chauffeur endorsement on a CDL license.  Another is so that they will not need a CDL because of their air brakes (not always on a school bus).  It will also help you when you’re looking for insurance being an RV vs. bus.  We have chosen to paint the bus 1) because the color was quite faded over the years, and 2) to comply with other states in the event we end up traveling and 3) for fun.

Holy smokes, guys.  Choosing a color of paint?  Impossible.  So many great ideas, yet I don’t have a solid enough preference to commit.  No joke, we drew a “coloring page” and passed them out to friends to get their ideas.  It literally took several weeks for me to stop squirming and just make the purchase.  Heck, it’s bound to look better than it started.  Probably.

The details:

  • $300 commercial equipment paint (with friends’ business discount) from Forrest Paints in Portland
  • $75 in paper & tape (with different friends’ business discount) from Miller Paint
  • $100 in automotive caulk, Bondo, face masks, gloves, sandpaper, new stainless screws for sheet metal, and other prepatory supplies

Our bus is no spring chicken.  Though it came from a school district 5 short years ago in dry-land Oregon and is in ship shape, the paint was tired and fading, the lights dingy and screws rusty.  If we’re going to paint the inside, all of the outside’s got to get a facelift.  Shopping around, we found that eTrailer.com had the best price for 7″ school bus lights.  8 of both amber & red, we paid about $180.  Half the price of any other company.  Thank goodness for skoolie forums and experienced advice!  We have yet to purchase the remaining lights (but will in the coming week or two).  I imagine they’ll be another couple hundred.

This makes our grand total to spruce the entire exterior of the bus – with all professional quality items – $855 so far.  Though that seems really high, I think it’s fantastic.  10+ years ago we had an 8’x18′ trailer professionally painted (no new lights or anything else) and it was $2500.  So I feel pretty great about our number for the bus.  As for our plan of attack, we

  1. pressured washed the entire bus, top to bottom.
  2. stripped down the outside, removing all lights, caulking, vinyl, steps, “STOP” sign, hinges, etc…
  3. mixed Bondo and filled in cracks and holes and imperfections, then sanded and perfected.
  4. used a flat head screwdriver and stripped away old crackly sealant and caulk from every seam.
  5. removed the side door, back door, and hood (and will paint separately in enclosed space)
  6. sandblasted rusty spots around rivets, cracks, under the back door, etc…
  7. sanded the entire bus with a 6″ <rotary> air sander, 220 grit.  We used about 15 disks total.
  8. wiped down the entire bus with soft cloth.
  9. papered and taped exposed windows, doorways, outlets, etc…
  10. primed with commercial equipment white base using an air sprayer.  We used 1 gallon for the entire bus.
  11. soft-spot sanded any imperfections caused by paint dripping while we perfected our technique.
  12. painted final color using the air sprayer.  We used 1.2 gallons per coat (we bought 4 – oop$).  This particular paint takes 30 minutes to be dry to the touch, 8 hours to harden completely.  It has a “floating gloss” that rises and “clear coats” as it cures, alleviating the need to put a final protective coat on.  It’s great quality, we’re finding, and worth the price tag!  It has UV protection and should keep it’s brilliance and durability for quite a long time.

We covered the bus with a big sheet of greenhouse plastic anytime weather looked sketchy.  This list took us several weeks to complete, so we wanted to make sure it stayed clean and dry in between steps.

We will paint the hood and doors in an enclosed space soon, as well as hinges and accessories that are on the exterior.  We’re also going to be putting lights on over the next short while.

Our school bus has always been – and I suspect will always be – a community project.  We in no way could have done half as good a job without the expertise, equipment loans, and business discounts that our friends shared with us.  Not to mention the hours on end that they labored with us as we prepped.

painting in progress

*Someone asked us a great question: Seeing young people (us) leave the industry, especially from a reputable, thriving farm, concerns us that it’s not viable.  Do you have any advice?  Absolutely!  Though it looks like we’re ridding the farm, almost everything that we are selling we have kept some of, or have doubles of.  We are prepared to farm again, but perhaps not on as large of a scale.  Not because it wasn’t working financially, but because our life has shifted, and this season is meant for different things.  I’d recommend farming to anyone – and am happy to walk you through what/how/why we farmed, and will happily encourage and support your endeavors!

House of Hope

I’d like to introduce you to this wonderful place that adopts children in Hermosillo, Mexico, offering them resources to meet their full potential, compassionately raising all there as their own family. I’m going to talk about it some more. So enjoy the conversation and get to know the wonderful folks that live and thrive together at Casa Esperanza Para Ninos (“House of Hope”).

Meet the founder, Adonna Cullumber, as she discusses raising children (and those who live/work there) in a home as a family… “not just raising them so they had clothes and food and shelter, but we wanted to mentor them and give them the opportunity to reach their full potential and be individuals that can take care of themselves in the future.”

Hear from some of the children at Casa Esperanza Para Ninos.

Obviously, you’ll note that this ministry has made a huge impact on the lives of many families, and for the long-haul.  It’s one of the unique things I love about this ministry.  Not only do they share the gospel, but they make disciples.  (Matt.29:18)

Here’s where our family comes in:

My grandparents were missionaries, traveling all over the world – primarily Africa – up into their ripe old age.  In fact, when I saw Grandpa last, he still talked of going back.  Tho’ their traveling years are gone, Grandpa always told us that he prayed his children (and beyond) would be missionaries.  We carry that mission – every day, wherever we are – with purpose and gratitude.  My grandparents laid the foundation of living our faith out by “going” in our daily walk, as well as to places far away.

Adoption is also near to our hearts, as I come from a large mixed family; 7 of my siblings being adopted.  Not all of my brothers & sisters are related to me by blood, but we value the picture that familial adoption gives of Christ’s adoption of all of us.  We are family.  No matter our genes.  We are reminded that our brothers & sisters in Christ are our family.  My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it. (Luke 8:21)  We all have a wonderful opportunity to ‘adopt’ daily those around us who are our family.

There is also some family history behind this place in particular, this house of hope.  My Dad (Mark) and Mom (Chris) used to go to this orphanage every Christmas, and still travel down to Mexico (for this and various other projects) over a dozen times a year.  They were a part of this ministry when it first began, helping build from the ground up.

One of the directors at Casa Esperanza Para Ninos has recently suffered some health issues, and so a team has been set up to go down and help organize and support them while mending takes place.  They’ll work on some projects and strategize how to make the recovery process as easy as possible while keeping the house running full swing.  Adyn will be joining this team.  His travel expenses have been earned and covered, but he would like to raise funds to take to support the ministry in general.  If you feel so inclined, you can donate directly through their website (below), or you can give funds to Adyn to deliver.  Thank you in advance for supporting this wonderful ministry!

Please check out more info about the place:

http://www.casaesperanzaparaninos.com

I Joined The CDC

I’ve officially made it to a new level of natural: We’ve joined the CDC: cloth diaper club.

I’ve tried cloth diapers with every single one of my babies.  For about a minute each.  I had the best ones (thanks to hand-me-downs!) – I had no reason to not do it other than lack of motivation.  The idea was super, but applying it was just not my cuppa.  I really didn’t understand it, and figured those who did were just “different” than me… Perhaps somehow they were okay with poop and stink in a way I had no comprehension.  More power to them.

This little guy – Aury – has been a model child for cloth diapers.  He was one of those newborns who only pooped once a week for the first three months.  I was horrified and worried at first, but it turned into an obvious pattern, and with no negative side effects (constipation, etc), so it was no worry.  He’d have been EASY to cloth diaper during these wonderful breastmilk-poop-days when I have no idea what one does to clean off a cloth diaper (dunk in a toilet? throw right into the washing machine?! Eww!).  He went through a virus which eventually “ran its course” (pun intended) for longer than normal, which left him a daily (morning, even) pooper.  Too much info?  Well, you’ve come to the wrong blog if you’re looking for less.  It’s important to understand how perfect this boy would have been for cloth diapers from the begin to understand why I finally agreed to do it — and how that’s led to a lot of success.

Coming home from Alaska made me re-prioritize stuff, purging unneccessaries.  I either needed to USE those diapers or send them on their way.  Well, some were brand spanking new, and I knew they were worth their weight in gold – apparently I’m just too stingy to let them go for cheap or free because I decided to commit.  It really didn’t take long to get into a good rhythm.  Thanks to a few chat sessions with my cousin & a cloth-diapering friend, I was beginning to wrap my mind on how to cloth diaper (verb around here now).

nerd alert

We’re now three weeks in, and I’m liking it more than I ever thought I would.  I don’t want to be all dramatic like all of those other crunchy mama’s out there that say they love it, but if I were being dead honest, I’d say it.  The diaper covers are adorable.  I love that it’s natural for our home, and chemical-free on his secret spots.  And I love that my favorite ones are the custom made ones by SimpleServantKC, my cousin in Indiana.  In fact, I just purchased 3 more from her, even tho’ we have a plethora of big-brand ones that would work just fine.  I’d always rather support family-owned businesses (and my extended family, to boot!) over big business any day of the week so long as the quality is the same as or better.

Another benefit we’re finding?  Well, it keeps us a lot more in tune with Aury’s health.  Here’s where I take this a step further down the TMI road: Tho’ I say there are two kinds of families in this world: those who talk about sex, or those who talk about potty — we’re trying to find a balance in our wee family, incorporating all of it.  Ever since the kiddo’s were tiny, we talk about poop.  Our poop tells us a LOT about what’s going on with our health and can give us a lot of heads up on potential problems.  It’s important to know what your “regular” consistency, timing, texture, etc is.  Yeah, it’s gross.  Yeah, it’s normal.  And yeah, it’s good to know.  So now you know… I was from the “sex-only family” before.

Summertime is fading, but in some regards, it still feels like spring. #newlittlelife #clothdiapers #vintagecamper #sweetsixteen #blessed

Suddenly I’m realizing it’s kind of weird that I have no idea how much (quantity) Aury used to pee because disposable diapers are so (awesomely) absorbable, and I don’t change as often.  Suddenly I’m realizing how rank underparts get when sitting in that environment for hours and hours on end.  I mean girls, if you’re listening, how do you feel about leaving a maxi pad on for any length of time?  Blech!

Take home points:

  • Cloth diapers are adorable.  Clothes optional.
  • No chemicals or rank nasty on secret spots.
  • I love the way they look hanging on the front porch lines.
  • I have flannel & flushable liners so I don’t have to deal with poop.
  • I do 1 extra small-sized load of laundry twice a week (well water), but no additional drying.

A couple of additional notes: We prefer the pocket diapers for sure.  The FLIP brand (not a pocket) does an insert, and it’s alright, but meh.  I’d probably use flats as inserts instead of their cool triple-layer ones if I started from scratch, and were using them often.  I learned early NOT put microfiber against secret spots (instant rash), and to “strip” inserts and covers after storage or first use.  Easy to Google how to strip diapers.  Do it.  I’m so into this now that we’re even using them when on the run!  I had been doing disposable dipes for nighttime and when out and about.  Now we’re just using disposable for nighttime.  Heck, I may dump that soon!  We’ve had no leaking problems with the SimpleServantKC pocket diapers, so we just may have to give it a whirl.

A few things we’ve incorporated immediately upon return from 6+ weeks of living in an RV, piggybacking on the post I wrote a year ago called What I Learned From Leaving:

Purge – we took a truck full to the thrift store.  It turns out that living with two drawers and about 6″ of hang up space was ample clothing for each of us.  We never wanted for more, from summertime temps to chilly nights.  All six of us took up less than an average armoire’s space for clothes.  It was perfect.  I committed to sending at least one Large Size Flat Rate USPS Priority Mail box per month to my Alaskan cousins since we can wear the same gear.  I sent two on arriving home out of excitement.  For years, we’ve already incorporated the rule: for every bag/item that comes in, one of equal size leaves.

No More Food Waste – we literally threw away zero food.  That’s nuts.  Around this house, we feed the chickens at least one day’s worth of food for them per week, or 1/7th of their entire diet.  It’s mind-numbingly-frustrating to me, the waste that goes on in (err, out) of our refrigerator.  We ate great on our trip, eating out only once in a while.  We grocery’d every 4-5 days for fresh items.  We ate more nuts and fresh veg than we do at home.  We ate less white flour and refined sugars than we do at home.  Well, other than our ice cream stops.  That’s another story.

Less Trash – Though we threw away more than we expected to (about two plastic grocery bags per day), it has kept me in the mode of trying to throw away less.  We have been keeping a small plastic bag hanging from a hook in the kitchen to monitor our trash, and have notably decreased what goes into the black hole.  A rather dramatic – but effective! – trash sign we saw in a restaurant along the way: “Landfill.” in white words on black paper right above a trash can.  Yipes.  Definitely made me sweat a little. And if you know me, you know we’re not usually on top of being recyclers.  But even without recycling, we have limited ALL of our personal throw-aways significantly.

Lastly, it inspired me to work on our skoolie.  We had budgeted a chunk of change to it this year, and haven’t touched it.  So we ordered new lights, are in the middle of getting sheet metal to re-do the over-the-windows, then will paint the exterior.  Those three will about eat up our set aside money ’til February, BUT we also have a small stash of cash that is in the bus fund from selling things.  If it works out, we’ll put it toward getting a flushing toilet back in there*, and all that entails.  We’d love it to be fully use-ful again asap.

*we pulled the residential porcelain toilet out when we got the bus to replace it with a more efficient toilet.

Spoiled Milk/ing

Today we finished our notebook calendar to Scott.  We wrote in a page a day for the time we’re gone, with a couple of guest writers (alright, alright, all Excursioneers).  Tidbits about how much we’ll miss him, where we suspect we’ll be along the trail on a given day, how many days ’til we see him again.  Some love notes.  Some chit chat.  You know, stuff like that.

We posted up the Farm Chore list in a few places for all of the wonderful folks who will be running the place so that we can be away.  We walked through everything with them all this past week, including how to properly use the new milk machine.  Yes, I said it: The new milk machine!

A lovely friend had a crusty, dirty, worn out little machine that she knew little about other than it being a supposed milk machine.  She offered it to us with the warning that it may be worthless and broken.  I did a bit of Googling and YouTubing, and was able to figure out the model of Hoegger Milking System, and how to take the entire thing apart for maintenance and repair.  I spent a few solid hours cleaning it up, hoping that it’d be fruitful in the end.  I got online and ordered $150 in parts that I knew it needed, gambling it would be a good investment.  And then we waited.

It felt like forever.

putting it all back together

Then the package arrived!  We went to work on it again, and got a final thumbs up from our friend who looked it over a bit with me, whose Dad is a machinist – and flipped the switch.  It fired right up and pulsated like a champ at the perfect pressure!  The girls didn’t even flinch when we tried it out on them that evening.  They really have settled into being the loveliest homestead milkers.

Not only was this roughed up little machine a milker, but was the perfect one for us.  It was a model designed for one to two goats (the company sells sheep adapters), but powerful enough to run a small dairy.  And it’s made right here in the U.S.A.  We never would have purchased one new – being content with hand milking (in fact, we can do it as fast as the milk machine if it’s doing one at a time), and knowing good ones like this one were much more than we wanted to pay for the convenience.  But what a gift (and a lot of elbow grease!  I felt like a rockstar fixing it.).  This will be perfect for Scott.  I knew it’d just be way dreamy for him.  But I was afraid it’d be a dud so left it a surprise.  He’s used it a couple of times now, gearing up for being the primary milker here on the farm for most of the time we’re gone – and has said what a breeze it’ll be now compared to the especially harder task morning and evening he was anticipating (and never did complain of!).  This should shave off an hour time off of his day.  And keeps it all the more easy for friends who will cover for him while he’s traveling to/with us, and as we may need a helper now and then in the future.

clickity clack! there she goes!

So here we are, wrapping things up, knowing the farm has been very tidied up for our leave.  All laundry is washed.  Rooms are clean.  RV is packed.  Just like that: It’s time.  Off we go!

We’re thinking about food.  A little unsure what may be confiscated at the Canadian border, we’re trying to not be too attached to what we bring, but also want to be well equipped for miles of wild.  Chris (aka referred to as “Mom Chris” from here out; I’ve been blessed by many Mama’s in my life!) has cooked, shred and frozen 5+ pounds each of beef and pork.  I’m doing chicken and corned beef, maybe some lamb as well.  We’ll take dried beans and rice, herbs and spices, and hope to find veggies and fruits along the way.  I suspect I’ll have a lot to say about food as we travel.  Stay tuned!

All different forest animals on them for easy i.d. – look! a moose!

I’ll tell you something we did invest in: stainless 8-ounce stackable cups and silicone sippy lids!  We were blessed by a particularly ridiculously awesome sale that was irresistible.  Let me back up: With all of the other kids, we started them off on a My First Years plastic sippy lid.  They were interchangeable with Tupperware cups and were perfect.  We preferred the simple construction and ease of cleaning.  But apparently, now they’re “vintage” (insert rolling eyes here).  They’re a fortune on Etsy, and rarity on Ebay.  Realizing it’s time to branch out, yet resisting the modern sippy’s (I hate them), I went online shopping.  I wanted something that’s functional, multi-age-usable, organic’esque, and flexible.  Not just another container to play hair-pulling find-the-lid for.  These silicone lids fit the bill: They can slip onto just about any cup, including restaurant cups, etc… They’re BPA-free.  Frankly, they feel a little bit breast-esque, and I think Aury will love them.  The stainless cups stacked nice and tight, taking little space, and were slightly reminiscent of another childhood favorite: aluminum cups at Grandma’s — also expensive and hard to replicate at home.  And, well, aluminum.  No thanks.

Speaking of my Grandma… Several weeks ago my Grandpa had both a stroke and a heart attack, landing himself in a hospital then rehab.  Never having really spent time in the hospital, it sounds like it was quite the experience.  We were all glad to hear he was able to go home almost two weeks ago.  He built his house in the 1950’s with his own bare hands “in the middle of nowhere” (now five-ish blocks from the state university and smack dab in the center of a metropolis), and has raised all four of his daughters there from babe to now grandparents themselves.  Ever since I’ve known them, their house had an open door policy.  Every Sunday they made more food than they’d ever need, inviting any and all to partake.  I believe their influence in my life at an early age impacted a lot of who I am today, for which I’m thankful for.

Each summer when my mom and aunts were youth and still living at home, my Grandpa would load up a van and take the family and a group of students to Alaska, traveling the Alcan Highway, camping and living wild along the way and at their destination.  Being a teacher himself, he was able to spend quite a lot of the summertime exploring and teaching wild-living in a hands-on way.  I’ve heard many stories about these adventures (and many more!).  I know the memories made have been quite lasting on their girls.  It gets me excited knowing that several of our kids are at an age that experiences such as this hold and mold.  As much as I may resist the thought, it is likely one of our last big adventures with the olders.  Their lives are quickly advancing to independent interests and potential careers.  We cherish these times more than ever.  We also are incredibly proud of who they have become, and where they are heading: They have consistently made personal decisions to keep Christ their focus in all of it.  What they do beyond that is in His Hands.  We have no desire to shape that around what we would choose, be it keeping them at home forever (trust me, we’ve threatened it), etc…  I’ll share bits here of a rather convicting writing that our very dear friend Kurt Settles, now a pastor, penned:

Here’s what we don’t want: …we don’t want a son/daughter who is so dependent upon external support and validation that they can’t function independently, know right from wrong, be able to overcome obstacles and challenges, and be a generally useful member of their society.

treating them like they are the center of my world and this universe is a terrible tragedy.

…I am angry at parents who continue to raise generation after generation of immature, dependent, and fragile children.

…Christian parents need to stop worshipping their children and instead bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, raising them to be mature and able to function without the approval of man, seeking only the approval of God.

Though we value our time and understand our rather big responsibility of raising them (and adore them dearly, knowing that tho’ they are some of the most wonderful gifts this side of heaven), we realize that we serve a God who has a big picture.  We are simply a speck in it.  He has bigger plans than we ever could wish for our children (and ourselves!).  So as long as they follow Him, they will always be in the best place they could be.

Whoa, my entry about food sure took a different turn than planned!  I guess I just want to say that no matter how important all of these travel (life!) preparations are, and how well we try to execute them and retain their value, the every-moment-goal doesn’t change.  We intentionally sojourn as God followers with eternal-mindedness our goal for how we choose to use our today.  Our today is not a passing moment in anticipation of heavenly treasures but is an opportunity to intentionally share the gift we have been given to reflect Him instead of … well… anything else!

…magnificent though creation (everything we participate in) is, it is only a reflection of God’s glory.  It exists to reflect the ultimate declaration of glory, God Himself.  If we are blown away by the beauty of creation, how much more beautiful and awesome is God! – Andrew Scott

As the days tick by, we’re busting the moves on our To Do list.  We’ve been doing great so far!  A lot of the list items have been tasks in and around the house, preparing it for our leave.  Making sure fences are in ship shape and zapping at the highest potential, garden beds covered for later, barn cleaned out and organized.  This will make the work much lighter for those at home managing the homestead.

Now we move our attention to the travelers themselves.  We’re doing haircuts (what shaggy animals the boys would be when we return if we didn’t), bentonite clay masking, plucking eyebrows and waxing mustaches (did I just say that out loud… who does that?!), and giving each other pedicures.  We never spoil ourselves quite so much, but since we’ll be grubbing it for so long, we figure we may as well start as soft and done up as possible.

17″ of hair donated to others who need

I’d been threatening a dramatic hair cut for a while.  Several years ago I went shorter and it was fabulous for a season, and I was itching for something easy like it again.  They say you shouldn’t make big decisions when you’re pregnant (think: extreme hormones), so I held off.  After Aury was born, I started having hope that my post-birth hair loss wouldn’t happen this time.  Ha!  Right at 3 months postpartum, just when I thought I was in the clear, it started falling out more than I imagined it would (but no more than it has in the past… I just forget!).  I waited still.  At first, I had noticed I started wearing my hair up in a not-so-cute messy bun during most days.  Then I started to at night in hopes of shedding less.  At that point, I realized it was time to make a move, so I gave in.  Scott gave me the thumbs up, and I wanted to actually have some left to donate, so chopped off 17 inches.  It’s been so dreamy!  I’ll get one last trim before the trip, then let it grow again.  I really do love long hair, but am so enjoying it this way for now.  Especially for a road trip and camping!

We’ve started a list of what we’d like to take for ourselves, limiting it to just a few clothing items that are both durable and versatile, non-wrinkly and thin for easy hand washing.  We should have quite the variety of temperatures, and diverse engagements, so we’ll be creative and put to practice living simply with less.  In some ways, this thrills me tremendously.  In others, I worry we’ll forget something important.   But really, we won’t be roughing it by any stretch, even if we forget something semi-important.

We have several e-books (to conserve space — I’m otherwise not a fan of electronic book reading), and a few motivational and devotionals that we’ll read quietly and aloud, as time permits.  I’ve put together a list of music for Aury to enjoy while napping if he needs a distraction, and some for adult entertainment.  The kids have gathered a few games for their electronics, tho’ I imagine we’ll limit those pretty heavily.  We don’t really do a lot of that, and don’t want to start on such an awesome, family-filled, outdoor-rich adventure!  Here are some Continue Reading »