We've got some sweet neighbors!

Look what our neighbors brought us. Some "RV" grown tomoatos and homemade jellies. YUM!We have a very nice retired Navy couple that live a few RVs down from us. They have been very helpful with the local info and with some tips for fighting off the ants. They saved me with the blown water pipe and gave the children rides on their golf cart. They have a very nice RV and have a potted garden that they said I could pick from whenever I wanted. Tomatos galore, and fresh herbs too. This is a very nice welcome! I can't think of a single time in the last 10 years when a neighbor introduced themselves and offered to share their garden with me when we moved in a new home. Something tells me this is the way it should be...

Little Bird, more!

I just cannot get over him! Someone put a spoon on his head while he shoved a rock in his mouth.
his brother and sisters were spraying water on him and he didn't bat an eye.He is awfully silly, so he fits right in here!
Playing in the dirt is fun!
I love his crooked little smile!
Is it just me, or is this little guy handsome?

What a journey!

We are simply having too much fun!

Butter seems to be having a growth spurt. She fell and got a nice goose-egg at the grocery store, and then she fell of the bench at the pool and bruised her chin. Next she tripped over a pillow and really got her chin on the fire safe. Then she walked into the firing zone of rocks being launched into the lake, and later she slipped of the chair and banged her lip on the desk. My mom always said I was growing when I was tripping up stairs and being real clumsy, so I conclude, Butter must be growing!

Monday night we got sent home early from VBS on base because there weren't enough bathrooms for the children to take cover in during a tornado and weather conditions were ripe for one. What?! We drove home checking the sky and weather channel on my phone while running through a makeshift emergency plan. I doubt being in a travel trailer is where we should be in a tornado... We decided the middle shower of the bath house would be the best place, and also thought it wise to pray for no tornados. Crisis averted.

Yesterday while we were eating lunch I heard a curious splashing noise and looked for the dog water since Pops loves to play in it. The dog water was already up on the counter. Pops was sitting in a huge puddle on the floor, water was everywhere. I yelled for Boy to run outside and shut off the water and for Guys to get towels while I investigated the cause. The nice lady at the front desk asked for our emergency number when we moved in here, just in case something happened and we were away. She mentioned that flooding was the number one problem with travel trailers. Well, we might as well get an early start!
Sure enough, the hose to the drinking water spigot had blown. Boy ran to get one of the neighbors while I started pulling out all of our stuff from the cupboards hit by the damage. Books, books, and more books, of course! And no, I wasn't storing books under the sink. There are double sided cupboards that happen to be near the sink, and there are books in about every empty spot in the trailer. We love books.
We spread the wet books out all over the trailer and set the fan blowing into the cupboards to dry it out. I wish I had taken a picture.
Our kind neighbor fixed the leak and the problem that cause it. We used every towel we had to sop up the carpet and everything else that was wet. Thank God we were home when this happened, this amount of flooding happened in a matter of minutes. Can't even imagine a day out.

I was trying to decide if we cared to go to VBS after that fiasco. Since the children weren't impressed with the watered down stories, the house was a mess with stuff drying out, and it looked like rain, I didn't really feel like going. I decided to check the weather, I figured I could use it as an excuse to not go.
Well, there was a warning for a thunderstorm, ground lighting and a high wind advisory. I looked outside and saw nothing. I sent a text to dad saying there was going to be another storm. I called Boy to come help me outside; I wanted to put some of our stuff in to the van so I could bring in the awning if it got too windy.
In the amount of time it took us to grab some items and walk 10 feet to the van it started pouring on us and a huge wind gust came out of nowhere. I threw the stroller in the van and slammed the door shut as I heard Guys scream. I ran to find her and saw the awning was being pulled straight up into the air in a way it was definately not supposed to go.
It was so windy and raining so hard that I could hardly see. Large items from the neighbors’ houses were blowing towards us and it was crazy.
We made our way to the door of the trailer and it wouldn't open. Now my mind is really racing, one of the three youngest has somehow locked us out! I banged on the door and after what seemed like forever it finally opened. Peanut was standing there with wide eyes and she said "I thought a tornado was taking you away."
Safe inside we all looked at each other and hugged. We were completely drenched. I got the children calmed down while I tried to decide what to do. It was pouring buckets on our stuff that was no longer protected by the awning.
I had the children lay out the already wet towels from the earlier flood and empty the laundry from the bath tub while and I ran back out and brought in what I could. We worked on getting stuff dry until the rain let up. It didn’t take long to slow enough that I went out to assess the damage.
I climbed up on the roof, skirt and all, to get the awning off the air conditioning unit. It looked like such a mangled mess, I was sure there was going to be a big dent in the paying off of our debt.

I finally found and sorted through all of the pieces and set forward in attempt to salvage it. Some of the screws were ripped out of the side of the trailer, and parts were stuck up on the roof. I didn’t know what was what or what went where, but I couldn't just leave it like that.
Back up on the roof I went (this was the hardest for me, I have become not so fond of heights in my old age) and I positioned the awning so I could reach it from the ground so it wouldn't slam everything. I almost snuck the use of a not-home-neighbors ladder, but decided against it. I had to stack up the cooler and a cinder block to reach it the part I dropped over the side. I had no idea how heavy that awning was!
Whew. I finally got it all put back together to discover, thankfully, only one small piece is broken.

Nothing a tie-down couldn't cure, I fixed it! At least, it will work until my Knight comes home. I just know dad is jealous about all this fun he is missing out on! We are sure ready for him to be home, lol.

I decided this would be a good night to go out to dinner; I felt I finally had an acceptable excuse. On the way out, we saw that our awning was not the only one to be mangled. I must admit, I was a little relieved. But I feel sorry for the people who are out of town.

We are simply staying positive. This will be a memorable year!

Do not be dismayed says the Lord, for I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans for a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

We have to remember when we read this verse, His ways are not our ways. Peace doesn’t mean the wind won’t blow and the storm won’t come. It means that my heart won’t be troubled in the midst of it. It doesn't mean I will always be spared from pain, sickness, or heartache and it doesn't say my every prayer will be answered with a "yes" and I'll have everything I want. It does mean, however, through whatever happens, God will bring me to the wonderful end.


Hanging around the house...

can you tell I love my camera, and we are loving our new home?

Not Fair!

My husband is eating In-N-Out right now. That is really not fair. Anyone that is not from the West Coast or never had the experience, I am sorry. I had the privilege of living in San Diego for 6 years, and In-N-Out is a must. Fresh home-made fries and delicious beef burgers on freshly baked buns perfectly wrapped and in a sweet lap-box tray through the drive through, with a yummy shake, of course. Quality you can taste.
I am a teeny-tiny bit jealous.
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Pops is 9 months!

Well, in a couple days he is anyhow. I cannot believe how fast time has gone by.
This little boy is just plain loved to pieces in our home! I don't think more than a few minutes go by without this guy getting smooshed with a kiss or squashed by a hug from one of his siblings.

Here are his nine month stats-
weight: 17lbs 10oz (it only took me 5 children to realize that healthy babies are all different sizes, and mine aren't going to be more than 5-10% on America's growth charts, and I'm ok with that.)
diet: mama's milk, whatever he scavenges off the floor, and a few random bites of our food
teeth: 6 crooked, out of order, pearly whites. Two on bottom, four on top. Only the bottoms are crooked, and the tops are out of order, but all of them are pearly.
words: dada and mama (what more does he need to say?)
moving milestones: he's crawling, cruising, and standing for brief moments

Pops loves the water, taking baths or showers, playing with his big brother and sisters, singing songs and rhymes, making silly faces, and getting into everything. He does not like being buckled into the car seat, cart, or high chair; he’s got to be able to move!

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy. He happens to be quite a ham, he gets lots of practice! Sure wish we had some grandparents nearby to enjoy his sweetness.

he thinks it's funny to squint his eyes when I look at him. It makes me laugh, so I guess that makes him right!

we just love his big baby blues and his blonde hair!

if you look close you can see his big middle teeth popping in

busted! getting into stuff is one of his favorite things!
We are so blessed to have him, he makes our hearts glad and our home an exciting place!
Psalm 127:3-5 ~ Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior. Blessed is the man who makes his quiver full.


Summertime Fun

We have been going to the pool on base for swim lessons every morning and they have a small sprinkler play area that the children are enjoying. Even Pops is getting in on the fun, and I sat back and watched his discovery with a chuckle!Too bad I missed getting his expression after that, but I had to put the camera down to save him. It didn't bother him too much, and it sure was worth the laugh. He is one tough boy.
It is hard to believe the summer is almost over, sure did fly by.

Today is special so cherish every minute. Spend time enjoying the relationships in your life and make every moment count.

Why do things go bump in the night...

when my Knight in Shining Armor is not here to rescue me? I hear every noise, every frog croak, every car drive by, the cat scratching at the door, every toss and turn of my children, every neighbor come home.

And then LP monitor goes off. Six blaring times. There is no LP in site. I spend an hour on the internet trying to find out what else could set it off. After calling my Knight and letting him know I am not to happy with his lack of being here, he sends me out in the dark to double check that the LP is not connected. Of course it isn't connected. So we determine that the only other solution must be as found on google, either the dog (seriously!) or maybe the full black water tank. Back outside into the dark and scary wilderness at midnight, (did I mention in the dark and that our outside light is burned out?) I go deep into the woods (one small bush like tree beside our trailer) to empty the black water tank, I double check for snacks or skunks and get the job done. My neighbors across the lake are sitting on their porch laughing at me. Back inside I discover the black water tank is still reading full even though I just ever so bravely dumped it. One more thing to fix. I move the dog out of the kitchen just in case, turn on the fan and open the window and call it a night...

Except that now with the window open all of the sounds of the great (dangerous and terrifying) outdoors are magnified. And the cat is tangled in the blinds trying to get out the open window.
Closing in on 3 am I finally fell sleep.

Funny thing is, if my Knight in Shining Armor was here, he'd have told me not to worry and promptly fallen back asleep and I'd have been fumbling in the dark anyhow. Still, it doesn't change the way I feel safe and secure with him snoring beside me. I sure do miss him!

Now in the morning of course, it's all a bit silly. As I always discover in the Light, there is nothing to fear. Isn't it amazing how things appear differently in the Light?

Psalm 27:1&2 Says "The Lord is my Light and my Salvation- so why should I be afraid?
The Lord protects me from danger-So why should I tremble"


Uhg. Grrr. Hmmm.

Well, you can put your prayers for daddy on hold for a bit, or redirect them if you please...
The connecting flight to get him to Cali got all messed up, Go Navy! So after being stranded in Utah for almost 24 hours and missing the CFET training, daddy was told to board a plane to come back home since they couldn't get him in for two weeks. Just as he was about to board he was told never mind, they were going to get him in. This happened a few more times, causing a few more missed flights...There are times when I really love the Navy! So now daddy is stuck all alone in the middle of nowhere in Cali until the 31st and what was supposed to be a 2 night trip is now 9 days. He only packed one extra pair of underware. This makes me cry.


Say a prayer for daddy please!

My hubby is going to have a baby tomorrow. Ok, not really, but when he explained all of the "torturous" side affects of the CFET training he has to do tomorrow, I remarked at how closely it resembled birthing a baby.

Loss of blood flow to the head, incredible pain, using breathing techniques to combat fainting due to lack of oxygen, bearing down until you body can't take it any more...

Yes, that sounds like having a baby to me.

I don't know all of the exact details and the correct terminology for the training he is doing but I do know that he will have to tolerate 7 G's and that he can't pass out. Some guy we know said it was the worst 30 seconds of his life.

You can read about something like what he will be doing here and see a video here
and if you Google centrifuge training you can

We took him to the airport this afternoon and prayed with him before saying our teary eyed good-byes. We are always very sad to see him go. He will be gone for only a few days, but he will be sorely missed. He fills our home with laughter and we seem quite dull without him here.

He does get to visit his dad while at the training and this is all very exciting for him so we stay positive by praying for him and sharing in his excitement and joy.
I am told he gets to purchase the video of his own experience, so hopefully I can post it when he gets home.
We are thankful for your prayers, too.

I don't like wasps.

Yesterday while at swimming lessons Butter accidentally stirred up a pot of wasps. She was just sitting beside me on the floor while I was nursing the baby and watching the older children take lessons. She stood up and was messing around the drinking fountain when all of the sudden there were wasps everywhere. Instinct took over and I grabbed Butter by the arm and sort of flug her in front of me and wrapped my body over the baby as we ran for cover. The baby never flinched so I knew he was fine, but Butter was screaming that she got stung. After a comeplete look-over from one of the dad's who happened to be an HM (that is military for Hospital Corpmen and I believe translates as Nurse) we determined that she didn't get a bite even though they were on her. So after checking on the babes and making sure we weren't still under attack, I could pay mind to the incredibly warm and painful sensation running down my arm. The adrenaline was flowing for sure, but there was much more going on here. Yup, I got hit. My elbow swelled up pretty fast and the HM insisted that I run over to medical and have it looked at. He asked if I was allergic and I told him no, but my dad is highly allergic. I have been stug before and I remembered it being painful, but dang, this really hurt! I was just going to wait until lessons were over and go home and lick my wounds but suddenly found that my arm had swelled up pretty good and I felt kind of funny. I called my hubby at work and he came over to meet me at the pool and we went over to medical. Of course I hadn't filled out the paperwork yet from the move and couldn't be seen until I did that, so they gave me some ice and I filled out paperwork. After all of the paperwork I decided to just get some benadryl and go home. Today, it is still very swollen and there is a large red circle covering my entire elbow and it is very warm and painful. Itchyness is starting to set it too, and I definately don't like wasps.


A New Tool and A Special Message

I remember my first pocket knife. It made me feel mature somehow, and I still keep it in my jewelry box today. I don't know what purpose it served, but it was special, fun, and from my dad, and that's all that mattered.
Boy and Guys each bought a knife with their chore money the other day. Of course I was being mom and voicing my fears to dad. They'd only been asking since our trip to Yellowstone, and that was a LONG time ago. Dad won and gave them their knives. Boy's is a small Gerber (like dad's) and Guy's is a Swiss Army Knife. I gave them rules for being careful, lectures about it being a tool and not a toy, reminders of what was ok to cut and what was not, and warnings about what would get your knife chucked into the lake before you could even blink.
Takes me back to when my little brother did something that made my dad chuck his knife out the window while we were driving down a gravel road. It was very effective. So I shared that story with them and I am pretty sure it is still effective some 15 years later.
I watched them carefully spend time cutting grass and poking the ground with their knives before I decided it was safe to go in to make dinner. It wasn't long before Guys came barging in telling me I had to go see what she did. Ugh, my stomach droped (I had a friend recently tell me that they were in the ER just hours after their oldest boy received his pocket knife for Christmas).
But this is what I found when I stepped out the door.
she had used her new tool to make me the most precious message out of a leaf.

I think I am the luckiest mom in the world!

what a sweet doll!

And when it was bed time, Boy remarked "don't you think the second day with my knife will be even better than the first?" I am guessing he feels mature, special, and proud too.

Lil Bird's new teeth.

Lil' Bird is an individual and he wants everyone to know it.
He doesn't think he should have to follow the "normal" order of teething and has cut his eye teeth before the middle teeth. I think he decided to look like a Vampire Bat instead of a Lil' Bird.
either way, he sure is cute!

More of the simple life...

I am not really sure this life is simple, but it is much simpler then it was before. So, for lack of a better title, that is what it is.
Reading some Word with Dad
Playing some DS
and some Chess
and the transformation at bed time all the clothes buckets come off the beds and get put at the table and beds get pulled out too. The table also makes a queen bed and the couch a twin, but they'd prefer to stick to the bunk beds and the floor.
we have switched sleeping places several times, but finally found one that works for everyone. Guys has the top bunk, Peanut and Butter share the bottom (it is a double), the Boy takes the mattress on the floor, (though he actually prefers the floor) and Pops takes the play-pen of course. Oh, and the cats have taken a liking to the tops of the rubbermaids or behind the couch, and the dog sleeps right at the foot of my bed so I trip over her every time I get the baby in the middle of the night.


Feeding the Flock

The biggest challenge (for me at least) has been the cooking. I just finally disciplined myself to home cook all of our meals this past January, and now I have to go and change it.

First, there are all kinds of really yummy restaurants really close by, and that is a huge temptation for me. Why would I want to cook when I could have someone else do the dishes?

Next, how does one keep a kitchen with no refrigerator? Ok, so I have a refrigerator. It is just very, very small.
It's a good thing we don't buy milk by the gallon. I am very glad we brought the deep freeze, and that saves us, but you can't keep salad in the freezer. I find that I am having to cook so there are almost no left-overs and I need to buy the small size yogurt since the big one wouldn't fit. I have to change the way I plan and shop for meals. I really wish I had more room for salad. I hope I'll have the system all figured out by the time dad needs packed lunches on a daily basis. (mental note, regular size fridge in the next RV)

Here is the real challenge:
By my own choice I am not using the oven or stove. I want the LP left off in the trailer because I like to avoid extra risks (I am, at times, a ninny). LP is Liquid Petroleum a.k.a. Propane in case you were wondering. This means that I am not using the stove, oven, or hot water heater (hence using the coffee pot for dish water). It just gives me the heebejeebies. You wouldn't bring your grill inside would you? I can't see how is using an LP powered stove is any different. Never mind the LP decector right beside the stove...
So I am limiting myself to using my electric skillet, crock pot, rice cooker, and the grill outside. Whenever Dad suggests turning on the LP, I come up with a way around it. Like yesterday when I made scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and turkey sausage for breakfast. I only have one electric skillet and three things to cook. Of course I can't just cook them all together, Guys and I really dislike eggs. I can't cook them one at a time and have cold potatoes by the time the eggs are done. So my solution? I cooked the potatoes and kept them in the crock pot on low, then I browned the sausage and put it beside the potatoes in the crock pot, then I cooked the eggs and served it up. Turned out perfectly!

I think I will spend more time on this cooking BLOG and have dad drop by the commissary for some salad on his way home from work every other day. I am hoping to find a farmer's market close by too, because I don't want to sacrifice eating healthy on account of a small fridge.

Dad said I'm going to have to give in with the LP when winter comes and we are freezing our behinds off. But I brought an electric heater. It has a remote and thermostat and we used it to heat the entire upstairs of our huge house in Colorado so I know it will be sufficient. I win!

As far as cooking goes, please feel free to share with me some great receipes that only require one pot (I can use it on the grill outside), an electric skillet, or crock pot... I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions so I can still bring my family to green pastures. Thanks!

Our First Week

Well, it's been over a week actually, and I have been writing blog posts in my head the entire time. I thought I was going to have tons of time with nothing to do living the simple life, ha! I have gone to bed exhausted each night. It has been wonderful!
We have gone to the pool, gone to a really awesome park with a lake, battled ants, read all about Joshua, ate real southern barbeque and drank real southern sweet tea, we've met our neighbors, discovered other homeschoolers here in our community, caught frogs and chased lizards, gone to swim lessons, spent hours at the local book store, went to a Southern Baptist Church Service, played kick-ball, started reading some great books, fed geese at the lake, and had several picnics...
We've got the inside of our home all situated with a place for everything, now if I could just keep everything in it's place! We still need to set up our yard and all of our outside stuff, but we've got plenty of time for that.
Some of the things I was worried were going to be difficult were dishes, laundry, showers, and cooking. Here is what is going on with that:

Doing dishes hasn't really been bad. We have been taking turns and working as a team and we can knock out dinner dishes is just a few minutes and have the kitchen looking spiffy in a snap. We've adjusted to not having a garbage disposal or dishwasher. The only delay is that we are using the coffee pot to make the water warm for dishes. More about that in the cooking post later...

Since the bath houses are so nice here, we haven't even used the shower in our home. It is a bit small, and it serves as our dirty laundry and storage room. So we load up the wagon with our shower stuff and get everyone showered up all at once. The wagon actually fits into the shower, so Pops can sit in the wagon while I am washing up. He also gets a bath in the kitchen sink. He loves it.

Laundry is a bit more of a challenge. We make a lot of dirty laundry. Seriously. The basket was overflowing and I decided I needed to tackle it before it got out of hand. I loaded up all the laundry into the wagon and pushed it up the huge steep hill to the bath house. I was able to stuff almost all of our laundry into the commercial size washer for only $5. I did the towels as a separate load in the small washer and I left the whites out for next time, but everything else went into the big one. I got chased by a huge beetle and had to make an extra trip for money since the children loved sorting through the quarters from the change machine to find the states still missing from their collection. We had to time the loads so as not to leave people waiting and ended up making a few extra trips up there, what a work-out! I find myself saying "that's not really dirty, you can wear it again tomorrow" way more than I ever used to say. I am really thinking about looking for a wash board from an antique shop and trying that out, just for kicks. We each only brought one rubbermaid of clothes and we have all agreed that we still have too much. It's amazing how things change.
I never would have guessed that my first week living in a new town could feel like a vacation. I have been spending some really wonderful quality time with my family and I am so blessed. I can't find one single thing to complain about. Coming from me, that says a lot! We all really love Meridian and we really believe we will love life in a travel trailer.


Moving and Cleaning

Looking back at these pictures, I am amazed that the exhaustion I felt is far from my memory. I am so glad that it is over, but I am sad too. Thank-you to my dear friend, for suggesting that we take on the military housing giants and clean the place ourselves. Not because I enjoy cleaning, and I am not even sure it was worth the $ we saved, but it was worth the memories! And of course, a big thank-you to all who helped and shared the elbow grease and laughter.

Inspection time: After the housing office went through with a fine tooth comb and said it was un-sat (not good enough) an exhausted and newly pregnant friend came to my rescue helping me clean, and another already very busy friend watched my little lambs. We realized in the light of day some spots had defiantly been missed. So we cleaned some more and took care of the other unfinished tasks of which we were never informed. The housing giants then called in the corporate bosses because of my arguments (thanks for the nudging, hubby) about cruddy blinds and cheap flooring (I won) and we paid a total of $191. We would have had to pay that in addition to the cleaning fee ($350) if we chose not to clean it ourselves, so it was a nice save.

It was now hours after our expected departure time and we found out we had to rush off to the other base down in P'cola because we were not informed of some paperwork that was supposed to be picked up. Several hours later than desired, we finally headed off for our new life.

I was a bit grouchy but the ride was smooth and went pretty quickly. We got caught in a big storm, but with a prayer it passed over quickly. Because of all the delays we had to set up in the dark, but that too, wasn't so bad.
Now we are just getting the boxes unpacked and exploring our surroundings.

You'll have to read more about our new home in a later post.


What a sweet scene.

Handsome little man on the fast bike, brrrrrrm brrum. Little lady, sweet as can be, cookin up a good meal...