Happy New Year!

I had thought up some brilliant (and I do mean brilliant) blog posts that I wanted to share for my Husband's 30th Birthday, Christmas, and New Year's but something else came up. Sorry you won't get to read them because I never got around to typing them.
I've been real busy sleeping and trying not to throw-up every five minutes...

I plan on being back in a few weeks, as soon as the smell of the computer doesn't make me want to vomit and I get caught up on all the other things that are sitting around waiting to be done...


When it Rains, it Pours. And Sometimes it Snows...

It snowed the other night. We were at the squadron Christmas Party (I was quite impressed that it was in fact a Christmas Party, not a holiday party) and it started snowing. It was close to midnight when we picked the children up, but they woke up long enough to play in it for a moment. Even though we lived in Colorado and weren't really impressed by the snow like the locals, it supposedly only snows once every 10 years or so here, so I am glad we could be a part of it.
There were even some remains in the morning, so the children enjoyed some snow for breakfast and a little snowball fight.

That was the snow part. You can read about the raining here.

Now for the pouring...

It seems like it has been one thing after another for us here. I must give you a disclaimer right off the bat though, no matter how much it seems to be so, I am NOT complaining. Just keeping it real. I really appreciate transparency. I can't learn anything from someone who always talks about how perfect and easy and wonderful his life is. I have to know he can level with me, empathize with me, and encourage me. It wouldn't be right for me to brag about how wonderful everything is and how easy my life is and only share the good parts. I am blessed, to be sure, and I am so thankful for all I have. This is not a "woe is me" blog, but I am trying to keep it real here.

Living in a travel trailer has truly been wonderful. I wouldn't change it. I wouldn't move to a house even if someone offered me one for the same price we are paying in our RV. I really wouldn't. There are some invaluable lessons we are learning here, and we aren't done yet. But, as usual, part of that learning process is a bit painful. It stretches, tugs, and scrapes. It causes you to reach deeper, complain less, serve more, and is quite humbling.

Over the last couple of weeks we have had some stretching. It is cold in Mississippi. Like, below freezing some nights. For what ever reason (meaning poor planning on my part) all of our winter clothes and jackets are in the back of a storage unit. I am not really sure what I was thinking, most likely I wasn't thinking at all, it was July when we packed up, after all. We each have a hooded sweatshirt (we sort of collect them from places like Yellowstone and Yampa River and San Diego) but that is all we have for 30 degree evenings. It would take several hours if not a couple days to find the winter stuff in the storage unit because the boxes aren't labeled properly (military move, you get what you pay for and it was free). My husband is being double pumped (think a normal day's work x2) all the way until the 23rd. I can't move and open all those boxes by myself and I can't possibly reason to buy stuff to keep us warm when we have stuff already, even if it is buried. I think I'd rather go cold.

Being warm and cozy inside a small space with thin walls and single pane windows takes some effort. And makes some condensation. We discovered it makes a lot of condensation, in fact. We were going through our stuff to see if there was anything we could get rid of (this is now a bi-weekly habit, and I highly recommend it!) and discovered that there was water dripping off the walls in our closets and cupboards. I mean dripping. In the very closets and cupboards that contain our clothes and books. Clothes and books don't mix well with dripping water.
(I may have had a momentary desire to move into a house at this moment, but only momentary) So we spent several hours drying everything in the entire trailer (even the things I had shoved in the cracks and crevices and tried to forget about) and then we spent a few more hours reading about the solution options for the condensation problem.

We ended up buying a dehumidifier. One side effect of a dehumidifier is that it is HUGE. Really, I just needed something else to take up space and I love tripping over things. Another side effect is that it blows out COLD air. Really, it is because we like working really hard to make it warm in here. Thirdly, I can't use anything else while it is on or it will pop the circuit. It is like a circus when I am cooking in here, Hot water on, hot water off, skillet on, wait, need more hot water, skillet off, hot water on, it is getting cold in here, hot water off, heater on, mom I am hungry, skillet back on, pop everything off- forgot to turn the heater back off before I turned the skillet back on, it is my turn to flip this circuit, no it is mine! Just flip the circuit already! Heater off, skillet on, mom the windows are soggy (isn't that funny) soggy windows means condensation, heater off, dehumidifier on, pop everything off, wait!, It wasn't the heater that needed to be shut off, it was the skillet, DOH! Would someone please flip the circuit? Heater and skillet off, dehumidifier on. I am really hungry. Dehumidifier off, skillet back on. Are you getting sick of this yet?

Well, it does stop the water dripping off the walls, so it works, and for that I am thankful.

My skillet died. Funeral is tomorrow. I first noticed a funny smell about a week ago, and it kept getting funnier and funnier. But not in a ha ha sort of way. Then the other day it was only heating up on one side. Today it is dead. Poor thing, it was highly over used. A skillet that is large enough for our family isn't cheap. Since the unexpected cost of the dehumidifier and now the skillet, there goes our stocking suffers. But, I guess we have to eat. I guess.

Since that isn't enough, don't worry, there is more!

Our refrigerator is broken though I don't know if broken is the right word. Frozen is more like it. Frozen solid milk doesn't pour out into cereal very well. It doesn't pour at all actually. And a rock solid tomato can't be sliced for my husband's work lunch. And you shouldn't have to chisel out jalapeƱos for yummy nachos. I seriously didn't think Louisana hot sauce could freeze. But, it is solid. We read the owner's manual front to back. It only informed us that living in a travel trailer will result in extra wear and tear and a shorter life expectancy. (Of the trailer, not me). Oh, and that winter living will result in water damage from condensation including mold, mildew, and rot, if proper prevention measures aren't taken. Thanks for that, really. Who reads owner's manuals anyway? Turns out the temperature on the refrigerator is factory pre-set and there isn't a way to change it. We even called some RV repair men. There is no solution.

Hey, at least I am not bored!


Thanksgiving Traditions...

This year we had a food fight for Thanksgiving. Well, it was the weekend before Thanksgiving, but in celebration of it none-the-less. That is right, we had a full on mashed potato throwing, macaroni slinging, jell-o smacking food fight with our Culburrito Friends.

The children had been talking about it for months, devising up plans and ending phone calls and emails with "are you ready for mashed potatoes in your face?!" They boys had well thought out plans of making launchers and slingshots to attack the adults. The adults were trying to plan the best and most frugal foods to waste, and figure out where the least damage would be done.

We realized we were loosing light fast and since we didn't want to start the fight with the actual Thanksgiving food with-in reach, we quickly came up with a plan. We took the bowls of the throwing food outside while the children were off playing and completely unsuspecting. I was finishing up last minute dinner preparations when I was called outside by another adult to finish helping out there. I stepped out side and got mashed potatoes in the face. All of the sudden the adults were all slopping food at each other and the children were no where in site! It didn't take long though, they probably heard the squeals of hilarious laughter. 4 adults, 1 teen-ager, and 9 children covered themselves, the porch, the grill, the yard, the dogs, and everything else in sight with a Thanksgiving feast.

Once the food was gone and we all looked at each other with mashed potatoes dripping out of our noses and jell-o clumps falling out of our hair, we realized we had forgotten to plan the cleaning up part. Clumps of mashed potatoes fell on the floor as we took turns taking showers. I was one of the lucky few that got a warm shower.

The two babies missed out on the fun, but I think they watched from the back door. The two two-year-olds didn't really fight with the food at all. I think they were baffled by this horrible disregard from all of the rules there were ever taught about table manners, I am not really sure. Butter was very upset when mashed potatoes landed in her cup of water and she refused to throw the carrots I gave her. I heard her a few days later though, talking to herself early one morning. She said "next time we dunna have a food fight, I not dunna cry, and I dunna frow food at my daddy and friends" so that was reassuring.

The next day the children were extremely excited to tell their friends at church all about putting mashed potatoes in the parents faces and hair.

I didn't take my camera outside, you understand, but we did have a couple of video cameras set up in the yard. Some day I will upload the video.

Even without pictures, I think this is a Thanksgiving feast that will never be forgotten.


Wise Words Wednsday~ on Hospitality

One of my goals for this year is for my daughters (at least the oldest) and I to learn to sew.

Well, I just made this cute little skirt for Butter.

She loves it, it was easy, and I have a new hobby!

But I didn't figure out how to do it by myself...

A few weeks ago a very nice lady invited me to bring my children over to her house for the afternoon. I had no idea what I was in for when I said yes.
What a blessed afternoon! She had set up her sewing machines on the back porch so she could teach me to sew where we could see our children playing in the yard. My children had a wonderful day riding four wheelers and horses with her children while I made a super cute skirt. She shared her delicious homemade applesauce with toasted pecans, her cooking tips for large families, her fabric, machines, and sewing expertise, her child rearing wisdom from 17+ years as mom to seven children, and her time. True Titus 2 style.

I was so blessed by this woman taking the time to show me what she knows. She did this and I don't even know her.

Hospitality is a great and wondrous thing. Imagine if we all took just a little time to pass on what we know to someone else. If you aren't already sharing what you know or what you have with someone else, today is a great day to start!

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. ~Romans 12:13

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. ~Titus 2:3-5