Emptying the Rooms

I wanna say it is official but everyone says it's not until closing day, so I am not going to officially say it but we are making big plans. 

We are emptying the rooms, one by one, hauling stuff out to the garage for this amazing moving sale.  I am overwhelmed with tears on most days from anxiety, and loss of my worldly treasures.  We are getting rid of everything except those extra special, can't live without, items. Our therapist says take lots of pictures, so the photo journaling begins. If anyone has any good electronic journaling website - please pass them on to me.  I would like something a little crafty looking, so I can write and photo too.

We are at the same time excited to be researching new vehicles and campers. So far in the lead is a Nissan NV passenger van, and a quad bunkhouse straight trailer.

The van has 12 seats and can pull up to 9500 lbs, so I think we should be good to go.

The campers we are looking at are all the same set up - just staying under the weight is the major factor.
Right now the brands in the lead are the Wild-wood and Passport.

Also during this time, John got a volunteer position up at Coralville Lake (Corps Campground) - sugar bottom campground - as a maintenance guy.  He gets to ride around on the gater fixing signs and picking up tree limb and debris.  He is loving it.  The only down side right now is that he is up there, putting in his 21 hours, and we are 1 1/2 hours south cleaning the house - I think he definitely is getting the better deal. We are hoping this will get our foot in the door, so we can get more volunteer jobs like this.  We love it!  Sugar bottom is perfect for an active family - it has a beach, several playgrounds, biking and hiking trails, and disk golf - what more could we ask for.

Please send us lots of energy vibes and well wishes.  We are ready to get this party started!


Big Changes Ahead

We have been back in our stick home for almost a year, and one thing has been confirmed - WE LOVE THE OPEN ROAD! So we hem and we hawed, and we (John, I, and the 7 kids) are now ready to commit to the full time RVing life. It took us awhile to commit because we didn't want to look back in 40 years and regret our choice - for the kids or us.

The reasons we stayed home for the year was to commit to certain educational practices for our special needs children; hoping we would see a big difference in their learning, and although they grew and developed we did not see anything extra special that we wouldn't have seen on the road.

So the calender has been created and the countdown began.

The days are being marked off, and the lists are being made. August 11th will be the final take off day, and if the house sells earlier then we can adjust. I showed the calendar to my dad and his reply was, "I can't read that thing - the numbers are all wrong". And yes, every day has two numbers in it - the actual calendar day and then our until lift off day. Today is day 78 until lift off.

The moving sale is this coming weekend, and everything will be out of the house and garage - move in ready for some lucky person or family. This is so much harder than I thought it would be. We are going through stuff that has sentimental value, and even though I am trying to stick to the "Life is about memories, not about stuff" motto, it is so very hard. Most of the "stuff" is large items like dressers, chairs, and desks - stuff not easily put in the camper. And then there is the whole getting rid of the paper/photo like stuff we keep - archiving and digitalizing. I guess I should be happy I am doing this now, rather than 20 years from now when I have accumulated even more stuff.

We will be living in the camper after this weekend, and just living simply. Everything will be out of the house, so it can be cleaned and ready to go for it's new owner. It will also free us up to do a little local traveling this summer before we head off into the wild blue yonder.

It always feels so good to make a commitment, and start implementing the actions to reach those goals. This is freeing and purposeful. I am taking everything we learned on our 8 month adventure and preparing for an amazing new adventure.

Life is all about the memories, not the stuff.



Welcome Ostara

I love this time of year, the welcoming of all things cute and cuddly: all things pink and fuzzy.

Just like Yule, where we celebrate all month long, we begin celebrating Ostara, Eostre, or Easter, with Fat Tuesday through the spring equinox into Easter. We make it last as long as we can.

We started with these super easy, super cute beeswax egg candles.

We saved our egg shells back from the chicken scraps over a couple days (sorry chickens), and then colored the empty egg shells. I especially like the way the inside of the shells stained a more intense color than the outside.

Then we propped up little wicks in the shells, and poured the melted beeswax in the empty shells. I was surprised by how fast the wax began to set up. The whole project took less than an hour and everyone is so proud of their eggs.

We love the smell of these cute little things as they burn.



There is Nothing More Spring Than . . .


Anticipation,or being enthusiastic, is an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety in considering some expected or longed-for good event. (Thanks Wiki)

Nothing more Spring like than the anticiaption of a new life, and we deserve this,especially at the end of such a hard, cold winter. This winter has been especially hard for the Trochesset Tribe, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, so these new petite lives are a much needed pick me up; a celebration of life. As one door closes, another door opens.

The day or two before a birth is just agonizing. . . . the contant checking, rechecking, and checking again . . . the wishing and praying and hoping . . . the excitement, the worry, the anxiety.

And then, the first signs of labor; there really is a little life about to emerge. The constant need to find a comfortable position to rest; a moment in the pain and pleasure.

Then, a nose, a couple hooves . . . and it's out . . . rub, rub, rub. . . breathe, breathe . . . BREATHE!

Life is good!

She has the mamma instinct.
The twins are marked almost the same.
The baby girl (Doe)

The baby boy (Buck)



The Winter Blues

We are beginning to wonder if this winter will ever end. Don't get me wrong, I love being out sledding and building snowmen but not in 0 degree weather. And now our frozen, melted-snow, now ice rink, lane is making winter even more bothersome.
So what is a person to do but dream of warmer days. In fact, we have been doing this all winter long. We pull out last years calendar, where brief notes open the flood gates to wonderfully fun memories.
Feb. 24th 2013. Went to Saguaro NP east with mom and older kids. Neat Drive.

Translation - Mom and I decided to drive up to the Saguaro National park on the East side of Tucson. John didn't want to go, so Johnny and twins stayed with daddy at the camper. I remember going through the nice visitors park and then taking the drive - the drive is what this place is all about. The drive is a one way snakey path through the cactus, river beds, and rock hills. We ate snack at a pinic table in the warm sun and climbed rock formations.

What this means on a cold Iowa winter night. 7 excited kids jumping around, laughing, smiling, arms flapping, as if they could fly themselves there. All rattling off things about the giant saguaro, who lives in it, how old saguaro's are before they get their first "arms", the rock mountain we climbed, and the rare fan shaped saguaro they saw. Our livingroom was transformed into another place, sunnier, brighter, and much warmer for over 30 minutes.
But as the kids get ready for bed, and the excitement high fades, I am left, for a moment, sadder than I was before. I want to hook up the camper and be gone - leave and never look back. Alas . . . I turn to the fridge, my motivation center where quotes litter the front, and quickly remember how lucky I am to even have these warm memories with my children. Life Is Good!


What Happened?!?!?!?!?!?!

We arrived home in May 2013, and all the sudden roots grew from our feet; we planted ourselves at home. Several reasons for this but the main one was for Johnny, Ciara, and John and I to get some relief. Johnny and Ciara both need some more specialized care and having extra hands around to help sure does make life a bit easier. So, we resigned ourselves to staying on the farm for a year. Right now with this nasty polar vortex dipping too far south for our comfort it doesn't seem like a very smart choice. The whole family has been daydreaming about rock climbing and the hot springs.

I feel like this decision killed our creativity. In reality it hasn't. We find plenty of fun things to do in the snow like make snow candy, real snow cones, snow men, and digging in the snow banks. But I feel like I am always trying to make something up for the next day or the next week. When we are traveling I never feel like that - we just do whatever is going around us, and when we run out of things to do we move on to another place. Does this make me ADHD? I am beginning to wonder.

Because of this winter and our travels last year, I think I have come up with a new workable plan. A plan were John and I get a break, yet keeps our adventurous family alive.

Starting this spring, we are going to travel for 2 to 3 weeks at a time, and then come back to home base. This will allow us to have the best of both worlds; I hope. The kids can be in some monthly activities like 4-H and stay in contact with friends and family, and John and I get to have regular date nights :) Then when we are recharged, we can go out on the road again.

I know this means we will be doing a lot more road time to get to where we want to go, and less meandering from place to place but I guess we have to save something for retirement; right?

Now my daydreaming is turning to the future - the next big adventure. I am going to use these next couple months to plan our summer adventures instead of planning my garden (only because it is already planned).

Let me know what you are planning for the summer of 2014!

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