1.17.2015

A Walk in the Desert

There is nothing more appealing to me than a walk with no destination nor agenda. We see what we see, and don't worry about getting to point B - the journey is in arriving.

I try hard to have the kids be quiet and take in the little things around them; although, for some it is just a cross crountry race, which I guess is good too.

Today we went for a walk into the desert behind the RV park my parents, grandparents, and aunt stay at - Desert Trails RV park. I love this place, and would stay there too but it is "mature" campground only, so on this particular day, we left Ciara with grandpa watching some Disney Jr. cartoon, and took a nice long walk.

We took the shorter loop, which was only a little over a mile long but for some of the kids it seemed like foreeeeeeeevvvvvvvvver.

Even though it was not a race, these two Saguaro Cactus marked our end. The Finish Line

These are the days we will remember!

1.15.2015

Push It - Push It Real Good . . . or maybe not so good.

As we packed up in the morning, heading out of Balmorhea State Park, we had two option for the night. We could stop in Deming at Rock Hound State Park (a 3 hour drive), or we could push through to Tucson (6 hour drive), which was our end destination. Six hours didn't sound that bad, and it was a cold rainy day, so what else was there to do. We decided to wing it, and make up our minds when we got closer to Deming.

We waved goodbye to Balmorhea around 9:30 a.m., and made good time to El Paso. The kids in my car had eated their snacks for the day in the first hour of the trip, and there is nothing like hungry, road riden kids. Somewhere between El Paso and Deming, I gave into the relentleess whining, and said we could stop at the Burger King, since we had stopped there before and I knew where it was. Meanwhile John decided things were going reletively well (especially since he was in the other vehical with kids who spaced out their snacks), and we would push on through to Tucson. With that, we decided we would split and join back up at the rest stop about 15 miles to the west of Deming. When I pulled into the Burger King, it was obvious the store was closed for remodleing - my heart sank! I hoped that if I didn't say anything, and quickly turned around I might be able to play it off. No such luck, as I turned around the kids instantly broke into a crying chorus about what a horrible mom I was, which I was kinda believing at this point. There was nothing I could do but push on, and catch up with John - empty handed - and hope there was another fast food place between here and there.

At 4 pm, in Wilcox, I pulled into the Burger King, and John refueled at the Flying J. That 2 hours between Wilcox and Deming was a real stretch for all of us. I pulled out every postive/motivational parenting trick I knew, and NONE of it seemed to matter. I officially got the bad mommy of the year award.

As we pulled out of Wilcox, I called Davis-Monthan to make sure they had some openings. I kinda figured the way our day had been going it was a 50/50 chance. Luckily they had several, and we would be pulling in about the time they closed and the very nice man at the desk gave me the late arrive the directions just in case, which ended up being useful since they closed at 5 pm and we pulled up at 5:20 pm. As we pushed through the Benson pass, things started turning up. The kids had full tummies, John and I were refueled, some of the kids were sleeping, the rain was letting up, and we could see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

The beast behind me, and a rainbow.

 

1.07.2015

Swimming in December and Not the Polar Bear kind - Balmorhea State Park, Tx

Rise and Shine! Only there is no shine this morning. At 6:30, we are greeted with a dreary, overcast sky, and we started packing up in the chilly December air (48 degrees). I think we set a record because we ate and were on the road by 8 am. The moring has consisted of rain and mist but that doesn't stop the kids from stopping twice for potty breaks. Gotta love Texas turnouts, since we bring our potty with us, all we need is a safe place to pull over :)

Our destination for the night is Balmorhea State Park and at about 1 p.m. we roll through the one stop sign town and 3 miles later pull into camp. If it hadn't been for the nice ranger at check-in, the place could be mistaken for ghost town. But I guess most people aren't out enjoying the natural springs in December :)

This park is no disapointment. We have our own little pergola, the spring fed pool to ourselves, and a beautiful view of the mountains. The pool started off a bit chilly (they say it stays at a constant 76 degrees all year around) but not bad after we acclimated. There are ducks swimming in it, and little fish kissing our feet. The water is a beautiful green, and in the center the pool measures 25 feet deep.

A perfect way to end a long dreary day on the road.

 

 

1.06.2015

What A Year Can Do

Winter 2014

After our first 8 month trip in 2012, we decided we would give the farm life one more year. Spend a year really thinking about why we loved living in Iowa so much, and if at the end of that year, we were still dissatisfied we would sell the place and move on. As we approached the one year mark, we knew things were not really working.

We thought staying on the farm would be the right thing to do for Ciara and Johnny, or the easiest for us because of their special needs. Easy does not equate happy. What we discovered was that our sanity was still in question, and the Hallalluha moments we hoped for with Ciara and Johnny never happened.

Our quality of life did not get a whole lot better or worse - it was what it was. All we were doing was trying to get back to what we had on the road but in a stick home. As easy as that might seem to be, it just wasn't happening for us.

John and I did not have that much more real alone time than we did on the road.

Ciara made just as many developmental gains on the road as she did in school for a whole year.

Johnny seems to be worse behaviorally since being in school.

The whole family spent too much time wish'n for better days.

And since we are not ones to wish our life away, it became quite obvious we needed to make some hard choices, give up some of the things we loved, and move on to bigger and better things.

The goats.

The chickens.

The daily visits from friends.

Aldi.

Walking the farm.

Weekly therepy appointments.

At times it seemed impossible to let go of what we had. The the crab in the bucket, knowing it needs to get out but never quite making it out before another crab pulled in back down. I remember hoping and praying that I wouldn't regret our decision. We began counting the days until school was out and the day we were heading out - it made us laugh and get the gitters. Our old trip calendar became our daily source of excitement.

Now 4 months later, we rarely every think about the farm. We do miss our friends but facebook, skype, youtube, and e-mail has been a wonderful way to keep in touch. We are also making new friends along the way and meeting up with old friends living someplace other than Iowa. And now that year of emotional turbulance takes real effort to recall. We truely are a rambling family, it is in our blood, and I can't wait to see where it leads us this year.

1.05.2015

Camping Along The Guadeloupe River - Kerrville City Park, TX

This campground is a keeper. It is tucked away in Kerrville along the Guadeloupe river with a outdoorsy feel. You don't feel like you are 5 min. from everything. We got in about 2 pm, ordered Pizza and enjoyed the evening at the playground.

We don't get to eat out a lot but since I failed to plan an afternoon meal, and there was a pizza delivery place at the entrance to the park that was calling to us, so we called them :)

The river is a fairly slow moving, shallow body of water - more like what we call a crick back home in Iowa. During the summer people must swim in it because there are pictures of the river filled bank to bank with people. Today we seen several birds perched on trees beached in the middle of the river. There were also several fishermen out trying thier luck.

We did our usually trip to the playground, which was nice and had a bathroom close by. We also decided that weather is not the determining factor on shoe choice. We also said that winter weather made it closed toe shoe time but we have decided the ground cover and plants may make it close toed shoe weather also - pricklies in the toes is no fun!

We enjoyed a nice walk down by the river, and the pull through full hook-ups were super nice. It seems there is a lot more to do in this little Texas town than we are going to explore during this stop. Definately a redo.

1.02.2015

Happy New Year!

I always love a New Year celebration, in fact, I take the opportunity to celebrate it several times a year. I even use the New Moon every month to start something new. I love making plans, starting new things, and I use the New Year as an opportunity to jump start these crazy ideas.

This year is no different. We are planning on visiting places we haven't been before. We are moving Westward into California to watch some whales, spy on some seals, pick some oranges, climb some mountains, swim in the Pacific ocean, hug a redwood, and that is just the start!

We also have some professional goals. I want to help as many people as possible get healthier and live life to the plus, polish up the blog by going to a blogging conference, and John is going to a RV training school in Clearwater Florida this fall. We are at a stage in our life were we want to share some of the knowledge we have learned allong the way and start giving back to the community - we think these will be great places to start.

The kids set some goals too - things like make better choices, read more books, draw lots of pictures, and learn cursive. They make me smile every day! They are growing and maturing into these little people I love spending time with.

What are some of your travel plans? Is there somewhere in Cali, Iowa, or Florida that should be on our MUST SEE list? Can we hook-up with you this year? I would love to hear what 2015 holds for you. 2015 is going to be full I surprises - I can just feel it!

12.17.2014

Texas is look'n Up - Stephan F. Austin State Park

Every time we drive through Texas, John says, "One minute in Texas is one minute too long". I'm not sure were this sentiment comes from but I think he might be rethinking things a bit. The last couple trips through Texas have been nice, and we have enjoyed the campgrounds a lot.

On this trip we are not spending any extra time here because we are moving across at clipper speed. I-10 all the way across. Our first stop was the state park 30 miles west of Houston, and for a short overnighter it was GREAT! We arrived about 2 pm and had plenty of daylight left to set up and go for a super hero hike.

The state park sits right on a swift moving river, and the bottomland forest was really neat.

It is hard to believe it is a week before Yule, and the kids are running around in tank tops and shorts.

This is definately a re-do! We could have spent several days hiking on the more than 6 miles of easy hiking trails. Texas is looking better all the time!

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