Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Enjoying the Journey of Life!

Life is funny.

Life brings changes.

For us, change is starting to become come place.......and we are adapting much easier.

Long story short, we have decided to stop traveling full-time.  I know....SHOCKER!

Our decision to travel and explore this wonderful country, has always been a family decision.  We were regularly asking the kids how they liked it, and if they wanted to keep on going.  Every now and then, one of them might have a bad, boring, or lonely kind of day, and want to go home to see their friends or family.  Recently, those feelings started happening more often....even with ME! ;)

I honestly thought I would never have a house again!  I thought I could live in our RV home forever!

But.  As the Lord does, SO many times, HE changed my perspective and gave me new eyes to see.  HE also started working on my kids' desires.

So, we are home. :)  It is a good thing.

We are paying off debt, saving money and seeing friends and family.  We are signing up for camps, sports and home school classes.  We are back in our community and our comfort zone.

We come back home with a fresh perspective, too.

We are blessed.  I mean, really blessed.
We have traveled FULL-TIME, for almost 3 years, as a family, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.  We have experienced this country first-hand and enjoyed so many "firsts!"

We realize the precious time we have been given, but also realize how precious our family and friends are to us as well.

We will miss our friends on the road,( PLEASE come see us!), and we hope to travel again in the future.

Life is funny.  But, life is so good. :)

Here are just a few of our most favorite times on the road:

Many factory tours....

 National Monuments that take your breath away...

Good Ole' Faithful.....

Driving on the GOLDEN Gate Bridge!

Landscapes and natural wonders.....

Laura Ingalls Wilder's home....

Todd skydiving on his 40th birthday!

Countless sunsets...

Trying to hug a Redwood :) 

Sledding at White Sands....

Rock climbing.....

Totally amazing sights....

Tons of hiking trails- CONQUERED!

We have experienced life in its fullest capacity.  Together.   We are so grateful!!

"Happy Trails to you......Until we meet again....."


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

None Other, Than Cadillac Ranch!

Since 1974, in Amarillo, TX., in a COW PASTURE, ..... the one,.... the only....

Cadillac Ranch.  :)

We went prepared, with several cans of paint.

And, we made sure to tell the kids how important it was, that they FULLY understood, that spray painting graffiti ANY WHERE else...... IS ILLEGAL.

Just saying.....

Even though it was 100 degrees in the dry Texas sun, we had a fun time making our mark. :)

Aaawwww. My man is so sweet. :)  
Here, he declares to the world, his love for me. :)

"You Only Live Once!"
So true.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

The BIG Texan

When you visit Amarillo, you just have to eat at the FAMOUS Big Texan Restaurant!

First of all, they come pick you up in a FREE, longhorn cadillac LIMO!  Our driver is a retired, geo-physicist! ( All I know, is that means, he is REALLY smart.) :)  He chauffeur's for the Texan, just so he has something to do everyday!

This was a first for me and the kids!  WHOO HOO!

The girls even put on their Sunday best for this experience! LOVE IT!

Once we arrived, we went directly into the fun, gift shop.  You could seriously pay WAY too much money on some really fun stuff here. ;)

We also walked through out the restaurant and noticed a small casino and gun-shootin' game.

This is another place that was featured on "Man vs. Food."  I loved the old west and saloon-style decorations through out.

We stuffed ourselves and even had leftovers!  Emily and Parker also received a free cowboy hat with their kid's meals.  BONUS!

Seriously, go to the Big Texan, enjoy the atmosphere and have a steak dinner!
And that is NOT a bunch of bull. ;)


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Out in the Middle of No Where, Kansas

A couple of weeks ago, we spent a week in Dorrance, KS., at a Corps of Engineers Park.

For only $8/ night, including water and electric and a dump station, the kids enjoyed the wide open spaces and playground.

There are several "Loops" at this particular park, but we had ours ALL to ourselves.

All though it was cold and windy most of the time, it was a beautiful park, right next to Wilson Lake, for a wonderful price!

The kids are steadily finishing their school work, and we are enjoying the cooler weather. ;)


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"Happy, Happy, Happy!"

"Hey Jack!"   So, we decided to try and visit THE duck call!!  
We were only an hour from West Monroe, LA., so we drove on over to visit the headquarters of the HUGELY famous show, "Duck Dynasty!"  

The family just cracks us up!  We love it all.
The simplicity.  The beards.  The southern food.  The way they make fun at each other.

It's all good. :)

They also know how to make a statement.

Todd tried to sneak in the warehouse, but it just wasn't happenin'

We were hoping to meet some of the family, but this was the next best thing. ;)

Even on cardboard they look cool.

Their store was CRAZY busy!  Yeah for them!  I hope they have many, many more seasons in the future.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ameristar RV Park - Campground Review

While we were in Vicksburg, MS. for a few days, we stayed here.  Although it is part of the local casino, it is far enough away, that you can't even 'see' the gamblers or hear the cha-ching of their winnings! HA!

Price -$23/night for full hook ups

Amenities - they do have a small, but clean laundry and tv room.  Other than that, it is a safe, clean park to stay in the area.

If we can make it back to see Vicksburg National Park, this is where we would stay.


State #29!! Mississippi!

We intended on having a couple of days in Vicksburg, MS., enjoying Vicksburg National Park.  But, as life would have it, as it sometimes happens, we needed to slow down and have some serious family time.

Life lessons.  Hard lessons.  But, lessons we all need to learn at some point......sometimes more than once. ;)

Our recent lessons have been about diligence, laziness, thankfulness and respect.

Sometimes, you just have to put on the breaks of "your plans" and take the time to reevaluate what is right or wrong and FIX it! :)

So, just as any other family in America, whether you live in a house made of sticks and bricks or an rv, we have problems, stresses, issues, and what ever else you want to call them!

Our next adventure took us to a special place, with a special 'call.' ;)

Stay tuned!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Rainbow Plantation - Campground Review

While we stayed in Summerdale, Al., we enjoyed our time at this campground.  We are Escapee members, so any time we know that there is a campground in an area that we want to visit, we definitely take advantage of their wonderful facilities.

The location was perfect for visiting the USS Alabama in Mobile and Lambert's cafe, too. :)

Price -$16/night plus a couple of dollars electricity per night

Amenities - They have large sites, GREAT laundry for only $0.75/load!!!!, and a large dining/activity center.  The people, as usual, were so friendly and welcoming, too. :)

We LOVE Escapees campgrounds!  We would definitely return.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Parker!


I am freaking out.

My baby is FIVE YEARS OLD!

Thank you to all the family that gave him cards.  He was SOOOO excited!

He knew EXACTLY HOW he wanted to celebrate his day, too.  He wanted all of us to 'surprise' him in the morning, open his gifts and cards, FIRST thing, and then eat and go shopping.  HA!

He also knew that he wanted a movie, a Star Wars action figure and an Iron Man t-shirt.  :)

SO, after all the morning's excitement.....He went SHOPPING!  Yee Haw!

For his menu:

Breakfast - Cinnamon Rolls with orange icing, strawberries and orange juice

Lunch - Grilled cheese sandwiches, Cheese-puffs, strawberries and Rootbeer

Dinner - He wanted a date (with me, of course) to McDonald's :)  (the rest of the family ate a homemade chicken pot-pie)

Happy Birthday Parker!  We all love you very much!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Lambert's Cafe is AWESOME!

While we were in Summerdale, AL., near Foley, AL., we HAD to visit Lambert's.  I can not express to you, in words, how absolutely, amazingly awesome this place is!!!!!!  

Everything is family friendly.  

Everything is BIG.  

Just LOOK at that roll!  Oh!  And they THROW them at you in the restaurant... LOVE it!

Not only do they serve enormous portions, but they also have staff walking around, serving extra food!
FOR FREE!!!   

LOOK at the cup!  Yes.  That is what they serve the drinks inside!  It is bigger than his head!

We had fried chicken, BBQ, hamburgers, chicken-fried steak, mash potatoes, green beans, fried okra, corn, peaches, fries, fried shrimp and collard greens!  The strawberry shortcakes were free, along with fried potatoes, and much more!

We had so much fun here as a family.  I really want to encourage anyone who visits the Gulf Shores area of Alabama, to eat at Lambert's and make some fun, yummy food, family memories. :)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

State #28!! Alabama!! & The USS Alabama!!

There is just something so tough and so awesome about battleships.  I mean, just LOOK  at that!

The USS Alabama was used to defend our freedom from WWII to Iraq.

You can't help but marvel at all the big 'guns.'

Throughout the tour, we saw many, many missiles like this.  WOW!

You can't help but pretend, your 'one of the guys,' fighting the enemies, when your on this bad boy! ;)

Todd and I even had our 'Titanic moment.....so romantic.....

Uh, WHAT?!  Silly boys :)

Everything is massive on this ship, except for all the narrow passageways and stairs.

I think my kids lied down on every bed we passed!  EEeeewwww.....

There is a church on the ship, but unfortunately, it would not fit more than 20 soldiers at a time.

We also walked through the museum, holding combat aircraft.  Here is one of the Red Tail planes, flown by the Tuskegee men!!  Too cool!

The Black Bird.  Now, that is just 'Bad. To. The. Bone.'

We also ventured onto the USS Drum Submarine.

I have a new respect for all Navy soldiers.  How they can live and THRIVE in such a small space for a long amount of time is just dumbfounding!
I mean, I know that I am living in 400 square feet with 6 other people, but, at least I can go for a walk, or hike on LAND!  These guys were just stuck, out at sea, for months and months!

HUGE Mark 14 Torpedo!

The kids loved turning the wheels, pushing the knobs and trying to lock all the doors. ;)

It was a gorgeous day in Mobile, Alabama, with amazing sights to appreciate.  As we walked through these retired vessels, we kept recognizing how different our technology is today, and how far advanced our ships must be now.
Thank you to all the committed veterans who have served and are serving our great nation!  I am in awe of how blessed we are, to be protected by the BEST!