Sunday, July 30, 2006

Back to School, Everywhere!

Everywhere we go, we see "BACK TO SCHOOL" stuff. Most of it seems to be a joke. We do not go to public school. Our children are homeschooled. This will be a great thing for them, when we are on the road in our RV. Homeschool allows our children the freedom to "explore" and "learn" in different ways then the traditional public schools do. First off, we are free to "learn" from any curriculum or reading that we choose and that is not so in public schools. I have found this to be such an important issue, because my children both have such different needs when it comes to learning styles.

Schooling while on the road should be an easy transition for us, since we already homeschool. We are already fimiliar with a routine and ways of learning that the idea of traveling while schooling doesn't upset us at all. In fact, we actually believe that it will open up a whole are of "new" learning for the kids and can't to get out there. But since we will not be on the road for a while yet, we will get started with our school work by the middle of August.

We have been looking for "reading" books for Simone at every used book store for 40 miles, on line at every used book store, Ebay and with friends and family in the area!!! So far so good. Simone read a lot...I choose to let her read what ever she wants...(almost, lol) She has to read one of my choice for every 3 books of hers. That may sound like a lot for her, but she read 2-4 300+ page books per week on most weeks. We are looking forward to "exploring" every used book store that we come across, during out travels.

I still have Kenny's curriculum from last year that we are "still" working on. We have also found some reading books for him too. We are really looking forward to the "traveling" issue with Kenny. He is a very hands on learner and likes to "see" things in action. For him, we will be frequenting different musuems, historic sites, and factory tours. He is going to love it.

Well, enough said about back to school.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Some things are hard to do!!!!!

These are some of the animals that we have had to "give up" to start our dream of a full time RV'ing family life!!! Some things are just plain ol' hard to do.

Making the RV a home!

We actually thought this would be the easy part, lol! But seriously, it wasn't...
After we got our new (used of course) 28 foot camper home, were happy with our purchase and had been "playing" around with it for a few days, we discovered some "issues". Yes, issues!!! We had been so stoked about this whole thing and all of a sudden, we just say a "problem" and wondered if we had made a "bad investment" or "choice" in this camper. This all happened when we were still playing around, talking about redecorating, this way and rearranging that way.

I am jumping way ahead, here, let me tell you about the layout of this camper, so you can actually follow along. Our new rolling home, has a bedroom to the rear of the unit. This bedroom has a full bed, lots of storage, and a closet, and dresser with a closing door...yea ha!!! We decided this would be our room (some privacy will be much appreciated when we are actually out on the road)... The middle of the RV has storage on one side and the bathroom on the other, leaving a hallway though the middle. Then comes the Galley area, with seating on one side and the sink, frig on the other and still the "hall type" through the middle. The front of the RV is the "living area". It has a couch and an table top, and such. This area is really not in the best of shape, the couch, drapes, carpet and such are ugly and dated and smell like smoke (we are non-smokers). This leaves the only other areas for sleeping....Which are the dining table that drops down into a bed and the couch that makes a bed.

Now, lets go back to the redecoration and such. We have decided to take out the ugly, usless couch and replace it with bunk beds for the kids. This way, they will actually have a real mattress and some area to call their own, not to mention, that a real mattress will be very important on the road, in our new moving home!!! This decision was not hard to come to, we had been told that the couch was not attached, because they (the original owners) had already moved it once and had never reattached it to the floor. So, being curious and all, I decided to move out the couch and "see" what is behind it. As I reach down to "pull" the couch up, my hand almost goes through the wall at the front of the camper. Needless to say, I was surprised! I called hubby in to look at it and so after we removed the couch completely, we discover that this camper has been leaking for a long time in that front area. We decide to "start" ripping our the paneling and see just how bad the damage is. It was a lot of damage, but not hard to fix. Cullen got started right away, he cut out all of the rotten wood and replaced it with new 2 by 4. He has to "reset" the window and build it up better. After we got that all finished, we decided to go ahead and build the bunk beds for the kids, because it would be easier to see the "supports" and the placement would be easier. And so that is what we did, we build in the bunks and they looked great. Cullen then cleaned all of the roof area and re-sealed the roof. After that, he cleaned all of the connecting corners and scrapped old caulking off and re-caulked them. We should have bought stock in a caulking company, because we used a lot, lol!! He re-caulked the windows, the corners, the outside light fixtures, and everywhere there was a screw. This only took about 2 weeks, but we finally have the front end totally sealed. The next project is to add in the new paneling to coverup the repair job on the inside of the RV. Meanwhile, back in the house, I was sewing...up a storm, I might add, lol! I recovered all the seat cushions, seat and back cushions. I made new curtains for ALL THE WINDOWS. I washed the inside of all the windows and hung up the curtains. For the kitchen and living areas, we went with some neutrals...A nice beige solid, with accents in a cream with beige, brown and blue stripes and denim accents too! It all ties in really well together. Everything is light enough to "keep it bright" but dark enough to keep out prying eyes or harsh light. I have to say, that I did a really bang up job with the curtains and was really proud of myself. But I was even more proud of my hubby who worked and worked at fixing the leaks in out soon to be rolling home. It was a real pain at times.

So, we are going right along with the RV. We have also been making "changes" in our lifestyle, so that we can get ready to "be on the road". Some of the things we have been doing are small, but others have been proven to be harder. The one thing that we all "have been working on" that has been the hardest, has been to get rid of all of our animals. This was quite a task too, because we are true animal lovers and we had tons of them. We started out with some of the smaller items, and we decided to sell them on some of our areas local "classified" board online. We sold our golden pheasants, our Frizzles (chickens), our silkies (chickens), ducks, quail, and most of our egg laying hens. This was a bit hard, but we decided to "pool the money" and keep it for "things we needed for the camper", which made it a bit easier for the kids, because they got to watch the money "grow". Next came the goats and 1 of the dogs. This was a major challenge for my daughter, Simone, because these were her animals. She loved them so. She was very committed to them, in fact she has milked her goat for 2 years, twice per day and never missed any time, what a girl. She really handled it like a trooper! We really liked the "homes" we choose for all of our animals and this really helped. We have also gotten rid of 2 of our "inside" dogs and lots of our rabbits. The tally shows that we have 5 hens, 4 roosters, 15 rabbits and 2 dogs to go. We have realy taken our time with this, because we have been looking for good home and places where they were willing to "keep in touch" with us for a while to make sure the animals were happy. This has worked out well!

With all of this work, we still have tons to do to make this 28 foot RV our rolling home, so stay tuned here and see what we are up to next. And please, feel free to leave us any comments you like, we would love to hear from others, who travel, have ever thought of traveling, or just like reading about our family and life.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

And so the story continues!

Well, We did sell out little 17 ft shasta, pull behind camper...(pictured in the photo to the left). It was really hard to do, because we loved it so. It was a super camper. It had overhead bunks for the kids that worked really well. The real major problems with this camper were the things it lacked, that you really needed for long term full time rv'ing, like a bathroom, flush toilet and shower/tub...holding tanks, and this type of thing...but even though this little camper didnt have that, it was hard to get rid of it.

Now that everyone knows why we got rid of our little, loved 17 foot camper...lets get to the "new" (used of course) 28 foot camper. It is awesome! It has all the things that the 17 footer lacked. So, here it is...(pictured in the photo to the right). We are happy so far. Now we just have to "get 'er ready"!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Great Outdoor Family Experience

The Great Outdoor Family Experience
Well, This is just the beginning. The beginning of our family blog, the beginning of our quest to become a full time rv'ing family, the beginning of the quest to share our lives with anyone who is interested.

Let me start by telling you a bit about our family. Cullen and I (Belinda) have been married for 16 years and we have 2 beautiful children(Simone 14 yo and Kenny 9 yo). We live on an acre outside of a small rural town in Missouri and have a great life. We really have only just begun. Our life, in a rural area, feels like it is a bit "constricting" when it comes to "experiencing" the world, not just for us, but for our kids too. And so, we decided, as a family, that we would like some more adventure and to "see" some more of the United States.

We started this "way of thinking" (about full time RV'ing) in 2003, but just decided that it could never "work" for us, not at least while we were young, not retired, and not independently wealthy...and so we decided to "try it" in a smaller way. We camped on a regular basis but wanted to do something more to see if "we could handle it". Our first adventure was to Volunteer as a campground host for our favorite Missouri state park for a full month. Our favorite MO state park is Montauk. We love it and here is a link so you can check it out on your own. Well, we did it, we made it for a full month, in a 17 foot pull behind camper, with 2 adults, 2 kids and 2 dogs...and needless to say, we have been hooked ever since. We continued to camp throughout the years, but longed for more adventure. We just kept thinking that we would not be able to "full time" anytime soon and would have to wait till we "retire" or something. It took us 3 years before we decided to "go back" and try it again. We once again, requested another month long Volunteer campground host position at Montauk state park. We hosted in March of 2006 and once again, we loved it. It was different this time, but we still loved it. We decided to "still" not think about "full time rv'ing" but we just couldn't. And that is when we sat down as a family and made the decision to see what we could do.

We did decided to start slow and maintain our life here in our home. We decided to start by selling our 17 ft pull behind camper, that we loved and purchase a newer, used, bigger, camper.

and so the story goes!!!