Friday, December 19, 2014

Part 1 Hawaii - put the sticker on the camper or not




Like most full timers we have the stickers on the side of our camper that show where we have traveled.  We always joked that we would bring our camper to Hawaii. Hawaii is one of those stickers and we never imagined that I would actually travel there. 

We made set rules about our trip stickers:

1. We can only put the sticker on if we have traveled there during our trip which started in      2008.
2. We have to have spent the night.

As the years went on, we decided that we put the state sticker on if:

3.  We drove through the state without stopping for the night.
4.  Any one of us goes there, not everyone.


So, Hawaii Counts 

I went there during our trip.  I stayed 6 days total.

It seems like a whirl wind.  How did I get there?  Did it really happen?

Actually, it started in 2008 - when we found Mike Lee.

Find out more in Part 2 Hawaii - coming soon

Sheri Smith in Hawaii
Photo by Faith Fay
To join the debate, watch our video as we discuss putting on New York, Pennsylvania, Lake Erie and more....  it is a cliff hanger.



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Everything Got Trashed While Traveling to Texas

One of the problems with taking your home down the road, is that sometimes the bumps and dips completely turn the contents upside down.

Such was the case last week when we traveled from Missouri to Texas.  It was the worst it has ever been.  

What happened?  I don't remember any huge bumps!

Items from my desk slid off the end as well as the things underneath it getting thrown in front of it.

Our camper must have tipped far to the right, everything on the left had shifted that direction.


I drive a 15 passenger van that tows our UTV, ATVs, kayaks, bikes and other items.  I didn't go in a ditch, curb, or huge bump to the right!  But, when towing a 42' camper, it might hit things that my smaller 16' flat bed does not.

Our school book shelf completely tipped over and broke apart.  That has never happened before!


Even toy shelves on the back wall flew forward and spilled Josie's toys!


It was awful. Like I don't have enough to do!

Taking a camper down the road is liking having your home in a 5 hour long earthquake.  Even with everything hooked, taped, and stored - there are times when it is gonna fall apart and fall over.

Such was the case this past week....



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Great Night in the Black Hills


The weather here is amazing.  Waking up to cool crisp air is refreshing after 15 months in Missouri. Don't get me wrong, I love Missouri, but I would take the dry cooler air of south west South Dakota any day over the heat and humidity of southern Missouri. Although, I would take the mild Missouri winters over the bitter cold of the north any day!

It was a last minute decision to head up here. With our two oldest on their own adventures, we decided we had spent enough time in Missouri and it was best for us to head north.

As much as I love the people at the Cobb Ridge Campground, Mark Twain National Forest Off Road Area in Chadwick, MO - I knew that for our family's sake, we needed to move on.

Volunteering for the Forest Service can be amazing and sometimes it can be very difficult.  After parts of three seasons as camphosts, I didn't know if I could do another summer.  Then when our supervisor left his position, I knew the summer would be horrible.

The year before our supervisor left and we could hardly get supplies, we bought some bleach for the bathrooms, our sewer wouldn't get dumped - it was a mess!  Yet, at the same time it was amazing because of a couple really nice Rangers and the people that come to that riding area.

Sometimes I find we stick out the hard things because of the people.  They are worth it.

Also, it builds character in us and our children.  We could get spoiled very fast if we only go to the best campgrounds and vacation all year.  I want my children to learn and remember 

that without the people - there is no America, 
just a chunk of land.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On the Road Again - getting ready to head west on our full time travel adventure

I'm ready to go.
Let's GO!
We can't seem to find anywhere we want to live.
No house that will work.
No place that is perfect.

So we get ready to head out again. We have been in Missouri for over a year. It is hard to believe we stayed in one place for so long. I told my husband that we gave up our home to travel. I can live in a camper if we are traveling but if we are just going to stay in one place I would rather have a house.

He has searched for the last year and he hasn't found a thing. So, we will either buy a new camper or a new house.  We will see what happens!

For now we will leave Missouri. The kids can hardly wait for the new adventure.  Two weeks to get three states away. 

Missouri
Kansas
Nebraska
South Dakota
Wyoming
Colorado
Utah
Nevada
Arizona

All this next year.....  I can hardly wait!




Thursday, May 8, 2014

Newest and Best Country Music Single

Here we are again, running the campground.

No dog on the porch,

My girl left me,

The truck broke down....

It sounds like a country song!  Is our life a country song?


  • It is true, we are camp hosts again.



  • We don't have a dog, so we can't have a dog on the porch.



  • My oldest daughter is moving  away for the summer, so the line that my girl left me is partially true.



  • My son's truck is having problems right before he is supposed to leave for his Park Ranger job in South Dakota.


Maybe we are more of a country song than I thought!

I never thought we would come back here.  But, whenever I say that or think it we usually end up doing it!

Never say or think Never.

We have a big campsite, lots of great people, lots of toilets to clean and other chores, the sound of off roaders late into the night, and lots of stars in the sky.


Not gonna be here long, gonna head back out on the road soon. 

 I think we'll take a new route and find some new great towns.....



Monday, March 24, 2014

Got the Itch to Get on the Road!

I drove through the Walmart parking lot in Berryville, Arkansas, and couldn't help but get that excited feeling.

There were a bunch of campers parked in the very back of the parking lot.  

Travelers - going somewhere.
Our camper wants to be free and get back on the road!

Just thinking about it gets my blood moving and heart racing!  I can't wait to get back on the road again.  

Our next trip is a short one, only 2 hours away, but I still can't wait.  We are committed there for four months or so and then off we go again, or will we stay longer?  

I never know.  Only God knows.

It is a life of trust, faith, and contentment.

I chose to be happy no matter where we are because my joy is in the Lord, not a mountain, beach, awesome campground, or adventure.  If I can't take it to heaven I don't need it.  

I can't take Zion National Park, Panama City Beach, Marysville Kansas, or any  other awesome place to heaven, 

But I sure will enjoy them when God sends me there!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bad Winter Great Cabin

I am so glad we rented a cabin for a couple of months!  Good Granny!  It is cold and snowy all winter!

My family up north would say, "Duh!"

My family in the south would say, "We would never live there!"

My family in Missouri is saying, "This is a really bad winter here!"

I am just saying, "It would be awful if we had been in our camper, in Missouri, this winter."

This is our third time taking a break from the camper and renting a cabin for a short time.  It has been nice to have flush toilets, lots of amperage in my kitchen, more room, couches, a big oven and fridge, two bathrooms, and three bedrooms. I could go on, but I might bore you.  The point is that I am really enjoying it here and I am so thankful we rented it.

Sadly, the electric rates are horrible this year. My family and friends have had to pay between $300-$400 a month. When the electric bill came in for this cabin, we were surprised at how high it was!  We ended up paying extra to try to help the owner out since electric is included in our rent.

With a month left before getting back on the road, I find myself excited to get back in my home, the camper. Although, I have to admit, I could rent the cabin for another month or two!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stop Full Time Travel?

 It is amazing to look back over the last six years and think about all the decision made around a dinner table.

We love to sit down and discuss the past and all of our adventures.

We love to sit around and discuss the blessings of today.

And we also love to sit around the table and share our hopes, dreams, and thoughts of the future.

Lately, it seems that most of the conversation leans towards if we should settle down or not.  What should we do?

  • Keep traveling
  • Buy a home base and travel part time
  • Buy a home and sell the camper
It is a life changing decision.  The decision to travel full time has changed us all to our core.  Now, we are at another turning point.  "Do we stay or do we go?"  That is the question.

Do we stay in our present lifestyle or do we go back to the sticks and bricks.  Honestly, I don't know the answer to that. 

I have a feeling though, that we will be on the road again soon.


For how long, I do not know.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Newest Contributor to The Lemonade Digest Online Magazine Just 12 Years Old!

I would like to introduce you to our newest magazine contributor, Naomi Smith.  


She is my third child of six great kids.  Hanna and Cody, my oldest two have kept blogs and websites about out trip around the country since 2007.  They both have been published online, in magazines, school textbooks, and newspapers. Hanna continues to write for newspapers, online magazines, and is finishing her first book.

Cody is still a contributor to our online magazine, when he can find the time.  With his new job working for Missouri Dept of Conservation and finishing up his first year of bible school, it is challenging to get much else done.

But now, Naomi has joined the crew and her younger brother Gabriel will even begin to write some.

Be sure to check out her articles at the following link and leave comments there or on facebook at

http://thelemonadedigest.com/author/naomi-smith

https://www.facebook.com/TheLemonadeDigest

Friday, January 3, 2014

Survival Expert EPIC FAIL!



One of many crazy videos produced by my family. Way to go Cody, Hanna, and Cole! Can't wait to see the next episode!