Sunday, January 31, 2010

What do we do for work while traveling full time?

So many people wonder how we can afford to travel full time.

1. We sold our home and most everything we owned. We sold three vehicles and one camper. We had enough money to buy our camper and truck debt free. My husband got laid off one month after we sold our home. We were thankful to only have $2000 left of debt to pay for. He sold his dirt bike one week after getting laid off. We used that money to pay off the $2000 of debt we still had. We lived on his unemployment and Veteran’s benefits (he is 50% disabled) for three months.

2. My husband is and engineer. When he lost his job at one company, we knew God had something better for us. It was kind of funny because when Shae got the call we were in total shock. He is an excellent engineer. We couldn’t believe his boss would lay him off! Within 5 minutes of his “laid off phone call”, he got another one from a co-worker that was shoot fire mad. Then ATT workers called and were so mad that they emailed Shae’s company and told them what a mistake they had made. God was so amazing. He defended Shae and Shae didn’t have to do it himself. Shae did enjoy a little time off, and we were actually really excited. We knew God had something better for us. You see, we have had a lot of hard times in our life. God has always been faithful to see us through them and bring us out better on the other side. We knew that He would bring us through and out to a brighter future. Well, sure enough, come January God opened the door for Shae to work at another company making more money, better health benefits, way longer vacation, and could still work from a laptop in our camper. Of course, his new boss said, “What! You live in a camper! You will be settling down soon, right?” Which my husband replied by telling him that no, we would not be settling down soon. We would be on the road and he would work from his laptop in our camper.

So, as long as we have internet signal and cell phone signal during the week we are good to go. That does limit us on where we can camp. We were hoping to be in the National Forest and BLM lands more. We are going to try to do that more as we head out from here in a few weeks. We only drive about 3 hours a week. We leave Friday afternoon, Sat. or Sun. Drive about 3 hours and then stay a week or two, or more. During the week the kids and I enjoy the campground, do some sightseeing as my husband doesn’t always like to do all the sightseeing we do. Then on the weekends we do the big sights that he wants to go to. Or, we just hang out at the campground and enjoy hiking, biking, ATVs, kayaks, or just hanging out.

3.Oh, by the way, I do sell baby slings and am doing this blog and website  and am hoping to make more so we can eventually buy some land debt free! I also speak at different functions.

4. We are very careful where we stay.  Our budget for campgrounds is $500 a month or below.  We also do a lot of volunteer work and usually we stay for free at those campgrounds.

Josephine dressed up Shae while he was working. 
We took half of our closet and put in a cheap Walmart desk.
He sits on a stool and works there.  I have all of my
clothes on the top shelf and his are hanging and folded on the bottom.
I have one set of shelves on the right and his are next to them on the left.
We took out the mirror closet doors.  I was concerned that one of the kids
would jump on the bed and fly through them.
I put up a curtain rod with nice fabric shower curtains that
we can pull over the closet if we have company.
Company, ha, I've decided it is close to impossible to have

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ants in My Pants ...Ready to Move On!

Cody has had a wonderful time working with the men building the new church.  This is HL.  He is a wonderful man that does drywall with Cody.  HL is 77 years old and still working hard.  They all do it for free, for the Lord.

He also enjoyed riding through the huge puddles made by the big storms that came through last week.  We went into the building during the worst of it.  I don't like being in a camper in a tornado watch.
We love to ride bikes in puddles.  Running through the cold water makes me feel like a kids again.  Josie was soaked!  We also danced in the rain with our umbrellas.  It is fun to just be silly!

Hanna had a great time acting in Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames.  It is a powerful play.

We made the trip to the US Airways Phoenix Suns Stadium for the Disney on Ice Show.  It was great.  The kids loved it.  It was quite an adventure driving down town.  I don't know how many people got aggravated with my slow driving.  They were probably saying, "Go back to Missouri, you hick!" 
I'm not a city girl, but we sure enjoyed the show.

We have been near Phoenix Arizona for over 2 months now.  We haven't done a lot of sight seeing.  I call it homesteading.  Every now and then we need a break from traveling and sight seeing.  We came here and did our dental, doctor, paperwork, mail, and rest.  Usually two months of this and we are ready to go.  I'm not sure where we will head next.  Grand Canyon is too cold, San Diego would be great.  Or, do we head toward New Mexico?  Shae looked at his drivers license and saw it expires in March.  We called Missouri DMV and they said he can get a six month temporary extension to give us time to get back there to renew it.  We are in no hurry.  It is time to get a new vision.  It is time for me to hear God's voice about where to go and what to see.  I need to have some fun.  I want to get a little wild and just go see some great places, go kayaking, four wheeling, and hiking.  The seriousness of life is trying to get back on me and I know that I need to give those things back to God and enjoy the life He has given me.  I know there are people out there that need help and to hear the truth.  We have a few weeks left here.  I'm going to start having way too much fun.  I think fun is a choice.  I think a good attitude is a choice.  I still have sick kids, I still have debt, I still have a to do list that is ridiculous.  I have to get taxes ready, I still haven't applied for my VA benefits, I am working on writing books, I need to do more school with the kids, Cody needs to finish making his knives, my laundry is always there.  Tytus is awake, and it is way to late in the night for that.  I know there will always be things to do, but I will find time for the preciousness of life, each day, for the days are short and each one is special.  Gotta run,
Tytus is holding on to my leg wanting up.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sick of being Sick

We were so blessed.  After we left Missouri in July, we had no sickness until we got to Phoenix in November.  It seems like since then we have battled one sickness after another!  I am so sick of sickness!  I don't understand why people go out when they are sick.  It just passes their illness on to others.  When an illness hits our big family, it can take weeks to cycle through.  Plus, I am trying to get my lungs healed and getting cold after cold is not helping me.  About 2 weeks ago I though my lungs were almost totally better!  Now, we have a cough going through our camper and a different illness, a fever!  Two more of my kids woke up this morning sick, one with a cough, one with a fever.  This is my advice to everyone...
The other thing that really erks me is when someone tells me they are healthy and they are not.  They really are sick.  I can't even count the number of people that have lied to me in the last year about this.  I don't understand it.  I guess they have never had six kids and lived in a camper.  They don't realize how hard it is on our family to go through a sickness.  Maybe they have never had lung problems.  But to lie is just plain wrong. 
So, we are done.  No more extra activities for a while, until we are all healthy.  We won't get to go skiing this week now, we won't get to go to Julie's for a play day, we don't get to go to church or Aunt Sandy's.  My kids get to stay in bed with fevers and coughs.  I hope who ever felt the need to be by us with a cough and fever can learn to stay home when they are sick and not pass it on to others.
I know, I sound upset, well, I am.  It takes a lot to make me mad, and this was enough.  I pray, I pray a lot.  And we are taking authority over this.  But, I have learned that God gives us free will.  If we choose to go out and infect others, they may suffer the consequences, like we are. 
I hope you have a better day than us.  I will try to pray and get a smile on my face.  I will look for the jewels in my day.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

How to get your laptop to smell delicious!

I am so sorry that I have not had an entry lately.  I had a major computer problem and just got it resolved, so I AM BACK!
I have so much to write about I am not sure where to start.  I guess I will go with my yummy laptop.

I have a strict rule "NO DRINKS OR FOOD BY THE COMPUTER"

So, the other day I was in a real hurry.  I set my coffee next to the laptop and started looking for something on Amazon.  I reached for the mouse and 


 I spilled my coffee all over the laptop.  Yes, it was me, not the kids, that spilled the coffee.  Yes, it was me, not the kids, that put the coffee there in the first place.  I couldn't believe it.  I reached up and tried to pat my laptop dry with my pajamas.  I sopped up as much as I could.  Shae came out later and tipped the laptop on its side.  A bunch more coffee poured out.  We tried to turn it on later, it worked, but not the keypad.  Well, to make a long story short, I bought an external keyboard for $12 and hooked to the usb port and, here I am.

Shae came down the other day, he lifted my laptop and said,

"Man, this smells goooooood!"

I like to put stevia and creamer in my coffee.  Now, my laptop smells soooo sweeeet!

End of story for now.  Have a great night.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just another wild day - some pictures

Thought I'd make a little photo album of our latest pictures.

I forgot Tytus' hat so we used his pants instead.

Tytus sure fills out his sling!

Cody driving the lift for drywall volunteer work.            Cody and Shae making bread knives to sell!
We really enjoyed helping the Romanians get ready for their new church.  We cleaned chairs with them. They are amazing people.  They have gotten in my heart!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I've never been so hairy!

Now, this is my first and last blog entry on this subject.  I am going to start a new blog, just for women.  It is going to be a blog that we can talk about being a woman, for real.  I want to be able to laugh and cry about things that only a woman can understand and not make my male readers have to read it.  But, since I don't have that blog started yet, I am going to make a quick note on my wonderful experience today. 

I decided to go to the bath house for a shower.  I usually shower in our camper.  People have offered for me to use their home for a shower, when we stay with them, but I tell them very politely, no thank you.  I don't expect them to pack up their shower stuff and take one in my camper!  My camper is my home.  I shower in my home just like you do yours.  But, I just decided I wanted harder water pressure and thought I would head for the shower house.

Well, the water pressure wasn't much better.  I kind of got grossed out when I saw hair on the floor, and it wasn't mine.  I decided I am going to clean the shower house this week.  But anyways, I am so excited!  I not only washed my hair, but my body too!  Then, I shaved not only under my arms but my legs, too.  Now, not only around my ankles, but all the way up.....yes, past my knees even.....up to the top!  Hold on now, I even washed my body with soap. 

I know, you are jealous.  To not only wash my hair and body, but to even shave my underarms and legs all in one shower!  I am so lucky!  (Actually, I don't believe in luck.) 

Those of you who have babies can totally relate.  Those of you who have lots of kids can identify with what I am saying.  Those of you who have a baby, and lots of kids, and live in a camper, are looking at your legs right now thinking how you wish you could do what I did today!

I don't think my family even recognized me!

Wow, the wonders of soap, water, and a razor.  I feel like a new woman.  Oh, by the way, I didn't use a man razor.  I used one made for women!  That was a treat.  Although, I think my husband used it on his neck recently.  I'll not dwell on that!

I am going to go climb in my bed now and feel the soft sheets on my not so hairy legs.

Good night!
This is me doing some voluteer work at a church.  Tytus and I were mopping the floor.  The Romanian Church was getting ready to come use the facilities.
(For my male readers, don't worry, these entries will only be on my woman's blog from now on.  I don't want to bore you.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Are the Cops on their way?

I had to go outside, just for a minute.  I knew my patience was running thin and I just needed a quick breather.  As I walked around the side of the camper, I saw red tail lights that had just passed our camper.  I thought, please don't let it be the cops.  I turned around to see the headlights pull into a spot two campsites behind us.  I decided to just walk over and see, just in case it was the cops, I might as well get the explanations over with.  I was so relieved when I saw it was just HL and Norma, pulling into their campsite.  You see, it had been one of those crazy evenings living in a camper.

Now, you may be wondering why on earth would I be scared the cops were coming.  I love police.  I pray for them and appreciate everything they do.  And yes, I am a law abiding citizen, for the most part.  Well, let me start the explanation by taking you back to Florida City, Florida, one year ago.

I had just gotten over a really bad sickness.  I was 5 months pregnant.  My little one year old, Josie, had always nursed, and when I got sick, I had to stop nursing her.  Yes, I nursed her while I was pregnant, it is very safe as long as I am healthy, which I was not anymore.  I weaned her and she did just fine.  I snuggled with her everynight at bedtime.  I would tell her stories of princesses and princes, flowers and butterflies.  It was a wonderfully sweet time that we both enjoyed. 

This particular night she didn't want to sleep.  It was late and I needed to get up and take care of a few things.  After laying with her for an hour, I told her I was going to get up and clean.  She cried and screamed as loud as she could.  I layed with her again to try to calm her, but she had herself in a bad mood now and only something drastic, like a cartoon, would get her out of it.  So, I turned on Qubo and tried to calm her.  She screamed a while longer and then settled down.  I was so worried that the people around us would call the cops because they thought we were abusing our children!  The walls of the camper are so thin that you can hear most everything from outside.  People on the outside don't know I had just snuggled with her for the last hour.  People on the outside don't know that I give my life for my children.  People on the outside don't know how loved and cared for my children are.  All they can hear is a child screaming!  Well, I was so thankful that no one called the police. 

Well, back to the present.  We are in Arizona.  Josephine cannot stand to have her hair washed.  I have tried everything.  And believe me, I know how to do this.  I have six kids!  I don't wash her hair too often, just the minimum amount necessary to keep her clean.  So, it was time to wash her hair, no matter what.  I layed her down, gently, in the bottom of our shower.  I always put a wash rag over the drain and make it into a little bath tub for her.  She did not want to have her hair matter what.  I talked loving to her, told her what I was going to do, had a rag for her forehead, was very careful, but she just screamed and yelled!  So, I decided to try a totally different approach.  I put one of our couch cushions on the counter with a garbage bag over it.  I put a towel on her forehead after I layed her on her back on the cushion.  I used a cup to gently and slowly pour water on her head.  Cody held her legs so she wouldn't fall off.  It worked well.  She didn't cry at all.  When I finally got the conditioner washed out, I put her down, dried her off, and sent her to play.  It was then that I walked outside to take my deep breath.  Who knows what the neighbors think.  I wasn't doing anything to harm her, she just does not like to have her hair washed!  Now some would say they would never let their child do that.  Good for you.  I have had some children that don't mind having their hair washed, some that like the water running over their face, and others that just don't want to wash at all!  By the time you have six kids you have a good mixture of personalities. 

Disciplining and training in a camper is very difficult.  It is probably the one of the biggest challenges of traveling full time.  Everyone can hear everything.  Even when I am just trying to console an injured child, people could mistake that for something else.  Sometimes people make assumptions that aren't true.  I don't hurt my children in any way.  I love them dearly.  I feed them well, care for them, give them the whole United States for a back yard.  I support them in anything they feel led to do.  But all it takes is one stranger walking by our camper, hearing a 2 year old screaming, and think we are abusing her.  They don't know I just spent one hour snuggling with her, telling her stories. 

I have a couple good friends that were wrongly accused of abusing their child.  I know these people personally.  These particular friends are good people.  It breaks my heart for them.  It has been over a year and they have only seen their daughter a couple of times.  It is so awful that one hateful person can make an accusation and then children can be taken from their family.Yet, the neighbor down the road does drugs and gets to keep their kids. Crazy world isn't it. I know there are people that really do abuse their children.  They will rot in hell unless they repent and change their lives.