Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Healthy changes

About 3 weeks or so ago I tried a nutrition program that I had a pretty wicked allergic reaction to.

 But rather than give up ...because, truthfully, I have needed to lose weight for a VERY long time I chose to dig in my heels and we are making some pretty serious lifestyle changes.

 Things I never thought I would eat I am making and we have pretty much given up carbs (not everyone but so far the adults and the kids have definitely cut way back). So this week we gave a go at no carb meals and snacks and even took on paleo granola (which, by the way is amazing!!!!) You can find the recipe at Primal Palette

Also I made a enchilada bake with no grains. Zucchini and peppers and hamburger meat with a mild Verde sauce topped with 1 cup of cheese. Hoping these changes help me lose weight this year! It's already working for Frank, he is melting away. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

3 days in the desert

Well hey you thought we were long gone by now. Two months from our last post. To follow us closer you could pop over to Facebook and like our page since that is more frequently updated.

But we are spending a few days out in the desert before we head to Phoenix where Frank will be doing some work.. and of course off road in a bit. Well, the perils of that is a slit tire.  So the boys got another go at changing tires.... before we went on our afternoon hike.

The down side is that by the time we had arrived back at the camper we realized the passenger rear tire was also losing air. Apparently the roads here are pretty sharp (who knew?). We are about 4 miles from town out on BLM land *free camping no hookups * and it was after 5 pm in a teenie tiny town.... so of course nothing is open until Monday. When our roadside assistance will get the van towed. So today is a day to rest and relax and enjoy our family. The van is on a jack so we don't cause any wheel damage.

The challenges of full time travel I suppose can also be blessings in disguise.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hello from the middle of the desert

It's actually been over 2 years since I can say we have boondocked... but here we are. Frank is working a job with rv armor out here in Quartzsite AZ and we are out here on the BLM land for the week with friends. It's been really fun hanging out with treasured friends and meeting new people again! Tonight we are going to bake bread on the campfire to go with our pasta and make some campfire popcorn. It's reminded us of so many of the reasons we fell in love with doing this. That may sound crazy since we are boondocked. And no. We have no hookups BUT our camper holds plenty of water and a generator so we are not without amenities but have to use them in careful reserves.  The boys have pulled out their chessboard and are entertaining themselves. And yes. We are actually having an amazing week despite the lack of hook ups!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


So yesterday had wicked wind and rain.... and out here in the Mojave desert that means Key's point in Joshua Tree National Park may have gotten some snow!

And yes. It did.

So this is the 1st time the three year old has ever really seen REAL snow.

We did a little hiking and a little climbing today and enjoyed the afternoon sunshine even though the clouds in the distance threatened us a few times.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Me vs the Instant Pot

Like a bunch of other hopeful cooks we ordered the Instant Pot over black friday.

Unlike many of my friends it was not love at first sight.  In fact, My first few meals kind of flopped. And flopped meals for a family of 8 seemed like a HUGE waste.

A friend online  suggested that we stop trying to do more advanced recipes so I figured before I threw it in the dumpster we would give it a shot.

So... we cooked a few chickens and made some hard boiled eggs and well.... I didn't hate it as much. My husband even made perfect rice. Perfect. Absolutely perfect cilantro lime rice.

And then we discovered how to make IP cheesecake.  OK so now it was worth keeping.

I think I was a pretty good cook before the IP but you have to start over. Pressure cooking is an entirely new way to cook.

Potatoes  (both sweet and idaho) come out pretty fantastic!

Cooked meat comes out tender although you have to rethink seasoning and you have to braise the outside or the color is a bit off on the outside.

So far we have done a few soups and they have also turned out well.  The color and the consistency of the veggies as well as the flavor is better than any stove top or cockpot  method I have used..

But am I sold that this thing can revolutionize my kitchen? How important is it really to cook frozen meat in  30 minutes?

What I have learned is it takes planning. With only 1 IP, and , really where would I store 2 anyway, and a limited power supply living in an rv without blowing a breaker it still takes planning for a family our size . Once you figure out what works and what doesn't then you have a starting point.

But honestly,  my family loves the cheesecake the best.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

What a year!

With over 4000 photos I narrowed down our year in review to just 87 photos! We traveled in Florida, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan,  Ohio, Kentucky,  Texas,  Arizona,  Nevada, and California and those are just the highlights!

Happy New Year to your family from ours and thanks for following our journey!

Monday, December 14, 2015


I still have not bought a single Christmas gift for anyone in my family this year. We are still scraping things together for the blessing bags we feel God is leading us to hand out during our time here in Las Vegas. Tonight I got a glimpse into why.

I stopped at McD's on the way home from Walmart. The boys asked for sweet tea and I love listening to them talk. As I walked into this McDonald's however it was obvious that this was a different place.

One girl, who couldn't have been more than 16 sat quietly slowly eating a hamburger and sipping a drink. She had pants that were cut off, a Hoodie  and no socks on with her tattered tennis shoes. I asked her if she had a place to stay and needed gloves. She looked away and whispered "yes... I need gloves and my lips are chapped".  I ran out to the car and grabbed a premade blessing bag filled with a hat, gloves, hand warmers, long socks, chapstick  and other goodies and threw in $5 so she could buy something from them so they wouldn't toss her back out into the 52 degree gusty winds with a hint of drizzle in the air.

The boys and I talked a bit and another kid came in. Probably not more than 19.
He sat down and almost immediately the manager came over. I asked him if he had $ for food. He said no. I quickly grabbed the keys and got another blessing bag for him and again threw in $5 for a bite to eat. He stared in disbelief.  And he said... "oh my God. This is awesome. Thanks"

Vegas is a city that can make you hard. People are looking for handouts on almost every corner. But look past the hardness and see a need. Look at the eyes of the person and be genuine.

God will take care of us as we reach out to people. Besides, limited space in an rv ...right?