Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rockin' some new digs

So if you have been around for a while ...you probably know that we travel with 6 out of 7 of our kids in a 27 foot toy hauler with no slides...I might add here that it is the longest we have ever lived in the same house...

but as of May 19th we have MOVED! We realize we love living on the road so we finally bought a new to us 5th wheel. It's 38 feet and has 3 slides. It's  an enormous change.

It has a fantastic kitchen, a king sized bed in the master bedroom, an enormous pantry, lots of storage and a bunk room in back for the boys. We will be putting a loft in the living room for our daughter  so it needs a few mods to make it work for us but it's pretty much perfect for our nomadic family! 

Strangely enough,  I am having a challenging time making everything fit so we are purging as we unpack. Crazy how much stuff we had in the smaller rig. Lots of custom built areas that made it work for us. But let me show ya some photos of our new space!

And if you are thinking...how are you going to haul a 5th wheel. We did it all backwards  ( as usual) but we have a truck too as soon as we figure out how to get it to us ;) 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pinch me!

Some days I can't believe we are staying so close to Yosemite. Other days I feel like time has slipped through our fingers the few weeks we have been here. We have gone into the park at least one day a week since our arrival.

Fresno is pretty close and we have found a church service on Sunday nights at 5. Mostly a college crowd but it has the feels of 7/24 at Newsong so I think it will be a good fit while we are here. In addition it will feel good to plug in with real live people for a few months (as opposed to online church).

Going into the park still brings tears to my eyes every single time we drive into the valley. It's a view that is constantly taking my breath away. I don't think that I could ever get tired of the majesty of Yosemite.

There are so many places to go in Yosemite. ... we really need to create a bucket list for this entire area. Here are just a few pictures from a few trips into the park.

Justyn and I are work camping at a campground just south of the park for the summer.
 

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 http://www.primalpalate.com/paleo-recipe/crunchy-apple-spice-granola/

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 there...bet 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.
Www.facebook.com/narrowroadschoolers

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

Snow!

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.