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.

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

Gifts

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?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Best Friends are Hard to Find

I really miss my best friend Mary and our awesome friend Miss Carrie who is a very special activities coordinator at Thousand Trails Peace River. Miss Carrie finds awesome crafts and activities each winter for kids and grown ups. Mary and I are special friends too. We love to play together and laugh and swim. I miss them both very much. They are great friends that come from the love.

Written by our 9 yr old daughter :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lonely seasons.

Since we have been on the road we have been blessed to meet new friends wherever we are. This year however, since arriving in California it has been a dry season. Emotionally the kids and I are all struggling with the fact that despite the fact that the campgrounds that are in are FULL of people. ... we are having a hard time connecting with anyone.

California seems to have a different crowd of wanderers. People who are full time travel workers. I suppose we have become accustomed to traveling with a friendlier crowd. People who wave and greet each other when you take a walk. And I simply can't figure out how to break the code.

Other things are different too. While Frank is gainfully employed with RV Armor he is away from us more and more. We can't seem to catch up with vehicle repairs and kids growth spurts. Sometimes it feels the reason we hit the road in the 1st place are so very far away from what life seems to be turning into just to make ends meet.

God is providing. Even though sometimes it's hard to see. I am trying to find the best in things. Last week  we made it to a camp potluck. It was a nice evening. Thankful we have enjoyed the blessing of an evening of shared food with new faces.