Monthly Archiv: January, 2013

Happy Birthday, Nonna!

We are so blessed to have a wonderful Nonna who dotes on the grandchildren and spoils us, too!  For her birthday, all she wanted was to have the whole family together.  So, she made it possible for everyone to drive/fly to Virginia Beach for a long weekend!  Yay!

nonna

 

 

 

 

 

The weather turned out to be gorgeous that whole weekend, and we had an oceanfront hotel.

The kids really had a good time feeding the seagulls off of our balcony.

joshua birds

 

April got a kick out of the lone crow that would swoop in every now and then to grab a bite.  Apparently, he is much more gentle than the seagulls!

crow

 

 

We played in the sand during the warm hours of the day.  This was Caleb’s first beach trip and he didn’t quite know what to do with himself.mark and caleb

 

He wasn’t fond of the crashing waves,  and didn’t seem to like digging in the sand, either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, he found a tidal pool and enjoyed throwing seashells into it.caleb beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua wasn’t feeling too well this trip, poor guy!  He enjoyed it the best he could 🙂

 

 

joshua beach

 

 

April had a blast chasing all of the now-fattened seagulls around.  Notice the “Lord of the Rings” she wrote in the sand!

 

 

april running

 

 

Happy Birthday, Nonna!  Thanks for a wonderful weekend!

 

Full Circle

Yes, I know!  Yes, I’ve been told several times – by several people – that I needed to do another blog post.  The problem was, my motivation was gone.  As the New Year came around, I was not where I expected I’d be!

 

Then I read about the new Blog Carnival topic for Families on the Road – “New Year Adventures: Where are we and where do we want to go.”    That got me going!  http://familiesontheroad.com/carnival.html#9

 

 

As the sale of our house took longer and longer, the strain of having to pay the mortgage, plus the living expenses in Arkansas all on a much smaller salary took its toll on our bank account.  This didn’t dampen my spirits, though.  We were in a beautiful state, still living the life that we wanted to.  Mark however,  was taking it pretty hard.  Our house finally sold, but the damage had been done to our credit cards.  Being the wonderful provider that he is, Mark started to search for a solution.  That solution ended up heading back to where the money was:  D.C.  Ugh!  The thought of going back to what we were trying so hard to get away from just made my heart sink every time I thought about it.  I had no desire to even mention it on the blog.

front of house

 

I’ll admit it – I was scared.  I was scared that the draw of the money and the things we had given up would be too much and we would end up right back where we started.  We had many late night discussions where my very, very patient husband assured me that wouldn’t happen – that this was just a temporary solution to get us back where God directs us to be:  debt-free.    I couldn’t argue with that.  What good is the freedom of the road when you drag the chains of debt along with you?  So, he accepted a great job offer right in downtown DC.  We packed up, ( it took all of 30 minutes) and drove the 1000 miles back east.  His new office  ended up being about 5 blocks from his old office and we ended up at a campground less than 20 miles from our old house!  Yikes!

 

IMAG0322We found out how spoiled we were from the campground in Little Rock.  Here, there are no expansive sites with huge, mature trees that rain down leaves, and no beautiful river that reflects the moon each night.  BUT, we still have woods, and the kids still have a ton of fun exploring them.  The owner and workers have been great, and we even have another homeschooler here to play with.  The best part – being close to family again and the reunions with our great friends here.  The more I saw familiar faces, the more my spirits were lifted.  Ok, I can do this!IMAG0308

 

Hindsight is always funny – and it shows the path you have taken in a new light.  We had dreamed of selling it all and moving into an RV to travel around the country.  For over a year we thought about it and tried to find a way to make it happen.  If the job in Arkansas hadn’t forced us to move quickly – and into an RV, we would still be stuck with a huge mortgage on a small lot.  We would still be reading about other full timing families and wishing it was us.  As it is, we are in a great position to pick up and go when the timing is perfect.   So even though we have come full circle, we ended up much closer to our ultimate dream than before.

 

We still search for that perfect teleworking job that will allow us to get on the road full time.  We even have our first destination – Newfoundland.  That is where Mark’s family comes from on his father’s side.  In fact, his grandmother was born in a lighthouse on an island!  How cool is that!  We dream about it, talk about it, and plan our route up the east coast.  Until that remote job shows up, we will chisel away at the bills and keep our eyes on the prize.  We can still enjoy the freedom and simplicity we have right now!

 

IMAG0314We had a wonderful Christmas with my parents and Noah coming up to stay at one of the cute cabins here.  It was a very “Hobbity” Christmas, many of the presents having to do with one Tolkien thing or another.  April got the “One Ring” and I was rewarded with the best look on her face – ever!april surprised

The cold hasn’t been as much of a hurdle as we thought it would be.  Two little ceramic heaters are more than enough even at 20 degrees.   The water hose did freeze one night, making for an interesting morning, but we bought a heated cable with insulation and wrapped the whole length of the hose.  It hasn’t frozen since.  One perk:  we can keep our water bottles outside and have ice cold water without having to buy ice at the camp store.   It doesn’t sound like much, but those ice trips get old after about 150 of them 🙂

 

We have enjoyed seeing the monuments and the museums again, and knowing our way around town.  My heart is happy and hopeful again, and I look forward to the future (and more regular posts)!