Christmas Blessings

Another holiday season has passed us by, and we were blessed beyond measure.

We’ve been at the same rv park for nearly a month now and have made some lifelong friends. John has blessed us with many fine meals and really great company. Pat brought gifts for the kids on Christmas morning and couple across the way brought us a huge ham and piles of gifts for the kids.

The park organized a potluck on Christmas Day in the afternoon which we attended. It was a great meal and we had people coming up to us and complementing us on how great our children are and how wonderful it is to have kids in the park. I don’t say this to brag about our parenting, rather it is so humbling and encouraging for us to hear. We tend to forget what a blessing children are and focus on the negative aspects of being an adult. To hear such comments, especially from the seniors, is heart warming.

We feel fortunate to be here and to have celebrated Christmas with such wonderful people. We came on this journey with thoughts and intentions of blessing others with our labor. We never realized that we could be a blessing by just showing up and giving people an opportunity to be generous.

Have a very merry Christmas season and a happy new year!

Chiricahua Monument – December 20, 2017

Our good friend John took us on an adventure yesterday. We took a drive over to the Chiricahua Monument to look at a bunch of rocks!

On the way there we stopped at the Texas Canyon rest stop to look at some rather large rocks. We noticed this pass on the way here but didn’t stop because we were trying to get to Quail Ridge before the office closed. The kids did some scrambling and away we went.

Chiricahua is an amazing site to see, well worth the drive. We stopped first to have a picnic lunch and be entertained by some blue birds. Whether or not the names of these birds is “blue birds” or not is something we don’t yet know, but they are blue and they are birds, so for now they are blue birds.

Anyway, we walked a short distance at the picnic site and saw a couple of deer, some very interesting trees and a very dry creek bed. From there we drove a very narrow road up a couple thousand feet to the summit lookout.

IMG_0158IMG_0193IMG_0199IMG_0214

Wow is all I can say. Could see clear into Mexico! Lots of rocks balancing in ways that seem impossible on columns. We explored a little and started heading home.

IMG_0229IMG_0251IMG_0271IMG_0276IMG_0280IMG_0284

I opted to retrace our steps back on the interstate as I really didn’t want to travel after dark, otherwise we would have taken the scenic route back through Tombstone.

I am constantly amazed at the sheer diversity in landscape here in Arizona, and the US in general. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Tucson and Saguaro National Park – December 18, 2017

We ventured out to Tucson today to pick up Laurel’s mom from the Airport. The weather was nice for driving, cloudy at the campground but we emerged before we got to Tucson.  We met a very nice gentleman at the airport as we were waiting who has eight children.

After picking up grandma, we started heading back to Huachuca City.  We had packed food for lunch and decided to hit a park to eat.  The first sign I saw was for Saguaro National Park, just east of Tucson.  What a treasure!

We ate, we climbed, we walked trails and drove an eight mile loop through a forest of cacti.

img_1549

img_1538

img_1547img_1557img_1551img_1581

 

It was awesome to see all the different varieties of cactus in one place.  The kids have a listing somewhere that tell us the names of all of these and I will have to learn them at some point.

We came across this monster on our drive and had to get close up and take a picture.

We will definitely be going back.

We arrived back at the RV park at around 4:30 to find a box of oranges and a note on our step.  Our friend John had made us some supper!  We had a wonderful meal of meatloaf, potatoes and green beans, not to mention great company!

 

December 17, 2017 – Rainy day(s)

The rain started around midnight last night and has been showering off and on all day. At one point there was a stream flowing beside our trailer. The clouds have been hanging heavy over the mountains, obscuring them in their mist. The peaks around Sierra Vista have a thin blanket of snow, reminding us of what we left behind. The scent of fresh rain was quite pleasant and almost forgotten.

I had a conversation with a fella that has lived here for the last five years and he stated that this is the first time he’s seen rain like this in December. He said this was more July to September weather.

Here I am getting all poetic, but it’s been a poetic type of day. I’ve been meaning to post for several days now, life has a way of being busy though. I will endeavour to bring you all up to date shortly as a bit has happened in the last week.

Tomorrow we will be getting some company as Laurel’s mom will be joining us here in Arizona. The kids are all super excited to have grandma for Christmas.

Anyhow, off to do laundry…

December 10, 2017 – Huachuca City Arizona

Another quiet day here in Arizona. Did some cleaning, did some cooking and, of course, did some eating.

Made pancakes for breakfast (kids favourite) and baked up a tiny spiral ham and mashed potatoes for supper.

Christmas is coming and it is hard for us to remember that. If people didn’t have lights and decorations on their trailers I would swear it was still fall. We don’t know what exactly we will do for Christmas as of yet, not sure about presents and such for the kids because of the limited space.

John came over again this morning and gave us a lot more ideas of things to go see and do around here. He is such a nice man and just loves to visit.

Caught Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner behind our trailer. Not sure what kind of shenanigans they were planning, but it never turned out good on tv.

Tombstone – December 5, 2017

We finally made it!  The place we’ve been talking about going for the last couple of weeks, Tombstone Arizona.IMG_9972

We walked from the free parking down Allen Street to the courthouse which is now a museum.  Along the wooden boardwalks were lots of rustic looking stores, a stagecoach and lots of cowboys.

IMG_9973

We wandered around the museum for a while checking out the exhibits, sat on a genuine saddle and rang the old school and firehouse bells.  They have a really great display about the infamous shoot out at the O.K. Corral (which was actually a couple lots down the street from the corral).

IMG_9994

Titus and Abby were getting impatient and we were all hungry so we walked back to the parking lot down Toughnut Street and stopped for a photo at the Million Dollar Stope.

IMG_0024

We decided to bring everyone back to the camper for food and a nap and will go back to Tombstone soon!

It’s been a few days…December 9, 2017

The wifi here has been spotty (nonexistent at our site) and we haven’t really been doing much the last few days. The other morning we woke up to frost and I was sure glad the furnace was working. The temperature here was the same as at home, except it warmed up here during the day.

We finally made our way to Tombstone earlier in the week. We toured the courthouse museum and walked a couple of the streets and called it a day. Titus wasn’t really into being quiet or staying close so we headed back home and will try again soon. (I’ll post some pictures soon).

Other than that we’ve just been enjoying the days at the campsite. Today we met a man named John who is in his 80’s and hails from Washington state. He gave us lots of great ideas about what to go and see. He was super charming and we had a great visit.

Have a great evening!!

Full time in your face type of adventure!

We are loving the new places, meeting new people. Experiencing all these new to us things.

We are a family of nine trying to learn how to live fuller lives with what we have.

Tonight our kids shared a few of there joys of travelling full time, and some of the reasons they feel sad.

Name Esther, 14.

Why I love to travel full time, I like being able to see all the beautiful horses, and peoples yards. Such as the unique trees and plants and homes.

What has been your favourite place so far?

The lake at elephant butte, and the playground was awesome too.

What makes you saddest about being away from home?

Missing the cousins and the accessibility home gives of being able to be in touch with family and friends.

I really had a great birthday!and I really like being 14. Even though I still forget most of the time that I am.

Thank you for all your kind birthday wishes.

Marideth, 12,

My most favourite thing about traveling full time, is that we are all together.

Also that everything in the camper is easily accessible, because we are in a tiny living space.

I miss the snow, and ice skating. And warming up with hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies after playing outside in the cold.

Georgia, 11,

I love meeting new people and making new friends, also seeing new places.

Ulrich, 9,

I like all the neat rocks and bugs and seeing the differences between our Canadian money and the American money. They have some really big coins.

Éowyn, 6,

I really like all the playgrounds and picnics. And the fact I can wear shorts and sandals because the weather is so warm.

Both Georgia and Éowyn said they miss home.

Abby and Titus are still pretty little but I can assure you they both love and hate travelling full time! 🙂

Please send us some questions, and we will do our best to answer you.

December 4, 2017 – Birthday on the Road

Today is a special day.  Today is Esther’s birthday.  Today she is 14.  14!!  Already?!

We cannot believe how fast the time has gone.  14 years ago we were thrust into a new dynamic with the birth of our first child.  This was brand new territory for us, we were newly married and newly parents.  Fast forward and we now have 60 years of parenting experience between us, even though I’m only in my 40’s.  (I added the ages of the children together to get this number).

It is tradition in our family for the birthday person to pick the menu for the day.  Esther chose pancakes for breakfast, summer borscht for lunch and pasta for supper.  All delicious choices for sure, but a lot of work for the cook.  We had picked up a cake the day before from the Wal-mart which we ate in the middle of the afternoon.  I realized as I was placing the candles on the cake that if we switched the numbers around we got my age.  How often does that happen?

IMG_3286
Breakfast frenzy
IMG_3291
Presents!
IMG_3298
New earrings, So happy
fullsizeoutput_3373
Summer borscht, yummy.

We were all feeling a little under the weather today so we kept everything fairly low-key, just some walk-a-bout in the rv park.  Lots of cool looking clouds today.  We let the kids play on the Wii in the bus for a bit and just tried to relax.  This evening we recounted the birth stories of each of the children much to their delight.  They all love to hear these tales, and we tell them a couple of times a year.

fullsizeoutput_339afullsizeoutput_33a4

Hope you all had a blessed day.

December 2, 2017 – Fairbanks Arizona

IMG_9881
The general store and post office, closed in 1972

Today six of the kids and I took a short drive to Fairbanks to have a walk-a-bout. It was a good day for that as it was overcast and a comfortable temperature for walking.

There are only a few buildings there and the only one you can enter is the old school-house, which is now a museum and store. All the old school desks were still there and there are displays around the outside walls.  The lady working there provided us with a brief history of the town. I’m fairly certain we were the only ones there.

IMG_9879
The old school house, in use until the 1940’s.  Had up to 16 students at one point.

IMG_9887

The trails were quite spectacular and we hiked out half a mile to the cemetery and had a look around. The graves were mostly piles of rocks with crosses on them, I was expecting tombstones.  None of them had a name or marker on them, but still very interesting.  The trail kept on going, there is an old mill out there somewhere, but we turned around shortly after.  Found out when we got back that the mill was over a mile out, so glad we didn’t press on.

IMG_9907IMG_9906IMG_9903

We got rained on a tiny bit while walking and I ended up carrying Titus most of the way.

IMG_9897IMG_9916IMG_9917

We got back to the camper and supper was ready for us, which was awesome.  And to cap off the night we had a fairly beautiful sunset.

IMG_9932IMG_9927IMG_9930