Wednesday, March 26, 2014


We have a showing tomorrow night at 5pm!  


We are whipping the house into shape, which it wasn't too bad.  Just the normal housekeeping chores will suffice plus a few extra touches.  There is just a lot of house to have perfect all at one time. Especially when you throw in a toddler!

All the snow is finally melted(except a couple piles) so potential buyers will actually be able to walk around the property for the 1st time since the beginning of January.  So that is good.

Ok, that's it for now.  We will let you know how it goes.

Many Blessings,
The Mama

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Our Campground Ministry

When God first slapped us upside the head laid it on our hearts to do this RV trip, we simply thought God wanted us to spend quality time together and have fun.  I do recall saying in the weeks after our announcement that somebody out there might just need us to tell them the good news of Jesus.

What I did not expect however was that God was really setting us up for a ministry.

It was actually the Hubby that God spoke to about this aspect of our travels, not me.  Honestly it freaked me  out more than a little.

Hubby has played the guitar for about 10 years.  He took lessons and then just played every now and then for fun.  But suddenly Hubby felt sure that God wanted him to do worship music at the campgrounds.  We are a very musical, sing-y type family.

I think I was the one that said that maybe we could also show our church's weekly messages that are posted online.  Not a big deal, just sit by the fire and sing a few songs for whoever wanted to join us and then people could watch the sermon on the computer or something.  Very informal.  I didn't feel it was a ministry at all.  I was thinking like 6 people maybe.

My how God has grown it into something more over the past 9 months!

We are in the midst of purchasing a sound system and now are thinking about projectors to show the sermon and printing lots of fliers to pass out each week with dates and times.  And then bibles would be nice for those that don't have them.  Oh and then maybe something for the kids and we'll need microphones too...

We are now like, whoa-this is a ministry!!

God did a bait and switch I think lol

He knew if he came at us with traveling the country as kind of, well, domestic missionaries if you will, we would have for sure turned tail and ran.  Who the heck are we to do such a thing?  Just regular old sinners like everyone else.

So that brings us to today, March 19th, 2014.  Something had been tugging at my mind the last few weeks but I kept brushing it off.  Almost too embarrassed to say anything to Hubby about it.  But today I did.

I said,"I have been kind of thinking about something lately but I don't know what to make of it.  I am just throwing it out there for discussion.  

What if we would raise funds for the campground ministry?"

What had bothered me about this idea maybe boils down to pride.  Can we really ask people for help in paying for this trip???

This is also going to be a fun family time too.  We can't ask people to fund what seems like a vacation!   But just because we might enjoy it doesn't mean it's not a ministry, right?  In the beginning this didn't really seem like fun, it seemed like a sacrifice to leave our home, our belongings, our families.  It is only through God that he has changed our hearts into not only accepting this mission but embracing it.

So what did Hubby say in response to me?

Something like,"No way!"


He said he had been thinking the same exact thing but afraid to mention it.  

Hmmm...coincidence?  I think not.

We discussed how much our focus had shifted from family vacation to the ministry side of it.  How we have already had  people asking how they could help financially.  We wouldn't ask anyone to pay for the outings we want to do as a family, but if God was moving in people's hearts to help cover some of the expenses to travel from campground to campground and share Jesus, well then, let's give them the opportunity.  It is very humbling to think about it.

We don't feel we are doing anything special, just being obedient.  

Most people think we are just plain nuts anyway.

So now you will see a paypal button at the top right of my blog.  It tells a little about what our ministry is and some of the expenses associated with it.  If you feel led to give, feel free.  If not, that is ok too =)  We have no expectations.

We know God will provide one way or the other so we aren't worried.  The sale of our house will pay for majority of our travels and expenses.  Though we would like to lower the price on our house in order to sell quicker but feel unable to do that given we need the equity to compensate for no income while we are on the road.

There are also things to purchase before we leave like leveling blocks for the RV, portable tanks, camping gear, cargo rack, weight distribution bar, bigger hitch, etc.  Let's not forget a new(to us) 15 passenger van  to tow the RV lol  Minor details.

Seriously though, we aren't sweating it.  We have learned that if God provides the vision then He will provide the means too.  Our adoption was a prime example of that.

But really, above all else, we cherish prayers the most.  =)

Thanks to everyone who has been following our journey and we hope you will continue to be with us as we embark on this new path God has us on!

Many Blessings,
The Mama

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

RV Pictures Inside and No Triple Bunks

Wanted to take a sec and share some pictures from the inside of our trailer.  

Please keep in mind that it will be getting a make-over soon!  

Double Bunks.  After remeasuring, we have decided not to do triple bunks.  The top 2 bunks would only have about 10" of space due to the mattress and support being 7 1/2" thick.  Princess and Snuggle Bug wouldn't even be able to turn on their sides is we did triple bunks!! We would also lose the usability of the top window because the mattress would completely covered the screen where it can open.  So we will just put down the dinette each night.  Not ideal, but we'll roll with it(literally!).  The kids were ok with it so that's what matters.

Yep, it's tiny.  Pretty typical of an RV.

View from the bathroom. The previous owners installed the new wood flooring.  

Dinette and 7' couch that folds down into a jack knife bed.

There is a huge closet( huge in RV terms) for all the kids to share.

View from Master Bedroom looking at bathroom door.

Short Queen Bed.  We are having that wardrobe removed to the right that you see.  Hate to take out storage but we need to scoot the bed all the way against that right wall in order to make room for Little Misses play yard to the far left.  It was an issue we would have had to deal with in 95% of the trailers we looked at.

Entertainment Center diagonal from couch.

Kitchen- and a little fridge =(

The bunks again and you can see a nice kitchen pantry to the right of the bunks. It does have a hanging rod and removal shelves if we wanted to use it for coats or a wardrobe too.  You see the accordion door that goes all the way across also.  

We went last Friday and spent a few hours in the RV.  I brought some supper and the dealer hooked the trailer all up for us.  We played games and did some more planning and measuring.  None of us wanted to leave.  But the Hubby had to work on Saturday morning so we couldn't spend the night.  
We had a great time though.

Many Blessings,
The Mama

Monday, March 17, 2014

Giving Up Processed and Low Fat Foods

Since October or November I have been reading up on this radical idea  to eat only 'real' food.  Some people might call it 'clean' eating.  Or even 'non-processed'.

It started with watching Food, Inc awhile back.  This movie takes a deep look as to where the food in our supermarkets come from.  That was the first veil lifted.  It really opened our eyes to things we never thought much about.

Then I started reading a blog called 100 Days of Real Food where a family of 4 challenged themselves to eat only real food for 100 days.  That lifted another veil on our views of 'healthy' food.

Next I read Food Rules.  I LOVE this book.  I started reading this book wen my husband got in the shower one day and by time he was done, so was I.  I thought it would be all mumbo jumbo-ish with science but quite the opposite.  It gives simple, practical(as in, 'Duh, why didn't I ever think of that') rules on what we should be eating.  It isn't some diet fad, its common sense.  I want to buy it and give  it to every person I know.

We started making making some switches in December.  We chose more foods that are in it's natural state( not a box of food like substances that is laden with chemicals I can't even pronounce and have no idea what it is.)  And in January we jumped in with both feet.  We have had some hits and misses for sure.  Some meals or snacks have been a hit, others induced gagging. ;)

So how exactly have our eating habits changed at home?

1. We only eat whole grains( pasta, rice, grains, bread, etc).  White flour has had all the nutrients stripped out so your body sees it as sugar.  Click on  'whole grains' above to get a more indepth look at how whole wheat goes to white flour and why.

2.We stay away from products with ingredients I can't pronounce( which are chemicals linked to tumors and illness), along with some I can but are still bad(high fructose corn syrup, 'natural flavors', etc).  If I wouldn't normally find the ingredient in my pantry then I I try not to buy a product with that in it. 

3. That means a lot more fresh fruit( some frozen) and veggies.  And we have never been veggie people, so that was super scary for all of us.  But we are doing good and really branching out =)  Who knew snowpeas in ranch were yummy!

4. We are also buying organic( no pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, antibiotics, GMO's, grass fed cows, etc). That includes dairy products since, just as in human breast milk, what goes into the bodies can be passed through the milk. It cost more to buy organic but we are buying less.  Strangely enough, when you eat real food, it fills you up faster!! So less is actually needed =) If you can't buy everything organic( and there are some things I do not, then check out the top 13 things you should buy organic.

There have been proven links between pesticides and cancers and birth defects. Why are we trusting a company that made Agent Orange to put chemicals on our food supply??  See what even years after using Agent Orange has done to children in Vietnam.  

5. We also have cut out refined sugar.  We use more natural sources like honey and pure maple syrup as a substitute.  Sugar is ok every now and then but sugar is just in EVERYTHING now a days.  And large amounts at that.  I have no idea why we have a diabetes epidemic ;)

That was scary for me because I LOVE sweets!  But my palate has been refined now.  It's kind of like I took it back to the baseline.  Things I am sure would have tasted blah to me now has the perfect sweetness( or saltiness).  I use to only be able to eat a grilled cheese with chips.  I decided to break the rules one day and have some chips with my sandwich.  I spat them out.  I felt like a deer licking a salt lick!  Crazy.  When I eat refined sugar now, I instantly feel dizzy and usually get sick to my stomach.  Just one cookie will do that to me, where as before I could eat 6 at a time with no effect. And be wary of sugar substitutes.

6. And get this, I use to eat low fat or fat free everything.  Now I eat full fat stuff after reading this  and  If you struggle with high cholesterol this is a must read!!  Mind blowing.

And since I cut out white flour, highly processed foods and refined sugar 10 weeks ago, I have lost 11-12 pounds.  7 of those pounds were in the 1st week! I swear was eating 'healthy' before.  And I have only done my 20 minute work out about 5 times during these past 10 weeks.  At the age of 33, it had become hard for me to lose weight by changing my eating habits alone.  My metabolism just slooooowed down.  But as I said, I have lost 11-12 pounds, eating what I always considered 'fatty foods'.  That goes against everything I have been taught. 

That means whole milk, butter and full fat dairy too(yikes!).  Most packaged foods that are low fat or fat free substitute other chemicals in to make up for that fat loss.  I am personally more scared of chemicals that cause cancers in rats than of a few more fat grams. 

7. I stopped reading the nutrition label.  The only thing I look at now is the ingredients label.    

8. We eat all the junk food we long as it is made at home from scratch.  Making homemade french fries is a little more time consuming than swinging by he local drive thru.  Hence, you will likely eat french fries less often.  But even at that, when you make 'junk food' at home, you can control the ingredient you are putting into it and how it is being made.  Much better than what you buy in the stores or at fast food places.

Ok sorry, I could go on forever about all this because there are so many different facets.  It is truly a lifestyle switch.  For me it is mainly about not giving cancer or disease causing chemicals to my children.  I would never hand them a cigarette because it can cause cancer and lots of illnesses later in life. So why would I let them eat things with pesticides, additives,preservatives,GMO's, etc that are also linked to cancer and diseases?  

The kids were a little resistant to our eating habit change but after i explained it to them like that they totally got it.  

If you are still not sure where to start but are thinking about trying to cut out some highly processed foods go here for some basic tips.  There is even a 10 day challenge you can try.  Personally I think ten days is harder than say, 30 because in 10 days you are still figuring a lot out.

And let me say, if you feed your kids processed foods, I do not think bad of you!  I have fed my kids pudding cups, granola bars, etc for years because they were healthier snacks. And they are healthier compared to a bag of chips(according to the nutrition label)! 

 I just can't un-know what I now know and had to make the change for our family.  I would never want my kids to get ill later in life and wonder if I caused it by what I fed our family.  I couldn't live with that.  Maybe they would never get sick, but what if they would??  They could get sick for many reasons with out cause but at least I could find comfort in saying I did everything I knew how to in order to prevent it.

I'll have more posts about how my meal planning has changed and what tips and sources I use to help spend minimal time in the kitchen( since we have cut out those convenient boxed items).

Many Blessings,
The Mama

Sunday, March 9, 2014


So we had our Open House today!

Here is the Dining Room "Show Ready"

White table cloth only goes on during showings or open houses, otherwise it would no longer be white.

Fresh flowers on the table.  I have a brown thumb so they will be dead by tonight.

And see those pretty plates?  Those are the new ones I picked up to go in our RV =)

We spent ALL DAY yesterday cleaning. I also scrubbed grout on Friday and resanded/satined/poly-ed a spot on the wood floor that had some scratches from a chair. We've been slacking on some of the more detailed cleaning around the house lately and we sure paid for it yesterday.  We end up spending the night at my in-laws last night so that we didn't have to dirty more dishes or make beds or anything this morning.

After talking with our realtor, I think it paid off though. Of course we would have loved to have an offer in hand but that's ok ;)

There were 2 groups that went through and each group liked the house but both said it would be at least a couple months before they could buy a home.

One group actually said that they hoped our house was still on the market in a few months because they liked it so much.

Sissy was like,"A COUPLE MONTHS?!"

But I reminded her that our RV is being worked on this month and then I have to redo the interior and get it all set up which will take all of April probably.  So then that already brings us to May-a couple months away. Doesn't sound so long when you look at it that way.

We also got word of another couple really likes our home and has been wanting to look at it.  They didn't make it to the open house today but hopefully they will schedule a showing.

So now I am focusing on getting rid of even more stuff.  I was really wanting to start weeding through things this week after getting the RV on Monday.  But with an open house looming I knew it was no time to start pulling stuff out of closets and drawers.

Thanks to all those who prayed for a successful open house!  Oh and on another cool note, a friend from church and his wife went and prayed over our camper(he is the one who knows the dealer).

 How awesome is that?!  

Many Blessings,
The Mama

Friday, March 7, 2014

We Bought an RV!!

Yep, that's right we have a travel trailer.  It has been a grueling process searching for one.  The main issue is the same with any used item you buy-TRUST.  Who can you trust to be honest?  I would find trailers we loved at good prices only to look up reviews for the dealer and find horror story after horror story.  Very discouraging.

But here is the one God led us to:

It is a 2000 Jayco Eagle 31 ft.

 A guy at our church had given us the contact info of a dealer he recommended( trust worthy, strong Christian values).  I contacted the dealer and told him what we were looking for and he emailed me back with in a week saying he had one we might be interested in.

After looking at pics we really weren't impressed and felt it was over priced.  One of the main issues was it only had 2 bunks.  We weren't totally against 2 bunks but only because most 2 bunkers are cheaper.  Our boys end up sleeping together each night so they could share a pull out if need be.

Anyway, we had 2 more TT that we REALLY liked that we were researching and praying about.  One was perfect(2002 Ducthmen).  Tons of room at 38' and almost everything on our wish list.  But could we pull such a monster?  In the end we felt it would be too difficult for us being such newbies.  I was sad. =(  I loved that one.

Then the other unit was much newer and only 30'(2008 Mackenzie). Quad bunks.  But we discovered some problems and it just didn't feel right to any of us.  Our prayer was that God would make it clear if it was the one for us or not.  And he did. Nope.

So I pulled up the pics of the Jayco again to pray about it with an open heart.  At this same time the dealer emailed that he wanted to help us out and came down quite a bit on the price.  So we went to look at it.  The 1st look wasn't perfect( dealers truck got stuck in the snow so couldn't hook up the electric in the TT which meant the slide was in).  But even so, we felt pretty certain that this was OUR trailer.  But, as always we prayed about it and set up a time to look at it when it was all hooked up.

Then we bought it on the spot!

It's so nice to be able to TRUST a salesman.  Peace of mind is worth so much.

And we are going to have the double bunks converted into triple bunks and we are able to move the master bed over to allow room for Little Miss and her play yard.  This was another trust thing with God.  We had no idea where Little Miss would fit and then it suddenly hit me right before we were to look at the TT again.  And sure enough, it's an easy enough adjustment!

I will be redoing the interior too.  Think 'beach cottage'.  Whites, blues, aquas and corals.  I'll be painting all the cabinetry white and painting walls, redoing curtains, recovering the couch and dinette- the works.  Lot's of before and after pics to come!!

An older model was perfect for us because we can make it ours and personalize it.  =)

It will stay at the dealer's for a few more weeks and then it will sit at our house and I will get started redecorating and getting some organizational items and maybe even move some stuff in.


Our next step is getting a new to us vehicle.  We are looking at Chevy 3500 15 passenger vans.  We have found some great prices so we need to sell our vehicle to put towards it.  A lot to pray about.

We don't want to run ahead of God.  We try to let him do his thing in his time and not force things to happen before they are suppose to ;)

We also have an open house this Sunday.  Please be in prayer that it goes well.  It feels like a lot of pieces are falling into place now.  Maybe that means it's finally time to sell our home too.  A little bitter sweet I admit. I cry when I think how Little Miss will never remember this house =(  Some great memories here.

There are also things happening with our campground ministry too( performing worship music and showing our Pastor's taped messages every week).  I will save that for another post as this one has run long as is.

I have about 10 posts in the works, so stay with me people!  Things are happening!

Many Blessings,
The Mama