• Little Artist

    I never know what she is going to say. We were all playing a question game the other night at the table. Gress read the question, “who is the moodiest in your family?” I already knew hands down the answer was me. Then someone said Mabry and she screamed and cried at the top of her lungs, “I AM NOT MOODY!” Ok, so maybe it isn’t me. HA!

    This girl LOVES to draw and color and craft. She would do it all day if you would sit next to her. And I love to see what she creates. It always makes me smile really big!

  • Balancing Life

    From full days of homeschooling to meandering through marshland and forts with friends on 2 different occasions, to a meet-up with other moms who homeschool and digging deep into how we can refine our teaching, to FINALLY getting some of our bigger house projects started and one almost complete, our weeks have been pretty full. We finally hung the world map on our wall and Gress has been visiting it several times a day to find out where things are that we have read about in our books. I love seeing curiosity spread. We are trying not to take life too seriously over here. There’s a balance with fun and work and all the stuff in between.

  • Too Big

    Remember the puppy we got? What happened to her? She is not so little anymore! 

  • You Go Girl!

    When you are the third child and everyone else is riding bikes faster than you, there is certain quickened timeline that makes you want to be able to keep up with them. Mabry practiced on her training wheels for less than a month. She used their assistance mostly to help her master holding her up on the bike while she started pedaling but those extra wheels rarely touched the ground. This week she asked for the training wheels to be removed and graduated to full fledged super fast bike rider. Rad told her when the wheels came off, we would paint her bike any color she wished. Purple shimmery it is! We are so proud of this brave girl!

    Disclaimer, no one was harmed in the speedy riding of her bike without a helmet. She did however run into a bush and scratch up the side of her face.

  • Fun Moments

    Fun moments to remember:

    An all day visit from our friends! Oh I love our sweet farmer friends. Those kids…adorable!

    All our kids love to cook in the kitchen. The other day for our the farmer’s visit, Gress made an angel food cake, homemade whipped cream and cut tons of strawberries! We believe strongly in making these kids self sufficient by the time they leave home! Way to go Gress!

    Mabry got Mcree’s old bike. Rad told her when she can ride without training wheels, we can paint the bike any color she wants. She is pretty much riding without them now! (Hurry up, take them off before she notices!)

    Mcree has been saving his money. The other day he asked if he could buy a drone with it. Let’s just say he was pretty amazed at how cool it was and how fun it is to drive! He is practicing so we can attach the camera soon!

    On any given day, you never know which toys will be displayed on Mabry’s dresser. The other day she asked me to play with her and while using my “play voice” she said, “you sound weird and legos don’t talk like that.” HA!



  • Always Dirty

    If you remember, this kid has a way of getting dirty in ANY situation. Today I asked him to sharpen his pencil (in our old school wall mounted pencil sharpener), which lead to him emptying out the very full pencil sharpener. This is how he came back to the table. What in the world?

  • Girls Weekend

    While the boys are deep in the Augusta woods camping with their friends, Mabry and I had a sweet little girls weekend. Wow is it quiet in our house. I keep looking for the dogs, or random socks thrown all over the house. We planted flowers, found bugs and made a home for them, went to the library and got books to read, rode bikes, played at the playground, watched movies, had sweet little conversations over meals, colored, and just hung out. She really missed all her boys and slept in Gress’ bed while he was gone. I adore her!


  • It’s Been Awhile

    The neat thing about adventuring for us was the space between travel days seemed to give us time to reflect on the new things we saw and did. However, since we have been home, a month has already passed and I can’t tell you what we did yesterday. I much prefer the slower days!

    What have we been up to?

    We were barely unpacked from our trip out west when we hopped back in the car to Bradenton, Florida to hang out with Rad’s business partner and his family while they left New York and took a vacation in warmer weather. We love this whole crew and it was so good to catch up and let the kids continue to build their friendships. Lots of pool time and endless bike riding. We even frolicked on the beach at sunset. Oh how we wished we lived closer to them!

    We have also had some adventures closer to home. We visited our friends on their Pecan Farm just outside Savannah and explored the Ogeechee Canal with our nature loving homeschool group. I kept looking for the huge mountains of rocks and dreaming of being out west again. All it takes is driving over the bridge home and seeing the water on both sides to remind me I have been called to live on the coast!

    We love being home yet I think in each of us we long for more adventures. The boat is still under a tarp and waiting to get some work done and the to do list of projects is waiting for start dates. Looking forward to knocking some of these tasks out so we can get ourselves back to nature filled places!

    In the meantime, we are back in the full swing of homeschooling. We have added some different books and subjects and the kids are loving these days of learning. We are in full purge mode in our house. Somehow the camper life has changed our perspective so drastically that we crave living with so much less. I’m looking forward to seeing all the ways our adventure changed us.

  • Settling In

    I’ve wanted to sit down and blog but so much had to be done to get us back up and running. Apparently we packed enough in our camper to never come home so it took awhile to get it all back in place and us on a routine again. And in all honesty, I wondered how every day life would compete with the amazing adventure we just had. It’s like reading a great book with an incredible ending. The second book never compares.

    Now that we are back, we have had so many questions about our trip. I find it’s best to just answer simply because there are too many great things to share. Here are a few of the more constant ones…

    Did you all get along? Really well in fact. We are used to being with our kids 24/7 because we homeschool so we have adjusted to live in really close quarters. Usually when someone gets annoyed (that’s usually me) people know to stay away! HA!

    You brought your dogs? There was definitely no one raising their hand to take on life with a puppy. It was a really good bonding experience and the puppy can pretty much put up with anything now. The older dog is easy. She’s just along for the ride.

    Why 45 days? Because Rad wanted a 30 day road trip and I wanted a 60 day one, so we comprimiesed.

    Would you do it again? In a heartbeat!

    Could you live in a trailer? Seeing the adventure it brought to us daily, maybe. But it would have to be bigger than 24 feet!

    Did you want to come home? Once we turned the corner and started our journey home, we were ready to see home again..but it was bittersweet for sure.

    What was your favorite place? New Mexico was gorgeous and our favorite park was Valley of Fire in Nevada. We hardly got to explore Oklahoma and Arkansas and want to go back and visit more of their parks.

    Did we do school on the road. Sure. There was school all around us. We pulled out the books and did work but they in no way compared to touching and feeling and seeing Gods amazing beauty.

    The biggest thing that changed for us is our perspective. Our small ranch feels huge. Our desire for more adventure is stronger. I’m perfectly happy with dirty kids and not clean sheets. The more dirt the better. (That was definitely not the case before). We learned to live one day at a time and fully enjoy that day. We are renewed and excited about what is next for our family. We have gained a better understanding of what really matters.

    I am so very thankful that Rad’s idea of a road trip was so much grander than mine. I had visions of a week away to a hotel somewhere relaxing. What this created in us went far beyond what I ever imagined.

    We had to start over with potty training a cattle dog in a “house.” I think she almost has it. Yet she has found her love of digging holes. This photo was after she got yelled at. The kids must have felt sorry for her and made her feel comfortable at home. Her life is too easy. We need to put this working dog to work!

    Let the next adventure begin!

    And for anyone interested in trying out camping on your own, here are some resources.

    www.campendium.com is where you can find amazing state and National parks to camp in and people rate them so you know what to expect.

    www.outdoorsy.com is where you can rent campers.

    www.allstays.com is an app you need if you are traveling in an RV. It gives you truck stops (because you can’t always get an RV in and out of a typical gas station), restaurants, rest areas etc and most places are rated or give great info you would need to know.

    www.everykidinapark.gov/get-your-pass/   4th Graders get a free national park pass so they can take their family FOR FREE to any national park. They have it based on age so we got in under that. This saved us quite a bit of money.

  • Day 43-45: Lots to Explore

    I love that no matter where we find ourselves, the kids eagerly jump out of the car to see what the next location holds. This was the case at Village Creek State Park in Wynn, Arkansas. We had driven 500 miles this day and we were all done being confined. It was late in the day so the sun was setting. There were 3 campsites, we were at the lower one and we were ALL ALONE! We might have made lots coyote howling and owl hooting at very loud decibels. This location seemed very magical with a creek running all the way around the perimeter and a huge mountain beyond it. The kids were immediately over the creek and up the mountain as soon as their feet hit the ground. The clean dogs (I had bathed the day before with freezing water) were happily frolicking through the creek over and over again. This was only a stop over location but oh how we wished we could have stayed here longer. Gress collected all of his nature finds and left them for the next campers with a note made of rocks on the picnic table. I love him inspiring others to see nature all around them.

    The next day we headed out early to again make it as far as we could. We made it to Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville, TN. We were hoping the sun would hold out for us to get settled but by the time we got there and navigated bad campground signage, it was dark. We saw amazing photos of this campground but when you get there late, and leave before the sun rises, you have NO idea what your surroundings look like. All we saw were shadows of what looked like a beautiful town.

    This was our last night sleeping in the camper. Maybe I imagined a great last location with lots of conversation around a roaring fire to end our adventure. It wasn’t that at all. It was simple and quiet and I think we all felt mixed emotions about ending our time on the road. It was bittersweet for sure. The next day we would drive to Rock Hill, SC and empty out the camper in a hotel parking lot and sleep in comfy beds with unlimited hot water showers and frolic in a pool. Mcree agreed the hotel is awesome and he slept so well he wants to stay in the hotel forever or visit one more than once every three years.

    Today we head home. This is where one story stops, and another begins. I don’t know what is next for us with so many areas. I do know that wherever we find ourselves, adventure will always be a part of our lives! We are so very thankful for this pause in one area to create space to adventure together.