November 2016

We planned to all go to Mom’s for Thanksgiving. I keep thinking of it as the last holiday we’ll have together for a very long time. Working for FedEx means Tj’ll be working probably every Thanksgiving and Christmas for many years to come…and he surprisingly had this Thanksgiving off! But not long before the day we were having freezes at night, and we realized just how different it is wintering in a camper vs summering in it. Tj came home and said we needed to talk, and I asked if he was staying behind for Thanksgiving. We both knew it was the best thing for the camper. The bus is now our second special need! I thought we could put antifreeze in and leave it behind, but Tj didn’t think that was best.

The boys and I headed for Mom’s last Tuesday morning. I stopped to get doughnuts, and while there remembered I hadn’t taken Jack to the bathroom! No way I’m starting a 6-hr trip with all bladders not emptied! We ran in after paying at the drive thru, and then we were down the road.

About 5 minutes later I realized that I should have packed the boys’ bikes to keep them occupied at Grand’s. About 10 minutes down the road I realized that though I’d made the boys take their medicines, Max had put the medicine bag back into the bathroom! For Max this isn’t the biggest deal…his nose will itch and he’ll sneeze more, but no biggie. For Jack: his nose will run clear until he gets his meds again. And the last time this happened it took 3 days on the meds for him to dry up. Ugh. 3 days of me constantly wiping and blowing his nose and telling him not to rub it on my bedspread/the couch/my shirt/etc. I pulled over and called Tj and he said I should go on. I threatened to have Max wipe Jack’s nose the whole time and then geared up and got back on the road. Then I remembered that I just hadn’t checked my checklist this morning before I left. I’d also meant to bring some cokes. Fortunately that’s all I forgot.

The trip was uneventful…the boys are great travelers, thankfully. Kel, Eric and Avery came that night, and Jo joined us too. We laughed and talked a ton; it was fun. Jo and her boys came again the next morn after Kel and I had been to the store for my salad (with walnuts, apples, feta and cranberries) and for the fixings for Kel to make 3 large batches of hot fudge sauce for her clients. We had a real spread! Turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, bbq beans, corn, dressing, broccoli casserole, marinated veg salad, Mom’s homemade rolls, and Arkansas green beans! It was all so good! We ate and relaxed a bit, then cleaned up so we could make Kel’s fudge sauce. We finished that up and she left around 4:30 (Eric can’t handle traffic). Ted came around 3pm, and after Kel and her gang left Papa felt up to sitting out with us and we had a good time talking some more.

The next day we went to Jo’s so I could get our marriage license from the safe, and then we headed to storage for a few things. I was so excited to find everything on my list…and of course a few extras! Aprons, another comforter, the hammock and hammock chair, whiteboard, legos, my tiny Christmas tree and the countdown calendar Grandmom made us for Christmas. After that we went back to Mom’s and she sewed my blackout curtains. Jo came over with more sewing…Mom took men’s dress shirts and made them into tunics for Jo to wear over leggings.

The next morning Mom and I went to Goodwill while Papa kept the boys; we bought 2 shirts for me and now I have my own tunics! They’re so cute! As soon as she was done the boys and I were out the door heading for home. We made it in time for supper: Tj ordered us a Marco’s pizza and I picked it up since they don’t deliver to us. I made sure Jack took his medicine that night…and surprisingly, I think his nose stopped running the next day!

The next morning we were being lazy. I got up to do something and saw that water was all over the floor! I ran to dump…water overflowed the toilet and wicked all along that side of the bus, then under the rug and under the kitchen table slide-out!!! When I dumped there was just water dripping all under the bus…from several places. I’m so thankful it was all clean water, but still!! I’m also so thankful that it hadn’t been dripping long…an hour or two at most, and that we already had a dehumidifier going. Tj went to the store and got a heat strip for our water hose so we shouldn’t need to run the water anymore.

The Jones were in Memphis that day so we met them for an early supper at the Memphis BBQ Co. The ribs were really good, but the brisket was just ok. We went out for ice cream after, and then they came back to our place for visiting. We put the kids in the bedroom with Max’s game and a movie on for Jack.

Sunday we stayed in bed super late! Then we had lunch at Brother Juniper’s. The open-faced omelet was wonderful! I’d never have thought of putting feta on an omelet but it really worked. We went to the Goodwill bookstore and bought a new book for Jack, a book for Tj, and a Chuck Norris DVD for Papa.

When we came home we dropped the boys off at the playground and Tj off at the bus and I went to buy us groceries. When I came home it was time to watch church because Tj had to leave early for the crash pad. He had really early days these next few days. School is going well for him, but it’s much harder than he anticipated.

Not a whole lot has happened in the two weeks it’s been since I blogged last. It’s kinda hard to want to blog when every day is the same, but I am thankful for easy-going days. We’ve been doing school and just learning to live in the bus.

Bus: we’ve had freezing nights lately, and that’s a whole new world for us! After 4 or so times I think I’ve figured out what to do to keep things running all night: run the kitchen faucet a tiny amount to keep the pipes from freezing…we’ll buy a pipe heater soon and probably won’t have to run the water during a freeze anymore; open all sink cabinets to allow their pipes access to the warmer room air; put the propane heater on 60 degrees just in case the electric heaters can’t keep up (though they haven’t had a problem so far); electric heater in the front has the dial straight up (though might make it warmer up there tonight…Max says he’s fine during the night but his hands are so cold when he gets up), the heater in the back bathroom has it’s dial about 10 o’clock (I woke up warm a couple of nights. Ugh); leave the bedroom door open and the noisy fan on blowing into our bedroom to circulate air and block sound.

We found out that our mid tank isn’t just black…it’s everything up front…kitchen sink, washer/dryer, front lav and toilet. Max went to use the bathroom 9am Saturday morning and the water level in the toilet was about 1/8″ from the toilet rim!!! God protected us from a run-over!! We were told the mid black was just the toilet, but running the sink all night filled up the tank to overflowing! We’ve had a couple of close calls with that tank…hopefully finally figuring this out will help keep this from happening.

We also got a dehumidifier…word is that winter brings a lot of humidity and that leads to mold growth. Ain’t nobody got time for that!!

Max: the last 5 or so school days he’s finished his school before lunch!! We went to the children’s museum in Memphis last Wednesday to celebrate. I’d forgotten we’d been there before, but it was familiar. Both boys loved the FedEx display where they sent packages up the conveyer belt, through a plane body and out the back. There was a slide there for Jack and Max got to fly a plane. Jack’s favorite was the pneumatic tubes with yarn balls and scarves to put through. We also played outside…basketball, seesaws for 4 people at once, and two zipline type slides, one with a full seat and one with a circle seat to sit on. It was a great day.

Yesterday Max and I put together the wooden motorcycle kit I got at Goodwill before our trip. I had to laugh…I’d started the kit while on our initial drive, but haven’t had time since. Getting back into it was kinda tough, there are so many pieces and the directions just said to match up the numbers, 1 to 1, 2 to 2, etc. I was tediously following the directions, but Max just said I can see from the (only) picture that this piece goes here…I wanted this to be a fun thing for us, not a lesson in following directions, so we did it his way. We only had to dismantle things a couple of times, and only have 3 pieces we don’t know where they go, but it looks magnificent! We had a great time.

Tj’s ear is slowly healing…he can hear out of it, but the sound is not back to normal yet.

Jack is doing well in school, but he’s so hard-headed. Right as we were leaving for this trip my biggest complaint was that reading with him was soooooo frustrating. He knew what to do, but I’m his hostage, and I can’t make him read if he doesn’t want to. That’s no longer the problem, he seems to enjoy reading now, I think he’s understanding more of what he’s reading. It’s still not a wonderful experience all around, but it no longer requires discipline every time. Math (and every other subject) is now the dreaded one. I swear he knows how to preform the ritual of the math problem. Read the problem out loud, mark the correct number of boxes for the first number, mark the correct number of boxes for the second number, count them all together, write down the answer. He knows this. He knows this. But he doesn’t do it. Or, really, he does it sometimes and not others. He isn’t consistent in saying only 1 number when he marks 1 box, and he’s very fond of guessing random numbers and saying them super excitedly as the answer. This too will pass. I know. But I might die before it does.

Well, I need to pack for our Thanksgiving trip tomorrow. We were all going to Mom’s, but with all the craziness with the bus Tj thinks it’s best for him to stay here. I love living in this bus, but I’ll love it even better when we stop having to learn so much.

Almost forgot to say, this morning the radio wouldn’t come on…come to find out the bus battery was almost dead. Tj and I texted back and forth a good bit before remembering to try starting it with the emergency start. Thankfully that worked! It’s always something!

4 Nov Fri
I slept horribly last night but was out of bed at 8:30am for school. I did a lot of wash today, took a walk, and started a food journal. School went well enough that I was able to take an hour and a half nap, woot!

Tj came home around 4:30 and he’d picked up our new printer! It’s so nice to have one, I’ve drawn many a sheet for Jack to work on and am eagerly anticipating printing out a ton now :-) For some reason our internet started working poorly after my nap…Tj had a hard time downloading the driver (or whatever it was he needed) to set up the printer. We finally gave up and went out to eat at Dale’s. I ordered 2 servings of their mashed potatoes with white gravy but I was not impressed…it was a little sweet. When we got back Tj was finally able to get the printer working, then he left for his pad.

I forget exactly what day it was but one day this week we finally figured out how to get Jack to shower by himself…what a blessing! I started off having Max shower first, then having him set up the water temp for Jack and leaving the water on, just not flowing. After a few times getting soaked while trying to start the water flowing I figured out a way to have the shower head at the right height for Jack and angled away from the door opening. Hallelujah!

I’m starting to double up on flonase…my nose is just extra itchy and I’m sneezing a little more. Hopefully this will take care of the problem.

5 Nov Sat
We got out of bed around 10am. Late mornings are so luxurious! Jack and I went to the Goodwill bookstore, then to Shipley’s, then to get cash and to the Salvation Army store where I saw Leslie! We were heading to Goodwill when I saw another thrift store on the way. Out of all those stores and the Goodwill I only bought 1 corelle plate! It was not our day.

We headed to Walmart for groceries (and to buy a buttload of paper for our new printer) when I saw Aldi across the street. I’ve been wanting to get some more of those awesome salami rounds so we stopped in there, and after going through all the aisles I’ve decided I should always go there before Wal-Mart.

We went home and I took the boys to jump at the big pillow at the front of the campground…that thing is kinda fun! We had cereal for supper and watched Lord of the Rings until Tj came home, then he and I watched tons of Parks and Rec. I’m gonna be so sad when we’re finished with that series.

6 Nov Sun
Jack prayed this morning, “Thank you God for this day. Make fried egg sandwich. Cheese on bread. Mayonnaise on bread. I need help mayonnaise on bread please Daddy. Amen”

Our internet’s still wonky so it took forever to dl the sermon; we finally watched it before supper.

We were good Christians today and took a nap :-) Nothing much else to say.

7 Nov Mon
No sign of any roaches or any more bugs for that matter, thankfully.

I printed up a storm…found a lot of good stuff for Jack. He still doesn’t seem to ‘understand’ numbers, but he knows how to perform a simple addition problem. He doesn’t always follow the setup I have for him (roll the dice, write the first number plus the second number equals, color the appropriate number of boxes or lay out the appropriate number of coins, count them all together, write the answer), his favorite thing to do is to say in a completely excited voice, “1 plus 5 equals 5!!!” or whatever number strikes his fancy. His handwriting is improving, though. He often has many letters on the line, and usually has the letters of a word grouped together. His reading is still steadily improving, which is wonderful.

Max is doing great in school as well, and Monarch is a lifesaver. He’s getting A’s in 6th grade Bible and 7th grade Language Arts and B’s in 6th grade History/Geography, 6th grade Science and 8th grade Math.

1 Nov Tue
A few months ago I set an alarm every hour to remind Jack to go to the bathroom. He does pretty well, and hadn’t been having major accidents, but he always has a wet spot in his underwear…it seems like he always pees a bit, stops, and then goes to the bathroom. I hoped that making him go often enough would help with this problem. After a while I changed it to every hour and a half. Today I turned it off. We don’t have enough structure to make that work, and he still has the spots.

Tj finally found me a place for the iPad repair. I called them to find out the price right before I left. It took me about 20 minutes from the phone call to get there, and there was a note on the door saying they’d be back in 15 minutes! Another woman had just read the note and gotten back into her car and left. Jack and I waited, and when I saw him take the sign down we started getting out of the truck. The same woman pulled back into her parking spot at exactly that time and beat me into the store! Ugh! As I was waiting for her to finish talking to the guy I read a note on his counter saying at that time they only took cash! Ugh again! When it was my turn the dude said I could pay when I picked it up, which was great.

We went to get some diatomatious earth for the roach, and then to Wal-Mart for more poison and groceries. While there Jack got a feather duster and was playing with it. I heard him say a few times, “Don’t be scared! It’s feathers! Don’t be scared!” When I was ready to leave that aisle I wanted him to hang up the duster, but he was super resistant. I told him I’d help him, and that we only had to touch the wooden handle, but he was really freaked out by the feathers! I held his hand and made him hang it up, but 2 times as I got the handle on the rod to hang it he jerked his hand back…he was crying so much! I can’t believe how scared he is of this feather duster! If it hadn’t been $7 I would have bought it to have around the house to get him used to it. In the end I had to hang it up myself. Poor scared kid!

We went back to pick up the iPad…with all the trauma of the feather duster I forgot to get cash! I was so annoyed with myself. I was super hungry and close to the iPad store when I figured this out…I counted out all my cash and figured it might be enough to cover it. I asked the guy the cost and he said $117 something, I had $113.75, so I asked him where an ATM was. He said not to worry about the difference :-)

We got back home and I had cereal for lunch. Jack and I did some school outside at the playground. I mad wonderful roasted veggie sandwiches with goat cheese for supper. Yum!

2 Nov Wed
We got a late start to school today…when Tj moves into his crash pad I’ll be able to get us all up on time in the morning. I don’t see any point in doing that now…Tj will want to sleep in and I’ll be resentful…so I’m enjoying the lazy mornings :-)

Tj made himself an ENT appointment without a referral today…he’s worried that his hearing loss will affect his job. He was told to start flonase and claritin to clear up his eustachian tube. He called work and it won’t affect training! Hallelujah!

3 Nov Thur

Max finished his lessons by 9:45am!! But he had to redo his lessons on percents…he failed several lessons on that.

The washer is great, but super temperamental. It is really keeping my prayer life straight! Now that Tj completely repaired the drain pump the only problem with it is electrical. It only turns on when it wants to. It seems that if it starts working I can do as many loads in a row as I want, but once I let it rest for a bit or turn it off it wont come on until it’s ready. It never turned on yesterday, but it finally did today so I’ve been doing a bunch of laundry. I saw a few bubbles coming up in the front toilet which is an indicator that the mid needs dumping. It had just started raining, but fortunately it was just a 5-minute downpour, so I got my big umbrella and dumped.

Tj moved out tonight. That sounds so strange! He’s been planning on it for a couple of weeks. He and I both think that it’ll be easier for him to concentrate on his studies away from this tiny place, so he got a crash pad about 5 minutes away. But it was still really strange to see him pack his clothes and toiletries and go.

Tonight was also the first night I remembered the dentist suggested we put socks on Jack’s hands to stop him from sucking his thumb at night. I think he was pretty much stopped from sucking his thumbs, but then he started cutting all these molars, and I hardly ever see him with his thumb in his mouth, but…when we first moved into the bus I’d let Jack sleep in my bed when Tj was working overnight and in the middle of the night many times I’d hear Jack sucking his thumb! I can’t believe I needed the dentist to remind me about socks…that’s what we did with Max when he sucked his thumb at night. The bad thing with Jack is that if he needs to go to the bathroom after I put them on he really can’t. Ugh. I told him we’d put mittens on, and then I called them muppets thinking that that would help him dislike it less, but he still complains and asks for the ‘muffins’ to come off :-)

13 Oct Thur
It’s a gray, rainy day. A great day for hot chocolate and pjs.
I finally figured out what Jack means when he says “di ti ra” = don’t turn around…Shut Up and Dance With Me!!! Tj just got us this song and Jack loves it. 😀

14 Oct Fri
It’s even more rainy than yesterday. All of us stayed in bed till 9:30. Nice. Now we all have school and work to do. Yesterday or the day before I put the gemiinipad up…Jack has dropped it a couple of times and made the cracks Tj started even worse. Tj’s looking for a place to get the screen fixed, until then Jack can watch Gemiini on my computer or phone. We found out today that there’s no way to download the sessions on my computer so he’s using bandwidth when he watches it there. Ugh. On the other hand I really think Gemiini is helping with his vocabulary! It keeps me on my toes now making new sessions for him every week.

Tj did his own work this morning. I made ravioli and red sauce with salad and Cavendar’s bread for lunch. I just discovered that bread this week, and it’s a big hit!

After lunch we worked on the washer till Tj had to go to work…he took the pump apart 3 times, but the 3rd time was the charm! I did a whole load of clothes without having to move the drain line at all! Hallelujah!! Now we need to get the vent hole drilled in the side of the bus and we’ll be in business. As it is now I can wash but not dry, and with the rain (and just living in a camper in general) the clothes on the drying rack will take at least 24 hours to dry.

For supper we had cookie butter sandwiches for the first time. They were awesome! Tj left for work around 5pm and will get back 1 or 2am. He’s gonna see the hub tonight, and then come home to sleep. Then he’ll try jump seating to ATL where Mom will get him and he’ll drive his car here.

15 Oct Sat
I took Tj to the airport leaving Max in the bus. When I got back home both boys and I went to the fair. It was small, but they gave out free cotton candy!

Then Jack and I left to find him a McDonald’s with a playground. Despite the fact that we’re living at the Ag center now we’re in a good part of town and I couldn’t find any indoor playgrounds! Jack kept saying, “Sorry, Jack, no playgrounds!” so sadly from the back seat. We gave up and had lunch at BK then went to 2 Goodwills. On the way to Wal-Mart I saw a McD’s with a PG! I quickly pulled in. I let him play forever, then bought groceries and went home. Tj came in just a few minutes after me.

16 Oct Sun
We watched our church, and then, though the sermon was on keeping Sunday a day of rest, we set to work installing the dryer vent. We spent a lot of time trying to ensure there were no studs where we were drilling. Tj even drilled 4 or 5 pilot holes. When it was time for the 4″ hole through the outside wall I gathered the boys and we watched. What a dreadful noise! Jack covered his ears and whimpered, and I felt like doing the same! It’s so final drilling a hole through your home! But Tj did great. Of course the hole he drilled was about 1/8th too small, so he had to wiggle the drill a bit so all the vent parts would fit. While he was working on it at one point Max went to the bathroom, and then Tj was blocking the door so I told Max to just clean the bathroom until Tj was finished. Sometimes I have such good ideas :-)

After we finished the washer/dryer we went to eat at O Charley’s, but I wasn’t impressed with anything we had there. Then we drove around a bit looking for the awesome park there. We went to WM on the way home for a few things, and then watched Lost during supper. After it started I wondered if this was the best show for a pilot’s family to watch! Boy, did Jennifer’s eyes get big when I told her that…she’s the one who lent me the series. Heh. Fortunately Max doesn’t seem bothered by the plane crash stuff…and I’m not sure Jack understands it’s a plane. We made sure to not say the word ‘plane’ at all during the crash scenes.

17 Oct Mon
Today is our 8 week anniversary of living in the bus! I’m so thankful we’re getting to do this. I really hope and pray we can continue on traveling around the US after training is over. But I hope more that I’m thankful for whatever the Lord decides we’ll do.

The boys and I had a picnic a little ways from the bus. It was perfect weather, and we had shade trees. The wind blew the entire time we were there; I love the sound of wind in the trees.

20 Oct Thur
I went to pick up Tj from work so we could leave his car there while we’re in Ar. We’re sitting here at FedEx waiting for TJ to come out and we see two planes take off at one time. Jack was so excited, jumping up and down and yelling. Then he said, “10 FedEx planes please Mama!” like I can make planes fly. :=-)

21 Oct Fri
We woke up and packed up and drove to Petit Jean Mountain. I finished Jennifer’s last book in The Giver series on the drive.

We got there about 1, and it took us about an hour to set up. I made a quick lunch and then we ate around the campfire with the Jones and Huffs. What a great time! It was super sweet to see all 3 Huff boys so excited to see us! We have such great family!

We went to Turtle Rock and the Rock House Cave today. Jack was scared of heights at first, but then he got so into jumping on all the big rocks that he forgot about being scared.

22 Oct Sat
We went to Turtle Rock again while Tj and John watched the game.

I made broccoli with cheese and brought that and rolls to the potluck. Tj scrambled to get his projector and screen all set up since they didn’t ask to use it till right before they wanted it. The Burlesons had their slideshow and gave a little talk about their mission trip.

23 Oct Sun
Tj made his campfire eggs this morning. We ended up not having breakfast till late so we skipped the lunch I had planned. For supper we, the Jones and the Huffs went to the Cabin to eat. Tj and I split the hamburger steak and chicken fried steak with white gravy. I can’t believe I went my whole life without realizing how heavenly white gravy was! Mashed potatoes with white gravy is almost as wonderful as chocolate!

After supper we went back to the bonfire and the kids had smores before the Huffs had to leave. I tried to get Tj and Jp to put all the remaining logs on the fire, but in the end it was best they only put 3/4 of them on there…I was so ready to go to bed before the fire died down. In the end they doused the fire with a bunch of water, and that was pretty fun to see as well.

24 Oct Mon
Jack has a dental appointment, so I had to leave at 10:30 to get there on time. Jack was wonderful at his appointment!! Without much prepping (though I mentioned it to him a couple of times) he was very calm. I had to put him in the chair, and he got antsy waiting for the dentist at the end, but otherwise he was great. The assistant, Beth, even scraped his teeth again!

The dentist (who is only there 2 minutes looking into Jack’s mouth, as opposed to Beth who spends 20 minutes cleaning his teeth) spent a lot of time telling me where we should go on our bus trip. He asked me how long Tj had been in the military and I told him Tj retired at 20. Without missing a beat he said, “So he’s double dipping then”!!!! Whatever! I didn’t miss a beat when I said, “No, he earned that, he put his life at risk during his time in the military and he deserves what he gets.” That dude has a lot of nerve.

After that I went to check on our bill. At the dental desk they told me to go to the main entry and ask about billing there. I did and gave them Jack’s name and they told me they’d call me in a min. We went back to an office and after the lady looked us up in the system she said she couldn’t really tell me anything…I needed to drive 5 minutes away to talk to Patient Accounts. She told me there was a 4-story glass building on the left hand side. Actually, there was a 3-story concrete and glass bldg, but after I passed it and came back I saw a 3-story glass building that sloped down to a 4-story glass building away from the road. I went inside and couldn’t pass through the second set of doors…I was stuck in an entry room with a phone with no handset on the wall. I called the extension and waited on hold. Right after someone picked up and then hung up on me a woman came through the second set of doors and ran into Jack! While I was waiting for the second time on hold a couple came through the door, and then let me in. The woman there at the desk told me where to go, which turned out to be wrong. That woman told me the right place to go to, finally. After a little bit Courtney came out to talk to me, and I’m hoping she’s finally gotten the whole mess straightened out. Apparently our insc was never changed to the retiree dental program, so this visit today was going to be billed to the wrong insc as well.

After all that mess Jack and I drove to Conway and had lunch at David’s with Tj and the Joneses. Leaving there Tj hit a curb and two doors swung open and all my new drawers spilled out. The worst thing that happened was that the fruit basket also fell off the counter and plums and tomatoes went everywhere! Nothing was broken, thankfully. Now we know that the washer (and the tables above it) won’t slide out, that’s good to know!

I stopped to get gas on the way home and then got behind some guy with dining room chairs in the back of his pickup…but they weren’t tied down and one flew out right in front of me!

When I got on the base Tj was backing into our slot. I took over for Max and sent the boys to play at the playground. While Tj set up the bus I went and paid for our stay.

Since we ate so late I left the boys getting supper at 6:40 and went to Jenn’s with tons of laundry. I wanted a shake for supper but McD’s shake machine was broken!! I had to settle for chicken nuggets and french fries. We watched several Call the Midwife and I washed my major laundry: bedspreads and jackets. I’m excited for the bus not to smell like campfire smoke. I got home at 2:45am!

25 Oct Tue
I got up kinda early for having gone to sleep at 3am. Tj went to the dentist and we did school. I did a few loads of laundry in the laundromat since we were in the lot right next to it and I had the quarters. We had Mexican Chicken leftovers and then took a long nap.

I put the hammock up and not long after Tj tore it in half! You could see that the fabric was really worn, though. Max has had many hours of fun in that thing. We sent the boys to the playground and I cut Tj’s hair. We had meatball subs for supper and watched another episode of Lost. Tj decided that he’s no longer taking campground showers. I’d been thinking that, and it’ll make showering Jack much easier. So far we’ve been showering him ourselves, but this way we can just set the temp and walk him through it, just like we used to do at home.

26 Oct Wed
We got up late again, but got ready in time to take Jack to his doctor’s appt for warts. He has them, and the doc says no biggie. We also got flu shots, and Jack didn’t even flinch!!! I was so impressed with him! When we walked from the doctor’s office to the immunizations office I told Jack that he was getting a shot, and then I poked his arm with my fingernail. I did that probably 3 times, and he was awesome! I’m loving his new ability to be cool in formerly stressful situations.

We went back home and got Tj and Max for their immunizations, then we went to meet Damon and Jessica at the Mean Pig. Yum!

We went right back to the base after our 2-hour lunch, and Hooper showed up right away. Tj was on the phone booking me a room :-) And I’m writing this from my hotel bed.

I left around 3:45pm and went to Cabot to vote. I went to the library after that and bought some magazines. Kroger was next and I got my free chocolate bar. I went to Goodwill after that and hit the jackpot: black dressy jacket, white skirt, silicone steamer, tiny birdhouses to paint, 3 corelle plates and small cutting boards. Woot!! I went to Tuesday morning next and bought a really cute soap dispenser. I texted Liz next to find out the name of a store, and then I stopped at Wal-Mart and bought a ton of chocolate!! I went to Drug Emporium next; I could spend hours in there! I bought cinnamon essential oil and some other fun stuff…can’t wait to get home and play!

I went to Kebab House after that and got the chicken shish plate with hummus. It was good but not great. I left there at 9pm and went to the hotel where I realized I forgot my charger! Fortunately the hotel dude had a brick I could borrow. I watched TV and blogged till midnight.

27 Oct Thur
Woke up at 6:30 for devotions and then reading reading reading!

Check out was at noon so I got ready and left at 11:40. I went straight to Olive Garden and had my usual. From there I went to The Container Store looking for a box for our socks but couldn’t find anything I really liked in my price range. After that I went to a couple of Goodwills and wasn’t as lucky as the day before but did end up buying some bubbles for Jack and a basketball. After that it was time for me to go grocery shopping and back home. What a wonderful vacation! I got home and TJ left about an hour and a half later to go hang out with his guys. He stayed later than usual so after the boys went to bed I got to watch a couple Call the Midwife and then I was about ready to pass out.

28 Oct Fri
Awoke at 9:15!!!! What a great sleep. Since it was so late I skipped breakfast and we had chili and Frito’s for lunch. We packed up and left the campground at 12:45pm to go to EZ Dayze near Memphis.

12:04am Tj just left for the ER…his ear is killing him!! He came down with a cold about 3 weeks ago. He got better for a while, but just before Family Camping he got worse. I’m sure the 3 days of campfires didn’t do him any good…though everyone at camping offered him their remedies for a cold/cough. He seemed fine all day, but a few hours ago he started having more intense pain in his right ear.

29 Oct Sat
He got home at 3am, he’s ruptured his eardrum! The doc gave him antibiotics for the infection he has. Poor sap! We got up and found a pharmacy that opened at 8am so I could go get his prescriptions filled. Because it was so late and he was in such pain he forgot to check to see if there were any 24-hr-pharmacies around. I got his meds and found out he had been automatically enrolled in FedEx’s insc! We just paid out of pocket for this.

I called jellystone and they said to call back in 20 minutes. When I called them again they said our spot was vacant! It was nice to not have to wait the whole day to move in. We moved around 10:30am, plugged in the electricity and left for FedEx family day. It was great! I ate a million cotton candies, we got to see the plane Tj’ll be flying, there were lots of freebees and the boys got to jump a good bit.

When we got back to the bus we pulled out right away and filled our propane tank. We set up and settled in for the night. It’ll be nice to be settled for a while.

30 Oct Sun
Not long after we watched church this morning Jenn texted to see if we’d watched the current week. Our preacher is leaving!! He and his family have been called to be church planters in Boston! You can’t argue with God about where he sends you, but I sure will miss his preaching! They were a great family.

31 Oct Mon
Around 5pm we left for trick or treating with the FedEx family who’d had us over to their house. When their kids were tired they left, but we kept on and found the house with full size candy bars! Score!!

By the time we got home the boys were ready to pass out, but as they were showering I saw a roach!!! Ugh!!! Our first gross camping thing. Fortunately it’s a big one which I’ve read usually just comes from outside. Now I’m reading how to deter them and tomorrow I’m buying lots of stuff to do just that!