18 March Saturday
I told Max to get the jet pack for our trip over to Vegas, and later saw that he had put it by my purse. When we went to leave TJ asked why it was in its regular place. Jack is so “helpful” he put it back where it goes.
Jack read a sign on our drive that said “Do Not Enter” and he said “Do yes enter.” Antonym!
We didn’t really have a plan for the Hoover Dam, we just wanted to see it. It was just as well that they weren’t having tours this day. We walked all along the dam and it was really impressive. The color of the water was beautiful, too. The bridge we’d driven over on our way to Vegas the other day was fun to see from the ground. At some point we saw someone there filling up their bottled with water and pouring it out and the wind was blowing up the curve of the dam and blew the water up into the air!
When we were finished walking we got ice cream and started looking for a restaurant. Fried chicken sounded good to me, so Tj picked out the Chicken Shack because it had such good reviews. For some reason I was just thinking of a piece of fried chicken and not hot wings, so I was a little thrown off when we got there and were ordering. Their buffalo chicken wings were awesome, their fries were out of this world, and the potato salad was really good too. I got my half of the wings with chili lime sauce, and they were okay, but not at all what anybody wanted.
By the time we were finished with lunch we had enough time to drive back to Vegas, find the parking garage, find the zipline place and not much more time than that. I didn’t want to stand in line for however long and then ride a zipline with something holding me face down without making a bathroom stop, so we looked around for a public restroom. There aren’t that many of those around this place. I ended up going into a casino, but I almost always make Jack go when I go and Tj wasn’t sure if we could take Jack into the casino. I went to the bathroom and then we all walked back to the zipline place and left TJ and Jack. The information about the zip lines said that we had to be there at 4 but we might wait as long as an hour before our turn came. In the end we waited an hour and a half, but boy was it worth it! I would ride that again in a heartbeat, it was so much fun!
I hope I haven’t ruined our scale by bringing it on the bus, but we don’t have a place to store it that’s easy to reach and where it can lay flat. It seems to not be measuring correctly, so now I’ve taken the batteries out and just put it in storage under the dinette seat. When TJ bought the tickets the line we wanted to go on said you had to weigh a minimum of 80 pounds. We were pretty sure that’s how much Max weighed, but it’s been a long time since we weighed him. When we got to the zipline wait line TJ saw that there was an outdoor scale at a restaurant nearby. They claim something like if you weigh over 300 pounds to give you your meal for free, but in any case there was a scale right there! We told Max to get on it and checked his weight :-) I don’t know what we were going to do at that point, it’s not like we could leave him and Jack out there by themselves while TJ and I rode the zipline if Max was underweight! The scale said he would be fine so we went and got in line. When we got inside the structure there was a woman weighing everyone separately. Max passed that test, but the lady told me that she made a note to add 40 pounds to his weight so that he wouldn’t get stuck out on the zipline. In a way I wanted him to get stuck because how awesome would that be?! Ziplines always go so quickly I don’t ever get to see as much as I would like to see when I’m on them. So the waiting begin; we got suited up and I chatted with TJ on text, and after a while I looked up some memes on the phone to pass the time. When it was finally our turn I really wasn’t nervous at all. What a fun ride! And Max did get stuck! So I and the other two women who went on the zipline at the same time had to lay there on the tables while a guy hooked himself up to a harness and then hand-over-hand pulled himself out to where Max was and drug Max back. What an experience!
When we got down and found TJ I realized that Max had gotten stuck right over him and Jack! It was so cool; TJ said all the people were yelling for Max and so excited for him. I couldn’t tell that because we landed right over a band playing such loud music! What an awesome experience. I was so thirsty so we started heading back to the truck and stopped at a shop to buy something to drink. We passed several of the same people we had seen earlier…I was so surprised by the amount of nudity that was allowed out in public! I know this is Vegas, and I knew it wasn’t a place for kids, but I didn’t realize the level of nudity that was allowed. She was a rather large woman wearing only pasties on top sitting in a wheelchair with a sign next to her that said retired stripper and a bucket for collecting money. There were lots of scantily clad men and women that were just walking around trying to get you to take your picture with them so then you would pay them. We headed back to the truck and on the way I saw some street performers that looked like something our family could enjoy. There were three guys and it looked like they were getting ready to start dancing, so I asked TJ to stop for a minute. The music cranked up and then the biggest guy proceeded to turn his arm around so that he dislocated his shoulder! All of us were so horrified! But Tj and I were also laughing our heads off! After that I was pretty much done with Vegas. We went back to the truck and got back to the bus at 6:45 p.m.
19 March Sunday
We slept late, and it was wonderful. For the second night in a row we told Jack to come into our bed when he woke up. We all need more sleep, and I think if he gets more sleep in the morning it will do him best. Somehow naps don’t materialize, and neither does going to bed early. We didn’t rush around doing anything, and I left around 10:30 or 11 to go check out the Goodwills. I found a beaded bracelet at the first store that I think I can use to make a bracelet like the one I lost, and it was only $3. I had my eye on a bag of beads from Amazon but that was $15, so if this works it will be great. I got back home around 3 p.m. We sent the kids out to play at the playground that’s within sight of our windows, and wasted time for another hour. It was lovely just relaxing.
At 4:30 I started making smothered potatoes. They came out tasting like Monmon’s I think, but they don’t look like hers. I think I have the fire up too high and stir them too much because they’re more broken up than hers. But they are awesome! TJ cooked our steaks on our little grill and they were awesome. We ate supper and then watched the Hooper sermon from November. That’s the last thing I think we’ll watch from FBC. Oh, I just remembered we’re not planning on staying a month at many places in the future, so maybe we’ll go ahead and watch the rest of those sermons. I think we have three or four from FBC that we haven’t seen. Otherwise we have a creation DVD set I bought. We’ll just have to see.
20 March Monday
It’s 11 o’clock and we’ve been on the road for half an hour or more. While Tj fueled up at the base I headed to the wrong gas station! We got down the road and had to drive 360° around to get onto the interstate. Three-quarters of the way through that turn the freezer door opened and all the ice fell out onto the floor. Poop.
21 March Tuesday
School, including writing Austin a thank-you card for the books he leant Max. Lunch.
Then we drove out to the Pacific Ocean and put our toes in. Driving here is more frustrating than in Tucson…I’m gonna miss that place for this reason!
I made taco nachos for supper again, and this time I used Laura’s recipe for white cheese dip to pour on top. Oh were they good! After we got the boys in bed TJ and I had a Walking Dead marathon and then Tj scheduled Uber for the morning since he’ll be leaving for the airport at 5:15am.
22 March Wednesday
I was making pb & j sandwiches and Jack was watching me. Finally he slowly and deliberately said, “I want jelly in my mouth, please Mom.” I got that boy some jelly! We’re still pushing the full sentences…and it seems like we’ll be pushing them for a few more years before they take hold full time. We’re also working hard on the on/in/over/under stuff. He’ll do it all one day, it just takes time!
In other news, I’m pretty sure Jack lost a receipt of a watch I wanted to return. He asked me if he could play with it and I said no. Now a few hours later I can’t find it at all. He put his flag down the back of the dinette seating today, and it’s unreachable now. Tj says it’s a favorite place of his, so that may be where the receipt is. I’m also pretty sure I brought 4 steak knives on the bus and now we only have 3…Jack!!!
I decreed that everyone was taking a nap today. Attitudes are still not in the right place. When we got up from our nap Max said that there were two bees in our bus, but he was so calm while he said it. In the past any sight of bees or wasps nearby has sent him into a frenzy, but this entire time he was calm. I was able to open the window and they both flew out, thank the Lord. I like bees, but I don’t want them in a confined space with me!
23 March Thursday
We had a nice relaxing school day today. I texted with TJ off and on during school. When we first started traveling and TJ was brand new flying for FedEx it seemed that the next nine months or so of his time there would be spent mostly sitting reserve in Memphis. Since he had so much time on his hands I sent him a couple of soup recipes and he made two batches. He filled up his crash pad freezer with soup, and then he got called out to fly! Now the last couple of times he’s been there he hasn’t even looked for flights but they book him to fly. It cracks me up, but I’m sure it’s not very funny to his pad mates! He had a few things to do this time at the beginning of this reserve trip. He figured with as tired as he was he would take a few days to relax and get that work done, and then he would start looking for a flight. Also, FBC has been having trouble with a computer he put together so they asked him if they could drive it out to where he was and would he work on it for them. He was happy to do so and he had nothing on his horizon, then before he knew it he got called out on a flight! I know he feels bad that he can’t work on the computer now, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
After school today Jack and I hit up 2 Goodwills, but it’s just not the same here. The first Goodwill I had to park on the street, and when I went to pay the meter, which I have only ever done a couple of times in my life, there was a sign saying it was broken. Then I wasn’t sure if it was OK for me to park there. I went into the store and asked another customer since the clerk wasn’t available, and she said it was fine. Jack asked to go to the bathroom while we were there but I saw a sign saying no public restrooms. Ugh. The next store did have some parking off the street, but we had to park pretty far away. I asked about a restroom, and as the guy was showing us to it I saw another sign saying no public restrooms. Huh. Guess I’ll do more research before going to other Goodwills.
In other news I found my bracelet!! It was in the bag I keep in the back of the truck. I’m so excited! Now to figure out how to solve my clasp problem.
24 March Friday
We were looking at cat and dog pictures and talking about them, and Jack said “That dog is make a supper.” He”s still trying out articles and verb forms. I really think one day he’ll speak correctly, but he’s almost 10 now and still very rarely uses a full sentence, not to mention saying it completely correctly.
The Lord gave me some verses this morning about traffic here in San Diego…”I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God:”
Psalms 3:6-7a. And then it goes on to talk about God breaking their teeth, which is what I really want to do.
We left the bus at 9:45 to go see the USS Midway, and arrived around 10:20. It was impressive. More than 4,000 people can live on it at once, but such cramped spaces! Of course it’s just about how we’re living now :-) I let Max lead us around. Again, I’d have gone in an orderly manner and read every plaque, but I knew that wouldn’t go over well with either kid, so I mostly followed. We never made it to the video showing, but we saw so much! The docents gave such interesting talks, too, about landing a plane on the ship and working the anchor. I loved the 1:48 scale model made of plexiglass…it was fascinating! I also enjoyed seeing how the ship had changed over the years…it had started smaller and they added more and more to it. We got the free headsets but I hardly listened to any of the info. Max did, though, he went through the junior sailor program they did and earned his wings after. I think he enjoyed hearing the audiofiles, but think he felt a little too old for the wings. Topside there were two ceremonies being performed. There was a plane up there with both of its wings folded up over its body, and a plane on the other deck whose wheels folded into its body. Planes are awesome!
The night before Max had asked a couple of times if there were any flight simulators onboard. I’d read some about them, but didn’t elaborate to him. There were about 6 different flight decks he and Jack got to sit in and flip all the switches, and there were 2 paying rides. The first one was just a ride, but the second one was interactive!! The only problem was you had to have 2 riders. I would never leave Jack by himself, but Max and I were both really worried that Jack would freak out on the ride. Some of the simulators were going really crazy! Max would be the one flying it, but if Jack started freaking out what could he do? We looked for a bit but couldn’t find anyone else looking for a lone rider. I saw someone promising, but then she offered to keep Jack so Max and I could ride together. Max asked me worriedly if I’d ever let anyone else keep Jack like that…he’s such a worrier sometimes! We decided to wait a bit and come back later, and about this time Jack started fussing and asking to ride that ride! That doesn’t always mean what it’s supposed to mean…and what would we do if he started freaking out when the guy started strapping him in?? We came back half an hour later and when we got close to the ride Jack again started saying he wanted to ‘ride the blue one’. Now it took some convincing to get Max to go. I don’t know how much of it was fear of Jack and how much was fear of going all the way around in that thing! Either way I almost forced him to go. We paid our $16 and got in line and Jack never wavered. He smiled so big when he was putting on his seatbelt! I videoed the footage of what was going on inside the enclosed simulator, and Jack had a good time the whole time. Max wanted to do it again but I said no. We had such a good time there!
We left at 2pm. I’d found Valentine’s Mexican Food which had good ratings on Yelp, and was around the corner from the Donut shop. Awesome! Now to make it there and see what parking was like! I drove around the block and found a space, and then parallel parked all by myself! Woot! I did brush the curb, but I did a good job if I do say so myself. We passed the doughnut shop on the way to the restaurant and it was closed until 5pm!! What the heck??!! Lunch was good though, and the salsa bar had some great salsa.
After that we headed to the beach…we got there about 4pm and stayed till 6:15. As Max was playing he said I’m just waiting for some unsuspecting pedestrian to pedestrianize by. Heh.
Afterwards we went to Walmart for another bike helmet for Max…he needs an adult size. We picked up a frozen pizza and were still eating supper at 9pm. And I wonder why we’re so tired! Though I must say I think we’re finally catching up.
In other news, the last couple of times that we parked the bus we’ve been able to estimate the number of support blocks we needed under the tires to get our bus pretty well level. We have an auto leveler on the bus, but it doesn’t seem to work well. Tj has tried to calibrate it a couple of times and that hasn’t fixed the problem.
25 March Saturday
We did school today since we had our field trip yesterday. We only have 24 days of school left, and I’m hoping we can keep it at that. We started at 10am and I figured Max would take all day. I let him do 2 units and then play 15 minutes of Minecraft and continue that cycle till he was finished. He actually finished at 2pm, even though we took about an hour for lunch. Not bad!
After school we all walked down/rode our bikes to the entrance of the park where there’s a bigger playground. Of course the first day we go somebody rented it out and there’s a bouncy castle and all kinds of cake and stuff. Oh well. Jack didn’t fuss too much when I told him the bouncy castle wasn’t for us
Jack is now calling another woman Mommy. Traitor!
We’ve just seen the second wedding here at the campground!
26 March Sunday
5:14am I just woke up hearing creaking on Max’s ladder. I looked down the hall, but it’s dark so I couldn’t see anything. I shone my flashlight and I see Jack’s little head peeping over the rope and Max’s curtain. I made him come down, go potty, get in my bed and he’s yawning as big as his whole head. Hopefully we’ll both go back to sleep now.
Now, 5 minutes later, the dehumidifier beeped about 20 times to let me know it was full! Once would’ve been enough! I got up to empty that, and now hopefully back to sleep!
I’m reading my book and Jack just said Mom, get out of bed you old lazybones!
I made pancakes for the boys’ breakfast. Now we’ve just watched What’s In the Bible for church…I love that show! Looks like we may not get out of our pj’s today!! Success!