December 2017

6 December Wednesday

These last few days have been wonderful! The boys finish school by about 1pm, they play outside while I make lunch (as long as it’s not raining), we eat, and then we have the rest of the day to read, color, play or rest! Max colored a t-shirt today and I started on another kitchen towel. Jack and Max have made a big marble tower and played with it several times. TJ has pulled his laptop out a couple of times and played games on it. It’s been so relaxing.

Monday Max told me he hadn’t completed his reading I’d assigned him for his book report…he had about 5 minutes left, but he’d had a week to finish it. He’d had time to play Legos, but not enough time for his book. TJ and I took away his Legos and are giving him different classics to read until Friday.

TJ’s still working on the new lock. This door has always need a push to get it to latch or unlatch. This new lock has a fob to unlock remotely, and that won’t work if we have to be there to push the door into place. I hope he can get it fixed…he can also program one of my truck buttons to lock/unlock the bus.

Today we went through all our keys and labeled them. We have a mini panic every time we get ready to go to the storage unit. Since each time is so far in between it’s hard to remember which key is which.

There’s a 40% chance of snow Friday! I’ll be so surprised if we see any…but the boys will be so excited!

7 December Thursday

I tried to return some pj’s I’d picked up for Max…they turned out too small. We’ve gotten really good at scanning in all the receipts from Wal-Mart, and then when I return something the receipt is on my phone. This time the lady scanned the receipt on my phone and it wasn’t there! And the pj’s were lower priced…I would lose $4 if I returned them without a receipt. Ugh. When I got home I scoured the truck and bus for the receipt, and when Tj scanned the pj’s in my phone (exactly like the lady at WM had done) he found them! Well, at least I won’t lose any money.

Then I took forever to figure out what size underwear Jack needed. While I was in that super narrow aisle (only big enough for a buggy, not for 2 to pass) and old dude came in the other end of the aisle and just started ramming my buggy! I just stood there and looked at him incredulously, and he said oh, is this your buggy? I said yes. He said oh, I didn’t know it was your buggy. Jack and I were the only ones in that aisle, and there was only 1 buggy, and we were about 5′ from the buggy. I said well, next time why don’t you say is this your buggy instead of ramming it? I’m not proud of myself, I should have been nice to him even if he was a butt.

I tried a new pasta recipe tonight…but it was a bust. Oh well. I like trying new recipes.

8 December Friday

I slept from 9:45-6:45!!!!

We just woke up and Jack keeps saying it IS snow! It IS snow table! It IS snow playground!

We did some school today, not a full day though; there was just too much snow to let it go to waste! In CO I kept saying I’d never seen such fat, fluffy, wet snowflakes. Well, God sure has shown me! These are even more fat, fluffy and wet! They’re beautiful. There’s almost nothing more peaceful than a quiet snowfall.

9 December Saturday

We hemmed and hawed a while, but decided to chance the roads to Jo’s. She’d asked if we would trade babysitting with her because they had tickets that were expiring soon. We dropped the boys off and headed to the Korean BBQ place for lunch. TJ didn’t want to risk being out after dark because of black ice, so we didn’t stay long at Jo’s. We stopped by Kroger on the way home to get some cokes.

We walked around the campground and discussed whether we were going to clean the snow off the roof or let it sit. Tj’s read that it starts to be trouble when it gets to 12″, but we can see that the weight has pulled the awnings over the slide outs all the way down. We just got that slide out awning fixed, I’d hate to mess it up again with all that snow! As we walked we saw 2 campers with their regular awning left out, now bent in half by the weight of the snow. Poor people. By the time we got back to the bus I’d had an epiphany…I should get up on top of the bus, not Tj. If Tj falls off and breaks something he wont be able to fly; he’ll likely miss work for 2 months. If I fall off and break something it’ll be a major pain, but we’ll muddle through. Tj didn’t like it, but it made the most sense.

He climbed up the ladder and swept a bit of the snow off, and thought it was doable. So I layered on as much as I could and got to work. Grandmom had given me some rubber mats so I took 2 of them to kneel on as I went along. I never stood up, just crawled along the whole length of the bus. In the end the long wash brush and the dust pan worked best for getting the snow off. As I pushed the snow off the previously broken awning it wound itself back up around the rod; we were so relieved! By the time I was ready to get down there was a new layer of snow I had to clean off to make my way back to the ladder. When we got finished we measured the snow on the truck and it was 12″!!! That’s more than we got in CO!!

10 December Sunday

We packed and moved today. Everything went fine at first, and then it went kinda haywire for a bit. The office took forever to check me out, but Tj wasn’t in a hurry. Of course by the time I got back to the bus he’d remembered he should be checking the tire pressure. And they were all low because of the low temps. And then the air compressor wouldn’t work. Then we tried the compressor from the truck and after it was all plugged in Tj remembered that it only worked with car power not house. Then after I’d put that up Tj figured maybe it was our beat up extension cord not giving us enough power, so I got us 2 cords to plug together and the big compressor worked fine. Then after he aired up the first tire he realized it was losing pressure…the hose had cracked. Then he could only air up 2 more and it cracked too much to get any air in. Wow! We drove on flatter tires then, and all was fine.

Then when we got here they’re only letting us pay weekly, not monthly, so it’s more expensive. And it took us about an hour to level! It never takes that long, but this site was a little wonky. This is only about the 3rd time we had to raise the back, but the driver’s side was also a little low. We put blocks in what we thought was the logical place, but every time we upped one side or end we completely ruined the level of the other side or end. Ugh. We tried 3 different configurations of blocks before we got it right. But hopefully this time we’re leveled for good! After we’d been in the last place for a couple of weeks I mentioned to Tj that the bus was leaning to the passenger side, and then he couldn’t not see it (though it hadn’t really bothered him up to that point). It was leaning so badly that my cakes baked unlevel! He re-leveled it and all was well.

Oh, when I was checking out the woman took a phone call. She was telling the caller lots of gripes about the old man who works the desk sometimes…said he’d really messed up the register and she should expect a migraine when she came in the next day. While she was talking she was adding my total and I caught her transposing the numbers, so she fixed that. Then she gave us back some money. Tonight after supper she called to say we actually owed them money. Heh. Who messed up the register?

11 December Monday

Today we did school, and then made foods to bring to Mom’s for supper tonight. Max packed his clothes to spend the week there, but then when we were 3/4 of the way there I asked Max if he had his school. Of course he didn’t. He asked Tj why he hadn’t brought his laptop! Max had packed everything but didn’t put his laptop next to the other bags he’d packed. Tj said well, I guess he can’t stay the week! I knew he was right, but oh the agony!

Our supper turned out well, despite some mistakes. I forgot to put the mushrooms on the Aussie chicken, and it cooked faster than I expected, but thankfully it was still moist and tasted great. Tj made stuffed mushrooms…those turned out great.

12 December Tuesday

Mom came and got me at 9am for thrifting!!! I bought 2 shirts, 2 jackets, black and brown boots, some shorts for Max and a sheepskin rug “for Jack”.

Tj took the boys to Mom’s and Max will spend another week there. At 4:15 we went to Jo’s to keep her boys. She and Ted had tickets to a dinner theater. Her boys were fine, but they went to bed before Jo and Ted got home. Tj ordered us a pizza for supper.

I’ve said all along that Jack gets enough knowledge of God and Jesus from us, so this is why I don’t mind if he goes into different grades of classes at church. I don’t depend on the church to teach him what he needs to know in this area. But I’ve realized recently that I’ve been lacking in my teaching. Maybe. I definitely haven’t taught him as much as Max knew by this age, but I also don’t think he’d understand as much. We’ve taught him that God made everything, and that God loves him, and that disobeying is wrong, but not anything more specific than that. The other day we were standing by the large nativity scene outside the Jellystone office so I told him who the people were. There have been a few other times we’ve talked about Mary and Joseph and Jesus. I’ve also started telling him that Jesus is God. Well, today Tj and Jack were looking at the phone and a picture of the president came up. Tj asked Jack who that was and Jack said God!! That made me feel like I still don’t need to give him much more information now!

16 December Saturday

Today we celebrated Christmas. Tj goes to work tomorrow so we headed to Mom’s a bit early and the boys opened their presents. Tj bought Max a Millennium Falcon “Lego” set! We bought him 3 shirts. Jack got a sheepskin rug and 2 cars.

Kelly, Avery and Eric were there. Jo and her boys, us and Mom and Papa. Merry Christmas! We ate fried turkey, sweet potato casserole, cheesy bread, green salad, broccoli casserole, dressing and Alton’s french onion dip. Jo brought flourless chocolate cake and lemon fluff. Kelly brought spiced nuts and peanut butter chocolate fudge. She also brought everything except the cream to make pralines. Sigh.

I thought all the snow was gone but saw some on the way to the theater. We saw the new Star Wars tonight! It was good, but not quite as good as Rogue One.

17 December Sunday

Snuggling with us this morning Jack said I’ll be a BB8. I’ll be a R2D2, a Yoda, a Leia, a Skywalker I want a lightsaber. After each thing he would make the sound they made. Ha!

Jack prayed for us this morning: thank you Daddy for playground, you’re welcome Jack for playground.

We left today to take Tj to the FedEx ramp. After dropping him off and heading off to the restaurant he told me that the electricity was cut off at the Atlanta airport and that his flight might be cancelled! The boys and I had supper at a Mediterranean place…yum! We had a gyro with mustard taziki sauce, greek salad, souvlaki and awesome seasoned french fries. When we’d just finished eating Tj asked me to pick him up! He’d considered driving to Memphis but there are enough flights that it makes more sense for him to try to get another flight tomorrow.

18 December Monday

Tj said last night that we’d leave the house around 10:30am to go back to the airport. But when he got up he decided we should leave right away. I already had a lunch place and menu picked out! Oh well. Max packed to stay again at Gran and Pawpaw’s, so we went there after the airport.

Oh, the airport. It was crazy! This time we went to Delta, not the FedEx ramp. Tj didn’t specify and Google sent us to the international terminal. We had to go 2 miles on the highway to get back around to the domestic terminal! And then when we got to the drop off area Tj just got out of the truck…the traffic was horrendous. I was in the 2nd from the right lane, and then someone on my left pulled across my lane blocking 2 lanes and had their people unload their luggage. People from the right lane then proceeded to cross in front of us and them to exit. It was so crazy! It was also crazy that the Atlanta traffic in general was less crazy today than yesterday. Who would’ve thought that Monday at 9:30am would be less traffic than Sunday 2pm?!

We went to Mom’s and spent a good while there. Max finished his Millennium Falcon. Mom fed us leftovers, and then we went to walk. When we left I took Jack to a Chic-fil-a playground for a couple of hours. When we got home I got busy doing all the things I do when Tj leaves…laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. It never ends, not even in a tiny house!

19 December Tuesday

Papa ground down my cast iron skillet the other day. Sunday morning I made funnel cakes for the 2nd time in it. Last night I put a couple of coats of grapeseed oil on it. It feels like glass! I got adventurous (and stupid) and cooked Jack’s egg on it this morning, and it stuck!!! Like concrete! I scrubbed it for at least 10 minutes with salt and the green scrubber and it’s better, but not great. I guess I’ll have Papa sand it again and then I’ll do the whole seasoning process in the oven.

Mom picked me up at 9am and we went to McKay’s in Chattanooga…what a store! I want to go there when we get a house and fill my new house with books! I brought back about 5 of those classics I’d bought Max at a Goodwill and got $4 store credit! I bought a few novel/recipe books and gave the rest to Mom. We went to 2 Goodwills after that, and then to a Goodwill outlet where some guy there told me how to really shop that place. I’ll be searching out outlets now! We had lunch at an awesome BBQ place, Thatcher’s. The brisket was wonderful, and I had fried green tomatoes and tater tots on the side. At our last Goodwill I found a robe…almost a kimono. I also bought a blue jean skirt that Mom will sew an edge on like Sara Lu’s. Oh, we also stopped at a foreign food place and I picked up a palate cleanser. It’s pretty yummy!

20 December Wednesday

Jack and I had an awesome rainy day. We did a little school, I pinned and wore my new kimono, and I cleaned out the whole bus looking for things we should put in storage. I read a good bit, and snoozed after lunch, Jack played marbles and magnets. It was wonderfully peaceful.

26 November Sunday

We stayed home from church today and watched FBC instead. It was nice to have a break. I was in a black place yesterday by the time I got Tj. He makes everything better!

27 November Monday

I finally made Jack ride his bike. I wasn’t sure how it would go around here, there’s blacktop but also pretty steep grades. There are 3 ovular roads that go around the campground. When we started riding I saw that the inner ring is fairly flat and only the outer 2 are steep. We walked his bike to the inner ring, and then he started crying when I made him ride! I couldn’t believe it. I fussed a bit, and we even had to go back to the bus for a minute. In the end though, he rode around the whole inner oval. I told him that if he could ride the whole way without fussing or crying he’d get some ice cream.

After he finished riding I let him play on the playground here. We brought 2 balls for him to roll down the slide. The playground is near a fenced in pond with trees encircling it and several ducks swim there. After he played a while he came to tell me he’d thrown his balls in the pond! He still has no concept of the fact that I can’t fix everything, and that putting his toys in hard to reach places sometimes means he loses them. When we were in NJ he took the 3 balls that came with the new toy Grandmom bought him and put them behind the baseboard under the kitchen cabinets!!!! They rolled back to the back of the cabinets, completely out of reach. Grandmom has a ball thrower for her dogs… basically a long handled cup. She leant it to me and I got those balls out. With the pond situation though, I’ve told Jack we can’t get that ball. Every time he rides his bike by the pond he mentions his ball. Crazy kid.

We went shopping for a few things tonight and then had burgers at Cook Out like in TN. They had just as good a flavor!

Tj bought us some awesomely thick steaks today. He’s gonna dry age them 3 days before cooking them. Yum!

28 November Tuesday

Braxton (or Joseph? Max later clarified it was Braxton.) came by today and asked where Max was. When he found out he wouldn’t be back before Friday he asked if Jack could go to the playground with him. I told him yes, but that Jack didn’t watch for cars so he should take care of him. As they were leaving he asked Jack if he wanted to ride his bike (since Braxton had his) and it was super sweet to see them both riding together!! Jack fell down and Braxton waited for him to get back on. So sweet!

30 December Thursday

Tj cooked our steaks for lunch today. I bought us another chimney starter for him to use. I made baked potatoes and cooked spinach for our sides. These steaks were the thickest he’s ever cooked and they came out great!

After a light school day Tj and I made another chocolate cake with homemade whipped cream, raspberries and black frosting. I made 7-layer salad…we’ll bring these two things to Gran’s tomorrow when we pick up Max.

1 December Friday

We left a little early to drive our next route…Tj got us a place only 20 minutes from Mom! It’s a good route except for the last 4 miles, of course.

Mom and Papa used their new-ish air fryer to fry the turkey. She also had beets, rolls and cauliflower fixed like mashed potatoes.

I brought my hair cutting stuff and after lunch I sat outside and had Mom show Tj how to cut my hair. He did a great job!

We looked in the closet at the stuff we’ve stored at Mom’s. I saw a bucket and wondered aloud if there were legos in there…and there were! Max spent a whole week in that bedroom and never thought to see what was in the bucket!

When Max got there last Friday he and Pawpaw put their heads together and came up with a plan for him to work and earn money…so they went to Wal-Mart the first night (black Friday) and Pawpaw fronted Max the money to buy a huge lego set that night. He played with his legos all week and could’ve had even more!

Around 4pm we loaded Max’s stuff into the truck and headed over to the storage unit to see how our stuff looks. It’s pretty cool seeing it all again. I’m only slightly grossed out by the number of dead roaches at each of the roach traps, but that’s because I refuse to think of it for too long. We dug around a bit and brought home a bean bag, some soap, and a couple of pj’s for Jack. Heh.

I so, so, so miss my wonderful bed. And regular sized kitchen. And, and, and…. But absolutely not enough to want to settle down in a house.

We counted the episodes of Lost we have left and it’s too many to finish before Tj goes back to work. Unless we watch 3 episodes a day. No.

2 December Saturday

I went to some thrift stores today, but didn’t find anything worthwhile. I bought groceries and came home.

3 December Sunday

Church was good. Nap was good. Nothing extraordinary about this day.

In the evening I got ready for school tomorrow and saw that Max has all A’s so far this year!!! We’ve had such a rocky time since CO, I’m thankful he’s been able to get some good work in. He’s even pulled his grade up a little bit.

4 December Monday

We had a good school day today. Tj got his door lock in today and started working on that while I went to the grocery store. Jack rode his bike 3 times around the inner oval without much fussing.

We went to the Georgia Express Diner again for supper. The last time we were here my chopped sirloin was awesome! This time it was overcooked. It still had a great flavor, but it was well done. I didn’t send it back because it tasted so good, and because it took so long for us to get our meal…I think they were having trouble in the kitchen.

5 December Tuesday

I realized I haven’t been taking my Flonase and I’m still doing good, thankfully.

TJ took the boys to get their flu shots today; I stayed behind and gave myself a mani-pedi. I tried to get Jack a flu shot when I got mine last week but GA law says kids have to have a prescription. Fortunately AL doesn’t have that law, and we’re 30 minutes from the border…so off to AL they went!

Jack just said my pants is tricky…he has trouble with the button.

I made pot roast like Mrs Paula tonight, but it didn’t turn out as good as hers. I cooked it in the instant pot for 70 minutes, and even though the meat was falling apart so much that I couldn’t pull it out of the pot, it was tough! TJ cooked it another 20 minutes and declared it perfect. I’ve adjusted my recipe and we’ll try it again! Oh, I also left out the onions!!!!!! Doh. But the celery, carrots and potatoes were awesome.