February 2018

Tj went to get Grandmom while I showered this morning. When they got here I started making eggs, crawfish sausage, toast, grits and tortillas for breakfast. It turned out tasting great, though the eggs were gray from being cooked in the sausage fat. Oh, well.

After breakfast Tj and I went to Target to get Grandmom’s new sim card. Then we went to WM for low carb chocolate milk and a few other groceries. Before we left Mr. Bill came over and asked if we wanted a rotisserie chicken when they went to Costco today. What a sweetie! I took him up on his offer; it was perfect timing, I wanted a rotisserie chicken for one of the meals we had left with Grandmom.

Once home Tj got to work on Grandmom’s new phone, and I washed dishes and did other mundane stuff. Max played with his new Legos he’d put together before Tj and I were up this morning, and Jack just played.

Other things that happened today: I visited with Bill and Lucy after they got back from Costco, we had a late lunch of chicken salad (which was awesome, if I do say so myself), Jack and I walked around the campground, and we all watched Ninjago.

When we were in Target Max reminded me that ‘Destination Unknown’ was tonight! If I’d put that on the calendar we’d have been more prepared, and maybe would have had Grandmom come another week. Whatever, it was tonight. The boys had a late lunch, and at 4:30 I took Max to the church.

‘Destination Unknown’ is a youth gathering where you pay $25 and they take your kid from 5pm till 9pm to a destination unknown. The cost includes activities and supper. They were told to bring a sombrero. Ok. So. For the last few weeks I’ve been looking for a sombrero, but not with much urgency. I then went to ‘The Russell Home For Atypical Children Thrift Store’, and lo and behold there were sombreros! There were no prices. I figured I’d pay a dollar for the sombrero for that activity. But as I stood in line waiting to check out I read the brochure about the woman who started this home, and how she wanted the best for these ‘atypical’ children, and I remembered how Tj told me recently that he’s been being more generous with his money. God has given us so much, and others have so little. Tj’s right, and I want to be as generous as he is. But when it was my turn and the guy said $3 I was surprised! He said there are a bunch more sombreros if you want some more, and I told him I didn’t want that one, but I needed it for my kid’s church activity. But then I exclaimed $3!! and he said $2, or whatever you’re willing to pay. I hope God thinks I was cheerful enough with that $2!! So tonight Max brought the sombrero. We arrived only 1 minute before time for the activity, and I was stressing that. The other kids were already there and eating…did they change the time verbally but not on paper? Did they tell Max but he forgot to tell me? Whatever. He gathered his stuff and got out of the truck. The youth pastor came over, and then chuckled and said he didn’t need the sombrero!!! What??!! I wasted $2 on a stupid sombrero he didn’t even need? I laughed so hard as I drove away. And then I called Mom and told her and we both laughed just as hard again.

When I got home I put the broccoli chicken ranch casserole in the oven, and then played Uno with Grandmom and Tj till supper was ready.

Oh, I forgot that we sold Jack’s old bike today! Tj got a text the other day about it. We bought it for $60 or $70 last June, but Jack is really too big for it now, and he can sort of ride Max’s bike with training wheels on it. So. Tj put Jack’s bike and the half bike on fb for sale. We hardly had any bites, and then day before yesterday someone offered $40 for it. Awesome! That’s what we were asking! Then she immediately backed down to $25, saying she didn’t know how to use the program. Whatever. There were a few texts back and forth, and then today she was going to come get it (to reward her kid for getting his immunizations). I assumed she’d try to get us down on the price when she saw the bike, so I tried to prepare Tj and me for that. She texted Tj that she was here about 20 minutes before we were going to leave to be early to meet her. Ugh. I was really expecting the worst. Then when we showed up to the office she’d texted she was at CVS, at the main road before our campground. Ugh Ugh. I just kept expecting worse and worse. When we got to CVS we couldn’t find her. We brought the bike over to 2 women having their car towed, and then realized what was going on and tried to act like it was nothing. Ha! Finally, after a minute or two, Tj saw her. She said wait right here, her husband was coming. I was expecting her to try to bargain us down hard while her kid tried the bike. Then her husband and kids came out, the kid got on the bike while the husband counted out the money. Ha! All of my negativity was unfounded!

Anyway, after supper Grandmom was ready to go home, and Jack looked like he was ready for bed. He’d taken a shower while I took Max to church, so he and Tj took Grandmom home while I washed the dishes. Then Tj hung out here for 15 minutes, and now he’s gone to pick up Max.

In other news I forgot to post yesterday, my phone camera is crap these days. For a long while it’s been fine, but in the last several weeks it’s having severe troubles focusing. I can’t get a clear picture to save my neck! It’s really sad to me. I rely on those pictures, especially now that we’re on such a cool adventure. I know it’s petty, but I’m jealous when Tj takes awesome pictures on his phone and I can’t take the same pics. All the pics from the Space Center are blurry when you zoom in! Tj wrote the company last night and they’re suggesting a hard reset of my phone. I guess we’ll try that before upgrading my phone. Man, I love technology. Until I hate it!

When Grandmom texted us she was awake Tj went to the bath house to shower and I got ready and prodded the boys a bit. It took us a little while to decide if we were going or not, but then we saw that the ‘Lunch with an Astronaut’ was only available today, so we went today. It was an hour drive to Cape Canaveral, so we brought the same toys as yesterday…crochet, iPads and 3DS. Oh, and this morning Tj got our mail and Reader’s Digest came in for Max (I forgot we got him that for Christmas!), so we brought that too.

The space center was awesome. I said at the beginning, and had to say again a few times, that we wouldn’t be able to see everything. There was just so much to see and do! We looked around the rocket garden and then went to a lecture by astronaut Bruce Melnick. I was bummed when he was the astronaut, because he was the astronaut who would lunch with us. Turns out he’s an awesome speaker! He loved what he did and it shows. He told us that one of his jobs as soon as they got into space was to photograph the fuel tank to check for damage so repairs could be made on future models, but he was so excited and awed by looking back at the earth that he forgot until the tank was pretty far away! He talked about how he and his fellow astronauts came up with a plan to grab an engine and repair it, but the ground crew didn’t like their plan; and then the next morning the ground crew introduced the plan as their own. He talked about the food they ate, and said that the shrimp cocktail was his favorite; he once kept marking the shrimp cocktail of a lower ranking buddy as his until he was caught. He talked a little about the hardship on the human body that coming back to earth presented. He said that they sometimes played jokes on each other…sometimes unstrapping someone while they slept so they were free floating when they woke up. It was a great speech.

Not long after that we had the luncheon. It was a buffet, and the food was good. There were several low carb things we could eat: salmon over cooked spinach, fried chicken, meatloaf in a wonderful sauce, salad and some kind of lemon green beans. There was a lot of variety besides that, though, and a big dessert table as well. Then Melnick came out for another talk mostly about the food. I didn’t realize they use liquid salt and pepper, and they don’t allow crumbly bread on the shuttle; they didn’t want any crumbs floating around to get in the equipment or in people’s eyes or throats. He repeated a few things from the first talk, but he was so animated and full of excitement about what he did that it was interesting even the second time.

After lunch we saw the space shuttle Atlantis. What a beast! It was amazing to see this thing that’s come and gone on 33 flights to space, and it still looks so good! We took a bus tour around the compound and got to see the Vehicle Assembly Building (the huge building where they build the rockets). There was a flag painted on the side of that building that was 21 stories tall!!! Each of the stripes on it was 9′ wide!!! The building itself is 525′ tall, the tallest single story building ever. Then we saw the crawler-transporter that brings the space shuttle from the building to the launch pad and back. The road it runs on is two tracks with grass in the middle. One of the tracks was longer than our bus! Amazing. It goes 1 mile an hour, and uses a gallon of diesel every 32′!! We also got to see some wildlife on the bus tour; 90% of the Kennedy Space Complex is a wildlife refuge. We saw several eagles in a nest, and a couple of alligators.

The whole place is amazing. It’s mind-boggling to realize what humans can do. It’s humbling that God allows us to maneuver so far into space, and he doesn’t force us to believe in him. He allows us to believe whatever we want. I don’t think I’d be such a benevolent god.

Grandmom bought Max a Lego shuttle, and Jack a light up spinner toy. There was still so much to see, but we were experiencing space mission overload, so we decided to head home. I looked us up a steak place, but the wait was an hour. We went to Golden Corral; Max has been wanting to go because they have a chocolate fountain!! That crazy kid, though, he was so tired he almost skipped the fountain! I insisted he go get dessert there, and he ended up eating several things covered in chocolate. Then he got the car keys and went out to the truck while we finished eating.

We are all whipped! We let the boys go to bed without showering. But that crazy Max (again) asked if he could stay up and make his new Legos! I know he would have powered through, but that kid needs sleep. It was a great day. And a much better day than yesterday.

Blue Spring and Daytona

I woke up at 8am to find that Grandmom had texted me at 7 that she was up! Oops! Maybe tomorrow she’ll text her son! Ha!

I quickly showered and Tj washed his hair and he headed over to get her. She wanted breakfast when she got here so we fixed her some peanut butter toast and camomile tea…we don’t have any creamer for her coffee, and the boys drank the last of the milk before she got here. Sorry Grandmom!

We headed out to Blue Spring to hopefully see some manatees. But we didn’t!! Although this is the time of year they’re often around none were sighted today. The trees and the moss were nicely gloomy with the overcast sky, though. We took a picture or two and walked the boardwalk. We looked in the gift shop and toured the nearby house of a famous Blue Spring person. Then we headed to South Daytona.

Blue Spring

We’d planned to go see the house Tj lived in when he was around 5 or 6, but early this morning Grandmom didn’t want to go because of the weather. After we’d been out for a while, and because we were already halfway there we decided to go ahead and check it out. I looked us up a seafood restaurant first, and it was a hit! I split a fried seafood platter with Jack and it was really good. I’m not normally a tarter sauce kinda girl, but I figured it would have fewer carbs than the cocktail sauce, so I liberally splashed it with hot sauce and dug in.

After lunch we hit the road. We found their old house, and the houses of several old friends on that same street. We drove the route Tj used to walk to school, and Google says it’s .8 miles. Then we headed to the beach. I hadn’t thought much about it, but now both boys have seen both oceans! That’s pretty cool! I got a seashell, but we quickly went back to the car. It was completely overcast and foggy, and a little chilly too. We took a picture, but I don’t know how well it turned out with that gray sky and water.

From there we went back to Abracadabra, the liquid nitrogen ice cream place, and I had the kind with coconut milk base, cinnamon, almonds and nutella. It was wonderful! It was an hour and a half to get there, so I snoozed about an hour, and worked on my dishtowel and Grandmom’s doily a bit on the drive as well.

We hit up WM for a few groceries and a new phone charger for Grandmom. We dropped her off at the hotel and came back home around 7:15. The boys immediately took a shower while I mixed up the broccoli chicken casserole we may have if it ever becomes convenient.

We hurried through school again today because we’re going to get Grandmom from the airport soon! Tj had his flight physical (which of course stressed him out), and then came home and picked us all up. We went to the second WM to look at glasses for Jack and I think we found some great ones! Hopefully if he pushes them down on his short little nose he’ll still be looking through the glasses and not the frames like he does now. They measured his pupillary distance a bit different from the doctor’s office, but they measured it twice, so hopefully they got it right. I rushed them at the end because we really needed to leave for the airport.

We left WM 7 minutes later than Tj wanted to, but I figured it would be ok. He was super stressed. He makes these grand plans, and is so super stressed while trying to make them work, and it’s hard to not be stressed when he’s so stressed. We got to the airport on time and he left us where Grandmom should walk out and he headed through security to meet her. Of course she changed plans without telling him…she checked a bag at the last minute thinking they wouldn’t check it, just put it at the front of the plane for her. And instead of calling us when the plane landed she went to baggage claim and got stressed when she couldn’t find her bag. Also, as luck would have it, the sound on my phone wasn’t loud enough for me to hear Tj calling me several times. Ugh. All in all it was an annoying time instead of the excited time I thought it would be. One day I’ll learn.

We went from the airport to the world’s largest McDonald’s!!! Heh. It has an arcade, an elevator that takes you to the playground, pizza, and who knows what else! Tj and I got some bunless burgers, the boys got a pizza and Grandmom got a burger and fries. We visited a lot there while the boys played and I worked on my red and white dishcloth. Grandmom has asked me to make her a doily for her lamp…I wonder if I can finish it before she goes home.

We went to Shades of Green next to get some tickets. We’re now ready to go to the Kennedy Space Center and to a mystery dinner this week with Grandmom. From there we went and checked Grandmom in to her hotel. She was ready for supper by that time, so we went to a Mexican place that had high ratings. It was pretty good, but I think I’d have been better off with fajitas on this low carb diet, or adding cheese to my chorizo instead of guacamole. Maybe next time.

We came back to the bus for a bit and talked about Grandmom’s new phone plan she should get, and which yarn to use for her doily, and then we were ready for bed so Tj and Jack took her home.

Wednesday

I let the boys sleep late this morning. Late nights are hard on us all, and we’re planning to stay home today so it should work out.

School was fine, Max finished up early even with such a late start!

Low carb started again today. We had meats and cheeses for lunch. I’ve made a meal plan and Tj and I are going on a grocery shopping date after lunch.

Well, Tj decided to clean the black tank after lunch…it really needed it! It seems like our toilet paper is too thick for the time it spends in the tank, and we’re getting a faint smell when we flush the toilet, so we want to head this off before it becomes a problem. We went back and forth and did some internet research on what to put into the tank. We put some dawn down there, and now that we’ve ordered some stuff from Amazon I think the dawn may have done the trick! Heh. We’ll see.

We headed out for groceries. We bought most of our list from Aldi; this is the first time I’ve remembered to put the freezy packs into the truck. We stopped at WM for a couple of things Aldi was out of, and also for a dog collar to fix Jack’s ID bracelet. The silicone was starting to tear, and I found a collar that looks about the same size as the bracelet.

When we got out of the truck I could see water running out of the bus!!! Argh! We had just enough time before church to finagle the groceries into the fridge, and Max had already made some sandwiches for the boys to eat on the drive. In the end we didn’t have time to figure out the leak and go to church, so we had to skip church. Thankfully there’s no leak inside the bus. It seems like a check valve may have gotten stuck in the open position which allowed the freshwater tank to fill, and the overflow is flowing outside, like it’s supposed to do. Ugh. It’s hot and muggy outside. I sat the boys down to their supper and took some drinks out for Tj and me. After supper he was about to give up on the leak for the evening and we were getting ready to go to the hot tub when it started pouring rain! We started the boys showering and getting ready for bed, and when the rain quit we went to the hot tub. There was another homeschooling family there, and later we were joined by 3 other adults. We had great conversations for the 30 minutes they all stayed. Tj and I didn’t stay much longer after they left. The hot tub is such a nice down time for us!

Thursday

Well obviously my blog isn’t completely finished yet. I’ll just keep updating my blog on my phone and update it when it’s back up for good.

Jack keeps praying thank you God for my BIRTHDAY!!! He prays that almost every day since Max’s birthday, and he’s so excited when he prays it! Silly kid!

Some fulltimers made plans to meet at the Lego store at noon, so we finished up school, had a quick lunch and headed over there. I visited with Rose a bit while Max did his thing. Jack made some cars and raced them, and I kinda talked Max into buying a small bucket of Legos. He also brought all his minifigures because you can trade them there! He didn’t trade any, though; he already loves all his guys.

We walked down the strip there at Disney Springs, stopping here and there at all the cool Star Wars stores. We planned on riding the tethered hot air balloon, but when we got back to it it was shut down due to excessive winds.

When we got home we decided to watch Avatar with Max while Jack sat back on the bed and watched his movies. I’d forgotten how many cuss words there were in that movie!

Tonight we took the kids to the hot tub, and our friends were there (Mom, Matt, Alex, Kate and Carter). We never let our kids get in the hot tub, but the last 3 nights their kids have been in the hot tub when we’ve gone there, so tonight we let ours come. They’re a cute little family just starting out homeschooling and fulltiming to see if they like it. We’ve had lots of fun conversations with them.

Friday

Jack had his eye appointment today. We did our school quickly and then he and I headed out there. Jack is nearsighted with astigmatism in both eyes. The doctor was super nice and explained everything I needed him to. We paid extra for 2 tests not covered by our insurance, but one of the tests required that Jack press a button when he saw a light. Yeah, he’s not reliable enough for that test.

We looked at glasses after that, but there was nothing there that fit him. The woman there said we should try the mall or a specialty shop.

Later this afternoon Tj, Jack and I headed back to Ace to see if they had another part for the shower. They didn’t. Ugh. Things are close here, but the traffic is horrendous! And people drive so wacky! So slow in the fast places and fast in the slow places. And the lane changes…I’m getting better at it, I guess. I used to just stick to one lane, but I’m starting to do like the locals and change lanes obsessively, and I’m moving faster now.

Saturday

We all slept in, and it was wonderful! My massage was at 10am, so I hurried up and left. They charged me $10 more for the same massage Tj got, but it was so good! Tina was our girl, and she was great. There were 2 bars bolted over the massage table with 4 short ropes hanging from the bars. At times Tina massaged with her hands, but there were other times when she used her feet, and used those ropes to hold herself up. Wow! I loved it! The only thing I didn’t love was feeling her fingernails sometimes…I guess every other massage therapist has had super short nails because that’s the first time I’ve felt that.

After my massage I came home and fixed lunch for us all. Then Tj wanted to nap, so he did while the boys played and I left to go thrifting. Sadly I found nothing great! Bummer. I went to the grocery store on the way home while Tj made more low carb tortillas. While at Wal-Mart I checked on how quickly I could get in and get a haircut. Since there was no wait I got my first professional cut in a year and 4 months! I like it, I think. It took her an hour! Kassie used to take half an hour, but then she’s been cutting my hair for 9 years!!

I also looked in on glasses for Jack in case this place had more than the other Wal-Mart. The woman who helped us, Solymar, was super helpful. She explained what each of the numbers meant, and guessed at what would suit Jack best. I asked her when she’d be working again and we’ll go there when she’s available.

Sunday

Tj bought tickets for Grandmom to come visit this week. Only thing is we were supposed to go fishing some time this week. I tried hard to not be disappointed, but I’m kinda excited (and nervous just because it’s a new thing) to go. I prayed during the night that I’d let that go and accept whatever God wanted to happen with this situation.

After church I went to introduce Tj to Rich and Rich almost immediately apologized and asked that we move the trip later! He had a lot of appointments this week so that would be easier for him. It’s awesome when I can just let go of my problems, when I truly give them to God. But so many times I just keep worrying or being annoyed when things don’t go the way I think they should.

We drove by Willie’s at 12:20 and there were 4 cars in the parking lot and another turning in. I wanted to go eat there, but Tj wasn’t in the mood today. Stupid place.

Monday

Today was just a crummy day all over. The shower is still giving us trouble. I think this has to be a part that every RV uses, but Tj can’t find it anywhere. Ordering it online is so tricky because of the various parts and their various sizes. I think we’re up to buying 4 replacements, some of which almost fit, and some others don’t fit at all. Whatever. The 2 boys and I are able to shower right now just fine, but I’m sure as we use it the fitting is getting looser and will eventually need tightening or will just stop holding water altogether.

The boys had their dentist visit today. Even though I handed their paperwork in when I went there, and signed everything they asked me to sign, they had no record of that. So I signed everything again. They took them both back at the same time even though they said they wouldn’t. Both boys were without cavities, and need to floss more. But overall they had good check-ups. After we’d driven away the girl called back and asked that we return and sign a paper saying we’d had the check-ups and owed them no money. Whatever!

We went to Hobby Lobby and I got some red and white yarn to make some dishcloths. Then we went to Home Depot to see if they had a part for our shower. They don’t. We came home and I took the boys to the pool. Jack drank too much pool water. It seemed like he was gonna throw up so I went to him and told him to get out of the pool. After a few times of that I finally reached him and yanked him out just enough so that he threw up over the side. It was no food, just pool water. I called Tj cause I couldn’t figure out what to do now…I didn’t see a hose or a bucket nearby. Tj said I should just wipe it up with a towel. That boy is gonna be the death of me yet!

The boys showered at the bath house and then played outside while I made pizza for them and mushrooms and burgers for us.