4 September Monday
I cut my hair today, and it went ok. Hopefully I’ve remembered to check everything.
5 September Tuesday
I washed our swimsuits today…I think we’re officially done with swimming. The weather’s been in the mid-80’s for a couple of days and when we left this morning I really wanted a long sleeve!
Today was a crazy school day…Monarch was having major trouble. After struggling a little bit I decided we could do school Saturday and we should go to Silver Dollar City today!! What an adventure! We got our stuff together and pulled away, and then I thought about checking their hours. They’re closed today! Wah!
Since Monarch still wasn’t loading we went with our second errand and went to get my school log laminated and bound. We stopped at the grocery store across the street from the office store and went in for just cokes, and walked out with $70 of cokes, cheese and meats. Wow.
We managed to do most of our school today, and I had time for a snooze, too.
6 September Wednesday
Well, I didn’t check everything the other day, and I can tell that my hair is a tad longer on one side than the other. Before my shower I tried to trim the long side just a bit, and of course I jacked it up. I asked Max to help me fix it. I told him he couldn’t mess it up. I’d already messed it up and all he had to do was cut a straight line. It was angled down towards my chin a bit, and if he just cut the front straight the length of the back we should be good. I showed him how to comb the wet hair down, then hold the hair and cut it under his fingers. Then when he actually cut it it was so much hair! I told him he didn’t mess it up, but to give me the scissors and I went to the back and trimmed the rest. Heh. What a debacle!! He also said my hair felt like bacon. Not a compliment. I think it was the conditioner. Anyway, I managed to get it livable. Later I called Mom and made sure she’ll help me cut it myself when we’re there.
Jack is beginning to understand same/different. Finally. I remember all of those mornings putting up dishes in the house in Cabot and trying to explain same/different with the dishes. Part of the problem is they could be the same size but different colors, there are so many parts to same different, it’s hard to know where to start. The problem we’re having now is that I’m using the same and different sheets to also teach 1st 2nd 3rd last Etc. So when I ask him which row is last he wants to point and say this object is different. So the fundamental problem is he doesn’t pay attention to what I’m asking, he just does what he thinks I want based on what I wanted in the past. This is a long-standing problem. Another thing he often does is talks over anyone, I think he just lives in his own world. It’s going to take a long time to get him out us.
7 September Thursday
Monarch was still a little slow, but Max finished at 2:30. We went thrifting and found a set of Star Wars phonics books and Oh/pig for Jack, and a green upwards shirt for Max just like the one Jack already has.
After grocery shopping at WM Max spontaniously thanked me/us for buying him legos and giving him money to buy more, so I told him this morning that I had decided to not take him out to eat, but because of that now he could go out to eat but not get a coke. He really needs to work on being grateful.
Max said as we were getting ready for bed, I’m completely different now. Before my computer time was cut completely off all I wanted to do was minecraft or other computer things. Now all I want to do is Legos, or read, and I think I enjoy reading more. Nice!! I like this life more too, honestly. I think these things are a more creative outlet than Minecraft, though that has some creativity involved for sure.
8 September Friday
We saw a couple with a couple of dogs playing in front of the bus today. I asked Jack who is throwing the frisbee? He said dog. I said no, who’s throwing the frisbee? He said dog, again. I said the dog caught the frisbee, who threw it? Nothing. I said did I throw it? He said no. I said did you throw it? He said no. Who threw it? He said dog again. Ugh. I told him the man threw it. We talked about other dog stuff for a couple of seconds and I asked him again who threw the frisbee and he said dog again. It’s funny what he can’t understand or word correctly sometimes. I asked him how the dog caught the frisbee. He didn’t know what to say. I asked if the dog caught the frisbee with his hands and he said yes. Then I told him the dog caught the frisbee with his mouth.
We went to Pickn Porch grill for lunch for the last time. The pulled pork fries are my favorite! It’s a bit of seasoned fries with cheese, BBQ beans, pulled pork, green onions and barbecue sauce on top. They serve it with sour cream and jalapenos on the side. I don’t even eat any sour cream because what’s already there is just so awesome! From there we headed to Silver Dollar City, and played till we closed the place down!
For supper Max asked for cinnamon toast, so I made Pioneer Woman’s recipe. That stuff is just awesome!
9 September Saturday
We had the rest of the cinnamon toast for breakfast, and then lazed around all day. Max had 2 units of school left to do, but he got this done really quickly. Jack and I played Play-Doh for a while. At one point he also just said, “I’m finished, do you want it Mom?”
I went for a walk and my second time around Max asked me why I had two pair of sunglasses on?! Heh, I didn’t realize I did. Old age.
10 September Sunday
I was clipping Jack’s fingernails and he said, “When I finish with my last toenail I’ll put it (the paper plate I was cutting onto) in the garbage can!” It’s so awesome to hear whole sentences come out of his mouth that are understandable and relevant to the current goings on.
11 September Monday
Max asked if we could do school outside, and I was excited to use my new pretty sheet I got off of Amazon for the first time as a picnic blanket. We hauled all our stuff out there, and after the boys took a pixie-stick and swing break we did more school outside. But honestly that didn’t last long. Sitting on the ground just isn’t ever comfortable for a long time without a lot of pillows. We were probably out there only about an hour or so and we hauled it back in. Heh.
Monarch is still acting up a bit, so school lasted a little longer today than usual. This year, so far, we start around 9:20 and finish a little after 1pm with a few 15-minute breaks for swinging or jumping or dancing. Max and I sat down Saturday and looked over his week to even out his days; I think we’ll be doing that every week. It’s making the week go smoother for sure. I’m also watching Max on the iPad off and on all school day, grading as I can, and keeping on top of his school. I try to get Jack to finish up around the same time as Max, and then we usually eat lunch after school.
12 September Tuesday
This morning Max and I were talking and I misunderstood him. I asked him who this we was he was talking about…he should’ve done something alone. He said I am Legion…we are many!!!!!
Jack and I drove 30 minutes away and came back with a sleep number bed!!! I pray it’s super comfortable, and that I didn’t waste our money!! I decided to put this matress on top of the camper matress and the foam topper to check it out for a couple of days, but boy is it tall! No more sitting on the bed to work on the computer!
At lunch Jack said very slowly, “I want to be finished with my cole slaw please Mama.”
After lunch at Danna’s Max asked to go thrifting…he wants to look at cross necklaces. I was telling him that I didn’t like necklaces/earrings/bracelets on boys, and we were bantering back and forth, and I said if he got one I’d rip it off and shove it in his ear and he said oh, good, then I’d have an earring! The sass is strong with this kid!!!!
Man, one of the hardest things as a mother is to pay attention to everything that needs to be done right now. Or to learn how to tell some things/people to just wait. I’m doing school with Jack, and helping Max as well, and sometimes Tj will text me at the same time, or I’ll try to jot down something funny the kids have said so I don’t forget…my poor head can’t handle all that all at once!!! Often I let the stress of the moment get to me…but I’m trying hard to tell Max (or Jack) to wait while I finish one thing. I have a bad habit of just ignoring Jack (but not very efficiently) and trying to work with Max. I need to get better at making Jack be quiet when others are talking.
14 September Thursday
This morning during Jack’s school there were three cards with sentences. Sam builds the tower high. Sam builds the tower higher. Sam builds the tower highest. I told Jack a few examples, we can also say tall, taller, tallest. We can also say short, shorter, shortest. And after maybe one more example he said small, smaller, smallest! And then he gave one more example! I couldn’t believe it! He’s really getting this!
I used Flonase today. I’m starting to sneeze a bit more lately, so hopefully this will help out.
We hurriedly finished school and scarfed down lunch and headed over to the doctor’s office. This is our first appointment in a year! I’m a little worried that even though I’ve told them exactly what I want (to walk out with 6 prescriptions) they’ll say that’s not possible because this first office visit is just to establish care. I’m trying to give this worry over to God and let it go.
After the appointment we went to a couple of thrift stores and scored Halloween costumes for the boys (Pizza Steve for Jack and a Jedi robe for Max), and a beautiful limoge box with drawers the cashier told me was from a wealthy Korean exchange student.
We went to Chic-fil-a to play on the playground for a bit, and to wait for Tj’s plane. He finally contacted me saying he was leaving. The boys and I headed out to pick him up, and of course 15 minutes before we get there Max asked me if we were going to the airport or the FedEx terminal. Doh!!!! Sometimes I amaze myself. I’d spent so much time trying to figure out when to arrive I hadn’t paid attention to the fact that he was coming in comerically.
15 September Friday
We had a horrible nights sleep! The matress arrangement we used is just meant to be temporary, and it’s a good thing. We have the foam topper on top, then the sleep number, then the old rv matress. I fell to the middle all night! I’m really praying that once we move the RV mattress out it’ll make all the difference, otherwise I just wasted our money!!
Tj put Jack in our bed sometime in the middle of the night while he went to the couch to play on the computer…he’s super jet-lagged. He fell asleep and slept til about 9:45. After a bit of snuggling we started school; I made breakfast for the boys and had Max do school while he ate breakfast.
We met Alan and Dawn for lunch at IHOP. Max had finished his 4 school lessons and made 100% on all of them! TJ let him have a Coke at home for that :-) We had a great visit with Alan and Dawn, and only left when the boys got restless. We debated what to do next to keep Tj awake and get him back on our schedule. After looking online we saw that Silver Dollar City was having a military promotion so TJ got in free! He and I rode a few rides, then I took Jack to the ball room while TJ and Max rode some rides. We met back up for another ride with all 4 of us, then I went off on my own to see the handicrafts while the boys hung out together till close.
As Tj was getting his ticket I took Jack to the bathroom. He and I each got our own stalls right next to each other. When I was finishing up I heard him counting, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 poops!!!!!!” he exclaimed with so much excitement! Then he counted 4 poops, then 6, then 5 again…so I’m not sure how many there actually were, but it sounds like the boy needs more water.
We looked online and found a good place for ice cream for supper. Then we browsed Dicks 5 & 10, and then went home and went to bed.
16 September Saturday
Today’s our anniversary! We had a little bit of work to do for our move tomorrow, and then we left instructions for the boys and we went out to lunch. We went to Coulee’s and had another awesome steak. We met the people we bought the bed from and got the manual from them.
After lunch we dropped off our old mattress at Goodwill, and then bought groceries (and a new set of Legos for Max, with his money).
We had an uneventful afternoon at home, and then decided to go out again for supper. I fixed supper for the boys and we headed out to a diner where I had cobbler a la mode, and Tj had a cheeseburger and then ice cream. We looked around in a nearby leather store since it was there. I had been wondering if we got Tj a nice leather belt if it would last longer, and Tj saw one in this store that would work, but it didn’t have any holes punched. When we told the lady about it she got it ready to punch, but couldn’t find her red pen to mark it. After watching her fumble around for a bit we left…I think her thinking was a bit impaired, if you know what I mean.
17 September Sunday
We left Ozark Country Campground after getting a new tank of propane there. The guy said that we were really empty, I guess a full day of releasing propane into the bus will do that to you! Fortunately the drive was fine, and we planned to stop at the same Denny’s we stopped at on the way in. So we had a really late lunch, and therefore weren’t hungry for the ribs we planned to make for supper. We walked around the campground a little bit after setting up, but came in because of the mosquitoes. TJ and Max cleaned out the water heater again since it seems like it’s been leaking still. We had Smorgasbord for supper, and watched a creation video for church.
18 September Monday
Slough Creek Corps of Engineer park was fine. Many of the sites were fairly unlevel and completely gravel, and we considered asking for a different site. But our site was long enough that we were able to back into the part that was level enough. We used three blocks under each front tire and then the bus was perfectly level. The area was beautiful, lots of green grass and many trees. We walked down to the water and skipped stones for a while, that was fun. The website said there was a playground near our site, and that’s why we picked that site, but it was completely gone.
This morning was rainy and drizzly. Nasty to hook up/drive in. Fortunately it wasn’t a downpour. As we were getting the inside ready to drive we saw our neighbors across the street had a tow truck there. Ugh, poor people. They were out in the rain talking to the tow people a good bit. We decided to bring them some cookies and a verse to cheer them up. We couldn’t find a good verse…didn’t want it to be preachy. Tj finally came up with the one about may the Lord bless and keep you.
We got everything ready and I pulled the bus through a right and then left turn to flat ground for Tj to hook it up to the truck. It wasn’t bad at all driving it, I just had to pull it farther out into the intersection to turn than a regular sized car. After we were set and the 3-minute timer was running I ran back to the neighbors and gave them the cookies. I told the guy that it looked like he was having a bad day and needed some encouragement. He said it was his wife’s birthday, and thanked me for the cookies. I hope their day gets better!
We drove for a while in the rain…which reminds me that with all our driving this might be the 3rd or 4th time driving the bus in the rain. We’ve been pretty blessed with great traveling weather.
Tj had been saying maybe we’d drive tomorrow, maybe not. I kept saying didn’t we already decide to take tomorrow off? When we pulled up to the campground I realized why he said that. There’s nothing here really, except gravel lots. I was chuckling internally but didn’t say anything, thinking that he was right, and then he walked right up to the counter and asked to stay a second night!!! Heh.
The lady said the nearby restaurant had high reviews for their food, and wouldn’t be open the next day, so we decided to have supper there. The ribs we bought will wait another day :-) We started off with a Caesar salad, crab cakes and ahi tuna. When we needed just a little more we got the Kobe burger. It was strongly suggested that we get it medium rare, which we did. Tj got half, and I and the boys each got 1/6. Jack was acting like a punk by this point so we gave his part to Max. This thing was dripping with blood, but boy was it good!! Max was completely in love with it. Everything else was awesome, too, but that capped the night off nicely.
19 September Tuesday
We got up on time and started school. Tj had work to do, but started the ribs cooking for lunch. The instant pot is giving us more trouble…after looking online I wonder if I just need to clean the valves better? It did cook the ribs well, it just took longer and several starts to get it up to pressure.
We weren’t sure if there would be anything to do around here…it’s just a bunch of flat, open land that you can see for miles! Then Tj found some beautiful rocks to go see. Monument Rocks. We drove 45 minutes out there and it was well worth it. The wind was crazy when you stepped out of the car! It whipped my hair around so much. There was a little museum we went into, nothing much. I was tempted to buy some petrified wood which was reasonably priced, but living in the bus I have to reign in my impulses.
We stopped by a playground we saw filled with kids and the boys played while Tj and I walked around the park. Then we stopped at the Buffalo Bill monument and took pictures of the boys.
We had smorgasbord for supper and put the boys to bed…they need more sleep after all this driving!
20 September Wednesday
High Plains Camping was perfectly level on gravel. There’s nothing here for the kids, but there was a seafood (!!!) place we walked to for supper. It was close to the highway so we heard some road noise but it was never bothersome. The worst thing was that there were stickers all over the place…those little round things that cling to everything and hurt like the dickens! Oh, and the office had lots of videos to borrow, some books and magazines to trade.
As we were driving today we started hearing a thumping sound. It seemed to be coming from outside of the bus near me. I peered into the side mirror and saw a black thing extending from the awning support, and it was vibrating. I kept checking it, and kept trying to figure out what it was, and then I began thinking that it might be sliding down. I was just about to tell Tj it might be working itself down, and then poof! it was gone! It was another few miles before he found a spot wide enough for us to pull over (we were not on a divided highway, and the shoulder was probably as wide as the bus so he didn’t want to pull over onto it). We didn’t find out until after we were stopped for the night and cautiously put out the awning bit by bit that it’s an internal cover for the wiring inside the awning bracket. It’s always an adventure!