A Look Back At 2021

Hey Guys!

The last time i was blogging consistently was probably back in January 2021, so i thought today i would share what has happened over the past year.

February 2021 – We obviously welcomed our 6th child into the world, i already shared his birth story if you are interested in reading that you can go back and do so. Our second child also had a birthday, he turned 13 years old.

March 2021 – My husband and i started a garden, but honestly with a new baby i didn’t have much time to work on it and so it never really produced much. We also bought a new truck.

April 2021 – We ordered butterflies, so the kids to see the whole process of how they change/grow.

May 2021 – Our 3rd child had a birthday, she turned 10 years old.

June 2021 – Our 1st child had a birthday, he turned 16 years old. Our 4th child also had a birthday, he turned 7 years old. My birthday is also in June, so lots of celebrating happens in our family in June.

July 2021 – We started our 9th year of homeschooling! We did some adventuring. We also renovated our master bathroom shower. We took out the old wall surround and replaced it with tile. It looks so much better and lighter and fresher in there.

Before
During (the lighting was horrible for this picture)
after

August 2021 – Our 5th child had a birthday, he turned 5 years old. My husband and i celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. Our family took a trip to Eastern Idaho. We checked out Craters of the Moon and a cool little ghost town, called Bayhorse.

September 2021 – We decided it was time to get rid of the chickens. They were becoming too much work and adding too much stress. So, once we got rid of them, we torn down their chicken coops. Which was really sad because we had worked so hard on building them. We decided to build a storage shed in that area where the chicken coops were. We also went camping a lot in September.

October 2021 – Both my husband and I got sick with a nasty virus. I was sick the first half of the month and he was sick the second half of the month. Luckily only a few kids caught it too, but they were only sick for a day or two. My husband continued working on the storage shed while i was sick.

November 2021 – We finished up the storage shed, we still need to paint it though. We also replaced some windows on our house and ripped up the vinyl siding on the back of our house, as we are going to replace all the vinyl siding on our house with lap siding.

December 2021 – We started putting up a wooden fence on our property, although it is a long process and we won’t be done working on it for a long time. Not much else happened, we were busy getting ready for the holidays.

January 2022 – After ripping off the vinyl siding off the back of our house back in November, we finally got started replacing it with lap siding.

That’s pretty much everything that happened around here over the past year. Now that i’ve given that update, i feel like i can share more things as they happen, in real time.

How was your past year? I always feel like we didn’t do much, but then when i look back at all the pictures and write it all out, i’m like “wow, okay we actually did do a lot of different things.”. Anyone else feel that way? Maybe it’s just me?

Anyways, i hope you are all doing well and i can’t wait to share more of what we are up to later.

Take care,

5 Halloween Movies & Books (For The Whole Family)

Hey Guys!

Today i’m sharing 5 Halloween movies, and 5 Halloween books your family will be sure to love.

Let’s start with movies first…

  1. Hocus Pocus – A classic Halloween movie! I don’t care for some of the language, but overall i love this movie!
  2. Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie – Another classic! All of my kids have loved this movie, and so do i!
  3. The Haunted Mansion – Not really a Halloween movie, but i feel like it works for Halloween. My whole family enjoys this movie.
  4. Room on the Broom – Such a cute movie (and book!), perfect for Halloween.
  5. Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest – If you love Curious George this Halloween movie will be perfect for you!

Now onto books…

  1. Room on the Broom – Yes this story has made both of my lists, it’s that good!
  2. The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat – I grew up reading ‘The Berenstain Bears’, so this book just brings back childhood memories.
  3. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat – I’ve previously mentioned we love all the ‘There Was An Old Lady’ books, so it’s no surprise this book has made my list.
  4. Ten Timid Ghosts – Such a cute story, if you haven’t read it yet i highly recommend it!
  5. Click, Clack, Boo! – All the ‘click, clack,…” books are so fun!

There are my lists, hope you enjoyed them. What’s your favorite Halloween movie & book?

*Stock photo provided by Unsplash. This post may contain affiliate links.*

RV Camping {with kids}

Hey Guys!

As most of you probably know (if you follow me on Instagram), we are a camping family. Even before we had kids my husband and i would go tent camping every chance we got.

After we started having kids we still went tent camping, just not as frequent as it is harder to tent camp with babies and toddlers.

We got our first RV over six years ago, it was an old 1970’s fixer upper. It had water damage, electrical problems, plumbing issues, and in the floor was a giant hole. We basically just fixed the cosmetic stuff (paint, bedding, replaced couch, flooring, etc.) and left the electrical and plumbing issues alone.

After having our 5th baby and adding dogs to our family, we quickly realized that old ’70’s RV wasn’t working for our family anymore. We decided it was time for an upgrade. So last year we purchased a new (2017) RV, one that sleeps 9 for our growing family.

We are the boondocking or dry camping type of campers. Isn’t the whole reason to go camping, is to get away from the hustle and bustle of people?! That is why we don’t use campgrounds. Boondocking has definitely been an experience. We fill up our water tank, and make sure of other tanks (gray & black) are empty before we go camping. We have a generator that we bring along, to be able to have power. For our family size, we have found that we can’t go camping for more than 3 days because our tanks fill up and our water run out.

If you are camping with kids, here are a few of my tips to make it go smoother.

  • Bring extra clothes – I usually double the amount of clothes needed (i.e. if we are going camping for 2 days, i bring enough clothes for 4 days.).
  • Bring their pillow and/or blanket from home – They will sleep so much better if they have that same familiar pillow/blanket.
  • Pack extra snacks/food – There is something about camping that makes everyone extra hungry.
  • Pack at least 2 pairs of shoes – Everything is going to get dirty or wet while camping, shoes are no exception so bring back up.
  • Bring toys/books/games/coloring books/etc. – With camping most of your time is spent outdoors (fishing, hiking, etc.) but an unexpected thunderstorm could come along (happened to us last time we went camping) and you find yourself stuck inside it’s nice to have something to keep the kids entertained (and their minds off the storm).

One thing i just found that was super helpful was to buy a big exterior mat (i got mine on sale, 40% off, at Hobby Lobby) and place it on the ground right in front of your door. It really helped to lessen the amount of dirt that got inside the RV.

If you are new to camping, or are thinking about purchasing an RV, and you have some questions feel free to leave me a comment and i will try my best to answer your questions.

Happy Camping!

Oregon Coast Vacay 2020

My husband and i recently celebrated 17 years of marriage. To celebrate we went on a family vacation to the Oregon coast.

We stayed in Seaside, OR in a beach house that we rented. It was really nice to get away for a couple of days and see the ocean.

We arrived on a Tuesday afternoon, after a 7 hour car ride. Immediately the thing we didn’t like with our beach house rental was the parking. Or should i say lack of parking. We are a big family with a big vehicle, and to park at this house we had to drive up a narrow alleyway and make a hard left turn to squeeze between the back of our rental house and another rental house. Just to enter and exit our rental house was super stressful. I really wish they would have added this parking information on their website, we never would have rented this house if we had known.

This notice was posted on the fridge inside the house, note it says parking for 4 vehicles.
This was also posted on the fridge, notice it’s gone from parking for 4 to parking for 3.

How confusing is it, when even the property management can’t decide on how many parking spots there are? Also that “parking area for 2 cars” in the above picture, was where we ended up parking, but our vehicle took up the entire area, so i have no idea how 2 cars could fit there (maybe tiny 2 seat vehicles?).

Another thing we didn’t like about this rental house was, although it was a pet friendly rental there was no place on the property to take your dogs potty. No grass/yard at all. Very disappointing. Once again i wish they would have shared this information on their website.

On one of our walks, because no yard area at the rental

Our first night there we didn’t really do much. We went down to the beach, stopped at the grocery store for food for dinner that night & breakfast the next morning, and then we relaxed after a long day.

Sunset on our first night

Wednesday morning we took the dogs on a walk, and then we took the kids to play in the ocean. We really wanted to go to a place with tide pools, so we searched and searched for an area with not much luck. Finally in the afternoon, we settled on this rocky area, but the tide pools there were very disappointing. The only animals/creatures we found were crabs.

While walking on the rocks, i fell pretty hard on my bottom, which caused me to be in a lot of pain. After we left the tide pools we went back to the rental house and pretty much rested the rest of the night.

Thursday was the day we decided we would go on a hike. We found this trail called “Tillamook Head Trail”. It was absolutely beautiful and by far my favorite activity we did on the whole trip. If you are ever in Seaside, OR i highly recommend taking this hike!

After our hike, and a lunch break, we took the kids to the beach to play in the water. It was a cool day (about 55-60 degrees), but all the kids wanted to put their swim suits on and go in the ocean. They had so much fun, and can you believe it, not one child complained about being cold?!

Friday was our final day in Seaside and also our anniversary. We decided to go out to breakfast at a place called Firehouse Grill. The food was terrible. They served what they called a biscuit, but it was more of a not properly made/baked dinner roll. As we were leaving the restaurant it started to rain. We had planned that this day would be our souvenir shopping day & exploring the town day, so after breakfast that is what we did.

The kids got to ride a carousel, we saw the Candyman, we ate delicious freshly made pretzels from a local place, and we bought a couple souvenirs.

Inside the Seaside Candyman store

We went back to our rental house because it was starting to rain pretty hard and we were done shopping. Once the rain let up a little bit, we went down to the beach one more time.

The rest of the evening was spent eating yummy food, cleaning the rental, and packing up.

To be honest i don’t think i will ever go to/stay in Seaside ever again, and also i don’t think i would ever rent from the same company ever again. However, all in all i’m glad we took this vacation. We made a lot of memories and despite the hardships we had fun.

Thanksgiving 2018

I wanted to get this post up yesterday, but as luck would have it i came down with a nasty cold over the weekend. Right now it’s 10 o’clock in the morning and as i’m typing this up i have a freshly brewed pot of coffee and a box of tissues next to me. But i do really want to write up this post if not for anything else, but to remember this Thanksgiving, because it was pretty eventful.

So here is a look back from Wednesday (November 21st) – Sunday (November 25th).

Thanksgiving 2018

Wednesday (Day before Thanksgiving)

Morning time i realized i needed a few things from the grocery store, so i loaded up all the kids and we ventured out to the grocery store. We came back home, put away groceries and started cleaning up the kitchen so we could get started on baking pies.

Once i pulled out all the ingredients for the pies, i realized my evaporated milk (which was to be used for the pumpkin pies) had expired like years ago. Oops! There was no way i was going back to the grocery store, so i googled what else i could use. Luckily i had some heavy cream on hand and was able to use it in place of the evaporated milk.

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The kids and i were able to get all 4 pies baked and 36 rolls made up for Thanksgiving.

We also did some cleaning, as my niece was planning on coming over that night to spend the night with us.

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day)

I woke up around 7 o’clock and started cleaning up the kitchen so i could get the turkey ready for the oven. I was able to get the turkey in the oven by 9:30.

Shortly after that i started getting the appetizers ready. We did an appetizer lunch around 11:00.

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We played some games, and got the rest of our Thanksgiving meal made.

Around 4 o’clock i tried to take the turkey out of the oven, to check and see how it was cooking. In doing so i spilled turkey juice all over the oven and floor of the kitchen. This caused the house to be filled with smoke and the smoke alarms to go off. Which then led to my 4 year old going outside to get away from all the noise.

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After opening all the windows in the house, turning the oven off, cleaning up all the juice that spilled inside it, and mopping the kitchen floor we were back on track.

We finally ate our Thanksgiving meal around 5:30, which was a whole hour and a half later than i had originally planned for us to eat, but that’s ok.

The rest of the evening was just spent relaxing together as a family.

Friday 

We had a 9:30 appointment for our dog, Bear, with his veterinarian’s office. He had been limping for 2-3 weeks and it wasn’t getting any better.

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We had to leave him at the vet’s office all day, for them to get some x-rays done.

While Bear was at the vet’s, my husband was told about this dog that was going to be thrown out on the streets because his family couldn’t care for him anymore. We couldn’t let that happen, so my husband went and picked the dog up.

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He is 8 months old. We aren’t sure what breed of dog he is, we were told he is a lab/poodle mix, but based on just googling images of that dog i really don’t think he is. I’m fairly certain he is an Irish terrier, but mixed with something else. We did not care for the name he was given, so we are still looking for the perfect name for him.

We got Bear back from the vet’s office and it turns out his joints haven’t grown as fast as the rest of his body, so he is on pain pills and joint supplements for the next 4-6 weeks. He also has exercise restrictions for the next 6 weeks. We are just really glad nothing was broken and that we have our Bear back home.

Saturday

My 10 year old and i went to get Bear’s medicine at the pet store. We had a fun time looking around at other things in the store.

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That night we went over to my sister’s house to see her and have dinner with her family. Once we got back home, my daughter was complaining that her throat was feeling scratchy, and my oldest son also wasn’t feeling well.

Sunday

I woke up not feeling so great, and my daughter and son were feeling worse. I still went to Walmart to pick up my online grocery order. Came back home and relaxed.

My husband went out to pick up more Christmas lights for the outside of our house, and while he was out he also picked up a Christmas tree.

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That’s pretty much it for our Thanksgiving weekend. I hope all that celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful day!

 

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*Stock photo provided by Unsplash.*