365 Days of Adventure


Oh, hey, we have a dog!
To be honest, it was totally irrational.  The kids have been begging for a dog for over a year.  We kept telling them when the babies turn five they can get one.
Sister. Sissy Lou. 

She just loves dogs more than she loves her baby dolls.  She plays "puppies" all day long, takes care of her puppies (otherwise known as August and Elias), feeds them, walks them, etc.
And then at night, when the twins head to their crib and the older boys hit their bunks, she sits in her room listening to them both chat away, best of friends.
And that tugs my heart.
She needed a pup.
So we started watching Craigslist.
Insert: Poor Jason.
I have this wee bit of a weakness. And it's called dreaming.  And when it's involving the children I tend to make it worse by dreaming with them and including them in the process.
Which makes anything hard to say no.
So when wisdom should come into play, Stuart comes instead.
The kids and I prayed and watched craigslist.
The boys emptied their piggy banks and created a list of the new responsibilities that they were willing to take on.
Then we came across Stuart, who was needing to be rehomed.
He was the first dog that every one of the kids fell in love with based on his picture.
I had a Pomeranian years ago and he was a good little dog (due to training).
So, knowing that Stuy was half pom, half Shih Tzu, I kind of knew what to expect.
He has the sweetest little temperament.
So tolerant and attached to the kids (And I love that they can all easily carry him).
So far, it's as if he's always been here, little Stu!
We haven't really had to potty train him and he's very sensitive to tone, so he's been a great little dog!
And Sissy has a little friend to spend time with. 

I love how now he's just apart of the scene with these kiddos.
 We have been in such a good routine with school at home that we haven't treated ourselves to any fun locations lately.  We decided to take Stuart to this orchard twice in one week!
The kids worked on math with each other and found all kinds of bones and nature findings.
We had a full day of science documenting their findings the following day.
I am loving this. Right now.
They are too. 
I'll never get these moments back. 
I'm so grateful for this time with them!
 The twins have started making real distinctions in their personalities as far as what they wear. They now pick their outfits.  August tells me he wants to look like a farmer or a cowboy. He prefers overalls every day and some sort of boot.
Elias, on the other hand, would wear red head to toe if we had it.
He also is very sports-obsessed and wants to wear anything that looks like athletic wear. All the time.
He's worn this outfit for four days in a row:
 Gosh I love him.
And that's lately.  
Kids and a dog. 
Apples and math. 
Overalls and soccer shoes.
 Loving every minute.

The Mobile School Room

We thought it would be a few years before we were able to buy one, but as soon as my father-in-law caught wind that we were homeschooling, he made the move.  I can't tell you what that means to me. Him and I understand each other on quite a few levels and well, gifting us this trailer just affirms that he understands me.

You see, I struggle with being home all the time. Which makes homeschooling a little more difficult. He knew that before I even mentioned it!  He wanted to show his support in making our classroom mobile and I can't tell you how grateful I am.

Everett has named her "Rusty Spur". 
She's 24ft, which is the biggest I wanted because I will be towing her (you know Jason has to stay home and do things like work).

Even though campgrounds are closing due to the off-season, I was chomping at the bit to get her out! We took her to a local lake and parked there for three nights.

 It was cold, and rained most of the time. My step-dad let us borrow his generator. Between the generator and the Rusty Spur being self-contained, we were very comfortable.  Love this trailer!
And the kids loved roasting their hot dogs (can you spy some conversing, happy twins?!).

So, doing this myself.  Jason was gone most of the time due to work, which was good, I wanted a trial run on how I would do hitching, towing, setting up, etc.  I'll be honest, I cheated a bit as my step-dad came with me to "help" but I made him let me do it all for the practice.  It went surprisingly smooth!

What I didn't really think about was the stress of packing and planning. The poor children heard some crazy lady yelling at them while I was packing up. The good news is that it was the first trip, so I had to bring all the blankets and dishes, etc. down, so maybe it won't be as time-consuming next time?!  I'm hoping to get it down to a better routine so that I am able to take off without a ton of stress. Or yelling. :)
 I had mentioned it rained a lot.  It was frustrating to not be able to have the kids out doing their thing, however, having them all inside, cozy in their pajamas just made me appreciate Rusty a little more. What a great trial run (for the record, Everett forgot his packed clothes at home, so don't mind his continuous outfit...big family problems).
(he actually asked me to take this photo)
 Our friends from Southern California came up in their motorhome to join us.  It was really sweet. The kids got along wonderfully and our friends were great company. Between the two of our families, nine children occupied the campground!
Holland and Scarlett.
And some non-raining picts of Rusty...
I've been asked what amazing things we are going to do with it...you're looking at it! :)

Aside from using the yellow plaid wool to cover the mauve cushions, ripping off the ruffle curtain tops, and a small paint job over the kitchen wallpaper, I left things as is and just added extra items from the house.  
The lovely watercolor painting of Psalm 23 was from Ruth over at Grace Laced. She really inspired the boys to free paint rather than sketch before.
The trailer sleeps 7 comfortably, between bunks and fold out beds.  Everything I had been researching  slept less than that, so what an added blessing! The table pictured above can extend out to cover almost the entire couch, which means two areas of tables & seating for school work. Seriously, she's perfect for us!
So a giant, huge hug and thank you to my father-in-law.  I am so incredibly blessed that he would gift us with something that fits our family and offers much for us in the future! 

In the meantime, if you know of any amazing, primitive camping spots in California, please let me know!! I am so excited to get on the road with these kids as soon as my busy season with photos is over.