First Time at Botany Bay

On New Year’s Day we woke up and decided to give Botany Bay one more try.  It was closed the previous day for hunting, but we hoped it was open today.  Jack was really disgruntled about not being able to come with us two days in a row, but the website was very clear that dogs were not allowed.  We were both relieved when we pulled in and saw the gate was open.  They also had some volunteers helping at the entrance who gave us a very nice map and instructions on the driving tour.  The nature preserve is actually two former plantations and there are some ruins throughout that you can look at.  We decided to do the driving tour first and save the beach for last, which I recommend,  or you can skip the driving tour which really wasn’t that interesting. Here’s the pictures of the driving tour.

The remains of an old ice house from one of the plantations

 

The ice was kept in the hole in the ground which was cool to see

 

This section ran along the marsh which was beautiful and we were lucky enough to run across this woman who brought her horses to take a picture. I love moments like that.

 

The roads really weren’t in great shape but we managed ok

 

For many years there was a caretaker on the property and this tree had a stone set in memoriam

 

There are worse ways to be remembered

 

The reason this is perfect for a nature preserve is this natural dam which divides the body of water into smaller sections for the birds

 

One interesting relic was this beehive well which was created by slaves in the 1800’s

 

My favorite spot of the entire driving tour was this beautiful area with overlapping oaks. I tried but my picture couldn’t really capture the depth and beauty of it

Finally we made it back to the beach and were surprised by the number of cars.  It’s a half mile pleasant walk to the beach area and we saw lots of families with small children making the trek.

At low tide these oyster beds are uncovered and the birds come out to feed. It was a bit chilly so we didn’t see many but the beds were neat.

 

I also had a chance to try out my new magnetic Pocket Plus.  I have tried so many water holders I can’t even count them but this is really cool.  It allows those of us who go beltless to use magnets to hold the pouch and it didn’t hurt me at all.  I really liked it and highly recommend it.

It was a pleasant walk but so far nothing really special, but it was free and it was a beautiful day.  Then we came out on the beach and wow, just wow.  There are places that you see things you have never seen anywhere before and this was one of them. Here are the pictures and yes it really looked like this although the scope was impossible to capture.  This area was at least a mile long and because you can’t take shells there were tons of them.

The beach is full of huge oak trees. Too many to count

 

When I say huge I mean huge. This is the root system of one of them. 

 

 

It’s important that you come close to low tide if you want to see these trees all jumbled up and exposed, although we’ve seen some great pictures of the standing trees surrounded by water at high tide. 

 

Many of them have been there so long they are covered with barnacles and there is surprisingly little trash as you walk along

 

We did see this one huge metal piece from a ship which was cool in and of itself because who knows how old it is.

 

I loved the gorgeous shells people stacked up places. It was a statement. I saw the shell, but I am not taking it. I stacked a few as well. You would never see this at a regular beach.

We walked for a couple of hours and could have stayed longer but I started getting hungry.  It’s a really special place, totally free, and I hope you get to see it on your travels.  Just don’t go on Tuesday!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some pictures Lee took!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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First Time on Edisto Island

Generally I plan our little adventures, but once in a while Lee does some research and surprises me with something really unusual that he finds.  In those cases I just go with it because I like to be surprised.  So when he said let’s go to Edisto Island I wasn’t sure what we were seeing but I was very sure it would be fun.  It was New Year’s Eve and  I was off so it was nice to be able to do something during the week and beat the weekend crowds.

We were headed to a place called Botany Bay, and all I could think of was the Star Trek episode lol.  The road was pretty rough to get to the location but had a gorgeous series of oaks over the tree.  Since no one was on the road we stopped and took some pictures and video.  Lee had forgotten his tripod but I had some inspiration and used the truck to hold the camera which worked perfectly.

Absolutely gorgeous

 

Check out my idea!

The road was pretty wet in one section and it was a bit of a bumpy ride but we made it through and finally got to the gate only to find it was closed on Tuesdays for hunting.  Lee was super bummed because he had missed the fine print on the website and I felt really bad for him. Since we were there though I said we should check out the town and its beach.

 

The beach was nice but it was a typical beachfront community with nothing really special to see.

We decided to head out and I saw a sign for a Natural Wildlife Refuge.  We decided to drive in and check it out and were pleasantly surprised that it was actually a plantation that was taken over by fish and wildlife.

Most of the trails were closed for the winter, but we got to see the house and the absolutely gorgeous oak trees.  I adore the moss in the trees and since there were only a few couples there we had the place mostly to ourselves. It was nice and peaceful, I just wish we had brought Jack because it is also pet friendly.  Let me show you the pictures.

 

 

Loved the house.

And you could sit on the rocking chairs on the porch and look out which was nice

That went up three stories

We mainly walked among the oaks and took a ton of pictures, but it was nice and peaceful and I really enjoyed myself.  Plus free.  Free is always good.

Looking up was just beautiful

The wind was blowing, the moss was swaying, and the sun was shining 🙂

My favorite picture of the day. I was standing when I took this.

Lee’s pic

Every tree had its own distinct character. If you are a tree lover you know what I mean.

Lee’s pic its a beauty

The blooming flowers were a nice touch

It was a really nice surprise and I was so glad we salvaged the day.  By then I was starving and the only place even close was called The Roxbury Mercantile,  The Yelp reviews were good so we decided to give it a try and what an unexpected treasure.  The food was fantastic and reasonably priced and I had the best local shrimp since I have been here.  Delicious!

The shrimp was lightly fried and amazing. I ate just a bit of the mac and cheese and lots of the slaw which was also very good. Didn’t blow my calories for the day and had a great meal!!

Lee had the crabcakes which he loved.

Since it looked like Botany Bay was open the next day we decided we would come back.  It’s an hour drive each way from where we are staying but we both thought it would be worth it.  Plus we were opening New Years Day wouldn’t be that busy.

 


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on iTunes.

December 2019 Budget

December was a spendy month, $6100 in costs.  If you take out the $1300 in gifts (which were discretionary) it was a more reasonable $4800. For more details please see below.

Campground – We haven’t had this many consecutive months in a campground since probably year one.  That $650 a month certainly adds up!

Groceries – We went over by $159 which was mainly due to additional food we bought for the holidays.  I’ll be curious to see what happens with this now that we are both eating a lot of frozen diet meals.

Dining Out – We went over by $350 which was primarily one meal Lee and Kay had at Halls Chophouse.  The rest of us had all had a chance to go there, but they hadn’t and we knew it would be a $300 meal when they went.  Glad they had the experience though.

Entertainment – We went over by $107.  A chunk of this was books Lee bought when he went back to Columbus.

Truck Fuel – Lee went back to Columbus and used our truck.  We also made many, many trips to see the baby which is 16 miles each way.  In addition Lee made quite a few trips with Jack down to the beach which is 40 miles each way.  In both cases small price to pay 🙂

E-Cigarettes – In an attempt to deal with food cravings I started using the vape pen more.  Before you get too judgy this is also my equivalent of having a drink at the end of the day!

Personal Care – I treated my daughter to a pedicure at her favorite place.  It was not cheap but it was a great experience.

Shipping – I created a calendar with some pictures of our travels for close friends and family and the cost was mainly for shipping those out.

New Equipment – We bought a dish drying rack, smoke detector for the bedroom, and a new ice machine at Camping World. Ours died unexpectedly and since we use a LOT of ice that was a must replace. On the plus side we really like the new machine.  It makes double the ice per day the old one did and the ice cubes are bigger.  So far we are big fans.

That was the month and although it was more than we would like to spend we made choices every step of the way (ice machine aside).  Not going to bemoan the results when we talk about it ahead of time.  Next up is the Year Five budget review.  I am really excited about this because we have five years worth of data to talk about…so that should be a fun one for all those number nerds like me.


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on iTunes.

First Time at the Charleston Fire Museum

Before I start talking about the fire museum I want to thank Charlotte and Richard for reaching out and meeting us.  She sent me an email right before Lee had to go to Columbus and despite my last minute cancellation of that lunch they were open to rescheduling.  They also had sent us a wonderful audio children’s book for Oliver earlier in the year and it was so nice to get together for lunch.  Richard was quitting his Project Manager job back when I was quitting mine originally and they had been reading us for a long time.  It really meant a lot to me when they shared they now have helicopter Evac insurance because of what happened to Lee and it is moments like these that really make writing this blog a special thing in my life.  Thanks so much for reaching out. We had a great time!

From Left: Richard, Charlotte, me, and Lee

On to the North Charleston Fire Museum. I worked for a Fire Protection company for 15 years and I love working the fire protection industry because truly I always felt what we did had an underlying higher calling.  I am VERY serious about all kinds of fire protection and was very curious to see what they had.  Lee was in because, well, Fire Trucks.  For him… enough said.  Also, If you don’t feel super interested in fire stuff, the outlet stores are within walking distance.

 

The cost was only $6 and totally worth it.  Local museums in our experience are either great or pretty mediocre but this was was definitely great.  It was a large collection of restored fire trucks provided by the American LaFrance company who manufactured them.  They have all been lovingly restored and they are so shiny!!

1904 Steamer

When we walked in two firemen were working and available to answer any questions.  That was really neat and a very good sign!

1929 Double Bank Service Truck

 

1857 Hand Pump truck. This was super cool because multiple people pushed the bars on the side. In a fire everyone helps and the old fire trucks depended on that assistance as most fire departments were volunteers.

 

This was a tiny coal fired steam boiler like in old trains just on a smaller scale.

 

Loved the old wood container on the back and behind it you can see where the coal went.

 

 

Loved the lamps on this one. It was a roadster that the fire chief drove. Nice ride!

 

Heavy brass hose was on its on tripod

 

The engines came from all over the country and almost all were working engines prior to being restored.

 

This one had a cool bucket truck

 

Many of these trucks were refitted over time as new fire suppression technology was developed.

 

My favorite was all of the different bells. Shiny!!

As cool as the fire trucks were I really loved the other displays as well.

 

These fire department badges are from all over the world and visitors bring their badges and donate them which was great.

 

Vintage hand pumped fire extinguishers

 

and Hats

 

They also had this cool setup of a fire dispatcher

 

And my favorite modern day fire extinguishers provided by my old company!! Made me proud.

 

The entire place was a little kid paradise and was filled primarily with young families.  We both can’t wait until Oliver gets a little older and we can take him here!

Great playground right in the middle of the space

 

This cool animatronic talked to people when they walked past.

 

Schematics of how the pressure engines work

 

Interactive hoses so you can see how hard it would be to hold them under pressure

 

And this cool hydrant cut open to see what was inside

 

An exhibit to try and lift the 100 pounds of gear firemen have to carry

 

My favorite was a household area that showed all the very real danger zones that can cause fire.  super cool and educational!

The most popular thing for the kids was a fire truck with a movie playing inside that they could sit in.  The parents had a hard time getting the kids out!

Looks totally real

And we both loved the sticker machine that allows you to create a custom fire sticker.

Really user and you can print and email it!!

Look what grandpa made Oliver!

 

Of course the gift shop was amazing!!

We loved it and although we only spent an hour there it was a great hour.

 

 

Oh and one last thing completely off the subject.  Someone mentioned in the comments that I should try to make egg bites in my Instant pot for a quick and protein filled breakfast.  I bought the cool insert and they were delicious.  Basically you can make mini omelets in bite sized form.  Thanks for the idea, and I thought I would pass along it worked!

The insert is reasonably priced.  I paid $11.

 

The end result of my first attempt. I overfilled the insert a bit 🙂

Overall the diet is going well. I lost 4.5 pounds in the first month and only went over on calories one day.  We have also discovered Lean Cuisine Comfort meals and they are delicious.  I generally do NOT like frozen meals especially not diet but these are very favorable andlow in calories and reasonable in salt.  I highly recommend them!

 


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

 

 

 

First Time Building A Puppy Platform

This post is written by Lee 

First I have to apologize for taking so long with this post. I started to work on it a while back, and wanted to include a “before” picture of the tool boxes in the back of the truck that have been there since January 2015. I didn’t take one because I had been planning on this platform project for a while, and was walking past the truck, and thought “I should really get started on that before summer is over and it’s too late, and while I am sitting for a while and have access to a workshop, etc.”  So I decided to get started by just taking the drawers out of the tool boxes. That was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and the next thing I knew the entire back seat area was cleared out and I hadn’t taken a picture. Then later when I was starting the post I thought maybe I had one that I took previously. So I started looking through pictures, which led me to start pulling out pictures I really liked so I could use them as wallpaper and screensaver images for the computer. I also made a ton of new masthead images for the blog. Why not? I was already looking through the pictures. Five weeks and just over 137,000 pictures later, and I was very depressed to find that in all these years, I never took a single picture of the back seat area of the truck, with the toolboxes in it. Isn’t that crazy? So I finally just decided to write the post anyway, even though it’s incomplete. If any of my friends or family out there have a picture of the toolboxes in the back of my truck, let me know, I will update the post. And it can’t hurt to look through all your pictures anyway, and pick some new ones for wallpaper and screensavers!

So, waaaaay back when we first first got our rig in April 2014, and knew we were going to be full timing, I wanted to have a tool box. I knew lots of people who used everything from a bucket to a plastic bag, and I wanted something accessible and organized, because I really thought I would need my tools more often. So I got a 5 drawer tool chest topper, like mechanics use, and had a friend who owns a machine shop remove the lid, which locked the drawers when it was down, and he installed a handle on the side that locked the drawers. I mounted the toolbox in one of my storage bays.

 

This worked really well in the beginning, but then once we hit the road I decided I would earn income by being a mobile RV tech. I thought it would be best if I had my tools in the truck, and so I removed the back seat. I didn’t take any pictures of that process, either, because it went the same way. I thought about it for a few days, and then just did it all at once. And back then Trace hadn’t reached the point where she wanted to document everything for the blog, so she didn’t ask me to take pictures. Oh sure blame me-Trace.  Basically all I did was remove the back seat, and make a very short raised platform out of plywood so that I had a level surface. The floor is not level, it’s higher under the seat than where the feet go. I covered the plywood with black automotive carpet, and then I mounted a three drawer toolbox to the platform and mounted the five drawer toolbox on top of that. The rear of the toolboxes were against the rear wall of the truck, and they were no wider than the driver’s seat, so there was a TON of leftover space to use as a “trunk”. I’d show you pictures, but I didn’t take any, remember?

Soooo, a couple of things about removing the seat, if you’re considering it. We weren’t worried about resale value, because we plan to drive the truck until it dies. We weren’t worried about losing the seating, because I didn’t expect to ever need to put anyone else in the truck. I really didn’t think we would ever meet any people. The main issue with it was that it made the truck much, much louder. The back seat absorbs a LOT of road noise, and in particular it blocks sounds from the back wall, and when you remove it, there’s literally nothing there to stop that noise. There was a also a fair amount of rattling and racket from the tools sliding around. (The squeaking drove me absolutely crazy.  Ultimately Lee used ratchet straps to help keep it from happening and they would eventually loosen and start squeaking again and then he would stop and tighten it.  – Trace) But, we got a lot of space both in the truck and in the rig. Enough that our inflatable Sea Eagle fit in the truck, along with the pump and the seats and the paddles. We got used to the noise. We found ways around not being able to fit all of our new found friends in the truck. Everything was great. (Since we smoked we liked to drive separate anyways.  Now that we don’t, having a back seat would be nice on occasion.  Lee’s right though it usually does work out one way or another. – Trace)

And then along came Happy Jack, the Flying King Of The Puppers.

From the very first time he was in the truck he wanted to sit and/or lay on the big center console between us. That was fine at first, but it didn’t take long before he was a little too big. Plus, after five years of rarely needing most of my tools, I decided to get rid of a LOT of the tools, and take out the tool boxes. If I built a platform that was the same height as the console, we could use the space underneath for storage of the remaining tools, and other stuff, and the top could be Jack’s area, complete with a little crate in case we needed to secure him, and we would all have a more comfortable ride. Grocery store runs were also a major factor.  With the toolbox we had limited space for grocery store visits which was really only solved by only one of us going and filling the passenger seat as well. – Trace)

So the first step was to remove the toolboxes and the old plywood platform, which I did, and cleverly took no pictures. BUT, here’s what it looked like when I was all done!

 

 

 

Apart from the platform needing to be the same height as the console, I also wanted it to take up as little space as possible underneath, to maximize storage. That wasn’t a concern, because Jack only weighs around 15-20 lbs, so it didn’t need to have a lot of structural strength. I also wanted to be able to have as much surface area for groceries and things on the top, without sacrificing the ability to recline the passenger seat. Sometimes we drive very long days, and I wanted to be able to lay the seat back to nap, which as you can see, eats up most of the rear area. (If you do this please build in a way to recline the seat completely.  That is a BIG deal on longer trips days for both of us – Trace).   And finally, the center console is actually the back of the center “jump” seat, and it flips up. When deployed, it’s about 5 inches back from the hinge, so that was also part of what I needed to plan for.

 

 

To start with I took some basic measurements and used some dowel rods and shelf brackets just to get an idea of how this would work. Sometimes it helps to just do a quick mock-up. I didn’t like the way the vertical support would cut the lower storage in half right where I would need to put things in, and I really didn’t like the idea of losing a third of my top surface if I made a “T” or fat upside down “L” shape.  (This is when Lee’s creative side comes out.  He starts a project and continuously improves as he builds.  He also doesn’t get stuck with one idea and barrel ahead regardless.  I really like that about him. – Trace)

 

Luckily, the original mounts for the seat back on the back wall gave me a place to mount some nice heavy brackets to support the rear edge of the platform. I used nylon locking nuts and bolts wherever I could so I wouldn’t have to worry about vibrations allowing screw threads to chew their way loose from wood.

 

 

Once I had those supports in I was able to temporarily put in the platform to tweak the measurements and make sure everything would fit and work the way I wanted it to. And yes, the left edge of the platform is just resting on the edge of the console hinge plate, that’s how close the cut was.

 

 

Here you can see the platform resting on the edge of the console, and in the next picture, the edge of the platform against the back door with the door closed.

 

 

 

There’s a fair amount of just foam in the back of the front seat, so I knew I could get the platform right up against it, and I set the seat to a comfortable angle and distance from the dash and had Trace sit in it before I “locked” in the size of the platform.  (Again that was really nice.  I got to have some input – Trace.) 

 

 

I used zinc plated punched angle steel to strengthen and frame up the side edges and to give something metal to attach the angle aluminum I was using for the vertical supports. The aluminum is easy to drill through and small but strong. It’s hard to see, but the leg is as far forward as the platform, so there’s as much width in the opening to the lower storage as there is width IN the lower storage.

 

Next I used a jigsaw to cut out the piece where the passenger seat will recline. I suck at cutting straight lines, but it was passable. I had to do it in place, because I wanted the fit to be precise, and I didn’t trust just measuring it and cutting it outside, with the closest place to buy more wood 90 minutes away. On the right side you can see where I already cut and hinged the piece that allows the center console to flip up.

 

 

Like I said, I wanted the tightest possible fit, allowing the front seat to recline all the way back, without losing any more surface area than absolutely necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the cut was made I trimmed a little off the cut off piece of wood so it wouldn’t be too tight a fit, and used a piano hinge to reattach it.

 

 

To prevent the “door” from sagging I added two mending strips of very stiff but thin steel. Due to it’s eased corners and stiffness it just pushes the foam out of the way when you recline, so none of the surface area was sacrificed to get that added support.

 

 

After that I went around and made sure all the nuts and bolts were tight so nothing would rattle and then added the closest color match automotive carpet I could find. In the picture the edges aren’t finished because I forgot to take pictures after that step.

 

 

Also not pictured is the crate, but it sits behind my seat so Trace can reach the door to put Jack in there if we need to.

 

 

I bought a bunch of heavy black plastic storage boxes with yellow lids, very heavy duty, but very small, shoebox size. Those stack nicely in the lower storage for tools and other stuff.

 

 

I can say after using this thing for four months that it is a vast improvement. Jack has more room, and from time to time on driving days he just gets into the crate. He still lays on the console, but now most of him is on the platform, so he’s not crowding us. The hinged sections are great, because not only do they allow the jump seat to be used and the passenger seat to be reclined, an added unintended bonus is that they make nice little doors to put things into the lower storage and get things out.  (We all like it and obviously this is not a change you would make lightly but in our case it really expanded our storage space and made things easier for Jack. Oh and shout out to  Deb and Steve who we got the idea from and modified it for us. – Trace)

 


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

 

 

Oliver’s First Christmas

Christmas has always been a very special holiday for me, and it just isn’t the same without small children.  Having the opportunity to celebrate Oliver’s first Christmas with him was amazing and no offense to my kids, but has to be in my Top 5 Christmases ever.  My youngest daughter said to me that she had never seen me laugh as much as I did around Oliver and the answer to that is he gives me pure joy.  He had a wonderful day and we had a terrific time, but I’ll let the pictures tell the story for me.

We arrived and saw our little Santa all dressed up and ready to go.  Kay had the idea for the black socks which were perfect!

 

He didn’t even mind the hat and wore it patiently for a million pictures !!

 

Amazing!!

 

I also loved that my daughter had the TV on fireplace and her stockings were super cute

 

Before we started though we needed to get some yummy breakfast which Jeremy made

 

Hurry up I am ready to go!!!

In our house whoever passed out presents wore the Santa hat and Kyrston taught Jeremy the tradition.  He was excited about passing out presents and was a good sport about the ridiculous hat she made him wear 🙂

I warned Kyrston and Jeremy that babies often become overstimulated on their first Christmas, so keeping that in mind we all kept things really mellow.  We took our time opening his presents first and then he went down for a nap while we opened ours.  He was absolutely perfect until the last couple of presents when he got a tad bit fussy.   We all called it a big success.

We took turns holding him while he opened gifts. They loved this measuring stick that can go with them

 

I loved seeing Lee get down on the floor with him.

 

We have a tradition in our house that by popular vote each year someone “wins” Christmas.  I am not sure where it started but the person who finds the one present that really is perfect for someone else “wins”.  I have a series of lovely moments in my head from this tradition over the years for both the winners and the recipients of the presents, and this year we were all vying to win Christmas with Oliver.  I thought Lee had it when Oliver had a strong reaction to his best gift…actually laughing out loud when he got a teddy bear from Grandpa.

Look at that face!

 

But then Aunt Kay swooped in for the win with an amazing Pooh Bear rocking horse.  Couple of things.  Kay’s nickname is Pooh, so it was a very sentimental gift, and better still she bought it at a yard sale.  Yes, that’s right, winning Christmas isn’t about how much you spend but the feeling you evoke and we were all super impressed when she unwrapped the gift and saw his reaction.  Score!!

It’s all about the face and even a five month old can tell you who won 🙂

Even after he took a nap it was still fun because it was Jeremy’s first family Christmas.  He and Kyrston had exchanged gifts in the past but never in a circle with a family like this.  By the way his Christmas list was absolutely perfect for a rookie.  Everyone had a $200 budget (we really splurged this year) and he picked lots of things that were fun to buy.  I gave him an A+.  My favorite were these little robot cufflinks.  He is the manager at a VERY swanky restaurant in downtown Charleston and wears a suit every night, but a little science fiction touch was delightfully nerdy. Loved them!

As a bonus I also bought him a set of Doctor Who socks that could pass as regular socks so he could wear them but hardly anyone would know 🙂

Kyrston got this weird acupuncture bed that she swears was comfortable to lay on. I tried it and lasted 2 minutes.

 

And her dad bought her this great back drop for her photography

 

It folds up into a relatively small, flat container.

It was really fun and nice to splurge on the kids again.  We haven’t exchanged presents for years and they have been really awesome about understanding the fact that we were on a tight budget.  Now that I am making money again it seemed the right thing to do was spread the wealth a little and they were all super appreciative.  My kids are super awesome about that.  Although they absolutely love an over the top Christmas experience they never expect it which makes it even more special.

Later in the evening we had a Christmas dinner filled with the kids requested favorites.  AS a calorie counter I will be honest and say I went over on my diet by around 500 calories (all those old family recipes are full of fat!) but that was the only day I did that which was nice!

As I stated it was one of my best Christmases ever and I am so grateful we got to experience it.  If I hadn’t gotten a job we would be gate guarding again in Texas, which would have made me incredibly sad.  I feel blessed to be in a position where we could be together and am looking forward to seeing Kat and meeting her boyfriend next week.  Being with family is a gift that this lifestyle doesn’t always allow, so we need to take advantage of those moments when we can.

 

 


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.

Twas The Night Before Christmas

While we were learning about Hanukkah, we were also gearing up for Oliver’s first Christmas.  Kyrston designed an absolutely beautiful tree and I was very happy that the two ornaments I gave her were proudly displayed.

Jeremy thought this was a lot of presents. We just laughed.

 

Oliver’s first visit to Santa!

 

On the 23rd my Mom came back from Columbus to pick up her car and we got to exchange presents and she got to see Oliver open his gift from her which was really nice.

We are all about the toys that will encourage him to crawl. He is doing a great job sitting up!

 

Mom really liked her gift!  A coffee cup with Oliver’s picture on it!

 

She in turn brought this gift from my Aunt Cathy to me!! So sweet Mom used her carry-on to bring it to me.

We all loved Kyrston’s Christmas pictures of Oliver.  My daughter is an extremely talented photographer and it definitely shows.

It was also really great having Kay there with us and we enjoyed just talking and catching up.

Kay,Oliver, and Lee

 

Kyrston LOVED the Jungle Book as a child so Kay put it on and showed Oliver. He was into it!! Loved the monkeys

 

Jack and Finn are buddies and love to hang out.

 

Jeremy had Christmas Eve off and Oliver was making the most of Daddy time!

We left pretty early to give them all time together so we decided to take Jack to the beach.  It was a lovely evening and the sunset was really nice and we really enjoyed hearing the ocean and smelling the clean salt air.  This might be a new Christmas Eve tradition!

Wind in his fur 🙂

 

He loves to sniff at the beach.

 

Gorgeous night and very few people there

 

Jack was a good boy and stopped at the end before the habitat.

Happy Jack!

 

Tomorrow is Christmas and to say I am excited is a massive understatement!

 

 


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