Monday, March 30, 2015

Disney World's Animal Kingdom & Epcot.

Two weeks ago (roughly)  Chris' sister came to visit us here in sunny Florida. She flew into Orlando for a quick visit with her roomie from Missouri. It just so happened that my mom and brother were also down here for Spring Break at the same time and they were both staying at the same resort on Disney property. It worked out great cause then we crashed with my family for two days and Kenna Beans was able to crash in her Auntie's room.  Myla just doesn't leave my side or else she would have stayed with her as well. Myla never leaves my side... for any reason! Well, Joy decided to surprise the kiddos by taking them to Animal Kingdom and Epcot all on one day. They were thrilled and super excited to finally be going to a park. I mean, they only asked everyday when we were going. 

We started the day out by going to the Animal Kindgom, riding some of our favorite rides, seeing animals and taking lots of photos. By the time we were leaving Animal Kingdom to catch the bus to Epcot, two of the kids were already complaining about how tired their legs were. I don't think they remembered how much walking is involved at the Disney Parks, or any park for that matter. This was our first time going without a stroller. Myla is now 5 and we no longer have a use for one which is both good and bad. Pushing strollers among crowds is not fun in any way but it's also nice to have one so that you don't have to carry all your belongings and the kids can rest. Needless to say, we reminded them to enjoy the day and the moment because they won't be back for a long time. 

Epcot was gorgeous! It's their Flower and Garden Festival right now which is amazing. They put up fun little playgrounds all around the park, created amazing displays and had lots of yummy food to try from each country. You can't go wrong with Epcot. It's Chris' and my favorite park besides the Magic Kingdom of course. We were also super lucky to be able to ride Test Track. The line for that gets uber long and the wait time can surpass 2 hours. We don't do 2 hour wait times. Not with little ones. So if you can pick a fast pass for a ride, go with with Test Track for sure. It's totally worth it! While there, Joy and I also made a point of taking selfies with the characters. We had some good laughs over that and it's not everyday you get a selfie with Alice or Aurora. 

Anyway, Disney was fun, the kids had a blast and we were blessed to be there and experience it with Joy!! Thanks Auntie Joy for the tickets and for the wonderful memories. We love and miss you!! 

Disney World, the happiest place on Earth! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Safety at the campground.

It seems to be that one of the more frequent questions we get while "living" at campgrounds is, "Is it safe for the kids?" Why yes, it actually is. Just like anything else, you need to establish boundaries and go over the rules. When we first arrived here, Chris and I tended to be more strict about where they could and could not go. It would be the same had we moved into a new neighborhood as well. As parents, you want to know who is around, what is safe, what's allowed and so forth.

We've been here now for a little over 5 months and our children feel they rule the ruckus. No other children have been here as long as they have. There are other full- timers that come and go as well as others who stay here full-time but they are grown adults. The boundaries for our three kids have grown as each week and month have passed but some rules will always remain the same. They all know these rules and know that she should NEVER disobey them. If they did... well, their play time wouldn't be the same.

For the most part, we know pretty much everyone here. There are some that come and go but overall, many stay for a month or longer. We have become friends with so many wonderful people. We've traded emails, phone numbers and blogs. In the past few days, several have packed up and left and believe it or not, our kids have felt the loss. It's crazy to think that they have become friends with adults over the age of 50, but they have. These people look after them, watch them, and make conversations with them. I love the fact that they are learning to converse on an adult level and keep their manners up. They all know that at any given time, they are being watched and being watched means behaving. Soon we will be packing up ourselves. We will be heading to a new location with new people. We have no idea what to expect about living space, people or boundaries. However, we do know that our rules will still apply.

"Prepare and prevent, don't repair and repent."


We tell our kids that each RV is parked in a spot. That spot is their rental area.. which means, their land. Do not walk through their yard! You walk around. I don't care if it's down pouring, shorter, windy, etc. You go the distance and respect their property.

NEVER, EVER, go into an RV without mommy or daddy!! THE END!

Always ask to go somewhere further, different or new. They know better than to just walk off and go somewhere without asking. As their parents, we better be able to know where they are if ever needed.

Always use your manners. There are many elderly people living among us and we expect our kids to respect night time, morning time, and space. We want them to use their "thank you's", "please" and "excuse me's". It's part of being polite and respecting others.

We are currently living on a military base which means the daily playing of the National Anthem. When it's played, we expect them to ALWAYS stop, put their hand over their heart, and respect the song. So many amazing people have served our country, died for our freedom and are still fighting for what we have. It's our job as parents to teach them what they have and why.

For the girls, we ask that they go to the restroom in pairs. The restroom itself is not far. Actually, we can see it right from where we're located. However, in future spots and in past spots, it's not always that way. I (their mom) may not always be able to go with them and so Chris and I want them to be together for safety reasons. We even have Montana take them and just wait outside. When the sun goes down, I always go with them, no questions asked.

For the most part, people in this world are nice. We've met some wonderful families, friendly couples, and have had many sweet neighbors at several of the campgrounds. However, it only takes that one to ruin your view of life, humankind and create horrible memories. We've told our children over and over.... never, ever get into a car, go into a home, restroom, tent, building, etc., with absolutely anyone. It's so hard to teach them this, especially when they have gotten to know some of the people living around us. Not too long ago, it started raining and their friend and her dad offered them a ride. They all said no and walked on home. I know who these people are but still. If I don't know they are getting into the car, well then, I don't know where they are. As the parents, we want to make the decision of whether or not they get a ride. It was nice of them to offer though.

8. ????
When in doubt, ask. If they don't know something, they should always ask first and react second. For the most part, they have done rather well.

These are our rules. These are the rules that we as a family follow. I'm sure there are so many other rules that many other families follow but for us, these work. I'm sure that with each new location, new rules will be put into place. We've been blessed so far to have so many amazing neighbors and such amazing campgrounds that we haven't ever had to really worry for their safety... Other than the "normal" life safety issues of course.

Do you have rules that you follow when camping? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

An evening at Patrick AFB.

Our families have left us and things are back to the normal campground life. Last week, my mom and brother where here as well as Chris' sister. It just so happened that their trips crossed and believe it or not, they were staying at the same Disney hotel. What were the odds? Of course we went to see them and Chris' sister surprised the kids by taking them to the Animal Kingdom and Epcot as birthday/Christmas gifts. I'll post more on that in another post because we have plenty of images to share. We had such a great time running through the parks, enjoying the sun and catching up with everyone. It's always hard for the kids to say good bye but they know we'll see them all again. 

It's been a bit, but I've decided to get the beast out.. aka: The camera. We are usually so busy, hands full and carrying tons of "toys" that it gets hard to lug something extra. I find it so much easier to just throw my phone in my pocket and just go with that. The other day, I decided to take the kids for a walk and bring my actual camera to grab some shots of the girls doing what they do best... skatin' and skootin'. The sun was slowly beginning to set, which is my favorite time of day, and the light was great. Not only that, but we've been here now for 5 months and I really haven't  taken many images of the actual campground itself. So here you have it. An evening at Patrick AFB. 

"Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat." 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Summer News.

Can you believe we are about half way into March? It's also hard to believe that we have been living in Florida now for 5 months and our time is slowly coming to an end. How the heck did that happen? Chris has been working at Ron Jon now, which is a seasonal job and because it's a seasonal job, we have an end date. With that in mind, we knew we were wanting to spend the summer in Colorado. So for the past two months we have been researching locations and jobs. Well, we are happy to announce that our family will officially be relocating to sunny Buena Vista, Colorado come May. Woo hoo. Next month we will begin packing and making our trek across the country to the west side where Chris has secured a job with a rafting company, a dream of his. 

When we first got married, we could not decide on where to live! I love the beach, surfing, the sun and getting my tan on. Chris loved the mountains, kayaking, the rivers and the smell of pine. In the end, we settled on Virginia because it had a little of both. Who knew that 11 years later we would FINALLY figure out how to actually make this happen. He now has a passion for the waves and I have grown in my love for the mountains. God knows what He's doing and in the end He was just preparing us for our adventurous life on the road. Our kids will get to know both sides of their parents love... bodyboarding and kayaking, oceans and mountains, salty air and pine. Just put us both by some water and life is always good. 

So next month we will go from
THIS: Cocoa Beach

TO THIS: Buena Vista 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Work Hard, Play Hard.

The past few weeks have kind of flown by. We've had lots of company with people coming and going. Chris' mom came to stay with us for a week, which the kids loved. She ended up getting to stay a tad longer because of a cancelled flight and bad weather back where she was heading. Then, a day later, my family came down to see my brother swim in his Conference Meet. They weren't here for super long but at least the kids all got to get together for a short time to swim and play. Our kiddos had a rough time getting back into the normal way of life with no company around. If you haven't noticed, all three of them like to be on the constant go and like to always have something going on... truly our children. At the same time that Chris' mom arrived, Chris began work at Ron Jon Surf Shop. He's been working fulltime, which means the kiddos and I are having to find things to do around the campground. On top of that, it seems that when he's worked, it's rained pretty much everyday. I guess it gives the kiddos a chance to get caught up on movies, do crafts, play games and read books. Every once in awhile I will keep the car but then that means that we have to get the three of them up at 5:45 to take Chris to work. On those days, I make sure we have a reason to do so. His time at Ron Jon will go til the end of April and then we are off on our adventure west. It's kind of hard to believe that we've been in Florida now for almost 5 months and come May, we will have been fulltiming for an entire year. Wow. We regret nothing and cherish the memories we are making with the family for we all know that there are so many more we plan on creating in the months and years ahead.  Nothing can take the memories away, once created, they stay with you on the journey ahead. 

Live, travel, adventure, bless and don't be sorry."
Jack Kerouac