Necessity Breeds Innovation

I am constantly amazed at how simple ideas can make huge changes in our daily lives.  I feel that we really don’t take time to think and problem solve any more.

Summer Events in the Area

Hello everyone. I hope to make a great list of happenings in the local area. So, if you know about something, please email me so that I can get it added here.

 

VBS at First United Methodist in downtown Conway

Shake It Up Cafe!
July 10 – July 14 … in the evening … not sure of the time
This is going to be the most exciting VBS ever! I hope that you have plans to join us and bring a friend! This year’s VBS is sure to be over the top! For the first time ever, we will be using a live band for all of the music, skits, and adventures that will be going on with VBS! It will be held in the evenings, and we still need volunteers, if you’re interested in helping out, we need it! Please let me know, and go ahead and mark your calendars for some great summer fun!


VBS at Trinity United Methodist

Around July 17 … still getting the dates and times but … it’s in the evening

 

VBS at NewSong in Conway

July 11th to 15th *** 9:00 till noon *** Ages 3yrs to 5th Grade

 

Wacky Wednesdays – Pirate Style

Wednesdays this summer from 10:00 till 2:00 at NewSong Church in Conway

Conway Summer Reading Program

KICKOFF is Monday, June 6th at 10:00 am
Mondays – June 13 at 1:00 PM, June 13th at 10 AM,  June 27th  10 AM (Awards Ceremony)

 

$1 Summer Movies at Rivertown Theater in Conway

8 weeks of $1 movies for kids *** 10:00am on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Click this link for the movie schedule: http://www.franktheatres.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=3TtSjtSawUM%3d&tabid=306

 

Abiding Village

Lots of free classes this summer for Art, Dance, Percussion ~ Check out their site: http://www.abidingvillage.org

 

Myrtle Beach State Park Summer Program

May 31 to September 3rd …. many Free programs … 9:30 to 3:00 on Tuesdays through Saturdays

Click here for more info and a printable schedule.

 

Island Inspired Summer Surfing

Surf Clinics on Saturday Mornings – FREE Lessons – Bring your own board or rent one for $10 – must preregister

Click here for  Island Inspired Girls Only Surf Club on Facebook – dues TBA but minimal
Click here for Island Inspired Boys Only Surf Club on Face book – dues TBA but minimal

For more info: www.islandinspired.com or 843-236-2841

 

 

Off on a new adventure ….

Well … many of you have been asking for me to blog more …. AND … I haven’t!!! DUH!!!

First, because I haven’t had time

Second … well … because if I did …. no one would ever homeschool AGAIN …
even though I know this is what I am suppose to do …. and the best education for my children ….
BUT … we are in a really crazy “season” right now … I have 4 kids … one is a teenager that’s going thru the “change” … something I’m not exactly sure how to deal with … a 10 year old who LOVES/craves attention …. a 6 year old who is diagnosable … and a 3 year who bounces off walls for the thrill of knowing how it feels to get hurt …. anyone want to trade for a day???

And to think I gave up a great paying job to do this for free ….

my hope is that …. at the end of this journey …. we will all come out ALIVE and with some sanity!!!!

BUT … as of tonight … we are heading for a one week adventure to Orlando … so …. I thought I would include all of you on our journey … ya know .. for kicks!!!!

so let the story begin ….

so …. Friday – January 8th has been a very busy day.

First …. we had to get school done …. priority number 1 …. we have many more days to go before we can enjoy a summer break …

Around lunch time … Jamie and I decided to let the kids in on a HUGE secret that we had been hoping would work out …
Jamie has to go to training in Orlando … so we were waiting to see if it would be ok for us to tag along …

being homeschoolers that is one of our “perks” … getting to “drop and go” whenever something exciting comes along …
so … after a month of keeping it quiet and a month of HTC getting everything together for Jamie’s training in FL …
we finally dropped the big bomb today at lunch time … Let’s go to FL with daddy … and play at Universal Studios!!!!!

AND YES …. we will be doing school next week … but a more modified version of what we do ….
Mainly … math, grammar, a little history and a little science … some books on CD … some DVDs from the library …

So … as you can guess …. we are REALLY excited … changing up the routine is fun … so … off we go …. to see … some mo’ …….

Sunday – Aug 2nd – The Flying Dutchman has landed!!

We are home!!!

We have traveled …. 6961 miles in 3 weeks …. CRAZY!!!!

We left July 10th …. returned Aug 2nd …. traveled thru 22 states …. have taken around 2300 pics and over 100 video clips … that just Jamie and I …. haven’t checked all the kids pics and vids yet 🙂

I will post more later … just wanted to let everyone know we were home!

Day 18 … Monday, July 27th .. Goodland, Kansas

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It’s Day 19 and we got on the road bright and early … The Captain woke early and started driving again … while the rest of us slept …. once again … we make really good time when we don’t actually “camp”.

We didn’t stop till late night. We finally crashed in a Wal*Mart Parking lot but the Captain was up early and couldn’t sleep so we were “hammer down and east bound” by 4:30 AM … my honey is crazy.
It was COLD last night … so I was happy when the Captain started driving and turned the heat on … we were at 12,000 ft …. I would call that “on top of a mountain” …. and it was much warmer with the heater on and the evaluation dropping.

Once everyone started rousing from sleep, the Captain said we could pick a campground to crash at for the day as soon as we crossed into Kansas … and that was harder than you would think … well … I wanted something family friendly … maybe a pool for the kids to swim … and full hooks up so we could shower and dump the tanks … since we had been “dry-camping” for the past 2 nights …

So … we crashed at KOA campground in Goodland early in the morning …at this point I was confused about what time it actually was … I think we crossed another time zone and it took my phone a few hours to catch up … so I’m not sure what time we actually landed at the KOA … but they were nice enough to let us check in early (and that’s were the niceness ended … I’ll explain more later) … I was thinking … Ok… KOA is everywhere … would be a good place to try … we haven’t really tried any “chain campgrounds” … and thought this would be a good time to check one out ….

They had a pool but we couldn’t swim until after 11:00 … so we got breakfast at the camper … the kids played on the playground … they were enjoying being able to run and play … and I worked on laundry … just 2 loads this morning … but great to get it done while we had a chance … this was a more exspensive laundry … $1.50 per washer … and $0.25 for every 10 minutes in the dryer … but everything worked and I was glad to have the 2 loads completed and put away … (fyi … I store the dirty clothes under the bed … so they are out of the way … but I just like knowing that everything is clean … you never know when we may need something that is dirty 🙂

SO … after breakfast, laundry and the playground … it was time to go swimming … we headed to the pool for some R&R … we played at the pool for a bit and Dancing Mermaid decided she wanted to play putt-putt … she had mentioned this earlier at the camper … but the manger was there … and acted like he didn’t want to do that right now … made some comment that he was hoping to get some breakfast … so I told him not to worry about us … we were fine .. we had plenty to do for now ….(I felt like he was busy and we were trying not to be bother-some) ….. I was shocked to learn that it cost $2 each to play … and there was really nothing to the course …. keep in mind that we have great mini-golf courses at the beach and you can play $5 to play all day … but I knew she really wanted to play when she offered to pay with her money … so … she headed to the office to pay and get our clubs … and the Captain went to put the little guys down for a nap … he also needed a nap after driving most of the night …

OK … so here is were things start to get stressful for me … people have been nice to us at every campground, Wal*Mart, rest area that we have stopped at or been too … the Park Rangers and bus drivers have all been very patient with the kids … other vacationers chatting with us … but you know … there is alway one sour-puss somewhere who just has to make things difficult … and today was that day … and the KOA manger/owner was the “one” ….

I really don’t know where to start … except to say that the manager seemed very busy and stressed …so we tried to stay out of his way … and now … back to putt-putting …. Dancing Mermaid said the lady in the office (his wife) told her not to play hole number 10 until she was done because it would take her ball) ….there were only 10 holes … so we played only the first 9 … and let me say that the putt-putt course was not well maintained … and was pretty sad but she and I were having some great one-on-one time … so I wasn’t focusing on any of that … just us having fun … so … we got to the end of the first 9 and decided to play again … around this time the guy comes by on his bike (which he was always doing … riding here and there .. unlocking the store then locking the store back … again … we felt like he was way busy so we just stayed out of his way) … and said that when we were done, could we leave the clubs at the front door of the store … again … I’m not thinking anything “bad” about his comment … just thinking they must have problems with the kids keeping the clubs … or taking them back to their campgrounds … or that they don’t have a lot of clubs and need to have them nearby when others want to play .. anyway .. I just let it go … later I realize that this was his way of hinting to me that we should put the clubs back …

We kept playing … and around this time a storm comes up … you know, we are in Kansas and we were keeping our eye out for a twister to touch down …. that would be a great story to add to our adventure … we almost saw one when we left Arches … anyway … it’s starting to rain and I don’t want to get struck by lightening while putt-putting … so we grabbed a game from the camper and head to the table in the laundry room to play a game or 2 of Sequence … again … she and I were enjoying our time while everyone else was resting in the camper ….

Shortly after finishing our second game of Sequence … the rain stopped and the storm seemed far enough way to go back and play again … since Dancing Mermaid had paid and gotten the clubs … I really didn’t have anything to do with the actually money transaction .. and was not aware that the putt-putt course had to be “turned on” … so … we realized that it had been turned off …and HONESTLY not thinking anything about it … I reached over and turned it back on … since I had felt like the manager was so stressed .. in my mind .. I was thinking …”why bother him with something so simple as turning the putt-putt back on” .. well … that didn’t go over so well … (oh … I guess now would be a good time to point out that he was foreign … and so he had a think accent and the broken english added a bit of humor to the situation …. but at the time … I didn’t think it funny) … so .. the owner comes out of the store saying … “you guys are just all over the place … I guess I need to put a pad-lock on everything” … so … in my mind …I’m thinking … “all over the place” … what is that suppose to mean … I paid to stay here … I’ve dropped at least $5 in the laundry so far … paid $4 t o play putt-putt … it’s not like we have bothered him … we have only giving him business … and I guess I should add … that at this point during the day … we were one of only a few campers in the park … so … I’m thinking … it’s probably no wise to talk to customers like this … especially when it doesn’t look like your business is flourishing … BUT … I say nothing … and he continues to talk and walks over and turns the putt-putt OFF … I am astonished .. but still try to keep the smile on my face and I say … “So … we can’t play?” … and he says … “play … it’s nice out” … not sure what all that was suppose to mean …

Well .. I’m trying to keep my cool and not let this mess up our day … and … we move to some holes that don’t require the electricity to be running …. and after a few minutes .. I say to Dancing Mermaid … “You know what … let’s start back at the beginning … we can work around this .. not going to let this bother us … we still have the World Championship of Putt-Putt to complete” … and we headed back to hole number one ….

Hole number one required electricity to turn one of the flaps (an obstacle …. I guess that’s what it would be called) …. Dancing Mermaid holds up the flap that won’t spin … and out he comes again … wanting to know what we are doing …. at this point … I’m starting to feel like we are being watched … I say that it stopped working after he came out the last time … not wanting to be confrontational or cause any more problems … I figure it is best not to argue with the obvious fact that he turned it off on us …. maybe he is psycho or split personality or something … but you know what is going on when you turn it off on someone … and now he says “next time … let me know you need help and I will help you .. I don’t like for people to do things themselves” … Ok .. I have several thoughts about that but I will let it go … I smile and say Thank YOU … and Dancing Mermaid and I start playing again ….

I’ll remind you at this point … that this is all happening pretty fast … everyone is still asleep in the camper …. so not a lot of time has past because naps don’t last more then 2 hours or some (give or take) …. and we are still having a great time and trying to let all this other stuff roll off our backs ….

So … we finish our game (remember … only 9 little holes … nothing much … just some little wooden boxes with fake grass on top … only takes a few minutes to play all 9) … the sun has come out again .. and it is hot!!! … we decide to go take a dip in the pool … I ask DM if she is done playing and she says maybe one more game after we swim … and I think that should work out just about right (time-wise) … and I was also thinking the little guys would probably like to play when they get up … so we head to the pool to cool off …. a fellow camper comes out to join us at the pool too … I don’t think Mr Happy realized other campers were at the pool or he probably wouldn’t have been so openly rude … but then again … you just never know ….

So … we are sitting at the pool … I’m sitting on the steps because the water is really cold and each time I have to work my nerve up to get back in … I’m chatting with the lady who has come to the pool … and Mr Happy starts heading towards the pool … already I know he is coming for us .. not sure what we have done this time … but I can feel it … the phone rings and he stops to answer it … and I continue talking with DM and the lady … Jikkal has actually wandered out of the camper and has come to see what we were up to … but has decided to head back to the camper … (but he could hear Mr Happy yelling at me on his way back to the camper)

And here is comes …. he says he can’t find the clubs we were using … and I say ….” oh! There right here … she wanted to play some more … just cooling off for a minute” … and he starts yelling at me … and I quote …

“You are being ridiculous .. you only pay $2 …. you take advantage” …. so with the smile plastered to my face … which is now red … because he is yelling and this lady is watching … I said … “if you want the clubs back … I will give them to you but your wife told her she could play as much as she wanted” ,… and he didn’t like that … he continues to tell me about how I am ridiculous and taking advantage … (I’m guessing he is still working on his English vocab … being a homeschool teacher … I was thinking I should give him a list of resources he could use to improve his “word bank” … and place for him to put them) …. He very rudely informed that YES! He wanted the clubs back, NOW! … So I handed them to him …. and he continues to fuss … and I very calmly said .. .OK … I gave you the clubs .. that’s enough … at which point … I just turned my back and walked back to my seat …. I’m thinking … he better be glad that he met this Tabitha because “BC Tabitha” would not have been sooo nice … maybe left a few flat tires when we broke camp …. but ???? …. thankfully he started back to the office … mumbling as he went … but at least he went (after living with a teen in such close quarters for the past few weeks … I can overlook mumbling 🙂

Of course, the lady at the pool was astonished … and when I sat down … she said she could not believe how rude he was … I was just glad someone else was there … 1) to witness it and 2) to keep me from saying or doing something I should not … I plan to inform KOA that their GoodLand Ambassador needs some lessons in “Southern Hospitality” …. not good for their name … needless to say … we will not be frequenting another KOA on this trip … maybe ever … but we were the hot topic at the pool that afternoon …

After all this excitement … we headed to the camper … everyone was waking up …. and we took showers and got ready to head into town …. we took our picture with the World’s Largest Easel … you can read about it http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9183 …. and attempted to go to the local museum but it was closed … our bad! … new time zone and we still didn’t have all the clocks right … next we headed to Pizza Hut for dinner … once again … not very happy people in these parts … but we got our bellies full and moved on … we made a pit-sop at Wal*Mat … and back to the campground …. the Captain thinks everyone here is mad because they are here and can’t figure out how to get out … I don’t know … just love laughing at his point of view …

The kids played on the playground again … met some friends … enjoyed the cool evening weather … could see a cloud forming in the distance … the wind is right brisk coming across these plains … we kept watching to see if a tornado formed … not that we wished that on anyone … just thought that would be fun to film … maybe end up on the weather channel with the Storm Chasers ….BUT … no such luck!!! I sat at the picnic table and worked on typing up all the details of the past days while the kids played … and enjoyed the cooler weather … I bit later … we got everyone in the camper and got everyone settled down for a good nights rest … the Captain plans to drive all the way across Kansas tomorrow ….

I took a few mnutes to look up some totally cheesy spots to stop and take photos .. trying to give the kids a break from educational stuff … I think this will be a fun drive tomorrow.

I think the Captain is as excited about getting out of Goodland as he was about getting out of California 🙂

Side trip on Thursday – July 24th – Day 14 – CA

Too cool … We stopped at Auto Zone because the service engine light had “come on” in the Flying Dutchman …. CA has a new law that the Auto Zone’s are not allowed to read the codes any more for their customers … but one of the guys working there, AJ, said he had a code reader at his house and he was going home and would be happy to check it for us … so we followed AJ out of town … about 4 miles to his farm/ranch … (I know …. we are either crazy or brave) and while he and the Captain checked on the RV … his step-daughter, Lindsay, took us to see some of the animals … how cool was that!!! Super nice peeps!!!! Thanks AJ and Lindsay!!!!!

Day 10 – July 19th – Sea Monkey’s 3rd B-Day – California here we come !!!!!

 

It’s Sea Monkey’s 3rd Birthday and we are heading across California to see the Pacific Ocean. Today we will be wearing the khaki shirts … we plan to stop at the Apple store so we don’t need a “loud” color today …. 

Our morning started early … the Captain was ready to make some time … and get some miles behind us … so when he awoke around 4:30 AM … he started driving while everyone was still sleeping … we crossed into California before 6 AM …

Sea Monkey and Stormy Cloud slept in for a bit … and even after they got up … I sent Stormy Cloud back to bed and she slept for a good while … our schedules are completely crazy … so when we ride, I try to get them to nap and catch up on some sleep …

It’s about 11AM here and we have gotten off of I-40 and are now on Highway 15 … heading to an Apple Store in San Bernardina … I have been cleaning up the Flying Dutchman as we drive along … I got a little creative with the kids  …. I let them take their markers and draw on the table … Bailey gave Jordan some dinosaurs for his birthday … and he brought his cars to play with … so they drew roads … and made towns with their markers … they played quietly for awhile without any problems…. that was great for me because I needed to put some things back were they belonged and I cleaned the bathroom … only 1 bathroom … that’s good and bad … good for cleaning … bad if more than 1 peepneeds to use it … I also figures out that a wipe and left over tooth paste (ya know … what the kids left in the sink) … works great as a waterless cleaner … I am learning lots of little RV tricks … we are going thru wipes and hand sanitizer like crazy!!!!!  

Oh! Just thought of a comment the Captain made … I have several small bags of recycling that need to get out of the camper … since we are in California and they are always talking about being “green” … I expected to see recycle bins everywhere … anyway .. I said .. “Hey! Dancing Mermaid … Do you see any recycle bins so we can take out the recycle?” … The Captain said, “Just throw it out the window. That’s what everyone else around here does!!!” … well … can’t really argue with that … some spots have been very trashy …. When the Captain stopped to get gas this morning… he said “Well, I’ve already seen all of CA that I want to!” …  I guess the Captain is not impressed ….. I think it will all change once we get to the Apple Store and then on to the coast ….

Now … it’s noon and we are at the Apple Store … just met a technician named Hector … he is super nice … I don’t think he knows how to deal with such a polite southern family … He was worried we would be upset that we have to wait … I was just excited they can work on it … and hopefully fix it …I don’t have an appointment so I have to wait for them to work us in …but that’s why we came here … and we totally knew waiting would be part of the deal … I will wait all day for them to get her fixed … I hate working on Dancing Mermaids Vista … if I could throw it from the window of the Flying Dutchman … this computer would be gone …

Morning of Day 8 – Friday July 17th

 

We are awake and doing a bit of cleaning … breakfast …. showers … all that kind of jazz … We are wearing BRIGHT green shirts today … it was my turn to pick!!!!
 
I should go ahead and apologize for any typos and spelling errors … and they will only get worse from here .. this computer does not have a working spell check … some crazy error that I haven’t been able to resolve … because you know I have so much time on my hands with all the hiking and slaying dragons !!!
 
We are staying at Meteor Crater RV park … just down the road from Meteor Crater … which we hope to visit today … the campground is very nice … the bath houses are very clean …. I LOVE the individual bath rooms and showers … everything is really clean … and the people here have been very nice ….
 
We have been taking things really slow this morning … Jamie and I both woke up with snotty nosed and sore throats … Stormy Cloud has had a cold and has been taking antibiotics … the thought had occurred to me that it could get passed along … but I was really hoping it wouldn’t … We can pick up some meds at the campground store … and just muscle on thru … only get to do this once … so I will just ignore it and push on …
 
Stormy Cloud and I took our first show in a bath house since we have been on the trip!!! And I blow-dried and fixed my hair today … as you can see from the photos .. we are being very relaxed … not doing all the hair and making … and when you stay at Wal-Mart it’s free … but there’s not electric or water to hook up to 😉
 
I should remind everyone that we are in a different time zone … we are 2 hours behind everyone on SC … Jamie got a call at 5 AM this morning … no biggie … we aren’t really on a schedule … everyone is completed messed up after all the crazy nights and switching time zones …
 
I got a phone call before 6AM and was very excited to find out the most interesting news since we left SC … BIIIIIGGGGGG drum roll please … did I say I am excited … I am sooooo excited … Theresa Johnson is pregnant 🙂 YEA!!!! Keep her and her new little life in you prayers!! Congrats girl!! We are beside our selves … yes … I’ll say it again … with excitement!!!!
 
Well … we need to get on the road again …. even when we stop I feel like we are still riding … just like being on a real ship!!!  Poor Little Sea Dragon … he has fallen asleep again … he is completely off schedule .. but he is having a great time …