Welcome to our Adventure...

We packed up the kids, dog and the trailer and headed out for adventure, learning and helping others. During our adventure we will try to update this site as often as possible to keep everyone interested involved in our travels and to keep a journal for ourselves. The plan is to be working, schooling, helping and sharing on the road for a year.
Please feel free to post comments and questions! Thanks for following!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Last Day of November!

Does this look like what is normal for the last day before December 1st? These pictures were taken at nearly 5 pm.

Sky has been gaining so much confidence in the pool this
week. He even was able to retrieve the dive stick from
about 6 feet deep.

Tonight, after the kids swam, we went to grab a few groceries, picked up dinner from China Wok and brought it home to the trailer to eat. It was pretty good food for a decent price and nice to have a night off from cooking. :O)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Not a Rough Life

Today we did our school work and in the late afternoon, the kids swam in the pool while I read my book in the sun. That was nice.

Brock had a long work day, but felt good about what he accomplished. He signed us up for 2 more gigabytes of data for our mifi so we won't go over in our usage this month. Phew!

We took Heidi out for several mini-walks. She drives us crazy sometimes, but even I have to admit that she is really doing pretty well on this trip.

Bryn likes new outfit number 1.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Brynna!!!

Very hard to believe our little girl is 13 today!

The kids and I determined to get our school work done as early as possible so that Brynna and I could get some quality girl time in. Time away from her brothers was the main gift for her from Brock and I. It worked as great motivation for Bryn and I, but some other people didn't get the memo. One child still had difficulty getting into the "school groove" and so sapped some time earlier in the day.

Still, Bryn and I set out for girl time around 2:30 this afternoon. We drove first to Luxury Nail & Spa right here in Haines City and put our feet in the foot baths and let the massage chairs work away our cares. We ended up with such soft feet and beautiful toes! I think our very steps were lightened on the way out. Bryn's toenails are lovely shade of blue with white zebra stripes and mine are a pretty pink.

From there, we drove to a mall about 12 miles away from Haines City where we found our growing girl a new outfit at Aeropostale (a first for us), a pair of shorts, and a belt. We also found some other needed clothing articles for the boy members of the family. We really enjoyed just spending time together more than anything.

Horse cake

By the time we got back to the trailer and rejoined the rest of our family, we were genuinely glad to see them again. :O) We had some pizza and salad for dinner and homemade birthday cake and ice cream. Brighton made Brynna an awesome stop motion Lego video as her birthday present from him and the entire family enjoyed seeing that. Bryn got to stay up a little extra late tonight in honor of her birthday and now we're all ready for sleep.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tough Tuesday

We had our normal routine today of work and school. I took Heidi for a run and about passed out with how humid it is here. I feel kind of guilty saying that knowing that our families and friends back in Bend and Anchorage are having cold weather and snow. Guess humid is OK!

One of the kids who shall not be named had a really hard time getting in the mood for school today. He had to work outside with Stace while I was on phone calls and still made somewhat of a scene. I guess public embarrassment does not slow him down when he has a bad attitude day. Unfortunately he had to stay in the trailer with me while Stace and the other kids went to the swimming pool. We hope tomorrow will be a better day for him as it is Brynna's birthday and she is going to be a TEENAGER! I can't believe the little girl we brought home from the hospital is already entering teenage years.

She is growing into quite the responsible adult already. There are some plans for her and Stacey to spend some girl time together doing girl things like shooting skeet, wrestling some gators and repacking our trailer bearings with grease.  :-)  Can't give away the real plans as that might ruin the surprise.

We did have a surprise tonight in that we kept hearing a hooting sound outside. When Brighton took Heidi for her last walk of the night he saw an owl flying between trees. He talked with one of our friendly neighbors here and he said that the owls hunt cats in this area! Guess that is one way to deal with a stray cat population. Between the gators in the lake here and the owls it is not a good place to be a small animal.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Monday

Not much to report today. We got back into the swing of school and work with some whining and gnashing of teeth but we all survived the day.

 I decided to try to wax the trailer before we leave this RV park this next Saturday. Man, this is a big trailer! I split it up into sections so I can get a little bit done each day.

Stacey and Ben went grocery shopping at Walmart to get items for Brynna's birthday dinner on Wednesday.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Legoland Florida

Today was a beautiful day. We awoke to clear skies and probably about 50 degrees. This being Brock's last day of the weekend, we decided it was a good day to schedule our Legoland Adventure. Legoland's  winter hours are a little shorter than the other theme parks we've visited (10 am to 5 pm), so we made it our goal to get there before they opened. We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the parking lot and got about as close to the entrance gates as we could have hoped.

Pretty much all day long, we were able to go on whatever ride we wanted with little to no waiting. The day warmed up to the lower 70's. We took in a 4D show called Lego Racers. They made you feel the wind of the race route and at one point they made it snow in the theater. That was cool! We also saw an acrobatic-type show with live actors called The Big Test. The characters were trying to pass the test so that they could join the Lego City Volunteer Fire Dept. It was cute. Lots of goofy pratfalls and over-exaggerations. There was a splash zone which Brighton and Spencer decided to sit in, but they didn't get too wet. Some people got soaked. We took in another show in pirate cove that had a female heroine named Miranda who waterski'd in to the set. She had some lego minifig soldiers on her side and they battled the evil pirate Brickbeard and his trick skiing minions. It was quite fun and Bryn was so surprised when during the show, Miranda was suddenly sitting next to her. She asked Bryn to help her out with defeating these pirates. She told her to come down and push the TNT plunger when she gives the signal. Cool! Brynna was able to push the plunger and create a big boom and smoke as part of the show and the pirates were captured. We ate some decent cheeseburgers and fries right next to a little body of water containing tons of turtles, a small gator, and a blue heron. We went on some more rides, walked through Cypress Garden, and in the end, shopped with each kid for their special Lego souvenirs.

We drove back to the campground, stopping for milk and Brock and I the new Spiderman movie. At the trailer the kids played with their new Legos. They scavenged around in the refrigerator for something to eat while I looked at and played around with the pictures from today. (True confessions ;O) and then we sent them to bed so we could watch the movie.

Spence jousting on a Lego horse.

This pharoah ride was one of the shooting
rides with lasers - fun!

Lego animals we saw on the Lego safari ride

Spence reacts to Lego Darth Maul
Bri and Brock in front of the New York skyline in Miniland

Spencer on the Technicycle-pedal to make it go up.

Waterskiing Lego Men

Brickbeard comes in on his waterbike.

Brynna helps Miranda to save the day!

Lego Batman and Robin

Bryn on the Kid Power Tower - You PULL
yourself up.

Sky getting eaten while waiting to go
to Boat School.

Bryn and Sky enjoying driving their boat.

Ford Driving School gave this kid and
 the other McFarlane kids, driver's licenses!

REALLY cool Banyan Tree in the Cypress Garden.

At the Historic Gazebo in Cypress Garden.

Just two dads waiting for their families to finish shopping.

Lego Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

No Doughnuts for You!

The kids were excited about a notice on the camp's signboard announcing free coffee and doughnuts at 8 am. Amazingly, they were all up by 7:45 am and getting themselves dressed. Brock and I poured our own coffee and we all headed to the clubhouse. When we were outside the doors, we could hear quite a lot of chatter inside. We walked through the doors and saw the same gentlemen who had stopped by and invited us to the Thanksgiving meal. "Aww, you missed the doughnuts." He said and he was serious. A very nice lady with a hot dog hat on her head came over to us and introduced herself and let us know very kindly that when this group says 8 am they mean it and they are serious about their doughnuts. I guess there is a raffle (50-.50 tickets) so we'll try not to arrive later than 8:00 this next Saturday. ;o) We enjoyed getting to visit with a few of the people and the hostess brought out some leftover pound cake and cupcakes for the kids so they were sated. Everyone here at this park has been so nice.
Here's the gator guarding the entrance to the campground.

After breakfast, we decided to drive in to the actual town of Haines City and check it out. We drove to Lake Eva Community Center. There was a great playground there that the kids enjoyed for a little while. Then, we drove around a little more and then headed back to the campground.
On the pier at Lake Eva

Live Oak Trees (we think)

Palm Tree growing up in
the center of the Live Oak

Cool swing at the playground

Lots to climb on

We relaxed independently for a little while and then Brock had a little bit of work so I took the kids to the pool. It was beautiful and sunny and the kids had a great time. I enjoyed the sun and my book again. I think Brock was able to finish up his work and enjoy a little nap in the quiet trailer before coming out to join us.

The rest of the evening we just ate cheese pizza, watched mindless TV, and then went to bed. It was a good day.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Relaxing Black Friday

Not much to report today. We slept in. We had pumpkin bread muffins for breakfast which were yummy. We did a little work around the campsite-like laundry (really nice laundry room) and Brock and Bri worked on applying a little wax to the trailer. Late in the afternoon, we had to go out and return our Thanksgiving movies, so we did that and shopped a tiny bit at Walmart. The crowds had dispersed if there ever were any here in Haines City. Spence's flip flops and a pair of crocs both bit the dust so he doesn't have anything right now for public showers and pools, but would you believe there aren't any at the Walmarts here? Guess, even here they consider them seasonal.

Can't even remember if we did anything else. Lazy day.

In preparing their minds for our upcoming Legoland day, Spencer and Skylar spent a REALLY long time sorting Legos and organizing their minifigs. Together, they have a pretty impressive collection.
The guy in the middle is Wreck It Ralph (Spencer built).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Non-traditional Thanksgiving!

Sky/Ben's Thankfulness Tree
Today is moving day...out of Orlando! We got up and had biscuits and gravy for breakfast. We didn't have sewer hookups at this last site at Bill Frederick so most everyone took showers at the campground. Since I was working on the breakfast dishes, I decided to read the levels when those were done and see if I could eek out a shower in the trailer and I could. :0) We gave the trailer a quick wash and were packed up and out of our site on time, even before 11 am! We stopped by the dump station and then hit the road. Tom said we had a whopping 35 minute drive to our next camping site in Haines City, Florida.

We had reserved the site ahead and since no one was in the office for Thanksgiving Day, we just pulled right in to our site and got set up. Tempers were a little high and so that initial period was a little tough. BUT, our site is really nice. We are right next to the laundry room, bathrooms and the pool! Right away, a really nice man came and invited us to Thanksgiving Meal here at the park's clubhouse, but with tempers being what they were and the fact that I was unprepared to contribute something, I didn't feel comfortable showing up with our big family.

We had a few snacks and then decided to walk to Winn Dixie where there was a Redbox and we picked up Madagascar 3 for family movie night tonight and The Lucky One for Brock and I after the kids went to bed. The walk was so nice! The weather was just perfect here. It was a little breezy, but the sky was completely blue and it was about 72 degrees. When we returned from our walk, we all put on our swimsuits and the kids hit the pool and Brock and I hit the sun chairs and read our books. It was pretty relaxing. We stayed until pretty much all the pool area was in the shade and it was really too cold to stay then.

After pool time, it was time to start preparing our feast. I made candied yams and baked some fingerling potatoes. I stringed some sugar snap peas and heated some King's Hawaiian Dinner Rolls. Brock grilled our steaks to perfection on our grill. I was kind of excited because I think this was the first time we've had success in using that new grill that I stewed so much over whether we could bring or not. We have not actually been very happy with it because it seems like you only have too choices, high or nuclear heat and we kept burning everything. Maybe Brock is learning the finer art of manipulating this particular grill. Maybe we will keep it after all. :O) We washed all this delicious food down with a 2 liter of cream soda. (Not exactly sparkling cider, kindof festive looking and EVERYONE likes it so that makes it a good choice.)
Fingerling potatoes took longer than expected to
bake so didn't make plating time. They were pretty
fun with purple and pink ones. They all taste about
like normal potatoes.

Dinner and the family movie were awesome. We had a slight intermission towards the end of the movie for bathroom breaks and dessert - pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. When the movie was over, it was time for all kids to hit the sack. Time for Brock and I to cuddle up and watch our movie. Yay! This was not our traditional Thanksgiving, had its rough spots, and we really missed our family back home, but all in all a good day and one in which we could definitely be thankful for our countless blessings.