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!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Brock!

Brock started out his day with a visit to the fitness room, one of the amenities at the RV park where we are for the next couple of days. I decided to use the griddle on the BBQ again to make pancakes and bacon for a birthday breakfast. It was pretty windy so I ended up having to move the griddle to the front of the trailer so it could use the trailer for a wind block and the griddle could get hot enough to actually fry the bacon. It worked out just fine.

After breakfast, we all got ready for the day. By then the winds had died down and the temperature outside had cranked up to over 90 degrees. We drove to see Cadillac Ranch which is a display of 10 classic Cadillacs that are parked nose first in the ground. Evidentally the artistic display was created about 40 years ago and had to move locations in the 90s as the city sprawled out towards the original location.

The kids thought it was pretty cool to be able to participate in some sanctioned graffiti.

We left Cadillac Ranch and as we were driving by a mall with a JCPenney, we spontaneously stopped and I ran in and did a little bit of shopping while the boys went into a Wade Gordon Salon Hairdressing Academy so that Spence could get his wild mane tamed. ;o) I think my plan may have backfired because Spence didn't seem to mind paying for his haircut out of his own money and thought his stylist was much gentler than me so maybe I'm out of a job permanently. 

Brock had taken full advantage of his birthday and found a coupon online for a free premium car wash at Quick Quack Car Wash. This was no cheapy wash, it was a $15 car wash with the triple action foam and everything! It did a great job and it was completely free!

Just look at that shine!
We then decided that we were hungry again and so we went to a Der Weinerschnitzel for a quick lunch. We got corn dogs, deluxe dogs, chicago dogs, or chicken strips and a family size fry and we all got milkshakes and the total came to about $24. It was a blast from the past since Brock and I both remember eating at the Weinerschnitzel on 9th Street in Corvallis!

Next, we went to the Jack Sizemore RV Museum to check out some very classic RV's.

1966 Bethany Tent Trailer with original mod squad upholstery

1953 Fleetwood - the first year that Fleetwood made travel trailers

1948 Flxible Bus modified and used by the Gornike Family in the movie RV 

We left the museum and headed back to the trailer to have some quiet time. Some of us got in a great nap while others quietly played computer games or watched a movie with headphones.

Then Brock and I took a little walk together with Heidi. It was nice; we came back and sat outside in the shade at our picnic table and talked for awhile. We didn't feel all that hungry yet, but it was getting late and so we decided to head out for dinner at Hoffbrau Steaks. We were not disappointed. The steaks were great. The kids all liked their food too. Brighton had a chicken sandwich with Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce. Spence and Sky were stoked because the kids' meals included an ice cream push pop for dessert! For our dessert, Bri, Bryn and I split a fabulous peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

When we came home to the trailer, it was already time for the kids to get into bed, but it is hard with a creepy little neighbor like this peeping out of a nearby motorhome. LOL

Monday, April 29, 2013

Amarillo By Evenin'

It was an absolutely beautiful day for a drive. It was very warm and clear with minimal winds. The drive was a little boring...instructions from gps were to get on I-40 and stay on it for 257 miles or some such thing. The scenery for the first half was downright boring.

We stopped at a rest area about half way and ate lunch and stretched our legs.

Then we had to find a gas location. We like to find Pilots or Flying J because they are usually a little more big rig friendly than just finding a random stop that we may or may not be able to get into and out of easily. We found a nice one about 20 minutes down the road from the lunch stop location and we decided that ice cold drinks sounded really good. It was 91 degrees outside! Brighton, Brynna and I went in to get the fountain drinks. They had a very nice fountain station with a good variety of flavors. The whole operation didn't go as quickly as we would have liked since there was a line to check out too, but boy, did those drinks taste delicious and refreshing. There is always that side effect of drinking soda though which is not convenient when you are on a road trip and at least a couple people wanted to stop for a potty break before we reached our destination, but we were able to get them to stretch a little and make it all the way.

We finally pulled into our RV resort tonight about 6. Turns out we crossed back into the Central Time Zone so we lost an hour in our day this time. The office closed at 6 so we just found out our site and will settle up with them tomorrow morning.

Tonight, even though it was a vacation day for Brock, he had to work on his HTG reports since they were due and it took him a little longer than he thought, but he got them all posted and now he can really take a day off tomorrow. We are looking forward to checking out what there is to see in Amarillo.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our Family is Whole Again!

Woohooo! Brock and Brighton are back with us! They had a beneficial, productive business trip, but it sure seemed long. We are so glad to be together again and tomorrow we all get to have a change of scenery. We are grateful for this rv park where we've been for the last, how long has it been?, more than two weeks!! (after it was only supposed to be a few days.) It has all the amenities that we've needed and we have felt safe here, but we are definitely ready to leave this patch of gravel and get on with our trip.

Tomorrow we head towards Amarillo.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Catch Up Day

With all our fun field trips and excursions we took this week, we had a little cleaning to catchup on especially with all the wind too...lots of dust. So we took today to leisurely get the inside of the trailer all spiffed up because Brock and Bri are coming home tomorrow! Yay!! We've missed them so much. It was a gorgeous day...sunny and about 75 degrees and no wind!

I got our sheets washed, dried and put back on.

I made some potato salad. It was the last thing on my list of "things to eat that would gross out my hubby if he were here". Ha ha ha.

In the late afternoon, we decided to head to a little strip mall we'd seen that had a Great Clips and an Olo Yogurt Studio. Spencer still hasn't had a haircut since he was supposed to pay for his own after running away from my clippers and he's getting pretty roosterish in the back. ;o) Since everyone worked together on our cleaning chores, the frozen yogurt was to be our treat. When we arrived at the Great Clips, there was a 20-minute wait. We were all looking forward to attending a Saturday night church service at Sagebrush Community Church which started about an hour from then. Sooo, we decided to forego the haircut and just get yogurt. Mmmm. It was good. They had nummy flavors and lots of toppings that we hadn't seen before.

We finished eating our yogurts just in time to drive to church and arrive on time. Skylar decided he wanted to brave the kindergarten class this time, so we got him checked into the system and got name tags printed for he and Spence and they both got checked into their rooms in a smooth fashion. The kids classes were pretty big with probably at least 30 kids in the Kindergarten class and more in Spence's 3rd to 5th Grades class. Sky looked a little apprehensive about things as I was leaving, but he did great and had a fun time. (When I came to pick him up, I peeked in and saw he was playing tabletop air hockey with another boy and laughing.)

Bryn and I enjoyed the main service too. The lead pastor was teaching tonight and we got to watch several baptisms. I liked that they had a camera closeup trained on the people's faces and they had three big screens at the front of the room so you had a great view. The music was really good. There was a funny video at the end to recruit people for their parking ministry. We've never really felt at home in a mega-church before, but if we lived here, I could see attending this church. I really like the way they do things and they seem to have a lot of participation from their members in a variety of different ministries.

On the way back to the trailer, we stopped and filled up our gas tank at Costco. When we got to the campground, there was just time for the little boys to have a quick dinner and get ready for bed.

Yay, tomorrow, we get to see our guys!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

Regular schoolwork checked off, we scrounged through the cupboards and ate a snacky lunch so that we could head out on yet another field trip for this week to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. It was so cool to be able to just flash our museum pass (from Evergreen Aviation Museum from back in August at the launch of our trip) and gain admission without any additional cost. We've certainly gotten more value out of that purchase than I ever dreamed.

It is a really good museum. There were a few exhibits that were out of order or temporarily removed, but overall I felt like it was a high quality place. Despite the fact that pretty much all of what is taught there about the origins of life does not line up with our world view, it was still very cool to see the well-done displays. It is an awesome experience to look at a huge skeleton of a dinosaur that was found right here in this state. Turns out the museum is celebrating the centennial of New Mexico statehood with a look back at more than 100 years of dinosaur discoveries in the state.
"Stan" the T-Rex
Towards the end of our time at the museum, a scientist stopped on his way walking by, while we were admiring Stan. He told us they think he was about 20 years old when he died. They don't know what killed him, but the amazing thing is that he had several injuries during his life that had healed including a broken rib, a broken vertebrae in his neck and a hole in his skull that was just the size of a T-Rex tooth.

We started our museum tour at the rock and mineral displays. Skylar was excited to see the lapis lazuli sculpture of the turtles. Even at his young age, he is familiar with the name because of a little game called Minecraft that Brighton and Brynna both play.

We navigated into the Naturalist Center where we saw tiger salamanders, western box turtles, snakes, spiders, bullfrogs and more. There were microscopes set up where we could take a look at different things like snake skin up very close. We watched a couple of hungry toads going after some BIG crickets in their terrarium until one was successful. We squirmed as the toad swallowed the cricket while it was still wriggling around in his mouth. We loved the salt water tank with what really looked like Nemo characters. There was even a little baby clownfish that kept going in and out, in and out, and in and out of his anemone home.
I couldn't get a clear pic of the baby because he was always head
first into the tentacles, but this is the "daddy" clownfish.

We loved all the dinosaur displays. 
Certified New Mexico Fossil - Giant Duckbilled Footprint
From the museum website, describing this exhibit:
"Two of New Mexico's Jurassic giants face off in the center of this exhibit. The reconstructed skeleton of New Mexico's largest Jurassic predator, the 40-foot (12-meter) long Saurophaganax, is shown attacking one of the longest dinosarus that ever lived, the 110-foot (33-meter) long "earth-shaker," Seismosaurus."
Skylar was a little freaked at the size of the Seismosaur foot and leg
Giant Bird - Made me think of Kevin, the big bird in Up
There was a big volcano that you could walk inside to see how it works. 

Walking on hot magma

There was a cave exhibit that they did a really good job on. We were able to get a good look at all the different types of formations. My favorite part was a little artificial cavern that was totally dark, but you push  buttons to light up an example of about 10 different formations within the space. (ie. one button would light up soda straws, one would light up cave pearls, etc.) Brynna spotted several areas where they'd put little bats in the shadows. I saw these creepy little ones right above the arch that was the exit.

There was a section of a tree that they estimate was around 900 years old. That means the tree was around during the times of the First Crusade!

We enjoyed the space exploration area. Favorite aspects of this area were a Mars rover model that had a camera that you could control and a little video presentation on what causes the aurora borealis.

You could look through the ant's eyes;
 Sky said, "Looks like you're looking through a window screen."

Bryn poses with "Kirby" the lungfish. Scientists think
 the lungfish hasn't changed much since prehistoric times.
Once we closed down the museum at 5 pm, we decided to head out to dinner. We went to Chili's and enjoyed some good food. The best part was no prep and no clean up for me!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I love that my kids like to play pretend. This morning they were playing "home church" taking turns preparing a lesson from a Bible verse and leading each other singing praise songs. Skylar even wrote his own song called "I don't need anything (but Your love)". So proud.

Then in the afternoon, Skylar opened up a store where he was selling miscellaneous stuff. He hired both Brynna and Spencer to do different jobs and made them name tags with their job titles on them. Sky's name tag denoted his name and his job title "Boss".

Quote of the day, Skylar to Spencer, his employee: If you're going to argue with me, do you know what I could do? I could fire you. Do you see this right here? (points to his name tag)
I cracked up which caused him to laugh too, but when he said it, he was dead serious.
Once we had completed our schoolwork for the day, somewhere around 3 pm, we decided we would head into town to check out Explora Children's Museum. It was pretty cool, definitely worth the trip. There were lots of interactive displays in a variety of scientific areas. (light, air, water, sound, electricity, bubbles) I was a little apprehensive when we first got there because there was a LARGE school group that was near the front exhibits when we first walked in, but they must've been finishing up or doing group activities in classrooms or something because we never really saw them after that.
Stare into my kaleidoscope
Bryn, Spence, and Sky had a blast flying a model airplane in a wind tunnel with controls that I think were pretty realistic, two pedals on the floor and two joysticks.

Experimenting with air currents, Bernoulli principle
Bryn's simple copter weighted with paper clips
caught the updraft well, flew really high and stayed up there.
They experimented with differently designed wind-powered cars and raced them.

Sky's strategy was to have as many sails as possible. When another
car was faster, he was sure that it had gotten a head start.
We got to see some cool creatures.
Ocho, the Chilean Rose Tarantula
Brynna and a very active bull snake
A bearded dragon
Axolotl - weird prehistoric-looking salamander thingy

The kids had fun trying to create giant bubbles.

They created a "cage" for wild animals. ;o)

They played a lot with water flow on a water table and here was a closed system where you control the flow of water, valves, and compressed air that can be added. 

Upstairs in the area of "sound", Bryn and Spence put on headphones and then they chose buttons that would delay the sound in your ears and some that would delay and distort it by slowing it down. You were supposed to say something that would normally be easy, like the alphabet. Skylar and I had moved on to another display, but we heard Bryn and Spence laughing pretty hard from a couple exhibits away.

We probably had a good two hours at the museum and we really didn't get to do everything we wanted as it was closing time. I think if we'd had three hours it would have been about right for us, but we really enjoyed Albuquerque's Children's Museum. Turns out it is right across the street from the natural history museum which also looked like fun and is on our reciprocal museum list so we may hit that one too before the week is out.