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Monday, July 13, 2009

Reflections on the first few weeks

We've been on the road for three and a half weeks now. Like most big changes, it seems like just yesterday and it also seems like we've been doing this forever. Today while I was at the park with Ian, I was thinking about some of my favorite things about our new lifestyle.

Time with the kidsToday I took the kids to the park twice, we went swimming when Jeremy finished work, Jeremy played outside with the kids for awhile, and I got some one-on-one playtime with Rinnah. It seems like we get a LOT more time together, just enjoying the kids. I was thinking about why it is so different from in our stick house. Partly, I spend about 10% of the time I used to on housework and picking up toys. And also we are deliberately planting ourselves near opportunities for things to do and places to see, whereas we felt kind of stuck in our little town before. I love that we are really soaking up our kids' early childhood, and not wondering where the time went anymore.

Lack of houseworkObviously, there is still some work to be done. But the kids have fewer toys, so it's faster to pick them up. Plus, we play outside a lot more so the toys don't get pulled out as often. We have fewer dishes, so we can't let them pile up or we won't be eating. We have to clean up throughout the day since the play area is also the main pathway, so the mess never gets out of control. Jeremy doesn't have any yardwork. I can vacuum the whole house in under ten minutes. And every time we move to a new place, we do a thorough cleaning/organization job out of necessity so it's like spring cleaning every week. The house is never a total disaster anymore because it just can't be.

Seeing new places We are getting to see so many new places. Some of them were planned and touristy, like Mount Rushmore. But others have been pleasant surprises, like this little town we're staying in now. Wheatland only has 3500 people, but they have a free RV park in the middle of a great city park with an enormous play area, a walking path, and a pool that only costs $1. We've really enjoyed our time here. And driving through rural South Dakota & Wyoming was gorgeous, which we never would have thought to do otherwise.

Museums & Zoos We bought an annual pass to the children's museum (which also works at many science centers) and a pass to the zoo (which also works at many aquariums). With those passes, we've already been able to see many different museums and zoos for no additional charge. The kids are learning and playing, and I don't feel like we have to devote a whole day to going since we didn't pay admission charge. We just come and go as is convenient for the kids' schedules.

Learning geographyIan already knows that Grandma lives in Illinois and he can point out that & our current state on the map. He loves adding a new sticker every time we get to a new state. Jeremy and I are learning a lot more about geography too, just getting more of a sense of how big everything is and how quickly topography can change.

Living more simplyWe have fewer things, limited internet, fewer toys, less fridge/freezer space, and a lot less square footage. But we don't feel deprived at all. We are learning to cook simpler meals, since our microwave is also our oven. The kids are just as happy digging in the rocks or watching the train go by as they were playing with our big fancy toys. We are making the most of parks and playgrounds and other simple ways to enjoy our time together.


Lucas said...

did you guys get to the Corn Palace? :) I love reading about your adventures.

Kim said...

Yep, made a quick stop at the Corn Palace on our way across South Dakota. Amazing that they rebuild it every year!

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