HeaderRight and analytics

Pic of the Week

Monday, August 31, 2009

Laundry day

My major accomplishment for the day was laundry. It had been 2.5 weeks since we did laundry and we were all running out of socks, so I couldn't put it off any longer. I wound up trucking the laundry off to the laundromat during the kids' naps. Jeremy took them to the park when they woke up. In the grand scheme of things, 3.5 hours is a lot less than I used to spend on laundry over 2.5 weeks. It was still a long and hot afternoon. At least now we have clean sheets, towels, and clothes to enjoy.

Hopefully tomorrow we can get somewhere fun and have a more interesting day.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


We went to a different church today. This one we really liked. Their worship band was a bluesy-jazzy feel, and it was so refreshingly different. Songs we've heard before but in a different style. The pastor was good too. He had a few strange nuances that we had to get past, but the message was very good. We'll be going back there next week.

When we got home we spent a little time outside taking pictures. The neighbor lady had come by yesterday to offer the use of her yard for us. They've got a nice grassy patch, but our spot only has rocks and asphalt. We went over there and played for awhile in the grass and took some pictures. I was concentrating on getting sharp focus, and I think this was my best shot for the day:

From Salt Lake City

This afternoon I went out to the grocery store again, and then spent some time trying to figure out where to put the 26 boxes of cereal I bought. LOL Needless to say, we're stocked up for quite awhile. I just couldn't resist-with coupons, the store sale, and *hopefully* a rebate, they'll be free. Even if the rebate falls through it's a great price, and cereal stays good for a long time.

We also got to go to the park tonight and talk to Grandmother & Granddaddy Weatherford and Great-Grandmother Gunn. We're enjoying calling them from the park because the kids can run around and play but still come by and say hello.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

On to plan B

We had great plans this morning to go to the Treehouse Museum, which is supposed to be great for young kids. It's a good 40 minute drive away, so we headed out nice and early and arrived (much to our pleasant surprise) close to the opening time of 10. But when we got there, the museum was closed for the day to host some special event. Woulda been a nice thing to mention on their website (where we got directions & hours this morning), but nobody asked me. At least they gave us passes to come back on a Friday night sometime.

So, instead of that we headed to the free Air Force museum a few miles down the road. Turns out they were having a special event too, but that just made it more fun. It was a motorcycle & car show raising money for a food pantry. Ian liked looking at all the planes, motorcycles, and cars. His favorite thing of all though was the big rocks they used for landscaping. LOL

From Salt Lake City

From Salt Lake City

From Salt Lake City

Friday, August 28, 2009

Children's museum again

This morning we made a quick run to get some more free bagels (Einstein's has been running a Free Bagel Friday promotion) and then headed to the Children's Museum again. The kids had a blast.

Tonight we went out to a park nearby. That was fun. I've been trying to play with my new speedlite for the camera. SO much to learn there, but I got a few decent shots tonight.

From Salt Lake City

From Salt Lake City

From Salt Lake City

From Salt Lake City

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Working on the road

Before we pulled up roots and started wandering, I (Jeremy) worked from home for about two years, so I was used to the general idea. Working from the road has been similar, but with a few tradeoffs. I lost my quiet basement office, for instance, but I gained a window office. Our internet connection isn't quite as reliable these days, but I have more options now if there are problems (like packing up and going to a Panera). Most of my home office came with me, except for the 3rd monitor and desk phone. I also switched my main computer to a laptop so I could take it with me easily if needed, and added a Verizon aircard for mobile connectivity when campground wireless is flaky (= most of the time).

The biggest problem now is with noise. If the kids are being noisy, I can usually just put headphones on and not worry about it. If I'm on a conference call, though, it can be a lot more stressful. Fortunately, my phone has a mute button, and I can always go hide in the truck cab if I need some quiet space.

My new desk is about 16" deep, and the space between it and the bed is about 30". The lack of space hasn't bothered me much, although I have a few more bruises on my knees from banging them on cabinet knobs, and my femurs might have shrunk a little from compression. I'm working on getting my office equipment organized, maybe hidden inside the big cabinet on the left, but here's a "before" picture:

From Salt Lake City

Thank goodness for PowerSquids -- I have 6 wall-warts plugged into two of them, plus a normal power strip. And my window view:

From Salt Lake City

All in all, it's a very nice arrangement. It takes me a few minutes to get everything set up at the beginning of a work week, but taking it all apart every week means nothing gets too dusty or tangled. Plus, if I don't like the view out my window, it's easy to change!

Update: here's the after picture. Now I just need to put a grommet in the desk top so I can run the cables straight down into the cabinet instead of leaving the door open.

From Salt Lake City

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I love clearance!

We went to do some grocery shopping today at Target. Wow, was that worth the trip! My favorite find was Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake-original or Double Godiva Chocolate-for only $4.98! That's 12 slices. We had some this afternoon, and boy is it good! I got lots of other things too-free bread, free cereal, free hot pockets, and almost free quesadillas, turtle pie, biscuits, poptarts, wipes, and a few other things. It was tough fitting it all in the freezer but we made it work!

Tonight we went out to the park to play for a bit. Ian slept until 5:15 so we couldn't really go anywhere else. We had a nice time. No good pics, though. I got a new flash for my camera and I was playing with it at the park. Needless to say, I have a lot to learn! I'm hoping that I can figure it out and get better pics in museums and other dimly lit places.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home again

We were hoping to go back to the children's museum today, but Rinnah didn't sleep well last night and was up for the day just after 6. Since we will still be here awhile longer, I decided not to take her on a cranky day. I haven't decided yet if I like the whole stay one place for a month thing or not. On the one hand, it's nice that we can stay home on days when the kids didn't sleep well and we still have plenty of time to see and do things. On the other hand, it's too tempting sometimes to just give up and stay home instead of pushing through the kids' moodiness without the pressure of leaving in a week.

Both kids were still asleep at 5 tonight (since they didn't go down until after 3) so Jeremy and I got to have dinner by ourselves. That was different and nice. After they finally woke up and had dinner, we went out to Old Navy. Between their 50% off clearance sale and a $50/$100 coupon we had, we wound up with 46 items of clothing for $58 with tax-and that includes a $15 belt for Jeremy that wasn't on clearance, 6 pairs of jeans, and lots of shorts and cute shirts for both kids. I'm hoping to sell some of it so what we keep will be almost free. :)

Since Ian was so cooperative at the store, we stopped at the playground on the way home. All afternoon he'd been asking to go to the park and take his truck on the slide. We went and he sent his truck down each of the 5 slides at the playground. Both he and Rinnah thought it was absolutely hysterical. It was a nice way to end the evening.

Monday, August 24, 2009


We went to IKEA today.

It was the first time we had been there, and wow, it really is a destination unto itself. Hands down the most child-friendly store I've ever been in. Lots of toys, train tables, and fun little tunnels throughout the store. The family restroom had toys (maybe hard to keep clean but a good thought) and free diapers. They even had a drop off daycare. Plus, the whole entryway smelled of cinnamon buns-it was almost torture.

We were looking for a new bed or beds. We'd love to be able to bunk the kids. This bed looks awesome-it's only 45" high and you can comfortably fit another mattress underneath.

Only problem is that it's about 1/2" too long to fit in our slideout, even if we take off the window boxes. So close! Oh well. We looked at the other junior beds (63" long) and tried to figure out if we could make the legs taller to get Rinnah underneath, but we have some serious doubts about our abilities to make that happen. Thinking of the vent cover and closet shelf that have sat uninstalled in the trailer for a month now did little to boost our confidence. So we left empty-handed, save for the clothes for Rinnah I bought from Craigslist. We met the lady in the parking lot.

At least Ian had fun playing with the trains.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


We've had a nice weekend here. No posting yesterday because the campground wifi has been flaky. Yesterday we went to the Natural History museum here. They had a huge exhibit on frogs, with all sorts of different exotic frogs and toads from around the world. We even got to be there when they were feeding the frogs. Ian loved it.

From Salt Lake City

Ian practicing jumping like a frog
From Salt Lake City

Coming out for a snack
From Salt Lake City

Listening to frog calls
From Salt Lake City

Today we went to a park with a HUGE playground. Unfortunately, it was pretty overrun with kids whose inattentive parents were nowhere nearby, and Ian got plowed over a few times and kicked in the head. :( Didn't seem to phase him too badly because he still had a good time. We may try to go back during the week when it would (hopefully) be less busy. We also got to skype Grandmother & Granddaddy Weatherford from the park, and then Grandma Fox & Uncle Mike when we got home.

Rinnah sneaking a snack
From Salt Lake City

Talking to Grandmother & Granddaddy
From Salt Lake City

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quiet day

Pretty quiet day here today. Just tried to get everybody their naps and that wound up taking all day, except for a short excursion in the morning to take advantage of Einstein Bagel's "Free Bagel Friday".

I think this is the first time since we left Jacksonville that we've stayed home for two days in a row. Since we're here for a whole month, I don't feel that pressure to make sure we see everything before we go. It's kind of nice in some ways. Tomorrow we're going out to the museum. Usually Jeremy just gets to come along to repeat our favorite things at the end of the week, but this time we all get to go together to the museum for the first visit. That's neat.

Here's a photo I took of Ian today. I'm trying to read photography & photoshop tutorials with any moments I can eke out of the day, but most of the time my models are less than cooperative. Nowhere near professional quality, but definitely better than I've been doing.

From Salt Lake City

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dinner attempt

Since we got such good news about the house yesterday, we decided to try to go out to dinner tonight to celebrate. It's so rare, that when we told Ian what we were doing, he got all excited that he was going to see his uncles. (That's usually the only time we go out to eat, with Grandma Fox & his uncles.) We found a deli that's supposed to have amazing sandwiches, but all the reviews talked about lunch. I called and asked if you could still get a sandwich for dinner and they said yes. We went over there and it turns out they're open for dinner, but they transform into a fancy italian restaurant. Rinnah was a bit squirrely and it was getting late, so we opted against that.

Next we went to a bakery that's supposed to have the best desserts in Salt Lake City. They have a little restaurant too, but nothing looked particularly exciting. So we got dessert to go and picked up a $5 pizza on the way home. Not quite the fancy dinner we had imagined, but still no cooking and no dishes!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Our house has sold! Woohoo!!!!!! Thank You Lord! We are all doing a happy dance! Of course the inspection & closing have to happen before we can stop paying the mortgage, but we have a signed contract!!

Part of why we're so happy is that we crunched some numbers, and we could be 100% debt-free in around two and a half years once we drop the mortgage payment. That's awesome! Then our goal is to never have a vehicle payment again; to always be saving up the money before we buy the car and avoid paying interest. It's crazy to realize how much money we've spent on interest over the last few years. Once we drop the mortgage, we'll be living a LOT cheaper in the RV, and we're excited about that.

In other news, we went to the Children's Museum today! We're staying very close to it, less than 2 miles away, and I'm glad for that because I think we'll be back often over the next few weeks.

Ian got to do a painting workshop there today:

From Salt Lake City

Rinnah loved this water feature. She must have stood there for 30 minutes, humming and singing to herself as she splashed in the water.
From Salt Lake City

Playing with the toys
From Salt Lake City

From Salt Lake City

And Rinnah fed herself a cup of yogurt today-she had a blast and actually did very well for her first time driving the spoon!
From Salt Lake City

From Salt Lake City

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New bike!

Today we got Ian his birthday present and let him have it a few weeks early:

From Salt Lake City

From Salt Lake City

It's a pedal-less bike. It's supposed to be easier for kids to learn their balance and go right to a pedal bike without ever having training wheels. At least from trying things in the store, Ian was a lot more confident on these than the training wheel bikes, and these were a much better height for him too. I think he's going to have a blast and be zipping around in no time.

We also did a quick grocery store run to take advantage of a sale. We wound up with a whole cart full of groceries-grapes, cheese, yogurt, crackers, bread, frozen pizza-for $46, but we got $5 off our next order and we'll get a $20 rebate. Woohoo!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Salt Lake City

We're here!

We spent all day trying to get a monthly site. Long story, but basically every time we went to the office we got a different story about which sites were available and how much they cost. Eventually we got one picked and we moved in. It's decent. There's a little gravel yard with a picnic table, and behind us there's a lot of extra asphalt, sort of an alleyway, where the kids can play. Ian's favorite thing is the storage shed, which is his "garage". It's a 10x10 newish plastic shed, so it's pretty clean and in good shape. It even has a little window that can open. Ian's car and bike are in there, along with a few outside toys. It will be nice on rainy days to have somewhere so close to play.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to start exploring the city!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Off the grid

Yesterday we started out at the railroad museum again. Last week they gave us a pass for free admission and a free ride on the Galloping Goose, so after we packed up the trailer we headed to the museum. When Ian realized where we were, he could hardly contain himself and practically skipped into the building to play with the train set in the gift shop. We were able to look around at a few of our favorite things and then go for a ride on this:

From Wyoming

It's basically a limo that was converted to run on rails towing a boxcar. It was the company's cheap solution to keep the mail contract when mining silver wasn't profitable. It got its name from the way it waddles side to side as it goes down the track. We rode at about 10-15mph and it was pretty waddly and pretty bumpy. The tourist excursions used to go 35mph for 8 hour trips-let me just say I would not be interested. LOL It was fun for a few minutes, but the bumps and waddling could really get to you after awhile, especially going faster.

After the railroad museum we packed up and headed off to Wyoming on our way to Utah. We'd found out about a free campground about halfway to Salt Lake City, about ten miles off the highway. Sounded good. As we entered the area, we saw signs for "Open Range". Well, they meant it.

From Wyoming

Definitely off the grid. No cell signal, no hookups, and wide open space as far as you can see. The scenery was gorgeous. We were right along a river, with big cliffs on one side. In this pic, the river is behind us, a little past the fence.

From Wyoming

It was a lot nicer than staying at a Walmart, since the kids got to play outside for awhile and we even had a campfire and s'mores. It was different to be so far out-it was our first night without electricity-but we had a nice time together and it was kind of neat to not have the distraction of computers, phones, or electronic gizmos. We had breakfast for dinner (the stove is propane) and had a very nice time.

At our first stop this morning, we discovered we had a stowaway!
From Wyoming

Yep, that's a cute little mouse who is quite surprised to find itself at a truck stop in western Wyoming. I'm guessing he was curled up next to the nice warm engine last night and didn't get out of bed on time. When we got out for lunch he had tucked himself under the windshield wiper. I was afraid we'd have to drive with him like that, but by the time we finished lunch he had found a new place to hide. We're hoping he sprinted off to safety in the bushes, but it's definitely possible he's still in the truck.

Now we're almost to Salt Lake City. The place we're hoping to stay at doesn't take reservations for the monthly sites, it's just first-come, first-served. We'll have to check it out and see if we'll stay there or the place down the road.

Friday, August 14, 2009


We went back to the science museum today. Jeremy finished work early, and since the museum closes at 5 we tricked Ian into taking an early nap by having lunch at 11 instead of 12. We're so sneaky! Anyway, we managed to get there by just after 3, so we had awhile to look around.

I finally got a pic of Rinnah standing on her own

From Denver

Ian enjoying the slide
From Denver

Making faces
From Denver

Driving the space ship
From Denver

Running down the big hill outside the museum
From Denver

Rinnah liked bouncing down the hill with daddy
From Denver

Tomorrow we head out towards Salt Lake City! We haven't had a long driving day since we got to Colorado a month ago, so it will be different to have a road day again.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ever have one of those days where nothing goes exceptionally wrong, but everything takes ten times longer than you expect and you get to the end of the day and wonder where the time went?

It was just one of those days. I did manage to do all the laundry (7 loads!) and fold most of it, and put gas in the truck, pick up a few groceries, and pick up a Leapfrog DVD for Ian from someone on craigslist. That was pretty much it though, and that was only about half of what I wanted to get done. It was just one of those days where I felt like I was swimming upstream through jello. Oh well.

Now that we're settling into a routine on the road, I've joined some photography groups and picked up a book on Photoshop in hopes of finally working on those skills. That sort of got tossed out the window when we decided to switch vehicles and homes and hit the road. Some of my online buddies are really good photographers-even doing professional work now-and I want so badly to be able to produce photos like they do.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Denver Children's Museum

I'm not sure what little boy I had today, but he was amazing! The little boy who was here all day was patient at the doctor's office, quiet and helpful at the grocery store, quick to go to sleep at naptime, and happy to share toys with Rinnah. He even comforted her in the car when she was upset. Could it be a new attitude to go with the new haircut? At any rate, I'll keep him!

The children's museum was open late today, so after naps & work we headed out there since Ian had been so good. The kids had a blast! This is by far the best museum we've been to for young kids. Ian could enjoy the majority of the museum. Even if he wasn't doing all the detailed activities, almost every area had something he had fun participating in. And the area for itty bitties is outstanding. Rinnah had all sorts of places to climb on and in, and toys to play with.

From Denver

Ian LOVES these wooden trains and gets so excited when we find them now
From Denver

Rinnah enjoys the trains too!
From Denver

Going grocery shopping
From Denver

Playing peek-a-boo with the doors
From Denver

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Today was a day of long overdue haircuts for the men around here. We went to a place catering towards kids and the first thing Ian said when we walked in was, "Oh, they have trains here too!" and he made a beeline for the wooden train table. Until that moment he had been all excited about getting his hair cut first, before Daddy. The train set clearly superseded his plans for the last few days. At any rate, once we pried him away from the trains, he did really well holding still.

From Denver

From Denver

Ian loved the clippers
From Denver

Like my mullet?
From Denver

All done!
From Denver

Two handsome men
From Denver

We've also been trying to fill out our plans a little more between here and San Francisco. We are going to see so many awesome places in the Pacific Northwest! I am so excited!

Oh, and we finally got the right cable to get videos off the movie camera, so the proper version of Rinnah's first steps is now in the "Newest Video" tab.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Denver Science Museum

Today I took the kids to the Denver Science & Nature Museum. Wow, was there a lot to see! A lot of it was for older kids and really went over Ian's head, but some of it was fun for him in a different way. They had a health exhibit where you get a plastic card to ID you, then go around and do various health things like measuring your heart rate and trying to reach a target heart rate on a bike. Ian had no clue what most of it meant, but he loved putting the card in and out of every slot along the way. At the end you got a printout, complete with the picture it took of you holding your arms out to measure arm span. Ian is so proud of his picture (with Rinnah's name on it since our cards got mixed up) and has been talking all day about going back and getting another card.

They also had some nice children's play areas. From talking to the other moms, I've gathered that they normally have a huge area for kids but that's under construction, so it was just a little room of toys today. Ian & Rinnah still had fun playing with the different magnets and puzzles.

From Denver

Rinnah learning about magnets
From Denver

Ian picking up moonrocks
From Denver

After naptime, we went for a walk in the park adjacent to the campground. They had some beautiful trails and nice playgrounds for the kids.

From Denver

From Denver

From Denver

From Denver

From Denver

From Denver

From Denver

After dinner we went to the mall and walked around for awhile. We must have done something right because both kids fell asleep on the 3 mile ride home! Jeremy drove laps around the RV park while I got out diapers & pajamas, and miraculously both kids were asleep by 8:20 tonight. Wow! What would you do with an extra hour or two?

Here's a better quality video of Rinnah's first steps:

Based on original Visionary template by Justin Tadlock
Visionary Reloaded theme by Blogger Templates

Visionary WordPress Theme by Justin Tadlock Powered by Blogger, state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform