RV ROADTRIPS RULE!

If you ever saw this cartoon as a kid, odds are you have always dreamed of going on an RV trip.

i’ve been trying to get us on an RV trip for at least a year now but timing and finances never seemed to align. this past week we had a family reunion in NC planned that fell apart very last minute. i was left in a stressed out spot as Kevin was going to be home for the whole week but now we had nothing fun planned. i always have the RV trip in the back of my mind, so i scoured RV sites and after several calls and a spreadsheet analysis i came up with a game plan to finally get us out in an RV!

Family RV Trip tips

here are some THINGS I LEARNED, in case you want to start planning a fun RV trip for your family:

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1. you can’t just go off the /day fee: there are mileage fees, cleaning fees, insurance, prep fees, and generator fees. during my search i found it was a good deal if you got at least 150 free miles/day. and if the extra mileage fee was less than .30/mile. and don’t forget the cost of a place to plug-in each night in your budget.

2. negotiate! I found fees to be negotiable. for the mileage fee, they were willing to negotiate down to .20/mile for miles paid up front. if you know you will be traveling over the free mile allotment see if you can get a better rate paying up front. they were also willing to waive the cleaning fee if we did the cleaning ourselves. and if we were familiar with RVs, they would have waived the prep fee and let us do it ourselves. if theres something i’ve learned in my life recently its that you will surprised what you can make happen. never be afraid to ask, the worst they can say is no. Or as Alice Walker more eloquently puts it:

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.

3. be flexible in trip planning: the cost of the trip i had dreamed of (a trip up to Nashville TN) was looking to be too much when I tallied up the mileage fee and cost of gas. i was so bummed. then i remembered a mini-summer trip i had been looking into up on Amelia Island 200 miles from home. when i punched in those numbers we were within budget! so if your main goal is to experience an RV, consider a close to home destination.

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Anna Maria Island

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here are some OOPS! TO AVOID:

1. bedding (duh): as i looked at pictures of RVs, the back bed always had one of those tacky motel comforters on it. so i assumed the bed would come with bedding. and i’m sure that is true for some RVs, but this one was empty. i didn’t pack any bedding for my husband and i (i’m a notorious under packer- bringing nothing to light a fire on a camping trip might have happened before). he made the mistake of pumping the A/C down to 60 the first night and we both woke up so cold all through the night. we were kicking ourselves thinking of how comfortable we could have been all bundled up and cozy in our duvet and fluffy pillows if only we’d brought them.

2. turbulence! things get pretty bouncy when you’re driving, especially the farther back you are in the RV. sometimes i’ll admit i was kinda fearing for my life and i’d come up to see if like there had been a close call or something and kevin was just all normal driving. so don’t plan on cooking, showering etc while on the road (i had a fantasy of cooking while driving that did not come to fruition- curse that mickey mouse- taunting me with false hopes!). you can move around a bit, but be careful and sit or lay as much as you can while on the go. this is another reason to plan a near-to-home trip. the most fun is had while the RV is stopped.

3. ask questions: i assumed the TV would just work all the time but we found it only worked when the RV was plugged in. we told the boys we’d play a movie while we drove during bedtime hours the first night and ended up with some disappointed little guys 😦 also we didn’t quite grasp the water pump and tank. we ended up calling their hotline and muddled through but we might have saved some time (and possibly a small argument) if we had asked for a water tutorial before we left.

THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT AN RV:

1. so great for a mid-day break: vacations are exhausting. it was so nice to come back to the RV for afternoon nap time or nursing a baby.

IMG_1175family vacation nap time

^yes, he is sleeping like that lol

2. save on food costs: we only ate out for dinner each day since we could whip up breakfast and lunch super simple in the RV and eat in the A/C at our cozy built-in table.

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3. fun while driving: no “are we there yet?” or “mom, he’s bugging me!” or having to stop for potty breaks or accidents from not stopping enough for potty breaks

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good luck and have fun on your adventure!

STACKED MOTHERS RING

we have entered a new era here. all the babies have been born. we are complete. no more members to join for at least another 10 years when they get to marriage age. i am proud of my 5 sons and all that they are and will become.

as i thought about this last week, while anticipating baby adam’s arrival, i decided i needed something physical to display like a name tag telling the world what i have that is so valuable to me.

my mom had mentioned a handstamped, birthstone mothers necklace. but as i thought about it. i am a bit of a necklace collector and like to coordinate my necklace to what i’m wearing.  i worried a mothers necklace would not get enough wear time. i wanted something i would wear everyday.

i also ruled out bracelets, because they can get in the way and i don’t see myself wearing them unless i’m dressing up.

a ring seemed like the way to go. i’m always good at wearing my wedding ring and don’t often add in other rings on my hands. i can dedicate my left hand to my husband and my right to my boys. together they equal the most important people to me in this world.

i figured i would go with birthstones, as is the tradition. but as i pictured how all their birth stones would look together (blue, red, white, purple) i wasn’t feeling it. nor did i think a purple gem really represents a boy, ya know?

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so i thought something like this could work, with just blue gems (blue=boy)

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but then i stumbled across these adorable initial heart rings on etsy. they are tiny enough that i can stack all 5 initials with varied bands in-between and fit all my boys on my ring finger.

il_570xN.693541211_3ulvsimple but i think i will love it.

 

3 KEY FACTORS IN RAISING BOYS TO BECOME MISSIONARIES

i’m reading an oldie but a goodie Raising Up a Family to the Lord

this quote that he includes in the book really made me think.

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in the book he narrows down key behavior of a family that has successful young men (i.e. become priesthood holders, serve missions, marry in the temple). this is something that is really important to me so when he approached the topic in the book i was all ears! and while I’m sure it’s not as simple as checking off 3 things on a list, I believe it is good guidance and has given me an added drive to adhere to the behaviors.

one of the keys is family scripture study. we are pretty good about having scripture study nightly but if it gets past bedtime sometimes we skip it (like on a Friday night after a movie when a couple kids are already conked out). well this past Friday, after reading this, i made sure we did scripture study before the movie. this way my boys will learn about priorities and doing first thing first.

if you are interested in his list, but not enough to buy the book, here it is:

1. Family Prayer (which leads children to personal prayer)

2. Family Scripture Study/ Family Home Evening (which lead children to personal scripture study)

3. Agreement on Values (he gives a great example of handling the question “why do we have to go to church on Sunday?”. One parent might say “because i said so.” or another short response and not help the child come to agree on values. while the teaching parent explains the commandment and blessings associated, referencing scripture and bearing testimony, and asking the child a question or two, causing the child to come to understand and hopefully agree with the parent’s value)

you may be surprised that Go To Church isn’t even on his list. but as i thought about it i realized that just sitting in church on sunday isn’t enough to mold a life. it’s in the home, where we spend every day, that a life is shaped.

LITTLE BOYS IN SHADES

i have a mild obsession with little boys wearing sunglasses

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these are from the children’s place <sponsored link: PLACE card members save 5% off every purchase at The Children’s Place! > and old navy

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i think its the grown-up effect it gives

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i usually don’t start buying them sunglasses until age 2 because they won’t keep them on any younger, and tend to bend them in unnatural ways. but i spotted these baby sunglasses and could not resist. well i actually did resist the first time, but subconsciously found a reason to go back a few days later and succumbed to their cuteness.

enoch sunglassesi’m having way too much fun with them now

enoch sunglasses1i’ve timed him at a total of 4 seconds of wear time

enoch sunglasses2but i’ve snapped some edible pics in those 4 second windows

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sooo i think my mild obsession has reached the strong fixation level

enoch sunglasses filterif you spot any cute sunglasses i can add to my collection let me know!

MOVIES THAT ARE BETTER THAN THE BOOK

booksvsmoviesi am worried that i might be a shallow person. i just finished reading a few classics and i’m not brimming with enthusiasm for the books and honestly i prefer the movie to the book. so i started thinking back on other classics i’ve read and i’m seeing a pattern.

1. when the movie The Count Of Monte Cristocame out it was my favorite movie. the scene where he debuts at the party with his coat blowing in the wind. the toast speech. the kiss after 16 years. when fernand realizes the count is edmond at the end. so many good lines the book had to be superb. well i could not even get through the book. the magical scenes of the movie just weren’t otherworldly in text.

2. i saw Les Miserables in the theater and was so moved. it was amazing. i had to read the book. but the book was not nearly as touching for me. marius seemed like a spineless creep with the months of stalking cosette on the promenade. maybe it was the music of the movie that did it for me? i still listen to the soundtrack all the time.

3. i love the movie Pride & Prejudice. the scene in the rain when he proposes the first time is electric. the long walk through the field is delicious <i must have a thing for long coats>. and the line “you have bewitched me body and soul”…chills! well imagine my dismay when none of that was in the book. i did enjoy the book, but it was not romantic. <if you are looking for a pride & prejudice type book that is a good, romantic love story check out Edenbrooke>

4. Gone with the Wind now this one is a little reverse. i have never seen the movie but thought i should read the raved about book. 1000 pages later i am puzzled. why is this called the greatest love story? the book has enough of a story to keep you reading, but if you are looking for a love story or happy ending, you will be disappointed. so no, i do not plan to watch the movie.

so here’s where you say: no, no you aren’t shallow, i thought the same thing