west virginia. mountain mama.

the first leg of the official official lidbom rambling road show was to a little spot in west virginia, about ten minutes north of charleston.
IMG_0418

we arrived late at night and had to navigate some super windy, dark, narrow country roads. but we survived. this was what we were dealing with, only in daylight. and a kind of straight stretch so i wouldn’t die snapping the pic.
IMG_0421

we spent the first day exploring the campground, registering, organizing our crap, and assembling a bunch of storage items from ikea. the site we were at was called rippling waters. i think it’s part christian camp and conference center and part rv park. the tiny little church behind the lake made for a good “we are here” instagram post.
IMG_0428

the older kids rode bikes A LOT. hazel was dying to join them. so, ike took her on a couple of spins around the loop.
IMG_0441

the official campfire pic. it started raining like crazy about 20 minutes later.
IMG_0446

so, derek had told me that when we drove through charleston, isaac told him that he wanted to go back to see the capitol building. not wanting to miss an opportunity to indulge a non-minecraft interest, on our second day, i drove him there.
IMG_0494

so many steps.
IMG_0456

looking out over the river from the top.
IMG_0464

wv capitol building selfie.
IMG_0469

one last pic with honest abe. (we decided against posing with stonewall jackson).
IMG_0473

the capitol building visit was short and sweet and then we grabbed some lunch before putting our astc passport to good use and getting free admission to the clay center museum. it was pretty cool. not a TON to do, but all the things they did have were very awesome. one exhibit was “earth city” and everything was about the earth science of the landscape of west virginia (and some other locales).

river currents.
IMG_0484

fog.
IMG_0499

IMG_0501

isaac was obsessed with this. it was a manual boot scooping water elevator? he turned the wheel. the boots scooped water. carried the water to a platform. dumped it. it splashed everywhere. repeat.
IMG_0504

more fun learning about currents.
IMG_0506

i’m not sure hazel was retaining any info about erosion here, but the sand/water play was fun.
IMG_0508

in another room, there were a bunch of tables set up, each with a challenge to be completed. anna was on a mission to complete five to win a prize, until a school field trip rolled in and took over all of the tables. oh well.
IMG_0490

hazel was hard at work, too.
IMG_0488

just when i thought we were ready to leave, we happened upon this giant maze. so, we spent thirty or so minutes being mesmerized by the balls racing through the track. it was pretty sweet.
IMG_0518

please note how wet ike is from the boot water scooper.
IMG_0520

lid kid teamwork on the giant propeller crank.
IMG_0523

back at camp. more biking.
IMG_0524

they loved riding their bikes down a big hill near our site.
IMG_0528

on day three, a hike was in order. i researched like crazy, because i was definitely not interested in being lost on the side of a wv mountain with three kiddos as night fell. we found the kanawha state forest and took a very strange drive through the backroads to get there. at the ranger office, a friendly lady told us to try the “overlook rock” trail. it sounded promising, like maybe with lots of views. so, we gave it a go…

pre hike selfie.
IMG_0537

the hike was pretty much straight up. and then straight back down. and the straight up part ran along a little stream for a bit.
IMG_0546

anna is an all-star hiker. i was pretty much dying. i’m fat and out of shape and i had a 40ish pound backpack on. isaac grew a bit grumbly after a good 1/2 mile of going uphill. but anna. she just bounced along, singing a little song the whole time.
IMG_0540

isaac insisted on wearing flip flops. he would never admit that some of his frustrations stemmed from poor footing. he made it to the end, but when we stopped at subway for lunch, he had a blowout getting out of the car and had to put sneakers on after all. i’m just thankful that the blowout didn’t happen on the trail. i can’t even imagine the whining.
IMG_0549

IMG_0550

during the lengthy uphill, it was determined that walking sticks should be procured and put into use.
IMG_0560

obstacles.
IMG_0562

and then, back down. a little more treacherous. it seemed steeper than the path up.
IMG_0572

finally out of the woods and on the road back to the car, we stopped for a post hike selfie. hooray, we weren’t eaten by a bear! and no one fell off a cliff! and we didn’t get lost (mostly thanks to hazel’s keen eye – watching for the yellow diamond blazes, and loudly announcing them for all of the wilderness to hear).
IMG_0587

back at the camp, we had to go to the bath house to shower because we ran out of propane. here is a fresh and clean crazel, who did not want to get dressed in the bath house, so opted to wear a towel back to the camper.
IMG_0593

we were all pretty tired from our adventures, but hazel had skipped a nap for two days in a row, so she didn’t make it past 6pm. little did we know…
IMG_0596

…that she was actually sick. she woke up at 10pm or so and vomited everywhere. she had a little fever, so we medicated her and put her back to bed. and then she vomited again at 530am.
IMG_0605

we decided that since it was almost the weekend, and we were going to be traveling, and she had that one ridiculous uti at christmas, and she’s been having lots of accidents leading up to being sick, that we should try to get her into a doc. we spent all morning trying to find a place that would take a “new” patient. finally, we found this little gem. yes. a doc’s office in a double wide. but, i’m not judging. because they accepted us and fixed us up. but still. a double wide.
IMG_0613

hazel was pathetic while we waited, but i think she was just tired. she was a champ during her check up. and then showed no signs of uti in her urine. but the doc, based on my description of symptoms and her history, went ahead and prescribed an antibiotic and sent her urine off to be cultured. we decided to wait for the culture results before starting her, and lo and behold, on monday morning we got the call that she did have a uti and i’m not a crazy person. (that’s my own assessment).
IMG_0616

anyhow, when derek got off work that night, we got on the road to as far north as we could get without falling asleep and running off the road. here’s the big old rambler pulling out of rippling waters campsite in wild and wonderful west virginia.
IMG_0620

ike rides with derek. the girls with me. so, we stopped at mexican for dinner, since isaac in never down with going to mexican. never. and this place happened to have a cool donkey statue for us to pose with. 🙂
IMG_0635

anyhow, we drove for awhile to a cracker barrel in ohio, where we spent the night before making the rest of the trip to western new york. we were reminded that 1) week night travel is miserable. 2) driving more than 2 hours at a time is miserable. and 3) driving two days in a row is miserable. but i’m sure we will do it again…

the rambling road show , , , , , , , ,

queen city getaway before the getaway.

so. our camper wasn’t going to be ready friday.
we were staying at derek’s mom’s house. they weren’t even there.
we only had a couple of clothes changes with us.
the situation was getting old. so, derek bought some points from his dad and booked us a fancy pants hotel in uptown charlotte for the weekend.

our first stop was lunch at a peruvian rotisserie chicken place. i got quinoa stuffed avocado. so good. so filling.
IMG_0264

then, we headed over to discovery place. anna was mesmerized with the fossils.
IMG_0293

and fish. hazel loves the fish too. but more in a running from tank to tank, screaming about them sort of way.
IMG_0269

all my people and a big fish tank.
IMG_0273

walking the rope bridge in the rain forest.
IMG_0276

IMG_0280

learning about levers by way of tug of war.
IMG_0283

pulleys. this kid is way stronger than i thought.
IMG_0287

bed of nails. i have to admit. i was proud of the boy for trying this. trying things isn’t really his cup of tea.
IMG_0291

after discovery place, we settled into our hotel for awhile. after a little snooze for hazel, we went back out for dinner and ended up at a little greek place. the kids had their 9000th order of chicken tenders and fries and i had this fantastic souvlaki pita.
IMG_0294

the next morning (mother’s day, anna’s birthday, our last full day in north carolina, etc), we had a gigantic continental breakfast before looking for a place to snap some pics of the b-day girl for blogging/instagramming purposes.
IMG_0299

and, as previously mentioned in another post, went to the mall for some gift shopping, lunch, and cookie cake!!
IMG_0369

IMG_0371

IMG_0372

after the mall, we visited the charlotte nature center. we had added it onto our discovery place membership, so it was “free”. it was pretty cool.

bug head anna…
IMG_0376

butterfly enthusiast hazel…
IMG_0377

bug body isaac…
IMG_0378

checking out some chrysalises. (i spelled that correctly on the first try!).
IMG_0384

princess anna, observing the butterflies.
IMG_0387

at this time, i would like to tell you about the other family that was in the butterfly dome with us. there were clearly marked signs about not touching the butterflies. there was also a dove that looked like it was perhaps injured, sitting on top of it’s cage, out in the open. so that’s the background. there was a dad, who was pretty much poking, prodding, and then mauling the dove, which, i guess there was technically no sign for, but is kind of a common sense no-no. it should come as no surprise to you then, that the daughter, a little younger than anna, was barreling through the natural areas, over and through bushes, swatting and swiping butterflies. it was very godzilla-esque. the mom looked on quietly. i’m not a super judgy other mom. but it was annoying. end rant.

moving on to the turtles.
IMG_0392

IMG_0393

IMG_0396

IMG_0398

and then the nature trail. this was the best part. and i actually don’t have many pics of it. there was a tee pee. some climbing stuff. balancing stuff. and then a bunch of wood and wagons and other random stuff to push, pull and build with. the kids had a blast. until a staff member came through and told us we had to leave because it closed 15 minutes before museum closing. oh well, i would come back tomorrow with them. nope. closed on mondays. maybe when we come through town next time.
IMG_0403

when i went to search for a place for dinner, i was pleasantly surprised to see that we were very near to a place i had wanted to alway come to. lebowski’s grill, known for it’s traditional western new york fare, and home of the bills backers in charlotte. i even had a bills shirt on! and it was mother’s day, so i got a free glass of wine! pretty much the best day ever. obviously, i had a beef on weck, even though i will be in wny soon enough.
IMG_0406

post dinner selfie.
IMG_0408

on monday morning, i woke up next to these sleeping beauties. and we had a whirlwind morning of eating another gigantic breakfast, counter offering on our house (and getting accepted!!), figuring out the likelihood of our camper being ready, getting checked out, taking derek to meet his boss for lunch, and making our own plans for the day.
IMG_0412

the kids and i went back to the mall. anna still had some b-day money burning a hole in her pocket. and i wanted to eat at the cheesecake factory because i never had (and my curse of terrible service lives on and it was miserable and i don’t really think the food was that great ad it cost too much and i don’t know what all the big deal is about).

we picked up derek at the wells fargo charlotte office and went to the place where are camper was supposedly going to be done at 4. it was “going to be another hour”. and then another hour after that hour, we were finally on the road. on our big adventure. once and for all. hip hip hooray. let the games begin.

lid kid adventures , , , , , ,

the anna baby is SIX!!

well, the anna baby is six now.
i suppose we should stop calling her a baby.

nah.

anyhow, her birthday festivities were much more chill than last year. (hint: princess anna and elsa came). we had hoped to have a little park play day and birthday cake for all of her friends and some of ikes, but it was supposed to be super rainy and we had no backup plan. (and then, it wasn’t actually rainy, but we had already cancelled). anyhow, we moved the party to derek’s mom’s and let her invite her three closest pals. she chose kaylin, shira, and nina.

hazel decided she should dress like anna in “princess dress”…
IMG_9576

sister birthday hugs.
IMG_9580

the friends (and cousins) came and played. gramma led them in a variety of kid games.
IMG_9601

caison was super helpful with the smaller kids. 🙂
IMG_9605

the best thing to do with a gym class parachute.
IMG_9607

anna’s ginormous costco cake. serves 48. ha.
IMG_9610

happy face.
IMG_9612

candle blower outer.
IMG_9617

everyone got extra large slices, and we still had half a cake leftover. oh, costco.
IMG_9619

hazel eats with reckless abandon.
IMG_9621

the party was actually a week early. we knew derek’s parents would be out of town for a long stretch and that we would be leaving at some point during the stretch or shortly after, so we thought we would celebrate while they were available.

on her actual bday, we were in charlotte. and i snapped this cutie pic outside of our hotel of the brand new six year old.
IMG_0303

we went to the mall, to the disney store and the lego store so she could pick out a gift. and, surprise, surprise. she chose a princess dress. for the fourth year in a row. (3 – rapunzel, 4 – anna and elsa, 5 – elsa coronation dress, and this – anna’s frozen fever dress).
IMG_0401

and finally, we got her a cookie cake. she has been telling me for months that she wants a cookie cake and not a regular cake. so, in the mall food court, her wildest dreams came true!!
IMG_0368

now a bit about our six year old anna.
she’s still a tiny little pip of a kiddo. she and hazel can even share some clothes. she loves to dance and sing, but only if no one is watching or listening. she is a very good reader and loves to do it. she has also started writing the cutest little stories. i have to sneak through her stuff to find them though, because i am NOT allowed to see them. she’s a very sweet big sister to hazel, but she and isaac do not get along amiably. she’s a fantastic bike rider. and so so stubborn, mostly in the good “i’m not giving up” kind of way. she’s super snuggly and sweet and remembers all sorts of details about the things i tell her from my childhood or about my family or just in general. anyhow, she’s a delightful tiny person. except when she’s not. then, look out.

lid kid everyday life , , , ,

our first weeks of homelessness.

after our yard sale, we spent a couple of days getting the rest of the stuff cleared out of the house (which mostly consisted of paying our painters some extra cash to get stuff out of the house). and the following monday, we left for a local thousand trails campsite.

here is the official “we are leaving our house and living in a camper” pic…
IMG_9287

shortly after settling in, some pretty aggressive ducks descended upon our site. the girls were excited.
IMG_9299

there’s a little local bbq place right near our campsite, so we hit that up a few times, during our stay. it has this weird sign. i’m pretty sure this is some sort of statement about western carolina barbecue.
IMG_9308

we were about 30 minutes from winston-salem, and wound up coming into the big city quite often. we usually made some friends meet up with us while we were there.
IMG_9320

back at the campsite, our kiddos made friends with some stationary kids a few trailers over. and then they were permanent fixtures at our camper anytime we were around.
IMG_9328

on one night, we came to town to hang with our long time pals the pattisalls. the dads chatted. the moms had some drinks. the kids played. isaac and alden have been pals since they were born. and goofballs.
IMG_9336

the “kid’s table”.
IMG_9339

i decided that i needed a bike trailer for our adventure, so when that came, derek quickly assembled it and the girls were happy to let me pull them around the campsite.
IMG_9351

during our first weekend at camp, derek’s parents rented a cabin on the lake and came out to hang out with us. the kids and derek did a lot of fishing from their “backyard”.
IMG_9364

a delightful campfire with the grandparents.
IMG_9384

more fishing at the cabin. the girls LOVE fishing. isaac is definitely completely uninterested.
IMG_9396

this goony face.
IMG_9426

the days were mostly rainy and kind of cool until whatever day this one is and we rode over to the lake for some sand, surf and sun. isaac is primarily “surf”…
IMG_9434

anna is “sand”.
IMG_9447

and hazel, who is usually “sand”, was suddently super brave and went with “surf”. (FYI, i was “sun”).
IMG_9450

the girls and i took an evening stroll on night. isaac was too cool to walk.
IMG_9455

all was well until hazel was walking along a wall and one loose brick made her nervous.
IMG_9460

finally, the time came to bid farewell to some of my closest and oldest friends from the 336. we headed out to foothills for some delicious beers and food. many delicious beers. except the one that tasted like an ash tray.
IMG_9481

three amigos burger. bacon and guacamole. i forget who the other amigo was.
IMG_9487

oh, and of course, the friends. i go way back with some of these people. and have known most of them since pre-lidkids. it was also a fun get together, because due to some semi-recent nasty business with our old church, some of them don’t see each other all that much.
IMG_9492

stephanie took this pic of me with all of my other closest friends. heeeeee.
IMG_9493

gramma spent a LOT of times with the kids while we did house stuff, or camper stuff, or doctor visit stuff, or, well, you get the picture. here she is, having a picnic with the tiny folk while we try to figure out how to cram some our finest treasures into her garage. (fabric, sewing machine, tools, memories).
IMG_9520

we took the kids by the house to see the fresh paint. we decided one more pic in front of the (formerly) blue wall was in order. this is what i got.
IMG_9536

back at the campsite, this kid suddenly became an expert bike rider. like, she JUST learned to barely ride a bit with me following close behind. the next thing i knew, i was glancing out the camper and she was riding back and forth. on gravelly hills! before the night was over, she was getting started on her own, standing up to pump, and stopping via the skidding rocks method. all in a sundress.
IMG_9556

campfire glow.
IMG_9568

so, now we are at last monday. (it seems SOOO much longer ago). we dropped the camper off near charlotte, so it could get a new roof. (we had damaged it on our first trip and repaired it, but insurance was willing to foot the entire bill for a replacement, so we obviously chose that option). the plan was to pick it up on friday and leave town for real for real. but, like most plans, there was a kink… when they pulled off the roof, there was excessive water damage. mold. rot. good stuff. so, they would be keeping it longer. i mean, i’m glad it was found or we would have eventually had a huge problem on our hands, but we were really itching to get on the road.
IMG_9638

during the week that it was being repaired, we camped at derek’s parents house. during this time, i completely documented and purged our kids artwork and schoolwork, my old notes and letters, and all of my newspaper clippings, trophies and other artifacts from my high school and college sports careers. they had been boxed up for sooooo long. i’m hoping to someday make a photo book of it all, but for now, they will have to live on digitally, because they are heading to the dump.
IMG_9699

kids art collage. 🙂 this is about 1/20th of it all.
IMG_0052

as time was running out on our final days in winston, i planned a little drop in at the park, where folks could come say goodbye, to me or the kiddos. i won’t lie. i was very disappointed with the turn out. sad. but, it makes that all the more easy to split town.

but, some super cool folks did bother to take some time out of their day to bid us farewell, and for that, i am thankful. 🙂

josiah. he and ike also go back to 2007. the good old days.
IMG_9726

johnlee and his brother, jake. and dawson. buddies from kindergarten and lewisville and now boy scouts.
IMG_9728

kaylin! my pal steph’s daughter. she and i go way back to the toddler room at church. she is pals with ike and good friends with anna.
IMG_9735

and the big surprise of the evening was when my old coaching counterpart from my teaching days strolled in. coach matthews! i love this guy. and i haven’t seen him in YEARS. we were assistants for the softball team before i got pregnant with ike. so much fun. we were able to chat and catch up, since, you know, no one else was there.
IMG_9740

the next night, we had one last hangout with isaac’s buddy jarod. he is also in scouts with ike and they’ve really only started to become good friends as we are leaving so that’s a little sad.
IMG_0075

and then, the week was over. the roof guys said that our camper would be ready by monday at 4, so we planned a weekend in charlotte and we could just leave on monday when we got the go ahead. we dropped by the house to have one last goodbye selfie and drop off some information sheets for would be buyers. the house listing went live on friday and by sunday night we already had an offer and we are now in “due diligence” and hope to close on june 22. so exciting and relieving and awesome and surprising.
IMG_0262

the rambling road show , , , , , , , ,

our last days in a house.

i was going to try to categorize this blog into several different blogs. one for “prepping to move out”, one for “easter eggs”, one for “hazel pottytrains”…. but, i’m just going to glob it all together here, and be all caught up, and move on with my life…

here goes…

on the night we arrived home, the kids and i were sooo happy to be, well, HOME. a big cozy couch. so much space. of course, a dance party broke out. (sorry for the blurry pic. this was the best i could get).
IMG_7033
(i won’t lie, i was so glad to be home. but, it wasn’t long before i started to feel overwhelmed by all of our STUFF. messes everywhere. toys with little parts, bits of play-doh, scraps of paper with notes/art scribbled on them, etcetera and so on.)

our first morning in the house. a delicious breakfast. cooked in a normal sized kitchen.
IMG_7036

we got home in time for derek to head out to “carolina con” with some of his computer nerd friends. so, we obviously set up theatre seating in the living room and watched frozen. while dressed as frozen characters.
IMG_7126

we also got home just in time to see some old friends passing through town. good times.
IMG_7151

this crazyhead. talks to her food. she put these olives on her fingers and then told me “these are my best friends”…
IMG_7221

even though we were attempting to purge everything we own, i still thought a megathrift trip was a good plan. we can always use good clothes. and i DID find some extra sheets and some brand new rain boots. but i’m pretty sure we aren’t welcome back after hazel ransacked the toy section and then followed me around the store like this:
IMG_7182

a post megathrift trip to dairio with my megathrift shopping counterparts.
IMG_7203

boy scouts. we took the boys to clean up around lewisville elementary school. they did a fantastic job.
IMG_7224

during our epic purge, we tested out different family games with the kids to see if they would make the cut or not. one such game was headbandz. our kids love it. well, the older kidz. hazel is too young. BUT she’s old enough to recognize the pictures on everyone headband and blurt them out repeatedly until the game is sufficiently ruined.
IMG_7213

another part of the purge. LEGOS. we have/had so. many. legos. isaac had dozens of kits stored away in his room. in little baggies. in a carefully labeled storage shelf. or so we thought. as i began to pull out kits and reassemble them to make sure they were complete to either sell or store, i quickly realized a vital flaw in our organization system. isaac. each bag i opened was obviously missing pieces and contained many legos that clearly did not belong. and more times than not, there were other random items in the bags, like puzzle pieces, other figurines, money, and rocks. for DAYS, i worked on kits, digging in our loose lego bin for missing pieces. and when it was clear that a kit was all but lost, it was abandoned and emptied into the loose legos. the pile grew and grew. and anna took a nap on it.
IMG_7499

these are a few of the sets i hunted down pieces for, put together, and sold.
IMG_7627

during our time home, we had a really rough time with anna, regarding sleeping arrangements. well, really, just being away from me or an acceptable adult. it started with not wanting to stay in her room to sleep. we didn’t want to enforce some random rule that would just be changed once we moved back into the camper, but we also didn’t want to set a crazy precedent for the next however many weeks it would take to get on the road. so, we tried starting her in her room, but night after night, we found her in random spots. the time i found her in the hallway outside our room, fast asleep, was the saddest, i think.
IMG_7542

ike’s buddy from school came over to hang out one night. they minecrafted their little hearts out. and ate pizza. dude stuff.
IMG_7585

i was going to dedicate an entire post to hazel’s potty training. but she’s a third kid and we have a lot going on. so this is what she gets. i started potty training her one day, but hurt my back a few hours later, so gave up. a week later, we were back at it, and she instantaneously potty trained. she just got it. it was insane. no tears. no accidents. just “ok, got it. pee in here now. done.” (she has had a few accidents along the way, just none at first. and she’s actually having a rough time adjusting to camper life, but that potty IS pretty scary).
IMG_7623

we didn’t move hazel back into the crib, for the same reasons as anna. too stressful to transition, only to go back to co-sleeping once we are in the camper. she takes up a lot of bed for being such a tiny human.
IMG_7609

some random hazel art. she loves to draw potato people.
6ADB6BD5-6E00-4FC7-9949-DC05ECD732B0

anna. sleeping on the stairs. only mildly better than finding her on the hard floor.
IMG_7666

this guy came over for another play date. rumor has it, he has a new girlfriend, but still has a spot in his heart for anna. 🙂
IMG_7673

have you ever had one of those days where you make plans to do something and then everything feels stacked against you, like the universe is trying to get you to cancel the plans. then something happens, and you say outloud, “i knew it”… ?
we made plans to go to the park with a friend. but then derek took the car to the shop. so we decided to walk. but the stroller was in the car. we found a backup stroller. and it was like herding cats to get out the door. isaac was going to ride his scooter, but changed his plans at the last second to ride derek’s scooter. i almost told him no, but decided to just let him have at it and off we went to the park. about 1/4 mile in, there’s a big hill. isaac navigated it successfully. walked his bike back up to us, and took off again. faster this time. and then, in slow motion, he put is flipflopped foot down to gain even more speed, wobbled, and the scooter flew out from under him and he bounced down the pavement, leaving much of his skin behind.
there was much wailing. and drama. and we turned around and went back home to locate bandaids and ibuprofen.
we should have just canceled when derek took the car. i knew it.
IMG_7696

after many of the lego kits were complete, i even got ambitious and assembled as many minifigures as i could. it called for a lineup. (as i sit here typing this, there are fellow camper kids outside our camper, likely dismembering the figures i worked so hard on. oh, lego life.)
IMG_7705

here’s the “easter egg” section. our last easter egg coloring in front of the famous-in-my-circles blue wall.
IMG_7711

the final products.
IMG_7721

i sold a bunch of stuff to anna’s bff natalie’s mom. she brought her girls to collect the goods. my kids love her kids. (but anna hates pictures).
IMG_8105

more stair sleeping for my clingy middle child going through a crazy life transition.
IMG_8127

as the toys and furniture disappeared from our house, we had to find alternate evening activities with the kids. neighborhood walks did the trick. spreading weed seeds on neighbor’s yards was probably just what they were hoping for.
IMG_8405

this kid is crazy.
IMG_8488

hazel’s chocolate chip cookie eating aftermath. she picks out the chocolate chunks. and leaves the boring cookie in a nice littel pile for me.
IMG_8493

before we sold off all of my kitchen/baking items, anna and i baked up a batch of delicious cupcakes.
IMG_8494

play-doh. it buys me some time. but there’s usually a massive mess for me to clean up. so it’s not always worth it. until one of the kids makes something like this. frozen figurines, by ike.
IMG_8542

then, one day, anna learned to ride a bike. she said “this is my new favorite thing to do of all time!”
IMG_8555

ok. confession. i have done a TERRIBLE job at homeschooling the kids. isaac HATES it and makes life so miserable for us when we attempt anything school-ish, so during this transition i haven’t really pushed it. and anna was so far ahead in math and reads like a champ, i just figured she was good to go until next year. but i figured wrong. she sneaks her math workbook out and does pages in it at night. weirdo.
IMG_8556

went out to dinner to celebrate a friend. then for dessert. and this photobomb.
IMG_8659

during the purge, i came across these relics from my days as a teacher. math bucks. i had stacks and stacks of them. i gave them out for good behavior, good grades, and other random things. and the kids could use them to go the bathroom, buy pencils, or pay for homework passes. it was a lot of work, but i had no kids and all the time in the world. seems crazy and like a lifetime ago.
IMG_8670

well, after a few weeks of fighting it, we just moved anna into our bedroom. and ike soon followed. (he actually preferred the couch, but sometimes came into the room). she would set up shop, next to me, on the floor. she would read, write, and draw until well past her bedtime. one night, she decided to rearrange her art supplies. sigh.
IMG_8754

while trying to decide whether or not to bring the princess dresses, hazel tried one on. and then this:
IMG_8826
(we brought them).

finally, it was time to start packing the camper. all the toys and books would need to fit into these bins. more purging took place.
IMG_8852

while i emptied old bins and packed new bins, hazel took up residence in an old one.
IMG_8853

derek and i had a “date night”, consisting of a trip to lowes, for some new light fixtures, and some yard sale signs.
IMG_8906

while we prepped for a yard sale to sell off our last remaining items, and the painters made our house super duper neutral, derek’s mom brought over flowers to beautify the mailbox and add “curb appeal”. let’s call this homeschool for that day.
IMG_8936

our painters are AMAZING. really. the drywall looked fantastic when they were done. i’ll add a post with pics of our house when it’s all ready to list. it has been so crazy to see our house empty. very bittersweet.
IMG_8956

the yard sale. holy.moly. it was mayhem. and see that guy closest to the camera? he showed up at the crack of dawn (6:40am) to try to talk us out of all of our good stuff for cheap. derek and i both have a bad taste in our mouth after dealing with him (and he’s a pastor or a church!), but it’s over now. almost everything was sold. we made one run to goodwill and like that, our house was empty! (mostly).
IMG_8970

the night of the yard sale, we went to a friend’s house, where we were fed (burgers from the grill formerly known as “our grill”) and the kids ran around and acted crazy.
IMG_8987

and finally. a pic of the cute matchy girls. on our way to breakfast.
IMG_9045

so, that catches me ALLLLLL up.
now we are on to great adventures!!!!

lid kid everyday life , , , , , , , ,

family easter mountain trip

during our time “home”, we took a trip up to the boone/blowing rock/banner elk mountain region over easter with derek’s parents.

our first stop, as usual, was the mast general store…
IMG_7763

IMG_7746

IMG_7751

IMG_7766

on the way home, we decided to have some bbq at the peddlin’ pig. so good.
IMG_7762

then, it was time for an easter egg hunt.
IMG_2028

IMG_7773

IMG_2032

IMG_2036

IMG_7779

IMG_7786

IMG_7788

IMG_2055

if the eggs weren’t enough candy, the next day was easter and the kids got soooo much more.  it was ridiculous.
IMG_7790

minion marshmallow on a stick.
IMG_7802

pig nose.
IMG_7804

multitasking.
IMG_7810

cute hazel.
IMG_2072

on monday, we packed up to head to a little hiking spot that has a great view of the lynn cove viaduct. unfortunately, it was closed. so, we drove along the blue ridge parkway for some views of the mountains.
IMG_7820

we wound up returning to the scene of our wedding (almost 13 years ago!) — the moses cone manor house. first, we went in to look around at the artisan stuff.
IMG_7827

then we walked around taking pictures. tons of pictures.
IMG_7833

IMG_2073

we took this picture to recreate a famous picture from my wedding. even though it was in mid may, it was sooooo cold that day. so as we waited for the festivities to begin, jake and i warmed up under the hand dryer in the girls bathroom. this time, it wasn’t cold, but we pretended, and it was anna’s turn.
IMG_2085

we found a little loop to hike and decided to make a go of it.

some hiking selfies.
IMG_7838

IMG_7844

IMG_7848

ike dabbled in some photography with the fancy camera.
IMG_7849

my three kiddos on the steps of the place where it all began.
IMG_7853

more scenery.
IMG_2101

back at the condo, the three kids piled in for an epic bubble bath.
IMG_7872

IMG_7877

derek and i had a date night, while his parents kept the lidkids. we tried out coyote kitchen in boone. it was good-ish.
IMG_7889

the next day, we packed up and headed home.
the end. 🙂

tales of vacations and travels , , , , , , , , , , , ,

and we’re off!! (sort of)

IMG_9287

firstly, sorry for the lack of blogging since we returned from our trial run. our lives have been completely crazytown!! more on that later. the big news is:

we are officially moved into the camper and out of our house and sort of on the road. we are in a thousand trails campsite nearby, while we finish up the business of getting the house ready to put on the market. we actually left wednesday (it’s sunday now), but we are still settling into our new life. and driving back and forth for last minute appointments for us and the kids and to check on things at the house.

on may 2nd, we will drop the camper off to have the roof repaired for four days, while we stay at derek’s parents, and when it’s done, we will hit the road!

anyhow, now for the boring details of how we went from a house full of stuff to a camper full of stuff….

before we left for the trial run, i had already set up a facebook yard sale group where i could post items for my friends to have first dibs. when we got back, i continued that process, but it was tiring. between taking good pics, managing the status on facebook, and storing piles for pickup all over my house, it grew old. but slowly and surely, our house emptied out. i was putting together old lego sets, miraculously finding all of the pieces for hazel’s toys, and pawning off stuffed animals to people who came to get their stuff. i invited quilt friends to come have at some of my stash (never fear, i kept a LOT.)

when we got down to kitchen items, tools, craft supplies, home goods and furniture, we had a yard sale. and it was epic. when all was said and done, we had a few bins of stuff to store at my in laws. and a camper full of the bare necessities. and enough cash to cover all the paint and carpet and repairs to be done on our house to get it ready.

we had hoped to find someone who would move in as is. for cheap. without realtors. we would save the time and energy to do all that. they could save the cost of us making everything neutral. a win-win. but, nothing really materialized. a friend had a hookup for a home flipper crew. we called. they came and quoted it. we said yes. and suddenly everything became very real very fast. (they started the day before the yard sale).

so, we are officially a fulltime rv family. i’ll try to play blog catchup in the next few days. you know, the last 6 weeks or so of everyday life. and then, only epic adventures from the lidbom rambling road show!

the rambling road show

fort clinch state park

our last week of camping was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. (i’ve already mentioned this, i know, i know). but on one beautiful (albeit windy) day, we drove back into florida to amelia island to visit yet another historic fort a state park. 🙂

this time, it was fort clinch, and it was probably my favorite. i think, when “in season”, there are volunteers who actually run the camp like it would have been back in the day. not so much for us, but it was still cool.

anyhow. i don’t have much to say. just pictures.
IMG_6935

testing out the bunks.IMG_6936

not sure what to think of the toilets.IMG_6940

pretending to be scared of fake explosives.IMG_6942

IMG_6944

hazel insisted on climbing every narrow spiral staircase we came upon.IMG_6946

windy views from the bastions(?).IMG_6948

IMG_6951

IMG_6953

it was not a super cooperative day for the lid kid three in regards to photos.IMG_6955

IMG_6957

go to the light.IMG_6962

fort selfie with me cropped out. 🙂IMG_6964

IMG_6966

another attempt at a group photo.  another failed attempt.IMG_6967

IMG_1975

IMG_1977

IMG_1979

as good as it gets.IMG_1981

IMG_1989

IMG_1991

IMG_1997

IMG_2002

isaac thought every room was the prison.  but i think this one actually was.IMG_2007

IMG_2011

IMG_2013

IMG_2016

draw bridge.IMG_2024

on the way back through the park, we stopped to see this lighthouse.  we later attempted to  drive to it, but as best i can tell, it’s just kind of in the woods in someone’s backyard.  IMG_2026

after lunch (which was quite an endeavor in itself – we drove to the historic district. walked and walked and walked. attempted to sit at the bar of a seafood restaurant but were told “no children at the bar”.  left.  tried a pizza place.  not open for lunch.  settled on mexican.  my fajitas had rosemary twigs in them.  fancy.  and then walked and walked and walked back to our car)… after lunch, we went to this park.IMG_6973

IMG_6977

the kiddos played their little hearts out, before i forced them to go back home because i was tired.  i’m the worst.

anyhow… that’s the last great adventure on our trial run for the lidbom rambling road show.  my posts will be much more boring until we take off again…

the rambling road show , , , ,

the final week of the trial run.

we are home now.
we got home last saturday. it took a few days to actually unload everything, which includes this computer. so, i have a wee bit of catching up to do. but, since our last week was relatively uneventful, i can wrap it up in two posts. this is the everyday life post.

we packed up in homosassa springs and made our way from there to woodbine, georgia, which is like 7 miles north of the florida border. it was a long trip. we broke it up with a stop in gainesville for some lunch. after a few gps fails to find a mexican restaurant, we ended up a pizza place that sells by the slice. and it was soooo good. ike and me.
IMG_6797

the anna baby with her massive slice.
IMG_6799

our final week was spent at “walkabout rv park”. it was a tiny little park, maybe 30 sites, owned by an australian couple. we were parked between a chicken coop and pig pen in the back and a basketball court and playground in the front. my kids were in heaven.
IMG_6804

there wasn’t a lot to do nearby, so our big outings mostly consisted of going to lunch or shopping. thankfully, there was a chick-fil-a nearby, so we hit that up for some bonus play area fun. this kid loves chick fil a. and loves to dip things. but she hates all sauces. so she dips on my behalf. 🙂
IMG_6823

the playground out front was more of an 80s playground than a 2010s play ground. some swings, a rope swing, a tire swing, some loose tires and some monkey bars. no padded safety to be found. the kids loved it. anna was addicted to the rope swing.
IMG_6825

and ike to the tire swing.
IMG_6835

the basketball court made for some good running around in puddles after some rain.
IMG_6863

until there was an injury, necessitating popsicles with magical healing elixirs.
IMG_6890

IMG_6891

there was a little stretch where we were cooped up because of rain, so after a viewing of the peanuts movie, the kids watched the extras, which contained a “how to draw peanutes characters” video, so they got to work. anna was AMAZING.
IMG_6900

we all went out one night for mexican. we were a disaster. i’m glad the place was dead. but the nachos were fantastic.
IMG_6901

back at the ranch, anna was right at home catching chickens.
IMG_6908

IMG_6903

after the discovery of her “how to draw” skills, we decided to look up some more videos youtube. there so many. and anna began cranking out artwork. she’s insane. this is “so cute princess anna”.
IMG_6917

the kids ate sooo many noodles. it was our go to meal for them for the trip. seriously. like 75% of the time, that’s what they had for dinner.
IMG_6932

also. when we went out to eat, they chose noodles. at least anna has sauce and that’s a vegetable, right?
IMG_6984

hazel just played. “look at my balloon!”. doofus.
IMG_6987

(side note: the above two pictures were from a restaurant called OPS in kingsland, ga. it was one of the worst dining experiences i’ve ever had. we sat for over ten minutes before being waited on. and that only happened because i got up and asked someone to take our order. then, i had to hunt down some silverware after our food came. and anna’s tiny serving of spaghetti and two ikea sized meatballs was $7!! on the lunch menu, it was listed as $5.25 for spaghetti with choice of meatballs, meat sauce, marinara, alfredo, etc. so, i guess it was $1.75 extra to have meatballs AND marinara. now that i think of it, i need to leave a nice yelp review. anyhow.)

the above lunch was on our last day. we packed up and got on the road on friday night and drove as far as we could. which included another restaurant stop in the middle of nowhere, where this kid caused havoc.
IMG_6999

we spent the night in a cracker barrel parking lot. woke up. ate cracker barrel. and headed back to the 336.
IMG_7010

oh. and this is what hazel’s hair looked like when we woke up. a long bath when we got home was certainly in order…
IMG_7007

we made it back home by 12:30 or so.
and that’s the end of our big little adventure.
(well except for my next post about visiting a(nother) fort).

the rambling road show , , , , , , , ,

homosassa springs state park.

for the next leg of our journey, we were scheduled to stay at a campsite in homosassa, near homosassa springs state park. we settled in on friday night and woke up saturday and we were off to see the manatees…

here we are. with such high hopes about manatee viewing…
IMG_2261

on our stroll to the “fishbowl” at the actual spring, we saw some alligators.
IMG_2262

and the most gigantic hippo. with his splatter zone sign. hee.
IMG_6734

he seemed sad.
IMG_6737

looking for manatees…
IMG_6738

we could see a clump of blobs off in the distance, which were manatees, but even with binoculars, it wasn’t that great of a view. so, we pressed on. hoping for the best…
IMG_6742

off to the fishbowl. (isaac is a grump).
IMG_6740

down in the fishbowl (an underwater viewing area), we saw LOTS of fish.
IMG_2273

and the kids thought that it was cool.
IMG_2280

but no manatees.

on the walk back around to the rest of the park, we came upon these photo booths. the kids are always suckers for these, so we stopped for some fun. sadly, this was the closest we would get to a manatee.
IMG_6750

IMG_6753

IMG_6755

IMG_6756

the non-manatee part of the park is pretty much a zoo. some flamingos. who liked to put on a choreographed squawking/dance show every few minutes or so.
IMG_6765

my people with the flamingos.
IMG_6768

some super patriotic bald eagles. i definitely laughed.
IMG_6770

the boy, maybe possibly learning something.
IMG_6772

bird onlookers.
IMG_6773

we circled back through the manatee area in the hopes that we might catch a glimpse. there was man talking at the area where they do medical stuff to the manatees, but we couldn’t get close enough to see the actual manatee. on our way out, anna and i saw the back side of one as it turned around, but it was fleeting and i’m not sure she even knew what she was looking at. anyhow, we made our way to a little indoor area just in time for an info session on alligators. the two older kids seemed very interested, so we stayed for that, while derek took hazel out to run around. i actually think they learned some stuff, so we counted it as school. they didn’t know it was a saturday. suckers.

anyhow, back at our site, i took a nap with hazel. and isaac played with legos. and derek and anna went fishing.
IMG_2292

then, derek hopped up on the camper to fix a tear in the rubber roof. he caught on something pulling out of fort de soto, and thankfully it has been sunny, so we weren’t in a giant hurry to patch it up. the less glamorous part of this whole thing. (that, and the poop tube).
IMG_6782

finally.
these are hazel’s legs.
the kid keeps falling. on the same spot.
and refuses a band aid.
IMG_6793

we only stayed two nights in homosassa, and woke up this morning and made the three hour trip to woodbine, georgia, where we are staying in the cutest little rv campground ever. it’s owned by an Australian couple and there’s only 30 spots. we are in the 31st spot, one that they don’t normally book, but hooked us up with anyways. it’s next to a little playground and behind us there are chickens and pigs!! the kids are in heaven. we are here for a week and then we will head to south carolina.

the rambling road show , , , , ,