VA Peach and all the Fuzz

Living Cling Free in the RV

   Apr 25

One of These Days, I’m Gonna Climb That Mountain…

It’s only taken us 4 years…🙄

But, then again, look how long it’s been since my last blog. Yeah, we’re real go getters!

Seriously, though, we’ve finally realized it’s high time we explore these beautiful mountains around us. We’ve started hiking trails in the area on the weekends and have fallen in love! We’ve trekked two the past few weeks and Saturday we decided to try out the trails at Jack Rabbit in Hayesville, NC.

Our journey started out all smiles. It was a little cool to begin with that morning but that would soon change!

Not far into the hike and along the trail, we noticed some very strange growth patterns of some of the trees. Very neat!

We also found some beautiful flowers. But a lot of things haven’t bloomed yet so we hope to go back in a few weeks and see them in all their glory.

The trail took us by the lake and we were able to get some great shots of the water.


Our favorite parts were the “beach” areas. Titus really enjoyed letting the water wash over his feet. Oh yeah, we’ve had a baby boy since my last post! Surprise! 🙂


And of course, no hike is complete without running across a snake…or 3! 😳 These guys were way too close. We didn’t even see a couple of them laying right beside the path until we had passed. Yikes! Needless to say, we were doing some serious scouring for slithering things!


At the intersection of several of the trails we saw this erected in the path. Not sure what it was there for but was pretty cool. Maybe a victory monument?


Of all the things we came across, there’s one thing we found that not many can say they’ve discovered in the middle of the woods…and I’m not talking about Big Foot (sorry to disappoint you)! We found an Easter Egg!
And guess what? There was actually a treat inside and everything! Someone had put a Larabar and a slip of paper with a hashtag on it inside. I wouldn’t eat it (even though I love Larabars) but leave it to my husband to throw caution to the wind and gobble it up! We HAD just hiked 6 miles so I guess it was hard to resist. And he’s still alive so no harm, no foul…right? 😬

And no,  that wasn’t a type-o. 6 miles. I carried Titus in the Tula for most of it but the girls did great! They only started complaining towards the end. To be honest, I was beginning to wonder if we’d ever come out of those woods too! Needless to say, we were walking a lot slower and were a lot hotter on the way out!
When we got home, a couple of us crashed and several others had to have a foot soak with some essential oils and Epsom salt. 😉

We’re looking forward to another adventure next weekend!


   Jun 23

6/23/2015

5 mph Living

 

Back to beginnings.  Back to basics.

For those of you that have been following our story since moving to Georgia, you know how much we love the simple life.  It’s in our blood. We can’t help ourselves. We’re addicts. Seriously.  We love small houses, slow living, purging, and less stress.  So, when we had the opportunity to get a campsite where it all started two years ago, we had to take it!

We hauled our camper back in Thursday to Riverbend Campground, where we lived for the first 11 days of our crazy adventure here.

IMG_2510[1]The place where we pulled in as greenhorn RVers.  Where we learned how to hook up the septic hose (very important).  How to break into our camper if we ever got locked out (it can happen…believe me).  How to maximize small spaces for a family of five.  Where the speed limit is so slow you can hardly tell you’re going anywhere.  Our first homeplace in the Peach State.

It felt so good to be back. It’s been a little nostalgic.  The girls and I sat down today and read the beginning of my blog.  Those first 11 days here.  We laughed a lot. I wanted to cry a little. Looking back at those pictures brought back so many wonderful memories. And my goodness, how these girls have grown! When we moved here Anna had just turned 9, Emma was almost 6, and Sarah was barely 3. A lot can change in 2 years!

We aren’t living full time in our camper this go around but after reading those earlier posts it sure made me miss it.  Sometimes I think we need to take the journey again.  It was too awesome not to repeat! 😉

Speaking of a lot changing, this campground has underwent major changes as well.  A completely new section has been added on which allowed us to be able to get our seasonal site.  I took a bike ride around and snapped some photos of our second home.

I’m just thankful it’s warm (actually very hot) here now instead of snow flying like it was in March 2013.

Some great friends from our church also camp here so it’s going to be a fun summer hanging out with them.  More posts to come. 🙂

Not everything has been slow living, though.  Things have actually gotten quite a bit faster outside camper life.  We decided to take the plunge and buy jet skis!  Older and used, mind you, but still a fun ride.  I never thought we’d ever own one. Of course, we never lived in a lake community either.  🙂  I mean, what good is it to live by a lake and not be able to enjoy the water?  It’s scandalous, that’s what it is (I can rationalize anything)!  Actually, I’ll blame it on some other wonderful friends of ours.  They invited us to go out riding with them one day on theirs and well, that’s all it took.  A few days later Andrew came home with two of them.  I can also rationalize that.  1) We would have to have that many for all 5 of us to ride at the same time.  2) It was a better deal to get two instead of one.  3) I can’t think of a third reason but the first two are good enough.  😉

We’ve spent the past 4 days on the water.  Can you say, “Sunburn?”  And yes, we used sunscreen but obviously we didn’t reapply like we were supposed to.  Sometimes you’re having so much fun you forget about things like skin cancer and stuff.  So, next time I’ll pack the sunscreen with us on the skis and hope we remember it’s on there.

We have had so much fun though.  And we have the pictures to prove it!

I’ve named myself “Granny on the Lake” because I’ve been very cautious while driving (my kids call it slow, boring, I want to ride with Daddy, let me get off and swim).  But, in my defense, I will say I was doing much better yesterday and actually got up around 35-40mph.  And I even did some very large, slow donuts and wave jumping.  Okay, the donuts might be classified by the untrained eye as turning, but there are some that could clearly see I was doing a donut.  And I know I heard a few squeals, whether they want to admit it or not.

After all that sun and fun, we were exhausted today and spent most of the day indoors recouping and letting our sunburns heal.  We are heading to Virginia tomorrow but hope to get back on the water next week.

Until then, don’t forget to slow down and enjoy life!

 

IMG_2503[1] P.S.  I told you it was slow. 😉

 

 

 


   Dec 09

12/9/2014

TIMBER!!!!!!!

 

It’s one of the most exciting things about Christmas…the decorating of the greens (a.k.a. putting up the Christmas tree)!  We look so forward to picking out “the perfect tree,” hauling it in, and letting it’s woodsy smell permeate the living room.  And all the while I’m thinking, “Did we bring home a different tree ’cause this one sure looked a lot smaller at the tree lot!…Seriously, is this wrong tree???”

Anyways, Andrew and Anna were bequeathed the honors of scouting out “The Tree”…that one tree that seemed to sing, “Hallelujah!” when you saw it.  And they found it.  We learned our lesson last year and decided to cut some off the height BEFORE bringing it into the house!  Andrew can get a little carried away with the chainsaw.

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Yeah, I know, it’s a little scary.

Once the cutting was done we hauled it in…now I’m thinking, “Are we going to be able to sit on the couch and watch TV at the same time???” Huge.  Needless to say we had to do some furniture rearranging.

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This picture does not do it justice. It’s big. Really big.

And a helpful little tidbit for my fellow “real tree-ers”…lemon essential oil takes pine resin off lickety split! Just drop a couple drops in your hand, rub together, and viola!  No more sticky!

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Once the sap was removed and we solved the problem of not having enough lights for this massive hardwood, the rest of the decorating festivities went off without a hitch.

 

And all was well…UNTIL…  Remember the title to this post?  Well, Christmas isn’t complete without some kind of merry mishap, right???  Not really but it sounded good.  🙂

We had been joyfully relaxing in the glow of our Christmas monstrosity for two lovely days.  I was lying in bed while visions of sugar plums danced in my head (hehehe…I couldn’t resist)!  What I was really doing was laying there trying to figure up a good excuse so I could stay buried in my toasty den a little longer.  I had several good ones going when all of a sudden, a loud crash interrupted my excuses.  I had a sinking feeling I knew what had caused the quake.

When I rounded the corner to the living room, I saw our beautiful tree lying in a heap in the floor!

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So, I did what most logical moms would do…went back to bed.  I mean, I had to have a little more time in bed to be able to handle that mess first thing in the morning!  The ironic thing is this gal was hanging out in the tree the night before.  I’m not placing blame here.  Just stating the facts. 😉

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With a little help from the hubs we were able to get the tree upright again.  It’s a little disheveled but still intact with only a couple broken ornaments.

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And how’s this for enginuity?

IMG_1492[1] I’ll bet it won’t fall again!  Leave it to Andrew to come up with a creative, inexpensive solution to life’s little problems.  And as for our little elf, Jingle Berry, let’s just say she’s on tree restriction for the rest of the season!

 

“Good night to all, and to all a good night!”


   Nov 30

11/29/2014

Thanksgiving Miracle!

 

Okay, I knew the title would catch your eye.  You were totally expecting to read about a real life miracle, right?  Well, it’s not an untruth (is that even a word?).  However, it doesn’t rank up there with the feeding of the 5000 or raising Lazarus from the dead.  No, it’s not even comparable to turning water into wine.  But it is a miracle, none the less (at least in my little world).

It’s a miracle that I’m actually writing a blog post!  I mean,  it’s only been like 183 days.  But who’s counting?  Okay, I am. 😉  I know that was a total letdown for some of you, but I’m pretty stoked about it! I’ve missed sharing our lives with you. 🙂  And I already know one of my New Year’s resolutions…to be a better blogger!  For those of you that know me you know better than to hold your breath!  Let’s just say I’ve fallen a little short in the resolution department in years past. 😉

Anyways, moving on to the “fuzz” we call life!  So much has happened over the past 5 months! But don’t worry! I will not rehash all of that in one post!  So, you can keep reading!

We finally got settled into our home!  And you’ll never guess what we’re doing now.  Well, some of you might.  If you said, “Remodeling,” then you guessed it!  No, this is not an April Fool’s joke at Thanksgiving!  We, once again, are in the middle of a house remodel.

We decided to gut the kitchen and start from scratch.  And not just the kitchen…we are adding on and remodeling the exterior of the house as well.  I really believe there’s something wrong with us.  Why else would we punish ourselves like this???  This. Is. Not. Normal. People.   Needless to say, I’m praying this kitchen is finished BEFORE Christmas!  Otherwise, I will be getting a big lump of coal in my stocking. 🙁

Deep Breath.  Aaahhhhh.  Okay, I feel better.

We have been in a whirlwind the past 4 months traveling as well.

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We’ve been growing our essential oil business with doTERRA International in different areas of the country and have really made some tracks in the north and south east.

Our girls have been real troopers!  Of course, they’ve gotten to visit our family in Virginia A LOT more than normal so they’ve haven’t complained much! 😉  It’s been a wonderful experience for us to go to new places and meet amazing people!  I’ve deemed myself a professional traveler!  I never knew I could be so mobile.  I’m actually going to miss all the craziness!  I told you.  Something is wrong with me.

Now we’re settling back in to a normal (I use that word loosely) routine and more time at home, just in time for the holidays!

And speaking of holidays, Thanksgiving was a blast with our family in Virginia.  We ate way too much, laughed lots, loved on my nieces and nephews, and shopped til we dropped (almost)!  Put those things together and you’ve got a top notch memory maker!

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And to top it all was the wonderful candlelight Thanksgiving service at Honey Camp Freewill Baptist.  It was so good to see those wonderful people again and worship with them one more time.

Tonight we find ourselves back home in Georgia.  And can I say it may be an absolute disaster at the moment but it’s so good to be home!  There’s just something about your own bed, your own space, your own (wrecked) kitchen.  Don’t take my word for it…just take a look at the pictures.

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But on the flip side, since we’ve just finished up a time of giving thanks, I want to say I’m so thankful I have a home.  A warm home.  A dry home.  My home.  A wrecked kitchen.  So many people would give anything to have my mess right now.  So, even though it’s not the ideal situation we are still unbelievably blessed.  God has been working on character issues in me during this whole process that I never knew I struggled with.  It’s amazing what a “stretching” experience will bring to light… like, Uh um, flaws.  😉

Now we’re waiting on Andrew and Anna to get back with the “perfect Christmas tree” according to Anna!  I’m also thankful our living room isn’t a wreck too so we can put up a tree.  We still have that little oasis where we can go and all seems right in the world.

One last thing I’m thankful for.  And it’s the most important…God’s “unspeakable gift”…His precious Son, Jesus Christ, who makes all things possible.  I couldn’t deal with all this “fuzz” without Him. 🙂

Now, I’m off to get the lights ready.  Hopefully this will not turn into a Griswald experience. 😉  Pictures to follow.

 

 

 


   Jun 30

6/28/2014

Cookout…doTERRA style!

 

Ever heard of an “oilers BBQ?”  Well, we had one here in the mountains of North Georgia today.

 

doTERRA families made the trek from as far as Florida to come hang out at the campground for some good grub and summer fun.  And oils.  Did I mention oils?

The kids had a blast even though a monsoon blew in and rained on the party.  Thankfully, they love getting wet and the adults were able to stay dry.  🙂

 

 

Oh yeah.  Getting educated by the Diamonds. Keeping it real. 🙂

 

We had a great day making new friends and wonderful memories.

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And now for the cutest shots of the day…

 

Seriously…could eating watermelon look any cuter? 😉


   Jun 24

4/2/2014

We’re Back in the Saddle Again!

Well, not the “saddle” exactly. But we are back to RVing again!  🙂

 After much consideration and prayer, we decided we couldn’t stand NOT to camp again this season. Once it’s in your blood, it’s hard to do anything else. So, now we have a home and a “getaway” spot just a few miles down the road. Who says you have to travel far to getaway, right?

We decided too late in the season to get our old campsite back but we were able to pick one just a few sites from there.

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We have a peaceful little creek behind the camper and a wooded area beyond that.  The girls discovered  a couple of feathered friends hanging out in the creek.  They sure liked that popcorn they fed them.

Three little blonde haired, blue eyed girls sure were glad to be back “home” …

and so were their parents. 😉

So, keep checking back to see what new adventures await us in the Peach State.  You never know what you might find.  🙂


   Jun 24

4/1/2014

We’re in Florida…and that’s no April Foolin’!

We traveled to the Sunshine State a few days ago for some much needed family time and R&R.  And warm weather.  And the beach.  Did I mention it’s warmer here?

We always enjoy getting to hang with “the twin” and his wife and kiddos.  🙂  We do a lot of good eating, laughing, and playing.  And let me say it’s awesome to have two women in the kitchen cooking!  Much better than going it alone.

The highlight of the trip, for me, was when we visited the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola and watched The Blue Angels perform.  Wow!  If you want a good dose of patriotism make a visit to that!  And I apologize in advance for the pictures that follow.  My love for planes paired with my love of history makes a girl go a little nuts with the lens.  But, seriously, it’s a must see.

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It really was that loud!

I could’ve spent all day in there but for some strange reason our kids weren’t super excited to hang around for long.  😉  It couldn’t have been that they wanted to go to the beach.  No, that wouldn’t have made any difference.  But, off to the beach we went.

 

And we always have a blast at the beach (I still say the museum was more fun).  These are some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.  And check out the dense mist clouding around the beach.  Very strange.  We could see it heading our way from down the shoreline.  When it reached us it had a cool, moist feel to it.  I’d never seen that sort of thing before. Seemed kind of “sci-fi”…you know, deadly fog kind of thing.  😉

Our last shebang was a venture to Black River.  Yep, there’s gators in them thar waters!  I seriously was constantly scanning the water for “logs” with eyes.  Yikes!  Thankfully, there were no sitings that day.

And now it’s back to Georgia.  Wait until you see what we do there!

 


   Apr 12

3/21/2014

We’ve survived our first year!

 

A year.  12 months.  52 weeks.  365 days.

It doesn’t seem possible.  It  seems like just a few months ago that we loaded up our RV with most of what was left of our life in Virginia and headed to the Peach State.  So much has happened these past 12 months.  So many changes.  So many laughs.  A few tears.  Wonderful spiritual growth.  Friendships.  Salvation of two children.  A new home.

God has poured His grace out upon our family since we began our journey on that snowy day in March.  It’s been amazing to see His hand move in ways that we never even dreamed.  We are looking forward to what God has in store for us in the coming years.

Since it is our one year anniversary, I thought it would be fitting to take a look back at that first day when we pulled onto Georgia soil.  It was a “doozy” as my Aunt Nancy used to say.  🙂  So… here is a re-post of Day 1.  It still makes me laugh when I read it…

 

We arrive at River Bend Campground at 4:30pm. Sarah is crying because she is so thirsty and, of course, we have no water and there’s none at the Camp OfficeDSC_0826[1].  We get the camper in the site (after several tries).  Andrew hooks up the electric without event.  He gets the sewage hoses out and has no idea how to hook them up (I thought he already had this figured out).  After trying several options we forgo the septic and focus on heat. It is freezing here in Georgia too! As we’re heading for the inside of the camper, Emma is standing in the camper door in a puddle and has peed her pants (thankfully she did pee on the vinyl and not on the carpet).  Pee is running out the threshold and down the steps onto the ground.  We don’t have the water hooked up yet and I have no idea where her clean clothes are.  We get inside after I wipe up the pee and Andrew gets both gas and electric heat going.  It starts running really good for about five minutes then quits!  He tries several things and nothing works (we aren’t even sure exactly where the thermostat is). Emma is soaked and freezing.  I finally find her some mismatched clothes (pajama bottoms, no undies or socks, and no shoes).  I wipe up the pee as best I can on her (thankfully there were some paper towels left in the camper from cleaning).  We get the kids in the van and head to Anna’s first softball practice with her new team(which she is very nervous about for obvious reasons).  Right now Sarah, Emma, and myself are sitting in the warm van (too warm now according to Sarah who had me turn on the AC) waiting on Anna to get out of practice.  We are then going to get some water (we are all thirsty now) and head back to the camper to try and get it warm and flushing!  Who knows…we may end up spending our first night camping at the Ramada! DSC_0805[1]


   Apr 12

2/25/2014

Another Kitchen Remodel.

Yep, one wasn’t enough for us.  We like to overdo things.  Not really.  This is what happens when your hubby gets in the kitchen…infrequently.  🙂

He had a pot of oil on the stove and thought he turned the eye off.  Guess what?  :/

I heard screams (and no, it wasn’t Andrew) and ran into the kitchen to find fire licking up the cabinets and wall behind the stove.  Then it was me doing the screaming letting everyone know the house was on fire and for the kids to get out!  It was at this moment that I realized I’m not very good at thinking during times as these because all I could do was run back and forth.  Finally, Andrew took charge and told me to go to the camper and get the fire extinguisher.  Um, can I say how thankful I am that thing was still parked in our front yard???

I ran out the door, barefoot, got the extinguisher, and ran back to the house.  Mind you, I’m still screaming for the kids to get out of the house.  What I didn’t know is that they had been out of the house since the fire started (thanks to our wonderful and fast thinking daughter, Anna) and were standing in the yard watching their mother run around like a crazy woman!  I’m so glad SOMEONE in the house had a clear head.

And Andrew saved the day in just a few seconds after PASS (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep).  Thankfully, the damage was minimal and we were all safe.  Shaken up, but safe.

 

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There are some very important things we learned from this experience:

1.  Always have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
2.  Be sure you and your family have a plan in case of fire and that you practice it.  Often.
3.  Back splashes are for more than catching splatters and decoration…they also serve as a fire shield for the wall behind your stove. Though I didn’t like the one that we had, I was ever so thankful for it when I realized what would’ve happened had it not been there.
4.  All that talk about how terrible the smoke is in a house fire…it’s absolutely true.  Our entire house was filled with smoke.  All but the area around the floor because that also is true.  Smoke rises.
5.  I repeat.   Always have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.  🙂

Very valuable lessons learned.  I pray this is the last time we have an experience like this one.

Now, who’s gonna clean up this mess?


   Apr 08

12/31/2013: Christmas

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:11

 

Wow!  What a whirlwind this month has been.  I can’t believe December is at it’s end.

We’ve been so busy with all the Christmas festivities that I thought it easier to do a collage of the month in one post.  Yes, I’ve become a lazy blogger. 🙂   I’m hoping to do better in the new year with keeping up to date on our activities.  We’ll see how well that works out!

Christmas Cantata

The “sweetest” parts

Christmas Day

And we ended with a trip to Virginia to see my family.  And I am honestly too lazy to dig those photos up.  Yes, I need to dig up lots of ambition for New Year blogging. 🙂

God has blessed us so much in 2013!