Posts Tagged With: roadschooling

Rally Time in the Ozarks

We just spent a couple of weeks in Branson, Missouri.  Branson is one of the friendliest towns we have ever been to.  People are just so nice and polite there!  We went to Branson to attend the Fulltime Families NOT Back to School Roadshool Rally.  Don’t let the name fool you.  Our kids may not be sitting behind a desk in school all day, but there was plenty of learning (or roadschooling) going on.

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It was awesome to re-connect with friends we met at the last rally and to meet some new friends.  The rally was super fun with many fun family activities like campground games, s’mores night, 80’s night, and a movie under the stars featuring what else but the movie RV (my favorite!).

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We also went on several field trips.  First we hiked to a waterfall.

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My Florida boys thought the water was too cold, but the other kids didn’t seem to mind it.  They must not be from Florida!

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We went to the Titanic Museum.  This museum has many artifacts from the Titanic and you can learn all about the ship and its passengers.  It was so interesting, but unfortunately we were not allowed to take any pictures inside the museum.  At the beginning of the field trip we were each given a boarding pass with the name of a real passenger on the Titanic.  The boarding pass had some information about the passenger and let you know what class they were in.  At the end of the museum you found out if your passenger survived.  Jake and Jesse each received a pass with the name of a little boy who was in third class.  Their passengers both survived.  Chris’s passenger was a crew member who also survived.  My passenger did not survive, but she was a hero.  She was in first class and had gotten on a lifeboat, but then she gave up her seat to a mother and child.

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We also went to see the Jonah show at the Sights and Sounds Theater which was a really awesome show, but again we were not able to take pictures during the show.

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Another show we attended was the Shoji Tabuchi show.  The Fulltime Families group was honored to be invited to this show for free.  Shoji Tabuchi is an extremely talented violinist from Japan.  The show is very entertaining and has a wide variety of music from swing and polka to country and pop.  The show consisted of a very talented group of musicians, singers and dancers.

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This theater is known as having “America’s Best Restrooms”.  I heard the men’s room even has a billiard table!

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We went on several fields trips with our good friends, the Graham family.  We toured the College of the Ozarks.  I was so impressed with this college.  The students all work on campus to earn free tuition.  When they graduate they leave with no student loan debt.  They are also taught to work very hard which is why the college is also known as Hard Work U.  Beautiful views of the Ozarks from the college.

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The college is a Christian college and displays the Ten Commandments.  One thing I found interesting was that several students rode their bikes to class and just left their bikes outside the buildings without locking them.  Hmm, it’s funny how that works when people are taught “thou shalt not steal”.  Too bad they no longer teach that in public school.

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Words to live by…

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Beautiful chapel on campus.

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Cute little old fashioned school house at the college.

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The mill was very cool.  We met some of the students that were working on weaving and basket making.  It was so interesting to watch how she made a table runner on this weaving loom.

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Outside of the mill.

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Another day we went to the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery where we learned how they breed trout to later be released into Lake Taneycomo.  We watched an interesting short film in the visitor center that explained the whole process.  The visitor center also had lots of reptiles for us to check out.

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Touching an albino king snake.  I was surprised how soft this snake felt.  Not slimy like they look, but very soft.

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Feeding the fish so they can grow up to be released into the lake for the fishermen.  I guess this is what they call “farm raised fish”?

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Watching some fly fishermen in the lake.

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Then we went to the Table Rock Lake dam.  The visitor center there was also very interesting where we learned all about how they built the dam, and that they had to build it due to flooding problems.  The visitor center also had a lot of educational and fun things for the kids to play with.

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The beautiful Graham family.  I love these people!

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Another day we went on a hike to some caves at Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area.

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We walked into this cave and thankfully didn’t run into any wild animals, but there were a lot of spiders.  It was creepy!!

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We celebrated Jesse’s 9th birthday at Lambert’s (Home of the Throwed Rolls).  We had never been to a Lambert’s before but I have heard of them.  I imagined we would be getting hit in the head with rolls the whole night, but it wasn’t really like that.  They came around regularly with rolls and if you want one you hold up your hands to catch it and they throw them to you.  They also regularly bring “pass-arounds” to your table which are several different side items and you can have as much as you want.  Between the rolls and pass-arounds we hardly had room for our dinner.  The place really knows how to feed people and you will not leave hungry!  The food was delicious and it was a really fun night.  We were very thankful to have the Grahams join us for Jesse’s birthday celebration.  After dinner we all went back to their RV for a fun game night.

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Fat Cat enjoyed her time at the rally too!  Here she is guarding the door.  She’s such a good watch-cat.

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And she liked lounging in a beach chair.

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Some other things we did included a visit to Stone Hill Winery and a date night at Branson Landing with our friends.  The nighttime light show at the landing is really cool!  This has been a really busy 2 weeks!  Next we’re going to rest up for a week in Tennessee before we meet up with our friends again.

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Categories: Fulltime RV'ing, Missouri | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

My New Favorite State is Colorado

After leaving Bryce Canyon, we had planned to stay at Lake Powell for a week.  Lake Powell is in both Utah and Arizona.  We stayed on the Arizona side at the Wahweap Campground.  Lake Powell is so beautiful and the water is so incredibly blue!  Unfortunately it was over 100 degrees when we were there so we only stayed for 3 days.  I hear all the time about how the heat in Arizona is a “dry heat”.  I don’t care what they call it, when the temps get over 100, it is pretty darn hot.  And in an RV it seems worse because during the heat of the day, even running two A/C’s, we just can’t keep it cool.  There are many interesting places to visit at Lake Powell including Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and the dam and hanging gardens at Glen Canyon.  We are planning to come back out west next year and definitely want to return to Lake Powell to see all those places we missed this time because it was just too hot.

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After Chris & I were finished working each day this is what we were doing.  That lake water felt heavenly after melting in the heat of the RV all day.

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Since we decided to cut this trip short, we moved on to Colorado.  I absolutely love Colorado!  It is incredibly beautiful and the weather is fabulous!  Of course I may not think so in the winter, but it was wonderful in the summer.  On our way there we made a stop at Four Corners Monument.  This is the spot where the four states of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado meet.  It was pretty cool to be able to be in all 4 states at one time.

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In Colorado we visited the super cute town of Telluride.  We took some advice from Trip Advisor and parked at the parking garage in Mountain Village.  The parking garage was plenty big enough for our dually truck and only costs $7 for the day.  From the parking garage you can ride the free gondola into Mountain Village where there are lots of shops, restaurants and lodging.  Mountain Village is at the bottom of a mountain biking trail (it’s a ski area in the winter time).  People were riding their bikes down the mountain and then they hook their bikes to the gondola to ride back up the mountain.  I definitely want to come back with bikes and do that someday.  That looked like so much fun!

When the bikers get off the gondola at the top of the mountain, you can get off and take some pictures and walk some trails.  Then you can get back on the gondola and continue down into Telluride.  I wanted to do a 5 mile hike to Bear Creek Falls so we didn’t do any extra hikes near the bike trails.  The hike to the falls was a strenuous 2.5 mile hike up the mountain, then an easy 2.5 miles back down.  When we were almost to the falls we heard thunder and it started drizzling, but we were determined to get there after having already walked most of the way.  At one point Jake got really tired and said he needed to stop and rest.  Just before we stopped to rest we finally saw the falls which gave us that extra energy we needed to make it the rest of the way.  It was cold and drizzling a little, but still worth the hike to see it.

View from the gondola ride.

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View from the top of the mountain where the mountain bikers start.

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View from the gondola on the way down to Telluride.

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The cute little town of Telluride.

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At the start of our hike we had no idea how hard it would be.  I mean it’s only 5 miles round trip, right?  How hard can that be?

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Views from our hike up to Bear Creek Falls.  It’s still a nice sunny day.

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It’s getting cloudy and we’re starting to hear thunder, but we’re not stopping now!

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Time for a rest.

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We made it, the beautiful falls!

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View looking back down.

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Resting on the way back down.

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I loved Telluride and definitely would like to go back there again for mountain biking in the summer and snow skiing in the winter.

The next day we visited Mesa Verde National Park.  This park has lots of cliff dwellings where Native Americans lived a few hundred years ago.  It was really cool to see their homes, walk through the rooms and imagine what it must have been like living there.

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Junior Rangers with a Big Ranger.

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Hiking down to another cliff dwelling.

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Mesa Verde has many vista points where you can see the other 3 states of the Four Corners.

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Earning another Junior Ranger badge.  We just love the Junior Ranger program.  Jake and Jesse are learning so much of our nation’s history doing these programs.  This is Roadschooling at it’s best!

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We stayed at Mesa Verde RV Park right across the street from the national park.  The views from our campsite were amazing and the weather was perfect!

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One thing I really wanted to do while we were in Colorado is ride an alpine slide.  My parents took my sister and me to some alpine slides in New England when we were kids.  It was so much fun and I would love to take our kids to one.  Durango Mountain Village has an alpine slide, so Chris took an afternoon off work so we could go.  Unfortunately we got there and found out they changed their summertime hours and are now only open on weekends.  We were so disappointed!  Thanks to another Fulltime Family blog though I found out there is an alpine slide in Gatlinburg, TN and we are planning to go there later this year, so hopefully we’ll get another chance at the alpine slide thing.  🙂

We only just scratched the surface of visiting Colorado, visiting just the southwestern portion of the state.  And if we were not on our way to the Fulltime Families “Not Back to School Roadschool” rally in Missouri, we would have stayed longer.  There is so much more to see and Lord willing, we will be back for a much longer stay someday.

Categories: Colorado, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Making New Friends

Since my last post we went to a Fulltime Families rally at Lazy Days in Tampa, FL.  That was so much fun!  We got to meet lots of families that are living in their RVs and traveling just like we are doing now.  Everyone was so nice and welcoming to us newbies.  It was so nice to learn from all of the people that have already been doing this for awhile.  And the kids really enjoyed meeting other kids to play with.

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Categories: Florida, Fulltime RV'ing | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why are we doing this?

Earlier this year, Chris and I got this crazy idea to sell all of our stuff, hit the road in an RV and travel the country with our children.  Now we are just a few months away from our launch date, and it looks like that crazy idea is getting closer to becoming a reality.  Why… you ask?

The #1 reason we are doing this is because “blink and they are grown”.  I remember when my first child was a newborn and many people told me to enjoy it, he will grow up quickly.  I did not believe them then because after so many sleepless nights with a newborn I could not imagine that stage of life ever coming to an end.  But now as I look back and miss those precious days, I realize how right those people were that told me they grow up quickly.  There is truth in the saying “the days are long, but the years are short”.  As a homeschooling mom of 2 boys the days can definitely seem long sometimes.  But the years are flying by.  I am realizing I only have a short time to enjoy these precious years while they are young and I want to make the most of it.  I used to think Chris & I would travel together later when the kids grow up and then we thought “why wait?”  Let’s do it with them while they’re still young.  We want to have incredible adventures with our family and make memories that we will cherish forever.

Another reason we want to do this is to live life more simply because we no longer want to be controlled by our stuff.  We are selling it all to live life more simply and experience more of life together as a family.

Just prior to this crazy idea, we had been spending several months getting some much needed upgrades done to our home.  I was so excited to finally be able to get all this beautiful work done on our home, like new tile floors, new granite counter tops, new carpet in the bedrooms and new paint on the walls.  Our house was really starting to look nice, and during my morning quiet time with God while I was praying and thanking Him for blessing us with the ability to get all of this work done, I would hear a still, small voice saying to me, “you are doing all this just to sell it.”  I would immediately disregard that thought because I love where we live and I love our home and had absolutely no intention to sell it.  Silly me to try to ignore God speaking to my heart.  What I didn’t realize at the time was He was planting a dream in my heart and Chris’s heart, a dream that is getting closer to becoming a reality.  Once we got the idea in our heads to sell it all and travel, I realized we really did do all this work to sell our house.

As we started talking more seriously about doing this, I wondered if there are any other families with kids that do this sort of thing?  I imagined we would be out there traveling with only retired people except for summertime.  I began to search online for other families that travel and found a wonderful group which includes hundreds of families that are doing this.  I was so encouraged to find FullTime Families!  I have learned so much from the families that are already living our dream.  We already homeschool our kids, but I learned from FullTime Families that there is a new term for that for families that travel, it’s called “roadschooling”, thus the name for our blog.  One thing I’m so excited about is the awesome hands on education that our children will get while we travel this beautiful country and visit national parks and landmarks, museums, aquariums, zoos, etc.  It just so happens that the theme for our Sonlight curriculum for the next 2 school years is American History.  What better way to supplement their learning than by visiting all of these historical places they will be learning about?

So, there it is, that is why we are doing this.  I welcome you to subscribe to this blog and hear about our crazy adventures on the road, wherever God leads.

Categories: About Us, Fulltime RV'ing | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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