The maiden voyage of the Paddock RV

Or was it? Oh my our vacation started out very interestingly! We were originally going to leave on Saturday, however Reuben had to work so we left around 8:30 on Sunday Morning. We had gotten the RV finished in time and packed with an outrageous amount of stuff even though I am pretty sure I forgot quite a lot of things.

We got the boys strapped in, made sure the dogs were going to stay home and went on our way out of town. Our first stop was to fill the outrageously large gas tank! On our way to Love’s one of the awnings above the small windows broke loose and we forgot to securely latch some of the doors so we had to stop to fix that. We continue down the road and all of a sudden it feels like we are loosing power for some reason. Reuben looks back and the brakes are smoking. We get to a place where we can stop and look at the brakes, they need to be lubricated which give everyone a great laugh. It also takes a couple hours.

Then we are of again! We are doing good, the thing bounces around and rattles like it is going to fall apart, which I am told are all mostly normal sounds, scary. We get 50 miles from home about 20 from where we were and it does it again. Reuben goes to look at the brakes again and can’t figure anything wrong with them and goes to start the RV and it won’t start…we aren’t getting any fuel. So our amazing neighbor who had already spent his morning helping us with the brakes brought us a fuel pump. We got that changed and then we weren’t getting any spark…..ugh So we went and got the parts to fix the no spark problem.

That fixes it and we are off again! by this time its like 3pm in the afternoon, we have to stop and get a spare tire, so we do that take the kid to the bathroom get some snacks that weren’t in the RV and go on down the road. We are doing great…until we start to loose power again right outside of Rolla, KS. We made it 73 miles from our house…. We can’t do anything with the RV in the dark so we hang out, I go get pizza with the car we were towing in Elkhart. We all sleep in the RV, the boys sleep great above the cab, they stay nice and warm in their footie sleepers. Reuben and I froze our butts off in the back of the RV, which we have decided to name “Black Betty” blam balam…

Oh and while loading the car back on the car dolly I overshot and got the car stuck….

So the next morning we get the car off the dolly the wrong way and on the correct way while fighting with the signal on our cell phones trying to find the parts to fix the brakes. I am also trying to convince Reuben that we don’t need to take the RV all the way to California if it is going to keep breaking down. He is concerned I will never want to go anywhere in it again if we abandon this maiden voyage of “Black Betty” blam balam. I manage to convince him, in part because he sees that like always I am right…well maybe not… mainly because not one of the auto part stores in the area had the parts we needed and wouldn’t be able to get them in until Friday, this was Monday and we needed to be in Felton, CA by Friday.

We are off again! only this time we are going east instead of west, and we make it 10 minutes….Reuben lets off some of the pressure with the break fluid and we are off again! and we make it 3.4 miles. oh my was Monday a long day! We make it back to the house around 4 pm we went 73 miles in 4.5 hours, stopping every so often to bleed the brakes and continue on our journey.

When we made it to the house we had some more surprises! The puppies were not not there, Harley came when I called, although she didn’t have her collar on. So I run into the house using the spare key because I didn’t take mine with me. And I leave it on the back of the couch and come back outside to look for Ruger. However the back door didn’t stay unlocked and we are locked out of the house. To add to the crappy day we already had we are locked out of the house, and I made sure all the windows were locked before I left. So we can’t crawl through the windows to get in. Reuben manages to break into the house, I found Ruger at the neighbors and we call it a night….after I take our clothes and all the perishable food out of the RV, we were running around like chickens for quite a while

Maiden voyage of “Black Betty” an official failure, however we will fix her and she will ride again!

We All Bleed the Same

I want to start out by saying I am praying for the families affected by the senseless killing that happened in Las Vegas. That I know of we are not related to the man who committed that terrible act.

I heard this song of the radio the other day and it is very true today. We need to remember that we are all the same on the inside- we all bleed the same color. We are all people no matter what ethnicity you claim you are.

The song is sung by the Christian artist Mandisa- it also features  TobyMac and Kirk Franklin.

I am going to post the lyrics I found them online, after the lyrics I will post a link to the song so you can listen to it if you want.

Intro: Mandisa]
We all bleed the same
We’re more beautiful when we come together
We all bleed the same
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided

[Verse 1: tobyMac]
Woke up today
Another headline
Another innocent life is taken
In the name of hatred
So hard to take (hey!)
And if we think that it’s all good
Then we’re mistaken
‘Cause my heart is breaking
(Tell em’ Dis)

[Pre-Chorus 1: tobyMac & Mandisa]
Are you left?
Are you right?
Pointing fingers, taking sides
When are we gonna realize?

[Chorus 1: Mandisa]
We all bleed the same
We’re more beautiful when we come together
We all bleed the same
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided
If we’re gonna fight
Let’s fight for each other
If we’re gonna shout
Let love be the cry
We all bleed the same
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided

[Verse 2: Mandisa]
Tell me, who are we
To judge someone
By the kind of clothes they’re wearing
Or the color of their skin?

[Pre-Chorus 2: Mandisa & tobyMac]
Are you black? (black)
Are you white? (white)
Aren’t we all the same inside? (the same inside)
Father, open our eyes to see!

[Chorus 1: Mandisa & tobyMac]
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
We’re more beautiful when we come together
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided
If we’re gonna fight
Let’s fight for each other (fight for each other!)
If we’re gonna shout
Let love be the cry (be the cry!)
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided

[Bridge: Kirk Franklin & Mandisa]
Only love can drive out all the darkness
What are we fighting for?
We were made to carry one another
We were made for more, said…
Only love can drive out all the darkness
What are we fighting for?
We were made to carry one another
We were made for more!

[Chorus 2: Mandisa & tobyMac]
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
We’re more beautiful when we come together…
Let’s stand united!
We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
So tell me why, tell me why
We’re divided
If we’re gonna fight
Let’s fight for each other (fight for each other!)
If we’re gonna shout
Let love be the cry (be the cry!)
We all bleed the same(we all bleed the same)
Bleed the same
Let’s stand united (let’s stand united)
Let’s stand united!

 

Zucchini Cherry Pie

Oh my it has been a while, I posted a picture a couple weeks ago after I used a melon baller on a zucchini. I hinted at making a cherry pie out of a zucchini, the recipe was my Grandmothers’ and we spent many summers making it together.

You start with a large zucchini, if you think it is big enough it might not be, you may need bigger. A friend last night said you the zucchini they gave me was the size of a child. That is about right, I didn’t measure the one that I got but

it was the right size for a deep dish pie!  You cut the child-sized zucchini in half and take out the seeds – then start using the melon baller and make “cherries” they don’t have to be completely circular most of mine turned out partly circular.

 

Then put it in a stock pot along with one package of Cherry flavored Kool-aid 1 1/2 cup Water 2 T. Lemon Juice and 1 1/2 cup sugar.  Boil those ingredients until the zucchini is cooked about 20 minutes. Add some cornstarch mixed with water so that it is not to runny. Let the zucchini sit in the mixture for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator to let the “cherries” absorb the cherry flavor and color.

When the mixture has sat for a couple hours or overnight spoon it into an uncooked pie crust, store bought is fine or you can make your own! Cover it with a top crust with vent holes and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Until the crust is brown. You can also brush the top crust with melted butter to help it brown better.

 

I got a little fancy with my crust but that is totally unnecessary!

Don’t Drive Distracted!!

Everyone was so worried when cellphones came out because you could get so distracted by talking on it or texting on it. People sometimes drive down the road and put their makeup on! I am totally against texting and driving, don’t get me wrong, but I have 2 things that are way more distracting than your phone and I gave birth to them.

Whoever decided that getting distsracted while driving was just not a good idea never had 2 boys 2 years apart! Kids in general I think are a distraction while you are driving. TB did NOT like to ride in the car for any length of time until he was about 9 months old I think, he would scream the entire time he was strapped in! The only way you could get him to stop was to have your arm in his carseat we even took the headrest off the passenger side of the car to make it a little easier on the poor passenger who had to keep the baby from screaming bloody murder the whole trip!

Somedays I miss when it was just screaming, now it seems they think I can do all sorts of extra things while I drive. “Mommy I dropped my toy, can you get it?” sure kid I’ll just stand on my head, pay attention to the road and bend my arm at a very unnatural angle so I can reach the toy I asked you NOT to drop! Or I like the one where they have broken whatever toy they are playing with and they want me to fix it and drive at the same time!? Yes, I can fix a complicated toy and drive safely at the same time! When my car was messier it was easier for LP to get his own toys because his legs were long enough to reach the “toy box” now though he can’t reach the floorboards yet because I am making a conscious effort to keep my car clean.

I don’t know how to keep myself from being distracted while I drive, I guess kids are just always a distraction. No I do not make it a habit to stand on my head and twist my arm funny to get the toys the boys dropped, more often than not they are told that they will just have to wait until we get where we are going or pick another toy.

Am I the only Mom that has all these weird distractions? or is it pretty normal for all?

My boys were not going to…

I think everyone has this idea in their head of what type of parent they are going to be. My ideas were there I didn’t want to give my infants pacifiers, I didn’t want them to have a favorite stuffed toy or blanket and I didn’t want to hold them to much, you can spoil them you know.

Along comes LP who I exclusively breastfed because it’s cheap and I personally feel it’s the better option. Does it hurt like crazy? Yes. Did I loose the amazing amount of weight I was supposed to while doing it? NO. Apparently my crazy body though I needed to store up fat to feed the chunk…anyway back on track. LP would nurse, but then he would just want to stay attached. It’s very hard to do anything physical  while nursing. So LP became a binkie baby… it gave Me some peace to do things without the newborn attached constantly.  There are benefits to pacifiers, they let mom’s have space so when the newborns get the sucking urged but aren’t really hungry they can practice. It also lowers the risk of SIDS by half Why? doctors don’t have a clue…that right there was benefit enough for me. My newborn sleeps better without me and wakes up from his nap!

For his first birthday we went to Hastings ( I miss that store, such a fun mix of everything you could need as a geek, electronics and books :(..) Daddy helped him pick out a stuffed animal, it was a lion, Daddy called it a tiger at first (he’ll deny that part). It became his favorite stuffed animal! LP had to get to sleep by rubbing the fluff of lions tail up against his binkie, it was adorable. A couple of interesting things about lion it’s a Webkinz, I still don’t know what that does, but he loves the way they (being Webkinz in general) feel! He had to washed a lot…best way I found to wash it? The it in a pillowcase and wash and dry it with with the sheets. That was my Grandma’s idea, it has worked amazingly! LP got a favorite blanket for Christmas that year from Papa it is one of those soft blankets and it has a panda on it. Now LP can sleep under other blankets but he much prefers this one.

As you can see on the right is Lion the original he is much more bedraggled and is loosing his mane, Cinty (I have no idea how the child spells that in his mind) looks much better and still has his mane and most of his tail.

TB has a puppy that looks much the same as lion all though not as bedraggled, we used binkies with him, although it was a different kind. I am happy to say we just recently got rid of the binkies! He was a little old (3) but we went cold turkey one day because I just told him they were all lost! His favorite blanket is one that Nana and I made together, she cross stitched the ABC pictures and I pieced the quilt.

My point I suppose is this, do your kids have to use a binkie? NO. Is it wrong for mine to have favorite stuffed animals that still go with my oldest in his backpack to preschool? NO! Should you make sure your kids don’t have favorite things that make them feel safe and secure in their ever changing ever expanding world? No! I think that if having a lovey of a stuffed animal or a blanket makes your child more able to tackle the crazy world we live in then let them have whatever will give them the confidence to go on.

 

As we begin the school year

My oldest LP started school last week, I am both excited for him and terrified for how the house is going to function without him in it during the day. TB has never been without brother, they fight like all brothers do but they get along very well most of the time.

I get worried about how well he will sit for the teacher, I am worried about how well he will behave (because he is all boy!). I worry that he will have a hard time making friends, but then I remember that when we went and got ice cream the other day he said hi to everyone who walked in the doors, he is naturally friendly and he will be fine.

 

I need to remember that worrying doesn’t accomplish anything but making me more stressed out and more high strung, so that I get frustrated more easily and often retreat into reading instead of living my days playing with the boys like I should. I need to remember that God is watching out for us and that we are His and He will take our cares onto Him if we let Him.

We seem to be adjusting alright, they do not like getting up in the mornings, but then who really does? I think of things to do to occupy TB so that he doesn’t think about brother being gone. The first day we left LP behind at school he did not deal well, TB threw a fit until we got home, saying we needed to go back and get brother.

We all need to remember that we can overcome anything life throws at us!

That one lost the battle….

So you know Ruger eats everything, his toys, the boys toys, sprinklers, water hoses, real flowers, wood chips, fake flowers, now he has found he has a taste for dinosaur… Which can be difficult since there are no more dinosaurs. However the dinosaurs he seems to like are the plastic kind that can be chewed into smaller pieces. This is more funny because our friends have some “puppies” that are much smaller Havapoo, as apposed to his lumbering Mastador. Which immediately reminded me of a Mastodon, which lived at the time of the dinosaurs depending on what the scientists are thinking today. Anyway when we go to our friends house the boys find Mia and Molly’s bones and call them dinosaur bones. Toby likes to give the “puppies” their dinosaur bones. Ruger would probably think the “puppies themselves were chew toys!

Why Ruger can’t just eat dinosaur bones is beyond me. Instead he prefers to go for the head of the problem and just eat the whole dinosaur. This one has been missing legs and arms for a while courtesy of Ruger of course; this morning it finally lost the battle with its head. I threw it away, you know boys though, they will find it and ask why Ruger ate it…

Coloring and Jesus

I always wanted to be one to write in my Bible like you see the older generation whose Bible is all marked up and they can barely find a space to put a thought in. It messed with my head though, dessecrating a book THE Book that guides everything and helps us through the darkest parts of our lives. How can you write your thoughts in it? I always kept a notebook to write my thoughts in, until i found out about Journaling Bibles. I’m crafty however I am not crafty enough to draw the pictures and the lines myself so i began the research. What translation did I want? There are so many AMP, NKJV, NIV, MSG, I finally decided on the NLT version becasue it is the easiest to understand for me, you might like a different version. The Message is a great version of the Bible, I dont like that they didnt put verse numbers in it, it drives me crazy when I try to read it! I would love to one day have a book traslation of the Amplified, they don’t reallt have that one jn a journaling version yet.
Version determined I went to a Bible bookstore,

NLT journaling Bibles are not very popular they had one, it is called Inspire and it is a pretty Bible with birds on the cover and a lot of pages to color and lines in the margines to write. So i bought it. Couple months down the road, I’ve colored a few pictures been really careful to only use pencil, it’s still THE Book after all.

Then one day at Church my boys have all my pencils and i need to write something, so I have to use a pen (yes I collect stationary) anyway something clicks. God doesnt mind if I write in THE Book with a pen, he wpuld prefer it he wants me to take notes and learn. He wants me to be able to come back another day and see where I was in my faith while reading that passage and understand my walk more. If yoy have been trying to decide if you should or shouldnt write or color in your Bible, do it! It has helped me grow closer to Him, it has helped me face my faith and understand more of who I am in Christ.

When the failure creeps in

Have you ever felt it? Bone rattling failure like you can’t seem to acheive/do anything right and that looking at your past it seems like it’s just riddled with mistakes and wrong turns? As everyone prepares for back to school I feel that, I was a teacher once, I have had the back to school excitement; the classroom to decorate; the joy in meeting new students and journeying with them as they learned. Somewhere along the way it no longer worked, I didn’t have the skills to manage the classroom, I couldn’t teach them. I failed my students, I failed me.

Now it seems no matter what career choice I attempt next it all ends the same. Failure. I couldn’t work at Staples as a Tech assistant for longer than a year and a half. My temp job didn’t get extended. I can’t even seem to get the build your own businesses off the ground.

I can’t figure it out? Why would God put a passion for teaching in my heart if he won’t allow me to find a position that I can strive in? Why would God allow me to not even be able to hold down the simplest of jobs?

Our purpose as children of God isn’t always known to us, no I don’t have a job outside of the house. I have a job that allows me to be with my children daily and teach them. Do we have bad days? When Mom doesn’t want to do much and they run amuck? Yes we do, but they know they are loved. Both by their parents and by the God who created them.

I don’t always remember that my purpose in God is more important than my purpose in self, I forget that my God doesn’t abandon me when I am feeling like a failure. It is easy to feel that you are doing something wrong when the turns you take in your life don’t seem to take you toward the path you wanted. Just make sure they are taking your towards the path that matters. Towards the cross. Towards our precious Redeemer.

Organizing your Neighbor

Organizing your Neighbor

My neighbor wanted a better way to tame her paper clutter, so one day while we were over for dinner, yes in our little town we go to our neighbors house for dinner, I grabbed my phone and looked at Pinterest for some ideas for her organizational nightmare.

We decided on cut wooden crates on the wall and a “Look What I made” sign for each of her boys.

We gathered materials and got to work, at the time I didn’t know I was going to start a blog so I didn’t take many during pictures.

The crates are easy enough to create, a lot of times you see them cut the other way for books, we thought that the paper would fall out the side if we did it that way.

I stained these, cut them the width she wanted them with the jigsaw and then for stability we added some of the “slats” we cut off to the back to have something to screw the hangers to. This is before we hung the fourth crate for her youngest son.

The “Look What I made” signs were much easier you buy a piece of wood or find one if you can and cut it to the size you want, stain it the color you would like it to be. Then I used my Cricut cutting machine to cut out the vinyl to use for the words on the board and placed them on the wood. I sealed it with spray Mod Podge and attached the clothespins with wood glue. Some of the wood glue didn’t hold because the wood had already been sealed so we had to go back and re-glue the clothespins on- we used Gorilla glue the second time and they held much better on the sealed wood.