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Friday, March 30, 2012

RV FOR SALE and a brain injury

Its the end of the month.. I know that I am  stating the obvious. How did  March go by so fasts? My list of things to do keeps getting longer and my time to get them done keeps getting shorter. 

In our getting ready for our BIG ADVENTURE, I am reminded of how far Ray has come from his heart failure and brain injury almost 4 years ago.

this is a pic from his hospital stay almost 4 years ago.

 He is still not the same... he never will be. And that is OK.

I was thinking about everything that he has over come and what the doctors said to me that day. 

They told me he was brain dead.

He is not brain dead.

In fact he is amazing.

This week he had defibrillator check and his favorite thing that night was that his heart is working well and it was paced 2% less than the check before.  (that's a good thing)  He told us that there is 5.5 years left on his battery.  The kids wanted to know what that meant. Lily really freaked out when we told her that Dad would have to have another defibrillator placed. 

"No Dad is all better his heart works just fine!" she kept telling us. It really broke my heart. 

I am so grateful that we get to go on this BIG ADVENTURE as a family it has been 4 years in the making. I wanted to take my family and run away after Ray's brain injury. but he needed time to recover, and I needed time to adjust to the "new" Ray. Although he is not fully"recovered" and some times I wish the "old" Ray was still around. I am so blessed that we are still a family and get to have many BIG ADVENTURES for years to come.

So like I said  we are preparing for BIG ADVENTURE and one of the things on our giant list of things to do was to figure out what we needed to tow the expedition...well to make a long story short we can not tow the expedition. We can not afford to drive both  the RV and the expedition.. What does this mean for our trip? Well it means we have a RV for sale and are in the market for a travel trailer that we can tow with the expedition.
Wish us luck.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

        Ok, Ray and Ben were able to fix the problem with the RV. I know that you all were waiting with baited breath in wonder. So we are back on for our trip. Not that we were off, but we are rethinking how far we will be traveling.  We may not get to go to all the cool places our great country has to offer this trip. I however have an idea in the works that may get us on the road as much as we want. I will fill you in as more details are available.
I just made a video of our time in Zion's. Looking at our pictures makes me so excited for the next trip. 

    We are going to go on a second "test drive" in a couple of weeks. I really want as many of the  kinks worked out before our BIG ADVENTURE. (I know that kinks are just part of the ride. I just hope they are a small part.) This trip will not be as far but we will be able to go through a tank of gas. This will give us an idea of what gas milage will be. This will play a BIG role in our BIG ADVENTURE plans.

There are so many things going on in our lives right now. It was fun to take some time out of the crazy and focus on our third child Kaden. He turned 10 this week and got a new bike! Kaden is my shy child. He makes me smile, he loves to snuggle. He is an incredible natural athlete. He played football this year and was fantastic! He is also in cub-scouts and is getting his bear badge this week. 

My Kaden just had a birthday he is 10!! I can not be more proud of the young man he is. 
He got a new bike, one he can do tricks on!!

   And if you are keeping track I will be graduating in 6 wks and 2 days!!! I can't believe this part is almost done. I have learned so much about myself and what I can accomplish over the past few years.
 If I only have 6 weeks until school is over that means we only have 10 wks until we are on the road!!! I don't know which one I am more excited about.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sea Trial

       "It is all about the memories." This was my fathers mantra as we were growing up. We did not have much money with 10 kids and an entrepreneur father times were often tough. Oh but we had memories. We took road trips and had dingus days. We would travel in our  blue 15 passenger Ford van and sing at the top of our lungs,

 " We aint got a barrel of money our clothes might be ragged and funny but we travel along singing our song, side by side."  I smile just thinking about it.

      One memory that sticks out more then most was a trip we took up the Alaska Canada Highway (ALCAN) when I was 15 we were moving back to Alaska for a better life. We traveled with the blue van, my fathers sign truck and trailer, a friends truck and trailer. We looked very much like the Clampetts.

      There were 13 of us 5 adults and 8 kids. We broke down everyday, everyday. I could not tell you exactly what went wrong, but there was a problem of one kind or another everyday. I was 15 so I could feel the stress of the adults, but still young enough to enjoy the time as a family, the camping we got to do, the bear that woke my sister up when it put its front paws on the truck window. 
Yes the MEMORIES. That is what life is all about.

That brings me to our "Test drive this weekend" 

It started like this.......

In the middle it was this..............

But the memories will be of this......

We had such a great time. We found there is still a lot to do on the RV to make OUR BIG ADVENTURE a reality. But that is why we called it a test drive.  

PS. We had to leave the RV at a camp ground last night because the alternator went out. Luckily we made it to Springville and Megan was able to pick us up and take us home. Ben and Ray are fixing it today. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

   Today I made a plan. Do you make plans, lists? I come from a family of list makers, plan designers, schemers, and dreamers. We are great at making plans, having great ideas, our follow through is a little laking. So to day I made a plan. Like I said I have a lot to do to get ready for our BIG ADVENTURE.
Not only did I make a plan I took action on this plan. I was off and running at 9 am. This is early for me if I do not have a class to get to. I orchestrate the children getting off to school from my bed on most days.        
( I know shameful)
  Went to Walmart, Costco, Burlington, and Craigs Cuts. We were home by noon. Then I cleaned out a cupboard. We are moving so in my plan I have to clean out one cupboard, closet, drawer or book shelf everyday. I hope that way I will be ahead of the game when it comes to the actual packing of the boxes.
  We are going to have a massive yard sale in May, mark your calendar if you live in the area. We came down here with almost nothing so that means I need to leave here with almost nothing. We have a house full of stuff at home.
   Also in my plan is to loose weight. This is always on my plan. I struggle. I have a lofty goal of doing a 10k before we go home. Have you ever done a 10k. I am not fast at all but I have done a few 5ks. I want to have a new goal. So I also went to the gym with the kids for 1.5 hrs.
  Oh and I have to finish my nursing program and pass the NCLEX.
  Thats not to much do you think?

  This is what the boys did to prepare the RV for our upcoming "test drive" to Zions.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

     So it is fast approaching the end of our time in Utah.  I will have my first degree in Nursing in 61 days or 9 weeks or 2 months. I can not believe that it is coming so soon. This is kind of freaking me out. We have so much to do. My list is four miles long. We have 13 weeks 92 days or 3 months to be out of our home and moved into our camper that we will be living in for about 3 months as we have our BIG ADVENTURE before we go home.
      We are currently working on putting a new floor down in the RV. There was nothing wrong with the old floor except it was old and carpet. I thought it would be easer to keep clean if it was tile. I did not want to bring along a vacuum on our trip. So we tore out the floor and now are trying to figure out if we should put some more sub floor on. The floor is a little soft in the high traffic areas but you wont put your foot through the floor our anything.

      We are  planning a little "test drive" camping trip for part of my spring break. We are going to drive down to Zion National Park and stay for two nights. I wanted to go far enough that we would find out any major problems with the RV but close enough to call Ben for help if we needed to. My intention is to work out some of the bugs and  help us to determine some of the things that we might want for our BIG ADVENTURE. 

     Do you camp with your family? Is there anything that you cant live with out when you are away from home?