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Ponderings of 7 Months in!

This post has been marinating in my head for quite some time.

As in, the day we started this trip.

I wonder how to really portray what goes on for us while we are out here traveling the country. In the age of hiding behind facebook and instagram, where everything can look picture perfect, I want to be real.

Most of the pictures and status updates I post ARE real. I am pretty much a “what you see is what you get” kind of gal, and I would say that usually people post the good stuff because that is what we gravitate towards. But then there is this nagging voice inside of me that never wants to come across as complaining when things aren’t picture perfect because…. well…

I realize we are very lucky.

Blessed.

Fortunate.

You pick your word – that IS what we are. I mean WHO gets to do this? Not very many people.

oreo-lounging

Oreo is always happy.

Lately, we have had our pondering days wondering if we are doing the right thing. By ourselves, by our kids. We still have kids who complain all. the. time. You know, like when I say, “hey lets go to the pool, or how about snorkeling or let’s go watch the sunset.” All we get is whining and complaining and boys who only want to play video games and watch you tube.

Nothing has really changed in that regard. I mean kids will always be kids right?

We really are just a normal family with the same struggles as everyone else, only we are doing it while seeing the country.

And then there’s this constant struggle between always feeling like we are on vacation, but knowing we can’t be because Brandon still has to work to pay for this trip (and life), and I am trying to get a business off the ground, and our boys still need to learn something everyday, and I am still their teacher.

Though we have no debt, we still live paycheck to paycheck because this lifestyle is NOT cheap and my husband has his own business and so when he doesn’t get paid, we don’t get paid. We have had those stressors just like everyone else who is self-employed, only we are doing it while on the road.

And then there’s this 300 square foot home we live in. I will reiterate as I have said in the beginning, I really do NOT miss the space of a big house, but we are always together, always in each other’s face, and I am outnumbered by a lot of boy juice… and it can be hard sometimes. We never quite know the surroundings we are going to be in when we sign up for an RV park. We could be in the middle of nowhere, with only super expensive convenience stores around us or we could be smack in the middle of the city and I have to drive this monster truck around and try to fit into tiny parking spaces and drive around cities I know nothing about.

And sometimes, we are just bored. We have no schedule, nowhere to be and sometimes there really isn’t much to do and if Brandon’s only good means of WiFi is to go to a Starbucks, that means the boys and I are stuck at the RV park. So we read a lot of books, do a lot of swimming and lounging by the pool and the boys play a lot of games. Sometimes I just want to start my nursing career already…. and I wonder, the longer time goes on, will I even be able to find a job?

And then there is homeschooling.

Meeting friends who love minecraft always helps!

Meeting friends who love minecraft always helps!

I was under no illusion that this would be easy and I have had it confirmed. Homeschooling is hard. Especially when you are on the road and just figuring it out, trying to get your groove with it. We have no space to do it in, no extra supplies in a closet somewhere, and sometimes our only WiFi is at a tiki bar on sight.

And did I mention kids who complain. all. the. time?

Who could complain doing school here?

Who could complain doing school here?

Our home schooling routine has gone from a formal online curriculum, to half curriculum, half whatever, to minecraft home school, to unschooling, to a combination of all of it. My kids really do surprise me at times by how much they are learning and I am learning so much about them as well. And you know what? I don’t mind if this year is a detox from public school kind of year. We’ll figure it out. If we come out of this year and my boys can tell you more than you would want to know about the Alamo, World War II, how and where our food is grown, the different states and their climates/eco systems, our government, and we do it all while still liking each other, I think we did a pretty darn good job.

This video I found when I was at a super low point one day about how I was feeling about homeschooling really encouraged me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJUu4P9nJnw&sns=em

If this post sounds like complaining, then so be it. I felt I had to get a real picture out there of just how we feel sometimes. Brandon and I have learned that when both of us keep these thoughts and ponderings bottled up we just feel awful, but as soon as we vent them to each other we make our way to the other side where we realize that the 4 of us are really becoming best friends, our kids are pretty amazing (we get told that by everyone we meet), and we are seeing some amazing sights. We aren’t doing everything or seeing everything, and we aren’t even doing everything we set out to do, but we are living a simple, slow life and learning a lot from it.

When we DO find ourselves or our kids complaining, we try to push through to do something fun in the area or try something new like snorkeling or fishing. I think its the same if we are in a house in a normal daily routine, or in an RV in the middle of the Florida Keys. Great life lessons are being learned here.

When you find yourself bored, or everyone is complaining and you feel stuck. Get out and do something new. You don’t have to travel around the country to experience some pretty great things with your family right in your corner of the world.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Tammy,

    I teach cutting edge teaching techniques to educators. Our courses are registered masters degree in education level courses. They are called “brain based learning/teaching strategies”. The ultimate form of teaching is having students experience as close to real life as possible. That is what you are doing? Inside their heads they are building a wealth of experiences and lessons that they won’t even realize for years.

    If they are keeping a record of their experiences that is the ideal form of cementing the event in their minds. It doesn’t have to be a blog. It can be taking photos, drawing or making a voice record. We took Erin to Pearl Harbor, England, France, Holland, Wales, Scotland, Australia and now she sees the world as her playground, visiting countries in the far east.

    Give them projects, or let them select projects to plan, carry out and evaluate on their own. It can be your next stop, letting them determine the route, stops and things to see. Then have them record it in some way. Erin kept a log, took pictures and then developed them into memory books. She displays them proudly even now.

    Trust me, you are giving the boys, and yourselves, an adventure that will stay with you forever. You are exposing them to culture, geography and in doing so prepare them for being citizens of a world we can’t even imagine yet. You are giving them the tools so they can make their way in that unknown world.

    Love you pictures, your blog and hey, in reality you are doing it all with three boys: one just a bit older.

    Enjoy.

    Gary and Sue DeVore

    • I LOVE this Gary!! What great ideas these are. I need to get my older son especially more involved in navigating – he is becoming very good at it often helping us find our way when we are “lost”. I think that will be my next assignment. I do have them write about their experiences here and there, and I try to encourage journal writing so I am hoping they will have a great way to revisit these experiences.

      Thanks again!

  2. FINALLY!!
    Thank you for this wonderfully honest post! You know, as I read your posts and see the beautiful and fun pictures I often wondered “can it really be fun all the time?” Also wondered how much you missed being in one place-or if you missed it at all. Loved this and you seem to be handling things well. Shoot! You certainly don’t miss this crummy weather ⛄️❄️☔️☁️

  3. Thank you Tammy, for the post. I love reading them and I have tried to imagine what it is like for you. Everyday normal life is just like you said except you are doing it on the road. We sure miss you and I can see that the boys have grown quite a bit since you left. I don’t know your plans when the year is over, but I would like to register my vote for you coming back to Michigan, someplace not more than an hour away :-)

  4. I found a kindred spirit today. I could have written this- it mirrors my life so closely! We are starting our second year full timing and roadschooling. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone in this journey. May God bless you in your travels.

    • I’m so glad you found me Cindy! Is good to have people that verify your feelings and understand! Happy travels to you!

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