Thursday, December 28

If you give a man a welder...

****edited to add link to video clip****

Whew! What a busy couple of weeks.

We've been talking about Joey getting his own welder for a couple years now, and the opportunity came for Joey to get a nice shiny red welder to match his nice shiny red truck, so we took it. Now the Nebraska job is no longer good enough, it's getting colder, and we have people to see and places to be.

We spent the first night back on the road in a Wal-mart parking lot after meeting Joey's friend's wife at their storage unit to get the leads that go with the welder.The kids and I decide to grocery shop at midnight so I wouldn't have to deal with saturday morning christmas shoppers. Shopping is a breeze in the middle of the night, unfortunately all the leisurely strolling down the aisles is painful on the budget. Oh well, at least now we're all set for a great road trip.
We stopped at a park in Osceola, KS for lunch and ended up spending a huge part of the day there. Even Joey couldn't resist the slides here.

We pull into the Fast Stop in Minneapolis, KS just as the bus runs out of gas. Whew! What luck!I hand over Joey's paycheck, run back to the bus to get a band aid for a lady in the store and realize the bus won't start! Joey says it just needs to get the diesel into the fuel lines, it'll be fine. I go back inside to get the phone book. I ask the girls inside if they know any diesel mechanics. In walks boyfriend, he calls a friend, who calls a friend and as soon as I come out of the store there's a nice young guy offering to help Joey. They fiddle for a bit, thankfully the clerks don't mind one bit that we're taking up two gas stalls completely and blocking easy access to two more. Young man can't fix it, he leaves to get someone he knows that can and within five minutes he's back with an older gentleman that proceeds to give Joey a complete lesson on our engine. They fixed it in no time and then would not accept any money! Not only did we save hundreds in towing and repair work but Joey got priceless info for future mishaps! That my friend, is unschooling on the road. What a Xmas gift!

We Google Earthed my parent's new place to familiarize ourselves with the layout so we could plan a sneak attack. It worked. They weren't even moved in yet. I called my mom and in usual fashion she asked "Where are you?" Sitting in your jacuzzi...surprise! :) They hurried home, bringing my brother and his family with them. It was so good to see everyone, it had been about nine months since we'd seen them. We also got to tour the bro's new mini mansion, where my folks grabbed their toothbrushes and headed back to their acreage with us. We all agree it's a good thing my mom and brother never cut the umbilical cord, Fort Worth is so much more convenient for us, being centrally located and South.

Mom and I had a whirlwind week of non stop christmas shopping, or at least what seemed like it. My mom's cousin, Diana, came over from Dallas to visit, and do more shopping. Her and husband, Rick, came over for Christmas Eve as well and brought some cool gifts. She got Joey a DVD game by The Discovery Channel called Road Trip America. We spent hours in the bus that night with all five of us playing it. I was a little surprised when my five year shouted out South Dakota for the answer to Where is Mount Rushmore? She hasn't even been there herself!

We're really enjoying this carefree life on my parent's property but we do have to figure out our next move soon. I'm sure we'll know more after this weekend.

Friday, December 8

homeschool homies

I'm reposting this video by two homeschool brothers, because they're right...they're hella tite!

Thursday, December 7

Dear Mrs. Claus (because we know who really does the shopping)

Jake's Xmas List
Star Wars Lego II for XBox
Cowboy boots
Pokemon Gold for GBA
Jonas' Xmas List
Thrillville for XBox
Pokemon Rescue Team Red for GBA
Cowboy boots
Pokemon Pikachu Version for GBA
Jewel's Xmas List
Nintencats for GBA
Cowboy boots
earrings, jewelry

Living Life

We're still in Nebraska. I guess I feel I have to say that because people that know us, know that we don't stay in one place for too long. We're planning on staying here all winter, though. That's the plan, at least. We spent Thanksgiving with a fellow road dog and his wife at their rental house. Joey really had to sell me on going there, next year I won't be buying. We absolutely enjoyed the rest of the weekend, though. We got a burst of energy and started remodeling and reorganizing. We took down the temporary bunks we had made for the boys and built them big new bunks, the full length of the old closet. We also made the frame for the foot of our bed so we can turn our full size bed into a king. We still have the side frame to build, new cubicles/drawers for our clothes, and mattress to buy, but we're off to a great start. For the bunk beds I glued material to the walls, and for the frame we used 2x3's, stained a red mahogany (which I'd eventually like to convert all the wood into the bus to). Bunkbeds

I had to drive all the way to Iowa again. I thought I could register our new cars just over the border in Iowa, but no, they have to be registered in the county of residence. For residency purposes we're still using our house in Fonda. Knowing this area all too well you wouldn't think I'd go 100 miles out of my way, do you? Oh, you do know me, yes I did. I missed a turn early on and never thought twice about it, until I saw I was 12 miles from Minnesota! I got the cars registered with one day to spare, gotta leave room for error. We then swung by Mel's to pick up our mail and then hurried back to the Bus to beat the roads from turning to ice.

This last weekend we made YET ANOTHER trip to pick up Joey's Jeep. Jeep? What Jeep? I thought you sold it, you ask. We got it back. Heck, we had an extra hitch, may as well tow something with it. While we were gone this day our breaker decides to go out leaving the bus without any heat all day long. We came home to a frozen black tank, that was extremely full! Good thing we knew the temps were dropping and picked up a bigger radiant heat heater on the way home just to put under the bus. Joey ended up having to take the next day off work to deal with the frozen tank but eventually the heater thawed the tank out and we were able to drain it. We also ran out of propane! The propane guy came the next day around noon and we were able run the furnace again. We made it thru a 9 degree night with just two small electric heaters. While the heaters do an excellent job heating the bus there was still a huge cold draft coming form the windows, so yesterday I bought insulation that is basically bubble wrap wrapped in aluminum foil and covered every window with it. It has stopped the drafts completley. It truly is amazing at how well the bus stays heated now. The furnace hasn't kicked on at all, and last night I only had one heater running on low, and it was very warm. We're pretty confident now we can hang out the winter in comfort.

Thursday, November 23

Breaking and Entering 101

We had a knock on the door yesterday from the neighbor, and friend, requesting the help of one of the little ones. Jake come back moments later, super excited. He got to shimmy through an outside storage unit, emerging in the inside of the trailer, from underneath the couch. He said he struggled a second trying to unlock the front door for Mr. LockedOuttaMyTrailer, but in the end had a very successful first mission. Too cool for a nine year old. Jonas can't wait for his first break in.

No vegetables here. We raise convicts.

Calling on the Tooth Fairy

Jonas' first lost tooth
Originally uploaded by jakesmome.
About an hour ago I asked Jonas to show me his teeth, which I often do to see if he's got any loose ones yet. This time I actually felt one tooth that gave just a slight, not much, but enough to declare it slightly loose. That was all the info this seven year old needed, within an hour it was gone and he said it didn't hurt a bit! He's so proud.

Wednesday, November 22



anybody got a phone?

Saturday, November 18

we're leaving...we're not leaving

After some really cold days we decided it was time to head South. We took a few days and then started hunting down a tow bar for the Land Rover (which I traded the Excursion know, to have a tow car) Turns out my cute little Rover is a heavy beast, we couldn't even rent a tow dolly for it. After an exhaustive search for a towbar, lack of exciting jobs elsewhere and this cold front leaving we decided the best choice is to just stay put. (A week off didn't hurt either) If we can get a nice long stretch in here we should be set for a good six months off this Spring and Summer. So, we are true trailer trash now with our beautiful wood skirt under the bus. I haven't decided if we're going to paint it to match the bus or do some crazy graffiti on it to really freak out this tiny little Nebraska town.

Since we've made the commitment to stay here I finally decided to make nice with the fifth wheel behind us and installed my router in her trailer, enabling us to pick up her DSL line. With a great wi-fi signal I also downloaded and installed Skype so I now also have a telephone number so we can be reached at home and not have to drive three miles to make a call.

Now I can get all caught up with blogs, emails and comments I've been wanting to read/respond to. It feels good to be back.

Wednesday, November 8

New Castle, NE

We made the move to New Castle, and I'm adjusting to it pretty easily, even without phone or Internet. I have found a good use for those old public schools wi-fi. I've been sitting here for almost two hrs now tryng to download a video from the conference and photos from family. Everything is now downloaded, but nothing will open. Oh whoa is me.

It took me over an hour to find a town with laundry, you'd think a town like this would have one wynot Within seconds I had to give them a reason. I finally found a town with laundry, in South Dakota.

Jonas seems to be going a little stir crazy
crazy jonas

We spent halloween in Iowa at my cousin's place, where we trick or treated at a nursing home. That was our first time doing that and it was a really good experience. The boys were right there getting their candy, staying warm inside while Jewel was a little shy and stayed real close to me. There was also a really cool bird aviary inside the home. here's the kids with their cousins:
halloween 012 Geneva and Jewel helped us make caramel apples, Geneva's didn't stand a chance halloween 008

My parents have finally found a house!! They sold their home in California a couple months ago and have been searching for a new one near my brother in Fort Worth. They found what sounds, perfect. The only stipulation we had was that there was somewhere for us to park, if they wanted us to visit for more than a night. They ended up getting two acres with a 1500 sq. ft. RV garage....and there's even a gutted bus which they're trying to negotiate into the deal. Not sure how much longer we're going to last up here, let's see....what day do we sign?

Tuesday, October 24

Lots of nothing

I was informed yesterday that they were shutting the water off, I had a few minutes to fill my tanks and then after that the only way we could get water was to drive to one of a couple faucets they were leaving on. That's crap! We moved to this spot so we'd have full hookups, and I've already paid for the week. They then said they'll give me some money back so we'll stay the rest of the week. Ugh!Also after this week I won't have Internet. That pushed me to update my blog (check out my favorite unschoolers blogs), and put the boys' four wheeler on the great big bidding site. All I ever need is just a little push.

We made another quick trip to Iowa, Fort Dodge this time and then spent the rest of the weekend relaxing. Yesterday a friend from Fonda came out to visit, bringing three of her four kids which thoroughly harassed the poor hamster. He only managed to get one bite in. Better luck next time.

After spending hours trying to get the new PCI card for the desktop to work I've finally decided to throw it away and get a new one, the wifi card, not PC (although I would love to trade it for another laptop).

The microwave also took a dump today.

On the bright side, my new realtor likes my house and says it's "so cute" and very clean. I heart her. My last realtor did nothing but give me grief and tell me how it wasn't good enough.

I've decided to get rid of my Excursion. As much as I love this truck, I've fallen in love with another. I'll know tomorrow if we have a deal to trade it off for two new (to us) vehicles, a truck for Joey and a car for me. I know I was the one that said we only need one vehicle and I was the one that sold Joey's Jeep before we left, but really....What was I thinking?

Tuesday, October 17

Going home & staying home

License Plate
Originally uploaded by jakesmome.
We made a quick trip to Iowa to pick up our personalized plates that came in. We are now officially an Unskool Bus! The kids stayed at the farm and played with their cousins while Joey and I ran a bunch of errands. I got to see Mel and then we ended the day with a nice visit with Rob, Angie and the kids. It was good to see them, it had been a long time. They built a little barn in their backyard for Angie's "half pint goats" and the windows for her barn are old barn wndows that I used to use for picture frames. It was neat to see how they were recycled back to what they were intended for.

It's pretty cold these days so no one wants to go outside and play. Luckily for us the bus offers new creative ways for us to enjoy our days.
A little window art: Window art
Self expression:Fairy Jewel
Homemade bumper sticker: homemade bumper sticker

Unschooling through Life

Last night I wanted to get to bed a little earlier than usual so I asked the kids to find something quiet to do so we could rest, since they weren't ready for bed yet. Jewel (5) decides to draw. Great, see ya later. Minutes later....How do you spell Tinker? T, she runs away to write it down, then comes back. I, run and write. N...shaking the bus as she runs. K...skipping away. E...and so on. This went on for two hours, and although I'd like to rest I couldn't deny her her desire to learn. A friend once asked me "How will they learn to write if they're unschooled?"....... "How can I keep them from it??" is a better question. All three of the kids have learned/are learning to read and write with never having a lesson, and more importantly...enjoying every second of it.

Speaking of Tinker, she hasn't returned. The minute we pulled into this campground someone accidently let her out, which was OK, but then Joey started the bus back up to level it out and the loud thunder of the engine scared her so much she took off running. She ran a couple hundred yards away under someone else's truck for safety. (I was up at the Office when all of this happened). At one point Jake got her and tried bringing her back but she was still so scared of the bus and lack of hiding spaces that she jumped out of his arms and ran again. I decided to let her chill a bit and I'd get her once all the commotion died down. The truck she was hiding under took off before I could get her and now we haven't seen her since. The other morning someone knocked on the door asking if we'd found her yet, and if not, she thinks she's found her. I took off running in my jammies, but it wasn't her. :( We're all still really sad and Jake, Jewel and I get pretty emotional at times, but we have come to accept the fact that we will never see her again. She was such a cool cat, a perfect fit for our family, and will forever be ours, with us or not.

Monday, October 16

S Sioux City, NE

We moved campsites over the weekend and now along with full hook ups we scored a wi-fi signal. Yah me! My view here isn't as nice as it was along the river nebraska but I'm not complaining.

Since I last blogged we've had a couple visitors. First my cousin Amy and family that moved into our old farm house. There's nothing quite like "cousining".
cousins Hopefully we'll be trick or treating with them in a couple weeks.

Heather and family came out next. Up until they came out it had been beautiful weather but of course when we have fun plans to hang outside it's freezing cold. The kids didn't mind too much once Heather broke out the smores! After the fire died the kids tried reviving it with a bike pump. nebraska It worked for a while. :)

The cold temps broke for a day so the kids and I went on a bike Iowa.
nebraskanebraskaback to Nebraska now nebraska Come on Jonas, don't give up yet!

Tuesday, October 3

Albuquerque to Nebraska

Just a quick post to upload my new picture story. It's my wrap up of the last few weeks starting right after the Conference in ABQ, up to arriving here at camp along the Missouri River. I hope you enjoy the video :)

I removed the video but you can see it here.

Saturday, September 30

No words

Monday, September 25

Plainview, TX

I wasn't planning on posting but since I have such great friends that actually wanna know........Joey came home from Hawaii on Thursday night, and we're now doing laundry in Plainview, TX. We thought we'd stay here and work but in true FuhKaui fashion we'e already leaving. We should be in Jackson, NE by Thursday night and hopefully by Friday afternoon I'll get caught up with all the stuff that we did last week. I promise! We did some fun things, saw some awesome sights and visited with an amazing family.....Stay tuned.

Friday, September 15

Still in Albuquerque

Where do I start? I'm on a slow dial up in the laundry room so I'll try to keep this short and sweet. I guess I should start where I left off. We left Denver City, TX and drove about 150 mi. thru some mountains in Southern New Mexico and ate supper overlooking some beautiful mountains and then drove a little more to the next cool pullover and called it a night. We went to sleep in the mountains with a nice light show twinkling below us from a nearby town, and woke up to even more spectacular views. I don't think there could have been a better time to drive thru NM, with all the rain it really made the desert come alive.

We got to Albuquerque and immediately hooked up with Peg and family, where Jonas, Jewel and I got some red streaks, or spikes in my case, put into our hair. We're starting with a bang! My parents drove in a couple hours later, and then we all attacked the ice cream at the ice cream social. Well, except Jake, he was still sick from Jewel's sweet birthday cake frosting. :( It was so good to see my folks!! The boys spent the night with them in their suite while Joey, me and Jewel stayed in the bus in the parking lot. This is getting way too long and boring already......

The conference was great, not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting Joey to stay in the Bus, Dad to stay in his room, and Mom and I hopping from funshop to funshop with Jewel, and meeting all the other fantastic moms. Reality was EVEN BETTER!! I was so impressed with my husband. He was extremely social, in fact I wouldn't have met half the people I did if it wasn't for him. His passion for unschooling and family really showed during our Families on the Road funshop. He opened up, relaxed and really enjoyed himself. He also helped to shatter some stereotypes. :) I guess since I know how great he is I forget that he can look like a real meat head, with his muscles, bald head and tattoos. We got a lot of good feedback from the funshop, and we learned quite a few things ourselves. The best thing to come out of it for me is the fact that Joey is now 100% with me on traveling thru Mexico this winter!! Our passion for unschooling was reinforced, along with a new direction towards even more peaceful parenting.

After the conference we met up with Kathy, Jamie and kids at a campground East of ABQ in the mountains, where we still are today. The day we were leaving out he got a call that he was needed in Hawaii ASAP so he flew out the next day. It really put a ding in my plans for joining Hopalog in Mexico, but I thhink it will all still fall into place. I actually have no desire to go back to Hawaii any time soon, I've got Mexico on the brain. The short term plan is for the kids and I to join Joey in Hawaii in a few weeks, but I'd rather save my pesos.

Some cute things that happened at the conference:

We're on the elevator and this little boy (Lucas) asks Joey to press one of the *buttons* on his hand. Joey presses one and gets a huge hug from the little guy! It was so shocking, it was funny.

Jewel walks into the jacuzzi and announces to the moms in there "I'm coming in, my Mom taught me to swim"
"OH, you can swim?"

Jake looking thru the schedule, spots something and tells Joey real seriously, "Dad, I see something here I think you should go to. It's at 3:30, see...It's called 'My crazy wife' I really think you should go."

Tuesday, September 5

Albuquerque or Bust

We've finally decided to head to Albuquerque today. For the last couple weeks I wasn't sure if Joey was going or not, and we're so happy that he is indeed going. Joey figured out last night why I want him to go so badly, not because I actually want him there, but because I don't want to pack! If we take the motorhome I have everything with me and makes my life so much easier. And it is true, if Mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy. I do really want him to go, though....the no packing thing is just a bonus.

We still don't know where we'll go next, but we're not coming back here. Last night driving back home from Hobbs, to do laundry, we were talking about where we should go. Little ears in the backseat piped up, "Somewhere where there's other kids." I was kinda shocked because we just had two boys in the campground the last few days and none of our kids bothered to go meet them. They're just still missing Dillon and his sisters from the Michigan campground. Jonas says there's no one else in the World that loves Pokemon as much as they do (the triplets and them). I'm sure they'll meet all kinds of Pokemon lovers this week at the Unschooling Conference, and learn they're not the only ones. They're so excited to see Bryce, and meet new gamers, and sad they won't get to see Sylvio, Nevan and Sunday's boys. I'm sure our paths will cross again someday, though.

I better get back to loading things up.....peace out.

Monday, August 28

Jacob's pictures

Jacob self portrait
Jacob's imagination was sparked by watching a Pokemon cartoon. I know so many parents are against their kids watching or even having anything to do with Pokemon, but for ours, they've learned so much from them. One of the things was trick photography so Jacob spent the day taking pictures. Click here to see them, and then see if you can figure out how he did them.

Sunday, August 27

Things were going too good

The rule in our house is if things are going too good, something bad is about to happen. And don't they usually come in threes?
One: Nebraska Stop
When the light is red, I must stop or Johnny law will follow me.
Two: The Rack
Finally after seven years of me asking, is that rack gonna hold that tool box? I have my answer. For seven years it will.
Three: What I like to see in my rear view mirror:
And what I don't.

rearview mirror
The bike is supposed to be standing on the trailer, not taking a nap.

Click on any of the above pictures to see more photos I've uploaded.

Wednesday, August 23

We actually left Iowa

I know I said we were gonna do it, and we have now officially done it. We left only a week ago and already feel the freedom. While we've been on the road a long time now, having a house the last few years had taken away that sense of freedom for us. It's a great feeling knowing *this is it now*, no more worries about things back home.

We were originally going to NE so my Mom shipped Jonas's birthday present there. First stop: Nebraska. The package was a huge hit! My mom never leaves anyone out so each kid is just as excited as the kid whose birthday it is. They're not big gifts, dollar store stuff, but our kids treat them like treasures. They each got their own roll of bubble tape, confirming the fact that I'm not as cool because I make them share one. With the gift card Mom sent, Jonas got his RoboRaptor he's been after and then some more gifts for Jake and Jewel.

We headed South after getting our mail and saw pretty much nothing but this for miles and miles. I was hoping to come across the sunflower fields but they must have been harvested already, too bad. We then spent the night in Holdredge, NE at a 5$ a night city campground (it used to be free). From camp we walked across the tracks to check out the train station.

During our walk we must have come across 50 toads, and Jonas and Jewel had to stalk them all. They played way into the night with these toads. The kids made up a game of *let's see whose toad can play dead the longest*. Luckily no toads were harmed during the making of A Good Night in Nebraska.

Sunday, August 13

Math, art and an unschooler

This is how the kids have been sleeping
sleeping kids
Every morning they say they slept great. Then I caught Jewel right before she fell off
So today we tore down my closet (sob) and built temporary bunks for the boys

We built these without having to leave the property or, my favorite, spend a dime.

After the boys had them all set up to their liking Jonas figured out he was going to have to sleep sitting up because of all the pillows and sleeping animals. Jacob said Jonas focused too much on design and not enough on usability. He said he "figured 65% design into his bed and 35% on sleeping ability and Jonas figured 99% design and only 1% on sleeping ability".

Joey and I just looked at each other and smiled.

Happy kids

Happy kids
Originally uploaded by jakesmome.
It's been raining, the grass is green again and the weather's perfect for is good

These are a few of my favorite things

That I'll miss like crazy when I'm gone:

Jumping on the trampoline to firefly twinkles
Long baths
Jewel crashing in on my baths
Mowing the lawn on the rider
Mowing in my underwear
Watching the corn grow
Softened well water
Walking the lane with Joey
Watching the wild rabbits play
Late night porch chats

Monday, August 7

Taking our time

We're still in Iowa. We've decided against going to Nebraska, and for giving ourselves a few extra days to get things wrapped up. We've been sleeping in the bus now for a few days, and thankfully everyone is sleeping good. We took everything that we've decided to keep to storage today, and tomorrow will be the final Goodwill load and the dreaded cleaning. Ugh! Joey hired out some construction work at the house, I may just hire cleaners myself. It's only fair, right?

I planned on doing a much better job at chronicalling the steps we're taking to get back on the road, but by the end of the day I'm tired, and really...who wants to hear all the boring details anyway. I'll do much better once we're on our way and life is simple again.

Thursday, July 27

We have direction

We're going to Nebraska, it's not very far, in fact only 104 miles but at least it's another state. Joey was worried about accepting a job knowing that he'd have to "drag up" when it was time for the Live and Learn Conference but luckily he's found a company that sees his talent and will take him when they can get him. He doesn't have as much confidence in himself as I do, so he wasn't even looking for a job. Being so close by actually works out great for selling the house. We'll be close enough to pop over to the house if I need to, hopefully it won't be until the end of escrow, though.

It's been so hot this week that we've been in slow motion, which has actually been a blessing. We're taking our time loading the bus, and really sorting thru things. I thought we'd get away without having any storage but it's just not going to be possible. I've held on to some things for 30 yrs, I can't just throw them away now! It's amazing though at how much we're able to pack into the bus but sadly the trampoline is not one of them. We're sure going to miss it.

The old motorhome and our boat are on eBay, ending on Saturday. Then all we have to do is wait for them to be picked up and we're ready to go. Woo hoo!

Sunday, July 23

Extend the principles of unschooling?

Do you extend the principles of unschooling (trust, freedom, etc) into any other areas of your child's life?

That's the question of the month for the Unschooling Voices Blog Carnival. I'm almost afraid to answer. I'm afraid I'd fall short as an unschooler and frowned upon by a "rules" parent. Up until last year I didn't even know principles of unschooling applied to anything but education. I tried to follow the parental textbooks after the third one came along, strict bed times, regular eating schedule, behaving just so and all I did was drive myself crazy trying to be perfect . I hated trying to be someone I wasn't and that's when I decided to seek out other unschoolers. I found my people! I also found a better way to parent, a way that was in our nature to be but I hadn't trusted in us enough yet. Now I try to use the trust and freedom principles in every aspect. No more fighting with bed times. They, like myself, go to sleep when they're tired and wake up when they, well....wake up. They play to their hearts content, including not limiting video games. Video games used to be a source of contention for us, but now it's a complete non-issue. Hallelujah!

We've never had rules, I've always thought that was so stupid.

If they're not up for the conversation of the moment, they're free to move on. I no longer struggle with them not eating what Ive slaved over the stove to cook for them. If I know they won't like it, I'll make them something else in advance, rather than bitch about it. They don't mind having a messy room, and I've finally chilled out and decided I was the only one that didn't like it, so I clean it myself....and no longer throw toys in a fit of anger. (Not my proudest moment.) I even get Thank you's and hugs for it now, along with their help!

Just because we don't have rules doesn't mean that we have wild children with bad manners, that are malnourished, sleep deprived, unkept and dirty with rotten teeth. They're quite beautiful in fact. We still guide them to make good choices and because of all that freedom, they actually do! Just the other day my 4 yo was holding the kitten in a way that her Dad didn't think was appropriate and he told her to put her down. She put her down and asked, "How do I hold her right?" I know other 4 year olds that would react much differently, but she knows we're coming from a good place, not a controlling one. She trusts us, as much as we trust her.

We're not perfect, we're still learning everyday, but at least our days are much more peaceful now. We feel like we've found a pot of gold in unschooling and want so badly to show everyone how it really works, but for some reason it's hard for a lot of people to grasp. The only thing I can think of is that those parent's will feel they've lost control, but jeesh...don't they remember what it felt like to be controlled?

Saturday, July 22

I'm such a liar

You really can't believe anything I write. I think I'm telling the truth at the time, but then just because I said it, the opposite has to happen. We're not stying an extra month to fancy up the bus after all, we've already started moving in! We've added a few personal touches, and haven't spent a dime.

The drive home for Joey and Jacob was HOT! The bus has no A/C and without a generator the house A/C's won't work so they sweated their butts off, before breaking down. Luckily they broke down right near an RV park so they were able to plug in and cool off while I tracked down a mechanic for them online. Turns out a pulley broke off and it would take who knows how long to get a new pulley, so the mechanic was able to fabricate one using the belt that was somehow still attached, and 24 hrs later they were able to hit the road again. Jonas really missed his big brother so he called him often and told him all about his new neopets. With Jake gone, Jewel and Jonas got along fabulously!! Not one argument or whiney child all weekend, it was amazing....and nice.

It was still hot all week so even thinking about working on the bus, or the houses, was out of the question. We finally got moving the last couple days and that's when we decided to just move into the bus right away and then we can go park in front of the house in town, finish up everything to put a For Sale sign in the yard, and then head on out. We're not sure where we're going yet, but I've heard mention of Montana, OK City area, or TX panhandle. Montana has my vote, but we want to be in NM first of September so it makes more sense to head South, so we'll see.

Sunday, July 16

What's normal?

You Are 45% Normal

While some of your behavior is quite normal...
Other things you do are downright strange
You've got a little of your freak going on
But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

Friday, July 14

Idaho or Bust

We're leaving tonight to go get our bus. That's pretty much all we can think about so I hope they hurry back from Idaho with it. Then we can finally have a conversation that doesn't include, "I'm so freakin' excited!" Then it'll be me shouting "take out this, build that" Oh what fun awaits us. There's no way we'll be out of here the end of the month now, and we're lucky enough to be able to have an extra month to get it set up just how we like. I'm determined to have it completely organized right from the start. Last time, we threw our stuff in our motorhome and hit the road the day after we bought it. We just wanted to get going! We could get going as it is now, but since Joey's working here until we leave at the end of August, and rent here is cheaper than a campground anyway, we have the luxury of taking our time, and making it more comfortable for the long run.

I'm so freakin' excited!

Wednesday, July 12

Trash and a wise six year old

When you come to my house I promise you won't leave empty handed...even if you wanted to. Wendy left with two large trash bags of womens clothes and about a dozen pairs of shoes. Hilary got loaded with Disney videos and childrens books. Heather didn't escape without boys clothes, mens clothes and books. Poor Mel, she could barely get in her car with all the knick knacks, kitchen gadgets and home decor I forced her to take. Why then, with the amount of stuff that's been removed is my house messier than ever before? Oh, I'm still supposed to clean? Nah, that can wait until I move out.

Wise words from a six year old:

"At Chuck E. Cheese you do Fun things, to get Fun things."

Why can't everything be that way?

Jonas also gave us a Math lesson in the car the other day. He explained to us how to make 9+8=17. He told us how you can figure it by adding it in tens and then subtracting the 1 and the 2. I love to hear his thought process, and he's not afraid to show us. He doesn't know what it feels like to stand in front of a classroom and be forced to come up with a good answer, so he doesn't know what it feels like to be judged. How I wish I didn't have that fear.


We have three kids that have been through the supposed dreaded "why?" phase. Why is the sky blue? Why is your butt big? We never had that! Ours tell us why things are. I'm wondering if this is normal in unschoolers.

Saturday, July 8

Blue Bird

We found it....we found our new home! We've bounced back and forth so many times as to what we would get this time, but we knew this was the one as soon as we saw it. I originally wanted another Class C because of the overhead bunk, Joey wanted a Class A so he could sit behind that big window, and we both wanted something with character. I think this fits us perfectly. It's move in ready, although a little plain, but I already have grand visions of redecorating. In true FuhKaui fashion we have bought this bus sight unseen, we found it on the Internet. The plan is for Joey and Jacob to fly to Idaho next weekend and drive her home......we're so excited we can't even stand to be around ourselves!

Coming to Iowa, Part 2

Obviously we loved Iowa immediately. Joey got a company truck so not having our own car wasn't a problem, after all. I got a good comfy bike with a bike trailer for Jacob and groceries and we were set for the summer. We rode almost every single day, including the six mile trek for prenatal doctor visits. Despite all the exercising I still managed to gain over 40 lbs.! Joey did a 5K run, we bought a boat and had suppers on the lake. Jake learned to pee on trees and then yell very loudly, Look Dad, I wrote your name! Had old people yell at me from the road that I shouldn't be riding that bike in my condition, and then had nicer old folks bring us fresh picked sweet corn. Jonas was born in August, and then we felt like it was time to get back on the road, we had to introduce Jonas to the World, after all. We traveled from IA to MI, and then all the way to AZ and CA, before getting a call that Joey's needed again in Iowa. We don't hesitate, and boogey on back. The campgrounds closed for the winter so we park at a friend's farm before finding an apartment for the winter. We decide at this point to buy our own farm. In March we go to AZ to get all our stuff from storage and while on the road again realize we're not quite ready to settle down yet and back out of the farm the day before we close. Instead we get to see NY, visit the Boston Aquarium, hike in Pennsylvania, Virginia, spend a few days in the Great Smoky Mountains, fall in love with Big Bend Nat. Park in TX, and boondocked outside the hospital in San Antonio giving the family a place to gather while their highly respected Granddaddy was spending his last days inside.

Another year later, and another pregnancy, we finally decide it's time to settle down. Joey flies from CA to Iowa to check out a house we saw on the Internet. We decide it's the one for us. We move in 2.5 yrs after leaving AZ, and think we've found home.

I still think Iowa is a great place to raise a family, if you're into that traditional way of raising families, turns out we're not. We never got into the social scene, we're not drinkers. We don't go to church and we don't put our kids in school. Yeah, I'd say we're a little odd for Iowa. It worked out OK since we were never around in the winter anyway, we'd head South for work. We've been here so long now (5 yrs.) that I almost starting growing roots, thank goodness for all the recent trips in the motorhome....I came to my senses and saw what was happening to me, and how complacent living was bringing me down. Being on the road makes me feel more alive and I can't wait to get back out there full time again. No more rushing home once the jobs done because.... well, I don't know why because, but that's what we'd been doing lately. Not that relaxing on the farm is a bad thing, but it is time to move on. Iowa's been a good place to live, and now will be an even better place to visit.

Thursday, July 6

Coming to Iowa, Part 1

Joey went back to work yesterday, and he was right when he said now I'd be able to get back to work. I got another truck load of stuff to give away after just one day of Joey working. (Normally I would take a couple days to watch oprah and eat bon bons.) For five years we've had a home in Iowa and now that we're leaving he actually got a job close to home, but I don't care we're still leaving. Have I said how excited I am about who's moving in here? Well, I am...very excited. It's my cousin and her family!! I just hope I haven't hyped the place up too much. I do think that she'll like the small town community feel out here, though.

It's got me thinking about why/how we came out here in the first place. We were living in the motorhome, just Joey, Jake and I, and Joey got a job to work on new Wind Towers being built near Storm Lake, Iowa. It was a 4 mo. job starting in May, so it was the perfect summer job. We only had the motorhome at the time so my parents lent us their car to drag behind and use for the summer. Mom also hated that we didn't have a phone so my Dad got us a cell phone. They must have known something was going to happen! We barely made it to Palm Springs from the Mojave Desert when the engine on the motorhome blew. Luckily we had a phone to call for help, and a car to drive back to my folks after coaxing the homo all the way to Blythe. The mechanics said it'd be a few days so Jake and I went back to my folks, and Joey flew on to Iowa. The adventure has just begun...

Since it was only going to be a couple days I went ahead and left the fridge on, with everythihng inside. Big mistake! They had shut off the propane, and then took over two weeks to put in the new engine. The inside of the fridge was basically black. My Dad dropped off Jake, who just turned two, and I, and we begun our cross country trip to Iowa. We stopped at the In-laws in Phoenix for a quick visit and then headed North towards Payson after night fall. I make it to the middle of nowhere so the motorhome can break down once again, and of course the mechanic in Blythe is not answering his phone. I guess I called 911 and they put me thru to a tow truck dispatcher. It's after midnight now so I give them a big sob story how I'm out here all alone with a baby, and I'm 6 months pregnant to boot, so she sends someone out immediately. As immediately as you can get in the middle of nowhere, anyway. So I call my brother in law to come sit with me, and that just pissed the tow truck driver off when he arrived. He had run out in such a hurry that he had his shirt on backwards and inside out! The driver chilled out on the way to the shop in Apache junction and even hopped the fence at the shop to plug me in to their electric. Jake and I spent the night in the parking lot, got everything fixed the next day and headed back out after noon.

Did I mention Jake was two? Not only was he two, but he was also a kid that grew up walking down the aisles of the motorhome while it was in motion, so getting him to stay in his car seat for me was not going to happen very easily. He would wiggle himself out and then one time I actually lost him. While driving down the road. He was hiding from me, in the bathroom. I learned quickly to drive while he slept or ate. We'd stop a couple times a day at indoor McDonald's playgrounds, then I'd drive for hours, then stop to eat and play, then drive some more. Our radio went out about half way there.....don't let your kid put pennies into the cigarette lighter, trust me. The electrical will never work the same again. We made it to Albuquerque around 1am, pulled into the KOA for a few hours sleep and then back on the road bright and early. That KOA never ran my credit card and I'm thinking it's because they saw how little time I was actually there, if so..thank you, I've been wanting to do that. The next night I made it to NE for more free camping. Almost every town in NE has free camping in their city parks, and we always try to take advantage of that. Of course we fill up our gas tanks in their towns so we don't totally take advantage of them. I almost killed us driving so late at night on dark windy one lane highway roads, but I didn't, so all is good.

We pulled into Storm Lake while joey was still at work and it was everything he said it was going to be. It was fabulous to us desert folk. It was green! We knew we were going to like this place.

Saturday, July 1

Thank You!

Kimberly, You so rock! Thank you and the Homeschool Webmasters that took the time to help me. {{{Big hugs}}} I deleted two of the things on my sidebar like you all said and now I'm one happy chick. Have a great weekend!

dropping sidebar

Can anyone help me get my sidebar back up where it's suppossed to be? I spent hours deleting videos, reducing photo size and nothing worked. Help, I'm HTML incompetent!


Since I mentioned my refrigerator troubles, and I'm trying to be better about follow thru, I thought I'd give an update on our fridge. Doesn't she look lovely still sitting in the yard? Free fridge to anyone that wants to clean it!

Introducing Tinks

I figured it was about time to formally introduce our new baby. She's been named Kimmie, Mich-ga, Tinker and is now officially Tinks. Big Daddy normally hates cats, but there's no getting around loving this kitty. Even when she tries to be center of attention

Smooth as molasses

Getting rid of everything may be easier than we thought. Without saying names there are a few people that are extremely interested in renting this farm, and not only would they want the farm, but they'd want our indoor and outdoor furniture, too! What's left anyway. I have a friend that's taking our bedroom furniture, and Jewel's bunk bed. We still have the living room furniture, dining room table, Jewels old bed/crib, the trampoline, riding mower, wood playset, and wood lawn furniture and of course all the wall hangings and decor. Sure we'd love to sell everything and pocket a few bucks but if we can leave it and not have to deal with it, that's worth so much more. Plus, we'll come back and visit often! Yesterday we went through one box, yes only one box, and it took about three hours. It was full of old letters to Joey from when he was in Desert Storm. We met afterwards so I didn't have to deal with him being in war but it was neat, after the fact, to read all those letters. There were a ton from kids, here's a couple of my favorites:

Dear Joe
I hope you kill sadan huuein. I hope you dont die. I hope you kill his team.
Kenny Hill

Dear Joe,
I'm really sorry about you going to the war. Next time please choose peace. my little sister Rebekah doesn't really know about it. But I know so much you could ever believe.
Sincerely Jaime Carey

Gotta love kids!

Thursday, June 29

Do I dare say it?

I said it before and then changed our minds, but this time there's no turning back...we are going back on the road full time again. We're not going to try to convert a bus, but find a nice 40 ft. Class A that is move in ready. We've already begun the great give away, and have a couple things on eBay. We took an extra bed and entertainment center to a single Nana and her two grandkids yesterday. The only bad part of that was I was thinking since we're giving the stuff away at least we wouldn't have to haul it, but it felt good to be able to help her. She was moving into her own place that night and had nothing to sleep on. I also made flyers and posted them all over town. We may even have a buyer for the Jeep, we'll know that tonight. There's just a days worth of work left at the house and then we can get it on the market. It's nice that we're just renting the farm, so it'll be easy to get out of it, but we will definitely be enjoying our last days here. We plan on being out of here in a month....we're not messing around.

I'm going to try to document every step of the way.

Tuesday, June 20

Been a while

Let's see...what's happened the last couple weeks.
1) Had a trailer come loose and cruise into oncoming traffic during rush hour in Grand Rapids on a very busy street. (amazingly no one and no thing got hurt)
2) Did laundry
3) Met Amy, Fisher, and Riley at Chuck E Cheese.
4) Did laundry
5) Got my hair butchered
6) Let 6 yr. old frost my hair
7) Adopt an abandoned kitty, which is the cutest thing ever.....and was litter box trained to an old shoe box filled with cedar wood chips, on the very first night. She's a keeper.
8) Went to the AirZoo That place is freakin awesome! If you like airplanes you will love this *museum*. It has hundreds of old planes, a 4D theatre, actual flight simulators and rides. Click here for some pictures.
9) Came home...Yeah, thought I'd sneak that one in there.
10) Discovered electricity has been out for three weeks.....the fridge and freezer were full. We've been home 3 days now and the fridge is still sitting in the front yard. I opened it for a sec and thought I was gonna die. In the meantime, the homo's parked out front and we're using it's fridge, along with a cooler inside, and our deep freeze. How do you clean a fridge like that? There's brown liquid coming out the bottom.
11) The three acres of grass that we mow is mid thigh high, and the lawn mower belt broke after we got a good Chevy Chase mow job done. Yeah, mowed a little here, a little there...looks real perty now, especially with the fridge still strapped to the tow dolly to add to the ambiance.

Can we get back on the road now?

Tuesday, June 6

reason #2

reason #2
Originally uploaded by jakesmome.
Campground owners should beware.......I run down signs.

For reason #1 see here.

Monday, June 5


Last weekend the kids met some really nice kids to play with, a boy and his two sisters. They're back again this weekend and it turns out they're triplets!
Dillon, Hailey and Kimmie.....the cutest (and nicest) triplets we know! OK, so they're the first, but I still bet the cutest and nicest.

Unschoolers Nationwide

So here we are in Michigan for a while, where normally we just keep to ourselves, but this time I decided to post on a local homeschooling list looking for other unschoolers. Look what showed up:
Only the one on the right is mine.:)Talk about coincidences!

Now that I've spread our wings and gone beyond the campground, I'm almost regretting it. We're already getting sad thinking of the great friends we made here and knowing that soon we'll have to leave them. That's the tough part about this life.

Wednesday, May 31

Memorial Weekend

Memorial Weekend was great! We stayed at the campground and watched the kids' interactions with all the other kids here. And Boy, were there a lot of kids here this weekend! We usually have the place pretty much to ourselves, but it came alive this weekend. At first the kids had a hard time adjusting to all the action, but they eventually found their groove. It started out with a lot of name calling and pushing, and our poor boys couldn't figure out why the others were so mean. We're definitely not used to typical school yard behavior and there was plenty of that going on. They eventually met a really nice boy and his two sisters and they spent the weekend "Pokemoning". We became the unofficial playground police, and it was funny to watch the other kids. They'd throw sand at each other, hit, name call, but as soon as they saw me.....they stopped dead in their tracks. Not because I was mean, but I let them know if they wanted to play with my kids they had to play nice......and it actually worked! It was a surprise to me though how many kids just ran around all day with absolutely no adult supervision. I know our kids appreciated the fact that we were there watching. Without us to protect them, they would have been forced to turn into one of them!

We also spent a lot of time on the lake. It was quite depressing though watching all the boats on the lake pulling kids around tubes, knowing our boat is just sitting in our garage back home. :( I got a blow up floating island and some miscellaneous floaties, and we had a great time anyway.

We also had people stopping by camp all weekend, drinking beer and telling stories. My favorite was Herb, and how he tried to go to Vietnam but the military wouldn't allow him because of his eyesight, so he went to Height-Ashbury and ended up protesting the war. He met all the cool rockers from that time: The Doors, Janis Joplin and so many others I can't think of right now.

We treated ourselves to huge crab legs. Got crab legs?The kids caught toads jewel and her toadand Jonas even caught a snake. jonas's snake(

All in all it was a great weekend and we never even left the campground. Thanks Chuck, Herb and Tim of Welcome Woods Campground!

Friday, May 26

Big week

What a Big week! It finally warmed up and the kids and I have started exploring. First we met up with some unschoolers at a park near Kalamazoo. The kids had great fun rolling down a huge hill...who needs playground equipment when nature makes it's own great play places!

Yesterday since the weather was still so nice we decided to hike some trails. We went out to The Pierce Cedar Institute and thoroughly enjoyed the beauty.
Pierce Cedar InstitutePierce Cedar Institute

Jonas even met a friend, which he's holding, Cat. There were tons of frogs around that pond but they were too quick for my little amphibian lovers.

Driving home after hiking I couldn't resist taking the kids to the coolest playground ever: Tangle Town. It's totally interactive, so much so that even I can't control myself. Guess who can swing the highest?

NOTE: Video removed, but can still be viewed here.

After the park it did start raining again, but at least it was warm this time. We sat outside and watched the kids play in the rain for what seemed like hours. Life is good.

Saturday, May 20

Camp LIfe

Things are going good. Yesterday while garage saling we found bikes for the boys. Originally they wanted $20 a piece, but since it was near the end of the day, and I wanted both bikes, and I only had $9 left on me....we scored two new bikes for only $9! Talk about a bargain. Other than laundry, grocery shopping, and dishes, we're just trying to stay dry. We seem to be bring bad weather with us wherever we go. It's been almost non stop raining, and pretty cold.

When the days are nice we hang out at the lake and hike around the trails. Here's a little video clip to bore you with:
NOTE: Video removed but can still be viewed here.

Monday, May 15

If you camp without full hook-ups

I will be forced to call the honey wagon to suck up all our crap
camping 003
In order for crap sucker to do it's job, I have to move my car, where it's convenient for me
camping 006
Then the owner of the campground will have to bring his tractor down
camping 009
Pulling my truck out will leave ugly marks in his lawn
camping 012
Plow down ugly ruts
camping 013
Make it even uglier?
camping 015
So sorry!
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