Friday, February 25

“How do you find friends for your kids on the road?”

As a parent we want the best for our kids. We want them to be healthy, self confident, happy, and for some of us, we want them to have a lot of friends….. And that’s where things start getting complicated. As a social butterfly myself I just naturally assume my kids are supposed to have a lot of friends, like I always had. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Living a life without school, or even a neighborhood for that matter, my kids have become each other’s best friends, but for a while (ok, and somewhat still to this day) I sought out other kids for them to play with. Only it didn’t take me long to realize I wasn’t doing it for them….I was doing it for ME.
If you ask my kids, they are perfectly content with their social life. If you ask them if they’d like to have more friends, they just shrug their shoulders, ehhh. It’s not even something that crosses their minds. My kids have taught me that “friends” come in all shapes and sizes…..and species. They don’t have to be of the two legged variety for them to be considered their friends.
While we were with our friends in Colorado, Jewel woke up in a running sprint every morning to play with our friends goat and llama’s. Even the feral cats couldn’t resist her charms. While Jewel chose the stinky friends, the boys enjoyed every minute they could with our fifty-something-year-young host, Dennis. They played Battlefield Bad Company 2 on the Xbox together and just couldn’t get enough of his funny, quirky spirit. There was a mutual respect between those three, and I seriously think when they were together, there was no age difference. They were just….friends.
Still to this day if you ask Jewel who her best friend is, she’ll say, Lisa. Lisa is my forty something friend that we met in a campground about three or four years ago. We still keep in touch, and see each other whenever we can, which isn’t often, but as much as Lisa is my friend, she is also, truly, Jewel’s friend. 
When the boys were younger their cousins were always great friends for them to play with, but now that they’re getting older and the age gap seems to be somehow increasing, the relationships have completely changed. Luckily though, my brother and his wife had an “oops” baby while I was pregnant with Jewel and I have now come to believe that she was put here just for Jewel. Jewel counts down the days on the calendar when we’re in town until the weekend comes, just so she can have Lillie over.
We’ve been to a couple unschooling conferences which we went to under the guise of “it’s for the kids” but none of them led to lasting friendships for them. They were too busy playing with each other.
I have learned there’s no need to try and find them friends, they do just fine on their own.
FOTR Blog Carnival

Thursday, February 24

Utah to Colorado – Sept. 2010


We ended up leaving Roosevelt after those two nights, but not before Joey determined I needed new tires for my car. (I sure am glad he thinks to check things like that.) While we waited for my tires Jewel spent her time in Dinosaur Country chasing Dinosaur Grasshoppers, and I got reacquainted with multi colored landscapes. Being in Hawaii all that time I forgot there were colors other than green and blue. IMG_20100909_143506

We decided to head to our familiar stomping grounds of Colorado and made our first pit stop before even leaving Utah. Since we were in no hurry we walked around this desolate spot along the small highway for a bit and found all sorts of neat things. One being this huge cave on the other side of a large wash:


Then there was a partially decomposed ElkIMG_20100909_152417

And a not so lucky Raccoon’s tail


When we crossed from the prehistoric land of northeastern Utah into Colorado it was like the landscape changed immediately. Along this two lane mountain highway Joey pulled over because he knew I would just love this view. He was right. I loved it so much I ran across the highway to snap a few pictures, only on my way back I wasn’t paying attention at all until I heard him scream at me….RUN!!….. Instead, I froze, but luckily the truck swerved, coming within inches of almost hitting me. As if I wasn’t shook up enough over that, the rest of the drive down this mountain was littered with falling rocks, and not just rocks, but large boulders.  Thank goodness we didn’t have any oncoming traffic during all the times we had to swerve to avoid the boulders.


Soon enough though we were down in familiar, beautiful, Grand Junction, CO. (I still have yet to climb that mountain!)IMG_20100909_174122

I just keep following my Man In His Truck toward one of our favorite places in Colorado, Parachute.


We have friends that are like family that live there, so we went to visit with them while we continue our hunt for the new RV.

Vegas to Utah – Sept. 2010

Before I discovered my missing camera bag, I had taken this one shot of Jonas, with my Droid, snuggled up on my cousin’s couch with her cat. After our sleepless night on the plane it took him less than five minutes to crash.
Then, after I finally uncurled myself off Amy’s couch (three days later) I got on Craigslist to find myself a new car. I was hoping to find a decent conversion van but ended up finding a cute little economical wagon instead. I bought it on the spot, in the dark, and even though they told me I had to go to the DMV in the morning and get my own plates since they were taking theirs, I said screw it and decided to take my chances driving up to Joey in Utah with no plates and nothing but bubble gum holding the Bill of Sale to the rear window.

Just getting back on the road really lightened my spirits and by the time we hit Antelope Canyon along the Arizona, Nevada, and Utah border I was pretty much recovered from my huge loss. I was happy to be back on the road again, and seeing this beautiful country. Plus, I still had the Droid to take pictures with so all was not lost. I also discovered on this trip what it was like to no longer have a gas guzzling Hummer, Dually truck, Bluebird Bus, or Excursion. What a treat! I probably paid less for this car plus the gas than I would I have paid in any one of my previous vehicles, just in gas to get across town!
I was so beat after the 523 mile trip to Roosevelt, UT that when the hotel clerk accidentally charged us for two nights instead of the one I asked for, we didn’t even make her change it. I remember the customer behind us saying, “wow, must be nice to be able to just be, ‘oh well…we’ll take two nights instead’.”
Little did he know that that was as far ahead as we had planned at that point. The next day began the search for a new RV since we were officially back on the road.
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