So Far

September 21, 2010

We are currently in northern Montana and plan to cross the border into Canada

later on today.

It’s been a learning experience. Each day gets a little easier in terms of how

everything is organized and how our schedule goes each day. Then again, each

day also gets a little harder as the little boys get more restless especially since

the toys we brought 2-Year-Old ceased to be entertaining before we even got

out of the parking lot of our hotel in Tucson.

Which is why we bought a DVD player and screeens for the van a few years

ago….easily one of the top 5 best things we have ever bought.

So basically, we are spending almost every minute in the van watching DVDs.

Non-entertaining videos interspersed with educational ones. Because, after all,

we ARE a homeschooling family so any history or foreign language or general

social studies that we can get in while going 80 mph through the desert of

Nevada is a good thing.

And let me interject an endorsement here….if you’ve never seen Drive-Thru

History, you must. MUST, I tell you! Not because it’s historically accurate,

which it is, and not because is teaches Biblical ancient history, which is does,

but because the narrator guy on it is…..Just. So. Stinkin’. Funny. I’d watch

him do a video on tractor maintenance or how to rebuild the engine of an ’83

Camaro. He’s just that funny. Our kids ASK to watch it and put it in


Here are a few things that I have learned on our travels so far……….

1. Apparently, I am not aging well. 10-Year-Old informed me of this fact in

this way….”Man, Mommy! You have WRINKLES! I mean, you look like the

Emperor on Star Wars!” Wow. Because I wasn’t feeling bad enough about my

huge belly and thunder thighs. Now I get to worry about my wrinkles.

2. ALWAYS beg your diaper-kids to NOT make a smelly present in their

swimmy-diapers after they have eaten strange-to-them food for the past week.

Because ripping open the sides of a swimmy-diaper to discover diarrhea inside

and up the back and dripping into the actual swimsuit, is not a good way to end

the day.

3. The length of time you have to wait in a restaurant at the end of a long day

of driving with nine restless kids in the van, is directly proportional to the

mood of the smallest child in attendance. If he’s miraculously happy, the

kitchen staff is efficient and downright zippy in their service. If he’s,

inevitably, grumpy, they are short 4 people in the back and you will wait an

eternity to get your food.

4. The child who normally never says ONE WORD when riding in the van

around town, won’t. stop. talking. on the 10-day trip to Alaska. And he will

get your attention by touching your face over and over with his hand, or calling

your name again and again until you answer, even though you’re sitting right

beside him because you thought he’d be the one to guarantee you at least one

stress-free child interaction on the trip.

5. When you have a lot of kids, try to get a room on the first floor at ALL

hotels you stay in. Because, for some reason, kids decide to pretend to be

kangaroos and rabbits as soon as they step into a hotel room. The MUST hop.

And even though they weigh 35 pounds each, to the unfortunate patrons in the

room below us, they are 250-pound hairy, drunk, construction workers,

probably rooting for their favorite monster trucks on Hick TV or something.

It’s been a few hours since I began this post and now we are in Alberta, Canada

which is basically Iowa except with kilometer signs and a slightly European


Also, it’s cool and cloudy and since I saw that it was 111 degrees in Phoenix

yesterday, I have almost cried twice today, experiencing a real, true Autumn for

the first time in 3 years.

Plus, we’re homeless, traveling to a place where we basically know no one, and

even though we’ve done this for more than 17 years now, it’s still a little scary

and daunting.

And being this pregnant certainly doesn’t help things.


3 Responses to “So Far”

  1. Happy geek said

    I live in Alberta!!! If you look closely I’m waving at you!!!!!
    Please do not freak out when you see how much it costs to eat out here, we just have a ridonkulous cost of living.
    Happy tripping!!!!!!!!

  2. Aunt Duane said

    I could not help but laugh about the wrinkles. I remember Tono talking about the winkles in Mom’s finger when she would press the finger tips. And why do older people have wrinkles? Next time just remind them, wrinkles are a sign of much laughter and great times. Notice if you will, people who don’t laugh a lot don’t have as many wrinkles!! That is why Mom had so many wrinkles; despite times that were not great, she always had her sense of humor – even if some people did not understand. At least that is what my oldest niece wrote – “she always made us laugh – hard”. I love you all.

  3. Jessica said

    I am praying for you friend….

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