Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Where Did The Time Go?

Um... it's been like, FOREVER since I've had a chance to post (sorry 'bout that). Okay, it's only been two weeks, but so much has happened that it somehow feels longer. I promise I'll catch up soon! In the meantime, some snapshots of what's been going on:

~ I celebrated one month in my trailer and spent some time reflecting on how happy I am with life. How often does that happen? I also (finally!) built a support ramp for my sewer line, which means I can empty the tanks and flush the lines by pulling a switch. It's amazing what makes you happy when you're living in a trailer. :)

~ I got pets! Two rat-babies (both females) and this was truly the last piece missing before "house" became "home." :) They're darling, and I enjoy every moment of snuggling, playing, and just generally spoiling them. :)


~ Abigail and I are counting down our last few weeks together before kindergarten starts. :( I'm trying not to think about it too much, except for when I'm applying for jobs (and even that's going well - I've gotten several calls about nanny jobs, so it's good to know I have that to fall back on). In the meantime, our days are full of swimming, crafts, reading, cuddling, etc. :)

~ In just TWO WEEKS I'll be at Shore Leave with Maggie and my BFF. I. am. so. excited! We have an awesome hotel room (with a hot tub!)... tons of neat people at the conference... a Wegmans (with their hummus bar ;)) across the street... lots of girl time. :)

~ Although in one way I feel like this summer has gone by way too fast, I also feel like it's graciously stretched a bit to give me time to enjoy it. And I'm grateful.

Monday, July 8, 2013


My family went out of town for the fourth. I didn't, for various reasons (I would have had to take a day off work... I don't have any spare money to speak of right now... I wasn't sure my truck would make the twelve hours+ driving time, and if it did break down, there's that matter of having no spare money to fix it with... and I didn't want to be stuck with my family, if I rode with them, in a car for the twelve+ hours driving time (sorry guys, you know I love you!)). I was kind of bummed, especially when I found out that my extended family wasn't getting together to celebrate, either.

But then my sister asked if I'd watch the dog, and my mom suggested I stay in the house to make dog-watching easier (he'd old and requires a bit of babying :)) so the weekend turned into a little staycation in the "big house".

This will be my third week of living in my RV full-time (is that really all? It felt longer, cuz it definitely feels like home). And this is the first time I've stayed in a "stick and brick" house since moving in. My thoughts?

- Traditional homes are so. big. They never felt so before, but now I catch myself thinking, I could go lie on the bed in the bedroom and watch TV, or I could sit on the couch in the living room and read, or I could go get a snack in the kitchen... if I was inclined (I'm not) I could go sew in the sewing room. There's so much room!

- And don't even get me started on the size of the bathrooms. I'm guessing my bathroom is like... I dunno... 5'X5', maybe? The bathrooms in the house feel huge.

- And I sort of really wish my bathroom was nicer. And I have a nice bathroom - I mean, not as luxurious as some, but definitely nicer than 98% of the ones I've ever seen. It does have a tub (of sorts) and I'm truly thankful for it, I promise. But I'd forgotten the luxury of filling up a big tub with warm water and just soaking. I think that might be the only thing I really truly miss about traditional homes.

- But there's a downside to it, too... I never feel safe staying alone in the house by myself. Strange, but true. There's too much space, too many doors, and I've always locked myself in in stages (first the exterior doors, then the door to the upstairs, then the bedroom door) because it's creepy staying in a big house by yourself. The last night I stayed, in fact, I didn't even try. I napped on the couch all night (ouch!). In my trailer, I never worry about it - there's one door, it's easy to check and see if it's locked or not, and if I hear strange noises during the night, it's probably my AC kicking in, the frogs outside, or something easily explainable. (I think I've seen too many murder mysteries where someone is killed in their home... but I've never seen one where someone was killed in their RV lol).

So in short... it was a nice vacation, and I enjoyed it... but I'm also sort of glad to lug my toothbrush, hairbrush, and gallon of milk back to my own place. :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Kingdom Chronicles (VBS 2013)

As some of you may know or remember, every year I direct the vacation Bible school drama for my church. The format is that every day, we do a 15-20 minute "episode" based on the theme that year (this year we're doing Kingdom Chronicles, which has a medieval theme, but last year we did Incrediworld, which was set in a theme park, and the year before we did a wild-west themed drama (which was probably my favorite!)), and then a few weeks after VBS we retool slightly, put all five days together, and do the drama for the church as a whole.

The cast generally has six core members, and we swap out the seventh member (whom we jokingly refer to as our "guest star" lol). This past year, is was my little sister, Elizabeth, who enjoyed it so much that we might have found a permanent seventh member. :)

I did a horrible job at documenting last year's hard work, so this time I was determined to do a better job! The entire drama would take too long to explain, but here are the Clif Notes: our youth pastor plays King Christopher, the father of two immature princes, who goes on vacation hoping they'll mature in his absence; I play Ida, the Puddleglum-esque matron of the castle; my friend Sam plays Sir Gavin, the wise old knight who's left in charge of the castle and two princes; teens George and Chase play childish princes Richard and Robert; my sister Maggie plays the evil queen Morinda, who attempts to befriend the princes and take over the kingdom in the king's absence; and my sister Liz plays Gwendolyn, Morinda's lady in waiting, who's slightly too stupid to realize her lady is, in fact, evil. :)

Thanks to our youth pastor's wife and codirector, who had a million things to do during VBS but still took time to take pictures! :)

Sam and I confer about the health of the dragon, Flame.
"Hey buddy! If I come in there, do you promise you won't eat me?
Was that a yes or a no?"
Part of the cast, walking around and greeting kids during the day's activities.
King Christopher explaining why he went away on "vacation"
Queen Morinda faints after discovering that her evil plan to take over the kingdom has been foiled.

Sam, as Sir Gavin, with one of the kids.

The kids absolutely adored him and he couldn't move through the building without a crowd forming.
So proud of him! He really did a great job making sure every kid felt special!
The princes practice their swordfighting.
Being led astray by the evil queen.
"Wait - you actually SAID YOU WERE SORRY?"
Sir Gavin trying to knock some sense into the princes.
One day at VBS we had a costume contest (I got to pick the winners! :)). Sam knighted the best dressed boy...
... and I got to crown the best-dressed girl!
All in all, it was an awesome, crazy, busy, exhausting, exhilarating week! Not to mention the four months of rehearsal and preparation that we put into it. But I think it's safe to say this might have been our most "successful" drama ever - I had tons of parents who told me that they were planning on returning to the church after VBS was over to see the full drama. Hopefully lots of seeds were planted.

Now on to next year... ;)

My Week In Pictures

Saturday: Saturday was amazing. My best friend was one state over at a music festival, and since she didn't like any of the bands playing that night, she ditched it and came up to spend the day with us. :) Her other bridesmaid and I got up early, drove down and picked her up, then came back, picked up my sister, and we spent the whole day together eating a terrible lunch at the new restaurant in town (it was truly. awful. but it made a good story ;)), getting pedis, swimming, having a picnic lunch at the park, swinging on the swings at the playground in the park, walking all around the wharf, stopping at a Mexican café for fried ice cream (which she swears just isn't as good in Alabama), and finally collapsing into bed. It was a really long day, but a good one.

You want me to pick just one photo to represent it? Okay. Hmm. How bout this one?

My friend Crisy holding our friends' new daughter, Ashlynn!
Or this one...
It was only, like, ten thirty in the morning, but we needed ice cream and there was fresh homemade ice cream to be had. Kismet.
How bout this one?

My sister Maggie enjoying some time at the wharf, soaking in the sunset.
Basically, it was like a mini-vacation squeezed into one day, and while I needed a nap the next day to recover, it was worth it. :)

Monday: I have always wanted to learn to make homemade pudding - I have no idea why, it just seems like such a domestic-goddess thing to do! - so Monday, after I got back home after dinner with the family, I pulled out my milk, cornstarch, cocoa, salt, butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt, and whipped up a batch using this recipe. It was AMAZING - SOOOO much better than the gross instant stuff! Now I really want Fall to come so I can make Maple pudding... mmm...
Tuesday: After work, my siblings and dad and I went up to meet two families from church for dinner and to see Despicable Me 2. I love DM1 and the sequel was equally amazing! :)

Wednesday: I tried a bunch of different patriotic nail designs in preparation for the 4th. (I ended up going with these, except with red on the fifth finger instead of blue, but I wish I'd thought of these - next year!)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Adventures In Housekeeping

In a way, I feel like the last three weeks have been a crash course in living on my own - figuring out how much food I should buy each week for one person, adjusting to cooking for one person, doing laundry twice as often as I used to (cuz in a small space, laundry piles up way faster!), and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. And occasionally dealing with crises.

In the first couple days of moving in, it was the sewer system crisis that filled my trailer with fumes from the sewer tank. After a few days of trying everything to fix it (all to no avail!), we got the permanent hookup installed and luckily everything resolved itself immediately. Though there were a few times after that when I walked in and it smelled slightly "off," it was never that bad and, I'm thankful to say, I think I've finally gotten the hang of how much water to keep in the tanks, how often to empty them, etc.

Then last week, I ran out of propane, which runs my hot water heater, my heating system (which obviously I wasn't using at the time), my oven/stove, and can run my refrigerator (it also has an option to run on electricity). I figured no big deal, as I'd just showered and washed dishes, so I made dinner in the microwave, flipped the fridge over to run on electric, and decided I'd get gas the next day on my way home from work.

That was when I discovered  that the option must be broken, because I came home the next afternoon to discover my fridge and freezer completely defrosted. :( I quickly refilled my propane and got it going again, but not before I'd lost all the perishables. The sad thing was, I'd just stocked my freezer with a bunch of meat because the grocery store was having a sale!

(On a happier note: I went back to do my regular grocery shopping, and was delighted to discover that the sale was still going on, even though it had been more than a week later. But when I got to the front, everything was ringing up regular price! I pointed this out to the cashier, who got the manager, who went to investigate... long story short, the sale HAD ended, but they forgot to take down the signage, so they were obligated to give me the stuff at the lower prices. Yay!!! I gotta say, I felt like God was giving me a special gift.)

Then Tuesday afternoon, I got home early and decided to take a nap before going out with some friends for dinner and a movie (btw, we saw Despicable Me 2 and I LOVED IT!!!). Took a nap, woke up, put my feet on the floor, and I was standing in a puddle.

I immediately grabbed some towels, threw them down, followed the trail of water back to the bathroom and saw my tub was overflowing with water, threw a towel at the bottom of the tub, grabbed my phone, called me house, and shouted "my-place-is-flooding-send-dad-over-now" to whomever answered the phone, ran around back and opened the line to my grey water tank, listened for a second to make sure it was draining (it was), ran back around inside, checked the tub - which was draining, to my relief, and began mopping up the inside.

My dad arrived around this time, and basically confirmed I'd done the right thing; we think that somehow leaving the bathtub set on "shower" mode builds up pressure that eventually drips into the pool, and over time, fills the tank and the tub. At least I think that's what he said. :) I just know the problem hasn't repeated itself lol!

So all in all, it's been an adventure-filled past few weeks, but good. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Week In Pictures

Saturday: A fro-yo date with Abigail, Maggie, and Ruth! I always love it when I get to "babysit" Abby on the weekends, during the rare occasions that her parents have to be somewhere without her. We always have fun!

Sunday: Dontcha just love these cute owl salt and pepper shakers that Maggie gave me? Whenever I take a snapshot of whatever yumminess I've been fixing, these are usually in the background, and I always get compliments. :)

Monday: Our first day of VBS! It was a fantastic week but so crazy-busy... And speaking of crazy-busy... this is essentially what I ran on all week. It was the sort of week that required venti-sized coffee...
Tuesday: It's been raining here A LOT. At one point I felt I'd moved into a houseboat, not a trailer.

Wednesday: My AC in the truck wasn't working most of the week, so the pool was a welcome relief after being hot all morning. Abby has turned into quite a little fish and swims all over the place! :)

Thursday: Relaxing for a bit before getting into (hot!) costumes and makeup.

Friday: Do you like my new earrings? :)