Monday, May 29, 2017

Second Annual Homeschool Campout!

We decided to have another fun homeschool camp out with friends.  It is always fun to camp with friends and share memories together!

We returned to Orchard Lake Campground.  We love the amenities for the kids.  Between fishing the lakes, canoes/kayaks, swimming, zip-line, play ground, game room, etc. it keeps them occupied.  We never have to hear about them being bored and having nothing to do!

We decided to go with themed meals again this year.  It is so much easier and no one envies the other families food.  Each family prepares their own dishes, so everyone is happy about the taste.  We all eat together and have a great time with fellowship.

What camping trip would be complete without the nightly s'mores dessert?  Roasting marshmallows and lots of giggling is required.  So, is a sticky table at the end of the evening!

One of our friends brought two boxes of international treats to share.  The kiddos gathered around the table and listened to the description and history of treats from Japan and the U.K.  The Japanese treats were quite interesting.  The kiddos weren't fond of many.  For example one was flavored as beef tongue!  The U.K. treats were a bigger hit. Plenty of Cadbury chocolates could be found in many of the treats! 

Everyone had a great time and is looking forward to our next trip together.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Stove Covers for the RV

Our stoves in the Conquest and Zinger did not come with a cover.  Counter space is precious in an RV. Adding a foot or two of counter space makes life much better in the kitchen!  I am frugal and when pricing a stove cover I was shocked at the price.  I didn't want to spend fifty plus dollars on a cover.  So, I thought what could I use that could serve a dual purpose.  I came up with a cutting board stove cover!

First, I measured the stove top.  Then I headed to Wally World in search of a heavy duty plastic cutting board.  I had one in the house I used often and wanted a similar one for the trailer.  They had just what I needed.

Next, I got it home and applied four small Velcro pieces to the back and added a grip shelf liner.  This made it where the cutting board did not slide around on the stove when towing.  It also keeps it from sliding around when bumped.

In the Conquest, I didn't have sink covers.  When I used the stove, I put the cutting board cover over the sink and expanded my counter space.  In the Zinger, I have sink covers.  I can still place it over the sink or on the table.  It doesn't really get in the way.

Once the stove is cleaned and cool, I simply place the cutting board cover on it.  Then I put an absorbent dish mat on top of the board.  I picked up a small dish drainer at Wally World and place it on top.  Since the sink and stove are beside one another, it makes washing and drying easy.

When the dish drainer isn't being used, I store the potatoes and onions or other produce in it.

So, I have a frugal, multi purpose solution to many issues facing a travel trailer kitchen.  Counter space added, cutting board for veggies, dish drying station, and produce storage all in one!

For more mods in our Zinger see:  Kitchen Organization in the RV, RV Mods Part 2, and Making the Zinger 28bh Our Own

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Board Games and Learning

We love using board games as learning tools in our home school journey.  I purchased several new games at Christmas and my family gave us a few games as gifts.  The children and I love spending time together playing.  Here are some of the games we play.

Prime Climb

Three Sticks  


Code Master

Monday, May 15, 2017

Eight Benefits of Having a Seasonal Campsite

We decided to opt for a seasonal campsite this year.  This will be a new experience for us and we are hoping that it proves enjoyable.  So, what is the draw for a seasonal campsite versus pulling the trailer to different campsites during the season?

#1 - More Camping!

We are hoping to use the trailer more and camp more often.  Hubs needs to get away and relax from the stresses of owning a small business.  The trailer is already set up on a site and ready to enjoy.  No towing, backing, leveling, hooking up, unpacking, and packing to contend with before or after.

#2 - Never-mind the Weather!

What is the weather going to be like next weekend?  Rainy weekends aren't a problem anymore.  We don't have to set up camp in the rain or take down camp in the rain.  Everything is already there and stays.  We can just open the door and listen to the pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof.  Long relaxing naps and peaceful relaxation.

#3 -  No Reservations!

No need to worry about making reservations.  We typically do not camp on the holidays of Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.  Usually, the campgrounds are full and three night stays are mandatory.  We aren't always able to stay three nights.  Now, it doesn't matter.

#4 - Save on Gas!

When we find a campground we enjoy, we tend to go there several times during the camping season.  The campground we chose to seasonal camp is one we fell in love with last year.  We were planning on spending several weekends here this year. (Before we went with a seasonal option.)  Now, we don't have to tow the trailer back and forth and hour and half each way.

#5 -  I don't have to wait!

I don't have to wait on hubs to tow us to the campground. If the kids and I want to camp during the week, we can. I know, I could learn how to tow the trailer.  I just find it nerve wracking going up the windy mountain roads.  I am going to learn how, but just take it easy with straight, wide, roads first!

#6 - Feels more like Home!

We can day trip around the area the trailer is parked.  There are many things we want to see and explore in the area.  Now, we have extra time to do these things.  Or, we can just take long naps at the trailer! 

#7 - It's easier to Unplug!

We play card and board games, read, walk, swim, fish, watch the campfire, talk, listen to Egee play the ukulele, etc.  The television in the trailer only picks up the local PBS station, so it's never on.  We have dvds to watch if the weather is bad.  The kids tend to use their phones at night when we are all in our beds.  That's okay with us.  The majority of the day was electronic free.

#8 -We get to meet new people each trip!

We are meeting our seasonal neighbors and folks just traveling through.  It is always fun to talk to fellow campers.  Everyone has been nice and friendly.

We are excited to see how this season works for us.  I am expecting to have a wonderful time and come back season after season.  We shall see!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Appomattox Courthouse

Our final destination on Lee's Retreat was Appomattox Courthouse.  We toured the American Civil War Museum in Appomattox before heading out to the Appomattox Courthouse National Park.

The park is very well maintained and you feel like you have stepped back over a hundred years.  The buildings were very well taken care of and furnished.  The details from the dirt/gravel paths of streets to the gardens and fields made it seem like it was still an active community from the 1800s.  We traipsed around the grounds reading plaques, looking into buildings and discussing what we remembered from our studies.

I love being able to bring history to life for the kids.