Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Packing Was Scary

When we came over for our vacation, the kids and I had three pieces of luggage. It really seemed like a lot. Brian came over with one large backpack. Now that we are heading back we have four pieces of luggage and two large backpacks. I am pretty impressed that we were able to pack most all of our Christmas presents in there too. We should have taken pictures of the mess we had trying to figure out how to pack everything, but I am not unpacking it all now for a picture.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Joy

We had a wonderful Christmas time. It started off with Angela playing an Angel in my parent's churches Christmas program. She really had a lot of fun with that. We spent Christmas Eve with Brian's parents. We got to sit and visit and have a snacky dinner. It was very nice. Then the kids really had a lot of fun opening presents. We left a little earlier than we had planned due to the snowy weather. The drive from Spokane Valley to my parent usually takes about two hours. That night it took just over three hours. We had constant snow and the windshield and wipers kept freezing. My father plowed 6-8" Christmas Eve morning. When we got there that night there were another 6-8", plus more by Christmas Day morning. We spent Christmas Day at my parents and again the kids had a good time with their presents. Brian and the kids spent a lot of time playing outside in the snow.
Picture One: Opening presents at Grandpa and Grandma Jamison's house.
Picture Two: Brian and Connor wearing their new Christmas "snow hats."
Picture Three: Brian has thrown both kids into the snow bank at Grandpa and Grandma's house.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Brian is here!

Brian made it here safely yesterday. He was actually able to get an earlier flight and therefore got into Spokane much earlier than expected. We were able to go out to dinner and the head up to our hotel. The hot tub, at the hotel, sure felt nice before we went to bed. Then again this morning before breakfast. We got the last of our shopping done. We enjoyed a beautiful drive up to my parents and the kids were so excited to see him. Angela jumped up into his arms the minute he walked through the door. Connor was in him room (we thought he was asleep), but he must have heard us. He came running out, almost tripping over his feet and choking up with happiness that "Daddy" was home. He quickly put his pacifier away (he must have thought, "No more nap for me!") to run back into Brian's arms. They are staying pretty close to him right now. It is great to have the family all back together.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh My It's Cold!

When I woke up this morning the outside reading on the thermometer was "offline." The thermometer goes offline at -22 degrees. I don't believe we will be doing any outside playing today.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yahoo! Snow!

From mid-morning yesterday until sometime last night the snow just kept on falling. It seemed like every time my Dad had shoveled or plowed he turned around and there was more on the ground. We got a total of about 8-10 inches. The kids are so excited to go out in it. We do need to wait for the temperature to go up a little bit for them. Soon hopefully.

Well I waited until after Connor's nap, thinking that would give it enough time to warm up. No luck. I guess it did warm up but just not wear I wanted it. It was 18.6 degrees so we only played for a little while. They were unhappy to come back into the house, but I know they had a lot of fun playing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Feeling a bit melancholy...

It has been almost three weeks since we last saw Brian. All three of us (the kids and I) are really starting to miss him. I know he misses us too. It was fun at first to have the bed to myself and get to spread all out, but it is not so fun anymore. Angela misses him and talks about it often, but it is not as hard to see as Connor. Connor has started whining/whimpering and calling "Dadda" whenever he sees a picture of Brian. It really makes me sad, but happy that we will get to see him in just over a week. Hopefully we can keep busy enough to make the time go fast.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Brian gets more time!

Brian called this evening, like he does every night. Although tonight he had some good news. His boss said that because they would have New Years off he could just take that whole week off and stay with us a little longer. We were able to get his flight changed and he will now be flying back with us on January 1st. I am very excited that we will get a little more time together and that we will get to fly as a family. Now we just need to make plans to get together with the different friends and family that he has not gotten to see. It is going to be so much fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Snow is Coming

Well I guess that is what I get. Yesterday, I complained that there was no snow to play in. Now today it is coming. It has been snowing pretty consistently for the last 90 minutes. There is not a lot here yet, but I am driving to Spokane (100 miles) today. So, of course when I have to be on the roads the snow is here and yesterday, when we didn't go any where is was no where to be seen. Oh well, I will just take it slow and easy on my way into town. On the plus side, I should be able to finish all of my Christmas shopping today.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Lack of Snow

When the kids and I came back to Washington, we made sure to pack all of our snow clothes. Unfortunately, we have been unable to use them. The kids have been really disappointed that they have not been able to play in some snow. Then, of course, Brian said he has been getting snow back in Wisconsin. The day we left there were 2-3". About a week ago he got 5" and they were predicting a foot of snow by this morning. I guess if it doesn't come here, there will be something for them when we get back home.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Watch out Houdini

Watch out Harry Houdini, Connor is the new up and coming escape artist. Two nights ago we were at some friends house, when he first learned he could escape his port-a-crib. He climbed up and out with the help of a recliner chair. Once we moved him from there, he kept doing it. I ended up having to lay down on the couch and hold him until he fell asleep. Last night, we were at another friend's house. I was hoping the night before was a fluke, so we tried putting him to bed in the port-a-crib again. It didn't go much better. He slept with me, not leaving me much room at all. Thankfully we were back at my parent's house tonight, that way he has his own room with a door. I was able to put him to bed and when he got out of it, he could not get out of the room. It really upset him, which was tough for me. I put him back into bed and he stayed there without any more fuss. We will have to see how the next few nights turn out.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ice Skating

Angela's school had an "outing" to Eagles Ice-A-Rena yesterday. We were able to invite friends so I was the 'bad' aunt and got Kaitlyn and Sean (my niece and nephew) out of school to go ice skating with us. When we got there we turned in her gingerbread house. There were quite a few good ones there. We then got to decorate some cookies, which any kid or kid at heart loves. We got our skates and I spent close to five minutes lacing up four pairs of ice skates. All three kids were a little nervous to skate. Sean quickly got out into the middle of the ice and got going. Kaitlyn and Angela started out on the wall, but it didn't take long for them to get out into it too. They all spent a lot of time laying down on the ice, but I believe they all had a great time. I know that I did, although my behind and legs were a little sore today.

Making a Gingerbread House

Monday night Angela, Connor, Grandma Jamison and I all made a gingerbread house. It was for a school contest. There were three levels we could have entered into. The top level required a fancy house plus photo documentation and an essay to enter. The next level was a peoples choice level and the last level was every ones name got entered into a random drawing. We decided to do the last level. We bought a pre-made house and just got to have the fun decorating it. Connor and Grandma and Grandpa Jamison played in the water at the sink and Connor at the candies. I ended up working the pastry bag as the frosting was a little hard to get out for Angela. She had a lot of fun spreading the frosting all around and decorating it with the candies. I do not know that I would make this a yearly tradition, but it was fun for us to do.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving #3

Yesterday we finished our Thanksgiving run. The kids and I had dinner with Brian's family. There were 14 of us there and it got a little crazy. I think the kids might have out numbered the adults. Well not quite, but some of the nieces and nephews were there without their parents and it kept the rest of us running to keep up with every thing. The food was really good (including the green bean casserole, since we hadn't had any yet). Once everyone had left, I know I felt a little bit worn out. I was a long but enjoyable afternoon.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving #2

We completed Thanksgiving #2 and it was very yummy and fun. The kids and I went to my Mom's mothers house and there were 21 people there (we were missing four). We spent a lot of time out around the campfire drinking and visiting. The house was a little small and cramped, but it was perfect. There was lots of yummy food although; after most of dinner was gone I realized there was no Green Bean Casserole. That's okay, I will make some soon. It was weird at dessert time. There were seven pies, but no custard pies. Brian and his family really like them and I have started making them on a semi-regular basis, so it seemed weird not to see any. Not that I was too worried, I am more of a huckleberry or pumpkin lover at the holidays. The kids each got their own individual mini pumpkin pie, smothered in whipped cream. They got to run around outside, feed the horses and play in the barn. I think they had a really good time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Awesome Travels

Yesterday, I was awake for almost 20 hours. Most of which was spent traveling (in one way or another). To most that would not constitute "Awesome Travels," but for us it did. We made it to the airport in Madison on time and okay, only forgetting the little stroller to help in the airports. Once on the plane (at 6:30 AM Central Time) we ended up stuck inside waiting for about 2 1/2 hours to leave (due to one delay or another). That could have been horrible, but the kids were awesome. I think they may have been half asleep still. Due to that delay, we missed our next flight. Therefore, having about a 3 hour layover until the next available one. Again, could have been bad, but the kids were great. We rode the airport tram a couple of times, played at the kids play area, ate lunch and watched part of a movie. On our second flight Connor napped for a good portion of it and then the three of us spent the rest of the flight helping another mom, who was traveling with her two kids, take care of and entertain them. We had a quick layover there and we were onto our last flight. From each flight our planes kept getting smaller and smaller. Our last one was not quite a propeller plane, but pretty close. The kids had another great flight and were happy to be done, once we got into Spokane (at 5:30 PM Pacific Time). Finally we were at the last activity before dinner and bed, picking up our luggage. Unfortunately that did not happen. Do to some unforeseen airtime travel the bags did not end up with us. Therefore we got some loaner car seats and the clothes on our back until hopefully this afternoon. But, like Mom and I said it wasn't that bad because the man there was very helpful, kind and considerate, which made it all bearable. Overall, we had a wonderful trip and travels.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving (YUM)

Today we had a very yummy Thanksgiving. The kids and I will be gone on the day of Thanksgiving and so we decided to do an early one with Brian. We had a turkey (breast), mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, broccoli casserole, potato rolls, chocolate cream pie, pecan pie and an eggnog custard pie. I can not believe that we were able to make all of that in this camper and still eat at a decent time. I believe all of us gained a few pounds. The sad thing is the kids and I will be going through two more Thanksgiving dinners in the next week. I think I am a glutton for punishment, either that or for more exercise on the treadmill.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cascade 'Mountain' Ski Resort

We live on top of one of the 'mountains' of Wisconsin. We are right next to Cascade Mountain Ski Resort. Actually we are just above the ski hill. Our elevation at the campground is 1320 feet. Downtown Spokane is at 1890'. The summit of Mt. Spokane is at 5889' and its lodge is at 4200'. That should give you a little perspective of how big the ski hill is. They have some black diamond runs, which makes Brian and I laugh. We said that some of our family members that are avid skiers would fly down them like the bunny hills. We have had a few days where there was snow in the area, but nothing has stuck. The ski hill on the other hand, does have snow. They have been working hard over the past week and a half making snow. It looks pretty funny to see one (now two) runs white with snow and then the rest are green still. We wonder if they are trying to get it, so that they can open for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Angela has been very excited for it to open because she would like to take lessons and learn to ski. We are going to look into it when we get back from Washington.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Connor is a Nudist

Well it finally happened, Connor realized he could take his own jammies off. I came home from water aerobics tonight and went to kiss the kids goodnight. I went into their room and found him in just his diaper. So I grabbed his jammies and put him back into them. A few minutes later when Angela came out to go to the bathroom she said he was naked again. The little bugger. He just laughs and thinks it is funny and to be honest, I think it is too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our Home Sweet Home

It just occurred to me that we have lived in the camper for a little over a month now. Before we left some people got to get into it and see it, but not everyone did. So this posting is dedicated to "Our Home Sweet Home." We live in a 2005 36 foot Coachmen Chaparral 5th wheel. There is a master bedroom over the hitch part of the 5th wheel. It has a king size bed and plenty of closet space. There is a shelf for a TV, but we use it for the computer's printer and other 'office' stuff. We have a small bathroom that has a sink in the hallway to our room. Then it has a toilet/shower room just off the hallway. The shower/tub it perfect for giving the kids baths, but it is not a conducive to having Brian and I shower in it. We can do it, we just don't have a huge hot water tank or holding tank. He and I both enjoy longer showers so we go to the show house and enjoy taking our time. Our main room is the kitchen/living room/dinning room. We have love seat sized couch that folds into a hide-a-bed. We do have a TV and a VCR/DVD player. They are not on that much, but they are available. There is also our stereo and an original Nintendo. The kitchen has enough counter space for our dish drainer and the cookie jar (of course Brian needed the cookie jar). Our fridge and freezer are very small so it requires a few more frequent trips to the grocery store. We do have a pretty good size pantry for the dry goods. The table is a typical camper table with the two bench seats and it all makes into a bed. The bench seats are nice for storage purposes, but they are a little awkward for getting people in and out. The kids have their own bedroom, at the very end of the camper. It has two full size bunk beds. Connor's has a bed rail so it is still like a crib for him. They have lots of toys and clothes that their room seems to overflow into the rest of the house. Since the living area is rather small and with four people and a dog, it gets a little trying to keep it clean. Therefore, we live in a little bit of organized chaos. Well, I hope that this is a fairly helpful picture for everyone who would like to know how we are living.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Baking in the Camper

We all used to think that my kitchen in Spokane was small. Moving into the camper completely downsized the space that I have to bake. But that didn't stop us today. We made oatmeal scotchies. It is a bit more of an adventure since I have to use the table for most of it and Connor likes to get up and help. Also the oven bakes a little cooler than I am used to, so we have to compensate for that. After figuring out the few differences and kinks, it all worked out yummily. At least that is what Brian and the kids said.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Commissioned Watercolor Portrait GIVEAWAY!!!!

Commissioned Watercolor Portrait GIVEAWAY!!!!
What a fabulous idea. My good friend Ramie is a very crafty/artsy person and I love her for that. She finds lots of things on the web that inspire her and through her I get to see them. This time it is water color portraits of your children. I would love to win this contest as it would be a wonderful keepsake of the two kids. Thanks to Grosgrain for doing all of these giveaways and to Ruhammie for sharing the site with me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veteran's Day

Yesterday was Veteran's Day, as everyone must have figured out. I knew it was Veteran's Day, because the banks were closed. Also, because it is my nieces birthday. The thing I forgot was the fact that it is a school holiday too. This one I did not remember until this morning. Angela had been talking to her cousin last night, to wish her a happy birthday. Then this morning she said, "Kaitlyn didn't have to go to school yesterday. I want a day off." Oops. I told her we will make sure to get some days off around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gas Prices

It has been pretty amazing for Brian and I as we have traveled back to the mid-west. On our road trip we did not pay too much attention to gas prices, we just tried to find the best deal. Once in Indianola we watched the prices fall. Now here in Portage they are really falling. The cost of unleaded is $2.19. Although Brian had school yesterday a little north of here and he paid $2.15. Then the cost of diesel is $2.91. Not to bad when we were afraid of prices in Washington going over $4.00 this past summer. We are pretty happy with it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Connor is 2!

Happy Birthday to Connor, Happy Birthday to Connor!

Today my little baby turned 2. Amazing that it was two years ago he joined us in this world. Connor had a fabulous day today, well for the most part. We got really lucky that Brian did not have to work today so he got to be here with us. Our morning started out with singing to Connor as he was waking up and a special birthday breakfast that he did not want to have a thing to do with. He had some presents sent to him and he got to open those up. He got a pair of snow boots, snow gloves, a winter coat, matchbox cars, matchbox tractors, a stegosaurus (that makes noise), candy, some glow sticks, and a play mat for his cars. He immediately wanted to put on his gloves and his snow boots and then sat playing with the dinosaur. He also had a card that made monkey noises and he kept opening it up. We enjoyed this morning, in town, with the family. There is a big train set at the public library that he really likes. He got to stay and play with it for quite a while. This afternoon we played with a lot of the toys. Driving many miles with matchbox cars. Somehow dinner ended up a little bit earlier than we usually eat. Which was okay because we were able to sing to him and give him his birthday cake. He had a fabulous firetruck cake, which is way too much for just the four of us. An early dinner means there is a bunch of time until bed. What do we do to kill time? Play with glow sticks. We turned off all of the lights and both kids got a glow stick. We spent a couple of hours playing in the dark and having a lot of fun. Once bedtime came around he had definitely had a very good 2nd birthday.

P.S. Angela's is the first glow stick design and Connor's is the second.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Beautiful Sun and Warmth

Today is absolutely fabulous. The sun is out, the wind is down to a minimum and it is warm. Our thermometer is slightly in the sun and it said 77. I know that must be a little high, but the weather man predicted a high of 72. I think it is wonderful that it is Nov. 3rd and we are in the 70's still. The kids and I have spent quite a lot of time outside: taking walks, playing at the playground, playing at our site, reading, hanging with the dog and soaking up the sun. Even though it is warm we sure make a funny bunch: Me with my shorts and t-shirt, Angela with her dress and shirt, and Connor with his sweats and jacket (of course with the hood up, that is the only way he likes it now). We are definitely enjoying it while we can because they are predicting snow for this weekend. Weird how one week can go from sunny and 70 to cold and snowy.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Ladybugs are beautiful, non-offensive bugs. They do no harms to humans, but definitely benefit the crops as they eat aphids. They are not native to the United States, but were introduced to try and control pests on crops. The Chinese believe them to represent
good luck. But today, in Wisconsin, they are like the plague of locust. They are absolutely everywhere. We can't seem to walk for fear of stepping on one. Anytime one of us opens the door, a bunch of them come in. I guess if we believe like the Chinese we are overflowing with luck.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baraboo Zoo

There is a town about 10 miles from us called Baraboo. It is the home of the Ringling Brother's Circus and Circus World Museum. Although that is not what took us to Baraboo today. Today we went and visited their city park/zoo. Their zoo is a free to the public zoo, which makes it great to go whenever we want. They take in animals from around the area and keep them in an open air zoo. There were llamas, timber wolves, black bears, monkeys (that we didn't get to see), domestic goats, a potbellied pig (again we didn't get to see), marmots, white-tailed deer, ducks and a swan. The kids really had a fun time running around and looking at all of the animals. They even got to feed the goats. Hopefully, we will be able to go again someday soon.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

RVing is Different in the Winter

We know that living in the RV this winter, we will have to do lots of insulating to keep us warm and unfrozen. We have been researching and researching what the best ways are to do it. So far this trip we had been filling and refilling the water holding tank and not ever connecting to the "city" water. Well yesterday, we ran out of water in the holding tank and needed to fill up. For the winter we thought it would be better to use the city water and not have to worry about a frozen holding tank. Last night we hooked up our water hose, not thinking it would get too cold. But of course this morning it was frozen, oops. Today we went and bought the heat tape and the insulation, so we should be okay tomorrow. That takes care of our water, now we just need to completely insulate the rest of the RV. What an adventure it is from day to day and season to season.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween (A little early)

Downtown Portage had a trick-or-treating good time this morning. The businesses were offering a safe way for the kids to get out and get candy. I know this is like many other places all over. Well we decided that since we don't really know the town that we would take the kids out to this for an early Halloween. Angela was a princess/queen. We kept calling her a princess, she kept saying she was a queen and that she was in charge (ha ha). She looked very pretty in her pink dress and tiara. Just a side note for those who didn't hear the story: Angela, bound and determined, won that tiara herself at a carnival in Spokane. Connor was a dog. When we got into Portage we had some time to kill before the activities started. Connor did not want to wear his costume but he held on tight giving it a hug for almost 45 minutes. We finally talked him into wearing it and he looked great. Angela is an old pro at trick-or-treating so she just did her thing. Being that this is Connor's second Halloween he was a bit new. He did his best to say "trick-or-treat," which came out sounding like, "teeeet." And when he learned that it got him treats he was very eager to say it. Both of them following up with a "Thank You." What good kids we have. Now that that is done, I think we will stay in for Halloween night.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Life still goes on

As much as we have changed things over the past month, I was reminded today that life still goes on in its usual way. As I was preparing dinner Angela alarmingly says, "MOM!" Concerned that something way wrong I whip around to her. She had a tooth in a very unnatural position and a huge smile on her face. Needless to say, within about 30 minutes she had pulled it out. She is now very excited for the tooth fairy to visit the 5th wheel.

Must have a library!

Every town we have been in for more than one night has been fun for the kids and I. We immediately get to exploring the town finding out where important things are. We find the post office, grocery store, bank, cheap gas and most importantly the library. Today we found the Portage Library. Since we are going to be in Portage for (hopefully) a few months or longer, I decided we needed a library card. I had hoped that because I had ID and a signed lot recepit for our camping site that we would be okay. Not quite. We had to pay for a temporary card due to not actually living in the town. Once we turn the temporary card back in they will give us back our money. It is a small price to pay for the freedom to check out books with the kids. It is a wonderful way to save my sanity. Not to mention lots of books for me. We left today with a bagful of books already eager to go back next week.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The first 20 days of our trip.

Well, welcome one and all who choose to come and read our postings. We are the Jamison's: Dad, Brian; Mom, Laci; daughter, Angela; son, Connor; and dog, Harley.
Back in June Brian started going to school to get a new job. Once in school it was decided it would be best for him to get a traveling apprenticeship. Therefore we started the process of selling our home in Washington State and buying a 5th wheel. After a grueling couple of weeks of packing and moving most all of our things into storage we were sort of ready to leave. We planned on leaving on Wednesday October 1st, but decided that we might as well get started on the road the night before. Sure enough small little glitch after another fell on our already stressed selves. After a couple rush trips to the store we made it on our way all of 20 minutes from home and then we camped for the night. We started paring down what we had packed, throwing away and giving away things. We "enjoyed" lots of driving, about 335 miles per day. Our second night was spent in a little town in Montana. The third night was also in Montana, but just barely in Montana. We were unable to get out of that state due to some motorcycle dilemmas. We had it on a little rack stuck in the receiver hitch of the 5th wheel. After a couple of days of bouncing around it was about to break off. Therefore we hooked it up with the front wheel on the rack and the rear wheel pulling behind. It sort of worked, except for turning tight corners. It was the best we could do at the time, until we could get to a bigger town and get an utility trailer for it. During the fourth day we stopped at Mt. Rushmore. We all really liked it. As we were on the freeway, oops, one of the motorcycle straps broke and we layed the bike over on the freeway. Scary for me since I was following Brian and saw it all happen. Fortunately the bike itself was fine, just a little bit of the plastic got ruined. We headed back into Rapid City, SD for a utility trailer. After that everything seemed much nicer. That night we stayed in a little town in SD. The fifth night we stayed in Omaha, NE. Most days we drove to dinner, spent a couple of hours resting and then drove some more. Not so the fifth night. We got in and rested all night. The next morning we got to go to the Henry Doorly Zoo there in Omaha. It was a lot of fun seeing monkeys, giraffes, elephants and rhinos. We all really enjoyed it. That night we arrived in Indianola, IA where we stayed for the week. Of course we enjoyed our time there but we were not completely out of the oops zone. I was headed to the store to get some keys copied, including the camper key. Once to the store, no key. I searched and searched and couldn't find it. Thankfully the locksmith got us into the camper and made us some new keys. Brian finished his training on Friday and wanted to get moving, only problem, we snapped the shaft that ran from the front jack motor to the jacks, therefore no leaving. We were able to hook the camper to the truck the next morning and off we left for Monomonee Falls, WI (a suburb of Milwaukee). We got close that night, but we couldn't quite find it. Thanks to Wal-Mart we had a place to stay. The next day we found the union hall and stayed there. On Monday, Brian had an appointment and then we were off to Madison, WI. Again another appointment for him and off to work just north of Madison. We found a campground where we thought we would stay, that is until they turned off our water. So now we are at a campground near Portage, WI and we are settled for a few months. We have been having lots of nice weather but they are predicting rain and wind for most of this coming week. Brian really is enjoying work. The kids and I are trying to settle into a routine. We are still enjoying everything, including the nomadic lifestyle we have chosen to adopt. It is difficult to remember to connect with family as the time zones are throwing us off, but we will do our best.