Sunday, May 25, 2014

RV Water Heater Replacement

There was a thin, but long crack along our hot water heater in the RV.  After researching whether it could be welded, we found that there is a porcelain lining also cracked and could leach particles into the water.  So new water heater it was!

The base underneath it was old and warped, so Casey copied it and built a fresh new one.

Some simple wiring, and it was ready to go!

We found ours by searching Google by the product number.  The prices varied widely and it turns out we spent 1/2 of what our local camping supplier charged.  And as a bonus it showed up in two days and shipping only cost us $10.  I'd recommend the place we bought it from highly.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Camping Near Omaha {Louisville SRA}


Super close to Omaha, nice firepit and ample spots for parking
A short nature trail for family hiking with a beautiful view


A train ran RIGHT behind our spot.  By train, I mean several.  All night long.  We didn't get much sleep and we were crowded next to other campers.  


I'd definitely go again when we needed a quick getaway.  Being out with only our camper and natural materials for the kids to play with is worth it.  This isn't our favorite local camp spot for secludedness but it is definitely better than no camping at all.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Gluten Free S'mores

I'll start off by mentioning that there are legitimate gluten free graham crackers and cookie options at most grocery stores.

However, this impromptu camping trip found us with just what we had in our RV.  So  a toasted marshmallow was layered on a thick slice of chocolate and camping tastiness seems to have resulted.

Despite the limits of celiac disease, she is a happy camper!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Roller Skating

As you can see I'm knocking my dreamboard out of the park!  I not only got the skates, I've USED them several times.  Since I started counting I've gone skating 16 times.

I plan to do 40 before 40 so that means I have 24 still to do.  With 4 more years until that big birthday, it seems very doable :).

I like collecting my admittance wrist bands so I can remember how many times I went skating.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Private Roller Skate

Those long days of winter in Omaha seemed a little more manageable adding roller skating to our lives this year.

One afternoon I was at the rink with my younger daughter and the place had cleared out.  We weren't about to cut our skating time short, though, so we enjoyed the private skating time.

I have great memories of this afternoon because I was able to go as fast as I wanted and I felt so FREE!  I love the feeling of weaving around people and avoiding falls but the speed and smoothness of being alone was uniquely fun.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How do you comfort the mentally ill?

My dear friend who struggles with much the same illness as myself was asked if she was speaking in church on mental illness what she would say.  Since we are to "mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort" this is an especially pertinent topic.  

She replied that she had a list of questions.  Here they are:

Am I still welcome here?

Are you sure?

What if I don't get better within 3 months?

Can you accept that this isn't guilt and repentance isn't the solution?

Can I be just as worthy as you?

Will you please stop saying "forget yourself and get to work", "count your blessings", "the best way to forget your troubles is to serve someone else" and/or lecturing on all the ways my being mentally ill is ruining my children?

Will you trust that I am seeking healing in the best way for me, and stop suggesting doTERRA oils and berating antidepressant meds?

Can you go the rest of forever without telling me how much worse someone else's trial is? How about we never, ever say that to anyone ever again?

If I open up to you and admit that today the demons are winning and I'm scared, will you be brave enough to return the email/text/phone call?

I will be a daily reminder "that but for the grace of God, go [you]." Can you stand to look at me?

Are you sure?

What if I can never serve as much as you ask me to?

Am I still welcome if all I can do is not die? If I cannot help perfect the saints or preach the gospel, can I still be yours?

Can you love me for who I am, not what I bring to the table?

What if I try to get better every single day, but I never do? Can you still love me? Will you?

Are you sure?

So much truth here, and so much learning for me to take in.  I'm grateful for her honesty about her reality.

Monday, May 19, 2014

DIY Blonde Hair

Confession: I've never had a hairdresser get quite the shade I was going for when getting my hair colored.  When I decided to go for platinum blonde last summer (quite a stretch, but midlife makes those checklist items seem more pressing) I of course began with a professional.

And she helped me get to a nice soft shade of ORANGE.  Frankly, she was just too nervous that the amount of bleach and the amount of time it would take to get my almost-black hair, almost-white blonde....would fry my follicles off.  Or something like that.

So I took matters (as well as some gloves and some chemicals) into my own hands, and this is what you can find me doing every few weeks.

Dyeing time is ME time and I really don't mind it.  And at $6 a box, it's no big thang.  I'm pushing a year with no desire to go back.  Blonde Bobi's do have more fun!  At least for now :).

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Camping Near Omaha {Lake McConaughy}

Let me just introduce you to my favorite spot in Nebraska...

Yup.  Right there in that red chair.  The legs of the chair sink into the soft, wet sand.  This picture was taken on a 100 degree day but the water was clear and cool.  It's no wonder the phrase I Love Lake Mac was coined.  It is my top Near Omaha camping spot so far.

Sure, there's loads of the trip bonus that keeps on giving (SAND) to clean up later.  But let me tell ya, honey.  It's worth it.  See all those campers on the other shore?  For $40 locally owned tractors will tow you down near the water (the sand to get there is too soft and you'll sink if you try getting a camper down there yourself).  

Labor Day weekend 2013 (100 degree heatwave)

Since this was our first trip to Lake Mac we didn't spring for the tow and simply parked up higher before the sand began.  We'd just trek down each morning to greet the water when the sun rose.  It was a decently long walk.  Enough so that I think we'll spring for the closer location this season.  Our camp fees were a very modest $7, but there were no hook-ups.  Since we were only there 2 nights we had enough fresh water and our black and gray tanks didn't get full.  If we'd wanted to stay longer we could have driven in to town (Ogallala, NE) to take a dump and refresh the camper :).

Our longing to spend more time here inspired the camping washing machine Casey made.  We RV camped and made our self comfortable, but there were plenty of tent campers enjoying the lake as well.  Plus, they could get closer to it without paying for towing.  I'm guessing the sand issue is a little more extreme that way, but I'd still give it a shot.  This camp spot is around 5 hours from Omaha.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Admit 1 for a Spa Day

My creative second child came up with this plan for us.

Although the boys were a little frustrated not to be involved the three of us girls made some fun memories in Ms. Creative's room.  What a sweetheart.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Camping Near Omaha {Two Rivers}


Secluded spots
Tall trees
plenty of available and usable firewood (and the permission to use it)
great playgrounds with unique tire climbing features
close to Omaha


not really a place to swim in hot weather
flat, not hilly for views
pavement is pretty rough for scootering and rollerblading


This will be a regular go-to spot for us when we want to stay close to home.  The playground is unique and the kids remember it.  The plentiful firewood and kindling that is free is always nice.  We'll probably frequent this campground mostly in spring and fall and hit others with swimming in the hotter months.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

RV Speakers

The more things change the more they stay the same.  16 years after we started dating my man is still driving me around in his "truck" blasting the music from speakers :).

He bought marine speakers that are waterproof.  I am not 100% sure why, but I guess things can get a little wacky when you go on RV trips to the lake :).

To be honest, I'm really loving having better sound quality when we're driving and sometimes its even fun to listen to music when the camper is parked and we are packing it to get ready for ADVENTURE!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bringing our RV home!

The first time we went to take the RV out of the parking lot it stays in I said we were picking him up from winter sleepaway camp :).

It's kinda accurate, although he stays there through the week during the summer too.  Our HOA has a 21 day rule for having extra recreation type vehicles parked in front of our houses.  We usually just go pick it up the day before we leave for our trip and take it home the day after we get it all cleaned and the fresh bedding put back in it.

It was SO nice to take it out again.  It was a long winter for all of us.  We bought this rig in the fall and our 3 year old missed it most of all.  Almost every day he asked where the camper was and when we were going to go camping.  Thank you spring for FINALLY coming!

{at home} Weekend Link-Up party

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sick Day selfie

It's just been me and my baby during the day this school year.  When he is sick I am still so glad I get to be at

home and give snuggles.  I don't know how long it will last but I'm glad blogging is my "career" for now :).