Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You Asked......

Is your husband working from the road or how did he get away from a job for so long?
Yes, my husband still spends a lot of his time working on the road. We own a business back home so he was able to get away during the slow season. We have hired help to run it back home.

How on Earth do you finance such a lifestyle?
We no longer have a high mortgage or rent. We don't have debt. We aren't spending money on things we spent on back at home. I don't get my nails done, hair done etc...(just eyebrows, which is another post. Let's just say don't everrrrrrr get your eyebrows waxed in a hick area of KY inside a Walmart DUH....what was I thinking. I'd take my unibrow back any day. LOL)
We have given up a lot to do this trip. Our kids don't play sports/ music lessons., which gets very costly back home. Landen is no longer attending preschool. Just little things like that added up back home and now we don't have all those bills. We don't have utilities or a Gardner etc... Lots of bills got cut which allowed us to live on the road. It''s actually cheaper!


Do you have a schedule for school?
Everyday is different! We do make sure the kids get their math and daily grams in every day. Other than that, we save the "official" school for drive days. Other times we spend the day taking advantage of whatever the city has to offer. This could mean a great museum, restaurant, friends, factory tours or volunteer work.
I've learned there is so much "unschooling" that happens on the road. The kids are learning more than I ever thought possible! We are all learning!

How do you plan your meals while on the road?
We ( sounds weird to say we, my husband never had a say or cared what meals I had planned but now that he's "home" we all decide together) So, we decide on our meals for the week. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. We usually eat a big breakfast (or shake) before heading out for the day....and for lunch (I pack light snacks) then eat an early dinner. (Usually crock-pot) with it being so cold lately. Crock-pot sounds good. I do have an oven and stove...just like home. The only thing I miss is a dishwasher:( but that's what kids are for right?



How often are you having to go grocery shopping?
We (yes, we!) go grocery shopping once a week.

How big is the fridge space?
We have a 2 door freezer/ fridge. It's not huge but it's a pretty good size. Holds our food for a week.


How often do eat out?
We eat out once or twice a week. Depending on where we are. Sometimes friends or family along the way feed us:) We try to only eat at "new" restaurants not restaurants we have back home. It gets expensive to eat out so we save eating out for special places.

Does the dog ever poop in the motorhome?
The dog has pooped once in the motorhome. (because we forgot to take her out.) She is trained and knows to go by the door when she has to go. If we are driving we pull over and let her out.

Are you getting money from a tree in the middle of NO where???
No, I wish!!!

How many miles per gallon do you get?
8-10mpg. A big chunk of our money is spent on diesel and propane! We park and drive our car a lot too, which helps. We stay at Walmart when on our way somewhere which helps save money and helps balance out the travel costs. We do stay at hotels and campsites as well. Depending on which is cheaper to drive or take the car. Sometimes it's cheaper to park the RV drive and stay in a hotel then drive back.

How long are you going to be traveling?
We plan on traveling until June (Lord willing) It all depends on the business. The kids don't want to go back they want to keep traveling...It's going by so fast!


Do you have any real schedule for where you are going, or are you just flying by the seat of your RV?:)
A little of both. We have a "schedule" of highlights we want to hit but have been open to just roaming:) I kind of like the excitement of not knowing what tomorrow will bring;)




How do you carry all the stuff for homeschooling on the RV?
I read in one of your posts you have 200 books on board AND you have pictures of crafts, etc....

We have a lot of overhead cabinet storage that goes around the whole motorhome (the main reason we picked this motorhome) That is where all our books and crafts are stored. Yes, we have about 200 or more books on board...so, lots of reading! We also have a diesel so there is a lot of storage underneath the motorhome and under the master bed. We have a closet for all our coats and the shower is used as a closet when driving also.
Each person gets 2 storage bins for clothes and that's it...but that's 14 storage bins! We have one basket of toys for everyone. Lots of puzzles and learning things in the cabinets up above. Thanks to my Aunt Cheryl who helped me organize before we left:)

I would like to know from each of them... What has been your favorite place so far??
Austin: The Creation Museum
Faith:Niagara Falls
Landen: Statue of Liberty
Farrah: Princess Castle at Disney World
Finley: She had a blast at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis.
I think I'll have the kids write a post later....


Have you been able to find good churches, along the way?
Yes! (we check them out before we attend) or they are a friends church and we attend with them. We have found old bible teaching churches that still sing hymns.(I love that!) I love seeing the body of Christ all throughout the US. We also watch our home church online on Wednesday nights. HisChannel.com

Are the majority of your friends and family supporting your decision to "road school"?
Yes and No! At first, they were like what?!?!? Some just wrote us off as crazy! But now many think what we are doing is awesome. Our families miss us but support us all the way. To be honest, we have had some who are jealous and think we are being irresponsible. They think our kids are too young and this is the type of trip you take when your retired not with a bunch of kids.
I've seen the retired full timers and to be honest they don't have the energy to do all we do:) So, I think now is the time. Investing in your children and spending time with them is so worth it.


Do ya'll homeschool through a charter school or other Christian school?
We use to before we left. We are now on our own. I do still belong to homeschool groups back home and still keep in contact with them. We don't have to check in or anything. I will be filing my own Affidavit this year. Anyone else do this?

How far out is your trip planned?
We had it planned up until January. Where we would go, how long it would take etc... but I soon learned to just take one day at a time. We are open to what God has planned for us. If we were so on schedule we would of never met up with family in New York because that was not on our list. Weather has played a factor in our decisions as well.We have had many things pop up that were not planned. It's exciting!

Do you have goals of where to be by the end of each month?
Not really! We do have goals as to what we want to see in each state and the lists are growing......as we learn more about each state. We can't do everything....so I guess we will have to take this trip again (someday!)


Are you coming back to New England?
Not on this trip:( I would LOVE to go around Sept. I have always wanted to go to Cape Cod. The weather played a big factor in us having to skip those states:(

Are you buying all these winter clothes as you need them or did you pack them all with you?
We didn't really have winter clothes. We packed what we had and friends and family has given us hand-me-downs along the way. I actually have a new hobby.... thrift stores! They are full of cute winter coats in the east coast! Like the one Farrah is wearing in the Q post...it's GAP and I got it for $2.99. We got all the kids snow boots at Goodwill also. It's kind of fun to run in and buy all the snow boots they have and you know there will be a kid to fit each size:)
We haven't' spent money on clothes. I have bought a couple outfits on sale here and there because I was behind on laundry. Or at least that's the excuse I used:)


Camping for 5 days...After doing so much stuff so regularly, were you bored or did you need some down time?
Bored?Never! Even in the RV there is always something to do...read,play board games, sew patches on kids road jackets and the list goes on(enjoying things I never had time to do back home) It's nice to just relax with the kids and not have to worry about cleaning a big house etc. We have stayed a week here and a week there in the same spot before. So, it wasn't different. It's nice to lay low and get caught up on lessons and watch movies etc.

What about showers?
Only one a week! JUST KIDDING! If we are not hooked up we make sure we have a full tank of fresh water! We usually fill up at a Flying J.
When we are boon docking (not hooked up) we have to be quick and fast. I usually throw all 3 lil ones in and hose them off.
When we are hooked up I can take long hot showers!!! We did hit a couple spots where we had frozen pipes so that was hard and icky! We did sponge baths..fun,fun!


Also where in the RV do the kids sleep, in an earlier post we saw the parent's bed and Finley and Farrah's bed/crib (?) but no one elses... does the couch pull out or something???
Yes, the couch pulls out and has an extra "leaf" in it. So it's really big. It fits the 4 kids on it. Finley sleeps in her playpen.
Farrah has adjusted well to not being in a crib. She's a big girl now and as long as she has her princess pillow and blanket she's good:)

You mentioned you're hoping to visit all 50 states.....what about Alaska and Hawaii?
We had a goal to visit all 50 states but I don't think time will allow it:( We do have family in Alaska and we might drive there??? As far as Hawaii, we might park the RV and go there too???. Depending on our timeshare trade.


Here's the one that keeps popping in my head...you've got to have the most flexible/obedient kids ever?! Do they just go with the flow?

They do just go with the flow! We are very blessed to have easy going kids. They adjust to just about anything. I don't think kids need much..just lots of love. But remember Daddy is on board, so they behave a lot better. I don't have to do the, "I'm going to call your Father!" or "Just wait until you Father gets home!" LOL

What did you do with your other car?
Our truck is a business truck and my brother-in-law is using it. (He is working for us)
As far as our other family car, we traded it in for our Volvo the day before we left on our trip. I have only driven it twice! We had to get a front wheel drive car that would fit at least 7 so we only had a choice between a Volvo or a Saturn. I love my Volvo though!



Has it been hard to manage the business from afar?
It was scary! It's hard to find someone you can trust. But we are blessed to have our brother in law that is taking good care of it! He is working hard and we are so thankful for all his hard work. If it wasn't for him we couldn't be out on our adventure. Thank you Scott! You rock!!!!!!

Did you have to hire someone new to fill in for your husband?
My new brother-in-law:)

What's the best food you've eaten so far on your trip?
I wasn't too fond of the Alligator in New Orleans so I would have to say the good ol' Southern food in Texas. You know the food that's really healthy for you:)

I have noticed Austin wears braces. How do you take care of his appointments and all his braces care on the road?
Before we left we had his smile put on a "freeze" for 3months. His orthodontist has been working with us and thinks our trip is amazing. I often talk with her. If a wire pops out etc..she has showed me how to put thing back in. Since it has been 3 months since we left ,we are flying back for his Feb. appt.

Are you flying out when your sister has her baby?
Yes!!! I can't wait.




What about Dr.'s appointments?
Our pediatrician knows about the trip as well. If I need any medications or anything he just calls them into the nearest Walmart. Faith's glasses prescription was updated right before we left so she will see him again when we return.
As far as well visits, we can go anywhere...but I am flying Finley back with Austin so we can see her pediatrician. It all just worked out!



What about your mail?
We have good friends at a UPS store back home. We call in and have them check our box often. Our brother-in-law goes by once a week to pick up mail and then my sister forwards all our billing. We do all our billing and banking from our computer in the RV. Got to love technology!



What is the highlight of your trip so far?
I'm having the time of my life! We have visited family and friend and have been seeing such amazing sights. We have helped people along the way etc.... I try to show what I can on my blog but there is so much more to this trip.
For me, the highlights are the "low lights." I cherish the long drives. The sunrises and sunsets. Having good old-fashioned family nights. Simply enjoy being together. Just spending time together and making lots of memories.


I hope that answers some of your questions. I will have to take more pictures and maybe post some video of our daily life on the road. Warning: you might get motion sickness ha!

But because this blog is public, I have to be very careful on what info I put on it. We have had our fair share of weird emails and comments. We monitor all comments and won't allow any negative or mean comments to be published.
We are so thankful to all of our long time blog friends and new ones we picked up along the way. You all are a wonderful support system! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I refuse to let the "mean" people spoil our fun and us sharing our journey with you!



25 comments:

Raelyn said...

What a GREAT post! I SO admire what you are all doing. I would LOVE to have this experience someday.
May I ask...You said you do not have mortgage or rent, so does that mean your home is paid off? If so, I commend you. We just finished Dave Ramsey's Finicial Peace University and I hope to get all but the home paid off someday.
Enjoy and God Bless you all!

Nicholle said...

Wow! You amaze me.. I remember when you were so upset about losing your house before you left. I knew God would find a new journey for you. You are having the time of your life all together! Not many people can say they have done what you guys are doing. Even with 5 kids you make it sound like it's a breeze. I am so happy for you and I love to look at all your updates. How lucky that you get to fly back to see your new niece. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip. Praying for you and your family always :)

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

Thanks for answering all thes questions. I forgot to write in, but, how are the kids handling not seeing their friends? I couldn't function without my girls, so I know my kids would go crazy without their buds. :) Are you coming to MI? I know you went to Ohio, did you swing in MI when you were close instead? Have fun and God bless.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bridget and Family, I've been reading thru your blog for just a short time now, but I think you're traveling homeschool is awesome. Those kids would never!! learn all of that in a classroom. I'm one of those that's totally jealous, but support what you're doing 100%. You will never regret this time with your family. I would love to do the same thing. Ignore the bad comments. Only you know what is best for your family. And thanks for blogging it all. I love seeing new places. Would love to visit them sometime.

Amy

Ruth said...

I didn't ask the questions, but enjoyed the answers! It looks like y'all are having a ton of fun!

Marie Evelyne Lanathoua said...

poopy poopy mean people...missing out on all this fun......

You know how I feel Bridget!

:-)

JenCoen said...

I think what y'all are doing is absolutely incredible and totally inspiring!! I LOVE reading about your adventures (I swerrr, I'm living vicariously through y'all. lol)
Take Care Ryan Family!!
Love and Hugs from the Coen's!!
(And Rrrrrrosalie and Terry!)

Laurel said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing so much of your daily details.

We, too, have talked of an Alaska road-trip. Maybe we'll join you. :)


mama of 13

Shelby said...

I had two questions that I forgot to ask; do you whitten your teeth and if so with what? They always look really white. Also, what color do you use on your hair? I love your blog, I think that is wonderful what you guys are doing.
God Bless!
Shelby

I am blessed! said...

Sounds like you all are having the adventure of a lifetime! We'd still love to have you out to our place- to the ranch for hiking in Palo Duro canyon and to our little church, too. Let me know when you head west toward home on I-40.

Braley Mama said...

Wow, thanks for answering all of those questions. I commend you for taking this trip. As parents it is so important to follow the Lord and not listen to the World. My hubbs and I have 2 young girls,2 and 8 months, and we are moving to TX to work for a missions organization. It is so strange what people have said to me about "doing" this to the kids. Any way, it just reminded me of what you said about family, and jealous people. I am praying for you guys!!

Anonymous said...

Bridget

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. Your family is inspiring!!!! I pray that we will be able to do what you are doing someday. I am sure your kids will remember your experiences forever! So much more than any school can teach them. God Bless you and your family! Keep the posts coming - its fun to live through your journey.
Kristina from MN

Lisa said...

thanks for answering all of our crazy questions!

Loni's World said...

Thank you! :)

Ahhh those mean people are just jealous :P

Keep up the good work, we love to hear about your adventures :)

I was thinking the same thing about the crazy people, I was gonna tell you the way you post is good so you dont get any "stalkers/followers" while your out there.
You always post the pics after you have been to the place and are on your way somewhere new, I think that is good and safe :)

Susie said...

Shoot. I think you guys are awesome for doing this and following the Lord's leading ;) It's neat to live vicariously through you. Be safe out there ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Thank you for sharing. It is interesting to hear the details of your trip. What an awesome experience. You seem like such a sweet family and your kids look so happy. Keep the great posts coming. I really look forward to them.
Safe travels!!!!

debbie said...

Hey, What do you mean the kids don't want to come home? I know they miss their Nannie. I know they are having a blast! I am so glad for them and for you all to be on the adventure of a lifetime! I just miss you all so much! I can't wait for hugs and kisses! Love you all, Nannie

Heather said...

I think its great what you are doing. I wish I could do something like that with my family. Not sure I have the guts. You all look like you are having a great time. The kids will have such amazing memories....

Karla said...

I loved reading this post and all of your answers! Thank you for sharing with all of us who are enjoying this FOR and through you. :)

We belong to a church here in PA that still sings hymns, and we love it, too. Praise the Lord there are still churches like that....

Kristie's Kin said...

Here's my question...Being that you are on the road again and again....do you often sing 'On the Road Again?' with your family? And do you sing it like Willie Nelson.. you know, in his twangy voice??? Just kidding Bridget! I just wanted to sound like a wierd person for a second!!! Glad y'all are having the time of your life! There's a lot of lost and lonely people out there without Jesus..and I'm sure your family is leaving the fragrance of His love wherever you go! Hopefully I'll see you soon.

Renee said...

I love your Q&A's! I just thought of a question ... are you meeting up with any other families from Families on the Road?

Anonymous said...

I think its sooo cool what your doing Bridget! Just was showing Mark!
Jen Prescott

Damaris said...

Thanks for taking the time out and for your sincere answers to our questions. It was fun and interesting to read them! =]

Laura said...

Your trip amazes me and it has made me want to do the same some day! Keep posting!

Can't believe you were so close to me earlier this week! I am less than a two hour drive South of Louisville!

Your family is precious! God Bless!

SHALOM said...

Dear Bridget,

Maybe God might have you write a book when you get back. You’re a great writer; it's fun,easy,and interesting to read, and always sprinkled with love and God. I 've learned allot about our states just by the cool pictures with simple captions.And I've learned allot about you and your neat family.You guys are definatly one of a kind.

I also love thrift stores, great things to buy.

I agree that negative feedback needs
to be squashed. Your kids or hubby don’t need those fiery darts, and you need peace of mind to share with the kids. Your family proves that home school kids are not sheltered. Kids stuck in a classroom only get to hear of what they are learning. I love what you said about the sunsets. God is a beautiful artist isn't He? I hope you guys get to visit Washington before you get back. We absolutely love the scenery in that state. May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you.

P.S. I'm not sure if you guys watch the vidio on demand from HISCHANNEl. But if you haven't seen "God Of Wonders", Or ", they are great moviesSomething Worth Fighting For", or created Cosmos", They are all good movies.Something Worth Fighting For is cheesey if you have a goofey personality like myself. Have fun!!