04.30.16 Three Years Living On The Road!

dora sign on rvSaturday, April 30, 2016 –  Wow, it’s almost May already!

Roy and I have been full timing on the road for three years now!  And we’re still married!!!  I actually think our marriage is better than ever since we started this “Thinking Outside the Box” lifestyle. I’m going to try to summarize the last three years in one blog today.

If you’ve been following this blog you will know everything I’m going to say, in great detail!  If you’re new to following our blog this will kinda, sorta catch you up to date on what’s been going on in the Chauvin’s life the last three years.

The heroic Conroe, TX police department!
The heroic Conroe, TX police department!

After a hair raising experience trying to purchase a motor home in Conroe, TX,, in October 2012 we purchased Dora our Motorhome in Louisiana in November of 2012.  We lived in it in the driveway of our sticks and bricks, waiting for the house to sell.  Roy retired from Southeastern in January of 2013.

When the house stubbornly didn’t sell we rented it out, I retired, and we headed north in April of 2013, three years ago.  We traveled through and saw lots of beauty in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota before landing in Minnesota.  While in South Dakota we became South Dakota residents which helped us reduce our automobile insurance by almost half.

We lived in Minnesota for several months right on the Canadian border at Northern Lights Resort as workampers.  Workampers are people who live in any type of RV and want to work a bit rickspic4while in a specific area.  We chose Minnesota because it was as far away as we could get from the summer heat in Louisiana.  Summers in Minnesota are blissfully wonderful! It was still snowing there when we arrived in early May – weird for two Louisiana kids!

We left Minnesota in October of 2013 headed south towards Louisiana for Christmas.  We traveled through and saw a lot of wonderful things in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

We enjoyed Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2013 with our families.  We decided that future visits home needed to include a more permanent place for us to park Dora, our motorhome than hopping from local RV resort to another local RV resort.

http _99designs.com_attachments_32835390~7f1482ef84aa335d9d2430b0efa8abf95d3ff21b_viewI started an online administration job with a company called RVillage.com where I still work.  It allows me to work while on the road, on my own schedule for much less than full time hours.

2014-01-18_11-01-31_397We spent January and February 2014 traveling along the Gulf Coast and through Florida seeing Disneyworld, St. Augustine where we visited some great friends and had our windows redone so we could see clearly through them!

In March we headed to San Diego, Texas where we took care of a Ranch there for two months while the owners were in Europe.   We returned home in May where we learned our sticks and bricks house renters were going to move out since their lease was up.

We worked hard getting the sticks and bricks ready to put back on the market and we finally did that.  During summer 2014 Roy took a temporary job at Southeastern (where he retired from) doing computer hardware work, just like he did before retiring.

In December 2014 our house finally sold!  We found a beautiful piece of land in Amite, Louisiana about 30 miles from Hammond.  We bought it, did lots of work on the property, built a small 20150325_130951house and created a parking pad with adjoining cement patio for Dora’s new home!  We have full hookups and a beautiful garden here to enjoy while we’re home.  We rented out the house to a wonderful couple who take care of it like it’s their own.  God’s blessing abound!

In May 2015 we headed west and saw the majestic beautify of the west, north west and south west.  We traveled through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado (oh wow!), Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, 20151002_150710 (Medium)Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.  We saw so many amazing sights during this 6 months of travel!  I’ve uploaded thousands of photos to this blog site so if you want to see them check out May 2015 to October 2015 blog posts.

By the time we got to Texas in October 2015, we were fairly homesick and drove straight through Texas to get home to Louisiana in late December.  We will make a trip just through Texas sometime in the future.

We stayed home for a few months this time since there was Thanksgiving, Christmas, our son Chip’s wedding in January 2016, and 20160116_174808two granddaughter’s birthdays in March as well as a family gathering for the St Patrick’s Day parade in Metairie. Living in an RV we can travel when we want, so staying home for these important events was a no brainer!  In between the family events Roy had full knee replacement surgery near Memphis Tennessee in January where we stayed for two weeks after so he could recover.

Before leaving home Roy designed and ordered online transparent signs to adhere to Dora’s back side and to Boot’s (our truck) tailgate.   People ask us about them while we’re on the road and it’s turned out to be a great way for folks to learn about our blog since they both have rosalynandroy.com at the bottom!

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We left Louisiana in late March  2016 traveling along the Gulf Coast headed for several months traveling up the East Coast.  Well,  after one month on the road we learned that Madisyn (our 7 year old granddaughter) was going to play softball.  After loving seeing her dad and his brother play ball for so many years, we just couldn’t miss this opportunity to have fun seeing Madisyn play.  This meant packing up and heading back to Louisiana about 3 weeks ago.  We’ll be here until after her last game, end of May.

That wraps up our last three years, quite summarized.  I’ve written over 500 blog posts during this time so you can see that this is truly just a summary!

We’ve been blessed to have a family and church family back home that makes returning a joy .  We make an effort to spend quality time with Chip and his family while we’re home.  Lots of memories for us to look back on!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia published randomly

 

 

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01.01.11 Reflections on God’s Blessings in 2014

2014 GRAPHHIC2014 wasn’t the travel filled year we would have liked.  We did travel to Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas but that’s the extent of our 2014 RV travels.  We stayed longer in our home state than we originally planned because of selling our sticks and bricks house, which finally happened December 3rd, 2014.  Probably near the top of our list of God’s blessings this year was the house sale.

I’ll break down the highlights by month starting with,

vector-color-dot-background_134330483January 2014 – Spent time in Mississippi at TLC Resort in Pass Christian.  Kim and Chip came to visit us there and Chip and Madisyn came to visit us.

2014-01-18_10-58-43_172https://rosalynandroy.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/img_20140117_171323_162.jpghttps://rosalynandroy.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/2014-01-18_11-01-31_397.jpg

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We discovered the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and enjoyed touring it which included a visit to the pottery buildings,

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vector-color-dot-background_134330483In mid January we traveled to Florida.  Our first stop was at Suncoast Designs in Hudson, Florida to have most of our windows removed, refinished/resealed, and reinstalled.   A lot of “fog” had built up inside those windows and when they reinstalled the windows they looked new.

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https://rosalynandroy.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/2014-01-23_13-50-38_267.jpg

vector-color-dot-background_134330483With the window refinishing complete we headed to Bee’s RV Resort in Clermont, Florida.

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vector-color-dot-background_134330483Three highlights of our stay there included

vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483Discovering Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory where they use a mixture of cream and sugar, add the ingredients you want to the mixture and then hit it with some nitrogen,

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vector-color-dot-background_134330483 Attending our first RV Park Worship Service and found we really like that concept, and

vector-color-dot-background_134330483Taking our first wine factory tour and having a blast.  It was at Lakeridge Winery and Vineyard where after the tour we enjoyed their wine tastings.  We ventured outside, where we discovered a sprawling lawn with a bandstand on one side, a food court on the other and people sitting on the lawn enjoying the food and the music.  Roy got a gyro and I got a vegetable plate, sat on the grass enjoyed the music and had a good time!

lakeridge in front

vector-color-dot-background_134330483While in Florida we made a trip to Universal Orlando and had a wonderful time there as always.  We walked, rode and played as much as two old folks with aching bones can do and enjoyed every minute of it.  Here are pictures from that adventure:

Universal Day One

Universal Day Two

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vector-color-dot-background_134330483February, 2014 – Visited our friends Russ and Annie in St. Augustine where we parked Dora in the yard next to their sticks and bricks house which is just a couple of blocks off the Atlantic Ocean.  We heard the beautiful ocean sounds from our RV and enjoyed some beautiful times on and around the ocean beach. Russ took us one afternoon for a ride in their car on the beach.  What a fun experience that was! We enjoyed some good quality visiting time with our friends and even attended Annie’s yoga class for cancer patients.  A first for Roy and I. We spent two days touring St. Augustine.  Some of the things we saw were the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, The Fountain of Youth Park which is a big place with lots of exhibits and beautiful peacocks, Flagler College, Castillo de San Marcos, St. George Street (a walking shopping street), and San Sebastian Winery where we took a tour and enjoyed our first ever class on wine tasting, St. Augustine is an amazing old town steeped in history and we enjoyed every minute of touring it.sa beach roy and russ2014-02-01_15-27-37_481vector-color-dot-background_134330483From St. Augustine we headed to Arrowhead Campgrounds in Marianna, Florida where we enjoyed seeing these beautiful bald cypress trees.

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vector-color-dot-background_134330483We spent Valentines there and enjoyed a Valentine’s Dinner with a nice group at Arrowhead.

 

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We had Dora weighed for the first time and found she is well below the maximum weight limits!

 

vector-color-dot-background_134330483In February I posted a blog post about Things I Deeply Believe in.  You can read this post at https://rosalynandroy.com/2014/02/12/what-i-believe/

 

vector-color-dot-background_134330483Around this time in early 2014 we joined the RVillage family as followers and as part-time occasional employees.  We love RVillage and encourage any  RVer or  hope to be RVers to join – FREE – RVillage.com. Check it out!RVillage_Logo_YouTube-300x113

vector-color-dot-background_134330483On to Robertsdale, Alabama for two weeks at Wilderness RV Park.  We enjoyed a Mardi Gras parade in nearby Mobile with Amy, Richard and Ricky Geist. Very different from a New Orleans parade but still lots of fun!
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy revised our Dora and the Explorers logo and this is the result – cool right!!
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483Late in February we came back westward and stayed at TLC Wolf River Resort for three weeks. One of those weeks we were blessed to have Madisyn stay with us.
2014-03-07_10-55-48_179vector-color-dot-background_134330483This visit included Madisyn’s 5th birthday and associated parties (yes multiple!)
madisyn birthday with boys

horizontal linevector-color-dot-background_134330483March and April, 2014 – Once the excitement of Madisyn’s birthday was over we spent some time in our own sticks and bricks driveway.  It was the time of year that I usually did gardening pruning and preparing them for their glorious blooming in the spring so we did that this year to get the gardens ready for putting the house up for sale in early summer.

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We moved over to Jellystone Yogi Bear for a while and of course got some good visiting time in with Chip’s family.  yogi2

vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy created new business cards for us.

Dora and Explorers business card

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We made our way to San Diego, TX at the end of March where we stayed for 6 weeks tending a ranch for a couple visiting Europe.  We fed peacocks, chickens, guineas, dogs, cats and watered flowers and vegetable plants and mowed the grass.  In between we explored the ranch on the ATV and were amazed at the flowers and beauty we found in that dry place.  We disliked greatly the heat (one day in April it was 106 degrees), strong winds and sand storms that seemed constant.  We did like the solitude and being in a totally different place than we were use to.

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vector-color-dot-background_134330483We went to Corpus Christi and toured the USS Lexington, a naval flight carrier that is now a museum in the water there.

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Whilevector-color-dot-background_134330483 settled in Texas for a while we took the time to replace our RV toilet.  We were tickled with this new addition!2014-05-08_18-13-25_585

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vector-color-dot-background_134330483May, 2014 – As we left the ranch I drove Dora for the farthest I have so far! 2014-05-12_16-39-09_396

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vector-color-dot-background_134330483Bishop’s Landing in Willis Texas – beautiful wonderful resort.  We enjoyed some peaceful time there feeding squirrels, enjoying the cool breeze off the lake and exploring the area.  Seeing a crawfish festival nearby captured our attention.  It was interesting and big (like all of Texas is) and we paid $6.50 a pound with a small piece of corn and half a small potato. I’m pretty sure they cook it quite differently than we do.  They put red pepper on it after it’s cooked and it didn’t taste like it was cooked in salted water.2014-05-17_13-35-32_28

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We arrived back in Louisiana to end May.  We found the most delightful place at Quiet Oaks RV Park in Kinder, LA.  This is by far the quietest, most restful, well-maintained, yet quaint and pretty RV resort we’ve stayed at.

vector-color-dot-background_134330483This isn’t our RV in the picture but it shows how pretty the place is.

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horizontal lineJune through early December – 2014

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We spent the months of early June through early December with our RV parked in our side yard in Hammond Louisiana while our sticks and bricks house was on the market.  The first month and sporadically throughout the rest of the months we spent time doing work on and in the house and gardens.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy took a full-time temporary job at Southeastern Louisiana University repairing computer hardware for which I am most grateful!  This is what he looked like by the end of most days after working at Southeastern all day and then working at the house all evening.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483In his off time, in addition to the mountains of work done on the house, we did the following:
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy had a successful surgery to remove lumps from his chest and back.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We traveled to Mississippi to visit Walter’s Peach Farm and stock up on peaches and nectarines.  My first time freezing peaches was really successful and we’re still enjoying eating them!
one box peaches
peaches all
vector-color-dot-background_134330483I helped with our church, Trinity Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School, and as always received a blessing from being with these amazing children.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy pressure washed Dora’s RV engine.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We spent time with Madisyn doing all sorts of things.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483Later in the summer I helped with Trinity’s “His Kids Special Needs Day Camp”.  These children are exceptional bright lights and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483I learned about getting greatly discounted pricing on brand name prescriptions which made my year!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483I learned a lot about online job searches and even got involved (knowingly, so I could document it) in a job scam.  Was kinda fun seeing how it unfolded!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Madisyn’s first day of big school (kindergarten) made us realize how very fast she is growing up. madisyn kindergarten
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We started our search for our new home.  We looked in all the surrounding towns at houses on land and land alone where we might build, or put a modular home on to rent out.  Our wonderful real estate agent Jamie Johnson guided us well!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We were reminded why living in Louisiana during the summer is NOT FOR US!
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483August brought football season and we just knew it was going to be “the big year” for our teams; Southeastern Lions, New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers. More on that later in the year!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483I wrote more blogs about topics close to my heart than I did about our travels.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483In September I started a new blog post called Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays to bring some smiles, giggles and a warm heart to those in need of it. Check it out at: wackywonderfulwednesdays.wordpress.com  It is published every Wednesday.  At first it was part of our Dora and the Explorer blog, but later in the year it moved to its current location.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We saw Madisyn practice in her cheering class and attended her Open House night at big school.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Kim, Braxton and Bentley better.  They have blessed our lives immensely!
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483Showed support for our New Orleans Saints with our new family socks!
sainits socks
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Went with Chip’s family (Kim, Madisyn, Braxton and Bentley) to Ms. Heather’s Pumpkin patch where we played with the children and enjoyed the time together.  This little family brought so much joy to our lives this year.
10345933_937298572950296_3547940643093031943_nchips family picture
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We became RVillage Ambassadors which is a new role we’ve accepted to spread the RVillage word as we travel – when we get to travel again!!
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483One of the air conditioning units had an electrical fire and stopped working totally, and the other stopped working properly.  Roy diagnosed the problem and replaced the needed parts again proving his brilliance once again!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We made the decision to replace our old Splendide Washer/Dryer unit with this brand new beauty!  Larger capacity and it works great!
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483I attended a concert by William Carey University Chorale at our home church, Trinity Baptist Church. AMAZING!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy replaced all our ceiling light fixtures with new LED lights and covers.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483My eye specialist diagnosed my left eye with having macular degeneration but thankfully it’s not bad enough to  need treatment.  It causes the vision in my left eye to be slightly wavy, but the right eye is fine and helps that from being too big of a vision problem.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We received two stinky offers on the house which we rejected.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Late in October we received a good offer FINALLLLLLLLY on our house from a nice young couple and WE ACCEPTED!!!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483After an extensive property search and a couple of near misses we found our little slice of Heaven here on earth on Rohner Road in Amite, Louisiana abound 15 minutes up I-55 and another 15 minutes down Highway 16 !  Almost an acre, on a pond, cows as neighbors, rolling hills, babbling brook.  What else could we ask for!
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Decidevector-color-dot-background_134330483d upon a set of house plans for our new small house and decided to hire Ronnie Glover as our Construction Project Manager for the house we’ll build on the property we found in Amite.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483In November I started a third blog about “Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s”.  It started out on Dora’s site, like the Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays one, but moved to its own site at :   rosalynsalzheimersblog.wordpress.com .  I hope to share our experience caring for Mama with Alzheimer’s and other people’s information that was shared with me plus helpful info I find on the internet.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483We purchased a Onan Generator Auto Start control for when we are boon docking.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483At Thanksgiving I helped with Chip, Kim and Madisyn and their church Soul’s Harbor, serve over 2000 boxed lunches to people in the Hammond area at Thanksgiving Servolution.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483Attended several worship services with Chip and Kim at Soul’s Harbor.  Amazing church growing fast and moving into the building above this month!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy especially, and me a little, spent extensive time checking off the items on the home inspectors nit picky list.  These new buyers wanted and got a perfect house!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We enjoyed hosting our last family gathering at the house in Hammond.  My sister’s children and grandchildren joined our family at our very empty house.  Our large back patio was fine for all of us to fellowship and enjoy each others company which digging into banana splits!
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December, 2014  was indeed a busy month.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We said goodbye to our sticks and bricks house in Hammond, turning it over to the new owners in early December. A bitter sweet moment leaving behind good and not so good memories at this beautiful place we called home for several years. This is the best move Roy and I as a couple could make and we thank God for His constant presence with us through out this process.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483We parked at Berryland Campers in Hammond for a few days and enjoyed a wonderful visit from our RV friends Russ and Annie.  We showed them around our hometown and took them to church with us which we all enjoyed.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Russ and Annie went with us to see Trinity’s Children’s Choir Christmas music presentation.
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 vector-color-dot-background_134330483Russ and Annie at Chip’s house meeting his family.  The little boys just feel in love with them!20141207_145649
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We  signed the documents making us the legal owners of one beautiful piece of property in Amite, Louisiana where we will build a new house along with a pad with hookups for our RV.  With all our permits obtained, the slab form built and the well completed, we sat for a couple of weeks without any construction because of the hard rains and holidays when the workers wanted to be home with their families.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We spent our time wisely chopping, sawing, mowing and finally manicuring (not finished with that yet) the bushes, weeds, small trees to create a beautiful setting for our new home.  Roy spent almost every day for two weeks on this and I helped!  My main job was clearing out the massive amounts of heavily thorned bushes and vines around the pine trees.  The picture below is before I started!
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483View of the pond from under the pine trees after I cleaned out all the brush from that area. I’m about 2/3 way finished now!
pond from hill by trees
Our son Chip was in “One Night in Bethlehem” a scene by scene drama of the events surrounding the birth of Christ.
chip soldier and madisyn
We went with Chip’s family to see the “One Night in Bethlehem” presentation and recommend it highly for future years in Hammond.
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We received a blessing when hearing our church, Trinity’s Adult Choir Christmas music.  Such a glorious thing seeing these people I love so much lifting their hearts in praise of their Lord!  And they got new choir robes – whoot whoot!
tbc christmas choir
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Our Southeastern Lion’s didn’t make it to the playoffs, LSU’s Tigers played in only a very minor bowl game and unfortunately our New Orleans Saints will not play in a playoff game this year.  Very disappointing season for the Saints, but like we use to say for years, There’s always next year!
Madisyn was in her first parade in Ponchatoula, LA for Christmas with her dance class, so of course we went and enjoyed the time there with Chip’s family.
madisyn christmas parade
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We experienced three weeks of boon docking at our new property before we got utilities hooked up (weather, holidays) and learned a lot from it to prepare us for the future when we go out to the deserts!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Dirt was spread all around and the forms built for our house and for the patio next to our RV!!  Gravel for the RV pad and for the houses driveway was spread.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483My Facebook account was hacked (from my phone, left unattended!) for the first by these goofy people!
goofy chip kim madisyn
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Our well pump was completed giving us water, though only in theory, since we didn’t have electricity to get it to the RV for a while.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483Attended the Loranger Christmas Parade with Madisyn, her mom and family.  Enjoyed jambalaya and hot chocolate afterwards at their church River Rock. Madisyn sat on Santa’s lap afterwards and whispered into his ear her Christmas wish list!
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483Madisyn was in her first ever Christmas play at River Rock Church which we throughly enjoyed watching, then eating with their church family afterwards.  She’s the only one in green (with a white jacket) in the picture!
madisyn singing river rock
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Our Chauvin family Christmas gathering was at Chip’s house this year (way larger than our RV) with plenty of space for the kiddos to enjoy their new toys.
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vector-color-dot-background_134330483RVillage.com went from brand new to over 12,000 followers this year!  RVers are loving it! I’m thinking they will go  over 13,000 by early 2015. 12688
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We went through variations of digging out the ditch by the pond and putting a culvert in.  A sudden flood of water from nearby properties draining into our pond caused a emergency situation with Roy in the middle of it trying to save our culverts from floating into the pond.
imageClick on the picture below to see video of the water flowing into the pond right past the culvert!video-from-water-fall_fmt1
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy had to remove the culvert (after the storm passed) and hand dug (with a shovel of course) the ditch deeper, wider and more level, put the culvert (which is actually two culverts put together to get the length we needed) in and secured it in a way only his brillance could come up with!!!  This man’s abilities know no end!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We obtained a 911 address for Dora which is now 60124 Rohner Road, Amite, LA 70422.  Here’s our new mailbox!
mailbox
Ovector-color-dot-background_134330483ur year ended with us getting power and water to the RV and not soon enough end to our boon docking experience here.!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We ate dinner with our church family on New Year’s Eve – yum, yum!
That’s our year in review for 2014.  When I started this post I thought it would be short because we spent so much time parked in our sticks and bricks yard but I was wrong.  A lot has happened this year.
We’re moving in the right direction with our home and our lives.
I am most thankful for the addition of Kim, Braxton, and Bentley to our family (not they aren’t married yet but they will be).  They have returned a joy to our lives that’s been missing for a while.  We have a family again and it is a good one.  I know God will bless us all as the years continue.
I made a New Years Resolution, first in many years, to let go of trying to fix a situation that has caused great heartache and stress in recent years.  Not saying I love the people in the situation any less, just that trying to fix the situation is a thing of the past.
After spending three days working on this year in review blog, I’m making another one.  That is to work on the 2015 year end post a little each month, so it’s not overwhelming early next year!
Links to our Reflections on God’s blessings for 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012 are below.

2018

2017

2016

2015

2013

2012

The plans we’ve made so far for 2015 are only two – build the house and rent it out, then travel out west for many months!
Happy New Years everyone from Roy and Rosalyn Chauvin!  We are looking forward to all that God has in store for us in 2015!
2014 2015

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Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s published on Fridays

12.26.14 Christmas Day Campfire, trench digging and applying for electricity!!!!

1382905_10200781371392712_575524259_nOn Christmas day, for the first time in a while, we didn’t have to go anywhere. Roy got up early to set the post and put our new mailbox together for Dora.   I wanted a pretty mailbox and he wanted one big enough to hold packages he seems to always be receiving!  Roy found just the right one on the internet and we ordered two of them, one for Dora and one for the house.  We have 911 addresses for both.  Come to find out you can get a 911 street address for just about anything – barns, wells, culverts, radio and television transmitting towers and even billboards. Weird, right?  So Dora getting her own address was no big deal!

mailbox

The house address will be 60122 Rohner Road, Amite, LA 70422 and Dora’s address is 60124 Rohner Road.  If you have any left over picture Christmas cards we’d love to get one!  The only mail box that is up now is Dora’s at 60124 Rohner Road.

With a pot of homemade vegetable beef soup cooking, Roy and I set out to conquer more bushes, trees and burn them up!  Roy burned the current pile for at least 6 hours.  I cut down more bushes and weeds from around the pond and added them to the burn pile.

pond from hill by trees

Some of the small pines that I’ve been clearing out the brush between and around them. Hopefully all our pines along the pond will be cleared out before long.

Once it got dark we enjoyed an amazing evening sitting by the fire (more like a campfire by that time) watching the 1424399_10151966484838724_84949639_nstars we see so clearly out here, and best of all listening to the waterfall sounds of the water running through the ditch leading into the pond. We haven’t figured out where the water originates but it has been flowing steadily for three days since the heavy rains on Tuesday.

I don’t have adequate words to describe the calming influence the sound of water flowing, starry night sky and a campfire has on us.  We sat there for hours talking about how happy we are that God lead us to this beautiful land!  We are going to put in a campfire pit soon so if you ever get a yearning to enjoy all this with us give us a holler and we’ll light up the campfire!

Today, Friday, Mark Lee came out to dig trenches for the plumbing and electrical wires.  While they did that and helped Roy install our electrical pedestal (permanent power for the RV and temporary for building the house), I drove to Franklinton to set up an account with Washington St Tammany Electric Co-op.  A very nice lady, Sandra, helped me and didn’t kick me out of the office even though I’m sure I didn’t smell or look the best on day three without a shower.  This boon docking is not for the faint of heart.   An engineer has to come out to check the work so far and then they’ll do whatever is next so we can have power which in turn will give us water!  I asked Sandra to pass along to the engineer that we are in “dire need”!  Oh what a happy day that will be.  I hope I never take running water and electricity for granted.

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Mark is also going to dig the trench for where we will put the culvert out by the pond (where the water is flowing) which will reduce Roy’s physical work back there.  We’ll still hear the water flowing sound as it falls out of the culvert into the pond.  I’m going down there now to supervise and make sure they get it right!

Wow what a big thing that was getting the two culverts to go together and stay together!  I didn’t lift a finger except to click the pictures.  Roy, Mark and the backhoe driver worked and worked until it finally stayed together, went in the hole and was covered up as much as could be with the dirt available.

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My darling husband Roy is outside still trying to wire up the electrical panel before it gets dark and the rains start again.  I don’t think anyone else is coming out to work until next week so that’ll wrap up this week of construction documenting.

If ya’ll think I’m writing much more about this than you’d care to read, I probably am.  This detail documentation is mostly for our record keeping but if you want to see all the fun we’re having out here, keep following us!

I haven’t reported on RVillage lately, here’s their new member total, 12,688!

 

Ya’ll take care, and come back now ya’ hear!

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12.16.14 More to the Music: ‘Mary, Did You Know?’

mary did you knowI’m pretty certain everyone has heard of Billy Graham. I’ve enjoyed his crusade sermons throughout my life.   I still watch the reruns of really old ones, they are that special. Recently I’ve enjoyed reading devotionals and stories the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association publishes.  Being Christmas time and since the song Mary, Did You Know? is  one of my top favorite Christmas songs, I wanted to share today’s posting with you, my blogging friends and family!

The following is re-blogged from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s website http://billygraham.org

December 15, 2014   •   By Tiffany JothenMary

(Editor’s Note: This is the first of a five-part series, taking a look at the meaning behind some of the favorite Christmas songs we sing).A lot of Christmas songs you hear on the radio date back to the ’40s and ’50s. But there’s a more modern song—well, modern in terms of Christmas tunes—that considers the story of Jesus from the view of the very woman who brought Him into this world. Here’s some background on “Mary, Did You Know?”—and something to think about when you hear it.You might have heard the phrase “A mom knows.” Maybe from your own mom. But that night in Bethlehem, when the promised Messiah finally came in the form of a helpless baby, there was a lot His mom didn’t know.

Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Singer, songwriter and comedian Mark Lowry wrote that song back in 1984, inspired by a Christmas program he was working on for church. It wasn’t until seven years later that Buddy Greene wrote the music and sang it for Mark over the phone.

While Michael English and Kathy Mattea were the first to record it, it has since graced the lips of dozens of artists—people like Vickie Winans, Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd, Cee Lo Green and a cappella group Pentatonix.

Sometime after the song became a hit, Mark once said, Gloria Gaither pointed out that it should be “Mary, Do You Know?”—but he laughs about it today and says “did” sounds better anyway.

The best part about the song, though, might be the audience. Today’s audience knows all about Jesus—or can know about Him by reading the Bible. We know about Him walking on water. We know about Him giving sight to the blind and calming the storm. We know the man He became—the Savior.

But do we act like we know? Mary didn’t fully understand what the future held or how her innocent Son would die for sinful people, but we can look back and read about it. The trouble is … sometimes we forget.

We forget how He calmed a fierce storm with His words and, instead, think He can’t handle our problems. We forget He created the world—think about that—and, instead, try to drown Him out. We forget He delivered us by grace and, instead, let guilt and feelings of inadequacy overwhelm us.

We do know who Jesus is. But do our actions show it?

“Did you know that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb? The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.”

christmas divider 5I know this could never be so, but in the event you don’t follow my Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays blog, you may have missed this amazing version of Mary, Did You Know? sung by the a Capella group Pentatonix.  Here it is for you to enjoy now.  Click on the group’s photo below to hear this amazing song!

mary did you know image

christmas jesus

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12.16.14 Staking and digging and forming!

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Dora’s home Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – Jellystone Yogi Bear Campground

So much has happened that we’ve been too busy for me to write regularly.

Early last week we met Todd and Ronnie at our property where they staked out the location of the house and our RV pad. It was neat to see how everything will lay out on what is now just empty land.  We plan to park Dora about 20 feet off the fence line so we can create a pretty patio area there for our flowers and chairs. The side where our awning is will be facing away from the house and will give us privacy. It rained enough in Amite on Monday night that our dirt man Todd couldn’t get dirt from the pitt (wherever that is)!

Todd suggested that we not cut down the back part of our property until the spring time because the grass roots there now are holding the dirt in place.  Cutting off the grass will expose the dirt to the winter rains and would erode before spring.  We agreed,  though I am looking forward to when that can be done since it will take off some of the hill we need to climb from the pond to the house.  Aging folks don’t climb hills real well, as I’ve learned this past week from hauling limbs that Roy cut down, up the hill to the burn pile multiple times!

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Running the string from front to back of the property.
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Stakes showing where the RV pad will be located. Very uneven now but not when Todd’s finished with it!
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Staking out where the house will be located!

On Wednesday Roy went to Amite to meet Ronnie and Todd the dirt man. He wanted me involved in some of the decisions that needed to be made so he went back to Robert, picked me up and we headed back to Amite. We spent the whole afternoon and early evening there while the well man, Lloyd Stilley, installed the well pump and cover. We also met with three parish employees (health department for sewage, roads and bridges for a ditch) and the AT&T man.

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Because of the way the land is laid out it’s taking some figuring out how to run the line for the septic tank and whether or not we need ditches and if so where. Looks like we will have the added expense of purchasing a lift station to carry our precious cargo (poop) to the tank. The joys of country living! We had nowhere to stay inside, so we sat outside the whole time. Good thing the weather was great!

With the well successfully 99 percent completed, we left Amite and went to Chip’s house to pick up mail and eat dinner, as well as having fun time with all the children and Kim and Chip. We left having totally recharged our grandparent selves with lots of love and fun!  Can’t wait for our family Christmas get together Friday night at Chip’s house! After three more stops we were home with Yogi Bear at Jellystone Park.

Knowing that the parish folks (one department or the others) and the mechanical treatment company will be coming back Thursday or Friday and hopefully the forms will go down Saturday we decided to move back to Amite and tackle boon docking again. This time a little better prepared. I have lots of disposable things that don’t need to be washed: bottled water, aluminum trays for cooking, Styrofoam cups with lids for coffee, plastic forks, plastic cups and paper bowls and plates. I also put together three spray bottles of water for cleaning counters, and three jugs of water for making coffee and for back up if we run out. I am hopeful that doing these things will make more water available for bathing!

Roy placed the order for the Onan Generator Auto Start Control thingy.  It arrived yesterday and    I am hoping that he will write a blog post soon about that since I think it would help other RVers to know more about that.

We  moved back to Amite on Thursday and our RV, Dora, is now parked in what will be her home in Louisiana any time we come back to visit. It is suppose to rain this evening and all day tomorrow so we got here now to avoid driving in the rain. We’d also like to see how the land handles the rain before the final dirt grading is done.

One of the parish employees is a wonderful man by the name of George Peltier. He happens to be the brother of an attorney, Gary Peltier, we used in Hammond to do several pieces of legal work for us. George looks just like his brother Gary and is every bit as nice. I feel like he’s gone out of his way to help us. I hugged him today to let him know how much we appreciate this personal service he’s given us. He pulled up here right after we arrived at the property. John Pevey with ABC Well and Septic met him here. They met with Roy and I and decided the best location for the mechanical treatment tank to avoid a lot of problems that other locations would cause. Seems we have an unusually sloped lot in several ways but finally those great minds came up with the right place.   Never knew it could take so much and so many people to decided on something. If it all works correctly then we’ll be really glad they spent the time figuring it out.

Roy cut down more trees with the small chainsaw we bought at Lowe’s. Again something we had and sold all of them to go on the road. We may need to have a mini garage sale when we get ready to get back on the road to sell all the stuff we’re acquiring!

Saturday morning the slab forming guys came and built the forms for the house and for the patio outside our RV.

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Monday we went back to Hammond and picked out our light fixtures, bathroom things, kitchen faucet, appliances, vinyl siding, columns and railing for the front porch.  Nice to have that behind us.  Still have a few more things to pick out, doors, windows, roof shingles and some other minor things.

We ordered three culverts, one for the front and two for the rear  where the water drains into the pond. They were all delivered on Monday and sticker shock was definitely happening today when I found out how much those simple tubes cost.

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I’ll share our family Christmas, our visit to One Night in Bethlehem and Madisyn’s Christmas play at River Rock Church in Loranger in our next post.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear.

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12.15.14 Boondocking, TBC Christmas Cantata, Ponchatoula Christmas Parade and Soldier Chip!

We enjoyed our time on our new land but were real ready for the boondocking to be over with!  For you RV newbies, Boondocking is Dry Camping in the Boonies without Hookups. We’ve done it in Walmart parking lots for a day or so but never 5 days in a row.

Here’s one of the things you get to do if you’re willing to boondock.   If you know where this is please let us know because I want to sit in that very spot sometime this coming year!

boondocking by edge of canyon

There is no clothes washing, daily bathing and no dish washing because we had a limited amount of water.  Dora (our RV) can generate enough electricity for watching TV and all the lights.  We have to run the generator if I’m going to cook and when the electricity Dora’s creating isn’t enough. The air conditioning cannot be run without the generator but if the temperature is in the 60s you’re fine.  Above 65 and it’s hot inside the RV without air conditioning or fans.  We like the freedom that boondocking allows, but have learned we need to study this form of RVing more before doing it again. I was out of disposable cooking pans so the pots and pans piled up.  I’m not facing 6 loads of laundry which was greatly reduced from probably 10 loads by Chip helping us out and washing some clothes this weekend and us wearing clothes longer than we normally would have.

If any of ya’ll are experienced boondockers please share with us any tips you have on doing it right.  Roy’s looking at getting a generator auto start machine to better manage our generator use.  Even the simplest tip would be appreciated.  I know to be better prepared with lots of disposable things but beyond that not much! We want to boondock when we go out west and enjoy the solitude this type of RVing brings.

We’re at Jellystone Yogi Bear Park for up to a week so that we are out of the way while the dirt man moves our dirt around to level off our property.  Once that’s done, it’s scheduled for Tuesday which is tomorrow, and the septic system is installed we can then get the electricity turned on and move back since we’ll have full hookups.  I don’t think this is the general rule elsewhere but here the septic system being complete and inspected must happen before you can get your electricity turned on.  We’re going to drive back to Amite in Boots our truck tomorrow to watch them move the dirt!!!

Saturday, our granddaughter Madisyn was in the Ponchatoula Christmas Parade with her dancing school, Stepping Out.  Ponchatoula is a town next to Hammond where we lived.  We went with Kim, Chip, Braxton and Bentley.  They had big eyes watching all the colors, lights, people, horses and all marching by.

madisyn christmas parade

Sunday our home church, Trinity Baptist Church, presented it’s annual Adult Choir Christmas Cantata.  We thought that leaving Amite at 10 am would get us to church by 10:45 but we were 5 minutes late and thankfully didn’t miss any of the special music.

You’ve heard me talk about how much I love hearing this choir sing and this Sunday was no exception.  What an amazing thing to hear people who love the Lord sing praises to Him.  A couple of new soloists, Christie Williamson and Barry Sterken, joined Teddy Forest, Deanna Cummings, Derek and Koree Wall, and Barbara Davis singing solos and duets during the cantata.  The choir wore new choir robes which is a new thing for Trinity (at least in the almost 30 years we’ve been members) and they all looked fantastic.  Here’s a picture of all these special friends of ours.

tbc christmas choir

Sunday evening our son Chip was a soldier in a local church’s presentation of “One Night in Bethlehem”  a drive through showing scenes from the time surrounding the birth of Christ.  His daughter Madisyn went to see it and took a picture with her daddy.  Here it is.

chip soldier and madisyn

This got lots longer than I thought when I started!  I’ll end with a new video about our beloved Saints.  They haven’t done too well this season but they are Our Saints and we’ll hang in there no matter what.  This is a local parody of the song “All about the Bass”.  It’s called “All about the Saints”.  Hope you enjoy this little peek into our little Who Dat Nation!  The Saints are fixin (Southern talk for getting ready to) to play Da Bears right now so I’d better turn my attention to that!  Click on the photo to see the video.

its all about the saints

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12.12.14 We are moving right along!!

10325522_10152436276118903_1909418304734190750_n It has been non-stop for us since we left Hammond.  We moved to our new property on Wednesday.

On Thursday we went with our contractor Ronnie to the Roseland Health Services department to apply for our permit to install a mechanical treatment (sewage plant).

Ronnie, Roy and I met with the man who will dig trenches to bury the electrical service and water supplies to our RV, and 1620975_714387978591656_942445942_nwe met with the well man who are ready to come in as soon as we have our dirt leveled.   We also met the last of the house owners on our street.  All we’ve met seem to be nice folks.  We found out from him that the neighbor closest to us purchased the land we first wanted.  We like the land we did buy better and are happy he  purchased that just to park his boat and trailer on!  That creates a good bit of distance between the two houses.

God always makes things turn out how they should in his time.  His timing with this, as with all things, was perfect.

Later we drove around some to familiarize ourselves with the area and picked up rainer storage shedour lawnmower from Chip.  The health inspector called Thursday afternoon to say our paperwork was ready for us to pick up.  We went back to Lowes and purchased a new storage building, looks like a barn, fits in perfectly out here! It will be delivered in two weeks.  Then Roy gets the joy of putting it together!

Today, Roy got up early and  cut the tall brush on the left side of the property about 20 feet in width.  That gave me a much better idea how big that area is.  That is where we’ll create a pad for Dora and Boots to park while we’re building the house and when we come back in town to visit.   We plan to plant some azaleas and other flowers there to pretty up our little parking spot.

Roy then went back to Roseland and met our contractor.  They picked up our paperwork saying it’s okay for us to move forward with installing the sewage treatment plant. When we first moved to Hammond I thought having a sewage treatment plant in your yard was just awful.  Funny how that now seems so normal to me.  Guess I’ve become a country girl after all this time!  They also got our building permit and other permits we need to get started.

Roy wore our little lawnmower out cutting cut down all the bushes around the trees and used a small ax (real small) to cut back lots of small trees along the fence line.  I joined him for about 4 hours and cut back a lot of under brush and small trees, hauled all the trees he cut down to the burn pile and raked up a ton of pine needles.  It’s all burning outside right now.  We again wish we had the chain saw and other tools we sold !

We invested in a new heavy duty rake yesterday which was used constantly today!  We are planning to handle all the clean up during construction, so we felt it was something we can use then and today!

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This was a few weeks ago. The tall weeds and brush on the left side of the picture are now gone!
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This is the area where the tall weeds and brush were in the picture above. Roy took care of mowing them down this morning!
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A different view of what all he cut down.
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This was taken a while back. The brush growing this side of the little pine trees was very thick and most of it is gone now!
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Most of the brush is now gone. Just need to get in there and clean out the rest and it will be beautiful!
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My wonderful husband Roy chopping down small trees and bushes.
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Roy on the mower plowing down whatever he could. I prayed the whole time he was working.
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One area of tall weeds Roy burned yesterday.

Our property is pretty high and is higher than the other houses down the street.  We plan to cut down the dirt about a foot and use that elsewhere on the property to level things out.  Hopefully that will be done Tuesday.

We can’t boon dock too long since we don’t have unlimited water. Just an hour ago I took my first very quick shower in three days.  We will be moving to Yogi Bear Park in Robert on Monday where we can catch up on laundry, shower when needed and be out of the way of the dozer work.  I really will not like leaving here even for that short time.  We are truly country out here and even got to hear some cows moo this evening.

Here’s a picture, not really good because of distance, of some of them. That’s the pile of pine straw I raked up around the tree.

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I hope all our friends who have relatives in Amite will come see us when you are in the area.  We have several folding chairs and you can enjoy sitting outside with us, enjoying the surroundings.

Well, tomorrow Madisyn will be in the Ponchatoula Christmas parade with her dance class, Stepping Up.  1557628_10151809459720806_84195362_nWe’ll be there to cheer her on with Chip.  Sunday our church’s adult choir will be singing their Christmas Cantata which is always outstanding.  We hope to have our family Christmas with Chip’s family after church Sunday.

We are so happy to be moving forward with our lives instead of parked in one place.  God has been so good to us throughout all of this.  We believe we are in the place he wants us to be and are most thankful for that!

Here’s directions to where we now live in Amite:

Take I-55 north towards Jackson.  Get off at the Amite exit and turn right onto Highway 16.  Go through downtown and several miles down Highway 16 until you get to LA Highway 445 (Life Way Fellowship church on corner) which is approximately 9-10 miles down.  Turn right, go down 445 for about 1.5 miles until you get to E. Bell, turn left.  Go down E. Bell about .75 mile.  Right past Gambino’s Buzzard Bait (sign on road to the left) you’ll turn left onto Rohner Rd.  It’s a gravel road. You’ll pass a house, two lots, three more houses, an empty lot and then our lot. If Dora’s here you can’t miss us.  Our address here is 60122 Rohner Road.  We don’t have a mailbox yet but we will next week.   Here’s a portion of a map showing the route from Hwy 16 to Rohner Rd.

rohner map

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Time for us to crash for the night and start it all again tomorrow!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear.

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12.10.14 Good friends, little angels and precious grandchildren!

CHRISTMAS hark the heraldOur RVing friends Russ and Annie are headed west now to visit family and work a bit.  We loved having them visit us in our little free spots at Berryland Campers.  We left there this morning and they left yesterday morning.  If you’re from Hammond you know it’s not a big sightseeing town but we showed them everything we could.

We showed them our land we’re now parked on in Amite and everything of importance to us in Hammond.  Sunday they went to church with us at Chip’s church, then dinner at Chip’s with Kim and the boys after church.  The only picture we took while they were here was at Chip’s.  The boys took them them quickly.  Being retired Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers they could easily interact with our little men, Braxton (white shirt) and Bentley (burgundy shirt).  The boys loved their little dog Maddie and she returned the love!

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Russ and Annie went with us Sunday evening to Trinity Baptist Church’s Children’s Choir Christmas musical.  There weren’t as many children in this presentation as usual, but man did they sing out well!  Most of the children are sons and daughters of adults who grew up in our church.  The adults sang in the Children’s Choir when they were that age.  It is wonderful to see generations of families at the same church.  We were very thankful to get to bring our friends to worship with us both morning and evening.

Here’s some pictures of the choir from that night:

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After the children sang we enjoyed fellowship where homemade cakes baked by the men of our church were served and we got to introduce our RV friends to our church family.  When our tummy’s were full of sweets we went back to Chip’s because Madisyn was there.    They all got to meet each other and Madisyn enjoyed playing with them a little before we left.

It’s wonderful to have RV friends like them.  We all understand each other and enjoy being together.  We went Christmas listthrough a lot together when we first met them in Minnesota.  They welcomed us into their world in St. Augustine earlier this year and were so kind to show us all around even though Annie was still having her cancer treatments.  We’ve learned so much from them about the RV lifestyle from their 30 years camping experiences and Roy’s been able to help them a little with technology.  We will see them again when we head out west and Roy and I are really looking forward to it!

Diesel prices have been much higher than gasoline for a long time.  It’s still that way but we found Diesel for only $2.99 at the Shell off the Airport 12 Exit in Hammond.  We were so shocked to see this, that we went there as soon as we left Berryland today.  The second picture shows $2.96 because we have a card that gives us a 3 cent discount per gallon.

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Our lives for the next 2-3 months will be mostly centered around house building.  We’re meeting our contractor in the morning to sign our contract with him, apply for permits and hopefully the dozer work will begin shortly.   We’re going to be clearing out the underbrush tomorrow from around the small pines by the pond.  We’ve been itching to start on this and finally we are here!

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christmas what christmas is all about

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