I’ll admit that life can get a little rough sometimes around here. Most days between road school, cooking, laundry, exploring, cleaning up, and managing daily life I rarely get any “me” time. I viciously guard my 30-40 minutes of exercise everyday since that is my one time I get to plug my earphones in and […]

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  • Jessie - As far as educational shows on Netflix, there’s the classic Magic School Bus that my kids love. For non-TV baby sitters my kids love love love Sands Alive and Legos. Sands Alive doesn’t have to take up much storage room and my kids can sit and play with it for hours.ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Thanks!! I’ll have to look up Sands Alive. I’ve never heard of it! We do have Lego’s and my kids play a lot. We’ve just discovered that if I’m on my computer AT ALL during the day, I end up grumpy and yelling at everyone since they keep interrupting. :) Sam will take the kids out for a couple of hours just to give me some space and that’s great too!ReplyCancel

  • Spencer Burnside - Do the kids have audio books they can listen to? My older kids will listen for hours to a good story. It sounds like you’re looking for productive things for them to do so you can be more productive?

    The more uninterrupted work time you get, the better. Every time you have to switch or multitask that will cut down your effectiveness. It’s not easy with kids. I sometimes have to celebrate 30 mins, without an interruption.

    It’s also helpful to find ways to quickly pick up where you left off. On my most productive days, I have a short, reasonable list of the things I want to get done that day. This is outside of the daily life list that will happen, like food, dishes, etc. I only write down the priorities that will not happen without some effort on my part.

    I hope that helps.ReplyCancel

  • Betsy Groh Ptak - How would your mother or her mother answer this? They never entertained us, we were left to our own devices (but there were no devices – ha – I’m so funny). There are a few places where you guys park where this isn’t possible due to the crowd that is there, but most places they can wander a bit. Being bored is a good thing. It brings our their creativity.

    Just like you guys have trained them up to HUGE hikes, you have to train them to spend time alone entertaining themselves. It will take training though. Baby steps, rewards for not bothering you, etc. Good luck. In a month you will be writing a “how to” guide.

    Saying all that though – 4 years old is still a hard one. One of the rules will have to be that they must stick together.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - I knew I would homeschool before I even had kids so when naps started to go I knew I needed some time for myself to recharge. We have 1hr quiet time every school day and some weekends. Usually right after lunch. My boys have to read for one hour, without coming and asking me anything. They get ten mins extra for each time they break quiet time. It was hard at first but now it is just a normal part of our day! I like wild kratts on Netflix and the magic school bus. Lots of good documentaries also like “raccoon nation”ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Awesome! We used to swear by quiet time and then somehow we when started traveling it go dropped. I’m still trying to figure that out! I think that’s the big thing we want to go back to.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle Huddleston - I should add to my previous comment that the boys have their own timer that they set so they know how much time is left.ReplyCancel

No trip through south eastern Arizona would be complete without visiting Tombstone. The town is the location of a famous gunfight, some mining, and plenty of ‘trades’ practiced in the old west. We were staying a few miles south of town on public land, and ventured in for the experience. When We Visited: February 25, 2015 Ages of Kids: 9. 7. […]

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Last year when we came through Phoenix, we only spent 3 days at Usery Regional Park. We knew there were a few other parks in the area that other traveling friends loved, but we couldn’t get in as they were ALL full! Every day. Ridiculous. Since we were on a mission to get to Disneyland, it […]

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  • The Scenic Route - We definitely understand your feelings about the Phoenix area parks. Through a combination of spending time camping with friends and having to be close to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport for a business trip we will have spent 6 of the last 8 weeks in the Phoenix area. Each park is beautiful in its own way but they are so far away from other stuff. Running errands or visiting attractions outside of each park is such a trek. Every GPS direction seems to be “make a turn and stay on this road for 8 miles”. This place is so spread out!

    We have been in Lost Dutchman, McDowell Mountain, detoured to Catalina State Park near Tucson and finally White Tank back in Phoenix. Lost Dutchman is definitely our favorite of the four. We will be back but for a shorter visit the next time. Almost two weeks in each park was way too long.

    We’re heading early next week to Prescott and Cottonwood for a change of scenery. See you down the road.ReplyCancel

  • Ingrid - Lost Dutchman State Park is one of my favorites and I love the hiking trails. Although it is getting pretty warm, the desert blooms have me sticking around…. Well, my son lives here also, so another good reason to hang just a little longer ;-)ReplyCancel

    • Jess - The desert in bloom is absolutely AMAZING! Good reason to stick around. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - This was such a timely piece for me! We had been struggling with the idea to head back South to warm up or stay in the beautiful scenery outside Cottonwood. You definitely spoke to some of the same things I felt while in the Phoenix area. I think we will stay up around here. So much to see and do!ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Awesome! Glad it was helpful. We are headed to the Cottonwood area this week – hopefully we can run into you!ReplyCancel

  • Rich Charpentier - I forgot to mention in my comment to you guys on your contact form. We’ve got amazing rock climbing, mountain biking, and paddling here. So make sure to get in touch and we’ll do the tour. :) Livingintin / Rich CharpentierReplyCancel

We’ve had quite the week so far at Lost Dutchman State Park near Phoenix, AZ. Along with a new environment came new challenges, personal discoveries, and some growing pains. Through our conversations, Sam and I kept returning to our deliberate decision to live the way we are because of the mental shift it created in […]

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Full-time travel is not a vacation. Vacation allows us to put off important issues for that short time to focus on the time we have, the people we have, and the experience we have. Full-time travel requires that we deal with life’s issues as we travel, having no near future to defer to. Issues of house […]

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  • Shelley Radmall - That’s a quote from one of President Hinckley’s addresses that really rings true, right? I love it’s buck up and do it spirit!ReplyCancel

Some people are surprised to find that we have a smaller “point and shoot” type camera in addition to our 5D Mark II. We have this camera for multiple reasons, the first one being that it is hardly a typical “point & shoot”. The Samsung NX300 is a 20.3 MP camera with smart features, interchangeable […]

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  • Lauri - I just bought a ‘point and shoot’ camera this week as well. I found myself taking fewer and fewer photos with my Nikon dSLR and most with my iPhone which I wasn’t happy enough for blog photos (when I get around to posting!) We went with the Sony RX100M3 and love it so far!ReplyCancel

    • Jess - yah! It’s definitely nice to still have the big dSLR, but “light” can be so liberating!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie Young Sharpe - I was happy to see this review! I got the NX3000 for Christmas with a 16-50mm lens. Since this is our only camera (apart from our smartphones), I was thinking of adding a more powerful zoom. Do you have any recommendations?ReplyCancel

  • Stacie - Is this the strap/connector you had when you were here that connected to your backpack?? I need that one!ReplyCancel

We went to Mexico! Okay, it wasn’t anything glamorous, but since we were down in Organ Pipe National Monument under an hour from the border, we thought, “why not?” And since we were crossing the border, why not go all the way to beach? When We Visited: February 18, 2015 Ages of Kids: 9, 7, 4 […]

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  • Holly - My husband and I have really been wanting to go to Rocky Point. I have been a little hesitant to make the first trip alone (Just the two of us) beccause I am somewhat concerned about safety. From your post, you seem to have had a rather uneventful trip without anything of concern happening. Thanks for sharing. If you do have any more info to share, I’d love to hear!ReplyCancel

  • Lissa Menge Cook - You time traveled as well? March 18 is still 5 days away in California ;-)ReplyCancel

    • Jess - We are so amazing! lol!! I’ll go fix the date. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kyle - Looks like another place our family needs to check out! I’m shocked no one checked your passport! I can’t forget to get passports when we start as to not miss out on fun things like this! Thanks!ReplyCancel

I’ve put off this post for months. I think every time I post a “How Much Does It Cost to Live in an Airstream” I mention that the numbers don’t include EVERYTHING, just what is unique to our particular lifestyle. There really is another side to that coin, however, that includes long term planning like […]

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  • Mike Key - Very interesting stuff. I treat mine in a similar way. We have a fixed and flexible. But we always pay ourselves first and save a portion of our income. I treat our savings as a fixed monthly cost.

    We’ve used a 40/35/25 formula I came up with. We save 40% of our income. 35% is fixed costs and 25% is flexible spending from month to month. We roll over our flexible if we don’t spend it all. And adhere to a strict policy of don’t spend more than we earn.

    We’re excited to see how this will adjust when we are on the road as our fixed costs should reduce greatly.ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Thanks Mike!! We too have a portion of our fixed monthly cost that goes to savings (I guess I didn’t spell that out) but most of it goes to A) the car fund B) our Whole Life Insurance Plan or C) the HSA account. Now I’m curious what % it actually is as I like those numbers!ReplyCancel

  • Kyle - Makes sense to me! Thanks for this! helps me plan a bit better!ReplyCancel

I seriously love pumpkin. Pumpkin in the form of a muffin with chocolate chips is pure bliss. My kids seriously gobbled these up. With wheat flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, canola oil, and pumpkin I’ve designated these as a vegetable and deemed them appropriate for any time of the day! Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins Yields about […]

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I began to wonder today how long we had been traveling. Our ‘getting started’ date is a little fuzzy due to starting with a house-swap before Airstream travel and a short break selling the house. I decided to fix our ‘start’ on November 13th, 2013 when we drove south from Virginia, but not count the […]

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  • Megan Marlene Peter - Comes visit Alaska one summer! You’ll have friends to hang out with, kids to play with, and some pretty awesome tour guides. :DReplyCancel

  • Roger Alan Smith - I also have a counter on my blog but it goes a bit of a different direction. It is a countDOWN luckily. It is the time until retirement and, hence, the amount of time until WE can use an on the road counter of our own! http://www.casarodante.orgReplyCancel

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has been on my “must-see” list since we visited Arizona last year and I developed a slight obsession with all sorts of prickly plants. We didn’t have the time to venture south of Tucson, but we’ve more than made up for it this time around! When We Visited: February 16-18, 2015 […]

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  A few months ago, we found out that a college acquaintance of ours had written book. Excited for him, I dug in to find out what it was about and was pleasantly surprised to find out his book is a memoir about teaching his two year old to read. Intrigued, I requested a copy […]

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It’s time. I’ve been back and forth on this for months,  and we’ve finally come to a decision. I’m going to start booking Lifestyle Family Portrait Sessions again. I’m so excited! I really have missed meeting with clients and creating amazing photos for them and can’t wait to get back into it. Since our travel […]

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When I think of a nomad, wandering existence it can appear to be pretty lonely. Constantly in new places, no neighborhood friends to see everyday, and a new church congregation every week. We’ve found, however, that sometimes just the opposite is true. Life can get a little TOO social sometimes. With many full-time families and […]

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After evaluating our needs, and figuring out what I don’t know about installing solar, we sought for recommendations for a professional installer. We began conversations that started good, and gradually got worse and worse. This happened while I was camping just next door to Dave Zimmerman in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Dave happens […]

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