Sometimes I wonder if we are doing the right thing. I don’t know if it is fear of the unknown or anxiety. The closer we get to actually heading out on this great adventure the more I find myself wrestling with the same questions I did a year ago. Should we be doing this? Will this really help our family? Can I really handle all of the change, movement and uncertainty?
Yes, yes and yes! I have grown so much in the past 12 months. I have grown in my faith and truly learning to trust God. I never thought that I would be okay in such a small space, taking apart our washing machine, or emptying black tanks. I have been working on my mindset, focusing on the positives in most situations. I can see growth in my children, slowly becoming more independent...well some of them. Emotions are spilling out all over the place as we are all being stretched as we learn to communicate better. It’s been good, but man, it’s also been hard.
With all of the recent events in the schools, I find myself thinking I never want my kids to return to public schools. I want to protect my babies forever, but I know that is not possible. While they are with me, I will love them, I will teach them about Jesus and His great love for them and hopefully I can teach them to love others too. I feel this journey will make me a more intentional mom; one that teaches my kids to be considerate, and helps my kids see and appreciate the differences in people, be responsible and most importantly be a friend, a good friend.
I have no idea where this path will take us. I don’t know how we are going to change as a result of living such a radically different life. But, I do hope our family grows closer together, I hope that we enjoy God’s wonderful creation, I hope that we create memories that are talked about for years to come, and that we learn to see the silver lining when the sky is full of clouds.
UPDATE: We haven't heard anymore scratching in the walls, so If we had a visitor, it is no longer with us. Praise the Lord!
It’s been a great week! Last week I officially launched the blog, had a great evening out with Eric and discovered we may have an unwelcome visitor in the RV.
First to those who showed your support, thank you! It so nice to know that as we travel we will covered in prayer. And that many of you are interested in following our travels. One question many asked is, “where are we”? Currently, we are still living in the Austin area. Eric has one project that needs to finalize before we can start our adventure. So, we are still waiting for the details; hopefully soon. We are in a nice RV park that feels like being in the country, but still close to all the amenities, including my favorite craft stores. We were hoping to set out in March for Arizona, but we will keep you posted. If things are not all squared away with Eric’s project at work, we will probably go back to South Padre Island, since it is where the crazy idea began in the first place, and all of us enjoy going there.
Eric is so thoughtful! For Valentine’s Day, he bought me a lovely dress, shawl, and tickets to the Austin Ballet. About once per quarter our church offers “date night”, where the youth can earn money for summer camp and parents can enjoy an evening child free, with relatively inexpensive child care. We enjoyed a quiet evening that started with dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant with really tasty humus, then went to the ballet and ended with strawberry limeades from Sonic. I wish we would have taken pictures, but we were too busy enjoying each others company.
Unfortunately, around 4 o’clock in the morning, we were awakened to tapping and scratching sounds in the wall near our heads. It was very unsettling. We haven’t been able to identify for sure what was there; Eric has set 16 traps and nothing. I think we’ll be calling an exterminator. From what we have heard, this is not abnormal in RVs, but it is one of the more unpleasant of our RV experiences so far. We’ll keep you updated.
Despite being very exhausted due to the unidentified noise, I can still say it has been a good week.
I am finally launching the blog. I know there is not much to it now, but hopefully over the next months it will become a wonderful space of memories, encouragement and inspiration as we start traveling.
I have been putting this off for months. I gave myself deadline after deadline, but I just decided now or never.
So welcome to Rainbows and Rain Boots. I’m so glad you’re here. To find out our story read our about page, and to find out who we are read Meet the Crew. Please sign up for updates and come back periodically to see what’s new.
Last night I was going through and organizing work books and making sure I had some sort of game plan, but recognizing the need for a go with the flow attitude. I was anxious and excited about this next step toward full-time living. We opted not to go with a specific curriculum because we want our travel to dictate more of what we learn so the experience helps to solidify the knowledge. We found a few workbooks at our local teacher supply store and will use those to gain a better understanding of where each child is academically.
Throughout my time as mother I have home-schooled one or two children, but never all five of them at once. I was definitely nervous, why I have no idea. I have been to school and to university and graduated. I have learned a lot of things, but realize there is still much I do not know.
I set my alarm for 7:00 am, read my Bible, perused Facebook, got up, washed my face, got dressed and made my bed, all without being interrupted by my 5 beautiful children. I knew if I wanted the chance of a good day, I needed to have myself together first. The children were waking up as my hopefully new routine was ending and then noise began. Anticipation filled the RV as we finished up breakfast.
As I passed out the workbooks, the children were apprehensive, yet eager to see what this unfamiliar home-school had in store for them. Most with bright eyes and smiles worked through the earmarked pages; with fist bumps, high fives and hugs we celebrated each completed page. Two were so not so enthusiastic as they struggled through their assignments. They saw the joy others had, and longed for the same feeling of accomplishment. The exasperated sighs let me know that some adjustments will need to be made. But we worked through the difficulties and made it to the end.
Today cemented in my mind that all children learn differently and there is not a one size fits all solution. My children’s abilities range from special needs to gifted and talented and each child requires something different. I feel so blessed to have to opportunity to give them what they need. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
So today, was a successful day.
Living in an RV is hard. When you cram 7 people with 7 different personalities in a tiny space, conflict is inevitable. Today was one of those days. Sunday afternoons are usually for resting, but today, the 3 year old didn’t want to eat her lunch and was hangry all afternoon; the 10 year old was upset about working on her science fair project. None of the children actually rested, and every 12 ½ seconds, someone needed something. Spending the afternoon debating, negotiating, settling disagreements, and arguing is the opposite of resting. I just want to put up my feet for 5 minutes. You would think that in an RV that is less than 400 square feet, it would be impossible not to hear me when I am calling my children, but apparently it is, since none of them responded with less than 3 times calling them. Our patience is tried and we are exhausted. It is amazing how those little attitudes throughout the day can affect the entire household. Thankfully tomorrow is a new day; a new chance to show patience and give grace, and another opportunity for us to be a family and figure out how to live a big life in a small space.
ERIC AND CANDACE
Waltz for Jennifer
Traveling and Watching Movies
12 years old
Pizza, Lasagna, Baked Potatoes
Play with Trucks
11 years old
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Moana Theme Song
Gymnastics, Drawing and Writing
8 years old
Pancakes and Hawaiian Pizza
Singing, Dancing, and Designing
8th Grade and Everything's Okay
7 years old
Joy-an original song by Uncle Alex
Coloring, Dancing, and Drawing
4 years old
Waffles, Ham, and Lays Potato Chips
Good Good Father
Playing with Siblings and Drawing
We just accepted an offer on the house today.
Even though this is what we were wanting. Emotionally, we are definitely unprepared.
We have so many emotions right now: relieved, excited, terrified and overwhelmed.
My thoughts are just as random.
I can’t believe this is finally happening.
On my gosh, this is finally happening.
Great we close at the end of the 30, oh wait, we close in 19 days.
Oh what fun, Eric will be out of town on closing day.
I am in my busiest season of the year in my shop.
There is still so much to pack and sell and do.
But it's alright, we've got this.
We are ready to start our adventure!
We ventured back to the place where it all began, South Padre Island. It's hard to believe that only six months ago we made the radical decision to sell our house and most of our belongings to move into an RV. What started as simple questions asking how we can we simplify our live the life we wanted and invest in our family, has lead us to this moment right here. We are standing on faith at the moment; our house has been on the market now for about 2 months now. Waiting is so hard. We feel like this is the path we are supposed on, but trusting God gets harder the longer we wait for the offer.
I wish I could say that journey to South Padre was without incident, but it wasn't. We went to check in and missed the office to check in to the RV park. We drove to the gate and the sign said 13'9" and we thought we were 12'9". (Note to self make sure we measure the RV) Our air conditioners were going to hit the sign, so Eric started backing up. In the stress of it all, neither of us remembered or realized that we needed to engage the slide hitch. Buck, is unique (I'll do a post on him at a later time), and because of this we backed in to Wanda, our RV (I'll introduce her later too). I was out directing traffic and CRACK. Eric realized what it was soon has he got out. I looked at Wanda and saw her beautiful fiberglass skin cracked in multiple places. Well, gorilla tape to the rescue. Eric engaged the slide hitch we cleared traffic and checked into the office. Had we gone to the office first, we would have known that there was a side entrance we could have used. Definitely not how we wanted to start our week long vacation at the beach.
Our family LOVES the beach! If you ask Elyssa where she wants to go, she will almost always say, "the island". So it was no surprise that the family opted to go to the beach instead of Great Wolf Lodge this year. We had a blast. We made a volcano, taught the kids to play 4 square (well sort of), went on a scavenger hunt, and witnessed a shark attack. Yes! We are pretty sure there was a shark. 3 guys walked up to us and were obviously shaken and said they were tossing the football around and there was thrashing, then a "huge cloud of blood". Then they showed us the football; it looked like something had bitten into it. We looked out over the gulf and saw a flock of seagulls hovering over the water with something floating on the water. There was half a dozen or so people wading out in the water trying to see what is going on. Suddenly, more thrashing, and screaming and yelling as everyone was running out of the water. There was something big out there. From the shore we watched the seagulls pick at the remains for awhile before we ventured back into the (shallow) water and things got back to normal. One of the guys with the football never did return to the water.
This time, instead of staying in condo, we stayed in our future house, our house on wheels. We sat by the ocean, breathed in the salty air, felt the cool ocean breeze and it filled us with anticipation. The anticipation of traveling, seeing the United States, saying yes to adventure, and living life without fear. I can't believe this about to be my life.
"Are we really doing this"?
"I think we are".
"I think so".
"Okay, I really hate it when we make decisions like this".
And just like that we made a decision that will change our life. The decision is actually pretty amazing, but how we came to the conclusion is what I don't like.
We've been married for almost 12 years and we have learned a lot about each other during this time. Sometimes we look at each other and know what the other is thinking. And this was one of those times. We never explicitly stated the end goal, just knew what it is should be.
I can't believe I am even typing this. We are going to sell our house, buy and RV and travel the country. Wait, what? Yes, stay tuned.