First, I must apologize for the lack of pictures. Jacin is our photographer, and now that he is working 11-hour days, I don’t have a lot to show for our adventures. I will do my best about getting better at this, but unfortunately this post is pretty naked.
Day 111 – Tues, Aug 13 – We drove all day to Dallas, arriving at Sandy Lake RV Park late in the afternoon. It is a bit cramped, but it seems like a good place. We made a quick run to NAPA for some hardware to fix the generator, then to Goodwill in search of some good used books. We attempted to hit the pool, but it was closed due to heavy rains earlier. So, we had a dinner of meat that needed to be used up (not quite to the green stage yet), and watched some Chuck.
Day 112 – We had a quiet start. Jacin secured the generator (the one that had attempted to escape a few days earlier) and then took Nation to the pool. I worked for a few hours, and then we met our first neighbor, Caroline, who is also a full-timer with her teenage son and husband. We had a nice visit discussing the many blogs her family heads up. We then headed to Grapvine Mills Mall, grabbed a bite to eat, and window shopped a bit. Nation drooled over the Lego Discovery center. Perhaps after a while we will feel the ability to splurge on a trip there. We tried to find an RV store , and ended up at a very high end RV lot. They directed us to a different store (because as it turns out, Winnebago is not THAT high end 🙂 ), but we failed to actually find it. So, we headed back to enjoy the pool. We were surprised later to have UPS deliver a part for our water heater straight to our door! It will take some getting used to, being in one spot for a while! Jacin worked on a few license applications after dinner, then we called it a night.
Day 113, Thurs, Aug 15 – Jacin’s first day of work! It was a long day – 11 hours of orientation – but he had a great day, met a lot of people, enjoyed the professional atmosphere, and is excited to get through the training and get started. The kids and I were without wheels, so ventured around the RV park a bit, and somehow blew 11 hours without much to show for it. But honestly, we didn’t mind that at all. 🙂
Day 114 – Day two of training for Jacin. Another good day with more excitement for what is to come. I took Jacin to work so we could have wheels, and I stopped by a fitness center on the way home to check out the facilities. (It is my intention to fully enjoy being in one location for a while and get plugged into as much as possible.) I had a short meeting with the manager, and once he found out I was a personal trainer, he tried to talk me into a job. Maybe later, as for now I have plenty to keep me busy with work and upcoming homeschooling. I was told they were running a crazy cheap special deal starting tomorrow, so I will check it out sometime this weekend. Just looking for a few classes and access to free weights. After I got back to the RV, I took Nation over to the office for free coffee and donuts (boy does that kid love his coffee). We later headed back to Goodwill for another perusal through the book section, and also checked out the local neighborhood. After picking Jacin up from work, we had a quiet evening in.
Day 115 – Jacin got to work when he was told to, but found it mostly barren. He finally rounded someone up to help him locate his workstation, which had yet to be assigned. He ended up with a corner cubicle next to windows – BONUS! He had no supervisor all day, so he was just self-directed all day, but did fairly well with that. Since we will be here for a while, I began checking into all of the various fitness programs and finding the best deals, and taking advantage of having someone kick my butt for a while. Working out on the road has been difficult – lack of motivation and a schedule has made me fluffy, and I am DONE with that!! There is truly any and every form of exercise here. I attended a free CrossFit class, and while they scaled it down a bit for the newbies, it was not as hard as I expected, but it was a good workout. The program is pretty pricey, though, and the drive was a bit too far, so I’ll, be trying to find something a bit closer and see if other locations have better prices. On the way home, I stopped by a garage sale which lit a deal-finding fire under my butt. So, after getting cleaned up, the kids and I attempted to hit a few more. We don’t really need much, aside from clothes for the ever-growing kids, but it is still fun to shop. While driving around, we started following signs for a Fellowship Church. When we found it, we were amazed at the enormous size of the parking lot, not to mention the many buildings. I googled it on my phone and found that there was an evening class within the hour. So, we headed back to the RV to dress for church, then back to the mega-church. It was 20,000 attendees and the Pastor is Ed Young, who is a Christian author. Everything was well organized and people were friendly, but it was so big! Justice made the comment that it felt like we were walking through an airport while going from the kids area to the worship center, and the closer we got, the louder the crowd was. The worship itself was great, but crazy – it felt more like being at a Jeremy Camp concert than worshiping God, but the team was certainly talented. They played a short video with Pastor Young interviewing the devil. The crowd (I mean congregation) was truly enjoying themselves, but we felt a bit out-of-place. The sermon was good, but by the end of the experience, we decided it was just too big for us. We do not need to have church “sold” to us, and are looking for something a bit more intimate. We’ll try another church tomorrow, one that has a few homeschool families. After church, we picked Jacin up and ate out – Indian food (yum). Then home to watch a movie and hit the hay.
Day 116 – We dropped Jacin off to another day of the same thing, being self-directed and trying to find his way around everything, and headed to North Church. We arrived at roughly 9:45 for the 10:00 service, and there was literally no more than 4 people there. But, we were there, so thought we’d give it a go. The worship was great, and the people were friendly, but there only ended up being maybe 100 people in a building that was meant to house at least 600. It just didn’t feel like the right fit either, which was actually quite discouraging. I was hoping to get plugged into a good church as soon as possible, and didn’t want to “waste” several weeks trying to do so. So, when we got home, I checked out a church Jacin had driven past on his way to lunch one day, and I found that they had an evening service. So, after researching it a bit more, then working for a few hours, I packed the kids up and headed to yet another church. The worship was genuine, and the message was good. It truly felt like home, even to the kids. They served a dinner meal after the service, so we enjoyed a nice, cheap meal then checked out all the different programs they have available. We are excited to check out their youth and adult programs, and we signed up for a “newcomers” meeting to learn more about the church. After we picked Jacin up, we headed home for a quiet evening.
Day 117 – Monday, Aug 19 – Took Jacin to work at 8:00, and arranged to take yet another CrossFit class at 9:00, at a closer location. It was smaller, but more intimate, and it truly kicked my butt. I was sore directly afterward (and for DAYS following). The owner also offers a kids program, so I will have the kids give it a try this week. We started school, taking it slow and trying to wrap our heads around a new school year. Jacin worked phones all day, and found out his schedule will be 9-8 every day, which isn’t the best schedule for a morning person, but we will not complain! I took the kids swimming before picking Jacin up, and we had yet another quiet night in.
Day 118 – Took Jacin to work again. Even though he is learning something new each day and has roughly 9 software programs to figure out and weed through, his days get easier and easier. The kids and I went through another day of school, and while I worked for several hours, Justice read a book (for a very long time, which makes her momma happy), and Nation worked on creating an App for his iPod. I quickly hit a yoga class right before picking Jacin up, wanting to TRY to work out some of the soreness from the CrossFit class. When Jacin and I got home, Justice had dinner prepared – pasta alfredo with “cute” peppers. It was a good day.
Day 119 – Jacin had yet another “better” day. We had the regular school day with another few hours of work, and then I took the kids to CrossFit. After the warmup, they both looked at me with the “are you trying to kill us” eyes, but they pushed through it and ended up having a good time. And I was blessed to be able to work out while they were busy. Right afterwards, we headed to an oil change, which took 1.5 hours. Then we rushed over grab groceries before picking Jacin up. We had a quick dinner of roasted chicken and potato salad (thank you Walmart), then started watching the Cape. The off to bed to prepare for another day.
Day 120 – Thurs, Aug 22 – Jacin had another great day, working a lot of claims and feeling like he was truly getting the hang of everything. The kids and I had school, and I worked while they read and worked on the computer. The kids and I headed to Irving Bible Church to attend a newcomers meeting, and left feeling even more at home. It is great to have found such a wonderful, welcoming church so quickly. We picked up Jacin and headed home. His schedule makes it difficult to plan dinners. We are not big fans of eating late, but perhaps we will figure out a workable solution. Jacin mentioned that his supervisor told him how impressed she was with his performance, since we was so new to this. Go Jacin!
Day 121 – Jacin’s praise yesterday ended up tripping him up, and he got knocked down a bit by having to fix a mistake. Thankfully his supervisor was great about it. The kids had a small school load due to it being Friday, and we hit a Nature Preserve for a hike. It is still unnerving to be hiking, then hear a very quick scramble right at your feet, only to find a lizard shooting out of the way. They are everywhere! After the hike, we hit the animal shelter to enjoy the animals for a bit, then headed to the library to get a temporary card. The kids have found a few series they are enjoying, and I am going to take advantage of that! We headed back home to get out of the heat, and spent the afternoon reading, working, and app-ing. I headed off in the afternoon to try out a free TRX (suspension training) class, which I want to experience so I can incorporate more of it in my boot camps back home. It was more than the suspension training – it was a full-fledged boot camp that incorporated weighted ropes, medicine balls, and the TRX rip stick. It absolutely kicked my butt! I felt great afterwards, though, and the trainer encouraged me to come back in the morning and try it again. I will have to see if I can fit it into my schedule. I picked up Jacin from work, and when we got home, we found Justice wide-eyed, and she said, “You will never guess what I just caught!” She had spotted a VERY large toad and coaxed him into a bowl to share with the rest of us. Jacin took him out of the bowl so we could get a picture, and the poor toad “let a lot of water loose” all over the place. We snapped a few pics and let the timid guy go, then watched yet another episode of Cape with the kids.
Day 122 – Jacin headed out early to check out a topper for sale that would fit his truck. He’s been tossing around the idea of replacing his current TracRac with a topper so that our belongings will be more secure. It was a good fit, but he is still toying around with the idea. After I dropped him off at work, I headed back to the TRX class for round 2. It was another great workout! I headed home to clean up, then the kids and I headed to a farmer’s market. We got there too late to buy anything, but we will definitely make a point to go back next week and get some fresh food! We walked through a fancy house next door that was having an open house. It was beautiful, but after making due with such small space, it just seemed wasteful. This entire area, actually, is filled with very expensive homes, and it is truly strange to drive through it all everyday. We definitely don’t fit into the affluent community. 🙂 The kids and I had ice cream for lunch (yeah, I know), then realized it was Jacin’s lunch break, so took him to Chick-Fil-A. Then the kids and I did some quick shopping and headed back to the RV to get out of the heat. It’s over 100 degrees today, which makes it pretty easy to just hide out indoors. We are now headed out to the pool before we need to pick up Jacin. The kids and I are looking forward to church tomorrow!