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Now that we are in a sticks and bricks, I have been missing having a printer, something that wasn’t missed very often while we were traveling full time. I was able to pick one up yesterday at the electronics place up the street. When I carried it into the house, the girls asked if it was a 3-D printer. Uh, yeah, we might want one of those too. We’re pacing ourselves.

Middlest must not have remembered our old printer. She begged me all afternoon to set it up. When I finally found the time to figure that out, I asked her what she would like me to print out. A minute later she lifted the unicorn coloring page off the top of the printer and her eyes were huge. She ran around the house showing everyone, laughing, hyperventilating over the possibilities. We’re going to need more paper.

Oldest took some photos with my phone of some LPS “setups” and we converted them to coloring pages with a bit of editing. Now she is using her light box to trace and piece together some of her own images.

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In other news, a new book came in the mail today. We spent some time coloring and tracing letters and making playdough letters while we read about the history of our alphabet.

Ox, House, Stick Letters Playdough Letters Valentines Letter Hearts

This afternoon, Middlest and I went to get a chain for her compass. She wants to be able to wear it around her neck. Later, we watched some YouTube videos on magnets, magnetism, and compasses. And then we made our own compass. photo 5 photo 4

This evening we are going to enjoy some Jake and the Neverland Pirates and I am going to finish knitting a small blanket I started last night. Maybe we’ll get a bit of Big History in before bed. Life in our new house is moving along. Our days and evenings are full and fulfilling. That said, I do miss the road quite a bit. I am looking forward to our two week trip coming up in March. But, more on that later.

Oldest has been asking to take a yoga class for a while now. Since we will be in Austin for at least a few months, we decided to look for a place here in town for her to pursue this interest.

We think we’ve found a perfect place at The Little Yoga House. She has now been to three classes and she has enjoyed it so much that her joy rubbed off on her sisters who are now signed up and taking their own class at a different time.

Their initial interest in yoga was sparked by a kids yoga app that I remember them first using a lot while we were in Costa Rica earlier this year. They would do it by themselves and then grab me or one of their sisters to join them and then occasionally they would lead their own mini yoga sessions for us.

Their classes at The Little Yoga House are low key and fun and geared towards their specific age groups. At the end of each session they do a short meditation and get a scented lotion rubbed on their feet. I’ve been coerced into smelling feet after every class. One week it was strawberry and the next chocolate.

After Oldest’s first official yoga class last week, she began asking to listen to a guided sleep meditation at bedtime. It was something we had done occasionally in the past, but this time there seemed to be an increased interest and focus and my hunch is that this is related to the end of class meditation.

The first couple times we turned on the guided sleep meditation, it annoyed Middlest who declared that it did not help her get to sleep (never mind that she has almost always been asleep within the first ten minutes of the meditation). Her solution, a couple nights ago, was to do her own guided meditation for us. It started out very relaxing.

“Put all your attention on your right foot. Your right foot is warm and heavy.”

The second time she repeated a prompt, she sounded more forceful, “YOUR RIGHT FOOT IS WARM AND HEAVY.”

She did several limb sections (feet, ankles, knees, thighs, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders) before moving on to her next phase…

“Now, think about tomorrow morning.” (I don’t think she’s noticed yet that our guided meditations usually focus on the present moment.)
“Tomorrow morning, you could have a BURGER STAND, or fireworks, or EVEN…” (dramatic pause) “A MALL.”

She then invited her younger sister to stand up with her for the, um, “finale” of her guided meditation which included a choreographed song and dance which repeated the refrain “freedom and helping others out when they fall down.”

We were certainly not sleeping by the end of the meditation, but we were giggling and prepared for sweet dreams of freedom, helpfulness, burger stands, fireworks, and trips to the mall.

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After a few hours on the road yesterday, we made it to New Jersey from Philadelphia. We can see the city from our campground. And, we can see the Statue of Liberty from our RV which is super exciting for Middlest who is itching to get closer to the statue and also to actually make it over to the city. New York will be her 29th state and will help her (and Youngest) catch up with Oldest who travelled with us to Hawaii and New York as a baby and has thus, has been to two more states than her younger sisters up until now.

When we pulled into our campground, we met a family who we had seen at the last two places we stayed (DC and Philadelphia). They are from California and are doing a perimeter tour of the U.S. this summer in their Class C (makes me miss Classy!) with their three kids.

This morning, Youngest, Middlest and I walked to a little market about a mile away and picked up a few groceries. We enjoyed noticing all the details on the buildings and watching the light rail trains go by. Middlest was very helpful in the grocery store pulling and pushing the basket-cart on wheels while I pushed the stroller. She was very careful not to bump into anyone else in the store (except one lady who was very kind about the very light bump). Middlest took everything out and put it on the counter when we checked out and then took it back to the front door herself while I paid. She has offered “to do all that again” in the future, an offer I will most likely be taking her up on.

Middlest

Sculpture

There were several sculpty, painty projects happening today with friends.

“Do you want to build a sandman? It doesn’t have to be a sandman.”

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A Day at the Lake

Oldest brought the yarn and kid scissors, the kids collected the sticks, and I brought the hot dogs. We didn’t catch any fish, but their bait kept getting “eaten away.”

The moms and girls and baby boy spent the earlier part of the afternoon today at Clarks Hill Lake. The lake is north of Augusta and we were on the Georgia side.

The afternoon thunderstorm eventually caught up with us, so we headed back to our friends’ place for more adventure.

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Augusta in May

We are in Augusta, Georgia this week enjoying the company of two families we know through Husband’s work. One of the families travels full-time and the other lives here in Augusta.

We’ve visited our friends here in Augusta before and on that last visit, two and a half years ago, their three girls introduced our three girls to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. So, yeah, GOOD friends.

The dads have spent many hours co-working and the moms have tried to keep up with eight kids. On Tuesday it was a nature hike through the pond on a raised boardwalk at Reed Creek Park where we held baby turtles and where the girls found a snake and caught the teeny-tiniest little toads we’d ever seen. We then explored a nature center where the kind ranger bandaged up Middlest’s toe and then we all headed to another park near the library with a fun playground and splash pad.

This afternoon we went down to the Savannah River on the South Carolina side across from the Hammond’s Ferry neighborhood where the girls played “in olden times,” fished with sticks and chunks of watermelon from their “boat” (a rocky dock), made mud soufflés, and waded into the river in their clothes.

On Tuesday night, the mamas got to go out for a night of bookstore hopping and southern-style Tapas in downtown Augusta. We found and flipped through (with great care) an obstetrics book from 1834 and a book on midwifery from 1844. Very entertaining, especially in the presence of an apprentice midwife. I found a large stack of paperback (important for us as RVers because they take up less space and weigh less) American history related books for us to read through as we explore Williamsburg, Washington DC, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and the rest of the east coast this summer.

On out first night in Augusta, when the evening storm hit, Husband went out with the umbrella to ferry all six girls inside. When he got to the tent that they had set up in the backyard, one of our friends’ daughters was very upset so he scooped her up first and as he ran back to the house she cried from under his arm, “I don’t want to go camping anymore!” After the third or fourth trip he finally got to the older two girls. Middlest, who had been brought in on an earlier trip, looked over and shouted, “Sister! I thought you were toast!” Then Husband had to run out again to save everyone’s precious stuffed animals, of course.

Meanwhile our other friends were trying to put their 1yo to bed and came out to ask if we could keep the noise down for just a few minutes until the little guy was asleep. The girls were very busy and distracted discussing how they would need to check the weather report before they tried to go camping next time and everyone was still wringing out clothes. All this, interspersed with screams and squeals at every thunder clap. We said we’d try and we did manage to keep the decibels a lower until the baby fell asleep.

After several days of socializing and outdoor adventures, we were exhausted today, but after our trip to the river, all three of our families managed to have a wonderful time relaxing and hanging out at (and fitting inside) our RV this afternoon and evening with lots of warm food while we watched this evening’s thunderstorm storm through the windshield and listened to the rain drumming on the roof.

A few more days of this crazy awesomeness before we move on. I’m sure we will be hearing a whole lot of requests to come back to Augusta over the next few months. We’ll probably need to plan our route back south with this in mind.

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Yesterday, Husband took the day off so we could explore Hilton Head Island before the holiday weekend crowd crept in. We started by heading out to the beach at the end of Folly Field Road. We saw several dead jelly fish, a large-shelled snail, and a few dolphins even came close to shore to play. We caught some sand crabs and built sand castles in the shapes of police cars.

Youngest persuaded me to swim out in the water for a while until my fear of jelly fish stings overwhelmed me. The tide was coming in and after we moved our setup up to higher ground for the twelfth time, we were all ready to move on to another adventure.

We thought a round of golf would be appropriate on this golf Mecca of an island. Pirate Miniature Golf it was.

An early dinner and then several hours in the pool later we were pooped and ready for bed and a day I rest from adventuring. But everyone needed a shower and I couldn’t resist some tasty Fresh Market blackberries. Before bed we watched a little Batman and Middlest requested that I help her write out all of “Tyger Tyger Burning Bright.”

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