Monday, March 30, 2009

I know...

Okay, so there is a bit of me (those who know me know it is a small bit) that is a perfectionist, so I'd rather not post at all if I don't have the time to put something good up. But I've come to realize, there is momentum in just doing it! So here I am just getting some momentum by getting thoughts on paper.

I got the book I mentioned before, and it is pretty good. It has a state map and all the state facts with some great pictures and then some key points about the state industry or history. But, no surprise here, the folks at National Geographic have quite the liberal agenda (the forward by Jimmy Carter is the dead give away!). Anyways, the book will be a good "kick off" to each state we visit as just a foundation of history and facts.

Oh, and the picture has nothing to do with the post, I just think pictureless posts are dull.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I know, I know, I'm a slacker... It's spring break and I am working mornings and playing hard in the afternoons with my kids and NOW it's MARCH MADNESS! I have all TV's in the house playing and I download NCAA live on my computer... I know it's an illness!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Quote of the Day

"In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking."

Sir John Lubbock

What have you chosen to do? We have chosen to accomplish this task set before us--to do so with all determinism and persistence, and we ask you to join us by sharing what you have chosen to do in your family's life.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Totally off Topic

There are 2 major grocery stores here. Now, I am a frugal woman so, I frequent Wally World and Aldi, but I also love to cook, so sometimes you have to go to the mainline stores to get your gourmet cheeses or special cuts of meat. Now, I have been LOYAL to one store in particular for YEARS, but this week I discovered the new Dillons! After dropping my kids off at school, I went by myself to the store and just cruised the aisles. But, I had this lingering sense of guilt. I felt like I was having a grocery store affair, I was cheating on my regular store. But you should see this store! They had a fresh sushi section, an olive and hummus bar with easily 15 different types of olives!!!! There was an entire section of gourmet cheeses with more stinky cheese than I could possibly eat! A bakery section with bread after bread to just die for! A bulk foods area with flax seed and dried figs and dried papayas and chocolate covered almonds! I was trembling with desire, weak in the knees and panting to catch my breath! I walked through the store in a daze. It was foodie heaven. In the midst of it all my phone rang, it was Larry, I was caught in the midst of my tryst! So of course I came back down to reality and bought the basic grocery's I came for and paid for them out of my Dave Ramsey envelope without going over budget.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quote Of The Day

Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer.
Marcia Wieder

This quote truly resonates with me. As we talk and dream and brainstorm and discuss, and especially as we tell others about this, we are feeling like we have committed to this and it WILL happen!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

They're out There

As we have been dreaming (and even scheming) about how to do more than wish for accomplishing our goal, we realize there are all kinds of people out there with "crazy" dreams, and a crazy determination to make their dreams come true.

Here is one guy who seems to get at the heart of what we are talking about: "No Credit Needed". He has clearly drunk the Dave Ramsey Kool-Aid, as we have, in his search for financial freedom!

The more we read through his posts about dreaming BIG, and then developing a "roadmap" to get there, we couldn't help but see the parallels between his figurative comments about finances and making dreams happen, and our literal plan to hit the road and live our dreams.

It is amazing how one person's focus and intensity to achieve a goal can inspire another person working to fulfill her own goal. Hopefully, we can be an inspiration to each other.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I have been trying to figure out how to research each state that we want to visit. At first I thought I might go geographically, but I decided that doing that was a separate task in and of itself. So, I'm going back to school! I am going to research each state individually, alphabetically. I had to go get our road atlas to double check that Alabama was indeed the first "A" state! Given that, this research project will need A LOT of help! I would love input from my readers as to what to visit or a "must see" in each destination. Thanks in advance!

Alabama was the 22nd state in the USA; it became a state on December 14, 1819.
State Capital - Montgomery
Largest City - Birmingham
Area - 52,423 square miles [Alabama is the 30th biggest state in the USA]
Population - 4,447,100 (as of 2000) [Alabama is the 23rd most populous state in the USA]
Name for Residents - Alabamans
Major Industries - agriculture (cotton, corn, peanuts, soybeans, poultry, and livestock), hydroelectric power, mining (coal, limestone, iron ore), steel-making

This looks like a cool site to do a basic "State Study" with your kids.

Clearly we are the Burmingham's so we HAVE to go to Burmingham. So my next task is to figure out what to do there!

Here are my initial finds:
Thinktank is....

Everything you thought you knew about the world - but didn't! Find out about your world and yourself in our ten themed, hands-on galleries. Surprising! Hard to believe! And sometimes downright disgusting!! The perfect family day out. This looks cool!

And Rebecca is already drooling over Cadbury World- Where Chocolate comes to life!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I've got another one...

This morning we were getting ready for church. We had the "pleasure" of teaching kindergarden children's church. LB was preparing the lesson and Rebecca asked, "What are you going to be teaching about, Daddy?" He answered that he was teaching about the time that Jesus went up to the mountains with Peter, John, and James and then He appeared with Moses and Elijah and His face shown like the sun. He told Rebecca that this was called the "transfiguration". Her response was "Huh!?" LB turned to Spencer and asked "Spencer, have you heard of the transfiguration?" Spencer said,"Nope, but I heard YOU were gonna get me some oatmeal!"

From the mouths of babes (or is it smart alecks)!

Making Plans

I'm starting to swirl ideas around in my head. I want to make state-by-state plans of where to go and what to do. From where to visit, unique places to eat, checking out that huge ball of string in Western Kansas that we've never gone to etc. Does anyone have thoughts on the "off book" places to go. Somewhere you might never know about, unless you had stumbled upon it. Post it and let me know

Saturday, March 7, 2009

(from the worldwide gourmet)

We really have some fantastic friends! I hadn't really given it too much thought, but there are certainly people we are going to miss when we are gone for a year. Tonight it was fondue and great conversation... Can you do that over a campfire?

Friday, March 6, 2009


"I don't wanna get big, then people won't say I'm cute anymore!"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Quote Of The Day

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Oh yeah, one more Gazelle

Quote Of The Day

There are no secrets to success. It is a result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. - Colin Powell

Bustin' it!!!

I have so many crazy thoughts in my head about this trip, that some times it overwhelms me. I had a serious "a-ha" moment this week. We are in our third round of teaching Financial Peace University at our Church. This last week (week 4) is all about Dumping Debt. It is a fantastic lesson where Dave Ramsey gets all fired up with intense "Gazelle" energy about getting out of debt. It is so motivating and inspiring and you want to go out and conquer the world after that. My problem is that we came into the whole Total Money Makeover thing with very little debt. In our last class, we focused our energy and excitement on building our 3 to 6 months of expenses emergency fund (baby step 3). After watching the video again this week, I had a sense of "What do I do with this excitement?" Well, duh! We go after this DREAM (more than a wish!!!) with serious gazelle like intensity! We bust it! We go crazy! We do what it takes!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


My mom found this book for me today. It is a 300 page book with a map and information on each state. It looks fantastic! I think I'll order it as soon as I have enough money in my miscellaneous category in my envelopes.

Quote Of The Day

"Dreams don't work... unless you do."
Samuel Johnson

Monday, March 2, 2009

I stole it and made it my own!

I love to cook! (If you know me and have seen my rather large backside, you know the reality is I LOVE to EAT!!!).

I love to have people over and cook a large elaborate dinner and match wine to the food and then spend the rest of the night at the dinner table eating and drinking. I think (and my husband agrees) I am actually pretty good at it! I can substitute ingredients, change up the spices etc. and it will turn out fabulous. But, my baking skills aren't necessarily all that. I usually stick like glue to the recipes, for fear they will turn out icky (and half the time, even with my diligence, they still do.) I decided to be bold this week and try something new... I stole a yummy looking recipe from the Noble Pig who stole it from the Hungry Housewife. It called for coconut (which I cannot stand) and I was trying to make it a tad more healthy, so I used carrots and whole wheat flour, also I only had pecans, not walnuts, and I REFUSE to leave the house and go to the store for 1 ingredient!!! Check it out:

You will need: Bananas, buttermilk, granulated sugar, butter, whole wheat flour, carrots, eggs, blueberries, pecans, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda and table salt.

At some point you will want to chop up 1 cup of walnuts or pecans. Spread them on a baking sheet (I used parchment paper) then spray generously with cooking spray ( few calories than butter, right!!??) and cook at 350 degrees, for around 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon table salt.

Cream together 1/2 cup butter (mmmm butter!) and 1 cup sugar.

Add 2 eggs.

Mix in your dry ingredients and 1/3 cup buttermilk alternating wet and dry, starting and finishing with dry.

Now add 4 over-ripe bananas (I don't think mine were nasty enough, I think the browner the better), 1 cup shredded carrot (I only had bagged baby carrots, and may have cut the snot out of my fingers trying to shred them),1 cup blueberries, your toasted nuts, and 1T vanilla.

Mix it all together, put into 2 loaf pans and cook for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Add a heaping load of butter (remember, we're trying to keep it healthy!), and eat one whole loaf pan and tell your family the recipe only made one loaf! Remember to wash the second loaf pan!

Now you may wonder what all this has to do with our one-year road trip plan. (Yes I actually had a point to this whole thing!!!). We are planning to live in a place that has a kitchen about the size of my current kitchen sink. Do you think I could actually loose that 15 pounds of "baby fat" (yes, I know Spencer is 6 1/2 years old, let me live in my fantasy world!) trying to cook and eat in that kitchen? Let me know what you think!

The Hungry Housewife's Banana Bread Stolen by the Noble Pig, Stolen and Modified by ME
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe nasty bananas
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped and toasted
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed), plus a handful for sprinkling on top
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and table salt. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until white and fluffy; about three minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixture alternating with buttermilk. Start and end with dry ingredients.

Stir in mashed bananas, carrot, vanilla, 1 cup blueberries and pecans. Lightly grease two 8 x 4 loaf pans. Fill both pans with batter and throw a handful of blueberries on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes clean.