Monday, April 23, 2007

Trip to Canada

The trip to Canada over the weekend was a lot of fun. Even though we aren't all that far from the border, we don't go up there very often, so we feel like quite the "international travelers" when we do! My husband and I have been across the border into Mexico once, and to Canada no more than a half dozen times. We've been in 35 states, but never off the North American continent, so we don't have passports. I understand that passports are now a requirement to fly into Canada, but we have another year or so before they are required for land or water crossings. The cost of acquiring a passport is close to $100 a person, so we chose not to apply for them for this trip. Sounds like we should figure it into the budget before too long, though.

It seems the Canadians are happy to have us visit. The Canadian border guard wasn't exactly friendly, but he only asked where we were going, and why, and for how long. Took about 2 minutes!

Coming back, the American border guard was friendly enough, but much more suspicious. He needed to see our picture IDs plus birth certificates. He asked the kids how old they were and what grade they were in. (They didn't know! We homeschool!) Where was our citizenship? What did we do for a living? Where had we been? How long had we been there? What did we buy while we were there? Did we have any weapons, alcohol, or tobacco? What about citrus fruit? Beef? Cuban cigars? He seemed satisfied with our answers but still had to search the RV and the truck... looking, no doubt, for the elusive Cuban cigars! Eventually we managed to convince him that we were not terrorists, nor yet cigar smugglers, so he let us go. All told, that crossing took about 20 minutes. Coulda been worse! He could have discovered the 4 frozen hamburger patties lurking in the trailer freezer after I told him, no, we didn't have any beef... and we could have been locked up for smuggling beef! *sigh* I really didn't mean to lie!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

RVin'

We bought a travel trailer last year, and we are enjoying it so much as we travel on weekends to homeschool conventions. My husband and I think we would love to live on the road, at least for awhile. But that doesn't seem to be a practical scenario with my husband's job, so we are glad to have the opportunity to travel on weekends for my work.

Traveling with a trailer is a new experience for me. My husband's family did it quite a bit when he was growing up, so he knows all the ins-and-outs of it. That's a big advantage, as far as I'm concerned. I'm afraid it would be a somewhat disasterous experience if we were both as green as I am! I find it so handy to just load up the groceries before we leave home, and then we can eat whenever we stop along the way. We can also actually stretch out on the bed if we need to stop for a nap! (That only happens if we try to drive through the night... which hasn't happened since we've had the trailer... but I'm just sayin'...)

Staying at RV parks or campgrounds is whole 'nother new experience. We have gone camping quite a bit over the years, but I'm used to tent-camping where you have to "hike" to the bathroom, heat your water in a kettle for washing dishes, and huddle around the fire when you get cold. Nothing wrong with that, when you're camping... but for traveling that's not so practical. RV parks usually offer a good bit more in the way of amenities, but the trade-off is in how crowded they feel... rather like a parking lot with shrubs between each rig!

This weekend we're headed for Kelowna, British Columbia to the Christian Home Educator's Convention.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Christian Heritage conference

I will be at the Christian Heritage Home Educators of Washington Conference in Redmond, Washington this weekend. If you attend be sure to come by the Sonlight Curriculum booth to say hello!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Camping

We took our travel-trailer out to the closest state park Friday afternoon. We will be on the road with it the next 3 weekends, so wanted to take it out for one night locally first to make sure everything was ready for the season. We didn't expect very many people to be out camping so early in the season, and particularly on Easter weekend, but the campground was pretty full.
Friday was absolutely gorgeous. It had actually been snowing here earlier in the week, so I guess lots of people wanted to take advantage of the nice weather while they could. It would have been pretty "brisk" for tent camping, but with a heated trailer, it was lovely. And perfect weather to enjoy the campfire!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Booking Through Thursday Question of the Week

Just out of curiosity, as we enter into Passover and Easter season... have you ever read the Bible? Just the odd chapter or Psalm? The whole thing? (Or, almost the whole thing? It's some heavy reading, of course, and those "begats" get kind of tedious.)

I have read the whole Bible. Portions of it many, many times... but I did read all of it in one year once, in 2004. I kinda skipped around that year, but kept track of where I had read so I would know when I finished the whole thing. This year I decided to try to read straight through, so I started with Genesis on New Year's Day. I'm just now in the middle of Exodus, so I have the feeling I won't be finishing the whole thing in 2007. That's okay. I still want to read straight through regardless of how long it takes this time.

If so, was it from religious motivation or from a literary perspective? Stuck with nothing else to read in a hotel room the Gideon's have visited? Any combination?

My motivation for reading the Bible is to know God better, to draw ever closer to Him.

If not, why not? Against your religious principles? Too boring? Just not interested? Something you're planning on taking care of when you get marooned on a desert island?

I have a tendency to speed-read just about everything, but that's not something I can do with the Bible, so reading the Bible is "harder work". It's easy to just put it off because many other things draw my attention and focus as I go throughout my days. It is very important to me, so I try to make myself take the time to read at least a few verses every day.

And while we're on the subject . . . what about the other great religious works out there? Are they more to your liking?

"Great religious works" as in the Book of Mormon or the Koran? No. I haven't read them. Don't really desire to. I did read a couple of chapters in the Book of Mormon once just to see what it was about. I didn't understand much of it. I have read Christian classics such as Pilgrim's Progress. Oh! And I have a copy of Josephus (Jewish history), if that counts as a religious work. I have started it. I would like to finish it sometime. Are any of these more to my liking than the Holy Bible? Not at all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Skin pampering

I just love bar soaps. I don't know why but I prefer them to liquid soaps, especially for the bath.
One hotel we stayed in last year had bar soaps from Bath & Body Works that were very nice.
After I used up the little sample size from the hotel I was planning to buy full-size bars at the local Bath & Body Works store... but I couldn't find a single bar of soap in the whole place! Everything was liquid in those little pump bottles. I thought that was weird... and disappointing.

Several months later I heard a friend telling how she makes soap... from scratch! I was so impressed. That's something that I think would be very interesting to learn. Later I bartered with her for 4 bars of different scents... and they are absolutely wonderful! Better than the Bath & Body Works soap I had. She has a website at www.prairiekari.com, and her prices are very reasonable, especially for the quality of the product! Nice big bars, all natural ingredients, and
lovely scent combinations. It will take me awhile to use up the 4 bars I got, but I'll definitely be getting more from her.

Speaking of skin care products, I'm a Bzz Agent and the latest product I have to "bzz" about is Aveeno Positively Ageless Daily Moisturizer. I am trying it now, and I have been pleased with how soft it feels. Not sure that it makes me look any younger, but one can always hope! It's supposed to "self-adjust to your skin to reveal healthy, younger-looking skin". We'll see. Visit their website at www.aveeno.com/ageless to sign up for a coupon and free sample.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Just Ramblin'...

How can it possibly be April already? And Easter next week? Goodness! This month is going to go by in a blur for me, too, I'm afraid. I have 3 homeschool conventions back-to-back weekends, starting the week after Easter, where I will be representing Sonlight Curriculum. I still have quite a bit to do to get ready for convention season, so I'm anticipating full days ahead!

I have been out of the habit of drinking water. It occurred to me recently that whole days might go by where I didn't drink anything but coffee or Coke, and occasionally orange juice. Now... I also know I should change some of my eating habits and get more exercise, but I decided that drinking more water was a good place to start. I've set a goal of drinking at least 2 quarts of water a day. Once I get there, I hope to up that to 3 quarts, but this is a good place to start.
This week I have been keeping a 32 ounce water bottle on my desk, and it's working out pretty well. I averaged 1.3 quarts a day this week. Hopefully that number will go up next week!