Monday, November 29, 2010

Jack Rabbit Bed Cover

This is one of those post where I share one of the things that make life on the road so much easier, not to mention puts our mind at ease.

Meet the Jack Rabbit.

During our move down to the states I drove our loaded Suburban from Alaska to Idaho to pick up our new dually and trade in the burb. It was exciting and sad all at once, we loved that Suburban. The problem was we still had to drive from Idaho to Indiana to get our 5th wheel. All the stuff I had loaded in the burb had to switch to the back of the truck, which is a lot of miles for my valuables and personals to be unsecured and unprotected - from both the elements and anyone with a hankering for other peoples stuff.

We looked into toneau covers but just didn't like them, they were either bulky and awkward or flimsy and not much better than a tarp - and what would we do with it when we hooked up the 5th wheel?

Marty finally found an awesome solution, neither of us had ever heard of before. A roll-top bedcover! How perfect is that?

  • It rolls open and close like a roll-top desk, only it's made out of metal and has some type of rubber/plastic/rhino coating and matches the truck perfect.
  • It comes with a lock to keep it secure as does our tailgate. I don't have to worry about anyone or anything getting into my stuff.
  • It's waterproof and keeps water completely out of the bed.
  • It has 5 locking positions, so if we're hauling our 5th wheel we can cover the front of the bed and leave the back half open
  • It's amazing.

This is all of the stuff I hauled from Alaska.

What a mess huh?

We also had somethings shipped, but this is all of the stuff I needed for the 2 months we were on the road without our 5th wheel. Packing it all in was a tricky, tricky process, lol.

And by the way, I am NOT this messy in real life, lol.

The pictures below shows each of the stopping/locking positions along the tracks...

Position 1.

Position 2. This is the nylon strap used to close it, it slides really easy and doesn't take any effort at all.

Position 3.

Position 4.

Position 5.

Now looky there, doesn't that look all neat and tidy? If I hadn't shown you, you'd never know what a mess we have hidden under there would you??

Again, we don't have that mess back there any longer, but with storage being a hot commodity around these parts we do keep the stroller and a few other things back there. It's also great for when we're out shopping with a full cab.

If we weren't a family on the road we probably would have skipped it, but this is one of those things that makes life less complicated and more worry free.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dutch Babies!

Dutch Baby
This morning I made a big Dutch Baby for breakfast. One of my brothers first shared this recipe with the rest of the family and we all FELL in LOVE. It's so easy, fast, and wowing I wanted to share with the rest of you.

It tastes like a crepe or a Swedish pancake but is much better and easier to make.

2/3 Stick of Butter
4-6 Eggs
¾ Cup Flour
¾ Cup Milk
3 Tbsp Sugar
Dash of Salt
Tsp Vanilla

9x9 pan or even better a big cast iron pan like mine.

Dutch Baby Mix
Turn your oven to 400°. Put 2/3 stick of butter in the pan and heat up in the oven; keep an eye on it so the butter doesn’t burn. Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make a smooth batter while you’re butter is heating up. Be sure there are no lumps in the mix. After butter is melted pour mix into the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Do not blend butter into the mix.

Over the course of baking it will slowly begin to rise...
Dutch Baby Rising

After it’s baked you can eat it plain or with berries, powdered sugar, syrup or whatever else you think might be tasty.


Dutch Babies
ETA 2-20-11: This morning I threw the batter into a muffin pan instead of my castiron and it turned out great! Love the mini look so much I may have to make this a regular practice.

If you try this recipe in the muffin pan, just remember to put a little slice of butter in each cup and melt before adding the batter. Cooking time was only slightly less.

Dutch Babies

This is one of my favorite recipes, hope you enjoy it as much as our family does.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gods gift for me today.

Tonight LJ was playing with the light up turtle grandma got him and gave it a big genuine hug. with the turtle awkwardly hanging sideways, lol. So I tell him to bring his turtle over so mommy can see it. I hug it and show him the turtles eyes and mouth, and cheeks. I gave turtle a kiss on the cheek and gave the turtle back to LJ. Then of course he had to have a turn and hug and kiss the turtle. I said "Awww, you love your turtle don't you?" to which he said, "Noooooo, I wuv ewe!" as he pointed to me with his cute little finger.

Earlier today he came running up to me yelling "MAMA!!!!", and I say an amused "What is it LJ?" He replies "I Skeered!" Apparently he heard a scary noise, lol.

Hearing little toddler words melt my heart.

Life just doesn't get any better than this.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I finally got pictures of the RV after we got it back from the Gulfstream factory. If any of you are curious as to what our RV looks like (before we moved in), here's photos of the RV.

Nappanee, Indiana

I put this post off hoping to get a few more pictures on the way out of town, but the navigator took us a different way than we came - so I can't show you some of the old amazing houses we saw on the way into town.


I can show you some pictures I got of all the Amish buggies running around town.

Nappanee must have a very large Amish community because we saw a buggy at all hours a day at least every 5 to 10 minutes, which was so weird because I have never seen them in person.

It's funny because when you go to the local grocery store there is a huge lane for all the horse and buggies to pull up and park.

And the horses seem very inquisitive and smart - they all were very aware of their surroundings. They picked up on me taking their picture from a long distance away (using zoom) with ears perked. They don't flinch when a big truck goes by and just seem generally happy. Having spent a lot of time around horses there always seems to be one or two in the herd that have their ears back and are annoyed with life, but not these horses. Everyone we saw had their ears perked and seemed to be happily taking in their surroundings as they hauled their buggies all over town.

And now I have this crazy thought. Don't you think it would be fun to spend a week with an Amish family? I would love to spend some time learning about their faith, how they live, how they do things in the kitchen, with a sewing machine, and even spending time with horses would be a blast in itself. Driving a buggy sounds super fun too, don't you think??

Mesker Park Zoo

We're currently on the road, so I have a lot of time to catch up on all the blogging I've been meaning to do. And as I was finished typing that last sentence we had someone flag us over to let us know we had our first flat tire. Lol. Poor Marty, that husband I love so very much is currently working at changing the tire over to our spare on the side of I-75.

Good times.

Anyway while we were in Indiana we went to "Mesker Park Zoo" twice. The first time my cousin and his little boy Jackson took us, the second time we went to Jackson's birthday party which was held at the zoo.

We had a great time, and I guess when you have your birthday party there the zoo staff allows the kids to feed the giraffes. It was amazing getting to fee them!

Their tongues are super, super long and very rough - worse than a cats tongue. And even funnier, we discovered when you have a carrot for them, they get a little drooly, lol. I never pictured a giraffe drooly. Other than that they are huge enormous and very graceful animals. They didn't mind the kids loud excited laughs and screams one bit and were very gentle with everyone.

They were just happy to eat.

This is "Carl" an Abyssinian Ground Hornbill. The first time my cousin took us to the zoo he kept telling us about this bird that was so neat. This is another one of these animals we've met along our journey that has so much character we were ready to take this one home too. Carl has several toys in his cage, which is unlike the other birds in the zoo. My cousin discovered long before we ever got into Indiana that the bird likes company and if you take a seed, or a nut and throw it straight up in the air, he likes to catch it. And he likes that game so much he will catch one, after another, after another - like a little puppy! Carl also loves it when you give him a little stick so he can twiddle it in his beak and show off. He has turned out to be the favorite animal at the zoo for both my family and my cousins. Which is strange when you see what he looks like, lol.

This is the zoo's little excerpt about him, which when you read, makes sense on why he's so social...

The Abyssinian Ground Hornbill is a bird that feeds on other small animals. They travel in family groups, trailing behind fires that sweep across the savanna of Africa that the hornbills call home. Interesting Fact: Hornbills hunt together in a group, which is rare among birds.

These are some other photo's of our zoo trip...

P.S. Marty was finished with his tire change long before I was finished writing this post! He is a husband like none other, and I am so blessed. We are off to a tire shop to have the flat repaired.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Gulfstream Factory Tour

Driver's Side...

Passenger side.

Today while picking up the 5th wheel from Gulfstream we decided to get the tour as well. I've been wanting to get a tour for months and today we finally had some time to get one in. It was really worth it and I would recommend anyone who owns an RV to go to the makers of your coach and get a tour there.

These 4 photo's are all of the same unit:

This is the same model as above (39') but a different color scheme on the exterior.

We were able to see how their RV's are made, what materials they use, what the guts of our home looks like and they were even able to tell us all the little places we can't see that have hidden dead space. I found out today I (errr, Marty) could turn our two steps into storage bins if we wanted, that the dead area between the cabinets in the garage actually has wires in it, other dead area's that have air ducts or water heaters or whatever in them. We learned how to move our central vac system currently located under our big couch if we ever wanted to replace the couch, and also how to wire in more speakers if we wanted. It was really nice! We've always been very leery of even putting a picture on the wall because we just don't have experience messing with an RV like we do with a house - I think we both feel a ton more comfortable making add-ons like things that will make this place function better for a full time RV family.

The Elkhart/Nappanee area of Indiana is considered the RV capitol of the U.S. If your ever in the area stop in and see your manufacter's plant and get a tour. They even have a really neat museum in Elkhart that has RV's all they way back to the 40's - another really neat tour.

Saying Goodbye...

We said goodbye to Scales Lake RV Park Sunday October 24th and the new friends we had made there.

We said goodbye to the petting zoo and sweet "Poncho" our favorite little Donkey. It makes me laugh looking at this picture. Poor thing never gets much attention because of the signs and yet he is so sweet. The day we left he was licking our hands and face and he even likes to put his head right down the middle of our front for a good snuggle. I will definitely miss that little donkey.

We also had to say goodbye to our 5th wheel. There was a bit of a mistake that was made with our 5th wheel before we ever picked it up. I won't go into details and bore you but Gulfstream has had planned ever since to put us into a hotel for the week and, take it back to the Gulfstream factory and do some service work.

After staying in a cozy little hotel we drove up yesterday and stayed in one more an amazing hotel in Elhkart, then this afternoon we drove over to the Gulfstream plant in Nappanee Indiana to pick up our 5th wheel. It was soooo good to see it sitting in the garage, I definitely missed our home. It's amazing that after only a month and a half this little RV already has our hearts.

Anyway the factory did some amazing work, we are so happy with everything they did and our home looks great. I got several interior shots this afternoon but wasn't able to get the garage. I'll be able to get a shot of the garage tomorrow before we hit the road and will do a post giving a tour of our home (before we load it up with all our junk) as I have been promising some of you.

I also have to tell you all about this charming little town after I get a few more pictures to show you, there are some little bits around here that we have just loved to see driving by. It would be nice to see this place in the summer when it's warmer and greener. We actually had frost on our truck windows when we came out of our hotel this morning! I tell you what, it is time to get outa here quick because I have seen enough of that, lol!