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Texas Shopping

Hi!  Thanks so much for reading! 

I went to Dallas, TX for a business conference and I really wanted to get a pair of cowgirl boots while I was there.  Since it was my first time in Texas (besides the airport for connecting flights) I asked around for where to go.  In fact, I got my best answers from you all right on our FACEBOOK page!  You were awesome and fast when I posted my plea for help.  Thank you!!  Sooooo, I found the perfect ones for me at Cavenders.

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We do not have a Cavender’s where I am from and I am pretty much a ‘city girl’ so this was really fun!  I loved the store!  Lots of boots, hats and bling.  After trying on LOTS and getting help from the facebook peeps, I finally decided on these.  It was a tough decision.  I found several right away that caught my eye….until I read the price tag.  Apparently, I have really expensive taste, because those were $600 and up!  I kept looking and found the price section that worked for me. 

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Look at my adorable 9 year old, Caden.  He fell in love with this hat and bought it with his own money.  I think he looks pretty good in it.

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So what do you think?  Do you like my new boots?  Now, tell a city girl what you wears these with?  I know jeans, but I like variety….any suggestions?

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Thanks for visiting,

Claire

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4 Nights of Boondocking!

So as you know, we left Oregon for a year of US travel in our 5th wheel.  You can read our story HERE if you missed it.  By now you either think we are crazy or adventurous.  lol  Some days I think we are both!  Our first stop was Lynnwood, WA to visit family for the weekend before heading to Dallas, TX for a business conference.

Here is a picture of the boys with their cousins.

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They were inseparable the whole weekend. 

From WA we went to Silverwood, Idaho for a day of FUN at the waterpark.

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Then we had 4 days to get to Dallas! 

Lots of driving and pulling over to boondock and sleep before getting up and doing it all over the next day.

For those that do not know, boondocking is parking your rv anywhere for the night.  Not in a campground.  Most rigs are set up with enough water and battery power to be fully used for at least a couple of days.  Walmarts are well known for this because they graciously allow you to park in their parking lots all night for free.

Here is our first night boondocking.  We also have a generator to run the AC. 

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The boys are totally ‘wired’ in the back for entertainment.

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Taking a much needed nap.  Clark drove 2000 miles!

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We did finally make it to Dallas and checked into an RV resort for the week.  So nice to stay in one spot for awhile!  The kids have really been enjoying the pool!

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To follow us and our travels, find us at weerv.com and on our weerv FACEBOOK.

We would love to see you over there!

What about you?  Have you ever boondocked before?  Do you take vacations and/or travel in an rv or trailer?

Have a great day!

Claire

Sneak Peak

We have been in the process of downsizing and getting out on the road!  You can read our DREAM story to catch up.  We did make it out July 6th and are in Washington visiting family for the weekend.  I have soooo much to tell you, but time is short today.  I wanted to write a quick little update for you all though!

I have been taking a TON of pictures and a few videos, too.  Cannot wait to share it all with you.

SUBSCRIBE with your email address in the box on the right to get ALL my updates to come.  You DO NOT want to miss the start of our crazy adventure!

Here area a few ‘sneak peak’ pictures.  Enjoy!!

I am going to miss seeing my beautiful flowers in my yard.

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The boys were a HUGE help.  Here is Caden shredding paper for us.

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Connor helped with yard work.

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Carter and Caden sorted legos.  We only had room to bring 1/3 of them.  The rest went in storage.

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We are off to Idaho now. 

Subscribe with your email address to get all my posts to come!

Also, FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK to get even more updates.

Have a great day!

Claire

Our Family Dream

Our family has a dream.  We actually did not know we had this dream until last year!  In fact, we had lost the ability to dream.

You can read HERE my story before the big dream.

About a year and a half ago, my hubby and I were quite burned out.  My husbands ministry job involved working with youth.  While it was a JOY to serve in this way, we found ourselves drained over the constant brokenness of families and children.  Soooo many hurts to counsel and pray for.  During those years we also had a few hardships in our family, too.  I was ill after each child I gave birth to; the third one being cancer.  We went through many trials (and blessings) with a foster son.  My husband completed his Masters degree while working full time and being a husband and father. Like so many others, our church had to downsize in staffing which resulted in even more responsibility for my husband.   All that mixed together led us to burnout, only it took a little while to recognize that we were not really engaged with life. 

So, we found ourselves praying, as we have each year in ministry, for God’s calling in ministry for the next year.  It was the FIRST time in 16 years that my husband heard that our time was up.  That brought on a bit of fear, nervousness and….excitement.  Because at the same time, we had discovered a spark of dreaming again to the possibilities of how God could use us.  You know what that was??  RVing.  Yep.  Like in a 5th wheel. 

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This is a picture of our truck and trailer from last summer.  We went camping two or three times a year.  We will need a much bigger rig to full-time in so we sold this combo. 

Here is a picture of our new 5th Wheel.  It’s a 35 ft Jayco with 3 slides and it is perfect for us!

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We discovered we both had a passion to minimize our stuff, our life, our distractions and explore together as a family the US.  Our boys are growing up.  Like too fast!  My oldest is 15 and every time I realize how short our time is with him until he leaves for college, my heart stops.  It is our hearts desire to create a whole year with our kids, learning American History, serving, loving and learning about people, and most of all enjoying our family.  This will be a time for us to ‘fill our empty tanks’ and soak in each other, our Lord, family and friends around the country and hear where God directs us next.  

Our projected leave date is July 5, 2012 and our hope is to travel for one year.

{We are currently on the road!  You can stay in touch through our facebook page, WEERV}

Right now, we are called to be husband and wife, mom and dad.  We are so grateful for this opportunity to live a Dream most people only ..well…dream about.

What about you?  Are you living your dream?  Do you have any dreams that you have put aside?  Or maybe, like us, you don’t even know if you have any dreams anymore?  Let me know in the comments below.

Claire

Be sure to follow me on facebook to keep up with our travels.

Check out our video HERE

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Business Trip to Long Beach, CA

Hi everyone!  I just got back from an energizing and encouraging business trip.

As you may know, I am a Shaklee Director.  I market health and wellness products through my blog.

I have the privilege of working with other moms who are passionate about their families and their health.

I was able to finally meet these girls on my Shaklee and blogging team. 

I am on the left. Then it’s Katie, Connie and Erin. Aren’t they beautiful?

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This is Erin’s son, Kameron.  He started a dog walking business to earn the money to come to the conference!

Amazing young man.  The business coach brought him on stage to share his story.  He is only 9 years old?!

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I learned so much from each one and gleaned many tips on being a work at home mom.

Here are a few things I learned from the 3 day conference.

*  Personality styles.  So huge with relationships: family, friendships and business.

* “ You attract who you are.  Birds of a feather flock together.  As a man thinks, so is he.”

* “Forgiveness is a lifestyle.”

*  Communication skills.

*  “Repetition is the mother skill.”

*  The masses are always wrong. Don’t follow them.

*  “Prosper where you are planted.”

*   Create a duplicatable system.

*  Leadership development is up to the individual.

*  Learn to improvise an imperfection.

*  Practice following before you can lead.

So many great tips!  I was so pumped and encouraged from this event. 

Have you been to an event that you left so encouraged by?

What did you learn?

Thanks for visiting!

Claire

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My Favorite Packing Tips

I recently got back from a dreamy girls’ spa trip.  You can read about that HERE.

Four glorious days in sunny Mexico to lay by a pool with a good book. 

To make our travels easier we decided to not check in any luggage and

bring a carry-on bag.

Wait?!  What?!  ONE SMALL BAG??

Yep!  We made it happen and now I get to share with you all.

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Here are My Favorite Packing Tips.

1.  Choose clothes that will mix and match. 

I chose neutral bottoms with more colorful and fun tops.  Same for the shoes…

white and black sandals were all I needed to match my outfits.  To decide what to bring,

I lay everything out on my bed to see how they go together.  I always seem to start with

more than I need and then narrow it down from there.

2.  Roll your clothes, instead of folding. 

Then place in suitcase starting with the largest to smallest pieces.  I had heard this

before, but this was the first time I actually did it.  I could not believe what a difference it made! 

It really did take up less space.

3.  Wear your ‘bulky’ clothes on the plane. 

Even though we were going to a sunny place, we wanted our tennis shoes so we could workout

{ok…maybe just go for a pretty walk before breakfast}.  So we wore our jeans, tennis shoes and

sweater/sweatshirt on the plane.  Saves a lot of room!

4.  Bring and use all those ‘sample’ toiletries products you have saved. 

I keep a small stash of these for when I travel.  They meet the airline guidelines for liquid sizes and

take up less space than my big bottle stuff.  

5.  Pack a plastic bag to bring home the dirty clothes in,

but be sure to roll them too.

There you have it!  5 EASY steps to hopefully make packing your bag a little easier.

This trip was to a sunny place and swim suits, shorts & flip flops do not take up a lot of space.

However, this Friday I am going to a business conference and I am attempting the same thing.

One carry-on bag.  Wish me luck!

Do you have any other tips on packing?  Please share with us!  I am always looking to improve this.

 

Looking forward to your next visit,

Claire

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My Mexico Trip

Hi everyone!  So sorry I have been MIA lately.  I just got back from a fabulous 5 days completely unplugged in Puerta Vallarta, MX!  

My friend and I have been planning a girls’ trip to celebrate our 40th birthdays. 

Although I like to remind her that my ‘official’ day is not until June 30th.  LOL  It really was dreamy.  Everything we hoped for and more. 

This was the first time I have taken this long of a trip without my boys or my husband.  Isn’t my hubby great? 

He told me to go and have a good time.  He works really hard at his job, took an evening class, took care of the boys

and finished putting in his mom’s wood floor…all while I was gone!  He is amazing!

Here are some pictures and highlights of our trip that I wanted to share with you.

**warning:  lots of pictures.  Too many cute ones to narrow it down**

This is the hotel we stayed in.

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Here is a view of the pools.  We spent a lot of time here enjoying the SUN!  Living in Oregon, we were really lacking our Vitamin D.

There was a swim up pool bar that was fun, too.

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This is our room.  It was simple and modern with a fabulous bed!  Usually I do not like hotel beds, but this one was great.

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This was our ocean view patio.  We did not know we were getting this, but sooo glad we had it!  We used it every morning.

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I took this picture from our patio one morning.  Our hotel is right by the Marina where the cruise ships come in. 

We have been on 2 Mexican cruises together with our hubbys and two other couples and came into this Marina. 

It was fun to see the view in a different way.

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Here we are!  I am on the right.  Doesn’t my friend look great?! 

She recently lost 23 pounds with the Cinch Body Transformation Plan!  She feels so good. 

I have lost 15.  I still have 20 to go.  I was really happy that I fit into my summer clothes better than last summer.

Cinch Transformation (Shae & Me)

One day we took the bus and went shopping along the boardwalk at the flea markets and had lunch at this great restaurant. 

It was covered in signatures from all of their customers.  We got to sign our names too.  So fun! 

We ordered their special 2 for 1 margaritas and they brought us EACH 2!  LOL 

We were cracking up because if you know us we do not drink very often at all so 2 was just hilarious for us. 

BUT it was really good. Winking smile

This is me with my mango margaritas.

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I did not really buy much at all because I was spending most of it at the spa. 

But I loved these scarfs, got some candy for the kids and just as we were about to catch our bus back to the hotel,

we saw an awesome shoe shop.  Seriously, it was shoe heaven!  Tons of cute sandals!  We spent over an hour there looking and trying on. 

The girls that worked there were annoyed with us because they had to go upstairs to get the sizes.  They were obviously not on commission. 

Anyway, I ended up getting these 2 pairs for under $40.  I love them!  They are so comfortable and cute.  My friend got 4 pairs. 

Needless to say, when we purchased 6 pairs the girls became more friendly.

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This is a picture of a spa we found less than a block from our hotel.  Our big splurge and dream for this girls’ trip was to go to the spa. 

We love massages and they are a real treat for us.  Anyway, we were planning on getting one at our resort,

but when we stumbled on this we were squealing with excitement.  The place was clean and professional. 

They spoke some english (my friend also speaks spanish very well).  The best part was their prices were less that half of the resort prices!  Score! 

So of course we went twice.  The first time we got an hour and a half massage.  The girls were extremely professional and very good. 

I think it was the best massage I have had.  Then we went back 2 nights later and got another one plus a facial.  We were there over 3 hours. 

It was our first facial and I can not believe I waited this long to have one?  My skin still feels amazing and we slept awesome that night.

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Here we are with our ‘girls’ after our 3 hours of heaven.  We requested them for our second night. 

It was fun to get to know them, too.

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Fish Tacos here every night.  Cheap and good.  YUM!

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Parasailing off the beach.  I was scared at first, but it was amazing!  Really peaceful and easy. 

Just sit when they tell you and float down when it’s over and they catch you.  A really great experience. 

Here is my friend at take off…

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In the air!

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That’s me in the air.

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That’s me landing.  Super easy!  It was such a thrilling experience!

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On our way home…{sigh}.

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and…YES we brought only 1 carry on bag :0 Stay tuned for a post on my packing tips.

So did I loose you yet with all the pictures?  It was a really relaxing break for me. 

Unplugged for the entire 5 days.  Read 2 books.  Spa, Sleep & Sun.

I got to thinking how much better I feel coming home to take care of my family.  I feel more ‘present’. 

Why do we moms have such a hard time taking breaks for ourselves? 

We seem to put ourselves last and really, that ends up not so good for our families. 

Thank you for letting me share my special trip with you! 

Looking forward to our next visit,

Claire

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My San Diego Girls’ Weekend

When my sister-in-law, Rachelle  asked if I was free to go to her cousins’ wedding in San Diego, I nearly screamed YES at the computer.   A girls’ weekend away?  Hello?  You don’t have to ask me twice.  We were both long overdue for a ‘mommy break’ and ready for some girl time.

This is our hotel.

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It was located right by the naval base and had a beautiful walking path along the water.

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Rachelle is a dedicated and encouraging fitness enthusiast.  It was good to have her drag me with her outside and exercise.  You can see a picture of us on a hike at Sunset Cliff HERE.

The weather was 60 – 65 and cloudy while we were there, but this day it was mostly sunny.  We were outside enjoying it!  So much better than the weather back home!

Love the palm trees.

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Great Mexican restaurant.  Had lunch there one day.

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This gentleman serenaded us.  He was a charmer!

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Both Rachelle and I enjoy the local artist community and small businesses.  You can find such talented, interesting and creative people.  We met and talked with one artist for several minutes and learned some history behind his work.

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We also spent 2 days shopping!  Mostly ‘window’ shopping, but it was fun to wander, try on clothes and eat out.

This is the day of the wedding.  We got all dressed up, put on our heels, drank some wine and danced.  So much fun!

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So what about you?  Do you allow yourself a mommy break?  Or does guilt stop you?  I struggle with this issue a lot.  It’s like I have two voices..one is telling me that I shouldn’t need to do that.  The other says, heck yaTake a break and you will be a better mom and wife.  I just love to be with my family, but they sure don’t love to be with me when I am grumpy.

As moms, it seems we tend to take care of ourselves last.  The problem with this practice, however, is that you can deplete yourself without a way to fill up.  Do you ever feel as if you are running on empty?

Now, if I could, my dream mommy breaks would include monthly weekend trips and weekly trips to the spa.  A girl can dream right?  So since this plan hasn’t worked out so well for me (yet), I do have a few other ideas. 

1.  Early morning coffee, by myself.  This is almost daily for me.

2.  Rent and watch a ‘girl’ movie.  So fun!

3.  Meet with a friend for chitchat and encouragement.

4.  Take a nap.

5.  Date night with hubby.

6.  Get a pedicure.  I have a place close by that is only $20.  I go about every other month.  I be sure to get a BIG coffee, grab several of their magazines, and just sit in the big massage chair.  I usually sit there long after they are done just to enjoy the chair.  So refreshing!

7.  When my kids were little, I used to check them into the grocery play place and then NOT grocery shop.  Instead, I got something to drink, grabbed a bunch of magazines and sat down.  I know, genius right?  lol

These are just a few on my list that work for me.  We moms are all different and therefore our idea of a mommy break may be different.  The point is, the break for US is important.  I know I must sometimes even schedule these in or I won’t do it.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to turn away from my to-do list.  A mom’s job is never done….but it can lighten the load if regular breaks are taken.

So what about you?  What is your idea of a mommy break?

Be sure to follow me HERE on facebook.

Have a great day,

Claire

Other posts to enjoy…

      Be a Success Story

       Homemade Applesauce

       Make 1 Quick Change

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