Thursday, December 22, 2011

Did you hear about the Leverenz family?

Hello, welcome back. Here I sit, on a cozy wingback chair with my feet propped up on an overflowing basket of freshly folded laundry, listening to the hum of the washing machine and the rattle of the dishwasher. The house is surprisingly still at the moment. As my husband, brother and our friend Sam do... well, I'm not even sure what they're doing. But whatever it is, it's not still. :) Today was a full day of Christmas baking, tea drinking, playing, researching Rube Goldberg and (unsuccessfully) attempting to build our own Rube Goldberg machine. This is normal life for us. Kind of... Well, this is our new normal, because it's all going down in a white farm house, owned by my parents. We're used to life in a little town house, with a postage stamp yard and chain-link fences. Today marks the first full week of cohabitation with my parents, sister and brother. I have moved back into my childhood bedroom that I shared with my 2 sisters. Only this time, the bedroom will be shared with my husband and 3 kids. It's all very sweet. and quite functional. But. It. Is. So. Weird.

So, this is why I'm writing. Because 5andaviking was going to lay dormant til Spring, and awake with our first plans of camping, or at the first sign of a renovation, or something like that. But, really, how could I pass up the opportunity to blog about 5andaBEDROOM!?! So, I'll tag the posts pertaining to this new little adventure of ours as "5andabedroom" and we'll see how this goes.

More to come when I get a chance, like an explanation of why we moved in with my parents...

For now, I'll say this- I am thankful for a shiny red Kitchen Aid mixer. First floor laundry. A dishwasher. And a loving family who welcomes us with open arms.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sleep tight little viking

This post is a bit overdue. < That's how the post that I started writing over a month ago began. I'd say now, it's WAY overdue. Oh, I'm bursting to tell you so much!!! But first, this post. :) Back in the middle of September we towed our little viking over to my parents' yard, set her up and made plans to sleep out in our camper one last time before putting her away for the winter. But alas, cold nights, rain storms and a busy schedule pushed back our final camp-out til the middle of October, when stars aligned (or rather schedules and decent weather) and we were able to have our last camp-out of '11. I had a pretty bad head cold, so I wasn't really eager to take too many photos. What's the point of documenting every fun moment, if you'll have a camera (or cell phone) stuck your face the whole time anyway? Right? We hooked up the electric for the first time and tried out the UH-MAY-ZING chunky, plastic, vintage lights that came with our little viking. :)

The next day we sunned the cushions, swept out every crumb, and gave the whole thing a good wipe down.

Eager little helpers were in abundance. (Although, I didn't get any shots of Gideon...)

We, and by we, I mean Mark, fixed the supports. Yay for handy husbands!!!

Something always needs fixing, doesn't it?

And there she sits, beneath the harvest moon. Ready to be folded up and settled in for her winter's hibernation.

Goodnight, sleep tight little viking!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tent meetin' time!

Well, we arrived home at 1:00 am Friday morning. Baby girl came down with a fever Friday afternoon and I’ve pretty much intermittently cuddled a warm little body, been puked on and unpacked out gold minivan ever since then. Notsofun.

But camping- oh camping was FUN! We were all exhausted, smelly and dirty from our heads to our toes, But it was a wonderful experience! It wasn’t a typical camping adventure. We went to family camp, 5 days of real hippy commune-esque lovin’ complete with neighbors stopping in all hours of the day or night, potluck meals every evening and a big old yellow tent meeting twice a day. Say and think what you will- but it’s what we did and we had a blast! Every night we’d go down to the big yellow tent, the meetings going well into the night. Children making great use of the carpet of green grass, plucking blades by the handful, playing who-knows-what. Getting sleepy, spreading blankets, laying sweaty little heads on grass stained pillows and drifting off to sleep while shouts of “amen!” and songs of “look what the Lord has done!” wafted through the night air. I couldn’t help but smile when I thought about the memories these kids were storing away. The smell of damp earth mixed with the sounds of an acoustic guitar. The sight of the yellow and white stripped tent aglow with flood lights mixed with the feeling a cool evening breeze after a hot day. These little ones of mine are 3rd generation Jesus people. This is their heritage- As hoaky as it sounds.

Anyway, enough about that. On to the camping and photos!

We camped at a *beautiful* YMCA camp out on one of the Finger Lakes. Hurricane Irene had just visited the east coast, and though there wasn’t any real damage done in Western NY, all of the rain soaked ground gave us only one option for RV parking. We were smack dab between a volleyball court and a basketball court. I planned on cooking over an open fire and experiment with our gas stove another time. But being on a recreational field, a fire was out of the question. Thankfully, my risk-taking eldest brother was there, and with a little poking around, he discovered some propane left in the tank from the previous owners. It was a happy discovery AND I got over my fear of lighting a gas stove. Seriously people, they freak me out! We discovered a few more things we need to add to our master packing list. A ratchet set, a second dish pan, dish washing gloves (my hands were NOT happy with me- my eczema flared up terribly,) steel wool (for my cast iron of course!) and an all-purpose cleaner (boy did I miss my vinegar spray bottle!) One of my favorite things about having a camper is that a ton of camping stuff can be stored in it, making a last minute camping trip a lot less stressful. I love that (although we had slept in it 2 previous times) this was our first official camping trip. What lovely memories will be tied to the colors of harvest gold, avocado green, rust orange and brown. What pure and wholesome thoughts will be forever associated with the smell of vintage canvas. We were happy campers!

We set up the awning for the first time. *ahem-crooked tablecloth-ahem*

And I took a few still-life shots, for esthetic reasons.

But mostly, it looked like this.

Oh yes, and did I mention that as we set it up, very important parts were just crumbling off of it? No? Ah, well, they were.

So we made-do with sticks and zip-ties. We’ll be on the look out for some replacement parts. (On a side note, just an hour before we left town, a friend of ours handed Mark a handful of zip-ties. “You never know when you need a zip-tie or two” he said. I can assure you, I have NO IDEA what we would have done without them. Thanks Dale!)

We got a couple grainy photos of the kids sleeping for Jesus. ;)

It was kind of busy what with 2 meetings a day and a potluck every night. But we did manage to fit in some really great family time.

As You can see, we were indeed, happy campers. :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

So it starts

A boy and a girl and an ever present yearning for a good old fashioned "simple life" find themselves a few steps further away from realizing some of these dreams. What's an old soul family in a modern world to do? Get a cheap vintage tent trailer off of craigslist and escape to simplicity as often as possible.

This is a memoir of sorts. Logging the events of our little family of 5 and our 1971 Viking pop-up camper.

Tomorrow afternoon, the rubber meets the road as we head out on our first official camping trip.