Woo hoooo! We have been wanting to go to Hawaii again ever since we honeymooned there 16 years ago.
We thought we'd go for anniversary 3 or 5, but we had a house payment and 2 car payments and a ton of kids. Haha! Year 10 we renewed our vows and went to Branson for a little mini honeymoon trip, after a rough patch in both our finances and our marriage. Not in the budget! Year 15 we were in the RV on the road. And here we are, year 16......
The Lord knows the desires of our hearts, and the LORD has provided!
We are heading for tropical paradise with doTERRA for the Blue & Presidential Diamond retreat for work, and we will stay a few extra days for some US time!
While we are there, we will tour the Hawaiian Sandalwood farms and see all dōTERRA is doing to ensure quality and sustainability. Amazing!s, and I praise His name.
Kids are in good hands with family but are also super jealous. They want to pin Hawaii on our travel map!
Someday kiddos, someday! (Only 3 places to go: Alaska, Hawaii and North Dakota)
I share all our adventures here, on the RV Oilers instagram:
God is so good! <3
There is nothing I love more than being in the kitchen, all together as a family. Many hands make light work!
And not having to menu plan all alone? Amazing!
I knew it was going to be a super busy month, so we made up an extra large menu at the very beginning of Dec for lots of options to choose from, you will recognize some of these from other last Kids in the Kitchen post. We still need to do Taco Pie, Pizza Pockets and Wild Rice Mushroom soup in January. And because it's a nutso month, we also made things NOT on the original list, but it's all good! :)
This isn't a dinner, but while we had the local beef lard bucket thawed for fish night, we decided to try our hand at frying some potato chips. One batch was Lawry's and one batch was salt and vinegar flavor.
Pretty tasty but really tricky to not burn or make chewy chips. Better leave it to the professionals from now on! ;)
Dale's famous fish needs no recipe, because there is none. Crappie he caught this spring, crushed soda crackers, Lawry's, a milk bath and viola! We served it with steamed broccoli.
Nana's Famous Beef Stroganoff with steamed broccoli. Good ol' comfort food!
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Slaw. We did a ready made BBQ sauce version to save time, but check out the blogged one, YUM.
We had WAY too many green apples on hand, so it was time to make something yummy with them.
Skillet Apple Crisp serve with vanilla bean ice cream and a drizzle of caramel. Yummy!
Top Secret Pot Roast - it's so yummy! I pulled in all my helpers for this one since there was lots of wash, peel and chop. Wait until you see the secret ingredient - Game. Changer.
Crock Pot Kraut & Bean Soup - holy amazing! This is such a unique soup, totally delish. We served it at several Christmas functions, it makes a HUGE batch!
Christmas Breakfast Overnight Casserole - gorgeous but not our fav. Couldn't get past all the soft bread.
We served it with Rhodes Rolls Overnight Monkey Bread recipe. It WAY over rose in my tiny pan, but still worked out.
Perfect treat for Jesus birthday celebration!
Here are our Christmas Dinner recipes!!!
The Best Meatballs - I grew up with Ham balls at Christmas, but it's very hard to find someone to grind ham these days, so I went with all grass fed beef instead. Still yum! I will share sauce recipe next.
This link will get you the oh so incredible sauce recipe for your meatballs (we just baked the day before and heated in crockpot with sauce all day........
This is also where you will get the OH SO AWESOME Gourmet Twice Baked Mashed Potato recipe!
Meatball Sauce & Gourmet Potatoes
Raspberry Vanilla Jello Salad - Not too sweet, and so pretty!
I asked the good, the bad and the ugly about year 3 on the road.......
We all decided there really is no ugly, not with such a shiny new to us home sweet rolling home, haha - so we will go ahead and do our tradition around the dinner table of sharing the Good, the Bad and the Blessing of our day, or in this case, year.
Here is what the family said about 2018:
Dale: Uhhh, I am not good at these. Me: Just start talking, I will type.
The Good - The new RV! Tonya wanted a blue one with grey interior SO bad, but I knew it was out of our price point until a few more trade ins and upgrades or doTERRA goals reached. I watched online for a year, and still nothing. Until the Lord LITERALLY dropped it in our lap, in the ways only He can. We got the RV of our dreams at an amazing bargain of a price. Praise God for our new, shiny, spacious home on wheels!
The Bad - Oh man. Realizing that your dad's Florida farm property was not for us to buy as planned. I know the Lord spoke, and the answer was no, but that was hard for sure. Lots of tears on that one.
The Blessing - Having a summer we will always remember as a family, when our time under one roof is getting short. Destiny plans to start working summers and we really wanted to make this one count. It did!
The Good - Year 3 on the road has been as fun as Year 1. We actually got out and really traveled again, for fun mixed in with work. So my GOOD would be, well, the WHOLE SUMMER.
We went to:
(Click pic, then arrow through slides)
The Bad - How can there be BAD when we saw so much GOOD?! :)
Actually, the bad is how we all grieved the loss of first Dale's grandma, and then our beloved Papa Clay. God is faithful to continue to heal our hearts.
The Blessing - Oh man, so many.
- Getting to do life, all as a family, without answering to a clock? AMAZING.
- Making our goal of Blue Diamond with doTERRA? Pinch me.
- Getting to share oils and changing peoples lives for my JOB that doesn't feel like one? Surreal.
There is not a day that goes by that I don't give praise and thanksgiving to a Father in Heaven who hand picked this life for us, who nudged us to leap when everyone thought we were nuts, and to go all in on this road life of ours.
I am grateful and excited to see what 2019 holds for the RV Oilers!
The Good - Oh I don't know, 2018 was great because we got to go to New York City. I have ALWAYS wanted to go there! It was awesome. I loved the way it felt, and all there was to do.
I also really enjoyed exploring the ark museum too. We took a lot of fun trips this year!
The Bad - CHICKEN POX. Ugh. So miserable but at least we got lots of popsicles.
The Blessing - I loved our summer of museums and fun cities, but I also loved that we were in Kansas for a lot of months too. Best of both worlds!
The Good - Going amazing places all year and eating AMAZING foods like, fresh steamed dumplings and water ice in Philly, PIZZA by the slice in New York City - wow the best ever. Also, the tiny little fish place we ate at in South Carolina, the cheddar honey biscuits in Alabama from Nick & Jim's, giant fall of my plate pancakes at Billy Gail's in Branson. And I cannot forget the powdered cinnamon caramel donuts from Ohio! Guess I like food this year.
The Bad - Being in Kansas for so long. I love it, and I love seeing my family and friends, but staying in one place so long gets boring...and COLD!
The Blessing - I think it's so nice to be together as a family. I like seeing new places and having adventures as part of my normal day to day life. It's nice. I cannot wait to go to Florida next.
The Good - I love that we got to go see one of my best friends in Kansas city several times, I loved riding horses in Tennessee, I am obsessed with horses! I also had fun dancing at a wedding in South Carolina this Spring. That was soooo fun!
The Bad - CHICKEN POX!!!!!!!! We got them this Spring. I was miserable and had them EVERYWHERE. Ugh.
The Blessing - I love that we are a close family. We live in a small space and get to see each other every single day. I like that!
The Good - I like when we went to Florida to go skating and see my cousins. We saw some awesome orange and white fancy cars at the mall. I liked the giant chicken fried steak in Texas and Mr Mark's corn on the cob. He SOAKS it in butter. That's my favorite. I had a loose tooth, so hopefully next time I can eat it better.
The Bad - I miss Papa.
The Blessing - I love that we can go traveling whenever we want! It's cold in Kansas, I am ready to go to Florida now.
Have a safe and happy New Year everyone! Thank you for being a part of our journey!
Here is to MANY more adventures in 2019......so glad you can come along with us! :)
Love, the Ferguson family xoxoxox
Did you all have a wonderful Christmas & A Happy New Year? We had a very Kansas Christmas and it was a joy from the beginning to the end, when the final cookie crumb was brushed off the countertops.
First up, my BFF and her crew came for dinner and games. So fun!
We also got to keep Kamilyn, my best friends daughter and Avery's BFF, overnight and take her to Wednesday church with us for the kids Christmas party.
With no school in session, we spent the days playing games and reading books, hanging out and having fun. We also cleaned house and cooked lots of yummy food in prepration for Christmas gatherings.
I feel so honored and SO grown up getting to host all the family Christmases at our place this year. Tiny in size, but big in heart.....and cheerful colors are fun too! ;)
First up, my Momma's side of the family:
We ate until we were stuffed and laughed until our sides hurt. The favorite game is quickly becoming Telestrations and 5 Crowns at our house!
Look who found her sister's old fancy Christmas dress and decided to get all dolled up for church Sunday. Avery my fashionista! ;)
Our Christmas tradition includes a night of watching ELF and having Spaghetti, first how momma wants.....with sauce and salad. Then, for seconds, just like Elf.....with candy and pop tarts. The kids love it and it is such a fun tradition! This year we invited Nana to join us after church, which was Christmas Eve EVE.
Games and a tricky gift first, then dinner and our movie. Nana wrapped the kids adventure in Odyssey CD, in SO MANY BOXES, all neatly wrapped in wrapping paper. She said what took her 2 hours was undone in 15 minutes! LOL
Actual Christmas eve was spent at church, then over to Grandma's for dinner....
I will share food recipes in the next blog post, but before church we had prepped some egg casserole and monkey bread to sit overnight so we could bake it easily in the morning. We also made meatballs and cooked them so we could just do sauce and crockpot the next afternoon. Potatoes mashed and in the fridge to bake and jello fluffy salad to chill.
When we got home from Grandma's, the little's wanted to sleep out in front of the tree, so we set up some sleeping bags. Of course, they were up too late and woke WAY too early, but hey, tis the season! ;)
Good morning! It's CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! YAAAAAY!
Kids woke us up at 7am, it felt too early because of how late we went to bed, LOL, but it was fine.
While the casseroles baked, we got Papa Clay's bible off the shelf to read the Christmas Story. We want Christmas to be about Jesus and the GIFT he was to the world, not presents and santa. It's sweetly simple and dear to my heart.
It made me sad, yet comforted, to see his familiar penmanship, filling those pages. Made daddy feel close by....
Dale read the familiar story of the birth of our King, and passed around Frankincense and Myrrh for the kids to drop and smell....
Safe to say, Destiny is not a morning person. ;) The blob on the couch is her.
Time to eat and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!
It was so nice to have the whole day stretched out in front of us, with nowhere to be.....
Kids opened some new movies and games, and then dug into a fun game called Kings Crown, amaaaazing and fun for all ages.
We sent the kids outside to jump off some energy on the trampoline and while they were out, set up a surprise!
SUGAR COOKIES! From a local bakery called Coneflower Sundry. She was selling cookie decorating kits. Yum and still homemade! Win win.
Most of the kids did 4 cookies, and once we saw they were done, Dale and I did a couple too! SO fun!
Dale ate his before I got to snap a pic, but here is Destiny's instagram pic and my 4 cookies I got to decorate!
We had a nosy neighbor come say hi......
We had prepped a lot of our Christmas dinner the day before, but it still had to bake, so we distracted the kids with some arts and crafts. Dale showed them how to make paper SNOWFLAKES! Avery immediately declared we'd decorate the whole house with them.
Mmm, dinner turned out lovely! Meatballs with special sauce, Nana's famous gourmet mashed potatoes, steamed green beans and a fluffy raspberry salad. I will share recipes in our upcoming Kids In the Kitchen post! :)
Dale was so proud to conquer his rubix cube! I was just glad for my husband back. Hahahaha!
We ended the day with Christmas Carols by the fire, before you saw awww, it was awful. Hahahah! We you tubed christmas karaoke carols and they were cheesy and our singing was probably quite terrible, but hey we had fun! ;)
Then, as bedtime approached and everyone settled down, we started talking about Papa and what we missed about him. Then the tears began. Not just little tears, but full on sobs. Poor loves. I held them close, as we talked about Papa and watched this slideshow from his service last year.
The words to this song are so very precious and my heart clings to them.....
"You're with the Son of God
You're with the Prince of Peace
You're with the one we're celebrating
And that thought amazes me
Sometimes I still break down
Grieving that we're apart
But the sweetest gift is knowing where you are....you're with the Son of God."
Got everyone's tears wiped, extra hugs and extra prayers were said, and off to bed they went. I am thankful for another layer of healing for them.
Time for bed, tomorrow is another fun family get together with Dale's immediate family. I will share the Pizza Dip and Brie recipe soon....
For New Year's night we had Destiny over at her cousins, Ty and Pax went to ring in the New Year with Gigi and Nana, and we had an extra girlie here with us, Avery's best friend, Kamilyn.
They set up the RV as an apartment all to themselves, so cute. We had them do a toast at 9pm in hopes that they would go to sleep at a decent time, but alas, that didn't even work. They still were awake until midnight. ;)
OH WELL, we tried!
Here are some pics:
Hope you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year! Thanks for letting me share mine with you.
Here is to a great 2019.......so glad to have you along for the ride. :)