The Sights Unseen

Sensenig Family RV Adventures


3 Year Nomadiversary!

It’s very hard to believe that we have been traveling for 3 years now. We have so much to be thankful for, have seen so many amazing places and met the most incredible people. One step toward a long awaited dream helped us discover a life full of joy, adventure and friends…so many wonderful friends!

There is really no way to contain all the memories that we have experienced in a single blog post, so we put together a video to show a few sights (definitely not all!!) that we have seen on this amazing journey.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our past 3 years…you may even see yourself in the video!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits!

December 03, 2014

2 Years and Counting

Happy 2 years-traveling-learning-and-growing-together-aversary to us!

So hard to believe we have been traveling this long. It seems that not too long ago, we were traveling across the country to pick up our RV in Canyonville, OR.

December 2012--Oregon

December 2012–Oregon

We have driven across the country 3 times now and visited 27 states. So many amazing sites that we have seen that we would not have, if we had not taken this leap of faith. Grateful for every moment….even the challenging ones have been welcome. They show us that we are always learning and growing…would not trade the experience of learning alongside my family for anything.

Ventura Beach, CA December 2012

Ventura Beach, CA December 2012

Being interviewed for a news segment Los Angeles, CA

Being interviewed for a news segment Los Angeles, CA

Grand Canyon, AZ December 2012

Grand Canyon, AZ December 2012

Winslow, AZ December 2012

Winslow, AZ December 2012

North Little Rock, AZ December 2012

North Little Rock, AZ December 2012

Pennsylvania December 2012

Pennsylvania December 2012

North Carolina December 2012

North Carolina December 2012

Disney World, Florida January 2013

Disney World, Florida January 2013

Gainesville, Florida February 2013

Gainesville, Florida February 2013

Legoland, Florida February 2013

Legoland, Florida February 2013

St. Augustine, Florida March 2013

St. Augustine, Florida March 2013

Bristol, TN May, 2013

Bristol, TN May, 2013

Blountville, TN July 2013

Blountville, TN July 2013

Dollywood, TN November  2013

Dollywood, TN August 2013

Butterfly House in Huntsville, AL November 2013

Butterfly House in Huntsville, AL August 2013

New Braunfels, TX December 2013

New Braunfels, TX September 2013

Space Center Huntsville, AL September 2013

Space Center Huntsville, AL September 2013

North Carolina October 2013

North Carolina October 2013

Pennsylvania October 2013

Pennsylvania October 2013

San Antonio, TX December 2013

San Antonio, TX December 2013

Blue Bell Factory, Brenham, TX January 2014

Blue Bell Factory, Brenham, TX January 2014

Potluck at Lake Conroe, TX February 2014

Potluck at Lake Conroe, TX February 2014

Wolf Santuary in Montgomery, TX March 2014

Wolf Sanctuary in Montgomery, TX March 2014

The entrance to Monahans Sandhills State Park, TX March 2014

The entrance to Monahans Sandhills State Park, TX March 2014

Balmorhea State Park, TX March 2014

Balmorhea State Park, TX March 2014

Hueco Tanks State Park, TX March 2014

Hueco Tanks State Park, TX March 2014

City of Rocks, New Mexico, March 2014

City of Rocks, New Mexico, March 2014

Tucson, AZ April 2014

Tucson, AZ April 2014

Sedona, AZ May 2014

Sedona, AZ May 2014

Coronado, CA May 2014

Coronado, CA May 2014

Las Vegas, NV June 2014

Las Vegas, NV June 2014

Utah June 2014

Utah June 2014

Fireworks over Boone, NC July 2014

Fireworks over Boone, NC July 2014

Watauga Lake, TN September 2014

Watauga Lake, TN September 2014

Nashville, TN October 2014

Nashville, TN October 2014

Nashville Zoo, TN October 2014

Nashville Zoo, TN October 2014

Darth Vader and Cat Woman, TN October 2014

Darth Vader and Cat Woman, TN October 2014

Drama Perfomance in Abingdon, VA , November 2014

Drama Perfomance in Abingdon, VA , November 2014

Thanksgiving, Boone, NC November 2014

Thanksgiving, Boone, NC November 2014

Well, that is our first 2 years, in a nutshell….a very large nutshell, but there it is! We are looking forward to seeing what the next year brings, the new friends we will meet and the old friends we will see again.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.

November 17, 2014

Drama Time!

When we returned to the Bristol/Abingdon area, Hannah let us know what was on her list of things to do and acting class was one of her top picks! Unfortunately, there were not any classes available at first but about a month ago, a class became available at Barter Youth Academy in Abingdon, VA. When I asked her if she wanted to attend it, there was an immediate YES! She was so excited.

The class was for 1st and 2nd grade kiddos and the play that was chosen for them was Tortoise and the Hare. The play ended up being re-written by the kids, which was so awesome. I think they all felt like the play was theirs and really had some ownership in how it was presented. W eek after week, Hannah looked forward to going to her class and seeing her classmates. She loved being asked for her ideas and having them being used in the play. She instantly memorized her lines and delivered them beautifully. She has a definite love of theatre.

Pre-performance at Bob's at Barter

Pre-performance at Bob’s at Barter

Hannah loves my hugs!

Hannah loves my hugs! Too funny…

Another before pic with her Barter T-Shirt on...she loves that shirt!!

Another before pic with her Barter T-Shirt on…she loves that shirt!!

During the performance of Tortoise and the Hare as Fox B of the Trixie Trio

During the performance of Tortoise and the Hare as Fox B of the Trixie Trio

Hannah and Allison Woods, her instructor

Hannah and Allison Woods, her instructor

Hannah receive a special star from her Nana!

Hannah received a special star from her Nana!

With some of her friends at the reception

With some of her friends at the reception

We were so sad to see this come to an end. We won’t be able to make the next round of classes in the spring because we are not planning to be in the area, but we are hoping to make it for next fall when we return.

This experience has definitely left an impression with Hannah and a continued love for theatre. We can’t wait until the next season of classes and to see how this love blossoms.

Great job, Hannah! You rocked it, love.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.

May 05, 2014

Tucson, AZ

There is so much to wrap up in this post as we spent quite a bit  of time in Tucson, but I will try to tie it together somehow!

We arrived in Tucson with some time to kill before the World’s Best Roadschool Convention, so we stayed at Voyager RV Resort before making our way over there. It was a gorgeous park with lots of activities, several pools, a library and beautiful scenery. It was a fabulous place to park for a few days. The peak season was coming to a close there, so it wasn’t very crowded at all.

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As we made our way to the convention at Lazy Days/KOA Campground, we prepared for all the events that were getting ready to happen. Seeing lots of friends, making lots of friends, giving a presentation on our product, My Homeschool Transcripts and taking part in an unschooling panel for the convention. There was also a rally happening at the same time, so there were lots of festivities in the evening as well.

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A couple of very cool things that happened while we were at the convention/rally: an air show could be seen overhead from the campground and the lunar eclipse could be seen very clearly from our campsite. These are the types of things that make living on the road so incredibly fulfilling…those serendipitous moments that allow us to reflect on the beauty of where we are at any given time.

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After all our connecting with friends and enjoying the festivities, it was time to leave. So, we headed back over to Voyager to regroup and make some decisions about our travel plans. We spent enjoyed the pool some more, decorated eggs and took in some more beautiful evenings.

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Upon leaving Voyager, we decided to take another trip over to Lazy Days and check out a camper that we were particularly fond of! This one is totally going on the vision board! We really love the layout of the living area. The two couches fold out to create one huge sleeping area…a co-sleeping dream!

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All in all, we had a fabulous time in spectacular Tucson. There was so much that we wanted to do, but didn’t have the opportunity or ability to do, so we really hope that we can make it back again soon. It is a beautiful place to be!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits!

 

 

November 18, 2013

Our Trip to PA

I have been neglecting this post for awhile, no particular reason except that there was so much packed in this trip that I really didn’t know where to begin.

Our reason for coming to PA was for Steve to provide a concert for the church that he grew up attending, but there was so much to experience in that reason alone. The family that brought him there had been very blessed by his music over the years and wanted to share it with the church again. It was a very precious time and a very beautiful concert. We knew after that concert that coming to PA was absolutely the right thing to do.

A few days before the concert, we were able to reconnect with some friends and make new ones as well.  We spent some time at Circle M Campground near Millersville, PA and had a great time enjoying campfires, potlucks, laundromat parties and farmer’s market trips. We also connected with family and celebrated Halloween with them.

 

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The following week, we parked the RV in Steve’s parents driveway in Gap, PA. We were very fortunate to have everything that we needed and the hospitality that they displayed was so amazing. We had a problem happen with the transfer switch in the RV, which meant we couldn’t use the generator. The temperature dipped into the low 30’s at night and we ended up relying on them a bit more than we intended. We are incredibly thankful for their generosity.

We were so amazed at the fall foliage that we were seeing. When we traveled through TN and NC and even VA, the colors were just not very vivid. But in PA, the colors were amazing. Many rides were taken just to admire the scenery 🙂

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We took at trip to Hershey, PA to visit a friend that I have known for quite a while online. We have been wanting to get together for a long time, but this trip we were able to make it happen. It was SO wonderful to connect and meet her kids. We ended up meeting at Chocolate World, but made out way to Pizza Hut, the local library and finally out to finish the day with some ice cream. Good times 🙂

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We stayed in PA long enough for Steve to perform in another church concert. It was a great concert and thanks to a friend bringing her daughter for Hannah to be with, I was actually able to sit through the entire concert! It was wonderful!

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There is so much to be said about the trip. So many emotions were felt by us all…lots of happy connecting times with friends and family, but also some sadness because of some illnesses that were very much a part of Steve needing to perform the concerts urgently. So many more blessings that were given to us that would take many other posts to explain.

All in all, we were blessed and in return many people were blessed by Steve’s music. We are thankful and have deep gratitude for it all and are looking for opportunities to share and give back to those we come in contact with in our travels.

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits,

Christy

February 16, 2013

Music Camp or Play with a New Friend?

We returned to music camp at the same location of the rally we attended in the previous weeks. This music camp was free to attend, you just needed to choose your instrument. Hannah decided to choose vocals.

The premise of the camp was actually a great idea…they just lacked some organization. With all the kids there, we needed to know some sort of plan. Instructors didn’t show and all the events started 30 minutes late. Needless to say, this scenario did not sit well with Hannah girl and she quickly lost interest. At the same time, another gal, who was camping close to us, decided she didn’t want to attend the camp, either.

So, they devised a plan. It was play time for the rest of the weekend. And you know what? It was fine with us. They were having fun exploring and connecting, so they were free to just have fun together. That’s what I love about this life we are living. Giving our children the freedom to explore (or not explore) what interests them. It makes for a happier life, for sure.

A view of Suwannee River

A view of Suwannee River

Playing with a new friend

Playing with a new friend

Look at those happy faces…the best sight in the world!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits,

Christy

 

September 25, 2012

Late Night Learning

Learning happens all the time around here. It just does. Because we want our kiddos to learn how to regulate their own bodies when they need rest, we do not have specific bedtimes. That is not to say that we just stay up til the wee hours every single night. We are partners with our children in helping them regulate their own bodies. This does mean that sometimes we stay up late, because it is important to them to do so. Recently, Hannah was up and wanted to watch Tinkerbell. She spontaneously wanted to make something after see the fairies ‘tinkering’. So, she grabbed a plastic bottle, some paint and construction paper and went to work making a handmade flower vase. And made me a picture with a heart and her name painted on it. I love my life and connection with my family. I can’t imagine living my life any other way.

September 21, 2012

Creative Expression

In our journey into unschooling and allowing our kids the freedom to choose their own passions and to follow their plan for their day, we have discovered many things that I am not sure would have been given the true value it deserves if we had been following a different plan (namely, a plan that we would choose for our kids). I have loved seeing what interests develop. Some interests have come and gone quickly and some have lingered on, but each choice is giving them the freedom to see where their heart and desire leads them.

After our trip to Boone, Hannah still was thinking about apples and we had quite a few left over. So, we made an apple pie to enjoy at home. She  really enjoyed helping me and wanted to carve the letter “H”  in the middle of the pie. It was very yummy. This is an activity that Hannah loves…cooking and baking with Mommy. And Mommy loves it, too!

Photography is another area that Hannah loves. She very easily adapts to the camera and has a great eye for an excellent photo. I have a very versatile camera, a Nikon D-3000. At first I was a little nervous letting her use it, and sometimes I do need to remind her not to bump it on the table, but overall she uses it with great care. She has her own camera that she also loves, but likes to use Mommy’s camera, too.  She takes pictures of me, the cats and really anything that interests her. I love seeing what her eye captures!

Something else that Hannah has been exploring is her ability to write letters and put them together to form words. She has been able to use various mediums for creating pictures with words and I love seeing what she creates!

Honestly, given the freedom to learn and express herself, she amazes me each and every day. I am so grateful to be by her side, watching her grow and learn. And I get to learn so much in the process as well. It’s  a blessed life, for sure.

September 13, 2012

A Milestone Passed

Today was a very happy day for our family, but mostly for our sweet son, Dylan. Getting a driver’s license has been on the top of his to-do list for 2 years. With his learner’s permit in hand, he has been practicing, taking the classwork needed and practicing some more. There were times that I wondered if he truly wanted to go through with this task, as I would see him get discouraged at times, challenged with processing the information that needs to be processed in the driving skill. But he continued to work hard to get better and more confident and after 2 years he has completed the driving test and now has his license! As he reaches his 20th birthday next week, he can enter it with confidence that he has completed this amazing goal!

At our local DMV, they do not issue the card that day, so he will have it mailed to him in about a week. Rest assured, when it comes in, there WILL be pictures 🙂

So, we are rejoicing in our home today and it helps set the tone for this weekend and next week, celebrating our wonderful son and our thankfulness of walking with him through this part of his journey.

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
-Mahatma Ghandi

Swimming

Before we went to bed last night, Hannah already had the day planned for us. Sweet Frog (a local yogurt shop) and the ‘fish’ playground (Sugar Hollow Park). She has named that park the ‘fish’ playground since we first moved to Southwest Virginia. There is a climbing area and slide in the shape of a fish, hence the nickname.

We actually ended up doing things a bit differently. We went shopping for a friend’s birthday gift, then  to Sweet Frog. Hannah decided it was too hot to go to the park and instead wanted to go to the YMCA to swim. Can I just say how happy I am to have the freedom to choose or not to choose to do an activity based on desires, likes, dislikes or temperature of the weather?

So, we head home to gather our swimwear, towels and goggles and off to the swimming pool we go. Going swimming with Hannah always takes me back to my childhood. As a young child, I was exposed to swimming at a very early age, going to the lake, swimming and water skiing. I was a member of the local swim team and competed in events as well. I wasn’t the best swimmer on the team, in fact, it took me quite a while to get to the point of many of the others on the team, but I still loved swimming and I gave it my all. Unfortunately, my time on the swim team came to an end around age 12 when I was in an accident that involved me being attacked by a german shepherd. He left me with 40 stitches under my left arm and during my recovery I had to let the swimming go by the wayside. I never picked it back up as far as competing, but I have continued to swim since then and still love it to this day.

So, all that to say…when my daughter says she wants to swim, we swim. When she first began to learn, we took a mommy and me class together and she was exposed to being in the water in a fun and relaxed way. After that lesson, she didn’t want to take any more lessons, but wanted to learn on her own and wanted me to swim with her.  Over the last 2 years, I have watched her basically teach herself how to swim and to swim well. She has taught herself to swim underwater, swim across the pool in order to pass a swim test to jump off the diving board, backstroke, complete handstands in the water and now she is working on freestyle. She is one amazing little swimmer.

This is another area that has shown me that when I step back and allow her to pursue her passions without interference from me, then she learns and grows and excels because she is joyfully pursuing what she loves. She knows I am there to help, encourage and facilitate, but she takes the reins completely and is in control of her learning. It is truly a beautiful sight to have the privilege to stand back and watch. And stand back I will….and learn she will.