The Sights Unseen

Sensenig Family RV Adventures


February 2016–Flooding and Florida

Calista informed us at the first of the month that it was time to say goodbye to her beloved barbies. These barbies have been her friends for many, many months so we were quite surprised to hear that she wanted to give them away. She not only wanted to give them away, but she wanted to make sure that they were given to children that lived in a children’s home. We were not very familiar with the options in the area, but we found a children’s home that operated a thrift store, so we bundled them up and delivered them to the Collins Children’s Home Thrift Store in Seneca, SC.

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Smiling Calista after donating her Barbies

Smiling Calista after donating her Barbies

We explored the local area a bit and visited The Children’s Museum of the Upstate in Greenville, SC. It was a really fun museum and they had an exhibit that encouraged interactivity with all 50 states called Trivial Pursuit, A 50 State Adventure. It was fun to interact with the states and even be able to recognize some places that we have visited.

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We also enjoyed a very fun Valentine’s Day as Steve had a gig with Katie Deal and Chris Wright in Gainesville, GA at Brenau University, just about an hour from the campground. It was such an amazing concert with so many outstanding musicians. We went out together and celebrated as a family at Mellow Mushroom. I think we have visited at least 10 different Mellow Mushroom restaurants in our travels and every one of them is unique! We topped off the night with a cheesecake that I made for everyone.

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So, now to the exciting part of the month…well, all that happened prior was pretty exciting, but…

We had a flood. In our RV. Thank you non-working toilet that decided to work while we were gone for the day.  Lots of water on the floor and in the carpet. We tried valiantly to remove all the water, but we just couldn’t. So, we removed the carpet and put down the new flooring we have been wanting for 3 years. So, all in all a blessing in disguise, just not the route that we planned to take.

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After we stripped the carpet from the slideout

In process of installing the flooring

In process of installing the flooring

Celebrating the completion of the finished flooring

Celebrating the completion of the finished flooring

It was really quite the project, but we were so happy to be able to complete it ourselves and it is exactly what we wanted. We love our new floor!

We topped off February with a very fun and refreshing trip to Florida to visit with friends and just enjoy a change of scenery. It turned out to be so much more refreshing than we thought it would be. It was a such an encouraging and uplifting week. We did not want to leave!

We found a great site on Easy St.

We found a great site on Easy St.

We sat by the pool with our good friend, Kaycee while the kids played

We sat by the pool with our good friend, Kaycee while the kids played

Mom's Night Out was a very fun time!

Mom’s Night Out was a very fun time!

Campfire with The Hannen's and our new friends, The Church's

Campfire with The Hannen’s and our new friends, The Church’s

Exploring Jensen Beach, FL

Exploring Jensen Beach, FL

Enjoying an evening with our beautiful friends, The Lincoln's

Enjoying an evening with our beautiful friends, The Lincoln’s

We went to see a great show in Lakeland, FL. We loved it, Christi!

We went to see a great show in Lakeland, FL. We loved it, Christi!

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We had an amazing time connecting with our friends Phil and Heather in Lakeland, FL.

We had an amazing time connecting with our friends Phil and Heather in Lakeland, FL.

We met up with Christina at Starbucks. Christina, you are such a gem!

We met up with Christina at Starbucks. Christina, you are such a gem!

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Enjoying our last day by the pool

Enjoying our last day by the pool

Even with the ups and downs of figuring out the flooring issue, we had such a fabulous February! We are filled with so much gratitude for every experience that comes our way. It is a beautiful life!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits!

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!

June 01, 2015

Medford, New Jersey

During our stay in PA, Steve has had many opportunities to give some concerts in several different venues. We are looking forward to several more in the coming months, all located in PA. The weather has been gorgeous and we are loving being in the area. Not only have we been able to enjoy the opportunities for music, but also spending time with friends and family has definitely been an added bonus.

This week we have had the opportunity to spend time in  Ocean View, NJ and we absolutely LOVE the campground here (I’ll post more about that later). We also traveled to Medford, NJ this weekend so that Steve could provide music for a small church there. We actually ended up staying at a Hampton Inn for the night (just much easier for us for various reasons). We enjoyed an amazing dinner with friends (smoked ribs and grilled bratwurst and burgers—so very good!!!) We connected with some new friends that we hope to see again when we go back to NC this fall. Then today, spent a large part of the day by the lake watching the kids swim and canoe. So fun!

So, if I had to sum up our day in one photo, this would be the one:

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The ultimate in summer fun! Watching the kids jump off that deck over and over brought back some great memories of doing the same thing at their age!

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.

September 22, 2014

Catching Up, Again!

This post is going to be an attempt to catch up on all that we have done in the past several months since being back in Tennessee. It seems that we have had less time for writing these days, but I would love to catch up on where we are and what we are doing.

Concert in the Park in Blowing Rock, NC

Concert in the Park in Blowing Rock, NC

Musically, Steve has been quite busy! When we visited NC, he had the opportunity to play several times at Music in the Park in Blowing Rock. He played with some fantastic musicians. He also took part in the production of Ring of Fire at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA and also in a performance at the Carter Fold, which was the last venue that Johnny Cash had played before he died. It was a very special night for him. He just finished up a performance with Symphony of the Mountains in Kingsport, TN for Sax and the Symphony. It was an amazing opportunity for him!

Since being in TN, we have mostly been catching up with friends, learning together and experiencing the beauty of the area.

I have been trying to find time to make jewelry, read, explore my world, but have mostly been learning alongside my kiddos as they explore their passions, which I absolutely love because they take me down paths that I never would go on my own! And I’m fitting in work (on my multiple projects!) when I can.

Hannah celebrated her 8th birthday in August and had a great group of friends spend the day with her. It was a fantastic, My Little Pony (Equestria Girls) kind of day. She wanted to celebrate her birthday in Bristol with her closest friends and that is exactly what she did! She has also been spending lots of time swimming, enjoying play dates, visiting the library, rat sitting and is getting ready to start a drama class. Lots going on with this kiddo!

Celebrating Hannah's 8th Birthday in TN

Celebrating Hannah’s 8th Birthday in TN

Dylan has been playing his guitar, a few games of golf here and there and discovering a love caring for animals. He is totally in his element when he can spend a day with animals he has been asked to care for. This guy is 22 now….how did that happen??

Celebrating Dylan's 22nd Birthday in NC

Celebrating Dylan’s 22nd Birthday in NC

We have spent time with family: my parents, brother and sister-in-law, my grandfather, cousins, aunts, uncles and Steve’s parents ( that came to visit from PA). Lots of family time, which is so awesome! We are definitely taking advantage of seeing them while we can!

Now that Steve’s finished with his contract at Barter Theatre and the performance in Kingsport, we are looking forward to embracing the time that we have with our family and friends.

Stay tuned for more posts as we continue our time in Tri-State region in NC, TN and VA. We will try not to wait too long for the next post!

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!

 

 

April 09, 2014

Hueco Tanks State Park

We had one more opportunity to stay in a state park in Texas before entering New Mexico and Hueco Tanks was our destination.

Hueco Tanks is not your ordinary state park. Located not too far from El Paso, the view is amazingly beautiful. The landforms and mountain ranges are just breathtaking. This particular park has some sacred qualities as well and the park rangers make sure to give you guidelines as you enter the park. In fact, we were required to watch a 15 minute video regarding the sacredness of the park and some of the important things to be aware of while staying there. Once we found our site, we were in awe with all the beauty surrounding us. Lots of time rock climbing and exploring the area. It was one of those places that you just don’t want to leave.

At the entrance to the park. We were waiting outside while Steve and Dylan watched the video.

At the entrance to the park. We were waiting outside while Steve and Dylan watched the video.

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The sunset on our first evening there

The sunset on our first evening there

On a walk to check out a few of the trails

On a walk to check out a few of the trails

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Some of the pictographs were covered in graffiti, which is one of the reasons why there are strict guidelines now about visiting the sites

Some of the pictographs were covered in graffiti, which is one of the reasons why there are strict guidelines now about visiting the sites

Hannah and I went on a evening walk around the loop at our campsite

Hannah and I went on a evening walk around the loop at our campsite

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Our campsite at Hueco Tanks

Our campsite at Hueco Tanks

Our view as we went rock climbing

Our view as we went rock climbing

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Quite the motley crew...

Quite the motley crew…

I just love this picture...

I just love this picture…

The visit to Hueco Tanks was a time to connect and just enjoy being together in a beautiful, amazing place. Moments such as these are just so precious to us. This is why we do what we do.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.

October 23, 2013

Traveling Back to Alabama

Our last morning in Colorado River in Columbus, Texas before we headed to Alabama for a week was met with a wonderful sunrise. We knew we had quite a bit of traveling ahead of us, but I really wanted to catch one last Texas sunrise…for a few months, at least.

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After leaving Texas, we made our way through Louisiana, and on a side note, we were not too impressed with the highways there. In fact, we are hoping to avoid La all together when we make our way back to Texas. We ended up staying in the Mississippi Welcome Center for the night. Leaving bright and early the following morning, we finally make our way to Alabama.

We were so glad to be back at Hidden Cove. One of our favorite places to stay, for sure!

We caught up with our friends that live in Anniston, AL and were able to see their daughter perform in Aladdin at Gadsden State Community College. It was so great to see their family again. We also caught up with our new friends in Madison, AL and had some pizza and great convo. I love how we can connect with so many people on our journey. Horseshoes, face painting and new friends at the campground were a huge part of our time in Alabama!

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A highlight from our trip was spending time with our friend, Becky and her daughter, Taylor. We met them at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. It was amazing! We were so glad we took the time to go. Lots to do and learn…it was so fascinating and wonderful.

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Beauty and Blessing Awaits,

Christy

 

 

October 03, 2013

A Day of Learning

It’s an odd title really….learning is happening all the time in all that we do. So, it’s not so much that we learned so much more today than any other. It’s really just a typical ‘day in the life’…although, no two days are the same.

It’s what I love so much about unschooling. Learning happens at each moment, the moment that it’s the most interesting. Once that moment passes, it’s gone. We may come back to it later, maybe not….but catching the passion and eagerness to learn in that moment is what makes life so very lovely for us.

When we woke this morning, Steve and I both knew we had some work that needed to be done, which meant he needed some place to write piano arrangements without distraction and I needed to get some work done before Hannah awoke. I had just started working when she woke up. That’s when I usually put my work aside and spend time with her. But this morning was a little different. She wanted to create, which meant she wanted to draw and to write. So, while she was creating, I was able to tackle a good chunk of work. We chatted and connected while I was working and she was creating and it flowed really beautifully.

Hannah drew this picture of herself and her friend, Ali. Apparently, there were having a fine time playing while animals surrounded them, including a walrus (pictured in the middle):

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Another picture. When I asked her what it was, she said “It is a king and a queen on a wet, rainy day with their cat and dog that are eating a very large egg.” :

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After her time of drawing, she grabbed a notebook and started writing. No prompting on my part, she just wanted to write. (You will also notice she was practicing writing the letter “H” on her knee.)

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She handed me the notebook and read it to me. She tends to write her letters and words from right to left instead of the other way around and is still trying to figure out those pesky little N’s and M’s, but I loved that she was so happy with her work and I wouldn’t have corrected her for anything! It says, in her words, “I Hannah love mommy”:

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She went on to play with her barbies, which led to wanting to watch a barbie movie, which didn’t last because she looked outside and spotted a few deer, grabbed her camera and said, ‘Let’s Go!” So off we went to check out the scene outside:

The deer watching to see what exactly we are doing in their space. They shared it with us...

The deer watching to see what exactly we are doing in their space. They shared it with us…

We spotted a dung beetle crossing our path as went walked to the playground. They were so fascinating!

We spotted a dung beetle crossing our path as we walked to the playground. He was quite fascinating!

Hannah picked up a rock and we loved all the colors that were showing. Completely white on the outside, but beautiful shades of coral and pink on the inside:

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Next on the agenda was face painting:

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A trip to HEB and doing laundry/hanging out in the activity center at the campground while playing Chutes and Ladders (among other activities) finished out our day.

This day was a reminder to me how much I love the process of learning and how a child so passionate about life can capture those moments of the pure joy of learning. I can’t imagine living and learning any other way. It’s a natural process that blossoms in each child when they are ready. And when they are ready….just watch the beauty of it all unfold before you. It is captivating.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits,

Christy