Friday, September 30, 2011

31 Days to Declutter



Yep.  That’s right.  October is THE month the Leightons’ are decluttering and purging the house of STUFF! 

I am participating in The Nester’s 31 Days of Change.  So starting October 1 through the 31, I will post daily tips and ideas on purging the ‘stuff’.

As told in our story HERE…we are preparing to hit the road July 1, 2012 in an RV to travel the US for ONE year with our 3 boys.  That means 9 short months to prepare our house to rent and learn the ropes of minimalism.  Yikes!

First step is decluttering the house. 

So follow along and maybe even be inspired to join in!  Imagine how great it will feel with less clutter and stuff….especially before the busy holidays.

Leave me a note if you are joining me too.

If you are a blogger, grab my button on the right to post on your blog.

It’s gonna be a great month!


Have a blessed day!


Our Dream

My husband and I have a crazy dream to travel the United States with our children in an RV….for ONE YEAR.  We have been asked a lot how we came to that thought and I don’t know if I can give just one easy answer to that question. 

Our biggest inspiration and catalyst to even hearing about this idea came from Tim and Stephanie Sheaffer from Give Every Day.  We ‘stumbled upon’ their blog and immediately felt pulled to the idea of serving others.  We also held some fascination for the idea that families actually do this!  The thought hadn’t really crossed our minds before except when thinking about ‘some day’ when we retire…maybe.

At the same time, we had started to feel a bit heavy with the way our life was.  My husbands’ job was stressful but mostly, it seemed we were just ‘surviving’ instead of living and experiencing.  We were hungering for  passion and purpose again in ways we weren’t even aware of…..until we saw the opportunity in the travel.  I know that for most people, a time such as this may never arise and that we should give it some thought. 

Several things in our life lined up….transition with hubbys’ job, support from family, opportunity to make an income online, the ideal time for our kids to pull out of school for a year, and the biggest one…we had just paid off all of our debt (not including mortgage).  The freedom from those bills actually opened a new door for us and we decided to jump in with both feet!

We are giddy with excitement, nervous about details (ok mostly me) and absolutely thrilled to have the chance to be with our kids as one family before they are too big and off to college.

We would love to share the journey with you!  Become a follower and like me on facebook. 

Ask us lots of questions…I will try my best to answer them!

Have a blessed day!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Light The Night Walk 2011


Each year, in communities all across the United States and Canada teams of families, friends, co-workers and local and national corporations come together to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS's) Light The Night Walk events and bring help and hope to people battling blood cancers.

Our family participated in the Light the Night 2011 on Saturday with friends and family.




(youngest doesn’t always like his picture taken…lol)

This particular walk is close to my heart because 8 years ago I was diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer, Hodgekins Disease.  It was right after I had my youngest son and quite the shock as well!  He was 4 months old and due to my illness and treatments, I was unable to care for him fully for almost the first year of my life.  We were so blessed with a fabulous church family and friends who cared for our whole family during that time.  I’m talking house cleaning, meals, child care, gifts, encouragement, prayer and the list goes on and on!  It was quite humbling to need others in this way and to accept the help, but I am so grateful. 

My angel was my mom.  She lives out of town and came for every treatment to stay for a week and care for me and my baby.  I do not know what I would have done without her!  Especially for caring for my son and nurturing him in his first year.  My sister-in-law and mother-in-law were also HUGE in my care.  Seriously…such a reminder why we need others.  We felt so loved and cared for during that hard and scary time.

And now….I have been cancer-free for 7 years!  Many times I feel like it was ages ago…other times it feels like just the other day.  Certain smells, for example, can take me right back to that time.  It has taken me this long to be able to participate in something like this because of the memories.  I only got a little teary when people spoke of loved ones gone.  It humbles me to know that I was given the gift of life while others had a different plan for their life.  Who am I?  Why me?  Such questions may never be answered but it reminds me to be faithful to the God who gave me life and to trust Him.


This is me with my hubby, Clark.  He is my ROCK!  He was Mr. Mom while I was ill and did it fabulously.  He never complained.  It was a very tough time for him too, but he tried to stay strong for me. 


So, we celebrated with a 3 mile walk and lighted balloons!  Red for supporters and white for survivors.  What an awesome sight to see so many there to take part in something greater than ourselves.

What about you?  Have you experienced a ‘bump in the road’ like me? 

Hope each of you have a blessed day!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dinner Shortcut


Meal times are c.r.a.z.y around here!  We currently have soccer 4 nights a week and high school football games on Fridays.  So between work, school and activities the dinner hour can be super hectic. 

Planning ahead is always my saving grace and things run so much smoother when I do.

One of my favorite shortcuts is buying roasted chickens.  I get mine at Costco because they have quality meat, they are good size and the price is right.



Doesn’t this look yummy?


Then I take the meat off, cut up or shred and put into bags to freeze. 


Now I have 3 meals prepped and ready to throw together.  We use it for quesadillas, pizza, sandwiches, soup, etc….  You may get more meals out of it depending on the size of your family.

It allows me to whip up a healthy meal in 20 mins or less for my active boys.

What dinner shortcuts do you have?  I love new ideas!


Have a blessed day,


Monday, September 19, 2011

Crooked River Camp Out


Every August our church gathers for a huge camp out at Crooked River in eastern Oregon.  Some of us go for just the weekend, some for the entire week and others even longer!  This past August marked our 13th year going.  We started before we had our first child.  Our boys have grown to absolutely love this week spent with good friends and family swimming, frog hunting, hiking, eating and playing games.  It is one of our most treasured family memories together.


Here we are getting the truck and trailer packed.  This takes us all day, but thankfully the boys are at an age to help quite a bit.


We stopped in Madras at the new Sonic that opened.  You order and eat outside or order from your car and the waitress brings you your food while on rollerskates!  We ran into friends who stopped on their way to the campout too.




I love this view of Crooked River.  Near the campground there is a lookout tower and this is the view from there.  It is an amazing view of God’s creation and so peaceful.  Isn’t it breathtaking?


There is a trail that leads down to the river.  Here is our family just before we hiked down.  We went with another family and took a bunch of youth kids with us to hike and swim in the river.



Coming back up…several of the kids chose to add a little rock climbing in as well.


The Ranch campground is fabulous!  There is a nice pool that we used everyday.


This church is right next to our campground and they let us use it every year for a special Saturday service.  This is one of my most favorite parts of our church campout.  Fabulous music with a breathtaking view of the canyon followed by great preaching and sharing and ending with communion. 


These two pictures give a small view of how much our church takes over the campground.  lol



Boy #3  all smiles.


Boy #1 just weeks before starting high school.


Boy #2 chillin’ in the air conditioned trailer.


Frog hunting is probably the boys’ favorite memory of all at Crooked River.  We go at night to a pond to look for bull frogs and catch little tree frogs.  Aren’t they cute?



Hubby and Caden playing games.  There is a Risk tournament at our trailer every year with a few of the boys plus many, many card games.  The choice game this year was poker, Texas Hold ‘em.  Even Caden learned to play. ( no money tho!)  The cage on the table is a frog habitat.  In it lives JoJo…the pet frog that Caden caught.


Our first years were spent tent camping, but one year we were able to borrow an RV from my brother-in-law and….the rest, as they say, was history!  Not only did I love the convenience of a kitchen, bathroom and bed, but the air conditioning was heaven.  In previous years, I would feel ill from the heat and this was the first year headache free.  We were hooked and purchased our first little trailer for the following summer.

My hubby, being the handyman he is, made a few upgrades and we were able to sell it the following year for a small profit.  We then purchased our current trailer….a bit newer and bigger than the last.  We have used this one for the past 3 summers and hubby once again made improvements, like a new floor.  It has served us well, but we are ready to go BIGGER again!

We are on the hunt for a 5th wheel now for our year long US tour.  More on this story coming soon!

What about you and your family?  Any favorite camping spots and memories?

Have a blessed day!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

How to Remove Permanent Ink


My boy #2 is an excellent artist and loves to create with his permanent sharpies.  He created a piece of art for the cover of his school binder, but unfortunately it leaked through onto our kitchen table!  Oooops!


Then, boys #3 says, ‘Mom!  Get your Shaklee!’.   lol

So, I did.  Here is a picture of our Scour Off from the Get Clean line.  It is natural, non-toxic and is made from cherry pits.  Smells great…no harsh fumes and safe to use around my kids.


A little is all you need on a wet rag!  It goes a long way because it is a concentrate.  Then wipe on the ink.  Super easy!


WOW!!  Look at the ink on the rag.  Came right off.


Here it is ‘ink free’.  Good thing because this was my hubbys’ grandmas’ table!


Here are few facts on the Scour Off Heavy Duty Paste.

✔ Nontoxic
✔ No chlorine bleach
✔ No toxic fumes

✔ Cleans toughest cooked-on food from
ovens and barbecues
✔ Removes rust

✔ Natural mineral abrasives
✔ Biodegradable surfactants
✔ No dyes
✔ No phosphates
✔ Recyclable packaging
✔ Safe for septic systems and


• Natural ingredients remove the toughest dried-on splatters and spills, burned-on grease, baked-on food, and sticky messes without hazardous chemicals or toxic fumes.

• Scour Off is made from natural mineral abrasives and biodegradable cleaning agents. It does not contain chlorine bleach or dye.

• Scour Off gently removes stains other cleansers can’t and is great for cleaning tubs, ovens, sinks, and tiles.

• It will even remove rust, and is great for cleaning these surfaces: copper, grout, cement, and ceramic.

• Wide-mouth jar makes it easy to use.


Anyone else have mishaps with permanent marker?

Have a blessed day,