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Things to know about Fulltime Families Facebook participation

GreenHeartAdventure No Comments

The Fulltime Families Facebook group is sponsored by Fulltime Families, LLC, a company that connects and supports traveling families by providing education, support, discounts, and community. This group is a small part of the resources Fulltime Families provides to families living or seeking the fulltime RV lifestyle.

There are many Fulltime Families groups, including several dedicated groups for paid Fulltime Families Members, including a general member group, consisting primarily of traveling families, a bookclub, and a boondocking group.  Some other Facebook Groups sponsored by Fulltime Families, and open to all, are dedicated to Special Needs, Military Families, Solo Parents and more.

We appreciate that the members of all our sponsored groups are kind, respectful, helpful, and show restraint when necessary. We are more than a group about travel or living in an RV, so we allow conversations that aren’t specifically related to those things. However, to keep the atmosphere positive, we will not allow religious or political debates, cursing, or belittling fellow group members. In addition, there are a few topics that we will allow to be discussed for informational purposes, but as soon as they become debates or opinion based will need to be closed for comments. Those topics are traveling with guns, car seats, and safety of motorhomes.

We do not allow our groups to be used for advertising, sales, or market research. If you would like to partner or advertise with us please email info@fulltimefamilies.com. Please do not private message other members or ask them to private message you as a method of selling or obtaining sales people for your organization. If you want to post a job opportunity or fundraiser please private message a group administrator for approval.

If you are looking for information on how we can all afford to travel fulltime, what various acronyms mean, and other FAQs, check out our FILES section.

We’re so excited to have you as a part of our community.  Please review all these tips, enjoy the community and help here, and consider taking the next step by becoming a Fulltime Families Member. We hope to see you down the road!

 

 

Our visit to the American Girl Place NYC

Kimberly No Comments

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How much would you pay for a hair do, an ear piercing and a special lunch with your special girl… now what if that special someone was an American Girl Doll? Wanna know how much we spent?

Well, the answer’s coming soon, but first a little back story.

I hate American Girl Dolls. I hate what they stand for, I hate how they indoctrinate little girls into a materialistic branded way of life, veiled by fake historic characters and I especially hate how much they cost. I don’t honestly believe there’s a place for one of them in our anti-consumer, rv lifestyle, where we treasure experiences over stuff.

So why do we have one? Because I am a complete hypocrite! Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Last week, Tonia and I boarded a plane bound for New York to attend the wedding of my oldest friend.

A familiar skyline

A familiar skyline

This trip also provided the opportunity to satisfy my mother’s desire to take her one and only granddaughter to lunch at the American Girl Place in NYC. Knowing of our impending jaunt to this fantasyland of molded plastic, I made a reservation for lunch weeks in advance. It’s not uncommon for this event to be sold out, so if this is something you are interested in, I strongly advise reservations, lest you find yourself with a starving doll and a disappointed little girl.

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American Girl Place NYC

Thursday morning we headed to 5th and 49th street to the mecca of all things AG with Kanani, the 2011 Girl of the Year doll my mother had purchased and stashed away 2 years ago.
My mother had decided that Kanani need not be a full time rver and told Tonia the doll would stay at her house. To assuage the upset, I had agreed to get Tonia an Our Generation doll at Target. With an $18 price tag this is a much more palatable option for me and would resolve Tonia’s issue regarding taking a doll home with her.

However, as we stood in the midst of everything American Girl, the ‘big red bag obsession’ took firm hold in Tonia’s heart and she confided in me she no longer wanted an Our Generation doll, she wanted a “real doll”.

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Meet Saige – the newest full time rving American Girl!

 

Yikes! It was happening right before my eyes! The idea that one 18 inch plastic doll could be more real than another was just the insidious attitude I try valiantly to guard against… or at least I thought I had…

But then I caught my reflection in the mirror and knew the awful truth. There I was in my Miss Me jeans, with my Coach purse and designer cowboy boots. I was really nothing more than an overgrown version of these 6 yr olds running around pleading for overpriced dolls, accessories and furnishings.

In a last ditch effort to impress upon Tonia the implications of owning a $110 doll, I told her that this purchase would necessitate the complete suspension of her allowance for one whole year, while she currently had enough money saved for the Our Generation doll and could continue to accrue her weekly allowance without interruption if she chose to go that path. But it was too late. I had opened the door to Pandora’s Doll House and there was no going back.

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Thank Goodness these dolls don’t eat, lunch was expensive enough!

After we purchased Saige we headed to the third floor to check in for our lunch reservations. Lunch started with some sweet treats as fresh hot cinnamon rolls were delivered to the table, followed shortly by a veggie and cheese platter.

The menu had a savory assortment of salads, entrees and even some adult beverages.

Not to be left out, the dolls have plates and cups set in front of them, so you can share some of your lunch with them. I think these dolls are all calorie conscious ’cause I didn’t see a single one eating!

After lunch, the cakes (which I must say looked absolutely scrumptious) started rolling in, candles being blown out left and right to that ol’ familiar tune.

Since we were not celebrating a special occasion (unless you consider losing your mind and spending enormous amounts of money a cause for celebration), we were served iced heart cakes, a stick of fruit, and a cup of dirt 😉

These dolls are all starving!

These dolls are all starving!

As the meal wound down, I noticed a large collection of wall flowers. They have a huge assortment of ‘loaner dolls’ on hand, although I could not think of a single instance in which one would utilize this option.. except maybe if you dropped your doll in the sewer on the way to lunch?!?

Next up, the lovely ladies at the hair salon were anxiously awaiting Kanani for a hair appointment and ear piercing.. Yes, you read that right – the doll was getting her ears pierced, or more accurately holes drilled into her head.

Gettin' her hair did!

Gettin’ her hair did!

When we came upon the Doll Hair Salon earlier that morning my initial reaction was “what a clever way to make even more money”, but after seeing the transformations from ‘well-loved’ gnarly-haired dolls to prim and proper well groomed toys, I have to admit I was impressed.

I have spent many an hour on the floor of my camper trying valiantly to unknot the unknottable when Tonia went through her “I LOVE RAPUNZEL” phase and the quality and resilience of these American Girls wigs should be given due credit.

The ear piercing was done behind closed doors, so no one could hear the doll screaming. She emerged with sparkly star earrings and a triple set of mix and match options to take home.

Next stop, traipsing through endless galleries of doll clothing and accessories. With weddings on her mind, Tonia picked a Flower Girl ensemble that ironically cost more than Tonia’s own real life Flower Girl ensemble.

This could double as a 'toad'

This could double as a ‘toad’

Again, I must give credit where its due and although I can not justify the crazy price tags, I can say the clothing is very well made, exceptionally detailed and durable.

The furnishings are completely over the top! I have no idea what kind of square footage the target market girls have, but a 6 foot hot air ballon is never going to fit in my RV!

All told, our time we spent at the American Girl Place in New York City was definitely an experience.

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This bag is almost bigger than Tonia’s “room”

Our grand total was:

Lunch for 3 $125
Saige $110
Hair Style and Ear Piercing $35
Flower Girl Outfit $32
Not including transportation expenses: $302.00

Holy Cow! That’s more than my Coach purse, Miss Me jeans and designer cowboy boots combined!!!

Natural Hot Springs are Soaking Spectacular – with Video

Kimberly No Comments

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On this episode of One Epic Adventure, the Traveling Travaglinos, together with the Felty Foursome, hiked to Fifth Hot Water Springs in  Diamond Fork canyon, south east of Provo, UT.

This family friendly hike to the springs is approx 2.5 miles along a large and sometimes fast flowing stream.

We choose a spring weekday for this adventure, to avoid the crowds that arrive on the weekends.

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During the hike, the skies opened up and pelleted us with hail for about 10 minutes.
When you arrive at the springs there are several sparkling pools that have been made for your soaking pleasure.

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The pools closer to the water fall are considerably warmer then the lower ones which you’ll encounter first (and the fact that there was a gentleman bathing au’natural in the first one) made the upper ones far more appealing.

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Most of the pools create a convergence between the cool river and the very hot thermal springs.

Depending on your preference, you can find your “sweet spot” where the two bodies of water blend to your perfect temperature.

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We loved our time soaking in Fifth Hot Water Springs and recommend you check out this hike when you’re in the Provo Area.

Check out our short video and subscribe to our Youtube Channel to check out our other Epic Adventures.

Winner Announced in the Favorite 12 Joys of RVing Instagram Picture

Kimberly 2 comments
The Grand Prize Winner has been announced in the 12 Joys of RVing Instagram Contest.
By gathering the most votes, @boondockedmedia, Dana Haines has won the Grand Prize which includes a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a bag of swag from Go RVing!
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Here are the finalists:
Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 12.02.33 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 12.05.14 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 12.07.59 PM
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Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 9.26.34 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 9.27.32 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 9.28.44 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 9.29.36 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 9.31.00 PM
Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 9.31.42 PM
 Thank you for all that submitted Instagram Pics and participated in the contest.  There is a lot of joy in RVing and so many of you did a great job of capturing and spreading it!!!
AmazonGiftCard

 

This promotion isn’t sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram.

Fulltime Families Announces Brand New Scouting Program for Traveling Kids

Kimberly No Comments

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So many of you have bemoaned the fact that going on the road does require sacrifice.  While not impossible, it is much harder for your children to participate in extracurricular activities such as soccer, karate, dance, gymnastics and scouting.

We know that both the Boys and Girl Scout offer programs that can be adapted to traveling life, but we thought, there’s got to be a better option.  One that incorporates the unique aspects of our lifestyle, like our plentiful opportunities to interact with so many ‘mature’ rvers and the technical aspects of our homes.

SG-RV Maintenance

And then one day…

My oldest son, Dominick, was wearing his old Tiger Cub cap and turned to me and I could see the glow of a light bulb coming straight through the mesh… “Hey Mom, why don’t we have our own scouting program for FtF kids?”

My mind raced… the potential was unlimited! RV Maintenance Badge, Roadschool Badge, Navigator Badge, Fire Safety, Water Safety… My brain wouldn’t stop spitting out potential badge earning opportunities!

I cornered FtF Moms Kelly Savory and Laura Hamilton and spilled out all the disjointed ideas and together we created thisamazing program!

SG-History Detective
We took the best parts of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Guides and then took
out the tedious parts, like the need to have different siblings in
different programs, uniforms and neckerchiefs.  Oh, and we made sure the
actual elements would literally fit into our lifestyle and not be too
heavy or cumbersome.

SG-Geologist
Introducing the Fulltime Families Explorer Program

The FtF Explorer Program is a family centered program created to support leadership, creativity, and community centered activities for boys and girls. The suggested age range is from 5 to16 years old.

The FtF Explorer Motto is: Seek, Learn, Share

The FtF Explorer Mission is: To foster strong family values, leadership, creativity, safety awareness, community spirit and individual exploration.

This is a family centered program, and Explorers are encouraged to work with their siblings in the program toward achieving common goals.

I’d love to share more of this exciting program with you, so I invite you to check out
all the details by visiting https://www.fulltimefamilies.com/explorer/

Fulltime Families Introduces Minecraft Mondays!

Kimberly 1 Comments

Minecraft Mondays

Fulltime Families kids can now join up to fight the mobs and dig, dig, dig every Monday on the brand new (and newly improved) dedicated Minecraft Server (built and maintained by FtF Charter Member, David Gardner).

The server, which is available to all paid FtF Members (annual, lifetime and Charter) is yet another way for on the road kids to connect with friends across the miles.

While the server is available 24/7/ 365 days a year, Minecraft Minors can count on their friends logging on on Monday nights at 9pm est!

Users will need to provide their Player Name so that they can be added and Whitelisted.  The server is set up so that only Whitelisted Players can join. This will help keep it a friendly, and FtF only server.

Interesting Events- Bonnie and Clyde festival

Kimberly No Comments

You may be interested to know that each year, Gibsland, Lousiana, the town where Bonnie and Clyde took their last breathes, hosts a Bonnie and Clyde Festival.

 

 

Bring your family and friends and join the good folk of Gibsland, LA, each May, as they remember the historical ambush of the infamous outlaws Bonnie & Clyde, with fun festivities, great food, music and authentic re-enactments.

 

 

 

This annual festival is not meant to glorify the life and crimes of Bonnie & Clyde nor to celebrate their tragic death. It is an annual get together of family members, historians and authors so they can share their interest in the history and the mystery. The town welcomes anyone who wishes to attend and learn more about the history of Bonnie & Clyde.

 

 

If you’d like to take a detour to attend the Bonnie and Clyde Festival, click here for more info: http://www.findfestival.com/gibsland/2014/bonnie-and-clyde-festival/

 

 

A Great Time to Get a Thousand Trails Zone Pass – Buy One / Get One Free!

Kimberly No Comments

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Get Great Camping Value and an Annual FtF Membership for $5!

The Thousand Trails Zone Camping Pass is a yearly contract that allows the owner to camp in Thousand Trails RV parks at steep discounts.  It’s called a Zone Pass because they split the country in to 5  zones Southeast, South West, Midwest, Northeast and Northwest.

Thousand Trails is currently running a promotion; Buy one zone; Get a second zone free. The total cost for the year is $525 (which is available on a payment plan).

This allows you to stay for free in any park in your zones for free for the first 30 nights, then after that you pay $3 dollars per night. Stipulations state you can only be in the park system for 2 weeks before you must leave for a week to re-enter (two weeks in / one week out). If you stay 4 nights or less you can hop park to park.  It also provides additional discounts for Encore RV Parks.

So how does this deal help you get an Annual FtF Membership for just $5?  Well, FtF has partnered with Thousand Trails to provide you a rebate as part of our exclusive FtF offers for members.

Exclusive Offer from FtF; New Zone Pass purchases receive a $25.00 rebate or new upgrades to existing Thousand Trails memberships receive a $40.00 rebate.

To be eligible for the rebate or the reduced rate for the annual membership;

  • Contact Thousand Trails Sales Director Jim Randell by email or phone him at (352)-396-6835 with questions or to purchase the passes.
  • Must use referral Fulltime Families when signing up to receive your rebate from FtF.
  • Current FtF Members will receive the rebate  Click Here to submit your rebate
  • Non FtF Members will be eligible to purchase an Annual FtF Membership at the reduced rate of $5.

This offer expires November 30th, 2013. 

Author’s Note:  Our family are Thousand Trails members.  Thousand Trails allows you to camp with your pets and does not charge extra for children.  We believe this offer is a great way to supplement your camping and provides a great value.  However, it is important that you do your own research to determine if this offer is good for your family.

 

How to make a slenderman action figure

Kimberly 1 Comments

Living full time in our RV with 4 children is never dull. There’s always something going on, but possibly amongst my favorite goings on is when my aspie child presents me with a challenge.

Like when he wanted a full head to toe armor (we went through three boxes of aluminum foil) or the time he insisted I make him a Tron disc to wear on his back.

But if I’m being 100% honest then I’d have to admit that each time he’s asked for these things, my heart has sunk… “There’s no way I can do that!” Is always my gut reaction.

However, I put on a brave face and we get to planning. So, this past weekend when Blaise asked me to help him make a Slenderman Action figure, my wheels started turning.

If you’re not yet acquainted with Slenderman, he is a mythical creature and the main attraction in the Slenderman video games.

 

Blaise is equally horrified and enamored with this character.

After couple of Google searches we determined that a Ken doll would make the perfect slendy.

So we headed out to buy:

1 swanky ken doll in a tuxedo

1 can of white flat spray paint

1 Black marker

1 pack of black pipe cleaners

1 black wire tie

 

If you’re interested in how to make your own you can watch this video:

 

 

I am happy to report that Blaise was thrilled with the outcome!

 

 

And the Winner is…

Kimberly No Comments

We are thrilled to announce the winners of our 1st Annual Mother’s Day Essay Contest.

Winner of the 2013 Mother's Day Essay Contest; Jayda Haponenko with her mom, Rachel

Winner of the 2013 Mother’s Day Essay Contest; Jayda Haponenko with her mom, Rachel

Jayda Haponenko’s essay “The Picture Perfect Mom” won her mom, Rachel a free massage from Massage Envy!

The Picture Perfect Mom by Jayda Haponenko

The one person who as truly impacted my life for the good is my mom. I am so grateful to call her mine because she is an awesome role model and encourages me in everything I do.

My mom is the best role model a daughter could ask for she has instilled many great qualities in me. One of the greatest things she has taught me is how to stand up for myself and what I believe in. Because she has taught me this it has made me stronger as a person and made me ok with who I am. This has also helped me with my self-esteem and made who I am as a person. I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world.

Another amazing thing my mom has taught me is that I can do anything I put my mind to, and that she will always support me. For example when I decided I wanted to do drama (acting) she worked her schedule around picking me up from practice, going to shows, and coming to watch rehearsal. She also made herself available to come help do hair, makeup, provide us with food, and any extra materials we needed. Thanks to her everything went great and we got to surprise my teacher. I don’t think she realizes it but everything she does for me makes a big impact on me.

Being an outstanding role model and encouraging me all the time are only two of the many reasons my mom is perfect for me.

If you want to see excerpts from other entries – click here!

We also held a contest for the ‘pre-essay writer’s set’

Madison’s interview about “Madison’s Mommy” was the winner of that category!

My Mommy by Madison
  1. I really love it when my mom helps me:  with my homework because she is a teacher and she has a lot of patience.  Also we get to do homework on the couch while we are eating ice cream, you can’t do that in school.
  2. My mom likes to wear: t-shirts and shorts.  She loves bright colors and to feel like sunshine.
  3. My mom’s favorite color is:  purple, almost any shade of it.
  4. My mom always tells me:  that she loves me to Pluto and back.
  5. The best thing she does is:  love me every day even if I do something wrong.
  6. It makes her happy when: I tell her how much I love her and when I give her kisses and hugs or even just text her xoxoxoxo.
  7. My mom loves to relax by:  working out while reading a book.
  8. I like it when she: tells me Pinky Pony stories
  9. The best thing she cooks is:  spagetti
  10. When my mom shops she likes to buy: lettuce and fruit
  11. My mom’s favorite household chore is: none
  12. My mom’s favorite TV show:  she doesn’t watch tv
  13. Her favorite place is: the beach
  14. I love my mom because:  even when she is really tired she always makes time for me!

 

If you want to see excerpts from other entries – click here!

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