Family culture

Roots

If you’ve followed along in our journey, you know that we moved to Southern Oregon in the summer of 2019. We’ve spent the past year and a half exploring this awesome state…and there is still so much left to see!

Limpy Creek Botanical Trail in Grants Pass and Fall Creek Falls near Glide, Oregon were both enchanting in March…both places felt like we were in Rivendell and an elf was going to appear at any moment! Something about sunlight hitting moss…I feel like Pacha in The Emperor’s New Groove saying, “These hills sing!”

Summer came with trips to the coast and Redwoods, learning how to paddleboard, camping trips, swimming in lakes and rivers and even Crater Lake, rafting down the Rogue, more time at the coast, more camping, and a whole lot more swimming. I’m not sure there was a set of two consecutive days my kids weren’t in the water! We played hard and if there was ever an idyllic childhood summer we got it!

With Covid closing our playgrounds and libraries, we focused on making our backyard an awesome place to be. We planted a garden, got a hammock and swing, set up a bird feeder, and built a teepee from driftwood collected in Applegate lake.

Pouring so much work into a rental backyard felt a little disheartening, though. Towards the end of the summer both Matt and I began to feel a pull towards finding our own home. Seeing as our rental was comfortable and we had a long wish list for our Home, we were OK taking our time looking for the right house. At the same time, my parents were home hunting as well so we looked at a LOT of houses over the course of a few months. Side note: my parents worked with JJ Kramer from April onward and he was awesome!

When the fires ravaged the Rogue Valley in September, we knew there was going to be a rush on houses having seen it happen in Chico after the Camp Fire in Paradise. Every day we looked at every new house listed but nothing felt right. Then Matt noticed a house that was hidden a bit—tucked away and interestingly enough had never popped up on any searches we made. It had been on the market for three months during a time when houses my parents were looking at were getting into bidding wars on the day that a house would list.

JJ got us into the house that evening and it was so perfect for us it seemed too good to be true. Four bedrooms, a roomy sunny homeschool room, a big kitchen as we all love to cook, windows to let in tons of light…we were smitten. On October 27th we closed on this dream house ❤️

It’s a home that can easily hold guests and ALL the family. I really believe you can make anything work, but moving to a location that’s literally double the space is like having so much more room to breathe. Both Matt and I work from home, and being a homeschool family—this is truly our home base. Each morning I look around and feel so immensely blessed—this is the first dwelling in my adult life that I can see being our home without an end date.

Matt and I did a massive IKEA haul for bookshelves and other basics, and I scrambled to get all the furniture assembled (49!) and things set up so we could enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas with family. As the weeks pass and we tweak things around, it just feels more and more like home.

So here I sit—in my favorite chair by the fireplace, listening to the sounds of Tatum singing in the bath, Bennett “reading” a story to herself on the landing, Kenna playing with dolls in her room, Roy panting on his bed nearby, and Matt watching board game reviews on the TV.

Comfy sounds of life. Sounds of home.

Adventures, Family culture

Home

On April 6th we drove out of Oklahoma with all our worldly goods. For more than three months we traveled around California and the Pacific Northwest–Oregon, Idaho, Washington–to see where we might want to plant some roots and settle down.

Leaving Edmond, OK

Honestly? We could have kept traveling full time! We LOVED it! The kids (and even Roy) did GREAT! We had so many adventures, saw so many amazing sights, and really grew closer as a family. However, traveling full time in AirBnBs ain’t cheap, and honestly doing homeschool was more difficult without all of my resources around! Little kids want glue and pom poms and paint!

The first long term place we stayed was Jacksonville, Oregon. And we fell in love. The beauty, the charm of the town, ease of access to both outdoor adventures and amenities (like Costco!)–getting to play in the rivers and forests so easily had us hooked! We actually started looking for rentals after only two weeks there! But the rental market is crazy and when our AirBnB was up we kept journeying (and so glad we did!).

BTW, if you want a walk-through of this AirBnB watch this–I highly recommend to any looking to stay in the area!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcoQbDSlBj0

By the time a possible rental opened up we were in Spokane, and the rental possibility had only a couple of shady pics…but the price was right, it was in a safe area, and they allowed dogs so we took a gamble! I mean, isn’t that what we’d been doing for well over a year and God keeps working things out?!

We had to wait awhile for more pics because apparently the previous renters trashed the place…great. But there were pretty much NO other places that matched what we needed to we kept moving forward. Coeur d’Alene, Hoodsport, Portland, and finally we were headed back south to Chico going through the Rogue Valley area.

Sparks Lake, near Bend, OR
Coeur d’Alene, ID

We stopped at the rental and totally snooped it out…and finally were able to see it was cute and would work out great! So in July we signed the lease and scheduled a truck to move our stuff from storage in Chico to Central Point, Oregon.

Seeing as I had started packing 21 months before and packed up things in stages, unpacking has been quite the adventure! It was like Christmas getting all of our own things out again! And getting to have our own Christmas decorations and ornaments this year? Priceless! Traveling is awesome but it feels so good to have a home base again!

Right after we signed the lease–Oregon bound!

Since then we’ve been loving where we’ve lived! I keep thinking I needed to catch things up on here but if you want the overview, check out the Instagram account @kait.palmer ! #PalmerPackAdventures and #CultivatingAbundantLife

Part of my New Year’s Resolve is to keep things updated on here…and not the boring list of things done but the stories. I miss writing stories that make you laugh, think, or even challenge you. Something quick to read with Your Morning Cup of whatever you prefer 😉

‘Till next time!

Cutting down our Christmas tree outside of Medford, OR