Sunday, April 29, 2018

Moving out of Nana's

Monday morning was moving into the RV day. I put the things that I wanted to take on the table. Elanor and Amelia practically begged to organize the kitchen and food. Well…. Ok. Everyone helped take the things to the RV and it was all loaded up. Magic!

I spent the day boxing things up and trying to get them out. So many piles to keep straight - the RV pile, the storage unit pile, the donation pile, the trash pile.

I was also selling things that had not sold in the yard sale. 1000+ pounds of old wheat, water barrels, a filing cabinet, Eric’s car, and other random items.

Tuesday was Scott’s birthday!

We woke him up by flooding his cubby with balloons and singing to him.  You can watch it here.

I managed to make a cheesecake for him on Sunday. We ate half at breakfast!


Scott made it clear that he did want to work on his birthday. I tried very hard to make that happen. Ultimately, Eric and I took a load to the storage unit and told the onions that helping was optional. We also had some donations to drop off and a then a box to go to uncle Steven and aunt Nancy. Everyone decided to go along for the ride. Scott’s birthday gift had arrived! I tried to cover and say the box contained the books I had ordered, but the labeling on the box was telling. Dominoes!

We went to two parks, out to dinner, and more cheesecake for dessert.

                                        The shadow nearest the top is Scott, 3 stories high.

            Seth ordered and ate a 20 oz rare steak. 
                            Mmmm MEAT!

Elanor has been quite industrious. She proposed starting a concession stand. She listed possible items to sell, priced them out, narrowed her list, purchased the items herself and set up shop. She originally started with an old wheelchair left at Nana’s. But we upon driving over, we immediately observed that it was misleading for passers by. Elanor purchased a kid carrier attachment for a bike. She shoved all her things into it and called it good for a while. Now that we are moving, she decided to make it her own and has changed somethings around to suit her concession stand needs better.


Wednesday was a packing, loading, storing frenzy from shortly after sun up to after sun down. Signing and funding for the new owner was on Thursday. We had planned to be out Wednesday night. But we didn’t make it. Eric and I discussed and strategized for the last of our move. We were 100% out at 1 pm. The new owner was ready to move in early Thursday afternoon.  Wheew. It was close, too close. But we made it.

This move was different than any other move we have made. We have never ever used a storage unit. We have never had to purge so very much. A few people asked how they could help, but I didn't even know what to ask for.  We did have 2 families come over to help pack, load, stack, and transport. Such a blessing.  

I was talking to myself while packing the kitchen.  My friend was rather entertained at my dialogue.  She asked me questions, seeking understanding. 
I know I talk to myself, but I was not aware of just how much until she commented.  I know I have a LOT of quirks and yet I felt so comfortable, accepted, and loved despite my weaknesses and shortcomings.  I love it that the women in my home school group seek to build each other up.  
So much of the world tries to tear down our individuality and fit us into nice neat boxes.  So we eventually give up being ourselves.   Here is a music video that expresses this so well.
I love it that I can be myself; daring to be vulnerable, and be embraced and encouraged rather than being ridiculed and ostracized.  I am part of something good and bigger than me.  Some of us don't fit into boxes, and none of us has to.

Friday was the last day of classes for our homeschool group. I have associated with some truly amazing women and their children. I have learned much, as have my onions.

We joked about giving Piglet a lion cut…. He looks a little silly, but at least his mats are gone for the most part.

Amelia competed in the last speech and debate tournament for this school year. It was not just any tournament, but the Spring Finals. Rather than 4 rounds and counting up points  and ranks to determine the winner, the groups were narrowed down to semifinals and then to finals. Amelia made it to the finals. The top 6 competitors were called to the podium, “in no particular order.” 6th place was announced. Then 5th, and 4th. The 3rd place trophy was handed out. Then 2nd place was announced and Amelia had won 1st place in her category - impromptu. Another happy moment for Amelia. Another trophy to add to her growing collection. A very long 9+ hour day, but worth the effort!

                                             You can watch Amelia receive her trophy here.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Building and packing and packing and building

We picked up our RV and parked it in front of Nana's house (the house we are living in now) a couple of weeks ago so Eric could fix some minor things that needed attention. Eric and I walked in and looked at the dining table and couch. The thought of the onions having to take down everything to make their beds at night and then put everything back before breakfast seemed extraordinarily daunting. I was not looking forward to having to help them and all the commotion and the lack of space to put things away in a designated space.

We met a couple (the Thomas Family) through our home school group that live in a bus RV (like what a band would travel in) full time with 7 children. You can check them out here.  We told the onions all about it.

So …...... When we were pondering our dilemma of sleeping arrangements, Amelia suggested that we rip out our bedroom and put bunks in there. I was driving to and fro, so Eric waited for my return to propose the idea to me. LOVED IT! It was a Monday night and we decided to do a little demolition for our family home evening. Within 90 minutes of deciding we all liked the idea, the back room was stripped down to the plywood sub floor.

Eric designed, constructed, and even painted the bunks. There are 3 one one side and 2 on the other. Scott on top, Naomi in the middle at the window, and Elanor on the dark bottom. Seth on top and Amelia on bottom. Each bed has a cubby and an adjustable shelf for personal storage. Elanor wanted more storage, so Eric built a shelf over the foot of her bed.

The beds are 30 inches wide. We were hard pressed to find a mattress solution. Thanks to some dear homeschool mom friends, they knew where to get the best deal Home Depot sells camping foam pads. Yay!

We do not know how long we will be living in our RV. I am so grateful we could provide each onion with a space of their very own. That they have a place of their own and designated place to put their belongings. To add to their ownership, I decided to take them to the fabric store and choose fabric so I could make them a personalized blanket that would fit nicely.

The onions were so excited that they moved right in. They are already sleeping in the RV. I’m grateful they are enthusiastic about our new family adventure.

We went shopping for a new couch. It has to be less that 76.5” wide and 40” deep. It needs to be big enough for Eric and I to sleep on, but it also has to fit through the 24” door opening. Not an easy task.

We thought IKEA would have something that we could assemble. There was a funck futon that pulled out in one direction, but it was anything but attractive or sturdy.

We found the PERFECT couch at our least favorite furniture store. It is beautiful, meets all specifications and is super super comfortable. But the price tag is a deterrent.

We found only a couple of other possibilities, but the typical pull out bed bars in your back is not what I want to have to endure.

As for Eric and I, we are not sure what we will do long term. We will be sleeping in the front. Our new “master bedroom” now includes a bathroom, kitchen, dining table, couch, and the TV. We decided to rip out the couch and stack a couple of the onions mattresses in the space. Every night we will lift my bed off of the stack and place it on the floor and Eric sleeps on the other one in its place.

I am grateful that we have two weekends of “Springville city Spring cleanup” and access to dumpsters just a few blocks away. What a blessing it has been to just drop our huge items off and not have to pay to go to the dump.

Auntie Heather (my cousin) came to visit on her way to see her daughter, Rachel. It was fun to visit for a little bit.

The onions moved their beds into the RV. They brought the drawers that were designated theirs into the house and transferred their clothes. That was about it for a while.

I was concerned about the progress we were making…..



I seemed to be the only one seriously packing and purging and making any progress. Library/massage room - clear. Laundry room - clear. My closet - clear. Front room - clear, then stuff shows up, then clear, then stuff again.

Yesterday, Grandma dropped off cousins Miles and Hunter to help us with moving our stuff. We moved our food storage to a friend’s house. It took us all of 15 minutes to unload it and get it into the basement. ( I didn't think to time the loading process.)  Many hands = light work! While there, we recruited more child labor, two strong girls.

We decided to get the heavy items into our storage unit while we had extra help -

books, beds, and bureaus.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Earlier this week, Eric and I began to mentally decide what to keep and what to purge.  We walked around the house and yard adding items to one of a few lists.  Storage, Sell/Give, RV, Trash.  The sell/give list was the longest.  I was intimidated and it was only on paper.  This list provided direction and tasks for the week. 

I began with the books.  I cut our library in half!

I don't think anyone else had been hit with the reality of our move until yesterday. No one has done very much in the way of packing.

Yesterday we had our yard sale!

We began moving our things to the front yard at 7am. Our scheduled time was 8-1. However, there were people who came as early as 7:10. It was difficult to get everything out when people kept showing up. With the help of the onions, Eric and I managed to get quite a bit out.

There was a steady stream of people from 7:30 to noon. It was crazy busy! Well over 100 people stopped to buy something.

Some of our ward members and some of our homeschool friends came to support us. Even one of Eric’s co-workers form his previous job came out. I was happy that they could use our things and felt so loved that they came.

There was one man who made a distinct impression on me. He was of grandpa age, but on the youngish side. He looked through the furniture and tools, but ended up at the “kids section.” He was personable and took an interest in the things my onions were selling, asking them questions and listening to their stories. He purchased a few things. I remember the Pinky Pie Pony dress and the dress Amelia wore when depicting Abigail Adams for a public school project. Naomi loved that dress. She was beyond happy when she got it and wore it every chance she could.

This grandpa bought these things for his granddaughter. “She just loves to play dress up.” He was so cute and I could tell he truly loved his granddaughter.

Naomi made the choice to sell her beloved dress-up dress. She made some difficult decisions, as did we all, about what to keep and what to let go of. Naomi was happy another little girl would get to love the fancy dress as much as she had.

I was a little apprehensive about selling so many of our things last week when I was deciding what to keep and what to sell. But it was liberating to watch things leave! Things are that, just things.

I was asked about reason for the sale. Other times I offered before asked that we were moving into our RV. I was called adventurous more times yesterday than all other times in my life!

I don’t feel adventurous at all. The Lord has given Eric and I revelation about the direction we should take as a family. This is one step in a seemingly very long process in achieving it.

A Little Background

I am married to the most wonderful man! Eric.

We have 5 children, Seth, Amelia, Elanor, E. Scott, and Naomi, who I refer to collectively as "onions."

Frequent moving was not ever a plan we intended. However, we have moved around quite a bit: 8 times over the last 16 or so years.

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted a horse, and a farm to go with it. Animals, a garden, and fruit trees. Eric made my dream a reality when we purchased our mini-mini farm in May 2014, all 4000+ square foot home and .54 acre of it.

We had a barn. Really it was a 2 car wood structure garage with a loft at the back of the lot.

We had a horse, 8 chickens, lots of goats and kids.
the poop zone

The "poop zone" was toward the back of our lot. We had a 1000 square foot garden, and a 16 tree orchard.

I realized just how big our land was when I asked to borrow a truck to get mulch for a landscaped area. We drove it into the back yard and it seemed small.
This is 1/2 of our "no poop zone"

It was wonderful.

A LOT of work, but wonderful.

Our plan was to stay there until our youngest graduated high school.


In early 2016 Eric felt inspired that we needed to sell and move.


Walk away from my beloved dream come true?




Sometimes obedience is often not easy, but we chose obedience.

We moved to Kenny and Mary's ( Eric's twin brother and his wife) empty home for a while, and quickly met people that changed our lives.

We made the transition from public school to home school in 2016. The TJEd (Thomas Jefferson Education) home school philosophy rang true for us and we jumped off of the conveyor belt. We have been part of 2 commonwealth home school groups and we have loved each one.

We came to learn more about principles - looking for them in scripture reading, teaching our onions, learning ourselves, and applying them to our lives on a daily basis. Learning principles and living by them rather than merely conforming and following the “rules.”

Eric lost his job in May, 2017. This opened the door for us to prioritize what we value and to determine what we really want and we offered our plan to the Lord. Personal revelation can be overwhelming at times!

Our goal is to live a Georgic lifestyle. To be connected to the earth, to grow as much of our food as possible, if not all. To raise and harvest our own meat. To live off the land, being connected to our resources and to know where the things we use and consume come from.

We are looking for treed acreage (20+) with a water source (well + spring, creek, pond) and a livable dwelling.

We were instructed NOT to go into debt to purchase it.

I shake my head every time I think of this.




Wait, what?

Come again…

And yet I have the faith that the Lord will continue to guide and direct us, that He will provide.

I have been looking for our next home for about a year now. Our first consideration is water. Second is home school law. We love home school! Then we looked at other laws that my deter us.  For example, we decided to avoid Tennessee because the insurance required to have horses is outrageous.

I found ONE property in Arkansas that fit our specifications and budget, but the bank went with a different purchaser. Our entire family was devastated. I continue to search, diligently.

The house we are living in is under contract. We have commitments to our homeschool group and to our children that are not yet completed.

OUR SOLUTION - move into our RV, then travel the country to find our next place to call home if I don't find one sooner.