Needed Update

As you can see, I gave my blog a long needed update.  It is still a work in progress, but I feel like I’m finding a new rhythm with my blog.

Our new house (new to us) is also in need of updates.

So far, I’ve painted the kitchen and living room.  We’ve also begun hanging things on the wall in the living room, which is very much making this house feel like our home.

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We hope to get some great pictures from our cruise to include on our Family Photo wall.  Especially in the frame that still has the photos of the models in it 🙂

This is what the wall looked like before.

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It’s hard to tell from this photo, but the walls were kind of peachy brown color.  Almost pink depending on the light.  You can see it better in the photo below.

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Now the walls are a nice subdued yellow.

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I’m adding color to the room with colorful picture frames, decor and artwork.  Like the artwork created by Lili in her Mixed Media art class.

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She will continue to provide us more art and the walls this hangs on will most certainly be full of her artwork.

Updates are not only needed, but they are a good thing.

 

Perfect for Full-Time Living

We have two more nights in Georgette. In preparation for our upcoming move from RV to RV, I’m packing yet again. I’ve been packing and repacking for the last 3 months and quite honestly, I’m a little tired of packing. I’m ready to feel settled, so the excitement of this move is growing rapidly.

(This cartoon is so true)

Settled has become a bit foreign to us and some might question how we could possibly feel settled living in an RV.

RV living has become quite popular and it’s not just popular with the retirees. It has become very popular with families. So popular in fact, RV parks have waiting lists and some have waiting lists that require you to get on the list months and months in advance.

The RV park we’re in had a waiting list and we were fortunate to get in a couple weeks earlier than first anticipated. For a matter-of-fact, we’re on a waiting list for another RV park and went on that waiting list the same time we were put on the waiting list here. We still haven’t gotten a call. I should add that after driving thru the other RV park, we have decided to stay put. While the other park would be a little closer to the office for hubby, we’re in a much nicer RV park now and quite happy being here. I suppose I should call the other park and have them remove our name.

But I digress. I believe we can and will feel very settled in the new RV. It may take some time as we get things put away and organized, but we will get settled.

Earlier this evening we were discussing our upcoming move and hubby hit the nail on the head.

Georgette makes us feel like we’re camping.

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It is little things that I really liked about Georgette when we got her, that are driving me a bit crazy now.

Like the storage under the dinette seats. It’s great to have that storage space, but to get anything out we have to remove the back seat cushion, hold up the seat, pull out what we want and then put everything back together again. Repeat for putting things away. Perfect for camping, not so perfect for full-time living.

To get into our bed, we climb in from the end of the bed. There is maybe 5-6 inches on either side of the bed. It’s just enough that I can shimmy alongside the bed to make it, but there isn’t enough room that we can get into the bed from the side. Getting into bed requires crawling from the end of the bed. Perfect for camping, not so perfect for full-time living.

Lack of counter space has become a big issue as well. I’ve seen some RV’s with a terrific amount of counter space, but for the most part, RV’s aren’t known for having ample counter space. At least not the RV’s we can afford. After all, when you’re camping, you don’t necessarily need a ton of counter space. You’re spending a lot of time outdoors and the RV is that convenient place for sleeping, taking a shower or having somewhere dry to go on those rainy days. When camping, most of our cooking is being done outside. Perfect for camping, not so perfect for full-time living.

I realize that for some full-timers, what we have would be more than enough. We each have those things that are important to us and had I been looking at RV’s thru the lens of full-timing when we bought Georgette, we wouldn’t have Georgette. Maybe I should expound on this a bit.

If we were traveling full-time, Georgette would probably fit the bill just fine. We have discovered that what we want/need while traveling is very different from what we want/need staying stationary. We have been trying to set up home in an RV that is meant for travel. A year ago, when we ordered Georgette, we had no idea we would one day be trying to make her our home. For our family, she is the perfect travel companion. Unfortunately for our family, she’s not the perfect home.

Lili told me yesterday that she’s going to miss Georgette. I will too! In the short time we’ve had her, we’ve made some wonderful memories and we will carry those memories with us forever.

Now it’s time for some new memories to be made. For now, those memories won’t include camping trips, but we do look forward to getting settled in our new RV home. Perfect for full-time living.

News and More News

It has been requested that I blog more often and I really have had the best intentions when it comes to blogging. In this world of social media, blogging has remained my favorite venue for sharing information. It’s become very easy to open FB to see what’s going on, but it’s just not the same for me. Knowing that I have friends in blogland who make an effort to visit my little corner of the world really does brighten my day. I feel a connection to my readers and that connection just isn’t the same in FB Land. So I am going to try very hard to blog much more often. After all, our life is full of new experiences right now and you might just find some of those experiences interesting and amusing.

Like my trip into Dallas yesterday evening to join hubby and some of his co-workers for dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. It was the first time some of his co-workers had tried Ethiopian food and I’m happy to report that they really enjoyed it. However, the trip to the restaurant was an adventure.

Because I now have my vehicle registered in the State of Texas, I wanted to avoid the tolls. I see no reason to incur unnecessary expenses, so I changed the settings on my GPS, put in the address and headed out. After a stop at CVS to pick up some notebooks for the girl’s school work, and another stop for gas and a Powerball ticket (non-winning ticket of course), we were on our way.

Let me just say that I’ve had some serious direction challenges since relocating to the Dallas area. Specifically, I feel like I’m traveling north when I’m actually travelling south and then I begin to question the GPS.

Yesterday I questioned it to the point I was resetting it. Not once, but twice folks!!!! Finally, I decided to look at the dash and realized I was in fact travelling south and since we’re living in North Dallas and I needed to be in Dallas, I needed to be heading south. So I continued on my way in hopes that the girls and I would make it to the restaurant.

Then I realized we left way too early. Ha, ha, ha!!!! NOT!!!!

Rush hour traffic + avoiding tolls = Long Commute to Restaurant

It was approximately 1 ½ hours from the time we left home until we arrived to our destination. Yes, we made two stops along the way, but it was only about 20 miles from where we live. Toto, we aren’t in Central Illinois anymore.

The commute was worth it though. We had a wonderful dinner

and part of getting established in a new area is making friends. Hubby’s co-workers are very nice and we had met one of the families during our trip to Dallas this past October. They have son who is the same age as Lili and the kids reconnected beautifully and had a fabulous time together. A bonus is that this little boy’s mom is an awesome Ethiopian woman who has invited me to come over for some Ethiopian cooking classes in her home. I will be taking her up on that offer in the not too distant future and I’m sure the girls will enjoy spending more time with their friend as well.

The other big news from the World of Weeks – Dallas, is that Lili will be taking an art class. My art loving girl will be so happy to get back into art classes and there are two girls from the local homeschool group in the class. Setting up opportunities for the girls to make new friends is really important and this is a great opportunity to do just that. Now, to find a class that Naomi will enjoy.

The biggest news though is that we have an offer on our house in Illinois! It was officially listed on Monday and by Wednesday we had an offer. A decent offer too!


Now to answer the most popular question asked since getting the offer.

Does this mean we’ll be buying a house here sooner than we thought?

The answer is, probably not and there is a list of reasons why.

  • The sale of our house will require money out of our pocket. Prior to our adoptions, we refinanced our home. The money from the refinance provided us the majority of funds to complete our adoptions, but then the housing market crashed. There won’t be money from the sale of the house to roll over to a new house, so we’ll be saving money toward a new house. That’s going to take time.
  • The upside is that we really do enjoy RV living and aren’t in a rush to move anytime soon.
  • We haven’t done any real exploring around the DFW area. We don’t know exactly where we would like to end up and we want to narrow down location(s) before we begin looking for a home. The last thing we want to do is buy a house in a neighborhood we won’t be happy living in long-term. So for the time being, we’re staying put and will continue to enjoy our RV lifestyle for the next 1+ years as we had originally planned.
  • We have some other things on our plates right now, like our upcoming cruise and like I said before, we’re really not in a big rush to get moved right now. After all, we just moved and will be moving again next week when we switch over from Georgette to the Oakmont (Who the girls now think we should call Hogwarts. We’re big Harry Potter fans.)

As is typical of our life, there is never a dull moment and we prefer it that way.

Searching for Home

Hubby and I are in search of our homestead and recently found several acres of land.  For a matter-of-fact, we have looked at the property 3 different times now.  It is overgrown with new trees, berry bushes and grass, so is in need of clearing.  There is power along the road that could easily be run onto the property, but doesn’t have a well or septic system, so we would be spending a fair amount of money preparing the land for building our home.  Most of all, the view from the property is breath-taking.  It over looks the Ozark hills and I could easily envision our home there.  Deer and wild turkey roam the property and it is very peaceful and quiet.  It fulfills much of what we’ve been looking for in our homestead.

As we were driving home from our little family vacation a few days ago, I had time to do a lot of thinking about the property.  In so many ways it seemed perfect, yet somehow it just didn’t feel right.  I also couldn’t shake the feeling that there might be a more perfect property out there for us.  So after discussing my concerns with hubby, we agreed to keep looking.

Now we’re back from our trip and scouring various websites looking for property that could one day become our homestead.  A piece of property that gives us enough room for our goats, sheep, chickens, ducks and turkeys (yes, hubby has added turkeys to the list of animals we’ll raise on our little farm) and any other farm animals we may choose to raise.  Land that provides us with a sunny space for our garden and orchard.  We are searching for a piece of land that we can call home.

The Perfect House

Nelson Mandela

Many years ago, when we decided to make our move across country to return home to friends and family, we also decided that we were going to build our next house. In my mind, building a house meant we could choose the perfect house for our family. At times it seemed like an impossible task, but we found the determination to make it happen.

Since we were moving back to my old stomping grounds, we knew what the town was like.  I found out about a piece of vacant property that was for sale, got pictures and in short order put money down on the property. All of this was done before we even sold the house we were living in and a few months before we were making our big move.

For months prior to moving, we looked at 100’s of different house plans. We would find plans that we really liked and study those plans for days only to discover something we just didn’t like about them.  Finally, we found the perfect plans and about 1 year later we were moving into our newly built home.

Funny thing about perfection – nothing is perfect. Within a few months after moving in to our perfect house, we discovered it wasn’t so perfect after all. Things we thought we would like about the house we didn’t like and other things we wished we would have done differently. Until you’ve lived in a house, you just don’t know what you will like or won’t like about it.  But it was also a great learning experience.

As we take steps toward our country home – hobby farm,  homestead – I have been looking thru house plans. This time I look at those plans with a different set of eyes and dream of my cabin amongst the trees. Somehow, it helps to keep me motivated. It helps me keep my eyes more focused on the finish line. In a strange way, I feel like I’m making preparations for our future.

Of couse if Santa would just leave the winning lottery ticket in my stocking this year, I could quit dreaming and start doing 🙂   Until then, I must keep the dream alive always realizing that what seems impossible now, will one day be done.

http://www.southlandloghomes.com/log-home-plans/beaufort-log-home-cabin-plans

Christmas on the Homestead

Over the last couple of days, the girls and I have been putting up Christmas decorations. The big tree is the living room sparkles with little white lights and ornaments of gold, green and red. My Santa collection graces the coffee table as well as the fireplace mantle and hearth. Snow globes sit on the ends tables and the stockings are hung and ready to be filled Christmas Eve.

In the family room sits a smaller tree that is adorned with tiny blue and white lights along with an assortment of whimsical and homemade ornaments that I’ve collected over the years.

The decorations are fewer this year as I’ve packed many things away in anticipation of us selling this house and moving to our home in the country.  Our country home only exists in my dreams for now, but Christmas on the homestead is part of those dreams.

A log home, nothing fancy, but definitely warm and cozy. The kitchen, dining room and living room all sharing the same space. Our large Christmas tree sitting in the corner near the fireplace, looking much like it does today. My Santa collection and snow globes taking up residence around room and our stockings fitting in beautifully above the beautiful stone fireplace. The smaller Christmas tree in the loft and easily viewed from below. Smells of evergreen and cinnamon fill the air as we snuggle on the sofa reading Christmas stories and sipping hot chocolate, while being warmed by the fire burning brightly in the fireplace. Beautiful, warm quilts on our beds just waiting for us to climb under them for a peaceful night’s sleep in our country home.

I don’t know what our Christmas on the homestead reality will become. What I do know is that the beauty and anticipation of the holiday will follow us no matter where we go and it’s wonderful simply because we’re together.