Our 2 Month Anniversary in the Camper!

I can hardly believe we’ve been in the camper for 2 months!

Really.

It seems like we’ve always lived in here and that is not necessary a bad thing.

I’ve tried real hard to always be honest about our experience and NOT sugar-coat anything that we’ve been dealing with.  We’ve had our share of challenges and blessings. I’ve received calls from concerned family members, multiple times.  But we are doing very well!  For reals.

The close quarters have forced us to deal with things and pushed us outside of our comfort zone.  We have worked through the frustrations of being so close all the time.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when it’s still annoying, but those times are getting to be fewer and fewer.

2 months in here and these are my thoughts on camper living.

The Challenges

Sickness.  We’ve been fighting sickness since right before we moved in the camper. Someone mentioned that maybe we were suffering the effects of all the formaldehyde associated with a new camper.  That is highly possible and we’re researching ways to purify the air in the camper.  I’m thinking that that issue is causing us all to have weakened immune systems.  We’ve all caught nearly every bug that has gone around the local area and have slowly passed it among the 6 of us.

Cooped Up Kids.  The kids have been more cooped up, especially on cold days.  Mark and I have had to (and still are trying to) adjust to the noise level and their need to be a little rowdy in the camper.  We’re working on it and I’m grateful we have each other to remind the other when one of us gets uptight.

Privacy Issues.  A friend, who use to live in a toy hauler, mentioned something similar to me very recently.  Basically, if someone stands outside, near the camper, they can hear our entire conversation.  Seriously.  We really don’t have privacy.   The campground we live at has pretty well cleared out for the winter.  Still our lives are on display and that pretty much leaves no room for hypocrisy.  Which really is a good thing, just an adjustment that we’re still working on.

Cooped up Mom.  We are a 1 vehicle family, so when Mark is at work I’m here. all day. with the kids.  I’m grateful for my friend, Alicia.  She is my sounding board and a great listener and support to have so near to us.  I’ve always been the sort of mom that thought I didn’t need to get time to myself.  That I could just buck up and do what needed to be done.  I’m finding that that is not the case.  We’ve recently had to set aside time for me to get away by myself every week.  I may not always need that time, but for now this is what we’re finding is necessary, especially given our living situation.

No Baths.  As funny as it sounds I miss having a bathtub.  That is probably the only thing that really bothers me about the way the camper was designed.  The kids are adjusted to taking showers, but I still miss a bath.  I think once the pool re-opens this summer I’ll be a walking prune from being in there all day.

The Blessings.

Child Training.  The way we are raising our kids is something we are more purposeful about since the issues are so near to us.  We can’t just send them to their room or ignore the issues.  We HAVE to deal with it and very little escapes our eyes throughout the day.

Minimal Stuff.  We have less stuff and less desire to buy more stuff.  We are very careful about any purchase we make and find that there is so little we actually need.

Time.  More time is spent together as a family and free time to pursue other interests or priorities.

Sleep.  We are sleeping great and that says something especially consider how things were at the start of our adventure!

Puppy Potty Training.  Potty training Pepper has gone so well, I couldn’t be more pleased with our little pup! I’m almost inspired to try training my almost 3 year old again. (Yes I have an almost 3 year old that is still in diapers.)

So there you have it.

** These are my thoughts on camper living, (and remember we aren’t traveling yet)  But we are doing great ya’ll!!

No need to call and make sure we are not losing our minds.

We’re normal people.  We are not perfect and sometimes situations are difficult.  But we have joy!  And that’s what really matters.

How We’re Dealing with a Serious Case of Buyer’s Remorse

Money

(Image Source: 401kcalculator.org)

Money can be a tough thing to talk about.  Since we shared the about the combined debt payoff, we really want to be transparent about our money and hopefully help and encourage others.

Truth be told, we fail in the finance department frequently.  This is not meant to be a self-condeming post at all, just an honest one.

Buyer’s Remorse

It hit us square in the face the past couple of weeks.  You know those days when it was 20 degrees?  Well we were having some SERIOUS regrets.

Regrets that we didn’t buy a used camper.

Regrets that we didn’t spend half the money we did.

Regrets that we didn’t save up and pay cash.

Now don’t get me wrong, we love what we’re doing and we love our camper.  Our regrets were purely financial.

In the whole scheme of things, we’re on the fast track to being mobile, we just see how the amount of debt is still slowing us down.  There are multiple ministries we’d love to go and help out with but are unable to do so just yet.

Decision Time

Let’s backtrack though to 2 nights before our camper was delivered.

Mark was reading a forum on RVing and figured out the size of truck we will need to pull this beast.  A 3500.  Ugh.  I immediately got cold feet and asked Mark if we could cancel our RV.  Neither of us wanted to cancel it, but both of us wanted to stop the process right then and there.

I had already had some reservations about the money for it and now the cost for a big enough truck was another factor.  In addition, it ended up costing us more than we thought it would after all the taxes, awnings, extended warrantees, & options.

We laid in bed discussing the situation.

How were we going to pay it off quickly?

What was a reasonable amount of money to budget for a truck?

Could we even cancel the RV?

We had renters moving in to our house in 2 weeks.  What on earth were we going to do?

Needless to say, we consoled ourselves and felt like we were stuck, I think the RV was scheduled to leave the wholesaler early the very next morning and our salesman was not working at that late hour in the night.

Desperate Times = Desperate Measures

So this past week, I actually *almost* conceded to Mark taking a job overseas for a year.  A year away from us so we could pay everything off and have a good savings.

But that was in a moment of panic.  A few days later, when I woke up in the morning, I was overwhelmed with peace.

Peace that our Heavenly Father was going to take care of us.  I was impressed with the words, “You haven’t even asked me to help you!  Ask me.”

So now that the dust has settled…

What would we or should we do when faced with another big financial decision?

  1. Pray.
  2. Wait – don’t rush.
  3. Ask others for advice.
  4. Don’t ignore our gut.
  5. Move on if a mistake was made.

Where are We Today?

So that big ole’ number 5…

Move on.

Mistake.

We firmly believe we made a mistake in buying our camper.  Pretty humbling to admit this to whoever may be reading, but we do.  Had we lowered our standards for a camper, we would be on the road by the end of summer.  As it stands we will be here (realistically) for 2 years.

We’ve thrown around the idea of paying down on our camper and selling it for a less expensive & used model.  Right now our focus is finishing the combined debt payoff. Still, we’re praying and keeping our options open.

We are choosing to not dwell on our mistake.  It’s remarkably easy to beat yourself up for the mistakes you’ve made.  We are choosing to look ahead rather than behind.

We are trusting in God to supply all our needs and to take care of us.  I don’t know how this all plays out but one thing I know is He loves us and He IS GOOD!

So there you have it.  One final thought on the matter, we all make mistakes.  But the question to ask is, do we learn from them and turn them into something positive? Let’s hope we do.

 

*UPDATE*  We bought a used Class A for a super price, you can read about it, here.  We’ve listed our camper for sale and are busy focusing on renovating the newly purchased Class A for full-time living.

Sleep Deprivation in the Camper

I could just post happy thoughts.  I could tell you all the wonderful things about living in a camper and completely ignore the hard times.  I wouldn’t technically be lying to you…I’d just be keeping it positive.  Right?

Well I’m all for keeping it real and not just painting a pretty picture for all to see.

Today, marks 2 weeks in the camper.  I have to say, there have been some great times.  But mostly it’s been a chore to adjust.

Even after we got over being sick.  It seemed like there was a day or 2 of pure joy.  I think mostly because we were so happy to not be sick anymore.  But things start to wear on you.

  • We’ve all had bad attitudes.
  • Nobody has been sleeping well.
  • The kitchen is driving me batty.
  • We’ve barely gotten school done.
  • Laundry logisitics are not so fun.
  • We ran out of propane.
  • It’s been cloudy and gloomy.
  • Mr. Z is on a sleep strike (during the day and at night).

I didn’t want to write a post while we were in the “funk” so I’ve strayed away from posting any new thoughts.

Yesterday afternoon, I dropped Z off at Alicia’s camper so I could go get the laundry.  Like a good friend she listened to me whine about our struggles to adjust and helped me come to a solution.

I think our biggest issue has been sleep, or lack of.  Z had been sleeping through the night  before we moved out here.

Many parents are adamently against letting your baby cry it out at night.  Did you know there is actually an acronym for it?  I didn’t but it is CIO.

I’ll tell you about my Z though.  IF you let him get up at night to feed him, he transforms in to a raging lunatic who refuses to go back to sleep for hours.  The next night it’s even worse and he might wake up 2 or 3 times.  It seems to be a domino effect with him.  It’s just worse and worse.  He learns that you’ll get him up and he’ll screech and scream until you do so.

Now imagine this scenario in a camper.  With 3 other kids in the same room. Uh huh.

We’ve tried all sorts of sleeping arrangements to try to cope with this.  I tried becoming a co-sleeper with him too, but he just liked to stand on our bed and bash our heads for balance.

I *think* we figured out a solution.  Z has got to CIO.  Maybe that makes us bad parents but I know one thing for sure…we love our kids and if we want them to survive into adulthood it’s pretty important we all get some sleep and soon.

I don’t want to bore you with details but for the time being, the 2 oldest sleep on the pulled out couch and little V sleeps with us.  The “dictator” get’s his own room. We may do this arrangement for a few months until Mr. Dictator sleeps like a baby.  I mean a fake baby. that sleeps well. and through the night.

All this to say that things are looking up.  It’s amazing how perspectives change when you get a little shut-eye.

Today’s just begun.  But we’re off to a GREAT start.