Salvage, Stitches, Storage, and Sadness

Salvage, Stitches, Storage, and Sadness

April 22, while driving in Michigan at 11pm (about to call it a night), we came to an intersection with a blinking yellow light. We had the right of way. A car on the intersecting road decided to go. I slammed on the SUV brakes, Caleb slammed on the truck brakes, and the RV brakes didn’t work right (and they worked fine up until this point). The RV kept going, ripped the hitch in the truck bed almost completely out, slammed into the cab and back tail light area, and the truck slammed into our SUV.

We were able to coast into a local grocery store in White Lake, about an hour east of Lansing. Everyone was fine. The truck and RV were totalled by the insurance companies. The SUV probably would have been but we only had liability on it. It is still drivable. We also ended up getting another truck already (although now it needs an EGR delete). We couldn’t finance another RV until the insurance paid for the other one. They wouldn’t pay until we moved out. I had took pictures and videos on my smart phone but then the screen broke and I am back to a flip phone.

We visited the local Baptist Church the day after the wreck and have fell in love with the people. Everyone has been so helpful and welcoming. A loving family has welcomed us into their home while we wait on the bank to finance us. All our stuff was in a 5×10 ft storage unit until a few days ago when we moved it to the pastor’s garage. We have enjoyed helping out at the church when we can and now call it home.

Caleb has had a job since April 25th but got injured on the job after two weeks of working​ there. While cutting down a tree with a chainsaw, the tree fell quicker than planned (his boss didn’t have the trunk held tight), branches hit the chainsaw which swung back and hit Caleb’s knee. He got 12 stitches. He was still working but was overdoing it a lot so missed about 10 days of work (spread out, not all in a row). It was at a bad spot and kept splitting open. It looks way better now.

When he first got the stitches

Also at the end of May, my family had another gut wrenching blow. My younger brother overdosed (not Herion) and was in the hospital for four days before he passed. He was my step dad’s only child. My stepdad had passed in January from esophagal cancer. My family is all deeply grieved and will never​ be the same. We are still very much in shock because no one expected my always-smiling, 22 year old brother to die. The day before he spent making future plans with his girlfriend. It still just feels like a dream that we wish we could wake up from!

We miss you two so much!

As far as my family (the four of us) goes, we plan to get a new RV soon, Lord willing. Also my husband is probably switching jobs soon to something more permanent. I will update more as the Lord reveals His plans for our lives. He has done tons of pruning on us and we keep our faith and hope on His future plans for us. We are loving where He is leading us and just need to give things time to fall into place!
Rest in Peace 

Dakota (Cody)

December 30, 1994 -May 30, 2017

Always smiling!
My little brother will be missed so much!
I could always depend on him to be a great Uncle “Cookie” to m boys. Lucas gave him the nick name when he was younger.

Reflecting on Our First Year of RV Living

Reflecting on Our First Year of RV Living

A Year…

A lot happens in 365 days. Babies are born, people pass away, and life keeps changing. Nothing stays the same. Some changes might seem insignificant but everything is always changing.

April last year we bought our first RV: Harvey. We downsized from a 2 bedroom rental house with a basement and back yard to an RV and the world as our backyard. A lot has changed. Some changes were huge like changing to a newer RV, moving to different states, and what we did for income. Other minor changes impacted us significantly and caused lots of personal growth in our lives.

1. Our Faith has Grown

Living life on the road, as believers, we have changed from traditional church goers to more Christ followers. We used to help out at the local Baptist church every now and again but mostly were pew sitters. Since going fulltime, we have helped many churches in different capacities. In Elkhart, Indiana we gave advice on how to reach our generation. A church in Bushnell, Florida we helped with repairing their bus and with demolition on a room and hallway they transformed into a beautiful lobby. In Lake Wales, Florida we helped with an outreach ministry, some visitation, and song leading (my husband). In Dothan, Alabama we helped a pastor with repairing his trucks and work on his farm. We just help our fellow man in any way we feel God lead us.

2. The Type of People We Know has Grown

With all our moving, we have met people from many walks of life. We have met many types of Christians, other RVers, and a variety of others. We enjoyed conversations with many. We shared meals with fellow RVers, friends, and family. My son and I signed with a deaf couple at an RV park and I translated for a deaf man attending our Alabama church. We recently shared our truck and RV with a man named Jake and his sweet puppy Sage, who were looking for a ride from Florida to Michigan. People are amazing and should all be loved and respected for who God made them, regardless if they are different.

3. Our Hope in Humanity has Grown

We have not always been on the giving end this year, we have had many people bless us! Family and friends have opened their homes, couches, and driveways up to us. Two different churches have let us hook up for free in their parking lot. We have been blessed with gifts of money, food, clothes, or even toys for our boys. Other RVers have gave us free advice and helped us with our vehicles and/or rigs. We shared Thanksgiving with a sweet pastor and his wife. We had an RV park manager let us stay a few weeks for free when we had no work. RVers of two seperate parks gave us Christmas cards filled with money when we couldn’t find work. People really do still look out for their fellow man!

4. Our Relationships with Family and Friends have Grown

It seems almost against logic but we feel closer to others when we can travel. We are able to uproot easily, to visit people we miss, or help others in need. I was able to be with my family when my stepdad died. I also stayed with my mom for 8 days to help her pack up some of her house and just keep her  company. We stayed with friends when traveling through Knoxville, TN and traveled to PA last year to visit cousins. We parked the RV at an Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Pensacola, Florida. This year has been filled with many growing relationships.

If you click on this picture, it will link you to Amazon. Any shopping you do under that internet page will help us out financially. We are part of the Amazon Affiliate program. We make a percentage off your purchase for sending traffic to Amazon. Your bill will not increase to pay us, it is Amazon’s way of paying those that send them customers. Thank you for supporting our journey

How has a life of RVing and/or minimalism impacted your social life?

We Don’t Need So Much Stuff

We Don’t Need So Much Stuff

There is something about actively deciding to downsize that makes you want to continue to downsize. We just spent about 10 days back and forth between Ohio and Florida (my husband) and staying at our parents’ houses in Ohio with the RV left in Florida. We really didn’t miss most our stuff. Yes, there are some things we want and others we need long term but most the stuff we own we just don’t need.
About a year ago, we bought our first RV and so began a major downsizing spree. We moved into our 38 ft Class A motorhome with boxes on the couch and the floor and stuff crammed everywhere! After a couple weeks in the rig, I had downsized and organized so we didn’t have things in the way anymore. We ended up moving into our current fifth wheel when the engine blew in the motorhome. We have still been downsizing.

We are realizing more every day what we like and what we want out of life. We love people, adventure, good food, and travel. We enjoy our bikes, good kitchen items, and a variety of books, games, and movies. But we would rather visit family and friends and see new sights.

Life is so much simplier with less items to lug around. We are just wanting to continue to downsize our items so we can live simple lives we enjoy. We have even contemplated selling our car because it is more hassle than a benefit. We are just trying to find what works for us.

Do you live a simplified life? Don’t forget to follow my blog to keep up our journey.

RV Roadtrip from FL to OH with Winds, Rain, and Snow

RV Roadtrip from FL to OH with Winds, Rain, and Snow
If you click on this picture, it will link you to Amazon. Any shopping you do under that internet page will help us out financially. We are part of the Amazon Affiliate program. We make a percentage off your purchase for sending traffic to Amazon. Your bill will not increase to pay us, it is Amazon’s way of paying those that send them customers. Thank you for supporting our journey!

Don’t forget to follow my blog to keep up with our journey. I’d love to hear about your rough traveling days. Leave your stories below. 🙂

Haircut Time

Haircut Time

This past week, we have all had haircuts. When my husband and boys’ hair gets too long, we cut it ourselves. This saves us quite a bit of money. My husband gets a haircut about every 3-4 weeks, Lucas (8 year old) about every 6-8 weeks, and Evan (2 year old) about every 3-4 months. I usually go to Smart Style at Walmart to get mine cut about twice a year. I would like to go more often but we don’t always have it in the budget to do so.

Here are some before and after pictures:

Last February I had a 3-D Curl done for free since a friend’s salon was learning how to do it. The bottom half of my hair in this picture is basically the top half of the 3-D Curl. Also my hair was thinned last July. I won’t do that again! It makes my hair coming in look crazy!
I love my new look! It is shorter and layered. I can still put it up in a ponytail, use headbands, or wear it down. It still has some weird thinner spots but the lady did a great job. I love it! 
This is a before picture. We trim the boys’ nails when we cut hair because it is easiest to remember to do it then. Lucas does a good job on his own with just a quick check from me to point out missed spots.
Evan after his haircut and shower, ready to take a nap.
A cute picture of Lucas before his shower.
The cut hair – Evan’s pile is the smallest and Lucas’ pile is the big one. His hair is turning darker as he gets older.
My husband’s cut hair is really dark compared to the boys. We were in a rush to get his haircut before church. I didn’t get before or after pictures of him. He gets a 1 on top and skin on the sides, a military cut. He is still in the National Guard but also loves the look.

Do you cut your own hair or family member’s hair to save money? Don’t forget to follow my blog to keep up with our journey.

Grief, My Current Companion

Grief, My Current Companion
My boys and I went to the beach in memory of my stepdad who passed on January 21st.

Grief is so hard to understand. One day, everything seems fine. The next you are depressed and do things in memory of the one passed. The next you are too busy to cry. The following you are walking in a fog. The next day you are angry at God for letting them die so young and crying your eyes out! 

My stepdad was an amazing Pap-Pap!

My stepdad lost his year and a half long fight against Esophageal Cancer. I underestimated how hard his passing would hit me. It doesn’t help when sick kids, depression, financial struggle, and a strained marriage are thrown into the mix. But since he passed, my emotions are everywhere! I really don’t know what kind of support I need during this season of my life. If you are trying to comfort those grieving, be ready for the many different “days”. They may want to cry, scream, reminisce, laugh, talk, or ignore people altogether. Meals, hugs, and offering help with kids, housework, or errands is appreciated!

The words slipped away into the ocean. Such symbolism of his life’s passing.

So in this grieving time, I am not sure how often I will write. My life feels on hold. My weight loss journey is currently non-existent. My minimalism has came to a halt. I want to celebrate life but I don’t know how through all this pain. I want life to make sense. I want to be surrounded by family and I feel lost in the wilderness, states away. The loss of a loved one while on the road is hard. You can’t always move back home while you grieve. Life just keeps going even though you feel like you are sitting still.