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.

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

Peanuts Around Town, part 1

Peanuts Around Town, part 1

Dothan, Alabama has many cool attractions we have visited, enjoyed, and explored while here. My favorite has to be the Peanuts Around Town. It is literally a scavenger hunt for 4 foot tall peanut-shaped statues that are painted or look like people. I am not sure what year they started (looks to be around 1993) but it is such a neat thing to search for these statues. 

The visitor’s center offers a map for those that are registered. We found all the ones on the map and a handful of the unregistered peanuts so far! This is Part 1 of 5. Check out Part 2Part 3Part 4, and Part 5. So here goes:

  • The Original Golden Peanut
The Original Golden Peanut is located right outside the visitor center.
  • Elvis 
Elvis Peanut is inside the visitor center.
  • Mr. Trawick
This peanut was donated in memory of Mr. Trawick, who used to sell boiled peanuts in this exact spot.
  • Military Nuts
The Military Nuts: Airforce, Army, Marines, and Navy
  • Captain Cash 
Captain Cash stands guard at a bank.
  • Sheriff Sam
Sheriff Sam is another peanut dedicated in memory of a man.
  • Breast Cancer Awareness
This peanut is located near Dothan’s Civic Center.

That is the first 7 peanuts we spotted. Follow my blog to learn about the rest of them. Have you looked for the Peanuts Around Town? How many did you find?

Evan’s 2nd Birthday

Evan’s 2nd Birthday

Today was my youngest son’s second birthday. We decided to celebrate it at Chick-fil-a with the pastor’s family. Since we started going to their church, they have been absolutely amazing friends to us! We were able to enjoy some great food, wonderful fellowship, and the kids (our boys and their granddaughter) had fun playing. We kept it simple with a few gifts from us and they also bought him a gift.

Playing in the play area. Yes, his socks are mix-matched. We gave up on trying to find matches.
Corduroy was a favorite of mine when I was little!
A cute suit for Sundays was a blessing from the pastor’s family.
First 100 Animals was another book from Mommy and Daddy.

He also received The Very Hungry Caterpillar and some clothes. We found these onesie shirts, pj pants, and footie pjs at a thrift store when we visited family in Pensacola, Florida area last month. We bought all the books used on Amazon and had them shipped to the campground office. A sweet lady I met online sent us a gift card to Amazon to brighter our boys’ birthday and Christmas. Shh! Don’t tell them but they each have three more books coming for Christmas. 

The rest of his gifts from Daddy and Mommy.

I just wanted to share how we enjoyed his birthday since this RV lifestyle can be unique when it comes to birthdays, holidays, and family traditions. 
What are some unique traditions your family has for holidays and birthdays? Don’t forget to follow my blog to keep up with my journey! 

Christmas Lights Around the RV Park

Christmas Lights Around the RV Park

Today I got quite a bit of walking in but only tracked a mile while walking around our RV park. My oldest son walked around with me before it got dark. We talked and enjoyed the Christmas lights. Here are the lights we saw:

And of course our home…

Do you enjoy looking at all the Chistmas decorations and lights this time of year? Don’t forget to follow my blog to keep up with our journey.

Lowes, Westgate Park, Walmart

Lowes, Westgate Park, Walmart

Today was a busy walking day since I miss my walking yesterday.My boys and I started out on a Lowes Scavenger Hunt for a homeschooling project for Lucas.

I created this list by picking one or two things from Lowes’ different departments. Yes, I know I spelled chandelier wrong.

Lucas only had trouble finding the lazy Suzan and the triangle. He did great and we walked 1.25 miles while doing it!

Then we went back to Westgate Park to hike the 3.6 dirt trail. We did also check out the Westgate Branch Library while there. Lucas likes Boxcar Children books and I wanted to show him that they had some. 

This library is nice and newer looking.
Family Riding Bikes sculture is pretty! Not sure if it is actually named.
Boy Reading sculpture is quite detailed.

We finished off our walking by getting another .5 miles in while shopping at Walmart. So today’s total miles was almost 5.5 miles

Do you walk to stay in shape? Don’t forget to follow my blog to keep up with my family’s journey.

Minimalism in an RV: A Woman’s Capsule Wardrobe 

Minimalism in an RV: A Woman’s Capsule Wardrobe 

I have always been a bit of a minimalist when it came to my closet. I only kept things I liked and used with only the occasional item that was seldom or never used. Since I got married, my side of the closet has always had half the amount of clothes as my husband’s side. Sometimes even less than that. My side of the closet has had significantly less clothes for a number of reasons:

  1. My weight has fluctuated since I first started having children. Over the years my size has gone up and down. My husband has only bumped up one size in the last ten years. I used to store the off sizes in a storage bin. Last year I ditched the extra sizes and just learned to accept where I was in weight.
  2. I don’t like to shop. I honestly think men have it way easier. Jeans and dressy pants, t-shirts and button ups or polos, and a few other things like belts, shoes, ties, sweaters, and suits can be found at almost any number of stores. They find their size and are done. Women, especially those that don’t wear jeans  and like skirts and dresses below the knee like myself, really have to hunt. Finding modest clothes is hard work and I would much rather have less than to have to hunt down more.
  3. I also wear my clothes out faster because I own fewer and often stain them. I haven’t quite mastered getting stains out of our clothes yet. Once my shirts get really stained or faded, I tend to get a new batch of shirts from the thrift store.

    My current waredrobe now makes me extremely satisfied and my only desire is a cardigan or jacket to go over my sleeveless dress. I have a simple and modest taste in clothes and buy items that are from thrift stores, most the time, but still higher quality. Here is my side of the closet minus one hoodie that was draped over the couch and missed the picture:

    My favorite colors to wear are reds, pinks, and purples.

    I counted my items and have a list to share with you. I own:

    5 Skirts

    • 1 Jean Skirt
    • 1 Grey Maxi Skirt
    • 1 Black and White Striped Skirt
    • 1 Black Cotton Skirt
    • 1 Black Dressy Skirt
    The grey skirt is mostly hiding under the black and white skirt in this picture.

    3 Dresses

    • 1 Sleeveless Black Dress
    • 1 3/4 Sleeve Black Dress
    • 1 Striped Dress with Belt
    I still need a jacket or cardigan to go over the sleeveless dress.

    6 Short Sleeve Shirts

    • Pink Floral Shirt
    • Dark Blue Shirt
    • Pink Polka Dot Collared Shirt
    • Blue Polka Dot Shirt
    • Purple “Home is Where You Park It” T-Shirt 
    • Blue “Fellowship Fun Day” T-Shirt
    I love wearing polka dots!

    6 Long Sleeve Shirts

    • Purple Striped Shirt
    • Red Shirt
    • Purple Shirt
    • Pink Shirt
    • Blue Shirt
    • Green Shirt
    Some of these solid colored shirts were about $7-8 at Walmart.

    4 Sweaters, Hoodies or Pullovers

    • Red Christmas Tree Turtleneck
    • Grey Zip-up Hoodie
    • Oversized Grey Pullover
    • Blue “USA” Hoodie (not pictured)
    The oversized pullover I have had for 10 years and seldomly wear it. Yet is so comfy that I refuse to part with it. It is great for fall campfire nights or over clothes when playing in the snow.

    If you are trying to build a capsule waredrobe, I would suggest:

    • Buying clothes you like (material, style, colors) and currently fit.
    • Trying to have some of your bottoms match at least a few of your tops. Not all your clothes need to be mix-matched but a few gives you some variety.
    • Having a few key items that just make you feel amazing.
    • Experimenting until you find your “look“.
    • Being you and not stressing over a certain “number” of clothes.

    Do you have a capsule waredrobe? What all do you own? Don’t forget to follow my journey. For more minimalism articles click here.

    Land of Cotton Antique Mall

    Land of Cotton Antique Mall

    Today my boys and I went walking at Land of Cotton Antique Mall in Dothan, AL. It was raining all day today and we needed to get some miles in. 🙂 We walked 1.2 miles there. Then we met up with my husband. We next walked .8 miles at Eagle Wear Outfitters and Hobby Lobby. 1.5 miles were walked at the Northside Mall. I got a total of 3.5 miles in today. Here are pictures  and a video Lucas and I took at the Antique Mall:

    Lucas is trying to look like the knight.
    I think this might be an antique “skate board”.