"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things,
and the God of peace will be with you."
-Philippians 4:9

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Here's what I'm missing today as I nurse some strange neck injury:

My Big Guy, the Center.

He's Number 57; the guy with his hand on the ball.

My Middle Guy; Defensive Line.

He's Number 27; the small guy with the big heart.
"Let me hit the big guys, Coach!"

My Little Ones; The Entertainment.

As crazy busy as Saturdays are, I love the time to play together, cheer each other on, and visit with both sets of grandparents. We are so blessed to have a family that loves being around each other and I'm sorely missing this today. My neck had better shape up quick; this redhead won't stand for this much longer!

Friday, October 2, 2009

'Tis a Gift to be Simple, 'Tis a Gift to be Free...

Below:The view from our main room, through the kitchen, to the master.
The cabinet on the left houses our dvd/cd collection. Anything that keeps kids from running down the "hallway" while parents are occupied is a great thing. The ill effects of TV overload are nothing compared to the ill effects of two children hurtling in opposite directions at high velocity in an enclosed space.
I know whereof I speak.

Above: Our Bathroom.
It is situated on the right side of the coach, immediately behind the kitchen. Yes, that is a removable showerhead. And, yes, we have had to dry the entire bathroom after certain unnamed children have "forgotten" to close the shower curtain. There has also been a learning curve regarding hot water usage: water on to wet yourself and your soap, water off while scrubbing, water on to rinse. Any other alternative yields VERY COLD rinse water; a 6 gallon water heater only lasts so long!

Below: Our Refrigerator and Wardrobe.
The refrigerator accommodates 2 half-gallons, but not one full gallon. It has taught us to buy fresh, buy only what we will eat, and that just because it's two for the price of one doesn't mean that two need to come home with you.

The wardrobe houses all of the kids' clothing and shoes, the jackets, and the bedding when it isn't in use. Our always-active kids have found that it makes both an ideal hiding place for hide-and-seek (although the pile of shoes in the hallway tends to give you away) and a wonderful alternative to a rock-climbing gym when used in conjunction with the opposite wall.

Above: Our Master Suite.
It spans the rear of the coach, as does the full-size bed. To the left, you will notice our school book/supply storage drawers, as well as the "big people" hanging clothes. In the center is the bed that our dog, Blackie, graciously allows us to use at her discretion. To the right is the improvised shoe rack. The four doors at the ceiling level house all folding clothing for Dan and I.

Last, But not Least: Our Multi-Purpose Main Room
This room is where we spend most of our indoor time. It has many incarnations. Mostly, it is used as a living area, as pictured first. TV time, schoolwork, creating with Hot Wheel track and Imaginext toys, board games, reading, wrestling...you name it; it takes place here.

At mealtimes, or when doing art or written work, it is transformed with the fold-away dining table. There is always discussion about who will sit on the end nearest the TV -- even if the TV is off. And there will always be one child convinced that they can sit precariously on the edge of the passenger seat and still reach the food on the table without sacrificing one bite to the lurking dog.

At night, the couch transforms to a bed for two, the fold-away mattress is laid out for one on the floor, and the drop-down bunk emerges to tempt little monkeys to swing the perimeter of the room using only toy storage, bunk bed, and book storage. This never ends well. Usually, all the kids are settled in and asleep within minutes, and awake in the morning only to put it all away for another day!

So, there you have it.
How 6 people live reasonably peacefully in a 33ft RV.
Simple is good.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm NOT God.

I know. This is a shocker to all of you. But it's true. I'm not. And to prove it, I'm going to show you how little I know.

I was so proud of myself last week. I started on Monday and determined that the whole RV was going to be dust-free, dog-hair-free, and organized if it killed me. We've had a crazy few weeks with football and life in general, and things had gotten to where we were moving things out of the way constantly just to function. This gets old. Fast. So I decided that it was going to end then and there.

I stuck with my plan, with a minor interruption on Tuesday with a Migraine (yes, it deserved a capital letter), and had the whole thing glistening by Wednesday. Aaaaah...peace, tranquility, and cleanliness. For a while, anyways. What a great opportunity to snap some pictures (finally) and show my bloggy friends just how we manage to live with 6 folks in this space. The kids thought I'd lost it when I got out the camera and rolled their eyes as I got into some interesting positions to get whole rooms in the shots. (You have to be a contortionist to get a *good* angle when you're working with long, narrow rooms. No, my children are not permitted to climb on counters just because they saw me do it. Because I'm the Mom, that's why.)

Thursday and Friday arrived as normal, and Saturday was Football Day. Thankfully, Football Day took place in the same county as both sets of grandparents, who graciously offered to take all 4 kiddos so that hubby and I could have a whole day to ourselves. I don't *think* anybody's fingers got caught in the door as we slammed it and ran away...

We spent a portion of that day shopping for a new travel trailer. It has become apparent that we are growing out of our bedding arrangements and more floor space to separate simultaneous activities would be helpful during school time. Not to mention the fact that we're experiencing some "inconveniences" in our well-loved 1982 rig. A flushing toilet would be nice (without having to fill it from the sink before you flush). And a 'fridge that doesn't defrost out the seal on the door and onto the floor. And an engine that can be depended on to start and move without Herculean efforts. She's been a blessing to us, but she's really getting to require a lot more maintenance expense than we're willing to put into her.

Our timeline has been December/January for this, and we were just hoping to be able to browse and ask some questions without the incessant "don't jump on the bunks," "no, you can't push the button to raise the steps," "COME HERE" that happens when we've been out looking with the kids. We met a really nice salesman and found the rig we'd really like to have. He gave us great information on our financing options, etc. It's still not something we were planning on doing right away due to some other circumstances in our lives, but we gained valuable information and felt more assured of the direction we wanted to go when we were able. We went on, enjoyed the rest of our day together, and picked the kids back up.

Then, God stepped in. It's a long, convoluted story that I may share details on later, but suffice it to say that the outcome is that, barring the unforeseen, we will be living in that trailer by the end of next week. I am floored by the people and circumstances that God has used to make this possible and am blessed beyond measure at this gift at this time. It is looking nothing like how we thought it would, is happening when we least expected it, is coming from a source we didn't know existed, and is not at all how WE had planned it. And there you have it: proof that I am not God. I'm so glad. Because I'm having so much fun watching Him do this. And I'm wondering how He's going to allow us to use this blessing in our lives to bless others.

So...are you going to get to see those photos? Sure! Then, when I show you the new rig a few weeks/months/years from now, you'll see what a difference a few feet can make! But I'll put it in a seperate post; too much scrolling is no fun.