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Loving Life On A Budget

2014 Review…Happy New Year!

GO Mantel

In January, I randomly threw these items on our mantel after putting away the Christmas decorations. My husband pointed out that our mantel said “Go”, and we had no idea how true this was going to be throughout the year. We had not yet purchased the land we are living on today, but we were discussing selling our house this year. Our house had more issues than I care to list, and we knew we would never get the money back out of the house. Mid-January, we put an offer on our land. After a lot of negotiations and standing firm on our offer, we finally purchased the 25 acres in late February.

driveway

When we knew purchasing the land was going to happen, we started working like crazy to get the house ready to sell. We rebuilt the privacy fence, which led to a nail through my foot. After that, I supervised my sweet husband as he did his best to make our yard look desirable. We cleaned, de-cluttered, packed, and painted throughout March.

New FenceOn April 1st, the for sale sign went in the yard. I spent my days cleaning and waiting on the phone to ring. I would make sure the house was ready for a showing at a moment’s notice, then go to the craft room to work on Christmas presents. I know that sounds crazy, but I didn’t know when we would be moving or if I would have the ability to keep my crafting supplies with me. I finished work for the summer at the beginning of May and did my best to stay calm and hopeful. There had been no showings, and we were concerned. Unfortunately, about the time we listed our house, the market slowed to a crawl and nothing was selling. As the summer went on, we continued to live constantly cleaning. By July, we had enough and decided to go to Atlanta for the day. While having lunch, we got a phone call and ended up racing home. We had two showings that night and both families made offers. We accepted one of them, and the fun began! After much discussion, we packed up the house and moved everything to storage. The house closed on September 12th, and we moved into the RV.

RV Home

In order for us to do this, August was filled with packing, cleaning, moving, laying water  and power lines, and putting in the driveway. On September 11th, we pulled the RV (packed heavier than it should be) out the driveway as we left our house for the last time. Yes, I was sad, but I was also very excited.

house site

By the end of September, the house build had begun, and we had settled into RV living. We got a good bit of rain right after we moved here and that was a very difficult time for us. We couldn’t get the dogs outside to play, and we had to fight muddy paws when we could get them out. After that, we had a nice stretch of beautiful dry weather. We enjoyed time outside and the building moved along quickly. In early November, we drove down to my Dad’s house for the weekend. It was nice to stay in a house! While there, we drove down to Charleston to visit the in-laws since they were in town. That’s really the only trip we took this year. I’m looking forward to a vacation next year!

Dried In Front

The house was dried in by mid November, and the very next day rain returned! We have had rain off and on since then, but they still come and work on the inside when it’s raining. Over Thanksgiving and into the first week of December, the dry wall was installed and finished. We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel and participated in the craziness that is Black Friday shopping. We even purchased our appliances during the Black Friday sales.

Christmas TreeThe Christmas tree in the camper is my little Charlie Brown tree…sad…I know. However, I did have the kids at school make paper ornaments for a tree I decorated in a local contest. We entered to win a $1,000 grant for our after school program, so I hope people are voting for our tree. Since I didn’t have a tree to decorate of my own, I had fun decorating this one.

For Christmas, we packed up and went to my Dad’s house for almost two weeks. It was so nice to use a real shower, sleep in a real bed, and have access to a washer and dryer. It rained almost the whole time we were there, but we still had a good time with Dad. We were excited to return home and see the progress that had been made while we were away. Unfortunately, not much had been done due to all the rain.

Back of House Dec 2014

I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by! We have been so blessed this year, and I am very thankful we decided to take this opportunity. This year hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth every bit of blood, sweat, and tears we have shed throughout this experience. The house isn’t done yet, and RV living is still our life, but we hope to spend most of 2015 enjoying our new home and welcoming others to enjoy it with us. I’m excited about 2015, and I hope you are too! Happy New Year! 🙂

Happy New Year!

 

 

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Since Dr. Seuss’s birthday falls on Sunday this year, I used my arts and crafts time with the kids this past week to celebrate. What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss than to read Bartholomew and the Oobleck and make oobleck? I work with third through fifth graders and had no idea they would love oobleck as much as they did! I had to basically take the bowls away from them when it was time to clean up. (I wish I could share pictures, but I don’t share pictures of other people’s children on the internet…that’s just not cool.)

While trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the kids in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday this week, I stumbled across this great printable bookmark.

I read so many books at once that I am forever looking for a bookmark. I may have to print some of these for myself.

I also came across a great blog post about Dr. Seuss books this week.

why i do not love dr seussI will admit I have some mixed feelings about the books myself. This post was written by a Reading Specialist, and being a reading person myself, I really liked her point of view. It actually made me appreciate the Dr. Seuss books more.

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, print out that cute bookmark and pick out a book to read! Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! 🙂

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The Last Time I Try To Re-purpose Wood

Earlier this week, I posted about replacing our privacy fence last weekend. With all that old fence board pilled up in my yard this week, my mind was racing with all the ideas of things to make with the ones that were still usable. I had grand plans for those old boards! Last night my husband informed me to pick what I wanted because the rest would be heading to the landfill this morning. So after dinner, I went out to pick the best boards. While under the carport shuffling through boards, I lost my balance. It was like slow motion. I knew it was coming, but could not stop it. That’s right, a nail came right through the bottom of my shoe. Sadly, my brand new shoes will now leak when I walk in the rain. Even more sad is the fact I had to go to urgent care this morning to have it looked at and get antibiotics. Thank goodness I had a tetanus shot less than three years ago. That is the last time I try to re-purpose wood. The doctor visit and medicine cost me more than it would have cost to just go to Lowe’s and buy the wood. Lesson learned. Now I’m going to go prop my foot up and read a good book. Walking around is not going to be my first choice of activities for the next few days. Now as a friendly suggestion, if you have not had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years, go get it! You never know when something like this will happen. Trust me, a nail through the foot is enough pain without having to get a shot on top of it. 🙂

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Snowed In 2014

Didn’t I say I was finished with winter? Evidently I can’t control that, because I am snowed/iced in after one crazy winter storm. Fortunately, we did not get as much as the weather people predicted, so I’m hoping to be able to leave the house tomorrow. After being stuck home for three days, I’m going crazy!

Yard Snow 2.13.14I will admit the yard looks pretty, but I’m ready for it to melt. I’ve come to the conclusion I would never make it living where it snows all winter. I just wouldn’t be able to handle it. I need sunshine!

Deck snow 2.13.14From the looks of it, my deck furniture needs some sunshine too. As I type this, the sun is coming out! Hopefully, the sun will stay out today and melt everything. I’m tired of holding my breath while my husband goes to work on these icy roads. He claims the roads are fine, but I watched his truck wheels spin getting up the hill this morning. I think I will stay home until this mess melts.

Radar Snow 2.13.14I’m not the only one with cabin fever around here. My dogs refuse to go out unless they have to potty. They randomly bark at the snow, which I think is rather funny. I feel like yelling at it to go away, so I guess that’s the same thing. We are obviously not snow people.

shell beach pic

I will just sit here and think about my happy place until I can get outside again. I’m ready for spring! 🙂

 

 

 

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I Hate Saying “Good-Bye”

It’s very hard for me to say “good-bye”. Today is difficult, because our neighbors of over five years are loading up the Uhaul and moving. They are still waiting on their house to sell, so there’s a chance I may see them again. But for the most part, my time with them is over. We have been so blessed by having wonderful neighbors. As I think back to last summer, when we initially found out they would be moving, the one thing that stands out is my neighbor friend’s strong character. She told me she knew it was a blessing to live in this neighborhood where people still care and look out for each other. She also said she realized the Lord can take away things just as easily as He gives them. I was encouraged by her strength that day, just as I have been during every warm afternoon we have enjoyed sitting outside together. The Lord blesses us with many friends during our life, and I truly believe He knows exactly who we need in our life during different seasons. Now it’s time to go say our good-byes. Yes, I will cry…that’s just what I do. It’s ok though, because I know God’s will is perfect and there’s someone in Florida that needs this awesome family as their neighbor.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
~Ecclesiastes 3:1

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My Word For 2014

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions or participate in other random forms of resolutions. I’ve seen various blog posts about individuals’ chosen words for the year. My thought was “that’s nice, but I’m not going out of my way to pick a word for the year.” Little did I know, a word was going to pick me!

The day after Christmas, I took all the Christmas decorations down and began getting my home back to normal. I wanted to do something creative with my mantel, but I just didn’t have the time. I grabbed some things I had around the house and arranged them haphazardly with a “this will have to do” mentality. While sitting on the couch that evening, my husband commented on how he liked that our mantel said “Go”. After taking a second look, I realized he was right.

GO MantelIsn’t that the most pathetic looking mantel you’ve ever seen? I’m planning to do something fun for Valentine’s Day. (If you are interested in the letter printable, go here.)

I’ve decided to make “Go” my word for this year. If this year progresses the way I believe it will, this is going to be a very accurate word. As I pondered the irony of all this, I also thought about some things I want to do this year.

Go try something new.
Go spend time with friends.
Go spend time outside.
Go serve others.
Go learn something new.
Go try new recipes.
Go trust God and take advantage of His blessings. (This has to do with the irony of this word showing up. More to come on that.)

This is going to be a very interesting year. I’m excited to GO and see what happens next! 🙂

 

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Welcome 2014!

For the first time in a long time, I was excited to welcome a new year. There were some good times in 2013, but it was also a very difficult year. After reading many blog posts and Facebook statuses, I believe a lot of people are in the same boat. Although we all had different experiences, 2013 just seemed to be a year we are all ready to leave behind. For me, 2014 holds a lot of excitement. It’s a new beginning after a year of a lot of sickness. We are getting new air ducts this month, which means the old duct board that was making me sick will be leaving the house. I’m praying for a healthy 2014. I’ve spent the last week cleaning and organizing. Nothing says fresh start to me like a clean house! I’m planning to start making some decorative items for my home using the Silhouette Portrait my sweet husband bought me for Christmas. This is the year we will finally get our bedroom painted and hopefully get some furniture made for that room as well. My biggest plan for our home this year is to finally get my craft room painted and set up. Getting the craft room finished will set up a chain reaction of organization that can occur throughout our house. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. I’m beginning to look forward to all the fun things I will get to experience in 2014. Vacations, festivals, road trips, fun adventures with friends and family, trying new recipes, craft projects, reading great books, and home improvement projects are all on my list for the year. I truly believe this is going to be a year to remember! 🙂

Happy New Year!

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