Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another week gone

We had a yard sale yesterday which means we stayed home this weekend. I thought that it would be a great time to do some long neglected things around the house but nothing got done. Not even laundry. I now have a pile that is larger than when we get home from the river on Sundays in front of the washer. Oh well.

This week will be a crazy one. Sometimes work and school get in the way of doing so much. One more reason to homeschool. If only we could manage our finances on one salary.

We began taking Dave Ramsey's course Financial Peace University tonight amongst all else we have going on. I enjoyed the first class. We thought we would take it because while we don't have that much debt and we have only one credit card and that balance is less than $1000 (way less) we felt like we needed some perspective on saving and planning for our future.

With this course the issue of the new trailer comes into play. What would Dave Do? Well, Dave would probably say no way. But we are going to go forward with that purchase anyway. We figure it is a done deal, even though we haven't signed on it yet, we still are going to do through with it and get the new trailer and then use Dave's strategies to pay it off quickly. Truly our new trailer is our second home, like people buy beach houses and river houses. This is our river home and we need something bigger than 8 ft wide to house us all a bit more comfortably. However, we were talking tonight (my husband and I) and we already feel the difference in mindset coming on, which is a good thing for us. Tonight I sat next to a lady who has filed for bankruptcy TWICE in her life. WOW!! We are no where near that nor even desperate, or behind in any payments.

I have been talking to others about the trip and so many ideas are swimming in my head about where to go and what to see. I need to start writing it all down.

There is a PBS special coming up about the National Parks System. I can't wait for it to come on. I think it comes on in a week or so. Check your local listings for it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Many Irons in the Fire

Right now we are at our river place. It is a 30 ft. Coachman travel trailer, 1993. It has no slide-outs, but we all fit, sort of. I can cook but have 3 inches of counter space. I have to put a cutting board over the sink for a total of one square foot of counter space. We have two bunks but three kids. One of our kids has to sleep on the j-couch.

We are working on income for when we are gone too. We have some ideas but nothing quite ready for publishing yet.

Saving money is the first priority. I just participated in a craft show today and made $200. We have another yard sale coming up next weekend. Did I tell you all that we are in the process of purging as much of our clutter as possible right now?

Okay, we need a goal. I will get back to you all on that.

More to come.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This is IT!

We think we have found the 5th wheel we want.

It is a Sandpiper 355QBQ 2010 (or we will take a 2009 too). This is the floor plan.

And this link will take you to photos of the rig.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Guess you are wondering

what it is that we are planning that will be life changing. Am I right?

We are planning a big trip. We have always wanted to travel across the country with our kids. We have decided that we are going to do this. We want to make this trip while the kids are still young but old enough to remember it.

Now we are not just talking a couple week thing. We are talking a BIG trip. Perhaps a year long. In order to make this happen we have set in motion several things. At this point we are in the research mode. AND boy have we researched so much already.

The first thing that we did was Google some blogs or websites of others that are doing this very thing. We have found several blogs and websites that are geared toward families making this trip too.

We found:
Families on the Road


The Bottom Line: Living the RV Life (Article)

These have been very helpful and we just purchased a book, Live Your Road Trip Dream: Travel for a Year for the Cost of Staying Home By Phil White, Carol White. We just received this book from Amazon yesterday and so far we have scoured a good section of this book.

One of the first things we need to decide is for how long will we be out on the road. We have thrown around the idea of an entire year. But my husband owns his own lawn company and he is concerned (rightfully so) about how his business will survive with us gone for that length of time. Then we thought about going for just a month. I am off for the entire month of July every summer and this would be an ideal time for us to go for the entire month because I won't have to quit my job or take a leave of absence. We would hold on to all our benefits with my job and a month IS a long time.

Recently we have begun to play around with me taking a leave of absence from teaching for the entire year and we could take several extended trips. We could take our month of July then return until late fall. I could home school the kids here (in our house) and we could continue to take week long trips in the fall then late fall take another extended one. We could return home for the holidays and then leave again in January for another extended month or two. Return to get my husband's business running again and then leave for shorter trips again.

The second decision we have to make is what vehicle are we going to take. We currently own a 1993 Coachman 30ft travel trailer. While this is nice and we use it almost every weekend, it lacks in the space issue. We have no slides on this trailer and the kitchen space is in the hallway to the kids' bunkbeds. One of our children has to sleep on the J-sofa. This doesn't pose a practical rig for us to take on this type of trip. We are looking for a rig that will have beds for everyone. We have found several that have two sets of bunkbeds which is great. We don't think we will go with a standard travel trailer either. We are thinking either a 5th wheel or a motor home. With a 5th wheel we would also need to get a truck to pull it, and with a motor home we would have to get a car to pull behind for local travel.

Any thoughts?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Brush with Hannah Montana

This past weekend our family went to Baltimore for my cousin's wedding. We went to the wedding and the reception and on the way out this happened to us.
The limosine driver was standing there in the parking lot next to the bride and groom's limo. It was a super stretch sedan. It was white with a black top and black wheels. It was pretty neat looking. He noticed that my kids were checking out the car as they walked by and he asked if they would like to take a peak inside.
Well, yeah!!! So they walk over and he opens the back door for them to see and suggests they get in and sit down. So the peeps do and they are in awe with the size and the fact that it had a tv in it AND a bar AND a big long seat AND neon lights AND a stereo in it. The driver goes around to the other side of the car and opens the other door and pokes his head in and says,
"you know, I have driven around a lot of famous people in this car."
The kids say, "really??? like who???"
He says, "well, I can't tell you any names of them because we aren't allowed to but I will tell you the initials of one rock star you might know. Do you know who HM is?"
Well, the Ladybug about flips out of the seat and yells, "HANNAH MONTANA!!!!"
And that made her birthday, which was the very day that she got to sit in the same limosine that Hannah Montana sat in!!!

The Pickle, the Bean and the Ladybug in "Hannah Montana's Limo"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Our Crazy Adventures Start NOW

A bit of background:

After a 5 1/2 year courtship and an almost 12 year marriage you would think that I am used to the wild hairs we get from time to time. My husband and I seem to have something sitting on the backburner at all times simmering. It simmers and just waits for one of us to stir the pot a bit. It will begin to bubble and if someone doesn't turn down the heat then we are off on another grand adventure.

This time we both have stirred the pot, added a few spices, and no one is turning off the heat this time. The pot is bubbling over and we are getting excited about this adventure.

We will begin here at our home in Virginia where we have created a nice family and a nice happy life. With three kids in tow and a dog ever so excited for an adventure we are about to embark on the grandest and most life altering yet. Stay tuned for lots of planning, some frustrations I am sure, and some great happy times.