Thursday, September 20, 2012

Our new house!

A house, ya know, the "sticks'n bricks" variety.  We decided to look for a house with RV parking, mostly because the thought of selling the RV was pretty abominable to Steve. ;)  And...we didn't want to pay for storage fees for it.  In our driving around to check out the area, we discovered that many people have RVs or boats parked next to their homes, so we knew it was surely a possibility.  We realized pretty quickly that we would end up with a larger home that we originally had in mind if we were going to find a house with parking that could accommodate our big rig in a neighborhood that was both reasonably nice and reasonably close to Steve's work.  Sooo...Labor Day was our first house hunting day, and the second house we looked at, we knew we should make an offer on.  Sure enough, three other offers came in on the heels of ours, but ours was the winning offer...and so, in record time, we landed a house here in UT.  Wow!  Still seems a little crazy that it all happened so fast, but that's kind of how it was selling our house to move into the RV, too!  We love the view of the mountains---from the girls' bedroom.  Unfortunately, our view is obscured by the frosted glass window of the master toilet room.:/  What were they thinking?  The basement is also awesome, with a built-in bookshelf and cabinets where I can keep all our homeschool stuff,  and a crazy large, cement block pantry!  We're ready for any natural disaster now! ;)  There's a lovely area for a garden in the backyard.  We're also just a short walk to a park with playground, tennis courts, and a track/trail for walking, biking, etc.  It's not perfect, but it looks perfect for us!

This is our new home.   Notice the RV parking on the right side.
The kitchen is the most popular room of the house.
Are they done yet?
The RV parked next to our house collecting snow.   We would get another 6-8 inches of snow after this photo was taken.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thoughts on Our Adventure - Past, Present, and Future

This is a tricky post to write!  There are many thoughts floating around in my head, so I'm trying to chase down the important ones and articulate them in a coherent manner!

I know that Steve was initially resistant to the idea of looking for work again, but once he began the search and realized it was going to be tougher than he anticipated, he embraced it wholeheartedly, throwing "travelling" to the wind for a season, somewhat unexpectedly for me and the rest of the family.  However, we embraced the full-time lifestyle once more for a final hurrah, and I'm so glad we did!  When Steve received the offer for Salt Lake City, his initial response was rather somber.  It was difficult for him to see it in a light other than "losing his freedom" and "the end of the adventure."  Sooo...lots of fluctuating emotions have abounded around here for quite some time!  With that being said, we have prayed about our "end game" as diligently as we prayed about our start, so although there are without a doubt some bittersweet emotions flying around, there is also great peace about the way it all worked out.  I'm not sure why we've landed here, other than to say that I am convinced that, for whatever the reason, it is where the Lord wants us to be.

Since our arrival here, we have transitioned from a one car (truck) family, to a two vehicle family! shopping is always stressful, in my opinion.  Nonetheless, we now own a minivan in addition to our truck.  I know Steve was always dead set against owning a minivan, but he was a real sweetheart and caved to my request for one.  Gotta, love, the space inside for cargo in addition to people!  And, it is definitely easier to maneuver in tight spaces!  Another bonus is that since the price of diesel has risen 40 cents a gallon since we arrived here in SLC, we have a more fuel efficient vehicle for getting around!

Of course, we had to decide what to do about lodging, too.  Realistically, we're not sure how long we'll be here because you never know what the future holds; I think we know that with much more clarity now than we did just a year and a half ago!  We needed to decide whether to stay in the rig, rent, or buy.  I'll admit, I wasn't gung-ho about the idea of staying in the rig; as Steve puts it, the best thing about an RV is that it moves!  In other words, it isn't too exciting living in RV parks, packed in like sardines, watching all many of your neighbors come...and go...while you stay put!  Not to mention, having dealt with condensation issues in our rig last winter, which was mild, I wasn't thrilled about wintering here in SLC where there are real winters with plenty of snow!  Soooo...after a little research, we decided that it would be a good idea to buy a house here, but of course, we had to decide on location, size, price, etc.  All I can say about it is that God was in the details.  We did spend a lot of time looking at houses online, but when we decided to look at houses on Labor Day for the first time, Steve & I both knew that the second house we looked at was "the one."  Crazy!  We didn't even bother looking further; we just made an offer.  And, despite three other offers coming in on the heels of ours, our offer was the one that was accepted!  Wow!!  Such big decisions, so much money, definitely daunting, but again, it's good stuff that's happening, and there is an underlying peace about it all, in spite of the tumult!  It's becoming clearer that the adventure never really ends.  It simply morphs.  One era may have ended, but another is just beginning! more thing, there's room to park the rig right next to the house, so for now at least, we'll be keeping the rig! Awesomeness!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Beading with Friends

One day while Alyssa was out scootering around the RV park, burning off extra energy, she made a new friend!  I'm so glad she did, because we all enjoy Mrs. Debbie and Mr. Billy!  I think Debbie lured the girls in with her beading hobby.  Most evenings after work, Debbie would be outside at her picnic table, making necklaces and bracelets...AND she welcomed my girls and generously shared her beads with them, even buying beads specifically for them!  Wow---it's been so much fun and so good for my girls to craft with her! When Mr. Billy comes home from work, he always has a collection of bracelets, anklets, and necklaces to put clasps on.  It has been such a treat getting to know these guys, and it is so sweet to see our kids become friends with them.  We've been totally blessed by their kindness and generosity!  And...despite having left Pony Express RV park, we still get together every couple weeks for beading, yummy food, and hanging out.  For our sake, I hope work doesn't tug them away from Salt Lake City any time soon!

The hub of beading activity
This can go on for hours :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Minivan

It was time -- to get a second vehicle.  Steve hadn't found one at the auto auction with his dad in Pennsylvania, so minivan shopping commenced soon after our arrival in SLC.  I have to confess that I hate loathe car shopping, but the reward was nice!  Admittedly, this was a splurge -- DVD player for the kids (wow, we held out on this one for a loooong time) and leather seats; we all absolutely love all the cargo space in addition to the people space.  It is a Chrysler Town & Country.  The ride is indeed super sweet, the warranty is nice, and Steve isn't concerned about me & the kids driving from TX to UT, or other long road trips without him.  Soooo...we're enjoying it, and we plan on keeping it for a long time.  And no, we didn't purposefully choose to get a van that matches our truck (really, we don't have a thing for red) -- it just worked out that way!