9.09.2014

Happy Campers!

Everything is offical - house sold, new (to us) truck, and new camper. Life is grand - now - because getting here was pure insanity but totally worth it. What is that saying about all good things . . . .

The insanity began when we started to close on our house on Tuesday morning only to discover, at the closing table, that we needed our septic tank pumped and inspected BEFORE we could close. At 11 am, with everyone gathered around the closing table, I began going down a short list of septic inspectors - one lucky man answered his phone and spent the next 4 hours in the brutal August sun locating, digging, and pumping our septic tank. Finally at 4 pm I had a reciept to take to the bank - only to find out the next day it was not the correct piece of paper the buyers lender needed. So, now two weeks later there is still money in esgrow waiting out the septic tank sample results. I guess that is what we get for selling with out an agent. Please keep your fingers crossed that everything else comes out okay.

John then had to call the guy we had planned to by a truck from, and tell him that we couldn't do it because we didn't recieve all our money at closing. I felt so bad for John, he had his heart set on that blue truck, so I spent most of the night on the internet searching for trucks, and low and behold, the truck that my dad and had looked at the previous week was still available.

So, on Wednesday my dad and John went up to buy the 2005 RAM 2500 from the Dan Deery dealer in Waterloo - no grass grows under our feet. This truck was quite a deal and pulls the new camper great.

We talked a lot about getting a passenger van and straight trailer, so we could all fit in one vehical and wouldn't have the expense of an additinal vehical; however, in the end we went with a camper that had more room, and we will just have to bite the bullet on keeping a second vehical for awhile.

A 356QBQ Heritage Glen from Forest River
and it is a BEAST!
(Just call me the Khaleesi and it Rhaegal)

And 7 days later, we drove over 900 miles with 7 kids and 2 dogs in less than 36 hours to pick up our new home. I bought it over the internet from RV wholesalers in Lakeview, OH, and couldn't be happier. I saved a little over $8,000.00 rather than buying it locally, and even got an extended warrenty with it. We left Wed. at noon, got into Fort Wayne Indiana at midnight, woke up at 6 am to drove into RV Wholesalers at 9:30 am. Did our walk thru, got a 5th wheel hitch installed, signed our papers, and on the road by 11:30 am. Pretty fantastic to do all that with our tribe in 2 hours.

As we pulled our new home across Illinois, we stopped at a Walmart to get subway and ate lunch in the house, which we decided had more room in it, with the slideouts in, than our old camper with the slideouts out. We love the U-shape dinette because all the kids can sit at the table and eat or play games.

John's two favorite things about the camper are

The remote for slides, awning plus other outside things, and the outdoor kitchen.

My favorite thing is the electric hot water that is always ready for me, especially for my morning shower :)

The kids love their new bunk room and we are loving our own bedroom, so all in all I would say we are pretty happy campers.

 

 

7.27.2014

Emptying the Rooms

I wanna say it is official but everyone says it's not until closing day, so I am not going to officially say it but we are making big plans. 

We are emptying the rooms, one by one, hauling stuff out to the garage for this amazing moving sale.  I am overwhelmed with tears on most days from anxiety, and loss of my worldly treasures.  We are getting rid of everything except those extra special, can't live without, items. Our therapist says take lots of pictures, so the photo journaling begins. If anyone has any good electronic journaling website - please pass them on to me.  I would like something a little crafty looking, so I can write and photo too.

We are at the same time excited to be researching new vehicles and campers. So far in the lead is a Nissan NV passenger van, and a quad bunkhouse straight trailer.

The van has 12 seats and can pull up to 9500 lbs, so I think we should be good to go.

The campers we are looking at are all the same set up - just staying under the weight is the major factor.
 
Right now the brands in the lead are the Wild-wood and Passport.


Also during this time, John got a volunteer position up at Coralville Lake (Corps Campground) - sugar bottom campground - as a maintenance guy.  He gets to ride around on the gater fixing signs and picking up tree limb and debris.  He is loving it.  The only down side right now is that he is up there, putting in his 21 hours, and we are 1 1/2 hours south cleaning the house - I think he definitely is getting the better deal. We are hoping this will get our foot in the door, so we can get more volunteer jobs like this.  We love it!  Sugar bottom is perfect for an active family - it has a beach, several playgrounds, biking and hiking trails, and disk golf - what more could we ask for.


Please send us lots of energy vibes and well wishes.  We are ready to get this party started!

5.26.2014

Big Changes Ahead

We have been back in our stick home for almost a year, and one thing has been confirmed - WE LOVE THE OPEN ROAD! So we hem and we hawed, and we (John, I, and the 7 kids) are now ready to commit to the full time RVing life. It took us awhile to commit because we didn't want to look back in 40 years and regret our choice - for the kids or us.

The reasons we stayed home for the year was to commit to certain educational practices for our special needs children; hoping we would see a big difference in their learning, and although they grew and developed we did not see anything extra special that we wouldn't have seen on the road.

So the calender has been created and the countdown began.

The days are being marked off, and the lists are being made. August 11th will be the final take off day, and if the house sells earlier then we can adjust. I showed the calendar to my dad and his reply was, "I can't read that thing - the numbers are all wrong". And yes, every day has two numbers in it - the actual calendar day and then our until lift off day. Today is day 78 until lift off.

The moving sale is this coming weekend, and everything will be out of the house and garage - move in ready for some lucky person or family. This is so much harder than I thought it would be. We are going through stuff that has sentimental value, and even though I am trying to stick to the "Life is about memories, not about stuff" motto, it is so very hard. Most of the "stuff" is large items like dressers, chairs, and desks - stuff not easily put in the camper. And then there is the whole getting rid of the paper/photo like stuff we keep - archiving and digitalizing. I guess I should be happy I am doing this now, rather than 20 years from now when I have accumulated even more stuff.

We will be living in the camper after this weekend, and just living simply. Everything will be out of the house, so it can be cleaned and ready to go for it's new owner. It will also free us up to do a little local traveling this summer before we head off into the wild blue yonder.

It always feels so good to make a commitment, and start implementing the actions to reach those goals. This is freeing and purposeful. I am taking everything we learned on our 8 month adventure and preparing for an amazing new adventure.

Life is all about the memories, not the stuff.

 

3.16.2014

Welcome Ostara

I love this time of year, the welcoming of all things cute and cuddly: all things pink and fuzzy.

Just like Yule, where we celebrate all month long, we begin celebrating Ostara, Eostre, or Easter, with Fat Tuesday through the spring equinox into Easter. We make it last as long as we can.

We started with these super easy, super cute beeswax egg candles.

We saved our egg shells back from the chicken scraps over a couple days (sorry chickens), and then colored the empty egg shells. I especially like the way the inside of the shells stained a more intense color than the outside.

Then we propped up little wicks in the shells, and poured the melted beeswax in the empty shells. I was surprised by how fast the wax began to set up. The whole project took less than an hour and everyone is so proud of their eggs.

We love the smell of these cute little things as they burn.

 

3.08.2014

There is Nothing More Spring Than . . .

Anticipation.

Anticipation,or being enthusiastic, is an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety in considering some expected or longed-for good event. (Thanks Wiki)


Nothing more Spring like than the anticiaption of a new life, and we deserve this,especially at the end of such a hard, cold winter. This winter has been especially hard for the Trochesset Tribe, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, so these new petite lives are a much needed pick me up; a celebration of life. As one door closes, another door opens.

The day or two before a birth is just agonizing. . . . the contant checking, rechecking, and checking again . . . the wishing and praying and hoping . . . the excitement, the worry, the anxiety.

And then, the first signs of labor; there really is a little life about to emerge. The constant need to find a comfortable position to rest; a moment in the pain and pleasure.

Then, a nose, a couple hooves . . . and it's out . . . rub, rub, rub. . . breathe, breathe . . . BREATHE!

Life is good!

She has the mamma instinct.
The twins are marked almost the same.
The baby girl (Doe)

The baby boy (Buck)

 

2.23.2014

The Winter Blues

We are beginning to wonder if this winter will ever end. Don't get me wrong, I love being out sledding and building snowmen but not in 0 degree weather. And now our frozen, melted-snow, now ice rink, lane is making winter even more bothersome.
So what is a person to do but dream of warmer days. In fact, we have been doing this all winter long. We pull out last years calendar, where brief notes open the flood gates to wonderfully fun memories.
Feb. 24th 2013. Went to Saguaro NP east with mom and older kids. Neat Drive.

Translation - Mom and I decided to drive up to the Saguaro National park on the East side of Tucson. John didn't want to go, so Johnny and twins stayed with daddy at the camper. I remember going through the nice visitors park and then taking the drive - the drive is what this place is all about. The drive is a one way snakey path through the cactus, river beds, and rock hills. We ate snack at a pinic table in the warm sun and climbed rock formations.


What this means on a cold Iowa winter night. 7 excited kids jumping around, laughing, smiling, arms flapping, as if they could fly themselves there. All rattling off things about the giant saguaro, who lives in it, how old saguaro's are before they get their first "arms", the rock mountain we climbed, and the rare fan shaped saguaro they saw. Our livingroom was transformed into another place, sunnier, brighter, and much warmer for over 30 minutes.
But as the kids get ready for bed, and the excitement high fades, I am left, for a moment, sadder than I was before. I want to hook up the camper and be gone - leave and never look back. Alas . . . I turn to the fridge, my motivation center where quotes litter the front, and quickly remember how lucky I am to even have these warm memories with my children. Life Is Good!

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