Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Trailer Organization

A lot of people have asked how we plan on having a family of 5 living in a trailer the size of our previous master bedroom.  Well it took a lot of planning, organizing, sacrificing, and creativity.  And I'm a novice at this whole full time RVing thing so I'm sure things will adapt and change over time. Come to find out we are not the only family crazy enough to do this, so there are a ton of ideas of how to do this already out there.  
Planning-  It all began back when we started getting ideas about what type of trailer we wanted.  Fifth wheel or travel trailer?  And what layout were we looking for?  We went to a few RV shows, knowing we wouldn't be buying a brand new RV but a well loved one.  The shows helped us get ideas of possible layouts.  I fell in love with this one floor plan.  Of course there were none available in our area, in our price range.  But I LOVED it.  It had a great set up for the boys room with lots of floor space and storage.  There was actually a slide-out in their room for the closet.  The bathroom had a separate outdoor entry, essential for all our planned beach visits, and floor to ceiling cabinets for storage.  There was a pantry in the dining room and a U-shaped dinette (necessary for our growing family).  We searched and searched and finally found the one, in Indiana, 3 days after we had returned from Indiana with our new tow vehicle.  
Organizing/Creativity-  I hit up Pinterest and the local Dollar Tree and got to work.  Aside from finding a way to fit everything, we had to make sure it was functional and safe during drives.  I used bins, shoe organizers, command strips galore, and removable hooks everywhere.  It can be a bit of a risk drilling into walls on a trailer, being that the walls are so thin and full of wiring and plumbing, so these seemed like smart options.  Here are some of the organizing ideas I used.
A Storage Rack keeps all my Norwex and bibs organized, and remember that shoe addiction I mentioned? I cut apart a shoe organizer and hung it under the bed.

These are for while we are on the move. A child safety lock for our electronics cabinet and a few tension rods to keep food, cups and pots in place.

I may have a shoe addiction, but Jon has a spice/seasoning addiction. A few Command Hooks , dollar store baskets and magnets keep his collection accessible.

So excited about this! Showering in our RV is not what I would call luxurious, it's a strategic necessity since we only have 6 gallons of hot water at a time, but this Extend-A-Shower  is my favorite addition to our trailer.

Sacrificing- As mentioned in previous posts we did a bit of shedding before we even moved into the trailer.  As my dad mentioned, we probably will do more over time.  But we got rid of a lot of clothes, toys, kitchen items, books, nick nacks and all those things you probably tell yourself to get rid of but hold on to.  I think my biggest sacrifice was shoes, I really like shoes, but I still have a ridiculous amount so I can't be too sore about it.
We are just about done with our first long stop here in Dallas and will be on the road again in a few days.  We are excited to visit with some friends along the way in the weeks coming up and eventually be with family again shortly.  Keep checking back for more on our adventures.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

We're Not In Kansas Anymore

We arrived in Texas without too many hiccups.  We got to spend a little bit of time with my sister-in-law in Tulsa.  Tulsa was a bit of a surprise, with its rolling hills and beautiful lakes, I never expected those views from Oklahoma.  I would love to explore it a bit more if given the chance. We enjoyed a nice dinner and hit the sack for a restful night before driving onward.
We got Pop, my Dad, to the airport in Dallas in just enough time for him to catch his flight home.  Then we set off to visit with Dad's parents who live in North Dallas.  It's really nice to be able to visit family knowing we aren't on a strict timeline.  
Nana and Papa recently lost their home in a tornado, as Jon mentioned in a previous post, and they have made it a goal to help other victims who may not have the means to help themselves.  Papa heard of a young man, a veteran and college student, that was fortunate to survive while losing his apartment and every material item he owned.  He was now living in a Motel 6 with no amenities.  The motel wanted a ridiculous amount of money to rent him a fridge so he would be able to have some food in his room.  Instead Papa asked us to pick up a fridge for him and deliver it.  We were more than happy to, but we weren't quite prepared for what that would entail.  We had the kids loaded in the car navigating our way to drop the fridge off when we turned into a neighborhood that we weren't prepared to see.  The devastation immediately brought tears to my eyes.  I remember the devastation after hurricane Andrew when I was a child, but I wasn't ready for this.  AJ asked why the houses were broken, which we had previously explained to him in reference to why Nana and Papa lived somewhere different than he remembered, but now he was seeing it with his own eyes.  He seemed to understand a bit but I'm not sure if he understands that these people no longer have their homes to live in, which is fine with me if he doesn't.
The destruction is astounding.  We saw a home that used to be lined with trees.  The trees were now destroyed but the house was untouched.  There were other homes where the structure was diminished to a pile of rubble and their neighbors home was livable.  It is like bombs were dropped on select homes, leaving their surroundings pristine.  It's actually amazing so few people were hurt or killed.  
Some people believe natural disasters are the hands of God.  But God, my God, the one who has blessed me over and again with health, a Godly husband and 3 incredible children, that God wouldn't do this.  He is the rainbow after the storm.  He is what picks people up and carries them through this.  God is the one that gives strength to us to endure such things, he gives us perseverance to rebuild, whether it's a physical structure or something else in our lives.  God is here on these streets that look horrifying.  He is here with his arms wide open for those that need Him now more than ever.