If you give a mouse popcorn

Everyday seems like a new adventure in the camper.  I discover something daily.  Now, not all of the things I discover are monumental or worth documenting,  but a few are.  Lets see, at times, there is the realization that the camper is really small.  When you are trying to get ready for church and all the little people want to play and run, but there is really only a small space to do that, and you can’t send them outside or their Sunday best will be a mess.  So in the end, mom looses her mind and yells at everyone because she can’t seem to get ready when little people keep running her over while she tries to curl her hair.

Or maybe the lesson of “if you give a mouse popcorn….” is one I should share….. Have you ever been in a camper?  If you have, you will know that the sleeping quarters are close to the kitchen because everything is close! In our case, the stove sits on the wall to our bedroom.  From my bed to the stove is literally 2 steps away.  A few nights ago I woke up to a strange sound.  I couldn’t identify it right away.  I sat up and listened and thought one of my kids was out of bed for sure.  I used my handy iPhone flashlight to shine into the living room and no one was up.  By then the sound was gone so I laid back down.  As I settled back into bed I hear the noise again and I suddenly realize that sound is likely a critter.  My heart starts racing a little bit because I am scared of critters.  I slowly slide out of bed and creep around the corner with my flashlight on.  I see that there is a bag of Stirred popcorn (it is covered in sugar) that was upright against the wall when I went to bed, is now laying on its side and moved over.  I knew then that there was for sure a critter.  I jumped back in bed fast and debated what to do.  Where is my brave husband?  If you have read this blog before you know where he is- at the fire station!  After what felt like an eternity of listening to that MOUSE eat through the bag of popcorn, I finally caved and called Joel.

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What was he going to do?  I don’t have a clue but I needed another adult to talk me off the ledge.  “what are you afraid of?”  UMMMM Hello?  There is a mouse, a few feet away from me, eating a bag of popcorn.  “I know but what do you think is going to happen?”  All I am picturing is Ratatouille, you know that cute rat cartoon, and I am picturing that mouse calling all his friends to come eat the popcorn with him.  I don’t know what i think might happen but I just want the mouse to go away.  My sweet husband suggests I go get the bag of popcorn and throw it out.  No way is that happening.  I just can’t.

So, apparently camper living comes with friends.  Friends I don’t care for.  Friends I would like to leave.  And if you give a mouse popcorn, he will probably stick around to see what else you have, in case you are wondering.

Look, I live in a  camper with 7 people and at least one mouse.  Life is a mess most days.  Please don’t be offended if I invite myself over or show up unannounced at your house.  I know it is rude, but I am just asking for grace in advance.  If you feel so inclined, just invite us over before I show up at your doorstep without warning.  I am normally all about bringing gifts of homemade bread and desserts as thank you for having us, but since my camper oven over cooks in one 1/2 and undercooks on the other, I don’t know if you will want to eat anything I bring, so I will spare you that.

So here I am, 5 weeks into camper living, thinking to myself, When is this house going to be done?

Today at church, I had the sweetest lady tell me “well you just have it all together!”  In case it appears that way, I will first say I absolutely do not!  The other day I took this picture of myself (yes, a selfie) and I thought Wow, I actually look pretty good right now!  Then about 5 minutes later I found BBQ sauce in my hair. Moral of the story, not everything looks as it appears.  Ok friends, don’t forget to high five your mommy friends you see out in public with their kids.  It really is work to get there! Happy Monday!

Camper Fever

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Camper Fever- just like cabin fever, you know, but for a camper.

It started with a stomach bug.  Some how this bug managed to strike me when the husband is at the fire department.  (actually, everything bad happens when he is at the fire station, I bet any fire fighters wife will agree!) So I am sick something awful, trying to nurse the baby and keep up but I have no strength left in me.  I guess the good news is the camper is small so the bathroom is close!  After a few days of being in the camper because the stomach bug was being passed around, it rained.  Maybe some people are excited for rain.  Me, not so much!  Rain means the kids are inside. the tiny camper. ALL.DAY.LONG

By the time Joel is home for the day, I am in a unique mood.  I remember sitting on the couch in a daze staring off into no where land as I hear the baby crying, a 2 year old jumping on my back, a 4 year old dramatically telling me why she should change clothes, and 2 preteens impatiently waiting to get to where they were going.  It was my first glimpse of camper reality. All 7 of us, in this tiny space, all fighting for what they need. In that moment I thought no way this will ever get better.  I will have to live this way forever! The inner drama I was creating was close the the 4 year old’s drama- unrealistic and ridiculous, but none the less, I just sat there in my moment.

*Just for fun, when the dramatic 4 year old was complaining about her inability to change outfits, I decided to sing a little song “you can’t always get what you want….. but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need”  With arms crossed, head turned slightly sideways, she replies in a very sarcastic tone “thanks for that, mom” If you need me, I will be trying to figure out how to parent a 4 year old teenager.

In the mix of my camper reality there is camper cooking.  I am not sure if we got a reject oven or if maybe camper oven’s are just wonky.  I can’t figure ours out.  Sometimes it takes forever for stuff to cook.  Like the time says 10 minutes but it takes 25 minutes.  But this particular day, 8 minutes into the 29 minute cook time, I smell burning.  I open the oven to see that 3 of the 7 personal pizza’s in the oven have a burning crust.  How do I reconfigure that?  Trying to save the pizza’s by quickly pulling them from the oven, one falls between the grates making a melty cheesy mess that quickly turned into a burning cheesy mess.  I have about given up on the camper oven.  Not to mention I have to get half way in the oven to light the pilot every time I need to use it.  Sounds like next time we want pizza, its Dominos!

Everyday someone asks me at least one of two questions.  “How is life in the camper?” or “How is life with 5 kids?”  Not sure if people are cheering me on or secretly hoping I have some really good story to tell.  Maybe both! You want the truth?  I have no clue which aspect of my life makes it feel overwhelming right now, but life is overwhelming.  If you ask how life in the camper is, it really isn’t that bad!  There have been very few moments I that the camper, by itself, makes me wonder what on earth we are doing.  If you ask me how life with 5 kids is I will tell you good for the most part.  Adding #5 hasn’t really shaken things up too terribly much.  BUT  when we add, less sleep + nursing baby + 2 teen/preteens who are busy and need to be taken everywhere + building a house +  2 & 4  year olds + the rest of life I am not listing, I am overwhelmed some.  So if you see me out with all the kids doing all the things, my hair is fixed and I am smiling, just high five me and know that even then, I am probably feeling like a hot mess.  If you see me out in the same situation but my hair is a mess, I have spit up on my shirt, and I look frazzled, high five me any way because I am showing you my hot mess!

Home Sweet Home: part 1

We have just gotten started with our house and we already get lots of questions!  If you haven’t ever built a house the details are probably pretty foreign.  I have decided to blog the process in sections so those curious minds can see and understand a little more and so I can look back at our timeline!

Building a house is something that we have been dreaming about for a long time.  We have been looking for land and trying to find that perfect place to call home.  In May we made an offer on what is now our beautiful land.

The first week of July we closed on that land!

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The first thing that had to be done was pick a building site and start clearing and getting the pad ready. This was happening around the end of July and first of August.  After this the footings were dug and poured. Joel did all of this with help from friends and family. fullsizerender

Then we had to take a small break to have a baby!  We welcomed baby #5 on August 9, 2016img_2653

Block work was done on August 19th and since we had just had a new baby Joel decided to contract out the block work so this was the first part in the building process that Joel didn’t do himself. fullsizerender-1

Next there is subfloor and again Joel did this himself with the help of some amazing friends! This was happening at the end of August.  img_3230

First week of September the decking was put on.  Once again, friends and family helped Joel knock this out! img_3668

Here comes everyones favorite part!  The framing!  It goes up fast, (1 week) and so everyone suddenly sees the shape of a house and it feels like things are going to be happening quick.  Good news is, it is another step done, bad news is, you won’t see a ton of changes in the next few steps! This first picture is day 1 of framing.img_3713

I can’t remember if this is day 2 or 3 img_3772

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Day 6 framing is done! We did contract out the framing and if you need a framer let  us know and we will send a great one your way! This gets us current in construction because this happened today! img_4030

Joel up in the rafters!img_4028

Joel and I in the window that will be in the dinning room. img_4027

Harvey in his room.  He gets so excited to go in there and tells anyone who will listen that it is his room!img_4026img_4025

The girls in their room.  All 3 girls will share a room at the request of Jade.  Don’t worry, they have a massive closet! img_4024

Kamden reluctantly posing in his window.  He has helped with every step of this house so far.  I am so proud of the work he has put into it! img_4023

That is it so far!  We have really just gotten started and have a long way to go but we are excited to have the bones of the house!  Joel works so hard everyday doing something, even if it isn’t noticeable.  There is always something to be done at a construction site and when you are building yourself you have to be willing to do all the little things (that can become big things) like clean up! This house is being built with love labor for sure!

Just jumping in

With our first 2 weeks down in the camper, there are few things I have to note.  Let me start by saying I went into this somewhat blindly.  I had never stayed in a camper until the first night here.  I really had no idea what to expect.  If you are reading this and you frequently stay in a camper you may roll your eyes at some of my findings, but for this newbie, there were a few things I wasn’t ready for.

  1. It is bedtime and we are all nestled in our little bed, when all of the sudden the entire camper is shaking and I am sitting up in bed asking if someone is breaking in.  Joel informs me one of our kids rolled over in their bed.  oh. all that shaking for a shift in position?  well, ok then!
  2. The toilet room is extremely small.  I mean, I know you aren’t suppose to be doing a lot of moving around but goodness.  Also, it kind of feels like a port-a-potty, which doesn’t feel fabulous.  I am getting use to it now but will be extra happy to have normal toilets in the new house!
  3. When your water is ran from a hose to the camper, when  you take a shower it really makes you feel like you are showering from the garden hose.  Essentially, you are, but just inside.  You know how water smells coming out of the hose outside?  Or is that just me and my overly sensitive nose?  Any way, it is a thing, at least for me!
  4. Speaking of shower, when you have 7 people who need to be bathed, and your husband says “oh by the way, you will have to wait at least 20 minutes between each shower because the hot water tank isn’t very big” you realize that showers will now have to be scheduled and no one is allowed to get dirty unless their scheduled shower is next. 

  5. While blow drying my hair in the middle of the day, all electricity goes off.  I realize I have thrown a breaker.  After I threw the breaker 3 more times I realized I wasn’t going to get to blow dry my hair.  Apparently when it is 98 degrees outside the camper is working really hard to stay cool and can’t handle my blow dryer.  My shower is now scheduled first thing before it gets hot.

It is funny how we get use to certain things and even though there really isn’t anything to complain about living here (we have a roof over our head, electricity, running water, indoor potty), but it still takes some getting use to.  I am so thankful for this opportunity and right now I am welcoming the challenges the camper brings. (ask me again in a month or two!)  Now if I could just get excited the challenges that the 2 & 4 year old are currently bringing…….

We have had so many people ask us how it is going living in the camper and I must say that so far, it really hasn’t been bad.  It has only been 2 weeks of staying here and we have a long ways to go still.  I am happy to have less to clean and I am enjoying the simplicity living in the camper has brought.

Here’s to another week of camper living, coffee, & Jesus!

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