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Hakuna Matata

Hakuna Matata

Well, my friends, we have officially been full time RV’ers for a week today. Last Thursday, after a full morning of Classical Conversations community, we completed the moving in essentials and spent our first night in the RV. Guess what? WE LOVE IT! Spaces are a bit tighter, true, but we’re always practically on top of each other anyway. Cooking has been a serious learning curve interesting, but we’ve had delicious and simple meals since we moved in.

Our week was full of a lot of firsts, mostly good. First RV showers (there is a pause button on the shower head for a reason… the hot water tank runs out very quickly), first laundry done at the laundry house (I am a little perturbed about not doing laundry more conveniently), first time lighting a gas oven that probably could fit in a dollhouse. We’ve been outdoors quite a bit this week as well. Lane and Cora have really enjoyed having room to ride their bikes freely, as well as visiting the docks every morning to feed the fish and turtles bread. We got the fishing poles set up, and have tried our hand at fishing the Waterway. Nothing has bitten yet, but we’re determined to catch something! 


We rented kayaks Tuesday afternoon with some friends and had a lovely time enjoying the beautiful afternoon exploring the Waterway. 


The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.

The campground pool has seen us a few times; the kids think it’s really neat that they get to ride in the back of the truck when we go to the pool. Music Man gave Lane his first ever pocket knife, which has been in near constant use ever since.

Along with all of the fun discoveries and adventures, we’ve had a few learning experiences as well. Such as, don’t leave your awning up in a storm. Saturday evening found us with a heavy storm rolling in just as we were arriving back to the campsite. As we rushed to bring items inside from the bed of my husband’s truck, a thought popped into my head. I had noticed that other campers kept their awning tilted a little lower on one side, in an OCD person’s nightmare arrangement. It clicked that this must be to help rainwater drain, and I mentioned it to Music Man. He glanced at the awning, filling rapidly with rainwater, and agreed that it should be tilted. As he began to drop one side, I ran to help and narrowly avoided being speared by the aluminum roller pole that suddenly snapped in half and swung inward toward the RV (and my head).

The pole that tried to kill me

The wonderful gentleman that came to remove our awning for us on Monday, free of cost, told Music Man that the supports in place for such a long awning were not rated to support so much weight. We were looking at a $1600 replacement job to put up a bit shorter awning. The price was a bit staggering, and we prayed together that God would provide a less expensive way to replace the awning. After a call to insurance, we were so thankful to find out that the awning was covered under storm damage and would be replaced after paying a deductible a fourth of the cost of the initial quote.

All in all, this has been an incredible first week as a full time RV living and schooling family. We are looking forward to many more firsts, some amazing adventures, and great campfires. Stick around for posts with pictures of the RV, snippets of our days, and the craziness of our family!


Home schooling in the RV! It CAN be done!


This was a great way to continue the conversation about mirror images from Fine Arts last week.


Tickled pink about their first night in the loft.


As Lane said tonight, “Living the dream!”



Short and Sweet

I am too tired from this week of transition to actually put together a whole post right now, but… First night sleeping in the RV. The little people are snoozing away in the loft, and I’ve just climbed into my bed. Pictures and details are coming, I promise. Good night, campground. Good night, moon. Good night, world. 


Down the Rabbit Hole…

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Down the Rabbit Hole…

“We have too much crap!”

These words have echoed through our two story, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house countless times over the last week. How is it that we JUST did this 16 months ago in our move from Florida? I purged countless bags of stuff to move 400+ miles, less than a year and a half ago. It’s troubling how much we have managed to accumulate in such a short time. 

Last week was all about purging, packing, storing, sorting… Oh, and in the midst of all of that chaos, we had our first day back to our Classical Conversations community. 

Lane and Cora are both in Mom’s class this year!!

The camper we will be staying in to begin with actually belongs to my dad and step-mom. They purchased a 2010 Salem LE Sport toy hauler fifth wheel in Tampa, FL and are having it delivered to Myrtle Beach… TODAY! We will live in their fifth wheel as we save up to buy the bunkhouse travel trailer we dream of. The campground where we will be living is a lovely little quiet place on the Intercoastal Waterway, with plenty of outdoor activities to keep us busy. We are quite excited to begin our “tiny Wonderland lifestyle”, but first we have to get down the rabbit hole. The rabbit hole being, of course, the actual narrowing transition from too much stuff to just what we need. 

As I sit here at our makeshift kitchen table (having sold our dining set last weekend) looking around at the organized chaos around me, I utter a half-whispered prayer that God will give me strength to somehow make it through our last day of packing. Tomorrow is supposed to be our “move in day”, so everything around me needs to be stored, donated or stashed in the camper. All while keeping a seven- and eight-year-old from being bored out of their minds or too helpful.

Someone asked me yesterday at church if there is anything I will miss in this house. I am sure there will be many things, but the two big ones that pop into my head are the enormous kitchen and gigantic garden tub. 


all those cabinets…


I have used this tub every night since we found out we are moving…

Ask my children the same question, and you’ll get much more profound answers. My seven-year-old girl, the queen of snacks, Ms. Social Butterfly answered, “My neighborhood friends and the ice cream truck!” (Way to stay consistent, punkin.) The eight-and-a-half-year-old boy, logical, Mr. (usually) Practical answered, “Memories”. (Way to wreck a mother’s heart, kid.) They are both enormously excited for this adventure; it makes me feel more secure that they aren’t going to actually miss anything in the house itself. 


Well, here we go… Down the rabbit hole!

Small World… Gets Smaller?

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Small World… Gets Smaller?

Our family isn’t exactly what one would call “traditional”. My husband works nights as an entertainer, we homeschool our two children, and we moved our family almost 500 miles from home last year in order for Music Man to pursue his career. This bent toward unconventional life choices broadened to include a predilection for a more natural/holistic approach to health and wellness (lovingly called “crunchy” in our home). Knowing all of this, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to my husband one evening, as he was watching television and I was purusing Pinterest we were watching television together, when I piped up with, “Hey. It would be absolutely crazy for us to live in an RV, right?” 

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t proposing that we leave our beautiful two-story home on a whim. We both had been fascinated by the Tiny House movement, and toyed with the what-ifs. He absentmindedly murmured that yes, it was crazy and continued watching HIMYM. A few minutes later (after furiously searching Pinterest for full-time RV dwellers who also homeschooled), I questioned, “But how crazy would it actually be?” 

That my friends, was all it took.  We began looking up everything we could find on RV living, types of RVs, local campgrounds. Mr. Math aka Music Man started crunching numbers about how much we could save, and kept finding more and more savings in our budget should we downsize. My heart was captured through a few blog posts that I found about living smaller in order to live life BIGGER. How many times had my heart been saddened by the feeling that we were doing our children an injustice by giving them so much stuff? Stuff that wouldn’t fill the innermost desires of their hearts. Stuff that just took up space. Stuff that resulted in Mommy standing over children demanding that stuff be cleaned up instead of scattered across the floor, forgotten, forsaken, boring. What was all this “stuff” accomplishing? Did it draw their hearts closer to their Savior? Or instead, was it a bone of contention? Was it something to fill the inner lust for more, more, more? Why couldn’t we walk through target anymore without someone feeling like they “needed” something from the toy section? Why couldn’t I go to a store without needing to run through the clothing department and check out the cute new shoes, or that top over there, or the amazing little dress I would only wear once? Was all of this “stuff” storing up treasures in heaven, or storing up greed in our hearts? 

God opened my eyes to all of the “stuff” in our lives, and how much money we fork out to house, repair or replace our stuff. Is a 2300+ sq ft house really what we need? It is beautiful, yes. But what is the cost? Is it worth it that our kids can’t run freely? That kitchen, is it worth the long hours of clean up and upkeep after a meal, instead of joining in on after dinner festivities? What are we giving up to keep up with the Joneses? Who are the Joneses,  and why do we feel compelled to keep up with them?!

Please know that my heart in all of this is not to judge anyone for having or wanting stuff. Everyone wants this path of life differently and with different convictions. These are the ones that have been laid on our hearts for our family for this time. So it is with great excitement, and a little bit of nervousness, that we are announcing that the Taylor family will be a fulltime RV family as of September 1st. 


More to come in the adventures of downsizing more than 2300 sq ft into a fifth wheel camper… all with a crazy, crunchy homeschooling mama, two little bitties, and one music man.

The “C” Word

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There’s a nasty word in our house. One that starts with “C” and sends little children screaming for hiding places. Okay, maybe not screaming… but the kids definitely scurry for cover. Sometimes.

Chores. There, I said it. Who could ever imagine that such a tiny little word could invoke unequivocal mayhem in many homes? I can’t tell you the countless number of articles I have read in the last two weeks regarding chores or morning routines or getting your children out the door on time. Apparently back-to-school season brings out the stress of trying to combine tiny humans and routines. 

As a homeschooling family, we don’t have a deadline each morning that the entire family races to meet, hurdling our bodies out the front door and into the waiting vehicle, accompanied by “Hurry up!” and “Don’t bring that toy!” and “If I have to tell you ONE more time…” However, a lack of schedule tends to make it difficult to transition into our school day, and little pit stops can rob our mornings of joy, orderliness and productivity.

Enter the Chore Chart.

I decided to introduce this age-old concept to my kids over the summer, hoping that by the time school started, we would have it down pat. I have tweaked it several times, but I finally feel like we have something that works for us. In hearing other mothers’ struggles with requiring chores from their children, enforcing chore follow-through, or just dealing with bad attitudes regarding chores, I am reminded of an excerpt from “To Train Up A Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl:

“My Amish neighbors say that before seven the children are a drain on the family–costing money and time. Between seven and fourteen, they pay their way. After fourteen, they become an asset, bringing in profit. Certainly by the time a child reaches seven, he should be making your life easier. A houseful of seven-year-olds would easily be self-sustaining.”

So many parents feel like they are personal slaves to the tiny humans in their homes. This isn’t how a family is meant to exist! Familes are supposed to be our center for communication, love, training, and preparation for life. I love my children, and that causes me to want to do things for them… but not at the detriment of letting them learn life lessons. We should be lovingly serving each other and the family unit by helping the household run smoothly.

This does NOT mean that my children do the majority of the household chores. It doesn’t mean they are cleaning all day long. It DOES mean that in the mornings, after breakfast, they have a list of chores to complete in a timely manner. It also means that they help set the dinner table, clean up after dinner, straighten toys and keep up with their personal hygiene. For our six and seven year olds, this is what a Chore Chart looks like:


Using this chart means I can switch out chores on a daily or as-needed basis.


You may notice the verse written on the yellow envelopes. This is to address bad attitudes that come up (inevitably) during chores from time-to-time. Phillipians 2:14 says, “Do all things without complaining or disputing.” This is a big deal in our home, as we expect our kids to obey with the right heart and attitude. It’s still a process at times to promote cheerful chores, but most days we sing and giggle while we complete our work. Starting our day out this way leads to more productivity (on their part AND mine) as well as “cleaning the slate” for a new day… and new messes!

What about you? What chores do your children do? What chores do you WISH they would do?

Annoying, Isn’t It?

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I really can’t stand to stumble across a blog that has excellent content and then find out that the author hasn’t posted anything in three years. I also dislike finding a blogger that has excellent content, following that blog, and finding that the posts slowly but surely drop off in frequency. Most annoying of all, however, is starting your own blog; posting half a dozen times…. and then not touching it in over two years.

Am I back?
I don’t know.

Do I want to be back?

Is it important to me to write, publish, be followed, make a difference?

With that in mind, here are the highlights in our family life right now:

1. We moved… to another state

Music Man accepted a job doing what he loves. He has been a traveling Dueling Piano player for some time now, and we are so excited that Myrtle Beach, SC had a need for his talents on a full-time basis. Living at the beach, whew, what a rough life!

2. We are entering our third year of homeschooling!

It really doesn’t seem possible that we are this far in the education process with L&C. We are still using Classical Conversations as our main curriculum, and I am a third year tutor with them this year. Lane will have me tutoring his class when we meet on Thursdays. Cora is a little apprehensive to have a tutor that isn’t Mom, but I am confident this will help her grow.

3. Did I mention that we live at the beach?

Yes, I’m a little excited about that part.

4. Two major weddings in Music Man’s family!

I have a new sister-in-law (in-law)! Music Man’s brother got hitched to someone I’m quickly becoming attached to. Their wedding was beautifully planned, and the couple’s personalities were found everywhere in little touches throughout the ceremony and reception.

Music Man’s cousin also wed his sweetheart, and their wedding was so uniquely them. The hard work and love that went into all the details paid off in a beautiful wedding and reception.

5. My siblings are all scattered to the four winds.

Gone are the days where I live in the same state as any, let alone all, of my siblings. Being the oldest, this is a little strange for me. The oldest younger brother is married, expecting a baby, and just moved back to Florida from the D.C. area. The youngest brother is still living it up at college in the Big Apple, and I am still intensely jealous. My baby sister is recently graduated from high school and living in Michigan. I foresee a lot of family vacations.

That pretty much sums up our recent adventures. May it be sooner than two years before you hear from me again!

Keys A’Jinglin’

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We got the keys this evening to our townhouse. Wish us luck as we move this weekend!!!!

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