We live in a camper and work on a harvest crew!! Sounds so cool and adventurous.
Well I’m here to inform you it is the same old, same old story!!
There is still dishes, laundry, parenting, school work, parenting, cleaning, parenting, grocery shopping, laundry, entertaining children, … you get the picture! And you get to do all of it in a space the size of a storage unit.
The new part of the old story is, when you live in a tiny house on wheels, there is less of the cleaning and more family togetherness and skill learning.
Family togetherness is all fun and games till you realize not everyone fits on the couch! But it has been good to learn to respect others personal space and privacy even in the small ways.
There are also lots of opportunities for teaching new skills like how to wash dishes in a small space, or take a bath without getting water on the floor, correct procedure for stabilizing the camper, helping check laundry (running over to the laundry room), and to never leaving an empty ice tray!
New skills for mom also include, drying laundry on the awning edge to save money, cooking in my instant-pot, learning to dump the black tank (sewer), Cooking portable meals, and navigating small towns (thank goodness GPS knows where the P.O. is). My least favorite new skill is refrigerator Tetras.
All in all I’d say that the new part, of the old story, is mostly positive and is allowing for new growth in many areas of our family.
There are times in life were you look ahead and see a big fork in the road.
I feel like that time is approaching for our family. One side of the fork is the comfortable and normal life we are use to, and the other side of the fork is a Family adventure, We have chosen to take the path of adventure!
We are looking forward to becoming part of a harvest crew this spring. Crabtree Harvesting has hired us for the 2017 season! They travel as a family and serve the Lord with their harvesting crew!
We will travel with the crew from May till Nov. Josten will be continuing what he does here, driving truck but it will be hauling grain. The rest of the family is going to travel along, we will help with various things such as cooking and parts pick-up as needed.
This family adventure is going to cause another family adventure to start, one that I can’t say I am as excited about . We will officially become a Home-schooling family! Well, Road Schooling might be more appropriate!
So the crazy begins!
I must start collecting boxes again, I really do not like boxes. Boxes signify a lot of work to be done! We will be having a massive yard sale in about 2 weeks and this will help finish out our camper fund. I am going through the house room by room and deciding what we actually really need. I have already started a pile of tupperware, clothing, kitchen stuff, etc for this yard sale! We just rent the house we are living in, so that means packing to move out of it. I do not enjoy this process called “packing”! This time I am going to do what I have threatened to do the 12 other times we moved, I am selling 90% of our stuff!
We are planning to keep the very basics of household stuff to stock the camper, essential clothing, and of course things like bikes and rip-sticks (aff. link). There are only a few pieces of furniture that have sentimental value and we will need to find a spot to store those, as well as basic canning supplies, tools, and china.
Currently we are camper shopping, oh that is a big job! We know what features are needed to make it user friendly for us, but finding those features in our budget is proving hard. Hopefully in the next week or so we will be able to locate a camper in our budget. I am really hoping to have it here for a couple weeks before we leave so we can pack it and do any needed maintenance. Time is counting down!
I’m hoping to do a small series of posts on the packing process, and then also use the blog to follow our trip west! Please feel free to follow our journey.
Dorcas for the Heatwole clan. #Harvest2017
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Y’all know the challenge of keeping boys busy. It is a sun-up to sun-down job! It must be done, this is the only way to retain a sense of sanity and peace.
Boys are men in the making….take a look around you at the good, full-grown, income producing, contributing, males in your life…. they are busy by choice! There are many ways to be busy, maybe it is mental and maybe its physical.
I have found for me, as a mom of all boys, that I must encourage them daily to stay busy! There is a lot less time for fighting and bickering and straight-up mischief! Here are three ways I use here at my house.
#1 SCHEDULED RESPONSIBILITY
I know, I know, I am one of the last people you expected that from, but stay with me a minute! I have very very simple schedules for the requirements around the house and the time slots they need to be accomplished in. This is only changed up about once a year.
By having this simple chore schedule there is no question who does what! I require these chores be finished before they are allowed extended screen-time. They are also responsible to empty their lunch bags after school (ice packs back in freezer, dirty dishes in sink, lunch cooler wiped out and stored correctly) as well as putting their own laundry away sometime during the evening.
Example: A simple schedule of the household chores they are responsible for, and who cares for what animals. Glenn does the kitchen on Tue Thur & Fri, The living-room on Mon. & Wed. and feeds the chickens morning and eve, Wyatt Does those same Jobs on the opposing days and he feeds the goats morning and eve. Reese is still in the chore learning stage but I assign him something each day (vacuum a specific area, line up shoes, shake out rugs, empty silverware) and he is responsible to feed & water the dog morning and eve.
#2 Hobbies (an activity that is enjoyed more than once)
Hobbies are very important in any child’s development and should be encouraged. I also see this as a good time for them to work together with other siblings, or this may also be a good time to encourage independent play time!
EXAMPLE: Paper air planes were a big big deal here for Wyatt & Reese for several weeks. They worked together to perfect the craft and make the “best paper airplanes in the state”! Glenn is collecting the supplies right now to make knife and flashlight cases out of Kydex. These hobbies do not require a lot of parental assistance but provide hours of busyness that is productive and skill building.
Some other Ideas: Strategy Games, Puzzles, Lego’s, Good books,
#3 PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
As I mentioned above, boys are men in the making! There are few men who don’t enjoy physical activity of some type. It might be hiking or hunting, sports, weight lifting, running or working around their property. Boys need this as well, and it is a very important developmental issue especially for boys.
EXAMPLE: Put up a hoop so they can shoot baskets, Bikes to ride, a football, a set of 5lb dumbbells, a soccer ball and a net to kick into, the ideas are endless! Right now at TDC, basketball is the activity of choice, although Reese & Wyatt are also in a running challenge, they run around the outside of the house after school and see who can put in the most laps before they give up!
Boys enjoy things like riding their bikes over ramps, maintaining their bikes, working on small engines, Rip sticking in the garage, Throwing softball or football to each other. Here at TDC they like to go and explore/hike the overgrown pasture behind our house.
I also have the boys help me with most of the physical jobs around the house such as mowing, power washing, weed-eating, washing the SUV & truck, animal care (trimming goat hooves, cleaning out the chicken house, fencing issues) trimming bushes, and even mulching & weeding the garden & flower beds.
One thing I will point out tho is, if you don’t have someone for your young man to play with, you may need to go out and catch the football or at least be a spectator/cheerleader. It is a good thing to show them that we value the activity, plus the fact that boys (and men) thrive on competition. Last Sunday the boys were all out together shooting hoops, and they called me out to tell me how far they had shot and made the basket. It doesn’t take much to let them know we value them!
And in the spirit of real life and honesty, these are our goals and they happen regularly but not absolutely always. I do find tho that we function well in this plan.
What are your favorite ways to keep your boys busy?
Go out and parent your children with confidence, this is love in its true form. You can do it!!