Thursday, June 15, 2017

7 Months and Counting in an RV Camper

It's time to write again!  I simply couldn't wait any longer!!!! There has been a lot happen in the last couple of years but most recently since November 2016.

Why in the world would we want to move into a Camper with ALL 6 of us? you might ask.

Where to begin? I'm thinking, well, where and why are we here in this crazy little camper 20 minutes from town, in the middle of the wilderness in a rented camper on rented land?

Questions I am asking EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! 

So here is the real beginning of it all, well mostly a long story leading up to this point but the most recent jump start into where we are now!  
  In 2016 we sold our home and during the middle of November we stuffed all our belongings into a storage unit in town and took ONLY what was necessary to the rented camper.  
  Before this epic family moment we had tried to arrange what our motivation and plans would be if we could sell.  Our mission and focus was to sell and try to purchase an investment property, flip it and repeat and then save up to build a new home on some acreage out in the country but near town.  Several attempts were made to rent out our home while we bought a foreclosure but fell through.
We still to this day don't know why, but many details and sobbing episodes later.....we just gave up! Well, for me that was just a few days of accepting the truth and then jumping back to myself and braving the challenge again.
Something I have always found myself in the middle of is exactly the most outrageously impossible situation and resulting in this ambition rising up inside of me and bravery to push through and find a solution.
I decided that I can't give up.  I can't let go of this dream.  God has left us in Greenwood for a reason and I just can't lose hope.  For my children, now 4 of them, they needed a place to run and play. We needed a room just for homeschool things. I needed to have a place to garden and just get outside.

I knew I couldn't give up.  So after 4 years of trying to sell by owner we decided to list with an agent.  The first did not work..again...try again....
We had our 4th child and decided that we were not longing to have any more children.  We knew that we were ready to step out in faith and look for God to make a way.

So fast forward, we enlisted an agent again but discovered that to have her sell for us we would end up with no money back at closing.  Huge hiccup, but we said If God is in this, it will happen.  So we waited and not long into the listing we got a buyer.  I totally doubted we would REALLY sell, but we quickly made plans to find elsewhere to live.  We worked hard to budget something that would help us manage living/renting plus the plans of building a house and General Contracting it.  We still trusted God in this. Not knowing how he would help, but he did!  We closed it out with a few hundred dollars to boot!  We sold to a couple that we knew would take good care of it.  The owner even let me come back and get my Echinacea plants in the spring.

We built our first home nearly 16 years ago but my Step Dad did most of the work and we helped. So it wasn't entirely a new and uncharted territory for us.  I also had been in real estate sales and we had flipped a few homes. 
None the less, we could not budget a large rental and had no clue how long we would find land.  We had been looking for years and couldn't find anything near town in our price range.  We had a tight budget since I don't bring any income to the table.  We had to be smart.  Not owing on our vehicles has saved us, although not very attractive to be seen in, it does get us to and fro!

We made it to closing but our crazy adventure was just getting started.  Before closing we had decided that we might try to buy a camper and live in it and when we find land....just move it onto the place and build our home.  We went to a RV camper sales and discovered that it was going to be quite expensive to purchase one brand new AND that would be a payment even when we finish our house...bummer.  So I randomly thought, what if someone wanted to rent their camper out.  It would be temporary. It would be an easy way to save money. But the one thing I couldn't handle was staying at an RV park.  So I brainstormed and advertised that I was looking for a camper rental and looking for land to put it on with utilities already in place.
Well, lo and behold-what does God do?  I get a response almost immediately: a friend of a friend has one.  Oh my, it is the same model and look of the one we wanted to buy- A Wildwood 31foot camper! ok. ok. so now what- look what God has provided, but I can't find anywhere to park it.  A few days later another friend tells me there's land near them with 9 acres with rv hookup! What?
Ok. With a barn, chicken coop (so we could get some laying hens), a deer stand and a gorgeous view of the Ouchita Mountains
Well, God, you have provided exactly what we needed and exactly when we needed it! We wanted to "get away" from it all.  We prayed we'd have room to play and stretch out.  To have a place to be "free".  A place for a tire swing and just a little bit of privacy from closed quarters living in a subdivision.
The only catch is.........we need to be out of the RV by Memorial Day.  So it's November and surely we can find land and be out by then, right?
Surely winter won't be so bad and we can cruise on through.  Hubby's going to build a small storage building with laundry facilities and homeschool storage, surely this won't be too hard. We'll have everything we need and it won't be long and we'll be moving into our new home!
So, alright, there we went. Onward bound.

Our journey had just begun.  I will continue to write about our adventures with pictures soon. 
We don't have Internet service so I am limited on how much time I can spend using my phone wi-fi spot to blog.  This is so therapeutic to be able to share our journey and relieve some stress.  It has been a wild ride and it's June and it's still not over!
I have some amazing and shocking stories and posts coming.  For me it is literally driving me crazy but I hope to share in a way that is hilariously comical, so please follow!
Thanks for reading, please share!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

So Long, Farewell, Adieu

So Long, Farewell......This is my last post on blogger, except a final memo to forward all viewers with a link because I will be re-locating to my own website soon. This has been a great place to start my blogging since 2011 and I have gained almost 10,000 page views, which has been surprising.  It has been an outlet for me to express myself while staying at home with 2 children, with another on the way, and still share what's going on with friends and family.
This is a new step for me and I am excited to present a whole new concept and new direction.  New features will include controlled advertising, a cleaner new look, an online shop and a more organized web page.  I hope you'll join me on this new journey and share the great things I hope to write about and create for my readers, friends and family.  I love sharing my passion for making the little moments important, giving ideas to those who are looking for them and teaching things I have learned over the years.  

Blogging has been a great outlet for me to share my creativity, help and encourage other people and, more importantly, to express my faith through my writing. So come on, join me on this journey and share with all you know. Let's do life together!Please go to the new website and enter your name and email in order to get connected.

Once I've begun the new website, you'll get the most up to date information and be able to enter for giveaways, too!

 I will be transferring some of the most popular blog posts over as time goes on and some of the older pictures. Don't think you can't revisit this site and research an old post. It will still be here until I've transferred everything over, which will take some time.
But in the meantime there will be lots of NEW posts on the new site and I'm just ecstatic. So stay in touch and thanks for following and reading my posts since 2011. It's been a great journey. 

Please feel free to write your thoughts here, I'd love to read them!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Daily Reveal: Sunday's Set of 3 Fall Pillows

The Girl with Panache will soon be transferring to a permanent website. My husband is so tirelessly trying to manage and juggle several different things, so I won't be demanding a deadline.  Until then, a few new things coming with the new website is an online store where you can purchase items with a Paypal account. A few fall items coming to my store are shown below. I am introducing a new item every day this week. Here are the previews:

Sunday's Fall Reveal: (Leaf pillow previewed on Friday) Set of 3 Cotton Duck Fabric Pillows adorned with a leaf, an acorn and a pumpkin in burlap and detailed with jute twine.  Dimensions: 11x17, 12x12 and 12x12 inches.

Saturday's Fall Reveal: Drawn and painted by hand, this Razorback on a burlap background is framed in a large embroidery hoop and hung with a black/white glitter chevron ribbon.

Friday's Reveal: A khaki Burlap Leaf outlined in twine and gracefully laying on a cotton duck pillow. It measures 11x16 in. and is 1 pillow in a set of 3, which I will feature on Saturday and Sunday .

Thursday's Reveal: What does the fox say?
Mr. Fox is a rusty red color and is on the khaki burlap and is framed with a small, vintage embroidery hoop.

Wednesday's 3 Reveals: 
 Squirly is framed by an over sized vintage embroidery hoop and sits on brown burlap. Hanging ribbon coming soon.

Lil' Punkin' sits weighted and filled with vintage book pages and is adorned with jute twine stem.

Lil' Punkin' II is framed in an oval embroidery hoop and is adorned with decorative trim and topped with burlap stem and leaves and can be hung with decorative ribbon, pics soon.

Meet Hootie the Owl. This would look fabulous on your front door or indoors as well.  My kids begged to keep Hootie and I promised I would make another one....sometime in between making fall clothes for my daughter, getting ready for a baby in November, creating fall items for sale and home school plus housework and cooking! Oh, that all seems so overwhelming.  So here is Tuesday's Fall Reveal

Hootie is made of khaki and green burlap and is also adorned with a beautiful rust, gold, turquoise and brown upholstery fabric. Details include a Vintage ric-rac ribbon in brown and cream, cotton duck fabric in cream.  Hootie is stuffed with vintage book pages and hangs on a rust colored tulle ribbon.

Monday's Reveal:
 A Deer silhouette in gold on a brown burlap fabric stretched onto a vintage embroidery hoop.

Please feel free to write your thoughts here, I'd love to read them!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Marlana's Thirty-One Facebook Party Review

I 've never heard of, until recently, instead of hosting a house or catalog party- hosting a Facebook Live Event from Thirty-One .  It was convenient for my friends and family to join at the live event or check in near the end and even take a look the next day at all the posts from the event.  It was super easy to invite those I know and my host was excellent. Plus you just click on the link when you're ready to order and that's it!

  It was like a little chatty party where you could review the products and videos at your own pace or keep up and comment as each post came out.  You still get to enjoy giveaways and it's just a new way to party and the benefits from making it convenient are rewarding. Hopefully I can post in a few days what I earn, being an online hostess.  With a new baby on the way, it's always nice to have a personalized item and much needed.  I also loved the lunch totes that are only available this month which are perfect for my daughter as she heads off to one day a week to HT Kids Academy, a new christian preschool in our area. I also have my eye on a cross-body purse to prevent my crazy purse bag from falling off my shoulder or dumping over as the kids step on it in the van!

Here is the link to order if you found something in the online catalog and the show will be closing soon. Thanks for your time and hope you found something you just love.

Please feel free to write your thoughts here, I'd love to read them!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Baby #3 Gender Reveal

How everyone just loves (hates) suspense, especially when it comes to predicting a baby's gender. It's amazing how everyone one wants to announce the great news for you because they can't handle such a scandalous secret!  In fact, couples who choose not to find out at the ultrasound are almost scolded at the thought of "waiting" for the big reveal at birth.  Just too prehistoric of an idea?
 It's so funny to me how people guess what gender a baby is and if they're right they always say, "oh, I knew I was right", as if they have some sort of ESP  or perhaps  Superman's x-ray vision. When really there is a 50/50 chance you ARE right. 

 Though it has been fun with this third baby, we have a boy and a girl already, so we were happy with either. I'm a planner so I wanted to know the gender and couldn't wait until birth but still wanted it to be special.

We had our ultrasound on Tuesday and we took a box with newborn shoes for a boy or a girl.  We had the technician put the right one in the box and we let the kids open it for us.  There was great celebration when we opened the box.  I had a suspicion it was a girl and most of my family thought it was a boy.  My thoughts up until a few days before the ultrasound was that it was a boy.  I prepared a few boy names, but was totally stuck without any girl names.  Both the kids wanted a baby brother and especially Landon.  His heart was set on a boy so he could play boy things and not get beat up by another sister. My husband was o.k. either way, of course. 
We mailed out scratch off cards to family and allowed them to see first, so now without further is the news!  

WAIT FOR IT...............WAIT FOR IT......



WAIT..........why is is to hard to wait in this culture?

Yes. Baby #3 is a girl.  I somehow felt like it was a girl about a week before the reveal, but didn't want to set myself up for emotional disappointment.  Poor Landon was just heart broken when he saw those little pink shoes in the box.  He buried his head on Daddy's leg and couldn't even stand the sight of those dainty little pink things.  Livia was excited because everyone was smiling and happy, so she was fine.  Her greatest joy is thinking about holding the baby's hand, which she thought was going to happen Tuesday.

Our greatest joy in our marriage has been waiting on God to bless us with children.  We both saved ourselves for marriage because we knew that the whole reason for the physical union was so that a man and a woman could bear children and it should not be taken lightly. 
Before each child was conceived, we prayed that God would bring it to pass in his perfect timing........and each time we certainly did not have to wait long.  In fact, as we prayed for this third one, we were thinking that a spring or summer baby of NEXT year would be fine, but God had other plans! Looking back we could have trusted God earlier in our marriage to bless us with children, not worrying about finances and such.  If we had kept waiting on those things to work themselves out we certainly would not have any children by now.  It's amazing that when we give up control to God he has the more perfect way for us and our lives.  Though uncomfortable and sometimes scary through trusting him, he always brings everything for our good.  He has certainly taught us to rely on him in every part of our lives.

We realize that it is a blessing and a treasure when we allow God to do things his way. When we trust and wait on him to bring his promises to pass, it is a path worth following. The journey from the beginning until birth is something only God leads you through.  What a miracle and amazing joy during this time that comes from only God.  Children are a heritage from the Lord and we don't take that lightly.

As I asked Scott if he knew how old he will be when he plans on retiring and he answered "55". I said, do you realize that this baby will be 15!  Are you sure you've saved for retirement and 2 and 1/2 weddings, 3 colleges, 3 cars, etc?  He said, "In that case, I better come up with a bigger plan and I might have to retire when I'm 65!" 

Please feel free to write your thoughts here, I'd love to read them!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Patriotic Vintage Photo Props

In my vintage Patriotic photo shoot you might see some familiar things, depending on how old you are or if you were around your grandparents during the 70's and 80's.  Some items would be a console t.v., Norman Rockwell paintings, coca-cola glass bottles, a coca-cola wooden crate, the Pledge of Allegiance, church hymnals with a patriotic song, or a red wagon & WWII Ammo Box. I had a lot of fun putting this together so I hope you enjoy and I am hoping to expand my collection for party and photo shoot rentals. Join my facebook page to inbox me for rental prices. www.facebook/thegirlwithpanache.
My photos are not edited but still, please Enjoy!

Please feel free to write your thoughts here, I'd love to read them!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Vintage Patriotic Toddler Outfit made from old shirts

 I'm gearing up to make some Vintage Patriotic photo props and while running through some scrap fabric I decided I would try and make a little outfit for my 2 1/2 yr old daughter.  My theme is vintage red, white and aqua blue for the fourth of July.
Surprisingly, this little sailor girl romper outfit is made from 3 old t-shirts from both my husband and I.  The blue was a button-up collar cotton shirt from Target, a cotton and a red t-shirt from Walmart and the white ruffle slub knit shirt was from Banana Republic, which had shrunk in the dryer and had a stain on it. 
I just knew I could use this fabric one day and today was the day.  I simply cut out the collar of the blue shirt, reversed it and sized the shirt to my daughter, cutting out the old sleeves out as well. I took the buttons off and sewed the button holes down flat.  I pieced the white shirt to the blue shirt and cut the trim from the red shirt neck trim to trim these sleeves. 
 By cutting strips of the remaining blue and red shirt I was able to make ruffles for the shorts.  The red sailor bow was just simply made by cutting out two rectangle shape and rounding the sides, sewing right sides together. I turned the right sides out and sewed the bow directly onto the shirt, gathering just enough to make it pouf out.  I took the ends and sewed them by hand so they would not flop around.
When my props are finished I will feature the 4th of July final photo session on a separate post.  Check back to see what other fun things I have up my sleeve! (no pun intended)
Update: Here's a peek of the photo shoot with my daughter and son.  Check out the full post and a look at a retro tv console makeover into something you'd never imagine.

I was also able to make a short little fringe bunting with the remaining strips along with another old white t-shirt. It is featured at the end of this post.

Please feel free to write your thoughts here, I'd love to read them!