Not much :). We got so bogged down with illnesses, schedule changes with work, and a whole lot of other stuff that hit all at once that we've not made any progress at all! But May is the month!

Also, we have had several people ask if we would consider just selling the house outright. So we have decided that we would. It will mean timing issues, such as getting the cash out of the house then finding a suitable motorhome then moving into it within a short period of time...but if that's what we have to do, that's what will happen. Even if we have to rent space for our stuff, I guess. Obviously we continue to pray and seek God's will, and as He opens doors we have our answers; when He closes doors we have our answers too. The fact that people have been interested in possibly buying the house tells me I have to start looking at that as another possibility, another opportunity. (Read The Flood - that's what I don't want!)

Memorial Day in our touristy vacation spot (where there's only a few thousand year-round residents but tens of thousands on holiday weekends and for our festivals!) is HUGE for yard sales. People opening up their cabins for the season, or those who just bought, all needing things. Plus there's a massive craft show in town that weekend, so it is really about the best time all year for a sale.

We're going to have a MAJOR sale to get rid of everything that we're not taking with the exception of the furniture we sit on and the bed we sleep in. But all the extra dishes, gadgets, linens, towels, books, CDs/DVDs, furniture, knick knacks, electronics, tools, you name it - outa here. We will basically be living as we will in our eventual motorhome.

And throughout the month we will be doing things here and there like replacing some linoleum in the utility room, a little painting, power washing the house, etc. so that during that wonderful weekend we will be able to have an open house of sorts as well. Our house isn't worth a ton of money, there have been times in my life when I've had enough in my checking account to buy it :). So it is possible that one of our lovely visitors would love a house at the lake in good condition with a lot to offer that weekend. The plan as it now stands is to go through every room and just pull out EVERYTHING to set out that weekend. The house should look almost bare by the time we're done with it.

That is the goal. We will meet that goal. Because it's going to happen this year, one way or another, it's going to happen. This WILL be the year! This MAY even be the month!

(For info about the house, lots of pictures, etc., please click HERE.)
Since fall I have been working on purging while I continue to look at motorhomes. I haven't contacted any sellers or done any advertising (other than my web page which seems to get hits anyway!), but of course I look and dream. Until now I've known that there were some things I needed to take care of before I could advertise in earnest, or even contact people about a barter.

Now I'm seriously looking again. And In the coming weeks I will be meeting with a lawyer to make sure everything I learned online and from the local title company is accurate, and make sure both us and the future owners of our home/former owners of the motorhome will be protected and happy with the barter.

Meanwhile we continue to purge our it me, or does stuff appear somehow to replace the other stuff we got rid of?!? We can get rid of boxes and vanloads of stuff, and looking around it seems like there's just as much "stuff" as there was before! And there are a few little things that I want to do, such as replace some flooring that has worn, repair some drywall in the bonus room, and little things like that, that someone new wouldn't want to have to deal with.

It seems it would be so much easier if we had our motorhome here, we could load it with everything we think we need, and then just get rid of the rest. Who knows? Maybe it will somehow work out that way, where we can have a couple of weeks overlap! Meanwhile we will continue to purge.

We're still looking for the same thing: A larger class C with an overhead bunk and a back bedroom both would be great - the overhead bunk as shelving for parrot cages of course. But they aren't as prevalent as Class A's, where we'd have to make accommodation for parrot cages, most likely by giving up the dinette and installing shelves there instead. We are definitely open to that as well. My birds are overdue for new cages but it will wait until I can see how much space I will have for them; I won't buy any until we are finally in our motorhome.

So within the week I plan to start advertising online heavily (as opposed to "putting out feelers" as I did last year), and we'll see what happens!

I was watching a YouTube video about the building of a tiny home (I've been fascinated by them for years!) and a single line from the background song caught my ear. I had to look it up as I'd never heard it before. Turns out it's a song called Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise by the Avett Brothers.

It reminds me of a 60's hippie song and I don't like all the lyrics but the line that did catch my ear was "When nothing is owed or deserved or expected, And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected..."

I think what I like so much about it is how it describes Vita In Via as a life of self sufficiency, where we don't deserve or expect anything from others, but rather rely on the good Lord and take responsibility for ourselves and our well-being. And societal influences ("the man that's elected") have very little to do with we are accomplishing and how we fare.

That may be romanticizing things a bit. But it still caught my ear.

...but I wasn't expecting one :).

We're doing some work on the house, accepting the reality that we may have to list it "For Sale or Trade" but either way I want whoever will be getting it have as nice a place as possible, so they will love it as much as we do. Yes, it will be difficult to leave. But we have a goal and since this is the only way we can achieve it, we'll do what we have to do! A big part of our decision (which we're not rethinking by the way, lest anyone misunderstand) is to simplify our lives. Life maintaining both a home and a motorhome would be anything BUT simple!

So I continue to watch my videos, and keep an eye on the ads, and reply to a few to let them know about our web page about our desire for a barter, and pray for God's hand in all of this, His will, His timing.

And we go into 2013 just as determined - if not moreso! and even more prepared, with a cozy home waiting for just the right person to love it, and with the assurance that it is going to happen and all of our happy plans and dreams will be our reality soon!
I was planning to wait until Jan. 1st to move all of my blogs from blogger over to my Weebly site. Meanwhile, I have been frozen from blogging. By my own brain. Having to do things twice, or copy/paste, or decide which site to post what every time I wanted to blog. For the last 4 years, 2 months, and 1 day my brain just stops - or freezes when it is overwhelmed. And apparently all of this change has overwhelmed it because I have been unable to blog after the first few times caused a chaotic response (the "warning sign")... (Yes, I know, "but you seem so normal!" lol!)
So I decided that December 17th is as good a day as any to just do it. From now on, ALL of my blogging will be done at my new site. I will not be using blogger at all, and will eventually take the blogs down, once I get them archived.
I seriously need to be blogging. For a couple of months now I approach both sites with fear and trepidation, literally, and simply can't think of what to post when I log in to either site (even though my mind is full of posts until I sit at the computer!).
Thanks for your patience. Once the logjam is gone from between my ears, the river should start flowing again! :)
Between now and the first of the year (2013) I will be copying/pasting all of my posts from my VitaInVia blog at blogger, here. As part of the simplification process, I will be keeping almost all of my online content here in fact. I will continue to post there until the end of this year but will copy my posts here as I write them. So this blog will be complete, from the beginning, at this site :).
...this ministry?

Neither had I. A friend of my husband's told him about it. The website is very basic, but I will do some looking into it.

If you know of any other similar ministries, could you please let me know?

We are going out into the world to spread the gospel message but we will also be craving fellowship with other believers. We love to meet all kinds of people of course, we love to have fun and spend time laughing and enjoying the company of anyone we meet (my husband has never met a stranger!), but there are times when we all need the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ. One of the most difficult things will be leaving our church, as we value our family and worship times there so much.

How do you Christian full-timers meet that need? I know there are churches and other believers everywhere, but there is nothing like the closeness of a church family to refresh and renew and support each other, is there? I haven't yet seen this addressed on the blogs I follow, but would love to see how others deal with this.

A concern that was mentioned in an online discussion was how much of a financial cushion does one need in order to start the full-time lifestyle?

This is something that I would think would apply to "sticks and bricks" (although we live in a mobile home with neither - lol) living as well. There are always unforeseen expenses in life, no matter where or how we live.

We live without a financial cushion. And every single need that we have had has been provided for. EVERY need. When we walk with Jesus every day, when we recognize that nothing we have is truly ours, but rather provided for our use in serving Him, and when we acknowledge that He is the source of all we need, He never fails to meet those needs. I cannot imagine that He would stop keeping His promise to take care of His children just because we would be living on the road rather than on a lot.

His love and care for us is endless, and as we live for Him, He provides for us. I can count on that as surely as I can count the fingers on my hands :).

God never fails.
I've been considering whether we should wait until 2016 to take this plunge. And I've started to pray earnestly about it. If you don't mind, I want to think "out loud" here for a few minutes...

Neither Pete nor I are in perfect health. I've had a stroke and have cardiovascular disease; I also have arthritis in my spine and elsewhere that make things painful and difficult at times. I've had some other serious health issues over the last few years but these have been mostly resolved through surgery. Pete, however, has some more serious things going on, things that will likely affect his quality of life and his physical abilities to do the things that he enjoys at the least, or will shorten his time on earth at the most.

I have had this on my mind, and have started praying about it recently - very recently - as well as look for God to send confirmation that this would be within His will and plan for our lives. And here is what I've seen/read in the last 24 hours:

A post in an RVing Facebook group urging people not to wait until retirement; she makes some excellent points: "...don't look at life on the road as an extended vacation where you have to have all of the money ahead of time. Look at life on the road Many people have a wide variety of jobs while full-timing which they use to pay monthly expenses. If you wait until the time is absolutely perfect, it might not ever happen."

In that same thread, another woman tells of a life-threatening medical emergency that she survived, and how ever since then she and her husband "decided to never pass by anything we wanted to see or do."

Then this morning I was just browsing the web and "happened" to land on a website that advertised a new magazine that is just out - Faith and Travel. Normally I wouldn't have followed certain links that eventually led me to that site, but today I did.

So today I discussed this with my husband. Oh, we've talked before about "hoping" things would work out so that we could do this earlier rather than waiting until "the time is right"...but today we talked about making it happen, praying about it, asking God to prepare us for this sort of lifestyle and ministry opportunities, assurance that it is indeed His plan for us (although He's already answering that one!)...and showing us how to get from where we are now to where He wants us to be.

We are still in the planning stage, but are now moving into the preparing stage, discussing and deciding what exactly we need to be doing. Selling/giving away most of our belongings, preparing the house for (a) renter/s, training our dogs to be good quiet pets who don't bark at every tiny noise and who will walk calmly on leashes, etc. I'm sure the list will grow a lot longer before it gets shorter!
I know it has been 5 days since we went to the RV show in Flint, MI but it has been an incredibly busy 5 days! We are in the midst of a heat wave in the middle of March, and I work (WAH) for a pest control service. I answer the phones and schedule the technicians during their busiest season, April-October, but this year I have been called into service in March because they are so busy! Plus I have my 3YO grandson here much of the time, as my daughter works 2 I've been sick! So blogging has been low on my list of priorities :).

First of all I want to say that this was really an excellent RV show! I went for the RVs, not for the campground booths, although they were all very nice too. But since we don't have an RV yet, that was really secondary.

Second, I was quite surprised at some of my husband's insights, and even - dare I say it? - a little show of enthusiasm! It's not that he isn't enthusiastic, but he's such a realist (he keeps my feet on the ground) that he doesn't get excited about things until they actually start happening. So to see him show enthusiasm at what we saw, considering this won't be happening for a few years yet, really thrilled me!

I had planned to write about the models we saw and which we liked best, but instead I really want to write about features. We did see many of the models I'd already seen online, and it was great seeing them in person, gave me a much better idea of sizes and textures (some of those shiny silvery sinks are really just PLASTIC! they don't tell you THAT on the videos!) and also of how much stuff we'll have to get rid of - I figure about 98%. That won't be a hardship on me, except for the actual work, because I hate "stuff"!

I'm dying to write about the most surprising thing though: Pete really caught on to the toy haulers - and so did I! That was such a surprise to me! But we both loved the big "room", and spent more time talking about them and imagining what we'd do with them than we did any other type. We really think we'd have more options in a toy hauler. Pete suggested putting the bird cages along one side, and putting our musical stuff (keyboards, QChord, whatever) along the other. And I really love the idea of a big screen across the back during the day - I love our sunroom in our house too - and a DECK! While we didn't see any at the show, I'd seen a video with a deck like these and thought it was nice, but actually being IN the garage sections of these trailers and seeing it all in my minds' eye...well it really got me thinking that I WANT ONE! So that was a big surprise, and probably the best thing to come out of the show!

Other things we saw that we liked in various models were the outside kitchen (not with a stovetop, but the ones with the gas grills)...the bathroom with an outside entrance...the bunk rooms. There was one with a bunk room that had 3 bunks - 2 on one side, 1 on the other with storage beneath it - and a couch across the back, with another flat-screen TV facing it. I could see that being usable space, with the birds on the uppermost bunks, the dog crates below, storage for all of the pet paraphernalia, and for those occasions when our grandson might come with us, his own little spot for watching TV or videos or whatever. A model that might have all of the above may be a close 2nd favorite.

Size-wise, we felt cramped in anything less than 28 feet; 34 feet and up seemed like overkill and almost overwhelming to tow. Even when we were imagining being stuck inside during 3 days of rain - lol. So we got a good idea of the sizes that we liked best, although of course the layout did play a part in that as well. But 28-32'-ish felt good to us, imagining bird cages and dogs and whatnot taking up space too.

So I feel this was a great show, it answered just about every one of my questions, even ones I didn't know I had. I don't feel an urgent need to attend every show around, now, because I've got my answers, but it is a fun way to spend a day. AND I learned that what I thought I liked best wasn't necessarily THE best - and most of all that my Petey, when the time comes, will be every bit as into this lifestyle as me!