It has officially been over 100 days of living in our trailer.
When we decided to sell our home in September 2021, we knew we would be moving into our trailer. Excited to build on our 10 acres in Idaho but knowing that we would have to use the money from the sale of our city home as the down payment to build on our land we had already owned outright. The house sold the first weekend we listed (thanks to our amazing realtor and staging friends). It is funny even though we have accepted the offer it still takes another month to finalize.
So from the moment we move everything out of our house (around Sept. 20th) we knew we needed to be out of the house. With 5 children and 2 dogs, preparing our house to sell while living in it was going to be a chore, and since a few years earlier we were blessed to purchase a trailer, we thought there was no better option then to move our family into it. But the question was where do we park our trailer and family.
45 Minutes from our Troutdale home, headed up to Mt. Hood there is a RV park that had space available. The cost was 750.00 dollars per month which included water, sewer, electricity, garbage and access to their swimming pool and weight room. We started preparing to move there because we didn't know how long we would need to live in our trailer before we moved to our property in Idaho, and the RV location allowed only month to month rent.
We had friends who graciously offered to allow us to stay on their property in Damacus, 30 minutes closer to where we do life than up on the mountain. But, we were concerned that since we didn't know our time frame it would be too much of a commitment for them. So when I told my friend we were thinking of staying on the mountain, my dear friend kindly asked why, I explained I was worried that we could be at her place for a LONG time, and she said PERFECT COME LIVE WITH US! (Goodness, I love her! Their family has been such a blessing to us!)
So we did! We moved ourselves to their home. They have allowed us to not only stay in our trailer on their property but have given us access to full use of their 300 sq ft cottage which has a stand-up shower(!), a toilet(!), a stove, a refrigerator, and a sink! We are so blessed by the cottage space; we do all our living, school and eat in it, and we have stayed warm and dry all winter.
One of the questions we get asked a lot is: how is trailer life treated you? Honesty, as with everything there is ups and downs, but overall, it has worked for us! It has been over 100 days and along the way we have had to make many adjustments to help us be successful where we are. Here are a few things we have changed or adjusted:
- Darren wakes up super early to work, and I have had a goal of waking up earlier to read my bible and work out, that if obviously hard inside a trailer, but thanks to the cottage we have created a system where while the kids are sleeping we head over to the cottage and do our morning time together, when the kids wake up they use Walkie Talkies to radio us to let us know they are awake, we give them instructions for getting ready and then they head over to the cottage. (The cottage is like 150 ft from the trailer.)
- Sleeping all in the same small trailer has been the biggest issue the whole time and we have tried many things to make it go better (less talking and more sleeping.) But ultimately, the changes that has made the biggest difference is simply postponing the sleeping time a little later than we had in our home prior. Also, we have increased I read aloud time in the evening to be while they are in bed. This has helped them calm down and rest before sleeping. (But in full transparency, they still talk a lot at night.)
- I, Marissa, by nature am always cold, and we have had some REALLY cold nights over December, so to combat this we got an electric blanket! This is a game changer for me! Darren is always hot, so he thinks trailer temperature is great!
- Storage is an ISSUE! But truly it was an issue in our home as well, we frankly just have a lot of people in a limited space, so creativity is the name of the game. We have created bins that house books and games, as well as bins that store toys, we use a rotation system to only have a limited number of these things out at a time. Our bins are stored in our cargo trailer which lives 15 minutes down the road.
- Mindset! Knowing that we are working toward our dream goal helps so much during this season of life. We are trying to find things that are new and different that perhaps we wouldn't have had the capacity to do in our city home, now that we are in a trailer. Things we have been able to do include more camping trips (might as well since everything is already packed haha), volunteer at a horse rescue ranch, weekly ballet and karate, snowshoeing and hiking and more!
- We have always been big into doing things as a family. And, I thought that before were together so much, but boy was I wrong, there are NOW so many more things we do together as a family, and I have to be honest: I sort of LOVE it! The siblings' relationships have grown so much more, and because we are literately always together (even us parents) it has helped our parenting and intentionality grow as well. We are seeing issues and addressing them in the moment, we are using the time we have to be purposeful and increased our teaching time.
- Read aloud time is so life giving right now. We have used read louds as a way to help promote quiet time during the day. With 7 people in a 300 sq ft space there is a lot of noise as you could imagine, we have time set aside during the day where the kids do a quiet activity like coloring, Legos, building blocks etc. and I sit and read aloud to them. Not only is it part of our schooling but it allows some reprieve to the day.
As with everything I am sure there will be more changes that will be made. Adjustments are just part of the game of life. Am I ready for another 100 days?! We will see haha! We are hoping that the breaking of ground on our new home will take place soon and when it does, I know that will give us a renewed sense of purpose behind the lifestyle we are living.
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Raising Households that Serve the Lord!
Our goal is that through family focused intentionality, legacy minded thinking, and being rooted in Christ, that we would lead our family to serve the LORD!