Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day. A day misunderstood.

Today is Memorial Day. This is our fourth Memorial Day without Paul because of the fact that he gave his life while fighting for our country. Five years ago, I can't even tell you what I was doing on Memorial Day but I can on every single one since then. It's just not the same. It comes with a whole new meaning and part of me feels guilty for not feeling what we feel now on the previous ones. I'm sure it's like so many people who are sitting at pools, drinking beers, getting their tans on and going on shopping sprees. I mean, our society deems it the start of summer officially. We can now wear white, the pools are open, the sun is out and BBQing is in full swing. However, it's not emphasized by most of the nation that so many people are mourning the loss of a loved one. How horrible is that?? I find it to be wrong on so many levels that there are Memorial Day Sales! Like really?? A sale that is so awesome because someone died for your freedom and now you are going to capitalize on that? This is what I'm talking about... a nation that needs to refocus! People need to become aware, not just because of Paul but because thousands of men and women have laid down their life for our freedom for hundreds of years and many don't even realize it. It's just sad.

I miss my brother. I miss him more than the tears can even begin to count. I lie awake on nights and think of him. His laughter, the new memories, the old memories, the what ifs and the reunion that will eventually happen. I just miss him. It's so unbelievably hard to imagine a future without him even though that is what is happening right now. Our hearts break into pieces with each thought of that. Why did this have to happen to him.. to us? And then I think, it happened to so many and we are no different. God has a plan. He used Paul for many reasons and if he turned one person to Christ then what a testimony he left. Life is not easy. There will always be pain, there will always be mourning and there will always be sadness. However, I want Paul to know that I'm living a life he would love. I'm going to continue livin' the dream.

His death has changed me/us on many levels. Life is short. You are not promised tomorrow or any day after. Why waste another minute? You were given one life and I suggest you live it wisely, and in that case.. we will. Paul was one for fun, for adventure, for thrill and last minute craziness. It's the reason we bonded. He was nuts and I loved him for that. He brought laughter and smiles to everyone he met. I will honor him, I will share his stories, and I will never let him die. We, as a family, will live the life we always envisioned. We will travel to memorials to teach our kids, to honor him and to share our patriotism for this country. He will live on through each of us. Freedom is not free and it's time our country comes to realize this.

My brother, Sgt Paul Dumont Jr.
9.19.85 - 8.19.09










Monday, May 19, 2014

WELCOME HOME | The RV Redo.


After weeks of taking things down, painting, putting other things up, getting new tires, inspections and all that good stuff, our home is now ready!! We have spent days trying to cram things into every nook and cranny, which we still have some of that to do, but overall, I'd say we have done rather well. It certainly feels like our home now and that is what's most important. This past weekend we actually spent our first night in it. The kids were thrilled to say the least and now that we have a newly installed TV up in front, I see a movie night coming on. 

So, the RV redo. Well, I can almost tell you that if you see it hanging, it is mostly stuck up on the wall with industrial strength velcro. Those puppies aren't going anywhere. It also lets me switch out images and photos with ease. Chris and I didn't want to put tons of holes in the walls and some of these walls won't allow you put holes in them anyway. Not exactly sure what's behind them in certain locations but we didn't want to mess with that. 

Next, I have only one word... IKEA. This home is built with the love of that store. If you see it, I can almost guarentee it's from there. We had used alot from in our S&B but also purchased things that would help condense clutter. Man do we love that place. I'm actually going to need to go back for a few more things when I get the chance. No one can beat their prices! 

As for paint, we painted the walls orange on one side and white on the other. I ended up using Valspar signature with primer in it. No issues so far and love the happiness of it. 

And there it is.. Ole Bessie. Our new home. A few more days to go and we will be out of our S&B and into the RV for whoever knows how long. We will still be living locally though for a few more months til we begin to head out on the open road. 


"Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road"
-Phillip Phillips





 







And for people wanting to see how the kiddos will sleep, here ya go. :)



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

But why??

So it seems that lots of people want to know why?? Why on earth would you ever get rid of everything you worked so hard for over the years? How long are you doing this for.. is it a vacation? Why would you willingly move into something that is roughly 170 sq. feet and why on God's earth would you choose to live so close among your kids and husband?

Lets start with why. Turns out we've accumulated so much "stuff".. so much needless junk that it begins to consume us. All these possessions eventually turn our life into a suffocated way of living. People don't want to move, travel or leave their things. We begin to hear, "oh man, but what will I do with all my stuff?" This junk ties us down. We begin worshipping our possessions over the things that really matter. Kids begin to each have their own rooms and now man caves are popping up. All we end up doing is spending more time apart rather than bonding more as a family. We are trying to avoid this at all costs. Our family life is more valuable than anything that can be purchased and it's our goal to instill this in our children. So why? Because we love to travel, we want want to simplify, and we want to experience life together as a family. This is an adventure we've talked about for years so instead of waiting until we are in our 60's, we are going to make it a reality now.


As it is, our home is small. It's roughly 1000 sq ft. but by no means tiny.  It has a living area with a kitchen, three bedrooms (one so tiny that everything had to be built in it) garage and a bath. It fits us just fine. We actually love this house. However, the kids like being around us. We play in the living room, eat in the same place, and spend pretty much every moment we can outside. There is no need for us to up size. They never want to spend time in their rooms the way it is. All we would do is become slaves to our house and there is no way we would ever allow that to happen. We love to be on the go and that would only tie us down. Chris and I are also tired of spending money on things that we turn around and get rid of. Things such as toys, junk, and needless items. You know, all that stuff at Target that catches your eye just because you can't live without it. We honestly don't blow money to begin with but now we really won't. If we did, then the kids would have to start living outside the RV while their stuff moved in. Not exactly what we had in mind.

Lastly, why would we all want to live so close 24/7? Truthfully, we love each other. I'm already spending 24/7 with the kids. I homeschool them daily and spend every waking moment surrounded by their laughter, bickering and playing. Sure it can drain on you but what doesn't? The Lord blessed us with three children that we absolutely love to pieces. Later in life I won't be saying, I wish I spent more time away from them, rather I'd be saying, I wish I'd spent more time WITH them. You can't take back relationships and this is the time that I want my kids to remember how ours was built. As for Chris and I, we truly are best friends. Sure we have days like anyone else but overall we get along great. Heck, I mean if I didn't like spending time with him, I guess I should never have married him, right? We've been through alot as a couple and I'm pretty sure this isn't going to break us. I guess if it gets to become too tight of a squeeze in the RV, he will know where to pop the tent up. :)

While we know this type of lifestyle isn't for everyone, we truly know it was meant for us. We aren't exactly sure how long we will end up doing this but we hope it's for a few years. There are no set plans so the road before us is wide open. We love adventure, spontaneity, simplicity, and are looking forward to even more activities. This is the perfect opportunity to coincide with our unschooling education. We know life is short and you only get one chance. So as a family we have decided to live it to the fullest and trust that the Lord will provide in all aspects.

For now, I'll show you a glimpse into what this hot mess of a house looks like. Eek. Roughly 17 days til move out and we have stuff absolutely everywhere. You try to keep it organized and clean but it ends up looking like this anyway. We have friends coming to pick things up, clothes that need to squeeze in the RV, things that have to leave and just so much more. It's a hard process to live in the house yet put things you need in the RV. However, we have to start at some point or it will never get done. On top of that, we're also about to drop it off so that it can get all new tires. These tires have been on for the past 14 years and have dry rot.. not good. So yet again, moving in gets put on hold for a few more days. I suppose it lets us get more done in the house.





Monday, May 12, 2014

Meet the Dumonts.

Meet the Dumont side of our family. There are seven children and now 4 grandkids. The family is growing and unfortunately it has changed as well. My brother, Paul, is in heaven waiting for us and to see the sibling photo without him is just heartbreaking. We miss him so much that words can't ever explain the loss. It's been hard.. very hard. Well, yesterday we were all able to be together, which has not happend in over two years. Michelle flew in from Japan (her husband, Charlie had stay in Japan) and Brian came home from college. He left today though for an amazing intern experience in St. Louis with Boeing. I wish him nothing but the best. Even though we may all be separated by many miles, we will always be connected in heart. This is my family. We may have moments of bickering or fighting but we always get along when it comes down to it. The Lord has blessed us with so many amazing people that we are fortunate to call family. I love them all. 





Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Words we follow.

Here is a little pin-speration. I love pinterest and like to see ideas, concepts, photos and much more. It's a great place for education, travel, remodeling, etc. For someone such as myself, it's like having many magazines to flip through and gather ideas. You can feel free to follow my pinterest boards HERE

Unschooling words we live by. 



Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Honoring Virginia's Fallen.

Last Thursday we spent the afternoon over in Gloucester waiting for the runners to stop at Paul's marker so that they could honor our hero. It was that time of year where runners volunteer to be apart of the Honor and Remember Run team who run from Virginia Beach up to Arlington National Cemetery. It's a four day event consisting of 236 miles where they stop at each marker, salute and present an American Flag to the family waiting. 

First off, what an amazing thing to witness. This group of men and women have taken their time to train, honor and respect our fallen and the families of the fallen. Traffic stops and/or backs up for pretty much miles and miles. Drivers are clueless as to what is going on until they reach the point that they can see these runners carrying the Amerian Flag and see the families standing at markers along the route who are there to remember their hero. It truly is humbling to know these runners are sacrificing time and health for each of us. Freedom does not come free and for a few hours, people driving get to see first hand who it has affected. It's not just a story on the television, this is real life. It's definitely an emotional and patriotic event.

Secondly, this is why I un/homeschool. My kids would never get this kind of real life experience while sitting in a classroom. On this day, they witnessed selflessness, patriotism, sacrifice, love, honor and they learned about each. They held signs, they asked questions, they socialized with adults, learned respect and most of all, they were able to honor their uncle. This is the world of unschooling and these are the types of events and topics we learn about. 

Thank you so much to each and every runner, to all the volunteers, to the drivers who sat in traffic for hours and for all of the sacrifices given by our fallen so that we can remain in the land of the free. It does not come free. 

Sgt Paul Dumont Jr.
9.19.85 - 8.19.09