Friday, February 20, 2015

Toy Organization in the RV.

One of the most common questions we receive is, "What do you do with the toys?" Well, when we moved from the house to the RV, we got rid of so many toys it wasn't even funny. The kids no longer remember what they used to have but rather what they do have now. Even still, it's tricky. They get new toys and don't want to part with older toys, however, there is only so much room. The toys are growing but the RV is not. Sometimes, I get rid of older toys they no longer play with and other times, I put them in hiding places under the kitchen benches. Out of sight, out of mind.

In the mean time, I am an organizer. I like things to be put away neatly, in it's correct location and always just so. Before we even moved into the RV I told the kids that they HAD to pick up after themselves or else daddy and I would toss their stuff in the trash. Even now when toys are on the floor, I give them 5 seconds to collect what is theirs or else it's GONE!! The space is small and because it's small, it becomes a dump zone super fast!!! Easy to clean, but easy to mess. So this is how it's done.

"Organization is key to survival when living small."

The "Coffee Table"
This is what we use as the coffee table for daily use. There always has to be several uses for an item when living so small. During the day, the kids eat off this, play games on it and rest their feet on it. At other times, the lid comes off and it's used as the LEGO station.

Lalaloopsy Heaven
I used to use this for precut ribbon strips but was finding that I wasn't using it as much as I wanted. The girls have a collection of loopsies and so it has now become the home to their stash. The pieces are tiny and this collects them in just the right way. When not used, it's held in their closet standing upright. 

Board Games
We have two sections for board games. The bigger games go behind the hanging clothes, while the smaller games go in the bottom drawer below the upper closet. This keeps them hidden and out of the way. We don't have too many games but we have our favorites that we play regularly. 

Dolls and Books
We are not a family of readers but rather a family of doers. Outside is in our blood and adventure is in our veins, however, we do read to the kids on occasion and so we have a small collection of books. Most of the books are science or history related and the kids love them. Right infront of the books is where we store the American Girl doll bags. They take up space but the girls are in love with their dolls and they will not be going anywhere anytime soon. :) 

Personal Space
Below the section above are 4 drawers. The drawer on the left is Montana's. He is free to put whatever he wants in there and care for it as he pleases. Once in awhile I will go through it to make sure it's not overflowing with just "stuff". :) The drawer on the right is for the girls. As you can see, it's mostly stuffed animals. OH MY GOSH... so many stuffed animals. I always say we will NOT get anymore stuffed animals but they come home with more ALL the time!! I will secretly go through those at a later date and test them. :) Below these two drawers are two more. On the left is more games and on the right is cold weather apparel. 

That is the gist of our toys. Up in the front of the RV under the dining bench is where I keep hidden toys. These are toys I'm thinking of getting rid of or toys that just don't fit in the back drawers. The kiddos are not allowed in there and sometimes I will rotate them so that they can play with something new. We live in a tiny home and that means a tiny space. Our kids are outdoor kids for the most part so they really don't need a ton of toys to keep them busy. Most of their time is spent skateboarding, jumproping, playing with chalk, chase, in the water, or riding bikes. It's what we want for them anyway. We want them outside, enjoying the fresh air.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sanibel Island, Florida

Their Gigi came to visit last week and took 4 of us on a whirlwind trip to Sanibel Island  (Chris had to work). If you haven't been there or even seen it via photos, you should. It was fabulous! You have to pay $6 to go over the bridge which takes you straight onto the Island. Once you arrive, you will see tons of biking, adorable shops, amazing homes and gorgeous beaches. Myla's entire goal was to collect a starfish and she did! That girl is obsessed with starfish and seashells. It's funny though because she always goes for the shells that are broken or less of eye candy. Chris and I will hunt for the "perfect" shell and show it to her to only receive an "it's O.K". She will then run up to us to show us her treasures of bent, broke, moldy, and discolored seashells. It's obvious that she sees the beauty in things we don't. Our artist. Montana on the other hand was looking for animals alive. He was the first to find the Gopher Turtle and hunted for each within their habitat. He loves animals, saving them and studying them. Nothing makes that kid more happy than knowing he saved something. Makenna was completely fine to build sand castles, frolick in the waves and run about. She is our adventurer. 

Sanibel was amazing. It's definitely worth a trip back. If you get the chance, be sure to stop at Pinocchio's Ice Cream shop. AHHHmazing!! We went twice. You know, to make sure we enjoyed it the first time as much as the second. :) There is also a free bird show at the local RV park. The owner loves birds and has over 400. The kids got a kick out of watching, interacting and taking photos of them. They are another favorite of Montana's. The weather overall was great. The second day was rather windy when we ventured into the Ft. Myers area. The traffic was also something to contend with but still, it was neat to see other areas of Florida and the kiddos enjoyed getting out. 

We sent Gigi off yesterday on a plane back to Springfield, Missouri but we are thankful that she came to create wonderful memories with her grandkiddies. They love her to pieces and we love her just the same. Sanibel was just the perfect place to make these memories for all three of our kids. 

"Salt water heals everything!"

Sunday, February 8, 2015

January in Melbourne.

The month of January brought us many wonderful memories. My family came down to visit from Virginia yet again, we witnessed the launch of Atlas V right from our campground, the kids swam in the ocean, we went for walks, saw manatees in the wild, saw my brother swim in a college swim meet, saw our first wild alligator, and spent much of our time outdoors. Chris and I are enjoying the time we spend educating the kids while we live this life on the road. Not everyday is spent doing workbooks and reading from books in the RV. Instead, we choose to spend most of our time teaching them from hands on activities, witnessing real life activities, and experiencing life as it happens. They have grown much, learned lots and are creating memories they can never replace. In the mean time, they have also had to say good bye to some of their good friends. Over the last two months they have been hanging out with 3 other kids pretty much everyday. Those kids had to pack up and head out on their journey at the end of January so they could travel the United States for the next year while also learning on the road. It was awesome having them around and allowing our kids to run freely around the campground with kiddos their age. We are now back to being the only family with kids in the campground and our kids are feeling that loss. However, we are keeping in touch with them and will hopefully meet back up somewhere else in the U.S this summer. That's the best part of meeting new families and other people.. reconnecting later on down the road in new locations.

"Be a Fruit Loop in a world of Cheerios."