A Surprise Bargaining Chip and Questions for YOU

We received an update on the status of our loan pre-qual, but nothing is final yet. It’s taking a bit longer than was originally estimated due to some behind-the-scenes negotiations taking place.

So far, it’s gone down like this: our loan broker gave the construction lender our financial details and then asked for more money than we need (to the tune of $370k). The lender countered with an offer to give us slightly less money than we need ($290k) AND required that we have a co-signor on the loan during this part of the process (it wouldn’t be during the entire mortgage, just for the construction part).Β  They claimed that this was due to our lack of assets (which is reasonable, given that we don’t have a lot of cash on hand right now.)

HOWEVER, a crucial piece of the puzzle was missing during this conversation. Part of the reason that our liquid coffers are rather empty right now (aside from all the reasons listed in the above link) is that we tuck a decent pre-tax portion of Noah’s paycheck away into stocks and a 401k. Somehow, our reasonably-sized nest egg was totally skipped over during this conversation until I asked about it after our broker filled us in on how things stood.

So, now he’s gone back to the lender with what turned out to be a kind of surprise bargaining chip (I like to imagine him calling them up and asking “how do you like them assets?”) and now we’re… waiting some more.

:::IN THE MEANTIME:::Β 

I have to say, I am awfully curious about you, dear readers. Aside from family and friends and those who comment regularly, I have NO IDEA who in the world is reading here.

Like any blogger worth their salt we have Google Analytics set up, as well as the general site metrics provided by WordPress. I can see what posts get the most pageviews, how many clicks we get per day and various other miscellany, such as what search terms people use to find us. Usually it’s simply various spellings of “prairie” (prarie, prarei, praeri, praire), but occasionally we get some odd ducks. Once somebody landed on our page after searching “what are the dirty problems in the bus” which made me laugh, another time someone found us via “slumber parties by shawn long” which made me puzzled.

However, all that info still doesn’t give much insight into who you are and why you read here (because I promise we don’t do slumber parties or know Shawn Long).

So, introduce yourself! How’d you stumble into this little corner of the interwebs? Are you here simply out of good old fashioned nosiness? Do YOU hope to build a home some day and are curious about the process? Do you wish we’d post more pictures of the bus? Do you wish we’d post LESS pictures of our dying plants?

In return for you sacrificing your cloak of anonymity, I am willing to offer up the opportunity to ask any questions of US that have been nagging in the back of your brain. Maybe that’s not exactly fair because it’s kind of an unspoken offer that’s always there, but in case you missed that implication: HERE IS YOUR CHANCE.

Wondering what in the world we plan to do in our tiny space once our fourth beeb arrives in November (because, omg, ALL OF THE NEWBORN THINGS)? Curious about what we miss most about living in a house (since we’ve already told you what we DON’T miss)? Want to know whether the kids have finally reconciled themselves to our current lifestyle? Dying for details about our solar set-up and what we can run off just one panel? What we’re going to do with the bus once we’re living in the house? Or do you simply want to know if we’ve read any good books lately (Hint: the answer is yes)?

I know that coming out of lurkdom can be a bit intimidating, so I will make it super easy for you. Here is a comment template that you can feel free to use and modify to your liking:

Hi, my name/alias is [FILL IN THE BLANK APPROPRIATELY]. I found your blog through [ ANOTHER BLOG/SEARCH ENGINE TERM/LOCATION OF BATHROOM STALL DOOR WHERE THE URL WAS WRITTEN]. My favorite [COLOR/CORNY JOKE/BOOK/KIND OF SANDWICH] is [INSERT COLOR/CORNY JOKE/BOOK/SANDWICH]. I love reading about [INSERT SUBJECT OF YOUR CHOOSING], but when you write about [SOME OTHER THING] I find myself [CLICKING AWAY/THINKING TERRIBLE THOUGHTS ABOUT YOU/CRYING FROM BOREDOM/BANGING MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL IN RAGE]. Since I have this opportunity, I would love to know [INSIGHTFUL QUESTION(S)]. Thanks!

Or, you know, say whatever you want. It’s a free country.

All right, I think that’s everything on this end. Now it’s your turn.

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86 thoughts on “A Surprise Bargaining Chip and Questions for YOU

  1. I was married to HeiDees uncle awhile back and she shared the link. It sounded very interesting to me. I lived in a tent while in my teens and new people that lived in buses. To me it sounds very exciting!!!

  2. I found your site through another website I read. You asked to tell a little about ourselves. I moved from the lower peninsula of Michigan to the Upper Peninsula. I had purchased my house & acreage as a retirement house 10 years ago, but relocated up here 8 years ago. SO lost his job downstate so I had to travel every weekend for 2 years while he had found a job here. I actually found a job again with the university so my time is bridged over. I hope to retire in a few years.

    My favorite books are books on simple living, frugal living, homesteading and then mysteries. Currently have been reading the alphabet murders — books by Sue Grafton.

    1. I’ve heard good things about Sue Grafton’s books. I should pick them up! What did you do with the acreage when you relocated? Did you rent it out? I’m glad that things worked out with your job! My grandfather was from Michigan and was a HUGE Wolverines fan πŸ™‚

      1. I have slowly been cutting down some of the overcrowded saplings and other trees that are closer to the house (yet still far back enough) so that I can start planting more fruit trees, probably dwarf trees. I have 4 raised bed gardens. My house sits on a small hill and that hill has a lot of direct sunlight, it’s mostly grass on the side, then a few trees and lilac bush on the brim. So for next year, I plan on tiering a portion — making 3 tiers on the hill. At the bottom, I will plant corn, then maybe beans or peas and put in a trellis and top would be melons, cantaloupes, etc. Where I have the melons planted now, I would make an all exclusive herb bed. Right now I am only growing a few herbs. I do keep a spearmint plant in an old wooden bushel basket since mint tends to overtake the gardens.

  3. I read to find out how your house adventure is coming along, but also to learn from your experiences in trying to build a better life for your family while the clock is ticking and that family is getting older.

    1. That’s an interesting way to put it – I never really thought about it as “the clock ticking,” but I guess you’re right! I think we’re mostly just trying to take advantage of the fact that we’re still a young family and have time on our side for now!

  4. Hi, my name is Molly. I found your blog when it was featured one day on southerncalisaver.com, I’m pretty sure that’s where I saw it… My favorite thing to do is search for bargains/coupons! Other than your blog, the only other ones I follow are about couponing. I continued to follow your blog because I was amazed by the courage it must have taken to make such a huge change in order to follow your dreams of owning a home. The fact that you are somewhat local (I’m in Ventura County) also appealed to me. Every time I read your blog I feel grateful for the home I have, and I also think about all the useless crap and clutter that fills it! I soooo need to de-clutter, it’s stressful. You’ve shared a lot, and I suppose the only other thing I wonder is OMG – how do you manage three kids while pregnant?!

    1. Hi Molly!
      I think one of the things that helped us undergo this whole thing was just the fact that we’ve retained a certain amount as an emergency fund with the idea that if everything just went to hell in a handbasket, we would still have enough to put a deposit down for another rental and ditch the whole thing. Having a back-up plan definitely was a huge factor in our decision. There really wasn’t a lot to lose!

  5. Hi, my name is Gira. I must have found your blog through a minimalist blog like The Minimalist Mom. I am assuming this because there are two types of blogs to which I am currently subscribed: healthy cooking and minimalism. The minimalism thing is new to me as I am recently making an extra effort to declutter my house in order to have more space because I had been feeling overwhelmed by my stuff and especially because my fiance just moved in with me last month (Yay for cohabitation!)
    I love reading about healthy cooking without the use of animal products, oil, salt, or sugar, otherwise known as Whole Foods Plant-Based diet.
    Since I have this opportunity, I would love to know why are you guys building a house? Especially one that will require a giant loan? Since you seem to do just fine with a bus, maybe you can buy one of those pre-fab homes and save a lot of money? Or build a log cabin or one of those house in a box things? I apologize in advance if you have already answered this question in a previous post. I would hate to see you guys saddled with such a giant loan for a house. Thanks!

  6. Hi, my name is Cheryl. I think I found you through some type of tiny house blog, or an article on FB. My husband and have been thinking about the whole tiny house idea. Very interesting. The only problem being that my husband would probably need a bigger shop than we need house. πŸ˜‰ My favorite author is Nora Roberts. I am mom to two teenage girls, married for 24 years in December, have three dogs, two cats and a few goldfish (lovingly referred to as “our zoo” ), work as a Kindergarten aide, and love camping! I love reading all your blog, and would love the answers to all the example questions you posted. Excited to keep following your journey! πŸ™‚

  7. Hi, I’m Becky. I think I found your blog through Money Saving Mom? I added you to my Feedly feed because your story sounded really interesting. I enjoy reading about simple living/minimalism/homesteading. I am a wife and a mom to two children, ages 2 and 4, so I can relate to having small children underfoot πŸ™‚ I would also like to know the answers to all of the example questions you posted!

  8. I probably found your blog through either Crystal Paine’s “Money Saving Mom” or Jessica Fisher’s “Life as Mom” blog. I’m a fellow southern Cal resident, and worry about how hot it must get up in that loft at night. I read mostly to see what’s happening with your bus living situation. For some reason, I also spend time on the web watching tiny house videos, mostly by Kirsten Dirksen. It’s an intriguing lifestyle, but I don’t think we’d jump into it unless there was some kind of extenuating circumstance. As a child, I had a stint of living in a tent trailer and also a single-wide mobile home where my bedroom was a bunk in what should have been the washer/dryer closet in the hallway. We had dressers in there instead, and with a board on top, a foam pad, and one of the two fold-away doors removed, I had a great little nest to sleep in. It was my first “room” to myself! Wishing your family patience, success, and no more cars breaking down!

    1. The upper story does get pretty warm in the afternoon – it’s mostly an issue during my youngest’s naptime. There are windows up there that allow in a cross-breeze and we have fans going as well. The kids go up to bed around 8 PM and by that hour it has cooled off substantially – plus in the summertime they just sleep in their underwear πŸ™‚

      It sounds like your experience was positive as a kid – what specifically would hold you back, if I can ask?

      Thank you for the well-wishes!

      1. Hola! Good to know about the loft space! As far as living small, we are happy where we are and thankful for our condo. I’m not personally interested in living in a tiny house, though it might be fun to have a camper or RV for occasional travel.

  9. I found your blog through a link, and a link, and a link, and I don’t remember what I was looking for originally. πŸ˜› I keep reading because your story is so interesting! I want to see it through to the end now. πŸ™‚

  10. Hi Sarah – My name is Lara, I live in PA and found you through Money Saving Mom. I may have laughed out loud the first time I read the tagline for your blog and it still makes me smile…love your sense of humor! Four years ago we sold our house and moved into a small two bedroom apartment with our boys who were 2 1/2 and 5 at the time. We thought it would be a quick stay, but we ended up being there for a year and a half until we found and moved into our new home. While it didn’t feel like an ideal situation, God really used that time in our lives for good in so many ways. We learned a lot about what was important to us and what we really wanted in our next home. Our new house is smaller than our first house and we love it! All that to say, in some small way I can relate to your journey and enjoy following along…thanks for sharing! Trusting that God will teach you much in this time of your lives, too!

    1. Hi Lara!
      I think that many of us can get by with a lot less space than we think we really “need” – I think it’s awesome that you were able to use your experience to reprioritize
      So glad you’re here!

  11. Hi Sarah! I also found your site through Crystal Paine’s Money Saving Mom. I am 50, have 2 almost grown sons – 20 &18 and have been married for 22 years. For years, we had an urban farm with chickens, fruit trees and bushes, and a large vegetable garden on a 3/4 acre lot in Atlanta. My youngest is leaving for college in 3 weeks and our lives are changing yet again. My husband and I are hiking the Appalachian Trail on weekends as a way to reconnect as couple.
    I also love to read and am currently deep into the Phryne Fisher mysteries after watching the show on Netflix.
    Last year, I read the Bible in a Year and blogged about it here:
    http://sylviabibleinayear.blogspot.com/
    I do admire what you are doing. One question I have for you — how do the solar panels work? We have them on our house and it offsets some of our electricity. My husband is hoping to buy an electric car soon and would love to have a panel to charge that as well. Did Noah buy them premade? On our house, they were installed by technicians. Can regular people also install them or do you need an electrician? Also, do you use them to charge batteries? If so, what kinds. Sorry if this is asking too specific a topic.
    Many thanks for putting this part of your life out there.

    1. I will have to check out that series – and your blog! I will have a post with more detail about our solar set-up soon that will hopefully answer your questions more fully, but our solar panel charges two large batteries and then we take that power and run it through an inverter to change the power from dc (like what runs in your car) to ac (What runs in your house). Ours also isn’t officially “installed” to anything, we just have it sitting on a rack on top of our storage shed, but Noah did all the set up and wiring himself. Maybe I’ll ask him to write that post!

  12. Hi, my name is Maria, and I found you through that fateful guest post to MSM! πŸ™‚ I find living frugally a delightful challenge, and was quite impressed with your living-in-a-bus-plan! I had similar thoughts… when we were first married we lived in a 12’X60′ single wide trailer, and EVERY ITEM had to have a place or it felt messy. I dreamed of finding ANOTHER 12X60′ trailer and connecting the 2, which never happened, but we did find a little Add-on room on wheels to make a second bedroom. We ended up living there for 7 yrs, with 2 kids and one on the way. Until one day the neighbor lady stopped to ask if we’d be willing to rent their house right next door to us, as they were having a tough time finding dependable renters. It was a God-thing! We rented that for 5 yrs, then ended up buying the place. I REALLY HATE being in debt. We were determined to beat the system by saving and delaying gratification, but here we are with at least 8-10 more years of making payments. All I know, is that when you are young and have a busy family is when you NEED money for a house, but rarely have it. Why is it we have to work our whole lives just for a place to survive? I shop at thrift stores and garage sales for the kids’ clothes, and Aldi for groceries, we cut corners where we’re able, but it seems the costs are constantly rising. *sigh*
    My wish for you is that you would be rewarded for your willingness to sacrifice present comforts for future security! Paying interest is just a miserable thing. Don’t bite off more than you can handle, ’cause I want you to flourish! Awesomely!! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Maria! I completely agree with EVERY ITEM needing a place – it’s one of the biggest struggles about living in a small space with lots of small children!

      I think it’s awesome that you were in the process of delaying gratification, but something fell right into your lap. Sometimes you just have to jump on something, even if it doesn’t fall neatly into your best laid plans, you know?

      Also: costs ARE constantly rising. It is definitely hard to get ahead of the game, but well worth the sacrifice.

      Thank you so much for your well wishes!

  13. Hi, I am living in Lauderhill FL, a transplant from NYC! I think I started with MSM. I am 75, widowed and no children. I am enjoying reading your blog. With all the clutter I have I cannot imagine not having it, although the time has come to get rid of it. I got married for the first time at 55, We only had 9 truly happy years together before he became ill and died. I did get a step daughter and we speak or text once a week or so. My sweet Paul will be gone 11 years on Monday!

    I read a lot of romance books. Love Danielle Steel and a few others.

    Keep on writing, I am enjoying your saga!

  14. Hi, Kate here from Birmingham, AL. I think I found you through MSM? My family has been going through a crazy time, selling a house, buying a house, with everything that entails, especially with two small children (3 and 1) and another on the way (due in December). I get overwhelmed, but I love reading your blog. A great source on inspiration as you focus with raising your family and making the best of whatever comes your way. Don’t know if we would ever be adventurous enough to build a home from scratch, but I find all your posts on the process interesting!

    1. I’ve heard that the transition between buying and selling houses can be pretty stressful in and of itself, and I think that adding children into ANY mix simply adds to the chaos! Thank you for your kind words πŸ™‚

  15. Hi, my name is Heather. I found your blog through Money Saving Mom. I keep reading because you write well and we have some things in common. I have a 4 year old and twins that are 1 1/2. We just moved into temporary housing while our new house is being built, and of course there have been lots of delays. I enjoy reading about your daily life and seeing a different perspective of the building process.

    1. Hi Heather! What kind of temporary housing? I would love to hear more about your experience with building – we know very few people who have gone through and are always looking for tips and pointers!
      Twins run big in my family (I have twin brothers, twin grandparents and two sets of twin cousins!) and they can definitely be a handful.
      I would love to get in touch if you’d like to share more about YOUR journey – feel free to shoot me an email!

  16. This is Jo from Maryland. I think I found you through a comment on Get Rich Slowly, but everyone is mentioning MSM so it could have been there because I read her site too! I hopped on over because what you’re doing sounded like it would be an interesting adventure. It takes courage to make unconventional choices!

    My favorite colors are green and orange. I just painted my new craft room/office a bright happy green and furnished it with white tables and an orange chair. Tomorrow I am working on the curtains, and then the room will be mostly done. My typical decorating style is more neutral in the rest of the house, but this is my happy place, and the colors make me smile. πŸ™‚

  17. Hi Sarah! I first saw your blog on MSM. I added you on my feedly because I was interested in your story since we have some things in common.

    I also have 3 kids and we have a non-traditional living arrangement. We’re living in my in-laws’ basement in the boonies while we work hard to pay off my husband’s law school student loans asap.

    Your writing is fun and personable and you’re easy for me to relate to. I think I’ve said before that if we lived closer (we’re 8 or 9 hours away), I bet we would be friends in real life! πŸ™‚

  18. My name is Patricia, and I honestly don’t remember how I stumbled across your blog. But it was a stumble–and a fun one! I love tiny houses and small living spaces (not that I live in a particularly tiny space, but I definitely idealize it.) I also write romance novels, which is my claim to being interesting. LOL

    My question for you: how WILL you fit all the newborn stuff into your bus?? I’m very curious about that!

    1. I will definitely be writing a post on our plans for the newborn stage soon – although, you never know how it will ACTUALLY go.

      Also: you and Barbara who commented earlier should get together πŸ™‚

  19. Hi Sarah. I’m Judi in Arizona. I found your blog from MSM and added you to my feedly list. I simply enjoy reading your story find your spirit uplifting as you face these challenges. I’m widowed with three children who are adults in their early 20’s, but still are living at home as they try to find their way. It works for us. We all save money this way, have a better life, and are able to give back more to others in need.

    I look forward to reading as you continue this exciting adventure and applaud you for taking an unusual path! I know from experience how difficult it can be to take a different path, and wish you and your family the best! God bless!

  20. Hi Sarah! My name is Angel, and live just North of Houston, Texas. I’m fairly certain I stumbled across your blog via MSM. I mostly follow couponing, frugal, DIY, canning and recipe type blogs. I find your story fascinating, and am looking forward to reading more about your attempts to establish your garden and orchard. I struggle with my little garden every year, too.

    I have the first four Grafton books if you’d like to message me your mailing address. I’d be happy to send them. I have them listed on paperback swap, too. Was surprised when I looked and saw them still on the shelf.

    1. Hi Angel! I am so bummed about our garden… I think we might take another (SUPER LATE) stab at it this year, though, since we kind of can with the weather being like it is here.

      I just checked and it looks like my library has most of them, so I will probably just get them there. As much of a bibliophile as I am, I haven’t actually bought a book in forever – especially not since moving into the bus where every square inch of space counts! Thank you so much for the offer, though, it was very thoughtful!

  21. Hi Sarah. I’ve left a lot of comments on your blog already, so I’ll just say that I found your blog through MSM and I thought it sounded like a fun story to follow. I enjoy seeing your story unfold. Not many bloggers are as open and honest as you, so it makes your blog more personal. Thanks for sharing your family with us.

    1. Hey Shawn πŸ™‚ I do try to be open and honest simply because we’re just real people going through a real thing and if I want to share our story then there’s really no point in sugar-coating it. And I always enjoy your comments – they are very thoughtful!

  22. Hey Sarah, my name is Nicole. I am a CPA from San Antonio with a beautiful almost-4-yr-old and an awesome husband. I have NO IDEA how I came across your blog (ha!) but bookmarked it when I first found it. Your story is so interesting and I appreciate your openness and candidness. We have been remodeling our 54-year old home since we moved in and it has been exhausting and much more expensive than we anticipated. We actually lived in the house for almost 3 months without a kitchen and then another month without counters! So I can relate to some of the struggles y’all have been going through πŸ™‚ I definitely want to know how you’re going to manage a newborn on a bus without waking everyone up everyone he/she gets up at night. I also like lots of pictures so keep them coming!

    1. One of our biggest financial challenges so far has been dealing with food savings and storage, so I am DYING to hear what you did without a kitchen at all – please share!
      I will work on the picture-taking – I just plain forget most of the time, which is a terrible excuse for a blogger, I know. And a post on our newborn plans (ha!) is coming very soon!

      1. We did have a fridge/freezer in the garage and one in the house but had nowhere to prepare the food, except for things that didn’t require warming up. I don’t have any tips–it was expensive! And, with a 2-yr old at that time, it was a tough experience to not provide healthy meals for her. She definitely ate more pre-packaged food and sandwiches than I’m proud of :/

  23. Hello!
    I am sure I found your site through Money Saving Mom. Several things drew me to read (and continue to read) your site. The first is that when I was younger, my mom bought an old converted school bus that we were going to move to Alaska in. That never happened. But, we did end up living in 2 campers parked side by side and both connected to a plastic dome that was the “living room”, that was in Wa. State (the furthest north we ever got). Later, my sister and her husband lived in the school bus on my mom’s property for several years. I love alternative living styles and have lived in many different ones myself. From age 13-18 I lived in a house with no electricity (other than a seldom used generator) and no running water. I am now 40 and live in Canyon Lake, CA which I suspect is near where you are. I homeschool my 2 kids and hold on to a lot of my “off grid” beliefs, but am currently enjoying electricity and running water! My mom, stepdad and 1 brother still live in that off-grid house! I like that you show that it IS very possible to live smaller, simpler lives and be happy (most of the time!)

    1. Oh my goodness, your mother sounds like a brave woman!
      I would love to hear about your experiences growing up in that house – that sounds like it probably built a lot of character….. right? And it can’t have been TOO bad if your family still lives there.
      You seriously have to share more.
      Okay, you don’t HAVE to… but I would be all ears if you did!

      1. Not too bad, that’s true. I think the biggest thing I learned is that life does go on without things like electricity and running water. A LOT of people simply don’t know how to function without them any more.
        When my mom bought the house it was 1/2 build and the owner was planning to demolish it (he had separated from the lady he was building it for). My mom convinced him to sell it to her. I think this must have been in 1984 or so. 5 acres of land and a 1/2 built house for $30,000! Her house payment was less than my old car payment! Over the years I learned to pretty much do anything from plumbing to framing to drywall.
        My husband was amazed one time when I removed a toilet in our condo that was leaking, found that the floor was rotted out and just went at it with a saw. Cut out the bad and installed the new. Then I put new flooring down and put the toilet back. My city boy husband was completely “floored”, lol! The only thing I don’t work on is electrical and that’s because we never had it to work on! And I don’t do roofing (though I do know how) because I don’t like heights.
        Over the years we lived in campers, cabins and 1/2 built houses. One time my mom built a trailer out of a flatbed trailer and the top dome of a bus. That was mine and my sisters “bedroom” while my mom, stepdad and baby brother lived in the camper.
        We always had wood heat in the house. My mom also piped it for propane, so the living room, dining room and kitchen each had a wall mounted propane light. Our kitchen stove was smaller sized and ran on propane. Growing up we had a tiny camper fridge, about 10 years ago my mom got a larger propane fridge (maybe 10 sq ft size) with an actual freezer! That’s luxury! TV didn’t come on until 7 pm or so, and was run on a car battery that was charged at the dairy farm where my stepdad worked. We of course didn’t have cable. We could get basic reception but mainly watched dvd’s (at that time VHS!). We did not have computers back then but now they do have internet at the house. Electronics are run off a battery using a power converter.
        I remember when we first moved to the house, the land was very overgrown. I learned that if you run goats and pigs together, they will clear your land for you in no time. The goats eat all the green/plants. The pigs will root up tree stumps (boor a deep hole and put corn kernels down it, they will root it up)
        We raised our own meat for years. My mom doesn’t raise meat anymore but has chickens and ducks for eggs and a HUGE garden.
        Goodness, I could run on and on. Is there something about living off-grid that you are wondering about?

        1. Heather, that is such an interesting story! If “worst came to worst” we could all learn from you how to live off the grid! πŸ™‚ I live near an Amish community, and am convinced they have figured out how to have everything (except internet) you need, they use solar panels on the roof to charge car batteries, which they then use to run all sorts of household appliances. They have gas lanterns and fridges. But i still love having the warm ambiance of electric lighting and my window AC makes me so cool and happy. πŸ™‚
          Sarah, I look forward to this blog, and continue to cheer you on! πŸ™‚

        2. Heather, I would love to hear more about your story. If you’d be interested in writing a guest-post I would love to feature it on the blog. Email me if that sounds like something you’d want to do?

  24. Hi Sarah, my name Marisa. I can’t remember how I found your site but I think it was through Money Saving Mom. I was intrigued by your journey and how you live the way you do. It is always interesting to see how other families live and support themselves. I look forward to reading more about your gardening adventures and how you plan to transition from living in a bus to a home.

  25. Hi sarah my name is Chuck and i relocated your storage container for you . been following your story and praying for your family.

  26. Hello my name is Libby! I found your blog via moneysavingmom.com where I saw a comment you had made and wanted to see your blog! I am a child of God, wife to my best friend, mother to one beautiful daughter, fitness trainer and whole foods primarily plant based eater. I have loved looking at your various articles and look forward to seeing more!

  27. Hi I am Nicole, I am 29 years old. Married with 2 kids a daughter who is 6 and a son who is 2 1/2. I live in Indianapolis, IN. I found your blog through Money Saving Mom. I love my family,God, The Colts, Journey, Saving money, Disney and reality tv. I love just reading all about your adventure of living in the bus and want to see more pictures of the bus! It is so amazing to me, I would love to buy an RV and travel when our kids are out of the house. That is one of of goals and dreams. I can’t wait to see how your adventure unfolds!

  28. Hi — I found your site through Financial Samarai (I think ) — you had commented on one of his posts and included your link so I clicked on it and now am a regular reader. I read all types of money saving/retire early/minimal living blogs. A friend of mine is moving to New Mexico and just purchased an RV (trailer) and will be living in it full time to save money on rent, although he is single but it still is an adjustment from a house to an RV (as you well know).

    Keep on writing.

    Jules

    1. It definitely IS an adjustment – although I think that you can get used to just about anything after a while – much more than mos tpeople realize, I suspect πŸ™‚ Glad to have you here!

  29. Hi Sarah,
    I’m Sue and live in Minnesota. I found your blog through Money Saving Mom. I follow your story partly because I’m nosey(yes I am) and partly because we have undeveloped land in Wisconsin and spend weekends & vacations up there in an old camper. We have no electricity or water. We use solar panels to charge the rv battery and get water from a local town well. We just recently put on a deck. OMG, what a difference in keeping the dirt out of the camper! We hope to some day build a small cabin.

    1. Hi Sue! Your story sounds so familiar πŸ™‚ The deck makes a HUGE difference. Also, if you can lay your hands on some mulch and lay it down, the two combined are great! I totally wish we had a well. Maybe some day! Best wishes to you as you work on building that cabin!

  30. Hi, my name is Emily.
    I clicked through to your blog from To Love, Honour, and Vacuum. πŸ™‚

    I live in a 4 bedroom house, which is a lot bigger than a bus, but the whole idea of simplifying life appeals to me and I enjoy “watching” your progress. I think I’ve been reading for about a year, but I went back and read more or less from the beginning.
    As a mom of 4, enjoy the ride!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Emily πŸ™‚ Sometimes life definitely does not feel “simpler”… I think that the definition of that word is different for everybody and every situation!

  31. I found your blog through Money Saving Mom and have been intrigued by your story. I love your writing style and the humor you inject into each post. Some I can relate to much too well (the breakdown of older vehicles). My family is also choosing to be content with less than what our culture tells us we need and we do our best to squeeze an extra dime out of each dollar. Nope, I’m not a friend or relative, but I am enjoying your adventure and love the pictures you include. I’m one of the weird ones who types “prairie” incorrectly, but on purpose – it gives me an extra opportunity to possible earn swagbucks while I’m navigating online. Best wishes, and we’re pulling for you!

  32. I found this site after reading an article on moneysavingmom and I really enjoy reading your blog posts πŸ™‚ I homeschool too…sort of My oldest child is four so it’s still sort of hit and miss not sure if I’m doing it right sort of thing..but it should turn out ok because hes only four right? πŸ™‚ I hope. I’m Nicole and I have a 4 year old boy a 2 year old boy and a 11 month girl. I live in ny….but soon to be moving to nashville tn. My husband sent his application in for a job about three weeks ago, we went to nashville, had some car trouble, spent way more money then we planned (on the car), and I spent the trip at the hotel with the kids in an itty bitty room trying to keep them from killing each other and the baby. We are expected to be there late august..early september. My questions for you are do you have any tips for quick and speedy packing and organization? I also have to get a house ready to sell and keep the kids under wraps too. ahhh! Also how do you keep the kiddos from fighting in such a small space because I have had alot of trouble with them arguing, yelling, hitting, kicking, punching each other and also sometimes with me..especially when I am on the phone. So any advice here would be super.

    1. 1. I’m convinced that at an early age homeschooling is mostly just playing. There’s really not a lot that you can do to mess up what kids do naturally anyway πŸ™‚

      2. As far as packing and organization is concerned, for this last move we ordered a storage pod to be delivered to our home and then as things got packed I moved them into the pod so it kept things out of the way that were already packed and no longer needed. We then had the pod moved to the land. In our situation, things are staying in storage while we build, but if we were moving, we would have then been able to unpack at our leisure and have the company remove the box when we were done. I’m not sure if that helps you at all, or what the rates would be for a long distance move (ours was within 30 miles so all the pod pick ups, moves and drop offs were included in the cost of the rental.)

      I would also suggest paring down and getting rid of as much stuff as humanly possible. While we were moving I had a realization that I posted about here: http://www.littlebusontheprairie.com/one-tip-will-simplify-next-move/

      3. The only cure for kids fighting in small spaces that I’ve come up with is to get out of the small space if at all humanly possible, or give them something to do individually. If my kids are arguing and fighting while doing something that should be cooperative, they get separated and aren’t allowed to speak to each other for a time.

      4. As for being on the phone… I have no solutions for you. It’s like some internal signal that all children have switches on and tells them to be as loud and obnoxious as possible and ask every question they can think of the minute you pick up the phone. I think it’s wired into their DNA. If you come up with something, I would LOVE to hear it.

      I hope that helps at all! Good luck with your move and the selling of your home, that’s a big one!

  33. I found your blog through “six figures under”. We are newly transplanted to TX from CO…spent a bunch of money to move for a job for DH only to have him lose it 6 months later. Oh well, life leads us where we should be and currently we are managing an 1100 acre grass fed cattle farm and LOVING it.

  34. Just found you from six figures under-which was on my Pinterest. I also sporadically read Nina.s bus blog. I’ll be lurking here for awhile; you sound interesting and normal.

  35. Hi

    My name is Lisa and I found you through a comment you left on The Pioneer Woman’s blog (your name intrigued me).

    No questions for you, as I’m working my way through your blog from the beginning and have only just reached this point – don’t want to ask stuff you’ve answered in later posts.

    Anyway – hello. Once I’m caught up, I’ll follow you on Feedly. Also Twitter. I don’t comment on blogs much, because I’m useless, but am on Twitter fairly regularly, so see you there!

  36. I know this is an old thread, but I have been reading though. Hi, my name is Sarah πŸ˜‰ . I found your blog through The Pioneer Woman’s blog. I am looking for info about home schooling my girls and saw a post from a Woman who lives on a bus.

    I also did not find out the sex of my first baby. She was born very early on the 4th of July. After she was born, we had to ask the sex. Some one said it’s a boy. (I had a c/s after a long labor and dealing with Pregnancy Induced Hypertension, I was not all there.) In my heart, I knew she was a girl. I was trying to figure out what to do with a baby boy when they changed their minds and said she was a girl. We found out the sex of the last 2 girls.

    I, also, kill plants. I keep trying to do a garden, but the horrible 110 temp of the hot Texas summer kills everything I try to grow.

    I am currently a student. Will finish my AA this summer and then in the fall my older 2 girls will start doing school at home. My youngest is special needs and we are still trying to find a balance. Plus the program I want to use in TX, you have to be in 3rd grade and she is starting 2nd. So, my 5 &7th graders will stay home and the youngest will still go to public school. And she is not happy about it. I have to figure out how to teach her at home, also, once she is in 3rd grade. She may be more traditionally home schooled, than in the program the older girls will use. Plus, she needs PT and OT, and has a learning disability. So just a few hurtles to overcome.

    1. Welcome, glad you’ve been following along! Those are some trials to get through, but I think that homeschooling can be one of the best ways to do so. Good job on making good choices for your family!

  37. Omg, I’m such a creeper. I’m Daniel’s mom, and when you mentioned living in a bus I googled you… I’m so fascinated by living in tiny spaces, minimalism, building houses, etc., and as I said before, I’m a creeper. We’re living a weird house adventure, too (I linked my blog, but I’m the worst blogger ever so it won’t help much), and I’d LOVE to chat about your place. See you at drop-off!

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