Monday, February 10, 2014

The Votes Are In!

Seems as though there's an interest on pretty much each topic, but to my surprise, especially our "Goin' Country" posts. Hence, I will begin with that.

After MUCH thought regarding building a home, we have settled on a manufactured home (aka: mobile home). Yep. I've never lived in one before, but after meeting with various builders, calculating estimates, etc., we toured some manufactured homes and we were blown away by their size and durability, but how pretty they were and how they can stand up to hurricanes (as we live in Florida, that's important to us!). Their price (most of all) was what impressed us. We even looked at used ones. We were also impressed with how quickly they can be built. You see, when we do move, our monthly bills will be less than HALF of what they currently are (with the exception of gas, as Rob will be commuting to work...only thing we're not looking forward to) and THAT is motivation to get a movin'. {smile} With all that said, we are trusting GOD'S timeline. Period.

We have a very strict budget that we have to stick to. You see, we don't look at our money as ours, but God's. We haven't always had that mentality you see. We must be frugal because as the Lord changed our hearts years ago, we worked through "rice and bean months" to get out of debt, and we committed to the Lord that if He would give us a second chance, we would strive for a debt-free life in order to be ready should He call us to a life of service and that we would be able to give more to those in need, whether it be in food, financially, missions, adoption, etc. We weren't going to be able to do that in our current home as shade trees cover a large majority of our property not allowing us to grow large amounts of food, we're on city water, and the list goes on. It's just more expensive to live in the city. So to pay off our current home just didn't make sense to us. We prayed and the Lord began opening doors. Doors that only HE could've made open. 
We really do serve a personal God that knows our hearts and acts when we're broken.
Really broken.

A few weeks ago, I was loading up some boxes so that we could SLOWLY begin packing up things, as not to be in a rush when our home does finish being built (We're estimating that the building process may start within just a few weeks, should the paperwork all go through smoothly. A manufactured home takes approximately 4 months to finish building). Then I got a phone call that changed things (or so I thought).
The house next door to us was for sale and we were asked if we were interested in it (I had called on it awhile back, but it was under contract). The house was a 4 bedroom, 3 bath and was bigger than our current home. It was on 2 and 1/2 acres and if we tore down the fence between the two properties (our current 5 acres and the new 2 and 1/2), we would have 7 and 1/2 acres. More room to grow food and the pasture was already cleared. It was move-in ready.

Well, we pursued it for a week, but to spare the details, we didn't get the house. It wasn't the house the Lord wanted us to have and that's okay. We pressed on and went back to our plan "A". Doors being closed is never easy, however it IS an answer to prayer.

So, now we have a lot of packed boxes. {smile}

Now we also have a bit more time to get our house rented, earthly possessions packed, and a fox-proof chicken coop built (because apparently there are a lot of foxes who like to invade chicken coops where we're moving! Eek!). We also need to build a pen for Molly and calf (due this Wednesday) until the pasture grows in. I'm really nervous about becoming a grass farmer to be honest.
Just got my first edition of The Stockman Grass Farmer in the mail last month, praying that we can somehow get a pasture going even though we've never gotten a pasture going before. We don't know what in the world we're doing in this department. Patience will be key.

Rob is excited because his first projects (amongst many!) will be to build a pole barn for his workshop as well as some stalls. He's planning on accumulating a chainsaw attachment which can mill lumber, allowing us to utilize the wood on our property. We've already cleared out this section of woods for this spot.
Speaking of clearing land, we still have a lot to go and we want to do it ourselves to save on cost. Well, the last trip we took there to clear out more trees, a teenage neighbor came for a visit and offered to help us out for the day for a little extra cash. I had run into town with a few of the kids (not just down the street either which will be a change for us living in the city), and came back to see my husband and another guy cutting down trees. Turns out, he's quite the handy man (especially for a teen) and owns all his own equipment. He asked if we were willing to pay him a certain fee if he felled trees for us throughout the week. We figured it would be cheaper to pay him, than the gas itself it takes to drive there. So, "sure!"
Well, we're forgoing the composting toilets. I know. I know. It would've made for some interesting posts. Don't be too bummed. We could've pitched it to the city codes department, but we were getting impressions from builders that it could be a LONG time before something like that got passed in this particular city. We're still open to a grey water system however. There's just something about filling a bathtub to bathe a child and then letting that precious water go down the drain. No. Let's water some plants! {grin}
Our current plan is to make sure paperwork gets finalized in the next 2 weeks, then we'll be packing up everything, doing touch-up painting and getting the house empty, clean and ready to rent. We will be an RV-living family until the home is built and I'm sure I'll need your prayers as we enter that transition.

If you're still reading this, you're a trooper.
I'll be tackling some other requested topics in the near future, but for now, this is where we are at with "Goin' Country".
Blessings and goodnight sweet brothers and sisters!


Rachel E. said...

Ah, you all are great. Love hearing about your adventure. Keep the faith God will show the way. :)

Jana said...

I was just at a home and garden show with my husband this past weekend and we "toured" a manufactured home. They are very nice and spacious in their floor plans. He asked me how I felt about it....I would do it in a heartbeat if I could get a basement to go along with it. I guess that wouldn't be an option...yet! But living in Nebraska I need a basement in case there were to be a tornado! And food storage....I am dreaming of a fabulous food storage room!

You'll do great in the RV! You already have the right mindset! Need vs want and recognizing the Lord's hand in all things! Sometimes I really miss it and have thought about how I would do it if we find some property this summer!

Exciting times ahead for y'all!