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What we’ve learned about living in a partially converted skoolie.

In Big Family Tiny Living, Uncategorized

Appreciation… Personally, Johnny here, that’s what comes to mind. Especially as we, assuming most were raised in areas where the advancements in life seem to be more eternal and never ending as our next breath. By this I mean: clean water from a tap, a market with a variety of local and non-indigioues species of vegetables, meat, and foreign foods, fuel for vehicles and gas stoves, the list goes on…  Wait, wait, wait… Slow down, we’re talking about living in the now. So… to bring it on track, to live with what you have, to not be ashamed of yourself, and to constantly try to make things better and more self-sustained. We have four kids, and four animals that depend on us daily. For those of you who understand the amount of hours one must dedicate to develop great children, good. For those of you who understand daily commitment, just…

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5 Things You Need To Know When Being A Guest

In Big Family Tiny Living, Uncategorized

Through our 11 months of traveling we have visited and parked the bus at eight different friends and family locations. After coordinating our stay we try to be mindful and show up prepared, we know it just makes our stay better. Are you thinking about going on a trip where you have the opportunity to do this? You should! Here are some tips on being an awesome guest who’s likely to get a “come on back anytime!” Give your intentions while staying… from planning to departure. (Guest) “We’re here!” (Host) “Hey…you…  (WTF)” Guests are great, unexpected guests, not so much. If you’re a nomadic soul and find through your travels you have family, friends, acquantainships that are willing to open their home to you for a period of time, don’t misuse it. Whenever we put ourselves out into someone’s life, and with today’s technology of phones and GPS routes, there…

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The Bunkroom

In Big Family Tiny Living, Our Skoolie Conversion, Uncategorized

Man oh man, its crazy to see that picture. I can remember that moment, thinking… “Holy shit the bunks are in… We are moving our family onto a bus!” We have 4 kids – 11, 9, 8, and 5 and 4 animals -1 dog, 1 cat, 1 hamster, 1 fish. We are a #bigfamilylivingtiny so we had to create as much space as we could in the 320sqft of bus. The bunk room is right after the kitchen section. We built a dutch door and used all of the available dead space storage, including building a fan into the door. Read more about our nifty hacks here. Our goal was to try this bus life for at least 2 years, which meant the kids needed some room to grow and to be able to chill in that space. Each bunk is 7 ft long by 33 in wide and framed…

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Our Favorite Outdoor Activities With Kids

In Big Family Tiny Living, thebhive family adventures, Uncategorized

Personally, Shiang-ling and  I think we have the most fun when our family is outside. There is just something about how we spend our time outside, the elements and the naturalness of it all comes together and makes lasting memories whether we’re on the objective side of a camera lens or not. Hiking – We have recently started hiking more. We’ve always wanted to go hiking, but we just never made time to do it or had the terrain for the most part. We aren’t talking trails either because we’d go on trail walks as a family all the time. What we were looking to do is to have some elevation change, put some miles on, play in an interesting area (i.e. waterfall, crevasse, span footbridge, etc…) not only for our sake, but for the physical, mental, and emotional growth of our children’s lives. Fishing – I used to fish…

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Our Genius Tiny Home Hacks

In Big Family Tiny Living, Uncategorized

When you are building a tiny home, especially on wheels and for a big family there are a lot of considerations you have to think of and not a lot of space to work in. Most of the time spent on the build was discussing how we were going to most efficiently and effectively use the 320 sqft of space. 8 ft wide and 40 ft long… that’s what we have to work with. To be honest, this isn’t an issue for Johnny and I but we knew that this would be big change for the kids. We wanted to be sure our home had all the essentials and as much storage we could create. Multi Use- Stovetop Tray/Cover – When we installed the gas range I was ecstatic! I had never cooked over gas and I was excited to learn. However the knobs and the stovetop in general were…

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15 Awesome Gifts For Active Kids

In Big Family Tiny Living, Uncategorized

Birthdays, Christmases and just because… we know how much kids WANT and “NEED” everything. Kids don’t need a lot to be happy but everyone likes to buy a toy/gift here and there. Our goal now is when we buy them things that it allows their mind to explore and learn. After writing about our current top toys in our tiny home I started to look into what toys we could add to our tiny home. Some we have but definitely recommend, especially for active kids! Telescope – A compact version would be an excellent addition to our full-time travel lifestyle. Already, in a few places we have visited, there were nights of looking up at the sky and watch in amazement. Here in Vermont the sky feels so close and the stars are so vivid that after the kids go to bed, Johnny was able to point out several satellites…

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How Much Does It Really Cost Us? Traveling Fulltime With A Family Of 6

In Big Family Tiny Living, Uncategorized

How Much Does It Really Cost Us? Living On a Skoolie Fulltime With A Family Of 6 Most days it doesn’t make sense. “I mean come on…” Most people’s questions circulate around. “How do you… travel full-time… visit friends and family you’d probably see once a decade… make time for adventures.. and the biggest one – make money/afford it?” The answer is simple, and we’ve all heard it over the years from countless mentors, elders, and inspirational people, “Make life what you want!” But, beyond the inspiring words of wisdom how do we truly make it happen? To summarize in a few words, it takes budgeting, thriftiness, and willingness to accept new normalcies to living the life you want. Food: We budget roughly a $1000/month ($800 ish for groceries and maybe $200 in   $800 at the grocery stores and $200 on a few nights out at a decently priced restaurant….

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Basic Skills for Kids in the Kitchen

In Half Baked Barely Measure, Parenting and Education, Uncategorized

I LOVE to cook, and I love good food. I try very hard to not sacrifice the quality of our meals for the quantity or price since we are a large family with growing kids. I want our kids to have a wide palate, understand meal planning, nutrition and be capable of independently preparing a meal. While Johnny and I have always encouraged “food” independence (like getting their own cereal, choosing their snacks for lunch, or baking sugar cookies etc) before bus life, I didn’t really “try” to take the time to teach them how to cook. It was just easier for me to make the one and done meal. As our tiny dwelling journey continues, our tiny home kitchen has really served us amazingly. It’s like a play kitchen, all of the appliances are smaller and my desk is on the other side… so I can sit and work…

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Our Tiny Home Top Toys | Big Family Tiny Living

In Uncategorized

The other day I found ½ a turkey at the grocery store and got way too PUMPED to make a “Christmas in July” meal. As we sat down around the campfire I reminisce to our holidays. Johnny’s training/deployment schedule made him miss every other holiday season, Halloween- Christmas. Reflecting on those days and then sitting where I am now was such a warm feeling. We are having so much fun just spending quality time together.  Most holidays I am “lead” for presents, costume discussion and such. Every time it came to buying presents I would cringe at the items on display and the cost associated. I remember one year when Johnny was gone, and I took the kids to “peruse” the toy aisle at Target. This shopping trip “broke” me of how I buy things.This year Alexis HAD to have this turtle toy that swam in water inside this “pen”…

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A Kiss on top of MT Washington Auto Rd

Mt. Washington Sunrise Auto Ride | Sunday Funday

In thebhive family adventures, Uncategorized

This trip started out at midnight with a loud thunder and lightning storm over the top of us. It was down pouring when we got up to leave and got lucky the rain stopped just long enough to load everyone up without making a mess inside the car. It was a 2.5-hour drive to the gate of Mt. Washington’s Auto Road. When you get to the gate it’s another 20-30 minutes up the 8-mile winding road. The drive itself wasn’t too bad, albeit I didn’t drive, Johnny did. It was terrifying a few times. We did the Sunrise drive, which is only done 3 times a year, and it was pitch black, foggy and the road was consistently very close to the edge with very sharp/sudden turns. Reaching the summit we realized we were absolutely under-dressed and that we were all going to freeze. It was 45 degrees with a…

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