April 2009 --- bought mobile home in Princeton, Texas (through an ad on Craigslist) paid cash from our tax check.
April 19, 2009 Packed our van and car (like God instructed) and moved to Princeton, Texas. We were given a refrigerator and washer/dryer set. We were also given clothes and kitchenware. Everything else we were able to buy for less than $1000.
May 2009-June 2009 -- Steve and I got a newspaper route; it was really cool working together. About 3 weeks into the job Steve's car quit. We kept the route but drove my van (1/3 of what we made went into the gas tank.) It ended unexpectedly 2weeks before Steves first paycheck from the park. I was really upset, however, Steve assured me that everything would work out. He said,"God would take care of us" and that I should know that by now.
June 1, 2009 -- Steve got a job where we live = no commuting expenses (gas, etc.) and with the job came free lot rent and cable.
August 2009 -- the children decided that they wanted to go to public school. In Texas, they have this test called T.A.K's that the children have to pass along with passing their classes in order to be promoted. Since our children had all been homeschooled they had to test in. All tested in at the appropiate grade level, with the exception of Trinity. She had been insisting that I was a mean teacher and that "real" school would be easier. So she scored low on the test (on purpose, which we knew); and started in 3rd grade. We knew the school would catch on since we knew Trinity couldn't keep from showing them what she was really capable of.
September 2009 --- I got a job in Princeton at a gas station/Subway.
October 2009 --- our oldest daughter, Tesha, got a job working with me. We also had an electrician put in a larger fuse box so that we could covert everything to electric (the electrician did this for FREE as a favor for Steve's boss ---I'm too scared of propane heating and cooking). After the electrician was finished. We had a new furnace and CA unit installed. We were given an electric stove. (Yeah--up until this point we were cooking with a charcoal grill and a microwave.--told you I was scared of propane!)
November 2009 --The principle from Trinity's school contacted us and said that they realize they put Trinity in the wrong grade level and they wanted to move her up to 4th grade where she should've been in the first place. The principle just couldn't understand how the difference in her entrance test and actual knowledge didn't match up. We informed her that Trinity wanted "real" school to be easy. The principle responded, "she is smart, isn't she".
We replaced the subfloor in the kitchen and were given linoleum flooring to put down. We took out the cabinets in the kitchen and started remodeling with just some lower sink cabinets and a dishwasher (used but YEAH!). Goal is to put in a pantry and have an open kitchen.
December 2009 --- Tesha bought her first car. She also went crazy buying Christmas presents for everyone. She loves working. We bought Steve a truck (on payments from his bosses brother for $2500 -- we are going to give him $500 a month until we get our tax check and pay it off then.) We were given floating floor for our living room and hallway (Steve and I installed it)--looks great and just in time for Christmas. We were also given new carpet for the bedrooms (in storage right now)but that will have to wait to be installed (by us) until we get ready to redo the bedrooms (I want the living room/kitchen completely done first.
2009 Tax Filing --- Our adjusted gross income for the year was $25,598 = $17,190 less than 2008's adjusted gross income.
So were we content? Yes, the only things we did without were Steves gas money to get to and from work, no house payment, no cable bill, and no home phone.
The biggest changes in our lifestyle: Income, smaller home, children in public school, and lots more family time.