Adventures of the Yellow School Bus | BUS TOUR! "Home Sweet Bus Home" | Text and 21 Photos! by Candice Granger

We lived in an RV park in Alpine for 6 months until the end
of the semester and then Jim Bob was no longer employed - yikes!

So we have lived in a converted school bus for a little over three years now.  When we moved in our kids were 1 and 3 years old and people thought we were crazy – not just crazy but cra-zay.  They thought we were even crazier for quitting our professional jobs to move out into the country in our yella school bus to pursue our passions.  "Why?" is the question we would get from everyone or my favorite was, "You were serious?"  Yes, we were serious when we said we were tired of treading in the ocean of bills.  We were barely keeping our heads above water and both of us were working "good" jobs.

My husband, Jim Bob, was a tenured university professor and I was teaching in a public school.  Pretty normal, decent paying jobs but we were stuck in a rat race.  We were working just to pay the bills and not getting ahead of the game.  It didn't feel very good.

What did feel good was putting that For Sale sign out in front of our "normal" house.  I couldn't take it anymore.  One day, I walked into the garage, got the For Sale sign, grabbed a hammer and walked to the front yard and started swinging that hammer like a crazy woman.  I hammered that For Sale sign so far down in the ground that it was not coming out.  It felt SO good.  I walked back in the house, fell on the couch and thought, "Oh my, maybe I should have chatted with Jim Bob about this."

We worked on the school bus in the evenings and on the weekends.
 Here I am scrubbing the bus clean 
while Lena Marie gave me moral support.

We just moved in to our school bus when this photo was taken in June of 2012.

He was good.  It was time.  Here we are.  That's the short story. 

You know, I never thought I would be living long term in a school bus.  In fact, this is our second school bus to renovate.  After we sold the first one, I thought, never again.  I was so glad to see it go!  But when we figured out that living mortgage free would be the only way we wouldn't be a slave to "the man" anymore, that yellow color didn't look so bad. 

It seems that living tiny is quite the trend these days.  You hear a lot about it, you see it on TV, and you see all those cute little Park Model Homes on the side of the highway.  But do you think you could do it?  Do you think you could sell some stuff?  My mom told me that she didn't want to live tiny that she liked all her stuff.  That might be the case for you too.  But if you are looking to rid yourself of clutter and free yourself of the baggage, check into it.  You might really like living tiny.

Although we could have driven the bus from Alpine to Gonzales,
we decided it would be best to have it hauled to its new home. If
we broke down on the side of I-10, we would have our entire lives
on the side of the road. That was a scary thought.
So I thought it would be fun to take a tour of our small space.  I sometimes surf the internet looking at what other "schoolies" are doing.  (That's what they call people who live in school busses.)  They all look so cute and warm and spotless.  I started thinking, geez, our house is not like that at all!  I wonder where they put their shoes… We have stuff and 2 kids that love toys and LEGOS.  I better start cleaning everything up before I take pictures for this post!  But then I started thinking how it might be kind of fun to take pictures of our place in its every day fashion.  I want this to be a realistic look at our living in a small space.  Here we go!

When you walk up those two huge steps into our bus home, you are greeted with our "closet."  Since we don't have a closet, this is where the family keeps their shoes.  Needless to say, we can't collect shoes since there isn't enough room to house them all.  I think we each have about three pair.  Zeb is the shoe maniac.  I have to keep my eye on that boy and his shoes!

This is the whole house!  Our couch is on the right, we have an extra seating chair, then the kitchen, further back is the laundry room, pantry, then the shower and way back is the bedroom and kid's play area.  All in 247.5 square feet!

We have a full size stove, fridge and sink.  Since we are a family of four and we live out in the country, I cook.  A lot.  I needed a full size kitchen...that was probably our main priority. 

This is the other side of the kitchen.  The sink area, the plates and cups are up on the shelf.

Living with a potter means that we collect a lot of mugs and cups.  We really have to control our impulses to buy, buy, buy great art!  We try to buy little things that will fit into our tiny nooks.

This is how I store my baking supplies.  It works out great.  Super handy and right where I need it when I need it! 

A little further down is our laundry baskets on the bottom shelf (they take up so much room!), microwave and toaster live on the next shelf up, the third shelf up is our food pantry and the top shelf is our bathroom goodies.  

On the other side is our washing machine, towel storage, laundry soap, etc. and Jim Bob's closet.  I married a very tidy man who folds his shirts into these perfect rectangles that miraculously fits on the shelf perfectly.  I need drawers to shove my clothes in.

This is my dresser.  I have three drawers...the kids took over the bottom draw for their unders, socks and jammies.  Jim Bob put a divider in the bottom drawer so they could have their separate spaces.

This is our bathtub.  We only take showers indoors when it is freezing outside, literally.  Other than that, we have an outside bathroom.  

In the wintertime we put a shower curtain up around the copper tubing so we don't splash water everywhere.  It folds up to the ceiling when not in use, so we don't bump our heads.  Jim Bob is ever so clever.

This is our king size family bed.  The kids are getting bigger and out growing the bed quickly.  We are thinking of getting them their own bus soon.  :)

Underneath our bed is the kids play area.  The kids have their clothes in the green baskets, along with Legos and art supplies in a couple others.  The little window on the back door allows great light into this little space.  The kids love it.  They hang a blanket off the edge of the bed and make their own "club house."  They think when they hang the blanket up that I can no longer hear them.  I haven't told them any different.

This is the view looking back towards the front door.  One thing that is awesome about living in a school bus is the light!  We have 18 windows plus the windshield to allow natural light into our space.  I love it.  Although, it can be a bit drafty in the winter.  Burr.

Little Zeb Man on the couch reading a book.  Do you see those two rectangles leaning against the dash up there?   Those are the kids' TV trays.  One thing that I wish we had is a dinner table.  We eat outside on our patio table or the kids use TV trays and their stools to eat dinner on.  Maybe one day we will take the dash out of the bus and put in a little dinner table.  I'll put that on the list!

Here is our television and book shelf.  All of our DVD movies are in the green boxes on the shelf.  If our book shelf fills up, we edit out the books we no longer read and give them to our public library.  

Lena Marie drew this picture.  I think it says it all:  Home Sweet Bus Home.

I really enjoy living in alternative housing.  I think my favorite part (besides it being paid for!) is how close we all are all the time.  At this point in the kids' lives, they want to be right next to us all the time.  Living in a small space solves the problem of them following us around.  All they have to do is look up and they know exactly where we are.  I do have a hiding spot, though.  If they are sitting on the couch, I can stand next to my dresser and look out the window and they can't see me.  That always leads to, "Mom, where are you?"  I just shake my head.  We live in 247.5 square feet, I can't be far!

Stay tune!  Next time I will take you on a tour of the outside area!

Candice Granger and her super cute brood call home (and art studio!) to a 16+ acre homestead in Gonzales County. They live in a converted yellow school bus with a large cast of furry characters including sheep, goats, chickens and 1 sassy donkey named Choncho. Candice focuses her many talents towards 'healthy and homemade.' Candice is an artist, home-schooling teacher & mother, and partner to her potter husband Jim Bob.

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