Friday, May 30, 2008

He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills

The cattle quietly grazing on the luscious green hills of Uncle Gene’s farm reminded me of Psalm 50: 10-11…

"For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

5/29/08: To Our Fabulous KS and Denver Family – Thanks for Having Us!

Here are some pics of Paul’s Family in KS and Denver that we were able to visit. Thank you all for having us!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

5/28/08: Happy Birthday, Rachel!

4 years ago, Rachel celebrated her 2nd birthday in Kansas at the farm and now she got to celebrate her 6th birthday here, too! Paul’s cousin, Crecia, graciously hosted a family birthday pizza party complete with sparklers! We enjoyed spending time with the whole Gene Meitler family (minus 1 cousin) and Rachel adores her 2nd cousin, Rylan.

Monday, May 26, 2008

5/26/08: Green Acres is the Place to Be; Farm Livin’ is the Life for Me

Some may say Kansas doesn’t have rolling green hills…but not this time. It was the greenest I’ve ever seen it. It was absolutely beautiful. We spent 2 nights and 1 day with Paul’s cousin and family in Kansas City. We enjoyed a lovely visit with them and some of the finest grilling in the U.S. of A. Then we headed for Ellsworth and a nice evening with Paul’s Aunt Lu and Uncle Keith. Then off to the farm – the farm where Paul’s dad was raised which now belongs to his Uncle Gene. The pastures were green, the views were breathtaking, and even better was the company. We spent 4 nights and 3 days there and we all loved it. The girls liked feeding the cows, taking tractor rides, learning more about the farm, playing with the wild kitten they caught (affectionately named Miley), going to VBS, and Rachel loved playing with her 2nd cousin, but most of all we enjoyed spending time with Uncle Gene, Aunt Kayanne and Paul’s cousins. Parting was not sweet sorrow, it was just plain sorrow.

We headed off to Denver to first meet with a former missions pastor, who happens to be the brother of our pastor in CA, to discuss missions and just enjoy fellowship with them, then to visit Paul’s cousin and family. This was a long over due visit to Paul’s cousin as we haven’t seem them in a little over 10 years!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

5/20/08: Who shot JFK?

Well, I still don’t know (although, I can see why many believe that it was a conspiracy), but we did get to explore the site on our way to see a dear friend in Dallas. I stopped at a Gospel For Asia meeting where I heard the founder speak the words I needed to hear. He was very inspiring and encouraging (especially after our recent set back in our process with World Impact). Then we were all blessed beyond measure with a visit to a friend I haven’t seen in years. The kids probably haven’t seen each other in 4 or so years and they all hit it off well again. They had a great time and so did I – thank you Jodi for your fine Texas hospitality. By the way, the famous Texas BBQ and TexMex is as good as they say! And 3 cheers for the “snow cone lady.”

Monday, May 19, 2008

5/19/08: What are the Odds?

I suppose it will be different in each city Paul flies out of. This time, we chose to rent a car because I will go 4 hours north to Dallas to visit a friend. Then we drove Paul to the company he works for here in Austin. Then after some meetings there he went to the airport and flew off to Detroit to work at Ford Motor Company. The girls and I went to see the LBJ Presidential Library and the Capitol. I especially liked the libray and the girls did too.

But the really weird thing about our day is that we found out dear Uncle Al from WI was in Austin on business. What are the odds that he would be here at the same time we would be? Well, we had a lovely time visiting with him over dinner.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

5/18/08: More bumps and hiccups

We arrived at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Tx last night. We were planning on a much needed Sabbath with absolutely nothing to do. It started out good…sleeping in, watching a DVD, lazing around until noon, when we decided to take advantage of the awesome bike paths here. We got out Rachel’s trailer bike only to find that somehow the handle bars and seat didn’t make it into the RV. Well, 5 hours later we had a new bike and were back at the campsite. Who knew it could take so long to find a trailer bike. But, when you’re in a town you don’t know, it takes time to search the internet, make calls, and then travel (in the motorhome), have bike assembled, and travel back. Everything takes longer than you think. Needless to say, our day turned out different than we planned.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

5/17/08: Yet another lesson learned…Don’t take your RV into a downtown urban center without proper planning ahead.

Paul thought it would save time if we drove our RV into downtown San Antonio, TX to visit the Alamo rather than take public transportation. Well, 2 metered parking spots on the street and almost ONE hour later we finally found a spot (or really two spots). Since Paul is the better navigator of the two of us, I was forced to be the driver on this one. Well, you can only imagine how well that went over with me. Now, hopefully, we will remember to do better planning in future visits to urban centers.

However, once we got past the parking experience, it was amazing to see God’s hand in the HIStory of Texas. The Alamo was a sad, but important turning point. The tragic loss of life there motivated the Texans to better unite and organize to fight for their independence from Mexico. About a month or so later, they captured Santa Ana and won their independence. It’s sad and sobering to see what horrors people endure to fight for what they believe in. I know I’ll see a lot more of that as we visit Civil War and Revolutionary War sites.

Friday, May 16, 2008

5/16/08: God Answers Prayers for Safety

There are so many times God protects us and we are completely unaware of it. This time, I am keenly aware of it. I was driving on the freeway and two pick-up trucks with large pieces of furniture and outdoor play equipment entered ahead of me. Probably for the first time is 1500 miles someone was actually going slower than me, so I eventually decided to pass. As I was passing right next to the pick-up, a large outdoor piece of equipment flew out. Had it been a minute before when I was behind the truck, it would have hit me head on. Some would say that was a lucky coincidence. Not me! I know that God protected us!! To the many of you praying for us - thank you for your faithful prayers!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

5/15/08: In awe of HIS creation at Carlsbad Caverns

I just can’t imagine that any other caves will do now. (Gee, have I become a cave snob?). I have never seen any cave so huge with so many stunning formations. The sheer magnitude and volume of the rooms took my breath away. Christina asked me if the mansions we have in Heaven will be that big. If God created such beautiful and immense caverns for our pleasure, enjoyment and wonder, I can’t even imagine what those Heavenly mansions will be like!

Are We Having Fun Yet? Or, What is Real Life Like in an RV?

Now I have a better idea of the answer to a question I often pondered when thinking ahead to an extended RV trip, “I wonder what it will be like living in a small – really small – space.” Well, I guess it’s a lot like living in a house, only now I’m well aware of every squabble and irritation between my children. So are they bikering more, or do I just notice it? In all fairness, they have been very short on sleep and long on driving. But all that aside, I’m ashamed to say I hear more of Paul and I in them then I care to own up to. Well, really, it’s a lot more of me than Paul I hear. Paul is so good natured and even-keeled – O.K., so why don’t my kids take after him instead? What’s up with that?!

Well, on the positive, we have plenty of opportunities to work on character – good, ‘ol character, sigh. :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

5/14/08, p.m.: A Real Life Scene From the Movie, "RV"

Although we have yet to see the movie “RV,” I am sure there must be a scene just like this in it. It was something like 10:00 p.m. when we arrived for the first time at a camp site with full hook ups. After a full day of sightseeing and driving, we began our first class in RV hook-ups 101. Paul was trying to teach me and I was eager to learn. We opened the brand new sewer hose and I correctly connected it to the black tank (and, yes, it’s called a black tank for a reason!). Gloves on, check, sewer hose connected, check, O.K., open the valve to the black tank, check. You might guess the rest. For whatever reason the hose broke off from the plastic piece that connects it to the black tank. Whoosh!! And, double whoosh! I did the only thing a normal human being would do and ran like the wind. Paul was rather surprised in hindsight at what quick reflexes I had. Fortunately, Paul did the only thing a SMART human being would do and shut the black tank valve. I’m sure I don’t need to go into any details on this, but what a mess to clean up. Never again will I think a dirty diaper is a big deal!!

5/14/08: Sand or Snow, That is the Question

Heading off our beaten path on the I10, we went to White Sands National Monument. I’ve never seen such vast sand dunes and all white sand, in fact so much so that it was blinding. In my pictures it’s hard to tell if it’s sand or snow. It’s made from gypsum, the stuff that dry wall and plaster of paris are made from. This field trip covered geology and PE (surfing in the sand)! It was high on the mother/teacher approved trips AND high on the kid fun trips. We give it a 4 star rating. :-)

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Meity Road Trip Adventure by RJM

I’m sure that many of you don’t know how we decided we wanted to go on this trip. A couple months ago, my dad felt that we should sell our house and buy a smaller one so that if it’s the Lord’s will he would be able to work for a Christian organization at some point. My mom had a dream to travel the U.S. in a motorhome. When we realized that there was no hurry to buy another house and my dad could work from anywhere, we agreed to go on an RV trip. Five weeks after selling our house we were on the road. And that was the start of our Meity road trip adventure.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

“Oh, Where are We Going?” sung to the Veggie Tale song, “Oh, Where is My Hair Brush?”

Well, it’s 12 noon and we plan to leave for a road trip around the US tomorrow. I pull out a map of the U.S. and say to my dad, “So where should we go tomorrow?” So much for advance planning. What can I say except that we truly have had not a moment for it until now. So, after stressing out, then praying, then surfing the internet, then stressing out, then praying, then looking at tour books, then stressing out, then praying, then looking at the map, discussing, more surfing, and mores stressing and praying, we finally decided (Oh, yeah, and 4 hours later). Drum roll please… we will to pretty much straight to southern New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns being the highlight there. Did I hear you say, “Why?” Well, we did AZ 2 years ago, we will be near northern NM later in the trip when we visit CO, and I need to meet with World Impact staff the following week in Dallas while Paul travels to Detroit for business. It’s complicated but we believe the Lord helped clear our brains and lead our paths. So, once we finally finish packing, off we go into the wild, blue yonder.

“So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye”

This is the very saddest part of our journey so far. Three + months is a long time to go without seeing family or dear friends! And, even when we come back, our future is so tentative. God have given us the gift of loving parents, and many wonderful friends who we already miss as I write this. I know I can call and I will, but it isn’t the same as hanging out face to face, enjoying life together and watching our kids play together and grow in their friendships. I still feel the sting of those goodbyes very keenly. And, we feel the love of those in Thousand Oaks that honored us, loved on us and sent us off with a lovely Bon Voyage gathering and most of all with their love and prayers. Since our life has been a whirlwind these past couple months, there are many we weren’t able to say goodbye to face to face. I wish that could have been different. We will miss them all.

If any of you dear friends read this and want to link up with us on your vacation – call me!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bon Voyage

Thank you so much, all of you, for the thoughtful Bon Voyage party. We absolutely loved it. We are excited to go on our trip, but we will miss you guys.
Today is the day before we leave(or at least try to). Our day has been filled with simple chores like cleaning out the van and washing the motor home's windows. I don't know when we're leaving tommorow, but I hope it won't be too early so we can have a little more time with our grandparents. I'm sure this will be a very exciting trip for our whole family.