Monday, December 22, 2008

Meity Road Trip Favorites

Meity Road Trip Favorites

The question we are most frequently asked is, “What have you liked best?” We all had a hard time keeping our “favorites” list small. The places we listed are not in any particular order. Here goes…

CG: Mt. Rushmore, Disney World, Kansas-family, Wisconsin-family, Washington, D.C., Maine coast, Statue of Liberty, Kennedy Space Center, seeing friends along the way, St. Louis Arch, flying with Mr. T., Niagara Falls, Focus on the Family, going back home.

RR: Disney World, Wisconsin-visiting family, Kansas-visiting family, St. Louis Arch, seeing friends, Mississippi River, Niagara Falls, Mt. Rushmore, St. Louis Arch, NASA Air Show especially the Blue Angels, Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., Pikes Peak, going back to CA.

K: Washington, D.C., Mt. Rushmore on the 4th of July, NASA Air Show at Kennedy Space Center, flying with Mr. T., Air force Academy, Statue of Liberty, seeing friends and family.

RJ: Carlsbad Caverns, Niagara Falls, Mt. Rushmore, Disney World, Seeing friends and family along the way, Washington, D.C., the NASA Air Show at Kennedy Space Center, Philadelphia, Focus on the Family Radio Show, going up in the St. Louis Arch, Statue of Liberty, seeing Regis and Kelly live in NYC (neat to see how they film and they were funny).

P: Carlsbad Caverns, Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton NP, Civil War Museum, Maine Coast, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Disney World, Amish Country – Lancaster County, Colonial Williamsburg, visiting family and friends.

C (me): Carlsbad Caverns, Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton NP, various historic sites along the way (Native Americans, Pioneers, Civil Rights, Civil and Rev. War sites, historic homes, Presidential Museums, etc.), Mt. Rushmore on the 4th of July, visiting family and friends along the way, New Hampshire, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, Amish Country in PA, Plymouth Plantation where the Pilgrims settled, Washington, D.C., Williamsburg and the Historic Triangle, Disney World (enjoying it with my kids).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!

The Meity Road Trip is over and Christmas is here. We are temporarily living in our motor home and going back and forth between my parent’s home and our home community. I thought this would be a very strange and perhaps disappointing Christmas. And while it is strange, it is much to my surprise the best Christmas I’ve had in a long time. We don’t have a tree, or Christmas lights, we haven’t hosted any parties, or even bought many gifts. Our kids have almost nothing on their wish lists and we wouldn’t have room for it if they did. It’s awesome. P reminded me that it’s the first Christmas in a long time that I haven’t said, “I hate Christmas.” (Forgive the harsh words – I’ve never been one to hide my feelings. And mind you, I don’t hate the holiday itself, in fact I love it, I just hate all the unnecessary stress and busyness that comes with it in our culture). We’ve had time to spend with people, time to help my elderly parents, time to volunteer at the Rescue Mission and time to really enjoy and appreciate the true meaning of Christmas. Who knew that such a weird living situation would be the means of helping us have a truly enjoyable Christmas season?! Happy birthday Jesus!
In honor of the celebration of Christ's birth, I've attached a video of RJ singing at our church "Away in a Manger" - hope you enjoy!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Welcome Home

After being with my folks for a day we headed back to our community for a couple days where the kids would attend their academic classes, we all would take care of various doctor appointments, and most importantly to us, see friends. Our first moments back in our community were so wonderfully welcoming, complete with cheers, signs and even jumping up and down!! You know, we don’t have a house yet but with wonderful friends who love us, we have a home. We are blessed beyond words!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Back to real life...

I drove up to our first stop in CA, my parents’ home, the home I grew up in, and it was like no time had passed. It’s all over and all just a memory…or was it really a dream? Perhaps my pictures will convince me it was real. Life is like that. Kinda weird, huh?

The best thing by far for our first evening back home was seeing my parents. We could hardly contain the girls; they were so excited as we got closer. I know my folks were just as delighted.

Shortly after our arrival at my parents’ home, we prepared to go out to eat with them. The following conversation ensued. “P, we need to get our car out [from their back yard area].” “It’s already out.” “No, that’s not ours; that’s my dad’s.” “That’s ours.” “But ours is silver, not tan.” “No, ours is tan…look...the inside light doesn’t work just like ours.” “Oh, [sigh], you’re right, that is ours.” …..O.K., what is with that? I can’t even remember what my car looks like. It’s not been THAT long! Pretty scary!

Once we figured out which one was our car, we drove it. Oh, wow, did you ever realize how fast a car can stop, how sharp it can turn, how squished it is? It’s been a long time since we drove a car. It felt so low to the ground, like our back side was dragging along the street! And, guess what? The driving lanes don’t seem so narrow, nor the road so uneven, and we don’t even have to think about whether we’ll fit in the parking lot or not! There are so many things we take for granted. :-)

“There’s no place like home!”

After traveling around the US with our 4 girls for nearly 7 months, I just want to shout our thanks and praise to God for a safe trip, good health and for giving us the opportunity for this trip in the first place!! I could never have planned or even imagined this trip in this way or timing, but God brought it together and worked out all the little details. It is good to be back and we look forward to seeing you all again!

I am reminded of the song that says, “How can I say thanks for all the things you have done for me?” This trip is so minuscule in comparison to the free gift of salvation through Christ, but it is no less a gift for which we feel overwhelmingly thankful. “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

The last chapter of the book

Have you ever felt like you loved a book so much you didn’t want to finish it? And, when you get to the last chapter you have a sort of sinking feeling knowing that it's almost over? That’s how I’ve felt the last couple weeks of our trip. It’s been so good I don’t want to finish it. But, today when I saw the sign, “441 Miles to Los Angeles” excitement began to flood my heart. I haven’t seen anything about California in so long. We all started singing, “California, here I come, right back where we started from, where bowers of flowers bloom in the sun…” As we sang my excitement grew even more. Then we crossed the State line. Hoorah! Many shouts of joy could be heard in our motor home. Our tires were on California asphalt at last. As I write this, it won’t be long now until we see my parents. California, here we are!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Life in an RV

The girls did a video spoof we call, RV life: Four Girls and One Small Bathroom. Press "play" to view...

Rules for successful RV living

To give you all a better idea of some RV life survival techniques we’ve had, we have posted some of the “rules” we came up with over time…

No running in the motor home (where would you run to, anyway?)
We have a bathroom fan, use it if necessary (you know what I mean if you’ve ever lived in an RV!)
No singing in the MH unless we are all singing together
One person in the bathroom at a time, 2 if it’s an emergency
No changing clothes in the bathroom, we are all girls except Dad
While driving, only 2 people make their meals at a time (too squishy w/o the slide out)
If you wake up first, read a book quietly, and don’t start tickling your sister!
If someone is in a bad mood, they are outside alone (unless we are driving, of course)
If someone is in a bad mood and we are driving, it’s either the bathroom or the back bedroom for them!
Rotating “seating chart” for the “best seat” in the RV
Kid engineered rotating “sleeping chart” for the better beds
Mandatory outside time for kids as deemed appropriate by parents
Date nights (occasionally known as sanity breaks) for parents – absolutely required!
Oh, and most importantly, make sure the sewer hose is thoroughly attached when dumping the black tank!

A colorful sky

As we near the end of our trip, God gave us a lovely bonus. We just happened to stop at a State Park in NM to camp overnight. Turns out they were having a hot air balloon rally the next morning. We were able to watch them set up the balloons, inflate, and take off. One kind pilot even invited Rebecca help get the balloon upright and showed all the girls how the balloon works. He invited us to take a look inside too. It was very interesting to learn more about it, and a nice blessing as we near the end of our wonderful trip.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The unthinkable happened to the unsinkable

In Branson, MO we saw the Titanic Museum. The museum building is ½ the Titanic and ½ scale. Even at that, it’s huge. Inside they had full scale, exact replicas of the beautiful stair case, passenger rooms and a life boat along with many artifacts from both those who died and survived. We even heard live interviews from the last 2 living survivors. Hearing their stories and many others throughout the museum was heart wrenching! One passenger told her husband how uneasy she was about the trip. She said that only God could make something unsinkable, and if humankind was to boast such an accomplishment, it was a bad sign. Her husband responded, “It IS unsinkable!”