Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I have been posting a lot of pictures on my personal face book page, and will be putting some on here and the AFN facebook page soon. In the meantime, feel free to send me or Jody a friend request facebook!

Update From the Road Pt. 2

August 25, 2010

We are sitting in my sister's basement. We arrived safely in Lathrop, Mo. on Monday night. After a quick dinner and visit with our friends Asa and Carol, we were off to bed. It had been a long day. Our drive went smooth and the kids did great. By the end of the day it looked like a food mart and craft store collided in the back seat.

Yesterday, my sister joined us in Lathrop and we drove out to see some Amish country. It was fun and interesting for the kids. Son just couldn't get the concept that the horse and buggy weren't for "rides" but were actually someone's mode of transportation.

We really enjoyed the rest of our visit in Lathrop, and hope to come back soon. Daughter and Son now have to new heroes. McKenzie and Isaac were so sweet to our kids. Daughter said McKenzie is SO beautiful. She got to watch her cheer, listen to her sing, and played makeup with her. She was mesmerized.

Son said Isaac was "just like my brother" and had lots of fun playing basket ball and the Wii with him.

Today, we spent our morning at a dairy farm. We got to milk a cow, pet a calf, see how they process the milk, and taste all the different of milk they make. There was Banana, Orange, Strawberry, Root Beer, and Chocolate. They were all yummy and we bought some of each to take along with us.

Then, it was off to IHOP (International House of Prayer), only about an hour away. We went to the prophecy room---all four of us. It was a great experience, and they ministered and encouraged each one of us.

Then, it was off to dinner with my sister. Last time I was here I went to an all-you-can-eat Italian restaurant. I knew daughter would enjoy it, as noodles are her favorite!

Now, we are all ready for bed and a full day tomorrow at the prayer room.

Update From the Road

August 20, 2010 AM
We're on our way to West Yellowstone. Yesterday was a chaotic morning as we finished getting everything packed in the car and into storeage. All this week was chaotic, honestly, and very emotionally draining as we said good bye to all of our family and friends.
Although it was hard to say good bye to all our family and friends, saying good bye to Elli (my beautiful niece) was by far the hardest. Elli will be so much more grown up the next time we see her. Four months is a lifetime in toddlerhood.
Our drive to Walla Walla was a breeze, and we made it with no stops. Once we got there, we checked into our hotel, and then walked down main street. We stopped in at the Medicine Shoppe and said hello to Brian's Dad. Then we ate some pizza and headed back for a swim. Sadly, the outdoor pool was COLD, so our swim was short.
August 20, 2010 PM
Today was a long day in the car, about 10 hours. Yesterday, our check engine light came on, and Jody wanted to get it checked out, just to be sure it wasn't something serious. So, we didn't head out of town until about 9:30.
We took Hwy 12 through Idaho and into Montanah. It was beautiful, but lots of climbs, which were hard on the van. At some points we were only going about 20mph while flooring it! We stopped about 90 minutes shy of West Yellowstone in a town called Whitehall. It was about 7:30, and Jody was tired.
The kids did great in the car. They played their nintendo, watched a movie and colored. There was no above normal complaining, and no asking "are we there yet?"
August 21, 2010
What a day! We got up early and were on the road by 6am. We stopped about an hour later in Ennis, Mt. Jody wanted to get the car checked out because of the hard climbing yesterday. They did a few minor repairs, and told us we were good to go. The mechanic said that part of why we weren't able to go too fast (aside from the massive load we are pulling) is the elevation. We were climbing pretty high up.
While the car was getting fixed we are some breakfast at a local cafe. It was good, and must have been the hip place to eat. because it was full of locals.
To kill some time (no punn intended) we shopped around at the biggest store in town---the gun store. It bigger than even the grocery store! They were having a big sale and the place was PACKED!
On to Yellowstone we went. It was beautiful. I am really enjoying seeing new parts of the country. At yellowstone, we stopped at Old Faithful. We made it just in time to see it blow. It was AMAZING!! It is one of the wonders that solidify the existence of God. How can anyone look at His Creation and not believe.
After Old Faithful and some shopping in the gift shop, we finished out our drive through yellowstone. I had all but given up hope of seeing any wildlife, when on a hill beside the road was a small herd of buffalo. YAY! Our trip to Yellowstone is complete. Oh wait! What's this? Up the road about a mile. A buffalo walking on the street. So close, I could have touched it. It was truly one of the neatest things I had ever seen.
We got a bumper sticker at Yellowstone about the elevation. At the highest point it's over 8,800 feet! Our poor van had a time, but she made it.
We stopped in Cody, Wy for the night at Big Bear Motel. It is pure Cowboy Country in Cody, and that is about it.
Kids did great in the car again. We took a long walk and had a good swim to get some of their engergy out. Tomorrow, it's six hours to Mt. Rushmore!
August 22, 2010
Today was an intense driving day. We were on Hwy 14, which goes up and over a mountain. WAY up, 9,033 feet elevation up! With lots of curves and roaming cows along the way. It was so beautiful. From the top you could see into the valley for miles and miles. An absolutly breathless view.
Again, faithful big blue made it, but it was a slow go, and sucked a lot of gas. All this climbing has severely hindered our gas mileage.
After we got off the mountain, it was smooth sailing to Rapid City. A quick check in to the hotel, and we were off to see Mt. Rushmore. Did I mention that it is HOT in South Dakota? Very HOT.
The steep climb up to Mount Rushmore just about did us in. We reached our slowest speed yet 10 mph. But, again, the van is fine. God is being very merciful and gracious to our van! Praying over your car works!
Mount Rushmore was great, but the kids and I agree that it is smaller than we expected. I think, really, it's just further away and higher up than I pictured it being in my mind. I guess with the illusion created by TV I expected it to be closer, more accessible, and larger. I am very glad that we were able to see it, though. It's really an amazing piece of art, and a once in a life time opportunity.
We looked around the small museum and gift shop, and then headed back down the mountain.
After stopping short two days in a row, today we caught up and are back on schedule. We spent our evening swimming and doing some laundry (oh yay!).
Tomorrow will be our longest day of driving. We'll go all the way to Lathrop, Mo, nearly 700 miles! Oh, Lord give us grace!

You're Doing What?

August 19, 2010

Why are we packing up our family, leaving all that is familiar and comfortable, and moving 3000 miles away?
This is a question I have asked myself several times over the past few months. The simple answer, "Because God said go."
If you would have asked me ten years ago to map out our route to fulfill His calling as missionaries to West Africa, things would look quite differently than now. His Word is true. We make plans but the Lord directs our steps, and we don't know what tomorrow brings. We listen and follow as He leads, praying that His grace will correct the missteps we make along the way.
It feels as though we have come full circle. Ten years ago we graduated from Bible College, in Florida. Now, we are returning to school, on the East Coast, with one of the same college professors.
But, why? We know that God has called us to Africa. That is where we to long be. After a lot of prayer and soul searching, we realize that we need help in the "getting to Africa" process, as well as mentorship to know how to best minister and care for our family once we are there.
Coming to the realization that needed further training and mentorship from seasoned missionaries was only half the battle. The next question was from where? From who?
We began to pray for direction. We began asking other missionaries about their experiences, their training. We talked to alumni and former college professors. We wanted to find a place that would offer relationships and mentorships, not just class learning. We wanted a place that understood the importance of the local church and could work with us and our church.
All this led us World Outreach Center. We know this is where God wants us to go for this next chapter. Sometimes we don't understand why, since it is so far away from home, but we have peace that we are in His perfect will.
We are excited about what God has in store. We are not sure what to expect, but we know it's gonna be life changing.
We are excited to be near our Roscoe family, and have the chance to reconnect with them. They have been a huge support and blessing during this transition. To save us time and effort, they not only found enough furniture to fill our new town house (with the help of Ms Jann---thank you!!), but they moved it all in for us!
And so, with this, we begin another adventure, and with that comes blogging! To give you a summary of what things are going to look like for us in the coming weeks and months, here is a brief overview:
For the next 10 days we will be traveling. We have packed the necessities from home into a small uhaul trailer, and crammed the rest into "big blue" (our 1994 Ford Areostar. It's not much to look at, but it's has low miles, runs well, and best of all it's fully paid for.) Armed with enough food and snacks to last a month, we hit the road. Our first stop Walla Walla, then West Yellowstone and Old Faithful. Then it's onto Mount Rushmore and Rapid City. After that, we will drive a really long day to Lathrop, Mo. We'll Spend a day with friends, and then head down to Kansas City to visit Katie and IHOP for two days. Then it's on to Nashville, and finally, our new home, Fort Mill, SC.
We'll have three weeks to get settled, start home school, find work, and fall into some sort of new schedule before starting our internship.
Internship classes are four days a week in the mornings. Sometime along the way, we may even get to go on a mission trip! (but not to Africa. :-( )
Check back to the AFN blog for updates on the family and our internship. I'll still be blogging on my personal site, too, whenever any personal "profound" thoughts come my way. :-)