Saturday, August 21, 2010

Road Trip Review

19 days and 2,000 miles after we departed Waco, TX, we returned in one piece (or seven pieces plus the one piece that came back here by airplane and skipped the dreadfully long ride home...lucky piece that she is). For the most part engaging in real life relationships and ignoring the internet turned out to be everything we'd hoped for. The 'Suburden' carried us and a billion crumbs and wrappers with only a few hiccups.  When we pulled back into the driveway after 20 hours straight in the truck, Troy said, "Let's not do that again." (The drive - not the time away.)

The Highlights-
  •  Well planned food and beverage stocked in vehicle prior to departure
  • Melatonin
  • Singing 'Wavin Flag' at the top of their lungs, kids entertained us
  • Stayed at a fun hotel in downtown Wichita, KS
  • Spoke at a fun church in Wichita, KS
  • Met the Glovers, a cool family in KS
  • Had mandatory exercise session at every gas station stop, including wind sprints, jumping jacks, and the hokey pokey
  • Made it to Iowa after a long car day to be greeted by the warmth of the Erickson's cabin
  • Enjoyed the Conference and met a lot of great people for the first time
  • Group meals with cousins and friends at the Conference
  • Running with a friend
  • Boating in Lake Okoboji with family
  • Meeting missionaries from Afghanistan that instantly inspired us and touched our hearts
  • Experiencing God's provision - received an amazing gift for our children's education in Haiti
  • Phoebe became a US citizen!
  • Fun with the Slaters our first days in MN
  • Dinner with Aunt and Uncle and cousins in MN
  • Went to G and G Livesay's to tube, ski, fish, enjoy the boat and beauty of their spot on the lake. Grandpa took big kids for an outing. Grandma made encouraged them get their teeth cleaned at her dental office. :)
  • Spoke at New Joy Church and saw lots of friends from our home church
  • Spent time with friends Sara and Joe and Jen and Erik and Nikki and kids
  • Went to G and G Porter's and Uncle Matt and Aunt Tina's to jump on the trampoline, go to the YMCA and see a MN Twins game 
  • Running with Tina  
  • Met and enjoyed Sara Groves performing (long time fans of hers) at a small IJM gathering
  • Met up with Joanna and Jen and Anne and friends after concert 
  • Lydia was in her car-seat 3/4 of the way south

The Lowlights-
  • Could not start trip until late afternoon due to school orientation meeting - meant keeping kids up till midnight before church visit in KS
  • Truck made bad noises the first 90 minutes of the trip
  • Too many Peanut Butter Sandwiches days one and two 
  • Peeing in Styrofoam cups or "Little Johnny" (One small bladder spoils the travel strategy for the whole bunch of strategists - we found a way around it)
  • Incredibly sucktacular gas mileage
  • Paige refused to participate in gas-station exercises even though "mandatory" - needs lesson on the meaning of the word mandatory
  • Whining Noah
  • Bored Isaac
  • Using Skittles and Licorice to bribe Whining Noah and Bored Isaac
  • Getting lost in Iowa after 8 hours in the truck
  • On the way North - Lydie almost never in car-seat
  • Dragging an obnoxious amount of stuff in and out of many destinations
  • Troy and Keith (cousin) leg wrestling for their honor
  • Realizing that the passport people require more documents than the immigration people and not succeeding in application of passport for the newest citizen
  • Realizing we would lose our spots in the Charter School if we did not truck it back to TX right away ... and without an idea of when passport people will become reasonable having a school seemed fairly important
  • Realizing as much as we want to make a plan -- the time to make one has not yet arrived
  • Sleeping from 5:30 am to 6:30 am at truckstop because eyelids
  • Finding three kids soaked in urine at 7am stop in Kansas
  • Driving straight through to TX midnight departure ~ 8pm arrival 
  • One 1hour sleep stop ~ 1 change the pee clothes stop with breakfast added ~ 2 gas station/ caffeine stops ~ 1 we need a really decent meal to end this well stop
  • Going to school 11 hours after returning for 19 days of non-stop fun/activity 

    The 3 kids (Isaac, Hope, Noah) were four days late to school - but thankfully their lottery spots were not taken from us due to our tardiness and they were allowed entrance at a great charter school.  Isaac and Hope seem very happy with it.  Hope especially loves it, she came home telling us we'd found her "the best school ever!"  Isaac always gets a little disturbed by bad behavior of other kids. He cannot quite understand why anyone would lip off to an adult or be naughty.  He asked after day one, "What the heck is going on with those kids?"  Oh the sheltered life.  It must be nice.  Noah. Our dear kindergarten baby boy, all ready to go, or so we thought.  Day One:  "They make you do what they tell you to do and not what you WANT to do."  Day Two: "Am I going to go to have to go fo-evah?!" (tears) He begged not to go on the second morning.  He is not too impressed with it so far.  It also REALLY ticks him off when they call for him to come to the door by saying "Livesay" instead of Noah. Both days he came out frowning and said with disgust, "They don't even know my name!"I believe we have convinced him he needs to give it a few more days before he makes his final judgment and quits school fo-evah.

    Looking Ahead

    We're trying to resolve the issues to get Phoebe her passport.  I guess the U.S. government is so thrilled to have her as a citizen, they don't want to let her leave. If the passport stuff won't work itself out as quickly as we'd like it to, Troy will plan a trip and a few weeks in Haiti next month.  We'd much rather all go home together as one united family, praying for that to be possible. 

    Sunday we're going to worship with some of the greatest people in all of Texas at Church Under the Bridge.  Troy gets to play guitar and sing with the worship team. The kids get to ask me lots of questions about why people are smoking at church. I.LOVE.IT! This place brings me to tears every time I attend, it is a beautiful picture of the church being the church to the lost ... rather than go on a rant about all that bothers me about today's christian church of america -- I will just say:  If you are ever in Waco, TX on a Sunday, you MUST experience this beautiful place. We've enjoyed a couple of opportunities to be with Jimmy and Janet Dorrell - they are an absolutely fabulous and inspirational couple that we hope to learn a lot more from before we bail out of this state/country.

    John is smack talking about his Hay-uh.  Help shut him up for a few days. Please GIVE to the Gwo Cheve Challenge and help build a 20 bed hospital in Port au Prince, Haiti.  (See previous posts for details and Chip In Meter to donate.)