August 17, 2006

Please excuse the tardiness of this post! This is pretty detailed so don’t feel back if you don’t read the whole thing! Maybe the length will make up for it being so late?!


Our last week on the road.

Since I’ve been home it’s interesting to think about our ‘other life’. Our bus life. When we pull up to the front of the house all of a sudden we’re back. Not that life is boring or bad when we get back. It’s just different. Our focus is getting ready for the next ministry opportunity, in this case, the next trip which is rushing towards us at an alarming rate. Something like 2 weeks left?! We are so very thankful to the Lord for providing an engine instead of more buses to strip, which we thought at the time was a less than ideal situation. How great it is to know we are in the palm of His hand! He knows before we ask and He makes our way straight. Praise God for His infinite knowledge.

After our fun night in West VA getting our bus stuck, having our alternator break and all that, we started for Virginia. My grandparents more specifically. They live near the beautiful Shenandoah river. Mom and I sang a strain of the song as we drove on windy road next to the famous waterway. Sounds corny but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. :-P As we chugged and strained up a hill we saw flashing lights behind us. Uh oh. Dad seemed unconcerned as he pulled over and let the officers vehicles pass. Phew! We hadn’t gone too much further when ANOTHER vehicle with lights passed us. As we got closer to our destination down a practically one way dirt road we found a man on a lawn tractor and 3 marked patrol cars and a animal control SUV. Since there was no way to continue on the road we had no choice but to stop and wait. We got to see the man handcuffed and put in the car. I’m not sure what animal control had to do with it!

Before I start the part at Grammie and Granddad’s (G&G’s from now on) I should mention the gorgeous hills and mountains on the way. It’s was soooo pretty in Virginia! What a contrast to the desert or plains. God’s creation is so diverse! He could have made everything the same. But, He didn’t and I‘m thankful!

We got to G&G’s and we were greeting with hugs, kind words, and smiles! It was great to be reunited with our cousins after a year. They have been teaching English in China now for two years. They regaled us with stories of their travels and experiences and they gave us some coffee flavored gum and Chinese money. The gum was a big hit with the kids last year and so they repeated it to stay in our good graces. JK! We did yard work and took a dip in the lake. I really, really didn’t think the lake was all that clean, but, it was hot and well, everyone else was doing it! BUT, it’s a good thing I never touched the bottom of the lake. The shore looked entirely gross. Uncle Rob went in with his clothes and socks on in hopes of getting them clean(er). Ummmm….. I don’t know how well that worked…lol.

We ate, had devotions together, worked on the yard, fixed things, looked at pictures, talked, took pictures, sang together, laughed together, discussed things, traveled together and did many other things… including trying on Becca’s glasses. : D

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Meet the mod MacDonald family!

Devotion time as G&G’s was an immense blessing. With Christocentric teaching how can you go wrong? Everything is pointed to Christ! If you build your life centered on Christ and following Him everything you need for life will be added. The love my grandparents have for the Lord is so evident! The scripture that comes to mind is Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV
I wish I could stay for a month and listen to him expound on scripture.

We read from Granddad’s Idiomatic Translation. One morning 2 Peter 1:5-9 was our text. I wish I had it in his new translation but this will be suffice.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

We took everyone to our concert on Wednesday in the bus. Bonnie was teaching Auntie Val and Uncle Rob how to yodel in the way there. Hehe. Looking for your voice break can be pretty funny! : D

The concert Wednesday night was terrific! The Lord was working in hearts and the pastor was so touched. It was encouraging and uplifting. Bri (my cool awesome cousin!!!) was checking for smiles and I have to say I was in major shock she told me I smiled the least and Nathan took first place. Wow, they must have been grinning ear to ear the whole time! The boys finally found their smiles! Now to make sure they stay on for every concert. :-) Oh and we got to meet Mr. Bartlett’s sister!!

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It was so nice to meet her!

We were invited out to eat at Cracker Barrel, but, it was so late so we asked if we could take a rain check for the next evening. We stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home and saw a beautiful moon! I would post a picture but Bonnie’s laptop is in the shop, AGAIN! So, anyway, we got home really late but we had a lot of fun on the bus. We slept in the next morning. :-)

- the next morning -

Mom said “Bonnie fell down the stairs”. And through the fog of waking up the conversation went something like this:

Me: Is she ok?
Mom: I think she’s going to make it
Me: Uh? How is she? Can she play trumpet?? Will she be able to play at the concert tonight????
Mom: Go in and see.
Me (getting frantic): IS SHE OK?!
Mom: I think she’s going to make it.

Ok by now I’m picturing a huge fat lip and bloody teeth, a black eye and possibly broken limbs.

I got down the stairs, which she had just fallen down on, to the basement. I thought I’d find her with a huge ice pack and people clustered around her oooing and ahhing and maybe even passing out. I find…..nothing?! Where is she?! Going back up the stairs, void of blood splatters and body parts, I find she not in the kitchen or living room but in the dining room, calmly eating breakfast! Just the slightest bit of red on her nose would indicate any kind of bodily injury. She did have more bruises which I could not see. Anyway. The story is that everyone heard this HUGE noise. It was of course Bonnie flipping down the stairs with her guitar, in it’s case thankfully! My dad got to her before my mom and when my mom asked dad how she was he said ‘I think she’ll make it’ and soooo she thought she’d use the same line on me. Pretty good, eh? Well, I took it. Hook, line and sinker….lol. Anyway, we’re all so thankful to the Lord it wasn’t anything serious. A bruised nose and back was all!

We had another concert on Thursday. Before the concert we went to Cracker Barrel to eat. Our new friend wanted to take us out! We had a very nice meal! The only downer is they didn’t have any Dutch Blitz cards for sale. L Oh well, we’ve got some on order now. :-) A happy thought!

We had a nice concert at the Holden’s church Thursday. It was so nice to have our relatives faces in the audience smiling at us as well as those of our old and new friends!! We had a ‘smiling contest’ and Bri marked down how well we smiled for each song! Auntie Val said we had a 8 way tie for first…lol!

Now somewhere on this trip, oh now I remember, it was at the Myers, Vincent started talking in ‘duck language’. He’s memorized a little funny skit with a farmer and a duck. So, in the bus we have one ‘duck’, Vincent, and about 3 other ‘baby ducks’, Bonnie, Nathan, and I think, Peter. A lot of people working on their Donald duck voice saying, ‘I’m a baby duck’. It gets kinda wet and noisey with 3 three baby ducks all talking at once. It was getting to be quite funny….some of the ducks have grown up a lot on the past week, that meaning their voices are improving. That’s just so you have an idea how crazy we are. LOL I don’t remember how this came up but, in Iowa someone thought it would be cool to have a monkey. He could help us set up, be our audience, and hand out ‘Something to Think About’ tracts. We decided if anyone offered us a monkey on the trip we would take that as a sign that we were suppose to get one. But, no one did L

The MacDonald clan…
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We headed out to VA Beach area for a concert in the afternoon and a dinner at night. The concert went fine even though we had just a few people. It’s great how even if “two or three are gathered, there I am in the midst” is so true! God meets with just a few. J

We went to Aunt DeeDee and Uncle Dave’s house for supper. OH my MY! That was an exceptional dinner! It was fabulous. If you’re reading this, thank you so so much! We had a wonderful time! We got to catch up on cousins and second cousin news and played spoons. Yay!

Then, SATURDAY we got to visit everyone again! This time at Cousin Rob’s house. Swimming, fellowship, wonderful food, and even devotions. Thanks for your hospitality! We appreciate you all so much! Bonnie and cousin Rob went on a 5 mile run before lunch. Apparently all Bonnie’s talk about bare foot running encouraged Uncle Rob to try for 4 miles earlier that morning! I think she forgot to tell him to ease into it!

Well, we said goodbye to our cousins, drove back to the bus, and headed north.

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Vincent solved the ‘square the circle’ on that drive. :-)

Our concert Sunday afternoon at America’s Keswick in New Jersey went well. (If you can forgot that I forgot the words to the second verse of the Holy City until prompted by my family who knows all the words!) We had a very good attendance. Our friends from Mantua came, including Pastor Rich and about 9 other people from his church. Thanks for coming guys! We also had our friends the Kochers there! Thank you for coming also! I can’t believe we forgot to get the catchphrase from you all. At least we remembered the cds. : D

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Dad drove during the night and stopped only for a few hours. He was sooo tired! We got home at 5:32am. That day felt so strange. Right after we left KY our friend, who’s been keeping an eye on our house called and said our front door was open. He said nothing was obviously missing but we’d have to look it over when we got home. So it was s shock to see the dressers drawers open, money missing and stuff in different places from where we left it! The most irreplaceable thing taken was Nathan’s coin collection. No vandalism though! The police are working to solve the case and we are praying for the person(s) who did this. It reminded me that we should be storing treasure in heaven!

Matt 6:19-21
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Well. There you go. That’s our trip and what we came back to. ;-)

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