September 19, 2006

Things can sure change overnight. We’re on our way to Kentucky now, not home. I’ll fill you in on what happened later….amazing.

This is what happened up until yesterday......


We’re traveling down the road this morning discussing where to go to church. Seems we don’t have any singing engagements this morning. The conversation has just shifted to homes churches and wouldn’t it be convenient if the home churches had steeples on the top so that way we’d be able to find them. :-)

I’ll take this opportunity to tell you about our the rest of our stay at the Bartletts.

The boys and dad were helping, along with the H family, build the Bartlett’s house. As soon as the weather man started predicting snow for the weekend they put a BIG push to make it snow/wind worthy. Thank the Lord the weather was only damp one morning and one rainy day (the day we left) and between the three families great progress was made!

The Bs planted an acre garden, so, at harvest time they have A LOT of vegetables to process. I guess to me it was a lot. So, some of us got to cut up celery (I got to dig it out of the garden) and green peppers for the dehydrator. Later that evening the left half of my left hand starts burning. Uh? Of course, your mind starts running with all the possibilities - nerve damage, tumors, etc., etc.. Turns out the peppers, though not hot to the taste, have oil that can burn you! Lesson #1!

Lesson # 2. Wind + eating outside can be a dangerous sport! : D The key is to keep your food plate full, other wise you will need a free hand to hold down your plate. If you don’t take steps to secure the plate and bowl (which was holding chicken soup) you and/or your neighbor might be covered with it’s contents in a short amount of time!

This was the first time I had ever shot a gun that actually had live ammunition. Can you tell I’m from Massachusetts?? I didn’t hit the target (narrow water bottles, filled with water) but it’s ok, we all missed on our first shot! Vincent, Peter and Bonnie all hit the targets later on using a different gun. Jonathan, of course, hit his (which happened to be a milk jug) right away. I didn’t feel like staying out and trying again and getting more sick. I had a cold, which I posted about already. Anyway, it was raining and getting dark too. A good excuse, eh? : P

Donna H. (who shoots, drives a combine, cooks deliciously and knows how to use herbs) brought some delicious goats cheese that she made. She told us we could make cheese with store bought cows milk and verbally gave us the recipe. When we get home I have to try it!!! It sounds very easy but if you don’t have someone watching you over your shoulder who has experience things could go wrong! Be looking for a post about a flopped cheese making experience sometime in mid November! : D

We all seemed to have picked up colds and flu on Wednesday night. Bonnie told you all about her um, ‘experience’ Friday night. By Friday I was feeling better and I was thankful I had the cold; I couldn’t get the flu because I was already sick! I started to feel like I could have gotten it on Saturday and I was worried about eating too much. I didn’t want to eat if I was just going to throw it all up. LOL. Anyway, I still haven’t gotten it, yet. :-) Poor Peter got sick and threw up several times along with Bonnie. I can’t believe I slept through 90% of it. Saturday Peter was still feeling ill, but he’s feeling much better today. Bonnie still doesn’t feel like eating much.

The phrase ‘running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off’ has a WHOLE NEW MEANING for me! Jonathan demonstrated how to ‘process’ (a much nicer word than kill or butcher) a chicken. I took pictures and if you’re interesting I’ll send you some. Peter got up from his sick bed to watch. But, in case you’re wondering, that chicken was certainly moving A LOT after it was separated into two pieces! It was moving all over the place. We watched as he skinned it and I was surprised how little blood there was. I was also surprised to see after the skin was off it looked ‘just like chicken’. *rolleyes* Such a city girl.

We left the Bartlett’s land on Saturday.
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Thanks for the experiences, encouragement and hospitality! We won’t be forgetting North Dakota anytime soon!

We stopped in Rugby, the center of the whole continent, and took pictures at the town welcome sign and at the ‘center’ monument. Vincent suspects the monument is not actually on the center. ;-)
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Some ND factoids from the booklet we picked up at the rest area….. North Dakota ranks #1 producer of flax seed in the US and it also is a top producer of wheat. I guess that’s where the amber waves of grain are. J The fact is they have 10 million acres of it. Wow.

We just crossed over the boarder to South Dakota. Nathan says he was the first one to step in the grass, and Bonnie was the first one to drink tea, Mathew was the first one to play mandolin, Peter was the first one to hear Matthew play, and Daniel was the first one to look at the corn for 5 seconds in our family in South Dakota. LOL.

Till next time…

Since our Bismarck church canceled we had a Sunday blank. We have 2 concerts in the next 5 weeks. I have no way of posting this tonight, but we’re just about ready to go home and cancel the next few concerts. This is going to be interesting to see how God works this out. In the past when we had a blank space that meant He had something different planned. If it means going home I’ll joyfully accept that, and I pray that we’ll make the right decision to keep going if that is His will. Sometimes we just ask God “What are we suppose to do? Where do you want us?” That pretty much the mood. We can’t see around this bend in the road.

We found a church with a Sunday night service in Sioux Falls, SD. We arrived about 15 minutes late and turned quite a few heads on entering the already full church. It was one of the two church who had a night service. This denomination isn’t known for hospitality and warm reception of outsiders and we have a difficult time getting in to these places, so I wasn‘t surprised when they didn‘t seem very enthusiastic about having us come back for a concert after they found out we home church. Who knows though. We gave away about 10 cds and asked them to pray for us.

While I was catching up on phone calls to home we drove back to the Flying J from church. I caught a glimpse of ‘Thou Shall Not Kill’ on the back of a trailer which we parked next to. I thought, while still on the phone, how neat it was that there was a witnessing group next to us. I basically missed the whole confrontation but this van had pictures of babies that had been aborted and another customer complained. The truck stop staff responded to an offended customer and asked them on not too friendly terms to leave. It’s sad how people are so adamantly opposed to the truth! Before they were told to leave we gave the owners of the van and trailer a CD and asked if they had parking place for the night. They said they were going to park at a church. Like I said, I missed the whole thing, but, I’m sure the people on the other end of the phone were wondering why I drifting in and out of making sense! Just imagine if that trailer had a message from the other side! They wouldn’t have dared asked them to leave….

September 18

I asked the Lord last night to make it clear the next day as to what we were suppose to do, keep on this trip or go home. We were wakened at early this morning when dad tried to start the bus. Chug, chug. Silence. Chug chug chug chug chug. More silence. The bus does not want to start! Turns out our newly installed alternator is not generating anymore and the batteries are just about dead, meaning the generator will have to be run 24/7 or we have to be moving. We sat outside the Flying J parking lot and discussed what to do. We started the trek east and homeward shortly after that discussion. I’m sorry to all of you that were looking forward to our visit. We wish it wasn’t like this, but we had no control over this new development. We’re praying the bus will make it back to Massachusetts before we have an immobilizing breakdown. When we return we still will have a lot of engine problems and there is no telling when we’ll be back to road trips. I know we serve the living God and He sees the big picture. (Sound familiar? Remember It is Well With My Soul?) Trusting in Him for the timing of the repairs that need to be made. If God can part the Red Sea He can get us back on the road!

This probably won’t be posted until we get home since it seems like we won’t be stopping for any length of time, particularly near WiFi. This is the time I wish we had a couple more drivers to spell dad. Thanks for all your prayers for his ‘after trip recovery’. This has been rough on him.

It certainly was an interesting trip.

I wonder what’s up around the corner?

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