January 31, 2007

What an interesting few days we’ve had here in Florida so far!

Picking up again on Sunday; the concert in the morning went fine. We had some folks who heard about us from a family member who heard us last December in Palmer, MA. They went to our website, found out where we were going to be, and came. They also said they had heard us one other time up north at a church my grandfather used to oversee. (We would go with my grandfather, he’d preach and we’d sing.) They said we were all little then. ;-)

We had just a few hours to cross the state and make to it Bradenton for the evening service. The roads weren’t too congested and it was nice weather to be traveling in. Oh and we hit a WiFi.

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This is what we might look like trying to stay in communication with the outside world. :-)

Arriving at the church in plenty of time, our hosts had not yet arrived to let us in the church. The boys thought, let’s try the door. Brilliant, just brilliant. They did and, wouldn’t you know, it was open! Unfortunately, they also set off the bugler alarm at the same time. :-/ They weren’t laughing at the time but it sure was funny in retrospect! : D Betty M. arrived (before the police had a chance to come :-P) and knew how to turn the siren off. Phew! And, thus started our tour of Bradenton. ;-)

They concert was PACKED out. They had to set up extra chairs thanks to Mrs. M’s promoting skills!

Mr. Ed took pictures for us so you all will have a chance to ‘see’ some of the concert.

I though the concert when really well.

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We stayed at the church that night which had a WiFi too. Two connections in one day!? I’m going to get spoiled.

We went over to the park where our host’s live and got settled in. No sooner did we do that we headed over to Hungry Howie’s for PIZZA!

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The kids got to explore the ‘island’ in the park a bit and some nice person here offered to let them use their golf cart and bikes. And, someone brought us over some chocolate covered peanut cookies. Seriously good stuff. People have been so kind!

The concert Monday went ok, not great. The piano started to noticeably sound like a zither during this concert. Ouch. Our synth is going!

The place was packed again, a couple chairs empty but we had 200+ people. Thanks to Mr. Ed again for the pictures!

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Hannah is quite the social butterfly...

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Tuesday, January 30th

After the kids worked on school in the morning we had lunch and headed over to the B’s trailer. How many people can you fit in a trailer? :-)

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Mom headed out to Wal-Mart and the kids spent time roaming the park on their loaned wheels. The park has WiFi but we have to be close to the main office which is a walk from our spot. The bugs were kind of thick for January I thought. I guess they never die here….

My family is becoming skilled at lip reading and reading my scribbles. :-) My voice felt so worn out after Monday night I thought I needed some total vocal rest. ( I was really not happy with how I sang Monday. Blahness.) I said about 4-5 words in the morning and didn’t say hardly anything until late in the afternoon. I thought perhaps I was getting the cold a lot of us have and started the apple cider vinegar regiment.

My voice felt better last night but still wasn’t exactly like I wanted it. I can’t really ’fix’ congestion, but hopefully staying away from dairy for a little while will solve that problem.

I had this silly headache on Tuesday night, too. Have you ever tried to smile when you’re head’s splitting open? :-/

Enough about my petty problems!

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are faced with trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2&3 NIV

Here are a few more pictures courtesy of Mr. Ed!

Tuesday night’s full house.

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To close out I do have a few specific prayer request for the family and concerts….

Dad’s health - he has an awful paralyzing like pain in his neck and has some other issues going on. He’s having a hard time sleeping, too. It’s draining on him.
All our colds - Mom and few others are suffering from a mild cold that feels like an allergy
The sound system - that it works properly, we had a horrible bout of ‘popping’ in the middle of the concert Tuesday and it was very disruptive. We need wisdom to fix that permanently!
Keyboard - that we find out what’s wrong with it or whatever it is that’s causing it to malfunction

This was in my reading this morning.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV

“Therefore we do not loose heart . Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

January 28, 2007


Woohoo. Two connections in one day. I'll have time to edit in the pics I missed.


I had time to post!!! Thanks for all the comments on that last one. I'll reply when I can...
I'm missing a few pics....next time!

January 26th

WARNING: lots of pictures - sorry to all you dial-up folks!

We entered Florida today, I think I mentioned that in my rushed previous post . After a week of traveling we have arrived in the state known for it’s sunshine! We’re cozily parked in our friend’s driveway as I type. Yes, it was trick to back in with the trailer. We all got out and moved the trailer, lifting and dragging it over to make it work. The road was very narrow and that didn’t help. How did all these Kentucky roads get down here?! : p

One of my Florida observations - gators must be only as real as the cartoon gator I’ve seen, since I’ve been to Florida FOUR times and have yet to see any living, breathing alligator. : P jk, *sigh* Of course, I don’t want to look eye to eye with one but from a distance wouldn’t be disagreeable.

As far as road life goes today we saw a trailer lose a tire and flip into our lane. Later we saw a big puff of, what we thought was smoke (turned out to be steam) blowing on the highway ahead. The trouble was what appeared to be a busted radiator hose of a blue van. Probably fried their engine good. Poor folks!

The most excitement we had was at the Flying J this afternoon. We were headed over to Bunnel and stopped off to dump our tanks and fill up with fresh water. We polished up the bus a little too, but, since it’s going to rain it won’t stay like this for long.

The truck next to us had a horse trailer and two horses. It was funny to look over and see their little hoods staring back at us. : D

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Oh, you want to hear about the excitement? We were pulling left into the main road from the J with the intention moving over to the truck side of the plaza to purchase fuel. Almost immediately after we are out of the driveway dad says ’the gas pedal is broken, I can’t accelerate!’ The pedal was mashed to the floor and doing absolutely nothing. We glide over to the left turning lane. It took us about 20 seconds to call Vincent up from the back and confirm we indeed had no way of accelerating from the gas pedal. Vincent jumped out and ran to the back of the bus. Thankfully, it was not a busy street and we didn’t hear a bunch of horn honking, nor did anyone plow into us. I didn’t have the presence of mind to jump out and get a picture as it was happening but Vincent stood like this manually connected the accelerator until we were safely in the truck ‘no parking’ zone. Haha.

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They had the problem fixed in about 20 minutes, tops. We were thankful this didn’t happen on a busy highway or at intersection where we had to get out of the way in a hurry. PTL for His protection!

January 27th

The weather report last night said today was going to be lovely and it sure was. After mom cooked up a big breakfast we headed over to the beach, Flagler Beach. After seeing a lot of no parking signs we found the state park and for a nominal fee we got to park FAR away from the beach. They supplied a wheelchair for Papa which worked great. I don’t think he would have made it otherwise.

That water was gorgeous! Just beeeeautiful.

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The water was cold but some of us didn’t care.

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Nathan brought a metal detector.

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Daniel was trying out his wet suit.

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Being splashed by the waves…

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Vincent and Nathan ’riding’ some waves.

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Here’s a sand guitar.

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Bonnie MacDonald, Sand Sculptor

Peter was out in the waves until he saw jelly fish.

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Vincent got the suit back on and grabbed a snack.

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Good-bye, beach!

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On the long walk back I felt something pinching my back. I reached down my back and pulled off a tick. *shudder* Ick, ick. I saved him in a bag for Vincent to burn. :-D

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January 26, 2007

Eeek. Blogging under pressure! We only have scant minutes here at this WiFi.... if I'm missing pictures you'll know why! Gmail won't load either so if you sent something I might not get it until later.

Day 4 of our 63+ day adventure was spent mostly in the town of Southport and St. James plantation (the later is a gated community).

The history of how we happened to sightsee in Southport started back when my mom was very small, about 4th grade I believe. When she was growing up in Levittown on Long Island her family lived next door to a family, we’ll call them the Smiths. (I have no idea if they would rather I not use their real name so to be safe...) Mom and Papa were going through old pictures about two months ago and he asked what happen to his neighbors. Mom found the daughters name on-line and called her up. Turns out that very day this lady told a student in her class about Laurie (mom) and she was amazed that mom called that very day. So, her dad lives outside of Southport and mom called him. He invited us to stay at his house and gave us a guided tour of Southport.

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We saw this cool looking tree, estimated at 800 years old. We found some ’animals’ in it’s uniquely curved surface, including a deer, bear, and buffalo.

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Of course, I can’t remember the name of the man who designed the house around this Live Oak tree. He was famous, that‘s all I know. : P

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Across the street is the beach.

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They don’t actually use the beach for swimming, you’d have to jog over to Oak Island for that. The reason being the intracoastal, Cape Fear, and the Atlantic Ocean meet in this area and the currents are quite strong.

Hey, it’s tanker! We think we saw it again today (Wednesday) up stream in Wilmington, NC.

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My camera batteries died so I didn’t get a picture of the jail or the street with trees in the road. : P

We saw the remains of Fort Johnston, not much left but foundation rocks. It only had 2 canons and two men in it originally! When the Rebels took control at the time of the Civil War there was only one person at the fort! In WW2 this area of Southport become a buzz with activity as the military and navy set up stations here. We lost near 50 boats to the Germen subs who waited right outside the ‘Frying Pan‘, the dangerous shoal.

Mr. Smith was a professional photographer and, while we were at his house, he tried to teach me about composition, f stops, and lighting. Oh…eek. A reflector is something I HAVE to make when we get home and I should get a book called ‘Photography” by someone named Upman. I knew this before, but I have so much to learn!!! It’s exciting though, to know good pictures are possible with the proper education. At least, I hope. Haha.

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We left and visited Aunt Josephine about 20 minutes away for a while in the afternoon.

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We probably would have parked overnight but the ground was muddy.

We went over to the church and started to set up. The church fed us. Of course, when will I ever learn not to eat a normal portion size before we sing! :-/

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I didn’t have a chance to take any while we were singing so this is immediately after I came in. The pastor was already up announcing things…lol..oops! The color is so off but you get the picture. Pun not intended!

Mom’s old neighbor came to hear us. He remembers when my grandmom use to sing in the summertime with the windows and doors open. He said he could hear her in me last night. It was neat to make a connection with someone who knew my grandmother and had heard her.

January 25th
We are in South Carolina now and we are going to head over to Florida as soon as we can. It’s suppose to drop below freezing here tonight.

Time: 3:45pm
We didn’t leave Wal-Mart’s parking lot until 12:00pm and we’re on a stop and go road, Route 17. Some are reading, doing school, practicing, napping, driving, and typing.

We made it to FLORDIA just about 1/2 hour ago! We have a very very busy 7+ days here. Thanks for all your prayers.

January 22, 2007

Check out Bonnie’s blog for what we did today. We will be traveling down in the Southport direction tonight.

Bonnie and I just returned from Wal-Mart, I needed to get out and walk. This bus keeps getting smaller and, with all the granola bars I’ve been eating, I needed the exercise. Haha.

I was greatly saddened to hear the results of Dr. Kent Hovind’s sentencing. Ten years in federal prison is what he’s facing. Please pray for him and the whole team at DAL. His wife’s sentencing is in March. Please pray for that outcome as well.

“And we know that ALL things….”

January 21, 2007

January 19

This quite possibly been the most seam-less transition from ‘home’ to ‘road’ life, at least for me. This morning it felt perfectly normal to be speeding along at 50mph whilst eating cereal and milk. :-) I like the road. This trip is like an empty page yet to be filled, a song yet to be sung, a concert yet to be made - who knows what could happen!

We pulled out of the driveway last night at 7:10 pm. (For anyone who prefers real time, you may translate that to 1910 hours) But, let me go back to earlier in the day if you would. (Not like you have much choice. Haha.) Our neighbor, unknown to us before his house caught fire, came with our other neighbor (Hi Mrs. T!) with lunch! A tremendous blessing it was as we were able to work until we actually ’called’ lunch. They helped us move/load the trailer and wash the refrigerators out, too. You both were and are a blessing to us! Thank you!

We weren’t without trials to be sure. A few examples; the van brakes decided to go (no one was hurt, thankfully!), the dyer broke, and we lost the GPS for a while. The Lord is faithful and provided a way out. We used the lawn tractor to move the trailer, the bus dryer still worked and the GPS was located! There were some problems with the trailer lights, too, but Vincent, my very talented brother, fixed them. : D What would we do with out you, bro?

Today was fairly uneventful. We are getting our “sea legs” back and trying to find everything that was packed. It’s amazing how much can get ’misplaced’ in such a small space. : P I think it also as to do with the fact that more then one person packed. The familiar strain of ‘where did you put -fill in the blank- ?‘ could be heard today.

It was snowing when we left and the bus was covered in salt today when we pulled into Flying J in New Jersey. We started to wash it off, but it usually takes a while to remove all of it. The weather seemed to be nice enough in the 30’s with white clouds and blue sky. Right now I’m not seeing any of it because it’s dark. ;-)

Psalm 139 has encouraged me recently. Whenever I feel uneasy and uncertain of what will fill the page of this trip or the pages of my life I’m encouraged in the fact God knows all about me and what He has planned for me and my family.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:15-17 NIV

January 20

Place - Flying J (North Carolina)
Time - 8:50 am

YAY! We have running water and no Wifi. Good and *sniff* sad.

We left the J and took hot showers. That felt nice. :-)

We arrived at Lowell First Baptist Church around 11:00am. Pastor Irish has been calling us for weeks and had already made us feel welcome. One thing I fail to report is that Peter lost his black dress shoes Friday. He was searching minutes before we left the house. We thought no problem, we’ll just stop at a Salvation Army and pick some up. Pastor Irish wouldn’t hear of it and took Peter shoe shopping.

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They have these cool mirrors on the wall and well, I couldn't resist. ;-)

The first store didn’t have the pair he liked in his size so we zipped over to the other shoe store and he found a nice comfortable pair in his size.

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Mom and the pastor went in and ordered 18 hamburgers and while they there doing that Mike, our driver, taught us how to speak some real southern lingo. Anyone care to guess what a ‘cold dope, a box of squares in a poke’ is? :-D

The church took us out to Ryan’s Buffet before the concert, two hours before to be exact. The food was delicious and the key lime pie was very tasty. I only wish it hadn’t put me to sleep….haha. Not really, but I was very tired singing that night! The parking lot was filling up by the time we returned at 6:40pm. The church was PACKED by 7:00pm. The church had done a very good job advertising!

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The concert went ok, not terrific. :-P

The church gave us another ‘food pounding’, thankfully it was smaller than last time. But, still we have food in bags all over the place. This is good problem, right!? :-)

January 21st

The sound of the bus starter helped jar me awake the morning. Silence. Dad tries cranking again. Silence. Eventually, after a few more tries it starts. I’m asking Vincent what happened. He’s mumbling something I don’t understand. Ok. Anyway, it started! Funny, how you can picture concerts being canceled and the tour ending over that. ;-)

We’re in the church parking lot and all the stuff is set up for this morning. They have wireless but you need a network key to access anything. Will this be the third day without access? I guess we’ll find out!

We just went out to CiCi's and the parking lot here has WiFi. YAY!

January 18, 2007

Leaving. :-)

*and over the mega phone* Would everyone boarding bus "eats 49" please make their way to the departure runway? Please watch your step when boarding and we hope you enjoy your flight. Oh. I mean ride. ;-)

January 15, 2007

Today is Monday, tomorrow is Tuesday. Thursday, departure day, is COMING. And, a little too quickly for comfort. ;-)

Thankfully, the dreary rainy day didn’t deter us from making progress with our trip preparations. The monster sound mixing board, which is being given to a church on our trip, was hauled out of the ’office’ and is resting on our living room floor. The road case for it is 4’ x 4’ x 2’. It’s like a giant blue coffee table.
: D We washed laundry, packed bags, cleaned the bus, washed sheets, and hung the coolest green rope lights in the bunk area today. Now we’ll look like a spaceship cruising down the highway. 8-) Ok, not really.

In case anyone is wondering, the concert on Saturday with our new material went GREAT! We got there hours early and got some presets done.

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One song was really slow and Vincent got down on his knees so he was shorter than the kids in the front row. We all ended up on our knees in a row SWAYING to the music. It was so hilarious I couldn’t finish the song….Vincent grabbed the camera…

By this time I wasn’t smiling!
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Now I’m laughing and Bonnie doesn’t want to be seen…..LOL.

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The really cool thing is I recorded the whole concert on my laptop. : D I got to hear the part where I sang over Matthew’s mandolin solo. Oops. :-/ He graciously forgave me after the concert. We had a few other quirky spots but over all we thought it went very well. Oh and Bonnie’s new yodeling song was really super. 8-)

It is interesting to hear the concert from a listeners point of view. Now I know what people are talking about when they say I need to sloooow down when I talk.

I should go get some sleep or something….too bad I had all those chocolate muffins earlier….lol

January 11, 2007

Please check Bonnie’s blog for some VERY important information and what you NEED to do about it - ASAP!

January 10, 2007

That sure was a lame post. (See last post.) I’ll try not to let that happen again. ;-)

Our lives should be speeding up with the upcoming trip nearly upon us, but we‘re all surprisingly calm, cool, and collected. Ha! Crunch time is next week. Anyway, this will be trip number, um, I don’t remember which number! I know this is the 4th winter trip we’ve made. The first one we only sang a handful of times and stayed mostly at Auntie Val’s house in Florida. :-) Swimming in the pool, hanging out with our cousins, going to tag sales, taking test promo pictures - we had a great time!

I dug up some pics of that trip and scanned them. We thought these were just test pics so we weren’t too concerned about smiling. :-)

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This was three years ago?

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Vincent, Peter, Bonnie, Carol

We’re working on new songs for this trip and we’re going to give them a test run this Saturday. *bites finger nails*

And I have a cold, it’s not too fun. :-P It’s creeping on slowly, those are the worst kind…lol I AM following the advice of apple cinder vinegar twice a day in warm water. I’m still not brave enough for the garlic in there, too. The cider stings that back of my throat (mom said it’s killing germs!) and of course I make lovely cringing faces accompanied with moaning and groaning. :D Maybe the later is a slight exaggeration. ;-)

Here is a bonus pic, the beginning of the MacDonald Family Singers in 1992.
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Till next time...

January 08, 2007

I do not feel like updating.

How's that for a post? :D

Okaay, one picture.

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Peter, my cool bro. 8-)

January 04, 2007

Well, last year sure was interesting! God is good and I’m so thankful for all His blessings. I’m looking forward to what God is going to do this year. It seems the Lord has been impressing on me time is getting short, I need to be spending more of my time on things that have eternal value. We (I!) get very distracted with temporal things, it's very easy to get sidetracked from our true mission on this earth. For more on that train of thought, check out Mrs. Keeth's (Lora's) January 2nd post.

January is here but it sure doesn’t feel like it. 50’s??? I hear the south is getting some unusual cold weather this year. Wouldn’t it be funny if it’s 40’s when we get down there? Haha! We’re leaving in a few weeks for the deep south. If you keep up with Bonnie’s blog you knew that. I’m trying to get more organized about packing; when I throw something in the bag I’m writing it down on a master list. That way I don’t go rummaging through everything wondering ‘so, how many of these did I pack?’ So far I like it, but I still don’t like packing.

We caught a flu New Years Eve and we’ve been feeling the effects for a few days now. *groan* I took a whole bunch of garlic Monday and Tuesday but that still didn’t keep it away. Waaa! Nathan is claiming I got sick because I was eating garlic. :D Haha! Anyway, I'm feeling better now but I’m trying to take it easy.

I keeping perusing my photo albums looking for something new to post but the fact is I haven’t been taking many pics this year. Yeah, probably because I've been sick.
: P Here’s a pic from December...

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