Busy, busy, busy!! Let's see - Wednesday the Grandparents took us all to the Henry Ford Museum pretty much all day and it was such a great time! We helped put together a real Model T, saw all kinds of historical vehicles, and enjoyed many other exhibits. Very cool! Then Thursday we went and visited my niece in downtown Detroit. She is such a sweetie, and we enjoyed getting with her in her own environment. On the way back, we stopped by the hotel that my grandparents on my mother's side had owned and lived in, and then we stopped by my grandparents on my father's side home that they had lived in. I spent a lot of my childhood visiting both grandparents' homes, and it was really fun walking down memory lane with my kids in the car. Friday we all went on a tour of Ford's Rouge plant, where we were able to go into the plant and watch them assembling the Ford F150's. It was really cool! On the way home from Ford we stopped at an A&W root beer place since the kids had never had a root beer float before, nor a coney dog. So they tried both, and we all had an absolute blast there! We were dancing in our chairs to the music, stealing each others' root beer floats - just being goofy. We were the only ones in the restaurant, and the workers said, "You're not from around here, are you?" We had that same comment when we were in Washington, DC. Is it that obvious? :-) And finally today, the grandparents took us all out to breakfast to meet some of their friends, and then watched the triplets while Tim and I, along with Nicholas, went back to the motorhome and worked on getting it ready for our trip to Chicago on Monday. Yes, we've had a very full week! Here are some pictures - I figured out I can add captions to them so if you click on them you can see the captions. Enjoy!
We’ve had a great couple of days! Yesterday, the grandparents took us all to Ford’s Greenfield Village, and we all had such a nice day. From seeing the Wright Brothers’ original home and workshop buildings, and Thomas Edison’s workshop, to a replica of the Model T’s assembly line plant, along with glass blowing and pottery making – it was really incredible. Today is a day we had been praying about for the past couple of weeks. We met with a guy in Ann Arbor who we were referred to by a couple out in Phoenix (they had helped us start the Marriage Mentoring program at our home church earlier this year). We believed he may be another piece in the puzzle of what exactly God is calling us to. He is a professor at Concordia University, and a very sought after speaker. He generously gave us like 2 ½ hours of his time, along with taking all 6 of us to lunch in their cafeteria. The bottom line is that he highly recommended that we focus our sights on reaching out to church leadership and pastors. The more we talked and then prayed with him, the more what he was saying resonated with us. The how’s and when’s are still yet to be determined, so we will continue to covet your prayers. After that, we went to the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum with our MOSI passes, and I have to say, that was the best museum we’ve been to so far, in my opinion I learned SOOOO much there! Thank you again for joining us on the American Family Tour. :-) Here are some pictures from the past 4 days (the 1st two pics are of my brother and me and my father and me):
We went to church this morning and absolutely loved it! The kids were able to go in with a group of kids their age and hang out, worship, study the word together - they loved it. We went to the adult service and experienced a message I know I needed to hear. The guest speaker talked about experiencing the fullness of God's power in & through our lives. Towards the end of the message he gave the example of Abraham, who obeyed God's command to go even when Abraham didn't know where he was going. And the speaker sugested that if God told us to sell our stuff and go, we needed to be willing to do that. I spoke to the guy after the service and told him how much I needed to hear what he said - it was such a confirmation. I have been slightly doubting why we are doing what we are doing because I thought we were primarily going to be using the gifts we've been given to bless others, and that doesn't seem to be happening in my estimation. But the bottom line is that we have no doubt He told us to sell the house along with selling or giving away most of our possessions and go - so here we are. Still very unsure of where exactly we're going and what we'll be doing, but believing He will continue to reveal it as we need to know it. I met a friend of my brother's yesterday who was very intrigued with what we are doing and our desire to help marriages and families, and he suggested we call it An American Family Tour. Maybe we will. :-)
I'm sorry for the delay in updating - it has felt more like regular, routine life and therefore, not as noteworthy as the adventure we've been having. But we have REALLY enjoyed experiencing the regular, routine life this week! Homeschooling has been the most consistent we've had since leaving. We received our mail from the past month yesterday (thank you, Robert!), so I spent last night separating it out (to-do's, need to be filed, throw away, etc.). Like I said, regular, routine, stuff! But we've also enjoyed time with family! Tuesday we were able to visit my oldest nephew at his college campus, University of Michigan, and allow the kids to get a feel for that type of college life. Then that evening we went to my other nephew's water polo game - the kids have never seen water polo before so that was fun. And then Wednesday night we went to my other nephew's football game! The place we are staying is on a lake, so the kids have enjoyed fishing and taking the paddle boat out on the lake. Check out Nicole's last blog for pictures of all this! We're here for another couple days, and then we'll move closer to other family members here in Michigan for next week. The weather has been pretty good - highs in the 50's & 60's and lows in the 40's (although last night it got down to 32 degrees!). If I thought I had to live in this cold weather (and colder weather) for the next 6 months I think I would be a little freaked out! But we'll be back in Florida at Christmas time before heading out west, so it is making this cold weather much more bearable for this Florida girl. :-) Please contine to pray for wisdom and direction for us. Until next time - blessings to all!
There's really nothing quite like family - a familiar face - a warm embrace - we encountered all that and more when we arrived in Michigan last night - it was SOOO nice! The drive over from Niagara Falls was incredible - the kids had never seen the fall colors like this before. We tried to capture the beauty with a camera, but again, I don't think we did it justice. We are planning on doing some regular routine stuff this week, Lord willing. School work, maintenance on the RV, reorganizing, etc. I'm ready for a little routine! Here's a couple pictures of the fall leaves we took from our camper as we trekked across Ontario, Canada yesterday - hope you enjoy!
Wow - what else can I say? They are really all they're touted to be - amazing, majestic, incredible. I keep thinking of the Chris Tomlin song, "Indescribable" - here's how it starts out:
From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
You placed th stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
Pictures can never capture it. I had heard before that the Canadian side is much better than the American side for viewing the falls, but I had forgotten that. So we went first to the US side and it was beautiful - but something in me insisted we go to the Canadian side. Parking was not easy on the Canadian side, so Tim dropped us off so we could get closer, and man am I glad we did that. I'm going to post a few pictures we took, but like I said, pictures just don't do it justice. The first 4 pictures are from the US side, and the last 2 from the Canadian side:
2 other things I want to add: 1) Just to clarify (Billy), while Tim has done all the driving of the RV until I drove on Friday, I have shared in the driving of the car to all the various sites we've been to (so there!). :-) and 2) We realized right before bedtime last night that our LP was on empty, so we prayed and as of 9:30 this morning the heat is still kicking on, thank You Lord!! We head to Michigan today, and time with family, and we're really looking forward to that!
Tim's done all the driving in the RV, but today, driving 8 1/2 hours across the whole state of NY on I-90, I thought it would be the perfect time for me to put my 2 cents in and drive our 51 foot (which included our car in tow) monstrosity. So even though it rained pretty much the entire way, and wind sometimes threatened to blow us off the road, I got a good 90 minutes if not 2 hours in -woohoo! It felt good to finally contribute to the cause in that way. As we drove near Niagra Falls we saw a line of demarkation between the storm clouds that had been our sky the whole way and white puffy ones with a blue sky- it was a beautiful site to behold. We are looking forward to seeing the falls tomorrow, so I must turn in. Au Revoir (we're close to the French Canadian border, so I guess the influence just came over me). :-)
We found out today about the "Northeaster" heading our way. As ancient Chinese proverb say: Hard wind and heavy rain not good for camper (well, at least there should be an ancient Chinese proverb that says that). We had planned to head into New Hampshire and Vermont for the week, but after praying about it, we decided to head over to Niagra Falls a week earlier than planned and then spend two weeks near family in Michigan instead of just 1 week. I was in the grocery store this evening with Nicole, and we saw two ladies who obviously knew each other and were happy to run into each other. I admitted to Nicole that seeing that made me miss that a little. The thought of being with family for a period of time is very inviting and we're all feeling very peaceful (albeit, a little sad) about the decision to skip NH & VT even though the fall foliage maps put those 2 states at their peaks right now! Maybe we'll get there another time. But we've had a great time in the Boston area, and I'll post some pictures from our time here:
Another gorgeous fall day in Boston! We had a blast at the Children's Museum - everything was a hands-on experience, which the kids love. Our Museum of Science and Industry pass from Tampa got us all in for free - in fact - there are like 8 museums around Boston that we could go to for free on our pass - we just don't have that much time! We ate our lunch that we brought with us out on the boardwalk by the museum and soaked up the sun. After a pretty full day there it was off to Harvard and MIT to show the kids their future alma maters. :-) Hey - you never know! We found the HOV lane on the way home and turned up our Toby Mac CD, so rush hour wasn't so bad. yes - it was a very nice day to be had by all. We took some fun pictures which I will try to post tomorrow - but I'm too wiped to do that tonight. Sweet dreams everyone!
We decided to take today and regroup. First things first - we unhooked and dumped and then went to a different campsite within the same campground (closer to the bathrooms, bigger for our car and tow dolly). There is a mound right next to this site, so we took a couple of camping chairs up there and Tim and Nicholas had their quiet times there, and then Tim and I enjoyed a great time of prayer together. We'll have to call it the Prayer Mound. :-) Then, it was off to the laundromat for the afternoon. The weather was beautiful today, and we enjoyed a lovely campfire and dinner outside at the picnic table. I read aloud another chapter from 'Ten P's in a Pod' while we were enjoying the fire, and then it was back inside, get ready for bed, prayers, and lights out. Nicole wrote a great descriptive paragraph about the campfire while we were sitting out there, so I will be encouraging her to put it on her blog! Tomorrow we're planning to go to the children's museum as our MOSI passes should get us in for free, and then maybe finish up the freedom trail. Blessings to all!
Tim & Jodie