Thursday, July 17, 2014

One from the road

The stories from the last year. Some fill my journal.  Some simply fill my heart. Some have taught us more love and compassion while others have simply made it pretty clear that this is our journey. Just the word hospital grips my heart these days. Not in some kind of fear ...maybe it's more of a why have you led us this far if....and then I focus on what God has called us to do. Back in the spring when my mom was admitted the 1st time ( we are at 4 now...admits and releases to and from the hospital) Frank called from Florida and the conversation went like this...

Frank "I think I was offered a job in Alabama today"

Me "what!?" Pause. "Where? "

Frank " somewhere in Alabama. This gentleman offered me a 1/2 million dollar house"

Me "seriously?"

Frank "yes. Seriously"

Me "what's the catch?"

Frank " he wants me to be the youth pastor at his church, but I don't think that's a catch"

We prayed about it for several days and God told both of us the same thing....

Yes. We could have had an eternal impact on the lives of the people in that church. But honestly, we can impact many more traveling.  This has not been the easier path in so many ways, but it is the right one... maybe not for you...but for us.

When you homeschool people feel the need to tell you their (sometimes limited by the media) view of homeschooling. 
When you have 7 children they tend to feel the need to ask if we own a tv ( and many other crude ways to say you have too many children)
We have been told straight out that we are ruining our children's lives ( feel free to ask them if they like our lifestyle)
When you tell people you sold your home .... ( yeah... more interesting comments)
When people learn that my husband was not only a skilled Marine but has a degree people feel the need to tell him what kind of job he should get ( honestly,  I think they are jealous because they didn't retire at 38 like he did)

Or when you tell people your mom bought an RV and will be traveling with you.... guess what? More (maybe even,  well intended) advice.

We are doing what God is calling us to do. And maybe it seems crazy (to you) that we have 7 kids... that we enjoy homeschooling....now roadschooling....that we would turn down higher paying jobs so we can have the freedom to be missionaries. ..yes. in America's campgrounds.... even if it seems strange ( to you) that we are enjoying this nomadic life...and that we choose this life....and that we have considered ( in vivid detail) the blessings, hurdles and challenges that adding my mom to the mix could bring (and that, fyi, we invited my father-in-law along last August after Frank's mom died...he turned us down)

Please know we trust that God will guide our steps and prepare our hearts for what lies ahead.

We simply pray that we stay out of God's way and continually put His will above our own. But you know the craziest thing? We love our life...look forward to meeting new people and reconnecting with treasured friends. As long as our family is on the adventure of a lifetime ... we will try and enjoy the steps ( ok miles) of the journey. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

1 year Nomadiversary

It's hard to believe we have been on the road a year already. Time has blown by it seems. There were moments..hard moments..when it felt like it was standing still...but in reality... it has gone by too quickly. There was SO much more we thought we would do.. more to see... more people to reach a
and yet there are some VERY BIG changes underway for Narrow Road Schoolers

Here are just a few of the highlights from the last year

Sequoia. This part of the trip was hard because we were such newbies but we loved seeing God's incredible majesty  and loved all the amazing swimming holes. we got to see the world's largest tree

Yosemite . wow. just wow. I definitely want to go back here again and again. Yosemite really taught us how to "camp"  It stretched us and drew us closer as a family... and it was incredible being able to hike and play in such an incredible place. Hiking to the top of sentinnel dome..you truly feel like you are ON top of the world.

Salt Lake City... The locals don't swim in the great salt lake... or ..well.. float... but we did. Also our time at the capitol building and down at Temple Square was fantastic. Learning diversity and what others believe is very important for our faith.

Rochester NY ... while the reason we headed to Rochester is bittersweet with the death of Frank's mom .we had not been able to visit in 8 years. It was a blessing to be able to stay 6 weeks and catch up with his dad and sisters, my Aunt and many friends. While we don't really know when another trip anywhere is in our future (God directs our steps) we really did enjoy some much needed family time

Niagara Falls ... we snuck away for a chance to visit Niagara Falls on the American side. It's another one of those places that takes your breath away.... and even though it was chilly & drizzly it was a good day.

Letchworth State Park ... as we headed south from Rochester we stopped to catch up with a facebook friend... and do some hiking in this beautiful place.

 Hershey PA.... what's not to love about a place where the air you breathe smells like chocolate? The oldest 2 boys got to design their custom candy bar and we toured the Hershey factory.

Lancaster PA ..the heart of Amish country and a place to see old friends. We got to visit with a special family that probably sparked this journey long before we even knew it. They were traveling RV missionaries as they travelled the US almost 6 years earlier. They have 7 kids .. one of which is so special to us that our 6th child bears his name. Ironically enough he is their 6th child too. We got to spend time with him and his family and even take them to Harvest America in Philadelphia.

Cape May... and NJ were super special stops. some of my kids saw the Atlantic Ocean for the very 1st time. Judah screamed with delight as we walked toward the water. I also got to see a high school friend that I love! Our girls hit it off and we got to visit the Cape May zoo with them. She has been an instrumental part in our jamberry business as she is the one that introduced us to jamberrys. I am thrilled to be a part of her team and blessed to call her my friend... on top of that her family is pretty amazing too!

Washington DC as we travelled south we stopped at our nations Capitol for a week. Fortunate to be retired military we had an affordable military campground on Andrews Joint base. our 4 days in the Capitol were a whirlwind and we look forward to going back sometime and seeing more that we simply did not have time to see

Williamsburg  wasn't even planned. We went to Chesapeake VA for several weeks and handed out over 60 gospel bracelets to trick or treaters on a campground. a week later Hezekiah was bit by a dog and that changed many of what we thought were our plans... Williamsburg was considerably closer to Norfolk where the children's hospital was. There we met our very first of many full time families. We loved getting to know them and cherish the new friendships we have formed. Williamsburg was fun... we were able to tour downtown Williamsburg and historic Jamestowne. One of the many things I love about living on the road full time is how history comes alive on the road.

Florida. We spent over 4 months in Florida ... and met a BUNCH of AMAZING people. Honestly too many to list individually...but SO many of which have impacted us and become dear friends. We also got to see the best and worst in RV'ers as we met quite a few that didn't love children in their campgrounds... yet so many LOVED our family and took them in. We met people in every walk of life. From snowbirds to people that stayed in local parks once their full time days had come to an end. We ate tacos for Christmas and didn't bake.. and strangely that was ok. This Florida family adopted my husband and children when I had to go back to California for 2 months to care for my mom who became very ill very fast. I am thankful for the time with my mom this year. Near the end of our visit we decided she would be joining us on the road when we were able to head back to California to get her. Many of you rallied and helped us get back here and for that we are forever grateful. We look forward to a time when we will see many of our Florida friends again. We did not get to see so much we hoped to see in Florida to include friends we couldn't make it to see... this time.

Tuscon & Sedona.... the world's best roadschool convention. A whirlwind week filled with ideas, good friends and job opportunities. We also were able to visit Tombstone, Saguaro National Forest and I got to see an old friend..who now has a family of her own. Sedona was incredible... and we loved the many bonfires and time with some of our FTF friends .. we were also able to go to slide rock and ride an amazing natural water slide with some of the most exhilarating water yet!

Joshua Tree National Park... on a full moon. with my daughter and my mom. our family back together. a few nights that I will forever cherish even though so much has already changed since that weekend in June.


Honestly ... I don't really know what this year holds yet. Only God does. Our daughter is on the fence about coming now. and while that equation hangs in the balance. My mom However will be joining our journey. A few months ago we bought her a small older motorhome (a 1979 Itasca) and she will be joining us in late July.... right now we are preparing her home ...which thankfully is a rental.. and getting her ready to go..and we even have a green light from doctors. I am excited for her. I know she has NEVER camped a day in her life.. well until July when we took her to JTNP. But I do believe it is a great way for her to come and LIVE. And since she is still young I think coming on the road will keep her active and maybe even healthier.... not to mention she can enjoy her family because she will hopefully be located in whatever park where we are..so she can love on and spoil her grand kids with cookies AND send them back home to me.





Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In the News


Our little endeavor

Rather than  keep asking for donations we sunk a bit of money into a business. 
Can you do us a favor and give us a like on facebook
Www.facebook.com/narrowroadschoolersjamz
And if you are in the market for some high quality nail wraps without the salon price tag and want to support us by shopping our site...
Here it is
Http://narrowroadschoolers.jamberrynails.net
We are praying that THIS endeavor supports our ministry
I honestly can't say enough about the product.
They are amazing when applied properly. 
And in a world of allergens they are latex and gluten FREE, vegan friendly, and made in the USA.
Oh...and did I mention they are completely non-toxic.
I NEVER did my nails but that is  changing.
Please give thema try through our website

Sunday, June 22, 2014

To the hills

We did it. We made reservation at a campground in Idyllwild CA tonight. We will still be close enough to my mom but moving out of the desert heat a bit. Back to "normal".... well normal for us anyway. In the meantime we are enjoying ranch life and putting our camper back together. 9 days. I can hardly contain my excitement. I deeply miss life on the road. Although it has been nice to visit friends. But gypsy life seems to run much deeper in my veins than I could have ever imagined. I am keeping busy with Jamberry parties while we are here. It has been a useful time to build up our business.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rockin the sauce

So not only can Frank build ...today he took care of a sickie wife. What I thought was just a head cold turned into almost an ear infection. So today I worked on the jamberry business that is going to help us in our on the road endeavors AND he made dinner. Pork sandwiches that needed bbq sauce and of course we had none. SO. He made it from scratch. Awesome yummy bbq sauce. And my headcold is on the mend so it will be business as usual tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The narrowroadschoolers camper revamp & more

So. We are still in Joshua Tree CA. Still staying at our friends ranch. Definitely not what I had planned. ..there I go again, planning stuff... not really.  We are waiting on Dr appointments for my mom and sitting in the desert heat. And we are adding yet another to the mix...our eldest girlie ...that is, once we get the walking orders from the Dr for my mom. So. Since we are adding to our already tight space we thought we could do a makeover inside for what we usally spend on gas... and we are pretty close. 

I bought those beastly orange chairs (they double as beds) last year. We bought 3 ended up taking only one and dropping it off at a thrift shop in Utah last year. The other 2 I tried to sell but after spending $160 each forthem I couldn't bring myself to take  the"best offer" of $50 for all 3. So 2 went into our tiny storage facility.  God knew we would need them this year though. And 3 would have been too many. 

So we revamped the bunks we made for the oldest 2 boys last November then built in 2 more on the other side... a bit shorter though. And then we worked the big orange chairs into a couch/ bed. The girls share the top bunk ....which is a queen... then there was the space where the boys bunk were placed last year... an open canvas. So we built a narrow bench for canned goods and my sewing items and used the cute orange table that I left at my moms last year and voila. A living room was born. A separate space even.

 Definitely not an easy task in a 300 sq ft home with 9 people. And yet Frank saw potential to make our kitchen that much better so shelves and storage were added. I stained the living room wood blue...because what else goes well with orange?

 As we ran out of supplies and budgeted funds...we recycled some of the old even. And it works. We now have a boys bedroom that sleeps 4. And a girls bedroom that sleeps 2. And Judahbug, yeah..he still sleeps in our bed. Revamping a camper to comfortably fit 9 is a daunting task but I think Frank built one of his masterly crafted "pianos" once again. And the girlie....well she seems to be fitting quite nicely into this lifestyle....at least her very own picture suggest she is:) welcome to the crazy and amazing adventure of a lifetime Arianna ... but without you coming we may have made do with what we had in the camper and I am SO grateful because it feels almost like a house ...ok...moreclike a micro apartment... but for this girl who has been dreaming of a bigger rig without a budget this is a huge blessing!