Sunday, December 29, 2013


 I am fairly sure we are at our best when we are within a fairly close proximity of water... unless it has alligators in it.... but this seems true with our recent trip (and very first time) in the gulf of Mexico.
I am so far behind posting actual photos of our journey it's not funny. Even this specific adventure was a few weeks ago.... and I find it strange that I have so much less time it seems on the road to be on my computer.
 As usual our crew was a crazy zany mess... but the scenery was amazing ... the day beautiful ( even if we did get there later than we had hoped) the water was warm and we got to see dolphins in the distance and a million birds.
 In a grand attempt to get Christmas photos done we attempted a few shots of the kids in the water near sunset... only to discover that Judahbug wasn't going to play nice UNLESS Frank was in the photo.
 And the shot of Frank & I was great EXCEPT I closed my eyes. And ...of course... Justyn didn't take a second one. but I did with my phone (it's down a bit)
 our little girlie was delighted to find a big body of salty sandy water after she got wet. But this picture was too cute to not share it.
  Home is relative these days.
and we close out our year... and we look back on last year at this time ... it's kind of crazy the journey.
This was a great day. Sometimes I wish more of our adventures were beachy like this one.
 Our Oceanside born boy was happy to see the open water
 Frank paddled out with Micah
 This is the miracle boy. His nose is healing at an amazing rate. Another sign of God's abundant blessings in our life.
 And this kid is such an adventurer. He is learning the guitar and jamming with musicians as we journey. I just love his smile.
 and I am missing the west coast... and our eldest girlie something fierce. Every time I see a sunset I think of here somewhere out there...
There is something so amazing about a day at the water. a soothing balm for the heart. well. any of you that know us... it works for us anyway.

and Just in case I don't have the time to post again before New Years Eve...

Happy New Year from all of us

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our 1st Christmas on the Road

Nothing was "normal" about Christmas this year.... Except the pizza on Christmas Eve. ...
baked outside in a Dutch oven over an open fire.

there was no tree.
It wasn't as strange as I thought it would be.
The awning held our 1single strand of twinkling lights.

There wouldn't be any big gifts this year. A few donated gifts from a new friend & a handful of homemade crocheted items.

The kids still woke earlier than usual.

Made calls to Frank's dad & my mom.

We opted for a less traditional Christmas dinner. Inspired by our missing SoCal
maybe we watched Turbo one too many times in the past few weeks.
simple gifts of socks and toothbrushes were ok ... And a birthday cake for Jesus.... Covered in candy canes to end our day.
It was quite simple.
But it seemed ok.


3000 miles away our daughter lives with her friend... We were missing her. Sadly she was too busy to connect. There was an ache of her missing from us that cannot be filled. We are learning that even in the midst of good days ... Sometimes there is sadness in the journey.

It's always hardest to miss people at this time of the year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas not so long ago

A year ago...

the cookies were baked.
the tree was up.
the ornaments were hung with care.
our family was still whole.
daddy was retired & in school full time
we were finally starting to settle in to being retired from the USMC.
it was Judah's 1st Christmas at home
and little did we know then it was Arianna's last one as a child living with us.
the presents were wrapped & the eager anticipation hung in the air...

life has changed. It's different but it's still good.
there isn't a tree.
ornaments are tucked safely away in storage.
We still haven't baked a single cookie.
little did we know then the journey God would place before us.
that we would be holding memories of friends & family
that we would meet new people we would care for as we journeyed.

our menu for Christmas may be stranger than other years... & God had told me to remove the tree from our home for years. There are gifts because of others kindness. & I am thankful God lets me be crafty for my kidlets.

despite the change
( and dearly missing my 18 yr old)
life on the road is good.
but in a good way.

normally I would be freaking out about not having time to bake. I have struggled with the inability to buy gifts...

but the heart of Christmas is not lost.

While there is no tree filled with toys
there is still a wonder.

that wonder should point to the Saviour.

and while we may not spend all day fawning over dinner .... It is likely we will be poolside soaking in some warm Florida rays.

I may have never imagined...
not in my wildest dreams...

but I am so glad God doesn't need me to imagine how HE can use a simple family like ours ...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Moving Days

Life is an adventure.

especially in Florida

but this morning none of us were really ready to leave camp.

our membership makes us move every three weeks unless its peak season in Florida...then it's every 2 weeks. (which I don't pretend to understand since the parks are NOT filled to capacity but rules are rules)

and we should have been looking forward to the move. I mean Orlando is right in the heart of the fun part of Florida...right?

unless you can't really afford to do much of the fun stuff... So its like living in SoCal wishin you had the money to do everything everyone else seems to be doing... But you can't.

but are we really missing out?
what does God have planned for us at this stop? So far there is always a bigger picture ... One which I look back and see exactly how God ordains each and every step of the journey.

there are quite a few other full time families here at this campground so we are looking forward to meeting them during our stay here but moving days are hard. The littler kids napped in the car and were starving once we arrived. Then after we were picked up from lunch we went and checked out the park. By the time we got back kids were thirsty and hungry. After dinner Judah took a nap. He woke back up around 7:30 right as Aaron was putting himself to bed.

I realized today that I still haven't gotten around to editing Christmas pictures or writing our annual Christmas update.

I keep telling myself I have no one to compete with.

now I just have to believe it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gospel Braclet Video is here.... or is it?

Well this is an attempt at loading our latest video.  having issues in the mean time I hope this works.  we might just have to come back and edit it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Are We There Yet?

Recently our GPS has been misguiding our steps...
It seems especially true whenever we are heading to a new church.
This morning was no exception.
Of course the normal Sunday chaos ensued.
the kids didn't get up quickly...
the coffee wasn't waking my morning fog.
Diapers were changed but we couldn't find matching shoes.
Normal Sunday morning spiritual warfare.
We pulled out 10 minutes later than we planned
and the GPS told us to turn right.
so we did.
and about 5 miles down the road
the cows were our only neighbors and the numbers didn't match the GPS
we began to wonder if we were going the "right" way.
and of course... the church was in the exact OPPOSITE direction now.
still 11 minutes away.
and it was 3 minutes til 11.
and church started at 11.

I think in those moments the devil wants us to get angry and turn around.
to give up.
to fight with our spouse or our kids.

I was frustrated but we turned around and went anyway.
To a beautiful vibrant 130 year old church
that had a beautifully done Christmas production

As we walked in the church was full.
An usher looked for seats
and came back apologetically and asked if we could sit separately.
He had gathered chairs on each side of the sanctuary to accommodate our family.

What a good problem to have.

and yet it begs the question .... WHY is it standing room ONLY ....

Are we not sharing our passion for Jesus all year through?

Why do we only seek the Saviour as a babe lying in the manger?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Random Rambling Reflections

1.     Pinterest is not a good source of anything if you don’t have good internet access

(& that we SHOULD HAVE packed a few inspirational cookbooks for standby cooking when creativity is at an all-time slump)

2.     There is NO good substitute for a good long shower with lots of soap.

(both  BOYS and GIRLS without regular soapy showers STINK!)

3.     Travelling more than 100 miles a day when hooking up with 6 kids is too much sometimes… and THAT’S OK. We just need to have grace. Other times it is necessary to beat the bad weather. It’s ok to let them watch a movie to keep things quiet from time to time.

4.     There is not a good enough substitute for not plugging in at a good church on Sunday whenever possible.  It is ok for that good church to be online if you cannot find a good local church.

5.     Taking simple things for granted is easy. Running out of supplies a long way from town & having to drive to get them at a REASONABLE price when we are in a national park is a challenge. Or NOT being hooked up to power ALL the time presents an entirely different set of challenges. Mostly we have full hook ups but on the occasion that we don’t it reminds us to be thankful.

6.     Friends both old and new surprise us at each step of the journey. Be friendly… you never know what new friendships will bloom. It’s not always who WE planned to see. Focus on the Lord and HE WILL direct our destinations

7.     Honor God in all you do. Remember that HE is in control. Not YOU. Sometimes that’s a tough lesson… BUT it’s worth it. When you chase the SON … there are blessings beyond what we can even begin to imagine

8.     Your mom (or dad) will be upset with you if you don’t have regular cell service and didn’t warn her ahead of time that you will not have service because she (or he) cannot reach you.

9.     Play and learn with your kids. And swim. And bike. And read. And play. And snuggle. And take pictures. Life is short. Live intentionally.

10.Graham crackers with with nutella and fluff *almost* taste like smores when you can’t build a campfire.

11.Quiet hours at some campgrounds are just a “suggestion”. The other campers are there to have a good time because they are on their weekend camping trip. Don’t expect them to understand that it’s your lifestyle

12.There is never enough money. Find a way to make it work.

13.The gas gauge is always wrong & when the check engine light comes on do NOT panic.

14.Life’s a journey… make it an ADVENTURE!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

4 stops til Florida

a week and  a half ago we laughed about 20 year old jokes as we drove through NC

           " Look.... guys marshmallow plants" Frank joked.

Knowing full well I was closer to tears than laughter.

MaryRachael fell for it and we all had a chuckle... you see once upon a drive to NC 19 years ago Frank had gotten his young gullible wife to say ....

               "wow. really?!!?"

as the miles passed we drove right on by Smithfield NC where my parents had lived for almost 14 years before my dad got so sick. Before they moved to CA. We chatted about going to White Swan for lunch again, someday.

that someday was still hanging in the air when we passed Highway 40.

I had planned to get off there.

I fell apart.

Being on the road is supposed to let me visit whoever  I want on the journey. And since I had clearly planned this in my head for almost 8 years God was going to let me stop 4 more times before we went south to Florida.

I was angry when we drove by that exit. And hurt. And oh so disappointed.

As we drove closer yet to South Carolina and the wave of tears had dried
I began to remember that this journey is NOT about me.

I tend to forget that.

Seeing people is a perk of the journey... but NOT the purpose.

See there were 4 very important stops to make.... according to ME.

INSTEAD... God had another plan. One He knew perfectly well I wouldn't like very much.

And here we Florida over a week before we had planned.

I am reminded that HIS plans are better than my own. And even though it hurt terribly to not visit with those friends YET on this journey... there is time.

 Just not now.

And while I did not even want to understand WHY God made us come to Florida so soon and skip those things which HE knows are dear to our heart.... I DO TRUST that His plan is the RIGHT one... even when I don't want it to be.

Our camper would likely not have made it without damage through the deep freeze that is sweeping the US right now

And HE has placed us and blessed us with productivity(even some camper improvements ...another post though) a place to worship and fellowship here beyond our wildest dreams.

But still, despite the sun and warmer temperatures I was having a hard time.

so God lovingly brought the exact people to invite us to church, share a thanksgiving meal, and new friends our way.  Perfect examples of how perfectly God takes care of us.

But like Jonah I still was not thanking God as fully as I should.
I was still thinking I should have been in Jacksonville with our friends or Salisbury or Atlanta or eating Rene's perfect biscuits in Dublin....

God has whispered into my heart that I will get sweet fellowship with old friends...
But it will be on God's timeline... not mine.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


I am sad to report that we don't always find a church to attend on Sunday.

(sometimes we do church online through the week)

But this Sunday... we did.
It was refreshing.

The church is smack dab in their Christmas production and rather than dwell on the negativity of this particular campground we have decided to plug in & help out. Justyn has been brought on the tech team.

I am thankful for our church in Oceanside that took the time to foster his love for sound and the technical things churches often use today.

Sometimes I almost wish we were normal.

and then it passes.

 God HAS chosen us for this adventure.
The Gypsy life
The Narrow Road

but sometimes it just feels good to stop and fit in with a group of believers.
It builds us up... to be yielded to building up a body of believers and at the same time being fed spiritually.

What I am constantly reminded is that this journey is not about us.

God has also shown me it's not what I expected either...

But days like today... being adopted into a family of believers
and accepted
and given an opportunity to use our gifts and talents
and even to be asked to share my testimony this coming Wednesday night
on a week of constantly being harassed just because we have children....
we have met several people..
that have impacted us in very positive ways as well as a few negative ones

and ministry isn't always easy.
but it sure is nice to be brought in and built up before we head to a new location.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

quiet time

I am in the library today researching additional ways we can make money on the road

and it's so quiet.

no kids or campsite.

my exceptional husband is handling all of it...
even the dinner prep.

Except I am a 5 o'clock flasher when it comes to electronics
at least that's what my husband refers to me as
(because he is a computer guru you see)

so my research list was
  •  how to make money blogging.
  • direct sales we could do AND believe in
  • missionary support (how to get it)
  • budgeting RV life on peanuts
  • Using Social Media for profit
Well. what I have discovered is:
  •  the world is big and we are small
  • everything costs something to start
  • Nothing that interferes with ministry is worth it
  • I really don't have a clue
  • I am not as tech saavy as I thought I was.
  • I am nervous about how this budget can work for us

SO what exactly do discoveries like this mean.

I suppose it means that GOD is in control even when life feels so out of control.

that if He takes care of the birds He will certainly care for us.

this little crazy gypsy band of travelers so crazy sold out for GOD that we are on the road as full time missionaries... not wanting anyone to not hear the Gospel story.


And then I can be my own worst enemy. You know the pessimist. that glass half empty girl.

the one that people look at and say we are crazy.

But I cannot imagine going back to my old life.
I do think we are doing something different and unique.

but God's got this.

and yes. we can't sit idly by and expect that someone will gift us with a bunch of money or a bigger RV so we need to find ways to do those things.

More money means more ministry
a bigger RV


because 8 people in 30 ft camper with no slides...
yeah tuth is that before too many kids grow we will have to make money to upgrade at some point.

So would you PRAY for us to make the right decisions and figure out the best ways to advertise, grow, blog, sell, whatever to supplement our income so we can continue to share with people as we journey.

thanks. Jennifer

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


My best conversation sometimes are during my shower.

This morning was no exception.

I didn’t start out homeschooling to protect my kids.

But eventually that is what I became.

And while I would minister to other kids that were not Christians

Or that lived in a way that I personally didn’t approve of.

I stil loved them, but I controlled each and every meeting or exposure with my children.

Rather than empower my children to deny that lifestyle they began to secretly think it was more cool because they never chose to not participate. I always chose FOR them.

And for the first time today I could see that clearly.

It was a hard look.

A reflection I didn’t really ever want to see.

I have cried more tears since this year as I have realized I am not equipped to raise any children. My heart still bears the scars for the day my daughter moved out. It changed how I saw myself as a mom. Forever.
And I still have 6 more children to raise.
so. I need to get it together & realize Jesus holds them.
That its my job to raise them to fall in love with Jesus but I can't do it for them
my goal is simple.
or is it?
But without letting them be exposed to the elements (so to speak) I have literally put them in a bubble
it's time....stepping out in faith...
I want my kids to choose to go to church. to read their Bible. to have Christian friends.
But I also want them to impact the world.
I want my kids to choose to love Christian music and films and yet be relational. I want them to share the music and movies they care about with unbelievers and for those people to be receptive. But to that they do need to know what's out in the world.
I want them to be honest with me. Be unafraid to communicate with me about what they are exposed to. Know at the end of the day I love them no matter what.
Loving Jesus is a choice .
Choosing to chase after HIM is also a choice.
I want them to chase the SON with all of their hearts for all of their life and affect everyone they meet in a way that is so contagious people can't help but want it too



Friday, November 15, 2013

tattered & torn

Real life.

sometimes camper life is hard.
8 people in 300 square feet of living space.
add to that a missing pair of jeans that wasn't put away & you get the gist of our morning. And of course they were my husbands new jeans ... And yeah. We flipped everything over to find them to include the way too full dirty laundry


we found


searched the van. Twice. Nope.

and the very last place...
the unmade bed
under all the pillows
neatly folded with tags still on we found the jeans.

but by this point people were angry, upset, flustered. Words has flown in anger and tears were hot. The tension hung in the air even in silence.
 Our very good morning crafting snakes with 3 little people wasn't what we will remember.

And the more I think about it... The more I consider how utterly pointless it was. All for a pair of jeans.

And why?

because in that moment that is the only thing that is important. And it WAS ridiculous.

and we chose this simpler life... But even in that simpleness things get way too much importance.

like the things we know we can't afford to replace. Or the few toys we kept get lost. Or the clothes get ripped or list. There isn't a huge monthly budget stashed away to fix things.

and trying to reasonably do life but all the while insist we are trusting God ... But not living it out because of a pair of jeans.

sometimes I wonder if I will ever get it right.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

7 colors

So on the road we make bracelets with 7colored  beads. It is a really quick & easy way to share the Gospel.

The first thing I want to tell you is that the bracelets are GIFTS.
The Gospel is FREE.
We do not want to sell the bracelets.
They are a simple easy way to share your faith.
an easy way to hear the Gospel.

Often we start by asking if the person would mind if we share a "story"

No one has said no so far
when I share it often goes something like this:

The 1st bead is yellow. It is to remind us that we want to go to heaven when we die. The Bible says there is heaven & hell. Where do you want to go?

(no one has ever told me they WANT to go to hell)

the 2nd bead is black. It represents our sin. Do you know what sin is? It's anything we do that is wrong. It can be as simple as not obeying, or taking something that isn't ours. But there are many and sin isn't allowed in heaven.

but that's why the next bead is so important.

it's red. The color of blood. It is to remind us that Jesus came to earth and died an excruciating death crucified to the cross because he paid the price for our sin. That means he took our place on the cross. If you ask Him to be part of your life.

the white bead is for salvation. Just like this bracelet its a free gift. You can choose to take it or leave it. But if you choose to follow Jesus He will come into your life so you can go to heaven when you die. Do you know Jesus as your Lord and savior?

If they say no you need to take the opportunity to ask them if they want to Ask Jesus to be their savior! Lead them in a prayer or even take a few minute to open a Bible & share the Romans Road if time allows!

If they say yes. Continue...

but there are 3 more beads.
you see it doesn't end at salvation.
it's just the beginning.

God changes the desires of your heart.
so you want to grow. That's what the green bead reminds us of. Spiritual growth happens when we read our Bible, pray, get plugged in at a good Bible believing church, and fellowship with other Christians.

the gold bead is to remind us that while we don't serve Jesus for salvation we do it simply because we love him. And someday when we get to heaven we will give Jesus the crown we earned for all the ways we served as Christianson our churches and communities while we were on earth. We serve only because we love him and the Bible says we will give this crown back to Jesus as a gift for all he has done for us.

the last bead is blue.
it is for the Holy Spirit.
it is to remind you that in good times
or bad times you are never alone. Jesus walks through life with us once we trust Him as savior & Lord and even when we feel distant or alone He is always with us.

it's super simple to share your faith using a gospel bracelet. Or simply some colors. I hope this encourages you to tell a few Gospel stories.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Who do I share the Gospel with...?

My friend asked me this question, “How do you determine who to talk to and how to start the conversation when traveling around as a missionary sharing the good news that Christ brings?”  So I present to you this answer with rabbit trails included.

Let me start by saying that I have never been less perfect then at this moment….. What makes me the one to tell you what it takes to become the “On Fire” believer for Christ with all the answers to lead everyone you meet to Christ?  Even Jesus could not convince everyone to follow Him and this was some of the most knowledgeable men of the day.  For example look at the story of the ‘Young Rich Ruler’ in Matthew 19:16-22.  Here the man was boasting to be a follower of the Law of God yet he lacked the understanding of the true treasure heaven which is only attainable through Christ.

Think of it this way.  Have you ever had the privilege of knowing something that could change someone’s life for the better and could not hold it in anymore?  I mean when we experience something such as a great deal such as when buying a car or something as simple as a good tasting food.  Most of us don’t hide it and share the news with at least a few people we know.  Sharing the Gospel with others is what Jesus commanded us to do in the Great Commission.  Read about it in Matthew 28:16-20.

What could be better than knowing we are here for a purpose?  Now not everyone can live the life I live and yet I could not do what others do…  Here is the thing.  Now most of you who are reading this blog have made the life choice to call Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.  This by far is the greatest accomplishment you will ever achieve in your life yet, you only needed to do was to have faith and this was a gift from God.  Now where does the purpose come in to all this?  Jesus did not come to the cross so that we could be forgiven for our sin so that we can not share this!

Now here is where I might make some of us open our eyes.  How many of us rush through our day looking forward to the time we will spend with our loved ones.  A focus so intense (like tunnel vision) that our goal is that we will be safe from the day’s woes.  How many people do we come across that are in a trial or simply struggling to find happiness.  One thing I have learned since I hit the road is that I don’t fit in everywhere I go (amazing I know).  That being said I am a hard headed and slow learner (really slow) and what I have learned is that everyone needs Jesus.  Now how are they going to hear about Jesus if we don’t tell them?  Here is what scares people.  I don’t have enough knowledge of the Bible to share my faith in Christ with someone else.  Were you so easily convinced to believe in Christ?  Are you willing to die for your belief?  Yet talking to someone about this belief is too intimidating? 

What does it take?  The answer is that it takes the determination of Moses, the courage of Daniel, the strength of David, the knowledge of Solomon, and the blind Faith of Peter to know the Living God Jesus Christ.  How does one attain this and is it even possible.  The simple answer is NO!!!!! That is crazy impossible….but the Holy Spirit can accomplish this and even more than you can imagine.

How do we determine how to approach someone with the Gospel message?  Each situation is unique so it is important to know that Jesus never apologized for what He taught, yet He was always a gentleman when it came time to explain salvation.  I say just bring it up its that important.  Jesus wanted to make sure that people understood it.  Look at it this way the disciples were with Christ for 3 years and they still didn't get it till Resurrection Day.  This being said we attempt to be prepared (failing at this a lot) to make sure that we are ready to share the Gospel.  We like to share it in a gift of a bracelet or key-chain that uses 7 colors.  It is a unique way to help them remember the message we share with them.

Now that I have your attention I will leave you with a cliff hanger.  In our next post we will explain the colors, there meanings, so that if you need a tool to help you share the Gospel you could use this one.        

In Christ,

Friday, November 1, 2013


Well I asked folks that liked our Facebook page to ask any questions they had about our adventures … I was only asked 1 question so far so here it is:

“are y’all living off just donations or do y’all have any other kind of support while on the road?"
No. My husband spent 20 years as an active duty Marine so we do have his retirement pay. It is meager to say the least for a family of 8 however. We do not have any OTHER without donations through PayPal to our blog. We are still currently researching how to get supported though churches as missionaries for what we are doing. It would make a huge difference of what we are able to do and who we can reach.
We are not trying to seem greedy so I really try not to bring up funding. But RV parks do cost money and so does food & clothing our kids. We work really hard at budgeting. We are thankful for what income we do have. Many of the things you see us do are very low cost or often free. In NJ we were able to visit a free zoo and the Cape May Lighthouse which was free. DC we only did the free stuff as well but there is way more to do there for free. As we travel we try to keep a monthly school outing budget but that is meager at best.
Ideally we would like to find a few churches that would be willing to partner with our ministry and support us financially. A few of our friends and a few blog readers have made donations so far. That has been a blessing as well. We set up the blog to have a PayPal button. We figured it was a safe & secure server if any of our readers were willing to donate.  Truly anything helps.
What we do on the road: Go from campsites and share Christian films and family friendly games to include Wii games on projector in the hopes of drawing a crowd. It’s really relational ministry. We will also attend local to the area churches and we often invite our camping neighbors to come with us…especially if they are local. We also use the gospel bracelet to share the gospel one on one with people and give them away as gifts. We fully fund this ministry and also make the bracelets ourselves.
I do sell a few of my crafts whenever the opportunity arises. I have been lax in updating my Etsy shop as it seems to get very little traffic. I am currently trying out a direct sales avenue that could fully fund our travels and bless so many when we get it off the ground. It’s a fantastic all natural weight loss supplement that is storming the market but until there are actual results you can see ON ME it’s been a hard sell.
So far to date God has taken care of everything we have needed and right on time. So we are just trusting in faith He will continue to do so… whether that comes from friends in the form of a meal, or a donation or just stretching my husband’s retirement pay.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Let Your Light Shine

As you might imagine I am an all or nothing kind of girl. I jump into the pool. I sell almost everything I own to go on the road. So it shouldn't come as a big surprise that when I decided to follow Jesus 15 years ago we chose to no longer celebrate Halloween. We shut down shop. Taught our kids why we didn't celebrate it and did what many Christians do. Shut the light off and pretended not to be home.

then one year a few weeks before the holiday I heard one of my kids explain to a friend that it *was the devils holiday* hmmm. Yeah.
note: this does not win people to Christ.
I cringed. Knowing full well this now sounded like a judgement.

for the record it is not.

It was a personal family conviction to choose not to celebrate. As a Christian family we decided very early we would no longer participate in that stuff ... And if you're curious why you can read a few of the reasons here:
( that's another post entirely)

That same year my husband came home & announced he didn't want to go dark on Halloween... He wanted to have a *House of Light!* He went onto explain what that meant.

Turn on every single light in your home
blare Christian music
give out the best & biggest candy you can afford
and tape invitations to church or AWANA

I thought he had gone crazy.

But we did it.
I have never regretted it.
In fact I have actually seen people come to Christ because of it! The Bible says we should be salt and Light. & not let our light hide under a bushel. That means on a night like Halloween get out of your comfort zone! But the biggest & best candy on your block! Have people text each other telling them yours is the house to go to.

and don't be afraid to invite people to church. It is the perfect time to share the gospel. They solicit themselves at your door!

& honestly if all we do is go dark how do people respond to us? I would like to encourage you if you are Christians to take a bigger step and ask all those kids dressed up to step into the light & share the love of Christ with them.

I don't think we will ever reach people telling them it's the devils holiday and shutting off all the lights. In fact I am fairly certain that won't ever leave a lasting positive impact.

Monday, October 21, 2013

make my vapor count

I am infatuated with cities.

the diversity
the momentum
the bright lights
the excitement
the desperate
the breath
the heartbeat
the beauty

we are in our nations capital. It is a fascinating city. One where government & history collide in a poetic ballet. If I chose to speak too quickly I could almost say out loud that I Could consider what life might be like in this metro area.

We took some time today to tour Arlington National Cemetery.

If you know me well... You know I deeply despise cemeteries. The dead are..well... Dead. & gone. Their eternal destination decided the moment they stepped foot in eternity.

But it was a good day.
A day we reflected on the fallen.
We understand the cost.
Having several friends that have lost their lives in service to their country. But there is something powerful about Arlington & the rows upon rows of gravestones that dot the land that reminded me that we are just a vapor. Our time on this earth is so very temporal.

The Bible tells us that.
James 4:14 "whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away"

these people of our past.... Their whole life is summed up by a dash between numbers on a gravestone... They don't care about the fantastic city lights, the hustle & bustle of Washington, they don't care that it was once General Robert E Lee's back yard they are buried in. They today are either in the presence of the Almighty God or they burn for all eternity in the lake of fire.

But I need to truly fall in love with people. The living ones. We need to take extra moments to talk to the guy making our pizza, or the woman in the bathroom ... Investing in people. The truth is if I am too busy to stop & take the time then why am I Doing what I am doing? If my life is a vapor... My vapor has to count before all my life is simply summed up by a dash.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I don't even know where to begin.
Sunday mornings always seem to have some kind of hiccup. This morning was no exception. The cat came across the table flinging milk and cereal everywhere.... The 3 year old cried over wet pajamas. The kids grumbled about getting up... It was a fairly normal Sunday morning.

we had researched the church we would check out. We were praying for good worship & a good Bible believing message.

As we drove in they directed us to a parking space and then abruptly but somewhat jokingly told us to get out of the road or someone would hit us. I remarked how strange that would really be since we were at church to my husband.

As I walked in I was bumped into 6 different times by people needing to rush in past us. We were obviously one greeted us even once. So being that we are pretty comfortable in a church setting we hunted down a bathroom so the kids could stop before we went back out to the lobby to get a bulletin. While in the bathroom my 7yr old daughter asked where they would go during church. As I explained to her I didn't have any idea because no one yet talked to us a sweet girl who was also in the bathroom apologized and said she really hoped our time at this church wouldn't be hindered by our experience to that point. I really hoped so too.

As we walked back out no one even said hello. The greeter did not offer any one of us a bulletin, nor were we ever told where our kids could or should go ... To include my nursery aged children.

worship began. The music was good. A bunch of talented musicians. When worship ended my littlest guy (being just about 20 months got fussy) so I quickly exited to the foyer where an usher let me out.. Made sure I knew there was a screen to watch & offered me a seat. I chose to stand and hold my little guy knowing that if I sat down he would just use the opportunity to gain his freedom.

out comes the girl we met in the bathroom earlier. She came to just check on us. I thanked her for being "the only example of Christ a I had seen at this church all morning"
She thanked me & ducked back into service.

And then the usher who had opened the door to let me out of the sanctuary approached me. Why did I say that to her? He was a godly man. He read his bible. He was kind to people. He opened the door for me and yet somehow I was ungrateful ... He told me it was like I was throwing a knife at his heart.

part of me was appalled at his need to be recognized. The other part of me broke as I realized that if he had said this to an unbeliever in Christ or a very young Christian they might never come back to church again.

so I simply asked him why he would attack me like that? And I asked how he knew I wasn't searching for a church. I began to explain our on the road experience and was abruptly cut off by the woman who was clearly the main greeter for the day (she had all the bulletins as well).

She told me I had a problem. That how dare I say we were missed. That somehow I was looking for trouble. I introduced myself and told her surely it wasn't. In fact at this point I had tears in my eyes because in my heart I could only imagine God watching this play out. I suggested we start over. She asked..."so what exactly DO you do & WHO is your sending church?" I told her. She then told me we aren't REAL missionaries & that we are on the road for satan and that I had a REAL problem.

I knew at that point it was time to go. But Frank was still inside the church with 5 kids. She told me I was not allowed to go in & get them & that she was insistent that I leave immediately. I did but I went to tell Frank 1st. By this point I was in tears.

I wonder if Jesus himself walked into that church if they would even recognize Him.

God knew we were supposed to leave.
It just breaks my heart.

We don't search for perfect churches to attend. We truly know that the church is not perfect. But when the people within the church literally verbally attack a 1st time guest I guess I find that disturbing.

this is the first time I have ever felt persecuted by a body of Christ following believers.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

back on the road...

we seemed to have fallen off the planet after NY. We left September 20th a flurry of mixed emotions. After 8 years away saying goodbyes were hard. But we barely started this journey when we raced across the US to say goodbye to Frank's mom. And our timing... While hard was perfectly on time. I don't know why I am always surprised by that.

after NY we headed south through Pennsylvania. Currently we are in NJ visiting friends. If you are looking for more frequent updates you can follow Narrow Road Schoolers on Facebook. (that's us)

We are trying to get back into the groove of life on the road.

Currently this week is pretty wet.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Harvest America

Tonight is the 2nd and final night of Harvest America in Philadelphia PA. Thankfully the team at Harvest America has made it so you don't have to be here to see it. Catch Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp and the Katinas along with a powerpacked Gospel message live at 7pm EST where it will be streaming live. Lets start a revival from sea to shining sea. So invite over some friends, other some pizza or subs or chinese and have a Harvest America party!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

We made it

Headed to Philadelphia PA tonight to go to the harvest America live with friends.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I want to tell you

Sometimes things just don't go as planned. This is one of those times.

I want to give you an amazing praise report of what ministry looks like here for us... But it's foggy even to me some days... And finding the energy to tell you that it feels a if nothing is really happening at all..well that feels to discouraging.

I am thankful we found a little church to fellowship and worship God.

But sometimes this being on the road stuff it's just lonely.
And hard.
Sometimes when it rains for days at a time it's hard to see that the sun is still there even if it's covered by the clouds.

Sometimes it's harder still to see the SON (Jesus) when you're in the valley.

Sometimes I just forget that even when I can't see Him or feel His presence.. That doesn't mean He isn't right there.

I wish I could tell you that we have our support letters ready to go.. But we have barely put to paper our missions statement.

I suppose after being away from what used to be home for almost 8 years and getting through the grieving process this is as good as it gets.

But deep down I am sure that's not true..
Havering never settled for anything before my heart aches for the lost here...and yet I have done very little to impact their eternity .

And that bothers me deeply.

But I am having a hard time seeing through these grey days

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Hiding Place

When I was a kid I came to this place...

A place to swim
And fish
And hike

As I grew I came to hide
Or think
Or hike the trails

We discovered crawdads
And repelled down the cliffs
Or spent lazy afternoons wading or rafting down the creek

There are memories with friends
My grandpa teaching me how to bait my line
Long afternoons sharing my deepest secrets with the whisper of the wind

Today we shared more memories here with our children wading down the waterfalls.
Then a storm rolled in...
The thunder telling a foreboding tale...
As we got out of the water
The skies opened up and we were drenched.

I want to continue living in moments like these making memories with our children

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I did not want to stop in Wyoming.

Mostly it was principle.

To me Wyoming represents where I was supposed to spend my anniversary just 10 days from now.. in Yellowstone. 

But things change

So in my mind I was not going to spend the night in this state til I could return.

But a late start, a boy just wrapping up potty training, a mountain climb in the dark and a van full of tired kids... to include a very grumpy baby changed all that.... oh and a very tired husband too.

So we are nestled in near Laramie WY with the alarm set for 6am.

And we will pray the kids do as well tomorrow.

Thanks so far for your prayers and support. We are still shy of what we need for gas to get to NY but we left in faith that God knows our exact needs.

Keep praying.

There are many more miles to go.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A change in direction.

My husband's mom is really sick.
She has been given just a short time to live.

When my dad was told that he lived 4 more months.

And we might not make it in time.

But she is all the way in upstate NY.

And we are still here in Utah.

See the thing is we have to budget every mile.

He really needs to be there for his dad & sisters. And the truth is...  if we get there in October as we budgeted... it may be way too late.

And our "adventure" my need to press pause...  just temporarily while we step in alongside family.

And so far we still have no additional support from any other churches.

And like many of you money is tight.

Would you help us to get there quicker?

A donation of any size would be a huge blessing. You can donate securely through our paypal button on the blog.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Birthdays on the road

Today was our 4 th child's birthday.

He turned 9.

So we got up this morning & made breakfast burritos

Gave him a new backpack for his travels, a set of mini military guys, sunglasses & a sticker.

Then we got dressed

And headed to the great salt lake.

I did some research before we went...

And thought who wouldn't want to float in the great salt lake?

So we got to Antelope island
Took in the incredible scenery

Stopped at the visitor center where we saw a bison

Shortly after we trekked down to the water.
The great salt lake is full of brine shrimp & the beaches full of brine flies.

It was a very interesting experience. 

Frank & the kids floated in the super salty water... and I took a few pictures...

It was a good day.

On the way home our birthday boy requested burgers from McD's.

We headed back to our camp.. took showers since we smelled like the salt lake
( let's just say its an interesting smell that needed to not enter the camper)

Sang happy birthday & ate a cookie cake.

Yeah. A good day.

Friday, August 2, 2013

30 days

When we wake up tomorrow we will have been on the road for 30 days. Tomorrow is our 1 month anniversary on the road full time.

The 1st 30 days we stayed in
Oceanside CA
Santa Clarita CA
Bakersfield CA
Sequoia National Park CA
Fresno CA
Yosemite National Park CA
Bridgeport CA
Carson City NV

It had it's ups & downs... emotionally & physically as we drove through the Sierra Nevada's.

Its been challenging, scary, exciting & so many more things.

As we embark on our 2nd month we will reassess which items to keep and what still needs to go. Which items have we used... and which items we have not...obviously we have to take into account which items we haven't used ( like clothes) that we didn't use because it wasn't cold enough to or the fact we have yet to encounter much rain.

It is slow going. I suppose somehow we would move faster. But its been a good pace. The fact we are unsupported stops us from going further faster. So we are being forced to reevaluate our route. At our current rate we will be lucky to reach the east coast in 8 months.

Sometimes its fun.
Other days are more difficult.

We try to keep the days we drive that the drive time is under 3 hours.

We have learned keeping a good mealtime  schedule is important...
we have learned we can dry dock if we conserve for about a week. ( Yosemite taught us that one)
We are stronger than we thought we were.

We have learned that we still have too much stuff.

We have learned that we still have a whole lot to learn

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chief cook

As a mom there are days I long for someone else to take over cooking. It almost seems like all we ever do is eat. Tonight I am cooking up pinto beans to can for another meal..another day. Whenever we are *plugged* in with full hookups I find its best to cook extra.
Last week it was lots of meat cooked ahead which ended up being God looking over us as there were no open fires in the sequoia national park because of the high probability of fire. The problem with eating is preparation...  meal planning & dishes. Yuck. Dishes in washtubs that has to be hauled to conserve on board fresh water isn't a lot of fun. Thank goodness for paper plates & boys!So tonight it's pinto beans.

Tomorrow we head into Yosemite & if it's anything like Sequoia it may be minimal everything.

And I forgot to buy paper plates.

I will be grateful for the fact that we have a generator to cook inside & run the air conditioning long enough to at least cool down the RV before bed, that we have food in the cupboards & fridge.

We are learning different ways to store & prepare things. New ways to menu plan since buying in bulk isn't really an option anymore.

Oh. And I packed no cookbooks because I figured I could just access pinterest from wherever...

One thing I didn't factor was no internet access in national parks.


Guess that's just part of the ever expanding learning curve

Saturday, July 20, 2013

a journey to the trees

the last week has been good bad and ugly...

in some ways it has been an ever present learning  curve.

we went to Sequoia National Park.

the views took our breath away.
the learning curve of coming into the south entrance and not being able to stay anywhere except the foothills was frustrating. We couldn't build fires because the fire danger was too high, which meant it was a tad warmer than we anticipated. We were able to drive up the mountain twice and experience the majesty of the sequoias. and we also found a few watering/swimming holes near our campsite to keep cool.

It was dry camping at it's finest. We didnt anticipate bringing in enough water or milk. we were low on cereal this morning but we made it. thankfully our trailer carries its own reserve gas for the generator and clean water. it was an excellent week with a few good learning experiences.

trying to get a few (raw) aka unedited  photos from our adventures up on facebook tonight.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

RV Parkin it

We have been in Bakersfield CA the past few days complete with full hook ups, laundry facility, a pool and wifi.

it's been HOT

And there have been a lot of ants!

Thankful though i am somewhat accustomed to the desert.

We were able to share the Gospel with a few people in the RV park today. We also set up an outdoor movie tonight... But noone came.

I was reminded of my days back at Centerview Baptist Church in NC. I had been asked to lead a Bible study for the worship team. We studied a little book written by Matt Redman. The 7th week was entitled "An audience of ONE"

That week I sat in the sanctuary waiting for the worship team to show up for Sunday school...but no one came.

I proceeded to teach the lesson to a completely empty room.

At first I was angry. Frustrated.

And when the gentleman came to take attendance... And he discovered me talking to myself...clearly he thought I might be slightly crazy as he scratched his head and left telling me in 86 years he had never seen anything like it.

But as I taught to noone I began to realize the audience was me. I needed to hear that lesson out loud & it changed me.

That no matter what it is I do....
I do it for an audience of ONE.

Tonight I was reminded that we don't do this for any man or woman. Our heart desires to reach people and connect them with local ( to them) churches... And that people accept Christ as their Lord & Saviour... But that we do it all for Jesus.

Pray for the more permanent residents of this little RV park as we journey forward.

To the trees...

Thursday, July 11, 2013


It was a long day on the road. We left late stuck in rush hour traffic all day....stopped at quite possibly the coolest target I have ever seen ( it was built above a parking garage). Took a planned scenic drive to a camp site in the Angeles national forest only to discover after an hour of driving our rig wouldn't even fit.

So we drove an hour back out to the highway to an area that has no campgrounds. We skipped dinner ( not a smart choice with little people on board and teenagers that are ruled by their stomach)... Rolled in to a Walmart parking lot after dark and made a fantastic dinner of peanut butter & jelly.

We are weary..tired..and just plain ruffled.

And as i sit here nestled in a Walmart parking lot boondocking with my family I am struggling with the why and the what is God trying to teach us.

And I truly am trying to listen... But sometimes it's just so very hard to hear...tomorrow we will continue to journey north toward the sequoias.

Perhaps tonight I will spend some time in the psalms...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Glimpses of ministry

I don't think we have it all figured out. This missionary ministry thing. In fact, on many levels we are so green its obvious.

But today it all came together...
In ways that God proved He is in charge.

We went to wash our clothes at a local laundromat.
The washing machine went crazy into a constant spin cycle ... It wouldn't stop. It wouldn't unlock.

So we shared the Gospel using Gospel bracelets & since we know a fantastic church in oceanside ca the inviting someone to church part was easy!

Thankfully our clothes were freed, dried,& folded. And we wrapped up the day at NewSong Community Church

With songs God chose specifically for us to hear

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Our very first whole day

We did it.

We launched.

& here we are nestled in Oceanside CA for a few days before we head north...

My camera is being repaired in a shop here.

But being here tempts me.

I happen to love southern California
and to be honest a big part of me is really struggling with leaving.

And I want to visit NewSong community church.

The extra time here is sweet and at the same time conflicting.

And I do know new adventures await us, but we are savoring the sweetness of staying here...

At least until the camera is repaired.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Countdown delays

We were supposed to be leaving July 1...

However we hit a few snags.

Like the van engine needs a bit of work

And Justyn's braces needed another week before they were ready to come off.

And soon... we will be off on quite the adventure. 

Except with 116* temps noone can work much midday...  which is definitely slowed us down.

Tomorrow is our last Sunday at church.
As always, bittersweet.

Monday while the van is repaired we will spend time with my mom

For tonight we are hoping for sweet slumber

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Five days left.

The to do list is massive.

But that's ok.

We took a practice run & came back today... trying to work out the kinks & at the same time visiting friends that are very special to us.

My heart is so torn after being there.

I mean I get the plans God has for us
But I just love the ocean.

I more specifically love oceanside,CA.

Tonight as I listen to the crickets chirp I can't help but wish it is the waves crashing instead.

So much to do. Tomorrow is yet another day.

Our maiden voyage with the rv.
Almost like paradise :)

Monday, June 24, 2013


Today was a day of fun & emotions.
& bonfires

I am sad tonight.

Goodbyes are hard.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


It's been less than a stellar day
and we are eight days away from embarking on this journey

in fact this is the 3rd time tonight I have written this post

I am just tired
The emotional wear & tear of something far bigger than we could have ever imagined is just proving a tad bit overwhelming.

Frank has been prepping & packing the camper & cleaning out the sheds
And I feel somewhat useless
baby bug is clingy
I am doing laundry, changing diapers, putting kids down for naps, and to bed, and cooking and lots and lots of dishes...

but it doesn't feel like I am contributing

add to that.. the older kids are playing and acting...well... like kids.
I guess it's just that I expected them to HELP

and I was going through a box today and I came across a poster.

I would show you the picture but I can't get that to work either.

Romans 8:4-15
God's Spirit beckons.
There are things to do & places to go
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid grave tending life. It's adventurously expectant greeting God with a childlike "hat's next papa?"

thinking we better hang it up somewhere inside this camper as a daily reminder/