FAMILIES ON THE ROAD

FULLTIME FAMILIES ON THE ROAD

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We will try to keep you in stiches from laughing at our blog. Also we will try to keep you informed on just how fun roaming this country can be.

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About Me

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I grew up as an only child... but today I have a large family with 4 grown children, 7 grandchildren and #8 on the way! I spent 30 years in the IT industry. I am now on disability after suffering a stroke in February of '09 and hoping to make the best of my situation by traveling full time in an rv with my wife and my 6 year old granddaughter that we are raising.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
There are many clich├ęs that could fit here like when life gives you lemons make
lemonade, but I’ll skip them. As we have mentioned in previous sessions,  I had a
stroke a year ago, and a smaller TIA a week or so ago, so my health is an issue for us.
But I am fortunate and have to say that there is a God and he has blessed me in
so many ways, not the least in letting me be alive today. What I want to say today is
that while I have lost a lot of my health and some abilities, He has allowed me to be in
the  “position of freedom”.  This means that while we are not wealthy people, we now
have the income through my disability, and since I can’t and don’t have to go to work,
we have the time to be free and adventure out on this journey. And again I will give all
of  the credit and my thanks to God. Hopefully while on the road we will be able to come
across opportunities to help other folks who are in need. I hope that everyone reading
our blogs know that we wish each of you were on the road with us, and to
remember that when life throws you a curveball, or lemons, make some lemonade
out of it.  Great things can come out of bad times.  I believe this stoke of mine was the
prelude to the best times of our lives.   Caution, Great things ahead!
Friday, February 19, 2010
I am a firm believer that everthing happens for a reason.  While we may not understand the purpose for a long time, "All things work to the good for those who love the Lord".  When Mark had a major stroke one year ago  this month, it turned our lives upside down.  It was TOTALLY UNEXPECTED.  But God took care of Mark by restoring most of his mobility.  And He took care of us during months of the loss of 3/4 of our income until the disability came through.  As we approached the 1 year marker of this event, we were counting our blessings and looking forward to what lies ahead as a result.  Even though Mark is disabled from being able to work, we now had the ability to break free from the daily grind, purchase an RV and travel for as long as we want. 

Two days ago Mark called me as I was leaving work to let me know that he thought he was ok, but that he had called an ambulance because his left side had gone numb and did not have control over it.  TOTALLY UNEXPECTED!  We thought all was well, he was faithful (most days) to take his medicine, and afterall, it had been a full year.

Several months ago we moved an hour from my job and our family to a run down double-wide mobile home that we were restoring  We did this because of the lack of income and we would not be burdened with a house payment.  Two days ago this hour drive from my work to home seemed like 10 hours. 

Thankfully everything turned out ok... it was only a TIA (mini-stroke).  I say ONLY because there were no residual affects from it.  But the fact that it happened has made us step back and re-evaluate our situation.  Besides another follow up with the neurologist to adjust some medicines and discuss a little habit of Mark's that he needed to let go of - smoking!  Anyway... Mark was in agreement and is embarking on his journey to be nicotine free. 

All that aside, there were still some "what ifs" that needed to be addressed.  In my earlier post "OPPOSITION"  I discussed that we can't live our lives in fear of the "what ifs".  But when something like this happens, you do have to stop and evaluate some things.  There are some "what ifs" that are simply fears and you just have to trust God with them - like "what if he was driving and this happened?"  and "what if it had happened at a time that he was alone with the grandbaby for an hour or so".  But what we needed to evaluate was what - if anything - needed to be done to possibly be in a better position if it happens again.
We saw three options: 

1.  Move closer to my job and rent a house for the next 4 months.  That way we could only take what we REALLY needed and then  could REALLY start getting prepared for our RV adventure by getting rid of stuff and the house would be more accessable to agents trying to show so it would sell.  

2.  Quit my job that I absolutely LOVE and is now providing the extra income so that we can possibly start saving again.  And this would allow me to be around Mark and ensure he was eating properly and getting some exercise and he wouldn't be by himself all day everyday.  This would free me up to actually finish what needed to be done for the house to sell and I would have more time to keep it clean for showings.   OR

3.  Do nothing different and hope for the best.  And continue to be overwhelmed with coming home from work after 6pm and hoping to get everthing accomplished that needed to be done in order for the house to sell.

After much agonizing prayer and soul searching and seeking counsel, we came to the conclusion that moving was not pratical since we would only be there hopefully 4 months.  The stress and expense of a move wasn't worth it.  Doing nothing different really wasn't an option either... I just can't work and come home to take of everything myself.  So.... we calculated that quitting my job would save me a HUGE amount of money in fuel each month, and that considering moving and paying rent, quitting would be a wash financially. 

So with my heart racing and trying to jump out my throat, my stomach turning flip-flops,  and tears streaming down my face, I turned in my two week notice.  I KNEW this was what God wanted  me to do... even though I didn't want to.

So this UNEXPECTED event actually was a blessing in disquise.  I really believe that Mark is going to be fine.... for him I believe this was a reminder to do what he knew he needed to do.  And for me.... a push to do what I really had felt God telling it was time to do several weeks back. 

The PEACE you experience after doing what you KNOW God wants you to do is one of the most amazing things you can experience.  I am really excited that I can now really focus (after the next 2 weeks) on totally finishing my work here in this house and pushing to get buyers in here! 

THEN LOOK OUT AMERICA, BECAUSE THE MOBILE HOLMES' ARE ON THEIR WAY!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Well, here I am again. I thought this part of my life was over when my son, Joel, graduated from homeschool and my youngest daughter, Hannah, went back to public school. I never expected to be raising another school-aged child - non-the-less HOMESCHOOLING! But here I am AGAIN!

Since we will be on the road with a 2nd grader, I have to figure out what will be the best curriculum choice for her. She is very bright, and very much a hands-on learner. It is also important to us to use a curriculum that teaches Christian values as well as high quality academics. Years ago I did so much research on curriculum I could tell you just about anything you wanted to know about any homeschool curriculum out there. As I do my research now, I am finding that not much has changed, except the price! Wow! Who knew curriculum could go up so much in 10 years? I did come across a new curriculum for math that I am very impressed with! However, I have to say that my old favorite publisher is probably still my favorite publisher. It is very traditional in teaching values and very solid in teaching core subjects. I like the way it makes a child think and allows for creativity. The only problem is that there are more books involved than the other "popular" curriculum, and space is an issue in an RV. But I don't think that will deter me. I just feel that the other "popular" curriculum is too much rote (repeat) memory and teaches children "what" to think as opposed to my favorite publisher that tends to teach a child "how" to think.

We will be traveling to Tulsa soon and I will have the opportunity to go to a used homeschool curriculum store that is owned by a friend of mine. I can't wait to see up close all the things I have been looking at online, and checking out the USED prices! LOL And of course there is Mardel's that carries tons of new curriculum as well a huge selection of Christian books and music. The only problem is that I really only have 2 days in Tulsa to do anything and if I am not careful, I will spend ALL my time in these two stores! :)
It is always nice to hear from an old friend that haven't spoken to in a while. But it is especially nice to hear from her when she has had you on her heart.

A couple of days ago my good friend called me because she was worried that my opposition had discouraged me into backing out of traveling full time. She wanted to lift my spirit and tell me how much Mark and I deserved to be able to do this and how blessed we are to have the opportunity. And what a traggic shame it would be if we did not take advantage of it.

Thank you, Sherry! And we will be sure to send you postcards! :)
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The short part. I am going to get my truck looking better before we hit the road, that way we won't get laughed at so much, and won't look so much like the beverly hillbillies. So I got the first portion done at the body shop this week. Now Phyllis' door will open all the way. This is where KAthryn had bumped into a pole at the bank a few months ago, it pushed the fender back just enough to keep the door from opening very far. Also had the rear bumper replaced, that was my deal.

We are planning to see a lot of the national forrests where there are parking spots for little or no costs, they do not have hookups. So We will use inverters that run off the batteries and then a UPS or Filtered power strips. Well, it turns out that some newer appliances like TV's DVDplayers and such don't always work when plugged into these or generators. So, I have been doing some testing. I have been running my tv and stuff plugged into the battery backup unit that I had for my computer. It all works great. I think later this week I will hook up my Inverter in my truck , run an extension cord in the house to plug in my ups unit and test it. I would like to not have any unexpected problems when we leave. so the more testing the better.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I know, that sounds like a song.but it is tough waiting. The house is coming along real good. It's pretty close to finished. AND we have looked at soooo many RVs. We did find a dealer that we are real confortable with though. He is one that has done quite a bit of rving himself. and has done the boondocking or drycamping as well, so he is familiar with what it takes to be as close to self contained as you can get in an RV. He is the first one that didn't stutter when we asked him about adding solar panels to an RV. In fact he knew quite a bit about it. His dad had the dealership for many years, so he grew up around them and has no problem customizing them such as adding an extra water tank if you are concerned about having plenty of fresh water like Phyllis is. When we walked past my truck he looked in the bed and saw the gooseneck ball and quickly mentioned the adaptor to go from a fifth wheel to a goosneck hitch, which just so happens could save me $700 or more. I've taken the truck to the body shop to get the front fender fixed so the passenger door can open all the way. (this is where Kathryn, my middle daughter bumped a post at the bank one day) and they are replacing the rear bumper. This will make it not look so much like an old drunk driver's truck.:-) Maybe once the snow melts and stays away for a while, the house will be shown and some wonderful family will decide they want it more than we do. Then we can acquire our new home on wheels and get ready to rumble.