July 1

DAY CAMP IS OVER!!! Hallelujah!!!      

July 4

What a first week living in an RV!!! A Jerry Lewis movie couldn’t be funnier!! First the thing moves. And I mean MOVES!! It sways from side to side, a little like living on a boat… Landsick not Seasick!! The first time Jeff parked the rig and put out the slide I thought we were gonna tip over for sure…. Whoooooooo Weeeeee!! I was scared!

Some of our First Week Foibles:

Jeff cleaned the toilet so good that he picks out the seal…..we live with fumes!! But, we have all come to love candles and ignore smells!!
We go over a curb on a turn (37 feet is loooonnnnnggg), the fridge opens and all the milk and salsa spill…. Kids think it is a gas!!
I clean the kitchen floor on my hands and knees…. It takes three minutes WHOOPPPEEE!!!
We drive with the TV antenna up….. replacement cost $115.
Cold Showers are FUN!
Never, and I mean NEVER ignore the level indicators on the gray water tank, the bathtub is a lousy place to keep excess gray water!
Haven’t tried cooking anything but Popcorn… can’t take too many challenges in one week!! <grin>
The girls and I run out of underwear, thank goodness for Target and Visa!
Kurt LOVES not being able to shower every night! (12 year olds are GROSS!)
Eve can fall asleep anywhere in a moving RV!! This is a real benefit to everyone.
Brushing teeth with bottled water is a skill we are working to master!!
We giggle LOTS!


All in all, it is going well. We plan to stay in the Mission Viejo Area until the end of July to work out the kinks! Next week we take the coach back to the dealer for a few repairs. We will remain parked at Jeff’s office until then and figure out how to squeeze 3,600 square feet of belongings into a 37 foot long motor home!! I love challenges!!

July 5

I am so unhappy. I really just want to go home. To my house, with my bed and my sheets. I hate always being around SOMEBODY. I feel stuck… waiting for Jeff all the time. I am angry. He went to the bank today to get a cashiers check for savings and tithe, he came back empty handed… he forgot. I want a new mattress. I want sheets and towels that match. I want a clean carpet. I want to scream. Loudly.

I know I will get used to this lifestyle eventually, but right now I am just mad and unhappy. I suppose if we had left right away, this would not be so hard. Hanging around getting all the final stuff done is dragging it out for me… it is tough to keep my chin up.

I hate the lack of Plan. Jeff is just doing things without really planning it out, or at least I am not in on the plan. Why hasn’t he figured some of this stuff out? Where is my Prince?

I am deep in the hole, I know there is light above me, I just can’t see it right now.

July 15

Well, no one has permanently injured anyone else (Praise God!). We are all still smiling as we learn to live in a VERY SMALL SPACE.

A short synopsis of our life thus far

Week One:

Day Camp... lived out at O/Neil Park... DIRTY.
Week Two:

Parked the RV in the parking lot of Jeff's business... my blue carpets are rather gray after a week of dirty feet running in and out. All in all a good week. The local paper interviewed us and I cooked my FIRST meal in the new homestead! Thank heavens for all those y2k preps. We ate canned meat, canned veggies and crackers. Ahhh, the uppercrust life !!! <wink, wink>

We have no hookups this week. It is rather humorous at 3:30am to run across the parking lot, barefoot in my nightie to get to the potty! Unlocking the office door and trying to get in before anyone sees me is a sight!! I barely missed the early shift one morning. If they had arrived only five minutes earlier, they would have caught a sight (of me!) that would have lasted them YEARS!!!! Imagine, the bosses’ wife running "free" through the parking lot at 3:00am!! Hilarious!

We found a few more items to be repaired... taking the "rig" in for service on Monday.
Week Three:

Dropped the RV off at the dealer and have settled in at mom and dad's house. Sure is bizarre getting reprimanded (total deserved, I might add!) in front of my children. It is a good reminder to them (and me) that mom is not infallible and is accountable to others. Hope the lesson works on them!

Mom is great, loves cooking as long as I do the clean up! Which is a-okay with me... I am not a good cook. Dad is weird. He's an old man. Funny, I never expected him to get old. He hates things out of place and the noise of the children really annoy him in the beginning of the week. By Thursday, he has learned to tune them out.

What is really touching is his relationship with Eve, the baby. He has been retired seven years this week. His days are spent in a fairly lonely state as Mom still works all day. He absolutely loves Eve. He revels in her, she makes his face shine with youth and light. It is a gift to watch.

Jeff has begun to deal with the reality of our situation. We have no "home", no "terra firma". His work is changing, not sure if the business will survive this transition. Change is inevitable. He is sure I think him a failure. Not so, he is my hero. He has taken us on a journey, we begin the path to a debt-free life, a life of discovery and simplicity. I am so blessed to be married to this man.

July 21

Tick Tock. Tick Tock. Well, it is settled, we are leaving the 31st of July for Minot, North Dakota. Minot? What are we CRAZY? Hey, I say why not, Minot!!!

The big sale was a success, sort of! We sold lots and made a little over $1,000. However Jeff, my darling pack rat, was still bringing items out for sale at 3:00 Sunday afternoon... a little late, eh!! We all camped in the parking lot of the office on Saturday night (to protect the merchandise! Like we'd do anything but dial 911!!) We woke up bright and early and had two good days of selling on Saturday and Sunday.

It was amazing watching my darling man during the sale. All our life together we have kidded about "the Big Sale". Well, this was it... it was epic as one customer described our display. Never in 15 years of marriage have we ever sold anything. It was GREAT!! It was LIBERATING. 

The stuff had been like an anchor around our necks. Jeff hopped around the parking lot making deals, getting sunburned and SMILING. I haven't seen him smile that much since the early days of our marriage. He laughed with customers, he smiled, and he TALKED to them. I felt as though we were in our own little world and God was holding us right in his hand. I was very happy.

Grace lost her temper several times during the sale, very rare for her. This is hard on her. Eve was great. However, everytime someone bought a Barbie or other "girl thing" she cried and cried. She was terrified we were going to sell her blankie. Finally we had the older kids distract her inside the office when people were shopping the kid stuff. 

Kurt was stoic during the weekend. He was bummed that his Pokemon cards were left in the RV at the service place... he REALLY wants to sell those cards. I think he has the idea it will make him tons of cash. Boy is he going to be surprised!

Monday we recovered. Tuesday we picked up the RV from the dealer. He serviced it and even shampooed the carpets (yee haw!). It's Friday and we are still staying at Mom's. The RV is parked out front.... it's just so comfortable in here!

Jeff has been battling the dragons. His customer in Minot is not happy and a competitor is trying to take the business. He has resolved we are going there (to Minot) to make the customer a happy camper again. 

That's good, then perhaps he can begin to objectively look at how we are going to make a living over the next two years on the road. I think he is very near to closing down the business. It has become a burden and a weak spot that the enemy can attack us from.... often.

Yes, what about the enemy? Our old bedfellow, Satan. We lived a compromised life for many years. We are redeemed through the perfect sacrifice and blood of our Savior, Christ Jesus. Yet, we have not disappeared off the radar of Lucifer. In fact sometimes it seems as though he has his sights set right on us, not to mention the compounding factor of our stupid human mistakes and choices. I pray Ephesians 6:10-18.

Faith is an interesting thing. As it grows you learn the boundaries of your heart and extend them. Faith is a precious gift that grows with use. I am confident in my Faith. I want to learn to hear the Voice of God. Just finished reading Surprised by the Voice of God, by Jack Deere. I long for the type of intimacy he illustrates, with my Lord. I long to see the face of Jesus. I long to hear his voice and feel his touch. Now if I could just get my mind to BE QUIET and just listen. Ahhh, there's the rub!

We leave for Minot in 11 days..... lots to do before then. Like a Mustard Seed... I am growing.

July 26

A WONDERFUL thing happened today. I was picking up our mail at Mailboxes Etc. (owned by Kandace and her husband, Kenny) I thought it would be good to make some photo copies of the article that was in the paper about our family. A woman leaned over and asked if I was part of that family….. she said after reading the article she had felt a burden to pray for us, she layed hands on the photo and has been praying for our family. I cried. I am overwhelmed at the goodness of people and of God’s faithfulness. Holy Smokes.

July 27

Okay…. I am just TIRED. I have raced all over town getting kids to friends, returning things to stores (yes, some were items from Christmas 1999 …. Never do anything too quickly!! ) We have FOUR days until we leave for Minot.

We have FOUR days until we leave for Minot.

Kidisms:  Grace asked last night if we were going to visit all the states in the USA.  Sure!  She was very sad..... she said that would be bad because then she would not have any place to go as an adult!

July 30

If you were about to leave on an extended trip into the unknown... what would you do?  Well, if you are Carol Stone's daughter you.... GET A PEDICURE and MANICURE!!  That's right folks! I indulged in a little feminine splendor!!  Purple toes and soft clean hands, WOW!!  I feel good (da da da!)!  So, what is next?  Tomorrow we leave, today I pretend I am a lady of leisure!!  te he


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