Friday, July 18, 2014

Long time no write . . . and a trip adventure to share!

Whew!  I can't believe I let more than a month go by between posts.  It's not like my life has been THAT crazy/busy . . . but the time just got away from me.  And we were gone for a little over a week on our annual Ohio trip (more about that later).  We got home late Sunday night, but this week has been full with trying to catch up on things, reporting for jury duty (thankful I didn't end up getting selected!), grocery shopping and library, and a midwife appt.  The summer is flying by at breakneck speed and I am trying hard not to think about school, yet at the same time knowing I need to at least START thinking about it . . . oh yeah, and buying the things we will need for it, too. :)  We are continuing last year's Sonlight core, so we don't have to make a huge purchase right now, but the kids will need math, language arts, etc. and I need to get all that figured out and ordered.

Jim is super busy with work, too (a GOOD thing!), so I'm really glad we got that week away to just relax.  Although we kept pretty busy out there, and there's never quite enough time to fit in all the things we might like to do . . . but at least it's a change of pace!  I'm hoping we might be able to fit in a short camping trip sometime in August, but we will see.  I feel like we could use some "just us" family time before the baby arrives and we get even busier! :)

Before our vacation, we were having one of THOSE months.  You know the kind--where almost everything that can go wrong, does go wrong?  In our house, things don't seem to happen in threes . . . it's more like sixes. :)  Our dishwasher was only working about half the time.  Our water stopped working a couple of times, too (we think there is something wrong with the pump in the well).  Jim was doing a bunch of work on his truck, and kept running into more and more issues he needed to fix.  My big stand mixer broke for the third time--there goes making 4 loaves of bread at once, twice a week!  A bear got into our chicken coop 2 nights before our trip, breaking a window and leaving Jim with yet another thing he had to fix before we left!  (Thankfully all the bear took was one of the feeders--no chickens.)  Oh yeah, and it was super hot and muggy that week, which made it not-so-fun trying to get packed and ready for our trip!

 The window the bear broke
Boarded up hole where the window used to be

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining. :)  It was actually almost funny, how so many things went wrong all at once.  At one point I commented to Jim that I wondered if we were even supposed to go to Ohio this year, with all these things happening!  Well, we finally got on the road, very early Saturday morning, July 5.  Ahhhh . . . we could relax now.  We were in Jim's truck with working A/C, so the ride was comfy.  We had gotten a nice start around 4 am, and everything was going smoothly.
 Happy travelers somewhere along the way

Sleepy traveler!

We were on track to get to my in-laws' around 6 pm, so we were pretty happy about that!  THEN, we had just crossed into Ohio, and suddenly the truck started bouncing around all over the road (keep in mind we were going around 70-75 mph) and Jim was having a hard time controlling it.  It wanted to pull to the left, and there was nothing he could do but hang on.  We went flying into the grassy median between the north and southbound lanes and finally came to a stop.  It was pretty scary, but we really saw God's protection as we didn't hit anyone, we were in a place where there was grass instead of concrete barriers, Jim was able to keep calm and get us slowed down and stopped, and the kids didn't even realize we had a problem until we got stopped (they were watching a DVD at the time and just thought the road had gotten really bumpy).  Jim checked to see what was wrong and discovered a bolt had fallen out of the track bar, which centers the axle (technical terms which I don't fully understand, but let's just say it was a necessary little bolt and now it was gone!).

To keep a long story a bit shorter . . . we were able to call highway patrol, and a trooper came by and called for a tow truck for us.  He made sure to request one that had a big enough cab for all of us to fit in.  It seemed to take forever for the guy to come, but everything seems longer when you are stuck!  It was probably about an hour, and we found out later that the driver was called in to work because both the other trucks and drivers were already out on calls, and he lived about 20 min. from the shop, then the shop was another 20 min. or so from where we broke down . . . Anyway, let's just say we were very thankful to see him when he finally got there!  He assured us there was a mechanic coming into the shop also, who would be able to get us fixed up and on the road again.  Well, he did . . . but it took another hour and a half or so because he didn't have the exact right parts and he had a lot of trouble getting the nut into the place where it needed to go on the bolt (it was a very tight/hard to reach area to work on).  Jim wandered around the garage and talked with the mechanic a little bit, while the kids and I hung out in the truck and watched DVDs.  VERY thankful for our portable DVD player, as it definitely helped pass the time!  We had broken down around 2 pm, and finally got back on the road just before 6 pm.  The rest of the trip went fine, and we arrived at the farm just before 10 pm--4 hours later than planned, but very thankful to have arrived in one piece! :)
 The truck getting loaded on the flatbed
 First ride in a tow truck!  Still happy travelers. :)
Jim's and my second ever ride in a tow truck--the first was about 15 years ago in his old red Ford that left us beside the highway in Michigan!

So that was our big trip adventure, and hopefully we won't have a story like that to tell ever again. :)  We saw God's provision and protection in so many ways, though; I just wanted to share some of them.
While Jim was out of the truck when we first broke down, the kids and I took a minute to pray.  We prayed for a few specific things and it was really neat to see God answer.

  • We prayed that God would give Daddy wisdom in what to do: He realized the best option was to call 911 and they took care of us from there!
  • We prayed that the tow truck driver and the mechanic would be nice people to deal with: They were both very nice, very kind, and helpful.  We couldn't have asked for better guys to deal with.
  • We prayed that the mechanic would be able to fix the truck the same day (this was iffy, being a Saturday--we didn't know if the shop would even be open!): He came in specially to take care of it and had us fixed in less than 2 hours.  Even though it seemed like a long wait to us, it was sure better than waiting till Monday, or Jim trying to find the parts and tools to fix it himself, which would have been kind of difficult without a working vehicle!
  • We prayed that the tow and repair wouldn't be too expensive: We were floored when they only charged us $145 for both.  I was seriously expecting it to be more in the $400-500 range, especially considering that both guys had to be called into work on a Saturday.  Huge answer to prayer!
It was really neat to be able to see these specific requests answered and to share that with the kids.  I hope it was a bit of a faith-building experience for them.  And they did wonderfully through the whole thing!  That was a huge blessing, too.  Nobody whined or complained; they took it in stride and we were so proud of them.

Sorry this was such a long post, but hopefully soon I will get back to writing shorter updates, a little more regularly. :)  I did update my pregnancy blog today as well, if anyone is interested!  Hope you all have a great weekend.


Mrs. Smith said...

That was some adventure! God is so good and I'm thankful that all turned out ok for y'all!

I love how you write - it feels like I'm actually having a visit with you. And the accompanying pictures brought even more life to your post, which are cute, by the way.

Where is the summer going? It occurred to me yesterday that it is getting about time to start mapping out the school year and I'm just not in that mode yet. I enjoy it once I get cranked up, but getting going is another story...

Hugs, dear friend. Hope things are settling down and you get to have an easier time of it.

Anonymous said...

Never apologize for a LONG post. I love that! :) Thanks for sharing the details of your trip. Such answers to prayer. Glad you are all safe and home now. I must admit I missed you!

1HappyWife said...

WOW!!! Praising the Lord that you are all safe!!!What a story, neat to see how God answered prayer!!!

Mrs.T said...

What an adventure! I'm glad that you blogged about it, because here it is, down in black & white, to refer back to over the years, especially for the kids' benefit. It's so neat that you took the time to pray together with them, and that you noted down the specific requests and answers. What an object lesson for all of us concerning God's sovereign care for His children!

Kathleen :-) said...

I'm so glad the Lord protected you, and so glad to have you back with us!!! :-) We thought of you and prayed for you a lot!

Carrie said...

Sorry it took me so long to publish all these comments! Thanks for your patience! :) Hoping to get more posts up soon, as I have lots spinning around in my head but not enough time to blog about it!! :)