I only have a few minutes to write a blog post, so I’ll keep it short and sweet — and then I’ll add pictures, because I know that’s what you really want anyway. 😉
The past few weeks have been very, very busy, much busier that we ever dreamed they would be. I think we imagined that we would stay for a month or two at the Flanders’ farm, get our bus done, then be on our way to the next place. That just shows how green we are to being full-time RVers or to building our own home. My neat and tidy schedule didn’t figure enough time for rain and storms, for car repairs, for computer problems, for hours of shopping for supplies, for laundry for a large family, or for how long it takes to cook at a campsite. I am having to learn the hard way that God has a plan for us that might look different than my own plan. The funny thing is that when I remember this and relax, I really enjoy life and camping.
We have had a wonderful time spending time with some dear friends before we leave the state. We have been so blessed to have godly friends. They give good counsel, they lend helping hands, they send notes of encouragement, they open their homes to us for lovely showers and meals, they read books to the little ones, they are amazing. May YHWH richly bless each one!
We are also blessed to be allowed to stay at the Flanders’ farm. The kids have really enjoyed spending time with all the animals — horses, dogs, cats, raccoons, and even pigs who love getting fattened up on my scraps. The Flanders have graciously shared their yard and barn with us and our gypsy supplies, and we’ve enjoyed having long talks, cookouts and fireworks with them.
We also celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary with a shopping trip to IKEA and Home Depot 😉 and a nice dinner out. It was nice to have a special time together. Little did we know that the next few days would be filled with lots of computer problems online, lots of trips to town for Internet connection, lots of rain, and little sleep.
We have two more Sabbaths to spend with the church family at Beth Immanuel Sabbath Fellowship in Hudson, Wisconsin. It’s a bit of a drive on the weekends we have gone, but we appreciate what they have taught us and look forward to being able to share some of that knowledge with others. Most of all, they have shown us what a strong community of believers should look like.
We’ve also had some time for Bible study, as we write curriculum and as we plan ways to teach about the Torah as we travel. Some days we feel inadequate, but we pray that the Spirit of God is preparing us for exactly where He wants us to go.
Kraig and the boys are done installing insulation and wiring in the walls of the bus. They’ve also framed many of the interior walls and plan to finish the bathroom this week. It’s starting to look like a home! Of course, many hours have been spent planning and shopping for the right purchases. Who knew that could be so time consuming?!
Kraig sometimes feels that construction is too slow, in that everything takes sooooo much longer than expected. However, progress is being made. We are working to get the bathroom finished this week. Because of the placement of the wheel wells, we have had to start working in the middle of the bus and work outwards. Kraig is trying to get the middle done and then work outwards. He would love to work on the bedroom area next, but that would block off the back door, so he thinks he will work on the kitchen area next.
So What’s Next?
We have made the decision to travel with only our 15-passenger van and our bus. This will save us the extra money for gas and campsite rentals, plus the driving will be a little simpler for me if I don’t need to tow the trailer. Over the next two weeks, we also need to sell our trailer and white car. We also need to pack up our things into the bus while still figuring out where to sleep at night while we travel.
The first week of August, our plan (YHWH willing) is to take a few days to slowly drive from Wisconsin to southern Michigan. We have decided to drive through the upper peninsula of Michigan, to enjoy the amazing scenery, to avoid the heavy traffic of Chicago, and to take a couple days as a family to rest and relax.
We are planning to park our bus for a couple months at the home of some long-time friends in Michigan, south of Lansing. My grandparents lived most of their lives in Michigan, plus I lived there too when I was little, so I am really looking forward to introducing my husband and kids to the state I call home. We are planning to attend a family reunion in September, as well as visit with cousins, aunts and uncles, and childhood friends.
We are also looking forward to having time for extended Bible studies with several families who are new to trying to live obedient to the Torah. Many people have questions, so we want to take the time needed to help them without having to hurry. Sabbath is a wonderful time for study and fellowship like this!
Our host family has thirteen children, all 18 years of age and under, so our children are super excited to develop the friendships there. Of course, we’ll soon need to get started on homeschooling again, and since Arik has graduated from high school, he and Kraig are also planning to take some web design and development courses online this fall.
Meantime, Kraig and I need to finish the bus and finish writing curriculum. Whew! Never a dull moment around here.
We hope to stay in the Michigan area until after Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, which is in mid-October this year.