Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lets Wrap it up!

This post was suppose to be written and posted over a year ago, but time got the best of us and we are just getting around to it!

We had an amazing year traveling around. We traveled 33,000 miles, visited 43 states and 7 provinces, and 101 campsites! What an awesome journey!!!

The highlights were getting to see friends and family all across the country. Some of which we hadn't seen in over a decade. Also, getting to visit so many different churches and see how people worship all over the country. My favorite church was a little one in Healy AK. The pastor there led the music, preached the sermon and baptized his daughter all in the same service! SUPER!

Last, but not least the was our magnificent country. There were so many beautiful places that we can not possibly do them justice. You need to see them for yourselves. The family favorite was Alaska. We were all so glad to have gotten to visit for an entire month.

We are now living in Julian, PA on nearly three acres of land, with one dog, three cats and 6 chickens. The house doesn't move :) and we have a lot of space to mill around. The dog is happiest of all I think. He has the run of the place and he can bark to his hearts content with neighbors quite a distance away.

I think that given the chance, Nicole and daddy would jump right back in the RV and do it all over again. Jordy, Isaac and I like being settled and Zach, well he is off at college, so I am guessing he is pretty happy where he is.

Thanks for following us on this journey. It has been such a blessing to have you along and such a gift from God to have had the opportunity.

Until next time.............

Thursday, August 5, 2010


On our way to PA we spent a great two weeks in WI with Grandma Gile, AKA Gagee. Gagee has a small cottage on a lake in northern WI with a water trampoline, boat for skiing, fishing poles, dock, kayaks, rafts and more. ALWAYS something to do. I am not much of a lake fan. The brown water gives me the heebee jeebbees (is that a word?). But, Dog lake, as it is called, is quiet and peaceful and I enjoy my time there so much. Not to mention the fact that there has been a bald eagle flying overhead!

Pooh posing!

Toley and Pooh and their sweet smiles

We spent a week there enjoying the sun, fun and family. Unkey Lanny (dad's brother) was also there for part of the time and the kids always enjoy his company. He makes them laugh and is always up for a game or a ride in the boat. He is a great cook. He uses only local and organic ingredient, something that is near and dear to my heart, and puts them together well. Kik was his biggest fan, as Unkey Lanny would cook him breakfast every day. His favorite being Unkey Lanny's cilantro pesto!

While at the lake we had some celebrations. Dad has his birthday and we (mom and dad) celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary!! Dad surprised mom with a day at the spa together and it was wonderful. After that Unkey Lanny planned a wonderful dinner at the restaurant where he works. We had a special table, menu, champagne, flowers and food! It was awesome and it was the perfect ending to a very special day. 20 years together, the best 20 years of my life.

Mr. Fire!

After the lake we headed down to Appleton to enjoy another week at Gagee's house. Z-man had a soccer tourney in Appleton at the end of the week. It was nice that he continued to play with his team. They made it to the finals, but lost. It was a tough loss too, but they played well.

We left with heavy hearts as before this long trip we were only 3 1/2 hours from Gagee and saw her often. Now we will be 12 and we will be seeing her less and less. We hope she will make some visits to our new home! The kids sure do love hanging out with her. We are grateful for skype.

Next stop: Pennsylvania or bust!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back home to Marquette

We have come full circle. We started our trip on Aug 1st 2009 in Marquette MI and have nearly come to the end back in Marquette (MQT).

We arrived on a beautiful sunny day, in the 70's and it took our breath away. Little did we know it would be about the only nice day we had! LOTS of rain in June this year. But, we weren't there for the weather, we were there to see our family, the people that make up our family when we are away from our real family. The last 3 years of our military career were spent in MQT and we all had a wonderful time. We all made some lifelong friends and I know that we will continue to make an effort to visit for many, many years to come.

Isaac and Mr. Newman. They were buds and had a lot of fun together.

We stayed at our dear friends the Newman's. We failed to get any pictures of the adults with each other! UGH! Even after spending three weeks there. So sad! But we did manage to acquire 2 little kittens from the Newman's, so that will have to do.

Mickey the mamma nursing the two kitten we took. So far we think their names are Yooper (the gray one), and Pfeffer (the white and striped one). Both boys and both soooo adorable!

Lara holding Pfeffer in her pocket. SOO CUTE!

The Newman's are great. They allowed us to move right into their lake house that overlooks lake Superior. What a beautiful sight, especially for the sunrise at 5 something. Suffices to say, I (mom) did not see it more than once :) My early rising husband on the other hand almost never missed it. The Newman's made us all feel at home and we will miss laughing and enjoying their family on a regular basis. We also spent some time at their cabin on a smaller lake in the area. It is so peaceful and quiet, even if it did rain most of the time! But there was plenty of fun to be had!
The first ones to try out the newly build pontoon at the Newman's cabin. Rainy, but loads of fun.

While there we had planned on seeing a lot of sights and doing some hiking to places we failed to visit while we lived there. But............none of that happened. We just spent time with the people we love.

Z-man has a group of friends he spent nearly every night with, played soccer with his old team (including two tournaments) and enjoyed seeing other friends from church and our homeschool group

Toley and Pooh spent many days with different friends, sleeping over, playing, swimming and crafting.

Toley, Brianna, Megan and Pooh

Kik got to see his teachers Aide from last year. He was so excited. Not to mention all his time in the water and playing on the Newman's swing.

Dad spent his time with friends from NMU and friends from church. He was busy riding his bike in all his old places and even did a road bike race. We also had an opportunity to go kayaking with Dave and Susan Michels on lake Superior before we left. It was a sunny day, a bit windy, but so neat to see MQT from the water!

Dad leading the race! WAHOO!!

Mom spent many days with friends over coffee, homeschool friends chatting while the kids played and lunch with my dear friend Susan. I will miss our talks.

We all enjoyed going back to our church for 4 Sundays! It will be hard to match Bethel when we leave. They have set the bar high. But I am sure God will put us in the right spot.

The highlight was that the whole family got to participate in VBS at church! Kik actually got to go while the other 5 worked. Dad and Z did the games, Pooh was a teachers helper with a group of 8 and Toley and Mom did hair and face painting. We all had so much fun and it was so nice to be able to volunteer our time.
We left at the end of June and headed down to WI to visit Grandma! We spent 2 weeks with dad's mom and had a great time. Hopefully someone will write about that soon!!!! hint hint!!

Butterfly picture by Pooh.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Acadia National Park

After an awesome trip to Canada, we crossed the border, got our trailer and headed to Acadia National Park. What a beautiful place!!! We did some great hiking, sightseeing and eating!

The picture at the top of our blog was taken there, after a hike up the rocks.

This is a must see for all your northeasteners. It is not a very challenging or huge National Park like the ones out west. It is rather small, but packs an enormous view of the Atlantic and the little islands right off the coast. SOOOO beautiful, as you can see from the pictures.

We even splurged and at lunch at Jordan Pond restaurant. It is a very fancy little place located right in the park. It is known for it's turnovers and of course I had to try the Lobster stew! Amazing!!!

Thunder rock. The waves come in and it sounds like thunder in this cave. VERY COOL!

There isn't much more to write as the pictures say it all!

Bar Harbor Maine is a pretty fancy and beautiful place!

XO Mom

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Nova Scotia and Prine Edward Island

We left our trailer in Maine and traveled over the boarder into New Brunswick to catch the ferry that would take us to Nova Scotia on: Thursday, May 20th 2010 at 7:30am! Just…so you know.
The Princess of Acadia ferry it was called. The boat left at… noon and we got there around 3:00. It was really neat. It had a little gift shop, a cafeteria, a lounge, tables and chairs, and…a Starbucks! Can’t get much better than that, it was SO cool! I can’t even imagine what cruise ships must look like. We sailed for about 3 hours and it was fun. We ate lunch, did some school (well, that part wasn’t exactly what you call FUN, per se).

We said goodbye to the fun ferry ride and all got into our crammed suburban to drive a couple hours to where we were staying. Daddy told us, on the way there, that it was only $60.00 a night! Fortunately it was okay. It was a little cabin, by a lake, with two bedrooms (Z man and Kik slept on the pull-out couch) a kitchen, bathroom, and a living room.

Oh and I guess I should tell you that on the boat we took out the camera to take some pictures and we realized we left the battery at home, sitting in the charger. We were all upset, but we managed to take a few pictures with Daddy’s iPhone and a little disposable camera Mommy bought. So while Mommy cooked taco’s , Z-man, Kik, Toley and I all got into a very bug infested paddle boat and tried to go…somewhere. We didn’t make it very far, just a few feet, than gave up. The bugs were just crazy. We had a cozy night at the cabin and enjoyed sounds of the lake in the morning.
The next day we all got up, swept, cleaned, and mopped the house (you have to do that in order to stay at the place) and started our drive to P.E.I. We drove uhh…I don’t really remember, a long time to the hotel house cabin thingy where we were staying. On the way, we stopped at a few places to take in the sights of Nova Scotia. We even went to a beach to play in the sand, go to the bathroom (in the bathhouse!) and skip flat rocks; which were everywhere. I got a grand total of 2 skips, that’s what I normally get. Z got like 8 or something. Like always. The water was freezing, so we didn't do too much swimming.

SO! We drove to the hotel and we stayed in a little house right next to it. It had two bedrooms, one with two full size bed for the kids and one with a queen bed for mom and dad. It also had a kitchen, dining room table, a couch and some chairs, a TV (that actually worked!) and a bathroom, with a Jacuzzi tub too! The next day Daddy, Z-man, Toley, and I went to the hotel for the continental breakfast. It was pretty good too! Cereal, toast, bagels, oatmeal, hot chocolate, coffee, and these huge chocolate and lemon poppy seed muffins. They were great!

We then left and drove about 10 min. to some places to shop, and then on to Lucy Maude Montgomery’s house (the author of Anne of Green Gables). Everybody except Kik, and Daddy got to take a tour of it. They had some really neat things around the house. There was original furniture, pictures and all her books. They also had some things she said up on the walls in frames.

We then walked around Charlotte town, and went into a bunch of shops: Anne of Green Gables souvenirs, Anne of Green Gables chocolate store, a food store, the mall, yea things like that. Since I dislike shopping very much, it was pretty boring to me. But the chocolate store was pretty good. :)

Next we walked around the wharf (wharfing as Daddy called it) then headed home. It was a very busy and tiring, but fun, day. I loved the scenery on the way there and back!

Sometime in-between there, we went to another Anne of Green Gables site. This one is a little town built with all the buildings you would see in the Anne of Green Gables movies. We were there in June, so unfortunately it was all closed up. Their winter season ends July 1st. It was still neat to see. It had the Avonlea school, dress-up place, picture place, the church, and farm. We got to walk around but I wish we were there when it was running. We even took a great picture of all of us with Anne HA!

So we went home, had spaghetti, ice cream and watched Star Wars. We got up early to head home the next day. On the way to the bridge, which was huge by the way. It is 8 miles long and it is free to get over to P.E.I, but cost $41 to get back!! I am not kidding. Anyway, we decided to stop at a little touristy spot to do some last minute souvenir shopping. We got some Anne of Green Gables things, Toley got a cool P.E.I sweatshirt and Z-man got a couple of post cards and a crazy sign you will have to ask him about. It was nice to have a few things to remember P.E.I by, since we have like NO pictures!