Thursday, March 6, 2014


San Antonio here we come!  We're so excited to be heading to the
Christian Worldview Film Festival!

Here we go!  The truck is packed.  The route is planned and the hotels are booked.  We are just as ready as we are going to be.

The suitcases are all lined up in the back of our Suburban and the Thule is filled with roller skates, wrist guards and bb guns.  The Joneses are headed to Texas! 

The plan is to wake up at 4 am and leave at 5.  The kids are so excited that I am afraid they will have a really hard time falling asleep tonight.  It's just like Christmas-- only it is a two week trip instead.  An experience together as a family.

I am sure there will be times along the way that I will be tempted to think the driving is getting a little monotonous (it will take over 26 hours without stops-- and there will definitely be stops) but right now that is just not the reality in our thinking.  This is family time and we are walking on sunshine around here!  I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to having so many days to just enjoy my family.

Passing miles while reading books, seeing sights and listening to the CD of Christian tunes Faith made for our trip are just a few of the things I am really looking forward to.

Implementing some cost saving tricks learned from our friends.  Packing premade
meals in ziplocks that can be put right into our crock pot and cook through
the day while we are at the conference.  Perfect!

We have gleaned so many amazing tips from our traveling friends.  Things to pack.  Like coolers that plug in.  Pre-prepared meals that travel in ziplocks and are thrown into crock pots at hotels to save cost.  The right roads to take and the ones to avoid.  We have taken every nugget  that has been offered and feel all the richer for the good advice from dear friends. 

 And then there are our personally percolated plans.  Tom has been planning his relaxing time when he isn't driving.  In his mind it will include the folding down of the extra Suburban seat so he can sit in the farthest row with his legs stretched out.  A bit of popcorn premade by us (already done!) and the chance to watch a movie with his kiddos.  In other words, a "family night" on the road.  Honestly, I am just glad that means he plans to give himself a break once in a while!  He is usually a driving machine!  And he needs the rest. 

The thought of Tom with us for two whole weeks has all of us just about jumping out of our skins (and maybe his employer too).  With his demanding schedule lately, it is a really big deal to all of us.

Tom and Michaela working in Tom's shop-  where Tom is usually working
in the evenings and weekends.

Little Lyddie found these 99 cent glasses at a Goodwill and loved them.  How
could I say no?  She says she wants to take photos on the trip. 
Oh, I think that can be arranged, sweet girl.  :)

Our little travelers are ready too!  They have their plans as well.  Some want to take photos.  Others want to help follow the route on the maps we have printed out.  Mama thinks it is all great and is looking forward to sliding in a little schooling edgewise with all the things she has been studying-- everything from ancient history to the OK Corral to Roosevelt and Taft and current events.  It's a span I grant you, but it is all so very interesting. 

Sweet little Hailey with an Arizona map.  So "where is Texas on this?" she asked.
It's after Arizona... and New Mexico.  But it will fly by, right?

We all have our plans, and we are all so excited, but our prayer is that His plans may reign.  May our greatest goal be to love Him and to love those He puts in our path along the way.  We appreciate your prayers to this end, dear ones.  May we love and enjoy Him forever.

And may you be blessed.




  1. What is your chalkboard made of by your door? I have a small one in my kitchen but would like a larger one so I can write more ~ like yours. :)

    Blessings on your trip. Sounds like one that will be remembered for many, many years to come.

  2. Thanks, Iowa Birdie! Yes, I love chalkboards! The big one in the picture was made using the reverse side of bead board you buy at Home Depot. It was already primed (white) and we painted it with black chalk board paint. I think we used canned spray paint from Wal Mart. The chalk board paint has worked pretty well. For smaller jobs (labels, smaller frames etc.) we have also used chalkboard contact paper (Amazon). It's handy but doesn't always erase as well. :)

  3. Oh, how exciting for all of you. May you have a blessed two weeks. Loved the picture of Hailey reading the Arizona map. Welcome to Arizona, Hailey, we love it here. Blessings to all of you on this trip.

  4. I so enjoy your photographs! I can't wait to hear about your experience on the the trip! We drive from NJ to FL over three days and with the little ones it can be a little crazy, but I cherish that time when we are all together in a small vehicle together!!

  5. A late congrats, but...CONGRATS!!!!
    Hope you guys had (are having?) a good trip!!!!!

  6. O my word! I am so excited for you! I know you guys are having fun! Whohoo! Can't wait to hear about it! ((HUGS)) Kelly K

  7. I was at the Festival but didn't get a chance to see the movie the trailer looked really good . Is there a way we can watch the movie? if i would have seen you i would have introduced myself but i didn't . I did see your husband walk by and thought he looked like someone i knew but didn't know him. lol it wasn't until the awards that i figured out who he was watching the trailer. i have been reading your blog a few years now.

  8. Thanks, sweet friends! It was such a wonderful time! Faith's film was one of four finalists out of the twelve films in her category, so a snippet of the film was played at the awards ceremony which was fun. It was an amazing group of people. We were really blessed to have been able to go.

    Oh, so funny Smiths! Yes, I need to run that by our family. We should make a way for friends to see it online. In the meantime, please send me an email so I can send you a link! :)

    Blessings to you!