Today it all begins, Buy One, Get One FREEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is the PERFECT time to buy and try, these amazing life changing oils.....
I will be posting a video and image everyday of the "deal" on my RV Oilers facebook page. Come check it out and say hi!!!!!
I love a good BARGAIN! Don't you?! :)
Limited time offer, through midnight tonight. One deal a day through Saturday!!!!!!!
You had me at BOGO!
It's here, it's here....Buy One Get One Free with doTERRA!!!!!!
The best bargains await you....
Join the RV Oilers BOGO page here, so you can scope out the daily deals:
The fun starts now, the BOGO deals start TUESDAY, come on over! :)
I am so sorry its been so quiet here before this week, I find myself at a loss for words, and participating in a time of quiet reflection, pulling inward quite a bit. I suppose that is healthy and good, right? I just have some guilt for not coming to hang out with you as often. I have had all kinds of blogs floating around, just didn't write, schedule or upload them.
We have been here in Florida a month now, and its not as hard as it first was. The first day we pulled in, I laid in the back bedroom for a long time before I could even step into the front of the RV with all its big windows looking out. My heart was longing for him out there, waving excitedly from the front door as we pulled in, just like years past.
In fact, I pretty much cleaned the whole house, dripping tears everywhere I went, before I could step foot ouside. We had a little whoopsie that dropped me to my knees:
Check out my 4 month old laptop. During travel it slid back, still in the case, and nestled perfectly between the slide out and the wall. Needless to say, we were all a little out of sorts, and no one checked like we usually do, before sliding it out.
Tear tears tears. So many tears that day! I told satan to LEAVE US ALONE.....
I finally decided to step outside, I was ready.....
It felt like a ghost town.
All his little touches were gone. He was such a tidy person by nature and took pride his little second home. Looking around at the closed up tight apartment, the empty RV that wouldn't be driven on a fun summer trip this year.....
There were leaves everywhere, and we realized for the first time, how much work he did on "our spot" to get it ready for us with its little porch and clean raked yard.
So here we are, living on my daddy's beloved "farm" in central Florida, and missing him everyday. (this is dad and Drea's second home, when they came up from their big house down south by the beach, to work the family furniture store with my brother Chad)
At first being here was salt in the wound, but just a few days in, it became comforting somehow, to be surrounded by a place so "HIM". And you can tell he left thinking he would be traveling back up again....
Shoes by the back door. A tool out on the work bench. An RV waiting for the next trip.
When we sit by the fire in this peaceful spot, in the beautiful cool Florida nights, we know he is happy we came and enjoyed this special space....
We can do it for him. He loved it so much, just like last years time hop showed me.
So here we sit, missing him terribly, thankful for the promise of seeing him again one day...
I know life moves on, and we all will too, but for now, I am embracing every layer, every tearful, hard day and every happy, laughter filled day, with my whole being. Trusting my Abba Father to guide my path, and take my broken heart and make it new.
And maybe someday soon, I will stop glancing up in the window when I walk by, to see if he is inside with his feet up in the afternoon....
So I smile through my tears, because I know my daddy is so happy and healthy up there in Paradise with Jesus.....and he wouldn't come back even if he could.
Our human mind cannot grasp the glory he now lives in everyday.
I just wish he could be here again.....I'd sure have a lot to say.
We were heading to Florida, but we had just a few last stops to make....
In lieu of flowers, we asked the community to donate to my dad's alma mater, Central Christian, instead of flowers. We were THRILLED to find out, that just over $3000 was raised. And it was just the right amount for a much needed new commercial dishwasher for the school kitchen. Theirs no longer worked! That is a big problem!
I am so thankful to all who donated, we'd MUCH rather have the gift that keeps on giving like that, as opposed to flowers that wilt and die. Dad would've been so proud!
I showed the kids his senior photo on the wall while we were there. :)
We needed to make one more VERY important stop on our way out of town....
We wanted to pay our respects and see Papa's resting place. The headstone is ordered and will be up when we get back this summer.
Still doesn't seem real that he isn't waiting for us anxiously in Florida....he was always so full of life and joy!
Our trip to Florida was fairly uneventful. We took it extra slow, and stopped more than usual.
A celery spill from a semi that wrecked, that held us up and extra hour......
Ranch dressing, anyone?
OH! And a gas station exercise session outside leads to a jackpot for Destiny - $100!
We make the kids do stretches, yoga and RUN RUN RUN when we stop for gas. This gas station had a HUGE hill down to a nasty drainage ditch. There was a concrete ramp run off, that was dry, and she was walking up and down it, while the little kids ran around.
She looked over, and down between the concrete blocks, she found this bill that had washed down, who knows when, just stuck there! She had just shared with me that she wished she had spending money, and that it was hard to earn anything while traveling. I told her to pray about it!
Guess what? The LORD answers! :)
We did school like normal while bouncing down the road, and the kids performed "Paul Revere's Ride" by Longfellow....
It was a good travel day!
We took 3 whole days to get down, I didn't want Dale pushing hard, he was too weary. We ALL were!
One morning, our hose froze at the spicket, and poor Sophie could NOT get close enough to the heater vent. Haha!
The closer to Florida, the warmer it got, but the more the butterflies flew in our tummies. ☀️🌴🦋 Staying at a place so full of memories of my dad, a place so HIM, is going to be really really tough. Big reality check for sure!
This next layer of healing is a big one, and I am grateful we never walk alone!
As we holed up in our Kansas apartment during snowy cold, NEGATIVE 20 degree days, we realized quickly our living room needed some additional seating. (And that we needed to go to Florida sooner than later!)
We, in particular, needed some spots that were in front of the fireplace. Its tiny in that living room, and we had to be super careful not to overfill the space, as you have to be able to walk from front door through the living and kitchen bar stool areas to access the staircase.
I ordered some petite blue chairs, site unseen, and hoped for the best. I also found a rainbow rug that made me SWOON! It was like happy rainbows and skittles!
Thank goodness, everything fit just as we hoped. I LOVE IT!
The kids hunkered down right away in front of the fireplace with their books on the soft new rug....
Here it is in the daytime:
It's not done yet, I still want to put a little table between the two chairs....and I can't remember if I showed you yet or not, but the banister is done! I love how light it is, I was scared it would close it in, but it didn't. :)
We also moved our travel window wall, and by "WE" I mean Dale. :)
He helped me move it up to the fireplace because it fit the space so nicely up there between the two high windows. I'll show you the dining room wall where it used to be in a sec.
The mantel got a little makeover too! I found this DARLING vintage fabric pennant banner on Etsy. The shop is called "Greenbug Marketplace" and you will LOVE to work with Heather!
My goal this summer, as we travel the east coast, is to go antiquing and fill the gaps and empty walls with AMAZING treasures. Road signs, old games, anything that would be cool in our space.
So the blue church window used to fit here in the dining room, but now that its on the mantel, I was on the hunt for something "FOOD" themed to go there.
Literally, the next week, I found a GEM at our local treasure store. Can you believe how perfect the colors are?
I even found a little menu to prop above my stove! Eeek, so cute. 45 cent burgers, anyone?
If you want to see more of the Retro Apartment, simply use the side catagories (they are at the bottom on a cell phone) to select "Home Sweet Shed" and have at it! :)
Happy Valentines Day! Hope its a great one... <3
We so enjoyed our time in Kansas over Christmas and through the first of the year. Our little apartment feels so safe and quiet, cozy and happy. The perfect place to mourn daddy before facing Florida again.....
This time without him.
Ugh. I can't even....
My heart just aches when I think about. I am taking this time to just be still, reflective and allow the Lord to bring healing.
As the kids and Dale started feeling ready to join in outings and family events again, sweet Dale whispered to me to just stay home, read a book, or take a soak in the tub and just BE STILL.
He knows what I need when I am hurting, and I love him for that.
I got the BEST stack of books read, while we were home! Guilty pleasure! :)
After living in an RV for 2 years with only a shower, the deep soaking tub we put in the apartment is SUCH a great! Even better, I tuck all my empty oil bottles into a cute jar of epsom salt and when I get a scoop, it makes the best smelling bath!
I may have even allowed myself an extra indulgence or 5.... ;) Have you ever put cocoa pebbles in your ice cream? MMmm Mmm amazing!
So is homemade cocoa with heavy whipping cream and high quality cocoa powder! Mmm
The Father knows my heart and He knows how much I have missed seeing snow, all cozied up in the house by the fire with a blanket and a good book. It hasn't snowed in our small Kansas town for several years now, and it DID, like THREE TIMES when we were there. Praise Jesus for my Winter Wonderland!
It was BITTER cold, like -20 with windchill some days, so we cuddled inside, stayed in our jammies, and played games and family wii. (kids Christmas gift for the apartment this year)
My photography friend texted and asked if she could get some shots of Destiny in the snow. She had been waiting 3 years for a nice snow to shoot in, and it finally came! We of course, said yes!
Here are the images. Heavinly Blessings Photography, by Heather Schlatter if you are in the area. I worked with Heather a ton before we moved, she does such a good job!
I just have to say, that I am so thankful that the Lord gave us the urgency to finish our apartment this summer, even when we didn't understand why we wanted to finish it so badly. After all, it had sat unfinished, and empty, except for our stored items, for 2 whole years! Just sitting there waiting for us to have the gumption and finances to finish it. Now it all makes sense.....
We needed a safe place to come home to, a place to host our Florida family that flew in for a Christmas funeral. A place to be still and heal. A place to call home in that community.
I am so in awe of my Heavenly Father, and how He cares for even the smallest (biggest) details of my life!
As we were in the apartment more, we realized quickly, that our living room needed some additional seating. Spots that were in front of the fireplace, not beside it, like the couch. Its tiny in there, and we had to be super careful not to overfill the space.
I found THE blue chairs to fit the bill....and a couch I wanted super bad, but alas, no room. And it'd be silly to have a backless couch to curl up on, we'd fall out! ;)
But that's another post for another day! :)
We made sure we saw all the family, as we prepared to leave again. Kids had friends over, made sushi with our new Sushi Bazooka and just had some fun before closing up shop to head out.
Mom came over one day and we went through a box of old photos.....memory lane!
We went up to Dale's moms restaurant a ton, she is so sweet to feed us lunch. Amazing amazing yummy lunch!!! :)
On our way home, we found my first car in a tiny used car lot downtown!!!! THE '88 Mustang I got from my daddy for Christmas when I was 13. Eeek! I wanted to buy it but its now super duper duper rough and would take like $10k to restore, so we walked away. Darn it!
Wouldn't that have been a cool first car for Destiny?
I got to enjoy a girls night with my BFF, before we loaded up the RV again.....I don't have any photos except the one I sent when she asked how casual I was going. Haha! We literally were talking a mile a minute and didn't take a single picture. OOPS!
We went to our favorite sushi place and had a long fun dinner and then, we saw the BEST movie! The Greatest Showman. Oh it was so good! We went to the new theater in town with cool reclining seats and ate popcorn and candy and all the bad things you shouldn't. ;)
As the days went on, we started feeling the PULL towards Florida. A dread, anticipation and a desire, all at once.
Dale watched the weather closely so we could move out and hit the road between cold fronts. Buses and ice DO NOT mix!
Now it was time to face the hardest part, the new reality awaiting us in Florida. It almost didn't seem real, from so far away, that daddy was actually gone. You *almost* could forget from 1500 miles away in snowy Kansas, because he wasn't part of THAT life if that makes sense?
But it was time, and we knew the Lord would provide the help we needed in this transition....
You are invited to our Oils in the Bedroom class!
Join us TONIGHT in an easy to read class format. It's all done on Facebook, so kick back and enjoy from the comforts of home......
Class is 2 parts, tonight and Tuesday night at 8 pm EST. (Feb 12 and 13)
The pre class FUN has already started!!! Come check it out:
Hugs, T xoxo
Hi blog friends, You are invited to a 2 part Oils in the Bedroom class, Feb 12 & 13th at 8pm EST, from the comfort of your home!!!
This essential oil class is an easy read along format....hope you can attend. I am giving away some awesome prizes and schmexy time recipes! ;)
Join our class page here: www.facebook.com/groups/1876272422702901
For now, watch this sneak peek!
It's an Oils in the Bedroom Mini class I recorded, when I was a guest on a large oil page. Enjoy! I promise I won't make you blush! ;)
Want to SPICE things up naturally?!
We have an oil for that!
Join us for an online, easy read along , 2 part class!! Just in time for Valentines Day......
Feb 12 & 13 at 8 pm EST.
The pre-class posts start NOW, so don't miss out! :)
Click here to join our class page:
We've added something NEW to the RV Oilers website and I am SO excited to share it with you today!
Check out the new category across the top: FREE ONLINE OIL CLASSES
I try to offer you lots of educational opportunities to learn about oils, but what if you are working, or can't get away to enjoy them?!
What if you work best at your own pace when you have free time?!
AWESOME, this is for YOU!
Simply register for, and take, these FREE classes at your own pace. You still get access to me for questions and ordering when your class is done! Win-win!
Now, there is still nothing better than a LIVE in person class, or even a facebook live class, so I hope one day you will come do one of those too. I have one coming up next weekend, possibly the 21st. Watch for details!
I will continue to add classes and expand our topics as we go. :)
So what are you waiting for? Go check out our newest tab and take some FREE Essential Oil classes!!! :)
As the Christmas gatherings went on, I found myself getting more and more weary. Both emotionally and physically, and the Lord began speaking to me to BE STILL.
I knew I better obey, so we quickly ran some errands, made some lingering returns and grabbed enough groceries to hunker down and just BE STILL until the New Year.
And so, we did! We said no to lots of fun invitations, but obedience brings healing and blessings.
We played games. We read loads of books. Watched movies. Played Wii. Listened to new Adventure in Odyssey cd's down by the fire. Ate snacks, leftovers and yummy food sweet friends dropped by. We were just STILL, and enjoyed some down time for our hearts and emotions.
Dale has been my rock. He is such a blessing to me, caring for me when I can't think how to care for myself. Asking if he can run me a bath, nudging me to bed when its getting late. He can always make me laugh, even when I don't want to.
I am grateful to have him to lean so heavily on, in this time of grieving. He knows this feeling all to well.
I am grateful to have such a cozy beautiful place to hunker down in and rest. The Lord knew it was important we finished the apartment, so we could be here safe and warm for dad's funeral and the days of healing after.
I don't know what the future holds, but I know WHO holds my future, and that is enough for me.
We are never short family when we are home for a visit, and were thankful to be able to get together with my extended family and Dale's family, the 2 days after Christmas.....
First up, Aunt Gena's house!
It's really such a shame there was no food to eat while we visited....
I have been wanting to make this recipe since our OLD house and recipe blogging days!!! A SAVORY cheesecake, and when we moved in, I just so happened to save a springform pan for such a time as this....
It was as tasty as I hoped it be! I did Doritos crust instead of regular chips for more flavor, and added a layer of shredded cheese to the top. I had a larger pan, so mine is much thinner than the photo, which isn't a bad thing, its RICH! And only requires a tiny sliver as it is!
So fun to all be together and let the cousins meet and play for the first time for our Floridians!
The next day, we headed over to Dale's momma's for a ham dinner and snack supper/game night....Eileen recently remodeled her main room and kitchen, so its PERFECT for big gatherings!
Everything was amazing and we had a lot of fun, even if I got stuck on the first phase of Crazy Phase 10 FOREVER!!!!!!
If you are a Phase 10 fanatic like we are, be SURE to google crazy phases to change the whole game up! :)
After games and snacks, brave Grandma, had ALL the grands stay for a slumber party. They were SO flipping excited! Destiny was fighting a sinus something and decided to head home to sleep it off. Little did I know, we'd ALL end up with it! UGH. Thank goodness for oils!
It was a different kind of Christmas this year, so soon after burying my daddy....but life doesn't stop, does it?
We had planned to spend Christmas here at our apartment for the first time ever, just not under these circumstances. We don't really do gifts anymore, due to our lifestyle, but with more space in the apartment and the kids having sold nearly every toy, we decided to do some last minute shopping and get them a gift and a family gift to share. We also wanted to get a few things for my nephews since we haven't ever had a Christmas here with them before.
Christmas morning, for the first time in the HISTORY of the Ferguson family, our kids woke us up before 7 am. Niiiiice kids, real nice.
We read the Christmas story and had a Jesus birthday party before opening gifts.....I was too tired the night before to make any of our normal preprations, but we still had daddy's famous scrambled eggs and some homemade cinnamon rolls I bought from the amish bakery close by the funeral location.
The kids loved what we got them, especially the FAMILY present, which was a Wii mini we found a steal of a deal on. And some used games! We do not do screen time much, but figured once they read their alloted hours, it might be fun to hole up with some family gaming upstairs once in a while.
Good thing too, it's been negative temps here with the windchill, and we alternate between playing games, reading and wii time! :)
My brother, Chad and sis in law, Lauren were still in town for a few days, so we had everyone out for Christmas dinner. Sweet Avery and Destiny made us a Peppermint Trifle!
Recipe here: we did chocolate cake instead of red velvet because I don't like red dye. It got better day 2, so word to the wise, make it ahead.
Nana had us play a game that ended with a prize...
A CRICKET SUCKER.
I didn't figure anyone would eat it, but little Dylan went to town. For a while anyhow.
At least until he realized he had eaten the antenae off. EWWWW!!!
We were honored to have Gigi and Miss Toni join us for Christmas dinner and games! And of course, we needed some family pics....
No matter why we were all together, our Christmas day was special, and I am grateful.
One down, 2 more Christmas gatherings to go!
Part 1 of 2 happens TONIGHT at 7 pm CST and continues Tuesday at the same time, same place.
Come learn all about how to kick of 2018 with a whole new, healthier, YOU!
Join our event page, and read along with me. I am giving away our oh so awesome WEIGHT LOSS OIL to one lucky class attendee. Yes, we have an oil for EVERYTHING! ;)
Can't wait to see you there..... Hugs, T
New Year, New You event page
At this time of year, we find ourselves evaluating our lives, considering changes, and ultimately resolving to create a NEW and BETTER version of US.
May this year be a year of health, happiness, wholeness and adventure! Here is to a whole new, heathier YOU!
You are invited to a NEW YEAR, NEW YOU online essential oil class. In this class, we will talk through some ways that Essential Oils can support you in your Quest for the NEW YOU……
We will tackle:
I am offering a class online for kicking off the New Year RIGHT! This class is an easy read along format on our event page.
New Year, New You Class Page
Hop on over here and join us, this Monday and Tuesday night, at 7pm CST.
Hope to see you there, Hugs! T
The big day is here, my heart aches and I have butterflies in my tummy, thinking of standing up to share about the man who holds such a big part of my heart.
My step mom, Drea had a super fun idea, that each of us should pop some sort of checkered flag clothing, in honor of dad finishing his race here on earth. He would've thought it was super cool.
The Floridian weren't sure what to think of cold Kansas, but they bundled up and stuck it out. I am grateful they flew and drove in to be part of today.
The service was beautiful! I don't have any photos except what people sent me, but my cousin read the obituary and added all kinds of fun details that dad would've loved. Chad and I spoke about dad, Pastor Howard had us go up together and that was really comforting.
I already shared my speech with you the other day, you can go read it here:
Chad's went something like this, although he changed it up quite a bit. Including a line about passing gas when he was nervous, which I quickly walked away from the pulpit. Haha, laugh so you don't cry, right?
Dad was my hero. He was a best friend and a friend to all. He did not know a stranger. In fact all my friends during grade school, high school and present, realize that he was a cool dad. And was in fact probably cooler than me.
I remember sitting in church as a kid and we would pass notes back and forth with drawings pictures of trucks and cars.
I remember the story he told about how he fell asleep in church and woke suddenly, kicking the pew in front and scaring a lady half to death. He seemed to be able to scare everyone with his crazy loud sneezes.
From the time I could walk, I was at my dad's side. I went to his meetings with him, to work, to the races, and I was always known as "Clay's son". And I was proud to be known as that.....
I thought it was normal to know what a time card was and a pay check was in 4th grade. Any time we talked about work Dad said that I had it easy. He started working at about age 5 and they would strap him to a tractor and send him out to the field until he was done.
My summers where a highlight as I was able to work at dads KTC Shop during the week and spend late nights going racing on the weekends. We had a blast doing this!
Many times we would bring our friends to experience the night time excitement. Towards the end it was usually Dad and I driving together in the semi to and from the races. He called this "windshield time" for us to talk about life, schools, friends and pretty girls.
During the winter time we would spend hours every weekend chasing each other around on 4 wheelers. It was always best in the snow. He said it was a good excuse to stay in shape for the off season of racing.
After ktc trucking business closed, it seemed he was able to pick up and go with about any job or opportunity without hesitation. He was always so smart and driven when it came to business.
Once Dad moved to Florida, it was about two years before I made my way down there to work for my dad again. He had the opportunity to buy a furniture store and was excited to get me involved. He knew I loved selling and thought it was a good fit.
I dont remember a time when I said "Go fast, Dad!" that he didn't go fast. Whether it was a work pick up, his motorcycle or one of his cars, he never seemed to pass on these chances.
He taught me what a controlled drift was, as he was able to go completely around the circle parking lot of 1st Nazarene Church, sideways when it was snowy.
I'm pretty sure I showed several friends later what I learned....
Dad loved to go fast and was extremely competitive. As you all know he was an amazing racer thru his life and was remembered in the dirt track as the flying preacher. This was mainly for his boldness in praying before races or offering it up after an accident.
Dad was not only competitive but also a trickster! He didn't pass up an opportunity to scare us or pull a prank.
I can think of several occasions of us literally crying on the floor from laughing so hard. Normally from either Mom or Tonya peeing their pants from being scared, or hearing about something he pulled on a friend or brother during his younger years.
He showed us how to pull out Kleenexs from peoples hands right as they blew their nose, or pretending to hit his head somewhere, usually a door or sign. Something rhat made a nice ruckus. Usually someone came running to see if he was ok because he was a good actor too.
Another good trick we learned from Dad (which he said his brothers showed him) was how to make a gutter at the dinner table using the table cloth and soaking your neighbors pants with water. The stories go on and on....and Dad is leaving a huge void here on earth. He will be missed greatly.
He always knew what to say. He always knew what you needed, he always had a way out and he always knew how to fix it.
He could literally rig anything to working with tape, a few old bolts and misc parts he had saved in his tool box. We really gave him a hard time about this, but each of us needed him many times for repairs!
One thing I know for sure..... I never heard him yell. He was always soft spoken but stern. If he was talking, you were listening. Even under serious stress or a lap car causing him to wreck - he was always calm. And of course I was a perfect child so he didn't have to yell.
He always had faith in me. He always encouraged me to just do it. He always let me try before helping. He trained me to be a thinker, a doer. He told me that common sense is better than any school degree, so use your noggin.
I always knew I'd work for him and it's an honor and joy to carry on that legacy for him at our Florida furniture store and to have my oldest son carry on the CEB name.
I could talk for hours about my Dad , but I know that my sister will do it for me next.
Ps 127:3. Be strong and courageous ...
Next up was a beautiful memorial message from Pastor Howard, and special music. Again, no photos, but we ended the service with closing prayer, and a special guest.....
Dad's good friend, and race announcer and radio personality, Warren Hardy closed out the service with a checkered flag finish.....
He did AWESOME, painting a word picture of that dirt track and the final laps of an exciting A Feature.
He ended with something like.....
"They are coming around the final turn, and Clay Bontrager, 7B has finished the race!"
Oh man, it was so great, just the right ending to celebrate dad's final chapter. He would've been proud to have his friend announce his final race home. We handed out little flags to all the family at the service.
My little pall bearers and their cousins, helped load Papa and off we went to the gravesite, in a small amish mennonite town near by. His brothers and parents are also buried here.
We all stuck our flags out the windows.....
It was cold, cold, cold. This part was going to be short and sweet. A few words and "I'll Fly Away" by the mens quartet.
This was the part I was dreading the most, I was having flashbacks to Don's funeral (Dale's daddy) and remembered the awful finality of that box going into the ground.....
Someone sent the grandkids a flower arrangement that could be taken apart and laid on the casket, so amazing.
Dale and my dad were very close, they worked well together and got along like best buds. I am so thankful someone captured this moment of him saying his final goodbyes to my dad.
And just like that, the box was lowered in the ground, and my heart broke into a million pieces and tears poured from my eyes. I couldn't help myself, sobs burst forth. In that moment, there was nothing to do but grieve in the deepest sense of loss and finality.
I still don't think this will all hit me until I go back to "his" neck of the woods. Back to Florida, where he is missing. He isn't usually here in Kansas with us, unless he is visiting, so it doesn't feel abnormal to have him gone.
I have picked up my phone to call him twice. Dale checked his phone for the text, how far did you all make it tonight? as we drove the 3 days home. And the first person he wanted to show our new railing apartment photo to, was dad. So instead, Dale just stood there and wept bitter tears for all we have lost in the past 3 years -
A Papa named Don, who lived out his final weeks in our living room, gone 3 years ago. A Grandma, who treated Dale as a son, just months ago, going to see Jesus. And now, this.
Another Papa gone, another loss to bear.
My Paxton Clay asked, "Hey Momma, do we have any more Papas left?"
Oh buddy, no. I am sorry you sure don't.
I had a prayer warrior friend call me on the way home to the Kansas funeral, she said Tonya, the Lord showed me in a dream something about your daddy and I'd like to share it with you. I don't want to hurt your heart, but I think you need to know this....
Your daddy, he was given the choice to go to Jesus. He was given a choice to be healed in a miracle here on earth, or healed in a miraculous eternity in Heaven. He picked heaven. He picked Jesus.
Who wouldn't after catching a glimpse of something so unimaginably beautiful?
There were days at the end, where he just stared at the ceiling, absent, that I wondered if he was visiting with Jesus. This was confirmation and it came again, one more time in a person I hadn't met before. There was no doubt. I LOVE when the Lord speaks to His hurting children, and when He repeats Himself, I LISTEN.
It was something I had never heard of before, someone being given a choice. But I believe. And it gave me great peace and hope.....
Congrats on your victory lap, daddy. You've fought the good fight, you've WON the final race, and you are the victor......
Traveling back to Kansas after dad passed, was kind of surreal. Going back to his roots, and mine, when it still didn't feel "real" yet that he is gone.
Even as I blog this today, it doesn't feel real that when we get back to Florida, he won't be there waiting for us. I just don't even have the words to begin to explain......
Anyhow, there are a lot of extra details when a body is being transported across state line, so lots of prayers were going up for the flight dad needed to make to arrive in time for his service, despite snow and paperwork delays. (not dad, his empty body, but you know what I meant.)
It was an extra long 3 days home. We were are emotionally and physically worn out. Once we arrived, we basically hit the ground running, planning the service and preparing for the viewing and about a bazillion details that I had forgotten about. All the while praying paperwork would go through in time for dad's body to arrive in time for service, which would take place right before Christmas, on the 22nd.
Then I get the call we had been praying for....
Your dad safely arrived at the airport last night at midnight, and our guys were able to pick him up without delay.
How strange, to hear those words, without the rush of anticipation of a lovely visit from Papa, flying in to see us for a bit. I promptly burst into tears.
It was such a blessing to be back home and surrounded by family and friends willing to bring in meals, run errands and help with details. Not cooking when you are emotionally drained, is a gift! Even if it was PB&J, it'd taste better if someone else made it. Haha ;)
My dad has raced since he was 19. He raced corvettes, modifieds, drag racing and then when I was a kid, dirt track racing in a sprint car. He has always been 7B, and he won many national championships.
Because of this, it was only natural that we select the verse for his service to be:
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." II Timothy 4:7
We had asked Dad's friends and race crew chef, to do some custom painting on dad's casket. We had it made by a local Amishman and got to pick out the interior fabric.
My dad would've LOVED it....
I asked Jesus to let him peek down on it.
Many many hours were spent first taking it from oak to black and then hand painting the details, just like they used to on the racecar.
We had a private viewing at the funeral home, just the family, before the public viewing that night. Everything turned out just beautifully! Flowers and all.
It was very very emotionally to see him again. Chad's kids were full of questions about Papa and his race car he was in. It was precious. Mine were tearful, they knew he was gone, but you just cannot prepare for the finality of these moments.
Dad would've loved the viewing, all his race buddies, family and friends, coming out to pay their respects and honor his life.
We had a slideshow running, of dad's life and all the happy memories we made....
We were there from 5 to 8pm, and when the final guest left, it was time to lock up, go home and prepare for the hardest day yet. The day we lay him to rest....the day I had to stand up and try to put into words, all this special man meant to me. To us.
To honor him in a celebration of a life well lived.
I started having a Word of the Year in a particularly trying time in my life, and the habit stuck. I find myself seeking the Lord the end of December, on what His word for me will be. I am always amazed at how very accurate and prophetic, these words can be, too!
If you click on the links, it will take you to the post about each word of the year....
I wasn't blogging at the time, but our word for the year was GUIDE. Boy, did the Lord guide us, as He spoke to us loudly as we took the leap, and sold our house and worldly goods to hit the road as full timers.
I have to admit, when the Lord gave me the words "Courageous Journey", I really honestly thought it was just about another year of fun adventure and travel on the road.
We traveled LESS in 2017, than we had in the previous several years, because every time we left, we ended up back at our home base. I called it the "Year of Kansas" as a joke, but it really was.
If it wasn't something for the apartment that we needed to be home for, it was another situation. We literally, kept turning around to come back. We made it up to Wisconsin for a summer of travel, we wanted to pin North Dakota on the map, finally, and then head over to my favorite place on earth, Montana....
We got there, did one oil class, got bad news about Dale's grandma and headed the 700 miles back home to Kansas. She passed several weeks later, and we are so glad we came back to spend time with her.
We have spent over 7 months at our home hub this year! Our hearts longed for travel, but it wasn't meant to be this time. Not in the way we imagined.
A few months after Grandma's passing, we got word that my dad was not doing well. That his motorskills and speech were rapidly declining and we better come quick. We cleared the calendar, dropped everything, and packed in 2 hours, Florida bound.
It it becoming abundantly clear to me, that my 2017 Courageous Journey, was a much more emotional one then I could've ever anticipated.
I am not brave. I am not an adventurer by nature. This year scared me in more ways than I can count....and brought me to my knees, at the end of myself, again and again.
It was a year of sorrow. Longing. Contemplation. Heartache.
I didn't dig and pray for a Word of the Year this year, usually I spend part of December doing just that. This year I was just surviving December, no thought to the new year to come, or the promises and words I usually sought out.
No, this time I simply just asked once, and the Lord breathed it over me, in a phrase of a song He whispered in my ear.....
When we face the fragility of life and the sorrow of death head on, and boldy walk out a path we didn't welcome or choose, something beautiful happens inside.....
We break. We surrender. We come to the end of US.
We find the end of ourselves, and realize, our Heavenly Father is there - always has been, always will be. I am feeling His presence even STRONGER now that my earthly Father is gone. My sweet daddy, whom I miss every single moment, of every single day.
It's about realizing that death isn't the end, it is only the beginning of something more beautiful then our earthly minds can imagine and finding comfort in that.
We find ourselves weak, yet stronger than we EVER thought possible.
When we surrender our humaness, our ugly broken pieces, and just lay it out, prostrate before our God, begging Him to share our grief load and burden, He answers. He scoops us up in His arms, where He can better whisper in our ears.
And so, we draw closer to our Heavenly Father, clinging tightly to Him. For when I am weak, He can be shown strong. In my brokenness, His power is more easily seen.
Entering into 2018, I am "Sweetly Broken, Wholly Surrendered" to a year of healing and hope in 2018. Open to His plan and will for us. Surrendering my own plans and dreams, and trading them for HIS. Being ok with that. Being ok with His will instead of my own. Open to walking out a new chapter where life looks very different than it did. Even if I don't want to.
I can't do it alone. So I SURRENDER. All of it.
And hope springs forth, the kind that goes down deep into the soil of our hearts and starts the process of total healing.....2018 is going to be beautiful. Sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.
Happy happy New Year, friends!
May the Lord abundantly bless you this year, and may you feel His sweet presence more everyday.....
What is YOUR word of the year? Leave me a comment.
To the cross, I look, and to the cross, I cling
Of it's suffering, I do drink, of its work, I do sing
On it, my Savior, both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love and God is just
At the cross, You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees
And I am lost for words, so lost in love
I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered
Yeah, yeah, oh Lord
What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given through Christ crucified
You've called me out of death
You've called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now, through the cross, I'm reconciled
Ooh, and at the cross, You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees
And I am lost for words, so lost in love
I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered
At the cross, You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees
And I am lost for words, so lost in love
I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered
And in awe of the cross, I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love
And how great is Your faithfulness
At the cross, You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees
And I am lost for words, so lost in love
I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered
At the cross, You, You've beckoned me
You draw me gently to my knees
And I am lost for words, so lost in love
I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered
Yeah, yeah, I'm broken for you
I'm broken for you, my Lord, yeah
Jesus, Your love is there
I am sweetly broken
The Piano Guys - The Sweetest Gift
I'm not gonna lie Christmas really hurts this time
Cause you're not here to celebrate with me.
Tears fill my eyes
The memories flood my mind
As I place your ornament upon our tree.
Although this year I have a broken heart
It gives me hope and joy as I remember where you are.....
You're with the Son of God,
You're with the Prince of Peace,
You're with the one who's celebrating
And that thought amazes me.
Sometimes I still break down
Grieving that we're apart...
But the sweetest gift is knowing where you are
You're with the Son of God.
Merry Christmas, daddy!
Miss you so much,
Your Punkin xoxo
On this day, I lay my precious daddy to rest......
I can't quite wrap my mind around the fact, that when we go back to Florida in a few weeks, he isn't going to be there waiting for us, with those twinkly eyes and mischievous grin.....
Sometimes, life really stinks.
I wrote a tribute to my dad, he asked both my little brother Chad, and I to speak today, at his celebration of life.
I'd like to share it with you now........
“They say that from the instant he lays eyes on her, a father adores his daughter. Whoever she grows up to be, she is always to him that little girl in pigtails. His eyes light up like Christmas when she comes around. In exchange, he makes a secret promise not to see the awkwardness of her teenage years, to forgive the mistakes she would no doubt make, and to love her without limits…….she is daddy’s little girl.” Anonymous
My dad was strong, big and powerful, in my little girl eyes. He opened jars of pickles when no one else could. He was the brave one to go to the creepy basement storage room, all by himself, or head out front to investigate a strange noise in the darkest of night, and in just an opening of my bedroom door, could scare away the monsters I was sure were lurking under my bed. I remember thinking that nothing could ever hurt me when my daddy was around.
He cut himself shaving nearly every Sunday morning and would come to breakfast with little bits of toilet paper stuck to his face to prevent anything getting on his Sunday shirt. He could build a bowl of cereal like no one else, layers of bananas, cookies or cake, then cereal and milk to the top, almost overflowing….one of the few tasks he could handle in the kitchen.
Dad could sit on the handlebars of my mom’s bike, and ride backwards, all the way down the street without crashing. Well, without crashing very often, and going around town, he often had us kids in tow, one on the front handlebars and one on his back.
Even in the midst of going back to school, he always took the time to throw a softball with us, high high up in the air, or go on a family bike ride every evening.
Dad was a hard worker and a HUGE dreamer! He had business failures and he had business successes, but the best part was he boldly faced the next challenge with excitement, and a WHOLE lot of napkins full of ideas over dinner. The guy could draw up an incredible house remodel, or business plan, and magic would unfold, on that little white square. I learned to just let him talk and dare to dream BIG with him! I find myself today, a bolder, bigger dreamer because of his love of it.
We are here today to celebrate a LIFE well lived…..Dad made sure of that. He took every moment and used it to the FULLEST. He wanted you guys to smile today. To tell stories of the good ol days, and to LAUGH. This was to be a CELEBRATION!
For the past 3 years, daddy has been the 5% survivor of many different medical problems. He was the one to walk away the VICTOR from various forms of cancer, surgery, and counter effects to all the above. His FIGHT never wavered, and neither did his SPUNK. The man just kept on LIVING well…..Traveling, working and enjoying his life. The doctors were always shocked at how well he was doing.
Did you know he walked himself out of ICU, 3 days after major brain surgery, when a nurse and wheelchair were nowhere to be found?
He just took off on his own. Drea had gone to pull the car around to meet the nurse, and when she pulled up to the door, there he was standing alone with his bags, just waiting for her! You couldn’t keep the man down if you tried.
So let me take a moment, and tell you the life lessons I’ve learned from the man who called me PUNKIN…..
Proverbs 15:1 says A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The man NEVER raised his voice! Literally. He, like a calm before the storm, got reallyreally QUIET, not loud, when trouble was amuck….. It probably would’ve been easier if he would’ve just hollered at us when Chad was in trouble!
Dad always taught me that “Laughter is the best medicine” (side note: Have you heard a Bontrager brother giggle? Best sound in the world!)
Dad practiced this moto everywhere he went! Fresh out of major brain surgery – the room is silent barring the beeping machines. Dad is propped in his bed with tubes and wires coming out all over. Nurses are slipping in and out to check vitals, and on the way out, one accidently kicks the metal trash can with a BANG. Dad, eyes not even open yet, says
“WELL, at least HE kicked the bucket and not me!!!!!!!”
My daddy, he taught me to be brave. To face adversity with a smile.
He taught me that “not all who wander are lost”. I am honored to have “wandered” across the US with him several times now, and it was he who cheered me on the loudest, when we made the decision to sell everything, and travel full time as a family.
He taught me to work hard for my dreams to make them reality.
That it doesn’t matter how you finish the race, as long as you just FINISH.
He always encouraged me to live out my truth, even when it’s ugly. Allowing my Heavenly Father to make a MESS into a MESSAGE.
He showed me how to lead with a smile and make lemonade out of life’s lemons.
Dad had people in stitches everywhere we went! Either that or screaming and jumping in the air from his GYNORMOUS sneezes! (If you have ever been around my dad during a sneeze, you KNOW what I am talking about!!!!)
He showed me that we GO BIG then go home. My Dad literally just lived that out in front of my eyes.
A few years ago, dad had a dream. He told us later, he saw Nora, his mother, who passed away when he was young, on the other side of a fence. She was young, beautiful, smiling and waving at him. As he moved towards her she said,
“Not yet, Clarence. Not yet.”
I know a joyous reunion just happened in Heaven this past week: mother, father, brothers, grandchildren, family, friends, race fans, a stranger, who was touched by dad’s life and laughter…...
And I know, one day when I walk through Heaven’s gates, I’ll see those twinkly eyes again and that big smile and hear, “Hey PUNKIN!”
Oh, what a glorious day that will be!!!!
Until then, I have to teach my heart to just keep beating. My mind to house the many memories I have with him. To tell my ears to hang on to the sound of his laughter, and my arms, the feeling of his, wrapping me tight in a warm hug, as he brushes a kiss by my ear……
And I‘ll just keep smiling and laughing in honor of his sunshine-y ways.
My daddy gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me, even during times I didn’t believe in myself. He always knew I could, and so…
I can’t say good bye today, I won’t, although it’s easy to feel the sting of loss. There is SUCH finality to this day.
But, with Jesus, we know this isn’t the end, it’s merely the beginning of something quite unimaginable……something breathtakingly beautiful.
So instead of goodbye I say,
So long for now, daddy, so long for now.
I sure do love you.
Please cover us in your prayers today, we need strength, peace, courage....Jesus knows.
You know how you know something might be coming, and think you are at peace and prepared for it, and then it wallops you upside the head, and you realize there is literally, absolutely, no way to ever be ready for these moments?
So its very very very hard to find a place to stay in southern Florida in the winter....we knew we might have to do some RV Park hopping. Not the end of the world, but annoying none the less. And the next closest RV park with openings can be hours away, not condusive for running over for a quick minute to help with dads care.
And the Lord moved mountains again, for us to stay at the RV park closest to my dad's house for the next MONTH straight. Thank you, Jesus! We are less than 3 miles away!!!!
I really really love the setting!!!!! This place rocks!
We always put out this sign my dad made us, but everything becomes more special at a time like this, right? Sigh.
I had to take a photo to share.
The kids FAVORITE part is that we have 2 perfect hammock trees right outside the door. They read out there for hours!
The RV park itself is really nice too. We do family walks at the end of the day and swim most afternoons at the nice pool. We go see Papa as much as possible, while also allowing them their own schedule and time together.
We are making ourselves right at home, putting out a jar for sun tea, and Avery decided our RV number pole needed some Christmas Spirit. Look closely, there are antlers too! Clever girl.
We spend a lot of time out front under the awning, just enjoying the nice weather and some family time after school.
Uncle Chad and Lauren are coming down each weekend, this time kidless. Uncle Chad played so Battleship with Pax and he loved that.
The kids talked me into a $10 ginger bread kit. What a joke! They sure don't make em like they used to,
Did I just age myself? Hahah ;) Its so gross, they used to at least be real cookies, now its like cardboard.
We had Brie Arugula Burgers for dinner, yummo!
When the kids get antsy, we head the 5 minutes to the beach and RUN EM HARD. I still forget sometimes, we are so close to the ocean. We usually winter 3 hours north of here!!!!
I'll update you on dad soon.....the time is drawing near for his homecoming.
3 years ago, in the peak of his cancer battle, my dad felt like the Lord gave him a verse about allowing him 15 more years. He read it in his quiet time, and could never find it again, but it encouraged him and give him fight when he needed it.
The other day dad said to me, I wonder why He changed his mind????
OH my word, break my heart.
I said, Daddy you can still believe for 12 more years! We need our faith to be STRONGER than what our eyes can see! (some great advice from some awesome friends)
I think life can be a little discouraging when your two main things you love are taken from you - your ability to move and your ability to speak and joke as you are accustomed.
I hate seeing my daddy like this, and was praying and praying for a Word from the Lord, not only for him, but for ME too. This is the most discouraging situation! And no answers. So I needed SOMETHING, a nugget to hold on to the the Lord was with us.
And He ALWAYS answers!!! What a blessing!!!!!
Our awesome prayer warrior friends, Pastor Jesse and Edith, often call with a word from the Lord for us. I love when He speaks through them to me!!!
This time, the Lord woke Edith up in the middle of the night with a message for me to give to dad.......
These 2 verses! The very ones he had read years before....
She also said if my dad wants to go home, that its ok for him to want that too. Paradise awaits him. I asked daddy if he wanted to fight for life anymore and he said he wasn't sure.
I know that whether Jesus heals my daddy here on earth, or heals him by taking him to Heaven, that we can rejoice that there is life and hope and healing for us all.
Here and on the other side....
Update: 3 days after I made this post, dad stopped wanting to get out of his bed and sit in the chair. Hospice is saying 3 to 7 days. I almost didn't post this, but somehow, somewhere, this all fits into the story and I need it to be here to read later. xoxo
Today is our LIVE Facebook class, come hop on and learn with me!
Just quickly print, or digitally download our class paper, so you can follow along and take notes if you'd like.
Try your best to be at our LIVE class, but know if you already have plans, you can hit it on the replay.
Prizes will be give out to LIVE participants only!
Class takes place here;
See you there! Hugs, T
So you have a WEE bit of homework to do before our class this Saturday, at 11pm EST.
Wait, don't shut off this blog post yet, it's EASY, I promise!
Watch these 3 minute videos......they are AMAAAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! And important for you to watch before class if at all possible please :)
Then, PRINT OUT, or download, a digital copy of this class on a second device, for you to follow along with on Saturday! You'll want to take notes.
Natural Solutions Hand out
See you then! I am so excited to teach you more about these oils that have radically changed our lives! I am also giving away great prizes to those participating LIVE.....
It all takes place on our event page: