Hi from Kansas! We have been here two months now, and just kinda settled into our school routine and moving from one RV to another in the meantime. It has been the slowest, busiest, fastest two months if that makes ANY sense at all?!
We taught oil classes, got fun mail, wrote letters to the White House for school, cranked out some fall smells and busted out some pumpkin decor.....
We have cleaned and cooked, had fun playdates, mommy Avery dates, and even a best friend shopping run to Wichita.
Remember that tree limb that fell on our trampoline?
We knew that tree was bad and would need to come down one day, just a few feet from our shed home and parked RV, but we had been praying angels around it in the meantime. Every storm seem to grow the urgency in our hearts to get it down, so we called a good friend and tree pro to get it down before we left again. We knew we would all feel better once it was done!
There was a MASSIVE branch hanging over our roof that was split down the middle, as cottonwoods often do. Our tree guy was so surprised that it hadn't dropped butt first yet. I told him it was because of the assigned angels to it, and he said YES!
Such a beauty, sad to see her go.
YOU GUYS! It was HOLLOW to the core. And every limb and all the way to the base. PUFFS of rotten tree dust! OH MY WORD. God is so faithful to have protected our home and the RV parked outside it for so long.
The State Fair was in town while we were home. We usually avoid it and go hide out at the lake, but we did go enjoy dollar day!
I had to take a photo next to the Wizard of Oz Scarecrows for my DoTERRA Dorothy team!
Destiny got to be one of 18 selected for the hypnotist show. Oh my word, we were in HYSTERICS!
I took way to many photos, and the videos are posted on my FB page.
In the following slideshow, you will see them konk out, then wake up to realize their fingers were stuck together. Later, shoes became binoculars to see all the ugly pajamas in the audience, their dream bird pet flew over the roof and landed on their finger if they did the special bird call. And then, it pooped on them! Silly bird. Destiny's bird was an ostrich when he asked her about it on the mic. ;)
We calf pulled, walked around the fair until our feet ached, listened to the drum line and then headed to dinner with our good friends, Matt and Liz! (no pics, of COURSE)
We had family photos done while we were here. Here are a few teeny sneak peeks he sent me. I am not so patiently awaiting the rest!
SO fun! I love that we got to shoot in our home state. With SUNFLOWERS no less! :)
Here are the kids checking our amazing photographers work. LOL! I will share more, once I get the images back.
Saturday, I was busy packing and preparing for our upcoming trip to Salt Lake. I tell you what, these kids CRACK ME UP!
They came down as each other to dinner tonight....
"Pax" (Avery) came in first and I legit thought it was him. I said what is on your head?
What is on your head? I lifted the hat and said "What kind of wig or hair do you have on?"
It was AVERY! My jaw hit the floor.
They had us in hysterics over dinner being an exaggerated version of each other. Love this silly crew.....
That is it from Kansas! Watch Instagram for our first long run in our new RV and gorgeous Utah. I have been on the hunt for furry rugs, foot rests and bedroom shams before we left. Lots of last minute details for sure.
I am so excited to go hang out with 85 of my Dorothy team there, along with 35,000 doTERRA peeps!
I will share more after we get back. We are going to learn a ton about oils in the medical world, hear about all the ministries doTERRA is helping, celebrate shiny new Diamond leaders on our team, and SO MUCH MORE.
In the meantime, keep an eye out on the RV oilers Instagram or Facebook page! :)
We had planned to spend all of August and part of September up north in Michigan, Wisconsin etc but after we got a call from our neighbor and a friend, that we had some tree limbs and clean up was necessary after a big storm, we made the oh so sensible decision to go home instead.
It was the right one. Poor Dale had his work cut out for him. Our place was a wreck!!! There was much to be done. Including weed eating the tall tall grass by the forest.
He was careful to move our car to the road before he started weed eating.
Extra AC anyone?
Thank God for good insurance! The trampoline should be able to be salvaged as well. Woo hoo!
One of the first thing Avery asks to do when we get to our Home Sweet Hub, is to BAKE. She set out with her buddy Pax, to make marbled cupcakes, so they could frost them. Her sweet Grandma, got her a new flower tip for her piping set. Sadly, our frosting was too runny for the new tips, but they still had a BALL frosting cupcakes anyhow.
The Lord always has a plan, and this is why we commit our calendar to Him! He always works things out, so this unplanned trip home was about to get even sweeter.......
For the past couple years, we have been keeping an eye on the RV market. We absolutely love to go look at RV's, and Dale studies floor plans and prices extensively.
We love our beautiful coach, it has been such an amazing home to our family! I love all the storage and how light and cheerful it is! It tugs my heart to see her go, but, alas, we are ready to bid her adieu.
We have been watching for a particular RV ever since we toured the factory two summers ago, and were BLOWN AWAY by their high end finishes, attention to detail and extra steps like R19 insulation, to keep things tight.
It's called Entegra, and they are amazing.....
We spent the summer popping in and out of RV dealerships checking them out, drooling and dreaming! ;)
The day we got home, Dale found our "THE ONE" on a used RV website. It was a higher end, gently used, Entegra Anthem. A higher end model than we had been looking at, but the price was right!
Oh BOY! Could this be it?!
There was only one way to find out! We had to get to Amarillo to see it in person, but we had our work cut out for us.
It takes about 4-6 hours to clean our apartment and get moved in, and that is not counting all the outside work Dale had to do. It was all hands on deck, and we cranked it out in 2 days, invited my mom to come hang out with the kids, and hit the road.
A LONG boring (I am such a bad car traveler now) 6 hours later, we got to check out the coach of our dreams. We had been wishing we could get a Blue & Black Entergra with grey interior, but a lot of the RV's in our price point are beige, maroon and brown leather. (Not my favorite)
When drove up, my heart was racing. When we stepped inside, the clouds parted and I heard the angels sing.....THIS WAS IT. The one we had been wanting, except a better model, and in our price point, and it only had 11,000 miles on it. It's interior, a beautiful grey and white!
Pinch me, is this real!?
YES it is, THANK YOU, JESUS!
The seller had two other guys flying in to see it the next day and over the weekend, so we told him we would be in touch very soon. We are working on all the details now! :)
That means we have a MOTORHOME FOR SALE!!!!
Would you be so kind as to pass this on to someone in the market for a new coach? I would be so grateful! :)
Here is the link:
This beautiful coach is a total head turner! Excellent condition with cosmetic upgrades.
*Great neutral color scheme, dark tile contrasts nicely with light wood work.
*Recently upgraded cabinet pulls and kitchen sink and bathroom sink faucets.
*Heated floors in bathroom make it toasty for those cool mornings out of the shower.
*2 solid wood doors between main room and bedroom.
*Attic fan to pull cool air in on nice evenings. Automatic closing fan and hatch in main bathroom and manual one in toilet room.
*In house cameras and outside camera viewed from driver seat. Passenger seat has recliner for easy traveling.
*Drives like a dream.
*Sleeps 6, main couch has a fold out bed, dining booth converts to a bed. J lounger is a jack knife as well.
*Nice sized RV fridge.
*New Washer/dryer 2017.
*Tons of storage in master bedroom.
*Upgraded flat screen TVs with movie storage behind it in master.
*Main living TV has thumping surround sound for movie night!
*4 new tires in 2017.
*73,000 miles on it.
Asking $125,000 or best offer
Check her out! :) Our former home sweet home.
I will keep you posted on how it's all going! Eeek! :)
Well, Kansas, it was fun! But it's time to hit the road again......this time until September!
Friends were seen:
Porches started getting decorated:
16th Anniversery's got celebrated:
Thank you Lord for blessing us everywhere we went! Upgrade to Presidential Suite, free wine & chocolate, waiter bought us dessert at dinner. Thank you Jesus!
We also helped with 2 family reunions. It was both of our families "turns" this year!
The kids helped with church on Sunday morning. They have been working hard all year on learning a lot of the book of James.....
I have some visual learners, so we use these cards as prompts, but you can try to figure it out too, like a word puzzle! ;)
Later that weekend, we visited the graves of our loved ones. First time for the kids to see Papa's headstone and grave since the funeral this past Christmas. Lots of tears!
Saw a cousins new place with the COOLEST old barn!
Survived a super bad rainstorm and came out on the other side to a rainbow:
And enjoyed one final stop before we left the land of Oz!
We had just enough time for a Fercho reunion:
Bye Kansas, see you next time! :)
If you are here from our previous blog, the 4 little Fergusons, you know we have a dear dear blog friend named Mrs. Marsha Baker. Her blog is the Better Baker!
We became great friends and she decided she wanted to come meet us, so in 2012, that is precisely what she did.
We had a grand ol time! The kids were super little and just fell in love with her.
This time around, she was coming to our new apartment house and would be SURPRISING THE KIDS! Mom got a video of the whole thing. We went over on the premise of going out to dinner with Nana, who had already gone to get Mrs B from the airport hours ago! :)
Check it out!
We enjoyed our time so much! Meals on the porch, school reports, ice cream to celebrate...everything is more fun with a guest around to hang out with.
We taught Miss B one of our favorite games called Hearts. I grew up playing it at the cabin with my grandparents! :)
We went and had lunch at Dale's momma's delicious restaurant! I didn't realize we had gone last trip, 6 years ago, until I saw this old photo on the blog. We should've had Eileen come out to recreate this picture!!
There are super cute shops downtown and Miss B had her heart set on going to a darling kitchen store! Avery, our little baker, was more than thrilled to check out the merchandise.
I found some treasures at a local "pikin" store.....old antiques and unique treasures.
When we got home, sweet Miss B, brought out a gift for each of the kids. What a fun treat!
Did you know our miss Marsha is quite the sassy one? ;) She has always wanted purple hair, so guess what? We busted out some temporary color and dyed hair on the porch while the other kids were at church with daddy.
The next day we packed up to head 2 hours out of town for a class and to drop Miss B at her next location of another blog friend, Miss Mary Lou. We had to get some photos just like last time, with all 4 Fergusons!
LOOK at those sweet little faces! OH MY WORD!
And we were off......Bar U Ranch here we come!
We pulled up to the most BEAUTIFUL home! Come to find out, it was a Sears & Robuck Catalog home. Ordered and shipped on the train back in the olden days! WOW.
It was such a joy to meet Mary Lou & later, Burt and see their LOVELY ranch!
The house was just stunning, I wish I had gotten more photos! I was busy setting up for our class. :) We had such a fun time and great turn out.
After class, Mary Lou offered to feed us at their giant ranch table with a huge turn table in the middle. It was GORGEOUS!
While she prepped food, Mr Burt took us alllll around their property. They have acre after acre of rolling hills, streams, swimming holes, and all the cute baby cows you would ever want to see!
It was simply breathtaking, and the meal Mary Lou fixed was divine! We cannot wait to go hang out with these amazing folks again. I love this part of our job that never feels like one!
The Lord brings the NEATEST people into our lives.....
We knew we were leaving Miss B in good hands, and they would have a grand time in the coming days! A HUGE storm with tornadic winds and hail was coming to we booked it out of there quickly!
Until next time friends, blessings and hugs! Thanks for an amazing time!
And to our BESTEST Baker, thanks for being a part of our hearts and family.....
When Dale asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, I said two things:
One - I want to go rough it at the lake for the weekend. Open skies, sunshine and relaxation!
Two- A buffet/hutch thing for the back porch of our apartment home for easier meals out there.
He got right to work on it!
I am constantly amazed at my Mr Handy Man and all the secret skills he has, because he whipped this out in no time and its coming together just like it looked in my head! How did he even know?!
Here it is, all finished, minus the decor I hope to find this summer when we go antiquing on the east coast! :)
We headed to the lake Friday afternoon......I always follow behind in the truck loaded down with chairs, floats, coolers and fishing gear!
We parked in my favorite favorite spot. It has no hook ups, but I didn't care, it was worth "roughing it" for the views every morning!
We spent the first afternoon in the sun, fishing and playing and reading! It was lovely.
Dale caught a fish every few minutes at the beginning, and Destiny got her first catch too.
I don't think being at the lake means we can ONLY eat lake food, so I planned for our first supper to use the instant pot. Super easy Philly Cheesesteaks with homemade provolone sauce.
I found the recipe here: www.laurengreutman.com/slow-cooker-cheesesteak-sandwiches/
Then, I made the following sauce recipe, see images:
After dinner we want down to the river to explore, it's so beautiful here!
Time to get some EXHAUSTED kiddos to bed! Serenity oil and serenity pills help everyone relax and get the deep, quality sleep they need for another day of fun in the sun.
I woke up WAY too early Saturday morning, but look at the view from my bedroom window. Good morning, Moon!
It was simply TOO STUNNING to go back to bed.
So I stayed up and watched my fishermen in his element....
One by one the Ferguson's woke up and came and joined me by the fire.....so peaceful and lovely!
The boys headed right out to fish with daddy!
I make my own bug spray and sunscreen because of the toxins in the store bought stuff, it's so nice to have natural things at our fingertips!!!!
But it helps if you USE them. Mommy did a good job putting lotion on everyone but HERSELF. (blue squeezy bottle) Oopsie! Chest was red and sore. Blue Tansy and doTERRA night cream to the rescue. I used the essential skin care toner first, to cool. Then slathered myself in blue tansy oil dripped on the night cream and got relief for HOURS. The next morning, I am brown again, and no sting! YAY, for another oil win!
Being Mother's Day weekend, we planned to have each mom come spend one day with us at the lake. It was SO FUN!
First up, was Nana, my mom......
We read books in the sun all afternoon, played games while dinner cooked and had a lovely time!
We did Hobo Dinners for supper. Mmm!
-A pat of butter, cubed red potatoes, seasoning.
-Chopped onion, cubed zucchini, baby bella mushrooms. More seasoning.
-A stack of previously smoked pork (cooked seasoned burger patties work too).
-Spoon organic cream of mushroom soup over the top and close foil packet.
Oh my word! It was so good! We served it with soft rolls so you could sop up all that good sauce after.
For dessert we stayed with the Hobo style and did dessert cones.
-Empty sugar cones
-Different chips (mint, pb, caramel, chocolate, white chocolate)
-Fresh slices of strawberries (for topping after you cook it)
The kids wanted to show Nana the forest and sunset, so we loaded up in the truck just like the night before, and headed out......
Mother's Day dawned sunny and beautiful. I totally slept in until 7:30, and missed the sunrise! Must have been the 4:30am start the previous day?! ;)
Dale and the kids were scurrying around making breakfast over the fire. So precious!
Today Dale's siblings and momma would be joining us! And later, his aunt Lucy and her crew.
Grandpa and Grandma brought out the cousins to play! The kids were so happy!
Once everyone arrived, we did a late lunch/supper. Smoked gouda cheeseburgers, giant dogs and all the yummy fixins! I wish I had a photo, but alas, I dove in and didn't even think about it! Haha, yup, that hungry! :)
As the sky started to deepen, the kids once again asked to go to the forest and jetty for the sunset.
We had an amazing time and I think a new tradition might have been born!
My only regret was that this wasn't my view again this morning. :)
Hope you all had an amazing relaxing weekend!
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....
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!
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.
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 all, listen to me. I am between a rock and a hard place.
I ADORE Fall, its my favorite time of year. I love everything about it! The smells, the crisp air, fire in the fireplace, scarves, boots, sweaters, the fall favorite foods to make without sweating to death in the kitchen. And this year, I AM LOVING FALL in our new apartment!
The views are amazing! This place is such a joy to live in.....we are living it up!
CAN WE GO TRAVEL NOW? Pleeeeeeease?!
We are getting SO SO antsy! We are calling this "The Year of Kansas" because in the almost 3 years we have been on the road, we have yet to be at our home base SO MUCH! Our family is loving it, and we are too, but once you get used to travel, well, being in one place for so long - its tricky.
I miss the sounds of the RV starting up, the feeling I get in my heart, and the excited chatter of the kids as they set up their hang out spots for a travel day. I miss flipping open the Trip Advisor app to study up on local things to see, eat and do. I miss getting to shop at funky cool farmers markets weekly, and unique grocery stores. I miss the simplicity of a 400 square foot space to live in. I miss my family! When we are home, we are way busier and see less of each other, unless we MAKE it happen.
I am telling you, we love being here, this space is such a JOY to live in. It is simple, but beautiful and we love how it turned out. We love being close to our family and church family, to local favorite shops and fall festivities. We love being gone. We love being in our tiny home on wheels. We love seeing new sites and countryside each day.....
OH MY GOODNESS, HOW CONFUSING! ;)
So while I have you here, let me show you what we have been doing on the apartment.....
We have made the decision to pause the porch until next Spring. We really want to do this smart and not go in debt over it. So daydream it with me for now!
There is a roof on here now, I just don't seem to have an updated pic of the whole thing, sorry!
We will do cement at that time, and build a screened in area on the far side over there and make it into an outdoor living and dining room......
There will be a sidewalk here leading from the front to back, and we'll add landscaping etc. See how pretty it looks when it's all lit up at night? I think its going to look nice.
We will make sure bushes hide those pipe thingies.
Then we want to add a little gravel path through the trees here and making a circle around our fire pit. I'd like to find some cool wooden chairs that can just always sit out here in a circle.
Inside, we are enjoying our new hearth and new to us pellet stove. It's in and cranking!!!!! Man it puts out good heat and its actually currently the only heat source we use. House is 74 upstairs and totally cozy!!! IMPRESSIVE.
I haven't been up to running into Hobby Lobby, but hope to get a tall FALL sign or something with some height variety this week to finish our mantel. I just used what I had kept from the old house for now. (Mostly I am just excited to decorate it for Christmas)
Do you all have fun Thanksgiving plans?
We are going to meet my dad, step mom and Florida family in Georgia at a really cool RV park with horses, hiking and beautiful views. I am so so excited! Then we think we'll be back here for our first Christmas in the apartment......
It may all depend on when the guy building our staircase can fit us in. We still need to get that project started!
I am thinking finding orange, white and blue decor for a tree and mantel could be REALLY fun and REALLY challenging. I am up for it! :)
If you follow us on Instagram you know I FINALLY found a retro clock for the main floor. No more searching for phones to see what time it is!!!!
Finding a retro clock is harder than you think, they all seem to be "barn" and antique in the rustic sense right now. But then, I found KitCat! Eeeeek!
It's tail and eyes move back and forth with every single tick tock!!!!!
Last night was the Trunk or Treat at our church, my throat has been bothering me, so I stayed home, but sweet Nana took the kids. I should've made her jump in the photo, but Destiny the sassy teenager went as "HERSELF". Haha! :)
That's all from here for now! Praying you have such a good week......
Now that the RV side of the shed is empty, we called the spray foam insulation guy to come out and spray the attic and that side of the shed.
All was going well, we were doing school, hanging as a family and having a generally nice time when suddenly......
This AWFUL plasticy smell filled our apartment. Actually, it snuck up on us. School was done and I had had a lingering and nagging headache all day. In fact, I felt a little sick and had a gross taste in my mouth.
Dale and the kids came in from outside and said WOAH, don't breathe! It smells AWFUL in here!!!!
Well thank the Lord we have 2 homes, one on wheels and one not, because it didn't take us long to decide to head to the lake for a view days while it aired out.
I love the apartment, don't get me wrong, but it felt SO GOOD to be back in the RV again!!! Makes us antsy to hit the road!!!
We did school, fished, read books, grilled out. Vegged by the fire every night. Ahh, this is the life!
Dale was glad his General contractor gave him some time off from the apartment projects to go FISHING!! Too bad they weren't biting like sometimes. ;) He still had fun!
The kids just played and had a ball. Ty and Destiny floated around on the big floatie ring out in the lake, then Ty spent some time inside reading since the light still bothers his eyes, Paxton fished and chased his boat around playing Mayflower since that's what we are studying in school. The girls played spa and kitchen and then invented some slimy mud boots named SMOOTS. Quick fashionable, yes?
My favorite has to be the nights by the fire: s'mores and songs, laughter and worship.
Have you tried the new chocolate striped marshmallows? Holy amazing! I didn't even use graham crackers or chocolate, just ate the chocolate filled marshmallows! mmmmmm!
We ended the evening with our Goodnight song. We've been singing this to the kids since they were in the nursery rocking chair. Such a fun way to close out a fun day! :)
Destiny is holding the phone so you hear her the best, but Avery has learned to harmonize with her. Love when they all lift their voices in praise to their Father!
So, it's not done, but want to take a PEEK at what we are working on?!?!?! :)
Lots of little details coming together like brown travel sign painted orange, pale blue farm window turned robins egg blue to match the rest of the house, blue screen door to go on coat closet......
We eat dinner inside the apartment now, still paper plates, but yes, progress!
New beds are UP!
Unpacking antique treasures from the past year on the road....
Our room still needs to be decorated, but need to find white dresser and night stands first.
Kids think the space under their loft beds is so cool!
Onyx shower going in....Dale works so hard and has saved us tons doing these things himself. I am so grateful!
To do list: finish the "Betty" countertop into a desk/folding station. Build a linen closet in bathroom next to shower. Finish kitchen grout and bring in rest of appliances.
We've come a long way, but all these details to go........plus, SO MANY BOXES to dig through! 150 to be exact. I promise to update you soon, and when its done, we can do a GRAND TOUR POST!!! Or video or something fun so you can really see it. What do you think?
Yawn. Off I go to open more boxes......
In the midst of apartment finishing, Avery and I had a birthday! I love sharing my special day with this sweet little lady. 08-01-81 and 08-01-08 :)
Since moving in the RV, we have stopped doing actual gifts and have been focusing more on experiences, out to eat, bowling, a movie, queen of the day, picking the dessert etc.
But this time, there were actually a couple things that made sense to give her gift wise....
She was at camp on her birthday, so she opened her gifts early, while Papa and Drea were here!
She got a Kindle fire to read books on, a bonnet she BEGGED for at a museum and we said no to, and some play food. She wants to create a little house under her loft bed in the apartment!
Right after she opened the food and pots and pans from Grammy and Papa Clay, she says, I sure wish I had a little kitchen to use this stuff in.......out walks Daddy with a KITCHEN!!
I bought this for her 3 years ago, during a huge sale, knowing she'd want it. Well, that was right about our RV move time, so it never happened. How PERFECT to unearth it in storage and be able to give it to her now. God is good! :)
Once we find loft beds, it will tuck underneath!
Oh her big day, she headed off to church camp. Camp Kanakuk was an AWESOME experience for our kids! It they ever come to your local church, be sure to check it out. Tons of hype, excitement, Bible learning and adventures like rock climbing, bungie trampolines, ziplines and more.
Since it was her bday, Avery got to give a pie in the face to her counselor and go up on stage! :)
After camp was over for the day, we went out to a restaurant called The Barn, with amazing plate sized chicken fried steak and homemade mashed potatoes, rolls and pb pie. YUMMO!
I share a birthday with my best friends husband too, so we all went out together! :) SUPER fun!
My momma got me a gift card to my favorite local restaurant, and my bff got me darling earrings, which I promptly got the matching set to! I had the perfect occasion to wear the set because.......
Dale and I were privileged to take the first Diamond on our doTERRA Dorothy team, out to dinner with her hubby, while we were in town to CELEBRATE!!!!!!!
Meet Amy, the momma of the Emerald City Rock Stars! She is the second Diamond in the state of Kansas, after Dale and I! Isn't that awesome?!?! Eeek! We are THRILLED for her!
Then it was back to the reality of apartment work, paint clothes and all! After a month of painting and construction dust, I don't even bother changing out of my paint clothes to go to town anymore. I NEVER thought that day would come, but alas, function over fashion.
In the midst of it all, I even discovered I could fit not one, but TWO, toilets in my car. Impressive, right!? ;)
I'll give you an apartment update tomorrow!
Hugs, T :)
My friend Jenny messaged me last night, and asked if we were writing verse on our walls before we painted. We had planned to pray over the home before me moved in, walking from room to room, but hadn't thought of writing verses!!!!
I did a little research, and apparently it's a "THING". Cool!
So I was thinking about it, and I remembered the verse in the Bible that talked about doorways, and writing on them, so I looked it up.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, "These commands that I give you today, are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."
So today, in the midst of painting, that's exactly what we did.....
We picked a verse for the front door, and a verse for the back door.....
Front door: Joshua 24:15 "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Back door: Deuteronomy 28:6 as pictured below. Dale added 1 John 4:16.
Each child got to pick a special verse for their bedroom door frames as well. They thought it was SUPER cool to write with permanent markers on the boards of the doorways!!!!
Dale picked several verses, 2 for our closet doors and one for the main doorway from Song of Solomon. I even got a love note out of the deal! ;)
I also had picked out one from Song of Solomon and wrote a little love note too.
The verse I chose, was about my beloved.
One of my favorite things about my "new" marriage is Dale treats me so much like his cherished one, his beloved.
It brings tears to my eyes, and I know the Lord works all things for good, for those who trust Him with their messes.
Praise God for beauty from the ashes, right?! Amen.
The upstairs orange half bathroom got it's own special verse about patience, haha!
Moving back downstairs, I chose a 2 verses for the Laundry room and 1 for the bathroom.
We prayed over each room as we went, inviting the Holy Spirit to dwell here in this place, for the Father to grant us peace and joy in the walls of this home sweet hub whenever we stop through, angels of protection in Jesus name. You know? When we were all done, the whole place felt different. There are no words!
We worked the rest of the day on the ceiling planks, we primed, then painted each one. Its very TEDIOUS with all those cracks between slats that take lots of time and attention, we do about 5 at a time on the main floor, and have another 6 going upstairs we rotate through as they dry.
Dale rented a tool to help him start to get them up to the ceiling and in position. The hardest part of his day, is cutting around the ceiling lights. Poor guy! He is doing a great job though!
The biggest trick is figuring out where to move them to as they are dry and waiting to go UP. We are figuring it out, but there is just not much room to move around these days!
Stay tuned for more pics as we work the next couple weeks before our trip up north...
We got SO MUCH DONE while we were home!!! The apartment is coming along nicely, we had a family wedding to attend, and lots of team events and classes, meetings and such. Our work rarely feels like work because we adore connecting with our team so much.
We were so thankful to be home for Dale's cousins wedding. Guess what? He was a junior attendant in our wedding 15 years ago. WHAT?! How are we this old?
He got married out at the BEAUTIFUL farm we renewed our vows at. We used the all brick gorgeous horse barn, he used the gorgeous lawn for ceremony and the brick airplane hanger for the reception. Yes, this place is AMAZING! :)
I was excited to get to wear my second Stitch Fix wedding dress. One more to go in Oregon!
Imagine my surprise when I find out that my NANNY kids were there! If you followed my old blog, you know I nannied for a family of 5 and a family of 2 right up through the time Dale and I got married.
Anyhow, the Wiens family, they are super close friends of the bride. I was SO happy to get to hang out! So get this, Abby (in red) is pictured up in my wedding photo, holding hands with yup, you guessed it...the groom, Dale's cousin Matt. I had so much fun introducing them again after all this time. :)
Can you believe those little guys laying in a circle above, are the same as in the pic below? They have grown into amazing adults!!
The kids danced the night away, it was a gorgeous wedding!
The rest of our time at home was spent taking bike rides, seeing family and friends, and working on the apartment.....
Mother's Day started off with a yogurt parfait in bed. My sweet family knows that breakfast is NOT my favorite! :) They brought me sweet cards and kept me company while I ate.
After church and a lovely late lunch at Dale's mom's restaurant, we headed to the lake. Dale wanted to fish and I had plans to read a book or two in the sun. My sweetie girls came up and asked if they could "do my nails" and give me hand and foot massages. Haha, SURE! :)
I got some AWESOME chairs for Mother's Day. I call them my porch candy, they are so colorful and beautiful! And totally retro like our apartment theme....
We ran to pick them up from Orscheln's.
And I found a present I wanted WAY WORSE...
OH MY GOODNESS. I want this sweet little BUNNY for my RV pet! Sophie would surely love some company. I wasn't alone, all the kids were smitten. In fact, we visited this little bunny several times. But alas, Dale would not budge. Something about not wanting a litter box in the RV and knowing, that in the end, I really wouldn't either. ;)
Too bad, she sure is cute. We named her Cassia, after the cinnamon essential oil. Sigh. I miss her.
One quick lunch date with my BFF, and a 45 minute run to go pick up my broken wedding ring from AGES ago it seems, and it was time to leave for our west coast trip.....
Kasey had some boring errands to run in a town about 45 minutes away, so she called to see if I could go and we could make it a quick girls lunch and shopping trip. We had a leisurely lunch at our favorite high class joint, and then ran to the stores she needed. SUPER fun! So thankful we got some time together before we hit the road.
I don't know if you saw this on Instagram, but months and months ago, I went into a kitchen cupboard and caught my beautiful band on a mean ol' bolt in the hardware. Something had to give, and thank goodness, the ring did, right where we had it sized. Apparently, people strip all their skin off, break their knuckle or break the ring where it was sized. PHEW!
Feels good to have it back on my finger before we go!
We had to run to Kansas City before we left town to go pick up our new trailer, aka garage. I'll share about that soon! It's time to hit the road again.....
I can tell you, there is nothing more special then getting to live all as a family on the road all the time. But I can ALSO tell you, that it was WONDERFUL to have some Dale and Tonya time over a long weekend away.
Thank you Nana for watching our precious ones and coming out to live in the RV while we were gone!!!
May 25th, I get to celebrate 15 years with this guy! Woot woot! Now let me tell you, back in the day, on our honeymoon to Maui, we decided to come back at 5 years.
HA. Seriously. By 5 years we had lost 4 babies, had Destiny and was rapidly approaching 3 kids, a mortage and 2 car payments! So we decided 10 years. Surely, we'll be ready to go by then.
Nope. Not happening. We were literally going through the hardest time in our marriage, finances and all.
15 years it is.....which brings us to present anniversary! :) <3
And NOPE. Doing an apartment, so all our funds are being funneled into it right now. And besides, we only have Hawaii, Alaska and North Dakota left on our map to pin before we have visited all 50, so the kids want to go!
Maybe at year 20? ;)
A weekend away will have to do! :) We have a favorite hotel in a metro area about 45 minutes away. Super luxurious, close to shopping and restaurants, and just time away, which is what we sought.
We had SO MUCH FUN!!!!!
We ate TONS of good restaurant food, both out and in...... Indian is always a favorite. They took such good care of us at Kebabs , especialy once they found it was our anniversary!
We also go to go design our kitchen at Menards, pick out doors, floors and all kinds of fun things for our apartment. I cannot wait to show you more as it progresses!!! Eeeek! :)
It was a super overcast, rainy weekend so it was the perfect weekend for shopping, holing up on our room, watching movies, reading, talking, and just relaxing. We also had a couple meals "bed picnic" style like we used to when we were first married.
v Look how grown up and sensible we are, taking our vitamins. Haha! We both HATE when we forget, because there is such a marked change in how we feel throughout the day. I am not even kidding. doTERRA's Life long vitality vitamins keep me from crashing and snacking mid afternoon, so amazing!
So our anniversary weekend was supposed to be Friday through Sunday, right? Well, then I get a message from the local news station, that they wanted to interview the RV oilers on their morning show, live.
HOLY COW! Tv again?! LIVE this time??? That part made me nervous. No retakes!!!
Okey dokey, let's do it. We've been asking the Lord to expand our territory, and apparently, it includes TV shows now! ;) To Him be the glory!
So we shifted our trip to Saturday, Sunday, Monday and hit the studio early Monday morning for the show. I was nervous, but my FB friends helped me pick an outfit I felt confident in.
Shane, Frank and Allyson were SO NICE, and we got to meet some other amazing bloggers too!
You can go watch our segment of the show here:
Talk to you again soon! Now that we are on the road again, I have better wifi, so I am trying to get caught up!
Our schedule always gets super full when we are home in Kansas, but only because we have so many fun and amazing people in our lives! Here are some of the HOME Happenings and a camera dump so to speak....
We took a homeschool field trip to Aviate trampoline park with my best friend and her family, and had a BALL! Great way to get some exercise and play too....
We hit up all our favorite local restaurants, including Braums! Mmm good beef for burgers and amazing milk and ice cream.
Poor Paxton, sometimes your finger looks JUST like a fry, doesn't it?! ouchie. But we all had a good chuckle over it.
School is going well, although I can tell we are ALL anxious for a summer break....
After 2 years of loving our Chore Sticks, and each kid drawing two to complete each day, it was time to buckle down and get a little stricter again.
We made a schedule for the fridge of how the day should go, and a chore chart under the shower schedule on the shower door.
Isn't it amazing how that pendulum swings too far one way, and then it has to go too far the other before you find a new middle ground?
After 2 amazing years on the road, we were getting sloppy. Obedience was going down and voices were going up! Not cool.
This has ALREADY changed EVERYTHING! We are getting yes ma'm, we are seeing the kids quicker to obey (slow obedience is no obedience). Avery says, oh mommy, I LOVE our new schedule, I cannot WAIT for tomorrow when we can use it again!
Seriously?! Pretty awesome, and proof kids crave boundaries....
It rained and rained and rained and then it rained some more....sigh. We can only play so many games, and read so many books, and play playdough for so long, before its time to get creative!
We decided to play Dictonary Pictionary:
Sooo, it was still dreary and raining! Ugh ugh ugh. (this cloudy overcast weather went on for a WEEEEEK)
Time to break out the big guns.......movie time, but FIRST, a picture scavenger hunt!
I hid in the back and quickly made clue cards....while they cleaned up our other activites, I meandered around the house and hid them in the correct spots.
It hurts my brain to do these but I LOVE THEM! The key is to flip them over and write the correct location of where each clue should hide, to lead to the next clue in the right order.....
In the end, it all ended happily with the new SING movie!
All that rain made the ticks come out in force, good thing we have an awesome homemade bug spray! I am so so thankful for doTERRA, and how we have literally replaced all the products in our home with something simple I can buy or make myself. When you are ready to makeover your home, I'm your girl! :)
I did 10 drops of each oil listed with water to the top, shake and spray. Smells amazing!
For Sophie the wiener dog, I do a mist on her legs and belly and use the terrashield oil dripped on her collar as a natural flea repellent. You can shop products here at www.mydoterra.com/rvoilers but I'd rather you message me on this website so I can help you get everything at cost! Friends don't let friends shop retail!!!!!
I am so so thankful for doTERRA, and how we have literally replaced all the products in our home with something simple I can buy or make myself. When you are ready to makeover your home, I'm your girl! :)
We are blessed to have about 3,000 people on our doTERRA team. We call ourselves the Dorothys as a little nod to our Oz Kansas roots, where it all began.
While we are home, we try to get together with the builders and just reconnect and encourage each other...this time, we had some new paperwork to cover, so we planned a business training. It went great!
Did you know you can cook with your doTERRA oils? You sure can! They are like the most beautiful cooking extracts, straight from nature. Lemon rosemary chicken, cilantro lime rice, lemongrass ginger stir fry...the list goes on.
For our meeting we made Wild Orange Dark Chocolate brownies, Double Chocolate Cinnamon Brownies and Triple Fudge Peppermint brownies. YUMMO! They were all amazing.
We did like 6 drops orange in the batter, maybe 4 peppermint and 8 cinnamon.
A trip home would NOT be complete without a GIRLS NIGHT.....
We started off with a ditch your bra party! Yup, its a thing. And yes, you can be comfortable and much healthier for your body when wearing these awesome cami's! UNDERWIRE is HORRIFIC for you, it blocks the flow of your body and causes all kinds of issues for womens health, so does deo. That's a different subject for a different day.
I choose a molded cup non wire bra carefully, but this is even a step better. (*Note, since writing this post, I have had it for nearly a month, and I NEVER want to take it off. The day I wash and hang it to dry, I am sad to have to go back to regular bra. I am LOVING how it makes my tummy feel too. SO stretched out from babies!!!)
Ruby Ribbon is the name of the company. I haven't worn my regular bra since this party. Why would I when I can lose 2 inches, have a smooth back, all while being FREE in this cami bra?! ;)
Check out www.rubyribbon.com/stephaniearnold She'll take SUCH good care of you!!!
After checking out, we went back to Momma B's house for cards and homemade PEACH pie with ice cream. (Oh my lanta was it good!)
And DigestZen essential oil shots to help us deal with ALL THAT FOOD in our bellies.
And then, for fun???? we all ate some kind of nasty year old fermented pickled stuff that helps your tummy. My mom is into all that.
It worked amazing!!!
Unless your me.
Then it just makes you gag, and dry heave and bloat and get gassy. Pffft!
Just sayin.... ;) Guess I need to eat year old food more often???
Slide show of all the fun
That's it for now....we are hard at work on the apartment we are building for our Home Sweet Hub to stop through as we travel.
Hopefully I can blog that soon, but right now, its just kinda the boring stuff like HVAC and electrical. All important, but not that fun to take photos of! :)
Destiny got home from our Florida winter in time to compete in a Nazerene youth competition called Extreme. We found out the rules last minute, and realize the things we prepared over the winter, weren't going to work after all. YIKES!
We quick ran outside with the camera for 2 shots, one landscape and one portrait, and hoped for the best. It was VERY brown in Kansas at the time, so we had to work with what we had. Bleh.
I had her use my "big" camera, and after a quick photoshop tutorial, let her go to town. She did great!
Then the song, we went round and round and round, and at the last minute, she came up with Francesca B. "This is the Stuff" since she knew all the words from the radio.
Here goes nothing......
You can watch the video here.
She was super nervous and swayed alot, hee hee, but still got a 1 rating on both her photo entries and the song and moved on to MAX, the regional competition in Olathe. YAY!
We decided to make a fun weekend of it, go to IKEA, book some essential oil classes and see our friends in the area.
I fell in love with these lamps from IKEA for our retro kitchen. LOVE the pop of orange!
We got this HUGE hanging one, and the matching lamp one that will be altered for hanging above the sink.
To give you an idea of how huge and awesome this one is, let me share another pic with the kids in it, for perspective!
On to the FERCHOS for some F U N!
Remember the RV family we met last Spring? I LOVE that the Lord orchastrated all the details for this amazing meeting. Dale and Dawson met, then Tiffany and Tonya, Sophie and Summer the dogs, and all those fun kids that fell stair step to each other and got along AMAZINGLY from the start.
It was a Ferguson Fercho reunion! :) We went to church together, hung out at their house several days, just talking and catching up while the kids played.
We drove in to watch the competition several times throughout our stay.....
Avery found her photo right away!
We got to hear the College choir sing, that was super awesome!
Here is Destiny's performance:
We found out at the end of the weekend, that she got 2 perfect scores from 2 different judges on the Avery photo, the log one also got a 1 and her singing got a 1. YAY Destiny!
Now that we had our girl back, we planned to hang out with Fercho's and get all caught up! Tiff took us to the Freezing Moo, a super COOL rolled up ice cream place!
I got the Pink Lady, which was vanilla base with graham cracker, fresh strawberries and sweetened condensed milk. I got to pick 3 toppings so I just did those 3 again, SUPER yum!
Watch how they do the ice cream rolling here:
They had a printer so you could print your rolled ice cream selfie.
We also got to go enjoy a day at the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. Free after 2pm during the week and SO DARLING!
It was a gorgeous warm spring day, and perfect for goat feeding, enchanted forest walking and playing on the barn playgrounds. They had so many cool animals, and exhibits too!
The old school room was really neat too!
Check out these CRAZY rules for teachers of 1872!!!!!
The GIANT wind chimes in the Enchanted Forest was my favorite part. They sounded amazing! I made sure to get a video of it, but its on facebook, so use this link to go take a listen.
Is that not the BEST sound?!
Hope you all had an amazing weekend and start to your week! Sending blessings and hugs from the Fergusons...
We were blessed to be home for Easter, and enjoyed each of our families for this celebration of a Risen Saviour!
Dale's 36th birthday fell on Good Friday.....
We didn't have anything big planned, but as is tradition, the birthday boy gets to pick what we do that day, what we eat, or where we GO eat, if they want to eat out.
First stop was headed up to his momma's restaurant for lunch. While we were there, he noticed a guitar case in the corner.....
"Whose guitar?" he asks his mom.
"I don't know!" she says perplexed.
"Guess you better open it and see....." the kids and I chime in.
Oh the look on his face when he realized HIS. Love it! He kept sputtering,
"But - but - but I don't know how to play it...."
WELL buddy, then owning one is a GOOD FIRST STEP! Right?! :) hahahaha
Destiny, Avery and I had snuck down to the guitar shop on the guise of "shopping to use a certificate" Destiny had won at a downtown boutique....got a heck of a deal, and slipped the gift into the corner while Dale was in the kitchen visiting with his chef brother.
We picked that gorgeous multi colored one they called sunrise or something, you can see it about 5 guitars back. The nice guy at Sparks music, Todd, threw in a case, a strap, pick and some instruction to boot! YAY! :)
As long as I have known Dale, he has wished he could play! Well, now is as good a time as any, since he is retired and has TIME on his hands! Besides, how amazing will this be, when we can all sit around a fire at an RV park, some quiet starry evening, and have worship time. (chills already!)
He is already doing a good job using you tube to teach himself some chords.....
He sure must love us, because he picked MY favorite sushi place for supper, Freddy's for their amazing ice cream sandwiches for dessert, and Lego Batman movie for the kids afterwards.
We have a cool domed screen movie theater in town that shows full length movies at a lower price. I love that you feel like you are moving because of the dome shape, pretty stinking cool!
Love the first Lego movie, I wouldn't waste my money on the Batman one, unless you need a nice place to nap! Dale and I both had a nice siesta. Shh, don't tell!
The next day was our first Easter celebration with Gigi and Nana.....they had been hard at work preparing a two house egg hunt for the kids.
They were SO excited I was actually going to let them EAT whatever was in those eggs!!!!
Some had gourmet jelly beans (supposedly dye free), some had marshmallow eggs, some had chocolate pb, some had money, some had slips of paper that said book or movie. I unearthed a bin of gifts, New Testament Jesus movies and the Christian Bearnstein Bear books. PERFECT!
We played Hand & Foot, the awesome card game with Skipo cards, and then ate Ham sandwiches, veggies, chips and all kinds of yummy stuff. We headed home by 7, for pie making, showers and early bedtime.
It was going to be a busy Easter Sunday with Destiny singing in all 3 services with the youth, and Dale's big side of the family getting together after.
The Easter service was fantastic and the worship had me in tears many many times. It just hits you at times, how incredible the gift we were given. The gift of VICTORY, the power of the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. The sacrifice. Wow.
We headed the 40 minutes out to the farm to spend the day with Dale's side of the family....I used to try to coordinate our outfits every year. This year, I was just happy to dig in our storage and find things that were warm enough for everyone on this coolish day! Hahah! Priorities have changed :)
Lunch was incredibly delicious, and as soon as they were allowed, the kids changed out of their nice clothes and headed out to see the animals and play with their cousins.
I have to show you, Avery and Pax made the CUTEST carrot dip....it was 2 things of cream cheese softened, green onions, a couple tablespoons dill and ranch dressing powder. Shape like a carrot, pat with cheddar cheese and allow to harden. Before serving, carefully lift top of carrot to add washed parsley. Serve with crackers.
IT WAS DELICIOUS and darling!
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a really happy Easter celebration! HE IS RISEN! Death had no hold on our Saviour.....Hallelujah!
The photos in the following post come from news sources, friends and family that took photos, as we were not here for any of this part.
March 5th we got word that the area right by where we built our home sweet hub, was on fire. All our neighbors were being asked to evacuate.....
We started praying and continued the rest of the day, the kind where you breathe in, and breathe out a prayer.
They were able to get it out, and watched hot spots for a while, but a few days (a day?) later, it all flared up again, WORSE this time by horrific winds.
March 6th - The wildfire is 0% contained as of this morning. Firefighters are weary they have been fighting fires for 4 days straight. At this point we had no word on how many structures were destroyed. 10,000 people have been evacuated out of homes at this point, and schools are cancelled.
Our area was evacuated again, and this time people were reporting seeing flames from their deck before pulling out. Things were getting bad bad bad! We had heard nothing about our property, but continue to remain hopeful that all was well.
We were praying without ceasing for the firefighters and families effected by this tragedy! These are the last photos we saw of the area close to our home for days and days until they started letting people back in.....
We had no idea if our property was fine, or if there was damage from flying debris, or the fire itself. Because our streets grasses burned up to the property line that first fire, we were hopeful that helped to prevent new blazes.
We felt so helpless! But if we were home there is nothing we could've done anyhow. Crazy feeling...so we lived it all through news outlets and facebook posts of friends.
March 6 evening Facebook post on my wall....
Fire crews are forming a line on north edge of Hutchinson along the road. Standing in the gap between the city and fire. They just told the firefighters to only fight the fires you can reach from the road!!! THIS JUST GOT REAL.
A HUGE area of the rural properties is being evacuated, literally from our old house north east of town, to our new property north west. WOW.
Oh Father, we cry out to you for rain, for protection, for your power and presence. Wake the people that need to get OUT, grant safety for those traveling away from the fires now. Give the firefighters energy and stamina that only comes from you, protect them, Father. Protect the people, the animals, and the homes in the path of this blaze.
Calm the winds with your hand, Jesus. We need you now, to surround Hutchinson, Ks with your protection, mercy and grace. We ask all this in your mighty name.....Amen. (so be it!)
I am far far away from Oz, but my hometown is near my heart tonight! I will pray long and hard for you all!
I am praying over our home there as well, that was already spared once today, praise you Father! xoxoxo ~T
From fb news outlet
"At 7 a.m. the fire was 0% contained and estimated to be 1/2-1 mile wide, 25 square mile area was evacuated and most are still unable to go home."
There were other fires too, all at the same time, in Oklahoma and Texas! We are so thankful for the fire fighters and the days and days they were out there risking their lives to save peoples homes!
There are some heart wrenching stories about total loss of lives, animals and livelihoods in those ranching areas. Our town lost 7 houses total and we were told that only one life was lost, from smoke inhalation. It could've been so much worse!
We saw SO many houses with burned marks up to green grass where sprinklers and fire fighters kept homes safe. It was within 15 feet of many homes!!!!
Including our neighbors house.....
We found out the fire had burned down our road, literally straight for us. The winds switched and the blaze turned left, went around our precious neighbors home, and kept burning the entire prairie behind her place.
WOW. Wow wow wow. Sometimes, there are just no words.
As we walked our property today for the first time since the wildfires, I had complete chills and utter disbelief, at how close the fire was to our place....
I was even more shocked to see 3 distinct burn spots out back, that clearly never spread. As in, we can see where the log burned but nothing to the left or right is touched. I can only assume the fire fighters were near by (Thank you to those hard working heros!) or the hand of the Father is miraculously shown here!
And GLORY to my Father in Heaven for sparing our home so clearly......the closest tree that burned, is 20 feet from our shed.
I am also so blown away and blessed by the nudging of a spirit filled friend, who called to encourage us to plead the Blood of the Lamb around our belongings, WEEKS before this occurred.
I have no doubt this is the answer to that prayer and testimony of the POWER of the blood fo the Lamb! Thank you, Jesus!
Lots happening around here this week, the builder came. I will show you photos soon! :)
Here is a slideshow of the trees from our backyard:
The images in this blog post are not mine, but from news articles and friends facebook messages and posts, as I am not there to take any of my own.
A few weeks ago, a dear friend of our called an encouraged us to plead the blood of Jesus over our home and lives, and even our unfinished shed house in Kansas. It was a great conversation, encouraging as always, but because of her prayer burden for us, we took her call extra seriously.
So pray we did, the blood of Jesus specifically and often, over everything we owned. This is something we usually do in passing, like angels of protection in Jesus name, but we specifically asked for the blood of Jesus AROUND our home.
So Sunday night, we start getting calls about evacuations happening because of wildfire in our neck of the woods. We prayed and prayed and prayed some more. It almost didn't seem real!
Then we start getting messages from the neighbors that the fire was literally traveling down our road! And boy did we feel helpless, but we know the important things are here with us. Right? The rest of that stuff, is just stuff. (ooo, and photo albums and home videos. Sniff sniff!) But just stuff we can't take with us anyhow. It will all pass away when we move on to eternity.
That's how I slept that night...I just kept telling myself that!
Because I have sweet neighbors and friends who love me, they were out checking things at our place, as SOON as the evacuation was lifted, and the sun was up.
One friend in particular called me bawling....it's overwhelming, I think, the smoke and the burnt prairie. The homes just a few feet away from the line of black! The video she showed me was mind blowing! I had to sit down and breath a little to take it all in.
You all, the fire literally traveled down our road, crossed behind our neighbors home and kept going north.
We have one burnt tree. One.
I was shaking, crying and praising God for being so faithful to answer the prayers of His children!
This is taken from our neighbors drive. That is our tree row over across the road....
Here is our neighbors home and how close it came to her before moving on north behind her property! God is so good to have protected her home.
Sadly, despite fire crews parking out there all day and watching hot spots, AND bringing in the National Guard to drop water on the area, the wildfires STILL started back up again Monday night. This time the wind shifted and blew TOWARDS town.
They called in firefighters from all over the state to help, but by Monday evening, were instructed to all line up on the road and stop the fire from spreading to town. Its SERIOUS business when they go with that line of action.
That means its going to run wild and free in the country, before being contained as best as possible at the road to city limits. Oh I pray for peoples homes and barns. Horses and animals. Livelihoods and dreams.
All of our country friends north of town, were evacuated. From our new home site northwest of town, all the way over to the property we sold to move into the RV, northeast of town, asked to pack up and leave their homes. All looking back towards a flame filled night sky.
I have got to go to bed. I have been super sick the past few days, but I will finish this when I wake up tomorrow and hear what happened. Until then, I am praying without ceasing!
Thankful to all these heros from near and far coming to help!
It's Tuesday morning, here is what I am learning:
"Reno County officials estimate 6,000 acres have burned in the county; 4,500 acres of that is from the Highlands Area subdivision grassfire. At least 30 homes are destroyed, with the possibility that more are damaged. Local officials have been unable to get into the area to asses the damages." The fire continues to burn and has not been contained. We have been unable at this point to determine damage estimates. However, a fly-over is planned today with a Hutchinson firefighter and Kansas Highway Patrol to get a more accurate picture of the damage.
We know many residents were evacuated and anxious for information about their properties and homes, so we hope to begin damage assessments later today so we can give out accurate information.
The evacuation area remains closed. The area is Hendricks Street to Hwy K-61 from 30th Avenue to 108th Avenue/county line. However those with physical addresses on 30th Avenue have been allowed to return. All areas north of 30th remain closed.
We have heard reports of residents returning to homes to collect belongings. We strongly emphasize the importance of remaining out of the evacuation area. When the wind shifts and there is a great deal of unburned fuel, there is no way to be safe. Also helicopters are doing water drops, and if they spot people in the area they must abort their operations.
Law enforcement officers continue to provide security in the evacuation zone.
The shelter at the Encampment Building at the Kansas State Fairgrounds remains open and there were 70 evacuees in the shelter this morning. There is also a pet shelter open at the fairgrounds, including space for horses.
For information and updates, residents can call 2-1-1, which is an information hotline run by United Way. Also the United Way of the Plains will be taking financial donations for those impacted by the fire. You can contact 2-1-1 about the donations; 100 percent of those donations will be back to the local community.
Also evacuees are encouraged to register as “Safe and Well” on the American Red Cross website: www.safeandwell.communityos.org so that loved ones know you are safe.
We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the community in donations for our first responders. If you wish to donate items please bring them to the Garden Center at Wal-Mart, 1905 E. 17th. Requested item include: water, Gatorade, high protein snacks, eye drops, contact solution, baby wipes, over the county allergy medication, and phone chargers. Please do not bring items to the fire stations. Salvation Army and Red Cross are coordinating the feeding of first responders.
National Guard will continue air drops throughout the day. Just a reminder to local drone operators that they are prohibited during these air drops. If a drone is spotted, the air drop operations will be halted immediately.
Currently there are over 230 responders still out on-scene from 116 agencies. We are asking for everyone to remain out of the areas so the first responders can do their jobs safely; because this is a long way from being over.o assess damages due to the fire."
This was taken from the clubhouse of the area we live in. Praying for everyone involved!!!! I will update as I learn anything new.
We left the day after Thanksgiving, but not until after lots of fun with family and friends....if you followed the 4 little Ferguson's blog, you know we spend noon and after with Dale's crew, and dinner and games with mine.
These photos show the 18 leaf table, plus there are 3 other tables, that house all of us there. That's one big happy family! :)
We even had some surprise cousins from Philly pop in at my moms that evening. It's always a joy to see Jason and Karena!
Our social calendar leading up to Thanksgiving was the fullest it had ever been. We left exhausted, but it was so good to see everyone!
Even squeezed in some babysitting for Destiny, a girls day out with my BFF for a steak and lobster lunch, shoe shopping, and of course getting the kids together for a playdate......
My momma in law was wanting some help with her big tree at the restaurant before her private Christmas parties start. Dale was my human ladder,and we got the job done right! And yes, he is standing on a chair. He thought he was so funny dipping and swaying around. ;)
And because momma in law has recently redone her beautiful home and kitchen, she has new colors in her house.
Well, far be it from me to decorate her tree with her old color scheme, so I asked if she wanted a new one in her new colors......off to Hobby Lobby we went, and created the most beautiful theme!
Oh I just adore it! It's like a breath of fresh, cold, wintery air!
Being home was not without its challenges, in the midst of the fullest calender we have ever had, we moved too! Not really moved moved, but relocated the stored items from the future apartment side of our shed, to the RV side of our shed, anticipating the builder coming to start working on the apartment.
When his schedule got pushed back to January, and with the temperatures PLUMETTING, we made the decision to move the RV indoors. We were not wanting to deal with freezing kids and freezing burst pipes.
Sooooo, Dale moved the boxes BACK to the apartment side, in order to open up the shed side enough to pull the RV in to stay warm. He wrapped the pipes in insulation inside too. Yup, it was that cold.
We had pillows in front of the door and sleeping bags over the blankets on the kids beds, to stay warm. RV's are luxurious, but they are NOT designed for cold. We were fine, and the heater does a good job, just not ideal. :) Sophie agreed. It is PAST TIME to go to Florida!
After 3 plus weeks in Kansas, we were antsy to hit the road again. We headed south to what we thought would be warmer weather. Nope. It was cold and windy in Texas too! And they were calling for an ice storm later in the week. ACK!
We have a blossoming team here, so its important we see them again before hiding out for the winter. We wished we had more weeks so we could go deeper in Texas and see all the rest of the Texas doTERRA Dorothys as well!!!!
But made the most of it, coloring, playing games, swimming in the rv resort indoor pool, watching Christmas movies and just having fun. We ate our favorite restaurants and revisited some sites from past trips through as well.
The RV park we were staying at had a fun Longhorn Limo service that took you to dinner. Yehaw! We thought that'd be such a fun surprise for the kids......they loved it!
We were celebrating, and PRIME RIB and STEAK was on the menu! YUMMO!
A year ago on November 30th, we made the Diamond rank with doTERRA. To explain, Diamond rank is the 3rd from the top leadership rank, and for a long time was the ultimate goal of ours. We have hit Diamond many many times this year, but as of November 25th, we hit it organically, without any special planning or buying in. PRAISE THE LORD! I hope this is the new normal!!!! :) God is so good to provide for all our needs, and allow us to help others in the process, with life changing health.
We have been to Cadillac Ranch before, but we didn't have spray paint. That just isn't acceptable, so we tried tried again.
But that's a nother post, for another day!