Saturday, September 24, 2011

This, that, and the other

This is what happens when life becomes busy.  There's no way to create a common theme.  The best explanation for everything that has happened since being in Florida (officially a week now), is this, that, and the other.  So without further ado (which, by the way, is from an old Norse phrase, "at do", or "to do"), let the story begin.

Narrator:  (preferably read in an English accent)
"It was a sunny day when the Rowley's arrived at the RV park in South Florida.  They were cheerfully greeted by the 2nd in command, who(m? - all you grammar buffs can use the correct form...) they had come to know on their previous visit.  With all the pomp and circumstance they could muster (which was absolutely none), they detached their newly acquired car, parked the RV, and set up home.  This took all of 28 minutes...."

"Having arrived on a Saturday, they took full advantage of the situation and attended the Calvary Chapel evening service, conveniently located only a few minutes away.  Sitting in the cafeteria for service, they were able to meet with a friend who had recently journeyed with them to the remote area of Los Angeles, in Peru of course." 

"It was their good fortune (although I don't think fortune had anything to do with it - more like providence really) that this friend introduced them to another friend who was involved with Koinonia House, a ministry of Chuck Misler.  His responsibility (from what this narrator could gather) was to help with translating materials (or at least oversight of it) into Spanish. Coincidence?  I don't think so!  Phone numbers were exchanged and hopes of something more coming of it were in the minds of both."

"The following days became a mix of homeschooling for the mother and children, hunting for suitable 'office' space for the husband (anywhere quiet and a sturdy table, with preferably electric outlets), who worked on setting up meetings and responding to emails."

"Thus began their 47th? (they've lost count at this point) adventure since they embarked on this incredible, and at times baffling, bewildering, uncertain, and yet inspiring, courageous, and promising experience.  It is certain the journey is not over and there's still more work to be done."

End narration.

Yep, it's never boring around here.  Of course, Robert would disagree.  He's in the "I'm bored" stage.  But I remember going through that too.  However, one thing I have resolved to do is find things to keep the kids occupied so 1) they don't get into things they shouldn't or aren't good for them (oh you know, drugs, bad influences, rampant internet-related things...) and 2) so I don't have to hear, "I'm bored.  There's nothing to do."  I've decided to make a MakeDo box.

Yes, a MakeDo box.  I actually got the idea from a website.  It will be a box with reusable parts that boys (I guess some girls too) would like.  Things like hinges, small solar panels, nuts and bolts, electrical wires, gears, etc. that the boys (mostly Robert b/c he's into that) can create things with and take apart.  I might have to make each boy one for their likes.  We'll see. 

Something else I got back into is menu-making.  I learned how to create a menu paper set-up thing-a-muhjig from, believe it or not, a Calvary Chapel seminar a long time ago when we used to live here.  I've never forgotten it and use it frequently.  I'd like to show you what I do:

a.                                                                 b.
First, get a plain 8 1/2 x 11" paper.  Fold it in half and fold in half again (a).  Open and fold those sections in half, so it looks like (b).

Next, you will fold the paper four times the other way.  Once that's done you will have a perfect set-up for a weekly menu.  Just write, "Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner" on the short side inside the last 3 "boxes" and the days of the week on the top 7 boxes.  Make sure to black out the top corner.  Should look like this:

Now you have to come up with a menu!  You can also use the back side to create a 2nd week of menus!

PS- I will try to post how to make the quilt squares for the quilt I started soon.  (Of course, I can't continue it until we get home again, but I did take photos before we left.)

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."  Galatians 6:9-10 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Saab Story

- Disclaimer:  Robert came up with the blog title -

But I thought it was pretty funny! 

Anyhoo -
We made it to Florida, towing our newest family vehicle behind.  A 2000 Saab 93, four door, stick-shift, gets good gas mileage, and can fit the 5 of us, plus some trunk space.  And the price was right.  And remember all that painting we did not too long ago?  Well, that payed for the Saab. You can read why we needed a new (used) car here

In true Rowley fashion, we put the tow bar brackets on ourselves.  In order to tow a vehicle behind an RV, you can do one of 3 things:  1) Attach tow bar brackets to your vehicle and use a tow bar, 2) Use a car-dolly, or 3) Use a trailer. 

I was going to take photos of the before and during process, but by the time I found the camera and had the time, Bill had already put the bumper back on and was tightening the bolts on the brackets.  So, here's the final result of our do-it-yourself project:

Normally you would put the brackets inside, directly on the frame, but the frame on the Saab turned out to be a little different than we expected.  So... we had to cut out about two 6" sections of the foam on the other side of the bumber, stack four 6" pieces of 2x4's, drill 1/2" holes all the way through the 2x4s, through the frame and through the front bumber.  The bolts you see sticking out are actually 8" long.  Like I said, wished I had gotten some before and during photos so you would understand what I just said!

Needless to say, we got everything worked out and made it to Florida.  Woo hoo!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

RV Travel, Take Two

Well, we have just about everything we need to finally travel again. 

The last thing to do is attach the tow bar hooks to the new (used) car we bought to replace the Toyota (that finally bit the dust.)  But one came up on Craig's List that fit our requirements.  It had to fit 5 people (somewhat comfortably), be a stick-shift (so we can put it in neutral while it's being towed and not ruin the transmission), get good gas mileage, and be in a specific price range.  The car we found, ironically, was a Saab. 

A Saab, for those of you who don't know, is a sports car.  And the makers also make fighter-bomber airplanes.  But back to the car.  It truly has some get up and go, even with 5 people in the car.  And a decent amount of trunk space.  Another plus for all the ministry things we need to cart around. 

But I'm tickled that we ended up with a sports car of all things.  Just don't let it fool you.  Yes, we still are missionaries and under-supported.  Somehow, though, God has given us an uncanny ability to get good deals on just about everything.  This past year has felt somewhat like what the Israelites must have experienced while in the desert.  They always had manna, and their sandals never wore out. 

So, with just about everything ready to go, we should be heading down to Florida for a while to continue working on ministry ties and hopefully raising our support. 

On a lighter and funner note, Joshua came into the kitchen during lunch today and asked, "Where's dad?", and I asked him why.  He said, "Because I'm going to have a Bluegill (type of fish) for lunch."  My response, "Yep, you definetly need dad."  Apparently he had caught it during his break from school (we homeschool.)

If I got stuck on an island, I think for awhile I'd be a vegetarian, until I got desperate and decided the fish looked a whole lot more satisfying.  But for now, I'm content to have fish sticks.  ;-)

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." 
I Peter 3:15b-16

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Staying Busy

If you read the previous post, you know we are in a holding pattern on going to Florida.  And it may turn out that we won't go to Florida if we wait too much longer due to other events that will be happening in the months to come. 

Staying in an RV is tricky that way.  In order to get the best deal at an RV park, you need to stay 1 month at a time (the rate than becomes anywhere from $13-19/day verses $22-30/day.)  So it doesn't make sense to pay more per day if you aren't going to stay for a whole month.  And since we have to be back here for JOTI (Jamboree On The Internet - a scout thing) in October, our time is running out.

BUT, speaking of time, we have plenty of it lately!  So I've been keeping myself busy.

I pulled out my unfinished quilt and started making it's matching quilt.  It's only been 2 years since I put together the first one!!  So I am determined to finish the matching quilt before we leave (if we leave.)  I'm trying to make 2-3 (or more blocks per day). 

Here's a photo of the almost finished quilt:
(Joshua is holding it up for me.)  It needs some borders, but then I can add batting and backing and quilt it.  

Here's a photo of one of the blocks of what will be the matching quilt:

So all you have to do is envision that block where the tan/red block is and that's what it's matching quilt will look like.  Voila!  Seems easy enough.  I just have to commit myself to making it. 

So, now you know what I'm doing this weekend.  Oh, and Bill is unpacking boxes from the garage and continuing to clean it up.  Robert is bush-hogging (mowing but with a tractor) our field (which hadn't been done in months...), and Josh has been making 3-D guns out of cardboard.  Quite creative, actually.  He left them at his friend's or I would have taken a photo of them.  And Andrew is jumping around between family members just trying to get in on whatever action looks the funnest at the time.

Maybe we've inspired you to something creative too!  Happy weekending!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quick Update

This will hopefully be short and sweet.  (Although, if I had something sweet I would want it to last awhile...)

If you missed out on the last month or more of our Rowley Adventures, in a nutshell:
We had to pack for 3 different trips:  1)staying in Florida for 4-5 days (summer weather), 2)staying in Andahuaylas, Peru for 1 week (winter-ish weather), and 3) staying in Maryland for almost a week when we got back (back to summer weather).

Then we returned home for almost 2 weeks and we are supposed to be heading to Florida in our RV to spend 2 months there.  Well, a few things have happened and those plans have been delayed.  1) There is a hurricane off the coast of Florida (RV's and hurricanes do not mix well... ok, actually they do, mix that is... but we don't want that to happen!), 2) we had to reissue a special card and the state of Alabama will NOT forward it, so we HAVE to wait for it here at our AL address, and 3) our power has been out since yesterday. 

Those are the major factors contributing to our delay.  SO... please pray for patience, strength to endure the inconvenience of no electricity, and for the special card to arrive by the end of the week (and hopefully the hurricane will have blown over by then too!)

"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. "  Romans 5:3-5