Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Boneyard at Lacey

I am sure you are asking what is "the boneyard?" The boneyard is what I called the campsite last week. Found out yesterday that where we park all the trailers, our motor home and the condo's in carnival language is called the boneyard.

Ron went around after everyone was in place and took a few pictures to show you what it looks like where we are going to be living for the next two weeks.

The top picture is Alice inside the motor home after we got to Lacey, WA. and before we are set up. Once we are set up the TV is between the two front chairs and the plant that is in the sink is on the counter.

In the second picture our motor home is parked between a condo and a trailer. At least in Lacey we are not parked on soggy wet grass. Being parked on black top the motor home should stay a little cleaner.

This picture shows all the rigs in a row. The open space between the two trailers is waiting for a late arrival of one of the trailers. That is where Diane's trailer will go. Her hubby, Eric, had to take it in and get the wiring fixed ~ they had the brakes as flashers and the flashers as brakes. Not a good thing while traveling.

The top picture is another view of the front of all the rigs lined up. The rig to the far right belongs to Rick & Theresa, our bosses. It is a very nice fifth wheel with three slide outs. They always park on the end. The next picture is a view from the back. The wide area between the two white lines is a bike path. Can you see the porta pottys to the far right? That's right folks, the bathrooms for those living in the condos. Makes me so happy to have my own private bathroom in our motor home. Oh the comforts of home.

Well I just wanted to show you where we are living for the next two weeks. I hope to have more pictures later in the week of where we work and what the views are from our ticket windows. Ron took some pictures with his phone last week and I downloaded them to the computer but can't figure out where they are at so I will have Ron take more pictures this week and try again to let you see where we actually work and what beautiful outfits we get to wear (that's a joke folks!).

Hope you enjoyed seeing where we live right now.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Carnival Schedule

Our schedule for the next 12 weeks is listed below. The dates listed are all Monday's and is the date we move to a new town. The carnival usually runs Thursdays to Sundays if we are only there for a week. I don't yet know the schedule if we are somewhere for two or three weeks.

If you are able to meet us somewhere along the road, give us a call to see if we have any off time that we could get together. Because the carnival is usually only open afternoons and evenings we are usually free in the mornings. Don't know what are schedule will be when we are open all day like at the state fairs.

So for the next 12 weeks this is where we will be:

March 29 ~ Lacey, WA ~ we will be here for two weeks

April 12 ~ Puyallup, WA ~ we will be here for one week at the Puyallup Spring Fair

April 19 ~ Wenatchee , WA ~ we will be here for two weeks

May 3 ~ Sequim, WA ~ we will be here for one week

May 10 ~ Port Townsend, WA ~ we will be here for one week

May 17 ~ Ft. Lewis ~ we will be here for one week. I think we will be on the base itself. If it is different than that I will let you know

May 24 ~ Portland, OR ~ we will be here for three weeks at the Rose Festival

June 14 ~ Marysville, WA ~ we will be here for one week

The above schedule is all that we have for now. When Theresa gave me the schedule she said they are still firming up some of the smaller places we will be but once she has the schedule for the rest of the carnival season she will pass it on to me. We do know that our last carnival is the Puyallup Fair in September. We don't have the exact dates but once we do I will post it.

NOTE: I will do a post every Monday that we move so I can post exactly where we are in each town. Since we are new at this I don't know where each specific location we will be just the towns. I will also try to post when we will be open at that location.

Again, if you have any questions drop us a line via email, through comments or give us a call. We sure hope to see some of you along the way.

Thanks for traveling with us. We love you all. Ron & Alice

First Official Moving Day - What an Experience!

Today was our first moving day! Moving days are always on Mondays.

We moved from Kelso, WA to Lacey, WA. We are at South Sound Center Mall, exit 108 off I5.

There was excitement in the air this morning as we woke. Our first moving day with the carnival. We had all of 70 miles to go. I think the excitement was mine and Ron's as everyone else just seemed anxious to get things ready to move and then do it.

Weather wise the day looked good. A bit overcast with peeks made by the sun. The goal was to be on the road by 11:00 a.m.

We woke up about 9:30 this morning. Ron made hazel nut coffee - boy did it smell good. Ron tried to hook Maggie (our Magellan GPS system ~ thanks Jamie and Suzanne ~ we expect to get lots of use out of it) up so we could plan the route from Kelso to Lacey. It would not stay powered on. So Ron tried to start the motor home - it wouldn't budge. In looking for things that could be wrong, Ron figured out we had left the levelers in the on position (something to add to our check list when we set up). So he did what needed to be done. He jumped the engine battery with the house batteries (good thing we have a double set up). It started right up ~ yippee!!

We programmed Maggie for the trip to Lacey including a stop to do laundry. We then readied the motor home for travel: moving stuff on the counters into the sinks in the bathroom and kitchen, locking the fridge and freezer so they don't swing open unexpectedly, rolled the rug that goes outside the front door, unlocked the step so it would retract whenever the door is closed, moved the laundry hamper from the front seat to the back of the motor home, disconnected the water and electricity and finally took the curtain off the front window and raised the levelers.

A couple of the guys wanted to ride with us so in jumped James and Michael. Michael knew where we were going and what rest area to stop at to dump the holding tanks. We pulled out at 11:02 a.m. Right on schedule.

We had an uneventful trip to Lacey though James got a little frustrated when we said no smoking in our rig. He was so thankful when we stopped at the rest area to dump our tanks. Don't know if he will ride with us again. But our rules are our rules. And not smoking in our motor home is one rule I am not negotiable on. Michael is a smoker but he did not seem to mind. It was nice to have Michael along for the ride as we learned a little more about life with the carnival.

Michael told us the plan is that we all convene where we park our rigs and the condo's and everyone helps set up. He had a word for it but I can't remember what it's called. I will find out and share that with you after our next move. It took from about 12:30 to 4:30 to get all the trailers, fifth wheels, and the only motor home (ours) set up with electricity and water. It takes everyone to pull electrical lines from the electrical box to behind the rigs. Each rig is set up by those who live in it. The people who live in the condo's have to help set up their condo. It is easy to tell who has done this before and those who are new at this. Lots of bossiness from those who know what they are doing to those who don't. It started raining about 3:30. I came into the motor home where it was warm ~ Ron stayed out and helped to finish up the water and electricity set up. Another job that had to be done was to move the porta-pottys over to behind the rigs. They had been put along the fence at the end of the parking lot.

After all the rigs were hooked up to water and electricity. People went to their own rigs or condo to get set up. We are going to be here for two week so in our rig we set up the TV and Wii, moved stuff from out of the sinks and back onto the counters. We thought the plan was going to be that we would go do laundry and pick up groceries after everyone was set up. We had made plans to go with Diane, Rose and Marva to do that. After waiting around for about an hour ~ it was now about 5:30 p.m. Diane came over to our rig and asked if we could go and do laundry and grocery shopping tomorrow. I told her that would be fine as she and I are both off tomorrow. She was waiting for Eric to show up with their trailer and it would be another couple of hours before he arrived. He had run into some problems and had to get some electrical wiring fixed before he could leave Vancouver. He did not work last week so stayed in Vancouver until today. So instead of going to do laundry and grocery shopping I got out the computer and started reading emails and catching up here on my blog.

About 6:00 Ron came into the motor home. He had been out walking around and burning off some energy. Ron set up the DVD player so we could watch a movie tonight. While he was doing that I made dinner. Nothing fancy tonight as I was going to buy some chicken at the store but that is put off till tomorrow. So we had rice, hot dogs and cheesy tortillas.

One of my observations about moving day ~ you hurry and wait a lot. Everyone is anxious to get out of the old campsite but not everyone moves at the same speed. So we hurried to Lacey to only have to wait for someone to tell us where to park. They definitely have a system to how things are done. I just kept telling myself I was so thankful I was not the one in charge. Leave that to someone else. That way if there are problems no one will be yelling at me.

One story from today ~ Pat, one of the ride managers and the one in charge of setting up the camp today had gotten his fifth wheel into place. Set up his Direct TV which was no easy task as we are backed up to some trees and then threatened anyone who bumped his set up. A couple of the younger guys were not watching where they were walking and almost walked right into his set up. Pat yelled, they jumped and moved quickly away. I heard rumors that Pat's threat was if anyone knocked down his satellite system they would be in big trouble. Boy did those boys move away fast. Don't know what Pat would have done but no one wanted to find out.

One of the rules we found out about working/traveling with the carnival is that we are not allowed to wander the malls or eat at certain restaurants. Here in Lacey it is Applebees. We are not sure of the reason behind the rules, no one seems to know why, just that we are not to do that. Good thing we did not know that last Tuesday when we pulled into Kelso because the first thing Ron and I did was walk through Three Rivers Mall and go shopping at Target. They are right next to each other. Sometime when I am working with Theresa I will ask her the reason for that rule. Ron and I wonder if it is the negative atmosphere that has been associated with carnivals in the past.

Another rule we found out about is that we are fortunate to have our own rig and not live in the condos. If you live in the condos you cannot have any visitors to your condo room. There is no drinking or smoking in them either. Because we are in our own rig we can smoke if we want - we don't! and there are no rules about drinking. A good thing because Ron has had a beer a couple of times after working. We can understand about the no smoking and no drinking in the condos because of liability issues. One of the things we noticed was that if a smoker dropped a cigarette but someone was yelling at them to pick up their trash. Us and visitors ~ we can have visitors in our own rig ~ so if you are in the area sometime give me a call and if we are off we would love to get together. In speaking with Theresa, the owners of Fantastic Shows, the Burbanks, run a tight ship and they don't tolerate people who abuse the rules and for that Ron and I are thankful.

We are all settled in now. We have had dinner, Ron got the DVD player working and so now we are watching a movie and doing stuff on the computer.

Sure hope you enjoyed reading about moving day.

The End of Week One!

I am sure most of you are wondering how our first week went...so here goes:

If you read the previous post you will know all about our first day but to sum it up here it was a good day.

First I should tell you that Rick & Theresa are the show managers and our bosses. The carnival opened on Thursday at 3:00 so we reported at 2:45...fifteen minutes before carnival start time. We each got our uniform shirt and jacket and put them on. Not the most stylish of things. We found out that they check a jacket out to us for the season but we have to check it in and out each day. Every day we get a clean uniform shirt. I was going to say new BUT some of them have definitely seen better days. We check those in and out each day too.

The first day the carnival was open in Kelso, Thursday, we were only open for 3 hours. It was raining hard and so Rick closed us down at 6:00. It was a very slow day but a good day for Ron and I to get in practice on learning the procedure for selling tickets. Thursday morning, Ron's plumbing skills came in handy as one of the showers in the condo trailers (where the single people live) was plugged. Ron pulled out some of his tools and fixed the clog. The guys in that condo were so excited to have two working showers. Michael made the comment "what do you know, we thought we were just getting ticket sellers and we got a plumber too."

Friday we opened up at 1:00 and closed at 8:30 p.m. Ron made a whopper of a boo-b00 - he sold a ticket worth $88 when it should have been $8 BUT he caught it before it was given to a customer. The weather on Friday was mixed with rain and sun and gray clouds. Business was a little busier. During our 15 minute breaks we usually just hang out in the back of the ticket box. During our half hour lunch breaks we usually walk around and talk with others who are working. It felt good to both of us to put in a full day. We each bought a Funtastic Shows baseball cap - a necessary part of the uniform for those rainy days.

Saturday was our long day. We were open from noon to 10:00 p.m. The weather was beautiful - lots of sunshine. The great weather brought out many people. We saw lots of grandparents with their grandchildren, groups of teenager and moms and dads with their kids. The best part is seeing the excitement on the face of the little kids as they watch the rides go round and the anticipation on their faces, knowing they will be going on the rides soon. It was also fun to hear the shouts of glee when prizes were one at the game booths.

One of the games is to hit the hammer as hard as you can to see how strong you are. Children under the age of 12 always win at that game. It is so cute to see some of the little toddlers carrying these big plastic hammers which are twice as tall as the children. I hope to get some pictures on a sunny day soon.

Late Saturday afternoon, Theresa had me go in the office to learn how to do some stuff in there. I worked in the office for about an hour and a half. It was so good to be doing some familiar things like checking time cards and tallying numbers for different reports.

Sunday we were greeted with a dry day but it quickly turned to rain. I had a rough morning. I was feeling very homesick and missing our Northwood family and getting ready for church. I wondered what the bulletin looked like, missed the marching around the sanctuary with the palm branches singing Hosanna! Hosanna! and being home. I shed a few tears, got a couple of big hugs from Ron and then prayed for the Lord to take away my tears. Reminded myself that we are where we know the Lord is leading us and felt the peace of God come over me.

Ron worked the ticket box by himself for the 2 hours we were opened. Rick closed down due to no customers and lots of rain. I worked in the office for six hours. Theresa taught me some of the stuff to do for payroll - oh, the memories that brought back: frustration over not being able to read people's writing, numbers not adding up and things missing from the time sheets. Theresa and I connected with stories of doing payroll and the joys (headaches) that come with that job. I also counted money, input stuff into the computer and other general office duties. It felt so good to be doing office stuff ~ I am definitely at home working in the office.

After Rick closed us down the for day, Ron did the tear down of the ticket box. That includes removing the computers from the ticket box to the main office, laying the chairs on the floor and securing everything inside. He also got the fun job of emptying the garbage. Kenny, the ride boss, then had Ron help with tearing down a couple of the rides. Boy do they get dirty doing the tear down. Ron needs to remember to take work clothes on closing days so he doesn't ruin his "show clothes." That's what they call our uniforms. Kenny liked the work Ron did and so is going to have him help with the set up on Tuesday.

We are slowly getting to know some of the people and learning some of the jargon. Those who work in the games are called gamers. A few people have taken us under their wings. There is Marva, Roseanne and Diane (who Ron calls Michelle ~ why I don't know, he just does and she just laughs about it). They are all gamers and have been with the carnival for multiple years. Marva and Rose are mother and daughter. Diane's husband, Eric, will be joining us when we get moved to Lacey. Eric is also a gamer.

Michael, a ride man, has also welcomed us on board. He made sure on Wednesday night to get us set up with water and electricity. His actions definitely helped us to feel welcome. A couple of other guys, Sean and Albert, two brothers, are also ride men. They have also been encouraging to us. A few of the other ride men are Ricky, BJ, Thomas and Daniel. BJ and Thomas also are in charge of the uniform trailer. One of the requirements for being a ride man is that you also know how to service your ride.

One of the jobs that Ron picked up was shuttling people from the campsite to the lot (that's where the carnival is at) and taking people to the store. It made us getting to work a breeze since Ron was driving. Sunday night we finished up with work and running people around about 9:00 p.m. All in all it was a good week. Tomorrow starts a whole new adventure for us as we tear down camp and move to a new location.

Thanks for your continued prayers for us as we settle into this new life ~ a life of working & traveling with the carnival.

Alice & Ron

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Our first full day!

We have had a good three days. We spent Sunday & Monday nights at Chehalis Thousand Trails. We spent lots of time reading, resting, spending time on the computer and going for a couple of walks. Tuesday morning we ate breakfast and then went on a walk. After lunch we got the motor home ready to leave Chehalis. We then went to the laundry there on site and did two loads of laundry. While the clothes were drying we played some pool. Ron won 4 to 3. We then drove from Chehalis to Kelso (Three Rivers Mall). We saw where the carnival was parked at parked the motor home behind Target facing the carnival. We went for a walk through the mall ~ it is about half empty of stores. We then went to Target to buy some UNO cards. When we got back to the motor home and started making dinner, Ron put the UNO cards in the cupboard and what did he find ~ another pack of UNO cards. I didn't think we had any ~ lesson learned check before buying stuff. In the evening we read and I checked emails on the computer. We ran the generator for about an hour.

After a breakfast of bagels & cream cheese we got ready to walk across the street to the carnival site. We arrived at 9:00 this morning and was told it would be about 15 minutes so just hang loose. We watched the set up guys busily working. Ron was just itching to get out there. He kept wandering around, just watching what everyone was doing. We then met briefly, and I mean briefly ~ like 2 minutes with Rick. He said Theresa would be in at 10:00 and then we would complete our paperwork and then learn how to sell tickets. Our first jobs will be as ticket sellers. Rick said, go grab some coffee and come back at 10:00 and when we complete our paperwork make sure we put down we started at 9:00 since that is when he told us to be there. Okay with us. We then walked back to the motor home for about 45 minutes.

At 10:00 we met Theresa and completed our paperwork. We chatted for a few minutes and then stood around waiting for Rick and Theresa to figure out who was going to teach us what. About 11:00 we were shown where the ticket booth is and we did some spring cleaning. The booth had not been cleaned since the end of last August and the Salem OR State Fair. Ron washed windows, I dusted and wiped down counters and swept the floor. It was so much nicer being all clean and shiny. We took a lunch break about 12:30. When we got back from lunch - we had walked over to the motor home, remember it was just across the street, Rick then showed us how to set up the computers and how to sell tickets. The training took all of about 15 minutes. One note of interest here ~ you no longer get tickets you get a little card like a credit card, that you put money on. You can use the card for rides, games and buying food. Pretty slick. Everything is computerized ~ Ron did pretty well and caught on pretty fast. He then had to reorganize how the booth was set up ~ putting the card reader (like a library card scanner) and the receipt machine in the right place.

We finished up with the training, talked with Rick & Theresa again about the plan for tomorrow and the rest of today. We met Kenny ~ he is in charge of the Camp and Ricky ~ he is in charge of transportation from the Camp to the Carnival. The Camp is about 1 1/2 miles from the Carnival site. After talking with them we then walked over to Target and bought white tee shirts. We have to wear white tee shirts under the uniform shirts. One nice thing we found out today is that each day of the carnival we are given a clean uniform shirt and we turn it in at the end of the day ~ one less thing I have to worry about washing :). About 5:30 we were told where the Camp was and we drove over there. I made a quick dinner of hot dogs, chili and carrots. After dinner we went out and met more of the people who work and travel with the carnival. There are three semi-trailers of condo's (8 little bedrooms for the workers ~ we are so thankful we have the motor home to live in ~ feels like a mansion compared to the little condo rooms). Kenny showed up about 6:30 and showed Ron where to park the motor home. We are on a grassy area between one of the condo trailers and the big generator/truck that provides us with power. The generator runs from about 6:30 to 10:00 pm and again from about 6:30 to 10:00 am. Michael, one of the set up guys got us hooked up with water ~ it took 150 ft of water hose! But we have water and that is a good thing ~ we do have the water tank full on the motor home but it is nice to keep that for reserves.

Ron talked with one of the guys and he encouraged Ron to talk to Kenny about learning how to set up and tear down ~ they can always use the help so Ron will talk to Rick and Kenny about also jumping in right away and learning how to set up and tear down the rides. I know he is anxious to be busy and not just sitting/standing around ~ like we did a lot of today :).

The one piece of news is that everyone smokes! I told Ron we would have to take up smoking and he just laughed and said "I don't think so." I agree ~ that is one habit we won't be taking up on this new journey.

And that brings us through the first day of our new life of working for the carnival.

Prayer requests ~

1. For us to meet and make connections with another Christian couple on this new adventure.

2. For clarity of mind tomorrow when we actually start the job of ticket sellers.

3. For me to get into the routine of packing our lunches and water bottles since we can't just walk across the street to the motor home for breaks or lunch.

4. For us as we begin to build relationships and friendships with those we will be working with.

Praises ~

1. For the uneventful trip to Kelso.

2. For the warm greeting we have received from Rick, Theresa and the other workers.

In closing I just wanted to say Thanks for traveling with us along on this journey. We look forward to staying connected with each of you as we go. We love you all!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Let the Adventure Begin!

We are in Chehalis! The sun is shining, the sky is blue and it is so quiet. We are enjoying this beautiful day the Lord has made.

What a great day we had yesterday. We woke up early. I think we were a little excited and anxious to start the day. We did the final preparations getting the motor home ready to leave. Before we pulled out of Birch Bay we had a time of prayer. Thanking the Lord for this adventure we are starting, for the jobs we both will be starting and that we had gotten every thing done on our "to do" lists. We took the suburban over to Marquez and Nicole's and then went to the church.

What a great service and a tremendous send-off. Ron's sister, Judy, surprised us by coming to church to see us off. One of the songs we sang "They Will Know We Are Christian's By Our Love" was such a great song to send us off ~ we know that our love for the Lord shines through us and we are so excited to see how the Lord will use us as we work and travel with the carnival. One of the questions Charles asked during the sermon was "Are you BOLD in your walk with the Lord?" One of our prayers is for us to be bold in relationship with the Lord as we work, travel and meet new people. Thanks for the reminder Charles to be bold as we walk with Jesus. At the end of the service we were blessed with a generous love gift from the congregation. All we can say is Thank You! And we will definitely miss being a part of our Northwood Family. After the service we had cake and coffee and received lots of hugs. Thank You Northwood Family for loving and caring for us. We know that we will be surrounded by your prayers and thoughts as we travel and work the next six months.

After the service we went to Subway for lunch with Patrick & Patricia Alesse, Glenn & Marla Tuski and James Knight. It was fun to be together one last time and get those last hugs.

We then got on the road. First stop was at Costco in Bellingham to get gas and some groceries. We finally left Bellingham around 2:30. We then stopped at Winco in Marysville to get the more groceries. We left Marysville about 3:45. We drove through Everett and Seattle with no problems and very little traffic. We had our first hiccup with the motor home when we were stopped in traffic in Tacoma. The motor home just died. I sent up one of my arrow prayers "Oh Lord, please start the motor home" and God answered my prayer. It started right up ~ Ron has no clue why it died in traffic. We arrived at the Chehalis Thousand Trails Campground about 7:30 p.m.

The 2nd hiccup happened when we tried to climb the hill from the check-in gate to get up to where the campsites were. Remember our trip to Montana and how the motor home didn't like to climb the mountain passes - well, the motor home wasn't going up this hill either. Ron tried not once, not twice but three times to get the motor home up this hill (it is pretty steep) but it was not to be. We coasted back down the hill and finally talked to the ranger on duty. After a lengthy discussion it was decided we would just camp in the flat parking lot by the lodge for the night. There was an electrical box available for us to use. So that is what we did. After we got level and the electrical hooked up we made dinner. We had hot dogs and Zataran Dirty Rice - it was pretty tasty but a little spicy to my liking. After dinner we reflected about the good day we had, how the Lord protected us in the middle of a traffic stop and we had a safe place to spend the night.

This morning we woke up and got going about 9:30 a.m. the first thing we did was unhook the electrical and went up the hill to find a campsite. Yes, that's right, we made it up no problem! Ron just shook his head and said he doesn't understand why sometimes it will go up steep hills and other times it just doesn't. Who knows if we will ever know the answer to that question. Anyway, we found a great campsite at the top of the hill. We have great internet service up here. There are about ten other rigs up here. We are enjoying the quiet and solitude of the area. Today is a day of rest and relaxation for us. We thought we needed a day of rest and transition before we head off to Kelso tomorrow afternoon.

I just want to add a BIG thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers for us the last few months. We have felt and know God is with us and has opened the doors for us to start this new adventure. Thank you for traveling this road with us and we look forward to having you along with us on this journey. Many of you have asked us our itinerary ~ as soon as we have it we will pass it on.

That's all for today, now it is time to get back to some relaxin'. Alice

Friday, March 19, 2010

Answered Prayer and Other Thoughts

Hello dear friends:

I wanted to update you on answers to some of our prayer requests that we shared last week as well as share a couple of new prayer requests with you. Answers are in red.

1. For the money for my last two prescriptions to come in. One is $80.08 and the other is $96. Someone graciously loaned us the money to cover these two prescriptions as well as the two that Ron picked up on Monday of this week.

2. For Ron to feel better. He is fighting a cold. He needs to finish up a job at The C Shop and one for a customer in Bellingham. Ron saw Dr. Moore on Monday and we found out that he had a bad case of bronchitis. He started Ron on an inhaler and antibiotics. Today, Friday he is feeling somewhat better. He did finish the job in Bellingham as well as the one at The C Shop.

3. For the two outstanding invoices that is owed to us to be paid. We received payment for one of the jobs and that allowed us to pay the contractor who had helped Ron on that job. We have been told we should receive the $900 for the other invoice around the first week of April. Please pray that that money does come in as expected.

We continue to trust God each day as we travel this new journey. He is faithful and always near. We have seen answers to our prayers almost as soon as we have asked. On Monday after Ron saw Dr. Moore, he sent us over for Ron to get a chest x-ray, thinking that Ron had pneumonia and if that was the case we would not be able to leave on Sunday as planned. On our way to the x-ray place I prayed for Ron to not have pneumonia. Monday night Dr. Moore called and said Ron did not have pneumonia - thank you God for that answer to prayer.

Prayer requests that I want to share:

1. For tomorrow, Saturday to go smoothly as we both will be going in multiple directions finishing up our "to do" lists. Errands have to be run, appointments kept and a few final visits with friends.

2. For Sunday as we deliver the Suburban to Marquez and Nicole and then go to church at Northwood. It is with mixed emotions that we are looking forward to that day. We are so excited to actually get on the road and start our new life for the next six months, yet sad to know that we are leaving our friends and family for an extended period of time. I am so thankful to God for the calmness that has enveloped me since we sent out the first emails inquiring about working for the carnival, to going to Portland for the job interview and the peace that we both have had as decisions have been made as we move one foot in front of the other regarding this new adventure.

3. For good rest for both of us.

4. For continued healing for Ron from the bronchitis.


1. For continued healing for Ron.

2. For the work that Ron and I both had this week.

3. For good friends to share meals with. For lots of laughter and stories shared. For how this helped with not having to buy so many groceries this week.

4. For friendships and help the last few weeks as we have readied the motor home, storage unit and ourselves for this new adventure.

Side note: if you are in the Blaine area this weekend we would love to have you visit at Northwood on Sunday as we celebrate God and worship together with our Northwood family. The service starts at 10:00 and the church is on the corner of 6th & C in Blaine. We plan on leaving from the church around 12:30 p.m.

Thank you for keeping up with our family through this blog. I enjoy writing and sharing what we are doing and how God is working in our lives. Today as I finished up working at the church I had a couple of moments thinking this is the last time I will run the bulletin off, fix the power point, do the script for the service and I felt sad. Sad that I won't be doing something I know how to do and enjoy doing. Sad that we won't be here for Easter, we won't see the lilies on the altar, we won't see Opal, Jamie or Suzanne, sad that there will be no trips to Lewiston this summer, sad that changes are a happening. YET, I was excited. Excited that next week Ron and I start new jobs. We get to try new things. We get to meet new people. Excited that Ron and I will get some traveling in, see new parts of Washington and Oregon and excited to see how God will work in our lives as we share our relationship with Him with others. We are excited that some friends are going to try to see us this summer at one of the fairs that we will be working. Excited that changes are a happening.

People have asked how often I plan on updating my blog. I don't know. Right now I know that I plan on updating on Sunday, March 21st after we arrive at Chehalis Thousand Trails and again on Wednesday, March 23rd at the end of our first day of work in Kelso/Longview at Three Rivers Mall.

That's all for now from the little town of Blaine. I will write more on Sunday night. Please keep us in your prayers as we have a big travel day on Sunday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Night Ramblings

I have been sitting here at the computer thinking about updating my blog. My mind has been wandering tonight thinking of things that need to be done this next week, what we did last week, what we know and what we don't know.

So this is what we need to do this week (not in any particular order):

~ go grocery shopping, Haggens and Costco, making lists for both
~ work for Patricia at The C Shop one more day ~ Alice
~ finish up at Chad's in Bellingham and at The C Shop ~ Ron
~ get blood drawn ~ Alice
~ get new driver's license ~ Ron
~ go shopping for black pants for work
~ dinner with friends
~ work at the church Tuesday & Friday ~ Alice
~ Clean Up Day at the church on Saturday ~ Ron
~ drop off the truck, drop off the suburban
~ pick up the rocking chair from Kristen, take it to storage ~ Ron
~ fill the water tank in the motor home

I am sure there will be more to do this week, can't just think of things right now.

Last week was a pretty good week though Ron is sick again with a cold. He has been coughing and coughing. Sure hope he gets to feeling better real soon. Can't be sick starting a new adventure!

While doing the overheads for church this morning I looked around the sanctuary and realized how many good friends I will miss seeing over the next six months. Yes, we are excited about our upcoming adventure and all the new people we will meet along the way, but today I was feeling a little sad about not seeing friends on a regular basis. Ambivalent - that is how the feelings have been today.

Prayer requests for this week ~
~ for the outstanding invoices that customers owe us will get paid
~ for Ron to feel better so that he can do the work that needs to be done
~ for all the last minute details will be thought of and accomplished

Praises ~
~ for all the encouragement we have received about this crazy new adventure we are going on
~ for good emotional and physical health for Alice. It has been a great winter.
~ for the work that Alice has had this month
~ for family and friends that love and care about us

We know the first three places we will be: Kelso/Longview, Lacey and Puyallup
We don't know the full itinerary for the summer but know we will be in Salem, OR in August and Puyallup, WA in September.

We know that we will miss our friends and family.
We don't know the people we will meet along this new adventure but God does!

We are looking forward with mixed feelings to next weekend. It will be a busy one for us. On Saturday I (Alice) is going to lunch at Paso Del Norte with the ladies of Northwood at noon. I am looking forward to time to visit before we actually leave. You just can't get in lots of visiting time after church on Sundays. Ron is planning on attending the Spring Clean Up day at church. The men will share a pizza lunch after working on the church grounds. Saturday evening we are having dinner with friends, Jim & Mei. We are looking forward to one last hurrah with them before we hit the road. We also have to take the truck to where we are going to be storing it while we are gone.

Sunday morning we drop the suburban off at Marquez and Nicole's and then go to church. We are looking forward to a sweet time of fellowship with our Northwood family. If you are in the area and want to say one last goodbye, the service starts at 10:00. We plan to be on the road around 12:30 or so. Would love to see you there. It will be a fun and busy weekend, filled with lots of laughter and I am sure some tears. It's exciting to be heading out on this new adventure that the Lord is leading us on and yet a little sad knowing we won't see friends and family for six months (unless of course, some of you surprise us and come and drop in on us along the way)!

Thanks for listening to my rambling thoughts.

Monday, March 8, 2010

We Have a Date!

We have a date! We leave Blaine on Sunday, March 21st to start our new adventure. Our actual start date for work is Tuesday, March 23rd. We begin in Kelso/Longview WA at the Three Rivers Mall. We will be there for a week and then go to Lacey, WA for two weeks and then the Puyallup Spring Fair in Puyallup, WA. We are so excited to actually have a start date ~ it just seems so much more real to us (not a good phrase of words but you know what I mean). Our plan for that Sunday is to take the Suburban to Marquez and Nicole's on the way to church, attend Northwood's service and say good-bye to our Northwood family and then after the service and last minute farewells get on the road to Chehalis. We will stay at the Chehalis Thousand Trails Sunday and maybe Monday night (depending when on Tuesday we have to be at Three Rivers Mall.

Now to back up a little bit on what we have been doing. On the 27th of February we celebrated with Opal, Jamie, Suzanne and Suzanne's family Opal's 2nd birthday! We shared lots of laughs and stories and enjoyed watching some race on TV along with eating great pizza and a colorful birthday cake that Suzanne and Oliver made for Opal. It is just so fun to be with them. Opal is such a delight and has the cutest laugh ~ we will definitely miss seeing her while we are gone.

The small storage unit has been totally eliminated ~ thanks Gerald for your help in accomplishing that great feat! The large storage unit is now organized and we can actually find things in it. One of our projects next Fall/Winter will be to go through all the boxes of stuff that we have tucked away and see what we can now eliminate after 3+ years of full-timing it in the motor home.

Ron has worked a few days for which we are thankful. Now to get paid for those jobs. He is finishing up a bathroom today for a friend and then will finish up what he can at The C Shop for Patrick and Patricia. We are hoping for a few more jobs to come in this week and next. Ron's shoulder is feeling better every day. For some of you that don't know he pulled his bicep muscle in his right shoulder in mid December and has been nursing it along since. Dr. Moore said it just takes time to heal.

I have been working on cleaning, sorting, tossing and reorganizing the cupboards in the motor home. It was a good thing that I did as I found a shirt and a sweatshirt for Christopher and Max tucked away. I quickly sent them off to them and thankfully they both still fit the boys. I guess I just need to take better care of when and where I tuck things away.

This week has started off in a nice way. Saturday morning there was a small get together with friends from a loal Yahoo group that I belong to, then we had dinner with Tim & Cindy and then spent time visiting with Jim & Mei. We went to church yesterday, helped serve communion and then went to Kathy's (Ron's sister) for dinner with the brothers and sisters. It was good to all be together and laugh and share stories before we head out for six months. In the afternoon we went to Fred Meyer's to pick up some of my prescriptions ~ I have to go back later this week to get the final two. We then stopped and spent a few hours with Gerald and Sandra. It is so fun to sit and visit and share our life stories with each other. We will definitely miss being able to drop in on them.

Today, like I said Ron is finishing up a bathroom project and I am just putzing around the motor home and doing some writing. Tonight we are going to Kevin's for dinner with him and Brenda. It has been awhile since we have all seen each other and we wanted to get one more visit in before we leave. That seems to be the theme of things - do this or that one more time before we leave and it all equals fun for us. The rest of the week I will work at the church a couple of days, take care of a few appointments, see a few more friends ~ Stacey on Tuesday, Dee on Wednesday, Glenn & Marla on Saturday are so far on the list. If you are local and want to get in one more visit give me a call (305-2969) or drop me a note via email (ali1257@gmail.com). We would love to connect with as many friends as possible before the 21st. This coming Friday the ladies of Northwood are going to have a sleepover at the Sandcastle ~ we are going to have a potluck supper, a time of sharing and fellowshipiing and just hanging out together followed by a Saturday morning potluck breakfast. I am looking forward to that special time and thanks Margaret for setting it all up.

To close I would like to share some of our prayer requests with you. As you think about us and our upcoming new adventure we still have some things that need to be taken care of here:

1. We are still somewhat short of cash to pay for the last of my prescriptions. We know and trust that God will provide but it never hurts to bring the petitions before the Lord.

2. Along those same lines for a few more jobs to come in for Ron.

3. For me, that as I finish up things at Northwood stuff that needs to be done will get accomplished.

4. For continued healing for Ron's shoulder muscle.

5. We praise God for the good health that I have had this winter and continue to look forward to more good health as we travel.

Guess that's all from here for now. My goal for the blog is to update once a week to let everyone know how we are doing and where we will be. So for now, I say see you all later.

Alice and Ron