We left our house on Thursday and had all the adventure we never desired over the next 62 hours!
Several times we wondered just what everyone who was praying for us were praying for... As I sit here typing this Justin is trying to hook up internet with some rented equipment. He plugged in a transformer and modem and went to get something else, when he came back he saw smoke rising from behind my chair... we soon discovered that the innocent looking outlet (sitting on the floor!) was charged with 220 volts! So much for the modem and transformer... That is a typical occurrence now days!
Not more than 3 minutes after we started out on our trip we heard a CRASH. As we turned a corner a crate of food slid off the ice chest and fell to the floor, breaking the jar of jelly. It took a good 45 minutes with 3 of us working together to get the glass and jelly all cleaned up. In cleaning it up we found out that the water pump on the sink was broken. So Chris spent the next hour working on that.
About 100 miles into the trip we had to pull over because the bus was over heating. This soon became a regular event. We were really bummed that the bus wasn't running better, but we were glad that we were still making progress.
At midnight we were near the Grand Canyon, so we pulled over on an on ramp and settled down for our first night in the bus. Around 5:00am Dad and Chris drove the last few miles while most of the family slept. Friday we spent 10 hours looking at the Grand Canyon and hiking around. It was really neat answering all the questions people asked about our family. We joked about starting a ministry of riding the shuttle buses around and talking to the people at different national parks...
The Grand Canyon was awesome and majestic. It has a beauty of its own. Dad said, "So many people miss the point. This is a giant scar left from a punishment God gave us." It's really comical to hear some people try to explain how it all got there.
We left the Grand Canyon around 4:30 and drove until we hit Flagstaff, AZ. There we took a little detour and saw the house that Mom lived in for 4 years when she was little. We also saw deer, elk, buffalo, and coyotes. After dinner we headed out of Flagstaff and got about 20 miles down the road when Justin pulled the bus over. He knew that something was wrong because the engine was overheating again but this time he couldn't get it to cool down. Chris had spotted something hanging down from the engine while following in the van, and they discovered that it was a broken belt. We had an exciting time pulling a U turn across the median of highway 40! We all survived and the bus hobbled to a lonely looking Shell station. It was quite run down to say the least, but nobody minded that we spent the night in their parking lot. So passed the second night spent in the bus.
Saturday morning Dad and the boys assessed the situation. They discovered that the belt that broke was behind all the other belts, so they had to pull all the rest of the engine belts off to access the one that broke. They also saw that the mechanics forgot to put one of the belts back on... Dad and Mom drove the van back into Flagstaff and got new engine belts. After they got the engine put back together they still weren't sure if they had solved the problem, but by 1:30 we had decided to try it and see how far we could get.
We were thrilled to see that the bus never over heated again all the way to OKC.
New Mexico was nice. Very scenic and we noticed how friendly everyone was that we talked to. We encountered a severe storm while driving through NM. The rain was so hard the windshield wipers were bogging down. There was hail too, and the best lightning storm ever! We could see it all around us. After driving through what we thought was the worst of the storm we stopped for dinner outside of Albequerque. The storm was far from over. We later heard there were 15 tornados in Texas and New Mexico from that storm.
We arrived at our house in Oklahoma at 4:00 Sunday morning. Several people ventured into the house, and soon came back out with looks of horror on their faces. It was a disaster!!! It's a living example of what Proverbs says about slothfulness.
Sunday was spent tearing up the carpet complete with animal droppings, (big and small.) and trying to clear all the nails and staples in the floors to lay out our air mattresses. It was a hard smelly job, but we felt much more comfortable when it was done, even though the house still stank! We took the evening off, sort of.
On Monday we started really working. Each day we've been putting in 8 or more hours of hard physical labor, and then the rest of the evening we've spent doing different things such as visiting with the neighbors, going shopping or going to a lake.
On Sunday we are going to visit a Pentecostal church with our next door neighbors. They have been very friendly and have given us a warm welcome.
It's been the toughest week of our lives, but "in all labor there is profit."
I'd better close for now, there's sooo much to tell, but there's not so much time.