Days 123 – 146 in Dallas

NOTICE: I finally uploaded some pictures for your viewing pleasure. Sorry for the wait!

I am just getting worse and worse about posting.  Being in one place this long is like being at home, where we were often too caught up in the happenings of life to keep tabs on anyone or anything.  Didn’t we leave to get out of that rut?  How easily I’ve fallen back in…

So, when we were traveling (pre-Dallas), I relied on Jacin’s journal to refresh my memory about what we had done and what to post about.  His journal writings are very minimal now and do not provide enough details of our days to recall much of anything.  Most of his days read something like, “Another day at work, much of the same, etc, etc, and so forth.”  In fact, just the other day he said he feels like he’s living the movie “Ground Hog Day.”  Poor guy!  We know he is getting restless, and not having at least weekends off is already getting to him.  He is such an explorer by nature, and being tethered might drive him to madness.

Well, I am going to attempt to piece together the last (over) two weeks, but not necessarily day by day (I heard a huge “Thank the Good Lord” to that one!!).  We have had some adventures and laughs, and hopefully I won’t bore you to death.  Keep in mind that we have started school, and of course I am still working, but I won’t mention all of the dull details of our daily routine unless something abnormally interesting happened.

Day 124, Monday Aug 26 – I had scheduled a mobile RV repairman to come out and fix our water heater, which was not working on electric, only LP.  I made this call the first day we were in Dallas, so it was quite evident that they were pretty backed up.  Anyhow, our repairman showed up over an hour late (around 11:30), but he seemed really nice and he was very informative.  He had me turn the power to the water heater on so he could attempt to figure out what was causing the problem.  However, I do not recall getting the instructions to turn the power back off.  Even after him making comments about how he tries to keep from getting shocked more than twice a year, it didn’t occur to me that his next step might be to attempt to pull the water heater out.  So, as I was standing near by, I suddenly hear this long, tortured scream from under the RV.  The kids say they heard me scream, too, but I am pretty certain it was his voice moving into a higher pitch toward the end.  It was scary and awful, and yet quite funny.  He was such a dramatic man that I couldn’t help but giggle (behind his back, of course).  I know, I am mean, I guess.  Perhaps you had to be there.  It took him quite a while to settle down from the event, with more dramatic verbalizations during his quieting down.  (I later found out he was invited to a casting call for an RV TV show, and this did not surprise me one bit!).  Anyhow, he was off to a great start.  The poor man ended up having to make at least 3 trips back to his shop or to the hardware store for replacement parts that kept showing up after he thought he had everything cleared up.  He did not leave the RV until 6:45 that night, and the water heater did not appear to be working.  He said to me with a hung head,”  Looks like I’ll need to come back.  I’ll call you sometime tomorrow to let you know when the calendar is open.”  I headed off to a homeschool meeting, and to all of our surprise, the water was hot when I got home.  I was able to call him the next day and give him the good news, and I could hear the relief in his voice.  He was so great about it all, even though weary when he left, and he stopped “the clock” when everything started going down hill.  He was more than fair and did a great job.

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The water heater and its small hole.                                                            Some of the parts that needed to be replaced.

Day 126 – We took Justice to an orthodontist because she was complaining about her retainer hurting her gums when she wore it at night.  During the appointment, the orthodontist showed me how it was not touching any of her teeth at all!  He was not sure he could adjust it, so warned me that we might end up with a completely broken retainer.  We was very handy with his tools, though, and got it to fit snugly.  But, Justice was still complaining of it hurting her gums, even more so that night because it was so tight.  We just hope that it will loosen up enough for comfort but still provide support to do its job.

Day 128 – Jacin had a long, frustrating day at work dealing with pushy contractors over the phone.  I picked him up at 8:00 and we headed to pick up a pair of motorcycle boots he saw on Craigslist.  Well, we found out the hard way that buying things from Craigslist in Dallas is not the same as it is in Rapid, meaning that it may not be a quick 10 minute drive.  It took us over 30 minutes to get to the meeting spot, and by then Jacin was starving.  He caught a bite, then we met with the seller and bought the boots from him.  We didn’t get home until after 9:30, and Jacin was overdone.  We were all ready for bed.

Day 129, Sat, Aug 31 – The kids and I went garage sale-ing, and Justice found a great old book with a fun cover that she is looking forward to displaying in her room (when she has one again).  She has been tortured quite a bit here, as she has found so many pieces of great furniture and other items that she has been dreaming of collecting for her future room (which she has been designing).  We of course have no way to haul it around, so she just drools and moves on.  We stopped at one sale that had so much stuff, it almost made me claustrophobic.  We have so little with us, compared to living in our house, and even then we fell like we have too much.  Seeing this guy’s stuff just made me want to get rid of more of ours!  Nation did find a model car there, though, and I love for him to have projects to work on.  Later, at another garage sale, Justice caught a glimpse of something in a tree ahead of us.  We looked more closely, and we realized that it was a squirrel, but he was completely sprawled out with his legs hanging over the side of the branch, and his tail dangling.  Obviously we were not the only ones struggling in the heat that day!

Day 130 – Went to church with the kiddos, and we all enjoyed ourselves, even Justice who was able to fit in better with her middle school group.

Day 131, Labor Day – Jacin had the day off!!!  We figured it was a fluke on his schedule, since he was told there would be no days off for the first 30 days, but we were all glad for him to have it.  We headed over to Garland to check out their Labor Day fesitval.  They had a car show and a few booths in a park.  Nation’s quote of the day:  “How far are we from where we are?”  That had us in giggles.  To our pleasure, there was a chiropractor at the festival and Jacin was able to get adjusted for the first time since Salt Lake City.  Sitting for so many hours each day is really taking its toll on his body.  Jacin had found a Yamaha TW200 on Craigslist (here we go again) that he wanted to check out in order to save us money and me time from running him to and from work everyday in a truck that makes 10 miles per gallon.  He him-hawed quite a bit about the dirtbike before finally deciding to head over to look at it.  An hour later, he was riding it around the Lowe’s parking lot, and before we knew it, it was loaded into the back of the pickup.  While we didn’t really do anything exciting for his day off, I think he may have been a little excited about his new purchase.  🙂  It gets 70 miles per gallon, and gives him at least a little riding time each day.  And we’ll easily be able to sell it when we leave (unless Jacin has grown so attached to it that we’d have to saw a leg off to remove him from it).

Day 132 – Ever tried licensing a vehicle in your home state while traveling somewhere else?  Ever tried to find a notary when you don’t have a home bank in the city you are visiting?  Well, we spent all of Jacin’s lunch hour attending to paperwork to send home to our mail forwarding service so they could get the dirtbike registered, which stressed us all out a bit.  Jacin hates being late, and also hates being stressed because of being late.  Needless to say, I have figured my way around prety well, so I got him back to work with a few minutes to spare, but not without launching off of a few crazy bumps in the road (the streets in Irving where Jacin works are atrocious).  We were able to squeeze in one final stop to pick up a hitch rack for the dirtbike that Jacin found on Craigslist for crazy cheap.  (I’m beginning to think he’s already attached to the bike…)

Days 134 and 135 – We noticed last night that our neighbors accross the street had vacated their site, and it looked rather lovely compared to the ant infested, utility pole crowded spot we were in (the grass is always greener, right?).  So, I started watching the site to see if it would be worth the move, the main factor being shade.  By 12:00, the entire site was in the shade of a lovely nearby tree, and we were sold.  So, I made my way over to the office to get dibs before it was spoken for.  This was no easy task, getting our account transfered to this new site, which had cheaper rent but its own utility meter.  The poor lady at the front desk was pretty confused about making it all work, and she was trying to get me to pay  MORE money for the cheaper spot.  Well, don’t argue with an accountant about financial matters!  Needless to say, I eventually won (her computer system finally agreed with my numbers), though I am not sure she understood why.  I was as nice as I could be through the whole thing, because the last thing I want to be is on the bad side of our neighbors (all of the staff lives on site).  Jacin got home after 8, which is after sunset here, so we moved and set up in the dark.  We attempted to plug into the utility pole, but the 30 amp receptable was cracked and not properly grounded.  So, we dug out one of our “dogbones” to convert from a 50 amp receptacle to our 30 amp RV.  After maybe 20 minutes, all power to our entire RV was completely lost.  After flipping the breaker, Jacin became worried that we had somehow damaged our AC compressor by hooking up with the dog bone.  I jumped on the internet to research it, and Jacin hailed down the security guard, who contacted the manager, who came over to inspect the problem.  He showed us where the breaker for the 50 amp service was (on a different pole for some reason), and praise God, all the lights came back on.  I had in the meantime decided, based on the internet research, that it should be perfectly fine to plug in the way we had.  Unfortunately, the AC continued to trip the breaker, so that meant another service call.  In the morning, I also noticed that our water pressure was more like a trickle.  So, I called the service guy (a different, well-recommended one) to see if he could come out and have a look.  He was really great and walked me through a few things over the phone after realizing that he couldn’t be of help with the AC.  He lead me to believe it was either a problem with the post, or with the compressor, and I was praying for the former.  So, I made my way over to the office and asked them to replace the 30 amp receptacle, to which the manager said,”Sure.  I don’t think it will solve your problem, but I’ll send someone over.”  Well, Praise God, once the new receptacle was on, we had no further problems with the AC.  The water was still an issue, though.  So, I filled the tank with water hoping that we could just use the pump rather than the city fill, but the water pressure did not improve.   This didn’t make sense, but finally after a couple of hours of trying to figure it out, I realized I heard a funny noise, texted Jacin about it, and with his help deteremine that I had forgotten to push a button to properly switch to using the tank.  Oy, I have a lot to learn.  So, the pressure was great with the tank, and I planned to order a new pressure regulator for the city water hookup in hopes that that would solve that problem (per my phone discussion with the service man), so we wouldn’t have to keep filling the tank every day.  It’s amazing how much water we go through when we have water to go through!

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Our old site, very crammed and ant infested…                                    Our new site, in full shade by lunchtime, and much more room.

Day 136 – Sat, Sept 7 – Nation and I unloaded the freezer so we could defrost it, because it hadn’t been keeping a low enough temp and the ice maker had stopped working (I know, right, but we actually use quite a bit of ice in this heat).  Then we headed down to a church carnival around 10:00, trying to beat the heat.  Unfortunately, the heat won, so we decided to try again later.  We went and picked up some raw milk and fresh eggs I had ordered earlier in the week, and the kids were in heaven.  They were truly looking forward to cereal with “real” milk!  We headed back to camp to restock the freezer and chilled in the AC for a while.  Took it easy most of the day, then headed back to the carnival around 5.  We bought a few tickets so the kids could pet some farm animals and participate in the cake walk (does anyone else remember the cake walk with adoration?).  Then Nation decided he wanted to compete in a bull-riding contest.  He stayed on quite a while, until the bull went crazy, spinning in circles, until Nation launched off.  We had a good night!

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Nation’s photo – can you tell what it is?                              Kids having FUN during the cake walk

 

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Day 138 – The kids and I went north to Lake Ray Roberts to meet some other homeschool families and enjoy a day at the lake.  On the drive, Nation saw some hawks out the window and said, “I’d love to be a bird.  (Then with a heavy sigh), To be a chickadee in love with the sky.”  Justice and I couldn’t help but giggle, to which he responded, “What?  If I was a chickadee, I would be in love with the sky.”  He sure has a great appreciation for the things the rest of us take for granted.  At the lake, Justice ended up hitting it off with a lovely young lady named Megan, and Nation played with her little brother Michael for several hours.  After the other homeschool families left, we enjoyed another hour playing in the sun, and went home sunburned, as usual.  Jacin went to a chiropractor on the way to work, one I had lined up at the church fair over the weekend.  We are hoping we can take advantage of being here for a while and get his poor back straightened out.

Day 139 – Justice ended up sick during the night, whether due to lack of sleep (resulting in a migraine and nausea) or sunburn, we’re not sure.  We ended up taking it easy today.

Day 140 – Wednesday night church at IBC.  I joined in with choir practice, and the kids enjoyed time with friends and learning about Jesus.  Great ending to another great day.

Day 141 – Jacin grabbed some movies on the way home from work, Star Trek for us (yay), and Parental Guidance for the kids (which didn’t really turn out to be a kid movie – it’s hard to find kid appropriate movies these days).

Day 143 – Sat, Sep 14 – I have been working long days the last several trying to meet the corporate extension deadline, including several hours this morning.  But, around 4:00 the kids and I headed out to a hot air balloon festival in Celina, TX.  We wanted to get there for the 5:00 launch, but as it turns out, that did not happen.  I don’t know if it was a misunderstanding on my part, or if it was too windy, but there were no balloons in the field at all.  Well, there was an antire carnival there as well, complete with carnie food, so we decided to have some dinner while we waited for the lighting ceremony.  The kids had some authentic mexican burritos served by a woman who appeared to speak no english, and I found a stand with loaded baked potatoes, topped with beef brisket.  We also treated ourselves to a fresh squeezed lemonade, then foundspace on nearby bleachers to wait for the grande finale.  They ended up only inflating and lighting a total of 4 balloons, two at a time.  We were able to get a few pictures, and the kids enjoyed watching the flying pig.  It was a nice evening with a warm breeze, and even though there weren’t as many balloon acitivites as we had anticipated, we had a nice time.

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Day 144 – Sunday Sep 15 – Jacin requested the day off, so we planned a great day with the kids.  First we treated them to breakfast at IHOP.  Then, we attended a great service at IBC.  Next, we took the kids to a place called Main Event, where we played unlimited laser tag and topefor only five bucks each.  It was the most running any of us had done in a very long time, but we had a blast.  Finally, we ate at an amazing Thai restaurant called Coconut Grill.  It was so nice to be able to splurge a little and spend the entire day with Jacin.  We had such a great time.

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Day 145 – Took the kids to listen to a seminar on creation vs. evolution by Mike Riddle from Answers in Genesis, who presented free to our homeschool group.  It was a great presentation, and I am glad that the kids got to hear some of his arguments so that they may be better equipped to defend what they believe if ever the need arises.

Day 145 – Tues, Sep 17 – It’s been a fairly quiet day, with school and a bit of cleaning.  I am grateful for these slower days interspersed with the excitement we’ve enjoyed in the city.  Following are some events/memories from the last few weeks that I can’t place on a certain day, but are worth mentioning:

I was headed into a store one morning when I heard a shuffle and saw some movement out of the corner of my eye.  I turned to look, and saw only a dead rabbit at first, but then slightly behind it was a beautiful hawk.  It completely took me by surprise, but I was able to get my thoughts together and snap a quick picture with my phone.

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We were saying our evening prayers one night, and Nation’s portion went something like this:  “Dear God, thank you for this day.  Thank you for the roof over our heads, and I ask that the birds would stop walking on the roof over our heads, and that the roof over our heads doesn’t cave in on our heads.”  (I think he covered all the bases on that one.)

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it, but we were able to get a temporary library card while we are here.  I am so thrilled to have it, because the kids have been devouring books since we got here!  I am so blessed to come home from errands or to come out into the living area after working for a few hours, only to find them sitting on the couch reading.  Every mother’s dream!

Well, that was another long one!  I do apologize!  We hope you are all well, and we pray for our loved ones often.  We miss you all, but are so grateful to be on this adventure!

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