Two months, where does the time go…..

Lets start with where we are….  a barrier island straight south of New Orleans about 50 miles as the crow (or pelican) fly’s. To drive that around the bayou takes about 2 hours. We could take a boat as the pirate Lafitte did, but we don’t have a boat.

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We ended the last post with a family photo on the beach at Thanksgiving. We had spent the day with friends met at the campground, and had a great time learning local history about the pirates that settled the island, and the families that had here. The families still live here, and the streets are named after them.We also learned that later, there was so much sugar cane harvested here that they had a train at one time.

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We spend a lot of time at the beach (when it’s not too cold). On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, there is  a beach that is open to drive on, so it makes carrying all the chairs and fishing gear easier. I love to drive on the beach too. We go and fish the channel, and if all goes well, we will get to catch a shark (sorry Barry, but they get thrown back, most of the time) as they are the funnest thing to catch from shore. The Tuna are a deep sea fish, and we have not made it out with anyone to do that yet. We have a neighbor from Canada who has offered to take us out, but as with the rest of the country, we need a break in the weather for that.

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One of the fun things here for us is seeing the porpoise or as we call then dolphins. Every time we fish, and every morning when Danielle and I walk the beach, we see them corralling the fish into the shallows, and feeding. The fishermen aren’t fond of them, but we still enjoy them ever time we see them.

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Nation and his Black Drum!

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If you wonder what the Bayou here looks like, this is it. You drive miles of bridge to get here, and there are deep channels, but most of it is less than two feet deep. sometimes when the tide is out, you see large areas of mud. To see the swamps and alligators most people think of in Louisiana, you have to go north about 30 miles to the fresh water. That’s where you see the Cyprus trees and moss everywhere. Where we are, it is all salt water, so if there is a gator (usually washed down in a flood or storm) he is blinded and grouchy.

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Just before Christmas, we went to New Orleans to tour a bit. It was supposed to be nice weather, but we still froze due to he humid, cold wind. We walked the French Quarter, and enjoyed the trinket shops, as we do at home in Keystone.

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We love the history and architecture of New Orleans. I think it will take many trips before we would feel we saw it all. It is possibly the closest thing to Europe you will find in the states. The French, Spanish and English history is everywhere.  We especially love the live music that is everywhere.

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After our walkabout, we met one of Danielle’s clients from Rapid City for lunch. They had come on a tour, and we had a great visit. We then headed to the Aquarium of the Americas. This is a world class aquarium, and we had a great time. The shark tank is set up to show what is under the oil rigs, and the life it sustains as an artificial reef. That is where many of the deep sea charters will go, as there are tuna, grouper and many other fish hanging out under the rigs.

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The kids spent a lot of time at the sting ray pool. They are able to touch and feed them. The rays are like dogs, and will actually come to you to be “pet” if they are comfortable with you. You just hold your hand in the pool and they come rub on it.

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The Aquarium also has a great bird room where you can hang out and the parakeets will flock to you. They are so curious they crawl into you hood, purse and pockets. The kids spent a lot of time here too.

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We spent Christmas in an RV. As you can imagine, we had to downsize a bit, so with a little sneaking, Danielle and I picked up a miniature tree for the kids to decorate.

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Its no tree skirt, but the dash worked just fine. We make due with what we have, and we still have fun. Christmas at the beach was a treat.

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Justice had mentioned a guitar a while ago, so Danielle ordered one. Then we didn’t hear anything about a guitar, so thought maybe we should have thought of a better gift. Fortunately for us, the week before Christmas, she mentioned it again, so she was happy on Christmas day…..

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Nation had seen an RC car in Dallas, and as uncle Kelly has one in Rapid, Nation thought that would be fun. We mail ordered one, and he spent the morning of Christmas outside…..

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While we were in Dallas the kids somehow got a story out of Danielle about an Ewok stuffed animal she had as a child. This ewok met a terrible end after a trip to the dryer to clean him. So, the kids thought that mom would love an ewok again, and spend a day texting me at work to bid on Ebay for them. Lets hope they never get their own passwords, as they definitely got caught up in the fun of bidding. Danielle loved the thoughtful gift from the kids.

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One of the things we love about Grand Isle is that it is a small town. As with small towns everywhere, its hard get past being an outsider. Danielle is teaching 4 fitness classes a week at church, and helping with a food bank truck, and I am working with a local contractor, and spend a bit of time at city hall, so we are making headway, and people are a bit more friendly each day.

Part of the fun of small towns is that everyone come to the events. The tree lighting at the community center was great (and warm for us) and the gumbo afterward was better than any restaurant.

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Another great part of the island is the food. There is seafood everywhere. Even the seafood at the gas station is better than anything in South Dakota. It’s just part of the area. We often get invited to “boils” where there is a pot of potatoes, corn, crab, shrimp, sausage, seasoning, and anything else that might be around. Justice has a hard time as she won’t eat anything out of the water, but Nation has to be told to leave some shrimp for everyone else…..

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The island is 7 miles by 1/2 mile. Most of the businesses are in a small area, and  the rest is rental or weekend “camps” for fishermen or families from “up the bayou”. Often we stop at the shrimp shack (where the shrimp trawlers come and sell) and pick up fresh shrimp for the evening meal. These just came in today.

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One of our favorite fish to eat is Flounder. We haven’t gone out yet, but my boss is planning to take us soon. They look like a fish that is run over as their eyes are both on one side of their head. They bury themselves in the sand to camouflage themselves.

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The kids are still sharing the fold out couch, and do well most of the time.  They sleep hard enough that this is what I wake up to most days.

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We all love to go walk or play on the beach. We are excited for warm weather, but we have had some great days. I leave you with the best part of Grand Isle, the beach and sunrise.

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Enjoying the Gulf Coast

Day 209

I went to ask one of the guys in the park about the rod we got for Nation to fish from the shore. He told me it was great and then invited me to go out on the Gulf with him in his boat. That was too good to pass up. Fishing from a boat here and seeing the bayou sounded great. We headed to Fort Fouchon to a public dock, and the took a few channels past the port to the mouth of the Gulf. The water to was rough, so we stayed behind a rock barrier, and watched the waves crash so big that they would spray up and over the barrier toward us. We spent the better part of the day trolling along the rocks, watching the supply ships go by (within 100s of feet), and enjoying the water. It was cool and we did get rained and sprinkled on, but it was nice to be out on the water. We were looking for Reds ( Red Drum) which are a super fun, fighting fish. They can get as big as 60 inches, but we have been catching them from 25 to 40″.  Cleaning them is a chore, even though we only fillet the, the scales are like armor.

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Day 210

Danielle and I have been running every morning, but yesterday and today, the wind on the beach was too cold. So we took our time getting moving, an then took the kids to the library. Justice has been reading a book a day, and Nation is not far behind. We actually have to make them  stop reading to get them  to bed. Not the worst problem a parent could have. We also rented the History Channel’s “The Louisiana Purchase”. It was great to watch when we could actually discuss places we have been through. It makes history come alive.

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Another cold day. The storm up north have caused the weather here to be cooler than usual. Each day now is supposed to warm up. I went to the dock at the east end of the island, and checked on work. Not sure what will come about, but I am still hoping that the shrimp boat of a guy I worked with in Dallas works out, or the neighbors next to the campground will have work. They came here 30 years ago for a short job, and have been working with oil companies and the local government  ever since. Danielle and the kids are back on work and school schedules, so it is great to see them getting settled.

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The kids and I cleaned the Laundry/common room at the campground, as we are all celebrating together for Thanksgiving. One couple BBQ’d a turkey, and everyone else filled in with traditional food. We had a great meal and visit, and learned a lot about the local history. The cotton, slave and pirate history is exciting  for us farm  folk….

We walked to the beach for a Thanksgiving Day family photo.

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More fun in the AZ sun

From Jacin:

Day 69

I was up early to beat the heat and finish oiling the rest of the wood beams. Danielle had 3 people scheduled to work on, so her dad and I moved the crane again, as he wasn’t happy with the safety of the location we started with. It is really quite an ordeal, as it weighs several tons, and isn’t really designed to move on its own. Jamie is a pro at operating it though, and all went well. We also cut up an old pickup for parts for a project, then of to the salvage yard to dispose of parts. As it hit nearly 100 degrees, we decided to call it a day and take the boys to see his land, and then to a small lake to play. As we sat in the parking lot waiting for the boys to walk to the water, a cold front moved in and dropped the temp around 25 degrees. A welcome change for sure. On the way back we checked out the new tractor supply store, and then headed home for dinner.

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Day 70

Got the kids moving and loaded into the truck after breakfast. Danielle and I thought we would take all the kids and give Sandy and Jamie a quiet day. We headed east over Mingus Mountain to Jerome, Arizona. This is an old mining town, much like Lead, SD. There are a lot of great little shops and galleries, and a restored mansion from the mine owner of the 1800’s. Then down the hill to Tuzigoot National Park, where we were able to hike along restored ancient ruins that are believed to predate most native cultures, and there is still little evidence as to who really built them.

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Off to a store for lunch supplies, and on to Sedona, the new age capital of the US. This is a really pretty area, much like Moab, Utah, with its flaming red colors. We stopped at the local tourist info booth and were guided to great place called Grasshopper Point for a picninc and swimming. We hiked to the water to find a super quiet swimming hole, where Aaron was the first to brave the frigid waters. After that Dru and I were in, followed by Justice and Nation. Danielle opted to stay warm, which in the desert heat, seemed a bit anticlimactic….  We spent several hours letting the kids play and cool off, and then headed to Flagstaff. We really just drove through to see the downtown, and headed back to Jamie’s for pizza.

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Day 71       4th of July

Jamie helped me fix lights on the pickup and camper. The previous owner had bypassed a blown fuse, and really left a rats nest of wires. Thankfully, we now actually have decent brake and signal lights. I did some other maintenence items on the camper, and Danielle worked on Sandy again, and then her dad. The grandparents took all the kids to a cowby dance and fireworks while Danielle and I enjoyed a quiet night.

Day 72

I was up early again to take the camper to a dump station at a local RV dealer. I set up appointments for Monday for items I can’t fix without specialty tools. Jaimie and the boys worked to strip the Blazer, that all his family gave him for his 60th birthday.  The boys even got to drive the loader a bit. Danielle worked for a few hours.  We set up a couple of hammocks for the kids to play with, and after dinner made ice cream and decorated cookies.

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Day 73

The Prescott 4th of July parade was a long one. 150 entries, and most noting the lost firefighters from town. It has been interesting to see the local community remember these men. We had some lunch in town, ran a few errands, then headed back to work on the blog. It is hot, so we are planning a northerly excursion for tommorrow, maybe back to Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona.

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A bit of a break

Day  44  Friday June 7  This was a day of base projects. I crawled into the attic before it was hot to check the exhaust fan squeak. No fan!  up to the roof, and there it was. The fan squeaks so much, Amalia doesn’t use it in the kitchen. I found the bearings really needed oil, and the belt was slipping and really dry rotted. Marcial took me to the to store to get a belt, and I lubbed the bearings. Sounds great now. Then on to Kathy’s awning. I made the frames and painted them. The group came bake, and Kathy asked if I would drive so she could work on administrative duties. SO we as a family were able to go to the market, and then to the beach. this beach is at the border, so we played in the water at the fence. Weird to see the fence just end in the water.IMG_0148  IMG_0162

Day 45 Saturday June 8 We were up early to cross the border. We need to move our camper. Greg was gracious and let us park there for free, including the Memorial Day holiday. This was a blessing, as there was no storage anywhere for the holiday. He has work to do and need it moved. We were blessed again to find Oka Creek Rv  Resort just up the road to the easy of El Cajon. This means not having to drive into San Diego traffic, nor back out when we leave. As we will be headed east, it is already headed the right direction. We got back to base early afternoon. We had planned to let Nation play with Angel again, but going to the states shortened the day. We made up for it by taking Amaliea and her daughter, and Angel to ice cream!  Then the kids had a water ballon fight. It was so great to see them laughing and having a great time, even through the language barrier. Danielle worked the rest of the day, and I worked on the puppet trailer. We plan to use it this Thursday, so I need to get the final details done. We did run to the store for chicken, so we could make a familiar dish for dinner.

Day 46 Sunday June 9 I got up and worked on the awning for the base office. All the parts were dry, so I installed it. It looks pretty good, as we used the same roofing material as the base. They had some extra on hand. Then more time on the trailer, getting latches installed. Danielle worked again. The two new teams arrived, and I ran to check on the concrete project as Casa Hogar Sion. They have the fill dirt in, a pipe moved, and the fence out of the way. It looks awesome. We plan to pour next Saturday. The toddlers will have a nice new flat concrete pad to crawl and walk on!!

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Day 47 Monday June 10 We had a HUGE day today The Journey church from near Des Moines has committed to a house and church, with only 6 people!! Dave and I are helping, and Danielle and the kids will be there to paint. Fortunaly, the team from Lifehouse church (also near Des Moines) came to help paint and frame for the first day. What a blessing that was. It was hot and we had a lot to do, but we made it to installing the floor for the house, and have the roof framed on the church. This is great, as it is really stuff that doesn’t happen until the second day. We are all tired, but excited about the progress. Praying for the same tomorrow.

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Blessing to you all, Jacin

Our second birthday – and what’s happened since…

We will try to recap the last week as painlessly as possible.  We are finding that it is easy to get through a day and be too tired to do much more than crash.

Day 36 – Nation’s 10th birthday!  Nation had looked up the following phrase earlier in the week and been practicing it, so was VERY eager to be able to say it to as many people as possible:  “Hoy es mi cumpleanos” (today is my birthday)!  Amalia helped Justice make a chocolate cake from scratch (finding cocoa powder took 3 store visits!), and Justice decorated it with several colors of homemade frosting (sour cream as the main ingredient), chocolate shavings, sprinkles, chocolate chips, and chocolate syrup.  Marcial graced Nation with the traditional birthday song at lunch.  After dinner, Nation opened his gifts:  toe socks, a hunting knife, and kinder eggs – we are grateful that our kids are so easy to please!  We then attempted to find a movie in English, but the only ones in the theatre were far from kid friendly, so 2 movie theatres later, we decided to hit Wal-Mart and let him pick out a DVD.  He chose Rio, and we headed back to base, where the Georgia group helped us to celebrate with a nice face-in-the-cake end to the day (while everyone chants, “Mordita, mordita!”).  We watched about half of the movie before we couldn’t hold our eyes open anymore.

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Day 37 – We helped the Georgia team wrap up their project by preparing for a neighborhood fiesta and putting up a playground and soccer goal posts.  They cooked hot dogs and burgers on new BBQ grills they installed the day before.  The neighborhood kids played games, knocked open a couple of piñatas, and joined their families in a meal wrapped up with cake.  It was a long, hot, dusty day, and we were all pretty exhausted when we got back to base.

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Day 38 – Saturday – The Georgia team left for home early in the morning, and we helped Amalia prepare the rooms for the group coming later in the day.  Amalia’s grandson, Angel, had come along to help Amalia (he mostly enjoyed Nation’s company as they played games together), then Jacin took all three kids to the market while Danielle worked.  After the market, Nation did not feel well, so he ended up sleeping the rest of the day, giving us all an excuse to take it easy.  Even though it was a fairly light day, we all slept hard enough to not hear the group that came in late that evening, great people from Open Bible church in Boone, IA.

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Day 39 – We went to church with Marcial in a building that used to be a boxing ring.  They have a section where you can plug in headphones and listen to the sermon in English.  The chairs were pretty close to the speakers, so it was difficult to make out the entire sermon, but it was great to be able to catch the gist of it after having so many weeks without “real church”.  After lunch, we decided to cross the border to check our voicemail, check in with Greg regarding our RV, and grab a few thing that we hadn’t been able to find in Mexico (or possibly did find but didn’t know it 🙂  ).  When we checked the website before we left, it looked like our wait to get across would be just over an hour.  It actually ended up being 3 hours on the nose.  There are so many vendors in the line to cross that you could just plan for dinner and dessert while you wait, as well as picking up last-minute gifts for anyone you may have forgotten.  Our first stop was McDonald’s because we all had to use the bathroom so badly and it was the first place we saw.  We were reminded very quickly how spoiled we had become by the good service in Mexico, where even though we cannot speak the language well, the vendors are always so willing to help.  Not so in the US!  We hit a few stores and touched base with our moms.  It was refreshing to be able to read and understand all of the signs, find everything we were looking for, and just hear from family.  We also experienced our first two-level Wal-Mart, where you ride the escalator next to your shopping cart, which has its own lift.  The border crossing back was easy and uneventful, and we called it a night in order to be rested for Monday.

Day 40 – We went with the Iowa group to help with their house building project.  Several of the team members had built several of the Puente homes in years past, and they had a very efficient method to everything.  Even the teens jumped right in and were great.  We had all four walls up with the floor joists in by the end of the day.  It was a lot of work, but so rewarding to see how much could be accomplished with such a great team!  The home is being built for Balbina, a single mom, and her 2 teen boys, the younger of which (and Balbina, due to her unfaithful ex-husband) has AIDS.  The family was very involved and helpful throughout the day, painting and doing whatever else they could.

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Day 41 – Jacin went with the Iowa group and roughed in the electrical for the house, then helped frame the roof.  Danielle and the kids stayed back and helped Amalia with curtains for the new home as well as general projects around base, and Danielle put in a few hours of work.  We were incredibly blessed to find out that Jacin’s relatives sent a generous donation to fund the concrete project at Sion orphanage.  We will be in contact with Jorge and start planning tomorrow.

Day 42 – The Iowa team was far enough ahead that they didn’t require Jacin’s assistance on the house, so we went with Kathy to Sion to talk with Jorge about the concrete.  He had arranged to have a few men who will be assisting meet us there.  Based on what they believe the materials will cost, we should have money left over, and we’ve obtained permission to use the remaining funds for whichever projects God brings to our attention.  This is an answer to prayer, because we were starting to question God about how long we are supposed to be here, whether we were somehow delaying the start of Jacin’s career by not being in the US.  But God made clear that he intends for us to be here a while longer, because we have funds that now need projects.  Please be in prayer with us about what our next one should be, because there is need everywhere, and it is difficult at times to discern what would be the most effective use of our time and resources.  We scheduled our concrete project for two Saturdays from now, so that his men have enough time to prep the ground and get all of the materials together.  Everything has to be mixed by hand, so we are grateful that he has many able-bodied boys at the orphanage to help.  Many hands make light work!

After our meeting, we went with Kathy to a men’s hospice house to deliver donations.  The house is run by a woman who completely depends on the Lord to cover all of the facility’s needs, because she receives no government assistance, and the men (generally older without family to care for them) do not have resources to contribute.  The home is on a hillside that overlooks Tijuana, and it was so peaceful.  It was so clean and the men we met all seemed very content and well cared for.  A team a while back built the men an elevated raised bed garden so that the men in the wheelchairs could tend to it.  They had tomatoes, peppers, chiles, cilantro, and onions growing – all the fixings for a great salsa!    And quite unexpectedly, we met a man there from Watertown, SD, who had moved to Mexico a while back with his wife, and is now single and suffering from a blood disorder.  What a small world!  We could definitely see spending some time up there, visiting with the men and just helping wherever it is needed.

We then headed to the building site and feasted on chicken salad provided by Balbina.  We were just in awe of how a woman who has next to nothing would insist on sharing what she had with a large group of people.  Their hearts are so big here!  Jacin offered his truck and time to take the Iowa women (and Justice) shopping for items for the house, and Danielle stayed behind and worked while Nation kept himself busy playing guitar and wandering around the base.

Blessings until next time…

The Theis Family

Catching up.  We feel like we have been

Catching up.  We feel like we have been moving non stop for the last couple of weeks.  Please  forgive us for such a long post!

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Day 13 We biked into town from the state park at Morrow Bay and walked around the shops, where the kids bought some sea shells. There was a great little aquarium that contained several seal lions and a seal, and the kids were able to buy fish to feed them.  Nation spotted several star fish near the boardwalk.  We then drove down the coast a bit to Montana De Oro state park, where we found a great little cove and the kids spent time collecting shells and sand dollars, and Nation found a sea urchin! We enjoyed the treasure hunt.

 

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Day 14 Jacin was up early and went in to do some laundry while Danielle and the kids cleaned the camper. Then we thought we should wander north on the coast a bit. We stopped at a town called Harmony, population 18. It’s neat to imagine when it was the only stop on the way for travelers. Now it has a couple of shops with pottery and glass blowing. We treated the kids to Iron Man 3 at a great little small town theater in Morro Bay, then back to camp for dinner.

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Day 15 Time to head down the coast to Carpinterea, home to our friends Matt and Sarah’s family. Sarah lives there now and hooked us up with a free spot to park in front of her grandma’s house, located on a great dead-end street with the friendliest neighbors you will ever meet. With a short 7-block walk to the beach and a great downtown, Carpenteria has that small town feel, even though it’s only a few miles from Santa Barbra.

Day 16 Lazy Day! We took our time getting moving and took advantage of the free washer and dryer. We even ate out for lunch and treated ourselves to gluten-free pizza (a special treat for Danielle, who doesn’t have pizza often).

Day 17 Moving again, this time to Oxnard to a dear friend, Laura Monica, founder of WholyFit. The Monica’s let us park at their house in the Channel Islands, directly over the channel with a view of the neighborhood boats. What a great place to stay! Were treated like old friends, even though it was the first time Jacin and the kids had met the family.

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Day 18 Mothers Day. Jacin and the kids went to church with Chris, while Danielle and Laura cooked and kayaked. We spent the afternoon with Laura’s parents, and then it was off to Long Beach to see Danielle’s sister Jessi. Even on Sunday we dove in 14 lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Jacin’s first experience with L.A. traffic was in 36-foot motorhome, pulling a pickup. Nothing like learning the hard way. We made it safe and sound, and the RV park (complements of Jessi) was nestled between the ocean and high-rises. Wow! It was truly a blessing to have full hookups, as we have boondocked until today!

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Day 19 Went to Jessi’s to help her set up her new shop. She received some new equipment today and has a photo shoot tomorrow, so there is a lot to set up and organize. We worked until 10:00 pm. Long day, but her shop is sweet!

Day 20 Went to Jessi’s to finish some painting and cleaning. Left just in time for photographers to arrive. Jacin and the kids went swimming and visited with Dave, Roxie, and Ben Devries (Jacin’s family in for Adam Titze’s wedding) while Danielle worked and studied. Drove around Long Beach a bit to get groceries. Long Beach is great! It feels smaller than some areas, and traffic is not even bad.

Day 21 Went to Jessi’s to weld our bike rack. It wasn’t designed for the miles we are putting on. We all then biked south on Long Beach, enjoying the view of the oil platforms disguised as islands. Nice. Oh, and the Queen Mary ship is docked there. It’s huge! Jacin and the kids watched a movie and relaxed to end the day, while Danielle worked.

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Day 22 Jessi came to camp, and we all piled in the truck to scope out our upcoming camp in the Malibu hills. Jessi set  us up with a spot through a friend who has an empty lot. It has a bit tight of a road, but was in a beautiful location. Four miles from interstate traffic, it was quiet and had that lost-in-the-mountains feeling. Crossed over to find the wedding location, and stopped at the famous Neptune’s Net for lunch. Neat to see, and the food was better than expected. (You can have your food steamed instead of fried if you like.) We then took the kids to Hollywood Boulevard to see the crazies. We stopped at the Chinese Theater, which Nation loved as we had just seen it in Iron Man 3. He even got to sit and have a photo with Robert Downey Jr’s star, as well as Jackie Chan’s. We dropped Danielle at LAX for her flight to Denver (for her QEST class in Fort Collins, Colorado). Jessi joined us at camp for dinner and a movie. We were pretty worn out, but excited about seeing so much.

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Day 23 Jacin and the kids packed up and headed to Thousand Oaks.  Justice is becoming quite the navigator.  They got set up on the lot Jessi set up for us.  Before we knew it, Serg, a neighbor, was knocking at our door asking why we were on his lot.  Oops!  We had apparently parked too far back on the lot.  He ended up being very cool about it, filled us in on great sites to see in the area, and even invited us up for a visit to his house (mansion) later.  We basically veged that night, enjoying the peaceful beauty of the mountains.

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Day 24 We took our time getting ready for the day.  Justice slept until 9:00 – there have been too many late nights coupled with early mornings and endless activities for her growing body to handle.  Realizing that the attire for the wedding was “cocktail”, we headed to town to find something to wear that wouldn’t make us stand out like the hilbilly relatives we can be easily identified as.  Jacin’s love for Chick-fil-A lead the family to the local restaurant, and the kids loved the food (as well as the “eat mor chikin” toy cow that came with the meal).  Nation enjoyed the Rolls-Royce/Masarati dealer accross the street.  Quick stop at the post office to mail some of Justice’s postcards, the off to the wedding.  It was beautiful, with a broad view of the Pacific.  We had fun dancing and visiting with family.

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Day 25  Up early to move the RV to the La Mirada Camping World parking lot.  Thankfully traffic was light.  Spent the day with the Titze’s (wedding party and family) at Santa Monica Pier.  The long day called for a quick dinner, and Jessi came by to hang out at the RV.

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Day 26  Had to get kids moving to run to LAX to pick up Danielle.  Struggled with an ant infestation, which had the kids freaking out.  Nothing a good shot of healthy chemicals can’t handle!  Hit a laudromat, and Danielle took advantage of the free wi-fi in order to get some work done.  The girls went shopping with Jessi the rest of the afternoon, while Jacin and Nation hit a model store (cars, not girls).  Another late night.

Day 27  Time to head farther south, to El Cajon.  Jessi hooked us up with yet another friend to store the RV while we are in Tijuana.  We found a campsite for the night close to Greg’s house so that we could work (free wi-fi), enjoy long showers (out of water on the trip down, so no bathing this morning), and clean the RV up a bit before leaving.  We packed everything we thought we might need in Tijuana.  Jacin watched the kids swim while Danielle worked (late, since communication and wi-fi will be limited in Mexico).

Day 28  Up early to get the RV to Greg’s.  What an awesome guy!  After securing everything, we headed to the border.  Crossing was easy, and Jacin’s memory and human-compass abilities took us straight to the Puente de Amistad base (with only a few gasps from Danielle due to the “optional” stop signs).  We met Dave and Toni, new additions to the base, and were filled in on needs that can be met.  After unpacking and getting settled, Jacin helped Marcial (the base’s project manager and juan-of-all-trades) install a “new” washer/dryer in the shop since the one in the base died.  We attended Wednesday night church at the Cruisin’ for Jesus ministry (a sweet chapel/ car shop), alongside a 60s Lincoln and an old Mustang.  A Master’s Commission group from Oregon, staying at Puente, gave the service.  Great sermon, Audrey!

Day 29  Everyone but Jacin slept in, and even then he missed the construction materials run with Marcial.  Jacin started some work on a puppet trailer he bug-bombed yesterday, and Nation started sorting through the contents.  He found a puppet to match nearly everyone on base.  Jacin helped Marcial build trusses for an upcoming project, while Justice and Danielle cleaned and organized various rooms of the base.  After lunch, we headed to the Dibujando una sonrisa Orphange.  The resident children watched the Oregon group’s presentation intently, enjoying  laughs from the silly skits.  The Oregon group was quick to let Nation particiate.  We played with the children and their new toys (bubbles, crayons, coloring books, and stuffed animals), and arranged a painting project for our family to work on in the next couple of days.  There are enough projects already to last a month.  We stopped at Bodega Aurrera (a green, yellow, and red Walmart) for groceries.  We had a quiet dinner to ourselves.  Jacin finished the dryer project, then walked with Danielle to buy Horchatas for the kids (a delicious, creamy, cinnamony treat).  We’ve officially updated the blog and are headed to bed.  Will try to upload pictures tomorrow (and keep up with daily postings!!!).

Thank you all for your prayers and support!