Friday, February 29, 2008

February 29th - Bradenton, FL - 12:04pm

It’s not very often that we get to blog on this date. : ) Happy Leap Year y’all!

We’re still here in our tropical haven of rest. However, we found that it can be downright cold. It was 40 degrees this morning!! I know. Don’t you all feel bad for us? All you people who are in the frozen, snowy wastelands of the north battling 10 degrees can stop laughing now. : P We went from swimming one night to a bonfire the next. It’s really warmed up nicely now and the sun is out.


This cold weather hasn’t stopped the citrus..


However, we found we’re not the only ones interested in the fruit!


Cute little guy though.

Mr. Ed got some snapshots from our concert at Oneco.



One more concert tonight and we’re off for the rest of the week! (Need I remind you there is only one day left of the week? ; ) And, only 2 ¼ weeks until we arrive home, Lord willing! )

Please keep in prayer Victor as he’s fighting (besides the normal pains) a new cold and having difficulty sleeping. Thank you all!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

February 26th - Bradenton, FL - 6:22pm

Comfortably seated next to the pool I’m trying to compose a blog for you all. I’m reminding people in the water to keep the wet stuff IN the pool and not on my laptop. : P It’s a cool 75 degrees and the wind is blowing. We’re really enjoying the time here in Florida. (I know. How can 75 be cool. It’s the wind.)


The Lord blessed us with such a beautiful place to camp for the week. We are next to the Braden River in beautiful, warm Bradenton at the King Ranch. Thanks to the King family we are able to stay here!

They have many citrus trees and we can pick as many as we want.


A beautiful unidentified red flower greeted us the day we arrived. (Does anyone want to take a stab at what kind it is? It grows on a vine.)


Hannah was one of the first ones in the pool when we arrived Monday afternoon.


We’ve also been enjoying some very nice company! It was a joy to see the B’s and the M’s again! : D

Mr. Ed took some pictures (and video) of our first two concerts on Sunday but unfortunately my computer is not cooperating with the DVD he made of them. Sunday afternoon was our largest concert here so far with 300 people.

We arrived back at the ranch this afternoon after being out almost all day. We went up to Largo and sang for an enthusiastic. happy and kind group of senior citizens and staff. The bay was so pretty by St. Pete.


Another batch of 1,000 cds are being delivered to us this evening. We gave away more than we expected and had to place an order. I guess this is a good thing! :)

We’re looking forward to singing tomorrow night and a day off on Thursday.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Some day in February - who knows where - the time isn’t important


Anyway, we’ve been spending the last few days with our friend and family in Florida! The weather has been quite warm. It rained for a little bit but nothing we couldn’t deal with. : )

We were blessed to sing for a full house of 600+ on Friday evening, at the Wesleyan Village. It was a great concert. We didn’t get too many pictures, and the lighting wasn’t the greatest for the photographer we put in charge of the camera. We were also blessed to see our old neighbors from Orange, our home town, and meet new friends. : )

We visited family Saturday…


Like father like son!

The kids had a fun time playing with the lizards,… and feeding them?


Mm. I guess his mouth isn’t quite big enough for that cheese puff.


Ew. He’s got it on his face!

Some of us were looking quite photogenic that day as you can CLEARLY see in this next picture. :-P


We took down a grapefruit tree with the help of the rain earlier in the day. It was quite muddy.


But, of course, not until we picked the tree clean.


We parked at and enjoyed the hospitality of the Z family for a few days.

We pick some fresh beets and ate them for supper!


They were delicious.

Carissa and Pricilla.


Vincent, feeding the pigs. They didn’t trust him much.


On Friday night, after the concert, the Z’s invited a lot of families over and we had a bon fire and roasted hot dogs. Yum! Great food and fellowship. After we had a lot of rounds of volleyball! Such fun! We were so very, very tired and slept well that night.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

February 20th - Alabama - 11:43am CST

We have another praise to the Lord for his wonderful protection! Yesterday we traveled all day through Louisiana and Mississippi, and entered Alabama late afternoon. It was dark when we pulled over for supper at a rest area. After we took off not more than a mile away we smell smoke and something burning. Ew. We are so thankful the Lord allowed us to smell it when we did! If not we could have a bus burnt to the crisp at this moment. At first the engine was suspect but the nasty oil burning smell wasn’t coming from there. Vincent crawled under the bus and found the brake drum covered with oil. What had happened was the brake on the left hand drivers side had not fully released when we left. At any moment the wheel could have caught on fire. After a few minutes of waiting the brake unlocked and we were able to travel again. Thank the Lord for a wonderfully working sense of smell!

February 21st - FLORIDA! - 10:15 pm EST

We made it to the Sunshine State! More later!

February 22nd - Brookville, Florida - 2332

What a FULL day. I’m beat and don’t have time to expound.

[big yawn]


February 23rd - Brooksville, FL - 3:19pm

We have been spending the last few days with our friends. Yesterday was sooo busy and I didn’t write anything up. Lord willing in the next few days I’ll have a post up complete with pictures. Till then…we’re enjoying some Florida sunshine with relatives!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February 19th - somewhere in Louisiana on route 10 - 9:00AM EST, 10:00AM CST

This week we’ll be entering Eastern Time again. Hey, we’re almost one step closer to being home. : ) We don’t go home for another 4 weeks, but we are a little over half way over with this tour. We called back home this weekend and had reports of single and below zero temps, sleet, rain and ice. This mild weather down here sure has been a blessing to us! We’re also praising God for traveling mercies and protecting the bus! (See last paragraph.)

Sunday we had two concerts in Texas. Thank the Lord, they went very well!

In the morning we went to the Wal-Mart lady’s church. : D For those who don’t the story….Mrs. Montgomery saw our bus in the Wharton Wal-Mart last year. She also saw Bonnie riding the cart back to the bus. ; ) She looked us up on-line, came to a concert and then came again to another concert and then booked us for next year. Praise God for the way he works and puts people in touch with each other.

This 13 month old church bought part of a store front block right on center of town.


It is very uniquely situated to do outreach in the community which they take advantage of to full capacity!

The inside had a really neat tin ceiling.


At night we sang at a different church in El Campo which was followed refreshments and fellowship. We parked there for the night. Next morning, after we slept in, we stopped off to buy Treches chili for our vegetables. Victor (dad) has taken a liking to this particular chili mix. It’s got sugar, salt and citric acid in it too, so, it’s not ALL chili. : )

This next story really needs a picture (or a video!) but everything happened so quickly there wasn’t time to get the camera. On our way back to Houston we were driving on one of the major 4 lane highways. Vincent was in the second lane and a truck carrying large rolls of carpet foam was in the third lane ahead of us. The strap holding the rolls of foam all of a sudden started looking kinda lose. Then, surreally, the rolls start coming off like crazy and it turned into a dodging game which could have been deadly for a small vehicle. We ran over one roll and tried to avoid another one but switching lanes didn’t seem to help too much. When we arrived at the music store we assessed the bus and nothing seemed to be mal-functioning because of the incident. We thank the Lord for His protection!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

February 16th - Victoria, Texas - 10:04am CST

Greetings from Ron Paul’s 14th congressional district! :)

It’s hard to believe it’s the 16th already! But, picking up our story from before we arrived here in Victoria. We had an encounter with border patrol at a check point exiting the valley. The drug sniffing dog decided to bark at OUR bus. They ask us all to get out and walk behind the bus and have a seat on the outdoor bench that seats about four people, and offered an indoor location if we wanted to get out of the cold. They must be real Texans, since it really wasn’t that cold. When Peter got out he was in the middle of a timed practice session and didn’t hear them say to leave his mandolin inside the first time and then they asked if he spoke English. : D Yeah, Bonnie didn’t think then was a particularly good time to practice her Spanish. J So the dog sniffs all around and goes inside. They come back out for another pass around. Nothing. That didn’t surprise us, obvious. : P Anyway, the dog wanted back in the bus again but he was quickly yanked back. They thanked us for our cooperation and said we could leave. Previous they communicated to us it would go easier on us if we told them right up front if we had drugs. 8-O They decided it must have been the large number of people on the bus which caused the dog to bark. We personally believe it could have been the hamburger on the stove mom was cooking, which might explain why he wanted to go in again. ; )

The second bit of excitement came when we had a new driver for a few miles. We had barely pulled away from the check station when we added a brand new secondary driver. She didn’t kill anyone and brought a round of applause when we parked safely (thanks to some screams of “watch out for the tree branches!) at the rest area.


It was almost too much excitement for one day!

Some of us saw this really neat looking bird at the rest area. At first the photographer was getting strange looks when she insisted she saw a larger sized, brightly colored, bird.


Does anyone know what kind of bird it is?

We arrived in time to our next destination in Rockport safely and set up for our next concert. The kids have been itching to visit the Baileys ever since last year so we packed up in almost record time so we could hit the road again and get to their house.

Between music, food, fellowship, and house washing we had a great time. We had a lovely (but very wet) water fight after the house washing. : D





This is our last weekend in Texas. It’s hard to believe it’s almost over here already and at the same time it seems like we’ve been here for a long time! :) How can time go fast and slow at the same time?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

February 10th - Brownsville, TX, 10:11am CST

First, today is mom’s birthday!


Happy Birthday, Mom. : )

We had Papa’s birthday party yesterday. He turned 82. : )


Happy Birthday, Papa!

Yesterday we visited a HUGE flea market, went shopping at Seven Seas, and Wal-Mart.

Day before yesterday we sang at Holiday Inn for a private Valentines Day banquet. We were graciously asked to eat with all the couples afterward. It was delicious. The poems/letters the men wrote to their wives and read out loud were touching and sweet and the ’favorite moment’ time of sharing was, at times, hilarious. We heard a few stories we won’t be forgetting soon. : D

Pre concert in our pink.


February 12th - Headed back to Brownsville from Edinburg, TX - 1454

Howdy! We were at a McD parking lot for a few minutes earlier today but it wasn’t long enough to get everything posting for you all. Maybe tonight we’ll be able to post. There is one thing about being home I really enjoy, constant and consistent wifi!

Our morning concert was interesting, since a lot of the people didn’t speak English. The pastor tried to interpret the intros to the songs but not the song themselves. Hopefully we did enough recognizable songs. They took us to Golden Corral after, which was serving a HUGE buffet. I don’t think I’ve seen so much choices at a buffet before! The place was packed out, and we had to wait a few minutes for seats. After we went to a birthday party, and tried the fajitas. Not bad, and nice and hot. : )

Carol and her new friend, Emily.


Nathan and Israel


We headed off to Paul’s RV and enjoyed a good time of ministry there. We went back to Wal-Mart and were serenaded by some loud music from a truck. Down here a lot of folks blare very loud music from their trucks. It was so loud on Saturday night we left our parking spot next to the church in search of a quieter area. It was quite obnoxious and hindering our sleep!

That sorta of brings us up to what happened today. We sang an accapella song in the chapel service at RGBI. The whole service was in, guess what, SPANISH! Bonnie is the only one who has been studying Spanish, but now the rest of us have come to the conclusion we should. We have decided to lean Spanish as a family, with Bonnie as our teacher. Maybe next year we’ll be able to communicate and minister better here in the valley.

When that was over we walked over to the multi-purpose building and sang for the campers/volunteers. They spoke English, thankfully. : )

February 13th - Route 77 on the way to Rockport - 11:08AM

Howdy y’all! Still no wifi in sight. : )

We sang last night in Brownsville. After the service the kids were quizzing us on Spanish.


Bonnie did good. J Our new friends invited us to their cassa (I think that means house) and made us flour tortillas. Delicious! Pastor brought by some tamales, along with sweet bread, milk and Mexican cookies for breakfast. Another delicious meal!

It’s really neat to see so many blooms and flowers out in the middle of winter.

One thing I’m not sure I like is the chili on everything! They like chili on watermelon, candy, vegetables, fruit and much more. I wouldn't be surprised if they put it in milk!

Thanks to everyone who made our stay in the valley enjoyable!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Written on February 6th, 4:36pm CST, Padre Island, TX

We’re here! This past weekend we ministered in three services, twice in the morning and once at night. Bonnie’s song touched so many and we are thankful for the Lord’s moving in each service.

On Tuesday we were invited for a meal to Reyes!


It was delicious seafood! If any of you all find your self in Laguna Heights and need a seafood fix, drop by
for a visit! : )

We parked in a parking lot adjacent to Wally World and on Monday night we saw some sparks. Wal-Mart went dark. That was an interesting bit of excitement for the evening. The camera had no battery left and by the time we changed them the sparking power lines had finished. I might have had something visual to post here otherwise.

Tuesday night we sang at Green Acres! [sings] Green Acres is the place to be, fine living is the life for me….etc., etc., etc! Ok. It wasn’t THE Green Acres. ; ) (For anyone who has no clue what Green Acres is it’s an old tv show.) We had our picture taken with Arnold.


The weather has been rain free but very windy. The ocean is brown looking because of all the rough current.

February 7th, 8:19pm EST, Padre Island, TX

This is our second and final night on Padre Island. We left the island for Alamo this morning and didn’t return till evening. The wind has died down, which makes the weather positively gorgeous! We enjoyed 80 degree temperatures and sun all day.

Our concert in Alamo went very well. We were unsure how many would show up since this was kind of last minute. They ended up putting out more chairs to accommodate the overflow. It was a very encouraging concert for us, and, hopefully, them.

We started back home, but not until we tried out the neat 'waterless paddle boat'.


[sings] …. a bicycle built for two!

SILLYNESS ALERT: Proceed at your own risk. Some of the following photos contain certain amounts of silliness.

It started off innocently. It did. When Bonnie returned from the shower she found the bathroom full and did not replace the items in her bag to the bathroom. She left them outside, near the kitchen sink. Apparently someone leaned, or stepped on the bag and…..welll…..


Now, this could have ended right there and we could have cleaned up the mess the non-fun way. But that would have been too easy.



It was quite fun until I inhaled some. If you all are having second thoughts about our sanity I really don’t blame you.

We stopped off at the shell store on the way back home.


You should have seen the big one. :-P

Inside they had TONS of shells, t-shirts, one of a kind items, dust collectors, and HATS. :D








What IS that smell??? I was trying to look like a mean pirate. Heh. Somehow I don’t think I captured the look properly.

The beach was back to the normal blue color and the sun was setting when we got back.



Bonnie got some awesome pics the night before.


Well, I guess that’s all for now. More later. : )

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make you your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV