Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 8

Left the Abel farm in pretty good time after a nice breakfast. Mike gave us a couple of solar chargers that will help us much in our journey. With much gratitude we leave from this fine home. They will be in our hearts and prayers for a long time. Head for Montana guys. Live your dreams, life is a short gift.
Cold and rainy again today. Heading for the harness shop. We did some time on Vermontville hwy, very busy road & the traffic was flying. Lots of hills, so we backed traffic up a couple of times. But once the kids start a hill we're not stopping in the middle of it. There's always someone in too big of a hurry and they would try passing ...hill or not. Horses are getting better with traffic. Semis don't startle them so much now. Trailers (the banging is loud) and for some reason cement trucks drive Bob nuts. Coming or going. The amish folks we have met say they won't notice a bit of it after a while.  Be a nice thing...maybe I could take the death grip off the reigns and Punkin could stop stressing.When she sees a truck coming her eyes ball come out of her head like Louis Armstrong playin' a high C.
Then we hit Bradley road...dirt and lots of hills. But after 9 miles total we reached the harness shop. Alvin and Vera Mast are great folks, who also happen to be Amish. We got pads for thier collars and got the reins fixed. We also bought some new lead ropes with chains that go under thier bottom jaws. They don't give Punkin much respect when she's walking one so this should help her. That is a lot of animal she is walking. So we should be all set. Got 150lbs more grain too.
While Alvin & I worked out in the rain Punkin visited with Vera a little and she brought us out 4 apples. Oh my goodness these are good apples.Alvin helped me do some adjustments on their harnesses and bridles. Also taught me a few things about hitching them that will be safer for the horses and us. Thanks so much to both. So very worth the trip. I have no problem what-so-ever expressing my ignorance to these knowlegable folks. They been working horses for a long-long time.
Off to Hanks. He is the gentleman who shod the horses and invited us to come spend a night. Bob and Casey are in a huge pasture. And I mean huge. It is just fun to watch them. They don't get that much room to run with us. They are taking a bite and running....taking a bite and running. You get the picture.Like little kids with too many toys running from one to the next. We had a hot shower and great dinner.A beautiful home and great folks. They offered us a warm bed too...but ya know the dogs would have this wagon tore up by morning. Sugar Ray has seperation anxiety...and every other mental illness a dog can have.
People to pray for:
John & Tammy Kehrer, happiness and health
and Tammy's mom Carol for her Parkinsons (please pray for a cure & healing).
Jim and Mary Mitchel to have a good timne and good health in their old age. (they have raised a number of pastors in their family and it was great fun talking with Jim (Mary has a cold).
Been cold and wet all day...and we are whipped!
Sorry we are late with this. Good night and God Bless you all & thanks for being on the journey with us.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Note!; Denise, Larry, Linda, & Don and all others!

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Day 7

Hello all!
So another day is done and like the other 6, God was all in it!
We thanked the Athertons' and gathered our "stuff" in slow motion. It was such a blessing to have a day off. We got started a little late but made it 14 miles!  That's 57 total. Had to work with all the new shoes!  Apparently we were in an adjustment period. Struggled quite a bit in the beginning.
We had a great motorcycle road! Hills and twists and turns...not so great for horses!  But we plodded along and got through it all. They did their 1st railroad tracks today. Would have been smoother but for the flashing red light at the stop sign just ahead. Yikes!
We saw a llama come out of a shed with a baby following her close behind.  Just tiny!!  So cute! Bob, for some reason, doesn't seem to comprehend any animals outside of horses and dogs.  He just stares!  Like he's trying to figure out just what that might be.  He does the same thing with cows, sheep, mules, and yes, llamas.
They are getting used to the school buses and trucks coming and going around them and close to them. After we get through all the 1sts, we will be all set.  They learn fast.  They have also learned to smile for the cameras!  All day. 
Cars come back for pics and some just drive down the road making movies of them.  They are such a couple of hams!
Today was the 1st day we actually got rained on.  HARD! It's been off and on pretty much the whole trip but we have managed to avoid all but sprinkles.  Until today. And we got through that too!
The dogs are managing to learn that they don't own every house we go to and they ride well inside the wagon as we go.
We met more people today and have a new list of prayer requests...Terri Sweet would just like prayer.  She had an accident 10 years ago and actually died 3 times!! She has learned to slow down and love every minute of her life.  Alvin Spitzley just asked for over all health prayers. We did have a young lady in a pickup with lots of kids stop.  She asked lots of questions and thanked us for answering them.  When we asked if she had anything we could do for her or pray about, she said, We're Christians, we pray every night. We're on your team!
Then, of course, came the time to start praying for an overnight stop.  Within minutes we met Keolahou Able!  She was waiting at the bottom of her drive and said, do you have a place to stay tonight?  That is one AWESOME GOD!! Got to meet a couple of her neighbors that have raised Belgians, Percheron's, and just about everything else.  They have farmed with horses in their lives! We had dinner with Keolahou, her son Chris, Chelsie, and their beautiful 15 month old Lia. She (Keolahou)  and Chris are Hawaiian! They actually go there sometimes and shared some of the interesting culture from their home. We did not yet meet Mike, as he was at work. Maybe in the morning.
Then after dinner Keolahou gave us a blessing from her neighbors, Jerry & Lory Knight!  Thanks so much Jerry & Lory!
So, we are settled for the night at another GREAT home with more GREAT people! Please pray for great blessings for this family that shared a piece of themselves and their home with us for an evening.  Respite for us and our beasts!  Thank you so much.
God has met every need along the way, because that's what He does!
God bless!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 6

A DAY OFF!!! Can I get a Huuu-Rahhh? Actually it was a matter of nessecity . The horses had no foot left to go on. Bob had some small bruises on his fronts and Casey's rears were wore to limits. So Henry who we met yesterday had his nephew call us. He came out to the farm we stayed at and trimmed and shod them here. Great service at a great price. His name is Hank D. and his driver and associate is John. Two better Christian men you will not find. Good company-some good laughs and good fun.
Hank took his time and looked over the horses. He gave us a good tip to keeping Caseys head straight so she doesn't pull Bob around. He also noticed some wear on Bob's chest where his collar goes and recommended we stop at the harness shop and let him have a look. How cool is that? So that is our next stop. Besides it's on the way to Hank's house. He asked us which way we were going south. So we asked what roads he recommended? he said take Bradley straight south. We said ok...why? He said "that's the road I live on come and spend a night with us." Every Amish man we have met on this journey has been that kind of person. Good Christian men and a pleasure to spend time with.
We also met Deann who does missions at Imagine This Church in Grand Ledge. She asked us to do a short filmed interview for her ministry and we obliged and were happy to help. Hope God gets the glory.
We were also blessed again by pastor Roy and his family by allowing us to do laundry. Thanks sooooo much. They offered us another night but we have to kindly refuse as winter is closing in and we would like to be 500 miles souther before we wrestle with that monster from this rig.
Please pray for our friend Sue who's sister-in-law died. Sue is a friend of Punkin's Harris's and one of the dearest christian ladys you will ever meet. We are sorry for her loss.
A great day. First leg of the journey is complete. Next stop the harness shop.
Good night and God bless to all. Thanks for traveling with us, and praying with us. Jesus is the answer.

Next morning

Good morning to all...sorry we're late with this. Got in late last night but had a great day. Left the Straling's in the rain, fact is it tried to wet on us all morning off and on. But we stayed dried for the most part. Thank you Lord. And thank you so much to the Stralings.
At one point we were roaring down the road at about 3-3 1/2 miles an hour and this little red car came up behind us and stayed there. Stalking our every move. They wouldn't pass us for anything. I'm thinking to myself "come around pal, come around! What are you doin'? " I G'ed over to let um pass and he would get over right behind us...steady stalking us...stalking us...finally they pulled up next to us. I waited for an automatic weapon or a good cussin' to come out the window. But alas...lo and behold out popped the smiling face of Larry & Linda S., our good friends from Perry. Her and Larry had chased us down and came to visit. So great to see some familiar faces! Thanks guys.
Lost our brakes this morning...scary stuff. We were heading down hill and I had no way to keep the wagon from running the horses down. We started the day with very little. and a couple of hours in we had none on the last two hills. But you can not just stop on a country road and wait for a service truck to come rescue you. So we started praying intensely. Crying out to God saying we can not fix this please help us Lord. We prayed around this big bend and when we came out of it we saw huge grain silos and lots of them up in the distance. We knew it was either a huge fram or grain elevator. The closer we got the more buildings we saw. We asked God to please let there be someone there who can have a look at the brakes and tools to do it. So we pull in and there is farm machinery and construction equipment everywhere. When we pulled up in front of the first of many machine sheds I said "Hi  fellows don't suppose there's anyone here who could look at our brakes?" They laughed and sure but said that they were disappointed because one of the fellows said "look the Budwiser wagon is coming in" and they got two belgains instead of clydesdales, two mutts instead of a dalmation and two holy rollers instead of kegs of beer. But they were great folks and we enjoyed working on the wagon. They found grass for the horses, helped get um some water liked the covered wagon. One fine gentlmen even went home and got us some hay to restock us. They said "we never worked on this model before but we will try to figure it out!".All said and done there was a nut that needed tightening at the Y in the front brakes. And they cut out one wheel on the rear brakes that had a brake cylinder leaking. So we have brakes on three wheels and are good to go. All work and fluid for free. So a big shout out to CLARK FARMS, SAND GRAVEL, in Eagle, Michigan,Chad, Matt and Scott. If any local folks get an opportunity to throw some business their way God bless you and them.
So once again God had us right where we had to be, when he wanted us to be there. All in all we had a great day. 13 miles and a brake job ain't a bad day.
I forgot to tell ya all that our ferrier Henry D. had no time to help us...he is booked solid.  He looked at Casey and Bob's feet and said we could probably get a day or two if we stayed on the asphalt and he helped us with names and numbers to a couple other good ferriers he knows. So bless him and his great help.
Day 5 prayer requests :
Val is a councelor at a school and she is over whelmed by the great needs of the kids around her. She asks that we pray that the Lord give her strength in her job with these children.
A family has asked that we pray for Herb and a cure for parkinsons.
Once again as the sun was setting my Punkin looked at me and said, I should start praying in a place to stay tonight and we did. About 1 maybe 2 miles later while traveling down grand river south of Portland a gentleman and his wife pulled over and asked us if we had a place to stay for the night. They were Jerry Litchfield and his wife. Thank you for listening to the small voice of God and welcoming strangers to your home. But they were still 4 or 5 miles away and we knew Casey & Bob didn't have that much left in them so we had to pass. Then Jerry said that their Pastor is only 2 miles away, and let's see what he says. They drove there and drove back to us and said they were waiting for us and told us how to get there. God is so amazing!! And God bless the children of God who live & walk his heart.
One last testimony to share. My wife prayed a sweet little prayer today while we were catching a little rain. "oh Lord how nice a hot shower and a diet coke would be". I silently prayed the same thing for her. She has been such a trooper through all this. Well guess what., She got the both on that day. Linda S. was sweet enough to give her a quick ride to town and The Pastor and his wife where we are parked, Roy and Kathy Athereton (Imagine This Church ) opened their home to us for a hot shower.
That's it for today...please remember to pray for Day 5 prayer needs, and God bless.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 5

Todays good news will be posted in the morning.  We're so exhausted.
God bless

Day 4

Well, good morning! Didn't get a chance to write last night.  Tired and dealing with a cold that's kicking our butts. But let there be NO doubt that the Lord is all the way in this journey with us!
We started out the day with a plan to keep on heading west.  Still trying to get to the ferrier (Henry D.) in Vermontville.  Not long after starting, our friend, Dale (ferrier), called.  He said that Henry was joining him on Thursday for a trail ride so we should call Henry and try to get there by Wednesday. UGH!!  A TIME LIMIT!!! Okay, so off we went.
Very shortly after starting out, we noticed that the pole (tongue) was rubbing Bobs' leg pretty much full time. He even had red paint on him from the rubbing.  Assuming that the pole got bent, we asked a passer by if there was a farm or anything close by where we could get a good look at it.  She said go back and go to the next road south. That there was a working farm there. After blocking the road with our turn around...we got where we were supposed to go.  Nobody there.  So since Casey was all sweat, it was a great place to have lunch. I'm telling you, these two were STUBBORN!!  All day we fought with them.  Had to send out a quick text for prayer. The tracks behind us looked like some drunk drove down the road.  We were just all over the place!
When we took off again, they were better.  Turned out the pole was rubbing Bobs' leg because he wasn't pulling at all!  No wonder poor Casey was pooped!
We did our calculations and sure enough, there was no way we were making Henry by Wednesday!  After 5 days we HAVE to rest the horses for 2.  No way.  It was by now after 4 in the afternoon so I prayed that the Lord start preparing somebodys' heart to ask us in.  In about 2 miles we saw a man working and checking us out.  Then Mark saw his wife.  She came to the road to tell us that they had mules in the next pasture, so don't let them spook the horses.
We talked with her for a few minutes and she said we have water and a hitching post if you need.  We kind of debated because at ths point, we knew we needed every mile we could get.  She asked, "where are you going?" So we gave her the reader's digest version of our time constraints and why we have to get to Vermontville.  She asked, who are you going to see there, Henry D.? Cause he'll be here in the morning to do my horses (mules)!  WHAT!?!?!?! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?
So, needless to say...we are here at the Stralings and Henry is on his way.  He may not be able to do them here but he can get them fixed up good enough to get us to stocks for a goooood job of shoeing!
How amazing is that? The Lord is in every single thing and we so often miss it. I guess it takes going 3.5 miles an hour and knowing that you have so many needs to see just how His hand is always there.
Speaking of needs, some folks stopped and talked to us on the road and when we asked if there was anything we could do for them or pray about, Mom asked if we could all pray for her son, Gary, to return to the Lord. So, there's the prayer request for the day. Please and thank you :)
Oh! I almost forgot to tell you about the nifty shower we bought! We set up our nice surround for privacy and busted out the shower that heats the water instantly.  HA!! first of all, I guess it would have to pump enough water to heat...2nd...let's just say standing around in the privacy WITHOUT clothes, doesn't make anyone feel better about the cold trickle from the nozzle.
I know that Mark writes a more colorful account of our comings and going, but he's out working and I'm inside where it's dry.  So, by default, I wrote the story of Day 4. 8 miles today. 30 total.
God bless, and keep the prayers coming. We'll do the same!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day three

How many years have we been doing this??? Yikes!! We are wiped out tonight. Casey and Bob got twelve miles in today, with a few miles stones. They managed their first big bridge (over hwy 127), their ears went up and heads up so I just kept talking to them and Punkin and I praying and went over without a hitch. Whew! We did a lot of hills and more black top than we wanted to but we are safe and sound for another night (give God the glory).
Another first for them was the painted white lines in the road to warn you of an upcoming stop sign. AGAIN heads went up and their ears up, dancing around first rght-then left- then right again...pretty much everywhere but forward. I wrestled them across their first set without knowing what spooked them..and it wasn't until the next set that punkin picked up on's the painted lines she said and sure enough they commenced to dancin around again like Jed Clampet on corn liquor! Of course understanding that doesn't help much while your trying to wrestle them forward from my bucket seat. But the Lord was with us and Bob settled and went across. Casey still doesn't understand it was just paint. Bob just kinda dragged her across. Lord help us when we come to our first set railroad tracks!
People we met and prayers for today. Barb V. is a new widow and she blessed us with a nice resting spot for lunch. Everyone had a cold drink and hay or a sandwich at our buffet.  Please hold Barb in prayer. Life is tough on this earth without having to do it alone.
Next we met Norene. She chased us down to get a picture...which Bob and Casey, the forever hams, loved. So we asked what we could do for her or pray for her, a situation possibly or person? And she  looked at us with misty eyes and said I have a handicapped daughter named Jamie and we are trying to keep our home to raise her in. So we prayed and I ask all of you too to remember her and her situation in her prayers.
Well it is late and we are beat so I am signing off. Lord bless another Jamie for allowing us to rest four tired beasts and ourselves for the night. She said I am going to a party and probably won't be home tonight. Take all the space you need!
We are going to see if we can catch a church meeting tomorrow. Blessing of our Lord be upon each and everyone of you and goodnight.
P.S. If you become a follower of this blog, you can leave us comments.  We'd love to hear from you all!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 2

Ok.  We have been blessed again today. Started with a nice send off from Michelle & Ted & Amber. I can tell you that no matter what hardships we might find out here, there are always good people everywhere!  Thanks Ruhstorfers! We will keep you in our prayers for great blessings, like you were to us!
We went 7 more miles which, isn't much in the big picture, but better than yesterday and no break downs today. Yay God!!! The horses did good again today.  Hard work, lots of hills.  Today, Bob had to have a moment because of a pond he could see (HELLOOO...BLINDERS???) I actually had to get down and walk them back straight.  Sheesh! But, again, more than twice as much as yesterday.  They will get better everyday.  We're all learning together.
As we turned on to Cutler Rd., we met a lady (Linda) on her way to the bank.  She stopped to talk to us and said we should go down to her house so her husband (Steve) could see the horses and wagon. He drives a buggy and horse.
When we got down the road, he was waiting for us at the mailbox and led us in.  He already had water out for them. We met some of their family and friends and visited all evening.
They are wonderful Christain folks with stories to share!  Daughter (Brenda Hill (Steve)) is a walking miracle! She wears a neck brace that is the only visual sign of anything wrong.  But it is also the only thing left from an accident that almost killed her.  She told us that God was in every step of her gettng better and leading her where she had to be to get the proper care as most of the usual treatments would have killed her! See??  Miracles are still alive and well in America!
So, all in all, we're 2 days and 10 miles away.  Been blessed from the start.  Please keep us in your prayers! You know that enemy just hates when we step out to do the Lords work!  We pray he stays far away from us and ours!
Walk in faith!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On our way!

So...we're off!  Only made 3 miles today then the evener snapped right in half. Thank God we're still close enough to make some phones calls for help.
Thank you Bill L, Larry S, & Don G!!
But, while sitting in the road, an awesome lady (Michelle) came out to us and said that if we could move at all to pull into her property.  So that's where we are for the night.  Michelle is and does, make cookies for the soldiers. We got to help taste test and...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Great stuff and a simple recipe to take with me! Water, electric, a place to fence the horses for the night. All set for our 1st night out.
Bob & Casey did great! They actually had to pull up a small hill  but they did fine.
The dogs, however, think they should be allowed to just hang out wherever they want without restraint. HA!  New world!  But they still love us :)
Everyone we passed was very courteous. Stopped to let us pass.  Even the garbage truck.  Even tho it was standing still, Bob was spooky going around. Mark says thet don't like standing still stuff. But, he made it by just fine. These guys will be completely different horses in a very short time when we are going every day.  Good thing they're young!
So, the Lord took good care of us on this 1st day of our adventure.  And I'm sure He always will.
Faith! The only way to go!

It's time!

Gonna hitch the horses and go!
Keep us and the guys in prayer, please and thank you :)
Faith will keep us strong.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Upgrade in rear tires, last minute packing, laundry & dishes.  Almost there.
Thanks Don G. & Larry S. for all your great help!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


So, we took the horses out with the wagon and they did GREAT!  They stood nice while we visited our friends and went back home and parked.  They won't have any trouble pulling that wagon. But then.....when we were getting their reins off...Bob spooked and, long story short, they took the wagon for a short ride by themselves.  We will be down for a couple of days for minor repairs AND repacking :(
We'll keep you updated.
The Lord must have a good idea that it wasn't time to go just yet.  Hmmmmmm...wonder what He has in store for us????

Friday, September 16, 2011

Still here!

Still preparing.  I'm trying to pack all the nooks and crannies and have had to make a few adjustments.  The Lord showed me from the 1st tub I tried to cram in there that we weren't small enough yet.  Sooooo...the fire burns on ;) But, so much closeer.  Instead of doing the day after day thing, I'll blog again when we're ready and sitting on the road. THEN...I'll know we're going that day :-D

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Sure hoping for tomorrow am to be the time!  Soooooo many things to do!'s all in His time, I guess wwe'll be ready right when He says we are.
Gotta have faith.
God bless and have a great day!

Monday, September 12, 2011


We lost another day.  Went to run the last couple of errands and nothing went as planned.  Looks like Wednesday.  WE'RE TRYING!!!
We have to remember to stop and pray.  That ALWAYS helps.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Had a really nice article written about us in the local paper.  Somebody that came to our sale tipped them off.  The reporter only knew to go down 52 to Miller Rd.  Turn right, first house on the right.  She was pleased, I think.
Anyway, here's the link to the story.  As agreed, it was written to give God the Glory, we're just going to try to spread it around some.
At this point, we are doing the "last minutes" and for some reason they take hours.  We are hoping for a Tuesday am departure.
All your prayers are GREATLY appreciated!!!
Thanks so much to all of our friends and family that have helped us get this all together so far.
For now, back to work.  We'll write again soon.
Faith!--Love ya' all!  God bless!!---Deb