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RV Adventures: Mom’s Birthday Edition

If you don't already know our full story, you can find it here in the "Our Story" section. In a nutshell, we said Yes to God, sold our house, and living our new wonderful life with Him.


In October of 2023, our 5th Wheel RV was scheduled to be taken in for some maintenance work so it was covered under warranty. We were set for January 13th to bring it in.  But, about the first weekend of January, the weather predicted that an Ice Storm was coming the same day as drop off.  We had plans to either stay at our friend’s house or with Rob’s sister, Laura.  Just so happens, our friends got sick, and us not wanting to add any stress to their home, we went to Rob’s sisters.  We planned to spend the weekend there while the RV was in the shop. 

 

It was snowing all week. Beautiful, white and fluffy snow.  However, packing and traveling in it was a challenge in itself. As the days got closer, I started to think it was a bad idea to travel when it turned into ice.  Thank God Laura suggested we get to her house early.  So, we pack up and leave on Thursday (Jan 11th) instead, to beat the ice storm.   

Although we’ve been through winter ice before in our much smaller, not 4 season old camper before, we didn’t need to worry about being in the camper in -13 degrees weather or possibly having to spend who knows how many days with frozen pipes. I was much happier to be at her place for this.


(One “funny” part was both Rob and I, at completely different times, slipped and flipped over since the ground under the snow was slippery.  I have never experienced that, it was so funny actually.  I am sure I looked like they do in the movies when they slip, flip up in the air and fall on their bottoms! Haha! All I could think of was, as I was lying there now looking up at the sky, Thank you Lord the ground is soft! I also hoped one of the neighbors saw me and got a good laugh out of it.  How funny it would have been to watch!)

 

Saturday (13th) comes, Rob met with Zach (our neighbor who just so happen to have the proper towing truck and was a very skilled driver, Praise God!)  That afternoon, they were able to successfully and safely, (not without challenges) get the camper to the shop.  Shortly after, the storm hit, but by then we were all safely indoors.  Praise God for His perfect timing!

“He has made everything appropriate in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11a  NASB) 

 

We watched from inside the snow accumulate many inches and prayed for the power to stay on (and it did the entire stay!)

 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  Matthew 7:11 NKJV


We have a blessed time with Laura and are so very grateful for that time together.  After a week stay, Rob them haul the camper back home, Thursday (now Jan 18th). 

Since Friday was supposed to have one more day of -9 degree weather, we decide to just stay at his sister’s house for the weekend until it was warmer. 


At this point, The camper was home for 4 days without us, so we head home Sunday morning (Jan 21). When we get there, we do all the typical RV parking hookup things:  We open up all the slides, and all goes well with that, and then we unload the truck to get settle back into our tiny home.  As we find it, the pipes at the main spigot are still frozen, so we have no water.  Not too surprising but, we’re able to still unpack and go about our business as this wasn’t our first freeze.  Plus, it was predicted to be above freezing the next Monday, so we didn’t worry too much. 


Well, Monday (22nd) comes and we’re still frozen, Bleh!  But, we stick it out since the Men’s Bible Study meetings are on Tuesday evenings.  We figured, worse case, we have year-around shower houses at the campground. But, honestly, I really didn’t want to go out and use them in 20-30 degree weather either!


Tuesday (23rd) morning arrives and Rob comes home from work, and was able to turn on the spigot and get running water to the camper.  Yay! Right?  Or, not…I notice that the shower head is on the floor of the shower.  I lift it up to put it back and realize it had froze and blasted off!  Oh no!  We forgot to drain the shower pipes!  Oops! That sucked cause I just bought that new shower head. But, at least that was an easy fix, right?

However, we also discovered that the kids’ bathroom sink faucet is gushing water out cause it must have froze and busted too. Ugh! Double oops!  Rob goes back out to shut off the spigot.  I ask him to go rest since he worked all night and hadn’t gone to sleep yet, now closer to noon.  Cause we could deal with it all later.  But, he couldn’t sleep knowing those things need fixing. So, he decided to run into town to buy a new shower head and fixtures. So, off goes the main water source again.


While he's gone, I suddenly get a notification from the local community group saying that buses are sliding around the roads because of the ice and that the road Rob needed to take to come home was closing!  As I become concerned I start to pray.  Praise God, not long after, I see Rob driving back up safely! 


He brings home some of the fixtures but had to order all the other parts.  He goes to change the back sink so that it will stop flowing, but apparently when they built the RV they glued down the screws.  Just great!  So, it wasn’t a quick fix as anticipated. 

He moves on to fix the two showers.  He turns on the main water source, and yay, all looks well. Awesome!  Right?  But then…. I now hear water!!! Flowing water…a sound that shouldn’t be heard when no faucet is on and I do not know where it’s coming from!!!  I call for Robert to hurry and come look.  But we can’t find where it’s coming from!!!  It sounds like its coming from the shower but we cannot see anything! 

So, Rob walks around the camper trying to find the source.  I still think it’s coming from the shower.  So, curiously I stick my finger through the opening in the shower wall (the fixture base was still detached) and there it is!!! I feel the water spraying Behind the shower wall!!!  Ooooh, Nooo!

I yell for the water to be turned off! My son, Ethan runs outside to turn it off. (Note: Unlike a house, RV pipes are all connected as 1 unit.  So one leak results in the entire camper needing to be cut off from flowing water.)  The water had to remain closed.


It is now around 1:30pm and Rob hasn’t been to bed yet.  I suggest again he go rest.  But he first makes a call to the RV Repair man.  He finally takes a nap and only an hour and a half later the repair man calls him back.  He is tells him immediately that this wasn’t a repair he could do, and that we would need to take the camper into the shop (again) so they can rip out the entire shower to get behind it and fix the pipes.  Ugh! So, I start to repack everything again to head back to his sister’s house.  That included taking things back off the all the counters so the RV can be hauled yet again. 

Meanwhile, now 5pm, Rob and Ethan leave for their Men’s Bible Study.  I wasn’t able to cook for the men because I had no clean dishes to use, and Rob didn’t have time to go run into town to grab something either.  Well, God provided because, Rex volunteered to bring pizza that night!  What a blessing from God! Plus, his wife Joanna, my sister in Christ and friend comes over to fellowship and be a mental distraction for me from all that is going on. 

Praise God for knowing exactly what I needed!  But, all of a sudden, Rob texts me to stop packing because he spoke to the guys, and they said they thought he could fix it himself.  It was already too late as I was pretty much done.  But I was more than happy to stop and just hang out with my dear friend.

Of all nights, they must have had one of their longest meetings yet.  As much as I Love them having their fellowship time, I was starting to get really hungry and impatient as we only had chips and salsa all day. It really wasn’t a day I wanted to wait, but Holy Spirit held me together made sure I did not interrupt their time together.  Plus, Cooper (our friend’s son) had been able to join them for the first time, and what a blessing that was!  Around 7pm they finally get home and we load up the rest of the stuff in the truck and leave for Liberty again.  After two days, EW I know! We get nice hot showers, and Rob knocked out as soon as he got out of his.


Wed, the 24th Rob got to sleep in finally as he only had to work for one night on the 22nd which only proves again, that God’s timing is perfect.  Rob and Ethan leave shortly after waking, to head back home to fix the shower.  Few hours later they call me happily to say they were successful!  Praise the Lord again!  Because of the Bible Study and friendships God created, not only did they get good advice, but one of the men, also a neighbor, had the tools and pieces needed to fix the pipes!  Yay!

They waited around about an hour to make sure things were ok, turn off the water, then came back to Liberty.  We resettled ourselves in Liberty once again and decide to stay the night since the kids had their Church activities up here on Wednesdays anyways.  It was a lovely night, kids got to spend time with their friends, Rob visited with Daniel and I go on an early Birthday dinner with my almost birthday twin sister, Analia.  We celebrate with Jerusalem Café and Nautical Bowls.  It was a much needed fellowship time, Praise God again! Especially to give me some peace to prepare me for the chaos to come the very next day! Haha!


(Jan 25th) I wake late and realize we totally forgot Ethan had a morning doctor’s appoint!  I wake the guys up and they rush to his appointment with only a couple minutes to spare.  Ethan had grown yet another inch and is doing great!  Praise God for the gift of good news!

When they got back, we decided to head home for my birthday.  All I wanted to do was see what all else could be fixed and sleep in my own bed.  The kids and Rob blessed me with some Bible Edition games beforehand and I was hoping we could play it later that night. Ha!

When we got home, the guys go and work on the back sink together.  It was glued down so much at the screws they needed to use a Dremel tool to get them off.  That took a while, but they were able to get it off and replace the sink fixture.  They turn the water again, and all seemed fine, Yay…right???


Optimistically, we bring a few bags in, but I suggest we not fully unpack the truck just yet.  While in the bedroom unpacking, I look down and what do I see?  I see water coming from the washing machine closet! Ack!  A leak from the washer had happened before, so we knew what to do.  We had to take down the dryer first, take off the vent and power cords, drain the washer and then pull it out to see what the issue was.  Well, the good part was since it was an added component, it actually had separate shutoff valves. Thank God!  The bad part was it wasn’t a cheap easy fix like the other pipe fixtures.  This part broke IN the washer!  Again, we had to order another thing and Rob decided to call the RV repairman again for suggestions.  Ironically, this was something he is able to fix.  Good right?

Howwww-everrr, his wife was the one on the phone, and just so happen the repairman had surgery today of all days, and he wouldn’t be able to come out for at least a week or so until he recovers.  Oy! Rob says he will be praying for his recovery and so it being the least of our concerns, we deal with the mess.

But God still provided!  They were kind enough to bless us with educating us on what parts we needed to order and said he was willing to walk Rob through it if needed.  Praise God for kind, helpful and caring people and thank God these valves were separate so we didn’t need to turn off the whole camper again. BUT, then more happened…


After about an hour or so, Rob and Ethan finish fixing the washer issue, and then turn back on the main water supply to make sure the shutoff valves don’t leak. All goes well.  About 15 minutes or so of waiting, they start reinstalling the washer and dryer (not without forgetting to connect the vent hose and power, which was another setback as they had to take it all back down again to do that, haha!) Rob had to hold up the dryer as Ethan reinstalled the vent hose.  Oh boy I felt bad.


Being about 8pm at this point, Robert tells me to go take a shower so I can relax while he and Ethan finishes dealing with the washer & dryer.  I hesitate but at this point I finally agree but needed to wash some dishes first.  It was really piling up!  I go into the kitchen and proceed to wash.  The hot water usually takes a while to get hot, and it’s still in the 20s or low 30s outside, so I expected the water to take a while to get hot.  About 5 minutes later…it’s still freezing cold!! Oh no, no-no, no!  I paused cause I really didn’t want to tell my husband yet another thing is going wrong.   I think to myself, “What Now!??”


Well, a few things actually!  Hahahahaha!  Rob comes down the stairs when they’re done, and I look at him.  He sees my face and asks, "What?"  I reluctantly tell him that the hot water isn’t working.  He stares at me blank for a few and then goes to take a look at the panels.  All of a sudden, my daughter walks out of her bedroom and yells, “There’s water all over my bathroom floor!”  Rob pauses again and hurries to their bathroom.  As he looks to find the new leak, (4th at this point!) it’s the fresh water line going into the toilet. 

Then, as I’m standing there with freezing drippy hands over the sink processing it all...I hear an odd sound.  Oh. No. I know that sound.  It’s the sound of the furnace going out cause we’re running out of propane!  There was no way it was empty yet again! It’s too late at night to get a new tank and yet it should not be empty because we just filled our tanks.  I couldn’t think what it could possibly be!  But, it was the propane for sure. 

So, Rob heads outside, in the dark, to go check on the propane and the water heater.  It’s now just above freezing, raining instead of snowing, and the ground is all muddy and slushy.  I hope to myself that he doesn’t slip again because  all the fluff is gone and I am sure he was possibly rushing around and getting exhausted at this point. Poor guy.

Fortunately, the furnace was an easy fix.  For some reason when one tank was empty it didn’t automatically switch over to the other.  But thank God, it was something we not only knew how to fix from experience, but was able to fix right away!  Why that had to happened right then, during all of the rest of the things, I just didn’t know.  At this point it seemed like spiritual warfare.  Like something was trying to mess with us or discourage us with distractions to try to take us away from keeping our eyes on The Lord.  Make us stressed, worried and defeated. But, that was not going to happen!

It was now around 9pm by then, and we still hadn’t eaten all day (please note the kids ate throughout the day…not full meals but easy stuff and snacks, we only starved ourselves hahaha) So, again, the water gets turned off.  We call it a day and stopped all trying to fix things and left to get dinner. 

By chance, It was a super foggy night. You could only see 2 cars ahead and we're on a country highway that has no streetlights with hills and curves. Great.

But, I just prayed the way into town and back for safe travels.  Out of all the things going on that day, that was the thing that may have actually worried me at all.  Thank You Lord, we got home safely. 

We sat down as a family to give Thanks to God and share a meal together. It was a peaceful evening despite the day. A birthday I surely wont ever forget.

It all really reminded me just how much we Need God.  Not that I was unaware of it, but truly acknowledging Him in ALL things. During the bad, but Especially in the good.  To have Joy in the storms and to be in His Peace in all trials!

In Proverbs we are told:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall make your paths straight.”   Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB  This scripture is my personal favorite and has held True since the beginning and always will!

 

The next morning (26th), although we didn’t make any progress, it seemed to already be a much better day.  Then, some of the parts came in and Ethan was able to use his new plumbing knowledge to install the new sink fixture in our bathroom all by himself!  Horray!  However, we tried the electric hot water switch again because the RV Shop said sometimes it takes a while when it’s this cold.  But, after a few hours, it still was not hot at all.  Bummer. 

It was about 2pm at this point and again we hadn’t eaten much all day.  So, Rob and Ethan went into town to get us some food.  Unable to shower with hot water, and wanting to at least wash some dishes since I had the water on (bathroom was still leaking but we could put a cup under it for now.)  I refer back to the knowledge of our tent camping and scout days, and I knew what I had to do! 

Praise God again for the life events He knew we needed to experience, even before we knew Him, he knew Us and all our needs!


I fill up a water pitcher and fill a tea kettle and I microwave the pitcher and heat up the kettle!  I do that about 6 times and make a hot, soapy wash bath in one of the sides of the sinks and use the pitcher to make a slow flow to rinse them.  Life felt so good again just from having clean dishes and counters!  Bless You Lord!  Thank you for helping me with our 1st World Issues!  All jokes aside, I am truly humbled and grateful for this experience to remind me of all the blessings I have.

When I was done doing the dishes, I go and check on the kid’s bathroom leak. Oh boy…! It went from a fast drip to an almost drizzle.  That cup would have had to be emptied every 5 minutes minimum at this point! So, again the water had to be turned off.  But, I had a clean sink and food to eat. So, life was just Great at that point!  Hallelujah!


I really debated about going back to Liberty, but I really didn’t want to pack up all over again.  Instead, we decided to adventure to the campground shower houses!!!  At this point, why not right?  To my surprise, the shower houses were even nicer than I had expected!  The Grays (owners of Lake Paradise Resort and our dear friends) did a beautiful job in making them seem very homie yet fancy for a campground shower!  It was such a blessing and gift!  Just another one of God’s provisions.  How blessed are we to have the ability to be able to use a facility that is so nice.  Not only that, although our washer may still not be working, we also have a nice laundromat here to use with an amazing game room right next door to it.  Honestly, how could I complain?  This “inconvenience” would be a blessing and dream to what others experience in other circumstances.  I thank God for it all.

We did, and nothing at this point really was upsetting...eventhough when we got back, now our other sink was dripping. So, since Rob had to order had to order the piece for the toilet, he also ordered another new faucet. By chance, they both were available for overnight delivery. An actual, Yay!


(Jan 27th) Today I felt optimistic because the part came early in for Rob to fix the toilet water inlet! Rob wakes early and gets to work.  Although it was a long process, and with quite a few hiccups (screwdriver too long for area of work, fittings hard to put in also due to the limited workspace, and the fact that Rob never dealt with an RV toilet before, made it challenging).  After a long while, and having to race against time because Rob had to go back to work again that night, all the leaks were finally fixed!  However, we still didn’t have hot water.  We tested it out again for about 2 hours and still didn’t work.  We switched it over to Propane Heat again and packed up to go to the shower house again, just in case. 

Before we left (about 30 mins later) we checked the water and Yay!  It was actually getting hot!  Happy Dance!  But, we decided to just let it do what it needed to do.  It’s now in the mid-30s so it wasn’t too cold to go out and adventure to the shower house again.  When we got home all was well, and I even washed the rest of the dishes with Hot water!  Praise. The. Lord!


Sunday morning (28th), The Camper pipes survived the night, no leaks, and Rob got to take a shower as soon as he got home from work! I wake up to a bright sunny morning! It was like a kiss on the cheek, a warm hug of happiness.  A true gift from God when it had been a month of chilly snow days, ice storms, slushy slippery rain, and gloomy foggy days… with all the RV Adventure Winter Dramas! Haha! 

The sun melted almost all the snow and it was just pure light!  I was able to read my Bible in Peace and sunshine, a much needed blessed morning.  It was a good day for our house, the Chiefs win the AFC Championship Game and the guys are all happy, I was able to cook dinner and we finally had a fully functioning home which ended with nice hot showers and clean dishes.  All these “normal” details became much Bigger Blessings! The Lord put it in my heart to document this story.


At the end of the night, Rob gone at work, and I got settled in my bed, I started to type out this blog.  But, I stopped and randomly to got up to check on things.  I do not remember hearing anything, but something told me to go look.  I peek into my bathroom, and there it is.  Water on the floor! Ahhhh! Now my bathroom water inlet was leaking!  It was much slower than the other one, but leaking nonetheless. Oy!  I have Ethan go outside to shut off the water yet again.  Thank God outside was much drier and a toasty 30-40s at that point.

I sat there typing away, and at that point, just had to laugh to myself.  I sent Rob a text at work saying “guess what?” and he does the same thing I did, laughed...which is the only way to react at this point.  He simply says, Okay, and orders yet another part.


In the end, the part didn’t arrive until he left for work the next night.  We had already known the drill by now and not getting a shower again became slightly less drastic.  When the piece arrived the next day, now the 30th, Rob was able to install the new fixture and fix the leak when he woke up around 2pm.  I had dishes again piled up so I waited for the water to get warm so I could wash them.  I thought to myself, oh no, because my house wasn’t clean enough to prepare food for the Men’s Bible Study yet Again! Nor did I order anything, this week either!

But, when Rob got out of the shower and I talk to him, what do you know…He said that it was already taken care of.  God, already took care of things, once again.  Rob said that Shelby said he would be bringing food today.  This just proves, yet again, How God provides!  In the small things and the big things.  He is the Good Father!  Before I even asked, He provided!

“It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24


One more amazing thing happens before this night ends, but I will have to put that in another blog because that is an amazing story in itself. I am still processing that situation but am blessed beyond to have experienced it.


For now, let me reflect on this crazy month of trials…

For years I never wanted to celebrate my birthday at all. I wanted to avoid it altogether really. But my friend Tina told me some very profound words earlier this month, "This is the day He chose to bring you into this world for His purpose. Celebrate that." That gave it a whole new meaning and I now want to rejoice in it!


However, although I still haven't, and may not at all at this point, "celebrate" my birthday the traditional way, it has been the most blessed birthday month I have ever had.


God Praise:  Thank you Lord for all of Your teachings.  Thank You for allowing things like this to happen so we can learn so many new things, grow in our relationship with You as we seek You for guidance and comfort.  Thank You for growing our faith in You from You Always being there for us.  You may allow things to happen, but we know that You are always there right beside us, providing for us ahead of time and walking right next to us, never leaving us alone.  You have perfect timing Lord and You make things possible and all the glory belongs to You. 

As we finish the first month of this New Year, I am only optimistic on what all You have planned.  What the devil may have tried to use for evil and discouragement has only grown my faith in our Lord to be Stronger.

“No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper;” Isaiah 54:17a NASB

I hope this little (yet Long) story has blessed you and gives you hope and encouragement. God is with us, always!


I look forward to all that God has planned…let the Journey continue!


-Cherie

 

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