Counting the Cost (States East of Arizona)

by Funhog Family on September 28, 2011

Stage 1: States East of Arizona is complete.  Join us as we look at the facts and count the costs of our 50 state challenge.

Stage 1 (States East of Arizona) Stats
States Visited (July – 18, August – 14, September – 7, Total – 39)
Miles Driven (July – 4807.5, August – 3443.8, September – 2973.2, Total – 11,777)
Hotel Nights (July – 4, August – 5, September – 9, Total – 18)
Restaurant Meals (July – 6, August – 4, September – 10, Total – 20)

The Cost (Financially Speaking)
(July -$1393.77, August – $1398.90, September – $583.62, Total – $3376.29)
Gas (July -$1320.06, August – $1269.90, September – $843.32, Total – $3433.28)
Lodging (July -$681.87, August – $1103.20, September – $681.44, Total – $2466.51)
Activity Fees (July -$326.30, August – $404.25, September – $106.00, Total – $836.55)
Gifts (July -$30.92, August – $232.38, September – $149.58, Total – $412.88)
Laundry (July -$17.00, August – $20, September – $0, Total – $37.00)
Total (July – $3769.92, August – $4428.63, September – $2363.96, Total – $10,562.51)

The payoff is priceless

I have really loved seeing God throughout our journey, in people we met – the Traubs in Sioux Falls, the Viskers in DeSmet, the O’Keefes in Pittsburgh, the LaRochelles in Jamestown(RI), the Smiths and Kendricks in Albany(GA), the Rogers in Louisiana, as well as many others – and in things He made happen (some we prayed specifically for and others He surprised us with) – connecting with my college buddy on his family vacation, getting camping spots on “sold out” weekends in parks, being able to interview Sherwood Pictures (their new movie coming out this month has them very busy), finding water at Garden of the Gods in Illinois.  He is moving, and the best part was that the kids got to see it.  By the end of our trip you could hear them saying, “Wow, God is providing this too!”

Another small perk: Our kids are now full fledge water bugs.  While on the trip, Kendall’s swimming has improved, Chloe and Sydney learned to swim, and Elijah has become fearless in his life jacket(this could be something to worry about).

Kendall (8) – Kendall is our helper and has been such a blessing on our journey.  She started helping me put up and take down the tents.  She is also starting to see adventure everywhere we go.  She will ask me, “Dad can we set up a zip line from that tree or dad, let’s take the kayaks off that(some small spillway)!”  Big slides are a favorite and anything that involves water.

Chloe (6) – Chloe continues to be the life of the party as she lights up any place she visits.  Chloe learned to swim on this trip and has had so much fun that she has become a waterbug.  Her favorite sport now is sliding down natural waterfalls, so she is always on the lookout for more fun.  Chloe is always willing to help and does so before being asked.  She is so good with little ones that she helps the most by playing with Tirzah.

Sydney (4) – Our Sydney has blossomed while we were away.  She learned to swim without floatation.  She also has become a zip line junkie, wanting to go again and again and again.  Sydney has started to help out more as she sees her sisters working as a part of the family.

Elijah (2) – Elijah started talking while we were on the road.  First came words and then sentences.  He has also grown three inches as before our trip the top of his head hit the kitchen counter top and now it is level with his nose (meaning not nearly as many accidents).  He loved being free to explore all the wide open spaces we were in.  He also started swimming by himself with the assistance of a life jacket.

Tirzah (1) – Tirzah went from a baby to a toddler.  She took her first steps while seeing the sights and has now become a proficient walker.  She has learned to have fun in a car seat as she played for hours on end with Elijah.

Jodi(We won’t worry with my age) – I think my most important lesson of this trip is that I want to be a wife who is a helpmeet to her husband, one who honors the dreams and desires God has built into him and who works hard to make him look good, a wife who is not found idle but doing what needs to be done, a wife who is joyful at home – a blessing to come home to and ever encouraging, a mother who trains her children through her actions more than her words but whose words are gentle and kind.  I can say that I have been encouraging Brian to step out and do more of what he loves but usually because I would like to have him around more to help with the kids.  This trip has helped me to better see that God made me Brian’s helpmeet, not him, mine, and I can follow Him best by joyfully, obediently if you will, following the one he made perfect for me, the one who is the head of our home, my amazing husband who loves sacrificially.  O, Lord, make me more thankful, make me more industrious, make me more willing so that Brian can be all you designed him to be, and You be glorified in our family.

Brian – For me, I set a goal of 39 states in the 3 months for my family of seven.  Seeing us as a family attain that goal was special.  I have cherished the numerous opportunities I have had for growth on this trip.  Some of my choices were poor ones, but I always got a chance to fail forward by making a better choice the next time around.  I am especially grateful for being able to see  the hearts of my children and to see my family grow together.  If you do not feel that your family is close enough, try sleeping in the same room for a month.  Make the living room your family slumber party.  Play games, read books, or talk instead of watching tv together.

I simply can’t wait for the next part of our journey!  I’m beginning to plan already!  And if anyone has some great ideas about where we need to stop and what would be a fun family adventure in your state, let me know.

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