All the Bells and Whistles

We are safely in Montana, having a fun time with my family….and wanted to update on our Road Trip to date!

We left early on Wednesday morning, with our car packed much much tighter than we would have liked.  Poor Owen barely had a window to look out of in the very back, but seemed to appreciate his privacy as well.

Next- and perhaps most importantly- we are all grateful for the deck of cards we brought along… We took an idea from another mom’s car survival tips.  Since I couldn’t find play money just before leaving, we used a deck of cards and a bell.  After starting our road trip from LA to Montana over 3 days, we would periodically ring the bell, signalling “point time.”  At point time, each of the 3 kids could receive a card based upon their behavior the past few hours (or, as in a few cases, not receive a card).  Then, they could cash in their cards for prizes that had been prewrapped… prizes that provided activities and books that they could do in the car.  Some may call this bribery, but it’s a lot more fun to reward the good than to punish the bad, and we have had three surprisingly fun car days!  

We spent the first night visiting with our dear friend Myrleen in Oakland, Oregon.  It was a wonderful reunion.  Myrleen had taught English with me seventeen years ago in Tokyo, and has since done many other wonderful service trips.  We loved being with her and her son and daughter-in-law.  I think it was my fourth visit to Oregon to see her over these years.  


After leaving Myrleen’s, we stopped at Multnomah Falls and enjoyed the view and a chance to do a little hiking around.  It was beautiful!

After spending a night in a “Sleep Inn” motel, we drove the last day through Montana up to Whitefish, where my sister lives and my family was meeting for a reunion.  Montana is a REALLY big state.  On the way, we passed a forest fire still burning… and then we were happy to come down the mountain and see the Flathead Lake and Valley in front of us, a clear sign that we were close.

The following morning, our family had a chance to meet my niece Isabella.  Here’s a photo of the reunion when we my sisters and I went to meet the Norton family at the airport:

Stay tuned for more updates coming soon….


One thought on “All the Bells and Whistles

  1. Sue, how wonderful it was to see the picture of you and your sisters and all of the kids!!!! God’s faithfulness is so evident as I look at the picture (and wish I could jump in for a few minutes). Please give hugs to everyone for me!!! I love catching up on your trip via your blog…thanks for taking the time to write!!

    Love to everyone,

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