…packed into one 15 passenger van!

 

  About two years ago, we began to dream of a long trip out West. However, we realized that in order to see very much in only two weeks, we’d better make our trip East, instead 😀  For a while it was only in the dreaming stage…then recently, we’ve gotten serious.  For a couple of months we knew we wanted to make the trip this Fall, and we’ve been coming up with places to stay all along the way.  It wasn’t until yesterday, however, that we actually pin-pointed exactly when and where!

  Leah and I, planning

 

Maps!

 

Here Leah is outlining the states with colored pencil, and I am intensely looking at something…probably more maps!

 

Leah 😀  She had the great idea of photocopying the big U.S. map.  It was much more managable than photocopying each state out of an atlas and trying to tape them together (like I tried to do!).  Do you know that the States are NOT all the correct sizes when you try to do that?!  Maryland ends up down by Georgia 😀  Not good.

 

See what I mean?  We actually did pinpoint where we wanted to go! The sticky notes have information about some of the places, such as fees to get into places, or what each color pin is supposed to be.

 

Leah and I had great fun looking up lighthouses…I think Leah is writing down some information on some of them here 🙂 

 

 

I love this picture!

 

More maps… 

 

 

 

Daddy looking up pictures of the lighthouses

 

Mommy was at the other computer, figuring out the details of our route, and getting directions

 

A rough idea of our route 😀

 

At the end of several hours, when we had pretty much decided (for now) where we’re going and when, we had a “pow-wow” as we like to call it, so that everybody got to hear our plan and nobody was left out 😀  You can tell Isaiah (on the floor) is not very interested!

 

Oh, we’re so excited!  We haven’t been on a trip like this in ages and we can’t wait to see old friends, meet new ones, and visit new places!  We’re hoping to be able to post a little here and there, so you can see what we’re doing on our trip, as well 😀

Until then (in approximately 2 weeks), we have a lot to do:

-clean goat pens 😛

-figure out what to pack

-pack

-realize you can’t take everything you wanted to

-repack

-and 6,372 other little things that are sure to pop up!

 

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3,500+ Miles, Two Weeks, Eleven People…
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44 thoughts on “3,500+ Miles, Two Weeks, Eleven People…

  • September 13, 2010 at 8:56 am
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    oh wow!!!! i’m getting excited for you! 🙂 i know you will all have a ton of fun! i can’t wait to hear about it (mostly the Georgia part though, jk) :]. the packing is fun, only problem i can’t ever find enough stuff to bring!!! i’m always searching hi and low for stuff to do 😛 ok, well have an amazing trip (if i don’t see you before the, but i should on Sunday right?)
    love,
    kate

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    • September 13, 2010 at 9:30 am
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      LOL! I’m afraid we won’t have that problem 😀 Yes, we’ll be at church one more Sunday before we leave 😀

      ~Jessica

      Reply
  • September 13, 2010 at 9:32 am
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    Wow, that’s a lot to accomplish! God bless and protect you on your trip!

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  • September 13, 2010 at 10:40 am
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    I am so so so so so so so so so so so so excited that YOU are coming to visit us!!!!!! WHOO HOO!!!!!! and i even saw in the 1st picture of the computer that you punched in Union Grove, NC 😀
    I’m sorry I know all this, I heard that you wanted to keep it a secret, but my mom and i read the email together!! I am way to excited 😀

    Reply
    • September 13, 2010 at 1:57 pm
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      😀 Me, TOO! That’s okay…we kind of found out about your secret early, too, so it’s just fair–right?! Besides, I was wondering how we were going to blog about going East and not get you suspicious!

      ~Jessica

      Reply
  • September 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm
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    Awww! That sounds brilliant! I pray that you will have a brill time and that you will be safe along the way

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  • September 13, 2010 at 12:08 pm
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    Rachel’s mom here …. in case you have some interest in Union Grove, we love that area and can let you know what we know 🙂

    Reply
  • September 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm
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    That looks like a really fun trip~but you’re not coming far enough south! 🙂
    From the starting/ending point, it looks like you’re not too terribly far from where I grew up. I grew up in Morocco (very small town about 20 minutes west of Rensselaer-or an hour north of Lafayette).
    My parents moved when I was 14 and I married someone who lived in this area so I’ve never returned to Indiana (except to visit) but I still have a lot of family up there and my mom was living there for the summer to help my aunt recover from breast cancer surgery.
    So, it looks like you are well-planned and while I’m sure that it takes some doing to get that many folks organized and ready to go on that long of a trip, I know you’ll do it.
    Hopefully the weather will begin to change by then and you’ll be blessed with a very scenic trip. (That’s the one thing I really miss about living so far south!)
    I can’t wait to hear all about your travels. 🙂

    Reply
  • September 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm
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    If you can swing it drive the Blue Ridge Park Way. We moved to NC from TX about 3 weeks ago. We drove threw Ashville which is on the BR PkWay. You will be going threw at the peak of Fall Colors. It was beautifull when we drove threw, I can only imagine it when the trees began to turn. There are some realy neat places to stop like the Mast General Store, GrandFather Mountain, and lots of senic overlooks. Have a great time.

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    • September 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm
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      Oh, neat! It is good to hear about these places 😀 You can always try to find out on the internet, but when people have actually been there, and liked it, those are the best kinds of places 😀

      Reply
  • September 13, 2010 at 2:50 pm
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    Oh, I hope you have a wonderful time. We did a trip out west this year and had lots of fun and made many fun memories. I don’t know if y’all know this or not, but you can purchase a “Lighthouse Passport” and get it stamped at each lighthouse you visit with a name/date stamp. Its a fun souvenir that you can use for multiple trips. We also have one for National Parks and have fun finding places to stamp it on our travels. I pray you will have a safe and memorable trip.

    Reply
    • September 14, 2010 at 11:45 am
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      The lighthouse passport thing is such a fun idea! We are probably only going to one, but it would be fun to do anyhow 😀

      Reply
  • September 13, 2010 at 3:19 pm
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    I’m very excited for you…there is just one thing to be understood…
    TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Our family has not been on a family vocation outside of Alaska in ten+ years!!! We have been dreaming of taking a long trip for about six weeks or so, but it has always been in the dream world as well!!!
    My dad has been out a few times to attend a men’s leadership conference, and my mom and next older sister Haylee, had to fly to my great grandmother’s funeral, and Haylee and my dad will be flying to Chicago because she is participating in the National Bible Bee, and then my oldest sister Harmony and my mom will be flying to Georgia in November, to be with Harmony’s best friend who just had her first child!!!
    And that sounds like alot of trips but it was the same four people mention, and there are ten of us!!!! We would love to actually spend and enjoy time out of state, instead of just going for exactly the time needed for the event or whatever being attended!!!!
    Anyhow, I think I said all that just to plant a little hint that I’m just SLIGHTLY jealous:p) It’s okay though, there are ALOT of things that would have to be planned and worked out before any trip would ever be considered anyways…talk about a headache!!!!
    Hope you all have LOTS of fun and do post along the way:)
    Blessings, Hannah

    Reply
    • September 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm
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      LOL! When we first saw your comment, we thought, “Wow! A long comment!” (which by the way, we love!). We will make sure we take lots of pictures…we made sure we could load them onto our laptop so that we can take even more 😀 When are you coming to Chicago? That is “only” about 3 hours from us 😀

      ~Jessica

      Reply
  • September 13, 2010 at 3:52 pm
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    I love love love the East (Even though I am a Confederate, I have MA blood, too, so I love the North (at least MA, if nothing else, no offense to you Yankees! 😉
    I wish I was going South now! of course, everything is ‘South’ to us…….. 😀
    OOOOoooooohhhhhhhhh, I’m SO JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • September 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm
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    So exciting! I’m sure you all will have fun. You should pop up here and visit me 😉 lol

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    • September 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm
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      😀 That would be fun! I didn’t realize…or else I re-realized, that we live in the same state 😀

      ~Jessica

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      • September 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm
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        We live about 20 minutes or so north of where Dixon’s used to live. It’d be neat to meet sometime 😀

        Prayers,
        Esther

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  • September 13, 2010 at 10:55 pm
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    Aaaah! So awesome! Are you coming near Greenville, SC? I live near there, and it would be SO COOL to meet you all! <3 🙂 Let me know if you are, or if you'll be near there!
    By the way, this is Hannah/nachoaveragegirl, but I got a new website. 🙂 Just so you know, lol.

    Blessings,
    ~Hannah Grace
    Ps: thanks for your comment on Siblings as friends, Jessica! 😀

    Reply
    • September 14, 2010 at 8:50 am
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      That would be SO much fun! We’ll be sure to tell you if we’re anywhere close to where you live 😀

      ~Jessica

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  • September 13, 2010 at 10:58 pm
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    Jessica,
    I didn’t even think about my sister and dad seeing you when they’re in Chicago. I’m so used to being far away from any other state that its hard to remember that it takes about the same time to get from state to state down there as it does to get to many of the cities/towns up here!!!!!
    The dates of they’re Chicago trip are, I think for the second weekend in November. I don’t know that they will have alot of extra time though, they talked of staying a few days extra just to site-see there, but if they stay anywhere too long we may not let them come home due to over jealousy!!!! I’ll run a visit to ya’ll’s place by them though!!!!
    BTW, I’m glad you like long comments, it seems to be the road I’m taking today!!! We love getting long ones too. Did you see Heather’s page about her extremely special day with an extremely special person on Saturday…check out her post from today!!!!
    Blessings to all, Hannah

    Reply
    • September 14, 2010 at 8:53 am
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      That would be SO much fun if we could see your dad and your sister! Of course, it would be great if we could see all of you, but maybe you all will just have to make a family trip out to Indiana, right?! lol!

      I went right over to your blog to see who this very special someone was…how exciting! I read it earlier in the morning when not everyone was up, so I couldn’t wait for the rest of the girls to wake up so I could tell them the news!!!

      ~Jessica

      Reply
  • September 14, 2010 at 12:19 am
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    Wow, it sounds very exciting, girls! I’ll look forward to pictures of the trip *hint*

    I love that picture of the pins sticking up in the air… kinda cute!

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  • September 14, 2010 at 12:43 am
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    I’m so happy for you all! You’re living my dream! (But if you ever do decide to take a road trip west, give me a call!)

    Reply
  • September 14, 2010 at 1:53 am
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    Hi! You don’t know me, but our family are VERY good friends with the Shields, and we also live in Alaska. We have 7 girls in our family too! We also have 3 boys, two who are the oldest of us all. I really enjoy reading your blog, and love all the pictures! When I was about 7 years old my family went on a 3 month trip (in a 15 passinger van!) all around the United States! We were able to visit around 32 states I think. It was SO much fun! Although I wish I was older then so that I could have remembered more of it. I was wondering, what is your family’s last name?

    Hope you guys have a good trip!!

    Sarah Mailly

    Reply
  • September 14, 2010 at 8:05 am
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    wow it is coming alot closer!! i am kinda just slightly jealous :D.. but i’m sure you will have lots of fun..and you need to take lots of pictures :)….i hope you have an awesome trip..i probably won’t see you before you leave cause i might not be at church :(….have a awesome trip (i know you will 🙂 )

    love and hugs
    mArY

    Reply
    • September 14, 2010 at 8:56 am
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      We will have to check the back of the van for any stowaways…named Mary!!! LOL! That will be terrible if you’re not at church next Sunday, because then we aren’t going to see you for 4 Sundays in a row!! Oh well…do get better soon!

      Love,

      ~Jessica

      Reply
  • September 14, 2010 at 9:50 am
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    Have LOADS of FUN, TONS of ADVENTURES, and a SAFE TRIP!

    Love, Meghan

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  • September 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm
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    HOW FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am soooooooo excited for you all!!!!!!!!!! I wish you were swinging through Oklahoma though! 🙁 Maybe next time! 🙂 I am going to be anxiously awaiting many many many pictures! Prayers for a safe journey! In the name of Jesus you go! <3

    Reply
  • September 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm
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    Jessica,
    If you could please email me sometime today I would love it!!!
    Haylee was excited about the possibility of seeing you all. The dates of the contest are Nov. 11-13 but they are hoping to get there on the 10 and leave again on the 16. If you email we can talk about a visit some more!!! The email addy is my mom’s but just put in the subject that its from Seven Sisters, and I’ll be sure to get it!!!
    Thank-you so much, Hannah

    Reply
  • September 16, 2010 at 9:22 am
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    Hi there!!

    You don’t know me, but I’ve been following your blog for awhile now 🙂 Absolutely love it!! I became a Christian 6 yrs. ago when I was 15. 🙂 A skirt-wearing, Bible-believing one! 🙂 Anyways, I live in CT in a small town right south of Hartford, about 15-20 min. away. If you need any suggestion of where to eat/what to do in CT, I’m your girl!!!

    Have a blast, New England is amazing!! (Especially now since the leaves are beginning to change color!)

    Reply
    • September 16, 2010 at 10:26 am
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      Hello Diane! Thanks for commenting! We love hearing from our readers 😀 For right now, we’re pretty much just visiting a family in CT, so food is taken care of :D, but if we need any help, we’ll be sure to ask! I’m so excited to hear that the leaves are changing! I love this time of the year!

      Jessica

      Reply
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  • September 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm
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    I know I’m a little late in reading this post, but I’m hoping that when you meet Andrew next week, you will forgive me and understand how I haven’t been able to get on here in so long! 🙂

    I’m so excited about your trip!!!!! Can’t wait to see you!!!!!!

    HUGS!!!!!!

    Reply
    • September 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm
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      Oh yes! We will quite understand…and we forgive you already 😀 I can’t wait to see little Andrew in person!!!

      Hugs!

      Jessica

      Reply
  • September 20, 2010 at 8:35 pm
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    I don’t know if you are planning on stopping by Gettysburg when you are in the D.C. area but my family went there a couple of years ago and one of the coolest things we were able to do was get a tour guide to ride along in our car with us. i know you might not have a lot of room in your car 🙂 but if you are in the area it is def. something I would reccomend to check out – it was a great history lesson and so much more interesting then just being in a group or reading from a guidebook!

    it looks like a great trip! Look forward to seeing the pictures!!

    Reply
    • September 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm
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      Yes! We are planning on going to Gettysburg! Thanks for the tip 😀 I think that will definitely be something that we will have to check out 😀

      ~Jessica

      Reply

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