Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cool homeschooling verses

Here are some cool homeschooling verses, 1 Peter 1:13-25

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

This scripture seems to give a good perspective for us as we raise our children, to keep our perspective on what really matters.  If we don't intentionally put this before us and our children, we could unintentionally teach our children that worldly things matter more than eternal.  We will not be teaching them to seek first the kingdom of God.

We have to do things differently from the way the world does things if we desire something different from what the world offers, especially in teaching our children.

Only the Word of the Lord endureth for ever.  

How can we demonstrate that to our children today?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

A walk through Beaverlandia

Today we enjoyed a walk near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.  

Susanna turned 13 years old today!

As we walked along the trail, we noted signs of beavers at work.

Beavers are hard to find, and they obviously could hear us coming.

Trying to figure out the average size of the beavers based on the distance of the bark damage from the ground.

Joshie stays a step ahead.


The confluence.

At the flood markers.

"I thought we were going hiking."

Daniel spots the beaver!

There he is!  Just look at those chompers!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

More effort

The whole world understands that a doctor or an engineer can’t be trained in a haphazard manner. It involves continuous study for 15 or 20 years. But very few people realize that the study of the Word of God requires even more effort. If earthly things require much study, what of the heavenly? By not giving that much importance to the Word of God, the vitality of the church has fallen and become only a religious tradition.

This situation cannot be remedied with a week of evangelistic meetings or with a short Bible lesson every Sunday in Sunday school. It can’t be remedied with emotional praise services or with miracles or with divine healings. It can’t be remedied with dramas, missionary trips, and other activities for the youth in the church. The people get excited about such things, but the next day they return to their same lives of spiritual ignorance because they haven’t made the Word of God to be their principal meditation.

Modern Christians have given ten or twenty years of their lives to the study of this world’s wisdom in the schools, and only a few hours to the study of the Bible, which is the Word of Truth that God communicated to the world through his prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ being the principal expositor.

The only remedy for this lukewarm state of the church is to put our children to study the Bible as if it were the thing of most value in the universe. ✞

-  Art Dappen (1946-2006), author of The Education of Kings.  This article was excerpted from his newsletter, PlaticAMOS.

Happy belated birthday, Gideon!

Susanna holds baby Gideon

Gideon was born in Texas, during a very special time for our family.  Of course, we have had many special times in our family.  But anyway, this was a SPECIAL time.  Also, this pregnancy was about the most challenging of all my pregnancies, and the Lord really helped us and provided for us and everything turned out fine!  Praise the Lord.

Gideon turned 8 on our previous cocoaconf trip!

And here he is!  We celebrated on the road, on October 23, and Sarah packed up all the festivities so we could make it a mobile party!

"That's pretty good for a boy my age."

In keeping with our new tradition, here is a poem Gideon wrote relatively recently...sans proofreading.

God love you and me he is good he is great he knows what we do and what we need. God is love. 
God is good. He died on the cross and rose on the third  day and now he is in heaven. He is going to com back
It's  good to be a christian because you will not go to hell when you die. You will go too heaven instead. We need to tell every one

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy birthday, Hannah!

Today, Hannah turns 17 years old!  Hannah was our number six baby, not quite our "half-way" point (which keeps changing).  

She was born when our oldest was 8 years old, and we still lived in California.  So she ate a LOT of cheerios off the floor.

The Blessings of Motherhood 

The blessings of Mothers are so many, 
They are so full, and they are free. 
God gave Mothers children, 
For us to enjoy, He did intend. 
God says they are like arrows, 
The same God who protects the sparrows. 
The blessing of Motherhood, 
They are so nice, and they are good. 
Children are made to bless, 
They shouldn’t be the cause of stress. 
But there’s one blessing indeed, 
To this fact you should give heed:
For God has entrusted you 
To do things that are true, 
And invest in the lives of your children 
Like the chicks with their hen, 
You can plant seeds in their hearts 
And help give them a good start. 
Then when they are gone away, 
They’ll do the same thing someday, 
And the cycle will go on and on 
Even when you are long gone. 
The blessings of Motherhood, you can see, 
Are intended for you and for me!

- Hannah Rose Klein, age 11

So Great A Salvation

So great a salvation; as great as the cost
The blood that was poured out for us on the cross 
As great as the Savior that died in our place
As great as the Father who is rich in grace
So great a salvation: for great was our sin
Great was the atonement that brought us to Him

So great a salvation; greater than our doubt
That would leave us fearing we will be cast out
Greater than the failures we make every day
Greater than the straying we make in our way
So great a salvation: great is the mercy
Great the love that bought us and that set us free

So great a salvation: great should be our praise
To Him who has given to us His great grace
Great should be our thankfulness to our Savior
Great should be our worship as a sweet savor
So great a salvation: what else can we give
To Him who saved us but the life that we live

-  Hannah Rose Klein, age 16

Friday, November 09, 2012

God speaks

Today marks six years since the homegoing of our dear brother in Christ, Art Dappen.  We hope this article of his will be a blessing to fellow christian parents.


Many people want God to speak. He speaks when there is a need to. But he doesn’t speak when there is no need.

I have seen fire extinguishers in buildings to be used in case of fire. Normally there are words written on the outside of the extinguisher to explain its use. An employee isn’t paid to stand there day after
day, saying to those who pass by, “Look, this is a fire extinguisher in case there is a fire. It works like this.”

An employee is not necessary. A simple written sign is sufficient.

Likewise, God has already spoken by his prophets and by his Son almost everything that he needs to tell us. There is no need to repeat it again.

What the prophets wrote is sufficient. And since the Word of God is eternal, there is no need to revise it or change it.

One day John Paton, a missionary to the Islands of the Pacific, was building his house on the island of Aniwa, and needed some nails and tools. He grabbed a piece of planed wood and with a pencil wrote a few words on it. He handed the wood to the old chief Namakei, asking him to take it to Mrs. Paton, who would send the things they needed. The chief looked doubtful and asked, “But what do you want?” The missionary replied, “The wood will tell her.” The chief was angry, thinking that the missionary was making fun of him, and demanded, “Has anyone ever heard wood speak?”

But after much persuasion the chief took the wood. He was amazed when the woman looked briefly
at the wood and then gave him the things without being told what they needed. The chief brought back the things, and made eager signs that he wanted an explanation. The missionary looked at the wood and read the words in the island dialect, and informed the chief that in the same way, God speaks to us in his Book. There God has written his will, and when anyone reads it, they can hear God speaking in the Book, just as Mrs. Paton had heard her husband speaking in the wood.

This incident awoke in the poor chief a great desire to see the Word of God printed in his own language.

He began helping the missionary to learn the words and expressions of his dialect with much enthusiasm.

And when at last the missionary began to translate portions of the Scripture, the joy of the chief was unbounded. (John Paton, Missionary Patriarch, reprinted Vision Forum, 2001, p.320.)

This story repeats itself in hundreds of places around the world. The people who live in darkness see a great light when they hear the Word of God.

It’s not for nothing that we are preparing our children at home. It’s not for nothing they are copying the Bible. The businesses, companies, and rich employers are waiting for us to send them our children to do their work. But there are other people who are waiting for something millions of times more important. For whom are you preparing your children to work?

Electricity is arriving in many tribes, and soon afterward the televisions. It is a shame that the electronic message of materialism is arriving before the Word of God. Jesus Christ is calling his disciples to
arise and go. We are in a race, and we must get there first with the gospel. ✞

Neither whig nor tory, but a friend to both

If I had wisdom or influence to soothe the angry passions of mankind, whether whigs or tories, I would gladly employ them; but as to myself, I am neither whig nor tory, but a friend to both. I am a stranger and a pilgrim. My πολιτευμα (citizenship – ed.), my charter, my rights, my treasures are, I hope, in heaven, and there my heart ought to be. In less than a few weeks I may be removed (and perhaps suddenly) into the unseen world, where all that causes so much bustle upon earth at present, will be no more to me than the events which took place among the antediluvians.

How much then does it import me, to be found watching, with my loins girded up, and my lamp burning, diligently engaged in my poor calling. For the Lord has not called me to set nations to right, but to preach the Gospel, to proclaim the glory of his name, and to endeavour to win souls. Happy is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find you so doing!

--- from a letter written by John Newton, 1793.  He was the author of the hymn, Amazing Grace,

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

God is in control

I know that many of our friends are disappointed by the results of yesterday’s election. It’s probably safe to say that most Christians in the U.S. are disappointed that the current president was re-elected. To be honest, in my flesh, I am disappointed too.

But I confessed that disappointment to the Lord this morning, because I realized that yesterday’s election went according to His plan. I was reminded of the clear teaching in Romans 13:1: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”

When looking at that verse we often focus on the first part about being subject to authorities. But the rest of the verse clearly shows us that Barack Obama is the President of the United States because the Lord appointed him to that post.

We don’t know the reasons that the Lord has for setting those in power that He does, but we don’t need to. He knows and that is enough. Throughout history God has chosen, at different times and for His purposes, to place in power a ruler who the people would not have chosen. In Scripture, we see God referring to even wicked rulers as His servants. Because all rulers are His servants.

I don’t mean to rub salt in anyone’s wounds here, but any Christians who voted yesterday for someone other than Barack Obama voted against the will of God. Your vote was cast against the one whom God, in His wisdom, had chosen. Since we don’t and can’t know when God might choose to place the lesser man in office, how can we ever cast a vote, knowing that we might be opposing God?! This highlights one of the reasons we don’t vote.

And if we say that “if only more Christians had voted, President Obama would not have won,” then we are saying that we believers can, if we band together, thwart the will of the Lord.

Romans 13 shows us, clearly, that God will place in authority those that He chooses. In a democracy (or a democratic republic), men think that they can choose their own leaders, but they attempt it in vain. In the end, the Lord chooses leaders as He sees fit. Knowing this, why would we try to affect the outcome at all? Why would we risk putting ourselves in opposition to God, as so many believers did yesterday? Why not just focus on the task He has given us here, and let Him take care of the affairs of the nations? He is qualified. We are not.

Humbly, your brother,


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Seeking the welfare of the city

"Seek the welfare of the city 
where I have sent you into exile, 
and pray to the LORD 
on its behalf; 
for in its welfare 
you will have welfare."
 Jeremiah 29:7

As New Testament believers "in exile," seeking a heavenly city, how do we seek the welfare of the city?

The above verse (Jeremiah 29:7) was recently sent to us.  It got us thinking, as those entrusted with the gospel message, what welfare should we seek for the city? 

Further, how should we who are christians relate to those who are not (yet) finding themselves in exile, who are still at enmity with God as we once were? 

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:
 for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, 
if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. 
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Romans 8:4-9

Here are some scriptures which we have found helpful in guiding our hearts and hands and speech over the past years.   Our purpose is not debate, but edification.  We have tried to avoid scripture-clipping, so have included meatier nuggets with certain words emphasized.  May God guide each of us.

When we are indignant 
of the way worldly men 
treat the Lord Jesus

And it came to pass, 
when the time was come 
that he should be received up, 
he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 
And sent messengers before his face: 
and they went, and entered into
 a village of the Samaritans, 
to make ready for him. 
And they did not receive him, 
because his face was 
as though he would go to Jerusalem. 
And when his disciples 
James and John saw this, 
they said, Lord, wilt thou 
that we command fire 
to come down from heaven, 
and consume them, even as Elias did? 
But he turned, and rebuked them, 
and said, Ye know not what manner
 of spirit ye are of. 
For the Son of man 
is not come to destroy men's lives, 
but to save them. 
And they went to another village.
Luke 9:51-56

When we are shocked 
at the level of sinfulness 
to which society has sunk

But, beloved, remember ye the words 

which were spoken before 

of the apostles of 

our Lord Jesus Christ; 
How that they told you there should be 
mockers in the last time, 
who should walk 
after their own ungodly lusts. 
These be they who separate themselves, 
sensual, having not the Spirit.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves 
on your most holy faith, 
praying in the Holy Ghost, 
Keep yourselves in the love of God, 
looking for the mercy of 
our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
And of some have compassion, 
making a difference: 
And others save with fear, 
pulling them out of the fire; 
hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 

Jude 1:17-24

When we, in our godly sorrow, 
may have forgotten that the decline 
of morality in society is a spiritual problem 
and its only remedy is the gospel

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, 
which are these; 
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, 
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, 
variance, emulations, wrath, 
strife, seditions, heresies, 
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, 
revellings, and such like: 
of the which I tell you before, 
as I have also told you in time past, 
that they which do such things 
shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 
But the fruit of the Spirit
is love, 
joy, peace, longsuffering, 
gentleness, goodness, faith, 
Meekness, temperance: 
against such there is no law. 
And they that are Christ's 
have crucified the flesh 
with the affections and lusts.
Galatians 5: 19-24

When we have forgotten 
from whence we also came

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, 

who hath enabled me, 
for that he counted me faithful, 

putting me into the ministry; 

Who was before a blasphemer, 
and a persecutor, and injurious: 
but I obtained mercy, 
because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding 
abundant with faith and love 
which is in Christ Jesus. 
 This is a faithful saying, 
and worthy of all acceptation, 
that Christ Jesus 
came into the world to save sinners; 
of whom I am chief.
1 Timothy 1:12-15

For we ourselves also were sometimes 
foolish, disobedient, deceived, 
serving divers lusts and pleasures, 
living in malice and envy, hateful, 
and hating one another. 
But after that the kindness and love of 
God our Saviour toward man appeared, 
Not by works of righteousness 
which we have done, 
but according to his mercy he saved us, 
by the washing of regeneration, 
and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 
Which he shed on us abundantly 
through Jesus Christ our Savior
Titus 3:3-6

When we feel we 
must take a stand 
to uphold righteous
standards in society

I wrote unto you in an epistle 

not to company with fornicators: 

Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, 

or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; 

for then must ye needs go out of the world. 

But now I have written unto you 
not to keep company, 
if any man that is called a brother 
be a fornicator, 
or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, 
or a drunkard, or an extortioner; 
with such an one no not to eat.

For what have I to do to judge 

them also that are without? 

do not ye judge them that are within? 

But them that are without God judgeth. 

1 Corinthians 5:9-12

When we are offended 
by those who mock God
and flaunt their sin 
before our eyes 

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven 
likened unto a certain king, 
which would take account of his servants. 
And when he had begun to reckon, 
one was brought unto him, 
which owed him ten thousand talents. 
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, 
his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, 
and children, and all that he had, 
and payment to be made. 
The servant therefore fell down, 
and worshipped him, 
saying, Lord, have patience with me,
 and I will pay thee all. 
Then the lord of that servant 
was moved with compassion, 
and loosed him, 
and forgave him the debt. 
But the same servant went out, 
and found one of his fellowservants, 
which owed him an hundred pence: 
and he laid hands on him, 
and took him by the throat, saying, 
Pay me that thou owest. 
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, 
and besought him, saying, 
Have patience with me, 
and I will pay thee all. 
And he would not: 
but went and cast him into prison, 
till he should pay the debt.  
So when his fellowservants 
saw what was done, 
they were very sorry, 
and came and told unto their lord 
all that was done. 
Then his lord, after that he had called him, 
said unto him, O thou wicked servant, 
I forgave thee all that debt, 
because thou desiredst me: 
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion 
on thy fellowservant, 
even as I had pity on thee? 
And his lord was wroth, 
and delivered him to the tormentors, 
till he should pay all that was due unto him. 
So likewise shall my heavenly Father
 do also unto you, 
if ye from your hearts forgive not every one 
his brother their trespasses.
Matthew 18:23-35

When we feel the 
"welfare of the city" is 
equal to imposed societal order, 
decency, and freedom

For God so loved the world that 
he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him 
should not perish
but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Therefore if any man be in Christ, 
he is a new creature: 
old things are passed away; 
behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

Now the Lord is that Spirit: 
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, 
there is liberty.
2 Corinthians 3:17

When we feel we
shouldn't just sit around
and let things go downhill,
but should get out and do

Therefore said he unto them, 
The harvest truly is great, 
but the labourers are few: 
pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, 
that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. 
Go your ways: behold, 
I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
Luke 10:2, 3

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: 

for it is the power of God unto salvation 

to every one that believeth; 

to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 
 Romans 1:16

When we think that, 
while obviously the gospel is the 
ultimate answer, there
are still things we can 
accomplish by uniting 
with unbelievers to gain a
majority of votes for issues 
related to our
common moral ground

For we wrestle not against 
flesh and blood, 
but against principalities, 
against powers, 
against the rulers of the darkness 
of this world, 
against spiritual wickedness 
in high places. 
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, 
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, 
and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, 
and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 
And your feet shod with 
the preparation of 
the gospel of peace; 
Above all, taking the shield of faith, 
wherewith ye shall be able to quench 
all the fiery darts of the wicked. 
And take the helmet of salvation, 
and the sword of the Spirit, 
which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer 
and supplication in the Spirit, 
and watching thereunto with all perseverance 
and supplication for all saints; 
And for me, that utterance 
may be given unto me, 
that I may open 
my mouth boldly, 
to make known 
the mystery of the gospel,
Ephesians 6:12-19

Be ye not unequally yoked 
together with unbelievers: 
for what fellowship hath 
righteousness with unrighteousness? 
and what communion 
hath light with darkness? 
2 Corinthians 6:14

Thou therefore endure hardness, 

as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 

No man 
that warreth 
himself with the 
affairs of this life; 
that he may 
please him 
who hath chosen 
him to be a soldier. 
 2 Timothy 2:3, 4

When we desire
 a higher degree of comfort, 
security and morality as an environment
for ourselves and our children

...in the last days perilous times shall come. 
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, 
covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, 
disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, 
false accusers, incontinent, fierce, 
despisers of those that are good, 
Traitors, heady, highminded, 
lovers of pleasures more 
than lovers of God; 
Having a form of godliness, 
but denying the power thereof: 
from such turn away. 
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, 
and lead captive silly women laden with sins, 
led away with divers lusts, 
Ever learning, and never able to come 
to the knowledge of the truth. 
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, 
so do these also resist the truth: 
men of corrupt minds, 
reprobate concerning the faith. 
But they shall proceed no further: 
for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, 
as theirs also was.
1 Timothy 3:1-9

And finally, the grand finale!  

Though not exhaustive, two passages come to mind that help us to fully understanding seeking the welfare of the city.

First, these verses 1 Timothy 2.

I exhort therefore, 
that, first of all, 
supplications, prayers, 
and giving of thanks, 
be made for all men; 
For kings, and for
 all that are in authority; 
that we may lead 
a quiet and peaceable life 
in all godliness and honesty. 
For this is good and acceptable 
in the sight of God our Saviour; 
Who will have 
all men to be saved, 
and to come unto the 
knowledge of the truth.
I will therefore that men pray every where, 
lifting up holy hands, 
without wrath and doubting.
1 Timothy 2:2-8

Let's seek the 
welfare of the city!

There are examples in modern history of whole communities which were transformed by the work of the gospel.  People burned their evil books (Acts 19:19) compelled by their own conviction after they were saved.  We read years ago of a village in Latin America, where the gospel came, and a community full of unmarried couples (with children) had a mass wedding after their conversion to Christ!  A feared, cannabalistic tribe in Ecuador came to Christ and began serving the Lord!  In other places, taverns and theaters were closed down, not by legislations, but because they lost their customers to Christ!  

Therefore they 

that were scattered abroad 
went every where 
preaching the word. 
Then Philip went down 
to the city of Samaria, 
and preached Christ unto them.

And the people with one accord gave heed 

unto those things which Philip spake, 

hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 
For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, 
came out of many that were possessed with them: 
and many taken with palsies,
 and that were lame, were healed.
And there was great joy in that city. 
Acts 8:4-8

We know it is God's will that all men be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) and his purpose in tarrying is that many more may hear the gospel and be saved (2 Peter 3:9).  History, and the news, has proven that even in the most dire circumstances, the gospel is not chained.  Praise the Lord.  

The verses we have shared have guided our thinking for many years, as we sought the Lord's will for our focus.  We pray you might be edified by thinking on these things.

We highly recommend this article as you seek the Lord's direction in this matter.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Baby Daniel Amos!

We have been so blessed by our little baby boy and he will soon be 7 months old!  Here are just a teensy bit of the photos we have taken of him...

The perfect storage tub!

Who needs hair with a face like that?


Toe ahoy!

Helping out on the bus.

Brothers of love.

In Grandma Penny's cuddly kit!

Brotherly love.

Cool baby.

There is more where these came from...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Of Snow, Trucks, and Volcanoes

Hello. This is Hannah writing.

We are at CocoaConf. In Portland, Oregon. Surrounded by volcanic mountains that are capable of erupting and burying us and our conference in lava.

In which case, people will come and excavate us like at Pompeii. 

Let's try that again.

And this is Abi. I offered to help Hannah as need be with giving you the wild and wooly details of our 2,000 mile trip from St. Louis, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon, with 16 Kleins and 2 vehicles.

On Sunday the 21st, we set sail in our two vehicle caravan, toward the land of the setting sun. (And the aforementioned volcanoes.) I should mention that Hannah's "volcanoes" were very innocent in nature and that their status as volcanos was a bit doubtful.  Our trip was mostly uneventful for the first three days, with only few and minor tests of the endurance of our brotherly (and sisterly) love, and not much by way of vehicle trouble.

In fact, except for one of Zak's brake lights going out, there was no vehicle trouble at all. Zak drove his pickup, and each day a different group of siblings would accompany him, to visit and help him stay awake. It was beautiful weather most of the time, and we enjoyed seeing the diverse terrain as we traveled.

Once we got to Ontario, Oregon, we took a little detour and headed towards Bend, Oregon, to visit some friends out there. Along the way, we drove through a snow storm, which brought with it the customary tests of a driver's skill and expertise. 

It was an interesting experience, driving through dry and windy areas to suddenly be in a snow storm, and then to just as suddenly drive out of it, and be back with fall leaves.

As we climbed higher, the clouds enveloped us at times, and then would clear.  After over an hour, we were in the midst of a slushy snowfall.  The road was yet unplowed, so we were slow and careful.

On a gentle curve in the road, Daddy noticed an abandoned vehicle in the ditch.  After passing, he glanced in the rear view mirror for further details on the vehicle, and noticed a second vehicle heading for a new spot in the ditch.

Zak's truck slid on the road, crossed the empty, oncoming lane, and slid effortlessly into a position slightly bridging the ditch, against the side of one of the aforementioned volcanoes.  Thank the Lord, no one was hurt at all, but the truck was quite stuck, and it looked as though it might have been rendered undriveable by its rather undesirable parking place.  The rear axle looked very odd.

As the little boy passengers in the truck, Giddy and Joshie, said, "It was very smooth."  
Joshie agreed that it was almost like sledding, excepting the fact that "you are not supposed to sled into the mountains."

Looking back on this we see many ways the Lord protected us. One of the first being, the moment Zak swerved, Dad just "happened" to look out his rear view mirror.  So, Dad saw the whole thing take place.

If Dad had not seen this happen, we possibly could have gone for a mile or so before realizing Zak, and his companions at the time, were not still with us.   And then, calling would not have helped, since there was no cell coverage.

We pulled the van over and began assessing the situation. Our truck was on one side, and our rental van was on the other side of the two lane road.

A semi truck soon came by, and the driver tried to stop to see if he could help.  As he tried to stop, he joined the fun, and began to jackknife.  Fortunately, he did stop before anything dangerous happened, but he was also, in a word, stuck.  He then tried to pull forward, but his tires just spun, all 16 of them.

So we had a truck on one side, and a van on the other side, and a truck close to the middle of, the not terribly wide road. (Oh and I forgot to mention the other truck that had slid off the road a few hundred feet down the road. We were having a little party out there.)

In this photo, we have been on the road long enough that the plow came by and dumped sand and gravel.

This whole time, the snow was falling thick and beautiful, which normally is a favorite meteorological occurrence for the Kleins, but at that time, slightly inconvenient.  

So Solomon and Zak took up locations at each end of the congestion and began directing the traffic through the cluttered, as well as not terribly wide, road. 

Yep, still stuck.

The now-stranded truck driver began putting on his chains and told us there was no reception for miles.  We were beginning to get concerned to making it to the Cocoaconf in Portland and began re-routing our trip and calculating how much time we had to backtrack.    We realized we needed to get a tow truck and possibly a new vehicle (rental) for Zak to drive with all our equipment.  We wondered where we could find another rental vehicle...

We left Zak and Solomon at the scene, and Daddy and the rest of us drove in the van towards the nearest town with services.  Before driving too far, Mom got a signal and called 911 and we ordered a truck.  That done, we carefully turned around and headed back to the scene, to add to the clutter on the not terribly wide road.

Praise the Lord, we were able to call 911 and get a tow truck on the way.

Presently, a state trooper came by to see who was stuck, (and to join the party).  After doing some official things,  he lent Solomon his bright neon orange vest, since he was directing the traffic. Zak and Ben also continued directing traffic (and making photos) until the tow truck came.

In the van, everyone stayed warm and amused themselves watching the snow fall and the boys direct traffic. Also, watching eagerly for the tow truck to come!


The tow truck came at long last, and pulled the by now chilled and frozen truck out of the snow, and away from the side of the aforementioned volcano. (and by now hopefully you know this volcano was very innocent in nature). It was very cold by now, sitting in the snow all this time. To our great relief, the rear axle appeared normal and there was not a scratch on the body, plus the tires were all fine!  However, state law in Oregon required that the tow driver tow the truck back to their shop.

With our change of plans (skipping Bend), it turned out to be the direction we needed to go anyway.

So we were very thankful for God's protection. :)

Indeed we were! Had the truck's axle been damaged as it appeared, our plans for getting to Portland would have been seriously altered, with driving back to Boise, Idaho (over 200 miles back) to rent another vehicle, possibly scrapping Zak's truck, and making it to Portland at midnight. We had to be there that evening - the conference started the next morning at 8:30!  Needless to say there was much rejoicing in both vehicles as we headed, safe and sound, to Portland.

After that little excursion, we resumed our uneventful trip (L.O.L.) and got to Portland that night around 9:30.

Then we all went to sleep, except for some of us, including yours truly, who stayed up till past midnight setting up for the conference.  That meant setting up projectors, getting the registration table ready, and such like. We were very thankful we got to the hotel when we did, or we might have had to postpone setting up till the next day. (Which would have been less than ideal.)

Right now we are in the midst of the first day of the conference. Mommy and the little kids and some of the big girls are washing laundry, and the rest of us are at the conference.

And that's all for now. I think. Hopefully we will have more to say later (unless of course the aforementioned volcanoes erupt, in which case we would have a lot more to say, but we wouldn't be there to say it).

There we go again - volcanoes. ;)

It's been an exciting 2,000 miles and we praise the Lord for his hand of protection on all of us. His mercies are new every morning, and they will be new on the 2,000 miles back home, from Portland, Oregon to St. Louis, Missouri, with 16 Kleins and 2 vehicles.

Isaiah 26:3, 4
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."

Thanks, Ben and Hannah, for the photos!