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The Long Road Home

10.27 – 10.31.08

After Hubs visited his brother, it was time to go home to Arkansas. Over the course of 5 days, we visited 7 families in 6 States. Unfortunately, many of the visits were only for just a few hours or an overnight stay, but it was so wonderful to be able to reconnect with many of you.

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MONDAY 10.27

We first stopped in…

Ashville, North Carolina to visit the Phillips Family. Long, long ago the Phillips lived in my hometown and I had the privilege of babysitting their youngest daughter…who is now a junior in college.

Mrs. Kathryn just happened to have a train set in the hall way closet. Schäfer was thrilled.

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For lunch, Schäfer ate an insane about of cornbread with butter, but there was still room for hot ginger snaps!

Thank you Dr. Phillips and Mrs. Kathryn for letting us stop by. It was so wonderful to see you!

After a couple of hours o sweet time with the Philips we drove on to…

Jefferson City, Tennessee to see Sandra’s college friends, The Jones Family. Their oldest daughter was the flower girl in our wedding.

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Schäfer loved playing in the leaves and taking Raffe on a tour of Carson-Newman College.


Christine is now a professor at Carson-Newman. Here we are outside her office. Don’t you know my battery went dead so I couldn’t get a photo of her in the office.

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Once back at the house, Schäfer was pretty enamored with the Jones’ pet fish.

But after a nice time with the Jones Family, it was time to be off to…


Nashville, Tennessee to visit Sandra’s college friends, Rip and Erica. Thanks for a wonderful dinner and time of fellowship! We enjoyed meeting your community group.

That evening, we crashed with Alan and Becky. Alan is also from my hometown. Becky is due in December and wants to have a natural birth so we had LOTS to talk about! Thanks Alan and Becky and baby Eli for allowing us to crash. It was such a blessing to be with your family!


Next stop…

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Atlanta, Georgia to visit with my grad school professor, Dr.Bishop. She gave us over two hours of her time in a consulting session. We’re still mulling over many new ideas! Dr. Bishop has ties to over 42 US universities. Our meeting with her was well worth the 3 hour drive from Nashville to Atlanta.

While we were brain storming, my friend from college, Theresa, agreed to keep Schäfer.

Unfortunately, Schäfer woke up from his nap rather hot. At 5pm, he had a fever that got a little too high too quick and he passed out. Theresa called us immediately. We were in the van driving back to her house. Not a pleasant time for us .

Thankfully, Hubs called his mom (a nurse) who had us cool Schäfer off in the tub then take him to the hospital. She thought it was probably a slight febrile seizure cause by an infection in the ear.

The words “febrile seizure” aren’t very comforting to first-time parents, but I felt a little more relieved by the fact that everyone we talked to basically said, “Oh, yeah. That’s just a febrile seizure. Happens all the time.”

Grandma Huckleberry was right on. Schäfer, who had recovered by the time we reached the hospital and put some Tylenol in him, had a slight ear infection and was given a prescription for antibiotics.

Thank you Peter and Theresa for taking good care of Schäfer and giving us a place to stay! We hope the next time we see you guys will be in China!


By the next morning, we planned on driving straight to Arkansas. We stopped in…

Birmingham, Alabama, where Sandra’s High School friend, Ryan and OBU friend Meridith, live. We had an amazing lunch at Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ and then, since Schäfer’s fever came back, we crashed at their house for the evening.

Schäfer loved Meridith because she sang songs and read him books. He loved little Audrey because she played non-stop with him. Thanks Ryan & Meredith for allowing us to crash! Your Tylenol/Motrin switch-a-roo finally broke Schäfer’s fever.

FRIDAY 10.31

After 33 days on the road, we were finally HOME.

As soon as we got out of the van, Schäfer sat down in back of Great Grandma’s brand new SUV and started excavating dirt with his bulldozer and dump truck.

It’s good to be home.

2 comments to The Long Road Home

  • Jamie

    OK….I’m coming out of “lurk-dom” here!!! -gotta come clean(lurk-dom, which btw feels a bit creepy!) You were in my hometown!!! (Birmingham, AL) and ate at one of our favorite restarants (JimNNicks- hope you had the “pig in the garden salad” ) I’m not really sure how I found your website, I think maybe a link on the website of some homeschooling internationals, but I have enjoyed your site/story for maybe almost a year. You have a beautiful family and I have really enjoyed following your interesting story/travels. I especially enjoy “Chinglish”! Your son is absolutely adorable and I have enjoyed watching him grow. I have 6 children ages 26-10, two married, but no grands yet!!! We live in Blount Springs, AL, a small suburb area 20 miles north of Birmingham. Praying for your travels/safety and God’s blessings on your family. Hope your visit here continues to be wonderful and rewarding.

  • Good grief! What a journey! I’m glad Schafer is doing better now.
    It was fun to see pictures of faces I recognize from OBU!

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