Tuesday, January 5, 2021

We made it!

 Well.... not everything made it.

After a few days of rest, we left early Monday morning with the hopes of making it all the way to KC.  The Suburban made it about half way before it lost the long, hard-fought, third transmission battle.  We called the time of death at 5:06 pm and knew we needed to switch to plan B.

We checked into a hotel and rented a U-haul truck.  We then proceeded to move every single, well-packed thing from the suburban to the truck...

The next morning we found a guy who took it off our hands and hauled it away.  New season, new transportation.

We finished up our drive to KC this evening and did a walk through for a townhouse that we close on tomorrow.  New season, new home.

Don has another interview this week.  New season, new job.  

Thank you for traveling with us.  Thank you for praying during this season of change for our family.  We appreciate all of your support and encouragement.  May 2021 be a year overflowing with the joy and hope of the Lord for you all.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Day 4: Mexico to the US

 We started our last day of driving (for now) in the dark.  We have this 'ritual' of going to an Oxxo (convenience store in Mexico) for coffee/breakfast/snacks before we get on the road.  We learned today that many Oxxo's don't open until 7 am even though they say '24 hours'.  Not a good idea to start a long day of traveling without coffee ... 

We eventually found one open and got on the road.  It was an easy day with a steady pace of heading north.  We only stopped for gas, bathrooms and snacks.  We wanted to get to the border at noonish, just in case we had any issues.  

We made it by 12:30 and were through by 1:40 pm!  Super easy and super fast!  

Our first meal in the US was at Whataburger!  Half of us had never been there before.

The plan after getting through Mexico was to spend some time as a family to just rest and relax.  We are now here in our Airbnb with plenty of groceries.  We are so thankful to the Lord for His protection and guidance.  For His provision and plan for our family.  

As we say good-bye to 2020 tonight and usher in 2021 with a new season in our lives, we have hearts filled with thankfulness and joy.  

We pray that all of you have the hope of the Lord as you look to 2021.  We pray for His blessings and peace over you and your families.  Happy New Year from the Allisons! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Day 3: More Travel in Mexico

We arrived at our hotel, grabbed some food and are now getting tucked in for the night.  We are all exhausted but doing really well.  We also learned something today! 😁

We decided to sleep an extra hour this morning and have breakfast in the hotel before we left.  It was probably the most expensive meal that we have had so far but we learned that this time together before we started driving was priceless.  

We had amazing coffee and good food.  We started talking about how to process the last 6 years in Guatemala.  I asked the kids to focus on some positive things that came from our time in Guatemala.  It is so easy for us to get stuck in the negative and the hard but we are trusting that the Lord had good plans and promises.  I want the six of us to start thinking through what those things would be and have an appreciation for them.

We agreed that driving through Mexico is one of those positive things.  It is long and can be hard but it is always an adventure.  Both Caleb and Bethany were really looking forward to it and it has been fun for us all to be together.  

We had an easy day of driving.  We were on the road for about 9 hours with a few stops for snacks and bathrooms.  So many banana and mandarin trees!  Beautiful views and good conversations.  

Tomorrow we make a 'run for the border'!  We hope to be in the US by early afternoon.  Thanks for reading!  


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Day 2: Traveling in Mexico

What we learned today ... there is a quaint little neighborhood 'comedor' called El Patio that serves authentic Mexican food.  It was REALLY good.  The kids (especially Caleb) wanted 'real' Mexican food so they found this place on the internet.  We were making really good time on our longest day of driving (over halfway) so we decided to take some time to find this place.  It was worth the stop. 

What we also learned today ... Don and I are listening to Podcasts from the Bible Project (bibleproject.org) while we travel.  We just started a new series of podcasts (14 episodes in all) on the most quoted OT Bible verse within the Bible which is Exodus 34:6-7 - mostly quoted in the OT but also once in the NT in John 1.  If you are interested in these amazing characteristics of God - compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loyal love and faithfulness - go check it out!  It is so good.  

Don's favorite thing was that the 'loyal love' refers to covenant love which shows a depth that we don't get in our English translation.  The Hebrew word speaks to the covenant that the Lord made with the Israelites like a marriage covenant love that is bound by promises and vows.   

I loved the specific episode on compassion that relates that Hebrew word with the Hebrew word for womb.  The compassion of the Lord is so deep and relational that it is compared to the love that a mother (or parent) has for her child.  It is also a 'gut-level' love that responds to the times that we cry out to Him.  

Our travel went so well today!  The scenery was beautiful.  We started early again and went for about 12 hours.  We are tired but so happy to be more than halfway to the States tonight!

For those asking, we have two cats with us on this trip.  Neither of which were the original two cats that came with us in 2015!  They are hanging out in the kennel and seem to be making the trip just fine.  

We should have just one more night in Mexico if tomorrow goes well.  Thanks for praying for us!  


Monday, December 28, 2020

Day 1: Guatemala to Mexico


The journey has begun!  We left Guatemala early this morning and are in Mexico tonight!  

I wanted to call this "What we learned today ..." and then continue that theme every day of the journey but what if we don't learn something every day?  You can't really start a 'theme' and then only do it one time ... 

So for today, here is what we learned.  😊

You can only import one vehicle into Mexico in your name.  Why is this relevant?  Because we have two vehicles packed full of all that we currently own.  Both vehicles are in Don's name (it is easier to do it that way for the Guatemala title process).

So .... my name (Lori) is on the US title for the Suburban and we requested duplicate titles for the kids to bring down for just such an issue.  Nope, that won't work.

Well ... good thing we always carry a certified copy of our marriage license with us wherever we go ... 

Um ... no ... but actually yes.  Again, we have everything we own in two vehicles.  Including our fireproof safe with all of our paperwork that we needed for our Guatemalan residency.  And when you request one certified copy of your marriage license for the Guatemala residency process, you should go ahead and request several.  

Then if you are ever trying to import more than one vehicle into Mexico and you need your wife to actually import one vehicle but her name isn't on the title and you need to prove that you are married ... you are set! 

True story. 

We actually had a very good day.  We started early.  We had only a 30 minute construction wait.  Things are pretty much back to normal at the Guatemala border.  Lots of people ... everywhere. We sailed through exiting Guatemala.  Mexico was easy as well (once we located our certified copy of our marriage license ... ) but it took some time.  We finally arrived at our stop for the night, ate some food and are now tucked into the hotel. 

Tomorrow is going to be a super long travel day.  Please pray for smooth sailing!  Thank you for joining us on the journey!  

Friday, July 31, 2020

End of Day 6

Final travel day. We arrived at the Guatemalan border and were told we would not be allowed in. Then we were told that we could enter but our car couldn’t. Then we were told that a US plated vehicle could not enter, but a Guatemalan registered vehicle could enter. So.... we began the import process. We had hoped to delay this a bit and get our ducks in a row first but we kind of needed our car to get home. 

5 hours later we had our paperwork and were back on the road. A very long travel day.  We were able to beat our 9pm curfew by a whole half hour. We are exhausted but very glad we don’t have to get back into the car tomorrow. Thank you for following with us and praying for us!  

Thursday, July 30, 2020

End of day 5

Uneventful day driving through beautiful southern Mexico.  Grateful to be getting closer to our home in Guatemala. All this way and not a single stop at a tire shop!  Very different from our last trip in 2015