Tag Archives: road trip

Taping with Dr. Dobson at Family Talk

Sierra’s picture of the kids while they wait during our taping

Yesterday was an exciting day.  Well, I guess it’s fair to say we’ve had an exciting stretch of days but yesterday was exciting in a good way. 🙂

We had the opportunity to tape two radio broadcasts at Family Talk!  This is our second visit to Family Talk and I have to say – those folks are the “real deal”.  We always enjoy taping with Doctor, Ryan and LuAnne but yesterday was even more special because we got to take our kids.  Dr. Dobson took the time to greet each one and shake their hand – and we sat in his office with everyone and talked for a few minutes before pictures were taken and we headed off to tape two broadcasts.

The kids were invited into the control room to watch the taping but I have heard it was “boring” for the little ones 🙂 and so they went to a room that had been set aside for them to play in while we made some radio.

The topic of yesterday’s taping centered around marriage, which is something Jay and I are very passionate about. We also talked about homeschooling, the logistics of traveling in an RV with 9 people, what it means to really TRUST God’s leading in your life, making time for your spouse, putting kids “second” (yes, that’s right) and even had a little conversation about government.  It was interesting and I hope, encouraging. When we have an air date, I’ll be sure to let you know.

If you are like me, you spent your childhood listening to Dr. Dobson on the radio. It was a privilege to meet him and spend some time with his staff.  And in case you’re wondering,  I have to say, he is exactly like the voice you hear on the radio.  Gentle, humble, kind – wise. I hope you’ll take a moment to check out his new ministry, Family Talk, and listen in. Dr. Dobson’s heart and passion to see families strengthened and God’s people walk in the truth is just as refreshing now as it was in the 80’s.  I thank God for his ministry!

The Family Talk staff took lots of pictures, too – and I’m looking forward to seeing them!  As soon as we receive them, I’ll post them.

Meantime… here is what our life in Colorado Springs is centering around:

RV at the transmission shop in Colorado Springs, all sad and lonely without her “people”. 🙁

Thankful for opportunities to grow!

Heidi St John Guide to Romance

Heidi St John Guide to Daylight

Colorado “and” Bust

The St. Johns are on the road!

It’s 3:09 p.m.

Exactly one week ago today, we left on what we affectionately call “T1” – the mini trip – a pre-cursor to the BIG trip we’ll be making the first week of July.

Today, we’re in beautiful, warm, wonderful Colorado Springs.

And the transmission on our RV is kaput.

Yep. You heard me right.

Now, those of you who followed our last trip know how much we love our transmission mechanic.

You’d think Satan would come up with a new tactic to cost us time and money on the road but this one works pretty good so I bet he figures he’ll keep using it O.o

Funny thing though – Jay was remarking that the RV seemed sluggish for the past few days – it barely takes hills with much more than 60mph speed, even though we weren’t towing our little car.

So last night about 10:00 I started really praying for the RV.  About a half hour later I asked Jay how the RV was doing and it said it suddenly had more power than he thought possible!  We cruised right on into the Springs about 1 a.m. … and just as we arrived, the transmission started spewing fluid and smelled awful.

We’re currently awaiting the verdict from the mechanic.  But it sounds spendy! 🙁

Jay says it’s as if the angels were plugging the hole in the transmission line until we got into the hotel parking lot.  For that, we’re so grateful!

Nothing takes God by surprise. We arrived too early for the taping of the Family Talk broadcast  (communication error) but we know God has us where we can get help for the RV and not feel stressed about being late for the taping. He’s good that way, isn’t He?

As we travel (both in life and in the RV!) we are learning more and more that God is trustworthy.  Even when things happen that we don’t like. He sees the big picture.  In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a whole lot more going on with the breakdown of our RV that we will EVER even know.

So, we’ll stay put in Colorado Springs and be thankful for a few days of unplanned down time.  We’ll try not to worry about what the final bill will be to fix the motorhome – because that’s the other thing.  Where God guides, He provides.

We serve a mighty God!

Heidi St John Guide to Daylight

The Adventure Begins

8 yr old Summer’s RV picture

Good Evening from Nampa, Idaho – and welcome to the launch of The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Blog!  I have been looking forward to this for some time and I’m excited to get writing!

I am on Facebook posting updates as most of you know, but during the summer months, when we’re traveling and speaking the most, this blog will serve to update everyone about what God is doing as we travel from coast to coast encouraging homeschoolers and planting new homeschool ministries in churches!  It’s also gonna be a place where we share a window into our life on the road as well- what it’s like to live in an RV with 9 people 🙂 the good, the bad and the downright ugly!  I hope you’ll laugh along with us, too.

People often ask us how we “do” this traveling thing.  Pretty much –  it’s the Lord.  We teach workshops everywhere we go (you can find a list of them here) which is a great way for us to connect with homeschooling families and it helps us have a very good idea of what homeschooling moms and dads are facing in different parts of the US.

It’s not always easy, either. For those of you who followed our last trip in 2009, you know that God was with us every step of the way, even in the dark places (like New Orleans – where we were robbed in broad daylight.)  We covet and need your prayers as the spiritual warfare around this ministry is as intense and exhausting as any ministry we’ve ever been privileged to be part of.  We love ministering to the homeschool community and feel grateful to be doing something we are so passionate about.

God Delights in Blessing His Children

Jay and Ken putting the finishing touches on the entryway

I gotta start by saying that God has provided in AMAZING ways already to help make this trip possible. We found an RV at an incredible price on Craigslist – got ourselves a 35K RV for 15K 🙂 and a donation came in that paid for it!  The RV needed some updating and repair – so we’ve spent the last two monnths working on it with our friend, Ken. Ken and Jay have transformed this RV.  I can’t wait to post pictures of before/after.  They ripped out carpet and replaced almost all the flooring, built a dinette (yes, built) that converts to a bed, found new (to us) furniture, fixed all the little things most of us take for granted and basically made this older RV look like new again. We’re so thankful for everyone who has been helping in the past two months!

Did I mention that I love being married to a handyman?  Jay is the handiest man I know.  🙂

We also have some really wonderful sponsors who believe in what First Class Homeschool Ministries is doing to encourage homeschooling families.  Please do us a huge favor and check them out – let them know that First Class sent you their way.  🙂  They are:  Apologia, HSLDA, Institute for Excellence in Writing, Multnomah University and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. FCHM is a support-driven ministry, meaning, we raise financial support like other missionaries.  Many wonderful parents who have also supported this trip financially so that we can travel and speak about the value and blessing of Christian homeschooling from coast to coast.

Thank you!!

I will write more about what we’re doing “exactly” at these homeschool workshops in the next post or two.  Keep looking, as I’ll  detail the awesome giveaways from our sponsors and tell you how you can request a workshop stop!  Or, you can just go to FCHM.org and look on the left side of the page for the tab that says “2011 Roadtrip”.  There is a ton of info there.

Yesterday… (well actually, Thursday-Tuesday May 30th)

Saylor, Savannah, Marcy and Sierra just before we left Washington. We think Marcy earned her badge!

We were literally working until after midnight every night putting the finishing touches on the RV.  My friend Marcy helped for two long days as we packed, organized.  She also did a great job of keeping me from feeling too overwhelmed … little details are NOT my thing.  I’m a vision girl!  I dream big! I love wide swaths of visionary dreaming!!!  But!  Packing for 9 people for essentially three months is a very very detailed process.  It’s not really my thing.  I can do it – but it’s not where I’m flourishing if you know what I mean.  So having Marcy there to keep me moving and check things off the list was a huge help.

I do have some super great tips for organizing that I’ll share as we go along.  Many of them are from the last trip – some things worked and other things flopped so this time, we had the advantage of perspective and experience on our side!  🙂


We drove from our home to Pendelton, Oregon last night and to Nampa, Idaho today.  We spent our first night in the RV in a Walmart parking lot in Pendelton.  Let me just say. Wow. I love staying in Walmart parking lots, really.  But, wow.  There was an arrest happening as we pulled in – just another quiet night at Walmart :).

We arrived in Boise this afternoon, got to share taco soup with my Best Friend from Kindergarten, *happy me*  and now, we’re settling in at a hotel and praying for a good night’s sleep. Steve and Jane have flown into Boise from Kansas City to do a Real Life Marriage: Homeschool Edition retreat for homeschooling families in the Nampa/Boise/Bend area.  It starts tomorrow (Thursday).  We’ll be sure to post pictures – because right after that, we are keynote speakers at CHOIS, the Idaho State homeschool convention.

It’s a busy weekend and we’re excited to see what God will do. Please remember us in your prayers – we speak all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


What are the kids doing while you’re speaking?

What I see first thing in the morning 🙂

Great question!  The little ones are going to hang to with my very best friend from childhood, Annette and her four daughters.  They are excited about that. The big kids will be helping us at the convention in the booth.  The baby (Saylor) hangs with the big kids and her mommy.  She is so popular, she hardly gets a moment to herself!

What is your schedule (briefly)?

It’s on our website but here’s the jist:

  • June 1-4 Idaho (Real Life Marriage Retreat & CHOIS Convention)
  • June 8 – Colorado Springs, in the studio at Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson
  • June 9-17 – workshops along the road to Kansas City, MO
  • June 17-19 CHECC convention in Denver, CO
  • June 21 – Traveling back home to the NW to speak at the OCEAN conference in Portland, OR
  • July 8 – Speaking at First Baptist in Eugene, OR
  • July 9 – September 6 Speaking from CA to VA. More details to come 🙂

We can be reached via facebook (first class homeschool ministries, The Busy Homeschool Mom and all our family pages) and this blog while we’re on the road ~ We’d love to hear from you.

Blessings from Boise!


Heidi St John Guide to Daylight

Heidi St John Firmly Planted Family Devotional For All Ages