If You See Our Van…

This family of 14, well, actually just eleven
Cross country will surely soon be a-headin’
Oh, and the dogs, there will be two
Couldn’t leave them behind or they’d be blue.
Not exactly sure of the proposed route,
But if you should see our big ol’ crazy van,  
please don’t hesitate to give us a toot!
Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma,
Old pizza in the car has such a pleasant aroma,
Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana too,
More potty breaks than most, this is probably true.

Ohio, Pennsylvania and finally New York,
Provided we take the right road at the fork,
As always, Mom will read a missionary book as we push past the miles
And we’ll cry at the difficulty of that hero’s trials…
We’ll play, we’ll giggle and we’ll talk way too late
Yes indeed…
Emmy, Liberty, Savannah, Jubilee, Ruby and Lizzie Lou know the date
Graham, Isaiah, Elijah, a silver-haired mom and dad, as well
We’re on a mission – to rest {haha} for a tiny, little all-too-short spell
At Dw’s childhood home before it is sold
Cause memories have been plenteous there whether young or old.
We’ll be visitin’ cherished friends, swimming and climbin’ around the old dusty attic,  
If we didn’t make the trip, no doubt, it would be kind of tragic.
Because the very best memories of our whole tribe,
Were the road trips in the car with nary a bribe
“Remember the time so-n-so had to sit on their hands for an entire trip?”
“Remember when we mentioned ‘sneakin’ out’ and made this mama’s heart flip?”
Yes, indeed, we’ll laugh till our sides hurt, 
And always pray that no one will blurt,
All the things that happened as we drove the entire way
Striving to make the most of each and every day….
The Saunders spending 5,000+ miles riding the roads in their car
Cherished {and, no doubt, a few not-for-public} memories 
etched forever in our hearts –  
that will never, ever, ever be very far.

89 thoughts on “If You See Our Van…

  1. OHHHH! If you come through the Dallas,Texas area, let me know. Our house is not the nicest and best…but I'm SURE we could make room if you need to somewhere to stay!!! 1thomkat at verizon dot net

    1. You mean you'd like your *favorite pastor* and his family to stay? We just might! We are thinking of swinging down south on the way back….maybe? =) Would love for you to meet them all…xo

  2. As I read through your poem
    My smile rose with a twist
    In hoping to see
    My home state on that list,
    But it looks like your travels won't bring you this way
    So I'll keep my hopes high
    That I'll meet you some day!

    Peaceful Travels!

  3. Linny, we would be pleased as punch to serve you some sweet tea under the magnolias if you visit the Peach State… you did mention swinging South, ya know. We have room if y'all wanna stay. (And you would get to meet Leon in person!!)

    1. Our invite is always open. Always. We would love to see you and have you as a guest, if you need a place to stay. Is it a conference in September or one next year….??

  4. Oh have SO much fun! I am in awe. Truly. Someday you will have to give us tips on how you do it! I would love to read a list of books you'd recommend, especially missionary stories. It's a modern day one, but have you read Heavenly Man? Brother Yun has challenged me so much! And of course we love us some Katie Davis over here. ENJOY!! And if you're ever in Oregon let us know. We don't have a chick-fil-a but we'd still do right by ya!

    1. I will do a post about missionary biographies…but our most favorite of all time are the YWAM series by Geoff & Janet Benge…they are beyond excellent and we ALL love them…I do believe the Lord has used them to change our lives…get some and see what I mean…favs are George Mueller, Amy Carmichael, Gladys Alyward, Lillian Trasher….to start with a few….

    2. Love it! Hadn't heard of Lillian Thrasher, so that is a must read now! And of course, if you are in Oregon and ever need a THING you just holler. Hotel, our house, a meal, biscuits thrown through your car windows at warp speed as you pass through…whatever!

  5. Oh man, we will be in your neck of the woods in about two weeks. I was hoping we would get to meet you while we were in Mesa. One of our treasures will be competing in the National Junior Disability Championships. You will be headed east, while we are headed west. (And I had to giggle at the line about so-and-so having to sit on their hands the whole trip. I'm glad I'm not the only one to use that trick.)

  6. doesn't look like your route will take you through the twin cities or western wisconsin area, but if something in your route changes… please give a call. you've got my number. we've got lots of room and i can probably scare up some extra air mattresses 🙂

  7. We live in Texas too – hour north of Dallas and we have lots of room. Come on by ! We loved to share our miracle house and meet your treasures and let you meet ours!
    Dara- you have our email already I think!

  8. If you guys pass through Kansas City, let us know if you need anything and we can probably help in some way. Food, possible housing or anything. We live right across from the International House of Prayer. At least for another month. 🙂 Have fun!

    1. Richee! Maybe a meal…we would actually love to se IHOP…and our friend who was visiting last week-end lived there for a quite a long time…we would love to stop by…if it works…FB us your cell number…

  9. If you guys pass through Kansas City, let us know if you need anything and we can probably help in some way. Food, possible housing or anything. We live right across from the International House of Prayer. At least for another month. 🙂 Have fun!

  10. If you guys pass through Kansas City let us know if we can help out in any way. With food, possible housing or anything. We live right across from International House of Prayer. Have fun!

  11. May I ask where in NY? We live in Jamestown, NY! We are headed to Ukraine July 28th to adopt our fifth sweet treasure but would LOVE a visit if possible???

  12. I'm taking off solo with 3 kids in less than a week. We'll be leaving MI and going down into Ohio then into PA and up to my parents in NY – probably be @ 2 hours southeast of you when we get there.


  13. Have a great trip! Let us know if you will cruise by indianapolis…we can give a quick hello and maybe even let you use our bathrooms 😉

  14. Ahhh… the kids and I are heading up to Wisconsin on Monday the 16th and will be back on the 27th… If you are passing through Tulsa Oklahoma before the 16th or after the 27th the Hintz crew, including Lou and Greg would love to see you or give you a place to stay:):) We like big families and fun:) I would die if you all were here while the kids and I were up north… Greg would love it though… Our door is open:):)

  15. Let me know when you get to Ohio. I am actually in kentucky but would make a trip to somewhere in Ohio or Indiana,to meet up with you and your family. Would love to get out 2 crews together someday soon! Keep me posted.
    Another mom of many in Kentucky
    Jackie-Mom to Christopher, Danielle, Jordan Homegrown, Hannah 9 China, Caleb 9 China, Gracie 9 China, Gideon 6 China, Abby and Clara 10 from Ukraine.

  16. Please, please, please tell me a stop at the NY cousins is on your list! We would absolutely love to have all of the kids get together again, get to know Ruby, and spend some time catching up with our loved cousins once again. If you would happen to know the approximate dates, just let me know so that we can begin to prepare something. We'd love to have you see the barn as it is today after the Amish barn-raising and now with the steady work continuing to rebuild the main structure. Oh, please tell me that we are on the schedule somewhere in this travel itinerary!
    Jen 🙂

    1. Jen, Jen, Jen! We will call and see what we can set up…my only goal outside of being at his parents would be to be with you guys…miss you all so much and love you bunches! So answer your phone, will ya?? xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  17. Please, please, please tell me that the NY Kneeland cousins are on your traveling itinerary – we would LOVE to spend some time with you all, get to know Ruby, let all of the kids play and reconnect, catch up on all that God is doing in your lives, and just have some great laughs together (always when Dwight and Uncle Bob think that they can join in with the young un's in their game of football, kickball, or whatever and then end up on the sidelines icing their injuries :-)). Let me know an approximate date and we can begin thinking through what we will need. Love Ya!

  18. We are just a few miles west of downtown Indianapolis…right off I-70!!!! Doors and hearts wide open ………….stop and come on in!

  19. Well st Louis is a major Missouri city if u come through it I'd love to meet u and your treasures even if it's only a quick stop….. 🙂 God bless and safe travels.

    Janet in MO.

  20. You're coming to NY?! What dates? I wonder if we could plan a trip to WNY to see you and so you could meet Corbin! A nice long talk with you and Dwight would do me good, too!

  21. Crazy! I was just wondering if you'd ever make a road trip this way (Pa) with Ruby needing to be near top quality medical cRe. So excited for you all! Give us a yell when you're near, especially if it's Western Pa. God bless your travels, Maureen

  22. Sounds like pure Heaven being with your kiddos in a van on a long trip. I love these kind of travels where the vehicle time brings its own set of memories. We love the game when everyone takes turns adding to a story…boy can those stories bring lots of laughter. Enjoy and safe travels as your journey back in time to DW's childhood home.

  23. Is this also the farm you've mentioned you loved? If so, you should take a couple photos of the barn and send them to me… 🙂
    I'll be praying for Ruby's health as you go. Happy road tripping!

  24. Aw, I was hoping you'd come through Dallas/Ft Worth too! If you come through any part of Texas, do let me know! I'd be up for a road trip (well, maybe not, being that I'm having a baby in 3 weeks!) to meet up with you for a coffee! 🙂

  25. If you take a wrong turn in Ohio and somehow find yourselves in Harrisburg, PA, look me up. Whatever you need (a meal, a place to crash, whatever,) it's yours! 🙂 Have a fun trip!

  26. Have a great time! Toot your horn as you pass through Indiana (we live in Indianapolis and I doubt that you come this far south.) But, you surely MUST stop at Niagara on your way and see the falls for me!

  27. If you are coming near Tulsa OK, my home is open to you and your crew! Seriously!

    I'm not quite sure why, but this post made me cry. Maybe it is my deep love for road trips and thinking that maybe they are a thing of the past now that my family is growing with special needs children as a single mom. You have given me hope, and a vision for our future.

  28. OOOOoooohhhhh! You are coming East! I know Jersey is so close to your final destination of New York, but this mom of 2+3+many more would welcome your family here at any time if you needed to stop. Prayers will be sent up for traveling mercies and lots of fun and family time. I love getting away with my heard (even though others think we're a bit nuts for camping with 6 kids and 3 dogs) and cherish those moments together.

  29. We live in Indiana…if your route takes you on highway 30 you will be passing right by our house…we would love to have you stay with us. We are 15 miles west of Fort Wayne. Safe travels to you….

  30. Hey cousins, Glad to hear you're coming to New York. How does a family reunion sound? Will there be time? We love you and would love to meet all the kids!!

    1. Quite possibly, or at least very, very near it…wouldn't that just be the funnest? To hug necks, my faraway friend who always enjoyed rubbing it in that she had a spectacular flower garden when I was buried in snow??! Ha! It's my turn finally too – yippee Jesus – I live in the desert now!!

  31. Central Illinois just a mile off a I-57 with a fenced in yard for the furry ones if you need a place to crash for the night or just a bathroom break.

  32. Linny and Dwight, We too are in Central Illinois–Bloomington. We would love to see you .. Dinner and a whole basement for your family.. complete with kitchenette and bathroom. Hope you have a fun fun trip. love, Ellen W.

  33. We are just a few miles south of Charlotte, NC and would love to meet you and your boat load of treasures! Please let me know if you need a place to stay my place is tiny but your are all welcome (there is a pool 🙂 and I might be able to come up with something larger if you could give me some dates. I would be tickeled pink ! Exit 85 off I-77. Praying for safe travels! Dogs welcome too.

  34. Sorry if duplicate post, we are just south of charlotte, exit 85 off I-77, would be tickeled pink if you could stop by for a swim in the pool, potty break or sleep over (more like camping in my little house) love to have you and meet your treasures. Dogs welcome

  35. have a great trip. Yes, family trips always have memories. My daughter and I were remembering when we were on a trip to Missouri years ago, flew there then drove across the state to Joplin. Fun memories and now we remember them on a shorter road trip. Found a word for this trip…rogue! Hugs and blessings and prayers!

  36. From the looks of the above comments you would never have to rent a hotel room you have loving followers all over this country. 🙂 I myself must agree that if I knew you were in the Little Rock area I would want to have lunch with you. Have a safe and fun trip!

  37. Ohh, I'm in the Detroit, Michigan area, just north of your proposed route. If you come up this way, our house is tiny, but you are welcome to stay! And if not, I'd be willing to shoot down to Ohio for some coffee on your way through! 🙂

  38. Louisiana's not on the list…bummer! If you're ever in the neighborhood, we'd be delighted to have you stay.

    Hope you have a great trip and make lots of wonderful memories. We LOVE road trips, too.

  39. Hi, I'm Dawsyn I'm 12 years old and I read your blog everday. If you go through Cincinnati and want to go for a swim you can just stop by!!!
    Dawsyn Vilardo

  40. Hi;

    If you do make it to Niagara Falls like one of the previous comments suggested – I am just 20 min from the Falls on the Canadian side… I would be thrilled to offer you a place to stay for the night or a meal, or whatever…

  41. Hi,

    If you make it to Niagara Falls as someone previously commented… the view is so much prettier from the Canadian side 😉 I am about 20 minutes from the Falls (in Canada) and would be thrilled to offer you a place to stay for the night, or a meal or whatever…

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