Come along for the Ride!

I am so glad you are here. Stay with us as we travel everywhere. I hope you will enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Done with training

Well, training is done for us for now. At least until maybe Friday. So we are visiting Starla and Bill for a few days. They are getting settled into the house and it looks nice.
The dumpster is gone!!!! We had over 2 tons of garbage.
Boy, did my dogs miss me. They were so excited to see me.
Oh yeah, wait! I almost forgot to tell you what happened the first night we spent in our new home. We could not get the tv to work so we listened to the Giant ballgame, I know, I already told you that last night. Just stick with me. I got really tired and Pops wasn't feeling good so we went to the bunk about midnight. I basically slept pretty good until I heard Pops get up to go to the bathroom around 3:30. We fell back to sleep and something woke me up. There was some kind of scratching noise. I listened and convinced myself that someone was trying to get into our storage compartments on the outside of the truck. I tried to wake Pops but he just grunted and rolled over. The movement of him moving caused the noise to stop for a while. Pretty soon I heard it again. I sat up and turned the light on thinking I would scare whoever it was away. But it was a mouse. A mouse! in our truck! 2 feet from my head. Well, let me tell you. I was awake now and so was Pops. "Come on." he said "We'll go to the bathroom." I don't know what that was going to accomplish, but I did have to go. On the way back he said, "I am a big man and it's a little mouse. We'll be ok. Now are you going to sleep or what?" Well, I am no sissy. But it was a mouse. Right there. I fell asleep. You gotta have priorities, you know. So now that we are here visiting Starla, I remembered that I had some items that will take care of that problem under the kitchen sink, so hopefully next trip out in the truck Mickey won't be a pasenger.
Training went well today and the new electronic log books are grand. It will take Pops awhile to get used to them, but since I didn't know the paperlogs they were easy for me to learn.
He drove the truck home and I followed in the car,.....for about 1 mile. Then I realized that I had 0 gallons of gas. So I had to stop. I called him and told him that I would catch up. We met at the rest stop just outside of Youngstown, OH. The rest of the trip home was pretty uneventful.
The boys came down for supper and Starla and Bill were here so it is really nice. Tomorrow the truck get cleaned really good inside and then I will take some pictures for you.
Take care and God bless you all.

From day 2

Just after our fire issue

This is our new home

Another view

This is the building where we did our training. This is only FedEx Custom Critical. It is huge.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What a day!

Let me just tell you, I had some very serious emotional stuff going on last night. I was so filled with crazy, unbelievable stories (a truck hitting a giraffe on the highway and a truck driving into an old shed near a lake and being taken underground to a secret location) and all of that classroom info. I was so very tired and then I got sick. Some stomach bug attacked me about 10:30pm and I was sick until about 8:00 this morning.
When we got up and got ready I ran over to the store and bought some tums, that helped a lot. At least I could sit in the class. At about 9:45, the fire alarm went off and we had to exit the building. It was pouring down rain, can you even believe that? And it was for real, there was an actual issue with something in the building overheating and the fire dept. coming. Meanwhile everyone (about 350 people) stood in the rain.
And it was chilly so that was not good.
Anyway, I started to feel better after that. haha
Back to class until 4:00. We got our FedEx shirts and hats today. And our badges. Now we are official.
After class we got together with Tate and Shirley and went to eat. Backup: Let me just tell you, FedEx was in no way letting us starve. We were served muffins, cereal, granola bars and every kind of fresh fruit all we wanted. Along with juice, milk, coffee or water all we wanted anytime of the day. Remember they gave us each $10 for lunch. Then chips, crackers, or many snack foods in the afternoon. We really weren't hungry at suppertime. But we went with them just to chat mostly. They really are nice people.
After we ate they handed us the keys and the truck is now ours. I got my roadtest with Bill. We drove about 20 miles around the city and interstate of Canton, Oh. We drove right past the Pro Football Hall of Fame!
Now we are trying to figure out our satallite tv, w/ no luck so far. We got the XM radio to come in so we are listening to the Giants game. They are losing 2-0 to Arizona.
So tomorrow we do have class until 11:00 and having our new C-link computer installed in our truck. This is how we will get our dispatch and do electronic log books. It also contains a truckers GPS and many other features. We may drive back out here on Friday for Military and Radioactive training. That would allow us to make a lot more money. Might as well.
Please pray for Kelly and Ruth from Rest Assured. Kelly is not feeling well today either and Ruth is having a problem with her shoulder.
Love you all. More later. Pictures soon, I promise.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My brain hurts!

Oh my, such a long, long day. We got up at 2:15am and left our house at 3:15. It was a long drive to Uniontown, OH. So I was tired by the time we arrived. Classes started at 7:30, but it was a slow start with the recruiters just making sure everyone had all their paperwork i's dotted and t's crossed. Then into procedures that FedEx expects and they are rigid. I love our fleet owners, Tate and Shirley. They are so down to earth and friendly. They filled our heads with many of their adventures over the years. Lunch was on FedEx. They gave each of us $10 and we ate in their cafeteria. The choices were amazing, but then I got incredibly sleepy. After lunch back to class for more head cramming. At the end of the day, Bill went with Tate for a road test of the truck. I went with Shirley to learn more of what they expect from us. They were so kind as to get us a hotel room on them and took us out for dinner. They told us endless stories of the loads that they had gotten into. I would have been so facinated had I not been so tired. I am going to bed real soon. Class starts at 8:00am in the morning. And it does continue on into Wednesday as well. I will try to post some pictures tomorrow night. Love you all.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


We just said so long to most of our wonderful church friends. It is really hard to go away from them. I love all of them so very much and I know they feel the same. I thank God so much for each and every one of you.
Our orientation starts tomorrow in Ohio. Pops just told me that we have to  be leaving our house by 3:30 AM to get there on time. Ugh! Caffeine will be my friend.
I am a little concerned that we didn't hear from our boss or Debbie from Fedex over the weekend. I hope that we are taking everything we will be needing. I hope that the training isn't too boring or I might fall asleep.
I am excited to finally see our truck, our new home.
Well, better be off to bed. Not sure if I will have internet this time away from home. But I will update when I can.
Please keep us in your prayers. So far I still like my husband and he says he still likes me. haha

My lovely First Place Sisters and my great friend, Jeff (I will miss you all so much, love you)

Frances, Mary Joe, and Tina
Kelly and Jenny

Lettie, Laken, Ginny, Donna

Laken, and Lettie

Jane and Jeff

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I am starting to feel mixed emotions. I am excited, nervous, sad (about leaving friends, family, home) happy about being with Pops, unsure (like jumping off a cliff in the dark.) Every minute it seems like I am feeling something different.
I think that the packing is done. We have just about everything in the dumpster that we are getting rid of. I am worried that I will be forgetting something. I think our first trip we will be out about a month.
We still have to do the closing on our home refinance and they want to do it Monday, Oct. 4th. Well, we will be out by then. So we need to get that worked out.
Pops is still waiting for his new glasses. They are supposed to be in this week. Hopefully by Wed. so we can get them picked up.
I have ordered the new First Place book, "Walking in Grace." Just in case we don't get in before our study group starts the new study and the book is back-ordered. Will it come this week so that I have it in time?
I am so happy that Bill and Starla are ready to move in here. That makes my mind at ease some.
The boys are planning to move to temporary housing before winter. Or maybe permenant if Drew finds a house to buy. (I hope that is the case.) Please keep them in your prayers for that endeavor.
I am really going to miss my church family so much. They are the glue that keeps me together. I sure hope that I can stay in touch by computer with them. But I still haven't decided which way to go with the aircard or satellite. I need unlimited access, but don't want to sign into a long contract. I will miss our Sunday dinners, my First Place sisters, Wayne's preaching, Coffee Breaks, all the fellowship and even the work days,...not.
I love all of you and hope and pray that you will think of me often and keep us in your prayers.
I will miss my sister, who says she already misses me. Of course she does. But I trust that she will stay in touch. I am so glad that you go to Laurel Highlands Church. Let them be your family. Let them love you as I know they will. Be a true sister to them too.
I will miss so many of you, but I hope you will visit our blog and keep up with us.
Love, Noni

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This is "The Dumpster."

Finally, joy cometh in the morning

We got up this morning at 4:15am. We had a little over 2 hour drive to Pittsburgh, but traffic backs up so badly down there we knew we had to leave early. We left the house around 5:00 and drove straight to Pittsburgh. We parked in a downtown parking garage at 7:17. The Dept. of Vital Records didn't open until 8:00 so we found a little place to have some breakfast and coffee.
At exactly 8:00 we were first in line for a birth certificate and by 8:10 we walked out of that building with a brand spanking new one in hand. Whew, I feel 1/3 happier.
We had to go down 3 stories out of the building and around the block to get to the DMV. How fortunate that it was that close by. It did not open until 8:30 so we stood outside with several other people and waited again. Two young ladies came by and asked if any of us knew where to go to get a birth certificate. I was so happy that I was able to give them that information so easily.
At exactly 8:32 they unlocked the doors and in we went. I was first in line to take a driving endorsement exam. They called my number immediately. I was more worried about handing them my birth certificate than about taking the test, but all went well. So off to the little booth to take the test.
Now Pops and I have been studying and practicing so much that I was feeling pretty confident. Until......the very first question popped up on the screen. What? It didn't look familiar to me at all and none of the answers seemed to sound right. I panicked. And pushed the skip button. I answered the next 25 questions only missing one. Hallelujah, I passed. Now I'm 2/3 happier. I really did want to do a little happy dance right there on the spot but I got myself together. lol
Now where was that parking garage? Oh yeah, I think it's this way. Traffic was much better coming out of the city. Off to Greensburg.
We got to Greensburg a little after 10:00. We had to drive around for awhile until we located the State Police Barracks. Once inside I was told that the computer was down, could I come back? Oh no!.... I explained how far away I lived and that I desperately needed this done today. Well, they said, I could drive to Pittsburgh and have it done. Can you even believe that?
No wait, we will try to get it booted up.
I prayed to God, "Please, make a way." And He did. The computer booted up and I got my prints done. Thank you, Father God. So now you would think that I would be 3/3rds (completely) happier, right? But I wasn't. I felt a little like "what next?" Where was my faith and trust?
When I got back into the car, I said to Pops "Let's call the Post Office and see when we can get an appointment to have our passports done." We need those for going in and out of Canada with the truck.
"Can you be here by 1:00?" 
"Yeah," we say. So off to Cumberland, MD. We were still in Greensburg. It was 11:30.
I told Pops that his birth certicate, which we need for passports was at the house we would have to swing by there and get it. It looked like we were going to be 15 minutes late. We called and that was ok. Good.
We got to the Post Office at 1:20 and filled out our applications, got our photos taken and wrote out 3 different checks for each one of us. I watched the lady gather and staple all of our paperwork together. Imagine my shock when I realized she had just stapled my brand spanking new birth certificate in with all of the other papers. "Don't worry," she said. "You'll get it back."
Truthfully, I don't care if I don't EVER have to see it again.
We got home about 3:30. The phone woke me up at 5:00. What a day!
Thank you all so much for your prayers, thoughts and comments.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tomorrow is another day

I am trying really hard not to be discouraged. I went to Bedford today with 2 birth certificates and neither one worked. Now I do not understand how someone with 2 real birth certificates cannot take a driving endorsement test, but we have a president that has never produced one. Frustration! What lesson could God be teaching me?
So tomorrow morning I will drive about 97 miles to Pittsburgh by 8:00am to the Dept. of Vital Records to get an official birth certificate. Then go to DMV in Pittsburgh to take my test. Then I have to drive to Greensburg, PA because they are the only place that does fingerprinting on Thursdays. Oh my, what stress.
We talked to Tate, our boss, last night. If I cannot do this tomorrow for some reason we cannot go to Orientation on Monday. Please, Please, Please pray God will make a way for us tomorrow. Pops is riding with me. I am so happy I don't have to do this alone.
I am so grateful for all you who allow me to vent. It's going to get better. I am still very excited and looking forward in hope.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oh well, such is life

Today didn't go exactly the way I had it all planned out.....
Pops passed his physical easily. That went well. Then we picked Drew up and went to the exam center for our Hazmat testing. They were busy there. We pulled our numbers and waited our turns. My number was called and back I went. It didn't last long. As soon as they saw my birth certificate they told me that it wasn't the official birth record and I would need to get one.Oh disappointment!
They called Pops' number and back he went. He was gone much longer than I was. Of course he passed his test. Good job, Bill.
From there we went to Johnstown for our drug screening. Well that was easy, I don't really have a problem peeing with someone watching. (It was a female) Pops was a little more uneasy about it than I was although he peed just fine too. haha
Next we went to the mall to get some new work clothes for Pops. That was fun and not at all the nightmare I imagined that it might be. Next Applebee's for lunch. Oh my, their Florentine Ravioli is so good! But I had to bring 1/2 home for supper.
Then back to Somerset so Pops could get his fingerprinting done. Drew and I waited in the car. It didn't take too long.
Next we went back to Berlin to drop Drew off at his apartment. Then we came home.
I was so downcast about not being able to take my test today. I did find another birth certificate in the filing cabinet, but it doesn't look very official either. Whatever, I am going to go to Bedford tomorrow and try again. If it doesn't work then I'll have to order an official one and that will take up to a week to come. I don't know how that will affect Orientation next week. But I'm not going to worry, God will make a way and I trust Him however it goes.
We worked for about 2 1/2 hours throwing stuff in the dumpster. That thing is so big! Everything in my house would fit in it. No joke!
Oh well everyday is interesting isn't it? See ya tomorrow.

Busy day

I have been up since 6am, again waiting for dumpster. It is now 7:45 and it's still not here. I give up! Anyway, we are leaving in 1/2 hour for Pops' physical.
8:00am -Ahhh, dumpster is here, Yay! Wow it is huge.
So after his physical we have to drive 40+ miles to take our haz-mat test and if we pass that (we better) then we go to the state police barracks to be fingerprinted.
After that we have to go to Johnstown for our drugscreens. We have to drive 50+ miles just to pee in a cup. Pops don't know it yet but I plan to do some shopping while we're down there. Although I surely don't need any more STUFF! He needs some new work pants.
Drew called last night and wants to go with us today. I can't imagine why he would want to tag along on a day like this but I'm glad that he is. I love seeing my kids.
Well, here we go. Pray for us.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Argh, We got up at 7:00am because our dumpster was supposed to come a little after 8:00am. We were anxious to get busy. Well......9, 10, 11, 11:30 came and went and no dumpster. Pops got busy trying to clean out the garage anyway. I finished the computer room, and worked a little bit in the basement shelves.
At noon, Pops came in and we got something to eat and then we did practice tests for Haz-mat on the internet. Out of 65 questions he only missed 4 and I missed 6, not too bad, I guess. I am glad to have that studying under my belt. Please pray that we will have good recall tomorrow when we go for our tests.
Starla called then and told us that the dumpster would be here by 2pm. Well.....2 came then 3, then 3:30 Bill called and said by 4 for sure. Guess what? 4:30, 5pm no dumpster. I finally gave up and went to the store. I wanted to have pizza for supper and I needed ice cream to go with Starla's birthday cake. HAPPY  BIRTHDAY, DAUGHTER. LOVE YOU BUNCHES.
So, no word on the dumpster. I sure hope we are still getting one. But we already started talking about a plan B. Ha.
Oh well, gotta get into a better mood. Bill and Starla will soon be here and we can eat cake and ice cream. Yum yum.
Remember....we need your prayers tomorrow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Knowledge increases hope

Knowledge increases hope is the title of the lesson in my First Place book this week. How appropriate for what I am facing. My brain hurts from all the Haz-mat knowledge I am cramming into it. However with each tidbit of learning my hope is increasing.
Pops and I are studying so hard to pass this test for Hazardous Materials. It is a lot of stuff. He seems to be "getting it" so much easier than I am. And seriously after a while I feel like all I am reading is, "Wah, wah, waaah."
But it will all be worth it.
We are going Tuesday late morning to take this exam. Please, keep me in your prayers.
I am still packing and cleaning. I have soooooooo much stuff. Why do we accumulate so much? Why is it so difficult to throw things out? I almost have the computer room packed and ready. The sunroom, kitchen, living room and dining room are done. Keep in mind, I am only packing my personal stuff. Most furnishings and decorations are staying for Starla and Bill to use.
We are having a dumpster delivered tomorrow. We will be working in the garage and basement all this week. I would like to have the basement totally cleaned out for Bill and Starla to use as their own storage space. All of our personal items and our vehicles will be put in the garage, however.....our garage is presently a dumping ground for everyone's unwanted and unused junk. I think we might need several dumpsters. Oh my, what did we get ourselves into?
Bill and Starla came up today. I showed him what kinds of jobs will need done before winter and also some things I have planned for spring time. Pops thinks I am overwhelming him with projects. I don't think I am. How about Bill? Too much for ya?
I am happy that they will be living in our house. I feel assured that they will take care of it like we do, maybe better.
I met a new friend on the internet yesterday. Her name is Kim. She and her husband do the same work that Pops and I will be doing. She is really liking it so far and I enjoy talking with her.
Well I better get back to the learning, it is increasing my hope for the future that God has in store for me.

This Week's Memory Verse: Learn it with us

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
Psalm 62:5

What does "Hope" mean to you? Is it more than just wishful thinking? Is hope a noun or a verb?

I think hope is definately a noun. I think it is something you have but it requires purposeful action by you. I think it will lead you in the direction God is setting for you.

Let me hear from you.

Friday, September 17, 2010

1st day of new adventure

Noni: Well...this is it. The first day of my new adventure.
Yesterday was my last day of work at my old job. It was bittersweet. Everyone was sad and crying, me most of all. I love all of my friends there and will miss them so much. Thank you all so much for the cards, gifts and nice words.
It was hard to say goodbye to the residents that have been like family to me for the past 13 months. I tried to hurry and put as many to bed as I could so I could have one last goodbye. One special lady hugged and cried on me for about 20 minutes. I will miss you all so much. But I will come visit. I promise.

Anyway, this morning after coffee, I got busy packing and cleaning some of the stuff that I want cleaned and put away before we go. I was busy running sweeper when the telephone rang and it was Pops. He asked me if I had heard that the company we will be working for has just laid off 1,700 workers. I quickly got on the internet and found that to be true. Now what?!?
He callled our boss and found out that it is a different division and that is why a new division (the one we will be) is being created. Expedited freight is the wave of the future. Well, let's hope anyway.
So back to cleaning and packing.

I am so very excited to be starting this new job, new period of our lives. It seems I have spent a good deal of my life waiting for the days when me and Pops would have "our time." Now it seems like it is here.
I cannot wait to be behind the wheel of a big vehicle again. If you have ever driven one you will understand that sentiment. I love driving. I love driving a big vehicle. I love to travel. I love my husband. I love my dog. And all of that will be part of our adventures.

We have talked for years about doing this but something always got in the way. Too many pets, kids at home or needing us nearby, but now they appear to be settling into their own lives pretty well and it's time to let them be. (Of course, I will always worry and be mom) but I have to trust my parenting skills and let them live their own lives. I will never be too far away that I can't be reached or reach out and help them. They know that.

God has truely lined all of this up in such an amazing way that only He could have. I never stop being amazed at what God can and will do for us. He is awesome. And that seems so lame of a word when I try to describe Him.

Pops and I are both off all of next week. We have to complete our paperwork, get physical for him, take our drug screens and lots of cleaning and packing. We will be so busy. Oh my! Keep us in your prayers and thoughts. I will try to keep you all updated on what we are up to.