The MK Meier Summer Travel Plan 2019

We are getting ready to hit the road in less than 12 hours and we hope to connect with as many friends and family as we possibly can while making our summer trip from Portland, Oregon to Gainesville, Florida.  If possible, we would like to make stops in some of the states in between…such as California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Alabama. If you see that we are going to be in your area, feel free to send us a text message.  (Our summer phone numbers are listed below).

asphalt blue sky clouds countryside

Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

General Summer Travel Plan:

June 17- 24 – Visiting in Portland with Stephen’s mom

June 24 – travel to Klamuth Falls, OR (5 ½ hours)

June 25 – travel to Reading and then to Sacramento, CA (6-8 hours)

June 26 – visiting a friend for lunch in Sacramento, CA and travel to Hawthorne, NV (5 hrs)

June 27 – Travel to Hoover Dam, roam the route 66 road to Grand Canyon Village (10 hours)

June 28 – Travel to Salida area (visiting Four Corners along the way) (9 hrs)

June 29 – Visit with friends in Colorado Springs and travel to Amarillo, Texas (7 ½ hours)

June 30 – Travel to Dallas, TX (6 hours)

July 1 – Travel to Richmond, TX (5 hours)

July 2 – Visit with friends in Richmond and travel to Lake Jackson, TX (2 hours)

July 3-5 – Visit with friends in Lake Jackson, TX

July 6 – Travel to Semmes, AL

July 7-9 – Visit family in Alabama

July 10 – travel to Gainesville, Florida (8 hours)      

July 10 – July 28 – in Florida

July 29 – Travel to Ankara, Turkey (flight at 7:30am!)

 

Contact Information for News and Prayer Supporters:

E-mail: crcmeier@yahoo.com

News Updates: https://mkmeierfam.wordpress.com/

 

Phone numbers: (Summer 2019 only)

Stephen – 941-401-6009

Cristina – 941-401-6065

Advertisements

From the Far East to the Middle East

Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: June 24, 2019

IMG_8349

Another school year is completed for the “MK” Meier family living in mainland China. A flurry of selling, discarding, and packing intermingled with as many final goodbye meetings that we could cram into the schedule for the first two weeks of June. As we prepared for our summer break, it was more than just a preparation for summer activities. We were preparing to leave China behind us for good.

Stephen and I have felt for quite some time that this would be our final year living in China.  As we prayed for God to show us where he wanted us to go next year, the opportunity presented itself for Stephen and I to work at an international school in Turkey, and we found our hearts being drawn to that opportunity. Although we do not know very much about Turkey, our research has shown that it is a unique Middle Eastern Country with a mix of European and Asian cultures. Unlike many other countries with a heavy Muslim influence, Turkey operates as a democratic government based on European models rather than an Islamic one.  This will be change from us after living for two years in a strictly communist environment.

Where will we be working?

We will be working at the OASIS International School of Ankara (http://oisankara.org/) which has been established since 2004 and teaches primarily international students living in Turkey with a few Turkish students who hold dual citizenship. We are currently processing all our paperwork in order to get two year working visas for Turkey. Through the OASIS branch of the Network of International Christian Schools (NICS), we will be entering Turkey as educators and staff members for the international school.  The “M” word is generally discouraged when describing what we will be doing in Turkey.

What will we be doing?

After eight years of leading different schools as the headmaster, Stephen has agreed to be the middle school principal at this school and I (Cristina) will be the high school guidance counselor. Although Stephen was offered a headmaster position at more than one school within the U.S. for next year, we felt very strongly that God was sending us to Turkey. Based on that choice, Stephen was willing to accept the position as middle school principal for the next two years. Stephen loves being an administrator and whatever administrative position that he is given, we know he will thrive.  We are excited to see what God will do through him as he becomes part of the secondary administrative team at this school in Turkey.

We are also excited for me (Cristina) to step into this new role in which I will be helping 10th through 12th grade students finish high school well and prepare for college.  I spent several years studying third culture kids (TCKs) in their transition between high school and college and observing how the use of social media either helped or hindered their development from teenager to independent adult. These studies were used to help me earn my doctorate in Communications.  I am excited to be able to interact with students in a similar capacity once again.

Our children have not quite grasped this big move yet, but we are looking forward to what they will learn and experience, as well. Jared will be in middle school as a seventh grader.  Luke will be in fifth grade, Grace will be starting third grade and Seth will be in first grade in the elementary part of the school.

What do we need?

We are looking for both prayer and financial support for the following trips:

1) Praise that our trip from Beijing, China to Portland, Oregon was smooth and we did not lose a single one of our nineteen suitcases and six carry-ons.

2) Prayer for safety as we travel from Portland, Oregon to Gainesville, Florida by car for about 7-10 days of travel across the U.S. (we own a vehicle that we plan to use this summer)
*CLICK HERE: Our summer travel schedule is provided.

3) Prayer for smooth travels and provision for all our travel needs.  We cannot send any of our belongings to Turkey in crates because we’ve been told that large packages get confiscated and/or stolen.  So, the only way to bring everything we need to turkey is to carry it with us on the plane.  We are estimating that we will be carrying an extra six to eight pieces of luggage along with the 12 pieces of luggage that we will already be carrying with us. Each extra piece of luggage will cost us approximately 200 dollars.

If you are interested in becoming part of our financial support team in helping us GET TO TURKEY, please click the link below.  NICS has provided a U.S. tax deductible way for you give both on-line and through the mail.

Follow us on Facebook as we take pictures of our summer road trip across the U.S. Pray with us as we prepare to move to Turkey. Stay connected so that we can continue to communicate as friends and family in body of Christ.

BECOME A PART OF THE MK MEIER FINANCIAL SUPPORT TEAM.

Traveling East in 2012

September 2012 – After moving to Texas, I had assumed that we might take some time to travel around the state and get to know it better.  What ended up happening is that we’ve spent more time heading east than we have going any further west of Houston.  Our biggest attraction to heading east of Texas happens to come in the form of family location.

Stephen’s sister and her family live near Mobile, Alabama.  My three siblings and their spouses and families live in Gainesville, Florida.  A few days before our week-long spring break in March, we made a last minute decision to travel east to visit them during our vacation.  So, we packed up and traveled east.  We spent one evening in Mobile with Stephen’s sister’s family.  They have four children.  Their second and third children are close to Jared and Luke’s ages.  Their fourth child is about six months older than Grace.  So, our kids always have a blast visiting with them.

Our second day of traveling brought us down to Gainesville where my sister had been able to secure a guest apartment at their apartment complex for us to stay during most of our visit in Florida.  It was a great time to meet three new members of the family.  First of all, my sister, Anita gave birth to her second child, Eliana in mid-November of 2011. My youngest brother, Tim, had recently married the love of his life, Briana, right before Christmas of 2011.  I had never met her outside of Facebook contact.  Around that same time, my brother Philip and his wife, Chrissy, had finalized the adoption process of a precious little girl from China.  So, it was the first time that I got to meet little Li Rose.  Jared and Luke also enjoy playing with their cousins, Noah and Josh.  It was also the first time for Grace and Eliana to meet each other.

During our visit in Florida, I also had the opportunity to travel down to Ocala and visit with my grandfather, Bill Lassiter and his wife.  It was a short visit and the Meier kiddos basically napped the whole time we were there, but it was fun to sit and chat with him the way I used to when I was in college.

At the end of our one week vacation, we stopped in Mobile again on our way back to Texas and spent one more night with the Blanton family.  It is always so hard to leave their home, because our visits tend to be so brief.

We’ve already decided that we will make another one-week trip east before the end of the year.  I will be too far along in my pregnancy to travel anywhere for Christmas.  However, my doctor has authorized my travel plans for the week of Thanksgiving break.  We are excited that BCS allows for an entire week of vacation for Thanksgiving.  Besides seeing the family that we visited in the spring, we have an additional couple of family members we haven’t visited with in a long time.  Just this past July, my parents (Steve and Helen Cobb) moved to Gainesville, Florida after leaving their missionary home of 16 years in Guatemala. My father has not spent time with my kids since before Grace was born.  Jared had just turned three and Luke was a year and a half when they last visited with their “Papi.”  They last visited with their “Mimi” when she came to Ecuador for a few weeks after Grace was born. 

Here are the general plans for the trip:

November 16  (Friday) – Thanksgiving vacation begins at the end of the school day

November 17 (Saturday)  – Leave Lake Jackson, Texas and arrive in Mobile, Alabama

November 19 (Monday) – Leave Mobile and arrive in Gainesville, Florida

November 23 (Friday) … yeah, we’re traveling on Black Friday – Leave Gainesville and return to Mobile, Alabama

November 24 (Saturday) – Leave Mobile, Alabama and return to Lake Jackson, Texas

November 26 (Monday) – School is back in session until Christmas break

Fireworks in Galveston

July 2012 – This was our first summer in several years that we did not make big travel plans to visit people around the U.S.  In spite of lighter summer hours, Stephen was still pretty busy with his job and I was still struggling through nausea and fatigue from my present state of being.  However, we wanted to do something special to celebrate the 4th of July.  We did hear that there was a fireworks event here in Lake Jackson, but that seemed a little tame after some of the fireworks events that we’ve attended in the past.

After some research, I discovered that Galveston put together a pretty good show on their beach front that included a parade and a fireworks show over the ocean in the same evening (http://www.galveston.com/cvb060812/).  Galveston is only an hour away from Lake Jackson.  So, we piled the kids, a picnic dinner and a sense of adventure into our van and made our way over to the seaside of Galveston.

We arrive mid-afternoon while there was still some parking available along the parade route.  Several streets were already being roped off, but Stephen squeezed our mini-van through and managed to find a parking spot on the very edge of a parking lot facing the ocean.  For the first time, we used the “tail gating” option on the back seat of our Chrysler Town and Country Minivan. We spread out blankets and got ready to enjoy the evening.

Our Patriotic Children

We were trying to decide if we should put on our bathing suits and take a quick swim in the ocean when Jared and Luke informed us that they needed to go to the bathroom.  So, I left Grace with Stephen and walked down the block to the nearest gas station to use the bathroom.  Of course, there was a long line of people also trying to use the restroom.  So, it took us a while to get through the line.

As we waited, I grabbed a free copy of a car sales magazine.  Jared and Luke became immediately fascinated with the vehicles they saw displayed.  I told Jared that the magazine was free, so he could keep it.  Ever since then, Jared will skim through that same magazine and dream about the car that he wants to own when he grows up.  (This changes usually every few days.)

By the time we finally got back to the car with bladders relieved, stomachs were beginning to speak.  So, we started getting dinner ready.  Hotdogs were distributed, baby food was prepared for Grace and we munched on our dinner as the parade participants prepared themselves for the show.

The weather was pleasant.  There was a breeze making the summer temperatures feel cooler than normal.  The sun was setting behind us, and the sky was nearly cloudless.  The ocean’s waves were mild, and the hum of vehicle and human traffic filled the air around us.

Right on schedule, the police cars that led the parade began to make their way down our street.  Lights were flashing and people scrambled to the sidewalks to find a good spot to catch any surprise gifts that might be given to them from the floats that were soon to arrive.

For the next hour, the boys waved their American flags and chased down candy, colorful beaded necklaces, fliers and stickers that were tossed in their direction.  Grace was especially fascinated with the beads.  I think she ended up with about 10 strands around her neck by the time the parade was over.

Once the parade was over, there was a lull as we waited for the sky to darken enough to begin the fireworks.  During that time, the kids played with their new treasures, relieved bladders once again, brushed their teeth and got their pajamas on.  (We were expecting them to fall asleep on the way home.)

At about 9:15pm, when the sky was just beginning to darken completely, the fireworks show began.  Music played in the background as kids watched in fascination at the bright colors lighting up the sky.  We were far enough away from the explosions as to not scare Grace.  So, even she was enjoying the show. The show lasted over 20 minutes, and we were all happy with the display.

We hit some traffic on the way home, and it was hard for the hyped up kiddos to finally close their eyes.  However, by the time we got home around 11pm, they were all fast asleep.  The parade and fireworks in Galveston is definitely something we will look forward to attending in the future, if we decide to spend our summer here in Lake Jackson again.

A Trip to Waco

April 2012 – We had been living in Texas for ten months before we made an overnight trip (as a family) to any other location in Texas.  In November 2011, we made a trip to Mississippi.  In March of this year, we made a trip to Mobile, Alabama and to Gainesville and Ocala, Florida to visit family.  But we had not done much traveling around Texas.  We had driven up to Houston several times, Galveston and even New Ulm, but we never traveled so far that we had to spend the night there.

One afternoon, Stephen came home talking about the BCS varsity boys’ baseball team being invited to the state championship games in Waco and Belton, Texas.  Stephen wanted to travel with the team to attend the games and then asked if he might be able to take Jared with him.  I thought about it a while and then asked him why not all of us go up there together.

So, we made our first family trip up to Waco, arriving there just in time to watch the team with their semi-final game. The final game was to be hosted in Belton the following afternoon.  We found ourselves a hotel on the outskirts of Waco, at dinner at a nearby IHOP and then took advantage of swimming in the indoor heated pool (since it was still too cold to swim outdoors).

The following morning, we took our time leaving the hotel and then had a picnic lunch in the park area of a Ranger Museum.  The picnic table was underneath a perfect climbing tree and we all took turns getting up into the tree.

We missed most of the final baseball game because Stephen didn’t realize that Belton was a city about 45 minutes south of Waco.  When we got there, we were there to watch the final innings in which the BCS team won the state championship for the first time in many years.  Everyone was excited about the victory.

We made our way back home that evening after stopping to pick up some dinner.  It was a short trip, but it gave us a chance to see something new in Texas.

Texas Routines

In the past few months, we’ve gone to stores and garage sales to get all the things we needed for our home.  We’ve adjusted to a new altitude, new food, and a new schedule in which mommy doesn’t have to rush off to work and in which Daddy has to leave a lot earlier than he used to in Ecuador.  So far, we’ve come down with the following weekly routine.

Monday – Mommy gets up earlier and runs on the treadmill.  Then after breakfast, we go to the pool store with a sample of the pool water to get it tested so that we know how much cleaning agent we need for its weekly cleaning.  When Cristina and Stephen bought the small 8 foot wide by 3 foot deep pool, they didn’t realize how much maintenance would go into keeping it clean.  But they are glad they have it in this hot, Texan weather. After running errands, we come back home for lunch and an afternoon nap.  Mommy is grateful to get all three kids sleeping between the hours of 2pm and 4pm.  She usually gets the house swept and mopped during that time.  Then Stephen comes home to play with the kids before dinner.

At some point during the day, we also work on Jared’s Awana lesson for the week and his memory verses and try to work on some of his phonics lessons.  Right now, he is going through the capital letters of the alphabet.  Luke is trying to keep up with him, but he’s not quite figuring it all out.  He doesn’t seem to mind.  He is just content to repeat everything Jared says.

Tuesday – Mommy tries to get on the treadmill before the kids get up.  Then, after breakfast, we all go to the library for story time with one of the librarians.  This is usually followed by an arts and craft time.  Jared and Luke have fun doing the craft and then selecting new books to check out of the library and bring home.  Then it is lunch time and nap time. Mommy spends some time on the phone with her advisor talking about what she needs to do to get her Ph.D. dissertatation written…ever so slowly.  Then she tries to get some dusting done before the kids wake up.

At the Lake Jackson Library

Wednesday – After breakfast, we all meet up with our “play date” buddies.  A lady I met at the library and her four year old son have come with us to the Texas Sea Center (a Fish hatchery), the Gulf Coast Observatory or visit each other’s homes.  This keeps the boys busy for the rest of the morning.  Wednesday evenings, Jared also attends Awana at a church in Clute.  It’s the only church in the area that has an Awana program.

Posing in front of a statue at the Sea Center of Texas

Thursday – After Mommy runs on the tread mill, breakfast is served a little more quickly, because we all have to rush out the door for her to make it in time to her weekly women’s Bible study that she started attending last month.  Most of the time, she arrives at the Bible study about 5-10 minutes late, but no one seems to mind too much.

Friday – This is usually Mommy’s day to wind down and do some things with the kids around the house.  Sometimes they just go out in the yard so the boys can get out some excess energy before nap time. Sometimes they’ve gone garage sale shopping on Fridays and Saturday.  Some evenings, they have gone to watch a BCS football game.

Saturday – There isn’t really a schedule for Saturday.  We’ve gone to garage sales, or driven to the beach or played around the house.  Just this past week, we joined a group of people to do a 5km race sponsored by the school.  Jared and Luke ran a short race for little kids.  Stephen and Cristina ran the 5km race.  It is usually the day that weekly shopping gets done.

Sunday – We go church shopping.  Yes, eventually, we will decide to go to one church on a regular basis.  Right now, we are making sure to visit as many as we can before we make that decision.

So, this is a typical schedule at the Meier household.  Cristina is enjoying being a home maker and spending time with her three kids.

June Updates and Summer Plans

Date: June 22, 2011
Location: Quito, Ecuador

The expression “April showers bring May flowers,” came into mind many times during the weeks that followed the birth of Grace Erin Meier.  It certainly seemed that we were getting enough rain in Quito during that month to water the May flowers of several countries.  Although Grace’s memory bank will not be able to remember those first couple months of her life, her mother will not forget them.

It is hard to believe that spring has so quickly slipped into summer and we are now preparing to make our next big move.  It has been nearly three years since we moved to Quito, Ecuador on July 31, 2008, with a 12 month old boy and a few suitcases.

Now, we are preparing to leave with a nearly 4 year old boy, his 2 ½ year old brother, their nearly 3 month old sister and quite a few more suitcases.  Please visit the posts below to find out more about our big move to Lake Jackson, Texas, and some of the adventures we’ve had in the past few months.

You’ll find the following stories here:
1) Summer Plans 2011
*Read our itinerary and find out if we’ll be in your area this summer to plan a possible visit

2) Graduating the class of 2011
*Find out about finishing the 2010-2011 school year

3) Our April Showers
*Find out about the health challenges and weather-related trials we faced

4) A Quick Trip toTexas
*We flew to Texas in mid-May to visit our soon-to-be home and ministry location

5) Bringing Voting to the 21st Century
*Impressions of the election process in Quito this past May

Thanks for keeping in touch!  We would love to hear from you through e-mail, Facebook, Skype, telephone, blog comments, etc.

Sincerely,
Cristina Meier (along with Stephen, Jared, Luke and Grace)