Atlantic Ocean – North Carolina

RV North Carolina

On March 20, we moved to Lanier’s Campground in Holly Ridge, North Carolina.  During the weekend, we drove around Topsail (pronounced Topsul) Island, bought seafood from an outdoor seafood market, and ate the seafood, which Daddy cooked at our RV.

The Hoffmans drove down to North Carolina the next week with all their belongings in their passenger van.  They are staying at a condo near us while they wait for their RV to be ready to pick up.

When the Hoffmans were in North Carolina with us, we went to their condo a lot and spent time with them and ate meals together.  We also went to the beach (right by their condominium) and their condominium’s outdoor pool.  Aiden, Mason, and Mr. Josh went fishing in the ocean a few times and caught a stingray and whiting.

On one weekend, when the weather was warm and sunny, the Hoffmans came over to our RV.  We ate lunch and dinner together outside, and afterwards, Aiden and Mason tried fishing at our RV park’s pier but caught nothing except seaweed.  Mr. Josh took us to a nearby place in the afternoon, where we gathered fallen trees to turn into fire wood.  Aiden and Mason had a lot of fun sawing the wood into smaller pieces.

We got to meet a bunch of Miss Erin’s family when we visited the Hoffmans’ condo, including her sisters, one of her brothers, her parents, and the Hoffman kid’s two cousins.

Mr. Josh’s son, Joshua Cole Hoffman (aka “LJ” for Little Josh), also visited us in Topsail for a little over a week.  He lives an hour or two away in North Carolina with his mom, stepdad, and half-sister.  He turned 17 the week he was visiting.  

The Battle at Moores Creek Bridge

On Friday, April 9, we went to Moores Creek National Battlefield in Currie, North Carolina with the Hoffmans.  We walked on a couple of trails, ate hamburgers and hotdogs which Daddy had grilled at the picnic area, and learned about the battle that happened in 1776.

During the Revolutionary War, North Carolina was a British colony.  The Royal Governor wanted to put a stop to the rebels’ (Patriots) uprising, so after negotiating which got them nowhere, both sides prepared for war.  Some Highland Scots who’d settled in North Carolina joined the Patriots, while the others waited for the British army to arrive.

After both sides were ready for war, events led to a battle at Moores Creek Bridge.  The Loyalists, being about six miles away from the Patriot encampment, sent an ultimatum to the Patriots by courier.  While the Patriot leader read and refused the ultimatum, the courier noted the Patriots’ position.  This, he reported to the Loyalists upon return.

That night, the Loyalist planned an attack based on the courier’s information.  They however were missing a big part of the picture, a mistake that would cost them many lives and the loss of the battle.  When the Loyalists went to attack the Patriot encampment, they found it empty, so they crossed Moores Creek Bridge (which the Patriots had dismantled).  They were met with earthworks and Patriots battle-ready.

Now with the swamp behind them and Patriots in front, the Loyalists fought—and quickly surrendered, after their leader was killed.  Most say the battle lasted only three minutes.  While only one Patriot died and one was wounded, many Loyalists died.

The Hoffmans will not be able to get their RV as soon as they’d previously thought, so we (the Wongs) will be moving on without them, hoping to meet up with them in a couple of weeks.

On our last weekend with them before we moved, we spent some time with them outside our RV, at the house they’re staying at temporarily, and at a U-pick in Murraysville, North Carolina.  We picked a bucket of strawberries at the strawberry farm.  When we took it back to our RV park, we ate a lot of them, and the rest Mommy turned into jam, which we had on PB&J’s.

Here are some pictures of food that we ate while we were in North Carolina.  Some of the food was from restaurants, but most of it was made by either Daddy or Miss Erin.

Mason, Aiden, and Mr. Josh went fishing a few times in the ocean.  Once, they caught a lot of fish, which Aiden and Mason cleaned and Daddy smoked.

Holidays in Zanesville – Ohio

Zanesville blog

For the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s), we went to the Hoffmans’ to fellowship, break bread together, and continue in reaching out to the neighbors and community around us.  Over the past few months, we have met many neighbors living in Zanesville and have been able to minister to some of their needs.  It has been a great opportunity to learn more about the people in this area and how we can best serve them with the love of Christ.

In the video below, you can see us and the Hoffmans playing Hedbanz and other games, as well as the younger kids playing in the leaves near Thanksgiving time.  The last picture in the video is of me, Miss Erin, and Tanner knitting.  Recently, I taught my two youngest brothers and Miss Erin how to knit.  When we are sitting around and talking, a few of us will pull out our crocheting/knitting projects and work on it.

It snowed a few times in December, which provided many opportunities for snow-fun!  We constructed caves and forts, had snowball fights, and sledded.  Aiden and Mason made a huge walk-in cave with Mt. Rushmore-esque heads on the side of it.  We woke up on Christmas day to many inches of snow, piled up and ready for us to play in.  It’s fun to play in the snow, but getting our truck de-snowed was a bit of work which we are not used to.  Two of the Hoffman kids (4 and 2 years old) enjoyed sledding with us down their side hill.  We also had a fun time sledding in the RV park where we are staying.  Although we have experienced snow before for fun, short outings, this is the first time we have been living in it.

A Great Lake – Michigan

On June 22, we moved to Ohio.  We stayed at National Road Campground in Zanesville, Ohio for a week, visiting with some friends, the Hoffmans.  We had met the Hoffmans over 4 years ago in 2016 while we lived in McKinney, Texas and they lived nearby in Richardson, Texas.  They recently moved to Ohio a few years ago to be closer to family.  We went over to their house a few times, and they came over to our RV park once.  The RV park had a playground with swings and a cornhole (bean bag toss game) area, so we played there.  Mr. Josh made his famous bacon grease popcorn.

We also saw our first Tim Horton’s here in Zanesville since Canada last year in 2019.  We didn’t realize Tim Horton’s was in the states and were thrilled to get coffee there!

On June 28, we moved to Bear Cave RV Campground in Buchanan, Michigan.  This general area is known to locals as Michiana (a combination of Michigan and Indiana) because the areas blend into each other around the state boarder here.  Locals go back and forth to shop, eat out, and recreate.  In this area, there are lots of fruit farms (blueberries were in season when we were there as well as cherries) as well as fruit farm stands and U-picks.  It’s a very pretty area but also very crowded as many locals and tourists flock to the beach along the shores of Lake Michigan during the summer heat.

On July 3, we went to an Indiana Dunes National Park in nearby Indiana.  The national park stretches 15 miles around the southern shore of Lake Michigan and is known for its sand dunes.  The state park area with beach access (which is within the national park) was packed this holiday weekend with a huge line of cars down the main road, so we opted to drive to a different area of the national park: the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education.  Here we learned more about Indiana Dunes and did junior ranger books.  Later in the day, we took a scenic shoreline drive within the national park and got to see the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Century of Progress Homes, which were built at that time to show the modern houses that could be built, with materials like glass, and with things like dishwashers and air conditioners.

After that, we went to Pullman National Monument in Chicago, Illinois.  We were given a tour by a ranger and learned about the Pullman area.  George Pullman designed sleeping cars that were comfortable and luxurious for railroads.  As demand for his cars grew, Pullman bought land and started a model town.  He designed his town to be beautiful, clean, and orderly, and he allowed only his workers to live there (while paying rent).  By the day’s standards, it was a very nice town, far above other towns’ standards.  However, Pullman put strict rules over the town, even to where tenants had to ask permission to plant flowers in their front yard.

When the demand for Pullman’s cars went down, Pullman decreased his workers’ wages without decreasing their rent.  This led to strikes and boycotts, which were sometimes violent, and they spread across America.  Pullman died in 1897, the Pullman Company was ordered to sell all non-industrial holdings, and Robert Todd Lincoln became the new president of the company.  Eventually, sleeping cars on railroads were no longer needed.  Pullman’s model town was a failure.

At the town, we looked at the historic homes and some of the old buildings.  We didn’t go inside, however.  The houses were being rented out.

On July 4, we visited Grand Mere State Park in Stevensville, Michigan.  We took a hike through a marshy forest, over hot sand dunes, and finally arriving at the shores of Lake Michigan.  The sand dunes were really big, and they were also super hot.  Climbing up them was difficult, but running down was fun.  The water of Lake Michigan was refreshingly cool and there were fun waves to swim in (just like the ocean).  However, unlike the ocean, it was freshwater, meaning that it didn’t sting my eyes.  The sand here was very fine and soft.

When we were going back home to our RV park, we found people doing fireworks right outside the park entrance in the residential area.  We were able to pull over and watched them set off tons of big aerial fireworks for about an hour.  There must have been thousands of dollars’ worth of fireworks.  It was like a professional firework show.  At the end, they did a grand finale, which is the video below.  It was a nice ending to our Independence Day.

The next day, July 5, we went to Local Harvest Michigan Fruit Stand, where we bought some local Michigan vegetables, blueberries, and cherries.  (We recently tried the Michigan grown onions from there, and they were super sweet and delicious!)  After that, we went to Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Michigan and stayed on the beach for a few hours.  Just like Indiana Dunes and Grand Mere, Warren Dunes is known for its huge sand dunes and the cool waters of Lake  Michigan.  The sand here was more rocky than the last beach, with small pebble-sized rocks mixed into the sand.