Monday, November 7, 2016


Back in 1984, right before I met Dave, he bought a brand new 1984 Dodge Conversion Van, mainly for the long fishing trips to Canada that he took every June. After we married, it became an ideal family vacation vehicle and we made many a long trips with the kids, in comfort. Traveling to the Black Hills of South Dakota, National Parks such as Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Zion, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capital Reef, Mesa Verde and all over Colorado, there were a lot of family memories that were made during those 17 years.

Back in the day with it's swivel Captain's chairs and tables it was pretty stylish but over time, age and the elements began to take its toll and it was affectionately named, "The War Wagon". In 1985, Dave's Dad fell asleep behind the wheel on one of their long haul fishing trips to Canada and took out a highway exit sign. Besides ripping off the passenger side view mirror and doing major damage to the body and ruining a canoe, they were fortunate that it wasn't much worse. Afterwards, the van could never hold the paint job and it would flake off and rust. The War Wagon did more than just go on family vacations, it hauled kids to Awana meetings, Wednesday night Youth Group and Youth trips back when Dave and I were Youth leaders. There came a day however when we traded it in and bought a brand new FORD Conversion Van to carry on where the War Wagon had left off. (Unfortunately any War Wagon pictures I have are already in Montana).

The new FORD van was pretty cool with its built in TV and VHS player, "party lights" in the roof and the bench seat which folded down into a bed; it was even more comfortable than the War Wagon. It immediately assumed the same role and before long was nicknamed, "The Mothership" by Charlie because of all the kids I was always transporting. The Mothership had a good run for a few years but as our children grew up, began driving, the van got used less and less. Still, there were a lot of great memories as well. Banff, Jasper, Grand Canyon and the Southwest, Colorado and Sioux Narrows, Ontario vacations, family camp outs with our best friends, all fun times.

Campout with the Roseland Family outside of Austin,2001

A Colorado family vacation! 2001

Yellowstone 2004

Laura's Graduation trip to the Southwest in 2006

One of the most memorable moments ever was on our 2007 trip of Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff and Jasper when Dave took a drink of chocolate milk that had soured and spewed it out the window, covering the side of the van! Charlie and I laughed ourselves silly!

Aly and Ashley's first trip to the Motlong's cabin in Sioux Narrows, Ontario.

Jacey used to call it the "Gigi Van". Here she is tuckered out on the 2009 Yellowstone vacation.

After the 2009 Yellowstone vacation, we stopped in Cody, WY where we took possession of our custom made coffee table made by our friend Rich Holstein from reclaimed wood out of the Old Faithful Inn.

Since buying the Mountainview Hideaway in 2012 and all of the kids are now grown, "The Mothership" has been relegated to April trips to Montana where I have loaded it to overflowing bringing up some of our stuff.

We also let Charlie drive it up to the Mountainview Hideaway with friends over their Spring Break.

All of this is leading up to today. One last look...

Dave and I believe that we are called to be good stewards of the blessings God has generously given us; whether it is our finances, our abilities, our time or our possessions, they all come from Him. We made the decision a couple of months ago that we would donate "The Mothership" for someone else to use. Our church, Cross Timbers Community Church is in partnership with different ministries which made it easier for us to decide, whom to consider. My prayer is that The Mothership continue to be used as a tool to further the Kingdom just as it did all those years ago when it was the official youth group taxi. We've had a good run and now it's time to pay it forward...


  1. Awww...great family memories, good stewardship and generosity!

  2. We were very grateful for The Mothership and your generosity shortly after we first met y'all! Thank you for listening to God and following through with His faithfulness! I'm sitting here tearing up as I writing this. Love you both so very much!!!

  3. Beautiful memories and a bit sad, but oh the joys that await ahead! New adventures and opportunities to pay it forward in a new life and on a new mission! I love you Connie. I am so thankful you guys are finally going to realize that dream you have worked so diligently to make a reality. Many blessings in the Mountainview Hidaway!