Friday, November 28, 2014

Day 83 - 86: It's hard to say "The End!"

Day 83: Saturday Nov 22, 2014 - On Saturday morning we woke up in the Crescent Beach Baptist Church parking lot and prepared for the last 8.8 miles of this journey. We knew some locals were coming out to ride with us, but had no clue who or how many. We were excited to have Mike and Lisa Haffner (Kenadi's mom and step dad) from home there to ride with us and were thrilled to also be joined by several locals, a few of which had traveled over an hour to come ride! Corban was riding today as well. The local chapter of Pink Heels also brought out their pink fire truck and the local police were there to escort us. Caleb was able to ride in the fire truck!
A little after 9am the entourage said morning prayer then rolled out of the parking lot headed toward St. Johns County Pier at St. Augustine Beach. Along the way we had many cars blow and wave in support. As we turned onto the beach road CJ's GREAT Granny and her friend Ken joined in the ride. It was very special for CJ to be able to ride that last 5 miles or so with her at his side!
When we came into the parking lot at the pier there was a big ladder fire truck with the loveFAR banner hanging from it and streamer stretched across below like a finish line! There were NCCS flags and people all around cheering. News cameras were there to catch it all. It was awesome to see familiar faces of Kelly Moore (CJ's Nana), Ronnie and Karen Starling (Kenadi's nana and papa), and Billie Woosley there, as well as some new friends faces of Farrah Walleck from the NCCS and Mike and Kelli Meachum from the local Pink Heels. The firemen had prepared hotdogs and hamburgers and there was also a big CAKE! After a few minutes of talking to the camera and giving hugs, everyone walked down to the beach to watch CJ dip his front tire into the Atlantic. He actually ended up dipping his whole bike in the water!

After the wheel dip CJ thanked the crowd for being there and came back over the dunes for some FOOD! Farrah from the NCCS gathered folks around and gave CJ an awesome Star trophy.

Kelli and Mike from Pink Heels allowed CJ and Granny to sign the pink fire truck! We are so grateful to Kelli Meachum for organizing the finish line party and for making our last day so special! 

On Saturday night, we had been planning to let the boys go race BMX at the First Coast BMX park in St. Augustine to celebrate Caleb's 5th birthday, but because of rain the race was canceled. The boys were all bummed out so instead we went out to eat at Salt Life Food Shack across the street from the pier. The food was excellent, the service was awesome, and we got dessert to celebrate Caleb's birthday.
The aquarium inside the restaurant was really neat! The boys loved going on the back side of it and pretending to be inside the tank! In honor of CJ's finish, the manager also gave us a great discount. Thanks! We were grateful to have such a nice place to eat and celebrate!

We were able to spend Saturday night in a condo with our family who came down to celebrate the finish. It was VERY nice to be out of the bus and in a REAL bed! We each enjoed the HUGE bathroom and watched TV on cable!

Day 84: Sunday 11/23/14 - We spent the day totally resting! We all needed to sleep and just lay around!

Day 85: Monday 11/24/14 - Nick from Coggins Honda of St. Augustine invited us to come eat Thanksgiving Lunch with the employees at the dealership. Although it wasn't what we think of traditionally as "thanksgiving meal" it was AWESOME to have real "thanksgiving food" complete with turkey, all the trimmings, and dessert! We have so much to be thankful for!
Although the race was canceled Saturday night, we were able to go to practice on Monday night at First Coast BMX. Thanks to the folks there for being so welcoming and letting the boys have a blast riding on your track!

Day 86: Tuesday 11/25/14 - It is bitter sweet to think we are really finished with this trip across the country. Something that has been somewhat in the making for 4 full years. When we look back at pictures of CJ as a 5 year old and think of him saying way back then that he felt God calling him to do this, we still are amazed! People have asked us all the way across America how we knew he was called by God. The answer is we didn't! But He did! God gradually made it very clear to us as parents through things that can only be described as miracles. When CJ prayed today over our food he said, "God, thank you for all the things you have done during this trip. Thank you for all the things you did before the trip AND thank you for all the things you are still going to do!" We echo his prayers and can not wait to see what God will continue to do through this ride, through CJ, this family, and loveFAR!

We do not yet know the final total on money raised for The National Children's Cancer Society through this ride, but we will be updating this blog once all money has been counted. CJ's goal of $100,000 has NOT yet been met, so please continue to share and give! Thank you to all that have given and for your great support!!

1 comment:

  1. This is not the End, but only the turning of a new page! God has so much more for each of you to do for the Kingdom! CJ, I am so proud of your servant's heart...Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In EVERYTHING YOU DO acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your PATH (WHEELS)! CJ, I can't wait to see what God has for you on the next page of your life! All my Love, Nana