celu’haven update

The process of refinement is truly that, a process. One of the hardest mindsets to push against is the cultural notion that things should happen instantly. “I want and I want it now, and I will do whatever it takes to make it happen.” In rejecting this notion we are finding peace and great joy. Waves of mercy wash over us as the blessing of community and support come along side in ways we could never produce on our own accord.

We are thankful for folks like Mike Dyer Construction for giving up two days and much need supplies to frame our kitchen. 20120123-114715.jpg

Also, Ben Miller’s willingness to share his expertise and help design the electrical system. And, the simple coupon for 10% off at Lowes that my mom gave us and the financial gifts of those who in their generosity have allowed us to continue to serve others.

Just like us, “celu’haven” (our bus/home) is a work in progress and for that we are thankful.









We have two weeks left in Central Oregon. Once we leave this nest we’ll be on the road. Our loose schedule as follows:
2-4: Seattle area
5-12: Portland area
13-19: Redding, Vacaville CA
20-21: LA
22-26: Phoenix area
27-29: Albuquerque area
29-March 1: Colorado Springs
2-4: Denver area

If you live in any of these areas and would like to host The Hollands! we would be delighted to visit with you.

The PNW is Our Soft Spot

After a whirlwind summer and all of the community and individual effort it took to get us on our way, we find ourselves in a similar situation to a new born baby that fought her way into the world only to find she’s helpless. We had a vauge plan when we left, knowing that tilling and traveling was our call, but not knowing the how or where we would find ourselves. I think they call that “faith.” ūüôā

Honestly, we could not have planned a better first stop on our journey of mobility. The Pacific Northwest has become our soft spot. We were ready for the hard road but the gentle hand and Author of our journey had a different idea. A better idea. And so, we are fixed in central Oregon in a little town called Sisters until mid-Feb.

While we are here we are finding a valid place in community. We have been welcomed with open arms. The feeling is remarkable and some days a bit surreal. Even the mountains cry out with joy and the stars sing down upon us. Folks are eager and ready for us to share our gifts and talents. They are hospitable and open to growth. There is no doubt that we are suppose to be here for this time.

On a practical level, we named our bus. Calling it Celu’ Haven which means, “safe place of wholeness.” ¬†It is not livable yet and so, we have been staying with a gracious and kind host couple appropriately named, “The Goldens” and they are golden. They live in a log cabin on a beautiful plot with gardens and a little tree hut that their grown son built when he was Banjo’s age. The kids have enjoyed the stability offered by staying with them and are starting to make friends through youth group at VAST and Young Life. They are also enrolled for an elective class at the local school. Graciana picked art and Banjo picked Gym. There is also a fantastic program through the parks and rec that offers kids the opportunity to learn to snow board at Hoodo. Banjo is stoked!

We are still trying to figure out the balance between working for a living and living to serve. We have nothing but we have everything and some how we make it through each day amazed and baffled at how God provides and keeps us on our way. For now, we are safe in His arms and for that we are thankful.

Here are some photo updates:

Maiden Voyage

2 Weeks. A picture blog of the journey leading up to our maiden voyage. On Oct 13, we started up the engine and are Oregon bound. Much to still do but we have been sent off with love and support beyond our wildest dreams!

Paul, our neighbor, engineered our tow hitch/bar
Filling in all the rivets
Our neighbor, Jim, came by every day for two weeks straight to help get the furniture finished. Without Jim’s commitment to this project we would not have made it.
5 days before departure
Grace getting her feet wet
Last supper at the Holland House.
Getting the cushions ready
One down a few more to go.
Papa showing off his muscles.
Late night. 2 days and counting.
Staple queen and her court
cleaning team, one day and counting
Load up! One day before departure.
Final push!
Beautiful design by David Baumgartner. Crafted by Jim, Craig and Banjo
Welcome Home!
Farewell show hosted by Kavarna.
saying goodbye
Friendship true blue
Little fella’s!
Words can not express the blessing these girls have been through out this process! We love them!!
Saying goodbye to family
One last check
Packed and ready to roll! 10/13/11
One more final check
Jim is an example of true neighborly love. He inspired and kept us going.
Here we go!
Priceless moment
Back in the Saddle again
For the Lord our God is living among us. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in us with gladness. With his love, he will calm all our fears. He will rejoice over us with joyful songs. Zep. 3:17


Have your heard of the ancient temple of the Lord, built by Moses and his people? It is said that this temple was made of the finest gold, silver, bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet material; fine linen, onyx stones and lamp oil; spices for anointing oils and for fragrant incense. All were offerings, freely given by any who were willing. It is recorded that the offering was made to the Lord, not to the tabernacle (for a tax deduction). In fact, this story is amazingly God-centered. God is present in every step of the process. In the text that this story is recorded, Exodus, God details the need, tells how to use the supplies, prompts Moses to ask for them, prompts certain people to respond, the people give to God and the gifts are used to glorify God by craftsmen God gifted.

It is an amazing story of how the great designer pulls together the most amazing mysteries and wonders, engaging with us to create community.

We are not building a temple of the Lord but we are building a bus that we long to use to create and encourage community. The bus is empty right now yet there are divine appointments happening daily. Folks are coming forward to share the load, excited and ready to help. It is humbling and almost unexplainable, expect for the fact that I know there is One I can trust through it all.

Here are a few of the offerings we had over the last weeks.

Troy, a neighbor, called and offered a fantastic deal for our sheet metal. Paul, another neighbor, stopped by and took a tour. He was pretty excited about our endeavor and announced that he is a mechanical engineer and would like to help design the heating system. We found reasonably priced salvage windows online through Factory RV Surplus, out of Elkhart, IN. Then our friend, Saul popped over and shared his expertise as an electrical engineer. If time stays on our side we will have heat and electricity by our departure date of Oct. 12. If not, ¬†at least we’ll have the plans for what needs to be finished.

Another wonderful offering came from Allen Gokey, owner of Packerland Builders and a long time friend. He graciously donated a trailer full of cabinet grade birch wood that was once used for a skate park/outreach  in Appleton, WI. A word of delight greeted us as we loaded the wood on the trailer. Most of the wood is in great condition. One side was coated with the memories of youthful skaters enjoying life and company. The other side was pristine and will make for a beautiful home.


To top it all off, Craig’s old band mate and violinist on our album Ashes to Beauty, David Baumgartner arrived with his fabulous family and Swiss expertise in furniture¬†architecture. We dreamed, designed and built for two days straight. David’s mind moves a mile a minute and his design ideas were brilliant!¬†Debbie, his wife and dear friend, brainstormed ideas for fabric and decor. She helped with meals and was such an encouragement.


We are so excited to see what else comes our way this week. “Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands. This isn’t so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you’re shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end you come out even. As it is written, Nothing left over to the one with the most, Nothing lacking to the one with the least.” (2 Cor. 8:12-15 )

On a side note: My skin cancer issue has been resolved as my appointment with the dermatologist concluded that I am healed. Thank the good Lord and thanks for all your prayers, concerns and well wishes.

Team Holland and Outback Consulting

It’s been a trying and testing 10 days. The emotional transition of Virtual School started one day after we returned from our 8 week tour. Our final days of working (9-5 job) were finishing up and we found out our health insurance failed and the research to take care of a skin cancer issue are back on the table. To top it all off, there is a bus sitting in our yard that needs immediate attention. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep much this week.

All hands on deck! With the help of our children and a friends we find ourselves in the final stages of demo.

It’s been a huge learning curve as we are really shooting in the dark, trying to learn as much as possible to meet our deadline of Oct. 12, 2011. From what we’ve read it will be nearly impossible, as most of the folks who we are gleaning wisdom from, say it will take 6 month minimum, up to 3 years to convert our bus. Oh well! We’re always up for a challenge and with the help and support of our FIRST SPONSOR and friend, Marc Brummel of Outback Consulting¬†and¬†Brummel Architectural Group, we now have a plan!

We’ve been stretched beyond recognition regarding our need to always be in control but that doesn’t mean there isn’t suppose to be a plan. And, sitting down with Marc was a breath of fresh air. Offering his mad skills and innovative talents, we were able to dream, weave & create a real live working model of our home. It is a true gift and we are so thankful to have this vision to share with you. Here you go… have a look at our new home. (of course we are open to the plan changing but this is a start)¬†

We’ve been asked what our needs are and up until now, we really didn’t know?Having a plan has helped us sort it all out. So, Here is a list of tangibles:

  • Helping hands: Help hanging sheet metal mid-week. Next week help from Welders, Electricians, Plumbers. Contact Craig if you have a bit of time/talent to offer. 920.883.6874
  • Meals– Any help with meals these next two weeks would be so appreciated.
  • Rental referrals-¬†Our lower, 2 bedroom apt. is for rent starting anytime after Oct. 1. $750, includes ALL utilities, parking and a shared laundry, yard space. (no smoking, no pets)
  • Support- Our fundraiser is this weekend. Sept 17. 8-4pm is our donations sale. All of our belonging will be available, give what you can. 5-8pm; Potluck/Concert ($10 suggested donation) Our dear friends, The Unfortunate, from Chicago, will be joining in the fun. We will be set up to take credit card, cash or check. Also, our PAYPAL link has not been working but if you go to www.paypal.com and use janahollandmusic@yahoo.com to route the donation too it will make it our way just fine. Otherwise checks can be sent to: 732 S. Clay St. Green Bay, WI 54301
  • Here is a list of basic Systems we need to raise funds for (est): Heating System: $400, Electrical System: $2000,¬†Plumbing System: $1200, RV Windows, $1000,
  • *¬†These items are luxury items that would facilitate a more comfortable or economical ride: Generator: $7500,¬†Air Units: $1500, ¬†Veggie Oil System: $5000, Solar Panels: $1500
  • ¬†Basic interior needs: ¬†1/4 in plywood, 2×4’s, Flooring: tile, cork board, wood. RV toilet, Fridge, RV stove/oven.

Thanks for joining the team.

The Rig

For the past few months we have been exploring buses, RV, 5th Wheels and everything in between. After our visit with fellow travelers at Cornerstone Music Festival we felt the bus was the way to go. We knew we needed a bus with¬†undercab¬†storage for Craig’s tools and music gear so we narrowed in on the MCI or Eagle. Our budget, $7,000. That’s what we have saved over the past two years. The¬†pickin’s¬†were slim as most of them run about $40-120K¬†and the dream seemed to be a distant cloud.

Craigslist¬†seemed to offer a little hope with a few findings in the $15K range. Could we take out a loan? Hmm. We really didn’t want to have to do that as we are so unsure about what the road will bring financially, so we kept looking. Then, two weeks ago, on our drive up to Minnesota we pulled up the Eau Claire¬†Craigslist¬†and there it was, a 1984 MCI-9 with 215K miles for $9500. We called right away. After a 1/2 hour conversation with a lovely and kind fellow we decided to have a look. You know how you get that feeling where you just “know”? Well, that’s the feeling we all got. The history of the bus solidified our feelings as it was a bus used by the Casper WY Drum and Bugle Corp. Our kids started dreaming¬†immediately. Trying to see themselves in the bus, where they would sleep, visit with friends and most importantly where they would watch TV. ūüôā

Ah, but $9500, we only had $7K and the seller was pretty solid on his price. We called the bank but that was a no go. We called the seller and told him our plight, his response floored us. “Just pay me what you can and we can set up a payment schedule for as long as you need.” ¬†What? really, I said. And that was that. Last week wired the money in exchange for the title and this Friday we pick it up. And, as Ma Holland says, “Praise the Lord!”, we do.

So, now to the conversion. This will take another miracle as we only have 6 weeks to get it ready and our bank is back down to zero. Things to get in order;

  • Clean out the upper unit to have ready to rent by Sept. 1.
  • Plan our Super Sale/Bus Fundraiser for Sept. 17.
  • Research and find recycled materials to use in our conversion.
  • Look for sponsorship.
  • Get our lower unit ready for rent by Oct. 1.
  • Booking for Fall/Winter on the West Coast.
  • And Sept. 1 the kids start Wisconsin¬†virtual¬†School.

Whew! Yep, it’s gonna take a¬†miracle¬†and most importantly community. We really need you! ¬†If you would like to help:

Looking for helping hands, meals, financial resources or folks/business interested in sponsorship, creative souls, organizers and treasure hunters. Most importantly we need your prayers.

Wish list for the bus: If you’d like to donate please contact via janahollandmusic@yahoo.com

For financial donation we are working through PAY PAL. Thank you!!

  • Batteries
  • Generator
  • Invertor
  • Water Tanks (x3)
  • Water Heater
  • Veggie Oil Conversion
  • Ceiling Air Conditioners (x2)
  • Solar Paneling
  • Furnace
  • RV Windows
  • Flooring
  • Metal studs
  • Plywood or other recycled building materials
  • Shower
  • RV Toilet
  • Sink
  • Stove
  • Fridge
  • Kitchen Sink