In the Press

Our family has received a bit of coverage from some press outlets. Check em out:


Listen to Podcasts
of our weekly interviews on WNTA in Rockford, IL

From the Cambridge Chronicle, Cambridge, IL

Article  from the Abilene Reporter News in Abilene, TX– can be seen here - or read below
Members of an Illinois family passed through the Big Country on Thursday while following their “Napkin Dreams.”
Marty and Patsy Martin, both in their 40s, and their five sons — ranging from in age from 4 to 13 — were sitting around the table in their home in Illinois earlier in the year talking of things they would like to do.
Before the meal was finished, they had written down 18 suggestions designed to bring the family closer together and fulfill a dream of working in churches all over the nation.
The suggestions became known as the Martins’ “Napkin Dream Adventure,” and they started making plans to cover all 50 states in about two to three years, using a mobile home to travel to most of them.
“We had talked of doing this when we retired,” Marty said during a stop Thursday in Tye. “But when the opportunity came, we decided to just go ahead and do it.”
“We wrote down the advantages and disadvantages of doing such a thing,” Patsy said. “We could see right off that there were more advantages.”
Marty was pastor of a nondenominational church in Rockford, Ill., and he said the family prayed about setting out on such a trip.
“We decided to join a nationwide group called Kidology,” he said. “We wanted to go all over the nation and help churches learn better ways to teach children.”
“We stop at different places and conduct workshops in churches,” Patsy said. “Even our children help in the ministry.”
Marty said the family had been renting a house in Illinois, so there were no worries about selling a house.
“The kids were really excited about it,” he said. “We left home on September 28th and have traveled over 3,000 miles.”
“We have seem the bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, and the dinosaur tracks in Glen Rose,” Marty said.
The family of seven — along with a pet albino bull python snake named Sunset — is now living in a 350-square-foot mobile home. They have a van along for side trips. Their mobile home is easy to recognize from the big logo on the side: “Kidology to ministry training.”
“I can clean this house in about 45 minutes,” Patsy said. “It is amazing the things that I really don’t need.”
“One of the goals of this trip was to bring the family closer together and closer to God,” Marty said. “We wanted to share our Christian ministry with others.”
“We realized a lot of people did not have this opportunity with their families,” Patsy said. “We teach our children as they see different things along the road.”
“We saw where President Kennedy was killed in Dallas,” Marty said. “We also visited the stockyards in Fort Worth.”
“We get to see a lot of things 24-7 that most children never get to see,” said Blake, 13.
The children are not on a holiday, Marty said.
“They are learning history, geography and Christianity on the road,” he said.
“We have home-schooled our children nearly all their lives,” Patsy said. “We follow a program designed for them.”
The family has been to Branson to see shows and work with churches along the way. They have mapped out their trip carefully, and are talking of seeing Mount Rushmore later on their trip.
During an earlier stop in Abilene, the family visited the Abilene Zoo, ate barbecue, attended a local church and looked around town.
“We are going to Amarillo next,” he said. “We have a contact with a church there to do a workshop. We will visit Palo Duro Canyon and Cadillac Ranch.”
Then it’s on to Oklahoma and to Kansas.
They receive some support from their sponsor, Kidology, and churches contribute when they do a workshop. Both Patsy and Martin are writers and receive some income from that.
The family started their “Napkin Dreams” with No. 1: “See new and different places.” They are doing just that.
Marty said the original napkin is in storage in Illinois.
Dream No. 18 is to “Live the adventure.”
“We are following our dreams,” Marty said. “After we visit all the states with our mobile home, we are taking a cruise to Hawaii.”
“That’s going to be the best part of the trip,” Blake added. “I am really looking forward to it.”
“One of the goals of this trip was to bring the family closer together and closer to God.”
@Quote credit: Marty Martin, traveling with family to all 50 states

This article is about our new book called Napkin Dreams!

Family makes paper-thin wishes come true
WEST CHAZY — The Martins of West Chazy traversed 45 states in 22 months and survived life on the road and each other.
Their exploits and lessons learned are captured in the self-published “Napkin Dreams” available on Amazon ($16) and Kindle ($10).
“The book is called ‘Napkin Dreams’ because before we started, we wrote down on a napkin with a Sharpie marker what we wanted to accomplish,” said the Rev. Marty Martin of West Chazy Community Church.
His wife, Patsy, and sons — Blake, Tanner, David, Brendan and Chase — accomplished most of things on their dream list, which included trying new foods, having fun and growing together as a family.
“Our book is more than a travelogue,” Martin said. “It’s about what we did learn and the adventures we had on the way.”
In 2010, the family decided to take a break from regular life.
“We decided to travel around America. We bought a motor home,” he said.
The peripatetic seven inhabited a 32-foot Forest River motor home and shared 350 square feet with their family pet, Sunset, an Albino python.
“We try to keep to the south in the winter and north in the summer,” Martin said. “We went to the West Coast the first year, and the East Coast the second year. It was dictated by churches who wanted us to come and speak. I did some training with churches about children’s ministries.”
During their sea-to-shining-sea sojourn, the boys ranged in age from 4 to 13.
“We traveled around and homeschooled,” Martin said. “We called it road-schooling. We visited national parks, state parks, zoos and museums. Of course, we went to some bigger cities and out into the country. We really wanted to see America and our history firsthand and went to all kinds of historical sites.”
He realized there are still a lot of good people in the United States.
“We hear the bad news all the time,” Martin said. “There’s a variety of different kinds of churches and different cultures. There are still a lot of people who still believe in God and want to serve him and their fellow man.”
“Napkin Dreams” features sections penned by him, his wife and his sons.
“She wrote about the time I went into the shower and a guy in the shower was whistling songs, name that tune, with me when I was taking a shower. It was a unique, weird experience. That was in St. Augustine’s, Fla.,” he said.
Martin wrote of grizzlies and bald eagles in Wyoming.
“It was really a cool experience for us. That’s something you see in a zoo. To see them out in the wild was awe-inspiring.”
The Martins missed Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Idaho but learned about their family.
“When it’s just us, we learn to get along and be each other’s best friend,” he said. “Those memories we will have for the rest of our lives, the time we spent together. Obviously in close quarters, we had our disagreements. We learned to work through them and work together.”
“Napkin Dreams” is a collection of blog posts ( and journal entries.
“A couple of my older sons wrote essays and assignments for homework,” Martin said. “We kept having people tell us (to put it) together in a book to share with other people. It will make you laugh and touch you.”
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