Should I sing the Adele song? I know it has been so long since I have posted, but I just haven’t found the time or been motivated to. We are doing well and ready to take on our summer. I thought last summer was strange with our sabbatical, but this summer may top it. Our family will not be all together for 7 weeks this summer.

This summer Emily will be spending 40 days in Oaxaca, Mexico with the IMB Endeavor program. She will train in NYC for 5 days before flying to Mexico to help the Zapotec people in the mountains of Southern Mexico. She will be sharing the love of Christ with the people as well as encouraging the current believers. God has provided much of the funding for her trip, and we can’t wait to see what God will do through her and the team. Thank you to all who has support her. Please pray for her and her team as the prepare. Pray that her team will bond together and be effective.

Hannah will have a busy summer as well. This summer she will be working on getting her college applications ready to submit this fall. That is her main focus this summer, and I can’t believe it is time for that already.  She is also doing some traveling. She is one of the girls representing Licking Co. American Legion at Buckeye Girls State. She is looking forward to meeting many other girls from all over the state and to participate in a mock government for a week at Mt. Union. She is also getting to go back to Super Summer at Cedarville. It is her 3rd year to go, and it has been one of her highlights of each summer. I’m excited about it as well, because I am going for the first time as well as a family leader. We are also going together on our church’s youth group mission trip as well to Cleveland. I am looking forward to spending these two weeks with Hannah. Hannah is also one of the captains of the tennis team, so she will be busy running some practices before the season starts in August.

Rae’s summer is a little less busy. She is hoping to get to play some tennis and do some swimming. She is only a little excited about getting to go to summer camp. She was accepted to the Flying Horse Farm Camp for Hematology/Oncology Week. She has not been away for a camp like this, but it should be very good for her and very fun. It is not far from where we live, so if there was a problem we would not be far away.

I will try to keep y’all updated on Emily’s trip as well as our other adventures.  Here’s to a great summer!

Beauty in the Small Things

I love photography. I have loved it since I was in elementary school, and I got my first 110 camera with the flash bar.  My dad got a Minolta 35mm a few years later and I was fascinated with learning how to use it.  Most days I enjoy being behind the camera either taking pics of my kids, vacations, or just what ever is around me.  I have boxes of pictures in my basement and thousands of pics on my computer I have taken over the years.

If you go back and look at them all they chronicle people and places I have come in contact with or places I have gone. I would be fun to put them all together and see the timeline of mine and my family’s life.  I do have a stack of pictures that are stuck together when I house burned down.  I just couldn’t get rid of them. I love photos!

It sometimes drives my girls crazy when I bring out the big girl camera. I get the look, but I pray that one day they will be happy I took all of those pictures. My photo has gotten higher due to my camera phone.  I always have a camera with me and to have one in places I don’t have my big girl camera.

Another thing from my past that drives my photography is my years in architecture and art in college.  It taught me to look at objects and places differently, and that is why you may wonder at some of my photos.  I love details, small things, and out of the ordinary.  Because of this, my art in my home consists of my photography.  Why buy when I can make my own.

This summer I was able to take some really neat photos using God’s world around me.  We were out in a picnic area and I was fascinated by fungi on a log. I looked for beauty in the small things.  We would go on hikes, and I was wanting to take pics of all the little things I saw.  In nature, there are so many wondrous things God has created, if only we would take the time to stop and look.

I wonder how many people walked by this and noticed.

I wonder how many people walked by this and even noticed.

What I’m Reading

I know I have been a little absent around here, but I hope to be more active in my writing and sharing what is going on in our lives.  I hope to share some of the weight loss journey that I have been on.  I also hope to have a few more readers.

My first post back will be about the books I have been reading this summer. Our family has been on sabbatical for the past 5 weeks (at least just us girls – hubby has been gone longer). I usually do not have too much time to read, but I went on our trip armed with many books (book form and Kindle) I wanted to read.  While I didn’t get all of the books I hoped to read, I did get quite a few of them checked off my list.

I thought I would share them with you. Here they are –

1. Divergent Series (Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant) – I started reading the books after I watched the first movie.  Enjoyable good summer read. I guess at some time I will get to Four.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird – With the new Harper Lee book coming out, I knew I wanted to read the original again to refresh my memory on who everyone was. Plus, it is a classic book.

3. Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis I had heard about this book, and who doesn’t love a good book about adoption and someone who chooses to commit her life to God.

3. To Sir, With Love by E.R. Braithwaite – I saw this come thru on Bookbub as a cheap book on Kindle. I have never seen the movie, but I was intrigued.  Very interesting book about race relations in England.

4. Beyond Ordinary:When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough – This book came thru on social media several months ago, and I bought it on Kindle to read.  I never got around to it till now. Reading it challenged me to want to take my marriage beyond the normal – I want an extraordinary marriage.

5. I Will Carry You by Angie Smith- I had ready Angie’s blog when she was going thru this, and I was excited to receive the book at the SBC convention.  Great book for dealing with the loss of an infant. I am also enjoying doing her Bible study – Seamless –  this summer as well

6. Fund Your Adoption – just planning ahead and thinking.

The rest of these books are books I have started, but not finished. I am hoping to get them done by the end of the month.

7. Organized Simplicity – This was a free kindle book – maybe one day I can incorporate it into our lives

8. Fringe Hours:Making Time for You by Jessica Turner – I am about half-way thru the book. It has really gotten me thinking about things and what is important to me.  All moms need to read this book!

9. Good News for Weary Women by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick – Hubby gave me this book. It is encouraging to keep going.

10. All the Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – Hannah recommended this one. It is a little slow, but I plan to get back to it.

11. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Classic if I can keep going.

I have several more that I did not get to start, but I plan to finish them by the end of the year.  Reading Fringe Hours(this book will need it’s own post) has helped me to realize that I need to make time for what I love. One of those is reading.  Enjoy my list and happy reading!


Family Road Trip 2014

This summer, since we no longer have access to our location in Myrtle Beach anymore, we thought we may try a road trip.  We had talked about it earlier in the year, and we thought we would either drive up the east coast to Maine or Canada or head west to see Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands.  We talked as a family and everyone voted to travel up the East Coast.  The next step was deciding when to go.  The SBC Convention was in Baltimore and we were attending the Virginia Homeschool Convention. So it was decided to head north after these events since we were already on the coast.  Also, another key for our trip was not to drive too much in one day.

Our trip started at Virginia Beach.  We thought that would help the little one to give her some excitement before all the museums and meeting we were to be in. In VB we enjoyed a little beach time, rented one of those 4 person bikes and road up and down the boardwalk.  We visited the WW1 & WW2 aviation museum. We tried to see one of the bases there, but they are a little strict to get on there.  It probably didn’t help that we were in a rental minivan from Canada, Oh Well! We enjoyed our short time there, and hopefully we will get to go back for steel drum festival.

Up next was Richmond and the homeschool convention.  I had only been to the CHEO, but I really enjoyed HEAV convention.  I was able to see alot vendors and talk with them.  Several of the sessions were very helpful and got me excited for the new school year.  The girls had fun seeing the different booths too.

We finished up the convention then headed to Baltimore for the SBC convention.  This was the longest we would stay anywhere on our trip. In Baltimore we found some great seafood (yummy crabcakes). The big girls and I went to the National Aquarium while the little went with hubby to see DC. It was a fun day for all. During the convention I was able to hear from some great pastor’s wives and then hear Pricilla Shirer at the Pastor’s Wives Lunch. The big girls got to participate in two mission projects while in Baltimore. It was good for them to see other inner cities, and also to hang with other PKs. Hubby and I also enjoy the convention, because we got to see some of our friends and go out to dinner with them. It was exciting to be there to see a friend be elected as the next president of the Pastor Conference. We are looking forward to the convention next year in Columbus. While, we will not have to travel far, it will still be good to see our friends and take friends with us to it.

With the two conventions behind us, we headed for the rest of our vacation. First stop – Philadelphia. We spent one day there and saw – Constitution Museum, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and took a carriage ride thru the city. The girls had to keep shushing me, because I kept singing songs from 1776. It was just hard not to sing there! We also ate at the City Tavern and had ice cream sundaes at Franklin Fountain. We enjoyed the city seeing the birthplace of our independence despite the rain.

Next up – Boston. Our goal was to travel along the coast and stop at different stops to see the Atlantic or various bodies of waters and to go thru as many states was we could. On the way to Boston, we stopped in Connecticut and spent the night. It was fun going thru all the states and seeing homes and beach areas. From Baltimore we went thru Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

The big girls were very excited about Boston – one, they had never been there, and two, one of them wanted to visit Harvard.  First – weather in Boston was beautiful except for a little rain for part of one day! We tried to do an all day tour, but it was sold out before we could book it – plan B.  First up – we were able to go see the homeplace of John Adams. It is owned by the National Park Service so they are able to preserve it for the future.  If you are ever in Boston this should be a must do for you.  We saw his birthplace, first home, and the home he and Abigail bought and enlarged, and Peace Farm(what’s left of it). It was so neat to see family items in there original location that were preserved for many generations and passed down thru their family. We saw the clock John and Abigail received as a wedding present – it still works and keeps perfect time.  So much history in that one location, is just amazing.  After this, we took the trolley tour thru Boston and got off a different locations. We saw the USS Constitution, the harbor, Union Oyster House, Faneuil Hall, Old North Church, Paul Revere home, and several locations along the Freedom Trail. Our final tour of Boston was hubby and the oldest who took the Harvard Tour. The littles and I didn’t want to so we headed to the Dragon Boat Festival.  We had no idea it was happening when we got to Boston, so this was bonus.  The little was excited to see the boats race, and E and I were in the minority, so we know how the little feels almost everyday. It was just a beautiful day. After this – next up Maine! Traveling up the coast we did hope to stop to see the Bush Compound, but due to time constraints, we missed it.

We were going to stay in Portland, but decided to drive a little further and stay in Bar Harbor. This was maybe our favorite stay. We were able to rent a house in Southwest Harbor. It was wonderfully quiet. We had considered going whale watching but after reading reviews of sickness, we opted for lobster fishing.  It was fun to see how they catch the lobsters and how the business works. Our naturalist was great. They had a touch tank on board and the girls just loved playing in it. There were only 12 people on our boat, so the girls got to ask alot of questions and play in the touch tank mostly by themselves.  On the boat we traveled out to an island and see the lighthouse, harbor seal adults and pups, eagles, and other types of birds. Bar Harbor is a beautiful town along our coastline. We did go up to Cadillac Mountain and drive thru Acadia National Park. We hiked around Jordan’s Pond and have popovers at the tea house. The highlight for hubby was getting lobsters and doing our own lobster bake. It was fun and yummy!

We did not like seeing our vacation end, but we made so many of memories and put 3500 miles on our rental. We covered 12 states.  You can see pics of our vacation on my FB page. We can’t wait till our next road trip.

Quick update!

WOW! It is almost Christmas. I been wanting to sit down and compose different blogs, but I just haven’t been able to compose a thought. I know some of you may want to know about our vacation. I thought I would give you a list form of update –

  • Disneyworld – fun, great weather, long days, little overwhelming for the little one, and everybody hands-up!
  • Beach – relaxing, too much food, and the girls loved snorkeling
  • Hannah turned 15 – birthday party fun and wow she starts driving in 6 months.
  • Homeschool Christmas Drama and District Honors Band – Canceled due to snow – Hannah was sad.
  • My birthday – Got the FLU! Great gifts from hubby and the girls.
  • Dave Koz and Friends – SURPRISE! great concert with great friends (B&R)
  • Pictures with Santa – another fun year with kids who liked Santa and those who didn’t
  • Children’s Choir – Rae had a solo and she did a wonderful job.
  • Gotcha Day Today! Hard to believe it has been two years.
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