College and Camp x2

Jenna and I visited Belhaven University on Friday—in a torrential downpour, well at least the tour part was in the storm. The sit down with admission and financial aid was actually inside. Despite the weather, we were impressed with the campus and all that we saw. We did go back the next morning to actually get some pictures and look around at the campus without having to dash from one building to the next.


Then we drove two hours north where I dropped Jenna off at camp to work a mission camp for a week. I also got to see my two nieces and a nephew who are also working there this summer.


We thought we were going to have two daughters at home this week, but it turns out we’ll only have one. Lauren finished up music camp on Friday, but they asked her to come back and be a counselor for the junior high music camp this week. So as of tonight, she’s gone again.

So we’re down to just Rebekah.

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New Critter, New Dish, etc.

We have a new critter living in our backyard under the shed. The girls have named him/her Mona-Max, as they’re not sure whether it’s a he or she. We see them all the time around here driving around, but this is the first one we’ve seen up close. If you’re not sure what that thing is, just know that we won’t have to depend upon a certain one from Pennsylvania come February 2.



No, the new dish does not have anything to do with our new friend. But it does have to do with the garden. We’ve (at least as far as we remember) have never had these before:


Speaking of the garden, the electric fence seems to be doing its job: no deer this year and we are about ready to pick our first mess of green beans and the okra is blooming.

Friday I take Jenna back to camp for her to work the mission camp at Lake Forest Ranch. But first we are heading further into Mississippi to visit Belhaven University in Jackson. We are trying to figure out where else to visit before school starts again. I think we might also head south to Emory at some point and there are a couple of schools in Virginia that are blips on the radar.

Lauren is spending the week at a music camp with some friends about 20 minutes from here in Hayesville, NC. They will do a couple of concerts during the week for the parents.

Dana and I spent her birthday in Danville, KY as I had some training to do so that I can tutor Lauren’s class in the fall with Classical Conversations. It looks like I’ll have about nine students to work with in Latin, Algebra 1, American Lit, Eco/Gov’t, Drama/Philosophy, and Physical Science.

We had a special treat in church this morning. When we were in seminary and attending Scofield Memorial church, the church supported some missionaries in Papua New Guinea, the Smiths, so we prayed for them regularly and kept up with what they were doing as they were living with the tribe, learning the language, teaching literacy, and ultimately the story of Christ. When we were interviewing for this job here, we saw their pictures on the church’s website—small world. We got to meet them today as they are in on furlough and came to visit Andrews, NC and church this morning to talk about all that has gone on since they’ve been in PNG since 2003. Tomorrow they are coming over to swim at our sweet neighbors, the Carringers. They have a daughter Jenna’s age and three younger boys.

We missed getting to spend time with all the Herrington clan this 4th of July. Maybe it will work out next year to make the festivities!

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Home and Away

The two older girls got back from camp last night. Maybe they’ll share a little about their time in the near future. We turn around this afternoon and head to Charlotte for the girls’ end-of-the-school-year-thanks-for-working-so-hard reward: a creativity conference put on by one of their favorite authors and musicians, Andrew Peterson. The girls always amaze me with their creativity, whether in crafts or writing or music or art, and hopefully, this will encourage them to continue on with excellent work. And maybe they’ll learn a thing or two in the process.

Next week, Dana and I head out once again as I have training in Kentucky for the tutoring I do through the school year. It’s also Dana’s birthday, so it will serve as a birthday get away as well.

The garden seems to be doing much better this year than last year: no fungus, no deer (yet). But I’ve hardly been up there with the coming and going and the rain. We’ve picked one cherry tomato so far, but things are growing and getting bigger and blooming and setting fruit, so we are hopeful and thankful to God for the opportunity to plant and grow some of our own food. At some point in time, I’ll post some pictures.

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License Plate Game

Whenever we take a trip, we always look for license plates. Two times in the past, we have seen 46 of the 50 states (not counting several Canadian provinces and Mexican states). Before we even made it to Texas we had seen 33, and by the time we left Texas we were at 42. We were sure that this time we would break the record. But alas, we were stuck on 46 when we pulled into the driveway. One of these days we’ll have it all colored in.

2014 Texas Trip Map

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In with the New-ish

We replaced Fred this week. The girls haven’t named the new car, so for now it’s just the new car: a 2008 Kia Spectra.


You can see the van in the background. Turns out it was a broken hose. The mechanic down the street made a house call (to where it broke down) and had it ready before lunch the day after we got back from Texas. So we are back to having two working cars once again and are thankful.

The new car’s maiden voyage was a quick 800 mile round trip to Mississippi to take Jenna and Lauren to camp. The gas mileage was far better than advertised (24/30) at 38 mpg. That was a pleasant surprise.


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Out with the Old and Progressively Older

We said goodbye to Fred a couple of days ago:


The cost of repairs far outweighed what the 20-year old car was worth, so we sold it to the junk yard on Monday. Now the search for a replacement has begun.

And speaking of old, we’ve had two milestones around here to remind us that we are getting progressively older. Jenna turned 17 on Tuesday, and we celebrated with key lime pie and a family game of Agricola.


The other milestone involves me. When we return from Texas, I’ll have some new glasses waiting for me—the kind that will allow me to hold the book a little closer and to see the dates on coins.

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The Last Day and Why Homeschool Rocks

This morning Lauren and her class had their mock trial at the Cherokee County Courthouse. They had a local attorney serve as an administrator, the county magistrate as the judge, and two sheriff investigators were on the jury. Each of those people were beyond impressed at how well the kids did. The magistrate said that he had seen law school mock trials not go as well. The local attorney posted this on her facebook page:

“My congratulations to the local co-op homeschool group using the Classical Conversations curriculum. They presented their end of year mock trial this morning in the Cherokee County Courthouse main courtroom. I was very impressed at the level of proficiency in general, much less for their ages. I have always been a proponent of homeschool, and that sealed the deal. Those kids are extremely bright and well prepared. We have a terrific group of young people coming to adulthood soon. I enjoyed being their administrator and thoroughly enjoyed spending a morning watching them complete their semester with a bang. Good luck on your testing and congrats again!”

Of course, we are not surprised. They all worked very hard…


…most of the time.



I will get to tutor most of those kids next year, as all but 3 or 4 are moving up to the next level, and I’m moving back down. That should be lots of fun.

Rebekah finished her math, and Jenna finished her 50-question chemistry final this afternoon. So other than two days of Stanford testing in a week and a half, we are finished! And it has been a good year; the girls have worked hard and learned lots. We are very proud of all they have accomplished: Rebekah Memory Mastered again (being able to recite in one sitting—between an hour and an hour and a half—all the things they have memorized this year: 161 event time line, 24 history facts, 24 science facts, multiplication tables through 15×15, squares, cubes, and other math properties and formulas, Latin conjugations, geography, and English grammar). Lauren placed first in the science fair, survived logic, and her team won the mock trial this morning. And Jenna completed several in depth research papers, read (and enjoyed) five Shakespeare plays (ok, maybe not Henry V), made an A in a very demanding chemistry class, and, of course, rocked the ACT.

We are looking forward to the full summer now: trip to Texas, camp for all the girls and then Jenna working an extra week at camp, a family trip to Charlotte for a one-day creativity conference with the girls favorite author/musician Andrew Peterson, 3 days in Chattanooga for me for training for tutoring next year’s Classical Conversations, maybe a college visit or two, and hopefully growing and canning lots of veggies.


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