Camp Cherokee 2018

We completed our third annual Camp Cherokee this morning. The first year was a work project week in the county, but the last two have been week long day camps for the elementary kids we tutor throughout the year.

We had 38 elementary kids to spend time with, and our kids did a great job of loving them, teaching them God’s word, and having fun with them.

I couldn’t be more pleased with our youth group who plan, organize, and run the whole thing. Of course, many adults in our church are a part of the week as well, from making meals to providing transportation to giving up work to spend a week supervising and being present all week. We are blessed by so many who give so generously of their time and talents and money to make this possible.

We moved locations this year to a little more primitive camp because the camp we used last year was unavailable. So some of our youth slept in tents as they only have four 4-bed cabins. There are also less covered facilities, so we prayed for good weather, and the rain that was forecast all week held off.

The afternoons for our youth consisted of a couple of days at the lake, a day doing the climbing wall, and some rest. In the evenings we ate together, worshipped and had a short time of teaching before some other late night activity. Two of our high school seniors that I’ve been meeting with for the last year did the teaching Monday and Tuesday night. It was a joy to see them encourage their peers.

Yes, that little shed-looking thing is one of the cabins. Screens for windows and no A/C.

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I think spring has finally won the battle, but it’s been a long time coming. It dropped below freezing the last day of April, but the trend has been upward since, even getting into the 80s a couple of days this week. I’ve heard a couple of locals say they wish summer hadn’t arrived so soon. I, for one, am thankful that winter seems to have come to an end—especially since I am planning on planting tomatoes and peppers this weekend.

And our irises have started opening.

We got Lauren back on Wednesday and Jenna comes home on Tuesday of next week. Rebekah still has a little school left, but hopefully she will be able to finish up in the next week or so—if her sisters don’t distract her too much!

My friend Paul from seminary came out last weekend for a visit. We get together once a year either here or in Dallas. In the past it has been to work together on some future sermon series, but the last three years we’ve been working on some training we are doing overseas. We also usually find a little time to go exploring.

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Christening the Baptistry

It was good to have Lauren home this weekend, but we are really looking forward to having everyone home this summer. Lauren will be back in a month and Jenna will get back the week after that. Both girls have jobs lined up already, which is a blessing.

As always we went to the Community Good Friday service in Andrews as well as the Community Sunrise Service Easter morning. It was right at 32° when we left the house, so it was a chilly morning, but very enjoyable, and probably the biggest crowd we’ve had since we’ve been doing those.

In some places churches are very competitive. I am thankful that so many churches here are happy to help one another and serve one another. This isn’t just exemplified by our community services around Easter and Thanksgiving. Sunday night, we got to see another glimpse of this.

There is another church in town that we’ve done things with over the years. They host the after school tutoring that about 1/3 or our church is involved with. A good number of our youth group provides child care for their Sunday service (they meet Sunday evening).

A young woman in our church wanted to by baptized, but we don’t have a baptistry at our church, and it’s rather cold for outside baptisms. There was a baptism happening last night at this other church, and not only did they invite us to join them, but they let us go first in their never-before-used baptistry. (Prior to last night, they’d always baptized in a creek on their property—which we’ve also used before). So we christened their baptistry last night and are thankful for their generosity and care for bigger things than just their own church.

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Spring Snow

Since spring is here, I should change the picture on the blog—except it’s snowing this morning. We’re not going to get much, but it is sticking to the trees and grass a little. And there’s another chance of snow this weekend, so maybe I’ll hold off on changing the picture to a spring time view. Despite the snow, spring is showing up here. Trees are budding and flowering; the daffodils are blooming, and I’ve mowed part of the yard once already.

And speaking of spring, it was good to have both girls home for spring break, even though they only overlapped a weekend. Lauren was here the first week in March, and Jenna the second. Unfortunately, both girls had a decent amount of work to do—which seems to put a damper on the term break. Lauren has the Friday and Monday of Easter off, so we will get her home again that weekend. Then they will both be home for the summer in early May.

For the past 10 years, Jenna has gone to Lake Forest Ranch either as a camper or as a staff member. This will be the first year since she was 10 that she hasn’t been. She’s just planning on hanging out with us all summer and working. Lauren and Rebekah are planning on going to the mission camp in July, and Rebekah has applied to work the last three kids’ camps. So this will be the 11th year that at least one of our kids has made the trip to Mississippi.

Our youth are putting on the day camp again this summer for the kids we help tutor during the school year. It’s been fun to see the kids take the responsibility for organizing, planning, and running the camp. And this weekend—if the weather cooperates—we’re having a picnic for the kids and their families.

Finally, still no news on the house front. The house we are still waiting to go into foreclosure hasn’t, and there has been nothing else up for sale that we’ve been interested in. So we’ll keep waiting.

Posted in Camp, Church, College, Community, Family, House, Snow, Weather | 2 Comments

Spring Break, Part 1

Spring Break can be a little odd when you homeschool and have sisters in college. We picked up Lauren last night from Covenant and she’ll be home with us for a week. Rebekah is enjoying—mostly—time off from school while she’s home.

Then on Thursday of next week, we’ll get Jenna home for a week, and Rebekah will enjoy—mostly—time off from school while she’s home. She’s going to do a little math and Spanish and take a leisurely pace through the next section of Crime and Punishment, but Botany and history will go by the way-side for a couple of weeks.

It is good to have Lauren home, and we are thankful that there will be at least a little overlap with her and Jenna.

A week after I got my refund from the pool since it is closed until summer—and they said there is no guarantee that it will ever be anything other than a summer pool—there was an article in the paper that said they had received some funding and hoped to open it back up soon. I don’t think I’m going to rush back over and hand them more money.

Posted in College, Family, Holidays, Home school, Swimming, Travel | Leave a comment

It’s Been Awhile!

I don’t think we’ve ever been this long without some sort of update. I’m not sure what happened. But it has been a fun-filled and busy month and a half. The visit with the Baileys was lots of fun, but really cold: it was 0° the morning they left. And January proved to be a very cold month with probably close to a dozen mornings in the single digits. February, however, has been much warmer: it’s currently 68° outside.

We did get another snow in January, though not nearly as big as the one in December. We got Jenna and Lauren back to school, both of whom came down with something right after they got back: Lauren with the actual flu, Jenna with a bad cough. Rebekah also got a bad cough and ran a fever for a few days, but Dana and I have stayed well, thankfully with everything that is going around. We are very thankful that Dana has stayed well considering she babysits little kids all day Tuesday for our homeschool group and Sunday nights for another church.

In January, Rebekah and I went to Atlanta with the Classical Conversations class she will be a part of next year to observe a debate tournament. That is the same class I will be tutoring next year. They are a very talkative bunch, but I am looking forward to starting that back up again. The break this year has been nice though.

Rebekah is staying busy with school: Botany, Algebra II, US History, Spanish, World Literature, and Piano. She also helps to lead worship during our monthly youth nights, babysits on Sunday nights, and is getting in hours of driving for her license. Plus she’s still contra dancing on Tuesday nights and playing soccer in the Brasstown Community Center gym most Wednesday nights with others from our youth group.

As a family, we are part of an after school tutoring program in Andrews each Wednesday afternoon. That’s been a fun part of each week for us.

Last week, Dana went to a class on growing shiitake mushrooms. If all goes well, we’ll have some by this fall.

We are looking forward to having the girls home for spring break in a couple of weeks. Lauren’s if first, and Jenna’s is the week after, so they will only overlap a weekend.

I am in need of another form of exercise. The pool where I have been swimming for the last two and half years has closed until the summer. They have had some financial issues off and on for several years, and they can no longer afford to heat the pool in the winter—plus the pool heaters are currently broken. I am hoping everything gets worked out before fall gets here, but in the meantime, I guess it will be back to walking.

Finally, I have a new short-term, part time job doing some writing for an organization that’s in—well, I don’t know if they actually have a central location. I’ve skyped with people from Dallas and Ohio, and I have another skype this week with someone who I think is in West Virginia. All that to say, I am producing some booklets on church unity, one for sure, and if they and I are both happy with the process and product, then four more by the end of the summer. I am looking forward to the process.

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Last Post of the Year or Putting Together

The fourth puzzle of the holidays is currently under construction; these are the first three finished up to this point.

Between puzzle three and puzzle four, we had a little ginger bread house decorating contest. Here are the finished products.

Posted in Celebration, Christmas, Company, Family, Holidays | 2 Comments