The girls are back from Cuba and had a great time. They didn’t take lots of pictures, but lots of other people on the trip did, so we’ll have some more later with more details. But here are Lauren and Rebekah and their friend Becca.

Posted in Church, Friends, Travel | 1 Comment


The youth group (including Lauren and Rebekah) left this morning for a week in Cuba. Prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Posted in Church, Friends, Travel | Leave a comment


We had Lauren’s high school graduation this past weekend. She graduated with four of her friends, and it was a wonderful ceremony.

We are thankful for her hard work over the last 12 years, and we are excited about what God has in store for her in her next phase of life at Covenant College. In the mean time, she’s spending most of the summer with us except for a week in Cuba in June and a week in Mississippi in July.

Posted in Celebration, Friends, School, Travel | Leave a comment

Breaking the Law in New Jersey and Other Adventures

Lauren’s Senior trip was a whirlwind tour of fifteen states between here and New England. From hiking the AT in Vermont to seeing Independence Hall in Philly, we enjoyed history and the great outdoors in several places. We also learned that you can’t pump your own gas in New Jersey.

We began our journey with a very long 1st day drive to Philadelphia traveling through parts of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

Day two began with an early morning drive into Philly for a little history including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Elfreth’s Alley (the oldest continually occupied residential street in America), Betsy Ross’s house (outside only), Carpenter’s Hall (1st Continental Congress Meeting Place), and Christ Church.

We learned this first day that going on vacation when most people are still in school is rather nice—as is getting up before all the school groups arrive (notice that there are very few if any people in our pictures!).

That afternoon, we drove out to Valley Forge and did a quick look through the visitor center and a drive around the grounds, which includes Washington’s Headquarters.

To end day two we drove out to Lancaster into Amish country.

Day three began with a visit to the Green Dragon, a giant Amish flea market/farmer’s market. We sampled some warm apple cider donuts and bought some bread. Then it was time to head north through New Jersey to Albany, stopping in Hyde Park to see Frederick Vanderbilt’s house (the outside only as it was under renovation) and walk around the grounds along the banks of the Hudson.

Day four began with a drive into Bennington, Vermont right across the border from New York. It is a beautiful little town that includes the old Walloomsac Inn, an old hotel whose construction began before the Revolutionary War, and is still occupied today—not by guests but by its owners. Would you live here?

Then out of town a few miles to do some hiking on the Appalachian Trail. We hiked up (a pretty good climb from a bridge across a little creek) to a split rock in the trail before descending again. After that we continued on across Vermont, stopping at an overlook on Hogback Mountain and then on through New Hampshire and up to Bangor, ME.

We ended the day at a hole-in-the-wall diner for seafood.

Day five was our unfortunate weather day. It was a short drive from Bangor to Acadia National Park, but not too far into our day, the rain began. We got a short hike accomplished in some light rain, but the views of the ocean were mostly from the car and some were so fogged in, they were non-existent.

View from Cadilac Mountain

We ended with a rainy drive to southern Maine to spend the night in Portland.

Day six began with a two hour drive into Boston to the Museum of Fine Arts. This is a fabulous museum, and if anyone wants to go, Jenna can get you in free as she has a membership (her getting a membership saved us about $20). So if you want to take her to Boston…

Then we drove downtown and across the Charles River and parked near the USS Constitution (which by the way is closed on Mondays!) to do the Freedom Trail—a walking tour through Boston to see several historic sites.

The USS Constitution

The Old North Church

If you stand in just the right place, you can make Paul Revere cover the window. 

Paul Revere’s House

And Boston Common

We did not stay in Boston that night and watch the Celtics play. That probably would have cost as much as the entire trip. Instead we drove down to Middletown, RI where we would spend two nights.

We spent day seven on Cape Cod. As in most places we went, crowds were non-existent. Notice this beach-side parking lot.

We climbed a tower, visited a light house, hiked a little, ate some seafood, and spent time on the beach for our last day of actual site seeing.

Days eight and nine were travel days back home from Rhode Island, spending the night in Virginia the first night. It was a great adventure as a family before we send Lauren off on her next big adventure starting in the fall.


Posted in Culture, Family, Food, Scenery, Travel, Vacation, Water, Weather | Leave a comment

Great Scott, She’s a Scot.

Lauren has decided on a school. She will be going to Covenant College in the fall and majoring in community development. Between now and then, we have lots planned: her senior trip in New England, graduation on May 20, the youth group’s mission trip in early June (which is still up in the air as we’re waiting on visas to be approved), and a mid-summer trip to Texas, and hopefully a summer job in there somewhere!

Our last Classical Conversations class of the year is this Monday. It will be bitter sweet, as I’ve gotten to work with a fabulous group of kids for the past three years. But I will be glad the year is over. Next year I will inherit a new bunch which includes Rebekah and her friends.

We get Jenna home on the 8th, and we are all very excited about that! Well, I don’t know if the cat is excited about that, but the rest of us are.

We’ve planted the garden: tomatoes, peppers, and okra. Another year of watching the miraculous happen. It never gets old.

Posted in Celebration, Classical Conversations, College, Family, Garden, Travel, Vacation | 1 Comment

Senior Recital

I don’t have the ability to post video, but here are a couple of pictures of Lauren’s last piano recital. She has had a wonderful teacher for the last few years, and we are thankful for how she has grown in her playing and how she has been willing to use her gifts for others. We will miss the sounds of piano in the house when she goes off to college in four months. We’ll have to talk Rebekah into taking up piano again!

Posted in Piano | Leave a comment

Protocol and Seeing People as People

Every year we take the high school students on a formal event—AKA a fancy night out. Every time we have taken this bunch of kids somewhere, someone always complements them on some aspect of their behavior vis-a-vis the normal teenager they encounter. This year was no different. The manager of the restaurant came by the adult table (the kids were sitting by themselves) and said how impressed they (her and the servers) were that all the kids made eye contact whenever they had interaction with the servers. It is the little things like that that go a long way. But it’s more than just a skill we have taught our kids in order to make a good impression. The 17 kids we took to Chattanooga last night actually believe other people are people, made in the image of God and worthy of respect. Therefore they make eye contact.

This was Rebekah’s first year to go and Lauren’s third. We opted for Chattanooga this year instead of Atlanta mainly to avoid the traffic. We had a nice meal at Alleia and then went to the Chattanooga Symphony afterward. We heard Mozart and Mahler, both pieces included a vocal soloist—many of our students first experience with opera. Enjoyable evening all around.

The girls in Rebekah’s class with the soloist, who took a few minutes to talk with them, after the concert

Now the final push toward the end of the year. Four weeks left. Then Jenna comes home. Then a senior trip for Lauren to New England. Then graduation toward the end of May.

Posted in Celebration, Classical Conversations, Culture, Friends, Travel | 1 Comment