New Beginnings

Last weekend saw us spending about 30 hours in the car from Friday to Monday: a trip to Texas for a wedding (new beginnings #1) and then back through Mississippi to drop Jenna off for her sophomore year (new beginnings #2) and then home. Despite so much time behind the wheel, we got to see some family we didn’t get to see on our May trip to Texas, so it was worth it. The girls did a great job of getting school work done in the car as they had much to do. And we got to sneak in a free Andrew Peterson concert in Jackson on Sunday night.

Wedding Pics



The girls with cousin Tracie


The Watzlavicks with a cousin photobomb.


Before the Andrew Peterson concert (finally, someone took a picture of me!)


The girls in the parking lot of Jenna’s new dorm.


And it’s about time for round two of pepper canning. But it will have to wait until after the baby shower that is being held here tomorrow for a lady from church.


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Birthday and 1st Day

Now that Lauren is home, we got to celebrate her birthday from July.


And today was the first day of Classical Conversations for our senior and freshman.


And speaking of our senior, she has finished her application to Mississippi College (well, actually, I did in finally finishing and submitting her transcript) and registered to take the ACT again in October.

And today I started my 6th year of tutoring Classical Conversations. This year we will tackle Latin III, Trig/Pre-Calculus, Philosophy, U.S. History, Shakespeare/poetry, and Chemistry. My nine wonderful students were ready to go on day one.


Jenna’s stay at home has been good, but it will end all too soon as she loads up and heads back to Mississippi for her Sophomore year. We will attend a wedding before dropping her off, and after moving her in, we all get to see the girls’ favorite artist, Andrew Peterson, in concert for free.

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Garden and Girls

The garden is doing well, which means we have been staying busy (and Dana bought a bushel of peaches too!):


And we brought these two girls home yesterday from a summer of working at camp!



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Camp Cherokee

When we returned from Mississippi, we jumped right into a week long work camp for our youth. They went around and mowed, weeded, cleaned, fixed, painted, … and had some fun in the process. We broke the kids up into three groups and sent them to other houses besides their own. We had four guys staying here. The kids began and ended the week with a campout. And we had a time of worship and teaching every evening. All-in-all it was a great, fun week. But we really shouldn’t plan back-to-back camp weeks in the future.

We hope to continue this mission week here in our county every summer, but we also have some tentative plans to take the youth to Cuba next summer. But we’re a long way out from that, so we’ll see.

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A week and a half and we get the girls back!

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Camp Macon

The family (minus Jenna and Lauren) returned from Mission Camp Macon last night. The week long camp involves student missionaries from Noxubee County and around the south who seek to minister to students from the county. Some of the student missionaries go into various churches and community centers to lead kids camp, a VBS type ministry to younger students, while over 200 junior high and high school kids are bused out to Lake Forest Ranch for a sports camp. The kids are broken up into 20 teams, with three student missionaries per team, and they participate in volleyball, ultimate frisbee, basketball, archery tag, and angleball. They also participate in non-competitive activities like horseback riding, zip line, rock wall climbing, archery, and fishing.

The beginning of the day begins with student missionaries leading Bible studies and sharing their faith. The ministry seeks to bring different races together to experience fun, friendship, and fellowship with God in a way that speaks loudly to our current culture which finds itself divided in many ways along racial lines. It was a joy to be a part of this work which began back in 2004 and to spend time with people who love to see walls broken down and learn from them. It was also fun to see the cousins from Waco who were also there!

Everyone but William.

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The girls with a friend from church who went with us. IMG_2712

Lauren with one of the girls from kids camp.


And even though Jenna got to leave the office and be a mentor to a group of student missionaries, she still had to do some work, like belaying for the rock wall:


We’ll go back to get the girls at the end of camp in August.

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Blueberry Picnic

The blueberry picking/picnic was a success: 7 pints and a nice day to be outdoors.

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And in case you didn’t notice, you can also pick flowers at Stoney Hollow Farm.


In addition, we also bought some beets for this. And we bought an eggplant—just because.


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Another Weekend, More Friends

Another weekend brought another visit from friends, this time from Texas. Janelle sang in our wedding 21 years ago, and nine months after we got married, we attended their wedding.


John is very handy and fixed two apple power cords of ours that no longer worked, which saved me $80.


On Friday we went to the Folk School’s concert. The Chuck Nation Band was playing. Some good bluegrass on an enjoyable outdoor North Carolina evening.

We are a week away from taking Lauren and Rebekah and a friend from church to camp. And then we’ll also get to see Jenna!

Tomorrow we’re heading up to Robbinsville to Stoney Hollow Farm to pick blueberries with some friends from church. Haven’t decided yet whether we’ll hit the fireworks at the park tomorrow evening or not.

And finally, we sure are missing this:


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