Camp Cherokee

We’ve finished another wonderful week at Camp Cherokee.

We hosted 38 kids from the tutoring program our church is a part of for a week long day camp. Our youth group plus another dozen kids or so from various churches in the area planned, organized, and led the camp. The weather cooperated, which is a good thing as some of the activities are outside. This year we had a family night to finish off the week on Friday, inviting the families of all the kids for dinner and a short program at the elementary school. We really had no idea how many families to expect, but we had a good turn out and a great evening with some of the families. It is so encouraging to see our youth invest so much time and energy with these kids. They do a wonderful job. And as always it’s good to have the cooperation of other churches. At the last minute we were down a vehicle to pick up kids and a local church let us use their church van.

And, of course, I am grateful for our volunteer youth leader, Tim, who puts in so much time with our youth, encouraging, discpling, and loving them into Godly young men and women who care more about others than themselves.

Just a few pictures from the week.



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Weddings and Camp and Garden

For the second time in less than a year, we’ve attended a wedding for one of the kids that used to be in our youth group at church. The first, last August, was close to home; this one was in Alabama. And three more kids that used to go to our youth group are engaged. I guess that happens.

Lauren’s first week with campers is coming to a close. Hopefully, we’ll get to talk with her tomorrow and see how it went.

We are gearing up for the day camp our church puts on for kids in Andrews. That’s happening in a couple of weeks. Training for all the teens that are helping is next weekend. The same week as camp, Jenna is headed to Atlanta for a Classical Christian School convention for work. And later this week, I’m headed to SC for my annual training for Classical Conversations. And, of course, we’re less than a month away from our annual trek to Texas. This trip will probably include a stop in Nacogdoches at some point to see where Jenna will be living and working.

The garden is doing well—so far.

Peppers and Okra

That one pepper on the second plant from the left is supposed to be a bell pepper. I think the label was wrong. Curious as to what it is.

And tomatoes

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Home Away from Home

After driving to Mississippi last weekend for Jenna’s graduation, we drove to Mississippi and back today (just under 15 hours) to drop Lauren off at camp where she is working as a counselor all summer.

And yesterday, Jenna accepted a job in Nacogdoches Texas to teach at Regents Academy. She’ll be teaching 7th and 8th grade grammar and composition and an 8th grade Literature/History block. So she really will be away(s) from home, but she’ll be close to much of our Texas family, and we are excited for this new stage in her life, even though we will miss her—14 hours is a lot further than 8. But we are glad that we’ll have her home with us most of the summer.

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End of Another School Year

Rebekah and I finished up another year of Classical Conversations on Tuesday. Here’s the before and after. Hopefully we all learned a few things.

Rebekah still has a little math and biology to finish up, but it’ll be nice to have our Tuesdays back for a few months. Next year will be the first year I will tutor without one of my own children. That might feel a little weird.

We’ve enjoyed having everyone home for a few days, but Friday will come all to quickly.

I did something this morning that I haven’t done in several years: mowed the yard before lunch. At the old house, the grass was too thick and the dew was always too heavy to even attempt it. Here, up on our little hill, the dew is less heavy and the grass is less thick, and so an early morning mowing while it is still plenty cool is rather nice. On the other hand, there is something in this yard that wasn’t in the other that I am allergic to, and I sneeze through most of the mowing.

The tomatoes and peppers we planted before leaving town last week are doing well and the okra seeds have sprouted. As always we are looking forward to midsummer.

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Graduation Part II

A few more pre-graduation pictures, including the building that houses the English Department.

The fountain and student center in the background.

And the sisters all together.

But she did actually graduate! Summa cum laude and an honors fellow.

She will move out of the house she’s been living in for the last nine months and be home tomorrow! And then for less than a week, they’ll all be home before we take Lauren to camp on Friday, where she will spend the summer working as a counselor.

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We’re excited about tomorrow for this one:

In the meantime, we got to hear Jenna and several of her classmates give readings from their capstone projects this afternoon. Jenna’s was in creative non-fiction and the piece she read today was called “Mountain Sight” about several mountain top experiences she has had.

In the past, all of our Jackson trips have been to drop her off and then turn around and head back home. It’s good to be able to stay for a few days and enjoy spending time with Jenna.

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April Update

Spring has sprung; I think we are finished with the wood stove for the year! Though I probably shouldn’t speak too soon, it can freeze around here until the beginning of May. All but the tops of the mountains are green now; flowers are still blooming; and, of course, the yard needs mowing regularly.

We enjoyed an evening in Knoxville with Rebekah’s class. We ate at the Lonesome Dove Bistro and went to the symphony to see Beethoven’s 9th. It was an enjoyable evening. And, as always, the kids were wonderful. We only have two more Tuesdays together. It has been a good year. It looks like next year I will have a much smaller class, somewhere from five to seven.

Rebekah finished her last debate a couple of weeks ago. As always, she did a great job. Next year, she’s going to do half CC and half dual enrollment, and won’t be taking the debate class—for which she is thankful even though she does really well at it. In fact, overall, this has been my best class for debate out of the 7 years I have done this. They all rose to the occasion.

And with the school year coming to a close that almost means we are finished with my least favorite part of the year: dissections. Next week is the sheep heart, and after that, I don’t have to mess with it again until February of 2020.

Today is Jenna’s last day of college work. She defends are final capstone project this morning that she worked on all semester: 98 pages. Earlier this week she was in Texas interviewing for a teaching position in Nacogdoches. She has a phone interview today with a school out near Greensboro, NC. And she made a new friend this week.

We get Lauren back on Tuesday, spend a long weekend with Jenna starting Thursday in Jackson, and then take Lauren to camp the following Friday. The day after that, I get to speak at the homeschool graduation. Lots of fun celebrations ahead.

And we have a pink dogwood in the yard.

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