Full Tanks—For Now

Both of our cars have full tanks, but whether we’ll be able to fill them up again anytime soon is up for debate. Every gas station between here and church, except one, was out of gas by the time we came home (and that one had a line of cars). And I’ve read that most of the stations in Murphy are also out of gas. Hopefully, it is a short-lived problem, but I would hate to be on vacation right now in the SE.

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A Little Spicy Update

School has been the norm over the last few weeks. We are 1/3 of the way through with the semester already (at least Lauren and I—Rebekah’s class is taking a couple of breaks along the way).

It has been unseasonably warm for this time of year—92° yesterday—and dry. While the mornings have cooled off, several in the 50s as of late, the days have not. As I usually swim in the mornings, the pool has cooled off noticeably in the last couple of weeks. They will put the dome up in a couple of weeks.

The garden is still putting out copious amounts of cherry tomatoes—hundreds actually, and green beans and okra. And while we ate no tomatoes tonight, we did enjoy stuffed jalapeños and peach jalapeño salsa. Good and spicy!


We think Lauren is about to start giving piano lessons. She has a potential student, and we’re trying to nail down days and times in the midst of a busy senior year. Speaking of which, we hope to have our first graduation meeting soon with the parents of the other kids who are graduating this year. It looks like Lauren will be one of ten homeschoolers from our community who will graduate this year. And hopefully we will have a date sooner than later, though coordinating with 9 families’ schedules (one family has twins) will probably be difficult.

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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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