Tomorrow’s the Big Day

Jenna is supposed to get home tomorrow if all goes well. It’s been too long. Two friends are coming home with her, so we’ll have a full house for the week. Thankfully there’s a little bit of color left on the hill for her to see:

Version 2


Swimming has been going well so far. I’ve logged 8 miles since the middle of October. I’m up to a little less than half a mile in 30 minutes. I think 30 minutes will be my limit, though I’m pretty sure I can increase the distance as I get in better shape. The water has been consistently at 80° and the temperature under the dome varies from upper 60s to lower 70s. It’s a little chilly at first, but it doesn’t take long before I’m glad it’s not any warmer.

School is winding down for the semester for everyone—finals are approaching for all the girls with a short reprieve for Thanksgiving. Lauren got her ACT scores back and matched her sister on her first go with a 32. Her PSAT scores should come back in a couple of weeks. All of their hard work has certainly paid off. Unlike Jenna, however, Lauren is much less sure of where she wants to end up in a year and a half. But like Jenna, we think she’ll be able to choose almost any place she wants to go.

We hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are thankful to God for our friends and family and the blessings of life both here and into eternity.


Posted in College, Company, Family, Holidays, Scenery, Seasons, Swimming, Weather | 1 Comment


Last Thursday, the hill across the way looked about like it did in the picture from the last post. Friday morning, when we left for a field trip to the art museum in Atlanta, it was foggy, and the hill was hidden from view. We didn’t get back from Atlanta until dark, so we didn’t see it then either. Saturday morning we woke up to a completely different view. It seems that someone painted the hill overnight, and not just the hill but the whole county. This has definitely been one of the prettiest falls since we’ve been here. And as always, the camera just won’t do it justice. I don’t know if it is because it has been mostly overcast all week or not.

This was last Wednesday:


This was three and four days later:





Again, the picture looks really nothing like the hill actually looks. Not sure why.

The museum trip was fun. The kids had to pick a piece of art and write a formal critique. They will present those in class in a few weeks. This is the piece Lauren is writing on.


One of our favorites was this marble statue which has the appearance of an actual veil.


Last night, we canned 5 quarts of apple sauce. Dana and a friend had gone down to the apple orchard in north Georgia and came back with a bushel of apples. She’s already made a couple of batches of apples sauce that we’ve eaten, but last night we finally cleared off the counter of apples and added some jars to the cabinets.


Lauren and the other high school kids from church who play together have a busy month ahead. Lauren and the girl who sings are leading worship for a women’s retreat next weekend. The whole band is helping to lead worship for the community Thanksgiving service in Andrews as well as a revival for another church in a couple of weeks. And they are leading worship for us this Sunday.

And now less than a month before Jenna is home.



Posted in Band, Canning, Field Trip, Scenery, Seasons | 1 Comment

First Freeze and What That Doesn’t Mean

We had our first freeze of the year this morning. That’s a little earlier than normal but not by much. Overall, though, it has been a little warmer than usual. The sad news about that is I am reminded that I don’t get to go out and change the chickens water. A week and a half ago, I left the door to their coop open and some varmint got them. So we are now chickenless. It has been rather sad to not look out during the day and see them roaming around the back yard. I don’t know if we’ll try again or not. We certainly won’t until spring at least unless something strange happens.

We’ve been thinking that the colors are a little late, but looking back at some old pictures, our hill looks about the same as it has in previous years, with maybe just a little less color overall.

Here are a couple of pictures from this week:



Lauren took the PSAT on Wednesday and she takes the ACT next Saturday. We are over half way finished with the semester and this week we don’t meet in our Classical Conversations group. I am thankful for the break, but the girls still have work to do. I can also catch up on some grading that I have to do. On Friday Lauren’s class is taking a field trip to the High Museum in Atlanta as they have an art critique assignment due in a few weeks. We have been studying art history all fall, and so we are going to let them try their hand at critique. And of course on the way back, we will stop at our favorite hobby store and get our annual Thanksgiving puzzle.

Won’t be long now before Jenna is home for Thanksgiving. The good news is that we don’t have to go get her or take her back. She is bringing two or three friends home, one of whom is driving. Can’t wait to see her. She is already having  to think about next semester as she registers for classes in a couple of weeks. But her current semester is going well and she is enjoying her classes.

Since running doesn’t seem to agree with me—in the early fall, I hurt my ankle as I had started running again—and since I need to get some exercise, I have started swimming. There is a pool in town that they put a dome over from October to April. 1st week down was not too bad. We’ll see how I feel about heading out in the dark and sub-freezing weather once winter really kicks in.

If the freeze didn’t get the garden last night, it probably will tonight as it is supposed to be colder. But it was a good year in the garden. There are still cherry tomatoes growing and peppers and the okra is still producing, but it has slowed considerably. We canned some pickled okra (though we ate most of it) and over 20 pints of jalapeños. We have planted some spinach and kale, and I think it will do fairly well against frost in the coming days. But everything else will get pulled up probably early next week.



Posted in Chickens, Classical Conversations, College, Exercise, Field Trip, Garden, Holidays, Seasons, Swimming, Weather | 1 Comment

Fall Cancellations

The first weekend in October is the annual Fall Festival at the Folk School just down the road. It is an annual event for us, and this year we were going to work admissions Saturday morning in exchange for free admission and lunch. But for the first time in their history, they are canceling the event.


The copious amounts of rain we have gotten already this week combined with what we are expecting the remainder of the weekend left little doubt that between parking, vendors unable to set up, live outdoor music not being able to be played, etc., it was just going to be a big mess. Sad all the way around.

I think some fall cleaning is on the schedule now instead.

The kids are moving along in school. Work-wise we’ve passed the half-way point. So far no one, teachers or students, has thrown in the towel yet. And we are about to enter a stretch where we read three pretty decent novels in a row: Pride and Prejudice, Tale of Two Cities, and Jane Eyre. Lauren makes her first stab at the ACT in a  couple of weeks, and we’ve got to start thinking about college visits already for her. Seems like we just did this.

The youth from our church (including Lauren) who help lead music occasionally at church are going to be leading worship at the community Thanksgiving service next month. It is a joy to watch them play together and probably even more of a joy to watch them practice together. They have lots of fun and are a great group of kids.

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What We’re Doing in School

Just a little update on school. Jenna is back at Belhaven after spending the long weekend at camp working a family camp. In addition to taking 16 hours, she is working ten hours a week in the financial aid office.

Lauren and Rebekah and I are thick in the middle of work. Lots of reading and writing and research. But also lots of fun. Lauren’s class has been growing cultures all week for biology. Today in class we found these critters swimming around:

Ch II Microscope Work.001



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1st Day of School: Part II

After the turn around trip to Mississippi to get Jenna to school, Lauren and I started a couple of days later. Here’s her class on their first day back:


It’s a great bunch of kids, and we are looking forward to another great year. We study Latin II (though Lauren is doing Spanish this year), British Literature, Biology, Algebra II, Western Cultural History, and Logic.

Jenna has begun classes as well and enjoys them all so far. She also got a job in the financial aid office, working 10 hours a week. Thankfully that requires no weekends as she hopes to occasionally head back to camp to work a retreat here and there this semester. Her first one will be a family camp labor day weekend.

Since we’ve gotten back, Rebekah and I and then Dana and I have pickled 13 pints of jalapeños. That doesn’t include the 6 pints from earlier in the summer. And they’re still growing. And we still have some in the fridge as we picked more than we canned. So that means it’s time to stuff a few!



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And She’s Off

One more family game night:


One more sister swim:


And one more sister goodbye:


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