Our youth leader and I just got back from taking nine kids to Lake Forest Ranch in Mississippi for their mission camp. The camp buses in 250+ kids from around the county (one of the poorest counties in the state) for a sports camp and sends out several other campers to run VBS at several area churches. Six of our kids stayed and helped with sports camp, and three (including Lauren) went to area churches to help with VBS. Most of the kids in our youth group are introverts, so you can imagine that they were a little nervous at having to lead groups of 10-12 kids from the county in Bible study and keeping them all together for the other activities that went on during the day. They all did a great job and stepped out of their comfort zones and loved on the kids from Noxubee County.


One of the pluses is we got to see Jenna who has been working there since June.


One of the minuses is that we left Lauren there to work for the rest of the summer.


Speaking of Lauren, she’s now driving:


Hopefully, she won’t get too out of practice while she’s at camp.

The garden is growing and we are eating zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, and peppers. While I was gone, Dana canned six pints of jalapeños. She also got some second peaches from the farmers market and canned ten pints of peach butter.

And with that, summer is almost over. Rebekah starts back on August 11; we take Jenna to college on August 14; and Lauren and I start on August 18.

For Father’s Day, Dana got me Harper Lee’s novel, Go Set a Watchman. It arrived while we were at camp. I’m starting it today. I don’t have great expectations, but I hope it is at least decent.



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Back Home—and Leaving Again!

The trip to Texas was a quick 2800 miles, but enjoyable (except for the need to visit the chiropractor after 15 hours of driving on the way there). Some of the highlights:

A strange duck on a fence:


Some old bones:



One last visit to the farm:


Goofy times with friends:


An alpaca:



More friends:



A visit with Gran:


Meeting a new nephew:


And on the way back, Freshman orientation for Jenna.



Plus other highlights, family, more friends, sights and last of all—

Texas sunsets:



But the fun doesn’t stop. Tomorrow we take Jenna to Mississippi where she will be on work staff at Lake Forest Ranch for the rest of the summer. She will reappear briefly in August before heading off to Belhaven.

I have read to her almost every night for the last 18 years. Tonight we will finish the last book. We’ve read everything from Good Night Moon to the Lord of the Rings and so many in between. We’re finishing on a series by N.D. Wilson called 100 Cupboards. We have 20 pages left. Might be the hardest 20 pages I’ve ever read.




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Here, There, and Everywhere

Well, June has arrived. One set of trips down, another large one to come. In the two weeks preceding Jenna’s graduation, I’ve been to Greenville, SC; Charlotte, NC; Jackson, MS; Lake Forest Ranch; Birmingham, AL; and Atlanta—twice. And then Jenna graduated!10402786_10153250452259463_5404219729022100714_nIMG_1041 IMG_1037


We also had a great visit with family who made the loooong trip to be with us: Thanks Papa Jack and Nana, Lulu and Popo, and Aunt Beth and Kendall.

The Sunday after graduation, we went hiking at Fire’s Creek with Dana’s sister and niece.

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I took Dana to the airport this morning to fly to Texas to spend some time with her mom and dad. We haven’t starved yet! And hopefully I will remember the whens and wheres of dentist and orthodontist appointments, driver’s license exams, and piano lessons this week.

And finally, we finished off the last half gallon of Blue Bell in NC.

IMG_1143Ok, maybe someone still has some in their freezer, but surely, we were one of the few!


Posted in Company, Dentist, Family, hiking, Home school, Travel | 2 Comments

Ending and Beginning

Jenna finished high school today by putting the final touches on her Senior thesis. Tomorrow she heads off for camp staff training in Mississippi. She is coming back for graduation and our short trip to Texas before going back to camp for the rest of the summer. It is the end and the beginning all at the same time, and we could not be more proud of her.

JH 14

Posted in Camp, Home school, School, Travel | 2 Comments

Practice and Forge Work

We had graduation practice the other night. It really is getting close! These are the six who are graduating:

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While Rebekah is completely finished with school, she still is enjoying school-related activities. She went on a field trip to the Smoky Mountains and got to spend some time in a forge.


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Rebekah was the first Herrington girl to finish the school year. Jenna finished Pre-Cal today and just has to finish up her thesis to be finished not just with the year but with high school! Lauren still has one more meeting with her class on Tuesday and some math to do after that. That’s the weird thing about homeschool. Nobody finishes at the same time, nor do they finish all their subjects at the same time. Everyone sort of just glides into the finish.

And while one might think the pace would slow down, I’m not sure it will. May alone will be busy: Jenna has staff training in Mississippi, Rebekah takes a field trip next week, Lauren has a piano recital in a couple of weeks, Dana is organizing the end of year Stanford testing for the homeschool group, I have three work trips this month: Charlotte, Knoxville, and Simpsonville, SC, and Jenna graduates in three weeks. And then summer starts with a trip to Texas and girls going to camp. And it looks like I’ll be going along with our church’s youth group to camp this summer as well. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to summer camp! Despite the busyness, we are all looking forward to the change of pace, warmer days, and no school!

Oh, and we’ve been eating spinach from the garden for the past few days:


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Senior Trip

Jenna’s senior trip has come to an end, but it was a great time.

We began with a long, ten hour drive through constant rain to the outer banks of NC. Despite the rough beginning, the next two days were wonderful weather-wise. Great views, good seafood, and some history marked our time.


The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse:IMG_0217

View from the lighthouse:IMG_0204

Shipwreck on the beach:IMG_0274  IMG_0290 - Version 2 IMG_0374

IMG_0413 IMG_0420 - Version 2

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And despite the beauty of the water, it was rather cold:


From there we headed north to DC to stay with cousins. Four full days ensued: two on the National Mall, one at Mt. Vernon and the Air and Space museum northwest of town, and one at Gettysburg and Harper’s Ferry.

Day 1: Library of Congress, National Archives, Art Museum, and Museum of Natural History.

The Gutenberg Bible:IMG_0499

Inside the Library of Congress:IMG_0505IMG_0522IMG_0516IMG_0526

While we missed the main blooming of the cherry blossoms, the tulips were everywhere!




Day 2: Mt. Vernon and the Air and Space Museum (the one not on the mall). And more fun with the cousins.

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The view of the Potomac from Mount Vernon:IMG_0536 IMG_0534


The Space Shuttle DiscoveryIMG_0622


Day 3: Gettysburg and Harper’s Ferry

Little Round Top from below:DSC_0053

And  from above:DSC_0069 DSC_0081

Picket’s Charge from the Union Side: DSC_0115


The Shenandoah:DSC_0148

Day Four: Monuments on the Mall and the Capitol

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The dome of the Capitol (under renovation):IMG_0856


Great time and great hospitality from the Watzlavicks. Now it’s time to start thinking about and saving for the next Senior Trip. Lauren’s is only two years away!



Posted in Family, Scenery, Travel, Vacation | 2 Comments