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:

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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:

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One more sister swim:

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And one more sister goodbye:

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1st Day of School: Part I

Rebekah starts 8th grade today. Well, technically she already started as she had some reading to do before the 1st day, but today is the day she meets with her tutor and other friends. Just one more year and she’ll be in high school.

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Lauren and I start class next week, though, we have already “started” as well with prep work. And, of course, Jenna starts next week as well, though we won’t be able to take a picture of her on her first day.

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Camp Part II

Last week, we took Rebekah and a friend to camp. It was good to see Jenna and Lauren again, even if for only a few minutes. The house was awfully quiet without the girls.

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Rebekah got back last night. We get Jenna and Lauren back tomorrow evening. They are catching a ride with another staff person to Chattanooga, which will save us another trip to Mississippi. Seeing how we are going back to take Jenna to college at the end of next week, we don’t need another trip. I’ve been to Mississippi six times since May. I think that is enough.

We’ve been fighting the effects of a tussle between our cat and a skunk all week. The smell in the house is mostly gone, minus one section of the couch where the cat jumped on when she first came in. She, however, despite a couple of baths, still stinks. Rebekah and I will tackle her again this afternoon with some baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. We’ll see.

The garden continues to do well, except the okra will not bloom. We are over run with tomatoes and peppers; the green beans are doing well; and the squash has been pulled up as it was spent and dying.

Our chickens have finally figured out they can get out of the back yard by jumping over the fence. I wondered how long it would take them to do that. As long as a dog doesn’t come wandering through the yard… But we have had to fortify the coop. About a month ago, a raccoon dug under and took one of the little white chickens (Pinta), so we are now down to two. But, it seems, he took the least productive of the three. When we had three we were getting about 14 eggs a week. Now we are getting 11-12 eggs a week. Clearly, Pinta was not holding her own. Nina and Santa Maria seem to be doing well, enjoying the plethora of bugs the yard has to offer and spending most of their day under the porch in the shade. When I walk outside with the red plastic cup and garden gloves, they follow me, knowing I am going to collect Japanese beetles off the green beans to feed them. Minus raccoons, I guess it’s not a hard life.

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Camp

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.

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

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

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Speaking of Lauren, she’s now driving:

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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:

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Some old bones:

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One last visit to the farm:

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Goofy times with friends:

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An alpaca:

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More friends:

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A visit with Gran:

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Meeting a new nephew:

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And on the way back, Freshman orientation for Jenna.

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

Texas sunsets:

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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.

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