Sunday, September 16, 2012

Just ONE MORE dip!

School got off to a very good start this year! WE got out the books! Cutie Pie boarded a space shuttle for Saturn and Sweetness boarded a ship to Ireland (taking a much needed break from Britain and France). HOWEVER, we were not quite ready to put up the beach towels. So we hopped in the car for a quick jaunt to VA Beach for one.more.dip
We did fit in a little PE
And on our way home we stopped by the Virginia Air and Space Museum in Hampton. This was an awesome adventure. We began our visit in the IMAX theatre and watched the Hubble movie in 3D. It was so amazing to watch the astronauts repair the Hubble Satelite and then to view the incredible images taken by the Hubble. The vastness of our universe is truly beyond man's comprehension. So here they are beside Apollo 12
Here's Cutie Pie getting ready for take off!
Cutie Pie is pretending to be air sick. Which is exactly how I felt after the roller coaster simulation ride. I do NOT recommend the simulator!
So now it's back to the books tomorrow! I'll leave you with the newest addition to our animal family. Honey Dew!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Worth Every Mile

One thousand, seven hundred sixty! That’s how many miles we traveled to Clearwater, Fl and back last week. Thank you God for Your traveling mercies and a week to enjoy Your amazing creations. Our accommodations were very clean and comfortable. If you ever visit the Gulf Coast Beaches I would recommend However, if you prefer a more secluded beach I suggest researching the beaches further south. We explored the southern beaches and landed on Caspersen Beach. Just a few miles south of Venice this beach offers a more natural environment with palm trees and other vegetation gracing the landscape in lieu of the high rise hotels, condos and houses. Sweetness and Cutie Pie are enjoying the shade from this palm tree at Capsersen Beach.
Here is Sweetness wallering in SeaShells at Caspersen. Those of you, who know my daughter personally, understand that she is in shell heaven here!
There’s my Treasure Hunter scouring the beach for shark’s teeth; he found about two dozen!
On another day trip we visited Silver Springs Nature Theme Park. Treasure Hunter visited this park 30 years ago and was eager to share the experience with the kids. We boarded a glass bottom boat and took a ride along the natural spring fed waterway. The water is reported to be 99.8% pure. You could see 70 feet below the boat! The fish swim under the boat providing a beautiful show. I kept thinking of the “fountains of the deep” from the flood account in Genesis.
We saw about 30 alligators, including a white alligator.
There were birds galore!
And my favorite was this big huge Teddy Bear!
The highlight of our trip was the visit to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter the dolphin. If you have not viewed the movie Dolphin Tale, starring Winter, you should buy or rent it today! It is the best movie I have seen in a long time. We watched Dolphin Tale last fall. We were so in love with Winter we decided to go visit her, and Rufus : )
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a former water treatment facility transformed into a hospital & rehabilitation center for marine animals. Their goal is to heal, rehabilitate, and release the animals they rescue. Release is not always possible, so the animals live there. Winter was rescued as a baby. Her tail was tangled in a crab trap and due to infection had to be amputated. The lack of a tail resulted in an irregular swim pattern that began damaging her spine. A prosthesis tail was fashioned to enable Winter to swim more naturally! Here we are holding one of Winter’s tails that she has outgrown.
Sweetness asked if it would be possible for her to “swim” with the dolphins. I told her I really didn’t think so. Out of curiosity I researched the programs available at and there were tickets available for Wade with the Dolphins. Can you imagine how surprised they were? Here are some of my favorite snapshots of the experience! It was worth every mile! Panama gets a tummy rub!
Cutie Pie feeds Panama a fish!
Sweetness gets a turn!
Up she goes!
Goodbye KISS : ) This one's for you Grandpa B!
So thankful to be home safely and must give thanks to the Lord for this fabulous trip.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feast of Tabernacles

Our first Feast of Tabernacles was an amazing blessing to both our family and the family we shared the celebration. What is the Feast of Tabernacles? And why did we celebrate?

God commanded Moses to instruct the Israelites to keep the Feast of Tabernacles:

You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 23:40-43

The Jewish people still celebrate this feast in Jerusalem. We are not native Israelites, but we are grafted in and wanted to build a booth (Sukkot Sue-coat) and celebrate this feast so our children would remember God’s mighty hand during the Exodus and wanderings in the Wilderness. The timeliness of this feast fit perfectly into this year’s Biblical history studies. My dear friend and I collaborated ideas from suggestions we read on how Christians can celebrate this Feast.

I did not take a lot of pictures during the festivities as I wanted to focus on the events, prayers and blessings. I did take a picture of our Sukkot.

We all said a prayer and blessing to God before entering our Sukkot. My friend and I took turns lighting the candles on the table. One candle represents creation and the other represents redemption. Then we all had a seat and began eating our traditional American Thanksgiving feast. We had turkey, gravy, dressing, potatoes, squash, bread, cranberries, bread, and milk and honey cake for dessert.

And a yummy fruit platter! It was so beautiful I had to take a picture of it. Notice the Star Fruit! This was the first time we all had this fruit.

After our meal we had a prayer and blessing for God’s bountiful provisions.

The next part of our ceremony was the water offering. Three-year-old Mikey poured out a picture of water onto the ground and Sweetness recited this scripture.

And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of Salvation. Isaiah 12:1-3

We offered a blessing of thanks to God for the rain that causes seedtime and harvest and then we each told God what we are thankful for.

Lastly the children took their Lulav’s ...

And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Leviticus 23:40

… and ran jubilantly around the Sukkot seven times. I was so blessed by their joyful inhibited praise before the Lord. I think King David would have been delighted. We asked them to sing a song afterwards in which they breathlessly complied.

Our final blessing and scripture was recited before calling it an evening.

Zechariah 14:16
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of host, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Shaken Up

This school year began with a shaky start. Literally. Everyone was asking, “Where were you when the earth shook?” Our story is not quite as interesting as my friend who was on an amusement park ride and had no clue an earthquake occured until after they closed the park down. The East Coast earthquake on August 23, 2011, was the third yet strongest quake I have felt thus far.

Sweetness was upstairs talking to a friend on the phone. Cutie Pie and I were downstairs playing board games. When the rumbling began I thought, "Is that a low flying helicopter or thunder or is Sweetness dancing, or jumping upstairs?" But the rumble became louder then the shake, rattle and roll. Cutie Pie asked, “What’s happening mama?”

When I realized it was a significant earthquake I cried out to the Lord, “I love you Lord, and I know you’re in control.” My mind's eye replayed the footage I viewed of the Haiti earthquake and how the walls and roofs caved in on the helpless people and realized, “We need to get outside.” In the meantime Sweetness was ascending down the trembling stairs loudly asking her friend, “Are you ok?” Her friend was feeling the quake too and was trying to get her dog outside with the rest of her family.

I calmly led the children to the door, opened it to exit when our dog darted inside. Of course I had to make her go back out and once we were all outside the earthquake subsided. We walked around the house to see if there was any damage to the foundation and waited a few minutes before entering our house again. Whew...

The phone started ringing. Within seconds we knew it was a 5.9 earthquake centered in Mineral, Virginia. Treasure Hunter, who was driving, did not feel the earthquake. But he had the pleasure of feeling some pretty good aftershocks.

It wasn’t until a month later that I found some knick-knacks that had fallen off a mantle shelf downstairs. Other than that I am so very thankful that we are safe and our home is sound. And regardless of what the USG website says, I do believe that earthquakes are increasing in frequency and intensity. A sign Jesus told us to look for when the days of His return would approach. In that case, rock on earth!

The hail storm that occurred just two days later had us running to the basement! Ping Pong ball size hail pelted our house for several minutes! I wonder what kind of winter we'll have this year?

I'm almost up to speed on this blog and hope to have some exciting and interesting events to blog this weekend. So before I go let me say,

We love Nags Head for more reasons than one!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer 2011 Reflections

It’s that time of year again! I should be putting the finishing touches on our school room. Before we hit the books, I want to post the highlights of our summer and the wishes for the upcoming school year.

This year’s vacation was spent in my hometown of West Virginia. My mom celebrated her 80th birthday this year, so my seven siblings and I gathered to wish her a Happy Birthday. She was delighted to have all 8 children gathered together for her 80th birthday. We took lots of pictures!

One of my mom’s birthday wishes was to go bowling, so my sister surprised her with a trip to the bowling alley. She was very surprised!

My mom is a coal miner’s daughter, so we insisted she take a tour of the Exhibition Coal Mine with us. The trip was more informative and entertaining with her by our side. She remembered a lot of details from the days of growing up in a coal camp.

Actual homes of coal miners, a school, and a church were relocated to the exhibition grounds to form a coal camp for tourists to visit. In the larger superintendent’s house some of the bedrooms were transformed into an early 1900’s doctor’s office, barber shop, and post office. My mom remembers having her hair curled with this machine!

We also toured the church. Here’s Cutie Pie pictured beside his latest infatuation. He really wants one for Christmas.

Our family stayed in a cozy cabin that was conveniently located near a beautiful lake and park. We had several cookouts and I was able to talk to my brother and his family (whom I have not seen for 13 years). We had wonderful good conversations about the Lord and I am so thankful God afforded me an opportunity to sew some seeds. Now to stay in touch w/ some water, and fertilizer : )

I have to show you this picture of the beautiful rock ledges located just behind our cabin.

Before summer’s end we celebrate my birthday!

Here’s wishing for a wonderful school year!

Hey catch that boy before he gets away.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Friend Once Told Me

Praying for God to act/help in your child's life means you have to stay out of the way when He does!!
When HE acts it very well could be painful for your child, indeed...BUT-
nothing makes us cry out to God like pain and suffering.
Parents must stop 'protecting' their children from the pain and suffering caused by their choices, or they will never 'cry out to God'.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Happenings

Well let me see where did I leave off? Ah yes, Cutie Pie's birthday celebration. Well since then we had a 2 week battle with the FLU! It was AWFUL, but praise the Lord we recovered and the next two viruses the children caught were a walk in the park ; )

Spring always comes early in VA and it is very hard to stick to the books!! So I won't bore you with school work, because,

baby chicks have hatched!

That is just one of the seven that Mama Sarah hen hatched two weeks ago.

Then Treasure Hunter went to Tractor Supply for lawn mower oil and walked out with these:

there are fish to be caught! Sweetness' trophy fish caught entirely by herself!

doll houses to be built for the kids (by Treasure Hunter)

Eve thinks it is her house!

She does look quite cmfortable don't you think?

OK we really need to get back to square roots, compound sentences, lymphatic system, the Wright Brothers... just as soon as we finish painting

Thank you Lord for the privilege to HOMESCHOOL!