Pictorial Tour Summer 2012

This year’s summer has been a blur!  The year for that matter… In order to keep things in order, blogging had to take a rest for a bit.  Life is full and there are so many things to juggle,  that sometimes things can get out of order if we allow it.  Instead of blogging "about" living...we were in the midst "of" LIVING.  I have missed posting and “visiting” with so many of you, so here is what I hope will serve as a glimpse of our summer and my absence from this blogging world.

 As I sit here I reflect on...
We finished school later than usual this year.  That pushed the End-of-the-Year Home School Celebration & Evaluations get-together we have been hosting the past few years, back a few weeks later, too.  {I was too involved and I did not take one picture!}

We used the summer to get things done around the house again…another home project which took many weeks months to get done.  The home project consisted of redesigning and creating areas in our home to make it more efficient for our family as the children grow.  Also a part of the home project were a few repurposing ideas and refinishing of items, which I just love, since it saves money and extends life of items we already have!  More on that later...It was a lot of work {so thankful for a willing and capable husband and older boys!} and after using two summers to do major projects, it was decided next summer will be a time for fun, fellowship and flexibility…no major projects, Lord willing!

We “squeezed” a vacation into the mix ~ a blessing once we were able to actually leave home and one that served as a time to bond together as a family ~ a time of rest, refreshment and recovery. 

"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park ~ Summer 2012

We enjoyed a few days in Pigeon Forge, visiting a few of our favorites:  The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Old Mill Restaurant {friendly, clean, good food, nice ambiance and the kids like feeding the ducks, too...let's not forget to visit the Old Mill Genereal Store, too}, Pigeon Pottery {beauty in clay}, and the ScrapbookSuperstore {a scrapbookers delight!}. 

A great day of fun in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains with a delightful picnic, lots of tubing, hikes and the Roaring Fork Auto Tour.
Then we traveled to KY to visit a precious friend for a few days, being blessed by her hospitality and meeting new friends.  While there, we spent a day at the Creation Museum {such a blessing and a very equipping time!}, time at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History {with a cave tour…exciting!}, celebrated Kailynn’s 5th Birthday {lots of chocolate!} and a blessed time of worship with our friend at Truth CommunityFellowship under the teaching of Don Green {another great blessing!}. 

Another blessed opportunity to visit the Creation Museum in Kentucky...
Celebrating Kailynn's 5th birthday in KY with Ms. Cindy and then a day trip into Cincinnati with time at the Cincinnati Museum Center {where we went in a cave...great fun, but pics were too dark to post} and lunch at Friske's.
Time to relax...around the house and playing at the park in Lake Lure, NC.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward." 

Psalm 127:3

We finished our time together in Lake Lure, NC.  This part of our trip provided for much rest, sweet times together and a time to soak in the beauty of the mountains.  We enjoyed time at the community’s lake and tubing on the ‘mini-rapids’ there.  Our day at the Western North Carolina Nature Center was a delight of togetherness and learning.  The kids enjoyed our trip into Historic Hendersonville with a shopping trip to the MastGeneral Store and tour of a wonderful Civil War and War Museum.  Visiting our property outside of Black Mountain provided time to explore, with a bear siting {on our property} and fish feeding at the lake.  And what about our visit to Grandad's Apples?  Delicious fresh picked apples...what a tasty part of our trip!  We thank the Lord for the two weeks we had together, for the precious memories made and time to rest, refresh and recover from the past couple of years.

We enjoyed stopping here and did so twice, just to bring more apples home!  Wish we had more time to hang out here...maybe next time.

 "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:8

When we came home we hit the ground running again, finishing up our home project and spending many hours in planning:  menu planning, chore charts, daily schedules and planning the year’s lesson plans for the five that will be “schooling” this year.  Before vacation, I had planned to host our annual Not Back to “School” Mom’s Night of Encouragement and a Bright Light’s Young Ladies Orientation and Brunch.  These were put on the schedule to do prior to starting back to school, before things get full and routine again.  Both were a lovely time with friends and filled with encouragement for the year of learning ahead of us. 

These past couple of weeks have been just as full and alive in our home.  The local youth orchestra started back last week...very exciting, as we add one more from our family to the program.  Logan has been practicing violin {self teaching, with guidance from Austin} since December so he auditioned last week.  The sound of music will be a delightful increase in our home this year.

"How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to your word." 

Psalm 119:105

The older boys ran a 5K race for missions, their first 5K and had a lot of fun on Monday!  We started back to our “book” work yesterday and new schedule that is in place.  The first day held several kinks, normal for our first day, between computer issues, printing issues, curriculum program issues and just the general sluggishness of starting new routines.  However, day two is holding much improvement and we are looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us this year.  I'll try to post more pictures from the summer and recent days soon {I have lots of posts in my mind...in due season.}.  May your year be filled with joy and grace!


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