Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Advent 2017

Love this poem by Ann Voskamp.

‘Twas the night before Advent
When all through God’s House
Not a heart wasn’t stirring, not a heart wasn’t roused.
His people wrapped around His Word with awe,
Awaiting wonders & the fresh grace of God.

 The children were anxious for His Story to start,
these Visions of love dancing loud in their hearts.
And God in His glory, & us, in Jesus Christ,
settled only for a Christmas all about Christ.

When out on the streets, the frenzy came with a clatter,
In hearts, Joy sprang up, centred on Who matters.
Away from the stresses, we flew like a prayer,
Simply opened our hands & made room to prepare.

For the Light of the World to warm every dark space,
a lustre of hope cupped in every cold place
Till what to our wandering hearts should appear,
Murmurings of a King and Love drawing near.

In a Book of Old Pages, so Living & True,
you can hear Jesus whisper, I’m coming for You.
Through Every Story, The King fiercely came,
And He beckons you, woos you, and calls you by name!

“You’re Beloved! You’re Chosen! You’re God’s Special Child!
You’re Wanted! Draw Nearer! Experience the King’s Smile!”

From Creation’s first star to manger’s bright light,
Unwrap His Love Story till He holds you Christmas night
He spoke all Love’s Word, then became Word in the Skin
And filled every heart that would welcome Him in

And laying Himself down into manger’s straw,
He’s Your Immanuel, With Us is God.
Advent unwraps wonder, the greatest gift ever dreamed,
so come let’s adore Him, the One who redeemed
all the willing and wanting with this Advent Awe,
a sacred, slow Unwrapping of a season of God. .

~ @annvoskamp www.TheGreatestChristmas.com
The Whole FREE “Night Before Advent” Printable Kit:

Advent starts December 1st. We will do The Wonder of the Greatest Gift.

Advent is my favorite thing about Christmas/Winter.

What are your plans for Advent- preparing for His coming?

Grace~ Teena

Friday, October 20, 2017

Road Trip Part 2~ How to Road Trip on a Budget.

I think the highlight of our summer was our road trip. The boys and I went to Student Life Camp together and that was great.... and Lysa went to the Domician Republic and that was great.... but what we did together.....  I have heard her say.....  "and we went on a road trip!" Like I said before it was a dream of ours to go....  I am so very thankful I just made myself do it!

After Memphis we drove towards Nashville. We had never been to Nashville and we were not sure if we would go all the way to Nashville or just go to Chattanooga before heading home.  We listened to lots of Elvis and Johnny Cash.....  and lots of Elton John. We sang along and laughed....  the boys played cards....  I taught them how to play rummy. Told them about their grandparents playing every Friday night with my aunt & uncle.

As we grew closer to Nashville.... I decided.... well, if we are this close we might as well stop by. We weren't planning to spend the night there... so we would drive to Chattanooga after Nashville.  It was ONLY 134 miles from Nashville to Chattanooga.... so why not? 
It was almost sunset when we arrived in Nashville and it was Memorial Day.... so we just looked around. 
It was so neat walking around the Grand 'Ole Opry. We went into the gift shop and bought sovenirs.

I remember we drove up on the Stanley Cup. We didn't know that Nashville was in the Stanley Cup finals! 

After a couple hours.... we headed South.... to Chattanooga, TN!
On Tuesday morning we went to Rock City. Billy, me, Michael, Mandi, Dakota, Lysa and Wyatt went in 2002.... before Wes was born and Wyatt was only 8 months and Lysa was 5. So, they were excited1

The weather was perfect and it was so peaceful and not too busy. We loved it.

We spent most of the day there and headed home around 3. We would stop near Atlanta and eat, take a break and not be in rush hour traffic. 
When we pulled into our drive way we had driven 1709.2 miles in 5 days! So very much fun, tiring and more fun! It was quick and we probably shouldn't taken another day....  but,  schedules were busy and this is the time we had. 
All the red dots are where we stopped or started.  Isn't that cool?

So....  tips on road tripping'~  we had snacks, drinks in a cooler and pbj.  We would eat the continental breakfast at the hotels... we would stop and make sandwiches. We ate at the graduation on Friday night and at Mandi's on Saturday night. So our first meal that cost was on Sunday in Memphis! We love to save and not spend frivolously.....  our food cost was under $100 for the 5 days... for 4 of us. My car gets very good gas mileage so when we figured the cost of gas... it was $150. Our biggest expense were the hotels. But....  I hesitate to share....  my kids help. Lysa treated us to one night, the boys helped with another night and I treated to two nights. 

It was a dream come true. I encourage you to "just do it!" Time flies.....  and you will not regret making memories with them! I am so very thankful I just did it. They are a little older so I know this would be hard or not possible with littles. 

Thank you for letting me share. This is a memory I will cherish in my heart forever. 


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Our Road Trip 2017 pt. 1

So, I think the highlight of our summer will be something I have dreamt about for years, talked about for years and never thought it could happen.... for years.

Lysa & I have talked about a road trip to California for years. Visiting landmarks and friends along the way. Time gets away.... we can never cut out enough time and then it doesn't happen. This year while we were at the beach I mentioned it to my oldest son, Michael. He said "mom, you should go... just do it... what is stopping you?"

Our California dream trip DID NOT happen but a mini road trip did.

On May 26, 2017 my three musketeers and I loaded up and headed West.  Have you ever seen the movie "Elizabethtown?"  That movie inspired me through the years.  Here is a clip...

So, I made our own road trip book......

It was one of the coolest things we have ever done. I know that I will remember it forever! 1706 miles in 5 days! Six states! We really just made a circle....  but it was so fun!

My dad loves country music and Lysa has begged me for over two years to go to Memphis. She visited Memphis with our youth group and knew we would love it. This year is 10 yrs since my dad went to be with Jesus. What a great way to honor him....  he loved Elvis, Johnny Cash, George Jones, and all the old country.

But, wait I'm getting ahead of myself.  So, we wanted to attended the high school graduation of one of Lysa's friends that moved away two years ago. That would be the event that started the ball rolling for us to consider a road trip.
On the way to Hannah's graduation we had to go through Alabama .... Dothan.  Well, that IS the peanut capital of the world...  Mandi lived near there when she attended Baptist College of Florida. So, I decided we would have a scavenger hunt for the peanuts! Confused? You will understand when you see the pictures below!

After our peanut scavenger hunt we went on to Hannah's graduation (Florida~pan handle).

On Saturday the 27th we headed to Destin (an hour away) cause you can't be THAT close and not stop by Destin!

After a few hours on the beach..... we headed to Alabama to see our oldest daughter, Mandi.

We had a wonderful time.... later that night we drove to Birmingham ..... 

That was probably the hardest of the trip.....  we left Mandi's at 10:30pm and it took us 2 hrs to get to Birmingham.  Not too hard but a little.... 

On Sunday morning we drove towards Memphis. It was wonderful .... 

We stopped by The Natural Bridge....

After that we headed on to Memphis.....

It was so fun in Memphis. We spent the night and saw lots of sights the next morning before heading toward Nashville. 

We found the first house that Elvis bought. He bought it May 29, 1956 and we were standing there on May 29, 2017. How cool is that? 
I cried a little.....  thinking of my dad and how I never really thought I would be able to do a road trip with my kiddos. I will share in part 2... how we did it on a budget! 

Dyers is a hamburger place on Beale St. It is known for its 100 year old grease! Yes, I have heard that when they move it.... they have armed guards! 
So, I will end this post... with us skimming roads on the Mississippi River....  and in part 2 ~I will continue on with our road trip. 

Thanks for taking the time to read. Blogging helps me to journal and document the memories. I am thankful for the ones that still stop by. 

Part 2 coming soon.


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Our 27th Year of Homeschooling Starts Soon!

I can remember the years of home schooling with an infant and a toddler in the house....  I can remember home schooling 5 at the same time.....  I can remember when Wyatt ate all our erasers off our pencils. I can remember having circle time....   the littles sat on a mat/blanket with quiet toys while we had our devotion time in the mornings.  I can remember all the picnics in our woods.... all our nature walks....

but.... this year 2017-2018 I have two high school students. I am close to retirement.....  and I have truly loved this home schooling journey....   and I'm a bit sad to see it coming close to an end.

High school isn't my favorite. I do not like the higher math or science.  I love reading to them and this isn't happening much..... some but not much.

Wyatt will be 10th and Wesley will be 9th. Alyssa will return to Johnson University for her sophomore year. Dakota lives in Jacksonville... and is an accountant.  Mandi lives in Alabama and will be married in November.  Michael lives in Orlando and is a worship pastor...  he and his wife have my first and only (so far) grandchild, Lincoln.

The years pass so quickly. 27 years of home schooling.  So very thankful that God allowed me this gift of teaching them at home. I love every minute of it.  It has lots of challenges and we have shed tears over math.....  and reading....  and life.

but.... I wouldn't change it.   We've had obstacles.....   living on one income...  and also dealing with mental illness as my husband struggles daily with agoraphobia. God is bigger than all that... and sometimes I would have to preach that to myself.  He is sovereign and in control....

Billy (my husband of almost 37 years) have always agreed to home schooling ... and a large family. He always helped with our babies....  changing and cuddling them.  He has always left the schooling up to me.

I have tweaked it lots through the years.  Michael, Mandi & Dakota were taught more "school at home" ~ but you know....  all went to college... they all learned.  Alyssa, Wyatt & Wesley were/are taught more Charlotte Mason~ living books....   I have truly loved this way best...  but whatever you choose... tweak it to work for YOUR family.  This is YOUR journey.   This is MY journey.

I saw a lifetime friend of mine today. Had lunch with her....  one of the things that she kept saying to me is "I'm so glad that you have been able to let that go....  I can remember when xyz stressed/upset you but now I am thrilled you have learned to let it go."  

I think it comes with age.

This is a random, ramble post.

I do believe I am called to encourage moms in the area of home schooling....

breathe in these days.... for they will soon be gone. Make a memory every day....  hug them, tell them how proud of them you are....  how thankful you are to be their mom.

Love you guys!