My Happy Place

Well, summer is winding down and we are gearing up for a new year.  I’ll be sharing about our upcoming school year in the next few weeks, but first let’s focus on the fun stuff 🙂 !

We just spent four nights at the Natural Bridge Jellystone Campground and had soooo much fun!  I wasn’t sure how it would feel staying in a cabin verses our travel trailer (sold last year), but it wasn’t too bad at all – we got to see what life would be like in a tiny house…a little tight – LOL!

We spent time fishing, riding around on our rented golf cart, tubing down the James, eating dinners out, playing Exploding Kittens (some weird card game that Justin learned about from a friend), and just spending time together.  I LOVE making these memories with my sweet family!  I am treasuring each moment more and more knowing that Brendan will be leaving for college in a year and the boys are now young men.

Cherish every day you have with your kids!!!


One Last Hoorah!


We spent our last weekend before school started at “The Rivah” 🙂 :


We started school today and will be easing into our full schedule over the next two weeks.



Brendan is now in the 10th grade (that’s hard to believe)!  He will be studying World History and Literature from My Father’s World, Driver’s Ed (1st semester)/Logic (2nd semester), Spanish 2, Biology, Geometry, Programming, and Tennis.






Ryan is in the 7th grade and will be studying 1850 to Modern Times by My Father’s World.  He will also be using Essentials in Writing 7, All-In-One English Series, 2 Progeny Press guides, Spelling, Math 7, and General Science.  We started memorizing the Northern states this morning (I still have the song stuck in my head 🙂 !) and made corn chowder for dinner as we prepare to study/review the early colonists.









It wasn’t our best “first” day.  The kids did fine, but I’ve been fighting a sore throat for a few days and wasn’t feeling as peppy as I normally do.  We muddled through and even made it to the pool after lunch.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have a little bit more energy!

Forced Family Fun :)

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One of the best things about camping (ok, RVing) ;), besides enjoying God’s beautiful creation, visiting different landmarks, and making memories that will last a lifetime is that being in a small, enclosed space “forces” you to spend quality time with your family. We just got back from camping at Natural Bridge and had so much fun fishing, exploring Lexington, driving our rented golf cart, eating dinner outside, playing Uno, and sitting around the campfire.

For three days and nights we practically spent every minute together….then we came home and everybody went their separate ways.

It always amazes me how quickly we get back into our “routines” and spend much less time together after our trips are over. I think it’s so important for families to be intentional about planning quality time together or as we like to call it, “forced family fun” 🙂 !

Thank you Brendan and Ryan for putting up with us, even during your teen years!  We love you guys!!!

I am so grateful for these long weekends that we get to spend together and am looking forward to another one in less than two weeks!

That’s right boys (hee,hee)…more family fun is coming!!!

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Smoky Mountains

I can’t believe that it’s been almost two weeks since my last post!  We spent five nights camping in the Smoky Mountains (near Gatlinburg, Tennessee) last week and we’ve just been so busy that I haven’t had time to even sit down and write anything.  The mountains were beautiful and our RV site was on a small creek (I’ve always dreamed of having a babbling brook running through my yard…it was nice, even if it was only for a few nights 🙂 ).  We did all kinds of fun things including:

– Hatfield and McCoy dinner show

– Hiking (ok, more like gentle walking – LOL)

– Wonderworks

– The Tomb (an interactive ancient Egyptian tomb where we had to work together to solve puzzles and mysteries to escape)

– Titanic Museum

– Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

– Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Oddities Museum (by the way…all Ripley’s museums give homeschoolers 1/2 price tickets!!!)

– Downtown Gatlinburg


The Jellystone campground that we stayed at had lots of fun activities too like candy bar bingo, hayrides, trick-or-treating, etc.  Justin and the boys treated me to a sweet little birthday party at the campsite, complete with cake and ice cream!  I love how Justin put it:  we were “celebrating the 12th anniversary of my 29th birthday” – ha, ha!

Even though we were all worn out and have had a lot to catch up on since we got home, I wouldn’t trade this time with my precious family for the world!  I’m so very grateful that we are able to take trips like this (and that the boys still like to hang out with us…well, most of the time anyway 🙂 ).

Singing In The Rain:


Friday, after our tour of Stevie B’s we headed out to Rockahock Campground in Lanexa, VA for the weekend.  They were hosting Rockfest, which is a Christian concert featuring different groups.  We had tickets to see About a Mile, City Harbor, and Sidewalk Prophets that night.

Well, the concert was supposed to be held in a covered outdoor dome, but it there was a huge thunderstorm and not many people in the audience so the groups all came inside the clubhouse.  They all played acoustically and sang without a microphone…and IT WAS AWESOME!!!  We were right there with them and everyone was singing along and worshiping together!

What a cool, intimate experience!  The groups were all soooo good – if you ever have a chance to see them in person, it is an experience that you don’t want to miss!

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