Our Annual Family Vacation // Part Two

If you haven’t read part one, click the little smiley face  —>  =)  <—-

If you have read it, I hope I kept you on your toes waiting for part two . . .
Actually, I hope I didn’t, because that was one looong wait, my friends.  Apologies and pardon asked.  Life – enough said.

So, after spending the first couple days together as a family, WEDNESDAY, the anticipated day dawned and began to unfold . . .

The First Day of The Shindig.  Now folks, don’t get alarmed because of the title.  It is an event previously put together by No Greater Joy, the ministry of Michael and Debi Pearl.  We have been blessed by various messages, books and videos from the Pearls and were excited to be able to attend the Shindig.  “Sooooo,” you might be wondering, “what is this Shindig all about?”  The Shindig was basically a week devoted to encouraging families and enabling them to meet other like-minded people.  The Pearls have seen a need among the Christian circle for fellowship with other like-minded families and have also noticed that so many of us are spread out across the country without any way of meeting each other.  Enter, the Shindig.  You register, you go, you meet people, you are encouraged, inspired and convicted by numerous sessions throughout the day given by various speakers and given on a variety of topics.  You get your energy out during the afternoon by running around and participating in your choice of basketball, ping-pong and volleyball, you eat amazing food, you talk and talk and talk.  You join the choir, you jam with anyone who wants to jam along and find some very TALENTED musicians, and you crawl into bed late every night, so thankful to be weary because of the blessings of the day.  That my friends, is the summary of Wednesday through Sunday.
I cannot begin to correctly portray what a blessing it was in my life.  What conviction the Lord wrought in my heart as I listened to stories of those who gave and are giving their lives for Christ and the sake of the Gospel!  And I was inspired, encouraged, to surrender my life wholly and completely to the Lord for Him to use as He see’s fit, whether that’s washing dishes or taking the gospel around the globe.
If you are interested in learning more about the Shindig and viewing media from this past Shindig, I encourage you to visit No Greater Joy and click around!
As for photos {I may upload several videos later for your enjoyment . . . let me know if you are interested :)}  . . . .

A BIG THANK YOU TO THE PLATH FAMILY, NO GREATER JOY AND MANY OTHERS WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLECTION OF PHOTOS!

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Daughters Of Destiny!!

Sleeping in cabins, eating home-made food, hiking a beautiful mountain, playing games with other girls, listening to inspiring and convicting sessions, taking a variety of classes on different skills, singing, and talking; doesn’t this sound wonderful?

We four older girls were so excited to spend a week at a girls camp in the mountains of NC!   We were greatly encouraged as we listened to the wonderful speaker, Kate Henderson, and as we took classes, hiked the mountain and spent time with the other girls there! We thank the Lord that He enabled us to go this year!
The Autumn scenery was gorgeous!  With the help of a tight schedule for every day, (which was wonderful! I like schedules:  ) ) we enjoyed our “Mountain Top” experience!

I was reminded while at camp, that God knows everything I think, do and say; nothing is hidden from Him. I was reminded that discipline, self-control, contentment, joy, prayer, and purity are all very important things and they go far deeper then what we often think!  As Kate addressed each of these topics of the heart, I was encouraged, convicted and thankful for the many ways the Lord helps me grow in Him.

We are excited for what lies beyond the bend for next year’s camp:)
We were able to capture of few of the wonderful memories which are below.

 

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Our CIT’s (AKA- counselors in training) leading us in a song or two before dinner

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group games

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Our friends Lydia and Hannah!!

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calendar making class

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Mrs. Dreama Foley and Elise

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L-R Lydia, Elise, Mrs. Edmonston, Olivia and Sophia

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Lydia and her friend Susannah

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Pilot mountain can be seen from the cliff at the top of the Mountain Top!

 

Favorite Recent Photos & Ponderings

Well folks, I do apologize for our absence from the blog these past few weeks.  Writing several blog posts has definitely been on my mind recently – it just takes a while to transfer the thoughts from my head to my pen, or in this case, my keyboard.  I have also been cleaning through photos because the computer developed issues and to fix it, Dad had to wipe it clean.  Any photos I wanted to save had to been named, filed and then removed from the computer onto the thumb drive.  Being a photographer, I had a lot of photos to clean through :)  I have also been working on compiling photos from several different places to bring you part two of our Annual Family Vacation. {to read part one, go here: —> part one <—}
In the meanwhile, I thought I would share with you several of my recent Instagram photos as well as a recent pondering.

S P E E D & W I N D

S P E E D & W I N D

i love kiddo's.  and he's one of my favorites.

i love kiddo’s. and he’s one of my favorites.

I am so blessed to have reasons to be thankful.  I admit that is has not been the best week.  We were gone over the weekend and though it was a whole lot of fun, we were all sleep deprived.  I cleaned all day Monday for a young mom from church and got home worn out, only to find Kristen sick.  I was in the midst of cleaning up vomit when Elijah came inside and informed me that our goat buck was dead – no known cause, no explanation, and worth a lot – he had been fine that morning.  I was at the end of the rope.  I felt like I had given this week all I had.  I was done.  But God wasn’t.  This morning I woke up discouraged, with the cares of yesterday still on my mind.  On sudden urge, I decided to check a blog I follow – she usually has an encouraging word or two and some beautiful photos.  I wasn’t disappointed.  As I read her words, the tears were involuntary.

 

Autumn Days
Autumn Days

S T O R Y T I M E
S T O R Y T I M E
God’s plans are not always the prettiest.  They are not always the breath of fresh air, the silver lining, the sweetest aroma, or the coziest embrace.  God’s paths are often rocky – they tear and bleed and scratch.  His paths are often cold – we shiver and catch fevers and grow numb.  His paths are often bleak – we cry hard, and hurt deep and misunderstand everything.  His paths are often dark – we trip because we can’t see, get afraid of the blackness, feel incredibly alone.  But His paths always lead us rushing straight to Him.  The rocky paths lead us, banged up and bruised, to Him – the Great Physician.  The cold paths lead us into His warm arms of protection and comfort.  His paths of bleakness lead us to His throne of grace and mercy where He scoops us into His arms of love.  His paths of darkness lead us to His shining light that drives out all the dark and leads us on to perfect, eternal day.  {Allix Ruby}

{sky}
{sky}

~ this girl ~
~ this girl ~

B E D T I M E  S C R I B B L E S
B E D T I M E   S C R I B B L E S

he's literally my favorite.
he’s literally my favorite.

warm n' gooey.
warm n’ gooey.

adorable!
adorable!

And so that, my friend, is what has made me fall on my knees and tearfully praise the Lord.  Because He is good.  He is worthy.  And He is working in my life, through good times, through bad times, through the ups and down and the highs and the lows.

Romans 8:28 {And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose}

 

What simple pleasures have been heaped up on your lap so far today?  Undoubtedly, the greatest is the gift of life  - another morning where you and I woke up healthy, alive, food on the table, numerous reasons to be thankful.  Breathing, living.  Praise the Giver of Life!

 

Autumn Projects

I just love Autumn.

Cozy Sweaters.
Foggy Mornings.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
Falling Leaves.
Windy Days.
Color Everywhere.

It so refreshing to jump back into school routine and outside projects after the heat and rush of summer.  The days are cooler, the sun is less intense and the energy levels are high.  Perfect recipe, right?

Technically, Autumn is a season to slow down a bit – it is stuck right in the middle of summer craziness and the vortex of winter and the Christmas season.  However, things rarely happen as they technically should.  (Am I the only one who has made that observation?)  If something technically should happen a certain way, chances are that it won’t.  But that is what makes each day so fun – you never know what lies around the next corner.  It’s an adventure.  You take things as they come and when life gives you empty spoons, you fill them with peanut butter.  Whaaaaa . . . did I just say that?  My apologies.  Apparently I am thinking about food, and yummy peanut butter in particular.  :)

So, technically Autumn is a breather.  And yet it’s not.  If you aren’t in a vortex, chances are that you are preparing for one.  As the days get cooler and signs of the coming winter become more obvious, outdoor projects start to boom in the effort to prepare everything in advance.  What a blessing it has been to share some of these projects with church family and work together!

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{Thank you, Amanda, for snapping these photos throughout the day and offering to share them with us! :) }

After making pear butter earlier in the week {sorry y’all – no photos.  It was delicious fresh and rewarding to see it all on the shelves though!}, I was in project mode.  Today, Nathan and I rebuilt/fixed a chicken pen for pullets tomorrow.  Of course, it’s hard to snap photos when you are working, so you’ll have to forgive how few I have to post.
If you want to see the images larger, simply click on them.  I didn’t want to take up a ton of space with similar photos.

We had to work quickly because of a storm blowing in, but I think it’s safe to say that the pullets will enjoy their new pen :)

Of course, this is just a small sample of the different projects taking place around the farm and community.  You all are going to have to push and nag keep encouraging me to make time for catch-up blogging.  :)