This past week we visited 2 state capitals, drove through 4 states, made new friends, and visited one of the most historic places in the USA - Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestown, Virginia.
We got a wonderful surprise when we went to pay our entry fee - not only did we get the homeschool discount, we also just happened to be visiting on the only weekend of the year that "The Military through the Ages" was being hosted! They have well over 100 volunteers dress up in time period costumes and set up their spots in that time period - Real food cooking in the outdoors and all! (Beginning at the Roman Empire and ending with the Vietnam War).
I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The kids were able to see history come alive and learn so much from the volunteers who studied their time period AND remained in character while telling tales from the past!
Afterward we headed over to the Historic part of Jamestown. WOW!
There are still some items in place from 1607 when the settlers landed and made camp - like the well, that when dried up, was used as a garbage dumping place, which of course served the archeologists very well in order to understand their history and collect items to preserve in the museum (we were not allowed to photograph those items, but it was impressive what was left behind - soles from shoes of both young and old, jewelry, belt buckles, weapons, cooking utensils and much more).
The two state capitals we visited were West Virginia and Virginia. At the West Virginia Capital we learned the history of Mothers Day and the woman who inspired it. What a story! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Jarvis.
They also have a bust of Booker T Washington who was born a slave in 1866, and in 1881 started the first school for African Americans - Tuskegee University (which we had the privilege to visit on this trip).
At the Virginia Capital we saw a statue of George Washington that is not only detailed to exactly his height and frame, but is the original statue that he modeled for and allowed his face to be cast for. Which means, the face was made from a mold that was placed on his face - talk about life like accuracy!
A story is told of General Lafayette, who knew and admired him, that when he took one look at it, he fell on his knees in tears, exclaiming he would swear it was as if standing next to him!
We were blessed earlier this week to stay with 2 Candle in the Window families who have lots of property and animals. Our girls made new friends and got lots of outdoor time - Brings such joy to this mommies heart. We are currently at a YWAM base and will be leaving early Tuesday morning.
Tomorrow is a full day visiting Yorktown. I think that will need it's own blog post!
We have very much enjoyed having our own home for 2 weeks at the Aqueduct Conference Center in Chapel Hill. The kids loved having their own room to dump all their Legos on the floor and play pretend for hours, and we love having the space to have conversation with some privacy. It's amazing how much that can do for a relationship!
It is Godsend to have the space to empty out the van and re-organize our belongings. We have been blessed along the way to have a few occasions where we can do this and when you are living out of a van, it is needed as things get moved around with all the weather changes and searching for the right items!
One morning the girls were able to get out as the sun was rising and run in the field of fog... Can you see them? ;)
On Wednesday we headed back into South Carolina, so Josh could do a couple of TV interviews, and stopped at the Billy Graham Library on the way. I know Billy Graham has had an impact on many but I didn't feel the need to see his life work - but I am so glad we did!
It was so encouraging to know this man served God no matter where or what was happening. He had a large platform and spoke against segregation in the church and communities when times were filled with tension and he was allowed into communist countries when no one else was - to preached the hope of Jesus to the hurting, broken and lost. What an opportunity to speak such life in such darkness!
We have visited 16 state capitals in the last 5 months and, in doing so, have learned each state's history. While in the south, it has been interesting to see how some states will find ways to delicately pass over the slavery and discrimination in their history, but others, like the South Carolina capital, place a large statue or mural on the front lawns of the capital to recognize what was and what has become.
As hard and heart wrenching as it is to see, it's a part of America and the sinful choices of many. Yet, we have much more respect for those who acknowledge it and celebrate the hard work of those who have had to overcome something so destructive to the human spirit, instead of ignoring it.
Yesterday we wrapped up our time in North Carolina with a visit to the Natural History Museum in Raleigh. It's 4 stories with 2 connecting buildings of amazing things from animals, to gems to space and natural sciences - all free! We saw a ton of schools with field trips taking advantage of this. Made me smile to know kids can have this opportunity to learn so much about their state and the world around them.
This next week Josh is taking me to visit Mount Airy- The town where Andy Griffith grew up and the town he based the show off of. It's as close as I'll get to Mayberry, and I'll take it! :D
Till next week!
We left S. Carolina last Sunday and headed to N. Carolina. When we arrived to our destination, there was just enough snow on the ground to make it fun for kids, but safe to drive (which I was very happy about!). As soon as we stepped out of the car, my youngest said, "God answered my prayer for snow on this trip!" How precious is that!
We have enjoyed our visit in North Carolina this week. We have had our own house and much needed down time ,thanks to Aqueduct Conference Center. http://aqueductcc.com/
It poured buckets for a solid 2 days the day after we arrived. We celebrated my oldest birthday this week and her sister said, "Well, I know you can't be home, but at least it feels like home with all this rain". We all agreed and laughed.
Yesterday, we toured the gardens on the Duke University Campus. Even though nothing was in bloom, it was a beautiful crisp winter day and we all appreciated getting outside in the sunshine. Here are some of my favorites.
(I've noticed how much I'm able to capture photos without people in them. This is the perk of traveling in the winter. We have to bundle up whenever we go out, but there are very few tourists when we go places - and I wouldn't change that for warmer weather.)
I'm so amazed and blessed at what we find to do in each town, and how much I can actually do with the amount of pain I am in with my hip. I had really hoped and believed my 2nd hip surgery would work, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The pain is in the same area, which makes me believe the tear is still there, but only tests will show what is really going on. For now I rest and stretch often, I eat well to treat my body kindly and don't take for granted the little I can do!
Good news is I see the surgeon the day I get back home, AND I will have a wheelchair by the time we hit Washington D.C. - so I won't miss out on any sightseeing!
This is our 16th state in 5 months of our 8 month tour. In the next 2 weeks, we plan to hit 2 more states.
Till next week! Marilyn
This week was just the right amount of relaxation and fun time.
We made an overnight stop in Savannah Georgia on our way to South Carolina last Sunday. We didn't cover much ground, but what we did see was worth it!
If you can read the tiny print, there is a photo of the plaque that states where the first herbal pharmacy in America was built - Amazing piece of history!
We splurged on a treat and ate lunch at The Pirates House a few blocks from the waterfront. It's been open since 1753 and once served members of ships that would come into town. We chose the buffet of southern food items. I really must learn how to make the flat green beans with pepper. I can't get enough of them!
Our main purpose to visiting South Carolina was to see our old friends, Liz and Patrick Whitehouse. They have 4 kids (ages 15-4), 4 dogs and 4 cats. You'd might be surprised to know the house is always clean and smells good. Liz is one organized and determined woman! It's always great to know when animals have good homes.
We had an amazing week. Sushi and pedicures for the mama's, a shopping trip for new clothes for my girls and a date night with the 4 adults at the golf club. - all gifts given to us from the Whitehouse's. A true blessing and delight. We are so humbled and thankful for how God uses others to meet our needs and bless us.
On Tuesday we ventured out to Fort Moultrie. I think the most fascinating thing about the history of this place is how it was active in every war from the Revolution to World War II, AND it's relatively small compared to the battles fought. This is mostly because of the types and amounts of cannons they had as well as building Fort Sumter on an Island and another fort on the opposite side of the island so that they could surround the enemy - Brilliant plan and fascinating part of history.
On Saturday Josh and I left the kids at the house with their friends and headed into Charleston. It was a VERY cold day but we endured and were able to capture a few memories. ;)
My favorite spot was the oldest cemetery in South Carolina. All the graveyards downtown are on various church grounds, which means the churches are very old as well. I love this idea of history being placed promentley in view, showing respect to many who came before us.
There is also a plaque that tells us of a man (Josiah Flagg) who was the first native born American to make dentistry his life's work - AND the first to carry American dental work to a foreign land!
I was very blessed this week. Blessed to reconnect with a friend I didn't know when, of if, I would ever see again. And blessed because she chose to spoil me this week with lots of love and generosity. I'm thankful to God for the many gifts and blessings He gives us on this trip. Friendships, experiences and needs met.
Till next week,
Check out my hubby's blog to see our itinerary and view his writings and info about our trip around the country. http://www.radicallynormal.com/