Saturday, July 31, 2010

Come Visit Me "At The Well" Today!

Today I am a guest over at... "At The Well: In Pursuit of Titus 2"

I'm talking about day-to-day worship in our homes, and how this looks for a busy momma!

Join me over At the Well!

And a WELCOME!!  
For those of you visiting from "At the Well", I'm excited your here!  Be sure to let me know where you blog so I can come 'visit' you!

While you're here, these are a few of my past posts I think you may enjoy!

Personal Growth Lessons:
"Happy Wife" vs "Spotless House"
Quiet Times: Learning To Adapt To a New Style of Listening
Quiet Times: With My Kids, for My Kids
Not the Mothers Day I Was Expecting It To Be 

Training Them Up:
Why Am I Looking At This?
Teaching Them To Be Doers of the Word, Not Mere Hearers
The Benefit Of Chores

**A note to my followers and friends:

If you're not familiar with At The Well, it is a wonderful place for women with endless encouragements on living out Titus 2.

There are hundreds of devotionals that will bless your spirit and spur you on!

So after you take a look at my article, look around at their other resources and become one of the 700+ followers who receive a good Word about pursing Titus 2 in their "reader" (or inbox) every day!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Our Hike in the Smokey Mountains

On our last full day, we drove to the Smokey Mountain National Park to find a "kid-friendly" trail to hike.

We were excited because the park ranger at the Information Center boasted of the beautiful waterfalls we'd see at Laural Falls.  Plus, he said, it was semi-paved, so "good for kids and strollers".

But then, as I started to walk back to the car, he said,

"Oh, but watch out for the bears.  Their have been multiple bear sightings daily on that trail.  So, if you see a bear..."

Then he proceeded to scare the snot out of me by telling me what to do and what not to do if we came across a bear...I couldn't keep it all mind was racing.

Thankfully, he handed me a neon flyer with all the "rules".  Then he added...

"Our bears are pretty friendly...but you just never know."

Oh joy.

I went back to the vans to report what I heard and see if we wanted to pick a different trail.  To my suprise, everyone was excited.  Yes, they were thrilled at the idea of seeing a bear!  Even my sister Sarah! 
"Seriously?  Am I the only one that doesn't want to meet a black bear?"

I was the only one.  
So we headed out...

On our way to the trail...
(Trusten scouting out the route)

Once we got to the trail and found another unpleasant surprise...THIS SIGN:
What have we gotten ourselves into here?

Then, to add to all this, as we started up the mountain, we ran into a few groups that said they had seen a bear!  Um, I think we picked the WRONG trail, but we kept going!

It really was a beautiful trail.  But the drop-off was UNREAL.  Needless-to-say, we obeyed the multiple signs along the trail and kept our kids tightly to our sides!
and stopped for a few photo opp's too!
Finally, we reached the top!  It was a LOOOOONG hike...I don't know if I agree with the park ranger that it was very "kid-friendly"...
But we did it!  We made it to the top!

(These pictures don't do justice to the
frightening drop-off just a foot from the marked trail)
The waterfalls were BEAUTIFUL!

 The kids were so hot...we all were...
(Trusten said, "I know it's not modest, but can I take my shirt off?"  So cute!)

A perfect place for a family picture!

The boys loved it!

I promise I feed him!  lol!

Ryan with "his girls"

Getting ready to head back down the mountain...

My preggy sister was such a trooper!
(Sarah with 4 of her 6 kids)

Done at last!
And we didn't see a bear!
(I was the only one NOT disappointed about that!)
Let's head into town for lunch!

For lunch we went to Gatlinburg. 

 Brahm (our musician) was SO excited to see these gold guitar door handles!

It was 2 o'clock and we were all VERY hungry!
We decided to walk around a bit after lunch
(It was 3pm, 100*, we were all one knows why we did this!  But it was fun!!!)

The boys love to push their baby sister!

Trying to escape the heat...
(poor Liberty had to wear a boys hat to keep the sun out of her face!)

What a day!
Brahm wasn't in the house more than 30 minutes before he crashed!

First vacation blog post: The Beginning of Our Vacation...Part 1
Third vacation blog post: The Conference (Part 3)
Next: The Creation Museum
And finally: The Saddest Day--Heading Home (and another hotel adventure!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Fun Day in the City (and thanks Hudson for a Reason to Celbrate!)--Vacation Part 4

Happy Birthday to my nephew Hudson!!!
Hudson turned 5 while we were on vacation, so we took the WHOLE day to celebrate!

First we went to Mr. Gatti's--a pizza buffet with arcade

Trusten and Elliott sporting their new hats from "Lids": 
T for Trusten and Tennessee
El got an MU hat...what else?

Liberty always had this doll tucked under her arm
(well, unless Esther, the rightful owner, won the tug of war)

Sarah and Esther (and baby #6 in belly)

Huddy Buddy opening presents

Arcade time!!

Momma scores!

Liberty giving the games a try
Time to move onto the next venue!

Samuel didn't even make it out of the pizza buffet/archade parking lot!
The sucker he "won" with his tickets fell out of his mouth mid-lick (see it stuck to his shirt?)...
the kid was TIRED!

To the Go-Karts we go!!!

My sweet, sleepy Liberty slept through all the rumble!

Truett really wanted to ride the go-karts!

Hudson and Trusten (the 5 year old's) cruising...

Brahm hugging the corners!  He was a very CAUTIOUS driver!

Once Samuel woke up, he was just thrilled to get to ride this horse...
and get his sucker back!

Now it was time for the "daddy Go-Karts"
(Ryan and Brahm in front here, Chad and Hudson 2 rows behind them)

You may not be able to tell here, but Brahm did NOT like this track!
He ended up with a headache and tummy ache :(
He just kept saying, "That was way too loud, momma"

On the other hand, Trusten LOVED the Go-Karts!
(Chad and Isabelle Grace in a close second)
(Chad~everyone knows you can't beat a "Wheeler" at anything involving wheels...
it's in the name, it's our game.)

We had such a blast this day in Pigeon Forge!  Our kids are still talking about it and asking when we can go back...well, Brahm isn't too enthusiastic about trying the Go-Karts again for a long time, but he did enjoy driving his own!  He keeps telling everyone "It was just like being on Mario Kart!"

First vacation blog post: The Beginning of Our Vacation...Part 1
Second vacation blog post: Life at the Cabin: 14 people Living Together For a Week (Part 2)
Third vacation blog post: The Conference (Part 3)
Next: A Breath-taking Smokey Mountain Hike
Then: The Creation Museum
And finally: The Saddest Day--Heading Home (and another hotel adventure!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Conference (Vacation Part 3)

If you haven't heard of Answers In Genesis, it's an amazing ministry devoted to proving creation and "reclaiming the foundations of our faith which are found in the Bible, from the very first verse".

Two years ago we (my sister Sarah's family and our family) went to our first "AIG" conference in Branson Missouri...Vision Forum was there along with Voddie Baucham.  It was a powerful week!

This year, many of the same families were back and it was so good to see so many familiar faces and catch up with a few friends that Sarah and I had made 2 years ago...

I even got to meet a "MOMYS" from my "QuiverFull" on-line group!  I've now met 5 MOMYS in real life, and it's always a special treat!

Including catching up with old friends, seeing how our families have grown, hearing the Word procliamed so boldy and sitting under some amazing was a great conference!  We were encouraged, spurred on, reminded, blessed and challanged.

I love how you can go to a conference like this one, on "Defending the Faith" and get so much more out of it than just your "normal every-day preaching".  We left there even more grounded in our beliefs of homeschooling, freshly encouraged to trust God for our family size and burdened to pray even more for our nation and reach out to our lost neighbors!

Overall, with our family usually being the "odd men out" on homeschooling and desiring a big family, it was just SO good to see and hear that we're NOT alone and to be taught from the Bible on those issues!

We took our kids to the conference (everyone did--it was a family conference after all) and although the first day was a little rough (after such a looong car-ride they were restless!), they got used to it and by the second day, they were doing great and were excellent the rest of the week!

Brahm and Liberty proud of their new name tags!

We packed backpacks for each of them filled with books, a Bible, coloring books, pens, paper, matchbox cars and fruit snacks!  That kept them busy :)

Unloading the vans at the conference and getting ready to go in...
(See in the second pic how the sliding door to our van is open? stayed that way the whole night-we didn't know until we came back out to our vans!  Yikes! But praise the Lord nothing was stolen!)

During the sessions, it helped my children to observe the behavior of other kids their age.  There were several Amish families there and those kids are so sweet!  They sat so properly just listening the whole time with an occasional song or giggle escaping from pure joy.  Their parents would sweetly pat their leg with a smile and I heard one Amish mother say, "There is a time for everything...we'll run outside after a bit".

The Langhofer crew
(We sat in the VERY back every time...we weren't brave enough to sit in the front with all the kiddos!)

Our crew waiting to hear Voddie speak...

The first night we heard both a "State Of The Church" and "State of the Nation" sermon by Ken Ham. 

Other than that, we didn't try to make it to every session, every day...instead, we just went to hear Voddie!!!

He did his usual thing...talked about Biblical womanhood, manhood, the responsibilities of fathers in the home, the call to wives, legacy...  And he also talked about why Christians should be having more babies, about adoption, about homeschooling, etc.

Then there was Tuesday!  Tuesday was a day filled with sessions just for women.  Biblical womanhood, godly parenting, building a "one flesh" my sister and I spent most of the day together!  We had such wonderful, uplifting coversations and just enjoyed our quiet time together!  I love my sisters--they are my best friends and role models FOR SURE! (along with my momma of course!)

Sarah and I getting ready to leave for our first "women only" session
(She's 4 years older than me, but I'm about 4 inches taller!)

My niece (and my name-sake) Isabelle Grace came with Sarah and I for the night session.

Favorite quotes from the conference:
"Once you question Genesis-and the earth being created in 6 literal days-you open up doors for ALL the Holy Scriptures to be questioned.  Genesis is our beginning...and it is literal."

"In Genesis 3:15 we read that as a result of  'the fall' there is now an enmity between woman and serpent, her offspring and his...he wants women to dread their body changing with pregnancy, he wants to scare them with the dreaded pain of childbirth...he doesn't want you to have any more babies.
Satan hates women...especially Christian women.  He hates them because of the enmity and because they bring about children that will one day praise and serve the Lord Almighty."

(Talking of careers and laziness among American boys) "Instead of teaching young men to 'find something they love and do it', teach them to 'find something to do and love it''s not about us!"

"The ONLY hope for victory for our nation is NOT in legislation, clever bumper stickers, letters to congressmen, it is in our Promised Redeemer-Christ our Savior."

"Abortion isn't just about life, it's about feminism."
"Today men are defined by 1-the ball field, 2-the bill fold, 3-the bedroom, and that's what our little girls are taught to desire in a partner."

"Reading self-help books is like football players taking instruction from cheerleaders.  You may feel pepped up, but for real, solid instruction, they need to listen the coach.  For us as Christians, our coach has left us a playbook...the Holy Bible.  It's all we need."

"Genesis 3:15-the two things that should bring us the most pleasure, were made to be the heaviest burdens of womanhood.  But loathe these things, instead seek the pleasure in childbirth and having our husband as our head and you will be BLESSED."

"Parents say their kids walk away from the Lord in college, but 87% of children have their first doubts about God when they are in Middle School, so we see they lost them long before college--they just didn't know it because they were already away at school."

"Your children are watching you, how you dress, what you say, even live up the holiness God called us to--they are His kids after all.  Ask what He wants modeled for them?"

"When Adam and Eve sinned, they covered their private parts, but when God found them, he gave them a more sufficient covering made from animal skin.  Sisters, covering your private parts isn't enough for the Lord...he wants you clothed in righteousness, holiness and therefore, in modesty."

First blog post: The Beginning of Our Vacation...Part 1
Second blog post: Life at the Cabin: 14 people Living Together For a Week (Part 2)
Next blog post: Out and About in the City ~A CRAZY, Busy, Fun day!
Then: A Breath-taking Smokey Mountain Hike
Then: The Creation Museum
And finally: The Saddest Day--Heading Home (and another hotel adventure!)
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