Monthly Archives: August 2011

Cruising I

My husband has many hats that he wears, and one of them is being a Voyage Director of Wonder Voyage.  Wonder Voyage is a nonprofit based in Dallas that leads people on pilgrimages.  As lifted from their website,

“Wonder Voyage is an extraordinary non-profit organization that creates personalized pilgrimages and mission trips; our voyages encourage an encounter with the heart of God through exploration and sacrificial service to distinctive communities around the globe. Through Wonder Voyage, each event becomes a journey and every participant a pilgrim.”

My husband has led trips for them for 10 years and has gone to some exotic places with some wonderful people.  This summer he went to New Orleans, Belize, Italy, Honduras, and Maine with people from 5 different churches across America.

At the end of each summer, the Executive Director, Shawn Small, takes his 6 Voyage Directors on a trip to process and debrief the summer’s adventures.  Every year that has meant one more week of adventure away from their families, but time well-spent wrapping up the details of the summer’s travels.

This year, however, the organization decided to take the Voyage Directors and their wives on a cruise to Bermuda.  It didn’t take long for us to figure out a way to make that happen.  A few details rearranged, a few calls to grandparents to request kid-care, and we had a vacation to look forward to.

Well, this is that time.  I am presently sitting in a cute hotel in Charleston, SC from where the cruise ship departs tomorrow morning.

We are meeting here this evening with the other directors and then boarding tomorrow for a 7 day cruise trip.   That is, of course, if hurricane Irene cooperates and stays away long enough for us to get off.  She is expected to mess with the east coast, specifically South Carolina, and we’re still waiting to get word if we can launch before she arrives.

Assuming that we can actually depart from South Carolina, I won’t be writing for a while.  Well, I’ll be writing, but just not posting.  However, you can count on me publishing tons of pics and stories when we return – probably way more than you’ll want to see and/or read about!

Until then, enjoy your week, and pray that the hurricane doesn’t mess with our waters!!


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Filed under General thoughts


This last week I took my kids to pick peaches.  Just for the record, I hate picking peaches.  It is so much work to find a ripe enough peach still on the tree, my family has an allergy to either the peach fuzz or a chemical that they spray on the peach trees (our skin turns red and we itch for hours), and I really don’t have recipes for peaches.

Picking blueberries, raspberries or apples – that I love!  Going raspberry picking was my birthday wish last year.  I have all kinds of recipes and canning options for those fruits.

However, when I loaded up my kids to pick blueberries/raspberries, I failed to call ahead to find out what fruits were open for picking on that day.  With the construction at my husband’s business and my broken ankle, we didn’t pick ANY fruit this season.  Our lives were occupied or limited by other circumstances.  So I was out of the rhythm of our local orchards.

All that was open was peaches.  Did I already say that I hate picking peaches?

But what cannot be fun with my amazing kids?  We had such a great time being outdoors, out of the city, laughing with each other, hunting for the rare ripe fruit, and trying desperately to avoid the rashy reaction that we get to peaches.

I left with a few good peaches, a ton of great pictures, a lot of special memories, and just a bit healthier for having been away from the city and in nature.  Now for the peaches – anyone have any great recipes?

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Filed under Family and faith, General thoughts

Serene Saturdays #19

This is the first Saturday morning in such a long, long time that I’ve been able to get away to write!  It feels really good to be back in front of my computer, reflecting on the past few weeks and looking introspectively to see what stands out to me.

The first thing that stands out is that, for the most part, my husband’s business construction is done!  For 2 1/2 months, nearly every single day, my kids and I were up at the space doing construction.  Because we were doing this as inexpensively as possible, we were the construction team, guided and trained by my husband’s business partner.  The kids learned how to mud and sand, cut and lay hardwood floors, use a miter saw, cut baseboards, install and custom cut ceiling tiles, caulk and paint – among many other things.

However, a week ago Monday, the furniture was moved, the space was arranged and was officially occupied.

( the kitchenette)

(one of the meeting rooms)

(the main co-working space)

(reception area)

I’ll write more about the business concept later, as well as post more pics, but the reason that I mentioned this project was because of the immense time that we poured into it.  It was beautiful to see my kids investing their vacation time to see their dad’s dream turned into a reality.

Another major life change that stands out as defining this summer is my eldest heading off to college.  She leaves in less than 2 weeks now – gulp.  Who knew what kind of activity her leaving would generate?  We have been on the constant hunt for the perfect bedspread, been busy with filling a way-too-tiny dorm room, buying textbooks and a huge variety of dance supplies (shoes, pants, tights, leotards, etc.) and collecting planners, notebooks, pens and pencils.  (Do they even use pencils in college any more?)

Another aspect of getting her off to college is eeking out every ounce of fun that we can from each moment.  No pressure, huh?  There isn’t one of us that is ready to see her go.  What a blessing she is to our family.

I am thankful for:

Seeing a huge construction task finished.

Being able to pour into my husband’s dream.

Getting to help my daughter navigate some huge transitions.

Having my ankle healed and being able to walk again without assistance or with a limp.

New England summer weather.

Thanks for hanging in there with me during my summer break.  I anticipate that, once my daughter leaves for college, I will be able to get the family back into a rhythm and be able to carve in time to write.  Until then, enjoy the rest of your summer!

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Filed under Weekends