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Archive for June, 2011



From our extreme lack of posts, you can probably gather at least a little information about our schedule of late. Smile One of the many items on our plate has been doing the National Bible Bee as a family! If you aren’t familiar with this, it is an intense Scripture study/memorization program for young people that runs from June 1 to the end of August. Participants are divided by age into three categories and given their assignments based on that level. We have people in all three levels – to give you an idea of the intensity, I’ll just say that we older ones, in the Senior category, are striving for an in-depth study of 1 Peter and the mastery of 800 verses in just twelve weeks! It is such a joy to know that this endeavor will pay off – for God has promised that His Word will not return void, but will accomplish His purposes in each of our lives! But, as you might expect, this takes time. Smile Time we haven’t had much of recently – – nay, I should say rather that our time has been amazingly occupied!!

Anyway, we actually had a day this week where nothing was on the schedule – amazing!! (And, it happened to be my birthday!) Our creative, thoughtful mother had an idea for how to use this day to the fullest advantage as far as the Bible Bee is concerned, and make it special and memorable, so planned a trip to a local lake to study in the beauties of God’s creation. Then… it rained! Mom was an example of flexibility, and after some consultation we decided instead to take a trip to the Eagles’ Nest – a delightful retreat in the top of our Carriage House (our detached garage). Smile This unfinished, luxurious apartment fitted our needs exactly – – a place away where no phones, emails, mile-long to-do lists, instruments needing to be practiced, or other wonderful interruptions could reach us – – and we were delighted! After everyone got settled and cozy, we turned on some classical music and some fans and set to work. The Lord blessed us with a productive day in His Word, and we are all looking forward to another day set aside to return to our hideaway for some extra productivity in areas that, in the rush of life, can get neglected. (We’re already thinking about a day to just READ up there after the Bible Bee is over!) It was also a most excellent way to spend a birthday; we even took lunch up and had a grand time. Smile

Everyone needs a break periodically… So, if you are doing the Bible Bee or just have been experiencing a tightly-packed schedule, as soon as possible, plan a day to get away as a family or even alone and spend some quality time in the Word or with an encouraging book! You will come back immensely refreshed!

Thank you, Mommy, for planning such a relaxing, fun day for us all! This will go down in the book of extra-special occasions!

Hannah in her cozy spot - actually the cabinets that will be installed in the bathroom later on :)Above the stairs...Diligence in cleaning out his spot

Study hard!This was Lauren's original hide-out, but she discovered a bee's nest in there and cleared out fast! :)I had a perfect place by the window

The Eagles' Nest Cafe :)

Lauren moved in with Victoria after she spied the bees in her original areaWe don't only sing in the shower.... we study in the shower! ;)'Berty did very well with her verses!

Hangin' out - literally :):)Belle put up some extra boards around the closet she was sitting in for extra privacySunny Joy - under the eaves and the most organized of the bunch!

OrganizationA couple extra-special touches made it really comfortableThis CD (Eine Kleine Kaffeemusik II -- orginal compositions of piano, cello, and violin by the Mulfinger family) made the atmosphere perfect for studying!

** We just realized that we never got a picture of the dear one that started all of this fun! Sad smile We’ll have to do better next time! **

Well,  once again blogging has been put to the side by more important priorities. But lest you think that we have forgotten all of you faithful readers, let me assure you that you are not forgotten. Blogging just doesn’t get as high of a priority as studying, visiting family members, practicing music, traveling around the country, hosting guests, gardening, working, or any of those other wonderful opportunities that the Lord brings across our path.

One of those such opportunities was just a couple weeks ago, when we found ourselves once again on a road trip traveling to see grandparents. It was such a great trip! The hand of the Lord was evident, even when the day before we were supposed to leave, the reverse went on our van. 

We thoroughly enjoyed working together on various projects while we were there. Dad and Mom worked outside in the heat on a project: fixing the barn doors, which were dragging the ground when you swung them open and  falling off their hinges. Most of the rest of us were busy inside doing domestic-type work. Winking smile We also enjoyed looking at the beautiful day lilies that Uncle Fudge (our step-grandfather) has on the border of the property. There are soooo many different types and colors and variegations…. and did you know that every part of a day lily is edible?Smile

We were also blessed to be able to minister in two churches that Sunday, one in Chattahoochee, FL, and the other in Bainbridge, GA. It was good to be able to spend time with extended family, grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, and friends.

Praise the Lord for each opportunity He gives us to serve others, whether it is by dusting a bookshelf or singing a song!  May God grant us the wisdom to know which opportunities to take, and then the joy and the grace to follow through with the Lord’s guidance!!

Daddy accidentally found the nest of a Southeastern Five-Lined Skink. The eggs looked and felt like large, soft jelly beansThis mother skink had more than ten eggs, and we watched her move and protect them from danger. Dad - diligently working... They're getting closer to getting the job done!! :-)Herman enjoyed working the trimmers. IMG_1879The new hinge -- looks great, doesn't it? :-)The blooming aloe plant. Aloe plants will live for many years, but once they bloom, they die, and leave their "offspring" to carry on. This particular plant has been alive for over 30 years!IMG_1890IMG_1896IMG_1899I think we can learn something from this cactus -- nothing seems to be growing too well around it.... maybe that is because of its appearance. How often do we turn others away by our countenance instead of reflecting the joy of the Lord?IMG_1902IMG_1905This day lily was called the "Icing on the Cake" because of the frills on the edges of the petals. IMG_1910Simply Beautiful!IMG_1914IMG_1915IMG_1920Everyone enjoyed the boiled peanuts -- a true southern tradition :-)Sunny Joy -- enjoying a climb up the windmillIMG_1924VictoriaHe that drinks of the water of Life shall never thirst!IMG_1926

Saturday Fun!

Posted by Lauren



Last Saturday we walked a 5-K as a family! It was good exercise, nice family time, and a lot of fun.

Mommy and Sunny walking the 5-K - we didn't get very many pictures because we were too busy walking :)IMG_1702 (2)The path went along a river, and some ducks were there

Later that afternoon, we went to Wayah Bald. After we ate supper, Mommy, Susanna, Herman, Belle, Berty, and I played Hide-and-Seek in a section of tall grass with huge rocks in the middle on the very top of the mountain. I thought it was more fun to hide than to seek because the rocks and grass made tons of good spots. I also walked a tiny bit of the Appalachian trail with Amanda, Susanna, Herman, and Berty (it came across Wayah Bald). That was fun too!

The Neely Team - on Wayah Bald

Amanda looked for herbs :)Daddy fixing a yummy lunchA happy family

A tired sleeper :)Mommy was a good hider!!


On the way back down, we stopped at some buildings that  park rangers used back in the early 1900’s. There was a two-story cabin with two chimneys and front and back doors, a barn, and a small outhouse. In the yard in front of the cabin, we found a bird’s nest in a clump of grass! We have been learning about birds in science, so we enjoyed getting to see what we have been reading about in person.

The cabin"Knock knock!'"Dor logd" (door locked :))The boysMommy and Belle

The bird's nest

Daddy and Amanda getting some sasafrasMommy, Kathryn, and me

Two friendsAmanda picked herbs while Hannah "read" to her to make sure she got the right ones :) :)

Amanda let us help herIMG_1763 (2)

I really enjoyed having a day together as a family!

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

We love being together!