Family Fun

This past couple of weeks have been busy with family. So this blog digresses from the normal travel blogging, and focuses on the grands here in TN!! Although we enjoy being close to some of our kids and grandkids, it makes us miss our kids and grandkids in California even more!!

Tennessee offers so many family friendly activities…… especially this time of year!

Hailey had a Circus-themed program at her preschool. So we joined the fun watching!

There was the Easter Egg hunt we went to with the girls at Harris Teeter in their neighborhood, which included face painting

and games. Don’t you love Tegan’s basket hat?

It was cold and so the turnout was not as large as they were expecting, so the girls got 135 eggs! They had over 3,000 eggs!! See Karyn’s blog for more pictures.

The Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs is a new one on us…. So of course we needed to support the “grandpups”! (And the local Bark Park!)

It even included a costume contest!!

I have also been socializing and playing. I had some friends over for tea,

helped Karyn and Hailey make rice krispy bunnies for Hailey’s preschool Easter party,

Then babysat while Karyn had an appointment. When it was time to leave, Tegan grabbed a bag and her Minky (blanket), and would not let go of my finger!! She was determined to go to Oma and Opa’s house. So Karyn hurried and stuck extra clothes and diapers into the bag! This was her first sleepover alone, without Hailey. She colored,

had her bath,”rocky rock and story” before bed,

In the morning, she read a story to Mickey Mouse, (while watching Mickey Mouse on TV)
had fun coloring with me, then wanted to join Opa in the garage…. to color!

It took her a while to decide where to put the table; but eventually, it was right by Opa!
She loves her OPA!

On a reflective note; be aware, especially as Christians, we are always being observed. We were surprised one afternoon while having our “sweet tea” at a new, local coffee shop, The Windfarm. Paul has gone for his morning coffee before, but this was the first time we had e gone in the afternoon, just on impulse (or rather God nudge maybe?). We had been there a while, reading the newspaper and talking a bit, when a young man approached us and asked us how long we had been married. He sat down, and the next question was: And how do you do it? We had a short conversation with him and were able to witness about the Lord’s influence on our marriage. He was struggling in a fairly new marriage, and we know God gave us the words he needed to hear. Praise the Lord we can witness just by being where God places us.

We had a GREAT Easter celebrating the resurrection through worship at church in the morning and then spending time with family in the afternoon.

It is good to be home…. for a while anyway!

April Projects

This past week, we have been busy and full of activity.

Prior to leaving in January, Paul volunteered to find a home for the oak pulpit that West Franklin Baptist Church was no longer using. While at French Camp Academy, we asked around, and one of the employees at the academy attended a church in French Camp that could use the pulpit.

So on Tuesday, (much to our delight!!) we returned to French Camp, MS, to deliver a pulpit to the Mt. Salem United Methodist Church. They were SO excited about having it. And even were concerned another church congregation would see it and take it!!

In just that short time, color from March was gone, and new color was along the Natchez Trace,

Nate and Chris joined us, and we stayed the night at French Camp Bed and Breakfast, in a cabin at French Camp Academy.

After delivering the pulpit, we showed them around the academy, visited some of the folks we met while there, and relaxed. At breakfast, we met some of the other guests, and one couple turned out to be one of our neighbors, living five houses from us!! Small world…… an answer to prayer that we would meet more people in our neighborhood and Spring Hill!!
On the way home on Wednesday, we stopped in Tupelo, MS, to see Elvis Presley’s birthplace. We have visited before, and blogged about it, but Nate and Chris had not!

And in Tuscumbia, Alabama, we stopped at Helen Keller’s birthplace, which none of us had visited before. She was an amazing person! Both of her parents were college graduates…. back in the 1800’s, this was truly unusual.

The outdoor kitchen,

The actual water pump used to break through to her with water,

and the small adjacent house where she lived with her teacher, Ms. Sullivan.

Thursday was busy, with Paul and friend, Chuck, adding eight feet onto our deck, making it 24X14 feet. Although it seems like a short extension, it really has made the deck so much larger!

Our 39th wedding anniversary was on Friday. As I have said numerous times, time flies when you’re having fun!!
We truly are soulmates and have enjoyed each other throughout the years, working and playing! We celebrated by dinner out at Legend’s steak restaurant in Columbia. It is fun to be married to your best friend!

On Saturday, we attended the annual Bloomin’ Garden festival, giving us lots of inspiration for our yard…. then Sunday, we got two more plants from Cheryl’s yard. Over time, we have adopted plants that outgrow her yard. Makes it easy for us, LOL!! Thanks again Cheryl, we really do appreciate theml!

Mule Days in Columbia, TN

One of the things we love about Tennessee is the down home quality of life. We were pleased to be back for the annual Mule Days Festival held in Columbia, just south of us. People come from all over for this event! For four days, everything is about the mule!

Mule Day started as Breeders Day in the 1840’s, when farmers would gather on the courthouse square during the first Monday in April to sell mules and livestock . It became Mule Days in 1934, when the chamber organized a parade to reinvigorate the event. Mule Day was discontinued in 1950 and then reinstated in 1974 by the Maury County Bridle and Saddle Club. 2011 is the first year the annual mule sale will not be held. However, the schedule of events is packed with mule competitions and shows, with a parade on Saturday. Although we have been to the parade a couple of times, this year was the first year we attended any of the other events.

Friday, we attended the Mule driving show, which included skill driving, and mule hitch. We were impressed by the mules, their sizes, colors, and intelligence! The show demonstrates how well mules work with wagons, as well as their masters. Voice commands work best with mules and it was impressive how well they obey.

Amazing Grace was the highlight for us. Not only was she a very talented mule, her trainer is a born again Christian and started the show with a testimony and made references to the Lord during the show.
Among other things, she paints,

She opens the maibox and gets the mail,

She plays basketball (with an 8-foot high hoop),

She balances on a 12 inch square box,

and she prays!

A second mule in the show, International World Champion in Jumping in 2004 (70 1/2 inches), Missy, showed her talent,

Then Saturday morning we got up bright and early to cheer Nathan and Andy on at the Mulekick 5k Race, sponsored by the YMCA.

At 11, we watched the parade, which highlight mules of all colors and sizes,

but mules are not the only entries in the parade,

And this is the entry that received the most handclapping and cheers!

Proud to be where the people acknowledge and support the American military!!