A Trip to Kentucky!

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IMG_6429Well, well, well. What I want to know is why we only do a post when something exciting happens??!! Because something exciting happens! This time, it was a trip to Kentucky to see the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, both divisions of Answers in Genesis. We took a IMG_6437stop on the way for a few days at the Cliftons in WV, which put us closer to KY by about 4-5 hours depending upon whether or not we took any stops. We left at around 3-4am in the morning and were at the Ark at 8:40am.

By the time we got our green IMG_6585bands and took the bus to the Ark, it was right at 9:00, opening time. Now, looking back, we realized we could have spent the morning at the house and left a bit later, but no big deal. It only took us around three hours to go through the whole thing and we were waiting around until threeIMG_6586 for the hotel to give us our rooms. So we decided while we were waiting, why not find a Golden Corral and get some dinner? So we did! By the time we had eaten our fill and walked out, the hotel was ready. We checked in and both Christina and I (Jordon) crashed!! The rest either went to Wal-Mart or IMG_6730watched a movie we’ve seen…too many times!

(Oh, did I mention it poured on us while we were on the way out of the Ark? We felt like we were really headed the wrong way!!)

We had heard that the CreationKIMG0121 Museum takes about 7 hours to go through. But that, we were to find out, was just for abnormal people. People who go through and read every sign and watch every show. What with the loads ofIMG_6843 people in the museum and it being hard to stay in one spot without the people behind you wanting you to keep moving, we finished in about 4-5 hours.

The plan was to go back to the hotel and spend the night, leave in the morning and hit WV once more on the way back. Oh and did IMG_6737I mention that we had free tickets to the mini golf next door? Since it was next door to the hotel, I guess they had some kind of arrangement to allow the guests to golf for free. We had planned to take advantage of that, but suffice it to say that plans changed a bit. Corissa has a back IMG_6741difficulty and she was complaining that it was more painful than normal. So we headed back to WV.

By Saturday, we were back on IMG_6794the road again, and this time headed home. And as I said several times to the family and others, Vacations are all well and good, but there’s no place like home!

Always Room for More!

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

-Psalms 133:1

 

IMG_0265Last week, we took on a project to make some extra space for storage. You know how it is when you have all this stuff that you want to keep but just don’t know where to put it? You know, the stuff that can be passed down to the next generation, and you really want to save as much as is possible but the place to put it is….where? Well, for about two or three years now, most of our storage has been jammed into two or three rooms. Rooms that are so packed full that you can’t even open the door. Yeah, it was pretty bad!

We decidIMG_0144ed it was time to put an end to that problem! So as a team, we went out to one of our dog barns that we have that had been in its previous life, a chicken barn. Whew! It was a mess! I’m sure by the time we had finished with it, it had breathed a sigh of relief. That is, till it found out what it would now be doing! Besides two deep chest freezers and about four upright refridgerators, it also now hosts all the storage from all theIMG_0234 rooms previously mentioned. I could just hear the floor joists groaning! Not to mention the fact that it became a dual purpose barn. Not only is it storage, but it’s split side is now a whelping barn for our growing puppy breeding business. However, I am getting ahead of myself.

As a former chicken barn, it had accommodations for laying hens, the barn including three rooms for the purpose of raising hens. The innermost room was equipped with a broodIMG_0278er for raising the young chickens. From there they move to the slightly larger room with a small yard until they begin laying. After that, they are ingratiated with the large flock of laying hens and commence their first lessons on pecking order. Which by the way, can be rather severe!

So, the aforementioned brooder and all the egg IMG_0245nesting boxes had to be removed. After that, one of the walls had to be taken down and all the air vents we had left on the building had to be covered over. It took us about two days to get it all cleaned up and functional and we still aren’t quite finished but it’s much better than it was!

Humors Balance

IN EVERY ENCOUNTER
WE EITHER GIVE LIFE
OR WE DRAIN IT;
THERE IS NO NEUTRAL EXCHANGE

-Brennan Manning

 

Words are a powerful motivator. The apostle James describes the tongue as the following, “..a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the toungue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell…..Therewith bless we God, even the father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similtude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”

-James 3:6 & 9-10

In essence, our words have the power to either give life, or take it away. I confess, I too struggle with the desire to be the wittiest guy in the group, but is that right? No. That is a desire based completely off of pride and selfishness, two attitudes which God detests. When we jest, tease, cap, slam, however you wish to call it, we are hurting another person with our words. No matter what way we justify it, it is still wrong. Even if the recipient slaps a “I-don’t-care” expression on their face or even laughs at what you have said, deep inside there is a hurt they are trying to hide. A hurt you have just caused. Why would we deliberately try to go around hurting others? A sobering thought is this. Your words can never ever be taken back. No matter how much you may apologize, the damage has been done and it is permanent.

As I write this, I have three fingers pointed right back at me. I have been often guilty of making a rude comment which has been sugarcoated to look like I was just kidding the person but deep down, there is a heart issue that that comment has sprung from. Often I will make a comment that has been twisted slightly and made to look like I am joking, when in reality, I am making the comment as a direct attack on a person. I have heard the saying before that every jest has a hint of truth to it. And it is true.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that all humor is wrong. There is a fine line between humor and ripping a persons self esteem up in the name of humor. This is what I would call “humors balance.” The most helpful advice I have heard is to try out a comment on yourself to see how well you would like it before using it on others. If it eats at you, It’ll eat at them.

So what am I saying here? Where am I going with this? The point is something that God has been pressing me with recently. That I need to measure my words. That I need to be careful with what I say and how I say it. Because like I said earlier, words are powerful. Jesus came to this earth to set an example for us to follow. Look at the way he lived his life. The words that he said and the way he lived paves the way for us. We must strive to live in his example.

For those of you who also struggle with this, know you are not alone. But it is something we have to come to a decision on. Are we going to continue to tear each other down in any form or will we decide to build one another up like Jesus did? The choice is yours.

“But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. “

-Matthew 5:37

A Job In… West Virginia?

 

I mentioned in an earlier post that we were recently working on a job in WV. Now to some of you who are reading this, you may not know that we currently live near Culpeper, VA, NOT Romney, WV! The first time we got this call I confess I hoped it would be just an estimate, nothing more. We do have jobs like that sometimes! Not because I didn’t like the couple or anything, but because I just didn’t like the idea of a two hour, ten minute drive one way every day.

IMG_0030In the end, that works out to be four hours, (and twenty minutes!) both ways, every day. (Not that the drive wasn’t pretty.)

We got the call. Bid accepted. Kitchen reno. Big Uh-Oh. My mind ran to the idea of waking up at 4:00 every day for two or three weeks. Now, I am no a morning riser by ANY stretch of the imagination. My idea of a good start to a day is at LEAST sleep till 8:00 to 9:00, THEN up and head for the coffee pot. Not wake up at 4:30, realize we’re late and BANG, we’re out the door. (And no, there was no Hazelnut brew, light on the cream to reach that bittersweet taste involved in that car scramble. Not to mention the fact that Chick Fil-A doesn’t open that early! No help there either!)

Long story short, the first words out of mouth were,

“Oh No. What have I gotten myself into?!”

 

Day One:

4:00am EST, Fauquier County, VA.

Brilliant light burns on the outside of my eyelids.

“Come on fella’s, time to get up and go.”

Dad’s voice. My brain spins,

“No, it’s not time already, is it?”

IMG_9965I lay in bed for a minute, staring at the ceiling of my bunk. Was that a dragon shaped pattern on the wood? Boy, I must be losin’ it. I sit up in my bed, bare feet hittin’ the floor.

“Welcome to the next two weeks of great fun. I’m already loving it.” I’m thinking.

Thankfully I had the whole drive up to sleep since I don’t drive,though it was a little difficult to sleep with Max McLean’s deep voice pouring out of the stereo system. Then Tim Gregory next. FIMG_9970irst day went well, I had to admit at the end of the day. I had heard rumors that we would be getting back at 9-10 each night so that was one of the things I was dreading. Instead we ended up leaving by 4-5 and getting home by 6-7 most days. That was a blessing. Still, I wasn’t ready to admit it was fun. It wasn’t, yet.

The days passed, gradually seeming to speed up as I began to enjoy myself more and more. The drive there and back was truly beautiful and the cIMG_9979ouple were very friendly. The experience began to get more and more enjoyable for me. Each days schedule was generally to get up, some days stop at Wal-Mart and/or Lowes to get food and Materials, be at the house by 7:00, work till 4:00, clean up, be on the road within the hour, back by around 6:30, wash up, take care of the next days load of sandwiches, take care of anything else, (give myself some extra Audiobooks or Music to listen to on the job.) bed and repeat the next day. (Wal-Mart sells Starbucks iced coffee too,IMG_0029 in multiple flavors! Still don’t beat a good Chicken Biscuit and CFA Iced coffee though.) In the end, I really enjoyed the whole experience, all things considered. The place looked great once we finished, (Not just because of what we did, they also had new appliances set in, countertops redone and the cabinets were refinished.) We did the walls and ceiling, which were built medieval style. Literally. These walls weren’t your typical 16 inches apart based on tIMG_0028he center of the board. No, these walls were built with whatever wood the builder literally could have found in his yard. Need to run a wire? No problem. He sliced grooves into the drywall and tacked his wire inside the groove, leaving the wire exposed. Well, how did that pass inspection you’d ask. Easy. The owners say there are no codes in WV! We shimmed and worked on the existing walls till we were sure it was good for drywall then drywalled that. AlsoIMG_0038, the owners had what I like to refer to as a commercial building ceiling, in other words, a drop ceiling with pop tiles. The customer removed the old ceiling and we went ahead and refinished that. By the time we and the other contractors were done, it was really nice.

 

I guess I sort of wrote all that to not only bring you all who read our site anymore and haven’t given up on us up to date and also, there is a bright side to everything we experience. We just gotta have the eyes to see it and recognize it for what it really is.

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White Oak Hiking!

 

Another recent excursion.

 

One of the other things that we did recently is we heard abouIMG_1240t a place in ShenandIMG_1252oah which has a really nice hiking trail that takes you right by a waterfall. We decided for DaIMG_1186d’s birthday, we would go to White Oak and check it out! We spent the greaterIMG_1089 part of the morning hiking there and back, the view from the top is great! I don’t know exactly if you are allowed to climb the rock to the very tip of theIMG_1131 waterfall but I did! (A good videographer does anything for a shot!)

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We’re still here….

Wow, sorry about that! Last post was a family picture for last year! Lot going on lately.

 

To bring you up to date, we have recently hosted a Labor Day activity for our church family (More on a post later), had a fresh batch of our Pyrenees Puppies, we have turkeys that we are raising to be ready for thanksgiving and just finished a job where we were traveling all the way to WV and back each day (Two hour drive one way!). That is the short version of what we have been up to all within a months period approximately.

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Other than that for personal family activities, we have also found out about and visited a place in Richmond, Va. This place is a historic house and grounds formerly owned by a James and Sallie Dooley. After their passing, they wanted to have the house and grounds opened to the public, (Free of chargeIMG_9040, they operate by donation.) so that people could coma and get a glimpse of history through the house and grounds. Over 100 acres of grounds, they have a farm, zoo, several flower gardens, waterfall, aquIMG_9030arium and more. Plus, they give live tours of the hous which is completely untouched. It’s a sight to see! We spent a day there walking around and checking out the place and we had a wonderful time together as a family. We went through the aquarium first, (Couldn’t miss that!) then we walked around the grounds and zoo area, skipped the farm tour simply because one, it was closed for renovations, and two because we live on one already! If you ever have a chance check out Maymont as a entertainment spot if your in the area, it’s so worth it!