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Monday, June 15, 2015

A Day with Mark Twain

For many years, the big brown sign on I-84 has been calling me to stop in Hartford, Connecticut, to see the home of "Mark Twain" the author of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and many other books and short stories.  It finally happened! 

His house and the museum nearby were impressive! 

 Visitors are not allowed to go through unattended, you have to pay big bucks for the tour.  It took about an hour and was very educational, though left we with lots more questions.  We learned Samuel Clemens was married, and had four children.  He lost all but one of his children before he died.  I listened intently and read his quotes looking for hope that he was a believer in Jesus.  I felt for him in his losses and love his humor and want to meet him in Heaven.  I found no evidence for his salvation, but I hope his misery was helpful in drawing him to the Creator.  

No pictures were allowed inside, but I still got a picture of my favorite room from the outside.  The house tended to be dark inside, and I wondered if that was the museum people's idea or if the Clemens family actually lived with every shade halfway down all the time.  I think it's the museum people.  Samuel Clemens was a thinker, and would have put the shades wherever he wanted.  I liked that he slept "backward" in bed, feet toward the headboard of bed, head toward the foot of the bed.  The top was beautifully carved and he said if he had paid so much for a beautiful headboard, he was going to lie where he could see it.  He could think outside the box for sure!

Harriet Beecher Stowe and her family had a house right next door.  I wonder if they were friends.  We could have toured her house too, but we didn't have enough time.
We didn't get to see the whole museum either, but we saw enough, and got photos of some of Mark Twain's sayings.  We got enough of a taste of his book Innocents Abroad that both Timothy and I want to read it.

The chosen quotes were a  little too "PC" for me, but I like positive thoughts on travel so have included them for that reason.
Timothy was reading studying about Mark Twain while we were in Indiana, and I remembered we were passing his house, and we had rare spare time when I could bring the kids without interrupting Paul's schedule.  Tim distinguished himself while there too.  A lady fell down on the steps and hurt her ankle.  Tim helped her get down the rest of the LONG flight of stairs and get to the first aid people at the front desk.  The lady was so impressed with how helpful he was "and such a gentleman! He even called me ma'am."   :-)  It does a mother's heart good to have people recognize good things in our children.

"Be not wise in your own conceits, fear the Lord and depart from evil."  Proverbs 3:7

Friday, May 29, 2015

Fishing for...

 Pastor Steve Hicks took Josh fishing and taught him a lot.  He pulled in 20 fish! 
 Evangel was looping around the pond on a 4 wheeler enjoying the delights of life. 
 I was fishing for good photos and caught this Bambi moment.  I think he was a newborn.  It was so precious to see him wobbling along in some of his first steps.
 Fishing for men is what Jesus called it, and Pastor Hick's church has a suit case full of tracts to reach out to those who may not have heard the GOOD NEWS!
 The morning after the fishing trip, Pastor Steve Hicks and his wife fried up those delicious fish, and served us like royalty.  What a treat!  What a foretaste of rewards in Heaven

I don't know the details of heavenly rewards, but if God's created earth has spots this peaceful, alluring, and beautiful, then God's Heaven has got to be better then we can imagine!

Sometimes I feel small

Cherish had a book with a line about "Sometimes I like to curl up in a ball, where no one can see me because I'm so small". 

It's a rare thing for our RV to look small, so I just want to capture the moment. 

Also it reminded me of Bible verses about being humble.  1 Sam. 15:17, "And Samuel said, When thou wast listtle in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?" 

May the Lord help us to never get too big for our britches. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Introducing Ryan in Private

 It was spring in Newberry, SC, and a beautiful day it was.
Some of the family were gathered at the old Cornelia Street house and they all assembled out front to take a picture.  
 Some of them had to leave for the airport, but others decided to go squirrel hunting.

They didn't catch any squirrels...
 but they sure had a lot of fun.

Their faithful chaperons followed along acting like paparazzi...

 achieving unusual views of the distracted squirrel hunters.  One thing led to another, and a few days later, Ryan "popped the question."  Well, first he popped it to father Paul, and Paul meditated on that a little while, and then Ryan could pop the question to the interested party.
He's looking kinda smug about this I think.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Museum of Chalk Art!!!!!!

 Yesterday we "crashed" a chalk art seminar in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  Paul was preaching in a Christian school and the seminar, run by Matt Bowman of was teaching.  They got Paul to do a quick demonstration.   Matt also was extremely generous by blessing us with 2 big boxes of artists' chalk, which he makes, and 100 pieces of bogus paper, the gray stuff Paul likes best.

Before we left, we collected over 100 pictures from other chalk artists, and I am posting almost 30 different ones, enjoying the variety, wanting to inspire others to the much beloved method of preaching with chalk talks.  Most chalk artists do pictures double the size of Paul's.  We cut the bogus paper in half, as Paul often needs to be speaking in 2, 3 or even 4 different places in a day, portability is big with us.

 This one reminds me of Paul's sermon on Psalm 90, about the brevity of life and making sure you're ready for the next one.
I love the colors in this one.
 Dear deer.  There are usually hidden pictures in clouds like this, that only show up using a black/UV light.  Matt Bowman teaches students how to hide the pictures.
 Pink and blue are my favorites!  I wonder what this sermon was about.
 I love this yellow tree!
 Mr. David LeGrand owns the home in Salem Winston where the seminar was given, plus he owns this chalk art collection.  He builds easels for chalk artists, too.
 Josh said the classes were held "in a bunker".
 Little bird with a message.
 Lighthouses are popular topics.
 Beside still waters (By the way, I'm just guessing or making up titles.  I haven't heard the messages that go with them.)
 This shows how they are displayed.
 That's a unique one!
 Olive grove?
 Mounting up on eagles' wings.
 This one makes me hot!
 It's rather rare to see animals in these.
 Matt Bowman has lessons on DVD with lots of help for the unartistic too.

 Current events get chalked too.
 Notice how long some of these have lasted--that little 1993 shows.  Paul has some chalk drawings he has been using longer than we've been married, so more than 22 years.
 Another wow!
 Con Cristo en tu barco todo marcha feliz.  (With Christ in the vessel you can smile at the storm.)
 Some of them signed their work.  Paul only does it if pursued with a pen.
 I'm really curious about this one!
What a thrill to see such an organized group of people pursuing chalk skills together.  We're so thankful we got to go.
They had this verse posted over a rafter, "The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them."  Amen!

If anyone wants info on another chalk talk seminar, we can link you to Matt Bowman at   They're not frequent, but he'd know where to look for them.