Friday, October 16, 2015

October Mid-Month Wrap-Up

We're coming into the most beautiful time of year in East Tennessee. The leaves are just barely starting to turn, and next week the Smokies will be a mass of red and yellow and orange.

This week is fall break for us. Duncan and my Dad flew to my brother's orchard in upstate New York for the week. Duncan has been picking apples by day and keeping his three-year-old cousin, Kollman, entertained by night. I think he's having an awfully good time.

Laurel is also on fall break, and she and her suite mates came home for the weekend! I am so grateful for her college experience thus far. These girls are absolutely wonderful. She is so blessed to have made such great friends already!

The girls are from Indiana, Texas, Florida, and Wisconsin, and I'm so excited that they get to see the Smokies today! They are going to Cades Cove, which is one of the most visited spots in the Smokies. It's so gorgeous and peaceful in the fall—well, peaceful as long as it isn't too full of tourists. We're hoping a Friday will be relatively quiet.

So much has been happening in the month since I last updated. Let's see…

Laurel came home from college for the first time in late September, as her boyfriend (who is at a different college in Nashville) was playing at an event at a local coffee shop. We had a great weekend. It was really lovely to see her doing homework in my newly renovated sunporch, which has become my happy place.

That Saturday afternoon we had just enough time for a quick hike because the mountains do call, after all.

And they headed back to Nashville after church on Sunday.

The following weekend was parents' weekend at Lipscomb, so Randy and I headed over. (Duncan opted to stay behind with friends.)  We took Laurel and Daniel out to dinner on Friday night. We planned a bunch of outside activities for Saturday, but the weather was uncooperative. We spent a few hours thrift shopping and bookstore hopping— and eating, of course. In the evening we had tickets to see Brandi Carlile at the Ryman, and she was phenomenal.

The first week of October I had the most amazing experience with my Dad. I had the amazing privilege of being a guardian for the 19th Honor Air Knoxville flight, which takes veterans, free of charge, to Washington DC to view the memorials that were constructed in their honor. The event deserves its own blog post, but here are a few photos. (Jesse was able to meet us in DC for the day.)

Duncan's Boy Scout troop escorted veterans into the airport

Besides my Dad, these other two wonderful veterans, Bill and Boyd, were assigned to me. Here, they are at the Korean War memorial. All three of them are Korean War vets. Dad is also a WWII vet.
At the Vietnam Wall. This is the first time that Honor Air flight has included Vietnam War veterans.

Dad and Jesse at the Vietnam Wall.

Dad and I at the WWII memorial.

Dad at the WWII memorial.

And school. We really do have school around here. Duncan and I have a great schedule, and we're pretty good about getting everything done. Co-op classes are going well, but it's nice to have a break.  Some of my students joined me to see a fabulous production of  Of Mice and Men last week.

Our homeschooling group's teens also worked at Second Harvest Food Bank, packaging cereal and labeling cans. I love our teens! They are such a great bunch of kids.

And that's about all that's going on around here! Today Randy and I are also headed up to the mountains for a short hike while the girls go to Cades Cove, so I'm looking forward to an afternoon of good mountain air. Grading papers and exams can wait another day, right?

Linked up with the Weekly Wrap-Up,  the Hip Homeschool Hop, and Collage Fridays