Monday, June 8, 2015

Sarah's Wedding

I love weddings.  The chiffon, the hairspray, the flowers, the pearls.  The laughter, the pictures, the family and friends, the cheering and crying and love.  There is chaos and peace and hearts full to the bursting, weddings can bring out the best (and worst!) in everyone! 






I was so honored to be part of Sarah's big day!  Excitement and energy filled the air from the moment we arrived and only increased as another curl was pinned, another coat of mascara applied, or another purple dress was donned.  Everyone there was so happy for both Sarah and Tim.  We took our job as bridesmaids seriously and as such an extraordinary amount of yelling and screaming ensued at all the proper moments (and any other time we thought was deemed cheer worthy.)


The weather was ominous all day, and we really weren't sure what to expect.  A lot of prayer went into the hanging grey clouds, and they held off their downpour until every last picture was done; as soon as we entered the reception hall and sat down for dinner, the sky opened up and let loose all the rain it had been holding all day.  The wedding was magical and beautiful, and I am so glad to have been there to witness it!


Things to note: *If you don't have the instructions, don't be the bridesmaid to help with the bustle.  It always always always takes longer than expected.  *Curls die in humidity.  *This best man watched the groom the entire time as the bride walked down the isle - the groomsmen may do less screaming than the bridesmaids, but they are no less supportive.  *Bumblebees like flower bouquets.  They also have no respect for weddings or sympathy for bridesmaids forced to hold flowers at arms length because a bee has decided to rest there for a better portion of the ceremony.
** Photos here taken mostly by my mom.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Teen History Trip 2014

The fourth annual History Trip arrived!  Here is what we do, who we are, and how we manage it.  We are the youth group from one Emmanuel Baptist Church located somewhere in the United States.  Our fearless leader (a.k.a. my dad) runs this crazy bunch with the help of our less fearless but irreplaceable driver, my mom (also holder of money, counter of heads, keeper of time, hydration enforcer, first-aid distributor, and clothing counselor.)  We are one van full of teenagers.  It's also full of snacks, drinks, pillows, books, pens and paper, shoes, and random bags.  We all pack up early Monday morning and get on the road, on our way to tour historic landmarks of the midwest and east side of the country.  My parents spend days and weeks and months planning and mapping and purchasing tour tickets and hotel rooms, so the morning of everything is planned and we're ready to head to our first stop (location unbeknownst to the passengers in the back of the van.)  It's a fast paced trip.  Some of our lunch stops involve literally running in and out. There is too much to see, and we don't want to miss anything!  What we see is part of what makes us a unique history touring group.  Our trip focus is not only on our country, but on our religion.  Many of our stops are directed specifically toward Baptist History: how we came to be what we are and why we believe what we believe  We learn about historic men of the United States, historic men of God, and the times when the two combined and we have famous historical leaders who were also followers of God.  Our goal is to see God in History, by looking at both famous buildings and obscure rocks in the middle of fields.

Warning: Picture Heavy.  Information Heavy. Random Stories Heavy.  Skip to the videos at the end to see the highlights! ;)

The new year brought with it a new youth group! (Plus Lorin and myself, 19 here and coming anyway.) The previous year brought a transition between the old and the new, leaving 2014 with a van almost entirely full of History Trip Novices. ;) With all these brand new teenagers it was time for the trips to recycle, and we hit many of the sites visited back in 2011.  Colin, Riley, and myself  were the only three returning from trip one, leaving the history brand new for the majority of our van.  

The gravesite of John Gano 

He was the chaplain who baptised George Washington.  Later in life General/President Washington gave his sword to John Gano.

Part of the trick (and fun) here is to actually find the grave.  He is buried in what looks like the largest graveyard in Kentucky. 

The site of Sandy Creek Baptist Church and grave of its Pastor Shubal Stearns

Bri was so excited she could touch the grave of Shubal Stearns.  Not exactly the typical road trip full of museums with No Touch signs.  Sandy Creek is one of those places where you feel like you're walking on Holy Ground.

Historic town Bath, NC

A small town a great man of God,  name of George Whitefield, visited.  Unfortunately, the town was also a port for Blackbeard the Pirate.  The people were more interested in the pirate and wanted nothing to do with God.  Whitefield crossed the river and left, brushing the dust of his feet and cursing the town never to grow.  We drove through the town in approximately five minutes - it never did grow.

St. John's Church

It was here the famous Patrick Henry spoke the words "Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!"


Site of Jailhouse used to imprison Baptist Ministers

Baptist preachers, such as John Weatherford, were once thrown in prison here, for nothing more or less than preaching the gospel as the Bible tells it.  Thing is, the church came to the jailhouse to hear him preach!  The guards build a wall around the jail, but the people came anyway.  They put glass on the wall so no one could sit on it, but the people came anyway, bringing with them a white handkerchief to wave over the wall so the pastor would know when to start preaching.  Snakes and hornets were thrown into the crowd, but the people came anyway.  They put a drunken man in the cell with the preacher, only to have the man get saved! His release was later secured due to the work of Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.

Montpelier - James Madison's homestead

This was a beautiful piece of property. Really and truly amazing.
Unfortunately, as we were driving through all sorts of back Virginia roads, the air in our 15 passenger van (full of 13 people) gave out.  Right in the middle of a preaching tape on Romans 8:28.  Key point: It's okay to question the ways of God, but it is never okay to question His wisdom. We needed that reminder as the temperatures passed 90 and the van C-D player got so hot the preaching tape completely quit.

Walnut Grove.  How very Little House on the Prairie!

Hotel Fun


Sweet horsey who tried to eat my hat ribbon.

This was lovely.  Sitting down in the middle of the hot afternoon inside a nice cool building and drinking tea.  Well, until half of our group put salt in their tea instead of sugar.  That was actually quite awful, but once remedied we had a wonderful time.


A site of victory.  We spent the morning and early afternoon here before heading back to Williamsburg for Fireworks and Fun!

Bamboo - an important Sunday School lesson of my dads that they would be getting soon.  Also, very hard to cut off.  Apparently...