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Life Lately - July 2016

Our summer lives pretty much revolve around this place - Cedar Lake Camp.  I took this in the quiet early morning hours a couple of weeks ago.  My children LOVE this place.  My husband and I are grateful for the family they have built there.  The Holy Spirit lives and abides in this place.  It is an incredible camp led by people who serve the Lord with their lives and discipleship of campers and counselors.
This was Week 5 -- the last week of the summer (the county that borders this camp only has 1 WEEK of summer break left!).  This was Margaret and Frederick's week :)  All four Bell children were supposed to be there this week but Marie ended up with high school soccer that she couldn't miss so only three were there.

The biggest bummer for me is that I didn't get a camp picture of Thomas this year.  Every time I saw him at camp it wasn't near the entrance.  Tom did, however, snap this shot of him at canoe camp (when CLC takes older campers and counselors off-site for a week):

This was early morning quiet time before small-group Bible studies.  Thomas, Marie, and Tom all spent the week on an island on Dale Hollow Lake this year.  Good for them!  I could never do it. . .

He sent several pictures, which I was so appreciate of. . .
I visited the island/camp the night they "moved in".  Thomas set up his Eno for me while they were on the lake tubing.  I could get used to hanging around like this with this view. . .but would need plumbing and electricity!!

This was on our 21st anniversary -- it's all I got :)  I'll take it every year of my life!!!
The week they were all gone my dad came for a few days.  We had a "fancy" dinner one night -- filet mignon and grilled potatoes, peppers, and onions!

We also went to the Blount Mansion -- love finding new things in our town to explore.
I love history and the perseverance the generations before us had.  Some items are so ingenious and some items (like the slave insurance) so sad. . .
This was called a "please touch" table, encouraging us to pick up the items and explore that way -- very cool!

The front of the house was changed from the back to the front. . .when Knoxville was first being settled in this area, visitors came in off the river. . .as the town was built up, visitors came in off the street. . .

What amazed me the most was that the building was completely original.  The number of families (and businesses) that had occupied it through the years and yet, the floors, walls, doors, ceilings had all stood up through it all.

Traveling bar
Items in the governor's office - especially interesting was the pair of curved scissors to cut the candle wick while it was still burning. . .

No more than 5 to sleep in one bed. . .and a border paid for this?!?

The Bells were here for a *great* day of boating on the lake!!!!  Tom is fresh from 7 (8?) days on an island with no electricity or plumbing (or permanent structures!!!) so he's looking a little rough. . .little did we know -- and I'm glad we didn't -- that this would be our last full trip on the boat for the summer.  The next weekend we went out and after a little tubing fun. . .
Margaret, a friend, and Marie

Friend, Margaret, Marie

Marie on her own. . .

We stopped the boat so the girls could switch up and it wouldn't start again.  We weren't too worried. . .this has happened before and Tom knows it needs a new starter. . .dragged it over to an island and tied it up while we ate and such. . .but still, after 45 minutes or so and lots of poking around the engine. . .still wouldn't start. . .
 And then one of the oars snapped in two so we resorted to skis to paddle in the back and Margaret and Tom to swim in front.  Luckily we only had to do this about 10 minutes before some people came to tow us in (never thought to take a picture!). . .
Thomas hadn't come out with us but was in town so he drove over to the dock to pick up Tom, Marie, and her friend, drove them to the marina where we put the boat in, drove the trailer back and loaded her up for the night.  Margaret, Chelsea, Frederick and I watched the sun set at Lillydale. . .

And then it was a long, dark, windy trip back to the boat shed. . .luckily we were spending the night at Cedar Lake so we didn't have a long drive home too.

The next morning we ran out to the boat shed before church to see if it might be an "easy" fix. . .

But. . .no. . .

Tom spent the week thinking about, talking about, and researching some ideas and we went back (it's about 1.75 hours one way) the next weekend and although he thinks he has the problem pinned down, he needs to be able to work on it at home.  Essentially, unfortunately, our boating season is over this year.  The days we had were fabulous though!

 This girl that I'm so super proud off headed off to soccer camp with her HS team Sunday morning and I went over early Wednesday to watch her play before pick-up.
 It's been fun having this guy home (he was gone 8 weeks this summer!) and he was a good sport and let me snap a Picture of the Day together with him at the dog park. 

After we got home Wednesday from soccer camp we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to head to Ohio for a few days.  Frederick would miss soccer golf with his soccer team, all would miss schedule pick-up at the HS, Margaret would miss her freshman orientation, I would miss my Friday tennis. . .but we all decided it would be worth it since we haven't had time to get up there once all summer!!  Tom was the only one who couldn't miss work :(
It was a great trip and I can't *believe* I didn't get any pictures of the cousins!!  On Friday my mom, sister, AVJ, Marie, and Margaret went into town for lunch and a little shopping. . .the entire time we were there I looked for someone off the street that I could ask to take a quick pic of the 6 of us but it just never happened.  I did get these on Thursday night though:

The "reason" for dinner was Grandpa Fred's upcoming birthday!!!
Nancy and Thomas made a wonderful meal for all of us and then the following night Jodi had all of us down for a cookout.  The thing about going to Ohio is that I *never* starve -- ha!

It was, unfortunately, a super-short trip that was made a tad longer when Tom decided that he would drive down after work on Friday night and let Thomas take the car back on Saturday (he had to work) and we all got to stay a bonus day and not go home until Sunday. 

So. . .that's life lately around here. 

There's so much more going on -- HUGE changes have come down the pike at frightening speed this week, but that will be another post another day.  We have been waiting on the Lord and His timing for a job for me. . .for soccer and school schedules for the kids. . .for a direction spiritually for us all. . .and He is answering. . .so quickly it's overwhelming.  When the dust settles I'll make it "Facebook Official" and hopefully get a post out. 

We have had a great couple of months at home this summer.  I should blog in smaller chunks, I know ;)  This was done in the middle of the night -- I've been working on it since about 1:30 a.m. and it's now 3:40.  Time to go back to bed. . .I have an 8 a.m. dentist appointment!!



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