Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Prayer Request

This is what our family is praying. Maybe towards the end of the year, we can share more.

Thank you for this opportunity, Lord. Please help us to follow You and to listen carefully to Your leading all the way through. Keep my family and others safe from all harm-physical, emotional, and spiritual. Please make Clint and I stronger for the task and give us your patience when the journey is tough. Let us speak your love and wisdom so clearly that it can not be ignored or discredited. Let the evidence needed to show how Your way brings blessing and how the world's way brings disaster. Let us see potential problems before they arise and help us head them off quickly before they become an issue. Let Your truth banish the lies and take root in hearts. Give us your insight Lord and make us quick to obey Your leading. Shut the door on us before we go the wrong way. We need You in this Father for us to succeed and are asking for You to hold our hand each step of the way. Make us careful and thoughtful so we do not let You down in this opening You have given. Forgive us for any way we have already failed You or brought You shame. In all things, we ask for Your will above our own. In Jesus' precious name, Amen.

More From Luray Caverns





 This is one of the many famous stalagmites in Luray Caverns. It is called the Princess formation. Here's why: "A skeleton, thought to be that of a Native American girl, found in one of the chasms, was estimated, from the current rate of stalagmitic growth, to be not more than 500 years old. Her remains may have slipped into the caverns after her burial hole collapsed due to a sinkhole, although the real cause is unknown." (source)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Luray Caverns, VA

After our stop in Beckley, we headed to Luray, VA which we also did with Brandon and Amanda when they were younger. I could have posted pictures of the famous formations, but wanted you to see some of the subtle beauty that is present in the vast spaces. 

Hannah getting close to a stalagmite.
How to keep the terms straight:
Stalagmites MIGHT reach the ceiling one day.
Stalactites hold TIGHT to the ceiling.
The walkways are paved, the air is very humid, and sometimes you have to walk in water.
I don't know what these are called, but I thought how the crust formed where the water flowed was neat. There was a very large area of it.
reflection of the ceiling in the lake
 different colors on the walls and you can see how low the ceiling is in some places
the famous fried eggs
inside a stalactite
the greens, golds and blues of the wishing well
 My favorite part of Luray Caverns was being able to transcend time to worship my God with a man, who is no longer living, in a place as amazing as the caverns while listening to "A Mighty Fortress is My God" on an one of a kind instrument like the Stalacpipe Organ. Leland Sprinkle spent 36 years perfecting the notes and used over 3.5 acres of the caverns to create the organ. You can hear a sample of the organ's music here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Article: Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

"of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In 10% of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening..."
Hollywood makes drowning look very dramatic. Take a few minutes to educate yourself what real drowning looks like in this article.

This is what my friend Janet S. had to say when I posted this on Facebook: "It's scary. People sometimes just quietly go under. I know of a child that almost drowned in a pool full of people with lots of adults supervising. When they cleared the pool, she was floating under water. Thankfully they were able to revive her and she's had no long term effects." 

Please heed her warning, and keep an eye on your loved ones.

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine's Schoolhouse

When we were in the miner's house, the lady there told us to be sure to go see Buford. I am so glad we did!

It was in the schoolhouse we met the most interesting person on our trip. Buford is a 97 year old retired school teacher and principal. I had guessed him to be in his 80s! He LOVED our children, and our children LOVED him!

Buford has done much for the coal mine. If you get the opportunity, sit a spell and talk to him about changes he's seen in his lifetime. Buford is the most interesting "living exhibit" at the coal mines. I wish I would have had the time to just sit and listen to this gentleman's memories. If you ever go and talk to him, make me a tape of his memories and send it to me at P.O. Box 244, Achilles, VA 23001.


McGuffey Readers 1-6
As a former book dealer, this was a neat find for me!


I nearly had a heart attack when I saw Bethany had drawn on the museum's chalkboard! "Oh my goodness!!! Did she draw that?!!!" Buford calmly looked at me and said with gentle reproach in his voice "She is doing EXACTLY as she should be doing!" He then told us that when some of the museum's staff watch over the school room, they have "Do not touch!" signs all around. He showed me how he turns them over when he is on duty because he believes that touching and learning go hand in hand! He is an educator after my own heart!

 Evidently Joshua wasn't doing "just as he should!" LOL!
Buford has a great sense of humor!
He even showed me his new haircut!

The children flocked around Buford while Clint was asking questions.


When I told Buford we homeschooled, he said he could tell because they sat down to read the books as soon as they entered the schoolroom! Bethany and Joshua loved seeing how old the books they were reading were.

You can read more about this interesting gentleman in the articles here and here. I grew very fond of him in the few minutes I was in his presence.

As we were leaving the schoolhouse, the museum speaker for the Superintendent's House stopped me. He told me my children were amazingly well behaved, and he complimented me on my job as a mother. It kind of shocked me since they were a little wound up from having just ate lunch. I had been letting them run back and forth on the boardwalk to burn off some energy for the long ride ahead and was afraid of what the few people there must have been thinking. (I would not have allowed them to do that if there were more people on the boardwalk.) I think God was telling me all was well, to relax, and enjoy myself. So, I did just that.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine Camp Part 2


 barber shop
 wood burning stove
The fire was built in the left hand compartment around 4 to 4:30 in the morning by the wife.  It took a while for the heat to spread through the cast iron and to heat up the water which was kept in the right hand compartment.
 dining room
 hoosier cabinet

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine Coal Camp Part 1

After we finished our tour of the Youth Museum, we walked back up the hill to explore the Beckley Exhibition Mine's Coal Camp.


 map of the miner's camp exhibit



 inside the camp church 

 miner's wages and expenses


miner's house (if he had a family) 


miner's wages


single men lived differently in the camp


inside the bachelor's one room shanty

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Youth Museum of Beckley, WVA


Our next stop was to the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia in Beckley. It is right at the bottom of the hill of the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and in front of the Mountain Homestead.
As you can see, there is plenty here for little hands to explore!
Here Joshua and Emily are exploring a reading area.


 Bethany making a shoe.


 Bethany as a princess!


 Caleb climbing the beanstalk from Jack and the Beanstalk.


 Hannah setting the table at the Beauty and the Beast interactive display.

I love Emily's face in this picture. You can tell she thinks waiting for pictures to be taken is torture when there is so much to do! We took an extra one with my cell phone to send to Brandon and Amanda, and that was just too much for her! Joshua looks done with the pictures too! Caleb does not like his perfectly wonderful smile, so he always looks impatient in photos.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Beckley Mountain Homestead Museum

After the coal mine tour, we had lunch in the picnic area at the coal mine. We enjoyed listening to the song birds. Very close to the mine is the Mountain Homestead exhibit. It made for a nice walk after lunch.


                                              one room school house


                                  This is inside the one room schoolhouse.

                                               This is inside the home. 





When I counted heads, I kept coming up two short. I am use to having seven heads!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Inside the Coal Mine

 As you can see, when you enter the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, you must remain seated inside the rail car because the ceiling is low.
 Each step of the mining process is explained with a visual aid. Updates in technology and things that made the miner's job easier are also mentioned.
If you look at the ceiling of the mine, you will see three square metal pieces. These are the ends of what is basically a long metal bolt that goes through several layers of rock. This is done to prevent mine collapses.