As usual, it’s been a while since I posted here. Time always seems to slip away so quickly! Since I last posted, many things have happened. We started school this past week. I’m finding that schedules are a must. With a written schedule, I can see who needs my help in what subject and who can work on seat work while I’m helping the child who needs guidance. It worked pretty well for this first week and I feel a great sense of relief. So while I hate schedules in general, they are going to be a life saver this school year. Before we started school, our kids went to stay with their nanna for a week. They had a lot of fun and I know that Nanna really enjoyed her time with them. When we went to pick them up, we stayed for a week and did a little sight-seeing around the area. McDonough, GA has some really neat places to see if you’re on a budget. For one thing, it’s pleasant to walk the town square during the morning hours when everyone is at school or work. It harks back to the time when McDonough was a smaller town. We discovered that Grits, a local eatery on the square, is a great place to get fried apples and peach cobbler. Their sweet iced tea is good, too! When you’re done with that super cool iced tea, take a stroll around the corner to the Bell, Book & Candle used book store. They have something for every taste and it’s always a bargain. On the other side of town you’ll find the Henry County Veteran’s Museum and War Memorial. They do not have an entry fee but donations are accepted. It’s a great place to go with your kids, as long as they aren’t interested in touching the displays that are not behind glass. I’m very proud of my kids, who followed the directions given to them by the museum volunteers! All the memorabilia is donated to the museum and there’s a good bit of memorabilia. It’s wonderfully put together and a great way to teach our kids about our veterans and the things our country went through over the years. History is really important. Why? Well, we need to know where we came from. We need to know why things were done in a certain way. We need to see where we went wrong so that maybe next time we can get it right. History is so very important. The memorial itself is situated on a small hill outside the museum building. As we read some of the quotes made by famous people such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, etc., I thought about my relatives who had fought for this country. I thought about the one relative of mine who fought and died for this country. I cried thinking about all those things, thinking about the amount of casualties in each successive war, thinking about how people who fought then had a love for their country that cannot be found in the civilian of today’s United States of America. I also thought about how so much more than lives was lost each time we fought in a war. In everything there is balance. Sometimes the balance is scary. “If you wish for peace, prepare for war.” McDonough has quite a few interesting stores closer to the interstate, as well. We got to visit a Summit store for the first time in McDonough, GA. I’m pretty sure if you asked any of us, we’d say it was a pretty neat experience. My husband walked away with a brand new t-shirt and I got a nifty-difty suspension coil. I’m pretty sure I can do something pretty awesome with it and there might be a future blog post concerning the creation of it. The anime store was kinda neat. It’s fairly new (within the last 3 or so years, maybe) and they had some interesting and varied merchandise. The comic book store was a lot of fun. I found some cool buttons to buy. I passed them out to the kids when we got in the car. TheRo got ‘compassion’ because it is most like her. TheShi got ‘hope’ because she is the most hopeful of our children. And Nojo got ‘will power’ because he is the most determined. 🙂 I think it worked out well. 🙂 In Locust Grove, GA, there is a wonderful place called Noah’s Ark where they are “bringing children and animals together.” In the dead of summer, it can be a pretty hot walk. Thankfully, there are also a lot of shade trees along the route! We saw different kinds of reptiles, ostriches, emus, tigers, bears, a wolf, a jaguar and lots of other animals. It’s not really a zoo. It’s more like an animal preserve, I guess, since their animals are all rescue animals. It’s a non-profit organization, so it doesn’t cost to get in but donations are happily accepted. Can you imagine what it must cost to take care of over 1,200 animals? A picnic area is provided but we didn’t visit until after lunch. I highly recommend this as an educational outing, especially if you are trying to stay within budget. It’s a great place to visit! We made one last stop on our way home from Georgia. We visited Middle Earth, a self-sustaining farm in Citronelle, AL. What a wonderful place! It’s a peaceful place, a welcoming place, perfect for catching your breath in today’s fast-paced lifestyle. While we were there, our friends, the Kalloch’s, let us stay in their barn apartment where we got to experience solar power, fresh and clean (by using reverse osmosis) water from their rain barrels and a composting potty. If you’ve never used one of those before, let me tell you! It’s fabulous! I want to transfer all my toilets over to composting toilets since there is no danger of bursting or leaking pipes. It saves water, too! No more toilets ‘running through’ and running up the water bill. We were able to watch Craig and Lisa remove honey from the hive, along with two helpers, Lori and Ken (I believe that was his name. I hope he’ll forgive me if I got it wrong!) Then Nojo, theShi and my husband got to help run the extractor that slings the honey out of the frames. For their efforts, we got to bring home a bit of raw, natural honey! We’d love to make another trip out to Citronelle sometime in the near future since there is so much we can learn from them. This concludes today’s extremely long post. I hope you find something you like, maybe even visit one of these places someday. We had a great little mini vacation and got to spend time with family and friends. What could be better? Laugh a Lot!