Thursday, March 19, 2015

Adventures in Tennessee~Part 9

Hello there dear readers! Well here I am again writing about my time in Tennessee! My last post was about fun times with new friends and staying busy packaging Above Rubies magazines. The month of July was a time of celebrations, cookouts, lazy weekends, rainy day walks, and hot humid Southern weather! July started off with saying goodbye to my now good friend Rebekah. I so enjoyed my time with her and will always remember our fun times outdoors! So glad that we still keep in touch through letters and the web!
For the month of July we had two fun celebrations; an awesome Independence Day celebration on the 4th and a 50th anniversary party for Mr. and Mrs. Campbell! The 4th of July{2013} was a rainy day but that didn't stop the festivities! It started with an annual fish fry at a neighbor's home. It was a neat time of meeting other families from the community and of course eating lots of yummy food. ;) It was interesting to sing our national anthem,"The Star Spangled Banner" and the pledge of allegiance with various countries represented; Liberia, New Zealand, Australia, and even the Czech Republic! There were also people from all across the US! Later in the day we had another cook out with the Campbell family in their big front yard. When nightfall came so did the shooting of dozens of fireworks! One firework exploded so near our heads, sending sparks of light everywhere! It was as if the all stars in space suddenly burst forth and landed on the ground! It was beautiful and a bit frightening! The night ended with a hilarious, blue grass, musical performance by Smoochy McTwain{aka, the Campbell's daughter-in-law, Monique} and the Hickman Pluckers and Pluckettes{aka, the Campbell's grandchildren}! =D 
In addition to the fireworks lit at night there were many smoke things{not sure what they're called}. It was so neat to see all the various colors. It was also an interesting sight seeing little children walking around with bags of fireworks! 
Another great celebration was for Mr. and Mrs. Campbell's 50th wedding anniversary. Their anniversary was actually in March; however their daughter Mercy was unable get everyone together until July! I've noticed with large families it takes a bit more effort and time to bring everybody together. However it is so worth it when you think of the blessing those family members are! Several days prior to the party Mercy and Mariah, who come to help Mercy out with the party, spent the day out buying supplies for the big event. It was a funny and nerve-wracking experience, trying to get all the things they bought into to the house without Mr. and Mrs. Campbell seeing! A few days before the party the Campbell's had to go into town which presented a perfect opportunity to bake cookies and treats for the "big day"! We were able to have every trace of baking cleaned up and cookies put away in a spare room before they arrived home!
Lots of baking and prep work had to be done before the party! Thankfully there were many hands in the kitchen! 
The bottom, far right, photo is off Mr. and Mrs. Campbell's "sweet heart" table. It didn't stay that way long because when everyone sat down to eat, all their grown children sat around them! Pictured up top, in the middle, :)

On the day of the party, Mercy asked her parents to go out and spend the day in town. No easy task as they love to be home and Mrs. Campbell is very dedicated to the AR ministry! I'm sure they knew something was up but don't think they knew exactly what! After quickly packaging the orders in the office, can't stop the office work even for a special day like this! ;) In fact while setting everything up we{Mariah, Ashley, Naomi, and I} had to keep checking and listening for phone calls! Anyway, after getting the orders done, we all busily went to work! There was more baking to be done, lots of chicken to grill, tables/canopies to set up outside, decorations to get up, and so much more! We had until 5:00 to get everything ready! Thankfully we had help from Meadow and some of the grandsons. Mercy and Mariah were busy in the kitchen, Naomi was cleaning the downstairs, and Ashley and I were busy setting up tables and canopies. Later we all helped in decorating, picking flowers for vases, and making sure everything was in place. 
Even with all the work we got done; we still had to delay the Campbell's coming til 5:30! Then horror of horrors{JK it wasn't that bad} we had to delay them again til 6:00! Some of the family members were late in arriving, the grill{which was to be cooking all the meat}wasn't set up yet, and a giant "Happy Anniversary!" banner{the grandchildren worked on} was hanging half way up and the rest was down in the drive way! Thankfully there were many hands to help and the work was all done! We girls quickly changed and readied ourselves; I'm sure we were a sight to see after working all day in the humid weather! Everyone rushed inside when the "look outs" ran in to say they were pulling up the driveway! Mr. and Mrs. Campbell walked in the door to a loud shout of, "Happy Anniversary!" from a huge crowd of over 50 people, most of them family! =D It was a lovely time of good food, family photos, and wonderful fellowship! After heading inside for the evening, the Campbell's children all stood up to tell heart warming and hilarious stories about their mum and dad! Mercy even prepared a wonderful video of family photos from the Campbell's wedding ceremony and of their lives throughout the years. It was a such a blessing to witness a Christ-honoring couple who still loved each other so much after so many years. Even more of a blessing was to see their large family surrounding them with so much love! Wow, that was a lengthy retelling of their anniversary celebration! Sorry I've never been one to shorten stories! ;)
Apart from those busy events and a few more big cook outs with the family and some friends, the month of July was relatively peaceful. Many weekends we girls would watch a movie, mostly period dramas; Pride and Prejudice{1995}, Little Dorrit{2008}, Mansfield Park,{1999}and more! I also spent the month of July watching the entire Thin Man series{1934-1947}. Ashley and I would take walks in the woods usually on trails covered in mud! Naomi, Rashida, and I spent a lot of mornings doing work outs. We had a fun movie night at Meadow's house, with plenty of her delicious THM goodies! Ashley, Naomi, and I also house sat for Meadow's family one weekend, making sure the dog and chickens were fed and well cared for. ;) Had to say yet another goodbye; this time to Mariah. :( Thankfully she would return shortly to help in the office while everyone, including me, took a strip to Florida in September! Now I'm getting ahead though! Hope you enjoyed this rather lengthy post and stay tuned for the month of August!
Just some fun random pics; When I said muddy walks I meant it! ;) While house sitting for Meadow's family we got to cuddle with this cute little bunny. Here I am with two 25,000 Iraqi dinar which equal about $42. It was an AR donation sent in the mail! Serene and Pearl dressed up for a THM video...unfortunately they decided not to use it! However it sure made for some fun entertainment! ;) Ashley dressed in one of her costumes she brought; Ashley likes to sew and dress up!One very long AR shipping receipt! It  almost stretched across the whole length of the AR office! Saying goodbye to Mariah. :(

How do you celebrate Independence Day?
If you are one of my readers not living in the US; 
do you have a holiday to celebrate your nation?
Ever helped with a big event like the Campbell's 50th?
Seen any of the films above?
How do you like to spend a weekend?
Like to take walks, even in the mud?
Please leave your comments below!
Love in Christ,

Photo credits: Ashley, Rebekah, and Meadow.


  1. Love seeing all these pictures and reading about your time in Tennessee!!
    We had a big 80th birthday party for my grandfather and he had some relatives that had to fly in. A couple of his relatives stayed with him but he thought they both just happened to arrange a visit at the same time. The day of the party a his pastor friend made up some story to get him to the party venue and it worked!! He was so surprised! It was so funny when his friend had to confess that he had told a lie in order to get my grandfather to the party!

    1. I'm so glad you enjoy these posts, Jill! Oh wow an 80th birthday celebration sounds amazing! Loved that your granddad had know idea about the party!

  2. Looks like you had some great times in July. :-) The Thin Man series is very funny! Paige and I watched many of them (checked them out from the library). We have noticed though in old movies like that that drinking and smoking seemed to be necessary - too bad. Anyway, looking forward to your next post. ~Lisa (Paige's mom)

    1. Yes July was another fun month in Tennessee! I love the Thin Man series and the humor in them! Although it is true that there is a lot of unecessary smoking & drinking in them...especially the first ones! :P Thanks for the comment, Lisa!


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