Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Adventures in Tennessee~ Part 11

Hello there dear readers! Time again for another Adventures in TN post! The month of  September was an exciting and busy month! There were parties, farewells, and even a trip to Florida! The first farewell was to Mercy; she left at the beginning of the month. She went to Liberia{and was gone several months}to visit some family she still has there and help at an orphanage. It was much quieter in the house without Mercy, especially at the dinner table! I missed Mercy's loving smile and sarcastic attitude! ;) It was a lot of fun to “see her off” at the Nashville airport, but of course sad to say goodbye. Now on to a much happier things! ;) There were several fun events during September; one being when some friends of the Campbells and the Allison family came over for a movie night. We watched Despicable Me and Amazing Love, which is about the story of Hosea. After that I joined Mrs. Campbell, her grandson, Arden, her sister and niece, Kate and Promise, in a fun game of Knucklebones. It's a traditional New Zealand game similar to Jacks. Once played with real knucklebones from a sheep, now metal ones which resemble the shape of the knucklebone are used. In fact there seemed to many games of Knucklebones throughout the month. I really enjoyed playing it!{Not even sure what a knucklebone on a sheep could be, since they don't have knuckles!}
Another fun event was when Rashida, Meadow, Ashley and I went over to the Opryland Hotel to celebrate Ashley‘s 19th birthday. I've mentioned the hotel here and here. But it wasn't just any ordinary site-seeing trip. We dressed up, as if attending a wedding, just for the fun of it! Along the way we stopped to get a cold sweet treat. I’m sure it was a site when all four of us stepped into the old country store from which we bought our ice creams! There were a few elderly men in the back of the store playing checkers. They were probably curious to know why four young ladies were walking into the store{out in the country} all dressed up! =D Mr. Campbell dropped us off at the hotel and for two hours we walked, looked, laughed, and snapped photos! It was a such a wonderful time! To finish her birthday celebration off, we went back home and watched Fiddler on the Roof on the “big screen”. The younger granddaughters{and a few of the grandsons} joined in to watch the movie. Each time a song would play we would get up and dance/sing to the songs; it was hilarious! 
One night Ashley and I left the office early to watch some of the grandchildren at their Karate practice. Ashley and I sat on the sidelines mimicking the moves and laughing the whole time! We had a wonderful ride back with everyone singing hymns.  A few nights I attended a local church with the Johnson family and Mrs. Campbell. The church was having discussions about Israel and current events, how they pertain to us, as Christians.  Over one weekend the Allison children stayed with us since their parents were gone to a THM meeting in Chattanooga.  It was a fun weekend spending time with them, especially when Mr. Campbell took us all out to eat! There were eleven of us total! It was quite funny seeing our group walk into the restaurant since none of us seemed to be together. There was Mr. Campbell{with his noticeable New Zealand accent}, Ashley and I, and the Allison children{who look totally different form each other!} Some of the children have dark skin and dark hair, like Native Americans, some are adopted from Liberia, and one of the Allison boys has freckles and red hair! =D 
On Ashley’s actual birthday and the day before she left, we had a birthday/farewell party. We dressed up{again!} and had all kind of good for us, THM, sweet treats. We had Rocky Road ice cream{made with THM, Tummy Tucking Ice Cream}, Oopsie √Čclairs{a THM recipe}, Cottage Berry Whip{THM recipe}, cinnamon muffins, Skinny Chocolate{THM recipe for chocolates}, a plain cheesecake and a raspberry cheesecake! After eating our delicious treats we headed outside for a few photos. That night we watched Annie Get Your Gun{1950}. The next day Ashley left which was so sad but thankfully two days before Mariah came to help in the office! So happy Ashley and I have kept in touch since she left; she has been such a good friend. She is always ready to pray for me any time I ask! What a blessing to have another Christ honoring friend! 
As I mentioned Mariah came to help in the office; I mentioned my dear friend Mariah here and here. She was coming to help because soon a new Ruby Girl, Jamie, would be coming and there would be no one to train her! Why, you might ask, would there be no one to help Jamie in the office? That’s because soon after she arrived, the entire Campbell family and I went to St. Andrews State Park, Florida! That’s right, with Mercy gone and everyone “on the land” going to Florida, Mariah and Jamie were the only ones left to make sure the important work of Above Rubies was to continue! Now you might be asking, “Why, Sarah, did you go with the family to Florida?” Well that’s a good question and I’m still trying to figure out exactly how that all worked! ;) The families had been planning this trip for awhile and had been talking about it months ahead. One day while talking to Rashida{Johnson} I said, “If I’m still here when y’all go{to Florida}; that would be great if I could go too!” As in, it would be nice but I know it will not happen! Well apparently that got Rashida to thinking and asking her parents if I could tag along with their family. Her parents loved the idea and soon it was brought before Mrs. Campbell, if I was able to leave the office for a week and join the whole family on their vacation. She wasn't sure at first but then decided that was fine since I was going as the Johnson’s guest and also going to help them with the children. Perhaps the fact I had been working in the office for almost a year and had become like part of the family helped to decide in my favor too! ;) However it happened, I praise the Lord I was able to go!
I had a fun drive down there with Meadow, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell. As it turned out I wasn't able to actually travel with the Johnsons because they didn't have enough room in their van! ;) Meadow rode with me so that I would have some company around my own age! Anyway when we arrived, the campsite we were staying at was partially flooded; that let me know this was definitely going to be adventure! I knew it would be when I heard the families would be camping and not taking the traditional route of staying in condos! =D We had to make a few arrangements for everyone’s tents to be on dry ground but thankfully it all worked out! Other then the Allisons, who stayed in a RV, the rest of the families stayed in tents. Rashida, Meadow, and I had our own tent. Later  the Gilmore family came to stay and their daughter, Joy, stayed with us girls! Most of our time was spent at the beach dodging enormous waves{some of the biggest I've ever seen!}, or eating and chatting around a camp fire. One night I got to go shark fishing off a giant pier. Well I{nor anyone else}caught a shark. But there were a few catches…not by me though! ;) Once I went fishing, during the day and night, off some rocks that jut out into the sea. Another no catch fishing trip for me, but I did however catch a fish from the shoreline! The first and only fish I have ever caught out of the ocean! =D 
That trip had one of many firsts! Another first for me was when Meadow and I had a photo-shoot on the beach. Rahsida was our fabulous photographer! It was a lot of fun, but a bit awkward to be having my pictures taken while people were walking by me! Yet another first was seeing dolphins, "in the wild", meaning not in an aquarium! One evening a huge torrential downpour came which flooded the entire camp site. :P For some reason Meadow and Rashida were already in the tent and I was still at the Johnson family’s campsite! I wound up “stranded” under a canopy standing on a picnic table with Vange Johnson{Rashida's mom} and a few of the grandsons! We were all standing on the table trying to avoid our feet being soak by the rising water! After the rain slowed down a bit, I made my way back to the girls tent. Rashida and Meadow wondered what happened to me! I gave them the news about the flooded tents, one of which collapsed! They were so shocked but for some reason the night ended in us laughing hysterically! It was indeed an adventure in Florida, one I will not soon forget! Hope you enjoyed this rather lengthy post about my time in Tennessee{and Florida} during the month of September! 
Have you heard of/played Knucklebones?
Do you know exactly what a sheep's knucklebone is?
Watched Fiddler on the Roof/Annie Get Your Gun?
Been “out of place” like we were in the country store?
Been to Florida?
Gone camping?
Have a memorable vacation like mine?
Gone fishing in the ocean?
Please leave your comments below!
Love in Christ,

Photo credits: Ashley, Meadow, and Rashida


  1. Annie Get Your Gun and Fiddler on the Roof are great movies!! I was in Jacksonville, FL a couple of years ago during the winter. I"m originally from New England so I was in short sleeves the whole time I was in Florida while my friends bundled up in sweaters.

    1. Haha! That's too funny, Jill! I'm just picturing that in my head! =D

  2. Yes to all of those except I haven't been to Florida and I don't know what a sheep's knuckle bone looks like. I love your posts!!! I miss TN so much :(

    1. I guess we may never know what a sheep's knuckle is! ;) So glad you enjoy these posts Keturah! =D And I miss TN and the Campbell's so much too!


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