Monday, June 30, 2008

Guests are Here

We picked up Rebecca and Evan at the Nashville airport last night at 6:00 p.m.(CDST) and my camera battery had died, so no pictures of their arrival. We stopped at Micky D's along the way and got home and went straight to bed.

This morning Rheagan and Tripp came and the 3 older children went to X-Play...a day camp experience at First Baptist Church. They each had 5 different "tracks" that they did and will continue to do until Thursday. Rebecca started with Tumbling, while Evan did Outdoor Skills and Rheagan did Digital Photography.
They seemed to have had a good time doing their various activities. After they got home, they continued to have fun.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Guests Are Coming

We have spent the past few days getting ready for our California guests. Mike's niece and nephew, Rebecca and Evan will be flying into Nashville tomorrow and staying with us for 10 days. They are 12 and 8 respectively. It's been over a year since we've seen them so we're looking forward to having them with us. Pictures will be coming as the week goes by.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Last Saturday, we went to Dollywood as part of M&M/Mars 30th anniversary in Cleveland.

Here we are as we headed out. No, we didn't plan the "blue" thing! We were there when the park opened at 9:00 a.m. and left when it closed at 8:00 p.m.
Many rides and shows were enjoyed by all of us, except for Big Mike when he slept through the Veggie Tales show!
This sign should have been a clue as we were waiting in line for the River Rampage ride.

Tripp was so excited when we got on...

only to be drenched(along with the rest of us) after the first rapid.

Rheagan had a good time on all of the rides except for the wooden roller had more high speed twists and turns than she or her parents were expecting.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

42 years together and counting

We are celebrating our 42nd anniversary today. Wow, some days it seems like yesterday and other days it seems like 42 years! We are very fornutate and we understand that.

Here we are much younger and less wise.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Seago Reunion

We have spent the past few days in Texas visiting with Sid and Deb (thanks for the bed, guys), setting up some much needed repairs for Jimmy's house, going to the Seago reunion and staying with Ellen and going to Green Acres Baptist Church with her.

There were 30 or so people at the annual Seago reunion in Quitman with 5 generations represented. It's always good to have a chance to sit and visit while we enjoy good food.

We drove and were able to listen to 2 books on CD. Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark and Back Spin by Harlan Coben. This one was so appropriate since it was about the US Open and it going into a playoff just as it did today while we were listening to it. Enjoyed both of the books.

Monday, June 9, 2008

City Farmers

It's time for produce to be "coming in" so yesterday it was time for making strawberry jelly.

Today Mike harvested his beets from the garden and then put up 10 pints of pickled beets.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Greece Day 9

Marble is a natural resource in Greece and you realize that when the bathroom in the hotel has marble floors and walls! Of course, all of the floors in the lobby are marble as well.
Breakfast was at the hotel before we got on the bus to go to Corinth. There was a bus drivers’ strike today but we had the owner of the bus to be our driver. Our drive to Corinth was broken up by a rest stop at a canal built in the 1890s to connect the Ionian and Aegean seas. This canal is 4 miles long, the water is 24 feet deep, and 70 feet wide. The walls from the ground to the water are probably around 150 feet. The bus drove through the narrow streets of the village near the ruins that we visited. Our guide gave us important information about the life that went on in Corinth at the time that Paul was there. Allan read scripture to us before we had a group picture made at the site where Paul had preached.
Corinth holds a significant place in the life of Paul. The city had been on the map since the 10th century BC. By the time Paul arrived in 51AD, the city as it existed was only about 100 years old. The original Corinth had been destroyed in 146 BC by the Romans and rebuilt in 44BC by Julius Caesar. The city that existed when Paul arrived was a made up of a mix of dislocated individuals without strong ethnic identities seeking to better their lot in life. Paul made three visits to Corinth. He established the church in Corinth on the first visit, staying some 18 months. His second trip there was a result of a conflict in the church and challenges to his leadership. The third trip was made after the problems in the church were settled and the church had an offering for the Christians in Jerusalem. He received the offering and headed the delegation that carried the offering to Jerusalem. He never returned to Greece.
We had time on our own to take pictures at the site of the ruins before we drove to a restaurant on the canal for lunch. Mike had chicken on a skewer and I had a pizza with prosciutto, peppers and mushrooms. Very good.
The drive back to Athens took a little over an hour and several took advantage of the chance for a quick nap. We went for a walk with David and Becky around the area for 2 hours or so. Supper at the hotel was OK, but not great. I think that most people are ready for iced tea and American food. Some of the group took a walk after supper to go and get an ice cream a few blocks away.
We have a wakeup call for 12:30a.m., breakfast will be at 1:00a.m. and we leave for the airport at 2:00a.m. We fly to Amsterdam (3 ½ hour flight), wait for 3 hours, and then fly to Atlanta (9hour flight). We are to get to Atlanta around 1:30 p.m. and then we have a bus ride back to Cleveland.

It’s been a wonderful experience following the steps of Paul…the scriptures will come alive every time we read about what Paul did.

Greece Day 8

This morning ended our three day cruise. We had to have a wakeup call at 5:45a.m. because breakfast started at 6:00 and we had to be out of our rooms by 7:00. After making sure that all of the shipboard bills were paid, we were issued our passports, and disembarked the ship. Then we got our luggage, our guide met us, we loaded the bus, and we were off for a city tour of Athens. We drove by points of interest before stopping at the Acropolis. Our guide stopped several times along the way to give us information about the archeological site. At Mars Hill, we stopped to learn from the guide that Paul had preached at the location where we were standing. Allan read to us out of Acts 17, the passages that described the event. It was so significant that the very place where Paul was, so were we!
We were on our own to go to the top of the Acropolis where the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheum are located. It was very crowded at the top and there was no shade on the top. They are restoring the Parthenon so there were cranes and scaffolding around it. It was interesting to see where new marble had been added to the original marble on the columns. We returned to the bus so we could be taken to our hotel that will be home for 2 nights.
Upon arriving at our hotel, we went walking with Dave and Libby. Along the way we stopped at an open air café for a lunch of turkey (for them) and chicken (for me) sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes, potato chips and dip, and Coke. (Possibly the best meal we’ve had since we’ve been gone.) We then found an internet café where all of us were able to get on and check e-mail and send a quick post to the blog. Dave and Libby finished first and went on their way and when we were through, we walked to the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier where the Evzones (which means presidential guard) group of soldiers are guarding it 24 hours a day. We were fortunate to be there when we were because it was time for the changing of the guard. We walked down into a subway station. While they were digging for the subway, they excavated a Roman cemetery and it is shown behind plexiglass. Graves from the 5th Century BC up to 1st century AD were shown. One of the graves had a skeleton that could be seen. We then worked our way back to the hotel and stopped by a beautiful elegant hotel, the National Library of Greece, a large department store and returned to our lunch café for a Coke. The people recognized us and gave us 2 chocolate covered doughnuts that were really éclairs. A great treat! We rested a while before dinner.
After dinner we went for a short walk again. Along the way we found an ice cream parlor, but didn’t buy any. Mike says look out tomorrow.

Greece Day 7

After sailing all night, we had an early breakfast because we disembarked at Patmos at 7:00a.m. This is a small, rocky and barren island with a population of 2,500. Our first stop was at the monastery of St. John built in the 11th century by a monk. The climb in and around the monastery was a rigorous and steep maneuvering of the steps. We went to a museum that housed artifacts from the Greek Orthodox Church which included many icons and manuscripts.
Our second stop was at the cave where John lived for a couple of years after being banished there by the Roman government.
While he lived here, he heard a voice from the Lord and wrote The Revelation (about 95AD). After seeing that, our pastor, Allen, read scripture from Acts and then we sang We Are Standing on Holy Ground. It was a very moving time.
We returned to the ship via tender boats and then we sailed to Turkey. Before lunch, several of us attended a napkin demonstration where we folded napkins in 6 different patterns. (Now if I can just remember how to do it when I get back home!)
Our stop in Turkey was a port city named Kusadasi. We boarded a bus and drove to the ancient seaport city of Ephesus. Here we saw possibly the most significant archaeological dig of our age. Digs have been going on there since the early 1800’s and continue today. So far about 10% of the ruins of the city have been restored. Ephesus was a city on the Agean Sea with a population of approximately 250,000. It 2was founded as a colony by Athens in the 10th century BC, it was control of numerous conquers until Rome began its domination in 133 BC. The city was spectacular and was a home to many skillful artisans and rich merchants. WE walked the road that Paul walked there in 52AD and saw the theater where he was confronted by a local silversmith for speaking against the Roman goddess Artemis. The whole city was about to be in an uproar and Paul decided to leave to avoid the conflict.

Greece Day 6

We are home, safe and sound, so now we can finish the description of our trip.

We docked at the island of Rhodes, and were off the boat and on the way to a day of sightseeing. We drove through the ancient port of Rhodes as we were leaving town. At the port we went by the location of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world: The Colossus of Rhodes. It was a giant statue of Rhodes favorite god, Helios. The bronze statue took 12 years to make and was finished about 292 BC. It was made of bronze, and some 110 feet in height. A strong earthquake in 226 BC badly damaged the statue. For almost a thousand years the statue laid broken. In 654 AD, the Arabs invaded Rhodes and they sold the statue.

Our drive took us by one of three golf courses in Greece. Mike promptly called it a “goat track”. (That is not a compliment). Also, along the way, we stopped at a pottery manufacturer. We watched an artisan form a piece of pottery. Then we watch another artisan, actually the owner, make hand designs on the surface of a pot. Everyone working there seemed to be very talented. Driving on, we reached the city of Lindos. It is tradition that Paul landed in a small harbor in Lindos and stayed to do missionary work there. The text in Acts 21:1 does not support either tradition. It just says that Paul in Rhodes on his way to Patara. The port in Lindos is named St.Paul’s Bay. We visited this crystal clear water harbor that is protected by rock outcropping. Then we stopped in the village, and climbed to the Acropolis of Lindos. When I say climbed, I mean climbed. It was some 300 steps up the side of a sheer cliff to the top. There were donkeys for people to ride if they couldn’t make the climb. We walked up. I made it without any trouble. At the top of the Acropolis which dates back to the ninetieth century, there were ruins of Greek temples, Roman temples, meeting places, and a palace. During the middle ages, there was also a Byzantine Chapel built by the Knights of St. John (these knights were crusaders that stayed in Greece after the crusades ended). After a couple of hours here we boarded the bus for the trip back to the Ancient Walled City of Rhodes. We took a quick walk thru the narrow streets and shops of the old city, and then stopped for lunch. Several of us went to the Romeo Restaurant where some had a traditional Greek dish and Mike and I had an oven-fired pizza with tomatoes, cheese and ham…delicious. The owner brought us some cold slices of watermelon as a gift! A wonderful treat. After lunch we did some shopping and walked back to the boat totally exhausted.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Back in Athens

Today is Monday, June 2 and we are back in Athens after a 3 day cruise seeing the islands. We're in an internet cafe and don't have time to add daily journals to the blog, so we'll do that when we get back to Cleveland on Wednesday.

We've been having a good time and seeing lots.