JEL FAMILY

Building a Family of Faith
Faith in our family begins with trusting our Heavenly Father and His promises. We press forward despite challenges, never giving up on ourselves or our children. We teach our family to have faith in Christ by living what we know to be true. Our children learn their most powerful lessons from our faithfulness.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mississippi Maddness 2009 (Day 1)

Friday: 3-20-09 (Pre-Day 1)
The day before we left, I cleaned out the car and we packed but did not load the car which slowed down my morning plans, just a little.

Saturday: 3-21-09 (Day 1)
We left for Mississippi on Saturday the 21 of March. I wanted to head out at 4a.m. but that did NOT happen. We packed up the car, checked our list twice, (What? Do I look like Santa?)We did get out the door and down the highway by about 5a.m. Not bad!

The drive was long and tedious but Jonathon was a HUGE help! We were pleased to see the sign that said we were in Mississippi and stopped at the best Rest Stop/Visitor's Center I have ever been to. It was CLEAN! Not just clean but REALLY CLEAN! They give everyone free soda or coffee! (I will be a regular in the future.) Then we trucked it on down to my parents home. That was only about 1 1/2 more hrs of driving. About 8-9 hours total, one way.

(Side Note) When we got to Madison, MS We stopped at a Wal-Mart. No big deal right? Well this was the prettiest darn Wal-Mart I have ever seen. Even the parking lot was fancy. Come to find out the mayor of this town made a rule that any new buildings had to be built with specific bricks and had to look a certain way or bye-bye business! As a result, Wal-Mart not only changed their design for this town but redesigned many of their new Wal-Mart's to be like this one.

We arrived at my parents house. Hugs and kisses were distributed. (sloppy ones from their sweet dog Maggie)

My kids were Exhausted!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mississippi Maddness 2009 (Day 2)

Sunday: 3-22-09
The day of worship and rest. How wonderful that in Madison, MS church starts at 10am rather than 9am! I awoke around 6:45am. I took a quick shower and proceeded to wake up my kids around 7am. My dad reminded me that church wasn't until 10am. I know my kids, and they can take a LONG time to get ready. Sure enough when it was time to leave they were still trying to find their shoes, brush their teeth, and have that one last check in the mirror to make sure they are the right level of "hottness". It doesn't matter that they hardly ever see these people. When you are a teen, "hottness" is "hottness"! Church was wonderful and we had a nice afternoon just visiting. Then we were off packing up our suitcases for our trip in the morning. The following picture was 1 of 2 taken that day that had both kids in it. "Nice photo bombing, Jon!" "Emma, you are as beautiful as always!"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mississippi Maddness 2009 (Day 3)

Monday: 3-23-09
I think we left the house around 9:00am to drive Down to Biloxi, MS. Dad, (Grandpa) drove most of the way. Mom, (Granna) drove part of the way too. Jon, Em, and I were in the back seats. Car trips are not one of my favorite things. I can't decide if its better to sleep when I am not driving, stay awake when I am not driving, OR just drive myself. Either way you slice it, its a big chunk of your day strapped to a 3000 lb machine hurtling down a highway at 60-75 MPH. We finally arrived in Biloxi and checked into our hotel. Now this I kind of like. There is always an excited feeling when I get to stay in a hotel. Maybe it's just that someone other than myself is going to make my bed and clean my room that makes my toes tingle.

After a quick stop, We went down to the beach and hopped on a Shrimping Tour Boat. Emma and my mom were able to feed the seagulls from their hands! We learned a lot and were fascinated by the different things the guide caught in his net.
The seagulls went crazy for the leftover catch!
video
When that was over we drove down to the beach. We got our toes wet and walked in the sand. Jon and Em flew kites and had a blast!

Later that night, they swam at the hotel.

Day: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mississippi Maddness 2009 (Day 4)

Tuesday: 3-24-09
We toured the coast with mom and dad as our guides. It was amazing to see some of the damage from the hurricanes. We looked at a school and I was able to get a few shots through a broken window. This was just one building. (at a local college) The fact that it was still standing was amazing. Many buildings were washed away or later torn down, unable to be repaired.


Even More amazing is what was left standing. This is called the "Friendship Tree" As you can see it has been around for a LONG time!


We went to the Confederate Presidents home. (The Jeff Davis Home) After hurricane Katrina it lost 30 of the 60 columns under the house that hold it up. Amazingly, it did not collapse! This was a beautiful home and they have done wonders restoring not only the house but also the items inside.

Later we went back to the beach where the kids learned to body board. I cant believe they got in that COLD water!

Day: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mississippi Maddness 2009 (Day 5)

Wednesday 3-25-09
Many of the walkways onto the Gulf have been destroyed by the last 2 hurricanes. We drove a ways down the coast and found a town that has rebuilt several and we walked out on one of them. It was very beautiful. The second picture is the remains of a Floating Casino.
One place I really wanted to take the kids and visit was the Hard Rock Cafe. It was fun looking at all the different items from different music artists.

This is also a picture of the last standing lighthouse.

The following pictures are of a Memorial created for Hurricane Katrina. It was built from found items from the aftermath.

Relaxing under a gazebo built around a tree in the warm coastal weather.
OK, Here is a GREAT place to eat a Bunch of BBQ! This was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. It is a fun place filled with atmosphere. (That's MY BBQ Chicken that Emma has and I tell you what, I snatched it right back out of her little hands after that picture was taken!)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mississippi Maddness 2009 (Day 6)

Thursday 3-26-09
Sadly, we could not stay at the gulf forever. We had to say goodbye...
We drove to the Stennis Space Center. This is where NASA's largest rockets are tested and the Space Shuttle's main engines are tested.
I don't think the kids need to go into space anytime soon!

But I sure LOVE the closeup!
They tried out different controls that are actually on the Space Shuttle and Space Station!
They checked themselves out on a heat censored camera and chilled out by the gift shop and cafeteria.
They had a lot of fun checking out all the different pieces of equipment. (Especially Jon, my little electrician!) It was nice to get back to Madison, MS and relax!