This is my Mississippi – The beach at sunset.

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Last minute change in plans leads to camping adventure.

Last weekend, we were supposed to go to Walt Disney World for the Night of Joy concerts. But as luck would have it, Hurricane Irma was expected to roll through the area. So we had to make a change of plans. We decided that we were going to go camping near Pensacola, Florida. I know that seems pretty stupid to go toward Florida when their was  a hurricane going that way. But non the less, that is where we decided to go. We spent a long time trying to decide where to stay and finally decided to stay at Gulf Islands National Seashore -Fort Pickings. We have always wanted to go to this National Park, but never made it over their. So we reserved a campsite for 3 nights and started to get everything together for our long weekend of camping and exploring. The kids really wanted to hang out at the beach also.

Welcome to Florida!

The windy beach.

As luck would have it, we didn’t get much time at the beach since it was quite windy and the waves were quite big. We did get to play in the waves and get some water activities in, but not all that we had planned to do. I guess we will be going back sometime, which is totally OK with us.

We enjoyed our little weekend so much that we decided to extend the trip one more night. We did get to see the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. We have seen this museum a few times and was really hoping to see it again this trip. As an added bonus, when we extended our trip the extra day, while we were loading up the car we heard that the Blue Angels usually have a practice session on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s at 11:30 and you could see it really good at the fort down the road from where the campground was. So we go to see the Blue Angels practice. I think this was a highlight for our family.

The National Naval Aviation Museum

The Blue Angels practicing.

Also while we were their, we got to look around Fort Pickings at the end of the island we were staying on. The kids went kayaking one day and of course we got a little bit of beach time. We also went into Alabama to see the Ron John shop in Orange Beach.

It was quite windy while we were camping and one of our tents got quite the beating. After 2 nights of this we decided to see if we could move spots to a little more sheltered spot. We were able to move and that helped a lot. All in all we had a great time camping and exploring. So much that we decided that we really needed to do more camping. So here is to more camping.

Our first campsite

Our second campsite

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This is My Mississippi – Davis Bayou

Alligator at Davis Bayou

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Life is short…..

Life is short and sometimes life seems even shorter. We went to a funeral this past week. This funeral was just a little hard to handle. You see this person was in good health, they were still working, and had some time left to enjoy his grandkids. He was looking forward to retirement, in fact he just celebrated his 65th birthday.

This person had  an accident at work and he died within a few short hours after the accident occurred.  We were stunned when we heard the news. We never expected to hear the news we had heard. But we did, so we went to the funeral since it was a family friend that we have known for years. It is a shame that life can be so short. Now a widow has to learn how to live without her best friend and the kids and grandkids have to live without their father and grandfather.

When we got home from this funeral, we found out that another dear friend of ours had passed away as well. This one was kind of different. You see we kind of were expecting to hear about this person passing. She has had some health problems for years and she was well into her 80’s or 90’s. We will be attending yet another funeral this coming week.

Both of these people have been a blessing in our lives and they will be missed. It is hard to believe that they are no longer with us but are someplace better. We will be reunited someday and what a day that will be.

So in the meantime I am reminded how short life is. Be sure and hug your loved ones and tell them you love them. You never know what is going to happen.

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My Mississippi – Biloxi Fire Museum

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My dad……

My dad, the person who is affectionately called daddy. Daddy was a great man in my eyes, who died all too soon. It is hard to believe he has been gone for so many years now, in fact it has been almost 22 years.

I miss him oh so much. He died suddenly a few weeks before we were to go back home for a visit. For the longest time that left a sore spot. All because I didn’t get to see him one last time.

One day I shall see him again, which I am so grateful for. Until then I have all my memories of my dad.

 

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This is my Mississippi – The Sunken Trace

This picture was taken at a stop off of the Natchez Trace Parkway. It is called the Sunken Trace. As you can see from the picture, the pathway is worn down by all the travelers who walked on the trace years ago. This is one of the most photographed spots along the Natchez Trace.

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Thinking like a tourist.

On Easter Sunday, our family did something that was a little out of the ordinary. We decided to go to the beach. Yep, amazing for us.

I have a confession. We live just about a half a mile from the beach and yet we very rarely go to the beach to enjoy it. Shoot we even dry right along it several times a day. We love looking at the beach and the water, but we just never go out on it.

Well on Sunday, we decided it was time to go out there and have an impromptu picnic. We had some leftover pizza from Saturday night movie night that we heated up and brought to the beach.

Our plan was to go eat and then swim a little and just relax on the beach. Well sometimes our plans are not what actually happens. It started to rain while we were at the beach, so we decided to pack it up. We went on down further and were going to walk on one of the piers, but decided to go about 10 minutes down the road to another section of the beach.

This section was new to us as it was hidden behind the marina. It was so secluded and had some higher waves than some of the other sections of the beach. We really enjoyed this spot and we even got to see one of the big shipping boats come into the Port of Gulfport.

One thing I learned from our impromptu time at the beach is that sometimes you have to think like a tourist. You see tourists come here to sit and relax on the beach but as locals we very rarely get out there and enjoy it. We definitely have to make more time to go out there and enjoy what the tourists do.

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Working out as a family – Lessons I have learned.

 

For a few years now, my husband wanted to get a gym membership at a local gym. This has not been a high priority until now. We finally decided to get that gym membership and I am proud to announce we have been gym members for over a month now.

When we decided to join the local gym, we decided that we were go down to the gym as a family 3 days a week. We have been doing this every week for the past 4 weeks except some of us missed a couple of days because we were sick with the flu.

On this journey the past month, I have learned a few things.

  1. Working out isn’t that hard. I am purposely not going gun ho because I know myself and I will get discouraged. So my philosophy has been that I am going to go down there and start slow. I am not doing anything except for walking on the treadmill. I walk 1 mile for now and it takes me 25 minutes. I know this is not great, but for me this is a start and I am happy with it. I am going to try to get my speed up here in the next few weeks and add some other exercises, but this is where I am right now.
  2. It is easier to go down to the gym as a family. We all know that certain nights we all go to the gym and this is a huge motivator. Sometimes we don’t feel like going, but then we usually feel the pressure of that the rest of the family is going, so  we get going and go to the gym with the rest of the family.
  3. Working out is actually fun. Our gym has so many things to do and they even have a pool that the kids like to use. they are becoming good swimmers, just by doing laps 3 times a week.

I am so glad that we decided to get a gym membership this year and I am learning that it is fun. Here’s to another fun workout.

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Different by Sally Clarkson and Nathan Clarkson – A Review

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:

“Nathan was different, and Sally knew it.

From his early childhood, Nathan was bursting with creativity and uncontainable energy, struggling not only with learning issues but also with anxiety and OCD. He saw the world through his own unique lens – one that often caused him to be labeled as “bad,” “troubled,” or someone in need of “fixing.”

Bravely choosing to listen to her motherly intuition rather than the loud voices of the  world, Sally dared to believe that Nathan’s differences could be part of an intentional design from a loving Creator with a plan for his life. She trusted that the things that made him different were the very things that could make him great.

Join Sally and Nathan as they share their stories from a personal perspective as mother and son. If you are in need of help and hope in your own journey with an outside -the-box child, or if you’re an adult trying to make sense of your differences, you’ll find deep insight, resonance, and encouragement in the pages of this book. Dare to love and nurture the “different” one in your life.” – Taken from the back of the book.

Karen says:

This book is a must read for anyone who has an outside the box child or knows of such a child. This book made such an impact on me as I read through this book. I saw one of our children in the pages of this book. Our child is not as bad as Nathan is, but some of the things Nathan dealt with in this book reminds me of our child.

A lot of times in our society, you have to be so much of what people say is “normal” and if you don’t fit what that “normal” is, you have a hard time fitting in. Not only does the person not fit in, the family is sometimes often thought of differently. Then to compound the problem because the family is often thought of in a bad light, the family will pretend that life is just grand and nothing is wrong and will put on a fake front, but the truth is hidden. I found great hope and respect for the Clarkson family for writing this book. I felt like, yes there is actually families who are willing to break down some of the walls and tell people what it is actually like in their families, the good and the bad.

This book was an inspiration to me because even though Nathan does have some problems, he has grown up and is living independently. My biggest takeaway from this book is that there is hope for different kids. Just sit back and help guide those kids that are different and have an extra measure of grace for those kids as well as their families.

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