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Mission Tejas

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Mission Tejas

November 28, 2010

Mission Tejas State Park is home to the Rice Family Log Home. It is over 150 years old. I can only imagine the stories that exist around this piece of history!

To walk through such a place and read the History of it is amazing. To think about the fact they had to leave Texas because of Native American raids makes you realize the raids must have been at this house and it just seems like you took a step back into History.

Stewart said seeing this house with the “dog-trot” (we call it a dog-run) makes him long for a dog-run log house of his own. I am not so crazy about that idea, I want my house joined altogether simply for safety reasons.

The old Mission Replica was my favorite. We walked in and sat on their “Lincoln log” style church pew and I read the History of the place off the brochure. To imagine back to the days that these missionaries were risking their lives to bring the name of Jesus to the Native Americans, left me with a sense of longing, back to the days when Christianity was something that meant saving souls and bringing Jesus to the world. Now when you go to a church all you see is how they brought the world into the house of GOD, polluting the Holy with the profane. It breaks my heart to see how far the “church” has gotten from GOD. I started singing Amazing Grace and I felt the presence of GOD in that little church. I long for pure worship of GOD, not the man-made stuff you find these days. I long for real unity and a oneness with others who believe that GOD is the absolute one and only thing that matters. I do not know if I will ever understand why people want to have the world for a short time rather than GOD for eternity. Getting off my soap box now.

We load up in the car and drive around to where the hiking trail begins. Of course, there is a park right there and all my kids had to take a turn at the cool little backhoe toy there. Yes, even my biggest “kid” had to give it a try. Stewart says we need one of these at our creek, then maybe he could get the kids to help him dig dirt.

Stewart and Anna play on the slide. Quickly he realizes he has not lost THAT much weight yet. “Hunny, I …ammm….stucckkk,” he calls as he scoots himself down the slide. Anna naturally goes down with ease. Her hiking books slide just fine on the metal.

With fall leave crunching under our feet, we head out on the hiking trail. One and a quarter miles is an easy little hike. The kids got a kick out of the sign that read “foot traffic only.” “Like what else kind of traffic are you going to have on a hiking trail?” I explain that they mean no bikes or horses on this one.

The first little bit of the trail was nice and simple then we started heading up a hill. About half way up it the kids start whining. I tell them to imagine how Jesus felt having to carry his cross up a hill. “While being beat,” Stewart adds. “I want us to think about that while we finish this, without complaint!” I instruct.

We made it to the top of that hill and decided that maybe this hike wasn’t as easy as we first thought. I suggest we slow down and take our time, and check out the area. We come across the CCC baths. A primitive dugout area that was lined with rock. I assumed this is where they bathed. Adam acts out taking a bath in the “tub” labeled “bathe”. There was another “tub” labeled “rinse” and a hole labeled “spring”. On a cold day like this was I was thinking they needed a pit labeled “fire”,  to warm that water.

We come to the “Steep Step Trail” and that was exactly what it was. Now that we were on top of the hill, we had to get back down. Apparently this was the way down. The steps were not nice on my knees but with the help of my wonderful son, I made it down. Austin is always so good about staying close to me and lending me an arm to steady myself. I always worry I will fall, I am clumsy that way. Little Adam is picking up brothers good habits and helped me a couple times too.

I only thought the steep steps was taking us back to the level ground but I was wrong. It took us through the valley which of course meant that we had to climb up a hill again. Once we got to the top of the hill I actually felt a sense of accomplishment. We sat on the bench overlooking the valley and soaked up the peacefulness and basked in the serenity of the place. Austin kicked back on his pack and was taking it all in also.

We talked about how we would love to live here. We discuss the idea of taking a two-week vacation and travel the eastern states one year, the central states the next, and the western ones last, going and seeing all the wonders of nature and history, avoiding big cities as much as possible. It is something I want to do before Austin is grown so he can be a part of it too. We decided this has been our favorite hike so far because even though it was harder, it was also a greater accomplishment. I have a better understanding why spiritually we have to go through the valleys to get to the mountain top. Once we are on the mountaintop, we appreciate the valley also, knowing that you can not have one without the other.

~Becky~

© Becky Husband & Oh Happy Daze Disclaimers

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Heritage Village

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Heritage Village

November 22, 2010

We noticed the other day coming back from Livingston State Park a place called Heritage Village in Woodville TX. I may have heard of it before but never really knew where it was until then. So we decided this would be our History trip this week. When we pulled up we noticed a school bus in the parking lot, my first thought was, “Oh No!” Don’t get me wrong, I am sure they were nice kids and all, but I like us to visit places and be basically the only ones there. Crowds seem to distract the kids and I like to read the History as we go because I am using it as a lesson. We headed to the Museum Store. We were fascinated by the Native American Artifacts. More Arrowheads than you can imagine. We also looked at a big cut-out from a tree that was over 400 years old. We discussed a bit of botany and how to tell the age of a tree. We talked about world events that were labeled on the annual circles. Very cool to think that this tree had been alive through all these things.

Thankfully the bus load of teens was leaving before we headed out to the village area, so we could enjoy our self without interruption. I really have to say I wished the memorabilia was better taken care of and cleaned and restored to its original glory but I assume limited funds are the cause.

We wander into the Pawn Shop/Dentist Office and have a look around. I suppose it is called a Pawn Shop because they put all manner of items that really didn’t fit into any other “shop”, there was everything from an old diving suit to dozens of eye glasses.

In the J.P.’s office, Anna was amazed by the old books in one case and Adam looked over the “heater”.

Then we looked at the Newspaper Office which was called the “Village Vidette.

The Livery Stable housed a “Penny-Farthing.” Anna says, “I believe I will stick with my bike!” The door had many types of Texas Barb Wire displayed. We all are suckers for a good buggy, probably more to do with my admiration of the Amish than this time period.

The Barber Shop was a shop we felt connected to a bit, Stewart’s dad was a barber in his day so we had to pose with some of the equipment just for Paw-paw.

Go directly to Jail! Stewart put on his best “The Shining” face and then we lock the two little ones in the jail cell. Adam is trying to “bust out” and Anna thinks her pouty lip will persuade the jailer to set her free. Stewart started touching the noose, I ask him, “What if it actually had been used to hang someone!” He decided touching it was not a good idea. At the Post Office, my husband was in his element. Of course, posing was required and Adam had to play Post Office with daddy.

Adam wanted so badly to “break in” to the Blacksmith shop to check out the tools. Of course, I said no. This front porch “Stage” was all Anna needed to start busting out in song and dance. (Well that is what it was used for so why not!) The old log house was pretty neat. The kids could see how small the houses used to be, maybe now they will not complain that their rooms are not big enough. The church was one of our favorites. My kids all “took their places” Adam on piano, Anna lead singer, and Austin my preacher. They seem to feel pretty relaxed in those roles, hmm I wonder? Adam “closes” the praise and worship service and takes his seat in the pews.

I inform Anna she is not Millard Martin. “I’m not?” she questions with all innocence. Austin is looking at “The Still” until I explain what it was. He is appalled and says it is time to move on. The kids find the later day version on the Ice Cream Truck and Austin saddled up next to the Amish-made wagon. There were way too many buggies in the barn to post all the pictures on here but it too was a favorite.

This is my favorite one, the school house. Stewart had to start ringing the bell until I begged him to stop. Adam and Anna both hop in a desk while Austin takes on the teacher role. Anna volunteered for the “spanking” picture. Stewart was being bad so I sit him in the corner with the DUNCE hat on. Austin liked how the back of one chair was the desk of the other and they had some really neat maps in here.

The “General Store” was nice. Adam runs over to the window and says, “Look, mom, it even has a drive thru!” I laugh and tell him back then there was no “drive thru’s” which embarrasses him. This old coffin was weird, it had a mirror inside it so when you looked in the small window you would see yourself as if you were the one in the coffin. That was creepy. I labeled this Doctor but I believe it was the dressmaker now that I look at it again. Adam had to thump the little girl, “Meany!” For some strange reason, we walk into a Saloon and all my kids act like drunks. At least, Anna looked the part of a Saloon girl for a second. “Ok, kids that are enough bad influence, let’s move on.” Adam and Anna try to climb up in the Hay Barn but I quickly tell them no, the thing looked as if it might fall on their heads at any moment.

We return to the store and Anna decides she wants a bonnet until she puts one on. Not as stylish as she had thought at first.

It was a nice trip. I have seen better but for a small town, this was not bad at all. We are usually so busy with Science I do not add in History trips so I am glad we went. The kids seemed to have a good time and that is all that matters.


~Becky~

© Becky Husband & Oh Happy Daze Disclaimers

Affiliate Links: Thank you for supporting my blog by purchasing through these links.

Christianbook.com carries a wide variety of Christian, Hebrew Roots, & Messianic products along with an abundant amount of homeschool curriculum, inspirational books, movies, music, gifts and more!!

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Ratcliff Lake Hike

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Ratcliff Lake Hike

November 7,2010

Daylight Savings time changed and we were up at seven in the morning on Stewart’s day off, so I ask hubby, “What are we gonna do today?” “Well, first you are gonna cook me breakfast, something yummy, then let’s go to Davy Crockett National Forest and Ratcliff Lake.” So that is just what we did. I Googled and found there was a Davy Crockett Memorial Park in Crockett so I told Stewart I wanted to go there first and check it out their Veteran’s Wall since Veteran’s Day was this week.

On our way, we saw an awesome barn I just had to take a picture of it and share. I would love to have this kind of barn. Shoot, I would love to build a house to look like this barn and live in it!

When we reached the park in Crockett, I have to say I was disappointed. The park was not well kept, maybe in an old part of town and the Veteran’s Wall was very small but there was a tank in front of the Veteran’s building so that made it all worth it to the kids.Adam shouts, “Is that a real live tank?” I laugh, “Well, it is a real tank but I don’t think it is alive.”  As soon as his feet hit the ground he was off to crawl on the tank. He looked to find a door to crawl in but only found ones welded shut. “That is to keep little boys out of there,” I explain. Then up on the front and down under the track and on the back, our little Adam crawled.

“Ahhhhh help me!”

Anna was not feeling to well so dad set her up on the tank so we could take a picture. After a look around the tank, Austin opened up a compartment and found some signs that said: “Please Do Not Crawl on Tank.” I laugh and say “Well I believe it is a bit late for that.”

I tell the kids to come on and lets looks at the Veteran’s Wall. We looked for names we recognised but found none we knew. I did come across a strange inscription on one, though. It said :

THE UNQUALIFIED

TO DO UNNECESSARY

FOR UNGRATEFUL

I called Stewart over and said, “Hmmm, that is kind of a strange thing to write.” We talked with the kids a little bit about why this man may have wrote those words. I explained it like this, “Maybe he felt unqualified to fight in a war, which he thought was unnecessary, and knew the people are ungrateful towards the military.” They seemed to understand that. It is so sad that he thought no one was grateful. We are very grateful that we live in a country that brave men and women have fought for to protect us and give us the liberties we enjoy. GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES!

We needed to stop by a Wal-Mart so we decided to go to the one in Crockett. Anna still feeling sick, ended up throwing up in the Wal-Mart parking lot on our way into the store. Poor baby, I asked her if she felt better, “Yep, perfectly fine now!” was her cheerful answer. We bought her a Sprite to help settle her stomach and picked up the few things we needed and headed toward Ratcliff.

After paying our $3 entry fee we drove around the whole park before deciding where we were going to park and start our hike. We came across an old Sawmill Ruins, so we got out to investigate.

We thought it was really neat that the foundation was made of bricks and not a poured concrete slab. The kids enjoyed climbing all over it and investigating. Austin discovered that it apparently was a wonderful home for lizards, they were all living in the cracks between the bricks. We took turns guessing what could have been attached to the huge pieces of threaded rebar sticking out of the foundation. “Maybe it was a crane?” was one theory. I love provoking the thought process, it encourages them to research things for themselves.

Beside the mill ruins was a small playground that we let the kids play at for a little while. Anna and Adam played “fireman.” They would start at the “lookout tower”, run across the bridge, and slide down the pole to go on their fire call. I enjoyed watching the imagination of my children at work.

Austin sat and enjoyed the swing, he is such a calm natured child. Anna, on the other hand, was running wide open on the playground equipment. I would not have believed she was sick about a half hour ago had I not been there myself. Adam jumped in the kiddie swing so he could “buckle up”, Lord only knows what he was playing in his mind. Stewart even gave the swings a “go,” getting in touch with his inner child I guess.

Austin decided to try the fire pole out, passively of course. Then he climbed back up the pole and gave me a big smile when he saw I had got a picture of him. Adam ran back to the bridge and grabbed both chains and shook it like crazy…”Earthquake!” It was time to head out on our hike though the kids thought it was much too soon. I was afraid they would get wore out on the playground and not feel like walking the hiking trail.

We drive around to the hiking parking area. After a quick stop at the little store to get a hiking trail map, we go and look at the sign. The yellow markers are for a 3/4 mile hike one way, the blue is for a 2-mile hike (assuming one way), and the white is for the 20-mile hike (unsure if it is one way or not). Stewart asks, “Are we going for the twenty?” “Have you lost your mind!!??” I reply, unsure if he is serious or not.”Goodness, that is as far as Zavalla is from Lufkin.” I think that registered in his mind a little better. I told him I think that the small trail will do fine, round trip it will be a mile and a half. That is a good size when you have little kids and out of shape, folks walking it.

 I told Adam, “We have to follow the yellow markers to stay on the trail we need to be on, so you watch for them OK.” We start off, Austin toting his Science Pack and his “hiking” stick and the two little ones in the lead. I remind them to watch for snakes and to slow down. Every time we passed a marker on the tree Adam would announce, “Blue, white, yellow.” “Blue, white, yellow.” “Blue, white, yellow.” This became old pretty quick, so I told him just tell us when it is no longer all three colors.

Adam was in the lead walking like he was a man on a mission. We could barely keep up with him. He was pretty determined to find the trail marker that would tell us which path to take. Anna was trying to out run him and had to be called back so she flashes me her mischievous grin.

We come to a wildlife viewing booth, so we stop for a photo op. We set and look out the viewing area, we saw a few butterflies and noticed bird and squirrel houses on different trees. Stewart says jokingly, “Que the deer.” We were all talking and laughing and Adam scolds, “You guys be quiet or the deer won’t come out!” I laughed and explained daddy was only joking, and that the deer were not going to come out right now anyway.

Those crazy kids of mine are photo hogs I swear. They found a fallen tree and “Boom!” up they go “surfing.” “Mom take a picture!” We look at a few more trees, “Looks like a Tornado must have come through here.” I decide. I point out how the tree was twisted and broken, not just fallen over. We hurry to catch up with Austin and Stewart, who has started leading the way.

I get a picture of a Buckeye Butterfly and right after snapping the shot it flutters and almost lands in my hair.

Finally, we come to the fork in the trail and Adam walks right by it. I ask him if he was still watching for our trail markers, oops, he had forgotten with all the other things we were looking at. Anna races to look for the marker we was at and she pointed the way, much to Adam’s disappointment, she can be such a little stinker to her brother.

We go a little farther and cross over one of the park roadways and go onto the bridge-way. They liked walking on the bridges, I explained that more than likely the water would be all the way up under the bridge-way if the water level was where it was supposed to be. We spot some more bird and squirrel houses. I am beginning to wonder for sure what kind of house these are we keep seeing.

We come across a big vine hanging beside the trail. Of course my two little monkeys have to try to climb it but much to my surprise, my biggest monkey has to also. Maybe Stewart was playing Tarzan, who knows? I am just glad that he is a man who can be silly and have fun and makes me laugh. Austin is completely unimpressed, as most teens are when there is such antics going on.

We look at the sign that tells us what all can be seen in the area. Then walk on to where the creek flows under the bridge. Time for a photo op. for me. Stewart tries to remember to make me take pictures too. He says the kids are always going to wonder why mom was never there if I do not make an appearance in a picture or two. So against my will, I allow a picture to be taken, I feel much more comfortable on the other side of the camera. The little creek is pretty, we can see the reflection of the overhead trees in the water below us. Anna spots a red bird, but not in time for a picture.

We walk along a bit more and Stewart calls out, “Hey guys look! Beaver chew marks!” Sure enough, this area had beaver chews on almost every tree. We look out in the water and see how he dammed up the back end of the lake and we see a clump of brush that is probably his home. The beaver had chewed on some trees that were way to big for him to carry off. Anna being silly pretends to gnaw a tree like the beaver. “With those big ol’ teeth of yours, you probably could!” we tease her. She just laughs and shines her big beautiful pearly whites. She is such a carefree soul.

The cypress tree was growing a bunch of  Cypress’ knees up beside the bricked area of the lake so we stop to take a picture. Adam tries to climb a tree, then he and Anna hug the huge pine tree. My little tree huggers, I am so proud.

We spot a woodpecker, I am pretty sure it was a Red-cockaded Woodpecker but a lot of giggling scared it off before I could take a picture of it.

We make it back to the main part of the park and come to the Amphitheatre . We play “church” for a little bit. “This is my kind of church ! Right out here with GOD. Adam, go ahead and preach son!” I urge. He steps out from behind the “pulpit” and says “I’m too short!” Austin is looking at the other “pulpit” and Anna has to come see if he is finding anything worth looking at, but no, nothing there. I tell them to line up for church so I can take a picture, Stewart looks mighty “at home” behind that pulpit.

The view of the lake was wonderful. We walk out on the pier and look around. Austin looks through his binoculars to see if he can see the beavers in their homes, but no luck.

We had a really good time at Ratcliff. I believe someday soon we will have to camp here because there is much more to do in this park than in the ones local.

I have linked information to certain things of educational interest. Partly for my own homeschooling needs but also to show people how homeschooling children study under a different curriculum than public school children. This is why I can not “label” which “grades” my kids are in. They are all learning so many different levels of things at different times. The “standard” that the government uses to categorize the children do not apply to us.


~Becky~

© Becky Husband & Oh Happy Daze Disclaimers

Affiliate Links: Thank you for supporting my blog by purchasing through these links.

Christianbook.com carries a wide variety of Christian, Hebrew Roots, & Messianic products along with an abundant amount of homeschool curriculum, inspirational books, movies, music, gifts and more!!

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Looking for great essential oils at affordable prices?? Check out Spark Naturals!! Be sure to save your 10% by using coupon code: HAPPYDAZE

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Calhoun Point Trek

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Calhoun Point Trek

October 31, 2010

Another day of walking in the great outdoors was on our agenda. We headed out to what Stewart calls Calhoun Point but we had named “Dave’s Place” after my brother-in-law David who chose this as “his camping spot.” With our packs in tow, we head out to the expanding sandy beach that was created by the lack of rain. We saw a sandpiper walking along the shore, we got within a pretty good range of it but we turned away so we would not disturb it from getting its lunch. Austin came across a black caterpillar. I announce “Oh cool a Woolly Bear!”, hoping the kids thought I was talking about a real bear but I didn’t fool them any. Anna found a set of raccoon tracks “Mom, the back foot looks like a kids footprint!”

Where we were walking, was far enough out that if the water level had been where it should be, the water would have been over our heads. This made for an interesting view of what has been a camping spot before. Stewart walked up to a stump and said: ” Hey, I think this may have been where we put out our trot lines before.”  I looked around viewing the place we would have been swimming and commented, “Well, at least, when we come back we don’t have to worry about the kids swimming out here, there is no drop offs.” We kept walking around the point and we come upon a rocky area.

Adam brings me a rock “Mom, this looks like it has Chinese writing on it!” I comment, “Well more like cuneiform we learned about in history but yes it does look like writing, but I think it is just “wear marks.” Austin brings a funny rock to me that looks like a skull. Anna is busy trying to get out on the rocky muddy mound without getting wet. “I can do it mom…really I can…”

Then Adam gets up on top of the hill. “Hi, mom!!” Then Anna comes up and takes the hill by storm. “Hee, hee,” she says with a grin, the little stinker.

Out on the next point was a very large expanse of beach. Stewart and I sit on an old log that was a piece of driftwood. It was a very scenic view from where I sat resting. Withs the kids out investigating the beach we enjoyed the peacefulness of GOD’s great world. We sat with full contentment watching the kids run races, play in the sand, and look at bugs. Adam comes up and sets with us to watch for a while, of course, he uses his monocular so he can see them better. “Mom, Anna is very far away!” he says, looking up I notice his monocular is turned around backward, on purpose of course.

“Mom, this is Fred. Fred is my friend. I want to keep Fred. I will take care of him and… and…”

Hmmm…”Anna, Fred needs to stay here, this is his home.”

“But Moooommm, I like him!”

“Yep, let’s get a picture so you can remember him.” “OK, now go toss Fred in the lake far out so he can live.”

By the way, in case you didn’t know, “Fred” is a freshwater mussel she had found.

We had our rest and it was time to head back. Stewart suggests we go back through the wooded trail instead of covering ground we had already covered. Austin found some briar trees that had no leaves, something that must be investigated during school. Adam found a piece of a log that looked like a hatchet, so he totes it around whacking on various bushes and trees with his “ax.” We walk and Adam swears we are not going the right way.

“What if we are lost. What if we never find our car. What if…What if…”

“Adam, trust me sweety, I know where we are going.”

I love spending a wonderful day with my family, I would not trade it for anything in the world. We laugh, learn, and love GOD’s beautiful gift to mankind, the outdoors.


~Becky~

© Becky Husband & Oh Happy Daze Disclaimers

Affiliate Links: Thank you for supporting my blog by purchasing through these links.

Christianbook.com carries a wide variety of Christian, Hebrew Roots, & Messianic products along with an abundant amount of homeschool curriculum, inspirational books, movies, music, gifts and more!!

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Looking for great essential oils at affordable prices?? Check out Spark Naturals!! Be sure to save your 10% by using coupon code: HAPPYDAZE

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Find pretty much anything you need at Amazon.com

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Ads that are displayed below this point are NOT my ads but those of WordPress.com and are not necessarily approved or supported by Becky Husband or Oh Happy Daze. If you saw an inappropriate ad, please report it!