We love DC- Sept 2017

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Saturday Sep 30, 2017 Under Claire, Cobey, DC, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Politics, Travel

Eisenstein Monument

 

I have lost count of how many times we have been to DC now. We go 2-3 times a year and it doesn’t get old. We still haven’t run out of things to do and I already can’t wait till the next trip. I love the beauty and the busyness. I love the patriotism.  I love monuments and memorials and the many memories. I love DC. We love DC.

22046677_10212278660536367_1347840394320054434_nThis trip was our annual homeschool group trip and it started with the FBI Experience. This is a new tour that just started back this summer. It is fabulous and was a highlight of the trip. They call it self-guided but there are several guides in the museum answering questions and telling you about the exhibits. The guides are really what make the experience so ask questions. The focus is to not glorify the criminals.  (kind of the opposite of the Mob Museum) The true heroes are not the criminals but law enforcement. You have to get tickets through a congressional office so plan ahead and request tickets.

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22007427_10212278665256485_3453032526591892642_nOur second stop was a program at the National Archives Museum. This was our second program with them. It was Civil War: Commemorate or Celebrate. I thought the program we did last year was better but Cobey said he liked this one better. Claire liked both but liked last year because she got to be the archivist. The lady in charge of the program told Claire she needed to come intern there which would really be up her alley.

 

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From there we had a tour with Brian at Bi-Partisan Tours. He always does a great job of packing in the sights and stories. This time we ate at Pinstripes in Georgetown. (the meatballs were delicious by the way) Senator Thom Tillis stopped by to say hello which was a special treat. We went to Einstein, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam, Korean, Jefferson, Air Force,  and World War II.  This time the first part of the tour was in the day which is a totally different perspective. You really need to see them all during the day and at night.

 

22090022_10212284518202805_7324207146161745628_n22308552_10155632335148950_1725879026251298101_nDay Two started early with a tour of the White House.  Believe it or not, this was our first time to tour the White House. It was nice and I am glad we did it but we can now mark it off the list.  It goes in the category of Pentagon Tour which is we are glad we did but probably won’t do it again. You must also get these tickets through your congressional office, so again plan ahead.

 

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22140847_10212284519642841_5807573842866149943_nWe spent an amazing afternoon set up by Tillis’s office with visits from Senator Burr, Representative Holding, Representative Hudson and Representative Rouser. We were so blessed to be able to see both Senators and three US Representatives during our visit. I am grateful that they took time out of their busy schedule to visit with us.  We then went to National Museum of Natural History which we had not been too since the kids were little. We liked that mineral exhibit and the African culture exhibit but not our favorite place in town.

 

22050247_10212292408120048_7089886286547203859_nDay Three started off; well. I will be honest. We slept in. My feet hurt and we didn’t have anything scheduled so we took the morning off. We discovered Ben’s Chilli Bowl down from our Brownstone which we loved. There are several locations so check them out for hamburgers, hotdog and of course chili. They are a DC institution. After lunch, we had a program at the Spy Museum. It was on the Cuban Missile Crisis and used real documents that have now been declassified. It was very well put together and executed. I think the kids learned a lot. We then explored the museum for a few hours which is always one of the kid’s favorites.

22008351_10212292412080147_5733731190625529386_nWe then ended the day with a DC By Foot tour of Embassy Row. It was fantastic. Our group’s guide was Bob and he was so knowledgeable, engaging and relatable. I loved how he talked in terms the kids could relate to for example calling the newspaper that was put out 10 times a day the first twitter.  The tour was a highlight of the trip for me. He told us so many stories that I had no idea about. I now have many more places to visit on my next trip because of the stories he told. I would do another tour with them in a minute and I would request Bob from Asheville.

Cobey’s favorite parts of the trip were the Bi-Partisan Tour and Spy Museum. Claire’s favorites were the Bi-Partisan Tour “which included seeing Senator Tillis”, FBI Experience, and DC by Foot Embassy Tour. Three other places we ate that we enjoyed were Poke Papa, Moxie’s and Choong Man Chicken and Seafood.

Oh! And September is the best time of the year to go!  See you next time DC!21768111_10212278664136457_8421956922817056226_n

 

 

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Five Days in DC

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday Jan 11, 2015 Under Claire, Cobey, Good Eats/Not So Good Eats, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Politics, Travel

Arriving DC at Union Station We had the most fabulous time in DC.  I have decided it was a great week because even though it was bitter cold and it snowed, the museums were empty.  Also, the hotels were a lot cheaper.

Triple Chocolate Bread PuddingWe stayed in a Hilton Garden Inn on First Street. It was a newer hotel and the staff was some of the best we have experienced. We ate several times at the restaurant for breakfast, dinner and snacks. The service was good and the food was very good. We loved the triple chocolate bread pudding.  There is a Harris Teeter attached so you can easily pick up anything you may have forgotten or some snacks.  I highly recommend the hotel.

We used Uber for the first time and we also loved that. It was easy and cheap and kept us from freezing. Most of the time it was cheaper for the three of us to take Uber than to take the metro. They were fast, friendly and professional.

The only disadvantage that I found for that time of year was worrying about travel to get there. We solved that by taking the train. The train worked out well for us. We didn’t have any long delays. We ended up getting to sit together. We ended up saving money when you factor in gas and parking in DC.  I would do it again..

Day One  

National World War II Memorial When we arrived, we were picked up at Union Station by Brian with Bi-Partisan Tours for a private night time tour of DC. If you can only do one thing in DC, do a tour with them. It was fabulous. We saw all the monuments, the White House, US Capitol, Ford’s Theater and more.  We got great information that was interesting and fun.  It was the best overview in the shortest amount of time.

 

 

 

 

 

Day Two

 

Swearing In of Thom Tillis

The Crowd

 

Cobey and Senator Thom Tillis

We spent the day watching and celebrating the swearing in of our newest Senator Thom Tillis. It was a wonderful ending of two years of hard work. We started out with a tour of the US Capitol which was interesting and the rotunda is just beautiful.  After watching the swearing in, we then had time before the evening party. We dropped in the Botanical Gardens with our friends the Mixons. The gardens were just beautiful and worth a stop in, We loved the statues of all the monuments.

Cobey at Botanical Gardens

 

Day Three 

We started the day at the National Archives with a tour and possibly future appearances on 60 minutes. (They were filming a show) We really didn’t have a long time there but it was interesting and Claire enjoyed the Kid’s room. We had lunch at the cafeteria which was good not great.

National Cathedral Creche Exhibit

10891533_10204606208129852_1856787978464719168_nThe magic of the day started when Claire and I went to the National Cathedral for Tea and a Tour. We arrived a little early for our tour so we were able to visit the Creche Exhibit.  Since I collect them, it was probably my favorite exhibit in DC.  It is an annual exhibit and so worth the visit if you are there at the right time. They are from around the world and all very unique. Afterward, we had the best tour of the cathedral. It is so beautiful and has so much history. Our tour guide was awesome..  We ended our visit with a very special tea in the tower. It is not overly pricey and so worth it.

 

 

Hudson and the BoysWhile the girls where having tour and tea, Cobey was with friends having another tour of the Capitol. He said the tour was fabulous. It was set up by one of our favorite people, US Congressman Richard Hudson.  They also got to sit in the gallery and meet with Hudson.  That night he told me he wished Hudson was our representative.

We all met up and had dinner at the Matchbox which was really good and a great ending to the day.

Day Four 

Rail Car in Holocaust MuseumWith two days left, I let each child have a day to decide what they wanted to do. Claire got to pick this day and she started us out at the Holocaust Museum. She has read a lot of books on the time period and had been wanting to go. She liked the section geared toward kids – Daniel’s Story but she was disappointed in the rest. She thought the one in Richmond was better.  We had lunch at the museum cafe which we really enjoyed. They had several Jewish dishes that were different and good.

After lunch, we went to the Museum of History.  We  could have spent a lot more time there. They enjoyed the food and transportation exhibit but Claire’s favorite was the First Ladies’ Inaugural Gowns. She absolutely loved this collection and wants to go back. We then rushed over to the National Postal Museum. Brian on the first night had told Claire about Owney, the postal dog and she really wanted to go.  It is a smaller museum but one of our favorites. I highly recommend trying to fit it in your visit.

We had dinner across the street at Kelly’s Irish Times. The food was good but the service was terrible. I got the feeling we were not welcome at all. I am not sure whether it was because we were not local or because I had the kids.

Claire and Owney

 

Day Five

Berlin Wall

National Building MusemThis was Cobey’s day and he made some great choices. We started out  at the Newseum  This was my first time at this museum and I loved it!! It had great interactive and interesting exhibits.It is like seeing history thru the lens of news reports.  This museum needs to be on your list. We stopped in at the National Building Museum. You should at least go in and take a look at this magnificent building. It is one of the most beautiful in DC. You can walk around for free but there is a cost to go into the exhibits. I would say skip the exhibits and enjoy the beautiful building and great gift shop.

Our last stop and Cobey’s favorite of the day was the International Spy Museum. It is a very interesting and fun museum. You start by getting a spy identity which the kids really got into. It was neat seeing history through the perspective of spying. The museums ends with a James Bond exhibit. We left the next morning to come back home. We could have easily stayed another week and can’t wait for our next visit.

International Spy Museum

Cobey’s Favorite – Tour of Richard Hudson                                                                            Honorable Mention – International Spy Museum

Claire’s Favorite- Bi-Partisan Tour                                                                             Honarable Mention Owney at the National Postal Museum, First Lady Gowns & International Spy

My Favs- Bi-Partisan Tour, Tour and Tea at the National Cathedral, Creche Exhibit, Newseum.

Favorite Place to Eat- Matchbox

 

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MOST and Fort Stanwix

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Saturday May 24, 2014 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Politics

Fort Stanwick

Flying a F-16

 

 

Yesterday we made two stops on the way to NYC. The first stop was the science museum in Syracuse- Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) . We spent about two hours there. It was much smaller than Pittsburgh. We watch a Planetarium Show called Zoo in the Sky which was good. The kids favorite exhibit was where they could fly planes.

Fort Stanwix

 

The next stop was Fort Stanwix which was built at the end of the French Indian War and  where a siege took place during the American Revolution.  There was a reenactment going on so the fort was full of folks in costume which made it even more fun. We spent about two hours which was rushed. I wish we had time for tour also but we had to head out.

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Why We Love the Lee County Regional Fair

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Wednesday Sep 11, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Politics

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Claire with Ribbons The last few years we have really started to enjoy the Lee County fair.  The kids love getting the list each year and figuring out what they can enter and then they especially love going to see their ribbons.  This year it was especially special for Claire to enter peppers that she grew with Pawpaw. Pawpaw wants to know where his earnings are.  They love the rides and who couldn’t love fair food. I was excited to see Smokey this year since we will not be able to go to the State Fair. We had a tradition of taking a photo with Smokey.   But I think what makes it fun is going with a bunch of friends and  just spend time playing at the fair with friends.  We have started a tradition of supporting a candidate also on the day we go  by wearing t-shirts and hats. Last year we had Dan Forest Day at the fair who is now our Lt Governor . This year it was Team Tillis Day at the fair for Thom Tillis running for US Senate. Someone came up to me and said who are ya’ll supporting this year because  I know they will win.  Maybe they are right and that is another reason to love the Lee County Regional Fair because it has a little magic for candidates. We surely hope so. See you at the fair next year.

 

 

Pawpaw and Claire in Garden

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Claire Glitters the Governor’s Office

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Thursday May 30, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Politics

SIgning

Senator RabinOn the plane back from Alaska, I read the e-mail that we were invited to the signing of the bill that we had been working on. It was going to be next day and we were told we could only bring ten kids. We came up with a list of kids that had been to the legislature the most. Claire had been wanting to wear her lime dress to Raleigh and I told her this would be the day. She was so excited. The dress leaves glitter everywhere. The first stop was the Speaker’s office where Claire gave presents from Alaska to Will and Tillis and of course left glitter not only on the Speake’rs suit but on his face also. We then went to Senator Rabin’s office  because we heard that his challenge coins had come in. Claire was excited to get a coin and leave some glitter on Senator Rabin.

 

Claire in the Governor's ChairThe signing was at the Governor’s office in the Capitol. Claire was hugging on Governor Pat McCory the entire time because she knew she would leave glitter on him. After the signing, Governor McCory invited her to sit in his chair. She was thrilled because she knew she would leave more glitter there. The Governor even suggested he was going to take her home. I am not sure he would have said that if he knew her dress was leaving a trail of glitter. It was like she was Tinkerbell leaving pixie dust wherever she went. I was so glad the kids got to participate in the signing and be part of the entire process from bill writing to signing. I am proud of all their work and believe it has been a wonderful learning experience.

 

Pat McCory with the Kids

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Many Days Spent in Raleigh

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Tuesday Apr 23, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Politics, Uncategorized

IMG_9437Since the session began in Raleigh, the kids and I have been to the Legislature almost every week, at least once a week – sometimes twice. It has really cut into our travel schedule quite a bit. I usually take an extra kid, or two, or three from our Generation Joshua group.  I have really confused most of the people down there as to which ones are mine. I serve on the board of the North Carolina Coalition of Home Educators which is a homeschool PAC. We have been working on passing a bill to amend the homeschool definition. We want clarification that it is okay for us to have other people teach the kid(s), other than the parents.

The current law says that “Homeschool” means a non-public school in which one or more children or not more than two families or households receive academic instruction from parents, legal guardians, or member of either household. Some have interpreted this to mean that parents are the only ones allowed to do the instruction. We are currently lobbying to pass HB230/S189 which says the following: “Homeschool” means a non-public school in which one or more consisting of not more than two families or households where the parents or legal guardians or members of either household determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction, provide academic instruction, and determine additional sources of academic instruction.

SandersonThat is the background of what we are doing and why, but the journey has been unbelievable. I can not believe the experiences that the kids have had and the friendships we have formed. The kids now look forward to going each week and we never know what to expect. They have had such a wonderful lesson on how a bill is passed and should learn a college level credit in civics at the end. There have been so many great experiences that I will just hit the highlights. They have had wonderful legislators like Senator Tucker and Senator Sanderson who have taken the time to teach them to lobby. They lobbied Senator Cook and he offered to do a companion bill in the Senate. They have had people like Representative Iler who let them watch as he co-sponsored the bill after they asked. Rep Stone and Sen Rabin and their offices have been helpful the entire the time. There have been countless others that have encouraged them along the way.  Lt. Governor Dan Forest always makes time when we drop by.  He gave us a tour of all the renovations taking place in his office.  Representative Mark Brody has been so helpful from the beginning of the session, showing great support for homeschoolers.

CobeyThe Speaker of the House Thom Tillis has become extra special to our group. Every week he takes time for the kids. He never acts rushed or hurried and often teaches a lesson. The Thom Tillis coin has become a coveted item for all the kids and they bring them each time they visit. One moment I will never forget is when HB230 was being heard on the floor and the Speaker asked Cobey to be the Honorary Sergeant of Arms (picture on right- He is waving at the front). He got to be on the floor the entire time the bill was being discussed. The bill passed unanimously. Another unforgettable moment was last week when Speaker Tillis invited Claire, Cobey, and a few of their friends to have a picnic on the roof of the Legislature. I was a few minutes late because I was in a meeting and when I got there I found Speaker Tillis sitting on a blanket in the midst of a sea of kids. The picture at the top shows what I saw. We count Thom Tillis as a true blessing and are so appreciative of everything he has done for us.

I am so proud all the Generation Joshua Kids have accomplished so for this session. Tomorrow we head back to Raleigh, the bill will be heard in the Senate Education Committee. I wish us luck!!

Cobey as Sergeant of Arms Dan Forest

 

 

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Where has the time gone?

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday Mar 10, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Kid's Corner, Politics, Uncategorized

 

It has been over two month since I posted a blog. Where does the time go? I will probably go back and backdate a few things because I don’t want you to think I have done nothing for two months. I went on a weekend cruise to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday and we have been on several field trips but the majority of our time has been spent in Raleigh at the Legislature. We have gone about once a week since the session began. We have been working on homeschool legislation. There are currently three bills filed dealing with homeschooling. There is a bill to allow homeschool children to play sports in the public school. There is a bill that gives tax credits to homeschool families. And finally, there is a bill that amends the homeschool definition. Non-public instruction has been interpreting our law more and more narrow. They interpret the current definition to mean that the mom has to do instruction in all the core classes, which basically means everything. The kids and I have learned a lot during this process and made some new friends. Claire has becomes buddies with the Speaker of the House and wants to take a present to him on every visit. They know which offices have the best candy and snacks but we can’t give away all our secrets.  Last week we went to an all day training in Virginia with HSDLA on lobbying in DC. The kids are now ready to hit DC.

Cobey and I have also been busy working on Junior Historian projects that were due March 1st. He turned in two photography entries, an artifact entry, and essay entry and a scrapbook for the literary entry. We will find out how he did the end of April but regardless we learned a lot. For the scrapbook we did a Revolutionary War driving tour throughout the region. We learned some great stories.

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Conservative Leadership Conference

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Friday Mar 1, 2013 Under Cobey, Kid's Corner, Politics

 

Cobey and I attended the Conservative Leadership Conference put on by the Civitas Institute. They had some great speakers and we had a fabulous time. Cobey especially liked James O’Keefe(pictured above). Cobey may be the next investigative journalist.  He has not stopped talking about him since the event. Friday morning we also got to hear from Jason Lewis, Phil Berger and Dan Forest. During lunch, we heard from Thom Tillis, Ed Feulner, and Jim DeMint. Cobey got a shout out from Thom Tillis during his speech and he loved that. He became the star and people where taking photos of him and tweeting about him. It was a lot of fun.

We also attended several breakout sessions. Cobey especially liked the ones on blogging and now is begging me to start a blog. We also got to watch the movie The Conservatives that was put out by Young American’s Foundation. I was not familiar with this group and now I will be looking into future camps for Cobey to attend.

 

 

We were in for a special treat that evening. Michelle Malkin was the keynote speaker and I loved her. She is always so inspiring and encouraging. This evening she spoke positively several times about homeschooling which we liked. She also spoke about how bad the Common Core is and how we need to fight it at the state level. Towards the end a very neat thing happen when Clarence Henderson (pictured below) asked a question. Mr. Henderson was one of the four men who participated in the sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro in February of 1960. I always love when the kids get to meet true heros in history who made a difference in our country.

 

 

The next day I came back but it was without Cobey so it was not as much fun. In the morning, I heard John Lott speak about Gun Rights. He was very interesting and has lots of research to back up that gun control does not make you safer.  I also got to hear Justice Paul Newby, Renee Ellmers and George Holding. During lunch I heard Rep Arthur Davis. It is always good to hear from a reformed Democrat. He did not leave the party the party left him. Senator Ron Johnson spoke after him and gave a  bleak picture of our economy. The most interesting breakout I went to that day was Freeing the Education System. I realized in that breakout that there are more homeschooling students than charter school and we are nor far behind private. I am always interested in learning more about views on education and how people think they can fix the system.

Overall, I had a wonderful time at the conference and Cobey is looking forward to next year. I have to get that boy to CPAC sometime.

 

 

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Education in Action Day

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Wednesday Feb 20, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Politics, Uncategorized

Justice Newby

North Carolina Coalition of Home Educators had their first annual day at in Raleigh. We had some wonderful speakers and it turned out to be a very positive day. We had almost 200 people from across the state. What make our day so special was all but one of our speakers were homeschool dads. The first speaker was one of the reasons we started our organization and the connection between all the members on the board. We all worked on his campaign and now we are proud to call him our Lt Governor- Dan Forest. Representative Bert Jones gave a talk about how the legislative works and how a bill becomes a law. Senator Warren Daniel gave a brief talk and then gave a tour of the Senate chambers. Representative Skip Stam answered questions from the kids. In between all of these speakers, we had families visiting legislators and talking about issues important to homeschoolers. For the last speaker of the day we headed to the NC Supreme Court to hear a wonderful talk by Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby about the Mecklenburg Resolves. He tied so many truths and lessons into this talk. It was a huge success.

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Generation Joshua Banquet

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Thursday Nov 15, 2012 Under Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, National Parks, Politics, Travel

Jennifer Mauney, Cobey and I went to DC for the Generation Joshua Banquet. I thought it was a great way to get started with the organization and support them. Jennifer wanted to go and meet Michelle Bachman. We got there in time to spend the afternoon at Arlington Cemetery. I had not been in several years and Cobey had never been. We watched the changing of the guard which was really cool.  We saw some other monuments. But the highlight of the visit was our very long hike to the outer edge of the cemetery. See, one of the things I wanted to do while we were there was see the Pentagon 911 Memorial and I saw the Pentagon Monument and thought it was the same thing. Well, we get to the area on the map and look and look and I don’t see anything like what I saw online because the Memorial is NOT the same as the Monument. We had to laugh when we saw the monument because it was so NOT what I was expected. Jennifer captured a great shot and then we had to make the long cold hike back to our car.

 

We checked into our hotel where we changed and headed to the banquet. We had another humorous  episode trying to park but you had to be there. When we got there we got to talk to Mike Farris who is a constitutional lawyer and a hero of the homeschool community. He talked to Cobey about what he wanted to and such. After a few minutes, he told Cobey he would make a great lawyer and if West Point did not work out to come to Patrick Henry. Cobey was thrilled. We then went into the banquet. We actually had a decent meal for banquet food and then we got to hear some great speakers. We heard 2011 Miss America, Teresa Scanlon. She was amazing and put a great light on the Miss America Organization. She is such an inspiration and gives me great hope that this generation can make a difference. The prayer she read that I posted at the end was one she wrote on her blog before winning the Miss America pageant . She summed up beautifully the prayer I have for my kids.  The next speaker was a student who one an award and she also gave me hope that we have some great youth that want to fight for our country. The big disappointment of the night was that Bachman did not show and she sent a representative in her place that gave a short talk about how important GenJ was in her race. I was so proud that Jennifer did not breakdown and cry when she found out. Mike Farris spoke in her place and gave a wonderful speech. After the disappointing election results it was a very optimistic and hopeful speech. He said we were the Moses generation and we need to keep up the fight so the next generation – the Joshua generation can come in and save the country. After that evening, I believe it is true that this generation can be the one to take us back to our foundations. Later, Jennifer even admitted he gave a great speech and enjoyed it. It was just another mishap in our adventure. Cobey got some photos and autographs and we headed out. It ended up being a very nice evening.

The next morning I was determined to find the Memorial. We found it but never found where I could park so I stayed in the car and made them go and look at it. I don’t think either of them cared but at that point it was a matter of principle that I wanted them to see it. It really looked nice from what I could see and the photos. We then headed for the National Museum of Marine Corps. We pass this place all the time on 95 but we have never had time to stop. This place is awesome. We spent several hours and we had to rush thru the last half of the museum. It has impressive exhibits and gives a great history timeline. I have put it on my return list! We got a quick bite to eat and then headed back to NC. It was an adventure where things to not go as planned but everything turned out good in the end or at least something to look back and laugh out. The best thing that came out of the trip was that it developed a passion in Cobey for Generation Joshua. He loves the organization and has great plans for our local group that we have just started. The picture to the left was our first meeting with Richard Littiken who is a campaign expert that talked about the recent election. The photo to left is from our first local meeting.
Teresa’s Prayer:

Dear God, please help me to be a diligent servant not only today but from here on out. Give me the strength and wisdom to accuracy handle your word of truth and the diligence and perseverance necessary to be a worker who is not ashamed. I wish to be a shining light for you, a glowing example of who you are, and a grain of salt in a tasteless world. Whether or not this is achieved through a position, crown, title, or job, please place me exactly where you need me to be an effective ambassador for you. I am clay in your hands, your humble servant, willing to do whatever you wish for me in your perfect plan. I love you so much and thank you for blessing me so tremendously and bestowing such outstanding opportunity on me. My greatest wish is to exemplify your love through my words and actions in order to bring others to you.
Your Loving Daughter, Teresa
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