amberdover

The High King Lives

Writing Spaces July 23, 2015

Hello dear ones! Believe it or not, I am still writing my trilogy The Truth Seeker’s Chronicles. I’m on the second book and hope to release all three at the same time. I’ve made it a priority to leave the house once a week and go write. Some of this time is taken up writing my blog as well. I found several nifty places to write. I’m excited to have found these, because it’s easy to be creative in the right atmosphere. Here are some spots in downtown Columbus, Ga.

Iron Bank Coffee~ Iron Bank is my favorite place to write. The classy coffee/snack shop is located inside an actual old bank. They have a large room upstairs that can be reserved. The two vaults on the main floor are decorated rustic chic and one has a couch to sit on. The prices are reasonable and the service wonderful. I also like to sit by the window and look out at the street. They also have live bands and special events like Trivia night.

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Looking at the rain while sitting by the door

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Upstairs ~ I can just imagine rich bankers standing around discussing business up here long long ago.

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The Vaults

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Freeze Frame Yogurt Shop~ I’m not as acquainted with Freeze Frame but I like it so far. It stays open later than Iron Bank. You can customize your yogurt and you pay by the ounce. It’s similar to Sweet Frog but it has the rustic feel of downtown.  They have local artwork on the brick walls. I found this very unique gummy frog to put on my yogurt. I didn’t eat it though. It was too cute. I was pleased with the service as well.

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Picasso Pizza~  I like to eat outside of this pizzeria and hear different musicians play an acoustic set. One day I listened to these elderly chaps play the blues. Sometimes our contemporary music minister plays here. The pizza is delicious, and one slice is enough to fill me up. The only problem with writing outside during the Summer is the bugs. I think I’ll like it more in the fall.

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There’s still so much of downtown to explore. I hope to share more with you soon. God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

The Columbus River Walk and Heritage Park June 23, 2015

Hello dear ones! Columbus Ga has a beautiful River walk. There are historical sites in downtown right above the River Walk. Our family (including my mom and stepdad) explored the area including Heritage Park. Enjoy the pics!

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Columbus, Ga was a center during the Civil War. There are cannons and other neat historic markers on the sidewalk above the River Walk.

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Then you can take the stairs or a ramp down to the actual River Walk. It’s a great place to ride bikes, and there are a couple amphitheaters. We had a preacher invite us to church at the outdoor amphitheater. Sadly, we didn’t get to go.

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Michael finally got better at his bike this year. So we let him ride along the River Walk.

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Here’s me carrying Leeland.

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After, we walked across the road to the Heritage Park. It’s near the Columbus Coca Cola Space and Science Center. There’s a replica of Columbus’ dam and several statues honoring Columbus’ different industry workers.

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Coca Cola

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Textiles

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Iron works
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River Boat

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I think this is a doctor.

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This looks like a farmer.

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Family pics

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A flower in Papa’s memory (my dad)

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God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Free Comic Book Day & Chris’ 31st Birthday June 3, 2015

Hello dear ones! Michael and I had a mother-son date at the Coca Cola Space and Science Center in Columbus, Ga. They were having Free Comic Book Day. Several people dressed up like comic book characters.
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Okay, Elsa is not a comic book character but I got a picture with her anyways.

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Michael and I with Batman.

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Some of the Avenger’s

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A comic book writer (not sure which one) taught us how to make a mini comic book using one sheet of paper.

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We bought a couple of comics and then got a few free

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Lastly, Chris turned 31 in May. We didn’t do much since it was around Mother’s Day & his graduation.

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There’s always something interesting going on in Columbus. Well, God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles) 2014 October 28, 2014

Hello dear ones! This is our 7th year celebrating Sukkot. Usually we go camping but pregnancy and other circumstances changed our plans. We did however continue our pottery tradition, learn about some neat birds, and enjoy a small town Harvest Hoedown.

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I’ve got a couple of links to update you on this holiday and our family traditions.

  • Here’s info on what the holiday celebrates and Sukkot pictures going back to when Michael was itty bitty:
    https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/my-family-rocks-sunday-sukkot-the-feast-of-tabernacles/
  • Last year’s Sukkot celebrations at Enota Campground and the Dahlonega Gold Mines. Also a short trip to Helen, Ga:  https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/my-family-rocks-sunday-sukkot-at-enota-dahlonega-gold-mines/
  • Our trip to the pottery store last year and a look at how it all works:                   https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/crafty-monday-part-1-ancient-egypt/
  • A look at last year’s pottery when it was finished and also a picture of all our Sukkot pottery together (minus this year): https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/crafty-monday-ancient-israel-and-her-neighbors/

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Autumn is a very special time for our family. I go to town with the decorating because it’s my favorite season. Sukkot (a Biblical harvest celebration) is one of my favorite holidays. We usually go camping since Sukkot means feast of booths/tents basically. We also take a trip to the pottery store and paint harvest themed pottery. This year I did a bowl with owls on it. Since I’m pregnant I added an egg for “the year of the baby”. Michael painted a small owl. We spend hours at the shop and we have to wait a week to pick up the finished product. Here’s pictures of our pottery in the works.

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I was thrilled to be able to celebrate Sukkot this year. Morning sickness ruined any chance I had at celebrating Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Talk Like a Pirate Day (I like holidays). I knew I wouldn’t be able to tent camp though. So I booked a cabin at Roosevelt State Park. Unfortunately, when we got there we couldn’t stay. A water line had burst and the management booked us a room at Callaway Inn instead. We were a bit disappointed. I had cooked a lot of food and most of it went to waste. We couldn’t play the guitar and the t.v. was a distraction we wouldn’t have had in the cabin. There was no camping about it. But we did however get into Callaway Gardens for free and we still got to see Roosevelt State Park.

Pic: The view from Roosevelt State Park on Pine Mountain.

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We did make a leaf chain to decorate our “sukkah”, which was a hotel room. It didn’t have the same feel at all but Michael got to have fun collecting leaves atleast.

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We had a big breakfast at the Inn restaurant. We hadn’t budgeted to eat out but it was nice to eat well. We visited Callaway Gardens which was right by the Inn. We’ve been to Callaway many times but we’ve never seen their Birds of Prey program until now. It was great to see an owl, a hawk, and a vulture in person. Okay, the vulture wasn’t that glamorous. I learned about the benefits of vultures but I did not enjoy the thing flying so close over my head. Here’s a pic of my favorite critter: the owl.

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We took a walk in the vegetable garden. It’s a great place to take photos. Here are my favorites.

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So it wasn’t camping and we did end up watching a lot of HGTV (we don’t have cable at home), but we did do our devotional and learn about the harvest. The day we left we caught a small town harvest hoedown in Warm Springs, Ga. We found our pumpkin for the year (another Sukkot tradition). You’ll see pictures of it in another post when the guys carved it. Warm Springs is such a charming town. The festival was small but quaint. We walked away with home cooked barbeque and some delicious funnel cake. Here are my favorite pictures.

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Balloon animals!

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Country music while we chomped down on boiled peanuts

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Michael decorating a small pumpkin

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We didn’t get to have our s’mores and hotdogs until we got home that night. We’ve got a fire pit in the backyard so it worked out.

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The best laid plans don’t always work out but you can still have fun if you’re flexible. Our Sukkot celebrations are usually not by the book and this year they weren’t for sure. But it’s important to get to the heart of any holiday. The Israelites lived in tents in the desert. They faced all kinds of hardship and unexpected events. Our plans didn’t work out and we had to stay in a dwelling that wasn’t what we wanted. Our sukkah was a hotel room but it still wasn’t home. It’s a reminder as believers that the Earth is a temporary dwelling. Our true home is in Heaven. For now we are pilgrims and this world is our wilderness. It’s a crazy journey with surprises around each corner. But the Lord Jesus dwells with us and reminds us that home isn’t that far.

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: Enjoy these festive pics of our cat Chester (Winchester).
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Colonial Road Trip Part 1: Savannah June 3, 2014

Hello dear ones! This series of posts was a long time coming. Back in March our family took a colonial road trip from Savannah to Washington D.C.  I’m finally going to share it with you, starting with Savannah, Georgia;  only an hour from my hometown of Jesup. Savannah is a charming Southern city. It was a pleasure to take my son Michael on his first tour there. I just love the old oak trees that stretch everywhere. We only had time for one day in Savannah. Chris and I spent our 5th anniversary there. We stayed at the Historic Hamilton Turner Inn. This time though we stayed at a Holiday Inn. In fact, that’s all we stayed in our whole trip. I’m a member of Holiday Inn’s rewards program so I earn rewards for my trips.

God called me to Belize after we had planned the colonial road trip. I knew I couldn’t cancel since I had promised Michael. But we did cut back on spending and we took food for snacks and dinner. We had some unexpected expenses as some of our food spoiled in the cooler and other things that happened. But we did try to go cheap. The most unexpected thing was the severity of the weather but I’ll get to that in another post.  For now, enjoy the pictures of Colonial Savannah. We had a blast walking around the old city at night.  We visited Forsyth Park that day and took pictures by the fountain. There’s also a picture of James Olgethorpe the founder of Georgia’s colony. It was great to see in person what we were about to learn about in homeschool…

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Lastly, we had pizza at the hotel and enjoyed having cable t.v. 🙂 I found this pretend shaving kit for Michael and I found bath dyes to dye his bath water. Our bath at home is messed up so we only use the shower. It’s always a treat to use a big tub. Michael still plays with his shaving kit.  We would get up early the next morning for a large breakfast at the Holiday Inn’s restaurant (more than a continental breakfast) and then drive about 7 hours to Williamsburg, Virginia. We stopped about halfway in South Carolina. More on that tomorrow…

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: Have you ever been to Savannah? What was your favorite site there?

Colonial Road Trip Part 2: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/colonial-road-trip-part-2-south-of-the-border-south-carolina/

 

My Family Rocks! Sunday: Sukkot at Enota & Dahlonega Gold Mines September 29, 2013

In this post: Our trip to Enota Mountain Campground to celebrate Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) and our stay in Dahlonega, Ga to see the gold mines. 

PS: At the end of this post I have links with our past Sukkot celebrations and what Sukkot is all about. 🙂

Hello dear ones! Last weekend the family and I traveled to Enota Mountain Campground near Hiawassee, Ga for some Sukkot camping. We had originally planned to camp at Desoto Falls, a favorite spot of ours. Then we saw that it was going to rain Saturday and didn’t want to go there for just one night. Anywho, long story short, through a series of events I found Enota and we decided to stay one night in Enota and then spend the next at a hotel in Dahlonega. I had thought about Helen but since we’ve explored it before, I thought it’d be nice to check out the Dahlonega gold mines.

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So it took us most of the day to drive to Enota. We got there that afternoon with just enough time to set up and for Michael to fish before it got dark.  It was a nice drive into the mountains.

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The staff were super friendly.

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I like how the lodge has a fence made out of antlers. Enota used to be a camp for boys.  It was a bit run down compared to how it looked on their website. Times are hard in the states. This is a non profit place and money is probably short. Still we enjoyed our stay.

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We decided to camp near the stream. It was peaceful and quiet. We did get neighbors on the other side of the stream later that night. Thankfully they were quiet.

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Michael was glad to be “free” of the van lol. Here’s the other view. Follow that road and it takes you to the lodge, farm, and playground.

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Michael and I helped Chris set up the tent while he made a fire. Here’s Chris and Michael.

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We decided to roast some hot dogs before letting Michael catch a fish. I was comfy :).

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Enota has a trout pond that you can fish in as long as you keep what you catch and pay $6 a pound or per fish. You don’t even need a fishing licence to fish there. They had poles too.  Here are the ducks that live at the pond. They have these crazy mohawks! The white one pecked my toe while I was filming. I don’t know what his problem was. We fed them too!

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Chris helped Michael catch a fish. We didn’t want to pay for or clean more than one.

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Michael was thrilled :).

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There was a small “waterfall” if you can call it that, near our camp.

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Here’s Chris cleaning the fish in the stream. I’m so glad I married an outdoorsy man. I’ve never did well at cleaning fish.

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Michael throwing stones. He was disgusted when Chris showed him the fish’ insides lol.

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Chris cooking the fish on a stick while Michael draws. Later we wrapped the fish in tinfoil and seasoned it to make it cook faster.

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Michael and I had collected leaves earlier that day. That night we strung them up.

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We hung them on our tent for Sukkot decoration. We talked about why we celebrate Tabernacles (Sukkot) and how this world is not our true home. Our bodies are like tents but one day we will go home to Heaven. We are pilgrims on this earth. We talked about the Israelites living in tents in the desert until they made it to the promised land. We also talked about how Jesus put on flesh and came to tabernacle with humans. We discussed how it’s very possible and likely that Jesus was born during Sukkot and that the manger was a sukkah.

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We roasted marshmallows and…

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had smores :).

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We sang worship songs and campfire songs. I played the guitar this time. This is how dark it really was.

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This is how it looks because of the camera’s flash ;).

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That night I read Michael a Jewish Sukkot legend for fun. I got this book at the library. Its about an evil magician that makes all the adults forget holidays and at that time Sukkot. So the kids celebrate themselves and they break the spell off their parents.  Now supposedly in a certain village, the kids lead the prayers etc in honor of that time.

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We woke up that morning to light rain. It was so light that we were able to pack up without getting soaked.

Since Sukkot is also about the harvest and being thankful, we went to tour the farm at 8 am. The tour guide never showed up. They were busy trying to save the pond that had started draining the day before. Another family showed up as well so we just all walked to the farm ourselves.  I was unable to milk a cow like I had wanted but we still got to see animals.

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Maybe one day we will go back and milk a cow…maybe help plant and harvest vegetables.

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Michael still wants turkey for Thanksgiving :).  He’s not super sensitive in that way.

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We got to pet the pony.

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We had plenty of time before our hotel was ready in Dahlonega. So we stopped by Helen, Ga on the way.

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We had breakfast at the Huddlehouse which I believe is the only breakfast joint there. We had to stand and wait for a table. We were wet and cold so the hot breakfast was wonderful. Yes Fall made it to North Ga on time. It was chilly. I’m glad I packed sweaters for Michael and I. We didn’t want to linger long so we just stopped by Hansel and Gretal’s for chocolate and left.

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We decided to tour the Consolidated Gold Mines in Dahlonega before going to our hotel. We bought a tour which came with gold panning. We panned for gold first and found about $8 worth of gold. Yep, real gold.

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Then Chris and I had to put on hard hats to go into the mines. Michael was too short to need one. We watched a brief video on the history of the mines.

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The stairs etc were steep and I was honestly really nervous going down there.

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Here’s our tour guide using Michael as an example. Did you know that back in the day little boys were used to pass messages in the mines? It was because they were considered expendable back then. Horrible I know! Miners also didn’t live long . It was a terrible job. They often had hearing loss because of the booms. The chemicals that were used caused black pneumonia I believe, that would slowly kill a person. The miners had to stay down in the mine while they were blowing things up. The pay wasn’t that great and if you got injured you were out of luck and no longer important. There were no labor unions.  Anywho, our guide in a witty way made it clear that we would not have wanted this job.

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The gold on top of the Georgia capitol building came from this mine.

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It was a bit chilly and very damp. Sadly, we didn’t see any bats. The guide says they are usually everywhere.

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Here’s a rock formation that took about twenty years.

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The one place where you can see the light!

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We got a souvenir magnet and a hard hat for Michael. He played miner at the hotel the rest of the day.

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We really enjoyed relaxing in a hotel room after “roughing” it the day before. I think it should be a new Sukkot tradition, camp a day…relax a day.  I brought along a couple of Scarecrow books to read. We also watched shows about kittens lol. We don’t have cable so we enjoyed that.

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This Sukkot was different but very enjoyable. We’ve usually pitched our tents in our backyard or somewhere nearby. You can see other Sukkot celebrations here: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/my-family-rocks-sunday-sukkot-the-feast-of-tabernacles/

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/crafty-monday-pumpkins-sukkot/

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

My Family Rocks! Sunday: My Hometown August 25, 2013

In this post: A visit to my small hometown and recipes for Cherry Crisp and Spinach Rice Casserole. Come hang out 🙂

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Oh, how I’d love to take my friends back with me to my hometown. It’s not a place I’d want to live anymore…too many memories. But it’s nice to visit. So where would I take you if we went?

  • First, I’d take you to meet my grandparents & family because they are amazing.

Sadly, I forgot to take a picture when Michael and I met my Mema and Grandpa at the Huddle House. We also saw my cousin and his wife and baby. Eating at the Huddle House is sort of a family tradition. By the way, the Jesup Huddle House is the # 1 Huddle House in Georgia (USA)! In case you don’t know, the Huddle House is a 24 diner with greasy but tasty food.

So I did get pictures of my Granny and her new husband and home. She married my step dad’s dad (after my parents married).

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It was nice watching the birds and a squirrel from the dining room window. It’s been 27 years since my Grandaddy died. Granny is adjusting well to marriage.

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Here’s grandpa Hubert. He’s getting used to Granny’s huge family and dozens of grandchildren (great and even great great).

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  • My Granny (mom’s mother) lives in the city. So while in the city I’d take you to see the little  red caboose. Jesup came about because of the railroad that runs through the town. You’ll also see that there’s a church on every corner basically.

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Neat pic of dog tags left on the tree.

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  • I’d show you some of my old haunts. Here’s just one. The park across from Dairy Queen used to have a nice gazebo and archway.  Kids in the youth group would carry their girlfriends under it and joke about marriage.  Chris and I had dates here. Sadly, I found it and many places ran down. It made me want to cry.

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There’s a turtle in the fountain. The gazebo isn’t even there anymore.  😦

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  • We would then drive to the outskirts of Jesup out in the country. You’d meet my Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Joe and cousins.

Here’s my cousin Ricky playing around with Michael. Michael got so dirty playing in the yard. My cousin BJ (Billie) in the corner. She’s about to graduate. I feel old.

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Uncle Joe and Aunt Charlotte built so much of their home themselves. Uncle Joe still works hard despite his lung disease. He truly is a trooper. Aunt Charlotte can cook anything and make it taste good…even things you may not want to try. My husband swears that squirrel is yummy. I don’t think I’ve eaten any and hope I haven’t unless I got slipped some here lol. My redneck husband adores these family members. I caught my first fish with this beloved Aunt and Uncle.

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Their land is a bit swampy so you can find frogs everywhere and that’s fortunate for me. I happen to get great joy out of catching frogs…even though I throw them back now.

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We visited their hog which was near the corn field.

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  • That night I would take you to one of the few Drive in’s in Georgia. I have so many fond memories of the Jesup Drive In.

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Michael and I saw the Smurfs 2. It was a week day and very quiet but on the weekend the place is packed. It is the happening place to be in a town that didn’t get it’s only Walmart until I was in Highschool.

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It has new owners since I was a kid and now they have a very retro theme. You can order food on your phone and the car hop will bring it to you. So we just had to get pizza, popcorn, and a rootbeer float. Yumm! Oh and the movie won’t start until it’s dark. So though starting time was supposed to be 8:30 we had to wait a bit on the sun to sink on our side of the field (they have two screens on opposite sides). Thankfully we were near the bathroom. It always stinks having to walk halfway across the field to get to the bathroom late at night.

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  • Then we would drive to Ludowici, where my Dad grew up. We would see my Grandpa Way (Dad’s father) and Grandma Betty (Step grandma). Yes, I have three sets of grandparents. Mema being Dad’s mother.

Michael and Grandma Betty playing cards. They also played with the legendary chess set that I played with as a kid. It’s made of some sort of stone and looks like dragons and knights etc. They have faces carved on them.

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They live out in the country and near a small country church that has a big cemetery with some of the “Way” family ancestors from the 1800’s!  Way is my maiden name by the way…no pun intended.  But they are not of the redneck branch. You’ll find trinkets from their trip to Mexico everywhere and the house always reminded me of a spanish castle. I had fun pretending as a kid.

I was sad to drive up and see the wall torn down and the big pool filled with dirt and flowers. They can’t keep up with it anymore. So much is changing. I used to spend my Summers swimming in the big pool. But I’m glad my grandparents aren’t burdened by the pool anymore.

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  • We would look at my Family history and genealogy. Grandpa Way would take out the family books.

Me and Grandpa Way.

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You’d see that some of my relatives came from France. We could trace when they came to America.

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We could see who they married and when they died. We’d also read stories about my great great grandpa B. Way who was a lawyer and wrote some rather outspoken literature. We’d see that his ears looks like my Dad’s and that eccentricity runs in my family :).  The stories are quite amusing. I guess writing is in my blood!

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Oh, and expect to be fed at all of my grandparents. We’d also have lots of free places to sleep.

  • On the drive back to Jesup, I’d point to the mill (which you’d have smelled already) and say “that’s how you know you’re getting close to Jesup. You smell the mill.”

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Some people claim that the smell of Rayonier is the smell of money. I think it’s just stinky! Don’t fish near the mill or drink the water there!

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  • Then I’d take you to the cemetery that my Dad is buried in and one day I may be buried there too.

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I would tell you how great my Dad was. We’d put some more flowers on his grave. I’d point to the grave beside him and talk about my Papa who died when I was thirteen. My Dad wanted to be buried by his step dad who really was like a Dad to him. I could say the same about my Papa.  He was such a humble man.

You’d notice that the cemetery is peaceful and quiet. Maybe you’d contemplate life and death and the reality of eternity.  Behind my Dad’s grave we’d see the grave of a small child. I know the story of that child’s death and it’s a sad one. You never know when you’re time will come. I know other people in the cemetery too. I’d send a message to Jesus and ask him to give it to my Dad. “Please tell him that I love and miss him. I can’t wait to see him. He’d be so proud of his grandson.”

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  • There are many places I could show you but our trip is a short one. We had to head to Disney World. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of my home town. When I get mad there I may call it po dunk but there are fond memories too. It wasn’t that bad of a place to grow up. It was relatively safe. It was nice having a country upbringing. Before we left I’d also take you to the Vet’s office to see my Aunt Lynn but I forgot to take pictures. We could go to Screven and meet my husband’s family.

You can learn more about my in laws and my husband’s upbringing here:  https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/thanksgiving-blessings-advent-prep/

So now onto the yummy recipes I tried recently!

Cherry Crisp

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http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Cheery-Cherry-Crisp

Spinach Rice Casserole

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http://www.food.com/recipe/kittencals-spinach-parmesan-rice-bake-96886

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

My Family Rocks! Sunday: Bucket List Dream Helen, Ga October 15, 2012

In this Post: Our trip to Helen, Ga and a Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle. So It’s actually Monday now. It took for ever to load the pics and post them.

Hello everyone, I hope you had a lovely weekend. Honestly I’ve felt crummy because of the change in weather and chest inflammation etc. I’m clinging tight to my heating pad. I should give it a name lol………maybe draw a face on it. Like I said, I have a love hate relationship with Fall. I’m not even going to get into how I feel about Winter. Praise the Lord for Christmas at least.

Anywho, though our trip to Helen took my pain from a dull ache to wanting to kick a gnome……well, I’m glad we went this season. Because Fall is beautiful and making it up to Anna Ruby Falls gave me a sense of accomplishment. I kept asking Frodo if we were almost there lol. Then I laid down and waited for eagles to carry me back to the motel……oh wait never mind…..that was just my overactive imagination. I hope you enjoy the pics and that you will see this amazing village some day.

First, here’s the Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle. I have a lot of Helen pics so I wanted to post this first. Chris didn’t like the ginger cake. Michael loved this. It tasted like breakfast rather than dessert to me.

Recipe at: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Pumpkin-Gingerbread-Trifle

Note: I didn’t like the smell of just the pumpkin & pudding mixed together. So I added 2 packs of cream cheese, some milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Now for a million Helen pics…….

Day one: shops & festhalle

Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen- their chocolate toffee is amazing!

Enjoying my caramel apple at our motel. We made a lot of pit stops at our motel. It was nice because I didn’t feel the best & we had a fire place which kept the place toasty. Best Western rocks :). It was cold and thankfully the “Bavarian” Dollar General had a comfy owl hat. I got several compliments. I do sort of look like Mario in his raccoon costume though….

Folk band at the Festhalle

Walking the streets of Helen

Glass shop– watching the man make a glass hummingbird

Helen at night- I don’t remember the shop but we found cheap hot dogs & funnel cake 🙂

Michael showing off his wooden dagger from one of the shops

Michael & Woody fast asleep at the hotel

Day Two: Bear Park, Charlemagne’s Kingdom, Cabbage Patch Land, Hofer’s, and the Troll Tavern

My guys drinking coffee on the balcony. We had a beautiful view.

Yaaa cozy fireplace! Michael ready for an adventurous day

http://www.blackforestbearpark.com/

Before we saw bears we were forced got to see reptiles. Michael was a bit anxious. I lost my love of snakes after middle school. I didn’t bother saying hello.

More reptiles….yaaaaa

This was an actual Rattle Snake. It was freaky to see one so close. I generally try to avoid them. Chris is brave.

Finally we are ready to see BEARS

What’s even better is that we got to FEED the bears……and they DIDN’T eat us 🙂

Here are the live bears. They did tricks for food. They were too cute (from a distance).

They preferred that we throw the food directly into their mouths.

Feed me Seymoure!

Come on! I’m starving here!

Look! We’re trees!

Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’, all cool…..

lol this bear was doing some serious posin’

Bear Park Mural outside

Charlemagne’s Kingdom

http://www.georgiamodelrailroad.com/

If you visit Helen, this is a MUST. This model of a railroad and Germany is the only one of it’s kind in the U.S.A.

castles in the mountains

It’s huge! You have to see this in person 🙂

Mountain village

View from above

Babyland a.k.a Cabbage Patch Land

http://www.cabbagepatchkids.com/

This stop was completely for me. I may have went here as a kid but I can’t remember. If so it was before they built the huge building.

When I got inside I was like a chipmunk on coffee. It was awesome!  A nice “nurse” welcomed us in and told us where the nursery was and how to “adopt” a baby (cabbage patch doll).

A big nurse doll in the nursery

We got to meet one of the original nurses from when it all started. She is the last one left there. She was very nice.

dolls everywhere!

The Cabbage Patch tree where the “babies” are born.

Don’t judge me. I don’t care if I’m an adult. This is flippin’ cool!

It took a long time for Michael not to act miserable & too tough to be there. After awhile he warmed up. He even asked me if the bunnies really made the babies grow in cabbages lol.  I told him he came out of lettuce…….lol no worries. He knows better!

My wonderful husband had to take this crazy picture. It’s supposed to be the look on my face when I found my very own cabbage patch.

So I have a princess cabbage patch for my doll collection. I only feel slightly guilty…since I don’t have a little girl..and I’m 27.

We were surprised by a live birth! The “nurse” actually delivered a doll from the cabbages. Her narration of the process was hilarious.

After the crowd named the “baby” we watched the nurse get the baby ready for adoption.

http://www.hofers.com/

Hofer’s Bakery

Chris finally found his beer stein here. He drinks coffee out of it :).

Chris and Michael enjoying their eclair. That thing was big.

Michael and I sharing a gingerbread man. It was the best gingerbread.

One of the most magical things about Helen is the wild bunnies. If you haven’t been in awhile then you would not have seen them. We asked the waitress at the Troll Tavern and she said a man had bunnies as pets and they got out of control Two years later the bunnies are EVERYWHERE!

Bunnies under vehicles…

Bunnies sitting quietly…..not moving until you reach out to touch them

Michael trying to catch a bunny

We ate at the Troll Tavern under the bridge. It was beautiful next to the river. We ate inside because it was cold. Chris had his one beer for Oktoberfest. I don’t drink and Chris rarely drinks. The crab artichoke dip was awesome!

http://www.helenga.org/business/troll-tavern

Helen is beautiful at night 🙂 The end of another good day.

Day Three: Anna Ruby Falls, Scarlet’s Secret, and the Dutch Shop

Time to say goodbye to our motel. I don’t think any of us wanted to leave. 😦

View of Helen coming in

This beautiful little structure is out in the middle of a cow field.

We collected fall leaves at the park across from our motel room. Then we drove to Anna Ruby Falls. We bought a “Gandalf” walking stick in the shop.  Michael is reading below. So this counts as a school field trip 😉

http://www.helenga.org/business/anna-ruby-falls-visitor-center

I needed the walking stick the most, so I became Gandalf…..with a Mario hat….cough

Me and little man “climbing” the rocks. Lol I could so be a Disney character with that get up…..Rafiki maybe?

Anna Ruby Falls was so beautiful. I took tons of pics but I’m not posting them all here. Maybe you will see more in my inspirational posts…….

Family pic 🙂 We all have our interesting hats

Chris carving our initials.

The results…. C.A.M (Chris, Amber, Michael)

We took several kissing pictures everywhere. I’m sparing you. So here’s just one.

We ate at the Helen Huddle  House just to say we ate there. It looks completely Bavarian on the outside but on the inside it’s the normal greasy but yummy Huddle House. Gotta love the south 🙂

Inside Hansel’s & Gretel’s main shop…yummmm

Michael actually wanted a pic with Santa, which is surprising since we don’t do Santa

The Christmas shop was closed 😥 It looked so inviting…

Michael is not channeling Michael Jackson lol. He said he was putting his hands in his pockets like Bruce Banner (the Hulk) ;P.

Another Bruce Banner pose

Chris got me these beautiful Windmill earrings and necklace at the Dutch Shop.

Look! ANOTHER bunny!

On the way out of town, we visited Scarlet’s Secret, a Gone with the Wind museum.

http://www.scarlettsecret.com/

I told the nice owner that I would mention her in my blog.  I’m not a big Gone with the Wind fan or anything but it was neat to see the collection.

The plantation house

Christmas tree decorated with Gone with the Wind ornaments. You can buy your own in the gift shop.

A portrait of Miss Scarlet O’Hara

So we are home now. I’d love to see Helen in the winter. Have you been to Helen? What are your favorite restaurants and attractions?

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover