Today our theme was Commission. We explained that just like a ship is made and commissioned for a specific purpose that God has a plan or blueprint for each of our lives. Brayden helped me explain my point by explaining that his dad had directions to help him put together the tent for their recent camping trip. We talked about the Coast Guard ships, cruise ships and cargo ships. As we drove to our first stop on our field trip we passed Jaxport. We saw two cargo ships. One which was being unloaded as we passed. I was more impressed than any of the kids. "Thank you God for supplying the visual aids."
It was much colder than we thin-skinned Floridians like to admit. We went to Kingsly Plantation. The house was being scraped and painted so we couldn't go inside the plantation house. Ashlynn was asleep by this time. Wayne waited in the car while the other three of us tramped the path down to the waterfront. We had talked about the clams that open their shells for the water to flow through so they can filter feed. The tide was out. We walked out and touched clumps of oyster shells similar to the clams we had just talked about. Again, I had to say, "Thank you God for the visual aids." The illustration was how when clams get frightened they shut their shells real quick or they clam up. Too many believers are like the clams. Instead of sharing Jesus with their friends, which is God's great commission for every believer, they clam up.
The kids liked the separate kitchen and even let me read brief snippets of historical information about indigo, cotton and sugar cane. But when we crossed to the other side of the plantation, Brayden and Karyn came alive. They got to see a gopher hole. Brayden especially liked the well and the trough that flowed out of the well. But they both were fascinated by the twisted and gnarled trees on the plantation. Brayden kept saying, "Papa's got to see this. Papa's just got to see this." And he did. I sat in the car and they showed Papa everything. What an amazing Papa he is!
It was hard to imagine that a tree with so many knots and holes could still be alive. I think they were some kind of cedar trees. They were beautiful except for the worms. I've never seen them this bad before. Tiny little green worms on thin string like threads seemed to spin their way to the ground or your clothes or your hair if you weren't careful. Things like that don't bother me, but I wasn't too happy when Karyn found one in my hair. It makes my head itch to think about it.
A little armadillo made its appearance looking for grubs. It dashed away into the thicket near some of the ruins of twenty-five tabby brick buildings on the plantation. Brayden, Ashlynn and I followed it to the edge of the thicket and then down the road. He reappeared on the other side of the thicket about two feet away from us, then he meandered across the road where he scratched for grubs. It was so much fun to watch the kids enjoy the armadillo. I have a story I'll share with them tomorrow about the armadillo.
It was way too cold to collect shells on the beach. Sorry, Kimberly, but I wrapped them up really good and well...we only stayed on the beach for a few minutes. At least it only seemed like a few minutes. Then we were off to Amelia Island and Fort Clinch.
Amelia Island is so beautiful this time of year. Azaleas. Burst of spring green. So beautiful! Quaint little shops, but not this trip. It's Panana Camp.
We had just been to the big fort, Castillo de San Marco at St. Augustine, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to go to another one. But I'm so glad we did. Its a great fort. Karyn said it was her favorite part of the day. Ashlynn said it was a "fun fort". It was inexpensive and the guide had a nice fire going in the kitchen. He showed us the finger prints of the slaves that made the bricks in the lower part of the walls. You could actually see their prints as they handled the soft clay before it was fired. I was amazed. We went around the fort after that looking for smooth thumb and finger indentions in the bricks. We climbed a twisted, spiral staircase that went up without rails. Yes, Kimberly we were careful. I held Brayden's hand and Papa carried Ashlynn. And Karyn was her normal, careful young lady.
And our lunch was fun. I froze a gallon of naturally decaffeinated tea in the freezer, leaving enough room for it to expand. By lunch time we had ice cold sweet tea to drink. We had sandwiches and deviled eggs. Actually, Wayne and I ate sandwiches and they sorta ate...and yes we ate too many potato chips and animal crackers and moon pies. I'll do better tomorrow on the menu. And yes we were tired.
It was amazing, nobody was unkind, except me for just a minute in my hurry to get everything organized so we could leave on time. I repented to Wayne very quickly. Karyn prayed we would be all be kind and Brayden felt he should pray about it too. God answered their prayer. Maybe Wayne's too. God is so good to let me enjoy my wonderful grandkids and husband. I even got to talk to Jason's baby on the phone today. She was jabbering in her daddy's arms. What a day!