Fall is my favorite time of year. The cooler weather is such a relief after the stifling heat of summer. I love a crackling fire in the fireplace. We have an outdoor firepit now. So we can build a fire outside an roast marshmallows on our back patio. But one of my favorite things about fall is the glorious changing colors of the foliage. Since we live in Tennessee the beauty is just breathtaking. We used to live out in the country in the rolling hills of middle TN. It just doesn’t get any more beautiful than the country in TN in October. I wish it was October now so I could share some pictures of some of the prettiest off the beaten path hidden away places that I know. I will do that when the colors are at their height of color next month. Today’s challenge is to share pictures of what says Fall to me. Nothing says it better than those changing leaves. So I grabbed a few pictures of spots around Nashville in the Fall. Enjoy!
Welcome to day one of The Sits Girls blogging challenge Fall Back Into Blogging. Today’s prompt is supposed to be a school related story that I’ve not shared yet. That is kind of difficult because I am a former homeschooling mom. So if you looked in the archives of The Journey Leads Home most of what you will see is posts about school. So in order to make this fresh and new I decided to go way back and share from MY childhood days.
My most vivid and impacting school memory occurred for me in first grade. When I was 7 years old I developed Rheumatic Fever and was in the hospital for quite a while and then was home and unable to return to school for a long time. My family had only lived in our new home for a few months and I was at a new school. Halfway through the school year I became ill and it became clear that I was going to miss too much school and was probably going to have to repeat the first grade. However, as it turns out God had put me in a class with the greatest teacher to ever step into a classroom. Her name was Mrs. Chamberlain. As it turned out she lived quite a ways from our small town elementary school. She had about a 40 minute drive one way to follow her heart and touch the lives of about 25 first graders every day of ever school year. Once I returned home from the hospital and it became clear that I was not going to be able to return to school she offered to come to our house after school every day to teach me one-on-one so that I could stay caught up with everyone else. To this day it brings tears to my eyes to know what a sacrifice she made for me. I am 45 years old and if someone asks me today who was my favorite teacher I say Mrs. Chamberlain.
My mom went to work at my elementary school not too long after that and just retired a couple of years ago. Mrs. Chamberlain retired a few years ago as well. I don’t know how many student’s lives she touched in all of her years of teaching but I do know that every one of us were blessed. Her commitment and love for teaching and each of her students inspired me to become a teacher. As it ended up I used my teaching degree to teach my own children. As I sat at the kitchen table each day to teach my children I was reminded many times of Mrs. Chamberlain and I sitting at our dining room table when I was 7 years old while she taught me.
Mrs. Chamberlain and her husband never had children of their own. But I can assure you that she has hundreds of children of all ages spread all over the world. Many years ago, after I became an adult, she told me I could call her Peggy. But I just never could do that. In my mind she was my teacher and I was her student. She is still Mrs. Chamberlain and I am still that little 7 year old girl swinging my feet under our dining room table learning how to add, spell and read. Thanks to her love and commitment I was able to return to school before the end of the year. And I did not have to repeat first grade. Mrs. Chamberlain Rocks!!!!
This week I will be participating in a blog challenge hosted by The Sits Girls website. As you’ve noticed things have been a little sporadic around here through the summer. It’s been that way for a couple of reasons. Yes we’ve been very busy, like everyone else in blogland, and done a lot of traveling. Keeping up with the blog has slid on down the list of priorities. But as I mentioned about a month ago I have also decided to change the purpose and focus of The Journey Leads Home since we have moved into the Empty Nest phase of life. So I’m still trying to feel my way through that. As any new phase of life take some getting used to, so it is with changing the focus of a blog.
At any rate, the purpose of this blog challenge is to help get the participating bloggers back into the swing of regular blogging. So each day of the upcoming week there is an assigned blogging prompt. Since we are going to be in Dallas all week I am going to write a little ahead and schedule them to post on the correct days. This is also going to help with my writing skills. Another thing I’ve discovered in taking such a long break from blogging that my writing skills have suffered as well. Ideas used to fill my mind all the time. I used to need a notebook on hand to write down ideas that would pop up because my mind was just always in writing mode. But now all I get is this ……………………………………………………………………….. If you don’t use it you DO lose it! So I am really looking forward to participating in challenges like this to exercise my mind again. I want to get back to needing a notebook for all the ideas my mind comes up with. So if you’ve noticed my writing isn’t quite what it used to be please bear with me. I’m working on it. It’s kind of like when you haven’t exercised for a long time and you’ve noticed your muscles really aren’t muscles anymore. They’re more fat now. Yeah – my brain is less muscle and more mush right now.
The prompts for the week look fun though. If you have a blog and want to participate in the challenge just follow this link to The Sits Girls site. The prompts are mostly about Fall since it’s the beginning of Fall. And who doesn’t love the change of the seasons? The cooler weather, bonfires, cozy sweaters, beautiful trees….it’s all just what we need after the 90 degree days of summer. Fall is really my favorite season and I am very much looking forward to writing and sharing about my love for it here with all of you this week. If you stop by from the challenge I hope you will leave me a comment with a link to your blog so I can come to visit you as well. That’s one thing I’ve truly missed about blogging – the community of bloggers. It’s like a sisterhood. I’ve missed my blogging sisters. I’m ready to snuggle up by a cozy fire with my fuzzy socks on and come by your blog for a visit.
Today’s entry for the SITS Girls contest is supposed to be pictures of the festivities of Halloween this year. I’m glad the contest is not based on the QUALITY of the festivities. Because we had no festivities! HA Lauren went to a party at a friends’ house Saturday but she didn’t dress up. We didn’t hand out candy this year – sorry to the littles who kept ringing our doorbell. The only one who really did any sort of celebrating was Michael. Continue reading
As it is Halloween weekend I thought it only fitting to share a few entries about the Halloween fun of the past. My kids are teenagers and for all intents and purposes gone on holidays. As everyone knows it is more fun to be with, dress up with and trick or treat with your friends. And it is extremely lame (their word, not mine) to be in the general vicinity of any member of your parental unit. Continue reading