• Life’s Lessons

    I hear a lot of people complain about boat ownership and the work it takes to have one. Haven’t you heard it’s better to have a friend with a boat than to have one yourself? As my neighbor always reminds me, “the best day was when I sold my boat and I didn’t have to pour money down the drain.” For our family, this is our getaway. Our mental renewal. A dream lived out. It’s purpose it to create etched memories for our family. To bond us as we experience adventures together. It’s not free of stress, or pain, or having to get down and dirty to make it happen. But isn’t that what makes a great adventure? When there is danger, and action, and laughter all mixed into one…those are the moments you remember.

    I am usually the one that sees the glass half empty. I’m pretty sure I’ve been that way my whole life. I have realized life is so much more enjoyable when I can see the glimpse of good in the bad. When I can turn the hard situation around to realize that maybe the hard thing really isn’t that bad. This boat has so many lessons for us. And I am thankful to get to experience them together as a family,



  • The Art of Crab Holding

    When you grow up with 2 older brothers, you aren’t afraid of much. Mcree has taught Mabry the art of crab holding so you don’t get pinched. She might have held the crab a little too hard and messed up one of it’s legs. She really wanted to carry it the rest of our walk to make sure it was ok. Glad we convinced her that crabs live by the water and not in the forest. 

  • We Can’t Stay Away!

    What a find! We went back to shark tooth island yesterday and found more shark teeth. HUGE shark teeth. We actually went to two beaches here because, well, once you find one shark tooth…you can’t stop hunting. We also made it to Daufuskie Island in South Carolina because we had never been there before. We hope to go back one day and have lunch and explore the island by golf cart. As we were leaving shark tooth island, we had a deja vu moment when we were leaving and a HUGE container ship was heading our way and then…the engine died. WHAT? REALLY? COME ONE! We limped back again on one engine…and thanks to Dr. Diesel it’s fixed again. (Rad got coined that name by his friends in college when he could pretty much fix anything.) So guess where we are headed again. YES. You guessed it. Today we didn’t spend a lot of time hunting for shark teeth. It was more of a hang out day on the beach and let the kids net fish and run wild. Another boat said they found several teeth across the way, but we just weren’t that motivated to move the boat…..except when the cargo ship went by. It’s always amazing to see the water sucked out to sea and then the force at which it rushes back in. The ocean is an amazing thing! (If you look really closely at the container ship, you will see our little boat toward the front of the container ship. You feel really small when that thing goes by).

    These are all the shark teeth we have found on this island in our 3 short visits.

  • Days Into Homeschooling

    Well, we are a few days into homeschooling and I haven’t run away to the beach yet like I usually do. I keep telling myself I have to start strong and stay on track at least until we get a routine going. Then we will go to the beach. HA! Transition is hard. Picking up where we left off 3+ months ago is clunky and I have to remember that it will take time to remember math concepts, real effort to spend hours a day learning…and teaching, and patience to juggle 3 different needs at the same time. The boys had their usual morning chores today and one of Gress’ chores was to clean out the car. When I looked out the window, he had all the mats out, vacuum going and I could guess he was keeping himself busy so he didn’t have to come back in and start his day with school. Let’s be real. It’s not easy.

    We have a lot to learn this year. Our schedule is full of LOTS of learning. I am excited to see how much takes place this next year. One of the things I really wanted to make a priority was teaching the kids the Bible. It is so easy to skip over that and get to the “meat” of what is “required.” But honestly, I need this too. I need a constant reminder of how much God loves me and how he is cheering for me right now. Our first lesson was on compassion. This week has been full of many stories about how people in the bible showed compassion toward others. It also showed how much compassion God has for his people. I LOVE seeing this concept sink deep into my kids hearts. It has been a constant word in our house this week.

    What I love even more is when things link together unexpectedly. We learned about the life of Vincent Van Gogh today. I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to share about the end of his life and his death. We were reading his story, and I realized all the compassion he poured out during his missionary days on the miners in one town and how much his heart was affected by what he saw and did. He was deeply touched by people and the environment around him. That’s what my kids remembered from the story. And they could see how that affected his life deeply until the very end. It gave meaning to his paintings. And they had compassion for how much suffering he must have endured.

    How much of my schedule do I tweak and fix and try to make perfect. Yet, God already ordained my days and knows what is ahead for us. I am trusting that He is going to work it all out for His good and glory.

    We were inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night (last photo). Mcree yelled at the beginning, “I LOVE art.” He was feeling challenged at first but then really got into it. His is the bottom left painting. I think he’s really going to surprise me this year!

    And we finally started our book pile from the library. We only checked out 55 books the first go around. And some tricky person put one in the bag after we already checked out, which caused the alarm to go off as we exited and we had to rescan all the books. So this little girl took her time reading while the rescanning progressed. Let the reading begin!


  • Shark Tooth Island

    We were able to take a short exploring trip since our boat is still at dock on the water. There is something very appealing about just stepping onto the boat and going. We have always wanted to find Shark Tooth Island. We have heard that there are lots of shark teeth there because they dredge the river and a lot of things get washed up on shore. We weren’t sure if that was myth or not but we had to find out for ourselves. It was high tide so we could only explore small parts of the island but once we were on land and exploring, Rad noticed a perfect spot for shark tooth hunting. We looked down and instantly found 2 teeth. It was an awesome find! We also learned that as a container ship is going by, a lot of water get sucked out to sea and not to panic if your boat is suddenly without water under it, for that is only temporary. The cattle dog was with us on this trip. So it was probably good it was only a short outing. One of our engines malfunctioned on the way back so luckily we had another. It was a calm ride back to the dock. Good thing I have a handy husband who can fix most things! Hope to be back out on her again soon.

  • Who Invited the Cattle Dog?

    This cattle dog is a land dog. Which means “doggie paddling” is for emergency purposes only. It was funny while it lasted, albeit painful when the flailing and claw slinging happened. Poor Luna. We just might have traumatized her. You’ve never seen a dog so happy to be on land. I take credit for the idea. Rad was not a fan of bringing her on the boat. Half way through the trip, I had to agree it wasn’t my best decision. Between dog hair and sheer cattle dog frenzy while in the water, it was a bit too much to handle. At one point I was torn between saving the baby floating out to sea or rescuing a panicked stricken dog. I have to say though, it was sweet to look over and see her along for the ride. Sorry Luna, you might not be invited back. And since the days off the boat, she has been a bit clingy. Pretty sure she will never touch paw on another dock.

  • Playing on the Water

    Click the play button to watch this video.

    (If you are getting this as an email and can’t view it, you may have to click the header in the email titled “Under The Mossy Oaks” for it to take you to the website.)


  • First Day of School

    Here we go!!! Praying for these early days that I find energy, patience, and thankfulness as I shepherd these little hearts. 

  • Private Island

    Being on the water is ALWAYS an adventure. Mimi and Cici willingly went along for whatever the day held on the open sea. It was glorious, and refreshing, and oh so beautiful. We pretty much had an island all to ourselves. THANKS Mimi and especially Cici for journeying along with us. We loved seeing Mimi jump off the boat and swim with us in the river. It’s always sad when the day has to come to an end, especially when you can’t get the boat on the trailer because of low tide and a steep boat ramp. But hey, this girl is choosing to look at the glass half full and see it as an opportunity to park the boat IN the water for quick access another day. Thankful for friends with docks who share years of experience with us. And thankful for grandparents who love to just BE with us. 

  • They are here!

    We were very lucky this last week to have Mimi and Cici here. There were adventures, and game playing and lots of quality time. It was so fun. THANKS Mimi and Cici for taking the time to be with us! Really wishing you were still here, especially for a competitive card game of hands and feet!