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I’m going to Carolina in my mind…well actually in person. (July Travels Part II)

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Ok – I am way behind on my summer posts! But better late than never!  (See Part 1 here!)

Trip #2 of July was a 4-night quick trip up to the Charlotte area of NC (and SC too!)  Steven’s headquarters for work are in Fort Mill, SC, so he has been spending some time up there.  AND my brother and sister-in-law just happened to move to the northern Charlotte area – so it seemed like the perfect time and reason to visit!  (See them below – Uncle D and Aunt K!)

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We had beautiful weather, so we spent much of our time outside exploring different parks and neighborhoods around Charlotte.  I was very impressed with how easy the city was to navigate.  Set up similar to Atlanta, with a perimeter around (485 instead of 285), everything was just a little closer.  We stayed on the southwestern side in a corporate/retail area called Ballantyne.  Lots of retail and restaurants.  And home to The Ballantyne Hotel (a fancy resort!)

Here are a few of the places we visited:

Discovery Place Kids

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Perfect museum for kids under 8.  Huge playground, water area, trucks, racecars, planes, boats, vet clinic, mini grocery store, gymnastics area, building area, and so much more!

The spraypark at Latta Park (a cute little intown neighborhood).  This was pretty busy and in the direct sun – so within an hour we checked out 2 water parks for the kiddos (see next one below!)

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The Green.  A little tiny park right in the center of downtown Charlotte.  Virtually deserted when we went, the kids had a blast with these unpredictable fountains, including 4 from the mouth of fish!  Very clean, shaded park.  Perfect for little ones!

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Belle Johnston Park.  On the AM the kids and I left, we decided to try and burn some energy at one last park (which Charlotte is in no short supply of!), so I found this little gem in Pineville, NC.  Very clean, well maintained, and super fun for the kids!

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Baxter Village is a little “town” (planned community) in Fort Mill, SC complete with homes, shops, restaurants, parks, and walking trails.  Such a cute little concept.  The kids spent one morning at Baxter’s Bunch Playhouse (a super nice bounce house).  And then we returned with Uncle D and Aunt K for dinner again later in the week!

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Overall a fun, somewhat relaxing 4 days!  Definitely will go back as we now have family there.  And there is still so much more to do.  On our list (but not limited to):

US National Whitewater Center
Imaginon Museum
Discovery Place
Charlotte Nature Museum
Lazy 5 Ranch

And so many more parks and greenways, sounds like the perfect fall destination (with the pups) for some outdoor adventures.  And bonus, it’s so close (maybe 1.5 hours) from Asheville, NC another favorite fall destination for us!)

Any other Charlotte suggestions?  Thanks for reading!  One more summer fun post to come!

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10,000 Reasons for my heart to find

“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”
Psalm 103:1 (KJV – Full text at end of post)

Happy Monday!  I’m a day late, but for good reason.  We drove up to NC/SC (Charlotte area) to visit Daddy/Steven.  He’s been working a lot  up there lately and we thought we would save him a round-trip weekend drive and make the 4+ hour trip ourselves.  More to come later this week on that trip.  (And I know I am way behind on our 1st July trip to AR earlier in July – stay tuned for that too!)

We did find a church in Fort Mill, SC to attend on Sunday AM.  (Sad to have missed the contemporary service at New Church)  It said it was a “blended” service, but was a typical traditional Presbyterian service.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, just not one I connected to.  SO, while we were driving home from exploring and dinner last night in Charlotte, one of my all-time (albeit relatively new) Christian songs came on the radio, one that brings me goosebumps and to tears depending on the day.  It is one we sing often in our house, that even LL knows the words.  She’s been singing it for so long that now LM even hums along and chimes in at “name”.  I haven’t been able to capture that version yet – but I was able to catch her singing along with the radio yesterday while Daddy was driving:

I feel like I’ve been “saving” this song to put on my blog for so long, that this week finally seemed appropriate.  With no message or scripture to tie to from church – I’m on my own and no better way to express myself than through this song.  I am so blessed.  10,000 ways and even more.  This weekend was a small glimpse into that.  We were able to stay in a hotel, eat out, and just not having the usual household chores, let us truly enjoy each other’s company so much.  I am blessed with my loving, hard-working husband, who would do anything for me and the kids.  Two beautiful, smart, flexible, fun-loving kids.  Wonderful friends and family who helped out back home with our amazing furry kids.  Family we hadn’t seen in awhile that we got to spend time with.  Ofcourse food on the table, roof over our heads, clothes on our backs. And most of all a Savior who died for us so that we may live in His glory each and everyday.  It’s hard most days, so I treasure these times to truly appreciate it all.  So “Bless the LORD” I will always “Worship Your Holy Name” and I pray that I can be “singing when the evening comes” each and every day!

Here is Matt Redman’s Full Version.  And a link to a article about how it came about and full lyrics.

May your week be full of 10,000 reasons (and more) for you to praise our LORD and sing out HIS holy name.  Below is a glimpse into our trip and stay tuned for 2 parts of our July travel, yard sale musings, and a GIVEAWAY of a great book I finished last week!  God Bless, Amen.

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Psalm 103

King James Version (KJV)

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

20 Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

21 Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.

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