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Archive for October, 2012

Oct 30 2012

An Abby Kinda Place

Posted by Mugs @ 12:47 pm in Family,Sightseeing

While visiting Natural Bridge, we happened upon the Pink Cadillac Diner. Abby was thrilled. She loves all things diner and all things pink.

Dad would have loved the Cadillac.

There were pink coffee cups and a giant gumball machine. Zeke was the lucky winner of the pink gumball. Those who get a pink gumball, win a free ice cream cone for dessert.

The place was full of locals, including high school students all dressed up for the homecoming dance. One girl was sitting there eating diner food in the most beautiful dress. There was also a cadet from Virginia Tech in uniform with his girlfriend.

It brought back old memories of how exciting it was to go out to a restaurant before high school prom, and how wonderful it was to escape from West Point for a meal at the diner.

Oct 29 2012

Frankenstorm Day

Posted by Mugs @ 1:12 pm in Family

The Manry Clan is currently safe at home. The kids got a day off school and Dale got a day off work. We’ve had 3 inches of rain so far and some big wind gusts. The trees which were beautiful in their autumn colors a few days ago are getting stripped bare and our yard is now covered in leaves. We still have power. The storm appears to be headed north of us. We will most likely be in the outer southwest quadrant when it makes landfall. We do not live in a flood zone.

We have chocolate dribble hurricane cake to eat, and I managed to buy bread before it disappeared from the shelves.

Your prayers are appreciated.


Oct 26 2012

Natural Bridge

Posted by Mugs @ 1:10 pm in Family,Nature,Sightseeing

While we were in Southwest Virginia, we stopped by to visit the Natural Bridge. The sheer size of the bridge is breathtaking. Cars drive across the top of it.

We enjoyed our afternoon and evening there. The park is lovely and the walk about provided a nice break from the crowds.

In the evening, the bridge was lit from different angles with various colors. A reading of the creation account from Genesis interspersed with classical music recordings accompanied the display.

The kids enjoyed the the lights, the readings, and the classical music, but they were not too thrilled when their mother sang along to the hymn played at the end.

I must have thought I was back at the Zim Evangelical Free Church Sunday Night Sing. The surroundings were more grand, but the praise of the Creator for His creation was just as heartfelt.


Oct 25 2012

Autumn Photos For Mom

Posted by Mugs @ 10:46 am in Nature


Oct 23 2012

Liberty University

Posted by Mugs @ 12:48 pm in Church,Family,school,Sightseeing

Our friend Barry was recently hired to teach in the drama department at Liberty, so we got an insiders view of the college.

Barry described the facilities best when he told us, “It’s like a giant playground [for college students].”

The university has a snow boarding hill made with astroturf snow, a dollar theater, a fantastic arena, a Christian radio station, and an ice hockey rink. They are currently building a library which will use robots as librarians. Whatever fun location you can think of, if it is not already there, it’s probably getting built.

Liberty is a very young college. It was founded in 1971 by Thomas Road Baptist Church as a Bible School. Its first class had 150 students. Now, 12,500 students attend Liberty on campus, and over 80,000 students attend Liberty online.

We toured around the campus in a bus and had R.L., a local high school student, in our group to keep us entertained. Now, I know Virginia is in the south, but the part of Virginia I live in doesn’t quite live up to the southern vibe.

When at Liberty, one is firmly in the south, the Appalachian hillbilly south of which R.L. was a member. It took several minutes for our tour guide to understand that R.L.’s name was not Earl or Oral or Aral.

The first thing R.L. was glad to hear about was the NRA event which was held last year at the conference center near the campus.

He was also thrilled by the height of the bus. “I ain’t gotta duck!” he told us happily.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t too happy about our female tour guide’s driving skills. Admittedly, when we were pulling out of the lot, and she said “I wonder why [the bus] is making such a loud beeping sound?” I became a bit concerned too.

We were all grateful when we got to the bottom of the hill and she remembered to release the parking brake. Amazingly, the beeping stopped.

That was all the encouragement R.L. needed.

“I don’t wanna die!” He cried during a turn.

“I almost got killed! He yelled after a close call with another vehicle.

He was on a roll and Dale and I laughed at everything he said. Especially when we were walking along through the trees.

“Squirrels! I wish I had my BB gun. I could cook up some squirrel meat.” He declared.

Admittedly, R.L. would be in the minority at Liberty. Only 30% of the students are from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Although, I admired R.L. as the most colorful character we met during our 3 college tour, Abby was quite fond of the Mom who wore a Radford t-shirt as we toured Radford and then was wearing quite a different shirt when we toured Virginia Tech. She asked the tour guide at Radford (the most slacker friendly school we’ve been to) if there was a barber on campus so her son could get his hair cut. (The kid had a buzz cut so short that I am quite sure he could grow his hair out for four years of college and still not achieve some of the skater dude hair lengths we saw.)

She played the “Embarrassing Mom” roll so well, I told my children to be thankful for what they have. Life could be much much worse.

If I see her again, I’ll suggest she send her son to Liberty.

Liberty was strict when it came to hair length. While touring, I realized Gabe would not be attending Liberty for several reasons.

1. He would have to keep his hair cut above the collar.

2. Although he would love the robot library of the future, he would probably be better off in a robotics lab.

3. He would be subjected to room cleanliness checks, that when failed, result in a $10 fine.

The boy would be broke by the end of the first semester.

Liberty has loosened up on some of its dress code standards. As one tour guide put it: “They’ve given us nose and eyebrow piercings now.”

(Her awkward phrasing gave Dale a chuckle.)

The girls no longer have to wear full length skirts. Although, if any women desire to still wear them, they can climb up the hill to their dorms on the princess steps which allow a woman in long skirts not to have to hike her skirt up above her ankles to climb. I found that engineering hilariously clever.

The old dorms are scheduled to undergo renovation, but the new apartment style dorms are quite nice with full kitchens, multiple bathrooms, and a washer and dryer.

For going on the tour, Abby and Josiah each received a coffee cup, a cookie, and a box of cheese straws. Dale thinks one of the coffee cups is his. Josiah and Abby haven’t opened up the cheese straws. I think they are afraid of this southern delicacy.

Admittedly, my visit to Liberty was a bit tongue in cheek. Throughout the years, I disagreed with the founder of Liberty on many things. Just the sight of the Jerry Falwell museum made me shake my head.

However, he served and I serve the same God and worship the same Lord Jesus Christ.

In his pursuit to follow God, sometimes, he got it right and sometimes he got it really wrong. The same could be said of me.

During our visit, I could certainly see the potential of Liberty. It is continuing to grow and improve in support of its goal to raise up champions for Christ.

Liberty University draws the big names of evangelical Christianity and many who desire to be aligned with conservative values to its doors.

The university may be lacking in its academic focus, but their focus on being salt and light to the world is being achieved.

The University was named through the inspiration of 2 Corinthians 3:17

“…Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

The Spirit of the Lord was evident at Liberty when we visited. The faculty and students honor God there, and it was a blessing to see it.