Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Erin's Trip to England

Day one: England. Today we went to a school . The kids there are no different than kids in America. They play the same games we do. Eat most of the same things we eat, and they have the same classes. I actually got to take an English lesson there. I really liked that there was no drama. We also went to Stonehenge. I liked it, but there were just too many bugs.

Day two: Water fun. Today we went to an outdoor activity center. First, we built a raft out of barrels and sticks. Then my whole team got on the raft, but then it began to sink. I was so scared. While I was trying to make the boat a little weightless, I “accidentally” pushed the person who was sitting by me into the water. Once we made it back to the land, we ran…I mean ran…to the obstacle course. My favorite thing in the obstacle course was the mud tunnel. Miss Alice and I were the only girls who did it. The others chickened out. After we got all muddy we each jumped into the river to clean off.

Day three: Don’t be cheeky. First thing we did today was walk around Oxford. I really want to do a semester there, so I can go back to England. Next we went to Warwick to train as a soldier. Racelyn from my group saw our trainer, and he smiled at him. The trainer didn’t like that so he said, “Since this many was being cheeky, he gets to do pushups.” After that we went to the hotel. It was a pretty funny and good day.

Day four: Today was okay. First we took a tour of England. It wasn’t that interesting, but the buildings were pretty. Then we did what I’ve always wanted to do – the London Eye. The London Eye is a big ferris wheel. Each capsule is the size of a room holding a lot of people. It has all glass around it so you can see all of London. It was actually slower than I thought it would be. When you got to the top everything was gorgeous.

Day five: Churchill. Today was all about Churchill. We went and saw his Cabinet War Rooms. We also saw a short film about him. I learned that he was in the Great Four. He was a great man. It was a very educational day.

Day six: Our last day. I loved today. We had an acting class which was unbelievable. We learned about Shakespeare and met with a parliament guy. Princess Kate is pregnant, and if it’s a son, he could one day be king. We went to the Museum of Modern Art. I took a picture of a shirt that says, “Stay Alive in 85” because one of the teachers took a picture of it. My favorite things at the museum were some cool looking chairs, the dresses from the 90s, and a chord that had suitcases on it. There was also a concrete shirt that I liked as well. Later that night we saw a Broadway show called “Viva Forever.” It was based on the Spice Girl’s music. I only recognized two songs from the musical.

I really enjoyed my time in England and France. I would like to go back someday. This was my adventure of a lifetime.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Erin's Trip to France

Please keep in mind Erin is twelve years old, and her knowledge of this world is limited on her experience and book smarts. She learned so much on this trip. Things I can only dream of seeing and doing, Erin experienced firsthand. They are memories she will treasure always.

     When my mom told me I would be flying with Delta to France, I thought I would be flying with a water faucet company. Boy was I wrong! In all, I flew eight hours and forty-five minutes from the US to France.

     When the Shreveport group landed in France all the other groups were already eating lunch. After we ate lunch, we followed Miss Alice (our delegation manager) to Palace of Versailles. I don’t know why they called it a “palace.” All that was there were gardens. Later that day we went to Chateau de Versailles. We got to walk through the Hall of Mirrors. It was pretty impressive. The mirrors made the hall seem longer than it was.

    Day three was probably the best day in France. First, we did my favorite thing – shopping on Champs Elysees. Then we did something I’ll never forget. We took the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately instead of taking the nice elevator back down, we walked down a lot of stairs. We had a guide for the Arc de Triumph, but it was hard to understand her because she had an accent.

     Day four – big and exciting. The Louvre was our only stop for today besides more shopping. My favorite piece of art was “The Last Supper.” For some reason I just didn’t find the Mona Lisa very interesting. I mean it’s just a picture. Our last stop was a restaurant where we got an art lesson from an artist. I messed half of it up because the lady just kept giving instructions.

We also had escargot. I know it is snail, but I couldn’t tell which part
was the snail – the black or the yellow!


 Day five – Dah, dah, dah, Daaaahhhh. Break out the fun. It’s Euro Disney time. Whoop, Whoop. Today
is Euro Disney time. Today was a day of rest. Ahhh. Not really! I rode Indiana Jones and flew straight through the skies on Space Mission Tow. Plus, I shopped like crazy. Today was awesome.

     Day six – Our last day in France. Today we went to Normandy. It was pretty sad. We had to write a letter to a World War II soldier. All of these letters will be kept in a museum.

    I’ll never forget my time in France, but I’m taking a ferry ride overnight to England where a new adventure awaits.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Erin Mullins (12 year old) Blogs about her People to People Trip -- Tale of Two Cities

My guest blogger today is my beautiful, smart, chatty and funny daughter Erin. Many of you supported and prayed for Erin this past year as she raised money for her Tale of Two Cities Trip to Europe. I asked her to write about her experiences. Over the next couple of entries, she will tell about her time in France and England, and I’ll post some of her pictures. Thank you for allowing me this indulgence. We are very proud of her, the hard work she put into going, and what she learned as a result of this trip. Hope you enjoy!


My adventure started when my mom handed me a letter and asked me if I would like to be a part of People to People Ambassador Program. I was very excited. I learned that People to People was a program started by President Eisenhower. He created this program so children could help there be fewer wars. President Eisenhower believed if children could meet other children from other countries and become friends, the children wouldn’t want war. I was nominated by one of my teachers to be in this program. I don’t know who nominated me, but I would like to know so I could thank them.

If I wanted to go on this trip, which I did, I had to do a lot of work. The trip to France and England was really expensive, so I started raising money. I did car washes, sold Christmas cookies, and even cleaned my uncle’s backyard. While I was saving I also had to take online classes and quizzes about the countries where I would be going. I was the first one to finish taking all of the quizzes.

Mrs. Wendy was the Shreveport group leader. I was the only girl in the group. There were two other boys, Michael and Racelyn. I also had to make a presentation in front of Mrs. Wendy. I did it on Stonehenge. There were several legends about Stonehenge including this one. The devil bought stones from a woman and was putting them up and said, “No one will ever see me.” A farmer saw him and said, “Oh yes they will.” As he was going to tell the people, the devil threw a stone on him.

In addition to the classes, quizzes and presentation, I had to pack. I put my clothes in ziplock bags, rolled them up and sealed them. It was pretty boring. I also had a lanyard I had to wear. Before I could leave I had to have US Currency changed to euros and pounds.

The only thing I was really nervous about was the long plane ride there, but it wasn’t that long after all. We flew with Delta, so each of the seats had their own television.

I was looking forward to going to the Eiffle Tower and to see the changing of the guards. I also was really excited to try escargot (snails) even though it did not taste like chicken. Mosst of all I looked forward to telling my family all of the great things I did on this trip. This was the beginning of my great adventure.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Finger Painting

Whenever I study the Word, I take my time, meditate on it, read different translations, review commentaries, and ask God what it is He wants me to know. Sometimes I have to sit on it a while before I get what I’m supposed to understand. Sometimes I get distracted while I wait. I know that surprises you because if you know me at all, you probably think “Distraction” is my middle name.

At any rate, my life has been a bit chaotic and stressful lately, so in-depth Bible study has taken a back seat. That doesn’t mean I don’t pray or have a quiet time. It just means the time I spend in the Word, meditating and going deeper has been cut. I know that I need to be digging in the Word just like I know I need to be eating healthy foods and not fast food. I feel so much better when I’m digging deeper and eating healthy. Don’t you?

Thankfully, God never moves. He never changes. He’s always there waiting for me to come to Him, to crawl up in his lap, to be still and listen to Him sing over me (Zephaniah 3:17). He’s there waiting to speak to my heart, to heal my hurt, and to fill me up. That’s a good God, isn’t it?

The reason He want us to dig deeper, to grow in our relationship with Him is so we can learn discernment – what’s right, what’s wrong, is the Scripture being misquoted or misused. He has spread out a feast before us, but when you don’t move past the baby Christian phase, you’ll never be able to digest the feast. Hebrews 6:1-2 in the Message puts it like this, “So come on, let’s leave the preschool finger painting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on ‘salvation by self-help’ and turning in trust toward God, baptismal instructions, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it!” We are to use our knowledge of the basics listed in verses 1 through 3 to move beyond, to grow deeper. If your faith and knowledge and wisdom of Jesus Christ is limited to those things in verses 1-3, then you are still a baby in preschool finger painting. How long have you been a Christian? Are you still finger painting pictures of what your knowledge of Christ is? There is a time and place for being a young Christian, but staying or being stuck in preschool is not healthy. Have you ever seen a healthy 17 or 18 year old in preschool? No. They are in high school learning more advanced things.

I want to encourage you to never stop digging. I want to encourage you to keep growing and producing fruit. Be like the ground that receives the much needed rain and produces fruit as opposed to growing thistles and thorns. The Bible says in Hebrews 6:8 that the thistles and thorns are burned. They are useless.

So, stop what you are doing, crawl up into your Father’s lap, and let Him speak to you through His Word.. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” You can count on Him because in Philippians 1:6 it says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” So study on. Study on.