Our Calendar

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Trip to Jamestown: The Hunt Begins

Tuesday, June 12 2007 We received our text message at 5:00am, climbed over sleeping babies and their sleeping beauty of a baby-sitter (our oldest, Amy, had graciously agreed to watch Joy, Anna, Nathanael, and Glory while we found out what we were supposed to do for the day, and they could join us when it was a good time. It turned out that they stayed at the campground the rest of the day. It was the most intense day of the week.) We greeted the Kelly family at the shower house. They had REALLY persevered!!, having come home from the registration to find their tents totally saturated from an intense rain and hail storm that had hit while we had all been at the Marriot.

The excitement was palpable as we drove the 20 minutes to reach our first destination: "...Arrive at the Williamsburg Marriot Amphitheater at 6:45a.m. Doors close at 7:10a.m.". We ate our hard-boiled eggs, granola bars, fruit and yogurt (which was to be our "Hunt" breakfast) as we tried to guess what the week would hold. It was even more fun and exciting than anything we could have imagined.

As we waited in the COLD auditorium for the Moderator to appear, I was struck by the fact that their were about 500 or more people (and many very small children) sitting in total SILENCE for about 15 minutes. That was one VERY intimidating guy down front (he had seemed so friendly and affable the day before !?). The anticipation in the room was intense. One of the things I found most amazing about the entire "Hunt" experience, was that while everyone was very focused and intent and competative, the whole spirit of the competitors was one of encouragement and affirmation and blessing-- and all this without being able to "talk" to each other. What a fantastic example of the spirit of Christ in the participating family. It was an extreme honor to be a part of a group of that caliber.

Once we got our clues, we headed for the College of William and Mary Swem Library. It was fun watching families filter in a few at a time all morning. The Library was rather full when our cell phone beeped that we had a text message. Eccleston was alive!! and wanted us to meet him. I can't even describe how funny it was to watch more than a dozen families scattered around various tables and seating areas, hunched intently over piles of books , suddenly all simultaneously look at their cell phones, pack up their stuff, and evacuate the library en masse, without saying a word to one another. It really was surreal, and so terribly fun!

As we approach DOG street, our appointed meeting place with Mr. Peabody (whom we'd never seen), we were in a quandry what to do, for the message was cut short with "and give him...", so we just ambled down the street. We saw a kindly looking older gentleman with a Williamsburg
name tag on the other side of the street. He looked like a possibility, but what were we suppposed to give him? We continued on our way, when John said "What about that guy?" referring to a bearded man in a black coat reading a newspaper on a bench under a shade tree. "That absolutely has to be him" said Joel, "He looks like someone from a movie." I wasn't convinced and we still didn't know what to give him, so we split up. Adam, Joel and I went to the Bruton Parrish Church to check for clues, while Keith, Josiah, and John continued looking for Eccleston Peabody. We were busy reading gravestones, hoping that one of these worthy souls had recorded on their epitath that they had "kneeled before the LORD when they were twenty-eight" when the cell phone beeped with the rest of the message we were to carry to Mr. Peabody. We reconvened with the others and headed back to our conspicous friend. Our suspicions were confirmed when we saw multiple families loitering in the area, trying to surrepticiously approach the quiet reader on the bench. What a fantastic memory our family will have of this!

We finished typing in the 46 characters that we thought best fit the clues and the spaces about 5:00p.m. and went back to our campsite wondering what the next day would bring.

One of the most frustrating clues was "MURRAY'S ALWAYS THE SAME". We spent much discussion on this one, first determining that Murray was John Murray the Earl of Dunmore and last British Governor of Virginia (and not the Murray who was appointed envoy to France along with Patrick Henry in 1799. For awhile, we thought maybe there was a Patrick Henry theme going.) In the end, we put DUNMORE, because it fit in the blanks we had left to make the 46 characters of the correct answer. Not a very enlightened answer.

Later that evening, after submitting our clue answers, we found that "MURRAY'S ALWAYS THE SAME" as an anagram (which we thought it might be because it seemed not to mean anything else) could be "WHAT MURRAY SEAL SAYS EM".

The conversation went something like this: "That wasn't it because what does the EM mean?" "Maybe it is like the M.A. after 'I am an heir none the less.' M.A." "Hey, maybe it meant we were supposed to put the ET MOIN from the big seal on the back of the Governor's Palace." "No, that seal is the King's Seal. It is all over Williamsburg." "I don't think this was an anagram. It just didn't really work" "Me neither."

Imagine our disappointment when on arriving back in Missouri we found that John had taken the picture on the bottom during our Monday tour of the Governor's Palace (before the contest began). It is of a Seal with the Latin phrase "Semper Eadum" which means "Always the Same." Whether the clue was an anagram or not, we'll probably never know, but we have learned from the Indomitable Willis Family to question everything!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Trip to Jamestown: The Men in Blue

Our Treasure Hunters, the "Men in Blue", picture taken by the short "lady in blue". I am so proud of you guys! "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! ... For there the LORD bestows his blessing even life forevermore." Psalms 133:1, 3b

Our Shirt Back

A special "Thank you" to our oldest daughter, Amy, who designed and arranged the printing of our shirts. (And made many of our costumes)

For more information about John Nisbet the Martyr, we highly recommend the Douglas Bond series sold by Vision Forum: Duncan's War, King's Arrow, and Rebel's Keep. The books are excellent, even if they had nothing to do with our ancestors. We knew our family heritage, which is one reason we had ordered the books from VF, but the kids were so thrilled when, in book 2, during a dire situation help comes over the hill, and it was John Nisbet. This was particularly thrilling to our 11 year old son, John Nisbett (the family has a little bit of trouble keeping up with their t's .)

Our Shirt Front

After reading what our ancestors endured, we were so honored to share their motto "I Byd it" which means "I Shall Persevere". It is with extreme gratitude that we reflect on the truth that our fathers, grand-fathers, and great-great-great .... grandfathers loved the LORD, served Him with willing hearts and sacrificial lives, and prayed for us, their children. May we be worthy of them.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Trip to Jamestown: The VAN

Inspired by Mike Southerland's pictures on his blog of his van with Blue Flames, the guys decided along the way to get creative with our mundane van. A little shoe polish picked up at a gas station somewhere (maybe Maryland) and some intense brainstorming produced the desired effect. But where else in the world can you show up in a 15 passanger white van covered in obscure slogans and scripture, with a multitude of children, including one passionate bag-piper, a bunch of treasure hunters, a portable library, camping gear and a complete set of historical costumes -- and then find that you aren't the ONLY family there that fits that exact description!! We loved the Thomas Family at first sight.
"A RAG MAN" is our anagram of ANAGRAM, and our tribute to all of those who spent vast, copious amounts of time shifting letters around trying to make ANYTHING intelligible appear. It was really fun watching peoples expressions as they read the van. Treasure Hunters laughed, the general public looked rather puzzled as they tried to figure out what our van meant. One person at a gas station hollered, "Hey Man, What's a Bow-di-knot?!" It gave Keith an opportunity to educate someone about the many significant gifts and accomplishments of our hero, Elias Boudinot.

HEBREWS 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Trip to Jamestown: The Super 8 Motel Address

While driving the many miles that we covered on our way to Jamestown, we amused ourselves in a variety of ways. One of our family's favorites is a good read-aloud. This trip we read The Thirty-Nine Steps, by John Buchan recommended by the Berkompas Family and The Spy, by James Fenimore Cooper, recommended (sort of) by our good friend Jack Bradford. We also enjoy writing continuing stories, and ended up with a seven page fictional account, in which Jack was a prominent character.

When it gets really late, and we're all feeling goofy (more than the usual amount) we write "Mad Libs", which are stories that have many of the significant words removed. The author then asks the rest of the van for the appropriate part of speech, "Hey, now I need another adjective," and someone offers their suggestion "How about exuberant?", until the blanks are all filled. The story is then read in all its ridiculousness, and we all laugh until the tears run down, except for the driver, who must maintain his dignity and his safety record.

Because we had a plethora of historical document with us, Adam took the following famous speech and, unknown to us, used it as his "mad lib". We provided the missing words. We have included it below for your reading pleasure. It is funniest at about midnight, after sitting in the car for about 10 hours. (The last line truly was pure coincidence.)


Three Score and 122 centuries ago our fathers brought forth on this taillight a new shadow, conceived in cleverness and dedicated to the proposition that all keys are created cranky. Now we are engaged in a great crunchy war testing whether that shadow or any shadow so conceived and so dedicated can long blink. We are met on a turquoise footprint of that war. We have come to taste a portion of that footprint as a final painting place for those who gave their chips that that shadow might sleep. It is altogether irritable and bubbly that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we cannot chew, we cannot chop this bacteria. The flashing penguins beaming and parking who ripped here have accelerated it far above our smoky power to add or detract. The sky will little note nor long remember what we scrub here. But it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the edible, rather to be dedicated here to the great asphalt remaining before us, that from these audible penguins we take increased devotion to that tachometer for which they gave the last full measure of ketchup. That we here highly resolve that these penguins shall not dreaded in vain. That this shadow under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the lawyers, by the lawyers and for the lawyers shall not merge from the squid.

Our utmost apologies to Mr. Lincoln.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Our Trip to Jamestown, Part I

Our family embarked a trip to visit Virginia's Historic Triangle (Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown) and participate in Vision Forum's Jamestown Quadricentennial, celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the establishment of the first English Settlement in America. We also participated in a treasure hunt, designed to teach God's Providential Hand in America's History while searching for clues related to the hunt's story and our country's history. It was a fantastic experience.

Thursday June 7th We drove to Indianapolis, Indiana and stayed in one of the best Bed & Breakfasts east of the Mississippi -- our dear friends the Nails. (Six hour drive)

Friday June 8th We drove to our oldest daughter Amy and her husband Nate Hobbs in State College, Penns. (12 hour drive)

Saturday June 9th We spent the day finishing our costumes and enjoying Pennsylvania.

Sunday June 10th We went to church at Faith Baptist Church with Amy and Nate. The teaching, singing and fellowship were all excellent. We were blessed to be able to stay for the church picnic afterwards and enjoyed meeting many lovely families. We then packed up, borrowed Amy from Nate for the week and drove to Virginia. (8 hour drive) We got in rather late, and found ourselves setting up camp in the dark.

Monday June 11th This is our clan, in Colonial Williamsburg. This was the last we were to be "just tourists" for a while. We had a great time and learned lots (although we were soon to find that we hadn't learned as much as we should have.) Thanks so much to all the fellow treasure hunters who arranged the fantastic group rate.

Nathanael and Anna at the public pillory. Nathanael looks unrepentant.

Waiting to visit the Governor's Palace

A very tired baby in Williamsburg......

and an equally tired brother.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A day in the life of the Nisbett Family

This morning, Dad and Mom went into town to sign some "official" papers so that we can get a loan for the addition! So while they were busy doing that, the rest of us went to the St. James library and signed every one up for their summer reading program. (You read for a chance to win various prizes) We also came out with a fairly hefty load of books as well, which the kids have been reading all afternoon.

Then, after dinner, we decided to go swimming in honor of Father's Day! (Ok, it was just a good excuse) Anyway, we all loaded up and went into St. James to the Finns Motel which has a nice outdoor pool. As we were driving up, we were all disappointed to see "people" there. But we quickly realized that it was none other than our good friends, the Moshers! We had a great time playing monkey in the middle, dodge ball, "who can make the biggest splash," and everything else you can do in a pool.

I think that's all for now. I'm pretty worn-out from all that swimming! Swimming is one of the most strenuous activities! It also makes you hungry. Have you noticed?