Monday, May 07, 2007

Jamestown – Here We Come

The excitement is building at the Southerland residence. Exactly one month from tomorrow, we are heading to Jamestown (by way of Dallas) in order to celebrate our nation’s 400th birthday.

Our travel arrangements are still somewhat ambiguous. We were going to borrow a travel trailer, but after discovering that it would drop our gas mileage in our van from about 10 mpg down to about 6, I’m thinking that wouldn’t be a smart move.

I do have reservations, though I am continuing to explore better options. In spite of the costs and the long trip ahead of us, we are really looking forward to meeting up with like minded families across the nation as we join Vision Forum in their “celebration” of 400 years (unlike the official “commemoration” sponsored by government officials). For more information, check out

We hope to visit with a few friends in Tennessee on the way to and from Virginia. We also hope to be coming home with 400 gold coins, the grand prize of the Jamestown 400: Our National Treasure Hunt sponsored by Vision Forum. But most of all, we hope to learn more about history (as we have since starting this contest back in October), and to make history by participating in a once in a lifetime centennial celebration at Jamestown.

I have learned so much about so many characters from American history. John Smith, Pocahontas, John Rolfe, Rev. Robert Hunt, Richard Hakluyt, George Washington, Elias Boudinot, Christopher Newport, and on and on. I was familiar with some of these names before this hunt. Yet, I stand today much more informed about my history than I ever was taught in my government school (elementary, high school, *and* university). I rejoice that I am able to teach these things to my children. Actually, they are learning it for the first time, right alongside me. This trip to Jamestown is going to be the biggest “field trip” we’ve ever taken.

Why are we going to Dallas first? Well, I’ve got a 20 year high school reunion there. I’m looking forward to seeing many of my friends whom I haven’t seen for at least 10 years (at the 10 year reunion), and some that I haven’t seen for 20. I wonder if any of them have discovered the path of homeschooling. I wonder if any of them are learning any of the great things I have discovered in the past 7 months. I’m sure I’ll talk about it a bit while there. For that weekend will be the penultimate summer event for 2007. Later that week will find us as a family of eight, so far, walking the sod where America was founded 400 years ago and celebrating with other Christian, homeschooling, and child loving families. Jamestown is likely to be overrun with 15 passenger vans in a celebration where our family size is typical. If you’ve never been to a Vision Forum sponsored event, it’s a blast. We had a great time last August at the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. I expect the Jamestown Celebration to be even better.

I hope to see you there. If you see us, flag us down and say, “Hi.” I’d love to meet in person some of you who read my blog.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Southerland-
My name is Allison, I'm 16, and we are on the JT400treasure yahoo group. My sister Amy & I met Brittany on Monday. Congratulations on getting so far in the hunt! We missed the deadline for the 100 by 6 minutes. :(
The hunt was a great history lesson! I liked deciphering the hiroglyphics.
Have you seen the pictures on Doug's Blog?

Anonymous said...

We thought seeing all the big vans was humorous. Ours was a big blue 15 passenger. Was yours the white van with blue flames? That was cool! My brothers liked that one. We liked seeing what some people wrote on their windows, too. :)


Mike Southerland said...

Thanks for the comments Allison! Did you join is for our group outing at Williamsburg? We had lots of fun together as a family, and we had fun meeting a lot of other like minded families. Yes, our van is the one with flames. Check out my blog entry on "The Lord's Provision in Transportation" to read more about it. Hopefully you and Brittney exchanged addresses. If you want to email her, just send to me at I'll print it off and give it to her. To date, I've not allowed the children to have their own email accounts due to the amount of filthy spam floating around out there. Blessings to you and your family. We hope to see you at future conferences.

-Mr. Southerland

Anonymous said...

We met with everyone at the flag poles, but my parents got Freedom Passes for us so we could be in Williamsburg for 3 days.
Us kids here don't have personal e-mail addresses, either. I'm constantly on the family e-mail though, so maybe I will send Brittney a message! I have a cousin who's name is spelled that same way. :)
In Christ,