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When George W. Vanderbilt built the Biltmore home in the late 1800s, he decided to follow the model of English manors and build a village nearby to house the staff of this largest home in America. Vanderbilt hired architect Richard Morris Hunt and landscape architect Fredric Law Olmsted to design Biltmore Village. Today this village of servants has been transformed into a trendy shopping area just beyond the entrance of the Biltmore Estate, but the original church is still there.

All Souls Church

The adjoining, matching playground is adorable.


Ray and I stopped at Biltmore Village on our way home from Winston-Salem. We looked at the work of people’s hands–quilts, pottery, jewelry, weaving, and more–inside the Southern Highlands Craft Gallery. Outside was this wonderful moose.

Outside the Southern Highlands Craft Gallery

We ate lunch in a pretty courtyard. As we waited at our table, I noticed a bird perched on the back of a chair about twenty-five feet away. I headed that way and began snapping.

Can you find the bird to the left of the column in the foreground?

As I got closer and closer, the bird stayed put, letting me take one photo after another. The fledgling still had some downy baby feathers. I guess he didn’t know to be afraid. I had taken more than a dozen photos before he finally flew away.



Ray and I got back home early that evening. You know the line from the song “Home Sweet Home”:

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.

We are always thankful for home, sweet home.

Home doesn’t have to be fancy like the largest home in America or trendy like Biltmore Village. One of the many advantages enjoyed by children who are homeschooled is their opportunity to be at home. Many wonderful–and good–and mediocre–and questionable opportunities pull homeschooling families away from home. Don’t doubt what a blessing home is in the life of a child. It’s one of the many precious gifts you give.

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village;
and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.
Luke 10:38, NASB

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  1. Welcome home! Glad you made it back safe and sound. 🙂 I grew up in the Carolinas and visited the Biltmore House and Biltmore Village several times over the years. It is a charming place, and I love the local arts and crafts. Today, on my youngest daughter’s 14th birthday, I’m especially grateful for all these years I’ve had her at home with me. It’s a blessing I wouldn’t trade for anything, not even for the fancy Biltmore mansion and all the treasures money can buy. “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”

  2. So very true Charlene! We totally underestimate the home we provide for our children. I am speaking of the atmosphere as well as the physical. Being home and cherishing home and just allowing our children to be home and enjoy being home is such a huge foundation for them. This culture we live in places value on an abundance of things, of activities, and running to and fro. My heart aches for those children who do not have the freedom to just be home and explore and have free unstructured play time.
    Thanks for your post and I so enjoyed listening to you at the MTHEA conference! I appreciate you and your family.

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