We Moved!

Thank you for reading Mike and Sus Family News. I moved all these posts to http://mikeandsus.org/category/family-news/.

I post once or twice a week with true stories, encouragement to share your faith, our ministry news and family news, and more, on our new site. So please sign up here for a weekly email to let you know what’s new!.

Tolkien Reading Day

Frodo's childhood homeOur family loves to read and today is Mike’s birthday, so when I discovered that today is Tolkien Reading Day, I just had to post some good quotes from J. R. R. Tolkien for you to enjoy.

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

~ from The Fellowship of the Ring

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

~ from The Fellowship of the Ring

March 25th was chosen to commemorate the fall of Sauron in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Because we are huge fans of C.S. Lewis, I was pleased to also find some quotes from Tolkien about his friend.

“Friendship with Lewis compensates for much, and besides giving constant pleasure and comfort has done me much good from the contact with a man at once honest, brave, intellectual–a scholar, a poet, and a philosopher–and a lover, at least after a long pilgrimage, of Our Lord.”

“The unpayable debt that I owe to him was not ‘influence’ as it is ordinarily understood, but sheer encouragement. He was for long my only audience. Only from him did I ever get the idea that my ‘stuff’ could be more than a private hobby.”

“So far I have felt the normal feelings of a man of my age–like an old tree that it losing all its leaves one by one: this feels like an axe-blow near the roots.”
~ on the death of C.S. Lewis

This image is used by permission from Wikimedia Commons.

Snow in South Carolina

Snow in Aiken South Carolina January 2011

Josh posted this photo of snow outside his apartment building in Aiken, South Carolina, this week.

A Review of our Family News for 2010

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2010. That’s about 12 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 33 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 128 posts. There were 38 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 15mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was June 5th with 132 views. The most popular post that day was The Memorial Day Weekend Mashup: Part 1.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were stumbleupon.com, networkedblogs.com, mikeandsus.wordpress.com, facebook.com, and mail.yahoo.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for cocoa beach, mike sus, god told me who i would marry, does god know who i will marry, and cocoa beach pictures.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


The Memorial Day Weekend Mashup: Part 1 June 2010


Cocoa Beach weekend February 2007
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God Knows Who You Should Marry April 2008


When Your First Child Leaves Home for College September 2007


The Memorial Day Weekend Mashup: Part 2 June 2010

Praying for Jenn’s Mission Trip

Jenn just left on a week-long mission trip to New Orleans with her Wesley House Christian group from Stetson University. They just arrived in New Orleans early this morning until the 10th to help with Habitat for Humanity in rebuilding homes devastated by the hurricanes. Thank you for safety for the eighteen students, good health, and the ability to minister to families still struggling.

We hope to post pictures and a blog entry when she gets back home.

Vero Beach

seafood restaurant in Vero Beach, Florida

The Ocean Grill in Vero Beach, Florida

I definitely want to go back to Vero Beach!

We arranged to meet friends at The Ocean Grill in Vero Beach, Florida, for dinner three weeks ago. (It’s less than two hours down the turnpike from Orlando and then you take route 60 from Yeehaw Junction until it dead ends at the restaurant.) The Ocean Grill has very tasty food (pricey, though) and a fun, eclectic interior. It was full very soon after it opened at 5:30. I’d put in a reservation for the restaurant and be prepared to pay $22/dinner, but there’s a few lower-priced items or even a tasty soup and appetizer. I had Chicken Oscar. Their lunch menu is definitely cheaper (under $10.)

I felt like we were in “another country” just because Vero Beach was so different from Orlando. You could park near the restaurant and do shops and walk the beach. There’s plenty of beach access points along A1A north and south of Vero Beach. Disney has a resort north of the restaurant on A1A.

We arrived in Vero Beach well before dinner, so we stopped at the McLarty Treasure Museum. It takes less than an hour to do this museum and only costs a few dollars. It was fascinating to learn about 1,500 survivors stranded here when a fleet of Spanish treasure ships sank off the coast in 1715.

Pelican Island NWR

Pelican Island NWR

We only had a half hour to stop at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge was America’s first National Wildlife Refuge. President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order to set aside this land for wildlife in 1903. (Read more…)

I can’t guarantee you would see dolphins, but if you want to try, go straight in past the first parking lot in the Refuge and then turn at the next right into the Centennial area. It’s an easy walk to the observation tower overlooking the Indian River. We saw a pod of dolphins feeding in the river.

After dinner, we drove past a large home with lots of Christmas lights in a huge front yard off of route 60 not far from the restaurant. If you’re in Vero Beach in December, read this article first and then this article to learn more. Apparently you can drive around the outside of this large home, at least, to see hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights. (Maybe we should have stopped.) They also have special times to see the twenty decorated rooms as well.

Here’s a good list of things to do in and near Vero Beach; most of the things in the second half of the list “within an hour” are south of Vero Beach.

Traveling I-95

I’ll be adding new tips to our site… mainly about traveling I-95.

We’ve driven on I-95 from Maine to Miami, so I plan to write different posts about things to see, restaurants, places to stop for a few hours, and more.

One of the headaches on I-95 is south of Washington, D.C. We discovered Route 1 as an awesome detour after one of the worst snow storms came through. Read more.

Georgia was also very slow until the extra lanes were added. We’ve frequently detoured around the Brunswick, Georgia, area using Route 17. Hopefully, though, the last of the new lanes are now open on that stretch and Georgia should be much better.

Follow this link for posts about traveling I-95.

Where do you stop for a few hours for a scenic spot for a meal? What is a great weekend getaway? We don’t travel north of D.C. very often, so if you have tips going north from D.C. to Maine, please add your tips!


Unless otherwise noted, all photos were taken by members of our family and are copyrighted by the Schmitt family.


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Recommended Books For Family Reading

We have read a lot of books as a family. Sus started a virtual bookshelf of over 500 books we have read that we recommend for family reading. If you would like to know more, go to follow this link.

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FTC Compliance

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing these posts. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. However, I am on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ. Regardless, when I recommend material from Campus Crusade, I only recommend material that I believe will be a good value for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html)


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