Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pennsylvania

I am not a native to Pennsylvania, having been born and raised in California.  My husband was born on the western side of this beautiful state, and my first experience with Pennsylvania was for our missions training, which took place near Williamsport.  I have now lived here for 15 years and consider myself a Pennsylvanian.

I quickly fell in love with PA, as we Pennsylvanians fondly refer to our state.  It has such natural beauty year round and amazing history, and being a history lover, it is still a thrill to be able to visit many historic sites.  Sometimes though the historic site is simply near to where I live - like yesterday I drove past the site, on my way to buy groceries,  where the Pennsylvania Rifle had been designed and made.  It later became known as the Kentucky rifle when Daniel Boone settled there.  He is a native Pennsylvanian and we have visited the Boone Homestead.

I went to Allposters.com and found all these great pictures of Pennsylvania and chose the ones that I have seen personally!
This is truly the most beautiful State Capitol!  Amazing artwork inside!
The mighty Susquehanna.
This is Washington's Headquarters in Valley Forge.  The rooms are small and they housed his officers as well as where they worked and made all their plans...
This is the US Mint in Philadelphia - it is right down the street from Independence Hall.
We drive through these tunnels every time we go to visit family in the Pittsburgh area.

We see this every time we go to Reading.

We have walked in this National Cemetery.  It is amazing to see.

This is Little Round Top at Gettysburg, a very strategic site during the 3 day battle.  

We used to drive past the Little League World Series site when we lived near Williamsport.

This is a site we see on a daily basis now!

We have seen the Liberty Bell a few times.

And Independence Hall...

Here is a hut showing the soldiers living quarters at Valley Forge.  They were small.

Herr House is near to where we live.

You can't tour the actual factory anymore, but even the air in Hershey smells like chocolate!

This is where the early patriots met to plan our break from England!

A beautiful bridge over the Susquehanna in Harrisburg.
This is a pretty site at night!

Kind of weird to drive by TMI, day or night.

This is such an amazing state, and we love living here.  Now if our state government can get it together.....

Where do you live and where are your favorite spots to visit in your state?

Friday, May 29, 2009

True Friendship



This has been a tough week for me so it was a real blessing to go to Very Calm and read her post...it brought tears to my eyes as I thanked my heavely Father for His grace to me and for being the One we can always rely on!

Thanks Caryn.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lights in the Garden

I love white lights in my cottage garden.  I just have a really hard time photographing them!

If you came to my home in the evening you would pass the lamppost and go through the arch...

You would come past my beautiful climbing roses...

I love this shot of them with the lights showing from behind...

This is a shot from my front door...

This cool photo was taken by Rachel...we thought it looked like candles or that the fence was on fire...

Do any of you have any tips for photographing lights at night so that they look right?  We would love to learn to do this right!

This and That

May is almost gone and my busy month nearly at an end.  Rachel's birthday is this Sunday - she is having an adventure party.  Lindsay is going to give rides on the horses, they will do some archery, take a hike in the woods, roast hot dogs and marshmallows over a campfire...all I need to do is hostess and make sure the cake and food is ready!  My kind of party....the girls are really excited!

Tim's uncle has had a rally with his health, although he is now in bed all the time...we are praying for the family in these last days...

We will be headed to Florida next month for a brief vacation, visit with my mother in law and our niece's wedding...it will be nice to spend time with family and friends.

The girls are finishing up some reports and then we have our evaluations on the 10th.  Then Lindsay will be a graduate...we are planning a celebration for her and an English Country Dance...should be fun!

Still working on ideas for my parents 50th anniversary this July!

I want to tell you how thankful I am for all of your kind words and encouragement!  You comments on my recent posts have been sweet - Thank you.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!  I am off to the dentist...having an issue with a molar, it might have a crack...fun stuff, eh?

 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More Garden Loveliness

A Christian, who realizes he has been made in the image of the Creator and is therefore meant to be creative on a finite level, should certainly have more understanding of his responsibility to treat God's creation with sensitivity, and should develop his talents to do something to beautify his little spot on the world's surface...


It should grow and blossom into a place of beauty,

demonstrating something of the wonder of the One who made plant life to produce seeds in the first place.

Christians should have more beautiful gardens...

Is is a waste of time to bring forth this sort of beauty or to fulfil your artistic talents in this sort of way?

Is it more important to use that time talking about the living God?

It seems to me the beauty which causes strangers passing by to stop and enjoy a garden, provides a background and already "says something" which gives an emphasis to what it is important to say.  Edith Schaeffer - The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Call To Manhood

Our son turned 20 yesterday.  It is amazing...no longer a teenager.  He has been a legal adult for several years, now and yet in many ways he and his friends reflect the common attitude of our culture these days - one that is self oriented and wanting to hold off on responsibilities as long as possible.  

Tim read a book called "Raising A Modern Day Knight" by Robert Lewis.  It's purpose is to encourage men in guiding their sons into authentic manhood.  Let's face it so many fathers never prepared their sons for manhood.  Those dads were not prepared themselves....We recently heard statistics that the average dad spends 6 minutes a day in conversation with their children. 6 minutes!  That is astonishing.

The author of the book encourages men to cast a vision of manhood for their sons,  to layout principles of manhood (the author does this by contrasting Adam and Jesus; Adam represents a life separated from God and Jesus represents a life in union with God) and to layout a code of conduct.

The principles are: 

1. A real man Rejects Passivity.

2. A real man Accepts Responsibility.

3. A real man Leads Courageously.

4. A real man Expects the Greater Reward.

As Tim read the book, he so wished that he had received this vision from his father.  He said that he feels like he did not take manhood seriously until he was 40 years old.  He recognized that he was a man and he had better start acting like it!

Tim also saw that he had not prepared Nate for manhood and wanted to do something special for his 20th birthday.  He talked it over with me and this is what happened.

Tim called 2 of Nate's closest friends, guys that he has been friends with the longest.  He asked them to come to a dinner in Nate's honor.  He also asked them to prepare something to share; something that would be affirming to Nate.  He also called several men who have been special in Nate's life.  2 could not be there but are sending a written message to him.  One of them came who shared Biblical principles with Nate - this man is in his 70's.  My dad was in attendance as well, and shared some of what he has been learning recently.  (He is 70 and just finished "Quest for Authentic Manhood" through Men's Fraternity) Tim then shared the principles of manhood and shared some personal thoughts.  He also then presented Nate with a special memento of this evening.  Tim mounted an antique black powder pistol, that had belonged to his dad. It is in a "shadow box" and Tim asked Emily to do a Fractur and include the 4 principles of manhood.  This is in the box with the pistol. 

My part in this was to provide a special atmosphere for all this to take place.  So we used my parents beautiful dining room, and china that my dad brought back from Japan when he was in the Navy.  It is 50 years old!  I set the table to be elegant like a fine restaurant, but not "feminine."  I prepared a 3 course meal, Lindsay and Emily helped me.  Then we had them stay to serve the meal.  When they were done serving - they left.  A neat thing about my parents dining room is that it has a pocket door that can be closed between the dining room and kitchen.

The first course of the meal was salad and homemade sweet french bread.  This was already on the table along with the salad dressings and butter for bread.  When they had eaten for a bit, Lindsay and Emily came in a cleared the table for them and brought out their main course which was roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and Normandy blend of mixed vegetables with cheese sauce.  When this was done, they cleared and then served English Trifle for dessert.
(what a blessing to have daughters who want to help to carry out their dad's vision)

I was not there, nor were the little children or my mom.  As soon as Tim and Nate arrived - it was a surprise for Nate - the food was ready and we left.

It was a night for men.  It was special.  Their hearts were full - Nate was affirmed, he was encouraged and he was called.  Tim, Nate and my Dad all came back to our house together.  They were happy and pleased.

What a joy it was to help Tim to carry this out, to watch him fulfill the "vision" God placed in his heart to do this for our son. 

It was an evening of blessing.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Some Senior Pictures


I took a few "informal" senior pictures the other day.  Lindsay needed one for a write up for our co-op yearbook.  She is a casual kind of girl and these outdoor shots suit her.



However, you just can't stop the love of a young brother, even though you are trying to take pictures.

So why not let every one join in?



Lindsay is a delight to our family, and we look forward to what the Lord has for her. 

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chicks

Our friends over at Hospitality Lane have some new chickens.  They invited us over to see them.

Aren't they the funniest, cutest little things?


Kyle loved them.  So did the girls.  So did I.

This is the whole little flock of them.  I could so easily see us having chickens...we may end up with a homestead here one day!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Life Lately

I am such a blessed woman.  Really.  God's Grace in my life has been abundant.  I am thankful.

I am finding that I am in need of some "leaning hard" into Him, lately.  

I am not one who normally finds herself "all stressed out."  But I find that stress keeps trying to make its way into my life.

I have a friend with an ongoing illness.

I have an adult child who is not walking with the Lord...and is living here at home.

We have two family weddings this year.  

We have an uncle near the end of his life.

I run a homeschool co-op.  This is a busy time for me with memberships, our website, policy changes.  With nearly 60 members there are alot of personalities to interact with!

My darling has gone back to work and he is finding it hard to get everything done.  Therapy, exercise, maintaining our mower, trying to get the horse shed/barn started- these are some of the stresses in his life...besides being a dad and husband, trying to have family worship every evening...he is so tired.  My work as his helpmeet is a delight to me - except when I can't physically help him.  I just make sure he has good things to eat, coffee with sweetened condensed milk - just the way he likes it - I pray for him, too.  But I am a fixer and want to solve all the problems!

We have a bbq for our oldest son's birthday this Sunday - Rachel's birthday is next Sunday....

I am finding a need to continue to cling to the Lord and let Him carry me through. Lest you think, these items are a burden to me - they are not.  I am delighted to encourage and pray for my friend.  I am praying for my son and am glad to be in the position of being light in the darkness.  It is a privilege to pray for our Uncle's family and for him.  The families in our co-op are great!  I am so pleased to serve them in this way.  I adore being my husbands helpmeet!

Thanks for listening....and if you think about it, please pray for me.  This is just normal life...I guess it was just on my heart this morning and decided to open up and be real. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Garden Photos

We went to Longwood Gardens on Saturday.  We spent most of our time indoors because of the drizzling rain.  

I adore this garden walk.

The bronze cranes...

Beautiful roses...

Star Jasmine...

Gorgeous peonies....

Oh wait!  These are my peonies!

They are almost fully open!  I love these flowers.  This kind gets large and smell like old fashioned roses!  I wish I knew the name of this one.

They make me so happy!


Monday, May 18, 2009

This And That

We had a very fun, but busy weekend!

Saturday, the kids and I went to Longwood Gardens for a few hours...there was a blogger get together there, but it was drizzly and we had plans to go to our friends' house for the afternoon and evening.  It was nice to meet Karen, and Jill and Jim and to spend time with the Hospitality Lane folks!  (Hope you are feeling better Becky!)

Tim worked in the morning on Saturday then we headed over to our friend's house in the afternoon...we always have such a great time with them, and we haven't been to their place for awhile...the kids played all afternoon, took a break to eat and then headed out again...for the younger folk, they jumped on the trampoline, gathered wild flowers, feed the horses...the old ones, explored the creek and came back soaked!

Then we made s'mores over a campfire, and watch a storm move in...we left later than we planned (big surprise!).  We came home, made some food for our fellowship meal after church on Sunday and collapsed into bed!

Sunday we woke to chilly weather.  We did all our morning routine and headed out for church...it was a very good service and we really appreciate our church family.  After our fellowship meal, we were getting ready to head home and Tim said "do you want to invite anyone over?" I replied "sure!"  So Kelly and family and pastor Mike were talked into coming over! hee hee.  We appreciate having likeminded friends for our family to spend time with.  We appreciate having a pastor who loves to spend time with our families and who is so patient with our little ones.  Sarah particularly loves to play chess with Mike!

This week we are working on some plans for our son's birthday which is Sunday.  In case you are noticing a trend, yes, we have a lot of birthdays in May; my dad on the 5th, mom on the 15th, Nate on the 24th, Rachel on the 31st.  We have two nieces who have birthdays in May, and two of Tim's siblings have anniversaries in May...kind of a busy month for us.

On a more serious note...we had a phone call yesterday afternoon from Tim's sister.  His Uncle Don, who has been home on hospice care, was very close to the end.  They did not expect him to last the night, and we would appreciate prayer for the family, as their daddy, grandpap, and uncle will be gone.  He is the last of his siblings to go.  Oh, I almost forgot both Uncle Don and Aunt Marylou have birthdays this month - 4 days apart.  Pray for sweet Aunt Marylou, her health is fragile as well.  We likely will be headed across the state for a funeral this week.

Thanks for your prayers in advanced!  It is a blessing to know I can share my heart with you and that you will pray for us!

I hope your week is wonderful.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!


Today was my Mom's birthday!  She looks great for 39, doesn't she?  We are one of those amazing families with unusual trivia about us...for example several years ago I became older than she is AND this summer she will have been married for 50 years!  


This is her favorite cake, I make it every year...yellow cake with a layer of strawberries, whipped cream, strawberries again and then the top of the cake.  Top it all with whipped cream (the real stuff, people) with a tad bit of sugar and vanilla (again, the real stuff!).  It is truly to die for....


Here is the birthday banner the kids made for Grandma...can you see that it says "39" on it - she has them all brainwashed, er, they all know her "real" age!


Some up close shots of the fantastic artwork - 


Beautiful birthday flowers, courtesy of my dad's favorite daughter.  That would be me. Ok, I'm his only daughter!


Here is the grill master - the steaks were fantastic...a wee bit of red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce...

It was warm and humid today so we sat out on the deck while the steaks were grilling.


Here is a gratuitous shot of my little man...


The girls just love to goof off with their big brother - I have photographs of them all in his "face" after dinner...

My kids are so talented...

It was really a fun day.  Mom and I met for lunch and had time to talk and solve all the world's problems....

Happy Birthday Mom!