Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, July 31, 2008

They're Here!

Sorry, no photos yet....we sat on the patio at Mom and Dad's last night, and then we brought Kaitlin home with us!

Park today, then the girls go help Grandpa at the Fire Company, and I take Rachel to a follow up appointment at the doctors' office.

We will all meet up at my parents house later!

I may be posting infrequently over the next few days, but I will try to get lots of photos!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

They're Coming!

We are excited around our cottage today, because some of the lovely people in this photo will be coming today! Miss Paula, Evan and Kaitlin will be winging their way for a 2 week visit.
Miss Paula will get to meet Becky in person on this trip. Becky and I have a surprise for her, and want to take her to Longwood Gardens.
Besides that we will likely swim alot - they are bringing HOT weather with them.
Have a great trip guys, can't wait to see you!

Monday, July 28, 2008

This and That

Today will be a this and that post.

Lindsay has been fulfilling a lifelong dream to have horses, ride and teach riding lessons. Recently, she has acquired two riding students, a grandmother and granddaughter duo. They are doing very well, and they say that Lindsay is a great instructor, very patient.

I took some sepia tone and black and white photos while riding lessons were happening today.

Mrs. Sutley riding Sandi.

Lindsay watching her student ride and her side-kick Rachel. Also known as "mini-Linny."

Emily watches the action.

With Rachel being sick this past week, I neglected to post about my parents 49th wedding anniversary on Friday.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

We are planning a big reception for their 50th next year!

And last but not least, I leave you with a picture of Rachel, taken today.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Update on Rachel

She is feeling much better today, is more active and not just laying around like she has all week!

The doc found that she has quite the bladder infection, which surprised him and me, as she was not symptomatic for that. So antiboitics for 10 days. She wasn't even in the pharmacy computer, and we have lived here for 7 years and used the same pharmacy chain since before she was born. That is how healthy she normally is!

We are going to do a culture for blood in her stool. He wants to rule that out. He heard lots of "activity" in her intestines and wants to look for any irritation.

I am hopeful that the bladder infection is it, she has been feeling so much better today!

Praise the Lord!

Prayer Request

My dear sweet Rachel is still not feeling well. We are headed back to the doctor today. Please pray for wisdom - I need my girl back to normal!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

To My Nieces Who Are With Child

The True Meaning of Beauty: A Pastoral Letter to Fruitful Vines

“Dear Fruitful Vines,

One never knows in God’s mercy and kindness what a simple appeal to a Biblical passage can produce. As I was pondering my last encouragement to you all, I pondered Psalm 128. Verse 3 says, “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house.” I thought, “You know, instead of saying, ‘Dear pregnant moms,’ maybe, ‘Fruitful Vines,’ instead.” Now “pregnant moms” is a lovely term to me. Nevertheless, from the encouraging replies I received regarding the term Fruitful Vines, it will now be the address of choice!

This also pointed out to me again the importance of words and, especially in our society, of image. You dear sisters have to stand in the checkout lines of Wal-Mart and other stores all the time. Glaring at you are rows of magazines that virtually shout at you, “The Hollywood Harlots are the standard of beauty. You have to look like this, and display that, or you are not beautiful.”
Don’t listen to this. Reject it. Replace this lie with God’s truth.

Some of you mentioned waddling. Some of you mentioned that vines are thin. I was amused. Yet, I was also pierced to my very soul. Our society has made body-sculpting surgeons rich and constantly shoves its artificial, nip-and-tuck, silicone and Botox standard of beauty in your face. Let me tell you something: waddling, as your body bears the children God gave you, is holy. The changes, the aches, the pains, the swelling, the stretch marks, and all the rest-these are all beautiful in the eyes of the Lord and to any man who has his biblical wits about him.

It is stunning beauty to see women submitting to the often painful changes that bearing the Lord’s children brings. Being fruitful and multiplying brings glory to the Lord Jesus Christ and is the holy act of bringing God’s elect into this world.

Through virgin’s womb, our beloved Savior entered this world. Mary did the most holy waddling that has ever graced the planet. It was not the sultry, sensual sashay of seduction. It was the humble, load-bearing, groaning, aching waddle of the salvation of all God’s elect for all eternity.

Waddle on, groan on, swell up to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ: you are displaying a true and holy beauty to your God and to anyone who has eyes to see.

My beloved wife used to say in her last trimester, “I feel like a beached whale.” I wish I had told her a million times and more, “But you are beautiful to me and to the Lord.” She was then and she is now the delight of my eyes.

Dear Vines, there is a beauty in your fulfilling the eternal purpose of God to which all the airbrushed, surgically enhanced bodies on this planet will never compare. Your self-effacing sacrifice displays the glory of your Lord.

Waddle, swell, and groan to glory of your Savior. He knows true beauty when he sees it...”

This was posted on Doug Philips blog, from a message by Jeff Pollard.

Melissa and Alicia glory in this beautiful time in your lives. Please don't think of yourselves as fat, a beached whale etc...You are baring the next generation. You are beautiful and will be even at nine months!

I love you!
Auntie Dee/Aunt Deanna

What Style Are You?

Go to Melissa's blog "The Inspired Room" to find your decorating style.

I did it this morning and found that I am "Classic Country". After finishing the quiz I found that it is a from a British Site so perhaps, I am English Classic Country?

Have fun!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Unexpected Night and Day

Do you ever have those?

After many busy but wonderful days, we were anticipating an early evening. Then Rachel came home from a sleep over at Grandma's with her tummy not feeling good. So we had a bit of a later night, but still not bad. We were watching Voddie Baucham's series on "Marriage by Design", when Kyle started coughing, the croupy kind of coughing. Bad, croupy coughing.

We got him settled with us. He snuggled in by Tim and we finished that part of the dvd. Kyle's croup got worse, I held him upright. Before bed I had given him some meds. for his runny nose, figuring it would keep him from being bothered by it in the night and waking up. Sigh...

Finally, enough time had passed that I could give him some cough medicine. It is a homeopathic kind that works really well, and sure enough within 30 minutes he was much better and really sleeping. Great, I can go to sleep now.

Did I mention the really strong thunderstorm outside? Man, the lightning sounded like it was right over the house! I wondered how the horses were liking it, but not enough to go check on them! The storm was interfering with my sleep. I think I finally went to sleep but then Rachel came in not feeling good. SIGH......

She just didn't feel good, in her tummy. Not sick, like a tummy bug, but just not good. This has been an ongoing thing, so we did our usual thing, and she went to sleep. Morning came way to soon.

Busy morning, too. Girls to work, fuel for the van, dropping by my parents house. Then home. A while later, Rachel again starts with the not feeling good, but this time she is crying and pacing. I finally called the doctor and got an appointment. The nature of it suggested gas pains, but she wasn't complaining of pain really.

My plan for the day was to do some cleaning, and reading, get the girls from work, make dinner...instead it required a babysitter (Thanks Chelsea!) and a trip to the doctor. The diagnosis is a possible dairy intolerance. We will be cutting dairy out of her diet for a bit to see if that helps.

Now I sit here at the computer, dog tired with two kids with colds, the others home from work and off as a group to friends. Tim's van is in need of a little tlc, so the dad of the family is going to check it out, and give Tim advice. The girls of course are all going to chat away with their friends, including Chelsea, who stayed for dinner.

Now, I need to get the little ones ready for bed, and myself too!

Good Night.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Worshipping God Without Rivals

We had the priviledge to hear Voddie Baucham last night. He spoke about Family Driven Faith.

He was excellent as always, challenging, encouraging, funny. I love his "I double dog dare you" statements!

He challenged us to take a look at Love and to see how much we have incorporated the Greco-Roman ideas of love into how we view love.

We think and believe "You can't help who you fall in love with." Wrong. "The heart wants what it wants." Wrong. The heart is simply a muscle beating in our body. It is what we refer to as the seat of the emotions, but it is really our minds that decide.

Here from my notes is what he said.

Love = 1. An act of the will (choice), I choose to love.
2. It is accompanied by emotion, but not lead by it.
3. It leads to action on behalf of it's object.

This is what Jesus did for us on the cross - He showed His love for us by Choosing to go to the cross, regardless of of the cost. He was filled with emotion - "Not my will, but thine", "father forgive them, for they know not what they do." It lead to action (Crucifixion) on behalf of it's object (His Bride).

That's real love -

The other thing that spoke to me was his statement about being people who "Worship God Without Rivals." What are the rivals for my attention? Television, computer, reading, etc...

I am going to be pondering and praying about this one for along time....

Blog World, A Surprise and A Blessing

If you are anything like me, when I find a new blog I like, I check out links to blogs that they like. I have found some of the best blogs that way. Now they may not be blogs like those out there that generate thousands of views and hundreds of comments a day, but they are usually blogs that encourage me in my walk with the Lord, or have beautiful artwork. Sometimes they are blogs where people are just sharing their lives, and I find that we share a similar worldview,etc...

I sometimes read about people who meet their blogging friends, but I never anticipated meeting any blogging friend that I don't know in real life, except Becky and I dearly hope to take Lady Jane to tea someday!

Friday evening, we were at Becky's church (we have been visiting) to talk to Pastor Mike. We had some questions, and Friday the church gets together for Bible Study or a project. This week it was a project (see that at Becky's blog here). When we got there Becky mentioned that a young couple that go to a family integrated church in Georgia, were coming to fellowship with the church for the weekend. Their dad had looked on the integrated church website, found Sonrise's contact info and called. This young couple have an independent trucking company, with their family. They had delivered a load to Lancaster, and since they wouldn't have a load until Monday, they were looking for a place to park the truck and meet some people, go to church etc...

Soon, a call from them stated they couldn't get the truck through the tunnel in Quarryville, and could someone give directions to go a different way? Tim talked to them and told them it would be easier if he came to meet them and let them follow him. Pastor Mike went along. Tim asked "by the way, what are their names?" Becky says "Alan Smith and his wife is named Kate." I gasped! "I read their family blog!"

You see months ago, someone commented on my blog, I paid a return visit. I checked out some of her links, and found Katie's family blog and Alan's family blog. I had so much fun reading them and realizing the amazing ties between their families. I enjoyed reading about Alan's parents adoption of a sibling group, what all 12 Morton siblings were doing etc..

Now back to Friday, I felt like people I knew were coming. I knew I didn't really now them, but you know how it is...then there they were. Sweet Miss Katie in her darling Georgia accents saying "I'm Katie Smith, I am so pleased to meet you." I explained about having read the family blogs and we all had a laugh. Amazing.

Later in the evening we invited them to come park their truck at our place for the weekend and stay with us. It was so fun and such a blessing. They are a very dear couple, and those two little blondie boys...well, lets just say Rachel's maternal instinct kicked in big time. We all realized how much we missed having a baby around!

They left us yesterday to go pick up another load be on the road again, we will miss them. They have a standing invitation to stay with us anytime, and we have an invitation to visit Georgia anytime!

What a blessing to offer hospitality, a joy to serve the Lord and to have great fellowship together. Tim and Alan had several late into the night talks...

Here are a few photos....

Rachel and "her" baby Ron

Sarah having a lovely chat with Miss Kate

Alan, Katie, Bret and Ron.

1 Peter 4:9 "Be hospitable to one another"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Five Things I Love

I have been tagged by Jan. I am not going to list the obvious, God, Tim, kids, family here is the rest of my loves!

1. I love to encourage women in their walk with the Lord, and in having a biblical worldview.

2. I love to plan events....weddings, teas, movie nights etc...if it requires ideas and pulling it together, I love it!

3. I love Royal Albert tea cups and teapots! I love to collect the pattern variations.

4. I love the area where we live. I am crazy for the beauty of the hills, trees, flowers, cornfields, stars at night...

5. I love History! Especially American History, but I love to see how God has been at work in the world since creation!

Now I am tagging:

Becky at Hospitality Lane, Miss Paula at Gathering of Friends, Alicia at Renewed In Him, Melissa at Elijah's Adventures, Nicole at Life in Jesus.

You now know more about me - scary isn't it?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Dream Home

Seven years ago, my husband and I realized that we needed a bigger house. Ours was a tiny 1930's era home, with three tiny bedrooms. We had 4 children then. Our home had beautiful wood moldings, and lots (33) of windows! It was a fixer upper, and we poured our love into that house.

When we decided to move, I started dreaming of old Pennsylvania farm houses, we knew we would like to have an acre of land at least. My husband did not want another "old" house, they were too much work! He wanted to buy something less than 20 years old and move in ready.

So we started to look for houses with an acre of land. In our price range we soon realized that this was going to be a difficult task. One day by "chance" we saw a realty sign at the corner of a road we would never have gone down, and found our house. It was for sale by owner (we never did find the realtor's house), and it was, ummm - "used."

It was a rancher, less than 20 years old (my husbands desire). The sign said call or knock. So we did. It was a mess- ruined carpets, holes in walls, holes in doors....sigh. We had a friend, who had been in real estate and construction for many years, come have a look. He said it was in good shape foundationally. And since we both have an ability to SEE what COULD be - we decided to go for it. It really was an incredible deal, IF you are a visionary and in our case able to do most of the work yourself! The property turned out to be a total of 4 acres and to have a creek on it. I do however tease my dear husband on occasion about buying a house "move in ready!"

Of course it always takes longer than you think, buy by the time we moved in we had new floors, new kitchen cabinets (the old ones turned out to be rotted), the walls painted, central air/heat put in.

I have decided that I enjoy the process of making a home my own. I just don't always like the fact that we have to wait to do things, since we try to stay away from credit purchases. We still have a few rooms that need baseboard trim and window trim. Oh, and the siding needs to be replaced in the worst way and the shutters painted.

I love my house. It WORKS for us, and since we did away with neutral colors and went more with bold color it is really us! It is warm and inviting, a haven for our family.

I have learned alot in the process of making this house a home. The biggest one is that a home is any place where you are with your family. You can make a home anywhere. I am quite content with my home. God has allowed us to use it to show hospitality many, many times. Even when we had no trim up in the house at all. You know what? No one cared, maybe because I didn't care.

I want to show you some before, during and after photos. I had to take pictures of the before pictures so the quality won't be great but you will be able to see what we have been working on since October 2001.

This is the way the front of the house looked in October 2001. That window air conditioner was the only a/c in the whole house!

This is how it looked this morning when I took the photo.

Our pressure washer got the mildew off the house and we made a flower bed in the front of this portion of the house.

Aren't the flowers pretty?
The pool was a mess and as my dad and mom have one, we got rid of this one.

We have a horse "pasture" temporarily. Lindsay gives riding lessons here and the horses sometimes just graze here.

This is a pretty area - Tim cleared all of this over the last several years.

This is inside the living room kitchen area. We took the island out because there was no room for our family dining table. The door has been replaced twice! They had a wall propane heater that now resides in my dad's garage.

This is how the living room looks today, this morning in fact. Look at Emily cleaning the wall by the trash can.

It was quite a process to renovate - we had to drywall, tear out kitchen cabinets, pull up flooring.

I love the way it looks now - warm, welcoming and inviting.

This is how it looked in progress - we had a neutral color on the walls until last year.
We also replaced that terrible door situation with a new slider.

This is the hallway color. Tim made me this cute calendar holder to match our door and window trim.

This was Nate's room before we moved in - awful.

Here it is when we first moved in.

Here it is today, an office/sewing room.

Here is the main bathroom - they had wallpaper originally on this wall, which had pealed off at some point. We had to peal backer paper off the wall before we could paint.

Here is the bathroom today!

This was the room that we had for the girls when we first moved in. There were thousands of holes in the walls.

Here it is today - we still do plan to get closet doors, but for now it is workable.

This was how it looked when our girls lived in the room.
Here it is now as the second "master bedroom".

It is hard to see but this is Kyle's room before we moved in. It was Sarah's room, and then Emily and Sarah's then just a room with the girls dressers in it, when they all wanted to be together in the other room.

Now it is Kyle's room.

Tim made that bookcase! And did all the trim work in the house.

The master bedroom was five years old when we bought the house. We didn't know there was a huge hole in the wall, as their bed hid it.

Here is that same window area now.

Here is what it looked like when Tim and I had this room -cool sage green walls, and lots of white.

All four girls still share a room. The little girls beds are between the big girls beds.

They love their pretty bright room!

The floor was ruined in this corner - a leak from the bathtub that they never fixed!

Today it is a bright desk area for several girls.

This is a photo of the way the bathroom in the master bedroom looked. Shudder....

Here it is today - the color is Lemongrass and we have a pretty purple shower curtain in there.

Here is the main part of the bathroom. This color is Mango Tango.

This home has become my dream home. If we had to move, I would shed some tears, but I know that we could make a home where ever God leads.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Big Post Tomorrow!

I have been working on a post for today about My Dream House. However, real life keeps bumping into me, so I am going to finish it later and post it for tomorrow!


  We are finally getting some blue skies with real clouds, and sunshine! I took sometime with Kyle and Kamryn's help to set up the deck ...