Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Recipe Tin

I have kept my recipes in this tin since I was married back in 1988.  Not the ones I used out of a book of course, but the ones you copy from friends, our cut out of magazines.  This tin from Nestle came with 2 bags of chocolate chips.  Remember all the collectible tins that they put out?  I think I may have them all.

It worked well, for many years.  But lately, I am repeatedly frustrated at not being able to put my hands right on a recipe that I KNOW is in there!

I have been intending to make recipe books for my girls.  To copy the recipes by retyping them or photocopying them and putting them into a 3 ring binder in page protectors.

Of course, this would have been the perfect summer project, but the summer has flown by with other things...

Soon though, very soon, this will get done.  If it doesn't I may go crazy, my hair will turn gray, I will start to forget things...oh wait. That is happening already!  Oh, no!  Sigh...

I guess that is the result of getting older, gaining all that amazing wisdom, having a granddaughter, and being a busy Momma at home!  Well, at least it isn't because my recipes are a mess!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Prayer With Kyle

Our Kyle is a special little guy.  He loves to pray.  He really started his praying "out loud" last December when he was invited to his friend Will's birthday party.  It was his first non family invitation and he was very excited.

So when I tucked him in that night, he said he wanted to pray.  I said, "Ok." and his prayer went  something like this, "Dear God, Thank you for the invitation to Will's party.  Help us to have a good time, a great time, a wonderful time.  Amen!"

We had weeks of this prayer.  Then he decided he wanted to pray when we eat so he would pray " Dear God, Thank you for the food, bless it to our bodies.  Help us to have a good day, a great day, a wonderful day.  Amen!"

Sometimes when he prays he asks God to help Nate and Kay not to smoke.  He makes me smile with his sweet and sincere heart.

On Tuesday, we went to my parents and went swimming for awhile.  Kyle was in the pool with Rachel and Sarah for a while before I got in.  He came to the door, very excited to show me "something!"  I went out to swim and his "something" was his jumping off the deck into the pool, doing cannonballs and stuff just like his big sisters!  Very exciting stuff to conquer being afraid of going under water!

That night when I tucked him into bed and started to pray he told me "I want to pray next."  So when I finished he started "Dear God, Thank you that we could go swimming at Grandma and Grandpa's.  Did you see me jumping off the deck into the pool?  Did you see me do a cannonball?  Did you see me touch the bottom of the pool?  Thank you for the fun swimming.  Amen."

My heart swelled!  My boy knows how to talk to God as if he were talking to us.  With joy and enthusiasm...I need to remember this as a lesson for myself.  To talk to God as an intimate friend, and loved one.

Thanks Kyle.

photo credit: Lindsay Rabe

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I really enjoy sewing, especially to make something to wear or to beautify my home.

When we redecorated the girls room over a year ago we did bright colors on the walls and found curtains and blankets that had many bright colors in them.  Then I bought fabric in similar colors in one yard increments to make a pillowcase for each of the four girls.

Well, we ended up moving the little girls out into a room of their own and well, I never made the pillowcases.  However, recently we have put one of the colorful curtains into the little girls room where it looks cute and makes their room a bit darker in the mornings than their sheer curtain did, with the mini blind.

A few days ago I was looking at blogs and came across a tutorial for making pillowcases.  You can find this lovely blog here.  This tutorial is for handsewing but I used my machine.

They were so quick and easy to do.  Basically, you fold one yard of fabric in half width-wise, I trimmed 2 inches off, and then I made French seams, folded several inches on the open end to give a nice wide hem, and voila!  Finished!

Lindsay snatched them out from under the sleeping little girls this morning to take pictures of them!

It was fun trying out a decorative stitch....

Rachel's two pillows are the green and orange ones, and Sarah has the pink and the blue one.

They really only took me about 15 minutes per pillowcase.  I am so excited now because I can make really pretty pillowcases with all kinds of cool trims etc...Have you seen the price of pillowcases lately?  I could have some serious debt if I tried to have several sets of pillowcases per bed in this house!  Now I know I can make them.

What great gifts they would make!  Or an Etsy shop!  Oh the options are endless!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Schedule

Tim's job requires that he do shift rotations.  This means that every 7 weeks he changes work shifts.  The one he is on right now is a favorite one for our family - the one he used to be on for most of the year.  We like it as it works well with our schedule as a homeschooling family.  
The downside of this schedule is that our main meal together as a family falls at lunchtime.  This requires that I be a bit more organized and purposeful with my schedule, so that this meal together takes place.  The great thing about it is that once Tim leaves for work, we are done with most of our work for the day around the house and with our big meal being eaten at lunchtime, it is easy fixin's for dinner.  Usually leftovers or sandwiches.

This scary woman is my usual mowing the lawn outfit.  How many of you can boast one of those?   It has been such a hot summer, that I usually wear my hat with my hair pulled up underneath!  The cool shades are a must, as well.  I actually like doing the mowing, even though up to this week I have been using an ancient riding mower.  It died and a few days later our neighbor said "you wouldn't happen to need a riding mower would you?"

This bad boy has a 42 inch mowing deck, power steering, cruise control...and a cup holder!  Yeah, baby!  We got it for such a great price, it is truly  unbelievable, unless you know how God works!  Our neighbor's nephew just happened to be selling his....When I test rode it, Tim asked what I thought.  I said "It is like driving a Cadillac!"  I love my new John Deere Lawn Tractor!  With about 2 acres to mow several times a week, this is such a blessing to me!  

I also am so happy to be able to do this job so that Tim is freed up to do other projects.  He works so hard everyday for us, that I love being able to help him in this way.

The flower gardens are doing well, but are going to need some attention soon.  It is hard to believe it is almost August!  Lindsay and I were talking today about what seeds we want to try next year in the garden.  There is always so much to do around here but it is joyous work.  

He is a photo of the cake I made for my son's friend's birthday.  Kelly  asked me for a photo and asked if I liked the decorations.  I have to say that I was disappointed with several things. One, as it was the hottest and most humid days of the year that day, the frosting was not cooperating.  Even in the air conditioned house.  They had requested red velvet cake and so I did cream cheese frosting.  It kept sliding down the side of the cake, thus the cake was visible through the frosting.  Two, being so humid caused the decorator frosting to be too soft to make roses.  Aarggghhh!  I had to settle for piping the Happy Birthday and then just putting red dots all over the cake!  I still haven't heard whether they liked it or not....Because of my own disappointment with it - I assume everyone will see it negatively.  My son's girlfriend said "You are like super-mom!  I don't think there is anything you can't do except be a man!" ha ha That made me laugh!  

So to end this post I will just add that I am glad to have until next week before we start school.  It takes me a week usually to get into the new schedule of Tim's work and to think about what needs to be done when.

I am so thankful for the life that God has blessed me with.  It is the life I always hoped for - to be a wife and mother.  I have the best husband in the world, and I am blessed by my children. My parents live nearby and our relationship is sweet....We are part of a great fellowship of believers...

Hey, I better get going...Tim gets off work in 25 minutes.  Maybe we will have a late night deck date when he gets home....the moon was full last might be very romantic!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our Ten Days of Fun Is At An End...

Four generations

What started as a vacation weekend to Canada, for a family reunion, ended today with a mini reunion of sorts.

Tim's Mom (Grammy) came to visit Kamryn on their way home to Florida.  She is traveling with her husband, and Tim's sister Esther and brother in law Richard.  They came Sunday evening from NY, after being on Richard's family farm for a week.  This followed the weekend reunion in Canada.  Got all that?  hee hee!

My girls and I made breakfast Monday morning for the whole family, well at least those able to make it.  That made 18 people, though Kamryn didn't eat anything!  We made scrambled eggs with cheese, baked oatmeal, overnight french toast, sausage gravy and homemade buttermilk biscuits.  Sharon thoughtfully brought fruit.

This is why everyone was really at our cottage - Miss Kamryn.  Great Auntie Esther loved holding her.  She has two darling grandsons, so she was enjoying our sweet girlie in her cute dress!

Who could blame her?

This is one of our nieces, Jen.  She is home on a short visit and will return to Senegal, West Africa in October.  She loved holding Kamryn too!

Here is great Auntie Sharon...Kamryn is looking very content!

We did a lot of laughing and talking and sharing.  Families grow and change, but we are so thankful that this family continues to follow Great, Great Grandfather Daniel's prayer that his children and all their many descendants would walk with the Lord.  Thank you for answering that prayer, Lord!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

This is a photo from last November at my niece Jill's wedding.  Don't they look great?

My parents married young - 17 and 20.  You realize how young that is when you yourself have two kids older than that!  

They have grown up together, raised kids together, argued, cried, loved and hurt together.  They have trusted the Lord for their marriage and He has brought them through their 51st year!

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.  I love you and am so proud of you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This and That

It is going to be so hot here today!

99 degrees before factoring in the heat index....I am staying inside all day...

That is a good thing as I have a lot to do today.

I am making a birthday cake for a friend of Nate and Kayleigh's for her 21st birthday which is today.  Her husband wants it to be Red Velvet cake.  I have never made this kind before but found a great recipe on line.  I am nervous and excited about it.  I have to decorate it as well, and this is where the nerves come in, because I am out of practice!  I have an idea in my head and I want it to turn out like I "see" it in my mind.

Tim has to go to work later today, as does Emily.  They will both be feeling the heat!  Lindsay is running the store in the city by herself today.  It is our friend Denny's store and he is away visiting his sister who broke her leg and needed surgery, then they found out she has cancer in that leg.  Pray for her and for him to be an encouragement to her.  Lindsay gets to work in air conditioning, so we don't feel sad for her!

The day will be crazy a bit.  Tim took her to work, then stopped by the store for items needed for the cake.  I am going to start the baking as soon as I post this.  

Then in a bit Tim will leave for work, I will run Emily to work, come back work on the cake, pick Lindsay up at work, then Emily later depending on some possible social activities....

I also have to find out when the cake will be picked up today.

Good thing we had Bible Study here last night - the house is clean and tidy!  I may see if the little folk can go swimming at Camp Geezer for a while today, so I can focus on the cake.  They would love that!

I hope you have a lovely day!  Stay cool...unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere then I say, 'stay warm!'

Blessings on your day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Garden Update

Our lettuce is doing very well!  Although we find we must use it quickly once we pick it or it gets limp.   We have two more varieties that are cool weather friendly so we will be trying these in a few months, when the weather gets crisp.

These baby carrots are called "Little Fingers" and are a French variety.  They are doing well and are tasty.  We are planning to reseed this patch to get more carrots.

This is what happens to squash when you go away for 4 days and the garden doesn't get checked!  Enormous!  They are better when smaller but we sliced several up sauteed them in some butter and olive oil along with onion and it was so, so good!

I will try to get some photos of our tomato plants.  They are huge and doing very well.  They are just starting to ripen.  The one above is the first of the non cherry variety to ripen - it is a Brandywine and it was fantastic on our sandwiches the other day! 

We have also noticed that our melon is coming up - after we had given up on it!  Also one of our pepper plants is making it's presence known!  Oh and our purple podded pole beans are coming in too!

We are learning so much about gardening and plants.  It is fun - we all enjoy eating the fruit of our labor!

Next year we will be adding more raised beds.  They have done so well, and using the lasagna method of layering materials for the soil is easy and has made the beds practically weed free!  Just a few here and there that are so easy to keep up with!

We will start to save seeds now as well, as nearly all of these plants are of the heirloom variety!

This fall we will start to plan what we will plant next you have any advice for me?

What have you grown that your family just loved to eat?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Weekend

It was a 12 hour drive up to the cottage by the lake in Canada.  It was so worth it!

The two days we had there were stunningly beautiful and full of fun.

The kids put on their life jackets and hit the lake as soon as they could!

The tube or as the girls called it "the Lazy Boy" was ridden on many, many times, by cousins, dads and kids, moms, great aunts....

You would have thought that the kids grew up on the lake...

It all came so naturally to them...

Look at how beautiful the sky and the water were...

These boy cousins bonded over looking at a 'Daddy Long Legged' spider and off they went, great pals for the weekend.

Tim's mom, known as Grammy around our house, is going to be 89 in a few months.  She enjoyed the lake, exercising her arthritic leg...

Lindsay explored the shore and the lake when not tubing or riding in the boat.  She tried wake boarding but it is harder than it seems...

Aunt Lil, great auntie to our kids, wanted a ride - she made her oldest son come along and wanted some kids along for fun.  Guess who volunteered?

The last time we were at the cottage for a reunion was 12 years ago - Tim doesn't remember if he skied the last time or not, but he did have any trouble skiing!

On the way home we stopped by Niagara Falls.  Stunningly beautiful.

Hot and humid as well...

Sunset over the Susquehanna River on the way home...

We are so thankful for our time this weekend and with our friends who arrived on Monday Rick and Jane.  We have known them for 21 years.  We had a blast together as usual - swimming, shopping, taking Jane to see the Amish, going to see Joseph at Sight and Sound, dinner out, pan pudding and shoo fly pie for Jane for breakfast, memories to last a lifetime.

How thankful we are for these precious friends that the Lord has given us!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Family Reunion

photo credit: Lindsay Rabe

Just a quick pop in to say that we had a wonderful time at the family reunion.  Tim's Mom is in the aqua in the front of the group.  She is the only remaining Cornelius sibling.  Her sister in law, Aunt Lil is in the green shirt and black capris.

Many cousins, children of cousins and now grandchildren of cousins have enlarged the family.  What a precious time we had reconnecting with the Canadian branch of this wonderful family.

Great, great grandfather Thomas Cornelius left England for Brazil to make a new life and have a farm.  He prayed everyday for his many children by name and then would say "and all their descendant's."  This family is full of missionaries, pastors, and Christian workers of many kinds.  

What a delightful heritage to pass on to our own children.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Prayer Request

My  friend Becky from Hospitality Lane is having some health issues and is in the hospital for tests. Would you please uphold her in prayer?  I will try to post an update when I can.

We got back from our wonderful trip to Canada last evening and are hosting our dear friends this week, then Tim's mom and sister and their husbands this coming Sunday into Monday.  So it is going to be a tad busy...I will try to post the photos from our trip soon!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Have A Great Weekend! - Cindy Shamp

We are trusting the Lord for a special time of rest and fellowship with our Canadian branch of the family.  They are lovely folk - very caring, and it will be nice to see them again.

We are looking forward to the opportunity to spend the weekend with my sister in law Esther and her husband Richard, and with my Mother in law, Jean.  I am hoping she will take the opportunity to spend some time enjoying her grandchildren.

This branch of the family is special.  Jean had a grandfather or great grandfather that prayed for his children, grandchildren, and "yea, many generations," that they would faithfully serve the Lord whom he loved.  God answered that prayer with generations of believing children and grandchildren and great grandchildren who went on to be missionaries, preachers, music ministers, faithful husbands, wives, and children.

God is so good.  I am blessed to be a part of that Grandfather's visionary prayer for his descendants. 

Pray for us for safety as we travel and for a special time together as a family.  Our desire is to be a blessing this weekend.


Thanks Warren, for taking our photo!

What an awesome time we had yesterday!

Becky over at Hospitality Lane made tickets available to see Joseph at Sight and Sound Theatres!  I didn't think it would work for me to go...Lindsay was already going, Emily had to work, Tim wouldn't be home in time for me to leave, and we are headed out for a quick trip north in just a few days!  

Well, everything came together for me to go...God sent a huge rain storm yesterday that caused Emily's work to close, and I picked her up while I was still out doing many errands.  Tim had already planned to take Emily and the little ones to a Christian music night rollerblading event that happens every week...Anyway, to make a long story short - I got to go!

I kept hearing how amazing the show was and how "you've got to see it", so I had pretty high expectations.

It was fabulous!  I mean it.  You may recall that the girls, my Mom and I had a night out in June to see 'Phantom' at the Fulton Opera House.  You can read about that here.

Joseph is head and shoulders above the other show.  The music is fantastic, the acting is great, the sets and staging are amazing!  Since I sew I love to look at the wonderful.  The technology in this show is neat.  At one point the set changes from the prison dungeon to Pharaoh's palace and on the wall they show Pharaoh's is a great way to tell the story.  The other amazing scene was the celebration at Potipher's home with the performance of showing the glories of Egypt.  That was Awesome!

A scene near the end of the show had me in tears as Joseph sees his father Jacob after all those many years, and he tells him with tears "I kept my name Father, I kept my name."  Joseph's name means "May Jehovah add/increase."  That is what happened to Joseph.  He kept trusting God - he held to the truth that the Lord is in control and had a plan.  Oh, yes, he had to fight being bitter against his brothers, keeping him from his father and younger brother Benjamin, but Joseph recognized that God planned his life to place him in Egypt at that moment in time, in order to preserve the family line. It is so powerful, to watch God's hand at work!

After the show we found out that the actor playing the Joseph was not the lead or the understudy, but the third guy in line!  He did an amazing job!  Having never seen the show I didn't realize he wasn't the lead actor!  

Can you tell I LOVED the show?  It really is the best show I have ever seen there, and one of the best shows I have seen anywhere!

If you get the opportunity to come to Lancaster County or even near by, I hope you will go and see Joseph.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

O, Canada! - Niagara Falls 1885, George Inness

This weekend we are making a quick trip to Canada to a family reunion.  Tim's mum is Canadian, and once in a while the family decides to have a get together.  This makes for a long haul for the American branch of the family, some are coming from Florida, but it is usually a wonderful time.

See the Canadians have a wonderful tradition of having a cottage at the lake.  These come in all sizes, styles and amenities.  We are staying in one that belong to cousins of Tim's Mom, I think.  We will get a couple of days with Esther and Richard, Tim's sister and brother in law.  This will be a treat - we haven't seen them since last June when their oldest daughter got married.  Since then we have become grandparents, too.  There is a lot to catch up on.

While we are gone my parents will be staying here at the cottage, caring for the animals and tending the garden.  On Monday they will host our guests who will arrive before we do.  They are our longtime friends - the kind that are like family.  We are looking forward to 3 days or so with them!  We have so much fun when we are together.  Jane likes to visit several Amish stores and Rick and Tim will find some project to do, most likely.  

The following weekend will find us at the baptism of our dear friends, Don and Jen.  We are so thankful for them and so glad that our daughter saw their ad for riding lessons nearly 5 years ago!

We are going to have quite a week - it will be wonderful and full.  And yes, we will be seeing Niagara Falls on our way home.  After all the girls need to get photographs of their shoes at the Falls!  If you don't know what I am referring to check it out here.

Pray for us for save travel, easy border crossings, health and special time together with our family.

I Am Addicted...

to these Nancy Drew computer games!  Her Interactive is the maker of these fun mystery games.  Trail of the Twister is the one that I bought Sarah for her birthday.  Of course, since they are for age 10 and up and Sarah is only 8, Mommy has to help her.  I am very self sacrificing that way.

But just for full disclosure - I have my own game going too! 

They are really fun, you have to do tasks, solve puzzles, collect is very good for the brain.  Sometimes the puzzles are hard to solve and you can go to the website message boards for each game and get spoilers!  This is very helpful.  This game also is dealing with a team of storm chasers in Oklahoma, so you are learning real information about safety, what to put in a disaster kit, different kinds of clouds, etc...

I played yesterday during my computer email, read blogs, but no post from me.  Why?  I am Nancy Drew and I am trying to figure out who is sabotaging the equipment, like my gps unit that sent me straight into a serious storm...the nerve!

When we get a new one, I like to play it, get it done, so I can get back to my real life which is pretty great. 

So now I have shared my secret addiction with you....what is yours?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sarah Kathryn

My sweet girl is 8 today!  The youngest of four sisters, the fifth of six children, she has never been one to blend in with the masses.  She has always been outgoing, not ever shy.  She used to wake up from naps and announce with her arms wide open "Ta Da! I awake!"  We believe that she used to think that our lives stopped because she was was as if she were announcing "you may all resume your lives now!" Isn't that funny?  So Sarah.  She has always been a tad "high maintenance", not in a demanding kind of way, but she has some OCD tendencies and some things just drove her crazy.

Like shoe laces - they have to be tied just right - everything must be even and they must NOT touch the ground.  She couldn't stand tights or socks if the seems went along the toe and not across the top of the toes where she couldn't feel them!

She is one of those JOY people...she loves life and loves people.  She is happy most of the time. I will never forget the first time she realized that not everybody liked her and wanted to be her friend.  She was crushed and couldn't believe it - not because she is prideful - but because she likes EVERYBODY and wants to be THEIR friend.  She just couldn't believe that not everyone thought like her.

For her birthday gifts she asked for real birthstone jewelry - check out her ears - art stuff and to get her Evangeline doll fixed.  She had lost a limb and needed repair.  It has taken years but I finally found someone about an hour away who does beautiful repair work.  

Sarah was so happy to receive her gifts!  She has hardly put her doll down, and said last night "I hope I never outgrow my dolls."  That is another special thing about Sarah;  She has always been a big talker, big words - shares her feelings, both good and bad.

Sarah is one who can seem like she never has a deep thought in her mind, but that is so wrong.  She is a deep thinker and comes out with serious thoughts.  She is a ponderer.

The name Sarah means 'God's Princess' and Kathryn means 'pure'.  Her name then means 'God's Princess full of Purity.'

My sweet girl, may you continue to grow in the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and may you continue to shine His light.  We are so thankful for you, and blessed to have you in our family.

We love you dearly, Sarah Kathryn


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...