Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Children And Childhood

 We are having a torrent of rain today, from Tropical Storm Nicole.

It has produced crazy road conditions, yet hours of fun for my children...they have enjoyed playing in the creek and running around getting soaking wet! 

It would be easy to try to manage my household, and keep it clean, by not allowing the children to get wet and muddy, but then they would lose priceless memories and fun, just because the house will get dirty.  Houses can be cleaned!

I want my children to have wonderful memories of their growing up yearsIt is not all play for my kids, they all work hard around here doing their schoolwork and helping with the garden and animals.  They also must clean up their rooms, do dishes, know the stuff of life.

That is why it is such a delight to us to watch them at play.  They really enjoy it.  One minute they are riding bikes, the next minute they are playing Little House on The Prairie.  They don't watch much television, we read a lot and they have good imaginations.  They also like to listen to Jonathan Park, and the many wonderful Radio Theater programs.

Childhood is a time when our children are learning about real life.  It is a time for them to participate in the family, to learn how to give to others, to help others.  It is a time when they can get a vision for ministry by participating with their families in ministry.  Such as hospitality, doing yard work for someone, cleaning houses for someone in need.

This I think is a beautiful way to grow up and gives children a delightful childhood.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Crisp Autumn Morning To Welcome My Busy Day

It's a lovely crisp morning here.  I have the door that leads to our deck open letting the coolness in.  The sun is shining but it is supposed to rain again overnight.  We are thankful to the Lord for the break in the rain - to move Kay and Kamryn more easily and so that Lindsay's riding students don't have to miss a day of lessons.  At this time of year they know their lesson time is coming to an end when the weather turns colder.

I don't know how much quiet sitting I will be doing today.  I love this painting though...It is called "Lunchtime Preparations" and painted by William Blacklock.  I often sit in the morning quiet by my livingroom window and read my bible.  I need that time to hear from the Lord and have Him speak to my heart.  My Bible has been missing for a few weeks.  I have had to use Tim's and it is just not the same as my own.  I have put off buying a new one because I want the old one!  The old one has my notes and things I have underlined.  It has all the places that I have worn into it....

It is the craziest thing.  I brought it home from church (I have looked at church just to make sure) unloaded my bag and now no Bible.  I had a houseful of people over that day...but who of them would take my Bible?  It is not the first time that something has gone missing after a Sunday with a houseful of people here.  I had two white birds that used to sit on my piano.  Usually the would go unseen because of the music books that were always open to the current music being practiced.    A few days went by and I closed all the books and put them into the bench so that I could dust the piano properly and surprisingly there was only one bird!  I asked all the kids, no one had seen it or touched it.  I asked if maybe someone had accidentally broken it?  No.  So the mystery remains.  I guess if someone is taking mementos from my home, I trust that they will use my Bible.

Kay and Kamryn are moving in today.  Pray for a smooth transition for everyone.
I am off to take Kyle to the dentist.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ch-ch-ch Changes!


There is something about this time of year that appeals to my heart.  After a very hot week, we have now cooled down to more seasonable temperatures and even rain, which is highly welcome after a terribly dry summer.

Yesterday morning while preparing food for our church picnic, I asked Rachel to head to the garden to look for a few tomatoes to put in the salad.  Tim and Kyle joined her and soon we had two bowlfuls of many varieties of little tomatoes...Sweet 100's, Riesentraube - German for "Big bunch of grapes", Tiny Tim....they have been delicious all summer and are still abundantly producing.

Nate is recovering well, and hopes to be able to go on a work trip he was supposed to take starting Thursday.  They also need to be moved out of where they are living by then.  We are having Kayleigh and Kamryn move in here with us.  Nate will be staying at my parents home until their home sells.  Our hope is to help them to set goals and achieve themPray for all of us...she is not used to our kind of family and will likely be looking for part time work.  She also will be starting college at the end of October, so she is going to have a lot on her plate.  She is excited to do some sewing projects with Emily - they have plans for a diaper bag and a few other bags, and could possibly sell them!  

In other news, my parents are going ahead with the addition to our home, and will be putting their home on the market soon.  Please pray for a good sale, and in a reasonable amount of time.  Their realtor said anywhere between 30-90 days is the going time around here.  Then they will be moving in and the construction will begin!
Someone said it will be just like in the Walton's with Grandpa and Grandma, Momma and Daddy, lots of kids and even a grandchild!

We know that it could be stressful at times, but we also that God is with us and in control.  What a blessing it is to be able to help Kayleigh and to have my parents able to put in law quarters on our home.  It will be such a blessing to have them nearby, if they ever decide to get old!  And with Kamryn here there could be 4 generations under one roof!

We are rearranging some things downstairs, in our finished basement, for Kay and Kamryn and that is where Lindsay and Emily will go during construction, too.  I said to Kay it will be like "The Sister's Sorority".  I think she kind of likes that.  

When you think of us, please pray that God will be glorified in all we say and do.  To Him be all praise and honor....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Update on Nate

And he dialed: DANton-ten-six----"Nurse," he said, "it's an appendix!"

So it was for Madeline in the first of the books about Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, and so it is for Nate!

It's an appendix!  He was resting well when we left this evening.

Pray as he recovers and will have to be out of work for a bit....his finances are very tight!

I so appreciate the support and prayers!
I am so thankful for the Lord's grace to us all....

Please Pray

Please pray for our son Nate.

He called before 5 am this morning to ask me what might be going on with his stomach.  He had been in pain since around 7:00 pm.  We talked about it and then he called the doctor.  They suggested that he go to the ER.

Tim picked him up and drove him to the ER.  They are doing a CAT scan to check his appendix.

Please pray that they will find the cause.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Autumn!

It won't be long now...

my beautiful Red Sunset Maples will be turning into a blaze of color...

I do wonder just what the color will look like this year since we have had such a dry summer...

Our days have warmed up again, but I know it won't last...the evenings are cool and the light fades more quickly now...

We had a storm last evening, but when Lindsay and I took the dogs out around 11:00 pm it had cleared and the nearly full moon was stunning.  Tonight is the Harvest Moon...the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox and the fullest moon of the year.  I hope you get a chance to go outside this evening and see will be a beauty!

photos taken October 2007

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dream Fulfilled


My friend Karen's son Nigel asked me tonight what my dreams were when I was his age.   I told him that I was living the dream that I had.

I always wanted to be a wife and mother.  I was interested in nursing and maybe being a teacher because I love children, and while I never went to school to become a nurse or a teacher, God has graciously granted me those things as well!

I have a wonderful husband, and lovely family, a delightful home.  In the day to day work of my life I teach my children, love my husband, cook, clean, take care of sickness and boo boos.  

I am now a grandma to the sweetest baby girl in the world!

I have had the privilege of studying medicinal herbs, learning to garden, animal husbandry.  

I sew, I knit and crochet.  I bake.  

I welcome people into my home on a weekly basis.

I also am the president of a homeschool co-op.

So you see God granted me the desires of my heart and then some!  He gave me some dreams that I didn't even know I had!

What about you?  Are you living the life you always wanted?  Has God given you those desires or has He changed your desires?

Tell me all about it!  I love to hear your stories! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Busy Week...

Photo taken April 2008

This is a busy week for us...

Monday night Emily and I went to a graduation meeting for homeschoolers.
Tuesday we have appointments - Kyle at the dentist, Lindsay at physical therapy for her Achilles Tendon, and Emily has an interview for a job at Sight and Sound, and then works in the evening.

Wednesday is riding lessons here and Emily is going to learn how to cut hair from a very kind lady who attends our church.
Thursday is co-op, and I likely will do some grocery shopping as Friday is the fair.

Friday is the Lampeter Fair Rodeo.  The girls always compete in several events with our horse Sandy.  You can read about last years rodeo here.

Also my brother Robert will be visiting for the weekend with my sister in law Paula.  They are hoping to see Kamryn!  They are grandparents to the cutest wee boy named Cayden!
It has been almost a year since I have seen my brother and he recently had his mustache shaved after 30 years!  See he works with the High School ministry at his church.  They were wanting to raise funds to purchase water filters for Africa.  He told them if they raised the full amount he would let them shave his mustache!  So they did!  He looks so different and alot like my two nephews!

I will try to blog...I love to stay in touch, but if I don't get a chance you'll understand, won't you?  

I do so appreciate your kind and thoughtful words and prayers for our family...I love my blogging friends!


My son called last night...

He and his girlfriend have broken up.

They do have their issues.  Most of them are caused by immaturity and a lack of unity.  I have never been in the position of being in a relationship like they have had...not married yet having a child.

They both love her to pieces.  My son has been working hard to provide for them.

We wonder things like "Will we still get to see her" and "What will this look like?" 

We have grown to love Kayleigh.  She is a part of our family. 

In many ways it is like a divorce.  Why do people think that not being married will make everything easier?

Where will they both live?  Who will watch Kamryn while Kay goes to work? 

My heart is so heavy this morning...

I want my sweet girl to be here so I can hold her and love on her.  She is too young to know how her life is going to change.  She won't get to see Daddy everyday...

Kay and Nate we love you both and are praying for you more than ever.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Home Keeping - Are We Thankful?  Les Lavandieres, The Washerwomen - Camille Pisarro

The work of managing a home is never ending.

It is daily tasks that must be done, to ensure a well functioning home.  Some tasks are more pleasant to us than other tasks, depending on our personalities and interests.

Years ago when my older children were small - so young in fact that several of my children weren't born yet,  I had a hard time keeping up with everything.  Partly it was because of not being organized and partly it was from laziness.  I was home educating, and running my home, and doing a million other things.  That was the problem, I believe...the million "other things."

I didn't love my home then, the way I love it now.  I wanted to always be going somewhere or "doing something."

The Lord has graciously changed my heart in this matter.  I love my home, because I love the One who gave it to me.  He is the one who has blessed me with my family and the ability to "make" my home.  I am the one who decides if my home is going to be a place of blessing or cursing not only for those of us who live here, but for those who visit our home.

In those years when my older children were little, and I started to love my home, my husband volunteered for laundry duty.  I am sure it was because he wanted to be sure to have clean work clothes when he needed them!  He said "I cannot help you with their schooling, but I can ease your burden by doing laundry."  He faithfully did laundry for years and frankly still does at times, though the girls and I are doing it more and more.  We actually were a team on this because he would gather the laundry, and get it washed and dried and I would fold it all and put it away.  I told this to a lady I know once and she said "Well, it's not really doing the laundry for you if you have to fold it and put it away!"  I was so shocked by her attitude and said "I am really grateful that he does this for me.  It is such a help!"

I realized that day that she was one ungrateful woman.  

When I am tackling the laundry, whether sorting and washing or simply folding and putting it away, I am grateful.  I look at the piles of laundry and see the blessings I have been given.  

That huge pile of dirty jeans?  Those belong to my husband - I am thankful I have such a godly, caring husband!  He works hard for us in those jeans. 

All those dish towels?  Those are the result of having the blessing of having lots of company at our home!  We are so thankful for the fellowship of our church family, our family, and others who come our way!

Those cute little shorts and t-shirts?  Those belong to my little man...he is a hard working and hard playing guy!  He is such a gift to us!

All those beautiful colored shirts, skirts, blouses?  Those belong to me and my daughters!  I have been so blessed with my four daughters, they are special.  I am so thankful for them!

When I clean my kitchen or do dishes, I see all my fact every area of my house attests to just how blessed we are.  It is not because we have a fancy house, or expensive is just that we have a house and things!  God has given us so many good things.

I don't always succeed at being thankful for the messes that my kids create or at more dishes to wash at night when I think I am all done for the evening....but I have learned to be thankful. I believe it is a lesson that will continued to be taught and learned for many years to come, and one I hope to pass on to my children.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lindsay's Gift...

Isn't this lovely?  I am blessed to have this photograph hanging on my living room wall.  It is 8x10 right now but Lindsay had it enlarged for me, I just need to get the right mat and frame.

This photograph was taken in Vermont last year.

Yesterday she entered it in a local fair.  

We found out tonight that it won first place!

It is so wonderful when you see your children using the gifts and skills the Lord has given them.

Congratulations Lindsay!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Lovely Evening

I took no photos last night - it honestly didn't even cross my mind...

I host a tea every year for my fellow home educating moms...last even about 10 came.  It is always a lovely time of sharing and relaxing, getting to know someone new, catching up with someone you haven't seen for months.

We sometimes have 30 ladies and other times only 5 have doesn't matter.  Whoever comes needed to be there and it is always thoroughly enjoyed.

Spicy Holiday Tea, a variety of herbal and black teas, sweet scones, jam, mock Devonshire cream, lemon curd all homemade, with some mini quiches from Costco, and some purchased mini eclairs.

I love how the ladies feel so pampered eating off of glass luncheon plates with real china tea cups!  

Soft candles burning, Autumn decor all around.  Everything comfortable, casual, just right.

I am looking forward to next year.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Miss Kamryn came by for a visit on Saturday...her momma and daddy came too!
Grandpa was busy with many things, but he finally had the chance to sit and hold her!

She will be 3 months old on Wednesday - it has gone by so fast...
She is smiley now and loves to 'talk'.
She was sleepy when Uncle Kyle held her...I read his current favorite book, Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, to them both and she fell asleep in his arms!  So sweet!
Lindsay sprained her ankle Sunday has happened about 5 times to the same ankle since she was about 12 years old...she stayed off of it most of the day.
My butterfly bushes are still blooming...
and so is this climbing starts blooming about June and just keeps going....
Tim took advantage of the beautiful weather to wash the van and his truck...
Lindsay and I talked about the garden and what we want to do for next year....
She thinks we need to get a Scottish Highland cow!  They are our favorite kind, we love how they look and she thinks they would taste good!
Kyle had a special surprise!  Grandpa took him on a secret trip to ride Thomas the Tank engine at the Strasburg Railroad today!  He had no idea and was thrilled when he realized!  He called me from the train!  You could hear the excitement and smile in his voice!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I found this beauty of a plate at Target!  I spent more than I normally would for a plastic plate, but it is just so me and so perfect for my house, and it is a few weeks until my birthday, so I totally justified it!

It sits on top of my hutch.
I love it.

I did some sewing today and my granddaughter came for a visit as well....I am so blessed.  We had a lovely dinner altogether, lots of holding of Kamryn, the kids was a Home Sweet Home kind of day.

I Remember....

Friday, September 10, 2010

Autumn Has Come To The Cottage

I am linking up with Melissa's 3rd Annual Fall Nesting Party!
Click here to join the fun!

I normally like to wait a few weeks more...

not wanting to get tired of the decor....

but this year my tea is a month early....

and the weather is changing....

So Lindsay and I added just a few touches here...

and there....

to bring warmth and welcome to those who live in our home, and those who visit....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Special Day

Today is such a special day in for our friends.  They have been fostering to adopt a young boy.  He will be the third boy they have added to their family in this way. 

This little guy is 6, just lost a tooth, got glasses, and is very endearing.  He and Kyle are great pals. 

On this day in history it will be remembered that the little guy legally became a member of their family!

We are so proud to join them today at court and to celebrate with them!
It touches me so deeply to see how this little guy's life has been changed by being brought into this family.  I am reminded of how much my life changed by being brought into God's family, through adoption, too, and to be part of His family forever. By His Grace.

It is this same Grace, that has brought this little boy to his new family, as well.
Congratulations friends!  We are so happy for you all!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Thoughtful Gift

It is fun when you get to meet someone who you previously have only known through blogging.  This happened this past July when we got to meet Karen and family from Blue Barn Bulletin.

Yesterday I unexpectedly received a box.  The kids were so excited to see what it might be.  I saw the return address - "It's from Karen!"  She had mentioned to me that she had some books she thought I would enjoy, and that she would send them to me, but I had completely forgotten!

She sent me four books by Debra White Smith called the "The Jane Austen Series."  They are modern re-tellings of some of Jane's most beloved works.  I started the first one almost right away.

I am enjoying "First Impressions",  and stayed up too late reading last night. 

I had been looking for some light reading, and yesterday in the midst of my crazy and stressful life, a sweet and kind gift was dropped into my life!

Thanks Karen!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Slowing Down...

In my dreams....

Our homeschool co-op starts next week....I have so much to finish before then.  Name tags, printing off attendance sheets, finishing prep for my class on manners....

Also, I have to go to the church we meet in and sort through our co-op closet! Scary! But I am taking my crew and another gal from the group to help me!  I think it will get done pretty quickly this way.

I also have a busy week ahead; we will be attending a memorial service for a friends' father on Wednesday and then on Thursday our friends from Cozy Comforts have invited us to share their joyous day as they have the court finalize their adoption!  We are very excited for them!  We will be attending the whole proceeding and then going to lunch with them!  Fun stuff!

I also have had to reschedule my annual Mom's tea from October to September, which means it will be taking place a week from today.  So, that means, I need to go through my Autumn decor and put it up a bit earlier than I usually do.  The good thing about it is it will be done.  And I love Autumn, and I love this Tea Party.  It will be like a reward to me for all my hard work!

But as for slowing down...I really am working toward that...I need more margin in my schedule...I want to enjoy the days with my kids and family, not always be dictated to by this frenetic schedule that has overtaken my life...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Weekend Full Of Refreshment

The weather this weekend was glorious!

We wanted to be out in it as much as possible after weeks of such intense heat and humidity.  We took a picnic lunch to a nearby state park we love and then spent some time looking at the river from the point.

We met friends there for a while to celebrate a very nice young man's thirteenth birthday.  We had to come home early because Tim is working this weekend.  I made potato cheese soup for dinner, and had a lot left over.

Today after a very nice church service, dear friends from church came over. I reheated the soup, Lindsay made a delicious salad and garlic bread.  Emily made her famous ranch dressing and a veggie platter.  Our guests brought drinks and snacks to share.

There was lots of eating and laughing and talking.  Horses ridden, little boys playing in the creek and in the hammock, every where really...

One of our friends who came over is a single man, never married, no kids.  He is very caring and loves all the kids of the church.  Today he did something very special.  He gave me some money and asked that I would take a young lady who attends our church, to purchase some things that he learned that she was in need of.  This young lady's family background is challenging and she had a need for some clothes.  Emily, and I, my friend Kelly and this young gal headed out for a few hours this afternoon.  We were able to go to the outlets, to one that I take my girls to for jeans, especially.  We found great stuff for her, and we were able to give him money back!

It was a blessing to be a part of this.  She was thankful and surprised, and it was a practical outpouring of caring for one another.  

This week is going to be hot again, but we have had a preview this weekend of the splendor of Autumn weather and the delight that it brings to us all.  God is so good to bring us refreshing times just when we need it.  I have been refreshed in more ways than one this weekend and I am so thankful.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Last Night

It was fun and crazy last night.

After picking up Lindsay and Emily from work, and dropping my little folk off at their favorite place "Camp Geezer", the girls and I rushed home to get ready to go.  The Hospitality Lane gals, brought Grandma Georgia along (it was so fun having you with us, Georgia!) arrived and we finally left.  

The city was really crowded last night, could find a place to park on the street, Rachel's had a line out the door and enough people waiting to get in already, that we KNEW we would need to come another day.  

Becky mentioned a place near the college that she thought might be interesting, so we went there.  This is where some of the fun and craziness happens.

We walk in, there are tables available, but they are not cleared yet.  The guy who greeted us said, "Let me go make a noose, kill myself and then I will be back to help you."  This was said because being a party of 6 that meant he had to take the time to clear a table.  This took just a couple of minutes then we sat down with the assurance that our waiter would be there to take our drink order in a few minutes.

We waited 20 minutes.  He finally came by took our drink order and returned about 10 minutes later with 4 waters (one with lemon) and two Pepsis.  It must have been that added lemon that took so long!

After another long stint away from our table, our intrepid waiter returns to take our order.  We can tell he is reasonably new - seemed confused about a few things, but now our order was on it's way.  At this point we had been at the restaurant for 30 minutes!  

We occupied ourselves by watching a table of 4 college guys get drunk.  Fun stuff, uh, yeah not really.  They had just been seated when we got there and their waitress delivered to their table 4 BUCKETS of ice with 6-8 bottles of beer in each bucket.  They proceeded to drink.  Not sure I saw any food.  Their first beer was acknowledged with a toast "To working hard and drinking hard."  After that they didn't toast any more, just downed the beers and got louder and louder.  They took breaks to go out and smoke, cause everyone knows you drink two beers, you must go have a cigarette...

Another table was seated behind us and they the party of 5 students from the college got their food really quickly.  Now maybe it was because they could tell Becky, Georgia and I were now longer college age, that it took so long to get our food.

At one hour into our wait, we started to ask about our food.  When it came the order was not right, but we lived with it and one of Becky's items hadn't been ordered.  Back to the kitchen for the waiter.  Then we had to ask for silverware as the guy who seated us and gave us menus, neglected to give us that important item. 

We found out that they had lost a server the night before and were shorthanded.  Yet it seemed that our waiter was the only one picking up the slack.  The others were not rushing everywhere as he seemed to be.

They took 10% off our bill, and because the manager had trouble with Lindsay's bill, he gave her the whole meal for free. 

Part of the funny stuff was that when some of the party went to the bathroom, a certain person got TP stuck on the bottom of their shoe.  Apparently no amount of scraping the shoe on the floor and snorting, would remove said TP.  Finally, only going outside helped the stuff to get off her shoe.  

Part of the craziness was that Lin and I made a stop at the bathroom I noticed a maybe 7 or 8 year old boy sitting at a table right next to the bar area.  He had a Pepsi and some ice cream.  His parents were at the bar.  This made me very sad.  It made me wonder what his life is like, for this little boy the age of my daughter who was at Grandma and Grandpa, playing wii and watching Toy Story 2....he would be headed home with parents who had been consuming alcohol, at the bar not sitting having dinner with him at the table.

When the girls were talking about how long it took at the restaurant I said "It took so long, that the drunk college boys were sober before we got our food!"  Funny, but sad.

The night got better when we went back downtown and visited Denny.  He was happy to see us, had had a really good night with sales, and was getting ready to close soon.

Emily and Chelsea must still have coffee, so off we went to the Prince Street Cafe, and hip little place across from the Fulton.  We found a few tables, only because it was now after 10:00pm and a few of us got something to drink our style.  I had unsweetened Iced Tea, Lindsay a bottle of Coke, Becky a rootbeer float, and Chelsea got an frozen something that looked really good.  We are big party girls, aren't we?!

Home at almost 11:30pm and quick run to "Camp Geezer" for the little folk, quickly home to dream land for the little folk.

We decided that for the things we'd like to do in the city, we will take one of these lovely upcoming Autumn days, and do lunch and poke around during the day.  

The fun came from being together, and laughing over the craziness. Oh, and Becky has now posted about it so go here for her perspective and photos!

Friday, September 3, 2010

First Friday

Tonight, my dear girls, Lindsay and Emily and I are hitting the city for First Friday.  We are being joined by the sweet gals over at Hospitality Lane.  It was instigated by Emily and Chelsea because they believe

Lindsay and I don't drink coffee at all and I don't know about Becky, but we are all planning to have a good time.

We are going to try to eat at Rachel's Cafe and Creperie, those Hospitality Lane gals have NEVER been there!  I say try because it get crowded there, especially on First Friday.

Then we will all go over to our good friend Denny's store - Fab Fashion.  He has great designer style purses and jewelry, sunglasses etc...for fantastic prices.  He is located near Central Market.

After that, I don't know.  But I am certain of one thing...the girls will think of something else to do! 

Happy First Friday everyone!

Information Friday, On Saturday

  Well, I was all set to do a post yesterday, but I had trouble uploading my photos. I really thought I'd get it done in the evening, bu...