Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Rachel!

What a gift this girl is to our family.  Tenderhearted, baby lover, horse riding, baking queen, reader, sister, friend, daughter, granddaughter.  That's this girl.

She continues to grow in Grace, sensitive to the Lord.  A few years ago, I was talking to the little girls and mentioned, as an example of some discussion we were having, that if you take a cookie without asking that is the same as stealing.  The next day I found a note on my desk from Rachel confessing that she had done that very thing.  She went on to say "I didn't know it was wrong and I will never do it again.  I want to honor you and God."  Precious heart.

Happiest of Birthdays, my Rachel.  

We love you!

Monday, May 30, 2011

In Memorium

Thank you to all who have served, and to the families of those who gave the "last full measure of devotion," we grieve for your loss, and can never repay what has been given.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


 The grass withers, 

 The flowers fade,

But the word of our God stands forever!

Isaiah 40:8

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What Happened To My Followers?

When I logged on this morning, they have all disappeared!  Boo Hoo!

Has anyone else had this happen?


 to meet new "old" friends a week ago.  Can't believe it is only a week...

Lovely young women, one and all.  Thanks for your sweet hospitality!

Another blessing is the way our church helps and supports each other.  A few weeks back Tim had a stump grinder for the weekend and after grinding many stumps here in our pasture, and one for our neighbors, he went and ground some giant stumps for a family from church.  Tomorrow this friend is going to help Tim by using some of his earth moving equipment to help Tim in the pasture.  Tonight he dropped off a backhoe and tomorrow he is bring a bobcat as well.  I think they are going to be having some fun!  It is a blessing to help each other!

"Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel."  
                                                        Author Unknown

Friday, May 27, 2011


 Our county has the largest number of homeschoolers in the state.  We have an organization that provides insurance for support groups, as well as quarterly breakfasts for support group leaders, a monthly newsletter, and they organize a graduation every year.  Nate and Lindsay both opted not to participate in this graduation.  If you click on their names, you can read about their choices for how they wanted to celebrate finishing high school.

Emily wanted the big graduation and a chance to participate with several of her friends - our co-op had quite a few graduates this year; Emily, Chelsea, Emily, Bethany, Vanessa, Emily, Josh, and  Amber! There were a total of 90 graduates who participated in the graduation this year!

 Here Tim and I are meeting Emily on the stage.  The couple at the podium read a brief statement about Emily, her plans etc, and after she hands me a rose, we hand her a diploma, and hug.  During our hug she said "I love you Mom.  Thank you for everything!"  She is a happy girl.

 Here are the caps flying after the announcement that they are the Graduates of 2011!  The black caps against a black ceiling may be hard to see, but if you click the photo it should enlarge.

After the ceremony they have a reception time where your guests can congratulate your graduate.

 Here is Jenny from our church.  She is an amazing woman from China.  Our church is so wonderful - so many came out to celebrate with Emily and Chelsea

 Lindsay and Emily...Emily smiled the whole evening!

 Here are more of the family - the younger kids were so excited for Emily - so sweet to see.

 This gentleman is a friend and co-worker of Tim's.  They used to go to breakfast a lot and sometimes Emily got to go along.  He always would tease her and she has very fond memories of him.  She sent him a graduation announcement/invitation and he came!  She was so excited.  He honored her in a huge way by coming to her graduation.

 Afterward, we went to Applebee's with the Hospitality Lane gang, my parents, the Finefrocks and Denny from our church, for a bit of sustenance.  We have to be at the church, where graduation is held, so early that we didn't have time for dinner.  Tim and I shared a half-price appetizer and a dessert.

I guess she like the whole evening...she gave it a thumbs up!

Congratulations on finishing this stage of your life well.  We are so excited to see what the Lord has for you!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Such A Good Day

We had such a good day...

Tim and Nate went to run errands and have breakfast together for Nate's birthday.  Rachel and Sarah had a sleepover with Grandma and then went bowling and for pizza to celebrate Rachel's birthday next week.

Emily and I went to lunch before evaluations, Kyle came along, too.  He is so fun and dear.  He had fun doing his word search and watching the tv show about volcanoes!

Emily had her evaluation first and did very well.  Tracy, our beloved evaluator, said she loves to evaluate Emily.  "She sees what I am looking at in her portfolio and starts talking about what she learned or liked.  I don't even have to ask any questions."  She has been our evaluator for 7 years - that means Emily was 10 the first year she did our evaluations!

Rachel and Sarah also had evaluations and Sarah had achievement testing, as well.  They both did very well.  So this year is finished and now we just have graduation on Thursday evening!  

When we got home we had a message on our answering machine that made us all very excited!  Did I tell you that on Saturday Lindsay left her purse in a Chick-fil-A in Georgia?  And that she didn't even realize it until we were 5 1/2 hours down the road?  Sigh...we called the Chick-fil-A and were told no one had found it or turned it in.  We left our number and said to please call if it was found.  She quickly inventoried what was in there - made a fast call to the credit union to cancel her debit card - and was so sad that she had lost the memory card with all of the photos of Grammy on it!  Ugh!

Guess what?  This afternoon a sweet woman from that Chick-fil-A called and said they "had something that belonged to Lindsay" and could she please give her a call?  Her purse will be in the mail tomorrow!  Praise the Lord!  Answered prayer, indeed!  I asked Lindsay if everything was still in it and she said, "I didn't even think to ask!  I was so excited!"

We also had dinner with Nate and Kay and a couple that are friends with them.  We have known Tyler since he and Nate were 5.  They both are the oldest of 6 siblings and both have 4 sisters in the middle and the youngest sibling is a brother!  All nearly the same ages as well!

What a good day it has been.  I am thankful that the Lord is with us in these good days, as well as the bad days....

Happy Birthday, Nate!

As far back as I can remember I have wanted to be a mother.  To have sweet babies to love and care for, to raise crazy toddlers to adulthood...

22 years ago, God granted the desire of my heart when he gave Tim and I a son.  Nathan Joseph Rabe.  The baby who wouldn't sleep, and had colic.  The toddler and preschooler who loved music, would ask me to sing a song over and over again until he had learned it.  He became a big brother 5 times over and it took that fifth time before the Lord granted a desire that he had to have a brother!  All of his siblings love him very much and like to hang out with him.  

Nate is creative - a musician, a writer, sensitive.  He is a fantastic dad to his daughter.  He is learning patience, self sacrifice, giving yourself for another...all those lessons that parenthood brings our way.

We love you son, so very much, and are praying that this year will bring you joy.

Monday, May 23, 2011


 There is beauty in my garden. 
We arrived home yesterday, to my garden in bloom!  I cute some of the peonies right away.  I adore them.  These are the ones that smell like old fashioned roses. sigh...

 We have a busy day ahead.  In Pennsylvania we must have year end evaluations for homeschooling.  Today is the day!  We are pretty much ready but need to print off our book lists, curriculum lists, etc.
 Guess what?  My evaluator just called and needed to reschedule! I have a day to breath now!  The Lord knows what we need!  My whole day has just eased...

 Our vacation was such a great time.  I am thankful for the opportunity to spend time with my mother in law and my sister in law.  I am thankful for time spent with our dear friends Rick and Jane!  I am thankful for friendships that are easy and you can pick up where you left off the last time you saw them!

 I am thankful for new friendships that feel like old ones!  I am thankful for my husband.  What a wonderful man he is.  

I am thankful for my parents too!  They stayed here at our home for a week, so that they could easily take care of our animals for us.  We are very blessed to have them be willing to be inconvenienced on our behalf!  Thanks Mom and Dad - we owe you lunch!  Soon!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

 We have had the best vacation...topped off by a visit with one of the most wonderful families!  Lots of good food, fellowship, smiles, playing, sharing, singing, family worship.

 We hosted a small portion of this family a few years ago and had such a good time.  They encouraged us to come by and stay with the family anytime.  We finally took them up on it, and boy are we glad we did!

 Have you ever meet people who instantly feel like old friends?  We Tim said it is because of the Lord!  We were treated to wonderful hospitality - this is a precious family.

 The girls and I enjoyed making supper with them, and talking and talking...

 Kyle enjoyed running around and playing with all the little boys who live on the farm...

 The family and their farm are set up for hospitality...

The big house...they moved it from town years fantastic.  High ceilings, fans, tall windows!  Perfect for Southern summers...
These girls had such a wonderful time! Adeline and Martha you were so delightful!  Thanks for the great time Morton family.  We have learned from you, and were so blessed!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

From Beauty to Frog Legs...

 We spent the first half of our day in Mount Dora.  I love to visit this little town.  We had lunch at The Garden Gate.  It is so pretty and very 'Shabby Chic' in style.

 Can I just say that I adore my family?  We had such a fun time together.  We all ate really good chicken salad, quiche, carrot soup, rosemary chicken pie...

 My little handsome guy.  He loves to sit by me!  When we left those sweet ladies sitting in the background talked to him and were so taken with how well he did during lunch...he charmed them of course!

 Beautiful, but simple flowers on the tables...

 Photos being taken everywhere at our table!

 Very pretty lighting!

Later in the day we picked up Grammy and she took us to Buffet City!

 Turns out it is mostly a Chinese food buffet - which is fine because we like that kind of food.  But they had one surprising item on the menu...

 Frog legs!

 Kyle tried it too - he said "it's good" but he didn't know what he had tried.  When the girls told him he said "Cool!"  This is him eating jello and an egg roll.  Great combo, eh?

 Emily tried the frog legs...
 Lindsay tried the frog legs...

 And I tried a piece of the meat!  The verdict?  Very salty and chewy to eat.  The frogs in our creek are safe!

 Here is Grammy.  She is quite the woman.  She will be 90 years old in 5 months.

 Sarah sat with Grammy.  Sarah is a talker and so is Grammy!  Later we went to my sister in laws home and had tea and a good visit.  It's fun to spend time together.  Such a treat.

Tomorrow we are swimming and visiting with friends...Thursday we head to the Gulf of Mexico!

Monday, May 16, 2011

We're Here

 Here is a photo of the lake from our guest room window in the living area.

 Here is the view from the kitchen.

 Here is the kitchen...

 There is a trundle bed in the kitchen - Lindsay and Sarah have claimed it - Sarah is excited to be on the trundle....

 Here is the double bed and single bed that is in the living area - there are two easy chairs in here and a television.  This may seem like an odd set up but this motel is at the headquarters of the mission we used to serve with.  It is intended to house families that come to headquarters when they come home from the mission field, or come for meetings etc...some folks are here for several weeks at a time.   So it is nice to have a kitchen.  This is a roomy motel room it is actually 3 rooms if you include the bathroom, and 4 rooms if you include the walk in closet that is the same size as the bathroom!  Guess what it is going to cost us?  Well, actually Tim's Mom is paying...but it is only $20 a night!  Unbelievable!
Kyle and Rachel are sleeping on pull out mattresses in the living space - we have more beds than we do when we stay at a regular hotel!  We are very spoiled!

 We also get all the access to the pool that we want!

 It was a beautiful evening in Central Florida...

 Happy sisters....

Happy Momma, with the wind blowing my hair in my face!  We sat and ate dinner at poolside and visited with my Mother in Law, Tim's sister Esther and her husband Richard.  It was great.

Tomorrow Tim's mom wants to take us out to eat - at a place called "Buffet City."  Wow.  I'm trying to eat well on this trip and not too much junk or fast food.  I just might be able to find some kind of "real food" at "Buffet City," I'm a thinkin'.  As my Grandma Lily used to say "You just don't never know!" I'll let you know how that goes!

So far, vacation is a blast!


  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...