Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What I'm Reading

Tonight was a quiet night around our house.

The younger three are on an overnight to Camp Geezer, which is what my Dad calls there house.  It has a theme song too, to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies.

"Son, let me tell you 'bout a man named Bob.
             Moved from California, retired from his job.
             Moved back East to a place called Kinzers.....

              Opened up a club called Camp Geezer!

          Swimming pool, Big Screen TV, wii game and all....."


Since the other girls were at work, Tim picked me up from the store and we got a quick bite to eat, ran a few errands and headed home for the evening.  Emma got home first, and then Lindsay and our friend Sarah, who proceeded to make crepes with nutella, strawberries and whipped cream!  Wowzer!

We spent a good portion of the evening reading, with some talking and coffee and tea drinking taking place.  It was oddly quiet.  

As Tim said "This is enjoyable, but I miss my other kids!"  Me too!

I thought I would show you what I am reading these days.

 The Silver Needle Murder by Laura Childs is my current book.  I love her Tea Shop Mysteries.

 This book was shown on Brenda's blog last week.  She only got the first three letters of the title in the photo!  Torture!  Fortunately she's sweet and told me the title right away.  I thought I had read all the Tea Shop Mysteries out there but No!  There were three, including a brand new one that I hadn't read.  So quickly I requested them from the library and voila!  I have two weeks to finish them.  With Easter this weekend, it might be tough but I think I can do it.

Speaking of Brenda - can I please request pray for her?  She had eye surgery in the fall last year and is going to have surgery tomorrow again.  She has some leakage due to diabetes.  Please pray for the surgery and that her A1c numbers come down.

So....what are you reading these days?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

He's A Good Reader

He asked for his own card for the library.

 I could think of a half dozen reasons to say 'no', most of them having to do with me having to remember another thing, and the other half having to do with me being responsible for another thing.

However, he turns that happy face at me and I look at those freckles and I'm willing to do just about anything.  I'll deny though if asked!

He was so happy he walked right up to the desk and said to the volunteer "I'd like a library card."

 She was an older, new volunteer and didn't know what to do about that!  She looked a bit terrified and quickly found someone who knew what to do!  I thought for a moment that we'd be leaving the library without a card and with a very sad boy.  

Instead we left with books for us girls and two videos for Kyle.  Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Larry Boy.  He has refined taste, this boy. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Gift From A Friend

A few weeks ago my friend visited Williamsburg.  My favorite place!  Emma went along with her to help with her children, as this friends' husband is a resident at Johns Hopkins and he was unable to make the trip with her and the children.

She brought me back a gift (though Emma coming home was gift enough!) of pottery.

I love it!

 It's a great read on white/cream pattern.

 I love the wee tea pot!

 The sugar bowl

and creamer are perfect for using with any of my tea sets!  I love the little bird on the pieces also.

It is happily residing on my living room book case, where my friends said to me today "It is perfect there!"  I heartily agree!

Thank you Amy!

I also wanted to say that in my post about mentoring and encouragement that I find such wonderful encouragement in reading your blogs and your comments here to me.  It has been such a blessing to get to know you, in fact my best blogging friends are all from different states!

I am thankful for you!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Encouragement and Mentoring in the Digital Age

 I was texting this afternoon and evening with a sweet niece of mine.  She is a wife and Momma of two delightful boys.  I love being in touch with her so easily and it is such a blessing to be able to encourage her.  She is blessed to have great parents and wonderful support from her husband, but it is also wonderful to talk to someone who has walked down the path you've chosen for your family.

I was thinking about how different this mentoring is than the kind I had when I was in my teens, and it is different than the mentoring I used to do.  In those "old" days you actually had to either talk on the phone or drive to meet up with them.  These days we can talk via Skype or Facetime and see each other face to face!  

So you may say, "Well, big deal.  I see my mentor every week."  For us that is not so easily accomplished.  She lives in a different state than I do.

I also have a few dear friends from church that live about an hour from my house.  Technology - Facebook, texting,  allow us to stay in touch and share needs.  If they need to run out of town to care for an elderly mother, or if they just need to hear "this too shall pass" we can be in touch quickly and encourage and pray for each other.

Another cool thing is keeping in touch with my roommate from Bible School.  She is a missionary now in West Africa and she has Facebook and email and she is able to communicate what is going on in her village.

I am so thankful for this.  

I know that technology can easily take over our lives and take up too much of our time.  There are times it is too important in my life.  And some folks do spend way to much time using it.  But the  next time I hear someone complaining about technology and it's over use, I am going to share the blessing that it can be as well.

It surely is for me, how about you?  


Friday, March 22, 2013

Sweet Dreams

 Tim and I went on a date - the first one we've had since we were away for our anniversary.  We went to dinner at a nice restaurant and then met Emma at Panera for coffee/tea and a treat.  It is so nice to enjoy the man your married to.  We are far from perfect, but we are good forgivers.

We have 3 ladies having babies at church soon, so since they all know they are having boys, I decided to make them something.  

These are quilt squares to be made into a rag quilt.  This is denim from pants the girls had and flannel baby boy material.  It's going to be so cute!

We've gotten some cute market baskets in for the store!  These things are great and so practical.

Well, I have a huge day ahead of me and  I must sleep now!

Sweet Dreams!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vee's Note Card Party - Peonies

Hurray!  It's Note Card Party time again!  I think it is so fun, and look forward to it every month.

A Haven for Vee

Since many of us are dreaming of Spring time weather to go along with the calendar date, I thought I would post edited photos of my peonies.  These photos are from back in 2008 - 2010, and taken indoors during the day, indoors in the evening, outdoors with an old get the idea.  But I know you all will be merciful to me, and say lovely things as you always do!  That's why this is my favorite blog party!

These peonies all grow in my garden and these deep pink ones smell like old fashioned roses.  They are a joy to me every May when they bloom, and I hope you enjoy them too!

Monday, March 18, 2013

I Have A Bit Of Time This Morning...

to myself and I am enjoying it.

Lindsay is with my parents on day trip and lunch out, Emma took the younger three to meet up with Tim after work this morning to do some yard work for an elderly woman he met.  She had placed an add in the local paper about free fire wood - she'd had a tree taken down and now needed someone to come remove it.  Tim is always on the look out for firewood - we heat with it some, and he provides it for my parents too.  He mentioned to me that this lady could use some work done in her yard, he spoke with her, she gladly said yes, and he and the crew are on the job!  He likes providing opportunities for the kids to learn to serve others joyfully!

I am home with Kamryn, and she is still asleep.  Using these quiet moments to ponder and write.  Kayleigh is managing a store now and that is keeping her hopping.  We are proud of how hard she is working and that she is learning and growing a lot.

I recently found my self caught up inadvertently in some drama, and that made me realize that we have a refreshing lack of that around here most days!  We are busy, working, serving, opening our home, discipling others, and for the most part try not to get caught up in that kind of thing.  We are not a family big on competing with other families or other people for attention or for some recognition.  We know we are sinners saved by grace and we try to walk in grace with others and as a family.  We are not perfect, by any means, and are thankful for God's mercies which are new every morning!
 I've been reading Elisabeth Elliot's book "The Shaping of a Christian Family."  It is not a 'how to' book, it is the story of her family and the choices they made (her grandparents, and her parents) and how that shaped the family that they had.  I like that it is simple really, though not easy.  You want a home where Christ is central?  Then make him central in all that you do.

I need to get busy with my morning, dishes are done and drying on the counter.  I need to get out our science book and pick a new book for reading aloud.  

I just had a call from Tim, they have finished their yard work.   He said that the woman was appreciative.  I appreciate his heart to serve others, and that he teaches the kids by example.  

My heart is full of thankfulness this morning. 

Philippians 1:6 - being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ

ps- the Peonies and Roses are from my garden last year.  Come on Spring! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chat Time!

So, as you know this has been a crazy week.  Thank you all again for praying and remembering Rachel.  You're sweet and I love you for it!


The store has been slow.  Like death nell slow.  If it doesn't pick up we won't be keeping the physical store past June.  That's the stark reality.  We have great products, and service.  People come in and LOVE everything, but then walk out with out a purchase.  I have seen many businesses disappear one by one.  In fact I stopped at one today, and they were no longer there.  It's sad.  It is a sign of the economy and the fear people have.  Oh, yeah and a little thing called higher taxes or more taxes.  I understand completely!  Everyone's paycheck is smaller,  and yet the cost of everything has gone up.  This cannot be sustained.

We are trying to up the profile of our online store, and do more events.


I am working on a new article for our state wide home school magazine.  This one is about reading and how each child is different and may come to be a reader through different methods than their siblings did.

We're hooked on a BBC series called Foyle's War.  It is set in wartime Great Britian in the 1940's.  There are three new episodes due out this year and we can't wait!  Have you seen it?


I also like a program called Wartime Farm.  You can find it in 8 episodes on YouTube.  Alex Langlands, Ruth Goodman, and Peter Ginn show what it was like in Great Britain on a farm during WWII.  I learned so much!

This trio of presenters also do Edwardian Farm, Victorian Farm, Tales from Green Valley, and Victorian Christmas.  Our whole family has enjoyed watching these!


Our seed order came last week.  I am excited to start some seeds soon.  I hope to have a nice herb garden this year.  I am also hoping to have a good veggie garden.  


I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Remember that God is good.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Sunday was Charter Day here in Pennsylvania.  We celebrate the king giving William Penn's father the charter for this land, by opening all the state museums for free.

We chose to go to Landis Valley Museum again.  It's a lovely place set for the late 1800's - early 1900's period.

They have wonderful volunteers who participate, showing how different things were done or made during this period of history.

There is a gun smith, and a cook using a colonial style fireplace (be still my heart!), there is a lace maker - 

Here is a sample of her work
So, so amazing that this was all done by hand!

There was also a woman showing us how they made line-n from flax.  Then she showed us how they made the 'line' into thread that then was woven into fabric.

She said it took about 65 hours of work to make one shirt.  Unbelievable.

These lovely ladies were there...

So was my sweetheart!  I love this photo of him - do you love his purse?  Ha ha!  Emma put Rachel's crossbody bag on him like a fannypack!  Too funny!

Little did we know that 12 hours later Rachel's pony would be hit by a car.  This is a photo of the hood of our neighbors small suv.  

We are all doing well and Rachel is especially doing better.  The first few days were rough for her.

Thankful for grace, and for protection.  Our neighbor was not injured at all.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thank You

Thanks so much for making a difficult day easier by leaving me such lovely notes of comfort.

Rachel is sad.  Heartbroken.  She is doing okay, but if you think of her please continue to pray for her.

Yesterday was surreal is many ways.  How do you prepare for having to deal with such a thing?  It is all those many little crises that come up over the years, and learning to lean hard into the Lord for His direction and comfort.

We felt it yesterday.  The neighbor who hit Libby, was so distraught.  They love animals, and she and her husband were so gracious.  Then came the issue of what to do with Libby.  

Tim works with a gentleman whose nephew just happens to own a couple of farms and one of them adjoins our property.  He was instantly helpful and gracious, too.  He wouldn't hear of taking any  kind of payment, not even for fuel costs.  "We're neighbors," was what he told us.

Friends, we felt God's gentle care for us yesterday.

We had a funeral to go to yesterday as well.  Sad, hard things, yet God was with us in it all...and it really put things into their proper perspective.  The loss of a husband, dad and granddad verses the loss of a well loved pony.  Both were unexpected and hard but the real, true loss is the man.  Ponies can be replaced, but a man cannot.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne

of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help

in time of need.

 God is true and faithful!

Today we deal with insurance and all that stuff.  I love learning new things, but I could have skipped having to learn this, but I trust God that He knows just what we need.


Monday, March 11, 2013

This Is Going To Be A Rough Day

Early this morning Sadie started barking and their was a wild pounding at the door.

The horses had gotten out and a sweet neighbor lady had hit Liberty.  She was so upset about it.  No wonder.  Not everyday you have a horse dart across the road in the dark.

Libby is no more.  Fortunately Tim works with a man whose nephew has a large farm and he is allowing us to bring her there to bury.

Rachel is heartbroken.  

Today will be a day of comforting broken hearts, as we are also headed to the funeral of a friend.  He died unexpectedly too.

We could use your prayers for us.  This is coming on the back of two really challenging weeks for us.

These are good reminders that life is short, and we can never tell how many days we have been given.

This is Rachel in July 2011 with Libby.  This is about two weeks after we got her.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Noah - A Must See Show

Noah is back at Sight and Sound for one year only, and we got to see the employee opening last night.  

I have seen this show many times before, the last being just a few years ago in Branson, but it has been updated and is now running neck and neck for my favorite show!

The staging is well done, the acting not OVER done (if you know what I mean), and the production values - lighting, costumes, use of color, etc, was wonderful.

The scene where the family is in the ark, and their loved ones who previously rejected the truth are begging to be let very moving.

There are many parallel's to our world today, it's sobering, and a good reminder to keep looking to the Lord rather than the approval of men.

If you get the chance, please see this show!  You'll love it, your children/grandchildren will love it and it could be life changing!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy, Happy, Happy


My darling Emily is 19 today!

She is a beautiful young woman inside and out. 

We kinda like her, oh yes we do!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tie Dye

Around here we knit and sew but I don't consider us crafters.

Yesterday though, Lindsay and Emma had a friend over during the big (non existent for us) snow storm, and they did tie dye.

 They rinsed out their t-shirts last night.

 This is Lindsay's...

This is Emma's.  

They had so much fun, and also did pillowcases.

Why don't we do these things more often?  I think the younger set would love to do this kind of project.  It can be counted for art as well.

I have a meeting this morning and then we are going out to dinner for Emma's birthday, which is actually tomorrow.

Tomorrow is big doings.

Ta-ta for now!


  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...