Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Family Reunion

We headed down to Florida last Tuesday night.  We drove overnight as it is Tim's favored time to drive I95.  It went well, stopping for fuel, bathroom breaks and a short nap or two.  We arrived mid-morning and after short naps we proceeded to get settled in at our friends' home.  

For dinner, we went to get some Mexican food.

 Our friends Rick and Jane, who housed us all.

We then went over to Tim's moms'  house to say hi.  At 97 years old she has short term memory loss dementia.  You can tell by the photos on the wall that we try to keep the family in her view daily.

On Thursday, Tim and Kyle and Kamryn, went to his sisters house to pick up our great niece (who is Kamryn's age), and his nephew Andrew (who is Nate's age and a missionary in Chad).  They went to the beach, and Sarah, Jane, and I went to The Windsor Rose Tea Shop in Mt. Dora, Florida.  I first heard about The Windsor Rose in Victoria magazine many years ago.  We've been going ever since then, when we are in Florida.  It's only about 30 minutes from where we usually visit.

Friday, Emma, Vinnie, and the kids arrived, and we went out to a go cart place.  I hung out with my grandson Clark, while they all go carted.

 The weather was so great while we were in Florida, really warm and sunny and no humidity.

For dinner we went to the Mellow Mushroom for pizza.

 We enjoyed our time with them, since we don't get to see them in person very often. 

Saturday was reunion day.  We were originally going to go to Kelly Park to tube in the springs, but a call from them changed our plans.  Apparently there was alligator activity in the springs and the water was off limits for three days.  So we settled for the beach.

This isn't the whole family.  One of Tim's sisters' couldn't make it until this next weekend, so the rest of the family will have another beach day together.  We couldn't go that weekend because it's my dad's 80th birthday.  Also missing from this photo are Nate, Kayleigh and Klaire, Lindsay and Joseph, Rachel, our niece Melissa, her husband Geoff and their boys, and another niece Nicole.  So picture 14 more people in this photo!

When you have family out of the country for years at a time, and people living in different states, its hard to get together.  We are glad for the time we had with the group that was able to be there when we, and Emma and Vinnie could be together!

We got home safely yesterday, and are back to our regular schedule. Sarah's at work, so is Tim and Kyle is helping him today.  We are already unpacked, but the suitcases need to go downstairs, and I need to sort through the mail.  Then I am working on my dad's birthday party plans.  He'll be 80 on Sunday.

I'm glad to be home.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Drive By Houses

Do you ever drive a certain way so that you can see a house you like?  I do!  Besides the fact that if I drive the same route over and over (like when I take Sarah to work) I get bored, so I have to find new routes.  

Melissa from The Inspired Room  used to do 'drive bys' of houses or neighborhoods she liked.  So I decided to do that and share two houses, in different styles that I like very much.  They are on the same road surrounded by farmland, here in Lancaster County.

The first one reminds me of a colonial farmhouse, and has a bit of a New England feel to it.
 I always think I'd love to see inside, but then are afraid I'd be disappointed!  What if it looked modern inside, or had purple walls in a bedroom?!  Those things are fine, but not in this house! Right?  So, I just drive by and enjoy the way this house delights me.

The next home is the home of a pretty well known decor blogger.  14 years ago she spoke at a ladies retreat I attended before she or I began to blog.  I do not know her, really, but I like the look of her house!

And because of her blogging, I know what the inside of her house is like.  Its a bit of a mix between farmhouse and traditional.

So, do any of you do drive bys?  Are Melissa and I the only ones who do this?  Tell me about it in the comments!

We're off on our get away this evening, so I'll be back here next week.  Of course, I'll post on Instagram and keep up with most of you there, too!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Beautiful Easter

We had a wonderful Easter.  It started with Rachel surprising us on Thursday evening.  Our church had a really special Good Friday service, we went to breakfast on Saturday morning.  Yesterday, Nate and Kayleigh came to the Easter service, and then we all came together for lunch at our house.

We had 15 people here for lunch - our family, Wes and his brother Reeve and sister in law Faith, Nate and Kay and the girls, my parents, and our friend Denny.

I set two tables.

 I really enjoy setting a beautiful table!

Kamryn and Klaire's places had their special bunnies!

The weather was mostly sunny and warm.  These clouds just moved through and we had no rain.  It was perfect for the egg hunt, this year just the grandgirlies did participated.

We served ham, potato salad, broccoli salad, pasta salad, green bean casserole, jello.  Everyone brought something.  For dessert we had a Key Lime pie, and I made a low carb lemon yogurt cake.  It was delicious.

Here is the recipe - Lemon Yogurt Cake

I whipped up a little heavy whipping cream, and put some sliced strawberries with it.  It was wonderful.  I did make a substitution of THM Baking Blend for the 1/3 cup each of almond flour, coconut flour and ground flax seed.  (the baking blend has those ingredients in it)

Not only did Sarah, my Mom and I enjoy it, but our guest Faith is doing a liver cleanse and has to be careful what she eats.  This cake was completely on her plan and so she was able to enjoy dessert too!

This morning, we sent Rachel back to school.  She is getting so close to being finished with her academic portion of her year; just about four weeks.  Then she'll have a three week break and she'll go back for summer ministry.  She'll graduate in August.  We are all looking forward to that!

Today, I'll be getting the house back in order, and getting us all ready for a quick trip down to Florida.  We are having a family reunion on Tim's side of the family and getting to see our friends.  We have housesitter/animal care all taken care of, and Kyle will mow tomorrow before we leave.  The grass is growing fast these days and is so green!

I trust you all had a really good Easter, too.  I'm so thankful for the Resurrection!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Lilacs In Bloom

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend.  Today is Good Friday, the day we think of Christ sacrifice on the cross.  Shedding his blood as an offering to the Father, to not just cover our sins as the old sacrifices of lambs did.  His shed blood paid the debt our sin had caused and made a way for us to have fellowship with God.  To be part of his family, a joint heir with Jesus.  Its a sober remembering, a day to be so grateful.

Easter is the day we celebrate his resurrection from the dead.  Because of his resurrection, we have the promise of eternal life. 

In family news, Rachel surprised us with a visit home for Easter Weekend! Easter is also a poignant day for us as my younger brother died on Easter Sunday, 24 years ago.  He'd been estranged from our family for five years, become ill and came back to the family.  It always has seemed like such a redeeming thing that he died on the day we celebrate the resurrection.  For we know that on that particular Sunday, David was indeed with the Lord for eternity.

I'm loving this song this year - 

Here is a link to Andrew Peterson's version of Is He Worthy.  Andrew Peterson is the one who wrote this song.

He is Risen!

He is Risen, Indeed!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

My Daily Work

We all have daily tasks that keep us busy. They are the basic work of keeping a home, and caring for those who live in your home.

We are down to four people from 8-10 people and it feels very weird some days.  I have so much time on my hands.  Basic chores don't take long with four people, who are  basically all grown.  Meals, dishes, cleaning, laundry.

There are some extra chores this time of year, as the maple trees are setting their seeds, but its not heavy work.  

I find that as my family have grown, there is more emotional work that I do, than a lot of physical work.  Having conversations with my out of state daughter, meeting my other married daughter to shop for clothes and stopping for a treat and conversation, giving my son a ride home from work since they have only one vehicle, keeping my teenage son busy, and listening to the things that are interesting to him.  Talking with my husband about business, listening to his stories, cheering him on.

That's my real work. Relationships.  It's important, but at the end of the day, there is not often a lot to show for what I accomplished all day.

God sees though, and as I am beginning to prepare for an empty nest, and an end to my homeschool career (we have four years to go) I was feeling as if I had to come up with a career.  However, I'll be 60 years old in four and a half years. 

That number sounds crazy to me, but it's true! I'm a grandma who still is raising teenagers!  I wondered what could I do besides what I do now. 

Then the thought came to me, "Why do I have to do anything different?"  I can still care for my home, encourage my children and my parents, help people with weddings, and flowers, throw tea parties, host people for meals.

The real thing I realized is that I was looking at my life as if I had to do something that would bring in income.  The Lord encouraged me to not worry about that.  He has provided us with good income, and if there was a need, he would also provide me with work.  I could trust him, and so I'm learning to leave it in his hands.

I've already begun my day's work by making Tim breakfast, and packing his lunch. Now I'm going to fold some laundry, load some dishes into the dishwasher, get a teenage boy out of bed, make my bed.

What ever work you have today, I hope your day is wonderful and full of good things.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Morning At The Cottage

Good Morning from the Cottage!  It's a lovely morning, after a drizzly Sunday and a thunderstorm last night.  The lilacs are so close to blooming!  They are full of blooms this year, and are going to be gorgeous.  This one is right outside our kitchen door!

I found a lovely hydrangea at Aldi on Friday.

I have some tiny daffodils in my garden, and Kamryn picked a few yesterday.  I popped them into this little glass vase from Target's Dollar spot.

I ended up making 10 bunnies on Saturday.
Four are for my grands.  A friend came and got the two white ones and the green floral that is tucked in the corner on the right, for her wee girls. I gave the pink checked one to baby Brielle, who I got to see yesterday!  

That leaves just one green bunny left.  I think I'll take it to my great niece in Florida.  We are headed down there at the end of the month for a mini family reunion.

I took Sarah to work this morning, and when I got home the sun was shining through the sliding doors onto this arrangement on the coffee table.

I'm not sure what this plant is, I got it at the grocery store.  Its a succulent of some kind with wee white flowers.

They look like tiny roses.

We had a lovely Palm Sunday.  We spent the afternoon with friends.  At church our pastor spoke about Heaven: Total Anticipation.  We've been studying in Titus and yesterday he spoke on chapter 2:11-14.

With Easter a week away, he spoke of heaven.  He said as a pastor he has done many funerals and attended them.  He said people say the following things at funerals - 

1. Most people talk about heaven.
2. They believe about heaven in a way that makes them comfortable.
3. Heaven is all friendship based, not God focused. "Now my loved one is with friends and family." (this is not wrong, his point was that most people at funerals speak about this and not that their loved one is with Jesus)
4. Everyone believes their loved one is in heaven.
5. Most people ignore hell.

He shared six things about heaven -  

1. Heaven is a hope.
2. Heaven is a promise.
3. Heaven is a salvation. (it teaches us to say no to ungodliness, and worldly desires, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age)
4. Heaven is a wait. (we wait for the blessed hope.  It whets our appetite for the great and glorious day.
5. Heaven is a time to see Jesus.  
6. Heaven is redemption.  (Chapter 2:14 says - He gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good.

This week we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  It is because of his resurrection that we have the hope of eternal life.  Just as he died, and rose to new life, so we too, can die to ourselves when we trust in Christ's sacrifice for our sin, and we can be raised to new life.  Now that's something to celebrate!

Happy Monday friends!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Fabric Bunnies

I spent a few hours yesterday tracing and cutting out fabric bunnies.  They will be stitched up with a quarter inch hem on the outside, stuffed, and then the bottom sewn.  They'll get a bit of twine or ribbon around their necks.

I thought I was going to just do four, but I couldn't stop myself once I started going through my fabric stash.

I've actually got two each of the green and white bunnies cut out.  I love the florals, and may do a few more of them.  

This is what my Saturday is going to look like!  Oh, and I might use pinking shears around the edges once their sewn!

On another note, I am reading and comment on your blogs, but getting my sent mail back saying it couldn't be delivered.  Is this what has happened to those of you who've said their unable to comment?  Also, its happening when I try to reply to your comments on my blog.  I've changed nothing with my email, but it seems as if the blogger commenting issue has finally hit me!  If we're FB friends I'll try to comment there to those who link their blog posts.  Otherwise know that I'll keep trying!  

I value this community and wouldn't want you to think that I've stopped visiting your blogs!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

What Would You Do For A Klondike Bar?

So many choices!

We bought these for our small group snack last night.  The week before people mentioned that they love Klondike Bars, so we knew that's what we'd bring.

We also brought chips and salsa, two kinds of hummus, and pita chips.  It was really good.

We had a good discussion last night about questions people had about the Bible, and questions about God, creation vs evolution, why we seem to follow some aspects of the Bible but not others.  

I hope you have a great day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

With Such Beautiful Weather, I just Had To...

Repot my ficus tree into a larger pot, buy potting mix, buy some Ranunculus for potting, plant some seeds.

I found this potting soil at a local nursery, for the same price as the regular potting soil!  I was happy to purchase it.

 Doesn't it look nice?  The plants are happy to get their roots into it.

My ficus has been growing very well in this pot.  It even grew some new leaves over the winter.  (The dark grey pot in the background is its new home!)

This photo show some more new growth happening.

 Ficus can have trouble adjusting, but hopefully this one will be happy in its new home.

Our Speckled Sussex hens are the most curious and yesterday was no exception.  She kept coming up the stairs to see what I was doing.

Ranunculus are so pretty and are cold tolerant which is perfect for spring.

I planted them in the Ficus' old pot.

This is their new spot.  Corner of the deck close to the house.  Lots of sunshine, sheltered from west winds, and a bit of protection from cold temperatures due to the warmth of the house.

I am feeling for those of you still getting spring snows, rather than rains.  Hoping that sunshine and warmer temps are headed your way!


  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...