Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Crazy Beautiful Weather in November

This is a very busy week.  With my second largest 
craft show beginning on Friday and running through Sunday
there is a need for me to have a lot of things made up 
and organized.

We are also having an extended family Thanksgiving
this year, which we are excited about.
We have family coming from Virginia and cousins
I don't ever remember meeting coming from York County.
I can't wait to make their acquaintance.
I remember being at their Grandparent's house 
when I was a kid.
Precious memories.

I've been back and forth about the best timing to 
do the shopping, cooking, candle making and packing.
This morning Chelsea and I thought we would get to Costco
just as they opened and beat the crowds.
Well, you can't blame us for trying.
We got there fifteen minutes after they opened
and drove around and around waiting for a parking 
space to open up from someone who had actually 
been there fifteen minutes earlier and had made 
record time gathering their items.

I've been making candles at every available moment
and today was no exception.
This afternoon I thought perhaps I would begin setting
up over at the Lime Valley Mill.
And so Chelsea and I loaded the car and headed over.
However, it was all locked up.
I must have hit it just at a bad time when no one
was there to set up, etc.
It isn't a problem.
I'll just do it in the morning but since we were there
and it was so pretty I decided to walk around 
and grab a few pictures.

One of the covered bridges that Lancaster County 
is known for.
Sadly, this one is closed at the moment.
Hoping it can reopen soon.

 The glass is wavy.
Just look at those windows.

I decided to try using the panorama setting. 

It was soooo cold last year this time. 
We will be in the 50's through the end of the week
from the sounds of things and that will make 
hanging out in The Mill much nicer.
This is going to be GOOD!

Soon after getting home I was folding laundry 
when Warren's mom popped in.
She was doing some yard work and found this 
Clematis blooming on the side of her shed.
Seriously...in late November.
What a year!!

I would gladly sign up for the same kind of 
November next year.
The roses are going strong and the cows are 
still enjoying a green pasture.
Not so bad.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2015

These Busy, Busy Days....

The usual Autumn crush of candle making, events and fundraisers is ON.  Having my new workshop is fantastic but has not kept the craziness in the basement.  Until the rest of the downstairs is completely recovered from the flooding we had earlier this year I have to do my packing upstairs and so the dining room continues to be overtaken by bags and boxes.
Sorry family.  
So sorry.
However, Chelsea greatly appreciates the ability to bake in the kitchen whenever she wants to!  And she is doing so.  This is apparently the season for testing out wedding cake recipes.  She is doing so by making cupcakes.  She understands the texture would be slightly different in cake form but at this point it is about flavor.  We sample and then send the rest to work with Warren.  His department is getting to give feedback as well.  How fun for them!

The I Heart Handmade Marketplace in Chambersburg is now behind me.  It is the BIG one.  I love doing it... and I dread doing it.  There is the need to make a huge amount of inventory at the same time that my largest fundraising group is also demanding a lot of inventory.  Then there is the three hour drive into the sun to get there.  But from there on in it is ALL good.  Repeat customers, new customers and fellow vendors all add up to a fantastic time!  My friend, Angel, is a genius event planner.  She has turned this into "the place to be" for much of Chambersburg on that day.

The set up.

I also have fun with my friend Melissa as she goes along to be my muscle and right hand.  She was a super seller this year.  We had this thing going where she would be all animated and enthusiastic and I would be mellow.  O.k. so it wasn't really a thing when it started...it was just us being us...but it turned into a thing.  And it was funny.  People noticed and commented.  So funny.

We also enjoy a dinner out after setting up on Friday evening.  This year I asked Melissa to do some research and choose someplace nice, and relatively healthy.  She did great!  Cafe Del Sol was the choice and the food was fresh and full of flavor!

My chips and salsa....it was pretty HOT.  

My California Salad...Yum!

Melissa's Pork Tacos.

Melissa's Red Rock Bisque

The restaurant was super clean and the food delicious!
And so...we had a very good trip this year and it is a relief to check that off the busy days list.

Monday evening just following I Heart was the largest fundraiser delivery of the year....to date.
My van was so full that I had to buckle bags onto the seats.
Funny....but it worked.

Yesterday was the last homeschool co-op session for 2015.
Made it through ten weeks of classes.
They went so very quickly!
It is a highlight of my week to go and exercise my brain in trying to stay
ahead of those youngsters who are kind of like sponges.
They are so enthusiastic, opinionated and challenging.
Up next will be the Spring Semester where we will work on music
for a Spring Concert.

Wedding planning continues.
We ordered invitations last evening!
Chelsea and Chadd designed them from two separate locations while
she was with us in the Poconos.
We waited for a sale in Vistaprint and that happened yesterday.
So...we went for it and they will be here before we know it!
That is the upside of current technology.

Well, I'd better get going.
I have some important candles to make today.

They are the kind that go to couples who have suffered infant loss.
It is always an emotional thing to make them....
but what a blessing as well.
By the way....we are looking for people to sponsor these candles
for Sweet Grace Ministries.
This year God is moving the ministry OUT of the home of the dear couple
who founded the ministry and into an office.
This will be an added expense to the ministry but will enable them
to have more space and opportunity to serve.
Sweet Grace is growing very quickly.
Sad because of what that means....but great that those who
need the support have a place to get it.

O.k.  I've chatted long enough.
Hope you are having a wonderful Autumn.
Here's hoping I'll be back here soon....

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Embracing the Light

A couple of weeks ago this scene 
caught my eye.
What can appear unremarkable under other circumstances
becomes simply stunning when the light
shines on it.

Some things are less attractive when fully lit.
A few restaurants I know must live by that rule.
But, other things are beautifully transparent
when the light streams through.

I hope that I'm the kind that can stand up to the light.

This guy caught my eye on the same day.
Growing under our trees 
with a funny little face.

Love the contrast and details.

Kind of looks like a UFO from this perspective.

Look UP!

We took some neighbor friends to see Sight and Sound's 
Miracle of Christmas.

Afterward Warren was showing them around "Heaven".
This is my reminder to us today to 
Keep looking UP!

Be as transparent as we can be.
Seek out the light and allow it to shine through us
so that others are attracted to the source.

These are very busy days for most of us.
I have multiple BIG deadlines happening over the next 6 weeks.

In all transparency I will tell you that I often wake stressed
and worried these days.
But God meets me in that stress and helps me to 
resist the temptation to panic
about many real and terrifying possibilities
for our kids, my work and our health.

My prayer is that the light will be more powerful than 
the unknown.
That it will push aside the worries and doubt
of darkness.

And because I know the source of the light
I know beyond a doubt that the light wins!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tangled Moments Can't Erase the Beauty

As we were coming home from our vacation my Mom was 
leaving on one of her own.
She headed out to South Carolina to spend time with her brother
and sister in law.

This means that I am now the caretaker of three dogs
when you add hers to our mix.

He stays at her house but since it is just two doors away 
I walk him a couple of times a day and let him 
out quickly a couple more.

My dogs are on high alert each morning for that moment when
I prepare to go walk Bear.
They don't want to miss it for anything in the world.
I'm just a crazy enough dog lady to not want to disappoint them
and so on their leashes they go
and we head over to get Bear.

Two small dogs on leashes are fairly manageable.
And if our leashes worked better would actually be easy.
They end up tangled with each other before we make it to Bear
but that's not a big deal.

Then we head out with the larger dog.
He is a mix of Australian Shepherd and Chow.
A very handsome dog and very leash trained.
That's not the problem.

Taken last week when there was frost on the ground.

It is when they all decide to look at something different 
at the same time.
Or when a neighbor dog appears from nowhere and they all 
get excited.
Then things get very interesting.
Or, like this morning, when I went at the same time
as several cars, a truck and the school bus went through.
Each time a vehicle comes I make them come and sit at my 
feet so that they become used to respecting cars.
Bear has no fear of cars.
He sometimes tries to play chicken with them by 
darting toward them at the very last minute.
Heart attack!!

Anyway, as we headed out this morning I just had to wrangle leashes and the phone
at the same time to capture the foggy and colorful views.
Definitely worth enjoying even while becoming totally wrapped up.
Yes, this was the day it happened.
The three of them somehow surrounded me at the same time and my legs 
got so tangled in leashes that I couldn't move my legs 
more than a couple
of inches.  
Panic was just around the corner and most likely would have happened 
if a car had come along just then
with me in the middle of the road and helpless.
But since that didn't happen I just had to laugh
and get myself out of it.

It didn't help that the neighbor's dog appeared just about then 
and my little troupe all got very excited.
But they do listen pretty well to genuinely meant 
stern words about them being quiet.

I'm not sure exactly how I managed to escape the tangle but I do 
know it involved dropping my dogs' leashes.
Not Bear's.... or I would still be attempting to recapture him.
And we made it back all intact.


And now I must get to work.
I hope your day includes some fun challenge.
It is actually quite good for us.....
At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Mom comes home today and so tomorrow
is looking to be rather quiet in contrast.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Another Round of Wedding Planning

We met with the florist.
Not just any florist...
Susan is a friend from our home school days who is an amazing
artist with flowers.
She delights in giving floral design as a gift to the young couples she has
come to know over the years.

How different from my trip to a florist before our wedding.
In that case it was about fifteen minutes and I got the basics.
Being creative never crossed my mind.

Sitting with Susan was special.
Chelsea had brought photos from Pinterest.
I know, really!
There are so many ideas on that site.
 It is no wonder I was woefully 
unprepared for my own floral consultation.
No Pinterest back in the day.

Chelsea shared her ideas and Susan's mind began to work.
You could see it.
And it was delightful.

The end result is amazing.
I cannot wait to see it all put together!!
Let's just say that it involves baskets, buckets, jars, roses, hydrangea,
 astilbe, pearls, candles and babies breath.
So romantic.
So intriguing.

Intriguing, unless you are Chadd.
Who later admitted to being somewhat bored by the entire process.
But how cool that he wanted to be involved in the discussion.
And he had good input that will be implemented.

Also happening yesterday...
the wedding dress.
It came in while we were on vacation so we went to look at it.
Oh my goodness.
It is still just perfect.
There are some adjustments to be made so we left it there and will 
go back in February or March for a final fitting.

We are so grateful for a longer engagement that allows us to 
 enjoy the process in a leisurely way.
And we realize now that God knew 
that there was going to be a big bump in the road 
along the way.
While we don't need gobs of time to
 prepare the details we do need time 
for Chadd to heal up.
It goes without saying that your prayers
continue to be much appreciated.
Chadd is doing way better than any of us 
could have anticipated but he still has a ways to go.
The pain is persistent.

It is so fun that our friends at Creekside Cottage are also 
wedding planning.
Theirs will be a beautiful December wedding.
We are so excited and pleased for Emma and Vinnie!

What a fun time of life.
We had dinner with Chelsea, Chadd, Michael and Emily last evening.
Hearing them speak intelligently about things that matter blessed my heart.
And hearing them still enjoy the silly stuff made me happy.
Who knew that we would end up 
with such well balanced
young adults?
Praise God!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Making Memories with Chelsea

We have never had a daughter get married before.
And we are making up the rules as we go.
The dress has been ordered.
The makeup and veil were ordered just this evening.
Details such as cake and reception decor and food are all in process.

But we have always had much fun with this girl on vacations.
She LOVES them.
Travel is definitely in her blood.
And so we determined that there should be one more road trip
before the big day comes in May.
And while we were willing to bring other family members along
it just worked out to be the three of us.
Mom, Dad and Chelsea.

This was taken at Bushkill Falls where I walked part of the way
down to the falls with them and then the two of them crossed on over and 
came up and around the other side.
(Boy, oh boy, do I need a haircut!)
But anyway, you get the idea....

We are sharing thoughts about the future, 
ideas about the wedding
but mostly just enjoying the dynamic of parents and daughter
before we "give" her to Chadd.
We truly believe that they will form their own family and home.
While we will continue to have a wonderful relationship
it must be different.
This is celebration of the twenty years past and looking forward
to the many, many to come.

We have come to the Pocono Mountains.
Not too far from home...in case there is an urgent need to return.
But far enough that we've not explored this area yet and so are having
a very good time figuring it out.

Yesterday we explored East Stroudsburg and Bushkill Falls.
Today we did a little Outlet shopping, went to see Crescent Lake, 
Camelback Mountain and The Delaware Water Gap.
Tomorrow it is supposed to rain a lot.
We'll try to stay dry.
We will have to see what that means to our activity list.
Could be movies, games, more shopping.
Whatever the case we will enjoy it.

Here are a few of my favorite photos so far....
Unedited because I can't use too much more of my phone data.

Before we left home Warren made this applesauce for us to bring along.
He had never made applesauce before and we are all amazed at how very good it is.
Chelsea and I talked him through it though...so he can't take all the credit.... this time.
This leaves him room to do it again, right?
I love the glass bowls they have here at our time share unit.
With the sun streaming in the large windows it made for a pretty picture, I thought.

Color on the mountain across from my observation point of the Bushkill Falls.

The largest fall at Bushkill Falls.

Chelsea was just looking so pretty.

Tranquil waters at Bushkill Falls.

I let Chelsea take this photo of me at Camelback Mountain.  It and another one showed 
how ridiculously huge my jeans are....especially the one I'm not showing you.
So....I remedied that by doing a little shopping on the way back.
The new jeans are three sizes smaller than these ones.  Haha.
The sales lady was about worn out bringing me the wrong sized jeans in 
different lengths and finally told me that I think I'm bigger than I am.
She brought the smaller jeans...and whew!  They fit!

Me and My girl!

Coning back down the mountain.


Delaware Water Gap

These have been just samples of the photos I've had fun taking
with my phone....since I forgot our camera. 
But it has been fun all the same.

Perhaps after I edit I'll do another post with better photos....
just depends on how crazy life is once we get home.
I'm up to my ears in candle stuff right now.
Good stuff.

See ya soon....
in the meanwhile we are about to make more
memories and I don't want to miss it.