Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Busy Day

Yesterday was almost the kind of day to take me out of this world. I was soooo tired at the end that I think I was "swooning". Don't you love that old word.

The day started with pouring up some candles for Mrs. Rabe's Christmas Tea. Just a couple more to go... yikes...and she needs them today! That is why there is a pot of melted soy wax in my kitchen right now.
Then the real craziness began:

1. Went to Willow Valley with Pastor Mike to finalize our arrangements about meeting there and to show him our new "digs". He was on vacation last week when the ladies checked it out and committed to it.

2. Back to the Church to make phone calls to arrange for food to be brought in for last night's move.

3. Off to the storage facility to sign papers and check out our storage unit. It was empty and sizable! Good!
...A funny thing happened on the way back to the car...
After signing the papers, Mike and I decided to walk back to the wasn't far you could see it from the office. So, using the new code the gate was opened and we walked through. At this point it began to rain. What is it with me and rain stories? And always on Thursdays! Anyway, we checked out the space and headed back toward the gate. Then I read a sign that indicated that the gate opens when a CAR gets close enough to it to be detected. I looked around for a keypad. Nope! Just to see if it would help I jumped up and down on the "loop" that would detect a car. Nada! Now, we can see our cars...just on the other side of the fence. We can see my children in my car listening to music. I start jumping up and down and waving for them to come. By now it is a downpour and I have the contract over my head to attempt to keep my hair dry. I have no hopes of getting home before homeschool co-op. Mike has a small fit because I am "sacrificing" the contract. I assure him that it will dry and that I will not! By now my Mikey has approached the fence from the other side and has been instructed in entering the code. The gate opens and we gratefully dash for our cars. Note to self: Always use a vehicle at storage facility. The gate doesn't talk to humans!

4. Called Warren. He had forgotten all of his morning meds. It seemed possible to meet for lunch. To understand why this became such a dilemma for me I have to tell you that I have known for some time that we have a gaping hole in our budget. It is eating out. I love to do it and am not self-disciplined enough to say no often enough. Warren and I had just committed and shared with the kids that decision to seriously cut back on this last weekend. SO... knowing that we were going to be getting lunch out yesterday I was prepared to do a dollar menu or something with the kids but then when Warren was going to be able to come along with us I wanted it to be something healthier than all of that salt and grease. Anyhoo...There was not one restaurant on route 30 (business) that the kids and I could agree on. Warren just wanted us to let him know what we had decided. I got seriously out of sorts and Warren decided to just meet and pass the meds then I could continue wrestling with the kids and he could go back to the relative peace at work. Lucky duck! I finally made an executive decision and we went to the Pizza Hut Buffet. Not too bad...but not the dollar menu!

5. After lunch there was time for a quick stop off at Amelia's for my bribe candy. Those 4-6th graders need thier candy. It "helps" them behave.

6. Now to co-op! Talked to a bunch of folks...directed two choirs...this was our first day in the auditorium to show the kids where to stand and how to gracefully get back and forth to their seats and stand correctly. They got to run through the music in the big room that swallows up thier voices. Now for that lesson in projection. It all worked out ok.
This tiny paragraph does not even come close to demonstrating the energy consumption that took place over these two hours. Nope not a bit!

7. Dropped the boys off at the church to get started with the move. Warren was borrowing a box truck at work and was anticipated with it around that time. I ran to a grocery store to pick up a ton of ground beef then home to make Hamburg BBQ, hot dogs and meatballs. Chelsea took our dogs out and then I took Mom's dog, Bear, for a quick walk. Mom was at work.
I then put everything into my big divided and heated server. I read emails to find out that there was a person available to pick up some furniture at the church that needed to go...made that connection. Took a couple of extra minutes to recharge myself with lovely comments from y'all! Thanks!

8. Bagged up all of the essentials for serving and plates, cups, ketchup, know....Chelsea had arranged for a friend to come so we stopped and picked her up then headed for the church.

9. When I got to the church the loading was done and the men were Hungry!!! I offered for them to go unload and then come back and eat...or...they could wait just a couple of minutes until I was set up and they could eat. There was a definite agreement on their part that they wanted to EAT! And they did! Oh my goodness! While I do have some is not much compared to the food that was taken!
Thanks to Sue for bringing the drinks and desserts, and to Ruth for the rolls and the chips!

10. After that the cleaning began. We got it just about done and were out of there by 10:00 pm. I'll finish up a few things today. I have to make space in my home office for the copier and some office things that we need to have handy.

11. Came home and put together an email version of our Fundraiser Package for the two newest Fundraiser Groups. Got those off to them. If you are interested in a Fundraiser... just email me. We give 50% and the retail price of the candle is $1.00 per ounce. You would pay shipping...or you can pick up if close enough. Anyway, small sales pitch there.

12. Fell into bed at 12:45 am with a swimming head. Don't you wish you had my life??
I do it to myself and so expect no pity!!!!

Maybe your day will look peaceful after that, no matter what you have going.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Shelley and Becky - Forever Friends

O.k. You asked for it. This is my friend, Shelley. We raised our children in houses side by side for several years. Shelley was the one who took my preschool boys every day while I was on bedrest for many months while expecting Chelsea.
Shelley is the friend who fell through our ceiling while looking for a document in my attic that I needed to register Mikey for kindergarten. She was there because I am afraid of heights and she came to my "rescue". Warren patched the hole. lol
Shelley is the friend that came to visit one weekend when Warren was away and ended up caring for me while I had the stomach flu. I think if it were me, I would have hurried on back to State College!
Shelley is one of those friends that just picks up where we left off the last time when we talk.
If you don't have one of these extra special friends...go out there and get you one!
Oh, if it were only that easy...
I miss seeing this friend daily...but always know that she is there and will be available if I need her.

We are just nutty sometimes and this picture, unfortunately, captures that pretty well. I am on the right.

Your next Installment is one post down...

I had this as a draft and then this wonderful bloggy program posted it in the under Allan's post. I am sure there is a way to change it...but is it worth it? You can just scroll past Allan's beautiful woodwork again to read and see pictures of our time at Camp K.
Sooooo much fun!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Allan's Woodwork - Exceptional !!!

My brother, Allan, has been a talented artist since he was a teen. I remember sitting on the streets of State College in the kids section of the Arts Festival selling greeting cards with his sketches on them. We would end up having more printed overnight to put together for the next day they were so popular.
From there Allan moved into sculpture and as an adult was an artist at the People's Choice Festival at Boalsburg. Most of his pieces have been sold and he has a "real job" now at Penn State but one day I hope he can let those creative juices flow again for the benefit of others.
Allan's latest project has been a huge one. His own home. And in this home is some of the most amazing woodwork you will ever see. Anything that is wood in this house is his creation, except the bamboo flooring.

This fireplace mantle and wraparound are one of his special creations. As with all of the baseboard and doors Allan begins with a rough piece of wood and does whatever it takes to get it to be exactly what it needs to be. I have helped to move this wood in its original form and can tell you that there is nothing special about it when it enters his shop.
You will notice how Allan incorporated some of Steve de Perrot's tiles into the mantle to tie in the theme from the kitchen area. It is tastefully not overdone! I like that.

Then there are the doors in his house. This is the door to the main floor restroom. It is huge and has this saying scribed into it. Every door on this level has a saying. Amazing!

The door that took the most time and is the most crafted is the front entry door. This doorway took a couple of years to complete with planning, carving, building and installation. But it is worth it! Just look.

I confess to being a huge fan of my brother's work. I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of these. Thanks, Allan for putting up with the camera over Thanksgiving. You make me so a good way!

Our Retreat at Camp K

For more than two decades my Dad worked for an organization that ran a Christian Radio Station and Camp. Over this time I had many opportunities to serve there or drop our children off as campers. Suffice it to say this is a place of many pleasant memories. It happens to be just a few miles from my brother and sister-in-law's home. Since we were traveling with our two dogs and mom's dog, our family of five and Warren's Mom this Thanksgiving Holiday it would have been too overwhelming for Allan and Bev for all of us to spend the night. Mom arranged for all of us, but herself, to come and stay here.
What a stroke of genius that was.
It was awesome!
This is the Lodge where we slept.

There was Tetherball. Remember that game? Two people face off and each tries to get the ball wrapped around a pole in their own direction?

Some of us were out until after 11 pm in a heated tetherball contest.
Not me...I was attempting to read but ended up falling asleep and being a party pooper. I had played a couple of rounds with Chelsea earlier. They were fun.

In the morning Mom, Allan and Bev joined us at the lodge for breakfast. Then there was hiking around the camp and some wicked Chinese Checkers.
Apparently, it was necessary to get a family picture on the camp steps so we all headed down the hill and this is the craziness that ensued...
The Photographers get ready...
ahem...Warren and Allan, it is cold out here! Can you cut the chatter...?

Allan really gets into it!

The family photo was taken...sorry, I was in it and do not have a copy yet...but afterwards we declared victory by standing on the stone pillars...victory for what? I have no clue but it seemed like fun at the time.

Yep, it was a great time! I love my crazy family!!!
We had to tear the kids away. They had the best time and were not quite ready to come home. But, like all good things..they have to come to an end and this was no exception.
We are winding down on this load of pictures but I am so glad that I was able to get them out of that camera. I am debating showing you a picture of myself and Shelley. We were both so elated to see each other that it is more than a little corny. Maybe...
Hey, have a super day! We have a lot to do with school and then packing up the remaining things at the church for tomorrow's move.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pictures! We have Pictures!

Caution: This will not make much sense to you unless you have read the prior post, Conversations.

How to get Pictures on your Blog when your Computer server dies:

1. Bug your husband... you can see from my last post...this does not work quickly enough.

2. Take your camera card to the nearest Rite Aid...unless thier digital machine happens to be broken!!!! Arrgghh!

3. Call your neighbor, Ellen, and ask if she has a card reader. She does????

4. Go to her place on this fine foggy morning and retrieve suspect piece of technology. It doesn't look hopeful.

5. Come home and climb back up onto desk,(see prior post), to reach behind and plug in this little device.

6. Watch the light come on. Be careful, your heart may be racing at this point in anticipation on possible success!

7. Insert Camera Card. Hold your breath!

8. See beautiful pictures flow onto your computer monitor.

9. Read that it says all pictures are on your computer...agree to delete pictures from camera card.

10. Wish you had not just completed step nine. All of the pictures are in a photo management software program that does not work with Photobucket.

11. Read the Photoshop Tutorial....then e-mail the photos to yourself.

12. Save into another file!

13. Click and share!

Want to see some Thanksgiving shots? I am exhausted! You had better enjoy these! LOL

The view from my brother's window. So peaceful and soothing.

Photos of the beautiful table.

Chelsea relaxes as we wait for the turkey and stuffing (filling?)

More photos to follow over the next couple of days. I want to show you my brother, Allan's, incredible talent with wood work and some of the pretty shots of Camp Kanesatake where we stayed Thanksgiving night. We really enjoyed time there on Friday. There are so many happy memories at that camp.

...Anyway more later.

Recent Conversations in a Blog Home

Warren: The server computer crashed today.

Me: Oh, o.k.

I am thinking, this is not a problem we have a usb cable and I can still retrieve pictures since that computer was the one that I could simply stick the camera card into. So...we go away for Thanksgiving and I take a card full of beautiful...I am sure they are! We get home Friday night.
Early Saturday morning I attempt to get the pictures the old fashioned way...ahem... with the usb cable. To do this I had to climb up on a chair and then onto the desk, reach behind the computer, carefully removing one usb cable to insert the correct one into that very tiny spot on the very lower part under another cable. Aha! Got it! Exhilaration! I am she-woman! I settle into the seat for a very satisfactory post about our time away and... Hmmm, camera is not recognized. The computer wants a disk! The nerve!
O.k., I'll give you a disk. Surely the one it wants is right here in this massive stack of disks. Nope! Time to call in the expert, these pictures are getting stale. No one wants to see Thanksgiving pictures the next week!
Next dilemma... how to awake the slumbering, hard working, sleep deprived hubby without...actually being the one to wake him up?
Son, number one provided just the occasion. He reheated a huge container of leftovers of which you know he was only going to eat a couple of bites. I had to speak loudly to him. After all, Warren has spoken to him about the same thing before.
Actually, the words came out before I thought about how they might affect Warren's slumber...but the next thing you know there is stirring from the bedroom. it is time to casually mention...

Me: you know where the disk is for the camera? The computer seems to want one.

Warren: Groans...and heads for the stairs.

Me: I really need to get these pictures off the camera today...

Warren: You are so obsessed.

There was much fiddling with the computer and the same piles of disks I had already looked through...then there were some unhappy sounds so I kind of meandered out of the room. I came back a while later to a very unhappy husband saying something about old cameras and how ridiculous it is to require a disk driver...or something like that.

By now, I am feeling very guilty and begin wondering what would be involved in just getting the other computer fixed. Warren is great at this and he always seems to be working on someone's computer. So, I start with that train of thought which causes a lot of searching for a pc power supply at local store web sites.

Suffice it to say that I went overboard on my determination to get those pictures out of the camera and my relationship with Warren was a little less than healthy for part of Saturday.
Not so good.
Definitely, my fault!

Fast forward to this morning.

I am awake and ready to attempt this process would think I would learn. Ha! No!
I am determined now to find that disk. Do you know that within minutes...I DID! Yeah!!! I put it in the computer. I load it and register it. I am now enthused and the adrenalin is going...Once again I crawl up onto the desk to plug in the usb cable. I don't know why he unplugged it...but that was ok...YOU were about to see pictures!

Nothing! The computer still will not recognize the usb cable and camera, even with the installed disk that sits on the computer and says its name. It knows what kind of camera I have but it WILL NOT read it. Stubborn thing!
... not that I know anything about being stubborn.

Upstairs I need to wake Warren, he is getting ready to leave for work.

Me: Hey, I found that disk..........but.....the thingy is still not showing up and do you think...?

Warren heads for the stairs.

He sits down and begins clicking....

He uninstalls and reinstalls the information in the disk.

No success!!

Me: Well, I can just go to Rite Aid and do something.

Warren: Like what? Print the pictures?

Me: No, something. (I am thinking what do I want with printed pictures? These are for something much more important than that!)

Warren: This sure has become important all of a sudden. (As he heads out the door and on his way to work)

Me: I cannot let them get stale! They are getting stale. No one wants to see them past Wednesday...they will be too...

So, my friends...all five of you...this is the trouble I have gone through to attempt to show you lovely pictures from our Thanksgiving and stay in Centre County. I may show them to you yet if I get them out of the camera prison that they are in.
I truly tried to be patient this weekend.
But, patience is something that I am still working on.
Not praying for!
Working on!
Hey, is one of you praying for me to be more patient?!?

Hope you have no camera issues today! I am going to attempt to solve mine in a way that won't terrorize my husband. He is the Best! The things he puts up with from me...yikes!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Church is Not the Building

This is a hard day! It is our last Sunday in the building we have been meeting in for five years. As a small church we have, out of necessity, been renters. Before this it was the municipal building down the street. Leaving there wasn't as hard for me because there was the excitement of the new building all fresh and new inside custom carpeted and painted to our requests. This time, we are "homeless". All of our things will be put into storage for the near future until God provides this Church a new home.
In the meantime we will be meeting at Willow Valley Resort, in a beautiful room. But we will have access on Sunday morning only and so our opportunities to minister from there during the week do not exist. In preparing for this change we have realized how much we do use our building in outreach and fellowship, not only on Sunday mornings. So, I am sad. Truly.
Please pray with me that God will open up just the right home for our congregation. One that would allow us to reach out, even more, and be conducive to growth. We feel that a church of about 75 to 100 would be about perfect for the family style worship and fellowship that we enjoy. I have nothing against bigger churches but do not want to lose the closeness and ability to truly know the people I worship with. To know when they are happy or hurting. To be accountable with each other. So many friends go to churches where they are not even missed if they are not there. To me, this is sad. To them...I don't know.
One of our couples has prepared their annual Christmas Dinner for the Church and we will enjoy it after the service today. Carol always goes way overboard with the preparations for this dinner. We used to have it at her house, an adorable cottage, but we have outgrown it. It was also usually in December...but in order to use our building, it is today.
Oh, I am sad...but...I believe that God has something better for us. I will really try to see this as an adventure.
I will be reminding myself all day that the Church is not the building and the people inside are coming with us on this ride to the unknown.
We had a faith building experience in getting the place we are leaving. The building had gone up for sale and we were just months from having to leave the municipal building since it was to be demolished to build a newer and better one. Pastor Mike and some of the men went to see this building and saw the possibilities. They tell us that they stood that day and prayed in the parking lot about the Lord's will. When Pastor Mike came to me to ask about the financial possibilites of purchasing the building I am afraid that I crushed his excitement and dream. As a Financial Professional I looked at the cold hard facts and knew it could not happen.
So, nothing happened for a while...but all this time Mike kept nudging and asking me just to go look at it. I wouldn't go and a few weeks later..he would say again, "You really should just stop by...look." Finally, to make him happy I called and set up a time to look at the building. I saw the potential. It was just potential because the place was a wreck! It had been a former dental lab. The floor was all chopped up with gas lines for equipment that was no longer there. It was now housing building supplies for the current owner, a contractor. But there was a room with a window in it...perfect for a nursery...There was plenty of room to have a sanctuary. I got hooked too. But still, we could not buy this building. It would have been irresponsible. So a few weeks later, I called the owner and suggested that he lease it to us. He was interested but quoted a price that was more than we could afford. I had to say no, again.
Then, one day, we got a call from the owner of this building. He had a buyer for the building who was willing to complete the purchase IF our church was willing to lease one side of it! Not only that, but they were willing to remodel that side to make it usable for us.
Now, in order for this to happen, they had to put in a handicap accessible bathroom and a closet. They had to build a ramp to the side door that we would be using. Paint, patch the floor and carpet. This was not a simple makeover...and it cost our church zero. The Lord's provision! We chose the paint color and the carpet and Mike made suggestions about lighting and floor plans, all of which were followed to a "T". you can see, we had "given up" this building three times before the Lord made a way. I know that if HE wants this church body to continue meeting together HE will make a way.
I would appreciate your prayers as we say good-bye to this provision from the Lord and look forward to what is to come.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

An Award to appreciate!

Terri, at Lakewood Manor has honored me with this sweet award. I am grateful for my dear Blogger Friends. This sent me off to our Family Thanksgiving gathering with a HUGE grin plastered across my face.

I would like to pass it on to:

Mrs Rabe at Creekside Cottage
Gathering of Friends, Miss Paula
Melissa at Elijah's Adventures

for being there... and having creative and informative posts. You girls are Rockin'!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving is a Beautiful Thing

My dear daughter, Chelsea, has posted five things that she is thankful for at Its About Friends. She is so excited about Thanksgiving this year and as a part of natural conversation reminded me of a new family tradition started by my sister-in-law, Bev.
Bev has each person at the table say something that they are thankful for and then each one lights a tealight on a plateful of tealights. Pretty soon you have a growing glow symbolizing the combination of everyone's appreciation and it makes an impact. It is beautiful. Being thankful is spreads light to the atmosphere around us.
Just as reading Chelsea's list of five things she is thankful for blessed my heart I hope that in some small way my attitude of appreciation for all that I have been blessed with lights my corner of the world.

Here, Chelsea, I'll make my list of five:

1. That God, in His infinite mercy, has provided a way of salvation through Jesus, His Son and that the Holy Spirit moved in my heart to bring me to understand and accept this wonderful gift!

2. The gift of a loving husband who has been my very best friend through these 18 years of marriage. He is that person who knows what I am thinking from across the room. The sight of him still makes my heart flutter.

3. Three children - so different one from another - but so special, each one. Jonathan, the artist and "thinker". Mikey, the athlete and motivated worker. Chelsea, the little homemaker and helper. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to really know and enjoy their company.

4. A home that meets our needs. I was thinking, as I saw footage of the cyclone damage this week how many people in this world do not have even basic shelter. I am blessed beyond any comprehension.

5. The friendships of many! Friends are the key to my every day survival. I need my friends and I hope that I return the favor of the support and unselfish giving that I have been blessed to experience.

As everyone has seemed to note during this Thanksgiving season, the list could go on and on...we have 365 days in a year and we don't have to stop expressing our Thankfulness just because this day of recognition of Thankfulness passes by.
Lord, please help me to remain Thankful!

Wishing you a fantastic Thanksgiving.

If this season is not a joyful one for you this year because of a loss or other reason beyond your control, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. It can be so hard to "smile" through these Holidays when you are hurting inside. My prayer for you is that you will be able to heal and see hope for better days ahead. I pray the Joy of the Lord into your life. If you feel like sharing, I am here to listen...


Oh, I am so addicted!

I found out how addicted I am to getting up and writing on this blog every morning when I was waiting out the giveaway. Torture! How is everyone? Hasn't it been, like months?!? Oh, only days? Sorry, my bad!

Well, that was fun, anyway and I can't wait to see what kind of candle I get to make for Melissa at The Inspired Room. She has a hysterical post up right now. If you get the chance you should read. It would seem that a good smelling candle would come in handy just about now.

I have dishes to do and music to select for Sunday...packing for a quick trip to see my brother and his wife for Thanksgiving Day, people to call, a house to pick up and probably about a thousand other things to be taking care you later!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lititz Theme Giveaway - Ended

The Winner is....Melissa from The Inspired Room...

Thanks to my Chelsea for pulling this name from the 10's that

Congratulations, Melissa!

I have not done a giveaway yet and I have been wanting, after touring Lititz and seeing so many giftables I am definitely in the giving spirit!

Your gift package will include this heavily scented cinnamon potpouri, purchased at English's Country Corner, and a custom poured soy candle made of the scent and color combination of your choosing from the list in my little shop along the sidebar. I will make your candle with lots of TLC, in the white metal cup seen holding the potpouri in the picture, and get it sent out to you as soon as possible.

My little shop is under development and will offer many more items and some changes in pricing/shipping structure as I get opportunity to spend some time with it.

All you need to do to enter this giveaway is to mention which Lititz shop you liked the best from my two Lititz posts in your comment and I will enter you in the drawing to be held Wednesday, November 21st.
Please pass the word to other bloggers! If they mention you I will add another entry for you into the drawing.

Here goes Hospitality Lane's first giveaway...lets have fun with it, shall we?

Lititz Adventures - Part Two

So when I left off last time we had eaten lunch and were well rested for an afternoon of exploration. After feeding a hungry parking meter we headed up another street and here is what we found...Cherry Acres!
Isn't this a cool silhouette of the bird metal sculpture?

Anyone need a sink? These weren't priced badly either! One of a kind!

How many birds do you think could take up residence in this?

More pretties!

The furniture in this store is absolutely gorgeous. A lot of it is made from reclaimed barn wood. Each piece is special!

When my brother and I were kids a neighbor taught us to do stained glass creations. The real ones with flux and soldering iron, the whole works. Lately, I have been thinking that it would be fun to take that up again. When I saw A Colorful Past I could not help but insist that we check it out...

Loved it!

But finally the best of the bunch, in my humble opinion. And really, that is saying a lot because each shop had its own personality and was absolutely beautiful. There was just something about English's Country Corner that said, "Welcome!"
Maybe it was these guys...

I have always loved wooden soldiers. When we were younger a favorite holiday film was Laurel and Hardy's March of the Wooden Soldiers. Maybe I imagine them coming alive as they do in the movie.
Or, maybe it was the signs...Georgia points to one here...

And then there was this one:

I wonder who that is?

I love the color combination and the textures in this photo.

Check out the floating candle with cranberries. So pretty!

The owners of this shop were so absolutely sweet! I enjoyed my brief conversation with both husband and wife. Check out the newly updated web site at .
This store lives up to the motto: We put the cozy in Country!

No day out would be quite complete without treats of some kind...usually ice cream. I know this goes against the losing weight and getting healthy goal...but the Moms were having some, hear me whine?
So, we actually found a shop having a end of season half price sale on ice cream cones! Unbelieveable !! It was their own homemade ice cream and it was good!
Last picture of the front of the Ice Cream Store:

I think they are even better than the "roaming gnome"! Don't you?

As you can see, we had a truly enjoyable day and are so glad to have met so many wonderful folk. I wish them the best in this Christmas Season and wish all of you Happy shopping and enjoyable days poking around beautiful shops.