Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crazy Family Life

Sometimes things just don't work out in reality as you plan them in your head. Last night was one of those times.

I got this idea in my head that since our family hasn't gone on a vacation all summer, the kids will start school again in three weeks, and I had just cleared my kitchen of much of its usual clutter, it would be a nice evening to just take the whole family and go out to eat.

I was thinking something special...maybe a steakhouse or Red Lobster.
Mikey is our picky eater so once he was up for those options I was optimistic.

Then the plan began to turn sour.

We found out that Jonathan, who had just returned from a long walk had not known
he was to walk Mom's dog, Bear. So that had to happen before we left. He was not thrilled to have to walk again.

That was my fault.

Warren decided that he could get some church business done while Jonathan was gone with Bear and that phone call took forever.

Not my fault.

This interim of time gave Mikey the opportunity to lose his interest in Steak and only want Pizza.

Somehow this was my fault.

Warren got to thinking about all of the things we needed to get done before today and got a little cranky. Hey, its ok, we all get cranky sometimes...he rarely gets cranky.

This was my fault.

So...this finds us all in the car...silent...unless you want to count the grumbling and my apologies for having such a bad idea. As we come into Strasburg we see the worst possible sight...for anyone hoping to eat at a Restaurant on Route 30...Sight and Sound Theatre has just let out. Cars are streaming out of the parking lot and being drawn as if by a large magnet to any Restaurant available out there.

This was my fault.

I suggested we head over to Bird-in-Hand to see what looked appealing over there.
We ended up at the Family Restaurant. It is a very nice place and has a great buffet, but Mikey hates any Restaurant with Family in the name. To him it means that it is not a Pizza Joint...funny!

This was my fault.

As we got out of the car a huge group was walking across the parking lot. They beat us to the door. Sigh. I was on the phone with Mom hoping that she was just leaving work and could join us, now that we knew where we were going...No she had just arrived at home.

So it was because I made that phone call that the large group made it in the door first. My fault.

It wasn't bad. They seated us relatively quickly. Mikey ordered a burger. It was messy. That is wrong. He had to eat it with his fork. He was angry.

Pretty sure from the looks he gave was my fault.

The rest of us attempted to enjoy our dinner while babies screamed and we had to have someone move anytime someone wanted something from the salad bar or the buffet as we were in a corner booth.

Guessing I get the blame for that.

We all survived.

Aren't we terribly spoiled? We were talking about that at some point last evening. Americans take so much for granted. We have the freedom to hop in the car at the last minute and drive to a place where someone else is cooking and cleaning up after us. We often have multiple cars in our driveways. We have homes that would be mansions to millions of people in this world. And yet we complain. I think that last evening was the perfect example of the ways our family takes our comfort and our freedoms for granted. Shame on us. were wondering about the picture? We often send our oldest out at night with a shovel...wearing all black. No! Just kidding. One of the many things that needed to get done last night was uncovering the septic lid because I had scheduled a routine clean out for tomorrow.
Definitely My Fault!

So, we all, except Mikey, but including Georgia watched and cheered Jonathan on in his quest to dig out the lid.
It turned into an event.
Chelsea snapped this picture and actual fun was had.
Who knew!

My fault!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blogworld vs. Real Life

When your blog life and your real life come together it is a bit surreal.

A couple of weekends ago that happened when Alan and Katie Smith happened to be in our area and made contact with our church. Mrs. Rabe posted about that here. It was so neat to meet this sweet young couple and their two boys. Dancing English Country Dance to the sound of Alan's Violin/fiddle was so much fun. Holding young Roni and watching little Brett play was great.

Today, a blog friend that I have not met in person will be arriving in PA from CA.
Only yesterday I was concerned as I read on her blog about the proximity of the epicenter of the earthquake in Chino Hills, CA. Now, in the next day or so, I will be giving Miss Paula a real life welcoming hug. Wow! That is so cool.

We have emailed our prayer requests and concerns to each other. We have had behind the scenes debates and discussions about church and our preferences therein. We have rejoiced in the lives of our children and sometimes tearfully shared concerns about the same. I feel as if Miss Paula and I are already great friends.

I wonder if our meeting will help or hinder our blog friendship. I am guessing it will make it stronger and help us to know each other's communication style. Often times when things are written it is easy to take it in a way that is not intended as we do not know the one who is writing. We do not know their inflections, sense of humor and background. Knowing these things can be helpful when reading another's blog.

I will never forget in my early blogging days, I commented to a dear woman who's daughter was going through "endo" (endometriosis). I had been an endodontic assistant in the dental field for a couple of years and immediately thought she meant her daughter was going to have a root canal. I told her that I hoped her daughter's endo would be behind her soon and that her mouth would feel better soon. I received a kind but perplexed response regarding my comment. Her daughter has endometriosis and it is not "in her mouth". We got a chuckle out of it and have built a friendship that may never have happened were it not for my misunderstanding. I am so glad this sweet lady said, "Huh?" O.k., if you knew her you would know she would never be so blunt. But, the point being that she followed up and did not allow my seemingly strange comment to sit be misunderstood.

I am ready to meet Miss Paula. Even though my home is not in its shiniest form...the Church looks good, though...all of my energy seems to be going there, of late. That is nearing completion.

By the way, as an aside, soon after my children, myself and two extra friends reached the bowling alley yesterday and had begun our first games, the trucking company called to say that the truck carrying the next load of church chairs was sitting at the church and wanted someone to come unload them. Frustration set in as I had been carefully waiting for this call but made the choice to attempt to go to bowling for just a couple of hours. Thankfully my dear husband was able to leave work and go meet the truck. Sigh....

Occasionally I read of another pair of bloggers who meet up, intentionally or otherwise. Those stories fascinate me. Part of the "fun" of blogging is being anonymous...but that does not last long. We are relational people and we tend to reach out to those who share our interests and we make friends. We find ourselves caring about chemo and radiation treatments, about each other's homemaking skills and techniques, decorating tips and so much more. We become a part of each other's lives....usually this is virtual.

Have you met up with a blog friend?

What did it mean to you?
Leave me a comment...and have a great day!

Note: I would not be quick to meet a virtual stranger, however, I am already great friends with her family locally so I am very sure of the person that I will meet in person. I would urge caution in meeting "virtual friends".

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What will this Day Hold?

We never really know.

We think we plan...doing our
best...but ultimately our days
are in the Lord's hands.

This is a very good thing.

Sometimes life is overwhelming.
We are scared.
Sometimes saddened.

Maybe it is an illness.
Perhaps a wayward child.
Sometimes employment is the issue.

Whatever the case it is so good to
remember that our days, if we are believers,
are totally and completely allowed by a
Heavenly Father who loved us so much that He
sent His own Son, Jesus, to die for our sins.

This is the One who permits the "good" and the "bad"
into our lives.

All things that we must face are for our good...
and more importantly His glory.

Does it make it easy...NO!

Can we make it through? YES!

Because of the knowledge that He will never
leave us...not ever!

I sometimes picture myself sitting in the palm
of one of God's hands.
The other hand comes, ever so gently
down, to cover and protect me.
I feel so safe.
This is the mental image that I carry on
days when the pain is intense
or things feel out of my control.

I am tranferring this image to include
my children as they grow and are more
often away from me and at work or play.

One son wants to begin riding dirt bike.
The first response from me is fear.
Didn't he learn by nearly crushing his head
just last week? Don't we know lots of people who
have experienced horrible accidents on these machines?

A sport that requires so much safety equipment
seems to me to be a pointless risk.
To he and his is good preparation
for the day he buys his own motorcycle.

Mikey is a child of God.
He is in the palm of God's hand.
I must trust in that.
This is a hard one, for me.
Others face much harder letting go issues.

I was going to write about going bowling today,
and getting more chairs off the truck at the church.
Could be today...
Hmmm...I wonder what the Lord has in store?

So many friends are facing serious illnesses,
hurts and concerns.
I just want you to know that you are
in my prayers and I love knowing that you pray
for me...

Your Friend...

Monday, July 28, 2008

There is a Robin in Here...

I thought the window was open this morning
since the birds were so loud.

They were chattering away telling all kinds of tales.

Perhaps they were yelling, "Get away!" to my mother-in-law's
cat, Beaux. He came to visit me as I took our puppy out for her
morning "constitutional". It is very possible he was waiting
a young bird's first adventurous flight.

I opened the window and could see Momma Robin puffed up and proud
shouting to a neighbor bird. As I went and retrieved the camera
she disappeared to another part of the tree...but her voice was still
loud and strong, answered by another just one tree away.

Yesterday, as I was unlocking the church a young robin who has been
safely growing in a nest near the door took flight for the first time.

I screamed as it flew/fell shrieking from its nest. I could just imagine
it was warning me that it didn't know how to work the brakes yet.
Especially as it came to an awkward skidding stop on its tiny hind quarters.

For weeks the Momma has been dive bombing us as we have come in and out,
in protection of her young ones. Now they are finally out of the nest and
she will move on. It was a funny moment but there was such a feeling of
wanting the best for that little bird that the kids and I found ourselves
cheering it on as it took tentative little flights across the parking lot.

Oh, the wonder of creation.
It is a beautiful thing to behold.

Blessings on your day.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Real Life...Real Close!

Sometimes the bad, scary things of life
hit just a bit too close. In this case
it was friends about three hours away...
but still this was too close!

My Dad had been the Administrator of
WTLR Radio Station in State College
for about twenty years before his passing in 2005.

As a teenager, I volunteered in this building.
For a while I was actually an employee.

Yesterday, a very mentally ill man came
to the station intending to do harm to
those inside. Those people were my friends.
One of those is my former Pastor's wife, Sharon.
She and Keith have been dealing with Keith's
cancer diagnosis. I blogged about that several
months ago.

We often cannot imagine how quickly our lives
could change. How suddenly all we know can
be different.

Here is the link from the Centre Daily Times
about the shootout and quotes from those dear
friends of ours.

An excerpt from the story...there are photos at the site:
The incident began just after 10 a.m. when police across Centre County began broadcasting that they were searching for a bearded man driving a white Ford Bronco and that the man was thought to be mentally unbalanced and armed with a shotgun.

Neiman, about 9:30 a.m., had walked into Log Cabin Motors in Spring Township, laid a loaded shotgun on the counter and told one of the owners he needed money. He said he was on his way to WTLR radio station at 2020 Cato Ave. because he wanted to broadcast something going on in his life. He rambled about a conspiracy involving drugs and said the FBI and police wouldn’t help him.

As soon as Neiman left, Jason Penland, son of one the owners, called the radio station and then called police.

The station received the call at 10:05 a.m.

“The person called and said there was someone they knew and he was upset and he was headed our way with intent to do harm,” WTLR station manager Mark VanOuse said.

That telephone call may have been the difference between life and death for people in the station offices, VanOuse said.

“I owe this individual my life,” he said. “I hate to think what would have happened had this individual (Neiman) showed up. He was armed for bear.” He said Ferguson Township police, alerted by the same person, arrived almost immediately. The three people working at the station were moved into an inner part of the building away from windows.

“We heard the Bronco’s engine,” said WTLR secretary Sharon Doster. “We knew something was going on. He was driving around on the lawn. Then we heard about a dozen shots. It’s something you never think you would go through. We did a lot of praying.”

“There were numerous gunshots that rang out,” VanOuse said. He was later told by police that Neiman fired some shots.

“I was praying quite honestly for the safety of those that didn’t know (what was going on in the area),” he said. “It was a very frightening situation.”

Multiple witnesses said police stood their ground even after Neiman targeted them with his Bronco. “He could have driven away,” Miller said. “But he kept coming back to that building.”

I thank God for the phone call that came from a concerned
businessman who took the ramblings of this mentally ill
man seriously. Otherwise, we would likely be headed to
Centre County for multiple funerals.

The other incident in which we saw God's Hand of Protection
yesterday was when Mikey, Warren , Jonathan and Pastor Mike
were unloading a 500 pound piece of equipment from a truck.

The equipment shifted, pinning Mikey by the head between it and
the garage door. I first saw him outside the kitchen window
holding his head and crying. The Mother's heart was so scared.

When I found out what had happened I only became more concerned.

While he has two swollen spots on his head, there appears to be
no internal damage. We watched him very closely all during
Bible Study last evening and he is up and getting ready for
work today.

Both things could have been tragic.

Neither were as bad as they could have been.

Thank You, Lord.

You were gracious to us, and those we love.

Hope you do not have to write a post such as
this any time soon!!!


Friday, July 25, 2008


O.k. so I know you are on pins and needles
wondering what I did yesterday....not!

But, I am going to tell you anyway...

1. Did paperwork for 2 and a half hours!
2. Vacuumed upstairs and down.
3. Had lunch all by myself at Hershey Farms.
4. Picked up the kids at their workplace.
5. Made the kids plant those waiting flowers.
6. Washed up the many dirty dishes that my family can produce faster than you can say, "I just did that!"
7. Got some much needed shopping done.
8. Washed some windows.

It ended up being a productive day.

I should make lists more often.

About the pain and surgery:

I have agreed to attempt to treat this with hormones for six weeks in an attempt to avoid surgery. This morning that feels like a bad idea...however...if I can keep this ovary my overall health would be a lot better. So...we will see.

Your prayers are appreciated.

Have a blessed day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Quiet Morning...alone!

So... do I:

1. Mop the floors?

2. Make the candle orders that are waiting?

3. Work on paperwork that should be done?

4. Plant waiting flowers?

5. Begin planning our Co-op Thanksgiving Concert?

6. Weed the gardens?

7. Sleeeeeeepppppp?

8. Vacuum?

9. Clean the bathroom?

10. Sleeeeepppppppp?

I'll get to work!

Blessings on your day. I've got three hours in which to be very productive.
Best not waste them....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


We were invited to a picnic at the home of some long time friends.
Since it was very hot and humid we ate inside...our food was
cooked outdoors on a grill, so I will continue to refer to it
as a picnic.

It was great dogs, hamburgers, grilled zuchinni, bean salad, carrot and raisin salad, cole slaw, tossed salad, chips and salsa, and fabulous shoo fly pie or pumpkin pie....YUM!

The reason for this event was to celebrate the visit of another
couple who were passing through the area after having moved away.

As all of the people who were in attendance currently have, or have had, at least one
spouse who works in technology with Sight and Sound Theatre
something very strange occurred...

As the ladies were chatting about things such as quilting, blogging,
children's education...great stuff, suddenly across the table we
noticed a laptop appear. Shortly thereafter came another laptop.
Finally there were three laptops in a row on the table with men,
mostly in plaid shirts lined up and typing away.

This caused a giggle and some talk about the proximity of that many
"geeks" in a room.

Pretty soon there came the ring of a cell phone.

Tom took the call from his wife, Starla.

Then, as he remained on the phone, and had even put her on
speaker phone for us to say hello, Luke's cell phone rang.

This sent us over the edge into actual giggles.

This is what we learned about computer geeks last evening:

1. They will bring their laptops to dinner.

2. Three out of five will wear plaid shirts that are nearly identical.

3. Four out of five have beards.

4. Their children also become geeks. (i.e. a 9 year old can use excel better than any of us...even to the point of making a spreadsheet schedule for feeding the fish. He also made a Powerpoint presentation with animation...all on his own).

5. They (the geeks) are funny...but they don't mean to be.

It was fun!
If you ever find my blog, Pat, thanks for a great evening!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The "Completed" Fellowship Hall

Is anything ever really completed?
I think not.

However, this is what our fellowship hall
looked like on Sunday.

The pictures just do not do it justice.
Wish you could all just come on over
and see it for yourselves.

We had a very nice lunch.
The room is so comfortable.
People really were able to visit and
feel at home.

Joe and Carol seem happy!

My Mom gave up this quilt.
Isn't it perfect?
Love it!

Sorry the picture is a bit blurry.

The stained wainscoting saved my life.
I love it!
So does everyone else!
There were lots and lots of positive comments.

Today Mom and I will meet at Kirklands
to see if there are just a couple of
finishing touches that we could use
to tie it all together.

I have so greatly appreciated the fact
that soooo many people have helped in
getting this done.

I will confess that I like the help best
when it comes one or two people at a time.
That happened last week when we spent two
afternoons working with just one or two
different friends at a time.
Great conversation...and less stress.

Contrast that to Friday evening when there were
more than 30 people there and several of them wanted
assignments all at the same time. There was progress
but the stress level was a lot higher.

We are very blessed in our church.
Good friends, willing workers,
caring for each other!

Well, that is about all on that subject for
now. I am sure you are tired of it...
and so am I!

Have an awesome day!

Monday, July 21, 2008

5 Things I Love - Tagged

Mrs. Rabe caught me and tagged me to tell you five things I love.

I, like her, will not state the most obvious, God, family and that and will try to tell you things you may not already know.

1. I love blizzards...if my entire family is safely at home together and snowed in for a couple of days. Watching movies in front of the fire with popcorn...snuggled up with a great book...or putting a puzzle together around a table with family while the wind blows and the snow flies.

2. I love to have friends over for times of great discussion. The more challenging the discussion, the better.

3. I love to read biographies. This was a discovery in our Middle School Library when I was in 6th grade. Love them!

4. I love to move. Getting a new home is like the most fun thing in the world to me. Unfortunately I am the only one in the family that feels this way so we are staying put for a while.

5. I love September/October. The blue, blue skies and low humidity. The football. The sweet smell of crunchy leaves...ahhhhhhhhh.

I could go on. But, I won't. Must leave some things to tell another time.

Have a great day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New Hobby

I have a new hobby.

I have discovered the worship
music on Youtube.

I can sit at my computer and
sing loudly for a long time...
well, I would if I had "long times"
in which to do it.
So, therefore, I get a song or two
sung before rushing off to get my
work done.

Last Sunday I posted the words to this
song... this is what I have been singing
to this week.

Won't you sing with me?

Never mind what your family thinks...just sing!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


A small corner of this huge room is beginning to take on personality.
I will be searching for a cover for the futon today.
Pillows will be put into the shams that are just
lying there so lazy at this point.
These pictures will get bigger if you click on them.

This is a close-up of the border.
Remember it was 50 cents per roll.

Aren't these girls absolutely dear?

They enjoyed playing together while the adults worked last evening.
They played...after they helped Grandma Ruth weed the flower bed!

Sometimes our real world and our blog worlds collide.
Last night this happened in the neatest way.

We received a call that a young couple was passing through
our area for the weekend. They are over the road truck drivers.
The father of the young man is the owner of the truck company
and he was seeking out hospitality and a church for this sweet
couple and their two baby boys to visit as they were in the area.

We invited them to join us at the church for our work/fellowship

Soon we received a phone call that they were stuck at an underpass
and needed assistance finding another way.

Mr. Rabe offered to go and lead them back to the church. As I was saying
their names Mrs. Rabe said, "I read their Blog!" To offer more proof she told us the name of their youngest child. She was absolutely right!
We were completely amazed!
It was them! From Griffin Georgia, this absolutely wonderful
young couple spent the evening with us and now are being cared for
over at Creekside Cottage. I am a bit miffed that we didn't have
space for the truck in our neighborhood. But I am happy for Mrs. Rabe.
She and the young mother will have a wonderful time fellowship!

We will love seeing them all again on Sunday Morning for worship.

I will leave the posting of names and details to Mrs. Rabe, should she care to
do that. But, isn't God amazing? Isn't this blog world amazing?

Too cool!

Well, I have a bazillion things to get done today!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 18, 2008

More Painting Today...

The project is getting closer to completion.

Chelsea took these pictures yesterday.

I also found a bunch of decor items
at Kirklands yesterday that I have been
watching and they finally were reduced enough
to make them worth getting. Yippee!!!

Remember this plain white room?

It is no more!

Another shot of the plain white room...

And the current stage:

This is the yellow and blue in the back of the room. Mrs. Rabe, from Creekside Cottage, came and helped me paint yesterday. We had so much fun. She took pity on me after yesterday's whiny post...Thanks friend! She loved this yellow and blue combination.

I will be putting the border up today.

Now, I am officially excited to get the room
put together for Sunday.

Warren, Jonathan and I went to Lowes last
evening and got the trim. I originally wanted
Warren to use some scrap that we have and
make it into 1 inch strips for the center of the
wall. He said that would look terrible. So...we found
some wood that is intended to be used as wood paneling.

By using one of these all along the wall, I think we
can do ok. It just drives Warren crazy to not use the
"right stuff". He wants to get TLC taken off the air.
He thinks it is making me a bit too creative.


More pictures later.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Painting 101

Do not ever, ever, ever open up the opportunity to paint your church fellowship hall to the entire congregation!!!!

You cannot control who shows up.

This is especially important if you are painting over a white carpet
with a color that is called Frank's Fire!

There were really very few drips but having everyone want their own roller, a teenager who apparently has never had training with a paint brush and not enough
drop cloths I nearly lost my mind.

The room is not finished but it is coming along nicely.

There is much conversation about my color choices. I can only hope that when the room is finished it makes as much sense to everyone else as it does in my mind's eye.

The rest of the church is sedate in Kindred Spirit, malt, garden green, etc. This is a bit stronger. Gotta have some fun somewhere. I am taking the heat for it, though. And I have been in serious pain since Monday...that did not help my mood either.

Oh well...Frank's Fire is a deep orange. That is the color on the bottom half of the room. The color for the top is called Maple Leaf. It is a very pretty yellow.

The room is about 70 feet long and is narrow. There is white carpet three quarters of the way down the room and then a very nice tiled floor. We are treating the two flooring areas as separate rooms and will paint the bottom of that back area a navy blue. The Maple Leaf will still be on the upper half but back there we will put up a border that is very Americana and I will put up the flag plaque I showed you last week.

It will be fine...eventually. I just wish I had painted it myself, or handpicked a couple of helpers who are a bit more visionary....and experienced.

I will take pictures. It was just a tad too stressful last evening.

Oh, if you could have seen it when this dear teen girl stuck her entire brush into the paint, up over the bristles, and then was freaking out because it was running and dripping. She wanted to help so badly. We taught her and she was open to learn so it all worked out in the end. (Except for that time that she stepped in wet paint and tracked it across the room. At least it was the yellow and not Frank's Fire!)

Really, it is fine blood pressure will settle back to normal any day now...

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thinking about Surgery

It is getting closer.
My fifth surgery in 2 years.
In some ways I feel I am tempting fate.

How many times can one put themselves on
the operating table and come out ok?

Then the pain sets in and I think it will be worth it.

The date is not yet set but I know it is going to have to

I guess this, like absolutely everything else in life, has to be left in the hands of God. Not easy for a control freak.
I must rest in the fact that HE knows me. HE has a plan.
It certainly is not what I would have chosen, however, HE knows what is best.

I am glad that it is not about fate.
It is about an all knowing God, Who has had a plan
for my life since before the foundation of the world.

Awesome thought, isn't it.
HE knew ME!
Before I was...
Weird, But cool!

Why am I still scared?
I am human.
Oh, so human!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Riding Lesson

It had rained the whole night before so there was
trepidation as to whether it might be too wet to
experience this first lesson.

(This butterfly was taking
a drink after the rain from a
butterfly bush at Creekside Cottage.)

However, the phone call came around 9:00 am that it
looked good. Not too wet.

I think Grandma Ruth must have been excited about the
lesson because she was ready in plenty of time.

Chelsea was a bit more sedate.

Grandma Georgia came along for the fun. She is an experienced
horse woman, having owned her own horse for 25 years. She now
finds herself volunteering at a horse rescue. A fabulous answer
to prayer. After losing her husband Georgia has needed a
purpose. The horse farm truly helps.

When we arrived at Creekside Cottage the horses were in the ring.
They were not yet saddled having needed a little grooming for
Cheyenne. Turns out she loves a good roll in the mud. Apparently
white horses love to have brown spots. So Miss Lindsay and her
grandfather had been brushing mud out of her white coat.

The lesson began as we learned about saddling up. Cinching the
saddle "thingy" until it seems just right and then walking the
horse until it exhales...seems the silly critters are smart
enough to hold their breath so the saddle is not too tight.
If you exercise it enough before getting on the horse will have
to let that air out and you can re-cinch the saddle. Cool!
Even I learned something.

Here are the pictures from the morning...

Meet Sandy...Mrs. Rabe says Sandy has a bit of the attitude of a Queen. She is a lovely horse who is oh so gentle, however. A very smart animal.

Both horses grab a last minute snack before the bits go in their mouths.

Then Chelsea and Grandpa Bob get them to exhale. Don't want that saddle coming off mid lesson!

I, of course took a couple more pictures of Chelsea than Grandpa Bob. Even though I like Grandpa Bob just fine...he has a tendency to beat me at bowling....maybe that is why I slighted him on never knows...

Grandma Ruth get her helmet in place. Look at that face!

And then she is on the horse! Miss Lindsay is an excellent instructor. Chelsea wants more of her time in the next lesson...she loves Lindsay! Lindsay has been thoroughly interested in all things "horse" since I met her nearly eight years ago.
She is the reason Creekside Cottage has horses.

Chelsea rides...with instruction from Grandma Georgia.

Miss Sarah kept an eye on everything...

A sweet picture of Grandpa Bob, Rachel and Cheyenne. Grandpa Bob is the proud owner of this very gentle horse.

Miss Emily was a great big sister to Kyle and took him on the swings. He wanted Emily to "Watch me swing!" He then splashed in the puddles as he came by while wearing the most adorable rain boots. Great kids!!!!!

I did exactly what I told myself I would not do. I allowed myself to impose on Mrs. Rabe's hospitality and ended up inside Creekside Cottage for a nice visit. Poor Mrs. Rabe. An hour lost to conversation. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The fact that Grandma Phyllis was there was a wonderful bonus. She is such a sweetie.

Then it was back to the "real world". Getting Mikey off to work.

What fun!

Thanks Lindsay, Grandpa Bob, Mrs. Rabe, Rachel, Sarah, Emily, Kyle and Grandma Phyllis. We enjoyed ourselves.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Did I Do That?

Remember Erkle, that kid on TV who would break things or cause a problem then ask in the most irritating of voices, "Did I do that?"

Well, I made a mistake this morning. I woke up when I should have been leaving for a dentist appointment. Oops.

I hate getting my teeth cleaned but I did not do this on purpose. We had a huge weekend and I was exhausted! It is cloudy and therefore comfortably dark for sleeping.

The receptionist at the dentist's office gave me the opportunity to come right in...up the road a half an hour...I wonder what they would think if I came in like I am right now.
It is not pretty!

Maybe it is time to find a dentist a little closer to home....

Miss Paula has honored me with an award.
Check it out!

Thank you, Miss Paula!

The rules for receiving this award are:
1) Put the logo on your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on yours.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

So I want to nominate some favorites of mine:

Given that some have already been nominated I will skip over them and nominate these fine friends:

Robin, at Bittersweet Punkin, is another homeschool mom who shares bits and pieces of her day. I love Robin's blogging generosity and friendship as she often mentions others or is caring for her blogging friends.
Deena, at Can I Be Pretty in Pink, is winning a battle against cancer. This blog is about so much more than cancer. It is the story of a woman who is strong, loving and joyful.
Terri, at Lakewood Manor, was one of the first bloggers to encourage me when I started nearly a year ago. As a school principal Terri is a busy woman. Check out her blog to see her new furry family member.
Melissa, at Elijah's Adventures just moved to Ireland. From Florida to Ireland, in one crazy day. So glad this "internet thing" works across the pond! Love seeing what you and that sweet Elijah are up to.
Bethany, at Red Yarn is one of the most talented artists I have seen. She can draw people so well. My brother who is an artist says that people are the hardest to draw. I enjoy Bethany's blog and love that we live in the same county even though I have never met her.
Gayla, at Oatmeal and Whimsey has seen a lot of change in her life this year. She is adapting. Keep writing and showing those great holiday pictures. I love how you embrace even the smallest holidays. Love it!
Lady Jane, who will have to remain Private...but... love ya! You are an inspiration and are so creative in your writings.

Thanks friends for your awesome blogs.

Looks like I might get to go along to Mom and Chelsea's riding lessons. Should be very entertaining. Since I'm obviously NOT at the dentist. So... better get ready to head off to Creekside Cottage for some good clean laughs....oops, Did I say that?
Have an awesome day!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart.

Come, just as you are to worship.

This worship song says it all.

We do not need to become something
or someone else to come to worship.

Our Father will meet us at whatever
place we are.

If there is changing to
be done... He will do the work within us.

If we are hurting...He will comfort us.

If we are rejoicing...He rejoices with us.

Don't wait until the perfect time...or you are
in a perfect place in your life...

Song by Brian Doerksen, 1998, Vineyard Songs

Saturday, July 12, 2008

This Much Fun Could Kill Me....

I got an interesting call yesterday afternoon.

The voice on the other end of the phone was rough
and frustrated. He said "I have a delivery of chairs for Sonrise Christian Fellowship and I don't know how to get them off the truck."

We had ordered 60 new chairs for the church on Tuesday.
We really did not expect them to come in until next
week. Both of our boys and all of the men I would have scheduled
to help were at work.

The truck driver went on to explain that he had no tailgate
to lift these pallets down on. I told him I would be there
in five minutes and flew out the door.

When I got to the church there was the huge truck. No driver.
I went ahead and opened the doors in preparation. I had called
Warren on my way there and we agreed the only thing we could do
was take the chairs off manually. I would cajole the driver into
passing the chairs down to me and I would take them into the

Then the driver came back...he had been at the carpet store across the
street asking for help with a skid loader.

The man who could use the skid loader wasn't there at the time...
although they thought he would be back soon.

We looked into the truck at the two pallets of huge boxes. Four
chairs to a box. My heart sank. No single chairs to be passed down
out of the truck. We would wait.

So, Tom, the truck driver and I went into the church to get out of the
90 degree heat and had a very nice conversation. Turns out he lives near here and has an interesting story involving a car accident and a brain injury. As my Dad had once had a brain bleed when the golf clubs in his car flew forward and hit him in an accident, I could relate somewhat to the sudden impact that can have on one's life. Tom is a very nice man and I am glad I got to know him.

After a while, though, I figured we had chatted long enough and I asked him if he thought we might be able to try to get the chairs out. He agreed. We unwrapped the first pallet of boxes and Tom began passing the large boxes out of the truck and I would ease them onto the ground and then move them to the side in preparation for the next. We got through one pallet...about seven of these huge boxes when we saw the man from the store across the street headed our way with the skid loader.

Relief!!!! When asked what we owed him he said he will send us a bill carved in ice and send it over in August.
Sweet, isn't he?

I ran to get my camera as the skid loader was driving through the front doors of the church to find that I had not replaced the memory card when I left so quickly.

After all fifteen of these huge boxes were in the church we had to open several to make sure there were no damages. Some of the boxes were a bit messed up. I am fairly certain that this was not in Tom's job description. His face was red from the heat as he ripped open boxes and helped me.

I kept thanking him.

Finally, we decided that we had seen enough to think that the order was in good condition. Tom declined a tip...hope I didn't offend him. But I know that we were a truck driver's worst nightmare. Too bad his trucking company didn't let us know they were coming so we could have had help there.

Last evening after our Bible Study the guys assembled chairs. It was so fun to see them working together and enjoying the process. I think that is how men bond best. Working side by side.

The women found ourselves cheering them on as they neared completion and the sang out a pathetic round of the Hallelujah Chorus as the last chair was put in place.

Finally, after midnight we rolled back into our driveway. I had succumbed to drinking a cup of coffee around 11:00pm and so was wide awake until after 1am.

It was a good day and a fun night.

I love our church!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thankful....God is Good

I am late writing a post this morning because
apparently I have my priorities right...

I had to go to an early yard sale with the Moms.

Yep! Just had to do it.

It was advertised as 15 families. There were two houses
and a nice assortment of things to choose from.

I found some cappuccino cups and mini tea cups for my
candle making hobby business. Love these!

I also picked up a few more decor items for the church.
The fellowship hall is going to be decked out in a primitive
style. Then there is an area at the end of that room that will be
primitive patriotic. I found this very sweet plaque and wallpaper border for fifty cents per roll. Just had to get it. The wallpaper border was not at the yard sale but at a local decorator center that I love to check first if I am looking for something.

I am thankful this morning because the next thing I had to do which kept me away from the computer was drive Jonathan to work.
This has been a serious concern at our house.
Finding this guy a job. He has been so resistant to the idea.
The resistance has come out of fear, I think. He does not give himself nearly enough credit and is not eager to try new things. He is doing well at this job.
He is interacting with the tourists and seems to enjoy it.
His co-workers are great and he talks about the time
he spends at work very positively.
Insert huge sigh of relief.
When you push your child to step this far out of their comfort zone it is a huge blessing when they do well with it.
Chelsea was sad that she was not scheduled to work today.

If you get a chance stop by my friend, Alicia's Blog. She has some very exciting news and I thought she shared it in a very sweet way. I am so very happy for you, Alicia.

It is a beautiful summer day here in Pennsylvania. I intend to enjoy it as I go back and forth to the grocery store, the church, running Mikey to work and back home again.

Blessings on your day!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Book Club

Last night was our bi-weekly book club. We are thinking that this is a heavy schedule and feels a little bit like work. Trying to process a book every fourteen days. I am to call the Library today and see about changing to a once a month club.

We discussed Coach Tony Dungy's Story last evening. Our hour went very quickly. There was considerable laughter as one of the participants truly knows nothing about football. She thought the X' and O's referred to in the book were hugs and kisses. Too cute!

I would recommend this book as one that has a lot of wisdom in its pages. Coach Dungy stayed the course through a lot of adversity in the football programs, through losing a son to suicide and the loss of both parents. He is raising a family and making them a priority. This man's faith remains strong.

I did think, though, that after making the statement in the beginning of the book that it was not about football that there was a lot of football talk in the book.
I get what he is saying, but still. If you do not like the sport you likely will not LOVE this book.

My friend, Brenda, led this discussion and did a wonderful job. She even re-watched the 2006 Steelers/Colts Playoff game referenced in the book as her father had taped it so that she could communicate the feeling of that final missed kick that cost the Colts the game. Cool! Not cool that they lost the game. Cool that Brenda would rewatch a game in which she knew the ending to be the best Book Club leader she could be.

I guess personally I would give the book an 8 out of 10 stars.

Our next book is My Grandfather's Son. It is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' Memoir.

What are you reading?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Am Not Crazy!

May 16th was surgery day for me.
I had Ovarian cysts removed from both
sides...even though I am not supposed to
have a left was supposed to have
been removed in The Surgery to Clean out the
Massive Post-op Infection of 2006.

Yes, it was an event.

It nearly killed me and therefore
deserves respect. (smile)

Anyway...a few weeks after this latest surgery
I stopped getting better and began having that
familiar pain...the dreaded cyst...

Finally, on Monday, I went back to the surgeon.
I explained to him that I was pretty sure I had
"laid another egg (cyst)". Ok so I didn't say
it like that...but I did tell him that there surely
was another cyst in there.

He said that if there is we are going to go in and
remove both the cyst and the ovary this time.

He got me a stat ultrasound and sure enough...
I was right!

Now, here is why this makes me "not crazy".

I had been to my family doctor. Some time ago he
had suggested that my hip could be what was causing
the pain so I wanted to give him a chance to check that
out. He laid me on the table. Pressed on the area of
pain in my side. I nearly came off the table from the
pain. He then assured me that it was scar tissue and that
I should take prescription pain medicine and Nexium for
the foreseeable future as nothing could be done.

I know he is human...but...I sure do wish he had listened
better. Or trusted that I have had this kind of pain before
and therefore would recognize it.

So anyway...I'll most likely be having yet another surgery.
I told Chelsea that if this keeps up we will get so used to
it that I'll leave in the morning and she'll wave as she
begins preparations for dinner. I'll come home and resume
life with not even a pause...that is funny because these things
used to really freak her out and by now she is almost casual
about it. Sad, really. She just wants to know when everything
that can be removed will have been taken...

I guess I should be upset. I am not.
I knew there was pain.
I knew what the pain was.
The ultrasound verified it.
We have a plan of action.
Best of all...

I am not crazy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


"You talking to me?"

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Weekend Camera Action!

Wow! I am amazed I could crawl out of bed this morning.
What a wonderful but tiring weekend!

Saturday I took a walk around the yard with camera in hand
and caught a few flowers doing nice things.

My mother-in-law weeded most of this area last week and the boys put the mulch down. It was a mess because we had cut these bushes off and were debating removing them altogether or just letting them grow back. I am glad we let them stay.
There is a ways to go but this is progress. I wanted the mulch down on what was weeded so that it will at least help with preventing more weeds.

Then I was at the church and took some pictures there. I wanted to show you what I did to help this situation:
These plaques were too small and too light...

I used some mahogany stain and lightly went over each of the plaques. I then got a burgundy ribbon and attached it behind all of them to make your eye perceive it more as one piece rather than three little items. It is a small change but it makes a huge difference!

As for that mahogany stain, I also put it to good use on these...

This wall is large. To find items that would fit well and pay retail for them would have cost a small fortune. So, being the yard sale diva that I am...I found these pieces of pottery. They were a dingy, dirty yellow but I thought I saw potential in them. First off, I painted them a faux paint to match our chairs. However, when I put them up I was not happy with the color. So back to the imagination I went and out came the stain. I love them now. They match the piano, pulpit and the post makeover...remember the posts?

Anyway, then I found this picture for $50 at Kirklands. So all together this arrangement cost $57.00. I am pretty pleased with that.

A few other shots inside the church...just to see if you see any changes since I showed you last. It is easy for me to forget at what point things have changed. I need to get some photos of the office area and the library.

It has been fun to have this as a project...I think it would have been more fun if there had been a bigger budget, however, there is a challenge in making things look nice with very little money. We have taken tables from our homes and our offices...we have found things at auction and we have gotten creative with pictures from Goodwill.

I am happy with how the flowers are growing out in front of the church. This has been my Mom's project and she has done a wonderful job. I also love the table and chairs that Joe and Carol picked up for the little patio area. Too Cute!

This photo shows just a tiny fraction of the flower beds all across the front. Mom waters them faithfully...not an easy job given that she has to carry the water there since there is no outside water source and the only sink in the place is in the bathroom. You can't get a watering can into the sink, it is too shallow. We plan to add a sink up in the mini kitchen area we are developing.

Sorry for all of the pictures...if you have a slow connection this might have been a bit much...

Yesterday, we had seventeen here for lunch as we celebrated Chelsea's birthday and got to know a new family at church. I made a huge pot of beef, potatoes and carrots.

This was the "before" picture. I was a little too busy to get the "after". We also made ham and string beans as a second main dish.

Chelsea totally enjoyed her birthday and loved having everyone here. Her eyes just danced all day long. I did not get a pictures of the cake but let me tell you that Georgia made a wonderful Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Oh, my Goodness!!!!! It was wonderful!

Well, I had better get moving as there is much to be done today.

Blessings on your day.
Hope all is well with YOU!