Thursday, December 31, 2009

Puppy News!!!

You'll be seeing new pictures
of Bandit on or after Saturday!

Did you hear us screaming with joy?


On This Last Day of 2009...

I will...

Girl Change Maker Knitting During Slow Moments at the Gilmore Self-Service Gas Station
Girl Knitting at the Gilmore Self-Service Gas Station

Get the oil changed in the van.

Bet you didn't see that one coming!

That's the way to ring in the
New Year...don't you think?


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Ugly Truth

We believe that our application for
"Lyra/Bandit" has been put on hold due to
unusual circumstances happening in our
County right now.

You see, Lancaster County, PA is the home of
many "Puppy Mills".

The Amish are famous for having piles and
piles of cages where they hold
dogs just for breeding.
In many cases the dogs that are bred never
get out of those cages...ever.

While the Amish are frequent perpetrators
they are not alone in this kind of behavior.

It should also be noted that
there are also several reputable
and caring breeders in our County.

There has been a huge groundswell in our area
against the cruel kind of breeding over the
past couple of years and this week is
the last week for these puppy mills and other
breeders to comply to new laws.

This has resulted in hundreds of dogs coming
into the rescues and shelters. Sadly, many
of the dogs being taken in are in very bad
health and most have never been out of a cage.

It is amazing to read how these dogs can
come around...and quickly...with love and
attention. Gentleness and training are
all many of these dogs need to bounce back.

One of the things I like about working with
a Rescue Organization to find a pet is that
most of the volunteers in these groups "read"
animals well. They are good at knowing temperament
and how a dog will fit into your home.

After our situation with our Amish Farm Dog,
Kimmy, I find this extremely reassuring.
Her aggressiveness and mental condition would
have likely been noted and we would never have
brought her home. Although, we are glad that
she had three good years...tough as they were.

How does this affect us?

The rescue organization we are dealing with is
intaking hundreds of dogs this week. It is
unprecedented. They have no physical shelter
but work completely through foster homes.

You can see more about their work at
this link.

There will be an emergency adopt-a-thon this
Saturday at "The Total Dog And A Little Cat",
30 Willow Street in Adamstown, PA.
All adult dog adoptions will be
$250.00 per dog, including spay/neuter,
shots, worming, dental care,
microchipping and grooming.

If you are in the area and were thinking about
getting a puppy or dog this would be a great
place to look first.

These animals need good homes.

So, while we are extremely sad that our
puppy hasn't been approved for us yet,
we wait and hope that it is just because
they are so ridiculously busy.

In the meantime we have been contacted by
two other Rescues because we put applications
in with them. There are dogs all across the
country who need homes.

Lancaster County may be one of the worst,
as it relates to breeding conditions, but
there are many dogs out there at Rescues,
Humane Leagues and in Foster Homes.

We have been sidelined by success.
Success in Rescue.

Still hoping!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Like Expectant Parents...

We are still waiting for a phone
call to tell us we have been chosen
to get the puppy!

This is so amazingly stressful.
Who would have thought it?

Every time the phone rings the kids
jump to see who it is.
Every time it is not about the
puppy they deflate...

Warren said he kept checking for
messages yesterday at work.
He wants her as badly as the
rest of us do...I so hope it
works out!

There is a debate about what
her name will be. I suggested
Bandit because she stole our
hearts just like that. It just
might stick.

But first she has to become ours.
So we will keep waiting.
And hoping...


Monday, December 28, 2009

An Amazing Feat!

We continue to be amazed by the things the
talented folks at Longwood Gardens accomplish.

Can you imagine a mum such as this?

Oh, that Mikey would get in for the two year

He can't apply until July.
Still it never hurts to begin praying....


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Will She Be Ours???

We sure hope so!

We should find out early next week.

The family vote was unanimous!

She is smart, friendly and healthy!


Updated: Vickie asked what she is...she is a pomeranian/chihuahua.
A real bundle of energy!
Seeing she and Chloe together
is funny because she has the
energy now that Chloe did
at that age.
Chloe has slowed down a lot!

A Blessed Christmas!

This was my kind of
a Christmas celebration.

I will share more than I
normally would for the
benefit of our family members
who read here from all over
the Country.
Blogs are great for that...

Our Christmas Eve service
was sweet with the young
people of the church doing
most of the sharing.

They sang as a group.
They played piano pieces.
A trio played piano, recorder
and violin.

Such talent!

Of course the highlight
of the service is always the
candlelighting at the end.
We form a large circle around
the sanctuary and each person
has a candle which we light from
candles lit from the "Christ candle"
in the Advent set.

The lights go down and we sing
Silent Night.


After a time of fellowship
we came back to Mom's for
the opening of the stockings.

This year I found some "Crackers".
You know the kind you pull and a
gift flies out with a loud pop.

They are corny, but fun.

Christmas morning found me popping
homemade cinnamon rolls into the
oven in anticipation of the Moms
coming to open presents at our house.

What blessed me the most this year was
watching the kids share their gifts
with each other and everyone.

Jonathan had painted and framed
winter scenes for each of his
grandmas. He had to be first and
give them to them right away.

Then Mikey had gifts for everyone
that he could not wait to share.

Chelsea had made Jonathan a scarf.

She spent hours and hours making
this scarf. He loves it!
He wore it all day!

Finally, after all these years of
saying how special it is to give,
now that they have jobs they can
earn the money and buy or make
their own gifts and receive the
joy that giving gives.

I managed to pull off a huge
surprise for Chelsea. This is
so very hard to do! She is with
me nearly all of the time.
This year she wanted a pair of
rollerblades. I told her to go
ahead and order them and gave her
the money. The closer we got to
Christmas, the more disappointed
she was that she had ordered her
own major gift and that she wouldn't
have that present to open on
Christmas Day.

Well, I intercepted the call to tell us
that they had come in. She had no clue
that I went on Christmas Eve and picked
them up. So when she pulled back the
paper and saw a box that she recognized
as a rollerblade box her face was incredulous.
I mentioned that I like to "rebox"...

then she saw the blades!

It was great!
She was thrilled!

Mommy pulled one off!

I recieved several wonderful things.
Such as a waffle maker, two books that
I have wanted, gift cards to favorite
places. I am blessed, indeed.

We had Christmas dinner at Georgia's
house next door. It was nice to have
Pastor Mike join us along with
another friend from church. This man,
Denny, had been to Israel within the past year.
He, Mom and Georgia had such a fascinating
conversation comparing their trips and
sharing high points.
It was fun to
sit and listen.

Last evening we piled in the car and
went to the movie theater to see
The Blind Side. We liked it.
What a great story. There were things
about the movie that were a bit different
than the actual events...such is Hollywood,
but the basic story was there and it was

One negative, the previews for upcoming
movies. They were absolutely terrible.
I thought all previews were approved for
all audiences. I was wrong. Apparently
because this movie was PG-13 the previews
were from other movies with this rating but
for many reasons. We were thoroughly
disgusted and caught by surprise by this.
So keep that in mind if you are headed to
a theater near you.

We look forward to New Years as we will
see Allan and Bev then. This year we had
to share them with her family on Christmas
but we are rejoicing with them that Bev's
Mother is doing well after a year with
serious health challenges. I am sure it
was special for Bev to see her mother
feeling so much better.

I look forward to reading about your
Christmas. What was the most memorable
or special thing that happened at your
home? I'll be around later to read your
posts. It seems odd that today is Saturday.
There is much to be done
before church tomorrow...and we
have a dog rescue to visit today.
Maybe...just maybe....

Much Love,

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to You!

You can feel the excitement
in the air.

Even the cats are
all worked up.
It is not 6am yet and
one of them has woken us
up. We haven't figured out
who the offender was yet...
But I am awake just the same.

Now Tidbit is sitting
on the back of the couch purring
very loudly, but this is just after
being called out from under the
Christmas tree, where she was

Warren noticed the other day
that she has quite a collection
of ornaments under there
for times when she feels
the need to play.
So...moments ago there was noise
coming from under there.

I called her name.



What are you doing under there?


Are you getting into mischief?


And then she appeared purring loudly
and has settled near my shoulder.

Two thousand years ago some animals
had unique experiences.

Imagine the sheep in the field as
many Heavenly Host appeared in the
night sky...All bright and loud!

The animals in the stable might have
been thrilled for human company as
Mary and Joseph settled in for the
night. What an unusual night.

Wouldn't you have loved to have had
their vantage point for those fabulous

The birth of a baby...
Shepherds trekking in.
Having followed a star
to find the child.

If I think about it, being a
shepherd or sheep was probably the most
scary. In the quiet of the evening,
in a time where there were no planes
to disturb a night sky...A bright light.

A beautiful creature with interesting news!

However, it was a given that this would
be a bit frightening so their minds were
set at ease immediately by the
Heavenly Visitor.

"Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news
of great joy
that will be for
all the people.
Today in the town of David
a Savior
has been born to you;
he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign to you:
You will find a baby
wrapped in cloths
and lying in a manger."

(From Luke's Account of these events in Chapter 2)

And then a BUNCH
of angels appeared
praising and singing!

Sure! I would feel oh, so much
better after that!

But, apparently they did.

Those shepherds headed out!
To find the baby.

Mom and Georgia were in Bethlehem on
their recent trip to Israel.
It saddened them
to see it in disarray.
With all of the political
upheaval it has fallen mainly into
the hands of those
who do not worship Jesus.

The streets are dirty and
the homes uncared for.
How distressing.
However, Jesus is no longer there.

He is no longer a babe in a manger.

Jesus has conquered death...
a horrific death on a cross,
fulfilling many prophecies
and rose again on the third day.

He is with his Heavenly Father in Heaven
preparing a place for those who believe...

...that they are in need...
of a Savior.

Those who have confessed that
need and become
the Children of God.


It is a wonderful celebration of a beautiful
event...but it is only the beginning!

The beginning of New Him!
Made possible because of God's Love.

I hope your Christmas Day is packed full
of good times, happy memories and
thankfulness for the reason we celebrate!

Merry, Merry Christmas!

With Love,

Your Friend,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Sentiments

A couple of days ago I
showed you Thomas Cranberry
English Muffins.
I found mine at Wal Mart.

What made my day were
the responses from
you about your
favorite seasonal foods.

After receiving Joyce's
comment I knew that these
deserved their own post.

Today is the perfect day for this
because I found these responses to
be so closely connected to memories
and family.

Christmas Eve for us is almost more
anticipated than Christmas Day itself.
We have a service at church and then
come back to my Mother's to open our
stockings. It is like the official
beginning of the festivities.

So...let me share some of the comments
about your seasonal favorites...
Each ladies name is a link to her
blog. Hope you'll visit when you
get the chance!

"My favorite is party mix....I won't even share this....My sister makes it for me every Christmas and its like receiving gold...."

Victorian Baker Boy with Giant Peppermint Stick
Victorian Baker Boy with Giant Peppermint Stick

"I love those puffy sort of peppermint sticks- I think they call them "soft" peppermint sticks, but they aren't really soft at all... love 'em. And here's the funny thing about me and peppermint: the rest of the year I can barely stand the flavor, but at Christmas time it seems I can't get enough. Weird huh?"

Chocolate Fudge on Stand
Chocolate Fudge

"FUDGE - Chocolate fudge - no nuts. What else is there? (except maybe to slather some p-nut butter on it...)"

"I look forward to See's Candy at Christmas - my dad always got to order from his work every year at Christmas...I love their California Brittle."

"The last couple of years my favorite holiday food has been peppermint bark candy. It's easy to make and we usually make up lots and share them. I like a traditional ham too."

Spanish Clementines Whole Fruit and Peeled Fruit Segments
Spanish Clementines

Vee - SO good to have her blogging again!
"Clementines without a doubt, but I do love those cranberry English muffins, too. Now you've made me think that I MUST have some TODAY."

And Joyce, who touched my heart when she said:
"My daughter and I like a box of Queen Anne cherries and we each eat a box between Christmas and New Years My Dad use to give us all a box. You can buy them at Walmart and other stores for about $1 a box. They are not the best but when I was a child I thought they were heavenly. Every Christmas Eve my daughter and I eat them more for tradition to remember my Dad then for the cherry taste.

It always makes me cry and also smile when I see those boxes of cherries on display in the stores. It has been 10 years since my Dad has passed on but the memories of a loved one always warms your heart especially at the holidays." can see that while we all have
different tastes we often associate our
various seasonal foods with emotions and
memories. Maybe it is an ongoing tradition
with family but all of it brings us something
we need.

A Cherry on a Blob of Chocolate Sauce
A Cherry on a Blob of Chocolate Sauce

I will never look at a box of chocolate
covered cherries without thinking of the
sweet relationship that Mom and Dad shared.
He loved to make her Christmas by getting her
a box of those messy, sticky cherries.
It just said, "I love you", somehow.
As a daughter it blessed my heart!

Thanks for sharing your favorites,
dear friends.

Wishing you the best
Christmas Eve - ever!

Celebrating the Birthday
of our Savior, Jesus!


P.S. If you happen by Hospitality Lane
and see me looking anxiously out of the
window...I am watching for UPS and my final
deliveries. Nothing like waiting until
the last minute, right?
Hey, I got some great deals!

Update: Everything I expected today...Came!!
Oh the wrapping party I had. Fun Stuff!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Good Morning...Christmas 2009

When my awesome friend,
Shelley, visited some time ago
we were walking through Hallmark.

I happened to mention how pretty
I thought this ornament was...

Before Shelley left for home she
gave it to me. Isn't that sweet?

I had NO idea she was buying it.
She said she was getting a gift
for Chelsea...she did that too.

It is hanging in our front window
just over Tidbit's favorite spot.

For a while I thought Tidbit was
special friends with the PSU Snowman...
but I have figured out her secret.

There is a string of lights that runs
directly by the back of the couch there.
I noticed the other day that they actually
get warm. My kitty is a heat seeking missile.
She loves warm laps, laptop computer keyboards
and, I guess, Christmas lights
if they warm her chilly little body.

Next to Tidbit and the Snowman sits Mikey's
Orchid. Chelsea did not place it there when
she decorated. In fact she had moved it across
the room. However, Mikey moved it back.
Now, it sits draped over this little Nativity.
I don't care.
It makes me happy when Mikey shows his love
of horticulture and cares for the plants
around here. Good thing because while I
love plants, they don't really appreciate
me all that much!

Tomorrow I hope to share some of your comments
about favorite seasonal foods.
If you would like to participate, please
leave me a comment on that post.

We have an interesting and busy day ahead
as we continue our search for another dog,
enjoy a Christmas Musical and maybe see the
doctor for this cold that seems to have morphed
into an infection. Sigh....



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Seasonal Favorite

I literally hugged them
right in the store...
love these!

What seasonal foods do you look
forward to?


Monday, December 21, 2009

What A Girl!

I finally know what a
relief it must have been
to my Mom when I started
baking as a teenager.

Chelsea has become our resident
candy maker and cookie expert.

These are just sooo good.
She has plans to make some special
goodies to share with friends on
Christmas Eve.
I think they will like it!

My favorites are the No Bake Cookies.
Warren loves the Ritz/Peanut Butter covered in Chocolate!
I'm not telling what she is going to make
next...nope! Mums the word!

Hope your kitchens are happily
busy making pretty and yummy
cookies and such!


In The Quiet...Political Ramblings

Warren is walking out the door
to go to work. The tree is lit
and it is dark enough in the
living room to enjoy the lights
as they sparkle and glow.

However it is just light enough
outside to enjoy watching the
birds as they fly and look for
food through the snow.
The darkness of their feathers is
contrasted against the light sky
and white ground.

It was a late night, or early morning,
if you prefer, as we could not tear
ourselves away from a Senate vote that
so dramatically ignored the wishes of
many, many Americans.

I wonder what the ultimate outcome of
all of this will be. Thankfully, I
believe in the Sovereignty of God and
trust that He will never forsake His
people. Even if things
do get very tough.

Want to know something funny?
Keep is after all
of the upcoming "objections".

You might remember that I wrote a
letter to a senator?
I received a form letter in response.
It was very unsatisfying.
Quite one sided and bullheaded,
I thought.

Let me clarify,
It is not that I don't see need
for improvement in our healthcare
I do.
What I object to is a massive new
expensive overhaul that looks and
smells of socialism when simple
tort reforms, and other minor
adjustments could be addressed to
"fix what ails it".

I object to my Government and my
tax dollars paying for abortions.
In this bill States will have the
power to limit that but they are
there unless that happens.

I object to sweetheart deals for
certain states which could only be
brought about to a certain vote by
such means.

I object to early morning votes on
something this important. I know this
was not the final vote...however...
it is the principal of the matter.

I object to 2,000 page bills being
passed when my Senators have only
received them 24 hours before.

I object to an administration that
says "Everything is negotiable as
long as it passes."
What do you stand for then??

I object to this administration
and legislature imposing law that
will not take effect until many
of them are no longer there to
deal with the fallout four years
from now...

This is where I am coming from
on this issue.

Well...just yesterday we were
invited to visit Washington.
Not directly by his office but by someone
with contacts in his office.

She has no idea about the letter nor
does she know me at all.
Warren has helped her with some
technical issues and she wants to
thank him by setting up this awesome
It would be this Senator's office that would be
our sponsors for this Tour and
VIP treatment.

I secretly hope that he
is in on the day we go.
I would like to look in his
eyes and gently share my
hurt at his lack of "hearing".
Of course he voted for this
piece of legislation.

So...I sit in the silence,

Wishing so much that our government
officials were less politically motivated
and more connected with their constituents.

Wishing that each and every one of those
Senators was at home, in their own states,
with their wives/husbands and children.

Being thankful for a house, home and
sweet family to love and appreciate.

Being thankful for you.
With all of your varying views and
experiences that teach me so much.

Just about the time I get on my high
horse along comes a gentle reminder that
my perspective is not the only one.

Thanks for being gentle.

Hope your day is sweet and that all
of your hopes and dreams for Christmas
come to pass.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

We Got Some Snow!

About two feet...give or take.

Church is cancelled.

This upside down snowbank is hanging off
the garage roof just outside the kitchen.

The neighbor boys are already out sledding...

Shots of the deck...

Views from the front door...

Chloe took all of about 20 seconds
to get her business done.

There was a spot near the car where there
was just a bit of snow.

That worked for her.

So...if you are in the snow zone...enjoy!

If you are not...
enjoy through the pictures.

I am currently sick with a nasty cold,
so will be staying warm and dry inside
but the views out the windows are heartwarming.