Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Starting Point....

Here we are
closing out a year that has
held many crazy events.

From hurricanes and floods
to earthquakes and tornadoes.

There has been history made 
all around the globe
with the rise and fall of nations.

With the impending start of a new
year it feels like a chance to begin again.
I'm not a big proponent of the 
New Year's Resolution....
however, I think this year
I'll make one.

You see, this morning I was 
starting to type on a listing for my 
Etsy shop.
It was jibberish.
The letters didn't go together 
at all.

I had positioned my hands over by one 
letter from the correct 
starting point.

What a difference.

So, my resolution for the start of 
2012 is to begin at the right 
starting point.

I'd rather not have a year filled
with jibberish.
My goal will be to 
keep my eyes fixed upon Jesus.
Seeking His will for decisions 
I make.
To remember that those things that
I may think are wise are not
unless He opens the doors and 
leads me through.

One doesn't have to be far off 
the proper starting point
to create chaos....
but starting in Him....
and staying in Him....
will lead to the proper resolution.

This year may not be all fun and games.
But it will make a whole lot more
sense if 
we start in the right place.

I'd love tons of fun too.
Because that is just the kind of 
gal I tend to be.
Laughter and fun...
all the way!!

I'm wishing you a year that 
allows you to sigh in complete 
contentment one year from today.
For a year well lived.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Company is Coming

And I am setting a colorful table.

With gifts received from far away

The table runner is from

while the napkin holder 
is obviously from Peru.

This is one of the sweet joys
of having Moms who love
to travel.

I found the black table cloth
on deep discount after
Christmas and thought it would
make a very nice backdrop
to all of the bright colors.

 This evening we will host 
my brother, Allan, his wife Bev
and her sister Betsy.

We love having them here.

I am making 
chicken enchiladas.

Served with fresh pineapple
and sweet corn.

Here's to the beginning of a very
fun weekend.

Happy New Year!!
Here's to a colorful 2012!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good Morning!

It seems like forever since I just 
opened this window and started typing
with no particular topic in mind.
All I know is that I have missed just
chatting away at you.

I was thinking last evening as 
I headed to bed that our house is coming
back into focus.
Kind of like life has been so busy
that everything outside the scope of 
candles has been a blur in my peripheral vision
and now the world is slowing back down to the 
point that I can see around me again.

Ahhh....that feels so good.
As the days go by the house is transformed
back into a home.
This week the table came back to the center of
the dining room and we even ate dinner 
at it!
That was wonderful!!

Oh, and my kitchen is being used for cooking
once again.  Real cooking, not throw something in 
the microwave or oven but the kind where 
you slice and dice, 
mix and taste.

I've missed it.

Shopping was a new adventure this 
week because I bought....
ready for this?

You may think this sounds like
backhanded complaining about the 
busy months but that is not it.
Not at all!

I totally love candle season.
My family does not.
But I also LOVE coming out 
of it and the changes that come 
with all of that.

You see, 
when I was a teenager I would 
paint my bedroom very often.
It was the thrill of the change.

I often wait until my hair is way, way
past time for a cut and then 
go with a very short cut or new hair color....
I love the thrill of the change.

Having a remodeling project
that starts with something perfectly horrid
is the height of fun for me because 
I love the thrill of the change.

Does this make sense?
While the craziness and the mess makes
the rest of the family twitch 
it is what makes
me tick.....
Not that I love the mess.
I love coming out of the mess.

I love the contrasts of life.

Now, I still intend to make changes for 
this coming year.
I'm still on the hunt for another location
to work from....
since my family doesn't get their thrills
the same way I do.
But, hopefully this helps those of you 
who wonder how I can stand it.

I'm totally strange.
And I like it that way.

In my head I know that it is for a 
season and then the changes are
real and stunning.

How about you?
Are you a fan of change or 
do you like things to be the same
and predictable?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Secret Sister Gifts - CAST Team Etsy

I used to drive my family crazy
talking about my blog friends
that none of them knew.

They got used to that 
and have even had opportunity to 
meet some of you in real life.
So, that is now the norm at our home.

In March I opened a shop on 
Etsy, an online marketplace for things
that are handcrafted.
One of the first things I did upon 
opening this shop was to join a team
of individuals who hold to similar beliefs that 
I hold dear.
That of loving the Lord and trusting
in Jesus for our salvation.
We leave the controversial stuff alone
and agree on the important stuff.

I have met many, many amazing 
artists here and am blessed to 
have acquired another circle of 
As "Friendship Ambassador to the World"
nothing could please me more, really.

Well before Christmas rolled around many of
us decided we'd like to do a gift exchange.
So, the secret sister plan was activated.

When my gifts came in the mail 
I ripped into them that very day.
I know a lot of the participants waited
patiently for Christmas.
It never occurred to me to wait.
I was so curious to see who my secret sister was
and what she had sent.

These are the treasures that
Zuda Gay sent.

An ornament embellished with a clay polymer
which when inserted over a white light
on the tree looks truly stunning.

Don't you love it?

Zuda Gay also sent a couple
dish or face cloths.  
They are soooo soft.

I'd been perusing sites thinking
of getting myself some.
These are just perfect.

And finally, 
but definitely not least....
What I am considering a bookmark.

I'm not sure if this is its intended purpose
but I have decided that it would go well in 
a Bible because it has multiple strands and 
I can keep up with Pastor Mike better if 
I can keep several passages marked.

Jonathan looked at the craftmanship 
on this clay flower and was totally impressed.
He has done clay sculpting and said that 
what Zuda Gay does with the flowers is
truly amazing.
I would agree.....

Thanks, Zuda Gay.
 I am so grateful.

To see more of Zuda's lovely 
work just visit her Etsy shop
You'll be so glad you did.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Moravian Christmas Eve Candlelight Service is the morning after Christmas 2011.
We had a truly delightful day.
Everyone came into church with 
energy and joy.
Our service was filled to the brim with 
music and scripture.
Loved it!!

But the festivities began the night
before for our little family.

You see, 
Warren's maternal heritage is Moravian.
His Grandpa Howard and Grandma Charlotte
were fully involved in the Moravian Church 
in York.  
This meant that Warren's mom, Georgia,
was raised in the Moravian tradition, as well.

One of the most important days of the year
was Christmas Eve.
The candlelight service is amazingly special 
and something that I came to love when 
I joined the family.

Then in the years since Grandma Charlotte
passed on and we always had a 
Christmas Eve Service of our own
we had not gone.
However, since Christmas fell on a Sunday
Pastor Mike decided to move our service
to Christmas Day and we were free to  make
the trek to York.

After a nice dinner together at Outback
Steakhouse we made our way to the church
in the heart of the city of York.

Immediately Georgia found folks from 
her past.  They delighted to see each other.
And then we made our way upstairs to the 
beautiful sanctuary.

Elaine, the long time organist,
was bringing forth amazing music
from the vintage pipe organ.
As you know they have an amazing sound.

The service began and was pleasantly
familiar.  From the songs sung to 
the serving of love feast.

A special cinnamon bun and coffee.
Celebrating the unity of believers as history
tells of two groups of Moravians who had a 
dispute.  They decided one day to work through
it and once resolved they stayed to eat together
thus sealing the resolution and enjoying 
each others company once again.

My favorite song in the service is called
Morning Star. 
The song is sung antiphonally with 
a child or children
leading the congregation.

I am going to attempt to get the music
and teach it to our congregation for 
Christmas Eve 2012.

A traditional Moravian
Christmas Tree.
Decorated with musical instruments,
dried fruit and beeswax candles.

The beeswax candles are very important to the 
tradition.  Each year the people of the church 
get together to wrap the tissue paper 
decoration at the base of the candle.
This serves as protection from the dripping 
wax as well as looking stunning.

This was the house across the street from the 
parking lot there in York.

We just thought it was so pretty.

I hope your Christmas was special.
Full of Joy.
Oh! And by the way....
the bottom half of the tree has been 
relieved of its gingerbread men.
That's how far the dogs can reach...
so they did.  
While we were in York.
Apparently the boys downstairs were
not paying any attention
so they got away with it.

Silly dogs.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Unforeseen Complication to Gingerbread Man Tree Decor

So sometimes simple isn't as simple
as one would imagine.


Chelsea has made gingerbread men
for a couple of years now.
They are designed to 
represent friends
and family.

Apparently these resemble
doggy treats to a couple of 
furry members of our family.
We are now in the process of 
teaching Chloe and Bandit
that what looks like 
treats for them

Then there was the question
of how to hang them.
Chelsea chose to just lay 
some on the tree
bypassing the poking of holes
in the head.
However, there are only 
so many places on the tree where
they can be laid and be visible
which left many unused.

Being the practical type 
I decided that the only thing
to do was get out the ice pick and 
poke holes in the forehead
of each and every remaining
boy and girl.

 Unfortunately there was collateral damage to this 
little girl's eye while poking her head.  
You can tell she is in shock.

 Meet Johnny.
At least Chelsea's take on him.
I don't see the resemblance at all.....

Chelsea happened into the 
kitchen just as I drilled
into the head of our friend

I totally 
felt wrong.
Especially since they have names.

I'm not sure who I ate
after I broke them while 
drilling their head...
I'm sorry.

But those who remain 
are cute as a button on our 
blue and white Christmas tree.

I wait to see if there is a tree
and or cookies remaining
when we return from getting 
flour for more cookie baking.

Have a Merry Christmas!
Hope you aren't complicating things
quite as much as we have here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Decorating for Christmas....

You say this looks more like
Autumn than Christmas?

I have a great excuse.
At this late date we are not getting
all of the Christmas boxes down.
I am using what I have on hand
and just rearranging
then adding some 

We did go and get a small tree today
so that Chelsea can decorate it tomorrow.
She has made and decorated gingerbread men 
for ornament...
I'll pick up some simple white lights 
this evening.
We'll find a few other
ornaments here and there.

is the key 
this year.

I hope your Christmas preparations
are going well. Whether you do it
up like crazy...or don't stress yourself
like me this year doesn't matter.
What does is that 
we remember the reason
we celebrate.

come to us.
Changing our eternal 
destiny in the 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

50% OFF My Stockpile.....

I want it gone....
So you are invited to a clearance 
50% off any of my remaining fundraiser 
stockpile candles.
Price is based on Fundraiser Pricing 
12 ounce was $ $6.50
Available Fragrances are:
Cinnamon Buns
French Vanilla
Potpourri Spice
Hot Chocolate (in jars only)
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Blueberry Muffins
Spiced Cranberry
Apple Cinnamon

Not all fragrances in all sizes .....

9 ounce Hexagon was $ $5.00
8 ounce Jelly Jar was $ $4.50

I may add others if these get scarce...
we'll see.
Stay in touch.

Contact me for list of available candles.
You'll pay actual shipping which will 
be quoted to you before you commit.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Beautiful Brunch and an All Round Lovely Day

This morning I needed to 
"run" to Chambersburg, just 
over two hours one way, 
to deliver some fund raiser candles.

I took Georgia and Chelsea along
for company.
That was a wonderful decision.
We had a very good time.

When I knew I was headed that way 
I contacted a friend of mine from 
Etsy and suggested that we meet up.
She invited us to her home for brunch.

We took her up on it!

We had such a delightful time
chatting away.
Georgia and Angel's little 
daughters hit it off so well.
You could tell the recognize a 
Grandmother when they see one.

Angel made cinnamon buns, blueberry muffins
and offered fruit.
I took bacon which Angel showed me 
how to bake in the oven.
Love that method!
I'll be using that one from now on!!

Then after a too brief, but sweet,
visit we had to get back on the road.
There were more candles to deliver
back our way.

On our way home we stopped at a favorite
butcher shop in the York area and purchased
the roast for our Christmas dinner.
That will be Georgia's project.
I'm making ham.
Mom is making the mashed potatoes
and we'll have our own frozen corn.
Ooooh, my mouth is watering at the thought
of all of that goodness.

Good days, I tell you.
Even in the midst of the 
sleepless nights
lost to work
sinus infections that really
put one down
life is still pretty awesome.

I'm one very

All of the products through this post
are made by Angel or her partner, Michelle.
Two very talented and smart ladies.
And you can find them at
Bamcrafty Mamas on Etsy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

All I Need are The Reindeer!

Oh!  And maybe a white wig,
a red dress and 
a few other distinguishing
items to be completely 
like Mrs. Claus.

I'm pretty sure that a good 
man like Mr. Claus
has an even better woman
helping him....
don'tcha think?

And so,
I feel a bit like her today
as I will continue the deliveries of
bags and bags of candles that have been 
gathering in our dining room.

The dining room which no longer 
has a table in the center.  
It has been pushed to the far end in 
favor of floor space.

By Tuesday evening every 
large group will have their orders
and then they will be scurrying to 
get things out before the magical 
Christmas hour.

There is joy in the knowledge that
many people will receive my candles
on Christmas day.

Gifts...a symbol of
one amazing gift come 
to earth on Christmas Day.

Here's hoping they will 
enjoy them!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

"Mrs. Claus"
over and out!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Juliet's Busy Day

I have a fun little friend at church.
Her name is Juliet.

Some things I enjoy about
She is a cute dresser.
Her smile.
Even if she does happen to enhance 
her smile with a pretzel.
Her sweet singing voice.
Her willingness to serve.

On Sunday I happened to catch
Juliet serving twice.

Once as she played for our final 
song....keeping the beat with the 

Later she helped Miss Jenny put 
up and decorate the artificial
Christmas tree.

Some of us prefer a real tree
and so we kind of go back and forth.
I think it was our turn but as 
you know it has been a bit busy
around here lately.

Jenny volunteered to just go ahead 
with the artificial tree that was up in 
the storage area for just such a 
time as this.

She found a few dedicated volunteers
who built a tree in a very short time.
Then they added the lights...
that took the longest of the entire process.

Next simple ornaments.
And finally ribbon.

It came out pretty well
if you ask me.

It was sweet to see them working
together so nicely.
I'm thinking that my friend, 
Juliet might have needed a 
nap after her very busy day....
Such a sweetie, that one.

I love how our children and 
young people learn to serve
with joy.

What a blessing!

Disclaimer:  I asked for and received permission
from Juliet's mother to feature her in this post.
Thanks, Bonnie.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our Homeschool Community Mourns Today

Last week saw the terror of two 
horrific traffic accidents 
involving students 
in our local area.

One day it was five
from a nearby school district.
The next day it was three siblings from 
our own homeschool community.

Today the friends and family 
of sixteen year old twin boys
and a nine year old sister 
will celebrate, remember and honor
their short lives.

I did not know the young
people personally
although I know of them
just because of our 
homeschool connections.

However, young people 
that I do know well
have been called upon to sing and
accompany the music for this special 

Please keep them and all who 
are hurting so deeply
in prayer today 
and in the days to come.

I was amazed and pleased to 
see the parents speak with our 
local television reporter.
They spoke of their grief...
so real.
But they also spoke of their
Our Lord and Savior....
the One who they say gives
them the strength to get out 
of bed each day.

Hard, hard days lie ahead.

My heart is heavy for them
this morning as they say

May many be reached with the 
Gospel today and in the days to 
come as we grapple with 
the fact of eternity.

Friday, December 9, 2011

You Have to See What Love Can Do.....

in Katie.  Home, fed and loved.

If that doesn't touch your
heart I worry about you.

What a beautiful 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our Christmas Tea 2011

Every year I think the 
Christmas Tea 
at church was the best yet.
But this one might be it.

This was the first year that 
I did not help Deanna decorate.
I had things I just had to do in 
the morning and she, Tim and 
a few of their kiddos set it up 

I loved the lamps on the tables!
So sweet!!

I had to take some photos of 
a few of Deanna's tea cups.

She treats us each year by bringing
her own glass plates, tea cups and 
tea pots, creamers and sugar bowls.

It is a service of love.
We appreciate it!

When the ladies began to arrive
the real fun began as we each
checked out what the next had
There were mini meatballs, spinach balls,
tea sandwiches, muffins, cranberry bread,
cheese and crackers,
jalepeno jelly on cream cheese
(Jelly was a gift from our friends at
Blue Barn Bulletin),
scones with lemon curd and cream........
I made potato soup.

It was all so yummy!!

Some items that went into the bags...first a mug then many other items.

And then came the fun.
We packed bags for the families
who are at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
It was so sweet to see the enjoyment everyone
got from filling a bag and then decorating it
just a bit with tissue paper and ribbon.
Not overdone but with love and care.
I also have to thank two cyber friends
who contributed to our project.
M  & S you know who you are....
be blessed.
Many thanks!!

Finally we had to clean up and head
home....bellies full and hearts happy.

Many thanks to our dear Deanna,
for making another special evening....
even with an unexpected cold.

You did very well,
my friend.