Saturday, January 30, 2016

Lovin' Life, Feelin' Dizzy and Limpin' Hubby

We are in such a special time of our lives.  Getting ready for the marriage of our baby girl and having resounding success of my little candle business.  Warren is in the thick of the transition from one hit show to another at Sight and Sound.  I mean, I can't imagine Samson not being a hit.  It is going to be the most interactive and stunning show yet.

We are beyond blessed.

Chelsea and Chadd signed the lease on an apartment yesterday.  He will move in soon.  Chelsea got permission to do a little cosmetic work in the bathroom of their first place.  The landlady said she wouldn't let "just anyone" do it.  :-)  I love that they have found favor with the landlords already.  It became evident pretty quickly when Chelsea was asked if she required a new stove to move in and she said no.  Chelsea said it would be very nice but it wasn't a deal breaker.   Well, there is a new stove!  We are so thrilled that they will be in a very nice apartment with sweet landlords and I know they will make us so proud in how they interact with those they come in contact with there.

The feelin' dizzy part?  It's literal.  Every morning I wake up between 4 and 5 am with a balance issue.  I'm thinking it is likely the result of inner ear congestion left over from the horrific cold I had recently.  I hope that's all it is....because it will likely resolve itself if that is it.  I'm pretty tired of it, though.  If you have any suggestions that don't involve netti pots I'm interested.  I can't bring myself to pour water up my nasal passages.  I've tried.  Really, I have.

We got good news on Warren's painful leg yesterday.  The poor guy has been limping around like crazy.  The other night his leg was all swollen up and I had to play nurse and get him settled into the recliner with an ice pack. According to the doctor it seems most likely he is just having an arthritis attack with the aggravation of a sprain.  It is on the mend and hopefully with the brace he is now sporting he will be good as new very soon.  Whew!  I had him all in surgery and with a new knee.  It's all good!

I'm hoping he is all better soon because the "honey do" list is getting longer.  Haha!  Poor guy.  There is no rest for the weary around here.  But seriously, we are about to get back to work on the basement which flooded just a little less than a year ago now.  It is so hard to work around Jonathan's sleeping schedule and Warren's work schedule.  Sound weird?  Well, it isn't that strange.  Jonathan works overnights Thursday - Sunday, which means we have a quiet house Friday - Monday.  Guess when Warren is around to work on home projects.  Yep!  Tricky, tricky.  But we are going to find a way.  And it will work for everyone.

So, that's the scoop on what's going on around here.  We may not be rich, influential, shaking up the world, or making the news (thank God!!) but we are blessed, happy and totally in love with each other and our family.  It's a great life!  I'm just putting my own "spin" on it.  Pun intended.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

There Wasn't Going to Be a Flower Girl

For real.  Chelsea and Chadd didn't want a flower girl.  I have no idea why, except that perhaps they just envisioned it differently.  But then.....Chelsea started babysitting J.  And Chelsea fell head over heels in love with this child.  They are so compatible.  Both appreciate quiet.  Both seem to enjoy baking together.  They are both petite. And both love all things girly.

So, the other day when Chelsea and I were at a local Bridal boutique to look for my dress we saw a flower girl dress and I brought up that it wasn't too late if Chelsea wanted to have a flower girl.  She jumped on the idea if J would be allowed to be the one.

The parents were consulted.  They agreed.  And now we have ourselves an adorable little flower girl.
You will just have to imagine how cute she is in the dress we found the other day.  We are keeping that dress a secret.  But I will show you the runner up.

This one was adorable, precious and not a thing wrong with it.
The chosen one is just better 
for the wedding theme
and location.
It is also better on J.
We were all smitten.
Little J was spinning in front of a full length mirror in "the" dress while still 
wearing her snow boots and jeans underneath. 
There was no dressing room so we had to do a quick change behind clothing
racks with the store employees permission.

Chelsea and J. were in agreement.
They loved the dress.
And so, for just $33, on sale, we found a flower girl's dress.
Just like that.
Our first trip out.

She's obviously easier to fit than I.
But then, how boring would it be if I found the perfect
dress right away?


And since the Mother of the Bride position isn't optional
in this case I'll keep on searching.
I'm pretty sure Chelsea and Chadd won't decide they just
don't need one of those.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Invisible Chelsea

As I've said before, Chelsea is on a break from her theater job while they build
the new show, Samson,
She will go back to work there in March.

But in the meanwhile there is no sitting still for this one.
She is doing some part time babysitting for the youngest daughter of 
some long time friends.

They are having so much fun together.
They have baked.

They have colored, watched movies, exercised, played Legos,
and more.

Most recently we all went out to do errands.  
I needed to visit the chiropractor as my neck and back were screaming at me.
Beware of new pillows.
Sometimes they are not "all that".  
Anyway, we were about to leave the Chiropractor's office when 
in walked Beverly!
She is the lady with whom I started Good Neighbors Candle.
Beverly has known Chelsea for oh, so many years.
But she never "saw" her.
Because Chelsea had a little girl with her and so was not on Bev's radar.
She and I talked for about five minutes with Chelsea and J just to our right
and Bev never made the connection.
We got such a giggle out of that.

We went on to Starbucks.
Of course.
Where Chelsea and J got treats.
They make the cutest children's hot chocolate cups.
Who knew?
Anyway, since J and I stayed in the car everyone 
who already knows Chelsea there saw her and it was all normal.

Next up, Target.
We did our shopping and were waiting to check out when I saw a friend
from the ladies Bible Study I spoke about yesterday.
Chelsea has watched her children at the Bible Study for many years.
She would recognize her in a heartbeat...
but we are convinced that she never looked at her because she had 
a child with her.
Spoke to me for more than a minute.
Never saw Chelsea.
Oh my goodness it was funny.

Now we know what Chelsea has to do if she ever wants to be invisible.
Borrow a child.
Others may notice them.... but not people who know her.
She just becomes "a mom of a toddler" 
and thus, not Chelsea.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Belt of Truth

Ahhhh....such good times.

Not easy.
Priscilla doesn't give you all of the answers.
She asks a lot of questions.
Questions that make you think all day long.

This week's lesson begins by talking about putting on 
the Belt of Truth.

Big deal.
I've heard it all my life.
Rolled like water off a duck's back.
Until I read the questions in my lesson.

That, and the other way of putting this ...
"girding your loins".
Also a term I've heard all my life.
Tried not to think on this one too much.
It sounds icky, right??

Well, Priscilla asks why we are instructed to start with this item
for the waist.  She points out that our waist area is our core area.
Without strong muscles and protection at our core the rest of us
is meaningless.  Good point!  I've been working on my core muscles
due to some post op complications that require my attention.
It is amazing how much difference the strengthening of those muscles
makes in my daily life.

Now, to put on a belt of truth, or to gird my loins with truth has new meaning.
Truth has to come first. 
How else would we know what our battle is for?
Weapons mean nothing without a proper purpose.
How would we recognize the enemy?

Oh goodness.
I confess that when I first read the questions in our lessons I left
a bunch of stuff blank.
I needed to think on it for a while.
And I'm glad I did.

This may seem simple and not profound to you....
if you don't ponder it, it will.
But over time this worms its way in deep to your thoughts
and makes wonderful sense.

Now I hate to move forward because I just want to keep 
digging deeper into this wonderful truth about truth.

Gird your loins, people!
Our world needs more warrior princesses 
who are starting from 
the right place!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Real Time Prayer Request

UPDATE:  He is out and on his way to work now.
Thanks, so much for the prayers!!

This is Warren's view.
He is off the road and waiting for a tow truck.
It is brutally cold.
ETA on the tow truck is 9:20 am.
Thanks for your prayers.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Storm Is Over

It was great to wake up to this scene.
Beautiful untouched white snow.
Blue skies.

This is looking out our front window.
You are seeing our yard, the road and the huge field we enjoy across the street.
I point out the road because it would be easy to miss it.
I'm not sure that it is passable yet.
I know that it doesn't matter for us because we have not yet dug the cars out.

That is going to take a while....

Church is cancelled for the day.

The huge drifts that were carefully placed outside our back door by the crazy winds.
They are almost as tall as I am.

It is just so pretty with blue skies and sunshine!
Please pray for all who will be doing the heavy work of removing snow. 
It is exertion that is more than most of us do on a daily basis.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I Was Thinking.......

Yesterday I did some driving.  While I was driving I got to thinking.  Thinking about how very, very proud I am of Warren's mom, Georgia, and my mom, Ruth.  These ladies have gone through great loss when both of our Dads died within two years of each other.  It changed all of us.  But of course the greatest impact was on each of them.

We did something they don't recommend.  We moved them during the first year after the loss.  But we didn't move them just anywhere....they are on our street.  So close to us.  It seemed that God opened the right doors in the right ways and we knew it was right.

However, right doesn't mean easy.  For.sure!!  

When they moved here they moved away from all of their support system... except us.  That is a very, very big deal.  I know this likely intensified the times of loneliness they each endured.  Over the years each woman established her new life in her own way.  Georgia reached out in many volunteer positions which allowed her to meet new people and make new friends.  She now knows more people in Lancaster County than I do.  Pretty impressive given that I have the fun nickname of "Friendship Ambassador to the World".  (Oh, I do crack myself up.)  But seriously, this woman knows a lot of people!  And she continues to maintain strong friendships with many in York.

What triggered these thoughts was talking to Georgia yesterday morning and hearing that she was preparing for her usual time at one of her volunteer locations.  She spends all day, usually once or twice per week, helping a Podiatrist take care of elderly patients.  Georgia is a retired RN and loves continuing to serve as a nurse in this way.  

Georgia is also very involved in a local horse rescue, a group for Widows, Release Time, Ladies Bible Studies and more.  Impressed?  You should be.  It took a lot for her to get up and motivate herself to do anything after Gene passed away.  Naturally, the grief was intense.  I am so very proud of her!!

My mom approached it somewhat differently.  She got a job.  That is where she met many of her circle of new friends.  That seemed to be enough for many years but there was something missing in her life.  Ministry.  As a life long Pastor's wife Mom was really missing hands on time with children.
She is a very gifted teacher and had never gone so long without using those skills.  Our church, which she came to for many years, is a Family Integrated church.  That means that there are no separate Sunday School classes for the children, no children's church or any other opportunities for that style of teaching.  While we love our church and Mom truly loved the people there she felt a strong calling in her life to get back into that style of ministry.  With our blessing and encouragement she began seeking a local church who would benefit from her heart to serve.  She found one!  However, there was a six month wait before she could begin helping with the children's ministries.  This meant that if she wanted to help immediately it would have to be with adults.  Would you believe God led her to work in the Celebrate Recovery ministry at that church??  It may not seem like a great fit on the surface but in reality it has been great.  For both sides!  As a Pastor's wife Mom has had a lot of experience with all kinds of situations.  We had "our own" alcoholic all of my early elementary years. He was a neighbor who would stop on his way home from the bar to talk to the "Preacher" very regularly.  He is one of the main reasons my brother and I have never been enthusiastic about alcohol. We were friends with his little boy who suffered so very much.....but I digress.  That, and many other experiences, as well as her deep knowledge of the Word make this a very wonderful fit.  

Now the six months have passed and she is also involved in children's ministry.  Sometimes it is a bit much with working and all but I see a contentment in my Mom that had been missing for a few years.  I'm so very, very proud that she did the hard thing.  She let us know that our lifestyle wasn't completely meeting her needs.  You see, we are busy in our church.  Our skills and gifts are being used there.....but that didn't mean that it was right for her.  It was very hard for her to guess how we would feel about that. 

It is so important for those of us who integrate our parents into our lives to understand and remember that they need to be independent.  They need to feel free to take those steps out on their own.  Sometimes what they want to do is risky.  Sometimes we worry that they will be hurt.  But the upside of fulfillment and knowing they are serving the Lord is well worth the risk!

So, in those times that I worry about Georgia riding a horse or Mom driving around on cold evenings I just have to do what I'm very used to doing with my children.  I trust them to the Lord.  I know if He called them to these missions He will be with them.  

Aren't you glad we had a snowstorm so I could just sit and write what I've been thinking about?   Haha!!

So many of us are in this stage of life where we are loving our parents through changes in their lives. I am so thankful for the Lord's leading in all of these things.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Winter is Here.......Finally

I'm not Winter's biggest fan.  However, I am willing to see some good things about it.  One of which is snuggly pets.  When I am able to sit on the couch I am never alone.  Tidbit has given up the heated bed as the cold air off the window makes her less comfortable that she can be snuggled up with me....or her buddy, Oliver.

He seemed a bit embarrassed when he woke up and realized where he was.
But it was mighty cute.

Yesterday before it became bitterly cold I was out for a walk.
I came across this pretty reflection in a puddle.

A neighbor was walking his dog toward me and I could tell he 
wondered why I was taking a photo of the road.  :-) 
 I think most of the neighbors are used to my camera craziness by now.

I would have taken photos of the actual sky and trees except that neighbor and his nippy dog were 
getting too close.   I fear that dog since he bit Mikey some years ago.
I do like the neighbor and I don't mind the dog if it is safely in its yard or on its leash.

On a completely different subject.....cake!!
This is the cake that Warren and I will be eating at Chelsea and Chadd's wedding.
Well, not THIS cake because it is already gone.
But the Cookies and Cream cake is our hands down favorite of all Chelsea has tried.
She wrote a blog post that includes her favorite.

Tonight I am just sitting here trying to appreciate the warmth of our home.
I can hear the wind blowing out there.
There is even a real feel of the cold air coming through the large window behind my head.
Warren is in the recliner.
For once we aren't rushing off somewhere.
That is the great thing about winter weather.
We stay put.

The kids, not so much.
Chelsea and Chadd are off celebrating the birthday of a friend.
But they are young.
Let them have their fun.  
They have amazing friends!
We couldn't be happier with those they choose to spend 
time with.

We are supposed to get a significant snow storm, or two, 
Friday and Saturday.
The current map says that we will be in the heaviest part.
There is much to do before that snow comes....Wednesday Bible Study 
and on Thursday the start up of the Winter semester of home school co-op where I'll 
be teaching music again.  We will begin working on our songs for the Spring Concert.
That will be FUN.  My heart is so blessed by the children learning songs 
with rich lyrics.  Knowing that they will carry them with them for life is all the reward
I need for the work that goes into these days.

Stay warm....if Winter is coming to you!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Trying on Mother of the Bride Dresses

Boy...this is kind of stressful.  It is also kind of fun.  I don't usually purchase formal dresses.  We don't live a formal kind of a life.  But tonight we found ourselves at a very large mall in Maryland and so I took advantage of it and began seeking "the dress".

I didn't find the one I'll wear at the wedding yet but I did find a style that I really like and will look for in different colors and lengths.

I feel like I want something that is glam.
Not something that I would normally wear to church or out to dinner.
We will see. 

 The face says it all here.
Not a winner in my book!

I actually liked this one pretty well in real life.
It doesn't show that well in the picture.
And who knows what that look on my face is about.

An attempt to find a lighter dress for a May wedding.
It might be just a bit too soon.
There aren't a lot of things for Spring in the stores yet.

This was a fun afternoon and evening with Chelsea and Chadd.
Before we left they licked the invitations shut.
I was very amused by this.....

 I don't think he likes the flavor!

Such a cutie!!

Chelsea also found her wedding shoes.
This is huge!  She has been wanting to get that detail taken care of for a while.

Such a productive evening.
And fun times with these young people too.
They make us laugh...
and they laugh at us.
It is a special kind of family.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Whatever It Takes

Our new session of the local ladies Bible Study has begun.  Yesterday somewhere around one hundred women met to worship and choose our classes for the next several weeks.  I am taking a study by Priscilla Shirer on The Armor of God.  The only other study of hers that I've taken was Gideon and it was great.  Some video guided studies make me twitch.  I don't know why....but Priscilla has the opposite effect on me.  I could watch and watch her.  The truths that she shares always seem fresh and relevant.  I think a lot of it is that it doesn't seem that she talks down to her audience but shares with enthusiasm what she is learning as well.  Anyway, most of that is just personal preference on my part so I won't make a huge deal out of it.  Just know that I will look forward to each of our seven weeks.

This morning I sat down to work on my homework.  It was on the subject of prayer and our need to understand what power is available to us for our defense from that which would destroy.  The spiritual warfare which is constantly at work to steal our joy.  I don't know about you but I am not one who is all that faithful to a structured daily study.  I know that I am in communion with my Lord much of the time throughout the day but to actually sit down and study...not so much.  There is a lot of homework to go along with a study such as this and Priscilla encouraged us to avoid the pressure to finish the work and to rather enjoy the process of time with the Lord in studying.  And so I came to this study this morning with that in mind.  That I would just want to spend special time with my Lord.

Well, pretty soon, a fluffy black dog was attempting to get to me on the couch.  She tried from the left across the couch a few times but was turned back due to my study materials in her way and my desire for her not to step on all of them.  I had a reprieve as she backed off to some other point and so I forgot about her as I studied.  All of a sudden there was a paw on my shoulder and an inquiring face right in mine.  "Please, Mom?  I've come all the way across the back of the sofa?"  I opened my arms to her and she snuggled in.  A look of contentment and happiness on her cute little foxy face.  Then it hit me.  That's how I should be.  So desiring to be in His my pup wants to be with me....that I'll MAKE a way.  I'll clear the time.  In this case I'll agree to be a small group leader so that I know I will do the work each week.  :-)

Your prayers are welcomed as I seek to have the discipline, and even better, desire to spend structured time with the Lord each day.  I do not want to do this out of obligation or some legalism but rather in a way that shows Him, and reminds me, how much I want to just be in His presence.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Thoughtful Gift....Proud Mama Post

This is page one of the Christmas gift that brought me to tears this year.
A Mikey and Emily Calendar.
I'm 99 percent sure they didn't think this would be that meaningful to me.
But they just didn't know.
I'm so very proud of both of them.
How they have grown and continued to love each other deeply through
their first year and a half of marriage.

There is another page coming up in a few months of Michael and his grandmothers.
It was my undoing.
Both on Christmas Day and the next as I looked through the calendar again.
There's just something about a boy and his Grandmas.

I insisted that we weren't going to actually use this gift as it would get marked up.
I was immediately taken to task about that.
Chelsea didn't want me to take it to my workshop...which was where I wanted to hang it.
She wants to enjoy it too.
Emily was amazed and maybe offended that I wouldn't use the calendar as a calendar.
And so it is in the kitchen and it makes me happy.

We are writing each appointment with great care.
So far, it is still looking great.
I'm not picky about much -
but on this one thing......

Thank you, Michael and Emily for such a thoughtful gift.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Crazy Days....In the "Slow Time" of the Year

Changeover is happening.  That's what we all call it when one show is removed from the theater and another one is prepared.  As I mentioned in my last post this means schedules are all over the place right now.  Some work overnight who normally don't, some work in other departments since their's is closed and some just stay late....sometimes quite late.  Starting any dinner with a tight deadline would be a silly idea during these months.  And so at a time when I would normally be eating or preparing food I'm sitting in my candle workshop creating and now talking to you.

It has been a fun day to get Spring and Valentine's Day started when it comes to fresh candles and with a delivery of brand new fragrances I'm in my glory.  I got stuff like Australian Bamboo Grass....Oatmeal Milk-n-Honey....Honey Bunny.....Kudzu....Cottage and Breezes.  Tomorrow I'm picking up even more from my local supplier.  One of those will be ....wait for it....Leather!  Crazy, I know!  But I want to use it in car fresheners.  How cool would that be?

Chelsea and I get to spend a lot more time together in Changeover.  Not because she wants to be available more but because she works in a position that requires patrons to be in the building.  The second day off of work she was already stressing about not working.  Crazy girl.  She has a million and one things she can use this time for and she has been very busy.  We have done some shopping, she is wrapping plasticware for the wedding, she has made two of her four types of cakes for the planned cake table.  I'll not go into detail but I predict it will be as pretty as it is delicious!
Now, we are not keeping those two cakes.  They were prototypes that were shared with any who would indulge...  And then they were sent to work with Warren so his co-workers could enjoy them as well.  So, all is good and we are not ruining the progress made in the weight loss department.

Aren't these adorable?
People LOVE to purchase these little tins at the shops and so it seemed fitting to give them at least one Valentine's Day option.  More to come but first I have to order more tins.
They always go too quickly.

Oh!  I got another project for Chelsea to work on today.  Three vintage windows.
They are in varying degrees of distress.  One of them still has a sill....which I find absolutely adorable.  They will serve some delightful purpose at the wedding, I'm sure.


Well, as is normal these days I was stopped mid post to spend some time with family.  Definitely can't complain about that.  During this unplanned break I learned that a dear friend
has safely given birth to a little boy.  Warren and I had dinner.  Chelsea and Chadd went on a date and came home again.   I spent time with my daughter in love.  .....And so it is now nearly time to sleep and I'll just finish up by showing you lilac candles I just finished.  They are such sweet candles.

And to make you giggle....
A behind the scenes shot of the photo box.

As my Father-in-Law would have said,
"Fancy, Ain't?"
Oh, how I miss him some days.

I'm sure I'll regret posting that last photo but there you have it.
I'm too tired to care at the moment and just find it funny.
Catch you later!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

I Shook Hands With 2016 and Offered Friendship.....

Apparently it doesn't know how to play nicely yet.
We'll work on that.

Many people enjoyed 2015.
I'm happy for them....very much so.
However, 2015 was a bit of a stinker to us.
With basement flooding which we have still not recovered.
Chadd's accident from which he continues to recover.
Warren's illness which is mostly better....but not completely gone.
It just seemed that it was a harder year than usual.
But I was optimistic.
We were going to begin afresh and anew in 2016.

Bandit got sick.
My pup...the one who loves me most.
She got a nasty ear infection and was in so much pain...
 so I spent the first waking hours 
of January 1, 2016 in the Emergency Vet Hospital.

Waiting for the doctor.

Strike One.

Jonathan and Warren have colds.
Strike Two.

I'm getting one.
Strike three.

That's the end of the first inning.

Now....we will begin a new inning.....
I'm not ready to give up the offer of friendship to this new year yet.

I have to say that New Year's Eve was my favorite in many years.
Chelsea and Chadd had offered for available co-workers to come over for the evening.
The plan was to watch a movie and play games until it was time to watch the ball drop.
In reality we ate Poppyseed Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Salad and Brownies. 
Then the guitars came out.
What followed was a wonderful time of Worship in song.
Then some sharing followed by a time of prayer.
Then back to song.
Simply Delightful!
Finally we watched the movie, Inside Out.
When it was done it was time to ring in 2016.

There is much unknown about the upcoming year.

There are many hopes.

Chelsea and Chadd have a wedding date in May.
We are so looking forward to it and with so much time to plan
we alternate between feeling ready enough for it to happen tomorrow
and the nerves of how will we get it all done.
I know, that really doesn't make sense but we keep having wonderful ideas.
It will all come out in the end ....just as it should.

We also have hopes to get our basement reclaimed from the water damages
that ravaged it nearly a year ago now.
Money, illness and time are all factors in that timeline.

The theater where the family works is on it's final day of the Christmas Show
and then will go into a crazy two month schedule of getting Samson ready for the stage.
This means that Warren, Michael, Jonathan and Chadd will have altered schedules
while Chelsea will be laid off for two months.
She is not happy about that but I think it will go quickly and as I'm in my 
slower season of candle stuff it will be a wonderful opportunity for 
us to work and play together on wedding details.

Speaking of wedding details....
We were blessed to attend our friend Emma's wedding on December 29.
There was much to LOVE about this ceremony and the historic site
where it was held.
The building was built in the 1800's.
It looked as if it had been a church initially but has been a dinner theatre 
and is currently a venue for special events.

A few shots from that evening....
Chelsea and Emily.
The sister Chelsea has always wanted!
She really owes Mikey for getting her a great one.

Emma and Vinnie's wedding cake.

I loved the Centerpieces.

Chelsea and the Bride.
They have been friends since they were just youngsters.

Emma and Vinnie cut the cake.
They were very polite as they fed each other the first piece.

At the end of the evening there was a sparkler sendoff of the Bride and Groom.
That was a first for me and it was definitely fun.
I look forward to seeing the photos from the wedding photographers of that.

It is now time to get back into some kind of a groove.

I've taken time over the past week to read two books.


I received Forgiven for Christmas.  It's author is a dear friend of our family.
She was Mom and Chelsea's manager at work for some years
and then more recently accompanied Mom and Georgia to Peru to share this story
with the women there.

After reading Terri's book I really wanted to read Marie's book as well.
I've not met Marie but I have to tell you that the story she shares confirms
and emphasizes the amazing Grace of our Lord through the unbelievable 
events surrounding the Amish School Shooting.

You come away from both of these books wiping your eyes knowing that we cannot even 
begin to understand the why's but we surely can see that God can redeem anything 
for His purposes.

Please pray for Terri as she is fighting returned cancer in her body.
The doctors are not optimistic about her remaining time on this earth but
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if she stays longer than they expect.
She's predicting at least double their 8 month outlook.
I'm with her....and then some more, please.
In the midst of this battle Terri continues to write on her website/blog
You will not meet a more warm, caring and beautiful person
than Terri.  She radiates the love of Christ as only someone who has had
close encounters with Him can.

And so with all of these many things running through my know, a wedding past, a wedding future, friends with bigger challenges that you can begin to imagine and the blessing of a loving and supportive family we go into 2016 with optimism. 
We know that all things will not be perfect.
Some things might be super hard.
But God will be in the midst.
He will rejoice when we rejoice and He will hold us when we need to be held.

2016..the offer still stands.
Let's be friends.