Friday, October 31, 2008

Keep Your Chin Up!

These were the last words I
heard my Grandpa say and at
that it was more of a motion
than actual words.
He was too weak.

Grandpa was on his way into a
surgery from which he would
not recover.

My Grandpa was a Pastor,
a business man and a
lot of fun.

Unfortunately, we lived in
Pennsylvania and he was in
Michigan. I didn't know him
that well but I loved to hear
my Mom tell stories about him
from her youth.

Many years, though, we would
make that long trip to the North
and if it was winter he would have
built a large ice rink in his
back yard. Huge! So fun!

Anyway, I thought of that simple
thing he said that means so
"Keep your chin up!"

All over blogworld there is a sense
of doom and sadness. There is an
understandable uncertainty and fear
creeping in.

We don't know what the economy is going
to do...we don't know who will be elected
and what the fallout from that could be...
either way.

The not knowing drives us crazy.

The defenses in our brain kick in
and we try to prepare ourselves for
the worst.

Then we worry...
and fret...

Well, today my advice to myself...
and to you is...

Keep your chin up!

We are not in this alone.

God dwells within the heart of the
Believer and wants to lead us through
these challenges.

Let us act like we Believe that "All things
work together for those, who are the Called...
for our good and His purpose."
Becky's paraphrase of Romans 8:28.

Let us be an example to the world, who is
watching, that we can have a peace and a
joy that is beyond explanation.

Be Prepared.
Be Steadfast in Him.
Be ready to lend a hand
or to speak for Him to those in need.
Be content.

But above all...

Keep your chin UP!

That's from my Grandpa to me... and to you!!!!

With love,

Becky K.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Laminin - Louie Giglio

My friend, Sue, has been after me to watch this YouTube clip for a week or so now.

Last night at book club we looked at a photo of the steel remaining from one of the towers that was in the form of a cross. Sue leaned over and said, "Laminin".


She said, "I guess you didn't watch that yet?"

"Oops! I forgot."

Well, I watched it this morning...
and you have to see this.

Eight minutes you will not forget!

Book Club

Wow! What a lovely and active
discussion we had last evening.

There were eight of us.

We were in agreement that there
was a lot to love about the book
by Leslie Haskin, Between Heaven and
Ground Zero.

Our conversation first took us back to where
we were and how we found out about the attacks
on our soil on September 11, 2001. It turned
out that my big mouth had been the first alert
for two people in the room. One was my Mom and
she was working, at that time, in an office at
Penn State University. She ended up being the
one in their office to turn on a TV in the office
lounge which their whole building utilized during
that long, unbelievable day.

I remembered how surreal it felt to watch the buildings
I kept saying out loud that this was real.
"Not a movie.
This is real."

The perspective of Leslie Haskin, in the book, was so
different from what we were able to know and see.
It was strange and yet so understandable. We agreed
that we, the readers, were wanting to "hurry her out of the building"
because we knew what was coming.

To read her testimony of knowing that she would not be
in Heaven were she to have died on that day...and that
she processed these thoughts then and there...amazing.

To know just a little bit of what she saw, felt and endured
on that day...makes you wonder how you might have handled it.

To see God in the leading and see her faith in
what would appear to be the decimation of her entire existence.
Leslie lost her home, her the aftermath
of this day.

Still, she praises God and finds herself more contented and
fulfilled than she ever was as a top executive making lots
of money and holding much power.

I highly recommend this book to you. It is available
for just $2.49 at

It is not always easy reading but Ms. Haskin has found a
way to tell this story tactfully, yet as if you were with her.

Our next book club choice will be Mistaken Identity.
I mentioned it not long ago in a post.
This book so captured my attention that
when I first began reading it, I would not put it down.
Not even to even to walk down the hall.
I confessed last night that I even had to
read it while getting ready for bed that first
night. Not easy to read and change clothes at
the same time...but when you are caught

I read coming and going for the first few

This book really makes you shake your head and wonder what
God is up to in this case...but the testimony of both families
is so strong...that may be a clue!

I am going to research some book possibilities that Kelly
suggested. At the top of her list in Kirk Cameron's Autobiography,
Still Growing. If you have read this and can
give input that would be great. As Kirk is the lead character
in Fireproof, the movie, that would give a current interest that
may bring others into the Book Club.

Speaking of Kelly...she has no internet access right now.
Wouldn't it be fun to leave her lots of "Welcome back" messages
for when she gets her computer up and running again?
Feel Free! I am going to.

Alright, I have rambled on long enough.
This is what happens when I can't sleep because of
this stupid pain.

Thanks for being here and for your thoughts and comments.

I read them and am so thankful for them...even though I may
not respond to them directly.
I do sincerely appreciate and look forward to them!!!!!


Becky K.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Wind!

It has been a long, long
time since I just screamed...
really screamed in public.

It happened yesterday, though.

We had been bowling...while dismal
by the scores, it was fun for the Grandpa Bob was doing
a little instruction for someone...
I don't remember who.

Mrs. Rabe and I got on one of my very favorite subjects...theology. Maybe that had something to do with my low score that game. A bit distracted.

Anyway, just before we left the bowling alley, The Rabes informed us that Taco Bell was giving away free tacos from 2-6pm. We were within that window of that sounded fun. Off we went for our free tacos.

Now, the wind had risen to such a fright that we were dodging pieces of limbs, trash cans and all other sorts of things on the roads...but we were not to be deterred.

Once there, Mikey wisely stayed in the car...Jonathan, Chelsea and I marched in and got our freebies...however, I had to order something else to go along with it...I just can't look THAT cheap! Jonathan would be happy to eat it...we got everything "to go" and headed back to the car...

The wind gusted alarmingly!

It was insane.

I am no small person but it took me backwards.

You know how it is when the wind is so strong in
your face that you can't catch your breath?
That was this wind yesterday.

I opened the car door but just as I was about to
get in it slammed shut catching me in the shoulder.

This would have been when I screamed.

It didn't really hurt but was so surprising.

After two tries, I finally got into the car.

We laughed so hard!

There is something freeing about just letting
your guard down and being your own self.
Screaming with surprise.

I am glad for that wind is one more
memory before these kids are all grown and out
on their own.

After we got home I was letting the dogs out and
watched the trees bend with the wind.

They were just swaying to and fro.

Makes me glad for their strong roots.

It amazes me that something we cannot see can be
so powerful...very impressive! The roar and the
feel of it on our skin lets us know it is there
and yet it is invisible to the eye. Just its
effects are shown.

Hmmm...makes me think of God.

We cannot see Him.

But we know He is there.

His effects are in everything.

Sometimes He roars...but more often He is quiet
and gentle as a soft breeze on a summer's evening.

Sometimes it is good to scream with glee in His

Sometimes I just want to snuggle up and worship
Him in quiet.


The wind.



I am thankful for the reminders in
nature that declare the power of God!

Have a joyful day!

Becky K.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do NOT Take my 401K!!!

The latest brainchild of some Democrats
in Congress...

How about we take over the Americans' 401k's
and make them have a starting value that they
would have had in August...before the market
losses. We will then guarantee 3%
on that money and give it back as a lump sum
upon retirement.

I don't think so!

I, for one, think that is a terrible idea!

I expect the value of (my/our) 401k to fluctuate.
This means that because we continue to contribute
during these lean times...we are buying shares at a
huge discount...we have time for the market to recover
before Warren will retire and we will do better than
3 percent!!!!!

I do not want the Government messing around with
my retirement plans!

No Way!

Don't you love how they have handled Social Security?

Want to trust them with your own private savings?

Not me!

No Thanks!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Wanting to Cry

This is a terrible Monday morning post.

I know it!

I don't want to be down on a Monday...
I want to be happy and uplifting.

But then life creeps in and I have to
be real. If I am not real here, why
write the blog?

The pain has gotten so much worse.

I don't even want to get out of bed.

A huge pain pill and a long, long
sleep sound really good right now.

Not gonna happen.

We have a shot at a full school day today...
no one works... except Mikey, after lunch.

I have candles to make.

A house that needs attention.

My Mother-in-law, Georgia,
and I spent a few hours in the ER with Mikey
on Saturday night for a gusher of a bloody nose.
He gets bloody noses frequently but this was the
first that needed immediate medical attention.
Poor guy! He was was I.
I'll leave out the gory details.

We watched Penn State beat Ohio on the TV in the
waiting room after they handed the kid a basin and
more gauze and sent us to wait.

From there another TV was turned on to the Phillies
in the World Series...we watched that across the room
until our pager went off. By then the bleeding had
stopped but, after much delay, the Doctor,(a Red Sox fan),
finally cauterized the offensive vessel and we were on our way home shortly
after 1:00 am. I will contact my family doctor and see if he will order an
MRI on my hip to be sure the pain is not coming from there.

I will do the things that need to be done and I will pray for the
grace to do things well and cheerfully.

Wow! I am asking a lot of Him.

Maybe I should just pray that I can get things done...

Then I think of my friend Deena and I am put to shame.

That is a serious trial...Cancer.

She is such a trooper.

You should go over and sign her guest book.
That would be such a blessing to her.

So, all things in perspective,
my struggles aren't that bad.

Thanks for putting up with this morning's


Becky K.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Rainy Fall Day

Rainy Days by Bogna Kuczerawy
Rainy Days


It is one of those dark and drizzly days
that make you just want to settle in with
a good book and a cup of coffee or cocoa.

The kids have hopes that the farm they work
for will close and it will just be family

We shall see....

Maybe we'll go out looking for a photo opportunity like
this one from

What do you like about rainy days?

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Much Needed Break

Thursdays are always crazy!

Just insane, really!

For another couple of weeks
Jonathan and Chelsea will work
Thursday mornings and then I will
grab them and head for co-op.

This means that we stop for a
bite to eat on the way. We have
just enough time to drive through
and get there on time.

Yesterday, I got the brilliant idea
to use a coupon from the coupon book
that came in the mail recently...that is
important...the book came recently, to
go to Dominos for a buy one get one free deal.

Great! They all love pizza!
The location closest to our co-op was one
that participated...miracle of miracles.

I went a different way to make sure I did not
miss the Dominos. But, upon getting to the
address listed on the coupon...there was a
Metro Pizza...not a Dominos.


Now we are certainly going to be late!

What to do.

Thank the Lord for cell phones.

I called the number on the back of the
coupon. Mr. Man who had taken the order
answered. I asked him where he was.

Oh, he was about 8 minutes the other direction.

I told him what was on the back of the coupon.
"Well, we haven't been there for about 3", (yes
that was THREE"), "years!"

I was so frustrated that I took a wrong turn and
ended up in what the kids call a "perfectsville".
You know all of the manicured lawns and all of
the houses look exactly the same.
All of the roads had the word Oak in them and they
all go in circles....endlessly!

Finally after much aggravation we passed the house
with the castle in the back yard once again and knew
we were about to be freed from this torment.

On to the next Road on the right with the word Oak in
it and off to the Dominos.

The pizza was cold and we were late.

This was sooooo much fun!

Co-op went pretty well.

I love my friends!

They are just so accommodating to my
every frame of mind.

What? You are a little stressed?
Why are you sitting there all alone?
You must need to talk.

So, we chatted away all first class
period when I suddenly heard the thunder
of many feet changing classes on the
stairwell and realized my next torture
was about to begin.

Actually, it was fun.

The 7-up choir learned a new song

They are doing so well with it.

Then we went back to In Christ Alone and I
glanced into the hall to see the original choir
director...the professional one...standing there.
This woman moved to Nebraska. I was never to have
been humiliated by having her watch me not know what
to do with my hands while "directing" a choir.

She was safely days away. Oh, no! There she stood.
Smiling....what did that smile mean?????

I waved and smiled real big!

I'm not going to let her see me sweat!

Finally, that class ended and in came my
45 4th-6th graders. I must say the change in
them has been dramatic. They went from mumblers,
fidgeters, complainers to real honest to goodness
singers. I have real hope for them in this concert
now. I even thought they had come far enough to teach
the altos a new part. And some of them got it!

My poor helper who has offered to play the piano held
her sweet baby boy in one arm and played with the other.

We must have looked hysterical...and the whole time I kept
wondering where that former choir director was....
was she standing in the stairwell...where I stand when I want
to hear what the other choir director is doing? I like to
"glean" ideas from the experts in the field. I am such a
faker. The only thing I have in common with the professionals
is my love of music, knowledge of notes and ....guess that's about it.

I just wish I knew what to do with my hands....I can do that thing
they do... but it is so not me!

Oh well...

Now you are still wondering what the break was that is promised in the
title of this post?

We went out to dinner with the Moms.

We had a nice time.

It was not the first choice of restaurant because that one would not seat us.
It wasn't that they didn't like us...because they never met us. They simply were
too busy to come over to the little podium and say, "We will be with you shortly".

SO...we meandered over to the little restaurant beside it and then ordered Mikey a
pizza to go from the take out of "the most desired place". If you are counting, yes, that made two meals of pizza for him yesterday. So what! lol He has a cold and was cranky. I am feeding his cold.

Did I mention that at this second restaurant... the default of the Moms from our co-op was working...I did not know she worked there...but she happened to point out that some of our boys had broken a branch from a pine tree at the church we meet at? Well, that was the first I had heard of that. One of the boys being my own Mikey... this necessitated a call to our building coordinator who assured me that those trees are scheduled to be torn down so all is well....but...those boys had better not be in that tree again!!!
Thus sayeth the Mommy and the Co-op 7-up Coordinator who are one and the same.

I came home and did NOT work on candles.

I went to bed and began to read the book written by the two families who had their daughters switched after the tragic Taylor University Van crash, "Mistaken Identity".

I read until my eyes would not stay open any more. From the first sentence I was pulled into this book. It is an unbelievable mistake that was made. Unbelievable. it is back to real life. I just hope that I have to wait somewhere, for someone, so I can read more of that book!


Becky K.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Grabbing the camera for an impromptu photo shoot...making cards...making jewelry...
being crafty...

Heading into the woods with Nerf Guns and anticipation of "war"...

Ahhh to be a kid again....


Becky K.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Did you ever just shake your head
after something that seemed out of
place in your life suddenly came to
seem useful or purposeful?

Often times God's Providential
working in our lives looks,
on the surface, to be cruel or

It never is!

That perception comes from our
finite minds only grasping at
what we can see and understand.

Often times the Providence of God
is enjoyable and obvious. But
very often it is better viewed through
the rear view mirror.

There are many examples of this.
One that I was reminded of this morning
as I was working on the Thanksgiving Program was
this. It is the story of "Squanto". That is
our name for him, his full name was Tisquantum.

This man was an Indian on the East Coast
of what we now call America. He, through
no fault of his own is reported to have been
captured and taken to Europe three times to
serve as a slave. It was there that he learned
our language. Somehow he made his way back to
his native land.

It was in time to be one of the people getting
credit for helping the "Pilgims" survive.
Teaching them how to fish and hunt. To grow their
needed crops in this strange land.

To all of us, his time in slavery seems harsh and
cruel...definitely horrible!
But in time of need and in order to establish
this Country his knowledge and experience were vital.

I see God's hand of Providence in bringing
Squanto front and center.

In my own life I have experienced God's Providence in a
way I did not enjoy...

When we found out we were expecting our first born we were
so excited.
Just thrilled.
Soon after Warren got a new a new city.
We had to move.
We put our little home up for sale and moved in with
family...Warren's Grandmother.

This was rough...but we were sure things would go quickly and
we would be in our new home in plenty of time for the birth of
this child.

Things did not go smoothly.

Warren's Grandmother and I did not live well together.

I was hormonal.
Warren was conflicted.

Warren's parents invited us to move in with them.

We made the change.

Months went by and our home did not sell.
Thanksgiving, house to decorate...
just boxes where all the beauty should have been.

Finally we came to March. The anticipated time
of Baby's arrival. I was devastated. I wanted so
much to be bringing my baby home to a perfect nursery
and all of those things.

It was not to be.

Jonathan was born with a tragic birth defect and nearly
did not live. After major surgery and a miraculously quick
healing time we brought Jonathan back to my in-laws home.

Where I can see God's hand in all of this?

The new job...we were now living in a city with a NICU...the new insurance covered everything, the old would not have....

Staying with family...Every day for the two weeks Jonathan was in the hospital I left in the morning and stayed with him all day...the house never got dirty...the meals were always prepared...Georgia took me back and forth. Georgia is an RN and was a comfort to me after Jonathan came home. Knowing that she would help me watch for complications was great!

As Jonathan healed our home sold. We moved into a great place when he was about 3 or 4 months old.

That period in our lives was tough!!!

But, if I knew then what I know now...I would not have
fought it so hard.

God knew what I did not know.

He acted on the knowledge He had. Not on my whining and

I am so thankful!

The Providence of God is a very, very good thing!

It was good for the Pilgrims and it is good for us today!
Watch for God's working in your life.
You'll be blessed!

Becky K.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Church that Plays Together....

Bet you can't figure out what in the world this is about....

This is a rocket that Mike built.

The first and the second photos came together under the artistic hand of my friend, B. to become this....

Just another zany photo for the church website. I will very shortly be compiling a section on this website that is all about our Pastor's love of rocketry. He and the guys absolutely love to build and launch rockets. It is a bonding thing, I guess.

I just think it is hysterical to see what Mike and B. have come up with.

The night we were at the church taking photos against the green screen poor Mom nearly hurt herself laughing at us.

It did look totally ridiculous...but isn't this fun?

It has no Spiritual value that I can think of...but it is fun and reflects that we are a church that plays together. These pictures were from a rocket launch a week ago Sunday.

I did not go to this rocket launch because I stayed at the house to direct people to the launch site if they showed up at our place. However, I have seen enough of these to know how much fun was had by all involved. The only negative thing I heard was that it was getting cold. That happens this time of the year...and it makes for perfectly blue skies that make the rockets look great!

At least that is what I have heard...many times!

We have found it so important for there to be activities that capture the attention of multiple age brackets. This is one that is loved by young and old. It is a great activity to bring the family together and is also an outreach to the community. It allows someone to come and get to know us without being threatened by their first exposure being inside the church building. I imagine that must be threatening for some...being raised in the church it is hard for me to relate to that.

Anyway...the guys do this mostly because they love it. They have no other motives. I try to justify it and make it have value because I just don't build and launch rockets for fun...not my thing...and that is O.K.

Blessings on your day!

Becky K.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Busy, Busy, Busy!

That is me lately.

It has been so fun, though.

Want to see a peek at what has
been keeping me busy?

This is one thing...
Hot chocolate candles.

And making marshmallows.
See that funky marshmallow mold.
Love it!
They look sooooo real!
People always want to know if they are real.

I made candles any available moment this weekend, and then there was Saturday evening with the family. Fun! We met Chelsea at her job to hang out for an hour until Jonathan got done...I bought 3 pounds of fudge there. That gave us 12 flavors!! This stuff is incredible. We took it to church to share at the fellowship meal. Some is left over and I swear that it calls to me.

Then we headed over to Gap. We had a fancy schmantzy dinner at the McDonald's.
Have to love their value menu!

After that we visited the Weis (Grocery) Market where we purchased the ingredients to make Mac and Cheese for the Fellowship Meal.

So, you can see that my offerings for the fellowship meal were calorie rich and awfully healthy....ahem ....yummy!

Sunday found us welcoming visitors at church. There were two lovely families. We were so delighted that one of them stayed for lunch. The other couple had a prior commitment.

Mikey shared his roses with us and I made a lovely bouquet for the welcome table. I cannot get over how wonderful his roses are still. Even after a lot of wind and some much cooler weather.

Soooo pretty. Even this morning when I took this picture in my dining room.

Anyway, back to yesterday.

The fellowship meal went long yesterday...but then everything went long yesterday...Sunday School and church....but they were sooo good! The reason they went long was because there was a lot of participation in the discussions in sunday school and in the prayer time in the Worship service. We have an open prayer time and those who wish to can pray out loud. We open with prayers of thanksgiving and then pray for the needs. It is sweet.

The other reason it all went long was because we had communion. With more people coming to church it just takes longer. That is fine because it is a wonderful time of reflection and quiet time with the Lord.

After church and the meal we came home to "rest" a bit before our Sunday crowd came over to join us. Some friends of ours, George and Sheila, from the State College area came to stay with Mom for a few days so I was delighted to get to go and visit with them for a while until the gang got there.

Sheila was often at the hospital with us while Daddy was in his final days. She was the "candy lady". She brought bags of Hershey's mini candy bars and was so sweet and comforting. Up until that point she had been Mom's friend from church and Bible Study....but from that time on she has been my friend as well. Love her!!!!

We enjoyed a sweet time last evening with the families here. It is unbelievable how lively a conversation can get among people who have spent so much time together already in a day. Oh, it was fun! And it was loud. There were seven adults and twelve children here most of the time with a pop in from Mom, Sheila and George. I think we scared them off with all of the noise.

We missed the other family that we are used to having with us...Kelly and Duane. But, I know they will join us again when they can. Next week we have chosen another house to invade...looking forward to it!

O.k., Mrs. Rabe...I am ready to do that "fun" little game you sent my way.

I have been tagged to tell six random things about don't really care, do you?

Oh well, here goes...

1. My hair color is all messed up because I first went to the hairdresser's for a haircut and was met by a Russian Mennonite Hairdresser, named Alla who told me that I looked "mousy" and insisted that she color my hair and would not cut it. $95 later it looked "not mousy" and much blonder. That was ok...but not being willing to spend that much again when it needed touched up, I went back to the "box" I used to use and now am not happy with the color...I am spoiled. But I don't look "mousy".

2. I have one brother that I used to be able to push around when I was mad at him until one day, as a teen, he was bigger than me and shoved me harder. I haven't pushed him since. I even love him now. I am so proud of him and am glad he is my brother.

3. I love all things political and newsy. It is a great day for me if I can just putter around the house taking turns on the different news networks to hear the different perspectives and agendas.

4. I am a student of people and their personalities. I love to watch interactions and conversations. I love to see the expressions, the way people process information differently and how they go about their life. I suppose blogging lets us do that in a new way. It is cool. People are cool.

5. I never passed Algebra I. I took it two times. Once in High School and once in College. Weird? Maybe. But I just do not get it.

6. I have to sleep with my feet out from under the covers. My neck has to be all covered up...ever since that Missionary came to the church when I was a kid and talked about vampire bats in Brazil...but my feet have to be out.

There...random and strange things about me. I am not tagging anyone in particular but have fun with this.

Now, Miss Paula....all the way out there on the West Coast...has blessed me with an absolutely adorable award.

Check this out!!!!!

This one comes with questions....

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood? Not really. We moved a lot in the early years since Daddy was a Pastor. I have one friend, Karen, that I often think about. I really should get in touch with her.
2. What do you value most about your friends? Fellowship and laughter.
3. Are your friends your sounding boards? Sometimes... well o.k... often.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with your friends? Time hanging out as families...or occasionally a trip to the Cracker Barrel or some other fun spot.

I want to give this award to one of my newest friends...Kelly. She thinks so much like me that it is scary sometimes to watch. It is also a huge blessing to have her at church. She pitches in and gets things done.

This post has gone on and on. I guess this is the result of too long without posting...days...and well only the weekend.

Hope you have a totally blessed day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pumpkins, Mums and Cosmos

This is what my flower bed has come to.

I pulled out weeds, and the annuals that
were spent.

Added some straw and pumpkins.

This is what I got.

This massive mum came from a huge plant near my Mom's front door.
She gave me a small clump last year...and look at this giant!
I will have to divide it again.
I love it's vibrant colors.

I am ashamed to show you this poor little display
but it is all I have time for and is more than
I usually do.

The boys can't wait until the pumpkins are done so they
can destroy them....
Poor pumpkins.
Well, more bang for the $1 per pumpkin
that I

You should see the end of the year cosmos. They are huge!

One of these flowers nearly fills the palm of my hand.
So what if the colors don't match the mums.
I love them still.

Hey! Have an awesome Day.
Enjoy it!
Give someone a hug and tell them that you care.

Becky K.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I bet you thought I was going to stay
Well, today I am not.

I may get to see Sarah Palin on Saturday
so if that happens...maybe the Politics will
come back out. Just because that would be

The last time I tried to see a major political
figure, it was President Bush in 2004. He was
at the Lancaster Airport and I walked over a
mile one way, went through security and then
stood cross-legged in a port-a-potty line while
he spoke. I could see him from such a distance
that he looked like one of those Little People from
Fisher Price.

So...I am thinking twice...but it would still be
very cool!

But, today is our usual Thursday to take kids to
work, pick them up and run to Co-op. Afterwards
we may go bowling with another family, or two.

What is unusual about today is what God is doing
with the Thanksgiving Program.
It is crazy.

We struggled so hard to find music. Then we ordered
it. It did not come in for the longest time.
Like, I got it last week.
Problem is the accompaniment track
for one of my 4-6th grade songs didn't come. We called.
Out of print for 6 months. We are welcome to call back
and order it then....nice.

Now the concert is just 4 weeks away and I am beginning a
brand new song with that choir.

The song the other choir director chose for the 2/3rd grade
choirs did not work out either so she began working on a new
one last week.

I would be troubled by all of this but I absolutely love what is filling in those spots. The 2/3rd graders will be doing Come, Ye Thankful People Come as one of their pieces and my 4/6th choir will be doing Count Your Blessings! I think we will be having some fun with this song.

This has been a very hard class.
Lots of boys who have an attitude about singing.

I nearly lost it with them last week and literally stopped to pray aloud in the middle of the class. We always open with prayer...but stopping to pray because things were not going well...that was a first.

I talked with them about how I totally understand that singing isn't every one's favorite thing to do, but that they are to do all to the Glory of God. I told them
that if I were in their class, I would hate gym, which is a mandatory class like music. I admitted that I hate to sweat!
The incredulity on those boys faces was funny.
They LOVE to sweat.
We connected.

Then we sang our Thanksgiving Medley again, and it was amazing the difference in attitude and volume.
They really sang!

As soon as we finished the song one young man very enthusiastically shouted,
"See, God is answering your prayer already!"
Thank you, Lord!
I so needed that.

I decided since we really only had the one song to work at to go ahead and play a rhythm game with them. I know that was Inspired. The kids had a blast and their attention and involvement was 100 percent.

This makes me look forward to our Spring Semester when I teach fundamentals of music in fun...and often corny...ways.

So, God is reshaping my vision for this concert. It is becoming more "Me" anyway. I love the hymns and I love having our young people learn them. The words of these songs come back to you in the best and the worst of times.

Long post today....

Hope you made it through....

May God Richly Bless You as You Go About This Day.

Becky K.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dear Senator McCain,

There are a few things I would
love to hear you say this evening.

Would you please tell this country
why it would be bad to allow folks
to take early withdrawals from their
retirement plans?

A. This money creates a level of stability
in the market.
B. People would be pulling money at the
worst possible time...for them!
C. Social Security is not going to be enough
in retirement...people had better be keeping those

How about why it is good to allow those at
70 and a half years of age to leave their money right
where it is if they don't need it? Why continue to
force them to use it?

A. Why should they have to use this money
at this point? Why force our parents and
grandparents to suffer a loss. There is no
good reason.

Could you clearly tell us how your plan
will keep jobs in America and not ship them
out to other lands?

A. When we focus on creating business and jobs
in America, we win! By requiring employers to
provide health insurance we will nip the job creation
in the bud. It is simply too much for a start-up
company to afford.(Obama's Plan) The McCain Plan for
insurance is open for some fine tuning but it beats
the alternative, hands down. And while you are at it,
can't we do something about the skyrocketing costs for anything
medical? We are pricing ourselves right out of healthcare.

B. When we increase taxes on small business owners,
(Obama's Plan), they take those businesses offshore...
or don't start them to begin with. You are so right to
say that we need to stimulate small business growth and to
do that we must not increase their tax burden. Which, by the
way those businesses who do make it, even with higher taxes,
will survive by passing that cost on to me.
I don't think I care for that!

C. We can learn from history, raising taxes stunts growth.
Lowering taxes stimulates the economy and creates greater
cash flow, which equals money to our Treasuries.

I would love to hear you remind us about your stand on our
Educational options.

A. Tell us that you won't take away our freedom to choose how
we educate our children. We want all of the options to remain
on the table.

Remind us that the decision of who will be our next President has
not yet been made.

A. The mass media thinks they know...they have worked hard to ensure it.
Acorn thinks they have it all sealed up. If you can't win the right way...just add a few million voters to the rolls.
But the American People have not risen up and come out to the voting
booth it is not the time for anyone to declare victory or begin
speaking presumptuously.

Please reinforce the truth that dangers still stalk our Nation.

A. There are enemies just biding their time. An attack is not at
all unlikely. Tell us about the plans that our security have thwarted.
Remind us that we need someone with military experience and backbone.
Please don't let us down by thinking that we are tired of hearing about
this. We need to be reminded that the freedoms we enjoy are not guaranteed.

Please Senator McCain, Have some fire in your belly tonight. You do not
have to be just need to tell us like it is. Do not be
afraid to promote yourself and your plans.
That is what this is all about.

Tell us like you have been telling the people across America in your stops.
Be passionate.
Let it rip!

I'll be voting for you so I hope you'll win over those who haven't made up their
minds yet...tonight is your chance, Mr. Senator.

I'll be praying for you.

Becky K.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Market Fundamentals - My opinions

I enjoyed watching the Dow surge was fun.

Our crisis is not over.

The buying frenzy, however,
points out the differences
between the markets of today
and those of years past.

Speaking generally...

In years past there were only
a fraction of the people involved
in investing, because those who
invested were the wealthy with
the ability to begin with large

The general population may have purchased
a share in this company or that but they
were not exposed to the whole market as
is possible today with the variety of mutual
funds, retirement plans, annuities and other
tools available.

The popularity of these retirement plans and
annuities changes the investment landscape, as
well. The penalties are just too high for the
average person to pull before they are 59 and
a there is a lot of money that will
stay invested that in years past would have
been removed until things got better.

This adds stability.

Aren't you glad?

Man, if this is stability!

The other basic fundamental about our economy
that will help to keep us afloat is that we are
in the process of handing wealth from the baby
boomers to the next generation. This generation
is one that is informed in the ways of investing
and who will be willing to do so.

The baby boomers will be passing unprecedented amounts
to their children and grandchildren over the next
ten to twenty years. Much of this money currently sits
in banks at very low earnings but will come into the market
or be spent in home renovations, new cars or other economically
helpful items.

We will get through this crisis.
It will hurt.
Many will lose their jobs.
Our way of life may change somewhat...
but the entire system is not likely to come
crashing down because there are safeguards,
there is volume,
and we are better educated today.

I have been encouraged as I drive through our little
town to have seen five "sold" signs on homes this week.

People are shopping for homes... and buying.

The industries that are likely to be hit hard
are the auto industry...most of us don't HAVE
to buy that new car and new home sales may stay lower
for a while...while buyers choose to buy existing

Medical/Pharmaceutical will likely stay strong as the
population ages.

The rich will continue to travel and buy their toys,
the middle class will tighten their belts a bit and
wait on major purchases until they feel "safe".

These are my predictions.

Don't expect that this amazing day on Wall Street marks
the end of the volatility...but I do not see that the
sky is falling...the clouds are low but not falling.

I have my concerns, politically, about this election and
its effects on our economy. There are some very scary
fundamental differences between the candidates that will
effect the long term health of our financials.

The further we head down the track to big government and
socialism the more at risk each individual is.

It is concerning to me to hear how many things Barak Obama
wants to "invest in" for us...while raising taxes on those
who are able to make money, hire workers and fund the economy.

Bad news.

It concerns me every time I hear that our health care will be
mandatory. Many jobs won't be will simply
be too expensive.

There will always be someone who is in more need that we are and
we will be expected to hand our wealth down...until supposedly we
are all equal.

This country was founded on the principal that it is a free and open
economy and we are invited to work hard and do well for ourselves and
our children.

Somehow we have gotten off that track and into an entitlement mindset.

I hope and pray that we would wake up and come back to the idea that
we work for the things we need,
that we would change the laws that allow our
government to spend our money in unrelated addendum to bills,
that we would have an attitude of caring for those around us that is voluntary...
not mandated,
that we would require our lawmakers to work for us as a whole...
not special interest groups who lobby using our tax dollars,
that there would be an outcry against frivolous lawsuits
that clog up the system and cause businesses and doctors
to change the way they operate in order to save their
own skin.

We have slid down a slippery slope.

Let us pray that we can still climb back up.

If this offends you...I am very sorry.
It is how I feel.
There are very basic truths that are being
ignored by both candidates and therefore by
America at large.

I am not concerned about one big "crash"!

I am concerned about the overall health of
our way of thinking...and doing business.

What do you think?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Willow Valley Fall Fest

Saturday was so much fun!

Beverly and I got a good start
on the day and were set up in
plenty of time.

The organizers gave us an excellent
spot beneath a large, very large willow

This was great as it meant I did not have to
figure out the canopy. Yay!

This was the view from our stand...

Isn't it gorgeous?

In between the customers we caught up on
the happenings in our lives. Beverly has
given over the business to me since she has
moved so I don't see her very often anymore.

It was so good to be able to chat and
share like old times.

I was disappointed in that last year the tables
were covered and had skirts while this year that
wasn't provided. I had just planned to supplement
and decorate the table tops with some Fall fabric.
Thankfully we had our case with back up
supplies in it and made do. Not what I would have
done if I was expecting to do it.

It did not seem to hurt sales. We did very well.

Around noon we had to consolidate to one table as
all of our Coke candles were gone and many of the
votives and gel candles had been sold, as well.

We were amused at this because last year it was
all about jar candles and we couldn't sell the just never know.

Here are just a few of shots of our table.
These were taken later in the day after our

I made a woman very happy by selling her one of
our Coke pillows. I purchased two this week at
a yard sale to draw attention to the Coke candles.
I had one in our display.
She pleaded with me to sell her my pillow.

So I did.

She screamed and gave me a hug.

Too funny!

Its the little things.

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Craft Shows

They are unique.

It is community.

Every show is different but
with comforting similarities.

Today I am at a Resort's Fall Fest.

This year I have chosen to do just
two craft shows.

It is just too much work.
Almost like setting up a store
each time.

But, I love the atmosphere and cannot
seem to stop going.

The vendors come in with an eye to each
other's booth, checking out the competition
before opening up to complete friendliness.

Of course, we are all intent on getting our
wares shown in their best light in only an
hour's time. So this could be an explanation...

However, without fail, as the day nears noon
the vendors begin to become friendly. There
is chatting...and offers to "cover" for someone
as they take their breaks.

It is community.

We are in it together.

If the day is going well much laughter is

A hard, low sales day will bring grumbles and
complaints against the organizers. This makes
me shudder because sometimes things just happen.

Sometimes it is no one's fault.

I love the customers. Watching them
come and go. I know who will buy almost
before they reach the table. There is
something about the way their face lights
up when they see the candles.

There is a flicker of interest.
They come and some have to touch.
Others are afraid to.
We encourage touching.
It is like a little dance of
Sniffing, of the candles, is also highly encouraged.
When one touches and sniffs it is
hard to walk away. One of those
candles will demand to be taken home.
They just do.

I am almost packed and ready to go.

There is a shelter to build when we get there
to keep the sun off the candles...this has me
nerved up. I am not good with these things and
really hope there is enough time to do this and
get a very nice display in order.

I found some Coke-a-Cola pillows to add to the display
featuring our Cola candles. I have wanted to have
something to attract attention to them, because when
people smell them...they want them.

My business partner, Beverly, will join me for the day.
She is all but done with the business after moving
into a Retirement Community, but I twisted her arm
into coming today...for old time's sake.

We will have a great time.

The weather is perfect and I am excited to
get moving on this day.


Becky K.

Friday, October 10, 2008


When we returned home from vacation I was so
happy to find a little package all for me
in our mailbox. Brenda, from Coffee Tea Books and Me,
had drawn my name for her book giveaway.

The book and CD are Sally Clarkson's materials
about educating our children and doing it in
a way that builds up their mind, body and spirit.
In fact the CD set is called, Educating the Wholehearted
Child. The book is more for the Mom and building her is called The Mom Walk, Keeping in step with
God's Heart for Motherhood.

While I have heard some of the material on the CD,
it has been a while and I am anxious to revisit it
at this new stage of homeschooling...
and I know this book will bless my heart for I know
just enough about Sally Clarkson to know that she
is genuine and forthright. I love people like that!

Thank you, Brenda!!!!
You have blessed me.
I hope you are feeling much better now.

While I am on the subject of books...
I did some reading while we were in the mountain
cabin, much to my children's frustration. Can you
imagine that they begrudged me this time? Even when
we did all of those other things together. Oh well,
I ignored them just enough to read two books and begin
a third.

I read Terri Blackstock's Evidence of Mercy. I loved this book.
Not because it had much, if any, educational value but because it
was truly entertaining. I haven't been doing a lot of reading
for pleasure lately, other than the book club and it was just fun
to read a good story. I finished this in an afternoon and evening.

The plot is that of a young female attorney who is having to make
some life changes after the death of her father. One of these changes
is selling her private airplane. The man who is interested in purchasing
the plane is a rich brat. Together they survive a plane crash and begin
a journey of anger, hurt, healing and forgiveness.

There is a person determined to get rid of the heroine of the story and
other subplots that were interesting and really held my attention.

Then I read These Tangled Threads by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller.
This was a little harder to get into because it is the third book in a
series. I have not read the first two books. It is doable, I just had
to get up to speed on who the characters were and the back story. I have long been a fan of historical fiction so this is a typical read for me.

The setting is historical New England in 1833 during the time of the Industrial Revolution. The main characters are young women who work in the mills. There are many issues dealt with including mill life, the struggles between American Businessmen and the conflicts with their counterparts in England, Slavery and Women's Rights. I found this book to be entertaining and educational. A reminder of the rich history of my nation.

Finally, a little bit of mystery from Agatha Christie. What catches me and holds my attention in her writing is the attention to the personality and human character of the suspect pool and all around. Granted you can only do so many murder mystery plots before it begins to get stale...but there is enough there to hold my interest if I am in a mountain cabin and I have read all of the other books available. No, really, they are fun.

Well, I must be running....
Hope you have a wonderful day.

Becky K.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We are Sooooo Back!

I guess I should explain that

We did have fun...
and it was lovely.

We did lots of things and
still ran out of things to do
and ended up looking at each other
with bored expressions on our faces.

I think it would have been fine if we were
the type to go to bed at dark-thirty.

But Uno is not as fun with five people as it
usually is with 10.

We really missed our usual
group. I guess they will be happy to know that.

Eating is not as much fun when there aren't as
many around...

Pit was still Crazy

and Chelsea and I creamed
Jonathan at Scrabble...not really fair as she and
I love reading, spelling and other word games.

Chelsea and I knitted one side of a potholder.
This was a real accomplishment since I haven't
knitted since I was her age and she never had.
We would take turns. It was fun. She is working
on the other side now and then she will crochet them

Mikey and Warren rode the dirt bikes once per day.
They were doing everything in their power to not
get shot by an arrow, accidentally or otherwise.

Many hunters were out.

They were serious.

So, the rides were late afternoon after most
hunters were in for the day.

We made S'mores by the fire

that the boys would make daily. They gathered the wood, chopped it, stacked it and then burned it. I loved these s'mores the best ever because we made them in the daylight. The marshmallows were toasted to perfection and they weren't too gooey.
You can appreciate that when you can see what you are doing. I always wonder what all ends up in a S'more in the dark.

I tried to take a picture of one for you...but it did not turn you'll have to take my word for it! YUM!

We took a trip to Coudersport for the express
purpose of getting online. Warren needed to see
if he had won an eBay auction and I needed my e-mail
fix. I did not respond unless it was time critical.
Only one was and that was regarding the Book Club!
Sure glad I got that one! There is a sweet cafe
with wi-fi and we got our money's worth, some pie,
fries and milkshakes. Our waitress must have been
chuckling at our poor family huddled around the

While we were there I got a picture of this house.
I cannot decide if it makes me want to buy it and restore
it...or and far. Can't you just see it all
fixed up, though???? Sigh...

Other days we just "had" to ride down to Wharton for some ice cream cones.
It is tradition!
These cones are two scoops, large scoops for $1.50.
It is Perry's Ice Cream and it is simply "The Best!"
You may argue...but only until you try it...then you
will know too!
The other part of this tradition is that you have to take
the truck. Grandpa Gene used to take the kids and they
loved it! We missed him boatloads this trip!
Grandpa Gene, these pics are for you...It is so hard to
comprehend that you aren't ever going to do that again!

Chelsea actually got into the water. This year she was the only one.

Jonathan got close

...but it was like ice!
I guess the boys are growing fact Mikey had his
16th birthday while we were there. He did not want cake
but wanted Oreos instead so we dipped Oreos in milk together in
honor of this big birthday. Too funny! He just shook
his head as if to say..."How in the world did I come to
be born into this family!"

Check out some shots I took in the yard around our cabin.
Just little things, but so pretty.

Well, there are more pictures. I guess the deciding factor in whether I post them or not will relate to exciting things happening here...or not. I am going to be busy over the next few days with co-op and candles. I have a show on Saturday and many fundraiser orders expected. So...if I am scarce until Sunday or'll understand...won't you?


I have missed being here and I cannot wait to get around to chat with Ya'll.

Becky K.