Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Attention Bloggers in Pa, MD, NY or NJ

I have just sent out the initial e-mail with
proposed dates to those who have responded
so far to the Longwood Gardens Blogger Meet-up.

It is not too late to join us.

Send me an e-mail at beckypfa (@) yahoo. com
and Let me know the name of your blog and be sure
to mention "Bloggers" and "Longwood" in your subject line.

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hazardous Sunday

It started as a very normal day.

It was a bit frustrating to find that
the ham I intended to take for the
Fellowship Meal was way too big for
my crock pot. This caused a few minutes
of frustration as I cut it off the bone
into smaller chunks. I was concerned that
cooking without the protective skin would
make it like leather...but I was out of
time and options.

Thankfully, it was great. A bit of Maple
Syrup over it before cooking it on low all
morning and all was fine.

That leaves me with a very meaty ham bone
to cook off and work into a soup or casserole.

The Projector at church decided that it only
wanted to produce purple colors. So, this was
a bit frustrating to Warren and Mike, who work
so hard to make things nice. I think it is just
excited about Easter and will fix itself after
Easter passes.
Probably not!

After the Fellowship Meal we were sitting around
chatting about life, parenting, kids...
and one family who had left returned looking for
others to go hiking with them. They said it
was very warm outside. That caused me to remember
the weather warning I heard earlier. The forecaster
has said that the warmer it got in the afternoon the
more severe the storms we could expect.

They were right!

No sooner had the rest of my family pulled out of
the driveway to go hike at a local lake and I was
headed to Lancaster to meet a friend for dinner than
I heard we were under a tornado warning. The skies
ahead were ominous. This was particularly strange
because our skies were blue with puffy white clouds.

I decided to turn around and go home to call Warren.
I sincerely doubted they were listening to a radio and
there was nothing to indicate the danger in the direction
they were heading. He had our one cell phone.

After making the call to him I called my friend who was
experiencing the storm. Over the next few minutes she
saw serious downpours, hail and a double rainbow.

I watched the special coverage on a local channel.
This was a major line of storms. It was hitting
Ephrata particularly hard. Thankfully, our friends
from church who live up that way were still in our
area and not on the road.

Finally, the storm passed just to our North. I went
out and took these pictures of the clouds.

They cannot capture the intensity and the three-D effect I saw.

If you look carefully, you can see the birds that were
having a wonderful time "surfing" the windy currents.

This morning on the news there is footage of destroyed
homes and injuries from the northern Lancaster County
area. We will find out later today if it was a tornado
or just high wind. I'm guessing tornado as it picked up
trailers and slammed one onto a car. However, we will

The family came pulling in as I left to meet my friend
for a belated dinner at El Serano. We waited to be seated
for about an hour and a half.
It had been a very long time since
Melissa and I have made a Mexican food run so we didn't mind the
time to chat. The food was great and it was the final day
of a half price special on everything on the menu. So we
splurged on appetizers and dessert. Yum!

I'll be eating the fajitas that I carried home later today.
Love leaving with a box. It means good stuff to enjoy later.

I do hope today is a bit less stressful.
However, if life were always calm I know I
would get bored. I am just crazy like that.

Now, to begin a new week.
Kids to teach, a refrigerator to clean out
and an internship application
to Longwood Gardens that will be
completed with Mikey. We will send it out
very, very soon...with fingers crossed.
In the meantime a co-worker of Warren's has
asked Mikey to consult on a landscape design
for her back yard. The request came out of
the blue and has really gotten him excited!

Fun days ahead!

Have a wonderful Monday!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good Morning

Look what Mary made me do for our
bulletin cover this morning....

Well, she didn't force me or anything.
Just kind of inspired it.

If you click on her name in the first sentence
you will be taken to her post with the
link to Big Huge Labs.

Mary always does such beautiful mosaics.
Now, I did this one on the fly because we
had to get to the church for music practice
but I think this will be a great tool for
future bulletins. To be able to play with
different color families, themes, etc.

Fun, fun, fun!

Thanks Mary!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bloggers Will Meet at Longwood Gardens

Mrs. Rabe, Kelly, Chelsea and I are interested
in meeting other bloggers at Longwood Gardens
for a day of getting to chat and tour the

We would like to do this in April or May
when the Spring Gardens are in full bloom.

If you would be interested email me,
beckypfa (@) yahoo.com,
with your blog address and days that are better
for you. Please put Bloggers and Longwood in the
Subject line so I don't delete you...it
could happen if your message goes to my
trash bin.

We will not be posting the day or time on
any of our blogs for security reasons.
You have to go through me.

Jill was our inspiration as she recognized
the tower in my Just Imagine post and said
she would like to go again soon.

This is a little bit of what it looked like
at Longwood last March.

When we went back a little later the bulb gardens were open.
I must not have had my camera because I can't find any photos
of that day.

We have gone all through the year and have never been disappointed.

So, If you are interested in joining us let me know.

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

It is in His Blood

always pushing the limits.

I do not take these photos!
Jonathan and Chelsea are recruited
for photo shoots such as these.

Mommy does not look!!!!

I am just sprouting a
few more gray hairs here.

You...have a great day.

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Friday, March 27, 2009

Just Imagine...

A soft spoken mountain stream...
or the best day ever - riding mountainsides.

A hammock hung in the back yard trees...
Or a puzzle to
while away a winter's evening.

A Sunset begging to be seen...
or a horse - inviting you to
begin an adventure all your own.

An interesting tower to explore...
or a large gauge train on a track nearby.

Just imagine the beautiful
opportunities in any season.

Live a beautiful life involving those things
that require just a little bit of extra effort.

Just for once...don't mop the floor today.
Instead take some time to enjoy a view...

Call your children.
Invite them to join
you on an adventure
that says they are
important to you.

Give your spouse a
special gift...
your time.
Undivided attention
and hand holding.

Honor your parents
with a hug.
Maybe a few hours spent
enjoying sweet friendship.

Take an hour or two
and share lunch with a

Just for today...drop those things
that keep you busy.

Life is just too beautiful to miss.

The busy things of life will wait for you.
The passing of time impacts our relationships.

Embrace life.
Enjoy it.

Share it with those you love.
Time invested in people
means more than we know...

For more on Living Beautifully
see Melissa's Beautiful Life Links

Imagining the joy of
time with loved ones...

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bits and Pieces from Yesterday...

In spite of feeling less than stellar,
I realized we had a rather
interesting day.

First, at the recommendation
of Karen of Blue Barn Bulletin,
I took a small loaf of the
over baked bread and, using my new
cast iron skillet, turned it
into this...

French toast!

I have wanted a cast iron skillet
since last year. Our Moms gave us
a large and a small one for our
Anniversary a couple of weeks ago.

I love cooking in them!

Karen was right, The French Toast was
and disappeared quickly!

Makes me want to host a breakfast
so we can set a pretty table
and serve this with other lovelies.

Then school began and we had a fun
morning of learning together.
The History of England, Iceland
and New Zealand were most memorable.
Some days it just clicks and we have
a great time...this was one of those

Yesterday was a special day for
Jonathan since Friday will be his
18th birthday. Grandma Ruth
has to work so we arranged well
in advance to go to dinner at
Ruby Tuesday, his choice, for this:

The Colossal Burger!
Jonathan loves this monster

Chelsea and I left the house early and managed
to get a little shopping in before
dinner. I wanted to visit the
Oneida Outlet before they close next month.
I have a good amount of the Mandalay
dishware that you see above. The
square plate and the large dinner plate
that the bread was on in yesterday's post.

Well, I now own more.
It was 80 percent off.
I got the smaller sized dinner plates
and dessert plates.

What fun!

Finally after about an hour of poking
through several outlet stores
we met Jonathan, and the rest of the
family over at the Ruby Tuesday.

Grandma Ruth gave Jonathan a funny card
about being " A grown-up". It shows a
man holding a pink flamingo. This,
apparently being what grown-ups
look like.
It asks if he is sure he wants
to be a grown-up...funny!

She searched and searched for a pink
flamingo for
Jonathan but finally found this dog toy.

Here Jonathan, Mom and the card post for
a picture.

And then another one since you can see the
pain in Jonathan's eyes in the first one.

After dinner Chelsea and I went to the Dress Barn to
scare up a dress for Easter, leaving Jonathan in the
car to listen to a new CD....a birthday gift.

After a very long time, Chelsea and I emerged
from the store and he took our picture as we
approached the car.

We were triumphant, having found just the
right dress! A lovely lady named Victoria
was most helpful. Chelsea tried on so many

A quick stop at another store to put our names
on a list for a hard to come by game... which will
allow our kids to play music online with their
cousins in Florida...that is Jonathan's real
birthday gift...the ability to play with
his cousins so many miles away...
finally we arrived at home!

Grandma Georgia popped over with a card for
Jonathan and this photo was taken.

It is a keeper! Too bad Jonathan's eyes
are closed though.

I believe this guy is
still growing. He has noticed new places
that he has to duck in our house...

PT is not going as well as we had hoped.
He has a doctor's appointment soon and
we will see if they want to run more tests.
I think it is time.
His Therapist was the one to say maybe he
should see the doctor again.
So, we will see.
Thanks for your prayers.

To my brother Allan, and Bev,
you are missed during
the family dinners like this. I was
thinking of you as I posted. Hope
you feel a part of the
celebration, even if it is by
way of the Internet.

While I am doing shout-outs...

Miss Shelley, the kids asked when
you are coming to visit. You are
to come whether you bring your kids
or not. They have determined you are
fun all by yourself. Seriously!
That discussion actually took place.
They were in agreement.

So...come on down!

Hope you all have a wonderful

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My First Bread Making Oopsie!

I am unwell.

Lets just blame everything
on that.

So what if it is just the
flu/cold that everyone else has?

I have it, so it is horrible!

There has been a lot of reading
happening here because of this.
Much couch time while supervising
"the students" in their various

Well, in the book I finished
yesterday, there were so many
references to kneading bread,
baking bread and all things
bread-like that I just could not
wait to make more bread. So...
I made my dough.

Dough for the yummy French sweet bread
and a new Amish White Bread recipe.
It was so wonderful.
My family laughed
at my enjoyment.
Who knew that making bread was so
fulfilling and fun!

As I cut the dough and made my pretty
braids...I have decided that rather than
two larger braided loaves I enjoy making
several tiny braided loaves...remember, I
am a rebel. You can read about that here.

Anyway, as I braided away I was
having a wonderful time.

The bread rose and was finally oven ready.

Into the hot oven it went.

Here is where things go awry...

Because I am not feeling well,
I don't want the dogs snuggling.
They love to snuggle. Whether I am
on the couch or in my sick bed.

So, I went in my room and closed the
door to keep them OUT. Poor things.

I was watching an old episode of
Seinfeld. The one where Kramer bastes
himself in butter up on the roof of their
apartment building...sunbathing...
burnt to a crisp, ironically.

Finally, I begin to smell bread. Through
the closed door and with a nose that is
functioning at about half.

Then, was that the timer
beeper, I heard?
It was...wonder how long
that had been going off?

My poor little breads.

They are very dark.

Still edible but not as wonderful as they
should be. The sad thing is that the dough
rose beautifully. It smelled so good. We
were so ready for perfection.

Stupid Cold!

The white bread is fine.
Not as good as Karen's Whole
Wheat recipe though. I'll be
making that again very soon.

Maybe I'll wait a couple of days
until both my nose and ears work

Stay well!!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Book Club

Choosing books can be the
toughest part of having a
book club.

However, before we began
this club I read several
selections that were good,
very good, but not great
first time choices.

I didn't know who our members
would be and how they would
react to some of the content
in one book in particular.

We are about to find out!

For our April Club we have
chosen The Glass Castle by
Jeanette Walls. It is a
powerful story. Mom and
I read it back then, I am
looking forward to re-reading

This is the story of a very
dysfunctional family that learns
how to survive impossible conditions.
Some of the content is harsh.
Their life was harsh.
But there was love.
No question.

To my Quarryville Book Club Readers...
The library has ordered a copy for
you and they will let you know when
it comes in.

If any readers decide to read along
with us, let me know. I want to know
how this book impacts you.
It will have an impact.
What a story...

Have a great day!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Monday, March 23, 2009

Economic News...and a Huge Heap of Opinion!

Living in Lancaster County can
be a bit like having your finger
on the pulse of the East Coast
Economy. We have watched things
sag. They haven't been devastating
but you could see a downward trend.

People were let go who had worked
at major tourist stops for years.

However, there is a change in the
air. People are coming out and
spending money. Perhaps it is their
tax refunds or just a resurgence of
confidence but I spoke with a friend
who works at one of our local Outlet
Stores. She tells me that she is selling
mid to high end product without any

A friend's son who has been looking for
work for a very long time was recently
hired. In a great job!

Another friend in retail has been given
extra hours because things are picking

I know, this is just a microcosm of the
whole but I have never held to the entire
gloom and doom that the economy was just
going to implode.

These things have gone through cycles since
the beginning of forever. It is natural.

We, as a country, have made bad choices.

This has happened worldwide, as well.

It relates to debt.

You know this.

But, there is a bigger piece to the whole thing.
What goes up, must come down.
How can we ever expect to buy low and sell
high if things only ever go up?

The causes of this particular downturn are
despicable! I am very put out with the
greed and political reasons behind it, but
the resettling of the market is ultimately

I am happy that the Mr. Madoffs of the
world are being flushed out because of
this. It is a very positive thing.

We have lived through things like this
before. We tend to forget.

Here is the scoop...

If people are invested as they should be...
and I question how many are by the reactions
I hear...they should have enough cash available
for a couple of years. Then the rest invested
and having fallen quite low is not as big a
worry. There is time for a recovery.

Over the last decade it was hard to lose money.
People got greedy and shifted way too much of
their savings into the same basket. This
definitely hurts, in the short term.

However, if history repeats itself that money
left alone will come back.

I truly, and honestly believe, that things
are not as bad as we have been led to believe.

I think we are being manipulated for the
benefit of the Politicians who want to make
changes in this Country that are not so good.

Think about it.

Look around.

Check out what people you know are spending
and see if you truly believe more than 25 percent
of this country has been effected by this.
I think it is much lower than that...
of those who have had to change their
lifestyle because of any of this.

I am not saying that things aren't bad.

I am saying they are not as bad as the talking
heads want you to believe.

Can they get worse?

Just sit back and let the government
get away with reclaiming the bonuses
through taxation... after the fact.
It is absolutely nuts that we have come
to call pre-planned, contracted income
bonuses but this will stop if we stop
accepting it. Make changes to the law
now to prohibit that in the future but
if we allow the government to come in and
retroactively tax people's income, we are
on a very slippery slope. When will they
decide to tax another small group of people.
When will you be one of those people?

However, We can get involved. Let our
Representatives know that they actually are
supposed to represent us.
We want less government
intrusion and more freedom.
We want the freedom to
start new companies, spend our money,
invest in the belief that we will recover.

This is a time for us to look at implementing
great ideas. Start up a company that you
have always wanted. Real Estate is almost
affordable. You can get that commercial space
for a better price now than last year...or likely
next year.

Have you heard about the house buying cruises in
Florida. Cracks me up!

You can get on a boat and go up and down
canals buying up foreclosures. People are
doing it. One realtor who was interviewed
said people are spending cash.

My Theory...

they have temporarily pulled out of the market
to buy properties for a song. The market value
will then come back up and they will borrow against
the equity to reinvest.

And thus the cycle of money will continue.
They won't be able to borrow as much as in years
past but they won't care. It will work out well
for many of these who are willing to take the
risk now. Some will lose it all.

I'm not going to jump on that bandwagon (nor am
recommending that anyone else do it
No time or energy for that.
It is my responsibility to
remain focused on family.
But it is one
example of how our economy is helping some who
are willing to work and take on risk for it
to make money.

You don't have to agree but
think about it. Definitely be
very responsible with your finances
and deepen your pantries. Be as self
sufficient as you can be in things of
daily life. Do all that you can to waste
not...these are things that are Biblical.
They shouldn't be new ideas to us.
However, to many of us who have let the
culture of complacency and greed become
a part of our daily lives these skills have
been lost. We can come out of this stronger
and able to be of help and comfort to those who
are hurting.

Be encouraged.
Our God is an Awesome God.
He is our Strength and our Hope!
Don't forget to build up Heavenly Treasure
while preserving your earthly stash.


♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Corporate Prayer

A Grandmother and Grandaughter follow
along as Jon reads scripture.
Isn't this sweet?
I just had to share it.

Edited to Add: I don't normally take pictures
during the service. However, this was last
week when Jon and Warren officially became Elders.
I was at the piano. This was the first time Jon
read after becoming "official". That was what I was
attempting to capture. When I saw the picture I thought
it was so sweet.

Our church is unique because
of its small size. However,
this allows for a prayer time
that is open for anyone to
pray out loud.

Occasionally this gets a little
long. When Chelsea was much
younger she told a
visiting Grandparent
that it was
"The Never-ending Prayer".

We chuckled so much at that.
She will come and give me dirty
looks when she reads this.

But, this is one thing I will
miss when we are too large to
continue this special habit.

It is such a blessing to have a
shower of prayer for that person
who has lost a job, or that
individual who will be having

It is our intention to always offer
prayers of praise before we begin our
prayers of supplication.

God already knows His wonderful attributes
and has no need to hear them from us...but
we need to be ever aware of His Goodness and
at the same time
our children are learning how to pray.
When Jesus taught us to pray
The Lord's Prayer He used that example.
An honoring and reverence of the One to
Whom we come with our wants and wishes.

The first time Jonathan prayed out loud
at church it brought many of us to tears.
He was a little "put out" that people
thanked him for his prayer...but it means
so much to see the next generation "take root".

So...until we are just too many in number we
will be sharing our prayers...

A lovely thing.

Have a gorgeous Sunday!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Saturday, March 21, 2009

So Much Fun!

It would probably have been
a good idea for those of us
who wished to work on projects
to bring the things we needed...
However, we made the best of
it and a great time was had.

I did not have the next photos
needed to continue in my album
so I did a couple of cute
pages of Chelsea that can be
slipped into her album when I
get around to making it.

One friend finished a project but
did not have floss to begin the
next. I am impressed with the one
she finished!

She did not spend a moment
in waste, however, as her conversation
and helpfulness for others was a real

Kelly and I traded off on the things
we had forgotten...like adhesive
and circle cutters.

The many who worked on rockets seemed
to have a wonderful time...
They made a fine mess!

I know I say it a lot but isn't it
great to see all generations in fellowship

This Grandfather and Grandson had
a wonderful time together.
Building memories and rockets!

We don't put up with each other at our
church. We enjoy each other!

Well, on another front, I am taking
an idea from Susan, at her Black Eyed Susan's Kitchen Blog,
and beginning a reading and walking program.
She has lost ten pounds reading as she walks
on her treadmill. I had become discouraged
with the treadmill because I thought I would
distract myself with TV while walking. The
treadmill is so loud that I gave up on that.
However, this morning I walked a mile and finished
a book that I have been picking at for two weeks.
Pray with me that this works. I am definitely
at an unhealthy weight and need to do something!
Usually I give in to the pain.
I don't want to do that this time.
Perhaps if I am distracted by the many
good books waiting to be read here it won't
hurt so much! I so hope!!!!

Off to make candles.
This order is all 8 oz jars.
Should be easy enough.

Have a blessed day!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Friday, March 20, 2009

Chatting With Friends

Do you ever just feel so happy and excited
that you just want to chat away with your
bestest friends.

Well, I am feeling a bit that way this morning.
I did the post to link up at The Inspired Room
but there was so much more that I just felt like
sharing that I decided to do a second post this
morning for girl chat.

Nothing important, so if you don't have time
to chat, I understand.

For example...
Yesterday was our last day of Homeschool Co-op.
I recieved such special gifts of thanks and love.
One student gave me a tootsie roll.
It blessed my heart.
From Others... cards with packets of seeds.
Cannot wait to plant those!
We had so much fun in our music class
playing a game of Jeopardy.
Finding a way for all forty-five children
to participate in a 45 minute period was
tricky. But it worked out. I made some judges
to determine whose hand was up first. A question
reader and nine or ten contestants for each round.
The first person to get 3 right was the winner for
the round and then we started over. So, we did get
to let everyone participate at least once and then
had a playoff of the winners from each round.
I was exhausted!!!!

One of the helper moms in this class gave me the
gorgeous bird picture and card you see here...

Aren't they just too sweet?
I am so blessed!

Last week I received a bunch of inventory from
a store that was carrying our candles. The storefront
is gone now and the business has gone to a work at home
gift basket store.

So...in this inventory was the teapot you see in the photos above.

It is filled with soy that is rose scented.

I now remember making this but honestly had forgotten
about it. The sneaky thing was that both Beverly and
I loved it so much that we made the price the upper amount
that we thought anyone might pay
and then hoped it wouldn't sell.
It didn't.
It came home!
Love it!
Confession time right here
with my bloggy friends.

The other thing that has
me so chatty today is our
plan for this evening.
We are going to church for
a family activity night.
Tonight's activity is a
choice between rocket building
or handwork.
I am going to take my scrapbooking
and get a few pages done.
I am so terribly slow
at scrapbooking that I
drive my consultant
totally crazy.

For me it is more
about art...for her...documentation.
Love making her crazy.
It is just fun.

I could only admit that among friends, right?

Well, she won't be there.
But, I will be smiling
to myself as I take my precious time
and make lovely pages.
Jan, if you are reading this...
I love you.
You inspire me!

I am working in a book
whose pages are black.
It is so very fun to see
the colors pop on these pages.

Oh, well, I have to get on with my day.
This has been
so much fun.
Thanks for reading
and for making me feel
like there are so many
friends out there in cyberspace!

You bless me!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Organizing Beautifully

First things first,
I am not known for my
organizational skills.

Note: I am about to use
the tool of exaggeration
to make this post sound more
substantial than a basket in
our living room...smile.

Our home needs a professional
organizer in the worst kind of

However, periodically I find something
to help us toward the right path.

There are a few magazines that
come monthly to our home.
Some for my reading pleasure,
some for homeschool information
and support, others for the kids.

These magazines were eating up space
in our school shelves, lying on every
available horizontal surface and generally
getting on our nerves.

However, they are of value to our family.
They serve a purpose so I am not willing
to cancel the subscription.

Then, last week I was poking through JoAnn
Fabric and found the "perfectly sized" basket at
70 percent off. Originally 19.99 I snagged
this helpful tool for just $6.00.

It is a very small and quick thing to do.
Very fun to run all over the house and gather up
magazines which begin to fill up my darling

My mother-in-law seemed quite impressed as she
brought me another hand-me-down magazine as I
pointed to the basket and told her she could
put it there and help herself to anything in the

A kind of "magazine library" if you will.

Now, understand, this woman is the antithesis
of me. Totally organized.
Has kept her magazines
in a basket for years.
But, now she knows
exactly where to find the
reading material
in our home too.
This should shock and thrill her.

Ollie was very interested in the new basket.
He considers this entire house his and notices
every change.

For more posts on things you can do to "beautify" your life
head on over to Melissa's Inspired Room and check out the links
found there.

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Protect Your Head

I am saddened by the news about
Natasha Richardson. I know how
much her family must be in disbelief
and shock. We have been there.

This brings so much back!

Warren's Dad had a spinal chord
tumor, had endured two surgeries,
and radiation. He was on the road
to some sort of recovery.

Out of the blue he fell head first
into a piece of furniture. From that
point and time the Gene we knew was
not there.

We were so blessed that the new Gene
was still sweet and gentle. Sometimes head
injuries cause behaviors and aggressiveness
that are not typical of the person.

We have no idea why he passed out...or fell.
It could have been related to his medicines
or the fact that he had some paralysis on hie
right side.

He got help very quickly but there was nothing
that could be done for the massive brain bleed
in the frontal lobe.

As a family we tried all we could do.

We got Gene into a nursing facility very near
our home and Georgia moved in with my mother.

For months we could only watch Gene decline.

It consumed our lives.
We would bring him his favorite
treat, milk shakes, until he could
no longer swallow without choking.

We spent countless hours with
him. We read, we sang,
we just loved him.

Finally we were able to get Hospice involved.
They were wonderful!
From support for us as family to the volunteer
who came by and sang to Gene...they were all
just fantastic.

Finally, on April 1, 2007, Gene took his final
breath with many of us around his bed.

The kids did not want to be there.
We didn't make them.
In fact, they did not often go to
the nursing home. It was too hard.
Right or wrong we were fine with the
few visits they made and the fact that
they had much happier pictures in their
heads of their Grandpa.

Gene's passing was a sad relief.

We knew he had no chance of recovery in this
life...however he was experiencing total healing
in the moment of his departure.

Our hearts break in our missing him here.
The children were so close to him.
They long to just spend an afternoon with
their Grandpa building something, or just
chatting. He was a great companion.

Before the brain injury,
even with his paralysis he could cut corn off
the cob faster than any of the rest of us.
Years of experience and consistency allowed
him to do this.
So, when we do corn...we talk
about Gene.

You never know when a news story is going to send
you into moments of memories that are so bittersweet.

My deepest sympathies go out to the family and boys
of Mrs. Richardson.

For those of you who have the option of wearing a helmet
when riding, skiing or other activity...please wear it.
It is not ridiculous or over the top.
It is being thoughtful and considerate.

Unless you have been in this type of a
situation you cannot comprehend how one
second of time can change everything!

You cannot reverse the effects of brain damage.
You are not the only one who is effected in the case of
this kind of injury. The ripples go out like waves on
a pond to all who love you.

Please, protect your head.

'Cause you are loved!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Funny How These Things Happen

Have you seen the new
web site from Glenn Beck?

He wants all of us to take
our eyes off ourselves and
remember the sense of community
we felt in the days following
the terrorist attacks in September
of 2001.

Not a bad idea.

It doesn't take all that long
for those of us who were not
directly impacted to drift back
to our old way of doing things and
lack of concern for those outside
our circle of influence.

What happened in the days following
September 11, 2001 was definitely a
different reaction than is generally
felt in our world.

We united and flags were waved.
People lined up
to give blood. We were one...against
the evil that so audaciously came in
and made a scar.

Totally unplanned or coordinated, I have
been reading helter-skelter through Karen
Kingsbury's fiction series about the Baxter

I simply borrow the next one available at the
Library. They have all been out of order,
which adds its own challenge as I have to
remember where I am in the timeline.
Currently, I am reading Remember,
an earlier book that I had missed.

Anyway, this week I am at the point in
time in this book just as the Twin Towers Fall
and the clean-up begins. The raw emotions
from that time come rolling back and it is in
the midst of this that Glenn Beck comes out
with this 912 Project.


I don't know, but I do know that if we are to
survive as a Nation we must return to our foundational
strengths. Those of caring about our neighbor,
working hard, sharing our faith, taking personal
responsibility rather than playing the victim...
and so much more.

From the Website...

9 Principles

1. America Is Good.

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
God “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the external rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” from George Washington’s first Inaugural address.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
Honesty “I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
Marriage/Family “It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is know. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.” Thomas Jefferson

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
Justice “I deem one of the essential principles of our government… equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political.” Thomas Jefferson

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Happiness “Everyone has a natural right to choose that vocation in life which he thinks most likely to give him comfortable subsistence.” Thomas Jefferson

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
Charity “It is not everyone who asketh that deserveth charity; all however, are worth of the inquiry or the deserving may suffer.” George Washington

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
On your right to disagree “In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude; every man will speak as he thinks, or more properly without thinking.” George Washington

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
Who works for whom? “I consider the people who constitute a society or a nation as the source of all authority in that nation.” Thomas Jefferson

12 Values

Hard Work
Personal Responsibility

Clear and concise.
What we need to focus on
to return to the strength on which this
Nation was founded.

For more information about the 912 Project check
out this web site...www.theglennbeck912project.com.

I just thought the timing was interesting.

Have a coincidental day!
♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Busy Week Serves as a Reminder

Busy Day in Dollville by Bessie Pease Gutman
Busy Day in Dollville

We are having a busy week this
week as used to be normal to us.

Sometimes events all fall into
the same week of the month.
Such is the case this week.

Saturday morning was a homeschool
related breakfast.
Sunday was special
in that we installed our Elders and
Associate Pastor at church, had communion
and a fellowship meal and then had a
Congregational Meeting after which we
sat and chatted until 6pm.
Brought some friends home with us and
later went over to the Rabe's so Warren
could get their wireless working with
Deanna's new laptop.

Last night was another Homeschool meeting...
tis the season, I guess and then tomorrow
night is book club. There is a church
event on Friday evening. So...that leaves
tonight and Thursday without formal plans.

However, today is bowling and Thursday is
Homeschool Co-op...the last one for this
school year. I am making special plans
toward this for my classes.

There are obviously school days to complete
and candle orders to fill. One son to take
to work and another to Physical Therapy.

A meal to make for a very dear friend.
Sooo happy to do this. I even hope to
take them some of my newly conquered
French Sweet Bread to go with the lasagna
and Salad.

For this week these are our chosen
...next week will be back
to the sanity.

I cannot believe we used to live like
this all of the time.
What were we thinking???

Have you made any changes in your schedule
to save your sanity?

We have found our
communication with teenagers is much
better when we are not gone most evenings
of the week. They seem to appreciate the

So...once we are through this craziness...
back to the quiet life we have come to

Mrs. Rabe and I were talking about this
on Saturday as we went to an event together.
It is so easy to continue to pile on
responsibility of things that are good.

However, just because it is a good thing
doesn't mean that it is something that
should obligate us to it or take us away
from our families in the tender years.

It is so easy to see a once a month commitment
as no big deal and then end up with five
separate monthly commitments. Sigh...how
well I know this one.

So...anyway...this week is my object lesson
in keeping my commitments under control and
not returning to that craziness we once called

That is the encouragement to be found here.
It is possible to let things go.
If we can do it...you can do it.
That is for sure.
Then, when you have the occasional week like
this, you can smile and say to yourself...
"Next week...back to the calm life."

Have a wonderful day and a peaceful week.

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shopping with Heart

In a little town nearby
is a special treasure of a

It is The Spina Bifida
Resource Thrift Shop.

When I find myself running
low on mugs for hot chocolate
candles I run to this little

At Christmas time I found the most
adorable assortment of holiday
mugs at a price I could afford.

Since my business is primarily
fundraisers for individuals headed
out on mission trips, I have to keep
my overhead low.
I give my fundraisers
50% no matter how much
or how little
they sell.

So, buying mugs for over a dollar
is out of the question or I would
essentially be paying in instead of
just over even on these hot chocolate

Anyway...when I ran over to this shop
last week to pick up mugs I took the
camera. I asked permission to capture
some of the feel of the shop to share

Most of us are cutting back on our spending
right now...whether that is the best thing
to do, or not, it is what comes naturally
thanks to uncertainty.

However, one place we can
afford to spend a little and make a huge
difference is in shops like this.

The ladies that run this Thrift Shop are
very devoted to the cause. Spina Bifida
is one of those birth defects that you don't
hear that much about but those that are
born with it have many needs. The research
has gone a long way to discover the causes
and prevent many new cases.

These are some shots of this store...

Meet Diane...she has the biggest
heart and smile of anyone I know.

If you can believe it
I actually left with just
my mug purchases but there
were many other things to
love this day.

Spina Bifida Resource is in the process of
doubling the size of this store. So I am
very excited to see the things they pull out
of storage. As it was, Diane went in the back
and brought out additional mugs for me to look
at. Such is the service
and the heart in this place...

I found these to be interesting.
Maybe a little creepy...but

I shop Goodwill and other second hand
shops but I love coming here because it
is not as well known and the selection
is good.

The cause is unique and the money is
well spent.

If you are in Lancaster County...I hope
you will stop into this precious little
place. Tell them you saw it on my blog.

It is the Spina Bifida Resource Thrift Shop
in Quarryville. You will find them on State
Street... which is also home to the Quarryville
Family Restaurant and Stoner Decorating Center,
where I often find wallpaper borders for
$2.00 per roll.

And if you happen into
the Thrift Shop while Diane is there...
you will see that
million watt smile!
I have never known her
to be without it!

So, go on, show some
"shopping heart" and visit
a thrift shop with a cause
near you this week.

♥♥Becky K.♥♥