Saturday, February 27, 2010

Family...We are So Blessed!

Last evening we were to have
been at church for an evening
of fellowship. Some were going
to work on building or repairing
rockets, some were planning to
knit, crochet or work on scrapbooks.

However, the weather put those plans
to rest. So, Mom invited us to her
home to eat dinner. She made a wonderful
stew while Georgia had made a crockpot of
BBQ for another event which had been
canceled. On a blustery cold winter's
evening we enjoyed sweet fellowship
and many laughs together.

Just look at Chelsea's contribution.

A chocolate cheescake with cherries
and chocolate chips on the top.

I will tell you how impressive this
looked. Even the boys stuck around
for dessert with Mikey saying that
he had saved room for it.

Chelsea was beaming.

Her brothers opinions mean a lot
to her. They are amazingly close
for the three year difference in
their ages.

Not only was this beautiful but it
tasted awesome too. I ate some
cherries but ended up pushing
them to the side to enjoy the
cheesecake without distraction.

Chelsea looked at my plate and
noted that it was good she had
not made the cherries or she
would have to feel bad.
Funny girl!

After the children/young people
headed back to our house, our
Moms, Warren and I continued to
enjoy such
sweet fellowship.
For a couple of hours...

It is a wonderful blessing to have
these ladies so close, geographically.

They have each gotten into ministry,
some together, some on their own.

After the loss of each of their husbands
life was turned upside down.
It takes a long time to regain some
sort of normal but I can see God at
work in both women.

They are now blessing so many others.

Let me just tell you about some of
their activities:

Georgia is a "swim buddy" for young
children with special needs.
She volunteers at a Nursing Home,
a Horse Rescue and at a local
Historical Society. She
leads a Bible Study for women
coming out of impossible
situations and helps with a
grief share program.

Mom works many hours in a job
that allows for and encourages
ministry, helps Georgia
with the Ladies Bible Study,
she is leading a Bible Study
and mentoring a
woman who recently left an
abusive relationship,
is reading and studying
constantly about
Biblical History in the
Holy Land.
She finds some amazing facts!

God is meeting these women where
they are and is using their
willingness to serve Him.

It may not be where they thought
they would be right now...
but they are blessing sooo many!

Including us!

Thank You, Lord.
You have brought the
silver lining forth from
some very dark clouds....

All Praise be to Jesus!


Friday, February 26, 2010

The Big Bad Wolf

It lurks outside the windows
seeking a way in.
Howling, panting,
puffing away.
The windows shudder.
The trees moan.
This wolf is strong.
Its name is Winter.

I wrote this because it
is how this storm seems
to me.

Puffing and panting.
Its one desire to reach
into our home.

Wind gusts of up to
60 miles per hour.

Constant blowing of
25 - 35 mph.

But our home is strong.
Brick and mortar,
wood and glass stop
winter dead in its tracks.

Hope you are warm and cozy
wherever you may be.

Personally, I am counting
the days until my new header
picture is once again a reality!
This photo was taken at Longwood
Gardens in April 2009.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Living Room Project #4

I may have looked a wee bit
desperate as I stood in the
middle of JC Penney's
window covering displays.

A very helpful associate came
to my rescue.

You see, before I left the house
I had been online and had seen
some valances on sale that seemed
as if they would work for our
large front window.

This is a section of stores that
I glance longingly at as I pass
by. Or, in this case, Chelsea
used to be able to wear the
clothes in the next section over
and I would stare at all of that
beauty while I waited for her
to try on piles of clothing.

Finally, here I was.
In the very place that I so
longed to visit.

Now, to find those light,
soft and complimentary, without
being overwhelming, valances.

Why was I overwhelmed?

So...there we stood.
I explained that I write a
blog and that there has been
a deadline set. I whip out the
camera and show her photos of
the room. She pretends to be
very interested. There is
definite amusement as we flip
past photos of the animals playing.

We became friends,
this young woman and I.

Well, not really.

I wouldn't know her if I
saw her on the street...
but if I ever need to go back
into that section of JC Penney's
she and I are buds. I can count
on run!

Finally, after her assurances that
anything I took home that day could
be returned within ninety days I
scooped up $97 worth of goodies.


I know!

This is why I have so avoided this
section of any store I visit.

So, now I find myself
in another dilemma.

Help me, please!

What we have are ascot valances
with clear beads on the bottom.

They look better in person!

Everyone comments that they
make the room lighter as they
diffuse the light.

Of course, the roses are gone.

You knew it had to happen.
So did I.

Also, not installed, but played
with...a cream scarf. I like
the idea of the scarf....until
I stand back and look at it.

Of course, as I am putting it up
by myself it is never quite even.
That may have something to do with
my satisfaction. lol

Warren expressed definite disinterest
last evening when I was attempting to
put it back up to show you in this post.
But that could have been because it was
11:30pm and he was sooooo exhausted.

There I was taking pictures while he
vacuumed up after his haircut.

Yep! Haircut in the living room.
Works great!
I'll probably pay for posting this
photo....It was nice knowing you all!

The pictures did not turn out well
so I turned to the vignettes.
Aren't they pretty?

Now, we have plenty of tissues in
plain boxes...but this box caught
my eye at our Amish Grocery the
other day. Pretty, isn't it?
It gave me the opportunity to
do a little bit of "leaning"
as featured on Melissa Michael's
Blog the other day....

The little star that is leaning
was part of a blog giveaway by
"jAne" at Tickleberry Farm.
A very lovely woman, indeed!

Sunday we had friends over and I had this
burgundy scarf that had been the previous
window treatment laying on the table.

In a quick effort to get it out of the
way I moved it to the top of the Entertainment
Center. I like it there.
So does someone else!

He has never gone up here!
Until now...
Perhaps he wants to visit the
other white kitty.

But, seriously, one of the things I think
this room was missing was softness.
This helps, I think.

Oh, this post is long.

But, you know, here is the real
scoop. The valances are $48.
I can be satisfied to return the
$49 scarf. Or...I can keep working
at it and even recruit the help of
my friend at Creekside Cottage to
install it properly.
My main reason for wanting
to use the scarf is to cover
the wood. Warren is not in
favor of painting it...which
would be my first choice.

What do you think?

Would the scarf be too overpowering?
Make the room too formal?
You'll just have to imagine it.
I don't have any pictures with it
up because I was never happy.
None of the ten times!!!


Waiting to hear from YOU!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Unexpected Blessing

The reflection of branches on the trunk
of this car seemed like something beautiful
on a piece of trash.

We were convinced that this car was not going
to be worth fixing when the frame rusted out
and, in a situation never seen before by two
mechanic friends, broke while Mikey was driving.

Warren assumed that fixing it would cost more
than the car was worth. You may remember that
I was sad because this had been my parents' car.
I hated to see it go.

Well, one of those mechanic friends had other ideas.
He offered to order the part needed and help
Warren put it in.

Now understand, the car could not be driven
so another of Warren's Friends has a tow dolly
and he came and hauled it 45 minutes to the first
friend's garage. Another friend lent us a tool
that lifts the engine so that you can work

This was such a joint effort with those who
know us and love us...for some strange reason.

We are so appreciative!

The car has been restored!
For a price tag of just around
$500...after the alignment that
still needs to be completed.

Mikey begins classes next month
in Kennett Square at Longwood Gardens
and we were struggling to know what to
do about his transportation.

God knew!
He provided a way!

Thanks be to Him and to our
many generous friends!

Oh, and the interview at Longwood went
very well yesterday. We enjoyed meeting
the new Department Head and loved discussing
the possibilities. Only God knows what the
future holds...
but His plans are
just fine with us!

He has proven Himself
faithful over and over
again in our lives.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happenings Around Here...

The pace is picking up again
in Southern Lancaster County.

I am so thankful for that blizzard
that forced a rest and time together.

Now we are on that treadmill which is
steadily increasing in speed and noise.

With the boys preparing for their graduation
in May we have much to do.

Choosing photos for their video collage
was kind of fun.

Seeing them as children
again brings so back so many memories.
Those photos were hard copy, not
electronic but some of these will also
be in the collage.

A photo of Jonathan which
reminds me soooo much of my
Dad. He definitely looks like
my side of the family.

Then there was taking Jonathan to the Mall
to choose a suit for the Formal. Now that
was fun...kind of! He has interesting and
definite ideas of what he wants. He found
most of it. No "off the rack" suit for him!
I won't give up the details here but there
will be photos to come...let's just say that
in this he reminds us so much of Warren's
Grandpa who loved to make people smile with
his unique sense of style.

Mikey has an interview at Longwood Gardens
today. This is another step in his quest
to be a student in their
Professional Gardener's Program.

We met Georgia at the Lancaster Airport last
evening. She has been in cold Florida for
the past two weeks. It is finally warming
up down there, just in time for her
to return to the
"lovely" weather here.

Warren, Mom and I went a bit early and had
dinner at one of our favorite places which
is very close to the airport.

We then ran to the Graduation Meeting and signed the
boys up for the Formal and approved their
Bio's as well as invitation spellings.
Then back to the airport to meet Georgia
who flew in on the very tiniest
of commercial
planes. many details!

Then there is the fact that I picked up
yet another fund raiser yesterday and had
to deliver supplies for that to the person
in charge. Fun, fun, fun!
Thankfully she was at the grad meeting so
that could be conveniently included in our
evening's plans.

Let's see....
My financial services business remains active
with existing clients and new ones.
This is important as I need to keep
current to maintain my licenses. slouching there.
Soon I will be back at the computer
for more continuing ed.
The satisfaction that comes from
helping people reach goals is
immense. I am so hooked!
Have been for fourteen years now!

Homeschool co-op is going well
this semester. I have great helpers
in both of the classes I teach.
This is such a blessing.
The high school drama class is preparing two
skits for a small production on
March 12th. 4th-6th grade music
is making a "TV Show" much like PBS's
From the Top.
It has been so much fun to have student
camera people, interviewers and performers.
They have taken it quite seriously and
are so amazing! So far we have had performances
on the piano, bass guitar, cello and violin.

In our own homeschool we are having a wonderful
time with the anatomy and literature that we are
focusing on now. Oh my, I wish I had been so
interested in my high school years. Learning
about DNA and such things is amazing!
Our Creator
definitely shows Himself in these things. you can see it is getting a bit
crazy with activity, but we are having fun.

I did find a window treatment for the living
room and can't wait to show it to you on

I hope you are making the most of the time
you have been given. I am overdoing it,
most likely, but it comes in waves.
Just a few more weeks and co-op is
finished until September.
Time flies.

I have to tell you that I went to a Memorial
Service for a dear neighbor recently.
Her wish was that her pastor share
from Proverbs 31. It was such a wonderful
service. So uplifting and encouraging!
It is a challenge set before us...
Thanks Janet!
Such a quest to redeem the time.
Proverbs 31 is a great one to
review and strive to live up to.
I know, I certainly will be pleased
if my children ever call me "blessed".

How about you?

Are you working intentionally or are you
drifting through life just surviving?

Check out this fabulous
It's better than most
self help books on the

I've done it both ways and intentionally
is better. Now, if only I can achieve it.
Only with God's help!!!!


Monday, February 22, 2010


Imagine my pleasure when I looked at the
random number generator on the screen.
It is blue!

On Monday.

Blue Monday

Random Number Generator!


Made me a happy girl.

(For more interesting blues
you can visit the Smiling Sally
Blog here
....So many beautiful
posts each Monday.)

But then I had to let this
dandy piece of electronics
do its little thing.

You see, my usual "winner
picker" is still sleeping in
her bed. I've been a bit
curious to try the random
generator anyway....

The winner of
these goodies...


From her wonderful
Amazing Grace Blog!!

Jerri is such an encourager.
I love receiving her comments.
She is another person I would
be pleased to know in real life.

Congratulations Friend.
Please accept these things
from my heart to you in
gratitude of your frequent
visits and kind words.

To my other dear friends who
entered...I thank you!

You mean so very much to me.

My dear Barb of Bella Vista,
you went above and beyond.
How I wish we had met last year
when we were in your hometown.

You are so very special!!!

To those who didn't enter because
we are friends in real life
are silly. But I love you too.

O.k. this is starting to feel like
an awards ceremony. Jerri, you can
send me your address by using the email on
the candle site.

Have a happy day, my friends!


Friday, February 19, 2010

A Give Away!

This is a music box
that plays
How Great Thou Art.

It is made from
American Red Oak
and has been a cherished
part of my decor for nearly
twenty years.

The kids used to love to
wind it up and listen to
the music. They would
watch the workings through
the little heart,
so fascinated.

It was a gift from a secret
sister in a Bible Study all
of those years ago....

So from a friend to me....
and from me to you.

I am going to choose someone
to receive this on Monday

All you have to do is leave a
comment. That is it.
No extra entries for this or
for that....just make sure
you leave a way to contact
you if you do not have a blog.

Of course, the winner will
also receive these candles
in their package.

This particular tea cup has
two wicks and is a blue
and white Johann Haviland
also marked Bavaria Germany.

So, now it is up to you.
Go ahead,
leave me a comment.
I LOVE comments!

Have a very happy day!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Living Room Project #3

So this week I did some fun little
projects in the living room.

Nothing major...just some fluffing
and rearranging of things on the

Lets remember where we started...

Before I started this process I was pretty
sure that I wanted to move the two pictures
that had been over the entertainment center
to each side of the window. This worked as
far as I am concerned and Warren agrees.

I'll show you a photo of it once the
next step is completed.

My project for this next week is to
find a soft and relatively sheer valance or
drape for the window. I want something that
is kind of creamy in color.

My question to you...

What do I do with the
rose tattouage over the window?

Shall I leave it
Paint over it?

The paint is sitting on the dining
room table. I almost painted it when I was
touching up nail holes this week but I just
want to be sure.

Then just for the time being I moved the pictures
from the window wall over the entertainment center.
It surely breaks all kinds of rules but for now
I kind of like it.

No money spent yet...but this week I will
look for a window treatment. For a while
we had a burgundy valance up there but it
wears on me. Too much strong color.
That is a very big window!

Items on the entertainment center:

Kitty - Gift from a neighbor woman when I
was a young child. One of these days
I'll tell that story.

Dress Vase - A fun paint your own pottery
I did with the kids and my friend Shelley
a couple of years ago.

Antique Clock - I first saw this clock sitting
on my In-laws Family Room Mantel. It is a noisy
clock but I never wind it. It is just beautiful
the way it is.

Candle Holder - I found this at Kirkland's in the
clearance section while looking for an Advent Centerpiece
for church.
It wasn't right for that so I brought it home.
I love it with the clock.

The Candle - Made as a gift from our friends at
Creekside Cottage.
It is bees wax and glows so
nicely with a tea light inside.

The Lamp - Inherited from Warren's Grandma Charlotte.
I love it too.

So, of all of the things that were up on
this surface before...only those that have
special meaning and play nicely together
have remained.

Thanks for your opinions last week.
I am taking all of these things into



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Give Away Coming....

On Friday!

I will post the
1,000 Post Give Away.

Tomorrow, The Living Room
Project - Part Three.
A question for you.

I'm running all day
today so I will leave
this wish for you...

Have a wonderful,
blissful, hopeful,
awesome day!



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winter Morning Views

Very often when I walk the dogs
I wish I had brought the camera.

Yesterday, I remembered.

So my fingers froze while I snapped
many shots of snowy vistas.

Sometimes I had to hold the camera
over my head to reach over a snowbank.

One time I had to crawl on the snowbank,
camera in one hand, pulling Bandit and Bear
(Mom's Dog) along with me.
They did not understand!
All of this to avoid being hit by a
truck passing by the much narrowed by
snow road.

I'm not complaining.

This is winter.
It is good and
very beautiful.

We received a wee bit
more snow yesterday.

'Cause apparently we needed it!

This morning I am mentally preparing
to go back out there. These pictures
help. Knowing the beauty that awaits!

Have a great day!!!