Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's a Mess, I'm a Mess and I'm Running Behind


I am swamped.
Its official.
Not unexpectedly 
or in an unwelcome way....
Just a fact.

I'll be back with you as soon
as possible.
But for now I am having trouble
with concentrating on anything
that doesn't help me get my work
done....so......blogs kind of fall
into that category.

I just burned my finger pretty
badly on the hot glue I use
to secure the candle wicks.
It is killing me and already has
a nasty blister.

Did it have to be
my index finger?

Later Gators!
You are loved!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Blessing of a Child Named Katie

It was an evening that 
Warren, Mike, Jenny and I 
will never forget.

It was the night we met 
Katerina Hope Musser.

All 10 pounds of her.
Perhaps she is up to 
eleven pounds by now.
The feeding tube is firmly 
in place and is feeding this 
precious 9 year old girl....
so recently come
from an orphanage in 

But Katie no longer lives
there...She no longer suffers
the indignities of neglect.
That is in the past.

Katerina is now embraced by the 
love of parents, 
called by God, 
from a world away.

Parents who obeyed His voice
and went through 
impossible situations in order
to bring her home to a place
of safety.

When we walked into her room
tonight I was holding my breath.  
How would I respond to this 
child whom I had seen so many photos of
and yet had not seen in person?

Well, it took about a second to figure 
that out.  The response was pure love.
It took no time at all for this little one to 
respond to her Mamma's voice and touch 
with a smile that lit the room like a million
watt lightbulb.
Then came the giggle.
We were all totally taken with Katie
in no time at all.

It has to be said that 
there are no words to 
describe the delicacy of this 
girl's condition.
To explain how small she is.
It truly is shocking.
Your brain works and works
to comprehend what it is seeing.
It does not compute.
The abuse this child suffered is

There are many stories to be told
when the time is right.
Those stories need to come from 
Joe and Susanna,
but suffice it to say that God not only wanted
this little girl to know what it is to be loved
but He is doing more.....
much more.

Before leaving Susanna and Katie this 
evening Pastor Mike and Warren took 
turns praying and then we all joined in singing
The Doxology.
Picture if you will 
a tiny face with 
big brown eyes 
chattering away
as we began to sing
and then she grows silent.
Those big brown eyes with the 
long, long lashes growing bigger
and more intent if that is possible.
Then imagine that she leaned out
just a bit and studied us as we sang....
watching and listening to the 
Enjoying it.
As if for the first time
in her nine years.
Now that is an audience that 
would encourage one to 
continue to sing.

The time had come for 
us to leave.
I reached my finger out to this 
beautiful girl.
She did me the honor of grasping 
it briefly.


So softly....and gently.
The human touch.
It means so much!

We left the room with tears in 
our eyes.  
In wonder at the workings of 
God in the life of this child.
Praising Him for the privilege 
of bearing witness.

Of course we would covet your 
continued prayers for Katerina, Susanna
and Joe.  
It is not easy for Susanna to be away from 
her other ten children, waiting at home.
It is necessary for now as bonding takes 
place and Katie's health is stabilized.

Susanna wrote a post
after Thanksgiving that shows the 
children meeting their new sister for the first time.

Look at how she remembers 
and already loves her new Daddy.

Katie is one smart cookie!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It Is the First Sunday of Advent

They were 
looking forward to a 
coming King.
But what the people didn't know
was that this king wouldn't 
inhabit an earthly throne that 
could be taken away
as they had seen so many times.

Oh no.

This Kingdom would last forever.
In fact it has existed forever in 
our Lord and King who is 

This Kingdom is the only
everlasting power over 
sin and death.

Accomplished through the 
sacrifice of death.
For all 
who believe in His name.

So excited to begin the countdown to 
the visible story of our salvation.

the babe lying in a manger.
With a very important purpose.

That is what it is 

and for 

Enjoy this first Sunday 
of Advent.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel
and ransom captive Israel!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Good Times!

This morning I took off
with my Mom, Sister-in-Law (Bev)
and Mother-in-Law (Georgia)
to the Brandywine River Museum.
Warren and I had been there in 
August.  I am smitten.
Such a lovely place.
I hoped that the others 
would love it too.

They did.

It is all decked out for Christmas 
with a special room filled with trains
and another with dollhouses and 
beautiful dolls.
Of course there are plenty of 
Galleries of amazing artwork
and then there are all of the little
critter ornaments and decor made
from all natural goodies.

So much to see.
We had a very delightful time.

I felt as if I were playing 
hookey from all of my work.
But it was good!

Tonight we will have music 
practice and then over to 
Creekside Cottage to share in 
blessing a friend from church on his
birthday.  It is a very full day.
But a lovely one.
Very, very sweet.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Time Has Come For.......



Thanks to Mikey and Warren
who did not wake me 
very early this morning
as they cleaned up the 
mess of the former
hot water heater.

Now to see if we can find 
the paperwork 
and claim the 

Didn't see this one 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Such a Beautiful Thanksgiving Day

From the mums that are still
looking great

green grass striped by 
shadows from the tall 
trees that are plentiful in 
our back yard

it is simply gorgeous 
out there.

I love the asparagus fern
that I thought had 
lost the battle in the heat
of the Summer.


But it is back with vigor and 
will likely stay green until 
it totally freezes through.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
From our home....
to yours.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Was Hungry For It

The "it" I was hungry for was 
something I've never 
seen anywhere 
or had in my life.
I wasn't even sure if "it" was 
possible but I 
determined to give it 
a try.

First I made chicken.
Just cooked it off on the top of 
my stove in my new and 

Warren is so relieved that I 
am still smitten.
It was not a phase.

first the chicken.
Then I mixed up a light
bread dough.
I love to make bread.
And I'm actually good at it.

I stuffed the bread dough,
in individual sized portions,
as you would a pasty or stromboli.

My stuffing ingredients were:
Cubed chicken breast
Farmers Cheese
Sliced ham luncheon meat
Cream cheese
Grated Romano Cheese
Onion (for Warren and Myself)
Ranch Dressing

Baked it.....
and Yummo!

Absolutely Delicious!!

Next time I make it 
I think I will add a dipping 
sauce that has just a bit of kick 
to it.  
That will take it from delicious to 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

So Excited!!

It is the week of

Allan and Bev
are coming!

My brother and sister-in-law.

It has been too long since
we have been together.

The turkey will be great.
Love those mashed potatoes.

But most of all....

I love a day dedicated to 
time with family
and Praise to our
Loving Heavenly Father
for His provision in our lives
over the past year.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Advice Please.....

As you know I'm kind of at a cross roads 
as to where to go with my candle company.

I'm waffling back and forth between a desire 
to move to another location for manufacturing
or to find a location in a high traffic area
to open a shop.

Now, my vision cuts two ways.
If I go purely into manufacturing I would
basically get a hole in the wall functional
place and just make and sell as many candles
as I possibly can to build the resources to 
either grow the business to a point of 
selling it as a proven, profitable business
or to then expand it into the 
gift shop/art studio of my dreams.

If I were to really stick my neck out
now I would find some investors
and open that gift shop/art studio now.
I happen to be very close to some 
amazing artisans who would likely
be willing to supply my shop for a 
generous cut of the profits.

Exciting news either way
is that it looks like
my oldest son,
Jonathan, will come into
the business with me.
He has expressed willingness
and I think there are many ways
his artistic talents will
be a blessing.

He will grow in business
and learn much about
the creative, business and
sales processes.

As readers, who have been observing 
this whole thing for the past several
years, would you be honest with me
about what you think is the 
better way to go?

I've got tons of ideas either way.
But, until I know which way I should
go I don't know what I am looking for 
and what I can afford.

That kind of stinks.

Good thing I'm too busy to really 
get it accomplished right now 
anyway, isn't it?

Edited to Add:

Speaking of busy...
I must have been tired when I
answered the questions on
this interview 
because I think I
compared myself to a pig....
Hop on over and visit Taylor.
There is a coupon code to save
20% there, as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Apple Candle Trio

I listed these this morning.
They make me happy.
So simple.
So Country.

The flame's glow through the quilted glass is 
going to be awesome!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pray for Katerina!

The time has come for Katerina
to come home with our friends
Joe and Susanna.

They retrieved her from the 
orphanage on Monday.
This is a photo they put on 
their blog from that day.

Now as we had feared
Katie is having a difficult time 

She is a nine year old girl 
who is in deep starvation.
She has refused to eat more
than a couple of swallows
from her last few bottles
and was showing signs of

An intensive care nurse from 
Philadelphia will be with them 
shortly but at the time of their latest
posting had not yet arrived.

At the recommendation of the attorney
in their case they have taken 
Katie to a hospital.
Much prayer is needed!!


From Katerina's New Daddy...

Praising God for His mysterious ways.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Sunday was Blessed

Yesterday was special.
Our service was unique and wonderful.

It opened with a couple of people from
the congregation sharing from their hearts.
One, a mom, whose 20-something daughter
is on the mission field
and desiring to continue in a very dangerous
situation.  An email from the daughter was read
and it was impressive in its statements of faith
and passion for the work she is doing.
Understandably the parents would love
to see their daughter back home safe and 
sound but are seeking God's will in 
giving their advice.

Secondly, a 16 year old young man
got up to share a message that was 
bubbling up out of his heart.
A message of a discovery.
He is studying excellence.
His study has led him to the conclusion
that all who have excelled in their lives
were immersed in the Word of God.
Whether they actually had relationships 
with the Lord, or not, he is not making
a judgement...but they all knew and quoted
the Bible.
He has challenged our congregation to a 
deeper study of the Word.

So, make that two young people who have 
challenged my faith so far...in one day.

Then there is Chelsea,
who totally has me beat in the category
of daily devotions.

Add to this the fact that most weeks that 
we have fellowship meals there is a 
teen led Bible study....
instigated and carried out by them.

Shaking my head at the work of God
in the hearts of the youth!
The wisdom and faith displayed.
Gotta love it!!

Pastor Mike preached a wonderful 
sermon about Jonah.
Now this was the beginning of a short
series of sermons from this book.
Should be really good, if yesterday's 
was any indication.

Our friends at Creekside Cottage invited
us back to their place for a special 
meal of Mafe.
Mafe is a dish that originates in Senegal.
It is chicken, rice, peanut butter and curry.
Very different than I am used to 
but it was fun to try it.
I happen to love rice and chicken...
the peanut butter 
was an interesting 

It was such a blessing to get to sit 
and chat with my dear friends
Deanna and Kelly.

We live such busy lives during the 
week that taking a day to rest
and visit is truly a gift.
So glad God thought of it!

So often when we were kids 
it was easy to look at the 
"rules" given in the Bible 
and think that they were harsh
and unnecessary.
But age, experience and time has
taught me that when God tells us 
to do something a certain way it is because
it is good for us.
We benefit every time.

Such a wonderful realization 
to come to.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

And Then They Prayed

Did you see it?

Penn State Players
Nebraska Players.
Kneeling .
On the field 
Beaver Stadium.

Both before and after today's game.
We had a report this week from 
a friend in ministry on the 
Penn State Campus that this past 
week's events are drawing 
people to prayer.

I never expected to see it 
so publicly.

During this week
Students have been listening to 
an acquaintance of ours who
preaches daily on campus.
The "same students" who have tormented
and laughed at him every day 
for more than twenty years
are now gathering to hear 
his message.
This also according to 
our friend, Bob, who is on the 
front lines.

All I can say is....
this day gave me hope for 
the future of our country.

If our young people know
that prayer changes things
and have chosen God over 
rioting and anger.....

there is hope.

Prayer changes things.


An excellent article
about that moment:

I Miss You!

I am well.
I am busy.
I miss You!

There is so much going on that 
I rarely get to bed before 1:00am.
We added three more fundraising groups
this week.  The first round of the first 
group's orders are due to be delivered on 
Monday so I am surrounded completely
by candles in boxes and bags here.

Thankfully the rest of the family has plans
for the day that are outside of the house.
Mikey and Chelsea are working....
Warren and Jonathan are off to a 
Father/Son church event.

So....I can work!

Yesterday I started writing a post 
about Chelsea because she is just too 
and then the phone rang with that 
last fund raiser and I could get them
started right then so the post 
got dropped.

For the sake of adding photos to 
this post and for expressing the 
sentiments I wanted to I'll close
this post with the photos I was going 
to share yesterday.

Chelsea and her friend, Emma just being silly.

She's a very good artist!

So pretty.

She disappears with the camera looking for creative shots.

My girl is a great person to hang 
around with.
She has a great sense of humor,
much compassion
is so wise.

I love her.

Thanks for bearing with me during these
interesting times in my world.
I'll be back more regularly as soon as
possible, because you are all a huge
part of my life.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Who Knew What?

If my Dad hadn't passed away
six years ago yesterday we would 
have been on the phone in disbelief
at the news coming from Penn State
this week. 
Frankly, his heart would
have been broken....
at how far a man can fall.

It is beyond my comprehension
that crimes as grievous
as this man is accused of could go on for so 
many years with no deeper investigation
to the whispers and pleading accusations
of a few young men over the years.

To know that a student employee observed a
crime in process and for whatever reason was
not able to gain the attention
of his superiors takes me 
back to a time I was witness to a crime.
It was a patient in the
dental office where I worked.
As I passed by the room in which my patient
sat I saw him tucking
a prescription pad into his 
pants pocket.
It happened so fast that
I had to wonder if I had
actually seen what I thought I had seen.
I could have talked myself out of it if it 
weren't that the moment was
so etched into my brain.
The end result was that I
went to the doctors I 
worked for, 
who did the right thing by
confronting the 
patient and calling the police.

That was over a pad of 
paper which only would have 
hurt the one who took it.

Oh, for the sake of the children....
the many, many children
I wish the authorities that 
this grad student had gone to 
would have been so proactive.  
I can only imagine the images 
that must flash through this man's head...
the images that he knows he saw.
The guilt he must live with
each and every day.
I actually feel sorry for him.
Students are trained to leave it 
to the University officials.
Could and should he have done more?
I think so.
But, I understand the environment that 
caused him to remain quiet.
Who would have believed him?
He was likely assured it had been 
dealt with.

The ripple effect of one man's personal
demons.  It goes far and wide.
From the pain of those he has allegedly 
offended to the mighty at the top of a
famous institution.


Because of our connections to the
area and so many years lived there
we know people directly impacted by the 
media circus.... and by these actions.
Our thoughts and prayers are with them
as they deal with the pain and disappointment
so recently brought their way.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Last Night's Open House...

Now that was a treat!
My friend, Angel, made it worth the 
two hour drive!
She had more than 20 people come through
in our four hour time frame.
This meant that we only had about five
minutes when no one was there.
Pretty amazing!!

I was proud of myself for hanging in 
there with all of the big semi's on Interstate 81.
Talk about a small fish in a big sea!!
Chelsea's little Mazda Protege is itty 
bitty next to those big boys!

I'm also pretty happy to have ended up back
in Lancaster on my first try
rather than Allentown or some other 
distant place that those roads
also go to.

Being pretty much a homebody I don't usually
wander too far without Warren.
But this was fun and having Chelsea 
along was great.
She loves to go, go, go!!

I have to say that this is one good thing
about our trips to Hershey over this past year.
I was totally comfortable getting that far.

Back to the Open House...
I wish you could have seen all of the 
adorable toddlers and kids that came along.
So precious.

I accidentally left my camera there last night
so I can't show you the pictures.

Well, I have orders to fill and boxes to 
unpack so I'd better get to work!

I'm also hoping to get outside for a while today.
Just unpacking the car this morning
was very pleasant.  
The smell of Fall is in the air.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Is It Monday Already?

It is so interesting to have a cold at the 
same time as my friend, Melissa.
Facebook makes real time complaints
possible and ours are nearly 

No, I'm not going to share them 
here but I have definitely lost some
work time and church time thanks to
this pesky virus.

Yesterday I showed up at church,
against my better judgement, 
made the bulletins and began practicing
music with the teens and Mike and came to
the realization
that I really shouldn't be there.

So...I left.
Yep, let those impacted know
and came back home where
I slept off and on all day.

The rest of the family had a normal 
day at Sonrise Christian Fellowship.
A fellowship meal, 
A slide presentation by our Moms
about their 
mission trip to Guatemala,
a hike for some and rocket
launches for others..

They all came back happy as could
be and I was so thankful for 
a church that enjoys its fellowship 
so much.

Today, I am headed about two hours
west to hold an Open House 
with my friend Angel.
She is a fellow Etsian...
as we call ourselves.

If there was a way to push this 
until later in the week I would do 
it for everyone's sake...
however, Angel has done so 
much work and has invited so many 
people that 40 have said they are coming.
She has worked on her house, making it 
look like a boutique.
Me and my Robitussin are going.
We are taking Chelsea along
as muscle...lol.

I am very, very excited about this 
event and am so grateful to Angel for 
all she has done to make it a success.

I'll be refilling this for Angel on the spot this evening. 

That girl rocks!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

How Much Chocolate is Too Much Chocolate?

To say that my kitchen is not 
exactly functional for normal use 
right now would
be an understatement.

It is much more like a factory.

The boys come in and put their 
Hot Pockets in the microwave
or frozen pizzas in the oven
but regular cooking is rare
at this time of the year.

But true.

So, the other evening 
Mom, Chelsea and I met Warren
at the Olive Garden.
Not our usual place to grab a bite
but it just sounded sooooo good.
Our server was one who seemed to 
be going through the motions 
What do I mean by that?
Well, she was very animated but you 
could tell that it was all canned, 
so to speak.
Very been there, done that.

I wasn't overly impressed but 
we weren't there to be entertained
so it really didn't matter.

However, as time went on 
there was a thaw in her personality.
She began doing special favors.
We began chatting and her sense of 
humor became evident.

Finally she left the bill and a huge
handful of mints.
Our eyes got big and we each had
a "few".  Then she came back and 
dropped another huge handful on the table
declaring that she couldn't remember if 
she had given us our mints yet.
We laughed and I showed her my 
empty wrapper and asked if 
we made those disappear if we would 
get more.
Well, that was all of the encouragement
this lady needed.
Next thing we knew there was a goblet
full of Olive Garden mints in the center
of the table.

So, we ate some.
Then she asked if we wanted 
any dessert?
I pointed out that I thought we 
had kind of "done that".
She put her head back and 
roared.  She also agreed.

We prepared to leave with goody bag
in hand when didn't that silly lady 
bring another goblet full to dump 
in our bag.

Chocolate mint overload.

So....if only the story ended here it would
have been more chocolate than this family 
needed, but alas, it does not.

You know by now that our Chelsea
is just a bit of a Starbucks fan.
So, our next stop before heading home 
was our favorite Starbucks store.

One of our favorite barrista's was there for 
the first time in a while.
He said he was happy to see us since it 
had been a while and we told him that he
was the one who had been missing.
He agreed.
He'd been on his honeymoon.
We were so happy for him!!

I'm standing there waiting 
for for our drinks to be prepared 
when this young man
walks over with two very 
chocolaty desserts and says
"Shhh....don't tell anyone, 
but these are for you."

Did I mention....
they were very rich and very 
chocolatey and we had just eaten
about a ton of Olive Garden mints??

Oh. Dear.

But what was I to do?
I thanked him enthusiastically
and took the chocolate.
We shared it.
It was delicious.
No mint.
Just caramel and pretzels.

I so appreciate the servers of this
world.  Their jobs are not easy.
Recognizing that they are humans
with families, lives and struggles
is a good thing.

It makes our interactions with them
so much sweeter.

"Hug" a server today....
they will be shocked!
O.k. so not literally.
But just try asking them about 
their day...and smile!!
Not everyone they deal with 
is as nice as you are.

Who knows,
if they happen to be cleaning
out the dessert case at the end
of the night they may choose
to offer something to you
instead of putting it in the trash.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tea Light All Dressed Up!

So precious....
Each one burns 4-6 hours 
depending on conditions and whether 
it is a continuous burn.

I would covet your prayers this week.
I have some major decisions to make
regarding the candle company.

It is growing so quickly that I have
to make some major changes.
It would appear that God is
leading in a couple of areas of
growth but they are scary as can be!!

I need wisdom.
Doors to open and close
as He would will it.

Peace to be totally content
in His will.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This Passage Fits

In what is a very busy and stressful time
of my year, one in which I delight
as well as struggle,
these verses put into words
what my heart has been feeling.

Psalm 28:6-8

Praise be to the LORD,
   for he has heard my cry for mercy.
 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
   my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.

My heart leaps for joy,
   and with my song I praise him.
 The LORD is the strength of his people,
   a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. 

I am so thankful for His leading.
The way He makes Himself evident.
His love and discipline.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Is That a Frog?

Every time I open my mouth to speak
a funny croaking sound comes out.


Oh well.

Much to do.
I'll be in the kitchen if anyone needs me.

Hope you aren't dealing with 
frogs in your throat.