Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Candles Raising Money To Bring a Precious Child Home

It is no secret to you that there are some children
in a far away place that have my heart.

Coming to know and love two of these children
in a very personal way through the Musser Family 
has made me very aware of the depth of neglect 
children in their former orphanage are subjected to.

Seeing these same children come alive and thrive
has motivated me to do whatever I can to 
help the parents God has chosen bring the kiddos 
home as soon as possible.

even though this has been a very busy
season in our home
when Susanna called and asked if I could whip up 
some candles for her to list in the 
Auction beginning tomorrow I agreed 
without any hesitation.

As usual with me I am working up to the 
deadline but they are finally complete.

I'm not sure if all of these will be listed 
but at least some of them will.
All money raised goes to
the Huizinga Family who are 
excited to bring 
 Penny home,
if the Lord wills it.
To learn more you 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chelsea's Journey Down Under Has Begun

I do rejoice in the Lord today.

Having walked through several weeks that were beyond
hard and stressful 
I knew He never left.

When Georgia fell and broke her leg 
we wondered how this fit into the plan.

I wish I could tell you that we now know the answer.
We don't.

But I do know that strength has come from
our Heavenly Father to come as far as we have
in her healing and recovery.

It was our hope that the Rehab Hospital would hold onto
Georgia until after Chelsea was off so that I would be 
able to focus more on her and not have to leave her 
for the trip to the airport and a congregational meeting 
the next day at church.

That didn't happen.

But God did supply wonderful friends to visit with Georgia
while we were gone so that the time passed faster
and I was relieved of worry about a fall or a need that 
I wouldn't be able to meet.

This became especially important when we showed up to 
the airport in Baltimore to find that the flight Mom and Chelsea
were supposed to board had been cancelled.

After speaking with the woman at the counter
we found that they were rescheduled for a flight
six hours later.

What to do now?

Well, it was so hot and humid that we knew it had to be 
something indoors.
So we headed to White Marsh Mall.

After lunch at a nearby 
we headed to the mall proper.

No one felt like shopping but that was o.k.
It was cool and they had a Starbucks.

After some window shopping we 
enjoyed conversation, cookies and drinks
at a beautiful solid wood table in the cafe.

These stacked cups are holding Chelsea's
vaccine for Typhoid.
It needed to stay cold.
We weren't prepared for that with the delay.
Chelsea pointed out  that  the combination
of the cups made for a mixed message.

 And then they were off.

This later flight was delayed once again but only for a little 
bit and they made their connection in Chicago only to be 
stuck on the runway with 20 planes ahead of them
as soon as a storm passed by.

They had been up for 20 hours by the time they got to Seattle.
Two very tired ladies.
They got the shuttle to their hotel.
And finally got some sleep.

Chelsea wrote a post about their first day in Seattle.

Then she next wrote when she was on the plane to Australia.

We are so thankful for traveling mercies for both Mom and Chels.
Many people have played a part in making Chelsea's journey
possible.  We thank God for you.

I heard from her this morning to say that she is doing well.
She asks for prayers that she would settle in well.
It is always hard for her to make friends at first 
since she is so quiet but I know that she'll come out of this
experience with some deep and meaningful friendships.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Flowers on the Deck

When filling these hangers on the deck walls I usually get one thing right and a couple of things wrong.
This year I decided that the one thing I usually consistently goof on is choosing flowers that need plenty of watering.  Ummm.....I have very good intentions but.....

So, this year I decided to put flowers in that prefer drier conditions.
Guess what?
It rained every day for nearly a month.
You know, that afternoon shower that totally soaked the planters.

The poor plants kind of struggled.
They struggled until this week when we have had hot humid days
but not much rain.

Finally they are beginning to bloom.

We'll see what the rest of the Summer holds for them
but for now I think they are pretty cute.

The foggy conditions are a result of bringing a air conditioned camera 
out into heat and humidity.

Inspired by Vee's window box post.
I LOVE window boxes but this is as close as I come.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Annual Summer Garden and Butterfly Pics

Just two.

But amazing that I went outside and 
took them at all in this 

O.k. so I took more.....
but, these have been stressful days and 
this is all I have the patience to work with.

The good news is that Georgia 
comes home tomorrow. 

Today I brought home the wheelchair,
walker and other items she will need for 
the time being until she can put weight on the broken leg.

I am so proud of how Georgia has handled this hurdle.
It is a big one.
Summer is her favorite season.
This put a hurting on it...
Big time!
It also forced the cancellation of a very cool 
trip up through the Rockies and into Canada that 
our Moms had planned.

we all know that nothing happens 
without purpose.

And while Georgia is understandably sad and frustrated....
she is working hard to get back 
on her feet as soon as possible
and has maintained a very sweet spirit 
through it all. 

My mom has been amazing as well.
She had to cancel and rearrange all of those plans.
That had to hurt.

I'm so very thankful that in the disappointment of these changes
the silver lining is that mom will be able to go through customs
with Chelsea and walk her to her gate 
at the International Airport.
This was not in the original plans.

It blesses my Mother heart.
A lot!

While I speak of blessings 
I have to mention the dear ladies at church.
For the past few weeks 
I have been a certifiable mess
at church.
Most of the week I can keep my mind and hands 
busy and therefore keep the worries and sadness of
the upcoming separation at bay.
However, on Sundays it is all quiet 
and I have opportunity to think
about the count down.  
The words to the music always 
reach straight into my heart.
Tears flow.
Would that I were anything other than a cry-er.
My dear friends have sent cards,
prayed and checked in with me .
There is so much support and love that I am overwhelmed.

All of this seems ridiculous for a five month deal.
Kids do it all of the time.
But those are other people's kids.

This is Chelsea.
My kid.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Scrambled Life

God knows me so well.
He knows that given time to fret, 
I'll do so.

rather than allowing this stressed mama
time to stew
He has allowed a week that will try even 
this adrenaline lover.

As we work toward making sure that all is in order
for a five month stay for Chelsea in two different countries
there are also the added challenges of a three day business
trip for Warren, 
working to bring Georgia home from the hospital on 
Thursday after taking her to a surgeon's appointment first, 
dealing with broken vehicles, 
Entertaining friends of Chelsea's who must get 
their last good-byes in, 
a couple of candle orders...
and whatever is coming next.

Today Mom and I went to the rehab to observe
Georgia's therapy so that we can be aware of how 
much or how little help she will need.
The woman looked like an Olympic Athlete compared 
to the rest of the patients there.
I can see that staying until Monday really wouldn't work.
That was our original plan....but.....
God knows me well.

Mikey, Chelsea and two friends have just returned from a
day at Hershey Park.  
They are quite sunburned and yet very energetic.
It seems that we are about to head out to Sonic
while Warren mows as much of the lawn as he can
by the headlight on his lawn tractor.

I'm going to miss these crazy days 
at some point in the future.
So, for now I'll just soak it all in.
Siblings loving and watching out for each other,
the chaos of a very lived in house,
a path about to be worn in the back yard between 
here and Georgia's house,
Mom, Georgia and I laughing hysterically at a joke
that no one else would truly appreciate,
A husband who appreciates my efforts to 
get his clothes washed and dried in the midst
of all the madness....
and four animals that need and want my attention.

the three of us ladies got to giggling so much 
during therapy that others suggested we pull it together.
I think they were kidding.......

Its all good.

Its what makes a crazy lady like me tick.

For a more sensible post you might want to check out
this guest post I wrote for the CAST Team blog
this morning.

Night Night.
I'm off to Sonic!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

One Small Step....Changed Everything

We had a delightful Fourth of July.
I hope you did, as well.

My brother Allan and Bev, his wife, 
were here and we ate ourselves to contentment
on all sorts of grilled goodness and Mom's 
potato salad.

Chelsea kept at us to find a fireworks display 
so we headed up to Lititz where we came upon
a cemetery with people sitting in it.  
We decided that this would be a good place to watch
the fireworks from and joined them
among the tombstones.

It turned out to be just perfect.
The sky was clear with just enough of a breeze
 to move the smoke away in time for the next shell.

There was even an old fashioned ice cream truck that 
parked itself right beside the cemetery at the end of
the show.  
Some of our group indulged enjoyed.

Friday the 5th of July started out innocently enough.
Mom called to tell me that she, Allan, Bev and Georgia 
were going to go hiking at a local park.
Allan and Bev are members of a mushroom club 
and love to seek out edible mushrooms.
Mom and Georgia just enjoy being in God's Creation.

Around 11 am, I guess it was, the phone rang again 
and it was Mom. 
Georgia had fallen out on the trail and they were not 
able to get her out. 
Something was wrong with her knee.
It was just one moss covered rock in the
middle of the trail that did her in.

What was scary was that they had no idea where they were 
or how the emergency responders who had 
been called would find them and get to them.

Her voice broke and the tears came
which only worried me more.

We decided that it was best that I stay put until 
more was known since Georgia was conscious and we knew that 
the next step was to get her out.

Well, two fire companies showed up.
An ambulance, a medic or two
and who knows what all else.
They threw a lot at this event since they didn't know
what they were getting into either.

Thankfully, Allan had been able to walk out
and meet them.
In pretty good time they were able to bring
an ATV down the trail and pack her up.

Turns out the ambulance driver and nurse/EMT were
the parents of one of our good friends.
Small world in Southern Lancaster County!

Since the weather was HOT and HUMID the
first responders made sure everyone had plenty of
water to drink.
In fact, Mom had gone back to her car at one point
before the hike began
to get a small cooler with sodas in it
and so they had a mini ice pack which made a huge
difference in the swelling since they were able to
ice the knee before help even arrived.

Finally I got the word that Georgia and Bev were headed to the
hospital by way of ambulance and I met them there.
We found out that Georgia's leg was broken and would
require surgery.

Sadly this has changed big plans that our Moms had
for the two weeks after dropping Chelsea at
LAX on her way to Australia.
They were planning to drive through
the Rocky Mountains and up into Canada.

Bless my Mom's heart,
she will still take Chelsea out to the
West Coast to catch her 14 hour flight
to Brisbane
but then she'll just come back home.

One small step.
Such an impact.

Back to Georgia, though.
Yesterday she had some company
at her Rehab Hospital.

I took this photo of her as she
enjoyed the conversation.

Thankfully the pain is minimal.

Georgia has a lot of work ahead of her.
I'll be her driver and main caregiver.
Mom is a huge help, as well.
Makes us know we made the right decision to
move our Moms to Lancaster County.
So thankful that they were able to get houses
right on our street.

These are not easy days....
on many fronts.
But, God is Good.

I'm sorry for such a scattered post.
That's just how my brain is working
right now.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Another Birthday......Our Precious Daughter

There simply aren't enough words to tell 
you how much your Daddy and I love you, 

We are so proud of the hard work you have 
done over the past few years and 
the love you have for Jesus.

We look forward to 
hearing about your adventures over
the next five months
knowing that
 God is continuing His work
in you.

Happy 18th Birthday!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday!!

Photo by Chelsea Keeney

Happy Birthday
The United States of America!

Wishing you a very long life
in which your ills can be cured
and all that is good.... 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Still Life...Bowl of Oatmeal

Just because it was so pretty.
I took a bunch of photos of Chelsea's Panera Oatmeal
last week as we returned from 
Creation Fest 2013.

Who cares, you say?
maybe no one.

But this was one very pretty dish.
Even the bowl is gorgeous.
A soft yellow in a heavy pottery style.

 The blueberries were so large and ripe.
They just made the oatmeal appear very desirable. 

Its the little things.

Are you paying attention?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Huge Praise!

As of yesterday
Chelsea is fully funded for her mission trip.
That means God has provided 
so generously
all the way along.
The photos in this post are of Chelsea and some of her
many friends from work.
She is going to miss them....a LOT.
We are so pleased with all of the work 
Chelsea herself has done to save
the money she earned.  
I cannot tell you how many times I've
urged her to purchase a top or skirt
she loves only
for her to walk away with a higher
purpose in mind.
Even so, 
 she could not have saved 
the $10,000 needed on her own.

This is a big week for our girl as it is her 
last week of work and then on Saturday 
she will have her 18th birthday.

We'll celebrate the 4th of July with 
my brother Allan and my Sister in law, Bev.
We are all looking forward to seeing them!

Pretty soon we will go to the bank and 
place our order for some Australian Dollars. 
How cool it that?

We'll place our order and 
it will come in about a week.
We are happy (for us) that the American 
Dollar has gained strength on the Australian Dollar
in the past few weeks. 

Cuties.  Chelsea, Kim and Emily
We are also very blessed that our Moms are
going to take Chelsea out to her flight from 
Los Angeles.
They will tour a bit in Seattle before taking Chelsea 
to a late night flight from L.A.
Then Chels will fly 14 hours straight and totally miss
a day to arrive in Australia on an early morning.

Chelsea and Sarah....
We expect that there will be others in her program 
on that flight.
Hopefully they will get to meet and start the process
of becoming acquainted.

This is all big and scary for the mama.
But God has provided in so many ways we 
couldn't have imagined that it makes it easier...not easy...
to trust that Chelsea will be o.k.
I'm so thankful for the technology that will keep us in touch.
This old fashioned girl with a track phone
might have to get a smart phone 
to be available for Face Time.
Just maybe.
We'll see.

I don't know if I'll be around the blog a lot 
or a little this week.

Either way, 
YOU have a super 4th of July.

P.S.  Here is a post Chelsea wrote in the wee hours this morning.