Friday, December 27, 2013

Longwood Beauty and a Bit More....

Real red and green apples form this mosaic.
When they are not needed here any longer they will be 
used as cow feed at a local farm.

 Orchid Chandeliers 
are so elegant...

 Tea anyone?

While no one will actually be drinking tea here 
it is quite inspirational.

What lovely vignettes.

And from the tea room we stepped out into the open conservatory
to find some brilliant uses of color.

Very fun and pretty use of Spanish Moss and 
Dried Fruit.

Pineapples growing.....

So stunning!

Daddy and Daughter....
Love them!!

And then we were off to the cafe for lunch.
I love their chili.
Chelsea enjoyed a salad while Warren chose a sandwich.

After that we left the gardens and headed to 
Kennett Square proper.

We were on a mission to restock our tea supply
at Mrs. Robinson's tea shoppe.

There is no rational reason why this shoppe should
make us so happy.
And yet, it does.

We each chose a flavor
to purchase and left to go around the corner 
to a new coffee shop/cafe.

I did make a tactical error in ordering a 
cappuccino since this is the real deal and 
therefore is not sweet in the least 
and is very strong.
However, it was so pretty that I enjoyed taking
photos of it and even had a couple of sips 
before adding sugar and then surrendering it to Warren.

 We will visit this cafe again!
We really enjoyed it and the owner who you can see
hard at work in this picture.

 Check out the menu board.
Is this not the cutest way to let people 
know what is available?

 So...if you are in Kennett Square and you want to 
get a genuine cup of coffee, Mrs. Robinson's Tea or
probably hot chocolate....I forgot to look....
I recommend Philter.

Finally it was time to head home.....
I found it classic that we followed a 
mushroom truck down the highway.
We were in the mushroom capital of the world
after all.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Three Blog Post Referrals

This morning I am preparing 
for tomorrow's Christmas Service.
Actually this has been an ongoing process but 
the time is coming for me to say....
we have enough!

It seems I am not the only one to put 
things off until the last minute
but I am so excited about the music and gifts that 
will be shared.
To get a teeny tiny taste you can see 
Rachel and Yolanda practicing 

That is blog referral number one.
Blog referral number two is one that made me 
laugh out loud this morning.

Vee and her grandchildren are dear to my heart.
Some might think it odd since we've not met in person.....
but since you are reading this blog you 
probably wouldn't think that.

And blog referral number three is cause for 
great praise and celebration in the Goodness of God.
Susanna shares how God won a hard fought battle 
in an Eastern European Orphanage.

I know you are busy now too....
so have a blessed day!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Life  really can seem like such a jumble of pieces 
that all come together
However they are not so random....
because I don't really believe that things
"just happen".

Take, for example, 
Mikey's big crash on his 21st birthday.
Before he made the jump over the bonfire on his
dirtbike I "knew" that it wasn't going to go well.
In fact, I couldn't watch.
 Michael has done much more daring tricks 
without incident....
but somehow both Warren and I just knew
that this was going to be a defining moment.
Sure enough, 
he went down hard.
As I stood over him....
in pain,
words came from my mouth that I would 
certainly not have said had I thought about it.
I said, 
"This is the best thing that could have happened!"
I think the friends and co-workers who
had only just met me moments before 
were pretty sure I was crazy.
What mother says this as her son 
lays there in excruciating pain?

Since then,
I see that those words were prophetic.

You see, Michael was headed on a path
that from all we could see was not the best one for him.
I had told you that he was trying to get into the Army?
Well, that was still very much a goal of his.
We never had peace about it.
Not for a second.

But, after Mikey's accident, and because of Michael's accident, 
 he got reconnected 
with a very special young lady.
I say reconnected because she was his first, 
and only girlfriend
a few years ago.

They are quite the item now.
The Army has been called off.

We are thrilled to see him so happy.
And we love his friend, Emily.

 Now I bet you are wondering what dog shampoo has to do 
with a post such as this?
Well, it is another piece in the complex puzzle called life.
See the cute puppy picture on the label?
His name is Jake and he lives in New Mexico with his owner Kim.
Kim gave me this picture to use on my new dog shampoo/conditioner.
You see, Kim and I are friends on Etsy. 
She has this really cool shop which features her photography 
in various forms.

Kim knows the Archer Family.
Mrs. Archer is from the Philippines.
Through her we 
have been able to help the victims
of the massive hurricane.

Our contacts are now worldwide.
Through interesting and Providential connections.

This is a very tired Chelsea on Monday evening after we had returned 
from a fun event at Sight and Sound Theater.
This is the first year that there was a Conservatory at the theater.
One of the students came to our church so we went to see 
her graduate.
It was such a special evening....but in spite of my best intentions
I forgot my phone and camera so I couldn't take any pictures.
When we got home we found Liza and Emily hanging out with the guys....
they happen to be sisters. 
It was a great reunion with Chelsea.
We have known this lovely family for more than 12 years
and love each one of them.

 Several weeks ago I had been at a friend's home for a visit.
I told you about it at the time.
Melissa has been a long time friend.
She is loyal and generous.
On this visit, Melissa, 
served tea like this.

I then had to share this experience with my family
because I thought it was so cool...and tasty.
So I got my own clear pot and tea flowers.
Thanksgiving evening we sat around the table and sipped 
tea while eating leftover turkey on sandwiches while 
chatting with Chelsea in Thailand.

It was so fun and so special.
Random friend?
I don't think so.

If you wouldn't mind praying for Melissa
it would be great. 
She has been sick for a few weeks now and 
needs to have prayers for renewed strength.

So....I started this post with a photo of these 
ginger ninja's.
They are yet another "random" piece that just make life more interesting.
Chelsea and the boys have a tradition of making a gingerbread house
on Christmas Eve.  Then they watch movies until the wee hours.
This year they are talking about making the Space Needle.
We'll see what comes of that.
But as Chelsea and I perused a local store yesterday
we spotted these fun cookie cutters.
We decided that they would look great hanging from the Space Needle.
So, this evening I walked into the kitchen to find 
Chelsea, her friend Hannah, Jonathan, Michael and Emily 
all hanging out and either watching or working on 
Ginger Ninjas.

A mosaic.
Filled with friends and events.
It may look random.
But I highly doubt that it is......
highly doubt it, indeed.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Celebrating Chelsea's Safe Arrival Home

Without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done
is love Chelsea enough to encourage her to follow her 
heart to Australia and Thailand.
Over the past four years of struggle with Anorexia
we have become so close that we were nearly 
always together.
Well, obviously she worked and had her friends....
but Chelsea was always, always a part of 
my day.

having her leave and trusting that she would 
do the necessary things to stay healthy for 
five months...
let alone all of the dangers inherent in traveling to 
Australia and Thailand 
nearly took me down.

But all the while I wrestled with fear and worry
there was an underlying peace.
Somehow I just knew that what Chelsea would gain
in these studies and experiences were worth
a million times more than my 
anxious heart.

It was.

Last evening we met her at Newark International Airport.
Let me just say that I LOVE Harrisburg and Lancaster Airports much more.
But, Newark, New Jersey works if you want the shortest flight possible
and all of that.

We were so busy looking for her that she 
nearly made it right into our faces before we saw her.
So tanned, tiny and tired.
But she looks good.

Her brothers have missed her immensely.
They were nearly as surprised as we were 
at just how much they missed having her around.

She is the glue.
The inspiration behind silly plots.
She is JOY.

Her culture shock is in full bloom already.
Americans are apparently loud and quite rude 
compared to other cultures.
There was a bit of a glazed look that took 
over when she was not directly engaged in 

She is sleeping now and we are committed to 
letting her sleep as long as it takes on this first day.
the hair cut and shopping
(at her request)
before a special treat this evening.

I'll try to get pictures to show you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pets and Updates

Someone likes the new sofa and pillows.
I gave up on keeping her off....
her determination is

Last evening I heard snoring and looked for the source.
It was the tortoise cat, Tidbit.
I thought they were simply adorable all snuggled up together.

Oliver's Close up.
A bit dirty but still pretty handsome.

Things are going well here.
Mikey got to go back to work this week
for the first time since his broken collar bone.

Chelsea is back in Australia
for ten days before coming HOME!

Jonathan is still waiting to see how much
relief he will get from the injections in his spine.
I think he is moving a little bit easier but 
can't tell if he is just back to his usual after the 
flare up after the procedure or if we are 
seeing relief.

I am nearing the end of this very busy candle season.
Two groups are still selling 
and last minute Christmas orders continue 
to come in via Etsy.
But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
January will find me working harder than ever to 
design more baby shower favors 
build a very nice collection of Wedding candles
and favors.

We purchased tile, a bathtub and everything we need to 
install them in the boys bathroom downstairs.
This is ultimately the first step to being able to 
remodel our bathroom upstairs in the next year or so.
Believe me when I say that it is PAST time.
The 70's blue has got to go!
My challenge will be making it current 
without making it currently dated...
if you know what I mean.

Tomorrow evening brings a double booking 
on my part.
Set up for a craft show 
our ladies tea at church.

It's ok.
I've gotten permission to show up 
fifteen minutes early for set up
and that should put me at just 15 minutes late for 
the ladies tea.
This is a Sonrise event and they never start on time....
so what this means is that I will be there just on time.
Deanna, you did not just read that!

All right...
I'm off!

Have a great day!