Friday, March 28, 2014

The House is Buzzing....

Oh my, I do have my house working out this morning.  There is the sound of the dishwasher....chugging away in its sophisticated water saving mode, the washing machine is filled to the brim, our new water delivery system sits in a perfect spot beside the hutch but the compressor is whining at a high pitch that may render it unacceptable, the microwave is melting wax for more baby powder scented favors and the television is keeping me informed of the two huge searches happening in the world today.  Yes, there is a lot happening here today.

My brain is on happiness overload as I think of favor that my Heavenly Father lavished on me yesterday as I got to Change of Pace ladies study up in Lancaster.  It was a week in which the routine of our opening session was interrupted since we were sharing the church with another group.  This meant that we would do our opening music and announcements in the main sanctuary, rather than the smaller children's chapel that we normally use.  One thing to know is that this is the church our family visited weekly for many, many years for our homeschool co-op.  I love going back there because there are so many happy memories.  I loved co-op and the friendships formed there.  I also loved teaching history, music and leading "my" choirs.  Oh, I truly did.  It is the number one thing I miss about homeschooling.  Other than snuggling on the couch and reading great literature with my kids and all of the great discussions we used to share together....but outside of the home stuff....teaching music to children was my passion.

So, as we walked into the entrance area yesterday I mentioned to my friend, Jan, that we could avoid passing through the area being used by the other group if we would pass through the sanctuary and head out the other side to use the facilities before getting a bite of breakfast that looked so delicious on a nearby table.
She agreed and so we headed into the Sanctuary.  I thought I would just set my things down and proceed with my plan when one of the leaders of this study approached me and I told her how much it felt like coming home to walk into that room.  Oh, it did.  I was so happy to be there.  She invited me to sing with the song leaders that morning.  My first thought was to refuse.  It just seemed too good to be true.  After all, I hadn't practiced with them and would likely not know the songs they were about to sing.  She was willing to let me off the hook.  However, as I got closer to where I was planning to leave my things another lady approached me.  She leads at the other study I attend and I shared with her how much I had enjoyed the worship the day before.

At some point I found myself up on the stage and practicing with them.  It was kind of crazy and I somehow feel as if I invited myself, but not really?  Do you know what I mean?  Oh well, no matter what it was a total blessing and unintended on my part (as was evidenced by my appearance in old jeans and a sweater).   I never made it to the facilities or that delicious looking breakfast but that was just fine.  Oh!  And the music?  I knew every

If I get to do it again I will rejoice.  If I never get to do it again, I am content.  For just that one day I was back on that familiar stage, praising God and singing with ladies who love Jesus.  On a day when things were different, inconvenient for the leadership in many ways, but orchestrated to be such a delightful gift to me.

I am truly blessed.  Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Up For Discussion.....

I am attending a ladies Bible Study which is covering the book
True Woman 101 - divine design a study on Biblical Womanhood.

I went into the class fully expecting to love this study.
One of the authors, Nancy Leigh DeMoss 
is someone I respect and enjoy listening to.

(The following discussion is not found in the book
as far as I have seen....this was just class discussion.)

However, yesterday in class we were discussing the role of men
and more specifically the leave and cleave principal in marriage.
Pretty soon women were chiming in to say that the first thing a newly 
married couple should do is get away from their family for the first year.

Now, it may not surprise you that I bristled at this given the fact that 
Michael is about to be married.

I mean, these ladies were emphatically stating that the newly married couple should 
have NO contact with family for a year.
They were quoting a well known Christian family Psychologist as they said this.
I've not verified that this is actually what he said so I am not 
giving his name.

They were then stating that our culture shows too much parental 
involvement in newlyweds lives as opposed to how it would have been 
in Old Testament times.

I tried to be quiet.
Really, I did.
But when the instructor started talking negatively about parents 
helping young people financially and in other ways I just couldn't
help myself.

Let's think about Old Testament times.
The young man would clearly move from his parent's home but usually 
to another tent/house on the family compound.
The girl would leave her family's home and come to his.
The parents would provide the starting funds/gifts for the couple.
They would live as community.
No where do I see that the couple up and left all that they knew
and all of their support for the first year.
I wanted to just burst a gasket.
In a class that is trying to be counter culture I felt that 
the starting point was as deep in the current culture as it could be.
It put down the family.
Right there!
Where we were supposed to be talking about a Biblical 
role for women.

I was also reminded quickly of two situations where young
husbands were abusive.
I know this isn't the norm.... but what is the first thing
an abusive man will do?
Isolate her from her family.
This just seems like dangerous advice to me.

I love this Bible Study Group and will return....
this is not a deal breaker. 
However, I was very disappointed. 

What do you think?
Am I being too thin skinned?
Is it too close for me to be objective?
Or has all of the church bought into the idea that family is bad?

My parents lived a half an hour from us when we were married.
We saw them once a week or more, 
usually for Sunday lunch.

One evening Warren did not come home in a "timely" way
when I had made a lovely dinner.
I was very upset.
So what did I do?
I called home.
I expected sympathy and support.
What did I get?

Well, they were emphatic that this was between 
my husband and myself.
They were not getting in the middle of it.

Were they right to do so?
I had left my home and was under "new management".
Did they need to scram out of my life in order to 
perform such an important and impactful service for me?
Absolutely not!
I needed to hear that....and especially from them.

I know this might seem like a small deal to you 
but it is distressing to me to have an entire class of young
mothers hearing this kind of advice.

I'm ready to shut up and hear what you have to say 
on the matter.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Forgive the Post that Reads Like a Christmas Letter and Bears No Photos....

Hello!  I am still alive and kickin'.  Life is a rapidly changing force that is hard to keep up with....but I'm hanging on.  Personally I have been swamped with candle orders for baby shower favors.  This makes my entrepreneurial self happy.  Today, though, I discovered that I had run out of baby powder fragrance oil.  Good grief!  That means I've gone through three pounds in a very short amount of time.  So....I'm going to have to wait a couple of days until that gets here to finish the orders which require that scent.  But have no fear.  I have enough to keep me busy with requests for french lavender, citrus, vanilla and more.

Chelsea is busy working two jobs at the moment.  That, preparing to take voice lessons, studying business and keeping in touch with Johnny (in Denmark) fill her days to the brim.  We are all eagerly awaiting Johnny's return for the Summer at the end of May.  He is definitely a favorite around here....and not just with Chelsea.  Leaving him at the airport a couple of weeks ago was tough on Warren and I as well.  Yesterday Jonathan mentioned that he will be glad to see him again because he likes him a lot.  Michael gave him a hug on his last day here and told him that he doesn't have to sleep with one eye open any longer.  Ha.  The guy definitely had a lot to get through here with two brothers and a loving daddy.  Trust Chelsea to pick someone that we all like.  She is such an overachiever.  (wink)

Mikey is preparing for a late Summer wedding.  Until last evening it was an early Fall wedding.  However, the location they want for the wedding can fit them in much better in August.  So....August it will be!  It will be a rather smallish event due to the location but it will be special.    Mikey is ready to be a husband.  Boy does that sound strange....but it is true and he has matured so much in the last couple of years.  It is nice to see him as a man.  Emily is such a beautiful person and we are thrilled to bring her into our family.  They are just so perfect for each other.

Jonathan has a birthday this week.  He is turning 23.  Wowsa!  That is so hard to comprehend.  We were talking about it yesterday and he was surprised that he doesn't feel different somehow.  I told him that it is normal to not really feel your age.  I reminded him of our friend, Margie, who at 90 couldn't believe it was her staring back from the mirror since she still felt 30 on the inside.  But, even having said that, we have seen much growth and maturity in Jonathan and are so proud of him.  He has had a very, very hard year on many levels but remains such a tender and caring young man.  We love him so much!
We are so happy that the injections on his back seem to have helped him so much.  What a relief!!
Now we just have to get his vehicle back on the road.  The engine froze up on him on a drive home one morning so we are in search of a new vehicle or engine to give him his much wanted freedom back.  You know how that is...once you've had it.   As it goes, though,  this was a pretty good winter to carpool whenever possible with all of the crazy weather.  How convenient that they all work at the same place....right?

Warren is trying to recover from the stress of launching a new show, Moses, within the past month or so.  This was one of the hardest builds for them.  Maybe the hardest since In the Beginning when his father was so ill and passed away.  I have to say that the stress and struggles in building this show were worthwhile because Moses is selling tickets like crazy and it is amazing. All praise to Jesus for what He will do through the retelling of this biography.

As I mentioned in my last post Warren and I celebrated our 25th anniversary and are looking forward to a week away together to celebrate.  A week of quiet (we hope) and rest with lots of time to absorb all of the changes coming our way.  I'll not tell you here and now when and where we are headed but there will be sandy beaches involved.  A very large body of water to stare endlessly at and shells to discover.  Yep!  We are looking forward to that!  My Kindle will be loaded with plenty of books for all of the hours Warren spends snoozing in order to catch up on months of little sleep. Oooh, I do love to read.  And the world of books lives right there "in the Kindle".  Addictive!!

This reads like one of those Christmas letters.  Sorry.  But there you have it.  Documentation for my perusal later and a bit of news for at least one of you who has been asking.

Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An Eventful Week!

My brain is exhausted but my heart is full
after this past week.
I hope you can follow the hop scotch manner of this is the best I can do right now.

We have been many places, 
made Danish Donuts twice, 

played many, many hands of Dutch Blitz, 
become quite frustrated at Thai Uno
enjoyed many deep and silly conversations.

We are way too quickly approaching Thursday
which is the day Johnny returns to Denmark.
Our entire family is going to miss him terribly.

However, we are doing our best to 
say "See you soon" rather than 

On Sunday afternoon a group of us drove to Delaware to 
the Firebirds Restaurant.
Chelsea, Johnny and I had gone to one in Virginia after our 
accident and really enjoyed it so we found the closest one
to us and planned a visit.

The funny thing is....
we drove to the wrong one.
I had reservations at a neighboring Firebirds
but when we mapped it we accidentally put in the wrong one.
It all worked out in the end.....
but I do think we drove a bit farther than we were supposed to.

This makes the "states" that Johnny visited while here:

Washington D.C.

From our end of the table....

And the other.
I love this picture of Warren.

Last evening our Moms planned a dinner for our 25th Anniversary.
They invited all of the kids...
and a few friends.

These lovely people are soon to be "related" to us...
through marriage.
Carl and Belinda are Emily's parents.
Emily and Michael got engaged yesterday.
More about that in a minute.

Grandma Georgia did a lot of planning for this special evening.
She had a speech prepared which I tried to muscle through 
without tears.
It was so special to hear her thoughts and her love for us.

Jonathan's speech also made our hearts feel so blessed.
He is such a caring and gentle young man.
I couldn't ask for better.

These two surprised most there when they announced their 
engagement at the dinner.
Her parents knew and I had seen the ring, 
which she was trying to hide until after the announcement.
This is a very happy event.
We are thrilled.
And the announcement at our 25th celebration dinner continues a brief tradition
that we began about 25 years ago when we made the same announcement
at Warren's parents 25th celebration dinner.

Emily brings sunshine and laughter to our family.
We are so thankful for her.

Chelsea and Johnny continue to get to know each other.
They are currently dreading the geographical distance that will 
soon separate them, 
however, they are going to be just fine.
They are both quite mature for their ages and have a plan.
We will see how God leads them.

Grandma Ruth
definitely drew tears from me when she read the poem
my Dad wrote on my wedding day.
Daddy best expressed his emotions through poetry
and we treasure these words left for us.
It is kind of like having him with us.....
well as close as we can get.

We got married on Mom's birthday so today is also
her special day.
We will have a lasagna dinner tonight in celebration of that.

Pastor Mike and Jenny joined the celebration.
You've heard me speak of him so many times over the years that 
you know he is "family" to us.
We love him dearly and are so happy that 
he and Jenny will be married
in May.   
So much romance in the air....seriously.
It is a bit overwhelming.
But so sweet.

Georgia brought beautiful flowers
for the table.

I need to get moving here.
Editing those terrible quality photos from my phone in a dark room
took just about all morning....
in between a nice visit with my Mama
and a few other things.

It is time to get moving on cleaning, dishes and making a few 
candles before starting the lasagna.

So much to do....
so little time.

But it is a great and wonderful life to be blessed with.
I do hope things are going well for you.
I hope to get around to visit blog friends soon.
And to meet up with several real life friends to catch up
also very soon.
Know that I value your friendship and love for our family.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Much Needed Spring Preview at Longwood Gardens

I needed to see and smell hope.
The hope of Spring.

An hour in this magical place with camera in hand
was just the thing!

Hope you've enjoyed these photos
from the conservatory.