Thursday, March 31, 2016

Crushing On Colors

I have been debating color choices for the kitchen and dining room when we get to redo 
them in the future.  At the moment we have some more pressing projects in the pipeline.
Things such as both bathrooms, restoring our family room downstairs
and replacing the stair rails that were removed when getting the shower downstairs.
We burned the old ones.

But last night I was dreaming about the kitchen project with Warren.
We looked at the wall we will remove to open it up and so I thought it would be
fun to look on Pinterest for color ideas.

That led to making a new Board for those combinations I loved.
The photo above is a great representation of what I kept coming back to.

These yellows and blues....with white.
They are so me.

My hesitation is that so often things don't come out as lovely as
someone can stage their photos....
but in any case these colors are calling my name.

I wonder if I would be happier with blue walls with yellow accents
or yellow walls with blue accents?
I'm leaning toward the yellow walls.

I've been a Pinterest dabbler but this might push me over the edge.
So much little time.

Stress always makes me want to do a house project.
I have a history that proves it to be true.
We have a wedding in a month!!
Probably NOT the time to begin a kitchen remodel.
Just sayin'.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Jonathan....At 25

On Easter Sunday we celebrated the coming forth of two.....
We can't really claim them to be on the same level.

Jesus CAME FORTH from the grave
in completion of the salvation of those 
who believe all He did was for them.
Events a bit over 2000 years ago.
Very Important!!
For sure!


Twenty-five years ago Jonathan CAME FORTH to 
make Warren and I visible parents.
He was hidden before that, you know.
Pretty sure no one noticed the hugeness that had taken
over my body.

Both were exceptional events which directly
impacted my life and future.

So cool when the celebrations intersect.

We had a dinner at Georgia's house.
Easter decor.
Jonathan food.

There are no food photos.
We were too busy eating the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes
and veggies.

Poor Jonathan has been so sick for the last few weeks.
He is only now beginning to get relief from some medications
and he ate enough to feel truly awful.
But he expected it and seemed to think it was worth it.

What a blessing to be together as a family.
To celebrate not one wonderful thing....
But TWO!!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Goodwill Find....First in a Long Time

I've been spending more time in second hand shops lately looking for lace and serving pieces for the wedding.  Lace for the table decor and serving pieces for the appetizer segment of the wedding festivities.

This little sweetheart caught my eye.
Not really for the wedding.
Although, I wouldn't mind if Chelsea found a use for it there.
I just really liked it.

Today we got discounted Easter Hershey Kisses.
The blue and pink ones pretty much disappeared to a wedding project.
So I get the green ones and a few pink stragglers for the basket.
I'll take them.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

In Times of Stress.....

All of us react differently.  
But all of us pull together.  

Mikey and Emily brought us dinner and loving support on Thursday evening.  I set the flowers from Chelsea's Bridal shower on the picnic table.  I snapped this picture of my three sons.  Well, Chadd is just about a month away from being our son-in-law.  We already love him as a son and are so very, very grateful for him.  His commitment to the Lord and our daughter have woven him deeply into our hearts.  We stand firmly with him.

The irony of the timing from engagement to accident
Bridal shower to charges is not lost on us.

We feel like we are on the biggest roller coaster of all time.

Some of us go to church in our times of stress.

Last evening was our Good Friday Service.
It was so good to see our church family and let them love on us and pray
for us.  I feel that has been needed way more often over the past two years
with the flooding, sickness and now all of these events.
I was so happy to see that our young friend, Nick, had Grandma Georgia
in prayer with him.
The poor Grandmas are in this with us.
They care so very much!!
I'm thankful to Nick's sensitivity to that fact.

Chelsea stress bakes.
I stress eat.
Goodbye for now weight loss.....
I'll see you again.

This bowl full of sugar cookies headed to work with her today.

This sweet one was hand cute!!

I find myself reaching back over the years for the altars of rememberance
of how God brought us through other deep times.

Jonathan's rough start with a Diaphragmatic Hernia.
House Sale Troubles.
The two year season we went through as our dads fell ill and passed away.
Chelsea's Anorexia battle.
The flooding.
The sicknesses of the past year.
The accident and Chadd's survival.

There are many.
He is in control.
We trust His heart even as we don't understand
the events in front of us.

Please keep praying.

May God bring us strength, peace and courage in the 
days, weeks and months ahead.
We are praying that lives will be changed for the better in the process.
We firmly believe that all things DO indeed happen according to 
His will and purpose for the GOOD of those He has called.

Even as we say

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hard Week

This was the week we have been waiting for since Chadd's accident in July.  Charges were brought against him and they are very serious.  I won't go into any details.  Just can't believe everything you read in the newspapers.  

We continue to pray for everyone involved.

I don't know when I will post again....could be tomorrow with photos or could be a few weeks.  We are taking things minute by minute.  On my Facebook page I'm going with encouraging scripture, songs and messages.  Perhaps I'll do that here as well.  We will see.

Love you... and really appreciate your love, support and prayers.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Chelsea's Bridal Shower

This has been MUCH anticipated by the bride to be.  She has been so curious about what I knew and didn't know about what would be happening.  Truth was, I didn't know a lot.  Our daughter-in-law, Emily, planned it and executed it so very well with the help of the other bridesmaids and other friends from church.  It was a labor intensive kind of event even before today.  Emily made the most adorable decorations!

And this leads us to the food.....

You get the idea....
It was mostly sweet and ALL good.

It was wonderful to have so many friends and family members in 
attendance.  Chelsea's great-aunt Betty came over from York while her
Aunt Bev drove down from Central PA.
So many friends from work and church came to celebrate.

There was the crazy game of making a wedding dress from toilet paper.
This is a tradition with all of the local Bridal Showers we've attended.

Sarah gets all done up.

She even had a little ring bearer which made us all think she could win.

Chelsea ponders the ladies in their dresses.
It was her job to choose a winner.

The winner!

And then it was time to open gifts.

And then the evening ended with prayer.
Such a special time.
Such wonderful friends.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

We Made it Through!!

The past couple of months have been full of stress and distress for others in my house.  With the birthing of a new show at Sight and Sound, wedding preparations and an annual commitment to run sound at our county wide homeschool graduation banquet I've watched my husband, sons, daughter and mom bear burdens that, while normal and very happy, are still heavy.  There have been church projects on the back burner for lack of time...but a big one was resolved yesterday.  It was made much easier to get to due to the use of much of the equipment for that banquet.  All of a sudden it made sense to rearrange the instruments and sound equipment then rather than put it all back as it was and then take it all apart again on another day.  I wish I had taken photos of the before and after....It is very exciting to see the changes.

We aren't yet through the wedding but we have made much progress toward it.  I have a pile of candles to make for the table decor.  That will be fun.  We will do that next week.  Chelsea's Bridal Shower will be held on Sunday evening.  It is not a surprise, which is great for her because the anticipation has brought her so much joy. We are thankful that the initial forecasts of 4-6 inches of snow have been backed off considerably! The Matron of Honor, our daughter in law, Emily, is doing such a wonderful job at making this time special for Chels.  We enjoyed time together last evening...planning.   Honestly, as I reread the beginning of this paragraph I have to say that I don't see the wedding as something to "get through".  It is an honor and a joy that will only happen once for this family since Chelsea is our only daughter.  At this point the date is approaching with alarming speed after such a long time of waiting and waiting.

We are within two weeks of the concert involving my two little choirs.
I say "little choirs" because there will be approximately 22 in each of the two 
choirs this year.  It used to be that I had around 40 in just one of the choirs 
but those kids moved on up to high school and these class sizes are much smaller.
Even so, the quality of the voices didn't suffer.
These kiddos are pretty good.
I love working with them!!
It will be nice to have that weekly commitment done, though, as we get closer
to the wedding and those final details.

The Grad Banquet on Thursday evening came after a very full and long day
for both Warren and I.  We arrived there feeling as if we could just take a nap but
were quickly lifted up as the talents of the students became apparent in their 
sound check.  At that point you just get pulled in and excited for them to get to 
share with their parents and invited guests.
It is also an opportunity to share a very nice meal with friends
that we don't get to see often enough......

This photo was taken during set up and sound check.
The guy on the right is named Caleb. 
The girl on the left is Natalie.
She played violin beautifully in a string trio.
Because of the timing of this banquet each year we always think
Warren shouldn't do it the following year... but then we don't want to miss it 
and figure it won't be quite as stressful the next time.
Ha!  We are crazy.  But there is a good chance if they ask again next year
Warren would say yes. 
We will see!

Early morning yesterday found Jonathan and I at the Emergency Room.  He has been having extreme abdominal pain.  We still don't have all the answers but we are getting closer.  There are more doctors to see and more tests to have run.  Poor guy!  I hate seeing him in such pain.  The doctor came in the room and saw his feet hanging over the edge of the bed and had to make the usual statements about how tall he is. Another nurse, having been sent to start an IV in the "kid in room 13" thought she had the wrong room.  Well, really!  Kid?  He's almost 25 and looks at least 30!  Turns out she was the same age as Jonathan and couldn't believe he'd been called a kid either.  We got a good laugh out of it though.  Those are welcome at times such as these.

At his approximately 6'7" height he is quite used to it.
I am thankful to his boss who came in to cover for him as we rushed to the 
emergency room.  Jonathan was in a bad way.  
Feel free to pray with us that healing will come.
My gentle giant, with a very caring heart, needs relief.

And now I must go prepare to attend the wedding of one of "my" 
shop owners.  I was surprised when she invited me to come...
happily so!
But as she said, we've become friends.
It is true.
And I'm thankful for it!!

See you in the Spring!!
So happy to welcome it this year.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When in the Course of Common Events.....

You Are Faced With A Delay.

Go Ahead.....

Drink Frozen Hot Chocolate with Peanut Butter!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Samson Review....

This review is not unbiased.  It is unabashedly influenced by the fact that six of our family circle work there and many of our friends do so as well.  We have a vested interest in the success of each and every show.  Even so, we have opinions and like some shows better than others.  That is perfectly normal.  That said, Samson is a very captivating show!  I will enjoy it much more next time as I was so tense this first time, knowing there were scenes coming up which had potential to be frightening.  There was even a disclaimer at the front of the show about the safety of the effects having been tested repeatedly.... as the walls DO come down in the end.  Crazy cool and not so scary!

But that is the end....let me back up to the overall themes of the show.  A relationship between a father and son.  The heartbreak of a prodigal.  The depths of the pit that we can sometimes have to go through for our own good.  And how God will keep His word and accomplish His purposes.

I had hoped that perhaps this would be the first Sight and Sound production that I might make it through without tears.  Alas, I will have to try for that the next time.  However, the tears came at an unexpected point in the show.  I'm not going to give that moment away. It was powerful and beautifully written.

There are many laughs! Which is good because Samson is indeed a rather dark story.  The writers managed to add humor without distracting from the story.  A tricky feat well accomplished.

I loved seeing one of my little music students acting last evening, although I have to say that it is a bit sad that then I had to miss her in class yesterday due to the final run through yesterday afternoon.  Her father is also an actor in the show.  How sweet that they get to act in the same production.  She has done some shows at another local theater without him.  She's awesome, I tell ya!

There are two sets of music that stand out for me as just amazing.  At one point the family sings a song together and the harmonies are melt your heart beautiful.  Definitely my favorite.  Coming in second had to be the duets that Samson and Delilah sing.  They are modern sounding and their voices blend well in harmonies.  Yep!  I'd go back just to hear those two sets of music.....if for no other reason.

Finally, another reason I would watch this show again?  The "foxes".  For what seems like years...and may well be two years....there have been some special dogs in training to play the foxes that are lit on fire and therefore light the fields ablaze.  Everyone has wondered how these high spirited dogs would perform.  Well, they did it perfectly!  When choosing dogs for performing this breed is not one that one would have chosen first.  But they went for the look of them and it worked.

                                                      Warren's Mom, Georgia on the left

and my Mom, Ruth, on the Right.
I can't imagine that they planned to match so perfectly....
but then again I call them "Mom's in Stereo" because when one calls or shows 
up at our house the other does the opposite. 
Almost without fail. 
It is too funny.
Here they are on the Red Carpet.
We didn't get our photos taken on it but am glad they did.  
Then you get to see that fun!

It was such a beautiful March evening.

A new workspace for those who make the almonds.
Chelsea is one of those....she will spend a lot of time in this pretty new space.
How fun!

We are all breathing a sigh of relief to have the show through that first performance
with an audience.  Tonight is VIP night and they will do it all again.

Today is also our anniversary.
Warren and I are celebrating 27 years of marriage.
It hasn't always been easy....
but we are still best friends and wouldn't have it 
any other way!!

It is also my mother's birthday!
Each year she just loves to celebrate 
that best birthday gift I've ever
given her.
An amazing son-in-law.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

No Flower Spoilers BUT Something Amused Me

As I told you yesterday we went to choose flowers and to discuss how many arrangements and bouquets would be needed.  The wholesaler is in York and Divine Florals is in Lancaster.
That is not a problem.  We just met at the warehouse in York and had our discussions.

I'm using this photo because in it you can see the seriousness and intensity
that was involved in these discussions.
Aren't they adorable?

Susan is near genius when it comes to knowing how to put flowers together
and figure out what the bride wants. 
Chelsea is pretty quiet but Susan was easily able to get to the heart of the 
options and hear from Chelsea what she liked and didn't like.
She was also very agreeable to use just the things that Chelsea loves
without fussing about her own personal preferences.
I know that the end result would be perfect either way but by approaching it 
this way Susan has no doubts about Chelsea and Chadd's loving it!

Chadd may look a bit disconnected in this photo but he was not.
He had a thought that led to one of the best ideas of the day....

I took no photos of flowers so I'm not tempted to post any spoilers.
That is driving me crazy at the moment.
But, we are just weeks away from being able to show the finished results so....

Now, there is something else to notice about this photo.
I cropped it in tighter so you will easily be able to see what was so amusing.

In this world of technology and computers I found this floral warehouse's order system
completely amusing and charming.
Between Chelsea and Susan is a clip on a rope.
As I stood and listened to the conversation something behind them caught my eye.
It was a bunch of papers being lowered on this clip.
Immediately following the lowering of the papers a cowbell was rung and a person
above who had not been noticed disappeared into a room behind glass.
Then the papers just hung there swinging hypnotically until an elderly gentleman
approached and unclipped them.
He brought them to the table where we were working and we were pointed to another nearby 
table just before women descended with bunches and bunches of flowers
to prepare the order for which those papers were meant.

Everything moved like clockwork.
You could tell that each worker knew exactly what their job was and there
was very little conversation as they got to it.

But it was that order drop system that completely made me giggle.
I'll bet it works even better than if there was a computer station at every table.
Super charming and heartwarming in this world of digital everything!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Looking At Flowers and The Dress Hunt is Over!

We are looking forward to our afternoon.
Part of it, at least, will be spent in a large flower warehouse
choosing the flowers for the wedding.

Chelsea gave me pause last evening when she reminded me
that the wedding is just 7 weeks from now.
It sounds farther when you say the number of days.
But I am very aware of how quickly weeks FLY by.
Seven will be here and gone before we know it!

She will then be Mrs. Pham.



She is going to be a very good wife, I think.

Each day brings new fun wedding stuff to think about and plan.
And so today as we go off to choose flowers it will be a 
beautiful and special kind of a day.

Our friend, Susan, has begun her formal business
called Divine Florals.
I'm so glad to see it!
She is just so talented and great at what she does.
Let me share some of her work.....

 Photo courtesy Olivia Rae Craft Photography.

 Photo Source: Divine Florals

 Our friend, Emma and her groom, Vinnie.

My daughter in love, Emily's bouquet.  She chose some very unique flowers
that had to be shipped in from Central America.  

Chelsea is going for a simple but elegant look.
However, flowers are key to the decor and so 
we are most excited to see if what we envision in our heads 
can be as beautiful in person.

My guess?
It will be even better.

I finally have the dress I will wear to the wedding.
Actually, I have two....but I do think I've decided on the one.
It is navy blue and a very classic knee length.
Not the fancy dress I thought I wanted but I've tried enough of them on 
to know that they aren't me.
Much better to just be myself and focus on my girl on that day
than be all out of sorts and miserable.
I know you will be so happy that I've come to my senses. 
Oh, the drama!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Want a Good Laugh at My Expense?

A few weeks ago our shower head broke inside the wall and I heard 
water pouring down into the basement.
It was one of those incredulous moments because we had 
maintained a dry basement during the incredible storms
and were so happy about that.
But then......

Well, it wasn't a big deal.  Buckets caught the water and it turns out
I had heard it right after it started so damage was minimal.
Warren turned off the water to the shower and so our biggest
inconvenience was borrowing the Grandma's showers.
They are nice like that!

Here's where it gets amusing.
As we stood in the laundry room looking up into the ceiling
Warren told me that if I could get the shelves clear during the day
he would be able to get to the problem and fix it.

I felt that was a fair deal so I got to work removing the 
kids homeschool portfolio's from the shelves in the laundry room.
I sorted through photos, papers and even dishes that were on 
those shelves.

I found some this:

I was just pregnant with Jonathan in this photo.

As I did so I wondered why these shelves had to be empty for him 
to work on the shower plumbing.  I decided that apparently that stuff 
was at risk of getting dripped on as he worked.  Or maybe he needed 
to reach up past those shelves to get to the pipe.

Later as we sat enjoying dinner he mentioned that as soon as the two middle
shelves were empty he could get to work.
Two middle shelves?
That didn't compute.

Then it hit me!
He meant the two shelves in the bathroom closet!!
There is an opening to the shower plumbing UP THERE.
Good grief!!

I'm such a goober.

My heart is in the right place.
He got such a laugh about that even as he wondered how
he married someone who could be so very clueless.

I would contend that I didn't start out this clueless....
I've just gotten used to his taking care of these kinds of things
and have lost my common sense about them.

My story.
I'm sticking to it!!
We will celebrate our 27th Wedding Anniversary 
on March 11th.
I've been well taken care of.....and I know it!