Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas 2017 and a Couple of Big News Items!!

 I'm having difficulty with this post because there is so much to share.

I mean, way back at Thanksgiving our oldest son
got engaged to his best friend, Darcey.
It was a huge event because they drove out to Illinois where 
her family is so that he could ask in person....
both Darcey....and especially her parents.

He was super nervous but determined.

We are extremely proud of him for caring so much that 
he do it in a way that was respectful.

They got engaged on her Grandma's porch
where Darcey would have chosen to have her wedding if
they weren't getting married here.

We have yet to go out and take engagement photos.
I asked them if I could do it informally.
They can see if they want more when we are done.

This was the two of them as they came to their family 
engagement party.
He began the evening wearing the hat....
she left wearing the hat.

They are so fun!

The wedding date is April 28th!
Details are beginning to come together.
Darcey and I got the basic Rehearsal Dinner menu planned
in a few minutes on Christmas Day.
I will have fun making 
and serving it at the wedding location.

Some photos from the engagement party taken by Chelsea:

Chelsea made the cupcakes.

These three.
They continue to make us proud.
Roy is a very well behaved little guy who is interested in
everything around him.
Christmas was so fun because he was so engaged.
Each new toy was thoroughly examined 
and enjoyed. 

This photo was taken at the Chrismas Museum while we were out with friends
recently.  Sean, Angel and their two daughters came to visit us.
Roy loved the girls.  

It was his first Moravian Christmas Service, of course.
And he got so chatty he spent most of it in the entryway.
But he was very good.

Since Jonathan will be a married man next year I opted to get him his last 
kid toy this year.
He loves porgs and this Wookie came with a nice one.
Love the Wookie.
It makes Wookie sounds when you squeeze it.

Michael and Emily are doing great.

photo by Chelsea

Mikey is really into camping, his bike and kayaking.
Emily is really into kayaking, her job and her nephews.
Here she and Roy read a book.

He loves both his Aunt Emily and Uncle Michael.
Mikey loves Roy too.

Our other big news?

Pebbles & Lace is MOVING!

We are headed to the big town of Lititz.
As you are likely aware....
I've been supplying the shop called Back Home Again
with my candles for many years.
6 or 7 years.
The owner, and my friend, Karen has decided to be a stay 
at home mom to her blended family.
We are scheduled to open on February 15th!!
That will be one year from the date we opened in Strasburg.
After much back and forth we have decided to close the 
Strasburg shop.
Long story short on that... I am too much of a control freak to 
let someone else manage that one while we open the 
other so Mom and Chelsea voted me down
about keeping both.

We will close the Strasburg shop at 5pm on Saturday and work
like crazy to be ready to open in Lititz in February.

So many awesome things are falling into place.
There will be more on all of it later.

But for now I have this morning off and need to get 
bills paid, groceries purchased and errands run before
watching my sweet grandson while Chelsea works this afternoon.
Someone has to do it....LOL.
Can't wait.
He's a charmer.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Whew!  What a whirlwind this year has been so far.  A delightful, sweet, awesome, blessed and over the top joyful year.  When I look back to January 17th when we learned our friend was making a shop space available and we were invited to take it over I had no idea what saying yes was definitely the right thing to do!

It is so great to work with my mom and daughter.  We all have different gifts that come together so well in the shop.  I would be a mess without their constant cleaning and organizing.  They would go nowhere without my big picture..."Hey!  Let's do this thing!" and the shop would have very limited success without Chelsea's display giftings.  She just has a knack!

I'm Thankful!!

Here are some photos from the shop.

On the day we took possession.
You can see uncertainty....I think.
But excitement.
The last photo in this series shows us very recently.

The shop as it looked for our Grand Opening.

Random shots from the time we've been open.

 We are so super pleased for our friend, Annie, of LaneyBell Designs. 
Her business has exploded with large, large accounts.
You will begin to see her work in amazing places.
We are so thankful that she is not forgetting us in the process.

We have already had a turnover in our baby accessory artisans.
Only because of health issues.  Not due to any fault on either part.
But our former artisan was so kind and to suggest another and it was a super 
smooth transition.  We are thankful!!

Before the Strasburg Halloween Parade.
We are still standing and still smiling!

I think you see relief and a comfortability with where we are
today in this photo.
We now know that we CAN work together and that we enjoy it.
We have settled into our roles.
We have met AMAZING people...both artisans and customers.
We have found our space in the Strasburg business community 
and look forward to growing in that.
We have raised money for Breast Cancer Screenings in younger women
after learning of the need.
We have been pleased to offer a HUGE selection of Vintage Feed Sack fabrics.
Our feedsack ambassador.  Her Great Grandmother is our collector/consignor.

We have sold all but one of the Conk Mushroom Art pieces
that Allan was able to provide for us.

We have ALL grown, so much.
And we are THANKFUL!!
Stay tuned for a huge announcement...
if God wills it!

 Then to have the birth of our precious grandson on July 26th.  I've joined the sweetest and best club on the planet...the Grandma club.  Lately I've been holding him way more than taking photos but here are "a few" from me or stolen from Chelsea. 

Jonathan met Darcey this year.  They were set up by co-workers and are so sweet together.  It is so much fun to see him grow and have new experiences....such as driving 13 hours to her family's home for this Thanksgiving Day.  We will miss having them here but are excited for Darcey to spend time with the loved ones there.

Michael and Emily have made the smart decision to split up Holidays and alternate each year.  So this year they are spending Thanksgiving with her family and we will have them with us for Christmas.  They chose this year for those holidays because my brother and Bev also alternate and this falls in line with their schedule.  So, we will be a smaller gang tonight when we have our Thanksgiving dinner but Pastor Mike, Jenny and her mother will join us and it will be sweet.

My Mazda Minivan died recently.  It had a crazy amount of miles on it.  We found a Ford Escape of the same year, 2003, but with 100,000 less miles on the same engine.  I love it!  And it is red!!  Seems like lately we kept finding white vehicles between us and our moms.  So...I'm breaking the mold with my RED Escape.  Against my better is a photo of me with it.

The candle business continues to thrive and keep me up late at night and awake early to make candles before heading to the shop.  It is something I'm mentally to the wisdom of working so hard all the time....but for now am committed to getting through this busy season.  It still brings joy and even today as I make 85 candles for Sweet Grace Ministries it has purpose.  Deep purpose.  I will not mind one little bit spending that time on something that helps even a little bit for people who will suffer loss in the months to come. 

I hope that you and yours will embrace the good and the bad you have experienced over this past year. We come to understand that everything works together to make us into the people we are.  If we are smart we lean hard into God when the bad things come and we reach out to Him in extreme gratitude when things are going well.   There is no other way to experience the full JOY of life and become all that HE has for us to be.  As most of you know we have been to the depths and we have stood on the highest mountain.  Both have been so important.....I happen to like the highs sooooo much better.  Won't lie.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

It's Been a While....

And this little man is growing. 
This photo was taken a week or two ago by his Mama.

We went away on a vacation with some of the kiddos.
This was at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.

 Some of the wildlife was kind of familiar.

On the way back from the zoo I got to play photographer.
We stopped at our favorite beach...Buckroe Beach.

Jonathan and Darcey....

Chadd and Chelsea

It was a very fun vacation filled with games, shopping, time with extended family,
a trip to urgent care for me because of a run in with a toxic
caterpillar the day we left and much Grandma time with Roy.

Recently we attended a gorgeous wedding held in a delightful country church.

The day couldn't have been more perfect.
The mini groomsmen....adorable!!

That moment with Dad...just before he gives her away....

And then they were married!

The bride is our own Emily's sister.
We have been friends with this family for many years
and were delighted to see her find her prince!

 Our friend, Susan, who did the flowers for Chelsea's wedding
also did Liza's flowers.
She is truly gifted.

Liza and Todd shared communion together
during the ceremony.
It was lovely.

The reception was very nice as well.
Great food and lots of good fun.
Emily gave a very sweet Matron of Honor speech 
about things Todd needed to know about Emily's best friend, Liza.

This is a very scant catch up post....
I have sooo many more photos.
However, we have just concluded weeks of a strong and successful
Best Kept Secrets Tour in the shop.
We have greeted and enjoyed hundreds of new customers.
While we loved every moment of it....
our bodies are weary.

Tonight we spent the evening with Chelsea, Chadd, Jonathan, Darcey, Mom and Georgia.
Again, the games were brought out and the competition continued.
I got to play with my favorite little guy while his parents
reclaimed the title of Dirty Marble winners.
This had been lost to Jonathan and Darcey while on vacation.

Hope all is well with you....
I will do my best to be back sooner.
But no promises.  
Life is hopping!