Sunday, March 15, 2015

Months in Review

Spring is coming!

But first, these last few months....
Traveled to the cold, cold North to see these sweet ladies.  It was such a fun time and they were such great hostesses.

While in Canada, we tried out a Caribbean restaurant, the Rainbow.  Curry chicken, rice, plantain, fig, and salad took me back to the good ol' Grenada days.

So I got inspired to cook a pot of Grenadian oildown....believe me, it tastes better than it looks!
Deserted Root's.  And the way it's pronounced rhymes with foot and soot and not loot and scoot.  Did you ever think about how complicated the English language is???

She looks so sweet....but looks can be deceiving!  I let her out today to run off some energy.  After a while, I went back outside to find her...and I was NOT successful.  I tramped through squishy mud and lightly falling rain to no avail.  As I squished my way through the "back forty" I heard the neighbor yelling, "Go home!!!"  Aaaahhhh....finally I found her.
P.S.  She looked no where as clean as this.

These ladies are the best!!!  That is all.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmastime is here....and gone

I can't  believe 
Christmas is here 
and gone already!  
I love the spirit of togetherness and generosity that surrounds Christmas.  
But there's also places that it isn't that way.  And too many people have forgotten 
what joy is and where it actually comes from.  It doesn't come from pretty wrapping 
paper, thoughtful gifts, glitzy lights, fragrant trees, savory food, or festive music...
but from a baby 
wrapped in rags 
in a feeding trough 
who grew up 
to bear the sin 
of the world 
on a splintery cross 
and conquered sin 
and death once 
and for all.
Thank you, Jesus!

Mom had saved the filet mignon from our steer for a special occasion.
This was it!

We ate in the garage this year.
The kitchen/living room is not quite big enough anymore for all 19 people.

The little people made these.  The icing wasn't sticky enough and it was hard to get the houses to stay together.  We finally succeeded.

Family time - opening gifts, having fun, and the entire contents of the toy closet scattered around the house.

Breanne & Mariah

For a diy gift, I turned these paper mache letters....

......into this
I was pretty happy with how they turned out, except apparently I bought the last "L" that they made and then I thought I messed it up, so I threw it away.  Turns out it still would've worked, but the trash had already now I'm waiting on another L to turn "ove" into "love".

I've always wanted to try to make these little gingerbread men.
This particular kind is vegan.  But I don't think the niece was super-excited with these as a replacement for the marshmallow -snowman-topped cupcakes she couldn't have.

And some pics from earlier this month and last month....
This is the inside of an old general store...I forget the name.  Needless to say, I don't think they get a lot of business...Mom said she remembers this place when she was growing up.  Apparently sometime they stopped selling things, but never stopped accumulating them.
I looked for deer again this year, but no luck.  The day after the season closed, four deer stood outside my kitchen window for a few minutes....just my luck! :)

It wasn't all in vain though, I got to see some beautiful sunrises!

Piper is still as crazy as ever.  She would've laid here like this as long as I would've let her.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Philly & Family

This little girl surprised me with her bravery!  I think she might be a natural horsewoman.

Fall is almost here, and surprisingly, I'm getting excited!  
Not quite sure about seeing snow yet though.

He finally posed for me.  I was trying to capture those adorable freckles!

If this picture is blurry, it's because I don't think she ever stops moving!

For a short weekend away, I went with some friends to Philly.  It had been years since I had been there.  We filled our short time there to the max!

Eastern State Penitentiary was a favorite stop!  We walked around with headsets that narrated what we were seeing.  The penitentiary was mostly left how it had been when they stopped using it a couple decades ago.  It was kind of beautiful in an eerie kind of way.

Eastern State Penitentiary - so full of history and so interesting and a little bit eerie.

These beautiful ladies are my favorite!
 We went to Reading Terminal Market for breakfast/lunch.  I read that the cannoli's from Termini Bros. were a must-try.  There were no prices on any of the delicious-looking pastries, so we splurged (and shared) - at $4 a piece.  They were pretty good.  And we also tried authentic (I guess...) Philly cheesesteaks, with cheeze-whiz....who knew? 

We decided to hit the Liberty Bell first thing in the morning.  It was a wise decision.  We walked by later in the day and the line wrapped around the building.

 We also took a (free) tour of Independence Hall.  I believe it was my first time there.  The worst part of the tour was when we had to throw away our almost-full cups of coffee (otherwise known as our breakfast) before entering the building. :(

Independence Hall - so much history!

Philadelphia - city of brotherly love.

Elfreth's Alley - one of the oldest streets.
 We also saw the Philadelphia U.S. mint, Benjamin Franklin's grave, and a Quaker meeting house.  Needless to say, our feet were tired by the end of the day!

And that was my last hurrah before buckling down to I must get back to packing my poor little brain full....

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pieces of My [summer] Story

"And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play.  My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God.

We get one story, you and I, and one story alone.  God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution.  It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?

"It might be time for you to go.  It might be time to change, to shine out....
-Donald Miller in Through Painted Deserts

Highlights of Summer
Trucking with Dad.

Camping the other weekend - so much fun and so many laughs!

I love camping here!

Grilled pizza - a lot of work, but oh, so good.

Best piece of graffiti I've seen in awhile! ;)
Okay, I won't!
 I helped with a VBS in York again this year.  First time in a long time.  Our class probably had the smallest number of students.  They were so good though!  I wasn't sure what to expect from 11 and 12 year old girls.

 Fun times with the nieces and nephews.  Eight of them to be exact.  First the petting zoo and then pony rides.  (Why would they all pick pony rides when you could ride a camel? Beats me!) Then lunch at McDonald's. Then playtime at the park.  Then naptime.....for me.  Hahaha, no, not really.
Connor, Mariah, me, Breanne, Sienna

The self-proclaimed vegetarian on the left is eating her chicken nuggets like an old pro. :)

This McDonald's had rather limited seating, so there was a girls' table and a boys' table (plus one girl).
Some boys don't like to get their picture taken.

We watched fireworks along the Susquehannah River in Harrisburg.

It's always a good time!

Fireworks over the river.

Got to visit Kelly.  We spent a fun two days using the rope swing and waterslide at the swimming hole, shopping, walking, being a little bit lazy, eating and of course, lots of talking.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sweet Summertime

Here's to waving at summer as it flies by!

 Finally got the whole bedroom suit (mostly) done.  I used Miss Mustard Seed's chalk paint.  It comes in a powder form and you mix it with water to make the paint.  It's used a lot for the rustic looking furniture, because it chips off well, until you put a finishing coat on it.  Let's just say I'm glad that project is finished!

Kale chips

Gluten free pizza.  (It looks better than it tastes.  I'll have to keep experimenting!)

My new-found obsession - infused water!!!!  Strawberries and lemons in water.  The possibilities are endless.

 I'm thinking that strawberries are tasting especially good this year.  It's been three years since I've eaten them fresh out of the garden.  And that's the best kind, hands down.

My dad's convinced she's retarded.  I'm sure this picture won't convince him otherwise.

 Started off nice and clean....

 We did a Color Run!  Lots of fun and color, but not exactly a true 5k.  The path was too crowded to even run sometimes!   So hopefully a "real" 5k in the future sometime soon.  But this was fun too!

...and finished nice and colorful!

 Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of VBS at my church.  It was a good week, though.

And now, I have to figure out where to fit in last minute things, like CPR classes and orientations, routine doctor visits, more VBS, camping, and of course, work!  I'm sure I'll get it all in there!

And a final challenge (mostly to myself):

remember this!