Related Posts with Thumbnails

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Traveling Light

Here is my last find of the yard sale season. It's a large old suitcase that fits many, many, many toys inside and STILL closes with ease. It's probably one of my favorites. I saw in on a Friday and thought they were asking a bit too much, so I thought to myself, "if it's still there the next day, I'll consider it more." Sure enough, the next day it's there AND considerably marked down. Bargain lady that I am, I made an even lower offer and she accepted! Yippee!! My nephew Austin was kind enough to carry it home for me from my neighbors house! Thanks Aus.
I'm sure it had a much more glamorous life with it's previous owners. This may be the first time it's had a 2 year old crawling on it's sturdy, old back. It seems to be holding up quite well despite being filled with Thomas toys and the likes.
I'd like to think that I've given this old suitcase a new life, a second life of sorts. It won't be packed and unpacked and placed in a cold, dark attic for months, sometimes years at a time. It will now see the light every morning as my son runs to it's great big handles shouting, "play Thomas Mommy?"
It has new companions now, two sweet little boys that will find many happy times by it's side. Welcome to our home faithful traveler.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Our Town

Since moving here to Strasburg, Jake and I have come to truly enjoy our town. It is quaint beyond measure and truly feels like a community, not just a bunch of homes on a bunch of streets. A few weeks ago I ran out of flour so I walked across the street, boys in tow, to ask for a cup of flour from our neighbor. Now, mind you I had never met her, but seeing that she was an older lady I knew she would have an appreciation for "neighborly sharing." My Mom taught me that it's okay to ask our neighbors for things when you're in a pinch, (a cup of sugar, a stick of butter, an egg or two or as in my case, a cup of flour). Our sweet neighbor seemed so thankful that I came to see her and even more happy to share her flour....I returned home with 4 cups!!!! Needless to say, I had more then enough. After preparing the zucchini bread, I wrapped a loaf in a little bow and took it to her door. "You just made me feel so special, can I hug you?" Well, who can turn down a good ol' hug!!?? Since our first day of sharing we have seen each other here and there and have started what I hope will be a lasting friendship.

One of our favorite things this summer was walking to the local ice cream shop, appropriately called, "The Creamery." They make all their own ice cream and home made waffle cones on location! For the past 15 years that has been my favorite ice cream place, but I only came to Strasburg every once in awhile, (good for the wallet and the pants) so of course that was one of the delicious parts of buying a home here!! (bad for the wallet and the pants). It wasn't so bad this summer because we walked there so by the time we were home again, I had worked off most of the calories!!But then there were the nights where I would announce that I'm "going out for a bit, be right back." The boys were sleeping soundly and Jake knew just what I I would drive and 10 minutes later be home on my couch, waffle cone w/ snickers ice cream in hand!!! Oh, the joys!!!!!! Several times we met my sister and her family for a shared treat. One time she came by and took Tyler for ice cream. I think that may be one of his first memories because to this day I cannot even mention ice cream without him saying, "with Sami??" (that's my niece, pictured below). Luke was only a few days old when I was sitting out on our front porch enjoying the summer sunshine, suddenly my sister drives by, slowing down enough to yell out the window, "snickers!" A few minutes later she comes back with a healthy serving of my favorite ice cream! Thanks Shrish!!! We live only minutes apart so I anticipate many happy times together. Our sons, Tyler and Chase are a year apart.
There is also an adorable little boutique called "Lulu and Tutz." If time allowed, I could spend hours just browsing, dreaming, longing, drowning in the beauty and inspiration of this cottage heaven. Each time I go I find a treasure, even if it's only a beautiful pack of napkins.

I am grateful for our town.
I am grateful that I live in a quiet place and we know our neighbors by name.
I am grateful that we can raise our sons here and teach them the importance of community. Come for a visit sometime and we'll go for a walk together.
I am a part of all that I have met." ~Alfred Tennyson~

Friday, October 19, 2007

Our Groundhog!

We have our very own groundhog! Last weekend Jake was working on the new deck to surround our hot tub. He and his faithful helper, (aka groundhog) were digging 3 foot holes to place the posts in, he turned around for a bit and when he turned back around, Tyler, (aka, faithful helper/groundhog) had disappeared! He decided it would be more fun to be IN the hole rather then above it. When I came out I asked, "where's Tyler?" Then I saw his little blond hair bobbing up and down as he jumped inside the hole! He sat in there for at least 1/2 an hour scrapping the dirt down onto himself and subsequently back INTO the once empty hole! It really did look fun and I'd have to say that if I was offered a giant hole I too might climb inside and dig a bit!!

if you look very closely you can see our little groundhog!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I realized today that I will never finish my laundry.

It will always been there, if only one washcloth or one pair of seems that the basket will never be emptied.

I told this to Jake and he said, "imagine if you had even more children or if you had to wash it all by hand." So, I did just that. I tried to picture myself with more children and doing all my laundry by hand. At first I saw myself being very overwhelmed and frustrated because it took so long, and because it was such hard work, but then I got a little romantic about it and saw my children all around me, playing in the water, trying to be "helpers", running through the bed sheets while they hang to dry. There's a lot of fun to be had with the clothesline wouldn't you say? Looking back, I am amazed at my own Mother and all the hard work she must have done with having 8 children and the clothes that come with them! I suppose a good Mother will work herself out of a that she raised us to be able to fend for ourselves, both in the world and in the laundry room. I remember our laundry room being so full of light. There were windows all around the room which made the work more enjoyable. Even here at our home, it is very similar, 6 windows surround our washer and dryer. I think laundry rooms should be nicely decorated, (if possible). It doesn't take much to add a little love into the laundry room; a shabby sign that says "laundry" or placing your powdered detergent into glass jars, or clothespins into a mason jar.
I mean, if you're going to spend so much time in there, you might as well like what you're looking at. Anyway, back to my doing the laundry by hand....I have no idea what all that would entail, but my Mom does and my Mother-in-law. For one, they didn't have disposable diapers, so that's a whole days work right there, thank you!!!! NO wonder the children were potty trained much earlier....makes for less work. When I was in India for several months we had to do our laundry by hand, I found that I was a bit more careful about my clothing, trying to keep it from getting dirty or stained. When I did have to do laundry, I actually enjoyed myself. There's something so primitive about getting your hands on your own clothing: scrubbing, wringing, squeezing, hanging out to dry. Even now, as I drive down the roads and see the Amish women putting their laundry out, usually at the crack of dawn, I am reminded of the satisfaction that comes with working hard. Another thing that Jake mentioned was that he remembered his Mother saying to him, "now don't get this dirty." She didn't want more laundry then was absolutely necessary. How quickly I throw something in the laundry pile because of one little stain!

I am connected with women in generations past by doing this act of service for my household, albeit, much easier and more efficient, but nonetheless an act of serventhood. At any given moment there is probably someone, somewhere doing laundry. Each in their own way with their own traditions, they care for their earthly possessions, be it little or a lot.
I choose to be thankful for the conveniences that I have. You know, I'm glad I have lots of laundry because that means there's life in this house.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Tyler and I went to buy some pumpkins today
as well as some other Fall decor.
I guess I had never explained to him what a pumpkin was.
So as we pulled into the local produce stand
he announces proudly, "Pumpkin's house!!"
Yes, well, I guess that's where the pumpkins live...
I laughed so hard.
He fills my day with unceasing adventures.
"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet,
simple things of life
which are the real ones after all. "
~Laura Ingalls Wilder~

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The best things in life are always hand-picked... friends!

My friend Lynda with Luke.
"The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch swing with, never say a word, then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation that you ever had."
(definitely not the case with Lynda and Vickie, we basically talk until our mouths are dry, but let's pretend we couldn't talk, then this quote would be the most fitting!!)

My friend Vickie with her daughter Ashley and my little Luke.

Last week I went to North Carolina to visit two very dear friends of mine. My littlest Love came along and was an absolute charm. I must say, there sure is some special treatment out there when you're traveling with a baby, thank you world for being kind to Mothers and their babies! I spent a few days in Raleigh with our friends Carter and Lynda. We went to a women's conference called, "Fragrant Oil." The worship was led by Rita Springer. She is releasing a new CD later this month called "Beautiful You", I'd encourage you to check it. Needless to say, it was beautiful, anointed, timely and refreshing! Thank you God for meeting me right where I am. He's good at that! "The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to STRENGTHEN THOSE whose hearts are fully committed to Him." II Chronicles 16:9 I got to spend some great quality time with my BFF Lynda! I told her she has to move back to PA, but then she made a good point and said, "then you would never come stay overnight at my house." True! Lynda is the hostess with the mostest!! I was served left and right! It was fabulous I must say! I was totally spoiled by having hot coffee when I woke up and I actually got to drink it while it was HOT, no heating it up for the 2nd or 3rd times, (as is usually the case here at home!!). (I'm sure my fellow busy Mommy and coffee Lover Jeane would know exactly what I mean!!!) Carter made waffles one morning and I just had to set up a little photo shoot to honor them, (the waffles and Carter). I had mentioned to Lynda about this new chocolate lava cake I had seen, so as you would guess, she made one for me!!! My very own chocolate lava cake! OH MY WORD!! Here I am anticipating the first amazing bite! Everything within me cried out, "YES!!" After my stay at Carter and Lynda's house I continued my journey further south to Monroe, NC. This is where I did my DTS in 2000, (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM, (Youth With A Mission). I stayed with my dear friend, (also the director of the base, along with her husband Todd). It was so wonderful to be with Vickie again and to enjoy her sweet company. She is one of my rare friends with whom I connect with on a very deep level. I mean, we haven't seen each other in years, but we weren't in the van more then 15 minutes and we're sharing things with one another as if we were sisters. Two words~~~kindred spirit. My time in Monroe was entirely too short. Jake and I anticipate driving down sometime in the next 6 months to visit them again and to serve at the base in any way. Ashley, (Vickie's daughter) really took to Luke and they had some fun times together. Now, come on, can these kids get ANY cuter??

Ashley has these four amazing murals painted on her wall, I thought I'd share them with you, my favorite is the airplane one.

Vickie made me feel right at home. We had such great talks and she listens with her whole heart. Again, I was waited on constantly. The one night Vickie prepared a beautiful tray with Amish Swiss cheese, (never knew there was such a thing: very, very tasty), grapes, cashews and sparkling pear juice. I should have taken a picture because it looked like it was right out of a magazine. I was probably just too lazy to get up!! Regarding both these ladies, absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

could we with ink the ocean fill

"Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky."

Last weekend we spent some fabulous time at the beach in Ocean City, NJ. Our friends Josh and Nellie were kind enough to share their Grandparents beach house with us. We were all celebrating our 5th anniversary. It was wonderful spending some quality time with them and also enjoying the last bit of summer. This was Tyler's first time to the beach and it was priceless watching him discover this new adventure. He just kept digging his toes into the sand and saying, "wow, dirt!!" Just too cute for words. We spent some time on the beach, went to the boardwalk every night, rode the kiddy rides, ate delicious food, went for bike rides and walks, ate entirely too much ice cream and french fries, went to an air show, read, slept and generally just enjoyed our mini vacation. Thank you to Josh and Nellie for being such lovely hosts!

precious joyful Luke.

brotherly love.
The Stoltzfus Family

This was the cutest little airplane I have ever seen.

Tyler's favorite ride. I think he stayed on this ride for at least 4 times!!

this was so much fun, riding thru the quaint streets singing our ABC's!

I honestly couldn't tell you who had more fun!!

It's been a hard days play...