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Friday, April 25, 2008

Garage Sale

Last Saturday we had a fabulous garage sale. I always enjoy the preparation....the organizing, the pricing, the setting up and the anticipation of the following day. It was a lot of work, but having my family around made it that much more enjoyable. Here is my sister arriving with her four precious girls and one mystery baby in the oven!! A few of my nieces had a great little bake sale and made some good money! And it was beautiful too. How could one resist to buy from such a cute little table display??We made about $300 which isn't too bad for a day's work. What was leftover went straight to Goodwill under Jake's orders! Tyler had a great day with his cousins around, he loves them so much.
"Painting" with his cousin. Water and a few paint brushes work nicely.
AND both Jake's Mom and my Mom were here to help out with the boys, make some delicious lunch and DO MY LAUNDRY.....I think I'll be having another garage sale, um.....tomorrow!!!! What a blessing they both were, not just for what they did, but for their presence. When they leave our home, it is ALWAYS better off then when they first arrived....I want to be like that to my children someday.

Our "reward".....take out from Red Lobster! That was one amazing meal eaten on the comfort of our couch after a long, hard day. Exhausted children sound asleep and the History channel turned on! I will have to say that the BEST part of my day was meeting a neighbor, (and new kindred spirit) that I never knew I didn't have. She and her husband and precious daughter live 30 seconds from joke! She introduced herself and we got to talking. We have SO MUCH in common it's weird! I won't go into it now, but I will say that without a doubt God has brought us together. They are our age and have such a love for the Lord, a pure, passionate love that I can FEEL. Since our meeting last Saturday I have seen her at least 5 times!! Just today she so sweetly brought some fresh cut lilacs tied w/ a matching purple bow, (a girl after my own heart) and a sweet card. We spent some time together w/ our children. We discovered that we both have the same "favorite store", (that would be Goodwill). And then, Jake and I and the boys went there tonight and who was the first person we see when we walk in?? We laughed and laughed! I can feel a future of memories waiting to be made.

"Never refuse any advance of friendship,
for if nine out to ten bring you nothing,
one alone may repay you."
~Madame de Tencin

Thursday, April 24, 2008

curiosity continues

yes, the curiosity continues on in full force here in the Stoltzfus home! Last evening while at Jake's brothers home for dinner Luke comes crawling out of the play room w/ blue paint dripping from his mouth! He had gotten in the finger paints! It looked hilarious and thankfully washed out quite easily....and wasn't poisonous!

Then last night Jake and I were in the living room and Tyler was having a snack in the kitchen....sitting nicely at the table w/ a bowl of yogurt....or so we thought. We thought it was a bit too quiet for our Tyler so we walked out and sure enough he's DRINKING SPRAY hair gel....for your HAIR!! The bottle was almost empty! Oh my gosh! He's spitting and spewing because it's N-A-S-T-Y. We gave him some milk and called the company. Thankfully it was a "natural spray gel" combining cranberry oil and aloe so it was not poisonous! We have two monkeys on our hands! Off to enjoy this Wednesday with Thing 1 and Thing 2!!!! Hee hee!....oh, wait, it's Thursday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yes, please! THANK YOU!

My husband suggested that his landscaping business do our mowing this, yes please! THANK YOU!!! I do enjoy mowing and it's great exercise pushing that mower for 2 hours, but I often felt pressure to get it done during the day so Jake wouldn't have to do it when he got home. He didn't mind either, but when he's home I like him to be HOME and not out working for another 2 hours. Anywho, last week was the first week they came and I am in love!!!!!!!!! And for the record, they were out of here in 45 minutes, (including weed wacking and blowing everything off w/ that blower thing)! Tyler enjoyed playing and watching as well. What's even more special is that my nephews are the ones in charge of the mowing side of things so I get to see them once a week and give them tasty treats to reward them for their labors. Thanks Calvin and Samuel, you do your work so well, with excellence, precision and efficiency! And thanks honey for running such a well-oiled business! YOU are amazing!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

fire alarm and other adventures!!!

What a great day we had today!! I don't have pictures to show off because our camera died! Too bad because there were some great photos waiting to be captured. (I just found some neat pics online to help tell my story!!)

It started off with delicious homemade waffles and fresh strawberries. Then we lounged around home and everyone took long naps, (whoo-hoo)!! We walked to the elementary school and the boys played and played on the outdoor equipment. Luke LOVED the slide and would just giggle all the way down. We played a little basketball together...Jake lifting Tyler to make the shot! Too cute!
Then we took a stroll to the local ice cream shop and deli and had a wonderful dinner....grilled chicken salad w/ lettuce and tomato, mayo AND was fabulous, and a large fresh sqeezed lemonade. Jake had a tuna sandwich w/ thick cut fries. We ended w/ the best ice cream favorite, snickers! And Tyler had his own "purple ice cream", (raspberry). Of course none of this took place until the shock wore off from Tyler pulling the fire alarm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES! (Tyler's friend Owen would be proud that's for sure!!)
At the creamery we're just sitting nicely waiting for our food and all the sudden the sirens go off! We look over and he just looks like he's in total shock! "that's loud" he says w/ big eyes! I quickly told the lady that is was indeed my precious son and that I hoped the fire trucks wouldn't be coming! She was able to call them in time to stop that from happening!! Needless to say we won't be sitting in THAT booth again, but how can those little hands resist that fancy looking white handled box at eye level??
After our saga, we started walking home only to realize the menacing storm clouds gathering behind us, "I better run ahead with the boys" says Jake. So, I just lagged behind enjoying the smell of rain and finishing my favorite ice cream....until large drops starting falling on my head. I threw what remained in the nearest trash can and booked it across the people's backyards like a mad woman!! I made it to my niece's home just in time! Thankfully they were there and I took refuge in their home until the storm passed over. Jess walked me home and we had a great time together. Thanks Jess!! So, now it's 8 p.m. and I'm ready to get into my pj's and lounge. Hope you had an adventurous weekend, (minus the false alarm!!!) Happy Monday.....

"The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity."
~Ellen Parr~

Thursday, April 17, 2008

my day through someone elses eyes....

See here for the GREAT DAY I HAD!!!!! I was honored to have my fabulous friend join me for the day.....I was snapping pictures all the day long in hopes of posting a fabulous post to match my equally fabulous friend, but alas, my dear son took hold of the camera and deleted every-single-stinkin', I have nary a shot to share. BUT, my fabulous friend has come through once ENJOY.....we sure did!!!

"In my friend, I find a second self."
~Isabel Norton

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hunting Season

Let the garage sale season begin!!

I'll be busy for the next week preparing for our annual garage sale! I've put the word out and hope to have some friends join me again for this welcoming day! Last year was our first year here at our new home and boy, all I can say is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. A few years ago at our old home I spent two days workin' my tail off and made $40! Not my kind of sale! Last year, with just as much work I made $700!! I am NOT joking! I couldn't believe it either! I came away from those two days thinking, "what on earth did I sell??" I guess it doesn't much matter WHAT I sold, just that it sold! So, my goals are to:
1.) pass on my treasures to others in an organized sale at reasonable prices.
2.) HAVE FUN meeting new people.
3.) make some $.

If you'd like to drop on by we'll be here:


Here are two of my nieces at their AWESOME little outdoor cafe! It was a hit, they did such a great job keeping it stocked and the ice cold lemonade was a hit! Check out their great lime green register and matching pink shirts! Gotta love that!

Hope you each have a great week!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

All of a sudden

I received this newsletter and just had to pass it along, it was so beautifully written and inspiring....enjoy!

"Spring Is Here!

It’s April! Spring is here and the trees are green again! It amazes me because there’s a tree right outside my balcony that didn’t have any leaves on it 1 week ago and now it’s fully green and alive. It’s like we wake up one day and everything is green and in full bloom again. What an example of how God does things in our own lives!! All of a sudden, we realize that winter is over and spring has come!!! Yay God! He is so faithful to breathe life over us and bring fruit to our endeavors of waiting on Him and trusting in Him. Makes the faith walk so worth it! I hope that if spring hasn’t come to your heart and life yet, that it will soon and you’ll experience the life of His goodness once again!

... Life is so exciting, especially when we just let go of our own expectations of what we want, and just let God take over. He’s doing a new work and we have to have open ears to hear His heart for us. It’s no longer business as usual… He’s shaking and moving in new ways and we’ve GOT to jump on board with His way of thinking! Let Him shake your paradigm and move you to follow only His voice…the kingdom of God needs us.

I love you all and just love sharing my heart and encouraging you. Keep moving forward, the best is yet to come!


You can check out this great woman of God here. I would HIGHLY recommend her cd! Have a great Wednesday to organize the boys' rooms, when the slightest urge to organize hits me, I MUST listen for fear it will not bite again for another 6 months!!!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

The heart of the matter

Last Saturday Jake and I spent the day in Harrisburg at a parenting conference led by Dr. Tedd Tripp called "Instructing a child's heart." It was a full day of wisdom, insight, challenges and hope. Here are a few things I learned, (taken from over 20 pages of notes!!!). I guess I could just buy the book too, but writing it out helps so much!

  • in the absence of Biblical teaching, the secular world takes over automatically.

  • shaping your child's heart is a WAY OF LIFE, not a solution to short-term problems.

  • shaping your child's heart is requires long-term interaction w/ long-term goals.

  • it's not just about surviving, it's about instructing along the way, (let's get out of survival mode...although I must say I live there a lot!!)

  • don't get too focused on the outward appearance, the outward behavior, spend time INWARDLY, there are almost 800 references to the heart in the word of God.

  • the primary place for instruction IS NOT the church, it's a tool....but it's the culture of the family, self-consciously instilling Biblical ways of thinking.

  • If God's word is not important to me, I cannot expect it to important to my boys.

  • What I value, they will value.

  • Let there be a well worn path to Christ that they can follow, (does "God help me" count as a well-worn path??? sure hope so!!)

  • My children have equality in DIGNITY, but I am still their authority, not to rule over them and have them follow w/ blind submission, but to create a circle of blessing for them. "Honor your father and your mother...that it may go well w/ you and that you may enjoy long life on earth." Eph. 6:1
  • this was a big one for me: what are my expectations when it comes to obedience, do I have to raise my voice, use threats, etc. I need to train them that they may have simple obedience under a normal tone of voice, (no easy task I am finding).

  • Our temptation is to manipulate behavior. Have a BIGGER VISION to help him understand his heart.

  • show GRACE to my children, RESTORE them with gentleness.
  • most times of discipline are not fully embraced because of a lack of kind & gracious dialog. monologues are not God-honoring communication.

  • Disarm rebellion by being a good listener.

  • okay, another big one: what I plant today, I will reap tomorrow. Plant PEACE.

  • Godly attitudes/Ungodly attitudes: What we expect from our children, we must expect from ourselves! "Do everything without grumbling or complaining..." (we had a lovely lunch together @ the Hilton during our break....I love my man....the Father of my children! You are amazing honey....keep up the good work)!
  • Discipline and Disciple are very closely connected.

  • Children are hard-wired for worship, they have a desire for delight. SHOW them the true and lasting delight of the Lord. Awaken in His presence and be SATISFIED....(so few things TRULY satisfy). Feast on His abundance!! Psalm 36:5-9 This world is a desert, but there IS a place their, (and my) souls can be satisfied.

  • Let's teach our children the difference between the wise and the fool.

  • we cannot simply "urge" them to do what's right. Let's HELP them learn the Source of lasting pleasure. Draw my children into my faith. Our deepest thirst is for the eternal.

  • My family life is a representation of the church of God. Our experience of family helps extend our ideas of church.

  • The church is the company of God's redeemed.

  • Poor stewardship of time robs you of spiritual blessings...(ok~conviction!)

  • Kindness matters.

  • Shepherd our boys.

    • Place Jesus in the center of my problems, our conflicts. Let Him be our Central.

    • May I be kind, gracious, long-suffering, patient and humble, (easier typed then done!!)

    • Let's show our children the goodness of God!

    Okay, so I'm just thanking God for this information at this time in my life. I will trust HIM to bring it to my remembrance in the "heat of the moment." I want to be Jesus with skin on to Tyler and Luke...and Jake too. He gives GRACE enough with each season. This I know.

    "Correction does much, but encouragement does more." ~Goethe

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    Artist in residence

    I went away the other night and came home to these masterpieces. My husband has learned that talking on the phone, in the other room, while the boys are awake is not productive.....well, at least not for us!!