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Monday, June 30, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Zeiset

One of my FaVoRiTe things to do: Celebrate other's love with MY LOVE!! There's just nothing like a beautiful wedding to remind you of your beginnings, your new love, your tender first moments...the love that now has to be cultivated with a bit more effort, but nonetheless WORTH every ounce of intentional living! That was it is I think, intentionally living. Making your love, your "aim", your "purpose"....which is the actual meaning of the word "intent." It's not as easy as it once was, with the cares of the world calling your name at every corner, but what really matters in life? People...and especially the people closest to me. What can I do TODAY to go out of my way to make those around me, (especially my LOVER) feel loved? Maybe a note in his lunchbox or a favorite drink iced cold when he comes home? Or, more importantly, SAYING the words I so often forget to say: "thank you for all you do for me", "thank you for providing for us so beautifully", or "I'm proud to be your wife." It takes so little, (yet makes such a deep impact) to make a man feel valued, respected....honored.
The wedding of Wendell and Mary was, in one word....unique....just like them! It was refreshing to be "out of the box." There was a worship song at one point during the ceremony and there were dancers in the aisles and up front, it was lovely.
The color palate was stunning....the blue sky, the green fields, the stunning red dresses, the yellow flowers and of course, the bride in white!

One of the arrangements made by Freiman, it looked like the lobby of the Ritz Carlton! Freiman has been a dear friend to Mary for all of her life and he had the honor of standing by her side at the wedding...he looked smashing in his tuxedo!
The appetizers were arranged so creatively
and the iced meadow tea was refreshing on this hot day.
I thought this was a neat idea: cabbage cut out and filled with dip.
The cake: simple, elegant, beautiful....just like Mary.
And so the sun set behind them during the dinner prayer
and it was a moment in time,
a moment captured.....
"Lucky I'm in love with my best friend,
lucky to have been where I have been,
lucky to be coming home again...."
~Jason Mraz~

Sunday, June 29, 2008

At last my love has come along...

Earlier this month I had the JOY of attending my dear friends bridal shower. She has waited for this day for a long time, but hasn't been living her life in anticipation of it! She has traveled the world over, sharing the love and kindness of our Great God, experienced fullness within her own heart and soul and found true, deep fulfillment through her love with Jesus....and then, one day, he came along....a Jesus with skin on....and his name is Wendell....and he loves her....and she loves him.....and God said, "this is good".....and so this new journey begins!!

The wedding will be at her parents farm in the middle of beautiful Lancaster County. This she has dreamed of, a summer wedding at her parents home. The bridal shower was held there as well.
My cousin Orpha was there, so it was nice to sit and visit and talk about life, children, work, church, and our Moms!! Our Mothers are sisters and have a strong bond with each other. Because of that, the cousins also have friendships that go back to childhood.
Mary's Dawdie and Mummy, (Grandpa and Grandma)...they looked so cute sitting there so I had to snap this picture.....without them seeing me of course.
Delicious dessert was had by all.
Then we opened the presents.....and let me just say that there was no shortage of,
shall we say, nightwear?!?!? This was my gift to her...and the perfect ending to the evening....a hot air balloon landing in the field!

"At last, my love has come along,
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song.
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clovers
The night I looked at you.

I found a dream that I could speak to,
A dream that I can call my own.
I found a thrill to rest my cheek to,
A thrill that I have never known.

When you smile, the spell was cast.
And here we are in heaven,
For you are mine
At last."
~Etta James~

Friday, June 27, 2008

Way to go Maribeth!!!!!!

Here is our midwife, Maribeth, who we had with both Tyler and Luke. And here is a story from the paper yesterday!!!

Amanda Kucharski thought she had plenty of time before her baby arrived.

She had three minutes.

Stuck on Route 30 in the back seat of her car, Kucharski, her husband and a police officer needed the couple's last pre-paid cell phone minutes to get instructions from a midwife. Even though this was her second experience with childbirth, the labor pains Kucharski felt Tuesday morning just didn't seem that severe, she said. "I was questioning whether it was real labor," she said. "I didn't want to go to the hospital with a false alarm."

Her pain, however, was anything but false. While traveling east toward the Birth Center in Bart Township a little after 11 a.m., full labor began, Kucharski said. "I was really surprised at how fast it all went," she said. "I was in the back seat in incredible pain, but didn't even know I was at the end of (labor)."

By this point, her husband, Patrick Kucharski, attempted — with some difficulty due to heavy traffic — to pull over onto the shoulder of Route 30. The couple approached the Oregon Pike interchange just as Manheim Township Police Officer Steven Newman, 24, was entering Route 30 on a routine patrol. Newman then saw the Kucharski's car approach behind him, he said.
"(Patrick Kucharski) pretty much pulled me over," Newman said. "He was honking his horn and blinking his lights."

After both cars stopped on the shoulder, Newman immediately began to help by putting in a call for an ambulance. "He said, 'My wife's pregnant,' " Newman said. "I thought she'd just need a transport." However, at this point, the baby had already begun to crown with a few minor complications, Amanda Kucharski said.

"My water had never broken," she said. "So my husband looked down and all he could see was a sac of water." Fearing there was a problem, the Kucharskis called their midwife, Maribeth Diver, for assistance. It was during this conversation with Diver that Patrick Kucharski realized that his phone only had three pre-paid minutes remaining.

"He told me his phone ... was dying," Diver said. "I was just trying to tell them to calm down."
Diver then focused on helping Newman, who had entered the Kucharski's vehicle. A baby being born en caul, or still in the bag of water, is uncommon but not extremely dangerous.
Diver instructed Newman to break the bag with his finger and pull it over the baby's head, she said.

"It was a pretty easy delivery," Newman said. "In total it probably only took five minutes."

After the delivery, Newman flipped the baby over to clear its airways. He then wrapped it in a blanket that the Kucharskis had in the car, he said. Diver, still on the phone, heard the baby cry and declared it a "healthy birth cry" before being promptly cut off as the phone died, Amanda Kucharski said.

"Once the baby was crying, that took some of the nerves away," Newman said. Diver is not surprised about the ease of the birth. "When birth goes well, it's very simple," Diver said. "We just guide the baby."

Still, Newman's police training only featured first aid, never full delivery instructions, he said.
"It's not really a topic they discuss in depth," Newman said. But he never panicked, Amanda Kucharski said. "He coached me through the birth and stayed calm the entire time," she said.

An ambulance arrived about five minutes after the birth, Newman said. Patrick Kucharski was then able to cut the umbilical cord from his new daughter, Genesis Eve, his wife said.
Mother and daughter were then transported to Women & Babies Hospital in Lancaster. Genesis joins a 2-year-old brother.

A highway delivery is a rarity for the Manheim Township police with the department believing there is only one other instance, Sgt. Thomas Rudzinski said. Newman, whom Rudzinski described as "very quiet," graduated from Conestoga Valley High School in 2003 and attended the HACC Police Academy.

"I was more excited than anything," Newman said. "My training really took over." This story reminds me so much of Luke's accidental unassisted birth! Maribeth was on the phone with my secretly panicking husband and she was such a sense of calm in those unknown minutes! She arrived a few minutes after Luke arrived, here is the first picture she took when she got there....can you say R-E-L-I-E-F!!??

You're the best at what you do Maribeth and we appreciate you so much. And I'm pretty sure that my sister has you on speed-dial for #5!! There's just no other option....and I feel the same way!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's a Wonderful Tithe

Tyler's special day- Part 2!

We celebrated Tyler's 3rd birthday a few weekends ago! It was extra fun getting it all together this year because he understood that the party was for him. We picked out these invitations and he put them in the mailbox all by himself!

My baby is getting so BIG!
He's so fun to talk to because he can communicate with me and we have these little conversations. Here we are talking about how he needs to open his other gifts too and not just play with his new Thomas Roundhouse the whole time. (note to self: save Thomas gifts for LAST!!), I mean Tyler got a new microphone!
Tyler and his fellow Thomas-loving cousin, Aiden! That was a special gift from Aiden....

I found this old "Mr. Hoopers" store at a garage sale and filled it with candy. I remember playing with something similar to this when I was a little girl....although it wasn't filled with candy I am sure!!best friends/cousins/neighbors sharing chocolaty chocolate chip cupcakes....WITH sprinkles on top!
Luke having a grand day with his cupcake. He was a MESS when it was all said and done, but like my Mom always says, "they can be cleaned!"

Time for some Popsicles....

and then some swimming! the boys had a blast with this little contraption! (And yes, that is Chase wearing his sisters headband....he put it on by himself! HA, so cute!!) all the shirtless guests and the Mother trying to capture a picture....a joke for sure!!!!!
Look how grown up my little Tyler looks! Oh, I'm so thankful for him...he brings such JOY to us! WE LOVE YOU SWEET TYLER!

The ants go marching one by one

AND THEY MUST ALL DIE!!!!!!!! I don't know about you, but we have ant issues around our town! Leave one measly crumb and before you know it the colony has risen through the cracks and totally engulfed the remains. And when the Mother sees it, she nearly gags with disgust and quickly finds something to spray on them....usually Windex! So, for all those other Mother's out there, here is an idea I just found in a magazine for an all-natural repellent! Pour equal amounts of water and white vinegar into a spray bottle and shake to mix. You can spritz it into any water-resistant areas, like under the highchair or into the crevices of painted baseboard. Or you can spray it outside all around the picnic area before family and friends gather. Ok, it looks like I NEED TO SPRAY IT ON MYSELF.....I literally just found a little ant crawling on my robe.....GROSS. ME. OUT!!!!!!!!!! Off to repel.....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy 71st Birthday Dad!!

Today my Dad turns 71!! He doesn't seem that "old" to me. He is still quite sharp, active and spry! He has been on a bowling league for 20 + years and is really good! He faithfully practices twice a week. I can remember being a little girl and watching him THROW the bowling ball up this hill we had at our house. It was a big hill too. He said it strengthened his throw, don't say!! Good stress relief too! ***Here he is with Tyler at his 1st birthday party. Looks like he's teasing Tyler, something he does often....and well!!***Dad and Mom have 8 children. Four boys and four girls. And although their lives haven't always been easy, (in fact, they've been quite hard) they have done all they could to raise us with a strong, godly heritage. When my Dad isn't bowling or walking around Green Dragon, (a local farmers market) or at New Holland Sales Stable or watering his flowers or eating at Yoder's....he is on the couch, in his "corner" with an old, smashed pillow on his lap and his thick, worn, highlighted Bible on top. (I believe my sister Jan already has "dibs" on that....just so everyone knows!!) It seems he's had that Bible for forever! And it has strengthened him, encouraged him... rescued him.
***Here he is with my Mom at a reunion one year when my Mom dressed in her Mother's clothing.*** They met when they were both still Amish and she looks just as lovely now as she did then. She was a beautiful young Amish girl and Dad was quite handsome...still is. "All the ladies wanted Isaac" as she recalls, but he liked my Mom because she was shy and didn't "chase after him."
Here's Dad keeping "in Touch"!! HA!! He loves to read and you will most likely find him with a book/newspaper/magazine/letter in hand if he is sitting. He enjoys reading and learning about history. If you ever drive with him ANYWHERE you will know this! "I remember when this use to be an old field....", etc. etc. He can talk your ear off if you'd like, BOTH of them!!! As I mentioned before, he is quite a teaser! One time he stopped at his sisters house, (Amish sister mind you), she wasn't there, so he took her clean laundry, tied it in knots and hung it around the house. The centerpiece being her underwear hanging from her kerosene lantern over her dinner table!!!!!!! ***This is the aftermath of one of his visits, (obviously I wasn't home!!) It took me awhile to untie all those knots in my apron by the way!!! Winnie-the-Pooh had a note on his head from Grandpa!*** Here Dad is a few hours after Luke was born. He is so good with babies, (had lots of practice I guess). He takes his role of blessing his Grandchildren pretty seriously. He acts silly sometimes and doesn't always remember all their names, but in his heart he is full of love and kindness toward them.
Grandchild # 22!! Luke Thomas!!
Speaking of Grandchildren, today is my nephews birthday as well. He was born on my Dad's birthday and named after him: Aiden Isaac! We're so glad he was born and he is so loved by all of us, (especially his cousins!!)
Another thing about Dad is that he is a die-hard Philadelphia Phillie's fan!! He sits and watches their games faithfully and attends as often as he can, although he prefers his own TV room so he can have his feet up and eat Mom's shoo-fly pie at the same time! ***I found matching Phil's shirts at Walmart of all places and had the boys wear them down to show Grandpa!!***
For Dad's 70th party last year we hired a bluegrass band called, "Sunnyside." They were a hit!! Sunnyside is the name of one of the farms we lived on so it was even more perfect to have them play!! Speaking of music, my Dad loves it! He's been playing the guitar for as long as I can remember and I'll be 30 this year!! He often plays when no one is home and prefers it that way. A time of two I would come home and be getting out of my car and I could hear him playing and singing as loudly as he could. He has a little amp now and loves it even more. He has the radio on all night long and says, "I can hear it in my sleep!" He sings loudly at church even though he is so off key it's embarrassing!! He goes to every bluegrass concert he can and shouts out requests, (again, much to my embarrassment)!! When I was younger I would be toted along to these events, usually hours away, thankfully with my cousin Renee and we would go meet all these boys that wore overalls and spoke with a twang in their voice. We would laugh our heads off at them!!! ***Here they are in the front yard at Dad & Mom's beautiful, picturesque home.***
HE LOVES PEOPLE and has blessed each of us children with that gift....truly loving & caring for people. He is a friend to all and because of watching that attribute in him over the years, we too have embraced that. Maybe we didn't realize it, but I believe it's because of his impartial view of others that we love the way we do. He talks with the mentally handicapped as though they are his best friends. The poor, the afflicted, the rich, the widowed, the lonely...Isaac is their friend. ***Dad and one of his friends at his 70th birthday bash.***

Dad, you have given us more then life on earth.
You have passed on a heritage, a legacy to us.
May your next years be better then your former ones.
*sorry Tom, this is the unedited version and your lovely face does not appear!!*
"When I was a kid, my father told me every day,
"You're the most wonderful boy in the world,
and you can do anything you want to."
Jan Hutchins~