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Friday, October 29, 2010

A little bit about you

Sometimes I wonder who's out there reading this blog.

In all honesty it feels so narcissistic to me, probably because it is!
MY blog about MY life and MY family and MY stories and MY views.
I really do want to "offer" more then just pictures of our latest vacation
or thoughts about my favorite fabric softener, (which is Snuggle lest you wonder)!!


Behind every click is a PERSON and I often think about who YOU are & where YOU might be and I'd love to know more about YOU this weekend.
If you have the time would you be so kind as to tell us all:



***(feel free to stay annoymous)***

I think it might be cool to see who's all stopping by.
There are, according to google, 133 million blogs out there!! OH MY!!! And so I really do appreciate those that take the time to read my ramblings and the stories about our short life here on earth. I enjoy this little community "around my kitchen table" in blogland and am interested in knowing more about who you are!

“Yes, blogging is entertainment. It is performance.
Each blog post a show, sometimes an opera,
sometimes a 30 second commercial."
~Lorelle Van Fossen~

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Birthday Tea

Last year during one of our barn sales there came a nice man.
He kindly asked me if the beautiful armoire was for sale,
(which was holding some of the linens). I said it was not. He turned and looked out to a car parked across the street and smiled faintly, shaking his head no. It was then that I saw this beautiful woman and realized that she probably sat in there with baited breath waiting for her man to come back with a resounding yes.

I felt bad.

And Jake didn't want to move that beast back into the house.

So as he waited to cross the street, I yelled out, "wait, never mind, I'll sell it!"
And the deal was made.
A few days later on a lazy Sunday afternoon this nice man and Jake moved said beast into their darling little home just a few blocks from here.

Days and months went by and I kept thinking of this nice couple and the fact that they lived so closely and that we weren't friends. And then one fateful day there came a comment on my blog post. Actually, it's This one . You get to read our first little conversation! xoxo.

And then one day I drove by and saw her outside with her adorable dog, wearing the cutest green jacket I ever saw, (she was wearing the jacket, not the dog)! I pulled my car in. I was wearing my "cleaning clothes", fresh from cleaning a home, with my 3 tired kids in tow. And she welcomed us in. And my children knocked things down in her nice, beautiful home. And I breastfed my baby on her couch. And we talked. And I left.

And we became friends.
And God smiled.

And then this year I had a birthday tea for her along with our other dear neighbor friend Jess, (whom I ALSO met at one of our barn sales several years ago)!! I'm sorry, you're probably over it, but I think it's awesome to meet new people and to actually GROW INTO FRIENDS is one of my favorite things. I felt such a kindredness with Jess from our FIRST TIME MEETING and that continues to this day.
And so, part of the reason I posted this blog today is because my friends are sick, (or taking care of sick ones)! Michelle isn't feeling well. And Jess's daughter is really sick too. (And this song by Frank is dedicated to you Michelle in honor of your recent escapade to the beauty which Jess & I were asked to be guests, but then Jess got a dog and I had to dress 3 kids for my brothers wedding....and our $$ was all gone)!!

So, dear friends, I hope remembering this day together and our friendship and the way we met will bring a smile to your face tonight!

xoxo from down the road.
OH, and here is Michelle's blog which you will enjoy because she is HILARIOUS and HAS A WAY WITH WORDS and she has WONDERFUL PICTURES because she's A PHOTOGRAPHER and is amazing at what she does!!

"I like her because
she smiles at me
and means it."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tom and Becky's Wedding.

Not only of LOVE, but of LIFE and NEW BEGINNINGS!!
*you'll want to pause the music @ the bottom of this page*

"All I have needed Thy hands have provided;
GREAT is THY FAITHFULNESS, Lord, unto me."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Little cabin in the woods

We had a delightful time earlier this Summer with some dear friends of ours....friends that are cooler then the flip side of our pillow!
They have a beautiful cabin in the woods....perhaps it shouldn't be called that though,
because it's more like a HOME away from home.
We're not talkin' deer heads on the wall here....MaryJo works for Ethan Allen so that may give you a little idea as to what it looks like!! This is a yearly tradition so here's a glimpse of the place from last years post. And here's a post about a more "fancy" night we had together with our oldest children! Let's do it again MJ!!!
This particular day we went for a walk together when suddenly, from over the hill comes this Amish woman, probably mid 60's just!! As in, I'm out for a run to get some exercise, in her dress and all, big smile on her face, keeping great pace. You go girl!!!!
We were all a bit shocked.
Watch Out!!
It's HOT!! ;)
Making a HUGE dinner over the fire pit is a highlight of our time there!

doing what we do best~~
and letting the kids make a mess!!

Caught red handed!!!

Looking forward to enjoying this yearly tradition until we're not 'cool' anymore and our kids want to stay at home while we go! :(

"It is one of the blessings of old friends
that you can afford to be stupid with them."
(and that we are!!)
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

in due season

"And let us not grow weary
in good doing,
for in due season
we will reap
if we do not
give up!!"
Galations 6:8-9

"Sweater, n.: garment worn by child
when its mother is feeling chilly."
~Ambrose Bierce~

Monday, October 18, 2010

a cuss word

I've been saying a word lately that I'm not too proud of.

Actually, I've been thinking it more then saying it, but it's all the same.
I don't have an exact count, but I'd estimate upwards of 20 times each day
it rings loud between my ears.

It starts with an "SH" and it's not what you think it is.
It's not really a cuss word, but it SHOULD be, (in my mind)....

there it is again, popping up it's ugly head~~~


and her cousin,
If I could I would type it up and draw little devil horns coming out the top.

I don't know why, but whenever I think/say that word I DON'T FEEL BETTER ABOUT ANYTHING I'M DOING, ESPECIALLY THE TASK AT HAND. I feel OBLIGATION AND DUTY, (which oddly enough is the exact definition of the word).

Do you know what I speak about?
It just has such a condemning feel to it.

Like I'm never enough for it....
it has an endless thirst for more of me.

It seems that this word also strips me of ANY RELIANCE on my Great God.

Even my relationship with Him is tainted by it.

I should have my devotions.
I should pray more.
I should go to church.
I shouldn't doubt God.
I should serve more.
I shouldn't feel this way.
I should trust more.
I should be having faith for this situation.
I should try harder.
Yes, truthfully some of these things are good and necessary for spiritual growth, but what is my MOTIVATION behind doing them?
Is it done out of LOVE or out of MY NEED FOR APPROVAL?
(pictures of Luke "pretending" to worship~he's imitating what he sees Jake doing on Sunday mornings, but I still believe that somewhere in his little soul is a place of childlike worship. He stood there playing the guitar with his eyes closed for at least 2 songs, it blessed me and still makes me well up when I see these sweet pictures. He doesn't care what anyone is thinking and I'm learning from him).

"Now for one of the most beautiful mysteries of the feminine heart.

Women minister something to the heart of God that men do not. Look at the record. It was a woman who rushed into the Pharisee's house uninvited and washed Jesus' feet with her tears, dried them with her hair and kissed them in an act of intimate repentant worship. It was a woman who broke the alabaster vase over Jesus' head, anointing him with oil and the fragrance of her sacrificial worship filled the room. It was women who followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. It was women who stayed at the foot of the cross offering him the comfort of their presence until Jesus breathed his last. It was to women that Jesus first revealed himself after he rose from the dead and it was women who first "clasped his feet and worshiped him" as the Risen, Victorious Lord.

Women hold a special place in the heart of God. A woman's worship brings Jesus immense pleasure and a deep ministry. You can minister to the heart of God. You impact Him. You matter. Jesus desires you to pour out your love on him in extravagant worship that ministers to his heart. This is not just for women who have the time; women who are really spiritual. You are made for romance and the only one who can offer it to you consistently and deeply is Jesus.

Offer your heart to him."

~from the book "Captivating" by Stasi Eldredge~

Friday, October 15, 2010

Can I get a little help around here??

Sometimes I wish I had a maid.
I often tell my Mom that I could be like those Amish women
who have 10 kids if I had a "maut" (PA Dutch for "maid") like they do....
being a maid as a young Amish girl is a's something you do to help other women in your community, but mostly to learn the "tricks of the trade." Not a bad idea. It must not intimidate the young girls that much because they turn around, get married and have 10 kids themselves!!

My Mom remembers well being one and having one when she was a young Amish Mother. Granted, most Amish women have a much more *physical* job with huge gardens, doing laundry by hand, canning, helping with the farm, having lots of children in a short amount of time, etc. So they really do NEED the help in ways we "English" Moms might not. Actually, that same description applies to several of my friends and family that AREN'T Amish, so how about we English folks integrate some form of maid service? Hey, I can dream.

Well, I may not have a maid.
But I do have a 5 year old.
And a 3 year old.
And a 1 year old.

This is their *job*....

to take the dirty laundry from upstairs and throw it down the steps.
What 5 and 3 year old boys wouldn't LOVE this "job"??

Understandably, it turns into a sliding board.

And a swimming pool.

and a leaf pile.

oh, sweet imagination!!!

Next, they take it from the steps and throw it into the laundry room.

Finally, it's gathered into a pile and I take it from there.

Thanks for your help kids....
I'll take all I can get!!!

"Any kid will run any errand for you
if you ask at bedtime
~Red Skelton~

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fresh Food

Why do I keep doing this to myself?

This is how it goes most evenings for me,

suddenly I look at the clock and it's 4:30, (sometimes even 5:00)
"oh no, WHAT am I going to make for dinner?"

And so I dig around in the freezer, pantry and fridge and whip something together
that resembles a full course meal! My husband is a vegeatarian so it's not that hard because I don't have to worry about making meat. It usually works itself out, by the time we sit down it looks pretty good and doesn't taste too bad either, but it's stressful.....SO WHY DON'T I CHANGE IT??

As the boys get older though I'm realizing that I'm needing a bit more at dinner. Just last night Jake said that he feels like he has to race to eat before it's all gone!! That made me laugh, our boys can eat that's for sure!!!

I have friends that plan their meals, cute little notes on their fridge indicating what's for dinner each night....I stare and drool with envy and imagine how wonderful that would be, but I don't change anything on the home front. Am I the only one that works like this? There must be something that I like about it or I'd knock it off. Maybe it's the creative nature of gathering stuff together and mixing a little of this and that! I don't know....... One thing I DO KNOW is having a garden this year WAS AWESOME, AMAZING AND DELICIOUS!! When I had *nothing* to eat, we'd go out there and dig up some dinner!!!

carrots~green beans~potatoes~tomatoes~fresh basil~lettuce~eggplants~beets
add that to the local fresh produce stands and WE'VE GOT A FEAST!

Jake's neice Betty was here one night for dinner.
What a treat! We love you Betty!! Please come again soon! xoxo

So, maybe at some point this Fall or Winter, when there's no garden in site
I'll get sick of trying to *invent* dinner and start making a little menu planning~~

Any advice on that? How do YOU handle dinner each and every night?

"As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices:
take it or leave it
~Buddy Hackett~

Monday, October 11, 2010

Guest Posting

What an AMAZING WEEKEND we had!
My brother Tom got married to a lovely woman named Becky.
I'll share more about that later this week,
with some stunning pictures!
Real quickly though,
As I mentioned earlier,
I did something new last Friday.

I guest posted over at Bryan Allain's blog.
Just thought I'd give you a little background information today:
*We met years ago when he married a lifelong friend of mine.

*He was forced to attend my wedding by marrying said friend.

*He wrote about it on his blog.

Basically totally bashed our wedding day!!

7 years later I found his blog and saw that he had posted back in September, 2002, (which was rare because blogging hadn't really caught on yet) I happily clicked into his archives thinking that perhaps, (OF COURSE) he SURELY had to write about how he attended the most beautiful and moving wedding ever, (besides his own of course)!

.....and that's when I found the dreaded post,

(he tried to save his hiney by later changing some of the information:
such as "2 months ago in Massachusetts" and what not, but it was too late)!

After a few days of wanting to place a dead fish in his car wheel well or hide some stinky cheese near his engine, (he has a long commute to work so in my eyes that would've done the trick)!!

I had to start laughing about it.
After all, it WAS funny!
He's a funny guy.
Here's a little funny video he made if you'd like to see some more humor.
Oh, and he has a whole section called "Amish Paradise" which is stinkin' hilarious,
(especially to us Lancaster Countians)!!
wE'Re HeAdEd OUT......

"There's no such thing as fun for the whole family."
~Jerry Seinfeld~

Friday, October 8, 2010

Some links to the past

Happy Friday Everyone~
we're in high gear getting ready for my brothers wedding tomorrow!

All 3 kids are in the wedding, (pray for us)!!

I'm guest posting over at Bryan Allain's blog...
it's the most unladylike subject possible:
You'll understand if you read it!

For any of Bryan's readers who have made their way over here,
I'll put up a few links to some older posts,
some "get to know ya" posts~~hope you enjoy!
Thanks for taking the time to visit!!

*Let's say you live in a cold, drafty farmhouse
and your mortgage and oil bill pretty much match, then here's how you might save some $$ with a wood stove.

*So, you're having a baby at home and the midwife doesn't make in time.
( husband catches baby)!

*A French Dinner party for my husband because I love him and would like to thank him for catching the aforementioned baby,
oh, and it was his birthday!

*The Story of how I married this Amish man of mine, (he was Amish until age 17).
I'm so glad I didn't judge an ex-Amish man by his cover, (i.e. silk shirt, tight jeans and white high tops)!

*A little tour of our vintage kitchen.

*Blogging 101~some blogging advice from Mr. Bryan Allain

*My thoughts and judgements about homeschooling. *

So there you have it, a few links to the past.....

“Live life so completely
that when death comes to you like a thief in the night,
there will be nothing left for him to steal.”
~unknown author~

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Prayers for my husband~his work.

A few weeks ago I shared about how I never prayed for my husband and how I wanted that to change.....
(prayer taken from "The power of a praying wife" by Stormie Omartian)

Lord, I pray that You would bless the work of my husband's hands. May his labor bring not only favor, success, and prosperity, but great fulfillment as well. If the work he is doing is not in line with Your perfect will for his life, reveal it to him.

Give him strength, faith and a vision for the future so he can rise above any propensity for laziness. Help him to see that he doesn't have to work himself to death for man's approval, or grasp for gain beyond what is a gift from You. Give him the ability to enjoy his success without striving for more. Help him to excel, but free him from the pressure to do so.

I pray that You will be Lord over his work, and may he bring You into every aspect of it. Give him enough confidence in the gifts You've place in him to be able to seek, find and do good work. Open up doors of opportunity for him that no man can close. Develop his skills so that they grow more valuable with each passing year. Show me what I can do to encourage him.

I pray that his work will be established, secure, successful, satisfying, and financially rewarding. Let him be like a tree planted by the stream of Your living water, which brings forth fruit in due season. May he never wither under pressure, but grow strong and prosper."

"Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands for us;
yes, establish the work of our hands."

Psalm 90:17


Monday, October 4, 2010

Balance~learning to love.

My husband works like no other man I
have EVER met on this earth!
I'm talkin' sweat, blood and bursting forehead veins!, (he has this one vein that pops out on the side of his head if he works too hard or if the heat is too intense while he's working)!

I am convinced he can do anything he puts his mind and heart to.

(pictures in this post from a local home show created by EWBN)
We had a "discussion" this weekend around our kitchen table.

Some raised voices and some shed tears from both sides.

It was about work.

The discussion matched the one we've been having for 8 years now
and that one seemingly insurmountable word:


Sometimes I wish he were employed;
nicely, neatly, unstressfully employed, (the grass is greener lest I forget!!)
Instead he graciously *employs* himself and others through his excellent business EWBN.

(Jake with Rueben, his brother and business partner).

On top of owning, running and working his business he is renovating the carriage house for his Mom to live in.....and the heat is on, (or shall I say, the COLD is on)....

Winter is sneaking up on us,
I feel her nearness on this cold, rainy day.

We emotionally provide for one another in such drastically opposite ways.

All he does is for us, working hard, providing, long work days, this is how he says he loves us and yet I need *more*....I want his presence!

All I do is for him and yet he needs *more*.....he wants my understanding and respect! I didn't realize how the little things I do or don't say effect him so greatly. We don't realize in general how we signal all day long that we don't respect/love each other. We don't intend for it to happen, life just takes over and we just get through each day together.
Yet, there's got to be more to life and love then this!!
I was listening to a podcast last week on Focus on the Family.
If ANY of this sounds familiar you may enjoy popping over there for a listen.
It's a 3 part series and some of the best listening I've done in awhile.

Tomorrow I'll be posting a new prayer for our husbands in regard to their work.

It's a beautifully written prayer by Stormie Omartian and its stirred my heart anew toward my husband and his work, for example:
"May his labor bring not only favor, success, and prosperity, but great fulfillment as well.....develop his skills so that they may grow more valuable with each passing year.
Show me what I can do to encourage him."

In all honesty, it's ME who wants some encouragement.
SAY this to me.
DO this for me.
RECOGNIZE this about me.

me, me, me.

This is where I'm at right now,
but it's not where I want to stay.
I'm renting a campsite here,
but I'm looking to buy some property & build elsewhere.

Of course we as wives have areas we need to be fulfilled in.
Things that only our husband can, (and should) be providing.

Yet, when things aren't being met *to our expectations*, how do we act?

I'M DOWNRIGHT UGLY I'll tell ya that right now!
And I don't like it.

If nothing goes how I think it might, then who really cares anyway
because I'm better off for the changes I've made in me.

You're seeing through a keyhole into someones home....
you only catch a glimpse.
I am not a wonderful, supportive wife.
We have issues.

The only difference is I'm not okay with staying that way
and I hope you aren't either.

Join me tomorrow if you're able.....

"Chains do not hold a marriage together.
It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads
which sew people together through the years."
~Simone Signoret