Monday, May 24, 2010

Ohio Trip

Last week Brad and I traveled to Ohio. The purpose of our trip was to attend a seminar at Freedom Hills. Because of stuff we've each gone through in life, we both have a heart for people and hurts they face. A few months ago something just clicked when we heard some teaching from this ministry about caring for others and we wanted to learn more. Sooo we went for it and had a great week. We learned so much about practical ways to help people work through issues and hurts in life. Seriously, there are hurting people all around us and it breaks my heart that people suffer and go through life without ever talking about them and getting healing. So often we forgive those who have hurt us but haven't forgiven ourselves or found healing from those hurts.

The highlight for us was when we volunteered to get counseled in front of the group. Scary???? YES! And I still can't believe that we stepped out like that, but the counselor made it a very safe place for us. It helps when you know you will probably never see most of the people again! The method of connecting with your spouse and connecting to Christ through prayer just makes so much sense. Brad and I both found healing in different areas of our lives. When you picture the cross in your mind and see your sins and guilt and ugly stuff in your life being washed away, it brings such peace! Jesus also gave me a vivid picture of himself crying beside me at a time in my life when my heart was shattered, and also gave me a picture of him picking up the pieces of my heart and putting it back together! So many, many times since then my mind keeps going back to that picture and I can't help but smile!!!

Another big benefit was getting to spend time with friends! Sharon and I taught school together for 3 years and quickly became great friends! There was a time in our lives when we pretty much knew everything about each other! Time moves on and now she lives "far" away, and is married and has 2 adorable boys!

She's the kind of friend you can call up and invite yourself for supper! We had such a good evening reconnecting and letting our husbands get to know each other. Sharon was there for me at a time in life when I was going through so much stuff. We went back and talked about some of those things and shared how far we've come since then.

My mom traveled out with us to spend time with a friend of hers. Waaaayy back my parents became good friends with Dave and Esther. I remember when their last 2 children were born and we visited each others homes over the years. About 2 years ago, Esther lost her husband to cancer. It felt so weird spending time at their house and not having him there. Mom and Esther had a fun week of just hanging out! We joined them for supper one evening!
I remember how thrilled Dave & Esther were when Jenny was born! After 4 boys, they were so excited to have a little girl! Now she's all grown up! She played guitar for us and she sure has talent!! Her daddy would be so proud! So it sure was a refreshing week and we had a great time. Our heads are packed full of all we have learned. Now we just wonder what all God has in store for us. Our hearts are wide open....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

And The Winner Is.....

First of all...thanks to all of you for entering! It was fun for me to see who all visits this site! Sometimes I wonder if anyone reads what I send into cyber space! Not that it matters cuz the main reason I blog is to get stuff off of my chest and sometimes it's because I want to remember something that happened, but it was still fun!
Sooo here's how we found the winner! We cut all these numbers apart. There were 40 comments so we entered 40 numbers.
Then after I shook and shuffled them all, Brad picked a number!
And the winner is #9....Then we counted down to comment #9....

And the winner is TORI GOOD! She's married to Brad's cousin. Congratulations Tori. I'll be giving you a call and will drop it off sometime!

Stay tuned if you want to buy one. I'll put pics of different ones on here in the next few weeks.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

30th post GIVE AWAY!

It's my 30th post. YAY! Ok, it's not technically my 30th post. Some of my posts didn't make it too the blog so I guess it's more like my 26th. But anyway, numbers shnumbers.
Actually I've been wanting to do a give away for a while now and it just seems like the right time. I love visiting blogs that do giveaways even though I have never won anything!
You may remember a while back of the fabulous find I found at the auction. A pile of kitchen cupboard doors. I bought the whole stack for $1.00. Since then I have painted them and turned them into chalkboards. Some of the bigger ones I made into "message centers", adding corkboard to half and key hooks. They vary in sizes. I am pretty much finished with them all and am ready to sell them! Later I will post the prices and sizes of the ones to sell.
For now though, I will give one away! This is the smallest size. I have about 3 like this. They are almost square and measure 12"x 13".
There is even a little ledge on the bottom that I added to hold chalk and an eraser. This is what the back looks like!

Here are the rules to win this little cutie!

1. post a comment ~ Make sure you add your name!
2. you may enter twice if you post a link on your facebook or blog.
Make sure you comment if you link. You will be added to the drawing according to the number of comments you leave!
And that's it...pretty simple!

Entries will be accepted until 9:00 SUNDAY NIGHT! I will draw a name after that time. If you live out of state, I will ship it to you free of charge!

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Date Night!

Friday, on our daily phone conversation at lunch time, my hubby informed me that I was not supposed to make supper and that he was taking me out on a date. It had been a while since we made an effort to go out and do something. We can be such homebodies! I tried to get it of him where we were going and what he had planned but his lips were sealed! Can't believe I didn't get it out of him knowing our track record with secrets! We went to my favorite restaruant, Olive Gardens, for dinner. Brad drove around to kill time, and pulled into the parking lot at Bob Evans. No offense to Bob Evans but it just doesn't seem like a date type of restaruant, especially with OLIVE GARDENS pretty much right across the parking lot! I tried hard not to look or act disappointed and thankfully I didn't have to try too long cuz pretty soon Brad bust up laughing! We enjoyed a yummy meal at Olive Gardens and then he said he has something else planned too. We went to Village Greens and went miniature golfing. They have, in my opinion, the best mini golf course in the area. We did the longer course. So romantic back through the woods and along a creek. Lots of spots for stolen kisses! Ok, they weren't really "stolen", it just sounds more romantic!
He did win the golf game but only by ONE point! It was neck and neck most of the game.
What a fun night it was. Brad knew I was dreading Sunday, being Mothers Day and all. We thought we would be parents by now. I thought I would be a "mother" by now. Yes, I still look at myself as a mother but in a way, I'm not really. My arms have not yet cradled a tiny person who grew inside of me, but yet, my heart tells me that I am a mother. Thankfully, I have the BEST husband in the world who can read me like a book and knows exactly how to draw thoughts out of me. Even though we long to be parents someday, we rest in God's plan and purpose for our lives and are convinced that in HIS time, our desires will be granted! I'm so thankful for a husband who is strong in walking this journey with me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jackson Grant

This weekend my brother and his wife welcomed a baby boy into their lives. He has a big brother and sister too.
Jackson Grant...
4 Generations.
Jackson is so blessed to have such great parents!
It was almost bittersweet holding him knowing that my little one should be coming in about a month. We had thought they would have so much fun together. Amazingly, it wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be and I felt nothing but JOY as I held him.
Welcome to the world Little Jackson...we're so glad you're here!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Family Night

My family got together to celebate all the birthdays that have been the past 2 weeks. Mom uses birthdays as an excuse to get us all together! I have 2 nephews and one neice that all have birthdays within a week of each other. My family is one of the most important things in my life. I think relationships are so important and Brad and I always make an effort to get to family things on both sides! I guess being single as long as I was and living at home, family was just always there. There wasn't a week that went by when I didn't see them all. Now living a little farther away, (30 minutes instead of going up the stairs!), I don't get to see them as much as I did before.
Seriously, has there ever been a cuter baby? She is so so precious! I thought her trying watermelon would be fun until I had to dig a piece out of her mouth!
Megan is at such a fun stage right now. She reaches for me, and when I talk to her on the phone, her mom says she smiles and grins! Ok, ok, I know she might not even realize who it is, but I like to think she does!

Life is just so much better with kids all around! It's hard for me to remember how it used to be before the kids came along. They add a whole other level of fun and joy!

After snack, the kids and dads played wiffle ball. These guys can really hit it! They were chasing balls all over the place!

This week has been a crazy week. There've been some things that happend that just make me want to hang on to my family all the more. We don't know how much time we have with those closest to us. I, for one, plan on making the most of all the time God gives me!

Happy Birthday Trevor!

This little guy celebrated his birthday this week too! He was waiting on the couch when I picked him up according to his mom, I couldn't get there fast enough! Trevor is the kind of guy that makes me laugh. He is SO much fun to be with. He wanted to go to the park. First we stopped at MacDonalds for chicken nuggets. He barely touched them!

It's all about fun with Trevor. His mom could tell you stories and stories of things he says and does! When he's in the car with me, theres not one moment of silence, but I sure don't mind! He is such a good big brother to Megan. His mom sure is gonna miss him when he goes off to 1st grade next year!

When we were at the park, he wanted me to take all kinds of pictures of him. He would run all over the place, stop and say, "Take a picture of me here". It's kinda exhausting spending time with himTrevor has got a way of making people smile and he brings so much joy to our family and to my life. Love you Trev!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Derek!

For the past few years instead of buying my nephews and neices something for their birthday, I take them out. I love the one on one time with them. They are growing SO fast! My oldest newphew had a birthday last week. He also shares a birthday with my hubby! I picked him up after school and took him to Ritas (his choice). It was so refreshing on such a hot day!

We sat there, eating our Italian ice and talking. Derek is such a sensitive person and is the most kind hearted child I know. It bothers him when someone is hurting. His mom told me that a few weeks ago at the Gospel Express sale, he shared his money with 2 friends so they could go on rides too. That is just the kind of kid Derek is. I told him I knew about that and told him how proud I was of him. We talked about lots of things and I was so blessed by our time together.

A few days before this, his mom surprised him by having his classmates over at his house. I of course, invited myself to be there to join the fun. It made me miss my teaching days!

They had so much fun feeding the fish in the pond. There were quite a few catfish in there and any time one of them would come to the surface everyone would go crazy! Catfish really are weird looking things. Their mouths are so wide and they have whisker like things all over their mouth....I wonder what all God has in store for this precious boy. He's got so much potential. Love you Derek!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sisterhood of the Traveling Socks

I count myself blessed to have so many friends in my life. There are friends I've had all my life, and there are friends I met later in life. Both are important to me.

I don't remember when I first met these soul mates of mine. We were hanging out with the same singles group and pretty soon we just formed a deeper relationship. When you're older and single, you connect to people who are in the same phase as you and you connect quickly on a deep level. To this day, these are some of my closest friends.
A few years ago, we all went our separate ways. OK, pretty much they all left me in the dust!! Some of the moves were permanant, some for a season. Judy moved to Nevada, Krista to Thailand, and Jeanna to Alabama. I, and I alone, was left here in good ole' PA.
It was not very long after they all took off, in fact Judy was planning to leave the next weekend, when Brad came into my life. It couldn't have been better timing. A few months earlier and it would've been harder for me to "pull away" from my friends. Little did I know that I would be the first of us 4 to get married!
Jeanna was the first to leave in August so in November the rest of us flew down to be with her over Thanksgiving and to be together one last time.
We knew change was coming. Even though we would always be friends, time and distance has a way of changing things. Sure we've all been together since then, but things are different. We always loved the movie "Sisterhood of the traveling pants". I'm not sure how it got started but we decided something like that would be so neat. So, instead of doing the impossible and searching for a pair of pants that would fit each of us, we chose socks. Sisterhood of the traveling pants is just a movie after all! Socks would have to do!

We got the cutest pair of monkey socks and decided we would keep them, wear them a few times and then send them on to the next sister. The socks have made their journey to each of us a few times now. They've been to Thailand, Nevada, Alabama, PA, South Carolina, and who knows where else.

A few days ago, in the mail, there was a package waiting for me. I knew exactly what was inside. I couldn't wait to get into the house and open it! There is a little notebook that travels along with the socks and inside we write where we wore them and if anything special happened when we had them on! We also write about what's going on in our lives. Even though we keep up with eachother on facebook and phone calls, it's fun to read what's been going on and look back over the letters.

I can't wait to wear them and see what happens!

Love you guys...and miss you!

Landscaping Project

Last weekend I went to the beach with some ladies. While I was gone, my wonderful hubby did all of the landscaping and mulching! A few weeks ago when our youth group had a slave auction to benefit their missions trip, we bought the 3 "Esh boys" for 4 hours. I wanted to be at home when it all happened so I could take pictures as they were working. My hubby lovingly told me to go and have fun. He said he wouldn't get as much done anyway if I was home. He says I'm distracting! Whatever! I must say though, that it was oh so nice to leave and come back and the work was all finished! And I was soooo pleased with the results!

This side of the house was all grass and we decided to make it a nice big area! The white bench I found FREE beside the road. The stone there is where our 2 angel babies are buried. We plan on making a little walkway to the bench.

I think this area looks a million times better too. I still want to add some perennials someday.

The left side of the house we did on our own. I had gotten some perennials from friends and my mom. We tried a thing where we did all newspaper and compost and planted the plants in it. So far it's been true to it's word and has been weed free. By the way we did this side about a month and a half ago! The guys just finished it off to round off to the front and join the rest.

Love how this area looks now! (I feel like I'm repeating myself!!)

My hubby even mulched the hedge. It looks so neat and clean now and will be easier to mow. So much trash gets thrown into this from passing cars...GrrrAnd now...for your opinion! When we pulled into the landscapers place to go over the final plans, I noticed this tree along with what I call "squiggly bushes". I told Brad that I sure hope he doesn't have any of these in his plans cuz I don't like them. Guess what....HE DID. Brad and I laughed right away and I told him exactly how I felt about said tree. In the end he, along with my hubby's help, convinced me that it will look nice! It IS growing on me, but I'm still not 100% sure! One of the Esh boys named it the lollipop tree! What do you all think?! Maybe I don't wanna know, but regardless of what your opinions are the tree IS staying. (I think) They say it takes a few years for lanscaping to look it's best. I think too, that it will look even better when things are grown out more!