Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bible School and the Big Picture

Last week our chuch had our annual Vacation Bible School.  There were a lot of kids and adults who came out each night.  I helped to teach the 6-8 grade girls.  Thankfully I just had to do the craft part and someone else was in charge of the Bible Hour.  We got into some interesing discussions with the girls.  They were very open about sharing their heart.  I really cannot relate to the stuff they are struggling with.  I was so blessed to grow up in a Christian home and go to a private Christian school.  Sure there was stuff that went on when I was growing up, but nothing compared to what these girls are facing. I really had no idea that things are so bad "out there".  You hear of things on the news and in magazines and papers but it's real.  In our back yard.

At the beginning of the week, I wasn't sure what to expect.  It really was out of my comfort zone for me.  I am used to working with "little kids", like first graders, and now I was faced with teenagers!  I was scared that I would not have a heart for them or so I prayed that God would give me a heart for them and he did just that.  It broke my heart to hear their stories of rape, pressure for sex, sexting, abuse, feeling ugly...and many other things.  I pray that God would keep showing up in their lives in little ways.  Hopefully something they learned will stick with them for life.

So anyway, I was asked to come up with a craft.  Someone suggested I do something with chalkboard paint.  We painted frames and did the glass part in chalkboard paint.  Then they decorated the outside part.

The best part was that I got all of the frames for FREE!  I work at an auction and anything that does not sell, is free for the taking to employees.  So I was on the lookout for frames.  Others who worked there kept a look out for them for me too!

Love the buttons on this one!

You never know who you will touch today.  Sometimes I wonder how many oppurtunites slip us by because we are so focused on ourselves and our struggles.  There's a whole other world out there with people who are hurting.  Bible School week was smack dab in the middle of the crazy week I was having.  It was like God was telling me that my little problems like the A.C. not working, lost checks, missing cell phones etc. are nothing compared to the things these girls have to work through. 

We so don't see the Big Picture... 

What a Week!

Last week was crazy here in this household.  Now that I'm over everything, I guess it's a good time to vent.   I try to keep things positive on here but sometimes, you just gotta let it all hang out!  Besides, I love looking back on times when I was down and thinking..."My goodness, that wasn't so bad" or seeing what all it taught me.  So here goes.  I promise, there are lots of positive things at the end!

It started off last week when we got a phone call from a lady we used to go to for massages.  We don't go anymore because we decided there are better ways to spend our money.  Not that we don't love massages, but when it comes to choosing between that and paying your cell phone bill, the choice is obvious.  Ok, it's not quite that bad, but still!  So she called to tell me she found a check that she forgot to deposit.  The check was 2 years old.  I don't really remember what I said on the phone.  My brain was scrambling trying to figure out where we could get $150.00.  When I told Brad about it and told him that I don't think we should have to issue her another check, since we already did write a check, and just because of her poor book keeping and business, why should we have to pay it now.  Alot has happened in those 2 years.  The check was written in the midst of wedding and house renovation bills.  Brad balances his checkbook to the T, but somehow with everything we didn't discover the missing check.  When we went to combine our accounts and went back over the past few months, everything was in (or so we thought) so we started over.  Clean slate.   So Brad called her and told her that we feel like we do not need to pay it since we did our part.  Brad said she was upset on the phone but....then....a few days later we got a certified letter in the mail with the old check and a mean letter calling my husband all kinds of things like "dishonest, immoral, and questioning his motives".  Oh, and she also said that "you should have contaced me several months or so after you noticed the check was never cashed and try to make it right".  I'm still trying to figure out why we were responsible in this?  But you call my husband those things when he is anything but that and you will see a different side of me!  Brad took it all in stride and we had actually thought about it and thought that maybe we should pay it, but when we got the letter it made it soooo much harder.  We are going to pay it, but Brad says we're not going to pay it till my heart connects with my head.  God's starting to do just that!  I told Brad I feel like one of those kids who is obeying on the outside but not on the inside! 

Then....on top of that we've been having storms.  Big, bad, windy, scary storms.  I am not a fan of storms.  In one of those storms a tree fell on Brad's truck while it was parked at the shop.  It's a "beater" truck (not very nice) so we don't have collision insurance or whatever insurance we are supposed to have that covers a tree falling.   So that will take some money to fix it up.

On top of all that we have been having very warm weather and guess what...our air conditioner gave out.  They fixed it temporarily but if it breaks again we will have to buy a new system.  It's very old so "he" (the A.C. guy) suggested replacing it before it gives out.  Brad and I both love being cold and in the winter time we keep our thermostat at 65 and 60 at night.  People complain when they come to our house that it is cold and we try and warm things up when people are coming but we like it cold.  Plus it saves money.  There are reasons why our electric bill was only 65.00 last month!  I know lots of people go without A.C. so I guess we could too!

Then one last thing, are you ready.  Seriously how much can we take God?! 
So last week we had Bible School.  On the last night Brad lost his cell phone.  We looked EVERYWHERE and people helped us search but with it being dark and his phone being on SILENT, the phone was nowhere to be found.  I decided to go right after work the next day and look for it in the daylight.  I prayed the whole way there asking God to help me find this phone.  Sure enough, I walked RIGHT UP TO IT!  Thank you GOD, you know that I so needed to know you cared!  The phone was face down in a puddle of water.  I could turn it on when I got home but the face of the phone was all wet and had condensation all over it.

We stuck it in a dish of rice for a few days and now it works fine.  WHEEEW.  What a relief!  That's one less bill we will have to pay.

Sooo, God is teaching me (us) all kinds of things.  Thankfulness for one....thankful for good jobs when so many people are without, thankful for some money in savings (guess this stuff would count as emergencys), thankful for each other and thankful for the little God happenings in life that let us know he really does care!

Ok, that's all.  I think I'm done venting now!  Thanks for listening! : ) 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Got Milk?

So maybe it's the fact that I was raised on a farm.  I don't know, but when it comes to my beverage of choice....it's MILK.  I drink alot of water too, but I drink at least 2 or 3 tall glasses of milk a day.  Probably even more so since I've been staying away from "fake" drinks.  Not even diet soda anymore!  At first the break from caffeine bothered me.  At least I think that's what it was...guess it coulda just been P.M.S.!  At any rate, I've been soda free now for about 2 months I guess.  I'm not really keeping track though.  I drink mostly milk and water and every now and then fresh meadow tea or other tea.  Sometimes lemonade too.

Pretty much anyone can tell you that I am no health nut.  Lately though, I've been a lot more careful about what all goes in my body.  Maybe it's the fact that hopefully in the next few months my body will be home to a growing baby.  Maybe it's the fact that I've had 2 miscarriages and even though I've done some tests and was told that it looks like I am in great health and that is not the reason for my miscarriages, I know it wouldn't hurt me to eat better!  So lately I've been watching what I eat and what I drink.  Sure, I still go for the sugary treats and have a hard time saying no, but it has been getting easier.  I also have been walking and working out with my hubby.  More on that at a later post.  I really wasn't gonna write all of that. 
So what WAS I blogging about?  (looks at title line)  Oh yeah...MILK!

Ever since a friend of mine showed me what all is IN some milk, I have been telling everyone I know.  I took some pictures the other day to prove it.  Bet ya never looked at the ingredients in MILK before.

Yes, there it is, listed in the ingredients.  "Nonfat dry milk".  Ewww.gag.  I don't know about you, but when I buy a gallon of milk, I expect it to be fresh good milk!  Not dry milk. 

Now I don't really like the taste of "raw milk".  Good for you if you do, but for some reason it makes me gag.  I think back to farm days and remember dad squirting fresh milk right into my mouth from the udder of some poor bovine, and  I LOVED it.  But maybe it's because I've been off the farm for 20 some years now that it's hard for me to go back to the raw milk.

So, I opt for 2nd best.  If you live in Lancaster County, this place is the best place to buy milk!

They are located just off of Peter's Road in New Holland. 

Do you know of any other place where they have a DRIVE THROUGH for milk and ice cream and other dairy products?!

Their prices are lower than regualar stores too! 

Since we've been getting our milk here, we pretty much refuse to get it anywhere else.  Sure, there has been the emergency run to Turkey Hill for milk, but when we are in the area of Lapp Valley we stock up!  Stop in and see for yourself!

And this picture has nothing to do with milk, but I'm gonna add it here just cuz I like it!  Last weekend my hubby and I went to see SHREK in 3D.  Don't we rock the glasses?!

That's all....I'm off to enjoy a cold glass of MILK!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rich Heritage

The older I get the more I appreciate where I came from.  When I look around at all the junk in people's lives and all the hard stuff they've been through, it makes me even more thankful for the "sheltered" upbringing I had.  Sure, I've had my share of stuff, but my few trials are nothing compared to what others have gone through. 
(My Mom's mother.  "Mommie")
I grew up in a conservative family.  My parents left the Amish church when I was 2 years old.  There are plenty of things I disagree with about the Amish and they're beliefs but I choose to find the good in the way I grew up, and the things I was taught.  Wearing all the right clothes and living a plain lifestyle will not get you to heaven.  Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and accepting him as your Savior will.  How sad that many folks don't see it that way.  It doesn't take much to realize how sin and evil is often covered up with "good works". 
(Granny, Brad's mom's mother)
My family was always close and family is so important to me.  The older I get the more I realize how blessed I am to have the family and the heritage I have.  My grandmothers are still living.  Both of my grandfathers passed on years ago.  My fathers dad passed away before my parents were ever married, and my moms dad passed away when I was in first grade.  I'm thankful for the few memories I have of "Dawdy".   
(My dad's mom.  Mommie Petersheim)
At the beginning of this year, Brad and I decided to make an effort to visit each of our grandparents every month.  It takes effort and there have been many Sunday afternoon naps sacrificed, but it has been so worth it.   Brad's fathers parents are still living and his moms mother is still living.  We have been able to visit each one of our grandparents every month except one month.  We had planned to "go visiting" the last Sunday of April, but made a quick weekend trip for a funeral so that messed up that month.

(Brad's dad's parents)

     It has been such a blessing to sit and visit with the older generation.  Yes, we hear the same stories over and over and over again, but we just laugh and nod along as if we had never heard them!   Our grandparents are as different as night and day, but there are things we learn from each of them.

My "Mommie" is 92 and lives with my parents.  She is probably the one I have the most memories of, especially in the past few years.  It breaks my heart to see her aging and getting older.  She still has most of her right mind but longs to die and go to heaven.  She takes a lot of care, but is still a joy.

Brad's grandparents love to go out to eat.  Last weekend we took them out to "Country Gardens".  They loved it and so did we!  Brad and I come from 2 different cultures and 2 different ways of life.  There are good and bad on both ends.  Our prayer is that we could be a blessing to each one of these dear older souls.  We realize they won't be around forever and we want to make memories with them while we can.
If you haven't spent an hour with your grandma/grandpa lately, I would suggest giving it a try! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Snakes and Smores

Memorial Day found some of my family gathering at my parents for a cookout and pool party.  When we got there, I headed inside bearing bags of food.  I stopped dead in my tracks when my husband said in a pretty calm voice.  "Hey honey, check out this snake you just walked by".  To which I promptly responded by dropping all baggage and running for the nearest safe place.  You see, I don't really run toward "danger" (which in this case was a snake), I run as fast as I can the other way.  But curiosity got the best of me and I ventured over for a closer look.  Sure enough, there it sat, sunning itself and digesting it's latest meal.  There was a big bulge in it's middle region.  I don't have pics of when we first seen it, because I was to busy being scared for my life.  There's just something about snakes that......UGH.

Flash backwards to one of my visits to Nevada.  There are rattlesnakes out there and here I am forcing myself to touch one!  You can tell my my face that I wasn't enjooying it too much!
We put the snake in a bucket so the rest of the family could see it when they got there.  When we went back to get it, there was a frog in the bucket as well.  Remember how I said, there was a bulge in the snake?  Well, the poor snake had been so distressed by all the commotion that it didn't get time to finish digesting it's meal.  Let's just say it looked disgusting!

When my brother came, he put on some heavy duty gloves and stretched it out so the kids could touch it.

"Did you touch it"? you ask.  Seriously, do you even need to ask?

The snake now has a home with Dontae's turtle although I hear his mother refuses to let it live in the house.  Can you blame her?  I sure don't!

Now...on to happier things!

Pretty soon the rain came and forced us to take the party inside.  We had planned on starting up a campfire and roasting hotdogs and making smores but ended up doing smores in the oven.  Nothing beats a campfire smore, but these were a close 2nd!
Poor Megs was feeling under the weather and even a big huge tower built by the most handsome carpenter in the world could barely get a smile from her.
One of my most favorite things is having my hair played with.  When I was still living at home and the kiddos came over, often we would get out all the combs, brushes, barettes and bands in the house and I would lay on the couch with my hair over the end and go to sleep till a sharp tug would wake me up!  When there are 3 kids all brushing your hair at the same time, you're bound to have tugs!  Breanne wanted me to do her hair, and then T wanted to get in on the action! 
I kinda feel sorry for my mom.  She loves working in her flower beds, but I'm pretty sure, she will be keeping an eye out now for Mr. Snakes relatives!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Congrats Grad!

Is it ever too late to chase your dreams?
I've been feeling OLD lately and keep thinking about all of the things I probably won't be able to do in life. Not that it's important, but there are some things that I think would be really cool to do. Like...go on a train ride west for weeks, go to Italy, Hawaii, Alaska. (not on the same trip!) Live in weird places. Point to a spot on a map and go there etc. I'm just realizing that most of these have to do with travel! There are more, but that's what comes to mind now. Some of these things hopefully will happen someday but some...probably not! And that's Ok.

Last night we went to a graduation. The graduate was my husband's 60 year old father!!!

A little over a year ago, due to the recession and all, he was one of the many in this country who found themselves laid off and without a job. He filled out application after application but no luck. So he decided to make good use of his time and go back to school. He's always loved to tinker around with electrical stuff. He wired some of the stuff here when we remodled. We were all kinda shocked when he told us about his plans but were all pretty much supportive.

He went to the local Vo-tech and after a year of hard work, he received a "skilled laborer" type degree. I sat there last night watching him file in and be surrounded by high school kids for the most part, (There were a few other "gray haired" folks too) and thought "wow...how cool"! And it made me think that you are NEVER too old to dream!
Senator Mike Brubaker was the speaker.
And then, after he received his certificate his name was called and he also received a "special merit" award. None of us can really remember what it was for....we were shocked. He couldn't remember either when we asked him later! He was totally surprised too! The speaker and other teachers kept talking about how thankful they were for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who supported the graduates. We were thinking "What about their kids?!"
Way to go Dad..we're proud of you!! We're praying that the right job would come your way!