A Gift Basket ~ Two Visits ~ A Sunset

Tuesday, June 30 and Wednesday, July 1

6-30-15 (1)This is the only thing I bought at the Truck Rally Auction.

Cerwin bought a few things, but this was my purchase.

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6-30-15 (3)The pretty napkins and, plates, bowls, and plastic ware in the basket.

Our granddaughter Lydia prepared the meal for us one day while I closed the books on the Truck Rally reports.

6-30-15 (4)Lydia and her two great-grandmas.

Lydia (who is from Maine) has been staying with us off and on this summer – between work camps in various places of the country. Her next one is in Colorado.

6-30-15 (6)We noticed a beautiful sunset over Landis Homes when we left for home.

7-1-15 (1)The next morning, July 1, I was surprised by two visitors – Ian and Jared.

7-1-15 (2)The needed something to do on this beautiful morning.

7-1-15 (3)Following a drink and snack, they were on their way again.

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7-1-15 (7)I love summertime.

Father’s Day Meal

Sunday afternoon, June 21

Father's Day (1)Our plans were changed slightly during our time at Big Rig Sunday (previous post) as Jere and Kristen had to go to the hospital to be with their adopted seventy-year-old special-needs son who had just been admitted to the hospital.

We had been invited for lunch, and since everything was in crockpots, Jana served the meal – then the boys gave Cerwin his Father’s Day presents.

Father's Day (2)Jesse’s package

Father's Day (3)

Father's Day (5)Stetson cologne

Father's Day (6)Ian’s package

Father's Day (7)

Father's Day (8)

DSC_5432Cashews

Father's Day (9)More cashews. They know they are grandpa’s favorite.

Father's Day (10)I love how the boys decorated their paper.

Father's Day (11)Jesse wanted me to take a picture of his art project.

Father's Day (12)He did a great job.

Father's Day (13)Then we had dessert – a delicious grape pudding and…

Father's Day (14)…ice cream cake.

Thanks, Jana, for serving us. You did a great job. Thanks Jere and Kristen, we missed you.

~~~

As of today, Gregg – their adopted son – continues to deteriorate. He is blessed to have the love of Jere and Kristen’s family as he is moved into hospice care.

Mother, Doris, Lydia and Our Daisies

Cerwin’s youngest sister Doris, from Minnesota, and Mother had a delightful time when Doris spent a week (plus) in Pennsylvania while her husband was in Grenada preaching at a week-long crusade. (Doris doesn’t do well with that kind of heat and humidity, so Bob suggested that she spend the week with her Mother.)

Visiting Mother and Daisies (1)Doris took Mother outside in her wheelchair almost every day. They had meals together, visited Mother’s friends who live at Landis Homes, and saw the peacocks and swans.

Visiting Mother and Daisies (2)Since the weather turned warm, we try to get Mother outside as often as possible.

This week our granddaughter Lydia is with us, so yesterday we had lunch in the courtyard outside the café.

Visiting Mother and Daisies (5)Lydia is spending the summer going to work camps in various places.

She and her group spent the first ten days in the Dominican Republic – painting a church and interacting with the locals. From there she went to Americus, Georgia, where she and another group served at Koinonia Farms – working in the bakery and weeding the blueberry patch. Her next work camp was in New Orleans where they worked in the ninth ward (Hurricane Katrina area) – helping in a garden and building a aquaculture system.

She is here until July 5 when she flies to North Fort Myers, Florida, to work with ECHO. After that she will visit her parents in Maine and come back to Pennsylvania before flying to Canon City, Colorado, to work at New Horizons Ministries.

After her summer work camps, she will go back to school in September and continue her college studies in Brunswick, Maine.

Visiting Mother and Daisies (6)Back in our yard, the daisies are in bloom and adding a lot of beauty.

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Visiting Mother and Daisies (9)Love daisies.

This (No Photo) Post Has Been A Long Time Coming

As a matter of fact, it has been coming for as long as I have been blogging – and that is almost ten years. 

Every now and then, after posting a family get-together or reunion – like last night – I hear things like:

  • “I love your family.”
  • “You have a wonderful family.”
  • “I wish our family liked each other.”

However, the writer only knows us by photos on my posts.

I want to assure you that we are a normal family just like yours with our own set of pain and problems – in our small family as well as in our extended families. I never want to give you the impression that we are perfect or problem-free. 

I am not a blogger who writes a lot of deep spiritual or life lessons. There are many others who do that – and do it quite well. That is not my passion. I choose to use photos rather than words. This is one of only a few times in my years of blogging that I am not adding even one photo.

My spiritual gift is encouragement and I love photography, so the passion behind my blog is to encourage my readers with posts that include photos of:

  • Challenging Bible verses
  • Pretty, nature pictures
  • Life in our family
  • Travel highlights
  • TFC ministry events
  • Daily happenings of things that challenge or bless me.

As a rule I hear from people who are blessed and encouraged – especially by the Bible verses and pretty travel or nature pictures.

  • One person told me that she is housebound and my blog helps her get out of the house.

It may be obvious to my readers that I have a passion for those who have not chosen to follow Christ.

However, you may not know that my greatest passion is for Christians who are miserable and missing out on the delight and peace there is in doing things God’s way – even during pain, misunderstandings, and problems. I am saddened and burdened for bitter, unforgiving, disobedient Christians because of the spiritual and physical issues those things deliver.

My goal in blogging is to daily remind myself and others that it is best to do things God’s way: to obey Him and delight in his creation of nature and people.

There is probably nothing more painful to me then when someone misunderstands my passion and tells me that I misrepresent the truth by only airing the fun and delightful things in my life and family.

  • Personally, I don’t feel like it is my job to air our family’s pain or problems on the internet, unless I choose to air my own struggles – and if you read my blog, you know I usually only air my struggles after I have again gotten a grip on life. 🙂
  • At times, after receiving words of criticism concerning my blog or pictures, I am tempted to stop blogging – and that happens a time or two a year – but each time I get close to quitting, God reminds me of the passion He gave me to encourage my blog friends. (He did that again through a sermon at our church several weeks ago.)

This seems like the right time to assure you that Satan is just as busy in our family – immediate and extended – as he is in yours.

  • Each of us have made wrong choices – some public sins and others that are more private, like stubbornness, selfishness, complaining, or gossip.

We are very human.

  • Some family members are gracious and kind to those with whom they disagree, while others are intolerant and judgmental.
  • Not everyone likes each other.
  • Some are reclusive and stay to themselves when the family is together.
  • Others are chatty and talk too much.
  • There are health issues and worries that plague each family.
  • There are job concerns – some work too hard, others not so much.
  • Some of the children are good students – others struggle in school.
  • We are careful in our discussion of Christianity, religion, or politics because we range from very conservative to very liberal – especially in the extended families.

I could go on and on with examples of how we qualify as a normal family, but I think you get the point.

~~~

My life-chapter is Psalm 37.

  • My life-verse is the 4th one in that chapter: Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (English Standard Version)

I intend to keep on delighting in the Lord and his creation of nature and people – and showing you pictures of those delights – knowing that God is in the process of giving me the desires of my heart.

But, please remember neither I nor my family have a perfect, problem-free life.

Fishing At Presque Isle

Friday evening, May 15

1 (1)It was a beautiful, calm evening.

1 (2)There were several signs of beaver in the area.

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1 (7)Heze baiting a hook.

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1 (4)It was a bit cool in northern Maine, but it was perfectly calm.

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1 (12)At first I thought this was a kayaker, but then we noticed that he was standing on a board.

1 (13)Notice the cord attached to his leg – that way he won’t loose his board if he falls into the water.

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1 (20)A red-winged blackbird left us know that it was there.

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1 (25)Someone was building a campfire up river.

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1 (34)Then it was time to leave the river and head to Heze’s college dorm.

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3 (2)Showing his mom his dorm number.

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3 (4)Removing the final items that belonged to him.

DSC_3071The sun was setting as we headed back to our motel.

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DSC_3080The next day would be Heze’s graduation from college.

A Little Girl & Boy – A Little Deer & Groundhog

Monday, May 11

You may remember that our niece Judi and her husband, Reuben, were here for almost a month last winter as they began the process of adopting a little boy.

They were back for a few days for a court date. It has been a “nerve-wracking” journey for them, and it is ongoing. Pray for them and their little man as they come to your mind.

I took care of the children during their court date.

groundhog and deer (1)Teaching the little miss how to blow bubbles.

groundhog and deer (2)

groundhog and deer (3)

groundhog and deer (4)

groundhog and deer (5)Trying to get little man to smile for the camera.

groundhog and deer (6)

groundhog and deer (7)

groundhog and deer (8)When I noticed that the fallen cherry blossoms almost camouflaged her, I asked her to walk through them.

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groundhog and deer (12)

groundhog and deer (13)Enjoying an ice cream cone while we wait for cousin Deb and two of her rescue animals.

groundhog and deer (14)This time Deb brought Buttercup the fawn and Erica the groundhog.

Both were orphaned shortly after birth and brought to Deb.

groundhog and deer (15)She wasn’t sure about this little creature.

groundhog and deer (16)She was more comfortable with Buttercup.

groundhog and deer (17)

groundhog and deer (18)She liked the cherry blossoms. They were probably sweet.

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groundhog and deer (36)Thanks, Deb. That was a fun visit for me and the children.

Visiting Mother High

May 10 – Mother’s Day

We visited her after the Lancaster Make-A-Wish Convoy so Ian was with us.

DSC_2431Since Mother has been walking as far as possible when we go to the Café, Ian decided to follow her with the wheel chair.

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DSC_2433When she was ready for the wheel chair, he pushed her and Cerwin pushed her walker.

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DSC_2440When we were finished eating, Ian asked to push me back to Mother’s room in her walker.

We had lots of fun, and when we came to a group of people walking through the hall, they didn’t even smile or give us a second look. I guess they thought I lived here. 🙂

~~~

We usually pray with Mother before we leave, and she loved it when Ian prayed for her.

~~~

As we were leaving, we noticed a mother Mallard and her babies in one of the courtyards.

DSC_2443It’s fun watching the little ones chase bugs.

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DSC_2444It was a long and rewarding Mother’s day.

Visitors From Maine

Saturday Morning, May 2

It is delightful for this mother and grandmother to see more of her Maine family – now that they have a grandson/nephew in our area.

Mark, Diane, and Hannah spent most of Friday (May 1) traveling from Maine, doing some shopping, and visiting Josiah, before arriving at our place.

1Abby and her sister Hannah on Saturday morning.

1aHannah and Anthony

1bAnthony and Grandma Diane

1cAbby’s horse

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2 (2)rubber pants for cloth diapers – drying in the warm sunshine

2 (3)Anthony and Grandma

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6 (2)After Diane, Hannah, and I had a nice amount of time with Abby and Anthony, we did a variety of shopping in the Terre Hill and Ephrata areas.

 

Mountain House For The Weekend – Part 2 of 3

Saturday, April 4

DSC_8064Early morning warmth

DSC_8082Jesse and Deb

DSC_8069Deb and Jared

DSC_8062I like Roy’s shirt.

DSC_8075Preparing breakfast

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DSC_8060A variety of pictures of the day’s activities.

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DSC_8118The children enjoyed playing an old Xbox (or something like that) game that they haven’t seen for years.

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DSC_8123Morning snow

DSC_8139We put carrots and other things in the yard the day before, hoping to attract birds and animals. The items were still there in the morning.

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DSC_8163Wood for the fireplace.

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DSC_8175Dutch Blitz

DSC_8180Scorekeeper

DSC_8177Studying

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DSC_8185Hot dogs for those who wanted something for lunch.

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DSC_8192Jana moved all the candies to one end of the brownie before eating it – saving the best for last.

DSC_8196Afternoon hike

DSC_8208Ping pong

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DSC_8218Our Easter meal was on Saturday evening.

DSC_8219Ham

DSC_8223Gravy

DSC_8224Corn and potatoes

DSC_8230Clear evening sky

DSC_8232Jere put the ham bone and some scrap pieces out in the woods – hoping a bear or other animal would smell it and come by.

DSC_8239Wall decorations

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DSC_8264Playing phone games

DSC_8268Someone is playing X-box in the loft.

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DSC_8290Waiting for birthday cake for our evening dessert.

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DSC_8300Deb brought a facial kit along – just for fun – that she found at a discount.

I think there were 5 different tubes and steps.

Ian was our assistant.

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DSC_8314There was still some cream/oil left in the tubes, so we gave the boys facials. 🙂

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IMG_20150404_194156A selfie of our new “beautiful” faces before bedtime. 🙂

Oh, what a fun, relaxing day.

Mountain House For The Weekend – Part 1 of 3

Friday, April 3 – Good Friday

This was a 16th birthday gift to Jana (from her parents) who wanted to spend a weekend in the mountains – and we were blessed to be invited to go along.

DSC_7918We were up early, and I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful moon with clouds behind it.

DSC_7923This was the scene in our neighborhood when we left the house to meet at Jere and Kristen’s place – a mile away.

DSC_7925Ian got to travel with us, and mostly read or played games on my laptop.

DSC_7928Our convoy to the mountain house included Jere and Kristen (white suburban) and Roy and Deb (black truck in front of us).

DSC_7935The Susquehanna River was beautiful in the morning haze.

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DSC_7950We stopped for breakfast in the Sunbury area.

DSC_7959On the road again.

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DSC_7967Stopped for a break at a quick stop gas station. I was fascinated by the name of the doughnuts.

DSC_7969Saw a small flock of turkeys as we approached Potter County.

DSC_7972I can’t resist taking a picture of a colorful truck.

DSC_7974The final few miles were driven on dirt (muddy) road.

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DSC_7994Only family, friends, and church friends will know whose mountain home we rented.

DSC_7995The driveway was still snow-covered.

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DSC_8001Jere getting some dead flies and live spiders with the sweeper.

DSC_8004After settling in, Cerwin found his spot by the fireplace.

DSC_8006Kristen relaxing.

DSC_8008Jere, Ian, Jared, and Jesse explored the outside area.

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DSC_8011Josh and Jana fooling around.

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DSC_8021Returning from a mountain hike.

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DSC_8029Playing Dutch Blitz.

DSC_8032Jere needed some attention!

DSC_8035Dutch Blitz is serious business when playing with these three. It is difficult for anyone to out play Jana. 🙂

DSC_8036Jere preparing kindling wood.

DSC_8040Ian learning about building a fireplace fire.

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DSC_8044My spot on the couch. There was no internet and little cell phone service, so I may have been reading something or playing a game.

DSC_8046These four played a game after an early supper.

DSC_8050I took these pictures from the top of the steps to the second floor.

DSC_8051Jared was in charge of evening devotions.

DSC_8054It was a delightful day.