Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trip to PA plus 100th post giveaway

So, my 100th post wasn't developing as I had hoped, so I am just going to skip my idea and post the rest of our PA trip pictures and do a giveaway (see the end of the post).

Monday morning before we headed back to Alabama, we enjoyed the streets of Lititz. It's amazing how much more quaint and cute it has become in the last year :) Just kidding - it has always been this quaint, but I now appreciate it more having not been there for some time.

First, we had breakfast north of Lititz at "The Udder Choice" restaurant.

On the way into Lititz from the restaurant, we passed the 5 acre piece of land that we used to own. Whoever owns it has a beautiful log cabin overlooking the farms below. I had another shot from the front, but it turned out blurry, so you will just have to imagine it.

Must stop at Wilbur Chocolate when in Lititz. They make the base chocolate for some more famous name chocolates such as Godiva. GOOD STUFF!

A little "train station" visitor center at the park.

We enjoyed some fun at the park feeding the ducks and playing at the playground getting out some energy before our long trip back to Alabama.

Grandpa bought each of our kids a model truck from the auction. Savannah's truck was from this company in Lititz.

Family photo taken in the park (thanks, Lauren!).

Don't miss the duck - it was an unusual colored one.

This old church was bought by a private party and is being renovated - I think for a residence. At one point, it was rumored that it would be torn down - I have always liked it, so am glad that it was not.

General Sutter Inn - neat "fine-dining" restaurant - established in 1764.

We didn't eat Roma pizza this day, but had to get a shot of the front anyway. I have to laugh at this picture because of the blanket on the ground behind John. The city was having a parade that evening and people go to the street ahead of time and put out blankets, towels, chairs, etc to save their spot. There was a policeman walking up the street "moving" all of the items away from the curb because it was not time to put them out yet.

I have always enjoyed this quaint little garden right on main street. I think it is part of a B & B and is just so inviting.

It was cloudy and chilly that morning, but we really enjoyed our little stroll down the street in Lititz.

Now - onto the giveaway ...

I have so enjoyed my "Hello Love" CD that I think you may like your very own copy, too. (We sang one of the songs in church this morning!)'s the deal. Just leave a comment and a way for me to contact you if you would like to enter. I will have the drawing at 9:00 am CST Thursday morning.

And, remember to pray for the elections!

Trip to PA - part 1

Thanks for all of your prayers! We had a wonderful, tiring trip to PA. Both van rides were uneventful and the kids all did absolutely super! Driving through the night really helped as most of the kids slept a good portion of the trip.

Many have asked - no, we did not get the 3rd pour finished before we left. We are hoping later this week, or early next week. We didn't have time to get both the front and the back walls formed, so decided to wait until we could do both at once.

WOW - Who turned off the heat? When we left, it was warm and balmy during the day and we returned to frost on the car!! Right now, it is only 50! I thought it was cold in PA - I was looking forward to returning to the warm south - only to get a little bit of a surprise. It is supposed to be back up to 70's tomorrow. We have also had freezing temperatures at night, so we have to be careful when we do pour.

We even saw a snow flurry in VA when we stopped for gas!

We were able to connect with a few friends and family while in PA - there is never enough time when you visit someplace.

Friday night was the Barn party for the children at our church in PA, so I surprised the kids and took them there. They didn't know anything about it. The party was at a friend's house, so it was completely normal for them to be visiting there :) There were a lot of kids and my how they have changed in a year!

Hay rides are a must at any barn parties - they loved it.

Lauren (friend from We Care) came along with us and was the only one from our group of 3 willing to bob for an apple. Way to go, Lauren!

Here are the kiddos on Saturday with Grandpa and Beulah and gifts from the prison ministry benefit auction. Grandpa got each of them a model truck. Thanks, Grandpa!

Catching up with friends while John was helping at the auction.

More friends after church on Sunday - thoroughly enjoying Roma pizza!! There is just no place like Roma pizza - YUM! Thanks, Brian and Lorie.

Our kiddos enjoying a rocket launcher - we had to tear them away.

We stayed with Dave and Becky at their cozy log cabin again. Here she is with her grandson, Elijah. What a cutie!

Joel, Kelly and Elijah - quick visit, but enjoyed it very much. Thanks for taking the time to come and see us.

Final night get together with 3 other couples. Jason and Jennifer hosted all of us and we had a wonderful time catching up (they were the couple who visited us earlier this month). Here are all of the guys - kids included.

Each of these ladies have been very special to me - the quality of conversation is just not easily replaced. Miss you guys, tons! The one in the red jacket is expecting a baby any day - say a prayer for her as they add a new addition to their family.

There are many others who we didn't have opportunity to visit - as I said earlier, there is just never enough time.

Please pray for Savannah, too - she loved being in PA and she misses having friends close by. I have tried to explain to her that if we lived there we wouldn't be hanging out with friends every day anyway - that when we visit, we cram-pack all of our free time with seeing friends. She has cried every day we have been back in Alabama - but I think today is getting a little easier. Please pray for the opportunity to spend more time with friends here and to find new friends that she will enjoy.

I have a lot more pictures from our time on Monday when we spent a couple of hours walking around Lititz, but I will have to wait until after my next post - the 100th. I am planning on a little giveaway, so check back!

ps - Would you believe that I did not see any plates on the way to PA? Driving through the night might have had something to do with that :) Also, didn't see a whole of lot of fall colors in TN and VA because we couldn't even see the trees. I'll have to keep looking.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


We are getting ready for a trip to PA this weekend, so this has to be short. We are also trying to get one more pour in before we go, so this has to be short :)

House update:
We have 2 of 9 pours finished. We are hoping for #3 tomorrow afternoon. This will be the first level of the front and back walls of the house.

It has started to get pretty cool at night, but BEAUTIFUL during the day. In fact, the kids want to be outside all day long, so we try to get homeschooling done in the cool of the morning so they can take every opportunity to play.

We finished soccer last Saturday - whew! Lots of fun, but we are glad to not be running 3 days a week. Hadden's party was last Sunday evening and Savannah's will be when we get back. Both kids enjoyed their seasons and I have to admit that I did, too.

That kind of sums it up. I will be watching for more license plates on the way to PA :)
Until then,

Job 37:23-24 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. Therefore, men revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Answer to MRCLMN

Wow - I'm impressed -both hi-d and Momma Roar got it right! It is Miracle Man - an amazing story of how God miraculously saved the life of a friend of ours. He truly is a walking miracle and it is a miracle that he can even walk.

btw - Momma Roar - I missed your man today. The kids and I had a birthday party when the guys came up. John forgot to take a picture, so I am hoping to steal one from you (what if I promise not to blog about it?)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Answer to P3HPV3P

OK - here's the answer -

The driver told me that if you look at the license plate P3HPV3P from upside down, it says "DeadHed" (dEAdHEd) - although I don't necessarily like what it says, I applaud the creativity of it.

My best friend, hi-d, and I saw this plate one time:
We had fun making all kinds of possibilities for it. "Dee dee dee dee dee dee", etc. Do you remember that hi-d?

OK - here's another one that took me a LONG time to figure out what it meant. Some friends from our home group had it on their vehicle and I never remembered to ask them what it meant. After playing a game of Mad Gab (I think that was the name), we were driving behind them and then figured it out!

Here it is:

Hint: It's not Mr Clean Man :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

License plate game

I got this idea from Simply Stork. She saw a funny license plate and asked others about funny ones that they have seen.

I, too, like to figure out license plates. The most challenging one that I saw (and actually remember :) is:


We were driving behind this individual for a while and thankfully we pulled into the same gas station, so I was able to ask the driver what the plate meant.

Leave me a comment with your guess for today's. I'll try to post the answer tomorrow...

I just had an idea for my 100th post - I am planning on doing a little giveaway for it! Stay tuned.

Monday, October 13, 2008

One blessed mommy

We got Hadden a Bible around the time of his birthday. He had wanted one (to be like Savannah), so we told him that he needed to learn how to read before we bought him one. I found a kids adventure Bible at the Thrift store for $1.98 and got it for him and he was very excited.

In the KidZone at church, they have competitions for who can find particular verses first, so our kids like to practice at home. However, last night, Hadden wanted to actually read the Bible. He turned to Joshua 3 and started reading! Can I tell you just how much that blessed me? Then, again, this morning he wanted to continue reading in Joshua 3. (By the way - some GOOD stuff in that chapter about the Israelites crossing the Jordan river).

Last week, he brought his Bible to me in the morning and wanted to read Genesis 1. I often read in the morning before I get out of bed and he wanted to join me.

This is definitely something I want to encourage :)

Savannah has also been a huge blessing to me on the soccer field. Being her coach has been so much fun - she listens to me and tries hard to play her best. She is really starting to "get" the idea of teamwork and it has been fun watching a few on my team work together. Some of them get it - some of them don't, but that is ok. I was a little worried that being her coach and Mom would be challenging, but she has learned to roll with it (for the most part). This Saturday is our last game, so hopefully we go out with a bang.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Catchin' up

We had a wonderful visit with some dear friends from PA last week. We are so grateful for dear friends and it is especially nice when you visit! :)

Kids chillin' in the former garden spot. They went from dawn to dusk playing, biking and hiking until they dropped!

The men also had a chance to play - putting the antenna up to the right spot.

Discussing house plans.

We took a break from building for the week and just relaxed and enjoyed our company. We had poured the next height for our end walls last Friday and really needed a break. We did take the time to clean up the forms and get them under the tarp before the rain came.

We took turns going for hikes each day. Wednesday was a rainy day, so the big girls went shopping while the big boys took the kids to the McWane Science Center.

Pictures of some more wildflowers at my favorite spot on the other ridge.

Jennifer at Chimney rock.

Neat view from Chimney Rock.

Our time together ended all too fast and before we knew it, they were packing up to head north again. We took some family shots before they left. (Yes - my hair is extremely blond. Combination of intense sun and "do-it-yourself" hair color :).

All four kids on the front steps getting ready to bike.

Watching a movie together.

Before they officially headed out, we went up to Noccalula Falls on their last morning (it was in the direction they were headed) and spent a few hours there.

Jennifer and the kids at the top of the falls ...

... while the guys were at the bottom of the falls ...

... swimming!! Brrr!

Later, we discovered this sign!!! :)

"No swimming" If you look really closely in this picture between John and the sign, you will see the falls :)

View from the trail on the train side.

After our friends left, we decided to go on the little train ride at Noccalula Falls. John had never been before, and the kids really wanted to go. We got to see Sheila the lioness and several new animals.

There is a Canadian Lynx, named Jynx, and he was hilarious. He did not like John for some reason. Every time John moved or approached the cage, Jynx snarled and growled at him. A couple of times, Jynx even smacked at the cage! We asked the animal keepers if Jynx didn't like males and they told us that he doesn't. He was a very beautiful creature.

Jynx the Lynx.

Fun day, fun week, fun time with friends.