Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wonderfully Busy Weekend, Relaxing Week

What a whirlwind! So many things were happening this weekend, but they were all wonderful. I was blessed to go with several ladies from church to Westminster Theological Seminary for a "Women in the Word" Seminar, in which we learned to better read and study Scripture for the purpose of leading Bible studies for others. We were each in a different group, meeting women from all over who are lovers of the Word of God and hungry to learn more.

Here I am with my friends from church, Sharon, Sharon, Annie, (me), and June.

And here's my group, representing NYC, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and other areas nearby.
I left the seminar early, (sniff) in order to get home in time to see Bekah to a friend's home to dress for the homecoming dance. She and her friends primped and giggled as they got ready. Once they were photo-prepared I took a couple of shots and left for the next activity...
Tha annual Covenant Church Fall Fest! Not nearly as cold as last year, but the square dancing was just as fun!

Knowing those with whom we are dancing helps some too!

The past couple of days I've gone exploring with my "walking buddy", Heidi, to better familiarize myself with the area. I'm doing intensive research so that we can be better hosts for friends who come to visit. There is so much to see around here! First, and probably most memorable, stop- the Amish pretzel factory! I was privileged to go into the back where the girls were twisting pretzels and learned that it's not as easy as it looks! They were all so sweet.

Heidi and I took my empty pots to Wayside Produce for Esther, another Amish friend of Heidi's, to fill with gorgeous mums. Esther does all of Heidi's potting for her and she does it right. I also picked up some produce to add to dinner.

The weather is finally cool enough to leave the windows open for the lovely breeze. Milo, formerly a wild-in-the-woods boy, loves to sit and enjoy the sounds and smells.

Day two of our exploration- apple trees in harvest!

This market stand had all the makings for harvest-time decor.

tiny pumpkins!

Honor system cider sales. The Amish farmer who sets his cider out for passers-by to purchase doesn't have a direct line of sight from his house to this spot on the road. He's sold his cider this way for years.

What a splendid view!

That's all for now. This weekend we'll get the kids out for some pretzels and pumpkins.
Golly, I love fall!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Father/ Son Hike

This past weekend Jim and Isaac joined the men from Jim's Sunday School class, and their sons, for a Father/ son hike on the Appalachian Trail. A portion of the famous trail runs quite near where we live. They geared up for an overnight stay with hiking both days. Some of the guys could only join them for the first day's hiking, but most braved the night and second day as well.

Jim brought not only sleeping equipment and food, but a book with amusing stories about camping to share around the fire. You can tell by the clothing and posture of the guys in this shot that it got pretty chilly once the sun went down!

Day two, seated on "the pinnacle", which is a pile of rocks at one high point along the trail.

Onward and upward!

What a spectacular view, makes the effort to reach it worthwhile.

A "boulder field" left by a glacier thousands of years ago.

Photos courtesy of Jim O'Donoghue- thanks for sharing Jim!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chronologically Incorrect!

A couple of weeks ago, our dear friends the Moffatts drove up all the way from Georgia to spend the night with us while on their way elsewhere. I hope that, in spite of my direction giving faux pas, they will return for a longer visit someday. While their stay was way too brief, it was so neat to see them again.

Now it's a nice quiet Saturday at home. Why so quiet you ask? Jim's Sunday School class of men are taking their sons on a camping trip together. The weather has finally cooled down so the hiking will be crisp and lovely and the sandwiches won't overheat. The sunshine is simply spectacular. Can the sun shine at different intensities? The past two days it's been dazzling. Some of the leaves are beginning to turn and the sky is so blue.

Yesterday Jim and I had the pleasure of going to the school where Rebekah is taking her culinary courses. The restaurant is now open, so we stopped in for lunch! Bekah served us and we were very pleased with the quality of the food. Soup, salad and sandwiches topped off with rice pudding for Jim and chocolate cake for me, all cooked by the students. Yum!

Bekah's chef instructor came out for a visit and then gave us a tour of the kitchen when we finished our meal. We'd toured the facility last year, but now that Bekah's been there he was able to give us the "inside scoop". Evidently she is doing very well and he is pleased with her hard work and motivation. So nice to hear. He works with her for about 3 hours a day so he has a better idea of who she is than any of her other teachers have a chance to.

Our sweet chef...


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Life is Full!

We have gone from parading through the streets of Mohnton, celebrating it's 100th Anniversary, to driving across the state to see friends. Erin is still playing field hockey and loving it. Isaac is Scouting and learning new things each week. Bekah is enjoying her Culinary courses. Life is full!

I've broken the recent activities into two slide shows to make them easier to view. First is the Mohnton parade and field hockey action!

For the Columbus Day weekend we drove over to Grove City, PA to see friends and pick up some things that we'd left behind when we moved away so long ago. The Breitensteins had graciously stored a couple of items for us and it was time to claim them. So we took the seats out of the van, drove both cars over and after loading up spent the rest of the weekend visiting,... and EATING!

We took Randy and Lisa and the kids to Applebees for dinner on Saturday. Isaac and Matt hit it off so well, Isaac ended up spending the night at the Welkers while the rest of us went to our hotel! Sunday morning Jim and our kids went to church with Randy while I visited with Lisa in the quiet.

After church We said goodbye and drove over to the Breitenstein's home for a feast. Jeff and Rebecca had a mountain of kabobs ready for the grill, along with beef and venison steaks. Jason Miller was also there to join in the reunion. While the cooking and preparing were happening Jason took Isaac down to the pond to fish. The deal was, whoever caught the first fish didn't have to help with the dishes. Isaac proceeded to catch the first fish!

Meanwhile our girls were playing with the Breitenstein's children. Our Erin sat down with their Christen and Erin for some beading- fortunately she came prepared! Between helping in the kitchen our Rebekah was frequently seen with one or both twins in her arms.

After a fabulous afternoon visiting we made our way over to the Whitehouses' for a campfire cookout- just like old times! Fewer kids running around, but just as familiar and comfortable as we remembered. Janet and Terry and Jim and I swapped stories of what's been going on with our busy older kids as well as those still at home. I don't know anyone busier, yet so content.

Our trip was a wonderful time together and with friends and we hope to repeat it in the coming months. Now that we are close enough the traffic can run both ways!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Nathaniel has left Iraq! We got a call on Sunday from Anchorage, Alaska, where they'd stopped on their globe-circling trip to Hawaii. He'll probably be very busy for a while- the Army is good at that, doing whatever it is they do when a unit like theirs returns from deployment. He'd once said something about cleaning the sand out of the helicopters...

Whatever he's doing, he's doing it someplace other than a war-zone. Praise God! I hope to soon hear from him via a call from his new cell phone, which he plans to run out and buy as soon as he's able.

Whew- this is one grateful and relieved Mom, signing off for now.