Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Library Shelves Are Done!

Welcome to our Living Room/ Library! Jim started building these wonderful shelves years ago while we lived in Florida. Now that we are here in the house we hope to stay in for a long while, he has been able to finish them, fitting them to the dimensions of the living room. So have a tour around our library and you'll see where I sit as I post to the blog and facebook, watch The Office on hulu, and curl up with a good book,... or 200! This is my 'happy place'!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kate Has Arrived!

I spoke with Kate last night and she was as excited as I've ever heard her. She arrived safely in Dublin and was met by Alan and Ruth Boal at the airport. By the time I spoke with her she had already purchased an Irish cell phone, had a brief tour of downtown Dublin, and started unpacking in her new apartment. Her adventure has begun! I'm sure it will take a few days for her internal clock to regulate to Irish time,... (one wonders, however, if she was ever adjusted to Pennsylvania time...).

This morning she went to church at Abbey Presbyterian, and one of the Praise choruses they sang was "In Christ Alone", which was a little taste of home for her. Her every message she writes ends with exclamation points, so I can read her ear-to-ear smile even in her writing.

Ruth Boal, the wife of Abbey's Pastor and Kate's "Irish Mom", posted photos of Kate's arrival right away yesterday, which was such a treat for us. I've "borrowed" a couple of them to post here so you too can see the delight in my baby's eyes.

Kate and Ruth Boal at the airport- does she look excited?

Kate enjoying a cup of coffee with Alan Boal at their place.

On the streets of Dublin; cold, windy and rainy...
yet her smile is not dimmed in the least!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fly Away Baby

My first thought upon waking this morning, as I tried to focus my eyes on the clock, was, "is she there yet?!"

I am engaged in a curiously doubled dilemma. We took Kate to the airport for her flight to Ireland which will launch her 10 months of Missionary service. Additionally, she is no longer in possession of her cell phone, having decided to get a local Irish phone instead of racking up enormous costs with her US phone. Therefore we did not receive a call from her to notify us that she was boarding the aircraft, safely arrived in Frankfurt, securely awaiting her connection from the right terminal in Frankfurt, boarding the final flight or happily arrived in Ireland!

When she was in Switzerland and hopping all over Europe to Rome, Germany, and France we at least had the knowledge that she was a mere phone call away. Now the cellular umbilical is cut and she is on... her... own.

(sniff, sniff)

So this is what that separation feels like.

Over the years we have spent enough collective time "waiting for Kate" to have discovered a cure for Cancer,... (if we were so inclined and gifted). Now we are once again waiting, this time to hear from her.

I know that she is so very excited; over the moon excited, to actually be embarking on this phase of her life. She has been preparing for it for so very long. Leaving behind family and fiance is in no way simple for her. But she knows deep within herself that this time in Ireland is what she needs. That is ample proof to me that this really is God's will for her. The Lord has plans for her that we cannot from this vantage point imagine. Our prayers go with her.

Now for some photos-

Now, phone,... RING!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Covenant Women's Retreat

I'm skipping a fun-filled weekend (for which I haven't yet all the photos) in order to post this past weekend's retreat! Our church paired with Living Hope OPC in Allentown for a Women's Retreat at the very lovely Camp Swatara, just about one hour from our home. We joined the Living Hope Women last year for a retreat and it worked out so well that we were blessed to co-retreat with them again.

The weather was spectacular for a weekend in the woods, which made the evening at the campfire and the Saturday afternoon hike so nice. Our speaker, Jayne Clark spoke on understanding what the Bible says about Eternity, and the implications for our lives now. If heaven is so utterly wonderful, how can my petty issues, or even my genuine problems, cast a shadow over me? This life is but a breath, eternity in Heaven will last into infinity, Christ has prepared a place for me there...

On the other hand, if Hell is real, how can I not share the Gospel with my unbelieving friends? What a blessing to know that it is not my eloquence that will save them, but the Holy Spirit. Yet how can I not long to share of the beauty of my Savior with those who are lost without Him?

On Saturday afternoon we had a craft, making beaded bookmarks, then various groups of us went on hikes on the trails in the woods. The Appalachian Trail was at the top of the ridge and connected to the camp by a number of trails. I joined Lisa and Debbie Sue from Covenant and Linda, Cindy and Joanne from Living Hope for a walk in the woods that turned into quite an adventure...

Enjoy the slideshow! I'm exhausted!

(to read the captions, just pass your mouse over the individual photos.)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

In Training

Poor Milo, he needs practice...

This is more his speed...

Going for Apples!

Erin and I went to Brecknock Orchard for apples this morning. This is the only place where we have found our very most best favorite apples- Mutsu apples. Oh, yum. Mutsus are quite large, firm and crisp, with a slightly spicy taste. We bought them from a roadside truck every Fall when we lived in Grove City, but weren't able to find them- of course- in Florida. Once we moved here it became a personal quest to find a source for Mutsu apples again. Jim and the kids found this orchard in Lancaster County last year. Fortunately, they are a mere 10 minute drive from our home! Today they were having a Fall Festival with corn maze, games for children and lots of wonderful locally grown goodies for sale.

The following photos were taken by Erin as I perused the wares in the store.

I took this one.