Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Clean Desk

Oh, that my desk were clean. I have books partially read stacked among notes half written, grocery lists, catalogs, the checkbook and crumpled receipts (yikes!), cds, the camera, and a bottle or two of nail polish...

What a mess.

If, on one hand, a clean desk would indicate an organized and orderly mind, then uncluttering this disaster would be in one respect, dishonest. If, however, (or on the other hand, if that's where I am, I may already be lost) a messy desk is a sign of so much going on that I am unable to keep up- do I want to openly display that degree of honesty?!

Life has been a whirlwind of late. If I were an organized person by design, my home would reflect the ebb and flow merely by the number of place settings at the table... at least that's what I imagine. I would continue my routines of cleaning, dusting, balancing and organizing, right around our busy-ness and there would be no chaos.

But where's the adrenaline in that?!

I'll have to get to the bottom of this pile this morning so that it won't distract me while my Dad is here. The increasing size of the mess does make it difficult for Milo to join me here, comfortably purring on top of my papers as I write; occasionally batting my pen if I'm writing the old-fashioned way. I don't want to miss that, so it is time to close this post and pick up the mess. The ebb of the tide has come.

Then there's the mess on my nightstand...

Monday, November 24, 2008

As I Was Saying...

Okay, we got through the Michael Card concert. The next week was spent in relative quiet until Alex's arrival late Friday night. Jim had flown to Cincinnati for a few days for work, and Nathaniel drove him to and from the airport in order to have some one-on-one time. They arrived home shortly after Alex pulled in. At last, Nathaniel and Alex, two of the main men in Kate's life, meet.

(At the Fall Fest- Erin befriends a two-day old cow- too cute.)

While the weekend was busy; fixing the garage door, Fall Fest at the Lucas's farm, church, etc, there was still plenty of time for calm and quiet reflection... Ha! hardly! Yet, still, in between the insanity, Alex and Nathaniel did get time to visit. Since Alex had a four-day weekend, Monday morning, once the three younger kids were in school, I took the big boys to Shady Maple for the famous all-you-can-eat buffet. No mere chow hall here, the Mennonites cook up quite the feast, which my Army boys appreciated- many plates over!

While there we took some time to peruse the gift shop- almost a whole acre of handcrafts and local goodies. Erin needed a local gift to give to her host-family the upcoming weekend. As a member of the Student Council at school, Erin was going to participate in a state-wide Conference in Hanover, PA and would be staying with a host family in town. As it turns out, her weekend was packed full with activities and her host-Mom was a dear woman whose kitchen was decorated to reflect exactly the rooster mug and towel that I eventually chose for her gift.

But I get ahead of myself. Our final week with Nathaniel home was so nice and relaxing. I do miss having him around, and am so grateful that our visit was calm and unhurried. Thursday we drove him to the airport for his flight back to the warmth of his Tropical Isle, knowing that we should see him in another couple of months when he moves to Kentucky.

Thursday Erin left for her conference from school. Friday Jim and I went to the first annual Quakertown Regional Conference on Reformed Theology, (by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals) where we were blessed by the preaching and ministry of our friend and former pastor, Rick Phillips, as well as Craig Troxel and Carl Trueman. Several friends from our church went as well, and the fellowship around the teaching of God's word was indeed sweet.

(Myself, Rick and Jim)

In my attempt at brevity I will say that the time since then has indeed flown and we are now looking forward to the arrival of my Dad from Texas for Thanksgiving. The turkey is in the refrigerator thawing and the pantry is packed to the gills with the fixin's for a feast. I will work Wednesday morning, but no fear, Bekah will be home baking pies- six kinds of pie! Ah, the smells that will soon fill this house already have me in a state of giddy anticipation!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Photo Time

Here are the photos to accompany the last post... Better late than never!

"Did she get taller?"

Group Hug!


Someone is missing...

Rebekah, Isaiah, Eun Ho, Emma, Isaac, and Lillian- Ready for action!

"We're Aerobics Chicks from way back when- you know- the 90's"
(Um, girls, that would be the 80's)

Let the Pizza making begin!
Here are your gourmet choices for toppings- (What a great selection!)

Isaac learns from Master Pizza Chef, Tony Sacco, how to make a fabulous pizza.

Oh, YUM!

Nathaniel, me, Erin, Bekah and Isaiah at the Michael Card concert

The songsmith himself...

That's all for now- to be continued!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Too Long Without Posting!

This has been such a busy few weeks- I have to look through my pictures just to keep track of what's been happening! We were blessed with a visit from Nathaniel, Halloween fun, new car, Michael Card in concert, Alex came for a long weekend to meet Nathaniel and see his favorite future-in-laws, Jim and Isaac had a neat camp-out with fathers and sons from church, Fall Fest with our church family at the Lucas's farm, the Quakertown Regional Conference on Reformed Theology, a Thanksgiving meal with our church family… wow. Way too much to cover in one post!

So let's get started with Nathaniel's visit. He missed Kate by mere days, but was able to "skype" with her several times with only 5 hours time difference instead of the ten hours from Hawaii. Since we live several states away from his friends, when Nathaniel visits we get him exclusively to ourselves- not the reason we moved, but certainly a fringe benefit. The day he arrived from the tropical paradise of Hawaii we were having bitterly cold temperatures and brisk winds- nice introduction to the Pennsylvania Autumn! I met him at the Harrisburg airport and we had a nice visit on the drive home- once the heat was on in the car! Now that I am working several days a week Nathaniel had some quiet mornings at home. But when I was home we made sure to make some of his favorite meals, update certain technologies necessary to our modern lifestyle, and watch some fun movies together. Not exactly "fasten your seatbelt" fun, but we manage to enjoy it!

Halloween this year was slightly different for us. The neighborhood at the end of our road was planning a "private party" to which we were invited as well. Our friends Tony and Sherri Sacco invited us to join them for home-made pizzas and soup before the festivities began. The kids, however, were unwilling to give up the trick-or-treating down Fawn Road, so we split into two groups- the kids, with additional friends Lillian Noble, Eun Ho, and Isaiah went down Fawn while Nathaniel, Jim and I went to the Sacco's to start our pizzas- yum! To sum up the evening I'll just say that fun, wonderful food and candy were had by all!

The next night, Saturday, Jim and Isaac went with Fathers and sons from church for an overnight camping and hiking on a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Nathaniel, while eligible, considered sleeping outdoors to be just a bit too cold for his tropically-inclined self, so he joined me, the girls and Isaiah for the free Michael Card concert at the Lancaster Bible College. I do not often have music on in the house, and usually only listen to what the kids have on. If I have a choice though, I will listen to hymns, soundtrack compilations, or Michael Card. I so appreciate the theology woven into his lyrics. As a student of the Word first, and musician second, his love for Scripture and the life-changing truths found there are so beautifully evident. A thoughtful listen to a Michael Card cd causes me to meditate on Christ and His providential hand in my life. So when I found out that he was playing in Lancaster I was thrilled! It was labeled a "concert", but the atmosphere was far from what I remember concerts being like. (Of course, my last concert was Van Halen in the mid-80s…)

The evening was more like a casual visit with a friend, taking a walk through the Bible as he encouraged us to read through the Bible from beginning to end. No special program or regimen needed, just pick it up and read, then begin where you left off the next day! How simple is that? I am giving it a shot now, having tried before and failed. The songs progressed through the Bible from Genesis all the way through Revelation and the instruments progressed through his many guitars and other stringed instruments, the piano, an accordion and even a little concertina! Only one accompanist with him, the whole time was a sweet fellowship with brothers in the Lord and a blessing to all in attendance.

That's all I can fit in now. I'll put photos into a separate post before continuing the storyline of the past couple of weeks.