Tuesday, May 31, 2011

our weekend.

So we had no plans for Memorial Day weekend. We knew we wanted to have some family time...to make some memories and spend some time just being together. We talked about camping or going to the beach....we decided to do both.
Sometimes times like these are just what you need.

Our "campsite". We talked about camping at a campground but we have one of the best camp sites right in our back yard. You can't even see the house from the site and it is surrounded by trees so you feel like you are in your own little world. There are no other campers around so you don't have to worry about kids screaming or playing your country music too loud. Perfect.
We had a great time roasting hot dogs, making smores and creating memories.
I did not sleep great at all in the tent and kept threatening to go inside but i had to keep telling myself it was for the kids...and they loved it!

So Friday night we had our camp out and we woke up Saturday morning bleary eyed and smelling smokey. Daddy cooked eggs over the fire and we had our breakfast outdoors. We then loaded up our bikes and headed to Silver Mine Park's walking/biking trail for a family bike ride and picnic. In the afternoon everyone took a nap...can't get much better than that!

Sunday morning the kids woke us up at six and we packed our van and headed to Ocean City, New Jersey for a day at the beach! The weather was perfect....sunny with huge puffy clouds, a nice breeze blowing yet warm enough to play in the water! Hopey loved running in and out of the ocean chasing the waves. After hours on the beach we cleaned up at my Grandparent's beach house and went on the boardwalk for some pizza. By the time we were loaded up back in the van everyone was exhausted. All four kids were asleep before we even left Ocean City! But it was such a great day...it makes me excited for our week there in a month!

On Memorial Day we spent the morning relaxing and then went to a picnic at my parents house followed by a long drive through the country and iceream for dinner. A perfect ending to a great weekend.

The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. ~Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Saturdays are for family time....

It feels like the past two weeks have been busy with late nights working, family gatherings, yard sale, and other stuff. All good stuff but it felt like we needed a day to just be family.
So Saturday we did just that. The kids woke up with the sun and we headed to our favorite Saturday morning destination...Central Market. We have our regular standholders we chat with and we let the kids pick out whatever donut they want. M&M glazed donuts for breakfast? Sure.
After market Mark humored me and stopped at some yard sales! And I was convinced again that shopping is much better than hosting...
We then headed to the" world's largest chicken barbecue" and spent some time playing at the park and just enjoying the sunshine after a week of rain!
For dinner we had a campfire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks while listening to old country music on the radio.
We ended the evening with a "date night" around the kitchen table eating nachos like old times in Emerald Isle and dreaming about the future....

I love Saturdays. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

after the rain

 Sometimes in life the path does not always appear to be clear...

 there is pain and hurt and confusion and sometimes it is hard to know what the Lord is saying.
"But God's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you. He's gathering strength to show mercy to you.God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you'll find it's grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he'll answer" (isaiah 30:18-30 the message)

 "Whether you turn to the right or to the left you will hear a voice saying...This the road. Follow it"  (isaiah 20:21)
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (psalm 16:11)

Friday, May 20, 2011

learning curve.

    Sarah and I were sitting at the table finishing up lunch. Sarah always curious asked me a question about something we saw at the grocery store. Seeing this as a "teachable moment" I dove into an explanation and ended with the question, "Do you think God is more worried about how they look or is He more worried about what is in their hearts?".
Sarah looked at me and said matter of factly, "Mom, God is not worried about anything."
I was appalled. She was right. God is NOT worried. He is not afraid of our mess ups. He is not uptight, controlling or fearful....
It ended up being a teachable moment after all, it's just that I was the one learning.

I want to be set free of this religious mindset that holds me captive from being able to see God how He truly is....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

tea party

 During this rainy week we have been forced to play indoors so Sarah planned a tea party....

 Baby was invited....
 teacups of water and Car shaped pretzels were served...

 and a grand time was had by all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

this is the day the Lord has made.

Thank God because he's good, because his love never quits.
 Tell the world, Israel,
"His love never quits."
And you, clan of Aaron, tell the world,
"His love never quits."

And you who fear God, join in,
"His love never quits." 

This is the very day God acted—
let's celebrate and be festive!
Salvation now, God. Salvation now!
Oh yes, God—a free and full life!

You're my God, and I thank you.
O my God, I lift high your praise.
Thank God—he's so good.  His love never quits!

 (psalm 118 the Message)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

singing in the rain.

i survived...

two and half hours in the Firestone car repair shop with three small children without any major incidence or meltdown! Unlike last time when Hope grabbed some wires and pulled the whole computer screen off the counter and onto the floor.... thankfully the computer and my pride survived that time too. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

yard sale

    i love a good yard sale. i love the thrill of the hunt. finding something for nothing. seeing how much I can buy for a mere $10. i love it. i love spring and summer for the abundance of yard sales that can be found here in good ol' lancaster county.
    so i thought since i love yard saling so much i would help my mom as well as get rid of some of my stuff and have a yard sale this year. it was a lot of hard work and at the end i made a whopping $36...true it was rainy, i gave stuff away, and priced items low... but i kind of was left thinking is it worth it? when i loaded almost everything i brought back into the minivan i really had to wonder.
    after donating the leftover stuff i am now five trash bags fewer in clothes and a few boxes less in knicknacks and toys which does feel good. memories were made and the kids loved the whole experience. so it was good....but i think i will stick to the thrill of the hunt. much less work and more fun!

How many...

cousins (or second cousins) can you fit into one wagon? in this case eight. we had a great time last saturday at a shank family get together...fun times. good food. memories made. we left tired but refreshed and encouraged. thank you God for family....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I want to remember....

one brown haired beauty and one little blondie riding in the stroller together on a spring afternoon....

Thoughts on Motherhood.

   This is my eighth Mother's day and I was greeted by a 10 foot handmade banner, cards written in kindergarten letters, a beautiful hanging flower basket, and lots of hugs and kisses. I was recently thinking back to my first Mother's Day when I was pregnant with Moses. We were on our way to church and Mark gave me a card and wished me "happy mother's day". For some reason I was caught off guard and I just lost it and began to bawl my eyes out. I was about 7 months pregnant and only about 9 months married and the realization of what I was about to embark on hit me. I did not feel ready or prepared for this mothering thing. I still have days like that, or lots of days like that. Each new age brings different challenges I have never faced before and even though this is my fourth time living with a two year old I am still dealing with new things like Hope throwing major crying fits that are several minutes long and then turning to me sweetly and saying "I done crying now Mommy". What!!!!  (she has done this 3 times in the last two days...)

   On Easter Sunday I had the chance to share at church about "Buried He carried my sins far away" taken from the song "Glorious Day". I shared how I used to think I was a pretty good person. I knew Jesus died for my sins but I honestly did not think I had that much to be forgiven of. Then I got married... and realized that they was a lot of selfishness, pride and stubbornness inside of me. And then I had kids.  Enough said. The pendulum swung and I now have a hard time not beating myself up because I mess up every single day. But I am realizing that there is grace and I need to receive it for myself so I can extend it to my children and others around me. When I am tense and have way too high expectations it seems that is when my children act out the worst. Jesus carried my sins far away, as far as the east is from the west. I want to walk in the freedom and mercy that is there for me as a mother, every. single. day.

   My 21 year old sister called me on Mother's Day to ask me a question and as we were hanging up she said "Oh I forgot to say Happy Mother's Day. I almost forgot you were a mom".  I laughed and said "Well i can't forget". And maybe some days I think I would like to forget... on those crazy shopping trips where I think my blood pressure is going to explode by the time the groceries are loaded in the car, or those days when no one can seem to get along, or the endless pile of dishes and laundry that never go away. But I don't really want to forget. Because the rewards far out weigh the sacrifice and I know this is what  I was created to do. (Crazy! As if on cue as I was writing those very words Silas comes running in with a huge grin and a bouquet of lily of the valley in his little hand. "Here Mom I picked these for you". )

   I am reminded just now of something an older father said to us a few months ago. We were at their house having dinner. They have four grown children and are now having grandchildren. He looked at us and our four children who were bouncing around in their living room and said to us "Wow you are in some of the best years of your life". Really?!  His words struck me because I don't always see it that way. But I do not want to forget these days....I want to enjoy these days of mothering and look back and remember them as some of the best years of my life.

Monday, May 2, 2011

farm kids

 So Saturday afternoon a burst of energy came over me and I decided to takle the flower beds. Mark agreed to go get a pick up load of mulch and we ended up spending the rest of the day weeding and mulching. The kids wanted to be right in there with us helping. They loved riding in the back of Grandpa's truck and scooping out the mulch. It was great family time and I was impressed the kids stuck with the job till it was done. They were completly covered from head to toe in dirt and then protested when I said they needed baths! We ended the evening with a drive to get some icecream. I love my little farm kids...

This picture is so my children right now...Hope protesting because she wants to be in front. Silas sporting purple "work gloves", Sarah showing off for the camera and Moses just being himself.