Sunday, June 29, 2008

Picnics And Camp.

Saturday was one big picnic day for me! I went to a birthday party for Tiffany's little guys, Dillon and JayDonn. Dillon turned two a couple of weeks ago, and Jay turned one today! We are very excited that Dillon has been around for the past two years... I love that little guy! Unfortunately, I never got out my camera at Dillon's party, so no pictures:(.

Next I went to my friend Michelle's house for her little guy who is turning 5 on Monday! I had just gotten to their house and settled in when the sky opened up and down came the rain:o).

Michelle and I... I think this is only the second picture we have had together!

The third picnic of the day was actually a family reunion, so that means I got to see a couple of my nephews. I love watching Ethan and Andrew play together; Ethan is running around now and the two boys love to play together, although Andrew gets a little "bossy" at times... typical cousins!

Aren't those chairs just darling? And the kids aren't too bad either... ;o)

What's a party without volleyball? I wasn't sure if we would get to play or not (remember the t-storm from earlier?) but thankfully the sun was shining by 6 and we were out giving it our best shot! What a great day:o)


You won't see me around here this week... I'm joining Ben, Emily, Rachel, Jennifer and a whole bunch of other people to go counsel at teen summer camp for this week in southwestern Pennsylvania. So if you do stop by this blog of mine during the week, would you pray for us while we're at camp? There are some young people going to camp that need to be saved... what better time than the present? I'll be back at the end of the week!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Frugal Friday - Saving On Trips.

One of the best parts about our recent trip to Boston was that we four girls split the cost of everything. (Well, with the exception of buying those Starbucks coffees for Em and SJ... they were on their own for those!) We kept a running total of how much we spend: gas, tolls, parking, and food. We had already scored on free lodging because we stayed with Clarke's aunt for both nights. We also packed our lunches for all three days and had breakfast in the car or at Clarke's aunt's house, so that only left dinner. While in Boston, we girls split our meals and then in Rockport, we got two orders of fish and chips to go (saving the cost and time of sitting in the diner ~ plus our view of the ocean was much better on the rocks!).

So, for an almost-1,000 mile trip, each girl kicked in $68.00, and it would have been less if we hadn't crossed the Tappan zee Bridge twice:o). With the price of gas, trips can get to be expensive, so it takes a little planning that goes a long way. We honestly wouldn't have had a better time if we had eaten all of our meals out or stayed in a hotel room!

For more frugal ideas, head over to Biblical Womanhood.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Introducing Bathroom Appreciation Day.

The trip to Boston was great... full of memories and lots of laughs:o).

In order to explain the first picture below, I'm copying a snippet from Emily's blog:

Bathroom Appreciation Day.

While in Borders in Boston, we happened upon a book of things single girls should do before they were married. Fortunately... being girls of wisdom and good sense, after reading the numerous suggestions, we decided only one could actually be utilized so that we all remained true to our standards and consciences ~ and in our homes. "Create a holiday and celebrate it the same day every year." <-- that's what we did. As of June 20, 2008 this day shall forever be remembered as Bathroom Appreciation Day. When it rolls around next year, take a trip and make the rounds... grade bathrooms on cleanliness, smell, does it have a mirror? is it stocked with necessities? is it tastefully decorated? And as a general note... never use the bathroom in the Constitution Visitors Center.

Emily entering into said Constitution Visitor Center bathroom. Let me tell ya, this was a very bad, no good, terrible, horrible bathroom. (Although, if I put it into perspective with the squat toilets found in Asia, I guess it wasn't too terrible:o).

We ate our dinner on the wharf on Friday night... that was pretty neat! Here's Em and I... friends and sisters in Christ!

Here's my friend Sarah (we actually had two Sarahs on the trip... so this one is SJ). She was reading the sign to see if we were allowed to eat on the beach.... and the answer was yes!

So that's what we did... we actually climbed out onto these rocks and enjoyed a true ocean-dining experience:o). By the way, don't you just love Sarah Clarke's expression? (in the white shirt):o)

Toe-writing at my best!

I really hope you don't forget the brand-new holiday we just made up: Bathroom Appreciation Day! We honestly stopped at tons of bathrooms because we are all big water drinkers and SJ and Emily are big coffee drinkers:o). Bathroom Appreciation Day sure made me appreciate my bathrooms at home!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back From Boston.

What a beautiful weekend we had for our trip! We had such a good time and I would definitely go again:o). Of course we had our fair share of adventures... more to come later!

(Rockport, Massachusetts ~ a very quaint town)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quirky News.

Concerned Mother: "I would hope that somebody would look up the credit card application before a credit card is issued … people get credit card denials all the time," Christiansen said. "How can somebody who is an adult who has a job get a credit card denial, and a child who has no income and no assets get one? I would certainly hope they would have some sort of review process."

Representative's Reply: We do not knowingly solicit or grant credit to a minor," Reiss said.

Welcome to America folks.

(Read the rest of the story here. I first saw the link at Amy's Humble Musings.)

In other serious, earth-shattering news :o), I will be away for the weekend with three friends of mine. We had originally decided to go to the Longaberger Basket place in Ohio (which is quite literally a basket!), but changed our minds and are now going to Boston! I think we must be a little crazy because we are going to a graduation party tonight and then we're leaving at 3 AM to hit the highway.
3 AM.
It's going to be a long time before I see a bed again, but I'm sure we'll have a fabulous time together. Last time I checked, I leave in 56 days, so I'm making every effort to spend time with the people I love:o).
Don't worry... I'll be back!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ahh, There's Always Something...

... interesting in the news.

Village elects dead mayor

Boy, I bet that made the living opponent feel lousy.

Sooo... does this get filed under funny, disgusting, or weird?

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Closing my brother and sister-in-law's house door behind me, I sauntered towards my car and felt that "urge" to go for a quick drive. As I entered the northeast side of Bethlehem, I drove by the very middle school that all my siblings attended and the memories began to flood into my mind. I was soon approaching that little corner house my family and I called home for many years. Making a quick turn to the left, I drove by my former backyard ~ amazed at just how small it really was and yet! We made all sorts of games work in that little backyard. I drove past my former neighbors' houses and smiled to myself as I realized we're still friends with one couple who have long since moved out of the neighborhood.

Turning left again brought me to the street that was full of summer evening fun. It was the street that led to THE park... the park where we would pester our mom and say, "Please? Can we go?" This park that played such a part in my childhood suddenly seemed to have shrunk. Was that really the same park where I fell off a swing and hit the concrete with my head? I move on, passing all the streets where we used to sell pizzas for the Boy Scouts. Selling pizzas was a family function 3-4 times a year in order to help my brothers go to camp and other things like that. "One for 7 or two for 13" came echoing back through the years as I remembered smiling at the customers behind their screen doors while trying to make a sale.

Driving two more blocks brought me to my former school: Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. I got out of my car and carefully crossed the street, this time without a 5th grade crossing guard. Did I really go to kindergarten and play there? When did the recess area shrink? I can still remember *almost* catching that 3rd grade boy's ball kicked high in the air. Those were the days when it was boys against girls and all the little girls and even a few teachers were so excited a girl almost caught a boy's kick. I walked past my 1st grade classroom and peeked in the window. I remember how each of my siblings and I had Miss Cope as a teacher and how Miss Cope had gone to school with my aunt so that made us special:o). I walked past the ledge where I fell backwards and got knocked unconscious on the concrete pad. (Hmm, it seems as if concrete and I don't get along!) I also glanced over at the playground and remembered the day I broke my elbow after eating a yummy Popsicle that made my hands sticky and wet. What a rotten way to start off the summer with a cast on my arm!

My little trip around Bethlehem took me past the law offices where we shovelled snow in the winter, past the senior citizens high rise where my sister, brother, and sometimes I delivered newspapers, and finally to the library where many happy hours were spent reading books.

I came back to the present as I neared the Fahy Bridge... the place where I've watched 4th of July fireworks with my friends. I realized the fireworks will be going off soon and I'm sure I'll be gathered with family and friends to celebrate the birthday of our country.

But for an hour this afternoon, I visited all the old places and just remembered... and smiled.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thankful Thursday - A Car Blessing.

Earlier this week I took my car in to the mechanic for inspection. After being told I would need 2 new tires and a few other minor adjustments, I began to pray and ask the Lord to either take away the (unexpected) bill or to provide the money.

I had to pay the bill, although they allowed me to split it in half payment-wise. I was slightly discouraged but was then reminded that the Lord does still provide for His children!

I had baby-sat this past weekend for the children of a couple in my church. The wife has CP and I had worked for her for about a year and a half. She e-mailed me today and told me that I would be getting paid for 61 hours from this weekend! What a blessing that the Lord answered my prayer and made provision for me!

I am thankful to the Lord for His continual guidance in my life and bountifully blessing me when I don't deserve it at all. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

*Blonde* Moment!

Emily is my dear, sweet friend who also happens to be my co-worker a couple of times a week. Life in our little room gets much happier every Tuesday and Thursday with laughter ringing throughout the room and adjoining rooms!

Well today something happened and Emily documented it here.

Let's just say I didn't think before speaking but we did laugh for several minutes while two of the guys on staff just stood and stared at us!

What can I say? We're comic relief:o)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Road Less Travelled.

Saturday afternoon marked the 15th commencement exercises of Emmaus Baptist Academy. As I watched the seniors graduate, for a brief moment I was taken back to my own graduation ceremony 7 years earlier. I remembered how excited I was to graduate from high school. I thought about the song my senior class sang that had these words in it:

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful.

The commencement speaker for the afternoon also reminded me of the song my high school choir sang on my graduation day when he referred to Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken":

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

In my own life, I can see how I've chosen the road less travelled. Oh, I couldn't see it on graduation day ~ June 9, 2001 ~ and I didn't consciously tell myself I was choosing the road less travelled. But as the years have rolled by and the Lord has faithfully led me, I can echo what Mr. Frost said: that has made all the difference!

It Has Begun....

... the good-byes, that is. When my brother got married two weeks ago, I said good-bye to several family members that live in Idaho, Indiana, Florida, and North Carolina. The hardest good-bye was to my sister who lives in Florida. As we cried and hugged, she whispered encouraging words into my ear before we stepped back and headed into two different directions.

Tonight I said good-bye to someone else. One of my students (whom I affectionately call "Gabby-Girl":D) told me she was heading up to a city in central Pennsylvania to spend the summer with her mom. I was a little incredulous as she said she would be gone the entire summer. Of course I'm thinking ahead to that August 14th date, and pulled her in for a quick hug.

And so it's begun. I got together with a friend of mine the other day for breakfast... knowing that if I don't snag the time now, the summer will be over and I will be gone.

I left last year for Thailand on June 5th and came home on August 16th. Knowing how fast the ten weeks went last summer, I have a pretty good idea that this summer will be the same. But until then, I have lots of memories to make, a couple of nephews to snuggle, and special people with which to spend time. Before I know it, families will be taking off for vacations and I will be waving good-bye as I head for the airport.

These are the days to cherish...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

For All You Bargain Lovers!

There are a few sales going on right now, and I just had to share my bargain with you! I stopped in at Yankee Candle today because of a semi-annual sale going on and walked away with two 24-ounce candles that were originally $23.99. I paid $15.90 total. Those candles will burn much better because $32.98 was saved... I'm sure of it!

So if you go to and register, you'll receive a $10 off of $25 coupon, which you can use while this sale is going on! I'm not sure how long this is going on though:o).

The second sale is at Bath & Body Works. I haven't personally gotten over there yet, but several friends have and said the sale has been great! Now is the time to stock up on essentials and gifts. A girl can't go wrong with candles and lotion;o).

Happy Shopping!