Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pennsbury Manor Christmas and other thoughts....

On our first day of school, way back in August, we went to Pennsbury Manor, the home of William Penn. It was/is beautiful. I would LOVE to live there! We found out that they had a Christmas program. Since August I have been planning on attending. Last night was that night! It was so much fun! We got there around 5:30 pm and didn't leave until 8:30 pm! They had candle luminaries all along the paths, a Mummers Play (a traditional play done on New Year's Eve), craftsman showing their trade,and tours of the manor. The kids had a great time asking tons of questions and learning all kinds of new things. Things like William Penn's favorite drink was hot chocolate - though it was probably tons richer than our version of it, that they loved sugar and made things like plates and mugs out of sugar and used them to entertain people of significance,
Everything on this table is made of sugar, including the white plate. The little white pill looking things in the center are caraway seeds. They have 25-30 coats of sugar on them!!!

and that Hannah Penn was quite a business woman, running the mansion like clockwork. I love history. I especially love living history. It's so much fun to observe.
Matt and Sarah making clover and orange balls, often carried by Hannah to not only make herself smell good, but so she wouldn't have to smell others around her!

After Pennsbury Manor we ate dinner (I really didn't think we would be there as long as we were) and finished up a bit of Christmas shopping. It was so nice to go out and enjoy ourselves. But as soon as we got home we did a tour and found one bedbug crawling around on the floor under the boys bunk beds. We only found one, though. We have noticed a pattern, however. When the temperature gets warmer, we see more. As soon as it gets cold again, we see less. We believe that the temperature of the house next door must be set pretty low. When the house next door warms up because the temperature outside gets warmer the bugs wake-up and are hungry and search for food. One of the people from COMHAR called to let us know the exterminators would be coming again on Monday. We asked him if the heater was on in the other house. He assured us it was, but we asked if he could turn it up to at least 68-70 as anything below that triggers bedbugs to go into hibernation. I doubt anyone even checked, but when the exterminators come over I am going to ask them to check the temp and raise it up if it's set low. I haven't seen anyone from COMHAR even come and look at the house since this whole ordeal began.

As a result of all this bug business Andy decided to start tearing out the living room ceiling last night. He couldn't believe what he found. Two huge holes in the brick. He could see completely into the other house! There were two huge sections of brick missing out of the wall. It was unbelievable! The bugs really didn't have to work too hard at getting over here. He filled in the holes with brick, bought expanding foam filler, and started filling away. We haven't seen any bugs today. We are really hoping that this is an answer to our prayers. Now Andy will have to tear out the ceiling in the entryway to see if there are any gaps in the brick along that part of the wall. I also wonder what the common wall along Sarah's bedroom and the other house looks like. I don't know the bugs have been entering through the wall of her room or coming up the stairs into her room. I don't know what we'll be doing about that. I guess we'll wait and see what we find.

God is good. I know there have been many days in which doubt has reigned in my mind, but God loves me anyway. I just have to determine in my mind and heart that God is in control and will get rid of the bugs when He is ready and feels that I have learned what I needed to learn. I thank God that these bugs are not life threatening. Yes, we may itch, but we will not be harmed by them. They have caused me to get less sleep than I desire, but I have learned that we can live with less clothing and that laundry is SO much easier to keep up with when you have less! I have learned that my kids have a ton of faith and have not been traumatically upset by this whole incident. They have gone with the flow, for the most part, and have also realized they don't need all the things they thought they needed. We all need trials in our lives to grow. This could have been a lot worse (from stories I have read and heard), but God knew (knows) what I can handle and hasn't given me more than that (though on certain days it sure FELT like I couldn't handle it!). I thank God for loving me despite my weaknesses and doubts. I thank God for teaching me many lessons through this.

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