Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Oh my goodness! Life is flying! So much has been happening I haven't had time to take it all in! We have been extremely busy - but it has been good - well, mostly!

Last Thursday we were given the most wonderful blessing - tickets to see "In the Beginning" at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster, PA. Tickets there can be pricey and for our family of five it would cost us well over $100 to go - something that is not in the budget! The kids really had a great time and the play was really well done! Daniel was a riot the entire time - talking and asking questions. We really need to work on his theatre etiquette! But he really liked the angels and animals that were in the play. He really seemed to understand all that was going on as well.

After the play Andy had to run out to Breezewood, PA to speak at a missions conference. So he went west from Lancaster and we headed east. On the way home, however, we ran into huge traffic (lovely rt. 76!) so I broke my goal of trying not to eat fast food for the entire month of August. It was almost 5 PM when we hit the traffic and I knew it would be at least an hour and a half before we got home. So I said to myself - do I sit here in traffic and get frustrated over my children's whining about being hungry and wanting to go home or do I stop at the lovely King of Prussia Mall and get us some dinner and wait out the traffic? Guess what? The mall won! They also have a Lego store that the kids love to look around in. So we spent the hour and a half in the mall eating and looking and then headed home with no traffic in our way. Sometimes we just have to do what is less frustrating. But I am proud to say that we made it an entire 13 days before we ate fast food! I thought that was pretty good! And I am keeping up the goal for the rest of the month. It has been a bit difficult - especially when I haven't gone grocery shopping in almost two weeks! But I have been making dinner every night and lunch as well. I really need to come up with some new recipes. I can't wait until fall and cooler weather when I can start making some soups! They are so delicious!
Since Andy was in Breezewood, I decided to take the kids to the Philadelphia Zoo Friday afternoon. I called my friend Carisa so that she could endure the torture with me! I love the Zoo - I just hate it during the months of May, June, July and August when all the crowds show up. It was a lot of fun, though! Daniel just loves the animals and especially loved spending time with his friend Ky.
Saturday Andy took Sarah and Daniel up to his parent house to spend some time in the great outdoors while I stayed back and prodded Matthew to get his school work from the past week done. We have decided this year that Matt will not go anywhere or do anything until ALL his school work from the week is caught up. He is the great procrastinator and it has been really bad this year. He finally finished up his work at 8 pm that evening and then we headed up to Andy's parents. While traveling up my eyes really began to bug me. The lights hurt them and my left eye burned like crazy. I am sure it looked like I was bawling my eyes out by the time I arrived at the Schultz'! I went to bed, hoping that would alleviate the pain in my eyes. I awoke around 1:30 AM with even more serious pain and a pounding headache. I debated for an hour about whether to go to the ER or not. I have never been to the ER for myself since Andy and I have been married. So when I woke him and told him I needed to go to the ER he knew I must be in pain. Let me just say how good God is as we were at the Schultz' and didn't need to wake anyone to come watch our kids AND the ER was not crowded at all - I went right back in and was seen within a 1/2 hour! So unheard of here in Philly where you could wait hours before being seen! So what was my problem? A corneal abrasion - a scratch on my eye. Boy are they painful! But I got some eye drops and the eye is no longer a problem! The biggest problem is not being able to wear my contacts! I HATE my glasses. But it's only for a few more days!

Another example of God's greatness is the fact that while Andy was taking me to the ER he noticed that the brakes on the car weren't working very well. He asked if I had trouble with them on the way up - I didn't. With my difficulty in seeing on the ride up the last thing I needed was a car issue! Later that morning Andy discovered that the brake line had corroded and there was a huge leak of brake fluid. God allowed me to drive up safely and for Andy to take me to the ER and back home safely. He is always looking out for us!

Sunday was Andy's home church Sunday School picnic at Milford Bible Camp. The kids had a great time swimming and playing games and eating lots of treats! I had a great time talking with people I don't get to see very often and catching up on all their lives. I really miss our home church - it's such a great little group and so full of faith! I really enjoy the times that I get to spend with them.

After the picnic we headed home in a borrowed vehicle from Andy's parents. We are hoping to get our van back later this week.

So that is what life has been like here! Crazy busy! But God is so good to us - in all things! What a wonderful God we serve!

Monday, August 10, 2009

One down, two to go!

I am going to put it into writing - though it scares me to death to say so - but I am officially declaring our house bed bug free. It has been 12 weeks since we have seen a bed bug or have been effected by their bites. We have searched the house over and over again, have continued to spray once a month, have sealed with caulk every nook and cranny in the closets and baseboards, and prayed daily to be relieved of this trial. I believe God has brought us through. Though I don't think we will ever truly be as relaxed as we once were, I am attempting to get back to "normal" life. That includes putting our clothes back into our bedrooms and putting colorful sheets on the bed (we have been using XXL Ziploc bags to store our clothes in the basement and white sheets for the past 10 months).

Sarah's room was the first one done. We went to Ikea and purchased two Expedite shelving units to store her clothes. I am done with dressers! After our experience with the bed bugs I have decided I will likely never have another dresser in my house again. To many places for bed bugs to hide. It is much easier to see things when they are out in the open! This will be a test in organizational skills for my kids as I am requiring them to keep their shelves of clothing neat and orderly. They are 12 and 10 now and are more than capable of doing the task. They like that they can see what they have to wear and don't have to go digging in the drawers anymore. I like that I just have to stack the clothes in their respective cubes. It's much easier. Sarah is pleased with how her room looks though is begging for us to paint her room purple. I am not a fan of pink or purple and have been standing firm in not painting it, but we have been putting purple accents everywhere, so she is content for the time being!
I am hoping to have the boys room put back together this weekend. It will be nice not to have to run to the basement every time I need something, though I do believe running all those stairs has helped with my weight! Matt will be thrilled to not have to dig in his bag for clothing as this has been a huge bother to him. He is a boy that is easily frustrated and this has been the trial of his young life so far. He will be the most thankful of all of us when this whole thing is done.

Andy has been plugging along with the living room and has it almost entirely taped and spackeled. It is going to look so nice when it is finished. Ministry is closed for the next six weeks, though he will fill his time up with camping trips for the kids and other extra ministry opportunities. He is taking the mornings to really work on the house to try and finish up the work so he can go into the fall focusing on ministry and not having to divide his time in a million different directions. I am so thankful that he knows how to do things like this, otherwise it would have cost us a small fortune to fix our house. Andy has saved our family thousands of dollars with his knowledge and ability. And our house is going to look incredible! I am so excited for Christmas! I am going to deck out the entire house as a celebration of the completion of our trial and enjoy the many blessings that God has given us through this situation! Please praise God with me and thank Him for bringing us all through this war, a little beaten and bruised, but whole and with hearts that are eternally grateful for His loving compassion and grace to see us through! I really don't know how people live through life without our Father's help!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Reading Rocks 2009

Today was the Reading Rocks culminating party! It was GREAT! I can't imagine doing this without the help and support of so many of you reading this blog - and many that don't! I have a faithful crew who help me gather supplies and donate money so that we can provide the kids here in Kensington with school supplies. It not only blesses them, but also their parents, who in these difficult financial times often have to choose where their money goes.

The kids had a great time. We started off with sharing a meal with them while a slide show of pictures taken throughout the month flashed up on a screen. They love seeing themselves! Afterwards they were all handed a certificate of participation including how many points they earned this year. Matt, Sarah AND Daniel all earned points this year and did very well!

Then the choosing began! Each kid is allowed to choose their backpack and thanks to some great deals and wonderful donations they had quite a selection - over 80 backpacks to choose from! They were then handed a bag of school supplies that included 1 binder, 1 pack of loose leaf paper, 2 spiral bound notebooks, 5 folders, 2 packs of pencils, 1 pack of colored pencils, 1 pack thin tip markers, 1 pack broad tip markers, 1 pencil sharpener, 1 white glue, 2 glue sticks, 1 ruler, 1 pack of pencil top erasers, 2 pink erasers, 1 pair of scissors, and 1 pack of index cards! It's a lot of stuff! They really don't need to get a thing to start school with! It is such a blessing!

The kids were then lined up for the yearly photo and released to their parents. It is an amazing program! I am glad I am apart of it, but was kind of glad to see it end this year. I am tired! It's a lot of work, but so worth the effort! It is such a blessing to see the kids grow and learn and get excited about school! Thank you to all who have helped me throughout this summer to provide for these kids! And thank you God for all your wonderful provisions!

Monday, August 3, 2009

First Day of School!

Today was our first day of school. Don't feel bad for the kids....they have had off since April 30th! They had their three months of vacation - actually one month more than I had intended! But life was insane and I just wasn't ready to start.

Today Sarah and Daniel started school. Matt had been invited to a last minute sleep over with some of his friends. One of his biggest complaints about starting school is that all his friends are off from school and he never gets to spend time with them. So I am TRYING to be flexible in hopes that this will make him more flexible and cooperative. We'll see when he has to do school tomorrow. It was actually kind of nice just working with Sarah and Daniel. Sarah is very easy going - most of the time (she complained major with the reading today!) and Daniel was just so excited to do school he couldn't wait! It was a very pleasant morning! Tomorrow will be the real test when I throw the third one into the mix!

Here are some pictures of Daniel and Sarah enjoying their school!