Small Town Friends


I grew up in a small town, one square mile, with one traffic light.

Just outside of town is all agricultural.

Some of it is even Amish


It’s beautiful.

Population in our town is roughly 1,200 people.

This means we have a greater population of cows than people.

When you make friends in this town, you tend to stay in touch even if you leave town.

I have many of those friends.  I’ve known them since we were little kids.

One such friend lived across the street from me.  We were at each other’s houses all the time.

We played in my backyard, or on her back porch (when it rained).

Then her family moved to the other side of town (not that far away) but being in different grades we didn’t hang out as much anymore.

Then we both moved away.

But we stayed in touch.

A few days ago, I learned that she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

Small Cell Ovarian Carcinoma.

Tomorrow she begins treatment.

She will spend 3 days on intense chemo, and then have 3 weeks of rest.

This cycle will be repeated 6 times.

I said this was a small close town, and it is.  Friends of Amy’s have begun a fundraiser to help her with medical costs.

With this fight in front of her, the last thing we all want is for her to stress about how she’s going to pay for her treatment.

 Clicking the picture will take you to her fundraiser site.

Medical Expenses for Amy

We love you Amy!

Fight this!

Get better!

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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


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The Empty Tomb

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chiefpriests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to theGentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

~Mark 10:33-34~

Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. His entry signified him as a man of importance, a king.  But using a donkey instead of a horse meant that he came in peace.  He was not there to overthrow the government.  He was not there to fight at all.


 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

~Mark 10:45~

Jesus came to serve.  He further showed this at the Passover meal when he washed the feet of his disciples.  Feet were dirty, nasty things in those days because of the literal crap on the street.  Washing feet was necessary, but normally reserved for the servants. Jesus washed the feet of the disciples in an act of servitude and love.

He was then betrayed by one who had acted as his friend. Though this betrayal did not come as a surprise to him.

When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.  And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

~Matthew 26:20-21~

Jesus prayed. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He prayed so hard that he sweat blood.  (This is a real condition and you can read about Hematohidrosis here.) He prayed asking God if there was any other way that God’s plan could be completed without him having to die.

And the he was arrested.

He was taken before Pontius Pilate who found no reason to have him executed.

He ordered a flogging, hoping that the severe beating would stop the uprising he feared.

Flogging was pretty nasty to begin with.  They used a whip with spikes of bone or metal and struck the person over and over again, ripping the flesh from the body with each strike.

He was mocked, he was tortured with a crown of thorns.

Pilate still had no reason to execute him, but the crowd (most likely temple workers, not those who cheered for his arrival) wanted him dead.

Pilate washed his hands of the situation and handed Jesus over the Jewish officials to do with what they wished.

They forced him to carry is own cross and then they nailed him to the cross.

He died there.

But he was pierced for our

He was wrapped and placed in the tomb.

On the third day when the women went to redress his burial linens and add spices they were surprised.

The tomb was empty.

Jesus appeared to his disciples and to those in the crowd. He was not dead he was alive.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ, At Easter we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The events of Easter give us hope.



God has power over death.  Death is not the end.  It shows us that there is so much more to life than how it will end here on Earth.

Easter is an amazing time, and it means so much more than chicken egg laying rabbits. It is hope, and love that his death demonstrates to us.

It is the hope of God’s forgiveness of our sins.

It is the love he showed us as he died on the cross.

It is the victory he showed over death.

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Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Family Fun, Devotionals


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This post marks two milestones.

First, this is…

My 100th Blog Post

I can’t believe I’ve written that many posts, but here we are.

I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read my blog for coming along with me on this journey.

And now for the next part of my journey.

Yesterday was my

It is hard to believe that three decades of my life has already passed.

Years seem like minutes when looking back.

I’ve decided for my 100th post that I would post 30 things I have learned in my 30 years on Earth.

  1. Cats can fit down the laundry chute… they do NOT like this
  2. Hitting a honey bee with you neck while riding down hill on your bicycle at about 25 mph HURTS… watch out for bees!
  3. One must be very careful when using a tree stump as a bike ramp… this can cost you a watch and some flesh off of your arm.
  4. Never roller skate down a hill that is difficult to walk down… this will remove skin from your knees
  5. Chose your friends wisely… sometimes the friends you make as a child are the closest friends you’ll have forever (if you’re lucky)
  6. Don’t be afraid to try new things… Even if it looks gross or scary
  7. The people you love are just that, people.  They are not perfect and it is not fair to expect them to be.
  8. Chose to forgive. Forgiveness frees the wronged.  Holding onto bitterness will not hurt the person who hurt you, it will just hurt you.
  9. It’s good to dream.  Dreams gives us inspiration
  10. Work hard.  Dreams only take you so far.
  11. Be yourself… No one can be you but you, and if you’re not you who else will be?
  12. Watch others… it’s very amusing… specially at the mall or county fairs
  13. You’re never too old to color.  Sometimes a box of crayons and a coloring book is the best therapy in the world.
  14. Go outside… Nothing beats the smell of the great outdoors
  15. Grow something.. connect to God’s wonderful creation.. It will bring you joy and satisfaction
  16. Sticks and stones can break bones… but names will break the soul
  17. Stuff is just stuff.  Clean out your stuff from time to time and give it away so others can enjoy what you don’t need or use.  Excess is just clutter that serves no purpose but to distract from what matters
  18. Respect your elders, they know more than you do, they’ve been there, done that, and probably can tell you stories that will make your sides hurt with laughter.
  19. Connect with people.  Don’t just say “hi”, but get to know the person.
  20. Smile at a stranger… it’ll make their day and probably yours too
  21. Puddle Jumping isn’t just for Kids
  22. Exercise costs less than medicine… get moving, stay healthy
  23. Love is the greatest force on earth.  Love!
  24. Trust your instincts.  You have that gut feeling for a reason.
  25. Tell those you care about, that you care about them,  you’ll never know when they’ll be gone
  26. Laugh, there is a time to be serious, but laughter is the greatest mood lifter there is.
  27. Trust, distrust breeds isolation. You miss a lot when you’re by yourself.
  28.  Find something you love to do and don’t let anyone take it away from you
  29. Children will keep you grounded.
  30. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and this gives hope because we can trust God’s word and know that He is in control and all will be good in the end because God is good and God is love and well see #23…
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Let Mud Happen


Let Mud Happen

Today my children and I went for a hike.  We went to our local dam that has a 1 mile walking / biking / jogging / whatever path from one end to the other.  Then you can either go left or right at the end and walk the woods back in a loop to the parking lot, or you can turn around and walk a mile back across the dam.

We arrived at the dam and Ewok got out with her back pack and camera and was all excited to get going.



Tank doesn’t walk yet, and the wooded paths are not stroller friendly, so I strapped him to my back and we took off behind her.



I love walking the dam.  The sights are so beautiful.




Ewok enjoys this part of the hike as well. She takes photos, she runs up and then back to me.  You can even catch her hoping from time to time.



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When we get to the end of the dam we take he path to the right.  This is our current favorite…because it leads to a play ground.  It’s fun for Ewok and it’s a break for me.  That means I get to take Tank off of my back and talk to him instead of him just drooling on my shoulder.



Spring in Northwestern, PA tends to look a bit like fall when all the snow melts.  There are dead dry leaves everywhere and all the leaves are missing from the trees.


In a few weeks this will change.  I love this place because you can watch the seasons change, and it is beautiful no matter what time of the year you come.





She discovered moss for the first time today and so we had to stop and investigate it.



This is Ewok relaying her “findings” about the moss to me.  So serious!






Spring is muddy and that makes it fun for kids, well at least for Ewok.



Peek-a-boo i’m still on this trip!




This is proof kids do not need toys.  Give them dirt, and sticks and let them push the sticks through the dirt and poke the mud, and let them have fun!





Climbing is also fun! Accidents can happen but if you never let anything happen then nothing will.

Nothing at all. Dirt happens, scrapes happen, but so does fun and learning and that is what is important.








He loved being along for the ride.




Take time for exploration, even at the end of the hike and all you want to do is get back to the car.








Muddy puddles are fun too.


Let them explore, let them climb, let them collect, let them get dirty!

Make them take their muddy boots off before getting in the care (I did).


Let mud happen!

Oh and don’t say you’re kids can’t do it…


My 4 year old completed a 2.5 mile hike today.

If you encourage them, they will do it, specially if you make it fun.


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Posted by on April 13, 2014 in Family Fun, Health and Fitness, Parenthood


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When Did I Blink?

Train up a child in the way he should


In August of 2009 I experienced a week that held as equally low lows as it did high highs.

August 6th my grandmother woke me up asking me to call my grandfather because she was having such abdominal pain she could barely take a full breath.  Papa came home and the two of use took her to the emergency room.

They did test after test and while they were waiting for results they suggested my grandfather and his very pregnant granddaughter go get something to.  Not too long after lunch I was struck with severe abdominal pain, though mine was much different than my grandmothers… mine were contractions.

While they were real (not Braxton Hicks) they were so far apart that the hospital wouldn’t admit me.  I was told to take it easy and come back if they got closer together.

They decided grandma’s issue was pancreatitis and admitted her.  Papa took me home to rest and then spent the evening with her until they had her settled into a room.

That night we received a call around 2am, there had been a mistake with her morphine button, it had been set to be a continuous drip.  She had been overdosed on morphine and while she could breath in, her lungs were so relaxed they wouldn’t expel carbon dioxide.  Grandma was moved to the ICU and put on a ventilator to help her to breath.

I sat outside the doors to the ICU praying grandma would be all right.  Hoping she’d get to see my daughter be born.  I held her hand for a few minutes before Papa took me home again hoping it wouldn’t be the last time I saw her.

It wasn’t. August 12th they moved her from the ICU to her own room.  They still didn’t know what was wrong with her but she was out of the ICU.

That night I couldn’t get comfortable in bed, so I went to the basement, turned on the TV and laid down on the couch.  Of course that’s where by very pregnant butt fell asleep.

I woke up at 4 am, thought “well that was smart”, and went to turn off the TV.  As I bent over to hit the power button I felt a pop, and then a lot of liquid.  I knew what had happened.  There was no question in my mind.

I changed out of my nightgown, stuffed my pants with towels (hoping to contain the puddle i trailed around after me) and woke my grandfather.

I knocked on my grandparent’s bedroom door and said, “Papa?”.  The poor stressed out man sat straight up and exclaimed, “Tessie!!”

I said, “No, Papa, it’s me. I need to go to the hospital now.”

The only night I have ever seen Papa get ready faster was when they called about Grandma.

At 5:58 pm on August 13th, 2009 my daughter was born



She is almost 5 years old, and today, I registered her for kindergarten.  I look at this person she is becoming and I feel like all I’ve done is blink and she has changed so much.


jumbalya spray park












I’ll be honest.  I’m not sure if I am ready for her to begin Kindergarten.  But I am proud of her.  She continues to amazing me daily.  She makes me laugh often.  She is compassionate and sensitive to other people.  She is just an amazing girl and I can not wait to see what an amazing young lady she will become.


But I’m happy with keeping her the cute little kid she is for as long as I’m allowed.


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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Family Fun, Parenthood


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I Have Kids….

If you didn’t know that, then this is your first time stumbling across my blog.

But for those of you who do know me, I need you to know how loaded of a statement that is.

I have kids….

…. I forget what it feels like to sleep to noon


… I forget what it feels like to clean a room and have it stay that way for more than 5 minutes



… I forget what it is like to not walk into a room and scan for safety hazards


… I forget what it is like to make spontaneous plans with a friend

… I forget what true silence sounds like





But then again….

I Have Kids…..





She rolled out the dough

She rolled out the dough


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…. They make me smile

… They remind me the world doesn’t need to be over complicated

… They remind that God’s love is simple

… They remind me that love is the strongest force on earth

… They remind me that we should never lose our curiosity

… They remind me the world is an amazing place

… They remind me that the craziness and the occasional monotony of daily schedules is a blessing.

I have kids.

 With this comes an unfathomable responsibility, and an equally unfathomable joy.



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Posted by on April 5, 2014 in Family Fun, Parenthood


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Faith Is A Relationship


Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.


I mention God often in my posts, but I realized recently that I never really share what my faith is all about.  I love my husband and my children, but i could not be the wife or parent that I am without my relationship with God. He is my rock, my comforter, my savior.

My faith is not just a list of do’s and don’ts.  Pray, go to church, read the Bible are all wonderful things, but they are merely aspects of my faith.  It is my relationship with my God and savior that defines my faith.

God is amazing, worth knowing, worth spending time with (ie. praying and reading the Bible).

As we get closer to Easter, I am reminded of the incredible love my God has for me.

He came into this world to live among us, to teach us, to guide us.

And He took my sins upon himself, died to take the price of everything I’ve done wrong.

But he was pierced for our

I know what God has done for me.  I love Him because of it, and I desire to know Him better.  Going to church doesn’t make me a christian anymore than sitting in the garage would make me a car.  I go to church, read the Bible, pray, because I’m a christian and want to know the God I love even more.

In the end, my faith, my “Christianity” is more like falling in love than something to believe in.  It’s not a crutch. It’s not a phase. It’s the core of who I am.

I talk about God for the same reason i talk about my kids and husband and friends and family… out of love.  I’m so happy they’re in my life, I feel the need to share my experiences.

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Posted by on March 29, 2014 in Devotionals


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