Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"We're Home!" (from the cabin)

This year was "sew" different for me. It was certainly my choice, and I'm so glad I got the chance to get caught up on some sewing (hint: Bags by Bevy ;)). But, in doing that, I feel like I didn't truly experience the cabin and all it's glory, this year... if you know what I mean?
I also had no idea that my Mom had the same agenda on her list... to get some sewing done... and so there we sat, side by side, (which we hadn't done in years) with our machine's a hummin'.

It was a wonderful several days, away, time spent with the family. We arrived late Monday evening... and thankfully the little ones were asleep when we got there, and, the fact that we were able to keep them asleep while we finished getting "settled in" was wonderful. The early morning(s), however, were a different story...I think the kiddo's conspired together to wake the rooster up. So, Scott and I decided that this would our opportunity to go for early morning walks with them. With all the fresh mountain air, the exercise included... they ate great for breakfast and were pretty much ready for a nap to follow. What blessings, all around!!

It sure was beautiful. Here are a few pictures of our time, a strollin'...

Big Brother wanted, a turn, to "push"...
Aubrey just totally enjoyed the stroll.
It was just a great time for Scott and I to be...
Words, no words, hand in hand (when possible), simply enjoying God's creation and counting our many, many blessings.

We had a lot of rain - for sure, every evening, and at least all day, Wednesday. So, that contributed to the lack of "crazy" activities. Another thing that felt really different was that a lot of family and friends left either Sunday or earlier, Monday. So, we missed them by mere hours.
But there was still plenty of fun all around. Everyone had a grand ole time, all stayed safe - no accidents, no major wildlife encounters...no crazy stories, this year!!
Hey, thanks for thinking of us. Until next year - that's it for "the cabin"-
it was another happenin' time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Random wrap- it-up photos of "the Cabin"...

Well, it's time to wrap up the mini-series here (about our time last year) and move on to actually going to "the cabin". We leave this evening as soon as Scott gets home from work. Lord Willing! We're packed and ready - I hope!

This is my family - setting up to get a family picture taken. I think everyone is on this picture except for Stephen, my sister Martha's husband.

~ Here is Martha, with son A. J.- Martha is also expecting their second
baby, due two weeks after ours~

Lots of eyes closed here!!
~ A very candid photo of my Mom (in front, center) my two sister's Lorene (l), Juline (r) and
brothers (l to r); Joel, Nate and Justin~

~ friends of our family - all siblings;
Tyler, Anthony, Brandon and Nicole~

~Just another fun shot of my three brothers, by the pond!~

~My Sister, Rachel, her husband, John, and their 3 daughters;
(l to r), Maddalyn, Sarah and Grace
This is always a special spot for my sister and "her man"! The cabin is where John proposed to Rachel - and boy! was there ever hooting and hollering that evening.

The next picture is of my Aunt Mary and Uncle Roy (remember from, the skunk story)
with their three children; (l to r) Reuben, Sarah and Phillip

I just want to add a quick Prayer Request. My Aunt and Uncle are not able to attend this year's time up at the cabin. The kids are coming. But, Uncle Roy was recently diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukemia. He has since been through a round of treatments, and seems to be doing rather well. Obviously there are always side effects that are NOT PLEASANT to deal with.
Just pray for Roy and Mary as they walk through this scary season. They KNOW God's mighty hand is leading them through.

This next picture was also taken at the same time as these family-type pictures. I just happened to notice her "hiding" and quick snapped the picture.
My sister was playing "hide and seek" with one of the little ones...

She looks like she's "bearly" hiding, doesn't it?

Lorene is such a great aunt. Her she is again playing some game with the Little's.
I can't tell what game it is, though.

YES!! Majority Rules!! Guess you can tell who won the vote...

...and who didn't?
I think it was decided that this year, there will be a literal, every other night, switch off - guys one night, ladies the other.

This is always the sad part.
Time to start packing up, and head out for home!!

It's always a huge chore to make sure that everything from approximately 25 people gets packed up, that nothing gets left behind, that the cabin is left in better condition then when we got there.
You can certainly feel it when someone is "not around" to help do their part in the clean-up.

But it goes pretty well. Everybody is getting older... they have learned to keep up after themselves. I can remember when, back in the day, there were like 16 kids all under the age of 13, running around... try to keep up with towels, water shoes, etc!...you name it.

: : Like I mentioned, this is the end of the mini-series on our "happening" family, vacation spot. I really hope you enjoyed it - there is WAY MORE that I could have shared with you all.
Now, we're off to enjoy it, ourselves, for real.
I promise; no tubing for me (nobody asked me to share this story, yet), and Lord Willing; no skunks for anyone, either.
I forgot to tell you about the time my Dad fed a bear right out of his hand...

or, when my sister, Gladys, slipped off a rock on the far side of the pond, and she kept walking right through the pond (arms flailing) and back on to the shore side ( I still laugh when I remember that) - the pond was rather low that year...

or, about the old railroad bed and the Indian Graveyard out behind the cabin...
or about the crazy, late-night, game nights, skits and practical jokes...

or, about the (many) fish that got away!!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Introducing the "flat rocks"...

Just wanting to introduce to you, the "flat rocks". This is approximately 2 miles up the dirt road from the cabin. So, we often bike or even walk up to here - ALWAYS KEEPING AN (vigil) EYE OUT FOR SNAKES.
Yes, this python was dead, along the road. Thank God!! Scott and I decided to take a stroll one morning - just the two of us- and this is what we found. It does make one a little nervous, knowing there are snakes up here, and especially with all the Little's running around.
Okay, getting the snake out of the way... let's go on to the "flat rocks".
I can remember my Mom having a picture of me when I was around two years old... I was standing on these same rocks but the chasm between the two sides was much closer together. I can even remember "jumping" the rocks - as I got a little older. Now, look how time (and nature's course) has separated the rocks from each other.

The flat rocks are so rightly named, because it's pretty flat under water too. It makes for some deep, cold water. A great place to go swimming (& tubing), because there is no worrying about stepping on smaller rocks all of the time. Also, a great place to get some serious sun if you like to sunbathe. Not for me!! That's what snakes like to do, too.

So, while Scott and I were up here enjoying the beauty one afternoon- we got a little surprise!! My brother, Justin, and sister, Lorene, rode up on bikes bringing Caleb along for the ride.

He absolutely loved it, and looks like he's about to fall asleep...
any minute.

I guess now would be as good as a time as any to ask for your thoughts and prayers for our safety and well-being, if you think of us.
Come back tomorrow for just "random photo's" of our time up at the cabin, last year.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just a few near heart attack's...

As fairly new parents to one, with a second on the way, and the first time being to the cabin with a little guy who was just "busy" - all the time, we, as parents, were wary about EVERYTHING!!

Keep us on our toes, that he did. Thankfully, with so many people there, there were plenty of eyes on Caleb as well as to help entertain him. It really helped. Now, this year, it will be very interesting trying to keep up with two, small, very busy children. At least I'm not pregnant this time around.

This is a picture of us right after church, on Sunday Morning. It's been sort of tradition to get "family pictures" up at the cabin, while everybody is still dressed up. Kind of neat. But, let me tell you the story that happened this particular morning, while at service.

It was a HOT, humid morning. The church is small, just a few folks attend, but apparently they just had had a week of Vacation Bible School. Well, during the service, Scott offered to take Caleb out to change his diaper. He wandered down to the basement to find a table to change Caleb on and he actually found a "nursery" of sorts. Great!!

All of a sudden, Scott realized that Caleb had pulled a brown bottle off of a shelf that was just within his reach (imagine that). Scott realizes it's Hydrogen Peroxide, but too late, Caleb had poured this onto himself, in his hair and some actually got into his eyes. We're not sure if it got in his eye from him rubbing his eyes or because of the spill. Well, that freaked Scott out immensely. He came upstairs and dramatically motions for me to come out of service.

One of the ladies, from the church, heard the commotion, profusely apologized over and over , totally upset herself - realizing the "mistake" of someone having left the cap of the Hydrogen Peroxide bottle unscrewed - most likely from their previous week of VBS. She helped us by making phone calls to the local ER and then to Poison Control. We had no idea what this would do to our little guy. Talk about having a near heart attack.

Poison Control was very helpful, in assuring us that the percentage amount of alcohol in it was so low that if we just continued to flush the eye with water, over the next hour or so, it would be fine. Caleb amazingly let us do that. I'm sure it burned. But that being said, it cleared up a clogged tear duct issue that we had been having with him. And, his blonde hair was just a little bit blonder for a while after that.

Okay, so on to the next near heart attack - thankfully, this was on a different day!

This is not a very good picture, but it was the only one I could find of Caleb's extreme interest in playing in and with the stones under the pavilion. This was still the time of his life that everything went into his mouth (and he thoroughly enjoyed the "tasting experience" that went along with that). But, he would play with these stones - picking them up by the handfuls, holding them over his head and letting them "rain" down on himself. OVER AND OVER!!

We were also having diaper issues with him - meaning he was often constipated, and being at the cabin was no different, in that regard.
So, sometimes when Caleb would poop, it was nothing but little "rabbit turds".

One evening, Scott, once again, was about to change Caleb's diaper... he took him up to our room, and about fainted. Well, at first he thought it was little "poop turds" (poor guy) -because in the dark of the room it looked just like it...

And, then he realizes that is just little stones from when Caleb was playing outside. We laughed so hard. We were just grateful that he didn't eat any of them (that we know of), the stones had, somehow, just worked themselves into the diaper. But in thinking back it was no wonder that we would often find Caleb pulling at his diaper, like something had to be totally uncomfortable.

I wonder what "dilemma's" we will encounter this year?? Not that I'm hoping for any.

: : Now, off to making a major list and some food to take along up. I started, but need to finish working on making my part of the food contribution:

2 Funny Cake
Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
(this is really good, I plan to
post this recipe, soon)
Macaroni and Potato Salad

Most, if not all of, the rest of the family and friends left today for the Cabin. We'll join them, Lord Willing, on Monday evening.

See you tomorrow for more adventures! I hope you're all enjoying this mini-series...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

more of "the happening"...

Welcome back, to more stories and memories of
"the happening". The cabin.

I had mentioned many an inner tube going down the creek... this is what it often looks like up here...that is, when they're not in use.
IF YOU ASK, One day, I will share with you my story of our tubing trip, down the larger creek, (that runs parallel to the major roadway) about 3 miles from the cabin. More like, it's the story of the day I literally, almost died. It still freaks me out, when I think about it. I think I pretty much decided that I will never go tubing again.

And this is the "murky" pond, out behind the cabin. It's great. Frogs are croaking all the time, pretty large schools of fish swimming around (they love canned corn!), plenty of salamander's, you even see a water snake or two... and for the most part, this boat is in the water with someone rowing around in it. Man Overboard? Yes, it's happened, but mostly because a bunch of the young guys are fooling around with it...and you know what happens with that.

I love the "big rock", as we have so named it. What's really fun, is to take the boat, coast over and along side of it to see if you can still see your "scratched-by-stone" initials from the previous years. Our dads initials are still there; J.A.M.
So, as I mentioned, about swimming in this "murky" pond? Yes! because if the creek is low, at least there is some water in the pond, and everybody likes to stay cool. There have even been the adventurous ones who like to cannon ball off the "big rock"- I think right below and around the big rock it's as deep as 8'-12'. Some years, NOT!!

I have some really fun memories of this ole pond, but for sake of time and story line, we'll just keep it at this. If for nothing else, I think "somebody" takes a picture of the boat and or "big rock" every single year... just because.

This is the pavilion, a fairly new addition to "the cabin" experience. It's really been quite a blessing, especially at meal times, or when it's raining, with so many people there at one time.
This is often where we'll gather in the evenings to sing, share stories, play games, make s'mores... or mountain pies!

Come back tomorrow, for more action-packed adventures, from Caleb's perpective!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Yes, we have running water!"...

In keeping with the mini-series about our family vacation to come... I thought I would share with you one of the "ever changing" scenes and fun spots of the cabin.

I can remember, years ago, when we would tell people that we were going to this cabin and they found out there was no bathroom (just an outhouse outback), folks would automatically assume that there was no running water (actually, they were correct) but we were quick to say, "Yes, we have running water...we just have to run and get it, from the creek". I can remember lugging a bucket or two back to the cabin for us to boil, to drink, to cook with and so that we would have water to use for dishes or washing up with. Thankfully, that is not the case now. The cabin is so modernized now, it just isn't quite the same as years gone by.

Like I mentioned, every year it seems like something is different about the creek right across the dirt road, from the cabin. For instance, dams are usually built and it seems like we would always try to place a rock "just so" to see if it would still be in the same place the next year. Ha! Ha! Last year, somebody's new addition, was these rocks set into the ground
creating a great staircase leading down to the water's edge.
Very Creative!!

Let me tell you, this is some REALLY COLD WATER!! But Caleb was having so
much fun in here, it was hard to get him out.

There is no sound more beautiful then the sound of constant running water over rocks. Many an inner tube has gone through these waters and over rocks. It's really a sad year if the creek is low and just a "trickle" is going by. One year, we were able to do a really cool creek hike. I think the water was, for the most part, ankle high that year and so it was pretty easy to go quite aways. Then we would find a pretty deep pool...and we would all take our turns
"getting wet" just to cool off.

It's really great to come out here in the early morning, just to sit, relax, and have some quiet time with the Lord and take in HIS goodness - all the beauty of his creation- and if your lucky, you can catch yourself a good fish or two. Not me, though!!
This creek has seen many of late night swimmers, and one year, well I still have to laugh
about this one...and we still love to "remind" my uncle about this one, too.
It was getting to be pretty dark outside and my Uncle Roy, all of a sudden goes streaking across the yard, under the volleyball net, over the road, clothes are flying and SPLASH!! Into the water... my Aunt Mary goes running after him to see what was the matter. Clothes are hanging from the trees and bushes...even into the next morning.
and then we SMELL, the smell of a tell-tale skunk. End of story. Poor guy, where in the world do you find enough tomato juice, up at the cabin, in order to get all the smell out?!?!

(Which, by the way, skunk is one of my favorite smells, except in such close proximity!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Preparing for "a happening" Family Vacation...

~Dutchman's Paradise~

This coming week will be busy as we plan and prepare for our upcoming family vacation, the last week of July. We have been going to this cabin since I was around two years old. So there are lots of memories for me here (we didn't get to go every year, but pretty close), and especially after my Dad passed away (13 years ago), my Mom still wanted to make this family time, "a happening". We're very glad she has taken this on.

"Dutchman's Paradise" is nicely settled, at the bottom of one, and in between several mountain ranges, with, depending on recent rainfall, a constant, heavily running creek across the road, and a murky "fishing" pond out back - that we have swam in over the years. Desperate? I don't know, swimming is one thing (more like jumping off the "big rock") and taking the rowboat out is another.

I think this year, over the course of the week, there will be upwards of 25 people, at all times, as a representation of 4 different families besides our own immediate family. So everyone has to pitch in and help with meals, making them and cleaning up afterwards. There is always tons of noise and chaos, as well as; swimming, biking, playing volleyball, table games in the evenings, campfires, S'mores, singing, crazy skits and stories, fishing, boating on the pond behind the cabin...there is never a dull moment with our gang. I'm surprised the wildlife (deer, racoons, bear, skunk, etc) still come around.

Join with me this week, and next, as we prepare for the upcoming week and share stories and pictures of previous memories made while at the cabin, from over the years gone by. Should be fun!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

They're in the makin'...

Can you guess, can you guess??

I haven't forgotten. There are several more Bags by Bevy in the works. I will post finished product in just a few weeks. I also know there is alot of growing interest brewing over these bags of mine, which makes me really excited, and in fact, I have a few special orders to complete as well. I do promise there is a giveaway in the near future, so stay tuned.
I know, I know... It feels like I'm teasing you all, doesn't it?

See here and here for previous "creations" and comments.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This is "wheely" fun!!

Yesterday we had a nice little surprise, with a phone call, from our former neighbor lady, asking if we would like some company for a little bit. Here she brought along this 3-wheeler (actually she brought two of the same). These pictures, of Caleb, were actually taken right before we moved. He was having so much fun with them and I guess her grandchildren are just too big for them now. She told me that she wanted to give them to us, but I just figured she had forgotten.

Quite the blessing, today!!

It was funny, because, just for grins I put Aubrey on Caleb's other little car here. And she took off, on it. I mean, not fast, but on her own. Even though I had sat her on it from time to to time and steadied her, but pushing her ever so slightly, I was really surprised at my little 10 month old, doing this all by herself. I guess, she decided, she really needs to find a way to keep up with her big brother - and this is just another one of those ways.

Oh, amazing, isn't it? We always have someone "waiting in the wings", wanting to follow in the footsteps. My mother always used to say; "Monkey see, Monkey do. Monkey does the same as you". That's what it feels like -is happening- around here everyday. Yeah, it's really fun...

If you'd like, follow me as I revisit a previous post, called Stepping in the Shadow, as I take the time to ask myself -again- the question of; Who am I following?

I hope you are/were "tracking with me", here,
because it is just something really good to think about. Plus, great scripture to meditate on.

May God bless your day, today, as you "wheely" follow HIM with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The list that works for us

A lot of people raise an eyebrow when they hear that we do our grocery shopping "once a month". Though it's true, in all honesty, there are a couple of exceptions in getting our milk and eggs on a weekly basis, at the local Old Dutch Cupboard, or adding some more fresh fruit and veggies to the fridge through out the month.

But this works for us. I am amazed at how well we can "stick to budget" when we have this list with us. What I did was to create a "master" (a running list, saved as a document, ready to print) of what I have in the pantry, the freezer, the fridge, and so forth. I mean everything. Then all I have to do is to highlight/underline/mark with red (using my own little code) what I need for that particular shopping trip. I tried to organize items into categories - the way they would be found in the store. I confess, this hasn't been completely fine-tuned and can make me a little crazy. I think this part of the list may need some "hubby organization skills". ;) Hey, it's just one of those things we forget about until the next month rolls around. Oh, well.

We have found several discount grocery stores in the Lancaster, PA area that serve us well to meet our needs, however, on occasion, there are those items that just can't be found and we'll go to a regular grocery store for those. And that is fine. So - over the course of time- it's been a system that works for us. We take two coolers, we buy ice, have to pack and stack everything just so... it's crazy, but fun!! It's a great day out as a family and the little ones do just fine.

Ask me about times when I've done this myself...and one of them falls asleep right before we get there...plus I have to maneuver two carts around. Arrgh!!

But, I love my list idea. It's great to print it out early in the month, post it to the fridge (or wherever) so that it is handy to check off what I need to replenish as the meals roll by, from week to week, and as the pantry empties.

You may wonder if we always stick to the marked-up list? The answer to that is simply- "No! I just can't...". You never know what you're going to find at a discount grocery store... and there is always something, that you see, that you realize you forgot to mark down. Or, in other words, you can be choosy, but you can't be picky. It's a (major) call for flexiblity, but it's worth it.

: : What have you found useful as you prepare your grocery list? Do you use coupons? Do you always stick to budget? Do you even have a budget? I would love to hear from you...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Here's a runner up to, you know who, but maybe better...

"Some like it cold, some like hot.
Some like it foo foo, and some do NOT!"

Here is a really great (homemade) Iced Coffee Recipe that I discovered in one of my many favorite cookbooks. It's so simple and so refreshing, especially in the summer.
12 cups strong, brewed coffee
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
Brew coffee and chill. Add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and stir really well. Serve over ice. Top with whipped cream and your favorite syrup (I used Carmel). Store any leftovers in the refrigerator (if there are any).
: : So, how do you take your coffee? Honestly, this may be the best runner up to any other Iced Coffee drinks out there. I want to add, "perhaps", a whole lot cheaper...
It's really, really good, unless you don't like your coffee all foo foo!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Corners of my Home- the Kitchen, part two

One of my five sister's had my name at Christmas, and blessed me with a gift card to Joann Fabrics. I was "sorta" looking for fabric to make curtains, for the kitchen, when I found this material on the clearance rack. It wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but it certainly was closer (to it) then anything else I had found. With only two and a half yards to work with, no pattern, no room to start over if I messed something up... this is what I came up with.

It was funny. I started this one late(er) one evening - while waiting for Scott to finish up what he was doing on the computer, only to realize he was just up waiting on me. I must admit I was pretty tired. He helped me hang it up... I fussed and shushed it around... and off to bed we went.

It was really fun though, waking up the next morning (totally forgetting what I had done the night before) and going downstairs to the kitchen. Surprising myself, like as though by magic, this curtain (just randomly) appeared over my kitchen sink. And I managed to smile, in my grogginess, realizing that another thing was off the check list - and I could go on about my day.

My Kitchen is now settled in - feeling quite "at Home".

Now, where is the coffee?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The explanation of a "Scott Dog"...Come on, you know you're curious.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, there are hot dogs
and then there are "Scott Dogs"!
Let me tell you the story about how & where this term originated. We were invited to friends of ours for a cookout (hot dog) dinner, one evening. They have several kids and one of their sons, Moses, who was about 8yrs old, at the time, has a lisp - AND, a wonderful sense of humor.

The condiments were scattered around the table... the mayo, the ketchup, relish, diced onions - never mind the mustard - which is something I would prefer...
My husband started asking for the mayonnaise and Mr. C took note (making comment) of the careful way that my hubby started to "prepare" his dog. Scott spread the roll (down both sides) with mayo, and placed his hot dog just so and then asked for the ketchup, which he then in true art form makes a nice zigzag ketchup design all across the top.

Next, he adds relish along the one side of the hot dog, and carefully sprinkles diced onion along the top. Whalaa...

~"Scott Dog" Masterpiece~

But you see, we hadn't named it that yet. Everyone went back to their own meal, laughing, enjoying each other's company - amazed and still talking about Scott's creativity... when from young, witty, 8 yr old Moses... we hear; "I wanna make me a Scott Dog...
Can you pass them, please?"

We thought we heard right, (Did he say Scott or Hot?) and so they have been rightly named.
You can make one too, only, as long as you follow all the steps; using all the same condiments and in the same precise order... NOTE: Any hint of mustard does not qualify.
And I quote; "Why would you want to destroy a perfectly good hot dog? - by using mustard, unless you're eating a corn dog."

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