Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween Everyone!

We had our Trick or Treat yesterday.

Why? Because there is an away football game tonight.

So, you say. Here in Hickville, we have a parade at the school stadium after Trick or Treat. The Marching Band play for the parade and they are dressed up as well.

All the kids sign up in different catagories depending ontheir costume, Scary, Cute, Original, Group, etc. They they get a small prize if they win (between $2 -$10) and every child gets a full size candy bar at the end. To the kids, it is worth it just for

So here are my little goblins:


A Vampire

A Monk

Hope you have a great Halloween!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hitting Home

I have a devotional sent to me every day through email from Crosswalk's Girlfriends In God.

Some days the message really hits home. One of those "Ok God, I get your point!" kind of moments. Some days the message makes me think of someone else and what they might be struggling with. Sometimes I then forward the email on to them.

Today I could have written the message myself. This is an excerpt:

Today's Truth "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)

Friend to Friend I've loved God since I was just a kid. I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior in Mr. Dunn's Sunday school class when I was just nine years old. As a teenager, I served God and grew in faith. I said "no" to the crowd and "yes" to the cross. I was a girl with convictions, a girl of strong disciplines, and a girl of high moral standards who walked the straight and narrow. Then...I went away to college and secretly entered a season of compromise.

I never meant to stray from my values. It was a new chapter in my life, and I naively thought I could handle it on my own. My rebellion was a subtle, gradual thing. I was still the same Gwen, just a compromised version of me.

During that time, secrets and compromise became comfortable to me. I wore them like a pair of faded jeans. My friends considered me to be a good Christian girl, and I wasn't about to burst their bubble with the truth that I was sliding into sinful ways. Oh, how my plastic smile served me well in those days! I could turn on the fake charm like water from a faucet.
Eventually, the compromises and choices that I'd made caught up with me and resulted in great brokenness. I couldn't reconcile what I had done with who I was, or with who I was supposed to be. My heart was broken. I felt hopeless and was horribly ashamed.

The dark days turned into weeks, which turned into months. All the while, the voice of the Accuser screamed loudly in my head. "You've messed up too much this time! You're not a Christian. God would never want someone like you." At the same time, the Holy Spirit whispered to my soul, "You are God's daughter. He's waiting for you to come home. Turn back! He loves you!"

The Bible assures us that our hope has never been about what we have done; it has always been about what Christ has done! "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Today's devotion is an excerpt from Gwen's book Broken Into Beautiful. Gwen Smith is a worship artist, songwriter, speaker, and author. For more information, visit her website at:

Here is the song & video that she wrote:


Monday, October 27, 2008

So Quiet

It is so quiet around here lately. Besides running the kids to a million activites there isn't much to write about.

**The older two got themselves in a little bit of trouble. Long story short, they got caught smoking. This is not the first time Teen has gotten busted, but it is for Tween. I doubt that Tween will ever smoke again.

What type of punishment would you dole out to a pair of young smokers? I'll let you know what happened here in a day or so.

**I have said before how much I enjoy living in the apartment complex. No maintenance, no property taxes, lower heating and cooling costs, and water, sewage and garbage are included.

However, the one thing that I absolutely dread about living here is when someones lease is up. Right now we have a really nice group of people living in our side of the building (with the exception of the stupid old lady across the hall). There are 8 buildings in the complex and each building has 2 main entrances. In each half of the building is 8 apartments 4 up and 4 down. So out of the 8 apartments here, we all get along. 2 weeks ago one of the neighbors upstairs moved out. Next weekend 2 of the three "boys" upstairs are moving out. The end of next month the last of the "boys" is moving out. And then in February the girls behind us are moving out.

I am afraid of who might move in here. Right now we are comfortable with the neighbors. I know I can leave my door unlocked for a few minutes here and there. I know I can let Little S go upstairs and visit the "boys" or behind us to visit the girls. I also like having the only kids on this side of the building.

I just pray that in the next few months as people move in I am blessed with as good neighbors as I have now.

**Saturday morning my sister is coming to visit for a few days. We hardly ever get to see each other. She lives in WV and it is about a 7 hour drive between us. Normally we see each other once in the summer and then at Christmas at my Mum's house. It is never for more than a few hours. I have so much to show her, so many places to take her and we have so much stuff of my Gram's to go through together. I have had a lot of my Gram's things sitting in storage for the last 2 years. I am at a point where for the most part I am comfortable going through her things and dispersing them. I hope that my sister can deal with it.

Not much else to say. Don't forget to tell me what your punishment ideas are!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nothing Much

It has been quiet around here lately. The only reason I am posting anything is I have had a certain person (who shall remain nameless....but her initials are LBD) complain that I haven't written anything in a few days.

I had 2 interviews last week. They both went well. I was more comfortable at one than the other, but haven't heard anything from either one.

I haven't interviewed in a long time so perhaps someone can answer this question for me. If the interviewer offers you a drink (coffee, water, soda) is there a certain protocol you should follow? Should you take a drink even if you are not thristy so you don't insult them?

One of the interviews was quiet odd. They asked some personal questions that I was sure you are not supposed to ask in an interview. Such as, Do you plan on having more children? At this same interview (for an Office Manager Position) the other office workers were present. And if that wasn't odd enough, they were all asking me different questions. And to top it off, the owner asked me what my salary requirements were In.Front.Of.The.Other.Workers. And wanted me to answer him. That was very uncomfortable. I just feel that everyone's compensation and/or salary is between the boss and the employee.

I had another interview yesterday and a phone interview today. The one today was through the temp agency and I have a 2nd interview on person next week with them.

Saturday we took the Jr & Sr Youth groups up to Cool Springs Corn Maze. The kids had a blast. There were 20 of us that went and we all broke down into 5 groups of 4.

This is an aerial view. It is 10 Acres.

Did I mention that we went in the dark? (We all had flashlights and cell phones/walkie talkies.) The corn is approx 8 ft tall. It was so much fun. We made it out the first time in about 10 minutes. But only because someone at some point cut a path that wasn't supposed to be there. We decided to go back through so we could get the full effect. It took us about 45 minutes to do the whole thing. And yes we got lost a time or two.

After we all got out and met back up, we got some hot cider and a snack. They also have a DJ/Karoake every night.

On the far left is the snack shack. In the middle is where the DJ/Karaoke and dancing is happening. And to the right is another huge building with lost of Hay bales to climb on and through.

Of course later those of us with allergies have the worst congestion. But it was so worth it!

And last but not least, last night I had a Stampin' Up party here. There were about 10 of us and we had a blast. This is what we made:

The card says "Christ is Born" in case you can't see it due to the flash.

And this cute little guy is a great idea for filling trick or treat sacks. He has a top and bottom and in between is a york peppermint patty.

Now that I have typed all of that, I guess it hasn't been that quiet around here after all. Just normal.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why I Love Western Pa

This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the cool crispness of the air. The gorgeous colors of the trees and plants.

Love this house and the stone fence around it.

This is an everyday scene near me. We have many Amish in our community. A common term around here is "Road Apples". Anyone care to guess what that phrase refers to?

Yesterday my Jr Youth and the younger 2 classes went to a local pumpkin farm.

Rows and Rows and Rows of Pumpkins of all shapes, colors and sizes. The driver (of the hay wagon) stopped in the middle of the field. All of the kids got off and got to pick any pumpkin they wanted in the whole field!

This is Little S so proudly holding his own pumpkin.

After the hayride, we packed up the pumpkins in the cars and then let the kids go wild on the Hay stacks. There was a hay maze, small corn maze and several tall stacks of hay for the kids to climb on, in and through.

This was actually Little S's second hayride and farm visit of the day. We were supposed to go last week, but had to cancel due to rain. Yesterday was also the Pre-school field trip to a pumpkin farm. They were two different farms so he had a great time.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Wrap Up

Friday night I went to Laurels and we headed over to her friends place to make a few cards. I didn't get home until 1:30 in the morning. We just lost track of time, talking and brainstorming. I only made 3 cards, but got plenty of ideas.

Saturday was quiet. Teen had an away football game in the early afternoon. We won 41 - 6. That evening my one neighbor came over and asked us if we wanted to go to the Haunted Hayride with her. We jumped at the chance. Little S stayed here with a friend of ours. I was afraid he would get nightmares. It wasn't too scary. I was startled a few times. Tween was scared death. The best part was the vampires at the end. They just walked along the wagon and stared at you. Kind of creepy. A few of them also jumped on the wagon and just walked between the aisle and looked at us.

Sunday was quiet.

Today within an hour I got 3 calls for job interviews. One is too far away so I turned them down. One I set up an interview for tomorrow afternoon and the other is for Wednesday afternoon.

I know that God will provide me with the right job at the right time, but the waiting is killing me. Please pray that the right job will come along soon.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

For Those With Cancer

I saw this on PostSecrets this morning and thought of Laurel.

She has not let cancer ruin her life. She lives almost every day as if there is no cancer. I admire her for being able to do that.
This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this is such a fitting postcard.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Because of Blogging

It has been kind of quiet around here for the last few days. With the exception of playing taxi driver to the boyz. But I have realized a few things over the last few days.

Because of blogging:

* I have met friends that I never would have. Good friends. Really good friends. I can't believe at times how blessed I am to have met some of you.

* I get random cards through email and/or snail mail, just because. It suprises me how many times I will get one of those cards just when I need it.

* I have a written history for my children to read some day. They will learn more about me as a person trying to be a good wife and mother while raising them and working. I hope they will see me as more than just "mum".

* I have taken more pictures and shared them with more people.

* My family (and friends) that don't live close get to see pictures and hear adventures they may not have otherwise.

* I have learned more about myself as a person. Some good, some bad.

Because of blogging I have paid better attention to things going on around me!


Sunday, October 5, 2008


This weekend was the big Homecoming festivities here. For as small of a town that I live in, they have so many activities here.

Thursday Night was the big Bonfire kickoff for the weekend. Teen had to play for band for that.

Friday was the parade. 45 minutes long. All three boys were in it. Here are Tween and Little S on the soccer float:

And in the middle is Teen:
The alumni can actually come back and march in the parade for the evening. That is the reason the person next to him is in jeans.
Unfortunately we lost the game Friday night. The other team mopped the field with our butts. The final score was 7 - 36. Only our second loss, but it was a bad one.

Saturday was the Homecoming dance. This was the first year Teen went. A Senior asked him as she didn't have a boyfriend and they are pretty good friends.

This is Teen hamming it up before she got here:
Yes he those are tennis shoes he had on. He is a little prankster and wanted to see what she would say about them.
Here he is taking off the sunglasses being silly.

Again just hamming it up.

His date called saying she was on the way and things were just not going her way so he changed out of the shoes before she got here. (Wise choice little grasshopper, wise choise.)

Sorry about the washed out faces, the sun had just hit the point where you had to squint.
This is the other couple that they went with.
He made it home safe and sound and had a good time. I asked him if he danced at all and he said two or three times. Sounds like a typical HS dance, all the guys sit around while the girls dance.
Today we are all just resting. The last couple of days have been so busy we need a day to just veg out.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Like Mother, Like Son

Tonight was soccer. I am the team mom for Little S and so most games I watch him play.

Tonight when we got to the field we were the first ones there so we got to choose which side we wanted to be on. Normally when we are on field 2 we choose the left hand side. Tonight we chose the right hand side as there were two big mud holes on the other side. (I know, I know)

Anyhow, before they started the game I told Little S to stay out of the mud. It is one thing when he is home jumping in puddles with mud boots on and another when he has tennis shoes on. The other coach as well told her kids to stay away from the mud as much as possible. They also had an older sibling stand near the mud on the field to keep the ball away.

3rd quarter and all is well. Little S is now going to be the goalie. He is doing okay. The ball comes at him. He bends down stops the ball, picks it up and throws it back out into the field.

Then he completely freezes.
Looks at his hands and the mud on them and has no idea what to do.
He looks at me, looks at Teen and just stares at his hands. (I am starting to snicker at this point) Teen tells him to just wipe them on his pants and that it will be fine.
He looks at me and I just nod.
He wipes his hands and the game continues.

A little while later the ball is headed back towards him.
He looks at the ball, looks at his hands, looks back at the ball and watches it roll into the goal.

I just laugh. Really laugh. I can't even blame him. It is totally my fault. I am such a germ-a-phobe he can't help it. 4+ years of me constantly telling him to wash his hands has been burned into his mind, he can't have dirty hands.

I am so proud......LOL