November 30, 2008

Preparing for Christmas

Guess who's coming to town! I've made my lists and I'm checking it twice. The Christmas season is upon us. Today is the first day of Advent. It's the time to prepare to celebrate the gift that has been given to all of us. -The christ child. On the secular side it's a wide eyed time for children looking where Santa may be. In the past few years I've attempted to just find contentment in wherever and whatever I'm involved in. We are a blessed nation and have more than we could ever dream of but those dreams just keep on and on and on. May you all find your happiness and be wrapped in it this Christmas season.

Recipe for Christmas All Year Long

Take a heap of child-like wonder
That opens up our eyes
To the unexpected gifts in life
—Each day a sweet surprise.

Mix in fond appreciation
For the people whom we know;
Like festive Christmas candles,
Each one has a special glow.

Add some giggles and some laughter,
A dash of Christmas food,
(Amazing how a piece of pie
Improves our attitude!)

Stir it all with human kindness;
Wrap it up in love and peace,
Decorate with optimism,
andOur joy will never cease.

If we use this healthy recipe,
We know we will remember
To be in the Christmas spirit,
Even when it's not December.

By Joanna Fuchs

November 29, 2008


This is One million dollars. When I was in Vegas this was in a glass vault for all to see and stop and think to oneself --Just what would I do if I was handed this.... What would you do? I'm sure like me your options change with the day and with whatever else is currently going on in your life. Me? I'd attempt to see the world right after I was totally out of debt. I'd head to Vienna, Austria first to see if I could start crossing things off my bucket list. Isn't it everyones dream to 'play the piano on a stage in Vienna'?? No? Oh well that's on 'my' bucket list and you need to make your own. Right after playing on stage I'd visit the city and check out some real architecture highlights. I'd then head upstream on the Danube then return and head down stream to Budapest. After I get off the river I'd head over to Saltzburg. --Yeah I like to dream do you?

Thanksgiving 2008

We had a great Thanksiving Day. The whole family was together and everyone at one time or the other was laughed at or rather laughed with. Of course we had to do a yearly picture of the grandchildren to the moans of the boys and to the many poses of the girls. In the end it came out great. It was a tough time sitting still on the rocks and the air had a chill that made us get this pose very quickly. I'm quite sure their grandparents and parent appreciate every moment. We missed having Kathy and Ashley from Massachusetts with us this year but Kathy got a great tour of Italy instead so I'm sure it didn't hurt quite as much. There was more than enough to eat and now we're all on diets --at least until the next meal! Thanks again to Mom and Dad for having us all home. What a blessing my family is to me. --and cute!!!!

November 27, 2008


Another holiday to get together and eat and drink and find out what we all have been up to lately. We have a Thanksgiving Eve get-together for a pot-pie dinner. Every year is filled with laughs and tales of the past year. All the kids are home with a friend or two and we just enjoy one another. Thanks to my sister for allowing us to take over her home and we hope it's put back together when we leave. We have family, and in-laws and out-laws and extended family and friends and maybe even a few strangers join in but over all it's just plain fun and worth a few good belly laughs to melt all those calories away!

November 26, 2008

Home at last!

It's been a long 3+ months since Cory has been home. He made it home very late last night to a reception at the airport. Waiting those last minutes for him to arrive goes on and on and on.... I was ready to get him something to eat even if it was after midnight. What a feeling it is to have my family all under one roof again.

Happy Birthday! cha cha cha!

Happy Birthday Samantha! Sam you are! You are Sam!! Fourteen years have gone by since that blessed day when I received a beautiful 4 pound bundle. She has grown into a sensational young lady with a charming personality. She 'jumps' for joy every chance she gets and is always ready with a smile for whatever lies ahead. She loves her music and reading and sports and who can top her in shopping! I look forward to always seeing her smile and being part of her world.

November 24, 2008


When you take a snapshot and get it loaded onto the computer an instinct to attempt to make the picture look better sets in. Sometimes though there's no reason to touch it and let it be. Here are three pics I believe are the utmost in colors I find intriguing. The blues and the greens in the first pic are pure. The second picture of the rainbow takes me back to Science class. "Roy G. Biv" Do you remember him? --Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet. I could've changed the mid tones or the contrast or sharpen things up but hey I like it just the way it is...!

Of course I agree that I could've played with this picture but it has some of the most intriguing colors I've never found except in a sunset. Crayola you have a challenge. Take a close look between the branches and tell me what color you think that is. It reaveals itself for only seconds and if you look away for a second it's gone.

November 23, 2008

Subject: tree

Does 'stump sitting' run in the family? My daughter is currently doing a science project on genetics and traits. She needs to do some investigation on stump sitting. Hey -- why not!!! Her Grandmother found this stump in the hallowed fields of Gettysburg and her granddaughter found her stump at Doubling Gap. Hhhmmmm.
In another week it'll be time to pick out that Christmas tree. I've scouted out this field and found the perfect tree. Does every family have a Christmas tree story? Have you ever nailed the tree with twine to the wall out of frustration? Has your tree ever fallen over on Christmas morning? What's your favorite story? Fortunately (or unfortunately) tree stories have become less commonplace with the arrival of artificail trees. Someone will be missing out on some humerous memories down the road.....!

November 21, 2008

Vegas Art

The artwork in Las Vegas is spell-binding. You walk up and down the strip outside and your eyes can hardly take it all in at one time. You get one look in the day time and then the sun goes down and it's a whole other look. After your eyes are tired of looking up and down and all around step in just about any building and your eyes are darting once again. You never know if you should check out the walls or the ceilings or the floor and that's just with a small step in the door. I could write for some time about all the things and places I found amazing but my favorites included The Belagio, The Venitian, and Ceasars. A week could be spent in just these three places between shopping, shows, gambling, and gawking! I've included some artwork I found that I especially liked. I thought these were even more intriguing because the artist to some of these is Tracy Stum whose Father attends my church. (Check out her website by clicking on her name.) Her artwork is astounding. I'm not certain as to what pieces she painted or didn't paint in the first pic today but check out the pics below...
I know for certain she was involved in painting the ceiling just inside Ceasars. The details in this pic is awesome. This is the entrance to the mall portion of Ceasars. Absoutely everywhere you turn the artwork is captivating. The winding esclator is even it's own work of art. The sculptures are yet another marvel and all of this is even before you see a store! --that was a whole endeavor!

November 18, 2008

Flying around

My friend Andy was so generous to fly us around Cumberland and Perry County one fine day. He flies a sleek plane back and forth from Tewksbury, Mass each week to help us out with some major programming. These pictures are from our joy ride on a great day weather wise. His plane has only one engine though but lo and behold we landed safely and have some great shots to remember it all.

The first pic is looking down the Susquhanna River toward Three Mile Island. The second is looking up the river at Harrisburg, PA. Don't you love the arch bridges!

This is a picture of where we work. All the buildings are lined up in neat little rows. --That's all I have to say about that....

This is a view coming across to my neighborhood. Everything looks so much neater and in order from the air.

This is a shot after we landed safely. It's a wicked little plane. Thanks for the ride or shall I say thanks for the FLY! ---A good time was had by all!!!

November 17, 2008


I had an opportunity to get some pictures of some very old and very artistic stained glass at a local church. (Leesburg U.M. in Shippensburg, PA) Getting a good shot of stained glass is pretty tricky. So much depends on the outside lighting which by in large in uncontrolled. (at least by me!) Other components are inside lighting. One side of the church to the opposite side also has it's challenges. I wonder if the artists of these beauties gave any thoughts to lighting? Maybe there's too much thought going into this on my part and I need to sit back and just enjoy. I hope you also enjoy these windows. Thanks to all those that have contributed in making these works of arts available to the rest of us years and years down the road.

November 16, 2008


I've been patiently awaiting the days till my son comes home for Thanksgiving. He's been away now for over three months. I know he's having the time of his life and getting to experience so many new things. He's being immersed in a whole new culture from his Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing to a Southern Cajun life. He has been able to see the country by travelling to Texas, New Mexico, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas, Lousiana and many new adventures await him this coming year. He was able to pitch against LSU, Tulane, University of Alabama, University of New Mexico and many other schools in the Sun Belt conference. No matter where this all leads I just pray for his blessings of happiness, safety, healthiness and gratefulness. He has become friends with a great bunch of guys who also have great families. All the best Cory and can't wait to see you!!

November 15, 2008


Just a few things of amazement in my opinion.... I like those paths that turn up everyday and you need to decide if you are going to take it to wherever it may lead or choose a different path instead. I also find my family an amazement. Is that really a word? I guess it is now!!! My daughter is quite the poser and I like to try out each of the camera settings to get a new look. Another amazement to me are trains. Do you have a favorite sound? Have you ever given it any thought at all what your favorite sound is? Share it with someone! I like hearing the sound of a train. I grew up near railroad tracks and after awhile it just becomes part of your everyday world. Once again I live near tracks and when I hear a train whistle or hear the rumble I remember the security we all had as youngsters with the familiar things around us. Trains were even a game in my family. With the endless games we've played we always had to determine who will be 'IT'. How was that determined? --Engine Engine Number 9 going down the Chicago line. If the train should jump the track do you want your money back? Yes or No? --What would your answer be? Be careful how you'd answer because you may wind up be 'IT'!!!

November 13, 2008

Where have all the colors gone?

What a dreary day today. All those great Fall colors are now hidden. The valley has become lonesome looking. What stark contrasts to just a week or two weeks ago. It goes to prove we need to sit back and soak in every minute we are given. These pics were taken on one or many of the pink jeep tour weekends this Fall. Notice the last of the bumble bees hard at work. As anyone can notice this is my favorite time of year but if you blink it's over and you ponder as to where the moments have gone....

Have you ever had a book called Where's Waldo? Both of my children were book hounds and we read just about anything on any subject but Where's Waldo was always good for passing some time while we were waiting for someone or something. Play a game called Where's Samantha today. See if you can spot her among this pile or rocks at the top of Waggoner's Gap between Cumberland and Perry county. What a climb this was but the view we got to see from up there was well worth the climb and the decent from there was just as interesting. Have you found her yet?

November 11, 2008

Vetrans Day

Today is Vetran's Day. I send out a special thank you to all those Vetrans who have given our country the freedom we take for granted everyday. They give of their time, their families time, and with many - their lives. We owe so much to them. Thanks to all who have served and who are currently serving. They are the true American heroes. God Bless you all.

I spent the morning at Lamberton Middle school serving the vetrans and the students who participated in the Vetran's Day program. It's a very inspiring program the school has every year to thank those who have served and are serving our country. Students participate in the service and a salute is given by local vets. It's a great way to start the day.

November 10, 2008

The Beatles!

Aren't they the best! They were traffic stoppers and everyone enjoyed them but wondered how these young girls know so much about The Beatles. They all love the movie 'Across the Universe' and their music class at school has inspired them. They have so many more fun and adventuresome years ahead of them. I personally hope they continue to just love each day and always be willing to just have a fun time wherever they are in life............ THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD....................!

Philly Weekend

Spent the weekend in Philadelphia. We're a big baseball family so it was good to be at Citizens Bank Park just after the Phillies World Series win. Go Phillies!

We went to The Revolve All Access tour held at The Spectrum. I found these beautiful ladies waiting for the concert to begin. They got to see a favorite band - Hawk Nelson along with Natalie Grant, Crystal Meyers, Group 1 Crew and Danielle Kimmy. Many other speakers gave great talks to over 10,000 teenage girls. It was a Christian event to show them that God gives them ALL-ACCESS all the time. We had a great time playing charades in the hotel room, and a better time was getting to SHOP!!!!!

November 7, 2008

Busy Busy Get Ready Day

It is a 'get ready' day. The squirrels were out by the hundreds on my walk this morning. They all had a nut in hand. They are busy getting ready for what lies ahead of us. Out in the mid-west they are already experiencing a frosty day. So take the squirrel's idea and get prepared!

Guess who else I spotted this morning! Yep - not only is the wildlife getting prepared but Santa and Mrs. Claus are making their lists! They arrived at Allenberry Play House in Boiling Springs, PA. So you better watch out! That reminds me to get my list ready for a weekend of shopping and being in worship at the Revolve tour in Philly. Remember no pouting!!!!

November 6, 2008

Square Meal!

My daughter. Is she blond? No. Butttttttttttt.... On the way to our yearly excursion to the beach her Grandfather points to a field with hay bales and says, "those cows will be getting a square meal". My daughter says, "what- I don't get it". Why doesn't she know what a square meal is, he wonders. She tried to figure out what all that meant for months. The hay bales used to be square and much smaller then the progression to round hay bales and being much bigger occurred. Now we see the square hay bales are back but are four times the size! Her Grandfather casually implied those lucky cows will get a 'square meal' as oppossed to a round meal. Of course this had other implications that still had my daughter scratching her head....... This picture is for my Dad. We found more square meals close to home!!! Our local cows will be lucky too and will have a square meal tonight!

Nature at it's best

Just another beautiful sunset picture. What can I say. It never ceases to amaze me as to what a sunset can make me feel. During this time of the year the colors explode from one moment to the next. If you blink you can miss the next array of colors that are revealed.

Last Sunday we ventured out to the nearby Big Spring creek on the way into Newville, PA. Some lay claim that this creek beholds some of the best fly fishing around. I believe it's another serene place in nature to be near and just simply enjoy. Flies. Way - way back in my younger days I tried out the art of 'tying flies'. I can recall my brother tying flies and somehow winding up with the hook in his nose! How can one do this!!!? My brother was an avid fisherman and has spent many hours along The Big Spring. It's a great escape from the everyday grind of an office or dealing with frustrated people.

November 4, 2008


It's Election Day in the U.S.A. Does everyone know this? I'm not the biggest television fan so these days have me looking for other things to occupy myself. I do believe though that it is a privelage to be able to vote and make our voices heard. Hopefully our country will be headed in an upbeat direction. Get out there and make your vote count today! Today's pic was from Camp Jeep. This flag is huge and can be seen all around the country side. It takes a crain to raise it and if it's extremely windy much care is taken not to topple the crain. It's a breath taking view. God Bless the U.S.A.

Another Fall weekend

The past weekend was another colorful adventure. I got to spend some time in Adams County, PA with my good friend and shopping buddy. Yes it's time for Christmas so get those lists ready! My friend Penny lives on a farm with her husband and son and four horses. I really liked her weather vane on the garage. Pink Jeep tours was busy again too. There were rides to close by places like Boiling Springs, The winding Big Spring, and Kings Gap. Who can get tired of looking at the nature God has provided us. The colors just did not stop. Unfortunately we all know what is just around the corner. Old man Winter will be making a visit and we'll have a monchrome world yet again. Enjoy it all while it lasts!

November 2, 2008

Cruise on Down

Cruising. It's way past time for a family cruise but for the next few years life has been redirected. We watched 'Titantic' for about the 80th time and I got to thinking it sure would be nice if we were on schedule for a Caribbean trip this coming Winter. We've had some fantastic trips out on the oceans. My most favorite island is St. Maarteen and my least favorite is probably Cozumel however that is where I learned to snorkel so it does have a fond spot in my mind and some pretty tricked out jewelery to boot! We've been on the high seas with friends and cousins and just our family then with many extended family members and a few friends. We had a blast every time and we were actually exhausted till we returned because there was way more to do than we had the time. My daughter fell in love with Aruba and still claims she'll be attending college on the island. Well I suppose when I get the opportunity to 'get out there' again it will be all the better in the anticipation. Until then I'll enjoy trips to the deep south to see my son play baseball in the Big Easy or on to The Lone Star state of Texas next Summer. We'll even have the opportunity to go to Florida this winter to attend the PGA merchandise show so I do believe I'll keep occupied until I set foot on another ship. Until then.... Bon Voyage!!! My pics are from Aruba and of my beautiful children at one of the formal dinners.

November 1, 2008

Welcome November

Another month has passed us by. Moving on to November brings my daughter's birthday, Thanksgiving, The Revolve Tour, and Veterans Day. It also brings to light that we need to get out there and start Christmas shopping! This month makes me personally very happy because my son will be home from New Orleans where he attends college after 3 + long months. We'll be getting together with our family for the holidays and it's interesting to see what everyone has been doing. Don't forget though that we should take the time to reflect on all we are thankful for. That list is an endless list. I'm saying goodbye to my October banner and bringing out the new November banner. It has my gorgeous daughter and a shot of devil's den in Gettsyburg.