Saturday, October 17, 2009

Oh Bountiful Summer!

I was looking back at how little I posted on here this year when I realized I hadn't posted about my garden in all of it's glory! Well here are the few pictures I actually have of it.

One thing I've learned in this whole experimental garden is that it takes A LOT of time to make it work 'well'. A garden will still grow if you're not there to tend it but it may not grow what you want it to. I got into a good rhythm for a while going out in the morning for a short while each day to weed and make sure everything was looking good. Also I need to get a sprinkler to I don't have to stand there and water the garden and not really know how much water it's getting each week.

The things that were successful in my garden this year were; tomatoes, potatoes (although I might try a different variety next year), swiss chard (I had more than I could handle of this but it was good for sharing), onions, basil (not a big fan of it anymore), bell peppers, acorn squash, zucchini, yellow squash, parsley, cucumbers, berries, and a few carrots .

I think next year I'll do chives instead of onions and I'll try some cauliflower and broccoli. My green beans and peas didn't do too good where they were so I'll have to get that figured out too. I was able to harvest some but not a lot. I haven't looked into it yet but kidney beans might be something I'll try and a hot pepper plant for chili fixins. Corn never got in the ground this year but it is something I want to grow, along with sweet potatoes and strawberries. All this food is making me hungry.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Today I came to a realization about myself and what the future holds for me and that is this:

I will never be monetarily rich. I won't live a life of luxury where I will never have to think about what I'm spending my money on. Nope not me. I don't have the right kind of career for it, let alone the aspirations for it. Instead I will live a life full of the simple pleasures. A life where I will never have to worry about money because it's not mine to begin with. Everything I have belongs to God and He can manage it a lot better than I can. I will be rich in the blessings that God has to offer to His children. That seems like a better choice to me anyways.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Kayaking is my favorite place to be!

I have been kayaking a lot this summer with friends and family. I wanted to go so much more and with more new people but I don't know how to make things happen sometimes. Anyways here are a few pictures of this summers kayaking adventures and things found along the way. Enjoy!

Have a great night!

Friday, August 21, 2009

a fragile existence

Have you ever been frustrated with how fragile and breakable you or the ones you love are? I can see how easily it would be to become angry with God for the loss of a loved one or the pain we experience in this life through sickness, pain and disease.

Then I have to think about that amazing truth that God made us this way for a purpose. If we lived forever and could never feel pain, the joy and preciousness of this life would be lost on us. We would forget to cherish every moment and live our lives full. I may not always thank God for the life that he gave me (especially when I think my body is not acting like it's supposed to, I hear that happens more and more as we grow old) but it is my goal to try!

Lord help my existence not to be an empty one but full of the joy You give.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Falling Spring Falls

This past weekend some friends of mine and I went down to Virginia to check out some waterfalls and hiking. Well we didn't really do all that much hiking but we did enjoy the waterfall and surrounding area of Falling Spring Falls. There were many pools of water below the falls to explore and some big enough to swim in. The waterfall wasn't so powerful that you couldn't go under it and if you walked down further along the edge of the fall back where it was dry there were these various caves to explore that were easy enough to climb up to. It was all around a fun place to explore and just enjoy God's amazing creation. The best though was at the top of the waterfall with a little walk further back there was this pool with rope swings to jump in and swim around. It was an absolute blast and something that I've wanted to do for so long.
There were so many things about this trip to enjoy. First off getting to spend more time with a friend that I haven't really gotten to spend extended amounts of time with (apart from her wedding day and into the late nights after bible study). It was good to hang out in a different setting than normal for us. The camping was nice because I got to sleep on the extra cushioning of a futon cover (the most comfortable waking up experience I've ever had camping!), and we also gave ourselves enough time to pitch the tent while there was still some daylight (at least one of the nights). The waterfall was awesome because there are a couple of things that I've always wanted to do at a waterfall but never felt that there was the opportune time when I'd gone before with friends and that is to jump into the water and also to walk under a waterfall.

The other amazing thing was exploring these caves. I climbed up after Dustin and I wasn't really sure what to expect but as the others were climbing up I went further back into the cave and realized how large it was inside. We sent Dustin back to the car to get the flashlights (and water and batteries and string) so that we could go back further and explore. While he was gone I used my camera to shine a little more light in the darker area of the cave so I could get an idea of what it looked like in there and realized it wasn't quite as big as I thought it might be at first but still worth exploring none the less. There was dew everywhere inside and when a little light was shone on it it glittered and shimmered everywhere. We even found a critter who had made the cave his home (the random bones and many seed shells were a bit of a give away). There were probably many but we only encountered one. We saw all kinds of stalactites and rock formations that were absolutely beautiful to behold. One place even looked like an upside down palace.

I've only ever explored caves one other time without a lighted tour along a concrete path was when I was at Messiah College. I went with a group there and we played hide and seek in the cave in the dark (if you've ever wanted to feel what it's like to be blind and not know where you are in a dark and cold place then I definitely recommend it). It was an experience I'll never forget. Anyways it was neat to explore a cave on my own without anyone who knew the place already and could tell me what everything was but I had to kind of figure it out on my own, or only with the observations of those with me. It forces me to look at everything more closely than what I would've done had I had someone there to tell me everything they already knew about the place.

It was definitely an amazing place to explore and enjoy!

Go and have some fun outside!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Road trip!

What do you do when you are stuck in traffic for over and hour and a half?

You get out of the car and start making sandwhiches.

Then you get to know the people around you and share the zucchini bread that you made way too much of!

Here's to new adventures, new people, cool license plates and enjoying every moment!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Country Roads (and Rivers)

So today my brother in law helped me accomplish a goal for this year. He took my sister and I on a kayaking trip down the Shenandoah. It was wonderful! We started on the Shenandoah went past Harpers Ferry and ended up on the Potomac in Maryland. The ride was beautiful and exhilarating. I swam a couple of times and we lost a few things along the way but no one was injured so that's a blessing.

This weekend was the weekend of kayaking. Today was the fourth time I've been kayaking. Saturday I went with my friend Darcey, then mom and I went out for a while, and in the evening I went with Melody and her friend Alex.

I can't imagine living in a place where there wasn't water nearby. I've loved the adventures that have come my way here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Not a real green dress, that's cruel

While you may think that my title is strange it actually makes sense (to me). I've had a song stuck in my head for the last few days and this just happens to be one of the lyrics. Its called "If I had a million dollars" and it's wicked funny. Anyways it's got me actually thinking about what I would do if I had a million dollars (not much unlike this post). I've been thinking way too much about this so here's the list just in case you were interested what I would do if I had a million dollars.

I would:
- buy some land and a house (preferably next to water with enough land to have a small farm
- build a deck with a faucet outside for easy clean up after garden work
- build a couple greenhouses and a hen house
- get more kayaks with whitewater accessories
- oh yea, pay off all my school debt
- put some away in saving for when I need a new car
- have a kitchen without the washer and dryer in the middle of it
- have a sewing room separate from my bedroom
- put skylights in my house
- buy a mountain and have it moved to my back yard (I had to put something huge in there)
- add more blueberry and raspberry bushes to my garden
- take a road trip to the west coast and then fly to Ireland
- get a motorcycle (and the lessons to go with it)
- add a sun room with a fireplace for cold winter nights
- build a tree house
- oh and get a really nice camera and printer (with a lifetime supply of ink)

Hopefully that is out of my system now and I can stop thinking about it.

What would you do if you had a million dollars (and please be more selfless than me)?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Early mornings

All my life I've wanted to be an early riser. I think it's from all of the farm and ranching romance novels I read as a teenager (please don't hold that against me). Anyways, up until about a year ago I've been nothing but that. Don't get me wrong. I've always been able to get up in the wee hours of the morning if I HAVE to. If other people are dependent upon me to be somewhere at a certain time then I'm there. However, getting up in the early morning to just get myself ready without rushing or get things done at home that need to be done but could be done later was never motivation enough for me to get up earlier.

Since starting my job at Rehoboth I've been not only forced to get up earlier but more willing to get up earlier without rushing. I'm not exactly sure what has brought the change about (maybe something to do with less late nights out with friends), but I am absolutely loving it. Being able to take the time to eat breakfast and get my lunch together or go weed in the garden and read my Bible has been something that gives me a chance to be more ready for the day ahead that I've ever been before.

Two dear friends of mine got married at the end of last month and they decided to have a morning wedding so they could have breakfast foods for their reception and then hit the road early to head off on their honeymoon (I'd probably want to skip out early myself, weddings are enjoyed in medium sized doses). As the unofficial photographer of their wedding I had to be there at 6:30am to take pictures. Which of course meant that I had to get up more like 4:30am to get up to the place in time (about an hour away) and be able to get pictures of the rising sun. The lack of sufficient sleep was totally worth it.

While yes I am getting up earlier these days it's usually not early enough to actually watch the sunrise so any opportunity to witness this miracle was one I couldn't pass up.

When was the last time you took the time to get up early and notice the breaking of the dawn on your part of the world?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Last night we had the first "real" thunderstorm that we've had in a while (maybe a couple of years). Growing up in Florida will allow you to appreciate and not fear so much the beauty and power of a thunderstorm. Well whenever we get one around here you stop whatever you're doing and you go enjoy it. That's what I did last night with my mother. She found me working on the computer and told me to come see something in the laundry room.

At first I must admit I was irritated and told her I would in a minute. Well when I hadn't finished what I was doing in a minute she came back again and said that there was something I really needed to see.

Let me just interject here that mom has been on an absolute cleaning kick lately (which is not all that odd), and has been telling me a lot lately to stop what I'm doing to see what she's done that day. This particular evening she had painted the back porch and walkway, painted the stairs inside, water-pressure cleaned the bricks out front, and done laundry. So I had been getting up a lot. I've been working on getting some pictures together that I'd taken of my friends wedding a couple of weekends ago, so I was really trying to get some work done. Finally, though my mother's insistence won me over and I walked outside with her and stood in absolute awe of God's amazing world (I wanted to kick myself for not going sooner, mom really wanted it to be a surprise so I could enjoy it more, she knows me to well).

We stood there for close to an hour and just watched and talked.

Mostly we just watched.

And stood in awe.

I think the best part of that night was just hearing my mother thank God aloud for the thunderstorm. It reminded me that I am truly blessed to have a family with whom our faith is open and out loud (most of the time).

Thank you God for the thunderstorm, and for my family.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What a day!

I wanted to share the peonies opening up with this week with a little rain and sunshine. This were some of the last pictures before my camera lens got stuck so I'll be without a camera for a while (which is really hard for me).

Enough of me being remorseful over the loss of my camera for now. Today I was able to enjoy a wonderful day with friends in D.C. We went all over the place. We went to the Smithsonian museum of American History and Natural History. I've been going to D.C. at least two times a year for about 3 years now and I'd never been to either one of them before. The museum of Natural History was my favorite museum by far. Its exhibit on rocks and minerals was absolutely delightful. I found a new favorite type of rock that I'd never known by name before. It's called Labradorite and it reminds me of the beautiful butterfly the Morpho Butterfly.

The other thing that was really fun on our trip was that even though I didn't have a digital camera with me I had two disposable cameras and let my friends take pictures of whatever they wanted. It was a blast. I am looking forward to seeing how they turned out after they're developed.

I love film!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Everyday Miracles

One of my favorite flowers in my garden are the Peonies. These are so beautiful when they bloom and they smell wonderful but my favorite part is their growing process. They start out as these little purple shoots that grow so fast you can almost watch them growing. In about two weeks time they send up these balls awaiting blooms like in the picture above. They are beautiful as well but the most amazing thing is that these plants are unable to actually open up and bloom without help. They would die if they didn't have the help of one of God's smallest creatures. Ants are the heroes here. They climb up to the top of these flowers and eat a waxy film covering the buds. They feast on it for a couple days and once it's all gone the flower is finally capable of releasing all of it's beauty to the rest of the world.

There are a million lessons we can learn from the simplicity of this fact of nature, but the one I am taking to heart today is the fact that we are not independent planets that are completely self-sufficient. We are only able to release all of the beauty inside of us with the help of others (and no I'm not talking about beauticians and cosmetic beauty). If we didn't have people to teach us what it means to be good and help others we could be very ugly creatures indeed. Most importantly if we didn't have anyone to love or love us back there would be no beauty in the world at all (at least that's what I think).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Season of growing

Joy showing me how to dig up the dirt. She's a total pro by the way and an awesome helper.

This year is the year of the garden for me. I have been dreaming of having a big bountiful garden for years now without having the time or the space to be able to fulfill it. Not like the container garden at my first apartment or the tomato garden at my parents. No, something much bigger. While I don't know how bountiful my garden will be I do know that it will be bigger than any garden I've ever done before and have more varied plants. I also know that there will be potatoes (big and little), onions, blueberries, tomatoes (3 varieties), zucchini, yellow squash, acorn squash, blackberries, raspberries, black raspberries, brusslesprouts, swiss chard, carrots, peas, beans, pumpkins, corn, and cucumbers. That's the plan anyway.

I just finished clearing out the main garden plot this weekend and have already gotten started with planting and starting seeds. I thought I was going start out small and work my way up to a larger garden but my wonderful sister gave me a gift card to buy seeds and a friend of mine gave me some young shoots from their raspberry bushes. I've been truly blessed with what everyone has given me to get this started. I'm praying for a few more things but more on that once I get them.

Some seeds started and waiting to grow a little bigger before putting in the ground.

One of my beautiful potato plants.

Blueberry blooms.

My onion row.

A full view of the first bed (yes there is a second one in the works behind my house, and yes I know that I am crazy). The fence is to keep the groundhogs, skunks, and rabbits at bay.

Here is to not having to go to the grocery store to make a meal, and enjoying the fruits of your labor!

Friday, April 17, 2009

What are my goals?

As I said in my last post (along with a lot of other strange and random things), I have finally taken the time to think out and write down my goals for this year (I know only four months late but that doesn't matter). Here they are:

* Be more disciplined with- reading my Bible
- studying
- praying
- cleaning
- eating well
- exercising

* Build stronger relationships

* Get my garden up and running and eat or give away everything in it (Another post on that later)

* Pay off credit cards (I used them for school my last semester at Shippensburg to pay the difference and I'm still paying, ridiculous I know)

* No fast food (I've been getting into the habit of not packing a lunch and heading over to the local restaurants too frequently)

* Start a girl's Bible study that gets together at least once a month

* Have at least 3 big tea parties

* Paint more often

* Finish my degree (which should be done by the end of the Summer!)

I can't even begin to tell you how good it is to have them written down and concrete. They are things that I've known I wanted to do and have been working on but having them there for me to see makes me focus more on accomplishing them. Some of them I know I'll do and some will take a lifetime for me to accomplish but with God's help anything is possible.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I think I can handle this thing called life

Warning you might not 'get' this post if you don't have sisters:

Do you ever have quotable moments? I do with my sister on a weekly basis. I wish I could remember all of the laughs that we have. Well today one of those was the title of this post. I completely agree with her by the way.

I've been floundering with trying to figure out my goals for this year and I've finally taken the paper and pen and written them down. They are definitely going to stretch me this year but "I think I can handle this thing called life," at least I know I can with the help of the One who made me.

Some more fun sayings:
At least I have a sword.
And then they died.
Satan's here he said you're doing a good job.

New ones just in:
I'm getting a dvd that looks like this (with hands held up in the shape of a circle).
You should see the bruise on my butt! (reply: you should check out mine!).

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

And it all begins with one step

So if you're reading this that means you probably know me personally and know that I have been a Christian for a long time. For as long as I can remember actually (I can even remember making sure I was a Christian by asking God into my heart as a young child at least once a night just to be sure). Well I just have to share how amazing it is when God is teaching me something new and I suddenly realize it. Lately, I have been in a terrible funk. Stuck in fact! I couldn't get past certain thoughts and ideas about who I was and who I was expected to be by everyone but God himself. Do you ever get bogged down by other peoples expectations (or the worlds expectations)?

Well, I get together with friends to study the Bible once a week and we just finished the Pentateuch (Genesis - Deuteronomy). We were trying to figure out what to read next and I didn't know really what I would be interested in reading but someone suggested 1 & 2 Peter and I am so glad that they did. I wasn't overly excited about it at first but I knew that I wanted to have a more fulfilling and interesting Bible study experience, so I 'decided' to be passionate about 1 & 2 Peter. I read through it and had some disjointed excitement over various things but as I began to take notes and look for the "big picture" of the book I began to be encouraged. I volunteered to help lead because one of the guys would be gone the next week and nobody else volunteered.

My Grandparents were gracious enough to let me borrow their commentary on 1 & 2 Peter (The Letter of James and Peter by William Barclay), and after reading it I feel like I am finally released from the weight that was holding me down. One verse in particular that I read jumped out at me, 1 Peter 1:13, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." When reading it first I thought that it meant we need to not only look to the future of our joy in Christ but prepare ourselves now and put our hope in the grace that Christ gave to us. In the commentary though there was a section that I couldn't get enough of and want to share:

"Here, then, Peter is telling his people that they must be ready for the most strenuous mental endeavor. They must never be content with an easy and superficial acceptance of the faith. They must think it out. It may be that they will have to discard some things. It may be that they will make mistakes. But that with which they are left will be theirs in such a way that nothing and nobody can ever take it away from them."

So many things in what I've been reading and hearing lately have prepared my heart for what I was reading there. I had just read prior to this "Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.... no the very word is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it." Deuteronomy 30:11-14. Not that I've ever been a very sinful person (sin is sin though), in fact most people think I'm almost a saint (if only they knew), but I do struggle with my thoughts and how they affect my relationships with others. This was another encouragement to be more right-related with others and closer to God. It's easy to be discouraged and feel like you can never understand but God is guiding us to understand Him better all of our lives, if we only open our eyes and ears to his word/guidance.

And further in the book of 1 Peter 2:1-3 it tells us to "rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." This may be a strange analogy to you or not (probably not considering how musical all of my family is, except for me), but I've been attempting to learn the guitar lately. I started a few months ago and got discouraged because I didn't understand it and my fingers didn't want to do what I wanted them to do. Well I tried again the other night and all I can say that it was like learning to walk again. Trying to get my fingers accustomed to the movement and not push down on certain strings but do on others was extremely difficult. But, I knew that if I continued to practice and aquaint myself with the movements then before long they would become second nature to me. This verse speaks to me in that way. We are to be like newborn babies, who don't know how to do much of anything and need to learn how to do everything. It's not easy to learn how to walk or talk or play guitar. In fact it can be painful to use muscles in a way you've never used them before, but the more that you do it the easier it becomes.

I've known areas of my Christian walk where I've been lacking and have been unsure of where start improving upon them. Now I'm excited and encouraged to do it one step at time. Cliche as that may sound it's been a huge encouragement to me lately and hopefully has encouraged you in some way as well.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I have been taking all sorts of trainings for work and learning how to be a better teacher and I have to say that it is exhilerating. You get so filled with new ideas and better understandings of how to help your children learn that it can be almost overhwleming. Today I spent eight hours with my lovely co-workers and a woman named Sue. She is so passionate about teaching and her passion just sort of spills over onto others. Just watching and listening to her made me wonder what I am passionate about. People like her inspire me so much and make me want to be a person who is contagious in the best possible way (I've had enough of the other kind of contagious going on at work lately).

What inspires you?

I am always looking for new ideas to work with my kids and I have to share this site that I absolutely loved, Imagine Childhood (found via The Crafty Crow and Soulemama). My favorite part of this blog are the amazing books to choose from. I am probably addicted to books. Yup, I'm definitely a life. If anyone tried to get me unhooked I'd probably kill myself but I don't think that will be a problem (can't believe I just went there on here, btw total joke in case you're sarcasm radar is broke).

So if you have any favorite books from when you were a kid I would love to hear what they are.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My kiddos singing

my kiddos singing
Originally uploaded by noel_harmony
Here's another video from Christmas of my Pre-k students singing a beloved Christmas song to the people at our local Nursing Home. Enjoy!

Better late than never

For the past few years my family has been asked to go to a small church in West Virginia and play Christmas music. I don't exaclty know the name of the church but we've always called it the church in the Woods. It is always a wonderful time of music and family and I just wanted to share a few videos of some of my families music. Make sure that you hit pause on the music at the bottom of this page if you want to listen to these videos.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


As a teacher of 3-4yr olds, I have to say that sometimes it's hard to find projects that are both good for the child's development as well as interesting. I am really thanksful to be able to just get on-line and find so many great ideas. A few of the websites that I frequent for children's activities (you have to take the good with the bad in all of them) are:

Check them out if you have kids and need something fun to do with them!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Am I Still Here?

I just read an article that put my mind to thinking (a lot). I love it when an article can do that and I just wanted to share it with whoever may be reading this (you). It's called Am I Still Here? by, Anthony Doerr. Give yourself some time to read it as it's somewhat long.