Tag Archives | Family Life

Savoring the Last Bits of Summer

It has become a tradition for us. Once a summer we make the little drive to Pinnacle Point overlooking the great Susquehanna River.

Summer seemed to pass us by at alarming speeds this year, and before we knew it, two weeks ago we were looking at the end of another beautiful season, with travel plans for parts of September that wouldn’t allow us many more opportunities to spend a beautiful Sunday evening at the Point. So though I was feeling lazy after my Sunday afternoon nap, the good man of the house with more courage than I, packed up the burgers and children, while I added a few more good things to the collection. :)

We enjoyed our burgers, reading on the quilt, taking a little hike, marveling once again at the beauty of God’s handiwork, and reminiscing about previous trips to this spot and how quickly our children are changing and growing!



IMG_7204{this man: the spice and adventure in my life . . .
and a great griller of burgers too!}

IMG_7252{this boy: growing too quickly for me to keep up, and teaching me to treasure the time we have together.}

IMG_7243{this girl: teaching me to be gentle with my words and actions . . .
and to always take time for snuggles.}

IMG_7237{this girl: making me laugh every day and teaching me the joy of a free spirit.}
IMG_7320{Summer is coming to a close . . . and the hints of Autumn are in the air.
The surety of the seasons reminds me always of the faithfulness of our Lord.
He is so Good.}


A Little 4th of July Getaway.

It’s another day of blitzn’ heat out there. The children and I went swimming yesterday with a friend and her children . . . and it was nearly too hot for even that. Everything you set a bare foot on seemed to sear the skin, and the water in the pool was just barely refreshing! So today, except to step outdoors to give the tired flowers a drink and to drive a short distance to take cousins home, we’re staying in.

And oh, now that blessed naptime has rolled around, I get a moment of peace here doing a few necessary things on the computer and sipping my first non-THM frappe in over seven months. {Whew. What an admission!} My own iced coffees just haven’t been to my liking ever since ever with this pregnancy. Talk about a coffee snob if all that appeals is something from the local coffee shop, and Marie from Latte Luv makes them fabulously! But I most certainly digress . . . {or not :)}



The weekend of July 4th often finds us relaxing and celebrating at our cabin several counties farther north ~ in the mountains and rollings hills, wide open spaces and miles of forested wilderness. It always feels like one could reach up and touch the clouds, and the blue skies remind me much of the clear blue skies where I used to live. City friends think we live in the country here, but when we go to Potter County, we really know we’re in the country: God’s Country, as the local folks describe it.

I’ve always thought it was pretty, but the more I go, and the more sights I see, the more in awe I am of that beautiful countryside every year. I certainly have more of an appreciation for why my man is drawn to it and loves to go there every chance he gets. And now that we’ve been making memories together there for seven years, the ties just get stronger!


We spend many relaxing hours at the cabin reading, watching movies, riding 4-wheeler, enjoying campfires, and playing pitch & catch or frisbee. The 4-wheeler was a new thing for us this year (thanks to my bil allowing us to use his) and we all loved it! Phil took me out one afternoon, riding old hunting trails and pipeline paths . . . and I picked out a particular spot to build our next house. šŸ˜‰ As I said before, the countryside and the views are breathtaking!



img_6783Ā {Taking dolls wherever we go is a new, important thing in the life of these daughters.
If we leave a doll behind, it’s almost as tragic as leaving an actual family member behind!!}


This year Phil fulfilled the wishes of his wife and made the extra effort to take us tenting for one night as well. The temperatures were absolutely perfect for it and I could hardly wait to get out there. So after our afternoon of swimming at the lake (along with 1239 other souls because apparently this is the only accessible lake for miles . . . ), oh and the tradition of buying the very inexpensive cones at the snack shop, we headed back to the cabin to get our tenting gear and then headed back to the lovely campground at Cherry Springs.










We set up camp and watched the sun sink into the west. When it was nearly dark, we and others campers headed to the designated area set aside for star-gazing. Several telescopes and learned star-gazers were there to teach us about the sky and help us spot Saturn through the telescope, as well as to point out other constellations and individual stars. Cherry Springs is one of the five “dark sky” areas in the lower 48 states, which means that it is one of the darkest, and therefore, BEST places to star gaze!




The next morning we enjoyed breakfast at a local diner. I know! What cheaters when it comes to camping! It’s not that I didn’t want to cook out there after a good night in the tent. I really, really did. Especially when I started smelling the bacon sizzling at other campsites. :) But somehow when we were planning this little venture, we hadn’t really brought breakfast “campfire food” . . . Phil was kinda glad, but I’ll be sure to pack those things for next time. šŸ˜‰

However, I can’t really say that a diner breakfast Ā is too disappointing either. Omelets, bacon, home fries, toast, and coffee in large quantities and without lifting a finger. That’s pretty hard to beat!




We spent an eventful evening in Galeton watching the annual fireworks show with friends and keeping dry under our huge quilt while it poured for about 5 minutes just before the show. And then too, there was our event-full drive home when lug nuts on a wheel broke, causing us to spend an extra night in Wellsboro. But such “problems” definitely cause a little extra excitement and certainly make memories along the journey of life. :)

We are ever grateful for this land and the freedoms we still enjoy here. The freedom to worship and work and travel and enjoy so many lovely wonders of God’s creation. I’m so thankful for my family and the sweet times we’ve been able to break away from “normal life” and enjoy each other in new and different settings. Precious times indeed!

A Daughter Who Turned Two.

{A Bit of Reflection on a Birthday Past and the Daughter that We Celebrate.}

img_5196{Phil bought the girls a “best friends” necklace.
Sophia has the “best” necklace . . . and Claudia the “friends”.}

How does time fly so? Where does it go?

I can so clearly remember the days and hoursĀ precedingĀ her birth.
And the sweet, but often chaotic months that followed.
Life at our house changed from a family of four to a family of five.
And what an adjustment it was for this mama going from two to three,
especially since the eldest was three
and the two youngest ones were just sixteen months apart!


My man hardly believes me when I say it,
and I don’t really expect him to understand~how could he??
but I often felt as though I was drowning in that first year of three!
It’s recent enough that I still remember the feeling.
The feeling of so many little peopleĀ dependentĀ on me . . .
and wondering where time for a shower or exercise,
or even just s.l.e.e.p. might come from,
let alone someone to cook and keep the house in order.
And cleaning? What’s that!?

(See this post for proof of the craziness!)

But somehow you pray and cry heavenward and press on,
and sigh with great relief when the father of the children
walks through that backdoor each evening.
Just having him around for a few minutes
helps bring calm and smiles to the faces of all!


Sophia NoelleĀ has been pure delight to our family!
Her birth into our family was certainly a “wise gift”
{which is the combined meaning of her names}
from our Heavenly Father and Creator God!

She was three days overdue like her sister,
weighed less at birth than the previous babies,
and had skin and hair that was completely different from the other two!


I’m sure it was partially from relief at having made it to BirthCare
just minutes before she was born,
but also her completely different looks
just made me laugh when she was born!
I might have laughed a little too much,
because the nurse kept asking me if I was OK.
Some cry at the birth of a baby,
but with her, I laughed. :)


Today, she still continues to make us laugh!
We often watch her in ourĀ rear-viewĀ mirror
or raise eyebrows at each other over her latest antic.
Her determined attitude.
Desires expressed vehemently and clearly.
The straight straw-color hair and fair skin.
Her singing and keeping time to music.
Smiling at and greeting complete strangers wherever we go
which has brought many an amused smile to us
and to the shoppers at the stores we frequent.
And nothing, no nothing gets past her!

birthday collage
Her birthday comes in December,
but thankfully a bit before the really busy days of Christmas week.
I let the girls mix and decorate cupcakes this year.
And their eyes were all a-glow with the great responsibility.

I love to see them play and imagine together.
They are quite the pair!

How we love our two year old . . .
and hope for many more precious times with her in our lives!


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