Sunday, August 30, 2009


Last Sunday we had the opportunity to spend time at the Sacred Grove in Palmyra New York. Sometimes when we've been there, the place has been very busy with many visitors walking the paths through the grove of trees. But this past visit was quite different. We saw one car in the parking lot, but in the grove we were all alone.

We walked together along the path through the trees, deep into the grove, and found a lovely spot with two benches where we could sit quietly for a time. The sunlight filtered from above; an occasional bird could be heard, and a squirrel flitted back and forth near a log on the forest floor. Over all was a sense of peace, a quiet, a feeling of fulfillment and distant memory of an event that had occurred 189 years ago in that spot. I felt such joy in the knowledge that here, God had appeared.

I'm so glad we had that quiet time in one of the sacred places of the earth. My testimony of Joseph Smith the boy Prophet was strengthened; I know he was and is a prophet of God, who restored the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Sunday school today I had the chance to bear my testimony of Joseph, as we studied the martyrdom and the contributions of the man who gave even his very life as a witness for what he knew to be true. I pray that I may be as strong and faithful in my own testimony as he was in his.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Richard and I went walking on the York Heritage Rail Trail Saturday morning. Well, Richard went running and I went walking, and we met back at the car to come home. That's how it usually is; I don't run, and he won't walk! But we both get our exercise in.
I really enjoyed the smell of the fresh morning air, and the sunlight filtering through the trees. It's the first day I've been on the trail for awhile. But one thing that really stood out to me were all the friendly greetings as walkers, runners and cyclists passed me up or came from the other direction on the trail. Everyone was smiling; everyone was happy. Why? Maybe it was all the endorphins from the exercise, or maybe it was just being outside on a nice day. Maybe it was just being a friendly Pennsylvanian, or all of the above. Whatever it was, I'm heading back to the trail on Monday for another dose of the same.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Gideon and Richard traveled to SLO this week to visit Grandma. There is something very therapeutic in 'going home'. I wish I could have gone with them. I love that feeling of seeing the San Luis Obispo next 8 exits sign, coming off the freeway, and driving down familiar streets. Even the smell in the air is familiar, and the landmarks take me back in time to being a little girl and then a teen and young mom there.

Even though I'm not there myself this week, Gideon has kept me well informed about what they are doing, including:
Swimming in Grandma's Pool
Having lunch at A & W Rootbeer, which he thinks would do well in our town in PA
Going to the Morro Bay State Park museum
Playing on the beach
Visiting Atascadero Lake
Having a night swim with family
Playing Clue, an old summer favorite
Going to Madonna Inn for Black Forest Cake

My favorite summer memories of growing up in SLO include:
Climbing the hill across from our house and carrying a picnic lunch to eat while looking out over the city
Endless hours of swimming and more swimming in our pool
Weenie roasts at Cayucos with a big driftwood bonfire
Poking sea anenomes in the tide pools there, and looking for sand dollars and angel-wing or abalone shells
Visiting the library and reading many wonderful novels for the first time
Taking a picnic lunch down to San Luis Creek and playing in the water
Walking on Avila Pier and watching the fishermen
Going to Montana De Oro beach and Hazard Canyon, and running down the sand to the bottom
Eating at Ed's Takeout and Arctic Circle restaurant
Going to summer movies once a week at Fremont Theatre
Riding bikes wherever we wanted to go, with little parent supervision
And generally just having a wonderful childhood in a wonderful place

Thank you, San Luis Obispo!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Gideon went to Scout Camp in June and came back with a deer tick as a little extra on his leg. We removed it and watched the site to see if any kind of rash developed. Over the next several weeks, we saw nothing at all, kind of forgot about it, except for the fact that Gideon complained of joint pain off and on all of July. That's unusual for him, but he's in a big growth spurt right now so we chalked it up to that.
Fast forward to this past Wednesday, when Gideon came into the office after his shower to show me his other leg, which had a big 5 inch circular rash ring! And another one on his right ankle. Neither of them were at the site of the tick bite, but I made a dr appt right away and took him in.
Yep, he has Lyme Disease. The dr said it wouldn't have been from the Scout Camp tick bite as that was too far back to have left these particular rash circles, so we guessed he got bit again when he was at a campfire program at his scoutmaster's house a couple of weeks ago. But the internet and a different dr said no, the rings can appear up to 30 days after the bite took place. Now the joint pain is explained, and also the throwing up/flu symptoms he had one day a couple of weeks back.
Gideon will be fine; he is on antibiotics for 30 days and that's that. Luckily we caught it early! Only about 1/2 - 2/3 of Lyme Disease sufferers get the ring rash symptom, so for the rest, diagnosis can be harder from what I've heard.
So it pays to know the symptoms and signs of Lyme Disease, especially if you live in Pennsylvania.
For those who don't know, here is a list of some of them:
Joint Pain
Red Circular Rash

And for a fuller list (and to read more about Lyme Disease), CLICK HERE to visit the CDC's info page.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I've always tried to make Sunday dinner easy at our house. With busy church schedules and a desire to eliminate as much kitchen work and mess as possible, I've found a few tried and true ideas that I tend to go back to often. So if you're looking for a quick and eay Sunday supper, try one of these:

Stouffer's frozen Vegetable Lasagna, green salad, Rhode's rolls.

OUR FAMILY'S FAVORITE PASTA SALAD with a loaf of sliced Italian bread and butter. I make the pasta salad up on Saturday.

CROCK POT TACOS - just cook up the taco meat, add seasoning mix and water, and put in the crock pot on low. It will be well seasoned, hot and tasty when you come in from church. Chop / grate the toppings on Saturday so it's ready to serve.

PERDUE OVEN READY ROASTER with Potato Pearls, pan gravy, frozen nuke-in-bag baby peas. - This is a new addition to my Sunday-dinner repertoire. I bought one last week to see what it was like, and we all loved how it tasted! Best of all, it was a snap to cook and clean up, and there was enough meat for two dinners (we had chicken quesadillas the following night.)
Here is what it looks like (before and after) -

TUNA SALAD SANDWICHES AND TOMATO SOUP. Make up the tuna salad on Sat and simply heat up some soup to go with it. It never hurts to have a pan of brownies for dessert. :-)

CROCK POT PULLED PORK SANDWICHES I use McCormick pulled pork seasoning mix, a 3 lb. pork loin and a crock pot, to make delicious pulled pork sandwiches for Sunday dinner. Serve with deli cole slaw and potato chips, or make a macaroni salad on Sat. evening so you have it ready for a quick after-church dinner. All you have to do is pull the pork - the rest is ready to go.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Watching LOST

My son Jonathan has suddenly discovered LOST. So we are watching it together on my laptop, to catch up on five seasons. He is fascinated with all the plots and sub-plots and the characters work to stay alive on THE ISLAND, and try to find a way to get back home. Maybe it's the plane at the beginning; Jonathan really loves airplanes. Or all the running through the jungle scenes. Whatever it is, he's into it and I'm enjoying seeing it for a second time. :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cooking With Kids

Okay, so today I made a squidoo lens about cooking with kids. I've sure done a lot of that over the years. Luckily for me, my guys like to cook. Well, most of them do. Adam is a great baker. He makes fantastic breads and desserts. When they were little, I tried to let them 'help' me in the kitchen whenever I could. Maybe that sparked an interest, or maybe hunger led them to learn how to cook so they would have something tasty to eat. Either way, it's nice to know they can fend for themselves now, although they do seem to enjoy a home-cooked meal when they come to visit. And I've had some awesome Mother's Day breakfasts over the years, cooked mostly by the kids!
Here is my new squidoo lens:Kids Love To Cook

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Love Mondays

Most people would think I'm crazy, but I absolutely love Mondays. After a break on Sunday, I'm always ready to get back to work and Monday is usually my most productive day of the week. I get up early and feel the creative juices flowing. There is definitely something to be said for resting from one's labors.
Yesterday was our oldest son Adam's birthday. Hard to believe he is 28 yrs. old now. Where has all the time gone? I feel bad about not being there for his birthday party, but at least Annette and Jared & family and Aunt Suzanne & family were able to help him celebrate. Being 2,000 miles away is tough sometimes...
Here is a photo of Adam from right around his 1st birthday:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Welcome To My Blog

Welcome! I've been writing business blogs for a couple of years, but never ventured into having my own personal blog before. Not sure why... but I'm going to give it a try now and see how it goes.
In this blog you can keep up with the happenings of the PA branch of our family! Although dwindling in number, we're still holding down the fort and are always here for any family members that decide to make a trip East.
It's been a busy summer so far. Scout camp, high school graduation, a trip to Williamsburg, and lots of visitors. One nice thing has been having Nathan home while he worked on his internship with the Township office.
Last week, this article was published in the Church News abt our son Jonathan:
Autistic twin is service missionary
So that was very cool for him to be featured like that.
Here is a photo from Annette's graduation: