Happy Birthday Carrie.

I can't believe it's been 24 years since the birth of the baby in my family.   My baby girl, Carrie.  And I will let you know, she has lived up to being in baby of our family in every sense of the word.   We had a little party at our house to celebrate.  Her menu request was cheese tortellini with roasted red pepper sauce, cheese broccoli and dinner rolls.  She's not much for cake so this year she requested peanut butter pie.  This is the first birthday since she was 16 that she didn't request pumpkin pie.  That's what happens when your birthday usually falls on Thanksgiving weekend if not Thanksgiving day.  24 years ago today I went into labor cooking Thanksgiving dinner and I've been thankful for her ever since.

                                                  Happy Birthday Baby Girl

Carrie and her boyfriend, Joel. 
She had help opening most of her presents.
Happy 24th Birthday.   I hope your wish comes true.

Love,  Mom


Flashback Friday

Because I didn't have a blog when my family was young, I'll be doing a flashback friday to document past pictures and memories.  This my take up my fridays for quite a while.  Forever actually. :)

                                  So to kick it off, I'll post a picture of myself as a toddler.

Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving Holiday.   Now on to Christmas.  


Happy Thanksgiving

As I was preparing dishes for our large family gathering at my mom's house this afternoon it suddenly dawned on my that my fall decorations will be coming down tomorrow to make room for Christmas.  While I'm so excited to get started, I know I'm gonna miss my favorite colors.

 Cherish the time with your family today giving thanks to God who makes all things possible.

                         From my home to yours,  Happy Thanksgiving

I'm in love with my  5 dollar pumpkin that I got in Virginia.
It's still as fresh as ever.  I'm thinking about painting is red
and keeping it for Christmas.  What do you think?  :)


My family tree that Mike gave me for our anniversary.  No, the pictures aren't  of our family yet.
I still need 4 more frames.  On my to do list for next week.  He also made me 
the white candy dish stand you see above.  (maybe you've seen them on Pinterest)
  I love them!  Thanks babe.

Pure Maple syrup from Vermont.  We'll be using this today.  

   Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in 
                                       Christ Jesus for you.
                                                                    1 Thessalonians   5:18


Being thankful in all things

Thanksgiving is the day we honor God by giving thanks for his many blessings to America.  
Let's remember to be thankful in all things.  Don't grow complacent.  Be greatful
for your good fortune and bad.  Find gratitude in all things.   

One of our biggest blessings this year is Muri.  We sponsor her
through Children's Hope Chest at Trees of Glory  (TOG) day center in Ethiopia.

We've been her sponsor family since February of this year.  We are 
occasionally allowed to send small care packages to TOG when
a team from Children's Hope Chest goes over for a trip.

Our sweet Muri is so very thankful for the smallest of things.
A hair pretty, color pencils, a new shirt.
She knows that there is a family out there who cares enough
about her to see that she gets an education, health care and food.  She
knows God loves her and she is his precious princess. 
And She Is Thankful.

You grow very attached to a child that you pray for daily just as you
would for your own family.  We are the blessed ones and we
are so thankful for this sweet little girl.

If your interested in sponsoring a child, please click on the Trees of Glory  box on the right side
 of this blog to find out more information or  please email Karen Wistrom (the coordinator) at kjwistrom@yahoo.com and she will match you with a child!    There are currently 30 precious children of God in need of a sponsor family at Trees of Glory.  

I would love for family or friends to sponsor a child at Trees of Glory.
Maybe we could go to Ethiopia together on a future trip. I've got
                          my sights set on next year. Wouldn't that be amazing!

                                 It means the world to a child like Muri.

I'll leave you with this beautiful smile.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Have a very blessed holiday with your family.


What's in a name?

I've have several people ask me what my blog name means.  One of the most frequently asked is "While your waiting for what?".  I've never addressed it before because I really didn't know how to put into words how I felt about making the most of my life  until the time I'm called home.  I wanted to document the moments and thoughts that mean so much to me now.  I only wish I had this opportunity when I was much younger.  All those thoughts and moments forgotten.  I want to be purposeful in the way I live life now.  I want to have a servants heart to do what is in God's heart.   I recently got a comment from Yvonne from that beautiful Stone Gable blog.   She simply stated, "Your blog title reminds me to keep running the race before me looking forward to the prize.  And what a prize it will be."   I can't describe it any better than that.  Thanks Yvonne.

For those of you who don't know (and I can hardly imagine that) Yvonne has a blog
called Stone Gable.  It's all about Tablescapes, Home Decor, Recipes and Inspiration.
It is by far my favorite.

                  And just because it's hard to make a post without a picture.

Missing my Illinois grandbabies

Our Trip, Part 4

The fourth stop on our adventure was Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  
Definitely on my "bucket list" on places I wanted to see.

As soon as we arrived you could see the buggies in the roads along with
the cars.  I'd always heard that the Amish didn't like to have their pictures
taken so I was careful not to take their images up close.
I later learned near the end of my trip that most don't mind
at all as long as you don't get right up in their face or ask
them to take a picture with you.  While all of the curious tourist
are riding around looking, they actually live there and are going
about their busy lives with work.

They really grow their pumpkins hugh.

There were lots of opportunities for buggy tour rides.

This is a farmer going about the business of moving his crop.  The
locals are really patient in Lancaster and move slowly
when there is a buggy or wagon on the road which I was
very happy to see.  It seems the movies I've seen showing
the "english" being so mean to them just isnt true.  At
least in Lancaster.

This was one of my favorite antique shops of the entire trip.
Mike and I both got a few really good deals and the people
were so great.  They asked where we were from, made suggestions for
food locations and directed us to the best buggy ride business.

I loved this shopping location.  It's fairly new and hosts lots of shops in one
place.  It also happened to be where we began and ended our buggy ride.

A lot of the shops had Amish working in them.  There was a shop that had mustard, jellys, relishes, candies and baked goods that had an open view of the cannery.
The Amish ladies working in it were beautiful and very sweet.

This is the buggy we rode on.  It had been raining off and on (which happened
most of our trip) so this one offered protection in case of a down pour. 
Which did  happen a couple of times on our ride.
The young man who drove us was not a practicing Amish.  His father had
been Amish but decided to leave when he was 18 and live among the towns people.
Did you know that they get a year or two when there about 16 or 17 to
experience living they way the other teenagers and young adults do?
After that period of time they decide whether they want to live in the
Amish traditions or live in the "world".  I had heard of that but what
I didn't know is that if you decide not to live in the Amish ways, most Amish
families do not bannish them.  They come back for Sunday dinners with the family.
Our buggy driver told us he grew up visiting on the weekends.  His grandparents
had even bought his dad a car when he was 18, but he just had to park it
at the neighbors house.

There were lots of dairy farms in the area.

The first covered bridge of our trip.

After we finished our ride we decided to head to dinner to
the famous Stoltzfus Farm Restaurant.  We wanted to try
the food that was known in that area.

It was a beautiful converted farm.

           I'll admit when I saw the menu, I was a little taken aback.  Not what I would
             normally choose.  They served your food family style and they bring an
          enormous amout of food to your table in serving bowls.  But I decided to
               give most everything a try.   They had something called hamloaf
                 (basically meatloaf minus the beef and adding ground ham). 
                 It was incredibly good.  There fried chicken was some of the best I've
                  ever had.  There were also lots of farm vegetables.   We were
                        pleasantly surprised at how delicious the food was.  I'm so
                      glad we made an agreement to try the food that is famous for the
                area we were in.  I don't think we would of chosen this if we hadn't.

We had heard so much about shoofly pie in every store we were in
and neither of us had ever had it.  That's what they served for dessert.
It's wonderful.  Kind of (but not exactly) like pecan pie without the pecans.
The food is prepared by Amish women and I definitely think
if you ever visit there you have to make this a must do.

I just had to get a picture of this.  It was just the cutest restaurant decor
I've ever seen.  It just puts a smile on your face.

And I'll leave you with a cute lawn decoration that you'll see as you
leave the restaurant.

Things we learned on our visit to Lancaster.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are the best fall dessert I've ever tasted.
It's alot more commericalized that I thought it would be.
The Amish don't mind if you take pictures as long as your not directly in their face.
Amish quilts are beautiful and expensive.
There are lots of really great antique stores with reasonable prices.
Some Amish have solar power, even though they don't have electricity.
Amish farms are AWESOME.
The English and the Amish get along great where we were at.
I really like covered bridges.
I like shoofly pie.
They grow really big pumpkins.
Just because some Amish decide to leave that way of life, it doesn't have
to mean they are bannished.

Great memories were made here.

We realized about a week after we left Lancaster that Mike's favorite ball cap (Cherry Point Naval Hosptial) was missing.  We tried for days to retrace where we had been recently.  Because there had been so much rain and no sun he couldn't remember the last time he wore it.  One eveing (while we were in Maine) I was thinking about our trip and it suddenly dawned on me that the last time I saw it was on a chair at the Stoltzfus Restaurant in Lancaster the week before.  We called them and would you believe they had found it and decided to keep it in case someone came back for it.  It had been almost two weeks by the time we called them.  They were so sweet and put it in the mail to us.  Can you believe that?  Mike was so greatful.  He was at that Naval hosptial in the 80's and had found the hat in an antique shop in mint condition a few years ago.   We will always be so thankful for their kindness.


Our Trip, Part 3

Wow, it's been weeks since I made a post to document our trip.  My plan was to post two different cities a week.  Well you know what happens to best laid plans...... LIFE.  It may also have something to do with the fact that "Part 3, Gettysburg" has hundreds of pictures that I needed to go through, edit and pick a few to summarize our visit.  And since this was Mike's favorite stop, that is going to be a tall order and I've been putting it off.   We'll I decided to bite the bullet and get started.


            We really enjoyed our visit to Gettysburg.  Some of the nicest people
                                                you'd ever want to meet.             
             (It was raining off and on that day so the pictures are pretty overcast.)
                             ( I'm not particularly good at lighting with my camera)

Mike and his favorite President.

There are different ways to tour the National Cemetery.  You can take a bus tour, 
rent a CD and drive yourself  or hire a private tour guide.  I'd recommend you hire
the private guide.   You can hire him for 2 to 5 hours.  (I found our 2 hours to be plenty
 but I think Mike would of preferred the 5 hour tour.) The private guide was a wealth 
of knowledge and you have the advantage of asking whatever you want.  
Note that when you hire the private tour guide, he will actually drive your car so you would 
need to be comfortable with that.  The advantage is that you can stop where you want 
and your not tied to the tour bus' schedule.  The cost is approximately the same as two tickets 
on the bus tour ($ 55.00).  

The tour guide above is standing directly on the spot where President Lincoln 
gave the Gettysburg address.  I was surprised there wasn't a more formal marking.

The unmarked graves were categorized in regiments.  It was very solemn to see just 
how many unmarked graves there were.

Actual ammunition from the Civil War.

The Town

The towns shops were so quaint and the people were very friendly.

We asked locals were a great place to eat was and most all directed us to Tommy's Pizza.
And they didn't disappoint.  It was delicious.  If you ever make a trip there, you have to stop by.

The Battlefield

There are over 6000 monuments at Gettysburg.

The Virginia Monument
The Florida Monument

Did you know there was an
American Indian regiment?

The Pennsylvania Monument

The Dobbin House

                    We also ate at the historic Dobbin House which opened in 1776.
                                    (We actually ate downstairs in the Tavern)

Yummy crab cake sandwich and their famous potato salad.
(Were not sure why the potato salad is famous but several places in
Pennsylvania and Vermont touted "famous potato salad")

The walls are original from 1776.

                           The Tavern dining room was lit only by candlelight.

Downtown Gettysburg

Mike was lucky enough to have a political discussion with President Lincoln and a fellow tourist.


                The gourds were beautiful.  This is the first city where we started
                seeing the gourds.   A theme that will be repeated throughout
                the rest of our travels.  I LOVE THEM! I kept taking pictures of
                them and telling Mike to take note.  Hoping he can duplicate some
                of them for me next fall.

Gettysburg was a great city to visit.  It's a small town that gives great tribute to the historic battle that took place here.  They have taken great measure to honor all who gave their lives.  It is done  in a very respectful way.    Not as commercial as you might think.  Everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful.  It's a perfect vacation destination, especially if you have history buffs in your family or homeschool.