Pennsylvania, Part 2

I’m finally getting around to sorting photos from the rest of our trip to Pennsylvania over Thanksgiving.  Better late than never!  The first part of our trip is here.  

After our brief stop in Gettysburg, we arrived to Ken and Kathleen’s house late in the afternoon.  So nice to finally be there.  

The next day Ken started our sight-seeing tour.  We covered quite a bit in one day!  

Our first stop was one of many covered bridges in the area.  I love the nostalgia they convey.  So beautiful.  

Next we drove to a nearby town and enjoyed a short walk downtown…

…on our way to tour the oldest hard pretzel bakery in the country – we all became official pretzel twisters!  

Our next stop was to purchase some Wilbur chocolate.  So delicious.

Seeing all of the Amish farms was one of my favorite parts about Lancaster County.  I loved seeing all of the laundry out on the line to dry.  It became kind of a joke – every time Ken spotted laundry on the line, he’d slow down so I could take a look.  I can’t quite put into words why I loved it.  Laundry on the line reminds me of a simpler time, of a slower pace of life.  And that appeals to me greatly.  And of course, we enjoyed seeing all of the horses and buggies on the road.  

We ate lunch at The Red Caboose and then headed to the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum for the afternoon.  We spent a chunk of time there and so enjoyed it!  

I love these next pictures showing the conversation between Kenny and James. Their minds think alike and they are discussing the mechanics of this massive engine.

Patiently waiting for their train.

That evening the kids helped Oma make dinner – Tortellini Lasagna.  Yum!   

We enjoyed the evening of being together and relaxing.  The kids were excited that Uncle Michael had arrived too.  

The following day was Thanksgiving and we so enjoyed the day together.  Kathleen, Kristine, & Sarah prepared such a delicious feast. 

The next morning we visited a local creamery for some delicious ice cream.  The albino deer on the property were beautiful.  Then we headed back to the house to pack up and make our way to the airport. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Pennsylvania and were so grateful to Ken and Kathleen for their hospitality.  It was wonderful to see so much family and we’re thankful for the new memories we’ve made.  

A Fresh Start

I’m so happy to be back in this space writing again!  It’s been a rough season but I’m thankful to be on this side of it.  

Mid-December I caught a cold, rested a few days, jumped back into life with Christmas parties at school and either caught another bug or just wasn’t ready to be up and around yet.  After resting for days and weeks, my energy just wasn’t coming back.  I was exhausted.  Christmas came and went, a new year and decade arrived, and I was still laying around.  Kenny and I were to travel to Florida on January 3rd for the all-staff Young Life conference.  I prayed the Lord would make me well if He wanted me to go.  On January 1st my parents arrived to stay with the kids, on the 2nd I felt pretty well, so decided to pack.  That afternoon on the way to the chiropractor Kenny and I were in a car accident, hit by a sweet, older lady just a few blocks from the chiropractor’s office.  It became clear the enemy was trying to keep us from going, while we felt the Lord telling us to go.  We left on the 3rd and unfortunately my medication I take to fly didn’t cut it; I was pretty sick on the way to Florida and spent most of the week in our hotel room, very light headed.  We flew home on the 10th, I was sick again on those flights, and spent a good week or more recovering again.  Finally, after a month, the last two weeks of January I finally felt like myself.  Praise God!  

I’ve spent many, many weeks processing, praying, journaling, and talking to God about it all.  He’s shown me many blessings – He was with me even when I felt far from Him.  He carried me when I had nothing left in me to go any further.  And He’s shown me my sin: my refusal to slow down (several times) in November and early December when I distinctly remember the Holy Spirit telling me to slow.  The holidays created an extra amount of work, I was still working regularly for the church, and I really didn’t take any time to rest after our trip to PA over Thanksgiving.  A recipe for disaster.  

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies!

While I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way before, I’m really praying about making significant changes this time. 

*I’ve finished my work at the church which actually was a huge relief.  I SO enjoyed the work, but it was too much.  I’ve spent some time processing through all of that and feel good about moving forward.  
*I’m listening to the Holy Spirit and my body – when I need to rest, I rest.  No guilt. 
*Following a trip of any kind I need to schedule days to rest with no commitments.  This is a MUST!  When we returned from PA I felt great so I continued on at my fast pace which wasn’t wise.  
*Kenny has convinced me to set an alarm when I lay down in the afternoons so I’m not constantly checking the time and consequently not getting real rest.  Thank you, honey.  
*Work ahead more.  I’m already thinking through Christmas preparations.  I know it sounds crazy, but I’m going to start buying gifts now and be finished hopefully this summer.  For some of our out of town family we order on Amazon and ship directly to them; that will probably have to wait until December, but I can have my list of items ready ahead of time.  I plan to get our cards finished early again this year and make bread and cookie dough early and store in the freezer.  
*And finally, we’re going to start pursuing Drs again to see if there’s anything new out there regarding my condition.  It’s been years and years since we received a diagnosis; there is bound to be new research and methods to try.  

All that to say – February is a fresh start – with my health, with my keeping a close ear to the Holy Spirit and His leading me, with the new year and decade.  I’m looking forward to this new year and all the Lord will do.