Friday, July 10, 2015

Popcorn

Random life events in our family.


We spent Father's Day weekend down in North Carolina with Ed's sister, Jean. It has been four years since the tragic accident that took Jason. It was hard to remember the past, but always a joy to spend time with them.

On Friday, my girls and I were able to tag along with Jean and her girls as they took their baked goods to a farmer's market. It was fun to meet their regular customers and the other vendors. Within a short time, their table was nearly bare.


On Saturday we visited ocean at Sandbridge, VA. We all had a marvelous day. Our two youngest girls couldn't remember the beach.


The grin says it all. Love at first sight.

We did freak ourselves out every time we saw something dark in the water. This was right in the middle of the shark attacks in North Carolina.


The wild black raspberries in our pasture have produced better than usual - probably because of all the rain. My second son was my side-kick as we pushed through the briers in search of the juicy treasures. I guess I revert to my childhood to think the scratches and poison ivy are worth it.


We brought a bird guide out to the pasture with us when we discovered two small nests with bright blue eggs. We decided that they are catbirds. I don't remember every seeing these drab slate-gray birds before but this year they are frequently in our garden. I enjoy hearing their cheery song and watch them nab insects. Both nests now have baby birds.


On Fourth of July weekend we camped at a State Park in northern Pennsylvania. We spent Friday splashing in the creek, biking,


splitting wood for the campfire,


chilling with our dolls,


listening to Dad's latest read-aloud,


and throwing a line in the water.


Dad was kept busy baiting hooks and untangling lines. We didn't see any fish, not even a tiny nibble but we did see a mother Merganser duck with four ducklings and two bald eagles. And just down from our campsite we watched the park rangers capture a timber rattlesnake. While I hope to never see a rattlesnake in the wild again, I did think it was a good opportunity for the children to see and hear the rattle of one of Pennsylvania's few poisonous reptiles.

It was a good thing we packed in so much fun on Friday. Because Friday night it started to rain. And rain. And rain.

For the first time in many years we were attempting to camp in a tent. I feared we would be up all night with the littlest one. But she slept safe and dry in her crib set up in the bike trailer all night long. Ed and I were also dry in the trailer, but I didn't sleep with the pounding rain on the roof and worry about the children in the tents. The tents were set up at the bottom of a hill and slowly the rain flooded the tents and the children were forced to finish the night in the van.

At daylight it was still raining. Our plan was to spend the day biking the Pine Creek Rail Trail, but we gave up. Ed stomped through several inches of water and started throwing soggy sleeping bags, dripping bikes, and muddy tents into the bike trailer. By 8:00 we were headed down the road toward home.



I'm trying to look at these photos and say that even one day was worth the planning, packing, and clean up work once we got home.

What's up at your house?

21 comments :

  1. Tim and I are going to visit a new church on Sunday. It's really not my first choice for a church but the family really wants to visit and possibly make it our permanent church.

    I'm a bit nervous as I will be the lone covered "Mennonite" and this church doesn't practice head covering.
    I don't want to appear as though I'm "holier than thou". But I realize I'm not responsible for other attitude and beliefs.

    Tomorrow is free small Slurpee Day at 7-11. We enjoy this almost as much as free frozen yogurt day :)

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    1. For whatever it's worth, go with whatever makes you comfortable. The older Italian ladies over here tend to wear head coverings to go to Mass and nobody looks twice. Mostly, as long as you don't look fussed, nobody else will be. Good luck!

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  2. Looks like you are having a very enjoyable summer..so far. We sure have had a wet one,though! Since I am familiar with Pine creek,I am thinking you were near the PA grand canyon. I am about an hour away from there and have been there many times. It is beautiful always,but I love it in the fall when the leaves change.Oh by the way,did your garden weeds wait for you to come home? They seem to do that don't they? Of course,I am teasing..thanks for the nice glimpse into your family's fun.

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    1. You live in a lovely area. Last summer we biked in the PA Grand Canyon area. This time we wanted to try the southern end of the trail. We'll be back to try again sometime!
      Gina

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  3. I enjoy your blog so much. Everyday I'm looking for a new post. Making memories with the family is a great thing. God's blessings

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  4. What special photo's to remember your trip away & to catch up with family.
    We have eight children here in England, the oldest 25 this year so I know to well about all the packing & cleaning to get away camping for a few days.
    Enjoy the rest of your Summer with your beautiful family.
    Hope you are keeping well.
    Fondly Michelle

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  5. Beautiful pictures! Enjoy reading your blog. Have a great day! Joan

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  6. As we say here in the South "Y'all are havin' so much fun" !! Wonderful pictures!!

    Here where I live we love to go tubing down the river. It's an all day event. We use ropes to tie all of our big river-tubes together and 'tail' a small boat that holds our picnic supplies

    We also live near Gulf Coast beaches. The clear blue waters are warm, and we occasionally see turtles or manta-ray's swimming along with us! .

    An encouraging word for Regina...the churches I've been to in various states over the years, have no mandate on head coverings, so some ladies practice head covering, and others do not, In my experience, the covered ladies always fit right in with everyone else. At my church here, there are a variety of kinds of head covering but most do not cover. Around here, head covering runs the gammet..we have ladies in church with very casual bandanas, to pretty scarves, and then in many of the African American churches nearby the ladies wear head coverings that have evolved into elaborate and magnificent hats known as 'crowns of glory!' I love to see them streaming out of church with their magnificent hats!!

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    1. I agree with Grandma Ruth, I don't think you have any reason to feel spotlighted...we have a mix at our church of covered and un-.

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  7. When I first read this, I was confused. I knew you had a bike trailer...I thought that meant what you put the child in and pull behind a bike. That is what we call ours...the "bike trailer". But then I realized you must be talking about the trailer in the photo...the one that you pull behind your vehicle...since I don't think anyone other than a small child would fit inside the other "bike trailer" to sleep! :) So, is that how you get your bikes around different places? We've been wondering what we would do when that time comes. However we'd need an option that would be cheap and store in a small space. Right now we fold down our bike trailer and the tag-a-long bike and they fit in the van. The other three bikes (2 adult, one child) go on a bike rack on the back of the van. But when our 2nd child needs her own bike we will have to figure out how to transport it all. Anyways, you inspire me to do more camping. We are going for the first time in 8 years, 2 weeks from now. For a week. :)

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    1. Sorry about the confusion! I didn't think about how we have two completely different items that we call a "bike trailer." We bought a small trailer to pull behind our van last summer. Before that, it was difficult for us to go bike riding because are family was do large to fit in our truck and our van could not fit our bikes. The trailer has been perfect for camping since there is plenty of space for all the "stuff."

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  8. If it helps, my kids still talk about the time we got rained out of the campsite and they practically drowned in their tent (to hear them tell it, they were truly in no danger), even though our trip got cut short they have silly awesome, memories - kid minds are amazing things!!

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  9. It's worth it :) we live an hr and a half from the Rockies, so we camp there quite a few times a summer for the weekend. Our campsites are little off the "road" sites with a fire ring of rocks and a stream. The children spend so much time in the stream. I told my husband on the way home this past weekend that I Love to clean up from camping, because I really can see I'm doing something! Then I put it away, and it stays there til we want to dig it out again :) I really enjoy your blogs!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for all of you who have shared encouragement!
      Gina

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  10. I think your kids will love looking back on their adventure with the tent and the rain. Give it a couple of retellings and they'll swear blind that they survived the Great Deluge!

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  11. Sandbridge is a great beach, much nicer than the boardwalk a bit further north.

    I also wanted to mention that the rattle snake is venomous, not poisonous. :)

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  12. oh my! yes!!! we also tented in that rain storm close to pine creek that same Friday night. and yes. it was awful!! we got three inches of rain that night. and the laundry, and the work... yikes!! but the kids had a lovely time and we totally packed a lot into Friday as well. great pictures! your oldest girl looks SO much like you. her smile!! it's totally yours. congrats on your baby on the way. just six week and five days left here (but who's counting) ha! this pregnancy has been hard and so full of unknowns. so ready to meet this little guy! hope you are feeling well. you certainly aren't slowing down at all, but that isn't always a matter of choice!:) blessings. loved reading your update!

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    1. Good to hear from you Bek! I love getting updates from you and your family. Glad you survived the storm with (maybe) some good memories intact. Can't wait to hear your news.
      Gina

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  13. Wonderful post. My parents use to take us camping all the time. I took my son and his cousins. Thank you for the memories

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  14. OOO fun! Just got back from vacation ourselves. Its wonderful being in the woods! If your family ever gets the chance they should check out the parks in NY Adirondacks. Beautiful up there, peaceful and quiet. Your photo of your husband sitting and reading is so special. Sitting in front of the camp fire...can do it for hours! :)

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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