Tag Archives: Family

On this fourth day of November…

I’d like to say I’m thankful for this guy –
He married my sister almost 50 years ago, and today is his birthday! He’s been a teacher and a pastor, has parented five children and is now Pap-Pap to 19 (!) grandchildren. I’m so thankful for his rock solid faith, his strong love for my sister and his family, and his devotion to Penn State football. (OK, the Penn State obsession is not quite so important, but it certainly is part of Who He Is!). And I’m also thankful that his birthday is in November, since I’m trying to do a thankful post every day and this was an easy one to do!
Happy Birthday, Fitz!

Signing In

It’s been a tradition here at the cabin to sign your name on the bunk you slept in.  When we were kids we signed with crayons.

We even made sure our friends signed when they joined us on vacation.

(I wonder whatever happened to Donna Baker?)
When the bunk beds were redesigned into a double bed and a single bed, we made sure to keep all of those memory boards and incorporated them either into the new beds or as part of the shelving.

Over the years, with the advent of the Sharpie pen, the ‘signings’ have become a bit bolder, but still mostly contained in the sleeping area or up in the loft.

A sharp eye can even spot some original artwork.

Because this is a family cabin and we share it with our entire family and their friends, we don’t always know the folks who have left their John Hancock behind. But it’s still fun to see what clever and creative ‘signings’ folks leave behind. Since our son and family (5 of our 10 granchildren) were up here just before us, we were clued in that our oldest granddaughter (Ellie, age 15) had left a special signing this year. It took us a couple of minutes to find it, but when we did, we were delighted! There, tucked on the side of the ladder to the loft was an Ellie Original.

We have an official Cabin “Sign-in Book”, but for the under 20 gang, signing the cabin itself still seems to have the most appeal.

And I’m kinda glad about that!

Family Weekend Fun

Wedding. Family. Heritage.

Sometimes everything just comes together is a super-special way, and you’re left with more precious memories than you’d ever imagined!

Our youngest niece, Sydney, got married on Saturday to the love of her life, Nate. The wedding was at a beautiful barn in central Vermont – the Cyr Barn.
It was one of those (typical) Vermont summer days where if you looked in one direction it looked like a beautiful day.
Check out the blue sky!
But as the wedding progressed, the clouds over the mountain took on a bit more threatening look.
The weather did not squelch any of the joy of the day however!
The reception was in the barn, which was whimsically decorated with white lights and white tulle.
We loved being able to share in the joy of the day, and we LOVED being able to spend the day with my siblings and their spouses.
We clean up pretty nicely, don’t we??

So we spent Saturday at that lovely wedding, not only being able to celebrate with Syd and Nate, but also enjoying sweet visits with the sibs. Such a precious day. But then on Sunday, with no advance planning whatsoever, we were able to connect with our Canadian family who ‘just happened’ to be in Vermont over the weekend. What a delight!!
Dewey and Sharon couldn’t join us since they were in post-wedding recovery mode, but it was so grand to see these folks. We even gave it a Senior Citizen attempt at a 10 person selfie.
Where’s that selfie stick when you need it!!

Usually, if we are in Vermont we are staying at the cabin. This time, though, the cabin was being used for the rehearsal dinner and housing for the groomsmen, so we opted to stay at another piece of our family history – the Dwinell Homestead.
This home was built by my great-grandfather and his brother, and 5 generations later it’s still in the family. It wasn’t being used this weekend, so we made arrangements to stay there. It’s only used in the summer, and in many ways has remained just as it was at the turn of the century. (Think lots and lots of extension cords!) We poked around in the genealogy books, checked out the vast array of old pictures, and tried to conjure up just who might have sat in what chair last century.
Super special to stay there!

Wedding, Family, Heritage. What a beautiful weekend!
If you’d like to see a few additional pictures of our glorious weekend, you can check them out HERE!

The Sisters’ Cruise

The emails have been reviewed.
The SOWER newsletter is ready to go.
The banking and the credit cards have all been reconciled.
The pictures have been sorted.
I even put in a full SOWER work week.
Finally – a quiet afternoon (well, except for the shouting on the TV from the World Cup Finals) to write about The Sisters’ Cruise.
Oh. My.
2018 Cruise - Day 6 - Halifax-09
To say that this long anticipated Sisters’ Cruise lived up to our expectations would have to be an understatement. Our days started with coffee and Colossians (often on our sweet balcony)
2018 Cruise - Day 3 - Portland-2
and often ended with more balcony time and beautiful sunsets.
2018 Cruise - Day 3 - Portland-6
Or maybe a full moon, shimmering on the calm sea.
2018 Cruise - Day 2 - at sea-11
And in between? A bit of pool sitting,
2018 Cruise - Day 3 - Portland-3
a bit of game playing,
2018 Cruise - Day One - NY-15
a bit of eating (ok, maybe more than a bit of that!),
2018 Cruise - Day 2 - at sea-08
a bit of napping,
2018 Cruise - Day 2 - at sea-04
a bit of reading
2018 Cruise - Day 2 - at sea-07
and a bit of being entertained.
2018 Cruise - Day One - NY-14
(loved our seats!)
2018 Cruise - Day 3 - Portland-5
(In all honesty, we didn’t love ALL the entertainment, but we did love that we had the option to be entertained each night!)
The ship docked at four different ports – Portland (ME), Bar Harbor (ME), St. John (NB) and Halifax (NS). We opted to stay on the ship for the two Maine stops, and thoroughly enjoyed the quiet ship on those days.
Our view of Portland –
2018 Cruise - Day 3 - Portland-4
Our view of Bar Harbor –
2018 Cruise - Day 4 - Bar Harb-4
We did enjoy bus excursions in both St. John and Halifax –
2018 Cruise - Day 5 - St John-09
The Sea Caves at St. Martins (Bay of Fundy)
2018 Cruise - Day 6 - Halifax-25
Peggy’s Cove, near Halifax, Nova Scotia
We relished each and every day – whether we were busy learning about the Bay of Fundy or the great Halifax Explosion of 1917 or just sitting on the deck watching the world go by.
2018 Cruise - Day One - NY-06

Each day we thanked God for His faithfulness to us, His kindness to us in allowing us to have this oh-so-special time together, and the wonderful gift of our sisterhood (both in Him and by blood). To Him be all the praise and glory!!

Thanks for being patient with the long gaps between posts.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this little glimpse of our Sisters’ Cruise 2018 and if you’d like to see some additional pictures (more or less in order!) you can check them out HERE!

Our SOWER Family

There are lots of reasons to be part of the SOWER Ministry. We get to travel the country, make lots of new friends, and see God at work at the ministries where we serve.  But one of the absolute BEST reasons to be part of this ministry is the SOWER Family you instantly gain when you join.  When I say SOWER Family, I really mean SOWER Praying family.
This week I sent out a prayer request for my sister Elna’s immunotherapy treatments that began yesterday.

Dear SOWER family –
Thank you so much for your prayers for my sister, Elna, who underwent extensive abdominal surgery for renal cancer tumors on her pancreas in January. She has recovered nicely from the surgery (thank you, LORD!) and is doing well. However, recent CT scans have revealed several nodes on her lungs. These cannot be dealt with surgically and she will begin a course of immunotherapy (Opdivo) on Tuesday (5/8). This new development has not caught our God by surprise, and although we are sobered by this turn of events, we are still resting in HIS faithfulness.
We covet your prayers for her that she would experience minimal side effects, that the therapy is successful, and for healing. Thank you for lifting this dear sister in Christ before His throne.
In Him,
Stephanie Conrad #2509

Here are just some of the responses that so lifted my heart, even as they lifted her up in prayer

  • Sending prayers to the great healer for your dear sister.
  • We will continue to praise God and rely on his care for your sister
  • So so sorry😒. But our God is an amazing, awesome God!!  We are praying
  • Thank you for the update.  We will be praying for Elna, that the immunotherapy will have great affect on the nodes, and side effects will be minimal.
  • “Jesus, please meet this request.  Thank You for Your Grace. Amen.”
  • Sorry to hear this about Elna—every cancer survivor dreads this news! Where does she live and does she have access to a support group? As a cancer survivor, I’m willing to listen if she needs someone to talk to.
  • Lifting you and your entire family and trusting in the security of the loving arms of our Almighty God.
  • Yes!  God is Faithful, Willing, and Able!  We pray that His merciful healing hand will be on your sister, and that all those who are near and dear to her will be comforted by His Presence !

I thank God for those beautiful responses to my request, along with the hundreds other prayers that were uttered without the need to hit the ‘reply’ button. (My usual response.)

Today the report from Elna is good! Yesterday’s infusion went simply and without any drama, and so far she is feeling great.  Of course, it’s one-day-at-a-time with these things, but that’s how prayer works too! I’m so thankful for my SOWER family (and others of you, of course) who are walking alongside Elna and our family as she begins this journey.

To God be All the Glory!

PS – the image at the top of the post was taken as SOWERS surrounded (literally!) with prayer the RV of a SOWER who had just been taken to the hospital.  Photo creds to Larry Shoup.