Phew and Ahhhhh

Playing the Catch-Up Game when it’s been over two weeks since my last post is a little tricky, so I thought I’d just fill in this little ‘schedule’ that I put together with some pictures to go with each slot. Here goes –

Sometimes this nomadic life gets a little complicated!
4/22 – leave Lindale, TX
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4/22 (late) – Arrive in Franklin, TN, and spend time with our friends the Stoners
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4/24 (early) – Leave Franklin

4/24 (late) – arrive at Lizzie, who has been waiting patiently outside of Charlotte (SC) for our return from Texas.
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4/28 – Say goodbye to our friends in SC, and head to Chambersburg, PA with Lizzie and the truck.

 

 

 

 

4/29 – Arrive in Chambersburg, PA
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4/30 – Appointments and Fitzpatrick family time (no pictures of the Doctor stuff – but all check-ups and routine tests were A-OK! Thank you, Lord!)
5/1 – More Fitz Family time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Squeeze in a quick visit with my college roommate & hubby!

 

 

 

 

5/2 – Leave Lizzie on the street and drive to Columbus to meet little Tucker, and love on the rest of our Ohio Family
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A rainy day baseball game, prom pictures, baby snuggles – and not a whole lot of pictures! Though short, it was still a very sweet visit!  Looking forward to seeing them all again in July at the family reunion at the Cabin!

 

 

5/5 – Return to Chambersburg (where another family joined in the fun)

 

 

 

 

5/6 – (early)Hook up the truck to Lizzie and head north to Canton, NY

 

 

 

 

5/6 – (late) Arrive in Canton, park Lizzie, plug her in, and then meet up with friends for dinner! (How crazy that we know TWO couples through SOWERs that live in Canton, NY!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5/7 – Bid Lizzie farewell (for a bit), and head in the truck to the Cabin

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Ahhh…
We’ve been here for a full week now – and it’s been all good! I’ve been sleeping in, and then awakening to a crackling fire (May mornings are chilly in Vermont!), hot coffee, and a sweet time of devotions. Gary, of course, has other ideas of vacation!
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Can you spot him on the mower?
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Getting that floating dock ready for the Family Reunion this summer!

So in the last three plus weeks, we have seen all of our kids and grands, my sister and almost half of her family, did our annual doctoring stuff, got the tires rotated and our eyes examined,  ordered new glasses for both of us, and logged over 3000 miles (Lizzie and Truck together).  It’s no wonder we’re feeling ready to enjoy some Ahhh…Cabin time!
And as you can tell, it’s been much easier not to blog than it has been to blog – so we’ll just have to see how the rest of our time here goes.
Thanks for stopping by, and extending grace for my current intermittent blogging habits!
Steph

Sabbath Rest and Happy Birthday!

Today my driver turns 74! And he spent it driving the 450 miles to get us from here
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to here –
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His gift today was an uneventful drive that only needed two of these –
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so that was a good thing!
In honor of his birthday, our Sabbath Rest hymn is one of his favorites  – Fairest Lord Jesus. This video also gives a little history of the hymn. Enjoy!
(If you want to skip right to the hymn, it’s at 1:11)

1. Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son;
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.

2. Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

3. Fair is the sunshine, Fairer still the moonlight
And all the twinkling, stary host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heav’n can boast

4. Beautiful Savior, Lord of the nations,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, Praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore be Thine!

Words: Anonymous German Hymn, Munster Gesangbuch; st. 1, 3 tr. Source unknown, st. 4 Joseph Augustus Seiss
Music: Schleische Volkslieder

Vocalists: John and Lisa Martin
Instrumentalists: John Martin – Piano

Remember those cookies?

Remember the post about the cookies our son set me for my birthday?
We are happy to announce the arrival of our tie-breaker baby!
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Tucker joined the family on 4/25 in the early morning hours. He’s the smallest of any Conrad grandbaby, weighing in at just 6#7oz, but he and his momma are doing just fine! Hopefully, they’ll be home this afternoon, and we’ll get to meet this little peanut (and love on the rest of his family) next week.
But meanwhile…
We left our sweet little Texas home early Monday morning.
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and headed East!
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We have a busy summer ahead – filled with friends, family (including that new baby to meet), check-ups, cabin time, a family reunion, a SOWER project, and an adventure with the latest grandchild to turn ten!
Our first stop (not counting fuel and naps) after we left Lindale was to see some good friends outside of Nashville!
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How blessed are we to have friends all across this country – friends we’d never have met without our involvement with the SOWER Ministry. We have so many shared adventures and shared friends, that we can talk for hours, even if we haven’t seen each other for years! This visit also included a little Tae Kwon Do, too!
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Bounce, kick, jab, stay on your dot (?) – it was interesting watching these kids (including the granddaughter of our friends) try to not hurt their partner while still practicing their moves. Kids today!
Back on the road after a lovely visit,
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(The wisteria was fabulous along the roadside – sorry it is so hard to see in this (or any others that I took) windshield shot!)
Our final destination for this leg of the trip was reuniting with Lizzie and her cozy parking spot just south of Charlotte, SC.
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We’re hanging out here for a couple of days (again enjoying a visit with our SOWER friends who are letting us park in their yard!), as we repack and reorganize for the rest of the summer. Or at least the next leg!  We certainly are happy to be back to our own bed, surrounded by all of our stuff, but every time we bump into each other, we kinda miss those spacious 850 sq. feet we left behind in Texas. (It doesn’t help that we don’t have the slides out so it’s a little extra tiny!). Just keeping it real!
The next stop is Chambersburg, PA, our annual check-ups, and some good family time! Looking forward to those hugs (but maybe not the mammogram so much!).

It’s going to be a GREAT summer! (Maybe a little exhausting too!)
Thanks for joining in the adventure!
Steph
(For a little more detail on what the next week or so looks like – check out the “Where are we now” page!)

Sabbath Rest – Praise God from whom all blessings flow

The Waco crew came for this weekend. It was just over 24 hours, and virtually all daylight moments included pouring rain. It was beautiful chaos in every one of those moments! To say that four little boys and their mom and dad can fill up our little 850 sq ft house may be an understatement!Untitled
Add torrential rain into the picture, and even Pops got on the floor to get the kids engaged in a game of Mexican Train.
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We took advantage of our son’s brawn to get some giant TVs moved around
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and kept the card table handy for meals and snacks.
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Once we get Lizzie here we’ll have a guest room. But meanwhile –
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bodies just go everywhere!

But wait – this is my Sunday Sabbath Rest post. It’s supposed to be a hymn or worship song, isn’t it?  Well, the previous pictures and prose are just the introduction to a short hymn that has been part of our worship for centuries. The Doxology. Because after this weekend, how can we not give Him ALL the praise and glory?

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Amen.

Here are two renditions  – both beautiful and well, I just couldn’t decide. May we always give our praise to Him from who all blessings flow!

Random Thoughts on Homeownership

We’re 19 days into homeownership and here are some thoughts – in no particular order!
1. What a great neighborhood!
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Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful. We’ve learned that if you want to take a serious walk, you either need to do it uber-early in the day or leave the neighborhood. Otherwise, there will be people to greet and conversations to be had and you will never get your walk in in your allotted time. It’s not just a great neighborhood but a sweet community too! We’ve already enjoyed game nights and a fried chicken/potluck meal in our community building!
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2. Moving into a fully furnished house is amazing. And such a blessing! Not only is there furniture, but there are sheets and towels, shampoo and soap, laundry supplies, and every imaginable kitchen gadget. Last night Gary was looking for a new bar of soap – and found two unopened bars in one of the bathroom drawers. Oh, and a vacuum cleaner, steam floor cleaner, and even a ceiling fan cleaner. No excuses for a messy house for me!
3. Almost every day we make a new discovery – like yesterday when we realized that our front storm door has a screen component that you just roll down. It was like a miracle!
4. The house came with ROSES!!
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5. We were a little overwhelmed with the shed.
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Although it had been originally used as a sewing room/laundry room on one side with a wood shop on the other, the folks we purchased it from used it primarily for storage. And while Ed had already cleaned out a lot of ‘stuff’, there was still a lot left!
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But with the help of friends,
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and then another layer of sorting through bins, it now looks quite manageable.
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We’ll be replacing the floor since there are some soft spots and repairing/painting the walls, but I’m getting excited about the new Sewing Studio that is soon to be! (Well, it won’t be until after we return in the fall, but I’m pretty sure it’s first on the ‘to-do’ list!)
6. Gary’s side is looking up too!
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7. There are a couple of downsides to this homeownership, though like the addition of Homeowner’s Insurance. Thankfully that bill won’t hit the same time as the RV/Truck insurance that comes due in September. And then there is that Electric Bill. Our very modest HOA covers water, sewer, and trash, but we are still responsible for our electricity. We haven’t had to pay an electric bill for a very long time! There will also be taxes of course, but that won’t show up for several months. But show up it will. We’ll figure out the internet and TV once we’re back in the fall with Lizzie. Right now we’re making do with a tiny outdoor antenna (six channels!) and our phone and hotspot wifi.
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8. Homes come with gutters. And gutters need to be cleaned.
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You know Gary’s brain is already working on more effective gutter guards!
9. Still thankful for Google Photos which continues to help us identify unknowns…

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10. For the first time in almost twenty years I can say that kids and grands are coming to MY HOUSE! So excited to welcome our Waco family to our little house in Lindale tomorrow!

It’s been an exciting and blessed nineteen days as we acclimate ourselves to living in something that doesn’t rock when you walk. Of course, we leave on Monday to head back to Lizzie for a summer in the Northeast! Now we have to learn about getting the house ready to be empty for six months! And so the adventure continues!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our adventure!
Steph

Seeing the country……Serving our Lord!