Sunday, September 21, 2008

My favorite Amish country purchase and a gourd that I think looks like a swan...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Good weekend

As if finding Christ's Home Office didn't give away how awesome this trip has been, I wanted to share some details :)

I came here to relax, and that goal has been accomplished. I've had alone time cruising around looking at the scenery, singing at the top of my lungs, have not thought about work (crap, until now!), and have enjoyed being my own boss for a couple days. Not that having people around is a bad thing, but for the anti-social part in me, a trip like this is needed once in a while :)

I woke up super early Friday morning to get a picture I scoped out when I first got here (red door pic below)...after I got my shot, I drove around all the back roads and visited the Amish farms that have shops attached. I didn't buy any quilts, though a certain green and lilac one was calling my name. I didn't run over any Amish kids riding their scooters in the middle of the road. Then I went back to the B&B (house pic below) and took a nap. What a life....

Around dinnertime, I went to the Sight and Sound Millennium Theater to see "In the Beginning." I highly recommend seeing a show at this theater once in your life! The building is amazing, the sets were unbelievable, and sheepies ran down the aisle right next to me during the show!

The only questionable thing about the show was the fact that when Adam was naming all the animals, he came to one and said "I might call you crocodile later, but for now, you're an alligator." It may have been the other way around, but you get the point, and I thought the show was trying to include evolution in the mix...but then when God and Adam came to the dinosaurs, Adam named them and God interrupted and said something like "I didn't create those animals but they exist with us..." I don't get that. Thoughts?

This morning I slept in and walked around the outlet malls, but surprisingly, none of the stores called my name. Now I'm back to Panera, blogging, and winding down to come home. I've seen all the Amish I can see. Back to reality...

Did anyone else know where to find him and not tell me?

All this time people have been wondering how to find Jesus...well apparently his home office is in Bird-in-Hand, PA...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Scariest Bridge EVER!

On the way to PA today I crossed over the Susquehanna River, through the Conowingo Hydroelectric Plant. On one side, all you can see is water, and you feel like it's 2 feet below the road...but on the other side, you see NOTHING but rocks and a gulch - at least that's what I'm calling it.

The picture shows the gulch side. Imagine driving across that and being stopped by DOT working on the road. Those who know me well know I am not a fan of bridges...high ones, low ones, rickety ones, steel ones, pretty much all bridges. But this one is by far the scariest ever!

What if the dam broke? what if it rained really hard and the water washed away the plant, while I'm driving across it? These are the things I think about on my way across.

Other than that, the trip was uneventful, and now I am sitting in Panera so I can check out where I should go while I'm here. I haven't seen a buggy yet, but I saw a Yacob plowing his field with his Big John horse (if you don't get those references, you should visit Amish country more often).

Oh, and Dave will be happy that I did not pick up a miniature horse or lab pup at a roadside stand. They were cheap, and cute...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Last weekend was almost a bust...

Last weekend we traveled to Jacksonville, NC, to welcome LCPL Albrecht from Iraq. The hotel was really nice, we got to sleep till noon Saturday and Sunday, and we had plenty of time to explore the town.


We knew Billy's battalion would be arriving on September 7, but that's about all we knew. Where would they land, what time would they land, how many stops would they have to make before they get to the reception site? Nobody knew the answers to these questions, and tension among the group rose and rose until we were all about to explode. I think we were all so excited to see Billy and were frustrated because the chances of seeing him before we had to come home grew more and more slim.

Saturday night, after a road trip to Emerald Isle and some shopping, Ashley, whose Indian name would be "resourceful one," got on the internets and "the Google" and found a message board for families of CLB6, which Billy is a part of. It seemed like the other families had the same concerns we had, and were just as frustrated at the lack of information available. But she found a hot line number, called it, and got an ETA for the plane landing of 1920 Sunday! Still no detail about what time we would actually see him...we all wanted to scream and some of us did :)

Sunday afternoon we headed over to the base (in our matching t-shirts) to get our visitor passes and found the building where the reception would be. I feel like we were there for 5 hours waiting patiently...oh wait, we WERE there for 5 hours! Every time we saw headlights off in the distance, people stood up just to find out it wasn't what we were waiting for. 4 huge troop transport trucks came down the road but they were empty. An 18-wheeler arrived with a load of packs, and you could tell the veteran families, because as the packs were being unloaded, they dug through the pile to get the one belonging to their son/brother/husband rather than waiting to dig through the huge pile when the troops finally showed up.

FINALLY, at 130am Monday morning, 4 charter buses pulled around the corner in the distance and someone started the slow clap...Bonnie, Ashley, and I held up our signs and waited for the buses to pull up. As soon as we saw the first 4 or 5 guys exit the bus, I thought we would never find Billy because with matching uniforms, hats, and haircuts, all those Marines looked alike! I guess he saw our sign because he walked up to us right away and we pretty much attacked him with hugs! The smile on his face when he saw his family made the whole weekend, fighting, frustrations, and all, worth it!

We got to spend a couple of hours with him before we had to get a few hours sleep before driving home Monday morning. He'll be home on the 18th for a few weeks, so everyone will get to spend much more time with him then...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Basic Compliance School

Wow. If you've never experienced a 3-day Basic Compliance School, you definitely should! My brain is now 90% full of semi-useless information. I liked it much better before, when it was 62% full of completely useless information. This new type makes me think long and hard about every financial transaction I've ever entered into.

My dad would love this stuff...he's a lifetime learner.

Let me clarify - this is great information that I will use in my career and I appreciate the opportunity...but it is a lot of information and detail that I probably will not be able to recall at a moment's notice. I'M GEEKING OUT just a little.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Did everyone know this but me?

According to the internets:

1800 people died as a result of Hurricane Katrina...


2740 people died as a result of 9/11 attacks...

boggles the mind?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Billy's coming home! (follow-up post)

You thought we wouldn't follow through, didn't you?

Shirts and signs are finished! Once we were home from the beach and had cleaned up a little, Bonnie, Ashley and I went on a mission for supplies. We drove to the Quantico Marine Corps Museum to find some USMC patches and then headed to ACMoore for the shirts, iron-on letters, and stuff to make signs...

We got enough shirts for everyone in their family who is going to Camp LeJeune this weekend, plus me - is it weird for me to wear a shirt with someone else's family name on it? When they were finished, we wrapped them up like little packages to present this weekend to their family - hopefully it will remain a surprise until then!

Here are pics of the shirts and signs!

Fossil Hunting!

Saturday we went to Fossil Beach in Westmoreland State Park to hunt for fossils! Ashley and Daniel go all the time and invited us to go with them. We hiked down the 0.8 mile trail to get to the beach (wasn't so easy going back up).

Daniel and his brother were already down there getting an early start at low tide because it's the best time to find shark teeth on the beach. We set up our chairs and packed lunches and walked around, taking in the scenery and then we found a spot on the beach to start hunting. I laid down on the beach on my stomach and just skimmed my hand over the top layer of sand the teeth are just below the surface. I probably looked pretty weird, but I found 5 small teeth.

Ashley found a bunch of stuff and Bonnie was hunting for sea glass to add to her collection. Daniel took a colander and was wading by the shore, sifting through loads of sand. I think he found a porpoise ear bone and a whale vertebrae. We planned on asking the park ranger to confirm, but he wasn't at the visitor center when we were done hunting for the day.

Towards the end of the day, a girl came running down the beach to her parents saying she found a message in a bottle! We overheard her say the bottle was from 2007 so it couldn't have been regarding buried pirate treasure, but HOW COOL! She had some trouble getting the message out of the bottle because she didn't want to break the glass on the beach, so her father used a stick to retrieve it (all the while with a lit cigarette hanging from his mouth - a multi-tasker!). She and her sisters read the message and just laughed, but we didn't ask what it said. Once the treasure was ruled out, we lost a little bit of interest :)

See below for pictures!