Friday, February 27, 2009

This is Dancer and I


Thursday, February 26, 2009

On My Drive Through Bendersville & Up Bear Mountain

There's this house that always has neat little displays by the road; this month its an angel.

Further up the road, I tried to capture the scope of Bear Mountain behind this orchard, but didn't do a very good job. Blame it on the fact I was on a curve, shooting out my car window. It has just now occurred to me what some photographers must subject themselves to in order to get the perfect picture.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Think I Would Like to Be Buried Here....

A friend of mine and I always joke that when we die, just tie us on one of our horses and send us away into the sunset; my other friend commented, "What about your poor horse?" While it sounded romantic, I guess its not being very practical, so this would be my next choice....
"Contrary to popular belief, the Evergreen Cemetery has many remaining lots available for purchase. It has been estimated that the cemetery has another 100 years of sales available. There are many attractive areas available with different price ranges for full burial, cremation burial, or aboveground burial. The cemetery has a Veterans' Section where veterans can be buried with their family members.
There are sites still available in original sections of the cemetery close to the gatehouse and close to where Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address. Since the cemetery is located on the highest ground in the town, scenic views of the Round Tops are visible from the southwest areas in the original cemetery."

Did you know there are some pretty famous people buried here? Among them are Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg, Marianne Moore,Poet; one of America's greatest literary figures and in her latter years became a cultural icon; Edward S. Plank "Gettysburg Eddie"; Gettysburg native, Eddie Plank, one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in the history of baseball. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946 and was voted one of the top 100 players of the century by The Sporting News.

The Jacob Kime Farm

I talked my husband into driving up the driveway and checking out this farm house which we often pass on our way into town. Its off of Tablerock Road. The house is set far back from the road, down an old gravel driveway and is shrouded in trees. Old homes have always fascinated me-remember, we live in one, much to the chagrin of my other half.
I had to choose one of the coldest days of the year, made chillier still by the wind which seemed to cut right through our layers of coats,sweatshirts and long underwear which have become standard dress for this time of year. It is a beautiful piece of land-surrounded by hay fields and boasts a couple of outbuildings and a barn as well as a large metal storage facility for hay. I am not one for trespassing; there was a Miller real estate sign at the foot of the driveway entrance-we were "window shopping", okay? (Insert smile, here.)
Of course I just had to get out and take a gander inside. It is painted brick, and you can tell it is very old. I peered in one of the front windows and hollered to my husband to join me. It looked like nothing had been touched in this home since the civil war. The floors were bare wood-they look 1800's style. It also appears there is no electrical or plumbing system, although I never did see an outhouse on the property, but it was so darn cold I didn't really care at that moment.
Rick and I hurriedly climbed back in the car, our noses red with the cold. "Well," I comment with a chuckle,"this could be a really nice place with a little work." My husband shot me a dirty side glance and rolled his eyes. He knows me all too well. His idea of a home is one that was built in more recent years-lets say, from 2000 and forward. Anything pre-third millenium and he wanted to run screaming the other way. I love the charm and history that comes with older homes-I am crazy for victorians and old farm houses. He often teases me when we are together. "Hey," he points at a structure off the road, (the building has crumbled and fallen in on itself, and looks like you could touch it with one finger and it would collapse) "that could be a really nice place with some work." "Okay, Okay," I reply. "I get it." I still can't help thinking about all those "This Old House" magazines where they take old homes and restore them to their former grandeur. What I wouldn't give to be able to do that. How cool would it be to turn this house into some sort of living history museum for people to enjoy? (Think Landis Museum-a working farm in Lancaster from the turn of the century.) So many ideas, so little money. I guess this is another dream I will have to shelve for awhile-at least until I win the lottery.

One cool thing I did find out in my research on this place is that there is a publication you can get-I think its free, on field hospitals in this area. I took this from the Hopital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania website:
"In a cooperative effort between Historic Gettysburg-Adams County (HGAC) and The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, 17 Union and 18 Confederate Civil War hospital signs have been erected at sites which were known to have served as field hospitals after the Battle of Gettysburg.

A "field" hospital was, as the name suggests, a place in the battlefield area, such as barns, shops, homes, schools and churches, which were used to give medical attention to the wounded.

While the battle lasted three days in July 1863, the pain and suffering of wounded in Gettysburg continued into October when the last field hospital, Camp Letterman, was closed.

As remembered by local citizens, rapid death was in many ways more merciful than waiting for infection or pneumonia to slowly take its toll. Nurses of the Patriot Daughters of Lancaster noted in their diaries that the many hours thinking of family, mothers, wives and children must have brought some small comfort to those facing inevitable death.

A tour booklet titled "Gettysburg Civil War Field Hospital Tour" prepared by HGAC gives tour instructions and distances and times for those wishing to visit the hospital sites. The booklet has more than 40 pages of illustrations showing each sign and the site, four maps, archive photos and an index.

A typical entry is that for Union Hospital 17, the Hugh Culbertson Farm: "Situated on Carrolls Tract Road between Cashtown and Fairfield, this house was used as a hospital for the 6th Cavalry. On July 3, 1863, the rear guard of the Confederate Cavalry and the 6th Union Cavalry skirmished in this area. Private George Platt, Troop II, of the 6th Cavalry saved the Union Colors, was promoted to Sergeant, and awarded the Medal of Honor."

Board members Dick Miller, Jim Neely, Dave English and John Shuss were instrumental in carrying out the tour project. Copies of the 56-page brochure are available from board members or through the HGAC office at P.O. Box 4611, Gettysburg, PA 17325; (717) 334-5185.

I also googled "Jacob Kime Farm" and found a few interesting things. Cut and paste this into your browser to read more:

I think this could be a really fun thing to do with your kids one day; go around to some of the different places in this guide and learn more about each one. I would love to hear if and when you decide to do this-I will be sure to share my experiences, too

Monday, February 23, 2009

On the Way to a Friend's House

Another beautiful barn in Adams County (off Solomon Road)

A Cute House on Mummasburg Road.....

The Pennsylvania Memorial as seen through my dirty, puppy kissed car window.

On Route 134 going toward Taneytown. A view of the Gettysburg National Cemetary.

The Gettysburg Address, Elementary School Style

I think this is positively brilliant; a student wrote this recently for an elementary school newspaper:

"Four hours and seven minutes ago, my mother brought forth in my bedroom, a cruel awakening, worse than an alarm clock, and dedicated to a long and unwanted day at school. Now we are engaged in a great mathematics assessment, testing whether my brain, or ANY brain of any human with half a sense of sanity, can long endure. We are met in a boring classroom for this test. The teachers have come to attempt to get into our brains a portion of that math unit, as a final grade for those who at any time in the the unit bothered to study at all for fear of their report card. It is altogether unfair and pointless that they should do this. But, in a larger sense, we all want college scholarships, don't we?? The elementary school will little note, nor long remember the few days which the class actually paid attention to the lesson, but it can never forget that Color Day in 2008 when, for once, it didn't rain on us. It is rather for me to be dedicated to the unfinished homework which they who make unsuccessful attempts to teach us have thus far so generously handed out. They have done this in an attempt for the class to be dedicated to the great task remaing before us-the PSSAs for that cause which will determine whether or not we pass this grade. That we here highly resolved that this school year (no matter how much it may seem like it) will NOT last forever, that this class,in this classroom, will eventually reach summer vacation and that no matter how much teachers torment us with long division, it is possible yet highly improbable, that we will perish from the Earth."

One Way to Spend a Sunday Afternoon

A dear friend of mine who has kids about the same age as we do suggested meeting at the local bowling alley for a couple of games. I was pleasantly surprised. The last time we had visited here, it seemed to be kind of seedy-there were teenagers hanging around at the pool tables in the arcade area looking less than favorable with lit cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. While I think James Dean pulled this off without a hitch-these kids were nowhere near coming close. Tattooed arms and greasy long hair hanging in their faces, I am sorely reminded of the fact that these were the type of boys I often had often fallen for when I was a teenager. They had seemed so mysterious, and somehow that disrespectful bad-boy attitude was attractive. Now all I wanted to do was drag them by the ear to the nearest bathroom, give them a good scrub, a haircut and make them look respectable. I would have liked to also wash their mouths out with soap. Didn't they know there were little kids here? I felt like a mother lion protecting her cubs. Occasional profanities floated over to us above the din of the bowling balls plowing through pins. Of course, my girls would inevitabley pick up some of those words with that highly sensitive radar that most kids seem to have. They would run over to me with wide eyes, tugging on my shirt, motioning for me to lower my head so they could whisper in my ear. "Mommy, that boy over there just said something bad."

"That's it," I said to myself, making a mental note. "We won't be coming back here again." I remember storming over to the group of kids leaning over the pool table. "Excuse me," I angrily interrupted. "There are little kids here and I would really appreciate it if you would be careful about what you say-they can hear you."
One of them spoke up-"We're very sorry m'am, we'll try to be more careful." I nodded my head and went back to our group. While I felt better that I had said something,and some of my faith in teenagers today had been restored by the polite response, I still decided it wasn't the right place for my kids. Its funny how, when you become a parent, you start living these double standards. What would have been fine for you is not fine for your children. And Lord forbid if one day one of my girls comes home with a friend that looks like one of those kids? How will I handle it? I shudder at the thought and focus on the moment.
Where was I? Oh yes, I can now say that this bowling alley has been kid-tested and mother-approved. If you are looking for a nice way to spend time with your family, I have no problem recommending Gilley's Bowl and Grille for a nice way to spend a Sunday Afternoon. 2855 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325, 717-677-9542. Call for hours as they change by season. Games were $4.00 each and shoe rental was $2.00 per person.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Things You Do For Your Kids

Don't cry for me on February 27th, I will be okay- I will manage to get through it somehow.....if I can afford the FIFTEEN DOLLARS A PERSON!!!!!!! Sheesh!

Confessions from the mom of "Tweenagers"

I must admit, up until this point, I was okay with how things have been going with respect to my two girls' social lives. To preface this, I have to remind myself that the human mind is a wondrous thing; it has the ability to erase pain-both physical and mental. However, the mind can often "help" one to remember experiences that might have been better left in the vaults.
This is the point where I am at this week. Apparently, my oldest is being drawn into a mental tug of war between two of her friends. Each wants M to be her best friend. M wants to be friends with both. She doesn't understand "why everyone can't just get along!" (sigh!) Each of these girls doesn't like the other and here is where the trouble begins. Allegedly some things are said that aren't true, neither one admits they actually said it, and tears are shed. I was so proud of my daughter-she went straight to the source and called her friend, confronted her with the rumor. "I never said that" her friend assured her. I hung in the wings for moral support as the phone conversation continued. M looked to me for guidance as to what to say next. "Just tell her that her friendship means alot to you," I whisper. At that moment, M seems so much older than twelve and I am so proud of her.
These situations have begun to occur on a more regular basis now. My third grader tries to make her sister feel better by offering "to find So-and-So and punch her lights out." (Add sound effects here.) I have sudden flashbacks to my sixth grade when I had similar encounters. "But you said I was your best friend," Susan wailed, with a hurt look on her face. "Why can't we be friends with everyone?" I return. I remember feeling so torn between my two friends, not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. I spent more time worrying about that than I should have. No wonder I spent more time with boys-they seemed so uncomplicated-even though they could be very weird. I remember my one friend Jeff proudly displaying a page of his social studies book where he had killed at least twenty flies-their bloody remains dotting page 53 outlining Antarctica and how there is no culture to speak of--just a few research stations where people eat freeze-dried spam and play checkers.
My oldest daughter is so much more mature than I ever was at her age. She has made up her mind to remove herself from times when her friends start gossiping about someone else, or speaking up on behalf of the person being talked about. I realize she has more guts in her pinky finger to deal with unpleasant situations than I ever did at that age. Everyday I am in awe of what I learn from my kids.
I am reminded more than ever how hard it is growing up. On the one hand I want to make everything right for them; make all their experiences good ones, but then I realize that this wouldn't be doing them any favors. Dealing with unpleasant experiences builds their character and they need to know how to handle them. I can't always be there to pick them up and dust them off-however badly I want to keep them close and kiss away their tears.....

Friday, February 13, 2009

The David Wills House

We stopped in here last night for a quick peek; the National Park Service has done a phenomenal job with the restoration; I heard it cost approximately $7 million. Artifacts are beautifully and thoughtfully displayed and are informative and engaging to visitors. Admissions is free through February 16 in honor of the Grand Opening. After this point admission is $6.50 for Adults (13 & up), $5.50 for seniors; $4.00 for youth (12 & under) and children under 5 are free.

Visits include an approximately one-hour self guided tour with two films, two interactive stations, seven galleries of which tow are recreated rooms-Will's law office and the Lincoln bedroom.

The galleries of the second floor follow the events of Lincoln's visit through his address on November 19. Here you will hear the story of how Gettysburg accomodated the vast number of visitors and how David and Catherine accommodated the distinguished guests who spend the night at their home.

A little background: Wills, a prosperous 32-year-old attorney, owned the largest house on the town square. Under his direction, Pennsylvania purchased 17 acres for a cemetery to honor the dead from the summer's battle. He arranged for the cemetery dedication on November 19, 1863, with Edward Everett as the main speaker. Lincoln was invited to offer "a few appropriate remarks."

Lincoln arrived at the Gettysburg railroad station the day before the ceremonies and was escorted to the Wills home. His special train included others from Washington such as Cabinet members and foreign ambassadors. While Lincoln, Everett, and other dignitaries ate supper together, serenaders and crowds gathered outside, calling for the President. Lincoln eventually appeared, but declined to make a speech at the moment.

The next afternoon, on the edge of town, a crowd of more than 10,000 would hear Lincoln's brief masterpiece, now considered the product of an entire lifetime. Contrary to popular belief, the painstaking Lincoln had not dashed off this speech on an envelope while enroute to Gettysburg (for one thing, five original copies of the speech exist -- all are on standard letter paper). However, Lincoln apparently produced the final written version in an upstairs bedroom of the Wills house. The decorative bunting in the photo marks the location. However, the picture was taken before the building was restored, so you now will see a brick exterior without white paint.

Once the cemetery dedication was over, the Marine Band and other members of the military escorted Lincoln back to the center of town. After dinner at the Wills house, Lincoln greeted guests in an informal reception. Standing in the hallway which faces York Street, he met visitors such as John L. Burns, the 70-year-old Gettysburg cobbler who was wounded after he spontaneously joined Union troops in the battle.

The David Wills House is part of Gettysburg National Military Park, and is operated by Main Street Gettysburg, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the historic preservation and economic revitalization of Gettysburg. The house is located at 8 Lincoln Square in downtown Gettysburg. For more info contact Main Street Gettysburg, 866-486-5735.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Barn Art in Upper Adams County, PA

I could probably take an entire day and just shoot pictures of barns. I've recently come to find them fascinating, most likely due to a local contest in our area to promote awareness. While some of these structures have been lovingly restored and given a fresh coat of paint, others have been left to fare on their own to face the harsh tolls of time and weather. I wish they could talk and tell me their stories. Its amazing just how many I pass doing my daily errands-I guess its like anything; I've looked at these buildings a hundred times in the past, but its like I'm now seeing them all for the first time. I am discovering more and more of them each day! Most of these were found on Tablerock Road and Route 394.

Our Talking Dog

This is how us country folks like to pass the time-getting our dogs to say stupid things like "I love you".

Lincoln In a Box

No, its not the name of the latest rock band. He looks rather dashing in this picture, don't you think?
The kids and I went to the library and discovered this nifty little treasure. In honor of Lincoln't 200th birthday, I thought it would be neat to check this out and we could learn more about this president. It includes a book, DVDs,CDs,a guide and posters. What a great tool for homeschoolers, too! I have never really been that much into history, but how can you ignore it when you live in an area just brimming with it?
I am also considering gathering up the family to visit the David Wills house here on the square.

"David Wills will long be remembered as the man who invited President Abraham Lincoln to give “a few appropriate remarks” at the dedication of a cemetery for the Union war dead. Wills hosted President Lincoln in his home on the eve of his Gettysburg Address. It is here, in the Wills House, that Lincoln did the final edits on the 272 word, 2-minute speech that would be heralded as one of his greatest speeches."-from the website.

For more info on upcoming events, cut and paste into your browser window or,com_jthg/theme,region/task,view/county,Adams/Itemid,1/id,74/.

I think we could all do with learning more about this great man-we need some better role models in this day and age.

Things that go "Bump" in the Night

My oldest has a project to complete for 6th grade science class. The task at hand, if she should decide to take it, is that of combining two animals to create an entirely new one. After much contemplation, "Alligonkey" was born.

"Wow, I would hate to meet up with that thing in a dark alley," I comment. "What's that by it's foot?"
"Its a dead mouse," she answers matter-of-factly. "And there's a rabbit up there in the corner."
As I examine her creation, I feel a sense of familiarity-a sort of bond with the animal peering back at me. I realize with a chuckle to myself, that this strange animal looks exactly like me most mornings.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Celebrating Valentine's Day

I was so touched by this story, taken from can only pray that one day I can be as devoted to my husband.

Showing Love on Valentine's Day
"I am writing to share with you how my father shares his love with my mother every day. His name is Warren, and he is an 88-year-old World War II veteran and the primary caregiver of my mother, who suffers from Parkinson's disease. Every morning, he gets her up, washes her face and gives her three kisses to start her day. He then prepares her breakfast and assists with feeding her. He carefully administers her many medications with the attention to detail of an accounting clerk (his former profession.) He does the laundry, cleans their house and buys the groceries, usually returning with a bouquet of flowers and a stuffed animal to brighten her day.

They have been married for 56 years and demonstrate on a daily basis what true love is all about. For my father, and the many elderly caregivers out there, Valentine's Day is every day."

— Judy of Highland Village, Texas

All I can say is "Wow."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Progress So Far

Here is the painting of Teddy so will probably notice I cropped the picture and removed the other subjects.....I am still working on it and probably will be for weeks to come-I am continuing to fool with the color of the background and the textures in the field, but I feel like I managed to capture this guy's personality in some small way.

It has been almost two years since I have been painting, so for me, this is a HUGE accomplishement. For some reason, I have been fancying yellow-I guess I have been missing the sunshine alot. I realize there are other horses in the original picture, but don't feel brave enough yet to tackle size proportions; I like this better as a "single horse portrait" anyway. Still a loooong way to go, but thought you might enjoy a peek.

Painting is a funny thing; I am so used to running in twenty different directions all the time and for a while I am actually sitting in one place with a focused mind-which for me is not so easy to do. It forces me to reflect on a lot of stuff going on in my life, both good and bad. And, while alot of artists have some music playing for background inspiration, I happened to have my radio tuned to NPR. It wasn't very inspiring-I listened to the British BBC broadcasting about the terrible fires in Australia. All I could think about were all those poor people.

Since I don't know how to transition gracefully from that to another topic, I guess I will just say I am going to make a concerted effort moving forward to be thankful for everything in my life; good and bad.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Art Attack!

Due to little hiccups in my life-i.e. new jobs,kids and horses, I took about a two year hiatus from one of my very favorite things to do in my free time; painting. (I know most of you are chuckling to yourselves right about now-anyone who really knows me knows I have very little time to spare for anything)

At any rate, while doing research for my new website, I came across an exhibition that I would like to participate in through the Adams County Art Council. Okay all you artists out there, here's your chance! Entry deadline is Friday, April 17th and the exhibition will be at Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysurg College, from June 19-July 11, 2009. The awards are nothing to sneeze at: Best of Show is $1,000. Second prize is $750 and Third is $500.00. You can pick up an entry form at or call 717-334-5006 for more information.

You are viewing the picture which is the start of my inspiration. What will be yours? Now is the perfect time to get inspired-through something as simple as an everyday activity, like a still life of a favorite object in your home, or a view from the car window as you go about your daily errands. Maybe a scene on the battlefield-I always thought it would be neat to paint a picture of one of the many monuments in an abstract or fauve style. I would love to hear what you are considering. Stay tuned for updates on my progress-I am thinking of using a mixed media approach-getting out my machine embellisher and some hand dyed wool roving and interesting textured fibers. Maybe throwing in a little velvet and some silk. Just talking about it gets my imagination going!

For those of you who want to try your hand on a smaller scale, The Historic Gettysburg Adams County Barn Preservation Project is once again looking for photographers and artists who would like to exhibit their original two or three dimensional artwork of Adams County Barns. The show will be held from June 18th to June 21st, 2009 as part of the Gettysburg Arts Festival-"Celebrating America". For Questions and more info about the BarnArt Exhibit, call 717-337-2839 or email Entries must be postmarked no later than May 23rd 2009and should be addressed to HGAC BarnArt Show, PO Box 4611, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Remembering George & Norvell

We often pass this way when doing our errands. I have always been curious about this memorial which is new-(it was dedicated this past summer of 2008.)

"A monument has been erected in Hunterstown",
as the following story in the York Daily Record/Sunday News (7/6/08) reports:

"Glen Churchill and Jane Churchill Webb never knew their grandfather, a Civil War soldier who died nearly 20 years before either of them was born.
They grew up with tales of Norvell Churchill as a talented horseman and an enthusiastic performer during Fourth of July events in Michigan, where much of the family still resides.

Their grandfather's storied service as a Union cavalryman in the Civil War was only part of those tales, the two said.

It's only been in the last few decades that Glen Churchill, now 85, said he has realized his grandfather's true significance to American history.

"I read it in history books," he said.

But now, for both historians and the Churchill family, Norvell Churchill's place in history will always be reserved as the man who saved Union Gen. George Custer from almost certain death on the Hunterstown battlefield northeast of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863.

As the story goes, 23-year-old Norvell Churchill rescued Custer -- also 23 at the time -- after his horse was shot out from under him and Confederate soldiers were closing in to attack. Churchill killed one of Custer's attackers and hoisted the general off the ground and onto his horse.

Now 85 and 82 respectively, Glen and Jane represent Norvell Churchill's closest living relatives. Their fathers were brothers, each the son of Norvell Churchill.

They were two of about 60 descendants who recently witnessed the unveiling of Gettysburg's newest Civil War monument, which describes both the significance of the Hunterstown battle and Norvell Churchill's role in saving Custer's life.

"I just wish our fathers were here," Jane Churchill Webb said.

The event marked the first time any monument has been erected in Hunterstown, also known as North Cavalry Field, to commemorate the battle between Custer's 1st Michigan Cavalry brigade -- famously known as the Wolverines -- and the larger numbers of a Confederate cavalry brigade commanded by Gen. Wade Hampton.

Historians say the battle between opposing cavalries was significant because it kept the attention of both units on the battlefield's northern end while crucial struggles were taking place to the south on Little Round Top and at the Peach Orchard.

The Hunterstown battle also marks the first time Custer made a name for himself as a gutsy commander. The Boy General led a seemingly suicidal charge of a few dozen men down Hunterstown Road against an enemy who was behind cover and outnumbered him.

Casualties on both sides, however, were relatively light.

Until recently, the battle was unknown to all but the Civil War's most ardent students. That began to change around 2002, when Roger and Laurie Harding purchased Hunterstown's Historic Tate Farm, a property where George Washington stopped on the way back from the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794.

The Hardings established a historic preservation group, The Friends of Hunterstown, when two buildings on Route 394 that dated back to the 1800s were at risk of being torn down and replaced with apartment buildings.

Preserving and promoting Hunterstown has been a goal of the couple ever since.

The event symbolized the accomplishment of another objective: to erect a permanent monument dedicated specifically to the battle at Hunterstown. After the monument's unveiling, the fourth annual walking tour of the battlefield was offered to visitors.

"It's a very moving day for us," Laurie Harding told the dozens who attended the unveiling, held on the battle's 145th anniversary.

That significance of both the battle and of the event was not lost on at least some members of Norvell Churchill's family.

"I think Norvell is looking down now, in disbelief maybe," said Pat Stephens, a great-granddaughter.

Though Norvell Churchill's connection to the famous Boy General was never the focus of his family's tales, Glen Churchill said he now knows that his grandfather played an even greater role in history.

"I think it's wonderful that he saved (Custer's) life," he said. "This battle started the end of the war."

For more information on this monument and Hunterstown, visit

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Did You Know?

We decided to take the long way home and M wanted to take some pictures with my camera. Voila! The perfect photo op.

For those of you who don't closely follow the little known facts of the civil war battle here in Gettysburg- The cannon barrels beneath the Gen. John Buford statue on McPherson Ridge were used by John Calef's Battery. It fired the first Union artillery shot of the Battle under Buford's personal direction. This is stated on a small plaque on the barrel.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pancakes and Poetry

My kids treated us to a spectacular home cooked breakfast this past Sunday morning-they were so proud of themselves. It just seems like yesterday when I was fastening them into their highchairs and preparing their meals for them. How quickly they grow up!

As a parent I urge everyone out there to try to "be present" in your experiences. I admit I am guilty of multi-tasking and allowing my mind to wander in a million other directions at the same time I am spending time with my kids. Try to remember the time passes so fast! I could have sworn they were just three yesterday.....

My little sister is expecting her first child at any moment and I was trying to go back to all the details of when each of my girls were born. Its all become kind of fuzzy to me as the years pass. I get so frustrated with myself because I want to remember every little thing; all the who, what and wheres. I have been so busy just trying to make it through each day I admit I have neglected to do a better job of mental record keeping. Okay, I know some of you out there are chuckling and thinking to yourselves, this gal's just getting old.

I have been trying to take more pictures, and keeping up to date on my blog entries with the hopes that I won't miss as much. In this modern age, life has become such a blur and I want to slow things down a bit and savor as much of my life as I can. Will that happen? At least I can give it my best shot, and thats all anyone can do.

For starters, I would like to share a beautiful poem my oldest daughter wrote recently. She had to incorporate her weekly vocabulary words into her writing and I think its pretty clever-I couldn't help being impressed. I know, I know, I am usally not one of those parents that is always talking about how great their kids are, but today, I just can't help it:

Dandelions by the billions
Float up to the tree
So tangible,
yet easy to see.
So easily plausible
just sit back and stare.

Into the sky make believe pictures float up and down,
Write for the word to be done
So Feasible
It can be praised by Love!

I leave you with this thought for today: "It is a great day to enjoy an ordinary moment with someone special!"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Acts of

Looking for a way to motivate kids to think more about others? While I was researching resources for my new web site I came across some notable places that I thought offered some great inspiration. This one in particular stood out. While there are many worthy causes out there, often times deciding where to start can be overwhelming. This site seems to offer easy, achievable ideas whether you are one person, or a large group. From preschool to college level and beyond, this could be the foundation for endless inspiration.