New Friendships

Isn’t it fun when you reconnect with someone you used to know in a different lifetime? Because of Facebook I’ve been able to reconnect with someone I went to high school. We were in marching band together, she was a year older than me, and oddly enough we weren’t friends. It wasn’t anything hostile, we just weren’t friends. We knew who each other was, we probably greeted one another in the hallways, we had mutual friends, but we ourselves didn’t ever hang out together. I saw she was mutual friends with some of my friends on Facebook and thought, “why not?” I’m so glad I friended her! We have become good friends in the past couple years, especially the last year, and I have often found myself asking the question, “how is it we weren’t best friends in high school?” In our conversations we have found we were raised quite similarly–in Christian homes, our parents were conservative, etc. And, as we’ve gotten to know each other as adults, we find we are still very similar. I’m so thankful for this new friendship with someone I’ve actually known a long time. It’s interesting to me how God allows you to be friends with people at different times in your life. We obviously didn’t need each other’s friendship in high school, but I’m so thankful we do now! Is there anyone you’ve reconnected with recently and wonder how you haven’t been friends before now?

THAT’S a LOT of Dirt!

My grandma’s house sits on a corner lot and has a TON more room for a good garden than our yard. Our yard is pretty small and the only spot conducive to gardening is totally shaded. So, we were most excited when my grandma said she would let us do a garden in her yard! She’ll help with watering and weeding, eat what she wants from it and help with freezing and canning later on. David did a lot of research as to what would be the best way to proceed and he chose to do raised beds. He built them himself and we bought good gardening dirt from a local landscaper. David, along with a man saint from church shoveled dirt and hauled it in our kids’ wagon for hours, and then they were joined by another friend saint who brought a wheel barrow and helped finish. We got all the veggies planted and now we will wait for the fruits/veggies of his labor! Oh, and we also need to figure out how to keep the deer out as my grandma’s yard is one that gets a lot of deer! I’m excited to have a larger garden this year! It’ll be great to eat ORGANICALLY without the huge cost from a store. And, there is something so satisfying in eating food that you grew yourself! Do you have a garden? If so, what did you plant this year?

With these 4 raised beds we have 128 square feet of garden space!

With these 4 raised beds we have 128 square feet of garden space!

Yes, he loves to garden! And, yes, he's VERY tired in this photo!

Yes, he loves to garden! And, yes, he’s VERY tired in this photo!

Cora offering her 2 cents...

Cora offering her 2 cents…

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Time with Friends

This past weekend my sister and I drove to Pennsylvania to meet up with 4 other friends for the weekend. This is our 3rd annual time with all of us getting together and it was such a special time! We had excellent food (thanks Heather!), good fellowship and lots of laughter! Our husbands all stayed home, or went to other friends’ homes with the kids to make this weekend possible. We could not do this without them, and none of us forget that! Here are a few photos of our time together!

Me and Sherry--We've been friends since we were 11 years old! That's 24 years!!!! How is that even possible?

Me and Sherry–We’ve been friends since we were 11 years old! That’s 24 years!!!! How is that even possible?

We drank lots of tea and coffee.

We drank lots of tea and coffee.

We chatted and ate lots of chocolate!

We chatted and ate lots of chocolate!

Bonnie did our nails again!

Bonnie did our nails again!

Me and my sis!

Me and my sis!

Me and Heather! I guess we've been friends for 24 years too!

Me and Heather! I guess we’ve been friends for 24 years too!

The whole gang! Amy, Heather, Bonnie, Me, Sherry, Ruthie

The whole gang! Amy, Heather, Bonnie, Me, Sherry, Ruthie

Today…

Today I’m leaving my children in the capable hands of my husband for the weekend.

Today I’m traveling to the next state with my sister so we can have a weekend visit with our best friends.

Today I get to have 7+ hours of uninterrupted conversation with my sister as we travel!

Today I have to kiss my husband and children good-bye, but thankfully for only a couple days.

Today I’m thankful my husband is willing to stay with the kids, and do it on his own, so I can have some girl time with lifelong friends!

Today I get to hug 5 of my closest friends!

Today I get to eat supper with dear women who love God and encourage me to be a better person.

Today I’m thankful to the Lord for many things.

Birthday Celebration

I didn’t mean to be remiss in sharing about my recent 35th birthday! I had originally told my husband it would be fun to do something a little more than usual since it was my 35th, but then I got pregnant and felt terrible and figured if we did nothing that would be fine with me! However, my husband is a wonderful man and didn’t do just nothing. He arranged, on his own, to have several of our friends meet us at a restaurant I have been enjoying recently. All told there were 18 of us, including my parents (we actually celebrated on their 39th anniversary, which is the day before my birthday), grandma, BIL and sister, and then a ton of our friends! My MIL came to stay with our kids so we could go out kid-free, and that was a huge blessing! It was a wonderful celebration and so nice to sit, eat and chat with friends and family. It was also wonderful not having it at the house, and someone else got to clean up the mess! I felt well-celebrated and so loved! It was a good time. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos, so you’ll just have to use your imagination!

Fun with Friends

You know, there are some friends who just know how to make you feel loved, appreciated and part of their family while visiting. While David made his way WEST for his LAST doctrinal class, the kids, my mom and I headed EAST to visit friends. We had so much fun catching up, letting our kids get to know each other (her kids are 13, almost 12, 9 and 6), drank lots of tea and laughed a lot too! It was a relaxing, fun-filled week and I left feeling refreshed, loved and very blessed to have this friend (and her sister too!) for the past 24 years! Here are some of the highlights from the week!

We took the kids to the playground…

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The kids spent hours playing with legos, getting into Aunt Heather’s oven mitts and the laundry hamper…

IMG_2228 IMG_2225 IMG_2251The older girls helped the younger girls do a fashion show (and joined in too)…

IMG_2250 IMG_2248 IMG_2242And, we were visited by princesses!

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Friends from Long Ago

When we moved to the US life for me was hard. I was going into 8th grade and not only was I the ONLY new 8th grader but I was from Africa…this did nothing to help my cool factor! I had a very miserable 8th grade year–I don’t remember much of it–I truly believe I blocked it out. I joined band, playing the flute, and this turned out to be my saving grace. I was not a stellar musician, just average, but the friends I would make in band that year, and then all 4 years of high school, are still some of my closest friends. When I got to 9th grade I was terrified (aren’t all freshmen?). But, I knew I would have band and would see my friends there. Little did I know I would make new friends too.

One of those friends was “S”. She was 2 years older than me, played the flute, and for some reason decided to take this silly freshman under her wing. We became fast friends, and she was always one I considered a close friend. She was a Christian too and that was helpful since I attended a public HS. As happens, over the years we lost touch. She graduated, went to college and got married. I continued in HS, graduated, went to college, and life just happened. Through the wonders of Facebook we were able to reconnect. It’s been so much fun to get to know each other again and catch up!

A couple weeks ago S said she was coming this way to see her family and could we try to get together? OF COURSE!!!! Folks, we hadn’t seen each other for 15 years, the day of her wedding! I couldn’t wait. I have to admit I was a bit nervous because 15 years is a long time. I prayed we would be able to reconnect and that there wouldn’t be any awkwardness. The Lord answered that prayer! Though the visit was short, we had a wonderful time!!! I have to say it did NOT feel like 15 years had passed since we had last seen each other. We just picked right back up. You know you have a good friend in someone when you can do that. I was encouraged that we were able to talk about our lives currently and not have to spend the whole time reminiscing (although we did a bit of that). It was a wonderful few hours, and we parted with promises to not let another 15 years go by (we’ll be almost 50 if we do that!). Cora and S’s son (almost 5) got along really well and played nonstop the whole time. I’m so thankful for the people God brought into my life at just the time I needed, and I’m thankful a lot of these friends are still around and just as special!

S and I with our kiddos!