Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our extended time in Charlotte with OCC

We had a great time in Charlotte! It was a mini vacation, little did we know how sick I would be the following week, which makes last week's time even more precious! I could spend lots of time writing a blog about each of the things we experienced, but I am a firm believer that a picture is worth a thousand words so here is a few thousand words to let you know what we did!

The Billy Graham Library was a very neat experience. I wasn't sure what to expect but it was very well done, very relevant, and a great reminder of how God can use just one willing person to change the lives of so many - I can only pray that God will use me in that same way!

That night we headed into the City to see a performance of "Sister's Christmas Catecism" - It was a one woman show - that was interactive. It was very well done, very funny - she did a great job...there were a few times that I was a little taken back by some of her comments and questioned whether it was appropriate to joke about God or Christmas the way she did, just my thoughts, but I am pretty analytical when it comes to that! All is all it was a fun date night!

The next day we had a couple firsts - we went to Sonic for the first time - Cherry Limeades - yummy! We went and sat in Starbucks to meet a friend - love their Shaken Ice Tea Lemonades - pricey but good! And lastly we got to go to a fancy chinese restaurant with Joel's cousin Fred - it think it was called PK Changs or something like that. Needless to say - it was wonderful! Thanks Fred.

And now for the highlight of the week... the press conference

Stay tuned for another upcoming blog with Joel's speech - he did such a great job! I am so proud of his servant's heart - he is such a humble Godly man - how did I get so blessed?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Last Day of Working Charlotte OCC 2009

What a great week we had working at the Center - the kids were great - they worked so hard and truly had a servant's heart while there. We were so privileged to be able to work in the same section every day. The main leader was Bromley - he is so cool and loves Joel and our group. Our staff person was Shana - we just loved having her there and she loved having us - she told us we were her favorite group. When we first got there that morning another guy was planning to put us on his line, and she marched down and said - sorry but these are my people and took us down to her lines. We got to laugh with her, see her pictures, and pray for and with her. She brought me such great joy!!!

We worked on the special lines again, which is hard work but rewarding to know that Samaritan's Purse is able to go into countries who are Anti-Jesus and share the message of hope, not with words, but with shoeboxes and disaster relief. It also made me realize how great I have it to live in a country that allows me to worship freely.

At the end of the day we cleaned up and headed out for our celebration meal at Buca de beppos. It was a great time of laughing and fellowship. And let's just say that dessert was well....amazing and I don't even like chocolate - you will see our before and after pictures. If you would like to see more pictures - check out my facebook and you can see daily photographs of our trip.

One last thing.... this morning we sent our students and our leaders home and we are still here....why you ask, well my husband was invited to speak at a press conference on behalf of the volunteers since he has been coming for so many years. We get to stay until Thursday night! I also start my new job tomorrow - I guess I will be working from Charlotte for the week - which is fine since I have to do lots of research. Anyway - we will be posting more while we are here so watch for updates. You can also check out joelsnyder.net for more info as well.

Friday, November 27, 2009

OCC - Day 3

Today was a great day - but once again very tired! But well worth it! We worked today from 9-4 on the special boxes for Lebanon and Georgia (the country not the state). We laughed a lot, awwwed a lot, and worked a lot - and very well I might say. I am not sure anyone took a break, but me...but I did take a working break. After lunch I was having trouble with my body and brain not working so I went to the candy center (not to eat, silly) and sat down on the comfy chair and put 8 pieces of candy in little bags as filler items. While I was there I met a nice lady named Opal and another lady named Dot and a man named William (aka Billy Ray). We had a great time talking about OCC and I was able to educated them on the process - all my years of service paid off and I was able to share about my Jamaica trip.

After we returned home we had dinner then the group (or at least some of the group) went shopping, of course I would never be caught dead shopping on Black Friday. So this brings me to one of the highlights of the trip...tonight I got to spend some time with a dear friend that I have not seen or talked to in four years. It was such a blessing to be able to see her and spend time with her family. I have missed our talks with one another. She has two of the most beautiful children! Anyway - Becky if you are reading this - thank you for our time this evening - it was a blessing from God!

We ended the evening with a great time of devotions and singing. It has been great to get to know the kids better and have some great talks with the girls - yes we even talked about the birds and the bees or "the sexy truth" (which by the way I will be working on starting on Monday). Now I am tired and soon to sleep. As I look around the girls are happily playing cards the ladies are in their pjs reading and the boys...well .... Joel is in charge of them!

Day 2 OCC Thanksgiving Celebration

Happy Thanksgiving (a day late) But I am going to write this as if it were yesterday since I promised daily updates. We had a great day of rest and relaxation. We enjoyed a nice hope made thanksgiving dinner for 17 people made in our mini kitchen of our sweet. We were able to use the room downstairs to eat which was a blessing - below you will see a picture of our spread - pretty impressive if you could see our kitchen. I think the coolest part of the meal was one of the staff members walked into the room to get something not realizing we were there, and so I asked her if she would like some dinner, and she made herself a plate and called me Mam like 12 times - it just made me happy to food someone else! I just love feeding people. Anyway - it was a great day and we had so much to be thankful for!

Hope you and your families had a wonderful thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

OCC Day 1 - in the books!

So fun to get back to Charlotte to help process shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. As we walked through the door, we were greeted by the hugging lady! So nice to see her again - she is like that cute little grandma that everyone loves. The center made a lot of processing changes last year but since I wasn't able to come this is my first year experiencing it - my thoughts you wonder....I love it - it cuts down on a huge amount of noise in the warehouse. I can be doing presort and talking to one of the kids that is doing inspection as well as cartonizing - I love it! The staff is great as always - we especially loved working with Shana today - she was a sweetheart! We hope to be on her line again tomorrow.

Our group was lucky enough to work on a special line for Sensitive Countries - basically that means that the boxes we were working on were going to countries that do not like Jesus - so we have to sort through the boxes to find boxes that don't have Jesus stuff in the box - USA stuff and the part that was interesting was no pigs, or winnie the pooh - you would be surprised how many boxes have that stuff. One thing that I should note - we did not remove those items from the boxes - they just went to different countries that weren't so sensitive.

It was a long day but a great day - we even got to work an extra hour because they had several groups not show up. My biggest thankgiving moment of the day....my stool - thanks Kevin! Oh I did have another thanksgiving moment - I got to see my friend Randy Riddle - he is pretty much the next best thing to Franklin Graham! But really - it was such a blessing to reconnect with him - he went along on our trip to Jamaica several years ago.

Okay I think I am done with my thoughts for today - I need to get my beauty sleep, so I am not only physically beautiful, but emotionally I don't want to be ugly if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On our Way to Charlotte, OCC Processing Center

It has been two years since my last visit to Charlotte, last year - I was a little busy - wedding stuff, so I guess that is a good excuse. Anyway - Joel and I along with 14 other students and leaders will be piling in a van and making our way to the south. We have another group joining us on Thursday. This will be my seventh year going down - each year I get so excited about serving this awesome ministry. Samaritan's Purse is one of those stellar ministry organizations! They have great staff, great vision, and great opportunities to allow others to serve along side them.

If you are a praying person - please pray for safety for us as we travel, for extra energy as we work all day (for me especially, I don't always tolerate standing very long) and pray especially for the boxes and the children that will be receiving them.

Stay tuned for daily (hopefully) updates and pictures from our trip!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

Hey Friends - have you packed a shoebox yet? If not - you still have two weeks to do so. If you don't know what I am talking about - check out samaritanspurse.org and you can find out how you can pack a shoebox gift for a child around the world. Each year over 2.5 million shoeboxes are packed for children in over 100 countries around the world. Several years ago I had the privilege to go to Jamaica and hand out shoeboxes with an amazing team of OCC staff and friends from around the US.
The children that received these boxes were so filled with joy....if only we could learn to be more joyful in plenty and in want. We have so much to learn from children - especially children in other countries. I have had an opportunity to work with children in Jamaica, Guatemala, and Kenya and all these children - despite having so little - were some of the joyfilled people I have ever worked with. I think Jesus was trying to make a point when he mentioned having child like faith.

Tonight and last week some of our students got to participate in making shoeboxes for other children. It was mass chaos - starting with the shopping trip with middle school girls (fun times!), setting up the room, high schoolers doing boxes, then a room full of middle school students. It was not a big room and it was hot - but they were great and packed over 70 shoeboxes! It is our prayer that lives would be changed because of the message of Jesus Christ that is sent with these shoeboxes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 26 but who is counting!

So if you took a few minutes and you actually decided to count (which I am imagining that most of you would not wait your time to do, since I am not even going to waste my time to count) it has been way more than 26 days since I started my renewal program. It has in fact been much longer than 26 days however the great news is that despite that fact - I have not given up! I refuse to give up until I have completed the renewal even if it takes 150 days to complete.

My rule is that if I don't take the time to start my day off with my daily requirements I can't count it as a day. As many of you remember I started the first couple weeks off with lemon water - I actually even did that on some days that I didn't complete the day - but now I am starting the day with what they call a cranberry tonic - cranberry juice, water, and psyllum husk - you are supposed to add it as a powder but that sounded gross so I am taking a supplemental vitamin of psyllum husk. I also last week added an essential oils vitamin (it is like omega 3, plus all the other good fats) - I am still taking my multi-vitamin as well as my ester C.

I am doing pretty well as far as eating healthy - I am eating more balanced meals and trying to eat more salads and eat less food after 7pm (which is hard when you have a busy day). Now the exercise part - well I am not doing as well with that - I have taken some walks but not as many as I would like. Today I did get my tampaline out for the first time in weeks.

The spiritual section has been very good - good verses to focus on as well as prayers to read - I have not done well with the memorizing like I had hoped, but I will try my best to do better - I just need to take the time to write them out and post them.

Today I was asked to read the labels of some of my favorite food and list those that have good nutritional value and those that don't - I have not yet done that - but I am afraid of what I might find! That is what I plan to do tomorrow.

All in all I am doing well with drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day - I know because I visit the bathroom often.

Now - you may be wondering - am I feeling any results - actually for as much as I am not following the hard core daily exercising regimen - I have seen some great results...first - my MS has been very calm over the last two months, yes I still have a few hard days, but my good days seem better and my bad days seem to be more tolerable. Next - energy! I have more of that! Praise God! Next - I have lost 5-8 pounds - depending on the day - and lastly and most excitingly - I can fit into some of my clothes from the beginning of summer (which means I am finally losing some of my steroid weight (30 pounds I gained, yuck!).

I am feeling really good! Very satisfied with the progress I am making and hope to continue to make! Keep asking how I am doing - that is a great motivation to keep pressing on!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Day 17 continued....

Well there are a couple reason that I have spent a couple days on day 17. The first reason was because I went through the day and followed the regular diet of lemon water, two eggs, salad and so on, then that night when I got to my devotional time I realized it was a free day, and I had thought the free day wasn't until the weekend. So I decided that I would stay on day 17 the next day in order to really enjoy my free day of eating whatever I wanted. The next reason was because the mental health part of the day was about thinking - what consumes your thoughts, you were to write down what you thought consumed your thoughts and then at the end of the day write what actually consumes your thoughts - since I didn't do that days thought until the evening I had to think about it the next day. Well I am going to be honest that was back on Thursday and I am still on day 17. The last reason is because my partner in crime (or with this renewal) had a rough week with her grandma passing away and has gotten behind on her plan. So I have decided to start again tomorrow on day 18 and I will repeat it for several days until she is able to catch up that way we can be doing the same day together - have conversations about what we are being challenged by and what we are doing well at. Also this will give me a little time to start the exercising again since I have not walked or bounced for 2 weeks now - not good!!! I guess that is what happens when you get sick. So there you have the update for the week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy 200th Post - Renewal Day number I don't even know.

I can't even remember when I updated last - I do know it was earlier this week, but I am not sure what day - I guess I could go look but I don't feel like it. This week has been overhwhelmingly busy - I saw several clients this week, taught health and special ed for a day each, went to a bike night, youth group, a football game in Lewisburg where I got to see a ton of old friends and students (I miss you guys!), and today I went to the radio station, had lunch with Braedon - welcome home from your World Race, and then put fabric on the sound panels for the Family life center. Oh my!!! I am tired.

Because of my schedule this week, I have not done well with the exercise part of my renewal. I am so tired and it is usually dark by the time that I get home that I just not able to go. I am also sick - yuck!!!

Anyway - now to my successes and unsuccesses for the week. Along with not exercising I also didn't do well with the vitamins this week - I just didn't take them. (I will do better tomorrow) As far as the eggs go....this week you are supposed to have two eggs a day - I did that one day this week - but I really am not a fan of eggs so I need to do better on that as well. This week I was supposed to start with my lemon water which I did all week - today was rough - our water is so bad in the last two days - I feel like I am drinking a swimming pool. I also was to drink 64 oz of water each day - I think I am doing pretty well with that. So at least there are two successes. As far as the spiritual side of the renewal - I have journaled and done my prayer time every day but one this week. I was also supposed to come up with some weight loss goals this week - my hope is to lose 20 pounds by Christmas. My goal for exercise - 3-4 times a week and my goals for scripture memory - 3 verses a month. Quiet time - 3-4 times a week. I wish I had bigger goals but I really want to focus on being realistic!

So there you have it friends! I am doing okay with my renewal - I am hoping for a good weekend of refreshment and renewal! Planning a walk tomorrow - hoping I am feeling up to it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Funny Sign!!!

Okay so I am taking a one night hyatis from my 90 renewal series to bring you this important message from the Wesley Forest camp staff. This is an actual sign that is posted in the women's restroom. I am not even kidding.....

Now all I have to say is .... how do they go about finding the original owner???

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 7 - One week down!

It has officially been one week since I started my 90 day renewal. I am so excited that I got a great spiritual boost this weekend to add to my life changes that I would like to continue to make. This weekend was the Richfield Mennonite Women's retreat called Unexpected Joy. We looked at different character's of the bible and how God used both their trials and their triumphs to teach them profound life lessons about Himself, about each other, and about ourselves.

I must say I have never laughed so hard in my life - I actually cried because I was laughing so hard, the game boxers and briefs is hysterically funny when playing with a group of 20 women! All I have to say to that is polla - gomy and Apples. We laughed a lot, cried alot, and shared some great memories with each other - what a blessing to make new friends and grow closer to current friends. Remember ladies - we can't have our destinies without our histories - and we are in this place for such a time as this - bring on the JOY!!!!

As I look back over my week there were some things I did very well at - Lemon water, vitamins - I did well with those. I journaled daily which is a huge step for me. I spent time in prayer and reflecting on scriptures. I did not do well memorizing the first verse, but the second verse started yesterday and I almost have that one down.

Yesterday as part of the retreat we had 30 minutes of quiet time. It was interested to hear later how many woman were worried they wouldn't have enough to talk to God about - yet later how many said that they wished there was more time. I need to do that more often. Maybe I should have a goal for once a month to start with in hopes that I will do it at least once a week.

Today our focus was on needing other people, which I just read tonight as I was closing my day...the coolest part about that is that was exactly what I spoke about today at the retreat and it was the same exact scripture! God is so cool like that - not a coinsidence but a God insidence. It also talked about finding a partner in this 90 day commitment...the great news is that I already have someone - Jess! I am so thankful that she is doing this along with me, I do so much better when I have someone to share the journey with me.

Another thing that I did very well with last week that it actually didn't even mention and to be honest it wasn't actually something that I did intentionally it just kinda happened this way. This whole week - all I drank was water, I only had one can of Pepsi on Saturday night as a treat. It actually really does make a difference.

What I didn't do well at....two things which I would like to do better on this week....I would like to eat more green veggies (which means shopping tomorrow!) and doing better with my fifteen minutes of exercise. Although yesterday I was able to go for a hike/walk with some of the women and it was so refreshing! I did it!!! It was so freeing to be able to walk for a little bit - I hope my body keeps responding well!! It was great to have a least a little glimpse of the old me...and don't worry I am not going overboard (I thought Joel was a bit worried about my little excersion, but I promise I rested along the way and exercise is good for me as long as I don't overdo it).

Now it is off to bed to rest and recover from my weekend! God is so good!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day Three of Renewal

It has been a rough day - I was sick last night so I was up on and off most of the night....so I slept in - then got up and started working right away.... I made my hot lemon water and took it with me to the office. I was so busy and stressed throughout the day I didn't finish my water until 2:30 - let's just say that it wasn't hot anymore!

I didn't even get to read my book until getting home tonight. So at 8pm tonight I finally got to take my vitamins and eat my dinner. I did drink water all day so that is good. Then much to the fact that I am exhausted I did get on my mini trampoline for 3 minutes. I am officially exhausted - I was supposed to walk for 15 minutes today but with all the yard sale work which I was doing for hours so that is better than walking...but I am going to pay for it tomorrow - I am hurting to say the least.

The last thing I have to do today is to type up my top five lists and post it on the refridgerator. So today was not as good as I would like in any way - I was stressed, crabby, tired, and in pain, and I didn't start my day with my reading as I should - let's just say tomorrow I will do my best to read my book before starting my day not ending my day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day Two of Renewal

I woke up this morning to a glorious cup of hot lemon juice, not joking - it really is a good way to start your day. While drinking my juice, I did my homework for the day which was to take my top 25 list and break that down into top fives. I had to count how many I had of each category, funny I had 16 to dos, 5 to haves, and 4 to bes - that is things I would like to be aka a good wife. Things I would like to have like my extra freezer or new tires for my car, and lastly but my largest group by far - my to do list, which includes finishing my wedding thank yous. I didn't share my top 25 list last night, but I think I can share my top fives.

Top 5 To be
1. A Godly wife
2. A Godly mother/role model
3. 25 pounds lighter
4. Headache free
5. A life changing speaker

Top 5 To Have
1. A cure for MS
2. More time to quilt
3. A bigger kitchen
4. An extra freezer
5. Clothes that actually fit

Top 5 To Dos
1. Write a book
2. Complete a marathon (not necessarily run)
3. Sell my house by Christmas
4. Adopt or Foster care for abandoned kids
5. Complete my wedding thank yous by the end of this month

That is my list for the day! I also had to walk for 15 minutes - so I mowed the lawn - I hope that counts! And I took my vitamins as scheduled! So that is a check on day Two! Now I am off to burn more CDs for the retreat, and finish the powerpoints. It has been a busy day!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day One

Don't worry - I am not going to write every day of my 90 days, but I thought that since this was the first day that maybe I should make a post. So here it is. For the first time in over a year and a half I journaled! Crazy I know - I used to journal all the time before I got sick a couple years ago and then for some reason I stopped writing. There is space to write and check things off in the book that I am using but I don't really want to write in it in case I want to do it again sometime. I am so weird like that.

So I journaled all my answers. I started today with my hot lemon water - it was actually pretty good! The books says that it will tell us later why we are drinking that. I took my vitamin and my Ester C - those tablets are like horse pills - I could barely swallow them.

I did the devotional, prayer time but struggled to stay focused - there is my blatant honesty!!! I wish I was a more focused person in that area of life.

You didn't have to weigh in but I did just so I can have a starting point...oh my goodness - I haven't weighed this much since my college days - YUCK!!!!!

For my exercise today I walked the halls at the school for a period as the hall monitor - that was a bit tiring and boring - but oh well. Then when I got home tonight I did my mini trampoline - yes can you believe I have a mini trampoline. I can even do it without getting dizzy which is a good thing....however I only had to to 3 minutes.

Lastly we had to make a list of 25 things that we would like to have, to be, or to do.....you would think with such a broad range of things that you are able to write down that this would be easy...oh my it took me forever just to think of things and I was reaching...it is one of the most random lists....Joel made fun of me that the first thing on my list was to have an extra Freezer...I am not sure why I thought of that first, but I did. Oh well. I am exhausted and have felt pretty crappy all day, so day one is done we will see how the week ends up!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The 90 Day Challenge

It has been a busy summer - I have been so bad at blogging as well as bad at eating healthy, bad at exercise (much to my dismay) and bad and getting all the things done that I would like to get done. With all that said - tomorrow morning I am going to begin a 90 day wellness challenge along with a friend of mine. This challenge is total wellness - spiritual, physical,emotional, etc. The best part - it is not a diet but a focus on adding healthy things into my life with each day.

One of my favorite parts is that each week of the challenge there is scripture to memorize - focused prayer time and topics to think about. The book that I am using is called the Becoming the Woman I want to be.

Part of what I hope to do is do daily (let's be realistic - WEEKLY) updates on my blog to help me keep accountable for what I am doing.

I start tomorrow morning off with a hot cup of Lemon water - this should be interesting - I love cold lemon water so maybe hot lemon water will be just as good.

Now I am soon off to bed to prepare for my 90 day wellness challenge. With God's help - I can do this -despite my MS I am going to press on and not let it control my physical health even if I can't exercise as much as I would like.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dutch Days - Part 4 - Series 2

So today is the last day of Dutch Days which I am not there to enjoy! The big parade was long from what I heard, hopefully my hubby taped some of it for me.

The things that I learned yesterday at Dutch Days....people like Rice Pudding - so much so that they serve it in waffle cones - I am not joking - my father in law made me try it - I just don't like the mixing of those textures.

I also learned that every year it rains at least one night - that it did last night. We were very tired so when the soda stand closed we went home instead of staying for the evening drawing and guess what - the night we put our names in and leave early - they pick my name to win a prize!!!

So my first year of Dutch Days as an official member are gone! It was fun and I am glad I now know the rules.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dutch Days - Part 3 - Series 2 2009

So this is my third post - I don't think it will be as excited as the past ones since my evening was filled mostly with working too long in the soda stand then having to come home because I couldn't stand any longer - what a bummer I couldn't even get my Mr. Sticky that I was so excited about....however Joel knew that I wanted one so he brought one home for me to enjoy for breakfast this morning. Thanks Babycakes! And speaking of Babycakes - you always know who his football players are at Dutch Days because they always walk by and refer to him as Babycakes - the name that they call him as their coach!

Another thing that I have learned about Dutch Days for Joel - he sees the event as a big reunion - which for him I am sure is very exciting - he actually counts each night the number of people that he talks to that he hasn't seen since last year.... the first night it was 28 and last night 13 - he gets very excited when he sees someone - yes I am married to a social butterfly.

Now - there is one thing that I am not sure I am a big fan of when it comes to Dutch Days, maybe it was because I was tired and had little patience....but the guy that talks on the mic all night long is a bit over the top - he doesn't stop talking and it is really loud - it is hard to hear the customers that are standing right next to you. My other pet peeve....you can't bring pets or scooters to the park, but you can smoke cigarettes and throw them on the ground and blow the smoke in people's faces. I can't tell you how many people came up to the soda stand and blew smoke in my face....if you need to smoke - okay - maybe they should have a smoking area - but don't smoke while in line at a stand - have some care for the people around you!

So that is my little rant and rave about the Talking Man and the Smoking. My last note for today is about what I woke up to yesterday - I was laying in bed sleeping when I woke up to hear the sound of a shovel outside....little did I know that while I was sleeping my In Laws decided to come and clean the stones off the road in front of our house. Joel did go out to help once he knew that they were there, and later he went out and hosed it all down. He has really gotten into the Dutch Days mood. I also was able to get a second coat of paint on our chairs so they are ready for the porch today.

That is all I have for yesterday and Dutch Days - lots to do today as I get ready to fly to NC tomorrow for Workcamp! Hope I get everything done!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dutch Days - Part 2 - Series 2

So much has been learned in less than 24 hours since my last Dutch Days post.... I must say that I got more comments on that post than maybe any other I have ever written - so maybe I need to write about these types of events more often or maybe it was just because I may have unintentionally frustrated some people with my lack of understanding - regardless - I do have some fun facts that I learned at Dutch Days as well as some new rules. I also am proud to say that I can check off a few things on my Spruce the house for Dutch Days List - thanks to a lot of hard work and great In Laws who as a wedding gift wanted to paint our porch - today.

First I can check off painting the chairs for the porch, trimming the hedges, and painting and sweeping the porch. I still have to get those pesky rocks off the road - too bad the township or the state doesn't do that for us - because after all they are the ones that put them there - maybe they could be a little bit green and recycle them.

New Rules that I learned today - I learned that good Richfieldians go to Dutch Days every night. I am sad to say that I will have to fail on this one since I will be in North Carolina on Saturday - I am really bummed that I am missing the parade! I love parades and since my house looks so good I wish I could be here to listen to people talk about how clean it is on my porch. I am also sad that I can't see the float that I helped make as well as the bands that my nieces are in and best yet - the Grand Marshalls of the parade are Wade and Eleanor Snyder - my favorite in laws! Wade says he is going to smoke his pipe through the parade and Eleanor is wearing yellow - that is all I know at this point - she asked me what I would wear if I was doing that and honestly I said - well it would depend on what color car I was riding in - and that is the honest truth.

The second rule that I learned tonight was from my nieces - however several other girls did confirm it tonight - you must get new outfits for Dutch Days and wear them each night of the event. I did well I did wear a new shirt tonight - so I can check that off my list. And Bria would like it known that she started this trend - however Andrea said that she used to do it so you might have to argue this one out.

Lastly - I learned tonight that you must wear a shirt at all times at Dutch Days - true story at the end of the night they announced that someone had lost their shirt and it was found in the eating area - someone was not following the rules!!!!

Fun Facts about Dutch Days - It is the 41st year of Dutch Days. Some lady was a good citizen and saved Dutch Days because she called the Fire Department when she saw smoke in one of the stands this summer. Favorite Quote of the night - "Good Luck dying" No joke that was really said and I can confirm it because it was Joel that said it....you will have to ask him about it. And the last fun fact - you must be a Strawser or an Aucker to be a lucky winner tonight (for those of you who don't know they do a drawing at the end of each night but you must be there to win).

I do have a fun picture of a huge bug that was found - however my phone doesn't have service at our house so it may have to wait until later.

So there you have it - fun times at Dutch Days - met some new people - will try to remember their names, but will probably forget.....oh I thought of one more thing - you have to get to Mr. Sticky before 9pm or they may run out - I missed out tonight but tomorrow I will go at 6pm and get my Mr. Sticky with walnuts!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dutch Day Rules - Part 1 - Series number 2

So little did I know before moving to the beloved town of Richfield that there was a hidden book of rules that exist when it is mid-july. It seems as though maybe there should be a welcome booklet or basket when you move to town to let you know "the rules of being a good citizen". Actually I did get a basket last night from the church ladies which was very nice, but there was no book of rules, just a devotional, which I don't think will help me with knowing the Dutch Days Rules.

Here are the rules that I have learned so far, and since Dutch Days starts tomorrow, I have many things still to do to gain good citizen status in the community. Rule number one - you must paint or at least spend several hours sprucing up your porch - no lie - our porch has been painted this week! Rule number two - if your porch is already in good paint condition - you must sweep it several times and remove any and all cobwebs and signs of dirt. Rule number three - you must also hose down your porch (notice a pattern - porches are really important). Rule number 4 - you must sweep the stones off the road in front of your house! No I wish I was kidding - this is really an expectation! I didn't even know there were stones on the road in front of my house until I went out to look and there they are stones that I have to sweep up and remove them before tomorrow afternoon or at least most definately before the parade! Rule number 5 - do not call Dutch Days a fair or a carnival - it is not - it is simply Dutch Days.

I am sure that there are other rules that I have yet to learn - I am just scared to find out those rules because I have unintentionally broken one or more of them. I am just going to tell those people - no one gave me the Dutch Days Instruction Manual.....I am not sure that will work, especially since I am married to the man that some refer to as the "mayor of Richfield" - you would think as mayor he would know these rules....maybe he knows them and just thinks they are silly!

So now I am ending my little rant about the rules - since I am a rule follower - I will do all of the above - I might just have to complain a little bit in the process. There will be more to follow in my second annual series on Dutch Days - to find out more check out my archives from last summer! But this year I am a resident and a Snyder - so that changes everything!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Special Day

Mother's Day is a very special day for most all of us. It is a day that we celebrate the love and the sacrifice that our mother's have made for us. For me, I have the priviledge of having three such moms....three you might ask... yes three! First is my mom - the woman that raised me. Lynn Grant - she is a wonderful, amazing, talented woman. She has taught me so much about life, about kindness and forgiveness, and about love. She has passed on to me her love for quilting and her love for teaching. I am so greatful for my mom.

Recently as most of you know, I was married, and with Joel came a new mom to me, Eleanor Snyder. She is a dear woman, who is always willing to go the extra mile to help do anything that is needed to be done... she has even offered to do my laundry on my bad days. You will not meet a person in our little community of Richfield that does not adore Eleanor. She is a joy to have as a mother in law!

Lastly is a mom that I don't talk about too much, yet she holds a very special place in my heart. She is my birthmother. I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like for her to find herself pregnant at the age of 16. It was obviously not what she planned, however, she made a very big decision to chose life, and for that I am so greatful! I have no idea who this woman is other than she was short and had blonde hair and brown eyes. She was Swedish and Irish (to which I celebrated, when I found that out, because deep down inside I always wanted to be Swedish!) But one thing I do know is that I love her, I pray for her and hope that one day I may meet her or at least see a picture. She gave me life - what a gift.

My mom (Lynn) also chose me... then loved me, cared for me, held me when I was crying, too me to the hospital when I needed stitches, taught me how to sew, took me to camp, the list could go on...but as you see all three of my moms have a special role and place in my life.

Here is a poem that I was given when I was younger, it puts into perspective my thoughts and feelings about my moms. Thanks for listening to my mother's day epilog!

Legacy of the Adopted Child

Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother.
Two different lives shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love. The second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality. The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent. The other gave you aim.
One gave you emotions. The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile. The other dried your tears.
One sought for you a home that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.
And now you ask me, through your tears,
the age-old question unanswered through the years.
Heredity or environment, which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling. Neither. Just two different kinds of Love.
© Author Unknown

Monday, April 06, 2009

More than 10 years oh my!

I just got an email from my alma mater (does anyone else think that is a weird word?) Anyway it was to update our files so they can post a new directory. One of the sections asked you to write in 300 words or less what has happened in your life since graduation.... how do you put 12 years of your life in 300 words or less....well this is what I wrote, do you think that sums it up pretty well ??? Let me know what you think.

It seems as though I just graduated yesterday, however it has been more than ten years since I was a Messiah student. After graduating from college, I taught Health and Physical Education for five years in Clearfield, PA. Then I moved to Lewisburg PA to work for a church, where I served as the Youth Director for the last 7 years. During my time at the church I was diagnosed with Multiple Schlerosis, that has been a very challenging experience, however very faith empowering, as I depend each day on God's strength to keep moving. Most recently I got married to Joel Snyder, a youth pastor at a church in Richfield, PA. I have recently left my youth director position at the church to join my husband as a volunteer in his youth ministry. My time is now spent traveling, speaking at seminars, teaching at the local schools, and counseling teens and couples. It is amazing to see where God can take you in ten years.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I need my pictures....

So I actually have a ton of things to blog about from over the past few months however, most of them require the pictures that I have taken to go along with them and since I am a bit new with my blackberry I am not sure how to get them off. I know lame excuse not to blog but it is the truth. I kinda feel like my funny thoughts are not funny unless I have the picture to go along with the blog!

In other news.... does anyone know how to get your songs from Itunes off one computer and put them onto another, I have tried several methods and none have worked up to this point, so I am all about suggestions....Also I have a blackberry now and I don't really know how to use it that well so if anyone has any suggestions there - I am all open - I don't do well reading manuals!

Okay there are my thoughts for the day! Have a great one!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Pray for my brother Braedon

I just happen to be really missing my brother (in Christ) Braedon Tabor. He was one of my youth group kids and then after going to school a couple years he came and spent a year with me as my intern, the guys just loved him and his music, so I thought I would do a tribute blog to my friend Braedon who is traveling the world and sharing the gospel, if all works a planned I believe they will be in India this month. Here is a song that he wrote and loved to sing for us! We love you Braedon and we are praying for you

Monday, March 02, 2009

Airport Fun

If I was as cool as my husband I would be able to immediately download the cool pictures that I took on my phone and camera from the conference and write all these really cool blogs about my weekend in Columbus, however...I am not my really cool husband and I don't have the ability to do that so you will just have to wait for my cool pics and cool comments, instead you will just have to feel sorry for me that I am currently stuck at the Columbus airport for a long period, but the cool part....some of my great friends Stephanie and Cheryl are stuck here as well so we get to chill together. God makes good out of situations that could be very frustrating...to be honest...this down time has been a real blessing, talking with them is both encouraging and empowering! What a blessing they both are. Once I get my pictures up, I will post one of the three of us.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

First Day at NYMC

So the morning started out a little rough...my flight was changed to an earlier time, almost missed the flight - they were going to charge me 15 for my luggage - so I took a pair of essentials and sent the suitcase with my husband...a little awkward to do that in the middle of the check in station at the airport. Quickly headed through security just to find out that my husband's bag actually had contraband in it and all the contents had to be spread out all over the table including my essentials...then I have to hurry to the plane that left at 10:20 instead of 11:15 as mentioned on my itinerary. Needless to say I was the last one on the plane.

In between flights - I got a call from the bank stating I had overdrawn by 200 dollars - wow fun stuff when you are in a different state, but thank goodness my husband was able to save my butt on that one...too bad for late fees.

I arrived in Columbus early , but was pleasantly surprised to find a couple guys with conference signs who were helping us get to the hotel without taking a cab....thank goodness. I avoided my first cab trip thanks to my new friends Troy, Denton, and Jeff (there was another guy too but I can't remember his name, sorry!) We had a great time.

It was so fun to have all the affinity group leaders back together again - I forgot how much they make me laugh - I can't wait until tomorrow. It is going to be a great day! I am however a little nervous about the 8000 cheerleaders who are in the ball room right next to ours....hmmm that could be very interesting. Last year it was the cat convention this year it is the cheerleading convention.

Fun Times In Columbus!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

National Youth Workers Convention

So tomorrow morning my plane takes off for Columbus OH - I am so excited about this conference, it is so different than any other conference that I have ever attended....it is relaxing, but still informative, and renewing all at the same time. The goal is that is would be more of a conversation, instead of a sit in chair and soak it all in type of thing. The speakers are real genuine people that care for you whether you work for a church full time or part time, or volunteer...they care about you if you work for a mini church or a mega church. I am honored to be a part of this organization that cares so much for the souls of those that are called to love teenagers and college students. Keep checking back throughout the conference for updates as the weekend progresses...I am looking forward to Caedmon's Call - I would just love to meet them...we will see if that can happen! I will keep you posted. I will also be Twittering while there so check me out on twitter.com/sisterfishbait

Friday, February 13, 2009


First an apology for being so delinqent on my blogging, as you can imagine I have been crazy busy making so many transitions over these last two months. And speaking of two months two marks the milestone of two months of wedded bliss! Which is why I chose the title that I did for this special blog.

Last night I decided to have a girl's night for my five new nieces. We had dinner and dessert and then make giant kisses with chocolate and filling. As you can imagine, there was chocolate all over the place in the kitchen and dining room and lots of dishes to say the least. I went to bed knowing that tomorrow after work I would be cleaning frantically to get ready for our house guests who are watching our pets this weekend, while we attend a marriage conference. (PS Thanks so much Andrea and family - you are the best!)

Anyway - I left this morning before my husband got up and went to Lewisburg for work, after work I rushed back home knowing that I had a ton to clean and pack and all that fun stuff.

As I walked through the door, I noticed flowers on the table, beautiful white lillies, just like I had in my bouquet at our wedding, with a card from my husband wishing me a Happy Two Month Anniversary, I almost cried, however there is more, I looked up and noticed there were clean dishes lining the dining room table, I rushed to the kitchen and found all of the dishes in the sink were cleaned, the kitchen was spotless (besides the boxes that still need to be unpacked) I almost couldn't hold the tears back, I think that was one of the most romantic things that my husband could have ever done for me, I love the flowers, but the dishes sent me right out the door, down to his office to thank him, what a man.... little did I know that had I walked a little further I would have found the bed stripped and the sheets washed and ready to be made......oh my goodness, I can't believe what a great guy he is!

And to just add to this he wrote a blog this morning about "Different but better" how things have to change when you get married, and before he sent it, he had someone else read it to be sure that I wouldn't be upset by it, wow - did I find myself an AMAZING MAN or what.

I am so excited to be married to this man, and it was well worth the wait and I can't wait for the next two months, two years, and two decades that I get the priviledge to be called Mrs. Joel Snyder.