Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 30, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014

Mon.-Phil's feeling pretty rough. He's taking it easy, listening to his financial CD's and sleeping off and on. I made a big pot of just vegetable soup with chicken broth, chili, and ginger/lemon tea. Susan and I brought in everything from the car and I got it all put away. Garage doors are going up today. Judy called and D's surgery went well and they found no cancer which is absolutely a miracle. Drs said there was a slim chance that it was not cancer. D is able to come home tonight. So thankful. Susan is headed to basketball practice tonight. Michael went over to the guys place to spend time with Travis and all. I went to bed at 7.

Tues.-And slept until 6 this morning. Did wash. Phil's throat looks rough. Feels like he has a fever and I can't find a thermometer anywhere. Decided to call the doctor. Long story short. Susan took him in since he feels like he is having out of body experiences with all the pressure in his head plus the meds we're forcing down his throat. Flu. He has the flu. Doc put him on Tamiflu and put Susan and I on it as well since we are living in the same house with him. So expensive but he feels responsible for bringing it in the house and doesn't want us to get it. I took a good nap this afternoon. Phil paid bills and is listening to his finance book. Susan went to Julie's and then to Julie's church event later. Lucy has been laying on her every chance she gets. Separation anxiety due to Christmas events in Pa. and now she's leaving again for the night. The boys are having their friends over for the night. I started a file for my blog writings. I'm editing favorite ones and then I will download the file and take it to the printers. I have several writing projects on the go. One with Lindsay, the blog devotionals, and Mom and Dad's courtship story. I wanted to get my desk cleaned off today but that will have to be my New Year's Day project. Naomi called. It was nice to catch up. Katrina posted several videos on fb of our family gathering. I am older than I think I am. It's strange to see ones self on video.

Wed.-The guys are staying away from the flu house. Phil is worse today but the doctor said it is to be expected. He slept most of the day after having a rough night. I tried to get some things done but wasn't too successful. Hip and shoulder hurting badly and making it hard to function. Susan got home in the afternoon after spending the night at Julie's. She and I watched 1 1/2 movies and drank hot chocolate. Freeman shot a button buck. A day of rest. I wanted to start the new year with the house somewhat organized but that didn't happen and it doesn't matter. Called Karen to give her a warning about the flu. So far so good up there. Dr. F. sent me home with a bunch of stuff for Phil. And memory vitamins for me. A day of peace. Amen.

Thurs.-Phil still recovering from respiratory flu and now it looks like I have a stomach bug with a 101.8 temp. Feeling awful.

Fri.-Lazy day for Phil and I. I worked on WM phone calls and fb messages. Phil's fever broke. He did a little work but rested most of the day. Susan was doctor and fixed things for Phil and made a delicious lunch of lentil burgers with mushroom buns. She and her team won their game in Richmond tonight. Michael, Phil, and I , watched Despicable Me 2 and Philip joined us for Mission Impossible 5. Freeman and Philip put up another rack in the laundry room to help me get more organized. Missed a Mom's and More Christmas party tonight. Think I got so sick yesterday because I ate bagged spinach and kale. Can't handle the preservatives and get sick every time but forgot about it this time around. It will be nice to feel good again.

Sat.-Freeman, Philip, and Susan, went hunting several times today but didn't get anything. Phil is still laying low but did some work outside. I have a sore throat and runny nose. Felt better than yesterday and vacuumed and washed a floor and worked on my desk and made some cream of tomato soup. Michael is headed to an airport with the W's to meet Sarah as she comes back from a missions trip to G. Philip is headed to Martin's. I'm hitting the sack early and Phil and Susan are watching 'Lord of the Rings.'

Sun.-Slept from 7 last eve until 10 this morn. Stayed in bed and Phil brought me toast and tea. Finally got up when Susan came home from church. Watched several movies and went back to bed again soon after 6. Phil's getting slowly better. I'm getting slowly worse. No fever so it is not flu. Just a nasty sore throat and head cold at this point and doing everything I can to keep it there and get better. Philip had worship practice this morning and played on the worship team. Michael has been with the Warren's. We are scattered today but we are resting. Sometime this week, my blog registered over 40,000 hits. U.S. reads it the most-27,000+. Then, in order from most to least-, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, U.K., Canada, France, Ukraine, S.Korea, and Poland.
I've been thinking about Nadia-she is a Lutheran priest and Jeanne Grunert gave me her book to read. Her language is a bit of a stretch but it makes me laugh a little and gasp a little but mostly, what she says in the midst of her language, makes me love God more. I find myself telling Him I love Him more than I have before. I wonder. I read the Bible. I read CSLewis and Nouwen, and Gary Thomas and Mary DeTurris Poust-a Catholic writer. I read Cloud and Townsend and Joseph Prince and Mark Batterson and Ken Hagin. Anne Lamott and Beth Moore.  Mostly, I read Isaiah, John, Paul, David, and Solomon's writings with a few others thrown in. And I realize that I am my mother. She always had a stack of 10 books or so besides the Bible that she was reading from. And I don't know anyone who was more balanced and tolerant and conservative than she was. Hopefully, the vast differences in what my writers write will all point me to the God they love and through their different perceptions of His word and His ways, I can see Him from their perspective and come to love Him even more than if I relied on my own perspective of Him. Somehow, I am figuring out how to keep an open mind, an open heart, an open soul to the way others see God, and yet remember that broad is the gate that leads to destruction and narrow is the gate that leads to life. So. Help me God. Help me know The Truth as You are and not the Truth as others perceive you. Help me not to be so open that I miss the Secret Garden Gate because the Public Garden Gates are swung open wide.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 22-28, 2013

Mon.-Susan and Phil took a special trip to Wilkes Jewelry store where he got her a beautiful silver necklace and also one for me, with a sparkly Treble clef on dangling display. Made rolls for Hertzler Christmas lunch. Rain, rain, rain. Philip working on garage. Michael doing odd jobs. Susan packing, etc. What a day.

Tues.-Philip, Michael, and Susan headed for Pa. shortly before 10. Alli and Freeman went to spend the eve. with her family and will head to Pa. in the morning. I made some old fashioned molasses cookies and dipped the end in vanilla coating. Also made some Reeses peanut butter bars, did some wash, cleaned the house, wrapped some gifts, etc. Phil got some firewood and delivered it to a friend and did a lot of work around the farm. In the evening, we went to Christ Church for their Christmas eve service. The Loys were there and the Jones and others we know and love. It was good to be in the house of God, reading and listening to Scriptures, hearing the word, singing carols, partaking in communion around the altar (first ever I dipped the wafer in real wine and I did it because there were only 4 little cups of grape juice left and I thought there might not be enough if I took one-good excuse anyway), and catching up with old friends. Hit the sack before 11. The kids are Christmas caroling this eve. and will spend the night at Joe's. At least, that's the plan.

Wed.-Woke up slow. Had a nice breakfast of mushrooms, broccoli, ham, and eggs all scrambled together. Read some. Watched several movies. Took care of animals. Made some bacon wrapped, brown sugar dipped, sweet potato cubes-baked in oven. Took a trip around the farm on the Polaris with Phil. Treated this day like a Sunday except we didn't go anywhere. Michael sent us a Christmas song recorded around the Hertzler table. I would definitely say it was a homesick for family in Pa kind of day for me. Merry Christmas everybody!

Thurs.-Did wash and cleaned part of the house. Went out to Farmville with Phil in the eve. for Morris R's wife's funeral. (Steve's brother). Stopped at Janelle's to feed fish and at Grunerts to return mystery book and pick up several more. Also went to Food Lion and Walmart. With Phil. There is something terribly attractive about a man who shops with me. Plus we get more than we came for and get it done in half the time. Received word that Pete M. died of an aneurism. Freeman called from Pa. Terrible accident on west-bound turnpike near Adamstown. Traffic tied up for 7 miles when he went through the east-bound side. Read on news that they closed both sides to clean up. He made it through just in time. Several deaths and a number of injuries. They weren't expecting that much snow. Philip and Susan went to Cabela's with Cam and Jackie. Had homemade pizza last eve. with them. Michael posted a video they made of themselves 'singing' the Trans-Siberian orchestra music. Susan is smiling and tolerating it all in the back seat. So funny. Philip got him to post it with the title-'You're welcome, Face Book.' They had originally made it for themselves. Dan Shippey reposted with the words 'I'm so thankful these guys are my brothers,' or something like that anyway. Phil is achey, sore-throat, and coughing. I am fighting a sore throat. We need to recover quickly.

Fri.-Started Phil on an antibiotic we had floating around here. Did some wash. Planned a calendar featuring church women="Church Women in the Most Unlikely Places" or 'Church Women You Know Where You'd Least Expect Them'. Halfway planned on face book already. Went shopping in town to Belk and found some treasures. Stopped at Judy's first and had a cup of coffee and caught up talking as fast as we could. Fed Diesel on the way home. Philip was hunting when I got back and Susan was here, too. It's nice to have them home again. Mickey stopped in for awhile and told us more about her son-in-law. A tree fell on him, not a branch. He has passed unto eternity. Watched an Indiana Jones movie and got ready for the weekend. Two things the Lord promised me today. I wrote them on cards and put them in the bathroom where I can see them everyday. One says, "I make all things new." I am going to live as though I believe that.

Sat.-Left Va. around 6 in the morning and arrived at my brother, Abe's, around noon. We put the kettle of half frozen corn on the stove top and Abie added a half stick of butter. We enjoyed chatting with family as they came in and scarfed down some special cheeses and spreads and pickles. Karen served us Abe's clam chowder soup as a precursor to a meal of tossed salad, turkey, oyster filling, filling, corn, gourmet potatoes, Harvard beets, and I gotta be missing something. Plus lots of desserts. I sat beside brother Alan and he showed me pictures of his grandkids, etc. and I loved it. Rosalee and her family were there. She came with a walker and cane, having had hip replacement surgery not much more than a week or two ago. My highlight was singing Christmas carols around the piano for a good hour. We also said what hymns we wanted sung at our funerals and I had to pretend wail to hide my desire to really wail when Abie sang, 'Sunset and Evening Star....' as we were saying good bye. He wants that sung at his funeral. 'Isn't it pretty?' he asked. Yes, and hauntingly sweet, and I don't want to think about his funeral, thank you very much. Abby had to work at Lanc. Gen. and we were all disappointed she couldn't join us. Katrina showed us her engagement ring. Wedding late summer, we're thinking. Annika and Stew were there as well as Karistan and her gang and Kendra and Eric. Alan and Carol were the only ones from their family who could come. It's been quite a year for some of us. Hopefully, 2014 will hold more joy. Came home to Mom and Dad and visited with them and gave them their gifts and Jim and Debra came over with Taylor and Jordan and Jordan's friend, Dianna. Then we went over to Joe and Karen's and played with the little guy, Jonathan, and hit the sack around 10. Michael had come back up with us after traveling back on Friday with Susan and Philip. Sarah was going on a missions trip to Guatemala and he wanted to say good bye and Travis and Erik and April were home and he got to spend the evening with them on Friday before hopping back in our car Sat. morning to head back up to Pa.

Sun.-Had a nice relaxing morning with Karen and Jonathan, and then, Joe, eating her homemade blueberry, vanilla, and peach yogurt with her homemade granola. We forgot to bring some home with us. Yogurt. Went to Hopewell and Dwayne, the interim pastor, spoke on 'Family Matters.' Incredible sermon on the family. Visited with many people after church and then walked down a few steps into the fellowship hall where we had The Mast Reunion. Lots of food, shared memories, Doug's 'Potato Jake' song, Christmas carols, Phil and bro's and Uncle Paul singing, "Forever Young" at everyone's request, lots of hugs, and finally good byes. It's always hard to leave Mom and Dad and all of my wonderful sis in laws and brother in laws and Ed and Anne and Phil's uncles and aunts and cousins. It was raining, too. But it helped that we got to take Annie back home. Stopped at Newton B's first to pick up the huge amount of hand towels I brought from Susie for 10 bucks. She was selling them on face book and I jumped at them. We never have enough nice rags around here plus they are nice enough to use for awhile. Phil gave Annie her gift and she liked her pearls very much. We gave her a bag with Little David's gift of a train ornament, camouflage hat, and knit hat and gloves.
We left the area around 4 and stopped once every hour and still got home at 10. Phil is still not feeling well. He said it's hard enough to feel sick at home and it's even harder away from home. I'm not sure if the antibiotic is helping him. I think rest and ginger tea might be what he needs most. And thus ends this Christmas season. My favorite memory of every gathering-our own family's Christmas celebration included, is the singing. We sang and sang and sang. And it was beautiful. It was also very special that a certain little Jonathan sought out my company and wanted me to be with him in his house under the table and sit beside him at the Mast Dinner. Family is wonderful. I am thankful.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 16-22, 2013

Mon.-Susan and I love Monday's. We regroup, refocus, and organize our week. I made some sugar cooky dough to bake later. Also did wash and wrote some cards, etc. Susan went out to town for voice lessons and basketball practice. I made caramel corn for the Warren family.

Tues.-Today's highlight-went to Farmville to get groceries. Stopped in to see Judy. Went to the Warren's and learned how to make mittens from old wool sweaters. Robin gave me a pair already made. Wonderful time. Stopped at Dianna's to show her my mittens. She was impressed. Made me a supper of vegetable soup and toasted cheese. Had a nice visit with Steve and her and Henry and Laurel. Susan went to Farmville also and got her hair trimmed, went to the chiro, basketball practice, and had fun at the Varsity Guy's Basketball game. She kept stats. Philip went to Chi Alpha.

Wed.-About mid morning I was outside working and Lucy and Davi were racing around. I avoided them and yelled several times because they kept circling back to me, but then Lucy went racing and Davi just plowed into me going about 25 mph and clotheslined me and the next thing I knew I was on the ground on my left side, crying. Michael was outside and came running and banged on the window and Phil and Susan came running out and Phil just held me and crooned and Susan ran and got a pillow and after laying there and coming to my senses and stretching my ankle, I realized it wasn't broken or sprained, and got up and limped into the house with the help of Phil. Susan helped put away groceries from last evening and vacuumed the floor plus did her other jobs. Dr. F took me in and worked on me for an hour. I was starting to ache all over. My neck and shoulders were especially affected. She told me to go home and soak in 2 cups of Epsom salts and powdered ginger. Which I happily did.  I also made a potato soup for tomorrow's luncheon at Judy's. There was also sausage, onions, roasted garlic, a turnip, celery, carrots, two packs of corn, hard boiled eggs, butter, sour cream, cheese, cream cheese, and milk in it. Oh it's good. We had more than enough for our supper. Also made French silk pie, sugar cookies, crock pot candy, and cinnamon rolls, which I froze for our Christmas breakfast on Sat. Now, I'm headed to the tub to soak again. Michael is working on my Christmas gift in the man cave and never have I wanted to stop in and check on it like I have today, but I gave him my word. Susan and Philip went to NLyouth group. They were supposed to wear ugly sweaters but we didn't have any because I've gotten rid of them. Davi feels pretty bad for hurting me. She wants to be near me but she's not sure if she should be. And I've not wanted her in the house today because I was baking. Poor thing.

Thurs.-Phil and the guys went to The Animal House in Richmond to set trusses. Got finished. I went out to Judy's and dropped off soup, veggies, and French Silk Pie, and then to Bailey's, where Ginger picked me up and took me back to Judy's for our luncheon. Judy and I want to do this once a month, where we ask different women to get together to get to know each other better. If it suits our new pastor's wife to come each time, that would be great, and a good way for her to get to know others on a more intimate level as well as letting them get to know her. It was nice to have Jenny and Livi and Lexi there and Ginger, Worth, and Ryder, and Jennifer, Caleb, and Rainer. It didn't suit Sara to come and we missed her. Judy made homemade hot poppers and ham sandwiches. We sat around and visited and the kids played together so nicely. Ginger took me back to get my car and I came back to Judy's to pick up my stuff and go to Walmart. Went to bed early after chatting with Lindsay on facebook a bit. Susan had basketball practice. She was home alone and finished her WW1 book.I am brain tired as you can tell by my writing and my body is a bit stiff from yesterday's fall. But not bad, really. I'm thankful. Good night.
Oh-had this thought today. Jesus laid down his life for us on the cross but He also laid his life down when he came as a baby. He would not have been aware of who He was. He was just a baby, at the mercy of the adults around him. He was anonymous in His own eyes. For a very long time. He died to Himself. God. Almighty. Sovereign. He died and was born and became anonymous. Blows my mind.

Fri.-Got ready for our Christmas tomorrow. Susan helped me and also had basketball practice and party in the eve. Michael and Jordan worked on wood most of the day and Phil and Philip ran to Richmond to add a third screws to a building project. Alli invited me out to lunch. We went to The Babcock House and then to The Little Things in Life where we found a pair of converse newborn sneakers and a little fur cap for Baby. Also found some soft Gap shoes for Ben-Philip. Then we went to Kroger's and I got some things for tomorrow's supper. Came home and vacuumed the floor and got ready to go to church. Staff party. Delicious food and fellowship. Played Taboo. We Women Won. No thanks to PJ who insisted on trying to distract us by telling us his wife was pregnant, taking off his tie and swinging it around, and playing puppets with his hands against the back wall. I got some banana slices ready to put down his shirt if he tried it again but I thought it might be over the top and I stopped myself just in time. We sang some carols and also everyone shared what they were thankful for. It was a precious time. Everyone belonged and everyone was loved. I was too happy to sleep for a very long time.

Sat.-Got up early and started baking the cinnamon rolls that thawed overnight. I made some brown sugar icing and also, cream cheese icing. Freeman came over to meet Phil and Philip and they went over to Tom's to go hunting, but no one got anything. I took some cards to the neighbors-Martins, Kings, Marvin and Margaret, and Mitch and Mickey. Then I went to Dr. F's. The Davis' were there and it was nice to get Sunday morning hugs on a Saturday in the meadow. Michael made a big breakfast and we ate at 2. Alli got off work around 1 so we waited until 2 for breakfast which suited all of the rest of us just fine. He made scrapple, 3 kinds of sausage, 2 kinds of sausage gravy, hash browns, scrambled eggs, and biscuits. Then we sang Christmas carols around the table, each picking two. Michael recorded them on his computer. And Phil and I recited Luke 2 from memory while the others coached us from the Bible. Then we moved to the living room and exchanged gifts. Michael had my name and he had a digital movement sensor photo thingy that will start showing pictures when you are near it. He's already scanned 300 photos he found in the old house and he hasn't done any of the photo albums inside yet. It can hold at least 10,000 pictures and he is going to keep scanning them. The front 'label' has a picture of my dad on it and they had all said that the gift would make me cry and they were right. Camoflauge gifts abounded-dress shirt for Freeman, tie for Philip, gloves for the guys, a Cabela's gift in the future for Susan from Philip. Pearls for the girls. Earrings too. Flannel pants for the guys. Gift cards. Ornaments. Moccasins. Boots. Scarves. Fountain pen. Etc. Then, we put out some more food for supper and watched the extended version of the Hobbit. Sarah came over in the middle of the movie and afterwards, we gave her gifts from Phil and I. It was a nice day. Warm and pleasant, inside and out. Thank you God. Merry Christmas to us.

Sun.-I sat on the porch with a mug of tea in this dark, warm, windy, wild, weather of a morning and awoke the dawn with Davi. Phil and Philip headed to church at 7:30. Phil to the men's prayer breakfast and Philip to worship practice. Pastor Bill spoke about Peace;-with God, of God, with others, and for others. Jenny shared about being vulnerable so we can receive the prayers and comfort of others, especially during this busy season. Came home and Jordan, Sarah, and Julie joined us for a cooky icing afternoon. Then they played volleyball outside until it was raining too hard. They watched a movie in the man cave and came back over for pizza and Apples to Apples. Windows are open. Spring peepers are confused. What a second day of winter.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hertzler Doings-Dec. 9-15, 2013

Mon.-Freeman and Alli lost power early this morning. He came over and had some breakfast and coffee. Later, she came over and helped me make lunch. She completed a knit hat while we watched two movies with Susan and Lucy. It was a cold, rainy, icy day. Naomi called this morning and told me that her two oldest-twins, want to drive her and I to Nantucket next October. Naomi said, "It's time we were doing those things on our Bucket List."

Tues.-Today's highlight-spent afternoon and eve. with Janelle and Micah. Picked them up and went to Miller's and Walmart to do some grocery shopping. Micah spent his hard earned 'minimum wage job' money on gifts for the cousins he stays with during the day. Then to Judy's to drop off something and to the P.O. and then to the theatre to watch "Frozen" and eat two big containers of buttered popcorn between us. Micah brought his stuffed animals along to watch the movie with us. Then we dropped him off at karate and Janelle and I went to Hong Kong to eat some Chicken Cashew for old times sake but it tasted nothing like the chicken cashew in Thailand that we would buy for 35 cents from street vendors. We talked about work and investments, etc. Enjoyable. Then we picked him up and headed for home. Susan didn't get home until after midnight. Basketball game in Richmond. She helped keep the stats for the guys. Philip went to Chi Alpha and shared his hot pepper venison bologna. Phil had a board meeting and got home in good time. I am enjoying Miss Marple Mysteries loaned to me by my neighbor, Jeanne. The other day, I picked up another book she loaned me-'Everyday Divine' by Mary DeTurris Poust, and as I read a few pages, I came across several paragraphs written about Jeanne, who was sharing how she keeps her focus on Christ by singing hymns during the mundane projects of life, such as washing the floor. It was exhilarating to read about her in the book she had loaned me. I don't think she had told me that she was in it.

Wed.-Did a lot today. Washed, helped Susan make vegetable bean soup, made applesauce, wrote some Christmas cards, wrapped some gifts, walked at O'Briens and got fresh greens, vacuumed and washed the floors. It was a sunny day and the dogs were outside and I could walk around without banging into Davi. She wants to be right in front of me. Michael studied down at the river by a fire for quite some time. Philip and Susan went off to youth early to play some basketball. I'm popping a turkey in the dutch oven to cook all night. Philip and Tommy were working on the garage all day. They both had their shirts off. It really wasn't that warm but they were working up a sweat.

Thurs.-Went out to Cornerstone Christian Academy today and watched Lessons and Carols for the first time free of responsibility. Susan and I enjoyed talking with the teachers and students. Later in the afternoon, I went out to see Mac at Great Escapes. He took 1 1/2 inches off my hair. He said, "It's all about your silhouette." Susan had basketball practice at Worsham and I spent that time with Judy and Josh had me taste his chili and we added a secret ingredient. I ate too much. Yum.

Fri.-Phil and I went to Peter and Ivona's for a party around 1 today. He had bought a pig earlier in the week from Philip and borrowed our roaster. It was delicious. They served it with sauerkraut and a doughy potato type side dish with caramelized onions on top. So incredible. I made my new favorite dessert-French silk pie. Met some new folks from Jamersons and CLLewis.  Nice down to earth people. In the eve. Phil and I went to see the musical at church again. Sat in the balcony behind Dave and Shirley and some friends of theirs. Pastor Frank and Lisa were there and it was really good to see them. Susan had basketball practice and stayed and talked with Jenny L. for awhile. She came home and cleaned her room and did wash. Michael went to see Sarah and Philip was hunting, I think.

Sat.-Phil and Susan left early in the morning to go hunting in Suffolk. Jordan was here overnight and was planning to help Michael cut firewood. After a great breakfast made by Michael they got started but were frozen out with pinging rain. Rained most of the day. Philip went hunting but the woods were quiet. I had the house to myself and did laundry, vacuumed, washed floors, washed Lucy's pen-still smells like skunk-, made chili, vegetable soup, watched half of the first Hunger Games with Philip, and went to two parties with Phil after he got back with Susan. First party was the annual Guild/Jones party at the Guilds. It was nice to visit with Jeff and Chris and the McGregor's and others. We came back to the Grunerts for their annual party. Ate some more there and sat around the table and talked. Wonderful time with wonderful friends, family, and neighbors. Janelle and Micah, Tom and Helen and Abby and Serena were there. I think Michelle and Karl were there earlier and then they went to the musical. Peter and Ivona and Karen and George and Eny were there as well. They have the same friends over  every year and we've gotten to know each other through the years. Shadow-John and Jeanne's rescued German Shepherd,  endeared himself to us by the way he endured the wearing of the red hat.  We helped Jeanne clean up and we sang Christmas carols in her kitchen while we washed dishes and put away food. Definitely a favorite Christmas moment.

Sun.-Another Christmas moment took place this morning when I confessed to Linda, a greeter, that every year, I pick up baby Jesus from a manger scene and hold him. This year, baby Jesus came from Jordan, and is about 2 inches long. I told her I thought we should celebrate Christmas by passing around a real live baby and consider how God Almighty came to earth as a baby, totally at the mercy of those he came to save. I was sobbing while saying this and she hugged me and began to sing beautifully, " I want to sit at your feet, drink from the cup in your hand, lean back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat..." The presence of God surrounded us as it always does  whenever I am with her and it was sweet and I could hardly leave to go inside. But He was in the sanctuary too and we worshipped and learned about hope. Having hope while we wait on the promises of God. And my friend, whose sister in law only has 2 weeks left on this earth, had said before the service, that she feels she is to be Hope to the people in that situation. Then the songs were about Hope and the Word was about Hope and I sure need Hope. What a gift Hope is. Hope has so much to do with the words we hear and say. Sometimes, our presence can give Hope, but often, it is our words. I would faint if I didn't have the hope that I would see the goodness of God in the land I now live in.
Phil left church to go to NC to see his cousin Dennis. Susan and Philip went to see The Hobbit. Michael spent some time down at the river and with Sarah and then planned to go to a later showing of The Hobbit.  I made some popcorn and tea and read some Agathe Christi and plan to write up some of 'The Courtship of Truman and Virginia Hertzler.'

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

French Silk Pie and how I make it.

This Thanksgiving, I made three desserts. It was during the consumption of these desserts that I realized that I had gotten all of the recipes from my mother. I looked into her green index card box earlier in the week and pulled out several recipes. One was a newspaper clipping-probably from the Lanc. Farming-for French Silk Pie. She had glued it onto an index card. I don't know if she ever made it but my family knows who to thank for this velvety luxury.

This is the original recipe and then I will follow it with my own tweaking advice.

French Silk Pie

 1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 square unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 baked 8-inch pie shell

Cream butter and sugar.  Add melted chocolate and vanilla. 
Add eggs one at a time and beat 5 min. after each egg.
Pour into cooled pie shell and chill at least 3 hours. (I couldn't wait that long.)
Top with whipped cream and garnish with chopped nuts.

Recipe credits to Mrs. M.H.Hand~

Make sure the butter has been out and is softened before you try to cream it.

I cracked the eggs into a mug and added one at a time from there.
I doubled the recipe the first time and tripled it the second and it works fine.
I did not beat each egg addition exactly 5 min. because I had so many eggs it would have taken from 20-30 min. to beat them and my machine was getting hot.

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over hot water on the stove.
Never get water in chocolate.
I am quite sure that I doubled the chocolate which means I quadrupled it the first time
and sextupled it the second time.

Wow. I can't believe that none of those words came up on spell check.

I kept scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula
and with my finger, if the truth must be told.

I baked a bought frozen crust the first time.

After it was baked and cooled,
I piled in the chocolatey goodness.

I forgot to chill it for 3 hours and it would have worked better if I had
but I made so much whipped cream it didn't really matter
and it sat nicely on top of the chocolate
and then they chilled out together.

Eat and make happy noises.

The second time I made it, which was today,
I made a different crust.
I adapted it from the dessert-BTS cake.

Take 1 1/4 cups flour
Take 1 1/4 stick butter-softened
Take 1 1/4 cups of chopped pecans or walnuts-(I mixed walnuts, pecans, and slivered almonds)

Mix or cut together and press in bottom of a 13x9 inch pan.
Bake at 350 for 20 min.

Add chocolate.

To make whipped cream,
take a cup to a pint of cold whipping cream and place in a cold mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until it thickens a little. Add several tablespoons of 10x sugar while it is mixing. Increase speed and whip until it is cool whip consistency. If you walk away and do something else, you will have sweetened butter before you know it. So pay attention. ;)

Spread whipped cream on top of chocolate and chill
unless you are in a hurry like I was and need to taste test it right away.

You could sprinkle chopped nuts on top if you want to or peel some chocolate off a bar and have some curly cues. But it really isn't necessary.

Have fun!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 2-8, 2013

Mon.-Went over to O'Brien's to get some greens and decorated the table with greens, holly, and candles. Went to town to meet Catherine and Jenny at Merk's to discuss Gram's and More. Went to Walmart. Came home. Spent the eve. with Phil. Philip is still hunting in Pa. Michael was back at school and Susan is at a basketball game in Richmond. They won.

Tues.-Caught up with wash, Dr. F., some orders, housework. Made some French Silk Pies for tomorrow night and for our own eating pleasure. Typed minutes for Grams and More. Didn't sleep much last night so will hit the sack early. Susan's at basketball practice at the Warren's since the church gym is occupied with musical activity. Philip is on his way home from Pa. Didn't get a buck. Michael is studying late. I passed my insurance bloodwork, etc. Now I need to stop celebrating that and Thanksgiving.

Wed.-A day of cooking, processing anxious thoughts, meeting with godly women.

Thurs.-Day in Richmond. Dentist. Krogers. Whole Food. Trader Joes. Kindness everywhere. Whole Foods forgot to charge me for ice and the manager said, "You need ice? I'll get you ice whether she charged you or not." And he packed up a bag of ice for my cooler and gave it to me with a smile. At Trader Joe's, a worker came up to me and asked, "Are you okay, today, ma'am?" I hadn't slept the night before. I thanked him for asking. At the check-out, the young man clerk asked me how my week was. I was too tired to lie. "It was a rough week, actually." "Oh, I'm sorry," he said. "How was your week?" I asked back. "I had a rough week, too," he said, "but we are all safe now." "I'm sorry. I hope you have better days ahead." "Thank you so much," he said. "I appreciate that." On the way home, I talked with several people. I had a two hour drive and was fighting sleep. Judy talked with me until company stopped by her house. Catherine kept me awake on the final leg of the journey. Found out today that I had believed the worst about a situation and that that anxiety had cost me a night of sleep, and it was unfounded and unnecessary. It was worry. I had fought it all night and in the morning, I fell asleep, and when I woke up, I was singing Sunday's worship song, "Bless the Lord oh my soul...oh my soul...Bless His holy name..." Some day, I will learn to praise Him better. Until then, I will wrestle, and worry, and pray, and wake up with a song.

Fri.-So what I worried about wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was. And again, I wish I had trusted Him more. This week was so hard for so many people. A young man was shot, another electrocuted, another had a tree fall on him and has neck and other injuries. A young mother to be lost her baby in her womb and delivered it full term a few days later. Another friend is facing the holidays without her son for the first time. Life is really hard. We are either in a crisis, headed out of one, or headed into one. We must find our peace in God who is with us in our circumstances of unpeace. He holds all things together, including us.
Today was so busy. Grand Central Station. Beautifully warm. Mid afternoon, Susan and I were sitting outside talking on my mother's wicker chairs. The little tufted titmouse birds don't mind eating from the feeder just a few feet away. Susan took lots of pictures. Suddenly there was a gust of wind and the temperature dropped a good ten degrees. Alli and Freeman lost electricity about the same time. They came over later to use the facilities to get ready for the musical. Susan went to basketball practice. Phil and I picked up Peter and Ivona. Michael and Philip drove together and we all went to New Life to see the new Christmas musical. Julie joined us there. Can I say that I'm just so proud of my son. We had no idea he had such a major role. Alli played his pregnant wife-owner or manager of a café. Freeman was Officer Klondike-an egotistical police officer with a soft heart. He sang several songs and spoke in a voice I never heard before. He said that voice never came up until he got this part. His facial expressions were in keeping with his character the whole way through. It was a story about forgiveness in keeping with The Prodigal Son. Excellent. I want to see it again. Funny. Serious. Entertaining. And Freeman and Alli were amazing. Came home and Susan brought Lucy into the house before she realized that she had been sprayed by a skunk. I hope our clothes don't smell like it.

Sat.-I left Lucy out of her cage on the front porch and later, put her in her pen. Came back into the house and it smells like skunk. Do I open the windows to let the skunk smell out or will the skunk smell come back inside? Phil went to Lowes to pick up some things for Freeman's house. Philip went hunting. I woke up early and read. Lots to do before the storm hits us. Browned some ground beef and added salsa and beans for tortillas. Also made apple crisp with blueberries and cherries added. Made gluten free pancakes for supper. Added bananas and mini chocolate chips in some of them. Michael studied down at the river and hunted squirrels. Philip went hunting and then went out in the eve. to a party at Sammy Yoder's where lots of youth were gathering. Phil did paperwork. I cleaned the house and took a nap and Susan took a nap also. She and I both took a nap. Dianna called earlier in the day to ask a chili question. She broke her little toe. Poor thing. That hurts and it hurts to wear shoes. But she'll keep going. Susan and I watched some movies tonight. Just a hint. If they put ten movies on a DVD and charge you 5 bucks for them, there may be a reason. We fast forwarded the really awful parts and critiqued the acting and lack of realism in the movies. Oh well. Freeman stopped by to pick up his toothbrush after the musical. I hope he had an extra one at home. Michael went to be with Sarah for the evening. It's supposed to start with some icy weather around 3 tomorrow morning. I doubt if we'll have church. I hope it's obvious and not wishy washy weather.

Sun.-Woke up to freezing rain. Church cancelled. I made potato latkes and apple fritters for breakfast. We had home church. Sang Christmas songs and Michael preached on evangelism. Susan shared a testimony of a friend's miraculous healing and I shared a devotional. We sat around and sang some more. Michael studied and Susan and I watched Monk and made popcorn, fudge, and milk shakes. The guys watched with us off and on. Lucy still smells like skunk but we had to let her out once and awhile.  It was a lazy cozy day. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Nov. 25-Dec.1, 2013

Because I am only writing this on Thanksgiving eve. I am going to have to go by memory about what happened this week.

Mon.-Susan's team won their game! And, she didn't have to go back to the eye doctor because her eye was clear. Stopped in to see Judy on my way home. Phil and Philip came home from hunting bear in Pa. Very few bear out and about. Check point guy said that the acorns were destroyed in early freeze so the bears went into early hibernation.


Wed.-Got blood work done and stopped in at Judy's for her to take my vitals. Made desserts for Thanksgiving. Plus mashed potatoes and glazed carrots.

Thurs.-Happy Thanksgiving! Prepared for the evening meal in a relaxed way. Susan and I did some shopping on-line. Freeman and Susan went turkey hunting in the morning and Phil, Philip, and Susan, hunted off and on throughout the day. Around 5:30, I heard a shot. A few seconds later, the phone rang. It was Philip. He was breathless from hyperventilating. "Dad. I got a big one!" Huge. So exciting. He made sure that his dad and Susan got a chance to hunt while he made little drives for them and then, this buck, walked up to him. Around 6, we gathered to eat. Bryan and Heidi joined us again this year. Freeman and Alli had been with her folks for Thanksgiving Noon. Michael and Sarah had been at her family's gathering in Richmond and joined us. And of course, there was Phil, Susan, Philip, and I. Ten of us fit perfectly around the table. We'll have our Hertzler gathering on Sunday at Tom's since it's too cold to have our usual hot dog roast outside on Sat. eve.  Susan made a maple syrup, brown sugar, salt rub and gave the turkey a good once over. We put an apple in the inside and rubbed the glaze in there too and put some bacon in there. Susan made a bacon placemat and flipped it on top of the bird. Beautiful. And it was the best turkey I've ever eaten. Moist and flavorful. She also made oyster stuffing. We also had mashed potatoes, gravy, glazed carrots, corn, 7 layer salad, broccoli salad, Alli's orange fluff salad, Heidi's rolls, cranberry, and later, 3 desserts-crustless applepie with cinnamon streusel ice cream, gingersnap pumpkin parfait, and chocolate satin pie. I realized later that all of the desserts were my mother's recipes. We played some chicken foot dominoes and listened to Philip's new song about shooting his buck. Sarah recorded the second edition but there is nothing like a first edition song. Michael played the guitar and I added some back up moves and dah-dah-dah's. It was a nice Thanksgiving. Thank you, God.

Fri.-Left around 8 to go visit with David, my youngest brother, and Margaret, his sweet wife, and their three dogs, Chloe, Charlie, and Daisy, in their cabin in the hills 3 hours NW of us. Had a nice lunch together and two kinds of homemade ice cream-vanilla and mint chocolate chip-plus homemade apple pie and chocolate iced yellow cake for dessert. We all talked with Rosalee via phone Skype. She is having a hip replacement surgery on Monday. Abie and Karen are going to David and Margaret's tomorrow. We had plans for tomorrow or we would have joined them then. Jenny L. and Susan went to Lynchburg to shop and found some great deals at Old Navy. Jenny's battery died and I think Triple A came out to help them. Susan and Philip took his buck to Benson's to get it mounted and took the meat to get it processed into salami. My equilibrium was a bit off from the twisty roads, even though we weren't on them that long.

Sat.-Woke up at 3 and got up at 4. Shoulder is bothering me. Still a bit dizzy. Susan and Phil left for Suffolk around 5. Praying that she gets a big buck. (She didn't.) I went to a Women's Ministry meeting at church. First meeting for Grams and More. Went over our goals and planned the third Sat. event for Jan. Came home and made a big 7 layer salad, finished up wash, dishes, etc. Philip left to go deer hunting in  Pa. and will see Grandma and Grandpa H. and hunt with Ryan P. Michael and Sarah went out with some friends. When Phil and Susan came home, she went to bed, and Phil and I went over to Tom's. The Furhrman's were there and it was so great to catch up with Lynn. I brought the salad and a coconut pie and as usual, Helen outdid herself with wonderful reminders of Thanksgiving. Ruthie, their 15 year old daughter who has the challenges and blessings that accompany Down's, began to hum loudly at the table, 'Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.' After while, we all began to sing it, raising the roof with 4 part harmony. Joe and Norma H. were there and he sings bass like nobody's business. It was a joyful sound all around and definitely a special Thanksgiving Moment. And maybe, a Christmas one too.

Sun.-This morning I read in Ps. 8:2-Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. I thought about Ruthie and her humming and how we all raised our voices in praise. I am sure that a stronghold was raised against the enemies of God in our lives and that the foe and the avenger was silenced. I'm up early, eating my breakfast in the form of mashed potato soup, complete with hard boiled eggs, bacon, milk, and cheese, and of course, potatoes. Sounds like a soup omelette. Pastor Josh preached an excellent sermon that I will carry inside forever. Furhman's came after church at CC and surprised Pastor Bill and Jenny. They had gone to the same church in Orlando. Julie came to get Susan and went to the parade and I went with Jenny to the parade after we dropped the girls off at the Homecoming Queen Convertible driven by Pastor Bill who was escorting his beautiful daughter, Savannah. Savannah's younger sisters and Karen's two daughters passed out candy canes. We watched the parade with Jamie and Ginger and boys. Stopped back at Jenny's for Chai Tea and a boot change and then she and Livy and Lexi took me home after we stopped in to see Freeman's house. It was a truly lovely day all around.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Nov. 18-24, 2013

Mon.-Nice morning at home with Michael and Susan. We ate breakfast and finished watching 'Voyage of the Dawn Treador.' I went out to town to have lunch with Lisa H. at Riverside. So thankful for her deep friendship. Went to P.O. and mailed black walnut extract to Diane H. She was trying to find some for her mother in law and I found it at Glennwood when I was up in Pa. Stopped in and visited Judy for a good hour or two and held the babies and sang the little Hertzler songs I wrote when I had babies. Went to Belk's and Walmart and headed for home. Made corn tortilla pizzas using sloppy jo mix, cheese, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and black olives. Susan went to town today, too, for a few events including voice lessons, basketball practice, and volleyball banquet. Susan won the most improved player award and the team won the best sportsmanship award.

Tues.-Restless night. Then Gil called at 6. Lindsay's water broke at 1:00. Wasn't able to focus on much today. Did some wash and made some Thai food and when Catherine called at 2 needing some food to feed some men tomorrow, I jumped at the chance to do something somewhat mindless and made a big batch of chili and corn bread muffins. Susan took it along with her to practice and put it in one of the fridges at church. It's 6:30 in the eve. and Lindsay and baby are taking their time. As well they should. Why should you be born on one date when you're really supposed to be born in another. Yesterday, I got a package from Naomi in the mail. She sent me Love Spell from Victoria Secret because I had liked it when we were at the beach and she sent me a jewelry box. How fun to get packages in the mail! Time to hit the sack. I'm reading a missionary story about Dr. Carl Becker-Another Hand in Mine. So good. Susan's eye was injured tonight during basketball. One of the girls caught her finger nail in the white of Susan's eye. It bled and looks pretty rough. Hurts badly. One of the mother's gave her phosphorus tablets and arnica. Phosphorus stops the bleeding. I had her stop at Judy's and she gave us some recommendations.

Wed.-Big news of today. Gil and Lindsay's little boy was born C-section at 2:55 this afternoon. His name is Benjamin Philip. He weighs 8'11" and is 19 inches long. They called us last week and told us they were going to name him after Phil. And they told us why they wanted to do that. So honored. Thank you. I also decorated the house for Christmas and Thanksgiving. I put a cornucopia on the dining room table. It has silk flowers and leaves. I also put up a little Christmas tree I purchased last year for half off. It's about 3 feet talk and has white lights. I put it on the burgundy table right inside the door. I put on glass grapes and clusters of burgundy and gold fruit and a gold star on the top. Underneath, I put my mother's cloth Jordanian manger scene. And around the sides, I placed burgundy stars. We all really like it. 'It's so simple,' Susan said. 'I like it.' I will put a Christmas centerpiece on the table and I think that will be it for Christmas décor this year. I don't want to tempt Davi too much and I am not in the mood for a whole lot of stuff that has to be put away later. I wouldn't mind keeping the tree and the centerpiece that I found at Flower Warehouse on display all winter. Phil and Susan got up early today and went hunting at the club farm 2 plus hours away. They didn't get anything. Susan's eye looks worse. I couldn't find an available eye doctor for her in Farmville so I found one in Appomattox. Hopefully we'll get in tomorrow. I want to make sure it's okay for her to exert herself during tomorrow's practice and Friday's game. Philip and Susan went to youth group tonight. Michael and Sarah visited with us.

Thurs.-Headed out to St. Clair's Eye Care early and hit up the Drug Store-for Phosphorus and Arnica-, then to Walmart and Kroger and then to the eye doctor. He was concerned from first glance that her eye was cut but after thorough searching plus numbing and dilating her eye, he was assured that she would be fine but wants to see her again Monday and prescribed antibiotic drops for her eyes. While waiting for her prescription to be filled, we went to The Little Things in Life where she found a lacy top to wear with leggings and a jean jacket, a shirt for Michael, and a shirt for Philip. Then we bought ice cream cones because 'her eye hurt.' They were delicious. After putting groceries away and heating up chili we began to watch a British movie. She fell asleep and woke up 5 min. before leaving for basketball practice. They have an away game tomorrow. Michael didn't fly after all today because it was too cold. It's supposed to get down to 19 this week and Phil was busy after dark burying a water pipe so it wouldn't freeze.

Fri.-Made a chocolate marvel cake today with it's secret ingredients of coffee and baby food prunes for an event on Monday. This cake ripens with age.  Also made sugar cooky dough and icing to make cookies tomorrow with Kelly, Noah, and Gracie-my niece and her two children. Her husband, Armand, will be driving them early tomorrow morning and will be taking a nap, most likely while we make cookies. They'll be spending the day. Cleaned the house, did some wash, walked in the sun, watched an old Christmas movie tonight with the lights low, candles burning, baked potatoes in dish in hand, all alone. Beautiful day. Susan left early afternoon to run a few errands and meet her team at the school. Her eye is much better today. They have an away game tonight in Richmond. Michael, Sarah, and Jordan went to the Homeschool Play in Appomattox. Susan decided not to be in drama this semester due to her interest in basketball. Phil and Philip got to stop in with Mom and Dad this morning and then headed to Cabela's before going to the cabin in Renova. Today's highlight-talking with Lindsay on the phone. She's still in the hospital and will go home tomorrow. It was interesting to hear her story and to understand why Gil said that it was scary there for awhile. Susan said today that she couldn't get anything done while Lindsay was in labor. 'It was like I was in labor, too,' she said. I felt the same way. He's such a beautiful little guy. And I love his name. And I love his mom and dad and two big sisters. I can't wait to hold him in my arms.

Sat.-My niece, Kelly, and her husband, Armand, and their two children, Noah-5, and Gracie-2, came down from Pa and spent the day with us. They are on their way to spend a week at her mother's on an island. First we had a big southern breakfast-scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, sausage, biscuits, and sausage gravy. Then Michael took us on a Polaris ride to the cottage and river where we threw stones. Armand is a good stone skipper. Then we made cut out sugar cookies and baked and decorated them. Freeman stopped in and we went over to see his house. It was nice to see PR there. He's painting their house. Alli joined us there and we all came back to the house for pizza. They left soon after 4 I think to head south. I read on face book that the kids slept for a few hours and they had to wake them up for dinner. Susan went to be with Julie before the homeschool play and stayed to watch and visit afterwards. Michael and I watched Julia and Julie. Now I am inspired to write and cook and cook and right. Maybe I should try to document some of my homemade recipes. But they are never the same and I never measure anything. I guess I could use 'a shake of this' and a 'pinch of that' and let the cook determine the ultimate outcome.

Sun.-Wonderful Worship at church focused on Jesus. Good word about seeking Jesus like Simeon sought Him and waited for Him in the temple. And great teaching on gratitude. Hung around and talked with people after church and then went to Hong Kong for Cashew Chicken with Katherine. Susan hung out with the Heltons. Michael and Jordan had church here because they had some trouble with the cows and would have gotten to church rather late. Watched one of 'The Truth Project' teachings. On the weather news, it looks like Phil and Philip may be getting some snow up there in Clinton County. Read some more of the book about the Masts and watched a Monk with Jordan, Sarah, and Michael. Had some popcorn. Also watched The Tourist. Susan got home around 8 and watched the last little bit.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mistakes and Miracles

This past weekend, I went to an Encounter with some other women from church. We heard T.D.Jakes speak the first eve. via video on soul ties. On Saturday, we heard a number of other teachings, including "Prodigal Son", "Importance of Forgiveness",  "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made," "Sexual Perversions", "Generational Curses," "Baptism of the Holy Spirit", "The Power of the Cross", and on Sunday, "The Vision."

I shared what was most significant to me about the weekend with a few friends last evening. They asked if I would write it down. I will give it a try.

Abraham was given a promise by God that through his seed, all the nations of the earth would be blessed. He and Sarah decided to help God out when the promise didn't come as soon as they expected. Ishmael entered the scene through the life of his mother, Hagar, Sarah's slave.  For many years, they most likely thought that Ishmael was the child of the promise. When he was nearly 12 years old, God came to visit and reminded Abraham about His promise of an heir that would be born through his wife, Sarah. Both Sarah and Abraham found this amusing. Later, Sarah would name her child, 'Isaac', which means 'laughter.' God had questioned her incredulous laugh when she heard that she would have a baby in a year. Her rebuke became her blessing.  A defensive 'Whose laughing?' was replaced by humble words- 'He's given me laughter.'

 A mistake of faithless laughter was replaced by a miracle of laughter.

Abraham's mistake and his miracle grew up in the same tent. But not for long. Ishmael made fun of Isaac and Sarah said, "It's time for both the boy and his mother to go." Abraham had to give up his soul tie with his substitute lover and the mother of his first child. It wasn't easy. But God reassured him and told him that because Ishmael was his son, he would make of his 'mistake' a great nation as well. But the promised great nation would come through Isaac, the miracle child. Because we are God's child and because He is who He is-Redeemer, Restorer, Healer, and oh, so much more, He will use both our mistakes and our miracles to bring about His great purposes.

Sometimes, we think we have to wait to have joy, until we see that things will work out, because of and in spite of the mistakes we've made. But true faith is believing that God is able to make out of our mistakes a miracle far beyond what we can see at the time. Therefore, we don't have to wait until we see the promise of good before we have joy. We can forgive ourselves and forgive others the mistakes we've made and we can await with joy the miracle that is yet to come because we are a child of God.

Abraham is written up in the faith chapter as an example to us of trusting God. And He didn't always do it right. In fact, he messed up quite a bit. But if we did everything right, we would never have to have faith that God can take what we've done wrong and make something wonderful out of it. And to believe that and have joy while you wait, is faith.

I was thinking also of the Prodigal Son story. The Father's love restored the mistaken son back to the family and the Father's love reassured the other mistaken son that all that He had was his and always would be his. God, our Father, is always about taking our mistakes and turning them into miracles.

Watch with joy.
Wait with joy.
Your mistakes will become your miracles
because God is who He is.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Nov. 11-17, 2013

Mon.-Sleep-walking all day. Susan left her car at Bailey's and I took her around to her different stops. Found a 'River Dance' video and brand new navy pants for Phil at Goodwill while Susan was at voice lessons. Went to Walmart and Food Lion with her. Picked up her car and she went to basketball and I headed for home but decided to buy some supper at Miller's for Catherine and I. She was so happy and Phil was fine, having hunted until dark.

Tues.-A few snow flurries. Temperature dropped. Cleaned a little of the bathroom today. Still sleepwalking. Couldn't sleep after 4 this morning. Kept praying. Found out when Phil got up that he had been awake from 1-4, praying. Seems we were taking watches in the night. Perhaps we'll never know why.
Susan made a chocolate gooey delicious pie out of chick peas and chocolate chips,etc. Another thing to add to our Thanksgiving list. Add some Breyer's vanilla ice cream and Wow Whee.  I made potato soup for lunch. I put all kinds of vegetables in it and thickened it with milk and flour and added cheese, hard boiled eggs, and bacon. I cooked the following in healthy vegan chicken broth: potatoes, garlic, onions, celery, carrots, turnips, broccoli, sweet corn. I think that's it. Made lots of burgers in afternoon for supper. Ordered Philip's Christmas gift. I'm looking for a foldable camouflage rocking chair for Phil for Christmas, to go with the Grandpa idea. Plus, it would give us more seating in here for times when company comes. Phil shot a bear this morning. The guys aren't going in to work until 8 this week. Hunting first thing. I just heard another shot. Hopefully, one of them got another. They did so much crop damage this year. Alli's second day at Millbrook. She seems to be enjoying it. Phil and I headed to church tonight for separate meetings. Susan headed to basketball practice and Philip to Chi Alpha. Michael may be home alone but he probably needs the study time.

Wed.-Today's big project? Painting several cabinet walls with 3 coats of magnetic paint and 2 coats of chalkboard paint. Talking with Catherine and others-to prepare for launch on a women's ministry in Jan. And sleep walking. I'm still so tired. Phil's otter is mounted and is taking up 1/4 of the dining room table until we find a place for it. Philip and Susan went to youth. They also went hunting this morning but didn't see anything. Susan surprised herself this afternoon when she laid down for a 15 min. nap and woke up 3 hours later. Lots of fighter jets flying overhead all day. Got a special phone call tonight from GLB. Typhoon Haiyan in the Phillipines-2,275 confirmed deaths; 3,665 injured. Thousands feared dead or missing. Largest city is 90% destroyed.

Thurs.-Read Andy Andrews book, 'The Traveler's Gift' to Susan for an hour this morning after 'chapel.'  His first two points are 'The Buck Stops Here' and 'Seek Wisdom.' Phil and Tommy butchered the deer. Philip and Freeman worked on Freeman's house. Susan cleaned her room and worked out and went to basketball practice. The book I read counted towards her Speech/Communication/ People Skills class and I think she may have gotten some Math in as well. She is ahead all around so some days like this are okay. Talked with my brother, David, for awhile on the phone. Making some plans to get together soon. Had to cry when I hung up and went for a walk. It was hard to say good-bye. I really miss him. Manhunt in Morgantown area. Friends/family seem nervous on face book. I pray all will be well. An older friend shared a pastor's encouraging words expressed towards her. What a blessing words are, especially words that are kind and sincere. And he meant them. And she knew it.

Fri.-Shopped in Lynchburg after dropping bear head off at St. Nick's. What a beautiful house and full of stuffed up animals. Shopped at TJMax and found Christmas gifts and some basic pieces of clothing for Susan. Shopped at other places in the mall as well. Then we went to Fresh Market and grabbed lunch at the salad bar and bought some fruits and vegetables and headed to Walmart in Farmville and bought some hand warmers and then to Susan's scrimmage with her team mates as well as watching the JV and Varsity guy teams. Nice visit with  friends. Suddenly realized we should head for home since she had to get up really early to go hunting 3 hours away with Phil in the morn. Left the varsity game early. Unloaded the car and put things away.

Sat.-Phil and Susan away hunting. Didn't get anything. Didn't see anything. Philip and Michael here studying and hunting. I did some wash, made laundry soap, made sore throat syrup with honey,ginger, and lemon, made bear roast, roasted potatoes, corn, sloppy jo, and corn bread. Picked out hymns for Women's Ministry hymn books. Tidied the house, etc.  Michael went to Lynchburg in the eve. with Sarah, Katie and Alan, and Meredith. Philip went to worship practice. Susan and Phil are on their way home. I'm headed to the tub with a good book.
 Susan ate a pear and told me about her day. Then she picked her teeth with a Cutco paring knife or at least acted like she was going to. I covered my face with my hands and she went into hysterical laughter and we both couldn't stop.

Sun.-Great church service. Pastor Bill taught on the Seven Habits of Successful Families. Betty G. took our family portrait after church for our Christmas card and for Karalee who is making another calendar for Mom and Dad for Christmas. Susan spent the day with the Heltons. Phil and I came home. Watched a British movie. Sarah came later and cut both Phil's hair and mine. Then we watched 'Voyage of the Dawn Treador.' Susan came home while we were watching it. We ate popcorn. Michael studied for a test off and on while Sarah was here. Philip went to a party at Ron and Kathy Martin's.

Hertzler Doings~Nov.4-10, 2013

Mon.-Had breakfast and coffee with Naomi and the girls in their living room. Tink was there as well. Filled out a reference form for Krissy. How fun to do when all you can honestly say are positive things. Packed up and headed to Flower Warehouse with Naomi and Krissy. It's under new ownership and a different name. Bought some Christmas gifts. Said good bye in the parking lot. Headed for Morgantown. Stopped at the thrift and bought quite a few worship CD's for a dollar. Picked up the jeans Mom dropped off for Phil. Went to BB's and filled up the car with groceries, etc. Called Naomi and told her about the stash of Olay products I found for a fraction of the cost. She was going to go check it out. Remembered in the parking lot that it was Johnny's birthday and called Dad. We talked until I got on the turnpike. When I was about 60 miles from Harrisonburg, signs were warning about a serious accident up ahead. Got off at the 20 mile sign and took 11. Worked well for 16 miles and then there was very slow traffic. Took several hours to get through downtown Harrisonburg. Stopped at Sheetz and Goodwill just to try to stay awake. Talked with Naomi and got her brother's phone number. Then I saw the motel she and I had stayed at. I pulled off, called Phil, and he affirmed my decision to spend the night. I would have still had 2 1/2 hours to drive after the traffic cleared up and I didn't know how long that would be. Eyes were tired. Slept in a King size bed and watched The Voice before falling asleep.

Tues.-Slept pretty well. Had breakfast. Headed for home. Stopped at Krogers to get Susan's grocery list and Walmart and then stopped at the Fire Hall to vote. Got home, unpacked, and realized we missed Susan's sports physical that morning. Called and they reschedule an appt. and we went in. At one point, the nurse practitioner said to Susan, "You are healthy because your mind is healthy." Tetanus shot bothered her for days. Tony S. was here working on a roof near Farmville all of this week. Slept in mancave.

Wed.-Home. Caught up a little with online Christmas gifts. Vacuumed and washed the floors, black from soot that boots around fire trudged in. Philip hunted. Phil got a tractor delivered. Bought it from a neighbor. Susan and Philip to youth. Left early because Philip's stomach was upset.

Thurs.-More catching up. Went to dentist appt. to check implants. Stopped at thrift stores. Found a camo diaper holder hanger. Packed in eve.

Fri.-Went to see Dr. Forand. Met others at church to go to an Encounter weekend. Got there a little late and missed the 'rules' and all in our group seemed to break a few. Teaching on 'Soul Ties' tonight. All of us slept in the gym. Cots, mats, blow up mattresses were lined up neatly in rows. The church women at St. Peter's worked together like an army. Everyone did their job with excellence.

Sat.-Had a full day at Encounter. Freedom kept becoming more free. Made some new friends. Didn't sleep well on my cot tonight.

Sun.-Up very early getting ready and getting things packed together. Had breakfast at 6:45. Had final meeting and then went to the church service which was wonderful. Emily drove Karen, Amanda, and I home. Stopped at Wendy's for late lunch. Gwen met us with our stuff in the church parking lot. Got home close to dark. Fell asleep before I laid my head on my pillow.

Hertzler Doings~Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2013

Mon.-Phil had serious pain in lower abdomen today. After calling Judy, we think it is diverticulistis-aggravated by Philip's chili. He got better as the day went on. He's going to lay off the coffee and fiber for awhile. Did some wash and packing. Susan went out to Farmville for some errands, visiting Judy, voice lessons, and basketball practice. She also worked on Math. I went with Phil to see Freeman and Alli's house. I love the lay-out. I'd like a house just like it.

Tues.-Packed and got ready.

Wed.-Headed to Pa. Got to Rosalee's around 3:30 after stopping at Glennwood Food's first. Met Katrina's boyfriend, Steve. He's a keeper. Lovely supper of shipwreck, carrots and peas, broccoli salad, applesauce, banana pudding, and muffins. R and I made noisy expressions and said several things exactly at the same time. Pretty funny. I'm thankful that Rosalee's nightmare of uterine cancer and resulting injuries from surgery which required stents, etc. are finally over although she still has some stiffness in ex-stent area. She has some stiffness in her hip but she keeps going and doesn't complain. We had a great time together. Slept in the guest room-Annika's ex-room-and listened to Father Gilbert mysteries on CD.

Thurs.-Leisurely breakfast in morn. with just the two of us. Went from their to Mom and Dad's. Visited Jonathan and Karen. She told me she reads my blog every day just to keep in touch since neither of us are phone people. Jonathan is really talking. She said that he says with a sigh, "Give me patience!" The little picnic idea that I resorted too when I was sick and vedged out on the sofa but wanted to keep my eye on him...well, he asks his mom if he can 'have a picnic' in the living room. Sorry, Karen, for starting something new. I was in survival mode. Had lunch with Mom, Dad, Anne, and David-the escape artist. Mom served peas and sweet potatoes from her garden and Anne brought pulled BBQ venison. Mom also served her canned red beets and apple crisp. Visited with Debra and saw her sunroom and bought a purse for Naomi and a purse for me.Saw the plans to turn the other side of the house into an apartment for her mother. Got to see Jim, Joe, and Paul too. Interviewed Mom and Dad and got their courtship story written down. Stopped in to see Linda before heading to Naomi's. Naomi brought supper from a genuine Italian restaurant-homemade Stromboli, salad, and soda. We packed up and headed to the beach house. Got there around 9 I think and settled in and then watched the first episode of North and South.

Fri.-Raining. Watched lots of North and South. Had early supper-bloomin' onion and Caesar salad-lobster bisque- at the Crab Trap. Cleared off in the eve. Went shopping and walking on the Boardwalk. Surrounded on every side by a magnificent sunset. Shop owners/workers were coming outside to take pictures.

Sat.-Got a picture from Susan. She shot a deer! Balmy and Sunny. Watched more N/S. Went shopping on Asbury at our favorite Ta-Da store. Found Susan a cute blue and white striped summer top and myself a white lacy sweater and some earrings for someone's Christmas gift. Headed to the beach and sat bundled up on our chairs in the sand and talked. Went to Nonni's Italian Restaurant for supper. Both got Salmon with cream sauce. She got a salad and I got gluten free pasta. The girls remembered us from before. Missed a call from Phil. When we got back, I called him. He told me we had an opportunity to spend more money to make more money. And then he told me how the Alice tractor caught on fire on the way down the lane. He ran to the house. Susan and Philip went back with him. He had to get his phone. Susan ran past the burning tractor to call 911. The gas tank was full. It Boomed when the fire got to it. Freeman heard it at his house. If it hadn't rained the night before, the woods on both sides would have gone up. Brush and trees on both sides were beginning to burn. I think it was Pamplin Fire Co. that came to the rescue. Once again, dear Mickey, our neighbor, comforted Phil by saying, "These things happen." Tractor completely burned up except for some melted pieces along side the road. Meredith heard it on the scanner and she and Sarah made homemade pizza/supper for the family and cleaned everything up while the fam watched a movie. So kind and just what the doctor ordered.

Sun.-Watched more N/S. Walked to the boardwalk and around the block. Several miles of walking. Found some Christmas gifts at the Christmas shop. Naomi and I stood near the waves on the sand and she started singing 'How Great Thou Art.' I joined her, singing alto. It was beautiful. A wonderful Sunday service wrapped up in one song and faithful waves. Came back from the beach. Showered, made lunch of soup and toasted cheese. Watched N/S while towels washed and dried. Finished cleaning and packed up and headed for home. Had some trouble with my GPS. Wouldn't let us change the state. Finally hit 'Go home' and it took us back to Naomi's. I caught up with Ashley and Krissy while Naomi caught up with Mabe. Naomi and I went a bought some more Italian food for supper and watched the end of N/S kind of. She went to bed during the last one and I fast forwarded it so I could see what happened to everyone. A fast silent movie but was too sleepy to stay up. Slept well in  Morgan's bed.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Oct. 21-27, 2013

Mon.-Slept in until 8. Did a little wash and some other stuff. Still in a lot of jaw pain from dental surgery. Talked on the phone for the first time today. It's true that happiness is happier once you've known great sorrow. So I think that not having severe pain will be much more of a joy since I've known severe pain. Susan had basketball practice today and ran some errands in Farmville. Pigs got out yesterday and ran like a gang through our yard, rooting up the grass and causing general havoc. Chi Alpha is coming Sat. and I hope their poop jobs disintegrate a little. (The pigs poop jobs, that is.) Michael is very busy with school. 18 credits this semester. The guys put the windows in Freeman's house today. Davi is banned to the outside cage this evening since she checked out the pig droppings too closely. Candles are burning to help eliminate her odorous remains or should I say the remains of her odor. It's going to get cold this week. I'll have to cover up the lettuce in our cold frame.

Tues.-Another day of hanging in there with the pain. Had a nice Happy Birthday Rosalee chat with her. Susan, I realize, needs to cook something before she studies. Today, she sliced some cabbage, drizzled it with oil, sprinkled it with garlic salt, and broiled it. It was so good. Phil came home for lunch and Philip was home for supper but then went out to see Susan's volleyball game and then to Chi Alpha. I was starting to put together a study notebook for Richard Mayberry's WW1 and discovered that there is already one already made so I ordered one for WW1 and WW11 and saved myself many hours. I just do not 'get' these wars. It's hard to ask questions when you don't get the answers. It is hard to think straight when I'm on so many meds. I noticed that it is hard to clean up clutter too since my brain cannot seem to organize itself. I am praying specific things for our family and for our church and know that God hears me and He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I ask or think which is a good thing when one isn't thinking that straight to begin with. It's not dependent on me and how I feel or don't feel. He is the dependable one. He is the faithful one. He is the good one.

Wed.-Susan drove us to Richmond for my dentist appt. He says things look good but I may have a hemotoma on the right side. Gave me two more prescriptions for antibiotic and pain meds. Went to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Home Goods. Susan and Philip went to YG in the eve.

Thurs.-Went to Susan's last volleyball game in the eve. They played well but lost.

Fri.-Did some cleaning up outside and inside. Tommy here today. Susan mowed, cleaned, packed, cooked, invented, and went to youth retreat for an overnighter. Philip had BUCK night and Sarah, Jordan, and Michael went out to Lynchburg for the eve. Michael had an aviation presentation at Liberty and also had a philosophy paper due. 18 credits is keeping him scrambling. Lucy knew Susan was leaving today and looked at her reproachfully. Davi was also mourning but was much happier when Phil came home. I'm not sure if I wrote this before but the day I had my surgery, Lucy was really worried about me and wanted to crawl up beside me in bed. We put a sheet on the comforter and she snuggled next to me for a good 20 min. without Susan in the room. I don't remember any of it but the sweetness of her trying to get up to me and be near me just like she comforts Susan.

Sat-Cleaned house, etc. and got ready for Chi Alpha to come in afternoon/eve. Philip made his famous chili. They played volleyball, checked out the cows and pigs, played the tubular Frisbee game, roasted marshmallows, ate caramel corn, sat around the fire, had a gator ride or two, etc. Jenny and the girls came also and Susan brought Savannah and Harvest back with her from the retreat. My highlight was getting to know little Hannah and the strength of her delightful personality.

Sun.-Great teaching on facing our fears and living in the realm of faith rather than in the little land of fear. Susan and I went to La Parota while Phil helped Steve with some church business. Came home and watched a Food movie with Phil and Susan-documentary on where our food comes from. Took a nap. Susan went to Julie's for a party. Phil and I read and played with Davi. Michael was with Sarah all day and Philip just got home after being away all day. It's nice to look up on stage and see both Freeman and Philip playing the guitar.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Oct. 14-20, 2013

Mon.-Canned 16 quarts of applesauce. Tidied up the house after the party and all the dirt tracked in.

Tues.-Washed 4,5 loads of camo in no-scent spray and 5 loads of other wash and Susan washed several loads too. But the big news is this. I went with Alli to the Dr. and we heard the baby's heart beat and saw it's little peanut sized body. 1 centimeter long! I was told I could tell a few people because they were going to let it out and before I knew it, there was a regular party going on right out loud on face book. It was wonderful. Is wonderful. I keep getting bleeps. Saw Shippey's and Kathy tonight several times. Printing out their tickets here. Kathy gave us a memory foam double mattress and we'll cut it in half for two twin beds. Susan went out to voice lessons and groceries. We're heading out early tomorrow for dental surgery for me.

Wed.-Dental surgery. Those people are so fine. Susan met someone at whole foods in the parking lot and bought a camera lens she found on Craig's List. Professional photography-he and his wife. She bought groceries while I slept and put ice on my lower jaw-both sides. Also went to Trader Joe's. Came home. I went to bed and she brought in groceries and put refrigerated things away and went out to basketball try-outs and youth. I've been sleeping. Delightful to sleep and sleep. Got my pain under control by using other pain meds inside the 6 hours I have to wait for the good stuff. Icing all the time and need to for the next 48 hours. People are still writing on face book about the baby. I realize that people are hungry for good news. I got over 100 likes for the combine date with Phil and it was really a simple little thing. But people are hungry for simple little happy things. And the joy of hearing our new baby's heartbeat-people are so happy for us-for Alli, Freeman, and the Streams. We are good news deficient and I think I want to post about happy times even as I post warning blogs about hard times ahead.

Thurs.-sleeping,sleeping, sleeping. Susan organizing food from Whole Foods. Had an away volleyball game in Richmond. Explained shirt word misunderstanding to I.E.

Fri.-sleeping. Susan cleaning.

Sat.-Finally awake. Tidied up a little bit. Did some wash. Watched some Monk, knitted, and worked in between. Susan extra sleepy. Michael at a wedding in NC since yesterday. Philip building Freeman's roof with David and Jimmy. Phil working around the farm and going hunting for bear this eve. We're headed to bed early tonight.

Sun.-Stayed home from church. Drank coffee for the first time in almost a week and couldn't settle down. Phil, Philip, and Freeman went to men's prayer breakfast. Freeman spoke. Surprise to Phil and Philip. Susan got a red box movie after church and came home to share the afternoon with me. Rested and watched movies all afternoon. Some with Philip. Phil went to see Dennis after church. He's sitting up in a chair and has some use of his hands. Wonderful news. Michael went to see Sarah in afternoon. Running out of pain meds and still need them as soon as I can have them. I guess I'll call if I'm still on 10 out of 10 pain scale after 5 hours and the help of aleve in between. Hope everything is okay. Left side is fine. It's the right side that's doing me in. Can't really talk much. Don't talk on the phone. Can do a little work. Mostly rest and ice. Enough about me. So glad the worst is over. At least, I hope it is.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Oct. 7-13, 2013

Mon.-Started Shred Diet. Lots to eat. Need to do cardio but can't with a sprained foot.

Tues.-New dishwasher and time in the eve. with Jeff and Karalee over at Martins!

Wed.-Phil combining the corn. Guys working on Freeman's house until noon. Rain. Lunch with Jeff and Karalee. Made applesauce and watched dog training DVD in the afternoon after feeding Janelle and Micah's fish. Made 8 quarts with 3 kettles of apples. Bought 2 bushels from Meredith. Dan and Kelli called in eve and got key for Happy Valley. They're here for a week. Philip and Susan at youth group. I decided to stay home since tomorrow is a big day and I thought Phil was working on combine and I don't like anyone to be running any kind equipment without someone else around on the farm. Phil actually went looking for corn crop criminals down at the low grounds. It's pitch black and he's not back yet. Shippey's needed key to gate and it turns out that this is why I felt I needed to stay home tonight. They wouldn't have gotten through to anyone if I wasn't home. And they wouldn't have been able to get into their property.

Thurs.-Busy day. Went to muscle therapist in afternoon; then to Walmart, Miller's, Judy's, then home. Susan's volleyball game was cancelled after they waited for an hour. She went out to Cook Out with a few friends. Watched a guitar DVD in the eve. Beautiful music. Michael's bday gift to Phil. Bought peanut M&M's to give to Sarah when she cuts my hair for the first time. She didn't want me to pay her. Just wanted a hug. Rain. Rain. Rain. Hoodie and tea weather. I am loving it. Philip went to worship practice tonight. He will be playing the next two Sunday's. They won't plug him in to help him get out of the jitters and he's so happy about that!
Today is Abie Schneck's fifth birthday in heaven. He would have been 28 here on earth. My sister's dear son.

Fri.-How fortunate that our friend, Kelly, is sleeping in her ancestor's home next door. She is a chiropractor practicing in California, and came over to pop Alli's ribs back in place. Alli was coughing so hard she dislocated her ribs. Susan and I headed to Lynchburg and got hunting clothes for her at Ollies and then to a specialty shop we went to buy running shoes. Phil called me while he was unloading corn from the combine and invited me to ride around with him for awhile. I put on my shoes, took the chicken out of the oven to cool, and climbed up the ladder to join him. Little rabbits ran everywhere to escape us. The swamp was eerily beautiful in its fall showing of lavenders, browns, oranges, yellows, and greens. Philip had Buck night tonight here. Susan went to homecoming alumni vs. present volleyball team/game, Michael spent the eve. with Sarah, Phil is still working the corn, and I made caramel corn for Philip's birthday party on Sunday.

Sat.-Did some housework, yard work, cooking, resting my foot, and watched a movie this eve. with Susan and Phil. Philip and Michael are with the guys for supper/eve. Erik and Travis are here for Heather and Jack's wedding. Susan, Alli, and Freeman went. Beautiful wedding. Miserable weather. But she had a great time. Needed to get ready for Philip's party plus stay off my foot as much as possible so I opted not to go. It was nice to see the Warren's today. Stopped in for a few minutes to share our bounty on their way to the dollar theatre. I love that family. Almost finished a scarf I started about 2 years ago or was it just last year. Just in time for this cooler weather.
Got 90 likes on face book about riding the combine with Phil status.

Sun.-Great Day. Church. Money Talk. Challenged. Friends. Afternoon Birthday party for Philip. At least 30 kids here I think. Philip made chili over a propane heater under the porch roof. Sour cream and cheddar cheese as toppings. Caramel corn for dessert. Mostly rained. Played volleyball, video games in man cave, and cards in the house. Got to hold Joel and Ashley's little baby. Erik and April were here. Philip prayed for them before they left and she sang, "Jesus loves me" in her head while he prayed so she couldn't hear him and then cry. So I cried for us both. Let me see if I can remember who all came. Joel, Ashley, Elizabeth, Erik, April, Jordan, Sarah, Gavin, Andrew, Kayla, Jacob, the Martin boys, Whitney, Cynthia, Steve, Ben, Freeman, Alli, Shippey's, Lucas's, Danny, Ben E., Isaac, Austin, Tommy T., and I'm sure I'm missing some. Plus Michael and Susan and Phil and I. Great party.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Sept. 30-Oct.6, 2013

Mon.-Today's highlight-went to Liberty Station with PBill and Jenny and Steve and Dianna to celebrate Phil's birthday. Lovely time and had a waitress with a powerful testimony.

Tues.-Highlights-out to town with Susan. First voice lessons with Sarah for Suz. She loved it. Went to Belks. Met Dianna and stopped in at Judy's and held Dane of all things! He used to cry and hide when he saw me. Judy's step dad, Butch, passed away this week. Picked up my car from Susan at NL. Went grocery shopping and came back and watched her team win three games in a row. Great fun to sit between Miriam and Phyllis.

Wed.-Highlights-the guys coming home at lunch and having Meredith and Tommy here because they are working at Happy Valley, weed whacking and mulching with Susan. Good catch up talk with Lindsay in afternoon. Went to see Judy and Pearly and Debbie at Butch's viewing in Keysville. Came back to Mom's and More at church.

Thurs.-Took Susan to Appomattox-new nurse practitioner that we loved! She showed Susan how to take care of her ingrown toenail and gave us prescription for antibiotics which we got filled just in case she needed it. Went to Coreys for him to check the Polaris battery. Bought some food and mums at Kroger.  Made sandwiches for the guys. Dishwasher quit yesterday. I'm spoiled. Making food for the retreat. Bacon, hard boiled eggs, and mashed potatoes...to make mashed potato soup with toppings of eggs and bacon. Mom and Dad coming this weekend also. Using the last of our homegrown chicken which happens to be the ornery rooster. Hope it makes some nice rooster corn noodle soup. He looks tough and scrawny....(I threw him and his broth to the pigs via Philip and swore him to secrecy.) I cooked and cooked him and he never loosened up. And I made the kitchen so hot. The windows were open and the air conditioning came on. Watched 'The Hiding Place' with Susan and remembered quite accurately the different scenes that I watched 40 years ago at Susan's age. It affected me the same way. Couldn't stop crying. When Michael got home, he and Susan watched CCA's 2008 DVD and we had a high old time laughing and remembering and being a little embarrassed at times. I actually turned red when there was a video of me dancing around with the kids in music. I've lost weight since that first year though. Freeman and Alli's house rafters are up and the plywood is going on.

Fri.-Raced around like crazy to get ready for a 24 hour retreat at the Lake House with ladies. Picked up Gwen and Jenny and we were on our way by 3. Had a wonderful time. Roomed with Ginger. Jesus joined us at the house and things will never be the same. Behold, He makes all things new.

Sat.-Arrived home sometime after 8. Glorious day.

Sun.-Church was good because God was there. Mom and Dad were too and thoroughly enjoyed it and are so glad for what we are experiencing. They liked our pastor and his wife. Had lunch here together and then Tom's joined us for a hot dog roast and supper. We had a nice time visiting with each other. Very tired. Didn't sleep much the past two nights. Judy called this morning. Her brother's wife passed away this morning. Two deaths in one week for this precious family. Jesus, help.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"WHO"-a Birthday poem for Susan written by my mother

Susan had this poem stored amongst her precious things and asked if I'd keep it for her. I have her permission to blog it. There is no date on it so we are not sure how old Susan was when my mother wrote it for her. How well she describes my lovely daughter.


Whose lively spirit looks out at you
    From shining eyes of liquid blue?

Who likes to cook creatively
   And makes choice treats for her family?

Who likes critters that squiggle and squirm,
   And even finds pleasure in the lowly worm?

Who likes to play with beads and strings
    And makes so many beautiful things?

Who attracts friends in her own special way
Like honey draws bees on a sunshiney day?

Who, then, can make an ordinary day shine
Just by placing her warm hand in mine?

Whose life has a purpose for many great things
Given to her by her great King of Kings?

Who adds to our lives her unique, special touch?
Why, it's Susan, the one that we all love so much!

Happy Birthday, honey.
What a precious poem to read about my precious daughter
written by my precious mama.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Sept. 23-29, 2013

Mon.-Productive day. Did wash, cleaned out the cold frame and put 3 loads of organic matter on top and mixed it in. Sewed 6 buttons on a sweater for Susan while I sat in the sun and caught some Vit. D. Exercised, Talked with Katherine and Sarah and D. Guys worked on Freeman's house. Michael went to school. Alli stopped in for a visit. Tommy mowed the fields. Susan went to Farmville and did her Monday projects plus had volleyball practice. Made incredible spaghetti squash with tomatoes, cheese, garlic, basil...broiled. And made crock pot Thai cashew chicken with rice and broccoli. Also, sorted through summer clothes, threw out some, stored some, put some back into drawers, and gave some away. Every morning, Susan and I exercise at the same time. She goes over to the man cave and I stay in the living room and listen to Zig Ziglar or Dale Carnegie. Then we have a 3 song tidy in our bedrooms, both working as fast as we can.
I am thankful that the work of God is to believe on Him whom He has sent.
I am thankful that my to-do list got halfway done.
I am thankful that no matter what is going to happen in our nation,
God is in control, and in Him, there is a stillness and a voice that speaks.

Tues.-Watched the documentary, "Trail of Tears" with Susan. I never knew there were black Indians. I never knew the Indians were shipped to Boarding Schools and were not allowed to speak anything but English. Nor did I know that they received more education than most whites at the time. Susan went out for volleyball practice in the afternoon. I made brown rice tortillas while cleaning out the fridge. Guys came home for lunch and were home for supper shortly after 5. I could get used to this.
Finding out that Phil and the rest of the Kenyan team had coffee in the mall that is in crisis in Nairobi. So sad. And scary. Our times are in His hands. And if our times are in His hands, then our life experiences are as well. If they are in His hands, then we can trust Him with them, can we not. I am 56 and still learning to trust Him. I guess I will be learning to trust Him when I'm 99 and wanting to go parachuting. I am thankful that He is trustworthy. And that I really believe He is trustworthy. So, therefore, I can trust Him. I am thankful for the times He's looked me in the face and asked the question, "Did I tell you to worry about that?" I am thankful that as I hear another's burden, I can roll it over on to Him and not try to fix it. It sets me free to care and to enter in to another's sorrow and wait with them for God to move.

Wed.-Spent most of the day in the Farmville area. Had lunch with DDF at Merks; went to muscle therapy-Dennis says I have sprained my foot in two places; went to the bank, Walmart, Sweet Frog by myself to read a chapter in 'Praying Circles around your Children' by Mark Batterson; went to Mom's and More where we talked about that chapter and shared. Oh, how I love that group of women! Came home and went to bed. Philip and Susan came out for youth group and Susan got to drive Philip's big truck. Michael had a close call the other night when someone was driving towards him on 460 on his side of 460. Sarah was praying for him. Helen saw the same thing and called 911.

Thurs.-Worked outside for an hour on the flower garden. Planted 18 pansies. I love when it snows and their hardy happy heads peep out and smile summer warmth in winter. Worked in the old house. Have been listening to teachings on goal setting etc. and realize that I need to have an end in mind when it comes to goals. Instead of having a goal to clean the old house, I need to have a goal to have it cleaned by the end of November. And then the strategy to bring that goal about would be to work in the old house 15 min. a day, 6 days a week. Same with weight loss. I need to have a specific goal of weight loss by a certain time.
Susan finished mowing at Happy Valley. She lost keys and I found them by retracing her drive in the truck using the gator. Watched Monk with Susan and Phil for a little while and heated/chilled my foot. Good day.

Fri.-Picked up a battery for the mower from Corey's shop in Appomattox. He gave it to us since the last one he gave us was the wrong size and sitting on the seat kept shorting it out. Also went to Walmart while there. Worked on old house and planted more pansies. Did some wash. Susan mowed around here probably for the last time this summer. Watched Monk this eve. Julie coming overnight. Michael with Sarah. Philip stayed home.

Sat.-Cleaned the house while Susan and Julie cleaned Happy Valley. Phil and Michael picked up a load of firewood from the Abbey. I picked up Little Beulah-Susan's friend, Brooke, who reminds her of my mother. Same maiden last name and her father's from our area in Pa. He's a blond version of my cousin Marv. Big event of the day was the fund-raiser hoe-down at Glory Reins Ranch. Sarah's family owns the ranch and has a ministry to troubled children using horses. Everybody brought food and it was set up in the barn that Phil and boys had built several years ago. It was so much fun to see so many homeschool and community families. I laughed and enjoyed myself so very much. The girls-Brooke, Julie, and Susan, and the guys-Philip and Michael, as well as a good hundred more of each, met together down in the arena where they danced the night away. The polka, the Virginia Reel, the Chicken, the Snowball, the Waltz, etc. etc. raised up such a cloud of dust it looked like a tornado was coming or going. It was a great time. I love this family and their call to missions right in their back yard.

Sun.-Brooke had spent the night and went to church with us. It was a great service-14 baptisms, 6 people accepting Christ-one of which was the mother of a girl that was baptized! Testimonies...worship....healing service. Phil and I both had a meeting after church. Phil's went longer so I took the girls' to La Parota but it would have been a half hour wait so we went to Golden Palace instead. Then we went back for Phil, who was just getting out of his meeting. Took Brooke home and came home and watched a movie. Susan went out to Farmville again for Savannah's 18th birthday party. Philip and Michael spent the afternoon at Warren's. Michael had spent the night there. Stayed at the grandparents place. Some families camped over and had outdoor breakfast and church services. Philip and Phil shot in their bows in the eve. I read some things that confirm the feeling that life as we know it is drastically going to change. What does this mean? Perhaps, it's a good thing. But, as I watched the young folk dancing with healthy enjoyment while the dust rose up around them, it looked like a dream. And I thought, 'Cherish these moments. We should all cherish these moments. Hold them dear. Because, life as we know it, is drastically going to change.' And I pray for those young people and the life that they thought they would have, and I pray that they will find God and cling desperately to Him, as all else fails. And I pray that weeks, months, years, from now, I will look on these words I have written, and say, 'I don't know why I said that but I'm so glad that I was wrong.'

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Sept. 16-22, 2013

Mon.-A good day. Got some little errands and jobs out of the way and enjoyed some time with Kathryn in town and had supper together at Mercks.  Susan had volleyball practice and went grocery shopping. Phil bought a Benedictine Bus because Nolte told him to and now that is in our front yard. We don't plan to keep it for long.

Tues.-What did I do today? Not sure. Did go to Susan's volleyball game, then to Judy's, then to Walmart. I scream like a maniac at the games but so do the other mother's around me.

Wed.-Picked up Micah from Helen's and took him to Dr. Harvey's in Appomattox. First real visit to a dentist office and he had no cavities. Dr. H. said he looks like Brad Pitts son with Angelina. Then he brought in a magazine and showed me a picture and they could be twins. Dr. H. said to me, "He is a nice young man." And I felt so proud. Then, we went to Granny B's because we were starving and Micah had two glasses of milk, a burger, fries, and some of my rolls with jelly on it. I had fried chicken, fries, and cole slaw, and some rolls too. Then we went to Millie's store-The Little Things in Life-and found Micah a camouflaged winter vest, a black and white checked flannel shirt, and two pairs of Gap sweatpants. Then we went to CARQUEST and got oil and then to Krogers to get gas and groceries and then to the car wash and then to Noah's Last Stop where we paid to get into the petting zoo. Oh, first we went to the Pamplin P.O. to pick up a package. I wanted ice cream all day but Micah was too full and when I mentioned it again, he patted my shoulder and asked, 'Aunt Annette, do you want ice cream?' "I do!" I said. "I've been wanting it all day." He said, "You should get some ice cream." So, we stopped at Tolley's and he got a grape Popsicle stick and I got a mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. And then I had my ice cream fix and stopped talking about it. We met Janelle at Noah's. I loved the covey of white doves. They kept flying in a swooping dozen over our heads as we fed the llamas, goats, and donkeys. So beautiful. Phil asked me if I'd like a dove cote and I said 'Yes' and he said, "I'll get you some white doves for you to watch." Which I thought was sweet. Came home and foot was killing me so put some ice on it and had a meltdown because I have things to do and can hardly walk sometimes and I miss Johnny after spending half a day with his son. Decided to stay home from church because I was such a mess but within 30 secs. into my pity party God showed up and said, "Go." And I went and was glad I did. Mom's and More was great.  PJ had a back to school night for the youth and there were over 70 kids there. Philip brought wood for the bonfire and they served it up in the parking lot on a car hood. Pretty creative. Got home, took a hot bath, and snuggled with a 56 year old.

Thurs.-Woke up snuggling with a 57 year old. Happy Birthday Phil AND Happy Birthday Michael! Mike is 22. I bought Philip and Michael huge black bean bag chairs for their birthdays plus two more besides for the man cave visitors. Freeman was here this morning too, and the six of us went around a circle and prayed for Freeman and Alli's new house and the adventure of building it, starting today. The basement walls are up and the guys are framing it. It's so nice to have them close by. I made potato soup for lunch and Susan seasoned it. Then, we made Michael's birthday cake. I made three round brownie cakes, cut them in half while they were still hot. Susan put on chocolate wafers on each half and then topped each half with one of the following-crushed butterfingers, crushed snickers bars, and then she made the peanut butter filling for her eggs and put that in the middle of one also. We wrapped them and froze them and tomorrow, we'll put ice cream between the two layers-Heath bar and Reeses pb. Then we'll freeze them again and ice them quickly with Cool Whip Cream Cheese icing which Susan made that is also unbelievably delicious. Then, we'll freeze the whole thing and bring it out Sunday night.
Susan went out to NL to meet her team. They have an away game and she'll be home late tonight. They won!!!

Fri.-Phil and the guys were working on Freeman's house right down the road. It's so nice to have them close to home. They come here to have lunch. Susan and I added ice cream to Michael's cake and stuck in back in the fridge. Amos F. was going to come spend the night and then go to a wedding tomorrow but the wedding was actually moved up until this eve. because of the storm forecasted in Williamsburg. So, he didn't come after all. The man cave had a bit of a brush up and the futon mattresses are now there and the bathroom is clean so there is good in it all. Did wash and dusted and rested my foot. Made an appt. with Dennis and he thinks it is a bad sprain. I've been concerned that it might be fractured because of the one little spot that makes me yelp when its touched. He's going to get the bones back in place next Wed. and it should feel better by then. Made a huge amount of gluten free pancakes. Recipe from Helen's sister Rachel, on face book.

Sat.-Nice day at home cleaning the house, prepping the pizza toppings for homemade pizza for Michael's party tomorrow, went to Peter and Ivona's for a party and here it was his birthday but he wasn't telling. Philip went to the Lapp's to play Rook. Michael was with Sarah and Freeman and Alli were at the party too. Susan opted to stay home. She hurt her knee and back in that last volleyball game and is very tired. Went to bed early.
Sarah's family had a special birthday supper for Michael, cake, candles, gifts, song, and all. He felt so loved.

Sun.-Good morning at church. Had fun taking some pictures of church life. Church packed. College Sunday. I'm always so challenged with the sermon and personal word. I'll share a few highlights from Pastor Bills sermon and put it in quotes.

"It's the little things. Make a slight alteration. A little adjustment.
Have purpose. Use your talents to shape people for the kingdom of God.
Start your day by being still. Develop a lifestyle of getting still.
Re-invest in your former vision and dreams.

1. A vision for life will bring focus.
Strip off every weight.
Weights-worry, time wasters, clutter, dead-end relationships
Do inventory.

2. A vision for your life will bring endurance.
Press on until you get to the end.
Fight for your marriage, kids, health.

3. A vision for life will bring you fulfillment.
The question is not 'What is your talent?'
The question is 'What are you doing with it?"
The college students were invited to a lunch after church.
We started making pizza in the afternoon for Michael's party and just started baking them while we watched The New Three Stooges movie. Freeman had to leave early to go play for Worship Night so we started early. Alli stayed after he left and we rested and played Chicken Foot. Michael and Sara went over to the man cave and he played the guitar and Philip went on a hike. Michelle and Karl came over and brought goodies for the three September birthdays-an apple pie for Philip, a shoofly pie for Phil, and a peanut butter pie for Michael. Karl helped Michelle make them last eve. We had a nice visit. They helped us eat the ice cream cake. Julie joined us for a few hours in the afternoon. The guys brought their new bean bags over to increase our seating.

I am thankful for our family, our church, our home.

I am thankful that even though I am not writing like I used to that people are still reading what I write/wrote. I pray that they will find Christ in my words. And compassion. And humanity. This week, I had 148 hits from the US; 29-Russia; 15-Ukraine; 10-France; 8-Sweden; 5-China; 3-Canada; 2-S. Korea; 1-Germany; 1-Poland. These are not huge numbers but they represent people. Oh God, bless the peoples of this world and help them look for You and find You. Amen.

I am thankful for the reminder to make a slight adjustment. How easy it is to worry rather than be grateful. I want to make the slight adjustment to be thankful. Perhaps that light will turn off the darkness of worry.