Friday, March 28, 2008


WANTED: Sales person for our new business, Windload Technologies Inc.
CALL: Robert Martian @ (772)546-0839 for more information.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Musical Clarification

I made a comment in my last post about church music and instead of going back and rewording it, I thought I would just write more about it. I don't agree with Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages. I don't think there are 5 languages. I think there are 6, with number 6 being music. Music is my love language. I love to hear Rob sing our song, Forever and Ever, Amen, by Randy Travis in my ear. Music moves me, uplifts me, inspires me, gives me energy, calms me, ministers to me. I think you get the picture!

Music has always been a part of my life. Piano lessons were started in Kindergarten. Saxaphone lessons began a few years after that. I was in children's choir at Penn View where we did a record recording a couple years. I sang in a children's trio. In 8th grade here at HSCA, I was invited by Leroy Adams to be in the high school/college band even though I wasn't technically old enough. Then there was high school choir and ensemble (where most years the choir and ensemble took first place at national competition) and more years in band. My dad comes from a musical family. His sister has been the director of a gospel band in Pennsylvania for many years. All his nephews and a niece play instruments and sing. And now most of THEIR children play. Anyway, you get the picture! Not bragging about anything, just driving home a point. I LOVE MUSIC! I have been to churches where all they sing is hymns. I have been to others where all they sing is contemporary music and others where they have a mix of both. I personally like a mix of both, but if I had to choose between all hymns or all contemporary for church, I would choose hymns. You can turn on any radio station these days and get your fill of upbeat praise and worship. What is much harder to find on the radio is a healthy diet of hymns. I love the message of the old hymns. I also love the more upbeat camp meeting style songs that you don't hear as much these days. I was at work last night and since my "lady" went to bed a little earlier than usual, I was able to read the TV guide and choose what I wanted to watch for a change. At 9:30, the Gaither's were on TBN. I was thrilled! My heart had been heavy all evening with some news that I received right before going to work and I had been praying off and on all evening. I knew that watching the Gaither's sing would be just what I needed. And it was. I guess it was an older one of the Gaither Homecomings and they were singing in an old church in the Carolinas, I believe. All the songs were hymns. I was surprised to find that I knew most of the words to these hymns that I hadn't heard in years. They were songs that I grew up listening to and must have heard hundreds of times. It was like manna from Heaven! I want that for my children. I have vowed to find more CD's with hymns and have them playing frequently at home.

About my comment on loud music in my other post. I don't think that there is anything wrong with instruments being played along with church music, but I think it can get out of hand. When the musicians drown out the voices of those singing praise to God, it's frustrating to me. I guess I don't go to church to hear a concert. I WANT to hear everyone singing together. The more voices, the better. And that's why I so enjoyed the music on Easter Sunday. I know this is just my personal opinion, and there are those who will disagree with me on both sides of this issue. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I think how you are raised has a strong bearing on how you feel on this subject.

And speaking of this subject, I think I have about wore it out! So, now it's your turn! Tell me what you think!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Not your typical Easter

I tried! I really did! I had to work this weekend from Saturday morning until Monday morning. I had 5 1/2 hours off Sunday morning to celebrate our Risen King. So, late Friday night, I got everyone's clothes ironed for Easter Sunday. As soon as I got off work on Sun. at 9, I rushed home, bathed the babies, brushed Rebecca's hair, tied her bow on her dress and packed the diaper bags. We left for church early to get a decent seat. Whew! We made it! Well, sort of. Nate decided that he would rather be in the nursery, so Rob took him out after the singing. But, it took some convincing to get him to stay there, so Rob didn't get back in time to participate in communion. I was sitting there holding my "juice and cracker" when all of the sudden, I got a horrid tickle in the back of my throat. I hurried out as quickly as I could, leaving Becca, Zack and Eli alone in the pew. I met Rob coming in, handed him my communion juice and cracker and ran into the bathroom before coughing up my right lung. I thought for sure that Rob would go ahead and sit with the kids and take my communion. But, no, he was waiting for me in the hall holding the juice and cracker. Communion was over. I knew I wasn't going to be able to go back in with the tickle still there, so I went and sat in the van until church was over. Miraculously, my cough disappeared as quickly as it began. We came home for a lovely dinner. During dinner Rob recapped the sermon for me. He said it was one of the best Easter messages he has heard. Of course!

In all the rush, I didn't have time for pictures! (I'll take some later) I DID get to enjoy the singing at least! While I love contemporary music, I don't like it when the musicians and instruments are louder than the voices as it is in some churches. Not so at Hobe Sound. The voices can be heard loud and clear. I was moved when we were singing the hymn "He Lives". At the end of the song we repeated "He lives" several times and the sound of hundreds of voices raised together proclaiming that our King is alive moved me to tears. The message of Easter is real! I can't imagine how it will sound when there will be millions of voices singing around the throne. I hope each of you had a blessed Easter! Hopefully without all the drama we had to endure!

And Easter finery photos will be posted in the near future...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Birthday to....

Me! This happens every year, rain or shine, whether I like it or not. (I do) I was born March 16th, 1972, exactly 30 days late, according to my mother. Apparently in those days, Docs didn't worry about a woman if she went past her due date. There's something about a good old fashioned country doctor. I guess they haven't ever seen a cow, horse or pig carry a baby forever, so why should a human? The baby has to come out sometime, right? Having babies late was just my mom's mode of operation. They say that a typical gestation period can vary a few weeks this way or that. My mother's body tended to carry on the longer side of things. Oh well, as far as I can tell, I'm perfectly normal! (Please don't tell me if you suspect otherwise. You'll burst my bubble.) So anyway, I had to work all weekend...a 50 and 1/2 hour shift. So I'm sitting on Jupiter Island while my "lady" sleeps. I'm outside on the patio by the river enjoying the breezes all by myself. My sister sends me a text message happy birthday. My mom and dad call to sing to me (rather off key, but it was sweet.) THEN, my hubby decided to call me, too. Ahem. At least he remembered, right? All day long I kept thinking about getting off work at 9pm and rushing home to see if Rebecca remembered that I wanted her to make me a homemade chocolate cake. Really, that's all I could think about all day! Well, she didn't let me down, the dearie! I walked in the house and was greeted with "happy birthday mom"! And little James calling out "Ommy, Ommy!"
Becca baked and decorated this by herself. I knew I could count on her! It was perfectly delicious! (Don't ask me how old I am, 'cause I'm not telling.)

Zack, who has been getting rowdy with the glue gun lately, decided to make me a birthday present. Here is his creation. I thought it was the best birthday present ever and I placed it on one of my shelves by a photo frame. It is solid rock!

Another year older, and hopefully another year wiser! And still LOTS of years left before I turn 40! :-)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I don't care what you call me, just call me!

When Laura and Jose Cancio were expecting their first biological child Jose was frequently asked at church if Laura had the baby yet. His humorous response was always "Baby doesn't call, baby doesn't write..." That is, until baby arrived! I have been getting a kick out of the way James addresses me. He used to call me Mom. Then, somehow, it morphed into Omp. That was my favorite and every time he said it, it made me laugh. Now, as of today, it is Ommy. On the other hand, Nathanael has always called his daddy "Rob". I guess that's because he hears me say it. If I tell him to say Daddy, he will, but on his own, it is always Rob.

As I was driving home from shopping for various Easter clothes that were needed, I got to thinking that I don't mind WHAT James calls me, as long as he does. I'm thankful that God feels the same way towards me. I can call him Abba, (daddy) Father, Savior, and my favorite, Friend. I imagine He must feel towards me the same as I feel about my children. I just love the fact that they want me. Need me. Call my name. When they are hurt, sad, happy, tired, or just want to show me that they love me. Yes, there are times when I have informed my children that my name is no longer "mommy" and I wasn't going to tell them what my new name is. Just to keep from hearing "Mommmmmm!" one more time. God never tires of us calling on Him. Whew! It's a good thing because I know if it were me, I would be sticking my fingers in my ears because I would be so tired of it all! Not God!

Gotta go, James is calling!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Nathanael Levi!

Last Saturday, Nate turned 3! Of course, it seems like yesterday that he was born. I gave birth to him at home, and he was 20 days early. I should have let nature take it's course and trust completely in the Lord's plan for his birth, but I didn't. Nathanael was due during Spring Break. I was panicky wondering how I would handle a newborn in the house while Zack (our autistic son) was at home on break. So, I conspired to take herbs that would induce labor. I really had no idea what I was doing. My midwife gave me some nasty tasting stuff in tea and I drank it. Rob and I left her house planning on going to KK4C to clean the gym before heading home to hopefully begin labor. We weren't on the road 5 minutes before I called my midwife on my cellphone to inform her that the "tea" was working and I was having contractions. She chuckled, knowingly. We went straight home and by the time we got there, I was in full blown labor. My midwife arrived within the hour. Several hours later, Nate entered the world, the most beautiful baby I had ever laid eyes on. Because his birth was induced (I believe) he aspirated some amniotic fluid. For the first 36 hours of his tiny life, he struggled to breathe. He wouldn't eat or open his eyes. He simply worked at breathing very fast, forced breaths. After that, he was fine! He took to breast feeding just fine and we got on with life. He has been a joy of a boy! He was a surprise. We weren't planning on having any more children. It had been 8 years since we had a baby in the house and we thought we were past that stage. But God had other plans! The year he was born was a difficult one for our family and baby Nate brought such joy into our home. Joy that we so badly needed and didn't even know it. So, now he is three and we couldn't imagine life without him!

All of my baby pictures of him are on our old computer, still waiting to be transfered. So I don't have any of those to show. He was a beautiful baby and is growing into a handsome boy. I remember Jessica Duran telling me that she had always thought babies were ugly, but Nate was different and he captured her heart. Of course, she has a little one of her own now, and I'm sure he is even more beautiful to her than Nate. :-) While I was pregnant with Nathanael, I was singing in an ensemble. We had weekly practices so I wondered what effect, if any, this would have on him always being sung to. After he was born, I went right back to practice with Nate in tow. Janet Durham was one of the sopranos and has the most beautiful voice. She was holding him and as long as she sang, he was quiet. As soon as she stopped singing, he would fuss. Of all my children, Nate is the one who I will hear off in a corner somewhere when he thinks nobody can hear him, singing a song. I love it!

One can never have too many toys at once.

I'm not sure what Nate was watching, but his stuffed animal that goes everywhere he does was right there with him.

Last fall, all dressed for the Fall Festival at New Hope.

Although he can climb them safely now, there was a time when he was only allowed to sit on the steps at Kenny and Jan's house. He SO badly wanted to go up!

Nate checking out his birthday cake. All he could think of was getting his hands on the tractor.

Since Nate is allergic to soy, I had to make his cake from scratch. The icing turned out a little runny, but I didn't have time to do it over. It looks like a mudslide! Nate must have thought it was real mud, because he never did eat a bite of his cake. He was happy with the toys.

We try to keep birthdays simple. Especially when they are young. I remember when I was growing up that if it was our birthday, we got to pick the dinner menu right down to the drinks and the cake and ice cream. We didn't have any friends over. It was just family, special food served on our best dishes, and presents. My mom always hid our presents and gave us clues to find them. It was simple, but we NEVER felt deprived. Our day was a celebration! Nowadays, if I'm not careful, I get sucked into thinking that I have to spend a ton of money and invite everyone we know to make it special. That's simply not true. Now, of course, I have had several "large" parties for my kids on their "big" birthdays, like 5, 10, etc. But for the most part, we keep it low key. We'll month is Rebecca's 13th! Anyway, here is our modest party of family only! That includes the only 2 cousins who live in the area. Kailee (beside Rebecca) and Nicky (beside Eli). I just realized that Zack isn't in this photo. I'm not sure where he was! I didn't have his pizza ready, so he must have run off.

Blowing out the candles.

His favorite toy was this "MP3" player. It has 21 tunes on it and it makes him feel like his big brother and sister to wear head phones.

Another year older, and hopefully many, many more years to come! We love you Nathanael!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pretty skirt for a pretty gal

In a previous post, I offered this skirt in a drawing to my readers. This cutie pie, otherwise known as Little Chic in blogging world, was the winner. It looks great on her!

Wannado City!

(I'm having trouble with uploading pictures today. It won't let me load more than one at a time, so my blog is actually backwards. Bear with me!)

I took Becca and Eli along with a group of other home schoolers to Wannado City. We have been wanting to go for a long time, and a group rate made it very affordable. So, off we went! At Wannado, kids do what they wanna do. Actually, they go to work. There are several dozen job opportunities. I think we made it through half of them. Each job pays 20-40 wanna bucks. These dollars can be spent at places like the Cookery, where they get to make and eat a cookie, Wonka Factory, where they make a gross (in my opinion) candy bar, rock climbing, little fair rides, etc.

This boat is outside as you are walking up to the front entrance. It is attached to the wall.

Like I said, this blog is backwards. Becca and Eli are counting their money at the end of the day. You can keep the cash, or put it on a debit card and bring it back anytime to use it in the future. Their idea was to work and give the money to their little brothers for the rides since they are geared for younger kids.

This is the cookery where they made a cookie with icing. Eli made one for me. Yum!

Outside the salt mine. Since the parents can't go in with the kids at most of these places, I don't know what it looks like inside. The kids dug through dirt to find "salt".

Wonka Factory. They were given a perfectly good chocolate candy bar and "ruined" it by spreading sugary goo on it and "gluing" more candy on top.

One of the streets where the fire truck and ambulance made their rounds.

Becca and Eli after putting the fire out at the fireworks factory.

Smoke, er mist, at the fire.

On the back of the fire truck.

Inside the fire station waiting their turn.

This was in the emergency room. Becca is learning how to give an x-ray.

Waiting in the hall in the hospital. They are checking out their articles they wrote for the Miami Herald.

Their favorite place was the rock climbing wall. They went twice even though it cost them $60 wanna bucks apiece.

Becca, getting ready to ring the bell at the top.

Suited up and ready to climb.

Another shot of the street.

Here they are inside the Dentist office. The kid on the reclined chair is a dummy. They got to clean her teeth and use the drill, too.

Inside the Miami Herald office, typing up their story about the bank robbery.

Waiting to interview the officer about the robbery. They were given a pencil, pad and a list of questions to ask her and a press badge to wear around their necks. Then they went back to the office, typed in their ID and password on the computer and submitted their story.

The first place they went to work was Publix. It cracked me up to watch them, because it seemed so childish. We always use the self check out at Super Walmart and the kids know how to do it, too. So to them, this checkout at Publix was a little silly. But they did have to return items to the shelves and straighten out cans and boxes, so that gave them a little perspective on other jobs withing a supermarket.

Wannado City was a little different than I expected. If you are planning on going, don't wait until your kids are too old to appreciate it. It took Eli and Becca a little bit to get into it and enjoy themselves. I think the perfect age would be around 8. 13 would be on the outside age. Everything is kid sized. All the counters and name it! All scaled for kids. I even noticed that the adults that work there are mostly on the small side, too. I think that helps the kids feel bigger. We will definitely have to go again!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

In Memory of Bradley Spitler

I have known the Spitler family so long that I can't remember when I first met them. My memories of Bradley and his family are of us all playing in the Lebanon Valley Gospel Band. The band has been (and still is) directed by my aunt, Shirley Habacker. In the summer time, when the band was at local churches, we would tag along and my Dad, brother-Austin, and I would join with the band even though we weren't official band members. As stated in the obituary down below, he was a very talented man. It breaks my heart thinking of his wife and three boys left behind. He was sick for a very long time, so this wasn't a complete surprise, but it is devastating just the same. If you think of them, say a prayer for the family.

Bradley G. Spitler
Bradley G. Spitler, 41, of Myerstown, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, March 5, 2008, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was the husband of Wendy J. Huff Spitler, and they celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary on October 17th.
Born in Lebanon on October 2, 1966, he was the son of H. Glenn and Carlene Shuey Spitler of Ono. He had worked at the Countryside Christian Community, N. Annville Twp., as an Assistant Administrator.
He was an active member of the Lebanon God’s Missionary Church where he had served as an elder, pianist, choir director, assistant class leader and assistant song leader. He was a member and the assistant director of the Lebanon Valley Gospel Band, and was president of the Lebanon Valley Holiness Association. He had a heart for missions and traveled to Cuba and Puerto Rico, and was active in the Lebanon Gospel Center. He was a 1990 graduate of Lebanon Valley College with a B.S. degree in music. He was an accomplished musician and was able to play over 20 different instruments. He loved gardening, the outdoors and especially spending time with his boys.
In addition to his wife and parents he is survived by three sons Benjamin C., Christian W. and Bradley G. Spitler all at home; a brother Darrell R. and his wife Susan of Ono; a sister Alisa R. wife of Craig Brown of Cincinnati, OH and his paternal grandmother Anna Mae Fittery of Ono.
Viewing for Bradley will be held on Friday, March 7, 2008 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Lebanon God’s Missionary Church, 2127 Hill St., Lebanon, PA 17046. The funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 11 a.m. at the church, with a viewing one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in the Mt. Hope Cemetery, Myerstown.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to his church.
Published in the Patriot-News on 3/6/2008.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

And the winner is..........

.......drum roll...... (just to make sure the contest is above board and legit, James is brought in to oversee the drawing)

If this is your name, please respond with your address so your prize can be sent to you!

For those of you with vision difficulties, here is a close up of the winning name.

The funniest thing happened over the weekend when we went to my sister's house. They have a Bealls Outlet in a nearby town and we found a whole rack of these skirts! So Rebecca was able to get one in her size, after all!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Our Weekend with the Campbells

After waiting for way too long, we finally made a trip over to the other coast to see my sister and her family. Since my little brother lives close by, we got to see them, too. While we were there, I took family pictures for Adela.

Taylor is 8, Trevor- 7, Tuckor - 2 and Tannor 13 weeks.

I didn't notice until later that Zack was walking in the woods behind them and showed up in this picture.

Behind Adela's house there is a farm, of sorts. They have horses and chickens and plenty of dogs, too. The chickens were fairly tame and the two big chicken's names were Thelma and Louise because they won't stay at home. With a little coaxing, they let the kids pick them right up.

I love the trees they have there. Big, drooping banyan trees. They provide tons of shade and look so pretty!

For some reason, this horse, Smoky, gets picked on by the other horses. You can't see it in the picture but he has bite marks on him. The neighbor feels sorry for him and lets him graze in their yard sometimes. The brought him over and let the kids pet him. He is only 2 years old. His hooves were enormous! Rebecca and Taylor were wishing they had brushes to groom him.

I didn't get a picture of it, but one of the dogs had a hankerin' for Jame's teddy bear. The dog ran up and snatched it right out of his hands. Of course, James bawled and bawled. The dog was too smart. The next time, he gently walked up to James and eased the teddy bear from his grasp. I think James was too stunned to do anything and he let the dog get away with it. Once the bear was back in his arms, though, he fought tooth and nail to keep it there. Poor doggy! He only wanted to play! (Scroll down to read two more posts from this weekend)

Sweet Baby Boy!

I can't believe it only took 13 weeks before I was able to meet my new nephew, Tannor. Life was just so busy since Christmas that between our two schedules it took that long before we could make a trip over to see everyone. This is my sister, Adela, on the left and my lil' brother's wife, Heather, on the right.

I'm telling you, this is one sweet baby! He NEVER cries unless he is hungry or sleepy. The rest of the time he is looking around at everything going on around him, smiling and cooing at whomever is holding him. I love him!

Relaxing in his stroller at the park. I forgot he was around some of the time because he was so good! (Scroll down for another post, or click on the link for older posts.)

Crazy Cousins at the Park

On Saturday, we piled all the kids in the van and drove to a nearby park. Before they scattered to the four corners, we paused for a group photo. My crew is the 5 on the left. Aaron and Heather's two are in the middle (table top and seat) and Wes and Adela's are the four on the right. (2 on top and 2 on bottom) Notice Tuckor picking his nose? What a guy!

The favorite swing was this red one for handicapped children that Eli is lounging in.

Kailee striking a pose.

Kody hamming it up.

James, being a big boy and going down the slide all by himself, thank you very much!

Tuckor, ready to slide.

What's Nate dreaming about?

Taylor, Kailee and Rebecca.

Life's more fun upside down! (Taylor)

Flying high! Only Zack would think to crawl into these monkey bars like this. I'm just glad he didn't get stuck!