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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Safe place

I just finished a three day trip with three wonderful ladies that I've known since high school. 

Let me take that back...Although we all became really close friends in High School, I've actually known two of them since elementary school. One of them, I was in preschool with (we're right next to each other in the back :-) 

And another I was in Kindergarten with! (we're both in the 2nd row)

All of us were born the same year, and between the three of them I have 90 wonderful years of friendship. And I'm only 38 :-) pretty cool, right? Thinking about it, we actually don't have a whole lot in common now...besides our past.   After high school we all went to different colleges, we now live in different states, we live different lifestyles, three of us have kids-one doesn't, two of us go to church two don't, 2 work full time, 2 work part time; although similar in many ways, almost all of us are in different stages of life. 

But when the four of us come together, we create a safe place for each other - no judgment, no name-calling, no hostility, no grudges, no criticism and no negativity.  It's a positive, loving, encouraging, safe place. That's not always easy to come by in life. I'm very thankful that I've got these ladies to share it with. 

We went to a beautiful cabin in the mountains and spent two full days eating, talking, sitting by a campfire and catching up. 

No stress, no jobs and no responsibilities.  A safe place. Do you have a place like this in your life - where you don't feel judged, where you can relax and be yourself, where you can throw out all your crazy problems and not get laughed at, where you can have a shoulder to cry on? If not - I suggest you get one :) It makes a big difference. Driving up there (by myself) for three hours I thought about work, my schedule, responsibilities, conflicts and problems. On my way back I thought about how lucky I was to have such a safe place and such good friends...and I started constructing this blog in my head :-)

For my fellow pastor's wives, this isn't always a place we can find.  Making friends that aren't affiliated with the church isn't easy and finding friends that you can trust to confide in, is even harder. I'm very lucky to have this group of girls that I can meet with, unwind with, unload on and trust in...even if it's only every 2 to 3 years.  Although we may not see each other as often as we like, when we do, it's like we never left :) 
Friendships like that are once in a lifetime - and I'm blessed to have found them.  I'm looking forward to our next "girl's weekend" already! :)  Love you ladies :)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pick-your-own Party!! :)


  I loved the idea that this woman wrote about in her I decided to do the same for my son who is turning 9 this week.  I told him we would give him $150 and he could either keep it, spend it on a party, or both.  It was his to do with as he wanted.  He decided to throw a party AND keep some money so then we had a big discussion on how much things cost :) He wanted to spend $50 on a party and keep $100 but was surprised how quickly the costs started adding up!  So, he started getting creative and came up with this - a Pick Your Own Party :) Pretty cool!  

We ended up having a blast and I was proud of him for being creative :)  The only thing 
I did different than what the other blog mentioned, was that I didn't have him make his own cake or anything like that.  He helped me plan the menu and he paid for it...but it is his birthday after all :)  I don't make myself a cake on my birthday!  So I didn't ask him to :)

  This is a neat little orchard.  Remember, we live in Amish country so pick-your-own farms are everywhere.  We even have a small one within walking distance to our house.  However, when we decided to find one last year (when we first moved here), this was one of the few that still had fruit/veggies to pick and it was reasonably priced. So, we tried it out even though it was 20 minutes away.  It made such a lasting impression on them, that's where he wanted to have his party :) it has a neat little play area as well as a tether ball - which the boys loved playing with. 
So, in all, he paid $15 for pizza and cupcakes (would've been $10 but we had to get him a gluten free pizza which isnt cheap!). For the kids' "goodie bags" (which I'm not a huge fan of), we decided we would let them pick whatever fruit they wanted to take home-and averaged about $5 per child...or $15. Add in the cost of some paper products and misc and he spent around $50.  Awesome!

We picked raspberries...


and climbed some trees to get some peaches :)
Ate our pizza and cupcakes...
And played until we had to leave! :)

Overall, he had a great party :)  His actual birthday isn't until September 11 (another blog about that here...) but we decided to do it before school started and the craziness begins :)  Happy birthday buddy!! I love you <3