Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas at Grandma's

On Christmas Day we had a short Church service early and then went to my Grandparents house. As usual, there was TONS of food! ;-)
This is my Uncle John and Martha. Uncle John doesn't like pictures, but oh well. :-)
Daniel's siblings, Laura and Nathan came over for Christmas too. From left to right, Laura, Daniel, Nathan and Oliver
Ryan washing dishes. :-)

Sarah and Katie in deep discussion while eating crackers and cheese.

Katie and I

My Cousin, Jonathan

Stuart and Tamara

Katie and Ryan


My three brothers (or soon to be): Mark, Ryan and Daniel

Ryan, Mark, Oliver and I made a giant snowman

It was Mark's idea to put antlers on it...:-)

I had a wonderful time this Christmas, spending time with my family and friends.
I hope it was the same for you all!

Christmas Caroling 2009

Every year I look forward to going Christmas Caroling with my church. This year we split about 50 people up into 6 groups. Usually we pass around a sheet at church and people write down names and addresses of people they know who would enjoy being caroled to. This year we decided to do something different. Each group had 16 fruit baskets, and we were designated an area, and we were supposed to give out the baskets. We weren't allowed to go to ANYONE we knew. :-) It was interesting. We were designated the Biglerville area, so we got back the fastest. After getting back to the church, we caroled to Mrs. Maust, who was making hot chocolate for all the carolers.

Mr. and Mrs. Maust

Britney and I. We were in a group together, so we were goofing off a bit. :-)

Mrs. Shreve, Kelsey, and Mr. Shreve

It was loads of fun, as always! Caroling has always been one of the highlights of Christmas for me. :-)
More later!

Christmas Open house

WOW! It has been SO LONG since my last post! I'm still alive, I just wasn't able to find time to post anything.
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! I know I did!
We got a little over a foot of snow last week and I managed to snap a few shots of that.

Also, on the 20th, we had a Open House for everyone at our church. Since it had JUST stopped snowing, we didn't have as many people come as in previous years, but we had lots of fun together!
Playing Apples to Apples

And just talking and eating

I'll put more posts up about the other things we've been keeping busy with!
I hope your all doing well!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Potts Grove and The Ephrata Cloister

Last weekend, my Mom and I went on our monthly field trip. We went east again to The Potts Grove Manor and The Ephrata Cloister.
Me in one of the Cloister's homes.

The town of Ephrata was founded by Conrad Beissel who came to the United States in 1760. In Conestoga, PA, he became affiliated with the Brethren Church. He was appointed leader but ended up resigning. He moved west and settled by the Cocalico Creek east of Lancaster, PA with the intention of being a hermit the rest of his life. He was soon followed by many who saw him as a charismatic leader. Together they formed their own denomination. They had theology pulled from nearly every group Conrad Beissel was a member of or was influenced by: the Catholic Church, Lutheran Church, the Mystics, Pietists, Brethren, and he had his own ideas as well. He believed that when he died he was going to go to heaven and literally MARRY God. So, he thought, "Why get married on earth?" He demanded that the members of his Cloister remain celibate and never marry.
This building is the "Saar" or the Home of the Sisterhood: AKA The Women's Dormitory. The Brotherhood was burnt down.

I REALLY enjoyed visiting the cloister and learning the History of the place! It was absolutely FASCINATING!!!!

Basically the people who lived here slept for 4 hours a day and Prayed for about 10 hours a day, and worked the rest of the time. They ate only one meal a day and that only consisted of vegetables. They believed that eating meat would make you carnal and have wicked desires.

This picture is really blurry, but I was only allowed to take pictures without the flash. This is one of the "sisters" bedrooms. That "Bed" is made out of a board, and for a pillow, they used a wooden block, so that they wouldn't be TOO comfortable when they slept. They believed that the more comfort you had, the more dreams you had when you slept, and dreaming was a form of Satanic oppression...

After Conrad Beissel died, the whole cloister went downhill. Peter Miller tried to keep it going, but not to many people were interested in living that sort of lifestyle...(I wonder why?????)
Not to mention the fact that they were all dying off since they didn't believe in getting married and having children.
This is Peter Miller's gravestone. As you can see, it was snowing that day!!! :-D

I really enjoyed going there, because its such a STRANGE place! Sorry about the huge History lesson, but the whole place makes no sense without some background first...
Not that it eve makes sense now...:-)
This is John Pott's home. He was a fairly normal guy in the 1700's. We just went to look at the house. I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside though....

So there you have it! That's what I've been up to!
Oh, and the Christmas decorations are up!:-D

Well, I hopefully didn't bore you to bad! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bride and Bridesmaid dress patterns!:-D

WOW! It's been awhile! It's hard to believe that its December already! Time flies... We just had our first snow of about two inches. :-D
Well, I'm really behind in my news and pictures, but I don't want to pitch it all into one HUGE post, so I'll space it out. :-D
The other Sunday (when Sarah was home for Thanksgiving break) we took some cheesy "sister" pictures. It was fun! An afterwards we had a party cutting out the patterns for Lydia's wedding dress, and all of our bridesmaid dresses.
Holding Sarah, since she's the smallest! :-D

A goofy picture of us all holding hands...

Mark and Daniel cutting out patterns

While we cut, Ryan made us grilled cheese sandwiches in the kitchen...:-D

So there's ONE post! :-D
It might take me a bit to get to the next one, as I'm putting up Christmas decorations at the same time I'm posting. :-D
YAY, Christmas is almost here!!!!!!