Friday, July 28, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

Highlights from our wonderful mini-vacation!


Mark Schultz in Concert Posted by Picasa

Mark singing Posted by Picasa

The crowd behind us at the concert Posted by Picasa

The Boathouse that was Joel's home for a year Posted by Picasa

John at Winona Lake Posted by Picasa

What a great weekend...

John and I had such a great weekend! We left Saturday morning for Goshen, Indiana. The weather was beautiful...sunny but not too hot. We listened to my Mark Schultz CD's all the way up there. When we finally reached Goshen, we used our Yahoo map to find the hotel...I'd reserved it through Travelocity. The map looked pretty easy to read, but when we reached the street that it showed, we drove into a really seedy section of town and a dead-end street! So we headed back out the way we came and finally found the Holiday Inn Express. It was a really nice place and the manager was very friendly and helpful. He said a lot of folks had gotten lost with those internet maps but they didn't know how to get Yahoo to correct the error. Anyway...at least we arrived! After a little rest, we headed to Middlebury and supper at the Essen Haus. Oh those Amish chicken and noodles are sooo good. We shopped in the stores for awhile and found a couple of cute gifts for Betsy's birthday. Of course I always find things for her...it's so fun to shop for a baby! We bought some apple butter to bring home to my co-workers, Bonnie and LaDonna. We also found some yummy pecan rolls and had them the next morning for our breakfast in our room. Sunday we drove to Winona Lake for a little reminiscing about the days we had kids in college there. We have really wonderful memories of the 9 years the kids were there...it seems impossible that they've both been out of college for so long! We had a wonderful lunch at the Boathouse and sat out on the deck and watched the ducks and skiers while we dined. I had great Bruschetta and a spinach salad. John enjoyed their chicken salad. After lunch we wandered down to the lake and watched the gulls and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon. We sat right near the boathouse that Joel lived in during one of his years at Grace. It was right on the water so he had quite a view that year. We decided to drive back to Goshen to be there in plenty of time for the concert. By that time it started to get really hot and I got really sleepy. We arrived just in time to be detoured by the 4-H parade so we sat and dozed until we could get out to the fairgrounds. I was so thankful to have my handicapped placard...we were able to park close to the fairgrounds. As it was I had to walk way too much that day and I'm still feeling the aches today. But it was worth it. The concert was amazing! Mark seemed so authentic and humble. He told many of the stories behind his songs and that made them even more special. He also sang "Letters from War" as a tribute to the veterans. He had all the veterans stand...so John stood...and the audience really showed their appreciation to those who have fought and died for our freedom. It was deeply moving. John and I had tears through the whole concert because each song touches a tender spot in your heart. He sang several worship songs with the whole crowd. It just gave me chills to hear those thousands of voices lifting praises to God in the open air with the birds flying over and knowing that all those folks out riding the carnival rides were getting witnessed to through the singing. The band was so loud that the drums felt like your heart beating...your whole body could feel the music! It was so awesome. When we first got seated, John said he hoped the concert wouldn't last long so we could get started home before dark. When it was over he was in tears and said he wished it would have gone on for hours. He actually said he would have driven 500 miles if he'd known we were going to experience such an intense worship experience. And the great thing about it was that Mark Schultz gave God all the glory!

Friday, July 21, 2006

List of 3 things about me...

Melissa...I'm doing this for you...

3 things that scare me:
losing my husband
losing a child
hurting someone's feelings


3 people who make me laugh:
Melissa
Heather
Molly

3 things I love:
Jesus
My husband
My children
(and my computer) ;)


3 things I hate:
Child abuse
People who think they're never wrong
Cat hair and litter in my house!


3 things I do not understand:
How anyone could hurt a child
Higher Math (my son got all those brains)
Chemistry (got a D in college)


3 things on my desk:
Bills
stamps
books I plan to read

3 things I am doing right now:
blogging
yawning
planning to go to bed

3 things I want to do before I die:
Lead someone to Christ
Live my life so that I will be found faithful
See lots of grandchildren!

3 things I can do:

Play the piano
Judo
Play poker

3 ways to describe my personality:
Considerate
Self-conscious about my weight
Hard worker

3 things I can't do:
Ignore my computer for a day
Walk far (arthritis)
Stay on a diet

3 things I think you should listen to:
God (be still and listen)
Your husband
Your friends

3 things you should never listen to:
Gangsta Rap (hate that stuff)
Gossip
Network News...It's Fox News for me!


3 absolute favorite foods:
Pizza
Pecan Pie
Filet Mignon

3 beverages I drink regularly:
Caffeine-free Diet Coke
Water
Crystal Lite

3 shows I watched as a kid:
Captain Kangaroo
Roy Rogers
The Little Rascals

3 things I really want to do:
Faithfully serve Christ
Love my husband as Christ loves me
Live to see my grandchildren grown!

How's that Melissa? I'm pretty predictable. Now Heather, Wendy, Dana & Molly...it's your turn!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A day of family and faith...

Today we had our Whitenack family reunion. It's gotten so that not too many family members attend any more...usually those of us who are getting older. It was really nice today. We moved it to Mom and Dad's church since it's air conditioned and it was 96 degrees at the park! My mom's cousin and his family drove 3 hours from Toledo to attend! As we were eating lunch, my cousin Pam's son Nathan came in and surprised her...he had driven since yesterday morning from South Carolina to surprise her. Of course we all cried! I hadn't seen him in years...he's such a sweet young man. He played the piano and entertained us! Many of the family are getting up in years...Uncle Hillard is in his 90's and has the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease but he was there and enjoyed seeing everyone. It's sad to see relatives fading with age but so nice to still have them here to visit with them! After the reunion we rushed to the high school to see the end of a special celebration for our retired Pastor Max Edwards and his wife Dixie. It was their 50th wedding anniversary and people flew in from all over the world to see them and honor their lives. They've been missionaries in Mexico and Brazil and all their children are involved in missions or ministries too. It was a wonderful time. We got to see our buddy from Alaska who is Dixie's cousin. He flew in to surprise them too. So it's been a sweetly melancholy day of memories and thoughts of those who've gone on to be with the Lord. I'm so grateful to have had so many Christians in my life who have impacted my faith and the lives of all my family.

Nathan entertaining us...he drove all the way from South Carolina for the reunion! Posted by Picasa

Bob Whitenack and family from Toledo! Posted by Picasa

Mom and my cousin, Kathy Posted by Picasa

Part of our family at the reunion Posted by Picasa

Mom, Ruth, Gloria, Pam, me, Nancy & Aunt Lois Posted by Picasa

Some of the cousins and me at the Whitenack reunion Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The big party!

Dad's 80th birthday party was a great success! The weather was beautiful and everyone had such a good time. We had a professional photographer there all day taking photos and she took several of us as a group with Dad and Mom so we can have a large one made for them. Each family wore a different color shirt; my family wore lavender, Sherry's wore navy blue, Fred's wore orange, Ruth's wore light blue,
Steve's wore green, Gary's wore yellow and Jim's wore red. So the picture should be a veritable rainbow! I can't wait to see them! Dad was really thrilled with the scrapbook we gave him. We had all kinds of letters and cards from family and friends in there to surprise him...along with lots of family photos. We had a great meal in the evening and just enjoyed the time together as a family. There were a total of 78 of us there! What a gang! I'm so glad we could let Dad know just how special he is to all of us!

Betsy having party fun Posted by Picasa

Devin and Logan Posted by Picasa

My handsome brother, Fred Posted by Picasa

He can't be 80! Posted by Picasa

Wendy and her birthday cake! Posted by Picasa

My baby brother, Jim Posted by Picasa

Family photos Posted by Picasa

Nikki and Brady Posted by Picasa

John and Betsy Posted by Picasa

My handsome brother, Gary Posted by Picasa

Joel and Wendy Posted by Picasa

My two favorite men, John and Joel Posted by Picasa

Betsy's first swing! Posted by Picasa