Monthly Archives: November 2006

We just received the following (I might add “most welcome”) message from Angela Maust,

The team has arrived safely. The following is an excerpt from a short email from Daryl & Karen: “We finally made it. That was a long trip, but we all handled it very well. There wasn’t anything to exciting about our trip down here, all our flights went ok and were more or less on schedule, so that was nice.”

Continue praying for the team as they adjust to the Nepali culture and head out on their first prayer trek! We praise Him for a safe travel and arrival!

. . . And Raph’s Daddy and Mama give grateful praise!


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Eldest Son


A -- Raph Reads

Eledst Son reads the Christmas Story in our
family’s “Little Christmas” celebration.

This morning, my heart is torn in many directions.  Eldest Son left for Columbus, Ohio at 8:30.  On Tuesday, he flies to Nepal.    I have dealt with this whole thing pretty much “his way” — not talking about it, just not even thinking about it.  This morning, I can no longer just not think about it.  He is gone, and unless something happens that I really don’t want to have happen, we won’t see him again for six months. 

How thankful I am that Raph wants to serve God.
How thankful I am that God has chosen to use him in the Kingdom.
And How I pray that there will be people in Heaven someday
. . . Because He went to Nepal.


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Life at Shady Acres II


The Village is done!!!

A -- Village Done

This is the East end of “Daniel’sVillage”

(He actually has a sign that says that right down in front!)

A -- Village Done 2

This is the West End of “Daniel’s Village”


A -- Village Done 3

And this is a look at the middle section. 
(My flash in the window almost looks like a winter moon!)

We are delighted that it is finished once again.  He works so hard to get it done, but we all enjoy it so much.  If anyone wants to stop around to see it, feel free!

Have a Blessed Christmas Season!


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Life At Shady Acres

A -- Village 2

Certain Man has started his Christmas Village!

It must be almost Christmas.


Certain Man is making progress —

A -- Making Progress 2

 Making a village is not all fun and games.


A -- Making Progress

Sometimes it is just downright inconvenient!!!



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My Secret

And this is the telling of the secret —

       Yesterday afternoon, (Monday) I was so tired, I could have almost dropped.  And Certain Man came home for a late lunch with enough time to hook up the gas range that we recently purchased to serve as my second stove.  I still had 20 loaves of bread to go, and was thrilled with my good fortune.  But there were great struggles, and Eldest Son was home and he lent a helping hand, and finally almost everything was done.  It was around 2:30, and in the midst of looking for a power plug, that the phone rang.
       “Uh, Mom-”  It was Youngest Son.  We were eagerly looking forward to his arrival home on Tuesday.
       “Yes, Son!  How are you?”  (“It’s Lem!” I mouthed over the receiver to Certain Man.  He didn’t comment.  He was occupied.)
       “Uh, Mom, I have a problem.  I kinda left all my money back at the dorm, and I wasn’t going to tell you this (cause I wanted it to be a surprise), but  we got out early today, so we are on our way home, and I don’t have any cash so I was wondering if it would be okay if I put some food on the credit card.  Don’t say anything because I want to surprise everyone.  Especially Raph!   I wouldn’t have even told you, but I need to know about what I am supposed to do.”  (Actually, there were a few more things to iron out, so I quietly got into another room and finished the conversation, and hung up.  But how was I ever going to keep this information from Certain Man?)
       In the meantime, Certain Man had gotten his feathers ruffled over the lack of electrical equipment, and had proceeded to march about looking for an extension cord.  Until the situation got resolved, he had forgotten all about the phone call.  (Whew!  Got by that time!)  And Raph hadn’t even noticed that his bro had called.  No one else was home.
       But the news was electrifying to me.  It seemed like it was a dose of energy and optimism, and even though it seemed like I would never get done, there was at least a goal in mind.  Later in the evening, when it seemed like our offspringin’ needed some encouragement, I hinted that I knew a secret that they would like to know, but I wasn’t going to tell.  This was met with great wheedling and cajoling but for once, I wasn’t going to tell anybody in the house anything.  If they hadn’t heard by the time they left the house in the morning, I would tell them.
       Along about 10:00, the bread was baked and bagged, much of the laundry was finished, and we were just about to call it a day when Certain Man discovered that we were totally out of milk, and headed off to fetch some.  I took the opportunity to slip out and call Youngest Son.
       “Hey, Lem!”  I almost whispered.  “How long before you will get here?”
       “Not for a little while yet.  Why?”
       “Because Chris and Jess are here, and I would like to keep them here until you get here if I could.”
       “It won’t be for quite a while, yet, I don’t think.  I probably have another hour and a half.”
       “Well, Lem, can I tell the rest of the household what is going on?  I won’t tell Raph, (he is gone) but I would like to tell Dad and Chris and Jess and the girls.”
       “I guess I don’t care if you tell them, but DON”T TELL RAPH!”
       So I got to tell the homefolk around 10:15, and their responses were gratifying. 
       And then he got home around 11:30, locked his keys in the car, and had some bonding experiences with his dad over getting them out.  They were finally procured, everyone duly hugged and then Certain Man and I betook ourselves to bed.  We really wanted to be awake when Raph walked in, but we could not stay awake any longer.
       Along about 12:30, the driveway monitor went off, and the kids knew it was Raph.  Lem got behind the refrigerator and waited.  When Raph came into the kitchen, suddenly, right in front of his face was his younger brother!
       “And then,” reported one of his sisters, “There were many exclamations, and huggings and slapping on the backs and accusations of ‘You LIED to me!’ but you could tell they were really glad to see each other.”
       How sweet it is to have our sons home again.  It won’t last long, but I am glad they could spend this many nights together before Raph leaves for six months.  We are preparing our hearts for separation day, but none of us really want to think about it.  Sometimes a good Secret can help us make it through.
       So now you know.  My secret was that Youngest Son was coming home to surprise us a full day early.


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When you know a wonderful secret –

And nobody in your household knows but you–

(But when they find out, they will be overjoyed!)

It can help you bake 30 loaves of bread,

Do 12 loads of laundry,

Work at straightening up the house,

Take Nettie for blood work,

Do a smidgen of shopping,

Talk on the phone-

And some other things besides —

All on about 3 hours of sleep.

What’s my secret???

You’ll just have to wait and see – – –

 BTW, Eldest Daughter, you don’t know this secret either, so nobody get any ideas.



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We did it!

Church Cleaning, 2006

We scrubbed the benches – –

A Church Gets Cleaned   Dave and Daniel

Dave and Daniel work at the stubborn black marks.

A Church Gets Cleaned   Robert

Robert uses elbow grease to get his benches clean.

A Church Gets Cleaned   Tammy and Helper

Tammy and her helper scrub benches, too.

A Church Gets Cleaned   Kathy

Kathy came along behind and polished

[deleted image]

So did Thisisloretta, but she tried to play “keep away from the camera!”

EDIT***  I’m really sorry for this unflattering picture, but I didn’t want anyone to think she wasn’t there.
She WAS!!!  She worked very hard!!!  She and her husband and grandson were the last to leave!!!
She really doesn’t usually look so glum!  (I love you, Loretta!)

(conscience-stricken, the owner of this xanga site folds under pressure and deletes the unflattering picture of her friend)

(I still love you, Loretta!)

A Church Gets Cleaned   Joel

Joel cleaned the lights.  No one tried to take his job.

A Church Gets Cleaned   Ilva

Gokum swept and swept and swept.  And then she swept some more.

A Church Gets Cleaned   Emily

Emily was a big help, but she did need a break to play with her “balloon.”

A Church Gets Cleaned   Dale

You can’t see him very well, but this is Mr. Jones of the big black hat in the previous post.  He lugged the stepladder around and helped to clean windows.

A Church Gets Cleaned   Loretta is tired

We lugged buckets and cleaning supplies.  Loretta looks tired,

A Church Gets Cleaned   Donna

We re-arranged bulletin boards and took down the out of date stuff.
Mrs. Jones is quite capable organizer

A Church Gets Cleaned   Washing the windows

Youngest Daughter drove to fulfill her drivers ed requirements from 7-9 AM this morning, then came and helped to clean.  These windows were only a fraction of her jobs.

A Church Gets Cleaned   Wesley and his mama

Loretta B and Wesley are ready to go home.  It was hard work!

A Church Gets Cleaned   music to clean church by

Is there such a thing as “Music to clean church by?”
Yes, indeed, and Caleb and Eldest Daughter found some.

A Church Gets Cleaned   James

The last thing to be done was to clean the outside lights. 

A Church Gets Cleaned   CM ED & BSIL

James and his son, our Beloved Son in Law, did the honors,
Assisted by Certain Man and Eldest Daughter

A Church Gets Cleaned   James and CM

Almost Done!!!


A Church Gets Cleaned   Clean at last

12:30 pm, and it looks like everything is finished.
What a job!!!  But what a satisfied feeling.
And we didn’t need to do the basement, because it was already clean.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for wonderful help, willing hands, and a beautiful day.
Thank you for a clean church house once again. 
But may we be more concerned about clean hands and a pure heart.
And may your Holy name be exalted in our church, in our families, and in our lives.


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Today I was downloading some pictures, trying to find an acceptable one of my Sweet Mama’s Christmas Cactus for her site ( and I found a set of pictures that I had planned to put on here.  Two weeks ago tonight, our church had a bonfire/hotdog roast/hay ride.  It was FREEZING, but we really did have fun!  Here are some random shots of that good time.

Bon Fire  Josh and Dave

Josh was probably colder than he looked.  Dave, as always, was prepared!!!

Bon Fire winsome three

 (Middle Beauty is Middle Daughter’s friend from school)
Notice Eldest Daughter’s charming hat. 

Bon Fire  Caleb and his Mama

Caleb and his brave Mama.  (Brave because she loves to be warm, and she still came!)

Bon Fire  Mr and Mrs Jones

So, so sorry, Mrs. Jones, that this picture doesn’t do you justice —
But who could resist such a shot of your husband’s wondrous hat?

Bon Fire who is cold

We can smile, even when we shiver!
Middle Beauty here is mutual friend of Youngest Daughter (on the right)
And Friend Laura (on the left).

Bon Fire dirt

“No one said that I had to stay clean!”
The littlest Hughes girlie didn’t let any grass grow under her feet all night!


Bon Fire  Indoor Crew

We had an “Indoor Crew” who came to eat supper, and keep warm by the stove. 
We couldn’t do without these people who may not enjoy the freezing fun of a hay ride on a cold November night, but bring warmth and consistency and a sense of belonging where ever they are.
Here my Sweet Mama, with Aunt Dottie and Uncle John and Uncle Eli and Aunt Ruth eat shrimp chowder and other potluck picnic foods and enjoy good conversation.
Just about when it seemed like no one could get any colder, most of the people crawled aboard the old hay wagon and went for the hay ride.

Guess what!  I didn’t go!  And I didn’t get any pictures of it, either


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It is time to give thanks!

It is time share!

And so, next Tuesday night, Laws Mennonite Church is packing  Thanksgiving Boxes  in the Garage at Shady Acres.  We do not turn anyone away who wants to contribute money or items for the boxes!  We have a rather extensive list, so we are not really looking for more people to hand them out to, but if someone is truly in need, you can certainly let me know.

The items that are popular are baked goods, canned goods of all kinds,  fruit,  Thanksgiving kinds of products (boxed stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, white potatoes), personal hygiene and paper products that cannot be purchased with food stamps, and even things like postage stamps, pretty tea towels or dish cloths.  If you are not sure about something, get in touch with me.   

The best way would be to message me, and I will get back to you.  Or if you would rather, send an e-mail with the particulars to: 

And someone will get back to you.

Each one of us has so much for which to be grateful.

“Oh, Give thanks unto the LORD, for He is Good.
  His mercy endureth forever!”


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Monday Morning

We survived the week!

And what a week it was!  My Nettie-girl was in the hospital from Monday until last night.  She developed a staph infection in the site of her carpal tunnel incision, and had to have IV antibiotics.  She is very tired, but is doing well otherwise.  She has to have occupational therapy three times a week for four weeks.  This will make for some interesting scheduling.

I had bronchitis all week.  I’ve been on antibiotics for seven days now, and it is starting to break up.  Still coughing, still feeling a bit under the weather, but things are looking up.

We made 1300 apple pies.  Go on over to and see all the work we did.  I knew that we were having revival meetings and Nettie and I were both sick, so I didn’t think that I would be having too much to do with it.  I said that I could work a “few hours” on Thursday afternoon, and a “few hours” on Friday — ended up being a whole lot more — like 6 on Thursday and 9 on Friday.  I still didn’t do as much as some mothers who were there lots more than I was.  But the project got done, and the pies got delivered.  And that is that.  I don’t have any more children coming on, so that was my one and only time for the pie fundraiser.

We had revivals from Wednesday to Sunday with Simon Schrock.  What a wonderful, blessed time we had.  Simon is an encourager, an easy to listen to, and straightforward man.  He stepped on my toes, (OUCH!!!) made me laugh, made me think, and encouraged my husband in a most helpful way.   It was an oasis in a muddlesome week.

There was one problem, though with all the goings on.  It so happened that my dear friend, had her yearly open house on Friday night and Saturday.  Between church and pies and having Simon and Polly for lunch on Saturday, my entire house forgot all about it.  Could you have another one, MKG?

I had a mishap yesterday morning while getting ready for carry-in at church.  The heavy wooden lid on the top of my rolling trash can in the kitchen was open while Middle Daughter was peeling potatoes for potato salad, and I came around to throw something into the trash can, bumped the lid just right and it came crashing down on my ankle.  I thought I was going to faint, it hurt so bad!  But there was no time to do more than ascertain that nothing was broken.  So now my ankle is bruised and even fatter than normal and I really would like to just put it up and forget it!  But there is laundry to do, cleaning to get done and planning to do.

Our sons are coming home — Eldest Son this weekend for a week, and Youngest Son next week for a few days over Thanksgiving.  I can’t wait.  How glorious it will be to have the children home — Eldest Daughter and Beloved Son in Law just down the road and the other four under our roof for a few nights.  We want to have “Little Christmas” together, and then, it is off to Nepal for Eldest Son.  I miss him already.

I could use some extra prayers these next few weeks.  We always celebrated Daddy’s birthday over the Thanksgiving weekend.  And He was with us last year for “Little Christmas” before Lem left for his REACH outreach.  I have been playing Christmas music, and it brings back alot of memories.  I was singing Christmas carols with our church family at our annual Christmas program when the call came that they didn’t expect him to live through the night.  I really didn’t think I would associate Christmas with his homegoing, but I was just whistling in the dark. . . I’m finding it really tugs.  I chose to be thankful that he is safely home for this season, and I thank God that He made a way for us to safely cross over.  There is no gift like knowing our loved ones are safely THERE, even while we miss them so much.

Here’s to you, Daddy Dear!  I will always love you!


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