Tuesday, July 14, 2009

To Let You Know...

Since Bailey is such a perfect Irish name, we thought we would use this familiar Irish symbol to give you all a little clue (putting all connotations of luck aside)....Can you guess our news? :-)

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I wanted to post a few pictures and say hello on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. I have decided to try square foot gardening this year to grow my vegetables so I will let you all know how it turns out. So far it has been a lot of fun and I can't wait to reap the benefits of all the time we have put into building boxes, mixing soil, making a trellis, etc. Here are few pictures to bring in the Spring. I am hoping that someday I will again have the discipline to post some of my reflections. I am currently reading, The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis and would love to share some of my thoughts; however, for now I hope you can enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Catching up...

I love my new camera! Having said that, I take so many pictures it is hard to select which ones will make it to my blog. It is for this reason that I am a bit delinquent in posting these as I have just not had the time to go through all these snapshots! Anyway, the above were taken at a local orchard we went to this Fall. This is all I can do tonight, but I will post more soon as I still have so many that I did not have time to get to tonight. Hope you enjoy the pics and when I can carve out some time, I will post on some of my reflections this Fall as I have had sufficient time to mull them over. Take care and let me know if any of you still check this blog!

This year Zachary shared his birthday party with his cousin, Josh, who is almost exactly two years older than Zachary (Zachary turned 5 on September 24). The boys decided they wanted a Speed Racer cake so I found a picture from a bakery and made my own copy--lots of fun! He loved his party and LOVES being five!

This picture was also taken at Zachary's party. This is his 'best friend in the whole world', Anya. He talks about her ALL the time (just to note, they have known one another since they were in utero!)
The following shots were taken at a Brazilian wedding that we attended in October. It was a beautiful day and kids held up pretty well considering how long we were there. We drove to NJ that morning, attended the ceremony and reception, and then drove home to PA in the evening!

More to come soon so check back! Keep in touch!


All Dolled Up

I have finally taken the time to import pics from my memory stick onto our computer so I can post them for you all to see! First, however, I thought I would begin with posting a few pics from my latest project. I have decided to make a few of my Christmas gifts this year and have had so much fun that I may make this my full-time hobby! Anyway, I made this little doll, Elle Belle, as we call our little Ellie. I have so many more fun ideas for these dolls so I will post more as I add to my little collection!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Struggling to Wake Up

I do not know if any my readers even check this blog anymore but I have decided to give this another shot. To say, "it has been awhile," is a bit of an understatement. Suffice it to say the last several months have been a season full of unexpected events and I needed some time to reflect and consider the happenings in my life. Having said that here is a small attempt to resurrect this blog...

When I was in college, there was one afternoon where I had decided to take a nap, feeling quite fatigued after many nights of having stayed up too late to write papers. This one afternoon in particular, Tom was away and I was alone in our little duplex, sitting on the couch reading and drifting off into a deep sleep. I do not know how long I had been asleep but I remember at one point 'waking up' while I was asleep. I could hear my cat thumping around, I could hear kids outside and I was awake but could not wake up. I started to panic a little, trying to move my body, speak, but I was still stuck. A few times in my experience, I thought I had succeeded in awakening myself only to find that I was still asleep. Eventually, I was finally able to wake up but felt quite terrified after the whole experience. I was afraid to go to sleep that night.

I was reminded of this experience as I was reflecting on the book I am currently reading, Irresistible Revolution, by Shane Claiborne. At one point in the book, describing the community he is a part of in Philly called the Simple Way, he says, "We preach, prophesy, and dream together about how to awaken the church from her violent slumber." The church in a violent slumber....My experience that I shared before was the type of experience that I would qualify as a 'violent slumber' in that it was so deep and strong and forceful that I felt crushed, unable to awaken myself from a sleep that was holding me captive. The more I reflect, the more the descriptive words, "violent slumber," ring true in my life as a follower of Christ. If I am honest with myself, I have indeed been asleep. The frightening thing is that I did not know I was asleep. In His grace, God has slowly been awakening me to the ways in which my life is inconsistent with his Word. He is showing me that I am not following Christ but that my Christianity is so closely married to our culture and its aggressive pursuit of personal happiness, status and comfort that I am not running the race toward Heaven but am in fact sleeping on the sidelines.

In the beginning of his book, Shane Claiborne refers several times to the Gospel, "messing up" his life. I started to reflect on this a little...has the gospel, "messed up" my life? Too often, I get caught up in trying to achieve what my culture values instead of seeking after what Christ does. Today my life often does not seem as 'messed up' as it should.

Instead, it often feels that through a series of small concessions, I have fallen into a 'violent slumber' and am struggling desperately to wake up. As I reflect on Scripture, particularly the gospels, I am convicted. If Scripture teaches that the ways of Christ appear as foolishness to the world, why does my life look so normal? If Christ says that the way to Heaven is narrow, why does it seem that all I see on every side is a wide open road? If the Gospel tells us that we will suffer and that our treasure is not of this world, why am I so comfortable and why do I pursue earthly things and think it is okay? When Christ tells us to care for least of these, how am I able to dismiss the needs of others? Paul says to not just look to our own interests but to the interest of others...I too often have believed the message of our culture that says, "Pursue your own interests, secure financial stability while there are so many without; pursue more education, status, etc., when my time and money could be spent in many more humble and eternal endeavors. Our time is limited which means that if we truly serve others, we will have to sacrifice many our own interests. Too often I have believed that it is okay to believe Scripture but not live it out and I have dismissed and contextualized Scripture to allow myself to exist in a faith that leaves me comfortable but anemic. I live with a constant nagging that there has to be more than just this existence where all I am ultimately concerned about are the needs of myself and my family. By grace, God is slowly revealing to me a faith that is deep, real and honest. A faith that will not disappoint.

Sometimes I see the way of Scripture clearly and my heart is eager and passionate about living the incarnated Gospel. Then I have moments, like yesterday, when that vision is harder to see. Yesterday Tom and I decided to go shopping for a new dining room table. As we were shopping, I started to see all these things that I wanted. And I even began to think for a moment that it was okay to buy more than what we needed. It got me thinking of how we could afford these nice things. Ultimately, it made the way of the cross seem distant and undesirable because in that moment, all I really wanted was nice furniture and a comfortable lifestyle. This is what I mean by struggling to wake up. Sometimes I get a glimpse of what it would truly mean to be awake in the Spirit but then I am quickly drawn back to sleep (by materialism, consumerism, etc.), a sleep that is captivating and aggressive. I try to wake up but it is so tempting to stay fast asleep. The only way I see hope to awaken from this sleep is to pray for grace. To pray that God would deliver me and others from our love affair with this 'violent slumber'. Our cultural values of individualism, consumerism, security, pursuit of our own interests and the applause of others has lulled us into a deep, deep slumber. It is so deep that we don't even know we are asleep, except when God gives us that glimpse of 'true life.' We struggle to wake up and when God is truly merciful, He allows us to see that we should be afraid of this captivating sleep.

Ultimately as followers of Christ our lives are to look different, our values are to reflect those of our Saviour who cherished the poor and sought humility over the empty praise of men. Does my life reflect my Saviour? Does yours? Can we dream a different dream? One where Christ dwells and gives us grace, humility and wisdom to live out the Kingdom of God? Pray for me that I would and I will pray for you.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Few Pics

A glimpse of the Baileys...

Ethan's 3rd Birthday (March 17th)...my little Irish baby!

We had lots of fun celebrating and he thoroughly enjoyed his cake!

A few cute ones of Ellie...

Our weekend away with some friends...

Ellie's 1st Birthday...

Ellie and our niece Alyssa shared their birthday party this year since their birthdays are so close. This was my first time making a cake with flowers! I still need some practice but it was fun! Alyssa turned nine this year and was so excited to have a birthday party with her only girl cousin! So sweet!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures!