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A Prince of a Dad and His Princess

I thought it was time to get an entry on this blog! I can’t believe how many days have passed since I’ve done a post!! Life gets busy and time flies….you all know those cliche’s.

This weekend, I had the privledge to be part of Joy El’s Father/Daughter Connection. (No, I wasn’t a participant….I don’t meet the age requirements for the retreat!) I got to help as a staff member. What a delight to see these daddies and daughters interact with each other!

The theme of the weekend was “A Prince of Dad and His Princess”. The royal theme was carried out all weekend long. Dads and daughters alike were issued sparkly foil crowns to wear. Some dads were really into it and wore their crown all weekend long (my hubby did)! I was glad that my husband and daughter were able to be a part of this special time together this weekend. They couldn’t go last year due to Dave being head coach for Katie’s softball team.  This year was different and they were both excited to be able to come.

This is not from this weekend, but I thought this showed their "royal" status quite well!

This is not from this weekend, but I thought this showed their “royal” status quite well!

The very first evening as the speaker spoke and gave his testimony, the dads had his full attention. During the course of the weekend, I never saw this change. He had them interested in hearing what he had to say about this all-important relationship. That first evening, Prince Scott (the speaker) asked his princess wife (Fran) up to the stage to share her testimony with the girls. Soon, everyone was dismissed for some free time before bed. I went to run the camp store. As a Development Coordinator for the camp, part of my job is to interact with our guests and donors as much as possible, so I was chatting with each one who came into the store. One dad and his daughter came in, and I asked the little girl how she was liking the retreat so far. She smiled at me and said, “I like it a lot.”

Her daddy said, “Tell Miss Miriam the special thing you did tonight.”

She looked at me and grinned, the smile lighting up her face, and very shyly she said, “I asked Jesus into my heart tonight!”

Her dad explained that after the evening session, she asked him if they could talk and she shared that she wanted to ask Jesus to be her Savior. What an honor this princely dad had to lead his princess to the Lord!

Of course, being the emotional person that I am (I get that honestly from my prince of a dad), I immediately got tears in my eyes as I thought just how special that moment was and how neither of them will ever forget it. (I’m getting all teary just writing about it again!)

The weekend wasn’t all about speakers and learning sessions, there was a great amount of fun involved too! The dads and their daughters got to ride go karts, canoe, archery, play games, mini golf, and my husband’s favorite….gaga ball. Now gaga ball is just that….”gaga”. It’s crazy! It’s like a mix of dodge ball, volley ball and foursquare all rolled into one. Everyone is “gaga” for gaga ball.

Dave the "king" of gaga ball!

Dave the “king” of gaga ball!

The pic of Dave playing gaga ball is courtesy of my boss who also attended with his two princesses.

Saturday evening was the highlight and culmination of my purpose in being here for the weekend….the Royal Banquet. What a delightful evening! The “princes” picked up their “princesses” at their cabins, gave them a flower and escorted them to the Royal Banquet where they enjoyed a lovely candlelight dinner. The food was awesome and I had the privledge of being the one to decorate and plan the flow of the evening. I greeted each prince and princess as they entered the Royal Dining Hall and they were escorted to their tables. I truly think each dad appreciated the ambience of the evening and the time spent to make it special for them. I sort of felt like Cinderella at the ball….I didn’t want the evening to end. 🙂

Royal Father/Daughter Banquet!

Royal Father/Daughter Banquet!

This weekend wasn’t just about having fun. It was about building the father/daughter relationship. It was about giving them time to connect and bond away from the hustle and bustle of the world. It was about giving the opportunity for them to share their hopes and dreams. It was about the chance to work on issues in their relationship. It was also, and most importantly, about these men and young ladies being able to connect with God.

I really think that happened this weekend. Seeds have been planted, relationships strengthened, love has grown deeper.

Our theme verse for the weekend was I Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” No one will be able to leave here this weekend not knowing that they can be royalty in the kingdom of God. He is our King and we are His princes and princesses. I know that one little girl came out of darkness this weekend…I can’t wait to hear how many more did the same!

I’m so glad that Dave and Katie got to be a part of this. I’m so thankful for my “prince” of a husband who has proved to be the best dad a girl could ever hope for. I’m thankful too, that my dad has been a “prince” as well throughout my life. He has given me a godly example to follow.  God bless all His princes and princesses of this world! Can’t wait to get my royal crown one day in heaven….and I’m sure it will be much more wonderful than a simple paper crown. It will be so wonderful that none of us will be able to comprehend it’s glory!

♥Miriam

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My Cup Runneth Over

If you know me well, you know that I like tea. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. I love tea! I love to drink tea, but more than that, I love to “go to tea”!

Homemade Scones

Homemade Scones

Have you ever been to a tea? You should try it some time. The tea, of course, is the featured  delight, but there’s so much more to it. There’s a small serving of soup, a salad, tiny little sandwiches barely more than 2-3 bites big. There are scones….oh, I love the scones…..especially with lemon curd and clotted cream. Yes, clotted cream. I know it sounds disgusting, but don’t knock it till you try it. Fresh fruit accompanies the scones. Then there are these little, rich, tempting  desserts….just a bite, but oh so decedent!  Some tea rooms will end your tea with a sorbet to cleanse your palate. The whole experience is just wonderful. But there’s something even better than the tea and food.  It’s the time spent with those you are having tea with. It’s a time to relax and just enjoy each other.  You can easily visit for hours sipping tea and nibbling sweets and savories. It’s not uncommon for each participant to consume more than one pot of tea.

Mini Desserts

Mini Desserts

Today, I enjoyed a different kind of tea. I was attending a conference. The people attending this conference are all involved in camping ministry in some way. We were having tea to experience what a tea would be like in a camp setting and to think about how we could incorporate teas at our own camps. I got to participate with some unlikely people.Across from me at my table, was an older woman, old enough to be my mother. We really didn’t know each other, though we had eaten a meal at the same table before. During the course of the tea, she asked questions of each of us and we were able to tell our stories of how we got involved in camping ministry.  She shared hers as well.

To my left, was the most unlikely of people to attend a tea. It was our camp cook. This was definitely a new experience for him. He inquired if he should extend his pinky to drink from his cup, as he knew this what proper English people did for tea. He began to discuss what he would prepare for a tea and began to recite a menu that sounded more like a feast than a tea.  Roasted marinated pork tenderloin, baked chicken….obviously, he had never experienced a tea before. He was a bit unrefined, but did his best to participate. He asked me many questions and began to refer to me as the “tea guru”.  But, during our tea, my table learned about his passion for cooking, his passion to reach teens with God’s love, his passion to be in service for God. We learned that he was a new believer, having just become a Christian in June of this past year. As he shared his story, I gleaned a new admiration for him.

To my right, was another unlikely guest. Like me, she was a first time attendee at the conference. But, to my surprise, we knew each other! We hadn’t seen each other for 37 years….we were in 2nd grade when we last saw each other.  Who would have thought I’d be having tea with a childhood friend? We were surprised to learn that we both have daughters that are close in age, that we both ended up in Christian ministry around the same time. She had gone through some struggles over the years, as have I. Our lives were pretty parallel to each others. We reminisced about our 2nd grade teacher and we pondered as to what had happened to others that were in our class. The years melted away and we were 7 again!

Tea Sandwiches

Tea Sandwiches

I thought of the devotional that was offered prior to the tea. What kind of cup were we? Were we a broken cup in need of repair. Were we a cracked cup in need of some reinforcement? Was our cup empty? I thought about this as we enjoyed our tea and goodies. I thought of the differences in the people at my table. Our camp cook was recently an empty cup and was now filled with Holy Spirit. The lady across from me was once a cracked cup, and just needed reassurance that she and her husband were doing the right thing in entering Christian ministry. My childhood friend had once been a broken cup, but God had glued her back together. And me….I was a full cup. I was full with the new respect for those around me, full with happiness for reconnecting with a long-lost friend, full of hope that I too would find fulfillment as I progressed on my journey to grow in my job.  Yes, my cup was full, so full that it began to overflow. I was so thankful for the friendships grown and strengthened over tea.  But more than this, was so thankful that I get to serve God doing something I enjoy.

David knew this feeling when he wrote the 23rd Psalm. Verse 5 says, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; MY CUP RUNNETH OVER.” He knew the joy that comes from being in communion with God. What kind of cup are you?

♥Miriam

The Power of Suggestion

Do you remember when we were kids. The first thing we were told not to do was the first thing we wanted to do. Ever notice whenever you have no electricity, the first thing you want to do is turn on a light? Or how about when you have no water? The first thing you need to do is go to the bathroom, but then you can’t flush! Have no heat? Suddenly, you’re just about frozen with no hope of ever getting warm again. It’s the power of suggestion.

Advertisers know this.  All they have to do is show you a picture of a big juicy cheeseburger, and “poof”, you’re hungry and feel the sudden urge to run to Wendy’s. (Or maybe, you think you need a cheeseburger now because you just read that!) It’s weird how our minds work!

Tonight, I went to see the Chambersburg Area Middle School’s (CAMS South) production of Willy Wonka Jr. My nephew Cory played Grandpa George in the play.

Willy-Wonka-JRIt was a good production! The only bad thing was the continuous theme of candy and chocolate. I leaned over to Dave several times to “hint”….”I think we need to make a stop on the way home,” I’d say.

“You do, do you?” he’d reply.  He knew what I was wanting!

I’m a confirmed chocoholic! If there is no chocolate in the house, I’ve been known to eat from the stash of semi sweet chocolate chips I keep in the freezer, or take a “dose” of chocolate syrup from a tablespoon!

I always thought Willy Wonka (the movie) was rather disturbing. I cannot stand the psychedelic boat ride scene. I didn’t even like it tonight….the flashing lights they used to simulate the swirling lights from the movie, made me about nauseous. Despite my dislike for Willy Wonka (or maybe it’s just a dislike for Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp….depending which version you’re watching), I sat and watched the production. However, the constant reference to chocolate and worse yet, seeing a chocolate waterfall throughout most of the 2nd half, starting stirring that craving even more.

I leaned over to Dave again. “We need to stop for gas on the way home.”

No response.

“Did you hear me? We need to get gas on the way home.”

“Yes, I heard you,” he answered. “Are you sure there’s nothing else we need to stop for?” he asked. (He knows me so well!)

“Well, maybe….” I reply. “Maybe, just maybe I might need a chocolate bar about this big,” I say as I hold up my hands about 2 feet apart.

Dave says, “I don’t think Sheetz sells candy bars that big.”

“Then I’ll get two of their biggest ones to make a bigger bar,” I decided.

He just rolled his eyes and smiled. But on the way home, he did stop for gas (we really did need gas!) and he brought me out two of these:

Hershey Bar with AlmondsAaaaaaaaaaah, chocolate heaven!

Now, did I really “need” the chocolate? No. But did I enjoy it? Oh, yes!!!! Drat that power of suggestion!

♥Miriam

Say What??

I debated about whether or not I would post this memorable moment. After all, some could view it as a bit risque’.  But after recently talking with my friend, Becca and finding out that you can actually print your blog in a book form, decided that’s something I’d like to do at some point. And so, I’m including this “Katie moment” here. Besides, it IS hysterical and it’s something I’ve neglected to put in her baby book. So, I figure if I post it here, it’ll become part of a book at some point.

This “Katie moment” is actually a “Katie/Katrina moment”. Katrina is one of Katie’s best friends. Now keep in mind, they were only 6 and 5 at the time, but this story is just classic!  It’s one of those “pick-me-up-off-the-floor-I’m-laughing-so-hard” moments! Enjoy…..

Two best friends-Katie (age 6) and Katrina (age 5). Now they're 4 years older, but still just as silly as they were then! :)

Two best friends-Katie (age 6) and Katrina (age 5). Now they’re 4 years older, but still just as silly as they were then! 🙂

The other week, Katie’s little friend Katrina was here for the evening.  They were having a blast playing dress up and house.  Dave & I were relaxing; I was in the living room reading and Dave was just coming in from the kitchen when he & I heard the following conversation….

Katie: “Wanna play restaurant?”
Katrina: “Sure!”
Katie: “Okay, I’ll go first at being the waitress and cook and all, and you’ll be the customer and then we’ll switch.”

Katrina goes back the hall and grabs a doll and comes back to Katie’s “kitchen”.

Katie: “Welcome to Katie’s dinner.  Here’s a nice table for you.”
Katrina: “Thank you.”
Katie: “I’ll get a highchair for your baby.” (Proceeds to get a doll highchair and drags it to the table.) “Here’s your menu, let me know when you’re ready to order.”

Katie then goes to the “kitchen” and begins to “cook”.

Katrina: “I’m ready to order.”
Katie: (With tablet in hand) “What will you have?”
Katrina: “I’ll have the pizza.”
Katie: “And what would your baby like to eat.”
Katrina: “Oh, she doesn’t eat.  She drinks from my nipples!”

Now Dave is just about in the living room when he hears this, comes in and whispers “Did I just hear what I think I heard?”  Yes, Dave, you did!

Without missing a beat Katie continues on…. “I’ll be right back with your pizza.”

Talk about hilarious!  There is Dave and I tears streaming down our faces because we’re trying not to laugh out loud and Katie and Katrina continue on playing restaurant as though nothing was ever said!

Kids do say the strangest things! 🙂

♥Miriam

Katie the Bear! (Grrrrrrrrrrrr!)

Here’s another memory I found and it’s a real “Katie classic”! This is one of my all-time favorite “duh moments” she’s ever admitted to! At least this whole incident taught her a lesson…she’s not a bear!  Enjoy…..

Well, my daughter did it again! She never ceases to amaze me!  The other day, when Katie got out of bed, she told me her back was itchy and would I scratch it.  I scratched it and the day moved on.

When I got home from work that evening, Katie once again asked for her back to be scratched.  Thinking nothing of it, I obliged and scratched her back.  She proceeds to tell me that at school that day, her back had itched but her friend, Sushmita, didn’t know how to scratch it like I did and she was glad I was home so her back could be scratched.  I started to wonder why she was so itchy all of a sudden.  I went to the kitchen and made supper, and forgot all about her itchiness.

Then came bath time for Katie.  As she began to climb in the tub I noticed something terrible on her back!  It looked raw, totally brush-burned and scabby!  How could I have not known about this?  Of course, I immediately questioned her–“What happened here?!!!!!”  Katie proceeds to tell me. “Oh, I was really itchy at recess today, and since Sushmita didn’t know how to scratch my back, I used a tree.”

“You what?”

“I used a tree.”

“How?”

“I lifted my shirt, leaned against the tree and started rubbing up and down until it stopped itching.”

“Like a bear?”

“I guess you could say that,” she says.

“Did you ever think this was a stupid idea?” I asked.

“No.”

“Do you have any idea what your back looks like?  Do you realize you could have given yourself splinters?  Do you know you aren’t a bear?” I questioned.

“Yeah, Mommy.  But I don’t itch anymore!”

"Ooooo, a little more to the left!"

“Ooooo, a little more to the left!”

Well, her itchiness had ended after her encounter with the tree, but now it’s back full force since the scabs that formed are starting to come off!  When will she ever use her head?  I guess she was–she was thinking like a bear!  🙂

One of my favorite pics of Katie! She was about 22 months old here.

One of my favorite pics of Katie! She was about 22 months old here.

♥Miriam

Freak out moment!

I just love every time Katie takes a bath. There’s a constant chatter coming from the bathroom. Either she’s making up a song that she sings while she’s bathing (she gets that from me) or she sits in the tub until she turns into a prune (she gets that from Dave).

Tonight, she decided she is going to prolong the inevitable going to bed by going the prune route. After shouting back the hall “it’s time to get out!” for the thousandth time, I threated to come pull the plug.

“Okay, okay, I’m getting out!” she shouts.

As she’s drying off, I hear the sound of a nonsense song being made up. “Rub-a-dub…..I’m out of the tub. I’m drying my body and getting my towel wet. I don’t want to go to bed yet!  Oh, yeah, oh yeah….”

Suddenly, there’s a loud scream!  “Get out, get out!!” she screams.

“Who are you screaming at, Katie?” I hollar back the hall.

“Cali (the cat). She’s looking at me and I’m naked!” she screams.

“Really? You do realize she’s a cat and doesn’t know you’re ‘naked’ don’t you!”

“Well, yeah, but it’s sort of freaking me out that she’s just sitting there staring at me.”

By this time, I’m back at the bathroom, just looking at her and rolling my eyes.

“Okay, Mom, I get it. ‘Get over it’, I know!!!” Even though it might seem a bit ridiculous that she’s freaking out over the cat staring at her naked body, I’m thankful that she’s concerned enough about being modest that it bothers her even when the cat looks at her! I hope she keeps that modesty for a very loooonnnggg time!DSC00677