Friday, March 18, 2011

I'm Back

Well, this could be the longest I've gone between blog posts. It's good to be back from some time away with my family. I've been back in the swing of things since Tuesday, but have been playing catch up since that time. I now think I officially need a vacation from catching up with things after vacation. Funny how that works.

Last week we spent some time with my in-laws in Gettysburg, PA, to celebrate my father-in-law's 70th birthday. We also had the opportunity to stop by my parent's house on the way to Gettysburg for a quick visit.

Ezra and Mercy LOVED spending time with their cousins and had so much fun playing with them. Here is Ezra with cousin Hope. They get a long great and it really makes me wish they could live closer. I love this picture. It was taken at the Hershey factory in Hershey, PA. It was the first time I had done the tour there and it was really interesting. The funniest line of the tour happened when we heard that, in the chocolate making process "We add milk for added nutritional value." Yep, nothing says nutrution like Hershey's chocolate.

We spent an extended weekend at a Bed and Breakfast called the Canna Inn. Since there were 25 of us all together we just rented the entire place for the 4 days we were there. It was beautiful! It used to be a barn that was converted to a monastery that was then converted to a Bed and Breakfast. It was perfect for our large family ... lots of space, lots of bathrooms, lots of bedrooms. Very nice.

The first day we put Mercy down for a nap in our room. When I went to wake her up, this is how I found her. She had found my deoderant and made full use of it! Thankfully, I was able to use her as a roll-on for the next few days.

The reason we were together in Gettysburg was to celebrate my father-in-laws 70th birthday. When we asked him what he would like for his birthday he said "Just for us all to be together." So, we worked hard to make that happen. It was a very special experience. My wife worked really hard at trying to make sure we honored him in a very special way. So, we made a DVD of pictures of him from when he was a baby until the present. Over 150 pictures set to music that really reflected his life well. We also made an album for him and had everyone write some special memories that they had of Bruce. We put all of the memories in a book for him. As Carol talked to me about all of the memories the theme that was throughout them all was the time he spent with everyone. He invested so much time in to each of his kids. It was really cool to see that.

We also spent some time at the Gettysburg battlefield. This was a very moving experience for me. I love history and I really felt like history spoke to me while at Gettysburg. I'm by no means an expert on the battle, but I know a little bit about it and seeing the place first hand and seeing strategies of the battle and understanding why certain things worked and other didn't ... it was a cool experience. And, I was just so moved by the courage that was shown on the battlefield and the people who gave their all to fight for freedom. I can't wait to go back and spend more time there some day.

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