Jamaica

I’m trying to decide how I want to do this. I’m wondering if it’s even worth it to try to describe the amazing amount of fun and sunshine and memories that were made on this trip. I’m even wondering if this is going to be a 2-part session or if I should cram it all in one. You see, about 2 weeks ago, (well, now it’s almost 3 weeks) me and several of my friends flew to Jamaica to meet another friend and spend some time touring, enjoying sunshine, and getting away from it all. So, when you put all of those together into one week, and then try to fit in one blog post, it seems almost impossible. I’ll try, but just know that if you weren’t there, it may get kinda boring scrolling through all of the pictures, so if that happens, kindly exit your browser and just forget the fact that you wasted the last 5-10 minutes reading something that you felt wasted your time.  🙂

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Airport selfie

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This was a ‘plane train’ (I think is what they called it.) We ended up at the very last stop that this train made and realized it wasn’t the one we wanted. So we hopped across the aisle and went back the way we had come from. We didn’t mind. We had time plenty of time, and the rides were fun!

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This was a typical sight this week. 😉

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We all react to boredom in our own separate ways.

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Reading by the airplane window…

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Remember what I said about reacting to boredom differently?? 🙂

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We got to our gate with about 5 hours to waste. So we claimed a row of seats by the window and it was actually quite entertaining. I was trying to get people to wave at me from down below as they would come and go . Needless to say, I got one individual to, and then that individual was working below in pretty much that same spot for almost the entire remaining 3.5-4 hours. OOOPPSSS!! 🙂

Also, I feel I should inject about right in here, that I am an avid people watcher. I love to watch people, and listen to the conversations going on around me. I’m also a bit of a number-lover (good thing, as I spend most of my time in an office) 🙂 Anyway, I found myself very intrigued with all the different forms of job titles that are being performed in an airport, the languages that must be known, and how they handle payroll for everyone. (I do it for about 10-15 guys, and that’s enough for me! I’m sure they do it an easier way than we do) I also found myself very curious about the pay rate for these jobs. Some of them are very demanding, and must include some pretty good people skills. I never did ask anyone what they got paid, but I was curious! 🙂 (nerd alert!)

Also, on another note, Atlanta airport, you had one of the louder TVs blaring political news that I didn’t care to know about. Oh well, comes with the traveling, I guess.

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Sometimes boredom makes people do strange things. Like play games. *shudder* 🙂

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Because when all your food gets through customs and because some of us got close to an interrogation, and some of us slipped right through, what better way to celebrate than to open the suitcases and share all the loot!? (even if it seems really late, and you’re pretty weary from the travel) While going through customs (as mentioned above, some of us got through with no problems, others had question after question asked). One of us got sent to the declarations line, and was asked to see a few things in the suitcase that we were taking over. He asked whether we were Amish, and he got the reply that we’re Mennonites. A puzzled look crossed his face, so a further explanation was given that “We’re kinda like the Amish, but we drive cars.” He got a chuckle out of this, and we got to keep all our food, so that’s a good thing, right?!

We took a picture the first morning we were there and the morning we left. I think the sunshine did something for us…at least a little. 🙂

The first day we were there was a Sunday. We went to church, and then came back and had a relaxing afternoon, just doing a bunch of relaxing things, and catching up with Marie. As you can (and will) see, smoothies were a highlight of this trip. And, we almost always had to taste each others to see if they were any good. 🙂 We also experienced a Jamaican grocery store. Very much like America’s stores, very modernized an all.

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Monday didn’t really go according as planned. We were planning to go with Marie and some others from the orphanage to a school that they help out in every week. It ended up, Marie got a new baby brought in to be placed in her care right before we were planning to leave, so she didn’t go along. We had done some cleaning in the morning, we made some food to take to the school, and folded laundry to help out. We still went, and we had lots of fun helping the children color, playing with them, and just showing love. We came back and ended up going out for smoothies and I had my first experience driving in Jamaica. The gasps coming from the passenger side as we traveled up the road on the last stretch of their road were enough that it was scaring me as well. (I wasn’t that sure about the whole ordeal to start with, so this didn’t help any!) 🙂 We made it safely.

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I think this was an attempt at scared faces for my driving??

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This was the road to the mission. Supposedly a 2 lane road, we were told the first night we were there, that if you meet someone, the person who’s going up, is supposed to back down into a place that you can pass each other. This girl’s not good at backing! Just ask my family! 🙂 So this road was definitely not my favorite while driving. 🙂

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Pretty sure I was stopped at a light or something. 🙂

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I mean, come on! Can my driving be that bad??

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This is us with our rental. I wanted to name her Beatrice, but apparently, it was a ‘he’, so his name was Louie.

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Seriously, the roof was a favorite place to go. You could see so far, and it was away from most of the people. I think that Americans need to start building some more flat roofs, cause that would just be pretty cool.

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Tuesday, we went to a place called Blossom. It’s an orphanage/school that the mission goes to help out once a week. (I think it’s once a week, anyway) We weren’t supposed to take pictures so there will be no pictures of the children. The babies crying, and not enough arms/hands to go around. It was a day we all enjoyed, holding babies and just cuddling them, because usually once you put them down to go find another, they would start crying again. We fed the babies and a few helped with the toddlers lunch, and then we got to play with them at recess. There was a Norwegian work team there and it was so interesting to hear all their plans. They were a music team, and they were traveling around for a few weeks. Obviously, Jamaica was on their list, and Los Angeles I think was one. There were several stops yet. Before we talked with them, we heard the children singing and a few of the guys sang with them. Two of us noticed how beautiful their singing sounded, and then we found out they were with a music team and it made sense. We wanted to ask them to sing a song for us, but none of us were that brave. 🙂 We made it to the beach on this day, and there were a lot of people everywhere! It wasn’t just spring break for Melita, let’s just leave it at that. I drove Louie again, and the gasps from the passenger side were fewer and I felt a little better about it, so we survived again!

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I was told by someone before I left, to make sure to try their Jerk chicken. I did….. a couple times to be exact, and it was good!

Wednesday, we were just around the mission there. Marie had child care duty, so she had to be there. We played with the children there, and just hung out, and had fun. One of our group got sick and was down for a day. It was good we had no plans for the day, but still I’m sure she feels like she missed out on a day of fun.

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Isn’t it beautiful how God created us so uniquely different? You have brown skin, I have white. Yet, in God’s eyes, He calls it all good! It’s all beautiful!

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Their hair was just something you wanted to touch. Remember what I said above? Different, but both beautiful. This applies to hair as well.

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See this amazing view from the roof??!!

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I couldn’t quite decide whether I liked the night view or the daytime view better. I did have a sobering thought that went something along the lines of this…”Out of all those city lights, I’m just one of them.” (technically, though, this thought has several errors in it. I was the one looking at the lights, so I couldn’t have been one of them, and this was only a small part of the small island of Jamaica. Imagine what it looks like from God’s point of view and He sees all of the city lights from all over the world, and yet finds time to love each one of us infinitely!!) If that doesn’t humble you, I’m not sure what will.

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This mission had this cross on their roof, and in the dark, while driving through town, you could see it if you knew where to look.

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One evening, we had a fire on the roof. (yes, on purpose) 🙂 We didn’t stay too long though, and we went back down to our safe, private dwelling. 🙂 This was also one of the evenings we saw a helicopter flying around above, shining a spotlight around the city.

Thursday was a big day! The one who was sick, woke up happy and excessively cheerful in the morning. Not that I blame her, but just pointing that out. 🙂 We were going to head to Dunn’s River Falls, and so off we went. It ended up raining. Like, not just a drizzle, but a good, hard shower. So we went to do some touristy shopping instead. We ate at a fast food joint, had a jerk burger and french fries, and by the time we headed back to the falls, the rain had tapered off, and we were able to climb it. To be honest, I. don’t. like. water. But, I was determined to do this, because, honestly, how bad could it be? And, just to say I did it was an accomplishment in my book. About halfway up, we met up with a lady from England??, she was celebrating her 60th?? birthday, (sorry, some of the details are a little spotty for me) and her children had paid for her to come there, so of course she felt she should do it. We (or rather, most of the other members of my group) helped her up. I was just concerned about getting ‘me’ to the top safely. I obviously was shaking at one point, because they kept asking me if I’m ok, and noticed that I was shaking. Needless to say, I did accomplish it, thanks to some good old-fashioned Eash and Coblentz stubbornness, and the hands of those around me helping me out when it was about waist-deep, and I was getting a little more petrified (thankful for friends that I can count on like 4, 3, 2 😉 ) ……..but then I was done. I had done what I set out to do, and that was to climb to the top. The others wanted to go back in, and do it again, so I sat on the benches on the path, waiting for them to come back up and trying to catch my breath again. 🙂 (some of this might be slightly exaggerated, but if any of you don’t like water, you may understand this version better than others reading this) This was one of the highlights of the trip for the others. While I was glad I did it, I can’t say I loved it as much as they did. 🙂 We also had a good laugh at a rant that one of us gave when a kind young man tried to give us pointers on how to park at a restaurant. This rant was hilarious, and we were bursting with laughter in the car. The young man had a smirk on his face, and that made it even funnier!! (and it made the rant-ee a little more ranti-er.) We also ate supper in this cute, little, open-air restaurant with viney flowers as the roof. It was pretty cool!

The next pictures are just a conglomeration of a bunch of random times and places. (most of them were Thursday’s, I think!)

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Jamaican fast food

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You can’t see it really well, but this is the cute place I talked about.

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Here’s the nerd-y number part of me again. I was waiting for the others to complete their second time up the falls and happened to see this date carved there. I thought it fascinating, so I took a picture. 🙂

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This sign was a relief for me to see! 🙂

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Also, Thursday evening, after we got back, the game players played Rook. I held and fed a baby. So much cooler than Rook, in my book! 🙂

Friday was the beach day!! In the morning, we had a little more time to play with the children at the mission. Then we went to do some more shopping, and went to a fabric store as well. A story in the fabric store…I didn’t see it happen, but the store security guard got a kick out of it!! Marie had told us to watch our purses carefully. So, we did. One of the group went up to another one to try to get something out of her purse never knowing that it might cause a scare. The one being ‘stolen from’ 😉 reached down and grabbed the hand of the person who was reaching in and soon realized it was just her sister. The guard apparently saw all of this, and had a pretty big chuckle out of it. 🙂 I wasn’t involved, so I think it would’ve been funny to see as well! 🙂 We went to the beach, and it was hot. It was kinda cloudy, but still sunny, and pretty humid. Just as we were getting ready to leave, it started raining again. The place we were going to eat was called Pier 1 and it was out on a pier, open air, and you could look out over the ocean. Because of the rain, we got a corner room, that was hot an musty. We debated asking them to move because by now, the rain had slowed down, but didn’t. It ended up getting stormy, with lightning and thunder, so we kept the corner in the room. The food was great, even if it took a long time to come! 🙂 It poured rain most of the evening. We decided to run to the car, and some of the water was way past ankle deep, as we splashed to the car. Then the rain slowed traffic down, and when we got home, we had to start packing and cleaning. We had a few deep discussions, and some braids were done. Then, off to bed we went, cause traveling home was tomorrow!!

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This is grainy and blurred, but memories were being made.

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Because how can you eat at a restaurant without taking a picture of it??

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This is us with our happy faces.

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And this is us with our annoyed faces, because of the atmosphere, and the length of time it was taking to get our food to come to us.

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I discovered bubbles on a beach can make great pictures!!

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Friday we traveled home. I was really worried about driving to the airport. (thus the practice sessions earlier. I knew I wouldn’t want the airport ride to be my first driving experience) It was early enough on a Sat. to not be busy. So we fueled up, and dropped off 2 of them with the luggage and then 2 of us went to park the car. I parked it in the wrong place, so we had to go back to park it right, and then we went through security, checked in, and we were ready to fly!

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Chick-fil-a is a treat for us Northerners. 🙂

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They were so proud of these socks!!

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Ready to go home!!

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This trip was amazing!! Here are some things I learned.

*’You can count on me…..’ 🙂

*Jamaican culture is bright, happy, cheerful, easy-going, and l.a.i.d.b.a.c.k.

*Jamaicans will blast their music anywhere. We even went past a store that was blaring a song about Jesus. (I don’t remember the song anymore) And….No one seemed to be offended by it!

*Apparently ‘you all have one husband’ can have 2 meanings. It can mean you all share one husband, or you all have only one husband each. P.S.–I took the question the wrong way, and the ladies asking were horrified until I finally understood. 🙂

*For some reason (and I’m not sure why, or if we’re the only ones), you feel more free to share about your Christianity and why you have a veil on your head in another country.

*We are ‘USA-ans’ 🙂

*Prayer really works!! I knew this before, but we prayed several times over there for specific things and God answered!! One of the biggest was Marie’s boy was not sleeping well. One evening, he woke up around 4 times or so. (he’s right around 2 yrs. old) We prayed for him the night before we had a big day planned so that he would sleep good, and Marie would be rested up for the next day. One of the girls talked to Marie just recently, and she said he hasn’t woken up during the night since then!! Praise the Lord!! Another was for healing for the one who got sick. The next morning, she felt better. Overly cheerful, but better!! 🙂 Praise the Lord!!

*On a side note, I had no episodes while I was there. Even with the stresses of traveling, etc. 🙂 It’s been super long since I had one, and you all can keep praying that the health continues!! 🙂

*Security officers are not as scary as they seem. They are just doing their job, and if you are friendly and open to them, they can be friendly as well.

*There are people from all over the world, and we only see a part of them. We met (and at least a couple of our group did some talking!!) to people from Norway, Jamaica (no, duh!), Canada (2 groups), England, and I’m thinking there was one from Israel??

*Apparently Ohio and Hawaii sound kinda alike. One person asked us, “So you say ‘hello’, or …….’aloha’?? Then we realized what the confusion was.

*Friends, trips, and making memories are great!! But, there’s a time when this girls has got to get back to normal life, or the grouchiness sets in….To my shame! And we all said, AMEN!! 🙂 🙂

*Singing in the car with friends is like pretty cool.

*Sharing time with friends, giggling in the dark about the Big Dipper, and sharing hard things we struggle with, laughing at hilarious moments, being touristy…..These all make for great memories!

I honestly don’t feel like I’ve shared it all. I feel like there are important memorable experiences I left out. Hopefully, this was not boring, and hopefully, it gave you a bit of a view into our trip. It was great to go and get a week off of work, and great to come home, and get back to work. 🙂

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In Memory of Mahlon Eash, Jr.

Life took a crazy sudden turn again. Sentences spoken in passing now are precious last words. Moments that were the daily norm, now can only be called memories. No words can be spoken that will ease the pain. Nothing can be given that eases the ache. Along with this fresh hurt and pain comes all the past memories of going through this before. A feeling of deja vu infiltrates within us as we all deal with the shock and grief in our own way. Some bury the feelings deep, never letting anyone know they’re even there. Some continue on but with a hint of fixated sorrow on their face. Some grieve by solitude. Solitude that gives you a chance to cry without anyone seeing. Solitude that gives you a chance to try to sort your feelings out and yet, somehow, they still feel like a jumbled mess. Some cling to each other, letting tears flow, and just craving that one thing that is still stable in their lives, a family member, a friend, someone who has always been there and you know is a constant. And, just when you think all the tears have been cried, somehow, a few more squeak out and run down your cheek. Some work it off–staying busy is the key and keeping active numbs the pain–if only for a little while.

Our body craves normality. When normal is ripped away, we yearn to fill it with something that seems even halfway right. And yet, every forced laugh at some stupid punny joke brings up a shred of guilt because of what someone else is going through. But laughter is also healing, and you begin to wonder what is even proper and decent in this time? Every hour you spend at work reminds you of all that might never get done. You begin to realize that you never want to live with regrets, because…….What if??

Slowly, but surely, you begin to find your place. Slowly, but surely, life seems to return to a halfway decent place. Nothing will ever be the same, nothing will ever seem to go the way it was before, some days you may wonder if you can even go on. Days will come when we celebrate, and we gather together as a family, but, only with a missing piece. Each person you know adds a piece to this puzzle called life, and when the piece is missing, the picture just isn’t quite right.

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Mahlon Eash Jr. (Jr. as I knew him), you had a determination in you that took you far in life. As a young boy, you were one of the smaller ones in stature, but as stated by one of your brothers, what you lacked in size, you made up for in determination.

You had a goofy side about you, a sense of humor. Cracking jokes and wanting to make people laugh.

You loved your family so much. You were SO proud of them all. Your grandchildren were the apple of your eye, and you would do most anything for your family. One memory I have— was often (or what seemed often 🙂 ), while going about my duties, I’d see your truck at the Martinsburg Dairy Isle, eating lunch with Erma. Those, I’m sure, are special times for her, and memories that will not soon be forgotten. Not every man would want to spend all his work hours working with his wife, but you did, and those are precious moments that will never be regretted!

You had a legacy that you wanted to pass on to your family. The business that had been in the Eash family for years and years….you took it upon yourself to keep it up and running, and you were proud to bear the name of Foundations Plus. That legacy of hard work and determination can be passed on through your family. Yes, there will be hard days, and there will be moments of discouragement. But you taught them to be strong, they WILL get through it.

So, yes, you will be missed. Days will not always be easy. Grief may come and go. But, know your family is strong. And on days it seems to them that they can’t keep going, they can be lifted up on the wings of prayer.

 

December Busyness

Ok, really, this could’ve been named 2017 Summer and Fall busyness, but nah, I’ll leave it the way it is. 🙂 This will be a random conglomeration of pictures with some random details. You’re brave if you follow along, and if you make it to the end, you have an amazing resilient brain that can keep up with the most random ramblings. 🙂

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I had another niece born to me. Well, to our family, but she’s still mine 🙂 Kari Rebecca surprised us all when she entered this world almost 2 weeks early. I’m not complaining! 😀

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One day this summer/fall, we got a lot of rain. Our small creek flooded. By the end of the day, it was down to a more normal size again. We didn’t float away. The End.

Who knew you could change the look of a wallet this much. It’s not perfect, and I don’t claim to be a perfectionist, or a DIY-er, but the updated version suits me SO. MUCH. BETTER!!

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Pills, pills, pills. Find more of the updated health journey here. If I’d never have to see another one of these orange bottles, it would be pretty amazing! 🙂 Seriously, though, you’d think they could at least get some ‘pleasing to the eye’ colors!

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One day, we baked lots of cookies. Well, I kinda held the baby and drove to and from the office to take care of random office things that people needed, with just a slight hand in the cookie dough. The others did great, though, don’t you think!? 🙂

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If you’ve never had an ice cream party, I highly encourage you to get a group of besties together and dig in!! I won’t tell you how much was left by the time we were done.

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Did you know guys can do dishes too? This was apparently not supposed to be posted online…oopsies! 🙂 I like starting most new traditions, but especially if they’re this kind! (Who knows if it’ll last?)

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Unfortunately, there was one girl missing when I took these pictures. Sunday school for a year with them is____________ (I’ll let you fill in the blank)

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Silly…

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and just (mostly) happy!

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Just look at the expressions on this girl! She was in the midst of intently saying something, and I wish I could remember what it was!! 🙂

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It’s been a year that Grandma left this earth. I’m so glad I have this beautiful handiwork of hers in my room. It’s amazing and took a skill I don’t think I have!

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Our youth had an ugly Christmas sweater party. The pictures say a lot. A lot more than I could! 🙂

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My office I work in got moved. New location is great! Nothing fell apart, and I still have a building to do work in. Thumbs up!

How was your summer/fall/winter 2017? Anything exciting happen? Share a picture and keep your favorite memories alive!

 

How the Las Vegas Tragedy Affects Me

Dear God, our hearts are wondering. They are wondering ‘why’? Why could this happen? How could You let it happen? You are Sovereign. You could’ve stopped it. And yet, through it all, we know that You. Are. Sovereign. That means so much more than just all powerful. Father, that means that through it all, you have an all-knowing mind, and even above that, you have an all-wise plan. Today doesn’t even seem real. It seems like something like this should only happen in the movies. I mean, 50+ people killed and 500+ wounded and many probably fighting for their life. But, as much as this saddens and shocks us, I can’t imagine how much more it saddens and shocks You. It doesn’t shock You with surprise like it does us. Nothing takes You by surprise. Rather, it shocks and saddens You because of all the effort and love you have put into creating each and every life. You created with love, formed every inch of those 550 victims. More than that, you even formed with caring love, the one who decided to make the sad decision to harm these innocent people. Jesus, I believe You are saddened and shocked, not by the surprise of the unknown, but because of how Your love got thrown back in Your face. How, when it seemed as if this world couldn’t get more wicked than it is, this happens. Father, we’ve all been betrayed by people, and it hurts, but never have we poured that much love into someone’s life, only to have it rejected so harshly.

The reactions of people will be mixed, but I wonder if they will even think of You. People will wonder how a God who claims to love, who claims to be merciful, how He can even allow it to happen. I don’t profess to even begin to understand how big and huge your character is, and why You allow this or that to happen, but I do know this…..In this tragedy in Las Vegas, You are there. In the middle of the devastation with the hurricanes, earthquakes, and flooding in the many different places,

You. Are. There.

If people truly seek You, they will find You. They will find You in the hospital room, through the Dr.’s sympathetic and caring touch. They will find You present with the efficient capabilities of the medics and emergency personnel, never knowing the whispered prayers that are breathed over them. They will find You in the middle of the night, when it seems all they can do  is sob with pain–there is where they’ll find You. They will find You while being lifted up in prayer by the whole family of God. They will find You while in the middle of the turmoil inside their hearts, while working at their seemingly endless job, when they will feel that they just can’t do this one more day, but silently, You are giving them strength.

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They can see You with each new sunrise and sunset You give them. They can feel Your presence in the soft breezes that blow. They can find You in the center of a flower–where else could that intense beauty lead them? Their nurse on duty, that quiet, almost ‘too shy’ one…Do they realize that this morning’s Bible study with fellow Christian nurses is making her pause for only a second before she timidly asks, “Do you know my Jesus?” The hurting and confused children, the fatherless and motherless. You are there in the ones holding them close, cuddling them, hoping they can give these little ones just a tiny feeling of safety.

God, You are there.

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But, You are also here, with us, the ones who are supposedly ‘unaffected’ by these tragedies. We feel slightly sheltered and safe, and yet our heart aches for those who are ‘out there’. That ache is You speaking to us. The tears that come to our eyes when hearing of the devastation, that’s You, reminding us to pray. That lump in our throat is just a way to shut our mouths from all the cliche sayings, and instead take the time to whisper a prayer to our heavenly Father. You are also here in our freedom to come and go. That freedom is a gift from You to us, to allow us to share Your Good News. When day in and day out, I reject that gift or use it all selfishly for myself, I wonder if that’s just as much shock and sadness to You as the tragedy of Las Vegas. You are here with us, in the middle of our everyday life, waiting, watching with eagerness to see how soon we’ll see You revealing Yourself to us, and when we don’t take notice, I’m wonder if that rejection is just like being thrown in Your face as well.

Father, I wonder how the nation of the U.S. would become if we could all just open our eyes to You. I wonder, if we could actually, truly recognize You in all the places You are, how would that make a difference in our nation?

Jesus, I know I can’t change the nation–only You can do that, BUT I can allow You to change me, and then maybe the change in me will light a spark in someone else’s life. Also, I can pray. We forget the power of prayer, but prayer has such a healing benefit, and our nation is so broken, in desperate need of the healing only You can give.

Help our nation to willingly open our eyes to be able to see You wherever You are. Open our hearts to the change that only You can give.

God, please heal this land!!

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Tiny Treasures

The other day, week, or sometime in the past month or two, I cleaned my room. It was the good, “curiosity satisfying, going through old papers and stacks of things” cleaning. Ok, so maybe I’m the only one who lets it get that bad, but either way, I found something I had written back in my school teaching days, and I thought I’d share it on here, along with some changes/add-ons to make it sound better. Follow along if you dare! 🙂

“With a heavy sigh, I sank in my chair wishing with all my might for more dedicated students. Another failed quiz here, more studying of spelling words there. You see, today was a rough day. One particular student had to be worked with continuously on keeping the work up to total ability and had to be prodded so laziness didn’t become habitual.

This student was one I pushed hard, especially today. I made this one find all the answers, write and correct them all, and then study again to make sure he/she grasped the concepts. This student was the one who sighed (loudly), but was taught to obey, and, knowing I was the authority at school, went and ‘did’.

Recess came and went, and I was discouraged. Discouraged with the day, with the student, with everything that went wrong that day. If I were completely honest, I would say I was discouraged with myself. Was I too harsh? Am I expecting too much or not enough? What is a way I could have handled it better? How can I prepare myself if and when it happens again?

Story-time was soon upon us, and I soon became lost in the story as I read it aloud. After story, the student I’d treated so ‘harshly’ came up to my desk, and with a sweet smile said, ‘This is for you, Katie’, shyly laying a note on my desk. Listening as the numerous, unrecognizable misspelled words were explained, (still need to work on that spelling!) it settled in what was happening. I was humbled. Oh, to have the resiliency of a child. The note was simple, but it’s meaning was clear. ‘Katie, you’re a good teacher, and you make us happy and you give us prizes and you give us candy and you’re a good teacher and you give crafts for us, and you give us ideas and you’re perfect.’ (run-on sentences, too 🙂 )

My worst fears were unfounded. I hadn’t estranged this student. If anything, it built our relationship stronger. At dismissal, she/he asked, ‘Did you like the note?’ And in all honesty, I could say, ‘Yes, I liked it!!’, when in truth, my heart was overflowing with love!

You see, God has given me 13 ‘tiny treasures’ to teach and instruct in more than knowledge of Math, English, and Reading. He gave me them to teach important life lessons. That day, I believe I learned more than they did. That day, one of my tiny treasures gave of themselves in complete honesty a part of who they are. This tiny treasure, a child and a note, puts a smile on my face, as I think about the time God said, ‘Katie let me teach you a thing or two about Tiny Treasures’.”

God still gives us Tiny Treasures daily. Are our eyes open to them? (And, yes, I still have a picture of that note) 🙂

 

Hard Work and Moving On

Last Saturday was the day. The day all the hard work came together and actually happened. The day that was a turning point for the Eash family. The day that was filled with probably some of the most mixed emotions ever.

It was the day when history as we’ve known it, and ‘the way it’s always been’ ended. It was the day that new beginnings began. It was a day filled with excitement and uncertainty. A day that, when it was all over, a sigh of relief could be heard throughout the small town of Martinsburg.

It was a day full of memories. Memories of Grandpa and Grandma and the life they had created for their family. It was a day of recollecting. Recollecting on days gone past. Days of cleaning flower-beds, crashing the golf-cart into stuff, playing with Grandma’s many dolls, and the many meals and gatherings we’ve had together on the farm.

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It was a day we could feel the support and love through the community. A day that made us (or maybe it was just me) realize we had NO IDEA how many people would show up for the turning of a new era. It was a day of catching up with family and friends. In my mind’s view, I can still see Grandpa and how tickled pink he would’ve been to see all his friends show up for this. I can see how he would’ve been proudly showing off his tractors and toys for all to see. They really were his pride and joy, and there was not much he liked better than spending a day in the field sitting proudly on his ‘green machines.’ And I can see Grandma making sure everyone has enough food and is satisfied, making sure every detail goes exactly as she planned, while we just smile and wonder if she’ll ever calm down. 🙂

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It was a day filled with pride. Pride to be a part of this family. Pride to be able to carry on the legacy that Grandpa and Grandma Eash started. Pride to be able to have an ‘Eash Family Farm’ shirt in our possession. Yes, you can label us as ‘one of those’, but until you’ve been in that situation yourself, don’t judge! 🙂

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It was also a day that was exhausting!! I wonder how many grown-ups wished they could take a nap in the middle of it all! 🙂

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It was a day of laughter, stress, inward tears, and the over-powering sense of reality. For so long, this day was talked about and planned. Now, it’s finally happening!!

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Cousin time… How many more can the golf cart hold? 🙂

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All-in-all, it was a day to remember. Not only the day itself, but the memories that came flooding back as we reminisced throughout the whole ordeal. Cleaning out the house, the shops, the barns, made for lots of good stories, I’m sure.

To all you siblings….Make your mom and dad proud. Continue the legacy they started so long ago. The Eash’s are known for their hard-working and ‘go-get-em’ attitude. Keep it alive. Don’t let this turning of a page in your book be the last of the ‘Eash Family Chronicles’.  Continue it well with your children and grandchildren. Keep Christ first and live to make them proud!

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Your hard work paid off! Great job, you all!

*All photos (except the last one, I’m not sure where/who it came from) used with permission and credited to TyNicolePhotography. Head on over to her blog  and check out her work!

Field Trips and Things

When you take a field trip with kids, you wind up with a lot of fun, adventure, and random, fleeting moments of questioning whether your sanity will remain with you through to the end of the day.

This week, I had the delightful privilege of going along to Kentucky to the Ark Encounter with our school. Vanessa and I were given this group of girls into our charge and I can’t tell you how many times I counted…1-2-3-4-5-6-7, to make sure the heads were all there.

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Well-behaved to be sure, and old enough to kinda take care of themselves, we waded through the waves of the 156,659,123,678,257 people. Seriously, for the introvert like me, the crowds were exhausting!! It. Was. Overwhelming. We talked to one staff member who told us their record day they had about 9,000 people. Yeah, see what I mean? That’s why by the end of the day, I looked slightly bewildered and exhausted (or maybe even on the verge of going crazy)

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We walked and walked…..Over 6 football fields we were told, we took cool selfies, we had funny moments, we saw some pretty awesome things, we touched a scaly reptile, we traveled long distances and lived to tell about it, we corralled 40+ kids through a pizza buffet, we entered the gift shop, and most walked out with nothing!, we drank some fresh lemonade, and the pictures can tell the rest…….Enjoy!

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Crazy Girls…

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Do we look tired?? Cause I definitely was!! 🙂

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Resting and eating food after going through the Ark

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Bus rides can make us crazy…

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See what I mean?? 🙂

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He honestly wasn’t as grumpy as he looks 🙂

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Petting a skink is seriously going to be one of the coolest/weirdest things you will ever experience!!

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All-in-all, it was a very fun and enjoyable experience. From the moments of stomach-ache (thankfully, no throwing up!), to the giggles of a small one who told me the hand sanitizer fell in the bus bathroom toilet. (umm, yeah, not much I’m gonna do about that!), to the constant noise and chatter of little ones needing this or that. Filling our faces with pizza and then playing in the arcade game room afterward. Being ‘oh, so borrrreeeddd’ on the trip, and playing games with your friends. These are the moments we treasure and these are the memories we make. I’m so glad for the moments like this that I can share with these kiddos…I miss them more than I ever dreamed! (this got suddenly sentimental). A great day indeed!