Oct 29, 2008

Pennsylvania Random

Here are some random pictures of our time in Pennsylvania. Enjoy!

This is my sister Jana lovingly caressing our newest friend, Betsy. Here's to Betsy!!! The little lady that stuck with us through it all, leading the way like a little beacon on a hill. Without her help I'm afraid we would have ended up in New Jersey on a couple of occasions and possibly even spent some time in Delaware! Thank you Betsy. You will be missed!

We ate so well the entire trip! It was quite nice knowing we could go anywhere to eat, not having to worry about whether or not they had kid menu's or whether or not they would feel the need to charge you and extra gratuity charge because of the inevitable mess little boys can make! Below is a picture of my sister's Kara and Jana at The Melting Pot. This was a really fun fondue restaurant. We got a big pot of cheese and artichoke fondue, (cooked right at our table), for an appetizer, a yummy broth to cook our entree (steak, shrimp, pork, chicken etc...), and yummy milk chocolate with walnuts to dip our desserts in (brownies, marshmallows, fresh fruit etc...). It was a fun and unique experience.

We visited a fun little town right outside of Valley Forge (where our hotel was). The town was Skippack and it had lots of neat little shops all over, but the best part of Skippack was that it had the most beautiful mums everywhere!

These were berries that had grown over a bench outside a little shop in Skippack. I thought the colors were beautiful!

I was really looking forward to seeing some of the Amish communities that are so popular all over Pennsylvania. Unfortunately we just ran out of time to do all the things we wanted to. I did however get to see a little Amish horse and buggy parked next to a Penske moving truck. I thought this would make a humorous picture. The best part was that this was parked just outside of a Target superstore and the owners of the buggy were shopping in the Target! Wait a minute.... I thought that was a BIG no no! No? I also saw an Amish farmer working away in his yard with a leaf blower, an Amish farmhouse with a light on (definitely electricity), and a young Amish man and woman walking together!!! Again... isn't that a HUGE no no? Hmmm, maybe this whole Amish thing isn't what I thought it was. I'm contemplating contacting Dateline to see if they'll do an expose on the matter. I am, of course, willing to donate any photos and/or testimony I have. In the name of truth, of course!


It would be a travesty to visit Philadelphia and not get a Philly Cheesesteak right? Well, I got one and it was goooood!

Beautiful Homes of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is FULL of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen. There were so many very old farm homes that were completely FULL of charm! So many of these homes had most of their original architecture and design. Driving through the countryside seeing these homes was one of my very favorite things of the entire trip!

These last photos are actually an old barn that the owners have converted into an antiques shop. These little shops are all over the place in over there. We stopped at a few and had the best time!


Gettysburg was awesome! It was beautiful, reverent, and inspiring. To learn more about what happened in Gettysburg follow this link.

The black-eyed susans were everywhere.

This was 'downtown' Gettysburg. It was a nice town and had a beautiful college campus (which I later found out is a Liberal Arts collage). We did a little shopping in town and there were some super cool little antiques shops.

This is a graveyard in Gettysburg. It's filled with victims of the Civil War. It's a humbling feeling to stand and see all these headstones, knowing that these men (and boys) died fighting for freedom for all.

Driving around parts of Gettysburg make you feel like it's still1863 and people are just living their lives farming and doing what it takes to make a life for themselves. I can't imagine what it would have been like during the Battle of Gettysburg. The destruction must have been horrendous and devastating, but I am eternally grateful and respectful of those that fought and died in the farmer's fields at Gettysburg.

This is the Battle of Gettysburg Museum. It was wonderful. They had literally walls of guns and buttons and other artifacts that have been discovered in fields all around the town. People are still discovering artifacts today! The building was beautiful.

Downtown Philadelphia

Our first day in Pennsylvania was spent in Philadelphia visiting historic sites. This was such a great experience and I recommend it to anyone!

This is Arthur Cavendish. He was the local theatre owner. He is a pretty wealthy fellow and has such great clothing because whenever the extremely wealthy get tired of their clothing they donate it to the theatre. Mr.Cavendish (being the theatre owner) gets first dibs on the great threads! Lucky Bloke. I thought he looked so great for his age!

This plaque was on the outside of the building where George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States! So cool!!!

The red brick building were so beautiful. I think I could have spent an entire day photographing the beautiful historic buildings!

This is a side door entry to Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

This is Independence Hall. The building itself was so beautiful. There is a story where
John Hancock supposedly said that Congress, having signed the Declaration, must now "all hang together", and Benjamin Franklin replied: "Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."
These men knew that they might pay the ultimate price for signing their names to this document and they signed it anyway. They believed in freedom, and I for one am so grateful for their faith, bravery and desire for independence.

The Liberty Bell was super cool to see too. It was just as I had imagined it!

If you would like to learn more about the bell and find out some really interesting stories about the bell follow this link. I learned a lot of new things about the bell and even discovered that some of the stories that I had been taught were very incorrect! The source of the inscription on the bell is Leviticus 25:10, which reads "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family." I LOVE this inscription.

We didn't get to see a lot of Philadelphia but what we saw was beautiful. What a wonderful city. What we saw of it was very clean, friendly and just pleasant. There were old historic buildings surrounded by newer skyscrapers and shopping malls and I realized how grateful I am for the men and women who did remarkable things at these locations to ensure our liberty and freedom.

Philly or Bust!

I am 100% sure that the next few day... nay weeks, are going to be crazy busy. I really wanted to share what a great time we had on our trip to Philly so I knew I had to get it done tonight. Be prepared for multiple posts...

These are the wonderful ladies I had the pleasure of spending some really great time with in Philadelphia.
Who could ask for better company?

Oct 28, 2008

Lord of the Rings Party

Mike was in charge of the Young Men/ Young Women's Halloween party tonight and the kids decided that they wanted to do a Lord of the Rings themed party. I think it turned out great. They had trivia games, charades, pictionary, etc... Most of the kids dressed up like hobbits or elves and there were some great costumes!

I asked Mike if he needed any help with anything and he figured they'd be ok but said if I wanted to come to the party I could. Of course I wanted to go! My mom was so nice and took my boys (and carved pumpkins and had root beer floats!!!) so that I was able to go.

Late this afternoon I figured I had better get a costume to wear so I went to mom's huge costume box trying to find something. I was thinking a beautiful elf would do. Alas, I found nothing 'elfish' but I did fine a big black cape, a black robe and some black material. I did some quick calculating and this is what I came up with...

I had a blast wearing this costume. I didn't speak a single word all night and NOBODY had a clue who I was! I was in charge of the charades game and I had a ton of fun trying to communicate without speaking. And for those of you that are skeptical about me not talking at all for two hours... well, I even surprised myself! I fooled aunts, uncles, friends... everyone! Some people were sooooo convinced that they knew who I was but everyone guessed wrong. When they would come up and whisper something like, "Nice costume Sister Kochel", I just lifted my gloved hand to my mouth and pretended that I didn't want them to tell anyone that they had figured me out. One girl was even convinced I was her sister (who was sick at home by the way). The best was when they were so sure they had figured out who I was and then the very person that they had guessed would walk in with a different costume on and come up to me and try to figure out for themselves who I was!

I had a lot of fun and didn't want to reveal myself at the end of the night. The last few stragglers got to see me for who I really was and most were very surprised. It was a great time and the kids had a blast. Mike did a really good job but I'm pretty sure I haven't seen him so relieved to have something done with in quite a while.

Good work Mike! You rocked it!!!

Oct 24, 2008

Oct 17, 2008

Witch-A-Palooza - The Event

Tonight we had Witch-A-Palooza at Upon the Shelf (see post below). Jana, Kara, and I had a ball! Jana's on the left, Kara is in the middle and that's me on the right!
Ok, so that's not really Kara but wouldn't you say the likeness is uncanny?
Hee Hee. Love you Kara!

Oct 15, 2008


Well shoot! I had every intention of posting all kinds of stuff about our trip to Pennsylvania but sadly, it will have to wait. 'Why is that', you ask... Because instead of spending countless hours blogging I am working on things like this...

Isn't she adorable?!? Upon the Shelf (my sister's home decor store), is having a fun Witch-A-Palooza night this Friday and we each got to make a witch for the event! This is my version. I love the snooty look she has, like she is so much better than everyone else! I will admit, however, that my favorite part of her is her robust, ample, sagging bosom. I just wasn't sure those old nursing bras were ever going to come in handy again! Sure glad I held on to one :)

Some other things I'm going to have to get done before the Pennsylvania posts are available...

1) 5 Costumes: Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Flying Monkey and a Munchkin.
2) A witches cape for Witch-A-Palooza night
3) Plan a lesson for the class I am supposed to give on blogging tomorrow night!
4) Design a new website for Upon the Shelf
5) Make 1/2 dozen puppets for Porter's kindergarten class (Jana's helping! Yay!)

I could go on! Oh well, I love being busy and right now all the busyness is fun stuff so I think I can hack it! Just don't get your hopes up too much about hearing all about Pennsylvania!

Oct 14, 2008

Vanderhoof to Philadelphia in Seven days!

I was going to make a post about our time in Pennsylvania but as I started to look through pictures I decided that this trip will require more than a single post. So for the next little while you are going to be flooded with pictures and posts from our time in Philly, Valley Forge, Gettysburg and so on. So coming soon to a blog near you (mine actually {wink, wink}): new friends, historical sights, shopping, food, architecture and more.

Oct 5, 2008

Until Next Time...

This is where I'll be for the next week. 10 points to whoever can guess where it is.
and for the men that read this here blog, here's another hint...
It's ok to be jealous. I would be :)

I Want One!!!

Okay loyal followers... this website is having an awesome giveaway!!! 24 handbags in 24 hours!?!?! That's crazy talk! Handbag Planet is launching a new website and is giving away 24 bags to 24 lucky winners! PICK ME!!! PICK ME!!! PICK ME!!! Check it out!

Oct 4, 2008

Canon SD1000

Many of you have been asking what kind of camera I have and I thought I'd let you all know! It's a Canon SD1000, 7.1 MegaPixels. I love it! I got it for Christmas from my sister-in-law Diana and my parents-in-law, Doug and Paula. I was so surprised and so happy Christmas morning!

Here are a couple of pictures of the camera. Notice the key next to the first one. This camera is quite small and I love that because I always have it in my purse, ready to catch a great shot at any moment!

Oct 2, 2008

Sunsets and Silhouettes

We had such a good time down by the river the other morning that we decided to spend Family Home Evening there a few days later. It was a beautiful night.

This picture would have been a lot cooler if I wasn't such a pansy around spiders.


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