Thursday, July 30, 2009

Anniversary Trip #5

Here it was-my turn to plan our trip again. What would I do? I was reading a magazine and it mentioned that the 'Historic Baseball World Series' would be during our anniversary weekend. Ok-this sounded interesting-Michael would love the baseball part, and I would love the history part! This trip took us to. . . . .

Dearborn, Michigan!!

For those of you not familiar, Dearborn is home of 'The Henry Ford'. It is this huge, beautiful campus of museums, a theatre, and what is known as Greenfield Village. We stayed at a hotel conveniently located right beside an Einstein's Bagels. We LOVE Einsteins! Saturday was the big 'World Tournament' for the historic baseball. We felt like we were back in 1867! The vintage baseball clubs not only dressed like they did back then, but they also played by the same rules! What a fun experience!

The rest of the village was amazing too! It had just about everything a real town would have and the amazing thing was, was that it was all authentic, historic buildings-all with a story of some sort. We visited the courthouse that Abe Lincoln once practiced law in, and Henry Ford wanted it so authentic that when they moved the building from out East, they drywall was taken down, ground up, and reapplied when in was brought to MI.

For lunch, we ate at the Eagle Tavern. It was originally built in Clinton, MI in 1831 as a stagecoach stop for weary travelers. The food was all food that would have been served back then, and even the drinks. We got a effervescing drink in which we drank through a long noodle 'straw'.

On Sunday we toured the museum. This was amazing! Everything from the 'Rosa Parks' bus to the chair Lincoln was assassinated in to the limo that Kennedy was assassinated in and the camp bed that George Washington slept in. What history!

Sunday was our actual anniversary, so that was special just to think back on this exact date and day to what was happening at that time. We listened to our wedding ceremony on the way home and again, just took in the miracle of our lives together. Before we got home, we stopped and ate dinner at Eddie Merlot's (thanks to my sister, Marissa, who gave us a gift-card!). The meal was delicious and it was just nice to be able to enjoy a special dinner, yet before we arrived home to our little pumpkin! Thanks Lynn for taking such great care of him! I did not worry about him at all while we were gone! I could really relax and know he was in good hands. This was a wonderful trip and we would definitely like to go back again someday and would encourage all who are interested in history especially, to check out Dearborn!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Anniversary Trip # 4

Are you sick of these yet? Only one more after this one, and that will bring us to this year!!

As much as I love the city, I also love the country, and what so often times seems to be the 'simpler life'. This time we took a trip to. . . . . .

Lancaster, PA!!!!

It was such a wonderful trip! We started out by touring the nearby towns like Ephrata, Lititz, and Strasburg. These towns were full of architecture and history.
We stayed at 'The Olde Stone Guesthouse-Springhouse' where Florence Stoltfus was our innkeeper. It was a separate old spring house that was turned into a cute little house.
Us in front of the 'Spring House'
Us with Florence (and another guest:)
Us with all of our new friends!
She was such a sweet Christian lady and we really enjoyed staying there. If you ever find yourself visiting Lancaster County, we would highly reccommend staying at Florence's Spring House Also staying at the B & B were two other couples-one an older couple and one middle aged. It was so fun because we would have breakfast all together in the morning and visit with eachother. As some of you may remember, this is when and where we received our peace about beginning our first adoption journey. Florence attends a Mennonite church and always invites her guests to attend church with her. We thought this would be a neat opportunity and even though Michael thought we really should get on the road to come home, I really felt like we were supposed to go.
As we sat there and the service began, it became very clear what God was trying to tell us. The whole sermon was about adoption and how God has adopted all of us to be His children. My heart ached and I cried because it was only a couple weeks earlier that my heart was heavy and I was having a difficult time with surrendering to God that this was indeed His time for us to begin to grow our family-by adoption, so I went to talk to Ed, our wonderful counselor Elder! He told me that if I was waiting for a sign, like 'lightning to strike' that it probably would not happen-that just our heart for adoption was enough for God to start with. So as I am sitting here listening to this Mennonite Minister speak to a church of about 50, I thanked and praised God and apologized for not just trusting in Him, and feeling like I still needed that push. Well, it was more like a shove, and as soon as we got back in town from our trip, we began our journey that, 6 months later, brought us our gift from God, our sweet Deacon Michael. This was certainly a very special trip and we looked forward to where the road would take us the next year. . . .

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tim Tebow

Monday's w/ Michael

Again, I'm assuming most of Jane's readers are female so you have probably never heard of Tim Tebow. Allow me to tell you a little about him.

Tim's parents, Bob and Pam, were Christian missionaries in the Philippines when she became pregnant with Tim. While pregnant, Pam suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Because of the drugs used to rouse her from a coma and to treat her dysentery, the fetus experienced a severe placental abruption. Doctors expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion to protect Pam's life. Instead, she carried the baby to term, and both survived.

Later, the family moved to Florida where Tim was homeschooled. Though homeschooled, Tim played football for Nease High School, where he starred at Quarterback. During one game, Tim broke his leg. But he continued to play and finished the game. He was named the state of Florida's High School Football Player of the Year his Junior and Senior year. Tim led Nease High to the state title his Senior season.

After high school, Tim decided to attend the University of Florida. His Freshman year, he helped lead Florida to the National Championship as the backup QB. Tim took over as the full time Quarterback his Sophomore year. He threw for 29 touchdowns and ran for 22 touchdowns during the regular season. He became the first player in history to throw for 20 touchdowns and run for 20 touchdowns in the same season. His 51 touchdowns were more than 87 teams! At the end of his Sophomore year, he was awarded the Heisman trophy, given to college football's most outstanding player. Tebow was the first underclassman to ever receive that award. During his Junior year, Tim broke the school record for career rushing touchdowns, previously held by Emmitt Smith (Emmitt Smith holds the record for the most career rushing yards in the NFL).
Tim will be starting his Senior year at Florida this fall. Most likely, he will be playing in the NFL in 2010 (unless he would decide to become a missionary). But I think Tim's mission field is here in America. Explaining why he returned to Florida for his Senior year instead of going pro last year, Tim replied "The impact you can have is incredible." He also stated, "The No. 1 way you minister to people is through your actions. They see how you act, how you treat people, how you love people, how strong your relationship with Jesus Christ is.”
All of these accomplishments, all of these records...not too bad for a baby that should have been aborted.
Make it a great Monday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Anniversary Trip # 3

If there was one thing I learned about Michael, it was that he loves baseball. Furthermore, he especially loves the New York Yankees. The time had come that the city was going to tear down, "The House That 'Ruth' Built"- Yankee Stadium. We just had to get there before it was gone forever, so I planned a long weekend to . . . . .

New York!!!!

We began our trip by traveling through upstate New York through all the little 'villages' and I surprised Michael and took a detour to . . . . . .


Well, unless you are a baseball fan (or married to one), you probably have no clue of the signifigance of this place. This is where the 'Baseball Hall of Fame' resides. Again, since it was my turn, I was thinking of Michael. But it was actually fun and a neat experience.

( The Babe, you know, "The Sultan of Swat, the King of Crash, The Colossus of Clout... Babe Ruth, The Great Bambino!")

We ate lunch at The Doubleday Cafe' (Abner Doubleday is credited with inventing baseball). After we enjoyed a lovely day touring Cooperstown, we headed down the road to the village of Sharon Springs where we lodged at. . . .

It was beautiful! It was a renovated historic hotel-it was amazing! We enjoyed dinner at the Inn and then awoke to a beautiful morning, where we then had breakfast at the inn. But this was not just any breakfast. Just weeks before we visited the American Hotel, Rachel Ray did her '40$ A Day' show on Cooperstown, NY and chose to have her breakfast at the American Hotel because she was old friends with the innskeepers, Doug and Garth. Doug and Garth asked the chef to come up with something special to serve her that said 'Upstate New York'. So he came up with these amazing corn pancakes layered with sliced apples and bacon; not to mention "COPIOUS" amounts of maple syrup! So we decided to try his creation too. They were delicious!

We went on to the city later that morning and were greeted with a bit of a different tone. . . .

(This is hilarious because all you hear is constant honking!)

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan and it was especially nice because it was connected to Grand Central Station so we were a hop, skip, and a jump away from the subway. That night, we did what we set out to do when we came to New York-go to a Yankees game. It was a blast and such a fun experience. They played the Toronto Blue Jays (they stayed in the same hotel as we did!) that night and the Yankees came out on top!! Them winning made it even more exciting!

The next day we just took some time to do a little exploring of the city (how do you explore NYC in 2 days?!). We had lunch in Little Italy and pretty much just made it to Times Square and Ground Zero.

Visiting Ground Zero, even 5 years later, was still very sombering. Clean-up was still in process. What a great reminder of Who is in control!

Ahhhh. . . . . again, I love the city!! But, it was time to go back to our quiet little town of about how many people live in a Manhattan apartment building:) What will Michael choose next year?! . . . . . . . .

Anniversary Trip # 2

Ahhhh. . . . . .

Michael's turn. But now I decided I do not like this anymore, because I do not like surprises and because of our terrible experience last year. Further evidence of my trust issues (still working on it).

The trip got off to a bit of a rough start because less than 30 minutes away from home, a wrong turn was taken, and someone (me) told someone (Michael) to just do a 'U-turn' at the light. Well, just our luck there was a cop right there and he pulled us over. Turns out you can only do a 'U-turn' if there is no sign there prohibitting it. We explained to him we were on our 2nd anniversary trip and with much mercy, he let us go! Phew!

We continued on North and West, and ended up at. . . . . .


Oh, how I love the city!!! We stayed downtown just blocks in between the lake and Michigan Avenue, at a beautiful hotel called 'The Fitzpatrick'.

We even got robes!

We toured the different districts of the city via subway and even found this really amazing shop that made and sold dollhouses. It was a little girls dream!

Also while we were exploring (Michael is such a GREAT sport!), I had a little bit of a gift certificate left from Pier 1, and I found this great plant stand and decided I wanted it. I forgot that we were in the city, and would have to carry our 'great' purchase all the way through the hot subway, back to the hotel! Again, Michael is so great!!

We met a 'Lego' R2-D2 while out and about!

We had our first 'Giordano's Pizza' experience. It was SO good!!

We enjoyed our anniversary with dinner on Navy Pier, watching the fireworks over the lake, and riding the ferris wheel (how romantic!).

The whole trip was amazing and got me excited for my turn for our 3rd anniversary. . . . . .

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Anniversary Trip #1

Well, someone, somewhere, one day, had the GREAT idea to take turns planning our anniversary trips. The thought was that it would be a surprise ( I love surprises- not really) and that it would be planned with the other person in mind.

Michael planned our honeymoon, so I took the reigns for our first anniversary. I was so excited so I searched and searched for somewhere that looked fun and different, somewhere that we had never been to before. . . . . .

. . . . . and I found . . . . . . .

If you have ever heard of Put-In-Bay, Ohio, Middle Bass is an island just off of Put-In-Bay. The brochure boasted of the beachfront property and how guests enjoy romantic campfires on the beach. The inn was “within walking distance of several gift shops and restaurants.” Ahhh. . . sounds relaxing. . . . . .

We enjoyed the ferry ride to the island and were filled with excitement and anticipation as we exited the boat.
However, things went down hill fast. When we eventually arrived at the inn itself, we discovered it was no more than an old brick house with no air conditioning.
The “beach” was actually a rocky cliff!
The “gift shop” was the local grocery store and there were only 2 restaurants on the entire island and 1 of them was in the "hotel"! By the time we had seen enough to know that we didn’t want to spend the night there, it was too late to get off the island. We were STRANDED! I remember calling home to my folks and just crying because it was horrible and here we were, stuck on the island for a whole night! As we were trying to figure out how we could possibly escape from the island, I found some interesting, though, scary information . . . . . .

"Lake Erie's Bessie was first seen in 1817, but numerous sightings have been claimed in recent years. She is typically described as being a snake-like beast 20 to 50 feet long, 12 to 18 inches in diameter, with dark skin, red eyes and humps that stick out of the water as it swims."
This was getting really scary!

It reminded us of a movie, a very scary movie. The next morning, we were racing with all of our stuff for the 'island bus' to take us back to the ferry. We did not want to miss this! By this time all we could do was laugh, because, the whole thing was so unbelieveable! We were so thankful to get finally home!

Had the trip gone as planned, we probably wouldn’t remember it as we do today. So, we weren't off to the greatest start-but that did take some pressure off of Michael for the next year-I was already looking forward to it!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Monday's w/ Michael
Friday night was the First Annual Reinhard Family Campout in our cabin. It was so much fun! We had all of your standard camping snacks: hot dogs, S'mores and Pudgy (Pudgie?) Pies. We also popped popcorn over the fire for a late night snack.
Jane making supper.
It took a lot of work to get everything set up. Everyone had their job to do. Deacon's job was to make sure the flashlights worked. :)
Deacon inspecting a flashlight.
There were 4 of us sleeping in the cabin. Deacon slept downstairs in his Pack 'N Play. Jane, Nina and I slept upstairs in the loft.
Nina getting ready for bed.
We were really roughing it. It took 4 extension cords, but we were finally able to get power back to the cabin so we could watch a movie.
Extension cord running from the upstairs window to the Implement building.
Jane even made breakfast for us over the fire in the morning.
Bacon over the fire.
Deacon and Daddy ready for breakfast.
We had a great time. I'm already looking forward to our 2nd Annual Campout!
Make it a great Monday!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Something I have never done. . . .

This could be many things, I know-but this really s t r e t c h e d me!

I entered the 4-H Homemakers Cookie Contest!

Mom Reinhard told me she was doing it and so I thought, "That sounds like something different."

First of all this was not my cup of tea because I just do not do things like that.

There is a reason I was never in 4-H as a child.


Fear of Failure


Resistance of compliments



Well, we had no idea what to expect, but when we got there to 'drop off our cookies', it was apparent that all the ladies were staying for the judging.

Mom and I were quietly sitting there when a girl from the Journal Gazette comes up to us, sits down, and wants to interview us about our cookies. Mom did great-but what could I say?! "Ummm. . . .this is the first time I have ever made these. . . . and I hope they taste good?"

O.K.-so now I am feeling really anxious-now she is going to taste all 52 cookies right in front of us and tell us what she likes and doesn't like about them!

This was getting out of control.

Well, I will spare you all the 'sweet' details (my stomach is still upset just from watching this ONE lady sample 52 cookies), but the winner is. . . . . .

PAM REINHARD!!!!! With her famous Cashew Cookies!

Congrats Mom, you deserve it!

The experience, though s t r e t c h i n g, was still a lot of fun!

Ahhh. . . . now I need to add competing in 4-H to my list of 'things to do before I die', so I can check it off!

Monday, July 13, 2009


I'm sure many of you were wondering what "Shmily" meant on Jane's cake. Several years ago, we heard the following story:

My grandparents were married for over half a century and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word "shmily" in a surprise place for the other to find.They took turns leaving "shmily" around the house and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it once more. They dragged "shmily" with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers, to await whoever was preparing the next meal.They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio (where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring)."Shmily" was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper, to leave "shmily" on the very last sheet.There was no end to the places "shmily" would pop up. Little notes with "shmily" scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows."Shmily" was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace. This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents' house as the furniture.It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents' game. Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love, one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents' relationship.They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life. Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection, which not everyone is lucky to experience.Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses, as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other's sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble.My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew "how to pick 'em."Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune and each other.But, there was a dark cloud in my grandparents' lives: my grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier.As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside.Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of a cane and my grandfather's steady hand, they went to church every Sunday morning. But, my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore.For a while, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over his wife. Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened. Grandma was gone."Shmily." It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my grandmother's funeral bouquet. As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time.Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother's casket and (taking a shaky breath) he began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song came (a deep and throaty lullaby).Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. I knew that, although I couldn't begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty."S-h-m-i-l-y: See How Much I Love You..."Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for letting me Laura Jeanne Allen

After hearing this story, Jane and I adopted this practice ourselves. If you would do a thorough cleaning of our home, you would probably find a dozen undiscovered SHMILY notes hidden throughout the house: at the bottom of a dresser drawer, tucked inside a book waiting to be read, buried at the bottom of the flour jar, etc. Sometimes SHMILY's are hidden, sometimes they are boldly written on the inside of the shower, at the close of an email or on the top of a cake! And sometimes, they are at the end of the blog.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Country Kitchens, here we come!

Last night, some of us Yergler ladies had a Girl's night out. Steph planned it and we all had so much fun. We started out by dining at Red Lobster. All of our meals tasted so good!

Our next stop: Country Kitchens. If any of you have ever been there, you know this place is for only the serious bakers. Well, we figured we all qualified :) , and decided to give cake decorating a try.
Our instructor, who was very kind and always tried to give positive compliments, (no matter what) had us first practice the different techniques on a board.
She would always come around and look at what we had done when we were practicing.
This would always make me a little nervous. "What will she say about mine?", I thought. In her very kindness, she would sometimes say, "That actually looks good." When you put the 'actually' in there, it doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Finally, the time came when it was time to decorate our own cakes. Ahh!! I hadn't put any thought into it. I started once, and then scraped it off and decided to stick with what I felt like I knew. !We had a wonderful time-if you have not done anything like this, you should get some gals together and have some fun
Can you guess who decorated which cake?
They all turned our so beautiful. Can you guess which one of us has cake decorating in our future?. . . . . . . . .
HINT: Look at how Abby is presenting her cake. . . yep, she definatly has it!