In the Bible study class I co-teach, we always open our time together by sharing our Sweets and Sours. I decided that today I would share my SWEETS from the last week and a half and tomorrow I will share my SOURS.

We just got back from an 8 day trip to Pennsylvania and if I say, “I think we saw it all”, I am not kidding.  Here are a few of the highlights~

  • Flying with the boys for the first time! They were thrilled when the pilot invited them into the cockpit on the first leg of our trip.
  • The Amish sites in Lancaster County~The Amish Experience, The Amish House and Farm, Plain & Fancy restaurant, the Glick family farm and the kids spotting the buggies and squealing!
  • The life-sized Tabernacle and tour at the Mennonite museum.
  • Chocolate World in Hershey, PA!!!  Okay, now that place defines SWEET!
  • The Crayola Factory in Easton, PA
  • The Boyd’s Bear Factory ~ which the kids all deemed their favorite place in the world!  Special thanks to Grandma and Grandpa H. who sent money for bears for each kid. It was a blast!
  • Completing the auto tour of Gettysburg. It was amazing and emotional. Really, words can’t describe that experience.
  • Valley Forge was a bit of a disappointment, partly because it was wet and dreary and partly because it’s just one big camp ground. Nevertheless, we are glad we stopped there!

Philadelphia was almost like another trip in itself. We turned in our rental car and the kids experienced mass transit. What a riot! In addition to adjusting to new smells in the subway, we also experienced ~

  • The Liberty Bell
  • Independence Hall
  • The US Mint
  • The Constitutional Museum
  • Betsy Ross’s House
  • Breaksfast with Ben Franklin ~ which was our very favorite thing to do in Philly!… but we missed Daddy.  Mike was presenting at a conference that day.
  • Ben Franklin’s printing shop and the first Post Office, from which we mailed postcards home.
  • The Ben Franklin underground museum and movie
  • The Civil War and Underground Railroad museum
  • The Seaport Museum and the submarine.
  • Eatting at the City Tavern where so many founding fathers ate before us!

I could go on and on. It was amazing. I think we all fell asleep before 9 every night and were up and ready to go by 7:30 the next morning. The kids and Mike still managed to sneak in a few dips in the swimming pool and I mananged to read a really excellent new book by my friend Virginia Smith.  (More on that later!)

 It was just a sweet getting home. We had cleaned like crazy before we left, so our house was spotless …atleast until we hauled in 4 bags and 5 backpacks! We are so thankful for the friends who watched our pets, delivered our van to the airport, and turned up our heat.

The things I will treasure most are the memories I made with my husband and kids. I pray that they will all remember this trip with the same warm feelings that I do now. It was wonderful.  I just have to share one quick story and then I’m done (maybe).

In an effort to save money, we took along our food for breakfasts and lunches. A couple of times we were treated to hotel breakfasts and twice we supplemented lunches by going to nearby markets, like the famous Reading Terminal market. Nevertheless, at the end of the trip we still had quite a bit of food left.

The kids and I were mostly on our own the last few days of the trip, because of Mike’s conference. One morning we were in the subway early and the kids saw a young homeless man digging in the garbage for his breakfast. It left its mark on their hearts. That afternoon we went back to the hotel and bagged up all our left over food. Apparently, that’s why I had taken all those ziplocks along. Anyway, Saturday afternoon the kids and I delivered two substantial bags of food to two men on the street. In the evening we recruited Mike to go into the subway with us and we delivered four more food bags to men.

I share this not out of pride, but because it is the thing I will probably remember most vividly of the trip. We experienced so many sweet blessings, but giving my kids the opportunity to serve and shine Christ’s light to others, will be the memory I treasure the most.