Saturday, November 10, 2012

You cannot...

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could do for themselves.
Abraham Lincoln

Monday, November 5, 2012

His Love Will See Us Through

His Love Will See Us Through
Only God knows the future;
He holds it in His hand.
And when our questions find no answers,
He's the One Who understands.
His presence still goes with us;
His love is ever near.
The whispered cries within each heart,
The Lord will always hear.
No matter what each day may bring,
His promises are true:
He'll never leave us,
And His love will see us through.
This poem was on the front of the bulletin for Benny Shertzer's funeral last week.
So fitting for all of us, regardless what we face in life!
Do remember to pray for Ruth Shertzer and the family. They parted with four children between 1997 and 2002, due to cancer. Now the father developed cancer six months ago- and went to be with his Savior and the four children. They have three living children - two of them are married and there are seven grandchildren. Two grandchildren are in heaven too. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Coming to terms with aging

    Yesterday I was jolted when an acquaintance referred to a 72 year old couple (friends/peers of ours)  as "elderly"! And I wondered, "When do you become elderly?" Will we be termed "elderly" in five years or less?
    I am accustomed to being called an "older woman". My first brush with that idea was in my 50's when a student at 6th St mission in Philly passed by my sister and I in a hallway at the mission and asked his buddy, Who are those old women?' I looked around and did not see any old women- so I asked him, "How old do you think I am?" His first guess was 103! Whoa! What a joke!
    But since then my hair color has changed and other signs of aging have the onset of Medi-care, senior discounts plus other advantages or disadvantages. Even though my husband is fast approaching the big 70- we continue to think of ourselves as "young seniors".
    But "elderly"??? -wait a minute!!! I checked the dictionary. It says "Seniors, somewhat old, beyond middle life."  OK, so we are somewhat old and beyond middle-aged. Since most of our children are middle-aged, it is not hard to recognize that we are beyond middle-age. But elderly- that is a new thought! Do we need a new definition for the word - or what?
    There is one consolation- I looked up the word "aged" too. The definition for aged is "VERY OLD".  OK, so we may be about to move into the camp of elderly- but we are not aged or ancient quite yet. After all, we still work for a living,  have our driver's license and a valid passport. We have not celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary,  put in a reservation at a nursing home or become great-grandparents yet.
    But then, in third world countries, it is a great honor and blessing to arrive at an old age. God has blessed us with life! Have we let the world pour us into it's mold of thinking old age is undesirable? The only other choice is to quit breathing- and we thank God for life- even if it feels like a transition to be viewed as "elderly". We dreamed of growing old together- and thank God for the privilege of spending 47 years together in our "Landis Home".

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Railroad Rumblings

    During the Civil War there was talk about building a railroad from Port Trevorton to Mifflintown connecting the Susquehanna River with the Juniata River. Iron ore was being mined in Trevorton, PA on the east side of the Susquehanna River. Why not build a railroad - the most modern form of transportation of their day? Canals business was fading and trains were becoming a thriving business. Canals were too expensive to maintain with the frequent flooding along the Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers.
    By the early 1870's the idea became a plan, then a contract, then a project. How exciting!  Wealthy businessmen in Selinsgrove supplied funds and dreamed of prosperous times ahead. The costly war was behind them. Times looked promising as the United States moved forward as one nation again. The Reading Railroad jumped on the band wagon and supplied additional funding for the new narrow gauge Selinsgrove-North Branch Railroad. All along the route from the Susquehanna to the Juniata River, men worked with picks and shovels to create a raised bed for the proposed railway. A bridge was built across the creek near Freeburg, PA. The work continued near the villages of Mt Pleasant Mills, Richfield, Evendale, Bunkertown, McAlisterville and on to Mifflintown. By May 1874, six miles of the railroad bed had been already graded.
    One man who lived in Evendale built a large three-story-building with intentions to be able to open a hotel just in time for the opening of the new railroad. He probably dreamed of the bustle and business he would enjoy. This would surely put the tiny hamlet of Evendale on the map! A railroad station house was built in Heister Valley near Richfield, PA.
    But before the railroad bed was completed, things began to go south! For one thing the wooden railroad bridge across the Susquehanna River at Port Trevorton was declared to be unsafe. The project would need to find additional funding for a new bridge across the nearly mile wide Susquehanna River. Then in October 1874 the "great fire" in Selinsgrove gutted more than 50 buildings in the heart of town and ruined several wealthy business men who were great supporters of the new railroad. This fire was a lot more devastating than the fire of 1872 in their town. The final blow came when the Reading Railroad withdrew their support.
   What can I learn from the unfinished story of the railroad?
1. Jesus said, " For which of you, intending to build a tower (or a railroad- paraphrased) sitteth not down first , and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" Luke 14:28
2. Don't count your chicks before they hatch!
3. Careful planning does not guarantee success.  Our course may be changed by the unexpected- fire, flood, eathquake, cancer, job loss, illness or handicap, financial loss or death can bring life-changing circumstances beyond our control.
    Today you can drive through Snyder and Juniata County and see the "hump" at various places where the "stillborn railroad" was intended to rumble.  The unfinished railroad stands as a monument to unfufilled dreams. Only God can write the final chapter of our unfinished stories.

Monday, July 9, 2012

"The Green Thing"

    We did not have this "Green thing" earlier in my life. Did our parents not care enough for the environment and save resources for the future generation? Fortunately, the current generation has recognized the need to conserve our resources!
    Back then they returned milk bottles and soda bottles to the store. The glass bottles went back to the company to be washed, sterilized and refilled. The same bottles were used over and over. But they did not have the "green thing" in those days.
    Grocery stores bagged the groceries in brown paper bags which were used for numerous things. Besides being used for storage, the brown bags were cut up to made book covers to protect school books so they could be used over and over from one year to the next. A brown paper bag was cut up to wrap a (recycled) shoe box for a parcel post package instead of buying a box at the post office. They packaged a fragile item  for shipping with wadded up old newspaper to cushion it. They did not use Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.  But they did not do the green thing!
    They walked up stairs because they did not have an elevator or an escalator in the store. They walked to the grocery store for a small item. They did not climb into a 300 horse power machine every time they needed to go two blocks for a five pound bag of sugar. But they did not do the green thing!
   Back then, they washed the baby's diaper because they  did not have the throw away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling-machine burning 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry their clothes back in those days -(and is still my preference)! Children wore hand-me-down clothes from their brothers and sisters, not new brand name clothes. But they did not have the green thing.
    In the kitchen they used a hand egg beater or a can opener.  They did not have electric gadgets to do everything for them. They had one electrical outlet per room- not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. They did not buy pretty vinyl drawer liner but used old newspapers for shelf and drawer liner.  But they did not do the green thing!
    They did not fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the grass in the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power.They exercised by working so they did not need to drive to the health club or use  a treadmill that operates on electricity. But they did not do the green thing!
    They drank from the water faucet or a fountain when they were thirsty. They did not use a plastic cup or bottle every time they wanted a drink of water. They refilled writing pens with ink instead of throwing the old pen away and buying a new one. They replaced razor blades instead of throwing the old razor away just because the razor was dull.  But they did not do the green thing!
    Back then people walked, took the bike or bus to school instead of turning their Mom into a 24-hour-taxi service. They did not need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles away in order to find the nearest burger joint. But they  did not do the green thing!
    Isn't it sad how wasteful our parents were just because they did not do the green thing?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Friends are a blessing!

      On Sunday we visited a Netherlands friend (front center of photo) at her host home in southeastern PA. She has come to live abroad for a year of voluntary service before she trains for a profession. We first met the Netherlands family when her parents hosted our tour group in their home. We enjoyed learning to know this family with two young children in 1997. Two years later her father planned a special service in the Pingium Church for our1999  tour group.  We have enjoyed continued contact and their visit to PA about eight years ago. We look forward to another  visit from the family later this summer. They live in the area where Menno Simons lived in the 1500's. Her father is a history teacher who is most interested in Mennonite/Anabaptist history.
     In the photo you will also see a historian friend, John L. Ruth and his wife, Roma. Our young friend was pleased to have all of us on one picture!
    Our world has been broadened and we are privileged to have the blessing of old friends and new friends, close  neighbors and friends from afar!

Family ties...

Recently my family had a mini-reunion at my sister's house. These photos are part of the day's activities. My brother, Merle was in the area with his wife Edith and daughter Bethanie. That was a good reason to get together!
I remember as my mother and her siblings aged, they would pose for a picture when her brother Frank visited from Phoenix, AZ. They did not know when it would be the last time- neither do we.
Yours truly has now out-lived both of our parents and the others are on my heels....

Left to right: Marvin & Betty Ann, Leroy & Romaine, Lester & Martha, Merle & Edith, Carol.
I am privileged to be related to this lovely bunch of people!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two 2012 graduations and two to go!

May 17, 2012
Congratulations to our grandson, Benjamin Stoltzfus
on his graduation from Shady Grove Christian School!

(Or is it a flashback of Jonathan's graduation in 1988?)

Ben receives the important document from Simon Bender!

All the way from K-12!

 Ben's mother, aunts and sisters helped decorate the table.
It was so "Ben" with pines, nature art & photography, animal skins and turkey feathers.

Grandpa Landis did the shopping for the small cedar chest gift.

May 30, 2012
Congratulations to our granddaughter, Andrea!
 Andrea receiving her CNA certificate  from SUN Tech
She will graduate from Midd-West High School at Mifflinburg on June 8, 2012

Happy graduate!
Ready for the next chapter of life- with a luggage set to pack for college!
Inhalation therapy is her next goal to achieve!

And next week Brittany will graduate from high school too!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Historic moments

     Last evening we attended the first Mennonite service in the former St. Boniface church in Wilkes-Barre, PA. We have not heard a new name for the church yet. 
    For about twenty years, members from our congregation have been holding services by request in the home of a young family in that city. Within the past year, several  individuals have  received salvation from Jesus Christ through that work. Our congregation felt it was time to look for a church building to begin holding regular services. A large donation toward a property confirmed that God wants us to move forward. Settlement was made on this property last week.
      It was just in time for the scheduled program of the youth chorus from Union Valley and Lakeland Mennonite Churches. A church in Wilkes-Barre was John Weaver's vision for a long time. It was very fitting that the theme of the program was "Heaven" since John went to his eternal home before his vision became a reality.
    Some of the former members of the St Boniface came to the service last evening. The next door neighbor asked for a few minutes to publicly express her appreciation for what God is doing. She is thrilled to see the property being used as a house of worship.
    Some people have asked, "Why Wilkes-Barre?" We know the city does not have a good reputation- and that is precisely the reason we believe God wants a church there to proclaim the message of salvation. Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance!

People came in buses, vans, cars and pickup trucks to fill up this auditorium.
The ascoustics are wonderful!

The attached  rectory could be made into several apartments for staff, VS'ers, a pastor family or whatever. There are so many possibilities for this property.

The two story school building has more possibilities!
And I did not get a photo of the other building- the nun's house.
We had a supper/snack in the school basement.
This place is about 1.5 hours from Mifflinburg, Union Valley, Lebanon Co. Liverpool and Haycock.
We expect to make many more trips to Wilkes-Barre in the years ahead.
You are welcome to join us!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Truth Never Dies

I discovered this poem while organizing folders at the Historical Center today...and was blessed by it. God's Word is truth- forever!

Truth never dies, The ages come and go;
The mountains wear away, the stars retire.
Destruction lays earth's mighty cities low;
And empires, states and dynasties expire;
But caught and handed onward by the wise,
Truth never dies.
Though unreceived and scoffed at through the years,
Though made the butt of ridicule and jest;
Though held aloft for mockery and jeers,
Denied by those of transient power possessed,
Insulted by the indolence of lies,
Truth never dies.
Truth answers not, it does not take offense;
But with a mighty silence bides its time,
As some great cliff that brave the elements,
And lifts through all the storms its head sublime,
It ever stands, uplifted by the wise,
And never dies.
The lips of ridicule dissolve in dust;
The sophist's arguments, the gibes are still;
God working through the all-compelling Must,
Has broken those who dare combat His will;
As firm and patient as Gibraltar stands,
So truth unwearied, waits the era blest,
When men shall turn to it in great surprise,
Truth never dies.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Two kingdoms

We just had a three session weekend meeting on The Christian and Technology.
The speaker gave an outline each session of the two kingdoms that exist in this world.

The kingdom of this world operates on selfishness, idolatry and pride.
The kingdom of God is based on sacrifice, holiness, glory to God and humility.

And the world passesth away, and the lust (desires) thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
1 John 2:17

When the computer is used to perform the qualities that are characteristic of God's kingdom, it is a tool in a kingdom that is bigger than ourselves. I have been challenged to not allow the computer to become an obsession, entertainment, a time waster, or a distraction from God's Word and prayer.
My refocused goal for computer use can be summed up in the words of the song:

Take time to be holy, speak oft with Thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God's children (no pun intended), help those who are weak;
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone,
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be,
Thy friends in they conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, Be calm in Thy soul;
 Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love
Thou soon shall be fitted for service above.

Technology has been around since man invented a stick to make a hole in the ground- computers are here to stay. The question is "Will we be faithful with the tools God has placed within our reach?"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Truth about War

I read a book recently written by Edith V. Landis who lived in Berlin, Germany during World War II with her family. She tells of the horrors they experienced during the war. Edith became one of the first German brides to come to America after WWII. She spent the rest of her life at Mt. Pleasant Mills. Her new book From the Horrors of World War II to a Great Love Story is an eyeopener. I quote excerpts from one chapter in the book:
" Slowly, one by one, German soldiers came home with torn uniforms and rags on their feet, completely exhausted and sick. It was heartbreaking to witness. They must have walked hundreds of miles.....
It still upsets me to hear news commentators, and others in America, referring to World War II Germany as "Nazi Germany", and the German soldiers as "Nazis". Nothing is further from the truth. Most of the young men were drafted just like the young men from other countries....When I witnessed German soldiers coming home one by one, physically and emotionally destroyed by the actions of a crazy, fanatical ruler, it was heart wrenching. If only all the rulers of the world, who sit behind desks ordering young men into battle, would settle differences amongst themselves, then no one would have to experience the horrors of war. The German soldiers had no choice. In the end it was a matter of survival- to kill or be killed. I am sure the average soldier, on either side, would prefer not to kill another human being. There will always be a few sadistic men who don't mind the killing. Thank God there are not too many of them in this world."
The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is still the best way to bring peace on earth!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Terrorist Groups in ChurchLatest news reports are that five terrorist cell groups have been
operating in many of our churches. They have been identified as:
Bin Sleepin,
Bin Arguin,
Bin Fightin,
Bin Complainin,
and Bin Missin.
Their leader, Lucifer Bin Workin, trained these groups to destroy the
body of Christ. The plan is to come into the church disguised as Christians and
to work within the church to discourage, disrupt, and destroy. However, there
have been reports of a sixth group.
A tiny cell known by the name Bin Prayin is actually the only
effective counter terrorism force in the church. Unlike the other terrorist
cells the Bib Prayin team does not blend in with whoever and whatever comes
along. Bin Prayin does whatever is needed to uplift and encourage the Body of
Christ. We have noticed that the Bin Prayin cell group has different
characteristics from the others. They have Bin Watchin, Bin Fastin, and Bin
Longin for their Master Jesus Christ to return. No church is exempt. However you
can spot them if you bin lookin and bin goin.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Conveniences or Inconveniences
In January we helped cook for a 60-person mission group in Mexico. There we felt like we were very blessed to have hot water and a second refrigerator.

By contrast, last week I helped wash dishes for a Bible Quiz group of 200 in Lancaster County where the smaller kitchen was fully equipped with walk-in coolers, commercial dish washer, large grill and lots more. The conveniences were amazing! They also fed about 300 quizzers and coaches in the main kitchen. Much of the food was convenient: pre-scrambled eggs, frozen french fries, pre-breaded chicken breast pieces and such like. What a contrast! Apostle Paul once said, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am, there with to be content....both to abound and to suffer need." What lessons does He want me to learn? Can I learn contentment in whatever state/country I am called to serve and simply enjoy the people around me regardless if there is little or much?

Takers and Givers
Jesus said, "Freely ye have received, freely give."
Does He want me to learn humility and gratitude by receiving graciously sometimes
at other times to experience the joy and blessings of giving?
The same person can be a taker AND a giver!
Lead or Follow
Apostle Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ."
recently I read a line something like this:
"A good leader needs, first of all, be a good follower."
We all have someone in authority over us-
the employee has an employer,
the employer has a banker or inspector,
the banker or inspector has a supervisor
and so on-
no person is in charge in every situation-
and we all answer to God- regardless what our calling or position.
Can I humbly lead or follow depending on the level of my responsibility?
Old friends and New friends
Last week there was a mixture of both new and old friends whose paths crossed with mine.
At the Quiz retreat I met some old friends that we rarely see anymore. One friend said, "I thought we might be in heaven before we get a chance to catch up with each other again." I love meeting old friends! You an always pick up where you left off, and connect again.
But then, by contrast, we received two bulky packages in the mail last week. The first one came from an interesting young woman we met last fall at the Anabaptist conference near Lititz, PA. She lives in the Czech Republic and is writing a thesis on Anabaptism for her TH.d. We had exchanged addresses and emails last fall. She wrote asking more questions about the Anabaptist faith from our perspective. I look forward to an ongoing relationship with Klara.
Another day we received a letter and calendar from a middle-aged couple, Jonas and Greta, who live in Iceland. We met them at a church service near Mifflinburg where they had stopped in for a break in their travels through PA. We made their acquaintance and also exchanged addresses. Isn't it amazing how an envelope in the mail can make your day when it brings a connection to a new friend?
There are lots more contrasts in life. How can we be bored? We never know if the next bend will bring sunshine or shadow, but if God is with us, we can be content.

2012 Bible Quiz

This is my sister Carol's Terre Hill Corners Sr. Quiz team
Our son-in-law Jason's Maranatha Jr. Quiz team includes our grandson, Cody (front left)
A great team!

2012 Shade Valley Messengers Sr. Quiz team includes our grandson, Ben on right.
They received a second place trophy in the B division! Their last quiz was fun to watch- they missed 1st place by one question! This is Ben's last year. He also received the all-star award.

Our grandson, Konrad (right) was part of the Shade Valley Stedfast Sr.Quiz team.
They won a 1st place trophy in A division.
Lots of hard work went into preparation!

Betsy & Kara, our granddaughters (on right- front & back) were part of
the Shade Valley Sisters Jr. Quiz team. They did very well this year- but did not get a trophy. But anyone who did not get a trophy is still a winner to have that much of the Word in their head- and hopefully in the heart too!
My brother-in-law, Peter coached a Sr. team from Shalom Christian School. I did not get a good photo of their team though. They made it into the semi-finals on Friday-
so they also did very well!
Last evening I read that revival has come to cultures when people (literate or illiterate) memorized large portions of Scripture. May the contribution these young people make to our churches and the world be a blessing and bring revival to the true evangelical faith!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


We watched a grandson play soccer and basketball in CA in January. Then more recently we watched five of our grandchildren participating in the Bible Quizzing at Lancaster, PA. In every instance, there was "time-out" for the teams part way through the activity. And I'm thinking...

We attended the morning service at our church today. And I was comparing it to a "time-out" in the competition of life. We are also confronted with the strategy of an opposing team- one that wants to beat us into the dirt with no mercy. But on a regular basis I need that "time-out" to confer with the Coach and my teammates. I am not smart enough to do life on my own. I need the wisdom and encouragement of the Coach and my team mates to help me be prepared for the next round. I may not be the most gifted player on the team. But I know if I stay on His team, our team wins in the end!

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 trip west

January 1, 2012
Marvin and I were ready to head the the west coast.
The van was loaded to the gills with 41 Christmas bundles for the Shining Light Children's Home, 54 personal care packages for the old folk's home in Tijuana, food for the crew and our luggage.
Our first stop was to worship at Lanes Run Mennonite Church. Our nephew Joel Burkholder preached the sermon. We had lunch at (nephew) Vincent & Marcella Burkholder's home along with Joel & Bonnie & family.
The next day we visited the Creation Museum at Petersburg, KY. So refreshing to visit a museum that exalts the infallible Word of God.
Our next stop on Tuesday, January 3 was a visit with my cousin Anna (Martin) & Vernon Weaver at Bluford, Illinois.
We traveled southwest from there to the Gateway Arch at St. Louis, MO. Rode the elevator to the top and toured the museum. Interesting!
We arrived at the home of our friends, Ed & Grace Reiff (below) at Fortuna, MO in the afternoon of Jan. 4th.
Such a warm welcome- in more ways than one!
On Thursday, January 5th, we arrived in the Rich Hill, MO community where six children of Paul & Elizabeth Brubaker live. This group does not use engines. In the photo below you can see the horse on treadmill that powers the washing machine.
We continued our southwest trek and arrived at Dallas,TX on Saturday, Jan. 7th. Our friends, Harry & Laverne Erb met us and hosted our tour of the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas. This place honors slain John F. Kennedy. You can hear Walter Cronkite's voice - a replaying of the stunning news cast that people our age remember hearing on November 22, 1963.
We went to church with harry & Laverne at Grays Prairie on Sunday morning, then pushed our covered wagon westward again by mid-afternoon.
Expect the unexpected! We got into snow between Big Spring, TX and El Paso, TX on Monday January 9th. Thank God for safety in treacherous travel! Oil wells, desert scrub and all are snow covered!
By 7 PM we were experiencing a different climate! We arrived at the home of my cousin, Sylvia Hasbrock and her son Jim. We had a most delicious supper at her daughter Julie's house where we were introduced to most of her children and grandchildren. So good to visit with all of them again!

On Tuesday, January 10, we headed due west. In southern CA we passed through the Sand Dune Recreational Park. The landscape here is volatile- always changing with the wind direction.
We arrived at Jonathan & Angelica's house by 7 PM- one hour later than our schedule. Thank God for safe travel every mile- 3053.4 miles since we drove out our lane! We stayed here until Friday, Jan 13th. Meanwhile the van was transferred to the Orphans for Jesus ministry, we bought groceries, picked up Karen, Leroy & Romaine who planned to help with the project in MX, and visited with our son and family.
After spending nearly $800 for groceries at Super Walmart, we crossed into MX. We arrived at Rancho Ojai about 10 AM on January 13th. The rest of the day was spent getting organized for our cooking job for the Orphans for Jesus crew.
This is the cook crew! We had excellent help! My sister & husband, and our niece and her future fiance' Jesse & Rachel were great!
And this is the crew we fed morning, noon and night for ten days!
What a group of dedicated young people! They had a mind to work, but knew how to have fun too!
This is the inside of the dining which is located about 1/2 mile from the kitchen. That meant all our food and utensils needed to be transported before and after each meal. But it works!
On Tuesday and Thursday, the cooks did the laundry for the crew. A lot of girls did their own laundry. But we had 46 pair of jeans- can you see the stack under the table? We hung jeans and towels on the rail fence to dry. Colorful scene!

We visited the Shining Light Children's Home more than once. I was surprised and delighted to met Rocio- a 19 year old girl who calls me "Grandma" ever since she lived with Jonathan & Angelica soon after the children's home was established.
And this is Micaela- one of the girls that won my heart. This dress was in the Christmas bundle we prepared for her.
After the Orphans for Jesus week was completed, Leroy & Romaine, Marvin & I did some touristy things in CA. We visited the Creation Museum in Santee, CA and Old Town San Diego. It could be described as the Southwest version of Williamsburg, VAIn the photo below you can see the old jail in San Diego! Not a luxury hotel!
My sister is known to inhabit court houses. Here she even found one in Old Town San Diego!
We found our way to San Diego Zoo on Friday, January 27. Both Jonathans stayed home from work and school for the day. See Jonathan and Angelica posing with the polar bear statues.
Eli and Jonathan pose with the gorilla statue- don't worry , we did see lots of real animals too!
This is Gao Gao the Bamboo eating machine!
Two Jonathan stuck in a fake iceberg!
The real polar bear posing for us!

And no trip to the west is complete without a trip to the beach to watch the sunset over the ocean! I love the ocean and sunsets- the combination is described in two hymns "The love of God- could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made. Were every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade? To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry, nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky! O love of rich and pure , how measureless and strong! It shall forever more endure, the saints and angels song!
#2- Beyond the Sunset- O blissful morning! When with our Savior heaven is begun! One day we will slip beyond the sunset where we will no longer been seen on earth- but be more alive than ever in the presence of the SON!
We left the van behind in CA and flew home on January 30th. Good to be home and unpack. Thank You , Lord, for helping us fulfill our dream of driving to the west - one more time!