Sunday, June 4, 2017

Welcome Summer!

Our trip was moved up which made for some last-minute scrambling but we had a wonderful weekend...full of fun, family time.


Pennsylvania, that is. DH was our last-minute guy...he ended up with a presentation on Friday in the Greater Lehigh Valley so off we went on Thursday night, ending up in Bethlehem. I've never been there and I have to say, dragging five kids around with me, it wasn't the friendliest place I've visited. Still, there were some nice moments...

Moravians, Books, and Sculpture
While DH was in his meeting, we ended up walking through the historic part of town (the Moravians landed here in the early 1740's seeking religious freedom). Just down the street from the settlement is Moravian College, a present-day undergraduate institution which was started as a girls' school in 1742 by 16-year-old Countess Benigna von Zinzendorf.

Just across from the settlement was a sweet little library which housed, on the second floor, a newly rehabbed children's area...the perfect place for us to hang out while dad finished his meeting.

Outside the library, a short walk from the neat sculpture above, was a block from the wreckage of the Trade Center on 9/11. Read below for an just never know where you are going to find these cool bits of history/art.

Baseball, Bacon and a few Ghosts
After dropping DH back at the hotel to do his work, we went out into the beautiful day to explore two pretty cool places...first, a baseball stadium!
Coca Cola park is home to the Iron Pigs, a Phillies AAA team
Being the Iron Pigs, they are serious about all things porcine. In fact, the nickname for this place is Bacon City!

Not quite as large as the Louisville one ;0)
Moving on to the more serious side of things...we decided to check out the church in town. The name? Holy Ghost Catholic Church. Two days before Pentecost seemed a perfect time for a Holy Spirit mini-retreat and when do you ever hear Holy Ghost anymore? Old School!

Go figure, this is the only place all day that we were not only greeted warmly but also told to take our time and enjoy....ahem.
I love when they have all the Saints in Heaven. It is such a beautiful image.

still learning how to take pano but still a beautiful church

They had a lovely display set up on the Marian altar for Fatima's anniversary.

Perfect place to light a candle!
We did take our time and we did enjoy the quiet of God's house. I am so grateful when we are able to visit random churches during the day. I'm sure the time is coming when this may not be as simple to take for granted as it is right now.

After picking up DH and checking out of the hotel, there was time enough for one more stop and a bit of PA history. The site of Bethlehem Steel, once the second largest steel manufacturer in the US, has been rehabbed into a concert/arts venue. The backdrop of the concert venue is framed by the once majestic factory, still standing. It was great to show the kids what Pittsburgh looked like a few decades ago!
The Ghost of Bethlehem Steel

Saturday was a new day and a new city...up early because there was much to accomplish!

Malvern: Rain, Running and Nuns!

If you've been reading along, you know I enjoy a 5k now and then. Not to compete, although it's fun to see your time improve (or not in my case), but mostly to support a cause. I decided a while back that I would stick to Catholic causes when I chose to pay my entry fee. How blessed I was that this year that the entire clan joined me for the IHS Nun Run!
The night before the run we picked up our packets and the sisters gifted each of our girls with a pocket mirror. This is my kind of marketing!

Modeling the shirts...with Sister, brought for a good night's sleep
Saturday AM in the car waiting for the rain to stop before the race..movies are good to pass the time.

Ready to run!

The boys did well but the females in the crowd held their own :0)

So funny...the first steep hill.
What a wonderful run/jog/walk we had! Surrounded by statues of Saints, Jesus and Our Lady, even a rainy day passed quickly.
The funds went to Camilla Hall, home of the retired nuns. They were all out with signs and noisemakers when we went past. It was beautiful

So grateful to give our kids the opportunity to witness these wonderful women who have given their lives to the Church

C said she was dancing to the Sisters' beat...yes, I was walking off and on at this point. My fault...three days of "training" isn't quite enough - a runner I am not.

One of the sweet young sisters...luckily we didn't need her services ;0)

The signs were priceless. One said "Praise the Lord, you've finished two miles!"
When the older boys, the girls and I had finished, we turned back down the course to find our lost teammates. They weren't lost of course. When you have short legs, you can only walk/jog so fast. They did wonderfully...we picked them up, still moving along, at mile 3.
Alpha and Omega ;0)

The balloon made everything better

We all made it! And the sun came out!
It was a beautiful day, topped off with a visit to our very favorite (great) uncle.
We are blessed.

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