a special weekend

You know how I mentioned that we missed Redbud’s birth because we were on a trip? Well, this was where we were. 

My dad arranged and funded a getaway weekend in Pennsylvania for the whole family.

This sort of thing is NOT something my parents do — EVER — which made it all the more special, and it just so happened that the weekend that suited everyone was my dad’s birthday weekend so: double special. 

I was in charge of food, which, with my brothers’ help and Dad’s funding, was pretty low-key and easy. The place had a mammoth kitchen with three (three!) sinks, and was fully stocked with all the basics and then some.

the Indian feast that my younger brother ordered in: SWOON

randomly at breakfast: all of my kids in chronological order

This was an action weekend, not a rest-and-relax weekend; in other words, my dad had An Agenda.

Saturday morning, we toured Crystal Cave, and late afternoon we toured the Nicholas Stoltzfus Homestead (the restored home of Nicholas and Anna Stoltzfus, the ancestors that all Stoltzfuses in the US can trace their heritage back to), and in between those two things, we went to Body World, an exhibit of human bodies that have been dissected and then preserved through Plastination. (Years ago, he’d gone to a exhibit, and ever since, he said that when an exhibit came close to us, he was going to take us.)

the snake inside us

the nervous system

only (ONLY!) the main arterial branches

This particular show was an RX exhibit, so along with the regular, healthy bodies, there was a focus on injuries and illness: smoker’s lung, metal plates on bone, hip replacements, aortic dissection, swollen hearts, etc. 

It was wild to see the actual parts of the body that I feel and experience daily: the hamstring, the sciatic nerve, the achy shoulder muscles, the clitoris, the achilles tendon. I did a lot of standing and staring, trying to piece together what I was seeing with what was inside my body. 

If you ever get a chance to go to one of these exhibits, I highly recommend. It’s awesome, in the literal sense of the word.

Sunday morning we messed around at the house, making eggs and bagels, cleaning up, and then taking advantage of the cavernous living room’s acoustics. Here’s a snippet of us monkeying around, if you want to hear…

Sunday noon, the majority of us stopped in at my grandparents’ house on our way back home. We don’t get to see my grandparents that often, and my grandfather’s health is rapidly declining, so it was super special to get to visit with him and Grandma. 

entering my daughter-in-law’s information into the geneology database

horsewomen: three generations
(My daughter got to hear the story of how her Great Grandmother got kicked in the face.)

It was such a special weekend.

This same time, years previous: six fun things, how we homeschool: Jane, the quotidian (3.30.20), Asian slaw, the art of human rights, the quotidian (3.31.14), Good Friday fun, braided bread, great cooking.


  • Beth

    You were in my neck of the woods! We love crystal cave – kind of cheesy but so cool (literally, a great outing on a hot summer day!)

  • Karen

    Utterly beautiful! You have a spectacular family. This is probably a dumb question, but I can’t remember ever seeing this in your blog: What is your DIL’s name?
    Another dumb question: where did I see the video of Redbud’s birth? I can’t find it again. LOL

      • Karen

        Thanks, I knew that about names, but I just couldn’t find/figure out where it was.
        Same with the birth video; it was probably emma or daisy.
        I read your blog consistently because I adore your writing style and your most excellent photos. And all the family insights and stories.
        I don’t remember how or when I came to your blog, but I have gone through the archives and tried to read everything you have written. Many times I find myself going to things I have already read; and sometimes (Bonus!) I find somethng I have never seen before.
        Regardless, I just really like your style and posts.
        PS: this time, instead of deleting it, I left the link to MY former blog. I don’t post to it anymore, but thought maybe you would like to see it LOL, or not.

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