Monday, June 30, 2008

Florida

Jeff has been talking about going back to Florida to the Florida Outpouring (where we went in May). He said he would like to go just the two of us, and have Evie stay with family or friends. I would love to go back to Florida. I have never really been away from Evie much at all though. That probably sounds really bad to some people. I have had a whole lot of people tell me it is unhealthy to never be away from your kids. I never left her overnight until she was 2 years old. Jeff and I have left her overnight with family three times total in all of her 6 1/2 years. Once was our anniversary, and we went to a town about 30 minutes from our house. The other time was also our anniversary, and we stayed in the same town we lived in and had family watch Evie. The last time we left her overnight was about 3 years ago. We went about 2 hours away with the youth group teens to Acquire the Fire, so I was away from her for a night and a day. Other than that, I haven't really been away from her. When she was little, I really wanted to have some time away to recharge, but we didn't really have a chance to because we lived far from family and didn't know people in our town well enough to leave her with anyone. I went from wanting to have time away, to not really knowing how to be away from her because I was with her all the time. I know that it would probably be really good for me to take a trip alone with Jeff. It would be a huge step for me.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Curly Hair Vs. Straight Hair


Today I tried something I haven't done in a very long while. I decided to stop fighting my wavy/curly hair. I have always wanted it to be straight, and have never really been able to figure my hair out. I recently started visiting a naturally curly hair website, and started to learn a lot about how to enhance curls. When I was younger and my hair was shorter, my hair had a lot of curls. I remember being at camp back when the short and feathered in the front and long and curly in the back hair was popular. I just described a glorified mullet didn't I. Oh well, I guess I am showing my age. Anyways, I remember these super popular girls at camp had perms, and were scrunching their curls in the back. I started doing that with my unpermed hair, and got the same looking curls. My dad has super wavy hair, and it would curl if he grew it long enough. My grandpa (my dad's dad) had ringlets when his hair was longer, so I know where I get it from! I have fought so much with not wanting it curly/wavy since growing long. I wanted it to be silky smooth. I realized that probably isn't going to happen unless I use a flat iron, which would fry my hair so I don't want to do that. So this morning after I washed my hair, I actually scrunched my hair to bring out the waves. I put some aloe vera gel on it to tame the frizzies. I added a spray on gel that was silicone free that I found at the store yesterday that enhances curls. I was amazed at how my hair looked. The picture is how it looked today. The ends look uneven, but it is just because the ends keep curling. The wave really came out, and the frizz wasn't there. So I guess I am going to embrace my curls instead of fight with them. Wow, what a new concept for me!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Garden

My garden has really been going to town lately with all the recent rain we have had. My Clematis and other flowers have really started to bloom, and it looks so pretty. I love flowers. I think it is so amazing how God gave us so many beautiful things to look at.
My vegetable garden is also growing nicely, but I didn't take a picture of that. My zucchini is flowering, so I should have some zucchini to pick soon. I want to freeze a lot of it this year, to have for zucchini pancakes (our family favorite), stir fry's, breads and muffins. I hope I get a bumper crop this year! My tomatoes and peppers are doing well, and have little buds on them.
We bought a fountain not too long ago for the flower bed, and I love it. I had always wanted one because I love the sound of the water. This is actually the second fountain we bought. The first one was the exact same, but the pump went out. Jeff went back to get another one, and noticed that the display model of it wasn't working very well either! We loved the fountain, so we got the same one. Within a day, this one stopped working too. Jeff said they put really wimpy pumps in it, so he just went out and bought a new pump that was stronger. It works great now! My handy hubby :). The flower bed is almost finished where the fountain is. Jeff has the fountain temporarily wired with an extension cord, but is going to permanently wire it when he gets a chance.
We recently drained the hot tub so that we could get rid of all the bromine in it. Evie had such a horrible bromine allergy (bromine is very similar to chlorine) that she couldn't go in the hot tub at all. In the summer she loves to swim in it every day, so we needed to find a solution that would work. We found a natural copper that people use for hot tubs, and so far it has been great. No yucky chemical smell, and no rashes on Evie. You can tell by her face how much she loves it :).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Diet and Exercise


I have been trying to get back into shape and eat healthier these past few weeks. It is so easy to fall back into not exercising or eating right. When I was younger, I was an exercise fanatic. I used to jog every day, and I would go to the gym and work out for 2 hours 3 days a week. Plus I was a cheerleader, and was in volleyball, so I was always in shape. I still exercised a lot when I first got married, but slowly got to the point where I wasn't consistent at all. When Evie was born, exercise pretty much went out the window. All I wanted to do in my free time (like I had a lot of that!) was SLEEP. I knew I was in really bad shape when Jeff and I went for a leisurely walk around the block a few months ago, and I was super winded. I figured it was time for a change. Normally I am a pretty healthy eater, but I have lately started eating junk food again. I always feel gross when I eat junk food, but for some reason I started eating it. So I am trying now to resolve to eat healthy again. As for exercise, I know it is a stress reliever, and helps me with energy, so I know I need to do it! I started out with this walking program called Walk Away The Pounds. It is a video, and Leslie Sansone, the woman in the video does a 1 mile, 2 mile, 3 mile or 4 mile walk. I started with the 1 mile and thought it would be a complete breeze for me. Imagine my surprise when I was panting like a dog after I got done and was super tired! Boy, was I out of shape. I slowly worked my way up to the 2 mile. Then boredom set in. There is just something SO boring about watching the same woman smile and chipperly say, "Okay, knee lifts!" every single day. We have an elliptical machine in the basement, but our basement was under construction so the elliptical was under piles of stuff. Jeff decided he wanted to get into shape too, so a few weeks ago he finished the rest of the work down there and set up our exercise room. We have a tv and dvd player in there, so no excuses for boredom. I started on the elliptical this week, and did it for 25 minutes on both Monday and Tuesday. I was winded (and wobbly!), but I felt much stronger than when I first exercised. Now I just need to keep up with it!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Productive Day

It has been such beautiful weather these past few weeks. Very cool compared to a typical June. It has been in the low 70's for the past several weeks, and I love it! I can have windows open and enjoy the weather. Evie and I have been taking lots of walks during the day. Today God gave me a serious burst of energy! I got so much done today. I love those kind of days :). I am still homeschooling Evie 1-2 days a week during the summer so she won't forget all she has learned. I took several weeks off, and I was shocked at how much she forgot. I didn't want to have to start all over in the fall, so I figured 1-2 days a week would be a great way to keep things fresh in her mind. Today we homeschooled for about an hour (that is usually all it takes), we walked the dog, I did 5 loads of laundry and folded them all, I played with Evie twice, I exercised on the elliptical machine, I weeded my flower beds and I just made a yummy quiche for dinner! I hope I have another day like this tomorrow :).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Sweet Husband

Jeff took the red-eye flight from California, and got home at 9:00 this morning. It is so good to have him home! He was gone all week in Wisconsin and California, and so he is pretty tired. He is sleeping now. He brought Evie and I gifts from California. He bought Evie a snow globe with the Golden Gate bridge in it. She has been wanting a snow globe, so she was so excited. I was super excited when I saw what he got me. We don't live anywhere near a Trader Joes, and I had been reading on my favorite long hair site all about how great their conditioners were. I kept asking Jeff to stop at a Trader Joes if he ever saw one when he traveled. He ended up getting me a bag full of different conditioners from Trader Joes, and I was so excited. He sure knows the way to my heart! LOL! Most women want jewelry and clothes. I want conditioner :). I can't wait to try them. My hubby is so thoughtful. I am so glad he is home!

I started making homemade bread again. We keep buying organic bread from the grocery store, and it is so pricey. I have been trying to make more foods at home to save money, and this is one easy way. We have a huge pail of organic wheat berries that Jeff's parents gave us, so I started grinding the berries into flour. Evie and I have started eating some food with gluten in it lately, and so far it hasn't seemed to bother us. Praise the Lord for that! Every time I would tell Evie she couldn't eat a certain food because of possible allergies, she would put her little hands on her hips and say, "Mommy, I'm healed in Jesus name!" Well, I can't really argue with that! The bread baking makes the house smell SO good. Yesterday my loaf turned out great. It was such a pretty loaf (can you say that about bread?), so I took a picture of it! It was almost too pretty to eat, but the smell was so good that we had to eat it. It is YUMMY.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dressing Up Pets

Evie has this thing about dressing up our pets. She just loves to do it, and amazingly Sierra doesn't seem to mind at all. Dolly is less than thrilled with it, but she allows her to put frilly hats on her once in awhile. Sierra on the other hand will walk around with the outfit on for the whole day unless I take it off! Today she was dressed up looking like she was ready for afternoon tea :). She wore the outfit, including the hat while she chewed on her bone. I could not stop laughing. Evie really takes after me in this area, and I didn't even teach her! When I was a kid, I used to dress up our animals in frilly outfits. When I was growing up, I had a dog named Andy that was a miniature schnauzer. I used to dress him in a frilly tutu and tights. The poor dog. I probably gave him a complex. He also wore this satin red jacket that made him look like he belonged on a motorcycle. I have just had this thing with dressing up our pets, and it seems like I have always had animals that didn't seem to mind too much. Way before Evie was born, when Dolly was our "baby", I went to a look at garage sales for some baby clothes. I found this mint green onesie shirt, and ended up having Dolly try it on. Of course it needed an accessory, thus the scrunchie came out. Poor Dolly. She looks thrilled doesn't she? She just laid there though and actually relaxed while I did it. What a compliant cat. She was only a few years old then. Now she is too old, and I wouldn't want to do that to her! So alas, my daughter's desire to dress up our pets comes from me.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some Humor For Today

My sister sent this to me, and I thought I would share it. I have this on dvd, so I have seen it, but it always cracks me up. This video is only about a minute long.

http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=2c8d6d5f61d0ddb88acd

Jeff has been gone on business all week. I really miss him. It has been such a beautiful week though. Evie and I have spent some time at Jeff's mom and dad's, and some time at home. My garden is coming up nicely. My zucchini plants are blooming, and my pepper plants and tomatoes are growing. I am going to pick lettuce for the first time today, so I'm excited about that. My cilantro and swiss chard are ready too.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cooler Weather

It was such a beautiful day today. It only got up to around 75 degrees today, and not a cloud in the sky. Tonight it is actually a bit chilly, especially for June. We had a really nice weekend. It was supposed to rain all weekend, but it ended up being beautiful. I went Saturday with Jeff's Mom to a ladies luncheon at a bed and breakfast in our area. The luncheon was with 20 ladies from our church, and I had such a great time. We had scones and bread with the delicious lemon sauce, and tea. The people at the bed and breakfast had this water that was so refreshing. They took a carafe and filled it with water, a chunk of English cucumber, a few slices of lemons, a few slices of oranges, and a sprig of cilantro. They put it in the fridge overnight and then served it. It was so good! I am going to have to try that. The food was so good. We had salad with edible flowers in it, strawberries, and sliced almonds. We also had little sandwiches. They brought out egg salad sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, and orange marmalade sandwiches. I made a mental note of how the sandwiches were made. I thought it would be fun for Evie and I to have a tea like that with little sandwiches. After the sandwiches came the desserts. Oh my, they were so good. By the time we got done, you practically had to roll me out of there! We had a wonderful time of fellowship, and we were able to get to know a lot more ladies from church.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mrs. Fix-It

I have been trying to help Jeff around the house. He is so busy with work that a lot of times he doesn't have time to work on projects at home. I have started to learn on my own how to do some home improvement projects. We recently bought some new curtain rods for the living room, and I wanted Jeff to put them up. He didn't have time, and I wanted to help, so I did it myself yesterday. I drilled new holes, put the rods up and made sure they were level, patched the drywall where the old holes were, and painted over the patched drywall. I put two rods up. They turned out really well! I also patched the drywall in a few spots in the house that needed fixing, sanded the spots and then painted. It was a productive day!










When Jeff came home from work, he brought 4 flats of strawberries that he had picked up from his mom's. She got them from a roadside stand. She and I wanted to buy strawberries together, and so I called around and dickered with people to get a good price. We have learned that if you go to a u-pick place (or roadside stand) that sells already picked stuff, you can get the prices down if you buy a lot of fruit. Between the two of us we bought almost 100 pounds. We buy blueberries every year already picked, and we buy 120 pounds and split it with Jeff's parents. They give us such a discount that it is almost the same price per pound as u-pick, without any work :). Last night Jeff and I cut the tops off the strawberries and froze them. 30 packages in all. We kept a few out for eating, and I think I am going to buy some more. They were yummy!







On a hair-related note, the urge to cut my hair is lessening. The tangles have been bad for some reason, so I think that has added to the hair cutting urges. I tried a new updo the other day. I got it from my friend April's blog (thanks April!). It is called a Flippy Updo, and it is fun and easy to do.




Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hair Cutting Urges

For my non-long hair readers, sorry if these long hair posts are a tad boring. If you are a woman, you will relate to this even if you don't have long hair! I'm having one of those blah hair weeks where I am really tempted to cut my hair shorter. I think I am looking at way too many hair magazines or something. This happens often in the summer because it is hot, and also because I feel this need for hipness (is that a word?) or something. I have been trying to do more with it, so that I feel better about it. I have been putting it in rollers a lot at night, and found a new way of doing it that I like. I twist my hair before putting it on these wrap, snap and go rollers I have, so it gives the hair more of a soft wave than a curl (a bit like April's bee-butt curls). The picture to the left is how it looked after I did that. Sierra just loves to be in pictures, can you tell? LOL! You can't tell by the picture, but my hair matches her super closely. Nothing like having the same hair color as your dog :). Anyways...I'm not running to the salon or grabbing my scissors. I've learned not to do that. Usually I end up seriously regretting it after I cut it, so I don't want to make that same mistake. It is tempting though.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

House Full of Girls


Last night we had some friends over for dinner, and they brought their 5 girls. Their girls are ages 2-6. How is that possible? They have one set of triplets :). The triplets are identical, so it is crazy trying to tell them apart. Even their mom and dad got them confused last night. Evie just calls them "the girls". Evie had an absolute blast last night. When the girls went to leave, none of them wanted to go, so they kept hugging and saying how they missed Evie already. So cute! Then the girls went outside and tried to push the van out of the driveway. I guess they figured if the van was gone they wouldn't have to leave!




After they pushed the van, I asked them to pose for me. Check out the seriously dirty clothes and legs! They played hard outside, that is for sure! Evie was so tired that she went right to sleep. That doesn't happen too often :). It was a really fun night. We had a great time having their family over.

Friday, June 6, 2008

House and Blessings

Here is a picture of my plant shelf with the new stuff I bought. Also here is the new table runner and centerpiece, and the new wall sconces. Evie wanted to get into the picture too, although she looks like she is sulking in this picture :).














Here is a picture of Evie that I took recently. She just looked WAY too grown up in this outfit, and I had to take a picture of her. I still can't believe she is almost 7. Time goes by so fast.
On a side note, God really blessed us today. Our air conditioning stopped working last week, and it has been in the 90's. The heating and cooling guy came to look at it a few days ago, and charged us $220.00 just to tell us that we needed a new furnace and air conditioning unit (he quoted a hefty $9000 price tag). When he left, we were really trying not to stress and just trust God. Jeff turned the a/c on that day, and it worked enough to cool the house down to 78. It has been barely keeping up, but it has worked enough these past few days to keep us from roasting. Jeff figured out after cleaning it that the unit just needed freon/coolant in it. He looked at our bill from the heating and cooling guy, and saw that they charged us a diagnostic cost, but also charged us big time for "service". The guy didn't do any service at all. Jeff called them today and complained that we were charged for service, and they didn't service anything, they just did diagnostic testing. They ended up coming back tonight and put freon in the unit free of charge. Now our house is nice and cool, and the unit is working fine! So we feel blessed that we don't have to try and come up with a hefty sum of money for a new furnace and a/c!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Today is Jeff's 37th birthday. I have known him now for 19 years of my life. When I met him my senior year of high school, I never thought I would have the privilege of being married to such a wonderful man. We didn't know each other very well then, and we were dating other people. I found this picture not too long ago, and it is from our senior year. Interesting that we had a picture taken together of us, considering we didn't know each other very well :).

We have had a very blessed, adventurous life together, and I am so thankful for that. We have lived in 3 states, moved at least 6 times, lived in a camper in the middle of winter in the mountains of South Dakota, endured some major trials, and adopted a child together. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband, and see my husband be such a wonderful father. I hope you have a very happy birthday Jeff! I love you more and more each day!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Last Night

Last night as Jeff and I sat watching Hillary Clinton give her speech after Barack Obama won the democratic nomination, I just sat there wishing she had won instead of him. I am not a Hillary fan by any means, but I would have definitely wanted her to win over Obama. Senator Obama has been labeled the most liberal senator ever. Even more liberal than Ted Kennedy. I have a lot of issues with this man. The following article is one of the issues I have with him. Here is a statement made by the Washington Times. You can click on the link underlined to read the whole article...

While in the Illinois state Senate, Mr. Obama voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. This Act addressed cases where, during an abortion procedure, the live infant was actually born. The act would have banned killing the living child." -Washington Times

The Born Alive Infants Procection Act protects babies born alive after an abortion, and also protects them from partial birth abortions. Many states have this law and it states all live-born babies were guaranteed the same constitutional right to equal protection, whether or not they were wanted. A nurse in Illionis discovered the unspeakable. "As a nurse at an Illinois hospital in 1999, I discovered babies were being aborted alive and shelved to die in soiled utility rooms. I discovered infanticide. " The bill for protection of infants passed the Illinois legs, but Obama voted against it! " Obama had been the sole senator speaking against Born Alive on the Senate floor in 2001 and 2002 and had single-handedly killed it in a committee he chaired in 2003. In February 2004, Barack Obama's wife, Michelle, sent a fund-raising letter with the "alarming news" that "right-wing politicians" had passed a law stopping doctors from stabbing half-born babies in the neck with scissors, suctioning out their brains and crushing their skulls (this is what they do during partial birth abortions). Michelle called partial-birth abortion "a legitimate medical procedure". Even Senators Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry saw that a baby born alive was a living being, and they voted for the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. Obama was the only U.S. Senator who voted against it. That is beyond horrible to me. How can someone who claims to be a humanitarian have these kind of views?

Senator Obama recently said after speculating if one of his daughters became pregnant that, “…if they made a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” Punished? He views a child as punishment? Of course he never mentions adoption, just abortion as the only alternative. As the mother of an adopted daughter, his comment is extremely upsetting. If Evie's birthmom had taken his stance, my daughter would just be another abortion statistic. I look at the beautiful face of my daughter and am so thankful that her birthmom chose life for her. I just pray for this country. I pray that Barack Obama would change his views on this. If he becomes president, the "change" he will bring about is not what I would consider to be good change. Children like Evie will not see the light of day and get a chance at life if our country adopts his views.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

An Unorganized Day

I was so unorganized today. It was one of those days where I just didn't seem to get anything done. I'm not sure if it was the weather or what. It rained almost all day today. I hope I am more organized tomorrow! I'm so thankful that God gives us a brand new day each day.

This past weekend we went shopping, and I bought a bunch of stuff for the house. We bought a table runner for the dining room table, and a centerpiece. We also bought some square baskets and a decorative candle for the plant shelf. I love how it looks! I am so glad we are getting away from the rustic theme. I am really happy with how the house is looking. I will have to post a picture soon.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Updo Instructions

I haven't posted a hair-related post in awhile. This is for all of my online long hair friends :). I recently trimmed my hair about 1 1/2 inches. I had more of a U shape, and wanted to have a blunt cut. I started trimming every few months into the U, and with this last trim I was able to get rid of the U. I am just above tailbone length right now. I like this length. I'm not sure I want to go much longer. If I go longer, I won't be able to wear it down very much. I had trimmed it right before Memorial Day, so the pictures from that day are what my length is now.


I wanted to post a video of an updo that I do often for my friend April. It is my messy, in a hurry updo that I wear a lot. I hope the video instructions are clear enough. It is definitely not the most flattering video of me. We had just spent the late afternoon at the park hiking the trails, so I wasn't exactly looking all glamorous :). I had to laugh at all the baby hairs growing out at the back of my neck. They used to be about an inch long, and now they are about 10 inches long! Not sure what to do with those crazy little hairs! They seem to look worse in the video than in real life. Oh well.

video