Thursday, September 25, 2008

Engagement anniversary

Today Jeff and I are celebrating our 15th engagement anniversary. It is an absolutely beautiful day today, very different than the day we got engaged. It was pouring down rain that day! We have a very funny engagement story, and it isn't one I have told too many people. The night before we got engaged, Jeff and I went to a party with a church group. We were fairly new to the church, and everyone kept asking us that night if we were engaged. Jeff and I had been going out for about 2 years at this point. I kept telling everyone that we weren't engaged, and by the end of the night I was thoroughly depressed, thinking we would never get engaged. The next day, Jeff came over to my house and was super cheery. I was still depressed. I got it in my mind that we were just going to date forever, and that he wasn't going to ever ask me to marry him. He wanted to take me to this new park, and I was not in the mood at all. It was pouring down rain, and I was just wanting to stay home. He insisted, so we went. We parked in this parking lot at this new park, and the rain was really coming down. I told Jeff I wanted to talk to him, and then I started crying. I told him that I thought we should break up because we were just going to date forever and not get married. He had the engagement ring in his sock at this point! You should have seen the look on his face as I was talking. He paled, and then said, "What??" Then he said, "Hold on a minute." Then he jumped out of the car. I thought, "Oh great, now he is leaving!" He got into the trunk and got something and came over to my side of the car. He handed me a huge box of roses, got down on one knee in the pouring rain and asked me to marry him! I think I said the words, "Oh my word" about 500 times. Obviously I said yes, and that was history, but it was a hilarious story. He still asks me what I think would have happened if he would have just said "okay" about breaking up, and not ever asked me to marry him. I'm really glad he didn't do that!

Over the weekend, we went back to the park we got engaged at. We hadn't been back there since the year we got engaged, and it had changed a lot. The trees that were tiny before were now really big! Evie took a picture of us reenacting the moment :). We both were laughing, so we look a little goofy in the picture. Then Evie wanted to take a picture of us kissing. I figured out that it is really hard to laugh and kiss at the same time! Evie did a good job though. If you look closely, you can see her reflection in the door of our car. She thought that was pretty cool. I am really thankful for having these 15+ years with my hubby. I have now known him for over half my life, since we met when I was 17, and I am now 36. I look forward to many, many more years together!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Horseback Riding Pics

We took Evie to horseback riding last night, and this time I brought my camera. I didn't have the speed set right on my camera, so the pictures turned out blurry :(. I guess I will have to try again next week. I figured I will post the few that I took that weren't too blurry.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Canning Grape Juice

We had a fun day yesterday. We went to an Apple Festival in a small town near us. Evie got to ride a few rides and eat some apples. They had several craft booths, but they were so jam packed with people that we didn't go look at anything. Afterwards we drove through the beautiful countryside. On our way home, we stopped at a road side stand and bought a bushel of McIntosh apples and a 1/2 bushel of Concord grapes. They both smelled so good. We came home and I started canning grape juice. I can it the old fashioned way, where you leave the grapes in the jar. I love canning it that way. It is so easy and fast. I canned 27 quarts in only 3 hours! They look so pretty don't they? Is it funny to say that about a canning jar? The longer the grapes sit, the darker the juice will be. I didn't sweeten the juice this time. I just put in grapes and water. Last time I made the juice, I put 1/2 cup of sugar in each jar. Now I think that if it needs sweetening, I will just add some stevia (which is a natural sweetener). Next on the list of things to make is applesauce!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Eight Random Things

My online friends Liliana, Jules and Kathryn did this on their blogs, and I thought it was super fun! So here goes....

8 Random things about myself:

1. I went to cosmetology school, and have a degree as a manicurist. I went to school for hair first, and made it halfway through, but hated that all they wanted to teach us was to chop, chop, chop! So I switched to manicuring.

2. I have tanned a deer hide. Two of them actually. I tanned the deer hide of the first deer Jeff ever got, and the second one. It was a ton of work, but turned out beautifully. And no, I didn't use the old Indian way of tanning...chewing on the hide.

3. I have lived in a camper in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the middle of winter. The actual temperature would get to -50 degrees. Jeff and I would wake up, and the sheets of our bed would be frozen to the wall, and we could see our breath. It was an experience! When we took showers at the campground (when our camper pipes froze), our hair would freeze on the way back to the camper.

4. I rescue spiders. I used to be petrified of them until we lived in the country. Then I got used to seeing spiders big enough to carry me off. Now when I see one, I will put it in a jar and take it outside.

5. I used to want to be a pro tennis player. Growing up, I lived across the street from a tennis court. I was obsessed with it as a kid.

6. I moved to Wyoming when I was 19 to be a nanny. I was a nanny from the time I was 19 until I was 27. I worked for several different families in different states.

7. I was almost a nanny for Papa John who owns Papa John's pizza chain here in the U.S. I was a nanny for twin baby boys at the time, and the guy who owns Papa John's was looking for a nanny for his kids. He found out about me through a mutual friend. He was very interested, and wanted me to be his kids' nanny. I turned the job down because I was too in love with the twins I was taking care of. Jeff still doesn't let me live that one down :).

8. I interned at a Christian radio station. I had planned on going to college for broadcasting, and wanted to work in Christian radio, but ended up changing my mind.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thoughts and ramblings

I have a bunch of thoughts rolling around in my head today. I really was enjoying blogging, and reading everyone's blogs. Now some blogs are becoming so negative that I can't even visit them. I thought blogging was supposed to be fun! I am realizing that life is too short to get stressed out about stuff I read online. Life is going to happen, regardless of what is written about on someone's blog. I can change things by prayer, and by taking action on things, but obsessing about issues isn't going to help make my life any better. I know that God is in control. He is not shocked off the throne by things that are happening. I am so thankful that He is my God. I'm so thankful for the gifts He gives us.

I think I have been getting riled up reading political blogs because of the abortion debate. In my mind, it should not be a debate. I have been pregnant and know that a baby has a beating heart in the womb at 5 1/2 weeks of age. I have seen my ultrasounds. I know that is not a blob of tissue. I just can't figure out why others don't seem to see it that way. How can someone who has felt life move in their womb, seen an ultrasound or ever held a newborn baby even think that life doesn't begin at conception? People talk about Pro Choice. Does that baby in the womb get a choice? I get so aggrevated that adoption is rarely even talked about as an option. At Planned Parenthood clinics, women are advised to abort or keep the baby. Adoption is not even a consideration in their minds. I have been thinking a lot about Evie's birthmother lately. What is crazy is that today I received a letter from the adoption agency where we adopted Evie, giving us some updated information about Evie's birthmom. That has only happened one other time in Evie's 6 years of life. I had been sending letters and pictures to the agency for them to send to her since Evie was born (this is customary in adoptions). We have what is called a semi-open adoption. The birthmom doesn't know our last names or where we live, but we send letters and pictures to the agency so they can send them to her. I had been concerned about her for quite some time because we had been sending stuff, and the agency said they had lost touch with her. She finally contacted them, and has had some personal problems, but is doing okay. All day yesterday, before I even got the letter, I had been thinking about her for some reason. Getting the letter today brought back all kinds of memories for me. I was thinking about the first time we met her, right before Evie was born. She was 8 months along, and was a beautiful and sweet person. She was tiny, except for the round belly. I think that many people have this idea that birthmom's really want to give their babies up for adoption, and that they don't really care about their babies. They don't realize what an agonizing decision it is for them. She was so emotional during our meeting, that Jeff and I almost didn't want to go through with it because we felt so sad for her. Her pain was raw, and it was real. On Mother's Day I always feel great sadness for her, as I'm sure it is a hard day for her. I am so grateful for the gift she gave us. Yesterday and today I was remembering the moment when Evie was placed in my arms at 2 days old. I don't think I have ever seen a more beautiful baby. She had tons of hair, and amazingly it was the exact same color as mine. God did that just for me :). I remember that first night with her, and Jeff and I kept turning on the light just to stare at her. A lot of it seems like a blur. Lack of sleep will do that to you! Thankfully I kept a diary during that time (and still do), so I will have those memories in writing.

I think adoption is one of the greatest gifts. I get a little glimpse into what it is like to be in the family of God. According to the Bible, in Ephesians 1, we are adopted into God's family when we accept Christ. So just like Evie is now forever a part of my family, I am forever in God's family. He sees me as His daughter. This year, Evie asked Jesus into her heart. What a blessing that was for us because now she is a part of God's family too. I am so grateful to God for His gift of salvation. What a joy to know that I will forever be with Him, but also will be able to be with others that I love who also know Him.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Horseback riding

Evie had her therapeutic horseback riding class for the second time last night. She LOVES it. She kept asking over and over when she could go again. The volunteers she has will be her volunteers for the whole semester. There are only 3 kids total in the class, and 1-2 volunteers per child. Evie's horse is a small pony named Spike. He is a sweet horse, and while Evie was saddled up, she would lean forward and hug him. Last week, we didn't get to watch her ride because we weren't allowed in the arena then (I think they didn't want us to distract the kids on their first week). Last night we got to sit in the arena. I was so bummed that I forgot my camera! Oh my word, she looked so adorable. Evie looked so precious in her little riding helmet (the stables provide them), and riding on Spike. She did a great job too. They teach the kids how to lead the horses into the arena, and lead them out. They teach them how to get on the horse, how to hold the reins, how to turn, and they also get to groom the horses. I hope I remember my camera next week!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

When it rains, it pours...and drips

Jeff took Evie to church today, and I stayed home because I am getting over a bad cold. While I was laying on the couch, I heard dripping. I glanced up and saw that we had a leak. Jeff had thought he found the source of the leak before, and it hasn't leaked in a long time. Now it is way worse than before. The carpet is wet, so it must be pouring down the drywall. He is still at church. I hate to have to tell him when he gets home. It has been pouring down rain here for several days. I'm not even sure how he can even work on it when it is raining this hard. I hope and pray that it doesn't do damage to where we have to rip part of the drywall and ceiling out.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cats and computers

I'm not sure what it is, but cats and computers always seem to go together. Maybe it is because when we sit down to type, they are thinking, "Ah, the lap is now available!" In my case, I have a laptop, so my lap isn't available, but my leg is. Every time I get on my laptop, my cat Dolly loves to come and cuddle up next to me. I have to try and keep her from walking all over the computer though! When we used to use our desktop computer, she would always come and lay on my lap when I was on it. She is a very sweet cat. In this picture, she is laying against my leg, and against my computer as I type.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Frogs and hair

Interesting title huh? We have this adorable frog that is living in our hot tub. We keep taking him out when Evie goes in to play in the hot tub, and he keeps on coming back. I guess he thinks it is his nice warm pond. So far Evie hasn't named him yet. We had a bee that was living by the hot tub that kept boring a hole underneath our deck seat. It would come and hover over Evie while she swam, and Evie got so used to it that she named it Charlotte. Jeff tried to kill Charlotte about 20 times, and even sprayed the thing several times with wasp killer. Nothing could kill it, so it became Charlotte, our bee friend!

I took some pictures last night of my crazy hair. They aren't the best pictures in the world. I hadn't combed my hair all day, and hurried to take the pictures. My hair is just confused I think. It isn't sure whether it wants to be curly or straight.

This side wants to be straight, and is always like that. It is hard to get the waves to stay. I would prefer my hair to all be like this side! Notice that the underneath hairs are all curly/wavy.

This side is my curly/wavy side. I can get corkscrew curls out of this side if I work at it. It looks funky though with my side that is straight!

I decided I want to try and grow to classic length. It has been several years since I was at that length. Evie was probably about a year old last time I was that long. If I tip my head way back, that is classic length for me :). I am about 4 inches away from classic length. I just wish my hair would make up it's mind about being curly vs. straight!

Friday, September 5, 2008


This is a bit late, but I had so much other stuff going on that I didn't get to blog about it. Over labor day, we went to the beach with Jeff's parents, and we had a great time. We did something we had never done before....we took the dog! We went to the park first, and while we were there, a woman had a litter of kittens she was trying to give away. Evie held this little gray one, and she really wanted to take it home. They were so wild though. Evie was able to get this one to stay in her arms, but not before it scratched the daylights out of her! I guess it is good they were so wild. If they were sweet and cuddly, we would probably have a new kitten in our house! Lol!

When we got to the beach, we took Sierra out in the water. She wasn't sure she liked it or not. She went up to her belly, and that was as far as she went. The water was really cold, so that is probably why she didn't like it very well. Jeff and Evie played frisbee with her, and she got really tired out. She loved it though.

It was a really fun day. When we all went into town to eat lunch, everyone stopped us so they could pet Sierra. That made for some fun conversations with people. Evie loved it because she loves to talk to people.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Wow, I am tired. It has been a busy last 2 days. I canned 19 jars (pint jars) of pearsauce yesterday, and I canned 7 jars of salsa today. I also cut up a bunch of pears and froze them today, and made a peach crisp. I am so tired, but I really want to stay up and watch Sarah Palin give her speech at the Republican National Convention. Boy, the media has been horrible to her family. The media has had a feeding frenzy with this whole situation regarding Sarah's daughter. They act like there is no other woman in this country with a pregnant teen daughter! It is really sad that she is in this situation, but at least Sarah and her husband are being so supportive of their daughter. That speaks volumes to me. I find it funny that all of the sudden the liberal media has gotten into family values. They are saying that Sarah should stay home and raise her kids, and wait until they are older to run for such a high office. Hmm, if she were a democrat, I'm sure they wouldn't dare say that. You don't see them telling Nancy Pelosi, who also has 5 kids, that she should stay home and raise her kids. And if she were a man, this would never be an issue at all. I'm really curious to see what Sarah has to say. I really like her. She seems like such a cool woman. I love that she is such a strong woman, and also stands so strong for the rights of the unborn. She has really energized the Republicans. I just hope I am awake enough to watch!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Really tired

I'm sitting here taking a break after a very busy day. I spent the morning homeschooling, cleaning the house and doing laundry. Once noon hit, I started making pearsauce. It is almost 6:00, and I haven't even gotten the jars into the canner yet. I forgot how much work canning pearsauce is! I hope it is worth it! It was a lot easier just freezing the pears. I'll see when I am all done. Right now all I want to do is sit, but I need to get up and get this done. Whew, I am tired!