Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Am Alive!!!!

I have been a bad blogger this summer......but I have been having FUN!!!!!!

I am in IA....my home state....where the land that my family has farmed for over 100yrs runs through my veins........where my dearest and oldest friends live and are ready to welcome me with open arms.....where my family that was there to mold me and lead on my way to independence keeps a place for me at the table.....that is just a small part of this great state.

I am home when I am in IA......not to say I am not home when I am with my husband in FL (we still are looking for a place to call home) but it is different. There is comfort in history especially ones own history. Our future in another state will be exciting and I look forward to exploring our new home state but the good Lord knew that I needed this time with my family, my friends and my history to prepare for the next journey.

My friends Arlene and Bill stopped by on their way from Witchita to Wisconsin in July and we ventured up to the train in Boone, IA. If you have not done this trip I suggest it as a fun family outing....there is nothing overly exciting about it other than the landscape and the thoughts of a time since past, where trains were the way to travel, where the whistle of a train would symbolize the spirit of adventure and the anticipation of new land coursed through this nation.

I have spent time with my parents....time that I haven't gotten to spend with them for several years. As we grow older and get into our daily routines we do not get to have the gift of time we had when we were younger (a gift we did not know how to use). I have been able to have share stories, participate in family meals and fellowship with my parents with out the time restraints that I have had in the past. We have gotten projects done that have been waiting for a rainy day and we have reminisced about the loved ones who have gone ahead of us to our final home in Heaven.

I have enjoyed time with old friends and new found friends laughing, fellowshipping and reconnecting. I have been blessed with rediscovering old relationships that I thought were lost only to find they could be found again. I have traveled the path between Corydon and Ottumwa several times and discovered new things I had never noticed before.

I got to visit Donnie in Florida and to my relief, I am excited to have the opportunity to live there. It was nice to be with my husband, to feel a little bit of normalcy again. I will blog of my trip in a future post....I promise!!!!

This has been a summer of refreshing of regrounding. I was lost in the ebb and flow that the world has conditioned us to follow. I was lost in the lie that more is more and if you aren't busy every minute of the day you aren't doing your part. I have relearned that the gifts of the day are the cool breeze on a warm day, the song of the cardinal as he sings for a mate and just being in the presence of the ones we love.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Alllllll Aboard!!!

Before I left Kansas City my friend Arlene came up from Wichita with her husband Bill for a visit. One of the things they like to do is travel around and ride trains......so we headed to Belton, Mo and rode a train......Oh My Goodness it was so FUN!!!!!


Here was our chariot!!! We sat on the outside car....soaking up the sun BABY!!!

Belton was having a big car show with a live band that day......so it was a bonus to the train ride. I never realized there were so many fun shops to explore in Belton so we explored the shops, looked at the cars and rode the train. It was fun getting to walk through the different cars of the train and imagining the people who use to ride them as their mode of transportation.


The official Train Ride Sign!!!


Here is my TICKET!!!


Bill and Ar posing for me!!!

The best part of the trip was getting to spend time with my friends, they are a blessing to me. So I get a call the other day and they are going to be coming through IA and of course we have the Boone train so we are going to go on an adventure in Boone, IA!!!! I will try to take lots of pictures to share!!!! Side note: Johnny on the Spot was the nicest one I have ever been in.....it was clean and it smelled nice.....I am telling you it was a great day all around!!!!!


I can't leave out the car show!!!
I would have more car pictures but I used my new phone and I am still learning how to operate it!!



Goodbye until next time!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Good Bye Little House in Kansas City

We will miss our sweet little home in Kansas City!!!!

It is official....we have moved out of Kansas City!!!!
It was hard to say Goodbye to our friends and our sweet little house but now we are on a new adventure. We are in the transition phase so the dogs and I are in Corydon, IA and Donnie is in FL....Andrew our son decided to stay in Kansas City........we will miss him but we are excited for him to claim his independence.

Corydon,IA is a fun little community, I can take a walk at 10:00pm and not have to worry about being bothered......very different from Kansas City!!! I have a bike that I use to get around town and my first full week here I helped with Vacation Bible School.

My mom has decided that it is time to downsize and I am here to help her get the job done. We are going through over 50yrs of stuff.......we have gotten a lot done but have quite a ways to go. We have found lots of treasures and memories of those who have left this world come flooding back when we run across those special treasures.

I will be spending time with my family in Ottumwa, IA too!!! I am excited to have this time to be surrounded by family and friends. I do miss my husband very much.....this time in IA would be sweetened if he could be here with me. He is busy with work and checking out Open Houses, looking for our next home.......we know it is going to be different from what we are used to but excited to start this new adventure together.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!!!


This nation will remain the land of the free
only so long as it is the home of the brave.
~Elmer Davis


Happy 4th of July!!!
Have a Safe and Enjoyable Holiday!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!!!!



They are dead; but they live in each Patriot's breast,
And their names are engraven on honor's bright crest.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happy Memorial Day!!!
Thank you to all who have served our country!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why I love the Blog Community!!!

I am quite tardy on blogging about my special Blogging Angel!!!
Miss Mildred at Nalley Valley surprised me with a delightful treat last week. She is a ray of Sunshine in a rather chaotic time of my life..........she is such a thoughtful and kind woman and when I read her blog I am transported to a much gentler and simpler time (something I am striving for in my own life). After leaving a comment among many she picked out something that speaks to me on many levels........Cardinal Birds have always symbolized the love that God has for me....when life is getting to me, it was never very long before the song of the Cardinal and that flash of Red reminded me that I am not alone.

When I opened my package I found this..........


Isn't it precious???!!!!!!


Look at the AWESOME card!!!



Here is a shout out to my friend Mildred!!!!

Thank you Miss Mildred.......I love your spirit and the beautiful person you are......don't EVER change!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Style

Those of you who visit me frequently (big THANKS by the way) have probably noticed I don't have a specific style.....I tend to be a bit (OK, maybe more than a bit) eclectic. My problem you see is that I like to many things (which could explain why my brain is always spinning) and I want to put it all on my blog.

Since I am home alone today and I had a VERY productive day yesterday I seem to have given myself permission to play. I have created some new headers......amongst catching up with my blogging friends (I do love that I have gotten caught up on my blogging....I love to visit my blogging friends!!!!), playing on Facebook and watching TV (I tell you I am a real slug today!!!).

Let me know what you think....after looking at them you may think I have multiple personalities....which might not be that far off!!! They are all different the one I have currently is one of them (I thought it was whimsical and sweet) and here are the other 2:


Here I am getting in touch with my heritage...I guess you could say this is reminiscent of my interior decor......I don't have real roosters or hens but I have a lot of fake ones!!!!



I thought this was a cute one...kind of fun and flirty......
maybe I was trying to channel my 25 year old self!!!

What do you think???
I thought they were fun to make and wanted to share, comments are always welcome.

Part of what has spurred this on is I am purging getting ready to start a new life in a new place but I am having a hard time letting go of some stuff. I will keep the family heirlooms and the stuff that really brings a smile to my face.....but there are those things that I am on the fence about; items that I have carried from place to place with me for years. Who knew purging could bring up so many feelings!???!

Don't get me wrong I have parted with a lot of things so far and maybe it isn't so much the letting go as it is letting go of these treasures to strangers that I am having a hard time with. If a friend came to my door and asked for any of the items in question I would hand them over gladly (let me know when you will be here). I tend to be a bit of a pack rat but not as bad as I used to be.....I don't need someone to come into our house and unbury us.......I have things in their place (for the most part) and like to keep things that have a purpose or some sense of value to me. Do you have problems letting go of things???


What is the one thing you would never part with (people and animals don't count...I am talking things)?

If you had to move tomorrow how much would you keep??

I guess I have gotten off on quite a tangent and hope that you were able to keep up with me. I am interested in how you all deal with change...good, bad or otherwise.

Happy Mother's Day


A little girl, asked where her home was,
replied,"where mother is."
~Keith L. Brooks

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers, no matter what form you come in.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ode to Spring

Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth


It is here it is here....Wonderful Spring!!! That time of the year when the cold winter that has held us hostage is being defeated by the warm sun. The time of the year when new life springs from the ground and and the birds nest in the new foliage of the trees; so that their song can be shared with all who listen. Spring is the season where hopeful gardeners dream of the harvest to come. The refreshing comes and the new hope fills the air with it's perfume.

Who can not love spring and all that is symbolizes??

The sleeping occupants of the earth are awake again, ready to entertain the humans who think they own the earth (silly humans...it is only on loan, so treat it well!!). The bare arms of the trees are clothed again in their beautiful leaves and the brown carpet of grass turns to a brilliant green dotted with bits of yellow and lavender.

Perhaps I am romanticizing this glorious season but what is life with out a little romance.......winter????

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Life Update

Well we have listed the house. That was a very hard thing for me to do......I never thought I would have such a hard time with it. This is a season of loss and God gives you double for your trouble so I am excited about where He is going to lead us.

The Donner seems to really like it in Florida and can't wait for the rest of us to get down there. It has been hard having him gone so much but we have been through it before and made it so this time will be no exception. He is home this week so there is a list of projects to work on.

My usefulness at work is getting less, so I am going to be going down to part time. It all works out because Donnie stated that he has a big list of things for me to work on when he is gone. I have lots of projects I would like to work on before we move too......I will miss the little family I have gained by working but the time has come to move on.

God has been allowing me to deal with a lot of things I thought I had dealt with so I know it is a season of growing and for that I am thankful. After a season of learning life seems to be a little sweeter. I guess you could say that the purging going on in our lives isn't just physical stuff.

I hope that I will become a better manager of my time and get back to the blogging community. I appreciate all of you who have stopped by and really appreciate your comments. Here is to more blog friendships!!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!!!
Of all the holidays we celebrate I believe this is the most precious. Easter commemorates the the greatest gift given to man kind. Our God became a man and suffered for our sins to conquer death so that we could have eternal life. Thank you Jesus for the greatest gift ever given!!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Grandma Bunnie

I am sorry I have been away from my blogging friends; I have missed each of you. I was in Iowa with my family; we were saying goodbye to my Grandma Bunnie. She was headed to the next great adventure or should I say her final destination. She passed away on March 21, 2009 with loved ones surrounding her. It was a very bittersweet affair; it was very hard to say goodbye to this remarkable woman but we knew where she was headed. She was 89.5 years old and if there is anything you could say about her life it would be that she lived it to the fullest.

My Grandma's name was Margaret but when she was a little girl her Daddy thought she was as cute as a bunny........it stuck, from then on she was Bunnie. She grew up in a poor family (granted I think that was the state of most families during that era) because of that I think she learned to be pretty frugal and to manage her life so that would not be the case as she matured.


"Bunnie"

My Grandparents met at a dance at the YWCA in Ottumwa, IA. My Grandfather worked on the family farm about 13 miles outside of Ottumwa and my Grandmother was in the bookkeeping dept. at the John Morrell & Company plant in Ottumwa (I find the whole story enchanting and catch myself wondering what they were like at that age). After a fairly quick engagement (by today's standards) they were married and Grandpa moved Grandma to the family farm. There was a family car not individual cars and because times were tight Grandma was moved into the farm house with Grandpa's family. My Great Grandpa was a stinker but he was quite taken with my Grandmother.....she would not put up with his shenanigans and got things whipped into shape in no time.



My Grandparents


I grew up on that same farm and have very fond memories of my Grandmother. I remember chasing headless chickens during butchering time (I know it sounds gruesome but it really was great fun), I helped her make lye soap (it was used to clean the work clothes in the ringer washer) and I remember how I loved sleeping on the crisp sheets she had on her beds. These are just a few of the many small things that stick out in my mind but the small things build up to very big wonderful memories.

I was 11 or 12 when my Grandparents moved to town.....this was not an easy task for my Grandmother to do......my Grandpa went screaming and kicking!!!!! By this time my Grandma had been involved in doing bus tours around the United States and was expanding to other countries. She got to see the world through her tour guide business. She was a sought after guide; her hospitality and can do spirit were valuable assets for this line of work.

Grandma also had a rich sense of family history and created for us some priceless treasures in the form of a couple of books documenting our family history. I can spend hours reading the stories and gazing at the pictures trying to capture a sense of who these predecessors of mine were. I want to understand why they made the choices that they did and how it got them to where they ended up. It is like a puzzle and putting it all together can me intoxicating.

Now before you think I am trying to turn my Grandmother into a Saint I must add that she was a very opinionated woman and did not have a problem letting you know her opinion. There are many instances where my Grandmother would frustrate (that is being kind) a member or members of her family or friends. Though her ideas and opinions weren't always appreciated, it was that spirit that accomplished many amazing things in her life.

My Grandfather did not have a warm and fuzzy upbringing and much of that was reflected on his family. He could be very unkind to my Grandmother (words are very powerful weapons, especially harsh ones) but he loved her in his own awkward way. When Grandpa passed away my Grandmother took care of him to the very end; he passed away 3 days before their 49th anniversary. Grandma would always say after he passed that she was lonely and what a couples world it was. She had many friends to do things with but it wasn't the same, then she met Frank. Frank is the opposite of my Grandfather....he is so laid back, happy go lucky and rarely seen without a smile on his face. His friendship to my Grandmother was one of the greatest gifts she ever received in her lifetime. Frank stated at the visitation that they never had a disagreement (my cousin and I looked at each other...we had not had that kind of relationship with her). His friendship was not only a gift for Grandma but a gift to her family as well; her demeanor changed around Frank, he brought out her beauty; she was much softer around him, she was truly happy. As hard as it was to lose my Grandmother my heart cried harder for the loss that Frank had to endure. I had just shy of 41 years to know her, he had 8.


Frank and Grandma Bunnie on an adventure!!!

I cannot even begin to explain to you the impact this dynamic woman had on my life and the lives of those around her; what I have told you is just a small morsel. I was lucky enough to have her in my life long enough to have become her friend as well as her Granddaughter and that is a gift no one could ever take away from me.


Grandma Bunnie beautiful to the very end!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Let the Adventure Begin


As some of you know my husband was laid off the week before Christmas. Well after searching, calling, flying and a lot of PRAYING.....God is leading us to a new location. Drumroll please.......We are moving to Florida!!!! I KNOW!!!!

I never thought this Midwest girl would move out of the Midwest....that is what I get for thinking. I will have to say that I wasn't that thrilled when The Donner first mentioned that there was a job down there he was going to apply for. I had always envisioned that we would move back to Iowa and buy a small farm to play around on........again it was my vision and it isn't usually very clear.

I am a prayer or maybe I should say a bargainer......I am very good at telling God what I want and how I want it and He is very generous to listen and even indulge me on occasion.......but when I get what I want, it doesn't always work out the way I had planned.....go figure!!! Well I have been pleading with God for several months....maybe even years.....throwing my little tantrums and acting like a brat wanting my way. It finally occurred to me one day.....I wouldn't let my children act like that and I certainly wouldn't listen to it.........so what made me think that God was going to jump right in and give me what I wanted. Don't misunderstand me I believe that God is very generous with His giving and likes to give us the desires of our hearts, but......the heart has to be in the right place to receive the gifts.......HELLO!!!!! Steph how many time do you have to learn that lesson?????

So I conceded and prayed, God you know what needs to happen in our lives to fulfill your purpose to glorify you so let your will be done in our lives....be careful what you wish for.....one week after giving up and giving in Donnie lost his job......not quite what I had in mind.

Here is the kicker........by submitting to God and leaving it all up to Him, I knew He would see us through and lead us to an even bigger adventure (not to say I didn't have my moments......Boy did I have some moments....I still knew no matter how scary it got He was there).

I have never thought of myself as a controlling person but I sure like to try and control God....I start out asking for something and I ask and I ask and I ask.....when I don't get exactly what I want......then starts the woe is me and if you really loved me God you would make everything work the way I want it to......you must not love me......I must not be worthy........you must be mad at me (I am kinda making myself sick thinking about it). He apparently thought I was worth it or He would never have sent His son to save me.....how easily my flesh forgets that.

Does anyone else go through this or am I the only one??

I know it stems from not making time to be in fellowship with the best friend I could ever have; my sweet Jesus. I am easily distracted and entertained by things that don't really matter. When God is top priority in my life everything else falls into place with out a hitch. He had to teach me once again that He has my back and He will take care of us beyond any thing I could ever imagine.

I didn't start this post with all that in mind, but it is an important part of this whole process.....all the Glory goes to God...He is taking us on this adventure because He has things to share with us that could not have been seen had He facilitated my little ideas of what life should be. He wants so badly to share with us, Play with us and Love on us......could it get any better than that?

The Donner has started driving down to Florida today to begin our new adventure. I have to find someone to take my place at work and then get things ready here for our impending move south. I will admit I am a little scared and sad to be leaving all that I have known but I am so excited to see what God has in store for us next. My focus is on Him and my heart is trusting Him. He has proven over and over to me that by simply entrusting my life to Him, He will get us through stronger and wiser.

Pay it Forward

OK, I don't know why I am doing this now but it just looks like so much fun I want to participate. My friend Missy started this so I had to play along....that is what friends do they play!!!!

Here is how it works......
The first three bloggers to leave a comment....
will get a handmade gift from me sometime this year!!!!!
You then post this on your blog so that three people
can leave you a comment and that you send them a handmade gift!!!
The gift needs to be handmade.....any price you want......and has to be sent out sometime this year!!!!!
Remember
It is the thought that counts!!!!!!
And when you receive your gift make sure you blog about it!!!!
Soooooo????
Who wants to pay it forward?????
Have fun!!!!!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Questions

My Friend Missy had sent me these questions about a month ago and told me I had to answer them on my blog so here you go.

1. If you were given $1 million dollars what would you do with it and why????

I would build a camp for hurting grown-ups. A place where the hurt can relax and have the
tools available to them to find their healing. I would love to create a safe haven a retreat a place of comfort for conquering the aches we carry. I think we get so caught up in the everyday tasks of life and need a place to get away and find who we are.

2. What is your biggest fault?

I am an over thinker...I can turn a simple decision into an arduous task. That fault leads to many more but we don't have time to walk down that path.

3. If you could choose a job/career for yourself what would it be and why?
(no schooling you could just go to work or stay at home and do this job)

I would like to be a Home Ec Teacher. I enjoy the art of being a homemaker and would love to share that joy with younger generations.

4. Name one person who you have come in contact with in your life that has made a lasting impression on you (good or bad) and why?

My 4th grade teacher Mrs. Sheesley. Some who know me may think I am out of my mind but for a greater part of my life I have felt like I was invisible and there was very little faith in my ability to do anything. Mrs. Sheesley made me feel that I was capable of doing anything I set my mind to.

5. If you could change one thing in your life what would it be and why?

I would live closer to my family and friends in Iowa. There is something so comforting about being surrounded by the people you love.

How would you answer the questions?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Girlcave Gets Some Attention

The Donner has been working like a busy little beaver around here......I wish he had a job but it has been nice the projects he has been getting done. There are 2 yes 2 man caves on our property, one is the garage and one is the upstairs office. Now there are gross things done and topics of discussion I would not want to be included in when in the man caves so I have a little oasis in the basement of our house. The latest project the Donner worked on was in the girl cave....he ran me a bunch of outlets and gave me another light!!! I must say I was quite elated....it is really coming together!!! He says that paint is the next step....I need a super organizer to come over and help me get it put together!!! Andrew likes to say that they have pimped my girl cave(they helped), they have been a big help to Donnie and I know he appreciates it.


Just one little light for me to see my treasures



Then this one was added

I really do have to brag on my husband a little, he has not taken one day off and done nothing....he has been a working machine in between the job hunt. I am so blessed to have him in my life and I am sure I don't tell him that often enough. Way to go Donner....I love YOU!!!



The girl cave is so bright!!!!


A happy little switch to control my lights

See the outlet behind the computer....stupid Facebook you are taking over my life!!!!



The craft table run amok!!! See I need Help!!!!

I know it is not the prettiest room in the house but I like being surrounded by items that will be turned into something some day.....it is a room of possibilities and creations to come. Who wants to come over and play?????

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary!!!!

Happy 10 Year Anniversary to US!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

1 Day to 10 Years

One more day......actually less than that now. It is a very funny thing time, it tricks my mind one moment to feel like we just got married and the next moment I feel like we have been together for ever. The 23 of Januarry has been a very big day in our lives we were married then, 4 years later on that exact date we signed the contract on the home we live in and tomorrow Donnie has a job interview with a company in Florida. I believe God likes to give us hints regarding His plan, what are the odds that 3 significant things would happen on the same day in our lives. I think He shows His sense of humor I mean one of His greatest Psalms would be the 23.

Psalm 23
A psalm of David
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Could He make it any more clear that He is in charge of my husband, me, our marriage?

It is so easy to get discouraged in the world that we live in but for those who follow Jesus we are not to worry about what the world tells us, because it is lost. We are to follow Him who saved us and He WILL provide all of our needs and a good portion of our wants. May God Bless You All!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2 Days to 10 Years

Life is one big journey but it is important to take side trips once and a while so we can enjoy the big ride. We have taken a few adventures in our 10 years and tonight I will share them with you.

Now there are the obvious trips to Iowa, Missouri and Texas to see family & friends; those excursions are always a treat and we look forward to seeing our loved ones.

Our time with the kids while they were growing up was always a whirlwind....so of course our first family trip would be the same. They were around 10 and 11 when we took this adventure; they had never seen any of the things we were about to show them. We picked them up in Dallas and drove down to Galveston,TX to see the ocean. We spent 2 days swimming in the waters, laying on the beach and feeding the seagulls.


We are here to pump...you up!!!

After we were done exploring Galveston we headed to Carlsbad, NM to go to Carlsbad Cavern. Now I enjoy all of God's creations....the majestic mountains, the endless oceans and all the other treasures this country holds but Carlsbad Cavern was one of my favorites!! There are miles of caves that go hundreds of feet down into the earth; it holds lots of secret places with it's stalactites and stalagmites.....lots of rooms where nature give you the most amazing art show. After a day of cave exploring we went to the hotel and swam until dark the perfect end to the perfect day.

After an astounding day in New Mexico we spent the next day on a journey to the neighboring state to see The Grand Canyon. All I can say about The Grand Canyon is that it is so surreal......I thought I was looking at a life size postcard. It was a long day driving around but it took our breaths away.....it was inspiring.



Our own family postcard

After we had walked all day and seen incredible things it was time to get in the car and head to Colorado. The mountains were the next conquest on our family adventure. We pulled into Cortez, CO late so we went right to bed, we wanted to be rested for the next day. We left Cortez early and headed to Denver taking the scenic route. The kids favorite thing that day was seeing snow in June.......Andrew found a spot where it went to his waist.......they were so excited!!!!


Rocky Mountain High

Denver was a welcomed treat after a long day on the road until Chelsea got sick....poor thing had a terrible earache, so we found an emergency care center and found out that she had an inner ear infection.....they got her set up with some medicine and we went back to the hotel where Chelsea had a night of being doted on...she loved that!!! The next day we headed home to Warrenton.....we were gone 6 days.....boy did we see a lot in 6 days!!!!

The next big trip was to Put-in-Bay, OH. Our friend Jami's family had a couple of houses that they rented out and so for a surprise she rented one for all of us. It was such a fun time.....the main modes of transportation were golf carts and bicycles. We had a very relaxing time and made lots of fun memories....one that Jami has not let us live down was how vicious we were when we played spoons...we love to play spoons!!!!


Taking Jami for a ride

The next two vacations were ones that the Donner and I took and they happened to be last year. Last January we went to Las Vegas, NV. Donnie was out there for work and he was going to have to be there for two weeks so I went out for the weekend between them. It was so fun just walking around, watching people and spending time together. I had never been to Vegas so it was very exciting for me.....my favorite place was the Belagio with the Dancing waters.....it was so beautiful that it made me a little emotional.....it doesn't take much.

The latest trip was back in October when we went to Seattle. It is beautiful country out there, I blogged about our trip already so I won't stay on this subject to long. It was a great time for Donnie and I to reconnect.


My Sweetie

Posing with the scenery

Our trips are made up of more than the awesome things we have seen, they are about the little things, the games, the talks, the pranks and just being together experiencing new things with the ones we love. I know that there are many more adventures for us to go on and I look forward to them. I feel blessed to have been able to have the opportunities that I have had in my life and thankful that I have a partner to help share my journey.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

3 Days to 10 Years

We Interrupt this regularly scheduled story for a bit of silliness and wisdom.....much like marriage.....

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can't sleep with the window open. ~George Bernard Shaw

One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again. ~Judith Viorst

There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for granted relationship. ~Iris Murdoch

A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year. ~Paul Sweeney

Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage. ~Finnish Proverb

Never feel remorse for what you have thought about your wife; she has thought much worse things about you. ~Jean Rostand, Le Mariage, 1927

Like good wine, marriage gets better with age - once you learn to keep a cork in it. ~Gene Perret

It takes a loose rein to keep a marriage tight. ~John Stevenson

How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being. ~Oscar Wilde

Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast. ~Marlene Dietrich

The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but must live with a character. ~Peter Devries

Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins. ~Langdon Mitchell

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. ~George Levinger

Married life teaches one invaluable lesson: to think of things far enough ahead not to say them. ~Jefferson Machamer

Marriage is a feast where the grace is sometimes better than the dinner. ~Charles Caleb Colton

A man without a wife is like a vase without flowers. ~African Proverb


To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.
~Ogden Nash




Monday, January 19, 2009

4 Days to 10 Years

Sadness flies away on the wings of time. ~Jean de La Fontaine

Every good story has heartbreak whether monumental or minimal. Loss and disappointment are just a part of life....a very important part, for that is where the real lessons are. I could leave the bad parts out but then I wouldn't really be telling you our story. In the span of 10 years there are many moments that are forgotten, everyday occurrences, trips to the store, phone calls with family and friends but then there are the things we would like to forget but once we do we stop being ourselves.

The first great loss that we encountered was when I miscarried our baby. I got pregnant in October of 1999....this was not an easy feat to begin with since my body doesn't process hormones correctly. December 1999 - I had been taking fertility drugs since that May (if anyone has ever taken them they do a number on your body and your mood) so as you can see it was already a long journey. My greatest desire has always been to be a mother.......in every sense of the word and that moment that I realized I was miscarrying was devastating......there was nothing I could do to stop it. Donnie was out of town so my sister-in-law took me to the Dr. and he confirmed it. We tried more fertility drugs but they were just to hard on my body and my mind. Yes, I have been angry with God about it....I have had my tantrums and one sided fights with Him. He is always there reassuring me that He loves me and He has a plan.....that the plans I have for my life are to small scale, He has amazing giant plans for me, He reminds me that I put limitations on what I want and He wants to give me everything, He reminds me once I move out of the way He can reveal Himself fully to me.

There have been times in the marriage where one or both of us has lost our way. Late Summer of 2004 Donnie and I separated. I learned a very important lesson during that time.....I had lost my way and I had lost who I was as a person. Up until that point I had been a very big people pleaser always changing for who ever I was around....I had completely lost who I was as a wife and myself. That time alone was very cathartic for me......I spent time with my real true love Jesus and by spending my time with Him I found who I was. Please do not think that I have it all together because I frequently get off course, I just don't stay on the wrong trail as long.



We lost my Aunt Linda January 2005 (she was my mom's sister). I have such fond memories of my Aunt and I miss her so much. She took me to see my first PG movie when I was 10....Grease.....I LOVED IT.....in fact we sat through it twice!!!! Then she took me to get my ears pierced. She was my cool aunt who lived in a big city and had an apartment with a pool.....how could a 10 year old not look up to her?? She fought cancer for several years and when I say fight I mean fight. Her faith was strong and a great example to me and the rest of our family.



December 2006 we lost my Grandma Lucile (my mom's mom). My Granny lived in the same house that my mom and her sisters were raised in. She was the head cook at the school of the little town she lived in for many years. She was just the sweetest lady you could ever meet, her warm heart and generosity were her trademarks. She carried a strong faith with a meek spirit...I don't ever remember a harsh word coming out of her mouth. I miss her, she was a constant force in a sometimes unstable world.



October 2007 we lost my Grandpa Paul (my stepmother's father). Paul was a sweet, sweet man. Blended families are sometimes a hard thing to be a part of but he always made me feel like I had always been his granddaughter. He was always ready with a big hug, a kiss and a giant smile. His passion was his family, flying and building experimental aircraft, farming was his trade he put his heart into all of it and he is greatly missed.



November 2007 we lost Sparkles. I know I have talked about her but that dear sweet soul was there through everyone of the previous losses. She was a comfort to me in so many ways. She was a loving soul when I was lonely, a fierce protector when I was scared, a consoling friend when the tears wouldn't stop and a constant companion. Her presence in our lives is greatly missed....in fact I think I could use her right now.

December 2008 Don lost his job. This was a sudden blow we were not expecting (does anyone really expect it?). I know that this loss is the start of something great. God gives you double for your trouble......He is preparing us for His great plan.

I will be honest with you this was a hard post to do. Reliving some of those memories was not easy but they have molded us to be who we are apart and together. The loved ones we have lost are still very precious to us and to remember the happy moments with them is pure joy to my soul. I thank God that I got to be in their presence and witness their greatness in this world.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

5 Days to 10 Years

Today I am going to talk about our pets.....now I know some of you are thinking why would I talk about pets........easy, they are part of the family that Donnie and I have created. We never intended to get the amount of pets that we have but we are suckers for puppies!!!!


What a pretty girl!!!

I have blogged about Sparkles before, she was our first puppy and she was a very special dog. Sparkles has been gone over a year now and to this day I still get misty eyed. She had such a fun little personality, was a good pal and was very loyal. Sparkles was a Blue Heeler / Husky mix and she was beautiful......always a little lady. I could go on and on about her but that would not be fair to you. I have never felt that way about a dog and it will be a very long time before I feel that way again.......losing her was like losing my best friend.


I hope someone drops some crumbs!!!


Biscuit was the next addition to our family and she has a definite personality. She is not a dumb dog by any means but she can be very dopey. She tends to use her size to bully everyone around....not just the other dogs but us too!!!! Biscuit was a stray and she decided that she liked our porch and since it was the coldest night of the winter we took pity on her and let her in.....she never left.


I am such a spoiled baby!!!


Raven is one of biscuits puppies....yes she was pregnant when she showed up on our doorstep. I love puppies and as soon as they were cleaned up I had them in my hands...to hold those fragile little lives in my hands made me realize what a miracle life is. I have not blogged about Raven yet so I won't say much about her because I don't want to take away from her story.



Sweet little boy!!!


Boots is one of Sparkles' puppies....we had Sparkles for 7 years, we lived on a farm she was free to go all over.....not once did she get pregnant......we move to the city and what happens a stray jumps the fence and get her pregnant. Boots is our only boy and I haven't blogged about him yet so the same is true for him as it is for Raven.

We love each and everyone of our dogs they are part of our family.



Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ~Roger Caras

Saturday, January 17, 2009

6 Days to 10 Years

My kids are amazing!!!! I know, I know everyone thinks their kids are amazing but how else can I express my true feelings about them??

I did not give birth to my kids they came with the Donner as a package deal but there has never been a day when I didn't love them like they were my kids. Andrew and Chelsea have been through a lot in their lives and I think they have turned into remarkable young adults.

Andrew aka Buddy Wayne is the life of the party, he is always cracking jokes and with his quick wit and humor he keeps me in stitches. Andrew is just an all around happy kid...excuse me.......young man. He did not warm up to me as fast when Donnie and I first started dating (he was and is a HUGE Daddy's boy) and the thought of some stranger coming in and taking away some of his daddy time was not acceptable. As time went by he started to warm up to me and we soon had a very strong relationship. I am so glad that he decided to move here with us this past year, it seems like he has always lived here.

Andrew has ambitions of being a Police Officer someday; his real passion would be to join the service but he has terrible asthma which keeps him from following that dream. I know what ever he ends up doing he will be successful. We are very proud of the young man he has turned into.

What a little cutie!!!


Our Buddy Wayne


He liked to show his guns....still does!!!


What a handsome guy!!!




Chelsea aka Sweetpea is very sweet, good hearted and opinionated like her father, she is full of life and one busy girl. Chelsea took to me right off.....she would sit on my lap and I would rub her back or feet for hours....she was such a cuddle bug and I miss that. Her independence was seen from an early age, she never has or had a hard time telling you how she feels about something. Chelsea is involved in Dance, Drill Team, works at McDonald's and goes to school (High School and some college courses). She is one motivated girl!!!

Chelsea's ambitions are in the field of education, she wants to be a 2nd grade teacher and we are very proud of her for picking such a serving career. It has been fun to watch our Sweetpea blossom into such a lovely young woman and we are very proud of who she has become.

She still crinkles that cute little nose!!


I just love this picture...it captures who she is to a tee!!


My girls...Chelsea hates this picture but to me it is priceless


What a beauty!!



There are 10 months between them and I have never met a brother and sister who had such a great relationship.....not to say there weren't times when they weren't particularly fond of each other but they would get over it quickly and be best buddies again. They are respectable, hard working and fun people to be around. We enjoy their company and miss them when they are not around. We are so very proud of them and consider them our greatest treasure from God.

Buddies!!!


I loved this age....they still thought we knew everything!!



This is one of my favorites



What AWESOME Kids!!!!