Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We're HERE!

Well folks, we made it!!! After a long but very good trip, we've made it to Syracuse! We enjoyed a great trip down south, visiting family and ending with Mark and Sherry's beautiful wedding! Then we headed north, again spending time with friends and family who showered us with wonderful hospitality! Thank you all for making us so welcome!

The kidos did well on the LONG trip, though we definitely had our rough spots where they had just HAD IT with the car seats! But we made it and for the most part, they did great!

And so, we're here. Ok, I admit, it's been overcast since we got here, and very COLD and there's a fair amount of snow on the ground. However, it's not too bad. We'll likely learn some tricks about how to dress in this weather, and hopefully we'll see the sun before too long... and we should be fine. :-)

We've settled into temporary housing in a Resident Inn. Stephen's company has put us up very nicely in a very comfortable furnished place that has two bedrooms and two baths. There's also a kitchen/dining/living room. Even has a fireplace! Does it get any better???!!! Oh yeah... we haven't actually used the fireplace yet... but still, nice to have it! :-) It's so great to have a place to settle into! We are currently have house hunting and other errands. You can pray we'll have widom in the house hunting!

Stephen is due to start work on the 4th! He's been looking forward to it! It's a blessing though to have a little time to get situated, look at rentals, etc. before he starts.

Thank you for all your prayers for us along the way! Have a blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Life has sure been full! We arrived safely home last Tuesday night after a wonderful time with my family! What a treat is was to get to spend a whole month with them!!! They are so special to me and I miss them! Saying goodbye was hard... even though I have my brother's wedding to look forward to!

We got home with less then a week before the movers were scheduled to arrive. And whoosh! The week is already gone! The week was full with things to do before the movers came, our last young peoples Bible study, the chapel Christmas banquet, and goodbyes to many dear friends who have been sooooo good to us during our two years here. At the Christmas banquet, friends from the two chapels we have been involved with here gave us a very touching, encouraging and heart felt send off. Thank you so much all! We greatly appreciated it! You have been such dear friends!

Monday morning the movers arrived. We were still desperately trying to get things done. I had been feeling very overwhelmed and frustrated that last night with all there was left to do, but the LORD worked things out and got us through it. As far as packing goes, all we had to do was pack together the things we want for the trip and the time in temporary housing. The packers packed the rest, which was SUCH a HUGE blessing. And would you believe three guys were able to pack almost the whole house into boxes in ONE day???!!! That would have taken me weeks! Today, which is Tuesday, they did a bit more packing and then loaded up the truck. They left at around 2 in the afternoon. So all in all, they packed up our house in 1 1/2 days!

Last night and tonight we are staying at the home of our dear friends who are out of town. What a blessing it has been to have a place to go and crash or let the kids play! Some other friends blessed us by having us over for dinner last night and we are going to meet up with them again tonight! Thank you so much to each one of you dear friends who have given so much love and care to us throughout our two years here!

Tomorrow should be busy with some last errands and we plan to take off either later in the day or possibly the next day. Thank you for all your prayers as we embark on our new adventure!

Tomorrow morning, Lord willing, after a few more errands, we hit the rode. The plan is to slowly make our way down south to my brother Mark's wedding, visiting friends and relatives along the way. After the wedding our goal is to make a leisurely trip up toward NY, again, visiting relatives!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Surprise and Thanksgiving!!!!

Well, our little family is all back together again and we're continuing to enjoy time together with the fam! Had a great Thanksgiving! There were about 20 of us! We feasted royally, chatted, and watched the teenagers play a rousing game of zip-zap... craziness!!!

We have so much to be thankful for... wonderful family (who we actually ENJOY being with!), more good food then we can hold, a new adventure before our little family, our LORD who is so good to us and patient with us... we are so blessed!

Now for a few pics from the last couple days.

So, I showed up at the airport on the 23rd to pick up my hubby... and what a surprise!!! Who was that handsome guy with the beard???!!!! :-)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Security Checkpoints and Thanksgiving

This is Stephen -

I promised some friends that I would post about my airport security experiences this trip. I had been "wanded" and then "patted down" about 4 weeks ago according to the new standards. I have been patted down by Marines and Israeli security before, been fine. This last "pat down" made me feel violated. It was sexual assault.

The short story about this last time was that I passed through without any additional searching. There was no naked scanner at this airport, so the only recourse if you need additional searching is the groping procedure. I have heard from 2 good sources that as long as you don't trip the metal detector, you will have a greatly reduced chance of getting groped. So I took off all the metal I could, even things I normally keep on like my glasses and wedding ring (sorry My Love!).

You could still get randomly snagged, but the chances are reduced. The rest of the trip I was pretty sick and have been recovering.

We can still be thankful for the air travel we have, the peace we enjoy (compare this country to any muslim country), and the professional law enforcement officers that are on duty.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Proof!

And here he is folks! Sitting up all by himself! Thank you Aunt Melly for specially taking and down loading these pics! And don't miss the longer post from earlier today, or Stephen's great one from yesterday!

Here are some LONG overdue pictures from the currently West Coast part of the family. Enjoy! Thanks to "Aunt" Melly... these are all ones she had already down loaded.

And yep folks, all those official announcements my dear hubby made are true.

My brother David is a happy man! I'm happy too! And I think they will make a super couple! Welcome to the family, Amity!

Hil truly is sitting on his own and is continuing to be a happy, content little sweetie. Seems to enjoy his new skill!

And yes, Lord willing, we are going to be embarking on an adventure to a new part of the country! We will miss our dear Virginia friends, but are thankful for the new opportunity!

Learning to play video games with Aunt Amy!

Treating the world to a rousing "reading"!

New Friends!

... and I wonder why they call her "The monitor junkie"! :-)

Good Job, Uncle Caleb!

And Stephen, Honey, I enjoyed your last post!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Official!

There have been a few official things happening in our lives. Here is a few:

1. My brother-in-law David just got engaged to a lovely, young, long-time friend named Amity. Congrats to you both! May you serve the Lord with gladness!
2. Hil turned 6 months. He can sit up all by himself. I wish I had a pic!
3. I have accepted a job offer and we are moving north, into Yankee territory! We are moving to the State of New York. I at least hope people in New York have a little state pride and can sing their state song. Not so in VA. There is a little meeting of like-minded believers in Jesus Christ who we will be able to join as well.

When I put in my notice with my boss this week, he came and gave me a slip of paper that said the following:

My first job was working in an Orange Juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn't concentrate. *This is just a classic one-liner that everyone should memorize and use at appropriate times*

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe. *tough way to go!*

After that, I tried to be a Tailor, but I wasn't suited for it--mainly because it was a sew-sew job. *Your singin' my song, brother!*

Next, I tried working in a Muffler Factor, but that was too exhausting. (Is Gpa Sush laughing yet???!!)

I attempted to be a Deli Worker, but any way I sliced it, *can you guess it?* I just couldn't cut the mustard.

I studied a long time to become a Doctor, but I didn't have any patience. *no comments needed on this one folks. the next one is better."

Next, was a job in a Shoe Factory. I tried but I couldn't fit in. I became depressed and soulful. *ba bom - bom tsaaH*

I got a job working for a Pool Maintenance company, but the work was just too draining. *whacka whacka whacka*

[can you even handle any more people........?]

I got a job as a historian, until I realized there was no future in it.

*My sides are hurting! Stop Stephen, STOP!*

And for the Grand Finale..............

Finally, I realized my calling. I have been working as a Professional Fisherman. Because I found I could live on my net income.

The End.

The really scary thing is that my 2.5 yr old daughter is more slap stick than me! Don't say I didn't warn you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

CA moments

As my dear husband mentioned in his post, the kidos and I are in CA enjoying a visit with my family. It had been over a year since I last saw many of them. We're having a very good time, but I sure do miss my wonderful man! He's planning to join us in about three weeks... that that's a long way away!

As you can imagine, C and H are enjoying all the attention and are very loved my Grandma, Grandpa and all the aunts and uncles! Here are a few pics to prove it. :-)

These first two have a story behind them. Stephen told my sister, Melissa, that she could keep Hilkiah until he is 14 but he had to be able to work on cars when Stephen got him back. So, she got that project started very quickly!!! :-) Perfect timing, as Grandpa had a mini van project going on that day!

Would appear Hil got the volleyball gene! Check out that set!!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

First Meal Without Gracie

I don't have a picture, but this is what I fixed up: Egg (from the backyard!) and bacon sandwich with sauteed onions, mayo, El Tapatio hot sauce, cheddar cheese, Italian spices, Mrs. Dash SW Chipotle spice, and fresh mint leaves for my veggie. I tried it as a closed and open sandwich....the closed tastes better, but the open looks better....hmmmmm, difficult choices.

Now here's my question. How many egg sandwiches am I going to make over the next 4 weeks?

HAA! You have no faith in me! We shall see.

My little tribe got to CA OK. I know they are in good hands and enjoying themselves. My dear sweet daughter evacuated her stomach during the final approach into Chicago....she has my motion sickness propensities. Last I heard, her uncles were chasing her through the house as she was squealing with delight.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

A smile and a thought...

A couple sweet shots to bring you a smile:

And a quote that struck me today:

"The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else."

- Oswald Chambers

Convicting and encouraging.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Today Stephen is working second shift, so we got to enjoy having him around this morning! He was able to get a lot of work done on one of our cars! Yay for mechanically minded husbands!!!

Of course, he needed a lot of supervision, management and direction from a certain small, but capable source:

Later in the morning, the kids and I headed out to meet up with some new friends.

This was Kiah-man's second time ever to try out park swings!!! Enjoy! :-) And blow up one of these pictures to check out how his hair likes to stand up on end!

I know, if you're not one of the grandparent followers of this blog, you're going "alright already with the swing pictures!"... but if you ARE one of the grandparent followers, you're just eating them up!!! :-)

And about an hour and a half after getting home, you could see signs that nap time was right around the corner. :-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Honestly!!! Who needs a teething toy...

...when you've got perfectly good toes to chew on!!! :-)

Equally in the culinary department, may we recommend a couple recipes we've enjoyed lately!

These are from one of our favorites, Eating Well. Eating Well sure lives up to it's subtitle: Where Good Taste Meets Good Health!

The first is Sesame-Honey Tempeh and Quinoa Bowl.... except I made it Sesame-Honey Chicken and Quinoa! :-) I've never used Tempeh and figured chicken would be just great... and it was! Give it a shot this was "yumm-oh", as we say around here! :-)

The second was Hungarian Beef Goulash . Delicious! Super crock-pot dish! We ate it over rice. I did makes some fairly significant changes when I made it and we enjoyed how it came out... however, according to the recipe, it might be even better! Instead of diced tomatoes, I put in tomato sauce. Also I did NOT put in the beef broth, I simply threw in four beef boulion cubes. Not having the extra liquid probably made it a thicker and richer sauce, and I really liked it that way. Besides, with the tomato sauce and slow cooking the meat, we ended up with plenty of sauce! Also didn't use the caraway seeds, bay leaves, or parsley. They would probably be great additions, but turned out just fine without. Give it a try! This ones a keeper!

Note: I was just now reading online that cooking caraway seeds to long can turn a dish bitter, so if you do use 'em, might want to add them at the end. I have no experience from caraway... so I don't know!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Beautiful Mornings

Since Tuesday we've been blessed with some beautiful, sunny, cool days. Several of those mornings, the kids and I spent time out in the yard. I was able to do some yard clean up and we let the chickens out. Clara is now able to catch them fairly regularly. Some of them are "smart" and just run away, and in those cases she isn't able to get them. However, some times they just freeze and sort of hunker down, in which case she is able to simply pick them up. She has been having a grand old time carting them around, bouncing them, showing them to Kiah, carrying them into the bushes, talking to them, etc. And believe it or not, they put up with it quite nicely!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Down At The River

Went down to a little beach on the river with Emmie Lou a few weeks ago. Girls had a grand old time, as you can see! They're like two peas in a pod when it comes to water... very little fear! When it came to Emmie Lou, it seemed more like no fear! :-)