Thursday, December 17, 2009

Abi's comment on my last post

My sister commented on my post and I thought it was clever! Thanks ABI !!!!!

was the week before Christmas and all through Stacey's home,
everyone was carrying about on their own.
The dishes were in the dishwasher that day,
waiting for someone to put them away.

the children were all finished with school,
and Justin put away all of his tools.
and mama in the kitchen cooking for J,
but came upon a small delay.

When on the kitchen floor there arose such a clatter,
mama looked around to see what was the matter.
Ashton sprung back outta the way,
filled with a great deal of dismay.

Both with a look of surprise on their face,
wondering what to think of the place.
when what to their wondering eyes should appear,
was a bunch of broken glass that came out of nowhere.

with litle broken pieces that were dangerous as can be,
and so many tiny ones they couldnt even see.
more extreme than ever before,
looks like this family is in for an extra chore.

now ashton, now tia, now justin, and skye,
Stacey said with a sigh,
to the living room you go,
be very careful and dont cut your toe!

they hurried along and did what she said,
when all of a sudden Stacey saw red,
they looked at the bottom of ashton's foot,
found some blood, and a little trace of soot!

she rushed to the bathroom to get a band-aid,
while on the couch ashton just layed.
she got him all ready and fixed him all up,
and gave him a drink of water in a cup.

they cleaned up the mess, and said a short prayer,
Thank you Dear God for taking great care!
at last they were able to enjoy their dinner,
as Stacey proclaimed she was a winner.

I wanted new dishes, its about time,
I'm about ready for a new design.
I cant wait for christmas, i know what i'll get,
Justin dont you worry, it wont put us in debt!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My kitchen was ground zero

There I was making some steaks for dinner when all of a sudden, there was a loud crash, bang!
The next thing I knew, there were glass shards everywhere. A sea of white and green sparkling fragments of glass. They were on the counter tops, in the living room, in the hall way, and all over the kitchen floor. It took about 30 seconds for me to fully realize what had just occured. Ashton was putting away all of the dishes and in one second he miscalculated and dropped every one of my dinner plates. 3 survived the mishap and I happened to have 1 in the fridge. So now I have a total of 4 dinner plates. 1 is green the rest are white. The white ones are corelle we got them as a gift 15 years ago. The green ones, I found at the dollar store a long time ago. They were my most favorite because they were like an old fashioned milk glass material. However they were not microwave safe. So I am on the hunt for some new plates. Below are some pics of the carnage. It took me about 20 minutes to sweep and vacuum the floor and I still don't think we got it all. Ashton cut his foot from a piece that was found in the hall way. He is fine. From the pics it doesn't look like a lot of glass but it was EVERYWHERE! ! ! Last month, Justin and I were talking about us getting new plates for Christmas, Hmm, looks like I might get my wish.

14 days of home schooling...

This was sent to me as an email. I thought that it was clever. Hope all you home schoolers enjoy. whether you are home schooled or home schoolers.....

To the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas."

On the first day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Can you homeschool legally?"

On the second day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the third day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the fourth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "What about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the fifth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "YOU ARE SO STRANGE! What about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the sixth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "How long will you homeschool, YOU ARE S0 STRANGE, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the seventh day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?"

On the eighth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Why do you do this, look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE, what about P.E. do you give them tests, are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?"

On the ninth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "They'll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!, what about P.E. do you give them tests, are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?"

On the tenth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "What about graduation, they'll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the eleventh day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "I could never do that, what about graduation, they'll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the twelfth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Can they go to college, I could never do that, what about graduation, they'll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE, What about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the thirteenth day of homeschool I thoughtfully replied: "They Can go to college, yes you can do this, they can have graduation, we don't like the prom, we do it cuz we like it, they are missing nothing, we'll homeschool forever, WE ARE NOT STRANGE!, We give them P.E., and we give them tests, they are socialized, AND WE HOMESCHOOL LEGALLY!

On the fourteenth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "How can I get started, why didn't you tell me, where do I buy curriculum, when is the next conference, WILL PEOPLE THINK WE'RE STRANGE? I think we can do this, if you will help us, we'll join a sports team, and we'll homeschool legally."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Justin's vows to me

These are the vows my wonderful husband wrote to me. I refused to listen to them or read them until our ceremony. Now I am posting them.

Today I want to renew my vows to you. The most loving, beautiful, person I could ever hope to spend my life with. It's truly amazing how fast 15 years can go, when you spend time with someone, who you can connect with in all aspects of life. I truly thank GOD for bringing us together.
I will continue to be there for you, in your good times and bad. I look forward to the rest of our lives with each other. I hope to be the husband you deserve, and I will give you all I have to give.

Today I renew my vow to love you and support you, and be there for you through whatever life brings us. And to be a loving, true, and faithful husband as long as we both shall live.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

5479 days

Today Justin and I have been married for exactly 5479 days or 15 years.
Today we will renew our wedding vows in a beautiful ceremony with our friends and family present. I am so excited. This will be completely different from our first ceremony at the Justice of the Peace. Today we will be surrounded by our most cherished friends and loved ones. There will be lights and flowers and dresses (pretty ones). And I am sure I am going to bust out in the ugly cry. I don't know if I should have a box of tissues with me or just take a roll of bounty paper towels. I have the perfect music and the perfect boutonnieres, the decorators, the sound guy, the food. But most of all I have the most perfect husband for me! We decide to write our vows this time.

I am ending this post with my vows to my Wonderful Husband! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

You are my "Happily Ever After". I never dreamed that I would have a marriage filled with this much Joy and Happiness. You are my best friend, my life partner, you are the one I yearn to see every afternoon, the one who completes me.
I thank GOD for bringing us together to love and care for each other. You are a kind, nurturing, loving, devoted, husband and father. With all of my heart I thank you for your unconditional love, friendship, commitment, and sacrifice. You give yourself completely to us.
Our relationship has gone beyond anything I could have ever imagined. After 15 years of living with you, loving you, appreciating you, watching you grow in the LORD, my love for you has deepened beyond my wildest imaginings. YOU are still the man I crave!
Today as we stand here, before our family and friends, to reaffirm our wedding vows. I do so with a heart that is overflowing with my love for you, and once again I give you every part of myself. I promise to Love and Honor you in all things. Committing myself to you as we look forward to the wonderful years ahead.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Time to catch up....

So much has happened in the last few weeks and I want to share all of that here.
I will try to start in order and make my way through the list of things I want to remember.

It has been a really busy season for us and we are hoping that with Christmas right around the corner it will start to slow down.

so here is my list
1. I catered a wedding! It was a great success! Very stressful as there are soooo many details to be looked after. In all everything went very smoothly, and we pulled it off without a hitch. I had an organized team of 10 ladies to help me. It was a grueling 4 days. But I could not have done it
with out their hard work. I also catered the rehearsal dinner.
here is the menu for these 2 events

Rehearsal dinner:
Spaghetti marinara
Spaghetti sausage marinara
spaghetti alfredo
grilled chicken
ceasar salad
garlic bread
Ice cream with hot fudge and a cookie

mini pigs in blanket
cheese skewers
fruit skewers
shrimp cocktail
caprese sticks
baby dill pickles
mini quiches

Dinner buffet:

harvest salad with Dried cranberries, pears, candied pecans, and citrus vinaigrette
wild rice pilaf
roasted red potatoes with rosemary and olive oil
green beans with almonds and bacon
cider glazed pork medallions
chicken cordon bleu
bread rolls
herbed butter
cinnamon butter

Dessert buffet:
Brownie bites with butter cream icing
chocolate dipped strawberries
mini cheesecakes
fruit skewers
wedding cake

wedding favors:
my homemade peanut butter cups

2. Last week when I went to my ladies bible study I was told I had a surprise!
This very, very, special group of women, had something for me that I never would have imagined in a million years. They presented me with a box and inside this box was a dress. But not just any ordinary dress. It is the dress I get to walk down the aisle in when I renew my wedding vows to my husband in 12 days. I can't tell you how much I was dreading shopping for a dress. A few months ago I found one I liked and thought that it would be perfect for the occasion. However I would never spend that kind of money on a dress so I put it back. My best friend got together with the ladies of the church and they surprised me with this very dress. It will be altogether different wearing this dress. Than if I had just went out and purchased one.
This way I will feel as if those beautiful women are walking with me down the aisle.
I think this is the most special gift I have ever received!

3. Last week Justin and I went down and got our tattoos. We had been planning this for about 8 months. We knew we had to do this during the Thanksgiving holiday to give Justin time to heal before going back to work. Justin does not wear a wedding band due to the nature of his work.
we thought that it would be a perfect solution to get wedding band tattoos. So for our 15th wedding anniversary instead of exchanging rings when we renew our vows, we got tattooed!

4. Thanksgiving was a really nice affair. We had dinner over at Justin's brother's house with family from out of town joining us. Everyone was so kind, I pretty much was just allowed to sit and do nothing and all they let me bring was a pumpkin pie! So I had to spice up the cool whip by stirring in some cinnamon. Also Elyssa and I made some sugar cookies as place cards for the dinner table. After dinner we went to see my best friend's new house and have dessert. I had been so consumed by the wedding and they had just got the keys to start moving in during the weekend of the wedding. I was so bummed that I didn't get to help her move in! Her home is gorgeous and it fits her perfectly! I am so happy for them!!!!

5. I hosted dinner at my house the night after Thanksgiving, Everyone brought some sort of leftovers from the day before. I made stuffed mushrooms, and cream cheese wontons. The wontons were a hit. We devoured about 50 of them in 10 minutes. They were super simple and delicious! After dinner we played cards there were 4 couples and we had a great time. The kids were playing very good together as well. It was very nice to have adult conversation and play some games.

6.Saturday my mom hosted her Thanksgiving dinner. It was really nice very laid back and yummy! I was still trying to get rested up from the previous weekend. So we called it an early night and went home to veg out in front of the tv. Elyssa was also exhausted from all of the recent events and she needed to go home to bed.

7. I have recently introduced my kids to Star Trek the Next Generation. They LOVE it. We watched part of season 2 in the last few weeks. We can't get enough. Justin thinks I am a nerd. I am sure of it.

8. I am still trying to prepare for our ceremony. 10 days away and I have so much to do, to get ready. Fortunately we all have our clothes ready for that day. I have 2 of the most fabulous decorators in the whole world, working with me. Just details to attend to... I wrote my vows last night, I am a slacker, Justin had his done over a week ago.

so glad you could stop by for a bit and catch up with us!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New sign

Recently I had the privilege of going to the Family Christmas Gift Show at the Southtowne Expo Center. We had a very good time shopping and enjoying each others company. My most favorite thing at the show was the sign below.
I fell in love again. It is the most perfect thing for our family during the holiday season. It echos our sentiments exactly.
So I ran right up to the lady and told her, "I want that! That one right there is going home with me!!!" She was great she took it down off the wall and I made my purchase and walked around the rest of the exhibits with a great big smile. I have already put it out on display!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today's post from

This was my post from today, I guest blog on Wednesdays at

This is Miss Cheva's Beef Stroganoff....

Stirrin' It Up With Stacey

Well it's time to get your crockpot out and let it work for you! Today I am going to post my Mother in-law's Beef Stroganoff. This is a tasty treat, and my kids absolutely love it. It is one of my most favorite comfort foods. The best part is, how easy it is to prepare!!!! That makes me happy.
I serve this with a green salad, and a loaf of french bread, and call it good. Prep time is less than 10 minutes in the morning, and then you have about 10-15 minutes of prep before serving.

Easy Beef Stroganoff
1 package beef stew meat (fresh or frozen)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
pinch of garlic powder
salt and pepper
8 oz. sour cream
egg noodles cooked

Turn crockpot on low setting if you will be gone all day and then load in the meat and soup, no need to stir....add about 1/2 cup water, sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cover and let cook all day long. Before serving cook egg noodles and drain, set aside. Stir sour cream into the mixture in the crockpot, serve over hot noodles.Don't forget the salad and the french bread to round out this meal.

I love the rich wonderful taste this recipe delivers...perfect for a busy fall evening!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Blessings to you and yours,

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Favorite Picture

Elyssa has snapped a few more pics and we have counted these ones as our new favorites. Every time we see them we laugh really hard.

Last week I walked outside to hear a horrible meowing sound. I decided to check it out and found a young cat. I think perhaps she might have been very hungry. Eyssa walked right up to her and picked her up. She was a gorgeous sleek gray with a really cool tail. We put her in our spare dog kenel and gave her some food (tuna) and water. After the cat ate she started howling and making a ruckus. I called animal control so they could find her a good home. She was young and had sweet disposition and was very adoptable. Before the shelter people could get here, Elyssa started taking pictures.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time to get all caught up....

Well it has been awhile since I posted anything of real substance... and I feel like I have been caught up in a tornado of activity and it is only going to get worse!
Since I am making time to blog I thought that I would post some pics and some updates!

First of all Fall is here and we have finished harvesting the garden for the most part. What is left are the tomato bushes left to wither after the frost. Hopefully one of us will have some time to go and pull those out before it snows. Our grand total for our garden harvests this year: 273 lbs. 3oz. That does not include the 5 pumpkins or the giant snake melon we found hidden against the fence. This melon was about 5 ft long and weighed close to 15 lbs. we estimated. This total does not include the crate of green tomatoes I harvested and put in the garage. Keeping a record of all our harvests was a project we have decided to do for school. And it has been fun!
Justin and I went on a motorcycle ride up to Alpine loop. We made a day of it with his brother and sister in law. We stopped and had lunch on the way home at Iceberg. The scenery was gorgeous and it was the absolute best week to see the colors. I realize in this picture I am not wearing a helmet.... I don't wear a helmet and I am OK with that, but most people are not. I have surrendered myself, my husband and my children to the Lord! This leaves me at peace.

But don't look at the fact that I am not wearing a helmet look at the gorgeous colors we got to enjoy!

Justin left to go hunting in early October. I cry horribly when he leaves, this time of year makes me crazy until the hunt is over. This year was different though, I was talking with a friend and "abandonment issues" came up in the converstion. This was a wake up call!!!!! All of a sudden I realized what my problem was. And that day, about a week before the hunt, I started giving that over to GOD. I am happy to report that I did not cry this year!!!! That is such a victory for me.
Here is a photo of the happy hunters.

Justin's dad, Justin, and Rick (Justin's BIL)
Justin shot both of the elk.
The really cool story here is, Rick's 7 yr.old, Micah asked to talk to Justin one night on the phone during the hunt. He told Justin he was going to pray that Justin would be able to shoot his elk the next morning. And guess what? Not only did he shoot 1 he shot 2. I think it is so great that a young child can see that GOD answers his prayers!

While Justin was gone I decided I needed to paint something else in the house!
So I painted our bedroom ceiling, closet doors, door trim and window ledge....Purple! Yes, purple. It is a delightful muted shade that is a little dusky and a bit cozy maybe even romantic. I found some shutter closet doors that have been in our laundry room since we moved in. They were white and I took some burt umber paint to them and distressed them. Then I bought 2 new lamps one for each side of our bed. Also a few weeks ago I purchased a sign that says "always kiss me goodnight" it matched perfectly!!!! I now just need to get the bedding to match and some decent night stands and maybe a nice dresser.

eventually these doors will be turned on their sides and used more as a headboard right above our bed. but until then this is where they stand...
Total cost of make over so far.
paint ................................. $12.00
lamps 2 @ $7.49 each ......$14.98
brushes, rollers etc............ $10.00
burnt umber paint.............$ 2.91
Sign ....................................$ 2.00
shutter doors ......................Free
grand total...........................$41.89

Lastly but certainly not least...Just most recently.
Our little Ashton needed to have glasses, he could not see so well.
He has been such a great sport about it too! He has been excited!!!
His most important discovey with his new eyes...."Watching tv is like watching in High Def now!!!!"
I hope to blog more frequently mid December! Until then it may be a bit sporadic, I am hosting our 3rd annual pumpkin carving party this weekend, helping with a bridal shower next weekend, catering a wedding just before Thanksgiving, homeschooling the kids, and renewing my vows with my husband in early December. All in the midst of the holidays!!! You can check me out on . I will be guest blogging on Wednesdays sharing recipes and kitchen tips....
Love to you all my friends
thanks for dropping by,

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

U of U Kitchen Towel

So I posted last week that my mom was making these towels. And while we were out shopping this weekend I convinced her she needed to make this one.

It is up for grabs and I can ship it tomorrow if you want it!

$12.50 includes the shipping. I think it would be the perfect hostess gift for the next game!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday Give Away at Heyrachiekay

Yesterday started the giveaways at

The give away is a really cute pendant. It is a Sterling silver tag stamped with a Jesus fish and a gemstone. They are cute. Go on over and check it out. First click on my link to Hey rachie kae, then read through her instructions to enter the contest....(you will need to click on her post title for the giveaway which will take you to the site of annas jewelry, choose yor favorite item, and then comment back on rachie kae's blog to enter. It is that simple! the contest is still open!!! Hurry!!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

guest blogging

Check out I will be guest blogging every Wednesday. She has some way cool stuff over there. She truly has a heart for GOD! She is a stay at home mom who writes a really cute blog, and she is a great friend.
It is a real honor for me to help her out so head on over and check her out!

mama's towels make great gifts

Hey ya'll, I wanted to post some pics of my mama's kitchen towels. They have a retro feel to to them and they make great hostess gifts as well. She has gifted some to me over the last few months and I truly love them. She can customize them to any decor or color. She recently made some for a girl who is going on a missions trip and needs to raise funds (she sold them at a boutique). My favorites were the halloween spider towel she made. It was green fabric with little black spiders and she used a solid black towel. She is making some harvest towels that I am really keeping my eye on.
Any way take a look and if you are interested please leave me a comment and I will get you more info! The price would be $12.50 and includes shipping.
She saw this dragonfly fabric and just could not resist!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Taste of Home Cooking School

Last night, I participated in the Taste Of Home Cooking School in Woods Cross, Utah. The day was long but so much fun and it was a really great experience. I picked up my mom at 7:45 am and we drove the 20 minutes to Woods Cross, High School. When we got there we were introduced the the other women who were there helping for the day. Then we were given instructions and we set to work. I was given the manicotti recipe, and a very detailed instruction sheet. This was a behind the scenes look for me, how it is done on television and on stage. It was completely planned out from how many prep containers and what size, along with how many lids. To each item that needed to be prepped and how. It was a stretch for me because I know how I cook and even following a recipe is fine but I tend to improvise and want to do things my way. This was different because it had to be done in stages. Some of it was to be done now, and refrigerated while other parts would be done on stage. Everything was numbered and very organized.

The lady here is Becky. She was the other Taste of Home Field Editor, that would be helping prepare a dish on stage that night. She has been published in every annual cook book from TOH since 2000. She was a very nice lady and thought that it was very nice that TOH would diversify and not just choose mormon cooks to be in their cook books. I didn't have the heart to tell her that TOH was not a mormon publication!

After the food prep the instruction said we needed to assemble our trays which corresponded to the recipe we were doing for the evening show. This is my tray just about assembled, I still had a few items to be put on. This was after I had prepared my marinara sauce and let it cook for an hour.

After everything was all said and done we had to wash our dishes and clean up our areas. My mom set herself up as the dishwasher, for the most part. We had 3 bins to wash, rinse, and sanitize; back stage in the woods cross high school auditorium. That was a challenge. The water we were getting, was from and ancient sink so encrusted with all colors of paint you could barely get the water to turn on.

There were 6 women helping backstage that morning, we had 10 recipes to prep.

This is a behind the scenes look... all of the appliances were brought in by a local appliane store and donated for the night. The audience was told that night that if they were interested in the 2 stoves, the fridge or microwave you could go to the store the next day and they would give you a really great deal on the ones that were used for the show. After all the prep work was done I decided I wanted to take a few before and after shots. Here is the one shot of my mom stage right that I got. It just happened randomly, she was at the right place at the right time!!! We were done with the prep and were ready to go by noon. The shows Hostess Christy gave us all a gift certificate for a TOH 1 year magazine subscription. I thought that was way cool.

I was not feeling well and decided that we needed to go back home and rest for awhile instead of going to hang out at the nearest mall.

This is a pile of some of the door prizes. TOH gave away a ton of door prizes. Also the national sponsors gave away alot of door prizes and the local sponsors gave away phenomenal door prizes.

These are more door prizes. The blue package on the bottom was the Ziplock gift pack it was given away during my recipe. On to of that is the Gallo wines ift basket, it had an apron, hot pads, cookbooks, kitchen towels and other goodies. They gave away the frying pan, it is Royal Prestige brand. And the white box was a set of knives. In this photo the leather love seat to the left, was beautiful and it was one of the grand prizes donated by the local sponsors. The other grand prizes were $250 gift certificates from local florists. After shot of the stage right before the show. My mom and got back to the show about 4:30 that evening and they had alot of local vendors giving out things and prize drawings etc. The best part is that when we checked in at the ticket booth they gave you an orange paper (with tape) that said reserved so that we coud go get our seats and then roam the vendor booths! That was a nice touch. Winegars had boxes of little sandwhiches and and eclairs and brownies for everyone to sample. And at one of the vendor booths I found a cookbook. It has 30 weeks of weekly menus and all of the recipes to go with it. It got to come home with me! I was recipe #2 Manicotti, I was a bit nervous but I was thankful that I did not have to go last. I think being first for something like this is great. I was able to enjoy the rest of the show, without any anxiety. This is the new TOH cookbook! Our church ladies are featured on pg. 311. I got my first look today, I was a bit dissapointed in a few aspects but not too badly. Here is why, First of all I submitted the photo of all the women in our group and they reduced it to about 1"x 1" and only left half of the women in it. Secondly the photo is in black and white and it is hard to tell what is going on in the photo. Lastly our recipe is not even in the book! but you can get it online.Those are my 3 complaints. I have consoled myself with the knowledge that it is not about us. It doesn't matter if our pic is perfect or if our recipe wasn't included. What matters is our story, our ministry to others! We ar servants not celebrities! We all got goodie bags when we checked in and we got 2 magazines and tons of things and samples also everyone who attended the show got a free 1 yr. subscription to TOH as well.

The last pic I am sharing is my manicotti! Isn't the pan cool! The manicotti will be gone very soon, but every time I use this pan I will remember my experience at the Taste Of Home Cooking School.

Thanks for dropping by ~S

Monday, September 14, 2009

surprises and blessings

I have a story! That was my recent facebook status. And it was/ is true. I have a story.

I have to start with Thursday evening, that is when I decided I really NEEDED to go to the Scrapbook USA Expo. It started the next morning prompty at 9am. So I asked my hunny for some money, and being the sweet one that he is, brought me twice the amount I requested. This is an important detail....keep that in mind.
So I made arrangements for my mom to watch the kids until it was time for her to leave on her ladies retreat with her church. At which time the kids would occupy themselves for a bit while I was on my way home.

There I was at the scrapbook expo basking in the glow of all the new products out there. (By the way I got some killer deals!!!!) Anyway as I was saying I was shopping. My phone rang and it was my mother she told me that the retreat she was going on had an opening for one person due to a last minute cancellation. I told her that I would really love to go but unfortunately we were really watching the budget this week (now that I was shopping the expo). I would not be able to make it. She then relayed to me that there would be no cost, since the person going was sponsored and that money would be forfeited anyway, also they were looking for a specific count of 200 women and now they would be short. I quickly ended that conversation and called Justin who was so very sweet in telling me that I really needed to go. This retreat was at the Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah. Years ago Justin had worked at the Zermatt when it was being built, he did work in some of the rooms that were nearly finished. When I told him where the retreat was at, he told me that he wanted me to go, and that he did not want me to miss out on that kind of experience. However he was working a 10 hr. day so it would be 6 pm before he would be home from work.

I called my mom and told her I was in.
(During which time I inadvertantly shoplifted 30lbs of paper, Don't worry I took it all back and paid for it. And I appologized profusely.) I finished my shopping and decided it was time to head home. On my way out, Justin called me to tell me that he was actually off work. It was only like 1pm, he said they were done for the day, and that he would meet me at home. Wow, it was kind of wiggin' me out how everything was falling into place so quickly and easily.

I got home and packed my bag and kissed everyone goodbye. And here is the amazing part...I drove up Parley's all by myself without any fear!!!! I had never done that before and didn't really have any desire to do it. I got up there and I was perfectly at peace the entire time! I made my way to Midway and the Zermatt and from there I was confused as of where to check in or meet my party and they were not answering their phones. Low and behold as I was driving through one of the parking lots, I heard my mom's friend laughing her very distinct laugh, I looked to my right and there they were coming out of the building. They directed me to the sign in and event registration and waited for me.

Here is where I really thought that it was going to get sketchy for me. I had to share a room with 3 complete strangers! People I had never laid eyes on before AND I was going to have to share a bed with one of them!!!! As I went into the room I thought that I was going to be really freaked out but I had an overwhelming peace. I can't even explain it here but there was not a trace of anxiety. I walked in to find my room empty, my room mates had not arrived yet. so I went to the far end of the room and commandeered the end spot on the farthest bed. I then went exploring for a bit. Found my mother again, called maintenance to come fix the AC in the room that was not working, opened the complimentary shampoo to smell it, and relaxed for a bit.

Ok, remember that money I talked about earlier? I decided that since dinner was not provided I needed to go and get a bite to eat before the evening service. So my mom and I hopped in the car and took a brief tour of Midway, while looking for some dinner. I had just enough spending money left from the scrapbook expo to puchase dinner! We grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the resort.
This time before entering the room, I was accutely aware that those strangers would most likely be there by now. I won't say I had anxiety this time but I did take a deep breath before entering. I was determined to be chipper and upbeat and friendly. The women were very friendly and I introduced myself to them thankfully my mom came in and helped out with the intros also. We only had a short time to change and walk over to another building to get to the conference center, so we were all in a zone. Not much time for getting to know each other.

Any way we all trotted down to the first meeting and service, it was really a great time. After that I was determined to get into a hot tub before it closed for the evening. Let's just say there was alot of walking involved, before we finally got to the hot tub. It was a really cool hot tub as well with a waterfall that felt like a shiatsu massage when you sat under it! We stayed 20 minutes and then headed back up to the room to change and then go to the after party the pastor's wife was hosting in her room. She made and served what was referred to as "christian crack" appropriately named I assure you. They were like those cheese puffs you buy in the bag in the potato chip aisle, however they were coated in carmel instead and they were sooooo good!

At this point I had not seen my roommates since our first meeting and they were not at the party either. Drats, it looked like I was going to have to sleep with a stranger. I was hoping to have had enough time to get to know her a little bit. We bid all of the party goers goodnight and headed back to our rooms. My roommates were there all snug in their PJ's and talking. So I sat on my end of the bed and joined in. Little did I know at this point that I would find such a dear friend. Anika was my bed fellow and we really hit it off. We talked about everything and found out that we loved all of the same things. It was like finding a long lost sister. We discovered that it was getting very late and we needed to get some sleep before the morning workshops, so we turned out the lights to get some rest.

By the end of the next afternoon we had checked out and my mom and I were going into the pastry shop so I could buy the kids a treat. There stood Anika, my new found friend. We started talking again and ended up with me driving her back to Salt Lake at my invitation. Once again this was out of my box.

I found out that Anika wanted to do the very same Bible study that I am starting tomorrow night at my church. Guess what? She is coming with me! Two years ago I never would have agreed to sleep in a room with 3 strangers (sisters in Christ or not)but GOD is changing me and using what used to be my insecurities to teach me and to bring me to a woman who desperately needed a friend in her current church group, of which I don't attend! weird right... She has not felt welcomed at her current church and she has been attending for over a year and she has had some very unfortunate experiences there. I think GOD put us together for very specific reasons. I can't discount that He has a purpose here! I am feeling so very blessed! There are so many details I have had to leave out. I fear if I put it all in here you would be reading for days.
But I will tell you I am astonished in the ways that He moves us, works for us and through us!!!
Thanks for dropping by,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's been a while...

It has been awhile since I posted anything and I know you all are just dying to know what we have been up to, right?
We have been so busy these last few weeks just trying to squeeze the very last few drops we can out of summer. You see, here in Utah, June was so rainy, we did not get alot of play time. We are trying to hold onto summer as long as we can.
We have been camping at least 2x in August and been up to the lake atleast 6 times. Our first camping trip was the very first part of August. We went to Rockport State Park. We were below the dam and were there for Justin's annual family reunion. We had a great time and Justin's cousin Ron, took us out in his boat. THANKS RON! It was so much fun, and we had not been out on the water since I'd had Elyssa. That experience was so much fun that we went right out and bought some wave runners. From that point on we have been at the lake as often as possible. We discovered we really like Rockport because it is so close, only 45 minutes from our home. We then had another camp trip with alot of people from our church. That was a ton of fun and it just happened to be at Rockport.
We took our wave runners and had everybody out on the water. We had a blast! The best part of the wave runners is that it has forced us to have some down time! You have to sit on the beach and wait for a turn, this has caused me to really enjoy going to the lake, I am forced to sit and relax and do nothing for the majority of the day. The Kids absolutely love it!
Just this last weekend we took out the wave runners again and took another group of people from church. This time we really focused on a few close friends who had not been out with us and also some newer people at church that we were eager to get to know better. I am happy to report that every one had a great time. Even though the water was freezing! I am so thankful to the people who came out to the lake with us, it really made for an awesome trip. Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera. But I do have photos from the last month or so. Posted below are some photos of what we have been up to. I will give a brief description for each.
Enjoy the pics!
This (dog) is half Timberwolf and half German Shepherd. One of Justin's cousins brought him and literally dropped him in the middle of the family gathering and tied him up right where everyone was gathered. He caused quite a fright for some of us mommies....
But as it turned out he was quite friendly, and loved the attention.Justin was really excited to go and meet him but I think he held back because between his mother and I, we were going to have a stroke.
This is one of my most favorite photos. I have a few of Grandma Bonnie but not with my daughter. On this occasion Elyssa walked up to her and gave her a hug and started the conversation. I was so proud of her for initiating a conversation and showing love. My kids have not been around grandma alot and her age is really catching up with her. She is disoriented alot and doesn't remember too much. But it really depends on the day. One morning Kasey (justin's sister) and I were brushing our teeth beneath this tree, when we looked up we found these mushrooms growing about 20 feetup the tree. We don't have any family portraits... sad right? So I am trying to rectify the situation by taking snapshots of us while we are out on adventures.As you know we home school and we never get school photos done. As we were leaving camp before we got on the freeway we stopped at this little gas station. They had the coolest old fence and I was so excited I made the kids sit for "school pics".
I am using this photo as a divider between subjects and cuz I think it is so cool. I went outside one day and low and behold there was a dragonfly sitting on the phone line above our deck. It stayed there just long enough for me to get a few shots and then it abandoned its siesta.Here are photos from Rockport once again but this time we are with our church family on a camp out. These are our new toys, the red one is called "The Dog" and the yellow one is called "El Chupacabra". (don't ask)Here the kids found a crawdad and they were freaking out on the beach. I don't think they knew what it was. They were even more freaked out that I would reach down and pick it up, but they were eager to get a really good look at it. Justin with his weed burner/campfire starter. Look close and you will see the flame.Some how I managed to get a photo with all 8 of the kids in it. Sunday morning worship after breakfast.Mitch is so sweet, he was really into the singing and he did a great job on the djembe.Sunday morning was cold and drizzly but the kids were still having a great time.

Thanks for dropping by!