Thursday, August 24, 2006

Yesterday was really a praise day for the three of us. Sierra was sooo helpful! She picked up clothes and put them in the washer, took letters upstairs to be mailed, and gave me hope. She brought out about 10 pieces of construction paper and started telling me what color each of them are. Most kids know their colors earlier, but she has struggled with colors. I didn't prompt her or anything. She just started saying, "Green, blue, red, pink, white, black, orange, purple, etc." How cool! Thank you Lord for the encouragment! Well for me, I have been working at keeping the utility bill at our budget amount-turning off lights, unplugging stuff, etc. They reassess it every 6 months and change it after a year according to more or less. Well I thought for sure it would go up after using the air conditioner sooo much in July & August, but we got the bill yesterday and it stayed the same - woohoo- for a whole more year! For Steve, he has been kicking bootay and taking names in selling garages. Yesterday he had to drive 1 1/2 hrs. north to bid a garage. He sold it the first time out! Most times people want to have them come back another time before they decide. We are still hoping he is the top seller for the month which would be amazing being the new kid on the block. I guess it is just good to set goals for himself. Anyways we all celebrated by going out to Charoal Grill for dinner last night. We need these kind of days once in a while. Thank you Lord for the blessings!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Here's pictures of Dave & Esther with Sadie & Reghan at their home. Two pictures are of the Mall of America and Steve & Sierra riding the balloon ride. We had such a great time seeing Dave & Esther and the girls. It was so nice to reconnect before we don't see them for a while. We will miss them! Sierra ran out and gave Reghan a hug as soon as we got there - how precious! The girls really hit it off and played well together. We stayed up late and talked and the guys went and checked out weird chainsaw noises and lights down the road. It freaked us out a little, but the "big burly men" :) went to check it out. Someone went off the road and they had to cut out a stump to get the car out - at midnight. I mentioned "chainsaw massacre" when I heard the noises so late at night - ok maybe my mind does run off at times :). We had fun--it was nice to just pick up where we left off.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It's been a rainy couple of days here. We attempted to go to the concert in the park on Thursday night with my mom and aunts, but got rained out. It was the start to our Irish Fest weekend with the an Irish group playing at the park. Luckily we were able to purchase a cd for half-off to hear what they really sounded like. Last night we headed downtown for the festival. We came in our ponchos and raincoats and met up with Trinity and Jeremiah to watch the Irish dancers. Sierra of course wants to be one and wanted to go to all the stages with little kids dancing :). We ended up seeing my parents and friends from Illinois up for the weekend. We saw a harp player, Scottish bagpipes and dancers and heard a couple of the Irish groups before Sierra joined a group of kids at the fountain. The fountain is right at the front gate and kids tend to go wild with the different timings of the little fountains. We had a good time other than for the fact we missed the free cutoff time by 10 min. Oh well! We look forward to going every year, so it was worth it. We ended up buying another cd from Gaelic Storm. Well we are off for a weekend near Minneapolis visiting Dave and Esther before they head off to balmy California to take an associate pastor position near San Jose. We will sure miss them being close, but now I guess we'll have to save up for a trip out west. No problem with me:)! (I may be on hiatus for a while, b/c we are going to have to get new internet access.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ok a praise jam for my husband, Steve. He set the alarm last night to wake up early. When I woke up this morning, he had already fed the lizard & crab, set out breakfast for Sierra, took a shower and was dressed for work. He then took my car in and dropped it off to get looked at b/c it's been making lots of noises when backing up, etc. Not including, he vacuumed my car out last night and went to the auto parts store to change some fuses on the car even though he knew it wouldn't probably fix anything in order to calm down his wife. Today he has a very busy day with 3 garage leads and has to run to get permits for another one. He is amazing! Thank you Lord for a husband who goes out of his way for me and is SOOO helpful. He truly has been fantastic. He asked me how he could help me more and I said to get Sierra ready to go in the morning. This whole week he's gotten her dressed and her breakfast ready. What a giving husband for whom I am truly grateful. I have seen him grow so much in our marriage - what a true testament to his dependence upon God. Thank you sweetheart!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Well I'm pet sitting for this week. I have a bearded dragon and a hermit crab. My sister is on vacation and my dad is watching her dog, 2 cats, turtles and fish, so she thought she'd split up the crew to not overwhelm my dad :). The lizard looks like a foot long iguana whose food (crickets) is chirping in the background as I write. The hermit crab eats dried worms and dried fruit with purified water and the lizard eats crickets, lettuce and grapes. I don't know how my sister does it with all of these guys. I think the lizard is still trying to get comfortable. Half of him is white and half is his normal grey. (white - scared, I think?) We are trying to get Sierra used to having a pet since we found out we can have cats in our condo. She has to save up $100 before she can get one. She is already halfway there! I'm still debating between a kitty and a cat with all of its shots and litter trained. We shall see. The earliest is probably Christmas, so we can hit 2 birds with one stone. We may wait until she can take care of it all by herself, so it doesn't become another duty for mom :).

Friday, August 11, 2006

Here are some more pictures from Sierra's birthday. Opening her baby swing, wearing her Barbie "Mermaidia" outfit, and of course blowing out her candles at my parent's house for her party. She still has that shock and awe excited look when she opens gifts. I hope she keeps that for a couple more years before the,"But, Mom I asked for the other thing other than what you got me look."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lots of blogging going on the last couple of days, but this is the busiest part of our year. This blog is dedicated to our life one year ago today in which Sierra broke her leg. Because of her age and the location of the break, she had to be put in a body cast for 6 weeks. We thought our world was going to end. I couldn't lift her, so Steve had to take off for 4 of those weeks and 2 more after she got it off for recovery. We stayed at his parent' s house for 2 weeks, so his mom and grandma could help me lift her and move her around. She was in a wheelchair, but had to be reclined down, b/c she couldn't sit up. It was overwhelming! She only had a small area open on the bottom that we stuffed a diaper into. We had to put a large one on the outside to protect her cast. She got such bad rashes inside the cast where her skin was raw. I never thought we would make it through. Thank the Lord we did! He helped her heal amazingly fast after she got her cast off. Within 6 weeks after her cast was off, there was no limp at all. All that to say, I tried to help Sierra realize what a blessing her being able to run, ride her bike and even walk is. We tend to always take the everyday things for granted, but today we prayed together and thanked the Lord for all He's done. It truly is a miracle!

Yesterday was our golden anniversary, ok not in the traditional sense, but we have been married seven years on the 7th. We kind of had 2 days of celebrating it. We had a date on Saturday that you see in the pictures (that will come later once my computer cooperates) and we had a date on our anniversary which I remembered the camera case, but not the camera :). On Saturday we went to eat at Coast for lunch - thanks to Alicia and my mom's talking about how good it was. It was a perfect setting overlooking the lake and the art museum. I would probably liked dinner better to get the true experience, but the lunch was pricey enough :). Great topovers or popovers (bread) and cucumber dill salad! We then went on to the art museum. I was surprised Steve wanted to go, but the special exhibit was about comic books. He loved reading them when he was a kid, so he enjoyed seeing them. We made it through the whole building in a little over a hour - I guess we're not the best art connoisseurs. Yesterday, we headed off to Madison and walked around the State Capitol and State St. What a beautiful view from the observation deck at the Capitol! (Even though it took about 100 steps to get there :). That evening we went the Melting Pot restaurant. What a cool concept! It is all fondue. We had 4 courses: cheese, salad, main, chocolate. They do it all at your table on a hotplate with a fondue pot. So fun! Be prepared took 2 1/2 hours before we were done. I loved how they lit the chocolate one on fire - for effect of course :). The meal consisted of Wisconsin trio of cheeses with sherry and shallots; chef salad; filet, citrus pork, shrimp, & chicken with vegetables in a vegetable bouillon with Burgundy wine, mushrooms & garlic; turtle - milk chocolate, caramel, & pecans. Needless to say a very rich meal which kind of was a little much for the stomach - but an awesome experience!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Happy belated birthday to Sierra! She turned 4 on Saturday. We kind of had an extended weekend celebration for her. On Thursday, we went with Trinity Hindman and her 2 boys, Ethan and Abel to the state fair. It was soo cute. Ethan called (with mom's help) and left Sierra a message on her birthday by singing "For she's a jolly good fellow" - what a crackup. Sierra already said she's going to marry him as well as probably 3 other girls have said. He's already got choices at 3! She keeps asking me how old she'll be when she gets married. "Will I be five?" Daddy says -35! Thanks to her cousin Ryan's wedding - that's all she can talk about. Well anyways, after the fair we came home for a nap and then headed back when Daddy got home from work. On Friday, my sister and her cousins surprised her by taking her to Build A Bear for her b'day present (notice the bunny is wearing a wedding dress:). On Saturday, my parents took her to the zoo, while mommy and daddy got a date - woohoo! Saturday night we had her b'day party at my parents. Today she gets to stay overnight at her Nana's house and celebrate her b'day over there. It is a never ending party for her :).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Our weekend - Part III
We left the funeral about 9:45 p.m. and started our trek towards home. Thankfully Nancy met us at the exit again, so we could pick up Sierra (11p.m.). We had hoped to stop in Indiana, but every hotel we called or stopped at was booked, except for one for $120 a night - yeah right! I felt so bad for Rob driving the whole way. We hit pretty bad construction in SW Michigan and in Indiana. I really can't stand the concrete barriers and makeshift lanes while going somewhat normal freeway speeds next to semis. I know I would not have done well, especially so late at night. We finally did book a hotel over the Illinois border, but missed it b/c it was a makeshift exit right before the breakoff for 94 and the bypass. We got off at the next exit in hopes to go back. Let me just pause to say - nothing is ever easy on a toll road. If you make a mistake your paying double and triple tolls to get on and off and the exits are few and far between. Well, the ramp back on the bypass east was closed for the night! Thankfully, when we tried to cancel our reservation, we found out they messed up and didn't even reserve it, even though we had a confirmation number. Hallelujah! And normally Chicago is the most dreaded part of the trip due to traffic, it was smooth sailing all the way home. I guess 2:00 a.m. does that for ya :). Needless to say after 2 days of endless traveling, we were thankful to be home and rest up for all the sleep loss. Someone sure missed her daddy! I did too :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Our weekend - Part II
We stayed up late and spent time with Grandma and Uncle Kevin. The next day we saw Grandpa, and he kept saying, "Where's my little sweetie?" to Sierra. It was good to see Grandma was already on her feet after the surgery. She had half of a knee replaced which allowed her to walk around still while it was healing. It was so good to see them, even though we only had a short time to visit. Around mid-afternoon my sister called and said they were close to our exit. Nancy drove me to 94, and I met up with my sister and brother in law to head to the funeral. It only took us about 2 hours to head to Detroit, so we arrived an hour early. They had a slideshow going on with pictures of Ed with songs playing. The songs were just perfect for the pictures. They talked about dancing with Jesus and were really powerful. There was even a video of Kelley and Ed dancing/kissing at their wedding - how precious! I had already gone through a handful of Kleenex before the funeral started. We went up to Kelley and let her know we're praying for her and love her and her family. What can I say, but that the entire service was a testament of praise to God. It started with praise songs being led by the worship team like Lord I give you my heart, & Blessed be your name. Kelley stood up and sang with arms stretched out towards heaven. Wow it even brings tears to my eyes now. You could see firsthand her dependence upon God. They had people tell stories of his life and even of most recently with his struggle to keep going for his family and his continual desire to seek God. Josh Waltz, her brother gave a message from Job (whose life Ed had been studying) and included the gospel. We ended with Chris Tomlin songs Indescribable & How Great is our God & then Lord I Lift Your Name on High. You left feeling triumphant, realizing God is sovereign and we can rest in Him for strength, guidance. It was powerful - like nothing I had ever experienced. Keep Kelley and her family in your prayers. She will be going to various family members houses for the next month before she goes back home to get the kids in school. What a journey! Thank you Kelley for sharing your life with us--it truly is a blessing and example!