Monday, December 31, 2007

Take More Pictures

Here is proof that I'm already doing what I can to meet my New Year's Resolutions . . .

I finally got a camera that takes the shot when I want it too.
Here is Gracie licking her nose.

Grandma making homemade Chicken and Dumplings for Christmas.

Dad opening presents and showing his great fashion sense.

Hunkahubby with his new Kiss cologne.
(Yes, that band with the guys in makeup. ha ha)

Christmas morning after Santa had been to our house.

The kitties were visited by Santa Paws.

"I ain't got no body." - Max

What's your New Year's Resolution?

I think my New Year's Resolution will be to actually try and KEEP my New Year's Resolutions. :-) Every year, we all get all hyped up in January about the new things we are going to do to better ourselves and by February we've all fallen back into the same old rut. I am really praying for 2008 to be different for me.

I accomplished a lot this year and due to some things finally being completed - I should be able to focus and actually complete some new things in 2008.

My New Year's Resolutions for 2008:
1. Update my blog every day (at the least, 2x per week). [gotta give myself an out]
2. Lose 50 pounds. For my health and my own well-being.
3. Exercise at least 3x per week. No excuses.
4. Find things to inspire me and then let the inspiration run wild.
5. Try out at least one new recipe per month.
6. Re-learn to sew. Yes, I'm turning into a happy homewrecker.
7. Teach an online class if possible.
8. Spend more time with my kids.
9. Have a date night at least once per month with my hubby.
10. Read more books. Especially my Bible.
11. Take more pictures - and learn how to do it correctly (I got a new camera.)
12. Sing more, yell less.
13. Keep my resolutions all year long . . .

Well, with that list, I'm bound to make it on a few of them, right??

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year.

What are your resolutions???

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The catch up Blog

Okay - so I've been bad about updating . . . again.

I have to say that being done with school is a really big relief (until I start getting those bills . . .). I feel like I have a lot more time to be creative. I've been baking a lot and doing crafty things with the kids.

The 13th was my birthday and I spent it with my hubby and kids. Hunkahubby made me a chocolate cake with caramel icing (Grandma's recipe). It was yummy. They also got me lots of cool gifts - one of which, I have to share with you here . . .

Yes - I got a Cabbage Patch Kid. But not just any Cabbage Patch Kid. A special edition that also has a CARE BEAR inside. Yes - I admit that I am a child of the 80s and I was very excited when I opened this present. :-) It's staying in the box.

My honey also made me one of my favorite meals - steak with cheese and mushrooms and MASHED TATERS. Woohoo!!! I got to have lima beans too which was a big sacrifice, because he doesn't like them and I do. I have a wonderful husband.

My kids and I also made Christmas cookies the other night. It was a lot of fun and I finally learned to step back after giving them icing instructions and just let them create - they did a surprisingly good job. Here is some of their "work":

They had a blast. We already saved 3 cookies for Santa. :-)

Today my Dad and brother and families are coming to our house for Christmas. We have never had Christmas at our house and I am excited. I will post some pictures later. We got my Dad a rather large gift - and I actually wrapped it. Should be a fun day.

I'll end this post with this quote:

"If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, 'you know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty.'"

-Jeff Foxworthy

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I love our friends!!

Tonight was our small group Christmas get together. We had such a great time. I promised to put up pictures of Don, Karen, and Christopher - so that is what I will do.

We had a ton of snacky food (including way too much sugar, several of us love to bake.) We had devotion and prayer time - (Thanks, Don, YOU ROCK!) Then we had our "White Elephant" gift exchange. It wasn't as competitive as I thought it was going to be - but it was still fun.

The MOST WANTED gift was a singing/gobbling/walking Christmas Turkey.

Jennifer stole it and got to keep it. :-)

Here is a picture of Christopher (Jennifer's husband)

Here is Karen

And here is Don (Karen's hubby and our fearless "leader")

We had a great time and I know we are BLESSED that God brought this group of people together. We know that any of us would do whatever we could to help the others out. I am so thankful for each and every one of them.

And now a few more pictures . . .

Scott with Ronnie, Alex, and Baby Grace.

Baby Grace in full belly heaven.

Oh - and I forgot to mention that Ruth and Little Ronnie made me a birthday cake. This was a huge thing for me because Ruth DOES NOT like to cook, bake, etc. I was very touched that she took the time to do this for me. They put candles on the cake and sang to me and I was very appreciative. It was a wonderful thing to feel loved by such a great group of people.

Yes - tomorrow I will be 32 years old. And I'm okay with that.

Have a great evening everyone!!

Christmas Lights

Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas? Well, I already showed you the inside of our house. Now I want to show you what I WISH the outside of our house looked like.

I love Christmas Lights. When I was little, we used to drive around for hours looking at Christmas lights. Now, I make my kids suffer through it.

With all the computerized options these, days - people come up with some pretty cool things. So here is a list of the top ten computerized Christmas Displays and the beginning of a dream for my house at Christmas someday . . . (don't tell my husband, he's terrified I'll make him into a Griswald.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I wanted to post some pictures of our house at Christmas. We love Christmas and my husband loves to decorate for Christmas, so I thought I'd share some pictures here.

In other news . . . I am DONE with my Masters Degree!! Finally!!! Now I have no excuse for not updating my blog, eh?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This post is long overdue . . .

Okay - I kept threatening to do this, and after Ruth made a crack about my first batch of fudge that didn't turn out too well - I decided it was time. Yes - it is once again time for the Embarrassing Photo of Ruth of the Day. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

We had another fun adventure with Jennifer a few weeks ago and Ruth had to go under the DRYER. Do you remember those old portable dryers? Well, if not -- here's an example.

Isn't Ruth beautiful? It was so loud she couldn't hear anything we were saying - so she started singing to herself. It was REALLY funny. We love you Ruth!!!

To be fair . . . I have to go on. Tonight our small group had a diaper shower for Jennifer who is due to have baby Addison at the beginning of January. Here is Jennifer unprepared for the camera (and hiding her baby belly with a gift bag!)

Ahhh, here's the baby belly.

Everyone is going to hate me tonight - here is most of the rest of the group.

My husband and Jodi dressed alike . . . not on purpose.

And here are Scott and Ron, pretending they don't like to have their picture taken.

I'd show you a picture of Don & Karen - but the only pic I got of Karen, she'd kill me for posting - and Don, our fearless leader, did not attend this evening. I'll post one of them the next time, when they are least expecting it. I also didn't get a very close shot of Christopher, Jennifer's husband . . . but maybe she'll let me borrow one of those old high school shots with his hair in ponytails. Ha ha.

Really - I just wanted to post pictures of these friends who I am so blessed to have. We have a great time together and I think it is amazing how God brought all of together.

I hope you all forgive me for these pictures. I love all of you lots and lots!!!

I'll leave you with one last picture of Santa Gracie.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Okay - so I'm a tad late to post about Thanksgiving, but I've been pretty busy.

I just wanted to tell a little bit about our holiday this year. I felt like my Grandma came to visit me, in a way. I got obsessed with baking and I made chocolate and peanut butter fudge, and THREE different pies (pumpkin, sugar cream, and pecan). I had my successes and failures with it - but it was really fun and I enjoyed it. (If I could just keep from EATING the stuff I make - that would be good.)

Hunkahubby made everything else - turkey, ham, candied yams, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, and really yummy stuffing. Now - here's the catch . . . no one extra came to our house for Thanksgiving! It was just the five of us. But we have had leftover heaven since then! :-)

It was really nice to have just us for Thanksgiving. We took time to go around the table and tell what we were thankful for. Angelina said she was thankful for Daddy's hugs. It was precious.

When I was little, we always had Thanksgiving with my grandparents and my aunt and uncle and their girls. Grandma, my Mom, and Aunt would cook up a storm and we always had tons of food. We also had a lot of fun and laughter. One of my favorite parts was when the family stood around the kitchen, held hands, and prayed - thanking God for the many blessings He had given us in the past year. There is a part of me that misses those big family gatherings - but also a part of me that knows it would never be the same without Grandma there.

The holidays always make me miss her more. Another thing we almost always did on Thanksgiving was watch the movie, White Christmas. I think we all still know every word and every song by heart. So - we watched that with our children this year. (My husband's family had the same tradition of watching that movie.) At the end of the movie, I could have sworn I heard my Grandma singing along on the high harmony parts when they sing, "may your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be white." I started crying and couldn't stop. I haven't had a crying episode like that in a while - but it was probably good for me.

So, I just want to say that I'm thankful for many things. I am thankful for family and good friends. I am thankful for health and employment. I am thankful for God and his goodness and love. And I am thankful for precious memories of Thanksgivings past and a Grandma who will always be in my heart (and in the mirror, if I look close enough.) ;-)

I hope that all of you took the time to remember the things that you are thankful for. Have a wonderful evening.

Monday, November 12, 2007

San Diego

I just returned from a business trip to San Diego and I am happy to say that I got back home safely, on time, and WITH my luggage! :-)

This was the first time I'd ever been to California and I had never seen the Pacific Ocean, so it was very exciting to me. We stayed at an old hotel called the Hotel Del Coronado. It is beautiful and has tons of character. It is one of the few surviving wooden Victorian beach resorts.

The Hotel Del has an interesting history . . . it even has ties to Indiana. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article about the hotel . . .

"On December 19, 1885, Elisha S. Babcock, retired railroad executive from Evansville, Indiana; Hampton L. Story, of the Story and Clark Piano Company of Chicago; and Jacob Gruendike, president of the First National Bank of San Diego, bought all of Coronado and North Island for $110,000.A 24-page prospectus titled "Coronado Beach. San Diego, California" asserted that "The Coronado Beach Company has been organized with a capital of One Million Dollars . . . ." The officers were Babcock, president, Story, vice-president and Gruendike, secretary-treasurer. Also involved with the company by now were three men from Indiana: railroad baron Josephus Collett of Terre Haute; lumber merchant Heber Ingle of Patoka and John Inglehart, a miller, who later became famous through the development of Swansdown flour. The men hired architect James Reid, a native of New Brunswick, Canada, who had practiced in Evansville and Terre Haute. Younger brother Merritt Reid, a partner in Reid Brothers, the Evansville firm, stayed in Indiana but brother Watson Reid helped supervise the 2,000 laborers. Construction of the hotel began in March 1887 and was finished just 11 months later in February 1888 at the cost of one million dollars. Labor was provided largely by Chinese immigrants from San Francisco and Oakland. The hotel was built as a premier resort for the wealthy. It is one of the oldest and largest all-wooden buildings in California and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977."

The Hotel Del is also famous for a few other things . . . Some Like it Hot (with Marilyn Monroe) was filmed there and L. Frank Baum (author of the Wizard of Oz books) was a frequent guest at the hotel and even penned some of his Oz books while there.

The most unique aspect about the hotel is that it is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Kate Morgan who came to stay at the hotel to meet her estranged husband and when he didn't show, took her own life . . . at least that is what they say. Strange happenings have been reported in the room she stayed in, both by guests and hotel staff alike. I'm not sure how much I believe in all those things - but I do know that the power of suggestion is more powerful than I'd like to admit - and I had trouble sleeping once I heard about those stories!!! :-)

It was a cool experience and my room looked out on the ocean. Although I do not like being away from my family - it was nice to be in my room at night and hear the ocean right outside.

If you ever get the chance to visit San Diego, I recommend at the very least, taking a tour of this hotel. It was beautiful, the staff was amazing, and the food . . . I can't even think of another splendiforous descriptive word this early in the morning. ;-)

Can you believe that November is already half-way over? Where does the time go?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Long time no post

I haven't had a lot of time to post lately - school is winding down and work is winding up . . .

But I thought I'd take a few minutes and update everyone on my life.

First of all - I know I don't post pictures of my kids . . . but this one is sneaky. This is my son and his buddy Ronnie in their Halloween costumes . . . they are in masks - so I feel safe posting this.

(Photo by Ruth Roberts Copyright 2007)

Isn't that fun?

Now on to other updates . . .

Hunkahubby just started a new job as a visual merchandiser/decorator at a furniture store in Indy. He got the job a few months ago. He loved it and was doing great. Then . . . they eliminated his position. But - they didn't want to lose him, so they offered him a sales position. Although it was a pay cut, and not what he really wants to do - he took it in hopes it is a stepping stone to bigger and better things. He has been working in his new position for 2 days now and he is doing great! I'm so proud of him. AND - he has to dress up, so I get to see my sexy husband in a coat and tie every day. Makes me want to dress nicer . . .

I am sure that God has a plan in all of this, and I can't wait to see what is going to happen next. :-)

I have 4 more weeks of my Masters and I'll actually be done - I cannot believe it. I will actually have TIME to sit down and love on my kids every night - that is more exciting than anything.

Also - this week, after a 2 year hiatus . . . I actually got to sing in church. Hunkahubby has been leading the children's worship for quite some time now - and no one has stepped up to help him. Well, the 'virtue song' was pretty high and written for a female voice this month and so I said . . . 'I'll do it if you want me to.' I did not want to commit to something that I knew I couldn't follow through on - but now that school is almost done . . . I feel I'm able to do a few things.

We had an absolute blast - and I love watching Hunkahubby dance around with the kids and getting them to do silly things like the wave. I had a hard time focusing on the words, because I was too busy laughing at him.

I really missed singing. Singing has always been a part of my life - and it depresses me when I don't get to do it. (Of course, when I'm alone, I sing to myself all the time!!) I am glad that this opportunity arose and is helping me slowly get back on the musical 'horse' again. I do have to admit though - these last two years have been nice. When I was on a permanent worship team - I very rarely just got to sit and focus on the service and be 'still.' I'm not usually very good at being still. But I learned a lot from being able to do just that. God has taught me many things in the past couple years.

At the end of this week, I'm going on what I hope is my last business trip of the year - to San Diego, California. I've never seen that ocean - so I'm pretty excited about it. I'll post pictures when I return.

Okay - those are my updates for today - I hope this evening finds all of you well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Luck of the Muppets

My brother told me about this YouTube video and I had to share it - I hope it gives you a smile (or a gut belly laugh) today.

Thanks to Blakwulf for posting this on YouTube.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This made me cry . . .

Thanks to Barry for posting this (and for his friend Heidi, who he grabbed it from.)

Please take a few minutes and watch this all the way through to the end.

These comments were posted along with the video on GodTube . . .

"Jason Wade wrote this song, "Everything" and the CD that it is on "NO NAME FACE" can be gotten from

A DVD of this and other skits from a "festival" of Christian skits can be gotten at Online Store.

Ask for Winterfest 2006 Smoky Mountain Saturday Evening DVD and mention that you particularly want the Lighthouse Everything skit that is shown on the internet."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I love the Fall!!!

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I LOVE IT. Here in Indiana, the leaves change to beautiful colors, the weather is mild - just right for sweatshirts and jeans . . . and everyone is getting ready for the holiday season. Football, hay rides, bonfires . . . it all makes me feel like reminiscing . . . but unfortunately - I have too much homework to be able to reminisce in my blog this evening. :-(

I will, however, post the first sign of fall at our house - courtesy of the entire Hofmann family . . .

This was so much fun - and our first time carving pumpkins together (of course, I did most of the "gut digging" and Daddy did most of the carving) - but the kids were pretty messy and happy when we were done.

We have all been sick this week, so it was nice for us to feel good enough to have a little fun.

I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful season as much as we are!!

P.S. - Please check out my Unka Steve's newest blog entry.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

It's back!!

How cool . . . Susan Gunelius from BrandCurve wrote a great article about the return of the Sears Wishbook.

Get out your pens and get ready to circle the stuff you want to get for Christmas! :-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

ProBlogger Birthday Bash

Ever wanted the chance to win prizes just for blogging? Now you can, during the Birthday Bash at ProBlogger. Check it out!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My friend Ruth

I know that Ruth is going to kill me for this - but I had to take a moment and post about my friend Ruth. :-)

When my family first moved to our present location in November of 2005, we felt pretty lonely as we didn't really have any support system and we didn't know who to ask about where to go to the doctor, the vet, church, any of those things. It was hard, not having anyone to lean on. The first year was rough, but I learned a lot during that first year.

We started attending a local church in January of 2006 and slowly got connected to a few people there. However, it wasn't until we finally took the leap of joining a small group that God really blessed us with wonderful friends.

It is a funny story. I was unable to go to the meeting that our church has once a month, to try and connect people to small groups - but I sent Hunkahubby. He went and sat down at a table with other people with young children such as ours. He came back home telling me he signed us up for a group and that the people all seemed nice. He was excited, and I was terrified. Most people don't understand the part of me that gets a little phobic in social settings. People who have known me for a long time or have worked with me see me as really outgoing and social . . . but I would usually rather curl up and read a book or listen to music than be out 'socializing' with people.

The night of our first meeting, I tried to think of every excuse I could for why I couldn't go. Robert finally was like, "fine, I dont' care, don't go . . ." which he knew would kick me in the butt enough to make me go. I whined all the way there . . . "I'm not going to know anyone, what if they don't like us?" Well - God took care of that too.

When we got to the house (very close to ours), we went up to the door and rang the doorbell. A nice, but a little unsure (like me) lady opened the door and greeted us. I looked behind her and . . . there stood someone I had known since the 8th grade!! I could not believe it. Ruth's husband grew up in the same area I did and we had a lot of the same friends. He went to church around the corner from where I grew up going to church and our grandparents lived within a few miles of each other on the same road. How's that for finding a way to break the ice??

Our group went through our first study together and although we all got along well, it wasn't until we took the summer off that we realized how much we missed everyone. Our first meeting for the fall went really well and we were all really happy to see each other again - we seemed to connect even better this time than we did the last time. Maybe we all felt like it was time to loosen up. ;-)

Ruth's son and my son are about a year apart and they both LOOOVE Spiderman and Superheroes and just being boys . . . so we have had sleepovers and playdates and we enjoy every minute of it. Best of all - I have found a very good friend who I know I can rely and depend upon and she knows she can do the same with me. She loves having my kids over to play and I love having hers. It is a joy!

We went garage saleing last weekend, and as we were driving, we started saying the same things at the same time and quoting songs and movies . . . I KNEW that God had meant for her to be my friend - because I could be myself around her. I am SO THANKFUL.

So the picture at the top of the page is when our other friend Jennifer (from small group) came over and did our hair on the same morning. And just because I want to make Ruth laugh . . .

Here is a picture of Ruth in her pretty hair covering . . .

Don't kill me Ruth!!! I just wanted to use my blog to let you know that I'm so blessed that you are my friend and I'm sure we'll have many more exciting adventures together.

I just thought it was very interesting that when I looked up the name Ruth . . . I found out that her name means Friend and Compassion.

Your parents named you well.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Telecommunications - Our Legacy

I had to write a short paper on how people will look back on the legacy we have left in the area of telecommunications. I thought I would share it here as well. (Only 1 1/2 more classes left until I'm DONE with my Masters! WOOHOO!!!)

Our Telecommunication Legacy

It is mind-boggling to think of all the changes that have happened in technology and specifically telecommunications in the last fifty years. If you look at the entire telecommunications timeline (an example of this can be found at, you can see that the biggest jumps in innovation have happened in the last fifteen to twenty-five years. The birth of the World Wide Web introduced so many new possibilities that we are just now beginning to discover.

I was born just as the ‘computer generation’ was starting. Our first family computer was a Commodore VIC-20, which we mostly used to play silly text games (which I really miss . . .). I learned about computers on old Apple II’s in elementary school and lived through the change to so-called IBM-compatible PCs in the education world. We got our first IBM-compatible personal computer around 1990 before the popular Windows 3.1 was introduced. My Dad and I bonded over learning the DOS language, and we un-bonded when I erroneously loaded a shareware program onto the root directory and extremely efficiently “lobotomized” our first computer. :-) It was a learning experience, to say the least. However, one standout thing that I remember is the first time that I used a Bulletin Board, and words started popping up on the screen as someone from across the country typed to me. I felt like I was witnessing something important and historic . . . and I was right. The World Wide Web completely changed how people use computers and how we communicate with each other.

In the past five years, I have seen so many innovative technologies that can only lead the way to technological solutions we have only dreamed of in the past. The introduction of Web 2.0 technologies, such as the use of YouTube, blogs, and MySpace, first seen as frivolous teenage hobbies, are now being taken seriously by presidential candidates and marketing gurus alike. This change in attitude by people seen as leaders has validated a form of communication that was once only looked down upon. People are finding ways to make their voices heard from all over the world – and the world is taking notice.

I often say, “What did we do before the internet?” And even though, we all seemed to get by just fine – I think about how difficult it would be to get my work done now, if not for sites like Google. Every time someone asks me about something they don’t know or they don’t understand, my first response is, “Did you Google it?” I often receive credit for being very resourceful, when all I’m doing is typing something into a search engine and hitting Enter . . . it isn’t that difficult.

I believe that this generation is going to leave a legacy of finding a voice for people who once did not have one. More and more people are creating blogs where they can sit at home in their pajamas and write diatribes about politics, religion, or their relationship with their pets. People are learning to share their knowledge with each other and learning to ‘listen’ to others in new ways. I think that this generation is going to be remembered as a generation that looked forward to instead of feared change . . . and started breaking down the barriers that exist in the physical world by communicating in the virtual one.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

10 years ago

Image from

I wanted to do this yesterday, but didn't get a chance. Rich Mullins died 10 years ago yesterday, I can't believe its been that long. His music always touched me and I loved the way that he was so REAL, that you couldn't help but connect with him. I grew up in the same community as Rich and his family and it hit everyone pretty hard when he died. However, his family and friends are doing a great job of keeping his legacy alive. (see links below)

I wanted to remember him by posting the lyrics to one of my favorite songs and then sharing one of his tidbits of wisdom.

The Maker of Noses
by Rich Mullins

"I believe there is a place
Where people live in perfect peace
Where there is food on every plate
Where work is rewarded and rest is sweet
Where the color of your skin
Won't get you in or keep you out
Where justice reigns and truth finally wins
Its hard fought war against fear and doubt

And everyone I know wants to go there too
But when I ask them how to do it they seem so confused
Do I turn to the left?
Do I turn to the right?
When I turn to the world they gave me this advice

They said boy you just follow your heart
But my heart just led me into my chest
They said follow your nose
But the direction changed every time I went and turned my head
And they said boy you just follow your dreams
But my dreams were only misty notions
But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses
And the Giver of dreams He's the one I have chosen
And I will follow Him

I believe there'll come a time
Lord I pray it's not too far off
There'll be no poverty or crime
There'll be no greed and we will learn how to love
And children will be safe in their homes
And there'll be no violence out on the streets
The old will not be left alone
And the strong will learn how to care for the weak

And everyone I know hopes it comes real soon
But when I ask 'em where I'd find it they seem so confused
Do I find it in the day?
Do I find it in the night?
When I finally ask the world they give me this advice

Well they said boy you just follow your heart
But my heart just led me into my chest
They said follow your nose
But the direction changed every time I went and turned my head
And they said boy you just follow your dreams
But my dreams were only misty notions
But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses
And the Giver of dreams He's the one I have chosen

And oh I hear the voice of a million dreams
Then I wake in the world that I'm partly made of
And the world that is partly my homemaking
And oh I hear the song of a heart set free
That will not be kept down
By the fury and sound
Of a world that is wasting away but keeps saying (keeps on saying)

Saying boy you just follow your heart
But my heart just led me into my chest
They said follow your nose
The direction changed every time I go and turn my head
They said boy you just follow your dreams
But my dreams were only misty notions
But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses
And the Giver of dreams He's the one I have chosen
And I will follow Him
(Just follow your dreams)
(You just follow your dreams)"

Rich's Wisdom:

"I had a prof one time... He said, 'Class, you will forget almost everything I will teach you in here, so please remember this: that God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and He has been speaking through asses ever since. So, if God should choose to speak through you, you need not think too highly of yourself. And, if on meeting someone, right away you recognize what they are, listen to them anyway'."

Calling out Your Name

Rich Mullins Memorial Page

Kid Brothers of St. Frank

The Legacy

Never Picture Perfect

We miss you Rich - but I know we are glad that you are finally Home.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

There is no box

I have been reading a lot of interesting blogs lately. Many of them are pointed toward telecommunications and technology - for my class assignments and for work . . . but I also tend to gravitate toward blogs about writing and thinking creatively. I found an amazing post about ways to help you think creatively.

"People like to call this “thinking outside of the box,” which is the wrong way to look at it. Just like Neo needed to understand that “there is no spoon” in the film The Matrix, you need to realize “there is no box” to step outside of."

I've already had several great ideas due to this article showing me what it was that blocks my creativity.

I hope it is helpful to you as well!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Baggage Update

A nice United Airlines man delivered my luggage last night. They found it in Minneapolis of all places. Everything was intact - except that one of my bottles of nail polish had exploded - probably too much traveling.

I have to say I would not recommend Northwest Airlines right now - but United went above and beyond in finding luggage that they did not lose.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

I will definitely remember the Alamo . . .

I finally got home from Texas this afternoon . . . I have to tell you about my EXCITING return trip that has me wary about traveling again for a while.

Three of my colleagues and I were to travel from San Antonio to Indianapolis on Friday afternoon. We should have arrived back in Indiana around 10:30 p.m. Friday evening. We all got to the airport on time and happily boarded the airplane. A very full airplane. And then, we proceeded to wait. And wait. And wait some more. Finally, they told us that the airplane was having mechanical difficulties and they were waiting on the mechanic.

We were supposed to connect in Detroit, MI - and the longer we waited, the less possibility there was that we were going to get to go home that night.

After quite a while, they finally told those of us with connections that we could disembark and attempt to make new arrangements for the morning. There were some VERY unhappy people. Some were leaving for Europe the next day, there were several young men and women in army fatigues who were going home before being deployed - and they were losing precious time with their families, and one of my colleagues had to get home to be at very important performances of his children the next morning.

We got off of the plane and called our travel services group to try and make arrangements. I got one colleague on a flight to Chicago where he could then rent a car and drive home to Indiana so he would be sure and make it to his children's performances.

And then there were three . . . We decided to fly out REALLY EARLY the next morning, in an attempt to get back to Indiana by about 11:30 a.m. I called my husband to tell him he had to be a single parent just a little while longer. He took it in stride and said he looked forward to seeing me the next day.

After re-claiming our baggage and getting a rental car - we left to go find some food, go to a hotel, and get some sleep before having to wake back up at about 4 a.m.

This is where it gets fun . . .

We got up way too early (4:00 is not supposed to come TWICE a day). We got to the airport in plenty of time; however, simple and easy just wasn't in the plans. You see, I had bought gifts for my hubby and kids in the San Antonio airport the night before. I got a snow globe and a sampler pack of 5 different Texas salsas and some stuffed bears. Well . . . they have this new ummm liquid rule for going through security that I didn't even think about, because I had bought the stuff IN the airport. So - as I was going through security, I got stopped, they pulled my bag and took me over to a special little table where they proceeded to paw through my stuff. They then informed me that the only way that I could take those things with me was to check them. Or I'd have to leave them. I was not leaving them!!! I had spent money on them. So - my wonderful colleagues held on to my SAFE luggage for me, and I went back to the counter to proceed to check my gifts.

Of course, that wasn't easy either. They didn't have any boxes. So I put the Bears, Salsa and Snowglobe's lives in the hands of the baggage handlers . . . in nothing but a plastic bag. I figured I wouldn't see them in one piece again, but I had to take a chance.

I then proceeded to go BACK through security without any issues this time. We were on our way . . . or so we thought . . .

We watched our plane come into the gate and it looked like all was going well until they started boarding a little late and then announced that the plane was having mechanical issues and they were going to have to call a mechanic (I swear it must have been the SAME PLANE from the night before). We started laughing and decided that God REALLY had a sense of humor that morning. Luckily, the three of us were inconvenienced, but not angry, so we proceeded to make jokes, laugh, and take things in stride.

They deplaned those that had already boarded and told those of us who had missed the flight the night before to go to the counter and they would book us on another airline. The three of us went to the counter, got seats on another airline and took off for another gate.

We were then putting the lives of our checked luggage into the phantom hands of people who were supposed to eventually get our bags to the proper place . . . stay tuned . . .

I called my husband and said, "you might notice I'm not in the air right now . . ." His only response was, "AGAIN?"

We got to the other airline's gate, got our boarding passes and got on the plane without issue. It was an express plane, where you actually had to go down the stairs and then walk up the stairs onto the plane -- I've never done that before . . . so that was exciting. :-)

We actually, FINALLY, took off out of San Antonio and headed for Chicago this time. I was so thankful - because I was beginning to think I was going to have to change my address. Although San Antonio was beautiful . . . I don't want to live there.

When we landed in Chicago, I knew we were within driving distance if anything else should go wrong. I had hope that I would finally get to see my husband, my children, my cats, and MY OWN BED again.

We ate some breakfast and walked to our terminal instead of taking the shuttle because we had been sitting a lot and we had plenty of time to kill. O'Hare is huge . . . They have a really cool light display over one of the moving walkways that looks like what I've HEARD its like being on an acid trip. It was cool. I want one for my house. Ha ha.

As we were finally getting ready to board what was to be our FINAL flight home . . . the announcer comes on and says that they don't have half of their crew and they were trying to locate them. We were convinced that they had pulled members of our airline's crew over to the other airline to work on the stupid plane. ;-) Thankfully, the rest of the crew showed up momentarily and we got on the plane and TOOK OFF!!! Chicago to Indy is a very short flight and I almost jumped up and down when we finally landed in Indianapolis.

We got off the plane, and I met my beautiful children and my wonderful, kind of haggard husband outside of the secure area. I was so happy to see them - but unfortunately, my airport time was not over.

We went to baggage claim for the first airline and actually found most of our baggage . . . Notice I said, 'most'? My 2 colleagues got their bags . . . AND my plastic bag o' goodies had miraculously survived the journey (Salsa and Snowglobe intact!). However, my luggage was no where to be found. My pretty new mauve luggage that held all my clothes, all of my makeup, my favorite hairbrush, my Bible, and my TEXTBOOKS (there's an excuse for not getting my homework done) . . . was lost somewhere in phantom luggage land. The people at the desk told me to file a claim with the airline we actually flew in with . . . even though THEY are the ones that lost it.

I went to file a claim and the man behind the counter, although nice, was not very optimistic about finding my luggage again. ::sighs::

Well, it was the perfect end to a couple days of travel. I didn't get mad or upset, I just figured, there was a reason for all of this . . . even if it was just for me to learn to not sweat the small stuff.

My kids and hubby prayed every night for me to get home safely - and maybe there was a reason I was NOT on those two planes that didn't take off. I may never know, but I am so glad to be home . . .

And I will always remember the Alamo, San Antonio, and to NEVER fly Northwest again.


Friday, September 14, 2007

San Antonio - and my wonderful friends

I have been in San Antonio, Texas since Wednesday on a business trip. It has actually been pretty relaxing, because I didn't have to plan it. This was a learning excursion for me.

Last week, my husband started a new job - as a visual merchandiser. He is finally getting paid for doing something he loves - and I am so proud of him. The only crazy part was learning how to handle both of us being out of the home more often. It has been quite a change.

Luckily - God has blessed us with some amazing friends. While I was gone, our daycare provider had a family member die suddenly and we had to figure out what we were going to do for childcare. We had 2 awesome friends who stepped up to the plate and offered to watch our children for us. So I just want to take a moment to say thank you to Jodi and Ruth for being there for us. We are all in a church small group together - and we all hit it off from the very beginning. Our friendship is one of the ways that I see God at work, and I am so thankful.

Yesterday morning - as I was standing outside looking at the sunrise, I was hit with how very much God loves us, because he is in the small things, and in the big things. Although we don't deserve this kind of love, he gives it freely anyway.

Isn't that awesome?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Zero to Three in Sixty Seconds

This story was previously published in Life in the Midwest Magazine in 2005.

0-3 in 60 seconds

by IzzyBeth

The van’s side door falls off, the Blazer’s muffler falls off, and due to extenuating circumstances, you find out you have to change jobs. This is what happened to me when my life changed forever and I went from 0-3 in sixty seconds.

My husband and I have been married for three years. We knew from the beginning that we couldn’t have children unless it was a huge miracle. Although we ALWAYS expect a miracle, we talked about fostering children and eventually adopting.

In May, I started investigating it fully and called the Division of Family and Children to see what we needed to do. They sent us a packet of information and told us to call and set up an appointment after we received it.

At our first appointment, I talked of how I have a heart for Hispanic children (due to my Spanish classes, my best friend’s bi-cultural daughter, and my trip to Costa Rica.) The family caseworker got very excited, and she told us that there were three white/Hispanic children who needed placement and were most likely adoptable. After drenching a few tissues . . . we asked what we needed to do.

Things went quickly after that – we had 4 weeks of Saturday classes, First Aid/CPR/Universal Precaution training, a TON of paperwork, 2 home visits and on August 14th, we had three beautiful children (under age 5) in our home. Life as we knew it, would never be the same. And we were ecstatic.

If you have ever considered being a foster parent, or you want to know how you can make a difference in someone’s life . . . call your local division of family and children. Investing in the life of a child is investing in your future.

They say that to be a foster parent, you have to be crazy . . . and it is true. Learning to take on other people’s children is a big challenge, but an even bigger blessing. Seeing big eyes looking up at you with so much trust and love gave me more reasons to be thankful than I ever imagined was possible. The van, blazer and job didn’t matter anymore, I was a Mommy.

For more information about becoming a foster parent -

Why does this always happen?

Apple unveils iPod touch

The new iPod touch introduced today features built-in Wi-Fi networking and a revolutionary multi-touch user interface—first introduced on iPhone—that makes it easy to find all of your music, video, and other digital content and enjoy it on the gorgeous widescreen display on iPod touch. . .

To read the rest of the article, go here . . .

I had held out on buying an iPod Video. However, they were running an educational discount where you could get one for pretty cheap when buying a desktop or laptop. My husband bought a new laptop, so I told him to order me an iPod. I got it less than two weeks ago - and now, I'm already behind the times again!!!

I am waiting until Leopard comes out before I buy my iMac. I don't want to miss something else really cool.

And at least I didn't buy my iPhone yet!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Recipe for Me

Recipe for Me
by Izzybeth

I am salt
in a measuring spoon
an acrid taste
when you get
too much
but still needed
to make
things right
yet getting the blame
if things
go wrong
never leveling
never measuring

I don’t get
to be sugar or
good old
flour or
teaspoons of vanilla or
even just a pinch
of salt thrown
over your shoulder
for luck
always just
too much or
never enough

Monday, September 3, 2007

Tech Tip of the Day (Courtesy of Pike Speak)

Several people have asked me if it is possible to 'subscribe' to a blog on Blogger, so that we don't have to continually check and see if someone has updated. Even though there is no way to technically 'subscribe' to a blog - there is a cool way to keep track of people's blogs and who is updating.

Thanks to my friend Barry Pike, I now know a way to keep track of all my favorite blogs and other websites.

Barry says [with my comments in brackets]: "It is through the use of an "aggregator" (which is a fun word just on its own merits). An aggregator is an online service that you can access that goes out and collects the "feed" from any number of websites and blogs that you specify. There are several aggregators out there and while I can't tell you which one is necessarily best, I will gladly tell you about the one I use. I use Bloglines, which I learned about from Kem Meyer at a Willow Creek Church seminar that I attended over the summer.

First and foremost, it is free!. Essentially the way it works is that it enables you to set up a personal Bloglines page on which you select the sites that you would like to monitor, or "subscribe" to. Every blog of any type, and nearly all other websites, too, feature some kind of syndication feature, the most common of which is RSS ("Real Simple Syndication"). Basically, several times a day, Bloglines sends an inquisitory ping to all of the websites on your subscription list to see if the site has been updated. If it has, that site will appear in bold font on your Bloglines page and you can then click on it to check it out. When you click on it, a basic, kind of raw version of the website shows up on the screen. Then, you can click again if you like and go directly to the website. Or not. So it is possible to quickly and efficiently keep up with any number of blogs and websites with out wasting time. Kem actually has a couple of hundred blogs and sites on her page that she monitors; I have about 35-40, myself. By no means does that mean she necessarily reads those sites all of the time, but the point is that IF she wants to, they are under her fingertips.

For example, on my Bloglines page I have subscribed to most of the blogs listed on my blogroll as places I like. But instead of having to actually go to each website every day to see if my favorite blogs have been updated, all I have to do is access my Bloglines page and it tells me if it has. I don't have to check Steve's
[my uncle] blog everyday, for example, just to see if he's got something new [good thing, Steve hasn't been updating much lately!!]. Also, it is super easy to add and delete sites from your Bloglines list. You can be reading a blog, decide you want to subscribe to it, and there is a one-click method to add it to your personal Bloglines page

Another good use of it is for news. I have subscribed to the RSS feed for the Palladium-Item
[local newspaper]. They post 10-12 headlines each day. I can quickly peruse the headlines and the first one or two sentences of a story and then, if I'm interested, I can click on a story to go read it. This is much faster than pulling up the P-I site and fishing around.

Bloglines works great. Basically, I keep my Bloglines page open on my computer all the time. Sometimes, you will get "false" notifications, but very seldom. That will happen sometimes when a blogger, say, updates or changes their blog template or customizes their site, but does not actually post. No big deal.

Kind of a long answer, but I really like this tool. It is one of the few internet things that actually gives you time instead of takes it away (heh).
[unless you're like me . . . where one click always leads to another . . .] It really saves time and effort, streamlining the whole blog experience and making it more fun and useful."

Thank you so much Barry for giving us this great Tech Tip. I look forward to setting up my own Bloglines page so I can keep track of all my friends, family, and interesting blogs.

Have a great labor day!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Quote for today . . .

We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released.

-Jean Houston

Friday, August 24, 2007

Weight Loss Journey - Update 3

I kind of hit a plateau for a while - but I'm back to losing again! Yay!

I've been doing pretty well with walking and drinking water - and eating most of the right foods. I am happy to say, I'm down 17 pounds!! I may not be losing it as fast as I'd like - but I'd rather lose it slowly and keep it off, rather than losing it quickly and then gaining twice as much back.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Friends and Seasons

The past week, I have been cleaning out some boxes that have been moved around with me for probably the past ten years. I found a lot of old pictures and letters. Some made me laugh, and some made me cry. I even found a letter my Grandma had written me one year for my birthday - I shed quite a few tears over that gem. :-)

Through all of this 'house-cleaning' - I took the time to share some memories with some old friends I hadn't heard from in a while. It was nice to catch up with some people. During all of this, I realized what people say about certain people coming into your life for seasons. This popular internet email says it all . . .

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a Godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person or people involved; and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships, and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

I am so thankful for the friends I have in my life - whether it be for a short time or forever. I am especially thankful for those forever friends, who even though it may be years between contacts - when we get together again, it is like time has never passed.

I am even thankful for those relationships that for some reason or another, one of us decided to walk away. I know that each of these relationships was a lesson of some kind - and I cannot regret learning.

To all of my friends -- old, and new . . . thank you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving a part of yourself - and allowing me to give of myself to you.


May today there be peace within you.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing that you are a child of God.
Let His presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, and to bask in the sun.
It is there for each and every one of you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Shameless Plug

I just had to take a quick second and share this link with everyone.

This is the website for Hunkahubby's budding design business. We created this website in about 2 hours using my Mac Mini and the iWeb software. It has a few issues we need to correct, but I think it isn't bad for as quickly as we put it together. Yay for Macs. And Yay for my honey.

In other news, my 2 oldest children are starting school tomorrow. It is exciting and nerve-wracking for all of us. And my youngest gets to learn what its like to be an only child during the day.

Have a great week!


Sunday, August 5, 2007

One of those Mom moments

Today, I had one of those special Mom moments - that I have to blog about so I can come back and remember it later.

My youngest daughter is going to be 4 tomorrow. My baby is growing up. Every birthday (except mine) in our house, I make a birthday cake by request for the birthday boy or girl. This year, she wanted a Mickey Mouse cake. I already had a Mickey Mouse shaped cake pan - but had never attempted to decorate a cake like this. I figured why not . . .

Well - the first thing that happened was when I flipped the pan over - Mickey was missing an ear. That was easily fixable, so I didn't get too frustrated. Then - I could not find the right color icing for his face. Hunkahubby went to 2 stores and then we had to improvise. And then - the pre-made icing from the store was REALLY stiff and wouldn't come out the way it was supposed to. (Next time, I'm making MY OWN icing - because I think it will be less of a hassle.) At the end - I tried to make the icing thinner and it got too runny . . . so Mickey's shoes were kind of Dali-esque. :-)

By the time I was done - (it took me about 4 hours) I was tired and cranky and my back hurt from leaning over the table. Then my daughter came to the kitchen to look at the cake. The look on her face was priceless - and then she said (without any prompting at all), "My Mickey Cake! Thank you Mommy, It's BEAUTIFUL." Of course, I cried . . . all the frustration of making the cake went right out the window with that comment.

It's these moments that we "treasure in our heart." And I will probably have to use this memory to fall back on when she is a teenager and it doesn't feel as much like a blessing. :-)

Here's a pic of my Mickey Cake . . . I didn't think it was too bad for my first attempt.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

You know you've been married too long when . . .

You and your husband buy each other the same anniversary card. . . .

And write the same message inside . . .


6 years . . .

Hunkahubby and I have been married 6 years today. I can't believe the time has gone so fast. We have been through so much in the past six years and I know, without a doubt, that we would not have made it this far if our marriage was not built on the strong foundation of our faith.

There have been times where I'm sure that both of us wanted to give up, but we didn't, because we had pledged our lives to each other in front of our family, friends and God . . . and we found a Way to make it through the hard times, together.

I'm so blessed to have found someone who loves God above all else and strives to be a good husband and good Daddy - and lets me be who I am. When I was younger - I was known for dating 'the underdog' or 'the bad boy' or just the ones who people could not understand. The thing was - in every one of those relationships, I changed myself to try and make them like me more. I was never myself. With Hunkahubby - I was myself from the very beginning - and that is how I knew it was right.

Following are the lyrics to the song that my cousin Katie sang at our wedding and it still holds true today.

If you could see what I see . . . by Geoff Moore

all of my life
I have dreamed
that someday love would find me
now I can't believe you're standing here

If beauty is all
in the eye
of the beholder then I
wish you could see
the love for you that lives in me

And you would know you have my heart
If you could see what I see
that a treasure's what you are
if you could see what I see
Created to be
the only one for me
If you could see what I see

I know there are days
when you feel
so much less than ideal
wondering what I see in you

It's all of the light
and the grace
your belief in me drives me to say
that I promise you
a faithful love, forever true

And you would know you have my heart
If you could see what I see
that a treasure's what you are
if you could see what I see
Created to be
the only one for me

if you could see...
then you'd understand
why I fall down on my knees
and I pray my love
will be worthy of
the One who gave His life
so our love could be

if you could see
what I see

Created to be
The only one for me
If you could see
What I see

if beauty is all
in the eye
of the beholder then I
am beholding...
true beauty

I love you Hunkahubby - thanks for the past 6 years, I'm looking forward to the next 6!

"Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!"

-Robert Browning