A SPECIAL gift -

Sometimes I feel guilty about enjoying wine....but then I get a present like this -and I realize that wine really might be ok....says Proverbs chapter 9, verse 5.


Autobiography -

Two weeks ago Pastor Joanna gave everyone at church an 8 1/2 X 11 piece of paper, titled "My Spiritual Autobiography". We all have a story, right? She shared her's with us during the service which really helped us learn more about her. I liked the idea of this and it really made me think my own story...

My earliest memory of awareness of God - Wow, for as long as I can remember I have attended church. I was taught to say Grace before every meal and get on my knees beside my bed at night and pray. There are pictures at the church of me way before even being old enough to go to school.

The major religious events or experiences in my family life, church, youth group, camp and so forth - As a child, I always enjoyed Sunday School and our Youth activities. I remember things like Scavenger Hunts....we literally went from house to house looking for those 'odd' items on our list (can you imagine doing that today?). I also remember how special the Christmas season was. Activities, preparation for the Sunday performance and the Live Nativity.

My spiritual high point (time when I felt closest to God) - Last year I taught Cierra and Briana's Tween Sunday School class. They were at such a good age. They seemed to absorb each week's lesson and were so fun to work with. I felt like I learned with them - I looked forward to Sunday mornings.

My spiritual low point (time when I felt most distant from God) - I have been VERY blessed thus far in my life. I can't think of a time that I was "spiritually low". Don't misunderstand...I have faced many challenges but have always believed that "everything happens for a reason", thus the reason for my tatoo on my left wrist. I think most that know me would agree that "I do what I have to do" because "it is what it is"....

Special people who have played a role in my faith journey - Without a doubt, my MOM! She is the one that made me understand how important it is to have God in my life. She may not have always agreed with the things I did but always guided me to God. There have been many times that I haven't made it to church on Sunday morning - that didn't matter, she still had faith in me and knew that I was a strong Christian.

Over the past few years Pastor Joanna has played a key part in our lives. She really does a great job, encouraging participation, coordinating group activities and gives our church her "all". I can honestly say that she has played a key role in Ronnie becoming more involved AND...that makes a difference!

Where I am right now in my relationship with God - I'm probably what would be called the 'steady Eddie'. I attend church on Sunday, read my daily devotion but really just maintain.

Where I would like to be in my relationship with God - I would love a balance between our 'every day life' and time that we can spend at church. It seems like there is always something going on that causes us not to attend church each week. Between baseball, 4H, camping activities and just life in general it is more challenging to be home/in town on Sunday morning.

What's missing in my relationship with God - well - the one thing that I would love to do is read the Bible and be more knowledgeable of the scriptures. I have tried many different ways to do this but as of yet, haven't succeeded....gotta keep tryin'!

Now that you know a little bit more about me, I hope you can see that all in all, our life is pretty good. Yes, there's always opportunity for improvement but we really don't have many complaints. Bottom line - I wouldn't trade my life for anything right now....

Fan Club -

We had the pleasure of listening to Andy again last night at the Main Cup. Just before he started, he made his way around to all the tables and it was very clear we aren't the only ones that follow him. I like the fact that he takes the time to chat with many of us and gets to know us personally. We did get to meet a special lady that I would guess is his BIGGEST fan =) This is Karen, Andy's wife. She joined in the fun last night as well.....We always have a great time and even exchanged info with two couples last night that want to get together again soon - it's nice to make new friends.And for those of you that shared in my 'boot search' - I wore these, ha!
Now it's off to church then we get to spend the day with our all time favorite little girl!


Every now and then -

I make a new friend while traveling and this time happened to be one of those times =) I met Simone earlier in the week....we had some things in common. She works for Delta Airlines which is the airline of my choice and she has her mortgage with the company I work for. So, with lots to talk about, we hit it off.

Today was a pretty intense day - a lot to get done in a short period so I was pretty tired by the end of the day. I came back to the hotel, worked....took a nap and was pretty much done until Simone convinced me (haha) to have a piece of Turtle Cheesecake. YUM! It was worth going back downstairs for, ha!

So, thanks Simone and I'll see you next time!


Pretty Soon -

The big city will be in the 'rear view' of my plane =)and it can't come fast enough..


Wal-mart goes GREEN!

Check this out! While in Eagan, Minneapolis I (of course) had to stop by Walmart. I was so impressed to find that their receipts are double sided now. check out the bottom where it says "continued on back'...
I LOVE it! The receipt is half the size =)


Just like Cracker Jacks!

Whenever I travel, I just never know what kind of car I'm gonna get OR what state it will be licensed in. Today was a perfect example....Really? A Nissan CUBE?With Nebraska tags at that! Oh well - at least I get to try out many different makes and models.Whenever I travel, I miss my family and they are always on my mind. So Chase, this picture is for you.....check out the clover leaf ballfields from the plane!

And Cierra - Walmart actually had some Bob Marley t-shirts, lol (have Daddy take you there)And Ronnie - check out this 'carpet' circle on the dash of my car! We can use this as a nice little place to put our cell phones - no sliding around on this, lol!Now, for the rest of my family - Britt - got some great wedding ideas from my friends in Minneapolis! And J, Ash and Kayden - stay tuned....I haven't made it to the Mall of America yet but surely something will 'strike' me before I head home on Friday!!

Time to decorate?

If the produce market looks like this.....

Doesn't that mean it's time to dig out our Fall "stuff"?!

Can't wait til the weekend to pick up some mums and pumpkins!! I don't think it's too early, what do ya'all think?


So hard to leave

with a view like this - not a cloud in the sky, low 80's and no humidity. But - gotta work to play, right?

Ronnie and I decided to run out for some donuts this morning -
These are the best donuts! You basically pick your glaze and topping which goes on a 'cake like' donut. Some of or choices were "OC Sand", Chocolate Cherry Chip, Carnival, Blue Hill, Trail Mix, Banana Nut Bread....I think you get the point -We had to wait about 20 minutes or so because each donut is made to order. Another unique thing about this place is they don't take your name, they give you a card - our's was the King of Spades - pretty cool, huh?

By the time we got back all the kids were up and they loved the donuts, too. We cleaned the house and the boat, packed and still were able to catch some rays before we headed out.

When we were down for two weeks the kids wanted to eat at Big Peckers but the line was always longer than we wanted to wait so we decided we would stop on our way out. Of course, we weren't disappointed - great food and everyone was happy! (Chase just tries to look mean, lol)
Once we got on Route 90 we caught the tail end of a traffic alert - uh oh, a 20 mile back-up. Nope, not us - so Plan B - Salisbury Zoo (but not before stopping at the mall for a few minutes, lol). But.....the zoo was closed sos plan C? Let's go see where Ronnie played Little League - He took the pitcher's mound - Cierra took 3rd base - Chase of course, wanted to catch!Then they gathered at the "home" dugout we all love it when he takes us to places from his childhood, like Coleman Avenue (sigh), lol!

A stop at the produce market then we hit the road again hearing there's only a 2 - 4 mile back-up. Seven hours later, we were home.

So - cheers to a wonderful weekend....
And here's something to look forward to (we're hoping to go back in 2 weeks)....aaaahhhhh


Beach or Bayside?

Well, it's Bike Week in OC so bikes were in every nook and crany of the beach....I wouldn't even want to guess how many are here. We don't have a bike but Ronnie does often talk about what kind he is going to get when that lottery money arrives, ha!

This is typically what we saw...

But our day looked a little more like this - we picked up lunch for the boat...and bait to fish....then headed out on the water.
Before we knew it, three were sleeping =) Ronnie and I cranked up the tunes and enjoyed the ride...once we reached our destination, the poles came out -
and the rest of us just enjoyed the scenery -We headed back in with the 'driver' getting a lesson or where to go, lol!I think you'll agree that bayside is much different than beach front, ha!

After showers Ronnie and I snuck off for a little bit to a place he found -it was a really neat place, to say the least.
Then we enjoyed this while the kids got ready for the boardwalk -On our way this bike caught our attention -and just maybe we got his (a smile and peace sign) =)Kids are dropped off at the boardwalk - (specific instructions...stay together, don't leave the boardwalk area and call us if you need us)Then we headed here..for these....this is our first time this season for the AUCE meal and they were soooo worth the wait!

We walked along the marina and checked out some of the fishing boats then back to the boardwalk to pick up the kids. Check out their tattoos (behind the ear)
I just have to share something we saw on the boardwalk....I apologize for the quality but I had to be quick and not use flash so I didn't get busted. But her shorts say "This is why I get my way"....just sayin'!