Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Big Plans!

So, I'm headed to my parents for Christmas! I'm very excited to see them and spend some great quality time with them.  You see, I simply don't get to see them often enough.  I'm taking all of next week off work so I'll get to stay for New Year's too!

Okay, I have to admit.  There is another reason I'm excited too.  You see there is this guy that's coming.  And he's going to be meeting my parents. And he's staying the entire week too!

So simply put, I'm going to be a very happy girl!

Just in case you can't scroll down and see a picture of the guy I'm talking about, I'll post another picture.  I'm sure it will make him very happy (insert evil laugh here).

He's not angry...the sun is in his eyes (just wanted to clarify). I think the picture looks a bit GQ. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Give Away at The Green Twig

Head on over to The Green Twig for a neat give away!  I'd love to win the tea set!

Monday, December 6, 2010


I'm sorry I haven't posted in awhile.  I've been busy.  I joined the YMCA the end of October and have enjoyed working out on the elliptical.  I've also started going to a fitness class on Monday and Friday nights.  It's called Zumba!  It's so much fun!  I'm not very good at it, but it sure makes me smile while working out.  I've posted a video below in case some of you aren't familiar with it.  Anyone want to join me?  I need a friend to go with me.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family.  This past year has been so full.  It was a year ago this week that I left camp.  When I reflect on all that God has done this past year, I'm overwhelmed with thanks.

Here's a bit of a recap:

  • God directed me to leave the camp ministry....difficult, but part of His plan.
  • God gave me a wonderful three months of rest and time with my family.
  • God provided me with a job before I even started looking.
  • God led me to buy my first house....all by myself.....I was scared out of my mind.  It has truly become a home.
  • God led me to a wonderful church family where He is allowing me to serve Him.
  • Last, but certainly not least, God brought a wonderful man into my life.....see previous post if you missed it. :)
This past year has been such a growing time for me. He has truly blessed me and I'm thankful for all He has done.  I can't wait to see what this next year holds.

Here are few pictures of our family celebration this year.

Donna, Me, & Mom

Mom, Me & Dad

Scott, Autumn, Jamie & Ethan - time to load up on the yummy dinner

Ethan and Me - I love the look on his face.  He's such a ham.

Donna & Uncle Smiley (just gave him that nickname this week)
We also celebrated Christmas with Scott and his family since we won't get to see them.  Below are the gifts I gave the kids.  I love them, but I'm sure their parents might not like the idea of them playing with their food.  What can I say....I'm a great aunt. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010


I would like to introduce all my faithful readers to someone very, very special.

This is Jeff.

Oh, you want more details? I suppose...If I must.  Jeff and I met on eHarmony and have been dating online and over the phone for almost three months now.  We met face-to-face this weekend and made it official.

I feel very blessed that God has put this man into my life.  You can pray for him.  He gets to meet the parents over New Year's.  :)  I have no doubt he'll pass with flying colors.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Can't Smile Without You

I saw this video today and it made me smile.  Hope you enjoy it too.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Mighty Fortress

A Mighty Fortress is one of my favorite hymns.  A friends posted this arrangement on her Facebook and I thought I'd share it with you.  Read the words below as you listen.  In fact, sing along.  What an amazing God we have!!!

A Mighty Fortress Is our God
by Martin Luthur

A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood
of mortal ills prevaling.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God's truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vacation Weekend

This weekend was spent with some of the most wonderful friends on the face of this planet.  These are the friends that you may only get together with once a year, but it feels like you were never apart.  These are the friends that know your most embarrassing moments and love you anyway. These are the friends that know your struggles and prayed with you through every one.  These are the friends that make you laugh till you snort. (I may or may not have done this.)  These are the friends that you miss the rest of the year and wish you lived closer.

We were missing two from our little college group...Bekah (in Japan) and Becky (had family obligations).  We missed you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We met in Galena, IL this year.  It's a beautiful, quaint town.  We did some shopping, some eating, some pool time and lots and lots of laughing.  I'm very blessed.

Me, Roxi and Mary Ann
Modeling some hats.......really, we're just goofs
Isn't that hat adorable on her?

Wrestling masks....I'm pretty intimidating, huh?
I think Mary Ann looks pretty scary
Roxi always has a smile on her face
We just can't seem to follow the rules.  This is U.S. Grant's home.  Wish we could have taken the tour.

We were on the phone with Bekah, so wouldn't totally miss out on our weekend. 

Here's a view of this beautiful little town
This is the not-so-pleasant part of our trip.  Someone banged up Roxi's car in the hotel parking lot.  They did leave a note and hopefully take care of the damage.

Weekend Vacation Part 2
Galena is only an hour away from my brother and his family and my aunt & uncle.  I couldn't be that close and not go see them, so I headed over there on Saturday afternoon and came back home on Sunday.  It was wonderful to hug my niece and nephew again and see how big they are getting.  It seems like only yesterday I was holding those little bundles in my arms.  I had a great visit with all of them.  My sister-in-law, Jamie, reads my blog, so this is my shout out to her.  Love you, Jamie!!!! (Scott too!  And Donna and Rog.....can't leave out anybody.)
Here's our goofy shot.  It's much better than the good shows our personalities.

Ethan's Birthday is Nov. 14, and I gave him is gift early. This was his reaction...I think he liked it! :)
It was a great weekend packed full of wonderful people.  I'm very blessed with a wonderful family and fabulous friends.

Monday, November 1, 2010

House Guests

I've been keeping busy with house guests recently.  I've had some normal two-legged kind, but also some of the four-legged variety.

Drew and Mandy's daughter had surgery last week on Monday, so I kept their dog, Jersey, for a few days.  She's such a sweet dog. She was a bit scared of my laminate floors though, so I had to try to accommodate her a bit.


This week, I have the Betz's dog, Lucy.  They are on vacation and going to the camp conference.  You may remember from way back in older posts that she was actually my dog at one time...for a week.  Yep, that's right.  I'm thankful that the Betz Family adopted her and I still get to see her and watch her from time to time.  She's such a sweetie too.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Birthday Celebration

Wednesday was my first Birthday away from my camp family and Mason Church friends.  I had a bit of a breakdown the week before.  You see, my camp family and church friends always made my Birthday so special since I was far from my family.  Thinking of celebrating without them just made me miss them even more.  Besides that, I simply love my Birthday!

It turned out to be wonderful. Tara, my co-worker, made me a cake, gave me a funny card and a gift.  The guys at the office bought me a cake, gave me a funny card and flowers.  My parents sent me beautiful orange roses and had them delivered to the office.  Bekah sent me a scarf from Japan.  I received many wonderful cards in that mail and some great phone calls too.  To to top it all off, three friends from Mason City met me in Des Moines to have a Birthday dinner.

It was a great celebration.  God knew I needed every one of those bits of encouragement.  He knew that I love my Birthday and made it special even though I'm in a new place and making new friendships.  I'm very blessed.  And I'm very thankful that God even cares about Birthdays.

I'm so thankful that Stacey, Mary and Keri made the trip down to celebrate.

This was our yummy dessert.  We went to Hu Hot for dinner.

These are those beautiful roses.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm In Love!!!!

Some of you read that and thought, "WHAT?"  Let me be more specific. I'm in love with scarves.  I love them.  They are such a great accessory.  Here's my stash.

Bekah sent me these three beauties from Japan.  I just got the one in the middle this week as my B-Day present.  Yes, I opened it early. :)  These are actually some of my favorites.

These three are my other favorites that I wear A LOT!  They go with just about everything.

Here are the basic solids I have.  I'd like to get some more colors like red and blue.

And this is one that my friend, Anna, made for me. She took different types and colors of thicker yarns and simply knotted them randomly.  Some of the knots include all the strands and other knots only include a few strands. It's pretty unique and I love it!!!

Here's a closer look for those of you that want to make one.  I know there are some of you out there dying to try it.

At my jewelry party, Dani shared with us a new way to tie them.  Can't wait to try it.  So there you have it, my scarf collection.  Give them a try. It's a look that anyone can pull off.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wonderful Neighbors

God has truly blessed me with wonderful neighbors.  When I moved to Creston, I prayed that God would place me in the perfect neighborhood where I could be a blessing.  It turns out they have been such a huge blessing to me!

On Friday afternoon, Karolyn called to ask if they could mulch my leaves.  She said Gary had the riding mower out with the mulcher on it and he really wanted to get my leaves done for me since it was going to rain.  She said he worries about me sometimes.

Well, I had just taken a picture of the tree in the back because I thought it looked so beautiful.  You can see the leaves underneath.

And here's what it looked like after he was done.  It looks so wonderful!!!

There are many more leaves to drop yet, but I'm so thankful for their help.  I think I need to do some baking or take them a meal.  They are so sweet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I hosted a Premier Jewelry party last night.  I decided to do this as a way to get to know my neighbors better.  I also love any excuse to have people over.  I forgot to take pictures of the actual party, but I did get some pictures of some of the preparations.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the entertaining aspects.  I don't know what this is called, but it's the first time I've used it.  I think it was used at my parents' wedding, but I may be wrong about that.  (Mom, if I'm wrong, let me know.)

The next one is a trick my mom taught me.  She always liked to make the napkins look nice like this.

And this is how you do it.  Just put them in a stack, take a glass, press down and twist.

 I knew I'd forget to take pictures when the food was all ready and set out, so I got one before I was busy fixing the cheese bread.  Here's the spread!  We had Olive Cheese Bread (not pictured here), Veggies/Dip, Ginger Sugar Cookies, Almond Pie Bars and Chips/Salsa.

 Here's the bread before it was baked.  I promise it's much more appetizing when baked.

The party was a great success.  I had two neighbors come and they seemed to have a great time.  I also had several ladies from church attend as well.  Like I said, any excuse for a party.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Simple Yet Scrumptious

This is one of those one dish meals.  I love those!  Just throw it all in together and you're set.  It's also one of those meals that doesn't really follow a recipe.  If you are the type of cook that has to follow a recipe....don't worry.  This one is so easy anyone could make it.

1 Hillshire Farm ring sausage (I tend to like the spicier - you can also choose the turkey or lower fat options)
3-4 potatoes
2 cans green beans (un-drained)

First, cut the sausage into about 1-inch pieces. Throw them in a frying pan to start browning them a bit.  Next wash and slice the potatoes and throw them in the pan too.  Next put in both cans of green beans with the liquid.  Here's where I add a little salt and lots and lots of pepper.  Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to medium and cook covered for about 15-20 minutes...just until the potatoes are tender.  Uncover and turn the heat back up and let the remaining liquid evaporate. The starch from the potatoes will thicken the liquid a bit.  Enjoy!!!

It's not a pretty meal, but is one of those hearty yet healthy stick-to-your-ribs meals.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Results Are In!

The results are in ladies and gentlemen.  Which do I prefer?  A garage with carpet or a garage without carpet?  Drum roll, please!  Without!!!!!!!!!

I'm so thankful that it's finally gone!  I will now be able to park in my garage this winter.  The Henry Family was such a huge help.  I couldn't have done it without you!

Here are the after pictures, as promised.

Here is the Henry Family hard at work.

Even the kids got down and dirty!

Sweeping up!
The finished product.

These are the kind of pictures you get when you give the kids the camera and tell the to take some pictures. :)