Monday, February 26, 2007

My Cowboy's Birthday present

Being the wife of a cowboy carries with it certain responsibilities that may be unknown to most "regular" wives. These responsibilities include but are not limited to such things as being supportive of the times he wants to go riding, appreciating the finer points of hoof trimming, noticing when hay is “good hay” or “bad hay”, knowing the difference between bridle straps, headstalls, hobbles, and breast collars, knowing how to decipher cowboy lingo and not least of all, choosing a good pair of cowboy boots. When a certain cowboy has a birthday and requests a pair of “black cowboy boots” from his non-cowgirl wife, he really needs to give more description. Does he realize that there are precisely 387 pairs of black cowboy boots alone? Does he know there is cow or ostricth leather; snake, alligator, or lizard skin to choose from? Does he know you can get a pair of boots for $99 or a pair of boots for $989? Does he understand there are round toes, square toes, or pointy toes? Does he prefer white stitching, black stitching, colored stitching to match the colors in the boot, or does he want any stitching at all? Don’t even get me going on the heel types and for heaven’s sake how “tall” should these boots be?

That is why in regard to all of these questions and more, my cowboy husband is getting a gift certificate for his birthday tomorrow with an opportunity to go to town and pick out the best pair of black cowboy boots he can find!

Happy Birthday Honey – you are the best and I love you!

Monday Blah's

Boy, can I tell it is Monday today. I am tired from a very busy weekend and I have a whole week of work ahead of me. Days like today make me want to go on a VERY long vacation. We are coming up on the 4th anniversary of when we went to Hawaii on our 25th wedding anniversary - what a wonderful, magical, incredible 10 days we had. We saved so long and hard to go on this trip and it was everything we dreamt it would be. We had 2 rules: We couldn't take about the church and we couldn't talk about the kids. I seriously wondered if we would have anything to talk about! But we did! We talked and talked and talked and had the best time of our lives. We DID talk about the kids just a little but we never did talk about the church! Maybe it's just because it is the same time of year that we went - I just always get nostalgic for Hawaii this time of year! We really hope to go back again some day. My goal was to go to Hawaii while we were still somewhat young - I didn't want to to on a senior citizen tour or anything like that!
We are going to try and get away for a few days over spring break - maybe go to the coast - but today that seems very far away.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New Puppies!

Josey, one of my Yorkshire Terriers, had her puppies last evening! She had 4 perfect little ones - 3 girls and 1 boy. I have been breeding yorkies for several years now, but I never get used to the miracle it is! Josey looks a little worn out in these pictures - reminds me of some of the pictures of me after giving birth! We had to go to the vet and get a shot of oxytocin to help her labor along - she wasn't too impressed with the vet! But she is doing great and is SUCH a good little mama! This is her first litter.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I Spoke Too Soon

I never have liked spring very much - it is such a big TEASE!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Simply Glorious!

We had the most glorious weather this weekend! It was wonderful to get out of the house and do some work around my yard. My husband and I began the morning walking in the yard, drinking coffee, dreaming about the projects we want to accomplish this year. As we were sipping our Starbucks we noticed a hawk perched in a tree in an adjacent field to our yard. As we watched him, he came soaring towards us. My husband remarked on how beautiful he was. Now to me, beautiful isn't the word that came to mind. I have visions of this hawk swooping down to munch on one of my little dogs that were outside with us. He didn't, he just soared in circles above us. My husband assures me that he is looking for snakes and mice. Admittedly, one has to appreciate something that will get rid of menaces such as snakes and mice at no charge! So okay, I will put up with the hawk but he better not come close to my dogs! I wish I had had my camera to get a picture of him - maybe next time.
I spent some time raking out my flower beds - it felt so good to get them cleaned up.

I couldn't believe how many leaves there were to rake! And what a lovely surprise I found under the leaves:

My daffodils are popping out of the ground - they are ready for spring!
The day was just so lovely that my cowboy husband couldn't resist saddlin' up and taking a ride.

That evening we were both so sore from using muscles that we haven't used all winter - but what an enjoyable day it was!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

PART 1 Adventures in Italy

I have been intending to post about our trip last fall to Italy, Greece, and Turkey but I have kept putting it off because I have no idea how to put into words such an incredible experience. I think I am finally ready to begin and I have decided to do it in "parts" so that I can keep it all straight in my head.
Our church presented this trip to my husband and I as my husband's sabbatical. Our denomination states that pastors should take a sabbatical after every six years of service in one church. We have been in this particular church for 18 years and my husband has never taken a sabbatical. So it was mutually decided upon that we should take this educational cruise that was going to follow the second and third missionary journey of the Apostle Paul. We started planning the trip about 8 months in advance and it sounded really exciting then. But as it got closer and closer, reality set in and I had to deal with a few issues, one being my terrible fear of flying. I have always had a serious fear of heights and flying has never been easy for me. This fear has gotten worse with age. The thought of flying overseas on a 14 hour flight filled my heart with very anxious thoughts to where I was even trying to think of ways to back out of it. But I knew how much this trip meant to my husband and I have always determined that my fear would not keep me from "doing things" so I decided to talk to my doctor about it. He gave me a prescription for Zanex and everyone I talked to told me what a wonder drug this was. Now you have to understand that I do not even take Tylenol unless I really, really, have to. I just have an aversion to taking medicine (it must be another phobia of mine!) But I was at the place that I would do anything to make this trip happen. Another issue I have is that I had gone on one boat ride in my life, a dinner cruise, and it had made me extremely seasick! I was beginning to believe that this trip was not going to work for me. My doctor also gave me a seasick patch to wear and he told me to put it on the morning I got on the plane. So, I drugged myself up and off I went to see the world! I took one pill and it may have taken the edge off of my nervousness but I was still pretty apprehensive. Seven hours into the flight somewhere over Greenland we hit some turbulence. I looked at my husband and he suggested I take another pill. Gulp! Down it went. From that point on I have absolutely no recollection of anything that happened until I woke up in a hotel room in Venice. My husband tells me we spent some time in Amsterdam, caught another plane, flew over the Alps,(which he said were incredibly beautiful), landed in Venice, took a bus, checked into our hotel, and I woke up just in time for dinner! My husband said I was awake just very very groggy. He said I shuffled everywhere we went and my speech was slurred. I can only imagine what I must have looked like - I am so thankful we didn't see anyone who would have known me! What a strange feeling! I woke up not knowing where I was or how I got there! I was still feeling rather woozy but I changed my clothes and went to dinner. I still don't remember what I ate that night. After dinner we took a short train ride to Venice and walked through that beautiful city and rode a gondola. I remember parts of the evening but I am so sad that I don't remember alot of it!
Here is our gondola ride - the picture is blurry but it pretty accurately shows how I was feeling!

From what I remember that night, Venice was very lovely and I felt like I was in another world!
We went back to our hotel room and after a good nights sleep, I was awake again and ready to enjoy this trip in full! We spent the day touring Venice with a very knowledgeable tour guide and we enjoyed lunch in a little Italian restaurant. I had gnocchi with cheese sauce and tiramisu for dessert - it was amazing! We toured a glass factory and a Byzantine church and of course St. Mark's square. Here are some pictures of our day:

Late that afternoon we boarded our ship and prepared to sail to Corinth to begin our tour of Greece. Here is a picture of our ship:

It was a nice ship, not a luxury liner, it only carried 500 passengers. But the crew was very nice, seeing to our every need and the food was wonderful. We sailed all night and all the next day and night to get to Athens. The first night was a little rough. I was thankful for my patch! About 3:00 in the morning the water started splashing on my window and I began having thoughts of the movie Titanic! My husband and I decided to take a walk so we went up a couple of decks and tried to get used to the motion of the boat as it rocked back and forth. Eventually we went back to bed and by morning the sea was calm again.
Coming soon - Part 2 - Adventures in Greece

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Surprise Gift

On Monday I was going through our mail when I came to the bottom of the stack and found of all things, a quilting magazine! My first thought was "I love quilting magazines!" and then my next thought was "Oh no, I am going to have to put this back in the mailbox so it can go to who it REALLY belongs so". Then I looked at the subscription label and discovered that it really did belong to me!!! I don't usually indulge myself in magazine subscriptions, but it was true. This magazine was mine and I am going to get 11 more of them during the next year! I am so excited. A certain friend of mine came to mind right away as being the culprit! Sure enough, she confessed. She has a passion for quilting and I know she wants me to "catch her bad habit"! It just may happen! But for now I am going to pour me a hot cup of coffee and dream through the pages of my new magazine. Isn't God wonderful to provide us with such generous friends?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!! I love this day every year. It brings me alot of happiness and good memories. I remember my first married Valentine's Day and how my husband made me feel so loved and special. My second married Valentine's Day was the day our first daughter was due. She came a few days early but Valentine's Day always brings back the warm memories of new motherhood to me. I love getting little gifts of love for my husband and daughters every year on this day. It's nice to set aside a day every year with the intention of focusing on the love we have for each other. Of course, we should focus on this love EVERY day! My dear husband got me a vase of beautiful roses to enjoy - they are so beautiful! And this weekend we are going out to dinner and then to a play. I love spending time with this man that God gave me! My prayer has always been for my four girls that when they marry they find someone who will love them as much as their father has loved me. So far God has been faithful to answer that prayer with our two married daughters. Thank you God for loving us so much that you hear us when we pray!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up

Well, today is Monday and back to work I go. I used to have Monday's off and I sure do miss those days!

This weekend was full of a variety of activities in our home. Friday night began with my husband and I, and our associate pastor and wife hosting a Marraige Enrichment couple (who came to our church for a Marraige Enrichment weekend) to dinner at Applebee's. They were from the Chicago area and it was their first visit to our neck of the woods. They loved it so much they are talking about relocating here! And this is the ugly time of year! Their conference went very well, we had 18 couples that included both of my daughters and sons-in law.

Saturday was our oldest daughter, Michelle's, birthday. Who can believe she turned 27? Wasn't I just 27 the other day? I always let my kids pick their birthday dinner, and ever since Michelle was a little girl she has ALWAYS picked fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy! It is the only day of the year I make this menu! It turned out really good and it was fun to have our family together including our new son-in-law. Our family just keeps growing and growing! After dinner we played Scattergories for a couple of hours!

Sunday was church of course. My husband is preaching a sermon series on the travels of the Apostle Paul, based on our trip to Italy, Greece, and Turkey last fall. He shows pictures and gives a basic tour guide and then launches into a sermon of the events in those areas. It has been very good and our people seem to really be enjoying it. After church we went home and had lunch and I had planned to write my paper that is due in class on Thursday. I am taking Intro to Theology this semester at the university that I work at. I don't know what happened though - we all fell asleep and when we woke up it was five o'clock!!! Time to get ready for evening church! My poor paper didn't even get started :(

After church we went to our town's diner with some friends and enjoyed a large platter of french fries and decaf coffee and good fellowship!

Don't you wish weekends had more days in them?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Check it out!


More Wedding Pictures

Here are a few wedding pictures from Michelle's wedding. I just love this black and white one - I think it looks so classic! My mother-in-law has a black and white picture of her in this same pose on her wedding day! I am definitely getting this one framed.

Here is Brad and MIchelle on their day. This pictures don't even come close in showing how many trees we had set up on the platform. We had over 70 and 40 candlestands. We also had snowflakes hanging everywhere. It was very elegant looking.

And these are all the dresses I made! Whew! Am I glad to be done with those!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Happy Groundhog's Day

I am not especially fond of groundhog's but today is my sister's birthday and I AM fond of her! When we were kids, our brothers and sisters teased her unmercifully about being born on groundhogs day and how that made her a groundhog. Kids are so mean! I am very thankful for my sister - she is smart, creative, supportive, generous, and very thoughtful. Happy Birthday Sue - I hope your day and your year is totally wonderful!