Friday, October 31, 2008

Baby McKenzie is Here!

You'll remember that Heather has been keeping us up-to-date on the situation with her sister's unborn baby McKenzie. Well, as of yesterday she is no longer unborn! Bethany's water broke and McKenzie was born by emergency Cesarean yesterday. She was 5 pounds, strong and very alert. She is breathing well despite being 6 weeks early and has been transferred to Portland where she will undergo surgery to begin addressing some of the challenges she faces. Please keep her and her family in your prayers!

Welcome to the world baby McKenzie! And congratulations to mom, dad and the rest of the family. You're all in our prayers.

Update: I just spoke to Heather who said that McKenzie got out of shunt surgery about an our ago and is doing well!

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Daring Baker's Challenge: Pizza

I tried to hand-toss the dough, which were the explicit instructions for this challenge, but I couldn't do it! It actually flew off my hand at one point and landed on my chest. No kidding.

I chose my toppings based on the pizzas we have eaten in Europe, especially in Germany and Italy. I even used fresh mozzarella and made 3 of the 4 pizzas very thin like the ones in Europe. I almost poured a beaten egg on one before sliding it into the oven like the one I had in Pisa, Italy-- but my kids vetoed that idea very quickly.

And this was what Ian thought of the cheese-free pizza I made for him:

For a list of more Challenge participants, click here.

And now for the very, very long recipe and instructions, just in case you're interested. It is very good and is now my standard pizza dough recipe. In fact, I've got another batch in the fridge right now!

This includes gluten-free instructions:

Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled - FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast - FOR GF use 2 tsp
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar - FOR GF use agave syrup
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting


1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.


2. FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.


8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.


8. FOR GF: On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.


10. FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.


11. FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.


12. FOR GF: Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.


13. FOR GF: Follow the notes for this step.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

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Thank you!

Hey girls! I'm here..for a moment anyway. I just stopped into work to get a few things done.

First of all, thank you! I can't tell you how much your love, support and prayers mean to me. I have not been able to be on a computer much since Saturday. I have been able to check on the blog through Mark's PSP, but I can't do much with that.

We are doing okay. I do need prayer today. I feel like Dan and I are starting to get really stressed which is hard for us. We don't always deal with stress well. Please pray that we continue to have grace with each other through this difficult time.

We are living at a hotel. At first I was really mad about that, but I have grown occustomed to it and actually enjoy it a little. We have a two bedroom suite with huge living area. Someone comes in and makes our beds and cleans up after us! It's really great!

I am drained today. At this point we are finishing up emptying the house. All the contents of the entire house have to be removed. 90% of the items in the house have to be itemized and listed for throwing away. Yesterday I went through our bathroom and I have about 7 pages, front and back, single spaced, of items we had to throw out. Today, it's the kids' rooms. I'm having a hard time with that. The insurance company wants me to throw their whole rooms out and start over. I just can't do that. I have to go through it. So, today it's my precious kids' rooms.

I know Reese told you that I have been without a voice. That has been so frustrating because I can't ask questions or communicate. Yesterday my voice started to come back and I'm so thankful.

People keep asking how are we making it through this and I can tell you that at my darkest moments I realize that I could be barying a child, and then, it's not so bad anymore. My family is safe, our animals are safe. We did not lose any pictures. It could have been much, much worse!

I also know that God is with us, I know that he is uplifting us, providing with amazing friends around us, and sustaining us. We are going to be fine. In the end, I'm hoping for a nicer and safer home, it's just getting through all this terrible junk to get there.

I don't know when I'll be back. I'm coming back to work on Monday. If I can get back on the computer before then, I will. We meet with our General Contractor today and find out exactly how much of the house has to be redone.

I'm not going to go back and proof this, I need to get back to the house. If Reese finds any major errors, she can fix it :)

Love you. Heather

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Heather's Reply (See Last Post!)

(Posted with permission)

I just stopped into work for a few minutes... We have a huge meeting at 9:00 a.m. with the insurance agent, adjuster and fire inspector. I am nervous. These guys are trained to talk you into a corner so I am concerned.

At this point there are a few things going on. There is talk from a couple different companies about gutting the whole house. I think we'll find out more today about that. There would be two reasons to gut the house. One is the smell is incredible! The washer was on fire and the plastic just spread throughout the house. The other reason is electrical. If the wiring is burnt throughout the house, then they have to re-wire the whole thing.

If we could have a care package right now, it would include stuff for the kids to do...maybe word finds, puzzles, something to keep them occupied. I'm not sure what all we need right now.

Here is what I'm feeling right now. I really feel at peace. I know that God protected us during that fire. So many terrible things could have happened but we got out of the house, none of our pictures were damaged, our animals are out. This is a huge inconvenience, and at times, totally overwhelming, but our family unit is strong right now. I would like prayer that our unit remains strong.


If anyone is interested in sending a care package to Heather and her family, please contact me and I'll get you an address.

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An Open Plea To Heather: Please Let Me Help!

Heather and her family are on my mind and heart. I want to help but it seems that the only way I can help is to pray. It's not easy being an ocean and the width of the US away from her. If I was there I would ask to help by running errands, drive her kids around, sort through her smoke damaged belongings for whatever was salvageable, make her family dinner a couple of times a week, answer her phone until her voice returns, make calls to inquire into a place for the family to live until their house can be lived in, do laundry for them, replace necessities that need replacing. I feel so helpless over here.

So, this is an open plea to Heather: please be honest with me if there is anything at all that I can do. Do you need a couple of more nights at the hotel? I have someone who has offered to help with that. If I made a care package for you and your family, what would be in it? Please give us a chance to show our love to you.

I love you, Heather!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Urgent Need: Please Pray For Heather and Her Family

On Saturday evening there was a fire in Heather's house. They believe it was started due to faulty wiring in the house. Most of the family was home and they were all able to get out. I'm praising God right now that no one was hurt!

The back room of their house is where the fire broke out (I believe) and that room is "gutted". The bathroom has suffered severe damage and the rest of the house is black with smoke damage. Here's the miracle: they recently purchased a pellet stove and the pellets were in the back room. They have been told that the reason the whole house didn't burn down is because the fire was occupied with consuming the pellets and didn't have time to turn on the rest of the house.

I spoke to her briefly last night and she said they were in a hotel and everything in the future was up in the air: where to stay, how much of their house and possessions could be saved, how long it would take to get back into their house. I can't even imagine the jolt this would have on a person and a family emotionally, physically, practically. The one thing she was very clear on: God kept them safe and he was still with them and taking care of them. I'm sure she and Dan will need to that continued assurance as the realities of their new situation unfold.

She won't be on the computer, at least for today. I'm not sure when her life will settle down to any semblance of normalcy, but I'm praying it's soon.

When I called this morning to get her permission to share this on the blog, I spoke with Amanda because Heather has lost her voice. She doesn't know why, but thinks it could be from all the smoke she was exposed to. Not like she needed another obstacle...

Please pray for them. They need a long-term place to stay and places for their animals (all of which were saved). They need resources, ideas, friends, holy provision and peace in the midst of all of this, and the kids need peace and a new sense of security. The youngest was at home at the time of the fire and is traumatized. Sisters, our Heather needs us to petition our Heavenly Father for her and her family! Please feel free to leave her comments here as well. I'm sure she'll check in as soon as she can.

Bless you.

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7th-7th Picture Meme

I saw this meme on a random blog and have tailored it a bit: it was the 6-6 meme, now it's the 7-7 meme. Here's how it works: post the 7th picture in your 7th picture folder. That's it! Here's mine:

It was August 2005, two months after Ian was born. This was a hot German day and we had just removed ourselves from the car after a long drive with no air conditioning. I drove Tim to a base outside Frankfurt so he could fly to his "deployment" in Florida. Rough, eh? Well, not for him but it was for me! It was one of the top 3 hardest periods of time in my life. But I survived... and so did all of my kids. So, we're good.

If you decide to participate, leave a comment and let me know.


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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Fill-In: Reese

1. Right now, I'm feeling like I'm covered in flour.
2. With Tim is where I want to be.
3. How does one do it all?
4. God keeps me on track.
5. Please don't eat the daisies.
6. Watching my children play fills me with joy.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to serving the cheese and onion tarts I just bought, tomorrow my plans include playing chauffeur and Sunday, I want to go to church!

For more Friday Fill-Ins, click here.

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Business Name Contest

A couple of friends here in England have been urging me to start a scone delivery service for the past few weeks. Today the urging intensified after I dropped off my latest pumpkin scone creations. My sweet friend J said, "It's not so much that you need to make money as the world needs to eat these scones!" It may be the best compliment I've ever received on anything I've baked.

So the wheels have started spinning in my head, and there are so many things to think about: legal/tax issues, work space, ingredients, baking tools, costs and charges... and that's just the short list. To start, I'm going to be making scones for my friends and see how it goes. I already have orders for 3 dozen just between two of my friends. If I expand to selling outside my circle of friends I may need to become official which could require finding another space for the baking other than my own kitchen.

But here's the fun part: I need to decide on a name for my proposed new business! And that's where I'm asking for your help. Any ideas? Be creative and submit as many ideas as come into your mind. If I choose your idea, I'll think up a prize and send it your way!


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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Amanda's Quote For The Day

Yesterday was a bad day for both Dan and I. It seriously started out bad and went downhill until I crawled, exhausted, into bed.

This morning as I'm making lunches for the kids, pondering my day, Amanda comes to me and says "Mom, don't drag yesterday's bad day, into today". Now, that's some darn good advice. I asked where she got that quote and she stated "It just popped into my head, it was rather sage wasn't it?" I must have looked at her odd because in the next moment she states "Mom, sage means wise.", then she bounced off up the stairs. Amanda is a very smart girl, who frequently (and honestly) acts like a "dumb blond". We have a lot of laughs at her expense. Sage is just not a word that you would think she would say! LOL!

I was blessed by her quote this morning, and think I will attempt to bring it into my day.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Pictures and a Baby Update

Yesterday when we got back from McKenna's soccer game, I saw these beautiful vines in the next door neighbor's yard. No one lives there and we have never noticed them this beautiful in the fall before. I couldn't resist and knew our pictures needed to be taken there. I wish I would have changed McKenna out of her soccer uniform but the light was perfect and didn't want to mess with it.

Look how I had to stand to get taller then Amanda, and I could still barely see over her head :)
This is one of my beautiful nieces. I couldn't resist this pic. It was the first one I took with my new camera.

Thank you to everyone that is praying for my family. We have learned that McKenzie will be born on 12/2 and will need brain surgery on 12/3. The first of many. My sister is doing well. She was able to learn quite a bit about McKenzie's cleft palette and she feels better about taking care of that. I can't believe how many obstacles McKenzie will have, but I do know that God is in control. So, McKenzie's first surgery will be 24 hours after she is born. Her next one will be at 3 months to repair her lip, and things will progress from there. Right now we need to be praying for healing to her brain. The liquid has increased and is putting more pressure on her brain. When looking at her ultrasound, her brain looks non-existent. Hopefully her brain is able to bounce back from this trauma. My sister goes back in on 11/5 so I will update again when I know more.

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Being Exceptional in the Ordinary Things

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he "followed Him at a distance" on dry land (Mark 14:54). We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises—human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God—but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people—and this is not learned in five minutes.

~Oswald Chambers

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Sunday, October 19, 2008


Lora, I've done it before! LOL! Always a pleasure to hold up a major architectural structure.

I love Sarah Palin. I have the t-shirt to prove it.

But now I have solid proof that there are those who love her more than I do:

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

After a Week Away...

I'm back!

I'll check in with updates later. I can't wait to reconnect with all of you.

Cheers, for now!

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Fill In

Okay, girls, here goes my first attempt at Friday Fill In.

Please look down at the next post to find out info on Know and Tell Friday.

1. Follow the yellow brick road.
2. A good book is something I always take with me on vacation.
3. To achieve your goals, you must dream big and work hard
4. I adore my husband is something I'd like you to know about me.
5. I have a new pellet stove..yeah, I won't be cold anymore!
6. Ice floats.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a sleep over for my son, tomorrow my plans include people coming over to my house for a get together and Sunday, I want to rest!

For more fun, head over here

P.S. I think that Reese is headed home today, so pray for a safe trip!

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Know and Tell Friday has seen better days. It was originally done by Kim at To Know Him but when she decided to take a break we asked if we could take over till she wanted it back. It's been several months since Heather and I started these weekly posts with gusto, and I'm sure it's rather obvious that it has puttered to a crawl. Kayren has been doing it for the past month to give us a break, which only confirmed for us that we can't continue. Our brains are otherwise engaged.

We have loved getting to know all the wonderful ladies who have stopped by and participated. It's been a hoot.

For another Friday meme, visit Friday Fill-Ins. We plan to.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Love Barnes and Noble

Last night we took a trip into Baltimore's Inner Harbor. I've been there a couple of times before and always think it's so beautiful: the water, the ships, the shops, the lights, the music (a live musician on the guitar this time) and Barnes and Noble. Gotta love Barnes and Noble.

I don't get to go into real bookstores very often. While Tim and the kids raided Starbucks I wandered around and looked at books. I thought I would get just one, to save money and room in my already-tight luggage space, but by the time I had walked around for 5 minutes I had 4 books in my arms. Not that four books was all I saw that I wanted, but that was an example of me being conservative. Tim gave me
the look, so I wandered around and out them back. All but one.

I love Barnes and Noble. I could live at Barnes and Noble... maybe like that one gal who lived at Wal-Mart. Think anyone would catch me? I could eat muffins and scones and drink caramel chai every night when the lights when out. Sounds great!


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Office (A Scarey Place To Be)

Kayren...I am seriously wondering when you are going to venture to the West Coast and help me! Look at my desk..isn't it completely scary??? Yes, I am scared! It looks this way all the time. When I make some progress and it gets half way cleaned up, my boss comes in and slaps more stuff down! Let's just say, organization is NOT my middle name!

On another note, have you guys ever tried these?? They truly are wonderful. I would say they are almost as good as the chocolates that Reese gave me in Germany...close, but not quite!

On a serious note...please be praying for my sister. Today we go in for 3 or 4 more doctor appointments and find out how baby M is doing. My sister needs some peace, and so does our family. There is some family stuff going on that is not so fun. Lets just say, I'm taking a lot of work off my desk, my boss is going to give me his laptop for the day, and I'm going to hide in a corner of the hospital and work (at least when Bethany doesn't need me).

I will update you tomorrow evening (if my computer lets me) if it doesn't, I will update as soon as I can on Thursday.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Trip: A Quick Summary- Pictures To Come

Thank you to all my blogging and non-blogging friends for the sweet birthday wishes! You warmed my heart!

I was planning daily posts while I was here in the US but silly me forgot the cable to upload my pictures from my camera. We tried taking the memory card out and inserting it in the memory card space on the computer (sorry for all this technical jargon-- you know me, the computer nerd! NOT!), but since hubby couldn't figure it out I know it can't be done. The pictures will have to wait.

The first day we were here we spent waiting around Firestone for word on the fate of our overheating van. We walked a couple of miles for lunch at Quizno's, drooled over the wonders in an American supermarket, and I bought a funky hat at a random shop. By the end of the day we knew our van would be in the shop for a few days so we hitched a ride back to our hotel with one of the mechanics.

For my birthday we rented a car and drove to Washington DC and spent the day snapping pictures outside the Capital and eating at Hard Rock Cafe. I'll tell you my interesting experience there when I have pictures to prove it.

Yesterday we were back in DC checking out the Washington Monument, the WWII memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Reflecting Pool at the Constitution Gardens, and the Lincoln Memorial. We saw the White House from afar; the Italian Prime Minister was there for a State dinner so these bulky cops were threatening to tackle anyone so much as taking a step in the direction of the President's abode. We saw the motorcade arrive, but there was a screen blocking his entrance into the WH from view of the public.

There was a smart and well-dressed man holding a sign next to us as we gazed the half-mile to the White House. He claims that the CIA has taken over many American companies and is using them to conquer capitalism. I intentionally avoided him, but Tim walked right up and gleaned as much info from the guy as possible. Tim has fun with stuff like that. The closest I got to anything CIA related was a hoodie with "CIA" in big letters across the front. When I wear it I'm "in" the CIA; when I tie it around my waist the CIA is on my tail. (Sorry for that stupid humor-- I just had to!)

Now it's time to look for flights home. I'll keep you updated. I can't wait to share my pictures. I've got some good ones!

My second coolest b'day present (the first is being with hubby): a new iPod Nano! I had a 80 GB iPod Classic but came to feel it was too bulky especially for use while working out. Not only that, despite filling it with every song, podcast and video I could get my hands on, I was only using about 1/3 of its capacity. I just can't use that much space. So I've upgraded/downgraded to the 16 GB Nano in Silver. I'm lovin' it! It's so cute and the features are amazing. I have to be careful to slide the hold button while I'm listening to it or my boys will sneak up and shake it to see it switch to a new song! LOL!

Cheers, lovely ladies! Have a great week!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

My Last Minute Trip, Part 1

You might wonder what would posses a gal to hop on a military space available flight with three kids and sit in a military terminal in Germany for the better part of two days waiting for a flight to the US east coast. The answer is quite simple: 2 months without my hubby.

My birthday and a 3 day weekend seemed like a good excuse to endure long lines, walk miles and miles (total, not all at once!) and spend what seemed like an eternity wondering if I'd have to spend my birthday wandering on foot around Ramstein Air Base if I didn't get a flight. We got directly on a flight from England, but had to spend the night in Germany, which was actually kind of nice because we had been stationed nearby for 5 years so I knew Ramstein pretty well. It was a bit like a quick visit home-- only without all the family and friends and fun and comforts of home and transportation at the ready.

God provided free transportation to and from the hotel, and a room on base rather than at a base that would have required me to pay a taxi for a ride. We walked about a mile for dinner at Chili's (a welcome piece of America in the midst of schnitzel-eating Germany), and had the leftovers for breakfast. The next morning we sat around the terminal and eventually got a ride to McGuire AFB in New Jersey. After a 9 hour flight and 2 hours of sleep, we landed on American soil.

In the meantime Tim was attempting to make the 3 hour trip from Maryland to New Jersey. Attempting. Our "new" van overheated in Delaware and he was delayed by nearly 3 hours. By the time he arrived I had slept 2 hours in 36 and had never been happier to be wrapped in the arms of my husband. It was all worth it.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Somebody Else Is Turning 33!

Among Reese's many talents, avoiding the camera is one of them. I searched through all our pics of her last visit, and I did not have one of her looking at the camera. She was hiding in all of them! LOL!

Happy Birthday to Reese! Yes, for those of you who don't know, Reese and I are six days apart
and we were married 21 days apart. Pretty cool huh!

Reese is amazing. She really is. I love being around her. She is so much fun. There are times when I am in awe of our friendship, how much I have come to rely on her and how far we have come. Reese is one of those people that make you feel at ease when you are around. After you leave a conversation with her, you know that she has heard you.
Another thing I love about Reese is watching her with her children. She has the best imagination and you cannot be with the kids and not see how much imagination she has helped them create. They can tell you the best stories because they have a mommy who makes them up!
Reese, I pray your day is wonderful. I pray that you will be blessed like you bless others.
Thank you for who you are and all that you do. I love you!

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Know and Tell Friday: Music Edition

Kayren was awesome and did Know and Tell Friday for us again so Reese & I could be lazy! :) Actually, I don't think we'll be hearing from Reese today, she's mid-flight to see Tim!

Here are my answers:

1. Do you play any musical instruments? If so, which one(s)? If not, is there one you always wanted to know how to play? I played the piano and the clarinet. I hate the clarinet but really wish that I could play the piano. I've thought about taking lessons again. Here's a little blast from the past, Reese's Tim is an amazing musician and he and I used to be in a Christian band together called Pneuma. He had skills..I didn't! LOL!

2. Do you sing well? Do you sing along in the car? Do you use head motions? I do not sing well at all! I don't even try to sing. My husband is an amazing singer so I don't even try! I might occasionally sing in the car :)

3. Who was your teen music crush? Joe Elliott of Def Leppard!!

4. What is your favorite type of music? That's hard but I guess it would be Contemporary Christian but I also love Pop and 80s

5. Who are your three favorite musical artists? Michael W. Smith, Maroon 5 & Casting Crowns

6. Does your church play traditional or praise songs, or a combination? More praise songs, but occasionally a hymn

7. What is your favorite hymn? It is Well With My Soul is a definite favorite! It was my great-grandmother's favorite song so it reminds me of her.

8. What is your favorite praise song? Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord

9. What is the strangest musician's name whose music you like? This took me awhile, one of the strangest names is definately UB40.

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