Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Sock Tuesday

Working at a church, it is easy to get so busy making sure everything is done for those we minister to that we sometimes forget to stop, catch our breath and enjoy the season. So, I declared this past Tuesday "Christmas Sock Tuesday" at work. I sent out an email and told everyone to wear their best Christmas socks to our meeting on Tuesday and if they didn't have any to go out and buy some. I sweetened the pot with the promise that prizes would be awarded. There were a few party poopers but for the most part we had a great turn out. TJ & John were the 2 brave men who strutted their stuff with some mighty festive socks. (loved the toe socks Teej!) Rachel, who works from home sent in her entry via email as you can see from the picture above. We won't even talk about Mary's socks!
Pastor & Greg were running late to the meeting so we started the fun after we confirmed neither of them were participating (big surprise!). It took about 15 minutes to model our socks, talk a little trash about whose were the best and give 3 prizes away. (to be fair and avoid hurt foot feelings, we had a drawing for the prizes)

When I pulled the first name out of the hat, I saw John was written on the paper. I just started to say "John", Joy thought I was saying her name and started screaming! I had to disappoint her and tell her it wasn't her. Oddly enough, the next name I pulled out of the hat was Joy! I said her name and she just sat there with a blank look on her face. It was too funny. As you can see we had a good laugh over it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Concordia's New Sanctuary

For the past 13 months or so I have patiently watched as our beautiful new sanctuary has been built. The staff had a tour in July while I was on vacation. I haven't had any other opportunities to tour the church until today. Blake Lavender, a friend of Matthew's is interning with Joeris Contractors and he told me a few weeks ago he would love to take me on a tour. What a sweet boy! I gathered up my girlfriends Darlene & Miriam and headed over after lunch today. We were wowed with it all. They were installing the carpet and finishing up the concrete work. The concrete will be stained this weekend and the pews are arriving on Monday. It is really looking like a church! The photo below is of the 2500 pound steel cross that is hanging over the massive alter area. the workers at the bottom of the picture give you an idea of just how big the area is. There are automatic black out shades above the cross and around the upper windows that can be closed for presentations. The stained glass windows are from the original church on Basse Rd. They are so beautiful.
The glass company is finishing up the final window work. This picture is a view of the narthex from our court yard. It will be so nice to have a narthex again & it is BIG. Mike is looking forward to it from an usher's perspective. He won't have to stand out in the cold breezeway on wet, windy, January mornings.

I took a lot of other great photos but I'm not sure how Pastor Tucker would feel about me showing them so I will have to keep them a secret for now.

Last night they lit the cross for a short while for troubleshooting and training. It was causing quite a specticle along 1604. You could tell people were stopping to look at it. I got goose bumps when I saw it. Not the best picture ......

Thanks Blake! We had a great tour. WHO is that man???
I'm a little disappointed i didnt get to wear a hard hat though!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My little cutie pie

Isn't this cute? I caught this shot of Pebbles while she was on a run. We went for a walk and Mike started kicking old snow. She would run after it like a ball. She was in mid air when I got this picture.

Pebbles had fun but was definitely glad to be back home.

A Big Thrill

We were driving down the mountain on Friday and I looked to my left and there sat a Bald Eagle! He/she was sitting on the very tip top of a blue spruce tree. I tried to get some photos but was too busy freaking out. Hayley snapped a couple of shots and I zoomed in on them so you can see how beautiful he was. When we were driving out Saturday morning we saw two more flying around. I am a bird watcher and have never seen a Bald Eagle in the wild. I think this was the highlight of the trip.

She got this photo just as he was flying off the tree. His head is down - you can see his beautiful yellow beak if you look closely.
Matthew left before 6:00 am on Thanksgiving morning. The snow started to fall that evening and by Friday morning there was a couple of inches of fluffy white snow on the ground. They had gotten an early snow about 3 weeks before we arrived and there was still a lot on the ground. Thursday night's snow was so beautiful. Hayley wasn't looking forward to snow because the last time we were there while it snowed she got deathly ill. She changed her mind and was out running around in it and taking pictures. What a great treat!

Getting the snow off the car with a credit card. We have a scraper on the list for our next trip.

Debbie, Hayley and myself had planned to drive to Creede (about 1 hour away) on Friday for their annual Chocolate Festival. The festival was a bit of a dud but the drive was spectacular.

Pebbles playing in the snow. She would run around and take a bite of snow and all of a sudden she would "freeze" in mid step. I learned that means "Pick me up! I'm cold and I can't move". She was a good sport considering how tiny she is. It took no time at all for her to ice up.

Thanksgiving came a little early

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Tuesday. Matthew had to leave on Thursday for work so we had the big feast on Tuesday and turkey sandwiches on Wednesday. I got up early and cooked like we were expecting 50 people. We loaded up and headed over to Debbie & Bron's and had a great time. Even Pebbles & Nicky had fun. Standing around waiting for the signal to dig in.

How many boys does it take to fry a turkey?

Isn't that a good looking bird?
We were blessed to spend Thanksgiving in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. It was our first Thanksgiving in Colorado and we decided it definitely won't be our last. Mike & I hit the road Friday morning with Pebbles and drove to Albuquerque NM. Debbie & Bron were already there. We slept in and had breakfast before picking Matthew & Hayley up at the airport (they both had school & work on Friday). We pulled up to the cabin at about 7:00 and there were a few challenges that first night. Debbie & Bron always have someone open their cabin up - meaning turn on the water, light the fireplace, turn on the heaters & hot water heater. Apparently, we aren't that smart because we decided we would just do all that when we got there. Well, the cabin was 18 degrees! We unloaded the car as quick as possible and Mike had everything turned on in no time. I made a pot of Chicken Noodle Soup and it tasted soo good! We all put on two pairs of flannel pajamas and two pair of wool socks. That didn't help much so we played several games of "Catch Phrase" to try and warm up. It didn't work. I got the kids in their beds with extra blankets and went to bed myself. I had on so many clothes and blankets I couldn't sleep. Mike was sleeping and was breathing on my cheek. His breath was even cold! When we got up in the morning the cabin had warmed up to about 40 degrees. Once we opened the blinds and let the sun shine in the place warmed right up. We didn't have a problem with being cold any more. Maybe we will have someone open the cabin for us next time we arrive in the winter. The night time temperature was in the teens or lower but the days warmed up so beautifully. The weather was perfect. We spent the first few days visiting some spots we hadn't been to before. We went to the little town of Hotchkiss and stopped along the way to enjoy the view.Matthew looking cool. This was taken in the vacinity of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
Me & Miss Hayley

Hayley & Matthew enjoying the sunshine.

Part of Blue Mesa. It is amazing how low the water gets in the winter.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you God, for answered prayers!

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. ~1Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Hayley and I were up very early this morning and she was the first appointment of the day at Theda Oaks surgery center. Mike had had a couple of gastrointestinal procedures there and I have had one. They have always been super kind and efficient. Things were no different today. The whole staff was so great with Hayley.
Once she was hooked up to the IV and the nurses answered all her questions, they wheeled her back. Less than 30 minutes later I was by her side waiting for her to wake up. Dr Dar found a hiatal hernia and showed us pictures of gastritis and esophagitis. She said she rarely sees this in someone Hayley's age but if she takes the medicine prescribed and modifies her diet she will be able to avoid surgery later on in life. This was a definite answer to our prayers. They want to see her back in one month to see how she is doing. Thank you God, for answered prayers.

The Lord Reigns - In God we Trust!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Prayers Please

Please pray for my little Hayley. Tomorrow we she is scheduled for an endoscopy to try and determine the cause of her chronic stomach pain. She has been through the testing before with no answers. As of late the stomach pain is accompanied by headaches and joint pain. Join me in praying that the doctors determine the cause of her pain so she can get the necessary treatment and start healing.

Happy Birthday Don!

Saturday evening we drove to the big town of Adkins and the beautiful home of Don & Laney Rabe. Laney put together a super party for Don's 70th birthday. It was a nice mix of family, former work friends and church friends. It was fun to celebrate with such special people. I met Don & Laney at Celebrate Recovery almost 2 years ago and fell in love with both of them in a hurry. They are both so caring and encouraging and are very genuine with their kind words and support. Thursdays just aren't the same when they are not there. Mike had a chance to reconnect with his past while we were there. His former St. Paul Lutheran School Principal/Coach, Bob Gaede was there with his wife Shirley. We determined it has probably been 25 years since they last visited at a church reunion. Mike has some great stories to share about "Mr Gaede" and Bob always says Mike was one of his favorites. We all had a fun evening. Happy birthday Don! You are loved by many.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Good morning Pebbles!

I bought this little bed for Pebbles a while back and she refused to use it. I just left it there hoping she would change her mind someday. Well, look at what I found when I got up this morning! Doesn't she look sweet?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dr. Matt

Matthew is currently working on his EMT certification and he is always coming over with some sort of medical gadget and rattles off medical jargon like a seasoned professional. He asked me tonight if he could start an IV on me! (Guess what my answer was?)

Tonight he came over to do laundry and pulled out his latest treasure. He purchased a medical bag for his jeep that is stocked full of goodies so he can save a life if necessary while on the road. He is having a great time and has decided to continue on to get his Paramedic certification as well. I tell him he should be an RN but he does not agree. (Still wanting to be a DEA guy.) I also think Dr Neel has a nice ring to it!

What's missing in this picture?

Today I was out of the office running an errand up to the admin building when I saw that Tiny Tots had their pumpkin patch set up where they take pictures of all the kids. I have always loved the set up that they create for the photos and decided this year I was going to get my buddies in the business office to join me for a photo. By the time everyone got a spare minute and we went over there all the pumpkins were gone! There were 4 lonely bales of hay and that was it. The parents and kids were leaving for the day and each of them was leaving with one of "our" pumpkins. So needless to say, our pumpkin patch photo is missing the very important pumpkins. Darlene, Miriam and myself smiled for the camera anyway. Next year we will get an earlier start. Snow day is in December!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I won't be handing candy out to trick or treaters this year. I know that sounds like I am a grump but I already have candy bags for our little neighbor kids. I will go visit them around dinner time to deliver the goodies then come home, turn off the porch lights and head upstairs to watch a movie and piddle around in the scrapbook room. Mike & Hayley will both be working so it will just be me & the doggie at home. Sounds like a nice evening to me! I didn't forget my own 2 goblins. I made these cute little "Boo Buckets" and filled them with candy. They were fun to make but I decided....I need a Cricut!! :) ~~I am accepting donations.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Two thumbs up

Mike and I have been on an unofficial "boycott" of Hollywood. By that, I mean we rarely go to movie theatres these days because much of Hollywood is so left-wing and they use their fame as a platform to cram their radical views down America's throat. We appreciate one's right to their own opinion but don't appreciate one's opinion being forced on us. We sometimes go see something we just can't wait to see on tv but we can usually wait until they come out on cable.

Now let me get off my soapbox and tell you about the movie of the year. Fireproof was created by the same people that made "Facing the Giants" (another EXCELLENT view). We both loved it but should have brought a box of Kleenex with us. Go see it before it leaves the theatre and be sure you take your sweetie with you!

A fun evening

Stampin Up has caught my attention!

Last evening Carrie & Beth Ann came over for a fun evening of scrappin'. Tami Brown showed us some of her neat products and we made a variation of the paper bag album that she designed. We all had a good time. I wish I would have taken pic of Carrie and Beth Ann's albums because they came out great! We were going to have Hayley take a picture of all 4 of us but we were so engrossed in our project that we forgot. We are very serious about our crafting!!

Cheryl, You will like this one. I will bring it next time I come over. I am just crazy about mini albums!
We made a cool binding out of card stock. She scored it and used the awesome crop a dile tool to punch the holes. You should have seen Carrie when Tami was showing us how it worked. Carrie had a priceless smile on her face and blurted out "I bought that! But I never took it out of the package!" You had to be there to appreciate the sheer joy on her face, it was just priceless and so cute.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My big surprise

I had no idea but Hayley was orchestrating a surprise for me while I was at the STARS retreat last weekend. She rearranged my scrapbook room! She got creative and painted some letters to spell out SCRAPBOOK and mounted them on the wall. Mike bought me a new table and they moved things around so I can have my laptop while I work as well as see the TV. It looks so cool! She was so excited to show me and I still can't believe how hard she worked. She did summon Mike & Steve to do the muscle work but she was definitely in charge. I just love it. I am now inspired to make new curtains for the room. I bought the fabric tonight. Doesn't it look great? I know I will do some great work in here!

What a Weekend!

Last weekend was our 2008 Women's S.T.A.R.S. retreat. I served on team with 38 other women. We spent many weeks planning and the big event finally rolled around last Thursday through Sunday. Women of all ages come together for a spiritual experience that will hopefully change their lives. S.T.A.R.S. is our version of the Catholic A.C.T.S. retreat or Methodist Walk to Emmaus. When I attended 2 years ago, I left with a much deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and have never been quite the same. I must admit, I was nervous about serving on team because I knew what a huge commitment it was but I jumped in with both feet and am so happy I did. I learned the blessing of serving others is so HUGE and the experience is one I won't soon forget. Because we want the experience to be a surprise for all who attend, I was limited to the photos I was able to take. -Besides the fact I was almost always too busy to snap a shot! I got a few great shots of some of the amazing women who served along side me. If you have never been, you may want to consider it. I promise you will be blessed. The men are having their retreat in November and the women are having another one in May. Let me know and I will get you signed up. :)

Robyn C., Pam, Stacey & Laney outside our rooms. I am happy to share my name with someone as wonderful as Robyn Cooper! It was a beautiful weekend. Thank you, God!

Pam, Nicole (being silly) and Veronica loading the truck. - Yes, we did all the work ourselves! Pink Power!! This is the anniversary of the day Veronica wears pink. I think you look great in pink Veronica!

Ellen being a total goof ball. She is "stuck" in a spider web!! It has been many years since Ellen and I have worked together (we used to be room mothers together) and I was so happy to reconnect with her this past weekend.

My roomie Beth Ann (one of my favorite people) getting some help from Pam with her luggage. I reminded her we were only staying for the weekend. Look at all that stuff! Pam doesn't only help people who try to carry to much, she is a beautiful example of a constant, faithful servant of Jesus Christ.

Karen being totally cool and obviously unaware I was taking her photo! I love you Karen!

My role model, Marsha, Nicole and Karen hard at work. Nicole always has a beautiful smile on her face.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bailey and Marley

This is my beautiful little neighbor Bailey and her sweet dog Marley. Marley could be a clone of our dog, Pebbles. I think she is about 7 months old and is the tiniest little thing. She weighs about 4 pounds which is half of Pebbles. She looks like a bobble head doll and wants to play with Pebbles so badly but Pebbles is a grumpy old lady of 6 and wants nothing to do with her. I tried to get a picture of the two of them together to show just how much they look alike but either Pebbles was running away from Marley or Marley was jumping on top of Pebbles. I can't believe Pebbles is afraid of such a sweet little thing!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Houlihan's + Carrie = A fun time

This was our weekend to host Dinner for Eight at our house. Everyone is so busy these days, it has been difficult for us all to be available on the same date. We thought we had a day picked but then Becky & Juergen had a last minute conflict. So, we decided to make a girls night out with Karen, Carrie and myself. At the last minute, Karen had to cancel.
Carrie & I met at Houlihan's and had a great time. I had been there a couple of times before but wasn't overly impressed. Tonight was a different experience. It was very good - I am still stuffed.
We both started with a Martini Flight (3 smaller drinks), the Adam & Eve Apple was my favorite, they rimmed the glass in cinnamon, very unique. We shared 2 appetizers. Fried asparagus and Lettuce wraps (yum!) Then came the french onion soup. Nothing to brag about but still good. We were really wild and ordered two mini desserts to share. Banana cream pie for Carrie & Bourbon pecan pie for me. They were only $2.49! What a deal!
The best part of the night was spending some time with a good friend. Thanks Carrie, you were just what I needed today. Did I mention I am still stuffed??

Baby Mini Album

This is the album I made for Joy & Brad's new baby, Jayla. It is a simple little album that Joy can add her own photos to. (I couldn't avoid the glue spots on the velum but they will be covered by the photos she adds - I just wanted to clear that up because I didn't want you to think I would do sloppy work!) It was fun to make & I hope they like it.

Jayla, If you are reading my blog, close your eyes- I don't want to spoil the surprise!!