New Email Address

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I have a new personal email if anyone's interested. Our one is still up and running, but if you want it to come directly to me, here's my new email address:

Family Camp

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Family Camp was AWESOME!!

We got there on Friday night and it was kind of stressful at first. I spent the day running around, packing, and cooking trying my best to prepare for our trip, so we were a little frazzled by the time we checked in. Our friends had a nice burger meal waiting for us, though, so we tried our best to settle in. People were EVERYWHERE doing various things - biking, eating, talking, bike-riding, swimming. I was like watching an ant hill from the inside! With our tummies full, we got into our room and attempted to lay Robby down for the night, but unfortunately, we were downstairs and right by the door, so it was incredibly noisy. After over an hour of trying to get him to go to sleep, we sorrowfully decided that we had to go home. We went and told a few people what we were having to do and started packing. Next thing we know, someone takes Robby to distract him and someone else starts looking for another room upstairs for us! When they find us another room, a few more people jump in and start helping us lug all our stuff up the stairs. I have to say I was shocked, but then again, it's my church, and that's just how incredibly sweet they are! When we got things settled in our new room, we laid Robby back down and he fell asleep almost instantly. Praise God! We went back downstairs to socialize and play a fun game called Mafia. We ended up staying up until 1AM!

Saturday Robby decided to wake us up at 6:30AM - which was painful after staying up so late, but we got up and started our day. There was so much to do! After eating breakfast, we loaded Robby in the stroller and went for a photo walk, snapping shots of the old buildings, the odd assortment of birds (turkeys, peacocks, chickens, and an emu), and then on to a neighboring farm. It was a glorious morning! We headed back for lunch and then laid Robby down for a nap (our baby monitor's range is REALLY far, by the way!) and headed downstairs to our self-proclaimed "internet cafe" to check out our photos. Then we headed outside to take some more shots of the going's-on's. The Family Olympics started soon after and Matt participated and I took pictures. How fun! First was frisbee golf, broken up by a horseshoe tournament (not part of the Olympics, but Matt also participated), then a water balloon toss, and an incredibly difficult obstacle course. What a blast! Somewhere in between, Matt took Robby swimming in the pool (always a favorite of his) and I took photos of the crafts and face painting. 300+ shots and a nasty sunburn later (in my defense, I DID put lotion on!), I was pooped! I laid down for a little bit and then we had dinner. We shared meals with another family, so this was our night to provide dinner. I made a baked chicken and broccoli alfredo (a huge hit with everyone who chose to partake - recipe coming soon) and then we wandered outside to relax as Robby napped again. As we were sitting in the shade, we remembered that they were having a Dutch oven dessert sampling. Stuffed, we "forced" ourselves and had some of the tastiest treats we have ever had! Num! Soon after, our pastor gathered everyone up for a group shot (seen above - my very first large group portait!) and then it was teaching time. We sang, played Name That Hymn, and then viewed the photos taken by an elder from his trip to Israel (so much history!). Dispite it being around 11PM and being completely exhausted, we stayed up and ate some smores and played another two rounds of Mafia, stumbling to bed at 1AM once more. I'm a glutton for punishment! I do have to note that during the day, just before I laid Robby down for his first nap, we had a little accident. While changing him before bed, I turned away for a split second, and he had rolled off the bed and onto the floor, splitting his lip. He screamed and bled quite a bit, but after a bit, he was just fine and still is. I felt TERRIBLE and went downstairs to tell the other moms, only to have them assure me that it happened to most of them to atleast one of their kids. Yikes, though!

Sunday, we got up, got packed, ate breakfast, laid Robby down for a nap, and headed to service outside. A few families came from to join us for service, since we weren't having service back home, so it was a rather large group. We sang and then our pastor handed out awards for the Olympics, horseshoe tournament, and the Name That Hymn game. I took shots of the winners and their trophies, which was a fun privilage! Then we did something we never had done before at our church. Pastor Bear warned us that it would be a little unusual for our group, but explained the meaning behind it. We did a foot washing. I was a little uneasy about the idea at first, but then Matt further explained to me the symbolism behind it and I understood better. It isn't a requirement to be saved or a new rule at our church - just a one time deal, but how it related to Jesus and the church, husbands and families - it really moved me. The humility and service of the washer and the appreciation and humility of the one being washed was amazing. We took turns going to to the stage as families, an elder or the pastor washing the man's feet and then in turn the man washing his family's feet. We were honored to end up having our pastor wash Matt's feet and then Matt washing mine. Wow. I'm learning something new every Sunday! We then hurriedly cleaned up the grounds, trying our best to leave a postitive testament of our group being there. Matt helped tear down the big church tent while I packed up the car. I was sad to leave. I wanted to stay longer! We headed home, picked up some lunch, ate, and then all took a nap.

I felt incredibly blessed to have been there with so many wonderful families. It was a fantastically-fun time filled with learning and laughter. It was somewhat tough for us to afford the expense (even with it being halved), but it was worth every red cent. Our "Family Camp Coordinator" booked another Family Camp for June 2010, so we're going to save and make sure we're there again. I really can't wait! What a great weekend!

To view all the photos that Matt and I took while at Family Camp, please visit this link:

Family Camp Photos

A huge thank you to Cher for letting us borrow her Escape to make it out to Albion with all our junk and an even bigger thank you to our church family for helping us with Robby and making us feel accepted and loved!!

Also, please be praying for me - I had an opportunity to sing with the Praise Team this weekend, but I chickened out. I'm prayfully considering joining them all together, but I lack the confidence. Please pray that if it is God's Will for me to serve the church in this manner, I am able to muster up the courage to do so. Thank you!

Also also, I get to shoot my very first wedding next month! Please be praying for me as I study up and prepare!!

Don't Forget to Laugh

Thursday, June 25, 2009

When referring to a baby, "cruising" means:
a) Driving around with the top down
b) Checking out cute girls at a nightclub
c) Playing shuffleboard on a large oceangoing vessel
d) Staggering from one piece of furniture to another like a drunk

Robby's Birthday

I was going to post this later, but it looks like some people are already buying gifts for Robby or are planning on it soon.

Robby's first birthday is on July 18th. We were going to ask for everyone who was planning on buying Robby a gift to help pitch in for a new car seat, but my parents already beat us to the punch (thank you again to Kathy and Dad!!!). So, some other ideas are:

- 12-18 month clothes (summery, onesies, shorts, pants, church clothes, socks, shoes)

- diapers (size 4 or 5 - he's not quite in 5's, but will be soon - always a helpful gift!)

- giftcards (always safe, always welcome - Target, Wal-Mart, or Winco)

We ask that you refrain from getting him toys, but if you can't seem to control the urge, the more educational, the better. :)

You are in no way, shape, or form obligated to buy him ANYTHING! He's a very well-taken-care-of little boy, but I thought I would let you all aware of the items we could use. Thank you!

Father's Day

Monday, June 22, 2009

I realize I'm a day behind on this, but the day got away from me yesterday.

I just wanted to wish all the dads out there (I doubt any read this blog, but I don't want the few that do to feel left out) and the men in my life a happy Father's Day. You have a very special job in life and are incredibly appreciated!

Thank you to my dad for being in my life, even though we didn't know each other since the beginning, but I feel immensely blessed to have you in my life now! I look forward to getting to know you more and more.

Thank you to my grandpa, who stood in as my dad for a long time, even when he didn't have to. Thank you for raising me and teaching me the important things in life - like how to change oil, paint side racks for a pickup, and the "dump song". :)

A huge thank you to my husband, who, by the Grace of God, is a fantastic father. I couldn't of asked for a better companion and father to our son. We are so blessed to have you and I know our children will grow up to be good parents because of you and your steadfastness in the faith and your love for the Lord.

I love you all!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Resolved is a conference where Christians come together to fellowship, worship, and to listen to some outstanding preaching. It's hosted by Grace Community Church in California and runs for four days. Unfortunately, Matt and I have never been to one, but our pastor, one of our elders, and their families got a chance to go this time (covet, covet, covet) and they said it was phenomenal! Perhaps someday we'll be blessed enough to take that journey, but luckily, they provide the messages free to download on their website. If you want to hear some on-the-spot, expositional preaching, please visit the Resolved website (click on a title to start the download and save it to your computer):

Don't Forget to Laugh

I am SO guilty of this, but he only watches PBS kids shows and he really does enjoy them!

[Edit] Just to clarify, this isn't what Robby does ALL the time. He watches it while he's drinking his sippy cup and then it's on once in awhile for background noise. His brain hasn't started rotting and dripping out his ear, so not to worry.

Eleven Months Old

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Robby at Eleven Months Old - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2009

For some reason, Robby being eleven months old isn't very exciting in itself, but knowing it means he's a month away from turning one makes it amazing! I am floored. Where did the year go???

Well, let's see - he can feed himself finger foods and loves Kix cereal, cheese, and watermelon. He's not walking yet, but can stand with ease. He will bring you an object when asked and will spit out something that he knows he shouldn't be eating when asked (very useful). He loves music and animals and will groove to any beat and talk to all-things-furry. He's managed to say a few words, but nothing consistent. He currently has three and half teeth with hints of more on the way. He's just...a boy. Head to toe. Far different from the baby we've grown to know and love in the past months.

Robby, the eleven month old.

Early Birthday Present

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I know, I know - we're early, but when we spotted this, we HAD to get it for him. We wanted to get him something to encourage him to walk (since he's been "practicing" by cruising and pushing his walker around) and when we spotted this little dump was just perfect. Talk about one excited little boy!

From Robert Deane

From Robert Deane

From Robert Deane

From Robert Deane

From Robert Deane

What's so neat about it is he can push it, ride on it, and use it as an actual truck toy. The bucket adjusts accordingly for whatever he wants to do with it, so it will grow with him. I love stuff like that! Plus, it came with blocks he can build with in various places on the truck. He LOVES being pushed around the most, though, and holds on surprisingly well for a little guy!

I also took a video of him riding and pushing his new toy.


"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." -2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Baby Sign Language

Monday, June 8, 2009

This was in one of my baby update emails. Rob's a signing expert, according to these guys.

Your baby can learn sign language! Here's how to say:

• "Please change my diaper": Turn beet red and make straining expression, then smile.
• "I'd like something to eat, please": Cram fist in mouth and suck wildly.
• "I'm tired": Make a series of weeping gestures before closing eyes and lolling head backward.
• "Please pass me that thing up there that I can't reach": Point and grunt, then continue pointing and open mouth into screaming position.
• "No thank you. I think I've had enough": Throw food or object to floor with exaggerated grin.

Two Recipes and an Update

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sorry I dropped off of the blogosphere there for a bit. I've been rather busy lately, it seems.

First, the update. Things are going a lot better for me, so please - no more frantic phone calls. I appreciate it, but I assure you everything is better. I have a "game plan", of sorts, and God is helping me trudge on. Just taking it one day at a time, making sure to keep trusting Him and to stay on the straight and narrow.

VBS is going better. We had a meeting the other night that reassured me a lot. I looked at my part closer and compared to everyone else, I have it rather easy! I'm spurring myself to be as helpful as possible to everyone else and not fall into laziness. I put my nerdiness to good use and offered to make a "staff blog" for everyone to keep track of everyone else. If you can't find it or can't see it, it's because it's private. I promise you're not missing anything. All it has on it is a message and a big calendar. Nothing exciting. Over the next few weeks, I'll be doing and planning a lot more outreach, so please pray for me in that aspect. I'm excited to do the photography part - mainly because that means the hard part will finally be over! And as for Children's Church, our first class is this Sunday, so please be praying for us there, too. We'll be teaching 1st-3rd graders, which should be interesting, but luckily Matt will end up doing a lot of the teaching. I'm mainly just "assisting" (a.k.a keeping the peace - the "bad cop", if you will). It seems like our calendar for June and July is very full!

Robby's doing really well, despite all this. He continues to amaze me more and more everyday. He claps, points, and listens to directions fairly well. His favorite game is peek-a-boo, which he'll actively play with you, now - ducking his head in and out from behind a pillow or the laptop screen as you're trying to concentrate. He loves it when you tell him the names of objects and tries his best to repeat. He's starting to feed himself and loves Goldfish Crackers and cubed chicken. He's very good at pulling up to stand, but hasn't attempted to stand alone, yet. Almost there, though. He's getting rather tall, which doesn't completely surprise me. I don't know exact measurements, though. Lately, he's been teething, which stinks. He's been a drooling, snotting, I-don't-wanna-be-sleeping-just-screaming mess for the past week or so, but we're working through it. Things are starting to go back to normal.

As for repairs, a lot of you have asked about the rental car. We haven't heard a thing, which is a huge plus. I hope and pray that God has shone mercy on us and we'll never hear from them. Also, just as another minor update, my camera is currently being worked on. I received an email today saying that they "accepted" it today and their initial findings were that the repairs would be under warranty, meaning I don't owe anything. If they do open it up and find water damage, battery damage, or anything else like that, I will be responsible. Here's praying for God's mercy or provision once more! The camera should be returned to me within 7-14 business days - hopefully in time for Family Camp!

And now for the recipes!

Loaded Nachos

Okay, I think everyone knows how to make nachos - it's kind of a no-brainer. Cheese and chips, right? Finding a cheese that will melt right always seems to be the downfall of any good nachos, it seems. Well, on our nachos, we heat up some Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup (health food, of course) mixed with a little bit of picante sauce and it makes a fantastic, spicy, melty cheese perfect for nachos. Easy and cheap! Top with seasoned ground beef, refried beans, tomatoes, green onion, cilantro, sour cream, guacomole, etc. and you have some killer loaded nachos! My only big suggestion - lots of napkins. This may get messy.

BBQ Pulled-Pork

Another huge favorite in our house and is ridiculously easy. Great with soft hoagie rolls and some chips. Three good-sized chops works for just the two of us, but it can easily be changed to suit any family and any sized crockpot. Check on the chops to make sure they don't dry out. If this happens, add a little sauce or water. The juicer they stay, the easier they'll fall apart!

boneless pork chops
BBQ sauce (your choice)

Place chops in a crockpot and completely cover with BBQ sauce. Cook on high for 3-5 hours or all day on low. The chops will easily fall apart when they are done. Take two forks and shred the chops apart on a plate. Place back into sauce in crockpot, stir back in sauce, and serve on rolls or buns.