Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wednesday-Sunday, October 6-10, 2010

We left the hotel and drove by hubby's old house and neighborhood.  We then ate breakfast at Fritz's restaurant where Mike ate as a kid.  It has a train that runs on a track and brings your food to your table.  The kids really enjoyed that!  We then drove to my Aunt and Uncle's in Missouri.

We spent the next several day there.  They live on a farm, so the kids enjoyed riding paddle boats on their pond, driving their gater, and catching bull frogs in the pond.   We also had a big family get together and we got to see cousins and aunts we haven't seen in some time.  It was great to catch up with them.  The kids were also able to ride in a combine and tractor and see all the machinery.  We also went to a homecoming parade.  It was great to just relax for awhile with family. 

We drove to Minneapolis on Saturday, ate dinner with some friends while the kids and my sister swam.  We dropped my sister off at the airport on Sunday and headed home. 
Overall, a wonderful vacation, but still nice to be home!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We ate breakfast at the hotel which had better waffles than the waffle house and they were even shaped like Texas!  We drove through Oklahoma and up to Kansas.  We spent the night in Kansas City at a hotel with a water park!!!  The kids and adults really enjoyed the slides.

Monday, October 4, 2010

We packed up our rather wet tent and headed out across New Mexico.  We went through Albuquerque and saw the Rio Grande.  We stayed the night in Amarillo Texas.  We ate dinner at a Waffle House, which really didn't make very good waffles.  However, hubby enjoyed the bacon cheese burger--ironic, huh!

This day was mainly driving. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We started off the day at the Grand Canyon Baptist Church that meets in one of the buildings at the Grand Canyon.  There were several Mule deer that walked across our path right in front of us.  We then went out to the west again and stopped at several stops along the way.  Again, it was amazing to see the beauty of each spot and the ways the canyon is so different from each spot.

We went to Flagstaff for church and we went to a church that is just starting.  We found kindred spirits at this church and really enjoyed meeting the people and the service was great.  On our way to and from Flagstaff, we drove through the Coconino national forest and through some mountains. 

There was quite a thunder storm in the middle of the night.  We also heard coyotes and elk calls.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

 Hubby, "Z," and my sister hiked down about 1.5 miles into the canyon on the "Bright Angel Trail."  They had a nice time.  The rest of us took a shuttle out west.  I didn't think "E" would be up to serious hiking after her bout with the stomach flu.  We hiked along the rim and got some great pictures.

We met up after lunch and took the shuttle out to the West and stopped at several points along the way.  It is amazing to see all the different ways the canyon can look. 

We also had a huge elk herd come through our campground, literally across the road from our campsite.  There were probably 30+ elk, including one huge buck with a huge rack.  We also saw a stellar jay, dessert spiny lizard.  We also got to watch the sunset.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

We started the morning watching the sunrise over the Grand Canyon.

We were going to go hiking, but Emily decide to redecorate the van with stomach contents.  So we took turns hikind and chilling with Emily.
 Mule deer buck
 Friendly squirrel

Thursday, September 30, 2010

We woke up to our first day at the Grand Canyon and discovered that the Grand Canyon had a lot of bees that seem to like the dead bugs on our van and the dish washing sink.  We also found out that there are lots of Ravens that are basically flying rats and eat anything!

Mike headed off to Flagstaff to get the brakes on the van checked out since they were making some horrible noises!  The rest of us set off to do our laundry at the camper services building, we took a rather scenic route back, but were never lost--of course.  We also figured out how to ride the Grand Canyon Buses, we rode a bit further than we planned, but got to see more of the park that way.  :o)  We god to see the Grand Canyon at dusk and even saw our first tarantula--YUCK!!!  We ended the night with smores around the campfire.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We started off the morning enjoying the scenery around the KOA and saw the obligatory KOA bunny (we saw one at every KOA :o)).

We then went to Arches National Park.

We also saw a couple of large lizards, we drove through Kaibob National Forest and then reached the Grand Canyon, and saw 10 Elk near the entrance of the park!!!

Tuesday, September 28

On Tuesday morning, we spent part of the morning in Estes Park, CO taking pics and walking around.  The kids found a playground.

We then drove through the Rocky Mountain National Park where we saw Elk, the Alpine Tundra, Lava Cliffs, reached the highest point of 12, 183 feet, saw the continental divide and the beginnings of the Colorado River.  We reached Moab, Utah where we stayed at a KOA.

A thought provoking poem

Written by Edgar Guest

I have to live with myself, and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by,
  Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I've done.

I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am;
I don't want to dress myself up in sham.

I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men's respect;
But here in this struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to think as I come and go
That I'm bluster and bluff and empty show.

I never can hide myself from me,
I see what others may never see,
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself- and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.

I thought this was very thought provoking.  If only we would think before we act, we would save ourselves a lot of grief.  I can't think of anything wrong that I have done that was worth the guilt.  If only I was smart enough to remember that BEFORE acting on my impulse!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Travels so far...Saturday and Sunday--Sept. 25-26

We left our home on Saturday morning after literally stuffing everything except the cooler and grill into the van.  These were to ride on one of those shelf gadgets that go into your hitch.  Oh yeah, we also had the car top carrier on top with the kids luggage squished into it!  We set off to pick up my sister, but quickly realized the shelf that held the cooler was not going to work out since it was scraping every time we hit a bump!!!  We went and got our small trailer, put the cooler and car top carrier on it and finally headed out of town!! 

God has been good, He has kept us safe and reminded us often of His handiwork. 

Saturday took us through Minnesota into the badlands of South Dakota and some of the Black Hills.

Sunday, we saw Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills National Forest, and Crazy Horse.  We were also blessed to find two good churches to go to. 

Monday, we started the day bright and early with a Buffalo Round Up at Custer State Park--where we also saw prairie dogs--a couple villages of them, wild turkey, wild donkeys, and antelope.  The Round up was a lot of fun.  We saw the Buffalo in their natural habitat and then watched the Cowboys round them up and stampeded them into the corrals.  This was a bonus because we had no idea this was even going on until we got to the campground on Sunday!  We also got to see the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands and mountains in Wyoming and ended the day in the Rocky Mountains driving through the Roosevelt National Forest!  We stayed at a KOA in Estes Park, CO after driving through Fort Collins.  I never cease to be amazed at the many beautiful things God created.  We have already seen so many different landscapes and we are only on Day 3!

Buffalo Round Up at Custer State Park


Estes Park, CO in the evening

Stay tuned for more updates.  I am not sure how often we will have an internet connection!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A sweet kid

On Friday it was raining pretty hard, T came down stairs and asked me for my car keys.  He wanted them so he could go out to the van and get my umbrella and bring it in so I wouldn't get wet.  He also started the van for me since it was "kind of nippy" in the van.  I think he's a keeper!

Weekends recap

Last weekend, the kids got to go to our small airport here and go on a 30 minute flight.  The pilots volunteer once a year to take kids up to get them interested in flying.  The kids, needless to say really enjoyed it.  :o)

We then went and played tennis and then grilled out and had dinner on our deck.

This weekend, we celebrated Z's birthday, we got him a new bike.  His birthday dinner was:  ravioli, cheesesticks, french bread, peas, strawberries, and chocolate cherry cheesecake.  He was quite happy with his choices.  :o)  He also got a new camera, clothers, a remote control care and a gadget that shoots an air plane into the air.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I know my blog has become very neglected.  At some point, life may slow down enough that I can think of posts again!  The kids are enjoying soccer.  Emily's team is undefeated.  The others are still enjoying soccer in spite of losses.

Work is going really well, but incredibly busy.  I don't know if I'll ever be caught up.  I had a conversation with a co-worker about how my dream job when I retire from nursing will be to have that job of a runner or transport person.  You get your exercise, and every day is a brand new day, nothing left over from the day, week, month before!  I feel very blessed to work with such great people, though.  They are truly a great bunch of hard working people.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Soccer Mom

The kids are back from Illinois after a month away.  I am happy to say that children and grandparents all survived and still claim each other as relatives!!!

Three of them are now in soccer, so I suppose I am officially soccer mom!  I have to say, it is going to be a busy 6 weeks.  We have soccer at least Monday through Thursday.  "E" and "Z" have something going on at the same time in different locations almost every Tuesday and Thursday.  I guess it's a good thing we have two cars and can each take a different kid somewhere.  Oh, yeah, just remembered, "K" and "E" both have soccer on Monday nights too!  Crazy!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I know that this seems to be all I post anymore.  I just don't seem to have a whole of creative juice lately, could be the reading about ENT things--like ethmoid sinuses, olfactory nerves and all kinds of diseases that has done this to me!  There is just so much to learn at my new job that my brain is full of all that!!!

I am still enjoying my job and feeling really blessed that God gave it to me.  It is just enough challenge and very interesting.  :o)  I work with a great bunch of people, but really miss my old coworkers still. 

We had a quiet week here on the home front.  Last graduation party of the year was yesterday.  We also went to a nearby state park with some friends and made Smores.  :o) 

Timothy mowed the grass again--all by himself, even started the mower himself. 

We also planned Kaitlyn's birthday meal--Macaroni and Cheese, corn on the cob, mozarrella cheese sticks--the kind you bake and carmel/shortbread/chocolate dessert with Neopolatin icecream.  Hope the nutrition police are not nearby on Wednesday night!!!

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This past week was a busy one.  We had Vacation Bible School at church.  We had a great time with the kids and quite a few decisions for Christ! 

We had only one day that it rained during Bible School, but it threatened several others, but God kept the rain away. 

Speaking of storms, Thursday night there were tornado and severe weather warnings for our area.  My kids decided it would be fine if a tornado hit our house because then we could move out in the country!  They were nice enough to be concerned about the dog and thought we should maybe bring him with us in case a tornado hit.  Kids!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Really haven't forgotten my blog!

So sorry to have neglected my blog lately.  It seems that my brain is having a hard time coming up with posts of late.  I think that I have been using all its energy to learn my new job and there is very little left for posting.  My schedule has also changed in that I leave for work over an hour earlier, so I no longer have time in the morning to post and by the time I get home, my brain is just too tired!

To catch up:

Work is going really well. I am really enjoying my new job.  The people have been very kind and understanding about all I have to learn!  The doctors are not only nice, but also very smart and caring.  It is pretty difficult to work with doctors that are either difficult to get along with or that you can't recommend whole heartedly!  I feel amazingly blessed that God saw fit to give me this job.  It is neat to look back and see how He HAS been answering my prayer regarding finding a new job over the past year, He was preparing just the job for me.  At times when I feel a little overwhelmed with all I need to learn, I remind myself that God clearly gave me this job and He doesn't call someone to something they are going to fail in!  He will and has given me the wisdom I need when I needed it.  How great to serve a God who helps us when we need it.  It has also been really nice to enjoy going to work again.  The days are flying by, I've even a couple of time stayed later than I meant to without realizing the time!  It is kind of amazing to realize how much less stressed I am, even with learning a new job and field of medicine than at my old job.  I miss the people I used to work with, but not the job itself. 

Family life:
We had a nice Memorial Day weekend--
On Saturday, hubby and I got to go out for out 12th anniversary.  We went to a nice, authentic Italian restaurant with great food, then for a walk along the Lake Walk and for icecream. 
On Memorial Day, we had a picnic with friends in a beautiful park that has a river running through it, so the kids were able to catch cray fish and tadpoles.  We also had a nice time hiking.  We also got the vegetable garden planted.  (For those of you who live south of us, we are not procrastinators, you just can't trust is not to frost until now!!!)

Today we went to the open house for our pastor and his wife for their 40th anniversary.  What a testimony they have been over the years!

Hopefully, I can pay a bit more attention to my blog, but have decided not to stress about it.  :o)

Monday, May 24, 2010

I haven't forgotten...

I haven't forgotten about my blog.  I just have been pretty busy and my schedule has changed with my new job.  I also have had so much to learn (and still have A LOT more) that thinking of a post has been almost impossible.  I figure it's all okay until my brain get so big from all the new knowledge it starts coming out of my ears!!!

 ENT and Audiology are two totally new worlds for me.  My new employer's way of doing things is also new.  Not to mention, this is a totally new position so we are all kind of learning as we go along. 

It has been nice, though to really enjoy going to work.  I no longer have the sick feeling in my stomach as I get close to work and am looking forward to going to work every day.  :o)  I have to say that everyone has been incredibly nice and patient.  The Lord truly gave me a nice group of people to work with!

If anyone from my old work is reading this, I still miss you and I'm praying for you every day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Think On These Things Thursday

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Jeremiah 33:3
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Psalm 37:4
 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

I've been away from blogging for awhile due to all the busyness related to: Tying up lots of loose ends at my old job, including two nights out of town, revival meeting at my church, my sister-in-law coming to town, and starting a new job!

I started by new job on Monday.  I had been praying I would be able to get ramp parking (parking tends to be difficult at my new employer).  I was offered the ramp without even asking!  God also answered a desire before I even though to ask Him!  I wanted my office to be IN the department I'll be working instead of nearby.  When I got to the department, they had already moved my office to inside the department!!!   I also had flowers and a mug from the department.  :o)

It's great to serve a God who answers the prayers you pray and the desires of your heart!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Weekend Recap

The girls had their piano recital last night.  They both did a really nice job.  "K" played her song really fast so she would get done sooner.  :o)

"T" had a Boyscout pea soup dinner.  The soup was really pretty good.  His job was to clean off the tables, chich I think he enjoyed because he got to push a cart.  :o)

Trouble Brewing???

Do you have trouble deciding who brews the coffee in your house?  You can let your hubby know that the Bible specifically says that he is responsible for brewing the coffee.  The Bible is quite specific--Hebrews!

Thought this was cute.  After the crazy week--which included a trip to the twin cities and one to the FAR north, a little humor was welcome.  Only one more week at my current job.  Praying I can leave everything in the best possible shape for my nurses!  It looks like their jobs are being redefined yet again!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A good reminder!

A good reminder about the importance of manners!  It's easy to get frustrated, but really good manners starts with each of us.  If you give a rude person a smile and gracious response, you may save another from the same rude response.  You catch more flies with honey than vinegar!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Think On These Things Thursday

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

I Peter 3:16--Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

I Peter 3:8-16 talks about doing what you are supposed to do and not rendering evil for evil.  Then is talks about having a good conscience.  It struck me that it is so easy to "get back" at others or to be unkind and really, we not only hurt others but ourselves as well!  When we are unkind, we will have that on our conscience and it really isn't worth it to have to remember how you were unkind.  The moment's satisfaction you may get by snapping at somone is going to be spoiled by the guilty conscience. 

Now to remember this ALL the time!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A New Job--the novel

My job has been becoming increasingly difficult, largely due to budget cuts that have affected our business, causing lay offs and an increase in patient loads.  We have seen our nursing department cut by 34% since November.  This has been pretty difficult on my heart.  I have been praying about finding another job, even begged God to give me peace about changing jobs and cried more than a few tears over my job--largely for the people whose lives have been/will be affected. 

About a month ago, God gave me peace to look for another job.  I put in a couple of applications, one I was really interested in, the other not so much.  I prayed that I would only get called to interview for the job that God would give me. It became apparent that I probably wasn't going to get either job, so I went ahead and applied for another one that would be a nurse manager over ENT and Audiology.  I really didn't think I was very interested--after all, all they do is take out tonsils and put tubes in ears.  Not to mention, snot and spit aren't all that appealing!  The more I prayed about it, though, the more I felt I should apply, so I did.  I put my application in a week ago Thursday. 

On Monday, I got a call for an interview.  We set it up for Wednesday at 9am.  On Monday and Tuesday night, I did some research and discovered ENTs do everything from tonsils to face and neck reconstructive surgery to cosmetic surgery to treating cancers.  Audiology also works with people with balance problems.  I also enjoy working with deaf people.  This was sounding a lot more interesting!

On Wednesday, I had to go to Human Resources first to meet with the recruiter.  When I got there, they handed me a ten page job description written in legalize to read.  This wouldn't have been so bad, but they had me sit in the lobby area with three people talking rather loudly about their home renovations and all the difficulties they had and how mean the electrical inspector was, but how nice the building inspector was.  It is not easy job to read and comprehend legalize when you are nervous and have people rather loudly carrying on a conversation! Next, I went over to interview with the gentleman who would be my boss and the recruiter and didn't really feel like my answers were all that great.  I answered their questions honestly.  It was rather nerve racking.  I don't know if I've just blocked out other interviews, but they asked questions like "What is your management style", "If you get this position, what will be your first priority?"  They also asked questions that were really three parts in one!  I remember my brain hurting.  They were really impressed that I had done some research. They told me they had another interview after mine and that they were planning to set up some more interviews for Friday, so I would hear the beginning of this week if I was a "final candidate." 

In the mean time I had really been praying about whether I should tell my boss I was looking for another job.  I knew that conventional wisdom is not to, but felt deceitful a little selfish not letting her know.  I didn't have peace about not letting her know, so when I got back to the office, let her know that I was looking for another job largely due to the insecurity of my current job.  She understood and told me that I had her permission to do what I need to do to get the job, including not giving a four week notice (I had been concerned about needing to give a four week notice because they currently don't have anyone in this position and are anxious to get someone.) 

I went back to my office and my phone rang, it was the clinic calling to see if I could come in on Friday to meet with the doctors because they had liked me at the interview.  Of course, I said yes. 

On Friday, I met with the doctors.  The gentlemand who would be my boss introduced me to them  and others (telling on of the docs they had found me "delightful" at the interview--think he must have been at a different interview because I certainly didn't feel delightful--I did pray afterward that God would allow them to only remember the good things I said and forget the other things) as if I was going to get the position and let me know that I was the only applicant they had brought back.  I was pretty excited.
On Monday afternoon they offered me the job.  I asked about going to the Grand Canyon this fall and they are fine with that.  :o)

God answered my prayers in so many ways.  I had prayed that God would give me a job making at least a dollar less than I do now, He gave me a pay raise!  I also prayed that I would get at least 3 weeks vactation, but really didn't think I would get it--He gave me 18 days!!!  I also have benefits including:  health insurance, dental insurance (totally paid by employer), life insurance (totally paid by the employer), long term disability insurance (totally paid by the employer), continuing education budget for myself, the option of tuition reimbursement, and 7 paid holidays.  I also won't be putting all the miles on my car for work driving around to client's houses and branch office.  :o)

I still have a lot to accomplish at my current job before May10!  I am really going to miss the people I have worked with. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Think On These Things Thursday

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Following God's Leading

Proverbs 3:5-6--Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I have been praying about finding a new job for about a year.  God has not given me peace about moving on, so I have stayed put.  Last month, He gave me peace about pursuing other jobs.  I had an interview this week and that is a whole other story, which I will tell you if I get the job.  :o)  I have been praying about whether to tell my boss or not.  I have worked at my current job for over seven years, we've been through some pretty interesting times together and there is the possibility that decisions could be made that would be made differently if she knew I was looking for another job.  I know that conventional wisdom is not to let your employer know, but I didn't have peace about following this.  I told her and she was sad, but understanding and told me she would do whatever she could to help me get the job, including not having to give a four week notice.  Giving a four week notice has been a big concern for me because I know they want to get this position filled ASAP.  I am so happy I followed God's leading.  I have much more peace of mind and no longer feel deceitful.  I am in no way saying you should always let your employer know that you are looking for another job, however you SHOULD follow God's leading.

I think it is wonderful to be able to leave God in charge of our lives and leave the worries to Him!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

How to Make Your Dog a "Helper" in the Kitchen/Free Dog Treat

We have a rather spoiled, VERY well loved dog who allows us to live in "his" house.  :o)  He enjoys being in the kitchen when I cook, I'm sure to keep me "company." 

I hate cleaning out cans/jars so they can be recycled.  He enjoys cleaning out cans for me.  A win, win.  I have a can opener that does not leave any sharp edges.  When I have a can or a jar that needs to be cleaned out and the contents are safe for dogs, I give him the can or jar and he very cheerfully cleans it out for me, then I just pick it up when he is done and put it in the recycling. 

Ways this is a helpful:
  1. I don't have to do a chore I don't like.
  2. I'm saving water.
  3. It keeps my dog busy and out from under my feet.
  4. I hate having anything left in the jar, now I can feel less guilty because I am providing nutrition to my dog.  (I still get as much out as I can with a spatula)
  5. I often get my feet warmed up in return.

Now I just need to teach him to take the can/jar TO the recycling!

Here is a link to a website that has a list of not safe foods for dogs:  www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=1030

For more great Kitchen Tips, visit:  www.tammysrecipes.com/easy_avocado_dicing

Our crazy dog, Duke: