Wings As Eagles: May 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Let's see....what else has been going on around here....

Friday and Saturday we spent in the Wichita/Whitewater/El Dorado area attending a wedding for one of our friends from camp. Jena was the maid of honor in Arlen and Mary's wedding, so she had some fun activities planned for the bridal party at the mall in Wichita Friday afternoon.

The wedding was Saturday and we were able to visit with a few friends we haven't seen in several years, which was a treat! Many of our fellow camp staffers are from around that area, so we were able to catch up with a few that haven't been to camp in a couple of years! It was late when we got home, but a fun weekend.

Those last couple of days pretty much drained all my energy, so I spent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday recovering from that. Then on top of that, my allergies just went into fits all day Monday and Tuesday, making me hardly able to function. I can't understand why those two days I had so much trouble with them, but for some reason I did. I probably took way too much medication to keep my sneezing/coughing/itching eyes under control, but I was just about at the point of not knowing what else to do. I even tried trying to sleep it off one afternoon, which usually works. They calmed down at bit while I laid down, but as soon as I got up, the sneezing continued.

I'm feeling a bit better today and haven't been sneezing near as much, but my face and eyes still feel like they're swollen. My long to-do list that I wanted to get done over Memorial Day weekend just didn't get accomplished. Oh, well, you know....it will still be there. Magically it doesn't disappear. :)

Grandma came over Monday morning to put flowers on Mom's grave and stopped by our house. She ended up staying the morning and for lunch, which was fun since it's been a while since she's been at our house.

A fun visit....

Joanna, my friend from Colorado that I met last year at the Bernina training in Chicago, stayed a few days with me last week. Since we both love to sew, yes, we did that. Needless to say, we didn't get too much done, but did a few things accomplished!

We also went to Boot Hill in Dodge which turned out to be rather fun! It's been I don't know how many years since I have been there and they have added some new things. I kept saying to Joanna that I didn't remember this part of Boot Hill at all and come to find out, I shouldn't since they only added that part 3-4 years ago and it's been at least 10-15 years since I have been there!

How come is it that people from all over the US come to the little town of Dodge City, Kansas to see this little part of the old west and I don't even know what's there and I live here?!?! What's the deal with that?!?! :)

Anyway, we had a splendid time together....talking, laughing, giggling and all that fun stuff!!! And of course, some memories that we'll never forget and I'm sure we'll remind each other of in the future! :)


Moist and yummy cake!

Ok, I have to admit, I usually use a purchased cake mix whenever I bake a cake, mainly for the ease of doing so and you don't save much $$ making one from scratch, especially when you can get the mixes for only $0.50!

But I discovered this idea for a yummy moist cake and just had to give it a try. Here's what I did:

milk chocolate cake mix
8 oz plain vanilla yogurt
box of vanilla pudding
one extra egg

Follow the cake mix directions for mixing together the ingredients. Then add the yogurt, pudding and extra egg. Bake as directed on the box. The yogurt, pudding and additional egg will give the cake a moist texture which will last much longer than just an ordinary mix.

If desired, you can also change the flavor of pudding and yogurt to the flavor of the cake mix. Such as chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding and chocolate yogurt. Doesn't that just sound yummy?!?!

The cake was very, very tasty and very, very moist. The added extra ingredients made an ordinary cake mix into a moist, slightly raised, yummy tasting cake!

Revealing that "exciting news"

Ok, I know some of you have been wondering what exactly is my exciting news that I mentioned quite a while back. I actually meant to write about this "news" before now, but as too often happens, there have been some glitches that came up. So instead of a one, possibly two month process, it actually turned out to be a three month ordeal and not everything is complete, but almost!

First of all, I must warn you.....this is exciting to me, but probably will not be as exciting to you. Several of you have emailed me wondering if it has to do with getting a different job, moving away from home or being engaged to be married. And let me tell, you....it's none of those things. :)

But like I mentioned in that initial post, it has been over two years since I have been waiting for this and finally decided to do it. And I'm glad I did!

So the news is.....my website, as exciting and informative as it has been in the past, has a brand new look! Yep, that's it. No, probably not what most of you were expecting to hear, but excited I was/am!!!

I designed the first design and shopping cart, which worked fine, but lacked the professsional look that I wanted it to have. So I had a couple of web designers redo the graphics, main site and shopping cart! And I even added a forum, online chatting and new photo album (still to come)!

Hopefully this will draw more visitors to my business and will be much easier to navigate and use! Although I'm still working on a few areas, the majority of the work is done, with the exception of my embroidery blog which should be complete in the next couple of weeks.

As I have time, I will continue to update and work on the other areas, hoping to improve my site and make it as user friendly and informative as much as I can. I actually would love to learn more of web designing and coding as it's something I really enjoy doing, but does take time. And as much as I would love to devote more and more time to learning html code and such, there is only 24 hours in a day and only so much I can do. in those 24 hours....!

So all those who have totally forgotton about that post and those of you who are still wondering....that's my exciting news!!! :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Several random things

Let's see....I know my blogging has been a little scarce the past few weeks, but it's been a little hectic around here and probably will be all summer. As Jena mentioned, all three of us girls have a busy summer planned, more so than last year.

Sunday morning was busy with events at church. I was at the church at 8am to help with a brunch for the graduates before Sunday School. Then I taught my class of little ones. And then during the morning worship service, we had a presentation of what we had done with the kids on Wednesday evenings during this past year.

In addition to that, I fit two bridesmaids dresses and a bridal gown after church. Then I went to Montezuma to pick up a male cat for Skittle, since I would like to have one litter of kittens. So by the time I finished all that going back and forth, it was almost 4pm.

Since my birthday was last Friday, just us three girls went out to eat Sunday night and then to a movie. We had a good time and those times will become more and more scarce as Krissa will be moving away from home. It was a good thing Dad didn't come with us, because we ended up laughing about the entire time...even through the movie.

Today, Joanna is coming from Colorado to spend a few days here. We're planning on spending the time sewing and probably a few other things!! I know you may not find sewing for a couple days very exciting (Jena and Krissa don't either!), but Joanna and I do!

Then Jena, Krissa and I are going to a friend's wedding this weekend. We'll be gone Friday and Saturday since Jena is maid of honor in the wedding.

It's a good thing we don't have anything planned for Memorial Day weekend, because I'm not sure if we could fit that into this week! :)

Cake, anyone?

Several weeks ago, Dillons had cake mixes on sale for only $0.50 each and since Betty Crocker is my favorite brand, I stocked up on several flavors. We actually don't eat cake very often, just every once in a while. But when I need to take food somewhere, cake is usually a quick and easy choice, so I try to keep several mixes on hand. And I usually doctor up the cake mix a little to make it a little more special than just a plain jane cake with frosting. :)

To keep the mixes fresh, I put a bunch in the freezer and kept some on the shelf in our storage room. I would say we have enough Betty Crocker cake mixes (I think I counted 20+) to last a lifetime now! Don't you agree? :)


the "cake" shelf in the freezer



the remainder of the cake mixes

Monday, May 19, 2008

If we obey Him...

When we obey Him, every path He guides us on is fragrant with His loving-kindness and His truth.
The Book of Psalms

As I started work this morning, I flipped the page on my day calender and found the above written for May 19th. How very true. If we are obedient in following Him, He blesses us in ways we cannot even imagine.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Kid's Club Cook Out Final Night!

For the last evening of kid's club, we had a hamburger and hot dog cook out! The Bible Study group that meets on Wednesday evening also joined our group of kids! The kids had fun and did a wonderful job attending and memorizing for the year!



They even had some fun water games!



The teaching team - Jena, Terri, me
We decided it must have been the unofficial
jean-jacket-wearing night! :)


video
We also put together a video reveiw of the year!
The kids had fun seeing themselves up on the BIG screen! :)

God's Creation: Day 7 - God Rested!

God's Creation: Day 7 - God Rested!

Memory verse: Psalm 119:105
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Quick Lesson: God created all of His creation in six 24 hour days! How amazing is that?!?! God looked over what He created and saw that it was good and rested on the seventh day of the week. Refer to Genesis 2:1-3.

Pieces to put up on the wall: Each one should have a night sky, blue day sky, aqua ocean, dry land, sun, moon, stars, fish, birds, land animals and man. God's creation is complete!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

God's Creation: Day 6 - Land Animals & Man!

God's Creation: Day 6 - Land Animals & Man!

Memory verse: II Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; become all things have become new.

Quick Lesson: God created land animals and man on the sixth day. Every animal walking on land (mammals) from the largest elephant to the smallest mouse was created by God and later named by Adam. The detail, the design, the intelligence and instinct God put into every creature tells of His power and authority. And then God created His final element of creation - man. Man was made special, unique, in the image of God. God gave man the ability to think, to make choices and to have dominion over creation. This was the morning and evening of the sixth day. Refer to Genesis 1:24-31.

Pieces to put up on the wall: Each one should have a night sky, blue day sky, aqua ocean, dry land, sun, moon, stars, fish and birds. Next comes land animals and man.

God's Creation: Day 5 - Birds & Fish!

God's Creation: Day 5 - Birds & Fish!

Memory verse: Matthew 7:7
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.

Quick Lesson: God created birds and fish on the fifth day. God put flying creatures in the sky and sea animals in the oceans. Can you imagine all the species of birds and fish and such that God created? Each and every different one?? This was the morning and evening of the fifth day. Refer to Genesis 1:20-23.

Pieces to put up on the wall: Each one should have a night sky, blue day sky, aqua ocean, dry land, sun, moon and stars. Next comes the fish in the sea and birds in the air.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

And things do pile up when you're gone...



After being gone for several days, the mail and packages do pile up. Thursday was the day for FedEx and UPS to continue deliveries and they were both here with multiple packages. More inventory to unpack and upload.

Even on vacation, the work doesn't stop...:)

Time to head for home...

Monday, May 5, 2008:

As Mom used to say, "Our vacation is oooovvvvveeeerrrr." Yep, it is. It's time to start traveling west. Time to leave the beautiful green trees, colorful flowers and rolling hills of South Carolina. Those beautiful-looking rolling hills covered with bushes and trees that make you feel boxed in compared to the flat lands where you can see for miles and miles in Kansas.

This time it's not just a tan van traveling west, but a little blue tag-along is following behind. And somehow that little blue bug on the road sticks to us like a magnet. No matter where we go, it just keeps on trucking on behind. :)

We left at 8am this morning. Dad and I are in the van and Jena and Krissa are in her PT Cruiser. I look back and can see those two girls laughing and having fun in the front seat of Krissa's car.

At least with two drivers per vehicle, we can trade off driving and get some rest (or computer time) here and there. We are planning to drive straight through from state to state until we reach home. It's always more of a challenge driving at night, especially trying to follow someone, but we all agreed we wanted to drive straight through if we could. And that's the plan.

We call each other, stop from time to time, but most of the time just keep on driving. We took a little unexpected detour in St. Louis because of road construction and made Jena, who was driving at the time, go through two red lights to keep up. Krissa, sitting in the passenger's seat, kept telling Jena that if she got a speeding ticket in her PT Cruiser that she was making Jena pay for it!!! Thankfully that didn't happen.

It's almost 10pm and dark which makes it a little tougher for that little blue magnet to stay stuck to the tan van. But they're keeping up and keeping pace with us without running us over. Something Krissa is likely to do when she is driving. :)

We are almost to Kansas City and that starts the last 6 hours of our journey. Hopefully we should be home by 4 or 5 am. Home to my own bed. Home to Skittles, who hopefully hasn't torn up the house. Home to Lady who I'm sure thinks we've left her for good. Home to just...well...home.

We're getting ready to stop and change drivers. I'll take over for Dad and Krissa for Jena. Thankfully I think they've finally stopped laughing back there in that little blue thing. :)

It's now 3:30am Tuesday morning and I just finished driving for the last several hours. I have to admit, it's a little dark and scary driving at night on these nearly desolete roads in Kansas in the wee hours of the morning when everyone should be sleeping.

Thankfully we did make it home safely at 4:30 and were glad to be home. We unloaded the van and Krissa's car and just literally dumped everything in the family room before crawling into bed for a few hours of sleep.


that little blue magnet right behind us...:)



Sometime she got ahead of us, but...



...we soon caught back up to her!!!



the backseat of the van with all Krissa's stuff



I crawled back on top of all the stuff in the back
to take photos of the girls behind us. :)




Just unloaded and waiting for Krissa to put up! How she packed
all this and more into her dorm room, I don't have a clue!





Biltmore Castle: What a place to see!

Sunday, May 4, 2008:

Our adventure today was traveling to Biltmore Castle & Estate which is near Asheville, North Carolina...only about 1 1/2 hours from Greenville. Krissa had heard it's really worth seeing and she is so right; it is!

It is a huge estate that was built in 1889, taking 6 years to build the whole castle. And once you are inside, you can understand why it took so long! It is absolutely huge with four floors plus a basement.

We were able to tour the house, going from floor to floor, through the banquet hall, winter gardens, library with 23,000 books and huge circular winding staircase from floor to floor.
Elegantly decorated bedrooms with old fashioned bathrooms with wide hallways were upstairs. This castle had 43 bathrooms! Can you believe that huge of a house having 43 bathrooms?!?!

On the fourth floor was the servants quarters where the 40-80 servants who worked in the house/gardens lived. Then the basement had it's own recreation area with one of the oldest bowling alleys in the US and even it's own swimming pool. How cool is that?

There were three kitchens with pantry after pantry also in the basement. Everything in that castle was just huge and so elegantly decorated and furnished. I can't even imagine living there. You would get lost just being on one floor with so many doors taking you from one room to the next.

We ate lunch in what used to be the stable area and shopped around in the gift shop area and then started touring the cast and beautiful gardens.

There must be hundreds of workers who tend to the perfect garden areas. They were beautiful and everywhere. Every trail we walked there were trees, plants and flowering bushes. You could walk around for hours and hours and never see the same thing. There was even a pond area with a waterfall and much more!

The walking around was exhausting, but so beautiful to see God's creation and so many colors of it. And the weather was perfect for walking around. Mom would have absolutely loved, yes just loved walking through the gardens. She loved to walk and hike and then to have all the beautifully arranged flowers along the trail would have been perfect for her.

It was also a perfect place for taking pictures as you can see when you scroll down!! :)

We headed back to Greenville and ended the evening by eating ice cream at TCBY. We just love TCBY yogurt and our one store we used to have in Dodge is no longer there. So it was a real treat to eat some of that yummy, cold, melt-in-your-mouth stuff!

Krissa and Jena met up with one of Krissa's friends living in Greenville this evening and spent some time together. Dad and I stayed at the hotel, packing up stuff and getting ready to leave in the morning. A wonderful end to a wonderful weekend!

You can see more photos from our trip here....



Our first peek at Biltmore Castle - and castle...yes it is!






Krissa was having fun with the camera!



Right inside the front doors of the castle



There were beautiful bushes, trees and gardens surrounding the castle!



I love this pic of Kris!!



my two wonderful sisters!






tall trees!!



Jena looking at the China Fur...yep, that's what it's called!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

SC trip interruption for some breaking news...

!!!!!Breaking News!!!!!

I'm interrupting the blogging I've been doing of our trip for this special announcement!!! I've got more of our trip to post in my drafts, just need to finish them, but this happened today and it's....well...pretty exciting! You see there has been some rather thrilling news that happened today, having to do with, "I got the job."

I was working downstairs, getting caught up on things since I'd been gone and all of a sudden heard this screaming upstairs. Krissa is now home, so I knew the source of the sound, but not the reason. :)

It didn't take long and she came downstairs, hardly able to stand still with her face all red from being so excited. And then she yells at me, "I got the job, I can't believe it. I actually got the Southern Living job!"

If I thought she was totally thrilled about graduating last Saturday, let me just tell you that was nothing compared to today! Absolutely nothing! :)

She was so certain she was not going to get that internship at Southern Living Corporation. But she did over the other 15 girls who applied for that same position. She has a 6 month internship with Southern Accents magazine in Birmingham, Alabama. She starts in July and will be there for 6 months before deciding where to go from there.

Needless to say she is floating on air right at the moment and I'm so excited for her. Not too thrilled about her moving to Alabama after already being in SC for three years, but happy for her getting the job she really, really wanted!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The long awaited day has finally arrived!

Saturday, May 3, 2008:

Our trip to South Carolina was a long drive, but totally worth it to see Krissa walk across the stage with that all too important piece of paper that represented four hard years of study! Krissa was literally bouncing off the wall with excitement when we meet her, dressed in her gown regalia Saturday morning. She was so excited to be finally done with school, the late nights, the BJU regulations...everything!

She learned lots, made tons of friends and is so glad she was able to attend BJU for the last three years, but now there is that final relief and accomplishment of being finished.

After the service, Krissa met one last time with all her friends, some of which were graduating and some who weren't for that last final goodbye. She was bouncing from one friend to the next...roommates, Collegian staff and even had a tiny, itty, bitty chance to say "hi" to us. :)

Krissa finished up her goodbyes and we headed back to her dorm to get the remaining stuff out of her room. She had packed most of it in her car, but there were still several boxes to put in the van. After walking up and down three flights of stairs carrying everything down to the van in dress shoes with 2" heels, Jena's and my feet were hurting. But we got her stuff packed up and moved out.

Saturday afternoon, Krissa and Clare headed to the mall to spend some time together for the last time. Dad, Jena and I also headed to the mall to do some shopping! And it was a large mall at that and fun to wonder around. Bigger than what we have back home.

We ate supper with Clare and just love her to pieces!!! She is so sweet! She doesn't have any sisters, so we just kinda adopted her. What's one more girl when there's already three of us...talking, laughing, giggling?? Dad won't notice much difference between three or four girls, will he? ;)

Today was that long awaited day that finally arrived. Krissa is no longer a college student, but a college graduate. Several times throughout today, she just suddenly turned to us with this huge smile of her face and look of relief and said, "I'm finally done, I'm really done."



L-R: me, Clare, Krissa, Jena



Relaxing after a long and fun-filled Saturday



Graduation...finally!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The day before, getting lost and ice cream...

Friday, May 2, 2008:

After our short night near Nashville, TN, we started back on the road again headed east at 8am. Today would be a much shorter drive than the day before - hopefully only 5-6 hours. We drove out of Tennessee...passed through Kentucky and North Carolina before finally wheeling into the state of South Carolina!

We actually ended up getting in Greenville a little earlier than planned and Dad thought we might have to stall a little before we went to our hotel room since check-in wasn't until 3pm. Well....ummm...stall....that we did! Not exactly the way we planned, but it was well after 3pm by the time we drove into the Courtyard Marriott hotel parking lot.

It shouldn't be that hard driving into Greenville because (1) we had been to the BJU campus and our hotel only a three years ago and (2) we had a printed map with red highlights where we were supposed to go. Right?! Wrong!!

Somehow we took the wrong road into Greenville and ended up driving around for an hour, which was totally hilarious! Dad printed a map that had directions for how to get to the campus and our hotel, but somehow we found ourselves downtown Greenville, for which we did not have a map covering that area. We wondered around for a while and then I took out my computer, trying to pull up a map online to see where we were.

In between our driving around, looking at the printed map, searching the online map, we found ourselves in a residential area and then ended up seeing the same building three times which meant we were driving around in circles. Dad, Jena and I were laughing so hard it wasn't even funny. Good thing traffic was not too heavy cause Dad was chuckling as well.

Jena was sitting in the backseat, typing away at her computer. Dad was driving around, trying to figure out where to find Wade Hampton Ave. I was searching on my computer, trying to figure out where Main Street was on the map since we were on that street. I finally found it and turned my computer upside down so the map was in the direction we were going.

At that point Jena just lost it in the backseat. Dad and I had been talking back and forth about where to go, looking at the map and so forth and Jena was sitting back there totally enjoying laughing at us being lost. She was totally ignorant as to where we were. But the upside down computer just sent her into fits of giggles and then of course I started laughing so hard at her that I couldn't even look at my computer.

Dad just decided to stop and ask for directions. Good idea. Cause we weren't making any progress considering that we passed the same building on the corner three times.

We found Wade Hampton Ave and the BJU campus. Yep, looks the same as three years ago. And our hotel is only down this street and than this street and than this driveway and then we're there. Sure. Our sightseeing tour of Greenville wasn't over yet.

The map I had in my hand said that the hotel was before Haywood Drive, but let me just tell you that is wrong. Cause we found out it is after Haywood Drive after driving around and seeing all the other nice hotels in the area for another 20 minutes.

That little short Courtyard Marriott sign never looked so wonderful to see as we finally turned in the driveway!

We unloaded the van, changed clothes, phoned Krissa and then left to meet her on campus at 6:30 ready to go to her ice cream party she had planned with some friends. Let me just tell you - that girl was so excited to have graduation so near she was literally bouncing from one thing to the next. I think her voice level was about 3x as high as it normally is.

It was fun to see a little of quaint downtown Greenville and spend a little time with Krissa and meet some of her closest friends. Her best friends Caroline and Clare were there and it was so fun to meet them after hearing Krissa talk about them so much!

After our ice cream eating fun, Krissa headed back to her last night in her dorm room and we headed back to our hotel room. Friday is done and over with and there's graduation to look forward to tomorrow!

On the way to South Carolina...

12:00 pm - Eastern time - Right now we are driving down I-40 in Tennessee, headed for North Carolina and then our final destination - Greenville, South Carolina. We just stopped, filled the van up with gas and filled our cups with Diet Mountain Dew. Every place we stop, that is the first thing Jena and I look for to see if they have that refreshing liquid in their fountain drink section. :)

We left about 6:45 Thursday morning, ready for a 20+ hour journey. Laptops, ipods, cell phones, pillows, blankets and yeah, luggage too. As we drove out of the driveway, Skittles was looking out the picture window in the family room, watching us leave. Poor thing! I'm not quite sure how she is going to survive without us for almost a week.

She knew something wasn't "normal" since I was up at 4:30 that morning and went to bed at 30-something the night before. I recall looking at my computer before I turned it off Wednesday evening and seeing that the clock said ?:30-something. I recall the last two digits, but can't recall if the first were 12 or 1. At that point in the morning, it really didn't matter...I had only a few hours to sleep anyway.

----We are now traveling in a tunnel and have already gone through several here in North Carolina. One thing I find really funny is that there are signs right before you enter the tunnel, saying, "Remove Sunglasses" & "Turn on Headlights". Doesn't just common sense tell you to do that when entering some dark crevice? :0----

We made it to Kansas City just in time for noon rush hour traffic and then St. Louis in time for 5 pm rush hour traffic. Great timing, I know, but at the time we leave in the morning, that's about where we end up traveling through those big cities.

Dad drove for most of the trip yesterday, but Jena and I drove for several hours as well. We made really good time, but it was a long day traveling. I enjoy the traveling, but 15-16 hours does make for quite a long day of it. We arrived at our hotel room about 11 pm last night, unpacked the van, did a quick check of all my email accounts and then to bed by 12.

This morning, we left Nashville at 8 am and probably as of now (12:45pm) have another 2 hours to go. Driving (when you are not the actual one driving) really does provide some valuable time to get some things done, especially when there's hours and hours of it.

Jena and I worked on our camp photo presentation for church and have most of the pictures picked out and script written. Since I wasn't able to get online yesterday (wrong connection setting), I didn't get those online things on my to-do list done, but did work on some other computer work.

-----WOW!!! A message just popped up on my screen saying "Wireless Network Connected. Free Public WIFI Internet." Even though I'm hooked up through my phone, I still picked up that connection. It's a weak signal, but it's there.-----

Since I'm online this morning or afternoon, I guess I should say now, I need to get some website issues taken care of, so that's what I'm signing off to do...:)

But first a few photos from yesterday....


Jena's favorite spot is in the backseat when we travel.
Dad drives and I get the front seat.




Jena taking a turn at driving...ummmm...scary
is the word that comes to mind. Trust me, I know.
I'm in the backseat being knocked around! :)




Dad, with his feet propped up on the front dash,
keeping an eye on Jena driving. ;)




Since Jena was driving, I had access to two computers,
so I put Jena's on the seat beside me, playing the
Andy Griffith Show (The Pickle Story - an all time favorite!).
Then I could still work on mine. :)




Perfect!!! Until Jena makes a sharp turn and my
backseat tech area gets jolted around a bit! :)