Saturday, December 27, 2008


We're currently in Mesa, AZ with my sister and her family, really enjoying ourselves, shopping, munching, making and remembering sweet memories... we're headed out tomorrow, driving as far north as we can, through Utah, hopefully making it as far as Salt Lake, then the following day, we'll continue north, into Montana and stay for four nights, leaving the morning of the third! I am enjoying my time tremendously, it feels so great to just get away from it all, and relax, buy goodies... and be with family and friends :)
We're currently in Mesa, AZ with my sister and her family, really enjoying ourselves, shopping, munching, making and remembering sweet memories... we're headed out tomorrow, driving as far north as we can, through Utah, hopefully making it as far as Salt Lake, then the following day, we'll continue north, into Montana and stay for four nights, leaving the morning of the third! I am enjoying my time tremendously, it feels so great to just get away from it all, and relax, buy goodies... and be with family and friends :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

on the road again...

I am currently blogging from the road... litterally on the road, Thanks to my wonderful smart Husband's phone, we're able to drive thousands of miles, still conected to the world wide net! How fun! I'm looking out the covered wagon, I mean windows, at beautiful rugged, sun capped mountains here in the Southern California Desert, on our way to the Arizon state line and loosing an hour. It shall be worth it! We're going to be in Mesa AZ for two nights, spending time with my beautiful sister, her husband, and their 5 children and some of their children! it will be a trip worth the miles! Then sunday, the 28th, we're headed up from Mesa, through Utah, a teeny bit of Idaho, and into one of the most beautiful places in the grand ole Usa, Montana. If you haven't been, I'd HIGHLY advise you to check it out. Highly. We'll be staying in Bozeman, a cute town of about 50,000 in the winter, spring and fall months, and about 35,000 in summer. A thriving college town, with sweet festivals, a huge awesome farmers market, and characture unlike any other town I've experienced. I am beyong excited to spend time with my mom and husband, showing him around a place I hold so dear in my heart.

I'm praying God gets the glory in our time here on the road. What a gift He has given us... these mountains, this weather, snow, laughter, music and warm memories... Praise be to the Lord who gives and takes away.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It is a Merry Christmas!

I cannot explain how blessed I feel today. It's not just the gifts, or the iced venti non fat peppermint white mocha, family or the rain... it's the gift given to me, that takes away sin, gives me purpose, saves me from pain, and turmoil, gives me worth and value... it's the gift that was Christ Jesus... born to die. submissive to the Will of His Father... what an example we have in the Christ- child. Thank you Lord... this heart could not be more thankful.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

t minus 2 days and counting!

Till we leave on our road trip! we're cleaning house, shopping, wrapping gifts and getting packed and cannot wait to embark in on Christmas, and then our trip!

Monday, December 15, 2008

My December Love List :) To be continued...

#8 Our Christmas tree!
#9- Puffy Clouds 
#10: The open road
#11 Sleep. nough said. :)
#12: Winter Song by Sara Bareilles


It's offical, we're going on a road trip the day after christmas. We're leaving early morning the 26th, driving from here, Fresno, to Mesa, AZ to see my sister and her children, their spouses and children. From there we're leaving on the morning of the 28th, and heading north :)
We'll drive as much as possible, and stay somewhere that night, most likely in northern Utah, then head up into Bozeman that next day. Michael and I are staying at a friends house while we're there... My mom's coming too, she's staying with other friends in Bozeman. I cannot explain how excited i am.
end of story.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lydia, I'd LOVE to have you for dinner :)

Karie: I can't wait for your good cookin :)

For all you girls who wanted that recipe:

Here you go ladies :)
Chicken/Turkey Phillo Pie:prep: 20 minutesBake: 45 minutesOven 375deg.Stand: 10 minutesMakes: 8 servings
~2 meduim leeks, thinly sliced
~1 clove fresh garlic~1 tbsp butter or marg
~3 slightly beaten eggs~1 10- ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
~1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ( 4 ounces)
~2/3 cup milk
~ 2tbsp grated parmesan cheese
~dash of pepper
~2 cups chopped cooked turkey/ chicken
~4 sheets frozen phyillo dough, ( 18x14 inch rectangles), thawed
~3 tbsp butter butter or marg, melted

1.) In a medium skillet cook leeks and garlic in 1 tbsp hot butter until leeks are tender. In a large bowl combine leek mixture, eggs, spinach, mozzarella, milk, parmesean cheese, and pepper. Stir in turkey; set aside.

2.) Lightly brush 1 sheet of phyillo dough with some of the melted butter; fold in half crosswise. ( cover remaining phyllo with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying.) Gently press folded dough into a 9 inch pie plate; allow ends to hang over edge. Repeat with remaining sheets of dough and melted butter; staggeromg phyllo in pie plate so the bottom and sides are completly covered.

3.)Spoon turkey filling into phyllo crust. Fold end of the pyhllo toward the center. Bake uncovered, in a 375 oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Tell me of your success with your family and friends, they'll love this one!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Egg nog or hot chocolate? meh... coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When do you put your decorations up? no specific time, I'm sure when we have chillins, we'll make that a more specific day.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I never believed in Santa Claus so I guess I always knew the truth.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? white lights, close to the trunk and then out near the edge, so it looks sparkley all over, and red and gold ornaments with a few memorable ones in there too.

Snow! Love it or dread it? I do love snow! I was wish I was somewhere where it snowed.

Do you remember your favorite gift? I'll always remember that, it's Jesus :)

What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Celebrating the brith of my Lord.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? cranberry bliss bar from the Bux

What is your favorite holiday tradition? dressing the tree.

What tops your tree? A golden star :)

Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? GIVING ROCKS!

What is your favorite Christmas song? Little drummer boy

Candy canes? meh... I can totally live without them

Favorite Christmas movie? Muppets Christmas, Animal!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I just can't hide it!

I'm so excited! I've started making a menu for our meals, and I cannot explain how much it's helped me, to find recipes, write them down for a specific day, and then buy what I need for them, then COOK THEM!
Let me share with you, this weeks menu and next week's aswell!

Monday: My husband's favorite:
Chicken Phyillo and Spinach Pie with Butternut soup and homemade bread
Tuesday: out, :) every week after youth group.
Wednesday: Fresh Eggplant parmigiana with a green salad and homemade bread
Thursday: Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros & Dinner: Taco Salad topped with chili with Chips
Friday: Chicken Pot Pie
Saturday: Christmas party at Darryn and Katie's!
Sunday: Meat Loaf, Mashes potatoes, and Green bean cassarole
Monday:Left Overs
Tuesday: Breakfast: Spinach Quiche and Orange Bowknots
Wednesday: Tri- Tip and Corn
Thursday: Personal Made Pizza
Friday: Beef Stew
Saturday: Lasagna

If you'd like any of these recipes

Friday, November 28, 2008

Email from my sister :) All is good!

Good Afternoon!!
I am writing to give great news about Brian: he was discharged from the hospital yesterday mid-afternoon; although he was given strict doctor's orders to rest for at least 3 more days, his fevers have stopped and he is on the mend!! We can only attribute this gracious gift to God! He held Brian and I in His hands throughout this very hard, long week. Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in Cambodia. Although it is not a holiday celebrated here, a group of colleagues and I got together to prepare a meal. As Brian rested at home, we cooked the most traditional meal possible with limited ingredients: baked chicken, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and stuffing. A group of 6 of us gathered to truly give thanks to God for our many blessings. Brian was able to eat 2 small plates of food, which is great because he has virtually not eaten for 6 days. It was a Thanksgiving to remember!!! Today, as I have tried to reflect back on this week, I have really realized God's peace was with me. I am a worrier, and although I had times of complete sadness and tears, I still felt the presence of God in my heart. As I write, I am in my classroom decorating for the Christmas season. I am listening to a CD by an old co-worker of mine, JJ Heller. She is a talented musician, and one of her songs really hit me today. I would like to share the lyrics with you, and hopefully encourage you wherever you are at in this sometimes hectic life.
I have unanswered prayers, I have trouble I wish wasn't there.I have asked a thousand ways, that you would take my pain away.I am trying to understand, how to walk this weary land.Make straight the paths that crooked lie, oh Lord before these feet of mine.When my world is shaking, heaven stands. When my heart is breaking, I never leave your hands.When you walked upon the earth, you healed the broken, lost and hurt.I know you hate to see me cry, one day you will set all things right.When my world is shaking, heaven stands. When my heart is breaking, I never leave your hands.
Please continue to lift Brian and I up in prayer. It could be another week or more until his full strength is regained, and until he is feeling normal again. We desperately need good nights of rest: after 6 horrible sleeps, we are beyond tired. Also, please pray that God would protect me against what B had; all it takes is for a mosquito to bite him, then transfer Dengue to me by biting me. We are trying to take all precautions against this happening. We are also still a bit unsure of what our insurance will cover from all this; since Brian was at 2 different medical facilities, we may have to pay more money than usual. Please pray for God's provision with this; we do have savings, but we were planning on using that to travel to Thailand over Christmas break. I cannot thank you all enough for your encouragement and prayers sent to us during this time. We truly could not have gotten through this without you. We love you all,-Brian and Karie

What a wonderful day!

We didn't have much planned for Thanksgiving, we had toyed with the idea of going two hours north to Michael's family's Ranch, but decided against going anywhere farther then just down the street. Plus they were serving goat, instead of Turkey, and he and I both REALLY wanted Traditonal Thanksgiving grub. So at church on Tuesday night, I was talking to my Associate Pastor's wife about how we weren't doing anything for Thanksgiving, and she said, " But I thought you were going to your husband's families house?!"
After telling her why we weren't, she got so excited and said, " Do you guys want to come to our house!? It's going to be packed, but we'd love to have you! I was going to invite you but you said you were going to the Ranch!"
So we excitidely accepted, and offered to bring mashed potatoes.

So we made ten lbs of mashed potatoes, and went over around 1:20pm, we were warmly welcomed and felt right at home. Dinner was ready about 30 minutes later, but before we sat down, we all stood in the living room and held hands, and Thanked God for all the Things He has done. Then we went around and said what we are thankful for, I said " Being here, and two years of marriage" :)
Every other adult, things about how wonderful it was to be there, how it felt like family, how it was going to be a lonely thanksgiving, but look what God provided...
What a wonderful way to start the day!
Dinner was AMAZING, Turkey, Ham, Taters, green bean cassarole, rolls, sweet potatoes, two kinds of stuffing, corn, gravy, and Cranberry Sauce... all so amazing.
I sat at their long table eating, and just looked around, I felt so warm and loved. My pastor said over and over again through out the day how much he loved us, how thankful he was Michael married me, and how thankful he was to have us at his home. I love andy and sondra... They're amazing.
I wanted to cry.

Then we played games, had wonderful pie and cheesecake, cookies and coffee, nuts, and soda. It was amazing.

We didn't leave till almost midnight :) what a memory!

I am thankful!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Please pray...

My sister and her Husband Brian are currently missionaries in Cambodia, both teachers in a school in so much need, Children from the streets, and orphanages, they are a light in a dark place. My prayer request is for my Brother in Law, he came down with a very life threatening, painful fever, three days ago, and his situation is only worsening... He's currently in the hospital, and is having a hard time functioning. Please pray the Lord's compassionate provision and grace, healing and health, and anything else the Lord puts on your heart:
Here's were you can leave comments on their blog, or keep up with their many travels and adventures. Here is Karie's latest email:
Thank you for your prayers
Dear Family and Friends-
Brian was admitted to a hospital this morning. It is Monday here, and I left for work. I had arranged a co-worker to drive him to the clinic for his 4th time of getting blood drawn; apparently, they saw something in him that warranted the desire to admit him. He will be admitted to a hospital almost right across the street from our school, and a 5 minute bike ride from our house. Brian's blood work has shown his white cells and platelets continuing to go down, and this is not good. Last night, he woke me up in the middle of the night and he could not even physically get to the bathroom. He has almost blacked out numerous times, and has been complaining of trouble breathing. It is a bit of a relief to me that someone with more medical knowledge than myself will now be monitoring him; it was a scary night last night for us.
Here is how we would appreciate your prayers:
For the medical insurance we have here to cover these expenses as we are on a TIGHT budget
For Brian's doctors and nurses to be knowledgeable and helpful as he transitions to a new hospital
For strength for Brian's body to heal through this unpleasant sickness
For me: I am scared, very alone feeling, and SO saddened by his current state.
For both Brian's and my relationship with the Lord to GROW during this time, more than ever, as we can only lean on Him for our strength and hope.Thank you, again, for all the encouraging emails and words of prayer. I will print them all out and bring them to B after school today. We
love you all,-Karie

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Searching Searching Searching...

I have only found one home in Fresno that I really REALLY liked. And it was WAY out of reach. Not price wise, but just TOO much work.

And I feel hopeless, like I'm being WAY too picky.

I don't want a new home, I don't want a trendy home, I don't want a home in neighborhood that looks like EVERYONE else's! I want something neat, something people will remember,good memories :) and I cannot for the LIFE of me, find anything ANYTHING like that in this area... as you know from my post I am still in love with ANYTHING Montana, and would LOVE to move there, have wanted to for years now. So i decide to tease myself and look into some homes for sale in Bozeman, where i want to live:


IT HAS A ROCK WALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And another sweet one:

Charming and rustic 2 bedroom log cabin on an acre bordered by Pitcher Creek. Beautiful mountain setting, yet just 2/10 of a mile from Bear Canyon interstate access. Updated kitchen with tiled counters. hardwood floors throughout.

I can just see Michael and I rocking on wooden rocking chairs with our morning coffee, gazing upon miles and miles of trees and high mountains...

oh yeah, we have a creek in our backyard............................

Thursday, November 20, 2008

For Amy:

Check out what it says above the pretty photo

Feeling a bit more normal

As some of your might not have known, both my husband and I were in a wedding this last friday, he being the Best Man and I the Matron of Honor :) And everyone kept asking at Church and around, if I was feeling back to normal yet, and I'd say, Yeah! I am, I never really felt out of wack...

It hit me like a TON of bricks on Tuesday how "out of wack" I really did feel... I looked around at my messy dirty home, and freaked out morningly about how I couldn't find anything to wear becuase of the LOADS of laundry that I need to do/ go through and put away, Constantly stared at the GIANT pile of gifts for the bride and groom invading my living room, and crashed nightly becuase of how EXAUSTED I really was.... woke up every morning feeling so not normal, like this moring, I walked into the kitchen to make breakfast for my husband and I, and could NOT for the life of me, decide what to make, Nothing sounded good... NOTHING.
And thankfully, for the last two nigths, I've made healthy fun dinners, my husband did the dishes last night, and we've done 3 loads of laundry tonight, I am about to put some cookies in the oven, and even though my husband is really sick right now, I'm FINALLY feeling back to normal...
It was an amazing wedding and I couldn't be happier for the bride and groom! It was SO LOVELY! I am, on the other hand, missing Montana more and more daily. I feel the need to move there, get out of the city and head north!
I was watching Paula Deen today at work with Ben, (4), He LOVES cooking shows :)
and out her kitchen window, all you could see was swaying trees... it just made me LONG for Sweet Montana beauty outside my homes windows again... Lord let YOUR Will be done, not mine. Enjoy your Thursday afternoon! Office at 9pm :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Missing the Snow...

* My Mamma and Me in the Oregon Snow 3 years ago*

I think I am a happier person in the snow. I lived in Bozeman MT for about a year and a half, and I learned to drive in the snow when I was 16, and I love the snow... something about it quiets the world. Puts a blanket on the noise and busyiness I so dislike. I wish I wish I lived back in Montana where it snows... I miss it so. I wish I could wake up on Christmas morning to the snow, build a snowman with my husband, and someday with my children, I wish I could cozy up to a warm fire on a snowy evening with a great book and a cup of hot cocoa.

Cheers to my readers who live in the snow, I shall live through your photos when you post them, and may I say, please, enjoy it. You have no idea how blessed you really are.