Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why does it always have to be so hard to say good-bye?

My mom and brothers just came over to give me their housekey and whatnot. Jimmie decided to go afterall, so I'll be dogsitting this week. Anyway, Zach came in and gave me a hug good-bye and that about blew me away. He's not touchy feely at all and usually won't have much to do with us at all. I can't remember the last time he's hugged me willingly and without having to be asked. Anyway, I wished him well and told him to let me know his address. He's not planning on coming back...he's planning on moving this weekend. I walked them out to the car and I told him good luck and that I wished him well and to keep in touch. He's got some big suprises coming to him, but I hope he fares well. I'm excited and worried about him at the same time and as they were pulling away I got teary eyed. Then, what made me cry harder was the fact that my Dad called just after they left and as I was telling him that they just left for Austin we got to talking about Mom. He asked me why nobody hit him in the head when he wanted to leave and I told him it would have made no difference then...we all begged him to stay. He said it was the biggest mistake in his life and the tears built up more. I couldn't talk. Thankfully, he started fading in and out and then we said our good-byes before we lost signals.

Anyone know anyplace good to find cheap dinnersets...I wanted to see if I could scrape some stuff together for my brother since he's going down there with just the stuff in his bedroom and the old microwave that Mom was saving for him. I think I'm going to try and get some care packages together for him to help get him started.

My little brother is moving away...

Lord, I pray for my brother, Zach, and I pray for his protection and that he'll come to know You. I pray that being away from his family will bring him closer to us and that he'll appreciate us more and the things that have been done for him. My Mom is going to Austin for a business meeting and was going to bring our younger brother, Jimmie, with her as her guest. Jimmie wants to play football for U of T when he graduates in a couple of years and he always likes to visit down there. Anyway, Zach wants to move to Austin and use the money he got for his car from the car accident to do so. He wants to be on the show Austin City Limits or whatever the name is called and become a musician (he has had a couple of bands and he plays the guitar). Anyway, he has asked Mom to bring him down there to find an apartment and whatnot. I don't know if they'll let him rent by himself as he has no job or anything, but I think the experience will be good for him. It's time that he understands responsibility and that you just don't throw a fit about something and have it handed to you. It's time that he understands work and responsibility. If he's not going to finish high school or work on getting his GED then I think it's time anyway that he figures out what life is all about. It's not about sleeping all day and hanging out with your friends at night doing who knows what. I just worry about him and I don't want him to get into any trouble and it's time that he finds some new friends to hang out with...people that are actually good for him to be around. I'm dog sitting or brother sitting this week while they're gone. Mom wanted Jimmie to go too, but Jimmie and Zach do not get along and so Jimmie is refusing to go and let Zach ruin things. I told Mom that my big fear is that Zach's not going to be able to rent by himself and he's going to need a co-signor. Mom already told him that she won't co-sign for him as he never pays her back and so he's going to get mad at her and he's going to ruin her trip. That's just the history of Zach. But, I hope that I am wrong and that he'll find happiness out there and he'll grow up and appreciate the things in life that he does have or that we've been trying to teach him. Anyway, I pray that you'll help him find a place to live this week and I pray for safety and protection around him while he's gone and good friends that will be good for him and look out for his well-being. And I pray most of all, Abba, that he will come to know You most of all.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Prayer Requests

Hi Abba...I lift my father and my little girl up to you in prayer. I pray for their health and for any battles that will come our way that we will get through them with your help and your glory.

First off, before we left for vacation Andy noticed over the weekend that Deidra had been using the bathroom quite a bit. He asked her if it hurt and she said no. He let me know about it and I said that maybe it was just a fluke or something. Well that week, I noticed that she had been thirsty an awful lot and I noticed too that she was in the bathroom quite a bit and she'd get the way that I was when my sugars were high...you'd just use the bathroom and go quite a bit but not even an hour later you felt like if you didn't get to the bathroom that second you were going to have an accident. And she did have a few accidents. And that got me wondering if she had diabetes. My mom got it when she was 4, my grandpa (her dad) got it in his early 20s...I got it about the same time...and now I'm wondering if my little girl has it as well. I wanted to test her before we left for vacation, but she kept getting too freaked out for me to do the finger stick and every time I'd try to hold her myself she'd pull away too fast. I let her do it to me to see that it wouldn't hurt and even offered to get her a prize for letting me do it...but she'd freak out every time. Finally I said that I was going to get the urine sticks and try to test her that way for a full 2 days and see what her readings were and then I plan on following up with the doctor. She's got to go in for a TB test for the foster/adopt stuff anyway. So, I'll do it on that one day and get it all over with. I'm just worried and I already told Andy that if she has it I'm going to quit work as she's going to have to be monitored at school.

Secondly, my Dad called me when we were on vacation to let me know that he was going to have tests done at the hospital this past week. They found out he's got an enlarged heart, very high cholesterol, and his blood pressure is sky high despite being on medication. They were going to check him for blockages and whatnot. He's nervous and said if they are going to do bypass surgery, he's making a trip to Texas first. I told him if they do bypass surgery on him, I am going to be there. The news choked me up and I told him that we just had to wait to see what his test results showed and what the doctor said and maybe they won't need to do surgery at all, maybe it could be as simple as changing his medications around. I told him we had to think positively, but yet I've been worrying myself. I told him he had to cut down on his smoking more...He's gone from smoking 9 packs a day down to 6 packs witht he help of medication...I'm proud of him for that, but I told him he needs to try to cut down some more. As much as my Dad and I have had our issues and problems over the past 6 years, I'm not ready to lose him.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Deidra's first field trip...

is today as long as the rain holds out. Please let the rain hold off until this afternoon, Abba, so that we can walk the kids to the newspaper and thank you for letting me have the opportunity to go with her today.

The Passion

Our church put on a very powerful presentation of The Passion last night. Thank you, Abba, for letting me go with Mom. It moved both of us and it was very eye opening. There wasn't a very big crowd there last night and that was a bit disappointing, but those of us who were there were all moved. You couldn't sit there and watch and listen and not be. We do so many things to hurt you daily and yet so many people remain hard to their ways and to you and think the ways of the world are ok. We're all guilty of it at times...but your laws don't change. I'm sorry for all the wrong that I've done in my life and I will try harder at doing Your ways and not the ways of this world. At the end, they invited us to come up and show veneration to your wounds on the cross and kiss them and we went up with a friend of mine from work. It really made me see how we indeed put you up there on the cross and what you truly did for us. Thank you, Abba, for saving us and I'm so sorry for all that you truly had to endure...we can never truly imagine or even know the true suffering that you experienced for us. I will try to lead a better life and stick close to Your Ways.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The anniversary of my Grandmother's death...

is March 20th...it's been 5 years. Doesn't seem possible and I miss her oh so very much. She was such a beautiful, loving, and giving person and she taught me so much. I still cry when I think about her...I remember when she called me and told me that she had been in the hospital and they were bringing hospice in. I pleaded and sobbed to God to not take my Grandma from me...I didn't know how I could bear being without her. I wasn't ready to lose someone that I was so close to again. I went through so many emotions during that time and I never expected that a week from that phone call that she'd be gone. I hear things on the radio or smell the perfume that she used to wear or wonder what she'd tell me as far as advice goes on certain things and I think about her everytime we wander in the thrift stores or we do well with something on ebay and I laugh and cry and think about her. I miss her so much, but I know that she's happy in Heaven now with her loved ones that have gone before her and especially at getting to be with you, Abba. How glorious that must truly be! While I'm sad that she's no longer hear with me physically, I am glad that she is with You, my Mom, and with her baby, Dale Ann, her own mother, and all the other family that have gone now too and that somehow comforts me. I even imagine her sometimes with our little embies up there on her lap in a rocking chair rocking away and singing to them and that thought makes me smile. Bless her, Abba, and give her my love and tell her that I love her and can't wait until I can see her again.

Still waiting...

on a couple of our references to get turned in and tomorrow marks the one month mark since I sent in for our central registry clearance in IL. I don't know if they just take awhile to get back or if I should fill out more papers and send them in again. So frustrating! UGH!

Abba, please help our paperwork to get back to us and Amy soon so we can be ready for our homestudy in the next couple of weeks.

The bigger commitment??

What takes the bigger committment and why? Having kids or marriage?

Hal (Andy's step-dad) brought this question up to us when we were on vacation. Some radio producer they listen to had a segment of call-ins on this question. Their point was that many people won't commit to marriage, yet they'll have a baby and they thought that having kids was a much bigger committment to marriage. At first I agreed with them...you have kids and they're in your life at a minimum of 18 years where you're responsible for them, but in today's day and age some kids are living at home a lot longer. Then, after I had a day to really think about it, my viewpoint changed. If you truly want to make a marriage work (and work it truly can be at times), I think if you want to be that old couple that's 80 years old and still holding hands and celebrating their golden anniversaries...it's marriage. I guess it's just one of those questions where YMMV. But, I thought it was an interesting question, so I thought I'd pose it. I'd love to hear anyone else's opinions on the subject. I'll be looking at your blogs.... ;-)

Even yet, the thought that just crept into my mind was what my mom always taught me while I was growing up. You put God first, your spouse second, and children third. You have to have a happy marriage to make it through the hardships that you experience with one another and your children and God has to be the center of it all...your focus has to be on Him and He'll see you through. That just came to me...yet I see how easy it is at times to totally focus on your children when you don't have babysitters and whatnot to still remember to date your spouse and whatnot every now and then. Then again, it's something you can still do without a sitter if you get creative as well having been there before too. I had always heard people say that time really flies once you begin having kids and then especially once they start school. I never truly believed it until Deidra started kindergarten...we're always on the go and I myself had to learn to slow down and make time for Andy and I as well as make sure that we were spending some quality family time as we're always busy with something around here.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Phoenix Vacation--Day 9

Saturday, March 17, St. Patrick's Day

We got on the road about 7:30 and drove the rest of the way home. It was a pretty drive through the Hill Country. I snapped a picture of the Davis Mountains (my maiden name is Davis). We got home around 2 pm and we were glad to finally be back home. It was nice to see the green grass and the flowers blooming. The trees also have leaves again...they didn't have any when we left. Beautiful green....I don't think I could ever leave my green grass and green trees behind...regardless of how beautiful it is in the desert.

My Mom came over around 4:30 and we went up to Chicken Express and got some dinner for all of us. It was nice to visit with her. She just left for home and now we're getting ready for bed. It doesn't seem like it should be 8:30 already...then again I think we're still on AZ time and it should only be 6:30pm.

Picture is of the Davis Mountains in Texas

Phoenix Vacation--Day 8

March 16—Friday

We woke up early at 6:30 am to get ready to pack up and get on the road to come home. Andy’s mom took the morning off of work to go to breakfast with us so they took us to IHOP. We all had a good breakfast and took some pictures of the family before we got ready to leave. Good-byes are always really hard, but I’m really glad that we got the chance to spend with them. We said our good-byes and were on the road by 9:30 am. We got a bit turned around after trying to get some gas and wound up heading the wrong direction on the 202. Just as I was calling my Dad (my living road atlas) we figured out where we needed to be. I think he felt appreciated though when we called him for directions, although he told me that it’s embarrassing for guys to ask for directions. But, we had it figured out anyway, but we chatted for a bit before hanging up and he gave us some pointers on things to stop and see on the way home if we wanted to.

We hopped on I-10 and headed for Tucson and it was a pretty boring trip. Once we hit Tucson, it got prettier but we figured the way we came into Phoenix was a whole lot more picturesque. Anyway, we were happy when we finally hit the New Mexico border and we stopped at Burger King for lunch. We went through Texas Canyon and stopped at a little travel lodge and we took their little tour to see The Thing…you had to determine whether what it was and if it was real or not. Dad told us about it although he said he’d never stopped, but other truckers he knew had and they couldn’t figure out for sure what it was and if it was real or not. It was a good place to stop and stretch our legs anyway, but Andy and I both said it looked like a mummy that you’d see in a museum. We happened upon Las Cruces, NM and my Dad had told us that at night it looks like you’re looking down at the sky…we didn’t time it right so we could hit it at nighttime, but I did take a picture and it was really beautiful in the daylight too. Then Texas was just right around the corner. Once we got by El Paso, we looked to the right and there was the Mexico border probably about 300 yards from where we were. It totally looked trashy over there in Juarez and we were thankful to live where we do. We drove about 100 miles from there and then we found out that we had to hit an inspection station and all vehicles had to stop. We were clueless about what was going on only to find out that it was the border patrol…they had to make sure we were all legal. That was pretty quick and I called my Dad and asked him why he didn’t tell us about that…he had totally forgotten all about it. It was no big deal, but he normally tells me all that stuff when we go on trips. He knows all the speed traps, places not to stop, and all that good stuff.
It seems like we’ve all had to stop and take potty breaks a whole lot more frequently this trip back home and one thing that I haven’t been a big fan of seeing is all the Beware of rattlesnake signs at all the rest areas when we get out of the car. My Dad told us to be careful at night as they come right up to the side of the road and if we had car troubles or anything and didn’t look where we were stepping we were at risk of getting bitten. Talk about envoking fear…but we’ve been careful when we needed to get out of the car and we haven’t seen any. We talked about driving straight through to our house, but we decided against it. So, we’re here in Monahan, TX about 80 miles into being on I-20 at the Holiday Inn express. We went for a swim and here I am on the computer. We’re all anxious to get home and see the kitties and be in our own familiar surroundings…hey, there’s truly no place like home….but we just needed a break from being on the road. We’re probably about 6 hours away from home…we’re about a little less than 500 miles from home. Andy said he could have probably got us home tonight, but he’s sick with whatever I had when we were making the trip to Phoenix now and I think we all just needed some rest. I kept offering to drive, but he kept saying no and that he was fine. So, here’s to a good night’s rest and we’ll be home tomorrow.

Picture is of Juarez, Mexico as seen from I-10

Phoenix Vacation--Day 7

March 15—Thursday

Andy and I had trouble sleeping last night so our morning got a bit of a slow start. Andy went and got us breakfast at McDonalds and we had plans to go to the Science Museum. However, once we got down there we discovered that all 3 parking garages were full and we figured that we would make other plans. We went back to the condo to see what was playing at the movie theater and the IMAX and there wasn’t anything that we all were really interested in seeing. Andy suggested going bowling and so we went and bowled at the Squaw Peak AMC. Deidra did awesome and we even got a couple videos of her bowling. She was so cute…she learned how to run up there and throw the ball. The first game we played without the bumpers and she kept getting gutter balls. Little Miss Perfectionist (gee, I wonder where she gets that from??) kept getting so disappointed in herself that we decided to put the bumpers on the next game. What was weird was that once we put the bumpers on, she totally didn’t even need them. She even got herself a couple of spares…she came close to getting a few strikes but that darned last pin kept being left standing. She did really awesome though and we were quite proud of her. The bowling alley gave us a brochure on doing a family league on Sunday nights and Deidra could get a Shrek bowling ball. We can do it even in Texas at any AMF, so it’s something we’ll have to look into. I beat Andy 3 games and he won 2 and he wasn’t like that fact at all. We had a ton of fun though.

After bowling, we went to See’s Candy and Deidra got some dark chocolate eggs and 2 truffles and I got a peanut butter egg and 2 truffles. It was so incredibly yummy.
We went back to our condo after that and waited for Andy’s mom and Hal to get home. They took us out to Cave Creek to this really nice Mexican restaurant, El Encanto, to have dinner. The setting was really beautiful. The restaurant went around in a circle and in the middle they had a little pond with ducks, geese, and turtles where the kids could feed them. They even had a real Mexican guitarista that played and sang for us. It was very nice. The drive out there was really pretty too.

Pictures are of the entrance to El Encanto, the pond, and the restaurant surrounding the pond.

More pics from the Desert Botanical Gardens

The picture on the left is looking up at the Saguaro cacti...it's amazing how tall some of these cacti are.

The picture on the right is of one of the butterflies at the butterfly exhibit.

Phoenix Vacation--Day 6

Wednesday, March 14

We got up and went to Andy’s mom’s for coffee and cereal before she had to go into work. We left from there and headed off to the Desert Botanical Gardens. There are so many different kinds of cacti that it was unbelievable. So beautiful. We stopped and had a snack and got some prickly pear iced tea at the café there. We had a good time walking the trails and taking pictures. The grounds really were beautiful and it was all really neat to see. Deidra and I talked about growing our own herb garden on the windowsill at home as well and she also wants me to get a couple cactus plants for us to grow as well. So, that will be our project when we get home. After that we visited the gift shop and picked up a few postcards and then we turned in Deidra’s investigator paper of all the cactus and wildlife that we found in the gardens and they gave her a prize. We also visited the butterfly exhibit and got to see all the pretty butterflies. She had gotten so tired from all the walking that the waiting in line was a little hard for her, but she was glad that we got to go when we were all done. She colored a picture of a butterfly for Uncle Geoff and then we headed off to Fountain Hills to go see Uncle Geoff’s work and have lunch with him. We went down to see the fountain go off…it’s supposed to be one of the largest fountains in the country, but we didn’t make it down in time to see it go off. So, we headed for Taco Bell to have lunch instead. It was neat to see where he’s working and the project that he’s doing…they’re working on a yearbook that is all on CD-ROM and it’s all interactive. Very cool! Anyway, we had a good visit. After we dropped him off back at work, we headed to a couple thrift stores and picked up a few books, a couple things for ebay, and we got a new dress for Deidra. We stopped at Starbucks and then Andy took me into downtown Phoenix to see the buildings and whatnot. We stopped at Wal-mart to pick up a few things and then headed for our condo to wait for Andy’s mom to arrive home with the pizza.

We brought everything inside, locked up the doors, and headed for Andy’s mom’s next door when all of a sudden Andy realized that he had forgotten the only key to the condo on the counter! We immediately called the realtor (the condo we’re staying in is up for sale) who informed us that the lock boxes automatically shut off at 6 pm so there wasn’t anything he could do for us until morning. He suggested calling the brother-in-law of the people that own the condo to see if he had an extra key. We left a message for him and then Andy tried to call some locksmiths. They had to have proof of ownership to open the locks for us. The brother-in-law called us back and said he lived about 50 minutes away and would meet us half way. Our car was locked in the garage so we had to wait until Andy’s mom got home to see if she could drive us (neither of us know how to drive a stick). They were talking about just having us get a hotel room for the night, but I really didn’t want to have to pay for a room when we were already paying for the condo and finally Hal said he’d take Andy to meet the guy. So, we were able to do that. What a relief! Andy’s mom now has the spare key and we have the other one…so at least if it happens again, we don’t have all the drama to figure out again. Things definitely got a little tense for awhile and Andy felt totally awful about doing it. We all make mistakes though and it could have happened to anyone…I’m just glad that we were able to get back in. It’s nice to have our own space to retreat to….

Phoenix Vacation--Day 5

March 13—Tuesday

This morning, Andy went and climbed Squaw Peak while Deidra and I enjoyed some down time. She played with her puppy and watched some cartoons while I read a book. Andy brought us breakfast from McDonalds and then we went to the Phoenix Zoo. It was a neat zoo and we walked around and saw all the animals. We even went on a tram ride to give our feet a break. Then, Deidra got a snow cone so we sat down for awhile while she ate that. We headed off after that and stopped and had lunch at Chipotle. After that, we headed off to Mini Golf Paradise to do some indoor mini golf. It was pretty neat with a zoo safari theme. Daddy beat all of us, but Deidra did a pretty good job on some of the holes too. Mommy didn’t do too badly herself. J We stopped at a thrift store after that to browse for ebay, but didn’t find anything. Then, we stopped for oreo mint blizzards at Dairy Queen and now we’re home for a little down time before we’re meeting Andy’s mom for dinner once she gets home from work. It was a good day and it was a record heat day here as well. It’s in the 90s and they say it isn’t usually this hot this time of year. We seem to bring that with us when we travel. Hee hee. We moved to Texas and got the 7th hottest summer on record…now we’re here and they’re having record temps. It really only feels that hot when you’re standing right out in the sun…otherwise it’s not really that bad. It feels good to me.

Picture is of Squaw Peak

Phoenix Vacation--Day 4

Monday, March 12

We woke up and went out for breakfast with Grandma and Hal at McDonalds this morning. Deidra got to play in the play area for awhile and burn off some energy. Then, we headed home to take potty breaks and get some water before heading off to Tortilla Flat in the Superstition Mountains. The trip was beautiful and we stopped at a Ghost Town and looked around and saw a reptile exhibit of all the snakes, scorpions, lizards, and spiders that are native to Arizona. We took pictures of some of the buildings in the town…jail and the church. Then, we went back to heading up the mountain. We were going to have lunch in Tortilla Flat but it was just too busy. So, we headed back down the mountain and ate lunch at the marina café. We took pictures along the way and we walked along the water and got some pictures of the ducks. After lunch, we headed back down the mountain and stopped to take pics of Weaver’s Needle. There was a 500 ft trail to go back and take a photo opportunity, so we did that. It was neat to see all the plant life along the trails and it was oh so very pretty to see all the canyons too. We even saw a little brown lizard! We headed back home after that to some much needed down time for Deidra and probably good for us too before we have dinner with Grandma and Hal.

Pictures are of the little town (population 6) of Tortilla Flat (the town is even up for sale), Canyon Lake in Tortilla Flat, and of Weaver's Needle in the Superstition Mountains.

Phoenix Vacation--Day 3

Sunday, March 11

We got up and Hal made a wonderful breakfast for us…pancakes, bacon, applesauce, and strawberries. Andy’s mom made cole slaw and apple pie for our picnic later with Uncle Geoff and Aunt Mimi. We ate breakfast and then we headed out to Paradise Valley to see some homes that Hal had designed. Very nice. We drove around some mountains and saw the homes that were built up on the mountains too. Then, we headed off for Geoff and Mimi’s place in Tempe. They have a very nice little 2-story condo and we swam in their heated pool. They had to borrow a key from their neighbor as it seems they had lost their pool key somewhere, but we had fun and Deidra learned to swim on her own with the helpful aid of some swimmies. She was scared, but thrilled when she figured out how to do it. After swimming, we headed back to their condo to have some lunch and it was so yummy. It had been awhile since we had a picnic like that. Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, potato salad from scratch, cole slow from scratch, pickles that someone had canned and were so good, deviled eggs, and chips and dip. Then for dessert we had some of Grandma’s famous apple pie that she had also made from scratch and vanilla bean ice cream. We visited for awhile and then we headed off for a drive to South Mountain to see the sunset. The drive up the mountain was a little scary as again there are no guardrails or should I say very very few, but the views were spectacular. Deidra was happy to see the cactuses and we got some great pictures. I also called my Mom from the top of it to tell her how beautiful it was and to get a chance to say hello. We drove down (they were trying to get Andy to do it for some great mountain driving experience but he said no) and then headed back to Grandma’s for a snack of popcorn. Then, we went to go get Deidra a stuffed animal (for learning how to swim) and a slushie from 7-11 before it was time to go home and hit the hay.

The pictures show South Mountain...one is on the drive up the mountain...the second one is of one of the views of Phoenix from the top.

Phoenix Vacation--Day 2

Saturday, March 10

We woke up at 6 am and got our showers in, bags packed up once again, loaded the car, and went to breakfast at the hotel. If you ever need a good place to stay in Santa Rosa, NM, the Days Inn was great. The rooms were very nice and inexpensive, and the breakfast was awesome. They even had a waffle maker where you could make your own waffles, and they were absolutely delicious.

We took some pictures of the view from our room…Andy was right…very different landscaping, but it was very pretty. We got checked out and were on our way around 7 am. We had to stop and take a picture of the historical route 66 sign that our hotel was on. We hopped back on I-40 and drove and drove and drove. We hit some awesome mountains around Albuquerque and I was snapping some pics all along the way. Then, we got into the desert and all I kept thinking was that the desert wasn’t at all what I expected it to look like. Where were all the cactus? Andy kept telling me that Phoenix would look different. He thought we were going to be in Phoenix anywhere from 2-4 pm. We drove and drove and drove and we finally hit the Arizona border. We made a pit stop by the Petrified Forest to look at the petrified wood and see some ostriches. Then, we hopped back in the car to head out again. We drove on I-40 for awhile until we picked up Hwy 87 at Winslow to head into Phoenix. That was a very picturesque view of their forests and if we hadn’t of known that we were in AZ, we would have thought that we were back in MI. There was even patches of snow on the ground, which we thought was funny as it wasn’t cold out at all. Deidra was disappointed because she didn’t see any cactuses…later we figured out that we were way up too high in elevation ( about 7000-8000 feet up). We drove though canyon after canyon and again I was snapping pics all the time. So beautiful. We went down one and up another, and down again. Once we were down far enough, we began to see all the cactuses and Deidra was so excited. Andy was a bit nervous on driving down them as there were no guard rails and all you could see were long drop offs and crosses where people had died. Anyway, the drive was beautiful…and then we found out that we still had 55 miles before he hit Phoenix and Andy was shocked as he thought that we were almost there and that it was just around the hedge.

We didn’t realize that we were going to be twisting and turning around canyons for so long. I think we finally pulled into Andy’s mom’s condo complex around 5:30. She was glad to see us. Deidra was so happy to get out of the car and she ran right up to Grandma Hoffman and gave her a big hug. What was funny was that a hummingbird wouldn’t stop buzzing around Grandma’s head. We got to see the condo where we would be staying, which is also up for sale right now. Very nice! I joked with Andy that we should buy it so we had a little get away spot to come to and we could rent it out while we weren’t here. We had dinner with Grandma and Hal…chicken broccoli casserole…and we visited for awhile. Then, it was time to get Deidra in the bath and ready for bed. That little girl for claiming to be very untired, fell asleep in just a couple minutes and she was out for the rest of the night.

The picture is of the New Mexico prairie and canyons that we saw along the way. So pretty!

Vacation to Phoenix--Day 1

March 9

Andy took the day off of work to get us ready for our trip to Phoenix and Miss Deidra had a half day of school so he was able to pick her up which is a treat for Miss Deidra as well. He got the oil changed in my car and got us all packed up for our trip. I got out of work a little late, but they came and picked me up from work. Around 2:30 pm, we got in the car and drove to Carlisle to say good-bye to Grandma Davis, stopped to grab some lunch at McDonalds, and we were finally on our way around 3 pm.

We had great weather and headed up Hwy 287 towards Amarillo. It was neat to explore parts of Texas that we had never seen before. We stopped for ice cream and for potty breaks at Braum’s and then got back on the road. We finally were able to hop on Interstate 40 and the speed limits changed to 75 mph. It seemed like forever to get there, but we finally hit the New Mexico border. We thought about stopping in Amarillo for the night since it was so dark, but we had a goal to get to Santa Rosa, NM before stopping for the night, so that NM border line was a great thing to see. We drove until about midnight before we hit Santa Rosa and Andy told me that he thought that we were in for some new landscapes when we were able to see around us that next morning. We headed for bed and had a great night of sleep.

The picture is some of the scenery in northeastern New Mexico. :-)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Off to Vacation in Phoenix for 10 days

Thank you, Abba, for an answered prayer. I kept telling myself to be patient and I knew that you were at work. I apologize for getting upset at not knowing for so long. Anyway, my vacation request was granted. My FES gave up part of her vacation and rescheduled it so that I could go. We are leaving for Phoenix on Friday once I get out of work. I get to see 2 states that I've never been to...New Mexico and Arizona. We've talked about driving into San Diego, CA on one day that Andy's mom is at work, but we're not sure yet. So, I'll possibly get to see some of California too. Anyway, I'm super excited and cannot wait until Friday. Deidra's quite impatient as well. It'll be good to have 10 days together. We're taking the digital camera so I'll have plenty of pics to share when I get back on March 20th. I pray for safety for our house and for the cats while we're gone. My Mom is going to come by periodically to check on everything, but with some problems we've had in our neighborhood, I just worry a little bit. Anyway, we don't have definite plans for what we're doing once we get out there...the only thing that Deidra and I have requested is that we visit the Phoenix Zoo. But, I'm sure we'll find plenty to keep us entertained while Andy's mom is working and all. It'll be fun to explore a new state.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The second floor....

We're going to make the game room into a 4th bedroom and our computer room is going in our mastersuite in the sitting area. We also plan on adding a stand up shower in the corner of the masterbath across from where the toilet is. The only other thing we're trying to figure out is how to do the dual sinks in the master bath. One option is to put them side by side across the same wall. Another option that I liked, but Andy didn't was to have a little wall where one sink is on one side and the other sink is on the other side of the wall and they face one another...

We're pretty excited!

The first floor...

Here's the first floor...we plan on separating the dining room from the family room with a little niche wall...the dining room will then become the play room and the other side of the niche wall will be all bookshelves on that side of the family room. We're also going to put in the fireplace in the corner and add the extra little countertop space on the one side of the kitchen. I'm already dreaming of colors....we plan on going out to the showroom sometime soon to figure out what we want to do...or should I say get an idea of what we want to do.

This is going to be our house...

We're talking about starting the process to build a house in 6 months so when our lease is up here next year we'll be ready to move in. We're just getting our finances in order and saving, saving, saving. Mortgage stuff is already approved. This is what it's going to look like on the outside. This is 2700 sf and a 4-bedroom with 2 1/2 baths.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

My Cousin Danielle...

My cousin Danielle's cancer (Hodgkins) has come back. She's got 2 little girls and has started chemo again. She started losing gobs of her hair so I guess she shaved her head. Please help her fight this again, Abba, and beat this cancer. She needs to be there for her husband and her little girls. Please be with her during this battle and give her your peace and comfort of knowing that all will be well.

Our reference letters...

for our foster/adoption stuff were e-mailed out to their recipients today. One friend already e-mailed me for help on how to describe something. I didn't feel that it was right for me to "help", so I told her to get with her hubby. Please guide them and help them, Abba, while they are answering these questions for us. Thanks!