Sunday, September 26, 2010

Home is.....

After all the drama and excitement of Ben going to Missouri to pursue a (potential) new job.... God revealed His will for us. And that's to stay right where we are for now.
And after a few days of disappointment, I can honestly say I am OK with that. I love our house, and we have a laundry list of things that we want to do here anyways. From fixing up a few things around the house, to personal projects (crafts and scrapbooks), to vacations, home decorating, and more!
That and I am excited about the upcoming holidays!!! (Yes I know we still have a couple of months, but I like to get an early start) This year I am hoping VERY MUCH to get a few sessions scheduled to take holiday/family pictures for people. I have one so far!

I just want to say I am very thankful and blessed for everything I have in my life!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hush Puppies

Some of you know that I *adore* cooking. I am no master chef, by any means... but I enjoy finding new recipies and making most of my food from scratch. Well, I've been wanting hush puppies for awhile now, but the only place in town I knew of to get them closed down awhile back.
Looking through the cabinets trying to figure out what to make, I saw a container of cornmeal, and the urge for hush puppies hit full force. So I went to my trusty "cookbook" that's not really a cookbook at all. I have a love affair with the website I looked through a few recipies and decided what to comine to make my own version...
This is what I came up with......

3 c. Yellow Corn Meal
1 c. All-Purpose Flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 ts. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
2 tsp. season salt
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1 sm onion; minced (although I think it could have used more onion)
1 egg; beaten

Heat oil to 365 degrees...
Mix the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices. Add milk and water, mix well. Then mix in egg & onion.

*note* the batter should not be "soupy" if it looks too wet add a little more corn meal
Drop (I use a tsp sized ice cream scoop) batter into hot oil and cook until golden brown (and floating).

Serve hot!!!
Maker beware..... this recipe yields a LOT of puppies!!

If anyone actually tries this recipe, let me know what you think!!

now back to waiting...

The interview is over. Ben is pretty confident that it went well. We have to wait a week to hear back for their final pick. There were 22 chosen applicants, and they need to fill 2 positions. So I think a 1:11 chance isn't that bad. But we will see.
From the sounds of things, IF Ben gets the job he will start the job and we will be out there the beginning of November... meaning the holidays this year would probably be just our little family of 5.

BUT! I'm still reminding myself that this is not going to happen yet. And I just need a little (LOTTA) patience to get through the next week.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Possible Changes

Today Ben flew out to Missouri. The reason: a job interview. Ben applied for a job with Union Pacific Railroad last month, and it's come to the point where he was invited to a hiring session. All in all, if he gets accepted for a job, this will change our family forever. And I'm thinking mostly positively.
It would mean moving from Arizona to Missouri... where both Ben and I have lived our entire lives. It would mean leaving both of our families (and essentially taking the grandkids away from their grandparents). It would mean a LOT of changes I can't even fathom or comprehend right now... But it would also mean gaining independence. And having job security. And having a definite future with a career (unlike the unknown future Ben has with his job now).

So it is exciting and terrifying at the same time. We are looking to God to lead and direct us in this situation. And though we will probably be disappointed if it doesn't work out, we know that He is in control and His will is supreme.

Anyways, the interview is set for tomorrow. Tomorrow night Ben will be home and I will know more from there.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our Grand Adventure

Well, we had a fantastic weekend! The Canyon was beautiful! And it was a lot of fun to be able to take my sister and kids along (as I said before, Ben and I went there during our honeymoon).

Here’s a day to day rundown of what went on:
Day 1/Friday:

Up early enough to see the sunrise.  Everything travel wise seemed to go off without a hitch. We were lucky enough to be able to borrow a travel trailer to stay in, so we got to “camp” on the park grounds. We only forgot 2 things. . . . Rebekah’s shoes (we had her hiking boots, so it’s not like she had to go barefoot) and Jene’’s hat. The drive actually wasn’t as bad as I would have thought. We got to the Canyon around 3 pm.  After unhitching the trailer, we set out to hike along some of the rim (more specifically known as Mather Point. We ended up hiking between ½ and 1 mile, before deciding we had better get back to camp and make dinner.  We had hamburgers and chips with s’mores for dessert. Then bed because we were planning on an early start the next morning.


After a poor night’s sleep… we were up and moving shortly after sunrise. We started at Yavapai Point and went all the way to the Bright Angel Trailhead, stopping in at various little points and shops along the way. After having lunch in the parking lot and getting ice cream from the “Fountain”, we decided to drive down Desert View Drive, and we went all the way to Desert View. There was a cool watch tower out there, and of course, beautiful views. We stopped at just about all the lookout points on the way (roughly 25 miles of road). We also stopped at the Tusayan Ruins and Museum. (That definitely was not as exciting as we thought it would be…  It was pretty much just some rocks on the ground.) By the time we got back to camp we were all tired and a little sunburned (me most of all, go figure) and ready for a nice BIG steak. I think that was the best night’s rest of the whole trip. 

Day 3/Sunday:
We got a later start on our third day. We didn’t actually get to the rim until about 8:30am. Actually, we did… we tried to get out really early to see the sunrise over the canyon, but we were too late. (We were actually all still in our pajamas and we just jumped in the truck) So after just a little bit, we decided to go back to camp and get some breakfast and get ready for the day. We started at Verkamp’s Visitor Center and took the tram out to Trailview Overlook. From there we hiked a few miles before Jene’ got on the tram to go out to Hermit’s Rest, and Me, Ben, and the kids took another tram back to the Visitor’s center. (We decided to skip the trams because it was a PAIN to get the stroller in and out at each stop… and the kids were starting to get irritable. . . Jene’ continued on because she wanted to see the rest of the stops. I was ok with that because I had already seen it J) While Jene’ was out seeing more of the Canyon, the rest of our party went and found a nice shady spot in the grass and rested.  We met up again for a late lunch (1:30-2pm) After lunch we backtracked to a spot I had found earlier so I could try to get some panorama photos. From there we went back to the truck, and made a pit stop by the grocery store for ice cream, aloe lotion, and souvenirs. This was definitely our earliest night to eat and hit the sack. Good thing too, we needed to be rested up for the trip home. 

Day 4/Monday:
I had an alarm set for 5 am, so I could be up in time to go get some shots of the sun cresting over the canyon. And I almost ignored it, I was SOOOOO tired. But I didn’t, and I am VERY glad about that. Jene’ and I set out 8 minutes after 5. After getting marginally lost, and killing a bunny crossing the road, and freaking out that I got up so early for nothing (I really was afraid that by the time I got to where I was going and got set up, the sunrise would be over). . . I finally decided to park on the side of the road right close to the rim. So. . . . here I was the ONLY vehicle parked on the side of the road, and it was beautiful and quiet. . . until a 15 passenger van of Asian tourists got out right by us (Jene’ learned the word for camera = telephoto…. Because the people kept getting in the way of my camera, and kept telling each other that there was a camera there) Then came a BUNCH of German-ish (sounding) people. . . But, all in all I stood my ground, which is easy to do when you have a camera on a tripod and a remote, and I got all the pictures I wanted. And as we went back to where I was parked, that lonely road I parked on was packed! (And there happened to be 17 new-er Mustangs that belonged to a  tour group- CRAZY!!!) After getting back to camp and eating a fairly quick breakfast, we headed out.
The drive home was a lot slower than the drive out. . . mainly because of holiday traffic, I think. . . but there were several times when traffic was pretty much backed up as far as you could see. But as you can see, we made it here all in one piece and of sane minds!! J Pretty much as soon as we got in the door, Ben had a message with some news that might change the course of our life forever (in a good way, we think). . . so instead of being “Home Sweet Home” and taking time to relax, Ben went into a frenzy trying to figure out his next adventure. . . but THAT, my friends, is a story for another day. 

So to recap: I had a fantastic trip with the people I love most. That’s what matters to me most of all.
Loving my life,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Vacation time!!!

Grand Canyon- June 2006

It's Labor Day weekend coming up. And we are going to get out of "Dodge" this last BIG weekend of the summer. Ever since we went to Yosemite in May, we've been looking forward to going to another National Park. This time we will be returning (Well, Ben and I will be returning) to the Grand Canyon. This will, obviously, be a first for Rebekah and Thomas.... as well as my sister.
Jene' has lived in Arizona all of her 24 years, and has never been to the Grand Canyon, while all the rest of us siblings have at one time or another. We decided to let her tag along with us on our adventure. Plus, it's always nice to have a extra hand dealing with the kids in the back seat on a long road trip. So... I'm hoping this will be a GRAND adventure (pun intended) and I hope we all have a lot of fun!
Me personally, I am looking forward to taking TONS of pictures. The last time we went was for my and Ben's honeymoon. I didn't have a very good camera, and I didn't know many "rules" about taking pictures. My one goal is to get a good panorama of the canyon to maybe print out and hang above the couch at home. And I have a mini goal of maybe getting a good family portrait that we can send out in Christmas cards this holiday season. We will see how it all turns out.
Above all, I know I am going to enjoy spending time with my family, and sharing with them the beauty that God has created in our little part of the world.