Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ain't He Sweet?

Josh and I had a real good night together tonight. Adam had gone out for the evening and the little guy and I had already been to the outlet mall together making returns at four different stores. It's not always a fun thing to do, going to the store with Josh, but this time he had a little motivation to be good. He had spied one or two of those coin operated ride on toys that are conveniently placed outside of stores to tempt small children, and was so hoping for a ride on one. I have never let Josh ride on one before, and in the first store we went into he didn't use his "best listening ears" and I told him he couldn't sit on one despite his desperate pleas. But he would not be too discouraged, and was on his absolute best behavior in the remaining stores in hopes that he could earn some brownie points. This was the start of a very nice evening together. When a small child is doing his best to please his or her parent, the parent is going to be a little more, let's say generous, than normal. (Kid's make sure you learn this while you are young.) Let's suffice it to say that before we left the outlet mall, Josh got his ride on the Mickey Mouse fire engine.

So our good evening continued on together. We ate our supper together, just the two of us. I offered him a choice of reading our new storybook together or cleaning the basement, and much to my amusement, he chose cleaning the basement together. He helped me get the newspaper ready for starting a fire on our wood stove, and wrinkled much to much paper. He dusted the tables while I swept the floor. We shared hot cocoa in his new Sponge Bob mugs he received from our family gift exchange at Christmas. I helped the little guy with his bath, though we made sure that his bath toys would not go down the drain before we filled the tub. And then we looked at the new Highlight's magazine that came in the mail, thanks to Aunt Leta. After wards, we delved into our new storybook, The Jeremy Mouse book, by Patricia Scarry. I decided that I like her stories. By the end of our evening together, Josh and I were both in such good moods. He was tucked into bed very pleasantly with two of his tractors and I didn't hear another peep from him. I guess our good night wore him out. I like being a Mommy. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A New Language to Learn

I've been contemplating language today. Yesterday I went to the mall with a friend and stopped by the Rosetta Stone kiosk just for kicks. They allow you to "sample" their program right there, and I asked about Bahasa Indonesia. I was able to learn (and remember) a couple new words in just a few minutes, including "laki-laki" and "wanita" meaning boy and woman. I've heard great things about Rosetta Stone's program and have been tempted to purchase the Spanish program before. But now, since I am going to Indonesia and know only three (now five) words in their language, and since it's said that you can pick up a language very quickly using that program, I am very tempted to get it. There is now less than two months before I go... A quick overview of what I need to do before hand:
  • call Passport Health
  • get vaccinated/get malaria medicine
  • collect craft supplies and items to be donated to the centers that we visit
  • decide what sort of gifts I want to bring to my sponsor child and her family
  • learn more words
  • find out who I am staying with in LA the day before our flight leaves.
The last item I am really not sure what to do about, especially since one never knows what the weather will do in February. I purposely bought my ticket to LA for a day and a half early, in case the weather didn't cooperate. We know two people who live close to LA, but I'm not sure who I will end up staying with or if I'll even need to stay with anyone (depending on the weather). So I would appreciate your prayers these next two months. For peace, sanity, God's leading, wisdom, and that I wouldn't leave everything till the last minute, which I am known for. This causes me to have nervous breakdowns... Yoikes!

Monday, December 27, 2010

NYC Then and Now

This is Central Park last Sunday as we were walking through the park.

This is Central Park today, when we are no longer in NYC.

I'm glad we went last week and not this week. Yup, I'm not disappointed that we missed the big snowstorm. Not a fan of walking through the snow.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from my family to you!

David Phelps singing "O Holy Night"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Kitchen Ooops

I've been meaning to make more Christmas cookies. About a week and a half ago, we hosted a Christmas party and I made my favorite Christmas cookies, Russian teacakes. This is how they looked when they came out. I think I laughed out loud. This had never happened to me before, but then I have never let the cookies sit on the counter for 20+ minutes before baking them. I suppose the butter had warmed up too much to hold them in their circular form. Needless to say, these cookies went "right in the garbage". Thankfully it only takes a few minutes to whip up another batch and I was able to make some more. But they are gone now. Can we have Christmas next week, so I have time to make more cookies first?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Out of Town Adventure

Let me start by saying that it is unhealthy to eat greasy potato chips at quarter after 10 at night. Not only that, but they are not very tasty. :P
*Adam and I in Central Park*

Last Thursday, Adam, Jim, Wilson and I went on an adventure. We drove seven hours to stay in a city that is noisy, dirty, packed with people, and extremely prone to visitors. The place was New York City. It was my second visit. My first visit was last year. Last year we seemed to do more things, so I am trying to decide if this was a more relaxed visit or more stressful because we did less. We went with a small list of places to go or things to see, but we crossed Ellis Island off before we even got into the city. I still want to go there, but the consensus was that Ellis Island was more of a summer kind of thing to do. And since it was not summer... *duh*. But we did get everything else crossed off our list by the end of two and a half days. We visited Santa Land at Macy's, saw the King Tut exhibition, walked through China Town, got lost on the way to our favorite restaurant, admired the store windows along Fifth Avenue, and went to the Top of the Rock all on the first day in the City. The second day we split up, Jim and Adam going their way and Wilson and I going our own way. We wanted to be able to do girly things without the guys getting in our way. ;) The boys found their way to the "flat iron building" and Katz's Deli. Us girls went uptown to Alice's Tea Cup for breakfast tea. The tea was most enjoyable, although they lost our order and we waited for one hour for our food and drink. To make up for their mistake, we were given double scones, which made for good breakfast the next day. The two of us took our time getting back to the guys, and we leisurely strolled through the little shops on the street and in Grand Central Station. The rest of our day was spent waiting in line at TKTS, shopping at the Bryant Park shops, "oohing" and "ahhing" over the New York Public Library, and seeing the amazing Broadway show, Mary Poppins. Our last day in the city, we managed to squeeze in Jim's request, going to the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. They currently have a very interesting display of "green", earth friendly, economically friendly ideas and designs. Quite fascinating, the things that people have come up with or done in recent history.

When I get to it, I'll share some more photos and tell more about our adventure. Now it is bed time. Good night!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Only Half of Me Wants to be Normal

So an update about my appointment with my Doctor...

I felt almost like I had wasted my time going to see her, not because I didn't have lots of questions to ask her, but because she couldn't answer any of my questions. It went kinda like this:

Me: "I have low progesterone and no ovulation, so if I change my diet and maybe take herbal supplements, will that help increase my progesterone levels?"

Dr: "Well, you don't get hormones from the food you eat..."

Me: "This sort of problem runs in my family and my Aunt said to try A, B and C foods. What do you think of those?"

Dr: "Well, all of those things are really good for all parts of your body, and if your Aunt had the same problem, so maybe she would know."

I asked her about wild yams, about chasteberry, about soy and various other foods. I was hoping that as a very experienced gynecologist, she would know something more about wild yams than just that her husband bought some for her when she was having hot flashes! She knew nothing about using your diet to influence hormonal balance in your body. It was very frustrating. And since taking anything drug related is out of the question at least until I get back from Indonesia, she said, "Well, it doesn't hurt to try those things for the next few months and if you get pregnant, great! And if not, we can see you when you get back in March." She couldn't give me any warnings about taking herbal supplements, as in what not to take, how long to take, what not to take together, what sort of influence they would have on my moods, etc, etc, etc. So I'm left flying blind. (If you know of a good herbalist, let me know! I feel as if I could use one!)

I don't want this to become a "preoccupation" in my life or even a stress hazard. All I really want is... Well, I am not even sure. I want to know what God has for me. Is another baby in my future? Cause if it's not, I sure will be happy with my malfunctioning body. I love not having monthly mood swings, absent cycles, and the "happy norm" my body is in. Unless the lack of those things are not really healthy for my body, which is one question I forgot to ask my Dr. and one she didn't volunteer information for. I'd also love to know if mood swings often accompany the initial intake of herbal supplements such as chasteberry and wild yams, because I'd love to blame my volatile outbreaks on them.

To sum all of this ranting up, I need prayer. I need guidance. Half of me wants to be normal and half of me likes the way I am. Lord, what do you have for me?

In It Together

Adam and I hit five years last Friday. It's hard to believe that we've been married for that long. That's 1/5 th of my life you know! We have had good times and bad times, rough times and sad times, but we're in this together. I know I can count on him to be there and he's a pretty forgiving guy, which is really good. I'm loving him more and more and I suppose he tolerates me pretty well too. We're making a good team. I love you Adam. :)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Adjusting My Diet

This morning is my Dr.'s appointment with my GYN. We will hopefully be able to discuss getting my body to function as it should, as naturally as possible. At the moment, I feel like getting pregnant again is a figment of my imagination and I think I am just going through the motions of pretending it's a possibility. For the last month I have adjusted my diet slightly, with the hopes of "kick-starting" (jump-starting?) my body into regularity. I have been substituting soy milk for regular milk and I have been drinking raspberry leaf tea. (I know raspberry leaf tea is to be avoided in early pregnancy, in case you are concerned.) This week when I went grocery shopping, I picked a pomegranate and some flaxseed, both of which I hear are very good for you. I typically eat pretty healthy otherwise, so I'm not sure what else I should add in or take out. I know my Dr. isn't a nutritionist, but maybe she can point me in the right direction. As of right now, taking drugs is out of the question, at least until after I get home from Indonesia and after I have done some research of my own. I really want to leave it in God's hands and trust that He knows what is best for me and my family. I'll update you later on anything else my Dr. has to say to me.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Goodbye to a Friend

Today is "Turkey Day #2". For the last couple of years we have had Thanksgiving with Adam's family a day or two after the real Thanksgiving. It seems to work out well. This morning I was up at quarter after seven mixing up some stuffing. The bird was stuffed and in the oven at just after eight. Hopefully it will be done in a timely manner, although dinner will be somewhat thrown off because I have to run out sometime between one and two o'clock.

Last night I went to work at the restaurant and found that a regular had passed away almost two weeks earlier and I suddenly found myself with tears rolling down my cheeks. Maybe you wouldn't understand, but when you work at a restaurant and you see the same people come in week and week, you look forward to seeing them, maybe getting a hug, and chatting with them in between your duties. You might say you become friends. And last night I found that one of my friends had died. No one called to tell me, but I'm not offended by that. After all, I hadn't worked there on a regular basis in over a year, and maybe they had forgotten that I was there for three+ years in a row getting to know these people. But I was glad that I had come in to work, because the calling hours are today and I would've missed going and giving his family a hug. His sweet mother and sister and his brother-in-law, who came in with him every Tuesday and Saturday morning... This post from three years ago might give you some insight as to how special these folks are to me. I cannot help but get attached to people. Today will be a sad day. Turkey Day #2.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Told To Go

Today is a thankful day. As of late I have especially felt blessed by our God. Why does the Creator of the Universe take the time to move in my life and work in ways to bless me? Why does He take the time to speak to me through His Word? These are questions that I cannot answer, but I know that He does do these things and I know that I feel blessed and loved. Very loved.

Back in July, I was asked by a girl when I was coming to see her. At that time, I knew it was out of the question, because she lives on the other side of the world and the cost of getting there was way beyond affordable. But I told her to pray, and if God wanted me to come, He would do the rest. My friend didn't know that a "Sponsor Tour" had been planned for her country or that the deadline for the initial deposit was only weeks away. I felt the tug of my heart, and I started to pray and fast about going to see her, even though I was sure it was an impossibility. As I was fasting, God gave me this scripture:

Matthew 12:39b " sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah." (At this point in time, the deadline for the deposit was ten days away.)

I was like, "Okay Lord... What does that mean?" Do you remember what God told Jonah to do? He told Jonah to "Go to Ninevah." Wow... Was that it Lord? Being unsure, I mentioned the scripture to my Dad, and getting an unfavorable response, I began to question the scripture and my interpretation. This was ridiculous. Did I really think God was saying to go? Ridiculous. I told the Lord, "If You want me to go, You are going to have to very clearly tell me again." Four days later I was again reading in Matthew. Chapter 16, verse 4b:

"No sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah."

Are You serious Lord? Do you know how many times God had to tell Jonah to go to Ninevah? I read the book of Jonah to see what God had really told Jonah. God had told him, not once, but twice to "Go to Ninevah." But I, being simple-minded and still not entirely sure if God really meant what He was telling me, was still doubtful. "Do You mean it Lord?" It was Sunday morning and we went off to church and questions were rolling in my mind. Would you ever begin to guess who was mentioned during the sermon that morning? None other than Jonah... God, this is hilarious! Are You for real? For the next day and a half, my mind was reeling. Monday evening, my family and I go to the nursing home for a Bible study time. As we were headed there, I sat in the back of my parent's van with my brother. Ben and I don't typically sit next to each other when we are in the same vehicle. (Nothing against him, I just usually sit next to Hannah.) And can you guess who Ben started talking about? I don't remember our exact conversation, but he is the one who brought up Jonah. I could deny it no longer. The Lord was speaking to me. And He was so patient not to say it once, not twice or even three times. But four. And He gave me no other sign than Jonah.

So after God had convinced me, then came the next test. This was a real test. The clincher. The part of the test that I was sure I wouldn't pass. I had to ask Adam. (There were now four days until the deposit deadline.) I tried to calm my nerves and cleared my throat. I said something like this, "Adam, there is a Sponsor Tour to Indonesia in February and I have been praying about going. Do you think I could go?" He had known thoughts had been rolling around in my mind about going, but we hadn't really discussed it, mostly because I was sure it was out of the question. With out hesitation (a miracle in itself), he replied. "You work hard around here, you can go." I think trumpets were sounding somewhere!! And I know that it was a God influenced decision, because a month or two later, Adam admitted that his head was not screwed on right when he gave his permission. If he had been in his right mind, he would have said no. Watching our savings account drain down to nothing was torture for him, and yet I remained confident that God would provide. After all, If God had really told me to go, He was going to provide.

So, now I have to take leave because today is Thanksgiving and I need to make a side dish. Tasty-tasty.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Maintain Sanity

Maintain sanity, maintain sanity, maintain sanity... That is my cry for the next two days. I'm feeling a little stressed, but better than I was a half hour ago. Now at least my dining room table has room on it for pies to cool after baking. I have to bake at least 11 pies tomorrow, mostly pumpkin, before 3:30. Wednesday I have to bake 22 more pies. And bring 17 of them to church with me for Wednesday night service, to be delivered. Right now I feel overwhelmed, but I think I really thrive on the pressure (as long as nothing else gets tossed in the mix). Wednesday night, when all is said and done, I will breathe a sigh of relief and say, "What fun!" And then I will miss all the commotion. But maybe when the commotion is over I will find time to fold the laundry.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Next Year"

My freezer is full of pies. My Thanksgiving turkey is buried. My ground beef is buried. If I have any sandwich bread in there, I don't know, cause it is buried too. There are 16 or more apple pies in there. And three blueberry pies. My upstairs freezer is full of empty pie shells that Mom and I made on Saturday. I think we are ready for bake day. I'll be baking all day on Tuesday and all day on Wednesday. I am still reeling from amazement. I never would have imagined that God would so bless this fund raiser. Mom and I can't help but say "next year"... We have had so much fun baking together. We have agreed that maybe we should keep our eyes open for an upright freezer, so that "next year" we have a better place to keep all our pies frozen. This morning at church, a lady mentioned to me that her sister-in-law was getting rid of her old upright freezer last week, but she had forgotten to ask me about it soon enough, and now it had been given to her neighbor. I took this as kind of a token from the Lord, as if He were saying, "If I want to bless you with a freezer, I can and I will." I mentioned making pies "next year" to my husband and he seemed rather surprised that I even thought about making them again "next year". He doesn't realize that I have had so much fun spending my Wednesdays making pies with my Mom and sister. But I suppose, if anyone has been suffering through all of this, it would be him, as he never has any clean underwear anymore... Poor man. Anyway, who knows what God will have for us "next year"?!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Without My Man

I have a hard time settling in for the night when Adam is not here. Even if I clean the kitchen, mix up pumpkin for pies, sort papers, shower and prepare myself for bed, I still feel very reluctant about climbing between the cold sheets alone. Yes, I've done it before and I'm a big girl who can make my own decisions, but deciding to go to bed all by myself certainly isn't my strong point. I keep thinking to myself, maybe if I stay up for a few more minutes... Maybe he will come home before I have to go to bed without him. There is just something nice about snuggling into his shoulder before I drift off to sleep. Or being able to kiss him goodnight. It's hard to imagine being without him now. I've kind of gotten used to him being around. I think I love him. My man...

Oh wait... There he is now. Now I can go to bed. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Pies in the Eyes"

It was a daunting figure, the cost to go to Indonesia. But when God told me to go, I stepped out in faith, not knowing where the money was going to come from. Adam sooo graciously allowed me to dip into our savings, but that only went so far and he expected me to eventually pay most of it back. The idea of selling baked goods at our local farm market had crossed my mind, but when I talked to the woman in charge, I found that there was quite a list of things I needed to have done, in order to be able to sell food to the public there. I was able to pick up an extra day of work at the restaurant, but that still wasn't going to cut it. I knew God had it all under control. He told me to trust Him, and I did. But Adam had begun to get nervous about the financial aspect of trip and was regretting that he gave me permission to go. Neither he or I had any idea how wonderfully God was going to provide. By mid-late September, I was still thinking about baked goods, specifically pies. Honestly, I had been thinking about pies in August because I had been freezing blueberries with the thought that maybe I could sell pies. I obtained permission from one of our pastor's at church to have a fundraiser there and sell my homemade pies. The first Sunday I took 12 pies, made by myself, my mom and my sister. They sold before second service and I went home with a few orders to fill. The next time I took 18 pies, apple and pumpkin. They also sold without a problem. I hung up a sign at the daycare where I work. People ordered. Mom and I filled orders. We made blueberry pies, apple pies, elderberry pies and three peach pies. I even made a squash pie on special request. I sold more pies at church and took orders for Thanksgiving. God has been so amazing. A friend of my Mom's donated blueberries when she couldn't buy a pie. I never would've guessed that selling pies would be the way God would choose to provide the financial means for the trip to Indonesia. Who would've guessed that years earlier, when my Mom taught me how to make a pie, that we'd make such a good pie-making team? I even love just getting together with my Mom and sister on those days we make pies. Yes, we are on our feet ALL day long, and we are exhausted at the days end, but it is such an enjoyable time together. We have thought about finding a worthy reason to raise money every fall because the three of us have such a nice time working together. I never would've thought that apple pies would get me to Indonesia, but God did. I'm glad He's on my team. Or rather, I'm glad I'm on His team.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I'm Going To...

Breaking radio silence. Going to let the information out. Going public. Ready? Here we go...
It's been hard to contain. Everyone else knows, so why not you too? This coming February I will be joining Compassion International and traveling to Indonesia with them. I sponsor a girl there and will have the awesome opportunity to meet her. She has been praying that I come see her and God has so amazingly been answering her prayers. More information will be given later. In the mean time, keep Indonesia and the area surrounding Mt. Merapi in your prayers. They are having a rough go of it with the volcano. My sponsor child lives two volcanos over from Mt. Merapi. I guess they were having "ash rain" where she lives.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

His Plans

So, here's the deal. Maybe I wouldn't be a good parent if I had two kids. Maybe God just wants me to have one. Maybe He has plans for me that are different than having more kids. It's not horrible to have only one. It may be kind of dull to be an only child, but it's not the end of the world. That being said, Adam and I want to have another baby. I don't want Josh to be an only child. I want him to have someone to play with. I loved having siblings and lots of them. (Most of the time.) But this may become somewhat of a journey. And I want to be clear, that whatever God has for us, I'll be fine with. If God says, "No more kids for you", then maybe after Josh gets older, I will take classes, go to medical school and be a medic on a foreign mission field. Whatever God has... So I am going to allow you all to tag along with me in this little journey of conception. Step one was blood work to see what is up. The results are low progesterone and no ovulation. I could've told you that without the blood work, but now it is official. Adam seems unconcerned about this, because we were able to get pregnant twice before, the first time ending in miscarriage. Either that or he was just blowing me off. I now have an appointment with my Doctor in early December and if anyone has suggestions on how to increase progesterone levels without taking drugs, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE give them to me. I would love to have another baby without taking clomid to do so! So there you are. This is why I, at one point, said that you might have to go to China to get anymore grandchildren. (You know who you are.) Except that Adam is completely opposed to adopting, so that really is out of the question.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

It's Tough Being Three

Josh has had a rough time of it, being three. The first day of being three was just fine. It was a happy day, with a preschool party (though not in his honor, it just happened to be on the right day), a birthday parade, birthday cookies and dinner out with Daddy (because I was working). The second day of being three started out equally or more fun... What Josh had really wanted for his birthday was to have friends over, so we had one little boy from daycare over to play for the morning. The two of them had so much fun together playing cars, dinosaurs, trains, hide-and-seek and anything that two little boys can think of playing together. At one point in all their excitement, Josh took a dive off the couch and onto his head, but that didn't deter him from his fun for too long. When Shod went home, he begged his Mom to let Josh come home with them, but that was not to happen on this day. This was the day for cake and gathering with the family for a birthday celebration. Chocolate cake had been requested and made for a special occasion, that of my little guy's birthday. At about 7:00, Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins had arrived. People were here and there in my tiny house talking and visiting with each other. Pretty soon, Josh was crying in the basement, where he was playing with his Uncle and his Daddy. I just let his Daddy take care of him, and went about getting ready for our cake. Josh had just fallen off his riding toy onto his head and little known to any of us, had just had a concussion. We continued on with our festivities and Josh was perfectly fine and happy to open his gifts and eat cake and ice cream. It was after 9, when everything had finally settled down and we were able to get Josh tucked into bed for the night and Adam and I breathed a sigh of relief. We were tired. It had been a busy day. 45 minuted later, we hear Josh crying in his bedroom. Somewhat unusual, but nothing to cause alarm. But his reason for being upset was reason for alarm. Josh was upset because "the floor was spinning". We were more confused than anything as Adam and I recapped the day. Adam told me about how Josh hit his head and so we wondered if that had anything to do with the "spinning floor". We had Josh walk around and we looked at his eyes. He seemed okay to me, but Adam wanted me to call someone. I left a message for a nurse at the pediatric center, but it being quarter after 10, I didn't want get too hyped up for nothing. But when Josh had a second episode, in which he buried his head into our pillow and whimpered that the floor was spinning, both Adam and I decided we should take him to emergency. We don't like to mess around with things like that. To make a long story short, the doctor was quick to diagnose a concussion, mostly relying on our description of Josh's symptoms and was very reassuring. The whole time we spent at the hospital, Joshua was inquisitive and just like his normal self. We were able to return home by around 12:30am knowing that our boy was going to be okay and would be feeling like himself in a couple of days. He didn't have another spinning episode until 4:30 that morning, but this time we knew what we were dealing with. I'm so thankful that we have doctor's and for the reassurance they can give us at times like this.

And that is all because now I am going to bed.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Boy!

My dear little boy... Three years ago I lay in the hospital bed with you by my side, in awe, adoring everything about you. Listening to you breathe, and stroking your baby-soft skin with my fingertips. It's hard to imagine you being so tiny again. Your baby-ness didn't last for very long at all. You, my Joshua, were in a hurry. You walked at 10 1/2 months, and talked not very long after that. I was in a hurry to potty train you, but you were so willing to go along with it. I think 2 1/2 is still pretty young to be potty-trained, even if you took longer about it than I was hoping. Now you are 3... Full of life and inquisitive as ever. Rebellious... sometimes. Not so much, that a quick swat can't correct. ;) I can't believe how much you love your Daddy. I try not to feel left out. You'd take him over me any day! You are learning letter sounds and have conquered numbers 0-8. You are so good at puzzles and are now learning to cut. We still have to work on that though, along with throwing a ball! Maybe Daddy will give you some lessons... You love cars, trucks, tractors and lawn mowers. And this year you asked for a gun for your birthday. (Where do they get that? Boys...) Daddy found you some Nerf guns... What a nice Daddy. :) We will celebrate your third birthday tomorrow, with chocolate cake and a family gathering. You will have a friend over to play, just like you asked. You, my Joshua... I can't imagine life without you. It seems like I've always had you around. I'm so glad that God sent you our way.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!

Since today is my birthday and I am now 25, which is a quarter of a century, I will leave you with 25 important or random things about me.

1) I was born in Rochester, NY.
2) I play piano.
3) I have green eyes, like my Gramanita.
4) I have to wear corrective lenses.
5) My son was born six days after my 22nd birthday.
6) I am one of seven kids.
7) I was married when I was 20.
8) I was homeschooled most of my school years.
9) I never went to college.
10) I've never smoked, but I have a tattoo. (Psych!!)
11) When I was a girl I wanted to be a missionary to Brazil.
12) I also wanted to adopt an African baby boy.
13) I still want to adopt a baby, but he/she doesn't have to be from Africa.
14) I don't like washing my own dishes.
15) I'm not sure if I like cats or not.
16) Gardening is my favorite outside activity.
17) I love to travel.
18) I want to live my life for Jesus.
19) I like to sing.
20) It bothers me when people can't spell properly. (I also like spell check.)
21) I cannot keep my checkbook balanced.
22) Keeping a budget is like a game to me. I am very competitive.
23) I love going to the arboretum.
24) I have friends in foreign countries.
25) I am going to heaven, but only by God's grace.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Good, Clean Birthday Present

To start off, I want you all to know that my very least favorite household chore is washing dishes. Not because it is hard or inconvenient, but because you are never really done washing dishes. Dirty dishes never go away. My sink is ALWAYS full of dishes waiting to be washed.

It was a very nice early birthday gift. Though I'm not sure it was intended to be a birthday gift. It all started when my hubby found out that my Aunt and Uncle were getting a new dishwasher and were getting rid of their old one. Their old one had a leaky seal. I have never hoped that I could fit a dishwasher in my teeny-tiny kitchen. To me, it was just impossible. But when Adam heard about the "leaky" dishwasher, his wheels started spinning. He is very handy and could fix that dishwasher. But in order to fit in a dishwasher, a cabinet needed to be taken out. That meant that a cabinet had to be emptied... That meant we needed somewhere else to put the emptied out stuff, whatever that stuff may be. So this is what happened Thursday when I was at work. We have a fine closet in our kitchen where we keep our garbage can and recyclables. Garbage can was moved to other side of kitchen. Adam hung very nice wire shelves in the closet to turn this space into a WONDERFUL pantry. (I'm not sure which pleases me more, the dishwasher or the pantry. Yes, I am... The dishwasher.) He emptied one and a half lower cabinets of their food contents and placed it all on the pantry shelves. The pots and pans moved out of their cabinet and into the now empty food cabinets. Pots and Pans cabinet was taken out. Dishwasher was put in. Wife now smiles broadly as she washes her dishes. Husband is happy. Counters look cleaner and sink has been empty almost ALL day! Woo-hoot! I am feeling much better about the state of affairs at our house. And I am ready to keep Adam around for quite a bit longer. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Junk Truck

Small Child. He is something. I come home from church on Sunday night to find he has rearranged my bedroom. Well, not the furniture. But anything else that an almost-three-year-old can move. My bed had turned into his "truck" full of "junk" and he had dutifully moved most everything that wasn't in the "truck" into a pile in his room. He was having so much fun moving the "junk" around that I couldn't put an end to his game. (Though I did make sure he helped putting it all away before bed.) There were clothes-clean and dirty, baskets, blankets, books (oh, help!), the kitchen broom, pillows , and the computer chair all piled in a heap in his bedroom doorway. At the very least, I guess I can say his imagination was brewing. And I'm glad I let it simmer for a little bit. Funny little guy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Yard Sale Fail

It was a sunny day. A yardsale-able day. Or so I thought. I had hung out my signs, but not until last minute. I waited all day. Not one person. Not one car. I had arranged the tables so nicely. I even hung the baby clothes on the line to attract attention. Not one bite or nibble. It was a good thing I didn't feel like it was necessary for me to stay out there all day. I was able to bake lots of pies while casting longing glances out the front door. We didn't have one person walk into the yard until it was time to pack everything away. It was about that time when the neighborhood kids started gathering across the street in their usual hangout spot. One curious girl came over to take a peek. We had already packed away the clothes and were in the process of packing up the dishes. Suddenly there were more kids. Looking in the box of books and the stack of VHS movies. I was sure a bunch of 8-11 year olds were not going to want toddler books and movies, but I told them if they saw anything they wanted, they could have it. That got them excited... And I got rid of a couple books and some Veggie Tale movies. I offered them my mugs. You should've seen the kids move then! I had just enough mugs for one for each. They were happy. And then I gave away my brother's old skate boards. Two of them.So I guess I did a little cleaning out after all. Haha, well mugs and movies and skate boards anyway...

(Photo forthcoming. Camera is charging.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Life Goes On.

It's been an exhausting week. My mind and body are tired. We spent two days this week in Buffalo with Adam's family. Grandma's wake was on Wednesday and the funeral was Thursday. The funeral was done in a Catholic church and was very different from any funeral I had ever been to. It left my mind reeling and I was very grateful that I know my relationship with Jesus Christ is a personal relationship. I don't live in fear of not being accepted into heaven because Christ has already paid for my sins and has extended his free gift of salvation to me. My sins have been washed away and I look forward to seeing my Savior face to face someday. I am forever grateful.
This week I met family members that I had never known before and became reacquainted with some that we hadn't seen for a while. Together we mourned the loss of a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and neighbor. We laughed with each other and at each other. Shared food and hugs. Together we said goodbye to the woman for whom we had all gathered together. When the time came to go home, Adam and I were both exhausted. We left Grandpa behind while lifting him up in our prayers. It will be difficult in the days ahead as this new way of life becomes the norm. If you think of it, you can pray for him too. Hmm, I think it is bed time.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Antoher Goodbye

When we arrived at the hospital in Buffalo yesterday morning, it was very apparent that we didn't have much longer with Grandma. We took turns holding her hand, telling her that we loved her. We witnessed a man kiss his wife and his best friend goodbye. Tenderly holding her hand, stroking her hair and whispering "I love you" into her ear. He recounted the story of how they got together. How she had reached over and held his hand on the way to a dance and how she had asked him out first. His eyes misted over. This woman was his best friend. His wife of 55 years. His heart already ached with thoughts of her being gone. The cancer had taken it's toll on her body. She lay in the bed, her arms and legs worn thin, and an oxygen mask covered her face, to ease her toiled breaths. This was the girl he went dancing with, the mother of his children, the woman who shared his house and home. And now the time had come to say good-bye. His children had come. As had nearly all of the grandchildren. At 10:30 last night, Grandma slipped into eternity and in doing so, left a hole in the hearts of those she left behind. Good-bye dear Grandma.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Positive Note

Tonight I felt like a night owl. My little family members were both tired and cranky this evening, so they were tucked into bed early. This left me with the house empty- just the way I like it when I'm in the cleaning mood. Maybe my hubby will notice the clean smell when he wakes up in the morning. Clean bathroom, freshly mopped floors, the window int he kitchen was even washed! I'm feeling accomplished. I even baked a squash pie this evening. Before I cleaned the bathroom...

Speaking of pies, you will all be happy to know about those "flourless" pies that were mentioned in the previous post. Well, I baked several of them and tried a piece or two and they were perfectly fine!! That is a praise the Lord moment! Last Saturday my oven was going all day, baking pies to sell at church the following day. My oven ran from 7:30 til 10:00 at night and there were 15 pies baked in all. Not only was I baking pies on Saturday, but I was having a yard sale simultaneously... Good thing I have good friends who came and helped me keep my head on straight. I think the yard sale went pretty well, especially for being so late in the year. We made around $90 and seeing as everything was priced pretty cheap, that number surprised me... We are having a yard sale again this weekend and hopefully we'll clean out some more stuff! (Praying for another beautiful day!) Oh and of all the pies we made? We sold 11 pies at church, two to some friends of ours, a few slices at my yard sale and we even got eat one or two slices ourselves. I feel like the Lord really blessed me on Sunday by selling all the pies that I brought and some people even gave me extra to go toward my trip. I had 9 additional orders for pies made on Sunday to go along with the previous orders. Tomorrow Mom and I are going to have another pie-making marathon and hopefully I can get most of these orders filled by the weekend!

And now it is off to bed for me. A busy day tomorrow.

A verse for today: Luke 17:10 "...When you have done all those things which you are commanded, sat 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.' "

Something to think about.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Apple Ooops

Pies, pies, and more pies. I am currently having a fundraiser for a trip I am going on in February. The trip involves a plane, a far distant country, Compassion International and meeting someone special. Needless to say, I am so excited that God has opened this door. (!!!!!) So I am selling homemade pies to help raise the necessary funds. Apple pies, pumpkin pies and a very limited amount of select other pies. I have received permission to sell my pies at church on Sunday and they will be sold for $10 a piece. My Mom, Hannah and I make a very good pie-making team. We can make 10 pies in three hours, if we all work together. Last Saturday, we made nine apple pies. Wednesday we made ten apple pies. (I have yet to do any pumpkin.) So now my freezer is full of pies. Delicious, delectable, marvelous apple pies. Well, most of them anyways... So, you see... Wednesday, when we were making pies, we were on such a roll that, well, I forgot to put flour in with the apple filling. So, yeah. Some of my pies will be runny. The filling will not set up as nicely as it should. And they will be less than most wonderful. I will not be able to sell them for $10 with a good conscience... Maybe for $5, but not for $10. And I realized all of this because of Josh. See, he was trying to be helpful and as I was bringing my things into the house after a big pie-making party at my Mom's, he took a pie out of the trunk of my car. I came out of the house just in time to see him juggling the pie as he tried to balance it in his arms. First it was sideways, then it was upside down, then it was on the ground. I guess this was his way of getting an apple pie for himself... Anyways, this pie ended up being baked and eaten as dessert that evening. Adam commented on it's runniness, which I attributed to it being cut while still warm. But then I got to thinking... I can't believe I left the flour out! What a stupid, moronic, amateur thing to do! I mean, I have been making pies since... Well, for a really long time... Good grief. At the very least, those nine pies could be saved for any special occasion that may happen in the next several months. And I thought we were doing so well!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I can't believe that it's been one year already. Today I thought of the last thing my Grandpa taught me. I was out in the garden with a pitchfork in my hand loosening the soil around the carrots so the kids could pull them up. My Grandpa taught me how to do that. That was only a few days before he passed. He had been sitting on the couch and he was tired. Even the bowl of peaches he was trying to eat was wearying him. But he was thinking of the hard work he had put into his garden that year. He told me exactly where to find the pitchfork, in his well kept wood shed. Grandpa explained how to poke the fork in around the carrots and loosen the soil just a bit... And he sent me off on a mission to see if those carrots were ready to be harvested... My Grandpa and I had always shared a love for gardening. We compared the progress of our gardens during the summer. His was weed free and the weeds growing in mine were nearly sky-high. My garden was large. His was small. His tomatoes were dying and so were mine. Our gardens gave us something in common. He was more than willing to hear about how things were growing at my house, though I was always a little nervous that he might stop by unexpected and see how I had let the weeds grow too. I thought of my Grandpa probably every time I was out there in the dirt this year. I think I tried extra hard to keep the weeds out this time. This year was the best that my garden has ever looked and I blame Grandpa for that. Even though he wasn't here to see it (and even if he could see it, I'm sure he'd be preoccupied with praising our Lord), I think my garden would've made him proud this year. Especially my "prize-winning" Brussels sprouts, which have been producing edible sprouts since July.... I can't wait to see him again.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

G. I. Joe

Blogger now has this wonderful tab labeled "stats". Every so often I click it and see what is popular about my blog as of late. Today it just so happened to be this post.

I found it rather ironic, because here we are, two years later and Joe is moving out. I have enjoyed his company when he's been around, and I want him to know he is welcome anytime. I like Joe... I'll probably even miss having him around. Especially when my dishes need washing. (ha ha) But the time has come and we all know it. There's nothing quite like being on your own and paying your very own bills to help you feel established. Joe, we'll be keeping you in our prayers as your movin' on out and movin' on up! Love you too buddy.

A Tired Thought or Two

I was having a busy week last week, so I slacked off on my blog. I have so much on my mind these days, but one by one, things are getting checked of my mental list. Yesterday was a wedding. It was memorable. And kinda sad too, because the husband has to go back to OK today. He's in the army. She's staying here. :( I am still gathering household goods for my yard sale. I WILL have it this weekend and possibly next. I WILL remember to call the Penny-saver to put in an ad. I WILL finish collecting the excess things in my house and put them in my sale. I WILL have more room in my cupboards when I am done. But those two things are just side notes really. And now I will take a nap because just thinking about it all makes me tired. That and it's Sunday. I'm always tired on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wrapping Up the Journey

Maybe you are all tired of hearing about our trip to MN and our visit with Jim. After all, we've been home since the 4th... But I still have more photos and since I'm sure at least my Mom wants to see them, I insist upon sharing them. (So deal!) One more photo journey. This time to Gooseberry Falls and then a couple additional shots from the next day, so this brings our journey to a close...

Days # 6 and # 7:

We started the day off driving around Duluth, which is where we had spent the night. We were looking for a good place to eat breakfast and our GPS led us to this little cafe. It was quite funny actually... Adam asked Jim to look up bakeries in his GPS and the first one that was on the list was the Amazing Grace Bakery. It was 0.0 miles away. It just so happened to be in the basement of the building next to us. Talk about delicious, homemade, good cooking. And a great atmosphere to boot. I'd recommend any day.

After a hearty breakfast, we headed a bit north to see the falls. They are as follows.
Falls #1 (or 2) Notice the bear cave in the background. We climbed
up and peaked in, but it wasn't really big enough for any bears.

Jim, being a good mountain man, commandeered the falls for us.
Another view of the above falls. In all there were three or
four different falls. We saw all of two of them. Boo to that.

Jim, being a good photo bomber. I will unfortunately never be as good as he is.

And now we are onto the next day, back in Minneapolis. The weather was cruel to us while we were in MN, but how could anyone expect Minnesota weather to be any different than cruel? The week started off in the 90's but by Friday, it was 55°. We were freezing and ill prepared. I had forgotten to pack Adam a sweatshirt so that was our first order of business. The second order of business was to toss around the "ol' pig skin" at the park down the street. I am not much on playing catch, but I brought a book and found a park bench. Before too long, Adam and Jim had some company. Three neighborhood boys came along and asked if they could play. And they played for over an hour and a half. It was a riot!
We wrapped up the day with a baseball game at the Target Stadium. I got some great picture of the guys and I waiting for the game to start. I hope you like them as much as I do.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another Day at the Beach Scenario

Minnesota Trip Day #5:
Today I am going to take you on a photo journey. Come with me, through this tunnel, up to Split Rock Lighthouse. Built in 1905, the Split Rock Lighthouse stood to protect the sailor and his vessel from crashing into the steep coastline on the darkest and stormiest nights. Many a sailor was lost upon the ravaging waters of Lake Superior. Especially that cold cruel day in November so many years ago. 29 boats were lost to the depths on that day. And hence the Light of Split Rock shines on brightly, to warn the weary sea captain, lest such treachery befall them.
The now retired lighthouse.
Looking out from the inside.
The lighthouse keeper's homes. There were three keeper's. One house for each.
(If I remember properly.)
Along this coastline is where many a ship foundered
on that dark and stormy night, before the lighthouse was built.
This is how Adam stands still so we can get our photo taken together.This is Jim next to a really big rock.The shore of Lake Superior is equally as rocky (or rather more so) as Lake Ontario, but a bit more picturesque from this angle. Notice the lighthouse on the top of the cliff in the background.
There was a small rocky island next to the mainland, where we could view the lighthouse perfectly. Adam thought it would be fun to dive off said rocky island and go swimming. But I said it was not safe.
A pile of rocks.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Just Another Day at The Fair

(Adam helps Josh check out the John Deere tractors at the Erie County Fair.)
(Uncle Rick is a fireman, and his firetruck was at the fair.
.Lucky Josh, to have a fire captain for an Uncle.)
(Josh trying on Uncle Rick's fireman hat.)
Day #4: This was the day that we went to the State Fair. My camera had run out of batteries, and I left it at the apartment to charge. Therefore, I will share photos from the Erie County Fair, in NY. We had gone there with my in-laws a couple weeks prior to our visit with Jim. The Minnesota State Fair was a little more fun than that fair. There were the typical fair foods, smells and sounds. A few more interesting animals (I liked the birthing center exhibit, where there were newly born animals or soon-to-be mothers) and art exhibits... Food on a stick... You name it, pizza on a stick, pickles on a stick, potatoes on a stick, spaghetti on a stick, donuts on a stick... It was my goal to eat something on a stick while I was there, but I failed. Miserably. I suppose I'll just have to go back next year... Jim made sure that I got to see the historic section of the fair. Adam was not impressed while we dawdled in the printing press room and meandered through the corridors of the antique train cars. But I loved soaking it in. (Thanks Jim!)

When we finally left the fair, Adam was cross and needed a nap. So we headed back to the apartment and let Adam get some sleep. Our evening plan included dinner with a couple of Jim's friends, Dan and Jesse. Dan brought along his wife, Dee, and I got some much needed girl time. Spending days on end with two guys can wear a girl out, you know! It wasn't that we giggled like two school girls or anything like that, but having another girl around was something of a stress reliever for me. Oh, it was also this same evening that Jim took us to IKEA, the most amazing store in the world. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. I wish we had an IKEA down the street from us. But then, maybe it's good that we don't. To tell you about IKEA, I would need to write an entirely separate blog post, so I'll save you the details. In addition to seeing IKEA and eating with Jim's friends, this was also the evening I said good-bye to my orange Converse. They were my friends for three days, but they would not fit. It was a fun dream to have orange shoes, but simply not to come true. For just the night before, I had found a pair of black Converse at Target that fit me so much better and were $5 cheaper. Good-bye orange Converse!! And now it is 11:09pm and time for me to go to bed. Goodnight.

The Capitol Building and The Como Zoo

I decided that I am much too factual when it comes to relating happenings in my life. For instance, I like to go through every detail of each day. And who likes to read that?!? Gross... Pictures and short descriptions may be that way to go, but then how will I remember all that I have done ten years from now? Maybe that is why I get dialoging when I write. But anyway, more about our trip to MN.

Day 3: We were going to spend our Monday at the Minnesota State Fair, but when we learned that Tuesday's were "$2 off each ticket day", we decided to save ourselves the $6 and wait the extra day. Instead we went to the state capitol building in Saint Paul, which is one city over form Minneapolis. If you know anything about MN, Saint Paul and Minneapolis are called the Twin Cities, because they just are. There are like twins. So we went to Saint Paul. One great thing about going to see the State Capitol Building was that they give free tours and you could see nearly every part of the building. We were even able to go up on the top, where they were having the Quadriga replated. Even though we weren't able to get the best look at the gold artifice, the rest of the view was spectacular.In the afternoon, Jim took us to the Como Zoo. Adam and I both agreed that going to this zoo was waaay better than going to the Toronto Zoo, which is super sad. Not only was the Como Zoo free, though a donation of $2 was suggested per person, but we were able to see sooo many more animals. The Toronto Zoo cost at least $20 per person, plus parking, and it was so expansive, that very often you could barely get a look at the animals because they were so far away. One might think that going to the zoo would be for kids, but we really had such a nice afternoon there. The Como Zoo also had a butterfly conservatory and an arboretum. I absolutely loved the arboretum and would've spent longer in there if Adam wasn't waiting for us. (Adam, will you take me to the arboretum in the city? I would really like that. It'd make a good date.)
(Hitching a ride through the Como Zoo.)
(A butterfly. Duh!)
By the time we were done at the zoo, the heat had really gotten to me. It had been in the mid 90's all day and my head was pounding. We all decided that a relaxing evening in the park would be a good way to end the day. Jim and Adam made a quick trip into the grocery store for some picnic supplies and a football, while I rested my eyes in the truck. It was tough work scouring the park for a grill to cook the burgers and corn on the cob, but once we located one, it was easy going. One grill over, there was a rather large group gathered, where a few rednecks were cooking up their own corn on the cob. They seemed to be a friendly bunch and they let us use their lighter fluid. Haha, they even offered us beer! Jim said they were probably from Wisconsin, they were so friendly... Not that Minnesotan's aren't friendly or anything... And that basically sums up day 3.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Day #2

(Overlooking the City of Red Wing, MN)
Minnesota, Day 2:

Jim goes to a church in Eagan Hills, MN. It's about a 1/2 hour away from where he lives. I was excited and nervous to go to his church. I was nervous about meeting his friends and feeling awkward, but really I didn't have any awkward moments meeting his friends. Really, I loved everything about the church service. The congregation stood during the entire worship session. Some lifted their hands, some swayed with the music and some were just as stoic as could be. Just like our church, I suppose. I learned some new songs, which I have been craving to sing. And the message was very good. I could still tell you what it was about a week and a half later. Wanna try me? I dare ya. Anyway, if I ever moved to Minnesota, I would probably go to church there, with Jim.(Jim, the prepared Minnesotan, on the top of Barn Bluff)

After church, Jim had a great adventure for us. We drove to Red Wing, MN, home of Red Wing boots, where there is this mountainous hill that rises out of the ground. This hill is called Barn Bluff and it rises 350 ft up, up, and into the sky. After stopping for lunch, we put on our hiking shoes and made the trip up and around and back down the bluff. The view was so picturesque. And hiking up took our breath away. Good thing we brought water, because it was 90 degrees out there that afternoon. We found that Barn Bluff was not only a good spot for hikers, but for rock climbers too. On our way down the bluff, we went around the other side where the bluff does all it's "bluffing". The hillside gives way to a sheer, rocky, cliff-edge and we passed several groups of rock climbers. That was an activity for another day though... Adam wanted to go to the Red Wing Shoe Store, but he was disappointed that Red Wing shoes doesn't make more of it's shoes in the USA. He also couldn't find just what he was looking for, so he put off his new work boot purchase until a further date in time.
(Myself, checking out the view and being quite hot and out of breath)
(Rock Climbers climbing up the face or Barn Bluff)

When we were done touring Red Wing Shoe Store, we drove on back to Jim's apartment, which was nearly two hours from Red Wing. By this time it was already evening and we were exhausted. Both the guys fell asleep and I puttered around Jim's apartment for a while. I decided that, once it got to be 8:00, it was time to find something for supper. So I looked through Jim's cupboards, and started to "rub up some grub". He had some good ingredients and it wasn't long before the guys were awake and dinner was ready. Rice, beef, beans, and tomatoes. And that was the end of day #2. Photos forthcoming.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Minneapolis: Day 1

So we (Adam and I) spent all of last week in Minnesota with the great Jim the Third. My brother Jim moved to MN three years ago and since he was like our bff, we decided to drag ourselves out there to see him and his place. Jim is an excellent tour guide. He gets a prize for that. I'll break it all down for you so you can see what a good guide he was.

Days 1:

Saturday morning, Jim the Third served us a good breakfast of eggs and hash, then ushered us out the door and into his red Ford pick-up. I sat in the jump-seat. We went into the city of Minneapolis and over the Ol' Miss, as Adam called the Mississippi. We tried to rent bikes, but the bike rental was broken for the day. Or at least for us. So we walked around a historic hamlet, walked some more to Punch Pizza and then some more to a cute store. By the way, Punch's Pizza is the best pizza. I was very partial to the Napoli. I ended up eating this pizza three times while in Minneapolis.

In the afternoon, he took us the the Great Mall of America. At some point, I decided that I wanted some new sneakers. So we searched for some cool zapatos (which simply means shoes). I found this really neat pair of orange converse, and although they felt a bit tight, the shoes sales lady convinced me that, because they were canvas shoes, they would stretch and would be comfortable in no time. So I bought them. They were bright orange and oh, so cool. Oh, and the mall, though it was big, was just that. A big mall. It was the IKEA across the street that really caught my eye...

Saturday evening, we decided that we wanted to eat BBQ. So we went back into Minneapolis to find Famous Dave's BBQ. When we arrived, we found that Famous Dave's had a band that night and there was a cover charge of $5 a person. Adam thought that was ridiculous. We didn't come to hear the band, we came to eat some BBQ. So we left that place and found another, which was probably louder than Famous Dave's even without the band and it was packed with college age/late 20's people, and this is how the evening proceeded. We waited for the waiter to come, had to shout above all the commotion, waited for our drinks, waited for him to take our order, shouted some more to each other, waited for our food to come, waited for our silverware and waited some more for our check. We weren't impressed. And Adam was still hungry. (What sort of "fancy" restaurant doesn't have bread or something served with them meal?)

Okay and that is all I can cover at the time being... More later.

PS: Can you tell that Minneapolis is the real Flour City?