Sunday, June 29, 2008
I've been moaning to everyone I know about how busy my summer schedule is.
Brian's last day of school was last Wednesday (the 18th) and from there we have begun our low flying pattern.
Friday noon-ish we left for Oregon, stopping to visit great-grandparents in The Dalles and then staying the night with our friends in Portland and getting to meet their baby girl for the first time!
Saturday morning we headed down to Newberg for the family gathering. Brian's grandparents are celebrating 60 years this summer and we almost managed to have every family member in attendance! (One missing was on a plane headed to work on a cruise ship for the summer)
After a very long day there for Cory we continued our trip to Corvallis to stay with Brian's parents. Cousin Vicki came with us as she and I spent most of Sunday and Monday doing a photo shoot! There are some awesome places to take pictures around the OSU campus and I think we had some fun while we were at it!
Tuesday we headed back to Newberg to visit some more friends home just for the summer from Kenya. We haven't seen them in over 2 years so it was really a treat.
Oh, and Cory said his first real word that we recognized! Josh brought out a ball for the boys to play with and without any prompting or anyone labeling it, Cory said "ball"!!!
The rest of the day was spent with the grandparents again so they could have some one-on-one time with Cory without all the craziness of 20+ extended family members there!
Wednesday was for relaxing, mostly, and then going to dinner at some friends house who have a couple of little ones and just talking.
Thursday, Andrea took Cory and I to breakfast at a French pastry cafe. So fun! I had to get an extra pastry because Cory ate most of mine. And at one point I went to get something and then turned around to see Cory and his grandma looking at each other across the table just like it was only him and her at breakfast. So cute!
Grandma's teaching Cory all kinds of new things!
Friday we headed home, stopping for a few hours in The Dalles again. Grandpa whupped both of us at cribbage.
By the time we got home Cory was sooooo tired of being in the car! Doing it all in one day is 7+ hours of driving. Not so fun. He did pretty well considering though!
Saturday morning I got up and took Cory to Walk for Life. It was pushing 100 degrees here so we were hot and sticky by the time we got done. But I think Cory decided it was okay since we got to come home with 4 balloons! I guess sometimes it pays to be the last ones done. :)
Now as you read this, we are probably in Spokane attending the wedding of a college friend. Brian gets to be an usher and I hope to have fun playing with my camera.
This is pretty much what our summer looks like from here on out... someone save me please!
Oh, and one more thing. Cory LOVED Grandma and Grandpa's pool. But since this is quite long enough already I think that will be a post for another day...
Friday, June 27, 2008
Vote for my kid!
Okay, here's the deal! Click on this fun ad and it will take you right to the page where you can see the photos of Cory and vote for him!
Five kids will be chosen to go to New York and be professionally photographed and then one of them will be on the cover of Parents magazine in November!
They say that judging is not affected by how many votes or recommendations that a photo gets, those are simply for which ones will be featured on their website... however they also said they would be keeping an eye on those more recommended.
So do Cory a favor? Would you please go rate and recommend him! ;) And in case you're wondering - click on the star farthest to the right to give him a 5 star rating (that's for you mom!)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
MARY CONNEALY is an award-winning author and playwright, married to Ivan a farmer, and the mother of four beautiful daughters, Joslyn, Wendy, Shelly and Katy. They live in Decatur, Nebraska. Mary is a GED Instructor by day and an author by night. And there is always a cape involved in her transformation.
Mary has also written Petticoat Ranch, Golden Days, and her latest, Alaska Brides that will debut in August.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutchs of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R's - widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair - two people who couldn't dislike each other more - an avalanche isn't the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?
Running from her Abusive foster-father, a man intent on revenge, the prim and perfectly proper Grace Calhoun takes on the job of schoolmarm in Mosqueros, Texas.
As if being a wanted woman isn't bad enough, Grace has her hands full with the five rowdy and rambunctious Reeves boys─tough Texan tormenters who seem intent on making her life miserable. When, in an attempt to escape from the clutches of her pursuer, Grace is forced to marry widower Daniel Reeves, father of the miniature monsters, she thinks things couldn't get any worse. Or could they?
Daniel Reeves, happy in his all-male world, is doing the best he can, raising his five boys─rascals, each and every one. Since his wife's death in childbirth, Daniel has been determined never to risk marriage again.
When God throws Grace and Danielt together─two people who couldn't detest each other more─the trouble is only beginning.
Will this hapless pair find the courage to face life together in the isolated Calico Canyon? Or are their differences too broad a chasm to bridge?
If you would like to read the first chapter go HERE
Monday, June 23, 2008
Now imagine spending 80% of your income on food. On the bare minimum to get by.
This is what's being called the Global Food Crisis.
I'm sure you've noticed that the price of food has gone up due to the price of fuel going up. (well, and a few other things like natural disasters and such) Maybe it's affected you, maybe it hasn't. To be honest, it hasn't really affected us that much.
I'm wondering when it will.
When will it affect me that more and more people around the world are starving every day?
Mothers who are going without food so their children can have a bite to eat. Fathers who are working longer hours and being able to buy less food. (if the family is even intact)
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. How can I help feed millions of starving people?
I can be a better steward of the resources I have for one. I can pay attention to those in my own community that need help (local food pantries anyone?)
And I can give to Compassion's Global Food Crisis Fund.
Donations to the fund will provide:
• food vouchers to children and families needing immediate relief.
• seeds and agricultural tools so that families can grow their own food as well as earn extra income.
• supplemental nutrition services offered at Compassion-assisted centers around the world.
I made some money this month. That's where some of it is going.
Would you also consider joining us tomorrow, June 25th, for a day of prayer and fasting for those in need? Pray about how you can participate and pray for those whose lives depend on the compassion of others.
Friday, June 20, 2008
(See, if you comment you get stuff!)
This award is about sharing the blogs that you love, but it's also about organ donation. It's about sharing a little piece of yourself. If you're interested go read the post about the creation of this award! (just do it, organ donation is awesome!)
The rules of this award are: SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog. **All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipient to do the same**I'm choosing to share the love with my recent commenters, Kailani, Angie, Amy, Grace, and Jennifer! Thanks for being part of my online community!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Here in Wenatchee we're going to have our own walk next weekend and I'm participating. What am I walking for? Life of course!
More specifically I'm walking to help support our local crisis pregnancy center. I've mentioned before that I work for them off and on.
They are a really neat ministry whose goal is to support moms in any stage of their pregnancy that need help. The biggest service is pregnancy testing, but they also offer ultrasounds, parenting classes, support, and a program where you can earn baby gear (brand new and really useful stuff like cribs and car seats!).
And the biggest thing of all, everything is free to the women who come in, no strings attached.
Which is why we are walking to support them! My goal is to raise $500, but I'm not sure I'll make it. If you would like to support me and this center please contact me: teacherkrista at gmail dot com
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
For those who are not old friends or family of Brian... maybe I'd better start at the beginning!
In 1979, when Brian and Allison were 10 months old (did you know he was a twin, too? :) their dad got a job working for Saudi Aramco. It's the oil company there in Saudi Arabia and he was working in the refinery (correct me if I'm wrong?) so that meant they all moved over there. They lived on a large compound with other families from many countries who were also working for the oil company.
They were there until 1990 when they moved to Corvallis, Oregon. Therefore Brian went to school and made friends and generally spent more of his growing up years overseas and traveling (I'm jealous!) than he did in the US.
In 2001, I believe, his dad went back to work there for another 2 years or so. Brian was able to go back and visit in the summer, but as he was out of college by then he didn't stay.
Now the reason we're going back...
In case you didn't know, Saudi Arabia is a closed country. That means that you can't just decide to go there, you have to have a good reason - like work or immediate family.
So how are we going?
Well, it's the 75th anniversary of the oil company next year so someone got the idea to sponsor a reunion. 600 people are invited and Brian's dad decided we were all going. He is the official employee allowed to go and he can bring his immediate family. That means there are 7 of us going (Brian's mom and dad, Brian, Cory, and I, plus Allison and her husband Joel). The company is officially "sponsoring" this reunion so that we can get visas to get into the country. We'll be staying with some friends of theirs that still live and work there.
Should be quite the adventure!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Deeanne Gist has been a busy lady. She had a career in elementary education. She raised four children. In fifteen years she has: run a home accessory/antique business, member of the press, penned freelance journalism for a few well-known publications, People, Parents, Family Fun and more. She was the CFO for her husband's engineering company, she did all this in her home.
She also founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products which would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing.
Eight months later, she submitted A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers and they picked it up for their new "edgy inspirational" line of historical fiction. After its release in July 2005, Bride hit eight best seller lists and has sold over 100,000 copies and won the Christy Award for BEST ROMANCE 2006. The Measure of a Lady was her 2006 summer release. It hit five best seller lists and won the Christy Award for BEST ROMANCE 2007. Gist is contracted to have a new book come out every summer. Courting Trouble was her 2007 summer release and it hit three best seller lists.
Deeanne lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-four years. They have two kids in high school, two in college.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A Texas-Sized Tale of Unexpected Love
Essie Spreckelmeyer is the last woman anyone in Corsicana, Texas, expected to see with a man on her arm. Independent and outspoken, she’s known more for riding bicycles in outrageous bloomers than for catching a man’s eye.
And the last man who seems willing to give her a second glance is Tony Morgan, newly hired at Spreckelmeyer’s oil company. The disinherited son of an oil baron, Tony wants most to restore his name and regain his lost fortune--not lose his heart to this headstrong blonde. She confounds, contradicts, and confuses him. Sometimes he doesn’t know if she’s driving him toward the aisle or the end of his rope.
That’s how life is ...Deep In The Heart Of Trouble
Now we meet Essie again four years later when she has finally come to peace with her life. Her mother has died and she's helping her father run Sullivan Oil.
Then a stranger comes into town asking to work for the company and Essie takes an immediate dislike to him. He's hiding the fact that he used to work for the competition (Morgan Oil) as the boss' son. But when the boss died he was disinherited in favor of his older half brother. Now he's out to learn the oil business from the bottom up and give his brother a run for his money.
What Tony doesn't plan on is falling in love with the new boss' daughter...
If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE
Friday, June 13, 2008
But we are not going to dwell on that tonight. We are going to dwell on the cuteness that is Cory!
Exhibit A: Cory finds the animal crackers we have just bought at the store.
Exhibit B: Cory finds that the closet has been left open, brings out one of Daddy's shoes, and tries to step into it. I help him and then take a picture!
Exhibit C: Cory makes a new friend of my parents puppy, Cayenne. Mom gave him bits of puppy chow and he was feeding the puppy right out of his hand. Darn cute!
Exhibit D: Cory goes swimming and splashes the heck out of everyone! My brother's girlfriend's grandpa (follow that?) has a pool and he's welcomed us to come use it whenever we want. (Sweet!)
Exhibit E: Cory finds the drum that Auntie Allison brought us from Africa before he was born. I have been thinking for the last couple months that we need to get him a drum... totally forgetting that we already had a real one!
Oh and by the way?
Today I went to book our plane tickets to Saudi Arabia next March using frequent flier miles. A round trip ticket on any of the major airlines is running around $1,800 (including on Air France). So I booked through Northwest and the trip includes one leg each on Northwest, KLM, and Air France. Then I had to call in to add Cory to the itinerary, fully expecting to pay $300 - $400 in taxes for him even though he would be sitting on our laps.
After 45 minutes on hold (no, I'm not kidding, that's how long it took them to figure this out) they quoted me $1400 for him. ON MY LAP. And if I wanted to buy him his own ticket/seat on our same itinerary?
The reason for this? On our return flight the only option with miles was to go to Amsterdam, back to Paris, and then home on Air France. That little Air France option was going to cost us $700 alone for Cory. All the other sections combined were $600. LAME!
I called back later and got a different quote of $900 for the whole flight - and checked to see if there were any other options for our tickets that would avoid AF (of course not). The attendant told me that AF doesn't give infant discounts even if they're in the lap and because we have that one segment with them... we are basically screwed.
So nice of Air France to make us pay half of a full fare when we don't even get a seat or a baggage allowance for him. I only wish I could take my business elsewhere...
Monday, June 09, 2008
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Melody Carlson is the best-selling author of more than 100 books for adults, children, and teens, including three of her latest, These Boots Weren't Made For Walking, A Mile In My Flip-Flops, and Mixed Bags. She and her husband, the parents of two grown sons, make their home near the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon. Melody is a full-time writer as well as an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.
Favorite Bible verse: John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." It’s the “whosoever” part that gets me. That’s who I write for – “whosoever” and to me that means everyone and anyone.
Carlson, author of more than 100 books, begins her 86 Bloomberg Place series with I Heart Bloomberg that functions mostly to set up future storylines. Three women rent rooms at 86Bloomberg Place:
ABOUT THE BOOK
Kendall's managed to wrangle her grandmother's house-free and clear-except for the rules. No male roommates. But that's ok, with the right ad she'll pull in some girls, their rent and if she's lucky, she won't have to go to work any time soon.
For their part, Anna, Lelani, and Megan all have their reasons for wanting to move in: Anna has got to get out from under her overprotective parents; Lelani can't take another day in her aunt's tiny crackerbox house overflowing with toddlers and Megan needs a place free of her current roommate from Hades.
Though they come with assorted extra baggage filled with broken hearts and dreams, they will discover they also have a vast array of hidden strengths. And they struggle to become the women they want to be, they'll find new hope and maybe even Kendall will learn a thing or two about life, love and the true meaning of friendship.
Melody Carlson has written a cute quick read of a book, but it's not without depth. The girls truly do have some issues and I'm curious to see how they work themselves out.
I've also read "These Boots Weren't Made For Walking" and recommend it if you're in the mood for another semi-light read!
If you would like to read the first chapter of I Heart Bloomberg, go HERE
Sunday, June 08, 2008
We have Mexican neighbors and they invited us over for lunch today! Alma made the most delicious soup with shrimp (camarones) and crab (cangrejo) in it. She made it not too spicy (picante) for me, but had some peppers on the table so everyone else (including Brian) could make theirs more spicy. Even Cory tried some bread dipped in the soup and liked it!
Not including the food it was fun to be there and practice my Spanish! Alma has a college degree from Mexico, but speaks very little English. This means unfortunately she's relegated to the role of a migrant worker here, but because she is much more educated than the average migrant worker they look down on her as different. So sad.
Her husband is educated as well and speaks some English, but not real fluently. They have three cute kids, the youngest being 3 months and she already had to go back to work in the fruit packing plant and it's going to be cherry season in another week meaning they work 7 days a week for something crazy like 14 hours a day. Ay, I don't know how she does it.
Her sister, Noami, and Noami's husband, Jose, were there as well. Jose is Alma's brother-in-law twice since he's also the brother of her husband, Gamaliel! How's that for fun, Noami and Jose met last year when she came up to help Alma with her kids.
Anyway, we had a good time just being together. Their oldest daughter, Sarai, is about 5 or 6 and adores babies so she had fun playing with Cory and trying to help him color. The "guys" were talking about work and getting to know each other so I got to hang out in the kitchen and talk about the food and Noami's pregnancy and other things. It really makes me feel like I don't know my Spanish well because I'm stumbling over words every other sentence, but for the most part we can carry on a conversation and I don't get too lost! They say my Spanish is really good so that makes me feel good. I'm just glad I can talk to them!
I'm really thankful for this opportunity to hang out with them. Alma wants help with her English, but we don't have much time together (given that she has to work so much!) so usually we revert to Spanish.
They said "next time" they will make us Mexican tacos! Probably won't be for a couple months though as cherry season will be here in a week or so.
The rest of our weekend has been non-stop. Yesterday (Saturday) we went up to some friends and then back to Cashmere for lunch at a Southern BBQ place. It was all brown food (BBQ pork, beans, fried chips) and super salty. Then we walked around the burgeoning town of Cashmere and of course had to stop at the Aplets and Cotlets factory.
Came home so Cory (and we!) could take a nap and then went to our friends in East Wenatchee to have a BBQ. It was supposed to be all our small group from before... but no one else came. Oh well. I guess that just means we got to relax a bit more. It was way too windy to have an outdoor BBQ anyway with wind gusts up to 38mph!
This morning was church, lunch with the awesome neighbors, then we went to my best friend's house for her daughters 3rd birthday and another BBQ! This was wild and crazy! There were more kids there than adults as 3 of the families have 3 kids and one of them has 4 - plus one other family with 4 teenage kids! There was a kids pool in the backyard with ice cold water in it that Cory managed to lean against and "bad mother" didn't bring any extra clothes. At least we could switch out his shirt for a sweater I had brought and it wasn't that cold today. (what is with this weather anyway, it's June for crying out loud!)
After eating outside we all crowded inside for cake/ice cream/presents. At one point it was so loud even Cory started crying and he's usually Mr. Social!
They had balloons for every kid though and he had a blast with that! He will point out balloons in any book we read and he thinks it's fun to hold the string and bounce the balloon around.
Now... I'm tired! What did you all do this weekend?
Thursday, June 05, 2008
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tamera Alexander is a bestselling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots and poignant prose resonate with readers. Tamera is a finalist for the 2008 Christy Award Remembered, and has been awarded the coveted RITA® from Romance Writers of America Revealed, along with Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction of 2006 Rekindled. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in the quaint town of historic Franklin, Tennessee, where they enjoy life with their two college-age children and a precious—and precocious—silky terrier named Jack.
A Note from Tamera:
Stories are journeys, and each story I write is a journey for me.
Rekindled began with a dream—the image of a man returning home on horseback. He came upon a freshly dug grave and when he knelt to read the name carved into the roughhewn wooden cross, he discovered the name was…his own. The inspiration for Revealed grew from two characters in Rekindled whose stories needed to be told. But even more, whose stories I needed to tell. Writing Revealed was a very personal journey for me, and a healing one. For Remembered, I met that story’s heroine (figuratively, of course) while strolling the ancient cobblestoned pathways of a three hundred-year-old cemetery in northern Paris, France. And From A Distance came from a question I was struggling with in my own life at the time, “What happens when the dream you asked God for isn’t what you thought it would be?”
For me, the greatest thrill of these writing journeys is when Christ reveals Himself in some new way, and I take a step closer to Him. And my deepest desire is that readers of my books will do that as well—take steps closer to Him as they read. After all, it’s all about Him.
In the Potter’s Hand,
ABOUT THE BOOK
What happens when dreams aren’t what you imagined,
And secrets you’ve spent a lifetime guarding are finally laid bare?
Determined to become one of the country’s premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge. She hopes, too, that the cool, dry air of Colorado, and its renowned hot springs, will cure the mysterious illness that threatens her career, and her life.
Daniel Ranslett, a former Confederate sharpshooter, is a man shackled by his past, and he’ll do anything to protect his land and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt. He’s a man of his word, but repaying that debt will bring secrets from his past to light.
Forced on a perilous journey together, Daniel and Elizabeth’s lives intertwine in ways neither could have imagined when first they met . . . from a distance.
If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and eighteen novels, including Solemnly Swear, Just Jane, and Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner. She is an inspirational speaker, giving seminars around the country. She has earned a degree in architecture; run a business with her husband; traveled extensively in Europe; and has performed in various theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She and her husband have three grown children and make their home in the Midwest.
ABOUT THE BOOK
It has been said that without George Washington there would be no United States. But without Martha, there would be no George Washington. He called her "my other self."
Who was this woman who captured the heart of our country's founder? She dreams of a quiet life with her beloved George, but war looms...
Though still a young woman, Martha Dandridge Custis was a wealthy, attractive widow and the mother of two small children with no desire to remarry. But when a striking war hero steps into her life, she realizes that she is ready to love again. She is courted by, then marries the French and Indian War hero.
Yet she wonders whether this man, accustomed to courageous military exploits, can settle down to a simple life of farming and being a father to her children. Even as she longs for domestic bliss, Martha soon realizes she will have to risk everything dear to her and find the courage to get behind a dream much larger than her own.
Her new life as Martha Washington took her through blissful times at Mount Vernon, family tragedies, six years of her husband's absence during the Revolutionary War, and her position as a reluctant First Lady.
Known for moving first-person novels of Nannerl Mozart and Jane Austen, in Washington's Lady, Nancy Moser now brings to life the loves and trials of the First First Lady of the United States.
If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE
Monday, June 02, 2008
Since I just checked my email I assumed that I wasn't a finalist. So imagine my surprise to scroll down and see my picture!!! Granted it's not the best quality of a picture, but it's the spirit in the picture that's coming across!
So pretty pretty please, would you go vote for me? I'm not telling what the grand prize is, but let's just say it would be WELL received around this house! (and yes, that's a ploy to get you to go over there and vote!) You vote for my blog title: Welcome to Married Life.