Saturday, March 17, 2012

We're Back!

Dear Devoted Readers,

After a terribly long absence, I have make a resolution to return to buenaaventura and become a better blogger. Life here has settled into something of a routine here.

Sundays- church and bible study
Mondays- work and evening bible study
Tuesdays- work and a "free evening"
Wednesdays- work, Steve stays and works extra, during Lent- soup supper at 6, church at 7, then choir
Thursdays- work and another "free evening"
Fridays- work and relaxation if possible
Saturdays- sleep in, clean, shop, get things done

There are plenty of little bits of excitement thrown in here and there. I will be sharing those things, as well as some of the every day tasks, trials, and joys. I may even convince Steve to write again, though his reaction to my conviction of beginning again was rather unenthusiastic at best. Your comments will be welcomed and taken as encouragement to get both of us going again.

My parents arrive tomorrow for a week long stay. We are excited to show off the house and share our life here with them. Tomorrow is also the community garage sale day so we are getting up as bright and early as we are able. God bless and good night!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Christmas House!

That magical time of year has come again! Since we spent last Christmas in the Dominican Republic, we were a little short on evergreen trees, snow, Christmas cookies, and lights. We are doing our best to make up for it this year! Steven was very little help, since he left all his ornaments behind in Minnesota... Between my decorations, a couple thrift store runs, and the generosity of a couple at our church I think we have done quite well for our first Christmas! Here are a few of my favorite Christmas things:

The first batch of Christmas cookies!

A little bear tin adds some Christmas to the kitchen counter.

This was so fun! I put the centerpiece together for our Advent by Candlelight.

We finally have pictures on our walls! Just in time for the holidays.

This is a combination of thrift store finds (bowl and garland), a rummage sale purchase(green ornaments), and small ornaments given by a couple at church.

A few other things setting around. :)

Our tree is taller than Steve, even though it doesn't look it here. Christmas tree pictures always end up so disappointing. They never capture the real life beauty.

My stocking... guess Steve doesn't get one this year since it's still in Minnesota...

More pretty things.

Would you believe this candle is actually a smoky green color?

A cute little thrift store buy.
We are also very busy with school and church things. Steve is doing most of the work for the kid's Christmas program. Steve plays for a funeral this Saturday and we will both play for a memorial service at the beginning of the new year (two elderly members of the congregation). We will be singing in church with the choir and by ourselves. This Friday evening is ALA's Christmas program. Somehow we need to fit in a little shopping, too! The excitement of the birthday celebration of our Lord keeps us going, though we are eager for our break- a trip to the Midwest!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Weekend Visitor!

Grandma Sue, Steve's dad's mom, came over the weekend. She arrived Friday after an exciting flight. She is a retired nurse and there had been a medical emergency on the plane. They asked for a doctor or nurse to help. In the absence of the doctor she did a quick assessment. The elderly man did alright so she sat with him on the flight and was cheered at the end. I got off early due to extra hours early in the week (Steve and I did our CPR/AED/First Aid class) and so I was able to meet her at about 2:00. We caught up for a bit and then picked Steve up.

It was a nice relaxing weekend. We sat out and enjoyed our patio. We ate out at Macayos (a delicious Mexican restaurant) and Firebird (a steak place where we had amazing prime rib). We got to show off our house, school, church, and life.

We went to ALA (Arizona Lutheran Academy, the WELS high school in Phoenix) for the Reformation Service. We checked out the thrift store that gives all its proceeds to ALA. No finds but a few ideas. We also went to Kohls and got curtains for our bedroom! We don't have them up yet...

We had off yesterday and today for teachers conferences. Since conferences are in Northern California only the principal went this year. We are using the time to get things done! Hopefully pictures will be on walls by the end of this weekend. We're getting there!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What is that?

Did you notice it?  We recently added a fun new feature to our blog!  You no longer have to have a blogger account to follow us.  You can have update notifications sent right to your email.  This calls for another tutorial!

Enter your email address in this box and click "Submit."
You will get this pop-up window.  Type this "word" into the box and click "Complete Subscription Request."
You will receive this confirmation email.  Click the blue link.

That should do it.  If we update that day, you should receive an email telling you.  Enjoy!


Monday, October 17, 2011

A Relaxing and Productive Week

 Cross of Glory had a nice short week. We had Monday off for Columbus Day. Steve and I went to the chiropractor in the morning and Olive Garden at lunch, then just got things done around home. It is hot again so plans for a nice walk in the neighborhood came to naught. The next time we walk we want to take pictures and write about the flora of Arizona.

Parent/teacher conferences started Thursday after school and continued through the day on Friday. I had off and sorted important papers at home and got some of the never-ending little tasks done. Steve and I got re-fingerprinted since the last time they used the wrong ink... Steve rented Despicable Me on his way home from a Red Box so we watched that.

Saturday we went to the chiropractor again. For those who aren't aware, our chiropractor does the Blair Technique which aligns the top vertebrae in the neck so that your body works at its best. He adjusted me in a different direction and I've been feeling really good since. On the way home we stopped at a rummage sale. Check out our great finds!
We got a paper towel holder, a coat hanger for our entry, and a little bookshelf that will hold books and our TV!

Much of the rest of Saturday we spent finally getting our den set up now that we finally have an "entertainment center." It feels so cozy and relaxing! The only problem is the empty walls... We are planning to get things on the walls the first week in November. There is no school the Wednesday-Friday for the district teachers conference. Only our principal will be attending since it is in Northern California this year. Enjoy the pictures and don't forget to plan a vacation to sunny Arizona.

This is the view of the den through the double door that open into it from the living room.

The view from sitting on the loveseat.

The view from standing by the TV- this is our seating.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Culinary Adventures

As you may have noticed, I enjoy taking pictures of food. Cooking is one form of art that I seem to have a pretty good handle on, probably because it is not difficult to do well if you can find a good recipe. Lately I haven't been feeling up to doing too much (for reasons you read about in Steve's last post) but I'm doing much better and gaining back my energy. After making oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins for breakfast and a nice easy frozen pizza for lunch, I still had energy to make Pad Thai for dinner.

Here's a little background: Steven and I went to an Asian restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico on our extended honeymoon (aka. drive to Arizona).  This idea was inspired a bit by our excellent experience with Thai food at Justine (Steve's sister) and Billy's rehearsal dinner this summer. As usual, the two of us were drawn to the same two dishes- one that we knew we'd both like and another that sounded exciting. Steve always orders the exciting dish, I order the good one, and we switch half way. His was a delicious tofu soup with coconut milk and mine was Pad Thai (which easily won). We followed our dinner with a sweet plum wine.

Steve has mentioned the Pad Thai several times since so I noticed it right away as I looked through our "Light and Healthy Cookbook." I had never thought much about making Asian food, but I though it looked very doable. It is made with rice noodles, shrimp (though we used chicken), lime, fish sauce, eggs, bean sprouts, green onions, and peanuts. It is seasoned with garlic and red pepper and garnished with cilantro. It tasted as good as we remembered! Just another reason for you to visit...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Welcome Back!

Sorry for the leave of absence, Amy really wanted to write a post about the rest of the house (including the new piano) but that would require taking pictures of the house, which would require cleaning the house, which is way too many steps for us, so it hasn't happened.  We did manage to clean the house last week, but then we had a friend over all weekend, so blogging didn't happen.  But hopefully we will have time for all of that today!  We have a Saturday with nothing scheduled, so look out Blogger, here comes some postin'!

I have a few items of news to share.

First, Amy and I have had a full week of adjustment from our local Blaire technician.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you haven't heard that the Blaire technique is what saved my mother.  She suddenly developed inexplicable symptoms including weakness, fatigue, and "spells" where she couldn't do anything at all.  After having every medical test under the sun at the famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and being consistently told she had nothing wrong, she turned to alternative treatments.  She found out about the Blaire technique, a special chiropractic method that only gives attention to the top vertebrae of the spine.  If those are in alignment, the brain communicates effectively with the rest of the body, and the body heals itself of almost anything that is wrong with it.  My mom got adjusted and has seen remarkable results.

Amy and I found a chiropractor that practices the Blaire technique in Phoenix.  Amy's developed some symptoms of fatigue, headaches, and digestive problems (maybe acid or something like that) that we didn't know what to do about.  Urgent Care recommended an ultrasound to check out her gall bladder, but the ultrasound showed no problems with her gall bladder, or any of her abdominal organs.  So we turned to Dr. Tony.  We got adjusted last week and we think we are seeing results.  My neck looked pretty good in the x-ray.  My spine had a nice curve, but the top vertebrae were a little unbalanced.  Amy's neck was not so good.  She looked like the picture on the wall, a perfectly straight neck with the top vertebrae well out of place.  We noticed increased energy the week following the adjustment, and Amy's stomach was doing much better.  Thursday was a bad day.  Amy had all of the bad stomach pain back again.  We went in for our third check-up that week, and lo and behold, Amy was out of alignment.  Dr. Tony popped her back into place, and the past 2 days of been great again!  We're hoping this treatment will also help her with her arch problems and carpal tunnel in the future.  Praise God for making us such wonderful bodies that are so efficient at healing themselves!

I'm sure many of you are also wondering about my classroom.  I'm am starting to feel like a real teacher, where I can plan ahead and have well-thought-out lessons.  My classroom is starting to run well, and the students are responding really well to me.  I've heard from multiple parents how much their children love my class, so I must be doing something right, even though I don't always feel that way.  I am very excited that I am getting a new 2nd grader on Monday.  He was attending a charter school and was having a miserable time there that was affecting his attitudes and behaviors.  His mom is beside her self, and came to look at our school.  He shadowed in our classroom one day (basically he got to try it out for a day) and loved it.  We are very excited about this family since they are unchurched but hungry for the Word.  Amy also got phone call just yesterday from a father looking for a school for his 1st grade daughter.  So maybe I'll be moving up to a class of 16! 

Thanks for your patience in waiting for this update.  I'm going to see if I can get Amy to put something up about the house/piano later today... like I said, we first need to clean the house, so maybe not today, but hopefully sometime this weekend.