Friday, December 21, 2007

For your consideration

OK, for any one of you that might like to go shopping, hang on to an item only to decide later you don't want it, and leave it in some random place...DON'T DO IT!! Think of the poor employees of the store that might have to stay there till midnight to put it back.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hungry boy

I just wanted to share this picture of Stevie. A couple of weeks ago he took us out to eat at Olive Garden. He loves his chicken alfredo pizza. And I really loved the macchiato coffee drink I got!

We finally got it!

As I said here, we did get a wee bit of snow on Thanksgiving, but THIS is snow! And this was before the extra couple of inches we got throughout the rest of the day.

And we had a pretty sunset.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rude Customer

I was just looking at my stats. There is an interesting feature that tells you what referred people to your blog, such as a google search. I was laughing because out of all of the google searches that led people to my blog, "rude customer" was by far the most. And most of those people doing the searches were from different countries. Not really sure what that means, but it is interesting. ;)

Oh, and I know it is a week past Thanksgiving and I have not posted about it yet. I am still keeping pretty busy, despite being unemployed. But I will get to it, and I will probably post it on my other blog.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What am I thankful for?

With the Thanksgiving holiday coming this week I cannot help but reflect on the year and think of what I am (or should be) thankful for.
It was one year ago that we breathed a huge sigh of relief. We were running out of money and we set the deadline for November 15th. If Josh didn't get a job by then, we would have to leave Scotland and go home. Bethany phoned Josh on November 14th offering him a position. It was at the Thanksgiving meal we hosted for our friends that we were able to announce we would be staying.
We have been through so many challenges during our time in Scotland and after our return home. After so much upheaval it is hard to think at first what I can be thankful for. Yet hard times bring us many reasons to give thanks.
I am continually humbled by the kindness and generosity of our family and friends (on both sides of the pond!). I am put to shame when I complain about something, only later to see someone give so generously to us. People in our lives have been generous with their money, time, possessions, and whatever resources they have.
Know that we are so thankful for you. Know that we have and will pass this generosity on to others whenever the circumstance allows. God has provided us with so much blessing through you.
Though I have felt lonely, I have never been without a friend.
Though I have felt pinched by finances, we have never been without food and a home.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I made it to 10,000 hits to my blog! :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Through a whirlwind series of events the opportunity came upon us to move into our own place. And guess what, WE'VE MOVED!!

A friend of my mom's has kindly offered to let us rent from her while she is trying to sell the house. She has given us a very generous offer and with the property including woods, it is a bit closer to what we would like to have when we eventually settle and start putting down roots. I love that it is so dark at night that I have to take a flashlight outside with me and that we have to drive down a country road to get to our house! I just saw the mail truck for the first time today and it is not even a real mail truck!

A requirement for us to move was that we needed a vehicle. We found one the very day after we started looking! I never, ever thought that we would own an SUV. Yes, we bought an SUV. It is a 95 Jimmy. We felt that it was a good deal for the price. It runs good and the body is in great condition. We are happy to have it for hauling things, such as for camping trips. We will just not be able to keep it for our primary vehicle. Friends of ours have very generously offered to give us their car for next to nothing after they get their new vehicle. That will work out well as we both plan to work part-time....

Which brings me to our next need. Please be praying or/thinking of us as we are looking for jobs. Josh would like to find something to put him more in the direction of ministry. This could take a bit of time as there is not an ABUNDANCE of ministry related jobs available in the area.

Me, well, I am looking for anything at the moment, which gets a bit depressing. I have been applying for retail positions hoping to at least get some seasonal work, and maybe making my way up using my supervisory experience. At first I was limiting it to places that I enjoy shopping at myself and that might offer some kind of benefits package, but after no reply I had to expand my horizons. It felt a bit demoralising applying at ALDI. But it feels even more demoralising that they were supposed to call by today and I have not had a call yet. I guess a part of me is greatful that they have not called.

We are thankful to be in our own place and I can now think about what I am going to make for our family Thanksgiving gatherings. :)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sweet Home Chicago!

Since we have been back we only visited Chicago for one night (the day of our arrival from Scotland) and an evening for a wedding. Oh, we DID get to walk around downtown a bit after we took my BIL and his friends to Ohare a while back.

I had been longing to spend more time there so I told Josh that I wanted to go for my birthday. He couldn't refuse that, could he? :) This sounds silly, but one of the only things I wanted to do there was go grocery shopping! I really miss the selection there. So I picked up loads of bulk spices from Pete's Fresh Market (that is a GREAT place for produce and anything Mexican) and spent a long time browsing the isles of Trader Joe's (YEAH!).

We stayed with our friends Nathan and Andrea and brought our bunnies along. They have a little girl and it was so much fun to watch her with the bunnies. She would get so excited, flap her arms around, then land one of those hands right down on the bunny's head.

Andrea took us shopping and we stopped at Montrose Harbor for a little walk (it was SOO windy!). Before we left for Scotland Andrea and I went rollar blading on the lakefront. Afterwards we snapped some pictures here but I was so sad that they accidentally got deleted. So we had to do it again. :)

I don't know if you can see it here, but there were actually flowers on some of the trees!

The next day was my birthday and I spent it with my family. It was a nice day to just relax and hang out. My mom posted some old pictures on her blog if you want to check them out.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

fall back

I hope you set your clocks back before arriving at church an hour early! What a pain when you realise you could have had an extra hour of sleep.

We set our clocks back, but I didn't get that extra hour. I didn't have to get up until 7, but I was up bright and early at 5:45. I guess I was just too excited about our trip to Chicago. I told Josh that I wanted to go for my birthday since we haven't really gotten to visit. We stayed one night when we arrived from Scotland. We are going to visit our church up there and stay for 2 nights wtih friends. I am bringing my bunnies along (for anyone that might be concerned about them). There might be a couple of wee ones that would have fun petting them. :)

Back to the time change, we were having this discussion about changing the clocks with an aussie friend of ours in Scotland 2 years ago. She couldn't remember if we set the clocks forward or back. I quoted the little ditty we use to remember "spring forward, fall back." She said, "AAAAH! I never heard that before!" I was shocked that she never would have heard that! I thought everyone did! Then she reminded me that it is the opposite in Australia. Uh-huh. Shows how much I know.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I wonder how much emissions the emissions testing sites emit...

Long time no post...

I am sorry that my posts have been few and far between these last few months. It is not that I haven't had anything to post about. I have just had a hard time feeling motivated to actually DO it! Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated. We greatly appreciate our friends family who have been a HUGE support to us. I feel like I have been letting YOU down by not keeping in touch through my blogs.

I want to introduce a brand spankin' new blog to you. My very own mother has decided to set up her own inspirational blog. I am looking forward to her posts. Go and visit her!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The girls

I had a lovely time this Saturday getting with my friends from high school. For the last several years we have gotten together about once a year or so, but always kept in touch through emails and blogs. Oh, and when get would get together it would be with our husbands as well. We do love our husbands with us, but plans changed this time and it was just the girls!

Steph and I drove over to Winona Lake, a very cute little town, to meet up with Tiph and Jil. We went to a sushi bar kinda place for lunch. I am not a fan of Asian food, so Tiph and Jil let me pick off their places. :)

We walked around some of the quaint shops, then went over to a coffee shop in town where we chatted until dinner time. When we went over to Haciendas for dinner! We were snapping pictures and getting video like crazy.
I was gone for a total of about 12 hours and it was SO GOOD! It was a really nice time hanging out with the girls.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Visiting a friend

Last weekend was our anniversary (6th!) but the weekend before was when we celebrated. We always like to celebrate by going away somewhere. Even when we were on a student budget in Scotland. The first year was the New College retreat to Carberry Tower. The second year was to Dunkeld (we were SO happy to finally see some fall colours!).
Three years ago for our anniversary trip, we went to Ireland! Well, we were also visiting a friend and looking at universities. This friend was my college roommate. She went to Ireland for an internship, but ended up changing her plans and stayed for a wedding. It happened to be HER wedding.
When we visited they had one lovely daughter, and another on the way. Seriously, on the way! Erin had some kind of food list she had stashed in the freezer and information about her daughter's routine. She informed us that it was for us...JUST INCASE. :)
As we were making our plans to move over to Scotland I was thinking it would be fun if I ever had the opportunity to visit Erin and her family in Ireland. It didn't work out though as we nearly crossed paths flying over the Atlantic! When we decided to move back to the States I was waiting to hear that they were now planning to move back to Ireland. Just kidding!
So, again, for our 6th anniversary we visited Erin and her family. The autumn colours were lovely and it was so nice to get away for a few days. It was fun to meet her 2 youngest daughters. They are all such busy girls! There was never a dull moment. Josh had the pleasure of playing Thomas the Tank Engine all weekend. We also went to the apple orchard and watched the girls bounce around in a bouncy castle and get a pumpkin painted on their hands. The above picture was taken as we were walking out. Sorry, Anthony, I didn't get you in it. But, ya know, you were pushing a stroller and, well, you just didn't fit. :)
Thanks for letting us come over!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my husband!

It's the big 3-oh today.
Thank you for everything you have done for us. I thank God for your wisdom, your patience, your selflessness, your love and commitment, your level head, and of course the fact that you took us to live in another country for 2 years! :)
I love you.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

What's in a name?

I'm on a roll with these meme things now. Here is a fun one I got from Steph's blog. I just have a little bit of a hard time with the "favourites" cuz I don't really have too many favourites.

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Rabbit None or Bunnie Nothing or Chestnut Zero Zippo
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
eek! I don't have any favourites here! Uh, Peppermint No Bake?
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Purple Rabbit
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, hospital where you were born)
Stephenie St. Mary
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),
Boude (HA! HA!)
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
The Pink Raspberry Mocha
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
Claude Richard
9.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),
Anne Claude
10. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
Erny Edinburgh
11. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
Summer Hydrangea
12. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Blueberry Capri
13. HIPPIE NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Skillet Sugargum
14. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),
The Quilting Thunderstorm Tour

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

8 things about me

Here is the draft I started ages ago. And in the mean time (just today) I have been tagged by another friend, Anita. Hers is a bit different (7 facts) but I will kill 2 birds with one stone. :)

I will not tag anyone just as in my other facts about me thing. If you want to participate (PLEASE DO!) let me know...

I have been tagged by my friend Erin at Prairie Road for a meme. I have been blogging for 2 years and this is my first tag! YAY! Problem is, I don't really know very many people to tag myself. Oh, well.

So here are the rules:

The Rules: “Each person posts the rules before their list, then they list 8 things about themselves. At the end of the post, that person tags and links to 8 other people and then visits those peoples’ sites and comments letting them know that they have been tagged, and to come read the post, so they know what they have to do.”

1) I am currently an America expat, meaning I am from American, but living in another country. In just a little over a week, though, we will be moving back to my husband's hometown in Indiana. (See how long ago I wrote this!)

2) I cannot swim, though I love to be around water. I like to water ski, too. :)

3) We have not had a TV as long as we have been married. After we moved here I think my mom felt bad that I might get sad and lonely, so she started sending us DVDs, which we watch on our computer.

4) I have had a huge fear of walking over bridges over water (or even driving over them) but since we visited San Fran and walked the Golden Gate Bridge the fear is not so crippling.

5) I love to take photos, but I am sad because I think I lost my eye the first time we crossed that pond.

6) My brother has Down's Syndrome and I am really looking forward to seeing him again next week (after over a year!)

(here is where I left off, so these have been just completed today)

7) I still have my tonsils, I have never broken a bone in my body, and have never been admitted to the hospital.

8) I am now the proud mother of 2 mini rex bunnies. Yes, they are my babies. And Ceilidh and Lady Grey are almost fully litter trained. YEAH!

Hanging out

I thought we made a nice picture.
I was invited to go along with my mom to hang out with one of her friends. Mrs. Guffey and Shaun have been friends of the family for, gosh, about 15 years now? Stevie and Shaun have been best buddies since they attended the same school when they were little.
Mrs. Guffey and my mom have similar personalities and they have a very calming effect on me. It was nice to hang out today.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Four things about me...

My friend Erin at Prairie Road sent me this email. I thought I would post on my blog rather than sending it as an email. I am not going to tag anyone because I read so few blogs and many of you with blogs have already done this. But if you would like to participate (whether you are on Blogger, My Space, Facebook, whatever) please let me know!

Hmmm...she tagged me quite a while bag for something else, which I started and saved as a draft. I will have to dig that up..

Things you may not have known about me.....

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Lake County Prosecutor's Office
2. nanny (started with one beautiful girl of 15mos and finished with 3 gorgeous girls, the 15-month-old being 8!)
3. Social Services Caseworker
4. Starbucks Barista, then Supervisor

B) Four movies I would watch over and over:

1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
2. Anne of Green Gables set
3. Sound of Music
4. Fiddler on the Roof

C) Four places I have lived:

1. Hobart, IN
2. Chicago, IL (several different moves)
3. Edinburgh, Scotland (2 different places)
4. Lowell, IN

D) Four TV shows I love to watch:

We have never had a TV, my while we lived in Edinburgh my mom would send us DVDs of shows. These were some I liked:
1. Dr. G
2. The Dog Whisperer
3. Survivorman
4. umm...can't think of anything else

E) Four places I have been on vacation :

1. camping in the Adirondacks in New York
2. San Fransisco, CA
3. Ireland
4. various lovely spots in Scotland

F) Websites I visit daily:

1. the blogs listed on my sidebar (except Brett's because he never updates his)
2. (but really not as much anymore)
3. I'm really not online as much anymore, so I will visit various other sites off and on

G) Four of my favorite foods

1. DILL PICKLES!!! (which I could not indulge in while in Scotland)
2. tex-mex
3. Chicago-style pizza
4. dessert!

H) Four places I would like to be right now

1. somewhere in Scotland
2. somewhere scenic
3. somewhere else
4. Chicago

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Ceilidh and Lady Grey!

We finally picked up a couple of rabbits. I have been eager to have them. They are both mini rexes. We decided to get two so they can keep eachother company. Not like they don't get enough lovin' from us!

Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) in Scotland is a social gathering. We went to a couple of ceilidh dances and had a blast! Lady Grey is my favourite tea and I thought it an appropriate name for a gray bunny (actually she is considered blue). Lady Jane Grey was also queen of England for 9 short days. She was forced to the throne at the young age of 15, but the true heir (Mary) gathered the support of her people and took the throne for herself. Just a brief history lesson. :)

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was Stevie's birthday. He is 24! We went over early to hang out with the family and open presents. Then 2 of Stevie's best friends came over for cake and ice cream. We made an attempt at some fireworks, but the rain was not cooperating.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A lazy walk to Leith

I am on a roll! I have finally gotten to so pictures I took in Edinburgh. These were taken on one of the few gorgeous summer days we had about a week and a half before we left. I took a walk along the river to Leith and picked Josh up from work.

I am going to post the pictures on Beannachd Leibh, simply because I like how they look better against a black background. :) And of course I will have more photos on flickr.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


These pictures are all out of order and I don't feel like arranging them.

Paddleboating on the canal at Aunt Sue's

Grandpa. The sun was in the way.

Aunt Sue and mom

Out for dinner

Mom brought fireworks to let off at Aunt Sue's

Of course, Josh had to use his torch (flashlight) to light the way.

Me and Stevie

My grandma loves flowers and birds. It is so nice to walk in their back yard and look at all the flowers or sit at the kitchen table and watch all the birds flitting from one feeder to the next.

The gang

My mom managed to pick this duck up several times, luring her with a piece of bread. Every time the duck got more and more skeptical.

Watching the boys in the water...

...these boys. Josh managed to get Stevie to sit in the water. He even laid down in the water and walked out to chest deep water. Only for his brother!

Do ya think we're related?

This is my cousin Nicci and I. Last week we went to Michigan with my parents to visit family. It was good to see them after 2 years. I am working on the pictures now, so hopefully I will post about our trip soon.
Oh, my friend Steph posted a pictures of she and I visiting my family in Michigan. WAY back when. Oh, my!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Finally! After 3 years!