Friday, December 14, 2007

Our trip down south

You wore that?

We had the privilege to go to a family wedding in Atlanta last weekend, it was a great time. This was my first real trip to HOTlanta; I've been through the airport a couple times, including my layover to South Africa a couple years ago, but this was the first time I got to actually do stuff there. We drove all day Thursday, then Friday a few of us went to Coca Cola and CNN, did the whole tour and everything, they were pretty interesting (even though I hate Coke). Friday night was the "rehearsal dinner." That is in quotes because there wasn't actually a rehearsal, just dinner. And the dress was casual, but once you see the picture, you're notice that this isn't our typical casual (especially now that we live on a farm!) But it was fun to dress up and pretend we're trendy and chic. Saturday us girls went shopping at Highlands and Atlantic Station, which were great. I couldn't believe I wasn't wearing a coat all day on December 8th! Then Saturday night was the wedding, which was black-tie optional. Bobby wore a black tie, but not the full tux. Seems like we hit it right on the nose... Everyone over 40 wore tuxes and everyone in their 30's wore suits. I think we all looked pretty snazzy.

Reunited and it feels so good

Sunday there was a brunch, also sort of dressy, and then it was good-bye Atlanta and hello Aiken! We got to go see the Spencers and spend a few hours with them, it was so great. Something funny happened on the way to their apartment, we got caught in the Aiken Christmas parade! I guess you had to be there, but it was hilarious to me, because I wasn't expecting any traffic, thinking it wasn't a huge town, so we were shocked when it took nearly 30 minutes just to get through downtown. But anyway, we finally got there and had a wonderful time. Eva entertained us the entire time, we were so amazed at how much she has come out of her shell since St Louis. The funniest part was when we were showing them pictures on our laptop and we pulled up pictures of Bobby's (dead) deer and Eva got so happy & excited, she was laughing hysterically... so cute and naive.

Armpit of North Carolina

We made the rest of our drive home on Monday after spending two hours in a store called JR in Statesville, NC. Apparently the locals think this place is a dump, but us northeners thought it was awesome! Ok, not awesome, there was a lot of junk there, but it definately was a neat little place to stop. Now we're back in PA and trying to dry out from all the rain that we've been having lately. But more snow may be on the way tomorrow!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Giving Thanks... all week long

We all know that the Thanksgiving should not just be a one day celebration, it should be a constant state of mind. Well, in light of that, we extended it to an entire week.

Thursday morning began with the Youth Group sponsored pancake breakfast and worship service. Bobby has a copy of the liturgy on his blog. We had a wonderful turnout, close to 50 people I think. We all had a great time and were very encouraged by the support of our church. Of course there were lots of grumbles due to the early starting time (everyone was there to start cooking at 6:30!) but after we brought out the Rockstars, everyone was good spirits. It was a fun time of working together, serving the church and community, and reflecting on all we have to be thankful for. "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever."

Thursday evening we went out to dinner at the Century Inn with friends and family.
Such notable guests of the Inn include LaFayette and Andrew Jackson. I had a delicious turkey dinner and Bobby had salmon.

Then it was off to bed early to get up early for Black Friday shopping. My mom was disappointed that I wasn't willing to get up at 3 or 4, 5:15 was the earliest that these eyes open up. We didn't get some of the fantastic deals we were hoping for, but we did get a good start on shopping.

Then the big day finally came, Saturday, the day we have our big family dinner. As usual, it was quite a feast and a wonderful time of visiting with family and friends. We had 16 in attendance. (not at our cabin, but over at my aunt and uncle's big house in the dining room designed for Thanksgiving dinner)

Sunday is the day when the hunters begin arriving for the first day of buck, Monday - a state holiday in Pennsylvania.

I originally thought Monday was just Bobby's big day (hunting) but since he didn't get anything, it was unfortunately a disappointment for him. But not for me. I got invited to go to the Steelers Monday night football game! It was a lousy game and the weather was miserable. But we were sitting in the club level, so we stayed warm & dry. That's definately the way to go. (If you can afford the tickets.)

Monday, November 12, 2007


Last weekend (the weekend before my birthday), my family had a surprise party for me here at the farm. This past weekend, Bobby and I went to Pittsburgh. We did a little shopping downtown Saturday afternoon, then drove through some not-so-good neighborhoods to find Trader Joe's where I stocked up on a few bags of my favorite pretzel thins, had dinner at Church Brew Works - cool place!. I had a nice Pittsburgh-style salad (which means there were fries on it) and Bobby ate chicken & crawfish etoufee.

We then drove to the North Hills to go to Target to get Bobby a Troy Polamalu jersey, and then ended up at the condo downtown to sleep. Sunday morning we woke up early and walked all the way over to Station Square to have the world famous brunch at the Grand Concourse. It was amazing. A few items on the brunch include: prime rib, smoked salmon, shrimp, homemade donuts, made-to-order omelets, Belgian waffles, and bananas foster! Then we hopped on the Gateway Clipper boat to be shuttled over to Heinz Field for the Steelers game.

The boat was full of black & gold.

Stiller fans unloading.

We took a gamble here and lost unfortunately. We didn't have any tickets and were planning on getting them from scalpers. What we weren't prepared for were the outrageous prices they were asking. We had what we thought was a lot of cash on us (mostly birthday money) but it turned out that we barely had enough for ONE ticket!! They were asking over 4 times the face-value price of the tickets. And we just couldn't do it... Even if we had that much cash on us, we couldn't spend it all on tickets. Even though I really wanted to go to that game. It was Browns vs Steelers! One of the greatest football rivalries ever. And we were right there, standing outside the stadium. So, sadly we had to walk back to the condo and watch the game on tv, while we could see Heinz Field out the window. It was painful, but we still enjoyed it. Whew, it was a close one! But fortunately the Steelers pulled it out at the end and won a good one for me.

This is where I wanted to be!

But... rather than watching it from inside the stadium (in the rain) we saw it from this comfy couch.

We left the city as soon as the game was over and got back in time for youth group. Where they had a little birthday cake for me and sang happy birthday.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Reformation Day hymn

Listen here

Follow along here:

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New Assignment

I'm pretty late announcing this, but Bobby was hired as the Youth Director at Greene Valley PCA Church a few weeks ago. And I've named myself his assistant. Actually, my official term is assistant "to the" Youth Director. (sort of like Dwight on The Office) So far, we have met on 3 Sunday nights, painted the Youth Room, and we are having our first "event" this Saturday - a bonfire. Of course we could be battling the rain, so in that case, we will move the party inside and have a karaoke/ddr/guitar hero showdown - should be fun! Especially since the elders will be hosting a dinner for some guests in the adjoining room in the church basement.

We are so excited that we have been given this opportunity to serve the church and the youth in this way. Since I never had the chance to be in a youth group myself, this is really an all new experience for me. I was a little nervous when we decided to take this position because I don't see ourselves as the flashy, obnoxious, wild type, that I thought you had to be in order to be a youth leader. But fortunately, after talking to the session, and the teens, it seems like we might just make it there alright... and they might actually like us! (I hope...) In fact, on our first night, a few of them told us that they really enjoy deep theological conversations and political debates! Ok, so that scared me again... but Bobby was really enthused. But all in all, I am really looking forward to gaining new friendships, seeing relationships strengthened and spiritual lives matured. And of course having fun, in our own laidback and composed way.

Friday, October 12, 2007

sewing day

Thursdays are typically one of my most boring days of the week unless we have a vet appointment or I have a lunch date with my aunt, so this week I decided to have a sewing day. I'm still really bad at sewing and waiting to find someone to give me free/inexpensive lessons. So in the meantime I practice by doing very small, easy projects. Yesterday I made an accent pillow, a "princess bed" for the kittens, and hemmed a couple items. Nothing exciting, nothing impressive, but here are a couple pictures anyway.

I made the yellow one and bought the others.

The bed, sans kittens.

Paisley tried it out and did that "kneading" thing that cats do for over 10 minutes. I think that means she liked it.

A.D.D. Shadow stayed in the bed for a few minutes before running off.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Shadow may look like a cat, but she really is a monkey at heart. And this picture is evidence.

Monday, October 01, 2007


So we're not supposed to believe in curses, right? Well, then this sure was one crazy coincidence! After my last post, all 3 of our teams lost this week!! I can't believe it...

But life goes on.

This past weekend, Bobby and I helped out at a Horse Show. It was pretty fun for a couple of people who really know nothing about horses. Fortunately my aunt knows a lot about horses and entered her beautiful Friesian into a couple of classes. He even won a blue ribbon! Here is a picture of the champ.

We really did help and not just sit around all day.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

We're All Smiles

Because all of our football teams are undefeated!

Pittsburgh Steelers are 3-0

WVU is 4-0

OU is 4-0

The only one that's not undefeated is my alma mater, Grove City... but we had a great time at the game last night. Their first night game in school history! I forgot to take a picture, but here is one I found on their website. (it's not from last night, but it is of the football field)

P.S. In case you didn't notice, the pig is smiling in that WVU picture. :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Brad Paisley is so much cooler ... in person!

One of my highlights of the summer finally arrived this past Saturday night - I got to see Brad Paisley in concert! The weather was a little bit chilly, but at least it wasn’t raining; I’ve been to an outdoor concert before when it stormed – I mean STORMED – thunder, lightening, power went out at the amphitheatre, and we just stood out there. So this clear, chilly 45 degree night wasn’t too bad.
Here we are, eagerly waiting for the show to start.

There were a lot of WVU fans & students at the concert, including this one.

The first opening act was Taylor Swift who was born in Pennsylvania and she sang at least 6 or 7 songs, and Bobby and I got the surprise of the night… we had no idea she was so popular, and that there were 10,000 teenage girls surrounding us that knew all of her songs! Imagine our surprise when we’re just sitting there, on our blanket in the lawn, and the opening act comes out, no big deal, right? I mean, we know a couple of her songs from hearing them on the radio, but did we know that all these girls were going to jump up, start dancing, and sing everything word for word? Not a clue… it was pretty amusing.

Second act was Rodney Atkins. Now he does have a few songs that we really like, and he seems like a pretty cool dude, but we were so annoyed that we had to hear our least favorite current song,“Watching You.” Ugh! I can’t even stand to type that because then the song is running through my head! Yeah, yeah… I guess it is a good “message” but the lyrics are just so awful, cheesy, and just plain retarded, if you ask me. I mean, c’mon, it sounds like it was written for a preschool-age after-school show on Nickelodeon! Yet, we had to endure everyone around us singing:

“With a happy meal in his booster seat, knowing that he couldn't have the toy, till his nuggets were gone…I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you. And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.”

Ok… so now, the real deal, Brad Paisley!!! Unfortunately, I have one complaint, his opening acts played just a little bit too long I think. Like I said, Taylor sang nearly 7 songs, Rodney played even more than that. Brad did play a lot more than both, but it still was not nearly enough, in my opinion!

He started right out with his newest, and most awesome, single “Online”. If you haven’t seen this video, you have to go to YouTube and watch it. He is so funny! We got to hear all of his hits and he sounds so amazing live. And Bobby was most excited to see/hear all his guitar playing live. Since most acts you see, the lead singer may have a guitar, but is only playing a couple chords and the guitar player (a separate person) is doing all the playing, but not Brad… he ended nearly every song with a guitar solo. And while I might not fully appreciate it, I was still very impressed.

He didn’t talk a whole lot during the show, but when he did, he really got the crowd going. Not only because he’s Brad Paisley, but because this was his home turf – he even called this concert a “home game” for him, since he is from West Virginia (and went to WVU) and even though the amphitheatre is in PA, WV is just a couple miles away. So there were tons of WVU fans on hand… and they were not disappointed because he sang “Country Roads” during his acoustic set. It was awesome, I can't wait to see him again someday!

Can you see the graphics on the screen in this next picture? This is when he was singing "Ticks". Before you knock it, this is my ring tone on my cell phone!

Here I am, after the show... just a little bit cold.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Breathe in the fresh air... if you can.

Many of you know that my favorite season is upon us. We had a hot start to September which reminded me too well of the heat in St Louis, but alas, the humidity has disappeared and we had the most beautiful day here yesterday and today looks to be the same... sun & mild temps. I was able to take a walk outside yesterday (in jeans!) and help my aunt move horses from the barn to their pastures.

The only bad thing about this week has been that I've been pretty sick. Along with cooler temperatures, fall brings "back to school," and even though I stay here most of the time, secure in my safe little home in the country, Bobby is at school, surrounded by sick kids and sick coworkers. And yes, he had the nerve to bring home those germs and give them to me! Even though I'm a little jealous that he (the germ-giver) has no problem breathing & sleeping during the night and hasn't gone through 4 boxes of Kleenexes in 3 days, I am happy to take on the burden of the sickness for him since I have the luxury of catching up on sleep during the day and don't have to sit in class, or conduct freshmen workshops, or read 300 pages this week.

So hopefully he will stay healthy and I will recover. Especially because the Brad Paisley concert is this weekend!!! I have been looking forward to this for months, I can't wait! I hope this great weather continues, but I've been checking and it's going to be cold! High of 66 and low of 44 on Saturday. I guess I better start looking to see where we packed away the fall/winter clothes...

Thursday, September 06, 2007


We have finally decided on a name for the black kitty - Shadow. It suits her pretty well because she loves to hide in the shadows and jump out at us when we walk by and her coloring of black & gray kind of look like shadows on her back. And we thought it kind of had a good ring to it. I think she is already learning her name too. Bobby thinks she is empowered now that she has a name, which may explain why she has been acting excessively rambunctious this week.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Living on a farm with avid animal-lovers does have it's consequences... we're addicted to adopting pets! We moved here with a rabbit and a turtle, then we added another turtle, and now we are the owners of two orphan kittens (both girls). My aunt & uncle found them on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, a couple weeks ago. They brought them home and I fell in love immediately. We weren't sure what we were going to do with them at first, but they did get sent to the vet for shots, immunizations, tests, boosters, etc for a few days. She estimated that they were 12 weeks old. Then they came home and I brought them over to our house to "test them out" and there has been no turning back. They are very sweet; they love people, play a lot, sleep a lot, eat a lot, and are perfect about using their litter box (from day one!) - a big must!

So here they are... of course we are struggling with names (yes, our little turtle still isn't named yet). The "grayer" kitten is named Paisley. But, the "blacker" one's name isn't definate yet, because frankly, we weren't positive that we were going to keep her, but seeing how much they love and play with each other, I don't know how we could separate them!

Looking down from the stairs into the kitchen. I can't tell which is which from this picture - their heads are almost identical - I think Paisley is on the left.

This is Paisley in the parlor/sewing/guitar room.

What is this little girl's name going to be? She looks sad that she is still called "the other one" or Paisley's sister.

Action shot of them "playing"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We're dancin'

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!So after the last post I made, I thought I needed a much more light-hearted one. So here it is... Bobby and I disco-ing. I stole this idea from my friend Stacey's blog. I laughed so hard that I cried when watching her video, and I knew I had to make one of my own. For some reason though, Bobby does not find it funny at all!?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy Day / Sad Day

Today is a day of mixed emotions. First, the happy reason... today is the anniversary of my parent's wedding 36 years ago. I have been so blessed and fortunate to be raised in such a happy and loving home, and I'm so thankful that God has done such an amazing work in their marriage.
Now the sad part... today would have been the estimated due date of the baby we lost back in January. I knew that when this day came, I would be sad, but I truly was hoping that we would have another one on the way to help ease the pain. Well, that is not the case, unfortunately. It's been a tough year and a half of trying, but many good things have happened in this time also. We've made new friends, celebrated Bobby's graduation, moved to this awesome house, reconnected with loved ones here, went on a wonderful vacation to the beach, and much more! So we have a lot to be thankful for, including all of our friends who have been praying for us. We're so excited to see what God has planned for us this year... new school, new jobs, new church, new friends, new pets, and hopefully that little answer to our (big) prayers.
So once again, happy anniversary mom & dad! (I couldn't find a picture from their wedding that I have, so I'll post this one taken a couple years ago, at Jodi's wedding.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

TK concert

Bobby, my parents, and I all went to the Toby Keith concert this past Saturday night at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Pavillion. He was awesome - sounds amazing live! We had so much fun. The opening acts were Flynnville Train (never heard of them, but they were good) and Miranda Lambert, she was great, but - OUCH! - her lyrics are scary! Here is one verse from her new album,
I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun
Wait by the door and light a cigarette
If he wants a fight well now he's got one
And he ain't seen me crazy yet
He slap my face and he shook me like a rag doll
Don't that sound like a real man
I'm going to show him what a little girls made of
Gunpowder and lead

His fist is big but my gun's bigger
He'll find out when I pull the trigger

Here is Miranda onstage.

A couple of Toby rockin' out the stage.

And the patrons...

My mom and I post-concert.