Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What a crazy 10 days!

Last Sunday (the 21st) we woke up to no electricity. That wouldn't be a real big deal but we had the night before picked up two bearded dragons (lizards) for Evan for Christmas. These particular lizards need 100 degree heat lamps on them. Since we didn't know how long we would be without electricity we decided to pack up a day early and head back to Middlebury. We were staying with my brother and his family. They don't have Internet so I was going through some major withdrawal.

We had Christmas with Mike's family on Monday night and Morgan still had school on Tuesday. We basically just hung around Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday night we spent the night at Evan's apartment. We got up Christmas morning and had a wonderful Christmas with all the kids. I made lunch for us and we spent most of the afternoon just hanging out. THat evening it was back to my brother's for Christmas with my dad and his new wife, my mom and step dad and my brother and his family. That night we went to my dad's to spend the night because my mom was staying with my brother. Friday we got iced in most of the day. We finally made it back to my brother's to spend more time with mom. Saturday we just hung around and that evening we got to Evan came over with his girlfriend and we got to meet her for the first time. We enjoyed the evening with all our kids.

The next morning dark and early Mike took Morgan and I to church to board a bus. The two of us were on our way to Grand Rapids Michigan for a three day youth conference (I was one of the chaperones). It was a great and very tiring three days. When Mike picked us up this afternoon at church we made a beeline for home. I am so tired of living out of suitcases. I am tired of sleeping in different beds. I am tired of not being able to cook in my own kitchen. It is so nice to be home.

I hope to be posting some pictures in the next couple of days. My camera is dead so I will get to it soon.

Tomorrow Katie is coming along with one of her college friends and Sunny her boyfriend. They are spending the night in OUR apartment and then on New Year's Day taking the train to Chicago for the day. MORE CRAZINESS! :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Olivia's new best friend....

Olivia has a new best friend here in our new town. We had her over

for a play date the other day.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Mike!

Morgan made daddy's cake for him.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Happiness

Thanksgiving was really nice this year. We got to see Michael's family for dinner. Then headed to my brother's to visit with them and my mom and stepdad who were here from Iowa. Then we went to my dad's to spend the night so we got to see him and my stepmom. Evan came over when he got off of work to visit with us too. The following day (after I braved the 4:00am rush of shoppers-yes I am one of those idiots that goes out uber early) we headed back here to Crown Point. My mom and stepdad followed and we got to show them around and take them out for supper. The next day Katie and Sunny came over to see the apartment for the first time. We put up the tree and other decorations. Then we went shopping-yeah baby! We went out to eat to celebrate Mike's birthday and then after homemade cake Katie and Sunny headed home and took Morgan with them so I wouldn't have to drive her back today. Today was just a slow relaxing day. I wrapped some presents, cleaned and pretty much chilled out. Mike has been sick for the last week so I told him he wasn't allowed to do anything but lay around and watch westerns and try to recouperate.

All in all it was a pretty nice weekend. It was hard not having Katie home with us (she wanted to stay in Middlebury cause that is where Sunny is). Evan worked most of the weekend but we got to spend a couple hours with him. Being out of the area for the first holiday was a little strange. Mike was really sad last night when the girls left. Things just seemed empty. He said "I am going to bed to sulk." We got to see pretty much all of our family though so that was nice.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Apartment Living Part III - Movin storage

We have a 10 X 20 storage unit that is full. (This picture doesn't show how far back all the stuff goes). We have decided to move everything to a storage unit at our apartment complex. It is the same size, $20/mo cheaper and if I need anything all I have to do is walk across the parking lot instead of driving 8 miles. As of today we have moved 8 loads and are not even half way. This is gonna be a long weekend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apartment Living Part 2

Well a couple nights ago while watching TV we hear some sirens and see the flash of lights out our window. I run out the door to see what is going on. There is an ambulance and an emergency vehicle. Then a firetruck comes down the highway. Wait a minute. They are all stopping in our parking lot. Wait another minute they are running to the second entrance to our building! Uh oh- here comes the ladder truck next. Well, I was freezing so I ran in to get a blanket. It must not have been too serious because they never evacuated our building. When I came back out a few minutes later one of the firemen rolled a fan on wheels out of the building. I am assuming someone had a cooking mishap and caught something on fire. (At least it wasn't the schmucks...you know....the idiots who let their horn blow for 40 minutes at 4:00 am.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Apartment Living Part 1

So the other morning about 3:45 or so I wake up to a very annoying sound. It is a car horn. Long, continious and irritating. I roll over and ask Mike "What in the heck is that?" He says it is someone's car alarm going off. We lay there for 35 minutes listening to this. At one point I ask him if it is one of his trucks. He says "No, I don't have an alarm on either one of them." By now we are getting very irritated. I cannot believe the schmuck that owns this car is not turning it off. Finally we get up (cause Mike had to get up in 20 minutes anyway and we weren't getting any sleep). It is really bugging me that this horn is still blaring. I suggest that he go out and check things out. He agrees to appease me.......he is gone for 5 minutes or so. The blaring stops. He comes back in and says sheepishly...."It was my truck." UGH! When he got out there, there was a cop standing by his truck and he asks him if it is his. They pop the hood and find the fuse to stop the horn. They both get a chuckle out of it. Mike tells the cop "My wife was in there complaining about the schmuck that wouldn't turn his alarm off-and she even wondered if it was our truck." The cop laughs at him and says "At least you didn't call it in...and then find out it was yours."

I am suprised there wasn't a lynch mob in the parking lot waiting for him. We haven't even seen any damage done to the truck. Go figure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Well we are all moved into our little apartment. We were unpacked the same night we moved in. HAHA! That is just the way I am. I kept thinking I have all week to unpack but I just kept emptying one box after another. Mike worked on our bedroom and closet. My big job was the kitchen. The apartment really isn't too bad. Better than living in a camper for sure. Two big adjustments I had to make was drawer space in the kitchen. I went from 10 drawers in my "house" kitchen to 2 drawers in my apartment kitchen. WHAT??? Only two drawers??? Heck I had 4 junk drawers at the house. Where was I going to put everything? The bathroom was another issue. My bathroom at the house had 4 drawers and a linen cabinet. Here I have no drawers. Just the vanity. Yesterday I had to go buy one of those cabinet things that sit over the toilet. I think that will help alot.

Today I think Olivia and I are going to venture out to the library. See if we can get signed up. I am hoping they have some kids computers there so we can kill some time there and maybe get a few books and computer games.

We are also trying to find a day/twin bed with a trundle under it for the girls room.

Morgan is doing good at home with Adam and Esther. I miss her a bunch though. I can't wait to see her on Friday when I go get her. We are going to celebrate her birthday this weekend and shop for the trundle bed.

Well, time for a shower! Bye for now.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Twas the night before moving....

and I am a glutton for punishment.

Morgan's birthday is next weekend. So, I decide we should have her birthday party this weekend...the last weekend at our home. I say "Have as many friends as you want. Make it a great bash!" DUMMY!!!

We have 9 teeny boppers running around. DANG are they loud! We played Truth or Dare balloon style. We ate pizza, we ate puppy chow, we ate cake, we ate oreos and popcorn and went through five 2 liter bottles of pop! Talk about a sugar high. Plus in the middle of this I am trying to do last minute packing and washing of clothes and bedding. I have to get up in the morning and make french toast for all the girls and get them packed up to leave before the trailer comes at 11:00 to start loading our stuff.

I am really glad to give this party for Morgan but now I need a sleeping pill and my earplugs.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

BIG NEWS...We are moving!

In case you caught the "Tagged" entry and the line about the apartment (good catch Steph) we are moving. No, our house has not sold yet. (SUCKS!) Mike and I decided about a week ago that he needed his own place. Living with his brother is not working out. Mike wanted to get a 2 BR apartment so the girls and I could just move over there with him. I didn't want to leave our house empty or rent to strangers. Mike mentioned it to our youth pastor and his new wife. They said they would love to "rent" our house and finally not be living with other people. They are going to keep our home occupied and clean it for showings. They have even offered to let Morgan stay with them until Semester break in January.

This last weekend I went apartment shopping and found one. A small one. Dang...apartments are tiny and not so cheap. We filled out an application.

I gave my two weeks notice at work today and started the dubious task of sorting out what goes to the apartment, what goes to the storage unit and what stays here at the house.

Mike is relieved that he won't have to live with Greg anymore, Olivia is excited to move and be with daddy, Morgan is stressed about changing schools and I...well...I am still a little numb cause this is all happening so fast.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Help Bring Sweet Owen Home

Rebecca and her family are so close to bringing sweet little Owen home! They still need to come up with some major funds though for their trip. Here is your chance to hop over to her site and enter into a drawing and win great stuff while helping them to collect some big bucks for their trip! Use the box to the right to get there.


I have been tagged by my good friend Lee-Anne from Australia

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules.
2. Share 7 random or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and link to them.
4. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I am a tightwad. My husband used to tease me that I was so tight you could hear my buttcheeks squeak when I walked down the isle of the grocery store. I buy Sunday papers just for the coupons.

2. I love crime shows. CSI, NCIS, Law & Order SVU, Law & Order NY, Bones, Criminal Minds etc. The gorier the better.

3. I HATE haunted houses and horror movies. You wouldn't catch me in or watching either one.

4. I love Spongebob. I think he is a cool little character.

5. I hate having painted nails because I hate nails with chipped paint on them. I don't like taking the time to paint my nails either. Katie will do her nails 3x a week and it seems like such a waste of time to me.

6. I have never lived in an apartment before. At the age of 40 I am about to live in an apartment for the first time in my life.

7. Have had MANY pets. Dogs (can't even list all the breeds), parakeets, cockatiels, hampsters, gerbils, guniea pigs, ferrets, cats, horses, pony, goats. A few other animals that I wouldn't call pets: pigs, chickens, ducks, calves and sheep.

Now, to tag the seven people I am suppose to tag:

Melissa at An Invisible Thread
Julia at Trawick Family Antics
Regina at No Greater Joys
Rhonda at Worth the Wait

That is all I can come up with at the time. Many of the blogs I read are either password protected or they have already been tagged.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

New Motto

This last week I watched an Oprah show. I used to love Oprah. Now I watch her cautiously. I am not too excited about her values and her beliefs. I believe the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. I do not believe this is something I can do myself or even using the power within to get there.

That being said, I do like some of her shows. This last week she had a show on etiquette. At first I thought "boring!" I am nice person with a courteous attitude. Well, I started to realize I have some work to do. A couple of the items that struck me was a convience store clerk being interviewed. She talked about how she gets blamed for things that are not in her control. She also said that people will come into the store talking on their cell phone, conduct their business and never even acknowledge her. I thought ""Oh my goodness-I am sure I do that." Not so much so that the person behind the counter means nothing to me but I am just too wrapped up in my own busyness to acknowledge other people sometimes. So, I am vowing to not use my cell phone and when conducting business with any clerk I will look them in the eye, ask them how they are doing, smile and say "Have a nice day." Hopefully someone who might be having a bad day will come away feeling a little better that I have noticed them.

One other thing that I need to work on is conversations with waitresses/waiters. I am not real comfortable striking up a conversation with strangers but I have realized that a little bit of small talk and kindness will go a long way. I really want to work on being more aware of the people around me and making sure everywhere I go I am leaving some kindness behind.


Well we have decided on a name for our new little guy. He is now known as Sir Chester Kolby Stahley. Affectionately known as Chester. (Kolby was his daddy's name.) He is a little imp. He started out very shy and skittish. That lasted about one day. He now romps, chews pounces and begs for food. He looks much bigger than he really is. Full grown he will be 7-8 pounds. I would guess right now he is a 3-4 pound fluff ball. Miss Annabelle (our Yorkie) is still not too sure about him.
Two days until my dad's wedding. Today Morgan gets to leave school early and go have a manicure date with Grandma Susie. A chance to spend some special time together. Tomorrow night is the rehearsal dinner. I am in charge of the meal. (God help us all!)
Katie is coming home for the wedding. It will be her first trip home since leaving for school two months ago. I know she is more than ready to get away and see us. School is going great but she is having some difficulties with her housemates. She needs her mama to take care of her for a couple days. :) She is bringing a friend home and her friend's one year old. We are pretty excited. It should be a busy weekend.
REMINDER! Today is the last day to go over to Rebecca's blog and sign up for her really cool Raffleaway.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Newest Stahley

Haven't decided on a name yet. He is a 10 week old Maltese. Soft as cotton.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


So, I have decided instead of sitting around and sulking about our house not selling, I am going to go out and do some volunteering (You see driving a school bus, homeschooling a preschooler, driving a middle schooler to her activities and keeping up the house and yard while hubby lives two hours away is not enough).

I have signed up to be a CASA volunteer. If you don't know what that is I am going to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate. I am going to be the voice for a child in the court system. Children who are either removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect or in the court system for the same reason need someone to speak for them on their behalf. I will be assigned a child(ren) and my job is to get to know them, talk to their teachers, foster parents, doctors, therapists, case workers, biological parents and anyone else involved with them or their case. I gather information and spend time getting to know the child(ren) then I go to court and give my opinion on how their situation should be handled and also tell the judge what the child wants.

I am on my second week of a nine week training session. I am amazed at what kind of power the CASA's have. We can ask for ANY documentation that has to do with the case and medical or psychological records etc. The judge looks to the CASA just as much as they do the caseworker. If I don't agree with the caseworker I can actually take a stand against them because my job is to express what the best interest is of the child(ren).

Mike and I were foster parents a few years back. I would love to do that again, but Mike is not going for it. We had some pretty wild situations that came our way and he is not interested in getting involved it that again. (He knows his wife has a really hard time saying "no" and would take any child that needed a home.) I figured this was my way of being involved and helping out children that are in need without dragging my family into the middle of it. Hopefully I can keep it together and not get to emotionally involved......

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Raffleway-CHECK IT OUT!!!

Some friends of ours are getting ready to go to China to adopt a beautiful little boy. They are trying to come up with the funds for their upcoming trip.

Rebecca is having a raffleway for a beautiful jewelry set that is made by Lana and very talented young lady who was adopted at the age of 12 from China. You need to head on over to Rebecca's blog and check out this set and get your name in on the drawing. I personally believe this is a cute set for an adult or a younger girl. I had to get Morgan's name in on it.

No matter what, I would love for any of you who can to chip in and help Rebecca and her family bring little Owen home so he can know the love of a family!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Flowergirl

My dad is getting married on October 11th. Olivia is going to be a flowergirl. Here is the dress we picked out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Little Ballerina

Olivia started Pre-Ballet classes last night. She was so very excited. She can't wait until next week to go back.
* Note her ballet shoes were too small so we should be getting her new pair this week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The end of summer.....

Well today marks the end of summer. We closed the pool today. I hate closing the pool. For that matter I hate opening the pool, I hate cleaning the pool, I hate spending money on the pool...do ya get the picture. I remember last year when we closed the pool we said "Yeah! The last time we will ever have to close the pool." Little did we know that we would still be here and would have to once again do all the above to the pool including another closing. I won't say it again....for fear of a jinxing and another round of pool care next summer.

We did get an offer Friday on our house. It was a sucky offer though. Mike wanted to throw it away and not even respond he was so insulted. Luckily he was two hours away so yesterday I talked to our Realtor and we made a counter offer but we are soooo far apart I really don't see anything happening. They offered us less than what we paid for the place 6 years ago. In that six years we have added a two car garage, a pole barn, finished the basement (with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry room and rec room-pretty much doubling our living space). It was just ridiculous. It is such a frustrating process.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A family needs our prayers

There is a family in China right now to get their little girl. When it was time to pick her up they found out she was in the hospital and may be dying. They are desperately trying to get things on the fast track so they can get her home to the US and better medical care. They are also praying for a miracle so she improves enough to make the trip home. Please pray for this family!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm Baaaaack!

Well, back in July I did try to post a "I am taking a hiatus message" but it evidently didn't go through. I decided that I just needed to take a break for a while. I had been going through a depression and just needed to take some time to get myself back together.

So, to do some back tracking and updating....

The end of July was fair time for us. It wasn't as much fun as usual because we didn't camp out at the fair. We let someone else use our spot. If we are still here next year I will borrow someone's camper because I want a camper to go back to in the evenings!

We didn't have a goat this year but Morgan helped another family out that had three younger kids and they had brought about 20 goats. She got to show more this year than when she had her own goats.

She also was in dog club this year. Annie didn't cooperate so much for the obedience class, but did great in the showmanship class. Morgan got Champion! That was very exciting for her first year.

Last year we couldn't keep Olivia off of the rides. This year she begged and begged and when I finally picked a day to buy tickets she cried and cried and wanted nothing to do with them. I am not sure I understand this child.

Sometime at the end of July I also came to terms so to speak about our house being for sale. The area we live in is considered the RV capital of the world. That translates into "when the economy takes a hit our area takes a major nose dive." There has been company after company that is either laying lots of people off or closing their doors all together. That doesn't do well for the housing market around here. So, I decided we were just gonna have to ride it out. We had pretty much no showings this summer. I came home one day and put all the important school dates on our calendar and decided that when it happens it happens and I am not going to stress about it. It has been a huge relief. I quit shopping for houses and don't clean now unless we get a showing appointment. (We have now how three in the last week). Maybe that is where God wanted me to be all along. Out of control and just letting things be.

We had a long summer this year. Our community is building a new high school so they delayed the start of school three weeks. Three very long weeks. Even Morgan was more than ready to go back.

This year I am homeschooling Olivia for her preschool. We didn't sign her up this last winter for this year because we thought we would be moved. I bought a preschool curriculum and decided to do it myself.

I am still driving a school bus. This year started out as a nightmare though. They had redistricted the school and all 50 drivers got new routes. The first couple of days was complete and utter chaos. I was almost wishing I could quit! Things have seemed to calm down now this second week and we should be on a regular schedule.

This is a picture of Livi and Nolan (my nephew). They are great buddies...mostly because Olivia is about 1 1/2 years older and can boss him around....and he allows it.

Today we are on our third day of rain. I think today we are getting what is left over of Hurricane Ike. We have had about 10 inches of rain. Our lower garage/shop has standing water in it....and we have a showing this afternoon. Great timing. It isn't suppose to quit until tomorrow. The whole community is flooding. UGH. And we live in Indiana!!!

Well, I think I am about caught up now. I will try to be better, but there are no guarantees. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It is that time of year again.

Time for the fair! It seems that our summer revolves around the fair. Normally Morgan takes a few goats to show. This year we did not get any goats because we never knew if we would get an offer on the house and still be here. She is still in goat club though and did her project book. She will also be able to help others show their goats so she is looking forward to that. I am too. There is no pressure this year...trying to get the goat ready, finding buyers for the auction, coming in twice a day to feed and water goats and clean out the pens. BUT we aren't done with showing yet.....she also joined dog club so she will be showing Annie. She has been working on getting her trained for the last 6 months.

We have been actively involved in 4-H for years. I was in 4-H for 8 years showing sheep and working on local projects like foods, sewing and child development. Mike took pigs and his horse to the fair. Mike and I met 24 years ago at the fair so it has special meaning to me. Evan and Katie were very active in 4-H. They both showed sheep and Evan also showed dairy feeder calves. Katie was also in Rabbit Club. Morgan has been our goat girl because once we moved off the farm we didn't have room for sheep.

I will be doing lots of volunteer work all week. Working in booths and checking in goats etc. Yesterday I spent 8 hours helping to check in 4-H projects and they want me to come back a couple more days this week for judging. Morgan helped me for a while yesterday and she kept asking why we were doing it. I told her it is called "volunteering" and you do it to be helpful and not expect anything in return. She wasn't sold on it and only lasted 3 hours before she called Katie to come and get her. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer Flies

I couldn't believe it when I saw it has been almost a month since I posted last.

So far I am totally enjoying just sleeping in every morning. It has been pure heaven. No 6 AM alarm clock just relaxing and snoozing. Which of course means I can stay up until midnight watching The Tonight Show if I want too.

On the house front the people who had an offer on our home pulled out of the first right. I think they are still trying to sell their house, but they want more bargaining power. They had a house inspection done on our house. They want us to put in a new furnace because they think ours is too small. We have lived here for 6 years and have never had any problem with the furnace. We said we would have it inspected, but to replace it I think would be stupid. They also want to trade us lawn mowers and we said no until we know what we are going to be able to buy. We have done several other things the inspection suggested (new water heater, gutters on the garage, new electrical breakers etc.). No showings though for this month. Things are just so slow.

One good thing is that Mike is working only an hour from home so for the next three weeks he gets to come home every night. It has been really nice having him home this week. Even though it is just to shower, eat and spend an hour with us before he goes to bed it is still nice.

We have the pool open and it is now warm enough to swim in. We have had some pretty cool evenings this month so it took longer to get the pool up to decent temps.

Yesterday our little Annie got spayed. Yep, no more puppies from our little girl. She is a little ouchy today but doing quite well. Better than I would be doing. :)

Adam, our youth pastor and "adopted son" got married last week so I am less one kid in my house. He has moved out to live with his lovely wife and they are honeymooning in Tahiti. Ah, the life!

II will try to do better on updates. Later!

Monday, June 02, 2008


Wow! I can't believe it is June already. Only two days of school left. YEAH!

Well, we are now under contract on our house. The buyers will have their home listed today....so now I not only get to pray that my house will sell, I get to pray that the people who want to buy our house can get theirs sold quickly so everything can get moving.

The home we want over in Lowell though disappeard off of the MLS today. I don't know if it sold, expired or they just pulled it off the market. Our Realtor is going to try to find out for us today. That would be a real bummer if it was no longer available.

*Update to the update....the home in Lowell is still available. It had expired but was put right back on. The buyers for our house still do not have theirs listed. It may be the end of the week. I am frustrated.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day and beginning of summer to all (except my buddy in Austrailia-LOL!)

It has been a fairly eventful weekend here. First of all, Mike got a three day weekend as opposed to his normal one day weekend. It has been really nice spending the extra time with him.

Second of all we sold our camper. Yeah! I listed it on Craigslist about 2 1/2 weeks ago and a family from Ohio came and got it on Saturday. Mike was shocked. He kept telling me that we weren't going to be able to sell it. To many available and with the high gas prices no one would be buying them. Well, we did and got what we wanted for it too!

Third, my dad has announced his engagement. This was a shocker. He and my mom have been divorced for about 13 years now. He has dated a few women in the last ten years or so, but was in no hurry to settle down. Well, his current girlfriend has been his girlfriend for about THREE months. My kids and husband got to meet her for the first time today and I just met her a week ago! They are planning a fall wedding. It is all very sweet....including Susie.

Fourth, we got an offer on our house. I did not list this one first because it is not a great offer. They low balled us and asked for a bunch of stuff including my living room couch. PLUS they have to sell their house first. Mike wanted to just throw the offer in the trash, but we did counter it today. I am not expecting too much to come of it because we are so far apart and there is no way we would come anywhere close to where they started.

Fifth, I bought a new vehicle. Out with the 2000 Montana mini-van and in with the 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe. This is one sweet drive. I was planning on getting an SE which is the middle of the road with a third row seat and a DVD player. They instead offered me a demo which was the Limited with all the bells and whistles....heated leather seats, powered moon roof, GPS, XM radio, 6 CD player, DVD player, heated mirrors, dual climate control temps, hyperlink mirror and towing package. OMG the list goes on and on. I would never have bought one with all this stuff, but they offered it to me at about $2,000 more than the SE I wanted. Mine is in slate blue with a gray interior. I have not owned a new vehicle since 1988 and that was a little Ford Escort hatchback.