Monday, December 22, 2008

The weather outside is frightful...

For Oregonians, this winter storm is kind of scary. Local news stations have been reporting mostly weather for the past 9 days. Here's an unusual headline:

Portland snowfall breaking 40-year record
KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino said the metro area hadn't accumulated this much snow in the month of December since 1968. As of Monday morning, 14 inches had accumulated in Portland, a record for this month. The all-time record in December is 18 inches.

They are ever inching closer to breaking the all-time record. Here in the valley things have been a little more mild, but the lack of a local Salem forecasting team definitely keeps us in the dark at times. The many micro-climates of Oregon make it very difficult to give an accurate forecast, according to a KATU meteorologist. Personally, I'm getting rather tired of waking up to more snow and more ice. We had a 10ft+ branch fall on our patio fence. It didn't do any damage, but it was covered in ice, and I about froze my hands trying to get it chopped up and off of the sidewalk. I'm really tempted to check prices on chainsaws. :) Our power went out twice last night, and we suspect it burned out the filter in the fish tank along with with our router. Rather frustrating!

I've been scouring the web for a few great photos of what's really happening out here. Steve and I are desperately praying and hoping that our Saturday flight to Wisconsin won't be canceled, as the Portland airport has been canceling hundreds of flights every day. Hoping you stay warm and safe, and have a beautiful Christmas!!

Snowy beach by Melissa Eddy (

A MAX train in Downtown Portland

Many freeways & highways have been closed, including I-5 - a main highway through Oregon.

There are some links to road cameras in Salem on this webpage.

Friday, November 28, 2008

This website is great for editing your photos without the cost (for basic level) and space consumption of a regular photo-shop.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Holiday Plans, Prayer Update, Recent Happenings

Steve and I went for a short bike ride today. As we were crossing Willamette University's courtyard, I heard someone practicing the Nutcracker Suite on a flute. Thanksgiving is almost here and the chaos of Christmas shopping has begun. I'm really glad my side of the family decided not to do tangible gifts, but rather enjoy the present of presence while we're all together for the first time since our wedding. I can't wait to see my mom and dad, my sisters, my brothers, and my nephew who is growing up too fast entirely!

I'm very excited that my friend Ricci Brinkmann will be flying all the way from Germany to help out at camp and share Christmas with my family, including Rachal Siler - who is practically my sister. I'm really excited to see the rest of the Siler family in Westby and to see some old friends at camp while they are counselors for Winterama! We found out that Ray and Kelly will also be in the area at the same time we are! Good to know we'll have some Oregonians out there to make us feel at home! :)

Yesterday (Friday), Steve and I made our final 2008 trip to Portland to see my doctor. She said everything is looking pretty good. I have a phone appointment with her on January 6th to set up the radioactive iodine procedure. It's an outpatient procedure with some special precautions. I basically have to stay away from people for 4 days, but then the radioactivity will start to decrease pretty rapidly. It is assumed that I will be diagnosed hypothyroid 2-3 months after the procedure. God is really opening up doors through both my doctors and my chiropractor. My chiropractor said he has some connections and will ask a doctor specialist he knows if she has any suggestions regarding organic thyroid hormone replacements. I would love to go the organic route if possible, since our bodies are organic to begin with. However, we'll opt for whatever is safest and healthiest in the long run. Thank you so much for your prayers! They have given me such peace and calmness throughout this whole experience.

After the appointment, we were able to hang out with Ray, Kel, and Hadley, which was a lot of fun. They have a beautiful home, and they are an awesome family! I love watching little kids when they are exploring the world around them. They're so resourceful and ingenious! It's pretty entertaining, especially when Ray put the spaghetti server in the back of Hadley's pants and Hadley spun in circles, like a dog chases its tail, trying to get his toy back. So cute! If you guys read this, thanks for the visit! It was great seeing you.

Strange Oregon Fact: There are bushes that bloom in the Fall! There is a bush outside Steve's parents house with pink flowers, and we saw a bush with white flowers and a random red hollyhock at Bush Park. How weird is that?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

House Becoming Home

Finally starting to feel at home in our little corner of Salem. I have an incredible family! Steve and his dad made a mantle for above our fireplace in about 30 minutes, and Steve finished sanding, painting, and mounting it last night. Awesome!

We also made a trip to Ikea, which Steve now loves and can't wait to go back to when we have more fun money and a bigger vehicle! Yay! He picked out a cool pitcher, plate racks, and a picture, and I found the closet organizer I'd been looking for. So happy!

Pics soon...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Fun!

We dressed up, but no trick-or-treaters knocked on our door! What's with that??

I was a fallen angel (good, but clumsy).

Steve was the Dread Pirate Roberts (Princess Bride).


I bit the bullet. Yesterday, I stood at the front of the church and my father-in-law announced that I wanted to be baptized and become a member of the church. It's been a long hard struggle for me. It is not the same denomination(s) I have grown up with, and there are a few small things I disagree with, but not so much as to cause any hard feelings in my heart. I gave a short summary of my testimony, and shared how the Lord had lead me to this decision.

I had many Saturday and Sunday nights where I would pour my heart out to God with many tears, feeling angry, sad, confused, and lost. Part of me wanted somewhere to belong and a place to fellowship with other believers, and people to share my gifts and talents with. Another part of me wanted to condemn the practice of a closed table, requirement of membership to serve, and the prohibition of alcohol and taking communion with other churches, but I love my husband very much and these feelings made a large riff between us spiritually. It's not that Steve pushed me away or refused to accept me as I was, but that I didn't feel as though we had ever experienced true spiritual oneness. We were separated in our worship anywhere. As a member, Steve wasn't allowed to participate in the Lord's supper at my church, and as a non-member, I wasn't allowed to take part at his church. I was surprised how much that affected me after we were married. I knew something was wrong, but I didn't immediately know it was me.

After experiencing the first breaking of bread as an outsider, I got up as soon as it was over and left as quickly as I could, fuming. I barely talked to Steve the whole drive to his parents. I practically kicked him out of the car and left him there, while I drove to a park and cried for a long time. I called Steve once I didn't feel like I was going to explode into flames. I didn't want him to worry about me, and I wanted him to know that I love him and that I was working on saying "I'm sorry". We talked for a long time. I was angry at God for bringing me here under these circumstances. I was angry at Steve for being Baptist. I was angry at myself for having these thoughts and feelings and not wanting give up my convictions. For weeks I prayed for God's will in my life and my marriage. I then knew, beyond a doubt, that I was supposed to be baptized and join the church. However, my flesh was still prideful and I put it off for another month or two. I was scared to admit my disobedience (not being baptized when I was younger and knew what the Word said) and show my need for a church family. God prompted Steve to talk with me a few times, his patience and gentleness breaking through my anger and selfishness. God led my mother-in-law to have a casual conversation with me and I became comfortable enough to tell her what I felt God wanted me to do. She talked to Robert, and then we all had a conversation in their living room.

This all worked together to get me to the front of the church... I was shaking with nervousness, but trying to be brave and say what I needed to. The night before, God laid this passage on my heart, and it is what ultimately gave me courage to do what I had to:

Lamentations 3:19-33, 38-40 NIV

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.

20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.

21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;

26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence,
for the LORD has laid it on him.

29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.

30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.

31 For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever.

32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.

33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men.

38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that both calamities and good things come?

39 Why should any living man complain
when punished for his sins?

40 Let us examine our ways and test them,
and let us return to the LORD.

I had complained to God that I didn't deserve the death of my sister, moving so far from my family and friends, or having to sacrifice my prideful opinions of my former churches and pastors, self-righteousness, and distaste of denominations. God basically replied, "You don't deserve what I have blessed you with: a beautiful home, wonderful friends, loving in-laws, a compassionate and caring church family, and a ripe mission field for which I have prepared you for all of your life having given you talents and wisdom. What do you have to say?"

I can say nothing, but that God is perfect in all ways and all things, and I am to be nothing, but his humble servant whom he will exalt in due time. I am thankful to learn this in my younger years, gaining wisdom and skills I can pass on to my children and others as the Lord uses me.
I'm so immeasurably blessed with reasons to be joyful in all circumstances. Praise God!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Crazy October

Hey guys,

It's been an unusual and somewhat sad October this year. Our friends have had some hard things, including a broken ankle and a rear-ended car. I found out a week or so ago that I have hyperthyroidism, more specifically Graves' disease (an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the cells of the thyroid gland causing hyperthyroidism. - eHealthMD). The great news is that it can be cured! - Kind of. The trade off is that I'll have hypothyroidism - too slow (more below). We've been doing a lot of praying concerning what treatment I should use.
Hyperthyroidism means that the gland in my throat has swollen and sped up and is producing too many thyroid hormones, which causes the symptoms I have had, such as a rapid heartbeat, feeling overly warm, weak or sore muscles, restlessness, and an inability to concentrate.

There are basically two cures: radioactive iodine or surgery. We feel that, while the radioactive iodine is just as serious as surgery and sounds scary, it is less invasive and the healing time will probably be less, and no scars!

The specialist we went to in Portland last week was nothing short of a miracle - sweet, empathetic, and a good listener. She said it's better to take care of it right away, especially before we want to have kids, but that I will most likely have hypothyroidism as a result and will need hormone replacement pills - a scenario that is very common.

Steve and I have been praying about our future plans and would love to have kids in two years or so, Lord willing. When she was talking to me about hyperthyroidism and pregnancy, I started crying, despite my efforts to be strong and hold back the tears. The doctor handed me a tissue box and said, "Oh! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to scare you!" Then she avoided looking me in the eye, and tried to look at the floor, her computer screen, or Steve. Afterward, Steve said that it looked like she was about to start crying when I did, and she was probably doing her best to hide it.

On the bright side, hypothyroidism will not necessarily affect a pregnancy as long as it is treated adequately, and it won't significantly change our lives, besides taking a pill in the morning. Hyperthyroidism poses a severe risk to both mother and baby, and needs very close monitoring - pregnant or not. So, there really is a bright side for us in this scary situation. I didn't realize it, but God has been guiding and protecting us all along. There were things I had wanted to do (Lois' wedding, Find a job), but didn't feel a peace about, so I regretfully told Lo we couldn't make it and the job just hasn't shown up. Now I understand that the Lord was working all things together so we could discover this early, and avoid any serious problems. Praise God!

While sad that I had to give up a few things, I'm really excited that God opened doors for us to fly to Wisconsin for Christmas. I've been in great need of my family's hugs and smiles. I miss them so much, but God has given me so much to be thankful for out here, and he protects and blesses my family in my absence. I really have a beautiful wife, and I wouldn't change a thing. I already know that I learn most things the hard way, but I'm discovering that there are treasures to gain by trusting the Lord and living in faith through these hardships, one day at a time.

Maltbie D. Babcock

This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world.
O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father's world;
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's a mad-mad-world! Play Mad Libs!

Car Trip Travails

Based on many hairy past experiences, this family should never take car uncles - certainly not together. The last time the seven of us were all in one cousin, there were three hill-billy arguments, a/an purple fistfight, and a couple of bloody nostrils - and that was just on the drive to the local super-chest. Recently, we were on our way to Grandma and Grandpa's step-dog, which is at least a/an 546-hour drive away. Dad was pulling out of the driveway when my brother Steve and sister Kari started to argue about who would read the Mad couches and who would fill in the clumsy blanks. Dad brought the car to a/an squishy stop. He was so angry, smoke seemed to be coming out of his thighs. "One more elephant out of any of you and this holly tree is over," he snapped. "Now, any questions?" Our kid brother timidly raised his elevator and asked, "Are we there yet?"

Monday, October 6, 2008

I Suck @ FANTASY Football!!

Wow! If I really managed a team, it would not be good. It would be so sad, it wouldn't even be funny! My record is 1-3. The only reason my nose is above water is thanks to Reggie Bush and Ronnie Brown. Ahh! Doesn't help that my internet keeps crashing for hours on end, if not days.

This makes me happy:

This is also very cool:


Are you sick of the political ads on T.V. yet? I'm getting there! However, I did watch the tail end of David Cameron's speech on C-Span. He is the leader of the British Conservative Party and he gave an address at the Annual Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, England.

If you would like, you can watch the entire speech on C-Span.

He is a very quotable speaker and quite effortlessly funny, in my opinion. I like him and what he has to say, once I stop laughing.

Here is a shorter clip of him speaking on the economy, from his own web blog:

At one point in the video, he comments on America's response to the economic crisis, and this is my summary:
After watching the American politicians fight each other and fail to make any progress, we must not do that. We will say exactly what they did, but we will make every effort to pass whatever legislation they send our way the first time, strategic or stupid.
"Some bankers have been greedy and stupid." - David Cameron

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just keep trusting... trusting... trusting...

It's been a rough month for Steve and I. September is the anniversary of my sister's death along with her birthday, and we received news today that Steve's uncle, Tim Williams, passed away after a long struggle with a brain tumor that was only recently discovered. He had an operation a few weeks ago, went into a coma, came out of a coma, then passed away. None of us expected it. If anything, we thought he was doing better. In light of these events, we need a lot of prayer, yet we have a lot to praise the Lord for. One of our friends was married last night!. It was a beautiful wedding, and we enjoyed being reminded of how happy and excited we were that day and especially now to be married to each other! It's so awesome! Going through these trials, we gain a deeper sense of God's wisdom when he created marriage, how he created us to be comforters and encouragers of one another. I'm reminded of this song:

I Just Keep Trusting My Lord

I just keep trusting my Lord as I walk a long
I just keep trusting my Lord and He gives a song
Though the storm clouds darken the sky o'er the heav'nly trail
I just keep trusting my Lord, He will never fail
He's a faithful friend, such a faithful friend
I can count on Him to the very end
Though the storm clouds darken the sky o'er the heav'nly trail
I just keep trusting my Lord, He will never fail

I just keep trusting my Lord on the narrow way
I just keep trusting my Lord as He leads each day
Though the road is weary at times and I'm sad and blue
I just keep trusting my Lord, He will see me through
He's a faithful guide, such a faithful guide
He is always there walking by my side
Though the road is weary at times and I'm sad and blue
I just keep trusting my Lord, He will see me through

Written by John W. Peterson

We went on a hike the other day to the North Falls of Silver Creek State Park. I didn't take this picture, but I borrowed it to share with you what a gorgeous area we live in! Please come visit! We would love to have you, and be your free tour guides!

We also bought tickets to fly to Wisconsin (back home for me) for Christmas!! I feel as if December is just around the corner, anxiously checking off each day on the calendar! Who cares about Santa? I'm psyched to see my family! I now understand why Steve is so excited for snow. I can't wait to go sledding. The winter rains haven't even started, and I'm ready for snow. Most likely because I don't have to live in it for months. :) I'm enjoying the autumn weather that has fallen on the valley. The leaves are already changing, the wind is cold and crisp, and I feel like I can smell pumpkin pie and apple cider every morning! Yay! I love fall!

I'll attempt to post some of my favorite holiday season recipes in the next couple of posts.

Love you all!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nervous Yet Excited

Tomorrow I'm going to this, and I hope Steve is coming with me for some morale support!

Oregon state government is proud to present its first annual career fair to be held in September. The event will take place on Saturday, September 13, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the lawn of the Capitol Mall in Salem, Oregon.


The purpose of this event is to invite job seekers to consider what employment opportunities state agencies have to offer, and to encourage existing state workers to explore new job possibilities within state government. Agency representatives will describe to jobseekers the advantages of working in state government, and the satisfaction of following a career in public service.

With a third of state workers eligible to retire within the next five years, Oregon state government needs new people to step into the jobs retirees will leave behind. This exciting career fair will enable Oregonians to meet state recruiters face-to-face, and find out about the great opportunities that await them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Guest Room

Steve is on board with decorating the guest room/office!! Yay! So, my idea for the room is to go with a 1920's era of African safari/English occupation. The image below is a tiny picture of my the big dreams in my head... It's a "tent" in Kenya, Maasai Mara - Cottar's 1920's Luxury Safari Camp.

I love the muslin canopy and the dark woods. I'm still getting used to the animal prints. Any ideas for furniture or just little touches? I want to have some wooden savannah and jungle animals and possibly a vintage typewriter. :)

Textiles and fabrics to use: muslin, cotton, raffia, mudcloth, brocade, batik, bamboo, rattan,
Resources of Africa: cocoa, coffee, corn, cotton, diamonds, fish, gold, paper products, platinum, rubber, sugarcane, tea, wheat, zinc....

Right now Africa imports mechanical/industrial things to build its infrastructure. There is a large informal market (usually considered Black Market) that isn't factored into the GDP. Africa is such a beautiful place! I pray we can all help its people learn about God and improve their quality of life. Thank you, Lord, for letting me live in such blessed country as America.

Great Kitchen!!

Today I was browsing a new blog I heard about on

I found this picture of this absolutely adorable little kitchen I love! It is functional, yet calming and cute! Everything is in arm's reach! Well, I may need to grab Steve for the stuff on the top shelves. :) Check it out >>

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Our New Entrepreneurial Spirit

I had a bit of an attitude in the last post, if you didn't notice. I'm feeling a lot better now. Steve and I have started an online bookstore - sort of. We're still building up our inventory and finances are a little mixed with our personal finances, but we've been making a nice number of sales in our first week. It has kept me very busy, running over to the parents to print packing slips (we don't own a printer), packing the books and taping on addresses, etc. while Jack, their dog, licks my feet, pants, or whatever else he can get his tongue on. He's very attention hungry with no cause to be so. Then I rush to the post office around 4:30pm to get there before it closes, carrying more than I can handle sometimes. Then I rush back home to check our orders to see if we sold anything else that can go out the next day!

Right now, I'm wondering how this is all going to work once I have a day job. I'll try to post some more updates as to what has been happening around here lately and what will be happening in the upcoming months! At this time, I'm rushing to get out the door on my first solo venture to the bank. This, hopefully, will not be interesting. :) Hope you're having a great day! Leave us a comment or two if you have time!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I officially feel like a metropolitan West-coaster. Last night, while I was pulling out of the Safeway parking lot near our house, a biker hit the rear driver-side door of my car. After he screamed a profanity at me, he took off without even talking to me at all. I had pulled over to walk back across the street to make sure he was ok and find out what happened, but he rode away like a bat out of hell, no thought to if I was ok or anything. So, I am having a "biker hater" phase. ::WARNING:: Soapbox ahead:

Being on the road is not a right, it's a privilege. You need to earn it. So, all the people who yell at the bikers to get the #$%# off the road need to shut their mouths, and be more cautious and caring towards bikers. We don't want anyone to get hurt. Bikers who have big egos and shoot off their mouths, defining anyone who drives a car as "evil", need to shut up, slow down, and be courteous to cars, pedestrians, skaters, and anyone else who is using a sidewalk or road. If you're booking it down a sidewalk and someone is pulling out of their driveway, odds are they can't see you. They're not doing it on purpose. So, slow down or stop, and WAIT for them. A few seconds or even a minute won't kill you, unless you choose to be an impatient jerk. No matter who you are or what you do, you aren't more important than anyone else on the road, and you don't have a right to get up in someone's face and accuse them of "running you down", accident or not. Stop being so self-obsessed and show a little love and compassion. Seriously, grow up...

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Day @ The Beach

The past weekend has been a lot of fun for us. I had been planning a surprise date for Steve for the last three weeks. I decided to surprise him on Friday. I decorated the living room as a forest with our tent in the middle. It was so much fun!

He was completely shocked and excited when he finally saw it. It took me from 10am to 5pm to finish the decorating.

Then we went to a movie with some friends of ours. Steve hadn't been home all day. After the movie, we came home and roasted marshmallows over the stove for smores.

I thought Steve really liked smores so I bought all of the ingredients. After only one, he told me he wasn't too fond of them, which we laughed over a lot after I told him I didn't like them either!

Steve and I spent all of Saturday in Newport, Oregon. I had been there once before, but the Oregon Coast Aquarium had been closed by the time we got there. This time one of Steve's co-workers gave us free tickets to the aquarium, and it turned out to be a gorgeous day, despite the storm clouds that were hovering over the H.B. Van Duzer corridor we always drive through to get to the coast.

We had a lot of fun watching the birds, seals, sea lions, and otters play around in the water.

This Puffin was being quite the show off. I'm sure the lady puffins were just as impressed with his breeding plumage as the crowd was. :)

There was an exhibit called "Odd Water". The animals, most of which we had seen before, were such an amazing illustration of God's creativity and wisdom. I was so impressed.

I love the way the sea horse's little wings flutter so quickly!! They're so cute!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Correction to "No More School" Post

I thought I was almost done with school, but it turns out it doesn't end until August 14th. So, yes, I'm still slaving away at the homework. I think I only have one or two assignments left. Woo hoo! Thank you to those who have been praying for me! You're awesome! It has helped so much!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Crazy Day - As Usual

I've been meeting some of our Hispanic population in Oregon. I went blackberry picking by our church. There is a house with a fenced backyard next to the church parking lot, and the berries are pouring over the fence. So, I decided I would pick some of them.

Little did I know there was a giant dog on the other side and his tiny sidekick dog too. The big dog jumped on top of his dog house and was barking ferociously at me. He only had to jump about 3-4 feet to clear that fence, and I was starting to get a little nervous.

However, I really wanted those blackberries! :) So, I walked away toward the car and the dogs started barking a "nice" bark. Then the big one jumped off the dog house and ambled toward the house. I crept back to the bushes and started picking again. Well, they heard me a minute or two later and started barking and growling again. So, I decided to give up.

I was almost to the car when a skinny teenage Mexican boy came around the corner of the church. He kind of startled me, but I said, "Oh, hi!" He said hi then realized, "Ohh, you're picking the berries.... I was wondering who the heck was out there or what was going on..." I nodded and he continued, "I'm a neighbor. I live next door." I said, "Oh, do you mind if I pick those blackberries?" He didn't care. He told me his name is Luzaro, and also asked if I had a boyfriend, which I laughed at, then remembered I wasn't wearing my wedding ring because I sent it to the jeweler's to be sized! I had already told him I was 23, so it was still pretty funny.

We kept talking and I told him that my father-in-law is the pastor of the church. He asked what kind of church it is, Christian or Catholic. I told him it was Christian, and he said he went to the Catholic church a mile or so away. I know which one he's talking about because we drive past there on our way home from church, and they have potluck every Sunday.... Yum!!! I have to wait for lunch until we get home!! *stomach growling* He lives with his parents Maurialo (?) and Maria. He has an older brother who graduated from the same school as Steve, only one or two years later.

I also found out that huge dog is named "Chico" meaning boy. He should be called "Chico grande que quiere comerme" - Big boy who wants to eat me. Yikes! At least I have his name, so I can make a futile attempt to yell him into submission the next time we have an encounter. :P I do have a lovely bunch of blackberries for my trouble. So, I'm happy. I'm hoping Steve and I can see him again so we can hang out - with Luzaro, not the dog!! He seemed like a sweet kid.

Monday, July 28, 2008

No More School

Almost done with School! Woo hoo! Last day is Thurday. I'm so excited.
On Tuesday, August 12th, Steve and I are going to the Portland Zoo with Jon & Kari & the kids. I've never been there yet so I'm excited to go and to bring the camera. Anyone else want to come??

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer is Passing Too Fast!

When people ask me what I'm doing this summer, I feel at a loss for words. Basically what I've done this summer is homework, clean the house, cook, go to church, and wish for a vacation. :) So, I'm praying we get a break from this crazy pace of life SOON!! My summer semester will end on Monday, July 28th. I can't wait! Done or not, I'm not looking at another piece of homework for the rest of that week. Then school starts again for the fall. Ahh! I am very ready to be finished with my education. I've learned enough in the classroom, and I'm ready for a real job! Hope you're all doing well! Please comment and let me know how your summer has been!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Here are a few unedited pics of our wedding! Yay! :)

If the above album doesn't work, click the following link to be taken to the website:

Fare ye well Ankeny Wildlife Refuge

Steve and I wanted to go hiking so we bought a book our friend Nate recommended.

"100 Hikes in Central Oregon Cascades" by William L. Sullivan

Steve decided we should go to the closest place that we had never been to before. *drumroll* ANKENY WILDLIFE REFUGE!! was the winner. I agreed since I hadn't read much about it other than that it had a really cool looking boardwalk.

What I didn't read was this line in the Fish & Wildlife Service website, "Ankeny NWR also provides habitat for a wide variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians." Emphasis my own. Yeah... reptiles... meaning snakes! Everywhere!! Granted they were only common garter snakes, but that was enough to send me over the edge screaming, crying, and making Steve carry me the last .5 mile to the gravel trail. I walk the last .12 miles to the car. :) That day, Steve learned what I really meant when I said I was "scared" of snakes.

Monday came and Steve told the women at his work about our adventure. Thankfully, I had a lot of sympathizers. Someone told Steve that the local newspaper had just written an article about the unusual amount of snakes in the Ankeny Wildlife Refuge. Why didn't they tell us on Friday instead of Sunday?!? I looked for the article, but couldn't find it. I guess we have red-striped and yellow-striped garter snakes. They would be pretty if I didn't have a deathly fear of even looking at snakes. So, I'm going to scratch Ankeny Wildlife Refuge off of my list as "Been there. Done that." with no desire to ever go back. :) I'll try to post a video and some pictures of the frogs we saw.