Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An Oregon Winter

There comes a small sadness when taking down the Christmas decor. Part of me wishes we could have a tree in our house all year long. I love the smell of the fresh pine and the cheery glow of the lights. However, I definitely won't miss having to squeeze between the tree and the kitchen doorway. There is also a beautiful chest freezer waiting to occupy the tree's imminent vacancy. That's pretty exciting!

While we've been missing the Wisconsin snow this winter, we've had the opportunity and blessing to enjoy God's creation in moderate, though icy (fun) weather. We decided on a whim last Saturday to drive out into the hills east of the valley to see what December had brought to Silver Falls State Park, one of our favorite easy hiking spots. We stopped at the Silverton Reservoir on the way since we had never checked that out before. I think we found the perfect place to kayak! As we gained elevation, we saw heavy frost and then snow for the first time! There are very few things as beautiful as a winter waterfall. Though it's not as comfortable as a West Coast summer, the winter has beauty to rival the sunniest summer days. See for yourself:

Silverton Reservoir

Leaning Tree - Silverton Reservoir

Upper North Falls - Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Upper North Falls B/W, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Silver Creek - Silver Creek State Park, Oregon

Happy New Year, Everybody!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 2009

As usual, it's been awhile. Steve and I have been getting our house and hearts ready for Christmas, and have our family and friends at the forefront of our minds during this holiday season. There have been a few unique challenges posed to us this year by the limitations of distance, finances, and patience. God has used these trials as a time to impress upon us once again the importance of praying together as a couple, quickly forgiving offenses, and living constantly in His grace, moment by moment.

Steve and I aren't able to make it back to Wisconsin to spend time with my family this Christmas, so we've chosen to focus on what we have and what we're thankful for rather than what we cannot have.

These are a few things God has blessed us with:

A warm, safe home on these cold, wet winter nights.

Delicious, healthy food and comfortable clothing during a poor economy.

A beautiful, free Christmas tree adorned by many memories and colorful lights.

Family that loves us and makes time for us, whether in person, online, or phone.

Friends who send us their greetings and blessings in fun cards and messages.

A gorgeous, little niece who is celebrating her first Christmas & growing so fast!

A sweet nephew who is becoming an amazing boy who can read and create cool things!

Steve's reliable job and the mercy God gives him each morning to endure another day.

The money and time to get away from the chaos for a weekend - can't wait!!

God's only Son, Jesus Christ, who gives us the freedom and joy of eternal life NOW through his birth, perfect life, selfless death for our sins, and His glorious ressurection! Praise God!

We hope you all have an incredible time celebrating Christ & all the things that are close to your heart, whatever date your Christmas may fall upon.

Hunt for the perfect Christmas tree:

Steve found the perfect tree. Then he changed his mind.

After running around in the cold, wet weather, we found it!

Steve was freezing by the time we picked it out and found the guy who cut it down for us.

Isaiah 9:2,6,7 (NKJV)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

25 Things To Do Before Turning 26

I hesitated to post this publicly, but I decided it's one way to make me stick to my commitments! I'm tired of wasting time, and I only get to be 25 years old once. I want to get the most out of my time. So, here goes:
  1. Lose 50 lbs! (exercise, eat right, positive thinking)

  2. Eat at least one salad per day - I don't like salad. :P

  3. Shoot, Print, Matte, and Frame one of my own photos.

  4. Spend a healthy weekend at Crater Lake. I was sick when we went to Bend...

  5. Visit Mt. Hood and make a snowball.

  6. Hike 8 miles at Opal Creek.

  7. Say “NO” without regret.

  8. Kiss my niece and make her smile. Praise and hug my nephew for being an amazing kid!

  9. Spend a girls' afternoon with Jules.

  10. Get a job, even part-time or temporary.

  11. Finish my H.R. Degree courses.

  12. Have at least 10 girls' nights out with Kari S.

  13. Regain my self-confidence. (take medicines, exercise, eat right, be the "real" me)

  14. Memorize 10 amazing songs on piano.

  15. Attend a concert.

  16. Sew decorative pillows for my bed. I have everything, I just never finish projects!

  17. Designate a weekly date night with Steve & stick to it.

  18. Pray about and find a place to serve at church.

  19. Seek God - - daily time in the Word & prayer.

  20. Ask for help without feeling guilty.

  21. Only cook full dinners twice a week – small suppers other nights.

  22. Create a budget & be financially accountable - - dedicate to eliminating debt!!

  23. Find JOY on difficult days. No self-pity!

  24. Make an effort once monthly to reach out to siblings who are distant.

  25. Give Steve personal space. Encourage him to achieve goals. Give him something to chase. ;)

Sometimes it's scary to get older, but the truth is what my mom has always said, "Life is what you make it." Every step is a step closer if I make the effort, no matter the length of my stride. Thanks for believing in me, mom. :) So, here's to an amazing year to come and the people who are making the journey with me!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rain... Rain... Go away...

It has been pretty cold here lately, unless you're from the northern Midwest. Then you're probably laughing and scoffing at our inability to withstand not-hot temperatures. I remember my mom saying it had to be at least 60F before we could wear shorts. Now I wonder what in the world I was thinking?!? Brrr! However, due to its rarity in these parts, we would love to see the snow some of you are receiving! Anyone want to trade?

Oct 13

Oct 14
Rain / Wind

Oct 15

Oct 16

Oct 17

Oct 18

Oct 19

Oct 20
Partly Cloudy

Oct 21

Oct 22


Thursday, July 16, 2009

One More Week!!!

week until we leave!!

We are hoping to make some stops along the drive, both on the way there and on the way back. On the way there we're hoping to stop for breakfast in Billings, Montana. Inspired by Phil & Patty's road trip rule to never eat at a chain restaurant, I found this really cute place called Stella's. It's only 10 minutes off our route! The food looks amazing, and it has some pretty good reviews.

Check out that Cinnamon Roll!! Only $2.00!!
Michael Stern is a food critic for RoadFood.com

We're also hoping to stop at Theodore Roosevelt National Park on the way through North Dakota. On the way back, we want to get to the South Dakota Badlands & the Black Hills National Forest (we love no entry fees -- yay) around sunset. Steve loves taking photos of landscapes framed by sunsets.

Right now we're in the middle of the planning/packing frenzy. There are a ton of things we have been needing to take care of around the house, and now that we have a deadline, things are starting to happen! At the counsel of Patty, we traded in our broken Nextar GPS for a Garmin Nuvi 205. We're pretty excited to receive that in the mail soon & have some time to play with it before the trip. As of right now, I'm dreading writing the packing list & grocery shopping. :) It will all be more than worth it in the end! Love you guys!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


days until we leave for Wisconsin/Michigan!!

I've been trying to stay ahead of the game by working out some of the details of our trip now. Our itinerary is finally starting to fall into place. I think what our trip needs most is prayer though! With all of the driving and so little sleep, it's a great chance for Satan to trip us up in our attitudes and actions. If you think of us, please pray we have an uneventful, safe trip to visit family and friends and that we are patient and loving with each other and those we meet along the way. We're so blessed to have the time and money to travel, and we really want to use this time to be good witnesses to our unsaved family and friends, and to encourage others in their relationships with God.

Over the past year we've learned so much! We've both been challenged in our individual lives, as well as in our marriage. These are lessons I'm learning on a daily basis:

Why do we have bad days, weeks, or even years?

James 1:2-5 NASB
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance [NKJV: patience]. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

How should we act in times of difficulty and stress? How can we glorify God?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NASB
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

This is how we can become even brighter lights in this world of darkness, sharing the hope of salvation and the riches of God's love and grace with the lost. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Friday, June 19, 2009


I finally created albums of our photos from the past seven months! Some of the bigger events include:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jules!!

Happy birthday to my big sister! I miss you and hope you have a beautiful, awesome birthday! Live it up!

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Thursday, June 4, 2009


Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis & John Eldredge. That's my new read. I'm loving it, even though I've only gotten through chapter two. The story it tells explains so much of my teenage years and college experiences, good and bad. It tells of how our hearts crave that elusive Romance, which so often we recall as childhood wonder. We seek a purpose for our lives. Adventure and intimacy for our souls.

I was reading chapter two home alone in the midst of a severe thunderstorm while Steve was at work. I love t-storms and I felt absolutely "at home" in the midst of it, though some of the hairs on the back of my neck were a little raised at the mention of a tornado warning, but only because Steve wasn't here with me. I rested in the fact that he was probably in the safest building in the city, apart from the Capitol itself. I was amazed at how many people were panicked by this "small" storm and how busy the phones were. I grew up with storms like these happening every spring, fairly often. The residents of the Willamette Valley stood outside with their umbrellas beckoning the lightning amidst the pouring down rain. Some ran for cover. Some drove recklessly, only caring for their own safety and comfort, possibly fearing the distance between them and their loved ones. Part of me can't blame them.

Once the winds died down a little, I opened the sliding door and the kitchen window to listen to the rain and the thunder, and to see the gorgeous light show. I miss storm-watching a lot. After the storm passed, I opened my front door. Every apartment in our courtyard had the shades pulled back and some even had the windows half open. It made me think about how many of the people who live next to and near us every day fear the world and even fear God, but desperately want to experience the comfort of His peace and the freshness of His grace, but they don't yet know that is what their hearts are thirsting for. In their lives, they are in the midst of the storm without the knowledge of God's provision. He still protects and cares for them in every moment of their lives, but they don't know that or don't feel they can trust Him. There are people here who are seeking! The fields are ripe for harvest!

When the electricity goes out, it really shows the essence of Christ's message that we, as Christians, are the "lights of the world". Steve and I have been building a relationship with our neighbor, and she called me from the bus stop needing a ride because all of the taxis were busy. It just blows me away to see how God orchestrates all of this! I was originally planning to be across town in a bible study with a friend when God's storm literally redirected my path so I could have the opportunity to serve my neighbor and to commune with Him!! Wow!

"In the outer life we live from ought (I ought to do this) rather than desire (I want to do this) and management substitutes for mystery.

There is a spiritual dimension to this [outer life] in our desire to do good, but communion with God is replaced by activity for God. There is little time in this outer world for deep questions."

The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God
Written by Brent Curtis & John Eldredge

I believe natural disasters serve as a leveling agent for all mankind to bring out our "inner lives", our true hearts. We reach past language barriers and cultural boundaries without thought for ourselves. Color and belief suddenly don't matter when the need arises for us to truly live. I believe this is how Christ lived and expects us to live as His followers; from the heart.

How do we learn to capture that fleeting wonder and passionate courage for our every day lives?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sewing Project & Cinnabons

I just finished my first sewing project on my brand new sewing machine. I decided to start with baby yoga pants since I found a really cute pattern, and I repurposed the fabric and elastic from a wrap-around towel I had never used. I will try to post pictures of the pants once I get them uploaded to the computer.

I'm also excited to wake up early tomorrow morning to try out a new recipe for a Cinnabon Clone! Yum! I have no powdered sugar, so I'm going to try blending granulated sugar in the blender. I'm really hoping it works!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Yesterday was a hard day. All through the day I had been saying it was a bad day, but as we crawled into our warm, soft bed in our warm, safe house, we came to the same conclusion. We have an amazing life. Both of us had had a hard day, but as Steve said, "There are a few bad things that happened on a great day." We are so blessed! It's amazing how one difficult situation can overshadow the immensity of good things in our life!

We are praising God this morning because, after being so frustrated with our car not starting and being stranded at multiple locations for that same reason, Steve figured out what was wrong with it! It appears to be a pretty simple fix that only costs $30! Thank you, Lord!

I was also able to spend the morning/afternoon with my neighbor, and build a stronger relationship with her. I'm so psyched to see how the Lord is opening doors for us to be witnesses and disciples in this city. We are both growing so much personally and in our marriage. The past year has been unbelievable, and we are so thankful.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's Officially Spring

It's been "officially" spring for awhile, but spring has actually dawned on the Hornaday house. :) I finally sunk my fingers into a giant bag of moist, black soil. I was enjoying it even more than usual because there were no weird bugs in it, unlike the flower beds with native Oregon bugs... I'm still not used to the bugs, spiders, snakes, and other wildlife out here. Tomorrow I'm hoping my calla lily will be happy to have been in a bigger pot outside for the night.

I always told Steve that I don't own any plants because I kill them. So what does he do? He buys me a Calla lily PLANT for Valentine's Day this year. It has survived under my care so far. I'm not sure if it's thriving or not. It has grown longer leaves and still has blossoms, but it often looks green/yellow around the edges as though it's about to throw up on the carpet. So, I'm hoping now that it will get some fresh air, unfiltered sunshine, and fresh rain it will be a lot greener and happier! We'll see...

I was going to post photos, but the camera battery disappeared. In other words, Steve is doing something with it or simply forgot to put it back. Either way, you're not getting any pictures. Sorry! Hope you're having a great Spring!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What I've Done

Feeling as if I've accomplished nothing over the past year, I decided to write a list of what I have accomplished in one day, beginning now:

  • Watched two children/family movies.
  • Laughed
  • Tried to free write. Felt bound.
  • Unloaded half of the dishwasher.
  • Gave the plant some much-needed sunlight.
  • Made haystacks.
  • Paid student loans.
  • Wrote to same loan company asking why they continually mark one bill as past due.
  • Logged into Pandora.com & tuned into my Regina Spektor station. Wished my life always had a soundtrack in the background.
  • Thought about why I feel the way I do about my life in Oregon. Bittersweet.
  • Freaked out over lack of period -- Day 2.
    *Not unusual since my body is all strung out on hormones & I'm losing my mind slowly*
  • Fed the fish. Realized their light finally fried itself out. Probably an easy fix ~ for Steve.
  • Did some laundry.
  • Cleaned the sink, counter, toilet, and scrubbed the shower really good.
  • My world felt upside down. Showered.
  • Cried out to God, sobbing. Felt peace & assurance that things really will get better.
  • Decided not to wear tight clothes. World is crawling upward.
    *Wore yoga pants & an over-sized Bahamas t-shirt Kris gave me years ago. Cried again*
  • Finally wrote this list, which I feel qualifies as free writing.
Not a complete waste of a day. Even the sun has decided it's a decent enough day to show its face.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Year Ahead!

I have a request... :) Ok, it's a multi-point request, and I'm sure you would like to know what it is before you agree to it.

Here are the preceding events that have lead up to this moment:

I recently found out my doctor is retiring in June. For some reason, all of my medical doctors retire or move within a year of taking me on as a patient. Frustrating!

I am now extremely hypothyroid, but I still have my awesome endo-specialist in Portland. I feel sluggish, unmotivated, and generally depressed every morning, but I'm working hard to excavate the silver lining of each day! :)

I need to find a certified medical doctor with an (at the very least) lukewarm bedside manner.

Since we would like to have a baby in the next two years, give or take a few years, I am looking for a great OBGYN.

In all honesty, I have no idea where to start! As far as pregnancy & raising kids goes, there are so many different roads to choose from. I have no idea what type of mom I want to be yet or even what kind of home Steve & I want to have in two years.

Organic/Locally Grown or Made-in-China?
Convenience or quality?
Stay-at-home mom or work-from-home mom?

When and how did you learn or choose what path to take in your own life?

These endless thoughts leave me with this request:

Do you have advice/experience to share on these topics or any reading materials you can recommend concerning the following?
  • The process of finding a new doctor -- Internal Medicine vs. Other?

  • The process of finding an OBGYN.

  • Midwife vs. Medical Doctor. Pros & Cons? Especially concerning my thyroid.

  • Pre-, During, and Post-Pregnancy & Child training.

Books I've heard mentioned, but am unsure of:
Train Up a Child ~ Michael Pearl
What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Ed. ~ Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
Shepherding a Child's Heart ~ Tedd Tripp

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We hope everyone has an amazing Easter holiday. Thank you, Lord, for your sacrifice on the cross for our sins and your victorious triumph over the grave, by which we have salvation! We love you!

We are especially joyful this Easter because my (Kari) parents are in Oregon to share it with us! Woo hoo! I'm hoping and praying the sun comes out today, since the morning looks kind of gloomy. However, I'm sure the day felt gloomy for the disciples and followers of Christ until the Son appeared. Crazy, huh?? Joy in all circumstances. We're so excited to spend some time with other believers today celebrating Christ & all he means to us. We hope you are able to do so too!

Happy Easter!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Completed: March Hobby - Knitting

After nine years of on-and-off knitting, the scarf I began on New Year's Eve 2000 is finally complete! I learned how to bind & tie off the last row of stitches. Wow! It feels so rewarding! I love crafts that are practical and useful.

--How To Knit: Binding Off--
"Pull what over huh and through where?

My April hobby, beachcombing, is already under way. The coast was a little stormy, which made for some better "rock hounding", as it is called. I thought I could use what I find on the beach in my June hobby, making jewelry, but I'm starting to lean towards buying what I need from a store instead. *sigh* Starting out, I knew this hobby stuff wouldn't be cheap, but I'm learning about myself and I'm learning some new skills. In the end, I believe it will be worth it.

I collected a few agates along with some other pretty rocks from the beach at low-tide. I don't have a rock tumbler, so the polishing has been rough, to say the least. Steve and I tried polishing them with different grades of sandpaper. Supposedly, if you begin with a rough sandpaper and work your way up to the finer grades, it is supposed to bring them to a glossy shine.

I'm seriously doubting that since we spent almost a half hour grinding away at a few stones with very little success! :) I've been looking around Salem and the surrounding communities to see if anyone has a rock tumbler they are willing to share, but I've found nothing.

Anyone have any tips??

Finally, Steve and I went for a walk the other day. All of the trees and bushes are starting to bloom. Steve shot some beautiful photos. I can't wait for my parents to get here in a little over a week! This is one of Steve's favorites from that day:

Hope you're having a wonderful week!

~Steve & Kari~

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Frugal Fun! No kids necessary!

I'm frustrated that all of the search results for frugal fun were about "family", always including kids. We don't have any kids! We won't for awhile... So, after that fruitless search, I decided to make my own list of ideas. Back to the classics!

  • Go for a walk in a city or county park, or on the beach. Watch for days with free music!

    Usually no fees at city or county parks. Check with your city's website or visitors' bureau for upcoming events and park info. A park I grew up near had a weekly event called "Jazz in the Park" on Sunday afternoons. It was free. All you had to do was bring a blanket or lawn chair, sit back, and enjoy! For that matter, you could just sit on the grass. :) Some McMenamin's restaurants in Oregon, especially Edgefield in Troutdale, have free outdoor music on the weekends (Thurs-Sun).

  • Go for a hike in a state or national park.

    Daily fees are usually around $2-$10 per car. If you are avid hikers, consider buying an annual pass. National Parks ($80). Oregon & Washington State Parks ($20 add-on to national parks pass).

    Total: $100 ($8.33 per month) for all-access annual pass.

    For a list of participating parks in Washington & Oregon, click here.

  • Picnic at a park.

    If I were to pack a picnic lunch for two, it would cost under $4.00/person!

    Bread .48 (4 slices/ $1.50 a loaf)
    Lunch meat .64 (4 oz./ $2.50 16 oz.)
    Cheese .60 (4 oz./ $2.50 per lb.)
    Lettuce .50 (1/2 head/ $1 per head)
    Tomatoes .40 (.25 lb/ $1.60 per lb.)
    Apples .58 (1 lb./ .58 cents per lb.)
    Carrot sticks .39 (1 lb peeled & cut at home/ .39 per pound)
    Water .00 (Fill Camelbaks or water bottles with filtered tap water)

    I omitted condiments since I already have them on hand and the cost of the small quantity used would be insignificant.

  • Watch for free or discounted days at places you enjoy.

    Check the calendar of events on their website. Admission is generally cheaper in the winter months.

    Steve & I were able to enjoy the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon for free! The "free admission day" was sponsored by a local credit union.

    We also enjoy $2 Tuesday (April 14, 2009 from 9am-4pm) at the Oregon Zoo in Portland.

    In an event like this, you will want to get there before the place opens so you can find a decent place to park and beat the crowds.

    Another option is to talk about the places you would like to visit with co-workers and friends. Steve works with a guy who has an annual membership to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon and he gave us two free guest passes, which is a perk he received with his membership.

  • Consider buying your own annual or life-time memberships.

    Parks, museums, aquariums, zoos, etc.

    If you have a lot of out-of-town visitors who stay with you, the guest passes will really pay off! It's a great way to support the organization while saving you and your guests money! Consider it a donation rather than an expenditure.

  • Make Friday & Saturday your "Garage Sale Day" in the summer months.

    During the winter and spring months, make lists of items you need for your home or write down things you want, but don't want to pay full price for. Keep an open mind about cleaning or fixing something up. Stick to your list though! No unnecessary clutter!

    A good rule: When something new comes in, something old goes out.

    Steve and I give ourselves a monthly allowance we have deemed "fun money". This money is solely for having fun, whether it is buying new clothes, going out to eat or to a movie, ordering stuff online, or even garage sale hopping! It takes a lot of the stress out of budgeting!

  • Have a movie night in your own living room, with or without friends!

    We recently cancelled our cable t.v. and opted to try Netflix's two-week free trial. I liked it so much, I opted to continue our membership. For $9/month we get unlimited movies to watch online instantly, and we are able to request on DVD through the mail at a time. Your membership includes postage. You can keep the DVD as long as you want, but you cannot receive additional DVD's until you return the one you have.

    It's a pretty simple system and it's less expensive than going to the cheap theater ($3.99/person) once a month because you have the option to watch as many movies as you want!

    The only thing that bothers me is the buffering on the instant movies. However, it's not that much of a problem if you're a person who runs to the bathroom a lot or is easily distracted. I hate it when people talk during a movie or use their phones (texting or calls), but at least I can pause the movie at home!

  • Begin a tradition of cooking together & try new recipes!

    We've discovered we're not the only ones who have a "Pizza Friday" tradition. Steve and I have learned that one of the places we work really well together is in the kitchen! How awesome is that? ;) Depending on our energy levels at the end of the week, we either make homemade pizza or run to the store to grab a Digiorno.

    There's just something great about the feel of homemade dough between your fingers!

    I had started making homemade pizza crust with white, all-purpose flour. But due to my recent urge to have a healthier home, I bought some whole wheat, whole grain flour last month and it has been wonderful! It's so much more satisfying. If a recipe calls for white flour, I use the same amount of flour, but I substitute half of it with the whole wheat flour. So good! I'm addicted to All Recipes, and we like to use the Exquisite Pizza Sauce with the Pizza Dough I recipe. I've really been wanting to use string cheese to create a stuffed-crust pizza, but I am having a hard time justifying using so much cheese in one meal! :)

Well, that's all I have for now, but I hope it's got you thinking! Let us know if there are things you love to do on the cheap as singles or couples, and we would love to try them out! Have a beautiful week!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Summer Projects

I've been wanting to garden since I moved into our townhouse. There are two strips of gardening space on either side of the back patio steps. I have been planning the layout of my little garden and am hoping it will flourish under my care with a lot of work and a little water and sunshine!

Here's my idea:

Side A:
  • Basil ~ We love fresh pesto!
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Green Peppers
  • Grape Tomatoes ~ Especially for Steve
  • Petunias/Nasturtiums
Side B: I may just skip the following veggies & plant wildflowers. :)
  • Pole Beans
  • Cilantro
  • Nasturtiums
We have a lot of slugs out here. I'm wondering if they will play a big role. Do you have any tricks or tips for getting rid of them or for growing the plants I've chosen? The slugs already got their grimy little lips on my flowers planted in a pot on the front porch... However, the flowers are braving through the abuse and are looking pretty good!

Are you planning a garden this year? What plants have you chosen?

If you have any gardening advice, I would love to hear it! This is my first attempt gardening completely on my own! Mom was always there to doctor my plants if they needed it! :)

Miss you, mom!

Too Many Books?

Are you buried in old books you'll never read or tired of forking over your spending money to pay your latest library fine? Check out paperbackswap.com!

If you already know what Paperback Swap (PBS) is, you are probably one of the people that told me about it! For those of you who don't, it's my salvation from library fines! I'm all for sitting and reading at the library, but once those books get past my front door the cost starts to add up! What can I say? I'm forgetful!

I had heard that PBS was really great, but it took me awhile to take the plunge. The idea is to save money, reduce clutter, and reduce waste by recycling your books. If you have extra books lying around the house, you could donate them to Goodwill, but why not get something back instead? Register with PBS and post your unwanted books on their website. Post your first 10 books, and receive 2 free credits. Credits are what you use to request a book from someone else.

The only cost in this program is the shipping & handling. However, you don't pay for the books you request. You only pay s&h if someone else requests a book you posted. It is then your responsibility to let that person know if you can ship it or not. If you can, click yes on the page, package up the book, and drop it off at your local post office. I mailed 3 books today and the shipping cost was only $7. Overall, I am able to get 5 new books for the price of 3! Not a bad deal! Once you have finished reading the book you requested, post it again so someone else can enjoy reading it, and request a new one for yourself! It's that easy!

All the books I posted on PBS were previously posted on Amazon. I had the lowest price listed for the longest time, but I hadn't sold a book in months.

Within hours of posting my first ten books on PBS, three people had requested one. Talk about quick turnaround!

You can find almost any genre! My current favorites are frugal living/simplistic living, gardening, Christian romance, and Christian living. Try it out! Once you get going, you won't regret it!

Happy Reading!

2008 Work Year Reward

Steve's (mine too) 2008 work year reward has arrived!! We're very excited, and can't wait to set it up. It's going to be the center of our new media station. Steve has spent a lot of time building a computer on which to store all of our dvds, music, files, etc. The t.v. will serve as the computer monitor. I'm so proud of him. After working so hard over the last year, I believe we deserve a reward. Thanks to the Lord and our tax return, we were able to pay cash upfront. Movie nights, here we come! This will definitely pay off as we cut down on going to the theater!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Update::: Kari's Non-Commercialism Wish List

I'm making progress on my wish list! Yay!

  • Wish: A Puppy!
    No puppy yet! The reason we can't have a puppy is because we live in an apartment. When we have our own house, we can have one. I suppose we are making progress on this wish since we are chipping away at our debt and working toward owning a house in a few years!

  • Wish: Clean House
    The living room, kitchen, dining room, and downstairs hallway look great! Woo hoo!

  • Wish: More Time to Hike With Steve
    Steve's work schedule is staying just as hectic as before, if not more so. The good news is that the sun is beginning to set later in the evening! That means we'll have more daylight to hit the trails and get in some great hikes! I'm very pumped about that. I also have family visiting in both March AND April. Thank you, Lord!!

  • Wish: Successfully Hike Opal Creek
    As stated above, more sunshine equals more time!

  • Wish: Be a Better Friend to My Oregon Buddies
    I recently started a bible study with one friend, and am trying to get up the energy and motivation to start working out with another! I'm excited!

  • Wish: Experiment With New Meals
    I'm rather sad to say that there really hasn't been much progress here! I made lasagna by myself for the first time! However, my goal was to try more exotic recipes. I'll keep trying!

    **Any recipe suggestions would be great!**

New Hobbies!

I've decided to try something for the next year, starting this month (March). I want to explore new hobbies. There are things I've always been curious about, but have never taken the time to learn. So, my strategy is to give myself one month to explore a new hobby, whether that means reading about it, learning it from someone else, or by my own trial and error. This is my tentative calendar for the next year:
  • March - Knitting
  • April - Beachcombing
  • May - Biking, Hiking, & Camping
  • June - Homemade Jewelry
  • July - Photography
  • August - Carpentry/Painting (already have some projects: painting piano and desk)
  • September - Interior Decorating
  • October - Hospitality
  • November - Stationary/Correspondence
  • December - Homemade Soap
  • January - Crocheting
  • February - Weight Training
Do you have any hobbies or fun ideas to try?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pay It Forward

I am excited to be a recipient of Patty's Pay it Forward post and I'm even more excited to "pay it forward" here!

Here's how it works:

I will be receiving a handmade item from Patty. In the meantime, the first three people to comment on this post that they want to participate, will receive a handmade item from ME. The gift is a surprise and I will do my best to tailor it to you.

If you are interested, post in the comments here. If you are one of the first three people, then go ahead and post your "Pay it Forward" on your blog.

The handmade items do not have to be extensive. Do not feel you need to spend days and days on them. Just do what you can.

Sounds fun, right? =)

Ready. Set. And, go!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kari's Non-Commercialism Wishlist

  1. Yellow Labrador puppy

  2. Have a clean house

  3. More time to hike with my husband

  4. Successfully hike Opal Creek

  5. Be a better friend to my Oregon buddies

  6. Experiment with new meals

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More News

We just got back from the doctor & my post-therapy appointment went pretty well. Everything seems to be going fine. As expected, I'm hyperthyroid again (exhausted, always hot, anxious), but I'm really excited about the next few months and the prospect of becoming a much healthier woman than I've ever been! Very soon! My heart rate is a bit high, but the doc increased one of my medicines to help with that. All of your prayers are greatly appreciated!

We're heading to Bend for a romantic weekend getaway. I am so excited to have free time away from the house to spend with Steve. He's been under a lot of stress with work, my health, and other commitments, and I think God has designed this weekend especially for Steve to be able to relax.

We are beginning the search for a curriculum for the college/career age Sunday school class that Steve started to teach the first of February. My guess is that there will usually be 3-4 people each week, half of which will be Steve and I. So, my instinct says that something that leans more toward group discussion would be perfect. Anybody have any recommendations?

Phil & Patty are planning to come in March!! Yay!

My mom & dad have talked about visiting in April.

Steve & I are planning, Lord willing, to drive to Michigan around the end of July for a family reunion.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Great Thought

He hath not dealt with us after our sins;
nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth,
so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
Psalm 103:10,11

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Halfway Through February

Been a long time, old friend. A lot has happened since I last posted. We had a good flight back from Wisconsin. I became radioactive at a nuclear medicine plant. I will still be slightly radioactive until February 12th. We found out Phil & Patty are planning to visit Oregon in March, Lord willing! We're extremely excited about that! Steve has been insanely busy at work. I've been busy cleaning house, reading books, and trying to put together a house management binder. It sounds more intimidating than it really is. However, it is taking much longer than I anticipated. Most things do... I've picked up knitting a scarf I began approximately eight years ago on New Year's Eve with Naomi Siler (now Evers), Ray Siler (still Siler), and Lois Brinkmann (now Van Stratum). It's amazing how much things change in eight years!

My thyroid is recovering well, I assume, from the radioactive iodine. Steve and I are ready for it to wear off so we can finally get back to normal life - no separating dishes, no stowing my garbage in a blue bio-hazard bag, no kissing restrictions! It's ridiculous to think of how many things the human mouth/saliva touches in a day: pillow, toothbrush, cup, silverware, napkin, lip balm & lipstick, spouse, food (apple cores, sticks from popsicles and corndogs), bottles and pop cans, straws, fingers, lips, pages of a book, wrappers, stamps, envelopes, and the list goes on. It's really making me rethink my garbage output.

Well, that's it for now. Hopefully there will be more. Only God knows, but just in case: http://www.instituteforhumancontinuity.org/#/initiatives/earth/education/planetX - just kidding!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Steve experienced single digit weather for the first time in his life: 5Fdegrees.

Best Vacation Phrase (so far):

I'm so excited! My nose is freezing shut!!
~ Steve while @ Living Waters Bible Camp ~

We haven't taken a lot of pictures this time,
but we'll try to post whatever pictures we can get our hands on.

That's all from snowy, cold Wisconsin!