Sunday, December 28, 2008


Today is our 5 year wedding anniversary.  Hard to believe that 5 years have gone by so quickly!!  We went out to dinner with my parents, brother, aunt and grandma this evening to celebrate and while we were there we discussed the past 5 years.  We were all surprised to realize that every anniversary we've celebrated, my parents have been there for it.=)  Frank and I actually began our married life being with my parents (On our way to our honeymoon spot, we were in a car accident -Frank's jeep was damaged- and ended up spending the first 3 or so days of our "honeymoon" with my parents.), so it only seems fitting that we celebrate each year with them.=)  
It was a nice evening, though and I know I speak for both Frank and I when I say that the Lord has blessed us richly through these past 5 years.  He has seen us through a lot and we are excited to see where He takes us in the future!  I am truly overwhelmed and grateful for the gift God gave me in my husband!  Thank you, honey, for a wonderful 5 years!!  I love you!!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It is hard to believe that Christmas has come already!  The nice weather has made it even harder to believe that Christmas has already come!!  For our Christmas in FL, the high was 80 degrees!  Not quite the white Christmases I remember growing up!!=)  
Thankfully, the weather does not determine or change the specialness of the day.  This year Frank and I decided that we would start our family traditions (You know, those things we'd like to do with our children.).  So Wednesday morning, I made our birthday cake for Jesus and Frank and I had a nice Christmas Eve meal and then went to church.  Christmas morning we got up, read the story of Jesus' birth (Luke 2) and prayed.  It was very humbling to put aside that time to focus on the reason we celebrate that day.  Definitely helped us to remain focused on what really matters on that day (and every day).=)  Anyway, I digress.=)
After this time of reading and prayer, Frank and I exchanged gifts (we did not get anything big for each other - just a couple of small items) and then got everything ready and headed to Frank's parents' house.  Upon arriving we found Frank's nephews already outside playing with their toys.  They were very excited about what they had gotten and immediately shared with us that they had gotten a Wii.=)  We went in to Frank's parents' place and everyone gathered down there to exchange gifts.  The boys received a Nerf Wii game (really fun game!!) that we were able to play with them later that morning/afternoon.  After unwrapping gifts, we spent some time playing games and catching up with all of the excitement for the day.  Frank's brother-in-law made us steaks for lunch and they were yummy!=)  It was nice to be there and just spend time with Frank's family.
After heading home to gather more presents (and our birthday cake for Jesus), we drove over to Carrie and Jonathan's to see what had gone on there.  Marcail, of course, was very excited and couldn't stop going from toy to toy.=)  We spent a nice evening visiting with them and celebrating Christmas.  Marcail had fun showing us her jumpy house and I had to get in there with her!=)  It was a very nice time of fellowship.  We ended the evening by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and eating the cake!=)
The day after Christmas, Frank and I were blessed to have the opportunity to visit with some friends that we don't get to see very often.  One of Frank's closest friends lives out in TX at the moment and he and his wife were in visiting his family for the holidays.  We, of course, had to take advantage of that and spend some time with them.  Even if it was a lot shorter than we would have liked!=)  
We are now up in PA, visiting with my family for the next 5 days or so.  Unfortunately there is no snow (yet - I am remaining optimistic!), but it is very nice to be with my parents.  All of my siblings will be here on Wednesday to celebrate Christmas and New Year's together.  It is going to be a FULL household!=)  But it will, of course, be lots of fun!  Until then, though, Frank and I are looking forward to some relaxing and some good visiting and best of all, some good eating!=)  
Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I just wanted to share something really cute with you guys.  Yesterday, while Frank and I were driving out to the island, we passed a car that had something sticking out of it's window and trunk.  It took us a minute to realize that the items sticking out of the windows were antlers and the item sticking out of the trunk was a tail!!  On the front of the car was a red ball!  It was a white car that tried to look like a reindeer!!  It was pretty funny!!  I took a couple of pictures (trying to make sure the car didn't know what I was doing!) and I hope you'll be able to pick out the details, at least a little bit.  Hope you get a kick out of it as much as we did!=)  

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reincar
Reindeer Sighting

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Fun

This past week I was able to attend Marcail's very first Christmas program (working at the school where she attends definitely helps with this!)!!  It was a cute program where the kids sang a few short songs and wished everyone a Merry Christmas!  Then Marcail was able to lead the blessing and parents were able to stay after for cookies and punch.  Jonathan and Gabe made it down to see her program as well.  I know she was very excited to have Daddy and Gabe there!=)  I feel very blessed to be included in so many of her activities!  She is definitely my buddy!=)
Yesterday, Frank and I were able to have Marcail spend the night with us (we try to do this once a month, but unfortunately we allow life to get in the way and are not always able to do this).  We had lunch with the Hicks' and then afterwards Marcail left with us to do a little Christmas shopping  (and when I say a little, I mean a little - the place was packed!!).  Our first stop was Barnes and Noble where we happened to arrive just in time for a story telling.  Marcail sat right down and listened very well to the story (the story read was The Polar Express - Great book!!).  She was even able to hold up the Santa and say, "The first gift of Christmas!". =)  She was loving it!!  After the story was over, she was given a candy cane and a cookie on a stick (she had also gotten a bell to ring for the story) - of course, the candy cane was the first to be eaten.=)  So after this nice break from the shopping frenzy - =) - we headed over to Old Navy where Marcail was ever so helpful in picking out a Christmas present for her cousin Arlington (although we ended up not getting her present there).=)  Afterwards we headed home for a short rest.  
Once we were done resting, we headed out to WalMart to get our sugar cookie dough, icing and wrapping paper.  Marcail and I were deciding together what kind of wrapping paper we should get and I have to say that she did pick up some really cute wrapping paper.  It was funny, though, because we were still looking around the section when we found other wrapping paper that was a little cheaper (and just as nice).  So I tried to talk Marcail into buying 2 rolls of wrapping paper for the same price as the 1, but I was out of luck.  She kept telling me that the one she had was much nicer.  When I asked her why we couldn't put the other one back, she said, "This one's my boy." =)  Cute.=)  Frank was there at that time as well and we couldn't stop smiling at each other over that one.  We decided the price wasn't that different (it really wasn't) and it wasn't worth the agony of separating Marcail from "her boy".=)  So we got Marcail's choice.=)
When we got home, Marcail and I got busy making our Christmas cookies.  We rolled out the sugar cookie dough (I usually refuse to make store bought cookies -if you know me, you'll understand - but I have to admit that this is a life saver when making sugar cookies with kids!!) and started punching out shapes. The bear seemed to be Marcail's favorite.  That and spreading flour out on the dough.=)  After we got the cookies made, we ate dinner to allow time for the cookies to cool.  Then it was icing time!!  Marcail helped pick the colors we made and we each got to lick a spoon (even Frank joined in!) and decorate our own cookie.  Marcail ended up wearing some of hers on her face, but I think she had fun in the process.=)  We ended up making cookies for Mommy and Daddy and for her teachers at school.  We ended the night by reading an interactive nativity story together (the title of the book is called What God Wants For Christmas - I love it!  I use it every year with the students in my class.  7 children get a box and as the story goes along you open up the box and put that piece in the place where it belongs in the nativity).  It was a lot of fun - oh, we did end up watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 3, yes, 3, times, too.  That part. . not so much fun.=)  
It was a great time spent with Marcail!  Frank and I are realistic and realize that we will not always be this close to my sister and her family so we love taking advantage of spending time with them and their children.  They have a very precious family and we are thankful to be so close to them for however long the Lord allows.
Please enjoy the pictures below!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

For Thanksgiving this year, we had the wonderful opportunity to travel up to PA to spend it with my family. This is especially special because it's been about 5 years since I've gotten to spend Thanksgiving with my family. A short side note, though: I called my parents to tell them about Frank and I coming up (Frank strongly urged me to do this - I had wanted to just drive up and surprise them) and my dad's first response was: "You're kidding." I said, "No" and he went on to explain that they had been invited somewhere else for Thanksgiving this year. I was very thankful that I had followed my husband's advice and called!!=) This is especially funny to me, because last year my parents, brother and grandma ended up eating at Ruby Tuesdays for Thanksgiving. So I wasn't very worried about just showing up! I'm glad I called!=) Anyway. . .
Thanksgiving was wonderful. Frank and I were able to take 2 extra days off of work to compensate for the drive up there. The day that we drove up it had snowed in PA, but thankfully had stopped midway through the day and the roads were clear. We had slow going on the way up, but it was worth it once we got home. =)
Thanksgiving day Mom, Dad and I got up at 7 to walk in a Turkey Trot (5k) in Uniontown, PA. Yes, it was quite chilly that morning (I believe it was 25 degrees out, although that may be optimistic thinking on my part), but I have to admit that it was nice to get out for the walk. Salvation Army was the sponsor of the walk and I made decent time. My parents on the other hand smoked me. =) They walked around once, followed the runners in and thought they had posted a great time!! And they truly had!! Then they noticed that I wasn't around and they started wondering what had happened. They finally discovered that they had only done half of the walk!=) It was pretty funny! My mom did make sure she went back and told the right people what had happened. We didn't stick around for the results, but instead headed off to do a little Christmas shopping and enjoy some coffee. Then it was back home to finish watching the parade.
Later that evening we (my mom, dad, brother, grandma and husband) had the opportunity to go to Upper St. Clair to have Thanksgiving with my cousin and his family. It was a nice time to visit and catch up with them. They have a lovely home and were very kind to allow Frank and I to join them at such late notice. My cousin's wife prepared a very yummy meal and we all ate until we were stuffed!=)
The rest of the trip was spent visiting with family and doing a little bit of Christmas shopping. On Sunday, my younger sister and her husband came over and we had another Thanksgiving. It was nice to see them and I was grateful that they came (they had spent Thanksgiving in New York with his family). We also spent some time playing on the Wii (My mom was determined to get one while we were there. My brother was nice enough to stand in line for 2 hours Friday morning to make sure she had it! We had a good time creating our Mii's and playing the different games) and playing our normal Lake Norman card game (This game does have another name, but I can never remember it. So it is now named after our family vacation spot.).=) My brother, Zac, also taught us a new card game and that was fun to play too. I have to admit, though, that it's hard to play any game with Frank, because he tends to win them all (He is just so stinkin' lucky!).=)
It was a wonderful trip (although I did lose my voice the day after we got there!! Yeah, try catching up with your family when you have no voice - I was finally able to squeak out words by Saturday.) and a great Thanksgiving! I am thankful for many, many things, but one of the biggest things I'm thankful for is for my family. Especially my husband who makes sure I am well taken care of and who will do a 12 hour drive in one day just so I can see my family. I am truly overwhelmed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Yes, you read that right.  Turtles.  Frank and I have new members in our house.  They are the best pets ever, though.  They don't bark, they don't chew up furniture, they don't scratch, they don't shed . . need I go on?=)  All they require is some water some food and a  place to lay out on.  It has taken us a little while to get them settled in their new home, but we think we've finally got it down.=)  Here are just a couple of pictures of our turtles.  Oh, their names are Mal and Wash (If you don't know where the names come from, go out and rent the series Firefly or the movie Serenity - you won't be disappointed!!).  Enjoy the pictures!!=)


Sunday, November 9, 2008


This past Saturday Frank and I were able to attend a Steven Curtis Chapman/Michael W. Smith concert down in St. Augustine.  Since the concert was in St. Augustine, Frank and I were able to stop by his parents house before the concert and spend some time with them.  It was nice getting to spend some time with them and to just visit.  They are really great in-laws!=)  Anyway, after some visiting Frank and I took off for the Amphitheater in St. Augustine.  We were very glad that we left something early, as parking was quite a mess!  We were directed into the Amphitheater only to be redirected back out onto the main road (it would have been more productive to have stopped the flow of traffic into the Amphitheater as soon as they knew there was no more parking.  Just a thought, though.)!  It didn't take us too long to find another parking spot, though. It was a pretty nice night, too, so we had a nice walk to the Amphitheater.=)  The concert itself was very, very good.  I have been a long time fan of Steven Curtis Chapman [Short side note:  In 2004 we had purchased tickets to see Steven Curtis Chapman in Lakeland, FL.  Well, the week of the concert I got very, very sick - head cold - and we ended up not being able to go.  After that we agreed that if we ever had the opportunity to see him again that we would go not matter how sick either one of us were!=) ] and his All About Love CD was the first gift Frank ever gave to me.=)  He has always written his own music and almost all of it is based on Scripture.  There are many Christian artists that I enjoy, but he has always seemed the most real to me.  And seeing him in person only helped to strengthen that belief.=)  The concert's main focus was on worshiping the Lord and glorifying Him.  Michael W. Smith was good, too.  He led a lot of the praise and worship music during the second half of the concert.  It was neat to hear the two of these artists together and to see that they had each brought along one of their sons to play in the band.  Steven Curtis Chapman did end up sharing about the loss of his daughter earlier this year and it was moving to hear how his family was coping through it all.  He was very real and said that through all of it he has come to see how real God is and how everything is truly His.  He went on to explain that through this situation his realization that God is truly good has only been strengthened.  It was nice to hear, though, that he is still human and that there are many days in which he struggles with the loss.  Great concert, wonderful testimony and fantastic worship of a holy God!!
"You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created." Rev. 4:11

Friday, October 24, 2008

Party/Family Visit

For those of you who keep up with my sister's blog (Hicks Family Four), this might be a tad bit of a repeat.=) I do promise, though, not to say the exact same thing as she did!=) Moving on. . .
This past Saturday a few members of my family flew into town for my nephew's first birthday. My parents, sister and husband and aunt all flew in on Friday afternoon to be here for the festivities that awaited us on Saturday. It was nice to see them and spend some time with them. Especially my younger sister and her husband as we do not get to see them much at all. So it was REALLY nice to get to spend some time with them. My parents ended up staying at my sister's house while Frank and I had the privilege of having my sister, her husband and aunt stay at ours. Much Wii was played at the house at night.=) It was a lot of fun!
ANYWAY, (I am digressing and not really talking about the party much, am I?). . .
Saturday morning we arrived at the party house between 11 and 11:30. Some of us helped get the last minute things taken care of, while others (cough, cough - Tom and Frank) turned on the sports channel to await the upcoming college football game.=) Around noon the first guest arrived and the party was in full swing!=) Gabe's party theme was the farm, so my sister had farm plates and cups. She also had made a cute cow cake as the main birthday cake!
After the guests arrived, we blessed the yummy food from Chick-Fil-A and mingled with the guests. My sister even had a little table off to the side where the kids could decorate their own cupcake as well as a fall picture. It was really cute. One of the guest's children decorated her cupcake the right way - with lots of frosting!=) (I told her I wanted her making my cupcake!)=) When all of the eating was done we eagerly awaited for Gabe to blow out his candle (which he didn't really do. . Marcail - the big sister - helped out on this end) and dig into his cupcake. Then we waited some more. . and some more. . and some more until finally. .. . his little finger touched the icing and he brought it to his mouth! We all held our breath to see what he would do next and then he did .. . . nothing.=) Mommy (my sister) helped show him how to tear up the cupcake and eat it piece by piece. Apparently Gabe's not into the whole messy scene.=) It was fun to watch him try, though!=)
Next came present time - to which all of the children there (with the exception of some friends' baby) decided to help out with.=) And they no only helped out with the opening, but also with the putting together.=) It was neat to watch the kids try to help the adults with the assembly of the toys. They actually did a great job. As for the birthday boy? He enjoyed the toys after they were put together.=)
I think it was quite the successful party. Gabe seemed to have a good time (As did his sister, who also scored some nice gifts!) and it was nice to see everyone who came for the party.
After the party was over, we had the chance of traveling out to the Northeast Florida Fair in Callahan, FL. We got to see livestock (cows, rabbits, pigs, ducks, roosters, etc.), watch Marcail play a couple of games, visit with friends, get our picture taken (Friends of ours - check out their blog: In His Images - had a booth there and were taking pictures for only $5), and eat yummy fair food (You know, BBQ, funnel cakes, kettle corn. . yumm!)!!! It was nice to go out there and walk around for a while. It did get quite nippy though after a little while. I'm amazed at how quickly it can cool down!! Actually felt a little bit like fall!=)
Sunday was the last day my sister and her husband were in town, so after church we all went out to dinner together. Then my sister's husband (who loves the beach) asked to go down to the water. Now, please know that it was not warm on this day. The wind was blowing, it was chilly, no sun in the sky. Not really beach weather. However, my sister's husband was determined to go swimming in the ocean and being the good hosts that we are, we obliged.=) So after lunch we drove down to the beach, found a nice place to park and watched as my sister's husband took off for the ocean and dove straight in!! It was quite the sight!!=) After this (and after he had dried off) we went back to sister's house before taking my sister and her husband to the airport.
That evening we all just relaxed around the house and visited with one another. It was a great weekend and a great visit! I can honestly say that one of my favorite things to do is to spend time with my family! I love them very much and truly appreciate every opportunity I get to see them! They're a lot of fun!=) 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Okay, I read a couple other blogs and finally figured out what I'm supposed to do (or at least I think I know what I'm supposed to do!). My sister-in-law tagged me and now I am supposed to write 7 interesting things about myself that others may not know. I am with my sister and think that this will be tough. But here we go. .
1. I hate, and I mean HATE, being called Teenie Beanie. The only people ever allowed to do such a horrid thing has been my family. And they are on thin ice now if they ever do it!=)
2. I, too, have always wanted a horse. I imagined my horse being white (all white) and beautiful! I planned for my horse to live on my grandparents land and for me to come over and ride it whenever I wanted (without cleaning or grooming it, of course!).=)
3. I love everything Chinese. Most of you who know me already know this, but for those of you who don't - surprise! No, I'm not a communist (so, okay, I don't love EVERYTHING Chinese.. sheesh, I have to be so specific!), but I do love the Chinese culture, the Chinese people, the Chinese language . . . I could go on and on. My husband always jokes with me that I'm more Chinese than he is.=) (Totally not true, though.)
4. I do not enjoy living in FL. I actually think that's an understatement. . .definitely an understatement. I envy those that have gotten out of this state (i.e., Jen). I am just serving my time and waiting for the Lord to rescue me from this prison!=)
5. I have obessive/compulsive tendencies. Ask my husband what happens after I vaccum a carpet and he walks on it. Go ahead, I dare you. . .=)
6. To me, NFL football is the only resonable sport out there to watch.=) I always get so sad when February comes around, the Super Bowl is over and I have to wait until the fall again for some good Sunday afternoon entertainment!! And of course, Pittsburgh is the only great team out there to root for!!=)
7. I love Ryan Reynolds. Yes, I've said it. I love Ryan Reynolds (Don't worry, Frank knows all about it.)! He may not have the cleanest mouth in the world or pick the best movies to star in, but man, is he cute!=)
Alright, well, I have managed to write 7 not so interesting facts about myself. I hope you all enjoyed a trip down Kris's lane. =) Now I know that we're supposed to write down 5 (5, right?) people to continue the tag, but I'm tagging everyone on my blog list. So if I have your blog on my site, then considered yourself tagged!=) I love you all!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Adventures in Baby-Sitting

This past Saturday Frank and I had the privilege of baby-sitting Marcail and Gabe while their parents had a night out and away from the house (It was their 5 year wedding anniversary.). I picked the kids up from Carrie and Jonathan around 1:00 p.m. and drove them back to my house. At this point we picked up Uncle Frankie and drove back over to their place so that they could both catch a nap (This plan didn't work too well with Marcail - she had actuallly fallen asleep in the car on the way home to my place, so she wasn't really in the mood to lay down again.) before we really started the fun!=) After naptime, we got Marcail and Gabe into the car and went to do one of Marcail's favorite activities - shopping!=) We drove up to our local Target, got Marcail a "smoothie" (Strawberries and Creme frappuchino), settled Gabe in the cart and took off!=) It ended up being a short trip, but it was nice to get the kids out of the house for a little while. Plus, Marcail got to pick out what kind of cookies she wanted to make that evening after dinner (She made a wise choice in picking out Pillsbury's Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies) and Frank and I were able to get ourselves a nice treat (Ice cream - yumm!!). Then it was back home for dinner, baths and play time. We had a nice time making the cookies and playing together. Marcail and Gabe played together nicely and even managed to make a small tower out of the blocks! Although I think Marcail's favorite toy was her Uncle Frankie!=) After playing for a while (and having a cookie) it was time for bed. Frank and I got the kids settled (It took a little while with Marcail - she had to have her belly rubbed) and then he and I pulled out our ice cream and settled down to watch a little TV. Thankfully, Gabe slept pretty peacefully throughout the night (with the exception of 5 - 6 a.m.) and with some minor exceptions so did Marcail. We did wake early though (6:30), to the sound of Marcail coming into the bedroom to let us know that it was time to wake up.=) Uncle Frankie explained to Marcail that it was still dark outside and therefore NOT time to wake up yet. So Marcail climbed into bed with us and rested with us until about 7. Then she and I got up to make some breakfast and get ready for church. Gabe slept in until about 8 that morning, which was nice. Then it was his turn for breakfast and his turn to get ready for church. Frank and I did fail the "Can you get yourselves, plus 2 young children ready and make it to church on time" test.=) We got to Sunday School about 10 minutes late (which I guess isn't TOO bad, right?) and since I had to teach Sunday School that morning, Frank graciously offered to deliver both children to their respective places (nursery and Sunday School). After Sunday School and church we made our way back to Carrie and Jonathan's to wait for them to arrive back home. The kids were happy to see Mom and Dad and Mom and Dad were pretty happy to see the kids (Frank and I were happy to see them, too - we were ready for OUR naps!)!=)
All in all, it was a great time of being with the kids this past weekend and we were glad to give Carrie and Jonathan a chance to get out and truly celebrate their anniversary without any distractions!
Would we do it again? Definitely! Would we do it again next weekend? No!!=)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Date Night

Yesterday afternoon, on my way home from work, I was pleasantly surprised by a phone call from my husband who told me that he was on HIS way home from work.  This was the surprising part (not the phone call part - we do that quite often!)   - that he would be on his way home at 4:00 in the afternoon!  When I asked him what was bringing him home so early, he answered that it was because he wanted to take his wife out on a date!  This was very nice to hear!!  Over the summer we had tried to have a date night at least once a week, but once school started it had become a little harder to do.  So coming home yesterday to my husband was such a very nice surprise!!
We ended up driving down into Jacksonville and getting a quick bite to eat.  Then, we had a little extra time to kill before the movie and decided to spend it in one of my husband's favorite stores - Best Buy.=)  After that we drove to the movie, got our tickets, popcorn and pop and made our way into the movie theater.  We ended up seeing the movie Fireproof.  If you haven't heard of it, please check it out at  Both of us had wanted to see this movie for a little while so we were happy to get the chance to see it last night.  And I have to tell you that it didn't disappoint.  I am not one to advocate for a movie, but this movie is definitely one that I highly recommend.  No matter where you are in your marriage (or relationship), this is one worth seeing!  It was a very encouraging, uplifting movie.  And the message stayed true.  I really enjoyed it (so did Frank).  It was a great reminder of Who is the ultimate example of love (But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8) and Who is the One that truly sustains marriages.  Like I said, I really liked the movie!=)  
After the movie, Frank took me to Starbucks for a quick cup of coffee and then, unfortunately, it was time to head home (After all, Frank and I both had to get up for work this morning!)!  
We had a great time out and about together last night.  It was just a wonderful time of being together!  Thank you for letting me share it with you!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Weekend Getaway

Frank and I spent a nice Saturday and Sunday in Tampa, FL last weekend!  It was a nice little getaway and gave us a nice chance to forget about everything back at home!=)  We left early Saturday morning and made it to the small town of San Antonio around noon.  Frank took me to a Mexican Restaurant for lunch that he and his friends had gone to a lot during his 2 years spent at USF (University of South Florida).  It was a nice little place and it was great to see a piece of Frank's history!  I took a couple of pictures of the restaurant (Much to Frank's dismay!), we looked around the town a little bit longer and then we headed on into Tampa. Once we got to Tampa, Frank drove me through the USF campus (well, as much as was possible, anyway - that campus is HUGE!) and showed me where, sniff, sniff, his dorm used to be (they have since torn them down and replaced them with sorority houses).  Again, much to his dismay, I took several pictures!=)  I think Frank found it hard to believe that I actually enjoyed seeing all of his old hangouts and school, but I really did!!  It was a lot of fun!!=) 
After seeing the campus, Frank and I checked in to our hotel and just rested up a bit.  After that we hit the streets on Channelside Drive!  Basically we just walked around for about 10 minutes or so and then got back to the car (there wasn't much to see down there).  We then headed to a town next to Tampa called Ybor (pronounced E-bore) City.  I was able to see one of the game places that Frank and his friends used to hang out at during their school days!  Again, I was loving the history!!=)  
By this time we were pretty hungry so we decided to travel down one of the main roads right outside of downtown.  We ended up finding a pretty nice place to eat and thankfully we made it into the restaurant right before it downpoured!!  While it rained outside, we had a nice dinner inside!!=)  After dinner, we tried to find somewhere to eat for dessert (to no avail) and instead found the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium (Yes, I had to take a picture!).  Then it was back to the hotel for the night!
In the morning we grabbed some breakfast, drove past Busch Gardens and headed home.  It was really nice to get away and even better to spend the weekend with just each other!  It's getting harder and harder to get away like that and we truly enjoy each opportunity we have to do so!!  Enjoy a couple of pictures from our getaway!=)


Sunday, September 14, 2008


 Frank and I had the opportunity to baby-sit for Carrie and Jonathan while they got a night out on the town yesterday afternoon/evening.=)  It is always fun to spend time with Marcail and Gabe!  Marcail is so animated now and talks almost like a grown up!=)  We had a great time playing with her Thomas trains and watching Thomas on T.V.  Gabe tried to stay in the action by crawling around and "talking" on the phone!=)  Here are just a couple of pictures from our fun night with Marcail and Gabe (As you can tell from the one picture, Marcail loves her Uncle Frankie!).  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New School Year/Tropical Storm Fay

Hi everyone!  I know it's been a while since I last posted and I apologize for the delay.  Since coming back from WA, I have been busy preparing for and starting my new school year!  It seems as though the last few weeks have just flown by!  But it has been good. 
The new school year officially started (for me) on August 6th.  This was my first day with my new class.  For those of you who don't know, I teach 4 year olds (they turn 5 throughout the year) in a private faith based school.  Our program is advanced (our prek program is equivalent to a kindergarten program) and it can be challenging.  Right now I have 14 children in my classroom and they have been going through the adjustment period very well.  I am looking forward to this new school year!  The kids definitely keep me on my toes! =)  Thankfully, this year I have a pretty even balance of boys to girls.  Although my boys this year are definitely all boy! =)  As I said, they have already been keeping me on my toes! =)  
Along with school comes hurricane season for us down here in FL.  Most years, Jacksonville does not really get hit with any hurricanes.  They usually end up veering away from us or losing their strength and we usually only end up with rain.  This year, however, brought us something a little different.  Tropical Storm Fay hit us last Wednesday evening and stuck around until yesterday.  My school was closed from last Wednesday until yesterday.  Thankfully, it was just a tropical storm!  We were hit with lots and lots of rain and some "mighty" winds, but that is all.  No major damage and we only lost our power for about 5 minutes at a time.  I talked with several of my parents (who live in a different county) and unfortunately, they had lost power for several hours.  So I am very thankful for our continued power!  It was nice to have the time off from work (who doesn't love days off?!), but I have to admit that I am actually looking forward to going back to school on Monday!  I guess a 5 day weekend can cause cabin fever!=)  
Frank actually had 2 days off from work this week as well due to Fay.  It was nice to have him home those two days!  We spent much of our time watching Season 1 of One Tree Hill. =)  Good times.=)  
Other than that, things are moving along.  Frank remains busy at work and church.  We both have recently started to work with the youth at church.  It is quite a blessing!  We have a wonderful group of youth at church and they are a joy to be around!  We feel very blessed to be able to work with them!  Our church also just held Mercy Days.  This is an outreach program to the community that our church began last year.  It occurs right before public school goes back.  Our church gives out backpacks filled with school supplies as well as food and clothing.  Talk about an extra blessing!!  We were very privileged to be a part of that!  It makes us very thankful for everything that the Lord has given us!  God is good.  More than we know. . . .


Frank and I are very excited about where the Lord is taking us in our marriage and we wanted to share a part of what He's doing with/in us!  
Frank and I have been in the midst of an adoption process for almost a year now.  This past July we learned that we are officially on the waiting list!  We are very excited about this blessing!  Please join with us in thanksgiving to the Lord for this wonderful opportunity and blessing!  Please also pray with us that the waiting time will go quickly and will be short!  We ask for the Lord's timing, but are very anxious to welcome home the child He sees fit to give us!  Thank you!!!
P.S.  We are adopting from Taiwan.  Just in case you were curious.=)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Washington Visit

What a special time it was in Washington!  I had not seen my friend, Cristy, in about 5 years and a lot had changed since then.  It was such a blessing to get to visit with her, her husband and their little girl.  We had some wonderful days just talking and catching up.  And contrary to what I had been told, the weather was beautiful!!!  I almost felt as though I were still in FL.=)  I didn't have to pull out a sweater once!!=)
Cristy and her husband, Edwin, took me to Pike Place Market on the Sunday after I arrived.  That place definitely offered some neat tourist type gifts, but was also really neat to walk through.  The restaurant where Tom Hanks eats in Sleepless in Seattle is there, plus the first, original Starbucks (there was a LONG line for that coffee!)!  I also walked past many stands with fresh cherries, veggies and who can forget the Fish stand.  Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to see the guys toss fish to anyone, but it was still neat to check it out.  That day I was also able to get a picture of Mt. Rainier (which is somewhat ruined by the addition of the Seattle Seahawks stadium - sorry, Edwin!) and a couple of nice scenic pictures.  Cristy and Edwin were also nice enough to drive me up to the Space Needle so that I could get a picture.  After that we travelled the 3 hours to Kennewick, where Cristy and Edwin live.
The week in Kennewick was spent bike riding, going to the park/playground with Tory, playing Phase 10, Nerts, and Settlers of Canaan (I did not win much.) and visiting Edwin's work place.  It was really  neat to visit the winery and get a tour of the place.  The building where the gift shop is located is beautiful!!!  We were able to have lunch with Edwin that day, which was really nice.  The land is perfect for grape growing (so I'm told) and is quite brown (but still pretty!!).  I loved being surrounded by hills and mountains again, though!!=)
Unfortunately, my time in WA went by way too fast!  Before I knew it Cristy and I were headed back into Seattle!  Thankfully, her aunt allowed us to spend the night in her house so that we would not have to make the long drive into Seattle on Thursday morning.  I thought that was very kind of her!=)  Cristy was also very kind and came into the airport with me on Thursday just in case my suitcase was over the 50 lb. limit!  If it were, then she was going to be kind enough to help me rearrange!=)  Surprisingly, though, it was only 47 lbs.!!  That was a nice surprise!!
I find that it gets harder and harder to say goodbye to those that mean the most to you.  Although I was anxious to get home to see Frank, it was sad to say goodbye to my friend.  It is a comfort to know that even though we are separated by many miles, we will forever be connected by the blood of Jesus Christ.  How thankful I am to have Cristy not only as my friend, but also as a sister in Christ!!  

Saturday, July 19, 2008

PA Time

Okay, everybody, I finally have time to sit down and write about my trips these past 2 weeks! I am hoping to attach some pictures to the bottom of these posts as well. Since I spent time in two different places, I'll be posting 2 separate accounts. I hope this is okay and I hope it helps lessen any confusion there may be!! Alright, now on to the vacations!!!

I had a great time in PA with my family! I slept in, visited with my parents, spent some time with my grandma and even caught up on my favorite shows!=) Here's the rundown of my week:

Monday: Dinner at Grandma's (yummy chicken, noodles, mashed potatoes, bread and for dessert. . . peanut butter pie! Yummm!!)
Tuesday: Dinner at Don Pablo's and then off to see Mame the musical at the Benedum in downtown Pittsburgh!
Wednesday: Tea with Mom, Sandhill Berries and then off to Connellsville for the John Woodruff 5K walk/run (I did not come in first!).
Thursday: Dinner out with Grandma (We went to a place called Grille 31 in Mt. Pleasant. It was pretty good. The only downside, as Dad would say, was the lousy atmosphere.).
Friday: A run to my old elementary school (Mom needed to drop some things off), iced coffee from McDonald's (really good!), and then a stop at the Pie Shoppe in Donegal for some really good cinnamon rolls and monkey tails. That evening we also went to a Pittsburgh Pirates game. All I have to say is that at least we got a nice fireworks display after the game!!=)
Saturday: DRAFT DAY!!! This morning we completed our draft for our family's upcoming fantasy football season. Everyone was on a Skype conference call (with the exception of Jess and Tom) and we successfully completed our draft in 2 1/2 hours. Yes, folks, it's that serious!!=) Then it was off to the airport for me!!

All in all, it was a great time! I am learning to take advantage of every opportunity to spend extra time with my family. You never know when it could be your last! And I am very thankful that I have a husband who is very understanding of this! It is always rough to be away from him, but it is nice to have him to look forward to coming home to!!=) The Lord has given me much to be thankful for. I am very blessed indeed!! I hope you all enjoy the pictures!!

Monday, July 7, 2008


I have made it to sunny PA!  It was a pretty uneventful trip, but a good one.  We did end up stopping in West Virginia Saturday night to help break up the long drive.  I have to admit that as anxious as I was to be done with the traveling, it was nice to stop.  My dad was even able to watch his NASCAR race that evening!=)
We ended up arriving at my parents' home around midday on Sunday and spent the rest of the day just relaxing and unpacking.  I am officially set up in the guest room for the week.  I am looking forward to spending some extra time with my parents this week as well as with my aunt and grandmother.  I miss my husband something fierce, but I know that he is doing well.  He is working hard and getting to spend some extra time with our niece and nephew.  I am sure that he is enjoying his time with them!=)
This week should be quite busy!  My mom has scheduled quite a few fun things to do!  We are going to see Mame tomorrow in Pittsburgh, walking in a 5K race on Wednesday, visiting my younger sister on Thursday and going to a Pirates game on Friday!  Then Saturday is our big draft for our family's fantasy football league.  All of these things should make the week go by rather quickly!  I'm sure that Saturday will be here before I know it!=)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer Vacation

I am officially on summer vacation! It feels so nice to have a month or so off from work. It has been a great year, though! I have learned many valuable lessons from my preschoolers and their parents. And I have many wonderful things to look forward to this July! Right now, I am enjoying a nice visit from my parents. They will be here for a couple more days and then I will go back to PA with them on Saturday. I am looking forward to spending some one on one time with my parents. After that I will be flying out to Seattle to visit a very good friend of mine. I am really excited about that trip, since I haven't seen my friend since my wedding day, almost five years ago! Much has changed since then and I am anxious to see her, her husband and their adorable (almost) 2 year old daughter!! It should be a wonderful summer!
Once I get back from my travels I will spend some much wanted time with my husband before heading back to work. I am sad that he isn't able to travel with me, but he gives me something to look forward to when I come home!!=) Plus, I know it will give him much needed time with his friends and family! He is a hard worker and does his very best to please the Lord every day! I am very blessed to have him as my husband!
That is all for now! I will post again when I have some pictures from my time up in PA and Seattle.