Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The past couple days have been a wonderful time! On Chrismas Eve we went to Mike's sister Kristen's house in Oak Park. We enjoyed lots of pasta, chatting and gifts! The kids loved everything, they're so fun to watch! Jessica never took the purse off her shoulder! Cute

Afterwards we drove up to Wilmette to my Uncle Trav's He usually hosts the Wickstroms on Christmas Eve and we never have the opportunity to stop by. This year we did and I'm glad we made the trip! A handful of my cousins were in town so it was great to catch up! I wish we got to see eachother more often!

Yesterday morning Mike and I did our Christmas He spoiled me... He got me lots of new tubes of oil paints... (I have been squeezing dry cracked paint out of my grandma's old tubes for he last 4 years! Some of them are so old they say 35 cents on the tube) My very own bottle of Chanel no.5 a new mp3 player, a book I wanted "save me from myself", lots of fun socks... candy... He spoiled me!

Then in the afternoon we had my family over... that was great fun too! I had fun setting the table again this year... Holly (my sister) gave me a bunch of seasonal decorations for my birthday in spring; It was a treat to use the Christmas ones to make such a colorful table setting! All of the rich German food was great and it all came together just at the right time... which I was nervous about. However... I am still full from the last 2 days of non stop eating! We made spaetzle for the first time... it was SO easy! And everybody loved the Sauerbraten!

Once again the kids were fun to watch! Luke kept asking me where my kitties are... but they were hiding.

This afternoon a couple of my cousins, Anne, Emily, Olivia, and Nell are coming by to hang out for a girly afternoon before they have to go back to work, college or school. Then I have to pack and leave tomorrow for Florida with my Mom! That should be a nice relaxing time!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Time to Enjoy!

I feel like the last week or so has been a bit of a marathon!! I'm almost ready though... It's funny, I thought I was so on top of things because I was shopped and wrapped about a month ago... guess again chica!

Well I finished the purse about 11pm last night, I'll post a picture or 2. I hope she loves it, I think it's very cute. After church today I made my list for everything I have to prepare for the next 2 days. I went to Jewel, but they were closed... the power went out with this crazy wind. So Dominick's was doubly packed... everyone was refreshingly pleasant though! Luckily they had everything but the tapered candles I needed. I usually avoid Dominick's like the plague because everything is usually an arm and a leg.... I was pleased to find that I didn't have to take a loan out for the bill :)

Then I spent about 4 hours or so in the kitchen... but now I am pretty much ready! All I have to do is pick up around the house, Mike agreed to help, so it usually goes pretty quick... and set the table for tuesday! (by the way I found the tapered candles at Hallmark but I bought them out)

WHEW! All this preparation..... I think I need a vacation before all the festivities start! Just kidding... a short nap will do!

Thank you God for your perfect timing! (I loved today's message!)

While we are enjoying the blessings of family, food and warmth, lets remember to pray for those who are lonely, cold and hungry. May God's perfect timing show his plan for everyone's life!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Today it begins!

Today I will work the majority of the day... then this afternoon I need to start preparing... Even though I have been finished shopping for over a month, there's still lots to do!
First thing.... my brother comes in today!!! I probably won't get to see him until tomorrow, but I am still excited!
Tonight I plan on finishing (or trying to) a gift that I am making. I know I said I was done shopping, but I bought the yarn weeks ago! I finished knitting the pieces last night, It is so cute! Tonight I need to sew them all together and make a strap. ( it's a purse for one of my nieces) I'll try and get a picture up sometime before I wrap it.
Tomorrow I am going with my family to the Willow Creek christmas service/show with my mom, brother, sister, and Chris (her hubby). I haven't been, but I hear its spectacular! Then I think we're going out to dinner... so I better have that purse done!
Sunday we'll go to service, then I'll hit the grocery store and begin to cook! Yikes! I hope there's enough time!
I pray that God brings Ryan and everyone else's loved ones safely to their Christmas Destinations! Merry Christmas and God Bless!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hosting Christmas...

Last year Mike and I had our first turn hosting his family for Christmas... It was lots of fun! We were so excited.... we love to host! We took our time setting the table taking out all the fancy dishes and silverware... then we took pictures. How silly!

This year we get to do it again for my family! How exciting. We have it all planned out! We are doing a German Theme for dinner... HEAVY! Pork Roast, Sour Brouton (if that's how it's spelled, Mike's mom gave me her special recipe) potato pancakes, spaetzle....... YAY! It's going to be great fun!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Today's thoughts..........

This morning I met my designer friend and her team at the women's Crisis Center for South Suburbia. When I heard she was doing a re-design for a couple of rooms, I asked her if I could get involved too! I love using the gifts that God gave me to serve others. I find great joy in painting and I am very thankful that God revealed this to me at such a young age! However there is something very special about using the gifts you have from God to improve someone else's situation.
It's so interesting how listening to and following his plan makes our lives so much more meaning ful and fulfilling. My plan when I graduated from high school was to spend 4 years in college and come home with a degree that would land me some sort of career that I would then do for the rest my life... now when I look at that path it makes me want to GAG! After 2 years at Northwood University, things started to change (lots of bad things kept happening and I felt like I was under a black cloud) and I had to pray and listen. I then knew that my time was there was finished. It was a tough change and sad to leave some of the best friends I had ever made!
That summer I did my internship at my Dad's shop so I could at least get my Associates. My plan at that time was to transfer to another college to finish the Bachelors and move on to the dreadded office job... GAG! That summer a friend of the family heard about United doing a cattle call.. my mom really wanted me to go and I really didn't! So I went on the interview for her... whaddya know sometimes mom's know you better than you think they do!
Anyway, at that time, my internship was finished so I started helping my Aunt with her decorative painting business part time, I was 20 at the time and had never held any sort of paint brush other than the little crafty ones. When I started the job with United, I continued to help her about 3 days a week... with my seniority, most of my flight schedule was on the weekends so I had plenty of time to keep up with the painting!
I would never have dreamed that I whould find 2 things that I loved doing as much as I did Flying and Painting! What a true blessing... and I have to be thankful to my parents too for their understanding and COMPLETE support! They were more interested in me trying several avenues until I found what fit rather than taking certain steps to reach certain goals which is what is expected of someone of a certain age... again GAG! We're all different for a reason! Enjoying what you do and serving others is so much more important and fulfilling than fancy job titles...
Anyways... I don't know why I started on the life-story tangent... but the botton line is: Listening to God led me down a path where I found EVERYTHING I have that brings joy to my life today!
1. Mike! all of those curves in the road led me to the most wonderful and supportive husband in the world!
2. Painting.... it's my passion!
3. All of the unique traveling experiences I had with United!
4. The friends I have met [and kept] around every turn.
5. Most importantly all of these really great things led me to see God's amazing love and with diligence and God's wisdom a better understanding of how magnificent it is that he sent us Jesus! I want to know more.

Friday, December 7, 2007


AFTER... Well, It was on my list of to-do's for about a year... finally all our counter tops match! It was fun... but tedeous and time consuming! Hopefully it holds up!... FOR A LONG WHILE!


Bummed about the Bears!

Since I met Mike lilke 6 1/2 years ago... he really has only had one rule... NO MISSING BEARS GAMES! So my philosophy has been from the beginning that I may as well give this [actual watching and paying attention to the game] thing a try!
Anyways... I started my journey with the Chicago Bears about the same time as Brian Urlacher... EXCITING TIMES!! We've had our ups and downs throughout the years... but last night was a total DOWNER! Theres always next season....
Mike says that Bears being stinky this year could make for better picks for next season... always something to look forward to! We'll see...
Unfortuantely that's my most exciting event of the week... yikes... I have spent the last 3 days refinishing my counter tops and kitchen backsplash... just a couple of clear coats to go... I would have been done sooner... but I had a peeling crisis that took me a half a day to figure out and fix!
Maybe I'll have some before and afters tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Snow Day!

The snow is beautiful! It just makes the inside feel that much more cozy too. Good thing I really don't have to go anywhere today.. kinda wish I did though... whatever. I really wish I knew God's plan for me... every day is different! Let's see where today goes...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today would be my father's 62nd birthday... I thank God for revealing himself to my father so that I will see him again. It's been an interesting year... not just for me, but for the whole family and for friends too. Losing my father was painful and sad, however in the past year I have witnessed how God used that event to change many lives around us for the better.
I have seen the faith of my immediate family members intensify, and I have seen how the rest of us have used this new passion to share god's plan for us with those who don't understand. Hearts have changed and are changing around us.
I feel an urgent need to share with others. You never know what is in God's plan. As we saw with Dad, we didn't get much warning. (48 days)
On a fun note, me and Dad always loved listening to oldies together... today should be an oldies day! I love you Dad and I miss you! Happy Birthday!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Decorating Rain or shine!

I know we're behind... this is the way it is every year! I think we had our tree up less than 2 weeks before Christmas last year. Not this Year!
Yesterday on our way home from our annual Stenglein brunch in the city we stopped at wal-mart/menard's to get our out door Christmas lights. Yes you got it, it's actually our first year putting Christmas lights on the house! So we were out there yesterday in the rain hooking lights to the gutters... it actually went pretty quick. However I was nervous the whole time holding things and watching Mike on the VERY OLD and RICKETY wooden ladder. Whew! I'm glad it's done!
But today, it's sunny! YAY! We WERE just going to get our tree at a parking lot... However since Mike is home today and it's sunny.... maybe we'll go for a nice country drive and get a tree at some place a little more quaint... ya know?
We'll see..... :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One frown can turn you upside down...

I was at Wal-mart yesterday tie-ing up some Christmas Shopping Odds and ends, and I had an experience. I was in the pencil and eraser aisle picking out some wacky pencils to add to a couple of my neice's Christmas packages. When I was finished with my selection I moved on... at the end of the aisle was a middle-aged woman re-stocking some Items. A gentleman came up and asked where the pencils were, I don't know why but I found "Oh they're right down here" coming out of my mouth. Probably because I was just there, and was simply trying to be helpful.
However the woman that actually worked there gave me the nastiest glare I had seen in a while...and my heart sank, I didn't get it. Did she think I was trying to steal her job? I know I wasn't the one being addressed by the gentleman, but I certainly wasn't trying to offend anyone! ARGH! I was so hurt and even kind of angry! Amazing how quickly my emotions went from full of peace and relaxed to upset and hurt!
So anyway, I continued on still feeling those icky feelings and I remembered what Pastor Flattery said on Sunday.... we can choose to be offended or shake it off! Which I was trying to do.
It just helps me to realize... or re-solidify how much everything we do or say.. or the gestures that we make.... How much the smallest things can impact another person. I will do my best not to frown at anyone... not even a stranger!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

test...comment issues


The last couple days I was helping another artist with a big venetian plaster job. We were actually supposed to be working today too... however, we ran out of plaster and had to order more.
I have to say I am very thankful that we have to go back next week. We were using 3-level scaffold and I am sore from all the climbing, stabilizing, and troweling! Not to mention that I am afraid of heights... I can't believe I actually agreed to get involved in this one! I'd have to say, after working so high up... I didn't even think twice about getting on the 5th step of a 6-foot. Ashley would be proud... I am usually such a chicken... which I'm sure makes things worse... anyway....
I am also excited about having the day off to get a start on Christmas shopping before the masses get out there! I actually have a couple coupons that expire today... To all you Black Friday people... I am perfectly happy with 20% off.... I know there are better deals to be had, but as my husband can attest, I would be impossible that early in the morning!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and good luck to the 3am shoppers!

Friday, November 16, 2007

God's plan, Where do we come in?

I find it very interesting the people God has placed in my life. I realized about 2 years ago as my relationship with God was really beginning to strengthen that almost none of my friends and many of my family members were followers of Christ. There are different stroies associated with each of them, however most had been introduced to the church at some point during child hood. (Introduced, but not led to understand)
I know that God has a plan for each of us and will reveal himself to those of us he fore knew. However I struggle with 2 different philosophies. One being that as Paul said in Galatians 1:15-16 " But when God who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles" What a great priveledge that God has given some responsibility to me for the ones I love? How could I ever turn my back on them for something they don't understand...
But on the flip side, I found this verse last week that has troubled me, I highlighted it and put a big question mark by it... John 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can never see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn and I would heal them."
Exactly where is the line between lack of understanding and a hardened heart? It lights a fire under me to share with my loved ones what knowledge and understanding I have (little as it may be)..... is it ever too late... it is not for us to determine.
Just something that has been on my mind

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I am a blog IDIOT! Maybe I just have to get used to that fact! Anyway, I am going to take Samantha's suggestion and talk about game night! I wanted thank everyone for coming... Mike and I had a great time.... and I think it would be safe to assume everyone did... considering all of the laughing and shouting! Totally fun!
We've been here (in the south suburbs) for over a year now... we have just felt in our hearts that God had his own reasons for bringing us here. And we are having fun watching God's plan unfold in our lives. Moving to a new area and starting a lot of things over has totally been worth it even if it was just to meet you guys... Sam, Jim, Bethany, Erik, Lonna, Tom, Aldo (I hope you can make it next time.) Your are all amazing!
By the way, who's making the fondue next time???

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I can't believe how fast the time flies! It's already almost Thanksgiving!!! I haven't been really good about keeping this updated... but that gives me some material to cover!
In October Mike and I went to Costa Rica with his family. The scenery was beautiful and the people were very welcoming! We had a good time. While we were there, we went Kayaking a few times. Everytime I came in for a landing, the waves tipped me over. I was brave about it until the last time the Kayak landed on my head pushing my face into rocks. I was never really comfortable with the ocean to begin with... needless to say I did not have another attempt.
We wento to see David Crowder on November 1st at HOB. It was a great show and a great time... I have wanted to see them for a while now. I'm glad we had the chance! :)
And... once again my crazy cat is hindering my ability to type by licking my hands. Silly Lily!

Friday, September 28, 2007

I am really looking forward to this weekend... The last several weekends we have had big events to go to and lots of running around. It will be nice to be a little more laid back. Tonight Mike gets to stay home and be a bachelor (which I can tell he loves because he gets to veg and eat junk food.... who wouldn't?) while I go to Samantha's Pampered Chef Party. I'm looking forward to it, I've never been to one... I also get a chance to get to know a couple new friends a little better :).
Tomorrow we are going to my cousin's homecoming football game. I haven't been to a football game in a long time. I hope it's just a bit cool out so we can justify bringing a blanket and getting some hot chocolate!
And Sunday... It's an exciting day at church! I am sure every one is very anxious to see and meet the new pastor candidate. I'll be praying that everything goes well for both him and the community!
Praise God for such a wonderful week! The weather has been beautiful, I had a big job that went successfully... and quite a few leads for new jobs!
Finally a reason to keep going! I really needed that... thank you God!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

All American Family

This is my big sis, Holly, and her gang on the 4th of july this summer. Aren't they cute?? From Left to right: Marie, Holly, Sydney, Luke (the little guy), and Chris (Her Hubby). They love getting dressed perfectly for every occasion!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Rare Footage

I had a really cool experience earlier this summer... I was going out the front door to get my mail... and I found this little tiny humming bird loving my petunias. So, I watched him for a while... and then went in to get the camera. He totally posed for me while I got a bunch of shots! We probably hung out for 15 minutes or so. Anyway... before I posted, I thought I'd look it up.... it's called a hummingbird moth. Isn't he cute?

2 Sleepy Rascals

These are My cats Iris and Lily... they're total sweethearts. I got them When I was in college, they're 9 1/2. If you come and visit me, you may not meet them... they're a little shy.

This is my first post, so I'm just going to keep it simple until I get the hang of this!

Happy Friday!