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..... :)