This is Krista. She is 20 years old from Columbus MS, and a very fun girl. Krista is a junior in college, majoring in Exercise Science/Kinesiology. She is a certified personal trainer, Zumba instructor, and spinning instructor, and truly enjoys an active lifestyle.
This sweet girl loves the Lord with all her heart, and is completely committed to serving Him. Her heart's desire is to please Him first and foremost. She went with her family on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic this past summer, and I think she might have left a piece of her heart there. She is dying to go back---SOON. Guys who aren't on fire for Jesus need not apply! :)
She loves country music and southern gospel music--and she is all about contemporary worship. If you are around Krista for five minutes, you will probably hear her singing. Below is a picture with Adam Crabb--a favorite singer of hers.
Krista also loves football--particularly Alabama football. She's never had the chance to go to a game, but she loves to watch on tv. She would pass out, if she got the opportunity to go! Krista loves her family, and is very close to them. She was home-schooled until the 10th grade, and finished up at a private Christian school. She chose to live at home while going to college, and won scholarships that have completely paid for her education. She is looking forward to graduation, and all that the Lord has planned for her. She is a military brat, but has lived in the same town for 12 years now. It's unusual for a military kid to have a hometown. Her daddy is a pilot in the Air Force, so she is Air Force proud! She's a sweet southern belle!
Krista loves her downtime, and is a certifiable bookworm. She loves books and movies, music, and the theatre. Movies and dinner are a recipe for a good time in her book. Oh, and we can't forget shoes! The girl loves her some shoes--and the higher the better! And yes, the curls are completely natural.
I had to post this picture because it cracks me up. B's parents visited us shortly after Christmas, and we took the opportunity to take this picture of 3 Generations of Braces. B. is recovering quite nicely from an extensive back surgery in mid-December. His mother had very, very extensive neck surgery in November, and, of course, K. has her braces. What makes this even sadder is that if we could have taken this picture a few days later, we could have added A. in with his cast (for a broken thumb)! Everyone is on the mend, and K. is set to get her braces off in just a few months--just in time for her Senior year of school.
Things are going pretty well around here. We are still having the most ridiculous car woes anyone could ever have. We are about to throw in the towel and finance a new (used) car. We were really trying to save and pay cash, but we are spending all our savings on car repairs. That really stinks.
I have been taking my running a little more seriously since the new year. I've always been pretty happy just jogging a mile once or twice a week (plus walking). I was inspired, though, by a friend who runs for 40 minutes and 6.5 mph. I am thinking I could never do that, but I am working up to 2 miles instead of 1. At this point I can do 1 1/2 miles pretty easily at 5 mph-- three times a week is enough for me. I'm not even sure my knees can handle that much. I really do love the "buzz" from running--I need it just to keep my mood at what would be normal for others.
The weather is a beautiful 70 degrees here today. I am so glad that winter is nearly over in the South--Spring will be here before we know it. The daffodils are already blooming, and the pear trees are budding out--I just love it. It makes me feel like singing.
We are planning a big vacation this year to DC. B. has been there, but the rest of us haven't. We've been planning it for a couple years, and finally get to go. It is such an awesome field trip--I just can't even imagine all the wonderful, fun, educational things there are to do there. We have two sets of friends living there right now that we will get to visit, and one family is keeping track of all the "must-sees" for us. I can hardly wait for May/June so we can go.
We are having some work done on our house right now--all the siding needs to be replaced and painted. Thankfully, we only have siding on our second story, but it's still a huge expense. I am so happy to be able to get it done--actually we only are doing 2 sides this year, and will finish next year. We just couldn't do it all at once. It will look OK though--I know it sounds like it would look trashy, but it matches up well enough and when it's all painted, it won't be noticeable at all. I am so excited to get some work done in the yard too. I am hoping for a new crepe myrtle and some deck furniture this year! Keeping my fingers crossed.
It seems like every time I start a post lately, I feel like I need to say, "It's been a long time...". I'm not going to say that this time---but it has.
I haven't even been exercising since the last time I posted--that is very strange for me. Today is my last day of slothfulness though---I absolutely promise. I tried to ease back into the exercise routine by getting on the treadmill for thirty minutes while the family was at church. ( I didn't go because of a disgusting fever blister/cold sore hanging out my nose--sorry if that's TMI.) It felt good, and perhaps it will put me in exercise mode again. Tomorrow is the day for getting back into routine, except B won't be going back to work yet.
Speaking of B--he had major back surgery on the 17th of Dec. He had a 3 day hospital stay--that was not fun. Thankfully, my cousin came and stayed with the children so that I could stay with him. The surgery was in a town an hour away so it would have been hard to manage the children without help. Everything went well, and he is slowly getting back to normal. He will see his surgeon sometime this week, start physical therapy, and, hopefully, go back to half days at work soon. He won't be able to fly until summer--he will be a desk jockey for a good while. I am so looking forward to going on long walks with him again.
We had a good, but very quiet Christmas. We were unable to travel due to B's surgery. The kids all got new digital cameras, and they were pretty happy about that. We also got the 'knifty knitter' and have been loom knitting scarves and hats. It's pretty fun. I sent my first scarf to my sister for her birthday this week.
We have added a new member to our family--a beautiful chocolate lab named Mocha. He is a handful, but we all love him--well, K tolerates him.
He is about triple that size now! We love his first "Retrieve"!
I am stuffed full with fried chicken and mashed potatoes as I write this post. I'm not so full that I won't have a nice little banana split when Jon and Kate comes on. I am a big fan of Mondays. I usually try to stay home the entire day so that I can get all the laundry in the house done. I cook a good supper--and make sure there is a yummy dessert--and then relax in front of The Learning Channel to watch Jon and Kate, Little People, and 17 and Counting. I'm not sure what the appeal of these shows is--except maybe that they are openly Christian families. On the Mondays that I have Bible study, I DVR the shows and do this whole routine on Tuesday--except the laundry part. I really don't watch a single other thing on TV anymore. We usually get two movies a week from Netflix that we watch on the weekend--and that's about it. The twins are big "Man vs. Wild" fans. I cannot stand that show--I have seen the host eat one to many raw snakes. Yuck.
B. got an epidural shot in his back last week to try to help with his pain. It has worked wonderfully. We even went on a very long walk this morning--which we haven't been able to do for weeks--it was so nice. We are praying that this shot works for a very long long time. We definitely want it to work through the end of the year so that he can finish his MBA. The goal is no surgery--and back to flying. We are really praying about this.
My baby sister was here last week--along with my dad and stepmother--so that they could trade cars. My dad--ever so graciously--gave my sister a 3 year old HHR, a very nice car kind of like a much bigger PT Cruiser. She, in turn, gave him her old beat up Cavalier. It was such a blessing for my sister, and I heart my dad for doing that. The father of my sister's baby was also served with child support papers over the weekend, and the amount he has to pay is really going to help my sister be able to get by. I'm so glad. Hopefully, he cooperates. It will be a miracle, mind you.
We have been bombarded lately with car trouble--completely overwhelming. I am hoping we are nearing the end of a tough time. We are trying so hard to pay cash for our next vehicle, and we just aren't ready to buy yet--it doesn't help that everything we would normally save is going for car repair bills. I am thankful that we have the money to pay, though.
The weather has cooled off here--and I love it. I am the hugest fan of warm weather, but I also enjoy pulling out my sweaters, drinking hot chocolate, taking hot baths, and cuddling up with my hubby in front of the fireplace!
We have a tremendous surprise in store for our children soon. I will share as soon as I can. The younger two are going to go nuts--and I do mean nuts!!
This past week has been spent, primarily, switching from the summer clothing to the winter clothing--for the children. I spent HOURS on Saturday cleaning out the twins' drawers and closets, packing up too-small clothes, and throwing away junk (it's amazing how much two twelve years olds can manage to collect and still have their rooms look clean). I dread this job every season--I even went so far this year as to say, "I can't wait until these two stop growing." I didn't mean it though-- I love my babies and want to put off the empty nest as long as possible. Anyway, as I was saying, I dread it every season, but I'm always so glad that I did it. I don't know if I'm the only one or not, but every year, when I'm in the midst of this monstrous project, I promise myself that this time I will not buy so much clothing. This time, things are going to be different. I think the problem is that I tend to buy EVERYTHING I think they might need for the season, forgetting that somehow stuff seems to trickle in through out the season--gifts, hand-me-downs, required t-shirt, etc. Am I the only one guilty of this? Oh--who am I kidding-I don't forget. I love to shop. There, I said it. I find it hard to resist a good sale or a cute outfit. Lock me up. No, really, Lock me up!
Anyway, this year we tried on the clothes I saved from last winter--I mistakenly thought a few things might still fit them this year--Ha-what a joke. Afterwards, I made a list of what each child needed--bare minimum-- (to me, anyway) the goal being to have enough clothing to last a week without having to wash. "Bare minimum" is a new approach for me--3 or 4 pairs of jeans, 4 long sleeve shirts, 2-3 church outfits, new shoes, and sweatpants (are they still called that?)/ sleeping pants. (They all had jackets/sweatshirts from last year that fit-yippee--so I didn't have to worry about that--and they each had some play clothes given to them). Even just those few things are a huge investment when you have three children. I worried this wouldn't be enough, but sure enough, hand-me-downs have already been given to us, and the kids have each chosen to spend their own money on a piece of clothing or two--so their drawers are already packed full again. And I already know that when spring comes, I'll be saying the same thing I always say--"I am not going to buy them so much this time. This is ridiculous." Whatever--some things never change.
Oh, and lest you think I have forgotten to buy myself anything during this fall season, I found--on clearance-- a great pair of very comfortable dark brown Sperry suede topsiders--with a buckle instead of shoestrings--that I love! And the greatest brown long sweater jacket--a steal at The Limited for $15.
B. has to have surgery for a ruptured disc(k?) in his lower back. He is hoping to put it off until the first of the year so that he can finish his Master's without interruption. I do not blame him, but I'm not so sure he is going to be able to wait. I certainly hope and pray he can. I feel so badly for him.
K. had minor surgery on her knee Wednesday. As of last night, she was still in a lot of pain. She went to school today and will hopefully be able to stay the whole day. Homecoming is tonight, and I know she will want to go to that. She can take the brace off tomorrow, and she goes back to the doctor on Tuesday to have the stitches removed. She's not much for pain--that is for sure.
We have the craziest bird at our house right now. He walks back and forth across one particular window sill and pecks away at our window. We had fun watching it yesterday--it does get on one's nerves after awhile though.
We have a small water leak under the house--not the best when your husband has a ruptured disc (k?). We also have a heating element out in our water heater AND in my oven. (No oven for the past 6 weeks.) Plus, my microwave is on the blink. K's class ring payment is due. B needs new tires for his truck. And the battery died on my van. Our pocketbook is aching a bit, needless to say. Thank goodness gas is down to $3.00.
The girls and I are getting ready to learn to knit. I am excited.
I bought a gorgeous red enamel-coated cast-iron skillet yesterday (on sale) at Belk (evil, evil store--it draws me in). I think I'm in love. My arms will be stronger too. My teflon skillet was starting to chip--and I want to get away from the non-stick pans for health reasons--I no longer have any.
I am not a huge fan of life without an oven, though it hasn't been as hard as one would think. I have done a lot of recipe searching and have found three great new recipes to add to our regular fare. I just wish I could bake myself that german chocolate cake and chocolate chip pumpkin bread that I have been craving. I may borrow a friend's oven soon.
I have realized that I have an unhealthy love for dishes. I have five sets that I can choose from--it's sick and crazy--blue Fiesta, floral Pfaltzgraff, deep yellow something from Penny's catalog, ivory Sorrento (which was just discontinued at Belk and is 75% off), and my white-with-tiny-blue-flowers china from Winn Dixie. I use the deep yellow something most days--and I know you were very interested in that little piece of information.
School is going wonderfully at home--we are having a hard time getting our History and Science in though--working on that.
It is ridiculous how much I am looking forward to leftover Spaghetti Soup tonight.
I just had to post this recipe from tonight's supper--it was stupendous, in my opinion anyway! I am always on the lookout for soup recipes--we eat it year round, but even more in the fall and winter months. So, if you are needing a nice chilly weather kind of soup, you might want to try this one:
Sarah's Spaghetti Soup
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cups each of chopped onion, green pepper, celery, carrot, and mushrooms might be good too--but are optional-I didn't use them.
3 cloves garlic ( I used the jarred minced garlic--heaven forbid)
3 1/2 cups water
3 14 oz cans diced tomatoes ( I substituted one of these cans with tomato sauce.)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
crushed red pepper (I used three dashes)
3 oz. uncooked spaghetti broken into 1 inch pieces
Chop vegetables and cook with ground beef until meat is done and the vegetables are tender--I didn't drain this before adding the remaining ingredients, but I will next time. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes. Put Parmesan cheese on the table in case anyone wants to sprinkle a little on their soup. Serves 8-10 (There are 5 in our family, and I have enough for tomorrow's meal.) Enjoy!
It just could be that I have a dear family member who is a part of this great worship team in Missouri--who just got a three CD contract with Universal, by the way! Their CD is out!!! I'm a little proud. "To Know Your Heart" by Cape First Worship available at this Walmart.com link.
(My cousin is the blonde on far stage left.)
I knew it had been awhile since I posted, but was a little surprised when I saw that I just lacked two days for it to be an entire month. I know what it is--school started. This year I have one in private school and two at home. We are having such a good year--K is doing well at private school. The big news about that is that she is driving herself there and back. I can't even begin to describe what a big deal that is--for ME. I spent more time in the car last year taking her to school and back--and to b'ball practice and back. UGH! I am so glad that is not happening this year. She's quite thrilled to have her own vehicle too--so we both win.
The twins and I are having a great year here at home. It is wonderful to have them "back where they belong"! We are being pretty relaxed--yet getting a whole lot done. We are really focusing on math and language. PE started this past week, and they are always happy to be doing that--it's probably their favorite thing about home-schooling--wait--I know it's their favorite thing.
I joined everyone else in the world and signed up at facebook. It's been fun finding people from high-school and college. I have emailed back and forth with some people who were wonderful friends in high school. It makes me sad that we ever lost touch. I've even found a couple of cousins that I haven't seen in 20 years. Of course--there were many blogging friends there too. Too much fun.
We have been seeing a lot of wildlife in our yard lately--we have a little 4-point that makes an appearance pretty regularly these days. Yesterday, we watched a big ole black snake crawl out of the retaining wall and eat a lizard--then slither back to his home. M. found a long snake skin in the yard last week--and their was a dead cotton-mouth on the road right in front of our house. The biggest wildlife was mounted in our sun room this weekend. The bear that B. shot in Canada a couple years ago was finally mounted on our wall. He's very pretty--the mount is huge since B chose to get a half-mount--meaning the front half of the bear's body. He was so proud to finally have it.
K. is involved in a youth ministry tonight at church so I'm off to get ready.
I MSG'd my Husband and Other Events From the Past Two Weeks
For the first time in the five years my husband has been allergic to monosodium glutamate ( a common food preservative/flavor enhancer), I accidentally served B a meal with MSG in it. Can I just tell you that I felt so bad? I have kind of taken pride in the fact that B can always eat at home without worrying or having to ask if something has MSG. He always has to ask at any restaurant--and at anyone's home that we may go to. I made Barb's beef enchiladas (they were yummy, by the way) last night and for some reason didn't think to look at the ingredients on the enchilada sauce can. About thirty minutes after we ate, it popped into my head that I hadn't checked the sauce--sure enough---MSG! UGH!!! I almost didn't tell him because he didn't seem to be having any effects--and I might not would have except he was getting ready to exercise away from home--and when the MSG hits, he requires--ummm, a bathroom. So, I told him. I said, 'Honneeeey, do you love me??? How are you feeling, my most handsome husband whom I love so much???' He was fine. Thankfully, he only ate half of one enchilada without scooping any extra sauce and it wasn't enough to do much. I went to Kroger this morning and found a canned sauce that doesn't have the toxic substance in it!!! I was so glad to find it because we all really enjoyed the recipe, and I was thrilled to find a new keeper.
I am currently on a Wal-Mart fast. Not for spiritual reasons, mind you, but just as an experiment to see if we have more money at the end of the month. I got tired of going to that stupid store what feels like every single day. So, I have made it a third of the way through the month and haven't been there. We school shopped at Office Depot and I went to Kroger today for the sauce--we would have normally gone to Wally World for both of those. I did buy three boxes of Equate brand lactaid on the last day of July so that I wouldn't have to pay the Lactaid brand price for it. I have to have my lactaid--Poor little lactose intolerant me.
When I last wrote I mentioned that B was having some back trouble. Well, he was. As a matter of fact, we had been told that he had a broken bone in his back that would never heal and could only be managed. B was very bummed because this very likely meant he wouldn't be able to fly anymore--at the very best, he would have to switch to a jet that doesn't pull G's. We decided to give it to God--this might have been a little easier for me than for him, however!!! The x-ray showed a broken bone, but when he went for a cat scan a few days later he did not have one. We were thrilled. There are many reasons why this might have happened, but we choose to believe in Divine Intervention! Anyway, B is finishing up three weeks of therapy, and will hopefully be back in the cockpit soon. I know he has missed it. He has had more time to work on his schoolwork, though, and that's been nice. He will finish up that stinky master's degree in December. Hallelujah and Praise the Lord.
The kids and I went to Missouri the week before last. We had a good time, but it certainly was eventful. We started off the trip with our youngest daughter running into a grape vine wire at my sister's house, cutting up her mouth, and KNOCKING HER TOOTH OUT! She was running with her cousins at dusk and decided to take a shortcut. She's never been so sorry about taking a shortcut. I panicked a little--OK, more than a little-- because we had no idea if the tooth was a baby tooth or a permanent one. We spoke to two dentists - one in MO, and our own dentist at home--not to mention our AF doctor--and were advised to put the tooth in milk in the fridge and come in first thing in the morning. It would be putting it lightly to say my sister lives in the "boondocks." We had to get up at six the next morning in order to be at the dentist's office at 8 am. After x-rays, we were thrilled to find out the tooth was a baby tooth, and all was well. Thank goodness for good dental insurance. She had a lot of swelling and, sadly, she will have a small scar under her bottom lip. She learned several things from this little event--but I made a statement that my kids will probably never hear their mother say again: "Why couldn't you just do what all the other kids were doing!!??"