Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No Sky Like It

We were recently back in Illinois for Christmas, and on the way home had to snap a photo of the sky. I LOVE the sky in Illinois, as there is no other like it anywhere we have lived. In Illinois it seems as though you can see to the ends of the earth across the land, which also means the sunset is always in view. They are always phenomenal. This one proved to be no exception. In the picture it looks as though the sky is on fire, though it of course does not do the scene justice.

In real-life, the sky under the clouds was much more blue. This photo was taken from the car, so forgive any blurriness, please.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And Then There Were 11...

Our youngest dog became pregnant a couple months ago and last night, while we slept, delivered her puppies. So we quickly went from owning 2 dogs to 11! She had 9 puppies! When I went out to move her and the pups into the house from the garage, I found 7 puppies, and after moving them and her inside went back out to ensure I had gotten them all. Well, I heard some squeaking and saw a little movement on the old comforter we had given her. Upon further inspection, I realized whatever was squeaking had crawled inside the comforter through a little hole in it. I quickly ripped open the blanket to find two little puppies huddling together within it, to total 9. Since their eyes are not even open yet, you can see how they would easily lose their way. ;) They are very cute, of course, so if anyone is looking for a puppy for Christmas, just let us know! :)

Sarah and her pups. If you look closely you can see all 9 (5 black--one is hiding under her back leg, and 4 blonde).

Our other dog--now "Aunt Missy". ; )

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trip Photos

Here are the rest of our photos from our Pennsylvania trip. We had a great time relaxing in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do but what we wanted. : ) We loved it!

Click to play Cabin '08
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Tag--I'm It!

Well, Jenny tagged me : ), so here are my answers...

I AM … just one of so many Jenny's that I know. : )

I WANT…to be an expert knitter (I love to create through this hobby!).

I HAVE …a hard time going to bed when my husband is away and as a result stay up much later than normal.

I KEEP … bits of yarn and scraps of fabric.

I WISH I COULD …go back to Washington for a visit with some good friends that I miss.

I HATE … it when I speak before I think.

I FEAR … losing my husband (he travels a lot, which requires much flying).

I HEAR … my dogs snoring.

I DON’T THINK ... I will ever get all my boxes unpacked.

I REGRET … it when I say something stupid that may hurt someone else.

I LOVE … my Savior, my husband, my dogs and FOOD!

I AM NOT … good with details (that is my husband's department--Praise God for that!).

I DANCE … with my husband, at home.

I SING … in the car and beyond.

I NEVER... pray enough.

I RARELY … pay more than $10 for anything.

I CRY WHEN I WATCH … anything in which a kid or an old person cries.

I AM NOT ALWAYS … patient.

I HATE THAT … all too often I wear my emotions on my face.

I’M CONFUSED ABOUT … the construed views of this world on human life and moral relativism.

I NEED … to be better at keeping up with picking up around the house.

I SHOULD … be more organized.

I TAG... Joy and Cindee!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Hunt

Over our recent vacation, my husband provided for his family through one of the most timeless ways of man---hunting. That's right, Carl got himself a deer this season, a big doe as a matter of fact, and we are now stocked up on venison for the year. : ) The rules in the county in which we were changed on what deer you could get which days, so unfortunately we saw many deer on many days that we could not get. Fortunately, Carl the Hunter found a deer on the few days we were able to get what we could see, though the sitings of them had diminished greatly by then. Here are a few pictures from the hunt. I am sorry this is just a long post, as there were so few pictures, I didn't take the time to put them in slide show format.

Here's the hunter in the stand.

I was with him, but not at the time he got the deer.
The stand--very high, and thankfully VERY sturdy!
It took both Carl and his dad to pull up this big doe.

The end result, currently in our freezer and enough to feed us for quite some time!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cabin in the Woods

We are currently in Pennsylvania at Mom and Dad Bodin's "cabin in the woods". We love it, as we are out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature, keeping warm by a wood stove. We are having a great time, and had a wonderful visit in Illinois with family over Thanksgiving (and ate much delicious food). Just wanted to drop a line saying hello and letting you know we are well. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Packed Up and Headed Out

Well, we are off for what we fondly refer to as our "family tour". We are going to celebrate Thanksgiving with family in Illinois, and then are going to Pennsylvania to spend time with more family and nature (hunting). : ) We are super excited and have been looking forward to these couple of weeks for quite some time. As you can see, we are all packed up and ready to head out (minus one dog in the picture--she's scared of the suitcases). : ) We are very thankful for the ability to go spend time with our family, as well as for having each other and all the wonderful friends God has blessed us with (including all of you), among many other blessings. Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays and we can't wait to eat some great food with family! I hope your Thanksgiving is a joyous occasion, as well!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Holiday Traditions

Carl and I have been talking lately about starting traditions during the holidays. Since we are usually not at our house for the actual holidays, I guess we do have some traditions with family, but want to come up with a few of our own. Nothing big or costly, just simple things like homemade hot chocolate at Christmas and reading the Christmas story on Christmas day before the Christmas meal, or a certain homemade pie always at Thanksgiving. It's so fun to have such traditions, because even though they are simple, they are yours and make the holiday time special and specifically yours. Thinking of this made me wonder, what are your traditions, if you don't mind sharing?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

'Tis Almost the Season!

It's almost Christmas! I can't believe it's almost that time of year again, can you? I know, I know, we have Thanksgiving yet (my other favorite holiday), but yesterday I went out and did 90% of my Christmas shopping, and now have 80% of the gifts wrapped! You may notice that none of the gifts have bows, but that is because they still have to travel. I am no longer working for a bit now, and am trying to get ahead of things before it's too late. Time always starts to fly once Thanksgiving is over. Just wanted to share my excitement! : )

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Day to be Thankful

As you know, today is Veteran's Day, so I wanted to put up a post to thank the Veteran's we know. It is so terribly easy to just take for granted all that we have living in the greatest country on earth (no matter it's current state). The freedoms that we enjoy daily were not easy to attain and to even keep. Did you know that the men who wrote the constitution did so knowing that they were willingly risking their lives, the lives of their families, and all that they had and owned, and some of them lost it all. I think it's only right that we remember and thank the men and women who have served to keep these freedoms, as well as their families. Also, remember those who have lost their lives and their families to preserve our freedoms.

Here are just a few of the veteran's we know and love and want to thank today:

Ken Swedberg (Grandpa)
William Bosch (Grandpa)
Dave Hoffschneider (Grandpa)
Ken Bodin (Father)
Bruce Bodin
Jay Abbott
Gene Abbott
Jack Abbott
Nathan Speer
Jake Hughes

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."---George Bernard Shaw

Thank God for those who are and were not afraid to take responsibility.
There are many more we know and those who we remember. So, just remember all it costs for us to simply write freely on our blogs, to raise your children the way you want to, and to live where you choose. Also, please continue to pray for our country, and for those who defend and lead it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Bag

So lately I have had the urge to create, and after a few botched attempts at a decent piece of clothing, I decided to try something more on my level...a bag. I have been wanting a new purse anyhow, so in order to help boost my confidence back to the level where I can again attempt something more complicated, I decided to make one! Here is the end result. : )

Sorry the picture is kind of dark.
This shows a more true image of the fabric.
I thought it was gorgeous and it was a remnant that was on super sale.
My inside fabric (also on sale) and my large middle inside pocket.
Some of you great seamstresses are laughing I am sure, but this is an accomplishment for this novice. : ) Next I think I'll knit for a bit on a project I started last winter. It's almost the scarf time of year again!
(Sorry about the spacing of this paragraph---I can't seem to figure that out, with this post and the last.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

We did it!!

First a little background---since August, Carl and I have been training to run a half-marathon (13.1 miles). Well, early this past Sunday morning we put all of our training into use. We did it! We rolled out of bed, jumped into our running gear, drove to the site, and ran our 13.1 mile race, all in time to still get to Sunday school! : )
We both have wanted to run a full marathon for a long time (before we met each other), and this was our first hurdle on our way to someday running that, though I will admit, around mile 11 or so, I started to think a half-marathon was far enough! As I said, we have been training for quite some time, and it paid off, as we both ran a much faster race than anticipated. No way would we have gone into it without such training. Carl finished the race in 1 hour 51 min, placing 10th out of 22 in his age group, and 107 out of 359 runners total! I finished in 2 hours 5 min, placing 7 out of 18 in my age group, and 203 out of 359 runners total! We are proud to officially be able to call ourselves runners now. : ) Okay, enough of that, I just wanted to share our victory with you.

Below are a few pictures from the race photographer.

Let the race begin!

Carl on the run checking his time. He's the one checking time in the center with a white long-sleeved shirt (in case you couldn't tell). : )

Me concentrating on passing that guy in front of me. : ) I'm the second one in the photo, in the long blue shorts, gray t-shirt, and black long-sleeve shirt underneath. : )

A view of the race route. The funny think about the route is that it was the road to the Navy base, and the road we drive to work every day. So, we had plenty of time to scope it out over and over and over again. Now every time we drive to work we area amazed at how quickly you really can cover ground in a car! : )

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Witnessing History

This Sunday we witnessed history at our church, as our pastor passed the pulpit on to a new pastor. The current pastor at our church is stepping down to "Pastor Emeritus", which from what I understand is kind of an assisting-type job, helping the new pastor with the ropes of the church and such. The pastor who is stepping down has been in the ministry for 43 years, pastoring this church for 34, and due to an illness he has been battling for a few years now, he has to step down from the ministry. Our new pastor started this last Sunday. He came from a church in Arkansas (though not as the pastor), and from being the vice president of a bible college that he and his brother (who is a pastor) started. Though we loved the last pastor, we are excited to see how God will work in our church in this move as well.

When we first joined this church, the pastor actually told us that we were an answer to prayer, as a naval officer had just left and since then he has been praying for another naval officer to take his place! We really knew that we were in God's will when we heard that! We really feel that our last church equipped us for the ministry God has given us here. It has been such a wonderful blessing and faith builder to see how God has brought us and worked in our lives to take us from one place to the next. What a glorious blessing it is to know that you are following God's plan, in His will, and what peace it brings!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

High Cotton

This may sound silly, but Carl and I are fascinated with the fields of cotton around here, so much so that we had to take some pictures of it to share. We personally have never lived anywhere that grew cotton, and have never seen it in real-life in the fields. We didn't even realize they grew cotton in TN until we saw it here (we are in the southwestern most corner). I am especially fascinated, as I come from a farming family, and now see all these new tractors I've never seen before (geeky, I know). We did stop and feel it, by the way. It feels much like regular cotton balls you buy from the store. Imagine. :) Anyhow, here are the pictures of the crop.
How awesome is it that our favorite clothes start out looking like this? : )
This is how they apparently bale cotton. As you can tell, these are huge bricks of cotton, and there are many more not included in the photo. Cool huh? I am sure the farmer in the tractor thought I was slightly insane when I was taking this photo.

Sorry this is kind of dark and blurry. I took it from the car. It was an afterthought photo.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mud River Island

This weekend we visited a site in Memphis called Mud River Island Park. It has a miniature-type version of the Lower Mississippi River, showing all of the states it winds through, and the history of the many cities on it. We had a fun time learning and visiting this free park. Since we move often, we try to visit as many local places as we can each place we live. The USA has so much to offer, and when you live somewhere, you forget about all the places you can visit. So, we try to view the places we live through tourists' eyes, trying to take advantage of all we can. Here are a few pictures from the day.

Here's a small part of the river representation.

Okay, so I know you are stupefied right now as to how in the world this fits in to a river park. I have no idea, but it was funny! This giant hay man was too good to resist, so we had to snap a picture of Carl sitting on his lap.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Break!!

This weekend I had Monday and today (Tuesday) off for fall break. Well, so did my sister-in-law, Krista, (she works in a school, too), so a while ago, we decided to get together with her and her husband, Kris, this weekend at a spot located about half-way between us for a camp out. Carl also had Monday off and Kris took off Monday morning. So, we both drove to the campground Friday night, setup our tents, and then had all of Saturday and all of Sunday for camp out fun! And fun we did have! It was a blast! It was a wonderful time, just spending time together, in nature with nothing to do but hike around, throw a football, play with the dogs, and sit around the fire and chat. Now that is RELAXATION! We camped at a site in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. Fall is our favorite season, and the weather and nature did not disappoint. The trees were just starting to turn, and the crisp feel of fall was in the air.

We went to a place called Garden of the gods, though we know it was actually formed by the only God. There were amazing rock formations, that displayed God's awesome beauty and power. I always wonder, too, about how much of what I see was a result of the flood. I've put all of our pictures in a slideshow, so if you want to zoom in on any, just click on them within the slide show, and they will zoom for you. I love the first one best, as far as photograph quality, as I think the lighting is gorgeous. Anyhow, we had a wonderful time and can't wait to do it again!

Click to play Fall Break '08
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Second Look

Since I last posted my pictures of our bed, and even before that, I have been looking for material to make larger pillows for it. I finally found just what I wanted the other day at Wal-Mart. Two brown pillow cases, with a simple detailed edge (which is kind of hard to see in the picture). Perfect! I cut the pillow cases down a little to my size, stuffed them, and stitched up the side. Taking advice from Charissa, I also wanted to help "anchor" the bed by finding something to hang on the wall on either side of it. What we ended up getting Carl picked out, and I agreed with his good taste. So, here's the finished product, slightly different from the first time you saw it. You'll have to let me know if you like it (if not, that's okay, you just don't have to let me know ;) ).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Our First 5 Years

Carl and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Saturday. To celebrate we went out to The Melting Pot, a restaurant we have always desired to try, but not wanted to spend the money to do so. We thought this anniversary was a good a reason as any, so we did and it was phenomenal! We LOVED it!! The food was absolutely delicious, and the experience was a great time. You will not leave there hungry, and all the food you eat is quite healthy! We got the 4 course choice (you can only get a minimum of 3 I believe), and our dessert was free as we had a coupon (always exciting). The first course is a variety of breads, apple slices, and variety of fresh veggies to dip in your choice of a cheese fondue sauce. The second course was a delicious salad (no fondue necessary ;) ) and the third course was the main course with a variety of meat and veggies and your choice of broth fondue. Here are a few pictures from the day and the meal. I will apologize in advance, I always remembered to take the picture after eating a bit, so you don't get to see the nice spread as we first saw it, but rather partially eaten. ;)

We of course had to get a little gussied up for our nice meal and special day. : )

Here is the first course (or what's left of it). : )

Main course of pork bbq, shrimp, salmon, honey dijon chicken, ravioli, and fillet Mignon (and veggies).

The boiling broth.

So, in our first five years we have lived in and traveled around Europe, moved 3 times, lived in 3 different states, had 4 different churches, gotten 2 dogs, both served in the war against terrorism, made many good friends, and seen the Lord keep us through hard times as well as good times. We have also seen many prayers answered. We are so thankful to be where we are now, as our marriage really does keep getting better all of the time, as we desire more and more to serve the Lord and through serving Him, serve each other. What a sweet blessing my husband is to me daily, and I strive to be the same to him. We are SO excited to see how God will work in our marriage in the next 5 years and more.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Today is Carl's birthday! Happy birthday husband!! We decided today that this may be the first time we have been together on his birthday, which is nice. : ) We didn't do much tonight, since it is a Monday and all, but are going out for his birthday and our anniversary on Friday (his idea to combine the two). : )

Here are 10 reasons (though there are many more) for me to celebrate my husband today:

10.) He always takes out the trash for me (yuck!).

9.) He's sooooooo handsome! ; )

8.) He gets my jokes (which is sometimes quite a feat), and thinks I'm funny.

7.) He can do anything he sets his mind to, and he does!

6.) My husband can't tell the difference between make-up and no make-up, and therefore thinks I ALWAYS look great! ; )

5.) I never have to worry about a job getting done with him, he is so dependable.

4.) He stands up for what is right, no matter the cost.

3.) He always puts my needs before his own.

2.) My husband is soooooo funny!

1.) My husband truly loves me with a Christ-like love.

I thank God continually for my husband, and now you know just a few reasons why. : ) Happy birthday, my Carl!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Experimental Pictures

I have always wanted to be a photographer of sorts (for fun), and have for a while been experimenting and trying to learn how to be one. I have just a normal "point and click" type digital camera, that I am trying to master, as Carl and I have made a deal that I must first master the easy camera before I can get a much nicer, more complicated one. :) So, since I now have a blog, you, my fellow bloggers and such are subject to helping me in this process. :) I hope you don't mind. Here are a few experimental pictures I took the other day of a dying rose and one of our pups (the only subjects I really have at my disposal). Any advice or comments you have would be much appreciated. Thanks!

This picture is clearly blown-out (is that the right terminology, Jenny S.?). The lesson here was that having your subject directly in the sun is too much light. I guess this is why camera flashes tend to make people look pale at times.

I was working in Macro mode here (trying to take a clear picture close-up). I am not sure how well it turned out, though. My question is--how do you know what you are actually pointing at with your lens, or do you learn simply through experimenting? What is the best angle for macro mode? What do you think I was actually trying to capture clearly here--the rose, leaves, or grass?

This was my favorite picture for lighting. I discovered that having the subject in shaded lighting, with my back slightly covering the sun was the best angle for lighting. I love the angle and look of this picture.

Who says dogs don't smile? :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bed That We Built

Since Labor Day, Carl and I have been working on our new bed, well our only bed. In our almost 5 years of marriage, we have never had a bed frame, just a box spring and mattress on the floor. We just never found a bed frame that we liked enough at the right price, and really were never really, truly on the search for one. Because of this, I one day got the idea of making my own headboard, as I was just itching to get our bed off the ground or more dressed up at least. This search then led to the question of a frame. My handy dandy husband came into the picture here and said hey, I'll build a frame! Carl has been dying to do some woodworking and this gave him the perfect opportunity! So, below is our CREATION (ha, ha, ha--insert crazy madman scientist laugh here). :)

Oh yes, one more thing, we know, we know, it may be the biggest bed in town, but I have always wanted a high bed and together we decided it would be nice to be able to put some nice looking storage under it if we want to. We are well aware, however, that when we are old and hoary headed we will have to cut the legs down in order to be able to get into bed. ;) Also, please let me know what you think of the bedding, I'm not sure if I'm done with it.

Click to play The Process
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Leftover Pictures from Labor Day

I wanted to post the rest of the pictures from Labor Day weekend, since I discovered these Smilebox slideshows, thanks to my fellow bloggers. So, here are the rest of the pictures from last weekend that didn't make the cut for the initial blog, but are still just as good. ; )

Click to play More of Labor Day '08
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Friday, September 5, 2008

A Bit of Good News

If some if you recall, I had posted a while ago that I got a job as a Teacher's Assistant, though I have my certification, since we moved here too late in the summer to get into interviews for teaching positions. Anyhow, through that position, I am now going to start what they call an "interim" position, where I take over a teacher's classroom while she is on leave (in this case maternity leave). What is the point you ask...Well I get to TEACH! Yea! I was excited about this news, and just wanted to share. So, starting next week until November, I will be teaching kindergarten (pray for my patience ;) ). After that I'll be looking at possibly another interim position, and I'll keep you updated.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Visitors

Over this weekend, Carl's sister, Krista, her husband Kris, and their dog Wrigley, came down to visit us. We had planned this visit about a month or so ago,and were quite excited about it. We had a wonderful time and tons of fun with them. Here's some pictures of all we did...

We went to our range and shot some clay pigeons. For anyone that does not know, they are clay discs that are catapulted into the air by machines, and using a shotgun, you shoot them. It is a fun time, and is actually designed for hunters to practice shooting moving targets, similar to how birds would be moving. Krista and I were some pretty intimidating ladies with these big guns (because of our shooting accuracy, of course). : )

Later that day we took a nice long walk at our favorite park with our dogs, wearing out both them and us.
This was toward the end of the trail. By this time the pups were both hot and thirsty.

Kris, Krista, Carl, Wrigley, and Sarah on the trail.

The next day we went into downtown Memphis and saw the Peabody Hotel ducks. The Peabody is a very nice hotel in Memphis that is known for having ducks that live there. During the day they swim in the fountain in the lobby if this grand hotel and at night they ascend to the roof for the evening (where they live) via the elevator! Sounds kind of funny, I know, but it's just one of those things you have to see when you are in Memphis.

Carl and I at the duck fountain, you can see a couple ducks swimming in the water behind us. The lighting is kind of poor, so you have to look closely (there is one over my shoulder).

The ducks are walking down their red carpet on their way to the elevator, followed by the man who "escorts" them up to the roof. I will admit, they were pretty cute.

Later that evening we went to a Memphis Redbirds game, which is always a fun time. It happened to set the record for the most attendance as well. Little did we know that we were going to make history. ; )

Kris and Krista at the game.

At the end of the game they had fireworks on the field.

So that was our Labor Day weekend. We had a blast. Hope you all were able to relax and have some fun on this long weekend, too.