Saturday, October 20, 2007

I've been tagged!

Jobs I have had:
West Mobile Baptist Child Development Center - HS/undergrad
Goody's (I lasted one day) -HS
University of Mobile Learning Center - undergrad
And now as a GTA at The University of Alabama...Roll Tide!

Places I have lived:

Foods I love:
Anything chocolate
any fruit
hence, choloclate-covered strawberries
fried rice at Stix
fried cookie dough eggrolls

Places I'd rather be:
vacation pretty much anywhere, especially in the mountains or on a cruise

Books I love:
Harry Potter
Mere Christianity

I am Tagging:
Shelley K
Liz K

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Suitey Reunion!

Shawn, Elizabeth, Bill, Erin, Matt, Bethany, Philip, and Julie

Labor Day weekend, Philip and I met up with my three college suitemates and their significant others. This is our second annual such get-together, and (according to Philip) our last one that will occur on Labor Day weekend. Who travels out of town to a city that doesn't even carry the Alabama game on opening weekend? Especially for Saban's first game? I know, I know, I've heard all about it. :) I think Memorial Day trips may be the way to go from now on.


Anyway, we had a blast on our trip. We went to The Chimneys, where you can climb all over a bunch of boulders in the middle of a river. Fun, huh? And thanks to the magic of the cortisone shot I got the day before we left, I was able to participate! We did have a bit of excitement at The Chimneys. Right when it started thundering, we headed toward the cars. It was then that Philip and I realized that we had both left our keys in the car. For the many of you who know my very careful and deliberate husband, this may come as a schock to you, as it did to me. Nevertheless, it happened. We found a park ranger, who radioed another park ranger. And then, Walker, Tennessee Ranger showed up. As the storm clouds continued rolling in, Ranger Walker worked tirelessly with his locksmith kit to get our car open. Apparently, my car is difficult to break into, because this took quite awhile. We were all soaked to the bone by the end of the episode, but Walker, Tennessee Ranger came through for us.


Also, we (of course) ate alot. The Pancake Pantry was absolutely wonderful (I highly recommend it if you've never been there before). Also, we made fried cookie dough eggrolls! Absolutley divine. I don't know why we've never thought of frying cookie dough before.

It was a great trip! It was fun to get to spend time with the three girls with whom I laughed, cried, gossiped, and rarely studied all through college. I am already looking forward to next year. Love ya, girls!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Chattanooga, TN

OK, I've been told that I'm not blogging frequently enough, so I am trying to catch up on some posting. I will then strive to stay up-to-date! (Anything to avoid doing math research!)

Philip and I went to Chattanooga in August. I didn't realize that it was only two hours away! It was just a quick one-night trip, but was a lot of fun. We went up Friday night and went to a murder mystery dinner theatre. We tried too late to get a reservation for the dinner cruise on the river there, so we had to settle. Let's just say that it was extremely cheesy at best. On Saturday, we met a few people from our photography class there to photograph the aquarium. We got some great shots in the butterfly house!

Our new photography classes start this week. I am taking (with my friend Stephanie) a portrait class, so if you want to be one of my test subjects, let me know! :) Philip is taking an infrared photography/pinhole camera class. You'll have to ask him if you want to know what that's all about. :)

Adoption update: Apparently Alabama DHR lost our homestudy, but magically found it when our social worker called to nag them. So hopefully we can finally get approval from them this week, and our HS can get sent to CIS. We'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pensacola Visit

After I had spent a week in Mobile, Philip came down and met me in Pensacola to spend the weekend with his family. His brother Daniel only gets to come home from Miami once a year, so it was good to spend time with him. He brought along his friend, Natalia, and her two sons, Sebastian (8) and Carlos (3). They were both just too cute! Although Carlos was a little wary of having 3 poodles around (my mom-in-law also has one), he eventually warmed up to them. He had fun learning their names and saying over and over, "Ellie, black! Maggie, yellow!" followed by some stuff in Spanish. Sebastian was a great translator for us. :)
We went to the Naval Aviation Museum, where you can climb in some cool planes and buy astronaut ice cream. According to Philip, the latter is something that must be done when visiting the museum, or else the trip is a bust. I think there must need to be some nostalgia behind the experience in order to enjoy it fully, because I thought it was mostly just gross.
According to the museum, it is one of the top ten tourist attractions in the state of Florida. I thought that was pretty impressive, considering the number of amusement parks there. Then that got me thinking, what would be in the top ten tourist spots in Alabama? Definitely Bryant Denny stadium! Yea, football season is here! I guess that's another post.
Adoption Update: Our homestudy is still at Alabama DHR. Then it will be forwarded to USCIS. After we get approval from both of these agencies, we will be able to send it to Colombia!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Trip to Mobile

A few weeks ago, I went down to Mobile to visit my parents for a whole week. My mom and I had ambitious plans to make drapes for my dining room, which we amazingly accomplished. She had taken a few drapery classes, and I volunteered to be her guinea pig. They turned out beautifully! I'll have to post a pic after I get them hung.

Also, my Grandma Rosalie decided to give me her sewing machine while I was down there, which was a wonderful surprise. My good friend Stephanie and I have been dabbling in a new business venture of making tote bags and baby items, like personalized burp cloths and onesies. (Visit our Buttons, Etc. blog here--although you should probably check back in a few weeks, as I have a lot of updating to do on it). I know Steph is glad that I have my own machine, too; sharing hers was getting crazy! My Grandma Rosalie's machine sews wonderfully. She bought it 21 years ago, and probably has used it a dozen times, so it is in great shape. I am so excited to have it!

Another highlight of the trip was having my 4 month old niece, Anna Grace, for two hours on Saturday. My sister-in-law Michelle had come to Mobile with a group of ladies from her church in Louisiana to attend a women's retreat that my parents' church was hosting. We stole Anna Grace during the lunch break, took her home, and took 85 pictures of her in about 30 minutes. She is so cute! She looks so much like her brother, Joshua, that it's almost scary. Quite the little chunk.

All in all, it was a great (although not-so-relaxing) vacation!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hot Air Balloons

Philip and I went to our first Night and Low-light Photography class last week at Samford. We were both really excited to be able to take a class again, especially Philip, whose passion in night-time photography. We got to practice some of our new knowldege when we visited Mobile over the weekend.

Our nephew Joshua and niece Laura Beth were visitng my parents (Mimi and Pop), and we all met up with Philip's parents in Foley to go to the Gulf Coast Balloon Festival. We had so much fun watching the sky fill with colorful balloons. And we got some great photos to take to class tonight!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

See Ya When We See Ya!

Sadly, our dear friends, "the Shannans," are moving to Augusta in a couple of weeks. Though we are excited to see them begin a new chapter in their lives, we will miss them terribly! However, this move did present us with the opportunity to have a picnic at Oak Mountain State Park yesterday. What a blast!

We had fun grilling out and watching the boys play Bocce Ball. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the bubble machine and bubble gun.

Mark even caught a fish, which Ella didn't seem to care for.

Also, it was a chance to try out our new digital SLR that came in the mail on Friday, a Pentax K10D. I love it! Philip and I are gearing up for a class that we plan to take at Samford this summer, Night-Time and Low-Light Photography. It will be nice to study something besides math again!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Chocolate Cake

So, I used my aforementioned new-to-me KitchenAid mixer today to make Philip a chocolate cake. He landed himself a new job as an Assistant Portfolio Manager at Protective Life Corporation, so I decided that he deserved a very chocolatey cake! I got the recipe from my favorite recipe site. It was an easy recipe, and the cake was very rich and oh-so-delicious!

Here's the recipe:

1 (18.25 ounce) package dark chocolate cake mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup coffee flavored liqueur
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, oil and coffee liqueur. Beat until ingredients are well blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until cake springs back when lightly tapped. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn out and cool completely on wire rack.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tannehill Trade Days

Although we lived in Hueytown for three summers, we never made it out to Tannehill Trade Days until last weekend. My mom has been wanting to go as well, so my parents and my Aunt Stephanie came in for the weekend to try it out. The weather was perfect, and we had a good time with some of our friends who also decided to see what they had at this basically gigantic flea-market-in-a-state-park.

The find of the day came when we spotted a beautiful, buttercream yellow KitchenAid stand mixer in the midst of a table full of junk. Complete with a pouring shield, flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip, it was a steal at only $60. I had to promise Philip many cakes in order for him to agree that we needed it desperately, but it now proudly sits on my counter. You can't beat the feeling a good deal will give you! Cake, anyone?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Philip turned 29 on May 8. The last year of his twenties! We had a few friends over to celebrate, and we played a rousing game of Cranium. Unfortunately, the guys won. I place all of the blame for our loss on a single card. Let me see you act like a carburetor! :)

Happy birthday, Sweetie!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Summer Is Here!

We spent last weekend in Orange Beach, AL, at Hunter Street's annual marriage retreat, with two other couples from our Sunday School class. It was wonderful to get away for a relaxing weekend! The guys played racquetball, and even managed to create a competition out of playing in the Gulf waters. The girls had fun relaxing on the beach. Four years after moving away from the coast, I think that I appreciate being at the beach more.

Also, yesterday was my last day working at Bryant High School. Hallelujah! I was grateful to have the opportunity to work with the NSA in this fellowship program, but I can truly say now that teaching high school is not my calling. To all of you who teach ages 18 and under, God bless you! I don't know how you do it. I have a few weeks off, and then will be back to teaching college Cal, where I am much more comfortable.

Adoption update: We truly appreciate the support and prayers that our friends and family have offered us. We are still working on gathering documents for our home study and dossier, and visiting doctors/psychologists. We will hopefully have our last visit with our social worker soon. This visit (our fourth) will be the first to take place in our home. We will keep you updated on our progress!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

We're Adopting!!

Welcome to our blog! I will begin by announcing to those who have not heard...WE ARE ADOPTING! (In case you didn't get that from the title.) We are so thrilled to have begun the process of adopting an infant from Colombia, South America. It is amazing to see God leading us down such a clear and joyful path. We both always knew that we wanted to one day add to our family through adoption, but we were surprised when it was revealed to us that adoption is the plan that God has made for us NOW. We may one day also grow our family through birth, but this is where we are going first. We are excited to share the journey with you!

There is an exceptionally long wait involved; it will be most likely 2 1/2 years before we bring our baby home. Also, there is a TON of paperwork, which we are currently up to our eyeballs in. We've already been psycho-analyzed and fingerprinted multiple times, and still have physicals, more fingerprinting, and more visits with social workers ahead of us. It's a complicated process, and I will fill you all in on more of the details as we move along. For now, I will give you a few tidbits of what we are in for:

  • Colombia does not allow first time parents to specify a gender, so we won't know whether we need pink or blue until 2-3 weeks before we go to pick our child up.
  • We also will not know the specific age until that time, though we do know that he or she will be between 10 weeks to 1 year of age.
Please pray for the paperwork process, as well as our future (most likely not-yet-conceived) child. Check back for adoption updates, as well as general ramblings about our daily lives.
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