Saturday, December 9

The Quilt of Holes

My Mother-In-Law sent this to me in an e-mail, I thought it was so true and beautiful that I wanted to post it to refer back to and reread over again in the future. It's really very true!

Quilt of Holes
As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was. I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.

An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.

Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you."

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

Monday, December 4

Support Our Troops!

I recieved this e-mail from a friend about a website that will mail and pay for a card to be sent to random soldiers that are over seas fighting. These cards are designed by school kids artwork. There are "pre-made" messages that you can pick from or you can write your own message on them. I thought this was a really AWESOME way to say "Thank You" to our troops for doing what they do. Click here and give it a try and let me know what you think! Help spread the word too...

Monday, November 27

A Day of Hiking!

It was a beautiful day on Friday so we decided to go hiking instead of shopping. We had such good weather! You can see in the first picture that there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Below are pictures I took while Steve, Kelly and I were out.






Tuesday, November 7

Pre-School!

Has anyone ever noticed how a 4 year old resembles a conartist? They are the biggest coneyevers I have ever seen. They will do anything to do the opposite of what you asked them to do... Here are the converstions I have all day long:
- "Clean up your mess"
- "Clean up what you just played with"
- "Clean up what you just spilled"
- "Clean up after yourself"
- "Clean up what you were just playing with, before you play with something else"
- "Please keep your hands to yourself"
- "We are not playing tag inside"
- "We don't play weapons in school"
- "We don't play hide-N-seek"
- "Stop drawing on yourself, we only color on paper"
- "Don't pick your nose"
- "Wash your hands"
- "Wash your hands WITH soap"
- "No running inside"
After each one of those commands comes the following: "well, I'll only do that if you do "this"". That is pretty much what I hear all day long. It's like argueing with myself. LOL!

Anyone that thought I would be good at this job... you should just come visit to watch me scold all day long ;0). I know that they are probably still testing me to see what they can get away with, but it's pretty funny how I can carry on 5 different conversations and not get one thing accomplished!! Ouy vey - LOL!! I just thought I would update you on my new job, which I know you can't tell by my post, but I really, really do like it alot!!

Sunday, October 29

Pregnant!!!

Most of you already know because we have told in person or on the phone, but we are going to have a baby in June!!! I'm about or almost 8 weeks today ;) WHOO-HOO!!! I started a seperate blog for the baby so I can update it regularily with pictures and notes. So far I haven't felt sick or anything really. If I don't eat right away when I get hungry, then I get a little queasy, but other than that I feel really good!!

Here's the link to that blog. Feel free to stop by and leave a comment ;)

Sick, Sick... and.... More Sick...

Well, Steve (poor Steve) has had a cold/flu for over a week now, it started out as a cold and now he has the flu, although he's feeling much better today, this weekend was not fun for him! He's been staying away from me because I don't want whatever he's got!

I started to get a cold this weekend (Friday night) my throat is about 2x it's size and my head feels like it's full of yuck ;( On top of that, there's very few medicines I can take. Steve has been wonderful and let me sleep probably 18 out of the 24 hours yesterday. Although my throat doesn't feel as bad and isn't nearly as swollen today I'm still going to take it easy today and rest. I have a dr. appointment on Tuesday at 9:45am so I will see what else I can do for colds when I go.

Monday, October 16

Awesome Creamy Pumpkin Dessert ~ For Brooke

~ Creamy Pumpkin Pie ~

Ingredients:
1/2 cup cold milk
1 package (6-serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding & pie filling
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 Keebler Graham Pie Crust

Directions:
1. In large bowl beat milk, pudding mix and spice with wire whisk for 1 minute. (Mixture will be very thick.) Whisk in pumpkin. Stir in whipped topping. Spread in crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set.

2. Garnish as desired. Store in refrigerator.

YIELD: 8 servings

*NOTE: May substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves in place of pumpkin pie spice.

It's delicious and so easy to make!! There's no baking involved which is really nice. I hope that you try and enjoy :D

Thursday, October 12

Cousins Wedding!


This past Saturday my cousin Tayna married her long time boyfriend Tim ;) They were SO CUTE!! It was such a beautiful ceremony!! It was a fun night although Steve got called away to at a casino to work for the whole day and couldn't go :(

Here's a photo of me and my two sisters, Jackie (far left) & Kelly Bean (middle). Aren't they cute?!?!?! Hee, hee..

Congrats Tim & Tayna!!!

Monday, October 2

How To Get Your Own Office!!!

Ha, ha... LOL!!! This was in an e-mail that was forwarded to me, and it's the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. The caption when you opened up the e-mail said "This person either got fired or promoted to VP!". LOL... it cracks me up!!! It's genious!!!








Hee, hee, hee....

Sunday, September 24

Grey's Anatomy


This comic strip is so me!!! S..C..A..R..Y.... Ha, ha..


Does anyone watch Grey's Anatomy?

I accidentally saw the episode 2 of season 3 of Grey's Anatomy. Or they call it episode 3.2. I was reading the posts on the ABC blog (I know, I'm a big nerd) but I was just seeing what was out there, and I found this link on YouTube to this episode. I guess one network aired episode 2 by mistake instead of the season premiere last week, so it's in 6 different sections. I am so excited that I got to see it... YIPEE... it was REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD!!! I'm not going to say what happens. I'm only going to say this... "I know what happens and you don't... I know what happens and you don't... hee... hee...

Tuesday, September 19

Updates...

So, it's 1:30am and I can't sleep. I decided to make a PB&J sandwich and post some updates.
~
Steve is doing really well with his back. He finished his physical therapy and the dr. released him back to work full duty. So he was relieved to hear that. He is still really sore sometimes, but other than that he says he feels really good.
~
We have been looking at different options for a back patio. We pretty much ruled out a wood deck, although we really like the look of it, we don't really like the upkeep you need for it. So we would like to either pour a patio or lay paver stones. The paver stones Steve can do himself. He has done this before too, and would like this challenge. The only problem I have with it, is still his back. It scares me that lifting all the dirt/sod out and all the stones in would really do more damage.
~
I'm doing really well, I have a job interview on Wednesday at noon with Citi Group. I'll let you know how it goes, but I had a short phone interview and it seemed to go really well. The girl I talked with seemed really nice.
~
Donika (my sister) has a new "beau" in her life. He's from Canada but he is Albanian. They usually move really fast in an Albanian culture, so this may sound really fast to some of you, but it is normal for them. He is 23 and Nika is 18. They met this summer while Donika was visiting her Dad in Europe. He's really cute and so sweet to her. They are not officially engaged, but they have talked about getting married alot and about rings (stuff like that). Nika doesn't have a picture of the both of them, so I'll post one as soon as they take one. Right now they are doing the long distance thing and talking on the internet/phone. He came already for one visit to meet my Mom in IL.
~
Ok, that's all the updates that I have, here are some pictures I took from when we went (a long time ago) downtown Chicago to the Shedd Aquarium Musuem. It was so much fun!! We walked everywhere. Here are some pictures I took while we were downtown.

Steve taking a break. This was when his back was still hurting him.

The dolphin show. I can't believe that I got such a good picture. That is all the dolphins they have execpt for one momma, because she had just given birth.



Ha, ha this is a boat that we saw on Navy Pier. We walked down to Navy Pier after the museum. I thought it was really funny.

Saturday, September 16

Tag-A-Docious

I've been tagged by Crystal ;0) Here are my answers.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be? With all our family aside, I would love to live in Kentucky. My house would be tucked away with kind of a trailing driveway with trees surrounding the property. We would have 1-2 acres of land too ;0) Maybe a creek through the property too???
~
2. What's your favorite article of clothing?
Capri's. I love Capri’s because I'm tall, so the average length pant doesn't usually fit me in length, so I look like a dork. I like capri's because it doesn't matter how long or short they are on me, they always look normal. So I can wear all brands.
~
3. Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex?
Eyes. I like blue eyes. Next would be derrier ;0)
~
4. What's the last CD that you bought?
I think it was the sound track to Walk The Line.
~
5. Where's your favorite place to be?
Well, if it could be anywhere, it would be at Old Navy with someone else's credit card :D No?... Ok, I like being anywhere Steve, my Friends & Family are.
~
6. Where is your least favorite place to be?
The DMV.
~
7. What's your favorite place to be massaged?
I don't really like massages, but if I do get one, it's usually my feet I like the best.
~
8. Strong in mind or strong in body?
Definitely mind.
~
9. What time do you wake up in the morning?
Right now, it's about 9-10am.
~
10. What is your favorite kitchen appliance?
Huh? I would say the fridge/freezer is the most important kitchen appliance so that would be my favorite.
~
11. What makes you really angry?
The most angry is when you are walking behind someone (especially at the grocery store) and they stop and won't move out of your way, even when you say excuse me. Even though you shouldn't have to say "excuse me" because they can perfectly see that you are behind them. I've even had people turn around, see me waiting, and STILL not move... how ignorant. That would be numbero uno. The second though (which is not far behind walk stoppers) is people that cannot drive. I have road rage a little bit... it's a bad thing, I know, but I might just hit the next person on purpose, that is all over the road and then I go by them, and they are texting on the cell phone.
~
12. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?
I would love to learn to play the violin.
~
13. Favorite color?
Pink
~
14. Which do you prefer...sports car or SUV?
SUV
~
15. Do you believe in an afterlife?
I believe in Heaven and Hell. <-- I agree with Crystal. ~ 16. Favorite children's book? I loved the Bernstain Bear's Stories.
~
17. What is your favorite season?
Fall !!!
~
18. What is your least favorite household chore?
Vacuuming is the devil in disguise.
~
19. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
I would like the super power of curing people. I would be a doctor, but wouldn't have to go to school for it ;0)
~
20. If you have a tattoo, what is it?
I don't have any.
~
21. Can you juggle?
Nope, but my superly awesome (who is very adorable by the way) can juggle. He's my hero :)~
~
22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to?
My Grandma Billings. I would have liked to have introduced her to Steve. She died right after we started going out and I never got the chance to introduce them. She would have loved him!!!!! He can fix just about anything along with having an incredible kind heart just like my Dad, and she loved my Dad. My Grandpa Billings couldn't hang a picture on the wall if his life depended on it, and I think that drove my Grandma a little bonkers. Hee, hee... he did try though...
~
23. What's your favorite day?
I like all days, but Christmas is a close second.
~
24. What's in the trunk of your car?
I just cleaned it out (yeah me!!!)
~
25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?
Cheeseburger, I don't do sushi.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now lets see what your answers are!!! If you get a chance (you don't have to if you don't want to) I would love to read what you guys put!!!

Friday, September 8

Family Reunion!!

Here are some pictures from my Dad's side family reunion. It was a TON of fun and I can't wait for next year. I didn't take nearly enough pictures. There was about 165 people there I think... I couldn't remember the official count, but it was somewhere around that number. This is very, very small for his side of the family too... not a lot of peops showed up this year.

Weekend activities included: horseshoe, basketball, pig, swimming, dancing, rollerbladding, texas hold'em, skins, mini-golf, bean bags, and drinking ;0) I think drinking was the main activity with the rest of these thrown in between... lol. Also, all of these were gambled on (tisk, tisk). Steve did really awesome at bean bags (which we found out is offically named "corn hole"). Never knew that... he got to the last final round and then lost out to some people I'm not sure who they were. Anywhoo... here are the rest of pics and comments!!



Me & Steven Lee (Dakota licking my leg). We were sitting around a campfire making smores. MMM...



My Dad & Step-Mom. Aren't they cute?!?!


My Aunt Laura and daughters Kayla & Marlana.


My Uncle Dick, Aunt Kate & their son Brenden (who I had to nearly sit on to get him to take this picture). This is the Aunt that found us our house! She's an awesome realtor, so if you should need one in the Chicagoland area, let me know!! She's the best!!


My cousin Marty & his cute girlfriend Alley (or Ally.. sorry). Aren't they adorable? Hee, hee... he thought I was around 38. LOL... I laughed so hard... it was really funny, because we are only 5 years apart. I used to torment him in his basement making him be my student, because I wanted to teach him how to write cursive. I was relentless... I tortured that poor boy. I wonder if he remembers?? I should ask him.


Cutie kellpootie Kelly Bean!!! I love that hat on her... I think this is a really cute picture!!!


This is the bean bag game. It was pretty much going from 10am - 10pm all weekend. We had a tournament a couple times and Steve kicked butt!!! Go honey ;0)

Here's how you play the game (if you wanted to know): You have 2 "boxes" one on each side. You stand at one box and throw 3 bean bags to get into the little hole that is ontop of the box. It's a point game, first person to 15 points (or over) wins. If you get a bean bag in the hole you get 3 points. If you get a bean bag ontop of the box (but not in the hole) it's 1 point. If the person you are throwing against get one in the hole or on the box, it's subtracted from your total from that round, otherwise it's added up in their total. It's hard to explain but once you start playing it's really fun!

Ok, that's all the photos I have for ya'll. I'll try to be better at posting. Sorry I've been slacking.

Friday, September 1

Camping....

This weekend is my family reunion on my Dad's side. We all meet up in Wisconsin and go camping. It's super fun and I will take a ton of pictures.

I'll post pictures when we get back.

Sunday, August 27

New Career?!?!

Crystal posted this quiz and I thought it was so interesting. SO... I copied her and took it too. Here are my results. Click on her name to see her results or click on the bottom link to take the quiz for yourself. It's fun!!


You scored as English. You should be an English major! Your passion lies in writing and expressing yourself creatively, and you hate it when you are inhibited from doing so. Pursue that interest of yours!

English

100%

Mathematics

100%

Journalism

100%

Psychology

83%

Philosophy

83%

Dance

75%

Linguistics

75%

Art

75%

Theater

67%

Sociology

67%

Anthropology

50%

Engineering

42%

Biology

25%

Chemistry

0%

What is your Perfect Major?
created with QuizFarm.com

Sunday, August 20

Books!

I was tagged by Stephanie and now she must be punished... (j/k)... here is my list of books that I have read/almost read. It's not great.. but some of them are really good books. WARNING: I like girlie books ;0)

I'll read one book by an author and love it, so then I read all their other books. My top 3 favorite authors are: Catherine Anderson, Janette Oke and Nicholas Sparks.

Here's My Answers:

1. One book that changed your life? A Walk To Remember by Nicolas Sparks. This was the very first book that I read front to back and was addicted ever since. This book is SO much better then the movie, even though the movie was awesome too! My sister-in-law Amy was the one that passed this book onto me, so she is to blame ;O)

2. One book that you have read more than once? I could read ANY of Catherine Anderson's books, over and over. I have liked them all. Annie's Song is my favorite. The description isn't that great, but it's set back in the 1800's. It doesn't really tell you that. It's a very, very good book.

3. One book you would want on a desert island? I would take an Idiots Guide by Frank Sargent, because I would want to get off the island. Although I have not read this book, I'm sure it would help somehow... on an island.

4. One book that made you laugh? Ha, ha... well... Chicken Soup For The NASCAR Soul by Jack Canfield, Jeff Aubery, Mark Victor Hansen, Jeff Aubrey, Matthew E. Adams. I got this book for Christmas one year from Steve, because we are pretty big NASCAR fans. We all love NASCAR ;O)

5. One book that made you cry? A Child Called It, The Lost Boy & Man Named Dave all by Dave Peltzer. They not only made me cry, but made me physically sick. If you haven't read them, don't let that stop you, they are very, very good books!

6. One book you wish had never been written? Well, that's a little harsh but, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. I read this book and was so dissapointed when I learned he made up half of the information in the book. I wish he would have just written about his own experience, or at least made it so it was a non-fiction book. Either way would have been fine.

7. One book you are currently reading? The Love Comes Series by Janette Oke. I have read this series before many times. I love the values and guidance these books give you in the background of the main story. It's very inspiring. I also love the writting of Janette Oke. All these books take place in the 1800'ish era.

8. One book you have been meaning to read? The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I have tried a few times and just couldn't understand what I was reading. I get too confused with big words. So I try every so often, because I really want to read it, but then I stop because I have read chapters and couldn't tell you want's been going on. I'll get through it someday though.

If you would like to make a book list of your own copy and paste these questions and put them in a new post on your blog. Crystal, Mom, Brooke & Amy - It would be neat to see what you answer for these questions. If you can or want to...

Wednesday, August 16

Steven Lee Blog..

HI! I just wanted to let you know that Steven Lee has an entire new blog all together.



He had to create a new one. I think he did something weird with the profile, because I tried everything to get into the old one and it didn't work. So, please use this one: www.steveschweigs.blogspot.com when you want to visit/comment. He just updated too ;0) Woo-hoo!!!

Wednesday, August 9

Go Cubbies!!!!

On Sunday Steve & I were invited by his work to go to a rooftop party for the Cubs game. The Cubs won, YEAH! Here are some pictures from the game.



These were taken on the roof of the building Steve's work rented. It was right across from Wrigley Field and we had the perfect view of the game. You could hear everything too.

Here's a view of some of the stands from where we sat.
Another view from where we sat.

Here's a picture of the downtown Chicago skyline. This is from the rooftop too, just behind us.

This weekend Steve and I are going to spend the weekend just the two of us (since it's been awhile since we have spent any time together). We were going to go camping, but with Steve hurting his back, we didn't want to chance it. So we decided to take the train into Chicago and spend the day at the museums & navy pier. I can't wait ;0)!!

Tuesday, August 8

Vacation Update!

Vacation!
So, here are some of the photos that I took while in Florida. I didn't get as many as I wanted to because my battery died and I didn't bring the charger, but I got some really good ones. I'm so glad that I was able to get a few group shots. See below for the photos and comments!


This photo was taken in Tennessee. Kentucky, Tennessee & Colorado are the most beautiful states I have ever been too. In about 10 hours, you can make it from where I live in IL, to Tennessee. It's a wonderful drive!

Here's a picture of the windshield. Look closely and you can see all the bug guts ;0) Ha, ha... it's so gross. It is really cool to see the rock wall on one side and all the greenery on the other side. The drive down was awesome. We made it in 18 hours!!

Picture of my Dad ;0) I think the 4 of us girls drove him crazy!! Ha, ha... poor guy!!!

My Step-Mom Janet reading the map & watching a movie.


Jackie is the I-Pod THIEF (j/k)!!! Ha, ha... we listened to my I-Pod at first, and then I just gave it to her (or she took it over, not sure which, LOL) but I could only listen to so many oldies, and Jackie is an oldies junkie! LOL!! She did really, really good. I think my parents are going to get her an I-Pod after this trip. She really loved that thing and it kept her so busy.

Me & Bean (Kelly, isn't she adorable?). This was taken on day number 2 in the van. We're almost there! Yeah!!

Before we met up with the rest of the family, we made a detour stop at Typhoon Lagoon. It is a water park located inside Disney, but seperate from Disney World. It was so much fun, this photo was taken after we got back in the van and we were heading back to our hotel.

Above is the resort we stayed at for a week. It's a time share that my parents have along with my uncle, he has one too. This is the view from my parents balacony. You can see the pool and the ocean behind it. We were told that they caught a 9 foot shark about 1 month ago right outside this hotel, so I only went in the ocean 2 times.

Here is the whole family ;0) Most of the time we cooked dinner at the resort. Each of the rooms had a full kitchen, so we grocery shopped and cooked right in our rooms. This night however, we went out to Gators. We go here every year.

This is all of my cousins (well minus Kelly, Jackie & Lisa because they are under 21). Monday night we all went to the bar that is down the street. They had a jukebox that had any type of music you could imagine. We sat there and listened/danced to music all night. It was so fun ;0) Trish & Brooke, if you look close, I'm having BOLIVES!!!! LOL!!!!

Another photo of all of us from that night. Me, my cousins: Steph, Missy behind her, Jeff in the blue & Justin in the red.

The 3 girls! This was taken right before we left to go back to the hotel at about 1:30am.

This man is a state volunteer to rescue baby sea turtles. He goes to the beach in the morning and the late afternoon to dig up nests that have already hatched to see if he can find anymore baby turtles that were not strong enough to make it on their own. He does this only by volunteer.

Once he finds the turtles, he puts them in a bucket and lets them go in the evening (after dark). On average there are between 80-100 eggs per nest. The nests are about 3-4 feet under the sand. They have the cutest flippers and were climbing all over each other. Very adorable!!

Here's the whole tribe: (front sitting L-R) Aunt Karen, Uncle Bob, Aunt Kathy & Uncle Milan
(back sitting L-R) Sister Kelly, Mom Janet
(standing L-R) Cousin Steph, Sister Jackie, Me, Cousin Lisa, Cousin Melissa, Cousin Jeff, Aunt Nancy, Uncle Chuck, Cousin Justin and Dad Kurt.
That's everyone!!

I had to save this photo for last. This is Jackie showing her gangsta face!!! LOL!!! She has "tude" and knows how to use it ;0) Ha, ha...

So much fun!!! Thank you so much again Mom & Dad for inviting me and paying for everything! It was awesome!!!