Thursday, November 29, 2007

Upheaval

Our house is looking more and MORE like there is a baby coming to live here soon. While we still have a long ways to go, at least we're making progress. Of course, when I went to the Dr. this week she was telling me how when she had her first child her mom said "Relax, everything that you're doing to prepare a room just perfectly for the baby, etc. is for YOU, not really for the baby. A baby needs food and their diaper changed, and lots of love. But, a baby can sleep in a dresser drawer, it doesn't NEED the perfectly decorated room. That's for YOU!" Well, we're working on making a cute room and a more organized house - but at least that helps me keep things in perspective!

Last weekend Stephen's dad came over and helped Stephen move the guest bed into the office and set up the baby's crib! I like seeing it in the room when I walk by. I guess it just makes it seem more and more real that before too long the little guy will be here! Of course, the rest of the house is a bit of a disaster still while we sort out where to put everything but, we're learning a lot about what we really need and use versus what we just have around but don't really need!


Actually, I think Grandpa's enjoying getting in on the preparations!!

We got this crib from Stephen's sister Teri and family. I'm pretty sure all 3 of their girls used it. We still need a mattress - but, we have the crib!



As we make more progress on the room (and other things in life) I'll try to keep you posted!

Fall Recital

This fall has been exciting for the Music Ministry. It was one of our best semesters of music classes and we had several new students. FINALLY we have LOTS of violins! Not too long ago we had a recital where all of the students got the chance to show off what they have been learning. Some, had only been playing their instruments for 8 or 10 weeks! They played fairly simple songs but did a wonderful job!



The New group of students with their teachers





We've also once again started a "beginning" mariachi called "Mariachi Adelante." Some of their members have played along with musicians at church a few times but and we're hoping that they'll play with Mariachi San Pablo at the Posada in December. They are still learning but, here is a little bit of video of their debut playing "Alabare" (I Will Praise).

Video of Mariachi Adelante

video

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Chiple"

In Spanish (at least in this part of the world) that means "spoiled," although not necessarily in a bad way. When you are someone's "chiple" it means that you receive lots of wonderful things from that person (either physical or otherwise) in such a way that they "spoil" you. For example, when Stephen was a bachelor, he had a custom of picking a Senior in High School to be his "chiple" for the year. He would take this person out to eat every once in a while, take them to the movies, or find other nice ways of encouraging them through the year toward graduation. Of course me, growing up as an only child I OFTEN heard "Oh, you must be spoiled rotten!" My mom's response was always, "No, just extremely blessed." I totally agree.

Since I have known him, Stephen has talked about how he feels like he is God's "chiple." He can tell countless stories of they ways that God has arranged things in his life in extraordinary ways that can only be attributed to God's goodness - not any merit or effort on his part. I can think of many MANY such situations and circumstances in my own life - there was just never as good a word for it in English as "chiple."

These last few weeks - months - years really have made us feel, over and over again, that we are God's "chiples" and we thank and praise Him for every single one of the blessings that He has brought into our lives. Material things, ways He has provided for our needs at the perfect time, friends, family...... AND, we strive to find ways to "chiplify" others as often as we can. Truly everything that we have, experience or encounter in this life is under the control of God's Almighty hands. And BOY am I glad that HE knows SO much more than me!

These past couple of weeks have been very busy for us. We've finally gotten around the crossing some of the things off of the "To Do Before Baby Heimer Arrives" list. We picked our hospital and started pre-natal classes and HUGE relief to have out of the way. This last week we received a stroller and car seat in the mail, a gift from some in our lovely family. It is SO WONDERFUL to have this already in hand and assembled and, since it is the first LARGE Baby item that we have gotten it is really starting to make the whole thing seem VERY real!


Here are a few pictures of "daddy" assembling the stroller.
Yes, actually the DIRECTIONS called for use of a hammer!
The finished product complete with infant car seat attached (there is also the base for the car seat that you leave strapped in your car.

Another thing that has been our "TO DO SOMEDAY" list since this summer was the get a washing machine. Although we love going to Stephen's parents and watching movies while using their laundry (and they tell us they LOVE having us come over) we finally decided that it was time to get our own washer before Baby Heimer shows up. I was already tired of 1) running out of clean clothes to wear before getting around to laundry 2) loading up ALL of the dirty laundry in the truck, into their house, back into the truck and into our house clean 3) NEVER making it all the way through everything to be done (especially rags or blankets or other non-essentials for clothing) and 4) RUNNING OUT OF CLOTHES (especially since I have WAY LESS clothes that still fit me these days!)

So, we went washer shopping. Thankfully, right around the time we decided it was THE TIME, we got a discount coupon via email from my aunt. And, when we went to Sears we found a GREAT deal! See, Stephen and I had both always thought it would be GREAT to have a High-Efficiency washer. Yes, the "treehugger" in each of us LOVES the idea of water conservation and energy savings but, couldn't get our brains around so many $$$ for a WASHING MACHINE! However, again, we were "chiplified" by God to provide just what we needed at just the right price at just the right time! Not only did we have the coupon from my aunt, Sears also already had 20% off of some appliances. AND we found out that the water company is giving $200 back to people who have High-Efficiency appliances (although this program may end in January!). So, when all is said and done, we got a High-Efficiency washer for about the same cost as a regular old washer. It's pretty slick!

Again, we had some help with the moving/assembly/installation!

Ahhh...isn't it nice?

So, apparently we save about 22 gallons of water per load. That means that we've already saved MORE THAN 250 gallons! WOOHOO!!! And, I can't TELL YOU how nice it is to throw in a load of laundry ANY TIME I WANT TO!!!!!

In my life of privileged existence, a washer doesn't seem like a luxury item. However, after not having had one in our house for several months, I feel like it is.

Honestly, considering all the need in this world and people without even the basic necessities, aren't we CHIPLE?

Winter is Here!!!

Well, who would have thought that it would snow more in EL PASO than in MINNESOTA!!!!! This morning Stephen and I woke up and I opened the door to let dogs out and I couldn't believe my eyes! It was SNOWING!!!!!! And, some had already accumulated. It started to get harder and harder. Actually, the dogs took one look out the door and went back to their pillow. They are NOT cold weather dogs!

Here is a picture of our house and yard this morning.
Keep in mind, this was already by 8:30am.

It's actually been snowing ALL DAY! Now, the only times I've ever seen snow in El Paso is in the days right around Christmas. And usually, it might snow during the day, but mostly at night or in the early morning hours and everything melts by noon. However today it hasn't hardly stopped! I think there were 2 or maybe 3 hours this afternoon where it let up but, tonight it's going nuts again! Word has it that this is supposed to continue all day tomorrow! I have a feeling there won't be a lot of people at church in the morning!

I have noticed something about myself today. I STILL don't like the cold (I really never have even though spending most of my years in the frozen tundra.) However, when I was driving today, the snow was falling, and a Christmas song came on the radio...it made me smile and it felt just PERFECT! Hmmm...I don't know how I'm going to reconcile that - a desire for snowy weather to make it feel like Christmastime and a hatred of being cold....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Last Big Trip

I think I'm finally done traveling. WHEW! I'm ready to be done with accumulating the miles and stay at home for a change!

Last weekend we went to Denver, Colorado with a few others from the mariachi and performed at a convention. It was a great weekend but LOTS of miles. On the way home we took a little detour and visited the Royal Gorge. We only got a look from a little trail. Apparently to go across the bridge you have to pay to enter a type of amusement park. But, we got a free look from a lookout a little walk down from the bridge. The picture doesn't do the landscape justice but it is VERY impressive!

Also, I got great news over the weekend. I don't have gestational diabetes! Since I had to go back for the 3 hour long test I was pretty worried about it. However, so far everything looks great and Baby Heimer seems to be growing perfectly. PRAISE GOD! Thanks for keeping us in your prayers!

YUMMY!

Tomato & Spinach Pasta Toss

Since this is the 3rd time that we've tried this recipie and I still LOVE it, I thought I'd share. Since it's not mine you can just link to the website here.

http://www.kraftfoods.com/main.aspx?s=recipe&m=recipe/knet_recipe_display&u1=keyword&u2=tomato%20spinach%20pasta&u3=**7*25&wf=9&recipe_id=104507



I just use regular canned tomatoes not seasoned ones since they are hard to find. I also substituted whole wheat penne pasta for a healthier punch. The picture on the Kraft website looks a little more perfect than mine - but mine is real! ;-)

I also don't think it makes 6 one cup servings. Stephen and I can almost finish this off by ourselves if we're hungry although, even with seconds there is a little left over for lunch! The spinach gets a little soft with reheating but it still tastes great. I'm pretty sure the 2nd time I made it I doubled the recipie and that's why we had a lot of leftovers.


Friday, November 2, 2007

A Haloween Like I Have Never Seen

I think that the art of trick or treating has lost something. Or maybe, I just have different childhood memories!

This year we were at Stephen's parent's house during the evening in Haloween. Apparently their neighborhood is VERY popular for trick-or-treaters. It appears that they drive to their neighborhood from other areas to go walking around the neighborhood. I'm pretty sure that this is the case because I have been at their house a LOT and it's not all that often that you see kids out in the neighborhood (even on Saturday and Sunday afternoons!) However, on Halloween I don't think you could even COUNT the numbers!

Jeanette had 160 miniature bags of microwave popcorn and we had brought over 3 big bags of candy. All of this was GONE by 7pm. I ran out to the store and bought 7 more bags of candy almost all of the with 40 pieces each. We filled up a box with candy and the first time there was a knock at the door (after we turned the lights back on) we were SURPRISED to open the door to find a line of trick-or-treaters that stretched from the door to the street (about 30 feet away)! We stood there with the box of candy putting treat after treat in pumpkins and bags with the line STILL reaching to the street for TEN WHOLE MINUTES at least!!!!!!!!!! One after another! At least there were still kids that actually SAID trick-or-treat by the time they got to the front however, some just hold their bag open and walked away. I don't know - to me there is something lost if you don't have to knock on the door and something MORE lost if you don't even have to SAY trick-or-treat! Standing in line for candy on Halloween - it's just not the same!

Of course, it was easier on us to just stand there until we ran out of candy than to get up from whatever else we were doing every 3 minutes when someone came to the door!

The worst part was, when we ran out of candy AGAIN we turned ALL the lights off in the house and when another knock at the door and the words "Trick-or-Treat" rang out, we almost didn't let Stephen's dad in because we thought he was a candy seeker!!!! :-)