Wednesday, November 24, 2010


On Sunday afternoon I was privileged to see the Omaha Voices' 46th annual performance of Handel's "Messiah" at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
It was absolutely beautiful and a little bit magical. My sisters and I grew up listening to Handel's Messiah at Christmas time and I can't ever hear those familiar notes and words without my heart being warmed and a smile stretching across my face.

I've also enjoyed the many variations and performances of the "Hallelujah" chorus that I've seen in email forwards and facebook posts. My favorite are the "flash mobs" that surprise people in public places (like shopping malls and department stores) with amazing performances of this timeless piece. Others are a bit silly, but still fun.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Shopping Mall Food Court

A Macy's in Philadelphia

Silent Monks

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Homemade Halloween

It's a bird!

It's a plane!


That's right. My husband is a pastor-dork who thought it would be a great idea to dress up as a made-up character, "Absolution Man".
Because he's a pastor and part of a pastor's job is absolving people of their sins.

So, being a highly supportive and creative wife, I made him a costume... without a sewing machine! Thank goodness for iron-on fusible tape.

I dressed as a bag of jelly beans.

While both of our costumes were a big hit at the party we attended, neither of us won the costume competition. It went to another couple from our church who came as a bride and her mother. (The husband was the bride and his wife was the mother of the bride. She fussed over him all night fixing his bra straps that kept showing and reminding him to put his legs together and sit like a lady. Hilarious!)

Can't wait til next year!
...maybe by then I'll have a sewing machine.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Loess Hills Autumn

Last weekend, Seth and I decided to take an afternoon drive around Glenwood and Mills County to enjoy the beautiful fall colors. It was an amazing afternoon and I was thankful that I was able to capture some photos what we saw.

I started in our front yard. It turns out that our three little trees along the driveway are absolutely gorgeous in the fall!

We started out heading south of town.

Seth took me down a rather treacherous road that he had discovered on a previous drive (he loves to drive around and explore country roads).

Notice the evergreen tree leaning precariously DIRECTLY over the road. YIKES!

It was strange and amazing and I loved it!

It led to an adorable little bridge and a clearing in the woods.

We continued along past some incredible views of the terraced farm land.

We saw these in several places - dark windy branches with bright red leafed plants growing up between them.

We ended up at the end of the road at a little cemetery. Some of the stones had been replaced with newer ones.

And some looked to be the originals.

Seth and I are fascinated by old cemeteries.
Headstones like these never fail to break my heart though.

"We loved this tender little one
And would have wished his stay,
But let our Father's will be done
He shines in endless day."

We passed through another "tunnel" road on our way out.

And passed a front yard that housed a long horn!

These are some of my favorite things that we saw along the way.

Signs like these:

That stand before bridges like this:
(notice what is... or isn't... on the other side)

But best of all:

That's right. "Quackenbush".
Why oh why can't that be the name of our street???

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Harvest Open House 2010!!!

On Saturday, Seth and I hosted (what will hopefully be our first annual) Harvest Open House!

The weather was gorgeous and the leaves started changing color just in time.

We had festive decorations inside and out.

Some that were borrowed from Seth's mom who came down Friday night to help us get ready.

Since the house was the cleanest it's been since we moved in, I went ahead and took some pictures around the rest of the house.

This is the office (a.k.a. "Kate's Jewelry Room"!) ...or at least the prettiest corner of it. I tried to take pictures of the whole room, but the sun was coming in the window and none of those pictures turned out. Perhaps another day...

This is the former storage room/current guest room/future nursery :-)

Master Bedroom

Bonus Room (addition off the kitchen/dining room)

We had tables set up in the garage which my wonderful sis-in-law helped decorate!

Aaaaaaaand most important - THE FOOD!!!

We had lots of yummy baked goods... like cream cheese brownies, cinnamon roll cookies, caramel apple bars, and pumpkin muffins that my MIL made. YUM!

Then there were pinwheels, spanikopita, mini quiche, bourbon bbq lil' smokies, veggies, cheese, crackers, etc.
All delicious!

And don't forget the super yummy apple cider punch!
With carved apple leaves thanks to!

After 5 hours and about 80-90 people, the party was deemed a success.
Everyone loved seeing the house and enjoyed the food.
I couldn't have done it without the help of my mother-in-law, Colene, and sis-in-law, Liz.
They were awesome... and I think they already have it marked on their calendar for next year.
I know I'm looking forward to doing it all again 12 months. For now, I'm all partied out!

Friday, September 17, 2010

On the list of things NOT to do...

Taking our Lab Fishing

Last night Seth and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and go fishing at our favorite private pond. Somewhere along the line of making plans, we thought it might be fun to bring Annie, our black lab, along with us. I think both of us had visions in our head of Annie chilling out comfortably at our feet, quietly and calmly enjoying the ride, while we enjoyed some good times and big bass. What a lovely thought.

As we packed up the trailblazer with our gear, I grabbed a few old towels out of the closet. You know... just in case Annie decided to splash around a bit. Hah. No sooner had we let her out of the car at the pond than she was traipsing out into the water... then sitting in the water... then lying down in the water... then rolling around in the water... and mud.

"No biggie," I thought, she'll be dry by the time we leave, no harm in letting her play around a bit before we get in the boat. So I dried her off a bit so she wouldn't drip all over us in the boat, and we took off from the shore. We weren't 10 feet away from shore before she took a flying leap off the side of the boat and into the pond. She swam around a bit and then came back to the boat at which point Seth had to lift her out of the water and back into the boat. About a minute later, she was back in the water again - swimming out to a fallen branch which she attempted to retrieve only to find that it was solidly planted in the water. Once again, we had to call her back to the boat and Seth lifted her out of the water. At this point, I had to hold her down to keep her from jumping back in the water. It seemed that her hunting instincts and training had kicked in and she was completely unable to control herself. Every little splash or ripple, every log or stick poking up out of the water, all drover her crazy.

At this point, Seth and I were both pretty wet, Annie was crying to get back in the water and retrieve something... anything! We decided the only thing to do was take her back to shore, dry her off, and get her set up in the back of the truck to relax while we fished. A few hours and several big bass later, we came back to find her calmly waiting for our return. We let her run around (away from the water!) before we headed for home.

And today Annie got a bath.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Heart September

The forecasted high for today in Omaha is 71 degrees.
It has yet to go above 60.
Did I mention it's overcast too?
Today is the first day that has truely felt like Fall... and I love it.
I don't think I've ever enjoyed such a cloudy, chilly day, but it feels like fall is finally on its way and before I know it the colors will begin to change and the magical season of autumn will swallow me up.
I can't wait.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Losing Time

After having several conversations with other teachers who have extended time off during the summer months, I have found that I am not alone in my quest to find out what day it is.

All too often I will be shocked to find that it is not the day I thought it was.

"I missed Project Runway??? Is today Thursday!?!?"

"Why hasn't Sara posted a blog today? Oh wait... is it Saturday???"
(This one is especially bad considering her Friday posts are always the same "What Keeps Me Going" theme so I should know at a glance that if her last post was "What Keeps Me Going" then logically today must be... that's right: Saturday.)

Something about leaving the confines of routine just throws me completely off course and I loose all track of time and space. This is also how I manage to get to the end of the week in a panic because I've run out of time to get things done! We are leaving tomorrow afternoon for a wonderful road trip to visit 2 parents, one grandmother, three sisters, two brothers, and a niece (maybe two if I'm super lucky!) I started the week with a long list of To Do's and have been doing a relatively good job of keeping up with it, then last night Seth and I were driving home from having dinner with his littlest sis and her hubby when it hit me that today was going to be Saturday (a fact which obviously hasn't stuck considering I just couldn't figure out why my sister hadn't posted on her blog) and I proceeded to PANIC!!!

So much for the To Do list. Now it's time to do what I like to call "The Last Minute Scramble". This means you pick the few things that ABSOLUTELY MUST BE DONE (i.e. packing for the trip, taking out the garbage, making a list for our wonderful friend who is house sitting for us while we're gone) and everything else gets bumped to the "if I have time left over" list.

So, now that I've managed to sneak in a blog post (which I most definitely DO NOT have time for!) I'm off to tackle my A.M.B.D. list in hopes that I'll have more time left over than I think...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

County Fair

Last night two of my good friends, Sara and Laura, accompanied me to the Mills County Fair. We wandered through the livestock pens, enjoyed root beer floats, and - of course - watched the annual tractor pull!!!

It was a lot of fun... but once the tractors were done, the trucks started -
and their suped-up engines were crazy loud!

It was quite the event. As you can see...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A New Addition to the Family!!!

After three years of marriage, we've finally gone and done it!

We've joined the club that so many of our friends and family members are already a part of.

We got a dog!!!

Her name is Annie, short for "Annie Get Your Guns".
Which fits perfectly with our previous pet naming theme - our two cats, Emmett and Charlie, were named after characters from our favorite Westerns, "Silverado" and "3:10 to Yuma".

She's a three-year-old purebred black lab and is the best dog ever!
She can sit, stay, come, heel, fetch, and lots of other things!
She's completely adorable and makes a wonderful pet.

So far, she's getting along with the cats pretty well.
They aren't big fans of her... but we're hoping that they'll continue to warm up.
Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A New Adventure

My last post was about my favorite person in the whole wide world...

...whom I get to see every single day. :-)

THIS post is about my next two favorite people in the whole wide world...

...who live a collective 3,500 miles away from me. :-(

These are my sisters, Emily (in the middle) and Sara (on the right).
And since we can't see or talk to each other every day while we're living so far apart,
we came up with a fabulous idea to start a blog together as a new way to keep in touch.

We've been at it since the beginning of May,
and now we've decided to share our secret sister place with the world.
So stop by and check us out at Sisters Away
and see how we are navigating the world of long distance sisterhood.

Also be sure to stop by Sara's blog, Mommy Honesty, to enter her giveaway for an adorable scrabble tile necklace from Studio Kin.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

no words

Have I ever told you about my husband, Seth?

He grew up in Denison, Iowa (the home of Donna Reed - you know, "It's a Wonderful Life"? It's a classic) as the oldest of five siblings. He's the son of a pastor and a teacher and grew up on a farm. He went to Concordia University Nebraska (a.k.a. Concordia Seward) and was a director of Christian education for five years before going to the seminary to become a pastor.

He is many things.
He is the man who always knows how to make me smile and laugh, whether with one of his silly puns or his famous sarcasm.

He is always supportive of whatever is important to me at any given moment.
He's my biggest cheerleader and my biggest fan.
He encourages me when I get down on myself and rejoices with me in my triumphs.

He taught me how to fish, stack wood, spackle drywall, and run a trolling motor.

He is just as big of a dork as I am... maybe bigger.
And I love him for it.

He taught me to love the Lions, the Tigers, and the Pistons.

He is an incredible example of faithful service to God and His people.
His passion for ministry and his love for the people of our congregation constantly blows me away.
He is a wonderful vicar and will soon be a wonderful pastor.

He is my best friend, the love of my life, and the guardian of my heart.
On this, our third anniversary, I am filled with gratitude to God for choosing and preparing such a wonderful man to be my husband.
Seth is the greatest gift next to salvation that He has given me,
and there are no words adequate enough to express how much I love him.

Happy Anniversary, Bubs.
Here's to a lifetime left of love and blessings.

Love, your wife