Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another Engagement!!

Before this year started, we knew 2014 would be the year that BOTH our boys would be proposing! You can read Zach's Engagement Story here. And now it's Kyle's turn; Kyle has been dating Katie for just about a year now. Next month (May) will be their One Year Anniversary! They met through some mutual friends at Church. She is a nurse at Phoenix Children's Hospital. 

They had been talking about getting married for awhile. Kyle knew she would like a Princess Cut, Solitaire Diamond. But she has always said she would know as soon as he bought the ring by how he acted. So he didn't want to get a ring ahead of time. Hoping for the element of surprise! So just last Sunday he comes walking in the house & says "Look what I bought!" Holding up a bag from a Jewelry store! As much as Zach is a planner, Kyle is spontaneous!! 

He was also nervous about talking to her parents since her Mother (like all good Mothers) can get Emotional when it comes to her baby girl! :) He was afraid that after he asked them, when Katie walked in the house she would burst into tears or something giving it away! So on Wed. while Katie was at work, Kyle met with her parents, asking for their Blessing before proposing. Which they gave! He knew she worked on Thursday & He would pop the question on Friday, so their wouldn't be much opportunity to give it away! Plus her Mom told me she did her best to avoid Katie for those few days! :)

Katie had also told him she would know when he was about to propose because he would have to wear  baggy jeans to hide the ring, since he usually wears pretty form fitting ones! :) So even though it was in the mid 80's on Friday, he had on a Denim Jacket, because it had an inside pocket! He tried to keep her on the other side of the pocket so she wouldn't feel the ring box & know!

So on Friday, late afternoon, he took her out for their favorite thing, coffee! Then they went for a walk around Tempe Beach Park. Their first kiss was on the footbridge there! So right at Sun Set, which in Arizona are always beautiful! On that same bridge where they'd had their first kiss, he said let's take a picture! :) He is always setting up his phone on the timer, so they can pose for pictures together. So she didn't think anything of it! 

After the first picture, he said lets take another one, but without her knowing, he set the camera to video instead, so as they posed he turned her toward him, got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and asked her to be his wife. And she said yes! Or more accurately she nodded yes through tears! 

 Kyle had our family & Katie's family meet for dinner that night and the newly engaged couple would show up there for another surprise for her. So we all got to have a celebratory dinner together! It was fun and the first time we got to meet her brothers! She has a 2 year old nephew who they must have tried to explain what had happened cause when he next saw his Aunt Katie he said "Let me see the ring!" Then he announced "Tyle Loves You! I Love You Too!" Isn't that just so sweet?! 

The happy couple is planning a fall wedding! Yes, this is a big year for our family! And she gets me for a Mother In Law! :)

Congratulations to Kyle and Katie! 
(soon to be K-Forb squared!) 
We are so happy for both of you! And Love you so much! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Girls Answer The Question: Where I'm From . . .

 In my Girls' English Classes in High School they were given the assignment of writing a paper titled: Where I'm From. They were asked to share their families "Culture." I thought what an interesting concept! And when I saw their papers, I loved them so much and wanted to share them here on the Blog. Now I may be just a little biased, but I think I have some pretty great creative writers on my hands. Maybe someday we'll all be reading their Blogs! :) 

Where I'm From
Erica Forbis

I am from music
From rhythm, and accent of sound
I am from a summer blaze
(Flaming, Baking
it burned my skin)
I am from sunshine,
The world full of light
whose rays brought joy to my life

I'm from tank tops and short sleeves
From shorts and never jeans
I'm from the ice cold drinks
And the wind in the trees,
From scorpions and snakes
I'm from climbing high
And chasing leaves

I'm from John and Star Branch
Forbis and Fink
From the bright blue eyes
to the big curly hair

Under my bed hides a world of its own
Memories untouched,
And aged thoughts
I am from the past -
Slightly aged and worn -
And I am the bright future

Where I'm From
 Lexi Forbis

I am from the music
from love and kindness.
I am from the sun in the sky
(Hot, bright,
it tasted like burning skin.)
I am from the huge family,
the loud and obnoxious
whose yelling voices brought headaches
but I joined in anyway.

I am from pop
from lettuce with sugar.
I am from Forbis and Fink,
John and Star.
From Christmas and Easter,
and the countless days at church
to all the summer camps.

I am from the loss of my grandmother
in her fight against cancer,
the head I cracked open twice in my life.
I am from those moments
those snapshots of life.
A leaf fallen from the big family tree.

I can't tell you how much I love both of their papers! I love the Music and Arizona references. My husband and I both come from large families, he's one of 5 children and I'm one of 7! We're loud and fun! :) I love the family tree that we have planted for our kids, that continues to grow and blossom! Oh, and both girls got A's on their papers! :)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Baby Boy Is Engaged!

My son Zach has been dating Kendra for about 2 and a half years now and has been planning a Proposal for some time. Back in November He took his Mom & Sisters ring shopping. He had a picture on his phone of a ring she said she liked some time before. And after looking in many Jewelry stores to find one similar, he found the one he wanted! Kendra is tiny, so it was a challenge finding a ring that could be sized down to a size 4 without changing it's shape too much, which would loosen the prongs. 

He's taking the Plunge!

He was so funny with the ring, he wouldn't let anyone touch it. He kept it in the Ring Box inside the store box, inside the store bag, inside a Ziploc bag! He hid it in his Dad's sock drawer in case when Kendra was here for Christmas she wouldn't accidentally find it in his room! He let everyone know if he gets any calls or mail from the Jewelry store while she's here not to give it to him.

 At the Airport on their way!

They had planned a trip to Oregon (Where Kendra is from) for Spring Break so Zach could meet her Brother & Sister In Law & 2 Nephews. Her favorite place is the Beach, so he thought the Beach in Oregon would be the perfect backdrop to pop the question! He messaged her Brother & Sister In Law and told them of his plans and to get their help in planning the special event. He wrapped the ring box in a pair of his socks & hid it in his carry on bag. 

Zach & Kendra with her Brother Shawn & Tawnya, 
and their boys; Taylor & Colin

Now Kendra lives in Northern Arizona about a 5 or so hour drive from us. So Zach enlisted her other Brother & Sister In Law who lives in the same town to get Kendra out of the house so he could Skype with her parents to tell them of his plans and ask for their Blessing. So they had her over for dinner. Zach was so nervous to talk with her parents, but they gave their Blessing! So our whole family, her whole family and a very few friends knew about the plan, but all kept it a total secret from Kendra! Good Job Everyone! :) 

The Moment before The Proposal!
She has no idea!

Kendra's brother in Oregon told Zach of a Lighthouse on a Beach you can take tours of, Zach liked the idea of a Lighthouse, since Oregon in March could still be pretty cold to do it on the Beach. So her brother looked into it & set it up so that after the Tour, they could have the Lighthouse for 30 minuets or so to themselves!

She said "Yes!"

He said he was so excited and nervous! Going over & over in his head all day, everything he wanted to say! On their drive out to the Lighthouse a song came on the Radio by a band called The Rend Collective about a Lighthouse. Zach, Shawn & Tawnya tried not to laugh, as not to give anything away to Kendra that something was up! :)

The Beautiful Ring on her finger!

After he proposed, they wanted to buy a momento of the occasion, but the Gift shop had just closed. :( Shawn knocked on the door & told them they had just got engaged & wanted to buy something! They let them in! :) They chose a Christmas Ornament of the Lighthouse! Their first Ornament together! And you know how much I love Christmas! They couldn't have picked anything better!

On the Beach at Yaquina Head Light 

After the Proposal they walked on the Beach & took some pictures. Then they all went out to a nice Restaurant called Tidal Raves looking out over the Beach to Celebrate! And they called their families to let them know, of course! We Love Kendra and my girls are excited their going to have an older Sister!

We had their cars ready for them when they got home! :)

Zach has about 3 semesters left at ASU, then they will get Married! Let the planning fun begin! Congratulations Zach & Kendra! We are so happy for you both! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Our "Couples" Photo Shoot

A good friend of mine posted on Facebook that her Daughter, Maddie, one of my Girls' Best Friends since Kindergarten, needed a Couple to take pictures of for her Photography class. And that she was tired of using her parents! :)

 I told her we'd do it for her. Why not?! Our Daughter, Erica has taken Photography classes as well and I know some of those assignments could be hard to come by. And we could always use some new, fresh pictures!

She took us to a big, empty warehouse type building, that use to be a locally owned Furniture store called The Potato Barn here in town.


 She had some ideas for posses she wanted, and then we all came up with a few others, inspired by the rustic surroundings.

There were Train Tracks out behind the building, and they always make for some great shots as well. 

This next shot is one of my Favorites of the day.

And our own little Photog, Erica, uses any opportunities to take some cool shots as well. Making her sister, Lexi pose for her . . .

Gotta love this Photo Bomb by Maddie! :) Flying into the picture, she didn't even drop her Camera!

And when I saw this little opening I told the girls "come get under here and I'll take some shots of your feet! It will be like Footloose!"

These girls are all Dancers and Daughters of 80's Moms after all! They were all for it! Love them! :)

This is my girls with Maddie back when they went to a Harry Potter Movie Premier and made their T-shirts! So cute!

And a more recent shot of the three BFFs! Beautiful young women!

Maddie did a great job! It was a fun Photo shoot! And who doesn't want to be a Model for a day?! Just wait till she gets my bill! :)


This last shot was the one she turned in for the assignment. So cute! And she got an A on it! How could she not with these subjects right?! :)

And someday when shes a world famous photographer, which she will be! I'll be able to say I had my pic taken by her! And you can too! Check out her website: EMZY Photo. this Girl is going places!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Invention Of Wings

When I first started a Book Club, the first book we read was The Secret Life Of Bees. After reading the book, I got the Movie & watched it with my family. Both are very good. My Daughter Lexi really liked the movie & wanted to read the Book. If you ask her today what her Favorite Book of all time is she would say The Secret Life Of Bees! I've also read another Book by the same Author, Sue Monk Kidd, that she wrote with her Daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor called Traveling With Pomegranates. I really enjoyed that Book as well. And in my What To Ask Santa For Blog Post this past Christmas, I told you she had a new Book coming out soon that I really wanted to read called The Invention Of Wings. 

"We're all yearning for a wedge of Sky, aren't we?
I suspect God plants these yearnings in us
so we'll at least try and change the course of things."

Oprah had selected it even before it came out, for her new Book Clubs first selection of 2014! I couldn't wait to read this one! And soon after it came out a local Indie Book Store here in Arizona called Changing Hands Bookstore announced they were bringing in Sue Monk Kidd to talk about this new book! They had such great response that they had to move it from the Bookstore to a local High school. And of course Lexi wanted to go with me to hear her favorite Author speak! I love the fact that I can share my love of Reading & Books with my Kids. We took our books in hopes of getting her to sign them as well. Authors are my Rock Stars! :) 

"If you must err, do so on the side of Audacity!"

I was so excited to hear her talk about this Book. She told of how she came to write it and what it meant to her & even read us some portions of the Book. Confessing "Writing is an Act of Courage!" She talked about the Feminine Journey, as The Invention Of Wings was based on the life of the Grimke sisters, who are real & a slave girl who was also real, but passed away in adolescence, it is the imagined life of this slave along with the sisters who owned her from childhood & became some of the first female abolitionist, changing the course of History. 

"I wanted to know things, to become someone."

Sue Monk Kidd stated "Women only realized how oppressed they were when they decided to stand up to the oppression of others!" By taking a stand against Slavery in the South, the Grimke sisters also became some of the first Women to ever speak in front of men, putting them ahead of their time in the fight for equal rights for Women. She said "Empathy is the real purpose of Fiction!" I loved that! Lexi & I both loved getting to hear her speak and having her sign our Books! She commented on how my Book, Traveling With Pomegranates was all marked up, I told her that was for Book Club. :) And I told her how when I let my Niece borrow my copy of The Secret Life Of Bees, Lexi had to go out & buy another copy of it, because she couldn't be with out one! She was very grateful to have someone as young as Lexi come out to hear her speak!

 "Carry on my Sisters!"

I read The Invention Of Wings pretty quickly, it's that good! I really loved it! And now, after hearing the Author talk about it, Lexi is reading it as well! We highly recommend it, if you are looking for a good read! How are you doing with the 2014 Bookshelf Challenge? This was Book number 6 for me this year! :) If you've read it, I love to hear your thoughts on it as well. Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Month Of Gratitude

Even though things haven't been going well for me, not having a job & everything, I determined to be Thankful for all the things that I do have in my life. I decided that in the month of February I would cultivate an Attitude Of Gratitude

So I found something every day of the month to be Thankful for. Because there is Always, Always  something to be Grateful for. And I kept a list! Here is my list (in no particular order)

1. John (My Husband)
2. Kyle (Son)
3. Zach (Son)
4. Erica (Daughter)
5. Lexi (Daughter)
6. Tinkerbell (Our Dog)
7. Books
8. God's Provision
9. Kendra & Katie (My Boys' Girlfriends) 
10. My Husband's Family
11. My Mom & Dad
12. My Family
13. Music
14. Quality Time Spent With The People I Love
15. Health
16. Gods Protection
17. Living In The United States
18. Laughter
19. Holiday's
20. Self confidence
21. Change
22. The Beauty Of Nature
23. A Good Nights Sleep
24. New Friends
25. New Opportunities
26. Social Media
27. Photographs / Memories
28. My New Job

One item for each day of the month of February! Most days I would wake up & fall asleep thinking of my item for that day! And I didn't just put it on a list, I actually gave Thanks! Yes I Thanked God for giving it to me! I thought when I started this venture, that I would be including a new job I'd have gotten, but that hasn't happened yet. But I'm still thankful that it is coming! So I included it in my list anyway! Believing it will come. 

And I must say it really has helped. Being Grateful really changes your perspective! It gives you a better attitude. It forces you to think positively, instead of negatively, which is an easy trap to fall into when life isn't going your way. You always hear "Look On The Bright Side Of Things!" Well it really is a better way of looking at life.

So, what would you add to the list? What are you Grateful for today?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Arizona's Right To Discriminate Bill

Unless you've been living under a rock you've heard about a new bill here in Arizona, SB 1062, or as it's called the Right To Discriminate Bill. Let me give you a little background; I believe one of the springboards, among other things, was a floral company that is being sued for refusing to do the flowers for a lesbian wedding, citing religious beliefs. Now this isn't the first controversial bill passed here in the great state of Arizona, SB 1070 on Illegal Immigration was first, you can read my take on that one here.  As you know I am a Christian, so I thought I'd share my take on this, with all my wit & wisdom, (which you know I have a lot of both!) :) and how I believe all Christians & all Americans should feel & respond to this bill.

First of all let me start with a NEWS FLASH here for all Arizona Christian Business Owners: EVERY single customer you do business with, wait for it . . . is a Sinner! Shocking I know! But no matter how perfect you might think you are, take another look my friend. And these are the Very people you were put here to reach & to love! If you run a Business, then do business! (or don't!)

The scary thing about this bill is that if you really wanted to you could find a "religious" reason to not do business with anyone! The KKK is a religion to some people. Is it okay for them to discriminate against people not of their race? Many religions believe women are not equal to men, is it then okay for them to discriminate against women to "keep them in their place?" Whether that means not paying female employees the same as male, or even physical harm? I should hope not. This is a very dangerous path we are treading.

It brings to mind a singer from back in the 80's (you know I heart the 80's!). Steve Taylor was kind of a new wave Christian artist, to who's sarcastic style I could relate to. (In our house we call it Starcasm!) :)  In his song Guilty By Association he made fun of people who "will only drink milk from a Christian cow!" And another song, that just this past Sunday we sang in our Church by a group called For King And Country that so beautifully says, "Let my Life be the Proof, the Proof of Your Love. Let my Love look like You and what You're made of."

We, as Christ's Followers, are put on this earth to be His hands extended. To show His love to a hurting world. Mother Theresa once said "Find someone no one else loves & Love Them." Love is not just what God does, it's who God is! God is Love! And He loves us unconditionally. Not because we follow rules, or act or don't act in certain ways. We don't have to become something we're not to earn or gain Christ's love. In fact the Bible in Romans 5:6-8 tells us: For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. You see, there is nothing we could do that would make Christ love us more! And there is nothing we could do to make Him love us any less. We should remember that when dealing with others. After all Christ died for them too! So what part of Love Thy Neighbor As You Love Yourself do we not understand?