Thursday, December 24, 2009
Posted by Courtney at 9:56 AM
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Posted by Courtney at 8:25 PM
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Posted by Courtney at 6:23 PM
Friday, December 4, 2009
Posted by Courtney at 7:42 PM
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Posted by Courtney at 3:09 PM
Friday, November 20, 2009
I was thinking a few week ago just how lucky I am. I get to go flying and see some really cool things like flying at just the tops of clouds, so during one of my flights I brought out my camera that has a video option and shot some video, that I wanted to share with all of you.
the first video is just 5 seconds, it was my first try of using the video portion of my camera. the second is 30 seconds and takes you through the upper area of a cloud bank.
I hope that you enjoy.
Posted by Matt at 8:29 PM
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Army Base Fort Hood
A gunman opened fire on his fellow soldiers. Wounding 31 and killing 12 of our brave men and women of the United States Army.
Read the whole story.
This attack hit close to home for us. Fort Hood is in Killeen Texas, where we met and dated. We made our first home there. Killeen is where we spent the first year of our marriage. It was a very happy time for us as we worked and went to school. Matt even had classes on the base! We have many friends in and from the area. Luckily no one we know was injured. But even more than a week later it is still shocking...
To the families of the Ft. Hood fallen, we're so sorry. We hope and pray that peace will come to you in this dark time. Know that you have our love and support.
We Support Our Troops
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 6:50 PM
Monday, October 12, 2009
This is Matt and I had the chance to go to Philly, I had a day off from Dover. I went to the Independence National Historical Park, it was a lot of fun, if you get the chance to go you need to go, the city has great sidewalks.
If you go and want to see Independence Hall you'll have to get tickets (they are free) at the Independence Visitors Center. Get there early as thy only give out the tickets for that day and when they are gone they are gone.
It was so cool to go on the tours and the that lead the tours really knew their history so it was a lot of fun to learn even more about the early history of the great country that we live in.
I saw the Liberty Bell and had a Philly cheese steak for dinner... what a great day, so here are some pictures from that day.
Old City Hall
I cant tell you how much I enjoyed this trip, every one should go and realize just how much of a blessing that this country got off the ground. The many sacrifices that the founding fathers gave. I think that we need to be reminded of this, it is fragile and must be protected.
Old City Hall
George Washington's copy of the Deceleration of Independence page 1
George Washington's copy of the Deceleration of Independence page 2 (the correction was done in Washington's hand)
Old Senate Chambers
Me and the Liberty Bell
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 9:19 AM
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 6:30 PM
Sunday, September 27, 2009
It was HUGE! I had a month of planning and gathering donations and promoting it like crazy and it still didn't feel like enough time! We had everything: clothes, shoes, toys, baby stuff, furniture(large and small), china, small appliances, decorations, books, games, and tasty treats! It was amazing how many donations we received. Everyone was willing to part with their household goods to help us! And some friends let us borrow their garage and yard! (We live in an apartment, it's a little difficult to have a yard/garage sale with no yard/garage!) We were way in over our heads with this thing! WOW!
(Pst...I'm the one in the hat above. And Matt is in the blue shirt below.)
(This was only on the first day!!! We got soooo much more that night and the next morning!!!)
We had tons of friends come and help us out! Here are some of our "Helpers"(Stephanie- she was a huge help! She helped set up and take down...and she answered people's questions and even helped take money! Thanks Stephanie!!!)
(Ben- he was an organizing genius!!! Did you notice the puzzles? All his doing!!! Thanks Ben!)
(Brittany- she and her hubby*down below* came both days to drop off donations and give moral support! And they couldn't leave without a few of the items we had there! Thanks Brittany!)
(Robbie- don't let the toy car fool you, he did some very heavy lifting!! Thanks Robbie!)
It was a ton of work...we were going non stop all week! We're so glad that our friends were so willing to come and support us... And in the end, we had a lot of fun and it was a big success! Even though I got SOOOO sunburned-with sunscreen! I'm still pink(and it's almost two weeks later!)
I think we may try to do another one in the spring....
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 11:49 AM
Monday, September 21, 2009
So after the conference and spending a few days with friends, We went down to St. George UT to spend time with my parents!!! While we were driving we listened to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We love books, and have enjoyed the Harry Potter series! But while we were listening I noticed something very funny! It was a Utah license plate that said MUGGLE!!! It was perfect timing too! The story was talking about muggles!! I grabbed the camera and Matt got close enough and I got a picture!!!! Sadly however, that was one of the great pictures that was lost. I still had to share though!
When we made it to St. George it was so hot! But it was so wonderful to be in my parents tiny apartment with the WHOLE family!!! *A little background- one of my brothers and my sister haven't really been on "speaking terms" for the last 6 years. But while we were there they decided to start working things out!* It was so comfortable to have everyone in the living room on the couch just hanging out and joking around! I had thought that it might feel monumental for everyone to be there but it felt natural, like the way it is supposed to be!
While we had everyone together I knew we HAD to do family portraits! The last family portrait was about 17 years ago!!!! Just after my sister Jericca was born!!! So being the family portrait photographer I forced the issue. Most of the family knows about my bossy and obsessive ways when I'm behind the camera(I'm not that bad!) but Josh, my youngest brother, was in for a shock!!! We decided it was be fun to go out to the Red Rock Canyon and hike and do pictures. It was a lot of fun! And it was so pretty out there! We stoped a lot to do a shot here and there. But we got some great shots!!!
Anyways, here is my family!
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 9:08 AM
Sunday, September 6, 2009
So where were we? Ah yes! The conference. So FSA(Families Supporting Adoption) held a conference in Layton UT with classes for everyone in the adoption triad. We of course attended the adoptive parent classes, but the kids classes and Birth Parent classes looked really good too. There was only one class that we wished we hadn't gone to. It was just a bit too negative, which was really sad.
The big event was the keynote speaker, Troy Dunn. Wow! He was amazing! He talked a little about his company and what they do...his TV show...and even about his own family. He has an amazing testimony of adoption. It was truly inspiring. I am so glad that he was able to take the time away from his family to speak with us.
"My mom introduced the beautiful concept of adoption in a very simple manner," Brother Dunn said. "She said, 'There is something that is called prayer trading, and we're going to trade prayers with somebody. Somewhere out there is a girl praying for a good family for her baby. We are going to pray for a good tummy with a baby in it, and we are going to answer each others' prayers.' "
After Brother Dunn spoke we had the wonderful opportunity to listen to the experiences of several birthparents. They were so brave to open up their lives and share their own history. Adoption touches so many people, it's amazing to think that we are all here on earth to love and support one another. Adoption is a wonderful process that Heavenly Father uses to teach us of His love for us. The birthparents at the panel bore their testimonies of His love and of adoption in general. It was a very heart felt hour. I wish I could find the broadcast to share but I don't think it's available yet. But if you're interested in reading some amazing stories from actual Birth Mothers check out www.ItsAboutLove.org
We really enjoyed our time at the conference. The classes were jammed packed with information and we walked away a little overloaded. =) Thank goodness for all the handouts they gave us, otherwise I'd forget everything we heard! We tried to attend a good varity of classes. We did a few parenting classes, finacial classes, marketing classes, transracial classes, and a few other panels. I wish that we had more time to do a lot more classes, or that I could split myself into two and been able to attend two classes at once! It was really great and I want to go again next year! Most of the people there were from Utah but there were a few of us from other states. I think we were the only ones from MI.
We were able to get together with a few friends after the conference, Chris and Theresa. They had some great advice for us. I'm so glad we have friends who have been touched by adoption. They told us about this amazing group out in UT, The Genesis Group! We just happened to be in town on the night of their fireside. So we went! It was absolutely amazing! The group is a Church organized support group to serve the needs of the African-American Latter Day Saints. Anyone is welcome to attend the firesides and I highly suggest it.
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 10:23 AM
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We packed up on Monday, and left town in the early afternoon. We drove a straight 18 hours to Denver. My Grandma and Aunt and Uncle live in Littleton so we stopped for the night. We hung out with a few of my cousins who just had a baby...an adorable little boy! We had a very tasty dinner and then it was off to bed. We left early in the morning for the remaining 9 hour drive to Provo. But it was really nice to see my Grandma.
On our way we stopped in Grand Junction for gas and some lunch...We had to stop, there was a CHICK-FIL-A!!! We don't have one here and I've missed it oh so much. I know it's not gluten free but sometimes it is worth the pain! *sneaky grin* We even took a picture to celebrate. However, during some routine computer updating, all of our car trip photos have been sadly lost. But I promise I thought of you when I took the picture. So just imagine, a lovely, colorful picture of the tasty Chick-fil-A.
We finally got into Provo, after a few melt-downs on my end. (I can really freak out when driving through mountain passes. The twists and turns and shoulder drop offs do me in.) My brother met us in Provo to take Jericca, my sister, home to get ready for school and we spent a few days at Jill's(Matt's sister) place. Matt got to visit with two of his siblings...which sadly doesn't happen enough. We're looking forward to the next family reunion.
While we were in the general Salt Lake Area, we attended the National Families Supporting Adoption Conference. Wow, talk about uplifting! I know Matt wasn't super crazy about going but he had a good time. There were a few classes that we weren't that crazy about, but the overall experience was great.
I'm going to leave it here for now. I want to go more in depth about the conference and then we still have to head down to St. George. Plus some pictures have survived! However, this is long enough...and it's late and I have an early morning. (The car window broke while in UT and now I have to get it fixed)
So consider this your cliff hanger....
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 7:29 PM
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Unfortunately however, most of the cool tricks like loops and low passes were done on the other side of the buildings. So we didn't see a lot of the special Blue Angel show. Next year we'll know better! Matt and I both took our cameras to try to get some awesome shots of the flight action. I think a few came out ok. I like this one of Matt...all the action was behind the buildings and he was anxiously looking for where they might reappear for us! He really loves anything to do with flying!!!
Here is me with my sister who was still in town! It was a little chilly and raining just a bit, so we snuggled up in our picnic blanket that we keep in the car!
This was my first time seeing the Blue Angels and it was awesome!!! Not even the rain could bring down the experience! Next year will be even better, now knowing the absolute best place to park and watch!
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 9:51 AM
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I didn't get very many good pictures...but here are a few that turned out.
And here's one of my sister...she's so cute. I thought I got one of my mom but her eyes are closed, so I won't post it.
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 6:59 PM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Currently I am reading "What to Expect The First Year". About a month ago I started stressing about knowing nothing when it came to taking care of children. I think every parent goes through it at some point, right? Well, I went out and bought this most informative baby book. It takes you through every month with developmental details and answers concerned questions. It's a wonderful book and I am learning from it. It's funny for me to see how much I already knew, since I work with children. But reading this book has given me a lot of confidence that I'll know what to do when we have a child. I'm about half way through it right now. I'll finish reading the 6 month milestone today.
My last book was "First Family" by David Baldacci. A really great book! Baldacci is one of my most favorite authors. I have read all but one of his books. This story is a continuation of the King and Maxwell series. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are two ex Secret Services workers who now run their own private investigating practice. They are hired by the First Lady to find her missing niece. It twists and turns and you're not sure at the end of the book who really is the bad guy. I mean you find out who did it, but...well, I won't spoil it for you. I'm not sure that Baldacci will continue with this series. He ended the book so beautifully, it just completes the story of King and Maxwell. I can't wait for his next book, whatever characters he decides to use!
I think that my next book is going to have to be "Lord of the Rings, Return of the King". I've read the first two this year but I needed a break since it is a very intense story. It's a long and slow read... I love the movies and enjoy reading the story because I'm getting so much more out of it. But it is very tedious. Once I finish "What to Expect" I'm going to buckle down and finish the saga.
Ok so I have read a few books this past month.
Liberty and Tyranny A Conservative Manifesto by Mark R. Levin:
During this time of where it seams to me that common sense has been disregarded, and replaced by madness, it discusses the progressive movement and how that movement has destroyed our liberty's as Americans. In the end Mr. Levin talks about some ways that we can reverse the liberty's lost and help preserve this great country of ours.
Odd Hours by Dean Koontz:
The fourth book in the Odd Thomas saga, about a young fry cook that can see dead people who have not moved on and he tries to help them, he can not talk to them because the dead can not talk, so he has to try to help them. I have enjoyed each one, the third book seamed to have run the course, so I was not sure if I want to invest my time to a bad book so I waited until it came out in paperback at Sam's Cub. I was pleasantly surprised but how well the storied played out. With Odd on trying to stop a madman from smuggling and detonating nuclear bombs on US soil, while helping Mr. Blue Eye's Frank Sinatra move on, and while he did not end the series, I am happy with the ending.
The Third Revelation by Ralph McInerny:
This is a ok book, it's about the Catholicism and the story of Our Lady of Fatima, the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, the CIA, and the Former USSR and the KGB. Since I am not a Catholic I am talking the information provided in the book as fact, and it has a good plot line and some interesting twist, with the conclusion tying everything up nicely by the end. I would not read it again and will place it in my book case to be given to someone else to read.
I don't know what book I will start reading next! any suggestions???
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 12:03 PM
Sunday, June 14, 2009
We had fun making our pizzas. It made a really large batch so we each had our own pizza! I made mine, and Matt made his. Matt had pepperoni, ham, and tomato(it was suppose to have olives too but we forgot them). Mine had mushrooms, ham, and tomato. It was a lot of fun and really tasty! I like it when we can both work in the kitchen together.
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 10:57 AM
Sunday, June 7, 2009
It is by an amazing author, Eugene Fields.
Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
'T is a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.
When you 've got to the tree, you would have a hard time
To capture the fruit which I sing;
The tree is so tall that no person could climb
To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
And a gingerbread dog prowls below---
And this is the way you contrive to get at
Those sugar-plums tempting you so:
You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
And he barks with such terrible zest
That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
As her swelling proportions attest.
And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around
From this leafy limb unto that,
And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground---
Hurrah for that chocolate cat!
There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
With stripings of scarlet or gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains
As much as your apron can hold!
So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
And I 'll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 5:40 PM
Friday, June 5, 2009
It is really a fun movie.
It was in 3D! So we got these awesome 3D glasses! Don't they look like the Blues Brothers glasses? I love them! Up was a lot of fun. Pixar did a fantastic job with the story and of course the animations! The 3D element was fairly decent, not as good as Monsters VS Aliens but good enough! I don't want to give away any of it, so I won't go into details. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you feel adventurous, & then it makes you all warm and fuzzy-like warm and fuzzy donuts! You really should see it!
Last night we had a Burn Notice Season Premiere Party. We invited a few friends, grilled a few burgers, fried some french fries(first time too), and enjoyed the start of the third season. It was wonderful to have friends over. We have a great apartment that allows for plenty of visitors, and we love having a full house!
But for all the fun we've had so far, it has also been a very busy week! This week we had the pleasure of having our case worker, Julie, over for our home study! It was/is a very exciting prospect! We think it went well, and now we're just waiting for the written report to be finished up. But to prepare for Julie's visit we went a little crazy with the cleaning...I cleaned a lot more than I needed to. Oh well, at least now we have a super sparkling clean home!
Thank goodness that the week is almost over.
Then we'll be off for another week full of adventures!
Here's to all your adventures.
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 4:40 PM
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
We have all of our adoption paperwork done! We're currently waiting for our doctor to mail our medicals to LDS Family Services. Once they get that, our case worker will give us a call to schedule our home visit. That's where they come in and see where and how we live. It's completely unnerving! I'm running around frantically cleaning and organizing the house. I am starting to feel like a beheaded chicken. But I have a feeling it's going to be completely worth it in the end. That idea is the thing that keeps me going.
But in the last few days I've begun realizing that we don't have much in the way of baby supplies. And that as we are getting so close to the home study visits that now is the time to prepare for having a baby! So, today I went and bought a few supplies. I bought diapers for the first time! =) I suppose it's kind of silly to get this excited over 36 newborn diapers. But to me it feels so concrete that some day in the (relatively) near future we will have a baby in this house. I also bought some baby proofing items, a few onsies, and some bedding for our crib. It's strangley uplifting for me to search and buy baby items. I am glad that we have a few larger items arleady taken care of so I can focus on the smaller things. Hopefully, by the time we are picked we will have almost everything we'll need.
Outside our world of adoption, I have started another semester of school. This summer I'm taking a Digital Imaging class. I'm learning all the cool tricks to photoshop. I find it nice to actually know that I'm preforming the correct techniques. It's only two nights a week but it's starting to be kind of intense. I'm excited to finish the class.
Matt has started a home fitness program, P90X, and is enjoying the hard workouts. He's already lost a few pounds and it's only been a few weeks. He is very excited to see how far this program can take him. Work is a little slow for him right now, but that's the way we like it. He flies fallen soldiers home, so we like it when he doesn't have to fly anyone home.
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 11:10 AM
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Spring isn't just warmer weather. It's also time for Spring Cleaning! We're working on keeping the house organized. We're down to two rooms that still need a little help, the master and the office. I'm sure that we'll get them all set in the right order this week. Spring is also well known for "Twitterpation" or being "Twitterpated"(from Bambi). It's a great time of the year because you have a wonderful excuse to hold hands and snuggle up close. Love is in the air.
But I think my favorite part of spring is that spring brings so many options. There's tons of things that you can do! Our complex just opened up a frisbee golf course. I'm sure we'll enjoy that this season. All the putt putt places are finally open again. Soon the amusement and water parks will open up. But the best part....is all the great picnics that you can have! With the food and the friends, it always a perfect time, even with the ants! We have pulled the grill out and it is ready to see some firey action. Plans are already in the works for some geniune good ole' Texas Bar-B-Que slow roasted brisket. It's making my mouth water just thinking about it!
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 5:17 PM
Saturday, April 18, 2009
It was a really neat experience. It was my very first political rally!
Here in Michigan: We made posters and stood on the corner in front of the court house. We waved at the passing cars and talked to the people on the street. We had a lot of support there! About 150-200 people showed up. The news and paper were there talking with people. We even sang "America The Beautiful". =) It was very uplifting and encouraging.
We like to stay politically informed and involved. Matt is always listening to or watching some Conservative Talk Show. We both really love this country.
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 9:00 PM
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 9:36 PM
Thursday, March 19, 2009
We found these awesome train tracks and couldn't help ourselves.
We had to take a few pictures!
About the middle of the trail was this little lake...there were a few people fishing, a few enjoying a picnic lunch, and us taking in the crystal clear water... It was very refreshing to have such amazing surroundings.
We even got our feet wet! Only not in this beautiful lake...and not really by choice! We went on the blue trail because the yellow trail was flooded. Only to find out that the yellow and blue trail shared the last quarter of a mile...including the flooded bridge that was warned about at the beginning of the yellow trail but not the blue trail!!!! There was only a quarter of a mile left, it was almost dusk, and it was starting to get cold. We had to walk right through it! There was still ice in the water! It was freezing! Thank goodness for the extra pair of socks we packed! We finally managed to get back to the car and we took full advantage of our heater to warm our cold piggies.
When we got home, we both worked on making dinner. We had Shrimp Diablo and Steak with rosemary potatoes and asparagus. Matt even spoiled me with chocolate cake for dessert!
It was a great day!
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 6:54 PM
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Courtney: All Kinds of Candy, Reading in Bed, and Sleeping In!
Matt: Krispie Kreme Donuts, Mountains of Doctor Pepper, and Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Alright, so we'll admit we love the sweets! I'm not sure who actually has the bigger sweet tooth...but then again, I don't really want to figure it out! I'd be afraid of losing...and winning! But I do think I'll dust off my baking skills and bake Matt some of my famous Chocolate Chip Cookies! They are one of the reasons Matt liked me so much when we we're dating!
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 7:18 PM
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I was thinking that I would show everyone out there that I actually do work on the rare occasion. I don't just sit around and wait for the boss man to page me. Oh wait, we've been upgraded to the twenty-first century and now I receive text messages!!!
For those who don't know, or can't tell from the video...I fly airplanes for a living. This was shot by a good friend of mine who was flying with me.
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 7:41 PM
This shocking death has opened up a need for a new vehicle. Matt and I went out shopping for a replacement. And I think we may have found the perfect family car. In fact I'm so sure of it's perfectness that we went ahead and bought it!!! I'll get some photos taken and post them soon.
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 7:04 PM
Friday, January 16, 2009
2009, what an exciting time! And boy am I glad that I don't have to write 2008 anymore. For some reason, I don't like writing the number eight. Strange, I know! Well, this is the normal time to make resolutions for the upcoming year...My last few resolutions haven't worked out very well. Of course, it's always had to do with getting pregnant or finishing up adoption paperwork(which is very time consuming!) And those things are very much out of my control. =) But this year I think it is safe to say that I have picked something that the general population has also picked! I think I'm going to try to lose about 20lbs. I know Matt is also trying to lose some weight. (We had been kinda lazy last year) You know, the whole eat super healthy, exercise everyday, never be lazy resolution. And I have to say that I might actually agree with F.M. Knowles when he said, "He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool". Fool I may be, but I'm still going to try. =)
Well, whoever you are and where ever you may be we, hope that you can find comfort, happiness, knowledge, and whatever(or whoever) you are looking for in 2009! And like Matt always says, Don't sweat the small stuff!
Posted by Matt and Courtney at 9:34 AM