Wednesday, December 31, 2008

True Confessions of a Tired Woman

I finally got a shower after two days. I know, I know..."GROSS!", some of you are thinking. Ya see, we are going from living at my mother-in-law's home to living in our home this week. With the move, and working M-W-F at 6am, etc. I've had to take "spit baths" to get by until 30 minutes ago. Wowsa, that shower felt heavenly!

The bad thing is, Jarrod tore out the wall around the bathtub to install a shower two weeks. :{

One of the joys of an oooolllld house is that it ONLY has a tub. (Well, there IS a scary old shower in the basement where the boogyman lives, but...)


If I'm sick, yeah, but sitting in dirty water to get clean?!? What a dumb idea. So anyway, the next two weeks I will surrender myself to bath-taking, without complaining (too much).

Pics of the house will follow in a couple days.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Getting Closer Every Day!!

Ok, here are a couple more pics of the house in progress.
Master Bedroom...not finished yet.
(great view of the neighbors, eh?)
Living Room under construction
Living Room receiving new life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Goodies

Here are two of the Christmas Goodies that I've baked the past week.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
I always think of my sister, Donna, when I make these. I don't know why.
The Official New Mexico State Cookie
These are NOT snickerdoodles.
I cannot begin to explain how much I want to be in NM today and tomorrow with my family. In leiu of that, I made my Gramma Rivera's specialty.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One Room at a Time

I am going to post one or two "Transformation" pictures of our house every couple of days.
For starters, I will show you Before and After pics of the "Blue Room"; ie: the boys' room.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Home again, Home again, Jiggity-Jig

"Welcome Home, Flaming Family, Welcome Home"
216 E. 1st Newton, KS 67114

Our Living Room-to-be

Oh My Gosh!!! Did a blind person paint in here?!?

The scary basement.
No, I don't think we'll use this!!
This little "thing of beauty" is one of my favorite parts of the house. Why? It's welcoming and unique.

Every room will receive a beautiful coat of paint, and Jarrod will put his creative hands to work to make this house a place to call home.
Thank you so much, EVERYONE, for praying for us to find a house. You are a part of this!
You can see more "before" pics at

Thanks, God.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Ok, I can't think of the last time I was in -16 degree wind chill! I know, I know...moving to Kansas means dealing with the hard winters. I'm just sayin'- THIS is cold!

We had a really good weekend. Friday night we did pizza and games at our dear friends, the Koerners. Saturday we looked at a couple of houses (hopefully the one close to the kids' school will be the one!! please, God, let this be the one), then we all went Christmas shopping- yes, on a Saturday- in Wichita. We met Jarrod's mom and his brother for supper, then did the "Christmas Lights" thing. There are some incredibly HUGE houses in Wichita!!
And some "Griswald Competition" goin' on, too! It was fun...except for the part where Ben's car overheated in a parking lot in downtown Wichita. But we left it there, and kept having fun. Then there was the part where all of us were tired, and finished looking at lights, so we dropped Ben off at his house, and as we are getting back to our van, Anna accidentally locked the keys in the van! So, in the very, very windy, cold dark of night, Jarrod and Ben got to spend an HOUR with two wire hangers! Talk about Male Bonding.

Apart from those two little inconveniences, it proved to be a very Christmasy day.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thoughts from the Basement

I am getting ready to go to work this in about an hour. When I get there I will make the coffee cake that we serve on Mon. mornings, then begin cooking and preparing the sandwiches and wraps for lunch. Mondays are busy, but I like being busy.

Jarrod is already off to work (6:30am). He has been blessed to be able to work since week 2 of our move to Newton. It's supposedly temporary, until the end of the year, while he's looking for something permanent. He's working for Smith Home Improvements, for a guy he went to high school with. He's enjoying the remodeling/construction stuff. His face is nice and dark, and he looks like a hunk in those insulated overalls and tool belt!

We have been here 5 weeks now, and are ready for God to show us the house He has all picked out for us, and a permanent job for Jarrod. There have been good days, and bad days, but overall, we are doing well. I have to fight rushing to adjust to this new place. I just want everything to feel "normal".

Oh, Jacob turned 11 years old on Nov. 24th. We had the easiest party ever...he doesn't like cake, so why bother with the expense? He invited 4 neighborhood boys over and we had Root beer Floats. Then, Jarrod took them down the street to the park and played Capture the Flag for an hour or more. The boys were thrilled!! What did I do? Take a nap on the couch! Aaaah. That's my kind of party!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Working Woman

It's long past time to update our blog. And I promise to post pics after day off!
We have passed the one month mark now. I don't like that the days turn so quickly into weeks. But, then again, it's good that I'm not sitting around with too much time on my hands. Hey, that reminds me of a Styx song. "t-t-t-t-t-t-t Too much time on my hands..."
Anyway...I will be true to my promise before to find one good thing about Newton, KS each day. I've forgotten a few days, but who's counting?

"I work in a very cool store that has the coolest wood floors."

Visit for more info.

Here's how it happened...

Once upon a time (the first week we moved to town), Jarrod and I decided to go "downtown" to check out the stores. Mind you, this is a town that rolls up the sidewalks at 5pm, and is NOT open on Sundays. However, on Thursday nights, the downtown is open until 8:30pm. It's a big deal here. Having very recently moved from a big city, where anything and everything is open pretty much anytime of day or night, this is an adjustment.

Ok, back to the story...
So, Jarrod and I walked into this store called "Prairie Harvest". It was an oasis for me. You see, I love beautiful things, and this store, to me, was beautiful. Simple and beautiful. The colors on the walls, the old wood floors, the spoke to me: "Melissa, come and visit me when you need a beauty-boost."
As Jarrod and I perused the bulk grains, the spices, the lotions, the deli, I thought to myself, "This would be a cool place to work." Little did I know that Jarrod was thinking that, too (for me, not him). One of the cool things about this store is that it connects to three other stores from the inside: a bookstore/coffee shop, a cool kitchen store, and a froo-froo girlie store with purses, scarves, etc.

One week's a Thursday night and Jarrod takes me on a date. Guess where? Downtown Newton, of course! We went back into Prairie Harvest and before long Jarrod's asking the manager if they are hiring for the holidays. She said, "Well, not really for the holidays. We really need someone for more than the holidays." Wow. Even better. So I took an application, and the next day returned it. The owner happened to be there, looked at my experience, skills, etc. and said, "We are needing someone in our kitchen. One of our cooks is moving. This is Providence, that we are losing a cook, and here you walked in with your application, and you are a cook!! I can hardly contain my excitement!" She offered me a job on the spot. As I walked out of the store, I thought, "Is this for real? I am going to work at this beautiful place, and not only work here, but COOK here?" Wow.

And so began my journey as a cook at Prairie Harvest. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is made from scratch- which I love. Since it's an organic, whole foods-type place, we do a lot of vegetarian dishes, but we always offer what I like to call "real food" along with it. Who knows? I might even TRY some of the vegetarian stuff sometime. It sure smells yummy.

There is also a catering side to it, which I will do plenty of this month. We do on-site catering in our Prairie Room, so I am excited to be involved in that. One of the best parts about my job is that I only work when the kiddos are at school and only M-W-F, basically.

Remember when I told you that Thursday nights the town is open late? Well, I prepare the menu for that, as well. I love that people enjoy the food. It's a great feeling to make people happy.

There really is so much more to blog about from the month of November. However, I'll let Jarrod take a turn and tell you from HIS standpoint how life in Newton, KS is going.