Thursday, March 17, 2011

welcome sweet springtime....

Am I the only one who is excited that Spring is finally here?? It was a whopping 70 degrees here today! We may be in for some rain and cooler temps tomorrow - but it was great while it lasted!

SO much has happened since I last posted! I'm posting some pics about the different events that have taken place in our lives within the past few months - hope this holds you over until I can get another post up! :)

In January I celebrated my 18th birthday!! I even got a dozen red roses from a very special man in my daddy. ;) I can't wait until I graduate in May!

This is our most recent family picture, taken at Christmas

Deanna and her boyfriend, David - cute couple, huh?! :)

Deanna and David again at the Christmas Banquet at the college

A HUGE part of December/January for us was my uncle's kidney transplant benefit! We were CRAZY busy getting for it! Here we are in our benefit t-shirts. The benefit was a great success and Darwin is very grateful for all of the love and support he has received. Sadly, Carolyn will not be able to be his kidney donor as previously expected. He continues to be on the National Donor List. If you would like to read more about Darwin's story, you can visit our Facebook page,

Another BIG event was our moving AGAIN! :) We are becoming "pros" at this! Dad accepted a full-time pastorate position at a church a couple of hours away - we moved there in January. The church is doing very well and we are really enjoying our new home!

Here Nikki is with a blessing from a dear family in our church! Nikki has always wanted a set of drums and the Lord blessed her with one through this couple! She has had so much fun banging around on them! ;)

Nikki and I had a fun time with our youth group at an Aaron Shust concert a few weeks ago - we enjoyed getting our picture with him afterwards!

This picture is of my sweet Grandma Rittgers who passed away about a week and half ago....of course it's been hard losing her - but I'm so glad that I have the hope that I will see her again someday! I'm so blessed that I had the influence of a Godly grandma! On the day she died, I got on Facebook later in the afternoon and a friend of mine had posted a verse - it seemed like it was just meant for me....Isaiah 49:23 "....I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed". My Grandma's hope was in Christ - and she has NOT been disappointed!! She is in no pain - I've been imagining in my mind what Grandma must look like in heaven...she has a NEW BODY! I can hardly even remember a time when she didn't have bruises all on her arms - just from getting poked and prodded and from dialysis. She doesn't have bruises anymore!! And I'm sure she's cracking up those in heaven with her dry sense of humor! :) That's one thing I always loved about her - she always had us laughing until our sides ached! My family tells me I get my dry sense of humor from her. :) So while it's been so tough losing her, we just have a peace knowing that we will see her again someday!

So this has been our life within the last few months. God has been good - I'm so grateful for His ever-present faithfulness in our lives!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kidney Transplant Benefit

This picture is of my uncle and aunt, Darwin and Carolyn Rittgers. Darwin is my dad's brother. He is need of a kidney transplant and he is very hopeful that his wife will be the donor. It is common for transplant patients to be asked to raise money prior to a transplant to cover such things as: anything not covered by insurance, medicine co-pays, travel expenses (gas, food, hotel stays), outside testing, loss of income before and after the surgery, etc. This is a unique situation, in that, if Carolyn is the donor, they will both be off of work for quite some time following the surgery. We want to ensure that the last thing they need to worry about is their finances….that they can focus on their recovery.

So we are holding a benefit for him on January 8th in Waverly, Iowa! There will be a dinner, an auction, and fun music with a DJ!

We are also asking for the donation of NEW items for our auction!! Some ideas would be housewares, tickets (concerts, sporting events, etc.), athletic gear, gift cards, homemade quilts, etc. Be creative! If you are able to help us by donating items, that would be a huge blessing!

We will be continually planning benefits for the family to raise funds, and have set up an account at the First National Bank in Waverly, Iowa, in their name that people can donate to. We are also encouraging groups and individuals to think of ways that they can help…you can plan your own fundraiser (garage sale, bake sale, car wash, love-offering, raffles, collection jars in businesses, etc. ) through your group, church, organization, or place of employment. Other ways you can help is by promoting Darwin's Facebook page or getting involved in helping us get the word out.

If you are able to donate, please comment and let me know! We have created a Facebook page for Darwin's cause ( - you can see it even if you don't have a Facebook account. Please feel free to join the page - even if you don't know Darwin personally, we would appreciate your prayers and your donations! At the page, you can read Darwin's full story and stay updated on his progress and different fundraisers we will be having.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oreo Truffles Gone Bad

I LOVE cooking shows - the Food Network is one of my favorite channels (much to some of my family members' frustration). ;-) I enjoy watching Rachael Ray and, while browsing her website one day, I came across what looked like a delicious dessert - Oreo truffles! Does that sound incredible or what?! So tonight was the night I was going to make this lovely dessert.

It started out fine, until I came to.....the chocolate. Now I haven't really made much with chocolate when it involves melting it first. I'm notorious for messing things up in the kitchen, but I wanted to prove that I could make something and not goof I was trying to avoid asking Mom for too much help - I mean, how hard can it be to melt chocolate in the microwave? Apparently much harder than I thought!

After leaving it in there for about 4 1/2 minutes, Mom suddenly said, "Something smells like it's burning!" I ran over to the microwave - yep, it was the chocolate! =) There was a bit of smoke, a horrible smell, and some very burnt chocolate. Needless to say, I did not finish the truffles.

But, rest assured, they will be finished tonight, as Dad and I ran to Fareway to get more chocolate - and I will not burn it this time!! =)

Anyone else have any funny (and possibly embarrassing) cooking stories to share?? Come on now - I told my story! ;-)

By the way, I found out later (AFTER this whole incident) that they have these handy little things on the back of the chocolate bag called DIRECTIONS for melting the chocolate! Who would've thought?? ;-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An apology is not enough....

Hey there!

A brief "I'm sorry" simply is NOT enough! There is no excuse for my absence, except for the fact that within the last year, I have become very infatuated with Facebook, which now takes up most of my computer time. After skimming through my friends' posts, looking a
t pictures of weddings and summer happenings, and playing my quick turn on Scrabble, I just don't feel like blogging. I won't make any more promises (because obviously I have difficulty keeping those) :), but I will try to post more. I feel terrible for my lack of posting! Forget about those pics I talked about last time! :) I'm starting fresh!

We are continuing to stay very busy!! School will be starting very soon for us - Nikki will be a 7th grader and I'll be a Senior!! Yay!! :)

Deanna Joy is starting her sophomore year of college this fall! This past summer, she was given the opportunity to sing and travel with one of the college groups - she had a great time and was able to minister in various ways - but we REALLY missed having her home with us! :) She was able to come home for 2 weeks at the beginning of August before school started. We had so much fun! We visited Adventureland, went bowling twice, got together with friends and family, and enjoyed laughing and just being together! A few pics:

Before church one Sunday

How WET we got at Adventureland on the Log Ride!!! We went on it twice and got soaked!

With Dad at Adventureland

Shopping at the mall!

Being goofy around the campfire! =D

Hope you enjoyed this little post!! =)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Mom and I made it back safe and sound from the hills of Kentucky! ;) Lots of laughs, games, and late-night chats occupied our time! I have many pictures to post (and I really mean it this time!) that WILL get posted soon! =) So stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My 17th Birthday!

My birthday was January 19th - I can't believe I've waited this long to post about it! It was a fabulous day - although it was very strange not having Deanna here to help celebrate. We made up for it though by having some friends over! My "theme" this year was "A Night At the Movies". Mom put up pictures of my favorite movie stars (you can see a few in the picture below - they all were Michael Landon, Desi Arnez, Lucille Ball, Kirk Cameron, Charleton Heston, John Wayne, Tom Hanks, Gregory Peck, Yul Brenner, Carey Grant, and Audrey Hepburn). Mom gave Nikki and I a quiz about my favorite movies and that night when I had my friends over, we watched "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" starring Don Knotts. It was so much fun!

The concession stand

Lots of yummy snacks for during the movie

With my gifts

I got a birthday card from my favorite hockey player! As you can imagine, I was absolutely ecstatic! ;)

Playing 'Repeat Pete' with my friends - that's a really fun game!

I wish I had time to post some other pictures, but I have to go pack - Mom and I are flying out tomorrow to Kentucky to see Deanna! We are so excited! We were supposed to leave today, but our flight was canceled due to the blizzard hitting the Midwest/East Coast. So we are leaving tomorrow instead (if the weather cooperates!). We were joking about how we NEVER fly but the one time we were going to, it gets canceled! Crazy! I haven't flown in years, so I'm a bit nervous about it. We would appreciate prayers for us as we fly and for Deanna as she drives to Louisville to pick us up!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sugar Bowl Champs

We had an amazing Sugar Bowl party with my cousin on New Years Day! The unstoppable Gators were playing....and, of course, they won!!

All decked out!

Painting our faces up

Chomp! Chomp!


The Gators are #1!

By the way, does anyone who has a blog have any idea why I can no longer put words above my first picture in a post? Is there a special trick to it? Now I always have to put the words underneath that first pic...hmmm! =)