Friday, May 22, 2009

One totally cool thing I forgot to add!

Ok. Here's just a side note, and when it happened, I was like - I totally need to tell the world how cool this is!!! And then I forgot - I'm such a doofus!

Anyway, for those of you in the South, from the South or at least familiar with the South - will be aware of a WONDERFUL, DELIGHTFUL, SCRUMPTIOUS little fast food joint called Chik-fil-A! I LOVE this place! Anyway, we don't have any up here in the Tundra and it's the one restaurant that I actually miss. It's probably a good thing that we don't have them... but that's a side note. So on our trip down to Texas, there were Chik-fil-A's taunting me the whole way, we were in a rush and there was never one nearby when it was time to stop... So when we got to the middle of nowhere for Tdub's wedding, I figured my hope of Chik-fil-A was dashed. Oh well, I can live with disappointment.

Here's the kicker - Tdub's father-in-law owns ALL the Chik-fil-A's in Midland, Texas! And so do you want to know what we had as an appetizer at Katie and Tdub's wedding? Chik-fil-A nuggets!!!! Not to mention the Chik-fil-A chicken salad I had on Friday! Throw in some waffle fries and a sweet tea and I'm in 7th Heaven, baby!

Anyway, it was a little silly, but I just couldn't help showing you how much God loves me - even though I'm easily amused and a little simple! :)

Tell me about some little way that God takes care of your little whimsy's!!!!! It's time to hear from someone else!

Concentrating on the amazing things in the Tundra,

Sarah


Ok, one more thing and I promise to stop, unless something else way cool happens! Alright, you ready for this? Let me give you a little history.
1. Sam is an artist
2. Medora is the only touristy town in ND
3. We LOVE Medora
4. It's not only an old west town, surrounded by the majestic ND Badlands, a bunch of the shops there carry Sam's art - and sell it!
5. Medora is re-building a fancy new hotel (it houses a 5 star chef in the summer months)
6. People actually come from all over to stay there
7. They need a BIG painting to put over the fancy new fireplace in the fancy new hotel
8. The director of the whole Medora Foundation had Sam and I over to dinner to discuss the possibility of throwing his name into the hat for the bid for this painting.
9. They were super nice people.
10. There are tons of good ND artists.

and all that to say.....

Sam won the bid! So he gets to paint a gigantic, beautiful badlands scene for over the fireplace in this fancy new hotel where guests from all over the country will be exposed to some amazing art!!!! And if that's not amazing enough - he gets paid for it! YAY!!!! God is good! So Sam is out in the Badlands meeting with the Director of the Medora Foundation right now to look at the spot and get ideas for his painting. I'm so bummed that I couldn't go with him, but I have to get the house clean.

We leave on Monday for the Turtle Mountain with the 4th-6th graders and don't come back till Thursday. Then on Friday, a friend of Sam's from college is coming with his wife to stay for the weekend, so I need to have a semi-clean house for them to stay in! But rejoice with me! God is taking care of our needs as they arise - isn't He amazing???

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Good Morning folks!

I hope you enjoyed our pictures and videos - I know I do - I keep looking at them - he's such a cutie! ;) I may be a little biased, but I don't think so!

I wanted to post this the other day but needed permission, which I have now. So I would really appreciate some prayers for my family. My mom was just diagnosed with Breast Cancer on Tuesday. The Dr. was great about discussing all her options and giving her some time to go home and think about it. She goes back in today to discuss those decisions... I have so many wonderful and supportive friends and family out there, and I just want to tap all my resources for lifting her up in prayer!

Please pray:

1. The Lord's will be done in her life
2. That she would have the peace that passes all understanding that God promises us
3. That she would maintain a positive and uplifting attitude through out all of it
4. That Dad and Mom would make wise decisions
5. That we would all be supportive
And....
6. Most importantly, the Lord would be glorified through this trial and the rest of our lives!

I'm sure there is much more to pray for, but this can get you started! Thank you for being so supportive....

Mixed feeling in the Tundra,

Sarah

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CAUTION: Material may be inappropriate for young children!

What you will see here is our whole album of pictures so far for Baby Coleman. If you think there are too many, then don't look at them. That's the nice thing about having your own blog - you can put as many pictures of your kids on there as you want! Just to let you know, the last three are video so don't miss out on seeing our little guy give you a big howdy do!!!









video
video
video

Well....some of you have been waiting....

for some very exciting news and I'm here to tell you -


it's a BOY!


Pictures to follow. I'm at the library right now and I was going to post them here, but the public computer wouldn't let me do it - so you have to just deal with that for now! He's a mover and a shaker - a non-stop mover and a shaker - takes right after his daddy!

Names to come when he gets here. We've got a couple names picked out but are waiting to see his cute little munchkin face before we decide for sure - so don't worry about that right now!!!

Have a great day!

Excitement reigns in the Tundra!

Sarah

Good Morning!

Just thought I would send a quick little update here.

I just wanted to say that it's sprinkling in the Tundra. Not too much to report. Ultra sound is at 2:30pm today, so big news coming later!

Let's see what else - Oh, we had our Garden Club Plant Auction last night. They changed it around a bit and a lot more people came to the auction - a lot more high spenders, I should say, came to the auction. They were buying small plants that they could definitely get for cheaper somewhere else. But whatever. We didn't end up buying anything at the auction - but here's the highlight!! They had their .25 cents up to $3.00 tables. It was all marked off and they stopped the auction half way through and took down the caution tape and let people in to buy whatever they wanted off the cash n carry tables! Well, Sam was in there like a crazy man! We were buying plants for 3 people's yards and so one minute I was talking to him, the next minute, he was seriously 10 feet away from me - we started stashing our goods in the corner - we ended up with about 20+ plants for about $14! What a steal of a deal!

Anyway, we also visited with a friend - Tiffany and got a bunch more plants from her! Don't you just love being able to share these things?! Well, not too much else to report...

Have a great day! From the springy Tundra,

Love, Sarah

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

One more thing....

Sam has been hearing from so many people "I was reading Sarah's blog the other day and it was so funny...." that he actually learned the address and pulls it up every once in a while to read it now. So be careful about all those wonderful comments about the Most Amazing Man in the World...I wouldn't want his head getting too big! ;)

Part 3

Wait a minute, I'd better go back and check to see where I left off!

I think we'd just gotten stopped and realized that Sam's license was suspended, am I right? I think so. Oh yeah, and then driving, driving, driving up to Scottsdale to make it to the 4 star resort that we'd splurged on and then decided not to and then they wouldn't let us cancel. I remember it all very clearly now.

Well, we got to Scottsdale and we were following the directions, going through some very ritzy parts of town - but alas, it was 1am our time, we'd been driving since 8am - just get us there already... So you know how everything takes 10X longer in the dark when you don't know where you're going? Well, yeah. That's how it was... With every stop light, we would check to see if this is our road - not a chance... We went like 15 minutes north of town and it kept getting darker and darker. Then finally! We came to The Boulders Resort. As we pull in, there was a security desk and mind you, we'd been driving for like umpteen hours that day, we were in a dusty van with a doughnut. Needless to say, the security guard was none too excited to see us coming. He was a bit gruff....until we said we were guests there. And then all of a sudden, he was so friendly and kind; asking for our names to put a little paper in the window so they can keep track of us as we come and go...how nice....he gave us directions and kindly sent us on to the Lodge. Ahh, don't you just love the lives of the rich and famous. "Make lefts all the way there. If you make a right, you've gone the wrong way." So we follow this road in the dark making lefts the whole way until we pull up in front of a big fancy lodge. A fella meets us at the door of our car and opens it up to say, "Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Coleman." Then he proceeds to give us directions which we are half listening to. I noticed immediately that there were no cars there - uh oh - this is valet parking! You have GOT to be kidding me! Now, don't mind me - I'm as high class as the next gal - but allowing someone else to drive our dirty, lived in, doughnut riding, disaster in the back with, I might add, a mattress, van, was pushing it a little! Ok, a lot! Our duffle bags seriously looked liked they'd exploded and there were blankets and pillows and left over Subway napkins and trash laying in our trash bag... Anyway, he sent us inside to check in and then said he would wait outside. We could gather our stuff and put it on the golf cart and they would take us to our, hang on a second, let's see if I can remember this - take us to our casita. Did I say that we looked like vagabonds because we knew we'd be traveling all day so... no makeup, knit shorts, tank top - who knows what Sam was wearing... Anyway, we checked in and came back to the van to pack our duffle bags, find our make up bags, grab the computer and camera, etc. Finally we take them out of the van and meanwhile this other car drives up and the Valet opens there door and calls them by name and they step out of their super fancy SUV dressed as if it's 9am in the morning, not 1am and off they go. We are standing there looking like drowned cats and dogs that someone just dropped off with our duffle bags. So we wait, not so patiently, I might add, for the valet to show us which golf cart to get into and wait not so patiently as they drive us around this place taking turns left and right, I was thinking the whole time, how the heck are we going to get back when the valet must have read my mind. He said just call the desk in the morning and they'd have someone to pick us up and bring us back and bring our car around within 5 minutes when we were ready to head out. Needless to say, at this point, I'm not too impressed with 4 star resorts. Sam says he just wanted them to leave us alone and have our van parked right in front of our room!!! He's real high class - if you call the Motel 6 high class!!! HA! I just don't think either of us were in the ritzy mood after such a long day! Finally we get to our casita and they took our bags in and put them in the closet and proceed to ask us what kinds of things were we interested in doing while we were there. I was like Sleep! HA, actually I didn't say that. But we just hemmed and hawed and he asked if we liked hiking, we said, sure... Knowing that we would be spending the day at Art Galleries in Scottsdale and then off, because we've got a plan, Man! He spent the next 10 minutes telling us of all the hiking places in the area, even pulling up maps on his IPhone to show us how to get there. Don't get me wrong, I appreciated him going the extra mile, but leave, MAN! So he finally did and we had a chance to look around. It was nice. It was very nice. There were robes and slippers and fancy adobe architecture and really fancy soaps and shampoos. It was nice to shower without Grand-daddy long legs like previously at the Camp for the wedding.... We finally got to bed and slept and slept and slept. We didn't even wake up till 9am - which was only 7am their time, but whatever! Sam spent the next few minutes taking pictures of the quail off our patio and all the cacti and beautiful desert landscaping! We got ready for the day and ventured out to check out our surroundings and decided by about 11am that it was too hot and it was time to leave! So we'd spent less than 12 hours at this fancy resort, seems like quite the waste, but honestly, after our Sunday, I'm pretty sure we needed a really good nights sleep! It was worth it, and I told my man so - I hope he realizes how much I really did appreciate getting a taste of the rich and famous. Even if I'm way more comfortable with a mattress thrown in the back of the van - a girl needs a little high class every once in a while!! PS. Did I mention it was about 100 degrees?

Well, we got back to the car and headed into Scottsdale to get our tire fixed, which couldn't be fixed, so we ended up purchasing a new tire. And then in the mean time Sam called ND DMV to find out why his license was suspended and I'll try to make it a short story. He had a little accident back in December. He was driving his aunt's car over to get an oil change and there was snow and an old lady pulled out in front of him. He hit her. But the police came and cited her, it wasn't his fault at all. He got all the necessary info and handed it over to his aunt and uncle and didn't have anything else left to do with it. The end. Well, I guess months later, they were having a problem with finding the insurance on the aunt's car and sent a letter to Sam, but the DMV has his address listed as nnd St NE, not 2nd St NE and so we never received any notification at all. I guess the other insurance doesn't go after the owner, but instead the driver. So since they never heard back from anyone, they suspended his license and it had been that way for I don't know how long, because they never sent us any notification! Anyway, they told him that to reinstate it, he would have to get all this paperwork notarized and mailed in and he would have to pay a $50 reinstatement fee - Sam told him that he was in Arizona and could not do all of that right then and that he is the primary driver and needed his license reinstated ASAP. They were pretty nasty about it and said they wouldn't. Finally, we got ahold of his aunt and uncle on Thursday and they got it taken care of, so when we got home, he called DMV to check the status and they profusely apologized for the situation and waived the fee.... So it's all good now, but a major inconvenience and royal pain in the neck!

Finally, we got to Scottsdale to check out the galleries and since it was now up to 109 degrees, we were the only ones there checking out all this amazing art. Hopefully we've got some good leads and Sam can contact some of these galleries to see if they would like to represent him. So we'll see what happens! You could pray about those opportunities!

By the way - side note - pictures, I promise, are to come, but Sam's pond is coming along nicely! He was working on the waterfall yesterday and it's looking just fabulous! While we were away the plants were busy growing and everything is turning green! And then tonight is our annual Plant Auction for the Garden Club and so we are very excited about that! It looks like it's going to be a great year for blooming-ness in our yard! It got up to about 80 degrees yesterday but late last night, the wind picked up and I was planting wave petunias in the freezing cold while Sam was working on a more permanent situation for Tonto's kennel. But anyway, Spring is here!!! Just thought I'd throw that in there!

So back to the EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH! We wanted to make it up to the Grand Canyon for sunset, but that clearly wasn't going to happen, especially after taking so long with the tire, etc. Oh, I almost completely forgot! We wanted to see Sedona - that's what was taking us so long to get to the Grand Canyon. I remember going there about 15 years ago and it's grown up so much. We had a bit of a frustrating time finding the shops that I had remembered before, but we found them and got some baubles for our neighbor kids and headed out to the red hills for sunset. It was so nice to get away from people and just wander around. It was a beautiful evening. Then we drove until we got to about 10 miles outside the Grand Canyon and found a random road in the Nation Forest to camp on. And I've got to tell ya, we do this a lot. In fact, that's what we do most of the time when we are camping. But I had an eerie feeling that we weren't alone this time. It freaked me out... Luckily with this van, we have tinted windows. And then, just as I was falling asleep, I hear this noise! It sounded like someone was walking around our van and immediately I was thinking, how do we defend ourselves?! I asked Sam what was that sound, and he said it was his stomach growling! HA! I nearly had a heart attack! Anyway, I fell asleep and slept hard till morning. Turns out we were fine - no one tried to attack us or anything. And then Sam said he had this eerie feeling that we were being watched by a bob cat or something! F-R-E-A-K-Y! So we got up in time for a sunrise at the Grand Canyon - 5am Arizona time! It was beautiful - breath taking. I'd been there before but Sam hadn't and had always wanted to go and I was so honored to be there to experience that with him. I love making his dreams come true! I thrive on it! We spent the rest of the time meandering around the Grand Canyon, we even had a great nap over looking the rim of the Grand Canyon in the heat of the day! It was heavenly! Then we started making our way north towards Bryce Canyon and driving through the Vermilion Cliffs and the Painted Desert and we drove right over the Colorado River... Incredibly beautiful weather the whole way.

We did reach Bryce Canyon by sunset, I think we had it a little backwards and think we should have been to Bryce for Sunrise and Grand Canyon by Sunset, but still - breath taking views! As we got out at Sunset Point at Bryce Canyon, Sam said that it was really cool there, but the Grand Canyon was definitely more up his alley! I was just stunned because I'd never seen it before. Anyway, then we drove to this other area and as we walked out onto the view point, Sam said to take back what he just said - I couldn't believe how it could get any more amazing - every where you turned was another incredible view - God is amazing! I just think about the Great Flood waters rushing through there making all those canyons and at Bryce specifically, there were spires everywhere - it looked like the world's largest cathedral - I couldn't imagine how all those spires weren't just wiped right off??? God is so amazing. I don't know how people couldn't look at that and just be struck by God's amazing-ness. He's incredible, and He created all of that majestic-ness just to bring Him glory! And you know what? When you see that huge, massive work of God, it's hard to realize that as incredible as that is, He cares even more for you and me individually! Those canyons were pretty impressive, with them reaching their spires straight to the glory of God but then you look around at all the people who are admiring it - maybe they know God, maybe they don't, but God created each and everyone of them and loves them even more than this incredible sight in front of us - how humbling! God is good! I don't even know what else to say!

So now we are on Tuesday night. And we left Bryce Canyon, this time in desperate search of a shower since our last one was, well, let's not go there. So we checked out the camp grounds at Bryce Canyon, there were none. Then we saw a sign saying there were showers in town, we headed that direction and we were informed there that they weren't open yet. Who's ever heard of that? Anyway, we head down the road looking for opportunities but resigned to the fact that we might have to have a wet wipe bath that night! Thank God for wet wipes! So as we were driving along, waiting to find the National Forest to find a new camping spot, we spotted a KOA! Thank God for KOA! I remember them from my youth! We sneaked in there and got a much-needed shower and were ready to settle in the for the evening. This time we found a spot that didn't feel so creepy! And the stars were amazing - Utah really knows how to show off their stars! When we woke up in the morning, it turns out that there were tons of variegated lupine surrounding us, and even though we didn't have a shovel, Sam managed to get some as souvenirs! We were on our way back towards to ND. Sam needed to be at work by Thursday afternoon, so our goal was to make it to the Black Hills. We didn't really stop anywhere along the way. We did drive up to Denver where the mountains were still just covered in snow - it was beautiful. We drove through Vail, Breckenridge, and all these fancy ski places and it was beautiful going over the mountain passes, but it was also time to get home. How in the world was Tonto? We hadn't gotten one phone call that he was off his leash and roaming the neighborhood - what's wrong with that picture?! Anyway, we did want to stop in the Black Hills to collect some more flat rocks for Sam's pond, but by the time we got there, it was late. 11:40pm to be exact.

And how does she remember what time it was - that Sarah, she's amazing! Well.... the reason I remember was because that was the beginning of "Shortcut #2." You remember me mentioning anything about that before? Well, I was driving, of course. And Sam said to turn here...back there, we missed our turn. So I turned around and drove right passed it again for a 2nd time (should have been clue's #1 and #2). Finally, we got on the right road - gravel road (should have been clue #3) and headed NE - that's the direction we were suppose to be traveling. "Now I don't know exactly where this road ends up because it's not on the map, but as long as we head NE, we should be fine." (Clue #4) The clues were screaming at me and I just kept driving, blindly following my adventuresome husband. And I know most of you are thinking that I'm a crazy girl for following him, but seriously, you haven't experienced anything until you hang out with Sam for a while and end up on one of his adventures - he'll take you places you've never been before, you'll see things you've never seen before, seriously, life is so much more fun and exciting with this man - ask a couple people who have been on his adventures - well, on second thought, don't really ask too many people. But take it from me - this man is Fun with a capital F! Ok, so back to driving - guess what we saw next - snow! We were just in 109 degrees and now there is snow!!!! Clue #5 - there were snow drifts across the road and there were no other car tracks through them. Clue #6 - no signs telling us where we were going. Clue #7 - The compass on the car was telling us we were going SW. Clue #8 hundred thousand, we were 4 miles away from a place called Deerfield Lake. Doesn't that sound creepy to you? Sounds like something that should have been on "I know what you did last summer." I never saw that movie and never even knew what it was about until Sam explained it to me - while we were on this road.... I'll spare you the details, but I was getting freaked out! I think Sam was finally getting himself creeped out too, because all of a sudden, he said, stop the car, I'm driving, we're getting out of here! And sure enough, he jumped in the driver seat and within 20 minutes, we were back on the highway - the time now - 1am! That's how I remembered it was 11:40pm when we went in there. We were so freaked out, that we parked our car in a lighted hotel parking lot and slept for the night! The next morning, Thursday, we headed home. Didn't even take the time to go into the Black Hills for the Rocks. We were home by 1pm and Sam was at work a half an hour later! So there you have it - the EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH!

Tonto was fine and very happy to see us. I got half our laundry done and everything put away. The boys ended up having a baseball game that we went to from 4pm till 9:30 - don't ask - long story! Friday, I decided to stay home from work to get some things done, like groceries since we didn't have anything in the house! And that ended up taking the whole day. Then Friday night, we had Parent's Night Out at church and that was a good time...

On Saturday, I did a bit of rummage sale-ing and Sam helped his cousin do some landscaping. We also had a few graduation open houses, it was also the 1st Anniversary of Home Going of John Coleman, Sam's Dad for those of you who are new to the life and adventures of Sam and Sarah. Kind of a reflective day for us. What a life to celebrate and we try to celebrate his life all the times we remember him and what an impact he had on the world! We surely miss him!

Well, folks, my eyes are going bleary. I can only imagine what yours might be doing. Tomorrow, I don't know what I'll write about, but we do have our Ultrasound, and yes, we are going to find out the sex of our baby, so on Thursday, or maybe tomorrow night, I'll have some B-I-G news for you! Stay tuned! Thanks for reading and keeping in touch with us!

Until next time from "Springtime in the Tundra,"

Love, Sarah

PS. I forgot to proof yesterday's post before I posted it. So sorry for any mistakes in there... Thanks!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Part Deux or is it duex? The french - you gotta love 'em!

Well, let's see, where did we leave off - ahhh, that's right the morning of Day 3 of the... EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH (imagine this being said with a loud booming voice with reverberations whenever I say that - it's what I always hear! It sounds much cooler!)

So anyway, we drove through the river up onto the land with cliffs 300 feet high and come out to a clearing of lush green grass, old stone/wood cabins and pavilions scattered throughout the campground, and over to the right, there is a river that runs right through the camp and it's the most intense and beautiful blue you have ever seen! It was about 8am and so there weren't too many people milling around, but we drove up to the main lodge, which was just gorgeous, there was a wrap around patio around the entire building. All wooden beams and windows all across the back that looked over this magnificent river - talk about a beautiful wedding spot!!! (PS. Nicole, I will rustle up some photos as soon as I can get them off of Sam's computer!) Anyway, we saw some people and so we stopped to find out where everyone was, and we were informed that everyone was still sleeping. So we were going to head back to the town 14 miles away to get gas and pray that we made it, when we saw Katie Schrank. This is TW's fiance whom we have never met, but we just knew it was her. Turns out she was up early writing her vows! So we walked down to the water's edge to visit with her for a couple of minutes and meet her! She's just great - perfect for Tdub and just a ray of sunshine! So as we were heading back out of the camp, praying that our gas gage would hang in there, what to our wandering eyes did we see - but a little Tdub writing his vows down by the water a little further down stream! Sam and T haven't seen each other since our own wedding three and a half years ago - so it was a sweet reunion! Don't you just love good friends. Even the ones you haven't seen in forever?! I love how you get to reconnect! God is so good that way!

Well, I won't drone on, our trip does get much more exciting, but for now, I'll update you on the wedding festivities - we did get to town and get gas before we completely ker-plunked out. It was a cute little town called Leakey - pronounced Lay-key. I'm not sure if that's the right pronunciation, or if it's just the Texan pronunciation. Either way, I guess that makes it "right", right?! So we headed back and spent the day Friday getting all the last minute decorations taken care of. It was only like 90 degrees and sweltering hot. I think Sam only took about 6 swims that day! We were at the other camp decorating for the rehearsal dinner when we decided we couldn't take the heat - we'd brought our bathing suits over, but they were in the car somewhere else collecting wild flowers, so we decided to go in our clothes!!! It was heavenly! So all that to say - beautiful couple, beautiful wedding, beautiful reception, and an all around beautiful time!!!!

This brings us to early Sunday morning when we head out West for the rest of our Epic Adventure! We said our goodbyes and jumped in the car and left the little oasis from Heaven to go towards El Paso (which, I won't go into huge details, but let's just say it's about opposite of where we'd spent the last two days!) West Texas goes on and on and on. I don't know if you realize this or not but the speed limit in ND is 75 and that's because there isn't anything here and the road is straight, straight, straight.... It's not uncommon to look down and realize you are going about 85 and it finally feels like you aren't crawling... So needless to say, cruise control is a must! All that to say - the speed limit in West Texas is 80. Enough said. Nothingness. Moving on to New Mexico - everything changes, the terrain becomes interesting with mountains popping up here and there, the architecture turns more bright pink, adobe-like. A lot more interesting to say the least! We did pass a dairy farm that was just awful, it was about 95 degrees and there were these poor starved pitiful looking cows packed into these corrals - no grass anywhere to be seen and it went on for miles. Immediately I was feeling a bit of a repulsion to anything remotely regarding dairy in that particular part of the country. If I were a cow living there - seriously, I think I'd rather take my chances living in the wild!!! Ugh! Anyway, we went on through NM without too much excitement.

Then came Arizona....

I've been waiting for this part of our post. It's one of the highlights fo' sho'! Where do I begin with Arizona?! Well, first of all, let me say that Sam found a great deal on Travelzoo for a 4 star hotel, so reluctantly he booked it. But not before he asked several times if he could cancel in case we couldn't make it in time because we were going to be traveling there from San Antonio area... The fella assured him, that yes indeed, he could cancel. Well, then the hotel turned out to be a little more expensive, and we just weren't sure... but alas we could cancel.... So as we were traveling through and thinking more about it, we decided to cancel and find something cheaper or else just continue our camping adventure. After all, we are on a budget and a rustic adventure! So we stopped somewhere in NM and called and said we didn't think we'd make it in time. Probably getting into Scottsdale somewhere around 1 or 2 am, is it really worth it? So we wanted to cancel. Well, the wonderful people told Sam that he couldn't cancel within 7 days of the reservation - HELLO - we just made the reservation the day before! He politely discussed the situation over and over with the people and their managers and there was no way we could get out of it! Needless to say, we weren't very happy, but now the race was on to get to this hotel. With that being said, we pulled into Arizona about 5pm and we were checking the map, getting our directions, and we saw a Saguaro National Park right off the Interstate. Sam is pretty stoked to see some saguaro cacti and even more stoked to get off the beaten path. There was a little tiny gray line that lead north, north, north west. So we would totally miss Tucson. I wasn't really so sure about it. Because I looked at the map key and a tiny little gray line meant "unpaved road." So I thought maybe we should stay on the interstate for a little longer and take this other alternate route. But Sam said this may be the only way we get to see these saguaro's. And hey, I'm always up for an adventure, right?! Still.... Anyway, he said that if there was a gas station at the turn off, we'd keep going, but if there wasn't one, we'd get back on the interstate. Ok, I'm always game for putting out fleeces! Well, we turned off and there was no gas station, BUT there were a bunch of people going that way - so it couldn't be that bad, right? (Should have been the first clue - God does actually answer fleeces!) We continued on the paved, not gravel road and guess what - we saw actual roadrunners! I was so excited!!! I've never seen a roadrunner before!! That was about the coolest thing! Then the paved turned more into gravel but the Saguaro's started popping up everywhere, it's like we were in our very own personal wilderness! (Should have been Clue #2!) Incredible! Well, the sun goes down around 9:15 there and we are getting close to dark and we saw a sign - Whatever town it was = 17 miles. I looked at the map and the town was the first one listed on our little gray line. And it wasn't even halfway down the road. Well, the sun went down. There weren't any lights out there - definitely the middle of no where. We kept driving, waiting for this town. Turns out the town was a ranch. We kept driving. And driving. And driving. It's really dark out. There was a sign up ahead, you want to know what it said? It said something to the effect that the next 6 miles is all private road and not that well maintained, continuing to drive on it is at your own risk (Clue #3). Next came washboard gravel road. The kind that drives you to distraction and makes you go crazy and you just want to make it stop! But it won't! At times like these you just think of the great adventure you are on and all the happy memories you are making! Did you hear that? It sounds like a flat tire! (Take back what I just said about happy memories and great adventure!) Just kidding! Another great addition to the EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH! So we changed the tire and put our doughnut and continued our final 20 miles out of the wilderness in the pitch black dark to a little town to get in the right direction of Phoenix.

We're about at 11pm now and a couple hours out from Scottsdale and planning on traveling the doughnut the whole way up since we'd be spending the day in Scottsdale looking at galleries, we could hopefully get it fixed... So we are meandering north, trying not to travel to fast despite the late hour and our weariness trying to take over. We pulled out the computer and thought we'd take our minds off the not so ideal situation and watch a little "I Love Lucy." Meanwhile, Sam told me to close the computer because he was probably about to get picked up by a cop. So immediately I started rustling through the glove compartment box looking for a the necessary paperwork and frankly a bit confused, because there is no way that Sam could be speeding on a doughnut! So the cop comes to our window and says that we have a tail light out. Is that all? Oh well, so he asked for Sam's license and all the other goodies I'd already collected and he took it back to the car. A few more minutes, he came up and asked Sam to step out of the car and come back, that he needed to talk to him. What?! So I'm sitting there, and sitting there. Another police pulled up. It's getting later. Then the other policeman came up to the driver side door and said, "Ma'am, your husband's license is suspended and I need to do a check on yours to make sure you can drive." Well, hello, you could have knocked me over with a feather?! Sam hasn't had a ticket in a couple of years now, except one a couple weeks ago that I know I paid and it just went through. How in the world does he have a suspended license all of a sudden? WHAT?!? This is insane. Meanwhile, the other cop is in the back questioning Sam if he's got guns in the car? drugs in the car? picked up any illegal immigrants at Yuma? Sam was trying to explain to him our last great adventure and show him that we have a doughnut on our car... It's a good thing they didn't want to search our car - it was a mess, and we probably would have been there all night trying to repack our little "home"! Finally he says, "I could haul you off to jail and tow your van right now. But I'm not. And I'm not going to give you a ticket for the light because you have bigger problems right now." Thank you, oh kind sir. Then out of the blue, he asked us both if we'd been drinking. Ummm.... no, I don't think so. At that point Sam was a little fed up with our whole adventure and was getting ready to say something about his wife being 5 months pregnant, but thought otherwise, which was probably a pretty wise choice! The other policeman was so nice and apologetic the whole time and told the younger guy, I don't think so, they've just been driving for the last 14 hours. So then the younger cop pipes in, well, you better stop driving when you get tired, we don't want any accidents.... Duh. Anyway, we got in the car and tootled away on our doughnut. The next few hours were spent in quiet reverence. Not sure when Sam was going to blow, I didn't know what to do - so we kept driving....and driving....

Well, I don't want to completely bore you to death, so I'll leave the rest until tomorrow. So make sure to tune in later for more EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH! including the real reason for the suspension, the fixing of the tire, and finally, visits to the National Parks!

Until next time from the Tundra!
Sarah

PS. You'll notice that the header picture on my blog is spring like - completely making you believe that it's not quite as Tundra-like as I make it out to be - but seriously, do you really want to see a picture of the stark winter of the Tundra - that would be so boring!!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ready or not...

Hey - push away that nasty old rolling computer chair, grab a cup of coffee and pull up a nice comfy recliner, sit back and enjoy the EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH! (Part I)That's my way of saying, we had a great trip and a long trip and it might take me longer than one sitting to get it all written down!

Where do we start? Well, how about the beginning, I heard it's a very good place to start! :) As many of you know we had the great wedding of TW Chapman and his lovely fiance, Katie (whom we'd never met) on Saturday. But Sam was a groomsman and there were "activities" we had to part take in before the ceremony. So goal = get to Texas by Thursday afternoon! But as you also know, it's nearly impossible for us to start any adventure on time - otherwise it wouldn't really be an "adventure" right?! So by 4pm on Wednesday, we got on the road and headed East. Heading East is not really too much of an adventure, it's just going East! I'll try to be as detailed as possible in case you'd like to pull out a map and follow our adventure as I talk about it. But I don't have a map in front of me, so you'll have to use some of your own imagination! So at Fargo, we headed South, on I29, I believe. This took us through ND, SD, Omaha, NE, IA, and we eventually ended up at Kansas City, KS at 4am. (Like I said, we needed to make it to TX by Thursday afternoon!) Side note: Kansas City, from what I can see, is a very ghetto town. Try not to visit and definitely don't move there, unless of course you are from there and you LOVE it there or you have family there, or the Lord (God forbid) makes you move there to enter into inner-city ministry. Hey, I'm open to whatever, Lord! ;) Anyway, we find a space to pull our minivan into and settle in for the night.

I should get you caught up on our sleep rig. Normally, since we are such adventurous people, we LOVE camping. (Also, it could be that we are always looking for ways to save $$$.) So we usually take all the seats out of our van and put a blow-up mattress in there and our tent, just in case, and tons of sleeping bags, blankets, etc. Well, we usually wake up halfway through the night with our air mattress flat on the ground and so many aches, we can hardly stand up! So my wonderful, amazing husband had a great idea. As we were getting ready on Wednesday to head out, I was in the bathroom, packing last minute stuff, when I heard Sam say...."What do you think about taking this mattress?" Assuming he was talking about the blow up down stairs that he'd inflated to see if it would stay that way, I went around the corner to say, what other choice to do we have really? And that's when I realized, he wasn't down there??? So what the heck was he talking about? "Honey, honey, where are you?" "I'm in here...." Duh.... Where's "here"? And so without making it super clear - "In HERE" - I followed his voice into the guest bedroom, where he'd stripped our bed and was just staring at the mattress with just the fitted sheet on it! Brilliant!!! What a brilliant idea! So we haul the full size mattress out to the car for it to fit PERFECTLY! We loaded up our car and set off!

So back to Kansas City, I had fallen asleep long before Sam because he was up, watching movies, oh yeah, and driving! So we pulled over at 4am and slept for a good three hours, and then I got up and started the long trek across Kansas! I had no idea that any state could be any more plain than ND, but it looks like ND found it's match - KS is flat, with even less trees, the only positive thing I could see is that the thermometer finally made it up to about 70 degrees! Meanwhile, Sam was "sleeping in" and so I decided to turn the radio on - and I must have gotten sidetracked because after about 10 minutes, I realized nothing was on the radio - it'd been seeking all that time, only to find.... NOTHING! So back to entertaining myself with all my thoughts - which, by the way, kept me very entertained for quite a while! :)

As we rolled into Oklahoma City, we realized, there was no possible way to make it all the way to San Antonio by the afternoon, so we decided to take advantage of the opportuntiy to visit my good friend Amber and her family in Dallas! Sam also realized that we'd only been about 1500 miles already and would probably need an oil change along the way. So we got in touch with Amber and got an oil change set up in Arlington, meanwhile, we sat and visited for a couple hours at her beautiful home with Steve, and her two boys, Austin and Noah! That was such a great opportunity! Now it's 6pm and we had to drive south 3 hours to Austin, TX and then head W another 3.5 hours to the camp where all the wedding festivities would be taking place, so we decided, we'd better hit the road! Let me start by saying that it's always been a dream of Sam's to see the Texas blue bonnets in bloom all across the fields of Texas. We'd been told by everyone that it was a bit late for them, but perhaps we might see some of them. So as we were headed south out of Dallas, we saw so many amazing wild flowers everywhere and as if God gave Sam his own special present, we started seeing the fields lighting up with a blue haze!!! So we stopped, only to find out the blue bonnets were indeed blooming. And so like the crazies we are, had you been heading south out of Dallas last Thursday, you would have seen a couple of fruit loops tramping around on the side of the Interstate taking pictures of each other in fields of flowers!!!

Well, we finally pull into Austin around 9pm, and with our directions to this camp, which had no cell reception, we continued on! We were in a bit of a rush, so we didn't take the time to enjoy the sites, only to realize that we had a little less than a full tank of gas and there was the promise of more towns along the way! So off we went - WEST. We were two hours into our westward journey and realizing our fuel gage was steadily going down, down, down.... But there was one more town we could go through... We passed through the cutest little town called.... Fredericksburg, TX, go figure! We loved it, and if EVERYTHING wasn't closed there, we might have been tempted to stop, but alas, the camp was calling us! So at the last town, the road didn't even take us into the town, but we still had more than a quarter of a tank, and there'd been places along the way... We were in a rush... Well, they weren't kidding with the mileage on the last bit of the trek, it took a long time! We were about to make one last turn, when we saw a gas station to the right of us - so we pulled in there with less than a quarter at this point and thinking that even though it was midnight, we'd just try to see if it was open - so as we pull up with all the lights on, we saw a great big beastly looking creature - kind of scary considering we hadn't seen a light for the last 30 miles! Anyway, to our surprise, there was a PEACOCK fighting himself in the reflection of the gas tank!!! Seriously! I nearly hit it! It was a peacock. It was kind of mad that we interrupted his fight, apparently he was winning! So he walked around making the most awful sounds, letting us know that he was not happy with our interruption! Well, needless to say, the gas tanks were off and the store was closed. If we'd been able to get gas there, this would NOT be the EPIC Adventure that it was, silly!

So we head down the road towards this camp and when I say there is not a light to be found anywhere, I'm not even kidding. So it's midnight, we're driving down this road in the middle of NO WHERE with less that a quarter tank of gas and no signs pointing us to this camp! Finally, we saw a little sign confirming we'd found the camp! Phew!!! Now, we just have to find everyone! We pulled in and it was this gravel road that wound and wound all the way - then we see a sign that says, "6% grade, honk as you drive down." I guess it was a blind curve, luckily it was midnight and didn't think we'd really encounter anyone else, but seriously, what the heck? Where ARE we? By now the gas light had been on for a good, long time! Remember, no cell reception, so we drove around this camp, and then around the camp again, we didn't see anything that looked like TW's vehicle, not that way - that's the river, not that way, that's someone's private residence, not that way - that's nothing. Where is this pavillion that they are getting married in? Well, we figured, we'd just have to camp here because we can't see - there's no light anywhere, we have no cell reception and we're running on fumes! (I know the lesson here is not to let the gas get below half a tank, but Dad, what can I say? We just didn't know, but seriously, I promise not to let it happen again!)

So we pulled into this road that was off to the side so that it didn't look like it would bother anyone and laid our weary head's to rest! The next morning, you would NOT believe where we were. We opened our eyes and instead of this beautiful wedding site, we see....a broke down pavillion and across the way - a dump. Seriously, like the dumping grounds of all old appliances. We'd never met Katie, so we had no idea what to expect. There were rocks and scruby old nasty trees - needless to say, NOT the most wonderful wedding site - but whatever - everyone is different. We looked at the pavillion and we looked at each other. We looked at the tossed off appliances and looked at each other.... I said, "Well, you know what they say, Everything is bigger in Texas - Hey friends, welcome to our wedding, please, pick an appliance on your way out to remember us! Do you think they are the favors?" We got pretty cracked up over that! So we drove around the desert a little and went back to the Camp Office and saw a guy wandering around, so Sam jumped out and told him we were there for Katie and T-dub's wedding and could he point us in the right direction. He said, you just go down this road and make a right - INTO THE RIVER... Then you drive THROUGH THE RIVER about a quarter of a mile and you'll see it on the Left. WHAT?!?! DRIVE THROUGH THE RIVER?! T-dub's idea of another crazy perfect camping spot - that'll have to be another story for another time.... Anyway, whatever. We followed his directions and drove right through the river and pulled out onto this road that had cliffs that shot up about 300 feet on each side and you would not believe the sight we drove out to.... It was the most.....

Well, what do you know? I have been typing for a really long time, and I really need to hit the grocery store. So until next time for Part II of the EPIC ADVENTURES OF SAM AND SARAH....

We're actually happy to be back in the Tundra.
Love, Sarah

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quick Update!

Hey Y'all! I'm in West Texas right now. Tdub's wedding was a smashing success - he's all married, it was beautiful! I'll fill you in on the details when we have a bit more time, trying to make to Pheonix still tonight, but we haven't had cell reception for the last 3 days and so I wanted to let you know we were still alive and all is well!!!!

PS. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you wonderful mothers out there - especially mine!

Until the next time, this time from the Desert, not the Tundra!!!

Sarah

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Greetings...

Craziness trying to get ready to leave! Will hopefully check in while we are away!!!

Love from the Tundra!

Sarah

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Not much to report!

The pump for the pond is up and running! Just having to empty out the pond one more time to clean the sand out of the bottom of it. Crazily getting ready to pack and head out for TX tomorrow. Haven't even started. You see, it's Spring Clean up week here where the Garbage men will take whatever garbage we have for no extra charge! So now's the time to purge!!! So at 8:30 last night, we started cleaning out our garage!!!! We have a lot of junk on the curb - so good for us!

Other than that - same ole', same ole'..... I hope you are having a great day!

PS. The Tundra is turning green!!!

Until next time,

Sarah

Monday, May 4, 2009

Thank you kindly...

I LOVED all your responses about your May Day baskets and before I go any further - please let me apologize by saying that May Day is not JUST FOR SWEETHEARTS!!!! For friends and family and just all the special people in your life! I only mentioned sweethearts because I was introduced to the tradition by my particular sweetheart and have only experienced it in that fashion! So, okay? Is everyone okay with that???

With that being said, remember how I said I wasn't expecting that kind of basket this year because that's what makes my marriage unpredictable and spontaneous? Well, does it count that I can predict it? Oh well. The fact is that you just never know! (Sam didn't even know it was May 1!) Well, I decided that I needed to get the May Day basket. After that whole post, I was inspired! What can I say, I'm pretty inspiring! :) Anyway, Sam has been craving milkshakes since the day I got pregnant. I just don't know what it is, but everyday, he looks at me and says, "Couldn't you go for a milkshake today?" Not really, but whatever. So poor thing, he's resigned himself to making milkshakes at home, but let's get serious, they are never as good with cheap ice cream and skim milk - what's the point, right?!?! So for May Day, I stopped over at Lowe's, Sam's all time favorite store in the Spring (just for the great deals on plants, not the hardware stuff, yucky...) And I picked up a great bleeding heart plant for him, knowing that he wanted one for this one spot right next to the pond. And then I head on over to... can you guess.....is the suspense killing you yet??? Cold..... Stone..... Creamery! You guessed it - for the best milkshake in town!!! Ok. I don't know if you've ever had a milkshake at Cold Stone Creamery, but you should. Even though just walking into the store fills your senses with calories - but they don't really count on May Day, right?! So that would be one Carmel Latte Milkshake for the Love of my life, please! Thank you! I took my treasures home and gave them to Sam and you would have thunk I was the best thing since sliced bread! Seriously, after that response, I decided that it's going to be May Day once a week!!! Boo ya!!! When the Bible say's "It is more blessed to give than to receive", God wasn't kidding! It feels great to make someones day, even with a simple plant and a milkshake!? Go figure! So that's my May Day story!

Guess what I did on Saturday? Castrated Sheep. I've never said that before - I castrated sheep on Saturday. Well, ok, technically I didn't do the castrating of the sheep, I just did the holding of the sheep during the castrating process. Believe me, it was education enough for me! For Mother's Day, since we weren't going to be in town, Sam came up with the grand idea that we would all go out and help Ruth with whatever she wanted done. So Sam, Nathan, Johnny, Judah and Charlie cleaned 6 months worth of poop out of stalls and Sadie and I banded tails, privates, injected antibiotics, and tagged lambs. Until Ethan woke up - and then I got to watch him! Oh the joys of being pregnant!!!!

After that, we showered and took off to a friends house to take pictures of some prom attendees. I should post a couple pictures, if I get them off of Sam's camera! Then we headed off to X-Men (Wolverine)...interesting flick. Then back to Grand March to see more prom people! Then on Sunday, we headed down to McGlaughlin, SD to work with our mission church there. That was a great day. We went with our Small Group and had such a great time! Sunday's weather was perfect, a sunshiney, non windy day! That is a rare phenomenon in ND!!! But we are busily preparing for our trip South... getting very excited about heading out and going to help TW Chapman celebrate his wedding!!!! Yay T-Dub and Katie!!!!!

Well, until the next adventure in the Tundra,

Sarah

Friday, May 1, 2009

Psssst....

PS. Tell me all about your May Day basket and your sweethearts reaction to it - that would totally make my day!!!!

May Day....May Day.....

How many of you celebrate May Day? That is not a rhetorical question, although I'm guessing that most of you think that ALL the questions I ask are rhetorical, but alas, they are NOT! So feel free to answer any question you feel fit to be answered. Here's a little lesson on question asking - there is a long story, but my Mom was so good about teaching us how to be interested in things and other people! So I ask questions for a reason, not just to hear myself talk - believe you me, I've got plenty of things to say to hear myself talk, I don't have to ask questions into thin air for that! So seriously? How many of you celebrate May Day? Did you even know it was a holiday that COULD be celebrated? I didn't. Not until last year. What happened last year you might say? (See you are getting better, I could hear you answer the question on that one!) Anyway, I got off work to go home and spend the beautiful afternoon with my most amazing husband and darned if he wasn't home. And then I gave him a call and he said he probably wouldn't be home for hours. He was busy (He was also being very vague!). That was kind of very irritating to me! Anyway, I stayed home doing who knows what - and then surprise beyond surprises, the Love of my life comes home bearing the biggest basket ever known to womankind and filled with all kinds of treasures - just for me!!! Chapsticks, necklace, flowers, scent thingys - needless to say, all the things a girl just loves! And I look at him, and I'm like - what the heck? What's this all about? He says, it's May Day - it's your May Day Basket! like, Duh, I'm suppose to know what that is? But you can bet your bottom dollar that I LIKE it! Then I find out later on, this is how the tradition goes... You make a little basket filled with goodies for your sweetheart, or someone you are sparking on - and then you sit it at their door and ring the doorbell - then you RUN! Your sweetheart is suppose to catch you and if she catches you, she gets to give you a kiss! Now I didn't really know about this part of the tradition because my sweetheart never ran from me! That's right, he hung around making it pretty darn easy for me to catch him - if you know what I mean! :) That's right, he was rewarded with a big ole' kiss!!! So now, guess what? I LOVE May Day! Even though I totally forgot about it until I got to work and saw what day it was. So I'm not expecting that much this year - that's what makes our marriage so spontaneous and wonderful!!! :) You just never know! HA!

How about that little lesson on May Day? Very interesting, huh? Well, I think that is enough for a little lesson today. Not too much going on - this weekend Sadie and Nathan and Ethan are coming home and we are going to spend the day doing Ruth's to-do list as a Mother's Day present since none of us will be here next weekend. So that should be interesting. Needless to say, I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories for you on Monday! Have a great May Day! Make a basket for someone that you love!

From the now sunny but extremely windy Tundra,

Until next time,
Sarah