Sunday, December 31, 2006

Welcome 2007

Well, we went out and made it back home without being hit by fireworks. We rang in the New Year with our friends, Uri and family at their cafe. If you have Quicktime you can click on the link below to watch us countdown.

Video link

New Years' Eve in Italy

In Italy, they like to celebrate New Years' with fireworks. Right outside of our apartment, down in our piazza there are several people setting off fireworks. In fact we saw some people throwing lit fireworks out their window down onto the piazza below. Whoa, crazy people throwing live firecrackers out the window!

We are supposed to meet up with some friends at their cafe tonight in about 30 minutes. We will be toasting in the New Year. Who knows, hopefully no one throws a firecracker on us as we walk by.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Day After Christmas...

Here in Italy, the day after Christmas is another holiday. It is St. Stephens Day. You may have heard it as the feast of St. Stephen. Stephen is known as the first martyr for christianity. An interesting one to note, because before his conversion Paul (known then as Saul) stood by and watched as Stephen was stoned to death. You can read more about it here. For us today, it has been a great day of rest. Everything is closed so we can't really do anything. I think some restaurants are open but nothing much else. Angie and I have spent the day relaxing and enjoying the time off from work. Throughout the rest of the week until New Year's Day, we have either days off, vacation time or holidays. We have been looking forward to this for several weeks now. Even last week I was working extra to make sure I didn't have to do anything extra this week. It is good to be refreshed in the Lord. We hope that everyone of our community (friends, readers, family, etc...) has had a wonderful Christmas season and will have a blessed New Year.

Friday, December 15, 2006

An Evening in Ancona

Tonight after Kids' English Club, we went to dinner at 'Movies Pizza'. It is a half of a block from our facility, "La Via". All the pizzas are named after movies, in Italian of course unless the movie went by the Italian name. So, La Ciociara means "The Woman from Ciociaria" and in English is called Two Women (1960). Then there is The Mexican which is called "The Mexican" in Italian but is pronounced a little more Italian. The pizza was good. Afterwards we walked over to Piazza Pertini, which is across the street. In this big city square was "Santa's Village"...temporarily. It just went up this week and will stay up until Christmas Eve, I think. There are all these little wooden buildings that are divided into four sections for four separate vendors who are sharing their wares. They are selling everything from Christmas decorations and sweets to jewelry and purses. In the middle there was a little cabin with Santa Claus inside, or so I thought because of the line of kiddos waiting to go in. They have the windows covered so that you can't really see inside to see who's there....but you know. After that, Angie walked over to Piazza Roma, where we bumped into Carlo, who works at the clothing store 'Zara" and played guitar at our October Coffee House. While we were talking to him Francesca, our friend Uri's mom, came over and said their Coffee Shop will be reopening on Tuesday and that night they will have a inaugural party, we were all invited (it has been under renovation since the beginning of November). We said goodbye to Carlo and walked over to peer into the windows of Uri's family's Coffee Shop. There were workers inside working on last minute finishing details and outside stood several boxes of new chairs and tables. Angie and I left and began the ascent towards our house, which is about six blocks away. On the way, we passed one of my other favorite coffee shops and I asked Angie to come inside with me. I had a Cafe' Latte and Angie had a Cafe' Macchiato. The drink I had is an espresso inside a glass of milk. The drink Angie had is a spot of milk inside an espresso. Both good, but I like mine better. Then we walked home. We had a good evening out.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Day Off - What a Great Concept!

Today I am enjoying a great day off with my wife. I stayed up late last night and drew then slept in. We watched the finale of the Amazing Race now we are watching a Christmas movie in our living room surrounded by our Christmas tree and decorations. If you've seen "Christmas with the Kranks" don't tell us how it ends for another hour and a half.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

In Times Like These

Today Angie went out to run some errands. We got back to the house and were pulling into our downstairs shared garage. [You first go down a ramped drive into a automatic garage door. Then once inside there are about 20 individual garages with their own doors and locks. We have one of those, it is situated directly underneath our building. So if our building ever comes down in an earthquake our car is going to be a pancake, although we may have other things on our mind at that point. ] Anyway, as we pulled to the outside of the automatic door, our remote wouldn't work. Apparently the battery is low. So, Angie got out to use the key in the key access opener on her side. While she was doing that another car pulled up, waiting to go down too. She got back in and we started to pull forward. But then we different have enough room, as we were backing up the car died and rolled back forward. We restarted and backed up, just as the car honked. We pulled inside as my head started getting hot with frustration. "Who was that guy to be so impatient?" "What's his problem?" "Couldn't he see we were having problems?"

Then I started cooling off, remember to be a good example and give him the evil eye as he pulled in behind us. My expectation was a little high for him. In fact, I had broken one of my life's guidelines. It is that... "You can't expect a non-christian to act like a christian." Not that christians act perfect, but they do have the Holy Spirit within them for guidance. In other words, I should give the world grace because they don't have the same counselor that I do. That doesn't mean that I can be less gracious to christians because, well, they know better. Because another 'life guideline" of mine is that "You can't expect all christians to act alike." For starters, some christians have been christians that long, they are still learning how to yield to the Spirit in their lives. Other christians may just be weak in another area where I am strong, whereas they may be strong in an area where I am weak.

Just thoughts that roll around in my head.

Friday, December 08, 2006

My New Sketch Blog

Feel free to check out my new blog dedicated to my pursuit of art. It is called "Matt's Sketch Pad" and it is found at It will have posts of my personal drawings and pieces, as well as progress of work that I do commercially and for ministry. Tell what you think of it.

Holiday in Italy...

Today is a holiday in Italy. It is a Catholic Holiday for the Immaculate Conception. One might think this is referring to Christ being immaculately conceived (the Holy Spirit conceiving the child). However, the theology goes that for the virgin Mary to be able to carry Christ she had to be without sin. The theology continues that Mary's mother had to conceive by the Holy Spirit for her to carry Mary. The difference between Mary's conception and Christ's conception would be that Mary was a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit whereas the mother of Mary would have had normal relations with her husband then the Holy Spirit would have intervened. The logic breaks down for me, because wouldn't Mary's mother needed to have been conceived by the Holy Spirit and then so on and on and on?

Regardless of why, it's a day off. Yesterday, was my normal day off and tomorrow I have a half day off. Good time just relaxing with Angie at home. Don't forget to take time to rest.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Short Sleeves in December?

Today I was walking around our apartment in a t-shirt with the windows open. That's because it was 72 degrees earlier. That is crazy it is that warm today. Yesterday, we finally relented and turned our heater on at home for the first time this year (it was colder yesterday). And then today we turned it back off.

At least I can look forward to having some chilly days in January and February. That is usually when it gets cold. The kind of cold that leaves your cheeks stinging moments after walking outdoors. I can't wait. It kind jolts my system like swimming in the mountain rivers in Colorado on CIY trips. Good stuff.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Finally, working...

Whew, for several hours I have been working with our website hosting support to get our blog going again. Finally, it is up and away once more. Soon, I am going to be adding a sketch blog for my sketches for ministry and personally. As an artist you just have to keep drawing to become better. I see it in my work, when I have been drawing consistently. It is like practicing anything. You have to spend time doing it if you want to get any better.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

We Published A Children's Book

So, thanks to, Angie and I have self published a children's book that we wrote nine years ago in the Spring of 1997. It doesn't cost us anything to self publish with, only the hour or two that it took me to scan the book into our computer so I could upload it. The book is called "A Tale Of A Nimble-Headed Noozit" which Angie and I wrote and illustrated it as a project for our Children's Literature class at Ozark Christian College. We had a great professor for that class, Jackina Stark. People can go to and either buy a downloadable ebook version or order a printed book version and they will ship it out, one at a time. Fun stuff. In my spare time over a three year span I have been working on another book with our Forwarding Agent, Milton Hendricks. I came up with the story, then he wrote and fleshed it out, then I illustrated it and am in the process of uploading it to That means soon I will have two published children's books. I love using my talents in my job, but I also enjoy doing special projects on the side on my days off and free time. I am even starting to work on an animated cartoon short that I hope to be done in a year (talk about long term planning, whew). Anyway, just in case you are interested in checking out the new book, here is the link "A Tale Of A Nimble-Headed Noozit."

Friday, November 24, 2006


We had a great Thanksgiving. The team was all here along with the Harold and Enid Fowler. I don't know why but yesterday I was especially excited. I woke up so happy that it was Thanksgiving. It really was a stress free plain ol' fun day. But since this is not a holiday weekend here in Italy it is back to work in full swing today. I have two classes of English club and we have a coffee house tonight. I want to decorate our house for Christmas in the next few days. This is my favorite time of year. I love it!!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Jalapeno Bombs

Sometimes living in a foreign country you start to miss foods from your homeland. In our case..American food. Now Matt and I haven't even been back in Italy for six months yet so our cravings for American food are not great. But tastes from home still bring comfort and delight. This brings us to last night when we tried a new restaurant called Highlanders. A few of our team mates had tried it and sent back good reports so went to give it a whirl. They had something called Jalapeno Bombs. We ordered some and although my mind was thinking Sonic cheddar peppers Matt and I kept saying "let's remember we are in Italy not America. These probably will not task like what we are expecting." Then I took my first bit and .......CHEDDAR PEPPERS!!!!!! They are a bit more spicy and that it ok with me but yummy all the same. They look a bit different with a red pepper and white cheese but they will help fill a Sonic craving. It's so fun finding new places to eat. The burgers weren't bad either. They were not close to Sonci but they were still good.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Very Busy Weekend

Wednesday of last week my phone rang probably 30 times in one day. The next day my phone rang about 10 times and the days after that a couple times a day. Why so many calls you might ask? Well apparently there was an add in the paper for someone looking for a pizza chef and my phone number was printed as the number to call about the job. Kinda funny. It did give me some language practice to explain the error about 40 times.
Yesterday was our Thanksgiving Dinner Outreach. We had 48 people there for our biggest event ever! But let me tell you when it was over I was TIRED! I can't even remember the last time I was that tired. I hadn't slept a full nights sleep in two nights and had planned, shopped, ironed, cut, decorated, cooked and who knows what all else until the moment people started walking in the door. Really the whole team did so much to help. And I have to brag on my husband because without him and all the work he did to help me pull this together this dinner wouldn't have happened. When it was over my body hurt all over so I took some tylanol and went to bed early.
Today was our last life group as one. Next week we will be two life groups. It was really neat as we sat around our living room with a total of 16 people crammed into our living room singing worship songs. Most of the people were regular visitors but we even had one friend, Novella and her daughter here for the first time. There have even been a few other talking of visiting life group latley. It brought tears to my eyes to see how far God has brought us in the past 41/2 years that we have been having life group. Finally multiplication is here, finally our group is too big to fit into one house and it is a little hard for me to belive that we are actually multipling into two cells.
It has been an exciting, fun filled, emotional busy weekend. I think that tonight I am going to catch up on my TV shows and make something yummy for enchiladas!!!!

Monday, October 23, 2006


Our first REAL earthquake! Matt and I have been pretty sure that we have felt tremors before. But usually when we talk to the rest of the team they didn't feel them so then we ask ourselves...did that really happen? But Saturday morning we woke up to the house slightly shaking and something in our room making noise as it shook. It was one of those strange experiences when you are just waking up and you aren't sure what is going on. We were pretty sure it was an earthquake but then again was it really? Then a couple of hours later I felt it again but this time only slightly. I called Heidi and asked "Am I going crazy or is the earth moving today??!!!" She said the earth was moving and that they had felt them too at the same times we had. Crazy! Brian found this bit of news about it...
(AGI) Ancona, Italy, Oct 21 - An earth tremor of 4.2 on the Richter scale and around the third grade on the Percalli scale, was recorded just after 9 o'clock this morning between the provinces of Ancona and Pesaro-Urbino. The tremor was felt by the people living in the Metauro basin. According to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, the first tremor occurred at 36.8 km down and its epicentre was Castelleone di Suasa, in the Ancona province. (AGI)

Friday, October 20, 2006

I love Fall

Today is the perfect fall day. The weather is cold and kinda rainy. I know most people don't like days like today but I LOVE THEM!!! I got up this morning and the house was quiet and chilly. Perfect. I made some hot tea and did a little work on the computer. For lunch I decided to make potato soup. I turned on some Micheal Buble, lit a few candels and set out to make a big pot of potato soup. I even peeled with potatos with a knife instead of a potato peeler just because I wanted to. There was something so calming in that moment with the music, candles and the sound of the knife hitting the cutting board. It was a great little moment for me.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Indoor Plumbing

Yesterday about 11:30 I got ready to take a shower and when I tried to turn on the water in the bathroom the faucet just make a gurgeling noise and no water came out! My first thought was oh no did we pay the water bill???? Come to find out we had paid our water bill. The problem was that one of the major water lines in the city had broken and about 20,000 people in Ancona were without water! Crazy! You really don't notice how many times during the day that you use water until you don't have any. Especially when you are trying to get ready so you can go teach English in about an a couple of hours. Washing you hands, laundry, washing dishes and even cooking is difficult to do. You would laugh if you knew how many times I tried to turn on the water just out of habit. After, English Club I asked the Rotert's if they wouldn't mind having some house guests for dinner since I had planned on making pasta for dinner but no pasta, well no soft pasta that is. Because by the way the Rotert's did have water. They were the only family on the team that did.
It was really interesting because you could go to several different places in the city and load up on water. The city had placed these huge tanks around and you could go and get water there. It was interesting being here, seeing how the city reacted and how I reacted to a small emergency situation. By the time we came home last night the magic of indoor plumbing had returned to our home. I know I am spoiled that I can turn on a faucet in three different rooms in my house and get water. There are so many places in the world that can't do that. But to me it was a difficult day. A day that once again I am reminded of how fortunate I really am.
On another note, fall weather has FINALLY arrived here in Ancona. I couldn't be happier about that!!! :)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

IKEA Opens!

IKEA opened today!!!! We got there in the late morning and although I was afraid it would be crazy crowded it wasn't too bad. I just love IKEA. There is something about walking through the upper level and seeing all the rooms set up that inspires me to take good care of my home and make it a comfortable place. Today we were inspired by this office set up. My husband has indured haveing an office/storage room since we moved into this house. His office has always gotten the handydowns from all the other rooms. It is just a collection of cheap furniture. Today we saw this great office set up at IKEA and I think over the next months we are going to work on getting his office looking nice. Some paint and some new furniture. Today I didn't buy much. Really just a few storage items and odds and ends here and there. But I am SO excited that we have an IKEA now. Good times!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Italian in Me and Books

I noticed something about my self the other day. Italian culture is rubbing off on me. The other day I was at lunch with my hubby and Josh. We were trying a new restaurant. Matt has been wanting to try it for a long time and we finally decided to go. They advertised a meal for 11euro that included a first (your pasta), second (your meat) and cooked veggies. It is supposed to all be out similar to a buffet where you choose the food yourself. But when we got there they had already put everything away except the veggies. So we went and loaded up even though these usually come at the end of the meal. They were good too! The waiter then brought out our first and second plates at the same time. This hardly ever happens here because Italians always eat in cources but since we were late they brought it all at the same time because they were cleaning up. We finished our meal in less than 30 minutes. When we were ready to leave I told the guys that was one of the fastest Itaian meals I had ever had and that honestly I felt a little bit robbed of the experience because it happend so fast. Look at me becoming all Italian! :)
We got 10 of our 12 book bags from America the other day. We have been wanting to send these books over since we moved to Italy but never had the time and money at the same time. We finally got the sent just days before we came back to Italy in June. It was like Christmas opening them up and looking at all the books inside. There were lots of kids books and teaching books. I was so excited to get them here now that I am teaching the kids English Club. Finally so many of the books and resources that I have been collecting since college are going to be put to good use. I am so excited! I have always wanted to be a teacher....God has finally brought things full circle and even though I am not teaching in the place or way I thought I would be, I am teaching. It amazes me how God has a long term plan for our lives and when I finally see those plans all I can do is stand in awe of Him!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Kicking off September

This has been a fun weekend. We kicked it off with Heidi's 30th birthday. 30 is a big birthday so Brian wanted to plan something special. So we planned a surprise party! I love parties but especially when it is a surprise and you can really pull it off. Heidi was so surprised. She kept saying "Are you serious?" It was great.
Then on Saturday it was OU game day. Unfortunatly the game didn't start until 1am our time. But we grilled burgers for dinner and hung out. Josh and Maurizio came up for dinner. Then Randy came up to watch the game with Matt. Josh and I only made it through the first quarter. Randy and Matt stayed up for the whole thing. True fans! Then good news is that the rest of the games are at normal times for us. And OU won!
Then on Sunday Brian and Cheryl Bazay came to Ancona! They were here in Italy and we had been trying to find a day to get together but their travel schedule and our work schedule were not working well togehter. They were supposed to go back to the states on Sunday but after some paperwork problems they can't leave until tomorrow. So they came to Ancona! It was great to see them. We showed them around town and took them to Il Forte a restaurant that sits up above the city. You have a great view of the port from up there. We could see the city fireworks as we ate. There were fireworks last night to celebrate the end of the summer. It was really good to see them. Turned out to be a pretty fun weekend. :)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dinner in Numana

I think it is time to say goodbye to the beach. The weather has started changing here. You don't need the airconditioner any more. We have started wearing jeans, sleeping under blankets and maybe even a light jacket at night. I love the fall! There is something about the sun being out with not a cloud in the sky with a cool breeze blowing that is invigorating. I feel so much more energized and every afternoon I am bursting with energy and excitement to get things done.
Last night we went to dinner with some of our Italian friends, Valeria, Luka, Emanuela and Luka's brother. We went to this neighboring city, Numana. It was such a nice evening. We had dinner and ice cream afterwards. We had been praying that God would open up an opportunity to share more about Him during dinner. Of course, He answered and Emanuala asked us if we were ever going back to America. That led us into how we decided to come to Italy and how a person might know when God is speaking to them. It was so great! We have been praying for God to open the hearts of these dear friends of ours and last night we saw God doing just that. As we shared how God has spoken to us they were listening intently. They were very interested in what we were saying. Matt said he saw Valeria's eyes watering and Emanuela seemed to be challenged by what we said. You could tell this was something they were going to need to think about. I loved it!!!!! I know that in the big picture it is only a small step but to me it is a victory. God is working, God is opening their hearts and He is using us to make a difference one small step at a time. This is why we are here and nights like last night make it seem so worth it!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hit The Ground Running....

So, it has been two months to the day since we flew out of the Tulsa International airport. A few days after arriving we hit the ground running. We had a pathways team from our home office, which constisted of four interns who were here a total of two months.

Dave and Joyce Embree came through town during the first week. Dave is the campus minister at Missouri State University. They brought a group here in the summer of 2002.

A week after arriving John and Judy Webb arrived. They are Pastors to our team. They got here just in time to be here for our biannual team planning retreat. We had seen John and Judy in California while we were in the states for our Home Assignment, but it was good to have them on the field. It had been four years since they were here.

Then the day after the retreat, the Caseys headed to the states for their Home Assignment for six months, leaving me as the interim Team Leader while Jason is gone. I have been working on my own ministry tasks as well as taking on many of Jason's on site administerial tasks for the team.

About a week after taking on these new responsibilites our internet went off, due to a billing error. And did not come on until two days ago. It has been fairly smooth during these first two months and I pray it only continues to be so. The summer has been extremely mild, and has been even more mild for us since we got a new air conditioner that not only works, but also keeps more than one room cool at once.

The thing that really is neat to me is everything that has been happening since we got here. I have been able to continue working ahead on our children's curriculum. And we have met at least 26 individuals, some through the team and some on our own. Also, we have reconnected with at least 45 individuals. So out of 61 days we have reconnected or met more than one person per day on average since being back. There are probably a few more people that I haven't remembered. When I look at these people, I can't help but imagine in what capacity God might use them in if they should come to Christ and submit fully. Would they be doing dramas? Or leading in women's ministry? Helping cook for events? Loaning equipment to use to lead people to Christ. I can't wait to see God using some of these precious souls that are here in Italy represented by hair stylists, postal workers, students, restaurant chefs, hotel clerks, waitresses, waiters, computer programmers, store clerks, butchers, cashiers, stockers, store owners, newstand owners and more.

I do miss America when we are here, but I do love living in Italy and am excited to see how God is going to work in the next year and ten months.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

My birthday was a few days ago. It is hard to believe that I am 31 now. I still am not coping with the 30's that well. Maybe coping isn't the right word it is just that I sure don't feel like I am in my 30's. But I guess I am so sometime it will sink in.
We had the team and interns up to the house for dinner. Matt made fajita's and we had chocolate cake and chocolate icing from the states. Yum! Matt did a great job cooking. He wouldn't let me left a finger and took care of the whole meal. I got calls from the family. It's always good to hear their voices. I even got a package in the mail from my sister on my birthday! How often does that happen??? It was a great surprise. All in all turning 31 wasn't too bad. :)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Let's Play Dress Up!

Today is my niece Macy's birthday party. She is turning 4. Her actual birthday was last week but her party is today. It is a dress up party. So cute!!! All the kids are supposed to be coming in their dress up clothes. Macy will be Cinderella today. During the party they are going to play pin the purse on the girl (an actual game my sister found at the store) and the girls are going to decorate crowns while the boys make sports themed door hangers.
I asked Macy what she wanted for her birthday but she said she didn't know. I started suggesting toys and she kept saying no. Then I asked her if she wanted clothes and she said YES!! A girl after my own heart. So being the sacrificial aunt that I am I made myself go clothes shopping. I found the cutest little outfits with shoes to match! She also just got her ears pierced so I had to get her some fun earings too. Thanks to Wal-Mart for such low prices that an aunt can go crazy and still only spend about 30 bucks!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blogging In Downtown Tulsa

I am parked in downtown Tulsa, listening to Rush on the radio and enjoying free wireless internet access on my laptop. Earlier I drove over to Coney Island to get the perpetual special of three coneys with everything and a drink (any size). As I was manuevering through the many one way streets, I found it even more challenging because several streets are closed temporarily. The streets are closed because of an annual festival in downtown Tulsa, called MayFest. It is a festival of the arts, with live music and food vendors filling the closed off streets. I also saw that the Lion King musical is coming to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center on May 25. I think I would like to go to it. As we wind down our time once more here in the states and more specifically, Tulsa, I start entering a mood of bittersweetness. We have a good life in Italy. We have good friends, a warm home, job responsibilities that we enjoy and a routine that is very comfortable. However, to experience those things, it means we must once more say adieu to the life we once knew here in Tulsa. The life that we get a good glimpse of every couple of years. Our families are both from Tulsa along with many lifelong friends. To me it is natural to miss home, whether it is Tulsa or Ancona. There are aspects of each that mean so much to us. When we are in Tulsa, we miss Ancona. When we are in Ancona, we miss Tulsa. And when we are in either we long for Heaven. We go to Italy not because we necessarily want to, but because God has led us to go there. So that means it matters not whether we always like every apsect of it, but that we must be content in every situation God leads us in.

As a side note here is a great article on downtown Tulsa:

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Drive-In

Last night, Angie and I went out on a date. Married guys should definitely take their wives out, it helps in marital harmony and Angie and I just like doing stuff together. We went and got some Taco Bueno (great fast food tex mex restaurant) and went to the Admiral Twin Drive-In. It was alot of fun. Before the movie started, (you have to wait until it's dark), they had an eighties pop radio station playing and in the distance you could see an American flag waving proudly. I got a little wistful thinking that we would be leaving to go back to Italy in less than two months. It's not that I don't like's that I am very patriotic and I know who and what we will be missing when we go back.

Nowadays you turn your FM radio to a station to listen to the movie, instead the old boxes you hung on your window. As we finished our dinner some old (maybe from 50 years ago) cartoons came on about the movie getting ready to start and to head on over to their concession stand. Right before the previews, they started playing the National Anthem with a video of the flag waving. It was really nice. The two movies we watched were both good...Mission Impossible III and Failure to Launch. During the second movie I sauntered over to the snack bar and got an ice cream cone. It turned out to be a really great evening.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Mind Shifting

We are less than two months from returning to Italy and so my mind is starting to shift back into that way of thinking. While we are in the states, Angie and I minister in one way. Then when we get back we minister in another way. It takes a bit to shift gears in our heads and is inevitable that we must start making this transition before we actually make back onto the continent of Europe.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

On the road again....

So after about 4 days in bed and lots of medicine in us we are on our way to Louisville. We had to postpone our trip by a few days so hopefully that won't mess up our schedule too much. We should get to Louisville today. We are both still pretty tired but that's ok at least we are on the road now.
We made it to Memphis last night and will finish the trip today. We always come through Memphis even though it adds an hour of driving because we love Corky’s BBQ. It is so good and worth the extra hour in the car! Matt has also wanted to see the famous air plane Memphis Belle. We have tried to see it twice before I think. Once the museum was closed the day we were here and the second time the plane was being moved and was in parts so you couldn’t see it. We thought this time it would work out….third times the charm right? Nope. Now it isn’t even in Memphis anymore. I guess Memphis wasn’t taking care of it like they were supposed to be some air plane museum in Ohio (or something like that) took it back!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sweet Snowy 16

It's snowing!!!! It is so beautiful outside. I love the snow!!! I had hoped that we would get a good snow fall while we were in Tulsa. We don't get snow that sticks in Ancona because we are too close to the Sea. It is so fun to be stuck in the house all day because the weather is bad. I went to Wal-Mart last night and the place was packed. Everyone was stocking up like a blizzard was coming. Cracks me up!
Today is our niece, Brittany's, 16th birthday. It is hard to belive. She was this little toddling thing when I started dating Matt. I love it that I have been around long enough that the older kids on Matt's side of the family don't remember life before Aunt Angie. I can't believe that she is 16. I hear parents say this all the time but it is true how fast kids grow up.
It is a fun day around here with snow and a 16th birthday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The End of the Road

We had a great time with the Satter's. We learned a lot about their ministry on the Apache Indian Reservation. They have a difficult job but are doing some great things that seem to be working well.
Then we headed out to Tombstone, Arizona where we spent two days. One of Matt's favorite movies is Tombstone. It was really neat walking the streets and imagining all the things that happened there. We got to see Boot Hill Cemetarty, a recreation of the OK Corral gun fight and several historical buildings. Pretty cool stuff!!!
After that we headed back to Tulsa. We got here last night, Valentine's Day. It is so good to be back! We had a great trip, lots of fun, good connections with supporters and prayer partners, raised some support and awareness for Italy but it was good to pull into Tulsa last night.
Two weeks of rest and then it is time to hit the road again.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


So we just spent about three days in Las Vegas. I was not impressed. I had always heard about how fun Vegas is, all the free stuff and really cool hotels. Ok, so the hotels were pretty cool but I did not find Vegas fun. I found it.....depressing. All these people around me living a life that is so unattractive to me. Talk about a mission field!!!! To top it off I was not impressed with the service at our hotel. We encountered a lot of rude employees. Let's just say I didn't like it.
The last night we did find a spot we liked better the people were nicer and there seemed to be more normal people around. They actually had cheaper food and smiles. Always a welcomed change!
Today we are at the Grand Canyon and then we are spending a few days with a friend from college, Tory Satter and his wife Kara.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Triple Expresso

Yesterday we went to Hope International and Matt taught a praticum class. Basically he shared about our ministry, what our roles are and gave the students some practical helps on how to get and use the computer progams he uses as well as some good resources. It was fun.
Last night John and Judy took us to the play called Triple Espresso. It was so funny! It was written by three Christian guys for their church but it has been so successful that is has a permanent theater and has been running for seven years! It runs in other cities also. It was clean and just plain old funny. My cheeks hurt when we left from smiling so much! :)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Santa Clarita, California

Ok, so we made it California. It took about three days of driving 7 hours a day. It really wasn't too bad. We had a good time. Matt bought some books about route 66 that we followed the whole way. It was fun reading about the little towns we passed thought and seeing things like the leaning tower of Texas. (that would be a huge leaning water tower) I had never been to New Mexico or Arizona. Arizona is beautiful! We even got to see a ghost town on the Texas/New Mexico border and an old mining town where Clark Gable honeymooned in Arizona. We had a good time!
Once here in Santa Clarita we went to the warner brothers studio with a man from Real Life Church. He works on the lot so we got a private tour!! The only actor we saw was Scott Grimes from ER. He is the red headed doctor who is a real pain and I think he is the head of the ER now or something but I can't think of his caracters name. We saw him in this coffee shop where we started out. Pretty cool begining!
We got to see the prop house and costume house. Crazy huge! The costume house had so many of everything it is hard to even describe. We got to see the ER ambulance bay, an ER set, a bunch of cars like the General Lee, Mystery Machine, Bat Mobile, etc. We also saw a museum with a bunch of costumes that different actors had worn over the years like Erkel, Friends Gilmore Girls and the West Wing. We also got to see Stars Hallow!!!! I was so excited. We took pictures of Luke's dinner, Miss. Patty's, Dossies basically anywhere on the city square. We didn't get to see Lorali's house or anything like that because they were taping. I kept my eyes peeled while we were there but I guess they were working because we never saw them.
After all that we went to see a live taping of Joey. Again, so much fun! They handed out pizza, water and candy to the audiance throughout. We were in the taping about 4-5 hours so they wanted to keep us happy. There were give-a-ways but all we won was a door hanger that says "Don't disturb watching Joey"....kinda funny. The actors were great and really so fun to watch. We didn't get to take any pictures of Joey. They took our camera's at the door. We did get Matt LaBlanc's autograph so that will be a fun scrapbook page!Thursday, January 26, 2006
Ok, so we made it California. It took about three days of driving 7 hours a day. It really wasn't too bad. We had a good time. Matt bought some books about route 66 that we followed the whole way. It was fun reading about the little towns we passed thought and seeing things like the leaning tower of Texas. (that would be a huge leaning water tower) I had never been to New Mexico or Arizona. Arizona is beautiful! We even got to see a ghost town on the Texas/New Mexico border and an old mining town where Clark Gable honeymooned in Arizona. We had a good time!
Monday night we spent the evening with Michael and Beth. They picked us up and drove to Pasadena. We walked around a little bit and Michael showed us where he goes to school. It really is a pretty cool campus. Then we happend on to this little toy shop that had all these old toys in it. We were walking around calling out "I had this when I was a kid"! Everything was in the old was really cool. We happend onto some view masters and we found one with pics of Italy! So we bought it for our display table. We also picked up some pop rocks and walked around eating those when we left. We ended up at PF Changs. This wonderful chinese restaurant. We were all so hungry that we ordered lots of food and all shared. I couldn't even pick what was my favorite food that we ate it was all so good. Then we went back to Michael and Beth's apartament. They have a very nice apartament and we looked at pictures. Matt showed Michael some pics of Pratola where their grandfather is from. Then we were looking at pics of when Michael was in high school that Matt had. We laughed and laughed and just really had a good time all evening.
Tuesday we went to the Jay Leno show! They tape it in the afternoon and unlike the Joey show Jay Leno only took an hour. They tape it in real time. The sound stage was so cool. Way smaller than we expected but so cool! Jay came out before it all started and told jokes and answered questions. Then this guy came out to warm up the audiance, give some gifts and tell us what to do when. The show was so fun! We saw Dominic, one of the guys from lost, an actrice from the show bones and a really good Christian band but I already forgot their name......POD I think.
The next day Amy Stoms took me to get a much needed haircut. I hadn't gotten my hair cut since we were in Italy and it was starting to get a bit shaggy. So we got that taken care of and then we went shopping. We had decided to fix an authentic Italian meal for the Storms, their life group and the Defazios. So we headed to this Italian import store, Maria's. It was great! I got several ingredients that were just what I would buy in Ancona. We fixed dinner and everyone loved it. Good times.
Wednesday morning we headed out of town but Matt and I stopped at this historical spot on the way out of town. There was an old school house that was so cool! It only fit about four desks inside. There were also houses, a train station, a church, an outhouse and another school. Fun stuff! Then we drove to Universal City just outside of Universal studios and had lunch.
Today we are in Oceanside, California with John and Judy Webb. Today we are going to the college that John works at and Matt is teaching a class. Of course, John is letting us drive his fun is that?????

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back To Work

So, today Matt and I officially start back to work. We have had the past almost two weeks off. Let me just say it has been so nice. We have really enjoyed just relaxing, shopping, being with family and friends. We have watched movies, played games, laughed and really do feel rested. Everyone else started back to school and work today so we figured we would too. We have our first presentation at a church in about two weeks. So we will need to work on getting prepared for that.
Yesterday, I was out with my mom and we just happened to pop into Hobby Lobby. We were scrapbook shopping and I found all this stuff that I wanted to make a simple scrapbook to take to churches and it was all 50% off!!! The scrapbook, paper and stickers were all 50% off. I got all that I needed for $20 pretty cool huh? I was excited.