Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Everlasting Rose Bush...

We have two rose bushes that were here when we moved in. They produces pretty, smell good roses but they were both planted right in front of our bedroom window. So, when the wind would blow, the plants would sway, and they would tear up our screens.

To fix the problem Rusty pulled up the rose bushes, dug a hole a few feet away (away from all windows) and threw them in. We didn't know if they would make it or not, but these plants seem to have many lives!

They ended up producing flowers the next summer. Well, last night I was out watering our trees and flowers when I noticed this BEAUTIFUL rose on one of the bushes.

Is it not just absolutely gorgeous?!


The color is just spectacular

And the smell... the smell is absolutely divine. I love the way a non-genetically altered rose smells. Genetically altered roses seem to lose their smell in the process.

And this is the rose bush that has to be immortal. I don't think we could kill this thing even if we tried (and we sort of did once... oops).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweet Potato Fries

Rusty's new favorite thing that I make... sweet potato fries. I like it because I love sweet potatoes but I get tired of making my mashed sweet potatoes all the time. Now, I mix it up with fries (healthy fries!) These fries are not tossed in some deep fryer... oh no, they are baked in the oven.

So, whether you are having steak (like we did last night) or burgers or just need a side dish... make up a yummy batch of sweet potato fries!

I used 4 small sweet potatoes. If I get the HUGE ones I only use two (about 1 per person)
Peel them up. Chop them in half and then cut strips. I then cut the strips in half to make them look like fries. (just make sure they are roughly the same size and it doesn't matter how you cut them)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

I then throw my "fries" in a ziplock baggy with 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil (enough to coat the fries).

Toss in about 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon

1-2 teaspoons of paprika.. how much spice do you want? That's how much you put in!

I am NOT a salt person so I put in maybe 1 teaspoon of salt. If you want more.. go ahead.

Smoosh all the ingredients together on the "fries" so they all get coated with spices.

Put 2-3 Tablespoons of oil on your pan. I used a pastry brush to spread the oil all around the pan and coat it.
Then dump your fries on the baking sheet. Make sure they are in one layer. Pop them into your preheated (425) oven and bake 30 -40 minutes (depends on how crispy you like them) but be sure to flip em' around every 10 minutes or so.
Eat and enjoy!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Crazy Twilight People

As most anyone knows (at least those of you who have been reading my blog for the past year or so) I am a HUGE Twilight fan. I have read all 4 books... twice. I loved it as much the first time as I did the second! Also, I went and saw the crappy movie... yes, I said it, the movies stunk!!

But, though I love the series I am not really obsessive. Especially compared to the woman (yes woman, not girl) that was driving a silver Volvo with a Cullen sticker on the back window!

YIKES! That is an example of obsession.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Beautiful Evening

Last night was a beautiful night here in Oklahoma. I love spring evenings here... the summers are brutal but spring is amazing.

Last night the sun was going down and there was a nice breeze cutting through the warm air. It was perfect for swinging on the front porch and taking nice pictures.

The sun going down behind the clouds made the most beautiful sun rays.


I love the way the clouds look when they look like a storm could be brewing inside them.

Can you see the swan?

Almost 4 years of marriage and many trials in the short time but we are still so in love. I thank the Lord everyday that this is who he placed in my life as my husband.

Even when he makes fun of the color I chose at my last pedicure. He calls me fungus feet now. Can you believe that?!

Just glorious! The beauty that God surrounds us with is amazing. We are so lucky.

These are Abigayl's double knock out roses. Those trees are blooming so nicely. They make me smile every time I see them.
Rusty and I are so lucky to have each other. I appreciate him so much and all he does for this household. He is a hard worker that never complains, he is a provider that does it happily, he loves me even with my yellow toes and he is patient when I am in one of my moods. I am lucky... no, I am so blessed.
God does everything for a reason and I know that Rusty is probably the only person who could support me emotionally the way he does. He never once cast blame... which can be easy to do after the lose of a child. He only loves and supports me. I am so proud to be Mrs. Rusty Stamper.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Abigayl's Birthday Celebration

For Abigayl's birthday we had a couple of our friends over for a small cookout and a balloon release. The balloon release idea came from one of my online friends, Carrie, who did one in memory of her daughter. She gave me pointers like: rent a helium tank, don't make the tags to big and laminate the tags. Thanks to all of her pointers, everything went fairly smoothly.

To make the tags, I used pictures from Abigayl's photo session with Melina at MK Studio for one side. The way I did that was by using the picture part of a labels that Melina had given us. She printed Abigayl's picture on mailing labels with info to MK Studio. I cut out the picture and then printed Abigayl's birth date and angel date out then taped them next to her picture. On the other side, I said, " This balloon was released to honor our daughter, Abigayl Marie Stamper's first birthday. This is one of the 130 balloons we released to honor the 130 days she blessed us. " Along with the different ways to contact us and find this website. I made the tags about a week in advance.

The tags were laminated, thanks to Katie, so they wouldn't get ruined if it rained.


These are the tags... laminated and hole punched.



I rented a helium tank and we spent Saturday morning blowing up balloons. My fingers were so grateful that we found clips that seal the end of the balloon instead of having to tie each one. Plus, the ribbon (with the tag on it thanks to Katie's hard work the night before) could just snap in along with the balloon so there was no tying at all!

It was a lot of balloons but it looked so pretty. I chose pink, purple and white balloons.


In our sea of balloon strings.


In the afternoon our friends came over for a cookout and the balloon release. I am so thankful that we had such nice weather. Here is Jill along wither her two kids Issac and Kayla (the two on the ends) and the little one in the middle is Parker, Katie and Shaun's oldest boy.


Here is Katie, Tom (Jill's husband) and Shaun is doing the grilling for me.


Here is Kayla, Chandler and Parker... aren't they all so cute!


Chandler with his daddy... he helped flip hamburgers! Chandler is about 2 weeks older than Abigayl so it is really great to watch him do things and see what Abigayl might be doing or reacting to things.


After the cook out we did the balloon release and Shaun took the pictures for me. As soon as I get copies I will post them. After the balloon release (which was beautiful) we all caravaned down to Floral Haven (the cemetery where Abigayl is buried). Katie and Jill brought Abigayl some flowers that were so beautiful.


Her grandma Patty and grandpa brought her this amazing butterfly and stand.


We brought her a flower cake and some balloons. (which one decided to float up to her instead of stay at her site)


My friend Sara brought her some cute pink flowers.


Her Aunt Tiffaney brought her Minnie Mouse and a pretty spray. I think she had one to the prettiest ones in the whole cemetery.


Our 1 balloon decided it wanted to see her in person so it took off for heaven. We even put her name on it!






It was a beautiful day. Weather wise and just the meaning of that day for us. We are thankful to have such wonderful friends and family. Thank you so much for all of the love that was pouring over us. We could feel it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Birthday to Our Sweet Abigayl....

On this day last year and in almost 12 hours from now (6:40pm), our daughter Abigayl Marie Stamper was born. She came to us weighing 7lb. 3oz. and measuring 19 3/4 in. I can't believe how fast a year went. I can't believe how much grief can be carried in one year. But, here we are. I am feeling okay so far today. Though, I have been awake for a mere 27 minutes.

My first time to ever kiss or touch our girl. That was such a sweet moment.


I love this picture. I love the pride that is pouring out of him. I love that Abigayl is looking at her daddy.

Our first family portrait. One of the best days of my life. What a day to celebrate.

Just a few hours after delivery. Doesn't she look like a perfect doll? Beautiful.
To celebrate Abigayl's birthday we are going to release 130 balloons representing the 130 days we were blessed with her. We are also going to take a few things down to the cemetery. One of which is a flower cake I had made. I will take pictures through out today and try to post them tonight. We are supposed to go to the lake this evening if we are feeling up to it so I will do my best to post before we leave otherwise I will do it Monday night when we get back.
Just please keep us in your prayers as we muddle through our emotions today. I don't know what to expect but I know that there are a lot of mixed emotions.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blog Tag...

My sister-in-law tagged me in her blog to go the my sixth folder and copy in my sixth picture and then tag six people to do the same.

So, here you have it.

This is in November 2008 (as you can see by the date stamp on the picture... I know, I know.. I am captain obvious!)
We were in Branson, MO at Silver Dollar City. I was sipping on some yummy hot chocolate while watching the light parade with my amazing, wonderful, loving husband. I LOVE Branson. And, I LOVE my husband.

I tag....
Carrie, Kristin, Katie, Sarah, Jamie, Mom and Krystal

A new use for the fountain!!

Yesterday was a fairly warm day, so I spent the later part of the afternoon mowing the front half of the yard and getting a little bit of a sun burn. Oops! (But, kinda yay for some color!?)

When Rusty came home from work he detached the dog pin fence so I could get back there to mow. Well, the dogs were pretty excited to explore all the new things that have gone on. There were two new flower beds and LOTS of trees to see/smell (and do other things that I won't mention!)

But the best new discovery, was the new pond and waterfall! It was a place to get a fresh drink of water!

video

After we saw him do this, Rusty said "he sure would love a swimming pool". Then, at the end of the evening Rusty noticed that the waterfall was a little slower and pulled out the pump to find Chance hair clogging it. I don't think Chance would be allowed in the pool!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Waterfall!

Last night I went to dinner with my friend Katie and while I was out, Rusty cleaned out the pond and installed the pump so we can have the tranquil sound of a waterfall (and avoid the risk of mosquito infestation from sitting water).

Doesn't it just look peaceful?! Now I can sit on the front porch and swing while looking at Abigayl's garden and listening to the waterfall.

video

I took video so everyone could enjoy the wonderful sound!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our birthday present to Abigayl...

We created a memorial garden for Abigayl after her funeral. The garden stared with just mums, as seen here, with bulbs under the mums ready for spring. Well, I didn't realize that mums come back up in the spring and bloom in the fall. So, we were left with quite a mess with the bulbs popping up under the mum plants. Plus, we had A LOT of rain over the past few weeks and the ground wasn't very level so it pooled up in the garden.

This weekend we re-worked Abigayl's whole garden to make it worthy of our beautiful angel. We raised the bed for better drainage and organized the plants we already had and brought in a bunch of new plants. Now, it is teeming with color and good smells!

This is what her garden looked like before any work. I weeded out the garden and noticed that some of the mum plants were getting pretty yucky (probably from drowning in all of the rain we have had)

The new flowers we bought... ready for the ground

All weeded and trying to figure out how to arrange the flowers


Rusty is working the sides because we put in a new border

Digging up the mum plants because they get a new home in the bed

Our finished work. This is what it looks like when your walking up on it.

From an angle. Carnations are the border flowers with knock out rose bushes in the corners. Mums now line the back of the bed with impatiens and fides kalanchoe to fill in the garden.

Hard work but well worth it.

Now she has her own little spot in the yard that is so perfect.

Rusty smoothed out the dirt last night after I took pictures so I took one this morning to show it complete with no dirt!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Newborn Abigayl Pictures....

These are the pictures that were taken in the hospital. Abigayl is 3 days old in these photos. I am so happy that we had them done. I just now ordered them from the company that took them. I know next time I will have a better photo session set up for newborn portraits. They did an okay job but I would have loved to have had a few different shots... ones with me in them :)

Blowing bubbles!

She LOVED her daddy... and daddy LOVES her

I can't believe she was so small! It is amazing how quickly they grow.

I absolutely love her feet. Soon, I will have a footprint necklace with her cute tootsies on it!

I didn't realize for a long time that I had her tutu on backwards! whoops.

She only put her thumb in her mouth a couple of times. I'm glad we have a picture with her doing it. I always thought it was so cute. She couldn't figure out how to put just the thumb in... it ended up being the whole hand!
It is crazy that these pictures were taken almost one year ago. I procrastinated buying the pictures because I didn't know if we would need them after she was born. I'm glad they keep them on record for one year though... I am so happy to have them now.
For those of you who would like to have copies, let me know because I bought a CD that has them all on it with the rights to the pictures. I would be happy to make you copies if you just let me know what size and how many.