Saturday, August 30, 2008

We thought that you all...

...might like to see a new picture :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Say Cheese!

I have what I would consider very exciting news that I know you will all be highly interested in:)
We found cheese that tastes good all by it's self!!! amazing I know.
All right some of you are saying she's like kidding right? Well, actually I'm not. Some of you may remember sitting in my family's living room the night before Dad and I left for Romania asking questions about how I was feeling and what I was thinking and not getting much info from me, I might add:) And some one asked me this, "Other then people what is the thing that you are going to miss the most while you are gone?" and I replied "Cheese".
Romania isn't very high on the, where to go when you want good dairy products list, in fact it would be close to the bottom.
That being said it isn't surprising that I the person who's idea of a good meal is, a piece of pizza with the cheese oozing off of it or a good lasagna that you have to twist the cheese around and around on your fork before it will break and you can put it into your mouth or maybe some alfredo with some grilled chicken or a cold glass of milk with a plate of spaghetti with cheese sprinkled on top...
All right I have to stop now I am making myself hungry and I think you get the idea why I would miss cheese while staying here. And also why I would be very excited to find a cheese that I can pick up, cut a piece off and eat it with out having to cover the strong flavor up with something else or feeling sick when you smell your hands after touching it. Most of the time that we have cheese here it is in or on something and not by itself, and if you do find something that you are willing to eat by itself (or if it has to be with something) it may be there for a short amount of time and then disappear of the store shelves forever.
I don't what kind it is as it is German made but it tastes good and we enjoy it. Curtiss and I were talking about it the other day and we said that if we were in the states this wouldn't necessarily be our first choice in cheese but we would still eat it there without complaining. And that my friends is saying something considering we have eaten it in Romania:) Life is good;)

Yes, this might be a silly post but I thought that it would be good to tell you a little bit more about life in Romania and not do another "Well, this week we planned this for the wedding..." :)
Things for the wedding are coming along nicely and we on this end are starting preparations for flying home in a couple of weeks, so everyone is busy and doing well and we all look forward to seeing you soon!

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Week

Hello everyone! I suppose you all think that I have abandoned you in this most exciting time, well if I have then I think you will pardon me as I have been what you might call busy. I think anyone who had a week like mine would be called busy, lets give you a run down...
As you all know Curtiss asked me to marry him last Thursday and after getting back from that and telling family and friends we got to business picking out a wedding date, "No prob!" you all say? Well lets just say it is harder then it looks. We spent three days trying to decide on the best day for everyone. First we considered the first of January but that didn't work very well for Mr and Mrs Archer coming back to Romania for the winter and it left the apartment here empty at the worst possible time not to mention all the elderly people that they help take care of here in the village. So our next option, the first part of December, cool time to get married but my sister in law is due for her second baby right around then so even if she hadn't had the baby yet she would be quite uncomfortable to be a bridesmaid and if she had had the baby she probably wouldn't be there at all so that was out. Then we moved to the first day of November that sounded good for about twenty four hours and we thought it was set and then we found out that Curtiss's nephew would most likely have surgery right around then, not sure when but some time in there, so out went November. Then we moved to the middle of October and after talking with my family and Curtiss's parents and brother we all thought that sounded good. Then we called the church and the date that we had thought of wasn't available but the week before was did we want it??? After a little talking and some prayer! we said "YES" and we had a date! Whoo that was easy:) After we said yes Curtiss told his mother that I was breathing for the first time in three days, I personally don't think that I was that bad but I was thinking about it quite a bit:) the wedding is on October 11th in Seneca Falls NY, in case any of you were wondering:)
Since then the emails have been flying back and forth between me and Trina (my wedding consultant, florist, and bridesmaid! Please give up a round of applause and if any of you see her before I do please give her a great big hug!) me and Elise (my maid of honor, the one who gets to answer all the questions about what I would like in my absence and the one that I email and say "Hey Elise could you do this for me? or could you look this up?" more applause and hugs please)
Plus emails to my other sister Bethany who has lots of good ideas and is handling (along with another friend, Thanks Jen!) my wedding favors. SO my week, three days of indecision where we at least got to talk about what we wanted after we had a date, and four days of emails sharing those ideas and answering all the questions. And now we have the whole thing just about planned. I think that I have to give a warning here; WARNING: Do not try this at home unless you have my wedding planner team behind you. I am going to give you a copy of part of an email that Trina sent me this morning that sums up what they have been doing for us.

I wish you could have been a fly on the wall when we were discussing this all with the salesman. :) Just telling people we're planning a wedding in 7 weeks is enough to get stares. Then you tell them the Bride and Groom aren't even in the country, and you have been doing most of the wedding planning over IM - that's when they begin to gasp. "IMing? you've been IMing?!" the salesman was astounded. But we really got a reaction when he heard I was the wedding planner, the florist, AND a bridesmaid. When he asked whether I had anything else going on, I just had to mention I was expecting my second and that I had a two year old at home. Elise said that's when his eyes started popping out of his head.

Oh, then, there was the part when he was filling out the forms and needed addresses. Mom and Elise and I are bent over the sample book looking at vest color options and he asks, innocently enough, "Are the bride and groom living together?" Mom's resounding "NO!!" could have been heard through the entire store! :) We tried to explain all at the same time - "Well, technically, no - " "But they are in the same house" "But their not living together" "you see - oh, never mind!" and so on. Very, very funny.

Well, that about sums it up! Curtiss and I laughed so hard reading that:) So if anyone else has to plan a wedding in eight weeks time with the bride and groom out of the country I could definitely recommend some people but they might not appreciate that:)
So I hope that you all forgive me for neglecting you, things should start slowing down now and I might have more time for posting. Yesterday Curtiss and I got out for a little while and walked down to the river that runs by the village here and stuck our feet in and spent three hours with each other without talking about the wedding! (exciting:) and today we went shopping for gifts to give to all the people who are making our wedding possible.

The Lord has been very good to us, he has shown in so many small ways that the date that we have is his date and he has allowed all the details to fall together at an amazing rate of speed. There is no doubt in my mind that we are in his will.
I would still ask for your prayers though as this is a major adjustment time for anyone who goes through it and my family and I are no exception, I have a nephew who has told me repeatedly that I couldn't ever get married because then I wouldn't be at Grandma and Grandpa's when he came to visit. and he is having a hard time with the thought and I think that he is an extreme case of what all of us might feel at some point or other. And I have been gone for the whole summer and when I get back I will move out for good less then a month after returning. Some hard but good things that we all have to go through. Well, I guess that this post is long enough, I don't want to bore all of you:) O I think you might all be interested in this piece of news,
Curtiss and I went back to the gypsy man today while we were in the city and I now have a ring that fits my ring finger! I'll send a picture sometime. Hope you are all doing as well as I am:)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ask and ye shall receive

To view the Slide Show in a larger format, click on any of the pictures and then select "Original Size" in the new window that will open for your viewing pleasure. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Engagement Story

Hey everybody! I know that most of you have already heard the news. I was going to tell all of you myself even if it was just through the blog but news travels faster then I do;) But I wanted to tell you all myself so here goes. I am engaged!!! Curtiss asked me to marry him yesterday while we were in Cluj and I said “Yes!”. I know that you will all want to hear the story and I’d love to tell you all in person but this is the next best thing so here you go, I will be as explicit as possible without grossing you all out;)
You all know that we went to the city of Cluj a few weeks ago to take Sora Aneta and her daughter Mina to a hearing clinic and that we went back a second time with them to pick up the parts of the hearing aid that had to be special ordered. The city looked like it would be nice to actually get to see it as a tourist place so it was designated as our next destination for a date. August is vacation month around here, almost everyone has the whole month or more off so the roads are crazy to drive on (well they are crazy anytime but when you add people from all of Europe to the crazy people already here it gets very interesting, I won’t tell you too much because I want all of you to come and visit me;) and since both of us are the adventurous type we decided to take the train. Curtiss went online to find the train schedule and since we didn’t want to have to get up too early we decided to take the latest departing train that left the station yesterday, it left at 5:51am.
All the other ones left at one or three something and that seemed a little early;) we got up at four and left the apartment at five with Mr. Archer driving us to the station, the train was on time and was much nicer then what we were expecting. The trains here just about all look like they were made a hundred years ago and haven’t been taken care of during that time, but this train was one of the new ones and it was quite nice with lots of leg room and not too dirty (a Romanian once told Curtiss that if he travels on a train to make sure that he buys a newspaper to read so that after you read through the first page you can put it on your seat and have someplace clean to sit) It was a three hour ride and we had a good time just chatting and watching the scenery go by, enjoying one another’s society. We got to the city at nine and walked from the station to the part of the city that we had been in before. When Curtiss had looked up a map of the city he had seen that there were ruins somewhere close to where we had been the first time we were there and since we knew that it was suppose to get quite hot in the afternoon we decided to find the ruins first thing and then when it got warm later on to find some place indoors or shaded to visit. We only had a general idea of where they were so we started walking that way not really sure what we would find, we didn’t even know if they still existed.
We came to the base of a hill where we could see stair and walkways where people were walking and thought that if we were going to have a fortress that is where we would put it so we decided to go and check it out. It looked like the main stairway up the side of the hill was on the far side of the hill but we found a little trail leading up the side of the hill and decided to take that one. The trail had definitely seen better days, where there were stairs they were kind of broken and parts of the trail looked kind of like a washed out goat trail but we had fun climbing it;) part way up we came to a level spot with a little wall that we sat on to take a break as we were a little winded and there was a good view over looking the city. While we were sitting there Curtiss handed me the binoculars so that I could get a good look at the city and while I was very happily looking through them he started rustling through the bag he had carried our supplies in.
I finished looking and handed him the binoculars so that he could look too and instead of looking he hands me a little wooden box and says that he has something for me. I went to open the box and the lid wouldn’t budge and after watching me for a few seconds Curtiss finally said (with a smile) “it’s a puzzle box you have to figure out how it opens” So I started looking and with a few clues along the way finally got it open. While I had been working on it Curtiss had gotten down from the wall and stood in front of me. I opened the box and found a beautiful pearl necklace and a letter and as I held them in my hands Curtiss says “before you read that (referring to the letter) I have a question to ask you. Joanna will you marry me?”
(Now I have a question to ask all of you, Curtiss is under the impression that he is not romantic what is your opinion?)
I said “Yes” and after that I eventually got to read the letter;) It was from Mrs. Archer telling about the necklace, The necklace belonged to Mrs. Archer’s great-great aunt who had gotten them from her father in law who had been a sea captain and he had gotten the pearls on a voyage that he took to the South Seas.
Lena Curtiss Freeborn (who was the original owner of the necklace) had a daughter named Faith, which happens to be my middle name. So the whole story is very cool and I love them. A little while after I got the pearls on Curtiss told me that to make our engagement official I had to keep looking in the box and so eventually I found the hiding place of the ring. He has told me that he will get me a diamond ring once he get s to NY but for now I have a little silver gypsy made ring with a heart on it. It is very small and only fits on my pinky so he is going to get me another one, so by the time I am married I will have gotten three engagement rings plus a wedding band, not bad huh? ;) I think that I am one of the only girls alive to receive an heirloom necklace and a gypsy ring for my engagement tokens, O, and we can’t forget about the puzzle box;)
I know that many of you have already sent your congratulations and we both thank you for them. We would also like to thank all of you who have been praying for us, it has meant so much to me to know that I haven’t been alone during this time. Now I have to go as we are discussing wedding plans;) I am sorry that it has taken me so long to post this, I was planning on doing it earlier today but the Internet wasn't working for both computers and Curtiss was looking at plane ticket prices so that we could work on what date works best for a wedding.
I will post some pictures later for all of you romanticists

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


There have been several people asking for pictures of Curtiss and me so I thought that I would oblige you. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Three Strikes I'm In...

Three things that have happened since August First.
1. Isaiah fell off the monkey bars in the park and broke his left arm.

Mom said it was a good thing it was his left so he can still do his school.

He wanted to pose for Joanna's sake

He really didn't want me to post those last two pictures on the blog, BUT as I told him everything is for Joanna!

On Monday he is going to the doctors to get a hard cast on, he is looking forward to everyone signing it.

2. I got to go to Kingdombound with four of my very good friends.

Here is all of us in the camper that we stayed in.

Alice had this display set out on the table. In the baskets in the background she has movies, Cd's, toothpaste, a mirror, Tylenol, and a little bag of tissues. She also had chocolates set on all of our pillows, and towels all nicely folded for each of us.

Sarah and I eating a very yummy dessert that Alice served the night we got there.

Alice and I enjoying a Third Day concert. We all had so much fun at Kingdombound together.

3. The Empire Farm Days...

This is the third year that we have gone to the farm show, and we always have fun running around taking pictures in all the big, huge, gigantic, farm equipment.

Jesse just loves the big tractors. He just walks around going "BRRRUUUMMMM."

In this picture he had just found the horn on one of the tractors. Uncle Nathanael had fun trying to get him to stop honking it.

As always he had big grins for Aunt Elise's camera. He is just to cute for his own good!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

All right...

I'll take pitty on you and share a little bit about what we did. We left the apartment this morning just after nine and Curtiss drove to a little side road asked me to get out close my eyes and hold out my hand and he gave me... O the suspence is killing all of you, I can hear you groaning;) binoculars;) and told me to look at a distant hill where there was a small white dot that ended up being a huge cathedral and he said that that was where we would end up, eventually.
First we headed to Hunedoara though to do some computer shopping. A couple of weeks ago Curtiss's laptop died:( and he has been trying to figure out what he is going to do to replace it so that his Dad can take his laptop back to the states in September and Curtiss can have one here too. So we went to get some prices and ended up going into five different stores, got price sheets (which we later lost and have no idea where they are) and had fun walking all around the city stopping for ice cream and soda. After finishing with that we stopped at the grocery store where I sat in the car while Curtiss went and bought lunch (I wasn't to know what we were eating either:) then we headed to the hills. We stopped when we came to a nice little wooded area and Curtiss covered my eyes with his hat and made my sandwich. It was really good, other then being really big, it was perfect (he only had eight pieces of meat and two slices of cheese on a kaiser roll;) After eating we walked in the woods for a little while and then continued on our way. We made it to the church and took a few pictures and then drove on, the scenery was beautiful all along the way and we stopped a few times to take pictures. At the end of the drive we stopped to give the poor little car a rest (it gets kind of over heated going up the hills) and climbed a small hill and took some more pictures. After that we headed back to the apartment. Now you all have to understand I haven't told you half of what happened, only some of the things that we did and you are going to have to be content with that;) It was a wonderful day, and I can't wait until next time!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Howdy Ya'll

Well I thought I should check in and let you all know that I am still alive. We really haven't done all that much this last week as Mrs Archer and Curtiss have had some kind of stomach bug, they are both much better now but other then a few trips to the store and the regular stuff like English class not much has happened, well stuff has happened but even though you would all be highly interested I'm not sharing so there;) Yesterday we had the eighth English class of the summer, that means that I have been here for seven weeks as they had the first class the week before I came. Does it seem that long to any of you? It doesn't to me.

One other thing that we did this last week was the second trip to Cluj, last Friday we made the trip back to get the rest of Mina's hearing aids and get them fitted to her. It was a good trip and we went out to get pizza to celebrate. The pizzaria was cool with a very old world Europeon look. When you walked through the doors into an alley way with a high arched ceiling and after going through that you came on a side walk cafe type atmosphere. Lots of fun, I never thought that I would ever make it to Europe let alone live here for three months so to go some where like that for me is very cool. Well I think that brings you up to date and lets you all know that I am still very much alive and kicking;) Curtiss might say that maybe I am to much alive and kicking:)
Tomorrow we are going on another date and I might share some things that happen, now remember I said might, I don't even know where we are going or what we are doing so I'm not promising anything;)