Here's how it works:

1. Go to (don't sign in)
2. Type in your answer to the questions below in the "search" box
3. Use only the first page of photos
4. Click on THE PICTURE you like best
5. Copy the html and paste for the answer

1. What is your first name?
(I cheated on this one. First I typed in Missy and got pictures of girls and dogs. Then I typed in Melissa and got the same. I then went back to Missy and tried the second page where I found this picture!)

2. What is your favorite thing to do?

3. What is your relationship status?
(Married. Notice the warm sunshine in this picture?)

4. What is your favorite color?
yellow pink icon
(Yellow and pink)

5. Who is your favorite celebrity?
Bill Pullman
(I don't really have a favorite celebrity, but I really like Bill Pulman's acting.)

6. What are you listening to right now?
(Florescent light humming and traffic outside my window.)

7. What is your favorite movie?
(I don't know! I never can pick ONE that is my favorite. I choose by mood as poor Jeremy can attest to. Umm, how about...)
while you were sleeping
(While You Were Sleeping) Ha! Did you guess that one?

8. What is your favorite beverage?
(That also depends on my mood, but usually...)

9. What is your dream vacation?

10. What is your favorite dessert?
(Oh boy, I'm not really a dessert person. I like chips and popcorn better. OH! I KNOW!)
Jenae (US) and her chocolate eclair cake
(Chocolate Eclair Cake, for which I am still recipe searching. I wish I knew the lady in the picture!)

11. What do you want to do when you grow up?


12. What do you love most in life?
(Maybe I'm a little sun-deprived right now, and that makes it tough to be objective.)

13. One word to describe yourself?
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I will be out of the office today. Craig, Kathy and I will be hosting a booth at a nearby company. Maybe I'll be back tomorrow with stories of interesting people that I met...or maybe not.

You'll have to wait and see!
Dear Diary:

Aug. 12 - Moved into our new home in Iowa. It is so beautiful here. The hills and river valleys are so picturesque. I have a beautiful old oak tree in my front yard. Can hardly wait to see the change in the seasons. This is truly God's Country!

Oct. 14 - Iowa is such a gorgeous place to live, one of the really special places on Earth. The leaves are turning a multitude of different colors. I love all of the shades of reds, oranges and yellows; they are so bright! I want to walk through all of the beautiful hills and spot some white tail deer. They are so graceful, certainly they must be the most peaceful creatures on Earth. This must be paradise!

Nov. 11 - Deer season opens this week. I can't imagine why anyone would want to shoot these elegant animals. They are the very symbol of peace and tranquility here in Iowa. I hope it snows soon. I love it here!

Dec. 2 - It snowed last night. I woke to the usual wonderful sight: everything covered in a beautiful blanket of white. The oak tree is magnificent. It looks like a postcard. We went out and swept the snow from the steps and driveway. The air is so crisp, clean and refreshing. We had a snowball fight; I won! The snowplow came down the street. He must have gotten too close to the driveway because we had to go out and shovel the end of the driveway again. What a beautiful place. Nature in harmony.

Dec. 12 - More snow last night. I love it! The plow did his cute little trick again. What a rascal. A winter wonderland. I love it here!

Dec. 19 - More snow. Couldn't get out of the driveway to get to work in time. I'm exhausted from all of the shoveling. And that snowplow!

Dec. 21 - More of that white stuff coming down. I've got blisters on my hands and a kink in my back. I think that the snowplow driver waits around the corner until I'm done shoveling the driveway.

Dec. 25 - White Christmas? More stinking snow. If I ever get my hands on the turkey who drives that snowplow, I swear I'll castrate him. And why don't they use more salt on these roads to melt this stuff ??

Dec. 28 - It hasn't stopped snowing since Christmas. I have been inside since then, except of course when that meany "Snowplow Harry" comes by. Can't go anywhere, cars are buried up to the windows. Weather man says to expect another 10 inches. Do you have any idea how many shovelfuls 10 inches is??

Jan. 1 - Happy New Year? The way it's coming down it won't melt until the 4th of July! The snowplow got stuck down the road and the crazy head actually had the gumption to come and ask to borrow a shovel! I told him I'd broken 6 already this season.

Jan. 4 - Finally got out of the house. We went to the store to get some food when a deer ran out in front of my car and I hit the beast. It did $3,000 in damage to the car. Those beasts ought to be killed. The hunters should have a longer season if you ask me.

Jan. 27 - Warmed up a little and rained today. The rain turned the snow into ice and the weight of it broke the main limb of the oak tree in the front yard and it went through the roof. I should have cut that old piece of bark into fireplace wood when I had the chance.

May 23 - Took my car to the local garage. Would you believe the whole underside of the car is rusted away from all of that salt they dump on the road? Car looks like a bashed up, heap of
rusted cow pie.

May 10 - Sold the car, the house, and moved to Georgia. I can't imagine why anyone in their crazy mind would ever want to live in the forsaken State of Iowa!

Someone sent the above Diary to my email inbox, and I just HAD to post it...because I think we're all going a little snow crazy, and I can completely identify with the sentiments expressed. While I am not yet ready to move to Georgia, or anywhere else for that matter, I am craving sunshine, warmth, green grass. All I want is a weekend away.

I'm just waiting for Spring. Up until last week, I enjoyed each little snowflake as it swirled to the ground, but I'm all snowed out now. Last week's three snowdays did me in, and the storm last night and this morning was just icing on the cake. I have actually started visualizing what the road would look like if it weren't icy white and what the grass might look like if 12 foot drifts weren't piled on top. As my imagination takes hold, I can feel the tension melting and my shoulders and lungs relaxing.

Oh Spring, wherefore art thou?
My favorite Valentine's Day was the day that Jeremy first told me "I love you."

We were attending college in Florida at the time. We had been very good friends for over a year, and we had been dating for the past several months. As we stood in line outside the overflowing cafeteria, waiting for our turn to enter the building and pick up our to-go boxed supper, I stood gazing up at the full golden moon in the periwinkle twilight sky. I remember how the bottom curve of the moon seemed to balance on the top branch of a nearby oak tree, and I thought to myself, What a beautiful, perfect evening. Jeremy stood behind me also watching the moon, we were so close together that my back almost touched his front. He leaned in close to my neck and with a low, gravelly voice quietly said into my left ear, "I love you."

My heart leaped inside me because I had been waiting to hear those words from him. But I did not want him to say that only because it was Valentine's Day, and I wondered if he would feel pressured or trapped now that he had finally said it to me. (Did I mention that I tend to overthink things?) So I gave him an escape route. Without turning around, pretending to be preoccupied with the moon, I casually murmered, "What?" as though I had not heard him.

He turned me around to face him and looked directly into my eyes. "I love you, Missy," he said firmly and decisively and with an amused smile on his face. He knew me very well.

I smiled sweetly up at him and said matter-of-factly, "That's good. Because I love you, too."

And what had I done for him that Valentine's Day, you ask? Well, early in the morning, I had snuck over to where his car was parked on campus, and I TP'ed the whole thing. I hung empty Walmart bags from his back bumper, and tied sad looking red and pink balloons to his side mirrors. With special window paint, I wrote HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! across his front and back windshields.

Because I'm romantic like that.
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This past weekend, Jeremy decided that he needed new shoes. Now, you have to know Jeremy in order to be shocked by that statement, but let me tell you one thing. Jeremy NEVER spends money on fact, he barely spends money on us! I have to fight for grocery money, clothing money, school money, entertainment money. It all goes through the dreaded budget filter. Every pair of underwear and socks that Jeremy owns is covered in holes, but he refuses to buy more. His tennis shoes are years old, floppy, fraying and filthy, yet he insists that we cannot afford to buy new ones.

You can imagine my shock at his suggestion that we enter a locally owned shoe store this past Saturday even if it was "just to look."

I immediately jumped at the chance.

Inside the store, the salesmen and women were instantly charmed by Liberty's smiles and silliness. Liberty is very outgoing, and she loves to make anyone around her laugh. She began playing Peek-A-Boo with the workers, and soon a crowd had gathered. This gave Jeremy and I a chance to examine shoes.

After a little while, I noticed the children's section, and my curiousity got the best of me. I asked a sales lady to size Liberty's foot because I have been unsure of what size she should be wearing. The lady pried off the size two shoe that Liberty was wearing and proceded to inform me that Liberty should actually be wearing a size five! I was horrified at the thought that I had been cramming poor Liberty's foot into a size two every day when she should have been wearing a size five. Jeremy thought it was hilarious and of course, has not yet stopped teasing me about my awful mothering skills.

We quickly tried a size five shoe on her, and Liberty happily tripped off to entertain her new fans. We all noticed a difference in her stride, and my feeling of guilt grew.

Jeremy continued to shop for tennis shoes for himself, but he asked me several times if I thought we should purchase the new shoes for Liberty or not. I knew certainly that she needed shoes that fit her, but I could not swallow the price of these shoes. I pulled him off to the side away from the salespeople and quietly pointed out the fact that Walmart would have shoes for less than $10.00 for her, especially since she wouldn't be wearing them very long before her feet grew again. He nodded, appreciating my thriftiness and picked up the shoe box that had contained the size fives that were now on Liberty's feet. While I watched Liberty, Jeremy strode purposefully up to the counter...AND PAID FOR LIBERTY'S NEW SHOES!

My jaw dropped.

We then quickly left the store because Jeremy had spent the money on Liberty that he had planned to spend on himself. I thought he would be sad not to have shoes for himself, but instead, he has been walking on sunshine, thrilled with the fact that he was able to provide new shoes for his daughter. "And they're expensive!" He keeps repeating to me. Like that makes them more important or something. But in reality, it does make them more important, because it is so uncharacteristic for Jeremy to spend more money than necessary.

Over the past few days, people on the street and at church have stopped us and commented on "What cute shoes!" Liberty smiles up at them, happy to have a new friend, but Jeremy's chest swells and his chin stands just a tad bit higher in the air. He catches my eyes and gives a satisfied look. It cracks me up, and it catches joyfully at my heart. I love the fact that Jeremy gets such joy out of providing frivolously for his daughter. The fact that she is oblivious to his sacrifice and the greatness of his gift makes it even more wonderful to me, and it makes me think of the many frivolous gifts God gives me that I am oblivious to.

Now if I could just get Jeremy to buy me some cute shoes!
Last Wednesday, my regular babysitter, Chris, called to say that her child had a fever and was vomiting. Thankfully, Wednesday and Thursday were snow days so we all stayed home together snowed in, and Liberty did not need to go to a babysitter. On Friday, Chris called again to say that her house was still disease-ridden. I called my backup babysitter, Sonja, who gladly cared for Liberty instead.

On Sunday night, Chris called to tell me that her two other children had the symptoms, and Chris herself was not feeling well. I called Sonja, who told me that although she would be available to babysit for the entire rest of the week, she already had plans for Monday. I called fifteen people on Sunday night and early Monday morning, but most of the families that I called had someone sick in their house. So I took Liberty to work with me on Monday and pulled out the phone book to find friends who could babysit. Craig tried to help out by making suggestion after suggestion, but after two hours of phone calls, I found out that most of the town is ill, including Craig's youngest son, which prevented Kathy from babysitting Liberty.

I didn't mind having Liberty at work with me, in fact, I rather enjoyed it. She is very easy-going and everyone agrees that she is delightful to be around. She found a rubber lizard in one of the desk drawers and loved wiggling it, watching its legs flop around. However, as her naptime drew near, small head bumps and trips over her new shoes became gradually more tragic. Finally, a lady returned my call who had a home daycare service. She told me that one of her regular children did not come in today (due to sickness) and she could take Liberty for me...just for Monday. Her home is only a few blocks from my work, so I drove Liberty over and helped her settle in.

On Monday afternoon, Chris called to tell me that she had taken a turn for the worse and to let me know that the school sent a note home informing parents that Fifth's Disease was spreading through our town.

I looked up Fifth Disease on the internet and here is what I found:

Fifth disease begins with a low-grade fever, headache, and mild cold-like symptoms (a stuffy or runny nose). These symptoms pass, and the illness seems to be gone until a rash appears a few days later. The bright red rash typically begins on the face. Several days later, the rash spreads and red blotches (usually lighter in color) extend down to the trunk, arms, and legs. The rash usually spares the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. As the centers of the blotches begin to clear, the rash takes on a lacy net-like appearance. Kids younger than 10 years old are most likely to get the

Older kids and adults sometimes complain that the rash itches, but most
children with a rash caused by fifth disease do not look sick and no longer have
fever. It may take 1 to 3 weeks for the rash to completely clear, and during
that time it may seem to worsen until it finally fades away entirely.

Certain stimuli (including sunlight, heat, exercise, and stress) may
reactivate the rash until it completely fades. Other symptoms that sometimes
occur with fifth disease include swollen glands, red eyes, sore throat,
diarrhea, and rarely, rashes that look like blisters or bruises.
In some cases, especially in adults and older teens, an attack of fifth disease may be followed by joint swelling or pain, often in the hands, wrists, knees, or

Parvovirus B19 infection during pregnancy may cause problems for the fetus.
Some fetuses may develop severe anemia if the mother is infected while pregnant — especially if the infection occurs during the first half of the pregnancy. In some cases, this anemia is so severe that the fetus doesn't survive. Fortunately, about half of all pregnant women are immune from having had a previous infection with parvovirus. Serious problems occur in less than 5% of women who become infected during

So Fifth Disease is not really a big deal...unless you are pregnant, because it could kill your baby (maybe). Chris and I agreed that Liberty and I should stay away from their house for a while because they have three more kids who have not yet succumbed to the virus and who could easily be carrying it. So I called Sonja to see if she would like to babysit for the rest of the week as she had previously offered.

She told me that her husband had become sick overnight. Yikes!
I live in the frozen tundra.

Yesterday, I heard on the radio that it was going to get up to 30 today, and I cheered.

What's wrong with that picture?