Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's...

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Years! Be safe... I will be back to the blogging land in a few days. Hope everyone finds themselves surrounded by a loving family and wonderful friends in the new year! I thank God every day for His many blessings!
Until next time... nel

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas...

We are headed to Arkansas in the morning for the Christmas Holidays. Hope everyone has a wonderful safe Christmas. This is such a busy time of year, but I love it! I received an email the other day that I wanted to share with everyone. You may have already seen it, and it is kinda long, but I felt like it was worth sharing…


A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable, and after hours of hearing both of her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids. She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season this time of the year. Overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card. Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the elevator car. She pushed her way into the elevator car and dragged her two kids in with her along with all of her bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn't take it any longer and stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot." From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet calm voice respond, "Don't worry we already crucified Him." For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. As we enter the Christmas shopping season, let us remember this year to keep the One who started this "whole Christmas thing" in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all do this, just think of how different the whole Christmas experience would be. God bless you and have a very Merry Christmas with Christ in it.
till next time…nel
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beginning to look alot like Christmas...

Life has been crazy in the Fastenau Household since Thanksgiving. What a busy time of year, but a fun time. We put the Christmas lights up right after Thanksgiving, and the next week decorated the inside. Shopping is all done, still have to wrap and get a lot of our gifts in the mail. Stan’s family lives in Nebraska, Utah and Iowa. Christmas cards are mailed. I did not get my family birthday calendars done, but they will be mailed about the second week in January.

I have been busy sewing working on Eden’s Christmas gift. This granny decided to make her a trunk full of dress up clothes. We have a poodle skirt, and evening gown and matching purse, a shorter skirt with a matching top, a cowgirl outfit, a cheerleader outfit, and of course all the extras to go with it. I still have 3 more little outfits I want to make. It has been a lot of fun putting it all together. I am hoping they are big enough so she can wear them for a while. Patt, Stan’s niece even dug out some high heels and belts, and I gathered up some old jewelry. I will try to get pictures while we are there.

What a wonderful time of the year! Amongst all the busyness we need to remember what the Season is about. We need to remember who the Christ Child is and what he sacrificed that we might have eternal life.

Just wanted to check in and let you know I was still kicking. I have been reading everyone’s blogs, just not a lot of time to comment on them.

Till next time… nel

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to all my blogging buddies and everyone who visits my blog! Hope all of you have a wonderful day!
Blessings ...nel

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On the road again...

Yes we are on the road again as of tomorrow. Headed to Arkansas for almost 2 weeks. We are having our Thanksgiving Dinner, Sunday, November 22nd at my daughter’s house. Looking forward to good food, good fellowship and good times. Nothing like spending the holidays with people you love and care about. My brother James and sister-in-law Carole are joining us for dinner, as well as Jan’s dad and mom #2 and her kids.

This year I am thankful that I am married to a dear man who loves and understands me unconditionally. He understands all of my wants and needs. He is ready to go when I say I need an Arkansas fix. He doesn’t mind Jan’s dad, Doc and his wife Gina sharing holidays with us at Jan’s. I am so lucky to have him in my life. I love him more than words can say!

So… I guess I will see you in 2 weeks!

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The Webster’s Dictionary defines Veteran’s Day as: November 11, a legal holiday in the U.S. in commemoration of the end of World War I and in honor of veterans of the Armed Forces, formerly Armistice Day.

But it goes so much deeper than that. Where would we be without our veterans? We as Americans take so much for granted. I would like to take this time to THANK ALL OF OUR VETERANS whoever and wherever you are.

I also would like to honor my Dad. He served as a Private First Class in the Army during WWII in Germany. He was a quiet man, did not talk of the war at all. He was not a hero in the Army, but he was my hero… And I still miss him.

He stood about five feet four
A fairly good size man
But oh, he was so much more
I was his biggest fan!

We always had a roof over our head
And plenty of food to eat
It could go without being said
Family needs he always did meet.

There was always love in his eyes
Even tho it was not always spoken
He seemed so friendly and so wise
That was one of his greatest tokens.

He was as calm as he could be
Unless you crossed his path
Then he would talk till you could see
The road you were on would lead to wrath.

I never remember him raising a hand
Or speakin’ an unkind word
He was actually as gentle as a lamb
And almost as quiet as a bird.

I was always Daddy’s little girl,
the only one he ever had.
Until time passed by in a whirl
I had my little girl, He was so glad.

His heart she did capture
Papa this, and Papa that.
he did listen to her that’s for sure
So much love, imagine that.

I could go on and on and on
And tell you about my Dad!
There are so many memories to think upon
They tend to make me sad.

But Dad is in Heaven now
At times I miss him so much.
But I will make it thru somehow
Till I too feel the Father’s touch.

- Nel Curtis

IN MEMORY: Olan Beavers January 3, 1918 – January 2, 1998

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,” Philippians 1:3

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Are You Ready...

It has been quiet around Willard this week. The tragedy at Ft. Hood touched my heart as I read about it and watched clips on the Internet gently wiping tears as they rolled down my cheeks. When the base was in lock-down, with mommas on one side of the base and their babies in daycare lock-down. I could feel their pain, they knew their babies were ok, but they just needed to hold them. Just to be reassured that all was well. Family calling to check on their enlisted members, wondering but not knowing what the answer was going to be. I could only imagine what they might be going through. The pain, the anxiety, the wondering, and why, for what reason? We may never know why this happened, but one day it won’t matter. There will be no more tears, or hurting, or devastation. What a day that will be! Are you ready?

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." Revelation 21: 3 - 5

Sunday, November 1, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: take Your Best Shot

Book Review: take Your Best Shot by Austin Gutwein (with Todd Hillard).

This is a story of 9-year-old Austin who steps out on faith and realizes God can use him and you. A short movie by World Vision about a girl named Maggie who was the same age as Austin changed his world forever. And instead of sitting back and doing nothing like a lot of us adults, he listened to God’s call, and Hoops of Hope was born.

Austin realized he could use something that he loved to do and make a difference in the world. This book takes you to Africa where you can see through Austin’s eyes what motivated him. It is a very moving book that has you wiping tears as you cheer him on. It shows you what God has accomplished through the free throws of a young boy. It challenges you to find something you are good at and make a difference in this world. Austin helped raise enough money for international Aids relief to build a school and a medical clinic. What can you do?

This book was wonderful. If I were still a youth leader, every one of my teens would be reading it. Every adult should read the book and figure out what God is calling you to do…

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Love This Time Of Year…

I so enjoy this time of year. I like the cooler weather, where long sleeves or a sweatshirt feels good, or sitting by a campfire watching the flames dancing. One of the things I love the most is the changing color of the leaves. It amazes me how many different colors a leaf can go through. And I know a lot of people have a scientific explanation for it, but I refer to it as God’s Handiwork. He is amazing! No one can do it like Him!

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1

This year the maple trees are absolutely beautiful. There are so many colors and they are so bright! There is a cemetery here in Springfield that is full of maples. It is a yearly stop for us and yesterday afternoon we caught it at its peak. Stan let me out of the car at the entrance and I proceeded to walk and enjoy the colors, taking pictures as I went, and talking to the Lord. I took over 300 pictures between 2 locations. I know, but I just can’t help myself.
Amongst the beautiful trees there were a few that were not as pretty. As you can see from the pictures below they had lost a lot of their leaves, the branches were bare, or just had leaves right on the end, and it made me wonder… Is that how Jesus sees us? When we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior, we were so excited. It seemed we were hungry for His word; we couldn’t do enough to satisfy our thirst, our hunger. But then the excitement tends to die down, we tend to get back into our daily routine, hopefully we do not fall back into our daily ruts, or the sinful life we were living. But are we doing enough? Or are we like this tree, bare limbs with leaves just on the end. Are we just Sunday Christians?

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16

I hope and pray that Jesus finds us thinking about Him all through the week. I am sure we all have areas we could improve in. I know I for one need to read my Bible more. I need to fill my mind with His written word every day! How bout you? Are there areas you can improve in?

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit with me.” Psalm 51:10

If you would like to view any of my other Autumn photos just click on the link on the sidebar and it will take you to my webshots page.
Until next time...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Technology...You Gotta Love It!

I am so excited. I got a new toy and it totally blew me away! Pretty obvious I don’t get out much…lol.

I have been on a mission, trying to free up some space on my hard drive. Pictures take up so much space…try 10 GB. Hmmm a few pictures, what can I say. So I started putting them on CD’s, which I was not thrilled about, because when you want one then you have to find the CD it is on. And when you have that many CD’s…

I had a return at Staples, so while we were there I took a look at their storage devices. Of course the flash drives would work, but I found the coolest thing. It is a portable hard drive. And yes a lot of you may have already known about these, but I thought I was in heaven. These are the cutest little things. It is 3” x 5” x ¾” with unlimited capacity, with a USB port. This was the answer to my problems. Free Space here we come. The one I chose holds 250gb. They are so easy to use. I just dragged and dropped my folders of pictures onto it using “My Computer”. Now I can share my pictures with my daughter when we go to Arkansas. I have to make a confession though; I am still making a copy of my pictures on CD’s and will put them in storage for safekeeping. Just in case…

I have to tell you I was excited and still am, but while writing this post, I questioned myself. If this feels like heaven, what is heaven going to feel like? If I am this excited about material things, do I get this excited about Jesus and about eternal life? I feel I fall short at times, as a lot of people do. We get so caught up in our every day lives, but that’s just it…Jesus should be with us in our every day lives. He promised when we accepted him as our Lord and Savior, He would walk with us, as long as we want Him too. He does not force Himself on us; we have to be willing vessels. Lord, I pray that I can be a willing vessel for you and that my light shines so others may see.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

Friday, October 16, 2009

Where is the blanket...

It is beginning to look a lot like fall…but it sure is feeling like winter! We are in a freeze warning tonight and tomorrow night. What is up with that? We have had a rainy, gloomy week here in Willard. The sun did shine for a little while today, late afternoon. Almost did not know what it was… Below are a few pictures of the sunset, definitely worth waiting for!

I am ready to get out and take some pictures of the changing colors. We are so lucky and take so much for granted. There are some fabulous parks in the Springfield area. Last Saturday, hubby and I did some exploring. We stopped at a favorite spot, which is Xeriscape Gardens. Unfortunately, the flowers are about done for this season. I did capture a few good pictures though. From there we happened on to Phelps Rose Garden. We definitely put that on our keeper list. I can only imagine how pretty it was in the peak season.

After Phelps we ventured over to Scenic Avenue and stopped at the Nathaniel Greene/Close Park. I was very impressed. There were so many different areas to look at. It sits on 60 acres. And it is beautiful. It definitely is on our keeper list. There are several different garden areas. Drummond Lake is a very pretty area with all the hungry ducks and geese. There is a rose garden that was still in bloom. A Japanese Stroll Garden was very pretty, very relaxing. And the Gray/Campbell Farmstead is in the park area. There is a lot to do and see, a perfect way to spend a great day relaxing. If you would like to see pictures, click on the picture link on the sidebar and it will take you to my webshots page where they are posted.

"Neverless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." Acts 14:17

Friday, October 9, 2009

And Then There Were Pictures...

As most of you know, we recently had a month long adventure. We put a total of 4,984 miles on the car in our travels. We had a wonderful time even with the car problems. Which reminds me, I still need to write my letter to the mechanic in Reno, who said the car was shot, that we would not make it to the Utah border, and we needed to plan on flying home. Just wanted to let him know we made it home in case he was

Anyway, just wanted everyone to know all of our vacation pictures are posted on my webshots page. You can reach that by clicking on the sidebar where it says "Pictures I Have Taken." Don't have a heart attack, there are 19 albums of our trip. What can I say, I am a picture freak! Hope you enjoy! Until we meet again...

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." 1Peter5:6-7

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Book Review: What difference do it make?

Book Review: What difference do it make? By Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent. Stories of Hope and Healing from the authors of “same kind of different As me.”

This story tells how two people from completely different walks of life were brought together. Ron is an international art dealer who lives the life of luxury and Denver is a homeless man, born in Louisiana, a sharecropper who never learned how to read or write, and spent time in the Angola Prison.

In the story they share how Ron’s wife, Debbie, through her vision, love and faith made a difference. Ron also realizes that strangers are not only on the street but sometimes are in our immediate families. Throughout this book, there are tales and stories of how Debbie’s vision made a difference in lives, and in turn how those affected are trying to make a difference.

On page 168, Ron is talking and he says: “They taught me not to ask myself what would happen to me if I stopped to help someone in the street but to ask myself what will happen to them if I don’t?” Honestly the majority of people feel that way, or we ask ourselves “why can they not find a job?” This book will change the way you look at the homeless; it will change the way you look at troubled relationships.

What difference do it make? I would like to answer that question, this book has made a big difference in the lives of a lot of people, including myself. I will never look at a homeless person the same way again. If everyone would read this book, and apply it to their lives and their broken relationships with others, what a quality of life we could have.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Anniversary...

Do you ever feel like life is passing you by? The older I get the faster it travels. Does everyone feel that way? It is hard to believe I have been married to my best friend for 3 years. It seems like yesterday we were just computer buddies. But last Wednesday we celebrated 3 years of happiness. To celebrate we enjoyed 3 nights in Eureka Springs, AR, where we met each other the first time. Let’s rewind a few years…

Stan and I were online friends. We chatted with each other online every evening. One evening I informed him, I would be gone for a few days, my cousin had invited me to join her in Eureka Springs, and I had accepted her invitation. Stan’s reply was, “Why don’t I meet you there and take you out to dinner?” I was speechless… I thought, Oh jeesh, what have I done? I finally found my voice and said “OK I guess that would be OK, if you don’t mind Kathy joining us. Needless to say, we hit it off and the rest is history…

We had a wonderful 3 nights at the Coyote Moon Bed and Breakfast. This place was beautiful. It was a little A-frame cabin with a hot tub on the balcony under the stars (unfortunately it was overcast). A lot of privacy, beautiful surroundings, flowers, trees, coyotes howling at night. It was so nice, we just relaxed, no phones, no computers, just us. Carl is a wonderful cook; he brought us breakfast every morning, which was delicious. The cabin was beautiful, with the elegant furnishings. I got spoiled to the crushed ice at the refrigerator…lol. (For more information about the B&B click on the link above.)

Life is good!

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Monday, September 21, 2009

On The Road Again...

Sorry I did not keep my blog updated during our adventure. On my update I stated that it was worse than what we thought. Well… lets think about this a minute. The mechanic informed us that we might as well get plane tickets back home because we would never make it out of state. He basically told us the motor was shot. I have to admit I got a little nervous in the beginning, but after we thought about it…just did not make sense. How can the motor be shot when we were averaging 24 miles to the gallon and it was not using any oil? So we got a second opinion.

After a new radiator (cracked in 2 places), new hoses and thermostat we were good to go! No more overheating… yeah! And we did enjoy the rest of the week at Grand Sierra and in Reno! Meetings were over early on the last day, so we decided to drive over to the Ponderosa where Bonanza was filmed. The road was extremely steep going over the mountain, but was beautiful. I asked Stan to pull over so I could take a few pictures and when he did, alarms started going off on the car, and it said “NO OIL PRESSURE”. Thank God we pulled over. We called another mechanic and they said to let it cool down for about an hour then turn around and come back down the mountain. And we would have to continue to do this if it happened again. I am so glad there was a shade big enough for both of us to get under…lol. Praise the Lord, it did not happen again, so we knew it was not the oil senders. We talked to his friend Lino and decided it was the thin oil that they put in it at home when it was changed. When it got hot there was nothing there for pressure. So the next morning, we changed oil putting a heavier weight and a bottle of Lucas in it. Meanwhile, as we were waiting I decided to call the motel in Bishop CA and cancel our reservations, but guess what they did not have any record of them… so I guess it was a good thing we decided not to go.
After the oil change we headed towards Las Vegas.
What can you say about Vegas…unreal! The lights were something else…the people were something else! No one ever goes to sleep. It was an experience.
We also went to Hoover Dam while we were in the area. Amazing, simply amazing! Beautiful area. We spent 4 nights in the Vegas area, and then were off to Williams Arizona.

If you ever go to the Grand Canyon, Williams is a wonderful town. We stayed at the Comfort Inn and they were wonderful. It is the neatest little town. They even have a gunfight on the streets at night. It was cute! A lot of neat shops there. And the food was great. We stayed here 2 nights, the first night we ate at “Cruisers CafĂ© 66 Bar and Grill.” The 2nd night we ate at “Pine Country Restaurant.” I highly recommend both of these. We spent one day at the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful. It amazes me how it changes hour to hour. We watched a storm come through…it was so awesome! We were thoroughly blessed while we were there (in more ways than one). There is no way you can look at your surroundings and not believe in God… It amazes me how he continually watches out for us also. Guess what…of course we had to have some more car trouble…what else… right? The heater core blew out on the car…yes steam started coming through the vents and antifreeze started pouring in on the passenger side. What a mess, at least I did not get burned. Stan immediately pulled it over by a bus stop. While I was on the phone trying to call someone, he flagged down a park ranger. The ranger told him how lucky he was…50 ft behind us was the gate to the only garage in the entire park. How blessed we truly were! So they bypassed the heater core for us and got us back on the road. We enjoyed the canyon the rest of the evening then headed back to Williams.

After leaving Williams we drove through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert.

It was interesting. Amazing how the trees turned into rocks. Our last night out we stayed at Sleep Inn in Shamrock TX. It was very nice! It was quite a little town. Like Williams part of Route 66 ran through it. The Smoked Brisket Plate at the Texas Road House was wonderful, melted in your mouth! If you are ever in the area, don’t pass it by. Next stop, Hector, AR And all of you know what we did there...had to see those grandbabies!

We did make it home a week ago today. And guess what...we are off to Eureka Springs for 3 nights and 4 days. Celebrating our 3rd anniversary, there is a little bed and breakfast A-frame waiting on us. Praying that it will stop raining so we can enjoy the hot tub. Catch you guys next week...
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Psalm 23:6

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Beautiful MESS – The Story of Diamond Rio

Beautiful MESS – The Story of Diamond Rio by Diamond Rio with Tom Roland is my first review for Thomas Nelson. Beautiful MESS is the story of 6 talented men who through their trials and difficulties made it in the music industry, from the Opryland Amusement Park to country music stardom. Each story is told individually and then as a whole. Through the good times and the bad times they have been there twenty years for each other. The book includes individual pictures along with group pictures, a list of their Top 20 Country Hits, and a list of their major awards and nominations.

If you enjoy country music or inspirational books, don’t let this one pass you by. It was hard to follow in the very beginning, but I am glad I made it to the end! A joy to read!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Here we are...

Just thought I would check in and let everyone know we are still kicking. We are having a wonderful time. We take so much for granted. Do we really look at our surroundings? So much of the time I think we get so caught up in our day-to-day lives, we don’t enjoy what is available to us.

We spent 2 nights in Fort Collins, Colorado. While there we went to Loveland and found the Benson Sculpture Park. It was beautiful. There were sculptures of all kinds and sidewalks all the way around. It was so peaceful, and such talent! After Loveland, we were off to Estes Park. I was there in 1976; needless to say it has expanded tremendously. It sits in a valley surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. Then we were off to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Our first stop was Bear Lake. That was my favorite place on my last visit. How can anyone look at these surroundings and not believe in our Heavenly Father? We then proceeded across Trail Ridge Road, however we did not get as far as we would of liked. The car started overheating pulling the mountains. So we did not want to push our luck. The perfect ending to the day was a Filet Mignon at Lonestar Steakhouse, Mmmm good!

We were off to Salt Lake City on Thursday. Stan’s daughter Debbie and her hubby Andy put us up at the Hilton, downtown close to Temple Square. We spent Friday morning at the Family Research Library. I thought I was in Heaven. They have so much information it is mind-boggling. I did find a couple of things I was looking for in my genealogy, but that is a different story. At noon, Debbie and his granddaughter Jenny picked us up and took us exploring. We went up into the canyons, where the ski resorts are. It was absolutely beautiful. We ended the day with supper at Village Inn. We had a wonderful time with his kids. That evening I met a friend from high school at Temple Square. We had not seen each other since graduation in 1975. We were not close friends in high school but were acquaintances. A lot of us have reconnected on Facebook. It was really good to see her and fun catching up.

We spent Saturday night in Carson City Nevada, and then drove over to Lake Tahoe Sunday morning. It was beautiful. We made it to Reno Sunday evening. Stan was elected a delegate to the National AFGE Convention. It is being held here at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. This place is unbelievable. It is like its own little world. You do not have to leave for anything. There are restaurants galore, and of course a number of bars, lounges, a Casino area, a 50 lane bowling alley, a 3 show cinema, a shopping mall, a video arcade for kids, mini-golf, and on and on and on. And yes ladies there is a Starbucks. We are here until Saturday; I just don’t know if I can handle it… it is such a rough life. I am posting a few pictures for now and will add all of them to my webshots page when I get home. We did take our car to a mechanic this morning, hopefully they can get it fixed and it will be something simple. See you next time…
UPDATE: Car problems were a little worse than we expected. Have to make a few changes in our plans. But I know our God will help us over this mountain too! And He will deliver us on the other side… Please remember us in your prayers!

“Many are the afflictions of the righteousness: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19