Friday, December 19, 2008

Prayer Request

Dear Friends,

A lot has changed since we provided everyone with an update.

Since the U.S. economy (and the world economy) continues to deteriorate at a significant rate, the housing market has a correlation with it; we should expect the same result in the decline. But with that being said, this has given Chrissy and I the opportunity to put an offer on a house that would otherwise not happen before this downturn came to fruition.

God has moved already in some areas. Recently, the Federal Reserve reduced the federal funds rate between 0.00% to 0.25% basis points (to the American banks it is free money), but to us consumers it is a great time to refinance or purchase a house. At the beginning of the week, we were offered a 6.00%, but when the Fed reduced the rate on Tuesday, this reduced our rate to 5.75%. In essence, we will be saving $40.00 to $45.00 in monthly payments because of the Fed’s action. God has been good already!

Now we are asking a miracle, and we are asking our family and friends to pray with us. We put in a contract to purchase this property for $105,000.00, and the bank had it on the market for $119k +. We decided to start here, because we felt that 1.) the housing market is going to continue to decline at a significant rate (estimates for the Richmond area has it by 14.8% in the year 2009); 2.) the banks need capital and they would want to get this off their books; 3.) and most importantly, that God can provide a miracle on getting a deal done like this.

The agent suggested that I should offer $119,000.00 for the home, because the bank has already reduced the amount by $10,000.00. I already knew in my mind that the agent would think that I am crazy if I would offer $105,000.00 for it, and when I told the agent, she was rather taken back by it, and said that the bank will decline it straight up. I advised the agent that there is a reason for this course of action, and the reason is that there is nothing impossible with God.

Please pray that God will show himself strong and that His will, will be done!

We will post the pictures soon for everyone to see.

Remember, God is good!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Update from AJ


It has been a long while since we last updated our blog. Things are rapidly coming together. Colors for the dresses and tuxedo's have been picked out. The time for the wedding has been set, and our wedding party has been put together (we will announce our party soon).

We are still waiting for the Lord's direction if we should buy a house or hold off and rent for a while. A couple of month's ago a friend and I went to look at some apartments that Chrissy and I can rent from. I have it narrowed it down to about three places, but we are going to hold off until Chrissy has a chance to look at them in January.

Chrissy and I have bought our first kitchen table, and mom has allowed us to choose appliances from her awards that she receives from work. It was such a blessing, because the stuff we bought was priced around $1000.00.

It has been busy for the both of us. Chrissy has been working on the wedding, and I am still working on our honeymoon and places to live. We met with Pastor Jones(Chrissy's Pastor) a few weeks ago, to discuss our wedding day and counseling. My Pastor is going to take some time to sit with Chrissy and I for about a hour to talk (since he will be our Pastor once Chrissy moves down).

We are both getting excited for our special day. Please pray with us that June 6, 2009 will be a day that points to Christ and that Christ will be glorified. Chrissy and I will be writing a post together in a couple of weeks, and we will share our thoughts together to all of our family and friends.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Busy Labor Day Weekend!

Hello family and friends,
A.J. and I were able to spend Labor-day weekend together. I was able to meet A.J.'s fathers side of the family, who live here in Ct. . A.J's Aunt made a delicious breakfast!It was a nice time and I enjoyed meeting them very much.
Despite the fact that A.J. came into Ct. so late the night before and even though he was exhausted we were still able to do some things together for the wedding and which included finalizing the tuxes for the groomsmen. Although we were in the shop for a while the process of choosing the tuxes for the groomsmen are much easier then picking out dresses for the bridesmaids. During that time together I was able to show A.J. the reception site for the first time and we also managed to do some less complicated things for the wedding as well.Sunday was another busy day, but was able to have lunch with my parents after church. During that afternoon we worked on our engagement announcement for the paper ( we will keep everyone posted when it will be in the paper) Monday came to quick and our weekend together came to an end. My parents were able to meet A.J's sister (she also came for the weekend and was able to spend that time with family.). We all met for breakfast before they made the long trip back to Virgina. Things are coming together and this past weekend was very beneficial. Can you believe that we have been engaged for almost two months!!!! It is going by so quickly and we will continue to keep everyone posted!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Hi, Heather here! A.J. and I went to Connecticut for Labor Day weekend. A.J. and Chrissy had some wedding things to take care of. On Saturday, my Aunt Carolyn made an awesome breakfast that Chrissy was able to come to and meet A.J.'s family. Monday morning, Chrissy and her family, A.J., and I got to meet for breakfast. Of course, I have pictures!!!

A.J. and Chrissy at our family's house Krista, Chrissy, A.J., Aunt Carolyn, and Uncle Joey
Chrissy, A.J., Uncle Bobby, and Aunt Debbie
Chrissy, A.J., and Heather
Chrissy, A.J., Heather, and Uncle Bobby
Mr.and Mrs. Sienna(Chrissy's parents), Chrissy, and A.J.
Again...the guys being silly.
Mr. and Mrs. Sienna, Chrissy, A.J., and John (Chrissy's brother)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Engagement Pictures

Hi! This is Heather. A.J. and Chrissy just received their engagement pictures on a cd. So, I thought that you would like to see some of them. These were taken on July 16, 2008. I hope you enjoy them!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Weekend of Aug.16&A.J.' s Birthday!

Hello family and friends, It has been a long time since you last heard from A.J. and I. Both of us have been doing our part in planning our wedding and beginning the process of finding a place to live after we are married. A.J. and I were able to spend his Birthday together this pass weekend. As always, we had a wonderful time together and it was also constructive. We were able to pick out our engagement pictures that we had done in July ( they came out beautiful) . For A.J.'s birthday- We met his Mother and Sister at this great restaurant, We had a wonderful time! On Saturday we decided to price furniture and we were also interested in seeing if we had similar taste in decor. Surprisingly enough we agreed on everything we picked out. A.J. and I were also able to look at a place to live and wished we had more time to look at other homes.At the beginning of the week I had made dinner reservations (A.J.'s choice :) ) to celebrate A.J. 's birthday. We thought it would be nice to celebrate his birthday on our own as well.We ended the day by going home and preparing for Sunday! The next day I was able to attend church and left Virgina that afternoon. Although it was a short trip we were able to spend time with each other and it was also beneficial.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Engagement Night from AJ's Perspective

Hi Everyone!

July 15 will be a day I will always remember. The plan for the day was set in motion when I received Chrissy's fathers approval to request her hand in marriage. I wanted to keep Chrissy on her toes, as she was persistent in wanting to know when I was going to ask. In fact, Chrissy had the engagement down almost to the day. So, I had to do things different then I originally had plan so I could throw her off.

I bought Chrissy matching earrings to give to her Monday night (July 14) to throw her off a little bit, but I decided to wait to give it to her the next day at dinner (I will touch bases on that in a few minutes), but instead I bought her a card and a box of chocolates and wrote a note and left it on her bed.

My idea for July 15 was to take Chrissy shopping and then take her to Va. Beach for a twilight dinner and follow by a walk on the beach. What Chrissy didn't know was the kind of restaurant that I was taking her to. I wanted it to overlook the ocean, so we can look out while we ate.

In the middle of dinner, I made an excuse to run to the bathroom and to get a camera for us to take pictures at the restaurant. What Chrissy didn't know is that I took the time to get the earrings and finish putting the bear together. I did not want the earrings to be in my pocket, as she may have seen it and thought something was up. Towards the end of dinner, I had the earrings on the chair and I told Chrissy that I loved her and that I wanted to give her something (the earrings). As I took it out and gave it to her, she look stunned and surprised as this was the moment. As Chrissy mentioned on her post, she realized that this wasn't it (and her face showed that as her demeanor had changed).

As we finished dinner, we went to the truck to get the cooler and the bag with the bear and a blanket to sit on while we are on the beach. We went out to the beach and we found a spot for the both of us to sit. There were people around us and it was my desire for us to have a very private romantic moment. I silently prayed that God will give us some privacy, so I can asked my love to marry me. As time went on the crowd around us thinned out and the majority of the people around us were just taking a stroll down the beach. I decided to start the proposal by telling Chrissy that I have written something, and that it was Thirty Reasons Why I Love Chrissy. I advised her that the order goes from being funny to being serious. After I read off the list, I told her that I had something else for her and I turned around and grabbed the bear out of the bag. I took the bear out and had the ring on a pearl necklace around the bear's neck. Then I played the message that I recorded for her and then I took the ring off the neck of the bear (which I had a hard time) and got on my knees and I asked my love to marry me. It was priceless to have seen her facial expression, because at that time her face had a look of awe and totally surprised by the whole thing.

From there, I told her that I had a few other things for her. I took out a wedding dress for the bear that I bought her, and then chocolate covered strawberries for us to eat in celebration.

I loved that night, as the one that God has chosen for me said yes and now we can begin our journey together.

As it is said, that is the rest of the story.

Monday, August 4, 2008

More pictures

These are more pictures of Chrissy's visit. I thought I would post these, as well. These were taken on July 17 and 18, 2008.

Chrissy in A.J.'s car A.J. and Chrissy at Bottom's Up Pizza in Richmond
Chrissy at Brown's Island in Richmond
Chrissy and A.J.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Accidental Video

Hi- Heather again. After I posted the pictures, I was reviewing the others I had. I came across a "video" that was accidentally recorded. It's kind of cute. So, I thought I would post it. I hope you will get a smile out of it. A.J. was having difficulty taking a picture, and it ended up being a video that Chrissy and I were laughing at and trying to help him. Oh, she called him "Honey." How cute! - Excuse the weird looking picture you see at first. We really are normal- sort of :-)

Pictures of Chrissy's Visit- finally

Hi! This is Heather. I am the one that puts up the pictures. I misplaced an important piece to my camera, so I could not put any pictures up for a while. Sorry! But, I now have a replacement piece that I borrowed from some friends- thanks to the wonderful Eachos! Here are some pictures. I hope they were worth waiting for. These were taken on Saturday, July 19, 2008, while Chrissy was here in Virginia.

Chrissy at the lake in Waynesboro.

Chrissy and A.J. at the lake.
Chrissy showing that "rock" again! :-)

A.J. driving

View of the mountains from Afton Mountain.

A.J. and Chrissy at Skyline Drive.

Brother and Sister being silly!

Future sister-in-laws

Chrissy, A.J. and A.J.'s mom at Skyline.

A.J. and Chrissy at church on July 20, 2008.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wedding plans already in the making

Hi Everyone!This is Chrissy! These last few weeks since coming home from Virgina have been very busy planning for our wedding. Things are already coming together! My Mother and I have booked the site where our wedding reception will be taking place and have chosen the menu selection. Bridesmaids dresses have been a burden, but, I think we have it narrowed down to the one. I will be having a Matron-of-honor and two Bridesmaids. They are very special to me and it is a true blessing that they are willing and able to be in the wedding! :)
This weekend I have managed to discuss the music which will be taking place during the ceremony .With much help from our faithful church organist and music coordinator Becca, we were able to pick out several music arrangements in which she played for me. A.J. and I are working together in asking soloists to sing songs that mean the most to us and that is going very well. I was also able to arrange someone to take our wedding pictures and when A.J. comes to Ct. we will discuss our pictures further with them.
Many of you already know, I also managed to buy a gown. After loving a certain gown to only find out it came in the color ivory and not in white, I was able to find the most perfect dress . After my Mother gave me WONDERFUL words of encouragement , I decided to take her advice and went to the Bridal Mall in Niantic. I was adamant and determined I would never find a gown that had similar expectations of the first gown. My intention was to browse only and not to buy at the Bridal Mall, so with that... I decided not to make an appointment to try on dresses. My Mother and I walked around and found two dresses and they managed to fit me in, in between appointments. The First dress I put on was very pretty, but not anything I was looking for. The moment I put the second dress on I immediately forgot about any dress that I may have considered or tried on before this point. Needless to say, I bought the dress!!!! But unfortunately, you will all have to wait and see on June 6, :).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Looking back at the weekend!

Hi Everyone! Its Chrissy! One week has already passed since A.J. and I got engaged. Our week together ended Monday, July 21 at 8 am. . We had a wonderful time together and can't believe its already over! Saturday, I was able to meet two of A.J.'s Aunts and their husbands. They are all very sweet! A.J's Aunt Sissy did a beautiful DVD for the both of us which included several pictures of A.J. preparing for our engagement (of course I cried through the entire thing) . A.J. and I were able to do some sight seeing up in the mountains while A.J.'s Mom and sister spent some quality time visiting family. A.J. and I walked around a camp ground where the view of a lake and mountains was amazing! We headed back to A.J.'s Aunt Sissy's house and we all went out for dinner. It was so nice getting to know some of A.J.'s extended family...we had great time!
Sunday was another long day. Although, we got in late on Saturday we were all able to get up early for church... after the morning service I was able to start packing and do a little relaxing before it was time to leave for the evening church service. Before heading out to church A.J. and I thought it would fun if we dressed the bear that he got for me ( the one he built for our engagement :) ) What a fun time trying to put a wedding gown and shoes on a stuff bear. She looked so cute all dressed up. After the evening church service we were able to meet up with A.J.'s Pastor & family and another family that A.J. is very close with. It was a good time of fellowship and I was able to meet more of A.J.'s friends. Even though it was a long weekend I am happy to have met A.J.'s wonderful family and friends .
After a long train ride on Monday, I am back home in Ct. and very excited to plan for our wedding . Although, A.J. and I miss each other we are using this time to spend with our families. We will keep everyone posted as we lead up to our special day June 6, 2009.
(Pictures will soon be posted)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It is Saturday, July 19

It is Saturday, July 19 and the number of hours is dwindling until Chrissy is leaving.

We are enjoying ourselves together, and we are having a lot of fun doing things. Since Chrissy posted the last posting about the engagement (I will add my thoughts later about the engagement), I want to talk about what we have been doing since then.

On Wednesday, we had our engagement pictures taken at a friend of the family's studio. She showed us a few pictures and they look great. We won't have the pictures until sometime in August as we decide which ones we want. After our pictures, we went out to get a bite to eat and then we went to do some go karts and bumper boats. The bumper boats was Chrissy's idea (I rather do the go karts), so I took advantage of the water guns that are on the boat and I drenched her with water (her facial expression was priceless - and I wish I had a camera available to take pictures).

On Thursday, Chrissy and I did some wedding shopping looking at the tuxedos and bridesmaid dresses. We have our colors picked out, and the men's tuxedo's are picked out. Thank God the process of choosing the men's is an easy one. For the ladies, Chrissy and I found brides-maids dresses that we both liked and we are trying to find a way to rent them instead of buying the dresses. After we finished our shopping, Chrissy and I did some errands and I had to head home for her to get ready for a ladies night at church. While Chrissy was at the ladies event, I had the privilege of babysitting an eight year old boy. I had a lot of fun with him. His mother made us dinner, and after we ate we cleaned the kitchen and put in a video afterwards.

On Friday, Chrissy and I went downtown to do some sightseeing in the city and we ate at Bottom's Up pizza. After the sightseeing, we went to Belle's Island to sit on the rocks and put our feet in the water. We headed home to get ready for our dinner with Josh and Laura. We had a great time of fellowship, and Chrissy was able to meet a good friend of mine and his wife.

P.S. The list of "Thirty Reasons Why I Love Chrissy" is posted (please read below).

Pictures will be posted soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Engagement Night

Hi everyone! This is the newly engaged Chrissy!!! July 15,2008 is the day I always will remember. Our day began by shopping at Williamsburg ( one of my favorite things to do :) ). At some point during our shopping spree, A.J. had informed me that we had dinner reservations in Virgina Beach. We left Williamsburg around 4:00 and headed off to the beach. As we pulled up to the restaurant I could not believe that it was right on the beach. Our table overlooked a beautiful view of the water. After we ate, A.J. decided it would be the perfect time to give me a gift which was in a black velvet box. At first I thought that little box had a ring in it, until he placed it on the table noticing the box would be too big for it to be a ring box. Inside the box were heart shaped earrings that matched a necklace he bought me for my last birthday. After eating we decided to take a walk on the beach. But, A.J. insisted that we go back to his truck where he had a bag and a cooler. I could not understand why he needed to get this cooler, but he claimed that he was very thirsty. He also had a bag with a blanket hanging out of it. We found a nice spot on the beach and A.J. placed the blanket out on the sand. We had good conversation and he then told me that he had a something to read to me (30 reasons why I love Chrissy)

After wards, he pulled out a pink and white bear. I noticed something was hanging off the bear which was pearl ribbon and a ring. He pulled off the ring that was attached to bear and then pushed the arm of bear to hear a WONDERFUL recorded message from A.J. . He then proceeded to get on his knee to ask me to Marry Him!!!!! The surprises did not end their, he pulled out a wedding gown,veil and shoes to put on the bear. I am sure you are all wondering what actually was in the cooler~ it was chocolate covered strawberries. My evening was filled with many surprises and of course my answer was YES!!!!!!! A.J. did a GREAT job in planning such a special day.

Chrissy and the earrings

Chrissy and A.J. engaged (sorry you can't see the ring)

Chrissy and ring with bear and wedding dress.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Girls Night Out

Hi. This is Heather, again. I am writing about girls night out, and I am including some pictures. Chrissy, my friend Karen, and I went to get our nails done. The place was really nice and did a good job. However, the people were very hard to understand. He was trying to sell me acrylic nails when I just wanted a French manicure. Anyway... communication was the only problem. After we got our nails done, we all went to T.G. I. Fridays. Dinner was very good. We all had a good time together. I am thankful for the opportunity that I had to get to know Chrissy a little better tonight. Now, Chrissy has pretty French manicured nails for that beautiful engagement ring to be on. So exciting!

Chrissy getting her pedicure .

Chrissy again- happy :-)

Chrissy's feet.

Karen relaxing during her pedicure.

Chrissy and I after our nails are done.

Karen and me after getting our nails done.

Chrissy's and my feet- she's on the top.

Our fingers- she is the one on the left.

Countdown - Con't

The time is fast approaching to that faithful hour, and the excitement is building up.

Chrissy and I decided not to go to the river today, but we were able to go to Rockwood park for a good long stroll through the trails. The only drawback about the whole ordeal is that it rained, but luckily for us that the trail had a lot of trees that we could walk under. It was a great time for us to talk and spend time with each other.

We then went to local bookstore just to browse, and Chrissy bought some things for a few people.

After a quick stop home, I dropped Chrissy off to meet up with my sister. Heather, Chrissy, and Karen are going to get a pedicure and manicure done and head out for dinner.

As for me, I have for the most part finished my preparation. There are a few things left to do, but all of the big things are taken care of.

Chrissy is expecting to get engaged tomorrow, so I have tried my hardest to downplay it and have told her not to be disappointed if it does not happen this week. My greatest desire for this night is to be the most romantic surprise she will ever experience in her life. She deserves a night like no others, because Chrissy is my only and true love - and my love for her is more I can ever express either by words or actions. She is the love of my life.

The plan for tomorrow is to go to Williamsburg to do some sight seeing and shopping. Around 4:30, we will start heading to the beach to have a romantic dinner at Isle of Capri that is reserved for 6:00. Do you remember those famous ear rings? My intention was to give them to her today to throw her off about the engagement. However, since she expects to get engage tomorrow I figure that I will throw her off by giving them while we are having dinner. She may be upset by my trickery, but afterwards when I propose to her she will forgive me. After dinner, the plan is to go take a stroll on the beach around the sunset. We will then find a place to sit down to talk and to take in the scenery. After a while, I will start to tell Chrissy all the reasons why I am in love with her (please see the "30 reasons why I love Chrissy" -please understand that I am not going to post that until after the fact). After I give her the reasons, I will take out the bear and have her play the message that I recorded the other day and quote it the same time. The ring will be on the bear, and I will take it off and get on one knee and ask my love to be my wife.

This will be the last posting until after the fact. The next posting is going to come from Chrissy, as I am going to tell her about this blog and I am going to ask her to write her thoughts and feelings for everyone to know.

Chrissy's Arrival

Chrissy has finally arrived. The long awaited arrival came @ 6:30 P.M. Sunday night, after arriving 1 hour and 25 minutes late. I am so excited that she made it here. I got a little nervous when I saw her, because it is a matter of time before that faithful moment comes and it will be official.

Today, my sister and I went to Build - A - Bear, to buy the bear that is specially made for my love. As you can see from my sister's posting with the pictures, the lady made me do some funny and awkward things. All of it was in fun, and I enjoyed it because I will do anything humanly possible for Chrissy.

Mom took us to Outback for dinner tonight. It was a fun time of spending time with Mom, Sis, and Chrissy eating a steak that was perfect. Our waitress was cool and funny. She was one of the best waitress's we have ever had.

Tomorrow, Chrissy and I plan to lay low and just hang out by the river. This will be a good time for us just to talk and have fun. When I drop Chrissy off for her manicure and pedicure, I am going to get the final things needed for Tuesday night. Chrissy knows it is coming, but she does not know when (In fact, she has known all the time because she has always said that it was going to be in July). I ask her how does she know, and she tells me that she knows because I love her and she knows that I want to marry her. I am doing my best to downplay the whole thing.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Build- A- Bear

Hi! This is Heather (A.J.'s sister). I am writing about A.J.'s visit to Build- A- Bear. He made a bear for Chrissy. This bear is going to play a vital role in the proposal. It is sweet! But for me, it also was quite hilarious watching him get the bear. The lady that stuffed the bear made him do some funny things before the bear was stuffed. When we left, she told us that this made her day! I also had a lady in the store ask me questions about what A.J. was doing. She also thought it was sweet and gave advice about the proposal. Here are the pictures for you all to see. I hope you enjoy! There are a lot of pictures! A.J. picking out bear. It is white and pink. A.J. recording sound for the bear. Sweet! Lady stuffing the bear. A.J. holding the bear's heart. ...... still stuffing
A.J. holding bear to make sure it is soft enough.
She asked A.J. to pretend to shoot a basketball.
A.J.'s warming the bear's heart.
A.J. finishing his basketball jump. A.J. turning in a circle.
A.J. putting the bear's heart over his heart. A.J. kissing the heart. A.J. putting the heart into the bear. A.J. giving the bear a "bath".
A.J. picking out clothes for the bear- a wedding dress :-) A.J. picking out the bear's shoes. A.J. with the bear, dress, and shoes. A.J. making the birth certificate.
This is the bear's name. Time to check out: bear, shoes, dress, roses.