Monday, December 31, 2007


I don't know how many of you make a budget each month for your spending, but M and I do. We started shortly after we got married and changed our method a bit once we took a Dave Ramsey class offered through our church in Austin. (My brother calls us Dave Ramsey disciples although we do not follow all of Dave's suggestions. I do have to give Dave some credit though. He helped M and I get completely out of debt twice and has helped shape our views on spending. I hope that we are now better stewards of what God has entrusted us.) After the course, we started having a zero budget each month. This means that every penny of our paychecks and bills is accounted for in our budget and the budget has $0 left over at the end of each month. This lets you know where all your money is going - even savings.

Budgeting is very interesting. I work with budgets at work as most accountants do. At work, it is not always a big deal if someone does not stay within his or her budget. But that is a different story on our personal budget. After all, it is OUR money we are talking about. Well, I have had a hard time this year with my grocery budget. I know I should be able to stay below the budget we have set, especially since there are only two of us in the house (three if you count Max). I feel like I need to change my entire strategy for grocery shopping. Do you have any suggestions for saving money in this area?

Friday, December 28, 2007

What a good boy!

I am so proud of Max. He did exceptionally well on our out-of-state visit. I was really worried about it and lost some sleep over it both before our trip and on our first night in Texas. Thankfully, the weather was sunny and in the high 40s and 50s during most of our trip. He was a real trooper. He was excited to see everyone – and my nephews wanted to play with him which was fun. He has never jumped up on us so it is nice that he can say hi to people without jumping up on them. My family sure appreciated that. Here are some more fun facts about Max.
  • He likes carrots and peanut butter – not together (although I am sure he would love that, too). That is the only people food we have given him other than the giblets from our Thanksgiving turkey. He wasn’t sure about those but eventually ended up eating them. I have to say they looked disgusting to me.
  • He does not chew his food. As far as I can tell, he just swallows it. I don’t know how he does that.
  • He snores. He doesn’t snore every time he is asleep. It is not terribly loud so I think it’s cute. If it kept me awake however, it would stop being cute.
  • His name is still only Max. We are still trying to think of a good, upstanding name for his registration. We have had him for a couple of months now and have not come up with anything to put with Max yet. If you have any suggestions, we would love to hear them.
  • He got Christmas presents from M’s sister’s son and her dog. He really liked both. One is a candy cane full of treats. The other is a stuffed duck that really sounds like a duck. It is cute and as soon as we opened it for him, he ran around the house with it. He likes stuffed toys, but so far they don’t last long before the stuffing starts being taken out of them.
  • We learned over Christmas that Max enjoys digging through and eating horse poop. That’s right. What else can I say about that (isn’t that disgusting)?
  • He is a pretty good traveler (at least by car). This was his first time to leave the city – he even crossed two state lines. He mostly napped in the back seat as we drove.
  • He likes the bed…of course, who wouldn’t? It’s big, soft, and warm. After getting home from our trip, I felt like Max needed to be spoiled a bit. He did so good, and I wanted to make sure he knows he is loved. So for the past couple of nights he has slept up on the bed. Tonight it is time to go back to the crate. We all sleep much better when he’s in there.

Baby it's cold outside!

The temperature has not been above 30 degrees since we got home on Tuesday. M used to tease me all the time about the very small range of temperatures that is comfortable to me...and it's true. I don't like to be cold or hot...maybe Colorado isn't the best place for me to live. The ideal temperature for me is somewhere between 65 and 80 degrees. Even though I really like to experience all 4 seasons in the same year and I like to wear both winter and summer clothing, I do not like the cold. I like to see the snow and know that it is cold from inside my warm house. I don't like to get out in it...and my car agrees. It makes quite a ruckus in this cold weather. It is sunny today which is a huge improvement...even though the temperature right now is 9 degrees. It doesn't look like it's going to get much warmer over the next 10 days, but it is supposed to be sunny. It is amazing what a difference the sun makes. That is true in our lives as well...the Son makes a huge difference, all the difference in the world. Today I am thankful for the Son in my life and pray that others see the difference He has made.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I made it!!!

My goal was to be at my personal goal weight by December 31. Today I officially made it! I weighed in at my WW meeting for the first time as a lifetime member. I just knew I was going to gain weight over the last week because I ate a little bit of the treats I made for my co-workers, finished off the bag of Hershey's kisses, and did not watch what I ate as closely as I know I should. I was shocked to stand on the scale today and lose 2.8 pounds. All I can say is that it must be the walking/jogging I've been doing with Max. I have been moving more than I was. My leader did not seem very happy with my weight loss and told me not to lose any more. I seriously didn't lose on purpose this week. It will make the next couple of weeks interesting. I believe I will now let myself have some delicious pie over Christmas.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Goodies

One of my favorite things as a kid was helping my mom make yummy goodies at Christmas time. By helping, I probably mean eating the goodies. I watched her, but I'm not sure how much help I actually was. So now, that is what I want to do at Christmas time. M and I do not need to eat all these goodies so I decided to take them to my team at work. I had a good time making everything and hopefully they will have a good time eating it all. I made peanut butter cookies with kisses on top, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate no bake cookies, tiger butter, and peanut butter fudge. There were a couple of other things I wanted to make, but I ran out of time. This is what everything looked like. It's really amazing how much people enjoy homemade gifts.

Sleeping Beauty

Isn't he sweet? If you are sitting still and Max is ready to take a nap, he wants to lay right next to you or on you. Here is taking a nap with his head on M's leg. The other day I was sitting on the floor to play with him while I was talking on the phone. He jumped up on the couch behind me, put his head on my shoulder, and went to sleep. It was very sweet - but his head did get rather heavy on my shoulder. Max was 16 weeks old on Friday. He will be 4 months old on Christmas Eve. Here are some pictures I took yesterday. He is still growing a lot and enjoying chewing on things - like the rocks he is laying on in our backyard. He was the top student in class this week...there were only 3 puppies, but he did very well. We still have a lot of work to do on some things, but he is doing well in general. He really enjoys chasing and retrieving a tennis ball. He is very good at bringing it back to you if he is interested in it, but he needs to work on leaving it with you. He pretty much likes to play with anything as long as you play with him. He likes loads of attention.

2007 Christmas Tree

This is by far the biggest Christmas tree I've ever had. At the nursery, the tree did not look so big. But when we brought it in the house, we couldn't even stand it up because it was so tall. So M had to take it into the garage and use his saw to shorten the tree. That was a fun adventure. When we started getting all the dead leaves out of the tree, we found a bird nest. I've never had one of those in a Christmas tree. Thankfully, there were no birds or eggs in the nest. It made me feel a little bad that we took someone's home for our tree. Max didn't know what to think of the tree at first. He would walk the long way around just so he didn't have to walk directly past it. He warmed up to it before we went to bed though. As I said before, he does not like the vacuum and we have to vacuum a lot with this tree. It has been dropping needles like mad. We are enjoying turning on the lights every day. Now we just need to get some gifts under that tree. We don't have many shopping days left and we have a lot left to do. Oops!

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

I cannot tell you how many times I have mindlessly sang the words to this song. Today as I was singing along, I heard a line I have repeated several times but never really thought about. Here are the words so you can see what I'm asking about.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
With the kids jingle belling,
and everyone telling you,
"Be of good cheer,"
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
There'll be parties for hosting,
marshmallows for toasting and
caroling out in the snow.
there'll be scary ghost stories and
tales of the glories of Christmases
long, long ago.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
There'll be much mistletoeing
and hearts will be glowing,
when loved ones are near.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Why does it say "there'll be scary ghost stories"? Is the song about Christmas? Or is it about Fall? I have always thought it's about Christmas which makes sense. But what's with the scary ghost stories? Is it referring to the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future? What do you think?

Poems about Cowboys

Does anyone know of any poems or short writings about cowboys? If so, will you share them with me please? Thank you!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Poo on my Pants

So a funny thing happened a week or two least it's funny now.

I went home at lunch to let Max out and to play with him for a bit. We ran around in the backyard to spend some of his energy before heading inside. Then I got down on the floor to play with him. I sat with my hiney on my feet. While I was driving back to work, I called M to give him the Max report. I thought I smelled puppy poo, but I didn't really think anything of it. After hanging up with M, I looked down and saw the puppy poo on the end of my shoe. I thought "Oh, that explains the smell." Within seconds of having that thought, I remembered how I had been sitting while playing with Max. The next thought was, "OH NO! I probably have that same puppy poo on my hiney. Grody!!" Sure enough, I did. But I was almost to work and it was too late to go home and change. Thankfully, I had a couple of Shout wipes in my purse. They generally work wonders, but this is puppy poo we are talking about. I just had to make it the rest of the afternoon and then I could get home and change. I basically work in an office by myself so this wasn't a problem. I did have to clean the seat of my car and my chair at work afterward, but it all worked out. And thankfully, the only person to know what happened (at least as far as I know) was M because I told him about it.

That is why I scoop the poo as often as I can (as well as pay attention to what I am stepping in while running around the yard) prevent this situation from arising again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pray for Julie

I got an email today from my college roommate Rachael. Her sister-in-law needs our prayers. She has had a stroke and brain surgery and currently has a blood clot in her brain. They can do nothing about the blood clot but pray that it doesn't move. Julie and Rachael's brother have a 13 year old son, 5 year old daughter, 4 year old son, and 3 month old son. They had to deliver the baby 8 weeks early because her blood pressure was such an issue. Please keep their family in your prayers. I will add updates as I get them.

Lifetime Member

As of last Tuesday, I am now a lifetime member with Weight Watchers. This means I have reached my Weight Watchers weight goal. It also means that I no longer have to pay to attend weekly meetings. I still want to lose a couple more pounds, but I am so happy with the success I've had on the Weight Watchers program. I would definitely recommend it. Here is a before WW picture (taken January 25, 2007) and an after picture (taken November 22, 2007). I don't really have many (if any) pictures of me alone so M is in these as well. Losing weight is kind of a weird thing. I have to look at these pictures to see the change. Since it has been gradual, it is hard to see a difference when I look in the mirror.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


We have now had Max for 6 weeks. He was 15 weeks old on Friday. I took him to the vet for the third time for puppy shots and his rabies shot, and we are now finished with those for a year. I also had him microchipped on Friday. It doesn't cost very much and any place that finds him should be able to locate us with the microchip if he somehow loses his collar. That was the only "shot" that made him whimper a bit. At 9 weeks he weighed 18 pounds. At 12 weeks he weighed 25 pounds. At 15 weeks he tipped the scales at 36 pounds. He is not fat or pudgy...he is just growing. We call him Maxhead as a term of endearment. Somehow we started adding the word "head" to the end of things either before or after we got married. M wondered today if Max thinks his name is Maxhead. He comes to both so I guess we're okay.

Some fun facts about Max...

  • He really enjoys running around in the snow...and eating the snow.
  • He has mostly learned to stay away from the Christmas tree.
  • He has learned to "sit", "lay down", "stay", and come when called.
  • He enjoys laying on his back...especially when his belly is being rubbed.
  • He also really enjoys walks. Well, actually he enjoys jogging rather than walking. That has been some good exercise for me.
  • He barks at his reflection.
  • He chases his tail all the time.
  • He is quite the acrobat - mostly while chasing his tail. He does all kinds of somersaults.
  • He is scared of the vacuum cleaner - even when it's not on. When he sees us pull out the vacuum, he runs the other direction and won't come back until we put it away.
We had more snow this weekend, and it has been really cold. We went out to shovel the driveway this afternoon because I wanted to. I roped M into doing it and because the driveway was so slick, he fell twice. Thankfully, he was not permanently damaged and we didn't have to make any trips to the ER. We also had our Sunday school Christmas party last night. We had a fun time fellowshipping with everyone. We ate dinner, sang Christmas carols, and exchanged ornaments. The roads were very slick, but we made it there and home safely.

I also watched two new to me holiday movies this weekend - "The Nativity Story" and "The Holiday". I think both movies came out last year around Christmas, but I had not seen either one yet. I thought they were both pretty good. As I am not a great historian or Bible scholar, I cannot tell you how accurate "The Nativity Story" was, but I know they got all the important things correct. I would recommend both if you are into holiday movies.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Favorites

I really enjoy this time of year. I like hearing Christmas music everywhere I go and seeing all the pretty decorations. I have been surprised with how many houses in our neighborhood have lights out. It is just fun to see.

I also really enjoy listening to Christmas music. I generally try to get at least one new cd of Christmas music each year. M has been making fun of me because I have 192 Christmas songs on my iPod. That is all I will listen to between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I could sit at home in the evenings listening to Christmas music - sitting in the dark with the lights on the Christmas tree turned on. It is all still magical to me - even though I'm 30 now. Some of my favorite songs right now are "We Are The Reason" by Avalon, "O Holy Night", "Don't Save It All For Christmas Day" by Avalon, "For Unto Us" by Bebe and Cece Winans, and "Worthy Is The Lamb" from the New Young Messiah cd. I am sure I am forgetting many. I really love listening to this music!

I also enjoy Christmas movies. My favorites are "Miracle on 34th Street" (both the old and newer versions), "Elf" - this movie is hilarious and genius as far as I'm concerned, "White Christmas", and "While You Were Sleeping" (M says this counts because they celebrate Christmas in the movie).

I have many good memories of Christmas. And what is really neat to me is that the things I remember most are not the presents I thought I "had to have". I remember making yummy goodies with my Mom (fudge, tiger butter, cookies, etc), listening to Christmas music while sitting in the dark in the living room on my Dad's lap, watching all the Christmas specials with my Dad (like Charlie Brown's Christmas), driving around Bishop Hills to see all the Christmas lights with my parents, the Christmas Eve service at our church when we were home for Christmas, driving to Oklahoma to see our extended family, and being out of school for a couple of weeks.

What are your favorite things about Christmas?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Classic Migraines

Several years ago I was diagnosed with classic migraines. They are classic migraines because I see spots or "aura" before I get the migraine. According to the doctor who diagnosed me, I am "lucky" because I know the migraine is coming before my head actually starts hurting. This is helpful if you have medicine that will get rid of the headache before it starts, but it doesn't always work that way. I need to go to the doctor because I have run out of the medicine I had. My migraines are sporatic, and until Saturday, the last one I had was in June. I got one on Saturday mid-morning, Monday afternoon, and Tuesday morning. I have no idea what caused them. They are extremely painful and really take it out of me. After the actual headache is gone, my head is then sore for a day or two. My jaw also tingles when I eat. It is very weird. I sure hope I don't have anymore this week or for many months to come.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas Party

We had a good time at the Christmas party. The club house was beautiful...with a lot of great food. It was fun to get all dressed up. And it was even more fun that I was able to wear a dress I last wore on our honeymoon 4 1/2 years ago. When we got home, we started decorating the tree. It looks beautiful. I'll post pictures of it later.

Saltimbanco and Christmas Tree

We have had a fun weekend so far. Friday night we went to another Cirque du Soleil performance. This time it was in our city. We saw Saltimbanco. Other than the show we went to in Vegas, this was the first show we have seen in an actual building rather than in a tent. It did not seem like they went all out for this show. We think they may be testing the waters in this city before they bring a bigger show in. This show was only here for a couple of days. We still enjoyed it though.

Yesterday we went to get our Christmas tree. We purchased it from a nursery not too far from our house. They had several really nice looking trees. Hopefully, this one will stay nice through Christmas. This is definitely the biggest Christmas tree I've ever had. It is huge! We had to cut several inches off the base so it would fit in our house. I think we'll have to buy some more lights. We have yet to decorate it, but that will happen early this week if not today. This picture of Max (now 14 weeks old) is one of very few that you can see his tongue. We just got back from a 30 minute walk/jog. That is the longest we have walked so far, and it wore him out. He is now passed out at my feet.

This evening is M's work Christmas party. It is generally at a very fancy hotel here on a Saturday evening. This year it is at a fancy club house in a development the company was a part of. Things have been scaled back quite a bit since the housing industry is slow here. For the past 15 years, the company has taken employees and their spouses to Mexico for 4 or 5 days. That is not going to happen this year either. But it should still be a fun time tonight, and we get to dress up which we don't do very often.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Puppy Crisis

So I'm having a puppy crisis today. I am not sure what to do with Max over the Christmas holiday. We are going to my parents' house for 5 nights and part of 6 days. If we take him with us, he will have to stay outside or in the garage. It gets pretty cold there so it could be a cold 5 or 6 days or it could be nice weather. We won't know about the weather forecast for quite a while (and we all know how reliable those forecasts are). We don't want to put him in a kennel for that long for several reasons - 1) he's still just a puppy - only 3 months old, 2) we want to be with him - and 5 or 6 days is a long time to be away from a part of your family, 3) we know nothing about the kennels here and have no idea how he would be treated, 4) we want to spend Christmas with Max. I know this sounds strange to those without pets, I used to think the same thing. I thought people who missed their pets had issues. If that's the case, I now have issues. Max has already become a large part of our family, and we like spending time with him.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions for what we could do? I am having a hard time thinking about anything else today.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Birthday to Melinda!

Happy birthday to Melinda today! I hope it was a fun day!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a very nice Thanksgiving at home. This was our first holiday to have the celebration at our house. I have so much to be thankful for...I could spend the rest of my life making a list of the many blessings in my life. It has been cold here, but we are enjoying the warmth of our home.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I feel like a grown up

Most people would say I am a grown up, but I haven't felt like one until now. Since we have gotten Max, we are up and out of bed around 5:30 each morning...even on the weekends. He is a morning puppy I guess. I actually get to see so much more of the day than ever before. And even though I am not a morning person, it isn't so bad now that I am getting used to it.

This week I had to clean up puppy throw up for the first time. It wasn't nearly as bad as I would have thought it would be. I handled it all very well. I'm not sure what made him sick, but he's only done it that one time so far. I hope it's a while before it happens again. We ended the week by going to the vet for 12 weeks shots. Max is now 3 months old. He has gained 8 pounds in the 3 weeks we've had him. He is growing quickly.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Requesting Prayer

Please pray for Bryan and Sarah (some folks we went to church with in Austin - if you were at our wedding, Bryan was our singer). Their two year old daughter was in an accident yesterday and passed away. I believe this is the youngest of their three daughters. I don't know many details, but I do know that they need tremendous amounts of prayer right now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Brussel Sprouts

I think I had brussel sprouts for the very first time this week (I don't remember ever having them before). I am working on eating more vegetables so I felt like I should at least try them. I roasted them in the oven with some olive oil on them. I didn't expect to like them, but they weren't bad! I don't think I cooked them long enough though. I will definitely have to try again, cook them longer, and possibly add some seasoning as well.

Puppy Classes

We signed up for puppy classes to start training Max and to give him some social time around other dogs and people. Tonight will be our 3rd class out of 8. He actually does pretty well in class and has learned some, but he does not always do as well at home with our homework. There are 4 puppies in the class - a chocolate lab, a yellow lab, and a teeny tiny white dog (I'm not sure what it is). They go crazy in the classroom trying to play or sniff each other. That is a little distracting. We have worked on clicker training, sitting without verbally telling him to sit, and walking on the leash without pulling. The last one is the one we're having a problem with. Once he has his leash on, he wants to run and explore. It's hard to get him just to walk beside me. I know I didn't work on it enough this week so tonight's class will be interesting.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cookie Website

M's grandmother sent me this website recently. It has recipes for all kinds of Christmas goodies. I thought I would share it with you.


Max has the hiccups a couple of times each day. I guess according to the old wives' tale that means that he is growing. You can tell by these pictures that he's growing, too. He's still a cutie!

Monday, November 5, 2007

We have a niece!

M's sister had a little girl last Friday. She is our first niece. We have three nephews. We can't wait to meet her. We saw pictures of her for the first time today. She's beautiful! Congratulations to S and D (and little brother C).

Dinner & a Movie

Saturday night we went to dinner and a movie with some of our neighbors. These are the neighbors that came over last weekend for the World Series party. They are about our age and it is really surprising how much we have in common with them (we went on the same cruise for our honeymoons only 5 months apart, M and the guy have similar interests, me and the girl have similar interests, the list goes on and on and we've only visited with them 2 or 3 times). Sunday I met another couple that lives across the street from us. M had met them last weekend while I was getting food ready for our party. They were really friendly and talkative. I am excited to get to know our neighbors. I haven't really done that since I moved out of my parents house (except in the dorm and an apartment in college). I hope that we will be able to build some relationships and have some good times with these folks.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

More about Max

Well, we've made it through our first week as puppy owners. Max has done well, but I had no idea he would be so much work (even though I've been warned by many that a puppy would be). He is becoming a little more active each day. He sleeps a lot as I guess most puppies do. We've heard him bark a couple of times...each time at his reflection in the sliding glass door. Rather than running, he kind of bounces around. He likes to follow us everywhere and likes to lay on our feet when we're sitting down. I took these pictures of him today. I think he's already grown, but I'm not certain. It is much easier to get a good picture of him outside because he is so dark. We've had a busy day and he is sacked out right now under my chair.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Max! Thursday night we went to look at some puppies and decided to get one. We picked him then but didn't pick him up until today. That gave us time to go get everything we would need. I was nervous about picking him up today. I felt like overnight we were becoming "parents." It has been a good day so far. Max is VERY mellow. He has been laying around and napping all day. I hope he'll sleep tonight. He has done very good at using the bathroom in the yard so far. I think we're off to a great start!

Isn't he cute? He's really dark so it has been hard to get a good picture of him. These are the best I have so far.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

World Series Tickets

We did not score World Series tickets! We didn't try very hard. We decided we would rather save the money for a good vacation next year. I ended up trying to get some anyway, but I wasn't supposed to. We decided to have the Sunday School class over Saturday night for a World Series party. I'm not sure if anyone will come yet...I hope so! I will be frantically cleaning and cooking on Saturday if people rsvp to make sure we have enough food and a good variety of food.

I do have a friend that I worked with in Dallas that is coming this weekend for one of the games. She has a friend in Boulder, and they bought tickets on eBay. It would be REALLY fun if I got to see her over the weekend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Country Music

I really get a kick out of listening to music and singing along (even though I don’t want anyone to hear me singing). I like many kinds of music…Christian, country, instrumental, 80s love songs, etc. Thursday night we went to an event that was put on by a local country station to hear music from “the future stars of country.” For $9.69 (for the location of the radio station on the air) we got a dinner from Texas Land & Cattle and the concert where Jypsy, Rissi Palmer, and James Otto performed. It was definitely worth the $20 we paid. The food was not excellent nor was it bad. And the entertainment was good. The first band Jypsy had an unusual sound. The group is 3 sisters and their brother. Their sound is different and the lead singer Lilly May had an incredible voice. Her voice almost sounded like it belonged in Irish music. We both really liked them. It was difficult to hear the words of Rissi Palmer’s songs. I am not sure if it was the venue or what. I had heard a blurb from one of her songs on the radio and completely understood that. We didn’t stay for James Otto although I really wanted to hear him. I have learned over the years that M is not really one for staying until the end of much. I will give him a bit of credit here. He sustained a muscle injury early this summer when he got a concussion that has not completely healed yet. I think he aggravated the injury when he was playing football last Sunday with the community group guys. And then when we did a little bit of dancing Thursday night, it just was not pretty for that injury. So we left early because he was in pain. I certainly can’t blame him for that, can I? It was a fun date night!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

First Snow!

We woke up this morning to the first snow of this winter. There is not much on the ground, and I don't expect it to last long. In fact, it is supposed to be in the 70s again by Wednesday. Even though I am now 30, there is still something magical about the snow. I am glad I can see it as I look out the window from the warm house.

Sushi Last Night

Last night we had a birthday dinner with M's aunt and uncle that live about an hour from us. We met at a sushi place in their city. It is seriously an amazing restaurant. It may be the best sushi I've ever had. It has become a favorite place for us to go when we get together. M's aunt took this picture of us. You will see more pictures of us on this blog because I am starting to take my camera wherever we go. It was a fun night!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I want one of these!

M and I have talked about getting a dog for a really long time. This is really the first place we have lived where we could have one since we were renting before we bought our house. I am tired of talking about it and now want to get one. I am currently reading some books about training and having a puppy. There are a few things we need to take care of before we get a dog run in the yard, put in a doggy door, get rid of some extra furniture that is in the garage, etc. These things are not happening soon enough for me. One of the neighbors we met today has an 11 week old yellow lab. He was PRECIOUS! I wanted to puppy-nap him, but it would be hard to hide since this is one of our neighbors. The kids at this particular house were so cute...they brought out their puppy, then a cat, and then a second cat. Aren't kids just friendly?

I want a puppy!!!

Meeting the Neighbors

We have now lived in our house for almost 9 months. Up until today, we have really only met the neighbors very briefly in 3 houses around ours. I don't want to continue to be one of those people who does not know my neighbors. I really hate that about Americans. We can be so closed off from everyone. So I spent last night making homemade chocolate chip cookies and putting these little containers together so we could entice our neighbors to like us. Most people like food, so I thought if we took them food, they would in turn like us. (That is seriously my thinking...there has got to be something wrong with me, right?) I spent most of the evening coloring the silly little houses on these things. I should have known better, but it was a bit of fun for me. Today we went to the 12 closest houses around ours to meet our neighbors. People were only home at 4 of the houses. I was so disappointed...I almost wanted to cry (I know I am really sensitive - and that I use parenthesis too much as well). We left the boxes on everyone's door step, but that doesn't really help us to meet them. I put our names, address, and phone number on the back side of the paper with the houses on them so that people can reach us if they ever need anything. I guess I can be happy that I did my part to meet people. I have to say it is frustrating though when I, the shy and awkward person, makes the effort and some people just don't care to know their neighbors. Maybe we will be able to develop some relationships here. It will definitely be a long and slow process.

Just after I wrote this, the doorbell rang. Someone who was not home when we dropped off our package earlier stopped by to say hello. M is actually over there right now helping the guy with some of his landscaping. Isn't that cool? So now we have met another neighbor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hubby's Birthday

Yesterday was M's birthday. I hope it was a good one. Birthdays are very special to me, so I try to make it a fun day on his birthday. I took a birthday cake and cupcakes to M's office yesterday around lunch time. He was surprised to see me there. He didn't want a cake this year, but I told him that just wasn't an option. He likes a 3 layer red velvet cake so that's what I made. I ended up making 2 from scratch Monday night because I left out 2 key ingredients in the first one. I realized it as soon as I took it out of the oven. Oops! But the 2nd cake was actually the best I have made so far (this is the 3rd year I've made this for his birthday). It definitely turned out the prettiest of the ones I've made although you can tell from the picture that it is far from perfect.

We went to MacKenzie's Chop House for dinner - which we hadn't been to before. I would definitely recommend it (but none of you reading this live around here). We started with calamari. Then M had a yummy Caesar salad. For the main entree, I had a filet with gorgonzola mashed potatoes and some kind of mushroom and asparagus ragout. It was delicious! M had ostrich with some cucumber strips and a mystery sauce. He liked it but not as much as he liked my steak. Then we finished our meal with cheesecake (which was on the house for his birthday). The service was excellent and the atmosphere was relaxing and romantic. We were going to get all dressed up but decided not to at the last minute. Before M got home, I started trying on dresses to figure out what to wear. I was able to fit very snuggly into a dress I wore on our honeymoon! Even though it didn't look good (because it was so snug), I was ecstatic. I am getting closer to my weight goal each week! I will be able to wear that dress and a few others really soon! When we first started dating, we had our picture taken all the time. We have stopped doing that over the years so my goal is to start doing it again. This is a picture of us last night at dinner. It was a fun evening!

The First Snow on Pikes Peak

There is definitely a chill in the air now. Monday we woke up to snow at the top of Pikes Peak. It was the first day there has been snow at the top. It is beautiful so I had M take a picture of it for you. Isn't it breathtaking with the sunrise?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Great Weekend

M and I had a great weekend. This is the beginning of his birthday week. Tuesday is his birthday. So we found a breakfast buffet in town for breakfast on Saturday. He LOVES buffets! He really enjoys a plethera of flavors in one meal. He doesn't get that much at home so he enjoys findinga really good breakfast buffet. One of the best places we have been to is Mondo's in Dallas. If you are ever in Dallas, you should check this place out. Their regular meals are good, but their Sunday morning brunch is excellent...even after going to church they still have lots of good food out all day.

Both M and I have a hard time waking up on Sunday morning. We definitely want to go to church, especially now that we have found one we look forward to attending. But the warm bed and darkness outside make us want to continue sleeping. After winning the battle with the bed yesterday, we had a great Sunday. We went to church and actually got to visit with some folks in our Sunday school class, or "community" as they call it. Then yesterday afternoon, the community got together at the park so the guys could play football. We were supposed to have a picnic after the football game. The girls wimped out because it was pretty cold so we went to one of the couple's houses until the guys were finished playing. We had an opportunity to visit with several couples and really had a good time. We are desperate for good, deep relationships with other believers. We have been without this (at least locally) for almost 2 1/2 years now. I hope this was the beginning of several of those relationships. I also made a few connections with people who have family in Amarillo. What a small world!

Apparently, my nephews also had a good weekend. They play just about every sport that is available where they live. The oldest who is 10 has been playing in tennis tournaments for probably the last year and has played in a lot over the last summer. His brother who is 6 decided he wanted to play in a tennis tournament as well. They have both been taking tennis lessons since they were 4 or so. (My brother and his wife have played tennis most of their lives. They played on their college team and were both ranked number 1 in their division. They are really good.) Anyway, the 6 year old played in a local tennis tournament this weekend. He played doubles, and his partner was a 4th grader who is just learning tennis. My brother said it was hilarious and that the 6 year old had a blast. I can't wait to see pictures. I won't see the not-so-little guys until Christmas. I can't wait to ask the youngest about the tennis tournament. He has great expressions so I definitely want to ask him about it in person rather than over the phone. I can't wait to see them!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ramblings about Simpler Times

I am really thankful for many of the technological advances I enjoy...central heat and air in my home, heat and air in my car, my car, microwave ovens, washers and dryers, toilets that flush, a timed system to water my yard, etc. I could go on and on.

However, sometimes I wish we could go back a bit to simpler times. Wouldn't it be great if Sunday was a day to rest and spend time with family...and that everyone could and would do so? I understand the interest for stores and restaurants to be open to make an extra buck that day. But I still wish people sat on their front porch and really knew their neighbors...didn't that used to be the "norm"?

Right now, I drive be hundreds if not thousands of acres of land on my way to work. On one side of the road, there is a herd or two of antelope. They are beautiful, and so far I haven't seen that any have been hit on the road. On the other side of the road are a bunch of horses...I would say 50 to 75 in all. Each day when I drive "into town", I get so much joy seeing these animals. They always bring a smile to my face (even after living here for about 9 months). But I know one day, most of that land will be developed for either homes or retail shops or maybe both. And when that happens, I will miss my antelope and horse friends.

When my mom was a kid, they were very poor as were most of the people they knew. My mom said the 6 kids weren't really aware they had it so bad (in more than just monetary ways). Their mom made things fun for them. They played games, they made candy, and they just spent time together. Listening to their stories, they were very imaginative kids. They didn't have tv, an Xbox, or a Nintendo, or maybe even a bicycle. Yet they definitely were not missing out on anything those toys can provide. They had a home full of love and joy.

If there are ever kids in my home, I wonder what kind of parent I will be. How will I teach them about what really matters in life? How do you make sure they have what they need without giving in to everything they want? How do you teach them to have a thankful heart and to appreciate more than just things?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It burned!!

I was so disappointed when I got home from work on Tuesday. I planned very well and started dinner in my crock pot so we could have a nice, warm, yummy dinner when we got home. Well, that didn't happen. My dinner burned. I completely followed the directions. Now I am left wondering if my crock pot is too hot or if there is some other problem. I am going to have to use it over the weekend while I am home so I can keep an eye on it. It would be a wonderful solution to busy nights after work. Please let my crock pot work!!!


You gotta love baseball playoff time. It has already been cut a bit short this year because 3 series ended in sweeps and the 4th series only went to 4 games (it was the best out of 3 games). Even though my team is not in the playoffs, again, I really enjoy watching the playoffs. And it is a bit sweeter since our local team is in the playoffs. They are playing the Diamondbacks right now and are ahead 5 to 1. I would LOVE to go to the World Series, but I bet you just about have to donate a kidney to get tickets. If the Rockies beat Arizona, you can bet I will either be online or in a line outside trying to buy tickets.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Doesn't anyone take pride in their work anymore?

Our builder made the first mistake, but our landscaper did not do anything to help the situation.

Our house was built too low. How does this happen, you might be asking (at least, I have asked that question multiple times)? I don't know how to answer that. Our home builder does not employ the fellows who do the actual building of houses. They hire contractors. Our floor plan is one of the most popular floor plans for this builder so it is likely that the same folks who built our house have built at least dozens just like it. However, somehow this time the house was built too low. What does this mean? Well...when you stand across the street from our house, it is obvious that the house is lower than the sidewalk next to it...resulting in drainage issues. Water stands in areas of our yard. The landscaper did not help the problem when he put in our grass, but the builder admitted fault and paid the landscaper to correct the problem(s). This was done almost 2 weeks ago. We are not sure the problem is fixed yet, but I certainly hope it is.

What has happened to our work ethic (and I say "our" because I know I am not the perfect employee either)? Do you realize that at the time the Statue of Liberty was built, there were no airplanes? That means that the people who worked on the Statue of Liberty did not know that one day we would be able to see the very top of the Statue. Even though they did not know that, they completed the and all on top. That to me is the epitemy (did I spell that right?) of good work ethic. I don't see that much today. Everything is about getting things done the quickest way so there is as much profit as possible. It doesn't matter if we cut corners or do less than we are capable of.

Every time I think of work ethic, I think of Joseph in the Old Testament. Joseph went through countless trials but always seemed to be put in charge of this or that. The Bible says that Joseph worked as unto the Lord in all he did. That challenges me, inspires me, and really makes me think about my own work and work ethic. Am I living up to that standard? Is God pleased in the effort I give to my job? I am an accountant. The work I do does not amount to much in the big picture. But can I glorify God working as an accountant? I have to believe that I can...but I am not sure that I do. I used to have that scripture posted in my office. I think I need to do that again so I am constantly reminded of my place on this earth. The purpose of my own life on this earth is to glorify God. God, help me to remember this and to make this my aim.

Friday, October 5, 2007

My Newest Journal

I generally carry at least 3 notebooks/journals/day planners around with me to keep track of appointments, my to-do list, etc. I have no idea why I do that, but I am definitely a list maker. I used to remember EVERYTHING. These days, I am lucky if I can remember something long enough to write it down as a reminder. I have no idea what happened to me in that area. Anyway, I recently purchased a new notebook/journal. I decided that I would try to combine all my notebooks into one. I thought it would help if I made it cute and fun to use. This is what I came up with. I'll have to see how it works out. It may be too fru-fru for me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Things are changing...and it's not just the leaves

I know things are always changing, but there are going to be some big changes on my team at work in the next weeks and probably over the next two years. Until a couple of weeks ago, my immediate team at work had 5 people on it. It has been good to be a small team and we have worked through some issues over the past year. Being a small team helped that process. We have made so much progress since March. It has been unbelievable really. In the past two weeks we have hired an additional 7 people and will be hiring at least 1 more person. I think we have made good hiring decisions with these folks, but I guess only time will tell. We recently merged with another company and my region will be going from 10 stores to 31 stores. It is a lot of growth overnight. It is an exciting time period, but it has also been stressful. I am not completely resistant to change, but I think this has impacted me more than I anticipated. I am questioning all kinds of things now. I currently work in a different location than the rest of my team. I have been doing so since January. I am VERY thankful that I can work close to home. The office is 100+ miles from my house. That is not a feasible drive to make each day. However, I had no idea how hard it would be to be separated from my team. Some days are lonely...and I expect it will be hard to get to know my new teammates over the distance. I am hopeful that things will go well though. The situation has caused me to really think about my position, what I like about it, what I really think about it, etc.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Anyone use a crock pot?

I keep telling M that I am going to start using our crock pot so that dinner can be ready when we get home from work. However, I haven't started using it yet. Do you use your crock pot? Do you have any good recipes? I have a bunch of recipes...I just haven't used any of them yet. Maybe this will be the week I start using it. It sure seems like the fall and winter would be good times to use it. That way we can have something warm to eat when we come in from the cold.

It hasn't gotten cold yet, but I know it is coming soon. It has been in the high 40s and 50s at night, but the days have still been in the 70s and 80s. I really like this time of year...although I really like all the seasons. The cooler weather makes me want to wear sweaters, sip hot chocolate, and go to a high school football game. We don't know anyone in high school around here, but we may have to go to a football game just so I can satisfy that desire. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rocky Mountain National Park

M and I decided late this week that we wanted to drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park to see the colors changing in the trees. We drove a total of 280 miles today so it is not a close place to visit, but it's not too far either. The weather was a little misty and cool (in the low 50s or high 40s at some points). It even snowed on us for just a couple of minutes while we were in the park. I think we would have seen more if it had been a clear day. One of the roads through the park is already closed. It generally is closed from mid-October through June. We'll have to go next summer so we can drive all the way through the park and take some better pictures.

On our way out of the park, we finally saw a herd of elk. We had hoped to hear some bugeling. M said he heard the male bugel, but I missed it. It was really fun to see them and to be so close to them. Neither of us think we have seen elk before. As we were leaving Estes Park (which is really close to the park), the elk were all over the place. There were some just lying on the ground under a tree at a lake that was right off the highway. It would be nuts to live there and see elk in the middle of town. I was thrilled to see them and that we got some close pictures of them.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Have you ever tried to do something you really wanted to do, and just couldn't do it? I had that experience yesterday. I really want to be able to sew...and to sew well. My mother has amazing talent for sewing. You would not believe all the stuff she has made over the years. Obviously, she has a lot of experience with it and started at the beginning herself. But everything I work on, I compare it to her work. Mostly, I would just be happy if I made something I could wear. I have made a pair of pj pants. They are not perfect, but I can wear them this winter.

All week I had an idea of what my weekend was going to look like. I was not going to clean or pick up the house or do any work, I just wanted to work on my sewing (which I haven't picked up since before Christmas), beading, scrapbooking, and reading. I took a sewing class last fall, but it was only two classes. I definitely need more than that so I am looking for some classes to take right now. I started a project that I am sure is out of my league, but I tried to move forward on it yesterday anyway. All that happened was that I got frustrated...very frustrated. Apparently I was already feeling emotional because that just fueled the engine driving the tears from my ducts. Poor M, he puts up with a lot from me sometimes. And wouldn't you know, nothing he tried could console me. Do you ever have days like that? Thankfully, I came back around before the afternoon was over and we had a fun day together. The weekend just didn't turn out like I had planned, but it was a nice, relaxing weekend.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Very Excited!!

Last night I decided that I needed to try on some old clothes to see what will fit now that I have lost 19 pounds. I cannot remember the last time I was at this weight so I was excited to see what clothes have now made it back into my wardrobe.

I am able to fit into this red dress that I wore in Scotland for M's sister's wedding. (Doesn't M look great in his kilt? I have such great memories of this time. What a neat opportunity to go to Scotland for the wedding.) I have only worn the dress one time, and it was at the end of May in 2004. The dress is a little snug, but I will definitely be able to wear it soon. We are going to have to get all gussied up and go on a date when I can wear it. That is something to look forward to. After the motivation I have had recently (including being able to fit into this dress), I know that I can reach my goal by December 31. The holidays will be challenging, but I am up for a good challenge (at least today I am).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Soft Water

We have really soft water where we live - softer than any water I have ever used as far as I know. We have now been here almost 8 months. Over that time period, I have been trying different shampoos and conditioners. I have not found any yet that work well with this water. They all make my hair too soft. And since my hair is too soft, it does not have much body and it is hard to style.

Do you have any suggestions? I have tried everything from organic shampoos at Whole Foods to Pantene. I think I have already asked my hair dresser. She didn't have any ideas for me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cleaning for a Fun Weekend

It is amazing how quickly I can clean the house when I have time constraints. My parents and my brother were here for the weekend. I spent the week running around cleaning like mad. I got everything done just in time. My parents came Thursday night and stayed until Monday morning. My brother flew in Saturday around noon and we dropped him off at a hotel Sunday afternoon for a conference he is attending this week. It was a nice weekend. And even though we were not busy, I am really tired right now. I hope I will be able to "catch up" before the weekend. We haven't worked out since last Wednesday so we need to hit the gym this evening.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bender Ball

Don't laugh at me...

Several weeks ago, M and I saw a sort of infomercial for the Bender Ball. It is used to do abdominal exercises. I am a sucker for a gimick (I don't think I spelled that right - and this is not an invitation to try to sell me something) so I ordered it. It was only $20. I am SO out of shape and have no abdominal muscles so I figured I couldn't be any worse off than I was at that moment.

I am really impressed with this Bender Ball. I have only used it a handful of times, but I definitely think I am working my abs like I'm supposed to. I was always one of those that ended up having a sore neck from doing crunches...obviously I was straining my neck instead of tightening my abs. Anyway, I would say it was definitely worth my $20. Go Bender Ball!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I LOVE the local library

M and I went from living in a city with a tiny library that never had what we wanted to a city with a great library. I have really enjoyed checking out books the last few months. I like to read, but I don't generally read a book more than once.

I recently checked out "When I Lay My Isaac Down" by Carol Kent. I heard Carol speak at a Women of Faith conference a couple of years ago and had wanted to read her book then, but I just recently remembered it. It was an incredibly personal account of her and her family's life. My faith has not been tested like her's. It was moving to fact, I had tears in my eyes several times.

On another note, M and I went to see 3:10 to Yuma this weekend. We really enjoyed it. It is a Western similar to the old Westerns. M thought it was better than Open Range...I just thought it was different. Isn't it interesting that movies and tv shows today are criticized for being so violent? What about all the Westerns that have been around forever? Maybe those didn't affect (I never know when to use "affect" and "effect") people the way movies do now because it was generally the bad guys getting what was coming to them. Anyhow, I enjoyed the movie. I would recommend it if you're into Westerns at all.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Church Today

Today we visited a church for the second Sunday in a row (at least the second Sunday we have been in town in a row). We tried a new Sunday School or "community" today. We really received the warmest welcome we have received at any church in the past two years...even when we answered someone by saying we were from Texas. I'm not sure if you know this, but people here HATE Texans. It is the most ridiculous thing in my opinion, but it's true. This guy today was very excited and told us about several people he knows from Texas that are very dear to him. It was very kind and we really "needed" to hear that from someone after being beat down all the time since we are from Texas.

Anyway, it was a good Sunday and I was so glad to be worshipping in the house of God.

Friday, September 7, 2007

3 Sherriff's Deputies

Three sherriff's deputies just left my house. They rang the doorbell while I was downstairs. I missed them at the front door, but then they banged on the back door. I opened it up, and the first deputy told me I would not believe this.

Apparently, a lady from UPS dropped a package at our front door today. She smelled something that she thought was a dead body. So they came out to look around. They came in and searched the house. I think she smelled some bug spray that M sprayed a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, they obviously didn't find anything.

They also talked to at least one of our neighbors who told them they hadn't seen us in a couple of weeks. I am not sure who they talked to, but we have definitely seen our next door neighbor because they put some UPS packages in the garage for us while we were out of town for Labor Day.

I do believe this is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me. I still can't believe that even happened. How interesting...

Labor Day Fun

We spent the long weekend in Chicago and then in Michigan (I know that is a bit vague, but we went to 2 little towns in Michigan that you probably haven't heard of) for M's family reunion. We also celebrated his grandfather's 90th birthday. I have now been to a reunion for his dad's side of the family and his mom's side of the family. It was fun to see some people we haven't seen in a long time. All of M's aunts and uncles were there (even his aunt from his dad's side). It was also fun to see S and her family (M's sister). She is expecting a baby girl in November. This will be our first niece, and I am really looking forward to buying girlie things for her.
We were exhausted when we got home Monday night. Even though it has been a short work week, it has been a tiring week. I went to Salt Lake City for a quick trip for work. We have 4 new stores there so I went to meet the accounting folks that work there. Everyone was so friendly. I had never been to Utah before. I thought what I saw was beautiful. Maybe I'll go back another day and have time to explore a little more.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

House Picture

Several people have asked to see a picture of our house. I just took some this week. Here is the outside of our house and the kitchen. I LOVE the kitchen. We have now been in our home 7 months. Enjoy!

My "Special" Night

I have had a really busy week. This is the week we close the books at work so it is my busiest week of the month. Since I helped out at another location the first of this week, I had less time than normal to get my stuff done. I will be done on time tomorrow though. M called me on his way home from work and asked me if I was going to be done tomorrow. When I told him yes, he told me that I deserved something special because I had been working so hard. So we ate dinner at Carl's Jr. I know that doesn't sound special at all, but it truly is the thought that counts in this instance. There are VERY few places to eat out where we live and we were both almost home. So we ate at Carl's Jr. Isn't that fun?

Speaking of fun...about a week ago I was in the office of the manager where I work. He is a really nice Christian man, and we were just visiting because I hadn't seen him in a long time. Another girl came into his office, and he shut the door. He told her that I was also a believer (there are not many where I work...a very liberal organization). She immediately hugged me! I don't know why that struck me as being so funny, but I really enjoyed meeting her and knowing that she is a fellow believer. I think because I am not around Christians often, I really cherish the time that I am around someone who is.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Isn't peace a wonderful thing? Now, I am not talking about peace as the world defines peace (how do they even know what peace is?). I am talking about true peace that can only come from the Prince of Peace Himself.

I was recently contemplating applying for a new job within my company. It is a job that I REALLY want and have been working toward for a couple of years now. In fact, at the moment it seems to be the only step in a forward direction. There are many pros to having this job, but I found just as many cons. I talked with several people who encouraged me to apply for the job and were completely sincere in their support of my moving in that direction. That felt great and I thought for a time that was a confirmation that I should go for it.

Then I paused to think about what it is that I really want. I want to enjoy my job, and somehow find a way to glorify God as I sit at my computer all day (When contemplating this, I often think about Joseph who always "worked as unto the Lord"-whether he was in prison or working as a house servant.). But I also want to enjoy my family...even if there are only two of us right now. I want to come home from work and be the best "housewife" I can be. I want to put a good, healthy dinner on the table and take care of my home. It finally hit me that this was a much better aim for me at this time. I would not say I am old-fashioned by any means, but I do feel like I am responsible for keeping a clean, comfortable home (M thinks I am crazy for this).

So where before I was changing my mind every other minute about this decision, now I am at peace with staying where I least for now (isn't that just like me to leave this open in case I change my mind?).

Movie & Book Review

M and I rented Because I Said So last night (with Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore). I had been wanting to see it since it came out in theaters. I must say I was really disappointed. I won't spoil anything, but it wasn't what I expected. There was a lot about sex and the mother drove me absolutely crazy! I guess I didn't really know what the story was from the trailers.

I recently finished reading Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks. I really like his books and have read most, if not all, of them now. I have always wondered why his books are a bit sappy and really sad...this book explains a bit about that. This book is about 3 weeks he spent with his brother (aren't I brilliant to have figured that out?). It was an interesting book, and I learned about some different places around the world.

I was going to ask for suggestions on good books to read. I just got a long list from a friend today. I am headed to the library tomorrow to see what I can find. We are going to Michigan this weekend for a family reunion. I figure this will be a good time not only for some r&r but also for some reading.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Good (but very short) Weekend

This was a fun and very short weekend. We went to a party Friday night for M's boss and another guy from work's birthday. They both turned 40 recently. It was a lot of fun and I visited with some folks I haven't seen in a long time.

Saturday I had to work half day and M helped a guy from work move into his new house. We went out to dinner and then headed home for some r&r.

Sunday, we visited a church we haven't been to in a while. We have now lived here for a little over 2 years without a church home. It has been miserable at times. This is the first time in my life that I have no Christian friends to hang around. We spend most of our time with non-Christians. It has been interesting and God has taught me a lot about my own pride and "self-righteousness." Anyway, the church service was really great. We were both so thankful to be there and have hope that this could be a church home for us. It is still early to tell, but things are looking good right now. We won't be able to go back for a couple of weeks...we are going to be out of town this weekend and then have company two weekends in a row. But we are looking forward to going back there...that is a feeling we haven't had in a long time.

After church, I had to rush home so I could make it to work. I don't work on the weekends very often, but I am filling in for someone who took off for her daughter's wedding. It has been fun because I am doing something I don't normally do. It has been a little bit of a challenge but a fun challenge.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

So M told me I was a liar after reading my last post. So I must now tell the truth.

M did not get a sunburn because he was only using 4 SPF sunscreen. He got a sunburn because he only applied the 4 SPF sunscreen once during the day.

There...the truth has been set free. I feel better now.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Soaking up the Sun

We went to a water park with some friends this weekend. We were there the entire time it was open from 10 to 6. I don't remember the last time I went to a water park and I really don't remember going down any water slides so maybe I've never been before. I had a lot of fun! It was crowded in the afternoon and there were lines all over the place. It was really fun though. I thought it was funny that they called the slides "rides." My favorite "ride" consisted of sitting on an innertube with M, going into a dark bowl, and going down like you were in a toilet bowl. It was dark so you didn't know where you were going or what was happening. In fact, I went on two or three rides that were very similar. I think I laughed the whole time. We will definitely have to go back next summer. M didn't think the rides were exhilirating enough, but they were just right for me. I can't believe we were there 8 hours. M is a bit sunburned today, but since I am Little Miss 30 SPF I am not hurting today (he is Mr 4 SPF - what does 4 even do for you? He's got that good skin that actually turns tan rather than paste-y white.).

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fun Friday

M has been given every other Friday off recently but hasn't actually taken off work for any of them. So I decided he needed to take his free Friday this week. I took off work as well so we could do something fun together. We decided to play golf (when I say "we", I really mean M and a friend played while I watched and took pictures). I took a few lessons last summer so I wanted to hit a couple of balls as well. My shots were terrible, but I had a really good time and the day was perfect for playing golf. I have attached a few pictures of our day at the golf course. When we got to the 5th or 6th hole, we saw this antelope. I got as close as I could before he took off. He was just wandering through the golf course. Doesn't the golf course look beautiful against the mountains?
After we were finished, we ate a quick lunch and went to see the movie Stardust. It was a little slow at times, but generally it was a good movie and we enjoyed ourselves.
A huge thunderstorm was coming when we got out of the theater. We got home right before it hit our house. At one point, it sounded like the lightning hit just across the street. It was a crazy storm, but our grass could definitely use the rain.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Oldest, Dearest Friend

I keep losing my blog!

Julie is my oldest and dearest friend. We have been friends almost all our lives. We can go months without talking and pick up right where we left off. I think our friendship is unique in that we are so different, yet the one thing we have always had in common and that binds us together is our faith. Julie is the most fit person I have ever known and has been gracious enough to help me with a workout program in hopes that I will lose my round shape (she's my own long-distance personal trainer).

These pictures are of us growing up. The black and white picture was taken the month before I turned 3. Aren't we cute? This picture is one of my most prized possessions. I get a thrill each time I look at it. Julie gave it to me right before I got married. I am so happy to have it! She has always been a true friend and I am so thankful for her.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Company Picnic

We went to M's company picnic on Saturday for a bit. There were a lot of games and slides for the kiddos to play on but not much for adults. We had a good time visiting with folks though so that was fun. It was a beautiful, yet warm (close to 100) day. Then we came home and M mowed the lawn while I pulled weeds. I must say that I have enjoyed pulling weeds the two times I have done so at the house. I don't really enjoy pulling the weeds, but it is fun to have a house with a yard.

Here's a picture of us at the picnic. We don't seem to take many pictures of us anymore so I've decided to start taking the camera when we do fun stuff. That way we can look back and see what we looked like. Plus, I just really like pictures of us!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Catching Up

Recently, I got the bug to start scrapbooking again. I didn't realize how long it had been since I have worked on my scrapbook. I pretty much stopped while studying for the CPA exam and didn't pick it up again until last weekend - I started with the end of 2005. I bought some new embellishments on Friday so I have been enjoying using those. I have had a really good time and am pleased with how some of the pages turned out. I got some fun ideas from a couple of magazines I checked out from the library. I feel like a kid with a new toy!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Cirque du Soleil

Matthew and I recently went to our fourth Cirque du Soleil performance. We have now seen Alegria, Mystere, Varekai, and most recently Corteo. The shows are really fascinating (at least I think so). The performers are incredible and the music is beautiful. If you haven't seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you should check out their website. It really is a beautiful experience!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Vacation in Seattle

We took a vacation to Seattle, WA in July to visit our friends Nathan and Melinda. Melinda and I had a ball doing the touristy stuff around Seattle (went to Snoqualmie Falls; went downtown to the Flight Museum, Air Park, Pacific Science Center, saw the painted pigs downtown, and went to a Mariners game; went to Victoria and Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island; drove to Deception Pass and Whidbey Island) while the guys hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. Here are some of my favorite pictures.