Monday, December 21, 2009

Movie Quote Monday: Christmas Edition Part Four

For the final edition of the Christmas Edition of Movie Quote Monday, I am going to focus on my all time favorite Christmas movie: The Muppet Christmas Carol.  This is my favorite telling of the story.  The movie follows the story line well, but also makes it a little less scary for children.  I also think that Micheal Caine did a wonderful job as Scrooge.

Vegetables (singing about Scrooge): If he became a flavor you can bet he would be sour. Yuck!
Muppet Man: Even the vegetables don't like him!


 Fozziwig: Here is my Christmas speech. "Thank you all, and Merry Christmas."
Jacob Marley: That was the speech?
Robert Marley: It was dumb!
Jacob Marley: It was obvious!
Robert Marley: It was pointless!
Jacob Marley: It was...
[turns to Robert]
Jacob Marley: short!
Jacob Marley, Robert Marley: I loved it!
 Robert Marley: We were always heckling you.
Jacob Marley: It's good to be heckling again.
Robert Marley: It's good to be doing anything again.
 Kermit the Frog: If you please Mr. Scrooge, it's gotten colder and the bookkeeping staff would like an extra shovel full of coal for the fire.
Rat #1: All of your pens have turned to inkcicles.
Rat #2: Our assets are frozen.
Ebenezer Scrooge: How would the bookkeeping staff like to be suddenly... UNEMPLOYED?
Rats: [singing] HEAT WAVE. This is my island in the sun.
 Sam the Eagle: [talking to young Scrooge about business] You see, business, it is the AMERICAN WAY!
Gonzo: [whispers] Sam, Sam, come here
[whispers correctively]
Sam the Eagle: Oh... It is the BRITISH WAY
Young Scrooge: Yes, sir.
 Rizzo the Rat: This is scary stuff! Shouldn't we be worried about the kids in the audience?
Gonzo: Oh, no, this is culture!
  Ebenezer Scrooge: I'll see you tomorrow at 8.
Kermit the Frog: But sir, tomorrow's Christmas.
Ebenezer Scrooge: 8:30 then.
Kermit the Frog: Sir, half an hour off hardly seems customary on Christmas Day
Ebenezer Scrooge: How much is customary?
Kermit the Frog: The whole day.
Ebenezer Scrooge: The entire day?
Rats: No. that's the frog's idea

Can a person ever go wrong with the Muppets?  Usually not.  This was the first movie made without Jim Henson as the voice of Kermit.  Despite his absence, the creators did a good job with the production of the story.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Final List of Fifteen

I was going to post some pictures from our wedding, but I need Matt to help with the process and we just have not had the time to accomplish this task.  Hopefully someday soon I will get the pictures posted.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Activities We Enjoy

Almost done with my fifteen lists of fifteen.  Matt and I have been fortunate in that we enjoy doing many of the same activities.  There are some activities that we like to do that before we were married, I don't know if I would have even attempted.

Fifteen Activities We Enjoy
1. Watching movies
2. Reading books
3. Riding bikes
4. Taking pictures
5. Hiking
6. Spending time outdoors
7. Bowling
8. Tennis
9. Traveling
10. Spending time with our little brother and sister
11. Eating at On the Border
12. Playing games
13. Playing with our dogs
14. Going to college basketball games
15. Spending time with family and friends

Monday, December 14, 2009

Movie Quote Monday: Christmas Edition Part Three

Today's movie is a more recent Christmas movie, but one that is already a bit of a Christmas classic.  I would have to say that the movie Elf is probably one of Will Ferrell's best films.

Buddy: We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

Buddy: I just like to smile, smiling's my favorite

Santa: I've been to New York thousands of times.
Buddy: Really?
Santa: Mm-hmm.
Buddy: What's it like?
Santa: Well, there are some things you should know. First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn't free candy.
Buddy: Oh.
Santa: Second, there are, like, thirty Ray's Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one's on 11th. And if you see a sign that says "Peep Show", that doesn't mean that they're letting you look at the new toys before Christmas.


[reacting to sign saying "World's Best Cup of Coffee"]
Buddy: You did it! Congratulations! World's best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody! It's great to be here.


On of the reasons why I enjoy this movie is that it truly is family friendly.  I was not quite sure what to expect from Will Ferrell, so it was not until recently that I finally watched this movie.  It often seems like there is at least one scene in his movies that tend to ruin the movie (at least for me it does), but this movie avoided that fate.

15 Fifteens: Fifteen People Who Attended Our Wedding

Coming up with a list of 15 fifteens has been a little more difficult that I thought it might be.  Here is list of fifteen people who were at our wedding.  It has been surprising how many people who attend our wedding that have moved away or started attending another church

Fifteen People Who Attended Our Wedding

1. Chuck and Kelly Wilson
2. Jennifer Kruse (Lancaster)
3. Tracy Egdorf (Booker)
4. Richard and DaVonna Kraybill
5. Grady and Janet Landrum
6. Steve Smith
7. Lois Froese
8. Brad Anderson
9.  Kevin Taylor
10. Mark and Mandi Corliss
11. Nicole Callahan (Peterson)
12. David and Rena Hixon
13. Bill and De Paris
14. Lori Riter
15. Kent and Stephanie Thomas

I avoided adding family members to the list since we would obviously still have contact with them.  Only the first seven people on the list are people who attended our wedding who we still have regular face to face contact with.  The remaining people on the list are people who have moved away since our wedding.  I found it interesting to see how many of our co-workers attended our wedding and how many people I had completely forgotten about.  Of course, I do not remember much about the people at our wedding since I was a little preoccupied at the time.

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Wishes for the Future

We have had fifteen blessed years together, and hopefully we will have many more fifteens in our future.

Fifteen Wishes for the Future
1. For many more years together
2. For the safe delivery of our first child
3. For wisdom to know how best to raise our daughter
4. For opportunities to encourage other married couples
5. For continued growth in the Lord individually and together
6. For opportunities to serve the Lord together
7. For continued good health
8. For more opportunities to travel
9. For opportunities to encourage one another
10. For opportunities to build stronger relationships with our extended family
11. For continued employment for Matt
12. For the long life of our parents
13. For the same marital blessings for our sisters
14. For continued friendships with those we have known all these years
15. For the continued blessing of God's presence in our lives

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Ways We Have Been Blessed

God has always been a part of our relationship, and He has blessed us in many ways.  Here is a short list of 15 ways He has blessed our life together.

Fifteen Ways We Have Been Blessed
1. We have a loving, supportive family
2. Our parents have remained married to one another
3. Our families get along well with one another
4. We have not had any major illnesses
5. We have always had employment
6. We have always had a place to live
7. We still have some good friends we have known the entire time since we have been married
8. We belong to a supportive church family
9. We have not had any major injuries
10. We have had the opportunity to go on some trips together
11. We have many of the same interests
12. We have different strengths that complement one another
13. We have always had plenty of food to eat
14. We have had fifteen happy years together

While at times we might have our disagreements, for the most part we have gotten along very well and these fifteen years have gone by very quickly.

Friday, December 11, 2009

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Reasons Why I Love My Husband

The longer I am married to Matt, the more I love him.  It is difficult to imagine life with out him.

Fifteen Reasons Why I Love My Husband

1. He makes me laugh
2. He is very intelligent
3. He is patient
4. He is a hard worker
5. He loves the Lord
6. He is creative
7. He has a good sense of humor
8. He is faithful
9. He is considerate of my needs
10. He doesn't complain about my cooking
11. He knows his limits
12. He puts up with my hormonal mood swings
13. He does not have unrealistic expectations
14. He cares for his family
15. He's been very supportive of my schooling and work

Thursday, December 10, 2009

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Interesting Pieces of Information about our Wedding

Every wedding has its stories; fortunately we did not have any major dramatic events happen at our ceremony.

Fifteen Interesting Pieces of Information about our Wedding
1. My mom made my dress and the bridesmaids dresses
2. We used silk flowers and my maid of honor's mother put the bouquets together
3. Our cake came from Leekers
4. I was married the day before one of my coworkers and we shared the same photographer
5. My uncle, who was getting ready to retire from the Navy, surprised us by coming to town for the wedding
6. A friend from high school showed up during the rehearsal because she had the wrong day for the wedding.  She did not come back for the real deal.
7. I wanted to get married at Christmas time so my aunt and uncle could sing O Holy Night at our wedding
8. Matt wrote a song for me that he played at the wedding (one of his groomsmen did the singing)
9. I was the flower girl at the wedding of the mother of my flower girl
10. We had people throw wheat after the ceremony.  The wheat was part of the last crop harvested by my grandfather before he died.
11. We were engaged for 10 months (Matt proposed on Valentine's Day)
12. We had dated a little over a year before we got engaged
13. We went to New Orleans for our honeymoon
14. When I asked one of my cousins if she would like to be the guest book attendant, she thought I asked her to be the gas pump attendant
15. My mother-in-law almost went into shock when she found out that she would need to walk up the aisle and sit at the front of the auditorium. 

Like I said, we did  not have any major hiccups or problems with our wedding.  The biggest surprise was the arrival of my uncle, but that was a good surprise.  We kept our ceremony simple and I would not trade it for the world.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Gifts We Received

This was originally going to be fifteen gifts we received for our wedding that we still use, but I'm not sure if I can come up with a total of 15 items. 

15 Gifts We Received

1. Washer and Dryer (we were still using them until this summer)
2. Mattress and box springs
3. Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker (an item that we did not register for but has come in handy)
4. A crystal pitcher
5. A glass serving tray that Matt received from his boss at NuWay
6. Our china (even though right now it is sitting in a box in our attic)
7. A set of glasses that go with our china
8. Our flatware
9. Revere ware Knife set (which I used until just a year ago)
10. A crystal bowl from one of my co-workers at the pharmacy
11. A Pampered Chef bread knife (although at the time I did not know it was a PC knife)
12. Crystal salt and pepper shaker
13. Waffle Iron
14. Coleman Cooler
15. Bath towels (though they are now typically used as rags)

It is pretty amazing how many items we still use are actually items that we did not really think to ask for.  Many of the nice crystal serving pieces were items that we did not ask for, but I have appreciated having them over the years.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Changes

Okay, since I listed what circumstances had stayed the same, I thought I had better list some of the changes today.

Fifteen Changes

1. We have moved three times
2. Matt graduated with his Bachelor's in General Studies
3. I graduated with my Bachelor's and Master's in English
4. My middle sister moved to Dallas
5. My grandmother died
6. I have changed jobs four times
7. We found out that we are expecting a baby
8. We now watch our television programs through our computer
9. Digital television has become a standard
10. We own three dogs
11. We've both become more committed to working out and taking care of ourselves
12. Reality television has taken over the airways
13. There have just been three presidents
14. It's more difficult to travel by airplane
15. We now watch movies and purchase songs via the Internet

Some have said that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  I would say that this holds true for our marriage.  We have been fortunate in that we have not had to deal with many major changes.  In fact, our lives have been fairly mundane and that is okay with me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Movie Quote Monday: Christmas Edition Part Two

Time for the second Christmas movie as we count down the weeks until Christmas.  It is hard to believe that Christmas is only 18 days away.  I'd better get busy shopping!

Enjoy this week's movie selection quotes:

This movie came out in 1990 and is a good film that both kids and adults can enjoy.

Kevin McCallister: This house is so full of people it makes me sick. When I grow up and get married, I'm living alone.

Kevin McCallister: So give it a shot, for your granddaughter anyway. I'm sure she misses you and the presents.
Marley: I send her a check.
Kevin McCallister: I wish my grandparents did that. They always send me clothes. Last year I got a sweater with a big bird knitted on it.
Marley: That's nice.
Kevin McCallister: Not for a guy in the second grade. You can get beat up for wearing something like that. Yeah, I had a friend who got nailed because there was a rumor he wore dinosaur pajamas.

Kevin McCallister: Is this toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association?
Clerk: Well, I don't know. It doesn't say, hon.
Kevin McCallister: Well, could you please find out?

Kevin McCallister: I took a shower washing every body part with actual soap; including all my major crevices; including in between my toes and in my belly button which I never did before but sort of enjoyed. I washed my hair with adult formula shampoo and used cream rinse for that just-washed shine. I can't seem to find my toothbrush, so I'll pick one up when I go out today. Other than that, I'm in good shape. __________________________________________________________________

Looking at the quotes for this movie, I realized that the reason we enjoy Home Alone so much is not so much for the memorable quotes but for the quality of the movie itself.  I usually do not enjoy movies with bumbling characters, but both Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern do an outstanding job of portraying a couple of unlikeable crooks that as the viewer I do not mind seeing them suffer for their actions.

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Things that Have Stayed the Same

Fortunately, our life together has not been filled with many changes. 

1. We've always lived in Wichita
2. We've attended the same church
3. Our church still has the same pastor
4. Matt has worked at the same job
5. We don't have any children (yet ;o)
6. We, of course, are still married
7. Our parents are still with us and still with each other
8. We still prefer Macs over PCs
9. Wichita State still does not have a football team
10. We still have a total of three sisters and no brother-in-laws
11. The Chiefs still have not made it to the Super Bowl
12. Matt still plays the guitar
13. We both still love and serve the Lord
14. The television series Law and Order is still on the air
15. We still live in a country with many more freedoms than most countries around the world.

Okay, so maybe some of the items on my list are a bit of a stretch.  Perhaps more has changed than I realize.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Television Series We Enjoy

Today's list is similar to yesterday's, but instead of movies, I thought that I would share a list of fifteen of our favorite television series.  We currently do not have cable primarily because of the outrageous cost.  With so many shows available on-line or via DVD, we really do not feel like we are missing much except the occasional football or basketball game that is on ESPN.

15 of Our Favorite Television Series

1. Monk (we actually own each season on DVD)
2. Psych (we appreciate how both Monk and Psych are more like the traditional detective shows of our youth)
3. Burn Notice
4. Fringe (this is a strange show that we began watching last season and now we are hooked)
6. The Mentalist (even if it is basically just Monk and Psych rolled into one series)
7. Frasier
8. The Pretender (we were very sadden when they canceled this series and then never really provide a good conclusion even with the two movies that they made)
10. The Amazing Race
11. Royal Pains (as you can see, we like the shows on the USA Network)
12. 24 (even though we have really only watched the first two seasons)
13. Keeping Up Appearances (a BBC program)
14. Are You Being Served (another BBC program)
15. Scrubs

We tend to enjoy detective shows the most.  Thankfully some of the new shows are moving away from all the blood and gore that shows like CSI seems to enjoy. 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

15 Fifteens: Fifteen of Our Favorite Movies

Watching movies is one of our favorite activities.  Any more, we typically rent movies and watch them at home instead of actually going to the movie theater to watch them.  Unfortunately, I usually have to watch the movies more than once because I tend to fall asleep.

1. Signs
2. The Philadelphia Story
3. To Catch a Thief
4. North by Northwest
5. The Man Who Knew Too Much
6. The Man Who Knew Too Little
7. Arsenic and Old Lace
8. The Ocean's Trilogy
9. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
10. The Chronicles of Narnia Movies
11. The Italian Job
12. The Matrix
13. The Harry Potter Series
14. The X-men Series
15. The Thin Man Series

This list could certainly go on and on.  We like to watch a variety of movies from a variety of genres.  I have Matt to thank for introducing me to the classic films which often prove to be far better than most of the movies made today.

Friday, December 4, 2009

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Places We Like to Eat

Now, we are not the most adventurous of eaters, but we do try to go out to eat once a week.  We typically tend to go to eat at the same three or four places, but occasionally we do branch out and try other restaurants.

Fifteen Places We Like to Eat

1. On the Border
2. Shorty Smalls
3. Avivo Pizza
4. Knolla's Pizza
5. Johnny Carrino's
6. Hog Wild
7. Panera
8. Macaroni Grill
9. Cinnamon's Deli
10. Cheddar's
11. Old Chicago
12. Applebee's
13. Freddy's Frozen Custard (although we rarely ever get any custard)
14. At home
15. At our parent's house :o)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Vehicles We Have Owned

Matt enjoys reading and learning about cars, and if we had the funds and space, we would likely own more cars than we currently do and we would change cars more frequently.

Fifteen Vehicles We Have Owned

1.  '82 Toyota Pick-up
2.  '91 Ford Escort Pony Hatchback
3.  '81 Toyota Corona (only owned for about one month)
4.  '90 Nissan Sentra  (bought for Matt to use on his rural mail route)
5.  '85 Chevy Suburban  (bought to replace the Sentra after the car was hit by a man who ran a stop sign)
6.  '92 Toronado Trofeo (purchased from Matt's boss.  Was a cool car with all the bells and whistles, but an
     expensive car to maintain)
7.  '90 Subaru Legacy (purchased from Matt's parents)
8.  '01 Nissan Sentra (the first and only brand new car we purchased - replaced the Legacy)
9.  '00 Mitsubishi Galant (replaces the Escort--which had not air-conditioning)
10.  '99 Toyota 4-Runner (replaced the Galant -- bought off of Ebay)
11. '04 Mini Cooper (didn't really replace any car)
12. '99 BMW 528 (replaced the Sentra)
13.  Giant Boulder SE - Men's Bicycle (Matt)
14.  Raleigh c40 - Women's Bicycle (Trish, we sold it this year to my sister)
15.  Giant Boulder SE - Women's Bicycle (Trish)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

15 Fifteens: Fifteen Places We Have Been

This year, Matt and I will be celebrating our fifteenth anniversary.  I thought that I would lead up to our anniversary by creating fifteen lists of fifteen items about our life together.  We'll see how successful I am ;o)

Fifteen Places We've Been Together (since our wedding)

1.  New Orleans, LA (our honeymoon)
2.  Gettysburg, PA (our first big vacation)
3.  Washington, DC
4.  Harper's Ferry, WV
5.  Albuquerque, NM
6.  Dallas, TX
7.  Durango, CO (Mesa Verde)
8.  Colorado Springs, CO
9.  London, England
10. San Antonio, TX
11.  Kansas City, MO
12.  Alamosa, CO (Sand Dunes)
13.  Oklahoma City, OK
14.  St. Louis, MO
15.  Estes Park, CO

As you can see, we tend to stay close to home and we especially like going to Colorado.  We have been to Las Vegas and Yellowstone, but those trips were with my family.  I just included trips that the two of us have taken together.  We were planning to travel to Ireland this spring in honor of our anniversary, but the news of our upcoming little one changed those plans. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Movie Quote Monday: Christmas Edition Part One

Tis the season for Christmas movies, so I thought that I would spend the month of December talking about some of my favorite Christmas movies.  Now I will warn you that some of the movies are not what some would necessarily consider traditional Christmas movies, but maybe they should be.

Here are some quotes from the first film; see if you can guess which movie they come from:

Lucy: I've had a really lousy Christmas, you've *just* managed to kill my New Year's, if you come back on Easter- you can burn down my apartment.

Nurse Wanda: Next time you're talking to yourself, tell yourself you're single and end the conversation! 

Lucy: You give up your seat every day in the train.
Peter: Well... But that's not heroic.
Lucy: It is to the person who sits in it.
Lucy: [to Jack] Okay, um. What do you mean by the leaning thing? You mean because he gave me flowers?
Jack: And then you *leaned*
Lucy: And then I leaned.
Jack: Yeah.
Lucy: Okay, how did I lean when I leaned?
Jack: It was a lot different from hugging. Hugging's very different. Hugging that involves arms and hands; and leaning is whole bodies moving in like this
[leans toward her suggestively]
Jack: . Leaning involves *wanting*... and *accepting*. *Leaning*...
Joe Jr.: Hey Luce! Is this guy bothering you?
Lucy: [Laughs] No, no.
Joe Jr.: Are you sure? Because it looks like he's *leaning.*
Priest: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to...
Lucy: I object.
Saul: Oh, geez.
Priest: I didn't get to that part yet.
Jack: I would have to object too.
Priest: What about you?
Peter: I'm thinking!

Were you able to guess the movie?  It's While You Were Sleeping.  I usually consider it a Christmas movie since it is set at Christmas time.  I enjoy many of Sandra Bullock's films, and this one is probably my favorite.  The chemistry between her and Bill Pullman works well, and by the end of the movie, I was hoping that they would end up together. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Movie Quote Monday

I am going to try something new where I talk about some of my favorite lines from a specific movie.  The first movie I am going to quote is Undercover Blues (1999) starring Dennis Quaid and Kathleen Turner.  While this movies isn't necessarily Oscar quality, it is a fun movie to watch on a Saturday afternoon while one is cleaning the house.  I have seen it enough times that I think I can quote most of the movie.

First of all, I love the title because it of the double meaning.  One might think that it is referring to some sort of depression causes by being undercover, but actually the title is referring to the fact that the couple, whose last name is Blue, are secret agents.  It also refers to the fact that even though they are on maternity leave, they are not able to get away from the job.

The chemistry between Quaid and Turner work well in the movie.  They make their characters believable and likable.

Another funny character in the movie is Muerte played by Stanley Tucci.  The sub-plot that involves his character really adds to the humor of the movie and Stanley Tucci does a great job playing the bumbling mugger.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

Jane Blue: You took our child into a knife fight?
Jeff Blue: It was a fair fight. Two of them, two of us...

Lt. Theodore 'Ted' Sawyer: My source at the FBI said they didn't think you were, and I quote, "Bureau material."
Jeff Blue: That's true. I'm more of an end table.
Jane Blue: I always thought of you as a dining room chair.

Lt. Theodore 'Ted' Sawyer: Isn't the baby a little young for dolls?
Jeff Blue: It's for me. It's a post-feminist doll.
Jane Blue: Goes to work with little sneakers on but resents it.

Jane Blue: [while Meurte is floating on a life saver in the ocean] Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea?
Muerte: [considers the offer] No, no, I'm fine, thank you.

Jeff Blue: [while Muerte is in a tree in an aligator pit wearing only his shirt and socks] Tell you what, you wait here. I'll go for help.
Muerte: No, no, Blue, don't leave me!
Jeff Blue: Can I get you anything, Morty? Coffee? Tea?
Muerte: Coffee? Tea? No, no, I'm fine. Just get me the hell out of here!
Jeff Blue: Ta-ta.
Muerte: Ta-ta! Good-bye! Thank you! 

If you haven't seen the movie yet, I recommend that you watch it sometime in the near future and let me know what you think.

Shout Aloud

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us should aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

Psalm 95:1-2

I think it is great the God created us to praise Him.  He did not create us to sit quietly and to obey under obligation.  He wants us to be vocal and sing out to Him.  He wants us to use the wonderful gift of music to worship Him.  I am very thankful for the people who are willing to share the musical gifts that God has given them and am grateful for radio stations that play music that is uplifting and reminds me to praise God throughout the day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Strength from the Lord

Have you ever stopped to think about just how much strength God gives us each day?  As getting up at 5:00 each week day gets more and more difficult, I know that God is giving me the strength to get out of bed and start the day.  As I drive to work, He gives me the strength to pay attention and not drive off the road.  As I teach my classes, He gives me the strength to not strangle some of the students.  At home He gives me the strength to cook meals, do laundry, and take care of other little details that need attention.  God faithfully give me strength for the littlest and biggest of tasks.  How awesome to think that God is concerned about every element of our lives!  I would hate to think what life would be like without His strength.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Autumn Leaves

Today as I walking back to my office after teaching class, I observed a young woman walking along the sidewalk kicking at the leaves that were covering the path.  It made me think of my temptation to kick at the piles of leaves that are forming in various places in our yard and along the street.  What is it about a pile of leaves lying on the ground that just begs a person to have some fun and scatter them with their feet?  What a wonderful gift God has given us to remind us to stay children at heart. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Better Is One Day

One of my favorite worship songs is "Better Is One Day." It's such an awesome reminder that to be in the presence of the Lord will be far greater than the greatest day we ever had.

I have recently been reading through the Psalms and was excited to find the Psalm that this song came from. Psalm 84 is all about how great it will be to be in the presence of the Lord, even if it were for just one day. Verse 4 says, "Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you." The whole idea of praising God for eternity is an aspect of heaven that I don't think we really consider. At one time, the thought to me seemed a little boring. I didn't really care for singing in church when I was younger, so I wondered why we would have to do it in heaven. My attitude has changed since my walk with God has become closer, but when I was doing research for my Master's thesis, I couldn't help but see Mark Twain's point when he couldn't see why Christians were excited to go to heaven when they could hardly get themselves to go to church.

Why is it that we sometimes have to force ourselves to attend church and worship God? Do we really believe that one day in God's courts will be better than a thousand elsewhere?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One Appt Completed; The Other Rescheduled

Today we were supposed to go to both the OB and to Choices to have a "fun" sonogram done. Yesterday, I received a call from my doctor's office moving our appointment from 1:25 to 4:45 because of an emergency surgery. Then today when we were just walking into the clinic for our appointment, they called to say the doctor had been called away again, so now our appointment is a week from Thursday at 4:45. Hopefully she will not get called away again or there may at least be a PA available to see me. It was funny when the receptionist was rescheduling the appointment. She seemed concerned that it was going to be over a week past the original appointment date. She kept reminding me to give the office a call if I have any complications.

Fortunately, we were able to get in at Choices for our sonogram. The baby did a good job of performing for us at the beginning. The little one was doing quite a few jumps off of the wall that separates the uterus from the bladder. My bladder was quite full by the time we made it back to the room, so some of the images were a little hard to see, so the sonographer had me empty my bladder and the images were much clearer. It was exciting to see the little one's hands and feet and umbilical cord and all the other cool images. The sonographer tried to capture some 4D images, but most of them did not want to cooperate. We did get one that shows a pretty good profile of the baby.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

So far, so good

Thank you for all your prayers. At this point I have not come down with any flu-like symptoms, so I am hoping it is safe to say that we dodged the bullet this time. Thankfully, Matt has stayed healthy too.

After we heard about Kynslie's diagnosis, we did some research on H1n1 and learned that the last out break was in 1976. Knowing that, it is possible that we are both immune to the swine flu. Of course, it is difficult to say that for certain.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Prayer Request

We found out yesterday that my little sister, Kynslie, has H1N1. This, of course, comes after we spent Sunday afternoon with Kynslie and Taylor. Right now I have been feeling tired and a little nauseous, but that could just be from the pregnancy. I've likely already been exposed to the flu, but I would like prayer that I would not develop any more flu symptoms.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ten and 1/2 Weeks

Ten and 1/2 weeks and all still is going well. I have not had any more spotting since three weeks ago and I am very happy about that. Right now my biggest concern is not contracting the flu since I am surrounded by so many potential carriers on a daily basis. I don't like to be too paranoid about issues like the flu because typically I do not contract the flu. I figure that I will go ahead and get the flu shots this year (and I think that I am leaning toward getting both of them and trusting God that all will be well).

Thankfully, my weight gain has appeared to be on track. I have only gained about a pound and a half if my scale at home is correct. I find it amazing because I have definitely been eating more since I become pregnant. Of course, before I got pregnant, I was not eating as much since I was still trying to lose some weight. I still need to work on eating more vegetables, but consuming more calcium is getting easier.

My next appointment is on the 20th. The appointment is in the afternoon, and in the morning we are going to have a sonogram done at Choices Medical Clinic (my mother-in-law volunteers at the clinic and has arranged for them to do some training sonograms on me).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Sonogram

We went in for the sonogram at 8:15 this morning. I had to laugh when they gave me directions for making sure my bladder was full because it usually does not take very long for my bladder to fill, but I followed their recommendations anyway. The technician kind of laughed because it was very full.

We got to see the baby's heart beating on the screen and she gave us a couple of pictures. Of course not much can be seen in the picture. The baby is right on track with his or her length and heart rate. Oh yeah, it also appears that there is just one ;o)

It was a great feeling to know that all is normal.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Visit Update

All appears to be well. I met with my doctor's PA today and she just did a basic exam and asked a number of questions. The bag they gave me filled with prenatal vitamin supplements and other pamphlets kind of cracks me up. I'm leery about trying a new vitamin since I have not had any problems with the one I have been taking. The main difference between the vitamins I have and the ones they gave me is the new vitamins have more of the Omega-3 in them.

The PA was able to hear the baby's heartbeat with the Doppler. She wasn't able to find it again so I could hear it, but I was relieved to know that she heard it. They are going to do a sonogram this Thursday, so maybe we will hear it then.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Question (not quite so serious this time)

Actually, I have two questions.

1. What happened when you went to your first doctor's visit? I have read some information online, but I was curious what your experiences were.

2. What questions do you recommend that I ask? I am terrible about coming up with questions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Question for Formerly Pregnant Women

I have had some occasional "brown spotting" (the best way I know to describe it) this week and I was wondering if any of you experienced this during your pregnancy. It's not very heavy and I have not had any other changes, so I am trying not to worry too much. My first doctor's appointment is next Tuesday, so I don't want to make a big deal about it before then. Looking online I see that this is can be a common occurrence for some women.

Anyway, just wanted to get some feedback from the rest of you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Here We Go

Okay, as many of you know, Matt and I are expecting our first baby in early May, so I have decided to blog about the journey and I would like any advice or tips that those who have gone before can supply.

We found out on Tuesday, August 25th and we received the official word from the doctor on Monday, August 31st. While a positive pregnancy test was completely unexpected, it was not a total surprise. We were planning to go to the doctor in October to begin looking into fertility treatments again. Thankfully, God saved us that step. I had begun taking my temperature again just this last month, so we knew that we had hit the right window, but we had no real expectations for success.

I had been struggling with the idea of taking Clomid because I really did not think that it would help. As far as we knew, there was not biological reason for us to not have children. I was pretty sure that I ovulated on a regular basis and I knew from a test last year that my ovaries were still producing like they should be. Of course, clomid is usually the first step in treatment, so I was willing to go through it if that is what we needed to do.

Right now I am feeling pretty good. This Sunday will be 6 weeks and I see from many online sources that that is when morning sickness begins to kick in. I have had a little bit of cramping, but nothing too severe and it has actually subsided some over the past few days. There are times when I feel tired, but I often feel tired, so I'm not sure if it is worse than normal or not. I do have to go the bathroom about every hour, so that is a definite change. We will probably need to consider buying stock in Northern bathroom tissue. The last couple of days there have been moments where I feel a little nauseous for a few seconds, but then it goes away, so I'm not quite sure if I was really nauseous or not. I guess we will soon see.

Our first doctor's appointment is Tuesday, September 22nd. I understand why they want to wait until the 8 week mark, but for a first time mothers who is 36-years-old, it seems like an eternity to wait. I'm thankful for the resources that are available online and all the amazing details they can give about the development of the baby. When I read all the details and see the logic of the development, it just confirms that God is the creator.

We know that this event is completely from God. I have believed all along that when the time was right, we would be able to conceive without medical help because with God, nothing is impossible. I know that only He is the giver of life. That is why I laugh when people get uptight about cloning. The only way a cloned human will have life is if God gives that clone life, and then it will be a different person from the one he or she was cloned from.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Never Take Your Freedom for Granted

Sudan trouser woman 'ready for 40,000 lashes'

The above article is about some Sudanese women who were arrested because of how they dressed; the women dared to wear trousers at a restaurant. Some of the women have already been given 10 lashes, but a couple of the women are challenging the ruling and face the possibility of receiving 40 lashes. Take a look at her outfit. It is very modest and tasteful.

This article falls in line with the topic I plan to use in my Comp classes this fall and possibly this spring. I want my students to think about freedom: defining, analyzing, and exploring the freedoms that they currently have. My plan is that their research paper will look at the lack of freedom that many people experience around the world. My hope is that they will become more aware of the freedoms that they have and that they will never take that freedom for granted.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Stimulus Package?

Did you hear that they almost ran out of money for the CARS program (aka Cash for Clunkers)? Of course, now the government has added another 2 billion dollars to the program (a total of 3 billion for those keeping score), so the program can go on.

While I admit I do not know all the details of the program, I am not in favor of it. As I have read a couple of articles about the program, some questions have come to mind: how many people are buying new cars who cannot afford them? Who is going to make up the money when these people default on their loans? How exactly is this going to stimulate the economy? Where exactly is this money coming from? Why is it such a bad circumstance that car sales are lower than they were a few years ago when the economy was in better shape? What is wrong with experiencing a little failure? Doesn't experiencing failure teach us to do better in the future?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Expectations

As I was finally eating my first bit of watermelon for the summer, I got to thinking about all the elements that I think must be in place for summer to be official. For me, summer needs to include eating watermelon, corn on the cob, and angel food cake. Scents need to include cut grass and sunscreen (I love the smell of sunscreen!). Swimming is a must because the sky should be sunny and the temperature should be above 95 every day, especially in July and August (while these past few years have been easy on the pocketbook, I've been disappointed that we have had so many rainy days -- strange, I know. I think we should move to Phoenix). Evenings should be filled with a dry south wind and the sounds of locust singing in the trees.

What are some of your favorite elements of summer?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Source of True Happiness and a Good Reminder

I was watching Rachel Ray today (or more accurately, listening to her show since I was painting in the kitchen) and she had a young woman on who had lost over 50 pounds within the last year. I believe she is now 16 years old. The young woman credited Rachel Ray's show for giving her the inspiration to lose weight and live a healthier life. While she was on the show, Rachel Ray mentioned that this young woman still feels lonely even after losing all the weight. The girl feels like people still do not care for her, so they played a video of greetings from her home town of various organizations inviting this young woman to join them for some adventures. The mayor even declared it her month (I cannot remember her name).

As I was watching the show, I couldn't help but think that this young woman is still going to be lonely even after meeting all the people in her home town. This young woman thought that losing weight would bring her happiness, but it did not. It really reminded me that "happiness" can only be found in God. It also reminded me that as Christians, we need to be sensitive to the needs of those around us and make sure we are not so wrapped up in our own issues that we fail to reach out to the unsaved. How is this young woman ever going to know true joy if no one reaches out to share the truth with her? My prayer is that God will bring someone into her life to share the truth with her so she will discover true acceptance and belonging and that God will open my eyes to see those around me who are in the same position as this young woman.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What is the Country of Origin?

Did any of you watch the spelling bee last night on ABC? A girl from Olathe, KS won the event. I saw about the last hour of the event and could not stop watching. It was fascinating to watch the twelve and thirteen-year-old contestants use the knowledge that they have about phonetics and root words to spell words that they had not heard before. One contestant kept cracking me up because she would always ask about the part of speech right after hearing the definition of the word. I think in every case the part of speech was a noun.

Kudos to all the kids and the hard work that they put in preparing for the event.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Father of the Year Award Goes to . . .

Otherwise known as "What in the world was this guy thinking?!"

Check it out: Father of the Year Story.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Worst Commercial

Have you seen the commercial for Healthy Choice with Julia Luis Dreyfus where she is eating a meal and talking with her mouth full of food? In our house, this commercial has officially been labeled one of the worst commercials ever. We typically do not buy Healthy Choice, but this new commercial has assured that we will not.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Little Dogs

As I was running through our neighborhood today, I was briefly chased by a ferocious teacup poodle (okay, maybe not so ferocious, but a barker none the less). Owning three dogs who were only that size for about 1 week, little dogs do not bother me, but it does bother me that people do not keep their dogs on a leash. We have done a better job of socializing Ivy, so I typically am not worried about her attacking a dog that comes up to her, but it annoys me that our walks are interrupted because some people chose not to control their dogs.

It is funny, though, to watch the little dogs come running up to us barking their little hearts out. Ivy just stands there and gives them a funny look. I wonder what goes through their little minds.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter SunRun

Today was the Easter SunRun which is a benefit run for Youth Horizons (an organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters). I am happy to report that I successfully ran the entire 10K (6.2 miles for those -- like myself--who are not metrically inclined) in one hour and six minutes.

It's amazing what a difference running outside is like compared to running on a treadmill. The distance did not feel as tiring as it does when I run inside. I did not even have my iPod with me! For the first four kilometers, I paced myself behind three women who were running at a steady pace where they could still talk with one another. Then at the 4K marker they began to walk, so I had to make my own form of entertainment. Since I did not have my music with me, I just thought about praise songs that I know most of the words to. At the 5K marker, I began reciting Ephesians. It really helped to take my mind off of the distance I had left.

I'm not even that tired (yet; just wait until 8:00). I am planning to try to run the 10K at the River Run. I don't think that I will ever try for a half-marathon, but that is what I said about running 10Ks ;o)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Favorite Meal

After a hard workout, my favorite meal is pizza. I don't know why, but as Mr. Food says, "Hmm, it's so good!"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Blocking Blessings?

Today when I was at the Y, I caught the end of Oprah. She had Suze Orman on and she was talking about how to survive the current economic situation. In the ten minutes that I watched, I heard a couple of interesting comments. One comment came from a guest on the show who apparently is a pastor. Orman was telling the audience that they have to hold on to hope; the guest mentioned that he had never lost hope in his creator but he was wondering when he could regain hope in the government. Her response was that he needs to have hope in himself, and not in the government. I found it sad that apparently hope in God is not enough for this pastor. Perhaps that is why he got into the trouble that he is currently in (I do not know what it is since I missed that part of the show, but he did mention that he and his wife could learn to live pruently once again).

The other interesting comment came from Oprah herself. She said something about blocking our blessings by not having a good attitude about life. Orman was telling people that they should let go of the anger about what they lost and be happy with what they have (which is good advice) and that is when Oprah made her comment about blocking blessings (with negative vibes I guess). It made me wonder, can we really block blessings? We may not recognize the blessings that God is bestowing on us, but can we ever block them?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Surviving without Cable

I've been hearing quite a few people talk or write about how they do not have cable. We have gone back and forth with cable over the years. About a year ago we dropped cable once again because it is simply too expensive. We also realized that many of the shows we like are typically available on the Internet, so we really have not missed cable all that much.

Even though we do not have a text messaging package on our cell phones, we are somewhat on the cutting edge with our television set up. We have a TV tuner connected to our Mac Mini and we have a large flat panel monitor that allows us to get a good digital picture. The TV antenna connects to the TV tuner, so we can watch all of the local channels. For the shows we used to watch on cable, like Monk, Psych, and Burn Notice, we are able to watch them either on the USA Network web site or on Hulu. is a great resource for current and older television shows (like The Pretender). It is also a legal way to watch the shows. also provides links to legally available episodes of television shows.

For sports, we switched to DSL through AT&T so we can have access to ESPN 360. Many games are available as well as a variety of sports that I've never even heard of.

The final method we have used to replace cable is Netflix. Since we have the computer as our television unit, we can easily watch the movies and shows available online at Netflix.

It will be interesting to see what the future of cable will be with the way more and more shows are made available on the Internet.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Buttertons

Have you seen the commercial for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter where there is a family, the Buttertons, from the 50s who are shown eating food with sticks of butter on them? The other night as we were watching the commercial, I thought that it was ironic that the purpose of the ad is to show that we know better than to eat butter today, but with all the knowledge that we have about diet, exercise, and what not to eat, the number of people who are overweight today is greater than it would have been in the 50s. With all the knowledge that we have, why aren't we all skinny?

I know that there are a number of reasons behind why more people are overweight today and the solution to the problem is not an easy one, but I think that the major reason is tied to the same reason our country is facing the economic situation that it is: lack of self-control. The weight gain of Americans is just an outward representation of the desire to own and possess whatever one wants when one wants it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Young Adults and Cell Phones

I had an epiphany in one of my Comp classes today. One of my students was in the back of the room with his head laying on one arm and his cell phone clutched in his free hand. It almost looked like he was asleep except that occasionally he would enter some text message into his phone. As I was watching him (there are some battles that are just getting to hard to fight and keeping students from texting in class is one of them), I came to the realization that the cell phone is a pacifier for many of the students.

For many of them, the cell phone is apparently a source of comfort and security. They have to constantly hold it in their hands and they check it every five or ten minutes to see if some "important" message has come in like what their friends are doing in their other classes. They keep it one their person so that they are never without it and they can never seem to be able to not answer it when it rings (unless it is their parents). They answer it in class, in the bathroom, in the locker room at the Y. They also text in some of the most unusal places: as they eat with their friends, watch movies, and walk up or down stairs.

I believe that many of them might actually begin to cry and pout if their phone was ever taken away. I wonder how they would respond if I were to share my epiphany.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Conflicting Messages

Have you ever noticed that the media sends conflicting signals about being "green" and being sanitary. We are told to use reusable plastic bottles and to try to produce less waste, but then we are told not to eat in a kitchen where the homeowner uses a dishrag to wash the dishes because there are too many germs; we are told that instead we should use a paper towel so it can be thrown away. Likewise, most people today use disposable Kleenexes instead of handkerchiefs (although I will admit that I don't know if I can bring myself to use a handkerchief), and almost all the advertisements for toilet bowl cleaners involve a disposable head.

Who are we supposed to listen to? Which direction are we supposed to follow? Do we listen to the voice of being sanitary and controlling all the germs (can this really be accomplished?)? Or do we try to be more environmentally responsible?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

World's Greatest Non-Invented Invention?

People will think of anything to try and make a buck. Here is a story that details the 10 worst inventions in history. The wig for cats is especially strange as is the prankster fire alarm trap.

Have you ever thought of an invention that you think other people would appreciate? I know that I have, but none come to mind right now. Of course, since I am currently grading research papers, I would like a device that could numb my brain to the frustration of realizing how little my students listen and follow directions.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Space Junk

What's the deal with all the space junk? It would appear that space travel is not all that safe since debris the size of a tennis ball is enough to require the people in the space station to go into the escape capsule just in case it penetrates the space station itself. If I were an astronaut, I don't think that I would feel all that safe in the space station.

I wonder what the engineers are working on to combat this problem. It sounds like this space debris can also cause problems for the space shuttles. Are they designing a huge cosmic vacuum that can suck up this debris? How would they find all the debris out in the wide expanse of space? I guess they will just have to come up with tougher coverings for the space station and the vehicles used to send people into space.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Research Update

I realized that I never gave an update on my student's research paper topic. The final idea came from an essay that my students read called "I'm Like a Bird." In the short essay, the author writes a defense of the pop song "I'm Like a Bird." He argues that while the song may not last as a long as classical pieces written by Bach or Mozart, pop music has its place in the musical world. He finds enjoyment in the way pop music can make a person feel good, at least for a little while, and in the way the music is disposable.

One of the writing prompts at the end of the essay asked the students to write a defense of an activity they participate in that they feel other people unfairly criticize. This prompt gave me the idea to have the students write a defense paper. I expanded the scope a little bit to include values and beliefs. I thought that this would be a great opportunity for students to research and discover why they think a certain way or have certain beliefs. I did limit their topics in that I told them I wanted them to avoid topics like abortion, the death penalty, steroids, marijuana, and the environment. I usually limit these topics because students rarely write a strong papers when they chose these topics. They usually pick these topics because they think it will be easy to write the paper because there is a plethora of information available. Of course, they forget that the information is often unreliable and biased (at best).

They are going to turn their papers in next week. Based on their proposals, I have some interesting topics coming in and I am looking forward to reading what they found. I think I gave some of the students extra stress because I did not place strict parameters on the type of research materials that they needed to find. I told them that they have to have three outside sources and they have to be good, reliable sources. It is up to them to determine what is a good, reliable source (they have to learn how to fly sometime).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

M is for Medium

Yesterday I bought something that I have never bought for myself: a size medium shirt. I have been wearing larges for quite some time and never really thought that I would one day buy a medium. I also bought a pair of size 10 jeans the other day. That, too, is a size that I have never bought for myself. The funny element is that I have only lost about 13 pounds since I started meeting with my personal trainer, but I've definitely tightened up the muscles in my abdominal area.

If you want to get a jump start on your exercise routine, then I definitely would recommend meeting with a personal trainer. I appreciate the way he challenges my abilities when we meet and I also like learning new ways to do strength training. Not only have I seen physical improvements, but my bowling has also improved. My balance is better and I do not get as tired after the third game.

Now, if I could just gain a little more self-control when I eat . . . .

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Have You Heard?

Did you hear that Michael Tait will now be singing for the Newsboys in place of Peter Fuler? DC Talk and Newsboys were two of the first Christian music groups I listened to when I first started listening to Christian music. Over the years, I have been impressed with how these two groups have stood the test of time. Of course, the Newsboys have held on a little longer than DC Talk, at least as a group. Since DC Talk has not done any projects together for about 8 years, it is time for them to make the final decision to split. I've enjoyed some of Tait's solo projects (I'm not the biggest Toby Mac fan) and think that he will do a good job as the front man for the Newsboys.

That also reminds me that I was thinking just the other day about how Christian music has evolved over the last 20 years. More songs by Christian groups are being played on mainstream radio, and I find myself missing the music if I don't get a chance to listen to it. Occasionally I might tune into one of the local stations, but the message in most of the music is anything but uplifting. I also get tired of listening to all the commercials (I listen to Air1 which is listener supported). Even though I do not have kids, I still appreciate that I can listen at any time of the day and not have to worry about listening to offensive material. I often find myself pondering the message in many of the songs and there are quite a few out there today that I find particularly insightful. My newest favorite song is by Matthew West "Motions."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Polarizing Foods

Here is an interesting article about foods that that people either love or hate. I found it interesting because I have strong opinions about many of the foods on the list. Coconut is one food item that I am not particularly fond of, yet I love the smell of coconut in sunscreen and lotions. I'm also not a fan of black licorice, but I know people (Matt is one) who cannot get enough of it. I only like mayo on a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's, otherwise I cannot stand the stuff, especially in the form of potato and pasta salads. Tomatoes are only edible, in my opinion, as tomato sauce or in salsa. I've never tried eggplant or stinky cheeses, so I cannot really give an opinion on those items.

Over the years I have tried to be more open to trying foods at least once before making a judgment call. Grilled red and yellow peppers are some foods that I have found that I enjoy even though I am not a big fan of green peppers. After all this talk about food, I think I need to go find a snack . . . .

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Favorite Kitchen Appliance

What's your favorite kitchen appliance? My favorite, favorite kitchen appliance is my 6 quart Kitchen Aid mixer. How did women bake before stand mixers were invented? I can't imagine having to mix cookie dough, bread dough, and other baked goods by hand. I usually have a difficult time even holding an electric hand mixer long enough to mix ingredients together if the dough becomes thick at all. I love being able to throw the ingredients into the bowl and let the mixer do the work. My favorite baked good to make with my mixer is Angel Food cake. After making homemade Angel Food cake, I do not like to make the boxed mix.

I have a tie for my second favorite appliance. I really like my bread machine for many of the same reasons why I like my mixer. What's even better about the bread machine is that it bakes the bread as well as mixes it. The other appliance is my Kitchen Aid mini chopper. We really like On the Border chips and salsa, but the salsa at the store is chunkier than what they serve in the restaurant, so I use my mini chopper to make the salsa less chunky and it tastes just like the salsa at the restaurant. I don't know that I have used my mini chopper for anything else besides the salsa ;o)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Eat Your Veggies

In my quest to try and eat healthier, I find that I am still struggling with eating more vegetables. I have gotten better about eating fruit, but working veggies into the daily food intake is still a challenge. I actually like quite a few vegetables, but the problem is that I only like them when they are cooked. I have tried eating raw carrots and celery and broccoli, but I still don't care for the taste. I also do not like ranch dressing, so dipping the said veggies is not really an option.

I am a big fan of salsa, but to eat salsa properly, one needs chips. I could easily sit and eat three or four bowls of On the Border salsa along with a bowl of their chips, but I think eating so many chips kind of defeat the purpose of eating the salsa ;o)

I know that there are quite a few individual portion size microwavable frozen vegetable sides available in the store. I have tried some of them and they are quite good, but then I run into another issue that I have and that is with the impracticality of these options. I hate the thought of paying more for the convenience of these individual serving options as well as the added waste that they create.

I guess that I need to spend more time working on a solution. I think what I need to do is invest in some more microwavable Rubbermaid storage containers and be more proactive and diligent about buying larger bags for frozen veggies and separating them into the containers. Spring break is next week, so maybe I can work out a solution then.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

TP Debate

Did you know that an item as necessary and required as toilet paper has quite a few debates surrounding it? The other day, one of my coworkers asked if I was a folder or a crumpler when it comes to using toilet paper. Here is an interesting survey that deals with this whole debate. Take it and see where you toilet paper use preference lies. Apparently I am part of the minority when it comes to toilet paper usage.

Another life long debate is which way to put the roll on the dispenser. I was always taught to place the roll with the loose end coming over the top, but I know that some people prefer to have the loose end come from the bottom.

Of course, another interesting topic is who changes the toilet paper roll. In our house, I am the one who changes the toilet paper. I usually do not even let the roll run out before I change it. That way I do not have to worry about running out of toilet paper.

Who knew that a simple piece of paper could create so much discussion?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Now Showing

This last week I watched a couple of great movies. The two movies are drastically different from one another, but I was able to come away from each of them with a new outlook on life and a reminder to of what is really important.

The first movie I watched was Penelope. It is a movie about a young woman who was born with a pig's nose and ears. The movie is rated PG and is one of the most enjoyable movies I have watched in a while. It is a great modern fairy tale. I strongly recommend for any woman to watch (young or old) because the movie contains a strong message of being satisfied with who we are and that true beauty lies beneath the surface. It is also just a feel good romantic story that is fun to watch every once in a while. All of the actors in the movie are a joy to watch.

The other movie we watch was Blood Diamond (I told you they were on the opposite ends of the spectrum). While the story line is intriguing, it was the reminder about how good life is in the United States that really stood out to me. In the movie, men and women are killed and maimed at the whim of the rebels. Children are kidnapped and forced to become young killers through lies and narcotics. It made me realize how silly and selfish I can be to be frustrated to not be able to buy the clothes, furniture, (fill in the blank) that I want when there are millions of people who just want to live in peace not matter what the condition of their house may be. I need to spend more time being grateful and less time worrying about what I don't have.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Who Would You Be?

I have been told that I haven't made a post in a while. With all the grading I have been doing lately, my brain has not been very active or random in the evening.

The students group I am an adviser for is currently looking for new officers. As we have been conducting interviews, one of the fun questions that has been asked is "What superhero (or fictional character) would you be and why?" So, that is my question to you.

For my answer, I think that I would like to be Elizabeth Bennet (from Pride and Prejudice). She is one of the original independent heroines in fiction who is not afraid to buck tradition and go against the expectations of society. Unlike some of the heroines today, though, she does not completely disregard convention. She is still interested in marriage, but she wants to marry for love and she wants to be able to respect her husband.

As far as a superhero goes, the mom in the movie Incredibles would be near the top of my list. Her flexibility would come in very handy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rich Blessing

Yesterday was my grandmother's 88th birthday. I went to visit her and my other grandfather this past weekend in Pratt (even though they did not marry each other, they did go to school together and graduated the same year). After my visit, I realized how fortunate I am that they are both still alive and well and that they are both Christians. My grandfather became a Christian about 20 years ago when my grandmother was still alive. She had broken her ankle and needed him to drive her to church. God really used this circumstance for good because my grandfather stayed for church and not long after, he was baptized. This last Christmas my grandfather gave the prayer for our family lunch. It has been a great experience seeing him grow closer to the Lord. To meet him, you would never guess that he is 87 years old.

My grandmother is also a rich blessing. Even though she has some back problems that are beginning to prevent her from working around her house, she still takes the time to look her best. She has always kept a house that is clean enough to eat off of the floor. She loves to watch college basketball and her mind is still as sharp as ever.

I will miss them both when the Lord calls them home, but I am thankful that I know that I will see them again.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just for fun

I heard about this website on Air1 the other day. You can type in your first and last name and it will tell you how many people have the same first name, last name, and first and last name.

I learned that their are over 1.6 million Patricia's making it the 12th most popular first name. There are over 3,000 people with the last name of Conard and there are at least 16 people with the name Patricia Conard. My current last name is more popular than my maiden last name. There are only about 300 people in the US with the last name of Giggy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Personal Training Update

It has been about three months since I began meeting with a personal trainer at the Y and I can definitely tell a difference. Before I started meeting with a trainer, I was only going to the Y about twice a week. I was having a difficult time making it a priority. Now I go to the Y about six times a week. Three of those days I just do cardio and the other three I do both cardio and resistance training. I did not do resistance training before because I was not quite sure what to do. That is where meeting with the trainer has really made a difference. We only meet once a week, but I have committed to following through on the days we do not meet.

I have only lost a little more than 10 pounds during that time, but I know that I have lost some inches because my pants are getting lose. I would tell you how much, but my trainer keeps forgetting to email me my measurements. I suppose I should measure myself so I can keep track of it at home.

I have decided to make it a goal to run in the 10K at the Easter Sun Run. I have participated in the two-mile race and then the 2-mile walk but never the longer run. A couple of years ago I participated in the River Run 10K race. I completed it before the 1 hour and 30 minute time limit, but I did not run the entire race. I am hoping to actually run the whole 10K in April. That means a more organizes training regime. I have gotten to where I can run 4 miles without stopping, so there is hope.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Completely Random

I was thinking the other day what a terrific job the Secret Service does. There are many movies where someone kidnaps or harms the president or a member of his family, but in real life that rarely happens. I think that is a real testimony to the skill and talent of the brave men and women who commit their lives to protecting our leader.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thanks for the Help

Thanks for the ideas. It has given me some ideas on what direction to lead my students for their paper topics. I think that I will have them discuss rules, statues, regulations that are created to force people to behave in a certain way (I'm only referring to rules, statues, and regulations that are designed to protect people from themselves, not stop them from harming others) and then create an argument about whether these rules, statues, and regulations are just. Right now, I am planning on having them think about the theme of personal freedom and what exactly it means and entails and I think that this topic would dovetail with it nicely.

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please keep them coming.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ideas Needed

Here in four short weeks, my Comp II classes will begin working on the persuasive unit of the class. I have been trying to come up with ideas for paper topics. One idea I had was to have the students research (for lack of a better term) Nanny Laws -- laws like seat belts laws where the government is trying to protect us from ourselves, not necessarily from other people. The problem with this idea is that when I tried to do some research on this topic on my own, I was having difficulty finding good, reliable sources. If I had trouble, then my students would most certainly have trouble.

So, I am wondering what ideas you might have. Do you have any suggestions for current topics that would be engaging for students to use to write an argument paper?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air

Driving home today, I realized just how much I appreciate being able to breathe in fresh air. The air coming in through the vents in my car was very refreshing. It was clean and just made me feel better during the drive. It brought to mind my trip to Philadelphia last April and how un-refreshing the air was. We stayed in downtown Philadelphia and there were very few patches of grass; the areas of grass that did exist in the parks were not enough to overcome the other city smells. During the end of my short stay in Philadelphia, I was longing for the open sky and expanses of green that we enjoy in Kansas. Today reminded me to be grateful for the pleasure of fresh air and sunshine that we often get to enjoy even in the cold months of winter.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What to Say?

I feel like I have not had much to say lately, so I decided to take some inspiration from Facebook. Some of my friends have created lists that tell people some little known information about themselves. I don't think that I can come us with a list of 16 items, so I am just going to begin with one.

Most people probably do not know that when I was in high school I wanted to go to college to become a marine biologist. I think my desire came from watching Jacques Cousteau on television. Whales and dolphins were my primary interest. Unfortunately, WSU did not (and still does not) offer a Marine Biology degree. I did not do much research regarding scholarships available at the appropriate universities so I went to WSU with the idea of majoring in biology. It did not take too many biology and chemistry classes to figure out the science was not my strongest area of study. Ironically, I learned that one of my English professors (the one who recommended that I go to grad school) also wanted to be a marine biologist at one time.

I still enjoy watching shows about whales and dolphins. To me, dolphins seem like the dogs of the ocean and whales are some of the most graceful creatures on this earth especially for their size.