Friday, March 30, 2007

So many new things!

Spring is in the air...thank God! Hubby has had to mow the grass 3 times already, and it's the most beautiful green right now. There are gorgeous pink tulips that are planted at the entrance to our neighborhood, and there are yellow daffodils popping up everywhere! The trees in our backyard have leaves on them, and now we're just waiting for the oak trees to wake up.

All of these things have happened because the rain has been coming down for DAYS now. I have a love/hate relationship with the rain. I hate the gloom and wet and humid and slippery part of rain...but I LOVE LOVE LOVE what the rain does. It makes everything new and beautiful and clean!

BUT, that's not the only new stuff going on with us right now!

My little sister called me 2 days ago. She started out by saying that she didn't think they'd be able to go to CA for Thanksgiving this year (she lives in AL). See, Mom and Dad are moving to KS next spring, so Mom wants one more holiday with all of us in CA...but lil sis has a way of throwing wrenches in our family plans. So, immediately I'm mad at's how the conversation went:

Lil Sis: So, um, I don't think we're going to make it to CA for Thanksgiving this year.

Me: WHAT??!! You KNOW mom wants us all there for one LAST holiday -

Lil Sis: Well, we're going to be really busy

Me: Busy?? C'mon, you missed Christmas last year, and you're always changing plans.

Lil Sis: It's just not going to wor -

Me: (Interrupting now and turning red in the face) Naner, what is going -

Lil Sis: See, our baby is going to be 2 weeks old then, and we won't be able to travel...

Me: (speechless for 1.5 seconds, if you can believe it) Wait...did you say you're having a baby??

Needless to say, my anger VERY quickly subsided...and I'm so excited...and already planning on spending Thanksgiving in AL holding my newest niece or nephew! This was a surprise to Lil Sis and her hubby, but not unwelcome. My mom got so excited when she heard that she said: "So, I'm going to be another grandma??!" LiL Sis laughed and said, "Well, you won't become another person, but yes, you're going to be a grandma again."

Ok, so the new baby is a HUGE thing, but there's still more! (Am I starting to sound like Bob Barker as he explains a Showcase at the end of The Price is Right??)

Hubby has been in the process of making a career change for several months now. He has been in the logistics industry for 15 years, and he was very tired of it. So, about 2 months ago, he started substitute teaching. I've always said he'd be a GREAT teacher -- he loves kids, kids love him, and he has a TON of patience...and he'd finally started to consider teaching. But, he found out that he'd have to go back to school for almost 2 years before he could become a full-fledged teacher, at which time he would be earning peanuts as a teacher in the great state of Kansas.

So, he started looking for another logistics job...which didn't please either one of us. Even though the money is good in logistics, he is NOT a happy camper when he's doing those jobs. At the same time, Mom and Dad suggested a few websites for government jobs. See, B was in the USMC for 6 years, and he's wanted to go back into it for years, but I wouldn't let him. Being a government employee would be a compromise.

Well, this week, B found out that he got a job with the U.S. Government! He is so excited! He starts on Monday...and although we're not exactly sure what he'll be doing, it will be 1000 times better than what he's done in the past. And, he gets every possible holiday, and I'm praying for awesome benefits.

B called my Dad (who's also a federal employee) the day he found out and said, "This is just one government employee calling another..."

Once again, I have to make mention that God's timing is amazing!!

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Celebrate the Resurrection!

Easter is almost here! I love Easter! It used to be my favorite holiday -- we celebrate that our Savior has risen from the dead, everything is in bloom, and we start to forget about the dreary winter months. But then, I realized that Easter is also a celebration of Jesus' death...because He had to die before He could rise from the I started to claim Christmas as my favorite holiday -- since that is when we celebrate our Savior's birth.

But the more I think about it, and the more I read about the death and resurrection of Jesus, the more I realize that both holidays are important...God's plan is not complete without the events of Christmas AND Easter. I look forward to the Lenten season every year. I don't give something up for Lent as a lot of other people do, but I do try to stop and think about what Lent and Easter is all about. I found a website this year with devotions for the Lenten season, and the introduction explains it perfectly:

While Easter is a popular holiday and may be the most important Christian holiday (next to Christmas), many of us have a pretty weak understanding of what it is all about. For example, Easter often sneaks up on us: we may not even think of it until the annual church brunch is announced. ...

Lent is the antidote to this oversight. In the Western churches (of the Protestant variety) we don't participate in Lent, historically speaking. We are more comfortable with the joy and celebration of Easter than with the darkness that preceded it. But Lent is a chance to remember the dark before the dawn, the sin that sent Jesus to the cross. In the Orthodox Church, Lent is called the season of Bright Sadness, because it is a time of both celebration and mourning.

But, the inevitable question is: why dwell on the darkness at all? After all, Jesus' work is done. Death has been conquered, Christ is victorious! Why should we be sad?

If Easter is the Answer, What is the Question?
Before Christ, the world called out to God (in the words of David, King of Israel),

"How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire? " (Psalm 79.5)

Easter is the once-for-all-time answer to this question. Jesus took our place on the cross to appease God's righteous anger. He went alone to be punished: separated from God and deserted by his friends. The drama of how this happened is the story of Lent. ... Before the Resurrection comes crucifixion; before crucifixion comes prosecution; before prosecution comes betrayal, doubt, fear, rebellion, and sin.

Lent helps us experience our part in the Passion (suffering) of Jesus. We face our humanity during Lent: we learn that sin still dwells in us, that we still carry darkness. We learn that we would likely have fallen asleep as Jesus prayed for deliverance in the garden, and we would likely have denied knowing him as he silently accepted his death sentence.

I'm a little slow in my Easter study this year...I've let other priorities get in the way. We've even been lax in attending church this season, and that bothers me. It's not that I've forgotten the story of Jesus dying on the cross, or that I think I have to be in church to be a Christian, but the worship and sermons and fellowship are unavoidable reminders of the awesome sacrifice that Jesus made for us.

I don't write about spiritual subjects like this very much, but I think that Jesus' death and resurrection deserves my attention right now. I'm grateful for my life, and I'm grateful that Jesus was willing to die for my sins so that I don't have to, and I'm grateful that even though I still sin, He is willing to forgive me again and again and again...and I'm grateul that I'm guaranteed eternal life in a place more beautiful than words can describe...just for trusting and believing in Him!

Take a minute to be grateful for everything you have in your life, and think about the sacrifice that God made in sending His Son to die for YOU, and the unbelievable gift that Jesus gave to YOU when He hung on the cross.

I'll end this post with lyrics from a favorite song of mine by Phillips, Craig and Dean called "In Christ Alone":

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest
drought and storm

What heights of love,
what depths of peace
When fears are stilled,
when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ Alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave he rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power
of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power
of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
In Christ alone

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His Hand
'til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

Another MEME

Found this on a friend's myspace, and I'm always up for a good survey...I won't officially tag anyone, but feel free to steal and post your own version...hint, hint...

1. Where were you an hour ago?
In a meeting about a class I’m teaching next week

2. Who will be your next kiss?
My husband

3. Who is your favorite character from the Wizard of Oz?
Dorothy (b/c I’m her now…living in KS and all)

4. Are you wearing socks right now?

5. When was the last time you went out of the state?
Last Saturday when we went to Oklahoma to meet a friend for lunch

6. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?
Yes – we saw Shooter – it was awesome!

7. What was the last thing you had to drink?

8. What are you wearing right now?
boring work clothes (khakis and a collared shirt)

9. What was your last purchase?
buy one get one free butter at Walgreens

10. Last food you ate?

11. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
A Creative Memories rep who’s coming to my Scrapbooking bonanza this weekend

12. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
yes, I ordered from Chadwick’s yesterday and I got a t-shirt at Eskimo Joe’s last weekend

13. Do you have a pet?
yup – 2 mini schnauzers

14. What's the last sporting event you watched?
KU get their butts kicked by UCLA

15. Favorite Disney movie?
Is Goonies a Disney movie? I think it is…so Goonies it is!

16. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
Greek Islands w/ my hubby

17. What is the last thing you purchased online?
clothes from Chadwicks

18. One thing you hate about yourself? hips and thighs, personality wise – I can be mean sometimes…why do I do that??
19. What's your favorite soup?
Tomato bisque from Café Med

20. Do you miss anyone?

21. Last play you saw?
B took me to see Singin’ in the Rain for our anniversary last year.

22. What are your plans for the day?
work for a few more hours, pick up my photos from Wal Mart, and then work out

24. Ever go to camp?
oh yeah!! Hume Lake is the BEST!

25. Are you an honor roll student?
when I was in school...yes

26. What do you know about the future?
Nada…but I hope there’s a happy family in it!

27. Are you wearing purfume or cologne?

28. Where are your best friends located?
mostly in CA, but some are scattered around

29. Do you have a tan?
I do when I bust out the tan-in-a-bottle…right now my legs are pretty tan, for me anyway!

30. How old do you want to be when you have kids?

31. Last person who made you cry?
can’t remember…it’s weird, but it’s actually been a while since I cried

32. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
yes...just my ears

33. How do you like your soda?
diet, and with LOTS of ice.

34. Do you like hot sauce?

35. What is your mood?
frustrated – work stinks!

36. Are you someone’s best friend?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


My almost SIL sent this YouTube snippet to me, and it's awesome...just what I needed to break up the monotony of another day in Corporate America.

I've never put a YouTube on my blog before, so I don't know exactly how to do I'm just going to include the here for the video.

The text says it's 10 years old, but it's still awesome!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Stinkin' Flat Tire

This is how my fun-filled Monday started out...with a freakin' flat tire.

I left home a little is Monday after all...and I had to stop for gas and coffee on the way. By the way, I discovered this morning that my favorite place (Quick Trip) where I make my own version of a yummy caramel latte that costs $0.95 if you use their cup...only costs $0.63 if I take my own cup! I can save 32 cents a day!!!

Anyway, back to the story...I got my gas, got my coffee and headed off to my joyous job (note sarcasm). When I was less than 1 mile from work, I came across some wood in the road. I was heading south, but in the northbound lanes, it looked like someone had dropped a wood pallet that broke all over the road. There were two 6" x 1" splinters in my lane. I had coffee in one hand, the steering wheel in the other, and someone in the lane next to I did my best to avoid the wood. I missed one piece and hit the other...and I heard a loud BOOM under my car as I passed by. My car continued to head south, so I kept driving to work, all the while thinking that the last time I hit something in the road -- a HUGE pothole in the dark -- I had to replace ALL 4 TIRES...not something that I wanted to repeat.

When I got to work and gathered all my junk and got out of the car, I heard the dreaded hissing sound coming from my left front tire. Stink! I got down on my hands and knees in the parking lot and tried to feel for the leak, but I couldn't find it. I called B and told him that I "had done something to my car"...which of course, only made him think about the pothole incident, as well.

I called AAA (thank God for AAA!), and the nicest guy showed up to help. He filled my tire with air, and then had me back up slowly so he could find the leak. He said if it was small then he could plug it right there, and I'd be good as new. It took a while to find it, which turned out to be good because it did end up to be a very small leak...and he plugged it, and now I'm good to go!

Whew! I so did not need to deal with a flat tire today or this week or ever! Now my Monday can get back to my normal dreaded day instead of an EXTRA dreaded day.

I hate Mondays! Unless I'm on vacation or on a holiday...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Breaking News! KC revenue increases by 25% in one weekend!

You may be asking...HOW is that possible??

The Buddies can SHOP, that's how!!

(L-R: Mandy, Sally, Paulette, Agnes, Marge, Katie Kay, Ker, and Hermy)

The weekend is over, and it was a blast! That doesn't mean that each and every one of us didn't have at least one grouchy moment in the 48+ hours we all spent together...I mean, it is NOT possible for 8 girls sharing 2 adjoining hotel rooms to NOT have at least one grouchy moment, right?

Here's a rundown of the weekend in numbers (I AM an engineer), and then I'll get into the details.

8 Buddies
4 Airline Flights
3 Trips to the Airport
2 Hotel rooms
2 Shopping trips to the Country Club Plaza
1 Belly Dancer (at Tasso's Greek Restaurant)
A Gazillion Laughs
A Ton of Pictures
2.5 Hours in Nordstrom
A Few Wrong Turns
8 Exhausted, but ultimately happy Buddies

Remember...the Buddies have been friends for ages and ages...and as a complete group of 10 girls...for over 15 years. We know each other VERY well. We've been happy, sad, tired, grouchy, and stinky (keep the spinach and broccoli away from us!) together MANY MANY MANY times. Some of us are actually related to each other through marriage...we are all related to each other through the Love of our Heavenly Father, and it is by His grace that we still love each other and have remained friends to this day.

We've decided that our relationships are like a family now...even if you wanted out, TOUGH, we're committed, and we're all stuck with each other...which makes it so great that we love each other so much.

So, back to the weekend…I made it to KC just in time to pick up the first Buddy from the airport. As I waited on the curb for Katie Kay, I almost couldn’t contain myself…the fun was about to begin. KK walked out of baggage claim, and we started chattering away as we took off in search of a snack and a little browsing while we waited for the next flight to arrive. We headed back to the KC airport to meet 3 more Buddies. Their flight was a little delayed, so we parked and met them at the gate. When they walked off, we turned into a group of junior high girls as we jumped up and down and hugged and all talked at once.

After we picked up their rental car (a Caddy complete with sunroof, satellite radio, and a navigation system reserved by one of the hubbies), we made our way into downtown KC to find our hotel…the one with the rotating restaurant on top AND valet parking! We felt like princesses until we got up to our room and realized that all 5 of us would have to share the room and SINGLE bathroom for the night…no big deal, we just pretended like we were back at Hume Lake Camp. We got settled, freshened up, and headed to the Plaza for a YUMMY dinner at the Melting Pot – a fondue restaurant. The food was awesome and so was the conversation as we caught up and shared memories of years past.

You’d think that 5 girls in their 30’s (ok, so KK isn’t quite there, but whatever) would be exhausted after all the activities of the day…but NO…we stayed up talking…me on the roll-away bed, and the others crammed into 2 double beds. The birthday girl and I konked out about 2am…with just a glimmer of waking up when Mandy told a secret she’d been keeping FOR YEARS (we weren’t completely coherent, so we had to ask about it in the morning)…but the rest of girls stayed up talking til 4am!

On Saturday, we were slow and lazy…and Paulette and I finally ventured downstairs in search of coffee (can you believe our 5 Star hotel DID NOT have coffee in the room??) about 11:30am.

The trek to the airport to pick up the last 3 girls should have started by noon, but we were slow, the valet took FOREVER to bring the cars, AND, apparently KC is a HUGE place to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, so there was a parade outside our hotel that caused our 20 minute drive to take 45 minutes…but the simple fact remains that Paulette and I had problems operating the elevator.

We started down to the lobby from the 24th floor, and at about floor 18 we realized that we left the directions in the room…so we tried to think quickly and figure out how to go back up to the 24th floor without going all the way to the lobby. Paulette hurried and pushed the button that said 24…but that didn’t work, we were heading down, so I tried to see what floor we were on and push a button for a floor lower, so the elevator would stop and we could go back up. I pushed 15. The elevator stopped, but when we pushed 24, it started back down again, since it was a DOWN elevator, I guess. Here we go again…now we pushed 12, but the elevator didn’t stop til we got to 9…I guess we confused it. So then we got off, and pushed the up button to wait for ANOTHER elevator to take us back up to 24. We grabbed the directions and headed back down…where we then realized while waiting for the car, that we had forgotten our sunglasses…this time we were smart and called the other girls who were on their way down and asked them to get the glasses for us…what did we do before cell phones??? (I’m not kidding…I placed and received no fewer than 60 phone calls from one or another of the buddies over the course of the trip!!)

Agnes and Marge were disappointed that we weren’t there to greet them at the gate…in fact, they had to wait about 30 minutes for Paulette and I to finally arrive. So, we picked them up and then headed to the next terminal to pick up Hermy. We parked and met her at baggage claim…where more chattering and hugging took place. Good thing Hermy had a small bag, because the car was PACKED tight with all that luggage…Thanks to B for letting me drive the H3 all weekend…my little car never would have handled it!

The plan was for the 5 of us to drop the luggage at the hotel and catch up to the other girls at the Plaza for lunch and an afternoon of shopping. Well, we had to check into the 2nd hotel room when we got back, so Paulette stayed downstairs to take care of that, and the rest of us headed up to the 24th floor. We dropped the bags, powdered our noses, and then headed downstairs to meet up with Paulette…who had worked her magic to get us adjoining rooms…but that meant ANOTHER trip upstairs to gather up all the stuff and move down to the 11th floor into 2 new rooms. Have you ever seen how much junk is in a shower that 5 girls were using??? It’s insane!! But, we ARE the Buddies, and we had the room packed and moved within 15 minutes.

By this time a few of us were grouchy because we hadn’t eaten any real food all day, so next on the agenda was to meet up with the other girls for lunch. We went to a yummy Italian place, where we all had to hug and chatter again…we were FINALLY all together!! Agnes and I took advantage of being on vacation and had a wonderful glass of wine with our soup and salad.

After lunch, the seriousness began…SHOPPING!! The Plaza is an AWESOME place to shop…but not cheap. We hit a ton of stores, tried on a ton of clothes, and spent a TON of money…at least some of us did!

We had dinner reservations at Tasso’s Greek Restaurant at 8pm, and since that "serious" shopping didn’t start until after 4pm, we had to pick up the pace. Half of us wanted to head back and make ourselves HOT for dinner, while the other half wanted to get that last 30 minutes of shopping in…so we split up and agreed to meet at the restaurant.

Tasso’s is AWESOME…and if you’re ever in KC, you HAVE to go! The atmosphere is a traditional Greek family restaurant, the food is unbelievable, and the entertainment (live band and belly dancer) is amazing! The birthday girl (Ker) was called up onto the dance floor to be recognized, and later she and I learned how to belly dance.

KK and Paulette beckon to the Belly Dancer

Sally & Ker get's all in the hips!

Ker mugs with the horn player

It was very loud because of the music, but I loved it! We didn’t leave the restaurant until after 10:30pm, and we tried to drive through McD’s for ice cream, but they weren’t serving ice cream anymore, so my car headed back to the hotel. I wasn’t really watching that the Caddy stayed behind me…they had the Nav system, after all, so we were a little surprised when they called after we were relaxing in the hotel to say that they were on a highway to Des Moines, IA, and they were freaking out!!

They finally made it back, and the fashion show began! We had some leftover wine from dinner, and we made the rule that everyone had to model their goods. We hit the hay a little earlier that night…maybe 1:30am, and we said that we had to be out of the hotel by 11am on Sunday because the girls wanted to do more shopping, and we had an appointment to make purses at Lill at noon. Well, we didn’t exactly make the 11am deadline…and we were starting to get a little grouchy…probably due to lack of sleep and increasing age (we’re not spring chickens anymore, y’know)…but we managed to get everyone food and caffeine and make it to the purse appointment on time.

BUT FIRST, we had to stop at an establishment we had seen that was called…none other…than BUDDIES!! Check our the photos below…we took a vote and decided to stop during daylight and not when they were actually open…a wise decision, I think!

Unfortunately, my extrovert self was having a very rare introvert day…I didn’t even know I had those in me. I was ready to head home to Wichita, I had spent my wad, and I knew B would FREAK OUT if I showed up at home with another purse, so I wasn’t so into it. I took a couple walks with Marge to look in a few other stores, but the girls still weren’t ready to go, so then I went to get a quick manicure. That helped me calm down some, but by then the cute new flats I’d bought at Gap were killing my feet. I headed back to the purse store, and they still weren’t done, but they were getting closer. I waited it out, and hoped and prayed that we would grab a snack and hit the road. But, the girls weren’t done shopping…there were a couple more shops they needed to hit.

I took that time to run an errand I needed to do, fill up with gas, get my next caffeine fix, and pick up some BBQ for hubby at his favorite restaurant. By the time I finished, the girls were done at the Plaza, but they wanted to stop at Nordstrom in another mall. I had hoped we’d be on our way back to Wichita by then, and my grouchy side was rearing its ugly head, but I tried to be patient. Hermy and I headed to Tar-jay to get me some one-dollar flip flops so the blisters on my pinky toes wouldn’t get worse and to get an ice chest so the BBQ wouldn’t grow E-Coli as it sat in the car…and then we prayed that 2 more people would be ready to hit the road. We headed back to Wichita about 5:30pm (I had thought we’d GET TO my house by 3pm originally) with only one wrong turn. The other girls were a couple hours behind us.

Since we were living the life of celebrities (stay up late, wake up late, eat all meals late after you shop til you drop, etc -- eat your heart out Paris!), we weren’t ready for dinner until we got home and got settled – at 9:30pm. We tried to go to Jason’s Deli, one of my USUALLY favorite places, to grab some food to take home…we'd called and they said they didn't close til 10pm, but they had locked the doors and were ignoring us at 9;45 pm. Next on the list was On The Border…where they were AWESOME and let us in to eat at 5 minutes before they closed. Let me tell you…those margaritas we ordered were MUCH needed!! By the time we finished, the other girls had caught up to us, and we came home to get settled for the night.

We ended up making cocktails and playing Scattergories until 3am on Sunday night…and B was such a good sport. He had cleaned the entire house for me, so it looked great when we got home. We crashed and slept til 9am when I woke up and made scones, muffins, and coffee for everyone. We were dressed and out the door by a little after noon for...guess what...more shopping! No, we can’t get enough!

But, at least we headed for stores that I could afford...Accessory City and Gordman’s. We had to start gearing up for goodbyes after we all purchased similar hats at Accessory City...and it reminded us that our fun was about to end. We took one last picture of us all together outside of the store, and I hugged everyone goodbye though my tears.

A couple hours after the first group left, we got a call…a call we thought would tell us that they had arrived at the airport safely...but OH NO, that wasn’t it at all. The Nav system had routed them to a small airport on the East side of KC, instead of KC International...and they only had a few minutes to get to the right airport for KK to make her flight. Luckily, we were home, so we mapped where they were and got them back on track…and after some sweet-talking at the ticket counter, KK made her flight on time. Whew!

There were still 4 of us left to have one more night of fun, so we took some time to relax, work out, and gear up for one more night on the town. We grabbed my girlfriend M and headed out to a Japanese Steakhouse for some Teppanyaki…oh boy, was it good!! I think you’ll be able to tell from the pictures below how much fun we had.

C'mon, M...the shrimp goes IN your mouth (our chef was tossing snacks to us)

Don't you dare try to flip my rice away from me!

One last photo!

From there, we started to slow down a little. We came home, packed up, exchanged photos, chatted a little bit, and hit the hay…a little more down than before (at least I was). The next morning we didn’t have a lot of time as the girls were heading for KC, and I was heading to work. We stopped for coffee and said our goodbyes outside of the store. They followed me to my exit, and then I waved as they drove off towards KC…trying to keep my car on the road as my eyes teared up again.

It’s so hard to say good-bye. I love my Buddies, and I hope they know that, even though I had my grouchy moments over the weekend. We have changed as we’ve gotten older, and we are usually ready to head home at the end of our trips, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t love each other and enjoy spending time with each other. Our time together is so short now, and we always try to cram so much in, with so many different expectations. Our stories and laughter and pictures will live forever, and I will be forever grateful that my Buddies took the time and money to come visit me in my new home. I love you, Buddies!

Ok, so this is the longest post ever...but I don't want to forget anything about the weekend...and this is how I remember, so just humor me and act like you read least I included lots of photos!

Not the girls weekend, but something anyway...

I got this from Christine over at Fruit In Season, and I thought it was a fast way for me to get a post up today...since I know you're all waiting with bated breath for my post about the crazy girls weekend (yeah, right)'s coming I soon as I get a chance...enjoy this one for now. *cheesy grin*

1. What time did you get up this morning? 5:10 – that’s a little earlier than usual, but I had a training to give at work

2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Zodiac…it was awesome! Go see it

4. What is your favorite TV show? LOST or Brothers and Sisters

5. What did you have for breakfast? I MEANT to eat my yogurt, but I picked up donuts for my meeting, and my temptation got the best of me.

6. What is your middle name? Anne (with an E!)

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Greek or Mediterranean

8. What foods do you dislike? Anything that used to live in water

9. What are your favorite chips? Wavy Lays

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? I don’t really have a favorite, but I just got some fun ones from BMG – Gwen Stefani, Sublime, & Kelly Clarkson…gotta have something to rock out to in the convertible as the weather warms up!

11. What kind of car do you drive? Saab Convertible

12. Favorite sandwich? Ham and provolone on French bread

13. What are characteristics you can't stand? Cockiness and dishonesty

14. What are your favorite clothes? Jeans, cute top, and fun TALL sandals

15. If you could go anywhere on vacation where would you go? Greece and Italy

16. There was no sixteen in this little questionnaire so I'll just give you a random fact about myself: I played the clarinet in school until my junior year in high school, when I couldn’t take it anymore.

17. Where would you want to retire? Somewhere with clean air, nice people, family close by, and my hubby!

18. Favorite time of day? Morning.

19. Where were you born? On an Air Force Base in Central California

20. What is your favorite sport to watch? Football

21. Coke or Pepsi? DIET Coke – can’t live without it!

22. Beavers or ducks? Um…quack? I don’t know…

23. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning person – unless I stayed up too late!

24. Pedicure or manicure? Pedicures for a treat…manicures every 2 weeks (or at least fills)

25. What did you want to be when you were little? A lawyer – but I decided it was too much school, so I became an engineer

26. What is your best childhood memory? Probably all the time spent with cousins and grandparents and family trips

27. Ever been to Africa? Not yet.

28. Ever been toilet papering? Oh yeah, baby! MANY MANY MANY times! =)

29. Been in a car accident? Yes, many

30. Favorite day of the week? Saturday.

31. Favorite restaurant? Café Med in Bako, CA

32. Favorite flower? Yellow roses…that have opened completely

33. Favorite ice-cream? Anything with fudge and nuts…but ONLY Dreyer’s or Edy’s brand

34. Favorite fast food restaurant? In N Out

35. How many times did you fail your driver's test? none

36. From whom did you get your last e-mail? My friend Monica

37. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Costco

38. Last person you went to dinner with? All my buddies on Monday night…the night before they went home to CA… =(

39. What are you listening to right now? Our Ops Director talking to my boss (they’re outside my cube)

40. What is your favorite color? Red

41. How many tattoos do you have? none…yet…too scared of the pain

42. How many are you sending this Email to? Just blogging it.

43. What time did you finish this e-mail blog entry? 11:23 am.

44. Favorite magazine: I’d rather read books, but when I get mags it’s In Style or one of the smutty gossip rags (can’t resist!)

45. Coffee or tea? Both.

46. Do you tan easily or burn easily? I burn easily, never tan…unless it comes from a bottle.

47. Do you color your hair? Yes...and I don’t really know my natural color anymore

48. What was the first car you ever purchased without the help of your parents? 1997 Camaro with T-Tops…It was so fun to drive!! But, it was a lemon, and I sold it back to GM and bought a more practical, but still fun, Honda Accord V6 Coupe

49. What is your most dreaded household chore? Ironing, Vacuuming, cleaning…you name it, I dread it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Flint Hills and Dr. Bill

Ok, Dr. Bill...I'll put a link to your website on my blog. And, no, I haven't been off the turnpike to see all that the Flint Hills have to offer. I was being a little facetious...because I have seen, even from the turnpike, how pretty the hills can be. But, as a native Californian, it doesn't help me miss the mountains less. =)

So, everyone go check out the Flint Hills website and learn a little bit about new home.

The BIG Secret

Ok, the cat is out of the bag, so I can spill my guts now...

But first...a summary of my day...I'm teaching a class at work this week, or actually I'm facilitating a continuous improvement event...and that means that I'm exhausted!! I did this at my last job, too, and I love to do it because I get to act like a teacher and lead my own team. The problem is that it involves LOTS of prep work, and the days are already long (I tell my classes to expect 10 hour days, but I have to get there early to set up and stay late to clean up every day), AND I'm doing it by the past, I've had a partner.

Anyway, I left the house at 9am today, and I walked back in at, here I sit, tired, but too wound up to sleep, a glass of pinot noir in front of me trying to catch up on blogs AND work on the presentation for my event on Friday. Oh yeah, and the secret...

7 of my 9 Buddies (click here and here to find out more about them) are coming to see me this weekend!!! I'm so excited!!! It was a secret because part of the reason they're coming is for a surprise trip for one of the girl's 30th birthday. There was about a 5% chance that the Birthday Girl would stumble upon my blog before the secret was revealed, and I didn't want to spoil the fun.

The 7 Buddies are arriving on 4 different flights (& 4 different airlines!) from Friday afternoon until Saturday Kansas City. So, since I always end my week at noon on weeks I teach these classes, I've got to be in my car heading out of town by noon on Friday. And I can't wait!! We've got a weekend of fun scheduled in KC and then it's back home to show them my new digs. I have to borrow mattresses and futons so everyone has somewhere to sleep at my house!

The craziest part of all of this is that it started out that 2 girls were going to come see me. Then we thought that our Buddy in Indiana could probably find cheap tickets to KC, so we asked her if she wanted to come. She said yes! Then, as a joke (because 10 girls planning anything -- especially last minute, is tough enough), I asked if anyone else wanted to come. To my BIG amazement, another Buddy emailed back and said yeah, that might work...and we started talking...and it turned into this Birthday trip...and everyone except for 2 Buddies are coming! We have been joking that it wouldn't have worked out this well if we'd started planning this back in December!

See, we get together every December for a weekend away, and we have to start planning it in July or August! But, this trip came together somehow.

So, sorry if I disappointed some of you with my BIG secret...but I am so stinkin' excited for this weekend...and already a little sad about what I will look forward to after it's all over...but for now, I'm ready to party!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My Attempt

My attempt at what? Well, decorating...or my version of decorating.

I want my house to look like a professional decorator helped me out...but I'm too cheap to pay for an interior designer (no offense, Angel of Design). So, I rely on my mom, friends, magazines, and my hare-brained ideas.

I had one of those ideas while I was driving home from work one day. See, my mom helped me make AWESOME window treatments in my CA house...and because we made cornice boards and just about permanently attached them to the wall (thanks to B and Dad), I left them for the next owner. I left the cornices, that is...but under the cornice was a curtain mom and I made out of the coolest white sheer fabric that has stars on it. See, my theme in the kitchen and breakfast nook is Americana...heavy on the stars.

So, I have the star fabric with me...but the cornice board had scalloped edges, and we covered it in fabric and it was a PAIN to make...and since mom isn't here with me...I wasn't about to try to re-create it. But, I had another idea that was much easier and more on my level. I'll let the pictures speak for me...check it out. It's not EXACTLY what I want...but it will do until mom gets out here to help me change it up.

Dense Fog Advisory

I thought the days of hearing "Dense Fog Advisory" on the morning news were behind me. Not so. See, fog is a normal occurrence in the Central Valley of CA...we were surrounded by mountains on 3 sides and there was nowhere for the Tule (pronounced tool-ee) fog to go.

Here, I live on the Plains...that's really what it's called...and it means that it is FLAT, FLAT, FLAT!! No mountains in sight...and they call the Flint Hills "hills"...they're about 100 feet high!

Regardless of the apparent facts, and my abundant knowlege of all things weather (note the sarcasm)...we have woken up to dense fog for the last two mornings. At first when I heard the forecast, I laughed thinking that these Kansas folks couldn't possibly know what fog is...and then I went outside...and it was foggy! So foggy that Bako, CA, would have issued a school fog delay...but not on the Plains!

Of course, I have to mention the KS drivers and fog. I may not know how to drive WELL in snow and ice, and I may be terrified of tornados, but I DO know how to drive in fog. SLOW THE FREAK DOWN!! I know that you can see the lines far enough ahead of you to keep your own vehicle moving...but what about that 30 car pile-up that is only 100 feet in front of you that you can't see??? SLOW DOWN!!

Ok, I'm done now...I just want all my CA buddies to know that I have not escaped the fog. And all that fog did burn off and give us a 77 degree March...and my top came off...the car, people, the top came off the CAR! =)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I actually went out!

Even though I only put mascara on today, it's still more than I did last weekend...

It started on Thursday night...our neighborhood has a clubhouse, and once a month several of us meet there to chat, snack, drink, and play Bunko. If you haven't every played Bunko, it's just a dice game and an excuse for chicks to hang out and relax. This month, my SIL, my friend M and my neighbor Avery all trekked to the clubhouse together. The snacks were awesome and so was the company. We only had 7 this month, but we didn't was nice to have a break from our normal routine. We all chip in $5, and we give money for the most wins, most Bunkos (rolling 3 6's), and the most losses. I won my $5 for having the most losses this month. We also had cake and coffee to wish our friend Annette goodbye b/c she's moving to MO in a couple weeks.

Friday was a busy day at work, then I went to get my nails done, AND THEN B and I went to the theater to see Zodiac. It was a great movie! I'm going to admit right here how uniformed and naive I am when I say that I had no idea who the Zodiac killer was/is...and he committed his murders in CA where my mom grew up, my aunt and Grandma still live, and where I lived for a couple years. Of course, these crimes took place in the late 60's and early 70's, but they didn't solve the crime until the 90's! if it's even solved...the main suspect died before they could charge him with the crimes. Anyway, my mom and dad lived about 10 miles from where these murders were taking place when they got married! How scary is that?

If you want a good crime movie, go see it. There are a TON of big actors in it...Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony's awsesome. It is almost 3 hours long, but there's a lot to be considered. I wasn't all that excited to go see it, but hubby insisted, and I'm glad he did.

Today, I got up, went to the gym, hit the grocery store, then came home to start getting my house ready for my HUGE weekend next week...that's the secret that I can't talk about yet...but I will soon...just hang on. *wink* Then I ran to check on our friend's dogs b/c they're out of town, and then we ate grilled chicken and drank yummy now I'm just chilling on the couch. I think B is downstairs playing with his trains, and I'm enjoying the after effects of the martini...maybe I need to go make another one...

My neighbors rock!

I love my neighborhood...and if you've been reading my blog for a while, you already know that. But, I'm saying it again...I love my neighborhood!!

The weather in south central Kansas started to feel a little like spring today. People were running around in flip flops and shorts, the lawnmowers made their first appearance for 2007, and our BBQ grill came out of the garage. We moved it down the stairs off of our deck sometime in November because the crazy Kansas wind kept blowing the cover off...but today it came back. I had marinated chicken, and we were going to fire up the grill for dinner tonight...but we had to drag the stupid thing back up the stairs to the deck first.

So, B and I ventured out to complete this task. I had helped him take it OFF the deck a few months ago, so I should be able to handle getting it back up, right? WRONG!! I pushed and pulled, but the dang thing kept getting stuck, and we only made it up about 2 steps. B told me to trade spots with him, maybe that would work. It didn't, and right when the propane tank fell off and landed on my flip flopped feet, our neighbor from 2 doors down came out on his deck and hollered to see if we needed help. How cool is that??

B doesn't like to ask for help, but Kevin offered, so I yelled back and said, Yes! Please come help us!! 5 minutes later, he was at our front door and the grill was on the deck in no time. It's our house in CA, no one would have even been able to see that we needed help, let alone offered it -- our fences were so high and private. But here, we have wrought iron fences, and our decks are about 10 feet higher than the back yard, so Kevin could see right away that we needed help.

Kevin and his wife Avery, who are about our age, live 2 doors down from us, and next door to where my parents will live in about a year. They have 2 kids, and they are the nicest family. They moved to KS from TX about a year ago. Avery and I have become friends and we play Bunko with some other girls from the neighborhood once a month. Avery also teaches aerobics at our Y, so I take her classes as often as I can. They came over and hung out with us on New Year's Eve, and I hope we can spend more time with them as the weather continues to warm up.

Their neighborliness (is that even a word??) made up for the disrespect I got from some of the teenage boys in the neighborhood yesterday. There is a group of 3 or 4 teenage boys who like to ride their skateboards down the front steps of my neighbors houses. They don't live in these houses, in fact, I haven't been able to figure out where they live yet...but I will. When I got home from work yesterday, these boys were riding their skateboards down my next door neighbors steps. I stopped in my driveway, rolled down the window and told them to beat it. They told me I have a cool car, I said thank you, but beat it anyway.

I went inside, and about 10 minutes later, I could hear them outside again. Now they were across the street on another neighbors steps. Now I was pissed....I've caught these kids before, and I always chase them off, but they have no fear! I went outside and told them to come here. They started walking off in the other direction very quickly, so I started off after them. They kept going, I kept yelling, and then they turned around and said, "Fuck you, Bitch!" Oh, I was hot then...but I didn't feel like running after them. There was another kid with them who was just kinda hanging out, but didn't look like he belonged with them. He was on a bike, and when the boys ran off, he turned around and went the other way. He stopped and talked to me...he also lives in the neighborhood, but isn't really friends with these boys (or so he says)...but he also said he doesn't know where they live.

I went back inside and called our Association president, who said we couldn't do anything about it unless I find out where they now I'm on a stalking mission to find out where these hoodlums live. They stay off my steps because mine curve and they would break their necks if they tried it...and then I would be held liable because they got hurt on my property.

Where the heck are their parents????

Friday, March 09, 2007

This is why I haven't been posting...

This has been my view for the last several weeks...making it very difficult to post anything...I'm swamped!

I do most of my blogging from work in between other tasks, or when I just can't take corporate America anymore. Unfortunately, I haven't even had those little breaks lately.

It's good and it's bad. Good because work is more bearable now that I'm busier, and I have INTERESTING projects to work on. It's bad because I enjoy blogging. I've been able to squeeze in time to read other's blogs...and to make the occasional comment...but not nearly enough time to post as much as I would like to.

Here's my other view...out the opening in my cube...oh what fun! Oh yeah, you can also see part of my ugly and messy desk. I have very little working space in this cube...but I haven't complained because it's only temporary...we're getting ready to move to a new office where I'll get all new furniture...too bad it's on the plant floor and far away from the parking lot!

Oh, the other reason I haven't been posting as much is because there is NOTHING exciting going on in my life right now. Do you all REALLY want to read about how I get up, go to work, go to the gym, go home, eat cereal or soup for dinner, watch a little TV, shower and go to bed...only to get up and do it all over again the next day? I didn't think so.

BUT...there is something VERY exciting happening next weekend...I just can't talk about it yet b/c it's a secret...but believe me...I'll share all after next weekend. In the meantime, I'm going to try to do something that warrants putting makeup on over the weekend. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 04, 2007


My cell phone rang while I was on my way to work Friday morning. It was my almost-SIL (I say almost because she's marrying hubby's brother in about 6 weeks)...she and BIL live in Colorado, and they're on mountain hour earlier than us. It was 6:20am her time. Here's how the conversation went:

SIL: *frantic* Are you ok??

Me: are you?

SIL: What's the weather like??

Me:'s sunny and cold...(I'm thinking what the heck is she getting at?)

SIL: Well, is it storming?

Me: was windy last night, but it's sunny and clear now...what's going on?

SIL: There's a Andover! It just touched down! I just woke up and heard about it. Are you guys OK???

Just a note here...Andover is a town on the east side of Wichita, where B's other brother, wife and their 2 girls live.

Me: Are you sure? I'm about 15 miles from there and it's still clear and sunny. I've had the radio mention of a tornado in Andover.

SIL: Well, I just woke up to that on the news! They're talking about a tornado in ANDOVER! Fiance is on the phone with his mom now. Are you SURE you're ok?

Me: We're fine! Are you sure it's not the ALABAMA tornado? That's what the news is talking about now. Are you awake yet?

SIL: Well...I don't know...I'm sure they said Andover...I think. I'll talk to you later...after I figure out what's going on...

Me: Well, y'know...Andover, Alabama...sounds the same *snicker* Talk to ya later.

It was a humorous conversation, and we STILL aren't sure what she heard on the news, but there was NO tornado in Andover...unfortunately, there WAS the one in Enterprise, Alabama. I can not imagine what that town is going through right now. Tornados scare the CRAP out of me...and to go through something so devestating in high school...those kids are brave!

Blogging has really opened my eyes to things outside of my little circle. I hate to admit this, but Katrina didn't really impact me that much. I know that sounds terrible, but I was living in California when Katrina hit. Our weather was sunny and was hard for me to imagine a big storm hitting anywhere right then. Even afterwards when I saw pictures, I was a little callous...thinking, why didn't these people prepare, why didn't they evacuate when they got the warning...why were they living down there in the first place?? And here was something that changed peoples lives FOREVER!

I have friends all over the who works in Manhattan even, and when 9/11 hit, I was terrified...because I knew she was right in the middle of it. I don't have any friends in New Orleans, and even though my sister is in Alabama, she is hours from the coast where the Katrina devestation hit. I was happy and content in my little world, and it would surprise me to hear about weather that was so different from MY weather.

But, blogging has changed all that. Daily I read about people all over the country, a few outside of the country even. I read about what's happening in their, politics, tragedies, celebrations...all of that is happening AT THE SAME TIME as what I'm going through. Moving to the middle of the country has affected that also. I feel like I'm closer to...more of the world maybe? I'm not sure how to describe it, but I don't feel as sheltered anymore. What do ya 32 years of age, my eyes are being opened to things outside of my immediate surroundings.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Homemaking...what's that??

I saw this over on Blonde Chick's blog, and I like it, so here goes!

The ABC's of the Happy or Horrible Homemaker:

Aprons (Y/N): I have one, but I never use it...but I did give one to my niece for Christmas...I wonder if she'll ever use it.

Baking (Favorite thing to bake): I LOVE to bake...if for no other reason that I can sneak tastes of the dough or batter or whatever...what's my favorite?? Hmm...probably cookies or brownies or cakes or banana bread...I don't know, I love it all!

Clothesline (Y/N): Um...NO, and when I'm supposed to dry something FLAT, it ends up slung on top of the does ANYTHING dry if it's flat? NO air gets to it!

Donuts: I try to stay away, but I have a weakness for Krispy Kreme Devils Food...yum!

Every Day (One homemaking thing you do every day): Does hanging my towel up after my shower count? Cuz that's about it that happens EVERY day! I suppose I also heat something up in the microwave every day, too.

Freezer (Do you have a separate deep freeze?): No, but we have a separate fridge in the basement for just beer.

Garbage Disposal (Y/N): Yep! But, I've learned my lesson about using it for I'm pretty careful about what goes into it.

Handbook (What is your favorite homemaking resource?): MOM...totally!

Ironing (Love it or hate it?): HATE. HATE. HATE. I will do whatever it takes to NOT fact, just today I rebelled and wore jeans to work so I wouldn't have to iron. I used to not mind it so much...I'd grab a big pile of ironing and turn on the TV and go at it, but there are just too many other things I'd rather be doing.

Junk drawer (Y/N) (Where?): Yes! In the kitchen, and every time I open it, I say that I'm going to de-junk it, but it never happens. Oh well!

Love (What is your favorite part of homemaking?): Probably having a clean house to show off when people visit...but I hate to, it's a constant struggle!

Mop (Y/N): We've lived in our house 6 months, and I've mopped twice. Is that gross? I do vacuum it and spot clean a lot more than that. The floor in this house stays a lot cleaner than our last least to the naked eye.

Nylons: Do I wear nylons while I pretend to be a homemaker? Do I use nylons to clean my house? What exactly is this question asking?!

Oven (Do you use the window or open the door to check?): I start with the light, but you can't really tell what's going on by looking thru the window, so you HAVE to open the door.

Pizza (What do you put on yours?): My favorite is mushroom and ham...B is a meat man, so it's a meat lover's...which means we usually get a half and half pizza.

Quiet (What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?): A quiet momemt?? Well, if that ever happens, I read or catch up on my Tivo shows or play on the computer...but it's never QUIET...something is always making noise and moving around.

Recipe card box (Y/N): Yes, and I also have a lot of cookbooks as well. I finally stopped myself from buying more cookbooks because I don't use them...except for the family cookbook my mom made up years ago...and I also use the recipe box full of family recipes...when I cook.

Style of house: I've heard it called a Ranch house, but I think that's because it's not a 2-story. We do have a walk-out basement, also, and 4 bedrooms and more bathrooms than I care to clean.

Tablecloths and napkins? I have several tablecloths that I actually do use. I NEVER use cloth napkins, that seems like such a they ever come clean again??

Under the kitchen sink (Organized or toxic wasteland?): It's pretty organized, actually. Cleaning stuff, and dishwasher soap and extra sponges.

Vacuum (How many times per week?): Oh, are you supposed to vacuum EVERY week?? Oops! Well, with only 2 people and 2 small dogs...we probably vacuum about once every 2 weeks unless someone is coming over or the dogs have tracked something in. Are you catching on that I HATE to clean??? I LOVE a clean house, but I hate to take my own time to get it to that state.

Wash (How many loads of laundry do you do in a week?): I do about 2 and B does about 2, also. We do our own laundry...and sometimes I don't even do it every week...I stretch it to 2 weeks. That will all end when kids come along...I know, I know.

X’s (Do you keep a daily list of things to do and cross them off?): Maybe not daily, but I do use lists...that's the only way I feel I accomplish anything...and I make these lists while sitting in boring meetings at work.

Yard (Who does what?): ALL Hubby! I offered a gardener when I had a cleaning person, but he LIKES to do the yard...and I don't have a cleaning person anymore anyway. Of course, it does get old to mow all the grass we have now...and he's been taking care of Mom and Dad's yard, too. Winter was a welcome change on that front...but Spring is almost here!

Zzz’s: I'm usually in bed by 9pm and then I read for an hour, and I'm asleep by 10...weekday or weekend...yes, we're getting old...I cherish my sleep! Speaking of which, it's time to start heading that way! =)

If you join me in playing this MEME, let me know!

Spirituality and God

Our newspaper prints a column by Billy Graham every day…one of those advice column things. Well, a while ago, the following question and answer were in the paper, and it made me think of my friend Shell. She mentioned some time ago that she wanted to become more “spiritual,” and I thought this addresses that perfectly.

Dear Rev. Graham: I strongly believe in spirituality, but I don’t believe in God or Jesus like you do. In my view, true spirituality means being in harmony with the spiritual forces of the universe through meditation and things like that. -FK

Dear FK: I respect your sincerity, and if we could sit down and talk I suspect we would at least agree that each of us has a spiritual nature within us that yearns for something greater than ourselves. Centuries ago a great philosopher called this a “God-shaped vacuum” we each have within us.

But where did this vacuum in our hearts come from? The Bible says that God put it there – and the reason He did was so that we would seek Him and come to know Him in a personal way. You and I have a soul that yearns for God; as the Bible says, God “has also set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

But the Bible tells us something else very important. It tells us there is a barrier between us and God – a barrier we cannot overcome on our own. The reason is because this barrier that separates us from God was caused by our sin. Our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven, and this is something no amount of meditation or similar practice can overcome.

Only God can erase this barrier – and this is why Jesus Christ came into the world. He was God in human flesh, sent from heaven to save us from our sins. Don’t be deceived by paths that promise to unite you with God but don’t deal with your sins. Instead, by faith commit your life to Jesus Christ and trust Him alone for your salvation. Only then will you discover the joy and peace you are seeking. - Billy Graham

Wow! I'm always amazed and how simply and perfectly Billy Graham explains things. This makes total sense. I can't imagine living my life without God -- life would be very lonely and without purpose...and there's enough of that in life even WITH God. Shell, maybe this will shed a little different light on your questions from before.