Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hope all of you have or had a WONDERFUL Christmas this year.

Love Always,

Hannah

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Tour of my House

I have loads of pictures here so I hope you don't get too bored looking through them. Welcome to my home. How'd we do this year?


















Friday, December 11, 2009

How Clean is YOUR carpet?

Yesterday I had two piano lessons scheduled for 5pm and 5:30pm so I used what I thought of as my "wonderful' vacuum cleaner to clean up the pieces of fake Christmas tree and garlands that were scattered across my front room's floor. I also vacuumed my hardwood hallway and the highest traffic area in my house - the pathway from the back door to the hardwood hallway. This area is the access to my kitchen, so, of course, it's always the dirtiest.

This is the vacuum I used yesterday afternoon. It's an Electrolux Harmony. My mother-in-law bought it for me for Christmas when Joseph and I were living in an apartment. It is SUPER quiet which made it ideal for the apartment. And it was supposed to be quite good for it's price range. ( I don't know exactly how much my MIL paid for mine because it was a gift, but this model runs about $300 new.)
My piano students showed up a few minutes early and we started lessons right away. While I was in the middle of my lesson with Chris, my doorbell rang. Now, I'm not a big fan of formalities so I kinda just "yelled" for the person to come in. In walked a 30-something woman and a 30-something man. The woman proceeded to tell me that her boss was going around my neighbourhood demonstrating a carpet cleaner and that he'd (the boss) like to stop by and clean one of my rooms in exchange for a good word from me if I liked the job he did. Of course, I thought it was a cleaning service of sorts, so I told the woman to come back at 5:45pm when my lessons were over.

She came back alright. With her boss in tow. Well, he WAS the "main attraction" after all. Turns out, her boss, Markeith, sells Kirby vacuums. So, for the next TWO hours Joseph and I watched as Markeith vacuumed different parts of our house. The high traffic area by the kitchen, the hardwood hallway, the first seven stairs to the second floor. Two area of which I had JUST cleaned myself only an hour before!

I've never seen so much dirt come out of a carpet before! I thought my floors were clean. Boy, was I wrong! The dirt that Markeith's Kirby pulled out of my carpet was enough to start a small mud pie feast. (By the way, before you start thinking that I don't clean my house well, let me remind you...I JUST vacuumed that carpet with my Harmony an HOUR before Markeith vacuumed it. Also, we have a cleaning service that comes into our house every other week to vacuum and clean. AND, we spot clean as needed in between the cleanings! We are NOT dirty people!) Of course, I was impressed. Joseph was too, but he was doing his best to seem nonchalant the whole time. What Joseph knew that I didn't, was that Joseph's mother owned a Kirby. OWNS a Kirby. Only my MIL's Kirby weight a half ton. The one Markeith showed us last night still weighs a good bit, but it IS solid metal instead of the typical plastic body of your everyday vacuum cleaner. See, there's a picture of the Kirby below:


I'm sure that you've guessed what I'm trying to say. Markeith walked away from my house last night leaving me with my very own Kirby Sentria. Of course, what's not pictured above is what I told Markeith that I really wanted. The demonstration "dirt meter". And a stack of filters. So now, after I vacuum a room with my Sentria, I can go back over it with the dirt meter (which hooks up to the Sentria instead of the bag) to make sure I got my room completely clean before moving on to the next room.

Now, my question for you is this:

Is $1,600 too much to pay for the peace of mind and knowledge that your house is as clean as any person can possibly get it?

Oh! I forgot to mention...The motor and transmission of the Sentria comes with a Lifetime Guarantee and the rest of it comes with an automatic 3yr. warranty. And the things this vacuum does AS WELL AS vacuum...that would take up a whole other post!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Box Tops Giveaway - Done


Question for you: Do you collect Box Tops for Education and Campbell's labels for Education? And if you do : Do you give them to the school your child attends or is your child homeschooled and you give them to a friend or local church group?

I collect both. Have since I got married. I was homeschooled and I intend to homeschool my future children so I know I can't use them myself, but I figure I'll find someone that can use them. My personal excuse for collecting and saving them...The more money I can collect through these labels and box tops is that much less that the schools are going to demand be taken out of my paycheck. (Not necessarily, of course, but still it's a start, I think.)

Anyway, the reason I'm asking is this. I have $3.40 worth of Box Tops and 52 points and 8 full labels from Campbell's that need a home. I'm giving them up for grabs here. If no one says they want them by Wednesday at 3:30pm EST, I'm going to take the Box Tops to my church and I'll find someone somewhere that wants the labels.

I'll continue collecting the box tops and labels for sure, it was just time to empty the Ragu container that I store them in cause it was getting almost too full to get them all out again.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Husband, the Dinner Artist

Joseph made me come home from Thanksgiving in PA early last month. I had hoped to stay until Sunday afternoon, but Joseph thought ahead and anticipated the traffic of people heading back home after the holiday. He told me that I had to be home on Saturday. So I left PA right after breakfast. When I arrived home safely in Virginia, Joseph proudly showed me his Pork Crown Roast. He just whipped it right out of the refrigerator and popped the lid off the container he had it sitting in waiting to be cooked. Then, he proceeded to hand me a lengthy grocery list of items that he needed in order to cook the Roast.
After a few false starts, Joseph's best friend Tres (said Tray) went with me to the store. (I lost my driver's license in the past two weeks, but never realized it until Black Friday.) Anyway, Tres and I hunted down the ingredients that we could find, and made a few necessary substitutions on the way. It only took us an hour! (yes, that was sarcasm)
Upon arriving back at the house, Tres called his wife to come over for dinner and to stay the night while Joseph started cooking. I am not ashamed to say that I did not help at ALL with this dinner aside from the shopping part. The following pictures are the end result of Joseph's hard work.

The cook, hard at work getting the utensils to dish the food out with. Shhh. Don't tell him I've got a picture of him on here!

Tada! The finished masterpiece. Joseph was, and still is, extremely proud and satisfied with how this turned out.

Isn't it Beautiful!?!

That's white rice on the left and corn on the right. So yummy!

If you had come up to me before I ate this dish and told me that dried fruit that was cooked in grape jelly would taste good I would have laughed in your face. Now, I know better. If you want the recipe, I'll ask Joseph where he found it. I do think it was on Cooks.com, but I'm not positive about that.
I'm going to leave you, with my mouth watering for a bite of that fantastic pork crown roast, hoping that I didn't make you as hungry as I am now.




Lily and Rocky - First Snow Winter '09

video

I know there's no sound and it's really short. This was only my second video ever. This is Lily's first snow ever too, so it was alot of fun watching her run around in it after she got over the wet, whiteness of it all.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wishing you...

A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's that Time of Year Again!

I was planning on having pictures for you, but somewhere in the past forever months, I misplaced my USB cord that lets me transfer my pics from my camera.

Anyway, I just wanted to give ya'll a little update. I'm putting up the garlands in my house for Christmastime today. I understand that you "shouldn't" decorate for Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving, but I'll be out of town for Thanksgiving and I've been DYING for Christmas funtime to be here already. So, I'm starting today. Yay!

As soon as I find that cord, I'll have pics! Btw, this year, the tree's going to be red and gold. Joseph and I both agreed that we were going to change the tree up a little each year. This means that I'm gonna have to find some red and gold ribbons since I only have blue and silver from last year. Wish me Luck!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thoughts from Isaiah

Go visit Rachel's blog to read what one of my younger brothers, Isaiah, had to say about today. I think you might like it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Have you heard enough about books yet?

I hope that you aren't so sick of hearing about books that you just completely stop reading my blog. In fact, I'll even TRY to write a post without mentioning even one book some day, but today is not that day.

Yesterday I started a new project around 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I began a spreadsheet. Not just any spreadsheet...this one has a purpose. I started a list of all of the books that I own. Just in my basement I have 453 books. Yes, that's right...I have OVER 450 books. I still have another 30 or more to add to this list.

Hello, my name is Hannah and I am a bibliophile.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

During the Day

During my normal weekday, I work for a company that resells IT products to the Government. I have a love-hate relationship with this job. Ya'll know that, right? Anyway, I just got a "promotion" today. My title changed from Sales Operations Specialist I (one) to S.O.S. II (TWO). haha! I teased my boss about this. Told her that I've been waiting for that second "I" for two years. She just laughed at me and told me I was lying since I had only worked there for two years. Oh well, I guess she just knows me too well.

I need a new job. :-D

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One Year and A Few Hours Later

It doesn't feel like it's been a year since I started this blog. But it has been. This past year flew by faster than anything ever has. Why is it that every year feels shorter than the year before it? Will it always feel like this? Cause if it does...I'm done growing up! For reals this time! I hate feeling like I just closed my eyes on my last birthday only to open them up on the next.

Now, don't get me wrong. I DO remember all kinds of fun stuff from this past year, but it has still gone by way too fast!

Well, here's to another fun year! It's gonna be a blast!

Updated Booklist for August, October, and so far in November

January

Sandry's Book ~ Tamora Pierce
Tris's Book ~ Tamora Pierce
The City of Ember ~ Jeanne DuPrau
The Mary Kay Way ~ Mary Kay Ash
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg ~ Gail Carson Levine
Teddy Jo & the yellow room mystery ~ Hilda Stahl
Teddy Jo & the ragged beggars ~ Hilda Stahl
Teddy Jo & the magic quill ~ Hilda Stahl
Land of Hope ~ Joan Nixon Lowery
Land of Promise ~ Joan Nixon Lowery
Boxers for Dummies ~ Richard Beauchamp
Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand ~ Gail Carson Levine
Ellen Foster ~ Kaye Gibbons

February

Coffee with Plato ~ Donald R. Moor
A Time for Witches ~ Lynne Hansen
Reckless Revolution ~ Lynne Hansen
Gilded Delirium ~ Jordan Stokes & Mattew Belinkie
The Mark on the Mirror ~ Margaret Sutton
A Thousand Goodbyes ~ Jim Hube
Coffee with Mark Twain ~ Fred Kaplan
A Member of the Family ~ Cesar Millan
The People of Sparks ~ Jeann DuPrau
Tanglewreck ~ Jeanette Winterson
Alanna The First Adventure ~ Tamora Pierce
In the Hand of the Goddess ~ Tamora Pierce
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man ~ Tamora Pierce
Lioness Rampant ~ Tamora Pierce
Trickster's Choice ~ Tamora Pierce
Trickster's Queen ~ Tamora Pierce
The Wednesday Letters ~ Jason F. Wright

March

Coffee with Shakespeare ~ Stanley Wells
The Good Guy ~ Dean Koontz
Shadowfires ~ Dean Koontz
A Wife After God's Own Heart ~ Elizabeth George
The Fairy's Return & Other Princess Tales ~ Gail Carson Levine
The Princetta ~ Anne-Laure Bondoux

April

City of Bones ~ Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes ~ Cassandra Clare
City of Glass ~ Cassandra Clare
Bloodhound ~ Tamora Pierce
Net Force: Virtual Vandals ~ Tom Clancy Miracles Happen ~ Mary Kay Ash
Flying Blind ~ Frank Peretti
Dragonsong ~ Anne McCaffrey

May

A Haunting in Williamsburg ~ Lou Kassen
The Lioness and the Lily ~ Barbara Cartland
Kiss from a Stranger ~ Barbara Cartland
The Kiss of the Devil ~ Barbara Cartland
The Complacent Wife ~ Barbara Cartland
Call of the Heart ~ Barbara Cartland
The Impetuous Duchess ~ Barbara Cartland
The Husband Hunters ~ Barbara Cartland
A Knight in Paris ~ Barbara Cartland
Beauty Is a Beast ~ Jane B. Mason & Sarah Hines Stephens
A College of Magics ~ Caroline Stevermer
Love In Pity ~ Barbara Cartland
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ~ Ian Fleming

June

Early Sunday Morning ~ Barry Denenberg
Hatching Magic ~ Ann Downer
The Great Good Thing ~ Roderick Townley
Treasures ~ Carolyn Ann Aish

July

Eight Cousins ~ Louisa May Alcott
Castles ~ Carolyn Ann Aish
Kingdoms ~ Carolyn Ann Aish
The Musician's Daughter ~ Susanne Dunlap
Rose in Bloom ~ Louisa May Alcott
Mark of the Demon ~ Diana Rowland
Coffee with Einstein ~ Carlos I. Calle
My Life in France ~ Julia Child
Civil War Hospital Sketches ~ Louisa May Alcott
The Black Tattoo ~ Sam Enthoven

August

Cobwebs ~ Karen Romano Young
Blue Moon ~ Alyson Noel
The Solitary Envoy ~ T. Davis Bunn & Isabella Bunn
A Sword to the Heart ~ Barbara Cartland
Dr. Franklin's Island ~ Ann Halam
Once Dead, Twice Shy ~ Kim Harrison

September

Fragile Eternity ~ Melissa Marr
Shad Run ~ Howard Breslin
The Kingdom Keepers ~ Ridley Pearson
The Mystery of the Million-Dollar Penny ( A Power Boys Adventure) ~ Mel Lyle

October

Twilight ~ Stephanie Meyer (second time reading it. gotta re-read since New Moon shows in theaters 11/20)
Coffee with Aristotle ~ Jonathan Barnes
Tom Swift & His Rocket Ship ~ Victor Appleton II
Naruto Vol. 32 ~ Masashi Kishimoto
Wild Magic ~ Tamora Pierce
Wolf-Speaker ~ Tamora Pierce
Emperor Mage ~ Tamora Pierce
The Realms of the Gods ~ Tamora Pierce

November

New Moon ~ Stephanie Meyer (see comment above about Twilight)
Alcatraz versus The Evil Librarians ~ Brandon Sanderson (MUCH better when my younger sister Rachel reads it aloud, but still pretty funny.)
First Test ~ Tamora Pierce
Page ~ Tamora Pierce
Squire ~ Tamora Pierce
A Rebel Princess ~ Barbara Cartland
Hangman's Curse ~ Frank Peretti
Lady Knight ~ Tamora Pierce

Obviously, these are not the only books that I will be reading in November. I am currently reading two books that I hope to finish by this weekend. I'll keep you updated for the rest of the year even though I am soooo close to hitting my goal of one hundred books read in a year.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Quick Update on my Year-long Reading

I know that most, if not all of you that read this blog are also my friends on Facebook, but I wanted to be sure to post something today anyway. (I'm trying to start a habit of posting every day.)

I am six books from my goal of one hundred books read between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009. Ya know what that means? I'm going to surpass my goal. Saaaweeeet!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Welcome to November

Okay, so I realize that I've pretty much only written once a month for the majority of this year. What a lousy blogger I've turned out to be this time around. Oh well, Life happens. :-)

November is my birthday month. You might remember that from last year when I started this blog. I'll be 26 in 7 days. Weird. I'm only 4 years from being 30 years old, but I don't really FEEL any older than I did two years ago. Then again, I suppose I do because I do occasionally visit my parents home in Pennsylvania and when I do, I realize how much I've changed since I got married and moved to Virginia.

For example, I went home to PA on October 23rd for the weekend. While my parents home is still home to me, I did feel like I was out of place. I've never been the perfect daughter, but it was still odd to me that I am more willing to help my mom out now than I'd ever been while I still lived at home. (Epiphany! So THAT'S what's going on!....I'll have to explain that later. I will explain it though, I promise.) I suppose it's because I have a house of my own to run with three extra roommates that I understand more that there really IS that much work to do in even a very small house. There's always something that CAN be cleaned up, washed, or done. Unlike my mom, though, I don't feel driven to constantly be doing something in my own home. But I know my mom is MUCH more of a clean freak than I will ever be. So I do try my best to follow the rules that were laid down in my parents home when I was growing up. An example: the dishes get washed after each meal. My parents home is so small that even the smallest amount of clutter makes it seems even tinier. I sincerely dislike doing dishes; especially since I am the only pot-washer in my own home, however, I tend to be more willing to do dishes at my parents home now that I understand what my mom has always done for us. Please bear with me...I know I'm kinda rambling. I never really thought this through before and this is my thought process as I'm thinking it. (aren't you glad you can't get lost in a person's head? ya'll would go mad if you had to think like me for any length of time!)

Anyway, all that to say...I think I'm finally growing up. So much for being Peter Pan. I suppose my Definition still hasn't completely changed, but I can tell you that it is being revamped every day anymore. I think I like what it's turning into, but I'll have to get back to you on that one too.

Was there a specific time that you realized YOU were growing up?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh, my how time flies!

I just realized that my last post was on September 6th! I've pretty much been nonexistent on the blog scene. (Obviously!)

August, September, and October are the busiest months of my year. My job required much time, and energy. August and September saw me logging at Least 50 hours a week. Usually more. That's my explanation for not having commented on anyone's blog or even writing on my own blog lately.

BUT, we're finally catching up and slowing down so hopefully you'll be hearing more from me for the rest of the year.

C-ya soon!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dream of Success

"Once you have your dream of success and have determined exactly what it is you really want, plan your work and work your plan. Whatever your dream, aim high. The ladder of dreams will take you as high as you want to go, but you must be willing to take the tough climb to reach the high rungs on that ladder"

-- Mary Kay Ash

Sunday, August 2, 2009

May, June and July Booklist

January

Sandry's Book ~ Tamora Pierce
Tris's Book ~ Tamora Pierce
The City of Ember ~ Jeanne DuPrau
The Mary Kay Way ~ Mary Kay Ash
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg ~ Gail Carson Levine
Teddy Jo & the yellow room mystery ~ Hilda Stahl
Teddy Jo & the ragged beggars ~ Hilda Stahl
Teddy Jo & the magic quill ~ Hilda Stahl
Land of Hope ~ Joan Nixon Lowery
Land of Promise ~ Joan Nixon Lowery
Boxers for Dummies ~ Richard Beauchamp
Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand ~ Gail Carson Levine
Ellen Foster ~ Kaye Gibbons

February

Coffee with Plato ~ Donald R. Moor
A Time for Witches ~ Lynne Hansen
Reckless Revolution ~ Lynne Hansen
Gilded Delirium ~ Jordan Stokes & Mattew Belinkie
The Mark on the Mirror ~ Margaret Sutton
A Thousand Goodbyes ~ Jim Hube
Coffee with Mark Twain ~ Fred Kaplan
A Member of the Family ~ Cesar Millan
The People of Sparks ~ Jeann DuPrau
Tanglewreck ~ Jeanette Winterson
Alanna The First Adventure ~ Tamora Pierce
In the Hand of the Goddess ~ Tamora Pierce
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man ~ Tamora Pierce
Lioness Rampant ~ Tamora Pierce
Trickster's Choice ~ Tamora Pierce
Trickster's Queen ~ Tamora Pierce
The Wednesday Letters ~ Jason F. Wright

March

Coffee with Shakespeare ~ Stanley Wells
The Good Guy ~ Dean Koontz
Shadowfires ~ Dean Koontz
A Wife After God's Own Heart ~ Elizabeth George
The Fairy's Return & Other Princess Tales ~ Gail Carson Levine
The Princetta ~ Anne-Laure Bondoux

April

City of Bones ~ Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes ~ Cassandra Clare
City of Glass ~ Cassandra Clare
Bloodhound ~ Tamora Pierce
Net Force: Virtual Vandals ~ Tom Clancy
Miracles Happen ~ Mary Kay Ash
Flying Blind ~ Frank Peretti
Dragonsong ~ Anne McCaffrey

May

A Haunting in Williamsburg ~ Lou Kassen
The Lioness and the Lily ~ Barbara Cartland
Kiss from a Stranger ~ Barbara Cartland
The Kiss of the Devil ~ Barbara Cartland
The Complacent Wife ~ Barbara Cartland
Call of the Heart ~ Barbara Cartland
The Impetuous Duchess ~ Barbara Cartland
The Husband Hunters ~ Barbara Cartland
A Knight in Paris ~ Barbara Cartland
Beauty Is a Beast ~ Jane B. Mason & Sarah Hines Stephens
A College of Magics ~ Caroline Stevermer
Love In Pity ~ Barbara Cartland
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ~ Ian Fleming

June

Early Sunday Morning ~ Barry Denenberg
Hatching Magic ~ Ann Downer
The Great Good Thing ~ Roderick Townley
Treasures ~ Carolyn Ann Aish

July

Eight Cousins ~ Louisa May Alcott
Castles ~ Carolyn Ann Aish
Kingdoms ~ Carolyn Ann Aish
The Musician's Daughter ~ Susanne Dunlap
Rose in Bloom ~ Louisa May Alcott
Mark of the Demon ~ Diana Rowland
Coffee with Einstein ~ Carlos I. Calle
My Life in France ~ Julia Child
Civil War Hospital Sketches ~ Louisa May Alcott
The Black Tattoo ~ Sam Enthoven

Friday, July 24, 2009

"When are You Leaving?"

So started a Facebook conversation with my older sister, Alicia. Yes, readers, I'm leaving. Oh! Don't worry! I'm not leaving the blogosphere, just Virginia for a few days. The questions that followed gave me the almost perfect post that I'm about to write now. Let me answer them in the order she hit me with them.

"How long are u staying?" I'm staying until Wednesday night.

"Do u know anyone else - this is a Mary Kay thing right?" Yes. and Correct. Oh, yeah... I suppose I SHOULD say where and why I'm going, shouldn't I? I am leaving tomorrow morning to go to Dallas, Texas for the Mary Kay Seminar. Back to the above question. I know at least four other people that are going. My Director, Jeannie; my recruiter, Hannah S.; and two other consultants, Bonnie and Barbara.

"What's it about?" What is Seminar about... Seminar is all about Mary Kay consultants. It's where Mary Kay celebrates its Independent Beauty Consultants and Director and their hard work each year. Mary Kay hands out pink Cadillac keys and other prizes at Seminar.There are classes to attend to help teach the consultants how to better manage their businesses. And really...tons of other stuff that I'm not even sure about!

"What else r u going to do in Dallas?" Haha! I don't think I'm going to have time to do much of anything else outside of what has been planned for us by Mary Kay and by my director.

"Why did you want to go badly enough to pay for a trip - what's the draw?" Well, for one, it's a temporary pay...as in, since I own a small business of my own, I can write this trip and most of my expenses off in my taxes. As for the draw, I was told that if I never attended any other Mary Kay function/conference, this was the one that I absolutely would not regret having attended.

"R u doing much Mary Kay these days?" I have to admit that my answer for this question does not make me happy....No, I have not been doing much Mary Kay at all these days. I feel like I have no time after I get off work from my real job. I know that's not how it really is, but that's how it feels and let me tell you...it's a hard feeling to shake! My other problem is...the Mary Kay average is 1 yes to every 10 nos. For me it has been more like 1 yes to every 20 nos. Discouraging? Absolutely! If any of ya'll know ANYONE who would be interested in hosting a Mary Kay class, I would be ecstatic about the opportunity. I've yet to have even ONE class. Pathetic is an understatement.

And the last question: "Do you have plans for Dallas other than the conference?" Kinda, maybe. Depending on when my friend Chris from college leaves the Dallas area on Saturday, we may just have the chance to see each other before he comes up in August. It would be the first time we will see each other since 2005 at my college graduation.

So, wish me luck, ya'll! I'm gonna need it. oh, and I solemnly swear to take as many pictures as I possibly can without scaring my roommates completely.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meet my Brother's Fiancee

Please go visit Shayla, my exploration buddy, at her brand new blog. This is her first time doing anything like this so please encourage her as she begins to learn about blogging. Any tips on blogging, I'm sure, will be helpful to her.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Physical Therapy with a Massage

I've always had crazy medical problems. Always. I have Lyme Disease and tendinitis. I am accident prone and I bruise VERY easily (as in..if you poke me, I will bruise). So, I wasn't surprised when I randomly ended up with back pain. I've had it before and it has always gone away. Not this time. I've had it for over two months and it was only getting worse. It got so bad that there was one morning where I bent over and found myself is so much pain that I couldn't move and I was actually screaming aloud with the pain. Joseph didn't even hesitate as he told me that I HAD to make a doctor's appointment that day. I did and went to the appointment where I was told to take prescription muscle relaxants and to do some back exercises and to come back if my back was still bothering me in two weeks. Three weeks later, my back had only gotten worse so I set another appointment for this past Monday. Physical therapy was recommended and so I went. Tuesday was evaluation day and it included poking, prodding, and exercises. I now have 5 weeks of PT every Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday evening I made sure to do my exercises to work on stretching loose my lower back muscles. Tuesday night, I silently cried myself to sleep. I've never been in such pain before. Last night wasn't much better.

The plus side of the exercises, I felt great yesterday. I would have felt great today as well, but the work stress beat out the exercises. *shrug* oh well, you can't win every day. This afternoon was my very first full physical therapy appointment. I learned new exercises, laughed with Ryan and Anna (my PTs), had ultra-sound therapy done on my back, followed by electrical stimulation and ice to finish it off. Oh! and in between the ultrasound and electric stimulation...an amazing massage! I had no IDEA that massages came with physical therapy! I would have gone to the doctor sooner.

I have to say, that after my session today, my back has not felt better in months. It still hasn't returned to hurting, however...I did finally pick up my new prescription tonight and tried it out when I got home. Maybe it's actually working.

So, I need to know...Did YOU know that physical therapy includes massages?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Playing Catch-up: Part Friday

Let's see...Friday. It started off early as usual as I went to work at my normal hour of 5:30am. I did manage to get quite a bit of work done before I had to leave early at 1:15pm. (My typical time to leave work for the day is 3:30 or later.) I was headed to the doctor's office for a re-check of my back. The re-check ended with the Physician's Assistant telling me that I need to go to physical therapy. Oh the thrill of it all! From the doctor's office, I drove around the corner to Coldstone Creamery for a creation all my own. I have to admit that I tried the Cake Batter flavor for the very first time. OMG! It was so good! But I went with the tried and true flavors of chocolate and sweet cream mixed with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Yummy!

Home I went as I finished my ice cream. There I hung out with my younger brother's fiancee, Shayla until Joseph told me that I really should go up to Reston Town Center to meet up with a bunch of bloggers. I went.

See, Jackie, the author of one of my favorite blogs, Moving at the Speed of Life, invited me over Facebook to join her and a few other bloggers at Cosi. I wanted to go so badly, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to go alone. Joseph is honestly the best husband a girl could ever ask for. He pretty much Made me go. I love him for it!

When I reached Reston Town Center, I entered the first garage that I saw, following an SUV up through the levels looking for an empty space to park. Little did I know, that in the SUV were two of the very bloggers I was meeting. After driving up to the roof, I found a spot and took the stairs down to the street. Meredith and Mombabe were in front of me the whole time. Only I didn't know that until later. When the three of us reached the street we arrived at Cosi within moments of each other. That's when we realized that we were all there for the same thing. We told the hostess that we were supposed to be meeting other bloggers there, but she seemed oblivious about any meeting occurring there. So we decided to wait outside. Until Suburban Correspondent came from inside and asked us if we were bloggers. After we joined S.C. (forgive me for shortening it! I am typing as fast as I can so I can head to bed.), we explained how we had ended up invited to the 'party'. Not long after, Rachel joined us and I discovered that she had been invited by Jackie as well. We talked, and talked, and talked some more while, in the mean time, Annie came to join in the fun. At some point after that we were joined by three others, while Rachel and I tried to explain to everyone who Jackie was. The three others, as I learned later, were kcinnova, Alice, and Dysfunction Junction. When Jackie showed up, she was greeted like a celebrity. I honestly don't remember what all we talked about, but it was FUN!

What I do remember:
We're planning on getting together again to go to McKay's sometime in the future.
The waiter was RIDICULOUS! Awful. Lazy. (I'm sure if I took enough time I would eventually run out of adjectives to describe the stupidity of our waiter.) Short story...He forgot Meredith's food, Jackie's cheesecake, and water throughout the ENTIRE meal. He didn't take care of our checks, didn't clear the table, didn't ask if we wanted dessert even though we sat there for hours talking, wasn't helpful and Definitely NOT willing to serve. Lousy...that's what he was!
What else...oh yes:
Rachel's learning Danish.
Jackie's visiting Denmark in August.
Annie and Meredith were quiet for a while, but once a topic piqued their interest, they were right in the middle of it with the rest of us.
We laughed A LOT.
We took pictures. (that I'm not sure which I can share. Privacy people! It's a necessity!)
We stayed late.

All in all I have to say that I've never had an experience quite like that night before. Don't know that it will ever happen again, but I am so glad my Joseph said, "Hannah, just go."

Ya'll readers and other bloggers don't even KNOW what fun you missed! BUT...if you go check out everyone else's blogs, you might get an idea of what it was like.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why do I have to be SuperWoman?

My coworker was let go last night and I inherited her work. Now, instead of supporting eight sales representatives (including the two MOST Demanding!), I support seventeen. Yay. Yes, I'm complaining. I'd rather complain here than put my extremely overworked boss through the wringer because she has to hear me complain at work.

Let me explain the complaining. There is this particular sales team that is highly demanding. Everything has to be done by them, approved by them, sent through them. I can't do my own job because they HAVE to do it for me. Why? Because they honestly don't think anyone else can understand their orders. They've told me that to my face. That I can't do my job. Ooookaaaay. Whatever. Anyway, because this team is like this, the easiest way for the Operations team (my work group) to handle them is to have only one person handle everything of theirs instead of splitting everything up like we do with everyone else. (One person in our group does invoicing and billing, while I do order processing and random questions answering and all the other little stuff.) No, since this group is so special, I have to handle all the processing and random questions for all my other sales reps on top of doing EVERYTHNG for this one group. Just an example of how much work Everything is...I spent 10 of my 11 1/2 hours at work today taking care of just the invoices and billing requests for this one group. I didn't even get to the urgent order that needed to be processed for another sales rep or even the normal everyday order from another rep. That ANNOYS me! Really. Why do people have to be so selfish!?! The work could be done just as well, if not better, if this group would just let my group do our jobs!

I know I sound bitter, and that's partly because I really am. I just don't understand how one person can be expected to be Superwoman and accomplish 2 weeks worth of work in 8 hours. Yet, that is my job. To be the one that everyone depends on. Without complaining. *sigh* I just keep telling myself..."26 more piano students and then I can quit my job. Just 26 more."

You wouldn't happen to know anyone in the Chantilly, Virginia area that is looking for a piano teacher, would you?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to all you Americans out there! I have to say that I, for one, am VERY glad that our forefathers saw fit to declare independence from England and that my particular ancestors decided to leave their homelands to come the the Land of Plenty. As much as I love the German culture, I much prefer my American heritage. So, coming from the wonderful Capital that I live so very close to, pictures of OUR heritage as Americans.

First is the flag from Fort McHenry. And in case you can't see what is written on the glass between the cleaning room and the visitors of the Smithsonian, I've put it below the picture.

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
And, before you go, don't forget to enjoy the fireworks tonight. Here are the best in the country that I've seen. Have a Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 3, 2009

THE HOUSE

So Shayla and I went out today all over the place between Fairfax and Aldie. We started out in Fairfax, planning to eat breakfast at IHOP. That was a very short lived idea, but at least it was late enough that we just went to Taco Bell and had lunch instead. From Taco Bell we hopped onto 28 then 29 down to Manassas to visit McKay's Used Book Store. (Best book store EVER!) After leaving Manassas, I took Shay down Sudley Road to Route 15 to see the castle. Yes, I did say castle. There's one on the right side of 15 if you're heading to Leesburg, right before you reach Braddock Road. Of course, since we were seeing the sights, we went down Braddock Road on our way to Gum Spring. Then, we reached the fork in the road. We chose to explore Lightridge Farm Road. I just have to say that I had no IDEA what treasures were off that road! It was so much fun. Then...we saw it. The most incredible HOUSE. BOTH of us kinda exclaimed out loud at the same time. I seriously slammed on my brakes to stop in front of it so we could actually look at it. Unfortunately, there was a stupid blue car coming up behind us so we had to continue on. When we reached Sudley Rd again (who knew that Lightridge Farm Rd. came out there!?!) we quick slipped into the Post Office parking lot and turned around to go back the same way we came. When we passed THE HOUSE again, we stopped to snap a picture, then moved on. We hadn't even passed the next house before we said at the same time..."Do you want to go back?" So another turn around. And this time we pulled into the driveway of THE HOUSE. Lest you think we're totally crazy, THE HOUSE was completely empty (abandoned, i think.) We took a few more pictures, told each other that we would buy THE HOUSE in an instant if we had the money, got back in the truck and headed home. I know, you're probably dying to see what kind of house would have two girls go so crazy. If you don't like this house, you're as nuts as my modern husband...it's okay...I still love him, so I won't hate you or anything...promise. BUT...you DO have to let me know what you think of THE HOUSE.

This was the first picture that Shayla took.
After we decided to turn around again and we pulled into the driveway.

After walking past the No Trespassing sign. (I'm now a criminal! LOL)

So, please, tell me...am I crazy for loving this house? I know it's old and it IS a fixer upper, but I have seriously fallen in love. I need opinions, people!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Silly Questions

Copied off my older sister at Daughter of Hope cause she thinks I'm most likely to follow in her steps. Hmmm. Guess I am.


1. What is your occupation right now? Wife, Sister/Landlord, Sales Operations Specialist, Mary Kay Independent Representative, and Piano Teacher (did I miss any?)

2.What color are your socks right now? socks? what socks!?!

3. What are you listening to right now? NCIS, of course! It's a back, to back, to back night!

4. What was the last thing that you ate? Papa John's Extra Cheese and Bacon pizza

5. Can you drive a stick shift? If I HAVE to

6. Last person you talked on phone with? Joseph

7.Do you like the person who sent this to you? I don't think I've got a choice. It wouldn't be very nice to not like my sister. (Of course, I like her!!)

8. How old are you today? 25 (yay! I'm a quarter of a century!)

9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? don't really watch sports, but I've discovered that I really enjoy watching late night Ultimate Fighter

10. What is your favorite drink? Dr. Pepper or 7-Up

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? haha! See post right before this one. LOL

12. Favorite food? Filet Mignon

13. What is the last movie you watched? well, as long as we're not talking the whole way through...Rocky Balboa...last night.

14. Favorite day of the year? every day I'm alive, actually

15. How do you vent anger? Ummm...can I not answer this one and say I did?...I tend to speak violently (as in...I would love to just knock that guy upside the head. or...can I PLEASE go blow that guy's house up!?!) I don't really mean any of it, but I do get verbally violent.

16. What was your favorite toy as a child? G.I. Joes

17. What is your favorite season? don't have a favorite. I love snow, so winter. Flowers and bright green make me happy, so spring. Warm weather and sun, so summer. Colors of all shades, so fall.

18. Cherries or Blueberries? blueberries, but only because I can't seem to eat fresh cherries anymore. I think i'm allergic. :-(

19. Do you want your friends to post this? Of course!

20. Who is the most likely to respond? Britt!

21. Who is least likely to respond? Alicia (she already did it!)

22. Living arrangements? two-story single family home. (live-in younger brother)

23. When was the last time you cried? Honestly? today. I was unbelievably frustrated with the lack of support that I get (or don't get) from my boss.

24. What is on the floor of your closet? flip-flops, joseph's shoes, the winter bedspread, and boxes

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending? If Leah reads this....her. Otherwise, I'll have to count my seester, Alicia.

26. What did you do last night? FB, watched TV, and started re-reading Eight Cousins

27. What are you most afraid of? never being able to have children

28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? cheese

29. Favorite dog breed? that would be a Canaan dog (Boxers are my second favorite. I've got Rocky because Joseph doesn't like Canaan dogs.)

30. Favorite day of the week? Any day that I get off work on time. (NOT the weekend...I never feel relaxed after a weekend.)

31. How many states have you lived in? that would be three. (PA, FL, and VA)

32. Diamonds or pearls? diamonds. I don't care for either, but have found that diamonds match more of my clothes and other accessories.

33. What is your favorite flower? Daisies! (they're such happy flowers)

Friday, June 5, 2009

New Haircut

I needed something different. My roots were getting really bad with the yellow hair growing out and my hair was getting long enough to pull into a ponytail. Let me explain the ponytail comment...If my hair is long enough fr a ponytail, it never comes down. It's too easy to keep it pulled back. Plus, I don't really like having my hair on my neck. Weird, I know, but that's me!

So I went to a hair salon for my very first ever professional hair dye. My hair stylist's name was Paris, and she is an absolutely wonderful lady! She helped me choose the color to dye my hair back to a more normal state, then also helped me choose the highlights. Unfortunately, since I've never had my hair dyed professionally before, I had no idea how long it would take. I planned my hair dye and cut before my piano lessons this week. The appointment was for 4:30pm. Thankfully, I did go early. My lessons start at 5:30pm and I was late. I know! I couldn't believe I was honestly late to my second week of teaching piano lessons. Paris was fantastic though. She worked as quickly as she could to have my hair dyed before 5:30. We almost made it too! Not quite, though, so I ended up making an appointment with Paris for Wednesday at 5pm to get my hair cut.

Of course, the Wednesday appointment went spectacularly! I had taken in a picture that I found in a magazine of a haircut that I just adored so we did have something to go off of. And Paris, dove right in after just a few questions about the specifics of how I wanted the bangs cut and the length that I wanted the rest of my hair to be.

I have to say that I absolutely LOVE this cut! It's so easy and ME. haha. I know, I'm conceited. (it could be worse. I could tell you that Paris told me that she thinks I would be able to wear pretty much any style haircut because I have a good face for it. oh wait...i guess i just did. my bad.)

Without any further adieu...Here it is:

This is how I came home. Because I promised my bro-in-law's girlfriend pictures of the finished product, I took pictures as soon as I stepped in my house. You wouldn't believe the number of comments that I have gotten about looking like Lady Di for this hairstyle. But...that's okay because once my hair fell...I started to see the cut that I fell in love with.


This one. I LOVE it. Now, my hair is longer than it looks in this picture, but because most of it was tucked behind my ears, you can't really see the length. I will post more pics as I try out different ways to wear this haircut, but for now, would you mind sharing your opinion of this haircut with me? I will love it either way, but I do try to consider the people around me if they just can't stand the look. LOL!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood

My first piano lesson (as a teacher) in ten years started at 5:30pm yesterday. Hannah was a very quiet student, but thankfully she seemed to be very attentive as well.

Hannah was taking lessons with another teacher before she started with me, but I can't help but wonder what kind of teacher she had. Wouldn't you think, that after 9 lessons, a girl would be able to tell the difference between a note on a line or a space? We're talking the most basic of basics here! I'm not saying anything against Hannah, but not really against the teacher either. I would just like to know how such a thing is possible.

Anyway, when Lisa, Hannah's mother, brought Hannah across the street for her piano lesson, she (Lisa) told me that Micah, Hannah's brother, also wanted to take lessons. She asked what day and time was good for him to come over for lessons. We agreed that Micah's lesson would be right after Hannah's. So, not only did I teach my first piano lesson in years yesterday, but I also taught my second piano lesson too!

Oh! and just a note for those that neither grew up on John Schaum's piano course nor taught or teaches from it..."If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood" is the very first piece of music in the first book of the course.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Answer to my Earlier Post

To TEACH! I just spoke with Lisa this afternoon and my first piano lesson with Hannah is on Tuesday! I have to admit I'm kinda nervous, but I do believe that this is what God wants me to do. Thank you for the advice and the prayers.

Rocky at Nine Months

I just realized that I haven't posted any pictures of Rocky lately. Well, here are his nine month old pics.

Joseph and Rocky coming back from the front door.


The cute face hasn't changed that much!

He's getting sooo big!

Isn't he gorgeous?

Sittin' pretty.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To Teach or Not to Teach...

THAT is the question!

Yesterday, at one of my neighbours' son's birthday party, another neighbour asked me if I would consider teaching her son and her daughter piano lessons. THEN...today, my mother-in-law told me she had been thinking about asking me to teach HER! So, do I do it? Should I venture into piano lessons? I already have a 9 1/2 hour a day job on top of my new Mary Kay business. I mean, yes, I did go to college for music and my degree was specifically geared towards teaching music and choir directing, but am I ready for this? Can I handle THREE jobs!?! I'm confused, excited, and scared all at one time. I know this isn't really such a big decision, but I think at the same time, if I agree to teaching three people piano lessons, it could very quickly become a much larger number due to the demand for piano teachers in this area. (I know you're thinking, at that admission, "Hannah! If teachers are needed in the area...what are you waiting for!?!") I know, I know, but I'm already pulling my hair out trying to figure out how I'm going to fit my Mary Kay business into my life right now....where in the world am I going to find time for piano lessons too??

Advice anyone? I'm open to almost anything at this point!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Day of Books

This weekend I was up in Pennsylvania visiting my parents and going book shopping with my mother and youngest brother, Stephen.
We started at the local library book sale where it was a Dollar a Bag day. Best book sale day EVER! When you go in, the "cashiers" hand you a plastic grocery bag. However many books you can fit in that bag is $1. Let me tell you, my mother and I have got the bag packing down to an art. Such an art, in fact, that I actually start to feel pretty bad about getting so many books for so little money. Usually I just shrug the feeling off and am just thankful that I was able to get so many good books. This time I didn't get that feeling, but I decided to request a third bag even though I was perfectly fine with just two. So I paid $3 for all of the books in the picture below instead of $2.

Not a bad haul for $3 if I may say so myself.
Next up, the Salvation Army store. They were having a 50% off everything in the store sale. I didn't get anything other than books. Yes, I only bought eight books there, but they didn't cost too much considering the 50% off deal. These eight books cost me $3.59.

Not too shabby.

And last but not least, the crowning achievement of my Saturday search for books. I have been collecting Trixie Belden books for years, but haven't found any in almost as much time. I've looked on eBay multiple times, but always ended up turning away mainly due to how much each book cost. Plus, on top of the winning bid, there is always shipping costs. Anyway, I normally wouldn't spend $6 on a used book, but in this case, I definitely made an exception.

Total tally for the day...55 books for $12.59. I did a pretty good job. Did you get any new books this weekend?

Updated Booklist for April

Well, obviously I've been out of touch with ya'll for pretty much all of April. I can tell you that it wasn't because I was reading. April ended with only 8 books having been read. What can I say...I was busy trying to get my Mary Kay business moving. Anyway, here's my updated list. The first four books of April were my favorite.

January

Sandry's Book ~ Tamora Pierce
Tris's Book ~ Tamora Pierce
The City of Ember ~ Jeanne DuPrau
The Mary Kay Way ~ Mary Kay Ash
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg ~ Gail Carson Levine
Teddy Jo & the yellow room mystery ~ Hilda Stahl
Teddy Jo & the ragged beggars ~ Hilda Stahl
Teddy Jo & the magic quill ~ Hilda Stahl
Land of Hope ~ Joan Nixon Lowery
Land of Promise ~ Joan Nixon Lowery
Boxers for Dummies ~ Richard Beauchamp
Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand ~ Gail Carson Levine
Ellen Foster ~ Kaye Gibbons

February

Coffee with Plato ~ Donald R. Moor
A Time for Witches ~ Lynne Hansen
Reckless Revolution ~ Lynne Hansen
Gilded Delirium ~ Jordan Stokes & Mattew Belinkie
The Mark on the Mirror ~ Margaret Sutton
A Thousand Goodbyes ~ Jim Hube
Coffee with Mark Twain ~ Fred Kaplan
A Member of the Family ~ Cesar Millan
The People of Sparks ~ Jeann DuPrau
Tanglewreck ~ Jeanette Winterson
Alanna The First Adventure ~ Tamora Pierce
In the Hand of the Goddess ~ Tamora Pierce
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man ~ Tamora Pierce
Lioness Rampant ~ Tamora Pierce
Trickster's Choice ~ Tamora Pierce
Trickster's Queen ~ Tamora Pierce
The Wednesday Letters ~ Jason F. Wright

March

Coffee with Shakespeare ~ Stanley Wells
The Good Guy ~ Dean Koontz
Shadowfires ~ Dean Koontz
A Wife After God's Own Heart ~ Elizabeth George
The Fairy's Return & Other Princess Tales ~ Gail Carson Levine
The Princetta ~ Anne-Laure Bondoux

April

City of Bones ~ Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes ~ Cassandra Clare
City of Glass ~ Cassandra Clare
Bloodhound ~ Tamora Pierce
Net Force: Virtual Vandals ~ Tom Clancy
Miracles Happen ~ Mary Kay Ash
Flying Blind ~ Frank Peretti
Dragonsong ~ Anne McCaffrey

Next up...working on reading through all those books that I got this weekend in Pennsylvania.

Mullet Alert

I know that there have been a number of mullet sightings made by my Facebook friends in the past year, but I have to admit that this is the first that I've seen in a very LONG time. I had seriously begun to think that perhaps I was correct in my hopes that the mullet had gone the way of the dodo. Extinct. No such luck. This mullet sighting took place at a Hardees in Pennsylvania. Just after leaving the library book sale, Mom, Stephen, Brooklyn and I stopped for brunch at Hardees. Here's what we saw.

Here's the backside.

And a side shot.

It is quite terrifying, isn't it. Have you seen any scary haircuts lately?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Weekend

Can I just say that I really dislike cleaning? BUT, it sure does make me feel better about being at home when my house is straightened up and smelling like orange or lemon. I suppose it's because of Easter, but I woke up this morning with a driving need to clean my house. Of course, it also helped that it was raining outside this morning. I don't know about you, but cleaning is harder to do on a sunny day than on a rainy day. I do have to vacuum still as well as scrub my bathroom and laundry room, but pretty much everything else is done. Yay!
To be completely honest with you, I haven't cleaned my house so thoroughly since last year. I have touched up here and there and Joseph has vacuumed more than I, but neither of us has really gotten everything. Anyway, all of that to say...I'm almost done with cleaning my house!

Tomorrow, I'd like to have my mother-in-law and father-in-law, husband, and brother all join me at church. I honestly don't believe that they all will, but I still want to ask.

Ar you doing anything special for Easter?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Book List (updated for March)

So, The Wednesday Letters squeaked into February at the last second to bring the total of my books read through Feb. to thirty, however, because I was busy with church functions, Facebook, dyeing my hair, playing Guitar Hero World Tour, work, and Mary Kay, March only added six books to my list. Of course, I was also trying to read through the HUGE stack of magazines that I still had unread (some from last year, even!) as well as attempt to clean up some of my VERY messy house. Anyway, enough excuses!

January

Sandry's Book ~ Tamora Pierce
Tris's Book ~ Tamora Pierce
The City of Ember ~ Jeanne DuPrau
The Mary Kay Way ~ Mary Kay Ash
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg ~ Gail Carson Levine
Teddy Jo & the yellow room mystery ~ Hilda Stahl
Teddy Jo & the ragged beggars ~ Hilda Stahl
Teddy Jo & the magic quill ~ Hilda Stahl
Land of Hope ~ Joan Nixon Lowery
Land of Promise ~ Joan Nixon Lowery
Boxers for Dummies ~ Richard Beauchamp
Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand ~ Gail Carson Levine
Ellen Foster ~ Kaye Gibbons

February

Coffee with Plato ~ Donald R. Moor
A Time for Witches ~ Lynne Hansen
Reckless Revolution ~ Lynne Hansen
Gilded Delirium ~ Jordan Stokes & Mattew Belinkie
The Mark on the Mirror ~ Margaret Sutton
A Thousand Goodbyes ~ Jim Hube
Coffee with Mark Twain ~ Fred Kaplan
A Member of the Family ~ Cesar Millan
The People of Sparks ~ Jeann DuPrau
Tanglewreck ~ Jeanette Winterson
Alanna The First Adventure ~ Tamora Pierce
In the Hand of the Goddess ~ Tamora Pierce
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man ~ Tamora Pierce
Lioness Rampant ~ Tamora Pierce
Trickster's Choice ~ Tamora Pierce
Trickster's Queen ~ Tamora Pierce
The Wednesday Letters ~ Jason F. Wright

March

Coffee with Shakespeare ~ Stanley Wells
The Good Guy ~ Dean Koontz
Shadowfires ~ Dean Koontz
A Wife After God's Own Heart ~ Elizabeth George
The Fairy's Return & Other Princess Tales ~ Gail Carson Levine
The Princetta ~ Anne-Laure Bondoux

I have to say that since the last book list was posted, I found two new favorites...The Wednesday Letters and The Good Guy. The Wed. Letters was a Christian romance which is a genre I have not read in such a long time because they seem to be all the same storyline. BUT, my mother-in-law had lent it to me telling me that it was really good and that she thought I would enjoy it. Let me tell you, I tried to read that book for four months! I just couldn't get into it! So, finally, at the end of February I just decided that I couldn't leave a book unread so I would just have to grin and bear it. I'm so glad I did because the book was incredible!

As for The Good Guy, let me just start by saying, Dean Koontz is a very secular writer. As in...his books can get graphic. Blood, guts, gore, horror, suspense, and VERY occasionally...a rape scene. I tell you this because his books aren't pretty, but they are extremely well written. Dean Koontz certainly knows how to make you HATE the bad guy and how to sympathize with the good guy while still realizing that the good guy is only human himself. The Good Guy was no different. It was ALOT less horror and sci-fi (which still only happens rarely in Dean's books that I've read), but the gore and suspense was typical of Dean. A Christian author that writes in a VERY similar style is Ted Dekker. I have honestly found myself mixing the two authors up more than once. Of course, Ted Dekker leaves out the rape scene, and most of the time, the guts and gore, but the suspense level of Ted's books is the same as Dean's.

So, sorry I took so long telling you about my two favorites without really saying anything about them. I don't like to critique books. It takes the fun out of reading them. However, if I dislike a book, I usually have no problem critiquing.

Have I asked all of ya'll who YOUR favorite authors are? and what books you've read lately?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blondie

That's my new nickname at work. Why? Because I dyed my hair Bleach Blonde. At first I wasn't sure what I thought of the color, but now I LOVE it. I don't think I could have pulled the color off without the cut, but it works and I have gotten so many compliments on the cut and the color!

Anyway, I needed a picture to send to my Mary Kay director so Joseph took the first three for that purpose. The last pic is just me goofing off. So, should I send Jeannie (my MK director) shot 1, shot 2, or shot 3?

Shot 1

Shot 2

Shot 3

Self portrait. LOL.
Let the voting begin!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Losing Myself in Wrestling

It's been 13 days since I last posted. Wow. I've been so busy playing FB wrestling when I've had any free moments that I had almost forgotten that I had a blog. So, let me tell you a little bit about what I've been up to.

To be honest with you, I don't really remember the 10th through the 13th. At all. The 14th found me in my morning room having a color "party" with Joanna and Hannah. Joanna and I were getting ready for the TLC Ladies Luncheon at church at noon. We were having so much fun talking and getting ready that we were both late to the luncheon, but it was still alot of fun. After the luncheon we all went home and I have no idea what I did for the rest of the day.

Oh wait! I forgot the biggest news. On the 10th... I signed up to be a Mary Kay consultant. Finally.

So, back to the breakdown. Missions Conference at CBC started on the 14th and continued through Wednesday, the 18th. However, instead of attending Missions Conference on Monday night, I joined Hannah at Susie's house for my very first Mary Kay business meeting as a consultant. It was there that I received my Mary Kay pin.

Monday through Wednesday found me out of my house until sometime after 9pm each night. Not much sleep at all was happening. This was amplified by the fact that Joseph and I were dog sitting Max and Bailey from the 14th until just yesterday. Then, on Thursday, Ace joined in the madness. (Ace is Tres and Somer's mixed breed puppy.) Ace and Rocky are great friends and they LOVE to play fight ALL day! Literally.

Anyway, if you made it through reading that whole jumble of thoughts, you're a better person than I. I was seriously just writing as I thought of everything.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

I'm beginning to find humorous, the fact that I'm starting to be as busy as my friend Hannah. Hannah is a Mary Kay consultant and she is very involved in her church. We tend to email each other about 8-10 times each day while at work and at least once a week I'll ask Hannah what she has planned for the week and she'll answer back with the longest list in the world! I used to tell her that I had no idea how she managed it all. Then, this past weekend came along and I understand a little bit better. Let me explain.

My typical weekend consists of me going home after work Friday afternoon and either making something for dinner or (more likely) just sitting down on my laptop and unwinding from the long week. Saturday finds me cleaning my house up a little and doing laundry and Sunday is church, of course.

This weekend, however, was much different. After work on Friday I went home as quickly as possible to let Rocky out of his kennel for the time that it took me to get him his medicine and to let him outside to take care of business. Once Rocky was taken care of, I put him back in his kennel and headed up to Pennsylvania for a Tastefully Simple party at Heather's house. The party was starting at 6:30pm and I was leaving my house about 4:15pm. I honestly had no idea of exactly where I was headed. Sure, I had directions, but I've never been on 70W or 81 N by myself before. I did make it to Heather's in time. In fact, I was about 20 minutes early. Very nice. I had the backup plan of staying the night at Heather's, but didn't really want to leave Rocky home alone since Joseph was with his best friend Tres and Tres' family at Sakura (a Japanese steakhouse) for Tres birthday dinner and I didn't know what Titus was doing all night. I left for home about 8:30pm from Heather's and made it home in two hours. Got my dog from the basement where he was hanging out with Titus, took him outside, and after making to my bedroom with Rocky, promptly crashed on my bed and didn't wake up until 5am when Rocky needed to go outside. Took the pup out, and went back to bed. Thankfully, I slept until about 9:45am. Amazing! Then I kinda just did the laundry and hung out around the house. Tres and Somer came over around 4pm and we all did pretty much nothing until it was time to leave for dinner. (Joseph is exactly one day younger than Tres so their / our families always celebrate their birthdays together.) We had planned to go to Joe's Crab Shack but upon arriving there we learned that the wait time for four was one hour and twenty minutes. Instead we walked across the parking lot to Logan's. Much better choice. Within twenty minutes we were seated and being waited on. After dinner we stopped at Best Buy where Joseph purchased the entire Guitar Hero World Tour set. I actually got a new piano music book there too! yay!

We must have gotten home about 10pm but the boys still broke out the game and put it all together. Somer started off on the drums and Joseph was on the guitar while I started my HUGE pot of Can-Can Chicken for Sunday. Eventually, while my rice was cooking, I took a turn on the drums and did a lousy job of it too! Went back to my food, adding the chicken to the mix then headed back over to the game to sing along with Titus' guitar. yeah! That was much easier. Once my dish was finished cooking, I packed it all into the fridge and headed to bed. It was about 11:15pm. Didn't fall asleep until after midnight.

Woke up on Sunday at 7am to get ready for church. I had totally forgotten about the time change. That was a wicked morning! Got my food into a crockpot and loaded up my truck.

I made it to church quite early with enough time to make sure that the crockpot was plugged in and that there was enough water in there to make sure the rice didn't burn. Of course, Sunday school and the main service was on time. Then the Celebration banquet started. When all was said and done, I left church close to 2pm after having been there since 8:30am. It was a great time, but long. (most Sundays aren't even close to that long and we didn't have an evening service yesterday.)

I ended the day with a trip to Barnes & Noble with Titus where I picked up three new books. One book of retold fairy tales, one fantasy fiction, and the third a suspense thriller by my favorite author, Dean Koontz.

What a weekend! I don't know if I could handle being that busy all the time, but it sure was fun!