Sunday, December 28, 2008

Skiing the Rockies

Andrea & Ben enjoy a day on the slopes

On December 26, 2008 we skied the Rockies. My brothers Kenny & Wesley went to Winter Park ski resort with Ben and me for the day. Mom and Dad also drove up and spent the day in the lodge with the DVD player. We had a fabulous day for skiing. Winter Park had 10 inches of new snow, and we skied in 4 inches of fresh powder for most of the day. It wasn't too cold or windy until late in the afternoon. Kenny, Wesley, and I ski on short skis called Snowblades. Ben opted for regular skis.

Despite accidentally taking a black-diamond, mogul-laden run, a head-on collision with my husband (we cracked two pairs of goggles), and a silly kid who messed around on the ski lift (which pushed me off the chair as we loaded) -- we had a fabulous day. This was my first ski trip in two years, and Ben's first time on a "real mountain." We tease him about that all the time. Although he has been skiing since he was young, we often refer to the Berkshires where Ben has skied as "bunny hills."

The end of the day did finish very cold. The thermometer at mid-mountain read 0 degrees, and with the wind chill it was 15 degrees below. We took one lift to the very top of Mary Jane mountain - about 12,900 feet. It is above timberline and very windy. The ski lift headed right into the bitter cold wind. Once we hit the top and turned to face downhill the wind was at out backs and the sun peeked in to make it much more pleasant. The view was gorgeous.

Here are a few more pics.
Andrea & Ben at the top of Mary Jane

*Censored* as Wesley would say

Beautiful Rocky Mountains covered in snow

A video Kenny took of us skiing

Sunday, December 21, 2008


This was in the PARADE in the Sunday paper on December 21, 2008. I thought it was humerous. {The artist is Dan Piraro}

Friday, December 19, 2008

Three Movies I Will Never Watch Again

It’s been a bad week for us when it comes to movies. All three movies we watched were terrible! I was so irked; I decided to let you all know so that you don’t have to waste your time on these three.

The first movie was End of the Spear. It is supposed to be based on the martyrdom of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming.

Disclaimer: The movie is from the view of Steve Saint, Nate Saint’s son. I know the story from Elisabeth Elliot, the widow of Jim Elliot. The story as I know it is about the dedication of these five men to win the Waorani, or Auca Indians of Ecuador to Christ—even if it meant laying down their lives.

The movie had no mention of Christ. Jim Elliot acted like a drunken man every time he appeared in the movie. In the movie, the purpose for trying to contact the Waorani tribe was to put an end to the killing that had pushed the tribe to the brink of extinction. The Gospel was unclear and watered-down. In the end of the movie, it was all about Steve Saint releasing his bitterness and forgiving Mincayani, the Indian that had speared his father. There was a mystical, angelic appearance tied to the deaths of the five men. This movie had great potential to give the Gospel and the sacrifice of five young missionaries, but they couldn’t stick to the story.

The second movie was The Birds – an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. I am so sick of movies with lame endings that leave all of the questions unanswered! I expected more of Alfred Hitchcock – his movies are usually good. Ever since my friend Danielle told me that this movie gave her bad dreams, I have refused to watch it. I finally gave in to Ben’s pleadings (he was only pleading because he knew I didn’t want to watch it). The first morning that Ben went to work after we were married a bird made its way into our apartment. Ever since then I haven't liked birds. That bird ruined my day, and this movie ruined my night.

I brought the third movie home from the library out of curiosity. It came highly recommended from one source, and I wanted to see why. I was totally disappointed in The Phantom of the Opera.

Preface – my dad took my mom to see the Broadway production when it came to Denver. We grew up with the original soundtrack featuring Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. You can’t beat it. My brothers had told me that the singing was not as good in the movie, so I was prepared not to like it. This may have influenced my judgment.

I don’t know anything about producing a movie. But I would think that when you produce a musical and the music is pre-recorded, that you would want the actors’ lips to match the music. Several times in this movie the lips did not match the song quite right. That drives me nuts! I also thought that there was an awful lot of female chest exposure. I know the costumes were supposed to be true to the time period, but honestly, Christine ran around in her corset and slip for most of the movie. Anytime the light was behind her you could see everything. Of course I realize that it was produced by Hollywood, but I was disappointed. Toward the end of the movie on the opera stage Christine’s dress fell a little more off her shoulders with each phrase. And was it really necessary for that stage/prop guy to moon Carlotta? I don’t think so.

This film was rated PG-13 for “brief violent images”. I think there was a host of other issues with the movie. When the ugly props guy was hung by the Phantom in the middle of the ballet/opera, Ben said to me, “So far the hanging is the best part of the movie.” By the end of the movie I wished that I had been hung and put out of my misery.

There you have it. Three movies I will never watch again. Sorry this post is so long. I had to get it off my chest.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Works for Me: Tie Organization

When my husband brought me home to our apartment, which had been his bachelor pad for several months, his ties were a mess. It wasn't his fault - he just didn't know what to do with them. And neither did I - for about 10 months! He insisted that tie hangers didn't work - the ties fell off, or you couldn't see which one you wanted. His ties were just thrown over a hanger so that whenever the hanger was bumped, the ties all slid off. I tried a fuzzy hanger so that the ties wouldn't slip so easily. It was only slightly better.

I looked at many tie organization racks at different stores. I would come home and announce, "I want you to look at this tie hanger. I think it will work." It was to no avail - none of them were good enough.

I saw this tie organizer at Target for about $7 (I think). I don't know what possessed me, but I bought it and took it home. It worked! It is screwed into the wall, so it is stationery and the ties don't get bumped. Each little "finger" has a rubber coating to keep the ties in place. It is organized so that Ben can see each tie and easily find the one he wants. (If your someone has an extraordinary amount of ties, you may need more than one, or have to double up the ties on each "finger").

We just hung it in the back of our closet above the laundry basket. It works for me! Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more great Works for Me tips!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Think About It: Revenge

"Never does the human soul appear so strong and noble as when it foregoes revenge, and dares to forgive an injury."
~ Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Psalm 37:1-5~
"Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. (2) For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. (3) Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (4) Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (5) Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Romans 12:19~
"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

Ephesians 4:32~
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. "

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I got it all for FREE!

This is my latest and greatest shopping trip to Walgreens - I got it all for FREE and I made $2.01 on these items! Thanks to Money Saving Mom, Centsible Savings, and Be A Blessing, I have been successful in my Walgreens adventure to save (and in this case make) money.
  • Frosted Flakes
  • Fruit Loops
  • 2 - Arm & Hammer liquid laundry detergent
  • 3 - toothbrushes
  • 4 - Sugar free Jell-O
  • 2 - Baking soda
  • 3 - Robitussin
  • 1 - Rubbing alcohol

When I was taking the picture for this post, my hubby got another streak of funniness and joined the Arm & Hammer:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bath and Body Works

I guess it's time for an update. Working at Books-A-Million...well, it didn't work out. There were a lot of issues in the management. Since I don't have to work, we decided that I would give my notice and find something fun.

I applied at Bath and Body Works. I never really thought I had a chance. Do you know how many people are on their email list? And everyone got the "Now Hiring for the Holidays" memo. And I don't want to work nights, or Sundays (or even Saturdays really). But I got a call for an interview. So I went in for my group interview. That was an experience. I have never had an interview with four other people before! Then I didn't really expect to get called back...but I did!

In the interview, they said we would be paid minimum wage. When they offered me a position it was at a higher hourly wage than I was drawing at the bookstore. And I can still go to Colorado for Christmas! Do you want to know a secret? I am having a blast!

When I shopped Bath and Body Works before I always went straight to my scent, picked out the basic body wash, lotion, and body spray, and checked out. I thought Aromatherapy was wierd, and the hair care was overpriced. Now that I am an employee I have to know about those products...and sell them. So they gave me a bunch of samples...and sold me!

I still buy the basics. But I have two of the newest scents in my bathroom - Enchanted Orchid and Black Amethyst. They just came out with a new vanilla scent - Vanilla Noir that I recommended to my mom and she bought it! Look...sales from 2000 miles away! Ben bought me a scented oil burner and oil for my birthday. **He went into Bath and Body Works by himself and picked me out something new.** The oil was Aromatherapy Stress Relief in Eucalyptus Spearmint. Guess what? I fell in love with it. {Well, you know what I mean.} Last week I bought more aromatherapy because I like it so much.

In training I had to sample the lipgloss. I am terrible with lipstick and lipgloss. I wear chapstick only when my lips are dry. The last time I wore lipstick was...well...the wedding??? So I was enthusiastic about trying a new lip gloss. But I bought it! The C.O.Bigelow lip gloss is fabulous! It is all natural, it is infused with peppermint (or spearmint, or other mints) so that when you lick your lips or breathe in, it freshens your breath. It works! They have a Ginger Mentha out for Christmas that has a little bit of a glimmer. My other favorite is the Ultra Mentha, pictured here. It has even more peppermint oil in it and makes my lips tingle for a long time.

I also really like the Shea Cashmere lotion. With African Shea Butter and Mongolian Cashmere extract it is super moisturizing, non-greasy lotion when a hint of scent. It comes in hand, foot, or body lotion. Being in the True Blue Spa line of products, it is a little more pricey than I can afford. Oh - I forgot! I get a discount! Isn't that wonderful.

All of this to say I love my job. I work short shifts, I get paid decently, I get Sundays off, I get to sample lotions and perfumes to customers all day, and I get a fabulous discount. Does it get any better? *Please note: I am a seasonal employee through the end of the semi-annual sale in January. At that time they will decide, based on store needs, if they need to keep any temps on staff. I'm still having fun!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Made Money at Walgreens!

I have been trying to "play the drugstore game" for the last several weeks. I hear that CVS is the best, but the closest CVS is in Elizabeth City, NC. So, I only have Walgreens with which to work. I'm learning as I go along, but the first week (a week in which I needed a lot of items) I spent $35.51 - but it was for $70.62 worth of items. I purchased a lot of paper products, soda for Thanksgiving, and sale items. I also received several register rewards which I have been trying to use in the cheapest, most frugal and productive fashion.

The second time I went to Walgreens I got a lot of good stuff. I spent $15.73 for $39.33 worth of product. I purchased Kleenexes, toothbrushes, dish soap, candles, gift boxes, ziplocs, and cotton balls, Maybelline blush, and Scotch tape.

This week I went in solely to make money. I purchased $25 and change in items, but I only paid $4.60 out of pocket. At the end of the transaction I received a coupon for $5 off my next purchase. Essentially, I made money at Walgreens!

The items I purchased were two 10-packs of Wal-Itin (Walgreens brand Claritin for Allergies, 99 cents each), 3 packages of white tissue paper (24 sheets each, 19 cents each), 1 bottle of Germ-X hand sanitizer for Ben to keep in his work truck ($4), 2 packs of Angel Soft toilet paper (4 rolls, $1.29 each), and a Sunday newspaper for more great coupons.

For more details on the Walgreens program, visit Money Saving Mom or Be A Blessing. They have great tutorials. The weekly Walgreens deals, along with money-saving or money-making scenarios are posted at Centsible Savings.

My hubby is soooo funny!

Wire hangers annoy me. Ben's uniforms come back from the uniform-cleaning-people--you guessed it--on wire hangers. That's 12-14 annoyances every week that come into our home. When the new set of uniforms is brought home the empty set of hangers usually continues to hang in the closet, until there are so many empties that the clean uniforms won't fit. The reason for this is simple. Since wire hangers don't get along with me, I delegate the job to Ben. Ben doesn't get annoyed with wire hangers, he just ignores them. He just doesn't think about it most of the time--he brings the uniforms home, hangs them up, and ignores the empty hangers.

Yesterday he was being proactive, so he pulled the empty hangers out of the closet. But then his ornery streak took control, and he decided to leave me a present. I came back to the closet to find this--my closet door {decorated} with wire hangers. Ha ha. Ben is soooooo funny.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Works for Me: The Leftover Sandwich

The credit for this idea goes out to my in-laws, the Hamiltons. I don't like Thanksgiving leftovers. The endless turkey. Turkey isn't my favorite to begin with, so I definitely don't appreciate it warmed up.

Enter the Hamiltons and their creation of what I call the Leftover Sandwich. It's very yummy. I had one {at least} on Friday, and Sunday, and Monday. It is like a grilled cheese sandwich, but with all of the Thanksgiving ingredients.
  1. Butter a piece of bread and put it in the heated skilled, butter side down.
  2. Spread mayo on the top of the bread.
  3. Add a slice of American cheese.
  4. Add turkey.
  5. Sprinkle with stuffing/dressing. {Because it is only stuffing if it was stuffed in the bird. "See, Mr. Dallas, I was paying attention!"}
  6. Spread another piece of bread with cranberry sauce, and place it on top of your sandwich, cranberry side facing in.
  7. Butter the other side of the bread.
It's probably ready to be flipped now, because you want to grill it to a golden brown (don't overcook it). Be careful when you flip it - it is loaded, and the yummy stuff might go everywhere if you are in too much of a hurry. {I am usually in too much of a hurry. It always gets me in trouble}

Voila! The Leftover Sandwich. It works for me - now I don't cringe at the Thanksgiving leftovers. Check out Rocks in my Dryer for other great tips.

PS - Sorry there is no picture. These sandwiches are so yummy that they were devoured before I could even think about a picture. leftovers are gone - so there's no hope of another picture until next year!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Thanksgiving

We were blessed to spend Thanksgiving with Ben's family. They drove in from Pittsfield, MA on Wednesday evening and stayed through Sunday morning. It was a special time because Evan was able to come along on this trip. Amazingly, although he works retail, he was able to get the time off. It was the first time he had visited our home.

We enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner around 3 pm on Thursday. I had prepared the mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, an apple pie, and a chocolate pumpkin cheesecake ahead of time on Wednesday. It was a good thing--there was already a lack of space in my tiny kitchen! We also feasted on stuffed turkey (a Hamilton stuffing recipe - very good), scalloped corn, rolls, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. I was grateful that Dad Hamilton was around to help with the turkey - it was my *first* time to do this! We pulled the turkey out with wonderful timing - it was moist, but completely done. Not bad for the first time!

After dinner we played Monopoly. I should tell you that when I joined this family I was warned that Ben was the *Monopoly King*. "He never loses," they said. Well, the first time I played Ben I won. The first time we played the Hamilton family - Mom won. This time Dad won. He has a thing for Marvin Gardens. {I don't understand it, or I would explain it}. It was the pinnacle of success for Dad to win by building hotels on his Marvin Gardens suite, and then expelling us one by one from the game. {He claims he needs never play again as his victory is sweet and complete}. Note: I'm losing faith in Ben's record. I guess that's what happens when you get married. You start to lose at Monopoly. *tsk-tsk*

On Friday Ben had to work {sigh} while I joined the Hamiltons for lunch at Kevin & Michelle Brown's home in Suffolk. The Browns usually visit the Hamiltons' church in Pittsfield when they are visiting their family in New England. Then we hit the thrift stores hard!

Supper on Friday was a treat - something I had never thought of putting together. I don't care for Thanksgiving leftovers, but this creation, another Hamilton tradition, made it enjoyable. Basically it is a grilled turkey sandwich - with cheese, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. It was wonderful!

Saturday was Evan's 21st birthday. We had breakfast and then went shopping. We found some more steals at a different thrift store, and Evan was able to find a winter coat that he liked at Dick's Sporting Goods. Then we had antelope steaks for dinner (compliments of my dad) and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. We wrapped up the evening with a round of Last Word and Rook.

It was a great visit. Now we just need some snow in Denver for Christmas to wrap up our holiday season...
Ben learns how to cut the turkey from Dad.

Our Thanksgiving Feast

Think About It

Sorry this is a little late...
"Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden."
~Corrie ten Boom

Philippians 4:6-7 ~ Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Corrie and Betsy ten Boom suffered a lot during WWII. I'm sure they had many things to be worried and burdened about. Yet Corrie was able to turn those things into prayers, and let the peace of God envelop her mind and heart. In this way Corrie could focus on her God instead of on her circumstances.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Works for Me: Franklin Covey

I use the Franklin Covey planner system. I love my planner! Franklin Covey has solutions for paper planners, as well as PDAs and electronic planners. There is an extensive seminar that you can take to show you how to maximize your productivity using the Franklin Covey planning system. I have never attended this seminar (it can be quite expensive), but I have read the materials that come with the planner, and I love the system.

Franklin Covey starts with establishing a mission statement, recognizing your various roles, writing long term goals, and short term goals. Then you break your goals (even something as simple as meal planning or daily tasks) into manageable steps, which go on the monthly pages and then on your weekly compass, and then on your daily task list. Each item on your daily task list is prioritized by importance. The goal is to be able to focus on what is important, but not urgent (so that you are not constantly running around like a chicken with your head cut off) by utilizing the quadrant system. This information is all explained in greater depth in the planner materials.

I do a little bit of weekly planning at the beginning of the week. As I remember or come across tasks that need to be done on a certain day, I open my planner and write it in on the appropriate day. Each day I check the appointment schedule and the task list, add some tasks if needed, and prioritize the list. It is very easy and very effective.

I now have my goals in my planner, as well as records for Sunday School, gift lists, website records, postage stamps, and my weekly shopping list so that everything is in one place.

When you visit the website you may be overwhelmed by some of the prices. However, if there is a store near you - go check it out. I purchased a leather planner (which will last me many years) for $20 on clearance. I spend about $25 per year for my planning pages. It is worth it to me to be organized and feel less stress when I have a lot to do.
Be sure to check out Rocks in my Dryer for more WFMW tips!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Things I Have Leared From My Oven

There are a couple of "homemaker/wifey" tasks that I really don't like to do. One is handling raw meat. It doesn't agree with me. I don't like cleaning mini blinds. It takes too much time and precision. I don't like to plunge the toilet. If Ben isn't home to do it I have real issues. I don't like cleaning out the refrigerator. That's probably why I don't like leftovers - it they don't get eaten, I have to clean them out. Yuck! But I really don't like to clean the oven. Somehow I missed that lesson when I was living at home.

I sprayed my oven down with oven cleaner and closed the door last night, knowing that by doing so I would force myself into the unpleasant task before I could tackle my list of baking today. I learned a few things in the process...

  • 1. I don't know what they put in that can of oven cleaner, but it is my friend. It makes it a whole lot easier to get the crummy stuff out of my non-self-cleaning oven.
  • 2. I think there is an oven gremlin that occasionally visits my house at night. He (it must be a "he" because as far as I know only the "shes" have to actually clean the oven) sprinkles food in my oven so that when I turn it on to preheat everything crusts to the sides and bottoms, causing eye-burning fumes when I open the door.
  • 3. It isn't worth it to try and be frugal by using a rag instead of paper towels. Sure, the rag can be washed and reused. But for the rare occasion that the oven gets cleaned, it's better to use up the roll of paper towel and save myself grossness and frustration. Paper towel soaks up that foamy stuff (which is my friend) a whole lot better and quicker, and without the yucky rinsing in the gross bucket of vile water (from the last rinse).
  • 4. I don't understand how my oven racks get so dirty! It's not like I overflow every casserole that goes into the oven. It is a rare occurrence! So why are they so hard to get clean?
  • 5. Aluminum foil is a wonderful thing. My husband has been telling me that for a while, but I finally experienced it second hand. By putting foil in the bottom of my oven I saved myself some cleaning.
  • 6. If Eve hadn't eaten that apple, I wouldn't have to clean my oven. We would still be eating unforbidden fruit in the Garden, and there wouldn't be any meat to cook, so no need for my oven.
  • 7. In heaven I'm going to have a self-cleaning oven!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Book Review: The Christmas Sweater

The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck is a novel loosely based on the true life story of Glenn himself as a 12-13 year old boy. It is hard to tell much about this story without spoiling the plot or the ending.

Eddie is a 12-year old boy whose mother works tirelessly to provide a meager living for the family. Eddie desperately wants a new red Huffy bike for Christmas, and he is intensely disappointed to receive something entirely different. The Christmas Sweater is his story of facing life's storms and finding faith and love in the difficult times.

I enjoyed this book. Actually I couldn't put it down - even reading in the car on the way church when I knew it would make me carsick. But I was driven mostly by a desire to know what was going to happen (as I am with all novels, except the utterly boring ones), and not because the book is a thriller. Glenn's theology is pretty messed up. He brings Christ into the story, but it is a message of "You are worthy. You deserve this," instead of the true message of salvation, which is Christ died for me, even though I was and am so unworthy." The book has a 'feel-good' ending, but I don't think I would spend my money to have it on my bookshelf, and I probably will not read it again.

Snowy Day Ramblings...and Giveaway

It is the perfect morning to curl up by the fire with my Bible or a good novel and a cuppa hot latte and be lazy! It is cold and damp outside, and the faintest hint of snowflakes are sort of half-falling from the sky. I think there are about three total snowflakes, but they bring the promise of a possible more real snow. Especially considering the high today is in the mid 30s, and the low is 28. We are supposed to get snow all day, but since it is VA, probably no accumulation.

When Ben called me to say it was trying to snow, I ran my pajamas...and flipflops. I guess Virginia Beach is the only place where I would run to see snow in my beach attire.

Well, I don't have a fire, and I don't have a latte, but I have some tea, and my Bible, some I'm going to go be lazy! Let me leave you with the sweetest little outfit - Grosgrain has been doing costumes in their giveaways for Halloween, so there haven't been any to catch my eye. But I think this outfit is adorable, and I wish I had it in my size. Click the link to visit Grosgrain's website and enter the giveaway to win it yourself.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Think About It

"A real friend is one who helps us to think our best thoughts, do our noblest deeds, and be our finest selves."

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Are you being a real, true friend? Are you surrounding yourself with real, true friends?

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever tings are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Birthday

Monday (Nov. 10) was my birthday. It didn't seem like a birthday...just a normal day. But I guess that's what birthdays are. Just normal days. We just picked up a new car from my dad in NC on Saturday (Nov. 8), so I spent the day running around to get it licensed, registered, titled, and insured. I also had the normal grocery store, etc. to hit. Then it was rush off to Hebrew class for the rest of the night. Ben took me to Friendly's for ice cream after class.

I received money for my birthday - I needed to go shoe shopping - so I coerced my husband into taking me to the shoe store on Tuesday night. We went out for dinner on Thursday with a gift card we had received to Outback Steakhouse.

I also splurged some birthday money on a Pouchee purse organizer (I read about it on WFMW at Rocks in My Dryer). I love it! I like to have my purse match my shoes, so I am constantly switching purses. (If I had to choose a vice...something I cannot live would be purses. They are my addiction. Shoes are great, but they take up a lot more space, and they are harder to pick out). Anyway, my new pouchee makes it super easy to switch purses on the fly.

Ben gave me a Mini Everyday Display frame from Creative Memories. I have had my eye on it for a while, but until recently it was only available as a hostess gift. Ben also gave me a new scented oil burner and "Stress Relief" oil. Do you think he is trying to tell me something?

Anyway, that's it for now. My new shoes are great - comfortable, casual, flexible, and they will be great for Israel in February. I had a great birthday, and I can't believe I'm 26 now.


See the handsome men in my life! (Father-in-law and brother-in-law not able to be present)

Wesley, Kenny, Ben, [me], Dad [Wally]

We took this on a recent trip to NC for Anna Greene's 21st birthday, and to pick up a car from dad. It's a long story, but suffice it to say that our wagon is retired, and we were able to "upgrade" to 1996 Camry (stick-shift: Ben is still learning to use a clutch!) which we purchased from my parents. My dad drove the car to NC and then flew home to Denver. We went out to eat with my brothers and dad while we were in town.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Works for Me: Emergen-C

It's Wednesday again! With winter right around the corner, and germs floating everywhere, today I would like to share my cold-prevention remedy. It's called Emergen-C. It is a little packet of 1,000 mg of Vitamin C as 7 mineral ascorbates. It contains 32 different mineral complexes and B vitamins. You just dissolve the fizzy packet in water and drink it. And the best part doesn't taste yucky! It dissolves very well (not lumpy or gloppy), and comes in several flavors that taste similar to Kool-Aid.

Emergen-C is a super energy booster. You can take 2-4 packets per day as a dietary supplement. It is available in a box of 36 packets for $8.86 at Wal-Mart in the vitamin department. It is distributed by the Alacer Corp. of Foothill Ranch, CA.

My mom introduced my brother and me to Emergen-C in college when we kept catching the common cold. I would take the packet to lunch in the cafeteria and drink it with my meal. It really boosts your immune system and helps to keep you from getting sick. I shared it with my friends, and it became known to us as "Airborne on steroids" because I think it is a superior product. I don't drink it daily anymore (now that I am out of the dorms), but when I sense that I am getting sick, or I feel my throat start to tighten up, I start taking Emergen-C. Yesterday I had three packets, and today I am feeling much better.

Some of the supplements in Emergen-C are vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, folic acid, B12, pantothenic acid, calcium, phospohorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese, chromium, sodium, and potassium. Get yours today!

This is what the box looks like - the Pink Lemonade flavor was a special for Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I picked this box up for 50% off at the grocery store because it was a limited edition.

Be sure to check out more great WFMW tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Think About It

Sorry this is a day late - we were out of town with no internet connection. Here are several thoughts to think about.

The difference between Christian giving and communism/socialism:
Communism/socialism says, "What's yours is mine."
Christian giving says, "What's mine is yours."

In reference to the election, consider Titus 3:1-2: "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, (2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men."

Now that Barrack Obama is the president elect, we must respect him and his position of authority as God ordained, and "speak evil of no man" - including a president we may not like.

A quote from a Bible commentator (given in our Sunday School lesson, and the man was not named) on the fact that the Apostle Paul never slandered Nero (his "president" and a very wicked man): "How could Paul attack or verbally abuse a person for whom he was praying?"

Think About It!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ronald Reagan said...

A Little humor from Ronald Reagan to take away the Obama depression...

"Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15."

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help."

Also, here is a link to a good article I read today. I think it sums up some things about this election very well - much better than I could have said.

Statement of Results

Well, as went the nation, so went my state, so went my precinct. As the 3rd largest precinct in Virginia Beach City, we had around 4500 registered voters. 300 voted by absentee ballot. Around 2100 showed up at the polls. There were around 1200 votes for Obama and about 963 votes for McCain. It just wasn't enough.

When I arrived at the polling place at approximately 4:58 am, there was already a line of voters from the door down to the curb, waiting in the rain, for the polls to open at 6am. From the time the polls opened until around 10:30 am, the line was 2-3 wide, down to the street (our polling place is the Eastern Shore Chapel, an Episcopalian Church). From 10:30ish until 1:30ish, the flow inside was still heavy and steady, although the line outside was not as long. We had a brief reprieve around 1:30, and then it picked up again until 4:30. Between 4:30 and 5:00, for the first time all day, there was no one in the "H-O" line. After 5:30, things pretty much died, much to our surprise. We expected a line, especially with people getting off work around 5.

I was on my feet for most of the day. I think I sat at the pollbook for a total of two hours, and I worked the voting units and crowd control for the other 14 hours. I was thankful for my coffee, and for the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger that Ben brought to me, along with a free Starbucks for wearing an "I Voted" sticker. I met some very nice people, and I had a good time.

These are my consolations at the outcome of the election:
1. It doesn't look like a filibuster-proof senate was obtained for the Dems.
2. The Gay Marriage ban passed in California.
3. "He shall not be afraid of evil tiding: his heart is fixed trusting in the LORD." Psalm 112:7
4. "This is my Father's world - O let me ne'er forget, That tho' the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet."
5. Whether or not Obama knows it, his heart is still in God's hands, "and as the rivers of water, He turneth it whithersoever He will." (Proverbs 21:1)
6. No matter what happens to our country in the next four years, the blame should be laid at the feet of the Democrats, because they possess total power. However, realistically, I know they will find a way to shift the blame to the Republicans. They always do.
7. Whatever happens to America, my eternal destiny is settled. I know where I am going.
8. As long as God wants me here, I am safest in the center of His Will.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

You Have One Vote

Today is election day. I am serving as an election official for the City of Virginia Beach. My slumber ended at approximately 4 am, so that I could arrive at the polls at 5 am. In Virginia the polls are open from 6 am - 7 pm. The city has hired 1500 + citizens to man the polls this election. In past years Virginia Beach has only hired around 800 officials for a general election. We are expecting a huge turnout and extremely long lines all day long. The Voter Registrar warned that we may have 200 people in line waiting to vote when the polls close at 7 pm.
***Translation: The polls may close at 7 pm, but I don't expect to leave before 10 pm. That works out to a 17 hour day! If we are done at 10 pm.

So go out and vote today. It is only one vote, but that one vote counts. Help save America from socialism, increased taxes, and defeat and surrender in Iraq.

I'll be back tomorrow to let you know the results of my day at the polls!

Monday, November 3, 2008

One Vote Video Link

Please click here to view short video presentation on the importance of your vote tomorrow

The Night Before Elections

A friend sent me this poem: ‘Twas the night before elections

’Twas the night before elections
And all through the town
Tempers were flaring
Emotions all up and down!

I, in my bathrobe
My wife in her night dress
Had cut off the TV
Tired of political mess.

When all of a sudden
There arose such a noise
I peered out of my window
Saw Obama and his boys

They had come for my wallet
They wanted my pay
To give to the others
Who had not worked a day!

He snatched up my money
And quick as a wink
Jumped back on his bandwagon
As I gagged from the stink

He then rallied his henchmen
Who were pulling his cart
I could tell they were out
To tear my country apart!

"On Fannie, on Freddie,
On Biden and Ayers!
On Acorn, On Pelosi"
He screamed at the pairs!

They took off for his cause
And as he flew out of sight
I heard him laugh at the nation
Who wouldn’t stand up and fight!

So I leave you to think
On this one final note-

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Think About It

I am going to start writing a "Think About It" post each Sunday. It will be Scripture, or quotes, or thoughts from the sermon at church. This is the first one.

"The answer for America is not a new administration, but a new attitude toward sin."
~Pastor Warren Skinner, Diamond Springs Baptist Church

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Seeing Progressively

On Thursday my new specs finally arrived. Finally. I've only been waiting for 4 weeks! But, I got a 15% refund, so I guess it was worth the wait. I seem to have bad luck with eyeglasses. There is always some problem or another complication.

Anyway, back to the specs. I am now wearing progressive lenses, or no-line bifocals. And I'm not even 26 yet! I guess I could blame Dad - I get my bad eyes from him. On the other hand, he's still wearing single vision lenses, and I've been in bifocals for years! Boy, does that make me feel "old."

I haven't had very much time to let my eyes adjust. Sometimes the table seems to swim, even though my head isn't moving. If I turn too quickly tings are all blurry. And I have to move my head more than just moving my eyes in order to look through the correct section of my lenses. It's still a mystery to me to know exactly where those sections change, so could be using the wrong on and I'll never know...

At any rate, here are a couple of pics. We had a photo shoot because Ben is still learning how to use my camera. **Translation: we took A LOT of pics to get A COUPLE of good ones. But I love him, even if he's not a picture-taking-scrapbook-thinking guy.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Yes, that right.
The gas station on the corner is boasting a price of one dollar and ninety-nine cents for a gallon of regular unleaded. Let me state the obvious: that price is under two dollars a gallon! Amazing! Ben and I have been watching the price drop at least once, and sometimes twice per day, but today it hit that wonderful number under two bucks. Now if it will only keep going down...

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Well... sort of. Last night we had our first frost. When I crawled out of my nice, warm bed into the freezing apartment, I didn't hesitate to ask Ben to turn on the heat! Then, as I headed to work I had to pull out my ice scraper from the abyss of my trunk. (It is a necessity for a Colorado girl, but not-so-frequently-used here at the Beach). I scraped off my windows and went to work.

Of course the rest of the day was nice, beautiful, sunny, and warm, but I can dream a little, can't I? Frost makes me feel like snow. Snow reminds me of winter. Winter makes me dream of mittens, and skiing, and eggnog lattes at Starbucks, and sweaters, and... Christmas! We may have just had our first frost, but it is enough to look like Christmas to me!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Works for Me: Scented Oil Warmer

I live in a small apartment. When I cook, the food odor likes to stick around. I think that my neighbors can probably guess what we have for dinner every night, as long as thei olfactory sensors are in good working order. On church nights especially, when we eat supper and run out the door, I hate returning to a home that smells like stale supper. I have found something that helps to eliminate the odor quickly and pleasantly: a scented oil warmer. A friend gave me the oil warmer that is pictured below. This one in particular comes from Bath & Body Works. There are several styles, so you can pick one that meshes with the decor and style of your home. I think they are around $10. I'm sure you could find a cheaper one at Wal-Mart, or maybe Pier One Imports or another similar store.

Bath & Body Works sells the bottles of scented oil in the same scents as their lotions and body washes. You are supposed to use a few drops of oil, and then burn a tealight candle underneath. In my experience the scent can be a little strong. A friend shared her secret with me: use only one drop of oil and add a couple drops of water to dilute. It is not necessary to add new drops of scent everytime you want to make the house smell lovely. I only add new oil when the other is visible gone.

Unscented tealights are available in a bag of 50 for around $2 at Wal-Mart. I keep a few tealights with my matches in m kitchen drawer. After a meal, I just light up the candle and leave the oil burner on the table. When I come more yucky food odor! It works for me! Check out more ideas over at Rocks in My Dryer.

This is my scented oil warmer. There are more styles available at the Bath & Body Works website.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


One of my favorite quotes:

Every morning lean thine arms awhile upon the windowsill of heaven and gaze upon thy Lord. Then, with the vision in thy heart, turn strong to meet thy day.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Year of Happiness...

Today is my 1st wedding anniversary. I have been married to my best friend and the most wonderful, loving, patient man for a whole year! It's hard to believe, but it's true. My honey took my to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and bought me a lovely necklace. We are
and I anticipate many more years of wedded bliss!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Something to think about: faith

Recently we heard Jerry Sivnksty preach, and he made this statement:

"Every facet of my life is to be governed by faith."

It's something we all know, but we're not so great at living it. I love the word facet. It's very descriptive. It's something to think about!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Works for Me: The Curves Plan

It's Wednesday again, which means another addition of "Works For Me Wednesday" over at Rocks In My Dryer. Here is my latest & greatest tip: The Curves Plan. Recently my dad challenged me to a "Biggest Loser" competition for the twelve weeks prior to Christmas. We are each putting $10 a week into the pot, and the winner takes all! In order to insure that I walk away with the cash, I decided to do the Curves Meal Plan. There is a calorie sensitive plan, and a carbohydrate sensitive plan. I selected the carbohydrate plan. Once you have lost the amount of weight in your goal, the meal plan adjusts for a lifestyle of normal eating, weight maintenance, and no dieting for life.
I am now halfway through my first week in Phase 2, but I am pleased to report that in Phase 1 my weight loss totalled 9 pounds! In addition to following the meal plan (which does not seem at all like a "diet" but rather just healthy eating that I track daily) I also work out for thirty minutes three times a week at my local Curves.
You can find out more about the Curves meal plan in the book "Curves on the Go" by Gary Heavin, the founder of Curves. (I picked this book up for $3.97 in the discount section of my local bookstore). This is the follow-up book to "Permanent Results without Permanent Dieting." Curves On the Go gives further instruction o how to carry out the Curves meal plan in an on-the-go lifestyle. You can also visit for more information about the Curves Plan.
Happy weight loss!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Brooklyn Bridge

The more I dream about New York City, the more my desire increases that the Lord might take us there for our ministry one day. I know that wherever He wants is the only place I will be happy, but if I were going to decide, it would definitely be NYC. Ben thinks it will probably be Brooklyn if the Lord does indeed lead us to New York.

After graduating from college we spent three days and two nights in New York City on a vacation with my family. We were not able to see the Brooklyn Bridge on that visit. Ben and I stopped for a night in NYC on our return trip from the Meader wedding. We arrived in the afternoon and checked into our bed & breakfast (which turned out to be very good, considering it was going out a limb when we reserved it). The rain had cleared temporarily but was still threatening. We put on our sneakers and caught the subway from Queens to the Brooklyn Bridge.

As we began walking the rain drizzled a little bit. It was dark so the bridge was lit and beautiful. When you put it all together - NYC, a walk with my husband, the light rain, the lights, and the kiss (did I mention I got a kiss in the middle of the bridge?) - it was very romantic and enjoyable.

Once on the Manhattan side we went to Times Square and enjoyed people watching. We also got matching "I *heart* NY" T-shirts. I have wanted one of the those shirts for some time. Then we headed back to Queens for some pizza and a video. The pizza was really good - probably because it was one of those "cash only" kind of places. Maybe the Mafia runs it or something. Anyway, it was good pizza. It was even good cold and squished the next day in the car on the way home.

Just a funny note to make you smile. Since the rain was imminent we brought our umbrella along. When I bought the umbrella (one of those nice big ones that doesn't break on the second use) I brought home a nice plain, sensible, boring navy blue one -- to please my husband. Unbeknownst to me, Ben has a fetish for brightly colored rainbow umbrellas. So we exchanged the sensible one for the happy one. It's fine in Virginia Beach, but it doesn't go over so great on the subways in NYC - especially since Ben was the one carrying it! Several people looked at us and snickered. So...when God takes us to NYC we will go buy that sensible, blue umbrella again and leave the gayly colored one behind!

Andrea on the Brooklyn Bridge

Ben on the Brooklyn Bridge

New England Colors

During our recent trip to New England for the Meader wedding we saw some beautiful fall colors. It was about a week before the peak colors, but it was still gorgeous. The weather was rainy for most of the weekend so pictures were hard to come by. Ben pulled over on the side of the highway so I could shoot these pics. (Isn't he such a wonderful husband?) We enjoyed the colors through our drive down to New York City.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Wish I Could Fly...

On September 20th Ben & I attended the Naval Air Station Oceana's 2008 Air Show (which happens to be the 50th anniversary of this air show). I know the post is a little late, but I was out of town and working extra hours. I wanted to get the pics up anyway. On Friday night we made it in time to see the acrobatic planes with the fireworks coming off their wings, and the F/A-18 Super Hornet with the after burner turned on. The after burner was really cool.

On Saturday we bought bleacher seats and enjoyed some more acrobatic planes, the F/A-18 Super Hornet demonstrations, and the Blue Angels Show. The Blue Angels were amazing. I've seen them before, but it has been a long time. I was able to catch a couple of pics, though it i very difficult because they go by so quickly!

My confession is that if I wasn't a wifey and homemaker (oh, and I forgot...a cafe barista), then I would want to be a fighter pilot. Realizing early on that the latter was definitely not a possibility, I opted for Bible College and marriage. Still...sometimes I wish I could fly!

I didn't quite get the nose of Blue Angel One in this shot.

Here are five of the six Blue Angels.

Look carefully - there really are four planes. Two are flying inverted. I think it's so amazing!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pictures from the Meader Wedding

Introducing -

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Meader

~ KISS ~

We requested a kiss of Donny & Erika at the reception. (When Donny & Erika had their FIRST kiss during the ceremony, I couldn't see it from the piano bench. Ben said it was nice and long. Donny really went at it).

The Hamiltons and the Meaders

Ben & Andrea - all dressed up for the wedding!

Andrea & Erika. I played the piano for the ceremony and postlude.

The groom and his men - Donny, Scott DeVane (best man), Jeremiah Clark, Ben (yes - he was a groomsman), and Brian (from Donny's church in CT).

Erika - waiting patiently for the ceremony to begin. Isn't she a beautiful bride?

Donny & Erika make their exit from the reception hall. The weather was rainy. The groomsmen had stuffed the getaway car with balloons. Erika had to throw some balloons out the window before she could get into the car!