Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh Europe.....

Oh Europe, my dear Europe.... Where for art thou my sweet Europe? Sometimes don't you just wish you were back on vacation? I think I typically miss my vacation on Mondays. Why? I think it's just hard to get back into the swing of things.

I do love to travel, and it's fun to look back on adventures that you go on. I'll randomly start laughing about something from our trip, and Lantz will ask me to explain myself, and then we'll both giggle together about something. I love that. I love that our trips that we've taken will always be about us, and it's something that we've shared together.

I am already thinking about our next vacation. (No, there is not one scheduled, however I wish there was one!) Lantz and I love to cruise, so maybe our next trip will be another cruise. I saw some great advertisements about vacationing in Malaysia, and it was gorgeous! I also saw a special on South Africa. Some of their beaches were awesome, and Lantz really wants to go on a safari. Of course, neither Lantz or I've ever been to New York, and it's definitely high up on the list. Um yeah... give me any destination that doesn't involve working, cleaning, or cooking, and I'm probably game- and I'll probably be the first one on the list if there's a beach somewhere close by!

Just day-dreaming a little. Where would you go?
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Concert

Thursday night we went to the Matt Maher concert here in town. It was a free concert to promote his new CD. I loved his new music! If you haven't bought his new CD I'd totally recommend it. We got David Crowder's new CD at the same time that we got Matt Maher's new CD. I'm a HUGE David Crowder fan, but I have to admit that I didn't like his new CD as much as Matt's new CD. Matt Maher has hit after hit on his new CD.... I love it! I can't stop listening to it. No really... you should buy it if you haven't.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Zephaniah 3:17:

"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."

That verse just speaks to me so much, and brings me so much comfort. One of Matt's new songs ties into this verse, and I LOVE it! I have listened to it over and over and over, and it just brings an unexplainable peace to me.

The concert Thursday night was great! Not only was it free, but Lantz and I had amazing seats and it was very uplifting. The band was great- very personable. We were basically on the second row with easy access to the front. It was so awesome! Check out our photos:

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

What's Up-

Well, I am super excited because my cowboy boots came in the mail yesterday!!! It was so much fun to wear them last night to church and then with a fun cute skirt today to work. I wish I could wear them all the time! I super love them!

This past week has really worn me out. School has been pretty tiring this week, and I'm ready for the weekend, but not wishing away any time that I have right now.

I have not gotten to read much at all this week which makes me sad. I am in the middle of Eclipse, and I can't wait to see what happens next. I am still wanting Bella to become a vampire and marry Edward. (Don't tell me anything please!)

Tonight, Lantz and I are going to a free Matt Maher concert!!! Yeah! I not only love Christian music, but I love FREE!!!! So that will be way fun for us.

I can't wait to sleep in on Saturday.

Cooper has been getting into our trash lately which is really annoying. We aren't sure why he keeps doing this. Any suggestions?
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Canoeing

Saturday we went canoeing with the youth group at Willow Beach in Arizona. We had so much fun! It was absolutely gorgeous out there. It was such a nice little day trip.




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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Last Weekend

I forgot to blog about last weekend. Sorry. Anyways, last weekend we went with some of our seniors to Create (amazing, amazing, amazing gourmet hamburger place) and putt- putt. We had such a fun time! This year we have the largest group of Seniors that we've ever had. We have 8 graduating Seniors this year! The largest group we've ever had has been 4 or 5, so for us to have 8 is huge! We are really pumped up. Anyways, check out our photos from our fun night -there aren't that many :) (I know sometimes I post like 8 million in a slideshow, but there are only like 20.)


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Moon

Last night I finished New Moon in the Twilight series. I liked Twilight better than New Moon. I didn't want to read all about her and Jacob. I wanted to read about Bella & Edward, so I read this one quick so I could get to the end where Edward came back into the story line. I started Eclipse this morning, and I am hoping that this one's better than New Moon.... although I still liked New Moon, so don't get me wrong on that one. I still want her to become a vampire and marry Edward. (Don't tell.... I don't want you to ruin it for me if you know something. Keep in mind I've only finished the first two.)
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Framed Europe Photos




Like almost a month ago Lantz and I framed some of our Europe photos and put them in some frames up the hallway stairs. It was so hard to choose from almost 900 photos. We still have more that we want to frame and hang else where around the house. Below are all the photos that are in frames in case you can't tell what they are above:

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Twilight Craze

I can officially say I've joined the Twilight craze. I am sad that I recently joined this bandwagon, and that I did not give the book the credit it deserves when it first came out. I really didn't think I'd like this book at all, but it is now my new favorite book. Yes, it has officially claimed the title of my favorite book of all times. I don't think that Stephanie Myers is a great writer, though. But, she has a great story. I'm hoping that her writing skills improve as I continue through the series though.

I finished the book yesterday afternoon, and I made Lantz rent the dvd last night. I did not like the movie. It was alot "darker" than I imagined while reading it. The actress I don't think captured the innocence that I got from Bella while reading it. I also didn't buy into the "love story" line as much in the movie. They had like one interaction with each other and then it was like- "Oh, I love you..." Not buying it so much- that's lust ladies and gentlemen. In the book I fell more in love with the "couple" of Bella & Edward and not so much of the idea of them. I also don't think that the movie would have made sense to me if I had not read the book. They left out a lot of key points to the whole "vampire" story line. So yeah, like all book/movie combos- the book was of course better.

I do think there are some great purity lessons you could pull from this first story. I love how when Edward goes in to kiss Bella he has to pull away when temptation starts to set in. Granted his temptation is to kill her- it's a great message for our young Christians to draw boundaries and to pull away when things start to get "hot and heavy."

I hate to admit, but this story is really addicting. I found myself all week day dreaming about the characters and wondering what Bella and Edward were up to. I have so many unanswered questions about their relationship and the whole vampire saga. Please don't ruin it for me and leave me a comment about something- I've tried really hard not to find out endings. I hope that Bella does eventually become a vampire.... weird to say that, but it's true. I think it'd be weird for her to get old and him to stay "17." It'd be like the whole Benjamin Button thing... gross.

I am going to start New Moon tonight. I am looking forward to it, and I'm sure I'll go see the movie in November even though Lantz and I really don't go to the movies out here cause they are so pricey.

So yah.... I've officially confessed that I am a teeny bopper at heart. I love teen dramas. I love Hannah Montana, I love Twilight, I love Sister Hood of the Traveling Pants... so I am owning up to it- Mrs. Jessica "teeny bopper" Howard. There... I said it. That wasn't so bad. Now... I have reading to do!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Sweet Husband....

Lantz is too cute! I have got to be the luckiest girl in the world. My husband is so thoughtful and sweet. Last night after open house, I got home to an empty house. I knew I'd beat Lantz home, but when I got here I heard music. I went upstairs, and beside our bed (on my side) I found this little gift:

And this little sweet note beside it:


So here's the story behind this great little gift:
I have had my alarm clock since I was in high school, and it has worked great. It got me to all my college classes and has woken me up for the past 4 years on time for school, but the radio on it is not all that great. I really enjoy listening to Christian music in the morning while I get ready, and I used to pick up one Christian station- a little fuzzy- but I got it. Well, recently I have not been able to get it at all, and so it's quiet while I get ready... or I'll drag the laptop from the office to the room to listen to some music, but mainly it's just quiet.

So, awhile ago I saw this alarm clock that you could plug your ipod into, and I was like, "Hey, I need one of those! Then I can get my praise on without commercials!" So yeah.... that was awhile ago, and I have not been saving my allowance for that (cowboy boots instead). So, it was so sweet to come home from a dreadful night of Open House to find this little surprise and the nicest little note.

Here's what the note said:

You are music to my ears every time I hear the sound of your voice. {Let me interject to let you know that if you've ever heard me sing you know I can't carry a tune in a bucket. Ha!} However, there is a small window of time in our day that you love to be filled with a positive message or song for the day. The reality is the sound of my voice is not as uplifting as Chris Tomlin, DC Band, Andrew Peterson & others. I hope this helps in getting your day off to an awesome start as you continue to walk with God. Love, Lantz

I know right!?! Sweetest, most amazing husband ever. I am in love more with him every day.


Father God, thank you so much for Lantz. Amen.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Random....

So not much going on around here. I enjoyed a nice and relaxing Labor Day with nothing special- just some much needed rest.

I started the book Twilight 2 days ago and I am over 1/2 way done with it. I know, I know... I'm just now jumping on this whole bandwagon for this book. I promised several students last year that I would read it, and I'm just now making my way around to it. It is SO GOOD. I was totally skeptical... come on... teenage girl falls in love with a vampire- how good could it really be? Well, it is really good. I am looking forward to finishing this one within the next few days and then starting on the next one. Hopefully I'll be through the whole series sometime within the next few weeks depending on how much time I get to read.

Tonight is open house... ugh. Something I thoroughly dislike. It is so annoying. I only have like 10 minutes with each set of parents, and they all want to have little one on one conferences about their child- but I still don't even know 1/2 of their names yet. Yucky. So yeah... I have to leave in about an hour for that one.

I'm still saving up for my cowboy boots. I still plan on getting them later this month.

Oh. restaurants.com is a great place to find some amazing deals. They were running a 90% off thing today. Lantz and I got some $25 gift cards for just a few dollars. Some great deals on some local places.

Tomorrow I start my 9/11 unit with my students. I always enjoy reading through this information with them. We read several first hand accounts of people escaping from Tower 2. Very interesting.

So yeah... I guess that's all for now. Happy Wednesday!
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Sweet Neighbors

Last week we had our neighbors over for dinner, and it was lots of fun. It was something that Lantz and I had been meaning to do for awhile, but life just got in the way and we ignored it. It was nice to get everyone together to enjoy a meal, and I hope that we do it again soon.

On Saturday we got a delivery. These amazing flowers showed up at our door as a "thank you" from 2 of our neighbors. It was such a thoughtful thing for them to do, and I am loving having them in my kitchen. Aren't they beautiful?


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Friday, September 4, 2009

Small Group

I love our small group. It's an open group that really cares for one another, and challenges each other in new ways in our relationship with our Father. We've been together for over 3 years, and I love these people more than I can write about. They are there for Lantz and me when it seems that we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as church issues go. I can't say anything else except that I love them, and I praise God every day for our amazing friendship and spiritual bond.

Last night we got together at our house to catch up after a small break of summer activities and travels, and it was so refreshing to meet back up with them. We talked about how cool it is to see God work, and how He brought us all together- even though we are so different:

Steve and Vanessa are in their 50s, and they don't have any children. Steve is the President of the Art Institute here in Vegas and Vanessa is a pharmasist. I can't tell you how kind they've been to us. When we are with them it's always a special treat- not just cause they take us to places we'd never dream of being able to go to, but because they are just amazing people who encourage us and love us for who we are. They are down to earth and real and just awesome Christian examples. Vanessa is such an awesome example to me because she always goes out of her way to meet visitors at church and tries to make them feel welcome.

Ed & Jill are in their 30s with 3 small children- 3 under the age of 3. They just recently had Benjamin a few weeks ago. Jill went to school at Harding University and was a missionary in Chile. While on her mission she and Ed met, fell in love, and married. So, it's so neat to have bilingual missionaries in our group. They both have amazing hearts, and always season our conversations with grace that is so amazing it has to be from the Spirit. I love them and their 3 boys.

Dave & Phyllis are in their 50s and have 3 grown daughters. Rachel, their middle daughter, was in my Sigma Theta Chi pledge class at ACU. They became grandparents a few years ago, and just found out that their oldest daughter is expecting another child. Dave has been a great leader for our group, and also teaches a class Sunday morning at church. He and Lantz do an inter-generational class with adults and teens about once a month. The 2 groups study the same thing and then get together to bounce ideas around. They have provided plenty of nurturing to us as we get sad about not being around family. They are just awesome and inspiring people who think very deep and spiritually.

Craig & Amber are in their 30s and have 3 older boys. Their oldest just graduated high school, and the other are still in high school. Craig and Amber are so much fun and such awesome examples to us. They both think very deeply and spiritually about things, and always bring to light things I've never thought of before. They are also great sponsors for youth activities and provide tons of positive feedback to us. They have never been critical or negative, and we value their opinion and friendship. They are also super fun!

So, as you can see we all come from very different walks of life and yet God has brought us together and helped us become one in a very neat way- Not that we all think exactly alike, but that there is this common love among us that is so deep and wonderful.

Anyways, I just wanted to share about our wonderful group, and how awesome they are. Below are a few pictures from last night. Vanessa, Jill, and I are on the couch together (I am holding baby Benjamin.), Craig & Amber are pictured together, and Ed is in the solo photo. Dave and Phyllis were picking up Rachel at the airport and so they couldn't make it, and Steve had to work.





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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good Read


I recently finished a really good book that my grandmother recommended to me at Christmas. It's called Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky. I must say that I got into this book almost immediately. It was a quick, easy read, and it kept me hanging on a few things even though I made some accurate predictions.

It's about a couple- Hugh & Dana Clarke- who have a baby girl. The Clarkes are a very wealthy caucasion couple, and their daughter is born looking African American. Of course, many different things come to mind while trying to trace their daughter's color. Dana's mother died when she was 5 and she has never met her father. She was raised by her grandmother who knows nothing of her father because supposedly it was just a one night stand. Hugh comes from a family that prides themselves on being able to trace their ancestors back to coming over on the Mayflower, and there is no known African American blood in the family.

It's an interesting story that unfolds bit by bit. It's an easy read, and I'd highly recommend it. This is the first Barbara Delinsky book I've read, but I was impressed. Check it out if you're looking for a good one to sink into.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Brunette!

I am officially a brunette again! It's been about 3 & 1/2 years since I've had brown hair, but it's back! I think I look more like my sister now (which is a good thing- she is gorgeous!). I am excited for this new brunette phase. Check it out:

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