Monday, December 17, 2007

Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!

Christmas Tour of Homes

And take a tour of my home! Many thanks to Boomama for hosting this Christmas tour! Welcome!

Stop 1: The front door of our apartment. This is Liz's super cute Christmas welcome door hanger thingy. Someday when we find us some husbands and are no longer roommates, I will have to find something like this for my door because I love it!

Next stop: The Christmas tree! Boy Scout Troop "some number I don't remember that sells trees on Wilson Blvd" came through for us again and supplied this great tree!

And up next: People!!

And food (recipes below)!

Yes - this is my favorite way to decorate at Christmas! Fill your house with your favorite friends and your favorite food, and play you favorite Christmas tunes in the background and you've got yourself a celebration. And don't forget to use the word favorite as many times as you can! These pics were taken this weekend at Anne and Liz's annual Very Merry Christmas Party! And it was Very, Very, Merry! Here we are in front of the tree!

I cut off all my hair! Whoa! Afterwards, some of us went outside to take a picture in front of the house:

Oh wait! I mean George and Laura's house! Oops! I think our tree competes well with theirs!

And now for a couple of recipes. Liz and I make basically the same things every year at our party and the food is always a hit. I've posted two yummy recipes (one really easy and Christmas-y (Jello squares) and one that requires a little more work but it worth every minute).

Christmas Jello Squares:

3 (3oz) boxes of Jello (I make one batch with cherry Jello and one with lime)
1 pack of gelatin
3 cups boiling water
1 cup whipping cream

Dissolve Jello and gelatin in boiling water. Add 1 cup of whipping cream and stir.
Pour into 9x13 pan and chill over night. When the jello chills, the cream rises to the top and creates a lovely layered effect (you can see them in the food pic above).

Sweet and Sour Meatballs:

1lb ground beef
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tbsp minced onion
2 tbsp milk
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
dash of pepper

Mix above ingredients and form into meatballs. Place in 9x13 baking dish and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. Drain excess fat.

In sauce pan combine 2/3 cup of Heinz Chili Sauce and 2/3 cup of grape jelly. Cook over med-low heat until well mixed. Add meatballs. Serve in crock pot to keep warm.

Well, there you have it!! I hope you all have a merry Christmas!! Enjoy the bloggy Christmas tour!

Friday, December 14, 2007

What time are you starting the prayer vigil?

...was the question posed to me by my coworker Andrew after reading this article:

Liza Minnelli collapses during Swedish concert

Thursday, December 13th 2007, 9:47 AM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Liza Minnelli collapsed after finishing a song during a performance in Sweden, and she was seen by a doctor at her hotel and then flew Thursday to the United States for medical treatment, a concert organizers said.

Minnelli, 61, was performing in a Christmas show Wednesday in Goteborg, Sweden’s second-biggest city, when she collapsed while walking offstage, said Zlakto Nedanovski, a spokesman for the concert organizers said.

"As she walked down the steps, she passed out," Nedanovski told The Associated Press, adding that she did not return for the rest of the show.

"She was taken immediately to her hotel, where a doctor was waiting," he said.
He said Minnelli was flown to the United States on Thursday on the advice of doctors there.

"They decided together with her management that it’s best for Liza to go to the U.S. right away," Nedanovski said, adding that he did not know the medical diagnosis.

"She had felt a bit dizzy before she got up onstage," but decided to proceed with the show anyway, he said.

Minnelli’s spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, confirmed the entertainer "had complained of dizziness" before the show and "became very ill after the show began."

"As a result, she was unable to finish her performance and was rushed back to her hotel by her manager," Rosenberg said.

She said a doctor examined Minnelli, and in consultation with her New York physician, determined that she needed "to immediately return to New York City to receive further medical evaluation."

In a separate statement, released by concert organizer Svensk Nojesutveckling, Minnelli’s manager, Gary Labriola, said: "We don’t yet know what happened, we are all very worried."
Minnelli was performing with several Swedish entertainers in a show called "A Classic Christmas Night." It was the fourth and final show in a series of four concerts in Sweden, Rosenberg said.

Minnelli, the daughter of Judy Garland, won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Sally Bowles in the 1972 film "Cabaret." She won an Emmy for the 1972 TV special "Liza with a Z," and Tony Awards in 1974 and 1978.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The $50 Carrot

I went to my 10 year high school reunion a few weeks ago. I'd been going back and forth about whether or not to go since I didn't have much fun at the five year. But eventually I decided to just go for it and hope that I'd see a few people who would be interesting to talk to and not just there to get drunk. And I found a few! It was fun to catch up with people but I left there so thankful for the friends I have now. I love being blown away by the way God takes care of me and He has certainly done that with the friends and family He has provided. Shout out for God!

I almost forgot - the reason the title of this post is "The $50 Carrot" is because I spent $50 to attend the reunion and left it realizing I'd only eaten one baby carrot. I had been sick most of the week before, and didn't want to dive back in to the world of real food by eating wings and meatballs. So I grabbed a carrot and that was enough to satisfy!

Aren't we a lovely bunch? I love how Paul (standing behind me) and Brian appear to be gazing lovingly into each others eyes. Makes me laugh :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I'm Drowning in Soap

Which is why I haven't been blogging lately. And I just haven't been inspired. All my energy is going to wrapping soap and selling it at the farmer's markets each weekend. This is what our dining room table has looked like for this last month.

And I've got another soap wrapping station set up in my room. And we've got soap bins scattered around the living area with soap drying. At least the apartment smells good!
Really, though, I've enjoyed just about every minute of my life as a "soap sister", except for those early hours at the farmer's market the last two weekends when the temperature has been hovering around freezing. But other than that, I've totally been turned on to fun and fancy (and all natural) soap! And scents. Which is kind of an amazing thing, because in the past I have specifically purchased soap without a scent because they give me headaches. And now my whole world is filled with lavenders, melons, mints, lemons, gingers and plenty of fragrances I didn't know existed. And to all my friends and fam who read this blog: bet you'll never guess what you'll be getting for Christmas this year?? :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Goodbye little red car!! Have fun building homes!

Last week the Habitat for Humanity peeps came and picked up my car. I donated it to their Cars for Homes program. I wasn’t as sad as I thought I would be to see it go. Actually, I was kind of relieved after all the fun and good times I’d had at the DMV the week before trying to get the title changed over into my name. But most of you have already heard that story. Or maybe the sadness wasn’t there because I’d been driving my new car for over a month and all things red and Ford had completely been erased from my mind and been replaced with blue and Honda. Who knows?

What I do know is that I loved that car! It took me and my friends all over the country and it never let me down. It came close to rear ending other cars about 237 times, but not once did it not stop just in time. It had a few scratches from its encounters with many a pole in the FDIC garage, but never complained. And it even laughed along with me when I locked my keys in it again and again. A car doesn’t get any better than that!

I had a great time cleaning it out last week and reminiscing about all the people who had been in and out of it throughout the years. The friends, the boyfriends, the family members, the girls I baby sit for who got such a kick out of the manual windows. I found a comb that belonged to cute Jeff who is a member of the “God uses cute guys to draw Anne closer to Himself” club. And lots of great mixed tapes that my friends made for me back in the middle and high school days. And my favorite find was a note from a French family at our church who saw my France sticker on the back of my car and wrote “Vous etes Francais aussi!” They thought I was French and that makes me very happy! Thankfully, I went back to Europe in 2005 and bought the same sticker at the exact same shop in Monaco (because I just didn’t want to by it in France), anticipating the fact that I’d soon have a new car and would need another France sticker. Now I have to find it so I can stick it on the Honda.
Anyway, the last 7.5 years and 83,808 miles were quite a fun ride! Can't wait to see where I'll be when I've got that many miles on the new car. Probably pushing forty, which is a crazy thought!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Let Go and Let God

Say your 10 year high school reunion is coming up in November and you'd really like to lose 5 pounds. Six months out, you tell yourself you'll work out 3-4 times a week and stop eating all the brownie mix. A few months go by and you realize you've gone through spurts of working out and eating well, followed by spurts of sitting on the couch and eating brownie mix. But you think to yourself "That's ok! I still have 3 months. And fall is here! Perfect for long jogs and bike rides outside." Then all of the sudden November rolls around and you discover that you weigh the exact same thing you have weighed for what feels like forever down to the .6 that always seems to follow the 1xx. So you say "whatever" about the whole losing weight idea and decide you'll wow your former high school peeps with your super personality and Liza Minnelli moves. Well, let me just tell you (because I am living proof) this is the exact moment that God steps in and makes you violently ill the week before your reunion. You spend the early part of the week returning (in a not so fun way) all the food you enjoyed over the weekend. And for the next three days you live off of Gatorade and saltines. You try to eat a banana one day because you really really want a banana, but this is not a good idea. So it's back to the saltines. When you finally get the energy to stand up without feeling dizzy, you get on the scale et voila! A number lower than you've seen in quite some time. So you laugh a little about how funny God can be. Then you say a little prayer that you'll actually make it to your reunion without passing out from all the fever.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Anne with an "E"

Some of you have left comments lately about the name of my blog so I think I need to set the record straight on where the name originated from. While I do love and appreciate Anne of Green Gables, my being Anne with and “E” came to be long before I knew who Anne Shirley was. Actually (and I think any Anne will attest to this) before I was even old enough to write my own name, I knew I was Anne with an “E” because I’d heard my Mom say it at to the receptionist at the dentist or pediatrician’s office or I received random birthday cards from little old ladies at my church who’d forgotten the “E” and I was smart enough to know that “Ann” was not my name. All that being said, I have proudly been an Anne with an “E” for as long as I can remember.

During my elementary years, I read several of the Anne of Green Gables books (can’t say that I’ve read them all) and certainly felt like Anne Shirley and I were kindred spirits. And of course now I own the first two movies. But then something amazing happened in my life sometime during the middle school years. I discovered Liza! I’ve talked about my Liza obsession before, so I won’t bore you with it now, but I will say that when Liza came into my life (sounds a bit like a conversion story, doesn’t it? haha) so did the song Liza with a “Z” (which was written for the made for TV concert of the same name). And you bet I could relate to Liza always having to tell everyone her name was Liza with a “Z” not Lisa with an “S” and although Ann without an “E” is not pronounced differently, it’s still annoying to always have to tell people.

Well, being the wannabe performer that I am, I decided that I would one day have a show (and theme song) called Anne with an “E” that would open on Broadway. To date, the show has only opened in my head, but I still have high hopes.

So here we are today with the Anne with an “E” blog. I’ve been thinking that the quote at the top doesn’t really give any information as to who I am, other than the fact that I love Jesus. So I’ve been toying around with what we’ll call a mission statement for my blog. My church’s mission statement is “Spreading a passion to love God and people above all else.” This of course comes from Matthew 2:36-40:

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Somehow, the discussion that followed between Jesus and the Pharisees about the importance of finding some type of super star in the entertainment industry to obsess over (preferably one of the Broadway ilk) was left out of the Bible. I’m really not sure how this was overlooked, but who am I to question the Lord?

So I’m working on some kind of mission statement/blog theme sentence which you’ll hopefully see in the near future. It will be something along the lines of loving God, people and Liza above all else, but I need to make it catchier than that. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment! And go out and download some Liza tunes today!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway

**** Updated****
OK – the comments are closed! 350+ comments! That is some kind of craziness!

Now, how I picked the winner: I exported your comments to an Excel spreadsheet so I’d have a number beside each name (I removed a couple of duplicate comments). Then I used the handy dandy random number generator to generate a handy dandy number. And here are the results:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers: 249
Timestamp: 2007-11-02 19:00:26 UTC

And the winner is….

Vicky @ Homeschool Mandate.

For those of you who did not win, I'll be back again if Shannon does another giveaway at Christmas (or some other future date). And feel free to check out the Mount Harmony website where you can order soaps online. They're not cheap, but these soaps are just lovely, are great for your skin and smell great too! Thanks for all your comments! This has been a blast! Hope you all enjoyed it too!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Rocks in My Dryer is hosting a fall bloggy giveaway and I am joining in on the fun!

I am giving away handmade soap made in Middleburg, VA at Mount Harmony farm. These soaps are amazing! Each of our soaps is made with over 50% olive oil (which is great for your skin - especially dry skin in the winter) and other essential oils and fragrances. All ingredients are natural. Here's a look at the soaps we sold at the farmer's market this weekend:

They look almost good enough to eat! (but I wouldn't recommend it!)

I'll be giving away two bars (to one winner) that you can choose from the following list:

“Ann Yonkers Meets The Red Mandarin”…essential oils of mandarin red, sweet orange and bergamot with jojoba and apricot kernel oil, color and safflower petals.

“Ginger Lemon Poppyseed”… soft scrub of poppyseeds, oil of apricot kernel, essential oils of ginger and lemon, plus color.

“Oatmeal Lavender”…combines the best of both worlds…oatmeal for earthly texture, and lavender essential oil for heavenly scent.

“McCreamy McSoap”….Grey’s Anatomy fans now have their own creamy soap from Mount Harmony’s McCreator. Avocado and castor oil, pigment, safflower petals, and fragrance give McSoap its McCreamy softness and allure.

“Citrus Moonbeam”…essential oils of sweet orange, tangerine, lemon, lime, grapefruit and cedarwood are bathed in the light of moons of juniper berry and grapefruit balls, paprika and tiny meteorites of heather buds.

“Gladiator Exfoliator”…for the man in your life…ground oats, spices of cinnamon , allspice, nutmeg give strength and honor to essential oils of rosemary, sage and clove bud with the bravery of wheatgerm oil, aloe vera gel and vegetable glycerin.

“Grouchy Tiger, Smitten Dragon”…just can’t get enough flying fantasy action, this is close and will have you flying through bamboo forests: essential oil of mentha arvensis, pigment, vegetable glycerin, and apricot kernel oil.

“Shea Chic”…shea butter, vegetable glycerin, lavender essential oil, calendula petals –tres chic!

"Clary Sage and Mandarin”… like a rare piece of Oriental porcelain, a design of oils of avocado, aloe vera, vegetable glycerin, chlorophyll, calendula petals, mandarin soap pieces, and essential oils of lemon, mandarin, sweet orange, tangerine and clary sage.

“French Lavender”…white as angel wings, essential oils of French lavender, bergamot, cedarwood.

That's it! The soap will come wrapped in a beautiful tissue paper should you choose to give them away as gifts. The wrapped soap looks something like this:

Just leave a comment (include your email if you don't have a blogger account)and you'll be entered into the drawing! I'll pick a winner using a random number generator on Friday, November 2 at 3pm EST. I'll post the winner's name to the site on Friday and also send an email.

Happy bloggy giveaway-ing!!

Jesus can take me home now.

Because I've seen Liza. In person. We were in the same room. And it was amazing! I have not been so overwhelmed by something in a long time! They just don't make entertainers like her anymore. She is so powerful. Her ability to connect with the audience is so like no other and you can't help but love her (she cried while singing "Maybe this Time.") She doesn't have the range she used to have, and she's had both her hips replaced so the dancing is mostly limited to her busting out the jazz hands and striking poses like this:
But when she strikes a pose she totally strikes it. And she holds it for several seconds until a few people shout out "we love you Liza!" and then she gives a little giggle and goes on with her singing. She was just so Liza. Liza with a "Z" that is. And after the concert last night I was thanking the Lord like nobody's business for giving me this opportunity, and then I said a little prayer for Liza because I have no idea where her heart is, but I do know that I hope she's with me in heaven because I don't think I could spend an eternity without being able to listen to Liza.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tomorrow my life is going to change forever.

That is, if I don't have a heart attack first. The moment I've been waiting for since the beginning of time (or maybe since I was 12) is about to happen. I'm going to see Liza!! Liza with a "Z"!!! In concert. In Baltimore. Tomorrow!! The only thing that could make this moment better would be meeting Liza and/or getting called on to fill in for one of her back up dancers who just came down with the bird flu. Not that I'm wishing that on anyone. I just have dreams about dancing with Liza. Because that is my goal. And I dance much better than I sing. Hopefully one day I'll be doing this:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some things I've been enjoying lately.

A great column on Jesus and the iPhone.

Every Breath Bernanke Takes. I'm a Bernanke fan, but I just love this video!

Listening to my Coldplay cd (thanks Rachel!) in my car. Y'all know what that’s means :)

Wrapping soap and working at the Farmer’s market.

Doing this quiet time everyday. Except I like to refer to it as 90 days with the one of many because if I’m honest with myself, Jesus is just one of the many things that has my heart right now. But that's why I'm spending more time with him :)


Last night my pilates teacher told me I looked like a dancer so you may just find me auditioning for the next season of SYTYCD. If I'm not too old.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jamaica me happy :)

If you are wondering where I have been lately, I've been on vacation. Imagine that! I just got back from a super fun trip to Jamaica with Paige, Liz and Katy. We took this trip to celebrate Paige's 30th birthday and I of course enjoyed seeing all mi bredren (as they say in Patois) in JA.

But each year that I go back, it's always sad to see how much the kids have grown up! Sweet little Barrington is still completly sweet but he is no longer little! He just turned 12 last Wed. but he's already a good 8 inches taller than me. I can hardly stand to watch him grow up! Thankfully he is still a little boy on the inside. He is one of the nicest and most polite kids I have ever met! When I told him I didn't bring him a gift this year he said "Yes, you did! You came to see me on my birthday and I appreciate that very much!"

We took he and his friend out to dinner and they had a blast! When Paige offered Romain a taste of her pasta, he took a bite, and then proceeded to eat from her bowl for the rest of the evening. He and Barrington hardly ate their pizza, but they certainly enjoyed all of our meals. Too funny!

Other than hanging out with the kids, we spent lots of time relaxing on the beach, went horseback riding and went to YS Falls. Here are some pics of all the fun!
At the falls

At Barry's
With Barrington at his birthday dinner

Romain, Barrington and Paige at dinner
Katy, Barrington, Romain and Liz
Me and Paige with Peter (aka Cash Money) on our way to the caves

Cash Money in a cave. I love this pic :)

The ladies at Rick's Cafe
Paige on horseback with our guide Patrick
Oshane and Patrick

And the pic you've all been waiting for... Shabba with his new teeth! I made him run home and put on the same shirt I'd taken the toothless pic in. It's a little faded but he still has it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quote of the week:

"Liza is singing in my mouth."

-Kandi's way of telling me she enjoyed the ham and cheese omelet.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Smile pretty for the camera if you were robbed this weekend!!

Someone took my iPod!

Someone took my Perfume!

Someone took my Cracker Barrel!

Oh do we have a story to tell! And I cannot stop cracking up about it! We were totally robbed this weekend! Well actually, the correct term is burglarized, but either way, it was crazy and surreal and for some reason just really, really funny and even fun! Definitely one of the most exciting nights I’ve had in a long time!

So here we go:

This weekend we went to beautiful, quaint Colonial Williamsburg for Jen and Albert’s wedding (yes – it happened!) But this post is not about the wedding. It is about the wonderful post-wedding excitement that Liz, Janelle and I experienced.

L, J and I returned to our hotel suite at the Four Points Sheraton after a long day of wedding festivities. We changed out of our dresses and all our fanciness, put on something comfy and decided to head over to the hotel restaurant for some food and drinks. In those few minutes we were back in our room, we all noticed that it was freezing!! The maid had turned the AC down to about 55. I turned it back up, but didn’t know if that would warm things up enough before we got back from dinner. So as we were leaving the room I said “Do y’all care if I open the window to let some warm air in?” and Liz (our favorite prophetess) said “You don’t think we’ll get robbed do you??” and I was like “Noooo…” thinking the parking lot was well lit and there were plenty of people around, so it would be pretty obvious if someone tried to crawl through our window. So I opened the window and off we went.

Now to give you a little background on the room situation - the suites were all located in separate buildings next to the main hotel. You needed a key card to get in the front door, and when you entered, there were two suites on the first floor (where we were) and two upstairs.

So we go off to dinner and we aren’t gone for more than an hour. As we’re walking out of the restaurant on our way back, we see a cop car up ahead but don’t think much about it. All weekend long we had seen cop cars everywhere, and Rachel even made a comment earlier about the Williamsburg cops not having much else to do but troll around the streets.

But I digress. So we saw cop car number 1. Then we turn the corner toward our room and see another cop car parked across from our building, but still we’re thinking no big deal. We go into our building through the main door and there’s a cop coming down the stairs and he says “Ladies – the room upstairs was robbed. Check your room to see if anything is missing.” Whoa! We go in our room and at first glance everything looks in place. My purse is sitting on the kitchen table and I look in and see my credit card still there and I’m thinking everything is ok because wouldn’t the burglar swipe the credit card?? And Liz’s purse is also in the same place and our clothes are hanging in the closet so for a brief moment we’re thinking “Whew, they didn’t come into our room!” Then one of the kids from upstairs yells down “Do any of you have a silver camera?” And I’m like “I have a silver Canon camera!!” (and yes – I know saying “I’m like…” is not correct grammar but that’s the way I talk and think so that’s the way I’m going to write :) ) And then she says “Do you have an iPod?” and I say “Yes! Black iPod Nano!” and she says “We have your stuff!” So I run upstairs and on the way up I hear Janelle yell out what may be considered the best line ever! You’ve already read it earlier in the post but here it is again… “Someone took my Cracker Barrel!!!” Yes, we had eaten at Cracker Barrel the night before and Janelle had leftovers in the fridge and they were stolen!! So we all make our way upstairs and as we come into the room we see the following things:

My iPod, camera, my favorite Williamsburg deck of cards that I got in like 1986, my green pilates t-shirt, my wear under your dress slimming thing, a pack of gum with one piece left, Liz’s slip, Liz’s perfume, Janelle’s Cracker Barrel leftovers, Janelle’s mascara (a.k.a. the #1 mascara and mascara to the stars) and the bottle of wine we brought back from Jen and Albert’s wedding.

So this is what happened. Sometime after we left our room, a maid or someone with an access card came into our room (it wasn’t the window after all!) and loaded the items listed above into a bag. I totally understand her taking the iPod, camera, wine and perfume but what really cracked me up the most was that of all nice BR, AT, and NW clothes hanging there in an open closet she chose to take a green pilates t-shirt. I must admit that when my pilates teacher surprised us with t-shirts last year, I wasn’t too fond of all the greenness (which is why I sleep in it), but I will now have to commend teacher on her choice because it is the very item that attracted the eye of Miss Burglar. So there you go.

So she loaded our stuff up and then went to the room next door (most likely) and took some very random things from their room then she proceeded upstairs to the room above us where the nice family from PA was staying. Well, when the family came home from their day at Busch Gardens, Miss Burglar was still in their room. She had dead bolted the door so when they tried to open it they couldn’t get in. So she says “I’m the maid, I’ll be out in a minute” and she drops the stuff and opens the door and gets away. The cops still had not found her by the time we left that night.

*** This may be the longest post ever but keep reading, it is worth it.***

So now begins the fun and good times in the PA family suite. First of all, the family was so nice and they offered us and the cops something to drink and it was almost like we were getting together with old friends to reminisce about fun times in Williamsburg. The cops were a riot too! Sergeant Female was organizing all of our things and asking what belonged to whom, and when she got to my iPod she asked what kind of music was on it, and I told her it was mostly contemporary Christian Jesus music mixed in with a little Liza Minnelli. You know I was happy to give the shout out to Jesus and to Liza! And really, I’ve always thought that if my iPod was stolen it would be a great thing because the thief would inevitably here the gospel after listening to a couple of songs, and after presenting someone with the gospel, the next best thing I can think of to offer is a medley of show tunes by the one and only Liza Minnelli.

We had some laughs over the stick of gum and the cracker barrel and the slip, and the kids were laughing about the random things she had chosen from their rooms and it turned into a really fun night of laughing a carrying on. And the cops didn’t mind at all. They totally played along with our silliness (but in a completely professional way, of course). We filled out our crime reports and Sergeant Female called in Detective 1699 to dust for prints. They decided to dust the wine and the perfume because dusting the electronics would ruin them. This is when I asked if it was ok to take pictures at the crime scene. The Sergeant said “sure” and that’s how we captured the loveliness pictured above.

Unfortunately, the thief/burglar/maid woman did make off with the PA Dad’s wedding ring and some prescription pills, but despite that, he remained in good spirits. And needless to say, we did not spend Sat. night in our suite. The hotel staff was very apologetic and kind and gave us two free rooms in the main hotel and free breakfast the next morning. I didn’t sleep as well as I had hoped that night. Not because I was nervous or freaked out, but because I kept busting out into laughter every time I would tried to relax and fall asleep. It just really was too funny that we were robbed! Of all things! And Liz totally called it when we left the room. Too funny! I think God knows that I like to maintain a certain level of excitement in my life and he has always been faithful to provide it! And even the sermon the next morning at Sovereign Grace in Chesapeake struck a chord that made me laugh a little and give God some glory. The church is doing a series on the minor prophets and on Sunday Brett was teaching from Habakkuk and quoted verse 3:18:

“yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

As I was trying to fall asleep on Sat night I was thanking God that everyone was safe (especially the PA fam since they walked in on her) and praying for the thief woman and just praising God that everyone had such a joyful attitude about the whole situation. And it struck me that we all had so much fun and found so much joy in the situation because we know where our hope lies and we know it’s not in our circumstances or in material things, but it is in our Savior and we can totally rejoice in that!! He’s awesome!

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Travis was the victim of an attempted robbery, although on a much smaller scale. I love this picture :) "Give me that tie, man!"

Monday, September 03, 2007

This is my first tag. Yay!!

Rachel tagged me to write seven random facts about myself so here they are:

1. I have been to 25 states this summer. 6 of them I had never visited before. I have 4 states left to see in the next 1.5 years to achieve my “50 by 30” goal.

2. My hair has not been its natural color since I started using Sun-In the summer after 8th grade.

3. I have never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (inspired by #1 in Ebony’s “7 random facts” list.

4. I often drive in circles around the neighborhood on my way home from somewhere because I love listening to my tunes in the car more than I care about wasting a little bit of gas.

5. I like to do forward rolls up the stairs. Danica reminded me of this last week. It really works the abs.

6. I often want to tell characters in t.v. shows or movies about Jesus. For example, when Lois tells Superman that she doesn't need a savior, I'm thinking "Yes, you do Lois! And Jesus loves you and wants to save you!!"

7. I’ve spent a good part of today watching the “Murder She Wrote” marathon on the Hallmark channel. Love it!

I tag Paige and Dawn and Christine!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Confessions of Me, a Wannabe Pioneer Woman.

On our trip out west this week, Liz, Traci and I stayed at a ranch in Montana. No – we did not get to stay with the Pioneer Woman and join in the cow pregnancy testing fun, but we did stay with some very nice ranchers in Eastern Montana named Willy and Anne. That’s right! When I called and found out Mrs. Rancher’s first name was Anne with an “e” I knew we’d hit the jackpot.

We flew into Denver, picked up our lovely white rental car (laugh all you want, Brian) and headed north toward Montana. As is typical with the Anne/Liz road trip, we got caught in several torrential downpours and a couple of hail storms. But we forged our way through the road kill splattered, partially paved roads of Wyoming to cross into Montana and arrive at the ranch a little after 9pm.

I was relieved when Mrs. Rancher told us she would have breakfast ready at 7:30. That meant I could easily get 8 hours of sleep which we were all in desperate need of since we'd gotten up at 4:30 eastern time that morning to get to the airport. So it was off to bed for a great night's sleep under the big Montana sky.

Fast forward to 4:37 am the next morning. Cockadoodle-doo!! Actually it was more of a Ca-cock-a-doo! I remember thinking "Wow, it's still really dark outside! I thought the rooster crowed when the sun came up." Little did I know that the rooster comes with a snooze button. The Pioneer Woman never mentioned that one. He crowed every few minutes for the next hour and a half. What's up with that rooster???

I considered my options and thought about throwing shoes at him out the window, or looking for a baseball bat, but I decided my best option was to pray. I prayed that that rooster would be content with number of times he had already crowed to the Lord that morning, and I asked the Lord to reveal to him that we had come from a different time zone and his crows were confusing us more than helping us, and maybe he could find it in his little rooster heart to allow us to get another hour of sleep. And I kid you not – a few minutes after those prayers were lifted up to heaven I truly believed that rooster (it was later that we found out there were multiple roosters) had cockadoodle-doo’d his last. I was literally thanking Jesus like nobody's business every minute that went by without a crow. But it turns out he decided to take a 7 minute break instead of 3. And he was with us the rest of the morning until the sun finally came up.

There is one positive thing that came out of my morning hours with the rooster. This scene (which is one of my favorites from Arrested Development) kept running through my head:

Lindsay's chicken is the best!

Other than the rooster, the time at the ranch was great! Here are some of my favorite pics:

The tractor pic (taken for my Dad):

The cabin (right next to the hen house, of course):

Our cow friends:

My favorite cow pic (she doesn't come close to the Pioneer Woman's Ursula, but I still love her):

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Report from Jamaica.

"Limb fell off the ackee tree and ran out of beer." I guess that means everyone is ok. Oh and Shabba got his tooth fixed. Here's the before pic. After my trip with the girls in October, I'll post the after pic with new tooth.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Double the Reunion, Double the Fun!

This weekend I went down to NN for the Wiatt family reunion. This year was interesting because my uncle found some link 8 generations back to the Wyatt's with a "Y" and so they were invited for the first time! I kept seeing all these "Wyatt" name tags and was wondering what the heck was going on until Uncle Alex gave his 10 minute speech on the wonders of DNA and everybody's related to everybody and now we're inviting Wyatt's and blah blah blah. He likes to talk:)

The younger generation:

I did enjoy this picture very much. It's my uncle Tom as a young lad in 1971 next to a picture of Sir Thomas Wyatt as a young lad in 15??. Quite the resemblance. Actually, Sir Thomas ended up with his head hanging from the Tower of London soon after this portrait was made. Tom the uncle is still with us. And of course, I must highlight the moment that I wait for all year. The sing-a-long with Roberta on the concertina. This is when most of the cousins like to leave which is terribly unfortunate because what's a family reunion without a couple of rounds of Oh! Susanna and Home on the Range?

Anyway, that's enough of the crazy Wiatt clan. The surprise of the weekend was the mini reunion we had on my Dad's side. Turns out my cousin Jason and his lovely wife Melanie were taking a little road trip through VA to see my grandmother and visit the farm. And on Sunday they ventured down to NN. This was quite an exciting moment for me because I had not seen my cousin since 1991! 16 years! I didn't think I'd been alive for 16 years, but I can't argue with my parents or my birth certificate on that one so here we are.

This was such a fun weekend!! It was one of those rare (but becoming more frequent) moments when I actually wished I could spend more time with my family! I guess when you pray about something God is bound to change your heart eventually :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Eyes, eyes, nostrils, silent scream.

If anyone is curious to know what I’ll be doing tonight, I’ll be at home (actually at Cecily’s – I’m dog sitting this week) watching this clip over and over until I learn the moves:

Who would have thought that one day of cake making with Rachel and Gina would change my life forever?

God Bless you both.

Friday, August 03, 2007

I'm melting.

God's greatest gift to man: J.C.

God's second greatest gift: AC.

Monday, July 30, 2007

My spiritual gift is jazz hands.

I believe that’s what the Lord revealed to me last night. And I’m being completely serious. Actually, I was in perfomer mode at CPT last night and was dancing around trying to get all the attention and it was totally fun and great, but then by the time I came home I was feeling kind of bummed out because I always try to get attention and praise for myself and not for God, and when I do that too much it just makes me feel yucky. So I was praying and journaling last night and asking God to forgive me for being so selfish and for showing myself off and not Him and I asked him (and this is a direct quote from my journal) "to knock me off my 'me' stage and put be back on God's stage with jazz hands for you Lord." I even pray Fosse style. This is why I love the freedom we have in Christ because I can pray like that and I know He totally gets what I'm trying to say. And all that jazz.

Now I need to find me a new dance class. I miss my old tap teacher Billy, the 65 year old drag queen.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Ratios, They are a Changin’

Bob Dylan would be proud. Yesterday’s CPDC Busch Gardens trip was attended by the following:

Guys: Steve, Greg, John, Ravi, Ernest, Joel and Mike

Gals: Anne, Liz, Amber, and Aesook

I do believe this is the first event (other than a basketball tournament or Super Bowl party) that was attended by more men than women. The Lord has heard our prayers!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A great moment in work life.

I'm sitting in Mike's office today discussing a data issue related to one of my bank's reports. The bankers name is Cher. We were going back and forth on the issue when all of the sudden it hit me that this was a bank another co-worker had spoken with when I was on vacation. So we brought the other co-worker in but she couldn't remember all of the details of the issue. At this realization, Mike starts singing "If I could turn back time..."

Oh how I love the cleverness!

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Favorite Dessert

Is fruit pizza! I know some of you are thinking "Wait a minute?? I thought your favorite dessert was brownie mix?" and you're close. Actually, my favorite snack is brownie mix :)

Isn't it lovely?? And it tastes soo good and is semi-healthy with all that fruit everywhere. Just forget the fact that the fruit is sitting on top of a sugar cookie and cream cheese mixed with sugar and cool whip :)

I've posted the recipe at Sweet Anne's.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My Favorite Armenian

One of the highlights of our New England road trip (besides locking my keys in the car) was seeing my very favorite Armenian friend Steve. Steve started working at the FDIC a year after me and our cubes were next to each other. We quickly became friends because I needed advice about guys and he needed me to write thank you notes for him. For three years he was my favorite FDIC buddy. He created the “Anne’s To Eat List” because there were so many foods I had never tried before (like the cheeseburger) and I bugged him about not loving Jesus enough and told him that God didn’t give a hoot that the Armenians were the first Christian church (according to Steve). We had so much fun, and being his friend left a special place in my heart for Armenians.

A couple of years ago he decided to ditch us and go back to Boston for grad school. So for a brief while I was living a life sans Armenians. But as the reverend mother always says “when God takes away one Armenian, He’ll bring along another.” And He did. Last summer Julie started working at the FDIC and as soon as I met her and saw the dark hair and found out she was from Boston her last name ended in “ian” I knew we would hit it off right away. And we did! She wasn’t scared off when I said “I love Armenians!!” and jumped up and down a few times. Then Jbeed (an Armenian) started coming to our church and I think I did freak her out just a bit when I began my “Why I love Armenains” speech. And then one night at dinner last fall, we were talking about our family history and Travis blurts out that he is one quarter Armenian. I took one look at him with this new information and thought "Of course!" I could totally see 1/4 Amenian features in Travis. Don't you all see it??
I decided right then and there that we were getting married. I've never expected to meet a 28 year old single 100% Armenian who is was 100% into Jesus. And here was Travis who had the 100% Jesus and 100% single criteria covered and was coming in strong with 25% Armenian. Pretty good ratios if you ask me. (BTW - for all you readers who think you've been let in on a big secret that I was running around last year with a major crush on Travis this is not the case. I just decided we'd be getting married.)

Now I'm back to a point in my life where the Armenian friends are few and far between. Travis has gone off to law school, Steve lives in Boston, I rarely see Jbeed, and next Friday is Julie's last day at work. She is moving back to Boston too! I may have to work my match making magic with her and Steve :) So here's hoping God brings along another Armenian (maybe the 100% into Jesus single guy one??) We'll wait and see!!