Saturday, July 23, 2011

My New Adventure

There are only a few companies that I would ever consider becoming a consultant for... I am not a "salesperson" so I would need to be very passionate about the products to be able to run a successful business... One of these such companies is called Thirty-One Gifts. I have been interested in signing up since the spring, but I didn't want to steal the business from the lady I signed up under since our customer base would be the same... So when I heard that the Martin family was moving, I jumped on the chance to put my name on the waiting list to sign up. Well, this past Friday my wait came to a close... I signed up, and am now a Thirty-One consultant... :)

And just in time for the new fall catalog!!! The products featured above are what is included in my kit... It is coming on Wednesday and I am very excited!!! :D

You can view the full catalog here. :)

If anyone is interested in hosting a party, or placing an order just let me know!!! :D

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dinner on the Bowling Green

Saturday, July 16th has proved to be sort of an epoch of my life. Several notable things happened on this Saturday. Let me start at the beginning... :)

"I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses."
I have tried several times to read through the Bible in one year... Who hasn't??? But I have never been able to keep to it more than a couple months. And I have always felt really bad about that... As a Christian of more than 10 years, there is no reason why I shouldn't have read the Bible through many times.
Well, in a Wednesday night Bible study last year on early Old Testament books, the pastor who was leading it encouraged us to just start reading even if we didn't understand what we were reading. You have to start somewhere was his point. So I did. And I finished on the morning of the 16th. After years of trying and printing off different reading schedules I finally finished. I didn't understand a lot of what I read (especially in the law and prophet books), but they say that the more times you read the Bible, the more you understand... And you have to start somewhere... :)

12-3 on the 16th is what my schedule said... So at 11:45 I drove up to the library and went in to begin my new job... I was a little early so I had to wait a bit for my boss to be available to show me what to do... Those minutes were nerve wracking!!! I had controlled the butterflies well enough all morning, but I almost fell apart in those minutes right before noon. My first day went ok... I was given a lot of information about how the library works and how the books get from the return box back onto the shelves. I don't know how much information I retained, but my boss is very understanding. She told me straight out that I would not remember everything that she would tell me and that it was ok to ask questions.
I felt very overwhelmed when I was there, but on reflection, I think I will do fine. It might take a week or so for me to get to know the library from a page's perspective, but I am confident that once I do, I will get along very well. :)

I have friends in high places... This particular "high place" is Mount Vernon. I have a friend who works there and who has access to privileges that your average tourist does not... Like employee picnics... :). Well, her family is out of town this week so she asked if I wanted to go with her to a special event Mount Vernon was hosting for it's employees. I love Mount Vernon so I accepted. It was amazing... The whole ambiance of Mount Vernon is just amazing. So historical, yet local... So relaxing and yet there are a million things you can do... It is one of my favorite historical sites... And I live three miles from it!!! I will never stop geeking out about that... I plan to buy a season pass for myself here pretty soon so I can go whenever I want (they are only 25 dollars!!! Can you believe that?!? :D)... Anyway :)...
Besides just being a picnic, there were also hot air balloon rides, buggy rides, and a baking contest. Rachel entered the baking contest and we made the cutest little popcorn cupcakes (you got extra points if it was carnival themed). We didn't win, but everyone commented on how cute they were... :)
We ate on the Bowling Green... The big field in front of the Mansion... Regular tourists aren't allowed on the Green, much less allowed to have food on it... In fact, food isn't allowed anywhere on the grounds... I felt so special... :)

The highlight of the evening was the hot air balloon ride. It wasn't exactly a proper hot air balloon experience, because the balloon was still attached to the ground by ropes, but it was still fun and I got a bunch of cool pictures... :)

It was very neat to be at Mount Vernon not as a tourist... To be on the Bowling green eating, with carnival music playing over speakers placed within view, and a hot air balloon going up and down on the other side of the dirt road... Somehow, all of those modern appliances didn't detract from the experience... The atmosphere was very "Yeah, I am just chillin at Mount Vernon." Thank you so much, Rachel, for taking me along!!! It was a once in a lifetime experience... :D

Like I said before, I got a ton of good pictures at Mount Vernon... Enjoy... :D

People chillin in front of the Mansion.. :) In case you are wondering, they are doing restoration on the building... :)

The hot air balloon from where we were eating...

The other bake sale participants... I think it was the cookies tied with the yellow ribbon on the first table that won first place...

Super cute "cherry pie" cupcakes... :)

Be prepared for quite a few pictures of the hot air balloon... When you give me a camera and a subject that I can't possible make look bad, I go crazy... :)

The view... We didn't actually go up very high...

Rachel... :)

So I have seen better "reflection of something cool in you sunglasses" pictures... But what is kinda cool about these that I took, was that they were completely candid... I just pointed the camera at myself and took a picture... No posing or anything... Just blind luck... :)

Another completely candid one... I just stuck the camera up in the air and took a picture... :)

Sunset... :)

My traditional Potomac picture... Every time I go to Mount Vernon, I get a picture of me with the river in the background... :)

Me on the "laughing wall"... They call it that because people wouldn't see it and fall over it and everyone would laugh... lol :D


Me and Rachel... :)

I took a few scenery shots...

A blurry version of the same spot...

The same shot with different lighting...

Rachel said that this tree was in a scene in the second National Treasure... I haven't seen the movie in a while so I didn't know which one she was talking about, but I am sure she is correct... She works there after all... :)

The Potomac...

Those are sheep down there... :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Hobbit Pictures

I for one am very excited about The Hobbit coming out next year. The casting list is amazing... though I am not at all sure what I think about Richard Armitage playing a dwarf. Here are a few pictures I found online. I love Martin Freeman as the younger Bilbo... :)

Ian Mckellen returning as Gandalf, of coarse...

Martin Freeman with Peter Jackson going over some important details, I am sure...

Martin Freeman as Bilbo... He looks fabulous as a Hobbit... :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Eagle

"Eagle lost, honor lost. Honor lose, all lost."

To regain his family's honor... That is why Marcus Flavius Aquila requests to be transferred to Britain. Twenty years before his father had led his legion into the north of Britain carrying their precious standard, the golden Eagle of Ninth... But they never returned... "Eagle lost... all lost"... And so Marcus begins his career in Britain with high hopes of winning glory and honor and restoring his family's good name. But a wound received heroically defending his fort changes all that. He is given an honorable discharge and sent to live in the country with his uncle. But you can't keep an ambitions young Roman down for long. With the help of his slave, Esca, Marcus sets out to find the lost Eagle of the Ninth.

I do have to admit... Channing Tatum was one of the biggest draws for us for this movie... I know, it's silly, but it's true. He did a great job in the role... Rome looks pretty good on him... ;) Marcus Flavius Aquila is the perfect Roman... Good looking, brave, loyal, with a respect for human life that leads him to save the life of a slave forced to fight to the death with a gladiator in the ring for the sake of entertainment... and action that would change the  
                   course of his life... :)

Jamie Bell... the second biggest draw for us... ;) His character is the body slave Esca... Saved by Marcus, Esca swears an oath of honor to serve him... even though he is a native Britain and hates everything that Marcus stands for. Throughout the movie, Esca constantly challenges Marcus' belief that the natives of Britain are a cut below the Romans and will mercilessly slaughter anyone they have a mind to... That they were barbarians... Esca proves to Marcus that people of all nations can posses honor and display bravery.

I love the chemistry between the two characters. They go very well together... Like Sam and Frodo... They start out as master and slave... and end as friends... :)

There are some parts that are not so good about this movie, however. Some of the barbarians that they meet in search of the Eagle are just that... barbarians... There is one scene when the Seal people are performing a kind of "initiation" ceremony for their young warriors that merits skipping. And what few battle scenes there are, are quite graphic.

So in conclusion, I really like the movie... but I like the book better. Yes, it is based on a book. It was written by Rosemary Sutcliff in 1954. I highly recommend it, even if you don't like the movie. All of the negative things that are in the movie are not in the book. And there is a girl in the book... ;)

Marcus and his Uncle Aquila

Marcus and Esca riding out

Defending the Eagle against the Seal people

Friday, July 8, 2011

X-Men: First Class

We have just recently seen all of the X-Men movies. We really liked them and so when we saw that there was another one coming to theaters very soon, we were really excited (and when we saw that James McAvoy was playing Professor X, we were even more exited ;D). Just a word about my review... I will do my best to not give away the entire story line, but... No promises... ;)

Overall, it was a great movie. The story line and the character development was very good. There were a few scenes that would make me cautious about who I recommended it to, but I personally enjoyed the movie.

Charles Xavier is a super smart professor of genetics at Oxford University. He is young and good looking and hits on girls by dazzling them with his genius. Then an American FBI agent comes to him and asks for his help. Apparently, a few very powerful mutants were trying to start a world war and Charles' "special" gifts would be of some help. That is how the future Professor X became involved in his first effort to save the world. There are a few things about him, though, that leave you with a not so nice taste in your mouth. His treatment of Mystique (who he was childhood friends with) was condescending at best. He encouraged her to be in disguise and was rude to her a few times when she asked him what he thought about her appearance. All of that led to her eventually joining Erik's side. Charles is portrayed throughout the movie as a "let's make peace" and "be at one with yourself" type of guy. To me, he just wasn't quite as likable as the older version of Professor X from the first three movies. Not that I didn't like him... He was played by James McAvoy, so who couldn't like him... He just wasn't as likable.

And then there is Erik. Flashbacks from the other movies indicate that Erik had a less than pleasant childhood. This newest film shows just how unpleasant. Erik was "discovered" by a Nazi scientist in a concentration camp when he was a small boy. In an effort to "draw out" Erik's powers, this scientist told Erik that he would count to three and if Erik didn't move a coin before that, he would shoot his mother in front of him. Well, he couldn't move the coin... So the scientist shot his mother... And then Erik destroyed the room... Other torturous experiences were hinted at during the rest of the movie and so one would understand why Erik devoted his adult life to finding this scientist and all that helped him and killing them. Well, enter Charles Xavier who just so happens to be after the same guy who is now trying to start a war between Russia and the United States via Cuba (aka the Cuban Missile Crisis for those of you who know your history)... So Erik teams up with Charles and his team of young mutants to get close to this evil guy so he can kill him.

A very close friendship develops between these two characters. I think it is the sweetest part of the movie. Even though they have different ideas, they still are both mutants and that proves to be the stronger bond in the end.

The four people in the back are the young mutants Charles brings to his mansion to train... From left to right: Banshee, Mystique, Beast, and Havoc... The girl in the middle is the aforementioned FBI agent that first came to ask Charles for help.

Great Expectations 2012

In 2012 there will be not one, but two new Great Expectations adaptions being made... One is a movie staring Helena Bonham Carter and the other a series on Masterpiece staring Gilian Anderson as Miss Havisham... What a contest!!! I for one can't wait!!!

Who do you think would make a better Miss Havisham???

Helena Bonham Carter at left or Gilian Anderson at right???

I think they will both be fabulous... :)

I myself am also a big fan of the older version with Ioan Gruffudd and Justine Waddell. But it has been the customary 10 years since that one was made and so I am excited about them making a new adaption... :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chalk Art

Ok, so there is a little girl a couple houses down that spent a day coloring her sidewalk with chalk... And it inspired me... :)
"How cool would it be to do that with a Bible verse?" I thought... And then I went to Michael's, spent four dollars on a big bucket of chalk, and went to work. 
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved." Romans 10:13
We worked off and on for a whole day... When we finished, it stretched across 13 panels... I think it looked pretty darn amazing... :)
This was the best picture that I got of it, and even then, it's not very good... I just wasn't tall enough to get the angle I wanted... :)
It rained a couple of days ago so this is all gone now... But the summer is still young... :)

So I'm askin...

What do you think of my blog so far??? Do you like the posts I have done??? What about my sidebar??? Is it too busy or is it interesting??? And what about my new header??? Any feedback would be appreciated... :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!!!

Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. Cookouts, fireworks, and spending time with friends and family... There is nothing that represents summer more than the 4th... I hope all of my readers have a fun (and safe) evening!!! :D