Sunday, June 29, 2008

Let the celebrating begin!
O.k. let's get it out right now. I'm going to be 50 on July 7th. Sure, when you say it out loud it sounds pretty old, but these days I could just be halfway thru my life, so how can that be old? And I just can't imagine how anyone can be depressed when they have a birthday. It's a celebration of you and your life for Pete's sake. I am so blessed with a wonderful family, good health, amazing friends, a great job and a God who showers me with love and everything that I could ever ask for. How can I possibly justify being depressed?

You're probably wondering why I'm talking about my birthday already. Well it just so happens that one of my most cherished friends in all the world also turned 50 yesterday, so a small group of our friends (of over 30 years) got together to celebrate with us. Andy & Julie (pictured separately) hosted the affair at their home. We were greeted with a beautifully set table with china and all, plus a gorgeous bouquet of purple and white flowers to make the setting complete. They (with a little help from Rand) made an AMAZING beef tenderloin that was as tender as butter with all the trimmings. No lie, it was absolutely delicious! Terry and I discussed the fact that it tasted like something we had at the (5 star) Four Seasons resort last year that cost over $100 a plate. It was THAT good! It was followed by a delicious dessert with angel food cake, fresh berries and wonderful fresh fruit sorbet. Mmmmm...

After dinner Sharon and I got to open presents. That's always fun. You'll see some of them in the photo below. A perfect glass topped side table that I'll probably use in the family room, as well as blue placemats, napkins and a pitcher. Julie gave us a gift certificate for time at the spa to be pampered together. Linda also promised to sew me a thread catcher like the one Sharon is holding and I get to choose the coordinating fabric. All just perfect gifts from friends who know me so well.

Oh by the way, the sunflower photo above was on the front of my card from Sharon and she took the picture herself. Doesn't it look like a professional took that picture? The blue in the sky and the flower is flawless. That was growing in their back yard. Cool huh?

And the whole night we enjoyed such good conversation with our dear dear friends.

So that's just the beginning of my birthday week. On Wednesday we'll celebrate with a few other co-workers that have birthdays in July and next weekend, I'm not sure what we're doing. Terry won't tell me. I'm just keeping it open for whatever happens. So far, it couldn't be better. I feel so loved and blessed to be surrounded by precious people who fill my life with so much joy.

What more could I possibly ask for? We serve an awesome God!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Decorating Dreams...
If you have a chance to get furniture with slipcovers, it's a great idea! I love the fact that I can change the covers to get a new look without buying a whole new piece of furniture. The two chairs and ottomans in my living room are from Ikea. They were originally intended to be in two different rooms, but have found a home here together in the living room. As you can see from the before and after photos, one had a navy cover and the other one was tan, which was fine, but not the best. Cool thing is that I found these white slipcovers at Ikea for CHEAP. I forget exactly what they were but somewhere around $20 each or something. I wouldn't even be able to buy the fabric for that price. Anyway, normally I wouldn't choose white, but since we don't have kids at home anymore and since I can just throw them in the wash, I thought it'd be worth a try. I had the yellow print fabric from some that I had bought to make pillows (which I never got around to) so that helps where people's feet go. I like the white since it's more summery.

Now the red Pottery Barn sofa was bought at a yard sale for a third of it's normal price and I was so excited. Red isn't one of my favorite colors, but I've made it work over the last few years. I would really love to get a new slipcover for it though, because it definitely dominates any direction I can go for the room's color scheme. I think a denim would be nice or a blue ticking stripe or even white or a cool slate blue. I've even thought of black, but I'm afraid it might fade too easily...not sure. Mainly I want something that's somewhat neutral so I can change out the accent color easily. They're pretty pricey at PB though. I was trying to see if the Ikea sofa slipcover would work on it, but so far no success...I still haven't given up though.

Anyway, I've been having visions of a new beautiful color scheme of black, tan and white (with punches of another color changed thru-out the year). I would hang black and white print (maybe toile) drapes (nothing too frilly) and add a few black & white checked pillows and other accessories painted black. I think it would really dress up the room, but still be comfortable. I could even paint my dining room chairs black to tie in that room. I've seen examples in bedrooms and bathrooms, but not much in the living room yet. I just need to do more searching. Picture the comforter below as curtains and the pillows as throw pillows on the white and black (or tan) furniture.

I even saw some amazing black and white print dishes similer to the ones below that I could put in my white hutch that would be very cool as well. Of course it would be a work in progress and I'd be bargain hunting all the way...

The back part of the house would still be more beachy with blues and greens, but I think there's enough separation between the two...not sure about the whole thing. Just mulling it over. I think it would go well with all the white and tan that's already there though.

What do you think?

Monday, June 23, 2008

In Honor of Amber joining the Hann Family:
These are just a few shots from our Hann family time together this weekend. It was awesome to have Terry's youngest sister Julie there, so we had all the immediate Hann family together for the first time in probably 15 years at Jeremiah's wedding. On Saturday, all were there except Tim & Kim...we missed them! Carole even stayed for most of the afternoon. It was a great time and, as usual there were lots of laughs as a result.

To keep you all in the loop, in case the reference comes up in the future, Terry's dad (Terry) was talking about his funeral and accidentally said the word urine instead of urn, so there was quite a lengthy conversation about his 5 sons having to pee on his grave. I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say that there may have been a new tradition born. (although I hope not)

We also had a full discussion about the "toilet paper rule" of whether the paper should come out over or under the roll. Of course, we all know that "over" is the proper way. And if you really want to get fancy you'll fold the corners into a point at the end (like the hotels do). Because of this, I was trying to help Terry remember that "over" was correct by telling him to associate it with the song, "Somewhere OVER the Rainbow". So while we were playing Traveling Pictionary, the clue going around was ""Somewhere over the Rainbow". Trying to be clever, Terry decided to draw a great picture of a roll of toilet paper going "over" the roll. Spencer was next in line and because he has the mind of a true Hann, what did he write when he saw the toilet paper? "Somewhere over the rainbow"!!! Can you believe it? It was hilarious. I wish I would have kept those two papers.

Most of the younger ones spent some time in the pool cooling off in the afternoon(since it was 113 or so). Notice that Courtney has 3 (out of the 4) water guns, but there's a ball coming at her and she's falling out of the tube. She told Terry when she came in, "You don't know what it feels like to have your little brothers picking on you." Ha Ha! Interesting statement since he's the oldest of the six kids.

Spencer, Tom and Terry did a little jamming on Terry's instruments. Spencer even got to play the Martin and did a wonderful job! Terry's dad also joined in. You can tell by the positioning of the guitar that he doesn't know a lot about playing. Terry just kept telling him to keep his fingers 3 inches away from the strings. so he wouldn't ruin the song.

Somehow this weekend reminded me all the more how quickly our kids are growing up. Jeremiah got married, Spencer and Matthew's voices are getting lower and their shoulders are getting broader and Daniel and Tessa were dancing a slow dance at the reception. Lucas played Traveling Pictionary with us with no trouble and Courtney was just a gorgeous young lady that made her dad very protective. We are so blessed to have such a fun family to spend our time with. We all are very different from each other, but it's such a joy to be able to set aside any different points of view and just enjoy each other's company.

It was an awesome weekend!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Congratulations Jeremiah and Amber!!! What a beautiful day for a beautiful couple.

We were sad that some folks couldn't be there, but those of us who were had a wonderful time.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


On finishing your training !!! It was a long tedious process, but you did it! We're proud of you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

For those of you who are serious photographers, maybe looking to make a little extra pocket change, check this out. Here's some great inspiration and direction for doing some stock photography.

Photoshelter also has a very educational photography site and blog here.

Oh, and don't miss my 2 other Posts (below) in the last 2 Days - Wow!
This is the post from one of the organizations that I work for:

Greater Reach Ministries: (check their blog for future news)

Lives changed. Hearts blessed. Believers encouraged... we travelled to the country of Jordan, a Muslim country known for its hospitality, biblical sites, and Petra. We conducted three seminars in three different communities over a two week period in mid-May.
· Greater Reach Ministries taught seminars for at least five different church denominations: Baptist, Nazarene, Evangelical Free, Pentecostal, and Alliance
· Topics covered: conflict resolution, communication, developing intimacy in marriage, motivation, seasons of a woman’s/man’s life, stress management
· Seminars presented in three different cities to 100’s of people
· Amman, Husn, and Zarqa were conference targets.

A sampling of comments from those who attended these meetings:
o “This is the first time we have ever learned how to grow deep in our marriage and the first time these topics have ever been taught in our church! Thank you!”
o “The stress management session helped me to realize that I do have a lot of different things causing stress, and it’s not always my spouse’s fault. I am sorry for blaming him for everything”
o “This has changed my life!”
o One husband said, “I realize I have been too selfish. I will start now to be more selfless, even saying yes now to a small request my wife made which I had said no to before.”
o Another woman said, “This conference was life-changing. My husband and I have made a commitment to change our life-style. The time here has shown me that we need to spend time together to develop our spiritual intimacy as a couple.”

Goals Reached:
· The goal of uplifting women in the Middle East, who are
limited in many ways and not as respected as men, was
achieved. Women and men were equipped
and encouraged in their walk with God and in their
marriages. Walls were broken down and hurts were
addressed. The time in Jordan was well-spent:
it was God-inspired and God-led.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I hope I don't become a "Bird Lady".

Since we discovered the 2 little baby hummingbirds on the patio, we bought 3 new birdfeeders recently. Two new hummingbird feeders and one "regular" bird feeder. It's been fun taking pictures of them. I actually have my long lens set up in the family room focused on one of the new feeders just outside the window.

Also discovered that the lady who is renting us our Hummingbird Suite this fall really LOVES hummingbirds. The rental is a cute little place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Donna called this week to finalize the reservations and asked if we see many H-birds out here. When I told her about the nest with babies on the fan, she was so excited. She says they only get one kind of H-bird there, a ruby-throated, which is beautiful (as you see here). Apparently Arizona (southeastern AZ especially) is one of the best places in the WORLD to see hummingbirds. We have a chance to see over a dozen species.

Anyway, we had some other bird visitors to our H-bird feeder today. They couldn't quite figure out what the deal was there. The last photo is a hummingbird on one side and a larger bird on the other. We've also been seeing at least one of the babies around at the feeders too. Fun! Our new little additions to the family.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I am not only behind on posting blogs, I am officially behind on reading my regular blogs from others.

I've been working on travel arrangements for our fall trip to New England. I am so excited even though it's nearly 4 months away (actually doesn't sound so long). Right now we're planning to spend the first few days in the Boston area, then a week with our home base in Lincoln, New Hampshire, then a few days along the coast of Maine. Can't wait!

I also have some amazing news, but I don't have time to share the details now. Here's the headline: TERRY AND I ARE GOING TO HAWAII IN DECEMBER, BUT WE WON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR HARDLY ANY OF IT!!!! We have a truly amazing God. Sometimes I really feel guilty about the blessings we receive without deserving any of it. Why is He so good to us?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Prescott Weekend:

We enjoyed a nice relaxing time in Prescott this past weekend with some old and new friends. You'll see a post from Linda about the trip too.

We've known Randy & Linda for about 30 years and they are some of our most comfortable friends. We can be ourselves with them...we laugh and cry, share, encourage, process and dream with them. We enjoyed that this weekend. We've only known Marshall & Cathy for about a year, but we already know that they are a precious couple with kindred spirits. It was so much fun to have some extended time together to get to know them better. We are looking forward to more time with them all.
For any who haven't visited there, Prescott is a town with a character all it's own. The area is busting at the seams with development, but the roots go deep into Arizona history where cowboys and miners once roamed. The cowboy with his dog and the old fashioned lampposts are just a few snapshots of the personality you'll find there. The Tiffany style lamp sits in the lobby of the Hassayampa Inn, established in 1927. We relaxed on their patio and listened to the sound of the fountain (pictured above too).
On Saturday, we walked a few trails at Lynx Lake and although we didn't have a tripod, Marshall and Linda found ways to get group photos.

This amazing bed was at Van Gogh's Ear Gallery... a strange name, but an awesome place. We saw some gorgeous pieces of
art! I was trying to figure out a way to get the bed to our backyard. Can't you just imagine laying out under the stars on a cool evening in the comfort of your own dreamy bed. Ahhhh...what treat that would be.

On Monday we had a chance to take Terry's mom to lunch and a movie too which was wonderful.

We really enjoyed our time up many special memories.