Friday, August 20, 2010

Wow!  I can't believe that I'm finally able to create a new post on this blog!  For the last month or more, there was a technical problem that would not allow me to create a new post here.

Because of that, and because of the great reviews that I've heard about I have officially moved my blog there.

When I did that, I edited my last post (since I couldn't get in to create a new one). And sadly, I just discovered that the edited post did not go out in the RSS feed for those that have subscribed to my blog.  So, you may not have known that I was still blogging, but had moved to another location.

I must admit that the last few months have been crazy busy, so I haven't been as prolific as I was before, but I'm getting back on track again.

I hope that those of you who subscribed before, will come over and subscribe to my new blog site at  I've missed your visits and love your input!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hello again,

Have you given up on me?  I hope not! 

Sadly, since I continue to be unable to create new posts for this blog and cannot seem to get any help in fixing the issue, as of today, I'm moving.  I have been considering a move for some time, so this has prompted it a little sooner than I expected.  As a result, I've decided to transfer all of the content from this site over to a WordPress blog site and keep going from there.

My new blog URL is:

My blog name will continue to be:  Down the Road and Back Again...for now.  I have plans to change it, but just haven't come up with the perfect name.  Let me know if you have brilliant ideas.  I could use them.

If you like to visit me here, please consider subscribing to receive my new blog post from there or plan to visit often.  If you don't want to subscribe, please bookmark the site as soon as you get there since I expect that at some point, I'll be closing this blog down.

For now, I'm considering the new blog "under construction".  If all goes well, I hope to have the it ship-shape for my 4 year blogging anniversary on August 9th.

Thanks so much for visiting.  I hope that you think things are even more fun and creative on the new site.  I especially hope to be able to categorize the posts so you can find what you're interested in, more easily.  As always there will be tons of pics, tips, and little glimpses of my world.

Any suggestions for changes or improvements now that things are being revamped?  What would you like to see more or less of?

See you on the other side!


Monday, June 21, 2010

I promise that I will soon have more time to post to my blog.

This is in downtown Sarajevo, a bustling city with lots to see and do.

If you haven't had a chance to see some of my (favorite) pictures culled from the several thousand from Bosnia, they are now up on Facebook.  You can see them here without signing up for FB.  If you looked at the first batch a week or so ago, be sure to skip ahead a few pages in the album if you don't want to see the old ones.

They don't include lots of the sponsored kids' pictures (which we'll show on the 26th) or the couple of days we spent in Croatia and Amsterdam.  I'll post those in separate albums later.

They also don't include photos of Dan and Julie and kids (our missionary family) in Bosnia.  For security reasons they have asked that I not post photos online with their last name, so just to be safe, I'm posting their photos on a private page.  If you would like to get a link to those photos, add a comment below or send me an email to hannfamily[at]
This gives an indication of how much the Bosnian audiences loved Bob and Terry's music that was so different from their own.  These ladies were literally dancing in the aisles by the end of the concert.

This window is at the Breza church.  To me it symbolizes God's desire to be a breath of hope in our sometimes gray world.

This week I'm working on putting together a PowerPoint for our team's presentation, which will be on Saturday night at Open Door Fellowship church if you want to come and enjoy some great original music (written by our teammate Bob Ryan) as well as stories and other photos from our trip.

At some point I will be back to regular posting...I promise.  Thanks for your patience.  Is there something you're missing in my posts?  I hope so.  What is it?

Friday, June 11, 2010

For all you international travelers out there - here's a tip about your passport

It was so much fun to have our passports stamped on our recent trip and aside from a few comments that Terry got about the lack of a beard on his passport photo, everything went smoothly and the folks were quite friendly overall.

But here's a word of caution if you're planning an international trip in the future.

Apparently the "real" expiration date on your passport is actually six months before the date shown on the page.  From what I've been reading here a good number of countries will not allow you in if you have less than 6 months left on your passport.  I can't find a specific reason why, but suffice it to say that you would probably not be a happy camper if your round trip flight got you only as far as the airport (at your destination) and back.

That means we need to get to work on getting ours renewed since it expires in 2011. 

Have you ever run into any issues when your passport was reviewed?  I hope not.

Have fun traveling! 

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sorry that I haven't had time to post more about our trip to Bosnia.  We're home and getting re-acclimated to our sleeping schedules and "real" lives.

These are a few shots from our first stop in Podstrana to catch our breath from the long flight.  It's on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia along the Adriatic Sea.

In the meantime, here's a link with some more photos (but still not the whole trip).  They're on my Facebook page, but you don't have to sign up to see them here.

This last photo is from a little town called Omis.  I loved the architecture there!

We did a lot of walking on our trip, which was wonderful.  The weather was great everywhere we went!

Hope to be back on top of posting here soon.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quick Overview of our Bosnia Trip so far...

I don't have time to caption all of my photos right now, but if you're interested in seeing an overview, check out this slideshow below from my Picasa page.

Our trip has gone smoothly as far as logistics.  Bob's head cold has been the biggest hurdle for their performances.  Most people can't tell that he's having issues, but for those of us who know what the songs should sound like, we can tell that he's struggling at times.

Please be praying for him especially the next few days.  We leave today for Sarajevo and the guys will be performing either at churches or another venue on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.  He will need a strong voice to make it through those times.

Terry's harmonica and mandolin have been a big hit with everyone.

Funny note! Not that I want to perpetuate this stereotype, but I think it's hilarious that several Bosnians have also recognized the similarity between Bob and Terry and Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets
This seems to reveal itself most often in their dry sense of humor when they're performing.  The Bosnians weren't going to tell us, but it kind of slipped out at lunch the other day.  Apparently they were laughing about it when the guys were performing at the Coffee Bar the other night. I love it!

Sorry I don't have time to share more, but we're heading out to Sarajevo in a few minutes.  Hopefully I'll have time to fill in some of the blanks when we're there.

Thanks for all your prayers1

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Suns/Lakers series starts on Monday.

Check out this Video of Suns vs. Lakers Rivalry

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Birthday to my favorite guy in all the world!

Terry's birthday was yesterday!  It's not that I forgot his birthday, it's just that I forgot to create a post in advance about it and we've been so busy that I didn't have time in the last few days.

That doesn't make him any less special or less loved. I'm so blessed that God gave him to me over 30 years ago.  I wouldn't want to share this life and it's adventures with anyone else.

Here are just a few highlights of the fun we've had this past year... what a great year it's been and now we're heading for Bosnia in the next few days!  Can't wait.
 Steamboat Springs, Colorado in August

 Disneyland in September
 Randy Thompson Christmas Concert in December 
Dave Argentati Concert in December

Terry & Bob played several places around town this year
 Flagstaff Snow Day in January
Suns Game in April 

Sunday, May 09, 2010

My updated "cottage" furniture!

I'm so excited about the transformations that are taking place around my house lately.

Ever since we moved to Arizona 6 years ago, my goal has been to create a coastal cottage atmosphere in my Southwest desert home.  You may think that's crazy and out of place, but my heart just feels at home in the cozy comfort of pale blues, greens and lots of white.  I love the unpretentious air of painted furniture, yard sale finds, slipcovers and piles of throw pillows.  I want my guests to feel like they can kick off their shoes and put their feet up from the moment they walk in the door.

My inspiration comes from the cottage that my aunt owns on the shores of Lake Erie near Vermilion, Ohio.  This precious place is where we spent countless happy-go-lucky days swimming, spitting watermelon seeds and searching for Easter eggs.  It's a source of joy in my memory bank and I long to create the same atmosphere in my home even though we're miles and miles from the nearest lake.

So, it's with that in mind that I've been dreaming of painting some of the furniture that I've had for many years.  The pieces were acquired in a different era, when darker colors filled my home.  Now, even though I love the pieces, they needed a face-lift.  It's been on my To-Do list for years, but because of the time involved, it never quite rose to the top of my priorities for one reason or another.

That's why I was thrilled when my sister, Sharon told me that she and her boyfriend, Craig were starting a business of refinishing furniture.  Craig has been doing furniture refinishing for many years, so it was a natural progression to open his own shop.  These are the pieces I had them start with, for me.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a "before" photo of this cabinet, but this little slice from another photo gives you an idea of the original colors.  The body was a forest green and the top was a deep red.  Terry bought the piece (with beautiful hand carved wood front) for me years ago when I pointed it out at a craft fair.  In recent years I was using it to store VHS video tapes, so it was a bit outdated, both inside and out.  I still love it, but wanted a lighter version.

The other pieces were 2 vintage school chairs that I picked up at a swap meet in Ohio.

I decided on a palette of pale colors that can be moved throughout the house when I feel like mixing things up, which I often do.

The cabinet sports two subtle tones of sage green and the chairs are a pale buttery yellow.  An added bonus is their use of eco-friendly paints, stains and materials.  Low-VOC paint, etc.
Of course, Craig did a gorgeous and thorough job on the inside of the cabinet as well.  When I re-loaded the cabinet I updated the contents too, with some of my placemats and napkins, so it's more practical and user friendly since it sits in the dining room.

If you need any furniture painted or refinished, or are looking for some gorgeous pieces that they've already "Re-imagined" check them out.  Below is a link to their Facebook page and contact info as well.  They can also re-create new pieces from a combination of partially damaged old pieces.  Check out their pics on their FB page.

Call Sharon or Craig at 480 343 1189

Furniture Re-Imagined from a green perspective with Eco-friendly products and upcycle quality furniture for your home.

Re-created, Refinished, Re-purposed, Recycled, and Re-imagined.

Follow my blog and keep an eye out for my post about the other pieces that they're working on for me.  I have "before" photos of the next pieces. I'll also be showing the transformation of the living room with my new white sofa slipcover.   Hope to see you again soon!
A few more pics from the plane ride...

This is what the sky looked like when we took off from Boise.  It was cloudy and windy, but the takeoff was as smooth as silk.  Phil and Mark are great pilots!

On the way home we flew over the Grand Canyon.  Isn't it gorgeous from 40,000 feet?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mason Jar Candle Lanterns

These sweet lanterns are on sale for $6 at Pottery Barn, but I'm sure I could make them cheaper at home.  All it takes are the jars, sand, candles, wire and wire cutters. 

Hopefully I'll have some time to work on it later in the summer when we get back from Bosnia.  If I do, I'll post some "how to" photos and Mason jars come in different sizes and shapes which would make them even more fun.

Aren't they cute, though?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Hey gang,  Here's another great giveaway from the Pioneer Woman.

Go and enter today for a chance to win this iPad!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I just came across this giveaway from the Pioneer Woman and just had to share it. She's giving away an awesome DSLR camera and Photoshop Software! Wow - go and enter to win! But don't get your hopes up because I'm going to win it. :-)
Happy shooting!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Boise Trip

Some of you may have seen my note on Facebook about my unexpected trip to Boise for work.  My boss asked me if I could go today and tomorrow to do some training for a new project that we're working on.

Imagine my surprise when I find out that we're going in his private plane!  Turns out that he and his wife and another couple need to go to Montana, so they decided to drop me and my cohort off in Boise on the way.  So, about 8:30 this morning I arrived at the Scottsdale airport and drove right up to this plane.  They drove my car away to hold until we get back and I climbed aboard (after a few pics).  Crazy, huh?

Part of the fun of this trip was seeing my friends, Phil the pilot (and Mark his co-pilot).  I hadn't seen them in a while.  I've never had the privilege of riding in the plane before, so this was a REAL treat!
This is what it looks like on the inside.  There are 6 seats, plus 2 for the pilots.  Very comfy and everything you need, like cup holders, pull up tables, electrical outlets, etc.  After about a 2 hour flight, we arrived in Boise and they brought our rental car right to us.  

We spent the afternoon learning and gathering information for the project.
This is the view from our hotel window.  There are snow capped mountains in the background.  The temperature right now is 47 degrees and it's windy with a chance of showers (as you can probably tell).  Tomorrow the sky's supposed to clear up a bit, but the high is still only forecast for 56.  I don't mind though because it's just one more day that it won't be hot.
Tomorrow we go back for more training, then we'll meet up with the others and the plane late afternoon or early evening to fly back home. 

What a fun trip and I can see why people that can afford it, go this way.  It's so much less stressful than fighting the crowds at the big airports.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

For those of you who will never have too many books...

Check out this contest at StrongFamilies.

Just by becoming of fan of their Facebook page you can have a chance to win a free autographed book - and you get to choose the book.

He has some great ones for life and parenting or even children's books for those special little ones in your life.

Spread the word!  The more fans he gets the sooner the drawing will be.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2 Sweet Friends + 1 Husband's Birthday = 1 AMAZING Suns Game!

In case you haven't heard, Terry and I had the awesome privilege of going to the last Suns home game of the season this past Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets.  And you know what made it the most fun EVER?  We got to sit in the FRONT row!!!  Yes, on the floor just a single NBA basketball player step from the court.

Let me start out by admitting that even though it was intended as an early birthday present for Terry (his bday is May 13),  I probably had as much or more fun than he did.  I was so excited that I could hardly sleep the night before and I kept catching myself just before I would blurt out something about it in the days prior.

You see, Phoenix Suns basketball is my absolute favorite sport to watch.  Even though Terry watches nearly every team sport with legs, and has tried to teach me about all of them, my first sports love is those "Sunnies" (as my son-in-law calls them).  I fell in love with them back in the mid-70's in the early days of our relationship.  That was when he took me to a game and I thought that all they did was run up and down the court and whoever made the last basket won.  Now I know most of the players by name and position and can point out a pick-and-roll or an alley-oop when I see one.  I have realized that the reason I like basketball more than other sports is because it's a more relational game.  There are no helmets to block their expressions and there's constant movement and interaction between the players.  I love to isolate on one player and follow them on and off the court.  Not in a stalking sort of way, but like a proud mom watching their favorite "Sun" and their progress.  I generally choose my favorites, based on personality and temperament, not necessarily their accomplishments on the court.  Anyway, I could write a whole post just on my love of the game, but I'll save it for another time.

Today I get to take you into some those special places where I (and some of you) have never been.  It was an experience I'll never forget. I don't want to say too much about where we got the tickets, but suffice it to say that there are a couple of angels out there that shared a little bit of heaven with us and we will forever be grateful. Do you think they'll have basketball in heaven?  I think so, and the home team will always win.  :-)

Fun stuff!  Terry figured out that we were going to a game, which didn't surprise me because I had taken him to Suns games for his birthday before. But he had NO IDEA where we would be sitting and the other treats that were in store for him.  It was so great to see his eyes open wide with surprise when we pulled up for valet parking, then walked into the building and found our way to the special entrance for these ticket holders.

We held 2 tickets for ROW A, Section 113 but I hadn't showed them to him yet.  I didn't tell him about the free food throughout the game at the AOT Club either.  I was trying to be discreet so as not to look like a total geek, so here's a shot of the club from my camera location at my side.  To the right you'll see the underside of the seats that are behind the basket.  Up ahead are the food stations where we had our choice of so many tasty treats.  One of my favorites was the 4-cheese mac-n-cheese. was good and probably tasted even better since I've been trying to watch calories lately and have been staying away from things like that.  There were several meat options and all the sides you would want.  Free beverages too.

We arrived fairly early because we weren't sure how crowded it would be and weren't sure exactly where we were going.  When we entered the club we were warmly greeted and got the low-down on how things worked.  Fortunately, we had plenty of time to have some dinner and even stop into the Team Shop.  Afterward we sauntered out to see the players warm up before the game started.  If we had chosen to, we could have stayed in the club and watched the players come out of the locker room and go thru the tunnel. It's just beyond the eating area above.
 These are really OUR seats for the night!  Yup, front row.  Our feet are on the sidelines very close to the baseline, directly across from the visiting team's bench.  We've sat down in this area before to watch the teams warm up, but never for the whole game.
 This is what the Denver warm ups looked like from our seats.  He's standing between the 3 point line and the out of bounds line.
This is Nene Hilario coming on the court for the starting line up introductions.  Apparently he legally changed his name to just Nene, which is more of a nickname - Brazilian Portuguese for baby.  He's good friends with Leandro Barbosa. 

What I really need to know is how can I get one of those "PHOTO" stickers for the back of my shirt.  Of course my camera's not as big as theirs, but it would still be fun to be able to wander around all over the place to take pictures.  And I must say that the male/female photographer ratio is very imbalanced.  I could help with that.
 This is the opening tip off.
Since Denver is one of the most tattooed teams in the NBA, I wanted to try to get some pics of some of them for our son-in-law, Andrew's benefit.  Chris Andersen is a prime specimen if you like tattoos.
 Here's a fun action shot with Grant and Amare making a great effort at guarding the Nuggets.
 Sometimes this was the view that we had from our seats.  We're willing to make that sacrifice for the location that we had.  I must say that the target was very tempting.
 And of course we need a shot of LB since he's our daughter, Amy's favorite player.  This is the best one I could get.  The Brazilian Blur doesn't stand still for very long.
 Isn't it interesting how intent the guys on the bench are watching everything?
Our favorite coach, Alvin Gentry!  He's doing an amazing job this year.  I love the way he's allowing the bench to play in tough stretches of the game. The young guys are growing more and more skilled and confident because of his trust in them.  Their new defensive emphasis really seems to be making a difference too.

The final score of the game was Suns 123 - Nuggets 101.  It was so fun to watch and even more so because they won the game!  What a special treat to be able to enjoy it from court-side.  Wow!  It was a night that we'll never forget.  We were so thankful for the chance to do this.  That's one thing that I can cross off of my "Bucket List".

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Exploring the Apache Trail

A few weeks ago we took a drive out on the Apache Trail with some of our dear friends to see the spring desert in bloom.
We made a quick stop at Lost Dutchman State Park to see if there were flowers in bloom there, but we were a bit too early for that area.  The Superstitions Mountians were gorgeously green though.

Spring in the desert is a beautiful thing, especially with all the rain we've had lately.
This is Canyon Lake.  We ate lunch by Apache Lake and also drove beside Roosevelt Lake.  It's surprising how much water is out there in the desert.

We made a quick stop at Tortilla Flat.  Cathy found a nice necklace in the gift shop and we picked up some drinks in the restaurant.  This is the second place I've been this year where the walls are covered with dollar bills. I think it's actually a clever way for the restaurant owners to make a few extra bucks.

Just look at these amazingly delicate flowers that bloom in the desert before it gets hot.  Wow!  Aren't they beautiful?
Then when we got out to take pictures of the flowers we came across this old rusted out can.  It's been a long time since I've seen a can that had to be opened this way, so I just had to take a picture of it.
 And look at this sea of lupines!  Wow!  The roadsides were filled with them.
Here's Cathy and Terry's wandering around in the background.  You can see how green the mountains are in the distance too.
There were poppies too!  Isn't this a sweet color combination?  Blue, white, and that butterscotch yellow!
Marshall had a bunch of new camera equipment that he was trying out, and I'll bet he got some great photos.
We stopped to see Roosevelt Dam (which I had never been to).  If you look down near the lower right part of the dam, you'll see two pick up trucks to give you an idea of the size of it.  It's massive!
This bridge is just beyond the dam.  Originally the road actually went over the dam, but when they had to raise the height of the it they moved the road.

And since we were running out of daylight we didn't have time to stop at Fish Creek or at Tonto National Monument, so I guess we'll have to plan another trip out there.

All in all it was a perfect day!

Have you ever been there?