Auf Wiedersehen, Word Verification!

I'm discontinuing the word verification.

Why? Because I'm moderating comments anyway, and the word verification thing is dumb. I know I got spam comments before, but I can wade through them in the comment moderation.

I am making this sacrifice for you, my readers, particularly those readers who comment.

Why? Because I've been having a crazy time with commenting on other people's blogs lately, because of that blasted word verification. I think maybe my computer is just getting slow, but it's taking forever for each commenting page and word verification to load, and I'm rather tired of it.

I'm a rather determined type, so that hasn't deterred me from posting my comment. Once I start something, I finish it, even if it is a pain.

But it occurred to me that there may be those of you out there who are not as stubborn as I, and who might give up after waiting five minutes for the stupid word verification to go through. And the thought that I may be missing out on good comments because of that? Not if I can help it.

Word verification plus comment moderation is just overkill anyway, but I jumped off the bridge a few months ago when those spammers started bothering me.

But now I'm back on the bridge, at least halfway, and I'll be bidding the word verification adieu. So say hello to a faster and more pleasant commenting experience! (For those lurkers out there, now would be a great time to comment, because the system is so much more cooperative now.)

There you go - comment away! Bonus points if you can correctly count how many times the phrase "word verification" was used in this post.

Or if you can correctly identify the foreign language I used to say "goodbye!" (though that one is rather obvious if you've ever seen the Sound of Music).

Auf Wiedersehen,

Bagels And Other Boring Stuff

I discovered a fabulous book this week. I became involved after cleaning my closet out yesterday (more on that to come) and pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon reading. Review coming soon . . .

Image from

I ate two of these as well. For some reason bagels with cream cheese were just hitting the spot.

My tail bone is really bothering me lately. You may remember that my tail bone is apparently twisted, and I don't think the chiropractor ever got it straightened out at the last visit. I may have to revisit him soon, because this is ridiculous. A girl has got to be able to sit to work.

Image from HowStuffWorks.

Speaking of work, back to the grind today. I'm so thankful for the days off I get, because hygiene is a really tiring job. And it's none too gentle on the tail bone either, which has been making for an interesting week.

I apologize for all the completely random posts this week - I'm usually more organized than this. I'll be back to normal next week, I assure you, but all I can think about are random mutterings this week, which makes for a rather boring blog.

But since these posts don't come very often, I figure two during a rough week is allowed. I'll get back on top of things this weekend and think of something good for Monday, to compensate for all my boringness lately. Deal?


Do you ever feel unimportant?

My sister and I often joke about how if we died today, most people on Facebook wouldn't even notice that we were gone.

I've kind of been in that role my whole life. In high school especially, I was the goody-two-shoes, the girl who everyone liked, but no one remembered to invite to their party. The girl that was always around, but it was really rather inconsequential whether I was there or not. The girl that no one bothered to gossip about, because who cares what she's doing anyway?

Actually, I don't mind that last one - I don't like people sticking their noses in my business when I don't want their noses in it. But still.

Okay, maybe those previous statements are not entirely true. I've always had several really good friends who would definitely care if I died.

I'm still somewhat in that same postition, though it's not as bad as it was for me as a teenager. I have better groups to be a part of now, more like-minded friends. But there are still those days where I just feel left out.

But at a certain point I realized, why is it important to me that I'm important to people whose opinion doesn't really matter anyway? The only Person whose opinion really matters is Jesus.

I realized that all those times when I asked myself why I didn't fit in, it was a silly thing to ask. If doing the right thing meant I wouldn't fit in, then so be it. I'm not living to please people - I'm living to please God.

I'd rather have a good, clean reputation than get invited to everyone's events. I'd rather have a few close friends than have a million "friends" who don't really care about me. I'd rather reach out and touch people for the Lord than be the girl everyone wants to talk to for shallow reasons.

I struggled with feeling unimportant in high school. I don't anymore. I am important in Someone's eyes. Important enough to die for. I'd rather live my life to bring glory to Him. And if living for Him and being who He made me to be makes me unimportant to some people, I'd still rather choose Him every time.

However, my sister and I do have arrangements to hack into each other's accounts if one of us dies, and let everyone know why we're not posting anymore.

Because a girl just wants people to know if she's dead.

Pathetically Weak Nails

My nails are really weak.

They just tore last night while I was flossing. Flossing! That's pretty pathetic.

Granted, they are a little weaker than normal right now, because they're still recovering from the manicure I got for our cruise in May (see my manicured hand in the photo). But I've always had weak nails.

This makes me sad, because I love it when I can grow my nails long and pretty. But it takes a lot of work, and when they get longer it usually doesn't last very long.

The hubby doesn't have this problem. His nails are as strong as, well, nails. He's always having to clip them, because they grow pretty fast.

I'm hoping our baby girls will inherit his nail-genes.

Is it just me, or are strong nails and long eyelashes too often wasted on men?

It's just not fair. Ah, but as my dad would always say, "Life isn't fair."


Disjointed Thoughts

I had a pretty busy weekend, and it really left very little time for blogging, so I find myself sitting down to type a quick post this morning with absolutely no inspiration. Don't you just hate that?

But I have to post something, because it's a Monday, and I can't just leave a day like Monday un-blogged. So here are some very disjointed thoughts that were running through my head last night as I was trying to brainstorm a quick post for this morning.

Stuff I realized this weekend:

I'm way too busy. Time to clear the schedule a bit, I think.

I need to re-paint my toe nails.

Salt is a very good movie. Some language and violence (like any action movie, really), but it kept you guessing until the very end. I really enjoyed it.

I tend to get more annoyed with people and grumpy on Sundays than on any other day of the week. I think it's because Sunday is the day set aside for worship with other believers, and Satan likes to attack me extra hard on Sundays. I need to guard my attitude more.

I'm pretty sure Cold Stone lowered their prices from a year ago, and I say it's about time.

I'm very tired, and it's a Monday. And I have to work more than usual this week. And I wish I were back in bed right now.

I've been in the mood for candles and soup and knitting. I think this may be a result of it being the rainy part of the summer, but it's making me want Autumn to get here. But I'm trying to enjoy the rest of the summer.

I need to do laundry.

My iPod is perpetually out of battery.

And that's all. I have to leave for work now.

Eight Weeks Pregnant

Note: This post was written before I announced our pregnancy on this blog - I just thought I'd publish it for future reference.

I am eight weeks pregnant today.

Week eight seems like such a great week. When I first found out we were pregnant and I was skipping ahead in my pregnancy books to see what was to come, I was dying for the eight week mark to come around.

I guess in my mind, the baby is pretty established at eight weeks. The arms and legs, and little fingers and toes start forming. The baby starts swimming around in the womb this week.

Our baby the size of a grape - a whole grape! When we first found out, our baby was the size of a grain of rice. It's amazing what can happen in four weeks.

I've been feeling much better this week. I haven't felt nearly as nauseous, though there are still times when only one particular kind of food sounds appetizing and the thought of chicken still makes me want to throw up.

I feel as if my belly is definitely pooching a bit. I'm not sure if you can classify it as actually showing, because I think my uterus is just growing and pushing my intestines up and out, producing a slight pooch. I've been wearing more voluminous shirts to hide it, since we don't plan on telling anyone for another couple weeks.

At the same time I haven't gained any weight yet. I wonder if that's a bad thing. But that's also how I know my belly must legitimately be from my growing uterus, and not from that extra bowl of ice cream I ate last week.

Eight weeks. Another week and a half and I'll get to see my baby! I just can't wait.

A New Job

Derek got a new job!

I am now married to a town Treasurer! Derek got a town Treasurer position for a small town near us.

A job as a Treasurer is not really a job that twenty-something's get very often, and I'm so proud of him!

He got sworn in Monday evening, except the mayor didn't let us know it was going to be a swearing-in ceremony, so I didn't go. If I had known, I would have wanted to go to cheer him on! So I was a little annoyed at that.

Derek starts the job next Friday. It has alot of perks, such as an increase in pay, and health insurance coverage that we don't have to pay for. Derek will be in charge of budgeting and handling all the money for the town, and he's looking forward to the challenges and responsibility involved with that.

However, it will mean more overtime and more stress than his current job, and we won't have as much time together. That's a drawback.

We would definitely appreciate your prayers as Derek starts this new job - that I would be an understanding and supportive wife, that Derek will excel in his job and get along with everyone he works with, and that we as a couple will still be able to stay connected and balance work with our time together. And that the Lord will continue to give us direction for the future.

Thanks guys!

He starts next Friday. I'm so proud of him!

Last Set Of Questions (Part 3)

I just realized that I promised the final installment of the Question/Answer series last week, and I totally forgot about it! I don't know where my brain goes sometimes. So here it (finally) is!

You seem to like history and exploring, is there an era of history you would have loved to have been a part of?

I would have loved to have lived during the American Revolution or during the 1940-50s.

The American Revolution because so many great men lived during that era, and it was such a pivotal moment in history - I think it would have been fascinating to be a part of that.

The 1940-50s because in my mind those were the golden days of American history - it was a time when people had strong values and morals, also full of brave men and women who fought to defend freedom, and you could leave your doors unlocked without fear of someone burglarizing your house. Not to mention the clothes were so fun!

Do you have names for your future babies picked out, or are they a secret?/Have you talked about baby names yet?

We have talked about baby names! It's hard not to when you want kids as much as I do.

As for having some picked out yet, yes and no. Yes, because we have several possible names picked out, and no, because we haven't settled on a specific one. We may wait until the baby is born and see what they look like, then make a final decision.

And I'm afraid that I just can't tell you the names we're thinking of, because I'm afraid someone will have a baby before we do and steal them! So you'll just have to wait and see. I will say that I tend to like old English names best though.

Why did you start blogging? And what is your favorite thing about it?

I started blogging as a way to record my thoughts on certain issues, and also as a way to help my spiritual walk by recording things the Lord was teaching me. Eventually that morphed to also include recording life events and sharing opinions/reviews, etc. Sometimes I feel that I've strayed a bit too much from my original intent for the blog, but learning things the Lord is teaching me takes time, and the other posts have served as a fill-in while I'm learning.

My favorite thing about blogging is definitely all the wonderful ladies I've met through blogging! You guys are what ultimately makes blogging fun, and I've learned alot from each of you.

How did you guys meet?

Derek and I met at a mid-week service at a church in town. My mom forced me to go. Not really, but she did strongly encourage me to go, because she figured it would be a good place to meet strong Christian guys.

I went for two months before I met Derek. We actually first noticed each other a week before we met - I saw him sitting on the other side of the church (where all the guys tended to sit), and I thought he looked cute. He saw me walking into the service, and noticed how small my waist was.

I was hoping he'd talk to me that week, but instead he talked to this other girl after the service (she was leaving the area for good and they had been friends, so I guess I understand now).

Anyway, the next week he was standing by the door to the sanctuary, and we smiled at each other and said hi. Then I walked in and made the move that changed the coarse of history (ha!). I sat on the opposite side of the sanctuary (where they guys sat). Well, Derek came in and sat behind me, and after a moment I felt a tap on my shoulder and Derek introduced himself. We talked quite a bit before the service, and then the next week he asked me for my number!

Then the rest is history . . .

If you had one free day, and could do whatever you wanted (money was no object), what would you do?

Oh, good one! But also a hard one. Let me think.

I can think of alot of things that would be fun, but they don't really cost much money, and since I have unlimited money, I want to use it.

I think I would fly to Florida with Derek and my whole family, and spend one whole day at Disney World! We had alot of fun there when my family went as a kid, and I think it would a cool experience to go with Derek and everyone now as an adult. Then I would buy all the souvenirs we wanted, get all the pictures we wanted, buy all the refreshments and food we wanted, and enjoy everything about our day at the most magical place on earth!

Great questions, Everyone! I had a really fun time answering these - you guys think of good questions. It took me a while to finish this series, because there were so many good questions asked - I had to think my answers through!

Let me know if any of you do a question/answer post, because I'll think of a good question for you too.

When You Work Outside The Home - Guest Post

Anna at Hope Road posted my second guest post today, When You Work Outside The Home, so head over there and read it! And leave me a comment. Because I love comments. Gracias.

Oh, What to Buy?

For my birthday, my boss gave me a gift card to this lovely store:


For fifty dollars!

I have a pretty great boss.

Well, I finally ventured to the Sephora store yesterday to see what I could get. The closest store is about an hour and fifteen minutes from me, so this is the first time I've been able to get over there.

Oh my goodness. They had every beauty product imaginable! My head was swimming with hundreds of shades of eyeshadow, dozens of skin care products, walls of perfumes, bins full of fun beauty stuff!

And for the first time in my life I found myself in a beauty supply store with no idea what to buy.

Any beauty recommendations, Ladies? Any products that I must try?

I eagerly await your responses.

Baby Goals

I have a lot of goals for when I become a mother. I'm probably just setting myself up for disappointment, because I have so many things I'd like to do a certain way. But, of course, I'm going to share them with you anyway, and then someday when I start doing things differently than the list, feel free to point and laugh at me.

When I have a baby . . .

I will not let myself go. By that, I mean that you will not be seeing me wearing sweat pants in the grocery store, no matter how fat and worn out I am. It's not going to happen.

I will lose the baby weight. I hope. I know I'll lose it eventually, I'm just wondering how long that process takes . . .

I will not use the word "potty" except in the phrase "potty-training". I just don't like that word. I don't have anything against people who say do say it, I just don't like the way it sounds when I say it myself. I must say, I fully expect to fail on this one, because I have no idea what little kids respond to better: "potty" or "bathroom"/"toilet", etc. I may have to use the potty term when talking to my child, but:

I will not use the term "potty" when talking to adults. I can understand it when speaking to a child, because they might understand that better, but I think I can keep using the words "bathroom" and "toilet" when speaking to adults.

I will sing lullaby's and read books to my baby. I'm really looking forward to that part of raising my child.

I will pray for my children every day. My mom prayed for us kids daily when we were growing up, and I feel the blessing of it as I look back at my childhood. I want to give my children that same blessing. I'm going to try my hardest at this one.

There's the list. I'm not sure how many of those will actually happen, but I'm going to try! A year or so after I have a baby, we'll revisit the list and see how many I fail at.

Do you have any goals for when you become a mother, or if you are a mother, were you able to stick to your pre-baby ideas?

June Cleaver - Guest Post At Hope Road

Gracious, I'm so behind on blogging this week! It's pathetic. It's just been a weird week.

Anyway, I just wanted to write a quick post to let you guys know that I'm a guest blogger over at Hope Road! Anna asked me to write a post for her Homemaking series, and I was honored to do it. Anna is such a godly wife and mother, and she's an inspiration to me. Be sure to swing by and check out her blog! I know you'll enjoy it as well.

When I sat down to write a post, it turned into two posts, so I get to be featured twice!

You can read my first June Cleaver post here, and keep you eye out for my other post this upcoming week!

Farewell, Charlotte Russe Refuge Perfume

Note: For an update on where to buy Charlotte Russe Refuge perfume, see the post "Where To Buy Charlotte Russe Refuge Perfume".

I'm pretty bummed.

Why, you may ask?

Well, on Monday I decided it was about time that I bought another bottle of a perfume that I really enjoy, Refuge from Charlotte Russe.

It's a nice fresh scent, and a little fruity (which I usually don't like, but it just works with this perfume). I think it's a great scent.

For some reason I associate the scent with the fall, so I wanted to get more before the weather starts turning cooler (which is really only a month and a half away).

The best part is that a 1.7 Fl. oz. bottle is only $10.99, which I think is very reasonable.

So I came to the counter to buy the bottle of perfume, and what does the sales clerk tell me?

That they've stopped making the perfume, and when it's gone, it's gone.

What? I do not understand the logic in stopping production of the perfume. It's a pretty good seller because it's inexpensive and smells wonderful. I just don't understand.

Well, in light of that revelation, I purchased two bottles.

And I may have to go back and buy one or two more, since they're getting rid of it altogether once it sells out in stores.

Maybe it won't be forever. Maybe they'll just stop producing it for a while, and then make it again.

Then again, maybe not.

How depressing.


Note: This was written before I announced my pregnancy on this blog, but i thought I'd publish it for future reference.

I figured that I'd write a few pregnancy update posts, mostly for my own records, since you all won't know about the baby for another month or so.

Week Four was pretty mild - I didn't even feel pregnant, honestly. I had a few vague, cramping feelings, and I cried alot. That was about it.

Last week was Week Five, and I started feeling generally queasy, and very tired.

Now it's Week Six, and I still feel queasy. There is usually only one food that I actually feel like eating each day, and the problem is that it's never the same food twice.

No, I take that back. Last Friday I had to have a bean burrito from Taco Bell, and on Saturday, it was still burritos.

I was thinking "Oh good, it's going to be the burritos for the first trimester, and they're fairly inexpensive. I can handle that."

Then on Sunday, burritos just weren't sounding that great. I needed pizza.

Then yesterday it was chicken nuggets.

I haven't yet determined the acceptable food for today, and this is kind of a problem, because we're having friends over for dinner tonight. And I have no idea what I'm serving them.

Foods that are acceptable no matter when I eat them? Frozen ice cream fudge bars, any lemon-lime beverage, and pudding. I've been living on those three items for the past week, because if I can't have the one other acceptable food item, those are the only things I want to eat.

I guess it's just good that I can keep anything down. Some women throw up anything they eat. At least I'm not to that point.


Pizza, Mini-Golf, And Marmaduke

Derek and I had a lovely anniversary weekend!

Last week, Derek called me and told me about a date he had planned for us on Friday, so we ended spending that whole day together! This is a rare occurrence for us lately, since Derek is always working on the basement (it's coming along nicely - I think we're probably due for an update post). It was really nice to be able to spend so much time together this weekend - that was probably my favorite part. Our date on Friday was very enjoyable, even though a couple of our plans got changed.

Our official anniversary date was actually on Sunday. We went to church together, and we had plans to go to this Mexican-themed restaurant, because the atmosphere is really cool, and it's like an amusement park without the rides.

However, I just couldn't stop thinking about pizza throughout the entire church service. I know, that terrible! But I told Derek, and he agreed that we should go somewhere to get some pizza. So we went to Pizza Hut for lunch, and then brainstormed about something else we could do that would be fun.

We ended up doing two things. First, we went to see Marmaduke at the dollar theater. My mom and sister recommended we see it, because they said Marmaduke reminded them of our dog, Harvey. I must say, after seeing the movie, I totally agree with them! Harvey and Marmaduke are both big and clumsy, and they both have trouble listening. The likeness was uncanny.

After that, we went Mini-Golfing! I love miniature golf. I think we need to build a mini golf course on our property.

We hardly ever go mini-golfing, so to me it was something really fun to do for our anniversary! We had a great time.

I won.

So I guess we didn't do anything super-special or extra-fancy for our anniversary.

But pizza, a movie, and mini-golf with the man I love? That's always good.

P.S. These are the best pictures I have of my new 'do. What do you think?

Oh Hair, Ridiculous Hair

Well, I broke down and did it again over the weekend.

I cut my hair.

I was trying to grow it out, because I don't know how long it's been since I had long hair. I cut it short when I was twelve, and kept it short until I was eighteen. Then I grew it out a little bit, and finally got to the point where I couldn't stand it any longer and had to cut it again.

Whenever I try to grow my hair out, it always gets to that point, and then I just have to cut it.

You know, that terribly awkward point when it's just brushing your shoulders, not quite long enough to appreciate yet, but still long enough to be heavy and make my roots flat.

Then I'm stuck with flat roots, and way too much hair around my shoulders, and it's just not pretty.

If I could suffer through it a little longer until it got past that point, we would be golden. But it takes forever to get past that point.

Every time I break down and cut it short, I look back on the decision and think that maybe I should have stuck it out a little longer, and then maybe it would have got past that point and been beautiful.

But then, every time I try to grow it out, and it gets to that awkward point, I wonder why I'm trying to grow it out in the first place when I look good with short hair, and I like short hair.

Then I cut it.

Maybe I just wasn't meant to have hair past my shoulders. Short hair may just be my signature style until I die.

At least until I'm rich and can afford extensions. Maybe then there would be hope.

P.S. As always, my mom cut my hair, and it looks pretty cute. I'll post pictures when I recap our anniversary date tomorrow!

P.P.S. Final question/answer post coming this week. Don't worry, I didn't forget.

Two Years

Two years ago today, I married my best friend.

We've been through so much together since then, and Derek's been with me to hold my hand, laugh with me, let me cry on his shoulder, be there for me no matter what life has brought our way.

And I know he'll continue to be my Knight in Shining Armor for as long as the Lord grants us both breath.

Derek, the Lord blessed me so much when He gave you to me, and I can't imagine my life without you! I love you, Honey.

Happy Two-Year Anniversary!

Purple Highlights

Isn't this crazy? It's called clip-in color - basically you clip in this weft of fake hair to add a different color to your own hair!

How fun - I totally want a purple one. Derek thinks purple would look cool too.

But I would probably only wear it out casually, just when I was in one of my fun-loving and crazy moods. Feel free to laugh at me if you want to, but I would definitely try it.

What color would you get?

All The Questions (Part Two)

Here's Part Two of my Questions/Answers post!

If you weren't a dental hygienist, what would you want to be?

Oh, I have a couple. One appeals to my love for learning and research, and the other appeals to my creative side. I'd really like to do either job.

I would love to be a microbiologist. I loved my microbiology class in college - working in a lab, studying bacteria with those amazing microscopes? I had so much fun. I even volunteered to be a teaching assistant the next semester, getting paid a measly $7 an hour, just because I enjoyed it so much. I would love to be a research microbiologist and name a new bacteria species after myself. Or being a professor of microbiology would be pretty fun too.

The second thing I'd like to try would be a wedding cake designer/baker. I love looking at wedding cakes, and it's just amazing the things they could do these days. I think fondant looks really cool, and to be able to be creative and make something so pretty? That would just be fun. If I didn't have to deal with insane brides, it would be even better, but I guess that would come with the territory.

Photo from

What is your favorite book?

Well, of course the Bible is the book I couldn't do without, but besides the Bible, my favorite book is probably Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery, and/or Emma by Jane Austen.

In reality, I kind of lump all the Anne of Green Gables books together as some of my favorites - they are so cheerful and imaginative, and the characters capture your heart (particularly Anne). The stories and predicaments in the books are charming, and when I read them it just feels like home. That's the best way to describe it.

I really enjoyed Emma - I haven't read all of Jane Austen's books yet, but Emma is probably one of my favorites so far. I think the character development is really good, and I love how she realizes her foolishness in the end and grows up. Not to mention I enjoy how the story plays out with her and Mr. Knightly!

I haven't read as many non-fiction books, but I really appreciated Knowing God by J. I. Packer, and Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerich is a book I think every married lady should read.

Wow, I guess I really didn't pick my favorite favorite, did I? It's almost impossible for me to pick a favorite book, because I'm a bookworm, and I enjoy so many! But you can't say I didn't try.

What's the most random thing you keep in your purse, and why?

Let's see, let me grab my purse. I have a pocket Constitution in my purse, because I think it's a good thing to have handy (in case I meet any crazy liberals who say the right to bear arms isn't in there, or display their ignorance of the Constitution in any other ridiculous way - then I can prove them wrong).

I have the cord to connect my iPod to my computer, mainly because I have a little car charger for my iPod, and I need the cord to plug it in.

I have five different colors of Sharpies, a highlighter, and a couple pens, because you never know when you'll need a Sharpie.

I have a nail brush, because when I had acrylic nails for a while I thought I'd like to have it to keep it clean under my nails.

But doesn't everyone keep the above items in their purse?

Oh, I know! We have a winner! I have Dramamine tablets in my purse. You know, because you never know when you're going to be on a ship and need some sea-sickness pills.

Even though I live in the middle of the mountains, a thousand miles from the ocean. Still, it's better to be safe than sorry, no?

(Actually if you want to know the truth, I got them for our cruise, just in case I got sea-sick, and I just never took them out of my purse. Thankfully it never got bad enough on the ship that I had to use them.)

How did you decide on your profession?

I knew at a pretty young age that I wanted to go into a healthcare field. I loved science, and it seemed like healthcare would be the best and most practical way to be able to incorporate my love of science in my career choice.

I was actually thinking about being a nurse for a while, but then I heard some horror stories about practicing shots on each yourself. For some reason that really disturbed me. I decided I just couldn't handle nursing.

Well, my mother, being the wonderful hand of guidance that she was, started looking into other professions for me. She found dental hygiene, and it was just perfect! Not only did they get payed really well, but you're able to adjust your hours easily, it incorporates science, and it's a great profession to have when you start a family, because you can make a pretty decent living on two days a week!

Subsequently, at the ripe age of twelve, I decided to be a dental hygienist, and started working toward it right then. Fast-forward a decade or so, and here I am, a Registered Dental Hygienist working two days a week in a dental office, and really happy that I have such a good job.

Ironically, hygienists can also give shots, and in hygiene school we did have to practice on each other. And it wasn't a big deal at all. Go figure.

Would you ever move away from [your state]? If so, where to?

I don't know if I'd ever move away from my state by choice, with no reason. I haven't been anywhere that I like better yet. If we were desperate for a job, or Derek's profession required it, or something, then maybe, but only if we felt like we really had to and the Lord was telling us to go. I really just love my mountains, and I think I'd have a hard time living in different terrain.

If I was told I had to move somewhere else, and I had my choice of anywhere, I think I might like to live in Wyoming. We went on vacation there once, and it was gorgeous, and they have some mountains (though it's more expensive to live by them). I don't know, Montana might be okay too - I hear it's just gorgeous there.

Though neither Derek nor I want to move away from here, we have talked about buying a beach house somewhere when we're old and rich, because we both love visiting the ocean. I like tropical beaches though, so it would have to be on a tropical beach, like in Hawaii, or the Caribbean. I could live in a beach house a few months out of the year, and live here the rest of the time - that might be alright!

What do you believe God thinks about you?

Well, according to what the Bible says, I know God thinks of me as His precious adopted child, His workmanship, and a citizen of Heaven (Romans 8:22, Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 3:20). He sees me as His child, because I've accepted His son, Jesus Christ, as my Saviour (1 John 3:1). I know since I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, I am covered with His righteousness, and when the Lord looks at me, He no longer sees my depravity, but Christ's righteousness (Romans 3:22). Before I believed, I know I couldn't even be in His presence because of my sin, but now that is all changed.

I assume you're just asking about how God views me as a believer, and that would be my answer. I know He has thrown my sin as far away as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), and I know He doesn't hold them against me any longer.

However, if you're meaning to ask about how the Lord views my behavior, I think there is still much to be desired. No one will ever be completely free of sin until we reach Heaven, when the Lord removes it from us forever. Until then we still have to fight our sinful desires, and I believe the Lord still corrects us when we are acting in a wrong way (Proverbs 3:12) - I know He's had to correct me often. Sometimes I think He must be disappointed in my behavior, and it grieves me to think I've grieved Him. I want "to live in a way that is worthy of the gospel of Christ" (Phillippians 1:27), and I know that I so often fail. But I also know that the Lord has forgiven me, and still sees me in the way I described above, despite my sin.

Hope that adequately answers the question!

Part Three of the Question Answer Post coming soon!

Sidenote: Blogger is doing really weird things with my comments - it's not counting them right, and I had to approve the same comment about five times. Anyone else having comment problems? If you commented in the last couple days, I'm not sure if it showed up correctly, because weird things are happening. Just FYI.

I'm A Versatile Blogger (Award)

My dear blogging friend, Chloe at Tryin' To Throw My Arms Around The World, gave me the Versatile Blogger award! Rather than allow myself to fall behind on passing the award on, like I did a few months ago, I'm going to be pro-active and on-top-of-things this time and pass it on right away!

To receive this award you must:

1. Say 6 or 7 things about yourself.
2. Thank the person who gave you the award.
3. Pass this on to bloggers you have recently discovered and that you think are fabulous!
4. Go let those people know you gave them the award.

So here we go. Six (or Seven) things about myself.

1. I watch Wife Swap sometimes. On occasion, it's just horrifying. It's like watching a train wreck - you want to change the channel, but you just can't look away. I hope my family is never so dysfunctional that we'd deserve to be on Wife Swap.

2. I live in a small town, and my family is quite well known here. We're famous. You know, the small-town version of famous. When people who live here find out my maiden name, they usually ask if I'm related to SoAndSo MaidenName. And I am.

3. We have three misbehaved dogs. Ralphie, with the small bladder. Quincy, the dog who runs away all the time. And Harvey, who can't sit still and let you pet him to save his life. And we love all three of them (though I do think we need to get Cesar Milan to come give us some help).

4. I love tropical fruit and fragrances. When we went to Hawaii and I got a real Virgin Pina Colada, I was just in heaven. I love that coconut smell too - it just screams "Summer" and "Beach" to me.

5. I love walking to the mailbox in the Autumn. We live on a dirt road in a little neighborhood, and the mailbox is at the end of our street. Probably a mile there and back. It's a good way to clear my head and relax, and I just love the smells in the air in the Fall.

6. I'm making broccoli salad. Mmmm! I guess that's not really a fact about myself. How about this: I love broccoli salad. There we go.

7. My favorite type of tree is Aspen trees. You know, just in case you ever asked yourself, "I wonder what Callie's favorite tree is?"

Thank you Chloe, for the wonderful award! I'm glad to have you as my blogging friend!

Now, the recipients!

Cait from The Blessed Life

Anne at Where Your Treasure Is . . .

Rachel from Rachel and John

Natalie From Extraordinary Love

Nicole From Hey There, Cinderella

Lori at Everyday

Lindsey at La Dolce Vita

Ashley at For The Love Of Shoes And A Baby Too

The last six are brand new followers. You can't get much more recent than that! I've been reading Cait's and Anne's blogs for a little longer, but I've never had an opportunity to give them an award yet, so I wanted to pass this one to them as well!

Enjoy the award, and I'm looking forward to reading your six (or seven) things!

All The Questions You Ever Wanted To Ask Me (Part One)

Wow, you guys asked some really good questions! There were more than I realized when I sat down to type out my answers, and my answers were longer than I thought they would be, and they took longer to type out than I thought they would. So, because of that difficulty, I'm breaking this down into a two-part series. Here are the questions I had time to answer over the weekend. Enjoy!

If you could choose whatever time you'd like to have children, when would you ideally like to have your first one?

ASAP! As in right now. I'm a little anxious for babies. But if we're talking birth month, I think June is a nice month to be born, or July. But I'm pretty much fine with any month, though I'd like to avoid December (because I'd prefer my baby's birthday not always be overlooked because of Christmas and everything).

What is the grossest thing that has happened to you on the job?

Getting spit and blood in my hair is always a winner. Sometimes I have to tell Derek not to kiss my hair, because there might be spit in it.

Warning: The following description is not for those with weak stomachs!

The grossest thing I've encountered is probably cottage cheese-like plague. Sometimes I get patients with deeper pockets underneath their gum tissue, and when I stick my instrument in there and pull it out, it's just covered with big chunks of plaque. Then I stick it underneath their gum again and pull it back out, and it's covered with chunks of plaque again. Yeah, I gagged a little on that one. This is what happens when you don't floss, People! Please don't make your dental hygienist gag. It's got to be pretty bad if your hygienist gets nauseous. Don't get to that point! Floss, floss, floss!

What does a typical day on the job look like for you?

Here's the schedule:

5:00 AM - Wake up.
5:30 AM - Leave for work.
6:30 AM - Arrive at work, read my Bible or other book in the car for a little while.
6:45 AM - Go inside and set up for the first patient.
7:00 AM - Start on first patient.
8:00 AM - Second patient.
9:00 AM - Third patient.
10:00 AM - Fourth patient.
11:00 AM - Fifth patient.
12:00 PM - Lunch
1:00 PM - Sixth patient.
2:00 PM - Seventh patient.
3:00 PM - Eighth patient.
4:00 PM - Clean up.
4:15- 4:30 PM - Done!

Basically, I see eight patients in a day, one each hour, with a one hour lunch break at 12:00 PM.

Here's what the treatment schedule for a typical patient looks like:

1. Bring them back to the room and let them have a seat. Update the health history form and determine if there are any concerns. 1-2 minutes.

2. Take x-rays, if the patient is due to have them. 5 minutes.

3. Measure the bone support around the patient's teeth. We do this with a little probe that we place underneath their gum tissue, and by taking those measurements in that space between the gum and the tooth, we can determine how high the bone support is around each tooth. Normal measurements are 1-3 mm, anything above that indicates the presence of gingivitis or even bone loss around the teeth (periodontitis). The results of this screening let us know what type of cleaning the patient needs, whether they can have just a regular cleaning, or whether they need a deeper cleaning (called Scaling and Root Planing). 2-8 minutes.

4. If the patient has really deep measurements under their gums, we bring them back for a deeper cleaning (if they're a more complicated patient like that, we're usually too far behind in time to do anything that day). If their pockets are stable, we start cleaning. We can do this with hand instruments or an ultrasonic instrument that uses water and vibrations to clean the teeth. 20-30 minutes.

5. Polish the teeth and floss. 5 minutes.

6. Set the patients chair up and make notes in the chart. 1-2 minutes.

7. Have the dentist come do the exam. The time for this really varies, depending on how long we have to wait for the dentist to come in. 7-15 minutes.

8. Walk the patient up front.

9. Clean up for the next patient. 5-10 minutes.

Sometimes we have kids, and then we do two kids in one hour. We're able to do that because kids usually don't have too much deposit on their teeth, and we usually don't have to measure the bone support.

And yes, we fit all that into one hour, eight times a day. We really don't get breaks.

I didn't realize you all were so interested in my job! I'll have to do a future post on phrases that I say eight times a day. That one could be amusing.

What's your most embarrassing moment?

Oh gracious, no! You just had to ask, didn't you Amber? Most of my embarrassing moments are related to work or dental hygiene school. I guess this one would be the most embarrassing. Please don't laugh at me too much!

My first year of hygiene school we were assigned "Big Sibs" which were second-year hygiene students who mentored you during your first year. My big sib and I had been playing phone tag for several days, and we just couldn't seem to get a hold of each other.

Well, one day, in an exam for Dental Emergencies, my phone rang. In the middle of the exam! I could feel the glares. It was my big sib.

I panicked! It was a fairly new phone, and I had never had to mute it before. In desperation, and the chaos of the moment, I did the only thing I could think of to do, and just flipped the phone open, and it was quiet.

Well, that was just dandy, because now I had an open phone in my hand, with someone trying to talk to me on the other end of the line.

I was not thinking clearly. If I had been, I would have just hung up, muted the phone, and called her back later. But my brain just went blank. Panic has a way of doing that to you.

I proceeded to run out into the hall, so I could tell my big sib that I had to call her back later (I know, totally dumb thing to do).

My teacher was out in the hall right behind me (apparently she had got this awful look on her face and ran after me - so my classmates told me), but by the time she got there I had hung up. I didn't know what to say, so I just said it was my big sib, and I had been trying to get a hold of her (great explanation, no?). My teacher said , "Well, not in the middle of an exam," and hustled me back into the room.

It's a wonder I was able to concentrate enough to even get a decent grade on that exam. But I somehow did. Thankfully, I got good enough grades in that class that even if someone had accused me of cheating on that exam and it had been discounted, I still would have passed the class. So if any of you are thinking of reporting me after the fact, it wouldn't make a difference, I still would have graduated. Just thought I'd clarify that point, in case the Dean of my college is reading this.

The rest of the day all my classmates kept asking me what I was thinking, and if our instructor was really mad. I said I wasn't really thinking, and just panicked when it started ringing, and that my instructor hadn't said anything further to me.

The funny thing is, I think I actually became a favorite of that instructor. She would always grin at me and greet me when we passed each other in the hall, and she complimented my chocolate cake that I brought to the potluck.

I think she knew that my brain was fried and I was having a blonde moment, and that I really wasn't cheating. I wasn't on the phone long enough to get any answers, and a failed cheating attempt would not have led to such a good grade on that test. I think she knew I was smart, and that I was just having a dumb moment.

I have no doubt that story will come up as comic relief in future classes of hers.

My classmates laughed at me about it for a while. I was just praying that no one would bring it up at graduation.

Thankfully no one did.

That's it for today. By the way, I am still accepting new questions, so if you have a question for me about anything you may want to ask, you can go to my Questions post, and ask it there, and I'll include it in the next post! Though it could end up being a three-part series . . .

Stay tuned for Question/Answer Post 2!

Star Spangled Banner

I love our national anthem, but you only ever hear the first verse sung. I think all the verses are beautiful, so I wanted to share the national anthem of the United States of America in it's entirety today.

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause. it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Two hundred thirty-four years ago, our Founding Fathers established the United States of America and changed the coarse of history. Happy Birthday to the greatest country on earth! I am so grateful, and I thank God that I was born an American!

Happy 2nd Of July!

When I was in high school, I went to this youth group. Our new pastor was trying to get it going, and since there were precious few kids in our church, I couldn't not go.

It was alright. We played a game a did a study. But oh, what happened during that game still eats me up.

We split up into two teams and played a trivia game. The teams were neck in neck, and finally it came to be my turn to answer a question.

The question was either "When did our nation declare independence?" or "When was the Declaration of Independence signed?"

Oh, trick question, I thought. Any person could blurt out "The Fourth of July!", but I knew that wasn't accurate.

After thinking about it for a moment, I decided that I was pretty sure it was July 2nd. So that's what I said.

I was told I was incorrect, and then this snotty boy (who was just rude), looked at me like I was the most stupid person he had ever encountered, and exclaimed, incredulous, "It was July 4, 1776!"

I proceeded to tell him that no, that wasn't accurate, and I'd have to look it up for him. We got into a nice little discussion about it, in which he left patting himself on the back for knowing when we declared independence, and I left with extreme annoyance because all these people just believe whatever their teachers told them in school, and they were all wrong.

Well, today I feel vindicated.

Because last night, as I was reading John Adams by David McCullough, I was vindicated once again!

The vote to declare independence was taken on July 2, 1776 and passed unanimously, because no colonies who were opposed chose to vote (they knew it was the best thing for the nation, even though they couldn't in good conscience vote in the affirmative).

Right after the events of the day, John Adams wrote in a letter to Abigail that:

"The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more."

The actual signing of the Declaration of Independence didn't take place until August 2, 1776.

So whatever the question was (I can't remember the exact wording now), I was correct - the answer was not July 4th. The only thing that happened on July 4th was that they repeated the vote once more, with the same results.

Somehow, as they were trying to recall the events of that time when they were old men, Adams and Jefferson thought that the signing of the Declaration took place on July 4th, but that was incorrect, because it took the printer an entire month to create that beautiful document that is still on display in the Smithsonian today. Their incorrect recollection may be the reason why we celebrate our nation's birthday on July 4th.

So take that, snotty boy! I hope someday you find out that you were wrong and feel rotten for treating me like I was stupid.

There. I just needed to get that out of my system.

So Happy Birthday To Our Country! (Even though the actual celebration won't be until the Fourth.)

Questions And Toothbrushes

Recently Anna at Hope Road did a question and answer post, and she asked us readers to do our own question and answer post, and link it up with her post.

Reading Anna's post made me realize that I've never done a question/answer post! Why not? It seems to be the thing these days.

You probably know just about everything interesting there is to know about me if you've been reading the blog for a while; but then again, maybe not.

So . . . do you have any questions? You guys can ask me anything (though, like Anna, I retain the right not to answer a question if I deem it inappropriate or whatever).

Anything you would like to know about me? Any questions about life experiences, my occupation, recommendations, opinions? I take hypothetical questions too.

I'll post again next week answering your questions, so be creative! And if you'd like to do you own post, you can link to my question/answer post and/or Anna's post question/answer post, and let me know you wrote one too and I'll add your link to the end of my answer post. That way we can keep the chain going.

So pretend you don't know me (or maybe you really don't yet), and ask me anything!

I'll answer the most common question I get asked on a daily basis (besides "How are you?") to start you off.

What's the best kind of toothbrush to use? (Now there's a thriller, no?)

If you're using a manual toothbrush, make sure it has soft or extra soft bristles to prevent wearing away your teeth from toothbrush abrasion. If we're talking electric toothbrushes, the Sonicare is probably the best, because the technology actually moves water between your teeth and helps knock loose the biofilm that might be growing there. However, if you have a Sonicare, it does not replace flossing! Floss, floss, floss!

There. I know you've all been dying to ask me that.

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