Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who Sings It Better?

We've made it to the holiday season which means, CHRISTMAS MUSIC! 

Something I've always enjoyed is listening to different artists cover the same songs.  Hearing how each person adds their own personal flare to a song is fun.  Sometimes the songs are good, and sometimes they aren't.  Each time I hear a cover I find one version that I like best and stick to that one.

So, tonight I'm going to give you two versions of my favorite Christmas song:  Mary, Did You Know?  I'll tell you which version I like best at the end.  Don't peek, I don't want to influence your opinion!!

First up is a version by Mark Lowry, a member of Gaither Vocal Band:

And the next version is by Donny Osmond:

The first time I heard this song, it was the version by Donny Osmond.  Mark Lowry, the gentleman from the first clip, is the man who actually wrote this beautiful song.  I didn't hear his version until much later.

Which do I prefer?  I will take Donny Osmond every day of the week!  I love Mark Lowry's version, but Donny's voice just makes me melt! 

Many other artists have covered this song; Kenny Rogers, Clay Aiken, to name a few.  I chose these two versions because I like them the best.

So, who sings it better?

Monday, November 29, 2010

We Made It!

Thursday was a VERY LONG day!  We left at 4:30am and didn't get to my sister's house until about 9:30pm!! 

The trip to Utah wasn't too bad.  There were a few incidents that occured that I hope to one day look back and laugh about!  We were very lucky and didn't hit any snow.  On our first stop in Sacramento, Nick discovered that the tires to the car trailer didn't have enough air in them.  (We were towing his truck)  He went to fill them up and instead of putting air in the tires, the air pump was sucking the air OUT.  So, we had to find another gas station to fix that problem.

Making it over the mountains and into Nevada was smooth.  Nick did a wonderful job driving the big moving truck, keeping it on the road as it fishtailed in the back.

At one point while driving through the LONG STRETCH OF NOTHING in Nevada, we hit a rough patch in the road.  It took my mom off guard, and she was driving my car.  We knew Nick was going to have his work cut out for him.  She and I watched as Nick hit the same spot and nearly rolled the truck off the road!  It swerved from side to side multiple times, but somehow Nick managed to keep the truck from tipping.  Simply amazing.

Further into the trip Nick realized that the transmission on the moving truck wasn't working anymore.  Thankfully we were pretty much done climbing, but at one point Nick was only able to drive about 30mph!  Dumb rental trucks!

The rest of the trip was boring until we got into Salt Lake City.  It was completely dark and we somehow got separated from Nick.  We accidentally took different exits, which were the wrong exits to take, and ended up in a completely different town.  By now we were all so tired of the car that this was very frustrating.  With the help of a wonderful man at a gas station, mom and I were able to get to my sister's house.  My sister helped direct Nick to her house and finally around 9:30pm we were all there!

The next day we had help unloading the truck and since Friday it's been all unpacking.  By tomorrow the apartment should be in order.  Pictures will come as soon as I can find my camera!

It has been snowing this weekend, and I've already had the opportunity to drive in it; and I lived to tell about it!  We've gotten snow boots, gloves, warmer pjs, floor mats for our cars, and ice scrapers and brushes for our vehicles.  My experience living in the snow while at BYU-Idaho is slowly coming back to me.

Tomorrow I'm off for a substitute teacher orientation and will hopefully begin working soon! 

Musicals Monday

Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite "modern" musicals.  What I love about this movie is how they take songs that have already been written and work them into the scenes. 

Elephant Love Medley is my favorite song from Moulin Rouge.

Here is a list of the songs used to create Elephant Love Medley

*"Love Is Like Oxygen" - Sweet (band)
* "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing" - The Four Aces
* "Up Where We Belong" - Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
* "All You Need Is Love" - The Beatles
* "Lover's Game" - Chris Isaak
* "I Was Made For Lovin' You" - Kiss
* "One More Night" - Phil Collins
* "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" - U2
* "Don't Leave Me This Way" - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
* "Silly Love Songs" - Paul McCartney and Wings
* "Heroes" - David Bowie
* "I Will Always Love You" - Dolly Parton
* "Your Song" - Elton John

Nicole Kidman isn't the greatest singer, but Ewan McGregor makes up for it.  Not only can he sing, but he's handsome and fun to watch!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Star Wars Saturday

Today's installment is a video from a weekend each year when DisneyWorld celebrates Star Wars.  It's totally cheesy, but it makes me smile when I see it.

That guy dressed up as Darth Vader can dance!

YouTube Friday

Yes, it's Saturday, but I've been so busy moving that I haven't had time!  Plus, we just got the internet connected today.  So, without further ado, here's is Saturday's YouTube Friday!!!

Gaither Vocal Band is another Southern Gospel group that is very famous.  A few years ago they teamed up with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound and created a DVD.  Here is one of my favorite songs from that DVD:  Love is Like a River

Monday, November 22, 2010

Free Shopping is the Greatest!

My college roommate Beth, over at Free Stylin' recently held her first giveaway.  I've never participated in one of these before, but the prize was a $35 gift card for CSN stores.  Since we're moving in a few days, I thought I could use it on something nice for our new place.

I received a Facebook post from her informing me that I WON!  I never win anything!  Free shopping is the greatest!

I'm so excited and to thank her, I wanted to plug her wonderful blog again!  See all of Beth's amazing creations at Free Stylin'

Hopefully I'm still eligible for future giveaways....I could get used to this!!  Love you, Beth!

Musicals Monday

When I created YouTube Friday I didn't realize I would find so many videos that I'd want to share with everyone.  There's one genre of video I have found so many of that I've decided to create a new page devoted to it.

I LOVE musicals!  This should be no surprise since music is such an important part of my life.  My entire life I have watched them with my family, singing along the whole way through.

Musicals Monday will be my opportunity to share these clips with you.  From the musicals of the 1950s and 1960s up to the musicals of today.

The first clip is from one of my favorite movies, Funny Girl.  The fact that it's a musical just makes it that much sweeter.   Filmed in 1968, it tells the life of comedienne Fannie Brice, from her early days in the Jewish slums of the Lower East Side, to the height of her career with the Ziegfeld Follies, including her marriage to and eventual divorce from her first husband, Nick Arnstein. 

The song here is titled Don't Rain on My Parade.  Fanny wants to leave her job and run off the meet Nick, the man she's in love with.  Her friends and co-workers are trying to convince her to stay. 

Starring the incredible Barbara Streisand, it is one of the funniest musicals ever!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Look At What We're Getting Into

Last night Nick's aunt and uncle took us, and a few of his sisters to dinner as a goodbye present. 

The weather outside was awesome!  The wind was howling, it was trying to rain, and it was the coldest it's been this fall.  I was loving it!

Once we got home, the rain poured all night long.  I figured that since it was raining here, it was probably snowing in Utah.  I was right.  I checked my email this morning and received this picture from my sister:

Ready or not, we're headed for the snow!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Star Wars Saturday

A lot of you who know me either in person or through this blog know that I love Star Wars but HATE the prequels.  Why?  Oh, there are so many reasons that it would take days to tell you why. 

However, I found a HILARIOUS website called 78 Reason to Hate Star Wars Episode 1 .  This tells you why Episodes one, two and three are horrible.  It also talks about the dumb things George Lucas did to screw up Epsiodes 4-6.

Since one of my biggest problems with Episode 1 is Jar Jar Binks, I thought this was funny:

I actually like Twilight, but I couldn't pass this up!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Google Cloud Picker????

Okay, is anyone else having trouble uploading images onto their blog postings because of this program called Google Cloud Picker?  When you click the insert image button it asks you to sign into google cloud picker.  When you try to sign on, it immediately tells you there was an error and it won't allow you to upload anything.

I've done a little research on Google and apparently it's becoming a big problem for a lot of bloggers.  And google has given no official way of fixing it, that I've been able to find. 

I've switched to the old blog editor, which seems to help a lot of people.  It occasionally allows me to upload a picture like before, but then tells me that the server has rejected the picture and I'm still stuck.

Unfortunately until I can get this fixed, my blog posts are going to be video and pictureless....I'M VERY UPSET.

YouTube Friday

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.  I posted about this wonderful Southern Gospel group on my last entry of 30 Days of Me

Today's video is from their DVD titled Get Away Jordan.  The song is their version of "Dem Bones" showcasing how funny they can be during a concert.

The gentleman on the piano, Roy Webb, is an amazing pianist, and steals the show!

Have a fun Friday!  This is my last YouTube Friday post from California.  Next week I will be coming to you from Utah!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our New Place

My awesome sister went by our new apartment complex yesterday and was able to get pictures of the location of our new apartment, and inside pictures of an apartment with the same floorplan.

front door, coming into living room

no carpet in the dining room...yippie skippie
(and how cute is my nephew!)

 Brandon's bedroom

our new kitchen; i love the black appliances and how the stove is at the back of the kitchen

 outside landscaping

outside of our new apartment

All in all I'm very excited to see this place in person.  Can't wait for this move to be over!! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let the Chaos Begin!

Well, our moving plans have changed!

Instead of Nick moving in with my sister and brother-in-law and Brandon and I joining him after Christmas, we are all moving to Utah on Thanksgiving day!  We found a wonderful place, we were approved, and we're heading out!  My sister is going to see the place this afternoon, so pictures will be posted soon.

The only word in my vocabulary the next 9 days is packing, packing, packing!

Let the chaos begin!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Star Wars Saturday

Back in 2005, George Lucas received the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award.  Carrie Fisher had the chance to say a few words to the crowd.  Clever and hilarious as always, she stole the show!

Friday, November 12, 2010

YouTube Friday

Thank goodness it's Friday; and it's even sweeter because I have the day off from work!

Today's video is a blooper reel from one of the funniest shows to ever grace television:


The video says it's all the bloopers from the entie series, but it only includes the bloopers from season 1; the other 9 blooper reels will come later.

It starts off blurry, but by the time the bloopers begin about 1 minute in it clears up

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Goodbye Golden State...

The past few months have been quite a whirlwind for us.  We've been on the hunt to better our employment situation.  Nick has been working 2 jobs and nearly killing himself.  In September, Nick attempted to enlist in the Navy, but his removed brain tumor prevented that from happening.

So then we looked into moving to Utah.  My sister and her family moved up there a few months ago.  Nick would be able to transfer his job, and teaching opportunities for me are greater there than in dried up California.  We were about to take the leap of faith, but decided against it since I had pretty good employment.  I also didn't want to leave Brandon's preschool that he just started and loved.

Well, when the Lord wants you to go somewhere, sometimes he has to nudge you just a little (or practically push you off the cliff!) to help you take that leap.  Our nudge came last Friday.  Out of nowhere, and without any real explanation,  I was "terminated" from my after school program job that was supplying the biggest part of my income.   

Again, moving to Utah came up.  I began searching teaching jobs, and after talking with a friend who works in Utah, decided that I'd be able to start as a substitute teacher (and actually get sub jobs!) immediately while looking for full time work.  We found a store in the company that Nick works for that he could transfer to and it has advancement opportunities, and could give him far more hours than what he gets now.  And then he'd only have one job and would be able to sleep at night instead of going off to work the graveyard shift at Target.

So, goodbye:

Welcome to:

Assuming his boss is able to find someone to cover his position (which will probably happen), Nick will be leaving this weekend and staying with my sister and her family.  He starts work in American Fork, Utah on Monday.  Brandon and I will move in with my mom Thanksgiving weekend and spend December with her to save money for our big move to Sandy, Utah shortly after Christmas.

We are so excited to move!  I'm hesitant of the snow, but I've lived in it before.  I'll adjust and be able to drive without killing anyone.  I want to be back inside the "bubble" that I was in when I went to BYU-Idaho.

I've lived in California my entire life, with the exception of 2 years of college in Idaho that I don't count.  The nostalgic side of me is reflecting on the pros and cons to leaving.

The Pros to leaving:
  • We can get out of this far-left state that has no real leadership
  • We can get away from a state that continues to take money away from education, and has crappy schools because of it
  • This state has one of, if not the highest debt of any state in the country and will be bankrupt soon; really don't want to be here when that happens
  • The unemployment rate is ridiculous here
  • Nick has the chance to advance at his job if he transfers to Utah
  • I have the opportunity to finally find a full time teaching job and use the credential I spent years in college (and acquired debt through student loans) to obtain
  • We can get away from the heat!!  I love the cold and my philosophy is that it's easier to warm up than it is to cool off
  • My sis is so excited to watch Brandon while I work....so awesome
  • Moving forces us to "spring clean" now; time to throw needless stuff away, which I've wanted to do for months

The Cons to leaving:
  • My mom is here.  Brandon not being able to see grandma will be difficult for him, but Skype can help with that.  On the flip side, we know where she'll be retiring to when the time comes; all her family will be in Utah!
  • Nick's whole family is here; leaving them will be hard
  • I love Brandon's preschool.  He continues to learn so much every day.
  • I hate packing!  Well, not so much the packing, but I hate loading and unloading moving trucks; absolutely hate it!
  • I have a wonderful neurologist.  Finding her was a miracle and I hope that I can find another wonderful doctor in Utah
  • We have a wonderful family doctor who is great with Brandon and truly cares about the patient instead of how much money he can make from you
Clearly the pros outweigh the cons

I realize that Utah will have it's flaws.  There are imperfections wherever you move to, but it's time for a change. 


Oh No, Not Again

After almost three years of being seizure free the inevitable happened; I had another seizure Tuesday night.  I know that I will continue to have them my whole life, but after going so long without having one, I'd gotten comfortable with life.  I didn't think about it, didn't stress about it.  I hardly remembered that I'd ever had one.

Well, here we go again:

After all this time, this small seizure has really thrown me for a loop.  I'm wondering why I had this seizure; is my body adapting to the medication I take?  Do I just need to tweek my medication levels?  Or do we need to adjust the levels on my Vagus Nerve Stimulator?  Will this start a cycle of constant seizures again that sends my health into a downspiral?

Yes, I'm probably freaking myself out about it too much, but if you went years without having to worry about something that could potentially change your life forever, and completely take your independence away, wouldn't you be worried too?!?

My neurologist is wonderful and is willing to squeeze me into her very busy schedule.  She works at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). 

Here's to hoping that this is an isolated incident; easily fixed; one that won't happen again for a long time!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day Thirty: Whatever Tickles My Fancy

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound is a group of men who sing Southern Gospel music.  My mom found them one day while flipping channels on the TV and the rest is history.  She hooked me, my sister, and Brandon who LOVES to watch and sing with them!

The video below is of the first song by Signature Sound that mom played for me.  It's titled, Until We Fly Away.  The lyrics to this song melt my heart and it is my favorite of theirs to this point.  I've been lucky enough to see them perform in concert three times, and they've done this song each time.  It's incredible.

This group, along with Gaither Vocal Band (another Southern Gospel group) often make changes to the members of the group.  In this video you'll see:

Doug Anderson, Ryan Seaton, Ernie Haase, and Tim Duncan

Since that performance, Ryan Seaton has left the group, pursuing a solo career.  He was replaced by Devin McGlamery; the young blonde on the left

For more information about them, click here

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, and Gaither Vocal Band will be making appearances on YouTube Friday in the near future.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Star Wars Saturday!

If you know me, you know that one of my favorite things on the planet is Star Wars.  Since starting this blog, I've found so many Star Wars related things that I want to share.  So, I decided to create Star Wars Saturday!

For my opening post on this new page, I'm going to share with you a Star Wars tribute to all the lightsaber duels throughout the 6 movies.


Day Twenty-Nine: Year in Great Detail

Since I lead a relatively boring life, and don't have a great memory, this potentially long, detailed post will be quite short!

November, 2009:  Started working as a paraprofessional in a kindergarten class

December, 2009-February, 2010:  Normal, boring, day-to-day stuff

March, 2010:  Brandon turned 3; Nick and I began slowly dating again

April, 2010:  Sprained my ankle at work in front of 130 kindergarten students!  Began physical therapy for my ankle and wore a cam walker while it healed.  Nick and I decided to remarry

May, 2010:  Brandon and I moved into the apartment that would be our new family home

June, 2010:  Nick and I remarried.  Brandon's wonderful daycare closed due to the crappy economy.  I began potty training Brandon so he could attend a new daycare in August

July, 2010:  Attempted to survive the summer at home with an active 3 year old...it wasn't easy!  Went to the county fair for the first time

August, 2010:  Conquered potty training!  Brandon began his new daycare, work started again for me

September, 2010:  Brandon finished a summer soccer program.  I began our family blog

October, 2010:  Took family pictures.  I turned 32...ew!

November, 2010:  We are both actively seeking new employment, and considering relocation

All in all, not a very interesting year!! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day Twenty-Eight: Songs You Listen To

Today's post wants to know what songs I listen to when I'm happy, sad, and mad.  If I listed every song that I listened to when I felt these emotions, this post would be VERY long.  So I'll just pick one song from each category.

When I'm frustrated, upset, or angry about something that has happened in life, I love listening to the song "Stand" by The Rascal Flatts.  The lyrics help me remember that life isn't always going to be easy, but "when push comes to shove you taste what you're made of".

When I'm sad, and need to be uplifted, I enjoy listening to the song "A New Day Has Come" by Celine Dion.  There are two versions of this song:  one is fast, the other is slow.  I love the slow version.  The lyrics remind me that after the crying and hurt has faded away, a new day will come.

And when I'm happy, there are so many songs I listen to that picking one is almost impossible!  So, I've chosen a song that simply makes me smile each time I hear it.  "19 Somethin'" by Mark Wills.  Any song that starts with the line, "I saw Star Wars at least 8 times" is awesome!

YouTube Friday!

Michael Westen, everyone's favorite burned spy returns to Burn Notice next Thursday from it's summer hiatus!

To get everyone ready for the new episodes, today's video is a tribute to Burn Notice.  But it's also here because let's face it, I am so excited because I LOVE THIS SHOW!  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Possibility of Successfully Navigating an Asteroid Field....

Yes, a Star Wars reference.  You'll understand why in a minute.

This morning at work, I was talking to a co-worker and was given a piece of information that has left me completely speechless; and that's a hard thing to do!

I am a kindergarten aide and I teach in the After School Program in a nearby town.  This morning at work, I was told that another co-worker is the sister of a famous movie director.  And not just any director, mind you.  This co-worker is the sister of the creator/director of my favorite movies on the planet.

george_lucas.jpg George Lucas image by Dvaningen13

Yep, she's the sister of George Lucas!

When I heard this, my mouth fell to the floor.  Flies could've flown in I was so stunned!  I couldn't, and still can't believe that the woman who I sat next to at a meeting last week, who I had a conversation with yesterday, is the sister of George Lucas!

If it was anybody else, it wouldn't be such a big deal.  But the creator of my beloved Star Wars, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?  And to boot, she probably knows Harrison Ford, my fave actor.  She's probably met him and all the other famous actors from the franchise! 

I would NEVER bring this up to her because I'm sure she's had crazy people ask her about her famous brother her whole life.  She doesn't need to know I'm crazy about Star Wars unless it somehow comes up innocently; and I doubt it ever will!  This just kills me because it's the closest I've ever come to knowing anybody famous!  How lame am I?!?

What are the odds that this would ever happen?

Well, if you were talking to Han Solo, he'd say,

 "Never tell me the odds!"

Day Twenty-Seven: My Favorite Superhero and Why

Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Spiderman...why are most superheroes men?!?

Anyway, this is a fun post for me because my favorite superheroes aren't conventional superheroes.  They don't wear suits that provide protection, or have gadgets that give them awesome powers.  They don't even have a vehicle that goes very fast.  In fact, it breaks down more than any vehicle I've ever seen!  They have a horrible sense of direction, often finding themselves lost and in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Two of them could eat their way out of any situation, and they all love a good mystery.

My favorite superhereos are four teenagers and their dog.  That's right, my favorite superhereos are:

Daphne, Shaggy, Freddy, Velma, and Scooby-doo!

I have LOVED Scooby-doo my whole life.  Not the Scooby-doo cartoons or movies that are made today, but the old school Scooby-doo from 1969-1972.  Before Scrappy-doo and A Pup Named Scooby-doo were created and nearly ruined the franchise.

This show simply makes me laugh because of how ridiculous it can sometimes be!  The crazy "traps" they make to catch the bad guy (that Scooby always manages to get caught in), how everyone (the audience) knows who the bad guy is except the five of them, the kooky songs that are played during the chase scenes...what's not to love?!?

And I love that Brandon also loves Scooby-doo!

Below is one of the kooky songs that Brandon and I dance to whenever we hear it.  The words are just plain silly, talking about being in love with an ostrich.  All Scooby-doo songs are weird, but they have catchy tunes!  The song is titled "Daydreamin", and it comes from one of my favorite episodes of the show:  Jeepers, it's the Creeper!  The sound is a little slower than the animation, but you get the idea.  It was the best version I could find!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day Twenty-Six: A Habit That You Wish You Didn't Have

For as long as I can remember, I've been a nail biter...fingernail, NOT toenail!!  Over the years I've tried many times to try and rid myself of this habit.  I've only found one thing that keeps me from biting my nails:

If my nails are painted, I don't bite them.  However, since I am poor and can't afford WONDERFUL manicures, I have to do it the old fashioned, cheap way:

I paint them myself.  That's half the reason I still have this horrible habit.  Usually I'm really good about keeping my nails painted and filed, but this past summer I've let them go and gone on a nail biting frenzy! 

Isn't this the cutest picture?  It makes nail biting look adorable!