Monday, June 29, 2009

America the Beautiful

Last night we watch the move Slumdog Millionaire. While it was a great movie, it made me think of all the wonderful things that make me not only proud, but also very fortunate to live in our country for the following reasons:

1. We do not have a cast system. Although there are children born into poverty everday, there is hope and with our country's educational system and safeguards you can get out.

2. There are procedural safeguards for those with disabilities.

3. We have programs to help those in need, especially children.

As we celebrate our country's independence this weekend, I hope we all appreciate everything we have even though our country is going through economic hardships. We are free and protected by a beautiful, lovely country.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Exceeding Expectations

Well friends, the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle exceeded my expectations yet again. This year's favorite was not only the famous Hurley-o-ritas , but also this amazing smoked sausage. You see as a kid, I hated sausage. Nothing ruined breakfast or spaghetti more for me than the grisly weird texture of sausage. The thing I've learned about food is that it isn't that food is bad. You just have to try it cooked in the right way that appeals to you. So, folks, smoked sausage is the bomb! There were also ribs, chicken, and pulled pork just to name a few more of the extravaganza of meats. And, you also cannot have BBQ in Kansas City without some form of cheesy corn.
I know I could go on and on about the evenings eatings, but I also wanted to wish my blog a happy anniversary. Yup! It's been one year of blogging fun. Funny thing was that originally I didn't see the point in blogging. Now, I find it therapeutic almost like journalling or something. Plus, knowing how to work my blog is way easier than facebook. Speaking of which I also joined and said I would never have anything to do with. Anyway, it has been a great year of blogging and it's fun to look back at all the old pictures and posts.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Burnt Butter

The time has come again for the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle. Last year mesmerized me with so much great food that I have been waiting for this time of year to come again. I hope to bring to the blog great pictures and a great story to go along with this years battle. Now if there were only a way to have smellernet. Then you could all truly experience the joy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Brown vs. Board

Today, yes it is Saturday, I took a field trip to the Brown vs. Board of Education site for my special education class. It was a very historical and informational trip. For those of you who do not know the history of the Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling, it was a huge Civil Rights case which ended segregation between all white and all black schools. The historical site is in Topeka, KS at one of the original all black schools. The building is in amazing condition with the original floors and water fountains still in tacked. Some of the pictures are of the building itself, the water fountains (thanks for modeling Liz!), quotes, shackles which where used on slaves, and a map of where segregation was a part of everyday life. It was all very moving.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Proud of My Hubby

I really don't like to brag much. Morally I feel it is important to remain humble as one never knows when lightening might strike. It is with great pride, though, that I must say something about my husband Justin. I have never known someone to love the field of civil engineering more than him. In his young flourishing career, he has not only worked on major projects such as the reconstruction of Interstate 635, but also was always happy to help Overland Park residents with storm water drainage problems and aid any of his seasoned colleagues when he wanted to learn more. Last year he passed the Professional Engineering Exam with flying colors. He is continuing his education and working on his Masters in Civil Engineering because he believes in being a life long learner.

Now, he is beginning one of the biggest reconstruction projects in our nation under the economic recovery act. He is working as a liaison with the Kansas Department of Transportation in the reconstructing of Highway 69. The project has caught a lot of media attention across the country. In the early spring, the project was mentioned in the New York Times. Today, Vice President, Joe Biden, is coming to visit for the ground breaking ceremony. I'm sure you can look up further information on any local Kansas City news website. It is all very exciting and I am so proud of you Justin! I love you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Start 2 Finish

My classes started today. What a nice rainy day for school to start huh? Anyhow, I had some graded work I needed to pick up at the front desk and low and behold, I saw a brochure for the 5k race we participated in last summer. I have put a heart around us as we actually made it on the brochure! This was at the beginning of the race when we still looked pretty glamorous. Ha!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Old Shawnee Days

This weekend, I was super pumped to visit our suburb's annual festival Old Shawnee Days. You see, Shawnee likes to totally capitalize on the fact that it is an old western town and does actually have some interesting history; however, it has now been gobbled up by the rest of Kansas City and is presently like any suburb in America. In the heart of the restaurant and shopping chains lies Old Shawnee Town. Old Shawnee Town is a little area which is more like a living history museum lined with a taste of what the old west used to entail. Amongst the festival activities which included a tomato roll, parade, and a Night Ranger concert I was hoping to see a cowboy shootout enactment or something with people dressed in pioneer garb. No such luck. No cowboys. No covered wagon. The only cool things I saw were the historical buildings with old western face fronts, this silver firefighter suit, and melted telephones reaping messages about fire safety. In disappointment, Justin and I left the festival and went to our local bar and grill Tanners. Tanners had the only picture of a cowboy I saw for the entire evening. At least we got to see one cowboy even if it was only a picture.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Infomercial War!

Oh it is on! So, I've been having another bought with insomnia lately and the only thing that seems to get me to sleep is either The Weather Channel, infomercials, or as seen on TV commercials. My favorite as of lately is the Slap-n-Chop. I already own such a product from my good friends at Pampered Chef, but really get a kick out of the Shamwow guy. I didn't think we'd ever see him again. Didn't he get put in jail or something for slapping a hooker?? Anyhow, now he is back to selling things and believe me you yesterday morning I discovered he has a little competition with Billy Mays. You know, the Orange Glow and Oxyclean guy? Anyway, they are selling identical products. So, I'm asking you those who read my blog, who would you vote for/ buy product from- Shamwow guy or Billy Mays?????? Just curious.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bored? I Think Not

So, I've been on summer vacation since last Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. You'd think I might be laying around the house doing my own thing before classes start next Tuesday. Nope! It has been organization prime time. Last week, I spent my days deep cleaning the kitchen, floors, and bathrooms. Then, this week I started deep cleaning the guest bedroom and purging all clutter from our office. Man it feels good! I am at a loss, however, as to what to do with Justin's clutter. You see, I live with a pack rat. Sorry Justin, but it feels like the papers and bills everywhere are starting to cave in and give me claustrophobia. I'm not going to say that I do not have my share of clutter; however, most of mine is packed away or has now been organized. We've tried filing, in and out mailboxes, and other various organizing tools. In the end, though, they get filled and never get sorted through until I ride his butt enough to rid the clutter. The clutter never really rids itself you see. I swear he just hides it, re-arranges it, or what-have-you to make me happy for the time being. Maybe I just need to sit down with him and help with the organizing projects. I don't know, any tips on how to rid your husbands clutter?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bathroom Then & Now

Here are the pictures everyone has been waiting for. I know it has taken some time, but I wanted to wait until Justin got the trim back up after the painting. The trim is still in our office and I do not know how much longer it will be before our bathroom will totally be trim complete. Anyhow, here is the documentation of our bathroom remodeling project. If you've read any previous blogs, we had carpet in our guest bathroom and laundry closet. The walls were painted in a lavendar color, which was okay; however, it did not match the rest of the house and we are not fans of purple. We also found a groovy patch of wallpaper behind the old toilette. So, in went the tile, a new toilette, and green paint. Ta da!