ODST Soundtrack
http://www.amazon.com/Original-Soundtrack-Martin-Michael-Salvatori/dp/B002LBGBOK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1258982593&sr=8-1
$12

Xbox Controller
http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-Wireless-Controller/dp/B000B6MLUA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1258982767&sr=8-1-catcorr
$38

Telling Lies
http://www.amazon.com/Telling-Lies-Marketplace-Politics-Marriage/dp/0393337456/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258982844&sr=8-1-catcorr
$12

Pirates of the Carribean Trilogy Soundtrack
http://www.amazon.com/Music-Pirates-Caribbean-Trilogy-Zimmer/dp/B000U1ZIUQ/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1258982912&sr=8-7
$14

Klipsch Image S4 Headphones
http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-IMAGE-S4-Noise-Isolating-Headphone/dp/B001V9LPT4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1258983550&sr=8-1
$80

ShopVac

Well, we had our house inspection yesterday and I think it went really well. There wasn’t any major damage or anything that we would have to fix right away. The first thing we will do is change the carpet. Brian and I walked into the house while the inspector was already in the basement getting started. That is when I noticed something hideous on the stairs to the 2nd floor… the carpet. A dark brown, not the tanish-light brown I was expecting, with a lighter brown swirl pattern-ish thing. It reminds me of the 70’s, all you need is the paneled walls. I wanted to see it in a large open space, so I ran up to the master bedroom. It really was as ugly as I thought… As tears began to well in my eyes, Brian asked “Are you sure you want to buy this house?” I shook my head ‘no.’ I had been just so excited that the bank was going to redo the carpet, and we could spend our money on other things, like paying off our college loans. That dream slipped away when I saw that carpet. It must go ASAP or ASAWHTM (as soon as we have the money)!!! I took a deep breath and swallowed my tears. We had to do the inspection, but then I looked in the upstairs bathroom. “What is that?!?!” was my only response as I walked in, staring at the floor… A mosaic of pearl colored swirls and brownish-purple roses stared back at me. I was going to put our black and white bathroom set in there. They could have picked any color and it would have matched… except this. What was this guy thinking? I hope his wife does the decorating at home.

Well the rest of the inspection went well and the house appraised $10,000 more than we spent, but then we got in the car. “So what do you think?” caused me to finally break down and tears to trickle down my cheeks. I began to rant about the hideous carpet and the man who picked it out mixed in with “IT HAS TO GO!!!” every once in a while. I dropped Brian off at work and went to the store to get the rest of the groceries I needed for our dinner with Katy & Eric.

Luckily, I didn’t have to work, so I could take the time I needed to clean, cook, and catch my breath after that ugly carpet. I made taco salads with shells and a red hot apple thing for dessert. I didn’t have to work because Elle & Emma’s dad is in town for the weekend.

By the time Katy & Eric arrived, after a very long and needed neck massage from Brian, I had blown off the whole carpet thing. It still didn’t stop me from ranting about it to Katy & Eric, but it was a little more light-hearted. Dinner was great!!!

Oh yeah and… It’s snowing!!!!

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven’t blogged in a long time. We still don’t have internet at our apartment. Today, Emma has the whole day off school for some odd reason, so I am here all day with her. She is still asleep so I thought I would write a blog quickly. So since I last blogged, we went camping again. It was a little scary because we were in an active bear area, but we still had an awesome time and made a new friend, Sven, from Germany. Brian and I found a house that we really like and are now under contract. We just have to wait for them to finishing working on it, the inspection, and appraisal. Our closing date is October 16th.

A lot has been happening in Aurora in general. If you haven’t heard a terrorist was arrested… Even though the news didn’t say where in Colorado, we recognized the apartment… Just a few miles south of us!!! Also a bear attacked a horse!!! With all the rain this summer, the berries haven’t been growing too great, so the bears have been going else where. We first heard about the horse being attacked and thought it must have been further west of us, closer to the mountains, but… It was just on the other side of Buckley Air force Base.

Our Sunday school class started 2 weeks ago. It’s for couples working on building a rock solid marriage. The other couples in our small group go to the class and also our other friends, Marc & Jessica, go as well. I can’t believe we actually have friends now. It has been so long…

Right now I am trying to make hard boiled eggs for Emma because they are her favorite food, but I have never made them before because I hate them. My sister, Erin, has always been the one to make them. Hopefully they turn out all right…

So I guess a lot has happened since my mom and sister visited, but I thought it would make yesterday’s blog extremely way too long. Hmm… it’s been a while, so let me try and remember everything.

Well that night after my mom and sister left, Brian & I went to Conifer where Katy & Eric were house-sitting for Eric’s uncle. We ate dinner and then we rode the horses, Zip code and Helga. Brian had ridden a horse once when he was younger, but this was my very first time. It took a while for me to get the ‘rhythm,’ but eventually Helga and I were galloping around the fenced in area.  

Katy & Eric just bought a new house, so we helped them paint their house August 8th and 9th. Katy and I also took Koda to the vet that Saturday. I think that the people working there thought Katy and I were together… and Koda was my dog too because they kept looking at me and asking if I had any questions. Maybe after Brian and I get a house, we will get a dog. It looks like a brand new house! I went back to help Katy paint the guest bathroom that following Tuesday. Then, we went to her gym to workout. She is the best personal trainer!!!

Last weekend we went camping. Again… a first for me…. It was actually a lot of fun. We left Friday and did the whole camping thing. Then Saturday we went to Mount Bierstadt, which is one of the 14-ers. I thought I was in decent shape, but that made me think twice. I am not used to that kind of altitude yet where there is very little oxygen. I felt like my body was going to just give out. We hiked for an hour… about 5 miles… and made it about half way, and that was far enough for Brian and me. The altitude just kills you up there. I think we were around 13,500 feet up.

I started work on the 17th, and boy was it very stressful… haha… I got to their house around 2:30, picked Emma up, took her to the dentist, and then, took her home. THE END… So I think it added up to a total of 2 hours.

Elle started school on the 18th at Arapahoe High School, so I went to their house around 7am to take care of Emma. We played games and watched TV all day. Then, at 2pm we went to pick Elle up from school. She goes to school with Anna Sophia Robb, which is crazy. If you don’t know who she is, she is a young actress who just starred in Return to Witch Mountain.

I had Wednesday and Thursday off because their oldest sister Dara is home for a few days. I will spend the day with Emma again on Friday. Then, I think we will help Katy and Eric move more of their stuff to their house.

Brian and I have begun the search for a house. We went to our first house on the 14th, but our realtor, Penny, told us not to buy it. I’ve been looking online for more houses and we have about 10 that we wouldn’t mind going inside.

A few weeks ago my mom and sister came to visit us. Our first visitors!! I had the job of Official Tour Guide. It was very difficult to fit everything in our schedule, but we did a lot and had an awesome time. I just wanted to write about what we did and what we thought about them… So if you are planning a trip to Colorado, be ready to pick and choose what you want to see.

Tuesday: I had part 1 of my interview to be a nanny for a single mom with 2 daughters. It was at the mom’s 10th floor office. Afterwards, I ran back home to finish cleaning and our wedding scrapbook. Then, I went and picked my mom and sister up from the airport, and then, we just hung out. It’s very important to relax and get used to the altitude. Do NOT go climb a 14er (a mountain that’s summit is over 14,000 feet about sea level) on your first day… not even your second day. But we did go downtown to 16th Street. We walked around for a little bit. There are a few shops there, but we weren’t really in a shopping mood. We were in an eating mood, so we went to our favorite place downtown, Rock Bottom Brewery. SO GOOD!!! 

Wednesday: There is so much to do down in Colorado Springs that you should probably spend the night to fit everything in. We just kept driving down there though. We had time to do Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Manitou Springs, and Garden of the Gods.

*Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: The best zoo I have ever been to!!!! It is the only zoo in the mountains. There is a wide variety of interesting animals, some that I had never seen before. Oh!!! Best part. You can feed giraffes!!! Spend the $1 to buy 3 crackers to feed them. It is so much fun!!!

*Manitou Springs: By the time we got downtown it was raining. We walked the streets trying to find a place to eat. We passed a place called Mona Lisa’s that had fondue. It sounded really good, but not really great for lunch. Then, we found PJ’s, and it was delicious!

*Garden of the Gods: A MUST!!! You cannot come to Colorado without going to see Garden of the Gods. Breathtaking views of awesome rock formations.      

Thursday: Tea Day!!! My mom, sister, and I are big foodies. We love watching the Food Network and trying new and interesting things. We also love drinking tea. So we went up to Boulder to go to Celestial Seasonings & the Dushanbe Teahouse.

*Celestial Seasonings: Free!!! The tour is awesome. You get to see all of their shipments of ingredients from around the world, the Tea Room full of tea (note: Herbal Tea does not actually contain any “tea.” That is why they have to put “Caffeine Free” on the package), and the Mint Room that holds the peppermint, spearmint, and catnip. The smell is so strong that they have to keep the door shut except during a tour, and they had to reinforce the walls. You also get to walk through the packaging department, which is very interesting. Oh and free samples. All the free tea you want.

*Dushanbe: The teahouse was a gift to Boulder from their sister city in Tajikistan. Such interesting and delicious food! And dessert!!

That evening I dropped Mom, Erin, and Brian off at Park Meadows because I had part 2 of my interview, meeting the girls. Patti told me they would make their decision between me and the other nannies they were interviewing and let me know later that weekend. (Ha-ha… I know if I got the job or not, but you don’t yet) When that was done, I met Mom, Erin, and Brian at Park Meadows, and we left to go eat at California Pizza Kitchen.

Friday: We drove back down to Colorado Springs to go to Pikes Peak and the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

*If the weather is nice do Pikes Peak. If there is snow or the weather is nasty, do not attempt the drive up the mountain. You won’t make it… If you aren’t the best driver take the Cog Train, but it’s a lot more expensive than just driving. Stop half way up to have a picnic lunch or change into warmer clothing. The temperature difference is amazing. When we started at the base, the temperature was about 76. When we reached the top, it was about 40. When you reach the summit, take pictures and DONUTS!!! Their donuts are the best I have ever tasted.

*The U.S. Olympic Training Center is very interesting if you watch the Olympics. If you don’t… you won’t have a terrific time like I did. When we were there we saw some wrestling, boxing, and men’s gymnastics practicing.

Saturday: Erin heard about a job fair over in Littleton, so we went over there. Then, we drove back down to Colorado Springs to see the Air Force Academy and Manitou Cliff Dwellings.

                *Air Force Academy: It’s free and very interesting.

                *Manitou Cliff Dwellings: It’s about $10/person, but worth it.

Sunday: Obviously the day began with taking my mom and sister to our church, Cherry Hills Community Church. Then, we stuck to doing stuff on the west side of Denver; Coors, Buffalo Bill, and Red Rocks

*Coors Brewery: Um… don’t go if you don’t like beer. People seriously just go for the free beer. I thought they would talk more about the process of making the beer, but it wasn’t. They do talk about the process a little, but it’s more like an advertisement. “Our beer is the best because we do this….”

*Buffalo Bill’s Grave: It’s on top of Lookout Mountain, so you have to go up really windy road. The museum costs money, so we skipped that part because we didn’t think it would be worth it. If you love the Wild West and that kind of stuff, you would probably want to go to the museum. There is a great view of Golden at the summit. You can see the Coors Brewery and School of Mines (#14 for Engineering in the U.S. and if you meet a student from there, they won’t let you forget).

*Red Rocks Amphitheater: Unfortunately we couldn’t see it because Phish is here, but if you go earlier in the day, you may have a chance of getting a tour.

***Oh yeah. When we left Buffalo Bill’s Grave I saw I had a voicemail, but I had to wait till we got further down the mountain to get cell reception. The message was from Patti, and I got the job!!!

Monday: We started the day by going to the Denver Mint, but we were too late. I guess if you really want to go there you need to get tickets early. We did watch a very interesting documentary in the gift shop, but probably not the same. Then, we went to Molly Brown’s House. Most people know here from the Titanic. I thought it was interesting that nobody called her Molly during her life. Everyone called her Margaret. Then, we went to Hammond’s Candy Factory. Don’t go on the weekend because they don’t make candy then. They make and package all the candy by hand, which was really cool to see. Then, there’s a huge candy store at the end!!! Afterwards, Erin had an interview with a dance company out here. The rest of the evening we just relaxed because Mom and Erin left Tuesday.

Oh my goodness… I need to get better at blogging. I think it is past time for an update. Brian and I are doing great! We went back to Michigan for the 4th of July, and had a blast hanging out with family and spending the weekend at the lake. We were a little sad to miss Sara Groves leading worship at our church here in Colorado. Brian still loves his job, so I guess we will be sticking around here for a while. I love it out here too. I haven’t found a job yet, but I have been keeping myself busy with cleaning, laundry, settling in, and my new task… scrap booking. I am working on finishing up our wedding scrapbook. It’s difficult to decide which pictures to use and which to take out. Plus I had to download pictures from Facebook that I really liked. Hopefully I will have it complete by the time my mom and sister get out here. I can’t wait for them to arrive! There is so much to do and see in Colorado that it is difficult deciding what all to fit in. Plus my sister is thinking about moving out here, so we will be looking for jobs and apartments for her too!!!

Since they will be coming soon I thought I might put some travel tips for coming to Colorado…
*Drink Water: Altitude sickness is no fun, so drink lots of water. Ask for water on the plane or take an empty water bottle through security and then fill it up at the water fountain near the restrooms. Try not to drink too much pop. You’re body will go crazy and you won’t have a very nice vacation.
*Pack Carefully: Shampoos especially have a tendency to go crazy with the altitude change, so pack them in Ziploc bags.
*Don’t Rent a Car: If you don’t have to… don’t rent a car. Car rentals are pretty pricey out here and with all the tourists there are sometimes very few cars available to rent. If you have to… get a Toyota RAV… great for driving in the mountains and looks so cool!
*Use Lotion and Chap Stick: Colorado air tends to suck the moisture out of your body, so you may need lotion and Chap Stick to keep your skin moisturized and looking great.
*Bring Sunscreen: We are closer to the sun and have 300 days of sun… so unless you come on some weird week that it’s cloudy all day, you will need sunscreen. Don’t be ridiculous and put it on if you aren’t going on an outdoor adventure climbing in the mountains or tanning by the pool.
*Set limits: Unless you are spending every night in a different hotel you won’t be able to see all of Colorado. If you are staying in Denver, you probably won’t make it down to the 4 Corners… Sorry mom and Erin… Next time!

I think that’s it… I will have to blog after their trip

Oh… Brian and I filled out our forms to help out with AWANA at our church. I think it begins in August, but we haven’t gotten our assignments yet.

Oh duh… Brian and I also got a TV. We had been using his 24” computer monitor as a TV, but now we have a beautiful 47” HD, 120 Hz TV. Lovely!!!

CIMG5688Our new TV fits perfectIMG_0984Playing with GabeIMG_1049Brian skiingDavid & GabeUsThe girlsThe boysIMG_1191

So I just got back to Colorado yesterday from a few days in Indiana for Kristen & Brad’s wedding. Brian wasn’t able to go. We felt it wasn’t a smart idea since he just started his job, so it wouldn’t be smart to ask off right away. So I went alone and I had a great time. I arrived on Tuesday just in time for dinner at Kristen’s apartment for all of the bridesmaids. Wednesday was the bachelorette party. We went to All Fired Up and painted vases to hold our bouquets at the wedding reception. On Thursday night we went over to Stewart and made all of the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. I was scared at first, but I think they turned out perfect. So on Friday, after decorating the church, Kristen and I went back and made the arrangements for the church. We were very impressed with ourselves, but said we wouldn’t do it again unless we had to. Friday night was the rehearsal followed by dinner. It was so hot!!! Plus the church did not have air conditioning.

Luckily the next day was a little cooler, but it was funny that Kristen got married on one of the hottest days of the year and I got married on the coldest. Saturday was a full day. I woke up at 6am with Kristen, and the ladies arrived to do my hair at the apartment at 7am. Kristi and I then drove over to the church to drop our things off and then walked over to the reception hall to begin decorating. The place had actually spelled Kristen’s name wrong on the outside marquee, so we had to get that fixed first.

Then, I walked back over to the church to get my makeup done and get dressed for pictures before the wedding. Our holding room was actually across the street in the education center where there was air conditioning. About 10 minutes before we were supposed to leave the ring bearer and flower girl both had melt downs. The ring bearer just kept saying, “I don’t want to do this. I just want to go home.” While the flower girl was just crying, but she stopped when I held her hand and walked with her across the street to the church. Once we arrived we had to walk right in, so I let go of her hand and she freaked out and starting crying again. The ring bearer made it down the aisle, but the flower girl didn’t.

The wedding was perfect! I almost cried when Kristen walked in, but I didn’t. Afterwards we walked to Duncan for the reception. I was honored to be the matron on honor, but I was a little scared about giving my speech. I had typed my speech, but never e-mailed it to myself to print off, I wrote it that morning in the car, but I didn’t read it while I was talking. I think it went well.

That night I went to see The Proposal with my mom and sis. It was really cute! I recommend it to everyone. I spent the night at my parents that night because I had to get up at 4am to make it in time for my flight. The flight was nice. I sat by 2 guys and an 18 month old girl. Her twin sister was on the other side of the aisle with her mom and older sister. I slept for the first half of the flight… enough to miss the free snack. When I woke up I drank a coke to wake me up. Then, the 6 year old sister had to go to the bathroom, so the mom handed the twin off to her husband. Both twins began to freak out, so I asked if he wanted me to take one. (I had talked to him earlier, so he wasn’t a complete stranger. He knew I was a teacher/nanny) I took Gracie, and we had fun looking out at all the clouds and the wing of the plane. While we were having fun, poor Natalie just gave her dad and us this sad face, like she was saying, “Why didn’t you hand me off, Dad!?!” The mom got back, but Gracie was having such a great time that they let me just holder. Taking care of little kids on planes is not that easy I found, but she was entertained, so I thought I would give them a break. I gave her back to her dad before landing.

Brian picked me up at the airport, and we drove home. I was so jet lagged that I took a nap for about 6 hours. It was our 6 month anniversary, so we thought we should do something special. So, we grabbed a hot and ready from Little Cesar’s, and we took it back home so we could watch a movie…haha.. Then it was time for bed.

Well the last few days have been very interesting. Thursday afternoon we had more tornadoes, but it was when Brian was at work. The wind was so strong it slammed the bedroom door shut. I just shut all the windows and turned Psych up loud enough so I couldn’t hear the sirens. Brian was actually evacuated from his office because it was by a window. Then a few minutes later it was all sunny and beautiful. I picked Brian up from work and then we took John to the airport. He was in a wedding back in Indiana. So, we dropped him off, but I guess his plane was delayed due to the tornadoes and he didn’t leave till 11pm. His flight didn’t reach Indiana till 5am.

Friday afternoon Brian came home early, so we went down to the Outlet of Castle Rock. He bought 4 nice work shirts for less than $50. Afterwards, we drove around looking at houses until it began hailing the size of little peas. Later that evening we went over to Katy & Eric’s apartment for dinner and a movie. Katy lived at Stewart Cooperative with me and Eric lived at Marwood. Dinner was great, and we watched Fun with Dick and Jane, which was really funny.

Saturday was a lazy day for us. We woke up, hung around the house, took at nap, and then hung out by the pool. Then, we made dinner and watched Notting Hill.

This morning we woke up early to pick John up from the airport. We didn’t have enough time to go to early service, so we went back to the apartment. Then, we went to the 10:45 service at Cherry Hill Community Church, and today they had a guest speaker… Lee Strobel author of Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, etc… It was awesome! He is actually moving here to Colorado from California. The pastor said , “Lee finally came to his senses.” The church was great! There are a lot of opportunities to get involved. Plus they have AWANA!!!

Oh wow… I haven’t written for a while. I am sorry. Brian started work last week, which he was really excited about. I am still working on getting my Colorado Teaching License, but first I need my actual Indiana Teaching License, which I have not received yet.

We haven’t gone on any other real adventures. Last Saturday we went down to Outlets of Castle Rock. They have some great stores down there such as Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Gap, Coach, and Ralph Lauren. I think we might go back this weekend to do more shopping.

I haven’t really been up to anything. Last week I burnt my hand really bad. I’m used to the heating coils in the oven being on the bottom, but ours are on the top. So I got my hand pretty good… my mom asked if it blistered and I told her no. I didn’t tell her that I didn’t really have skin to blister. It was so hot that I didn’t even feel it really. I only knew by the sizzle that it made and then I noticed it when I pulled my hand out.

I am going back to Indiana next week for Kristen & Brad’s wedding. I am really excited except I’m the “matron of honor,” which makes me sound old.

We are still searching for churches. We have found one that is close that we like, but we will probably keep searching for a little bit longer.

Well that is all for now… Thanks for reading!

It is 3 days until work starts for me, and I guess the vacation is winding down. Since Sunday, we’ve actually gotten quite a bit done! We jumped through all the hoops of getting both cars tested for emission, verified both VINs (which consisted of an old guy looking at the car and the registration and verifying that they match – completely useless!), and almost got them both registered.

Lauren’s car is done, and we have new plates for it, but I wasn’t able to switch the title of mine over to my name because the State of Colorado is super high security and doesn’t believe that “Earl Beyer” is actually the same person as “Earl Alan Beyer”.  Hooray when the government decides to do security – I can’t change the car to my name, but an old (likely bribable) guy is the only one who verifies the VIN.

And obviously if I’m realizing how easy someone could bribe the guy, my reading of the last few days is sinking in. Since Tuesday, I’ve decided to start reading through my old copies of the James Bond novels I picked up at a book fair. I wasn’t expecting much, more of a rehash of the movies, but wow was I wrong. Ian Flemming is a fantastic writer and has kept me on the edge of my seat with each of the books I’ve finished so far. One thing I’ve realized is that where the movies focus on the gadgets and the girls, the books are much different. The stories are really more about the actual spy agencies and the humorous situations Bond gets himself into, where his main goal is saving the girl, not sleeping with her as soon as they meet. The real side themes of the book are fast cars and how to catch cheaters at cards. Apparantly bridge is a big card game across the pond – and here I thought it was only for old people!

Tonight Lauren and I plan on heading up to the Northern Hills church again for their college & 20’s group. Hopefully we’ll find some people that we can connect with there, and then Sunday we’re headed down to Colorado Springs to try that church. Afterward we’ll likely walk through the Garden of the Gods and use the Ruby Tuesday buy 1 get 1 free coupon!

Thanks for reading!