Monday, August 23, 2010

#27 - CHECK

Number 27 on my list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days was to cook Justin a meal every night of the week. I didn't even mean to cross this one off but I did. Since I wasn't realizing that I was marking this off the list as I was doing it, I didn't take any pictures, except for one. Here's our dinner for the week (it actually started on the weekend):

  • Friday - Oven fried pork chops with english peas and cream corn
  • Saturday - Steak tips with steamed broccoli and carrots and brown rice
  • Sunday - Hamburgers
  • Monday - Chicken casserole
  • Tuesday - Pork tenderloin with macaroni and cheese
  • Wednesday - Grilled chicken pasta
  • Friday - Grilled chicken and cheese quesadillas

You'll notice I went from Wednesday to Friday. That's because something unavoidable came up on Thursday but I didn't want to start all over because of one day. So after discussions with Justin, we decided that I would do the dishes and cook on one of the days and I'd still be able to cross it off. Justin was the one that had control of whether or not I can mark this item off so me doing dishes was what he picked to make up for it. Usually, if one of us cooks dinner, the other one washes dishes and if we both cook, we both wash dishes. So on Friday, I cooked and I washed dishes. I had a notepad that kept up with which meals I was cooking on which days (in order for me to blog about it) and I left it in the kitchen. When I called Justin to tell him I couldn't cook on Thursday night, I came home to an edited version of the list...


He cracks me up :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Loving the Camera

I am so in love with my new camera! I've only been taking pics around the house but playing with all the settings and figuring out what the camera can do is so much fun! Here' s a few I've taken so far (there is no editing in these...I don't have software. It's straight from the camera):






Love it! Can't wait to learn more of what it's capable of!

Plan B Wrap-Up

I honestly can't describe how much I loved the book Plan B. More than that, I loved that I was able to get a small group of girls together and do a weekly bible study on it. We shared so much in our studies together and prayed for each other over the course of two months. We all loved it so much that we're wanting to start another study of another book together, but we just haven't hammered out the details of it yet.

It's hard to sum up everything I learned in Plan B. I've made a couple of posts on it (click on "Plan B" under my labels on the right navigation bar), though I will say I had all intentions of writing a post for every time we had a meeting during our study. However, life just kinda got in the way. You'll have to read Plan B for yourself, but the best way I can sum up what it's all about is to give you my favorite quotations in the book from Pete (the author). These are the big things I took away from the study:

  • "You may think you're losing control, but the truth is, you never had control in the first place. The only thing you can control is how to respond to your disappointments and your unexpected obstacles" (Chapter 3)
  • "If we want God's help in our lives, we need to be ready for what He's going to do. We have to be willing to wait for his signal and when He says go, we better go." (Chapter 4)
  • "40% of the things we worry about never happen, 30% are things that happened in the past and can't be changed anyway, 12% are needless concerns about our personal health and 10% are petty, miscellaneous items, so 92% of our worries are pure fog with no substance at all." (Chapter 5)
  • "The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else." (Chapter 5)
  • "What if we viewed our hardships and challenges as opportunities to be the men or women God has created us to be? What would happen if we stopped grabbing for what we're owed and tried to receive each moment with gratitude?" (Chapter 7)
  • "You may be at odds with God right now. You're not happy with the way your life is turning out. You may be praying and pleading with God. But is it possible you don't really want God? Is it possible you just want what you think God can give you?" (Chapter 10)
  • "God does his best work in hopeless situations." (Chapter 11)
  • "While life is uncertain, God is not. While our power is limited, God's is limitless. While our hope may be fragile, God is hope Himself. He still has the whole world in His hands." (Chapter 11)
  • "The question is not CAN you trust God. Of course you can trust God. The question is can you wait? Will you wait for His perfect timing? Will you continue to hope in Him even when His timing seems all off?" (Chapter 12)
  • "Plan B is only Plan B to us. It was always Plan A to God." (Marcie's quote)

These quotes do an excellent job of summing up the book. I seriously recommend this book to everyone, because it doesn't matter if you're currently living in a Plan B situation or not, at some point in your life, something will not go the way you wanted it to. That's when this book can step in and help you regain perspective on things. Go buy it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

#99 - CHECK!

I interrupt the lack of blogging about the 30 Day Challenge to mark something off my 101 List. Number 99 on my list was to get a new camera with a big lens. It just came in the mail yesterday :) As much as I absolutely love our Cannon Powershot, when going to Africa, a once in a lifetime trip, I decided that a new purchase of a better camera was necessary. Justin and I did LOTS of research and had narrowed it down to either the Nikon D5000 or the Pentax k-x.

I had never heard of Pentax so I wanted to do some research on the reviews of it and we did that for several days. Every review we saw were people that loved it. They all said that if you're getting paid for your pictures (professional photographer) they'd get a better camera like the Nikon D90 (which we never considered because of the price tag), but all the reviews said that for someone who just wanted great quality pictures without the price tag, Pentax was the way to go. I even went on youtube and watched numerous tutorials so that I would be familiar with it.

At the end of the day, Justin and I realized that the Pentax was actually our only option because its the only DSLR that takes double A batteries. The others all have a rechargeable lithium batteries. Some people see this as a bad thing for the Pentax, but for us, it's what we need. We travel so much and you can buy batteries everywhere, but you can have an outlet around you when you need it. And in Africa, we pretty much won't have power except for the two days we're in Amsterdam and the two days we stay at our hotel in Moshi, Tanzania. The remainder of the two week period will be spent on Kilimanjaro or in the Serengeti, where there's no power outlets. So naturally, we decided to go with the Pentax.

Outside of the issues with the batteries, Pentax has just as good of specs as the Nikon D5000 has.

Pentax K-X vs. Nikon D5000:

  • Mega pixels: Pentax - 12.4, Nikon 12.3
  • ISO: Pentax - 6400 on kit lens, 12,800 on 300 mm lens, Nikon - 3200 on kit lens, 6,400 on expandable lens
  • Monitor size: Pentax - 2.7 inches, Nikon 2.7 inches
  • Viewfinder Coverage (% of your picture you can see through the viewfinder): Pentax - 96%, Nikon - 95%
  • Frames per second shooting: Pentax - 4.7, Nikon - 4.0

These are just some of the comparisons I looked at. I honestly have no idea what some of this means (insert my photographer sister who is going to show me how to use it properly) but there are categories in which the Pentax beats out the Nikon! Comparison on price? The Pentax body and kit lens of 18-55mm cost us $450 before shipping and tax. The Nikon D5000 with the body and kit lens of 18-55mm costs $700 before shipping and tax, both at Sam's Club.

My sister has shared the information that being on a safari will absolutely require the additional lens of 55-300mm, so we plan on purchasing that in November before we leave. Here's pics of my new camera!!!


And yes, I got white! Why? Well, for some reason, the white one was $50 cheaper than the black one. And because I like being different, I went for it. I love it!!


This is a black one next to the 55-300mm lens. Shows you how much bigger it is. Some awesome zooming and wildlife photos will come from that bad boy! Now I just have to figure out how to use the camera. I've been literally reading the manual page by page. I'm on page 72 right now....out of 315. It may take me a while.

Monday, August 2, 2010

#75 - CHECK!

Number 75 on my list of 101 things to do in 1,001 days was to attend Justin's 10 year high school reunion. I was able to mark this off the list this past Saturday night. The vast majority of my friends were actually in the class of 2000, even though I was class of 2001. I kept telling Justin that I'm still not 100% sure that I'll go to my own high school reunion because, other than my fabulous twin girls, my close friends were Justin's age. We'll see when the time gets closer.

My sister and brother-in-law came in town for the event so it was awesome to be able to see both of them. Jen had the same small group of girlfriends all through high school and they've all been best friends as long as I can remember. They were all pretty much like my big sisters so it was also awesome to be able to catch up with them. Only a couple of them even live in Birmingham. The first couple of hours of the evening were everyone just chatting up with eachother, then one of the favorite men of 2000 did a "roast" of several people in the class, which was HILARIOUS. Afterwards, they started playing the best dance tunes back in 2000, i.e. Thong Song, Baby Got Back, Push It, etc. I had so much fun with my sis on the dance floor, but not before snapping some shots of her and the other girls dancing the night away :)

I didn't take many pictures because I was so busy visiting everyone. It was so awesome to see so many people that I haven't seen in 10 years. It was kind of funny because at least 5 people came up to me and said "you weren't class of 2000!!!". Of course they were joking because they knew I married Justin, but nonetheless still funny. And naturally I got the usual "ROGERS SISTERS!!!" from several people. Jen and I were so close in age so we had a lot of the same friends and most everyone at Hoover just referred to us as the Rogers sisters.


Clearly we all had a good time ;)

Anyone else notice my lack of blogging?? I feel like I haven't blogged in forever. I've been incredibly busy at work the past two months and I usually don't ever get on the computer when I get home, so if I don't blog at work, I usually don't blog at all. I'm trying to get better about it. But not only that, we really just haven't done a lot that is blog worthy. We originally said we weren't going to take any trips this year because of how much Africa was costing. However, we got bored, naturally, and have traveled to Seattle, New York, Gatlinburg, and Orange Beach (that pans out to one trip a month post busy season - there goes taking no trips huh?).

The only thing we're thinking of doing between now and Africa, and it's not even a definite plan yet, is going to Maine with the Lobdell's in November. The remaining balance of our Africa trip is due at the end of September, so we can't do much between now and then, but we'd love to squeeze in one last trip before we leave the country for two weeks and one of the things on Tiffany's 101 list is to go to a state she's never been to and Trevor REALLY wants some Maine lobster. Justin and I went to Bar Harbor, Maine for a long weekend (including stops in Portland, Maine and Freeport, Maine) back in November 2008. You can see that post and awesome pictures here. We'll see how it goes. Hope everyone had a blessed weekend!!