Friday, August 29, 2008

Videos for a Friday...

Check out Keystone's upcoming series this fall...  Brian Burton has done an incredible job getting these promos together - I can't wait!  

...And on a lighter note...I need your support:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Top 100 Undiscovered Websites

I came across this article today and loved it - Top 100 Undiscovered Websites.  Some of my favorites so far are listed below...check it out...hopefully it will help you find some new sites to browse...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Top 10 Reasons You're Not The Most Popular Kid In School...

In lieu to the start of school this week in's a great video clip for all of you Napoleon Dynomite fans...

While we're on the subject of school...I also found a site ( that I've had a little fun with this morning.  Check out my yearbook pics...


Monday, August 25, 2008

The Practice Club

I've definitely been lacking in blog posts lately...dang job sucking up all of my time (just kidding, John...I love my know that).  I promise I will get better...eventually.  

But I did want to throw a quick shout out to our friends - we had such a wonderful weekend and couldn't be more blessed by each of you!  Here's a few pics from the past week...just to embarrass them =)

The crew at Coal Vines...our favorite!  (Pictured: Jared & Jamie Mullins, Grant & Jayme Higgins, Shaun & Jill Hand, Ben & I, and Joe Peterson)

Shaun and Jill... He's 6'7" and she's only 5 foot (and a half inch...can't forget that)...what a pair!

Grant showin' his softer side to Jayme (Carl was getting jealous)...

The newlyweds...Jared & Jamie

Some of my favorite girls at Amber Mahon's baby shower...Candace Reneau, Angie Burton, Jen DeLaPorte, Me, and Tracy Preskenis.  Sadly, Anne Hernandez & Diane Bohannan are missing from our fun table worries, girls...I'll get a pic of you soon! favorite pic of the week (this one's for my animal-loving husband...haha)...

This is how Fat Jack and Johnny spent this past week while Ben was out of town...sleeping right on his pillow.  They love him.  And somewhere deep, deep, deep down...Ben loves them, too.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Slowing down in a world built for speed...

...I've got to do it. My husband and I were actually talking about this very subject last night on the phone... How is it that we are surrounded with modern technology that is supposed to make our lives easier, faster, more efficient...yet we are still scrambling to cross that "finish line" (whatever that may be) at the end of every day? Our culture is obsessed with speed. Dialing the phone isn't enough...we have to speed dial. Receiving a normal email is no longer fast enough...we want it instantly - with us wherever we go. I even saw a clip in my google reader today (once again, my need for speed news) about the "One Minute Bedtime Story" to help shorten time with your kids. Sad, but very true. It's ironic to me, because my husband started the whole conversation by asking why I haven't posted anything on my blog this week (he's out of town and the blog helps him keep up here at home when we're "too busy" to really talk). My answer was simply that I haven't had the time. Amazing. Amazing that I haven't had 10 minutes this week.

I am the "speed cult's" number one recruit...I'll admit it. But from here on out I'm making a promise to move away from that. Now...I'm not jumping on any crazy bandwagon that makes me give up my iphone or anything ridiculous like that (those of you who know me know that I love the iphone way too much)...but I am committing to slowing down and making more time for the things that are most important to me. Just a little "Aha" moment I had today...thought I'd share in case any of you get bogged down with the fast pace of life.  Have a good evening and take some time to RELAX.

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters; He restores my soul."  Psalm 23: 1-3

Thursday, August 14, 2008

An Ode to Owatonna, MN...Owhattatown!

This post is a shout-out to all our old O-town friends...

Ben and I were more than a little sad tonight after reading our friend Jessica's blog.  She mentioned that THIS WEEKEND... (get ready for it)...

... is... 


I know, take a moment to catch your breath.  It is an entire week filled with festivities like pig races (every night at 8pm), the "world's largest rat", they have a pretty cool petting zoo, fried cheese curds,  great live 80s music, 4H cattle and horse shows, car races, and let's not forget the beer gardens...  And before you think I'm being facetious, we really are sad to be missing the fun.  Let me explain...

We moved to Owatonna, MN in February 2006.  To give you a feel for this quaint place we called home a's a pic of the town square (for all you fans...very Gilmore Girls-esque...).

From our VERY FIRST DAY in town, we began hearing about the Steele County Free Fair. (Note that I said we moved there in February...the fair does not start until August...) For real, when we would meet someone new they would ask a very typical question...

O-Town Peeps: "So what street do you guys live on?" (with the Minnesota accent, of course.)
Ben and I:  "Havanna Road."
O-Town Peeps: "'re so lucky!  You won't even have to try and find parking when the fair gets's only two blocks from your house!  You can walk there every day!"
Ben and I: "Huh??"
O-Town Peeps:  "Can we be friends now and use your driveway to camp in?"

Like I said, it was only February and banners like the one below could be seen all over Owatonna:

Seriously, people in that town were counting down to the fair like it was Christmas or something... "only 183 more days until the fair!"... you get the picture.  We didn't get it.  It was just a fair, right???  NOOOOOO.  This is the event of the year for Minnesota and most of the midwest.  People drive in for hours and camp out there the ENTIRE WEEK with the whole fam.  It's crazy!!!  If I wouldn't have seen it with my own eyes, then I wouldn't believe it.  Definitely put our great Texas State Fair to shame...not by what was there, but by sheer numbers and fair fanatics that showed up.  You could see the fair from our house and right across the street from us started field upon field of campers, trailers, name it.  The fair went up and people just kept coming.  It was pure entertainment.  We literally could not get our cars out of the garage/driveway all week.  (I have a good friend, Emily, came to visit us that week from Texas...can I get an Amen!?!?)  Thank goodness the entire town shuts down that week and we didn't have to go to work!  

In all seriousness, we really do miss being in Owatonna and hanging out with everyone.  Such great memories were made and we think about you all every day.  For those of you still in Owatonna, have a blast this week / weekend for us.  Wish we there!  Here's some pics with our fellow Steele County Free Fair-goers of 2006...

Ben & Holly, Bo & Kristie, Mike & Elizabeth, Nate & Abby

Trevor, John, Ben, & Kyle = TROUBLE

Kristie, Amy, Lisa, Stephanie, Abby, & Holly

And for all of you thinking about taking a road-trip up to the northern tundra to check out the fair for yourself...well, here's a few rules we learned that you better follow when visiting Minnesota:

1. Don't order a steak at a Perkin's.  It's a diner.  They serve breakfast 24 hours a day.  Let them cook something they know.

2. Don't laugh at the names of their little towns: Fertile, Moorehead, Climax, might find yourself in some trouble.

3. Don't plan on ordering a coke or even a soda.  Up there it's called 'Pop'.  Accept it.  

4. Don't refer to them as hicks.  They know their heritage...most believe they are more literate, more educated, and generally a lot nicer than you.

5. They are fully aware of how cold it gets in Minnesota in the winter, so shut the heck up.

6. Do not order the vegetarian special at the local diner.  Everyone will instantly know that you're a tourist.  Eat your steak rare, like God intended, and have some potatoes with that for heaven's sake!

7. Don't try to fake a Minnesota accent.  They don't have accents.

8. Under NO circumstances should you EVER mention the movie "Fargo" as that will incite a riot and you will get your butt kicked.

9. Don't talk about how much better things are at home because MN folk know better.  They've been to the big cities like Dallas, Detroit, New York, and Chicago...and they have enough sense not to live in those filthy, smelly, crime-infested, cesspools!  If you don't like it in MN, Northwest airlines is ready when you are.

10. Don't ridicule their mannerisms.  They only speak when spoken to.  That's not's respecting other people's space.  Southerners don't practice this.

11.  Last, but not least...DO NOT DARE go out there and tell them how the Vikings and the Twins suck.  If you do this, you'll have a first-class ticket home in a pine box.

Save travels!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A post for my fellow tech nerds...

Had a couple of cool sites/web tools I wanted to share to help you waste a little bit of time today...

1.) I know that I've mentioned my favorite music site, Pandora, several times already on this blog...  But there is another music site I'm starting to like as well... Musicovery.  Basically, it's an interactive web radio site where you choose your mood and the genre of music you want to hear, and then it streams the music that fits those criteria...pretty cool!  

2. ) For all you online shopping enthusiasts...check out Commuto.  

It's a new social swapping site...similar to a Craigslist.  Find goods you want at Commuto and set up in-person sales (should money be requested) or face-to-face swaps with the member who's offering what you want. Commuto offers a large database of items to choose from, and it will match up the UPC symbol or ISBN with the title of the product if it can locate it. You can also create a wishlist for prospective swappers. Like Craigslist, Commuto takes no commissions. Currently, Commuto is in beta with small but growing communities, and it looks promising, especially if the sheer size of Craigslist is overwhelming.

3.) And finally...did you know that there is now a TiVo for Internet Video???  It's called Miro and is perfect for summer when there's absolutely nothing new on television (except the Olympics, of course).  Miro is a free internet video player that will automatically download online videos via RSS feed or will play almost any format you can think of...and it keeps track of what you've watched, what's new, and what's queued up for you.  

Monday, August 11, 2008

Highlights from the weekend...

1.  Saw Swing Vote on Friday night... surprisingly, it was one of the most enjoyable movies I've seen in a very long time.  Great political satire...I appreciated the fact that it didn't favor one political party over another...and it just had a really great message.  I know, I know...Kevin Costner was so 10 years ago...but I still highly recommend this've got to go see it!

2. The 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies...WOW!!!  Incredible...unbelievable...I don't have any words to describe it.  If you missed it for some've got to find a recording - it's amazing!

3.  The Olympics in general...LOVE THEM!!!  I haven't been able to pull myself away from the TV...I'm addicted!  I was definitely jumping up and down and screaming as loud as Michael Phelps was last night when the U.S. men's relay team pulled out that win for the Gold...take that you French...

4.  Saturday night at Fireside Pies...  Had a WONDERFUL time with some great friends - Shaun, Jill, Jayme, Grant, Angie, & guys are the greatest!!!  Always fun memories when we're all together...

5. Keystone Church - always a highlight of our week.  Check out this video from last weekend...powerful video about changed lives...

Red Cards from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Life: The Soundtrack

It's no secret...I LOVE MUSIC.  And the other day I was sent a link to Bzoink ...basically a webapp that helps you layout the 'soundtrack for your life'.  It was sent as a joke and I'm not at all interested in the webapp, but it did get me thinking about what songs I would choose...  So, I began making a list under all the categories that Bzoink listed (as well as a few of my own).  These are not all songs that you may like or even consider good music, but they are the songs that remind me of a particular person or point in time.   So, without further they are...most of them are in the player below as well:

The Story - Brandi Carlile

Someone Else's Life - Joshua Radin
Come Here Boy - Imogen Heap

Dreams - The Cranberries
Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk - Rufus Wainwright

Sweetest Thing - U2
Heavenly Day - Patty Griffin

Talk - Coldplay
Carry On - Pat Green
I'll Stand By You - The Pretenders

She Loves You - The Beatles
If You Could Read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot
I Get Around - The Beach Boys (thanks,!)

Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Ain't Goin' Down (Till the Sun Comes Up) - Garth Brooks
Let Her Cry - Hootie & The Blowfish

Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
Meet Virginia - Train
Back 2 Good - Matchbox Twenty

Love Song - 311
Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine

The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice
All I Want Is You - U2

Just Friends - Gavin DeGraw
I Love You - Sarah McLachlan
You Don't Know Me - Jann Arden

The Cowboy Rides Away - George Strait
All I Need - Mat Kearney

Hold You In My Arms - Ray LaMontagne
More Time - Needtobreathe

The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson
Better Together - Jack Johnson
Chances Are - Bob Seger & Martina McBride
That's The Girl I've Been Telling You About - Blessid Union (long story on that one...)

Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
Take It Easy - The Eagles
Wildflowers - Tom Petty

Hide & Seek - Imogen Heap
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley

Mr. Brightside - The Killers (pretty much anything by The Killers)
Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight - Amos Lee

Fire and Rain - James Taylor
Gravity - John Mayer

A Bad Dream - Keane
#41 - Dave Matthews Band

Full of Grace - Sarah McLachlan
All My Exes Live In Texas - George Strait
Leaving On A Jet Plane - Chantel Krevizuk

Take Me Out To A Dancehall - Pat Green
The Road Goes On Forever and the Party Never Ends - Robert Earl Keen

Dancing Queen - ABBA
My Maria - Brooks & Dunn

Congratulations - Blue October & Imogen Heap
Reason Why - Rachael Yamagata

Think of You - A Fine Frenzy
Dear Old Friend - Patty Griffin

Bika Mona Ve (Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour) / It Is Well With My Soul - Selah

Beautiful Day - U2

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

AtomKeep Synchs Your Social Network Profiles

Thought this was pretty interesting...

Seems like every other week you're signing up for another social networking site and filling out another user profile with the same old information; webapp AtomKeep is out to save you the the time and hassle. AtomKeep manages and syncs your user information across 23 social media applications (including Facebook, Digg, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger, YouTube, Yelp, and Ning, just to name a few). AtomKeep sets your user profile information to default settings you specify. This means you you don't have to navigate to your old Digg profile to see what to put in your Twitter biography. AtomKeep doesn't store your password on-site—they say they only use it to synchronize your data. If you want to keep your social networking profiles consistent across sites, AtomKeep makes that process simple.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Case of the Mun-days...

If you're stuck in a case of the Mondays, check out these videos - they're sure to make you laugh!

(Simple Disclaimer: Please make sure all small children have earmuffs before viewing.  None of these videos are bad, but I do not want to be held responsible for any of your kiddos learning new words.  Thanks!)

Video #1 - Charlie Bit My Finger (After watching this video I'm convinced that my children MUST have British accents...)

Video #2 - Kick His Ask!

Video #3 - The Evil Eye Baby

Video #4 - Buhlud

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Big Jump

When I received this pic tonight, I had to post it immediately... Several weekends ago, some friends from our Community Group got married at the HGTV house in Tyler, TX - Jared & Jamie (Endter) Mullins.  It was a beautiful weekend and such great memories were made!  My favorite memory, however, came at the end of the reception...  It was about 105 degrees that night in East Texas and we had all been dancing for several hours on this amazing dock out over the lake - needless to say, we were a sweaty mess.  Before I knew what was happening...I look over at the bride who is running full speed across the dock (in her full wedding dress) and cannonballs into the lake.  At this point, I'm standing next to Jill Hand and Jayme Higgins...and with one look, we all knew she couldn't go swimmin' at midnight alone.  So, we did the only logical thing  we knew to do...kicked off our shoes and followed her in!  (Most of the groomsmen joined as well.)  This pic was taken right after 'The Big Jump"...  Definitely a night that I will always remember!  Thanks, Jill and Jayme, for being the kind of friends who will jump off a bridge with you girls!

P.S. So if you're in the mood to laugh...check out - HILARIOUS!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

John Mayer

So last night was the highlight of my sister Neely's year...JOHN MAYER CONCERT...she loves him.  You can tell in some of the pictures how excited she was...the expressions on her face are priceless!  (Unfortunately, I'm having problems uploading the pics, though.)  Blaire and I said we were there for moral support only, but we really had a great time as well.  We even met a new friend who sat right in front of us.  We named him Steve-O and had his whole life story mapped out amongst the three of us (a bad people-watching habit we started long ago).  As the evening progressed, however, we found out his real name was Greg...beyond that we didn't want any more information.  He was a bit shady, but we don't need to type all those details here... so I digress.

Sadly, me and Jen Aniston still are not BFFs (I call her Jen cause we're tight like that). We weren't allowed anywhere near the front to meet, see, or just simply wave at her because Neely had a professional camera and we were pegged as paparazzi.  Seriously, they made Neely take her camera all the way back out to our car.  (That wasn't a short trip, by the way.) Oh well...we shall meet her one day...

Colbie Caillat opened and I have to say that I was not impressed.  Maybe it was just her style of music that didn't transfer well into a concert setting...or the fact that we were all the way back on the grass at Schmirnoff / Superpages...whatever it's called.  But she was just ok.  Then John Mayer came out...incredible guitar was good...but he definitely played the entire concert with no shirt.  I know it was hot and all, but come on...seriously?  Guess his stylist was off for the night...   Like I said, we had a fun was great spending some quality time with Blaire before she leaves us and moves back to OKC...we will miss her so much!  And, I'm always up for some live it.

Moving on to a completely different subject...  Ben was shocked and awed yesterday morning when he found out that there was a cat in this world who is actually larger than our Fat Jack...44 pounds! He sent me this video and story...check it out.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Press Release

I know I mentioned this in my last post, but here is the official press release going out on Monday...wanted to let you preview it early!

WeAreTeachers Launches Facebook Application

WeAreTeachers Launches Facebook Application Allowing Teachers to Share and Sell Teaching Materials and Services inside their own Knowledge Marketplace.

Austin, TX — WeAreTeachers, the “Knowledge Marketplace” community for teachers to share and sell their instructional materials and services or earn when they recommend commercial products, today revealed a new application that offers teachers access to this knowledge marketplace inside their Facebook profile. The I Am Teacher Facebook application brings teacher-generated content and services and commercial products to teachers and learners inside the Facebook community.

Visit to download the I Am Teacher application now.

For teachers who have Facebook profiles and wish to find other teachers in the network, the I Am Teacher application fosters connection and collaboration inside this large community. “While many teachers have joined the WeAreTeachers community (, we also want to offer teachers of all types, wherever they gather, an aggregated knowledge marketplace within the Facebook I Am Teacher application,” says Sandy Fivecoat, CEO and Founder of WeAreTeachers.

Teachers who have content to share or sell or instructional services that they provide will be able to add and price their products into the Knowledge Marketplace on I AmTeacher in Facebook. The Knowledge Marketplace will give teachers a way to reach teachers and learners on Facebook worldwide. Additionally, companies that wish to partner with WeAreTeachers can add their product catalogs into the WeAreTeachers Knowledge Marketplace and have teachers review, recommend or buy their products. This gives business affiliates an immediate online distribution channel to the growing 40,000 current WeAreTeachers members and also gives them a viral strategy to the more than 50 million Facebook community members.

“Businesses are looking for ways to reach the growing number of members inside of Facebook and other social networks,” says Sandy Fivecoat. “Our business model is designed to help them do that. Through the I Am Teacher Facebook application, our business partners have a low-risk, low development entry into the social network community and the ability to reach a target audience specific to their consumer types.” WeAreTeachers has over eighty current business partners and that list is growing rapidly. WeAreTeachers has created a way for businesses, learners and teachers to connect in a way that leverages and supports how online communities interact.

WeAreTeachers realizes that banner advertisement and search engine optimization strategies are common tactics of many businesses trying to reach teachers. The philosophy of WeAreTeachers is to create real monetary value for its members and partners by using an interception strategy that places contextual content where teachers are gathering online. WeAreTeachers plans to distribute its Knowledge Marketplace to more existing social networks to reach teachers where they are connecting, collaborating and can now--buy, sell, and recommend instructional resources online.

About WeAreTeachers
WeAreTeachers is the first ‘Knowledge Marketplace’ designed to empower teachers of all types by enabling tangible rewards to all who deliver skill and knowledge to others. The WeAreTeachers community will help teachers gain financial benefit through the publishing and selling of their own content, by promoting and delivering their time or tutoring services, and through recommending commercially available products to others. For more information, visit