Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Post of 2007!

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

---William Shakespeare, the Tempest,
Act IV, Scene i, Lines 148-157

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Just in time for New Year's Eve!

This is really cool!

AP: Times Square confetti to carry messages---

NEW YORK - Messages and wishes for the new year from people around the world will float down on the New Year's Eve revelers in Times Square when the confetti is dropped.

For the first time, anyone can get a message printed on a piece of the multicolored confetti by visiting the Times Square Information Center or by using the Internet to type a message on a "Wishing Wall Online" —

The message-carrying pieces will be mixed among the more than one ton of confetti, organizers said.

Messages can be serious or silly, said Tim Tompkins, a spokesman for the Times Square Alliance, which organizes the party.
What a fabulous idea!

I've Been Carded!

Alicia at Renewed in Him has carded me!

This is what I get to do:

Being carded means I will come up with two wish lists-one that is materialistic and one that is spiritual.

Here are the rules:
1. Each player starts with 5 gifts that they would want for the New Year.
2. People who are “CARDED” need to write their own Blog about their 5 things & post these rules.
3. At the end of your Blog, you need to choose 5 people to get “CARDED” and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a COMMENT telling them they’re “CARDED”, and to read your Blog.
And so, here are my lists:

My Materialistic Wishlist
1. A Full Time Job at GP!
2. A trip to another Josh Groban concert!
3. Lots of time to spend at the lake.
4. A new wardrobe.
5. As many books as I can read! :)

My Spiritual Wishlist
1. That our Nation will turn back to the One True God.
2. That Jesus will work through me to touch the lives of many.
3. Peace and Healing for members of my family, through Jesus' Name.
4. That I grow spiritually and always put my Faith in God.
5. God's Peace in our world.

I am carding:
1. Lady Lori
2. Dapoppins
3. Ms. Place
4. JaneFan
5. You!

And thanks, Alicia!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Top 100 FN Recipes of 2007

The Food Network has announced the Top 100 Recipes of 2007!

They have listed all 100 recipes, plus broken them down into categories such as "Champion Chicken," "Perfect Pasta Plates," and "Spud-tacular."

The Top Ten recipes are:

1. Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

2. Baked Macaroni and Cheese

3. Good Eats Roast Turkey

4. Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

5. Good Old Country Stuffing

6. Chicken and Rice Casserole

7. Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

8. S'more Brownies

9. Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

10. Melt-In-Your-Mouth Barbecued Ribs

They all sound good! If you are looking for something new to try for the New Year, why not start with this awesome list of 100 top recipes?

Josh Still #1!

From E Online: Groban's Gain, Blige's Pain on Charts---

Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, meet the King of Christmas.

Mary J. Blige's Growing Pains stood out as the final marquee release of the year, but Josh Groban's record-breaking holiday run proved to be the soul singer's spoiler. For the week ended Sunday, Groban's Noël bounced back Blige and extended its chart-topping reign to five straight weeks selling another 757,000 copies, according to recent SoundScan numbers.

Groban now claims the year's second-best sales week, trailing only Kanye West's 957,000-copy Graduation bow, and the album's current 3.5 million tally keeps Noël on target to become the bestselling album of the year. The singer also extended his record for the most consecutive weeks at number one with a holiday album, having already broken Elvis' 50-year-old record of three straight weeks.
(Emphasis added)

Congratulations, Josh! This is absolutely extraordinary!

To recap, the week's Top 10 were as follows:

1. Noël, Josh Groban
2. Growing Pains, Mary J. Blige
3. As I Am, Alicia Keys
4. Long Road Out of Eden, the Eagles
5. Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, Miley Cyrus
6. Now That's What I Call Music! 26, various
7. Carnival Ride, Carrie Underwood
8. Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift
9. High School Musical 2 soundtrack, various
10. Exclusive, Chris Brown

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Christmas!


"For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Monday Hero

This week's hero was suggested by Cindy & Kathi

Arlington Christmas Wreaths
Each year, around this time, since 1992, the Arlington National Cemetery has something happen to it. It gets covered in vibrant green Christmas wreaths. The wreaths are donated by a man named Merrill Worcester who is the owner of the Worcester Wreath Co. in Maine. From the Worcester Wreath Co.'s website:

Each year Worcester Wreath donates Maine wreaths to adorn the headstones of those who serve and those who sacrificed to preserve our freedoms. In 2007, over 10,000 wreaths are destined for the annual wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington. In addition, 2,500 wreaths will be sent to Togus National Cemetery in Augusta, Maine. Worcester Wreath also donates ceremonial wreaths that will be used as part of the Wreaths Across America events at over 230 State and National veterans cemeteries all across the Country.
Sometimes a hero is one who sacrifices everything in their life to help others. And sometimes a hero is one who sacrifices nothing more than their time.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

Items of Interest

From NRO: Laura Ingraham remembers our war wounded and their families this Christmas Eve. 1st Cavalry home for holidays

Michael Yon: Step Forward---

I had a seat on a jet filled with British soldiers en route to Cyprus. It’s strange how secure one feels on a flight full of American or British soldiers. I do, anyway, especially after spending as much time in combat with American or British soldiers as I have; my respect will never diminish.
Do read the entire thing.

And OMJ (Grobanites will get that!): I made The Corner!!!! Happy Christmas to me! Thanks K-Lo!

And, Show Your Support for our troops and those who are recovering from wounds sustained in the course of preserving our country!

AP: Bush makes holiday calls to troops

Friday, December 21, 2007

Ms. Place is having a contest!

Jane Austen Fans, Ms. Place is having a contest over at Jane Austen Today. Two winners will receive a copy of the fabulous novel The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James! You can read my review here.

Then, head over to Jane Austen Today and enter the contest!

Here are the rules:

A Suitor for Jane

Pretend you are one of Jane Austen's parents. Describe in two or three sentences the kind of gentleman that would be worthy to win Jane's hand in marriage. What sort of man would you accept as a suitable husband for our favorite author?

Then place your description in my comment section. If you feel uncomfortable writing a description, simply list the suitor's attributes. Oh, and you may place an icon of this paragon of husbandhood alongside your description.

The contest is open until January 1. I will then choose the five best answers. Starting January 2, the readers of this blog will have one week to vote for the best suitor!
Good luck!

What kind of cookie are you?

I love gingersnaps! In fact, I'm going to make some this weekend, just in time for Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Josh Breaks Elvis' Record!

Congratulations, Josh!

He's on the front page of Yahoo with this headline:

E! Online: Groban Grabs Elvis' Holiday Crown---

Holiday sales might be depressing, but it's no blue Christmas for Josh Groban. He just broke a chart record Elvis set back when Eisenhower was President.

Josh Groban's Noël claimed an unprecedented fourth straight week at number one, a feat never before accomplished by a holiday album. Elvis Presley set the previous record, three weeks, half a century ago with 1957's Elvis' Christmas Album.

For the week ended Sunday, Noël topped the chart and rewrote the record books by selling an incredible 669,000 copies, according to the latest Nielsen SoundScan numbers.

Groban, whose single "I'll Be Home for Christmas" topped the AC charts this week as well, has sold nearly 2.8 million copies of Noël in its 10-week run. That puts Noël in the lead as the year's bestselling album, and if the trend holds, it'll become the first holiday album to top year-end sales in the SoundScan era.

Furthermore, the disc's 669,000-copy week is both a career-best for Groban and a 2007-best for a nondebuting album. Even factoring in first-week debuts, Noël chalked up the fifth-biggest sales week of the year.

Though his sales will drop sharply once Christmas Day hits, Groban still has a full shopping week to try to extend his number one run and further cement his place in chart history. His biggest challenge next week comes from Mary J. Blige's Growing Pains.
If you haven't already, go buy Noel! It is gorgeous!

Wednesday Hero

This Week's Hero Was Suggested By Leo

SSgt. Mike Mills
SSgt. Mike Mills

On June 14, 2005 SSgt. Mike Mills's life was forever changed. The HETT(Heavy Equipment Transport System) he was riding in was hit by an IED. The attack resulted a cracked clavicle and scapula bones, dislocate shoulder, broken left hip, 4 out of 5 bones broken in his foot and being set on fire. The driver in the truck behind him ran with a cooler of melted ice which he threw on Sgt. Mills to put him out.

He spent three months in the Brooks Army Medical Center at Ft. Sam Houston, TX with the injuries listed above plus 2nd, 3rd and deep tissue burns to 31% of the left side of his body. The first thing he remembers thinking after the attack was that his soldiers needed him and he needed to get back to them.

"Then the guilt set in about what I did to my family. I've totally screwed that up. Look at me, no don't. I look hideous. How can I face my kids looking like this. They'll be embarrassed to be seen with me. What if they won't love me anymore? Speaking of love, my wife, oh my god. How can I expect her to stay with me. I'm not a man anymore. She's not going to want be intimate with a freak. What if I can't work, how do I support myself, my family.

I had the nightmares and couldn't sleep. I wasn't eating and was loosing weight. I didn't really care. If I didn't start eating, they where going to put the feeding tube back in. Who cares, I've totally screwed up my life anyways."

But he found out just how much is wife loved him, when she stood by his side throughout the entire ordeal. She was there for every wound dressing and even learned how to change the dressings herself.

SSgt. Mike Mills now runs the site For The Veteran... By A Veteran in which he helps veterans, soldiers and their families find information they may not have been given after their medical discharge or retirement.

Some may say that Mike gave his country more than enough when he was severely maimed by an IED on that fateful day of June 14, 2005, but Mike continues to give to his fellow servicemen, as well as to his nation!

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jane!

Today is the birthdate of my dearest, favorite author, Jane Austen. She was born on 16 December 1775. Her beautiful novels are:

Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility
Northanger Abbey
Mansfield Park

Happy Birthday, Jane!

Some Jane Austen links:The Jane Austen Centre in Bath
Jane Austen Society of North America
Jane Austen E-Texts
Bibliomania: Austen E-Texts
Jane Austen's HouseRepublic of Pemberley

Send a birthday card in honor of Jane's birthday at Mollands.

My favorites Jane Austen novels are Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, though I love them all dearly.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Joyful & Triumphant!

Marketwire: Josh Groban Fans & Warner Bros. Records Joyful and Triumphant as Holiday Season Brings Explosive Sales to Artist's Huge "NOEL" Album---

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 10, 2007) - Josh Groban's faithful fans are growing by the millions; it was confirmed today by the news that copies of his Christmas album "NOEL" are flying out of record stores in unprecedented numbers. The runaway success of Groban's magnificent collection of holiday classics will be Groban's fourth multi-platinum album in a row. "NOEL" sold well over one million copies in the last two weeks and remains the Number One album in America after eight weeks on the pop charts.

"NOEL" is also the first Christmas album to reach No. 1 in 13 years with industry buzzing that it may be one of the biggest-selling albums of 2007 and the biggest Christmas CD of all time. The album is also the No. 1 Digital album, the #1 record at Amazon and the No. 1 record at Barnes & Noble.

According to Chuck Gorman, vice president of music for Barnes & Noble, "Josh Groban's 'NOEL' has already sold more copies than any holiday CD in our history. The numbers are staggering."

With upcoming TV appearances -- "Rachael Ray" on Dec. 20th, a re-airing of "Oprah Winfrey's Favorite Things" show on December 24th, "Larry King" and "Good Morning America" both also on December 24th and the "Disney Christmas Special" December 25th -- Groban's sales are expected to continue at this pace through the end of the year and may reach a record-breaking four million units.

"Josh Groban's talents continue to grow along with the quality of his work as an artist. His last album 'Awake' and the new one 'NOEL' are both masterpieces. The entire Warner family is so proud of this success," stated Warner Bros. Records CEO Tom Whalley.
(emphasis added)

Oh! Makes me so very joyful and triumphant! Noel really is the most beautiful Christmas album! Josh's voice is so rich and exquisite. If you haven't got it already, rush out and buy a copy or 10!

One of the reasons I love Noel so very much, other than Josh, is that Josh chose to record mostly traditional, classic Christian carols, which really bring the Spirit of Christmas alive. His voice would be wasted on songs like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (though I do enjoy that song!). You can hear a couple of the songs and send a Christmas e-card at

And congratulations, Josh!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Friday's Feast #171

What was the last game you purchased?
I have absolutely no idea! I don't buy games very often. My dad usually does that for the family, so I'll go with the last game he bought us: the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD Game (sort of like Scene-It, but not).

Name something in which you don’t believe.
I don't believe in abortion.

If you could choose a celebrity to be your boss, who would you pick?
Oooh, JOSH GROBAN!!!!!!!!! Wouldn't that be lovely?!?

Main Course
What was a lesson you had to learn the hard way?
Hmmm, how not to be shy. I've always been shy, so I've had to learn, really the hard way, how to just be confident in myself in new situations (or even with familiar people). It has been hard at times.

Describe your idea of the perfect relaxation room.
My perfect relaxation room would contain a lovely, soft big bed and some very comfy furniture such as a couch and a chaise lounge. It would have my favorite paintings by John Williams Waterhouse, Leighton, etc., on the cream colored walls, and gorgeous rich drapes. There would be big windows in one wall, looking out over my favorite lake or some beautiful scene. On another wall would be a great big fireplace. A big tv with dvd player, stereo, etc. would be contained in a elegant cupboard. And there would be bookshelves full of my favorite and interesting books all around. And, of course, there would be a tea table with a tea set and some delicious food. Wouldn't that be relaxing?

More feasting here.

Happy 53rd!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Happy Birthday, Mum!
Love, Jane

"We Support You During Your Recovery!"

This is important:

There is an email going around encouraging people to send cards to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but unfortunately they won't accept them. But if you want to help, here is what they have posted on their website:

Walter Reed Army Medical Center cannot accept packages, letters, and holiday cards addressed to 'Any Wounded Soldier' or 'A Recovering American Soldier'. The U.S. Postal Service is no longer accepting "Any Service Member" or "A Recovering American Soldier" letters or packages. Mail to "Any Service Member" that is deposited into a collection box will not be delivered.

However, through a unique partnership between the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc., communities across America are invited to mail cards along with personal messages of support to wounded service members at military hospitals around the country.

With the support of the U.S. Department of Defense and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and with help from Pitney Bowes Government Solutions, the American Red Cross will collect, review and distribute holiday greeting cards to wounded military personnel. For security reasons, the Red Cross will be able to accept only holiday cards but not packages. Red Cross volunteers will receive and bundle the cards, which will be shipped by Pitney Bowes Government Solutions. Then, Red Cross volunteers at the medical facilities will distribute the cards throughout the holiday season.

Please address your holiday cards to:

We Support You During Your Recovery!
c/o American Red Cross
P.O. Box 419
Savage, MD 20763-0419

Be sure to affix adequate postage. Cards must be received no later than December 27. Cards received after this date will be returned to the sender. Again, senders are reminded that "care packages" are not part of the program--send only cards and notes. Also, please refrain from using glitter or any other inserts that would not be appropriate in a hospital environment.

People who want to express their appreciation to American service members may also consider making a donation to one of the more than 300 nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping our troops and their families listed on the "America Supports You" website,

Other organizations that offer means of showing your support for our troops or assist wounded servicemembers and their families include:

The outpouring of gratitude and encouragement from the general public, corporate America and civic groups throughout the past year has been incredible. Our Warriors in Transition are amazed at the thanks and support they receive from their countrymen.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Closer Christmas Special!

One of my favorite shows, The Closer, (official website with great stuff here) has a 2 hour special on tonight at 8pm. If you didn't catch the 3rd season this summer, you can watch the episodes today. TNT is showing a Closer marathon. I'm really looking forward to the episodes tonight. Brenda and Fritz travel to Atlanta to catch a fugitive and spend Christmas with Brenda's parents.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The "Voice of an Angel"

Well, of course he does!

Reuters: Groban in good position to maintain chart crown---

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Some of Josh Groban's fans think he has the voice of an angel, so it seems appropriate that his first attempt at a Christmas album carves out a rare niche in chart history.

With Thanksgiving week's store traffic and an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" accelerating an album that already had momentum, his "Noel" captures an 81 percent sales increase and No. 1 on the Billboard 200. That makes his set the first Christmas album to lead the big chart in 13 years, and only the second to top the list since 1962.

"Noel" garners 405,000 copies (moving from No. 2 to No. 1), the strongest week of Groban's career and the largest by any Christmas set since Celine Dion's "These Are Special Times" topped 460,000 in two different weeks of 1998. Groban's uptick of 182,000 copies easily seals The Billboard 200's Greatest Gainer award.


Between now and Christmas, Groban is also lined up for "Live With Regis and Kelly," "Rachael Ray," "Larry King Live" and a Christmas Eve return to "Good Morning America," along with a rerun of Oprah Winfrey's November 20 "My Favorite Things" episode, which fueled this week's rise to the top.
Congratulations, Josh! Noel is a beautiful, classic Christmas cd. Go get a copy (or 6!) and listen to the Angelic voice.

You'll find a list of Josh's upcoming tv appearances here and at