Thursday, December 31, 2009

In 9 Minutes...

9 minutes left of this decade and year 2009. So here is to what is to come for you and myself...wonder where we will all be in just 10 year from now!! We will all be looking back on our last 10 years and wonder where it all went and what we did. I wanted to get a big posting done and reminisce where I came from. Maybe I will do that tomorrow. I got busy tonight watching a movie with Rob and my father-in-law...waiting for this new year to come in. :)

Happy new year my friends!!! I hope that you have a blessed year!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My favorite movies of the decade

So it is time again where we all reflect on what we have done over the past year and what we want to accomplish next year. This year is special though because we end yet another decade and start a new one. I will save my remembrances for tomorrow since tomorrow is New Year's Eve. Tonight I thought I would look back in the world of movies as most people can relate to movies. When someone hears a movie title that they have seen, it is as if they are taken back in time.
These will be my favorite movies for each year: granted when looking at a list of the top grossing movies from each will find more than one movie. I looked at each list and asked myself which movie I have watched over and over with out getting sick of.
  • 2000 - Gone in 60 Seconds - I remember watching this in the theatre, leaving the theatre on such a high and speeding all the way home. I was lucky that I didn't get a speeding ticket!
  • 2002 - Yet another year of big movies installments from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. There were quite a few movies in 2002 that I liked and still like to this day. Here are a few of my favorites from 2002: The Bourne Identity, We Were Soldiers (the movie was awesome...the blind date that I was on was awful), Count of Monte Cristo, and Sweet Home Alabama. I could list a few more if I really wanted, too. 
  • 2004 - The Passion of the Christ (I try to watch this every year around Easter...kind of like some people watch The Ten Commandments), The Bourne Supremecy (I remember being so excited for this second installment of an amazing trilogy), The Notebook (now who doesn't like a Nicholas Sparks book put to movie?), Ladder 49, Miracle, In Good Company (this movie holds a special place in my heart. I saw this movie on Kaylee's first birthday to help distract me from the emotions of not being able to be with her on her birthday) and Shall We Dance?.
I hope with this list of movies, you can recall the memories from when you saw these movies, too. If you have not seen some of these...then place them on your Netflix list, rent them from Blockbuster, or see if they are uploaded on to watch. Happy viewing!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Wow...what a crazy past couple of days working at the theatre!! Traditionally this week is the busiest week of the year for all movie theatres nationwide. Why? Well it is traditionally the week that most people take off to spend time with their children while they are home from college and high school for Christmas/Winter break. Since everyone is home they tend to go to the movie theatre and see a few movies. The movie studios know this and try to bank on all they can from a busy holiday weekend! This year was no different.

Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, and Alvin & The Chimpmunks 2 were the top three movies in the box office nationwide this weekend. I will agree on this one since I worked Thursday through Sunday. I worked in the concession stand Thursday and Saturday while the other two days were in the box office. Saturday was the busiest day at the AMC theatre that I work at in Connecticut. We already knew it was going to be busy due to being the day after Christmas, but to add to the rained all day!! The theatre was projected to have about 8500 guests come through the door, but since it rained all day the ending total attendance for Saturday was over 11,000 people!! This total breaks the record for the history of the theatre!! The last time we broke the record was last summer for Batman: The Dark Knight midnight premier when the attendance was just over 9,000 people. All weekend though you kept hearing shouts from the box office, "May I have your attention please, the (enter show time) of (enter movie title) is sold out!" Props to Adam Del Re to shouting these announcements out on Sunday and having the entire theatre lobby go completely silent while he was talking. It was awesome. :)

Saturday evening, one of my managers sent out a Facebook note for the AMC employees to read. I thought I would share part of the note.
"today, i saw a crew that was dedicated and determined. nobody was willing to give up or give in, and while people just kept streaming through the doors and shows were selling out left and right, we kept it together. i wanted to give you all my personal thanks that on a day like today, we were steadfast and cohesive. we showed the guests what we were made of. we cleaned every last piece of popcorn, served hundreds and hundreds of guests, and really made the difference. the rest of the week will be busy, but if we all can keep it going like we did tonight, nothing can stand in our way. don't forget that. keep your eye on the prize and know that we are breaking records and we couldn't do it without you. - Ben Goodman"

Lastly, I have complained before about guests coming to the theatre and being upset because their movie is sold out. Here are some tips again for you to remember when going to the movies on a busy holiday or big movie premier weekend.
  • Buy tickets from to ensure you have tickets for the desired movie and arrive to the movie theatre about an hour before the movie starts. 
  • If you do not want to purchase tickets via the internet, go early in the morning to buy movie tickets for later in the day. 
  • Attend one of the first show times for the desired movie as those tend to be sometimes less busy than later in the day (especially on a friday). 
  • If you go to the movie theatre around the time your movie starts, have 2-3 back up movies that you would like to see, just in case your number one movie is sold out or close to be sold out. 
  • If you arrive at the movie theatre to find out that all three of your movies are sold out, DO NOT GET IN LINE to decide what to do. Your best bet is to try again on a less busy day. 
  • Do not get frustrated at the theatre employees because of how busy it is, as this just adds to their own stress from being so busy.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day - Merry Christmas!

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" Such famous words we hear every year. This phrase means something different to every person. When most people hear this phrase they think of the poem "Twas the night before Christmas" and relate this to Christmas Eve. If one were to hear this phrase on Christmas evening this could mean that one does not have to hear Christmas music for 11 more months (which really is a good thing!), for others it meant they spend the day with their family and loved ones, and for some it means that they finished another lonely Christmas without their families due to for unknown reasons that we know.

As for me, Christmas reminds me of the old traditions that I grew up with. Christmas morning at my parent's house consisted of waking up around 8 or 9am, baking Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, turning on an Mannheim Steamroller Christmas album, and opening presents. Then in the afternoon we would have lunch with my extended family and then go to a movie at the theatre. My dad's birthday is Christmas day, so the afternoon was more of my dad's birthday. :) Happy Birthday dad!

Since I have been married, Christmas has been different than what I knew as a kid. Two years ago, I didn't have to work and so Rob and I spent the whole day together. Last year we spent the morning together before I went to work at the movie theatre, and this year we opened presents early and I went to work from 915a-4pm. After a busy busy day at work I came home to an almost fixed dinner. After dinner, our evening has consisted of watching The Hangover (one of my new favorite comedies), talking to my mom and on the phone, and now watching TAKEN while talking to my sister via instant messager. Pretty laid back evening that is for sure.

Since Rob's dad is here...last night the three went up to the movie theatre to see a few movies. I have finally seen The Blind Side which was so good. If you have not seen this movie, you need to go see it! Totally worth the money spent at the box office! With taking social work classes, I could view this movie in the eyes of a social worker and then also in the eyes of a birth-mother (due to how his birth-mother was not fit to be a mom and her kids were placed into the state system). As a social worker we are trained to help the ones in need, and find services for the hurting. The second movie we saw was Up in the Air which is George Clooney's new movie. Did I like it? Yup...I sure did. If you go see the movie, my advice is to not read what the critics have to say, don't read up on what the movie is about, go into the movie with a very open mind and formulate your own reaction to the movie. This is not your typical George Clooney movie. I would watch it again. I related the main plot of this movie back to McDonaldization. Part of McDonaldization is efficiency, and part of this movie to trying to make something more efficient. In reality though, there is the irrational part of one's rationality in all that is done. You see that within this movie.

Well that is me for this posting. I hope that everyone had a wonderful day even if it was spent at your quiet home enjoying the peaceful day with watching movies and catching up on laundry.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Songs

As I posted a couple weeks ago, I said that I would post what my favorite Christmas Songs were. I am one who will not listen to Christmas music until it is at least a week into the first week of December. You may think, "Oh Amy...come on! You have to try and listen to as much of it as you can to get into the Christmas spirit!" I just get sick of hearing the same old stuff every year for two months. Or maybe it is due to the fact that when I lived at home, I would have to listen to my dad whistle "Jingle Bells" all year long, and so when Christmas songs finally come on I am tired of hearing it. One would think that my dad would learn a different tune to whistle, but still to this day he only does that song.  Ok...enough is my list in no particular order.

    • Handel - Messiah - this holds a special place in my heart. I personally could listen to this piece year round. When I was in high school I was in the choir and also orchestra. Three years I had the opportunity to play selections from this piece and one year I was able to sing it. Oh how I love to listen to the music and the lyrics. 
    • Bach - Christmas Oratorio - When I was at the community college...I had the oppertunity to sing this. So hard, but yet so amazing once sung correctly!
    • Bing Crosby - White Christmas - Oh come is not Christmas with out hearing this song or watching the movie at least once during the busy season. 
    • Chanticleer - Ave Maria
    • Andrea Bocelli - Angles We have Heard on High
    • Josh Groban - Oh Holy Night!
    • Amy Grant - Tennessee Christmas
    • Amy Grant - Breath of Heaven 
These are a few that I must listen to during the holiday season. I am sure if my dad read this list he would tell me, "You forgot Mannheim Steamroller! They are the best!"

This year on XM I found the Holiday Pops Channel which is Channel 77 for those of you who have XM Radio. Take a peak and listen to what is there. Think Boston Pops, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Westminster Boys Choir; and you will have what is over on channel 77. :)

Boy...what a week!

What a week I had last week! School, work, Rob receiving crappy news from work, and family flying in on short notice.

As for School I am on my winter two week break. Yay! As a college student, I know that even though I am on break, I can not just enjoy my break. At the end of my two classes I was informed that there were papers and presentations due soon after we come back from break. I have a presentation due in my Human Behavior social work class the night I go back to class, which I think is January 4th. Then I have a paper due for that class on February 15th. Then in my Psychology Disorders class I have a paper and presentation due in early February. I think for my Psych class I will do a paper and presentation on Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), as I find that one interesting and there is a lot to talk about with this disorder. I could also do ADD/ADHD as I know first hand how that disorder functions. So we will see what I end up researching. Fall term grades were all posted last week (which was the highlight of my day for me.) All three classes: Sociology, Social Work: Processes I, and the weekend 1 credit class on HIV/AIDS I recieved all B's! I knew about my social work class but had to wait on the other two classes. I was excited to see that I got B's in the other two classes as they were just as difficult.

Work is starting to pick up due to kids coming home for winter break and parents starting to take time off from work to spend with their children. The big new movie this past weekend was, Avatar. I was scheduled to work in box office Friday morning (which I love). The only thing I hate is when people get pretty pushy and annoyed with you if not everything is set up when they are needing items. There are three individuals who ALWAYS come in to se a movie on Friday morning and gripe about me every single week. Since Avatar is in 3D, there is an additional $3 surcharge per ticket due to the 3D technology. These three individuals came up and said, "We do not need the glasses as we already have them from last time." I responded with, "Ok, well three movie tickets will still cost you $27." They then tried to argue with me that they already had the glasses and therefor they should not have to pay the extra money. I explained to them (in a rushed manner since I was the only one in box office) that reguardless of them having glasses from a past movie, they would still have to pay the additional money because it it not for the glasses but for the added expense of making the movie into a 3D film. They gave me yet another dirty look when I asked them for $27 again. They handed the money and said, "well give me the glasses then!" I slid the three glasses over to them and they apparently thought that I threw the glasses to them. When they left I saw one of the participants of the party go up to my supervisor to complain about me. Oh I was mad. I mean really, you come in here every week to find something wrong with me to complain about. My supervisor did not give anything to them as a "free - I'm sorry pass" as that is what I am sure they were looking for. I told my supervisor that the three guests who complained about me come in here every week and cause a problem. It is not my fault that they do not understand that they have to pay money to see a movie regardless if it is $6 or $9.

Next on the agenda for the crazy week is Rob's job. Rob was informed last Tuesday that due to budget cuts, he will have a teaching job at Iona until June. After June he would be unemployed, which really sucks if you ask me. We started the steps of what we need to do for the house and everything else. I am trying to stay positive and think that next year by this time I will be in a different house which will be in a different state! I am hoping for warmer winter weather, but we will just have to wait and see where we are taken. Rob is starting the applying process this week for different schools through out the country.

On top of all of this, my father-in-law flew up to my house last week to spend time with Rob and I. He will be here for three weeks. Yes, I did say three weeks. haha. It is nice to have someone here for the holidays, but three weeks?! haha. I think what was stressful at first with this was that my house is in shambles due to myself being so busy with the end of the term and everything else going on.

On the up note I took a day trip down to NYC with a few friends from work. We went and saw the Rockette's show at Radio City Music Hall, which was extremely cool!! I will have to blog about that soon. I am just trying to get caught up with everything else and stay afloat with the other things that go on with life.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Alas...Fall term is FINALLY over!

As a returning adult student, I had forgotten what it felt like to juggle more than two classes at a time. This fall term was a struggle with dealing with two trimester classes in addition to two semester classes. I love trimester classes as they end sooner than a semester class, and I seem to learn more in a trimester class. Must be the whole meeting once a week thing. I don't know. My two fall tri classes ended last month, but as of today I am officially done with fall term. woohoo! I took the final for my sociology class today and Saturday, I turned in my paper for the one credit weekend class that I signed up for. **note to self...DON'T EVER TAKE A ONE CREDIT CLASS EVER AGAIN!** that I got that out of my system I am ready to move on and focus on my winter trimester classes that have been in session for a month now. But first I will say that I will miss meeting twice a week for my intro to sociology class. I really enjoyed the professor who taught the class even when most people did not. He is an easy but yet difficult professor. He is one who likes to challenge his students, which is what a professor should do. I went to class fully prepared almost 90% of each class meeting. I know there were a few days that I just felt out of my element, one being a couple weeks ago when I was doped up on pain killers from having a tooth pulled two days before. I had forgotten the book that was being discussed in class, and so I felt unprepared. When turning in my final test today, I was able to get my McDonaldization paper back as well. I got an "A"!! Oh I am excited for this. I truely enjoyed reading the book and had a hard time trying to keep the paper at the 5 page maximum. I even cheated by making the font be one size smaller and made the margins a bit smaller, so that I could get a few more lines on each page. Normally it seems that a college student would do the oppisite, just to help add some legnth to the paper. After class I emailed my professor telling him how I will miss his class and that if he teaches any trimester classes in the future I will have to take another class from him. He replied with an amazing response. He said, "You were an absolute joy to have in class everyday. Thank you for engaging the material. I knew everyday that you were prepared, interested, and ready to attack the topic headfirst. As you probably know from your husband, that is the ideal and cannot ask for anything more." Now how awesome is that?!! He also mentioned that if I am on campus next term to feel free and stop by his office. 

I am just on top of the world right now. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bathroom update

Since Rob has some more time on his hands, he has been taking up some projects around the house. This past weekend was a project for the Main/Guest Bathroom. He wanted to just change out some electrical outlets, light switches, add a new electrical outlet and lastly add some toe-lighting underneath our sink cabinet. Sounds easy right?! Ok...maybe not easy to a regular home owner but easy to someone who knows what they are doing.

First task...remove the three switches that operate the two lights and the moisture fan to replace with updated switches. He three switches and condensed them all to one wall switch that has three different buttons. (pretty cool I think) Then he added a push button timer for the moisture fan, and then added a new outlet for me to use. Rob forgot to take the BEFORE pictures, and so I apologize. Here is what it looks like now. 

The next project was to add new wall lighting. I really wanted one fixture above the mirror, but I was unable to do that due to the fact of having two side lights on the walls already. Rob and I found some new and updated lighting. Here is a picture of those.

Then Rob added a brand new electrical outlet to the left of the LEFT wall sconce. This outlet is an outlet/LED nightlight combination. We put one in our kitchen and had to have one in the bathroom. This gives me yet another outlet to use for various things. Here is what that looks like --->
Then Rob put in some toe lighting. This is a project that should have only taken about 10 minutes. Well the previous homeowner of the house did lots of updating to the house in the ten years he and his family lived here. Let's just say that this homeowner didn't really do things correctly. This ten minute project turned into about nine hours. Rob had quite a difficult time due to finding concrete backer board, plaster, chicken wire, and drywall all in the wall. Rob had some pretty colorful words while doing this last project. After a long hard day he finally finished and it looks pretty cool. 
If you like this toe kick lighting...Rob used a three foot strand of rope light. You can get the rope lighting at Lowe's, Home Depot, or find it on ebay. Rob said that when we update and enlarge our upstairs existing bathroom, he wants to do the same effect, but with blue lighting rather than green. I said that i like the effect, but would like to see the upstairs toe kick be in white.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Carry your heart with me...

Tonight I was catching up with one of my Sunday evening tv shows that was still on the dvr. At the end of the episode there was a wedding scene and Kitty (one of the character's in my show) was reading a poem for her brother. The poem was by E.E. Cummings and it just really spoke to me. I am sure other birthmothers will be able to relate to the poem I am about to share with you. The poem is popular with weddings, but I think any birthparent feels the same way for their child or children that are placed into foster or adoptive families. If I would have know about this poem before now, I would have this read at the reflection time after the signing of the relinquishment papers of Kaylee.

i carry your heart with me
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Junior Social Work Placement Interview....

Today, I went for my Junior Social Work Field placement interview. My placement coordinator emailed me last Thursday about an agency located in Stamford, CT that worked with the special needs population. The placement sounded very interesting and so she encouraged me to call and set up a meeting with the supervisor. My interview was at ARI of Connecticut with a man named Carey. This agency helps the special needs population learn how to be independent with in their own community. They do job placements, training classes as well. The interview went pretty well. By talking to Carey, I learned what my duties would be as an intern at ARI. My biggest fear of an internship would be spending 8 hours a week filing papers, making coffee, and anything else that is not related to my field of a social worker. Carey explained that I will have many different things to do for my internship. 50% of my time I will be working with another supervisor down in the production department (a department where their clients work in a mail room by folding papers and placing them in envelopes and getting them ready for the mail), I will then also act as an observer in a field work area where some of the more skilled special needs clients are doing landscaping or cleaning jobs out in the community and bascially observing how this process works, another item I will be doing is taking on my own client case to work with, and lastly do some readings and training on the special needs population. I will also do some observing in the classrooms to see how their training classes are ran for the special needs clientele. I am excited for all of this, but freaked out at the same time. I now this is normal only because it is different and to think that I will have my own client is probably the most scary thing I can think of right now. I just do not feel prepared enough, but I guess I will learn fist hand. I will start in early January, though, where as most of my other classmates for junior placement will not start until Feb or early March. The reason why I will be starting early is because with working with the special needs population, it is hard for them to understand why a worker is coming in and then leaving so quickly. Which is to be expected. My field placement will consist of 4 hours two days a week, so basically 8 hours a week until the month of May. I only have to put in 100 hours for my junior placement, but where I will be starting earlier, I will probably have a little bit more than that.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Songs I have been listening to...

Since I got XM Radio last year for my birthday I have fallen in love with listening to the radio. I just love being able to listen to the radio and see the artist/or group and the song name. This is how I have been able to keep up with what songs are the ones that I like. Before I had XM, I would have to "Google" part of the lyrics to see what I came up with. Lately there are a few songs that I tend to turn up the radio, sing along, and then replay the song (another advantage of having XM).
Here is a list of the songs that I get excited about right now...
Train - "Hey Soul Sister"
This song is a bit quirky yes...but yet catchy once you listen to it a few times.
 Theory of a Deadman - "Wait For Me"
As a birthmother, I can relate to parts of this song...but I almost feel as this song is for anyone who is overseas and is talking to the loved ones back home here in the states.
Kelly Clarkson - "Already Gone"
I am typically not a big Kelly fan...but some of her songs really touch one's soul. I guess this song makes me think about how good I have it now with my marriage and where I could be if any of my past relationships would have ever worked.
and lastly...just a fun song to listen to when it is cold up here in Connecticut...
Zach Brown Band - "Toes"
This is just a fun song to listen to during the winter months to help you feel warm when it is freezing outside. It kind of has the Jimmy Buffett feel to it.

I know I should be writing about the different Christmas songs...but these just really stand out to me right now. Maybe later this month I will talk about my favorite Christmas songs.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Traditions

Every person has their own traditions that go along with each holiday that comes about through out the year. This time of year makes me think about what traditions I grew up with and which new ones I am creating with my own family.

Growing up some of the holiday traditions consisted of going to a holiday concert as a family, driving around looking at Christmas lights in different neighborhoods, going out to pick a real Christmas tree, and watching National Lamppon's Christmas Vacation. As a present, my mom would give my siblings and myself a new Christmas ornament each year to hang on the tree. I know looking back, that was always the highlight of the year to see which new ornament I would recieve and where I was going to hang it on the tree. Some of my friends from high school gave christmas ornaments as  gifts as well. Now that I am an adult, I look forward to hanging the old ornaments on the tree every year. I need to get to my mom's house to get my childhood ornaments that are still packed away in a box.

Now that I am married and live 3000 miles away from my parents, I have had to start some new traditions. Rob and I have started to decorate the house for the winter and Christmas season about a week or so before Thanksgiving. We both love the Christmas season and tend to buy several items on clearance after the season has passed and the stores want the holiday items off their shelves. It is always fun pulling the items out every year and seeing the house be transformed. We have four Christmas trees this year. Yes, I did say four.  Two on the main floor, one on the top floor, and one down in the basement where we spend most of our time. Our main Christmas tree on the main floor is themed with Purple, Green, and Silver ornaments. We have a miniature tree that sits on the vanity in our guest bedroom. I found mini musical instrument ornaments for that tree. The big tree upstairs on the top floor is the traditional decorated tree with all of the ornaments that I have been given over the past years. Finally the small three-foot tree in the basement is decorated with red and green bells. 

As a birth-mother, I started the tradition of giving Kaylee a Christmas ornament every year as well. I started it back when she was just a newborn and celebrating her first Christmas at 11 months old. What I also do is buy an identical ornament for my own tree. That way I can look back over the years and feel that she was somehow in my house for the holiday season as well.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Schumaker Holiday Letter 2009

Quite a few of my friends and family will be receiving their holiday cards from me very shortly. Inside the card is the annual letter that is becoming more common in most holiday cards. I thought I would post the letter here for people to see as well. That way, if you do not receive a holiday card from will know what Rob and I have been up to this past year. I hope that everyone who reads this has a safe and happy holiday season!

Holiday Season 2009

Happy Holidays! It looks like I missed my personal deadline to get the cards and newsletter out before Thanksgiving this year. Rob and I have been pretty busy, so finding time to sit down and type something out has been sparse. Rob and I hope that you all had a wonderful year. Here is what Rob and I were up to this past year.

We spent most of January at home. Rob received a Sports Data Mining Book proposal with a deadline of November 2009. He is writing the book with his academic advisor from Arizona. I kept busy with work and school. We had quite a bit of snow in the month of January and counted down the days until Spring!

In February, I finished a difficult Winter Trimester at school. I could not wait to be done with Economics and a Developmental Psychology course. I am happy to say that I did pass both classes and excited that I do not have to take any more classes from the economics department at school.

March brought the Spring Trimester for me, which consisted of Math and 20th Century World History. Rob was invited to a conference in China during the month of June.

April was an interesting month for me at work. AMC decided that all of the administrative assistant’s theatre wide would be no more. I had the choice of either stepping down back to the basic Film Crew level or have no job. I opted in keeping a job at the movie theatre due to not wanting to change companies. Rob and I hosted a neighborhood party to help get the baseball season back in motion.

In May, Rob and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We spent a quiet day at the house and just went to dinner. We planned to do a big celebration in June when we went to China.

June was the month of travel, travel, travel. The first weekend of June, I took a trip out to Oregon to help celebrate my grandparent’s 50 years of marriage. The following weekend, I turned 29 years old and Rob surprised me with a last minute birthday trip down to Eastern Tennessee. I had not yet been to TN and was very excited. We spent the weekend in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area of TN. A day spent at Dollywood was the favorite for me. Rob had fun showing me the sites and places that he had been to several times, which included a hike up to Clingman’s Dome. At the end of the trip, I concluded that I loved the Smokey Mountain area and could possibly live there. The end of June brought a ten-day trip to China. Rob was invited to present a paper at the China Summer Workshop of Information Management (CSWIM) Conference, which was held in Guangzhou, China. Guangzhou is southern China not too far from Hong Kong. We spent three days in Guangzhou for the conference and then flew up to Beijing exploring the city for the remainder of our trip. Since it was so hot, we did only a few things, but did experience the Forbidden City. We had hoped to get up to the Great Wall of China, but just ran out of time. Rob and I both agreed that we would like to go back to Beijing, and would go in early spring or fall when it is not so hot.

The first part of July, we spent re-cooperating from our China Trip. It took us about twelve days to get our sleeping pattern fully back to normal. This consisted of going to bed around 4pm, waking up around 1am and heading over to Denny’s for lunch since nothing was open. Near the end of July, Rob's sister, Carol, visited from Tucson for 9 days. I met Carol down in NYC the first couple of days of her trip. I showed her around the city by going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the first day and the second day was spent shopping at the world’s largest Macy’s down at Herald Square. During her visit, Rob took her up to Yankee Candle Village up in Massachusetts.

August brought an Ohio trip for Rob to help clean out his parent’s attic. August also brought one last trip for Paul and Sharon up to our house for the summer. Since Rob enjoyed the Yankee Candle Village so much, we took his parents up as well. The end of August school started again for both Rob and I. I am now a junior at Iona with just a year and a half left before I receive a bachelor’s in Social Work.

In September, Rob and I went up to The Big Exposition, which is located in Springfield, Massachusetts. One who does not live in the New England states may ask what the Big E is. Think of one large state fair for all of the New England states. Each New England state owns a state house and hosts local food vendors and exhibits. The fair lasts three weeks and thousands of people go every year. This year was the first year for us, and we will definitely be going back next year.

October brought a trip to San Antonio & Houston, Texas. We spent a weekend in San Antonio with my sister’s family and my parents. My nephew turned two this year and this was the first big birthday party for him with family and friends. While in San Antonio we went to the Riverwalk and also spent the morning over at the Alamo. Sadly enough, I was not able to find the basement of the Alamo. Part two of our trip was in Houston for the IIMA Conference. Rob and fellow Iona colleagues presented at this conference. As part of the conference, we spent about three hours over at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. That had to be one of the coolest things. Since there was a moon mission going on at the time, we were unable to view mission control. That would have been awesome to see, but we did have the opportunity to view the Saturn V Rocket. Halloween, Rob and I went to Ohio to celebrate an early Thanksgiving with his parents.

November is low key here at the Schumaker household. I am busy with working at the movie theatre, due to some of the larger holiday films out in theatres. Between work and school I do not have a lot going on. Rob’s book deadline is the end of this month. I know he is looking forward to being done with that for a month before it is handed back to him for any revisions that are needed. My Aunt Lori and two cousins stopped by for a visit this month. It was a great visit and I look forward to spending more time with her and the boys.

December will end the year with more work and school. Most colleges close for the month of December, but since I am on a trimester schedule, I will have class in December. Winter Trimester consists of another psychology course and then a required social work human behavior course. In December, I will also learn where my internship for the spring will be. Social Work majors spend fifty hours in two separate internships junior year in the spring.

I hope you have enjoyed catching up with the Schumaker family and that you have a very Happy New Year. Before you know it, we will be sitting down next year typing out the year events again. Estimated 2010 trips for us will consist of Oregon for my 30th birthday in June, Rob may possibly have a conference in Stockholm, Sweden also during the month of June. Mid October, we will be heading off to Amsterdam, Netherlands for the annual IIMA Conference.

Peace, Love, & Happiness,
Amy & Rob Schumaker


Naturally...I have had bad teeth ever since I was real little. I am prone to many cavities and it has never been a fun trip to the dentist twice a year. When I was in my early 20s I didn't have dental insurance due to the companies I worked for didn't offer it. Therefore, since going to the dentist is expensive I never really went. In the last couple of years, I have been more diligent in going to the dentist and just paying out of pocket. Yes, it is still expensive...but I figure if I try to take care of my teeth now, I will have some when I am in my elderly years (God willing). I have been though putting off getting some cavities taken care of due to time, scheduling, and any other excuse I could think of. Well this weekend, one of the cavities really started to hurt. I called my dentist on Monday to see what I should do. The hygienist said that it sounded like the tooth that needed to be pulled, so I should call the oral surgeon. *sigh* I called over to my oral surgeon and was able to get an appointment for yesterday morning around 8am. I was excited to finally get this tooth taken care of. I do not enjoy getting teeth pulled...and my dentist would have tried to fill the cavity...but it was on a far back molar which had no tooth under it and so it was longer than any of the other top teeth on the left side. By 830am I was walking out of the oral surgeon's office with one less tooth in my mouth and a prescription for hydrocodone. I had wanted to go to my sociology class yesterday, but since I was going to be doped up on meds I decided against driving.

I really hope that I do not have any more teeth issues until after the new year. That way any expenses I have can be put towards the medical reimbursment plan that Rob and I have through his work. Next year, I need to get my wisdom teeth taken out as they are causing problems and a few of them are compacted. yippee! lol
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