Schumaker Christmas News 2013

Christmas Front

Together we have lost 110 pounds. Click on the photo to contact us and find out how!

What a busy year!!

I wasn’t lying last year when I said that 2013 was going to be even busier than 2012. 2013 proved to be jammed-packed with many large events, trips, and a ton of new memories!

What does Optimal Health look like to you?

2013 was definitely the year of both Rob and I changing our lifestyle to get healthy. It all started back in July of 2012 when a high-school friend called me to have a basic conversation. She wanted to catch up and see what I had been up to since high school and to reconnect. One question she asked me was, “What does Optimal Health look like to you?” She had recently lost close to 85 pounds on a program that she was very excited to share. I told her that “Optimal Health to me was to be able to walk up several flights of stairs without getting winded, to not shop in the plus sized stores, to have a better outlook on life, and to not be emotionally addicted to food.” She invited me to listen to her explain the program that she was on and that she was now paying it forward to help others like myself achieve their own Optimal Health goals. October of 2012, I started my own weight loss journey with guidance of my friend who is now my health coach who gives me the support that I need to continue to stay focused on my weight loss program. She is teaching me how to keep the weight off while losing it. Since October, I am down 60 pounds and have went from a size 20 pant down to a 12/14 (depending on the cut). I honestly never thought that I would be this small again. In June of this year, Rob jumped on the same program and he is currently down 50 pounds. He never thought such program would work for him as he thought he would be constantly hungry. The program proved him wrong, and at times I have to remind him to eat!

If you would like to know more about the program that Rob and I have been successful on, I would love to have a basic phone conversation with you! If you are already at your healthy weight but know of someone else in your various social circles (family, friends, work, social groups) please forward them my information.
Amy Schumaker (phone: 203-516-8913/email:

Work & School:

In January I started my last semester as an undergraduate student at Cleveland State. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at Adoption Network Cleveland (ANC) and saw how a macro non-profit organization is run and how it helps citizens in the community. In April, ANC co-hosted the American Adoption International Conference in Cleveland. I was invited to be a panelist for one of the workshops and spoke about my personal views in an open adoption. From what I heard after the workshop, people were saying that it was one of the best workshops of the entire week. I felt honored to have been able to participate with some amazing people in the adoption world. In May, I graduated from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with many honors including: Magna Cum Laude, Phi Alpha (National Social Work Honors Society), Golden Key International Honors Society, and was inducted into the National Society of Leadership & Success. I wore so many honor medallions, I felt like Olympian Michael Phelps walking across the stage to receive my college degree. My parents were able to come out and spend a few days in Cleveland for the special event. While they were in town, we did a little bit of Cleveland site-seeing which included the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a Mother’s Day drive out to one of the lighthouses about an hour west of Cleveland.

Rob completed his first full year at Central Connecticut State University. He is still enjoying his teaching and he says being around the students keeps him young, though at times he feels old when he sees the year that the incoming freshman were born. Work has taken him to several SAP training conferences throughout this past year. One in January down in Texas, two weeks in Southern Georgia just after my graduation, and then one in Montreal, Quebec in June. He has been invited to be the keynote speaker at a conference this coming February in Southern Switzerland.

As for work, I have two different jobs. In January, I became a Certified Health Coach. I assist individuals across the country to achieve their health goals while teaching them how to maintain their weight loss once they get to their desired goal weight. I love assisting others and look forward to helping even more individuals. My clients typically lose 2-5 pounds in the first week and 1-2 pounds each week after. In October, I started working a full time job at Lincoln Technical Institute as one of the New Student Advisors. Lincoln Technical Institute is a vocational school that teaches individuals job skills for a number of different trades. The campus that I am at specializes in Automotive, Diesel engines, Collision Repair, Motorcycles, Welding, HVAC, and Electrical (business & residential). As a New Student Advisor, I help newly enrolled students (typically newly graduated High School Students) and their families through the admission process by being yet another form of contact on campus. I fit right in with the rest of the staff in the admissions office. I was given compliments from our National Manager at Lincoln Tech just two weeks after starting working there, when she felt that I could handle another responsibility of scheduling Financial Aid Estimate appointments when the outside field reps are in a family’s home enrolling a student. The reps can call me up to 11pm seven days a week. I do think this is going to be a very good fit for me.

‘On the Road Again’:

I have really been blessed to have married someone who loves to travel so much. I would have never thought that in the 6 years that Rob and I have been married that I would have seen so much of the United States and other countries! This year, Rob and I both were able to color in several states and a few foreign tropical countries on our world map. We started that in March where we took a 7-day Western Caribbean Cruise from Miami for my Spring Break Trip. This was our first cruise and definitely not our last. We only were sick one night but then found our sea legs for the rest of the trip and enjoyed visiting Cozumel, Belize, Roatan Honduras and lastly Grand Cayman. Rob caught the cruising bug, and shortly after getting home he had our second cruise of the year booked, which was a 7-day Alaskan Cruise in August. The Alaskan Cruise was one of the coolest trips I have ever been on and we both said that we would definitely go back!! Once we were back in Seattle, Rob and I were able to color in Alaska, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory, which means that we have been to 49/50 states! We are only missing Hawaii! While keeping warm at a coffee shop in Juneau, Alaska, Rob looked just for fun to see how much cruises would be for Christmas. Later that day, we were standing at the Future Cruise desk booking our third cruise of the year. We will be celebrating Christmas 2013 down in the Bahamas.

In June we packed up our Cleveland house moved back to Connecticut. Just one day after unloading the truck, we were driving north to spend a week in Montreal, Quebec. In July, I drove to Nashville and spent a week with 3,000 other health coaches at the Gaylord Opry Mills Hotel, mastering our craft in order to better serve those who are in need. I then spent a couple days with my sister and her family. My niece and nephew were very excited to have me down for a few days and were sad to see their “Auntie May-me” leave when it was time to go home.

August was spent out on the road. Rob and I broke in our new Subaru Forrester by driving from Hartford, CT to Portland, Oregon. The drive out took about four days and I was able to make a quick pit stop in Nebraska to have dinner with my Grandma Donna Morse. We then spent a week in Oregon visiting various friends & family while attending a health coach training session. After our Alaskan Cruise, we then took our time driving home and stopped at some of our nation’s famous spots such as, Yellowstone National Park, Crazy Horse Monument, Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug, and the Jolly Green Giant Statue located in Blue Earth, Minnesota. Due to all of our traveling, we did not attend any Major League Baseball games this year. We are hoping to attend a Boston Red Sox game in the early part of the 2014 season as well as many New Britain Rock Cat games (AA Team for the Minnesota Twins) throughout the 2014 season. Lastly, I was able to spend a couple days throughout the summer and early fall in Cleveland visiting some of my friends who I left behind.

Rob and I are looking forward to what 2014 brings us. I am sure there will be at least one trip out west to visit family in Oregon, a few quick road trips to Ohio and for our anniversary in May we will be sailing the Southern Caribbean Seas, on the Carnival Freedom.

We do hope that you all have a wonderful holiday and best wishes to the upcoming year!

Best & Healthy Wishes,
Amy & Rob Schumaker

Happy Holidays 2012!

Holiday cards were sent out a couple weeks ago. Due to limited cards, I really scaled the card list down and sent to close friends and family (especially those who may not be on Facebook such as most of Rob’s family). I did though want to post our holiday newsletter here on my blog, for those of you who did not receive a card can see a recap of what we did in 2012. Rob asked me if I would like to write the letter this year, and I accepted as it was a distraction for writing a term paper that I had been working on. We will spend Christmas here in Cleveland and then spend New Year’s with my sister and her family in Fort Campbell, KY. I am very much looking forward to getting away for at least one of the holidays!

Schumaker Holiday Letter 2012

Happy holidays to all of our friends and family! 2012 was a busy year for Rob and I, and by the looks of it, 2013 will be even busier!

Early in the year, Rob was still looking for a tenure-track position as his two-year Visiting position at Cleveland State was coming to a close.  This year he had interviews in Connecticut, Tennessee, New York and Indiana.  Spring Break brought good news and an offer from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU).  He is very happy with the position and has a large corner office just steps away from a restroom and classrooms.  However, since I had another year to go on my degree at Cleveland State, we decided that I would stay in Cleveland for a year and move after graduation.  Rob and I try to see each other every two or three weeks, as we alternate who drives out.

Spring and summer were filled with little trips to Connecticut, Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan and a two week trip out west to Oregon and Arizona.  For Spring Break, I spent some time at Fort Campbell Kentucky with my sister and her family.  We spent one evening at the Grand Old Opry and found a quaint Amish general store not too far from my sister’s house.  In May, Rob and I spent time with my Oregon friends and family to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary before visiting Rob’s sister in Arizona.  By the end of two weeks away from home, we were both ready to stay home for a while.  During the summer we managed to squeeze in three baseball games at Detroit, Cincinnati and St. Louis.  The St. Louis game was insane because we drove 9 hours out, went to the game and then turned around and drive 9 hours back.  That was an exhausting day but we got to check another ballpark off our list.  In late fall, Rob and I traveled to Chicago for the IIMA Conference. While there we drove to Wisconsin so that I could cross off the last state in the lower 48 off my list (Rob is still missing Idaho and Wyoming).  While Rob was in his conference, I went site-seeing and went to the Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower), Navy Pier and the Jane Addam’s Hull House whom was very influential in the field of Social Work.  Without her our Social Policy & Welfare System would look very different.  I even had the chance to sample real Chicago style deep dish pizza.

To complete my degree on time I have had an aggressive schedule of 19-20 credits for both Fall and Spring Semesters.  Even with such a heavy load, I made the Dean’s List both semesters.  Rob had another successful year of teaching at Cleveland State and received way above average teaching scores.  Even though he is quite demanding of his students, they enjoy his teaching style and recommend his classes to their friends.

This fall I started my senior year of my undergrad degree. I am taking another 19-20 credits this term. Classes such as a basic stats class, the second installment of my Social Work Research class (basically another stats class geared for social workers), the first installment of an Interventions class which instructs how to start and complete an assessment of a client.  I am also taking a required seminar class which meets once a week. The seminar class is to help integrate the classroom learning into practice while learning in our internship.

In addition to the four traditional classroom classes, I am required to complete a total of 480 hours over two semesters for my internship (roughly sixteen hours per week each semester).  This year, I am an intern at Adoption Network Cleveland (ANC).  When I first heard about ANC, I thought it was an actual adoption agency. I wanted to intern at an agency or an organization that was involved with the adoption world.  I needed to test my personal emotions to see if I could handle being in the environment on a daily basis.  Adoption Network Cleveland is not an actual adoption placement agency but rather an organization that works with all sides of the adoption triad in the domestic, public and international systems.  ANC is best described as the sand between the bricks in a patio.  They offer services, classes, meetings and other needs that adoption agencies in the area are unable to offer due to time, money or space.  I co-facilitate a birthmother’s group that meets face to face every other month with my supervisor.  Most of the birthmothers in the group are from the era where they were sent away to maternity homes for unwed mothers and were strongly encouraged to place their children into an adoption.  In my first semester at ANC I have learned quite a bit and am excited to see what will happen next semester.  ANC has opened my eyes and I know that it is the field that I want to work in after I finish school.

Outside of school I keep busy with three social clubs I run on  My “No Hats Required” tea group averages close to 35 tea events a year.  My “Cleveland Book & Movie Club” averages about two meetings per month each with one book and movie event.  I am also the leader of the “Cleveland Ladies Group” which is also faring well.

Rob and I are both looking forward to next year, as it is already shaping up to be another busy year.  In March we are taking a seven-day Western Caribbean Cruise and will visit Cozumel Mexico, Belize City Belize, Mahogany Bay Honduras and Grand Cayman Island.  We both cannot wait.  In April I will help with an International Adoption Conference that is being hosted here in Cleveland for four days.  I was told that I may have the opportunity to speak on a panel with one of the workshops.  In May I will graduate from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.  My family is planning on coming out to the graduation and I cannot wait as May is very pretty in Cleveland.  In June we will start our packing and move to Connecticut.  I never thought I would be sad to leave Ohio but I have made several very good girlfriends and I will miss them dearly.  Lastly, I hope to start the Graduate program for Social Work at Southern Connecticut State University in August.

Rob and I do hope that each and every one of you has a very happy holidays and a wonderful new year!

Amy & Rob Schumaker

Weekend in Connecticut

With Rob teaching up at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) this year and me staying in Cleveland to finish out my senior year, there will be many weekends that I will be driving to Connecticut for a couple of days. This past weekend was one of those weekends. It is a ten hour drive one way, therefore it makes a long weekend feel short since two days out of the four are spent driving most of the day.

A lot of people are amazed that I can drive that far by myself. I find it relaxing for the most part. I find a book in audio form and start the first cd as soon as I make it to the interstate and then listen to it all the way out and all the way back. This trip I listened to “Girl Who Played With Fire“. I wasn’t able to finish the entire book on the round trip…but I do love it.

I had a good weekend though up in Connecticut. Awesome weather for the entire weekend! Friday evening, Rob, Sparky, and I hung out at the hotel room and just relaxed. The last thing I wanted to do was to drive around in the car, since I had done that already for ten hours. Saturday, we spent the day up in Springfield, MA at the Eastern States Exposition (aka The Big E!). What is the Big E, you ask? For those of you who do not live in the New England area you are probably the ones asking this questions. Basically it is a huge state fair for all the New England States that lasts for almost three weeks. Rob and I went a couple years ago when we were living in Connecticut and had a blast. We though at that time felt pretty rushed and said that if we were to go back, we would go early and allow ourselves enough time to see and do everything we wanted to. This year we got there quite early, and had all day to eat and explore through everything. One fun thing about the Big E, is the Avenue of the States where each state has its own “house” on the avenue. In each of these houses (buildings), you can find food and merchandise from that actual state. For example, in the Maine house people line up and wait for an hour just to have a baked potato, some will go to Vermont and get maple syrup and flannel sheets, some will go to Massachusetts to get get a lobster roll or clam chowder, and some will go to the Connecticut house to get New Haven style pizza (aka – let’s burn the crap out of the bottom of the pizza and then sell it to people for eating). Rob and I like to walk through each building to see what each one has. We did wait in line for the baked potatoes since we were there before the long line had really formed and only really had to wait about 10 minutes. The baked potato was good…but I am not too sure if I would wait in the line again for it since I know I can make one better than that at home. We looked at the animals and sampled other various yummy delights, but did not stuff ourselves. Rob though had to get a famous Big E Cream Puff. He describes it as cream that is almost like ice cream between a flaky crust.

After the Big E, we tried a pizza place that Rob has driven by for the past couple of weeks. It seriously looks like a hole in the wall place and I was a bit skeptical. I figured that since it was Saturday…if I got ill, I would have all day on Sunday to lay around and re-coop before heading home on Monday. You laugh…but who seriously wants to be in a car for 10 hours and feel like you have the flu?? Not Me! I though didn’t have to worry about that because, the pizza at Town & Country Pizza was A-maze-ing! Oh how I have missed pizza from New England!!! No seriously…you have not ate good pizza until you have had a slice in New England. This place will be one that we go back to in the future. The crust was crispy but yet soft, the sauce was enough to have a good flavor but not too much for you to be sick of it, plenty of cheese, and the toppings had good flavor as well. The only down fall that they had was the service was a bit slow and they charge for any refills on the pop (aka soda). Saturday evening we then bought a bottle of wine and went back to the hotel for the evening. We then laughed and realized that we didn’t have a cork screw for the wine. Oops!!

Sparky though thought it was cool to stay in the hotel room with us. He got spoiled and was allowed to sleep up on the bed with Rob and I at night. Saturday and Sunday night he slept under the covers as well. That crazy dog stayed under the covers for several hours, as well! Sunday, we pretty much took it easy. I worked on getting some reading done for one of my classes, and Rob worked on updating slides for one of the classes he is teaching this term.

It was hard to leave this morning, but I knew that I would be seeing Rob and Sparky in just 10 days, since they are coming back to Ohio for a long weekend. Rob’s main reason to come home is to attend his 20 year high school reunion. My next trek to Connecticut will be the first weekend of November, to attend an Open House at Southern Connecticut State University – Graduate Social Work Program. That is where I am hoping to attend next year to start my Masters Program.

Here are a few pictures from this weekend. :)

Rob's Big E Cream Puff

Rob’s Big E Cream Puff

Sparky all snuggled up in bed

Sparky all snuggled up in bed

Grades, Trips, Anniversary!

The month of May is finally coming to a close. What a busy month it has been for me! I am glad to close this month on a good note!

The first week or two were very busy since I was trying to wrap up any papers that were due for my classes and studying for finals. I did very well in my classes for Spring semester. A semester that I thought I really bit off too much that I could really chew…I managed through it and walked away with a Semester GPA of a 3.72! I received 3 (A’s), 1 (A-), and 1 (B). This makes my Cumulative GPA to be a 3.65! Now if you knew me when I was in high school or just fresh out of high school at the community college…you would know that for me to get a gpa like this was probably near impossible!! I have really stepped up and gotten the job done. I really think that while it is difficult to go back to school as an adult…it is easier to grasp the idea of getting into a routine to make sure that everything gets done. Now I am a huge procrastinator…and yes there were times that in the beginning of the semester I told myself that I was going to get a head start on something…and well that never did happen. I worked my tail off though and I earned the grades that I received. I hope that I can continue my good grades for this next year and graduate with honors. That is my goal that I am setting for myself and I think it may be quite a challenge with everything that I have going on come this Fall Semester.

Once finals were over, Mother’s Day took Rob and I on our two week vacation. We flew into Portland, Oregon and were there for about 8 days. We spent it with friends and family with seeing a few sites along the way. We took a day trip and spent it up at Mount St. Helen’s. I hadn’t been up there in over twenty years and Rob had never been up there. Despite my grumpy attitude I had most of the day, as I just really wanted to stay home for the day, we did have fun, and were able to get some awesome pictures. We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary with some close friends over a Japanese Hibachi dinner. We also had my friend Sarah Marie take pictures for us as 5 year anniversary pictures. The pictures came out A-MAZE-ING!! If you are in the Oregon/Washington area and are in need of a photographer…Sarah Marie is your lady!! No seriously…she is. So call her! In addition to having dinner with friends on our anniversary, we drove down and had a visit with Kaylee and her family as well. She is getting so big, and it was great to see her and her parents!

After our week of perfect went by so fast…we said our goodbyes to my family and flew south to Arizona. We had not been to AZ for close to three and a half years, so we were excited to go. Dinner was at our favorite Mexican place in Tucson, which there are very few places that can replace it. Rob and I would crave that place from time to time…and so it was nice to be able to go. The next day we drove up north past Phoenix to a high school classmate of mine. She does hair and make-up from her house, and if any of you live in Arizona and need hair and makeup done, contact Holly at Gabi Jade Artistry. It was awesome to see her and to get a super cute hair cut and feel all grown-up with a make-up application that included fake lashes and all. That was probably the one two good things about the week in Arizona. The rest of the week was full of frustration, manipulation, and me counting down the days and hours until I got to step on a plane to fly back to Ohio. I will not be going back to Tucson for a very long time…and if I do I will not be staying at the house that I have down there if my sister-in-law is living there. All she gave me this trip was old emotions that I thought I had taken care of back long ago. Made me realize that I am a better person than her and always will be. I have the strength to stand up for what I believe is right, not push people down to get there, and to know when I need to get professional emotional help.

Below are some pictures from our trip and from what Sarah Marie took. I do hope that you enjoy!!



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Oh where have I been?

It has been quite awhile since I posted last. I guess you all can tell that school and other things have been getting into my way of updating my blog postings. Funny how that works at times. I figured since tomorrow is initially my last day of Spring Break, I should post an update to let you all know that I am still alive and breathing. With that…I even updating my background to get rid of the winter theme that I had.

Cleveland has had a very mild winter *knock-on-wood* so far. Since we are already in the middle of March we shouldn’t see any big bad snow storms coming our way, but interesting things have happened in the past. The temps have been in the mid-70s, which just is awesome. I love this type of weather and wish that it could be like this year round, but I know I don’t live in a perfect world.

So what is new?! A lot of stuff, I would say. School has been keeping me busy this semester, for sure. I am taking another 18 credits. I do enjoy most of my classes though. My Human Behavior and Social Environment: Macro class could be taught a bit better. I drag myself to that class every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon to entertain myself while the adjunct rambles on about various topics that are not in the book. He easily gets off topic and tends to find a way to bash any conservative type of thinking. I have learned that I can tune him out and read the chapter that we are suppose to be discussing. I might as well try and get something done in that hour and fifteen minute class twice a week, right?? The one class that I am really enjoying is my Social Work Research Class. Since Rob does quite a bit of research, I find that the research stuff comes a bit easy to me. I am in the process right now of working on the Research Proposal for that class. The research proposal is more to get our minds thinking about research and learn the steps along the way. I am looking at how a birth-parent or birth-family views adoption AFTER placement. I find that this is something that is not often looked at. We then in the paper will get to make up the actual testing to include in the paper, since we do not have time to test it in the time allowed. The other three classes are keeping me busy as well. The History of East Asia class is quite a bit more work than what I was really expecting, but yet it is very interesting. The Megacities of Asia online class is a bit boring. I wonder how the traditional style class is as it seems to be one that needs to be a bit more interactive. Then that leaves me with my political science class which is such a bore. I have never been big into politics and I will admit that I am already very tired with the Primary Elections that are going on. As long as Obama is ousted out of office in November, that is all I really care about. Bozo the Clown, could do a better job, if you ask me.

I have been busy with my tea group as well. The No Hatters have had many outings since the end of January. I am having to take a step back in how many events I can attend due to quite a few things. I though sat with my co-organizer and we planned out the events for spring and summer. I am excited for what is coming up. The new events that have been posted have members on the waiting list in hopes of being able to attend. This makes me excited as I know that it was a good thing to create this tea group when I was ousted from the Tea Nazi group.

The movie and book club has been busy as well. That one is not as busy as some of the other groups, but that is ok. We have a book meeting in a week. From what I have heard…the book was not any good and the person who recommended the book is no longer in the group. Well isn’t that just awesome?! I don’t have the time right now to sit and read for fun, so my co-organizer has been reading the books and filling me in. My co-organizer and I though did meet this past week and got a couple things planned for this spring and early summer.

Spring Break for me was spent down at my sister’s house fulfilling my Auntie May-me duties to 4 year old Peanut and 15 month old Sweet Pea. The kids have grown quite a bit since I saw them back in December. I love this stage for both of them as there are so many changes happening. Peanut is trying figure out what you are doing and so when you tell him different he stands there and has to process what you just said. Then he smiles and laughs. Oh I love that kid. While I was down there he wanted “spikey hair” since I have some awesome super sticky hair goop that keeps anything standing up. The Sweet Pea just wanted to go through my make-up bag and find my powder brushes and eye shadow brushes. Such a girl! In addition to spending time with my sister and the munchkins, I was able to go down to the Grand Old Opry. The night that we went had Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Charlie Daniels Band, Allison Krauss, and a few more. This time we had to sit pretty high in the rafters, but there really is no bad spot to sit in the Opry Auditorium.

That pretty much sums up what I have been up to. Tuesday will be here before we know it and school will be back up and running with a vengeance. How many more weeks until May 5th? Oh wait, don’t answer me that as then I will have a panic attack due to how much stuff is due between now and then!


Holiday Newsletter 2011

Since I have ran out of printer paper at the moment…I thought I would post my Holiday Newsletter on here for you all to read. With school and everything going on…the holiday cards will be out late. I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family!


The Schumaker

Holiday Newsletter – 2011

It is that time of year again where we all are rushing around trying to get everything in place for this holiday season. Some host Christmas at their house and some send the gifts off to the loved ones that they are unable to be with. I will say that even though the holiday season is crazy, it has to be one of my favorite times of the year. I love sitting back and reflecting on what Rob and I have done over the past year, and it seems as though the end of the year comes quicker the older I get. The older generations in my family warned me about this, but I never believed them until well now. Rob and I did have a pretty busy year with various travels, visiting family, and attending many Cleveland Indians baseball games.

2011 was again a year of lots of changes. While Rob did not find a permanent job he was able to fulfill his second year of his Visiting Professor position at Cleveland State. He is once again busy looking for something that will be a tenure track position that would be begin in Fall of 2012. He has had some very good prospects and so all we can do is hope and pray that something will work out. I left Universal American in the middle of June due to the decision of starting back with school in trying to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. I chose to stop working in June since Rob and I had a pretty busy summer ahead of us. As much as I miss some of my co-workers and some of the members who I helped on the phone, I know that I did the right thing.

Classes for me started up in late August at Cleveland State. I chose to jump in full time and took 18 credits. The first week of classes I began to think that I had bitten off way too much, but once I settled back into the routine of school the course load was not too bad. I took two Social Work classes, Abnormal Psychology, English, Biology, and then the Bio Lab. I just finished my classes with A’s and B’s. If I keep the pace that I am going, I should have a Bachelor’s in Social Work (BSW) by May of 2013. I have already enrolled for Spring and Summer classes. This spring I will take another two Social Work classes, American Government, History of Eastern Asia, and Megacities of Asia. In the summer I will take a geography class to satisfy another general education requirement.

This year once again was filled with many trips. My girlfriends always ask me if I ever stay home. I laugh and tell them that every so often I will stay at home, but yet I get antsy on wanting to go explore some place new. In March, I flew home to Oregon for my annual visit to see friends and family. The week that I am there always goes so quickly, but I was able to see everyone that I wanted in addition to sleeping in and relaxing at my parent’s house. The weather was decent for early March in Oregon which made the trip even better. In early May, Rob attended the Midwest DSI (Decision Sciences Institute) Conference, which he had been invited to submit a research paper to. This year’s conference was held on the campus of IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis). Rob presented his Harness Racing paper at the conference and also networked with others who attended. He enjoyed the conference so much that he is looking forward to attending the 2012 conference which will be held up in Ann Arbor, MI. The other conference that he attended was the IIMA Conference. This year’s conference was in New Orleans, LA. I went down to NOLA with him as I have a dear friend who lives there. While Rob was at his conference, Stacy was showing me the sights, sounds, and teaching me how to take in the different smells of the French Quarter, which I fell in love with. I look forward in going back to NOLA in the future. Since we drove down to NOLA we stopped in Fort Campbell and celebrated my nephew, Simon’s, fourth birthday. He was very excited to have his Auntie Amy and his Grammy and Poppy (my parents) at his house. I was able color in the southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas that trip as well. I will say that if Rob got a job in any of those states I would not be unhappy!

Late July, early August brought Rob and I to our annual summer trip. This year we took a road trip to visit a few baseball parks in the Midwest that Rob had not been to yet. Some of you know that one of Rob’s goals in life is to visit each Major League Baseball park before he dies. This trip we were planning on crossing off Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals) and Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals). Along the way we stopped at a few friends house to visit and Rob was able to color in the state of Nebraska since he had never been there before. Due to the extremely high heat while we were in St. Louis, we opted out of a baseball game. We did go through the Budweiser Factory while in town and ate at a local sports bar that was recommended by a friend. While in Nebraska we spent several days with my Grandma Donna and even ventured up to South Dakota and visited the Corn Palace. We also saw my 89 year old Great-Grandmother on this trip. We did attend a Kansas City Royals game. While in KC we visited the Harley-Davidson Plant and the Hallmark Corporate office/Visitor Center. We ended our trip by spending a couple days down in Fort Campbell visiting my sister and her family. We were able to meet our niece, Madigan Ellen as well.  In late September, I played tour guide when my parents came from Oregon to visit for a couple of days. My parents were able to experience Amish Country, the Smucker’s Factory, and see Cleveland State University.

In addition to our traveling and school, my social butterfly wings have spread to their max. The tea group that I created in late December (No Hats Required Tea Group) has been a success. I have two wonderful co-organizers which are very helpful. Our tea group travels around to tea houses within a three hour driving radius of the Cleveland area. The farthest we have gone was out to Dayton, and we frequent a tea house in Sylvania, Ohio called Sweet Shalom. Sylvania is on the Ohio/Michigan border which is about a two hour drive from Cleveland. Other than Sweet Shalom, we have found many tea houses to visit and try. Some we all look at each other and say, “Let’s not come back here!” and others we make sure that it goes back on the event calendar for later in the year. Our group at one time had about sixty members with about twenty active members. I cut the group down to about thirty-five by removing all of the inactive members. My organizers and I would rather have a smaller active group rather than a large stagnant group. I look forward to the tea events that we have planned for this coming year. One will be a house tea party will be in the theme of the Titanic which will be around the anniversary of that tragic accident, and of course we will head out to Sweet Shalom each month for their different full themed teas such as Little House on the Prairie. In addition to my tea group, I am also the organizer of a movie & book club here on the west side part of Cleveland. We try and read one book a month in addition to seeing a movie as a group together once a month, and lastly I was given the title of “Event Organizer” for the Cleveland Ladies Club that I am very active in. I have met some awesome ladies in that group that I can honestly call good friends. I host various events throughout the month which mainly consist of grabbing dinner at a local place that people may have wanted to try or attending a free classical concert by the Ohio Philharmonic.

2012 looks like a busy year and it has not even started yet for us. Our five year wedding anniversary will be in May. We are starting to make a list of ideas on where to go for celebration since we spent our fourth year anniversary in downtown Cleveland. We are waiting for Cleveland Indians 2012 Opening Day tickets to go on sale as this could be the last time we are in town for Opening Day. We went last year and despite the Tribe losing to the White Sox, it was a fun experience. I am in hopes of flying to Oregon possibly around Easter for even a quick trip to see my Oregon family and friends. I do wish that Oregon was closer to Ohio, but at least I will add more miles to my membership plan with my favorite airline. I am hoping that the weather here in Ohio is not as bad as what some are predicting for this winter. I have really enjoyed these fifty degree weather days that we have had the past couple of days in Cleveland. I know that the snow is just around the corner but I hope that it forgets how to cross Lake Erie from Canada this season.

Once again, Rob and I both wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe Happy New Year!

Rob & Amy Schumaker

2011 Road Trip Photos

As promised…I am here posting some pictures from the trip to highlight what Rob and I saw. I can not wait until we go on our next road trip. I though am having trouble posting pictures to this site, so I will post a link to my Facebook albums where the pictures can be viewed. I hope you enjoy!!

2011 Road Trip Part 1: Dayton & Terre Haute

2011 Road Trip Part 2: Hastings & Clay Center 

2011 Road Trip Part 3: Great Platte Museum & Corn Palace

2011 Road Trip Part 4: Lincoln, Omaha, Wizard of Oz

2011 Road Trip Part 5: Hall of Waters, Harley Davidson, Hallmark

2011 Road Trip Part 6: Royals Game & Fort Campbell, KY

2011 Road Trip Part 7: Opryland, Dukes of Hazzard, Ft. Campbell

2011 Road Trip Day 14: “There’s no place like home”

On the last day of any trip, most people want to be like Dorthy when she is in Oz and wants to go home. All they want to do is click their heels together and say, “There’s no place like home.” This was somewhat the case for me today. As much fun as I have had on these past fourteen days, I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, showing in my own bathroom, and having towels that don’t feel like sandpaper. I though was sad to leave my sister and her family on Post. 

Rob and I had a goal to leave the hotel between 8-9am. He got up early and attempted to once again eat a decent breakfast at the hotel. I took the extra 30 minutes or so and slept full well knowing that the breakfast buffet would be a complete joke. Once he came back from breakfast disappointed, I got up and threw some clothes on to get ready to go. It didn’t take us very long to get fully packed up and loaded into the car. We were on the road I think by 915am since we had to get gas before we hit the road. I am one who would likes to start the day with a full tank of gas while driving all day rather than drive for 30 minutes and hope to find a gas station. My car did pretty good most of the trip and we averaged around 30 mpg!! Not bad for a 2002 Ford Escort that has about 175,000 miles on it!!! I will need another oil change very shortly, though. :)

Our driving day though today was fairly easy. Rob thought it would be a long day but it didn’t seem that long to me. We played radio roulette with the XM and enjoyed the scenery while we were in Kentucky. I honestly could live in southwestern Kentucky as it is just very pretty to me. After only a few stops for gas, lunch, and stretching we were pulling into Rob’s parent’s driveway around 645p. We stayed for just a little bit to pick up the dogs and to thank them for watching our “kids” while we were gone!! By 8pm we were back on the road headed north as I wanted to get home at somewhat a decent time since we had to do a few things around the house before well going to bed. Rob had to turn the water back on to the house as well as turn down the A/C units as well.

It feels good to be home, and I know the dogs are excited to be home as well. Tomorrow I am going to try and post some pictures from our trip. We took around 1200 pictures, so it may take me awhile to sort through what is actually good for viewing! When I uploaded the pictures from the camera I had deleted the really bad ones or some of the duplicates due to trying to get just the right shot. Now is the fun part of deciphering even more what I will add to photo albums for viewing. Tomorrow will also consist of unpacking the suitcases and going grocery shopping! Busy day…but so well worth it! Friday my best friend from Connecticut comes to town for a few days. I can not wait!!

2011 Road Trip Day 12 & 13: Clarksville, Nashville, Opryland Hotel

The past two days have been pretty relaxing. Yesterday Rob and I slept in and just took it easy in the morning. Before actually arriving on post at Fort Campbell we had to go over to the main gate to get a pass for the car. Once we got through the long line we then were able to go in and out of any gate that is on post.

Yesterday also consisted of getting laundry completed so that we can pretty much go home with clean clothes!! Woohoo…not much laundry to do when I get home, which is always nice! Yesterday we played with Simon and then we all went out to Logan’s for lunch. Rob and I had never been there and it was sure good. It is kind of like a Texas Roadhouse only better.

Today, Rob and I drove down to the Opryland Hotel & Gardens located in Nashville, TN. I had never been in the Opryland Hotel and so Rob felt that it was important for me to see the gardens that were inside. Ok…maybe it is just me…but I am one who is just not “wowed” over gardens that are inside a huge hotel. Yes…it was kind of cool to see…but yet I was bored with in 5 minutes of being there. I took lots of pictures, but I think my mind was just on other things today, since we were only here in town to visit my sister just these two days. We did pick up some BBQ sauce though that is made with Jack Daniels here in TN. For lunch we went to a place called Opry Backstage Grill. Along with enjoying awesome southern cooked food, our servers every 10-15 minutes would get up on the small “Opry” stage and sing a song. After lunch we went over to a Dukes of Hazard Museum called Cooter’s Place which had Free Admission. If you are a fan of Dukes of Hazard, then you should visit Cooter’s Place the next time you go to Nashville. It is worth 10 minutes of your time.

We then spent the rest of the day with my sister and her family. It sure has been a good trip and I am looking forward to coming back down to the KY/TN area around Christmas time. Tomorrow will consist of getting up somewhat early and driving back home with a short pit stop at Rob’s parent’s house to pick up the dogs. I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, having a clean bathroom, and having bath towels that are larger than a hand towel to dry off with.

2011 Road Trip Day 11: Clarksville, TN

Today marked day eleven of our road trip. We got up some what early and said our good-byes to Kansas City and started out towards Clarksville, Tennessee. We knew that it was going to be a long day in the car as well, which is why we wanted to get out of town somewhat early. 

Since we are nearing the end of our trip, today just seemed very long. I felt like each mile felt like five miles and such. We made pretty good time though and made it to Clarksville, TN near 6:30pm with all of the stops for gas, restroom breaks, and attempting to find lunch.

To help pass the time I started to play one of the games that my sister and I use to play when we were kids on road trip. No it was not “I Spy” or “100 questions”. The game involves trying to find license plates on cars that you either pass or they pass you that start with each letter of the alphabet and also the digits of 0-9. One would think that this would be pretty easy but it is harder than you think.

Today we did drive through some little towns along some of the Illinois highways. One town was named Ware…which then entertained us with different funny signs that then provoked Rob or I to come up with a funny one liner. We drove past Metropolis, IL which is where there is a huge collection of Superman-Americana. I didn’t realize what it was until it was too late. Rob had been on the phone otherwise I would have asked him about it. If today would not have been such a long day in the car, I probably would have taken the next exit and went back to Metropolis to see what I could see.

We got checked into our hotel and then headed over to pick up pizza before heading over to Fort Campbell, KY which is where my sister and her family live. My almost four year old nephew was super excited to see us. He kept telling me, “You play with me? I play with you on floor.” I would respond with, “Not today, Auntie Amy is tired.” He would respond with, “Ok.” Oh I have missed seeing him. And then there is my 8th month old niece who is just such a cutie. I actually got to hold her for a little bit!!! This is a big thing right now since she is going through seperation anxiety between her and my sister. My sister thought though since I look and sound like my was kind of tricking my niece.

Not much more to report. I am super tired…and tomorrow will consist of just sitting at my sister’s house and hanging out. I have to work on laundry since Rob has no clean clothes, and my clean clothes are pretty low as well.

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