Thursday, July 31, 2008

A real post

First of all, let me just say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite Granny who reads my blog! She doesn't look a day over 77! Just kidding. She is one day over 77 though!

So, I want to talk about this activity we did at Bible study on Tuesday night. It was very enlightening, and eye-opening. To understand it, you have to know the letters to the seven churches which is in Revelation 1-3. The short of it is, what would Jesus say to each of these churches? They each get a commendation, a complaint, a warning, and a promise. For example, one of the churches is Sardis. They are commended because there are many in the church who are still very strong in their faith. But the complaint is that they have the reputation of being alive, but spiritually they are dead. Their warning is that they need to remember the gospel and start living by it again, because they never know when their life will be over. And the promise to them is that the faithful ones will be rewarded in heaven for what they have done.

So our "assignment" Tuesday night was to write a letter to our church. We were to write this from the perspective of Jesus - what would He say to us? What are our strengths and what are our weaknesses? Well, I went to town on this. It was very easy to list many strengths that we have as a church, but also weaknesses, especially looking in my own life.

So if Jesus was writing to us, this is what I said would be our commendation:
  • accepting and loving of each other and new people
  • financially support ourselves and others (missionaries) (we don't do fundraisers)
  • generous with money
  • many are faithful
  • when we're high on God, we're really high
  • continually striving to do better (new programs, build our faith, etc.)
  • generous with time; many servants
  • many encouragers

There were many that others saw that I didn't write down. We went around the table and everyone told what they had listed. It was very uplifting and encouraging, and interesting to see what different people would put down.

If Jesus was writing to us, this is what I said would be our complaint:

  • we need to continually check our motives (why we do good things)
  • there is strife over insignificant things
  • prideful
  • lazy
  • many have wrong priorities
  • we continually quench the Holy Spirit (we're scared to worship)
  • we're scared to evangelise
  • we're scared to let go of worldly things and worldly goals
  • we're mask-wearers
  • we have many members who are not faithful

After I got done, Tony said if I wasn't a woman, he'd let me preach on Sunday! Hah! I'm not ashamed to put our weaknesses here for everyone to see. Every church has weaknesses, and knowing them is the only way we can face them and improve.

If Jesus were writing to us, I believe He would warn us:

Step up to the plate! Better yourselves every single day. Remember - your goal is to be more Christ-like.

If Jesus were writing to us, I believe His promise would be:

Don't be ashamed of me and I promise I will not be ashamed of you. I will be right beside you throughout your journey, to support you when you aren't strong enough to do it on your own.

This exercise was really awesome, especially the fact that we each went around the table telling our points of view. Unfortunately, there were only about 30 of us there. It would be really great to have more (or all!) of the church involved. Then we could really get to work on these issues.

So what would Jesus say to your church? Or to you as an individual? It's something to think about.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Add on...

After I wrote yesterday's post on the women in my life, I thought of a handful of other women that have really influenced me that I did not include on this post. Please note that I did not mean to leave out anyone. I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by so many awesome women throughout my life, and I'll never forget what they've done for me, even if I do forget to blog about them!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Company of Women

As I stated yesterday, I was very excited about going to Jenn's last night to watch a movie with her and Lauren. I loved it! I always love hanging out at Jenn's. I tend to talk a lot when I'm around her. Which reminds me of a funny sidenote:

At dad's retirement lunch given by the county, we were all seated around a table together. Jenn kept staring at me, but I didn't really pay attention because she does that sometimes. Finally, as we were up getting food, she grabbed me, laughing. She admitted to staring at me, and had just realized why I looked so different to her.

"It's the first time I've ever seen you with your mouth closed!!"

Well, it's probably true. I just can't stop yakking when I'm around her! But I digress.

Before and after the movie, the three of us just sat around talking about everything, ranging from America's Got Talent to pregnant people to old high school yearbooks. On the way home I was thinking about how much fun it is to hang out with other girls. I love, LOVE hanging out with Stephen - I am constantly complaining about how little I see him - but I always need some girl time too. I am reading a book right now called "In the Company of Women" that talks about the necessary relationships that women have with each other. Admittedly, it's not the best book I've ever read, but thinking last night made me realize that I would be lost without the relationships I have with girlfriends.

Lunch dates with mom were so therapeutic (and now include dad and they are still therapeutic) that I make it a point to have lunch dates with other people as much as possible. I am a big routine person, I guess, when I think about it. Lunch with mom and dad is always at their house, and the meal is always soup and dessert. Lunch with Linda and Sherri is always at New York Deli. Lunch with Jenn is always at Chick Fil-A. Just getting away from work in the middle of the day and laughing, gossiping chatting, and playing cards (mom and dad) is very refreshing. And there are countless times that I have finished lunch with Granny only to sit there talking for a very lengthy amount of time! Those times are the best.

Once a month we have Ladies Group at church. The complaint that everyone has is that it's just once a month. We end up staying for about 3 hours usually, because no one is ready to leave yet. Just being with those women, eating junk food, having a Bible study, and making fun of our husbands or just flat out complaining about life is something I can't imagine not having in my life.

Then there are the silly or sweet messages I get through the internet throughout the day. Stephen's sister Jenn will write a cute message on my Myspace that will make me smile. Or Cindy will send me a message that just makes me crack up. Renee will forward me something that either makes me laugh or cry. Keely will send me an email scolding me for not calling her, and she'll end it by calling me some inappropriate name.

This is just off the top of my head. I can't describe how awesome all the women in my life are!

What would I do without the lovely ladies in my life?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hello stranger.

I had planned to blog today about our ground-breaking ceremony at church yesterday. We pulled up to church yesterday morning and there were bulldozers and mounds of dirt everywhere. Excitement!!! I took some pictures last night and really thought I'd upload them... didn't happen.

So instead, I'll write about something I'm really excited about. Movie night with Jenn and Lauren G.! We are watching one of my favorite movies, Closer. The first time I watched it, I watched it twice in a row, got on Amazon and bought it, bought Damien Rice's CD which features one song on the movie, called a couple of my friends, and hosted the movie at my apartment. Two more times. I don't know why this movie had such a huge effect on me! The only other movie that is on the same level of "affected-ness" is Love Actually. Best movie ever.

I was going to put some fun quotes from the movie on here, but to be honest, they either don't make sense because you would need to see the movie, or I'd have to censor them. So, I won't.

Maybe tomorrow sometime I'll blog about the weekend.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Does America have talent? Yes and no.

Why I love America's Got Talent:

Best of the Worst Award:

One of the Best (she really starts around 1:30):



We are so addicted to this show. I might post some other funny videos if I can find them.

*Edit - I cannot get these to play sound. So you might have the same trouble. I'm working on this to see if I can get it fixed. I guess I'm just an America's Got Talent tease!!*

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Photo Meme - for your pleasure

Because I never do these, but I really love them!!

1 - Name something a claustrophobic person should not get into: Submarine!


2 - What one thing does a woman spend the most time on when getting ready? Hair


3- What is a Spanish word that everyone knows the meaning of?


4- Name something in your bathroom that you leave plugged in all the time?


5- Besides golfers, what is something you see on a golf course? Flags

6 - Name a household chore you actually enjoy?


7-Name something you walk out on: Argument

8-Name a place where you see nervous people: Courtroom

9-Name something that can be cherry flavored: Throat lozenges


10-Complete this phrase: "I'll never forget my first ___": Hockey game


11-Name another word for "Dad":


12-Name another word for "Mom":

13-Name something a married couple might want to have 2 of? Sinks

14-What is the first part of a person's body to lose the war with gravity? Eyes

15-Name something that is sold in bulk:


16-What age would you retire if you had enough money?



17-Name something you find on a kitchen table: lazy susan


18-Name something that rhymes with "dizzy": fizzy


19-Tell me how many people you kissed last New Year's Eve: 2 (Stephen and Jenn Kl.)



20 -Name something you see in a jail cell: a cot



21- Name a month with 31 days:



22-Name an occupation where you might work all night: Security guard


23-What is something you would find on a boat: crew



24- What is the first thing you drink in the morning? coffee


25- Name a reason why people move? Got a new job




Monday, July 21, 2008

Stephen's birthday

Earlier I talked about wanting to cook something special for Stephen tonight for his birthday dinner. It's one of our favorite meals but I don't think we've even had it since moving back to NC, which is just mindblowing. Actually, if I remember to, I think I'll put the recipe at the end because it's so incredibly easy and DELICIOUS!!! And awesome left over.

Chicken and Pasta


And anyone who's ever been with Stephen on any birthday knows what kind of cake he gets. A cookie cake. Well, we don't have a Great American Cookie Company around here like we do in Georgia, which is where we usually are for his birthday. So I improvised:

Hence, a big fat roll of cookie dough smushed into a circle (kind of):


And then Stephen creatively made his own cookie cake!





Now that's some sugary sweetness! It was deeeeelicious!

Okay, here's the recipe if anyone wants an easy, 30-minute meal.

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken
Ingredients:
Vegetable oil
3-4 chicken breasts
4-5 carrots
1 10-12 oz package of broccoli florets
2-3 cloves of garlic
12 oz angel hair pasta
2/3 cup chicken broth
basil
Parmesan cheese

1. Heat vegetable oil/olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add chicken. Cook for around 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove from skillet and place on paper towels to drain.
2. Keep oil in the skillet. Begin heating the water for the pasta. Add carrot to skillet, cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add broccoli and garlic to skillet, cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add chicken broth, basil and Parmesan to skillet. I use just enough basil to cover the top of everything - no more than 1 or 2 teaspoons. Parmesan I just shake over everything, stir, and shake again. You'll probably add more when you put the pasta on your plate anyway. Stir, put the chicken back in the skillet, stir again. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes.
4. Drain pasta. Or if you're like me, don't. You can place the pasta in a serving bowl and put the chicken mixture on top, or keep them separate and mix them yourself. I keep them separate because it's less dirty dishes.

YUM!!!

25 years ago today...

Stephen entered this world!

I hope I have the energy to cook something special for him tonight! I have something in mind, I'll just have to see if we have time for it. I can't say anything on here because once every 6 months he checks this blog, and with my luck it would be today. I'll take pictures if I get to do anything for him.
I love you honey!! Happy 25th birthday!
*Any old person jokes I could make at this point wouldn't even be funny because I'm six months older than he is. Drat!*

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My day of rest

Yes, that is correct. I had a day of rest today. I got up at 5:30 this morning to go to work, like usual. When I got there, another girl was pulling in behind me. No problem - I was supposed to be letting a girl shadow me for her internship hours. But this wasn't that girl. Turns out another girl thought she was supposed to work today. After politely debating for about 30 seconds over who would stay (I didn't want to seem too desperate to have some time off!!) I told her it was totally fine for her to get some hours. After all, I'll be there all night tomorrow night.

Well! A day with nothing to do? This hasn't happened to me in so long I didn't even know what to do! Well, not exactly. I knew enough to hop right back into my pajamas and turn on the TV. We started watching Stand By Me almost a month ago, so we finished it before it was even 9:00. Then we decided we wanted to grill steaks tonight for dinner. Not really a problem, except for the fact that someone in our household donated our grill to our church a couple of weeks ago. So we went on a trip to town. We first stopped by the Coalition to donate an old headboard and footboard. I shopped, but didn't buy anything. That's right, not even a book! Aren't you amazed? Then it was off to compare prices at Lowe's and Walmart.

Long, boring, tedious story short, we picked a simple yet nice gas grill from Walmart:



We both worked for a couple of hours this afternoon on homework - Stephen on discussion boards and myself on my midterm exam. Our reward tonight consists of steak, a little vino (me, not him), and watching UFC for three hours tonight. And I just so happen to have a pint of Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra in the freezer calling my name for dessert.

I have needed this day for so long now. I think God gave me today as an opportunity to refresh myself and get some much needed rest!! I am thoroughly grateful!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Landscaping stuff

We have been fortunate enough to get 98% of all of our landscaping FREE! Either from family members, friends, or leftovers from jobs that Stephen has done landscaping at. Stephen does all the work, so I just get to reap the rewards! I would work outside more but I just don't get home in time. Anyway, I wanted to post some pictures to show off his talents - these plants would have died long ago if it weren't for him!



These elephant ears were given to us by Stephen's mom:

As you can see, they have grown to be very large!!



I only noticed this bush yesterday. Are these blueberries? Stephen says no, and they don't really look exactly like blueberries, so I'm unsure...



I am so proud of our lantanas!!


My favorite part is the flowers:


They're like gorgeous little cotton balls!!

I wish she was my boss

Jessie: Guess what's on TV right now? It's on channel 57.
Me: Umm... Barney?
Jessie: (rolls eyes) No... that's on channel 4.
Me: Umm... Zack and Cody?
Jessie: Amanda... that's on channel 16.
We interrupt this dialogue to let the reader know that this continued on for many. many. many. more guesses, all incorrect. Until finally, the correct answer was found!
Me: Yay! What do I win?
Jessie: (thinking) A day off!
Me: Wow!
Jessie: No... a WEEK off!!
Me: WOW!
Jessie: No.... um... FIVE WEEKS OFF!
Me: Sweet! Are you going to talk to your dad about that? Tell him we worked out a deal?
Jessie: Yeah, and if he doesn't do it - *pbbtt* - he's out the window!!

If only it were that easy to get a day off, right!?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Anniversary plans

Never let it be said that Stephen and I go on boring vacations. We started planning our anniversary trip for September now, because, well, it's cheaper this way! A couple of weeks ago we decided to do the Travelocity last minute package thing, because we didn't really have anywhere specific we wanted to go. I was just happy that we had made our decision far enough in advance that we wouldn't have to worry about it anymore.

That was before we heard the news.

UFC is coming to Atlanta. The weekend of our anniversary.

Well, that just changes everything!!



We are now the proud owners of UFC tickets (which were almost sold out already), we're going to be very close to the ring, but not close enough to get splattered with blood. Hehehe, just kidding, that was for Jenn. They don't even have the entire fight card yet, but we know for sure:

Chuck Liddell will be fighting Rashad Evans
Rich Franklin will be fighting Matt Hamill
I'm tellin' you right now, if I get to see Rich Franklin up close, I will probably either pass out or never come home. I love him!! I am very excited about this!

Monday, July 14, 2008

You may not believe this...

Remember this? I have been looking for spiders everywhere, wanting to test my newfound un-fear of spiders. Well, I got my chance today! Poor Emma found one in the sink of the bathroom, and I think it scared her half to death. I can tell because when we ran in she had her hand on her heart and she looked both disgusted and ready to pass out. When I told her and Renee that I wanted to save the spider and put it outside, they looked at me like I was a loony! But I am really trying to change my perspective on these nasty little arachnids. Fortunately, Renee was woman enough to document the whole event:

"Come on Spidey, this styrofoam cup is a spider paradise!!"


Me: "What if I take my hand off the cup and the spider is gone?"
Renee and Emma: "Ewwwwwwww!"
Me: "Mwahahaha!"



I did it! I saved a spider's life!


Let it be noted and Renee and Emma stayed with me throughout the whole thing, even though they are both arachnophobes (sp?). This just goes to show than an old dog can learn new tricks.

Friday, July 11, 2008

#19 - Go to the Sunrise Theater

Last night, Jenn and I had the opportunity to go see a movie at the Sunrise Theater in downtown Southern Pines. We saw a great foreign film called Priceless with one of my favorite actresses, Audrey Tautou. Considering this was my first movie in a movie theater in a good two years, I was excited! We ended up getting to the theater a couple of minutes late, but just in time for some picture snappage:



By the time we made it into the theater, it was dark and the credits were rolling. So we didn't really have a chance to look around the theater or anything. Well, the movie is funny right away. So as soon as the first funny thing happens, we hear laughter on all sides of us. And I'm not trying to be ageist here, I'm really not, but you can just tell, we are in there with a bunch of old people. If you are reading this, and you consider yourself to be old, you have two choices. Number one, quit reading before I hurt your feelings, or number two, see what it is that makes you old. Okay, disclaimer over, back to the laughter. I don't really know how to describe this. Like, the guy in front of us just guffaws. That's the only word to describe it. But the lady behind us is laughing and going, "Oh my!" And then they're all there with their bridge and canasta buddies, nudging each other and laughing even harder.

Well then we get to this part of the movie and it's REALLY funny. I mean, you should see this movie. And everyone in the whole theater bursts out laughing. Only, when we all finish laughing, everyone else starts coughing up a lung! Cause I guess they all have emphysema! Jenn and I were laughing at everyone else laughing just as much as we laughed at the movie.

When the lights came on, and we stood up, everyone else was grabbing their walkers or canes, or just sitting around talking about the movie, cause that's what old people do. We were by far. by FAR. the youngest people in there. But it was so much fun!!

People laughed at our pictures but not one person offered to help us out:



I hope you all have some sense of humor, as this post is supposed to be fun and not cruel towards old people. I was just throwing in some stereotypes to mix it up a little bit. But they really did cough everytime they laughed.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A revelation

Have you ever walked into the bathroom and someone else was already in there? But it's YOUR bathroom? And you don't even like them and certainly don't want them there? Yeah, that's how I felt this morning when I stumbled into our bathroom (I don't wake up easily) and found this guy chillin' next to the toilet:



Okay, well I didn't actually get a picture of him. That is from a really awesome website, called What's that bug?. I went on there to identify this guy. I can't remember exactly now what he looked like, but I thought he was a wolf spider. Although any big, black, long-legged spider I see is automatically labeled a wolf spider in my mind.

So, many of you know my fear of spiders. I've always been afraid of spiders, but am also fascinated with them, which those two feelings don't really go together most of the time. Over the past couple of years, though, I have been more in touch with spiders. I have even gotten to the point where I can brush small ones into my hand and set them free. And what I tell people lately is, "I don't mind the big spiders. That might sound odd, but at least I know where they are at all times."

Well, I was caught in a big fat lie when I walked in on Wolfie up there. Fortunately, I refrained from screaming when he skedaddled across the tile, because I didn't want to wake up Josh. My first instinct was to call Stephen. That's right, call my husband who works 45 minutes away and tell him that a spider is in our bathroom. Thanks, but no thanks - I can imagine his response would involve some heavy sighing, some eye rolling, and a lot of "So whaddya want me to do about it!?" I actually closed the bathroom door, stuffed it with a towel so he couldn't escape, and had my hand on the phone... but couldn't do it. I had to handle this situation by myself.
Fortunately, we had roach and spider killer from Charleston. It was bought specifically for me, because it sprays from such a far away distance. Now I had to go face Wolfie. It was showdown time.

The rest of the story is pretty much a pattern - Wolfie racing away everytime I spray him, and I spray him and then jump back 10 feet. Also, I am sweating profusely. Not fun. I ended up cornering him and then not taking my finger off the nozzle until he was covered in white foamy poison. Just the way I like 'em. My next thought was, "What the crap do I do with the body?" And I'll tell ya, it took me about 20 seconds to decide to leave him there for Stephen to deal with 10 hours later.

But the independent side of me wanted to finish the job. I had to find some way to flush him, because I heard that babies inside a dead roach will live for up to 2 weeks after the mother has died. Obviously, in my mind, this carries over to spiders as well. (I realize this does not corroborate with the fact that I keep calling the spider a "he", but whatever). Anyway, I ended up sweeping him onto a dustpan, shaking uncontrollably and praying that he wasn't going to jump up and yell "BOO!!" anytime soon.

What an awful way to start out the morning.

Oh wait, that whole long story you just read? Only used as background story for my revelation. So, as I mentioned earlier, I got the spider picture above "from a really awesome website, called What's that bug?". I started looking through their spider pictures (of which they have twelve pages of) and you know, when the spiders aren't moving, they aren't so startling. In fact, I kind of started feeling sorta bad for the poor thing. I mean, we were both just trying to do what came natural to us. And he had probably gobbled up a good many insects for us that we didn't know about. As of today, I am making an action plan based on my revelation:

1. Do not judge spiders based on their looks
2. Take a picture of spiders when possible and identify them
3. Kill them only when they are a threat to myself or someone else

Maybe in a few years I'll be able to encourage my children to love these arachids and not have the same fear I have.

R.I.P. Wolfie.

Monday, July 7, 2008

#5 - Buy a cheap and fauxbulous silver ring

Both cheap and fauxbulous, if I do say so myself. Thank you Claire's!




This has got to be the most posts I ever did in one day. I hope you can find your way through the maze.

Pennsylvania video portion

This is the chocolate tour in Hershey. Don't watch if you get seasick. Or if you're craving candy.

video

This is an example of what we did on the trolley tour:

video

This was the band that played on the streets of Gettysburg:

video

And this is Josh dancing to "goddess Diana":

video

So that gives you an idea of our trip...

#18 - Go back to Pennsylvania (i.e. I hope you like pictures)

As most of you know, Stephen and I went to Pennsylvania over this past week. We went with his two sisters, brother, mom, stepdad and dad. It was pretty much gogogo from beginning to end, which is the way I think it should be when you're visiting a place that you may not see again for a few years. Stephen and I had gone to PA for our anniversary last September and raved so much about it that everyone wanted to see it this summer. So we did pretty much all the same things that we had done the year before. Thursday was Hershey, Friday was Lancaster (Amish) and Saturday was Gettysburg. I forgot my camera on Friday, so ignore that day.

Hershey:

Ahh, chocolate world. The place where everytime you take part in a tour/movie/shopping, you receive free chocolate:



I am too cheap to buy these pictures, so this is a picture of our picture on the chocolate tour:






He only had two chocolate milkshakes... and it was devastating.




This is the trolley tour of the town. "Parents, if you have any small children, please make sure to keep hold of them for the whole ride. And children, if you have any small parents, please make sure to keep an eye on them during the whole ride."


These actors were the tour guides and also led us in singing songs, anywhere from patriotic songs to silly songs to songs from the '20's.




"Wilbur" dressed up as many different people throughout the tour. Here, he is Mama Hershey, passing out Reese's to everyone:







This is the whole gang when we walked City Island one night:


Stephen was bound and determined to buy this hat. I think he's kinda cute.



Gettysburg:




Triage costs an arm and a leg.



Our trolley picture:


We found an awesome butcher shop that sold us kangaroo and alligator jerky. Tastes just like regular beef to me. Here is Josh being adventurous: (he really did eat some)


Well, well, well! Look who it is! Miss Megan P. in the flesh!! I called Megs on the offchance that she was in Gettysburg for the weekend, and she just so happened to not only be in town, but be only a block away from where I was standing when I called her, and above the place we were having dinner that night. Isn't that wild!?




We went to a "ghost hunt" murder mystery dinner theatre. Jenn was chosen to be goddess Diana and Josh was a dancer trying to please her. If only the actresses had known what they were doing. After making Josh and another guy dance for almost a minute, they asked Jenn if the dancing pleased her. With a sly little grin, she said, "No!" which meant they had to continue dancing. Poor Josh! Hahaha. It was so funny.


We had to give gifts to goddess Diana. I gave two packets of sugar. Among other things, Jenn received a wadded up napkin, a Now & Later, an empty bottle of wine, and a dessert. Sweet!



There is Maryland to your right and D.C. to your left.


I'm sure I will post more later but I'm trying not to overload.