Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas cookies!

This afternoon Emma, Josh and I made cookies. I had found a few recipes I wanted to try from the latest Taste of Home issue. We set up sort of a little assembly line where I mixed up the dough, they placed it on the trays and then I covered some with the icing for the top. During the whole thing they were also busy working on their memory verses for the nursing home ministry next week. There were several interesting conversations throughout the afternoon.

Josh: "But Mary kept all this things and pandered them in her heart."
Me: "Pondered, Joshua, pondered."

Me: "Here is the dough in this bowl so I can wash this one and mix up the next round."
Emma: "You're making MORE?"
Me: "Yes."
Emma: "Why are you making all these cookies? Are we going to a party or something?"
Me: "We ARE the party."

Josiah: "But Mary kept all this things and pond-red them in her heart."
Me: "PONDERED."

Emma: "Josh you're making them too messy. They should be nice and round so they look nice for the party."
Josh: "What party?"
Emma: "The party we're having. Megan said we were having a party."
Me: "That's not what I said!"
Emma: "Yes you did."
Me: "No I didn't!! What did I say?"
Emma: "You said were a party."
Me: "I said we ARE the party."
*Emma looks confused and not at all convinced*

*a few minutes later*
Josiah: "Can I have one of these cookies?"
Josh: "No you can't we're taking them to the nursing home."
Me: "NO WE'RE NOT. These are for US."
Josh: "I thought you said--"
Me: "I give up."




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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa Claus

I have noticed through the years a great deal of animosity from Christians toward Santa Claus. While I think I understand their root concern I think that he has gotten a rather bad rap. One of the things that bothers me the most is something that was said at our church a couple of weeks ago. Someone I highly admire and respect mentioned that Santa Claus was based on fiction. I think I know what he meant but in all fairness the man that Santa Claus is based on was a real person. Wikipedia says:

Saint Nicholas of Myra is the primary inspiration for the Christian figure of Santa Claus. He was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes.
Also attached to the evils of Santa is generally the idea that "you know if you rearrange Santa you get Satan!" Umm Santa actually means "Saint". I think this is one of those things where the fundamentalists or something have really gone overboard. It's okay to not want to participate in something but you needn't make it out to be some evil thing. Just don't participate.

Now this does not mean I endorse lying to children and telling them that Santa really exists as we see him in movies. That's wrong just because it's wrong to lie to kids. I don't think though there's any harm in having Santa movies or stories just like we have fairy tales about Cinderella or The Three Little Pigs even. No those things didn't really happen but do we say that Cinderella is evil or that the Three Little Pigs are satanic?? Of course Satan can use the whole idea of Santa Claus to distract from the true meaning of Christmas but if Santa Claus had a day all his own separate from Christmas would we really have that much to complain about? I really doubt it.

Personally I have never really considered Santa Claus to be "cute" so I do not own any Santa Claus decorations but I think if you want them have at it. In fact if you want to put a Santa Claus kneeling at the manger scene I'm not even sure why that should be a problem hehe. Okay I'm sure I'm gonna get comments on that one. ;-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cute kids :-)

Well my new camera came in handy tonight at the CFBC Christmas party. Jenny brought her little ones with her and so we snapped a few shots. The boys found the fairy wings and wands in the dress-up box by the nativity at the church and immediately wanted to wear them. Haha. :-)





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My new camera

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ten HOLIDAY EATING TIPS!

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat step #3.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by:
'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a hand crafted beverage in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO what a ride!'

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

SNOW!!!




Sunday, December 7, 2008

Comments

It has come to my attention (thanks Mr. Wy!!) that my comments were broken...they are now fixed! Sorry if any of you tried to comment unsucessfully. :-) Now you can try again!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fun Names

My sister Haley posted this and it looked hilarious so I had to do it. :-D

1. Your name:

Megan

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letter of real name plus izzle)

Megizzle

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (fav color and fav animal)

Purple Cat

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (your middle name and the street you live
on)

Brianni Woodchurch

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2
letters of your first)

Creme (what the heck!!)

6. YOUR SUPERHERO NAME:( your second fav color and fav drink)

Pink Dr Pepper

7. YOUR IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name,3rd letter of your
last name, any letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your moms
maiden name, 3rd letter of your dads middle name, first letter of your
sibilings name(s), and last letter of your moms
middle name)

Eebrwhsmljjerjn (props to anyone who can pronounce that)

8. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (parents middle
names)

Kristen Howard

9. YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your
pets)

Black Angel

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Christmas "Spirit"

As I was driving along this morning running some errands, listening to the Christmas music in my car, and huddled in my coat with the heater on full blast it suddenly felt like Christmas. I instantly began thinking of all my friends who I've heard say recently "I just don't feel like decorating yet because I'm not in the Christmas spirit". Some indicated it was not time for Christmas yet while others just didn't "feel" it. I began musing on this and the thought crossed my mind--what is the Christmas "spirit" anyway?

When you think about Christmas and "feeling" what immediately comes to your mind? Mine thinks of the nativity, family, friends, yummy foods, and a general contentment and happiness. I suddenly realized why people might not be feeling in the mood. If you are missing some of these things can it be harder to feel in the "mood"? Why do we need these things to be in the mood? I think it's because the Christmas spirit depends on the attitude of your heart, and a CHOICE. Sure those things are going to make it EASIER to feel in the mood but they are not NECESSARY.

This is not to attack any of my friends who don't feel like Christmas right now but I decided that personally for me, if I sit around moping and pouting, and dwelling on my current situation I certainly wouldn't feel like Christmas. I have to make the choice to think about this time of year and what it means to me as a Christian. Does this mean that I'm "happy" and suddenly all is right in my world? Heck no! My situation is unfortunately still the same and probably won't change a bit through the holidays. I can however make a choice to dwell on the meaning of Christmas, what God has done for me, and have the joy of the Lord anyway. Just like sometimes we have to choose to be grateful at Thanksgiving, and choose to dwell on the good things we have and what God HAS blessed us with and NOT the things that are going wrong in our lives.

So I guess my challenge to you is this--if you are being a "Scrooge", scowling at everyone who tries to wish you a Merry Christmas and refusing to acknowledge the time of year just think about the real reason for the season. News flash! It's not about YOU anyway. :-) It's the time of year we celebrate Jesus' birthday, so think to yourself how you'd feel if it was your birthday and everyone walked around with their head to the ground whining "I don't feel like it's your birthday, I don't want to celebrate it right now". Attitudes are infectious and easily spread. If you choose to have the right attitude it will help others around you to do the same. If you choose to be depressed that same depression will dampen everyone around you. I'm not saying you have to pretend that your trials don't exist. It's about your RESPONSE to the trials.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil 4:8


MERRY CHRISTMAS ;-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Starbucks' Gingersnap Latte

Note to friends and enemies--when ordering the Gingersnap Latte at Starbucks you should seriously consider requesting they leave off the ginger chunks. Seriously. I don't know who fell asleep at the wheel and thought "ohhh chunks of ginger in coffee is great!" and decided to not WARN people that this was going to be in there. Oh my GOSH. I really thought I was going to be sick the first time. And the second time. A little Googling came up with the answer to the mysterious waxy chunks floating in the bottom. Gross.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dr. Zaino

If any of my friends in the Houston area are interested in a free Pappadeaux dinner in exchange for listening to a 15 minute talk on chiropractic care let me know. No strings attached (I know because I did it). They obviously hope that quite a few of the people who come will indeed schedule an appointment but I was with three people who didn't schedule and they didn't bat an eye or push them. If you want convincing to schedule an appointment I can help you with that too. :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

URL change

Just to let everyone know I bought the domain name so now you can just go to www.singingonlybyhisgrace.com! :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

cameras

With the biggest sales of the season approaching I thought I'd see if I could get some hints and tips from my many camera savvy friends (haha pun Savanna!!). I've been thinking I'd like to get a small camera to throw in my purse for snapping pics with friends and such. I'd like something very portable (read small and light) but my complaints about point and shoots in the past have been that the shutter speed ends up too slow and pictures end up blurry, the point and shoot I currently have being a Sony Cybershot from like five or six years ago I guess. I know just enough about cameras to know I don't know anything (I went to IPS in 2004 and I think I made Bs and Cs haha). :-) I don't want anything super fancy but I do want it to be a decent camera that won't make me end up with blurry photos. In my daily work I see lots of reviews for cameras and such but so far haven't noticed one particular camera getting a lot of excellent marks. If you have suggestions for a camera model/brand that is really reliable in this department post them and I will keep watch. Black Friday sales are coming up soon. :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The following is a real conversation that took place in the other room just now between two unnamed siblings.

Sibling #1: "Obama is our new president? What happened to the old one?"
Sibling #2: "I don't know. I think maybe he died or something."
Older wiser Sibling: "No he didn't we elect new presidents every four years."
Sibling #1: "We have to wait four years for a new president??"

:-D

Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama

I know this post will likely not reflect the opinions of many of my conservative friends but I just finally feel like I HAVE GOT to say some things. This election is completely unprecedented in so many ways and there are such heated opinions that people have resorted to all sorts of "name calling". Obama is probably the most discussed person in this election so let's discuss him for a minute.

There have been all KINDS of emails floating around out there with many interesting and somewhat ridiculous sounding claims about Obama. Some have to do with his acquaintances and some have to do with the man himself. People, before you blindly forward an email around can you do one quick thing for me? Go to Snopes and do a quick search to verify the email's validity. Many times all it takes is thirty seconds to discover a silly forward is completely untrue and saves everyone a lot of headaches. This applies for all forwards, not JUST forwards to do with the election. This has always been an extreme pet peeve of mine that people believe everything that passes through their inbox simply because it starts with something official sounding like "so-and-so at such-and-such company" or "I heard from my sister's husband this was true".

Okay so there are even more emails running around out there about Obama than I have personally seen so just know if you go here then you will find a list of them. Some of the most popular I've seen and heard of are that Obama is not eligible for the presidency because he is not a natural born citizen or that he wouldn't be able to be his own bodyguard because of his relationship with William Ayers. The first one is ridiculous because I don't know how people think he possibly got this far in politics if he truly wasn't a citizen. I know all you conspiracy theorists out there will give me all these reasons why but I'm not buying it.

There has also been discussion of whether or not Obama is muslim but I think that doesn't really jive with the fact that he's been sitting under that crazy pastor for however many years and then that Obama could be the antichrist. This is also more malarkey because as many of you know there are a lot of prophecies about the antichrist and Obama doesn't fulfill them. The email is rather hilarious because first it claims Obama is muslim (okay whatever) and then says that the antichrist will be a muslim (false)--so now we have lied to say he is one thing so that we can claim he is another thing when really that other thing doesn't need the first? That makes no sense whatsoever but it's late and I'm tired.

People also like to talk about how the world as we know it will come to an end if Obama is elected. I simply don't buy it. Do I agree with his policies? No. Do I want to vote for him? NO. Have I heard some of the crazy things he's said? Yes. But I also happen to know that this country has a lot of checks and balances in place to prevent one branch of the government from taking over and doing ridiculous things. I believe this system can and will work even if Obama should be elected. I also don't think he will do some of the absolutely insane things people keep claiming he will. A lot of those people are Christians and may I just say to you how big is your God? Sure maybe God has decided to withdraw His hand of protection because of the sins of our nation but even when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt and wandered in the wilderness for forty years because of their own stupidity and sin God was there with them the whole way. So just don't get your panties in such a wad. There is no need to borrow trouble.

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

I'm not sure why Obama has drawn so much more freaking out than any other presidential candidate in recent memory. Maybe it's because he's a likeable person whereas Gore & Kerry--well need I say more? Part of the frenzy may be that the Republicans just can't seem to get excited about McCain (I'm totally with you there!) and so they compensate by making Obama out to seem like the devil (or antichrist) to give everyone a good reason to vote for McCain. I personally don't think that it's necessary to get into all these side issue/personal attacks when policy can speak clearly enough for itself. If you need a reason to decide who to vote for just sit down with the Republican and Democratic platforms and decide which one you align with most. Then take the policies on McCain and Obama's sites and compare those. Which sound closer to you? Let's leave off all the negative criticism. As we've seen with Sarah Palin it is just a do-unto-others boomerang that will come back to haunt us. So yes, I say vote McCain/Palin but not because Obama is the antichrist. :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My birthday!

So my birthday was Saturday and it was good. Katherine (dearest of Dianas) was in town and took me out for lunch joined by Emily. That was a lot of fun!! Olive Garden is always fun of course but combine that with Katherine and you're sure to have a party. I also found Emily is a perfect addition to our goofiness and it was definitely a blast!

After I left there we went to my grandparents' for the afternoon/evening and some brisket. Oh baby!! I don't know how I managed to do it since I was still pretty full from lunch but I ate some brisket, sausage, "potatoes delish", beans and salad. Then of course there was birthday cake (TWO kinds!) and ice cream. All in all I'd say it was a great day. I mean what else are birthdays for but for eating right??

I'm also pretty happy because I realized my winter wardrobe was pretty pathetic (okay it wasn't a sudden revelation, I remembered that from last year but it was reminded me when I went through my winter clothes box on Friday) and ordered some stuff on clearance from Old Navy. I had found a whole bunch of stuff I wanted and added it to my Amazon universal wishlist for easy looking up later when I had birthday money. However when I discovered some extra moolah I didn't know I had on hand I decided to go ahead, set a budget and buy some of those things. I decided long sleeved shirts were most needed so I got three of those and a pair of lounge pants in my cart before checking on coupon codes on Google. If you sign up for newsletters from Old Navy you get $10 off $50 so I did and said "w00t with the $10 extra I can buy another shirt!" so I did. Then on my birthday Mom gave me an Old Navy card! She had seen the clothes in my wishlist and was at first disappointed I had already made a purchase but I assured her there were still more items I wanted but hadn't bought so now I will get those as well. That combined with money from my grandparents I am going to see if I can find some other needed clothing items. I shall have a whole new wardrobe when I'm done. :) w00t what girl doesn't love new clothes??

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gmail problem

Okay I'm looking for some help. I recently downloaded Microsoft Outlook 2007 (my work provides a free copy whoopee!!) and set up my Gmail as IMAP. I noticed that now when I send emails it appears to send twice. Nobody has complained yet about receiving double emails from me so the best I can figure is that when I send an email Outlook is saving it to the sent folder and also synching with Gmail and receiving the copy it has in the sent folder thereby giving me two copies. My question is, is there a setting I can change to fix that so I don't end up with two copies of sent mail all the time? It's pretty annoying!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What YOU can do for the election

Yes it's getting close to that time of year and it's my annual beg for the county. ;) Unless there is a good reason why you can't why don't you seriously consider contacting your local election officials about working the polls on election day? It's an extremely gratifying experience and you do get reimbursed somewhere near minimum wage for your time. Speaking as someone who has worked nearly every election since I turned 18 I can tell you no matter what election is going on someone needs help somewhere. And this is not just any election this is the election of a lifetime in my humble opinion. Remembering the last presidential election and how insanely crazy it was this one should be even bigger since there will not be an incumbent in the running. I'll be honest with you, it's hard work and you will be exhausted no matter how many hours you put in that day, but imagine how much worse it is when you don't have the maximum number of people working the polls you are allowed to have? It's a sad fact but there is also the point that many people with ill intentions work elections so they can try to throw results and have quite successfully done this many times. Just look at the nightmares there were in some of the Democratic caucuses in TX this year and imagine that kind of chaos at your voting locations. For the sake of integrity in the election process I also strongly urge you to consider helping.

Monday, October 6, 2008

24: Redemption

A one man team to save a country? All I can say is BRING IT ON!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do you want to work from home in your pajamas?

Want to work from home? Want to work part-time, flexible hours around a current job or school schedule? Are you available to go to Austin for a meeting or two beforehand? Then I have a job for you! Bazaarvoice is hiring!! Yes this is for real, no it's not a scam. They are even hiring seasonal help if you only want something temporary. I have worked over a year for them and have several friends who have just been hired. If you are interested the best way to get hired is to let me know you are interested and there is a certain procedure we follow to submit referrals. They prefer to hire this way rather than just random people showing up so your odds of being called back are much better. :-) Just let me know and I will talk you through the process.

Lessons Learned During and After the Storm

Someone wrote this forward I don't know who but it just about sums everything up!!!! :)


> Lessons Learned During and After the Storm
>
>
>>
>>
>> Subject: Lessons Learned During and After the Storm
>>
>>
>>> No matter how many times you flick the switch, lights don't work
>>> without electricity.
>>>
>>> Vienna sausages only appear on the food pyramid during hurricane
>>> season.
>>>
>>> Gas mileage is recalculated based on miles per fume.
>>>
>>> Lovebugs do not disappear in 80mph wind gusts.
>>>
>>> Disasters can cancel Texans football game.
>>>
>>> Despite protests, kids can re-live their parents' youth when there
>>> were only
>>> 3 tv channels!
>>>
>>> Cats are even more irritating without power.
>>>
>>> Houston without traffic lights resembles Mexico City , Rome , Los
>>> Angeles and New York City all rolled into a single snarl.
>>>
>>> There are/were a lot of really big trees around here!
>>>
>>> Just because you're 18 doesn't mean you can stay out as late as you
>>> want.
>>> Mayor White meant busine ss when he said curfew.
>>>
>>> People will get into a line that has already formed without having
>>> any idea what the line is for.
>>>
>>> Calories consumed during a hurricane or power outage do not count.
>>>
>>> Telemarketers function no matter what the weather is doing.
>>> New Delhi does
>>> not check the weather report in Houston .
>>>
>>> Most popular text message after September 11: do u hve pwr
>>>
>>> Twenty-seven of your neighbors are fed from a different transformer
>>> than you, and they are quick to point that out!
>>>
>>> Crickets and cicadas can increase their volume to overcome the sound
>>> of 14 generators.
>>>
>>> Dirty clothes in an unsupervised hamper multiply at an exponential
>>> rate.
>>>
>>> Coffee, spaghetti and frozen pizzas can be made on a grill.
>>>
>>>
>>> He who has the biggest generator wins.
>>>
>>> Tree service companies are under-appreciated, except after
>>> hurricanes.
>>>
>>> Water will fill the I-10 & SW Freeway.
>>>
>>> There are a lot more stars in the sky than most people thought.
>>>
>>> If you owned a store that sold only ice, chain saws, gas and
>>> generators, you would be rich
>>>
>>> With only a small amount of guilt Houstionians can collectively pray
>>> a second hurricane to landfall in another state or country.
>>>
>>> And so to our friends and families, some who are still without power
>>> and&n bsp; others who have endured great personal loss, you are in
>>> our prayers. Hang in there, we are making progress. Thank you to all
>>> our first responders, healthcare professionals, service technicians,
>>> teachers, police officers, small business owners, and more who join
>>> with the thousands of individuals sharing their time and talent to
>>> help restore our community to wholeness.
>>>
>>> The most important lesson of all learned from Ike in the last week
>>> is that the human spirit has an amazing resilience that even a
>>> hurricane cannot bend. Through God's love and amazing grace we can
>>> endure all things.
>>

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Psalm 61

I was thinking of some friends today and remembered this passage. It seems appropriate for a lot of things I know going on right now.


Psalm 61

1Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

2From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

3For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

4I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

5For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

6Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations.

7He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.

8So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.

Friday, September 26, 2008

After 13 days....

Our power is back on again!! How heavenly to use a hair dryer today! I'm so grateful to all the people who came from out of town to help get Houston back up and running again.

Now if we can just get the cable company on the ball...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More damages

Here are two more pics I snapped on my way around town. Things are ever so slowly trying to get back to normal but there is still much left to be done as far as cleanup and restoration goes. If you go to centerpointenergy.com you can see a map of the area and the red indicates outages. It still covers most of Harris county although there are pockets of power and businesses open but you have to know where. Our zip code is not expected to get power until after next Monday so we are in it for the long haul. :(


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

108+ hours with no power

Today, thanks to my great aunt, Circuit City came by and brought lots of ice, water and some neat backpacks with MREs, whistles, glo sticks, and first aid kits. They asked if there was anything else we needed but we are doing well. Ice was our only concern as the fridge was gone (nothing like a hurricane to make you deep clean your fridge!) and the deep freeze is not frozen all the way anymore. I also found some gas and filled up.
We are surviving and it's a pretty cool ride to see how God works. According to the latest projections we won't be getting power until after Monday so this thing ain't over yet.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

72 hours with no electricity

Since there is only so much one can do without lights one resorts to finding amusement in anything.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Coping with no electricity

After 48 hours of no electricity: Did you know if you boil a pot of water and run it through the basket of your electric coffee maker that it makes something very similar to the beverage you usually drink? So similar that with creamer and splenda you can hardly taste the difference!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurricane updates

We are alive. Power is still out for most of the area (the power company estimates still 81%). Here are pictures of the tree that landed on our house and one that was across the street.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Most accurate forecast model for Hurricane Ike

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hurricane party @ my house on Friday & Saturday! :-)

Well as we have watched today it just seems that Ike is getting closer and closer to coming straight through my back yard. I have a hard time balancing my multiple personality self about it. For several years, I would guess from when I was 8 to age 14 I diligently listened to my weather radio for every update and plugged the coordinates into the simple computer program I had. Then for awhile I used a computer program that would simply download the coordinates for me and I'd watch the animation as it plotted the storm across the ocean. I had such a great time studying storms of all kinds and even went to Weather Camp at the Weather Museum in Houston. Seeing the complexity of the storms always amazed me at God's handiwork and yet I have a healthy respect for what these things can do. I've always wanted to be a meteorologist and a storm chaser, following storm systems and observing them and yet keeping a healthy distance. I think one of the things that I love about storms is that they are predictable and yet unpredictable all at the same time.

As I think about the hurricane coming one side of me is excited to actually live through one, to experience it first hand (to completely fulfill this dream I would like to stand outside in the middle of the eye and watch the sun shine down and see the eye wall coming). And yet knowing the power that could be packed into this one, knowing of the destruction that would be caused I feel almost dread at what could be around the corner for many people I love. Storms are part of God's creation just as the flowers, a mountain, even a volcano. In a storm you can see God's power and glory that he could create such an intricate thing that seems to almost have life, to even 'breathe' and respond to the forces around it. So while I am concerned I am excited that I will possibly have a front row seat to one of God's most amazing creations.

Monday, September 8, 2008

As Ike approaches check this out. It's pretty cool. :-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lamentations 3:31-33

For the LORD will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Occasionally in the course of my job I come across cute stories. I was doing a review for Helzberg and found this one:

Title
Am I the Duck for You?
Text
The day was like no other. A beautiful Saturday in June without a cloud in the sky! My boyfriend Anthony casually asked me if I wanted to have a picnic in Central Park. Of course I said yes, not knowing what he had in mind!
When we arrived at the park, Anthony suggested that we rent a boat. We had never done that before, so I was excited to give it a try! We rowed out in the lake, enjoying the view of the tall buildings with the lush foliage at their base. Anthony rowed closer to one of the banks of the lake, where two ducks (male and female) were sitting. I made a comment that ducks mate for life and that was when Anthony asked, "am I the duck for you?" I laughed and said yes!! He then got down on one knee (in the boat) and asked me if I would marry him. I was so overcome by joy that I started to cry!! Needless to say, Anthony slipped the ring on my finger as I said yes over and over! I could not believe how exquisite the ring was. It sparkled so much that it cast a milion stars on the side of the boat! This moment was beyond special and everyday when I look at my beautiful ring, I am reminded of that day... and of course, ducks!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Dark Knight

Okay so we (Savanna, Micah, Luke & I) went to see The Dark Knight with Bradley, Barron, Hannah and some friends. Let me just say that was a really good movie. I went into it a little hesitantly considering all the warnings I'd received about how dark the movie was (although I thought to myself what can you expect from a movie with dark in the title??) and was pleasantly surprised. As it seems to be with all middle movies (I'm assuming this one is a trilogy) it does have it's downers and sad moments (I don't want to give anything away). I think that is almost inherent in the nature of middle movies. I read something one time about the Star Wars movies that I thought pretty much summed it up. The middle movie is like the middle OF a movie--it's where everything is building in intensity to the triumphant ending. Sometimes middle movies end with everyone in despair, other times it's just some major cliffhanger but the POINT of it is to make you want to come back to see the next one. I felt the ending of this movie was both of those rolled into one.

So is it dark? Certainly. I have to say though that I did not feel it was oppressively so. It WAS extremely intense which I guess may have Generally speaking super hero movies have reaaally baaad villains and I didn't feel the Joker seemed any more evil than any other villain in any other movie. I guess after Heath Ledger's death and all of the people insisting how he committed suicide because of the evilness and all that, it just didn't seem that bad. Hopefully this won't offend any friends who did think the movie was just extremely dark but I personally found it to be a great movie and will definitely look forward to the next one.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Music

I am so very excited because Mr. Socolofsky has made his Sunday School lessons on music available on the internet! These lessons were the best I have ever heard on music. It was a very balanced approach and very thorough. I would highly encourage you to take a peek here.

Part 2 of CI still in progress. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Houston CI, part 2

Okay I promised and I did hear some of you did enjoy my first installment so here is the second. Sorry for the delay!!

Well on Friday morning I was not really feeling excited about how my part of large group was going. Things just weren't flowing and didn't feel right and the kids were very chatty. After one particularly rough large group was over though it was like a big DUH. Ben said, "Megan we haven't been praying before we come out for large group." HELLO, earth to Megan!!! I also decided to get Mrs. Lawless & Mrs. Fessenden in on it and gave them a schedule of our large group assured me they would be praying during those times. What a dramatic difference!! I have always believed it but now more than ever I am firmly convinced prayer is most of the work. The weekend was so packed I don't know that I could even post all the pictures but I will see if I can't get one picture from each skit and I will try to put them in the right order.


This was the Authority skit with the parachutist (our parents are our parachutes).


This one is the God's Omelette where David (unsucessfully) tries to keep all of God's commandments (you break one you break them all).


So...hahaha...this was the Pocket Watch story which I always remember being horribly sad. Somehow they made it funny?? And still got the point across. Who knew!!



We had a game time which went over quite well!! This is dodgeball -- teachers versus kids. Hah.

Hockenstock! This one is about different kinds of lies (for Responsibility).


Job...

The Rose (Love)



The frisbee chasing dog.


The Muddy Glove illustration done in a skit. This was a first for me to see as well and it turned out absolutely hysterical (okay so they were all super funny!)

Parent Presentation!

And last but not least, Musical Chairs! The theme behind this one was the last shall be first and the first shall be last.

So that was the totally crazy, absolutely fun, and completely insane weekend of CI 2008. :-) I was sorry to see it end. I really wish if I was going to put all the work into it that I could do it two or three times in one year. Oh well, hopefully we'll be doing it again next year. :-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Houston CI, part 1

Wow, where to begin on such a packed week? For me it probably began about the first week of June. Curriculum had to be ordered, staff found, teachers recruited...not anything terribly time consuming until we discovered the catch this year--the Institute was not sending all of our supplies on the big truck. We had to purchase everything ahead of time ourselves. Cue major panic! Where was the money supposed to come from? How many kids should we prepare for? What am I doing???

Of course the more I contemplated the bigger the questions seemed to be and the fewer the answers I had. Things couldn't just be "simple" this year because that would be easy. Melanie and I had quite a few Google Talk, AIM, email, and phone conversations trying to hash it all out. I remembered how busy poor Melody stayed last year in materials and that was just sorting through the boxes of supplies already sent for us.

When we had enough teachers for 12 teams sign up it was decided to halt further recruitment. That was probably plenty of teams for 100ish kids and still plenty should we have more than 100 (I was thinking optimistically of course!). Melanie and I had decided to plan for 100 kids since we'd had around 86 last year, but after pre-registration ended at 20 the numbers given us were that we should plan for 50. That made me nervous!!! Monday before the conference Hannah and I decided to go ahead and buy the craft supplies even though we hadn't yet received the money for it. I didn't think we could wait any longer. Since we were buying ahead anyway, we bought for 70 and hoped we could make it work at least the first night should we have more kids. At this point I was waffling back and forth over whether or not I had way over-prepared with the number of teachers. As I was reading through the curriculum and making teacher training notes I came across "El Shaddai" which means "All Sufficient One". It talked about faith and trusting God to give us everything we needed. It was almost as if God said to me there "You have trusted me for money, you have trusted me for food--do you not trust Me to bring you children?" Ouch!!!

On Wednesday, Sara, Hannah, and I met at the Bogners' house for some craft prep. The goal was to have all the supplies cut out and sorted but of course it took much longer than we hoped. The guess is that we spent around seven hours cutting thread, dowel rods, little boys and girls, and miscellaneous other shapes. Ben and Emily drove in at some point in the evening and helped cut as well but we still didn't finish.

Thursday we headed to the church and brought all our stuff upstairs. Since several volunteers made it there early for teacher training we put them right to work!!


The afternoon went very quickly between teacher training and preparing the
rooms. The children began arriving around 6:15 and kept coming until 8:00! Before all was said and done we had 93 kids!! God is so good. :)




For all my friends who taught CI growing up I had to be sure to tell you which stories and songs we did and include a few pictures. The first night our song was "Consider the Ant" and we used the Camel for Design. Stephen was pretty hilarious as the camel and actually drank I think a 2 liter bottle of water on stage.


So that is all the pre-seminar stuff and Thursday, hopefully part 2 will come tomorrow with the rest of CI. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Houston Children's Institute, July 17-19

Wow what a weekend!! It was absolutely amazing, completely exhausting, and totally crazy!!! To start with I had some amazing friends helping me and have to say thank you to them first.


Hannah -- You are SO AWESOME for helping with the craft prep!! I could never have done all of that myself and probably would have given up and sat in the middle of the floor crying. I wuvs you!!



Aaress & Tim -- Fabulous work on Wisdom Walk. You really helped keep the stage crew free to prepare for large groups (or catch our breaths) and materials was able to keep everyone stocked, all because of YOU. :)


Erin -- it was so cool to have you there this year! I know you didn't have much to do officially but unofficially you were such a help since you were available to run errands, get drinks, and be in skits. I love ya girl!!!


Sara -- The pictures are fabulous and you were such a help to have around!! It was really fun being able to work with you again. :)


Melanie -- The planning ahead of time was so much easier with you to ask headquarters all the questions for me! I don't know who to talk to about anything so I would have been totally lost. Also you did a wonderful job with games. :D


Amy -- once again it was sooo much fun working with you on stage. I can't imagine doing it by myself and having you familiar with stage work really helped.


Ben -- I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am for you driving down and being our ring leader. :) You are absolutely a natural both at working on stage with the kids and keeping leaders in line haha! I hope to have the privilege of working with you again someday!!



There are so many parts to this whole weekend that I am afraid I will forget something. God really worked in so many incredible ways and I really want to try to share as many of them as possible. I am going to post in parts so that it is easier to do some now and more later. Look for part complete with pictures soon!

hurricane season is here

I promise to post about the CI very soon but I am waiting for some photos so that I can show you as well. :) I did however find this article interesting on Tropical Storm Dolly. My Pappaw, Aunt Misti and I are pretty big weather fans and more specifically tropical stuff so we are watching this one since it has the potential to affect our local weather. I love the thrill of the chase. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

One week and counting...

CI is next Thursday through Saturday. We only had 13 kids preregistered as of 4 PM Tuesday. I hope we get more kids or we're only going to have one kid per team hah! Some lucky team will get two kids. ;) I am trying to write teacher training and finish memorizing hand motions but my brain is foggy... :(

Monday, July 7, 2008

Okay so the link I posted had a second part that I didn't know about. My bad.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, June 29, 2008

and the bad news still comes

No words...nothing I can think to say. It's all so hideous, so sad, so bizarre.

Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.

Prayer needed for the Baker family.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Crazy stuff

This story is a hoot. I like to think of it as another classic example of God's sense of humor.

Friday, June 20, 2008

If this doesn't bring a little smile to your day

...I don't know what will!!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

waiting

Changes For The Buggy Family -

In the Master's garden, there are many beautiful things. All of
which He created and tends with love.

In the Master's garden, live many bugs and all manner of creatures
and the Buggy Family are one of these. There is Daddy Buggy, Mommy
Buggy and the baby buggy's, Bethani, Brittani, Bryon and Bryce. The
Buggy family are caterpillars. They spend their days searching for
food and following Daddy Buggy as he tells them where to go for the
best, juiciest leaves. Daddy Buggy is always very, very busy working
hard to help his family. The Buggy kids love their Daddy and Mommy
very much. But for all the Buggy's, life seems rather pointless.
They spend every day trying to find food, but with no purpose, no
joy and no hope in a better future.

Always in the background, somewhere near by, stands the Master
Gardener. He speaks to the Buggy family, but they are just too busy
hurrying about trying to find food to listen. Especially Daddy
Buggy, after all he is the one responsible for keeping his family
fed. Or so Daddy Buggy thinks. The Gardner looks down at the Buggy
family with great sadness, He thinks that He must get their
attention some how, so that He can help them and show them a better
way.

Mommy Buggy often crawls to the top of the leaves and looks up as
far as she can. There it is beautiful; she sees white fluffy clouds
and blue sky, in between the green of the leaves. She often wishes
she could go up there, it seems so peaceful. One day as she is
looking up, suddenly she sees for the first time the Master's face.
Oh how beautiful it is, more beautiful than anything she has ever
seen! She starts to listen to the Master and to ask Him questions.
Then she tells her Buggy family about this wonderful Master Gardener
who wants to take care of them all. Daddy Buggy isn't so sure about
this, after all Daddy Buggy is the one to take care of his family.

One day as the leaves are starting to fall from the trees and all
the plants in the Master's garden are turning brown, Daddy Buggy
comes to his family with sad news. Daddy Buggy says that he can not
find food for them anymore. He is very upset and he believes he has
hurt his family so badly that they can not possibly forgive them.
Near by sits a nasty little worm named Bitter, just waiting for such
an opportunity as this.

Bitter sneaks up to Daddy Buggy when Mommy Buggy and the Buggy kids
aren't looking and says to Daddy Buggy, "You will never be able to
find food for your family again, you might as well leave them alone
and try to find food for just yourself." Daddy Buggy starts to
believe the lies Bitter is telling him. Bitter follows Daddy Buggy
around and tells him more and more lies, like "You'll be happier if
you don't have to take care of all those Buggy Kids. Your family is
better off without a bad Daddy like you anyway."

Even though the Buggy family doesn't always hear the voice of the
Master trying to get their attention, they still feel the urges that
He has built into their hearts. They all know that it is time to
build a cocoon and rest for the cold time to come. As Mommy Buggy
and the Buggy kids build their cocoons, they work quickly, feeling a
little worried and starting to learn to call on the Master for
comfort. Daddy Buggy works on his own, without even talking to his
family. After their cocoons are built they all rest for a very long
time, waiting on something they do not even understand. While they
are resting in their cocoons, the Master is working on them. He
quietly, and with the touch of the Creator that only He has, changes
their appearance so that they are no longer what they were before.
They are now beautiful too, like the Master had planned all along.

Soon, spring comes, and with it warm weather. Mommy Buggy and the
Buggy kids start to wake up and stretch. They feel different but
aren't sure what has changed. As they stretch, slowly they tear
through the cocoons protective covering and push out into the new
air. Here they meet each other again with joy and amazement as they
see what the Master has done while they waited quietly on Him. Each
Buggy family member is now a beautiful butterfly, with the most
gorgeous wings of many colors. As they frolic and try their new
wings, slowly the family realizes that Daddy Buggy is not among
them. The children and Mommy look frantically and then discover that
Daddy Buggy is still in his cocoon.

Mommy Buggy and the kids fly near the cocoon and see sitting there
near by, Bitter the worm. Bitter smiles a very wicked smile and
says, "I have taught Daddy Buggy that he is better off to stay where
it is warm, then to come out here and risk facing this harsh world."

Mommy Buggy gasps, "That is a lie, Bitter! Daddy Buggy will never
know how beautiful he is now, how the Master has changed him, if he
doesn't come out of his cocoon." Bitter just laughs and slinks away.
Quickly Mommy Buggy flies up, up high, to the highest flower she can
find, and lands there. She calls desperately for the Master, and
before the words are even out of her mouth, there He stands. He
smiles a warm, knowing smile.

"Master, please, tell Daddy Buggy that he must come out of his
cocoon and come back to his family!" The Master reaches out and
gentle places a finger forward for Mommy Buggy to crawl on to.
Quietly the Master explains how Mommy must trust the Master for all
things, and let the Master work on His perfect plan in His time.
Mommy understands and is filled with peace as the Master promises to
restore Daddy Buggy to his family one day.

Mommy flies back to the Buggy Kids and shares with them this new
peace and wisdom that comes from the Master alone. Each day she
teaches them more about the Master as she learns from Him. Soon
after, the Buggy family watches as the Master comes and cuts the
branch that Daddy Buggy's cocoon is attached to and carries the
branch away. They follow for a short distance and see that the
Master places Daddy Buggy's cocoon in a cold part of the garden
where there is very little light. The Buggy family knows that they
can not go there. They must return to the place the Master has put
them and wait on Him.

So each day the Buggy family goes about the things that the Master
asks them to do. Spending time with Him, learning from Him and
listening to His commands. Each Buggy family member misses Daddy
Buggy so very much and they wish with all their hearts that Daddy
could be with them now. Each day they talk to the Master about
Daddy, never forgetting that Daddy needs to know the Master too, if
he is ever going to choose to come out of his cocoon. Many days pass
for the Buggy Family. Many days seem hard as their hearts long for
their Daddy, but even more of those days are filled with joy and
love.

One day as Mommy Buggy and the Buggy kids are up on a pink sweet
petunia flower sipping nectar for their lunch, they suddenly see a
shadow cross over above. Looking up they see a huge butterfly with
deep, rich colors, swooping down to land next to them. At first they
don't even recognize their Daddy Buggy, he is so changed! But then
they see who it is and they all cry and flutter close to each other
laughing. They welcome Daddy Buggy back to their family with love.
Daddy Buggy explains how sorry he is, to have listened to Bitter the
worm and to have left his family. He tells them of how the Master
never stopped speaking to him inside his cocoon and how finally he
listened and came out of that cocoon. They are so glad that he did.

The Buggy Family now live in the Master's Garden with joy each day.
They speak with their Master and learn from Him and Daddy Buggy is
not sad any more. How grateful they are, for the changes the Master
has made in them!

Waiting for Daddy Buggy,
Tawnia in Missouri

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Teachers needed!!

Hey everybody we are gearing up for the Houston seminars this July 17-19 and need teachers for the Children's Institute!! If you are interested in helping please let me know so I can send you an application. You can email us here. The clock is ticking so please let us know soon!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Set a world record!

Download Day