Friday, December 30, 2005

Our baby's growing up!

Friday lost his first tooth today! Our little baby is becoming a little boy!

We are so proud!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

To my Husband

I am so thankful for my husband of three years (minus two days, at the moment). Jon is the greatest thing that happened to me since chips & salsa, and so much better!

If you know us, you'll know how opposite we are. I'm the brainy one, and Jon's the scatterbrained one. :) Well, okay, so maybe that's not exactly true. Without Jon, I wouldn't have someone to tell me where my purse is, and my phone (which mysteriously found its way out of my purse). He also makes sure I don't give into every hairbrained idea I have, yet he lets me be creative. He tolerates the cosmetics on the counter, paintbrushes by the sink, work stuff on the table, and shoes...well, everywhere. :) He asks me for all my receipts, which I stuff everywhere except my pockets or the checkbook (where they're really supposed to go). He reminds me of commitments I've made and dates I forgot to write on the calendar (I mean, really, what good is a day planner for a person who can't remember it to write it down??).

Jon likes to have things very planned out, and he'd prefer staying at home with his own free time over most things, yet he surprises me with an extra effort on getting the house cleaned, a special night out, or a fun time running errands together.

I, on the other hand, like rushing from one thing to the next. I like being busy on Saturdays. I enjoy working and running errands, as long as I'm doing it with Jon. I like making big plans, and coming up with ideas that sometimes scare Jon and make him want to hide the checkbook. I don't worry about money nearly as much as Jon does, and it helps both of us to see the other side.

Jon and I often laugh about our first 6 mos. to a year that we were married, and how much we butted heads on everything! Marriage was a huge adjustment for both of us, mostly because we were so different.

We've come to understand each other and how we think much better now. But even if we get more like each other each year, I don't think anyone will ever think we're just alike. But I think I like it better this way. It's more interesting.

On the other hand, we have in common the things that really matter. I'm so thankful that I have a husband who reaches out to others and wants to be involved in ministry wherever he is. And I'm glad I get to be a part of that ministry. I'm excited by the calling that God has given us, and we have our whole lives together to see that calling fulfilled.

Happy Anniversary Jon! I love you!

Signs you're still a child at heart

1. You wave to cows in trailers as you pass them on the road.
2. You tell dogs (that you don't even know) hello.
3. You spend a quarter at the store to get a humongo super ball out of the toy machine, and then bounce it all the way out to your car in the parking lot.
4. You ask for map colors for Christmas.
5. You still wake up early Christmas day.
6. You quote Veggie Tales without realizing it.
7. You could stay in the children's book section for hours at Barnes and Noble.

Feel free to add to the list. I know some of you are still children at heart, too! Don't forget to read the previous post from this morning!

New bloggers!

I wanted to welcome Margie into the blogging world! If you stop by her site, don't forget to play with her pet penguin, Petunia! I'm adding her to my list of links, as well as Karen V., my soon-to-be sister-in-law. Karen's been blogging for a little while, so she's not exactly new to the blogging world, but we just figured out that we both blog. :) The Ode to her Peacoat is a must-read.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mystery Photo and other news

It's time for a game of Mystery Photo! I've taken a close-up shot of something around the house, and you get to guess what it is! Put your guesses in the comments, and then go to Teresa's blog to find out the answer! ONLY go to her page once you've guessed! No fair cheating!

In other news, I think we're going to pay off our car tomorrow! I say "I think" because we were supposed to last week, but somebody forgot to take the checkbook to Waco. ...Okay, it was me... It will be nice to finally own my little car! We've had it a little over a year now, I guess. What's really fun is changing my car from a debt to an asset in Quicken. I like to play with Quicken. I don't know what everything means, but I do know that when we paid off the truck it really made our financial situation look a whole lot better. Quicken tells you that the assets you have are just like money. So despite almost $10,000 in school debt, we might actually be in the black after tomorrow! It's amazing!

Next we tackle the rest of our (my) student loans. It'll be so nice to have those taken care of!

So one of my life goals is to get a song composed. I have had a song in my head for several years, probably pre-college and maybe even before that, that--throughout the years--I've grown quite attached to. It sounds really great in my head--lots of strings, a good balance of high and low, lots of layers, but sadly not many French Horns (I've got to find a way to fit them in). Anyway, I decided that since no composer was coming to my door to create a great work out of my song, I should at least try to do it myself. My only tool is Garage Band.

I'd like to mention that not many symphonies are composed in a garage, and therefore Garage Band is probably not the best tool for the task. When I try to find an oboe, all I find is jazz-playing trumpets. French Horns are nonexistent. I'd also like to mention that I have no idea what I'm doing in Garage Band. I had almost decided to post what I do have of the song so far, but decided not to do it. Instead, I'll just hope that a great composer happens upon my blog and is inspired to do great things with the song in my head. :) Either that or maybe I'll post it later. After all, a great idea isn't great unless it's shared.

On the other hand, it is a life goal, not a by-the-time-I'm-25 goal. So maybe I won't worry so much about it, and just wait for that composer to come along.

Announcement: The answer to Teresa's mystery photo is...the top of a computer monitor!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's finally cold enough

We finally turned on our heater for the first time last night. It was odd not to have to walk around the house in a hat and coat, and to sleep with less than three blankets on the bed. Perhaps we should have turned it on sooner. And yet, now that it's on, I've noticed that it rarely turns off! It's like we've finally let it do it's thing, and it's getting back at us for waiting so long by running as much as possible! I may have to turn it back a notch and put on an extra layer. Right now it's nice and toasty in our house. I heard it was 30 degrees outside and couldn't believe it! And I heard it might snow tomorrow!! What an exciting time to live. :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Life's Little Pleasures

Want to know a great thing to do? Stick your socks onto the end of your blow dryer, one at a time. Turn the dryer on Low for a few seconds to warm your socks up before putting them on. It's warm goodness for your feet. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Christmas already??

KLTY started playing their Christmas music yesterday. And I'm not just talking about a smattering a Christmas mixed in with the rest. I mean 100% Christmas music. And on a day where the high reached well above what is respectable for mid-November.

We're supposed to have a cold front move in today, and it may get as low as 32 degrees tonight, but still a high of 60 tomorrow. I'm happy with that, though. It will be good fall weather.

Friday's about to have his rite of passage from boyhood to neuter-hood. That's right. This coming Monday he will go under the knife and come away a lesser kitty. We've decided not to have him declawed. So far his claws haven't been a problem; he only uses his powers for good, not for evil. I suppose if they ever get to be a problem, then we'll reconsider. The problem for now seems to be his sharp little kitten teeth. We need to get some caps for those things or something!

Today I saw Friday jump up to the windowsill by himself for the first time. He's been using his scratching post to climb up there, but I decided it was time for him to figure out that he can jump two feet up to the window by himself, so I moved the scratching post. And he did it! He likes to watch what goes on out the window by our table. Of course, that window faces a very blank yard housed by a very blank fence. But it keeps him occupied, evidently. I would think the front window would be more interesting because there are cars driving by and people walking, but he seems scared of it in the same way he's scared of the door. Maybe it's too close to what he used to have living outside. I think I'd like to put a bird feeder outside Friday's window so he'll have something more interesting to watch.

Something Friday has started doing lately is sitting on my lap while I'm working. But not like a normal lap kitty. No...he has his back paws on my lap and his front paws on the desk/table so he can watch what's happening on the computer screen. Occassionally he gets excited and lunges for the cursor or something, but normally he just watches. What a silly kitty. :)

That's all for today. Was just going to mention the Christmas music but I got chatty. :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Carrots...or are they???

Want to hear something funny? Today Jon and I spoke at our church's Senior Adults Thanksgiving luncheon, and then we helped serve the lunch. I was spooning up green bean casserole in a line of volunteers. I look at the lady next to me and see what she's serving and say, "I've never seen such big carrots!" She turns to look at me and says, "That's because they're sweet potatoes!" :) Haha! The sweet potatoes were sliced the way carrots are sliced (thin discs), so they looked like slices of big fat carrots to me! :)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Dentist

I haven't been to the dentist since I had my wisdom teeth out. I even did the follow-up check-up over the phone! So when I got a job, I was hopeful that I would have dental benefits. Well, I did...if I paid for it. So now I pay lots of money every paycheck (well, the price of dinner out) so that I don't have to pay lots of money at the dentist (the price of a small car, it seems).

I went to my first appointment in three years this past Monday. I was very excited about it. After three years, my teeth just felt like they needed cleaned. So I make it to the office (after a couple of turnarounds and a call to the dentist to found out where the heck they were located) and fill out all the papers. I get seated in the comfy dentist chair and look expectantly at the dental hygienist, who was there to make the grime of 3 years go away. She grabs a tool, says, "Open wide," and proceeds to scrape on every surface of every tooth.

And suddenly I remember that I hate going to the dentist.

I hate many things about going to the dentist, but probably the thing I hate the most is the little suction thing they put in your mouth to get rid of the water they just sprayed in there. Every time I close down on that thing it inevitably finds my tongue or the side of my cheek to attach itself to. My whole mouth feels like it's being irrevocably pulled and pushed to get as much as it can into the tiny opening of the sucker. Then I open my mouth (after what seems like a battle with a black hole) and the hygienist keeps sucking the rest of the water out. Even then, there's still water left in my mouth! (The sucker seems only interested in human flesh, not anything liquid.) So I wait for the hygienist to turn around and I quickly shut my mouth and swallow. I wish she would have just let me do that in the first place.

I also had to use fluoride this time at the dentist. I remember hating fluoride, and I also thought I remember not having to have it after I turned 18. However, this hygienist was going to make sure I had it. Twice. I had to swish that horrible stuff in my mouth two times. By the beginning of the first swish, my tongue felt like it was on fire. By the end of the second, it felt like little ants had stung it all over. I didn't complain, because I thought that was what I was supposed to be experiencing. The fluoride was eradicating gingivitis, halitosis, and world hunger all in one. That's gotta be painful. However, later the dentist had me look in my mouth, and I saw my tongue, which looked like it had been stung by an army of ants! As far as I'm concerned, I now proclaim myself allergic to fluoride and I won't ever use it again.

All in all, I only had one cavity, and a small one at that. Which was good, because I had a horrible fear that my teeth were about to crumble away from the lack of attention they've received from a dentist these past 3 years. And I walked away not having to pay a dime, which was, in a way, worth it.

I do have to go back in a couple of weeks to get the cavity filled, and that happens to be the day Jon goes to have his first dentist appointment since he had his wisdom teeth out. After that we can enjoy our clean and healthy teeth together over a large Lemonberry slush at Sonic. After all, my teeth have been used to their sugar coating for 3 years. I would hate for them to be without for too long!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Virtual Friday

For all of you who can't stop by any time and play with the little kitty, I've put him online! Scroll down and see Friday in the left-hand column. Click on "more" to play with a toy. :)

Edit: Well, IE is dumb and didn't like having my little kitty in the left-hand column. Probably had something to do with "floats" or something in CSS, but I don't want to take the time to figure it out. :) is the kitty right in this blog!

Play with Friday on my blog!

adopt your own virtual pet!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The latest goings ons

Jon and I had our first day of a new ministry on Sunday. We are starting a Sunday morning Bible study and singing time at a physical therapy place. (For you Columbites, it's like the nursing home ministry, only at a rehab center.) We found out last Monday that it was going to start on Sunday, so that gave me 6 days to dust off the guitar I hadn't played in a few years and try to remember any chords I had learned. My fingers have been in constant pain this week as I've worked on getting callouses. Today I think they're finally beginning to form.

Anyway, I learned two hymns and two praise songs, to be played according to who was there (from the people we met Sunday, I'll only be learning hymns from now on). Jon put together a Bible study about Zaccheus (the wee little man).

I realized that my week of playing was not enough to actually be any good, but I felt pretty confident that I could play the tunes as long as Jon sang, but I couldn't do both at the same time. On Sunday morning, Jon was struck by "The Crud" and wasn't going to be able to sing. I frantically called my friend Margie, who by some miracle was running late and hadn't left for church, yet. She agreed to sing, thank goodness!

The only problem was that Margie is an alto, and I don't know how to transition songs to a lower key. So we had Margie trying to squeak out "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" while Jon tried his best with the lower notes, and I tried to at least hit the high notes while still getting the rhythm right on the guitar. Needless to say, it was a mess and I've got a lot more practice ahead of me. :)

We only had two ladies attend, and they were both very sweet Christian ladies who appreciated that they had a place to worship on a Sunday when they would miss their own church services. Jon did an excellent job with Zaccheus, and then we rushed away to make it back to church in time for Sunday School. I think we learned many things on our first trip out there, and hopefully everything will smooth out as we get more used to it. I think we'll have more attendees, too, when word gets out.

Our church has a volleyball league that happens every fall, and our Young Marrieds department is one of the teams. We try our best, but we're not very good. As a matter of fact, sometimes we're downright bad. Like yesterday, for example, we played two teams, three games with the first team and four with the second (they beat us so quickly we had time for one more game). We lost all 7 games! How amazing is that! And did I mention that the team who beat us four times was the 50-somethings team?

I know I definitely contribute. Yesterday the ball came right to me, and I caught it. I caught it! What was I thinking?! I also have a tendency to duck, too. Never put a person on the court who is afraid of balls.

But we have a blast. We laugh through everything, and occasionally we win a game or two. Last night two of our teammates played for the other team because they didn't have enough players (we always have good participation, despite our lack in talent). Both players were very good, Mike and Joanna. Mike spikes very well, and very hard. I learned this firsthand last night when I returned the ball with a head butt. Make that a face butt. Basically, Mike spiked the ball right into my face. It wasn't his fault at all, and he felt really bad, especially when my glasses flew in three different directions. Joanna took me home (because I couldn't drive blind!) to get my contacts to finish out the games.

Despite a swollen nose, a bruised cheekbone, and broken glasses, there are several positive things that come from this story. One, I found out I play much better with contacts. Two, I was getting kind of tired of my glasses anyway, and don't really think the prescription was correct. Three, I had been putting off going to the optometrist about getting the right contacts (the ones I've tried lately dry out my eyes) and this makes me have to deal with it now. Four, when the ball hit my face, it bounced off and back over the net, where the other team was not paying attention (something about a person getting whacked in the face can be distracting) and I got our team a point! Woohoo!

Jon missed the games because he was home sick. The cool front turned a little allergies into a full-blown sinus infection, and he was trying to get some rest. We've both been bundled up in blankets the past few days. You who know us know we hate to spend money as a general principle, and especially on things like heating and air conditioning. So it's nice to never hear the AC come on, and we haven't wanted to turn the heater on quite yet. Needless to say, I wore a hat in the the house all day yesterday, and we've stayed pretty well bundled up. Little Friday is looking rather poofy; I think he's figuring out what all his fur is for. He's also figuring out that my lap is warmer than the floor, and I just may have a lap cat after all. At least during the winter. :) But don't worry about us! (To my grandparents and parents who read this) We really could afford the heater if we wanted to turn it on, and it's not really that cold--just a big difference from the 85 degrees we kept it set on during the summer. :) And now that we're in the cooler months, we have an advantage that we can always pile on more clothes to stay warm!

See, to me, the air conditioning is like a contest. It's a battle of wills. Who will win? TXU or me? Of course, with TXU's rates always going up and up, I think they still win, but they don't get as much out of me as they could! Hahaha! I have prevailed! I have stood strong, battled hard, endured much! You shall never conquer me, TXU!

I gotta go grab another pair of socks....

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Baylor Memories

Well, I stole this from Teresa's blog, but I've bolded the things I've done, and italicized the things Jon's done (also changed/added some pictures).

Courtesy of the BU Line Magazine...see how many of these you've done!!
(the ones I have done are in bold)
Change your major at least once.
Get an internship, preferably one that pays at least minimum wage.
• Climb the magnolia trees in front of Draper. (no, but I climbed the oaks by the SUB)
• Participate in Rush, even if you don't plan on joining a fraternity or sorority. It's a great way to meet people.
Play on an intramural team with a cool name like the Thirsty Camels or Game Over.
• Run the Bear Trail in under eighteen minutes. (I think I made it in 20 minutes one time...)
• Study abroad for a semester or a summer.
Go to IHOP at 2 a.m. to study or just to hang out with a bunch of friends.
Participate in a volunteer opportunity like Steppin' Out or Habitat for Humanity.
• Go to Cameron Park and play in the water park, visit the zoo, and gaze out at the river from Lover's Leap.

Go to Sing and Pigskin and compare the two.
• Don't use Diadeloso as an opportunity to study or sleep. Go have fun--get hypnotized, compete in the tug-o-war contest, or get pulled into a mud puddle tussle.

• Schedule a semester where you get a day off every week. OR 2 days off a week is even more awesome, especially while living in NYC.
Celebrate Christmas at Baylor by going to a Chamber Singers concert at Armstrong Browning Library or watching the traditional Christmas tree
lighting during Christmas on Fifth Street.

• Chalk the sidewalk.
• Pick some cotton--see how many T-shirts you can collect from various organizations.
• If any sports team makes it to the Final Four or the NCAA championship, go to the game. Forget about class, papers, or tests--this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Enjoy Waco's favorite beverage by going to the Dr Pepper Museum, getting a float at Dr Pepper Hour, or driving to Dublin for a taste of the original.
• Climb the rock wall at the Student Life Center.
Get your picture taken while sitting on Judge Baylor's lap or with a Baylor icon like the bear mascots or the current Baylor president.

Go to a professor's house for dinner.
• Go to the Church Under the Bridge.
• Learn to sail at the Marina and try not to fall in the river.
• Play hide-and-go-seek in Burleson Quadrangle.
Get covered with food during Freshman Follies.
• Run with the Baylor Line onto the field at a football game. Yell throughout the game, no matter the score. If you can talk the next day, you didn't yell loud enough.
• Pull an all-nighter in the library during finals. (Not in the library, and I never hid in the art department, either, but I did stay up working on art projects)
Tailgate before a game either in the Ferrell Center parking lot or at Floyd Casey Stadium's Touchdown Alley.
• Read a poem by Robert or Elizabeth Barrett Browning while sitting in the Armstrong Browning Library's Foyer of Meditation.
• Learn to two-step at one of Waco's country dance halls, or travel up I-35 to West for some authentic Czech food and fun.
• Check out some legendary Waco-area sites--the concrete gorilla on Austin Avenue, the "giant mailbox," the entrance to President Bush's ranch, the witch's grave, or the Branch Davidian compound.

(what, that's not the right gorilla??)

• Wander around Oakwood Cemetery and look for the graves of the Baylor presidents and Texas governors who are buried there.
Find out how many times you can drive around the Circle and survive.
• Take a tour of Waco's historic homes.
Get a caffeine buzz at Common Grounds.
• Have no absences from class for a whole semester.
Steal a kiss on the Suspension Bridge.
• Attend a Baylor play, choir concert, or symphony performance.
• Pull pranks on people in the dorms--pour a bucket of cold water on a friend while she's taking a shower or put Saran Wrap over the toilet seats.
• Play a lively game of Frisbee in your dorm whenever there's a power failure.
• Write a letter to the editor of the Lariat about the latest campus controversy.
Drive to Independence to visit Baylor's original campus.
• Have a picnic at dawn on the field by the Marina. Applaud when the sun comes up and then go to class exhausted but exhilarated.
• Go to one of Waco's great old restaurants: have a late-night Healthburger and milkshake at Health Camp, enjoy a chicken fried steak and a beverage of your choosing at George's, eat a gut-pak at Vitek's, pick up some old-style barbecue at Jasper's, have a huge early-morning breakfast at Kim's, grab a double lip locker and some oriental fries at Kitok's, get a take-out burger from Cupp's and let the grease soak through the bag. (Thanks John!)
Help freshmen move into Collins Hall and enjoy a father's appreciative sigh of relief that you are the one carrying all of the stuff up the stairs. (Jon helped at Penland)
• Go to UnRush and try to figure out which of your friends is a NoZe brother.
Play a round of Frisbee golf or campus golf with a tennis ball and golf club.
• Participate in Jell-O fights on Fountain Mall during finals.
Stop and read the plaques on the memorial lampposts dedicated to Baylor alumni who died serving their country.
• Buy an official class ring and receive it from Baylor's president at the ring ceremony.
• Watch Chamber members clean the Bear Pit.
• Participate in Homecoming by helping build the bonfire, guarding the flame, stealing the flame, walking in or riding a float in the parade, or going to Freshman Mass Meeting.
• Be a Min-Con leader, big sister or brother, or mentor to a freshman.
• Jump in or run through a campus fountain. (I slid down the fountain on a cafeteria tray!)
Play in the snow on the one day of the year (maybe) that it snows, and make a snowman with what little flurries accumulate.

• Study for exams in an unusual place, like a hospital cafeteria
Sit on one of the campus swings with someone and don't talk--it ruins the moment.
• Take as many random road trips as possible to nowhere in particular.
Fall in Love.

• Learn more than you ever thought possible.
• Find a group of best friends that you will keep for the rest of your life.

Thanks, everyone, for helping make these memories possible! We are so blessed to have friends. :)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Pickle Day!

Some of you might remember that eight weeks ago to the day I made pickles. And today I could finally open them! Well, I'd like to report, while a little stronger than I expected, they are pretty good. A little crunchy, not soggy, which is good. :) Jon said they tasted like pickles, so I guess that's good. I've given them to one other person, and we'll see what she says before I really give my verdict.

Update: Okay, we have a verdict. The pickles are good, but very strong. :) The suggestion was to put more pickles into each jar. I think this goes to show that patience is actually not a virtue when it comes to pickling, and I should have just eaten them the day I made them!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Jon and I are going through the New Members Class at Wedgwood. It's a four-week Sunday afternoon class that helps us get to know the staff, the ministry opportunities in the church, the grounds, the budget, plans for the future, etc. It's been a very informative class. There are four young married couples in there, all from our Sunday School, as well as several other people.

Part of the class involves taking several tests: Personality, Spiritual Gifts and some others. My spiritual gifts were not a big surprise to me: mercy, exhortation and hospitality were my top three. But my personality! I had no idea!

I'm an otter! Who knew?! Well, apparently everyone else. Even the minister going through the test results with us said he wasn't surprised! Here are the "otter" words that I feel describe me: compassionate, disorganized, easily distracted, exaggerates, eye for nature and art, impulsive, insecure, people-centered. But I don't feel like I'm: extroverted, influencing, inspiring, natural magnetic grace (grace? me??), undisciplined.

I understand that people don't fit into any one category perfectly, but I never would have labelled myself as an otter. I have always thought I was a labrador. Labradors are loyal, have a few deep friendships, keep a fairly even-keeled life, etc.

A fear I have had is that I'm moody with a tendency toward depression. It's the artist in me that realizes that most artistic people aren't normal. But fearing depression and moodiness can actually bring about the very thing I don't want, even if I hadn't actually tended toward it in the first place. However, I'm an otter! I am bubbly and carefee! :) I don't need to worry about "no steenking depression!"

It's funny how having a new label has made me so happy. Few people who read this will know how I was when I was little. I was the gregarious, outgoing one who was always on the phone and always doing something with many friends. Then we moved, and then we moved again, and I increasingly became quieter and more introverted. I realized the change, and thought that's just the way I am now. My experience has made me this way. But it wasn't true. What I hadn't realized through my college years (and now after) is that I have been coming out of that, and once again becoming outgoing and making lots of friends. Those quiet years were actually just a healing process, and I hadn't realized it. In college--still thinking of myself as fairly introverted--I considered any outgoing personality to be a cover for my insecurity. I always thought to myself, "I know I don't make friends this easily. It's just my need to cover up my timidity." When, actually, I do make friends easily. I can carry on conversations and get people involved.

When I found out I was an otter, I looked at Jon in disbelief, and yet he had never had any doubt! I told my friend Margie at church (who is also an otter) and she said, "Of course! You couldn't be anything else." So what has been to me a discovery is to everyone else a fact of life. I'm an otter.

Jon, on the other hand, is a beaver, which is a good thing, because we balance each other. As the minister put it, the otter is going to have a great party, but there may not be any food. So the beaver has to be around to remember plates and cups and the logistics of things.

Here is a visual of what a beaver and an otter are like, and their dynamics together:

See? We're a perfect match. :)

Monday, September 26, 2005


I wanted to send out a loud CONGRATULATIONS to my wonderful friends Leanna and Joe on their ENGAGEMENT!!! I'm so excited and happy for you, and I can't wait to look through wedding books and help you try on dresses (speaking to Leanna here, not Joe) and do all the things you did to help me with my wedding.

We love you both and will be praying for you during your engagement (and beyond!).

Joe and Leanna

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Today during lunch I watched Mister Rogers with Friday (I'm trying to be a good parent!).

Click here for a trip down memory lane.

Most of you know that I didn't grow up with a TV. What you probably don't know is that my family actually did have a TV when I was very little. John was watching Mister Rogers when it broke. Leave it to my brother to ruin things for me. :) Well, my parents had two little kids and no money, so we didn't get a TV, and then we were all used to no TV, so we never got one until I was in high school, and only then because my grandmother moved in with us and she already had one.

Anyway, though I didn't have a TV at home growing up, I always liked to watch Mister Rogers at my grandparents' house. I mean, with songs like "You Are Special", who couldn't like it? Mister Rogers was just what little kids needed. They didn't know where they fit in the world, he said they were special. They had so many creative things running through their heads, he harnessed it with the trolley into the imaginary neighborhood. They saw different sized, shaped and colored kids, he explained that we were all different and unique. They couldn't express their feelings, he sang a song about being sad or angry and how to deal with those emotions. Mister Rogers spoke slowly, explained anything unclear, and always had a smile.

I feel like the experience today has helped my little kitty, too. He seems much calmer. The ADD of this morning has turned into an afternoon nap. Hopefully he will know that he can be like Henrietta Pussycat and play and learn all day long!

So to end my blog, always remember that you are special, and that you have made my day special. Just by being you. Isn't it a good feeling to be alive?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

And my kitten has poop on his tail...

Some things are just funny.

And this is. Friday has what Jon fondly refers to as a "Klingon" on his tail. He doesn't seem to notice, and it's like toilet paper on someone's shoe, you know? Just funny. Friday is oblivious.

I, being the devoted mother I am, am not about to clean my little boy's heinie. He can figure it out on his own, or I figure eventually it will fall off of its own free will. But it's been two days now, and it seems to be here for the long haul. Someone's gotta cave pretty soon.

So, kitten or not, Friday is still just a little boy, getting in messes, making messes, and carrying them around on his tail.

Just funny.

Edit: Well, Jon got home and read the post and was grossed out, so he, the GOOD parent, cleaned it up. What a great dad! As for the post, you can tell I just haven't posted in a long time, and was coming up short on what to post, so this is what I came up with! Maybe next time will be a little more high quality and a little less toilet humor (literally).

Click here for pictures of Little Friday.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Update on my life....

It's been awhile since I've blogged, at least in terms of events. Here are the things that have happened:

1) I have a job! Irony of ironies, I'm working back where I used to work! I had been very depressed about not finding a job. While I trusted that God would take care of us, it was quite a blow to me that after three months of searching I still had not found a job. Then, out of the blue, my boss called and said they wanted me back! It was such a blessing, and worked in a way that it could only be God. There are so many good things about the job: I can work from home. This allows me to see Jon at least a little bit on the days he works nights; he comes home at lunch, so I can see him then. I already know what I'm doing--no wandering around trying to find the bathroom, or wondering who I report to or how they will respond. They already know how I work--no wasting time training and taking a gamble on a new employee. The job is full-time (whereas it had been part-time before), which means that I will be given more responsibilities and more challenges, which will be fun. The job pays what we need so we won't have to take out loans for school, and might be able to pay our existing loans faster. And when I go into town once a week, I can visit with my friends!

2) I have a cat! Many of you knew that when I got a job I would get a cat. Well, even I wasn't expecting to get one so soon, but that's the way God works. :) The Friday my boss called to confirm my position, a neighbor brought over a stray kitten. He was a pitiful little kitten, 5 weeks old full of worms and mites, but he's getting much better. His name is Friday, and he's absolutely adorable. He went to the vet today, and he weighs 1lb 6 oz. He gained 6 oz. in a week! He's learning how to jump, though not quite succeeding. He's also starting to explore the house. And best of all, Jon loves him like crazy! :)

3) Roomie Reunion was this past weekend! That was a whole lot of fun. My roommate Leanna, and her roommates Karen (sis-in-law) and Angela all got together for a weekend o' fun. It was great. Enchiladas, brownie cake, fondu, homemade cinnamon Karen and I agreed, "A 5-pound weekend." Needless to say, I'm going running tonight. But the weekend was a great vacation and I loved spending time with friends!

4) My Mawmaw is home from the hospital after back surgery, and not only is she healing well, but she is walking, which she hasn't really done in four years!

5) Jon's started school! Lots of reading and papers, but he's very excited about his classes, and I love listening to all the things he's learning.

So I guess that's what's happened in the last 10 days. I wish you could all come see little Friday! Our parents have a grand-kitten, which is about as good as they're going to get for awhile! :) He's going on his first trip to visit grandparents over Labor Day, so we'll see how he does with travel (and with remembering where his litterbox is in a new house).

We've made it to the end of the Summer Without Jobs and God has provided. He's amazing beyond imagination.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Summer reading list

So I'm a little late in the game on summer reading lists, but I was wondering if anyone is reading anything good? I've read Garbo Laughs, which was kind of weird, but good, I decided. And now I'm reading Clara, about the composer Robert Shumann and his wife, Clara. Man, those composer people are messed up. Well, especially Shumann. He was known to have mental illnesses, evidently. Anyway, makes for an interesting story.

I'm also reading Christian Reflections by C. S. Lewis. It's a compilation of essays on what our Christian response should be to certain things. The first essay was called Christianity and Literature, and I really enjoyed it because I translated it over to being Christianity and Art, and it is very applicable in my field.

If you read this, can you list for me some exceptional books you've read, and maybe your favorite authors? Summer reading can commence!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cool things I learned today

Today I have learned several (at least a couple) cool new things:

1) I have found a great way to hide those pesky bra straps when wearing a tank top. Simply slide a bobby pin onto your tank top strap and make sure the bra strap gets hooked in, too! I put the bobby pins about where my shoulder blades are, so they wouldn't be seen in the front. Worked like a charm. I think I'm going to start a trend. I wonder if I could market them in clear...The Bra Pin, The Strap Strapper, The Most Amazing Bobby Pin! Well, the name needs a little work, but I feel like a genius! :)

2) You can go to the front desk at the Student Center of Southwestern and they'll give you a little cup of fish food to feed the fish in the pond--for free! The only fish that ate were the little tiny ones, not the big koi that stayed down in the cooler water at the bottom. But there were tons of little fish. At one point, I had thrown food all over the pond, and there were bubbles everywhere from all the fish going for the food!

3) This one's still tentative; jury's out 'til suppertime. But I think I found a new way to cook chicken. I read a recipe and then thought I would sort of make a variation. I put hot water, butter, garlic, chicken buillion, and dill (left over from the pickles) in a casserole dish and then the chicken and I'm baking "at 350 until golden brown." :) Or at least until it's not pink in the middle. We'll see how it turns out in maybe another 20 or 30 minutes. I'm hoping the chicken buillion adds flavor and juiciness to the chicken, and the dill a little extra tang.

So those are my discoveries for today! Therefore, go ye out and change the world with what ye have learned herein! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Spontaneous Pancakes

Last night I waited up for Jon to talk to him about a job possibility. When he got home, he was hungry and so was I (neither of us had had much dinner). So we went to IHOP! At midnight! It was fun to be spontaneous.

Other than that, my job situation is looking up. I guess it's still not certain, but I may end up working out of my house, which would be great! I love working at home, although I'll have to find ways to get out and about so I don't get too tired of being inside and I won't feel cooped up. My career goal has been to work from home. Eventually I want to freelance completely, but if I can get someone to pay me a steady salary and benefits while I work at home, I won't complain! I hope I'll be working at home whenever we have kids, because I'd like to stay at home with them but also be able to bring in a paycheck. Thankfully, that is a possibility as a graphic designer.

On the other hand, I like people, and I won't get to be with many during the week. No food days for my birthday or people popping in to ask how to do something on their computer. My friends will be those I meet at church, and my bubble will be pretty small. During the week, my bubble will be just me while Jon's at school and work. Me...and a cat! :) And my music up loud while I get my work done. I think I'm going to like it.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Sadness of Bruce Lee

Well, I fear that my little fishy's days are coming to an end. :( He quit eating before we went to Missouri, but picked back up by the time we got back (I guess not getting his daily portion of dried worms forced him to find all the food he'd been ignoring already in his bowl). But now he's quit swimming. He used to like to swim a lot, and now he just sits on the bottom, resting on the pebbles. :( It's very sad. Bruce Lee, the fighting fish, should now be called, Jabba the Hutt, the lazy fish who never moves (unless someone does that computer-generated stuff like in star wars, but I didn't think it was very believable).

So, if anyone has any parting words they'd like to say to little Brucie, I will convey them to him. He's been like this for a week, and may hold out longer, but I'd go ahead and get your words in soon, just in case.


Monday, August 08, 2005

In a Pickle!

Today I made pickles!

Here they are resting in their new homes, waiting for 8 weeks to be up so I can eat them!

Pickles are not exactly easy to make, but not necessarily hard, either. They're just work. First of all, I had to sterilize all the jars. This makes me wonder: if I'm buying canning jars, wouldn't it seem to reason that I'm going to need them sterilized? If someone comes out with pre-sterilized canning jars, they'll make a killing. At least in the canning population, which I'm willing to bet is a small and dwindling minority.

Anyway, they're done now, after only a slight to medium ordeal. Jon kept asking me why in the world I was doing this. There are jars and jars of pickles at Wal-Mart, and at the low price of 97 cents a jar! So why all the work?

Well, for one, I had an abundance of cucumbers. My uncle has been growing a plethora of cucumbers, evidently, so when we visited my grandparents last weekend, they passed off a sackful to us. It was only after that that I thought, "I don't even like cucumbers!" So they sat in the fridge for awhile, and then I realized, "But I do like pickles!" And thus the idea was born. It's like my own version of lemons to lemonade! :)

The second reason is a little harder to explain. I like homemade things. I like working with my hands. I value hard work, and not just by passing the pickle jar from the shelf into the cart. I like being able to see results from my labor (maybe why I chose pickling instead of job-hunting today), and being proud of something. Usually, that comes in a painting or flyer that I made or whatever, but those aren't quite the same. Paintings aren't useful, and flyers, though useful, feel sterile because they were made on the computer. Pickling--with cucumbers sliced unevenly, brine crusting on the side of the jars, and water splashed all over the kitchen--is real. It's down and dirty. I got to use my hands and make something useful. 8 weeks from now, I have 8 jars of pickles to consume! And hopefully other people will take some off my hands. That's another nice thing. I've made something that can make other people happy! (Okay, at least pretend to be happy when I give you a jar of pickles.)

I think I'm meant to do something other than what I'm doing. How did a girl who loves to get dirty and make homemade things every get into a line of work that requires sitting in front of a computer all day? Well, it happened because I love doing all the other art things, and this one happens to fund my other loves. Well, at least it will eventually.

Someday, when I'm rich and don't have to worry about how we're going to pay bills or anything like that, I'm going to make pickles, grow a garden, learn how to make stained glass windows, and stay dirty all day long! It's gonna be great...

PS--Check out the links I put in the left-hand column. I think they're all fun. And man, that Alphabet Game has had me working for hours!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Fighting doubt and fear

Note: I want to preface this by saying that I am not a Bible scholar. If I make mistakes about my history or anything, either disregard it :) or make a note in the comments if it affects any theology or anything. Thanks!


This morning I opened my Bible to my bookmark. I woke up really wanting to read God's Word this morning. I have made it a habit to read it every morning, but I confess I haven't been very faithful about it this last week, or very enthusiastic. So today, when I woke up thinking about it, I was glad. I have felt spiritually dry and strained for awhile. Anyway, I have been reading through the Old Testament, and I am on 2 Chronicles Chapter 32. It was a very good chapter for me to read this morning, and I wanted to share it with you.

A little background: Judah goes between good kings and bad kings. I don't know how God had so much patience with them for so long. At this point, though, there is a good king: Hezekiah. He has thrown out the idols, re-established the Passover, rebuilt the temple and re-instated the workers at the temple (the Levites and priests). As the Bible says, "He did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God. In everything he undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly." (31:20-21)

Well, Chapter 32 starts out with a threat to the newly revived kingdom. Sennacherib king of Assyria invades Judah and lays "siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself." I don't know much about history, but I'm pretty sure the Assyrians were a scary bunch. However, Hezekiah takes charge and readies the city for war--blocking the springs, repairing broken sections of the wall, building towers, etc. He assembles all the people who are about to go to battle and says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles." And with that the people were strengthened.

Sennacherib, however, also realizes that the battle is really within the mind and spirit more than in the strength of one's army. He sends a message to the Israelites saying, "On what are you basing your confidence, that you remain in Jerusalem under siege? When Hezekiah says, 'the Lord our God will save us from the hand of the king of Assyria,' he is misleading you, to let you die of hunger and thirst. [...] Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the people of the other lands? Were the gods of those nations ever able to deliver their land from my hand? Who of all the gods of these nations that my fathers destroyed has been able to save his people from me? How then can your god deliver you from my hand? Now do not let Hezekiah deceive you and mislead you like this. Do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kindom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your god deliver you from my hand!"

The king of Assyria continues to yell out insults on the God of Israel and speak of Him as though he were the work of men's hands. It does not say if this tactic worked, but I think it did, because of Hezekiah's response in the next verse, which I will write in a minute. Hezekiah's people are hearing all this slander about their God. At that point in history, I don't think the Israelites understood that there was only one God. I think they understood that Jehovah was THEIR only God, and that they could worship no other, and that Jehovah was more powerful than other people's gods, but that other people did have their own gods. So the fact that Assyria defeated the other people despite the help of their gods would have been a scary thought.

But here's my favorite part:
"King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz crid out in prayer to heaven about this. (Which is why I think that all the talk was affecting the people.) And the Lord sent an angel, who annihalated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king."

WOOHOO!! YES!!! We win again! And it had nothing to do with us!! Verse 22 says," So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all others. He took care of them on every side."

I know this is a long entry getting longer, and you can probably figure out the application for yourself, but get this: God handles our problems, not us. And Satan understands that the battle isn't in the strength of our arms to hold a sword, but in the strength of our hearts to battle discouragement.

We talked about a similar story in Ezekiel on Sunday, Ezekiel 38. Verses 18-23 explain how God will destroy the threat to His people, and without any help from them.

Are you discouraged? I know I am. I don't know what else to do, where else to turn. I feel stuck and powerless. But you know what? It's not my battle. Just like Hezekiah, I need to do what is good and right and faithful before the Lord. In everything I undertake, I need to seek God and work wholeheartedly. And beyond that, it's all God. When I get discouraged, I need to pray to God about the lies Satan is whispering to me. And then trust that God will deliver me.

God will take care of me on every side.

WOOHOO!! That's exciting!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Comment on a poem

My friend Hillary is a blogger, but not on this site. She uses Xanga, which is all well and good until I want to post a reply to what she wrote, because I have to have an account with Xanga, which I don't. And already having this blog, I don't feel like I need to have another. That being said, I really enjoyed Hill's poem today, and I wanted to pass it on as well as comment on it. I hope she doesn't mind (forgiveness over permission, right?). Not many people read my blog anyway, and a few of them the same people who read her site. If you mind, Hill, just let me know! Here is her beautiful poem:

today I know how neville feels
ensconsed by predetermined boundaries
surrendered to the liquid monotony
powerless to escape
from east to west
or west to east
the scenery never changes
and the destination stationary.

or maybe the illustrative hampster wheeling
in a perpetual vertical race
scrambling and flailing
hoping that the next minute
his efforts eventually might be rewarded
by freedom
or at least a mile that counts for something

and I own a circle too
if only on a different plane
a week that starts and ends
and starts again
with too much of the unchanged
and this glass that detains
just a small guage away from
my audience
in the boundless world beyond.

See? Wasn't that a beautiful poem? What a great description of life! At least life the way it seems now. I guess, then, that that's why the spontaneous moments are so fun. For once we're not on our wheel, but we're running! And going somewhere! Though only for a moment. The freedom that lasts is when we're not bound by the world any longer, but in a new world where we belong. So maybe that's the trick: not spontanaeity (sp?), which only lasts a moment, but working to further the Kingdom, which is outside this world and outside this wheel. Being "Kingdom-minded" is something I forget so often. I worry about the job I still don't have and silly things like money. I get caught up in my own worries that I don't think about others. So thanks for reminding me, Hill. :) I will step off my wheel now and run with purpose.

Monday, July 18, 2005

We joined a church!

Yesterday Jon and I joined Wedgwood. We're officially Wedgies now! Many of you know that we have visited several churches over the past month and a half, and we are very glad to finally be a part of a church. It was interesting looking for churches. We found big ones, small ones, (some as big as your 'ead!), nice ones, weird ones. I really enjoyed Willowcreek, by far the smallest church on our list. I believe that God has some really neat plans for that church, and I am glad to have at least been a part of it for a week. I also enjoyed the Bible study at Southcliff, and I think that the women in that Sunday School have a special bond that is rare.

But Wedgwood is where our puzzle piece fits the best. They have a Young Marrieds w/o Kids class, which fits us perfectly! (Not for long, if it were up to Jon!) The couples in there seem really nice, and they're working hard to start hanging out more and being involved in each other's lives, which is good. For example, this week we're going to a drive-in movie! Of course, it's not like Gatesville. This place is 18 bucks per car to get in! I think someone has a suburban, and I'm sure other people have SUVs we can all cram into. :) I don't think they'll be wanting my little Hyundai...

Also, while this has nothing to do with us, Wedgwood has this great kids program called LITs. I think that means Leaders in Training. It's for 5th and 6th graders, and they learn the importance of daily Bible study, worship, and especially evangelism. They also all have mentors in the church. This group of kids has evangelized to over 1100 kids, with about 150 salvations -- all since January! I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I've evangelized to 5 people since January, and I'm sure I haven't led anyone to Christ! These kids are very spiritually mature and really soaking up any teaching they receive. It's exciting, and reminds me a little of my 6th grade year, which was when I truly learned the importance of taking sermon notes and Bible study every day.

One way in which the LITs do have something to do with us is that this program is fairly new, and the "first class" is moving on to the youth group. They have learned the importance of having mentors, but there are no mentors. Pastor Al's sermon this week was about discipleship, and he called for people to become mentors to the graduated LITs (and any other youth that wants a mentor). Several people volunteered, including three people from our SS class. I think Jon and I would like to be involved in that, too.

Well, as you know, I really like to talk, and I just thought of about three more paragraphs, but I won't keep writing. :) But I will tell you my accomplishment for the day:
Jon and I went running this morning, and 1) he ran 1 1/2 miles without stopping and 2) I kept up with him the whole way!! Yay us! We're going to get in shape, yet. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Why we run

This morning I once again dragged myself out of bed to go running. I pulled on my shoes and filled my Nalgene bottle with ice and water. Heading out to the car, my brain was still in a morning fog.

The high school track was already occupied by two runners. One was a scrawny teenager who worked harder than the rest of us put together--running backwards, sideways, and finally forwards with his legs reaching as far as they could in front of him, as he periodically checked his time on his watch. He must be on the track team.

The other runner was a middle-aged man trying to fight the flab like the rest of us. As he ran, he beat at the air with his fists in Mohommed Ali-an fashion. Occasionally he also ran backwards, and I wonder if he always did that, or if he had been inspired by Track Boy. Either way, this Cassius Clay was in it for the long haul. He kept a steady pace the entire time I was out there, one foot in front of the other, pumping his fists in the air as he went.

My goal as a runner is to actually become a runner, not a jogger. Most people can pass me walking, so I'm trying to get faster. To accomplish that, I try to keep up with Jon, whose one step equals my two. I manage to at least keep him on the same side of the track as I am, and I feel that is an accomplishment.

As I run, I wonder why I put myself through it. My lungs crave air, my legs burn, my knees ache, and I burn under the sun. I could think of no worse torture! Why do I keep running? It's not for the view. The track looks pretty much the same all the way around. Every once in a while a few planes fly overhead, and I watch them until they disappear into the white-hot sun. All kinds of people come to the track, and it's interesting to watch them, but why not do that walking? Why run?

I breathe in as I take three steps, then breathe out three steps--regulating both my air and my pace. Breathe in. Breathe out. My feet pound softly on the rubber. The sound is full of energy, though by the end I notice my feet scuff against the track because I no longer have that energy to lift them high enough off the ground. I look straight ahead, trying to keep Jon in sight. I turn the bend and realize I've already gone 5 laps. Only one more to go, then the cool down walking lap.

I think to myself that I haven't once thought about problems that face me, or tried to work out the troubles of my family and friends. What is usually thought of as a good time to think has become for me a good time for absence of thought. Job choices, church choices, adjusting to change...all of that which normally runs its own laps in my mind ceases. I focus only on the rhythmic beat of rubber on rubber, the methodical push of my body towards the goal. I strain through a routine torturous enough that I can think of nothing else...and I am at peace.

Track Boy breaks my concentration by calling a polite, "Take care!" as he bounds off the track, though the practice field, and beyond the perimeter of the school, running the entire way as if he had the energy of 10 men...and he probably does.

Cassius Clay has slowed to a trudge, and his fight with the air has become half-hearted. I admire his stamina, however, since he was there before I arrived, and he was still there when I left.

Jon and I slowly make our way to the car. Our motivation to even keep moving is the air conditioner inside. Both of us feel we pushed ourselves a little more than we had the day before, and we are satisfied. As we travel home, I wonder if there will be any e-mails or phone messages from employers left while we were gone. My brief moment of peace is over, and I return to the reality of the day.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

When I grow up... (life goals)

Okay, so everyone has something that they want to have accomplished by the time they die. People say that if you write your goals down, they're much more likely to come true. I have two random and far-fetched goals in life, and here they are:

1) I have a tune in my head constantly, and have had it for years. I would like to see that tune composed for a symphony. I can't really do this myself. There are limits to Garage Band and to my knowledge of it. Although I guess that's a good place to start. But I would really like to work with a composer to get the song written.

2) I would like to go in a hot air balloon over the Serengeti. In my mind, I would see roaming elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions (not eating the previously mentioned animals), and gazelles on the plains. It would be great. Obviously I want to see them more up-close and personally, but I'd like to start in the hot air balloon.

So there are mine. I've confessed! I know they're a little far-fetched, but now they're written. The likelihood of them getting accomplished just jumped dramatically! :)

So what are yours? They can be as ordinary or out there as your imagination allows. Although maybe they should fall within the limitations of the laws of physics, so no flying or being the great disappearing man or anything like that.

If you read this, comment! I'd like to know!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Rainy Days

I woke up this morning to Jon getting out of bed to look out the window. I heard the gentle rhythm of rain outside. I guessed by the weak light coming in through the windows that it was about 6am but my clock told me it was 9. For the first time in a while I had decided not to set my alarm, and I was glad that this was the day I could sleep in. Jon came back to bed and we enjoyed listening to the rain while we were comfortable and dry inside.

Of course, already being awake, and being a morning person and someone who loves to watch storms, I didn't stay in bed long.

Rain is such a lovely thing. Especially during the summer. All the dusty dirtiness is washed away. The scorching heat is broken, at least for a moment. The earth seems to sigh in relief as the temperatures slowly sink to a more liveable range and the sun strains and fails to beat its harsh heat upon us.

I think about those who are affected by the rain. The birds remain silent--foregoing their morning ritual of song to opt for finding shelter. Summer mowing is postponed, allowing for the steady beat of rain to only be punctuated by thunder. The homeless huddle under bridges, thankful for the cooler temperatures, but miserable in layers of wet clothes. Stray animals doggedly search for a home or their next meal, regarding the rain as a nuisance that must be endured. And we, jobless but not homeless, open the blinds and keep the lights off so we can enjoy earth's drink.

Rainy days are not made for working, and I'm sorry for any of you who had to work on a day like this. Rainy days are made for wrapping up in a blanket, reading a good book, and petting a purring kitten. They are made to offer rest for the earth, and rest for us.

I used to be afraid of the rain and the thunder that shook houses. But I came to know Christ one scary stormy night, when I thought for sure that we would all die by the lightning that threatened to strike us next. After that storm, the sun came out to reveal a beautiful rainbow--a promise from God to me that He would always take care of me, and that I was His child forever. Ever since then, I have enjoyed storms and felt safe in the caring arms of my Father.

I hear the rain lessening, and the morning light is trying once again to come in through the window. Today's sigh is done. It's back to the vigil of work and toil for the earth. The birds will sing again, the homeless will begin to dry out, the stray will continue with it's wandering, and I must uncurl myself from my watch station and go on with the day.

Friday, July 01, 2005

On interviews...

So I've been looking for a job for a solid month now, and pretty regularly for a while before that--maybe another two months. I've heard from one place, but that ended up not working out. Other than that, silence.

Now I have an interview at a software company for a Marketing Associate position on Wednesday! Yeah!! And I talked to someone else about a job possibility, too.

In both these phone calls, the potential employer was concerned that all I could do was graphic design. This bothers me a little, because it's a slight on the profession. "What, you can only teach? We were really looking for some other qualities." "Oh, I'm sorry. We were looking for a programmer who can also do the accounts for us." "An accountant? Do you also answer phones?" "Now you say here on your resume that you are a brain surgeon....tell me if you know anything about maintenance work as well..."

Okay, so maybe I'm taking it a little out of proportion, but it's like a Minister of Music/Youth. It means they don't want to/can't spend the money on two positions, and feel that your position is the one to be compromised. Why doesn't the pastor ever lead the music? Or the Marketing VP come up with the copy for a letter he's sending out?

Granted, graphic design does have its fingers in several fields. Marketing, Public Relations, Art, etc. And I know I can do everything required of both employers. So...the question I compromise? Once last year I was offerred a raise if I changed my position from graphic designer to Administrative Assistant/Graphic Designer. I turned the offer down because I didn't want anything to do with being an administrative assistant. I don't like doing stuff like that. I want my resume to say Graphic Designer, not Administrative Assistant.

At the company I'm interviewing for on Wednesday, the things I would be asked to do are not administrative kinds of things; they seem a lot like graphic design to me. Things like ads, sales collateral, websites, press releases, communications inside the company and out, e-mails to customers, and event planning management (I wrote them all down while he was listing them). Anyway, all of these things are in some way related to graphic design. They all take layout, adherence to a certain look, etc. And several of them sound like fun design opportunities. But I think the employer was also saying it would require copy writing and some other things. He said graphic design would be 50% or more of the job. When I was offered the Admin. Asst. job, I was told graphic design would be 40% of the job, but--knowing my boss--I knew I would have to fight for that 40% every day, and it would be very easy for it to go completely by the wayside. I don't know the boss here, so I don't know what I'm up against.

Thinking of the responsibilities listed above brings up the question of how honest do you be in an interview? My conflict is this: I want to be as honest as I can be. I never want to go into a job where they expect me to be an expert at something I've never seen. It wouldn't be pretty for either of us. On the other hand, I am a fast learner. Just because I've never done it before doesn't mean that I can't do it, and that I won't be able to do it very well within a short period of time.

For example: the website maintenance. The employer said he saw my website and was impressed (or "it looked good") and showed it to the web programmer, who thought the same thing. (THANK YOU, JOHN, FOR YOUR HELP!!) But I felt compelled to tell him that that is the only website I have designed. I explained to him that I used my website to learn HTML and CSS, and now I feel comfortable with them. I am not an expert, and don't know Flash or anything like that, but I'm comfortable with web design. Was that a bad thing to say?

I don't think so, because it was the truth.

Also, about copy writing. I have done it for Texas Life, but not very much. I did the ads and some of the flyers, but all the legal wording and information about the product was already provided for me because of strict compliance parameters. So I've never written a memo to the company, or an e-mail sales push to customers. But I think I could do it. I'm a good writer (I hope), and I think I can do that. Give me just a little instruction and let me go! :)

And about salary. On the job posting, it says the job I'm interviewing for pays between $35-45K. That's really good for us! However, for some dumb reason, the employer still required that I include my salary requirements. That makes me so mad! They know what they're willing to pay! It just hurts the potential employee in every way. Let's say I don't even know who the company is. If it's Mom and Pop Print Shop, I've just shot myself in the foot by asking for $35K, because they wouldn't be able to pay that much (and I could have let them know that I could work for less). If it's Disney, they've just got their cheapest employee at $35K! But I didn't know who they were to know to ask for more!

Now, with this company I'm interviewing for, I had an advantage, because I 1) know who the company is, and 2) know their basic range. I took the middle ground and asked or $40K. Today on the phone I was asked if that was what I really was looking for. It sounded like they weren't willing to pay that much (if they're paying according to experience, I really don't have much experience), so I back-pedalled a little bit and said I was looking for $40K, but $35K would be okay. Jon said that was a mistake, and it probably was. Although in reality we could live on $30K, so I'm still $5K in the black, right? I mean, you've got to give me a little credit. For a month now I haven't heard anything from anyone, practically. I don't think I have a right to be picky at the moment! If it means knocking five grand off my salary, then so be it.

I just wish that with all this honesty I'm giving them, they would give me a little, too. Tell me how much you're willing to pay me, and I'll tell you if I'm okay with that.

I hate looking for a job. The self-promotion, best-foot-forward, one-word-could-ruin-your-chance-at-a-job, and every other super-hyphenated phrase I can think of. It just stinks. I want to do my job. I want to be busy. I want to do well. And I want to get paid a fair amount and have fair responsibilities. I'm not asking for special treatment or huge amounts of money. I just don't want to be demeaned.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Being Generous to Your Mate

Jon suggested this for a blog topic because I just said he could buy a new computer. Now, before anyone who knows our financial situation gasps in surprise, Jon had gotten a bonus at the end of the year, and it pretty much covers the cost of the computer. The bonus is his, and I'm glad he's spending it on something he wants and will enjoy, because he usually ends up spending it on something we need.

So being generous to your know, this really is a good topic, because there's nothing like getting married (or being in a serious relationship) to show you how selfish you really are. I guess all through life we have been taught and raised to be independent. Sharing an apartment with roommates took unselfishness, but you could just head out the door and say you were busy. (Not that I ever did that...)

A relationship is very give and take. It's an amazing thing when I find myself--a pretty selfish person--doing something for Jon because I know he needs it, or it would make his day. Sometimes it's cleaning the house before he gets home, or taking care of him when he's horribly sick. Or sometimes it's doing the dishes--something he has come to never expect me to do. :)

Now, of course, I still have my selfish moments, and they probably outnumber the unselfish ones. But it becomes easier to understand the sacrifice Christ made for his bride, and the sacrifices we should make for others (and for Christ).

Jon is very unselfish. I find myself telling others everything he does around the house, and they always ask, "Exactly what do YOU do??" So it's no generosity on my part to "let him" get a computer. He absolutely deserves it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Blog Number One!

So this is blogging, eh? Well, I will tell everyone about it, so if someone gets reeeaaaaally bored, they can read it!

Hello to everyone who I sent this to who is now reading this!!

So what to write in this wonderful forum where ideas are heard, innovations are born, and my brain wanderings are posted... Well, I'll write updates of things going on in my life (and Jon's, since our lives are inextricably and wonderfully linked) and things going on in my brain.

Such as my idea for a way to never lose things in the house. I am always losing stuff in my house. Now, if you've seen the place, you know it isn't that big! Since we haven't been here long, I haven't developed a pattern of where I put my purse when I walk in the door, although I lost my purse in the apt. too. Anyway, no need to discuss WHY I've come up with the idea. On to the idea:

When something enters the house for the first time, it is scanned into a database. The database can be sorted alphabetically, by the room where it should be, by size, by color, by anything that would help me find it. Then, when I lose something, I simply click on it in the database, which sends out a signal to find my lost item. The lost item has a homing beacon and ...well, I don't understand all the science of it, but what will happen is that the item starts beeping!! You know, like those things you put on your keychain for when you've lost them. But EVERYTHING in the HOUSE beeps!

Where is my purse? *BEEP* Oh! In the kitchen!

Where is my other flip-flop? *BEEP* There it is under my computer desk!

Where is the cereal? *BEEP* In the refrigerator! Now I remember!

See? The possibilities are endless! And oh, so practical!

Does anyone else have any great invention ideas?? (And remember, the fun part of the blog is the conversation that comes from all the comments. Please add your comments!)