Thursday, August 20, 2009

3 down, 2 to go

I am finally back to school after a very short summer. Most of my things are unpacked, but I find that I am running out places to put my things. Almost every square inch of my room is already being utilized and I still have a few more boxes and bags to make disappear. Ugh!

My air conditioner is in - that's a plus. My feet are still swollen - that's a minus. But I get to wear open-toed sandals - another plus. We went to Riverfront this evening to play some volleyball and boy are my feet ever sore. It was worth it though!

Last night was our first prayer meeting and it was a very special time of worship, testimonies and basking in the glory of God. I'm really not the best speaker and honestly dread giving testimonies, but I sure do love to listen to them. They are such simple reminders that God is still on the throne, working miracles, providing needs, opening and closing doors in His perfect time. Serving God is such an awesome privilege, one that I never want to take for granted.

I am excited with anticipation of what this year brings. Last year was a very trying year for me, the year before that was one I try to erase from memory and my very first year was one of transition from childhood to adulthood. My prayer for this year is that the Lord shape me and mold me into what He would have me be. I'm nearing the end of my time here at GBS and I want to be fully prepared to face the world with the confidence of Christ. I can't wait to see where God will lead me. I have given Him all of me and He is free to do with me as He pleases. May I never forget my purpose here on earth as a child of God.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

SCAM!

Are people still blogging? Am I wasting my time? Please tell me if I am! I could be doing other things like...sleeping, or something. Oh well, I like to write - even if no one in the world is reading this.

**********************************************************************************
Anyways, on to my story...

I am humbled and embarrassed to say...I fell for a scam.

Yes, I understand you can't trust anyone or anything when it comes to the internet. I am fully aware of how scams work, or so I thought.

I've been wanting a teeth whitener, like everyone else, cheaper than the $200.00 a dentist would charge. I'm sure you've all seen those ads plastered on every site for "Teeth Whitening Secret Discovered By A Mom." I was curious and decided to click on the ad. The link took me to a website that looked like a reliable source.

The story goes, a woman named Cathy didn't have much money for an expensive teeth whitener and decided to try these free trials she came across. She used them together and discovered that they worked better than anything she's ever seen or heard of. The trials are free, except for the s&h. Together they both came to under $3.00.

I thought, "$3.00 isn't much to lose. I'll try it." Before I even took time to really think about it, read the terms and conditions, or even look for a COPYRIGHT on the web page, I gave them my information for the FREE trials.

This all happened earlier this afternoon. Tonight I saw another ad for the same thing and something told me to click on it again. Somehow this time I noticed the terms and conditions. I decided to research this "wonder story" and found it to be a big scam.

"Great!" I thought. "I've already given them my information!" In the terms and conditions it says that by subscribing to the free trial you give them permission to bill your credit card for your full size order that they send every three months. I saw numbers like 75, and 120 and several smaller numbers, all with dollar signs in front of them!

At the bottom they gave a number you could call to cancel your membership. While researching I even found that the cancellation is a scam.

So now I have to call my bank tomorrow to have them cancel my card. *sigh*

Let this be a lesson to all!
1) Check for copyrights at the bottom of the web page. (This usually indicates authenticiy...I think.)
2) Always research the products, stories, etc before giving out any personal information.
3) Always read the terms and conditions before agreeing to anything!
4) Beware of "free" trials. There's usually a catch. (NOTHING is free!)

P.S.
For those of you who've read Sam's blog - curiosity doesn't just lead to physical death, but can lead to financial "death" also.

P.P.S. (or is it P.S.S.?)
Check out my other recent post below.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Change

As I said on my Facebook status, "I am happy and sad at the same time about change."

And as a friend commented on my status, "There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction. - Winston Churchill"

So many potential changes loom in my near future; changes that I am very excited about. My cognate change to missions, the internship I have to complete, my future in counseling. Then there are those far off changes that still remain in the dark, like the man I will marry, the children I will raise, the lives I will touch through my ministry - whatever it may be.

Then I was just thinking about changes that are happening for some of my friends. They will be moving away, far away. And when I thought about that I wanted to cry (I almost did). But God reminded me that just as I am happy about the changes He is working for me in my life, so also are my friends happy about God working in the changes for them in their lives.

I am trusting God and faithfully following Him wherever He leads me. As long as I hold on to His hand change will always be good no matter the circumstances...always.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
- Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tea Time!

About a week ago I decided to make some traditional Irish brown bread and vegetable soup. I've been missing Ireland, so what better way to reminisce about the experience than by sitting down to the same food I was served while in the beautiful Emerald Isle! I also wanted to give my family the experience of an Irish tea.

I found a couple recipes online and went to the store to retrieve the ingredients. Brown bread is a dense, grainy bread that uses baking soda as its rising ingredient; fairly simple to bake for a beginner in the bread department...from what I read on the internet. Friday night I baked two loaves of brown bread to eat with the soup for Saturday. They looked very nice...except that they both cracked around the middle!

(Sorry, blogger is dumb and wouldn't post the pic correctly. Grrr!)


Saturday evening I went to work on the soup. Ireland's vegetable soup is quite different from our own. Our vegetable soup is generally tomato based. Irish vegetable soup is carrot and potato based. The recipe also called for parsnips, turnips and leeks.

I have never before seen a leek, let alone know what one was. And parsnips and turnips aren't a regular part of my diet either. Let's just say that Meijer wasn't quite prepared for a big demand in these few vegetables.

I got up early Saturday morning and started peeling and chopping all of the vegetables. Later that evening I made the soup. This particular recipe called for sage, parsley and thyme - with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste - for the seasoning. I had fun making it!

My most favorite part about the soup is that it is pureed. I understand that some people wouldn't be satisfied with just pureed soup for dinner. My dad was a little concerned because 1) he doesn't really care for soup, and 2) especially when it's pureed. I must say, however, that typically the pureed soup is eaten at tea time - which isn't supposed to be a whole meal anyways, simply a "snack." In America we don't have "tea time," we have supper...consisting of something hearty like a slab of steak, a heap of potatoes and a good portion of veggies. But for my sake, we were going to have "tea time." Yep, I even made tea (Irish Breakfast) and served it with the soup and bread. ;)

We set the table and prepared to dig in to what looked so delicious! I even arranged the place setting like it would be in Ireland...I think.



I took my first bite of the brown bread and it literally made my stomach churn. It was SO salty! It must have been that salted butter I used because we didn't have any unsalted butter like the recipe called for. It was also too doughy in the center. (I blame it on the recipe.) "Hopefully the soup will be better," I thought to myself. Yuck! The soup wasn't salty enough! Then I remembered that I never did do a taste test before serving it. I also found out that I do NOT like parnips, or was it the turnips - perhaps both.

I was so disappointed in how the bread AND the soup turned out. Well, my family must have liked it because they ate it up! They, however, never had the good stuff to compare my cooking to. They'd be turning their noses up too if they had tasted what I had been served in Ireland.

Oh well, there's always a first time to everything. I'll just have to get better recipes for the next time!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Closer to God

I finished reading another book! Recommended to me by my aunt, I read The Shack, by William P. Young.

I don't normally read modern fiction - and by modern I mean written recently. I prefer the classics. But my aunt told me that it was an extremely good book and worth the read. So I decided to try it.

Before delving into the book I glanced over the reviews. They gave me goosebumps of anticipation. One review reads, "When you close the back cover you will be changed." I couldn't wait to start reading!

To summarize, it's a book about the goodness and love of God revealed through the life of one hurt and disappointed man. We all have ideas and presumptions of what God is like. Most people in the world have the wrong idea of who God is. This book reveals God's love and attributes in a very real, tangible way.

"The Shack is like standing by the ocean, closing your eyes and breathing deeply, filling your lungs with purity after choking for so long on the stifling smog of religiosity," as one reviewer stated. Young certainly knew how to break down the walls of the box that we all put God in.

As the review predicted, I was changed. I laughed, I cried, I was convicted, I prayed. God used that book to draw me closer to Him, to remind me of who He is and to teach me knew things about Him.

The biggest lesson I learned was that God does not orchestrate tragedies to teach us lessons. But He does USE those painful situations to teach us things - about Him, about ourselves, about others and life. He lets the world turn and allows nature to take it's course. But this doesn't mean that He is someTHING that keeps His distance from His creation. Psalm 46:1 says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

For all those wishing to draw closer to God I would highly recommend reading this book.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Blast from the Past

I was going through some stuff of mine and found my great grandpa's senior yearbook from 1931!.





He sure was a handsome guy! It's neat to be able to see a little bit of myself in this picture of my Great Grandpa Gray.

Looking through the yearbook I noticed that everyone had a nickname and a quote. My grandpa's nickname was "Rony" (probably pronounced Ronnie). His quote reads, "My tongue within my lips I rein: for who talks much must talk in vain." I like his quote because it describes him perfectly. Grandpa always was a quiet and reserved man. I only found one other picture of him in the yearbook. He was on the Apple Judging Team.

There are so many "strange" things all throughout the book. First, I noticed that none of the men smiled for their pictures. About half of the women did, but not a single man smiled for his picture.

I also noticed that popularity was an issue even in the 30s. Two of their mock elections say "Most Popular Girl (among girls)/(among boys)" and "Most Popular Boy (among girls)/(among boys)." (Because it's just SO important to make that distinction. *she says in a sarcastic tone*) Some of the funny ones included: Class Shark, Class Sheik, Class Gum Chewer, Class Roughneck, Best Girl/Boy Dancer.

Just a few other oddities:

They dedicated the yearbook to their PARENTS! Wow! You'd never see that happen these days.

The valedictorian and salutatorian's speeches are typed up in the yearbook.

They had an agriculture teacher!

It seems every female in the 30s was born with extremely wavy hair.

They put the custodian's picture on the first page.

The drama club was called The Dramatic Club.

They included a calendar of events recording the highlights from each day from September 1 - December 19. Quite interesting the things they put on the calendar.
A few excerpts worth reading:
Sept. 8 - First fire drill. Two frosh hurt in rush for the door.
Sept. 10 - We all rented a locker today. All those that had a $1.00.
Sept. 22 - The fair is over and our money is gone.
Sept. 23 - The seniors are makig a wonderful attempt to become dignified.
Sept. 30 - Someone borrowed 100 pads of theme paper.
Oct. 1 - Investigation concerning lost paper.
Oct. 7 - Wayne Burdick takes a nap the seventh period every day.
Oct. 15 - Noret Flood got excused to go hunting.
Oct. 28 - Ogden Amstutz left school.
Oct. 29 - They're still talking about that lost paper.
Dec. 10 - Mr. Snow quieted assembly with a whistle. This is an original idea.

It really is a neat piece of history; and to think that it is my Great Grandfather's history!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blue Moon



Today I was able to enjoy one of summer's best experiences: Blue Moon Ice-Cream. Many of you have never tasted, let alone heard of, Blue Moon. This is because it comes from the great state of Michigan!

The flavor is indescribable. All I can say is that it is SO delicious...and BLUE! Eating this ice-cream brings back childhood memories of when I was just 4 or 5 years old going to the ice-cream store my dad worked at as a teenager to get Blue Moon ice-cream, eaten in a homemade waffle cone. Or sitting in the Meijer Purple Cow Cafe with Grandpa Byers, while mom and grandma shopped, eating Blue Moon ice-cream. Or stopping by the ice-cream stand in Silver Lake after a day at the beach to get Blue Moon ice-cream.

Who knew that so many memories could be stored in one flavor of ice-cream!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Last Night's Dreams

Dreams are so interesting and random. I had so many of them last night. I thought it would be amusing to retell the dreams I dreamt.

The first one started out as a huge choir event. Several choirs were going to sing together. It was night time so all of us girls ran to the dormitory to claim our beds. Charity and I were overnight partners and we found a bedroom that hadn't been claimed yet. The 60 or so other girls had to share one large open room. I remember that this bedroom had a bathroom attached to it, but somehow the girls were getting into our room. At the back of the linen closet was a small door that led into the large open room. They kept coming in and bothering us. How annoying!

The next scene was of all us girls being herded out of the dormitory (don't remember why). I remember climbing stairs similar to those in the Music Hall trying to find Charity in the crowd. It was a massive move that transitioned into us riding bare back on a horse. Charity and I had climbed onto a horse with someone else in order to get away from something. We were going so fast I thought I was going to fall off. But it was the most exhilerating feeling because the ride wasn't choppy at all. It was like we were flying.

From there we turned into little rubber toy animals running for all we were worth. I don't know what we were running from but we had to get somewhere to hide. There were toy rats, horses, elephants, and more. We were running through a town - under crates, over walls, through pipes. Sadly, we lost one - a chubby blue elephant. That dream ended there with no conclusion.

The next dream opens up just after a huge storm swept through town. My mom, step-dad and I were driving around when we came upon a house where a huge tree landed on it. We stopped and went in to see if everyone was okay. This was a huge house of a very wealthy couple. We went in to find the couple in the kitchen, which hadn't been touched by the tree. My mom automatically started cleaning the kitchen. I think I made some tea for the lady. As helpful as we were trying to be this wealthy couple didn't even acknowledge that we were there. So we just left.

From there the dream transitioned into a flooded campground. I was out riding my bike when it started storming again. I found out that if I peddled the bike fast enough I could ride on top of the water. I was having a blast riding in the flooded campground when all of a sudden a whirlpool started to form. Apparantly, the dream decided to turn the flooded field into a lake. It was downpouring so hard and the whirlpool started to suck me in. Suddenly, someone reached out and saved me. We just stood on the porch taking in the scene. Now there were two whirlpools!

Another transition takes place here. Now I'm in a scene that reminds me very much of Indiana Jones. I'm in a cave but I'm not me. My perspective comes from a man who looks very much like Tarzan (very well could've been). Something, some kind of monster, is after him and his family. His wife and children are caught in tree vines. Tarzan (I'll say) has a vine in his hand and uses it like Indy uses his whip. His children are already up on a ledge but his wife is still stranded. Just as Tarzan gets to his wife, the branch that he was holding on to started to crack and break. As this is happening the monster is much closer, almost to them. As each second passes death comes even closer. From the back of the cave loomes the monster (he reminded me of that big red hairy monster from Bugs Bunny). Somehow Tarzan find another vine to use and he swings his wife up on the ledge. From the ledge he and his family run out of the cave. Lo and behold it comes out at the back of the campground. The dream ends here and I don't know what happened to the monster.

The next dream is a completely different one altogether. I went into a gas station to pay for gas and to buy a slushy. For some reason it seemed to take forever. After paying for those things the girl at the counter gave me 40 something dollars back - but it was all in play money! I didn't really understand why I was getting that much money back but I didn't think about it that much. I just wanted to know how she could've mistaken play money for real money. It's so much smaller! I brought it to her attention and she apologized and gave me real money. Then she also said that I had a check from a church across the street. What? Why would I get money from a church I'm not even affiliated with? I asked the manager guy about it and he seemed a little suspicious of me. He thought I was trying to get more money out of them. Something on the check indicated that I had been getting scholarship money from them for the past 5 years. I was so confused. I didn't know who the people were and this was the first time I ever received a check (don't know why from the gas station). The manager said he was going to call the police but I was trying to explain to him that I didn't want the money. I didn't know why I was getting the money. I concluded that my identity must have been stolen and that the thief was who was getting the checks. After that the dream ended.

Wow, it is so hard to write about dreams! I can't believe I remembered all of that from last night. Anyways, sorry to have bored you, but I did warn you.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

On the road to recovery

I went back to the doctor today. They took out the stitches and also took X-rays. The doc says my feet look really good. I think they look horrible! He said that I can start walking on them more and that I need to excercise my toes. I'm scared...cuz it hurts to wiggle them!

I went to Wal-Mart right after the doctor's appointment and was so tempted to drive the little electric buggy...but I chickened out. At home I've been using a walker to get around because it's much easier than the crutches. But I even chickened out from using that to go to the doctor's office because of the stigma that they are for old people (no offense to any old people reading this). So I used the crutches instead. I wish I had a little bit more of the "I-don't-care-what-people-think" attitude. Oh well, I survived my first public outing.

I thought about it and...I guess I'll post a picture of my feet. I'm sure you are just dying to see what they look like.

Friday, July 3, 2009

No, I'm not going to update on the past few days. I'm kind of sick of writing about the nothing that I do.

You ever get the feeling that nobody really loves you or accepts you? That no matter what you do it's not good enough for anybody? Your personality stinks and will never get better, you make too many mistakes, and the love you get is earned. Yeah, I'm feeling it. The walls have finally come down...again. You build them on unstable ground and they are bound to come down eventually. *sigh* Oh well. The feelings come and go. Let's just hope they go by tomorrow.

On a lighter note, tomorrow is the Fourth of July. Happy birthday to America!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Days 4, 5 & 6

Well, several days have passed now so I thought I would update on them.

Saturday, I was able to wash my hair! Instead of sitting on a stool in the shower I just sat in the wheel chair and my grandmother washed my hair in the wash tub instead. It was much easier that way.

After getting ready for the day my aunt took me to my sister's boyfriend's graduation open house. We went and had some good food. We didn't stay too long because my feet started to get sore. It sure was nice getting back in bed and being able to elevate my feet again!

By Sunday I spoke too soon. I woke up (if I even slept at all) distressed and irritable. My feet were very sore, my stomach felt upset and my back was getting achy from lying in bed. I wanted out of bed! The whole day I felt as if I had a fever, but every time I checked my temperature the thermometer said it was normal. Sunday just seemed to drag on.

That night I couldn't get any sleep. I tossed and turned in bed until 5:00 AM! I especially felt like I was going insane when Nacho Libre songs and quotes were uncontrollably playing in my mind. It was torture! I'm sure I really did look like a lunatic. Tossing, turning, moaning, groaning, groping at my head - it was awful. Finally I paged my grandmother around 5:00 to bring down a glass of water so I could take some pain meds. I took two Tylenol 3 and shortly after drifted into a deep sleep until 1:30 PM.

"Why," you ask, "didn't she take pain meds in the beginning?" You see, they cause some unpleasant side effects that I was trying to avoid...any further. And besides, by this time my feet weren't hurting too much during the day and I thought I could get away with not taking the medication at night. Anyways, it was the first decent sleep I got since the surgery.

Since waking up so late on Monday the day seemed incredibly short. After waking up I washed my hair and...had a sponge bath. After feeling quite refreshed and much better I decided to finally start my scrapbook. I completed one whole spread. I just can't wait until it's finished. Tentatively, there are 40 pages! It seemed by the time I completed the spread it was already evening. By the time I got ready for bed you think I would have learned my lesson from the previous night that meds are essential for sleep at this point in recovery. Well...I didn't. Again, I went to bed without taking anything and tossed and turned, resulting in little to no sleep.

Now it is Tuesday, exactly one week from the surgery. The pain has gone down significantly and I can move my feet much more freely. When walking, I can apply more pressure now to both feet without too much pain. For awhile I could only put pressure on my left foot. Now I can apply pressure to my right foot with less pain. I still can't wiggle my toes though. I will have to work on that and give another update in a weeks time.

It is now 10:51 AM and I think I will watch Pride and Prejudice until I feel sleepy. I do hope I can get some sleep today.

Until next time...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Days 2 & 3

It is late, but I will still blog.

Days two and three have now passed since my surgery and things are going well - 'well' as in things are not critical or life-threatening. Some mishaps come along but overall I'm doing just fine.

Yesterday, my foot was still in quite a bit of pain. I was in bed the whole day with a nauseous stomach. One of the medicines I took made me feel a little sick and I didn't eat much. My sustenance for the day consisted of a few bites of toast for breakfast, half of a tuna sandwich for lunch and a few bites of dry Oatmeal Squares for dinner. I ran a fever of 100 part of the day as well.

I dozed in and out of sleep (since I didn't get any the night before). Toward the end of the day I watched Nacho Libre for the first time. Now I can follow everyone who quotes that movie. "GET THAT CORN OUT OF MY FACE!"

Around 7:00 PM I was able to take a shower!!! That made me happy. I found that I was able to put pressure on my feet without losing my hearing or seeing black spots. That was good. It worked out quite nicely. I sat on a stool in the stall shower with my feet (wrapped in plastic bags) hanging outside of the curtain. The hose shower head made it even easier for me. I felt so refreshed! Afterward, however, my feet were screaming. By the time I got back in bed I noticed my right ankle was swollen and sore.

I was able to sleep a little better than the night before, but still didn't get more than 5 hours.

This morning, the third day, my grandmother and I went down to Muskegon to visit the doctor for my post-op. He redressed my feet with yellow, smiley-faced gauze and said everything looked just fine. I took a few pictures of my feet without the bandages and *gulp* they look disgusting! They are chubby, orange (from the iodine) and somewhat misshaped right now (because of the swelling). I said, "Grandma, my toes look like sausages!" I could, but WON'T, post them anywhere! I go back in two weeks to get the stitches taken out.

I got back home and it was such a beautiful day that I decided to sit outside on the porch. I got all situated in my wheel chair and of course with something major like foot surgery Murphey's Law has to kick in. The first accident to happen to my right foot (the one that has been in the most pain mind you) was having a bag of fireworks poppers spilled all over my "moon boot." Not a major deal. I was just afraid of the sawdust getting into my boot.

(Sorry dad, I gotta tell on you for these.) Next, my dad is trying to adjust the foot rest of the wheel chair to fit the length of my leg. My foot gets in the way and he absent-mindedly swats it away. (It really didn't hurt, but I teased him about it. Hehe!) Only minutes after that I was trying to get the foot rest in the most comfortable position and asked my dad to hold the bottom of it while I pulled the lever to let it go down. I thought he had grip on the bottom so I released the lever. He apparently wasn't ready yet and down dropped my foot. As it dropped my dad, trying to save my foot, pushed up on the bottom of the foot rest actually twisting my foot in a direction that was most UNcomfortable. It felt like my stitches split wide open. It only hurt for a few seconds, and I'm sure the stitches didn't bust, but I sure did tease my dad about that, too. Lol! That all happened to my poor right foot. =(

After that I just couldn't find a comfortable position, there were little kids everywhere and I was certain Murphey's Law would have its way, so I decided to head back down to my room...in the basement...where the sun doesn't shine.

Later, my aunt came over and we watched a few more episodes from the Christy series that we started a couple weeks ago, my sister and I looked up some old friends on MySpace and now I am sitting here typing this.

Now it's REALLY late and I need to get some rest. I look down at my feet and ponder the irony displayed on my bandages - yellow smiley-faces. My feet are not smiling right now. If anything they are grimacing in pain.

*As a public disclaimer, I do not really believe in Murphey's Law.*

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 1 After Surgery

Today is the first day after my surgery. For those of you who don't know I had surgery on both of my feet to have bunions removed. They are gone and now I have skinny feet...well, currently they are puffy and swollen, but after awhile the swelling will go down. The surgery went well and I was able to go home shortly after I woke up.

There are many awkwardnesses to having surgery for the first time. First, there's finding out that you have to wear a hospital gown...and ONLY the hospital gown. (That was a nice surprize.) Then there is being wheeled down the hall on a bed to the operating room passing people who just look and stare at you. After entering the operating room I had to scooch onto the operating table. While situating myself the nurse was pulling my gown out from underneath me making things even more awkward. After waking up in the recovery room all of my visitor's were in there while I was still somewhat doped up, my hair a mess and feeling very much like a bobble head. Luckily I wasn't given the general anesthetic (the gas) but had the IV stuff. The gas is what makes you loopy and nauseous. When I woke up I was still in my right mind but very dizzy. It felt as if everything in the room was moving and I couldn't focus on anything.

The doctor prescribed me Tylenol 3. I soon found out after the numbness wore off that the Tylenol did nothing for the pain. All evening and through the night I had very sore feet!

A few times I had to get up to use the bathroom. That was an adventure! I had to carefully swing my legs out of bed, walk a foot to the wheel chair, ride about 10 feet to the bathroom, stand up and use the walker to get to the toilet, turn myself around and sit. I am staying at my grandparents house, so my grandmother has been helping me get around. I said, "Grandma, do you lose your hearing right before you pass out?" I started to get very dizzy and heard ringing in my hears. I got back to the wheel chair just in time, coming so close to passing out.

Today my dad made me a makeshift toilet using a 5 gallon bucket and a toilet seat cover. It saves me an entire trip to the bathroom. It sits right next to my bed so I don't have to go so far. It works.

This morning I called my doctor and asked him to prescribe me some Vicodin. The Tylenol just wasn't cutting it. It works better but still doesn't keep the pain away for very long. I have an hour before I can take more.

That has pretty much been my day. I go back to the doctor on Friday and was told that by then the pain shouldn't be too bad. I just hope and pray! And now I am going to try and nap since I didn't get much sleep last night.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I just realized that I haven't cried since school got out. That was over a month ago! I usually cry to relieve stress. It seems all I've ever done this past year was cry. It's so nice to be stress-free for awhile!

That was completely random...

Anyways, the past couple of days I've been working on stripping paint off an antique cabinet we've had for years. I found it sitting under the deck, getting rained on and warped. So I decided to start a project that would keep me busy for a few days. Yesterday I got all of the paint off and started sanding it. Today I finished sanding and staining it. I restained it red mahogany. The cabinet is kind of like a nightstand. But it seems too tall to be a nightstand. It has one drawer and 3 shelves in it. It looks really nice! I forgot to take a before picture. But I'll post an after picture.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I picture bed!

There are so many pictures to sort through!!!

I've been sorting Ireland pictures for about 8-9 hours; a few hours earlier today and some tonight. I am preparing to do my scrapbook, but first I have to pick out the pictures I am going to use. I received discs of everyone's pictures, which is nice to have because whatever I didn't get pictures of somebody else most likely did. There are approximately 15G of pictures! I drew up the basic layout of my scrapbook page-by-page and started picking out pictures for each page. I have 40 pages to my scrapbook! Can't wait to get started!

Anyways, it's 3:15 AM. I think I'll finish this job up tomor-,I mean, later today.

...I'm going to bed.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Update

I have so much to say I don't know where to begin. I'll begin by saying: Ireland was fabulous! The people were friendly, the food was good, the places were beautiful, the services were Spirit filled, traveling was fun...as everyone else has been saying, "It was a life-changing trip."

Not only did we get to see beautiful countryside and amazing places but we met some amazing people. My most favorite part of the whole trip was establishing relationships with the people. Most of the friendships are with people from Mark and Deanna Mander's church. But I also met many wonderful people in the churches we sang in.

One person in particular to mention would be Andy. Andy was our bus driver every day of the tour. He's originally from Scotland but moved back to Ireland, his wife's home country, about a year ago. Andy quickly became someone I would call family. Having his kind and loving spirit around made our trip all the more wonderful. It was such a pleasure to meet him and get to know him. The night we sang at his church he wore his kilt. It was the neatest thing to see him in his traditional attire. He told me that he usually only wears it for special occasions. It was humbling to think that the GBS choir singing at his church was a "special occasion."


Andy's son was another special person we all got to know and love. His name is Philip, he's 22 and he has down syndrome. He and his mother, Eileen, were fortunate to make it to more than one choir service. Philip loved us just as much as we loved him. Every service they went to he took the same choir program with him. We gave him some CDs and Eileen said that night Philip slept with them under his arms. Sunday evening we gave him a progrom that we all signed. He absolutely loves that program. Eileen told me that since then he carries that thing with him everywhere and shows it off to everyone. Andy has laminated it so that it won't become worn. What an honor it is to be used by God to make an impact in the life of even one person.

Here are the McLellans: Eileen, Andy and Philip


Another precious family we met are the Stewart's. Wesley Stewart was our sound man. He came to every service, set up his sound equipment and managed it for us. He was a joy to have around! He was always so cheerful and encouraging. His wife's name is Lorna, and they have two daughters named Rebekah and Hannah. They were also able to come to more than one service. It was so nice to see them sitting in the audience, smiling and enjoying the presence of God.

The Stewarts (clockwise from left): Lorna, Wesley, Rebekah and Hannah


A dear couple who helped us out a few days of the tour was Rev. Eric and Yvonne Stewart. They are actually Wesley's parents. Rev. Stewart is the former senior pastor of Coleraine Independent Methodist Church, the church where Mark Mander is now the senior pastor. Their love for Jesus shines from their faces. Simply glancing at them during our services would give me an extra boost of energy to continue singing.

The Stewarts: Rev. Eric and Yvonne


Overall, the people were wonderful. These are just a few of whom I was able to establish relationships with. As we passed through each church I was able to meet many more wonderful people. It was so encouraging to sing to people who were hungry for the Lord's presence. Everywhere we went we were greeted with anticipation; almost as if we carried the presence of God with us. It makes me sad to think that many we sang to have never experienced His presence like they did during the services. Our expression of worship was very new to them.

I must say that there is nothing special about the GBS choir. Everything we do, we do for the glory and honor of God. We are simply instruments used by Him. I hope that we were able to effectively carry out the message of the Gospel through our singing. And I also hope that the people know that we aren't the only ones who carry God's presence with us, but that they can too.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm Back!!!

Well, I'm back from Ireland. Feeling a little sad about it. In the short time I was over there I grew to love it so much! I will definitely miss all of the friends I made: Wesley, Lorna and the girls, Andy, Eileen and Philip, Eric and Yvonne, Peter, Keith and Naomi. They will all have a special place in my heart.

The services were amazing! Very different from singing over here in the states. You could tell that the people never before experienced God's presence like they did during the services. It was very humbling to be used by God in such a powerful way. Many people came up to me saying that they felt like they got a taste of heaven. I trust that the Lord will give the increase to the seeds that we planted.

I don't have much time to update on everything. I'll post some pictures...just as soon as I sort through them.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Interesting morning

My morning started off pretty normal:
First alarm clock goes off at 7:45 - hit the snooze.
Second alarm clock goes off at 8:00 - hit the snooze.
Both alarms go off again.....hit the snooze.
Have to go to the bathroom - finally get up out of bed.

So I'm up doing my thing, take a shower, do hair, etc. I look at the clock and it's 9:40 - time for chapel.

I get down there and the chapel is completely empty.

"Did I miss something!?!"

I run up to my room and look at the clock. Yep, it says 9:45 AM. I check my phone...it says 8:45.

How in the world did I do that?

Don't know but I had an extra hour this morning.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Can you say, "AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

It was a beautiful, sunny, warm Saturday. Perfect day to go play volleyball!

We round up about 25 or so people and head to Riverfront for some rousing games of v-ball. To make a long story short, we took a wrong turn at Riverfront and ended up at the Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza (a bunch of kids overtook the courts and decided to build a 3-D replica of Egypt).

So on the road again we were, a caravan of 4 cars, to Highland Heights, KY to play volleyball at some place Chris new of.

Tiffany, Isaac and I rode with Leanna - third car of the motorcade. We were having a great time enjoying the thrill of having the sun roof open, the wind blowing through our hair, Isaac acting like a dog with his head hanging out the window. Life was good. Here's Tiffany and Isaac evidencing a pleasant and enjoyable car ride.



Then it happened (*DUN, dun, dun...*)!

"Leanna, that's our exit! Ryan just got off! Quick, quick!!!"

In a matter of approximately 10.5 seconds Leanna veers across the right lane from the left lane, cuts off an old granny in a Cadillac, and just barely makes the exit.

At one point I look back and see the Caddy just inches away from Leanna's bumper. I think I was holding my breath and screaming at the same time.


Tiffany had an, "I'm-gonna-die-and-I-don't-think-I-really-need-to-use-the-bathroom-anymore!" look:


Isaac was rather calm. I think his reaction was more in reference to Tiffany:


Apparantly, the old lady in the Cadillac looked something like this:


And Leanna, well...she was enjoying the high of adrenaline:


Thank the Lord we made it safely! And I will also add that Leanna did very well despite the circumstances. I have video evidence to prove that Isaac, Tiffany and I all vouch for her as a good driver.

Just for kicks::

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday evening adventure

Seth, this is for you...(lol)

What does a group of friends do on a rainy, dreary Friday evening?

Well, here were the options:
- Jungle Jim's (interesting, but too far)
- Coffee and a bookstore (typical)
- Bowling (cost money)
- Easter egg hunt (adventurous!)

Can you guess which one we decided to do? Yep, an Easter egg hunt in the rain at Ault Park.

Mel bought the eggs (and chocolate!) and off we were to the park. She and Seth were designated to hide the eggs up near the pavilion.

Meanwhile Sam, Isaac and I played Frisbee. (FYI: If you ever play Frisbee in the rain and don't want to get too wet, it IS possible to play with an umbrella in one hand. It's been tested and proven by moi.)

Finally, Seth and Mel informed us to take our places as the hunt was about to begin.

24 eggs. Three ambitious hunters. Weapon of choice: sharp keen eyes. Transport of victims: Hoodie pockets.

After about an hour of meticulous searching, through bushes, under benches, behind walls, we finished with five eggs still unfound.

Isaac, in third place, successfully caught 4 eggs.
Sam, in close second, caught 7.
And I, in first, caught 8.

After many more minutes of Seth and Mel trying to remember where they hid the other five eggs, we left with two still remaining in the shadows of the Ault Pavilion. May they consider themselves lucky. As for the poor unfortunate yolks of the captured nineteen, may they rest in peace wherever Mel put them.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lil' Sibs

I'm back from Spring Break and it's all downhill from here. Lots of papers to write, songs to learn (for IHC), homework to complete, books to read and the list goes on. Every year I get nervous thinking I won't get it all done, but the Lord always gives me enough grace to do it.

I got to spend some quality time with my parents and little sibs. I have tons of pictures of the kids, but unfortunately forgot to some pictures of my parents.

Here are some pictures from break along with a video of Ronnie and Kimmie being cute. If you have a Facebook account you can see more on there.

video












Monday, March 23, 2009

All for the cause...

Well, I did it....I donated blood.

And I have to be honest and say that I didn't do it just to save lives. I did it to overcome a fear.

I must quote Dr. Brown and say that "I'm not into pain!" Not to say that people love pain, but I am very intolerant of it. And when you mix 'overdramatic' with 'zero tolerance for pain' well, I'm sure you get the picture.

I got all situated in the seat and started to psych myself up for the "poke." You know, pinching and poking myself where the needle was going to be inserted. (I do think I made the nurse laugh at my patheticness.)

I was sitting there, feeling pretty good about my adventerous self, when I saw it. Just across the way the nurse pulled out this 2" needle covered with blood from a donor's arm. I lost it. I thought, "they're sticking 2 inches of needle in my arm!"

Luckily for me, Sarah Williams was near and I asked her if I could squeeze her hand while the needle was inserted. I think my dramatization concerned the nurse because after the needle was in she reclined my chair just in case I passed out. Oh I did not like that. Immediately I asked for my seat to be propped back up. She just said, "Oh just relax. You'll be fine."

I was not fine. I could no longer relax my arm on the table. I had to hold my arm up on the table. After ten minutes of holding my already-asleep-arm my whole body was shaking from trying to keep my arm from moving. I couldn't even put my head back all the way because a hair pin was jabbing me in the head. Besides this, I had a fan blowing right on me which made me very cold. After it was all said and done my whole body was shivering and shaking furiously.

Let's just say that my first time giving blood was certainly not one of the best experiences of my life.

On a more serious note, an interesting thought just popped into my mind. I shed blood, a whole pint, to save three lives. And all I had to do was sit in a chair, feel a "little" prick and squeeze a ball.

Christ shed His blood to save mankind. But look what He had to endure to give us that blood; an agonizing death on a cross with wounds much larger than my "little poke."

Someday three individuals will be thankful for the blood I freely gave. But my blood will only be able to save their physical bodies. If only they knew that there is One whose blood can save their souls.

As much as I hated this experience, I think I will donate my blood again next year. Helping three people live a little bit longer, to have the chance to accept Christ, might just be their saving grace to eternity.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Romance in the Rain

It's 11:40 PM and, with an unfinished assignemnt sitting next to me, I blog.

Yet, as I sit here procrastinating, my window is open and I listen to the romantic patter of soft rainfall. The soothing sound sends me into a deep state of reflection.

So many things are running through my mind; it is so hard to put it all into a paragraph of words that makes sense. Here are just a few of the things on my mind:

Heartache. Sadness. Storms. Future. Dreams. Crushed. Hope. Faith. Blind. Trust. Peace. Contentment. Joy. Future. Love. Happiness. Fullfillment.

I look at my list of thoughts and know that Christ is in the midst of it ALL. Even though I can't see Him, He was, is and always will be, there. In the midst of my heartache, He comforted. Through my storms, He navigated. With my future, He holds it in His hands. The hope I have is in Him. My trust is in Him. The peace in my heart, only He can give. My joy is from Him. The love I feel, He bestows. My fullfillment, is in Him.

"Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all; He is my strength from day to day, without Him I would fall. When I am sad, to Him I go, no other one can cheer me so; when I am sad, He makes me glad, He's my Friend."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Banquet

Well, the banquet came and gone. The place was nice. The food was good. The entertainment...entertaining. Let's just say I'm glad I only paid $14.00 for my dress, that my ticket was free and that there is an end to everything.

Mom, Dad, here are a couple pics for you. There's not much to see since I forgot my camera.
Here I am with Charity and Heather.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Back to the grindstone

Well, I'm back from Choir Tour. I don't have too much to say about it. The ministry is awesome and God used us in a powerful way. This past Sunday in our morning service Cassie Wilson's brother was there and, praise the Lord, he accepted Christ as his personal Savior. I feel so unworthy to be used by God for His service. It is such an amazing privilege!

But for me personally this tour was extremely hard. I put a lot into ministering to those we sang to, and I thank God that through the services He ministerd to me. But in other areas I must say it was difficult.

I prayed before going into this tour that the Lord would help me draw closer to Him. I went into it with so many overwhelming things on my mind; I just needed to feel Him close to me in a very real way. Before break I was praying about a situation and I wasn't quite sure where to go with it. One day on the bus I was reading my devotions and I read this verse:
Mark 11:24
"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you." -NASB

The still small voice of God spoke to me through this verse promising me that my prayers will be answered. I read this verse with so much joy in my heart knowing that God hears and answers prayer.

The next day on the bus Mr. Wolf was giving his devotional about prayer and again the Lord spoke to me. If I remember correctly Mr. Wolf read Matthew 7:7-11:
"7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!" -NASB

Right there God again reaffirmed His promise to me. All doubt about whether I should pray about this situation or not completely disappeared. God has given me a sweet peace about it. I will continue to pray until God answers.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Something New

I must show you all the coat I found for my trip to Ireland! It makes me happy!



The coat matches my rain boots!


Here are some random pictures I took to test out what my camera can do.




Here are some pictures of snowflakes I took a few days ago. Seeing how intricate each snowflake is just reminds me how awesome God is. Each snowflake has its own unique design. But not only is each snowflake different, each point of one snowflake is exactly the same (relatively).
(I just want to know, what happens to the Whos in Whoville when the snowflake melts?)




These books and the clock are from Mr. Profitt's office. I was bored.




This turned out really cool. The picture was taken in the reflection of my phone. The camera focused in on itself.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Moving on by God's grace

I was reading back through my posts from the previous semester and wow was I ever depressed! I wouldn't say it was anything too serious, but nonetheless I was depressed.

I'm so thankful for the grace of God, because without it I could've been in a much worse state. I'm glad that I had enough sense to look to God for His strength and guidance.

I still hurt over the issues that bothered me, but praise the Lord that through Him I was able to overcome that ever-present burden.

Enchanting View

This is what I woke up to Friday morning. I love the view from my window!

This is the Art Museum in the morning.


Here are some other pictures I took from Wednesday.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Patterns Revealed

Okay, ready for the answers to my pattern game?

Here they are:

Striped Scarf


Camo Hat


Striped Bedspread


Floral PJs (These are my favorite!)


Groovy Bag


Collage I made from magazine clippings and a poster of Paris.


Striped Shower Curtain (I like stripes.)


Antique Tin


Picture Board

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sip. Taste. Chug.








(See other new post below.)

Patterns!

These are different patterns from around my room. Can you guess what they are?
(If you already know what they are then please don't guess. It takes the fun out of it for everyone else.)