Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful - Day 12

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

I hope you had a great day. I spent most of the day with my parents, grandma, aunt, uncle, and "nephews." There was food, there was football, and there was lots of talk. Yay!

I got home around 9, planned my attack for Friday, rested about an hour, watched "A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving" (a Gilmore Girls Thanksgiving episode), and got ready to shop! Now, I'm sitting on my couch for about another 10 minutes before I head to Old Navy. Today's route includes: Old Navy, Walmart, Kohls, JC Penneys, Sears, Target, and then we'll see how it flows. It's not planned out after then. Then I will come home, crash for a few hours, and then head to a place I volunteer.

So, today, I'm thankful for Black Friday sales. I love it. I know some people would rather do just about anything to avoid the craziness, but I fully embrace it. There's something about the atmosphere of a store at 4 a.m. when it's usually closed until 8. The sales, the bargains, the intricate planning needed to be successful - I love it all! And tonight with them starting at midnight, I'm not trying to do it after sleeping for 2-3 hours. Of course, doing it on no sleep may not work out much better. :)

Happy Shopping, everyone! (Or Happy Avoiding of Shopping!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful - Day 11

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

I'm barely getting this post in on time. It was a long day of work, doctor appointment, and coffee with my dear friend Ashley. So much fun! (Well, the coffee with Ashley part anyway...)

Today, I would like to say I'm thankful to live in the United States of America. Our country is far from perfect, but I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather live. I don't agree with the opinions of many, but I'm glad we have the right to disagree. I'm thankful for our freedoms. I'm thankful to the men and women who gave their lives to secure these freedoms.

The song "God Bless the U.S.A." by Lee Greenwood makes me emotional almost every time. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful - Day 10

I was just thinking.... I'm thankful for telephones. I was thinking about what I would write about right as I hung up from a long phone call. Telephones can provide a communication that you don't get online through writing. Of course, there are services like Skype where you can talk online, but a cell phone can go anywhere.

Thinking back to when I was younger and nobody really had cell phones (unless you were Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell in which case you had one the size of a briefcase!), I wonder how we ever got anywhere. I mean, how would I meet my friends places if we couldn't call when we got there to see where the other was? How did we know if someone was running late? And carrying change for pay phones seems positively barbaric!

My phone is pretty and pink. It also has the internet on it. And I can text quickly.

So I'm thankful for phones, but especially for cell phones. (Though I do cringe when I find out 7 year olds have them.... I understand safety, but really? How often are your 7 year olds alone so they need a phone? And why are they alone?)

Happy almost Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful - Day 9

Thanksgiving week is here! I have so many things to be thankful for. :)

I'm especially thankful for relative health today. I have residual back problems from my car accidents and I've been battling a cold. But really it's quite minor, all things considered. Remember this post? The little boy I mentioned died early yesterday morning. My heart breaks for his parents and other loved ones - please keep them in your prayers.

It's when things like this happen to people I know and have known for a long time that it really hits me - I am so blessed. I am healthy. I'm (relatively) strong. My immediate family is as well.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful - Day 8

I just got home from a long day of a conference at church. The rest of the welcome team and I had to be there from 2 til now (around 9:30) - not too long of a day, but after a very full week, tiring. (Last night, we had a fundraiser for a children's home that I volunteer at and didn't get home until 2:30 a.m. from clean-up and follow-up from that. So tired is a bit of an understatement!)

I was thinking today how thankful I am for my church and my church family. I go to a great church - worship is great, our pastor is a phenomenal teacher, and we also have great guest speakers from time to time! But one thing that stands out is the love I feel when I go there. God's love, yes, but also love from many people. Some of my closest friends are there, and even a lot of people who I don't know well always reach out with a hug and a kind word.

My church isn't perfect; no church will ever be as they're all made up of imperfect people, but I do think my church does an excellent job of showing God's love to others and to each other!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Five Question Friday - 11/19/2010

Five Question Friday time again!

1. What Christmas song do you loathe?
There are a few that make me turn the station - I don't know their names though. They're the really schmaltzy-sentimental types like the ones the Carpenters sing. In fact, I'll go with "Merry Christmas, Darling" like Mama said (the host of 5QF). But I do love most Christmas music. My absolute favorite is Oh Holy Night, when it's sung properly (such as by Josh Groban!).

2. Do you and your significant other cuddle at night or sleep on opposite sides of the bed?
No significant other.

3. Have you ever had surgery?
Not really (which is pretty amazing with all my injuries!). I had to have oral surgery because of some teeth issues when I was 13 or 14, and I had my wisdom teeth taken out when I was 19ish, but I don't think that really counts.

4. When do you typically have your holiday shopping done?
Most of it, the day after Thanksgiving, but I'll be picking small stuff up til the very end. Or I'll find someone got me an unexpected gift so I'll go to find them something as well.

5. If money were not an issue (and you HAD to pick something), what would your ultimate luxury item be?
Hmmm..... I'm not sure what's considered a luxury item. A nice, big house on a lake for vacations. I'll go with that.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful - Day 7

Wow, only one week left until Thanksgiving! I'm really surprised - both by how fast time is going and how bad I've been at blogging things I'm thankful for each day!

In honor of my usual "Thursday Thirteen," I'm going to incorporate that into my blog today. I'm going to list 13 people that I'm thankful for.

1. and 2. My parents. I'm close to my parents, and talk to my mom almost every day. We live about 45 minutes apart, but they're still willing to come and help me when I need something. My mom even likes to still do my laundry! They were great parents while my brother and I were growing up and they still are!


3. My brother. We don't talk very often.... due in large part to his living in Singapore. But I'm still very thankful for him. Growing up, we spent lots of time playing. He taught me basketball and football, and I only got hurt a few times. Hehe. We used to play basketball, the two of us versus like 6 neighborhood children. Because of him, we almost always won despite the numbers disadvantage. (His size and skill definitely worked in our favor.) The strategy was usually pass the ball to him and let him score. He's also a great writer, a wonderful speaker, and has given me a great sister-in-law and nephews!

Which brings me to 4. my sister-in-law Delia. I love her so much. She is a great friend and sister. She's fun, easy to talk to, and extremely caring! She's also a phenomenal mom to my two sweet babies!


5. My sweet nephew Caleb As you may be sensing from this post, family is important to me. Well, Caleb was definitely a great addition to the family! He'll be 4 in less than a month! Yikes! He's a thoughtful, sweet, adorable, kind, intelligent little boy. If only he lived closer......


6. My wonderful nephew Evan is little brother to Caleb and I'm pretty sure they keep my heart in their bedroom. :) His cute grins, his teasing personality, and his excitement makes him irresistable!

7. My friend Ashley. We live 13 hours apart, and still talk/e-mail/text practically daily. She is truly one of my closest friends and I'm very thankful for her. She cheers me up when I'm having a bad day, she prays for me when I need prayer, and she's wonderful in general. However, she is a bad blogger. Check out her blog here...... Notice how long it's been since she posted!



8. Another friend Ashley Ashley and I have known each other for a couple of years. However, we have become true friends within the past year. She's another one that I can talk to about just about anything (Not only can, but do!) We also have a great time hanging out and talking. We've been known to go to dinner at 6:30 and close the restaurant! Oops!


9. and 10. My cousins Anita and Kim These two wonderful ladies are actually married to my cousins, so I guess they're "cousins in law" but that just always looks weird to me. I think Anita was one of my main inspirations to blog because I enjoyed reading hers so much! Kim also blogs, but not as often. I do keep up with her on facebook more. One thing that they both have in common (among other things) is that they both have the gift of hospitality. They welcome visitors and do everything they can to make sure you enjoy your visit. They are also both wonderful moms to adorable children. :)

11. My friend Lisa This is the friend I went to visit in September. We've been friends for a long time - we worked together about 10 years ago. At that time, we weren't close, but have since become very, very close. If only she would move back to Michigan..... (hint, hint!)


12. My friend Lauren is one of the most loving people I've ever been around. You feel it just being around her. She's super-helpful, friendly, and writes a blog that often makes me think and I really enjoy. You can see it at www.laurenbentley.org.


13. My Boss I'm watching The Apprentice right now. Watching the craziness of this show makes me more thankful for my boss. Donald Trump is CRAZY!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful - Day 6

This should come as a surprise to no one, but I am very thankful for......

COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously. I may be slightly addicted to coffee. I may drink 5-6 cups a day (okay, fine. 7-8). I may have had coffee this morning, coffee all afternoon, and a peppermint mocha for class tonight.

But it's okay, really. Want to know why? Because it's a vegetable. I drink it for my health.

You see, for those of you who didn't know it's a vegetable, coffee is made from coffee beans. Beans are vegetables. Therefore, it's like drinking a vitamin! There's nothing wrong with that, now is there?

Now, one serving of vegetables is great. But how to make it better? By adding another vegetable! Here's where the mocha comes in. What is chocolate made from? Cacoa beans. Therefore, chocolate is also a vegetable. So a mocha = 2 servings of vegetables!

The coffee was especially needed today because I got practically no sleep last night. I was really tired last night and ended up falling asleep on the couch around 9. Then, a friend woke me up by texting me at 11. No big deal. I got ready for bed and fell back asleep around 12. Then the same friend sent me a text at 2! (on accident, I will say) After that second wake-up, I could not fall back asleep all night. Then I had a very long day at work followed by a 2 hour class.

I'm very thankful for coffee!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thankful - Day 5

Seriously? Thanksgiving is next week? Already? How did this happen? Oh my goodness!!!!

Okay, now back to being thankful.....

I am very thankful for computers. Seriously. Yes, they can be a time waster, but I love them. I love social networking - facebook, blogs, etc. I love talking over Skype with family that is overseas.

I remember way back in the 80s when my aunt, uncle, and children first moved to Botswana. It would take roughly 3 weeks to get a letter there and 3 weeks to get a letter back. Calling was also dreadfully expensive. So we didn't have the greatest of contacts.

But now, my aunt, uncle, and one cousin are in Malawi - an even more remote area, and we can hear from them almost every day via facebook and e-mail. We can call over Skype, or buy cheap calling plans online.

And let's mention pictures. I don't know what I would do without seeing the pictures of my sweet Caleb and Evan online so often. I would probably buy impulsive plane tickets to Singapore, and that would get quite expensive! Okay, I wouldn't really do this, but it would be even harder to resist! Computers make it so much easier to see pictures than the days when you would have to have film, develop a picture, and mail it.

So, someone please remind me of this post next time my computer is frustrating me and I want to throw it out the window.

Or don't, since I only communicate with most of you via the computer. And if I'm trying to throw it out the window, I probably won't be reading your comments.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful - Day 4

Shallow Alert!!!!!

This post is nothing resembling deep or meaningful. But it is true.

I am thankful for Peppermint Mocha creamer. For a fraction of the cost of a Starbucks or Caribou Mocha, I can get a pretty decent mocha-ish coffee at home. As a total coffee addict, this is much appreciated. Yesterday, I bought more of it and I paid $2.09. This will be added to approximately 25 cups of coffee. That's less than 10 cents a cup. So with the coffee and filters, we're probably talking about $.30 a cup for coffee. Compare that to $3.50 or so at a coffee shop....

Now if only they would sell it year round instead of just for Christmas!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankful - Day 3

Today has been a great day in some ways, but a rough day in others. Today was my friend's baby shower. I am soooo happy for her and her husband! They are so ready for this little miracle, and in just over a month, he'll be here.



But my heart is heavy for another friend - a friend who is, short of divine intervention, saying goodbye to her 1 year old son. This could happen any moment. His story can be found at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/vincentstringer. He's fought a hard fight the last 6 months, but it appears his fight is coming to an end. Cancer is a vicious disease! Thinking about him, and my dear childhood friend Rebecca and her family, makes me immediately tear up. (If you're reading this, please keep them in your prayers!)

That being said, it's made me appreciate the life I have. Thinking about Ashley and the precious life growing inside of her and little Vincent and the fact that his life has been so short makes me appreciate the fact that I am alive. The fact that I am reasonably healthy is a blessing. I am determined to make the most of it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Five Question Friday - 11/12/2010

Another edition of Five Question Friday from Mama! And later today I'll at least post one of my thankful things. I've started more than once this week, but life keeps happening when I try to blog. :)

1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?

Well, as I discussed in this post, I've had a painful life! And since many incidents were so spread out, it's very hard to choose just one. Let's just say I'm glad to still be alive.

But, probably overall, the car accident in December 2007. A bulging disc, 3 rotated discs, and many torn muscles later, physical therapy and chiropractic treatments kinda "fixed" me. Until the February 2009 accident that is.....


2. How much sleep do you get at night?

This week (let's review that life happening thing) I've been lucky to get 4. Most weeks, I get between 5 and 6. Yes, I'm tired a lot, and yes, I do need coffee. :)

3. How long did you believe in Santa Claus? How did you find out that he does not exist?

My parents never believed it was wise to lie to your children and make the holiday about a magical mystical man giving presents instead of the birth of Christ, so never! Thank you, parents!

4. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
Just this week, my friend Linda and I went to see You Again. It was cute, fluffy fun. I don't go to the movies often. The last two movies had been kids' movies, so it was nice to go to an adult (or at least teenage) movie with an adult!

5. What do you wear to bed?
Pajamas or sweats in the winter, t-shirt and shorts in the summer.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thankful - Day 2

Wow, I'm doing really great with this month of gratitude postings, aren't I? Considering it's November 8th and I'm posting for the 2nd time. Sigh.

This weekend, I just didn't feel like touching my computer. Sure, I checked facebook, twitter, and e-mail on my phone. Okay, I looked up one recipe. But overall, I just wanted to not deal with the computer!

But I'm back. Ahem.

This weekend, I thought several times I would write that I was thankful for Daylight Savings Time....because I love an extra hour of sleep. Or this weekend, an extra hour to get things done so I didn't have to get up so early, so just an extra hour of whatever. Either way..... (P.S. Thank you, whoever sets the DST schedule for making that extra hour while I'm sleeping on the weekend and not like a random mid-day Monday. An extra hour of work would not be as appreciated.)

Anyhow, back to today. Today, I am very thankful for books. As I've mentioned before, I love to read. I'm currently reading a book for class and 2 books for pleasure/my own growth. They are, as follows, Moses, the Greatest Youth Pastor Ever by Richard Crisco (for class), Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot, and Pretense by Lori Wick. Actually, that last one is re-reading.

Some of my all-time favorite books and/ or authors are:

1) The Bible
2) Terri Blackstock books (almost any of them)
3) Dee Henderson "The O'Malley Series" (I love these 7 books, but her other books fall flat for me.)
4) Radical by David Platt
5) Under Cover by John Bevere
6) Dealing with the Rejection and Praise of Men by Bob Sorge
7) Most Lori Wick books (though her more recent ones have not been as good)
8) Driven by Eternity by John Bevere
9) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
10) Envy by Bob Sorge
11) Emma by Jane Austen

And really, this list could go on and on. When I was younger, I absolutely loved the Babysitters' Club books, Nancy Drew mysteries, etc. Before that, I loved The Bobsy Twins and Boxcar Children books. Prior to that, I loved all the little story books I could get - Amelia Bedelia was a favorite. Pretty much my whole life I have loved books.

Friday, November 5, 2010

5 Question Friday - November 5, 2010

Brought to us by Mama, here is today's 5 Question Friday.

1. If you could have any talent and turn it into an occupation, what would it be?
Hmmm..... I love either writing or music, so if I were talented enough at either, that would probably be it.

2. Would you rather have a house at the beach or a cabin in the woods?
House at the beach. I'm SO cold! The beach sound wonderful right now where as a cabin in the woods makes me think of snow and winter.

3. Is there any meaning or reasoning for the names you chose for your child/children?
No kids.

4. What is your guilty pleasure? (I know we've done this one before, but I'm guessing people's "guilty pleasures" change frequently. At least, mine do!)
Reality tv. :) It's mindless, it's a waste of time, and it's addicting!

5. Do you live in a house that is deep cleaned or straightened?
Usually straightened, but occasionally I get this "need to clean" and I attack it with all sorts of cleaning supplies!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful - Day 1

So, I've been thinking that for the month of November I would post each day about something for which I'm thankful (in no particular order). As you can see, it's November 4th, and up til now, I've been to busy to post. Which is, in itself, something to be thankful for I feel.

Why? Because that brings me to one of the many things I'm thankful for - my job. It can be tiring. It can be stressful. There are days I wish I could respond meanly to a client who is upsetting me. But you know what? I have a job. In a state where roughly 16 out of every 100 are unable to find one and the number of people working lower-end jobs than trained for (think engineers at McDonalds)is much, much higher, I not only have a job, but one that I overall like. I have a fantastic boss, co-workers that I (for the most part) truly enjoy being around, and great clients (again, for the most part). In addition to this (and I don't say this to brag at all, but it's something I'm very thankful for), I make enough money to be able to live comfortably and still have extra to support charities and ministries that I feel led to support.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with this job!