August 31, 2009

The One with a New [to me] Stove

As you can imagine, I am completely stoked right now.
The "new" stove has officially replaced the old one (which is now rotting in the garage).
What wonderfully generous people Mr & Mrs Burke are.
And they thanked us for solving their "problem" of needing to get rid of this 1.5 year old stove.
You're most certainly welcome.

Please enjoy Mr. Crappy Stove's final photo op.
Two of the burners are mostly unusuable.
Most of the burner surfaces are completely uneven.
The front oven handle is straight up gone. How does that even happen?
The inside of the oven is quite small.
The temperature is totally not accurate.
It took me months to bake with precision.
It's old.
It's dirty.
It's crappy.
It's full of someone else's messes.
Though I have scrubbed it down multiple times.

But this morning, to prepare for the arrival of Mr. Wonderful Stove, I had to pull out the old one.
And clean underneath and behind it.
A feat I was definitely definitely not looking forward to.
I was hoping to never have to see what was hiding under there.
Knowing that 90% of it was left by the former owners completely grosses me out.
It's one thing to clean up your own mess.
It's a whole other issue to clean up after people you don't even know.
It was even worse than I was expecting.

Apparently the best place to store milk caps and those milk cap rings is under the stove.
Of course!
This took me about 45 minutes to scrub clean.
Then I had to clean the sides of the cabinets.
And the back wall.
And under the range hood--since I couldn't reach it when the stove was in place.
And on top of the hood.
All locations were absolutely disgusting.
It's not perfect, but it's better.
And at least I know what it looks like now.
And we're th only ones we can blame future messes on.

And now, for his first live appearance, Mr. Wonderful Stove:

Check out the smooth glasstop.
And the shiny black surfaces.
And the interior is huge.
And it was well cared for.
And I love it.
It's a Kenmore. That's always good.

Rest in peace, Mr. Crappy Stove.
Thanks for your valiant efforts.

And Mr. Wonderful Stove, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

August 29, 2009

The One with the Stoneware

This is how busy I have been lately.
Like, as in the last week.
No, month.
Today was the first time I looked at my Real Simple magazine.
That came 3 weeks (?) ago.
Normally, I have the entire thing read after 2 days.
I'm just that excited about this magazine.
And I'm still thrilled.
But I've been busy.
Suddenly I feel like a real youth director.
Don't take that the wrong way.
I have been "for real" for almost a year now.
But it has taken this long for me to figure out what the heck I'm doing.
And how to improve.
You can't improve if you have nothing to compare it to.
Now I do.
And now we have many more students.
And lots more activities.
And deeper relationships.
And awesome discussions.
And Bible quizzing.
And I could go on and on.
This is fabulous it really is.
I'm truly in love with this teens.
I would give anything for any one of them. No lie.
I'm speechless, God. Thank you.

All that to say, I haven't had much free time.
And now I've started an AVON business as well.
And I'm still needing to bake weekly for the Sunday sales.
People get mad if there are no cookies, I'm telling you.

I think I won a contest.
You know, one of the many I was discussing in my last post.
I can't believe it!
I'm totally psyched right now.
(Also, I've used that word--"psyched"--at least 3 times today. What is this? The 80s?)
But seriously. I'm pretty sure I won.
I'm pretty sure because it said "Melanie with a gmail email address."
That's me.
But it could be someone else too.
I can't really tell.
So I sent in my confirmation email as instructed and I can hardly wait to see if it's for real.
If it is, then I'll be receiving a new Selah cd in the mail soon. *screech*

My husband has been rocking out to his Chris Tomlin station on Pandora all day.
I have been loving it.
I love worshipping in song.
And I love worshipping with Kevin.

I also loved sleeping in today.
And having gotten all of my weekend shopping done last night.
It was a bummer though because we were supposed go to a high school football game.
Mostly for the halftime show--2 of our students are in the marching band. Freshmen.
I love the band.
But it poured all day.
I don't love sitting in the rain.
So we'll go next Friday.
But that meant I did all my errand running last night.

And this morning was reserved for rummaging.
I hit at least 3 community sales.
But they were not very "community" oriented.
As in 3 -5 sales in a huge allotment.
But I did find some great stuff.
Four dining room chairs for Britt.
New shoes. Brown (cowboy) boots (that I actually pull of if I'm wearing jeans). Green flats. High heels. All for free because my friend was selling them. :)
A gorgeous salad bowl set. Colorful stoneware. 4 bowls. a Serving bowl. Salt and Pepper shakers. Oil and Vinegar bottles. All for $5. I'll have to take photographs.
A new church cookbook.
A desk top filing system.
A "New York" something or other track jacket.
Four beautiful goldenrod bowls and plates. Also stoneware. For $3. From At Home America.
Kevin already had a bowl of cereal because he loved the deep bowls so much.

::combining the salad bowl find with the yellow stoneware with the green plates::

And all the while I managed to give out around 10 AVON catelogs.
This is hard work getting started, I'm not gonna lie.
But I think it will be super fun. If all goes well.
Someone thinks I'll take over AVON one day.
I'm not so sure about that.
But I really appreciate the vote of confidence. :D

August 25, 2009

The One with the Poll

I love to win things.
Any little old thing really.
I got so totally stoked when Kevin and I won a $10 gift card to Pizza Hut last summer.
I was excited to hear my number called at the family camp softball game.
I won a rain poncho.
And I was still excited.
Just because I won.
Today I want to a win a few things.
A Sam's Club Membership & gas card from $5 Dollar Dinners.
(Have you been to Sam's Club? If not, you really need to fall in like with it. I have.)
A Selah cd from Big Mama & Boo Mama.
(Have you ever heard Selah? If not, you really need to be transformed by their music. I have.)
A $250 grocery store gift card from $5 Dollar Dinners.
(Umm, do you grocery shop? I think yes.)
I enter a lot of blog giveaways.
I have not won.
But I plan on winning at some point in my life.
So I keep entering.
It can't hurt, right?

I have been absolutely loving the weather these past 3 days.
75 and sunny.
Perfect in the shade.
Love it.
I do not love the rag weed allergen whose levels are skyrocketing.
This is my least favorite time of year just because of that.
Ever since I was 5 I have been downing allergy meds to deal with my symptoms.
My eyes itch so so so bad I want to gouge them out.
Or scratch them to death.
Don't worry. I won't.
But it's sheer torture.
And then there's my sneezing.
I could wake the dead with my sneezing.
And the runny nose.
Well. that's just not cool.
And I'm on Zyrtec and a prescription eye drop. And it's still this bad.
Imagine what it would be like without those things.
*cringe* I don't even want to.

Kevin and I played "golf" last night.
This time with actual golf balls instead of tennis balls.
We tried to avoid hitting a church window.
We succeeded.
But we did lose a ball.
I have found I'm a much better golfer if I just chill out.
When I'm all tense or focused I miss it every time.
Here's some photos just because I think we're cute.

:::this is kevin swinging at the weeds.

So here's a opinion poll for all of my loyal readers.
Should Kevin and I get a dog?
Feel free to share the reasons for your answer.
We realize the pros and cons.
Kevin has pretty much made up his mind.
My mind is taking longer to decide. As per usual.

Tonight is my first AVON regional meeting.
I'm pretty excited to learn.
And meet new people.
And become pretty much awesome at this whole AVON Independent Sales Rep thing.

August 24, 2009

The One where I Never Steal a Cookie from the Cookie Jar

It's that time again.
And I'm totally pumped.
Check out the whole "Not Me! Monday" gang over at My Charming Kids.
And now, won't you please join me on a journey of brutal honesty on this bright sunny Monday?

I would never accept a challenge to memorize I Corinthians 1.
No! People who can memorize whole chapters of Scripture are crazy.
And I am certainly not crazy.
I would never think it appropriate (and only fair) to memorize the same verses I am challenging the teens to know.
That would be silly.
I am not actually try to be an example to them.
Nor would ever exuberantly tell of my accomplishments.
Because I'm not the least bit proud of what I did.
Nope, not me.
So I never would have spent 2 straight hours on Friday memorizing all of chapter 1 in I Cor.
And even if I did, I would not have been caught texting my husband every 30 minutes.
Updating him on my progress.
And I would never be so extremely excited for my accomplish that I would admit it to all of you.

Never would I ever buy a VHS workout series.
From Goodwill.
Nope, not me.
I am far too classy to be seeing buying used exercise tapes.
Or to admit that I have a VHS player.
And I would never actually tell anyone that these tapes are called The Firm.
Cause that's just ridiculous.
But I would tell you that these workouts definitely do something.
I have been feeling the burn from The Firm for 3 days now.

Speaking of firming up, you would not find a gluten-laden cookie in my hand. ever.
I am fully aware of the consequences of eating the glorious food form known as the cookie.
And not just the fat forming consequences.
But the intestinal damaging consequences.
Thanks to my allergy.
Nope. I would never knowingly partake of something that I know will hurt me.
In more ways than one.
Never! And I certainly have not gotten caught red handed many many times this week.
*shrinks back in shame*

And of course I would never go into a Sunday School classroom with my head screwed on backwards.
When I'm leading a class I am always always fully aware of my surroundings.
I would never allow lack of sleep or my foggy-allergy-ridden mind get the best of me.
And even if I did, I wouldn't let all of the students in my incompetence.

And I most certainly did not become an official AVON Independent Sales Representative on Saturday.
Nope, not me.
I would never make such a serious decision in a matter of hours.
And my husband would never eagerly encourage me to jump on board.
And I will never admit to being totally geeked about this endeavor.

You may have already noticed the permanent blog link to my AVON store.
It's in the right column.
At the top.
And it's official.
I am now an AVON Independent Sales Representative.
I am super pumped!
I have been around AVON since I was a little girl.
My mom has been a loyal customer for at least 30 years.
She still wears the jewelry bought in years past.
It's good stuff.
In the past few months I have had various thoughts concerning a "fun employment" opportunity for myself.
AVON was one options that I considered for just a fleeting moment.
But on Saturday, at that parking lot flea market, I was convinced.
Convinced to seriously consider this endeavor.
You see, I don't make hasty decisions. Ever.
Not even for fast food restaurant decisions.
I take at least 7.65 minutes deciding what to order at a restaurant whose menu never changes.

So I left the flea market equipped with new knowledge of this whole Avon Ind. Sales Rep. thing.
I told Kevin about it right away.
He was completely supportive.
And he was even willing to go back to the same flea market to speak with this "Avon Lady" with me.
We got more information.
And before I knew it, I was signed up!
You should check out my personal online AVON store!
I'll keep a link on my blog if you need to refer to it.
And if you live fairly close by, let me know if you want a campaign catalog.
Can you tell I'm excited?
Cause I'm totally not.
Nope, not the least bit excited am I.

I am also totally excited about the monthly regional AVON meeting on Tuesday night too.
I'll get all the information I so desperately need before I embark fully on this adventure.
I'm looking forward to the opportunity of connecting with other women in my area.
Outside of my church.
What a great ministry opportunity.
And having a great excuse to meet my neighbors!
God is in this, I can feel it.

August 22, 2009

The One with the Working Stove

I can hardly decide what to write about first.
So many fantastic things in so little time.
I will attempt to start at the beginning.
I've heard it's a very good place to start.

This morning we woke up at 6:30 with plans to take a walk together.
Instead we told hysterical accounts of our dreams from the night before.
Within 2 minutes of waking there were tears streaming down my laugh.
I was laughing so hard.
Kevin has the best dreams ever.
I mean seriously.
He was a bus driver.
And a detective.
He knew that because of his detective like trench coat.
And he crashed the bus.
And fled the scene.
And somewhere in there penguins appeared.
I think they were on the second bus.
Turns out they were ceramic penguins.
Four ceramic penguins--lawn ornament like.
But when he dropped them on the ground, real live penguins emerged from two of them.
And these penguins followed him.
And they became his penguins.
I can't remember what else there was, but I remember we were both cracking up.
Dying laughing.
Ok, maybe you had to be there.
But it was funny.

We did manage to go on a walk.
But then it started pouring.
So we walked home.
And I made my famous oatmeal pancakes.
And by "famous" I mean, Kevin and I LOVE them.
But we're the only ones who have ever actually had them.
So I'm not sure how famous they could possibly be.

After a shower, I hit the road for my weekly shopping trip.
I stopped at a street yard sale and found squat.
My trip to Meijer was completely successful, however.
I went in with a short list.
Came out with exactly those items.
Planned on spending about $15 as frozen chicken cost $6.99.
(But it was a 4lb bag making it 1.79 per pound. woot!)
I remembered to use my pop bottle deposit slips.
And my coupon for a free gallon of milk.
Turns out the milk coupon took $4.50 off my bill.
And the milk was only $1.49.
But I was NOT complaining.
My bill totaled $6.09.
And the chicken alone was on sale for $6.99.
How crazy is that?!

After a stop at Aldi and Ciolino (where I stuck to my list!) I swung by a makeshift flea market.
It was set up in the bowling alley parking lot.
And was advertised as a "garage sale."
Which is technically false advertising since there were no garages to be found.
But I didn't complain.
I'm not that much of a goody two shoes.
I found this adorable miniature tiered served tray for $1.
And 3 dresses and 2 shirts and 1 sweater for $3.

And get this!
After unpacking all these great finds, the doorbell rings.
Kevin goes to answer it.
There stood Mr. and Mrs. Burke--the cutest little couple you could ever imagine.
They've been married for 63 years!!!
Sixty three.
That's more than twice as old as I am.
We had a blast chatting with them and letting them know how encouraging it is to see married couples deeply in love after a lifetime together.
People are so bitter about marriage these days.
It's a real downer.
I can't wait to see what life brings us in the next 63 years.
Actually, I hope we're still alive in 63 years.
Back to the point.
The reason they stopped by was to see if we would be able to take their 1 1/2 year old stove from them.
Would we be able to??
We would love to!!
Mrs. Burke has never forgotten how crappy and dilapidated our stove is.
Not only is it quite old but there is not handle.
Two of the burners are temperamental.
It cooks unevenly.
The temperature is way off.
It's taken me about a year to figure out all of it's quirks.
And now we're getting a new stove.
Great. Just great.
I have to learn a new oven.
Wait. What?!
I GET a new oven!
She thanked us profusely for helping them "solve their problem"--as they were trying to figure out what to do with their "old" oven when they order a new one.
I said, "It is our pleasure."
So excited.


August 20, 2009

The One with the Answered Prayers

Have I ever mentioned how much I love popcorn?
Or how unbelievably happy I am that it is a gluten free snack?
I can down a bag of Act II butter lover's in no time.
And I am not ashamed of that.
Mmm Mmm good.
I'm eating popcorn right now if you must know.
As we watch Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Because apparently we "haven't seen it in years."
I'm ok with that.
Not that we haven't seen it, but that we're watching it tonight.
I'm a fan.
Especially of the music.
You just don't get movie soundtracks that are as epic as the LOTR.
Many a Bible exegetical was written to said music.
Glory be.
And the theological implications of this Tolkein masterpiece are mind blowing.
Though I probably should read the books sometime.

Last night was "let's introduce mom and grams to My Big Fat Greek Wedding" movie night.
They loved it.
And we did too.
As always.
Even if mom did drop popcorn all over the place.
(hee,hee. I'm not actually upset, Mom, no worries.)
I ate the crumbs.
I'm a freak like that.
And I might just have to see if Windex really will fix everything.
The growths on my fingers might just get this treatment.
(I refuse to say the "w" word again, because of the crazy wart ads that popped up! gross.)

The winds were blowing at hurricane-like speeds today.
I never exaggerate by the way.
But I was nervous.
I was waiting to hear the Emergency Service Alarm sound.
And I could see myself in the middle of cookie baking having to run to the basement.
And crouch in the fetal position for hours.
Scared to death.
As I've always been of tornadoes.
I get queasy just thinking about this weather phenomenon.
But I have become increasingly brave about thunderstorms and the like.
I was always frightened during storms of any kind.
Now I welcome them.
And appreciate them.
And am in awe of them as a reminder of God's power.

Speaking of God's power, tonight's worship team practice was another evidence of that.
It was awesome.
The greatest practice yet.
We were united.
Willing to give and take constructive criticism.
It was the first practice I have not left dripping in sweat due to the sheer agony of the tension.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
No lie.

August 17, 2009

The One that's Definitely Not Me

For months I have observed the blog carnival over at MckMama's blog.
I have decided I have built up enough guts to join in.
And all 10 of my readers will have the privilege of experiencing the joy of brutal honesty.
I must warn you, however.
This entry is not for the faint at heart.
If you would like to maintain your perception of my flawlessness, do not read on.
For those of you who are fully aware of my imperfections, please join me.

I most certainly did not buy Peanut Butter Kids Crunch at my last Aldi trip.
Nope, not me.
My palate is much too sophisticated to enjoy generic Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch cereal.
And I would never eat such sugary cereal for lunch.

I am always on top of every scheduling detail.
Therefore I would never forget about a church potluck until the morning of.
Nope, I'm always prepared.
I never have to throw ingredients into the bread machine and run back after church to slice the fresh bread.
Not me!

I would never ever ever even think about cleaning the bathroom in my birthday suit.
Every Monday.
And even if I did think about it, I would never do it.
And even if I did do it, would never admit it all to you.
No! I am always properly clothed when I am in the privacy of my own home.

Too much information anyone?
Fully aware of the need to call first before stopping by my house on a Monday?
I think yes.

I definitely did not wash Rescue, my stuffed dog, for the first time today.
Since November 2005.
After sleeping with him every single night.
And I never ever drool. Ever.
And I would never tell you this as it would reveal the secret--this married woman still sleeps with a stuffed animal.
The stuffed animal given to her by the man who is now her husband.
When he was under the assumption Rescue would hold his place beside me, until we got married.
Not so much.

When in charge of 16 teens during a two games of bowling, I never advocate crazy bowling.
Nor would I ever participate in such outlandish activities or encourage my husband to take part.
Nope, not me!

::chris & megan attempt the bowl-through::
awkward? I think yes.
entertaining? absolutely.

::my awesome skills convinced my husband to try::


more pictures from our uber-successful bowling event.
doubled attendance.
welcomed new 7th graders.
bowled like crazy. literally.
::loving all the GIRLS::
looks like they were being entertained by my husband's wit once again.

::how cute are we? megan & mel::

::Megan hanging out with the three new 7th grade girls::
Michaela, Heather, Brittany, Megan
[was it not just last year that I myself was nervously entering the youth group?!]

::Kevin, Robert, and Brittany::

::our beautiful bowling balls::

::Robert eagerly helping Chris & Isaac::

August 15, 2009

The One with the Deals

VBS ended on a high note.
I was delighted and a bit surprised to discover how easily I fit into the "Bible teacher" mold.
It required enthusiasm. Not sure where I mustered it, but it was good stuff.
It required a full comprehension of the Bible stories. Check.
Thanks to years of Sunday School.
Christian school.
SAU religion courses.
I'm pretty well covered. Which I love.
It required following the kids' questions were asked or as attention diminished.
It required lots of direction for participation. I, myself, asked many questions to be sure the kids really knew what I was talking about.
It's so easy to just drone on when you know the stories.
But words like: Israelites, Pharaoh, plagues, wilderness, disciples, eternal life, and more need defined.
All of these requirements require patience.
A quality I do not normally own in spades.
But this week I was so encouraged to experience Jesus working in and through me.
And not only that, but I had FUN!
Rather than being annoyed or frustrated by the kids, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to teach them.

Today was good.
Delicious in fact.
We awoke at 7am.
Completely on our own.
We're old people, apparently.
We relaxed. Had hearty homemade oatmeal pancakes.
I hit the road at 9am to catch the best garage/rummage sale deals.
I was so pumped to be a "real" garage sale-er.
I found the game Cranium for $2.
A beautiful punch bowl and 21 glasses with hooks for $5.
A full set of golf clubs and a perfect golf bag for $10. Kevin and I are seriously hoping to become amateurs.
After picking up a Nike track jacket and a cute sweater for $1 each.

Then I headed to Meijer, Aldi, and Ciolino's with my usual list and coupons in hand.
I actually enjoy grocery shopping, so that part was fun for me too!
In the meantime Kevin had plenty of time in his "nothing box." (which I'm beginning to believe actually exists.)
Then he asked if I'd like to go see a movie at the Ann Arbor Dollar Theater.
They were showing Star Trek which neither of us were super pumped about, but it sounded fun, so we made it to the 1:30pm showing.
This movie was SO great!
I thought I might like it. But I LOVED it.
I may have just become a trekky. Or not. I hope.
Sam's Club was our next stop.
Another location that we find enjoyable.
Great deals.
Though you mustn't be fooled into believing that simply b/c it's in bulk it's a great deal.
Not true, people.
Not true.
Price compare like crazy.
Print out a spreadsheet if necessary.
I did.
Don't mock.

But seriously, you can't complain about a huge cup of soft serve for $0.97 or a pizza & pop combo for $2.50.
And time together is never wasted.

Now we shall chill.
In our air conditioned home.
We finally gave in, and decided to enjoy our weekend at home.
I'm cranky if I'm hot, so this is just best for all concerned.

Tomorrow is New Student Welcome party for youth group.
After their last big "fling" at vbs, the 7th graders are officially invited to join the youth group!
We're stoked to have them join us!
And who doesn't love a night of bowling for $1 and pizza as a casual start to a new season?!

Mom and Grams are making a trip up to our abode this Tues.-Thurs.
Fun? I think yes.

August 13, 2009

The One with the Turtles

Our Crocodile Dock VBS is in full swing.
We've had solid crowds of children filling the church and having the time of their lives.
Kevin and I were asked to teach the Bible lesson at "Bible Bayou" each day.
There are 4 rotations of kids meaning we teach the 20 minute lesson 4 times.
I was excited to have such a big responsibility.
But this job is much more intense than I anticipated.
Now, I know all of the lessons quite well.
Moses and the Burning Bush.
Moses before Pharaoh with the Plagues.
The Passover.
Jesus dying as the sacrificial lamb.
Moses leading the Israelites through the Red Sea.
The stories are not the hard part.
The hard part is fully engaging the young audience in way that opens their minds to new (and TRUE!) stories that enforces key qualities of God--all in way they understand.
It's been a prayerful week for me.
I've gone to God each day beseeching his grace and wisdom.
That my words and explanations would be His.
That the kids would be receptive and understanding.
That his Spirit would do a work in their hearts.

So far, so great.
There is one crew of kids that is particularly awful. talk talk talk. ignore ignore ignore.
But that is to be expected.
There is also one crew that is phenomenal. I look forward to having the "turtles" visit our room.
So engaged. So excited. So intent. So obedient.

Kevin had the night "off" as he wasn't absolutely essential to the story telling.
(as he had been Monday--as the voice of God-- and Tuesday as Pharaoh.)
He came over afterwards to practice a song for the Friday finale.
One of the little girls from the "Turtles" spotted him and with her hands on her hips said, "Hey! where were you tonight!"
It was adorable.
She was so serious about it.
I liked that he was missed.

I've also been blessed in other ways this week.
I met Veronica, one of our neighbors, who has 2 little girls and a newborn.
I was ashamed that we hadn't met previously but was thankful for this God-ordained encounter.
Kevin and I also got a chance to talk more with her after VBS on Tuesday.
I plan on visiting with cookies sometimes next week. :)

I'm finally making friends.
My own friends.
At the church we've been going to for nearly a year.
It's lame that it's taken so long.
But it's also just recently that my heart has been aching to fill this exact void.
God is quickly answering my pleas.
I mentioned the heartfelt conversation Pam & I had Sunday.
That connection was the start of something beautiful.
I've also been chatting with a lady name Nancy whose 18 year old daughter is Mackenzie.
I never thought it would go much past the "acquaintance" level.
Especially since Mackenzie is very introverted.
But last night when Mackenzie commented on my sandals and I, of course, told of their consignment shop roots, a whole floodgate of connections opened up.
Nancy, Mackenzie and I are going to get along beautifully.
Passions for great style, great deals, and Gilmore girls.
Enough said.
Well, that and they said they're form of "clubbing" is hitting Sam's Club.
SO true!
It's shocking how healing something as simple as similarities can be.
And apparently Mackenzie mentioned to Nancy a while back that they should invite me on one of their shopping trips.
So cool.
I think we might have to do that now and again.
I love shopping. But pretty much only if the people I'm shopping with absolutely LOVE a good deal.
And then a night of Gilmore Girls must be had.
I'm so geeked!

Oh, and speaking of great deals, I will now share one last exciting story.
Exciting for me at least.
Wednesdays throughout this summer have been Arby's "deals days."
(I don't actually know what they're called, but that's what I'm calling them.)
You know, buy this thing, get that thing free.
Sometimes it's lame.
But sometimes the deal is totally worth it.
Like yesterday.
Kevin bought a pop for $1.49.
He got a Roast Chicken Club sandwich free.
I ordered a curly fry for $1.59.
(Don't you LOVE their curly fries?!)
And I had a coupon for a free roast beef sammy because I filled out their survey.
Our bill totaled $3.26.
Rock on!

August 11, 2009

The One with the Personality

I took it again. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
Freshman year at SAU all of us spineless Core 100 students were strapped to our chairs and forced to look intuitively into our lives while answering hundreds of questions by filling in hundreds of bubbles for hours on end.
Ok, so maybe it wasn't that torturous.
In fact, I secretly enjoy taking quizzes or evaluations that give freakishly accurate insight into my life.
Which is probably why I was so easily swayed into this quiz on facebook.
I avoid most all applications on the book of faces, but I could not resist.
With only 60ish 2-option questions, it took about a tenth of the time to complete as the "official" test did freshman year, but the results were exactly the same.
I am an ESFJ.
Anyone actually know what that means?
I am Extroverted.
Anyone actually know what that means?

Here's what Mr. Briggs and Mrs. Myers (via facebook) have to say about me:
You are warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. You want harmony in your environment, and work with determination to establish it. You like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. You are loyal and follow through even in small matters. You notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it. You want to be appreciated for who you are and for what you contribute. Famous people with your ESFJ personality include: Bill Clinton, Sally Field, Danny Glover, Terry Bradshaw, Mary Tyler Moore and Nancy Kerrigan.

The "official" characteristics associated with my personality type is quite similar:
Warm-hearted, talkative, popular, conscientious, born cooperators, active committee members. Need harmony and may be good at creating it. Always doing something nice for someone. Work best with encouragement and praise. Main interest is in things that directly and visibly affect people's lives.

What do you think?
Nail on the head?

August 10, 2009

The One with Diet Coke with Lime

I shall (not) grin and bear these few days of a real Michigan summer.
I can't believe it's been so long since my last post.
I'm not really sure why I got all lax on you guys, other than I was just feel lazy and lacking my usual wit.
I don't know.
Wednesday evening prayer meeting was unusually refreshing.
There were only 5 in attendance besides Kevin & me and that small gathering allowed for more fun & intimacy.
I feel like we were all able to really speak truthfully about our lives.
There was a deeper bond of kinship.
Thursday evening was not so refreshing.
That's pretty typical though, given that worship team practice is scheduled.
Now, here's the deal--Kevin and I have nothing against being on worship team. We love it.
We have nothing against practicing. We know it's necessary in order to play with excellence.
What we do have a problem with is the negative attitude of one of the people in leadership.
And the unapproachable, my-way-or-the-highway, intimidating ways of this person.
No one feels completely at ease.
No one wants to say, "Can we go over that again?" because they don't want the glare of wrath.
We say if you don't want to practice and work together to God's glory then leave.
This person comes with the "let's get it over with as quickly as possible and just assume that one run-through of each song will suffice."
That is so not true.
But I will stop now. For I am getting frustrated all over again.

Friday was great!
Kevin made it home in time for us to jump back into the car and head to the Eccles' home.
They invited us to join them at their SBC housekeeping staff dinner and it became a hk reunion.
So cool.
I baked an apple pie. and tossed a salad.
There were many that I didn't know well.
And many I hadn't seen in 2 years.
It was fun times.
Full of laughing.
And housekeeping stories. (we're full of them.)
And Apples to Apples.

::housekeeping alum::

Saturday I was out of sorts.
That's the best way to put it.
But I didn't manage to get grocery shopping done (and spent as much as I saved!!)
Then, in an effort to lift my spirits Kevin offered to go rent a movie.
So we ventured out and found The Breakfast Club.
Then we went to the China Buffet.
Which we always vow we will never do again.
But I know he's be cravin' the Chinese so we ate.
And it was delicious.
And I didn't overeat (at a buffet) for once. yay.
Then we set up our slumber party bed in the basement and watched our movie (and loved it) and ate popcorn and drank Diet Coke with lime and went to sleep. It was way cool.

The best part about Sunday was probably talking with Pam.
She's the pastor's wife and I've always appreciated her.
But we've never really talked one on one.
After church she caught me and asked if I was doing ok.
She was concerned.
After 45 minutes of both of us getting distracted by church peoples wanting to talk, we finally sat down.
And we shared and had wonderful conversation.
I felt loved and encouraged.
I hope we will do that again.

Tonight is the start of VBS.
It's going to be a busy week.
Kevin and I have big responsibilities with teaching the Bible lesson (four times a night.)
I hope he doesn't get burnt out with a full work week and hot weather and 2 hours of kids.
I hope I don't either.
Praying it goes well and our words come from the mouth of God and well received into soft hearts.

August 5, 2009

The One with the Blue Skies Smilin' at Me

I went to another slumber party last night.
Sort of.
You see, yesterday's weather was pretty much disgusting for my taste. and Kevin's.
It was very very hot. And even more humid.
I believe we've been over my dislike of this weather.
When nighttime had fallen and the house was still hot and sticky and lacking a cool breeze, we decided to sleep downstairs.
So I gathered a sleeping bag and our pillows and Kevin picked out his favorite blankets.
Soon our basement was transformed into a slumber party.
Or at least that's what I called it just for fun!
We actually dozed off almost immediately as we were exhausted.
My hip bones were keenly aware of the fact that the floor's carpeting was only disguising the cement underneath.
It was not the most comfortable, but it was cool.
And tonight I shall add a few more layers of plushness underneath us.

This morning I had guts.
For the first time (or maybe just a very rare time), I said "no" and was honest with my reasons.
Not that I'm dishonest normally.
I just have trouble turning people down unless I have a good reason.
Marge called.
Always a bit frightening.
Because I know she only calls when she wants something from me.
Sometimes I am thankful for the caller ID, I must admit.
She asked if I had plans.
"Not exactly," I responded hesitantly. "Why?"
"I was just wondering if you wanted to volunteer at the office for a few hours," she replied.
"I'm sorry, Marge, but I really don't," I blurted out with finesse.
"Alright," she said in a surprisingly understanding tone.
"I'm sorry," I said again, "but thanks for asking."
And that was that.
I was so proud of myself.
And so scared to death with what I had just done.
I almost cried.

We never did get to the fair yesterday.
Kevin's meeting with is advising prof when 30 minutes later than usual and traffic was horrible.
He didn't get home till nearly 7pm.
He was tired.
We ate random things for the heat had neither of us up to anything more elaborate than grilled cheese, cut up cantaloupe and ice cream.

The one good thing about his being later than usual was a phone call I made.
I called Maria.
We talked for 55 minutes.
It was glorious.
We are both in very similar places in our spiritual lives and we needed one another.
So glad I listened to the Spirit's prodding this time.
I am so thankful for her friendship.
She is one of a few people with whom I feel we can both be completely and utterly honest with one another.
It sucks she's all the way in Arizona.
But distance doesn't matter.
And neither does time.
Even if we don't connect for months and months at a time within 3 seconds, we've picked up right where we left off--open, honest, vulnerable, encouraging.
That type of friendship is life-giving.
Now, why don't we talk more often??

August 4, 2009

The One with the Elephant Ears

It's county fair week here.
Apparently I was not aware that the county fair was such a big deal.
I am not a big "fair person."
I don't like livestock all that much.
How safe can those rides really be??
You really shouldn't eat an elephant ear before riding a fair ride. Not good.
Why do you have to pay for every step you take past the gate where you already paid an entry fee?
The amount of fried foods is a little bit disturbing.
[Not that I wouldn't partake, but still...deep fried Snickers Bars?!!!]
The grand stand shows are supremely hick-ish: demolition derbies, country music, tractor pulls, etc.
I have never understood 4-H. Not that I have anything against it. I just have no experience with it.
But alas, it is fair week. And the fairgrounds just happen to be 2 miles from our house.
And everyone I know is going to the fair.
But that doesn't surprise me.

[note: the following thought process may appear to deviate from the above topic, but never fear, the connection will be clear!]
The last two mornings God and I have taken a walk together.
I love taking walks with Him.
I love listening for his call in the morning, directing my path.
And I must admit, it's much easier to listen to His quiet voice when I'm walking and worshipping then when I'm struggling for air during a run or a JM workout dvd.
So we went walking.
I walked the 0.9 miles down Rocky Road (the road we live on...which I really wish had sidewalks, btw) to FruityPebble Rd.--the road on which lies the fairgrounds.
Then I ran the 1.7 miles down FruityPebble Rd.
Because I felt like.
Then I walked halfway back. And ran the other half.
Five point two miles allows for ample worshipping.
But when I have my earphones in and I'm suddenly moved by the Spirit--to throw my arms up or to dance or to cry--I have been slightly inhibited by the massive amounts of people showing up at the fairgrounds TWO hours before the gates "officially" open.
These people are hardcore.

I think we might bike to the fair tonight.

August 2, 2009

The One with the BFFs

It has been confirmed.
I look like a 16 year old.
Tonight at youth group, some of the guys brought a new friend, which is way cool.
As we circled up to explain the rules of ultimate frisbee I realized it would probably be a good thing to tell the new kid that Kevin and I are husband and wife.
You know, like in case we make some sort of awkward married joke everyone else would laugh at but the new guy would just see as totally inappropriate.
Or if Kevin gave me The Eyes.
Or smacked my butt.
He likes to do that on occasion.
Turns out, the decision to mention this minor detail was a good one...
Considering the fact he said, "WHAT?! You're MARRIED? Are you guys old enough to be married?!"
We proceeded to tell him we were 22 and 23 and he spouted out this comment:
"Are you KIDDING ME? She looks like a 16 year old!!!!!!!"
But you know what, he just confirmed what I've always known, and oftentimes been told (just not in the last year or so.)
I remember being asked if my sister and I were twins. I was 17, she was 13. Not so cool then.
I responded with, "Well, that's fine with me. Maybe when I'm 40 I'll look more like a 28 year old."
Now, I realize this is probably NOT true.
But I can dream.

In other news, Friday night was one of the greatest slumber parties of all time!
We really missed the 3 girls who were unable to come at the last second. That was sad.
But I can't believe it worked out to have 7 of my greatest college friends together on one night.
And at MY house nonetheless!
Britt arrived way early (around 1pm) as she had work off and Nick had gone fishin'.
We had a great time catching up and shopping and eating and doing what we did best for 4 years--just being together.

While we talked, I prepared the Overnight Cinnamon Roll dough and the fixings for a Taco Bar.
Then set out my homemade chocolate chip cookies and brownie bites on my newly purchased platters from the garage sale Britt and I hit up.
Kevin went into hiding once the girls began arriving (after Britt that is, since it was totally typical for the 3 of us to hang out. That was life for 2 years after all.)
He did a wonderful job of staying out of our way (probably for his own testosterone's safety) and yet being witty and friendly and fun when the girls stopped by the office (his den for the weekend) to say hello. Thanks, babe. You were great!
Originally, Kevin was supposed to hang out elsewhere but that just didn't work out, but Britt reminded us that, in a way, it was kind of fitting that he was around. It was always "Kevin and girls" anyways.

Betsy and Angie pulled in the driveway at 7pm and Jennie arrived just after them at 7:30.
Melissa was picked up in Ann Arbor by Britt and they got back at 10:15pm.
Emily made it around 11:20pm thanks to some directional miscommunications on both our parts--lol.
We had wonderful talks for hours and hours.
There were no movies or formal activities.
Just us. Together again. Talking. Sharing lives. Sharing stories. Sharing hearts.
It was so encouraging. so healing. so good.
We had some craziness that can be evidenced in the 1am photo shoot pictures.
Our times together are never complete without absolutely ridiculous picture taking.
We finally bedded down in the living around 2am.
3 of us made it till after 3am talking and talking.
I just couldn't stop. I didn't want to miss anything. I was so energized by the conversation and friendships and memories and new stories that I was not at all made that I was losing hours of sleep and most likely assuring I would have a Saturday afternoon headache.
It was all so worth it.

At 6am I was awaken by the light and the fact that I normally wake up at 6am.
I pulled my sleeping bag into the den and snuggled up beside my husband for the remaining 3 hours of my sleep.
In the morning, I put the cinnamon rolls in the oven and Kevin started coffee.
I cut up apples and peaches and set out grapes and bananas.
And when the girls finally rolled out of bed at 11 (though Britt was up at 10!), they were thrilled with the spread!
I love making people happy with food! Have I mentioned that?
More good talks were had at the brunch table before 3 of the girls took off.
Jennie had left at 7 to get to the food bank she runs and Em and Britt hung around with Kevin and I until 2:30pm or so.

It was all fabulous!
I didn't shower until 4pm. That was crazy for me. But good. Which sounds weird. But it was good because it proved how relaxed I was.
How much fun I had.
How rejuvinated my spirit was.

Thank you, girls.
I will love you always.