Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hanging out with High Schoolers

I was able to tag along to Tanners with Emily and her some of her small group girls. I was excited for two reasons: One: I was determined to make it to Tanners this year and I really wanted to do the corn maze (which closes at the end of October). Two: I love when I get invited to hang out with Emily's small group because they are a fun group of girls. Only some of them were able to make it, but we still had a blast! A lovely roommate portrait! :)

We were on our way to the corn maze, but it took a while to get there because we had to stop and play a lot! The girls are showing their personalities in this picture!

The girls decided we should race through the maze, so we decided to divide into two teams. Emily and I were "captains. The established rule was that we could only stay on the real paths of the maze, which is really difficult at this time of year, because people create shortcuts to get to the checkpoints. My team won. We didn't take pictures during the race, because, well, we were racing. No time to stop and smell the roses!
A really bad roommate self-portrait. My arms are just not long enough! :)
The girls really wanted to play on the playground (which, I'll admit, is a really cool playground!) but we told them no at first because it cost money to get in. However, they asked and we didn't have to pay, so we played quickly because it was almost time to go!
They had these bikes that we all paired up on. Let's just say, Keely and Emily had some difficulty driving :). Just kidding, I think they were purposefully going the wrong way! Emily looks like she is doing a really good job steering, but really, the passenger steering wheel didn't work at all. I know, because I was the passenger on my bike.
Jenni did an excellent job driving us around. She even stopped and threw herself into harms way to get my apple cider donuts when they fell out of the basket! It's sad to say, but I'm so out of shape that I'm pretty sure I am sore today from peddling so hard during our ride.
The girls were so excited to get on the bus. They even picked up some extra passengers along the way!

I love this picture of Emily and her girls. They are a photogenic group, that's for sure.

Another roommate picture. The "serious" one. Although I told Emily that it looks like we're holding hands (which we are not. My hand is behind her!)
After Tanners, we went to Avanti's for dinner. The conversation got interesting. We may have giggled and talked about boys some. Emily and I may have participated somewhat (while still maintaining some sense of being the adults in the group, of course!) The girls are so cute. They insisted that as soon as Emily starts dating someone, she must bring him to a small group event because they need to approve of him if she is going to continue dating him. I just sat back and decided that, although I love hanging out with them, I'm glad I work with 3rd-6th graders!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dreams, Part Two

So, last night I had a dream that I was back in college. How weird is that?! That was fast. High school to college in two days! Look out Doogie Howser!

In other news, I had a busy weekend! I went up to my mom's on Friday night. Saturday morning I attended the wedding of some Peoria friends. It was beautiful, the reception site was amazing! After the wedding, I was able to meet up with most of my girl cousins for some shopping and eating! It was a lot of fun!

Here we are. Michelle, Sara, me, Katie, Marta (plus two), Carin, and Kammy. The only Illinois cousin we were missing was Missie, who got sick. And then we were missing three out of state cousins...Ann, Jenniefer, and Cherisse. We told lots of stories that I won't repeat on here. After all, what happens with the cousins, stays with the cousins! It was a really good day. Then Sunday I got to see my grandma. She is recovering from a fall she had about 3 weeks ago. She is still her spunky self. When I got there, she said, "I'm not getting up to give you a hug!" so I leaned down and gave her one in her chair. Then when it was time to go, I started to lean down and give her a hug and she said, "Well, I'm getting up to give you a hug! But it's only going to be a one-handed hug!" Okay, Grandma!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


How can I still be dreaming about high school at the age of 31? And the dreams don't ever change. I had a dream that I was late for class. But I couldn't remember what class I was supposed to be going to. Or where the room was. And I couldn't find my schedule to find out any of the answers. Here's a new part though...once I got to class, I was digging through my bag to find something and my iPod kept turning on and playing music really loud (which isn't really possible, but it was a dream!).

So, my only question really is, "when will I outgrow high school nightmares?"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Testimony Night

Last year in AWANA, we had our first Testimony Night. Last night was our second. I love testimony night for many reasons, but last night I got to add one more reason to my list. Generally, one of the leaders will give their testimony to get the ball rolling, and then the floor is opened for the kids to give their testimonies. It is so much fun to watch the kids bounce in their seats to get picked. As adults, we would never be that excited to get up in front of a room full of people and tell them how we came to know the Lord as our Savior (to which we should be ashamed, by the way!). So, one of my new leaders for this year gave her testimony last night. Then, about six kids gave their testimonies before it was time to go. While we were herding the kids off to game time, I noticed several of the girls hanging back to talk to a few leaders. I went on with my administrative duties, so that I would be ready to give the girls their awards at the end of the evening. I went into game time toward the end of the evening and one of the leaders informed me that HER DAUGHTER HAD ACCEPTED CHRIST! :) :) :) :) She's a fourth grader and had been struggling with the concept of not being able to see God. Something in the leader's testimony hit a chord with her and she talked to her afterward and prayed to receive Christ! I was amazed at God's goodness! And it was great being able to see this through her mom's eyes as she told the story! God is so good!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Scripture Saturday plus a Song

I've been listening to Sara Groves since I went to her concert. Everyone kept telling me that they loved the song "Painting Pictures of Egypt," but every time I heard it, I wasn't really paying attention only heard the line with the title of the song. Today, I finally paid enough attention to say "Wow!" :)

The song is based on Exodus 16:3. The Israelites are wandering in the desert after the Lord has led them out of Egypt, where they had been in slavery. The verse says, "The Israelites said to them, 'If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.'"

I know in my own life, it is so true that I look back on the places I've been and sometimes choose to only see the idyllic part of the journey, not the sweat and tears that were involved. Sometimes, even when it's a painful place, the familiar of the past is so much easier to handle than the unknown future. But I love the line in the chorus of the song that says "the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I've learned." Going back wouldn't work, even if I could do it.

Here are the lyrics:
I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me either way
The places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling after me like a long lost friend

It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
The place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
It wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I've learned
And those roads closed off to me
While my back was turned

The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy to discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
Caught between the promise
And the things I know

If it comes too quick
I may not recognize it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
If it comes too quick
I may not appreciate it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched

I think that is the right saying for the story I'm about to tell.
I haven't told any funny client stories lately. Maybe I'm losing my touch. Anyway, this is what happened on Tuesday. My client is 14. I see him Tuesday's 15 minutes after he gets home from school. Monday was a holiday.
Me: Knock, knock on the door.
Client opens door looking dazed in sweatpants: Is it Tuesday?
Me: Yep. Were you sleeping?
Client: No. I was watching a movie.
Me: Did you go to school today?
Client: No, I'm suspended until Thursday.
Me: Stunned Silence. (which is very therapeutic, I'm sure)
Client: Let me go get changed. Closes door.
Door opens and out walks Mom.
Me (in a very calm, professional voice): So, he got suspended...
Mom: Yeah, he had too many tardies and missed the Saturday school, which is an automatic two day suspension.
Me: Internal sigh.


But, really, I'll never understand a school's logic. A kid can't get to class on time, so we're going to suspend him for two days! That'll teach him. Maybe we should make the kid come to school two hours early. Or have him escorted from class to class. But no, instead we send him home to sleep in and watch movies all day. Great idea! When I was in high school, it didn't matter what class you were late to, after so many tardies, they took away your parking permit. I mean, it makes sense if you're late to school every day. But what does driving have to do with being tardy to 3rd period?

Monday, October 11, 2010

My weekend

I have had several relaxing weekends and it has been really nice. Nothing to report there. But this was the best kind of weekend (minus the 90 degree weather in October...but that's a story for another time). Relaxing but with things to do. Friday night, after working a 9 hour day at work (I know, don't go into shock...just breath, get passed it, and keep reading), I met friends for dinner and than we went to see Life As We Know It. It was a pretty good movie. Typical chick flick. Very predictable. One of my favorite quotes (maybe it shouldn't be, but it made me laugh out loud) was when the male lead said to the female lead, "Women your age aren't considered single, they're considered complicated." So, apparently that's me...complicated. I might just have to agree!

Saturday I was able to sleep in (Yay!). I made my way slowly from bed, meaning I woke up at 8, got out of bed around 10, and made my way to the couch to read a book until 12. But than I slowly began to complete things on my to-do list. I changed out my spring/summer comforter for my fall/winter comforter (even though it was almost 90 degrees in October). Than I cleaned my bathroom, paid some bills, read some more. You get the idea...relaxing, but getting things done.

Saturday night I went to a Sara Groves concert at a church in Morton. I love church concerts (as opposed to ones in big civic centers). They are intimate and you feel like you're among friends. I went to a Nichole Nordeman concert with friends while I lived in Texas. So, this already brought good memories, even before the concert began. I was struck by several lyrics that Sara (see, I can call her Sara, because she feels like a friend now!) sang. One song was titled "Different Kinds of Happy." It was an interesting concept that I have been pondering the last couple of days. She also sang a song about the house she grew up in. She told stories about the house before she sang it, and she suggested we think about that place that brings back good memories. I immediately thought of my Grandpa's house. There are so many memories from that place for me. It is where the idea of family was cemented for me. The concept of play. She quotes a passage from Psalms in the song...He has withheld no good thing. The last song she sang was titled "Joy Is In Our Hearts" and ends with the line..."for good reason, joy is in our hearts." I have such a reason to be joyful, which takes me back to the idea that there are different kinds of happy. There is giddy happy, and there is joy in the pain, knowing that I have His joy in my heart. Last, she sang a song called "Twice as Good." It was a song about friendship, and the chorus states, "life with you is half as hard and twice as good." It made me think of friendships I value in life.

Then we started a new sermon series in church, which is always exciting because it doesn't happen very often. Sometimes Pastor Ritch's series last over a year.

So, that was my weekend! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just a little catch up

Okay, my own title makes me laugh, because the first thing I was going to say in this extremely random post is that lots of ketchup can cover up a lot of poor a really old bun for your hamburger at dinner.

Tonight I get to go watch some friends and my roommate play softball in truly fall weather. I am VERY excited. I have almost two hours, but I am savoring what I might be able to do with this hour in the cold. Long sleeve shirt... hoodie sweatshirt... blanket... thermos of hot chocolate. Oh my goodness...I wish you could truly understand my excitement! :)

I've been sleeping with my window open, even though it's gotten down into the 30s the past few nights. Monday morning when I woke up, it was 55 degrees in my room. Which is all good until I actually had to get out of bed and make my way into the bathroom which is attached to my bedroom. Needless to say, 55 degrees is great for snuggling under blankets, but not for undressing and getting into the shower! But I survived and repeated the process again this morning :)!

I was going to continue with some very boring commentary on the rest of my life, but maybe I'll save it for another day. Does anybody really want to hear about the movies I have been renting the last couple of weeks?