Saturday, December 19, 2015

Kindergarten memories

Look! Two posts in one week! Even if this one is very random and just something I want to remember more than anyone will care about.
Without really needing to understand what this piece of paper is for, notice all the "2"s that I wrote.  Some have loops and some have straight edge bottoms.  I have a distinct memory of being in kindergarten during calendar time.  Each day the teacher would pick one student to write that day's date on the calendar.  I was chosen on the 22nd of the month.  And I wrote one two with a loop and one two with a straight edge.  And I got in trouble for it.  I'm pretty sure we were only taught one of these ways, but I was a nerd and used to copy letters and numbers out of books, so I knew how to make it the other way.  Apparently, I never broke the habit and could never settle on which way I wanted to write my "2"s because I use them interchangeable to this day.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

6th Annual Cheesy Christmas Movie Night

Traditions are very important in my life.  This tradition is one of my favorites.  This year, Emily made lasagna, Amanda brought molten lava cake and ice cream, and we had 3 movies to choose from: Hitched for the Holidays, Come Dance With Me, and Oh, Christmas Tree (or Fir Crazy, depending on what website you look at).  So, same system was used to choose the movie--a private ballot vote.  There were five of us for dinner and one person coming later.  We started the voting process during dinner.  We had 2 votes for Oh, Christmas Tree, 2 votes for Hitched for the Holidays, and 1 vote for Come Dance with Me.  So, we had to wait for Sarah to get there after dinner to vote, hoping she would break the tie.  But, alas, her vote gave us a 3 way tie.  We didn't really have a secondary option for how to break a three way tie.  So, we made a decision to call one of our original Cheesy Christmas Movie Night Members.  Joanne became our tie breaker.  I read her all the descriptions.  She chose Come Dance with Me, but she really struggled with her choice!  Also, this was Sharon's first year to join us.  We love new people who love cheesy Christmas movies!

We took the obligatory picture, and as usual, I never know if I want flash on or flash off, so I always do both.  First, notice that the sliding glass door was open in the background.  It was 65ish degrees outside and rainy!

 Somewhere in the process of turning the flash on, I apparently turned the timer off!  I only included this picture because I thought the faces of everyone was so funny!  I don't make a good window!

And the ambiance with the tree is beautiful!  Can't wait for another year!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Trip to the Dells

Labor Day Weekend I had the fun-filled adventure of heading to the Wisconsin Dells with three friends! I never went as a child, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Would it be fun as an adult? Would it be cheesy? Would it be boring? Would it be everything I expected and more? Let me tell you, the Dells is not just for kids! We had so much fun! And we packed a ton of stuff into two and a half days. Here is a quick highlight (minus a ton of pictures that I could have posted) of everything we did over the weekend:
Army Ducks.  Is it a car that goes in water?  Or a boat that goes on land?  Either way, we went on both land and water in this boat that was actually used by the army. It was a fun tour and apparently a Dells staple, if you make the trip.
The Tommy Bartlett Water and Stage show.  The first part of the show was water skiers doing lots of fun tricks.
The second part of the show was stage performers.  Emily and I got excited about this one because it reminded us of the movie Wild Hearts Can't be Broken!  A motorcyle in a cage, in case you can't tell.
Ziplining!  So much fun.  Not so much flattering for pictures!

The only time I actually came into a platform facing forward.  I never did quite get the hang of steering, but I didn't really mind, so I didn't try too hard to master it.
This was at the last platform, Armageddon.  We were 907 feet in the air!
And of course, water slides!  The resort we stayed in had 3 outdoor water parks and 3 indoor water parks!  This was the Hurricane, which is almost a roller coaster on water.  It was so much fun and made me miss roller coasters.  Apparently I can do a water slide without getting motion sickness.

Arcade games.  I played a lot of skeeball.
3-D Blacklight mini golf.  A very interesting experience!  I couldn't wear my 3-D glasses while I golfed because it  made me dizzy.

It was an underwater theme.
Laser Tag.  Everyone was surprised with how much I wanted to do this, but it was one of the things we did several times in grad school for a fun evening out.  This was a two story laser tag arena with a wild west theme, so it was a lot of fun!
Laser Maze.  This had two options: crawling through the maze without hitting any of the lasers.  Or trying to bust all the lasers and reset them for a high score.  Holly and Emily did the crawl through option alone.  Amanda and I did the busting together.

Above: T and A is Amanda and I--we got first place!  Below: Holly got 3rd place in the hard maze category!  We are just that good, folks!

Tropical Snocones!  I was so excited.  Another staple from grad school that I haven't had in years!

On the way home on Monday, we decided we didn't want to miss out on more adventure, so we decided to "let" the car break down at a rest stop about two hours from home.  While we waited for a tow truck and Emily's mom to come pick us up, we walked a dog trail, played on the play ground, and met up with some friends from church who just happened to stop at the same stop while we were there!

The tow truck came about 20 minutes before Emily's mom, so we had to sit with all our belongings while we waited. Surprisingly, I don't feel like we got that many strange looks.  It wasn't the end to the weekend we had anticipated, but it makes for more memories of the trip!  And being stranded is always better with a group of people than by yourself!

The verdict for the weekend?  More than I expected!  A great place to get away for the weekend!  A great place to feel like a kid again!  (I won't mention the soreness and bruises the next day that reminded me that I am most certainly not a kid anymore!)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

1 year, 31 chapters

I just wanted to catch you up on my Scripture memory process.  Funny thing is, I was going to start it by saying that I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this because I don't want to be boastful or proud (which is still true), but I just read my last post about this in January and it says almost everything I want to say here.  I had actually forgotten that I had posted that.  So, if you didn't read my blog post in January about the first six months of the process, here is the link.

I wasn't sure that I would persevere through a whole year of Scripture memory, but I couldn't imagine not having this discipline in my life right now.  It has been a crazy year of learning new things about myself, learning to apply Scripture to my life in new ways, and learning new aspects of friendship.

At the beginning of July, Ginger and I started our 32 chapter (Romans 8).  We have slowed down in our memorization a little bit because we have more to review, but we are still going strong.  So, because I am a numbers person, here is the breakdown:

1 year, 31 chapters, 607 verses, 3 books of the Bible

Here is the list of the Scripture we memorized over the last year:
James 1-5
Psalm 23
Psalm 27
Psalm 62
Psalm 67
Psalm 100
Psalm 139
Isaiah 61
Luke 2
Acts 6, 7
Ephesians 1
1 Corinthians 13
1 Peter 1, 2
Philippians 1-4
Psalm 1
Isaiah 53
Jonah 1-4 (probably the most random thing on the list, but it was a lot of fun! Where else do you get to memorize the word "vomit")
2 Corinthians 3, 4

We originally started working off a list that Ginger had made for herself, but I also added chapters along the way.  We also added chapters that had to do with specific seasons--Luke 2 for Christmas and Isaiah 53 for Easter.  We moved things around on our imaginary timeline when they would work better somewhere else (Pastor Ritch preached on 1 Corinthians 13 and we were already planning to memorize it at some point in time, so we added it into our schedule).

And others have joined us along the way, which is so much fun!  I can't emphasize enough how much I thought in the beginning, "I could never do this."  They always say, "Never say never."  And I have found it to be true in this case for myself.  Our mind is a muscle and the more we use it the more we can use it (not a very eloquent way to get that point across, but I can't think of another way to say it!).

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Today, my actual birthday!

My day started with an early wake up call from the Lord. Apparently He did not want me to miss a single moment of my birthday, so I was up at 6. Because of this I decided to go to first service, which is a rare occasion for me. As I was driving to church, I had the thought that it would be a great birthday surprise if we could sing "And Can It Be" which is my favorite hymn. I arrived to church a little late, and as I was walking in, guess what I heard coming from the sanctuary!!! I was sad to miss the first verse, but oh so excited to sing the rest. And, since the Lord woke me up early, I hung around after Sunday School so I could sing it in second service too! I didn't take very many pictures of my day. I almost snapped a picture during church just because I felt so blessed to be in church on my birthday. Sometimes, my actual birthday is a little of a let down because I am around people for the 4th and then sometimes am at home by myself most of my actual birthday.  But today, I got to celebrate my birthday amidst my church family.

After church, Emily and Sarah and I went to Red Robin for lunch.  Yummy!

And the rest of the day, I relaxed on the couch.  And refused to do anything productive.

This evening, I got a surprise visit from friends that included flowers!  I love my friends!
And my presents included pictures from my nephews:
John is the best artist ever!  I love the details that he includes in his pictures.  And he knows that I love turtles, so all of the art I get has turtles in it.
And Michael is a great colorer for a 3 1/2 year old!  Which makes my heart proud!
Have I mentioned that I have great friends and family.  Who love to humor me and my love for my birthday.

I took tomorrow off, so my birthday weekend continues a little relaxation and more free birthday food.  I think tomorrow is going to be free fries from Wing Stop.  And I'm going to get a free adjustment at the chiropractor, because even the chiropractor likes to celebrate my birthday!


Random first picture, I know. And not a very clear shot because I'm my father's daughter and apparently don't edit my pictures to make sure they are clear! It was a little iffy this last month on whether we would get to see fireworks. With all the rain, the Illinois River has been on the rise and has flooded part of downtown Peoria. But the show must go on, folks! Radio announcers and newspapers made it clear that the fireworks would not be cancelled. So, since the water had not receded, they closed down Water Street to cars and we were allowed to sit in the street. Personally, I think it was better and I hope they continue to close the street!  Anyway, we sat right behind the closed off area and sandbags.  Besides being in front of the tree line (which was under water), it was the best view we've had in years.
And here are a "few" of my favorite pictures.  Apparently, I took a lot.  Many of which were blurry.  Some of which turned out very good.

The top and bottom pictures are my two favorites of the night.

The above picture shows the ground show that you can only really see if you are lucky enough to be in front of the tree line.  Our fireworks are shot off from a barge in the river, which I think is pretty cool.

The above picture is my 3rd favorite (if you care about the ranking of my pictures)
The grand finale:
I mostly like the above picture because it just shows the chaos and explosiveness and brightness and loudness (I know you can't see loudness, but can't you just imagine the loudness!) of the finale!
The end.   Sigh.  I love fireworks.  They are magical.

4th of July Shenanigans!

It was another perfect weather 4th of July. Last year it was cool enough to wear jeans. This year was a little warmer, but still in the low 80s. And abundant sunshine, which was amazing because we've had so much rain lately. Per tradition, I went to Kari's parents house for a cookout before fireworks. Most of the group had fun "doing" things, while I mostly had fun sitting and talking and taking pictures of them doing things (which I enjoy just as much as all the "doing").

There was bags and ladder ball.  I know you can't flip through the pictures like on a camera, but these first two pictures are funny because Tim and Kari are watching the bag come toward the board and then they are staring at the board.  They look a little confused.  I know at this point in the game, the two teams were really close to winning and it was pretty intense!

And the other side of things.  Ash and Jena look just as concerned with things coming their way!
I really posted this second picture (below) because Nick (in the red shirt) either has really good form for ladder ball, or he is pretending to be a flamingo.  You can decide.
And then Doug got out all the "big" kid toys and the real fun began! Four wheelers, Six Wheelers, tractors, go carts.  You name it, they were zooming around the yard!

The above picture of Kari is hilarious!  Holly was having a little trouble learning how to drive the Six Wheeler and Kari was a little animated in making sure that she didn't take out anyone in the way!

The above picture is also funny because there were a couple of "roads" that everyone was using in the fields.  And Kari stopped to wait for the tractor (not pictured) to go by, just like on a real road.
One of the vehicles may have gotten a little over zealous and kicked up some rock.  Everyone chipped in to put it back where it belonged!
Several years ago, I was responsible for Amy going home with a cute little white kitten with gorgeous blue eyes.  This little gal is that kittens mother.  I took some pictures to send to Amy and Daynah so they could show Sophie what her mother looks like. :)