Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Because of this song. Every year, the holiday season brings the advent of Jesus, and on a humorous note, this song by Johnny Angel & The Halos. Enjoy.

Santa Claus is Comin' Dahntahn
Yinz better watch aht,
Yinz better not paht,
Yinz better not cry,
I’m tellin yinz hauscome,
Santa Claus is comin’ dahntahn.

He’s makin’ a list,
He’s checkin’ it aht,
He’s gonna find aht who’s nebby an ‘at,
Santa Claus is comin’ dahntahn.

He knows if yinz is a jagoff,
He can see inside yinz haus,
He knows if yinz been workin’ hard,
Or just sittin’ on yur caach (caach, caach, caach).

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle All the Way...
Lookin' from Mahnt Worshington,
Down where the Stillers.....are at. (Aw, C'mon guys...)

Yinz better watch aht,
Yinz better not paht,
Yinz better not cry,
I’m tellin yinz hauscome.
Santa Claus is comin’ dahntahn!…..

He sees yinz on the Nor'side
In 'Sliberty and Sahside, too.
He don't want yinz to be ascared
Just do what yer asposed ta do. (Doo Doo Doo)

Yinz better watch aht,
Yinz better not paht,
Yinz better not cry,
I’m tellin yinz hauscome.
Santa Claus is comin’ dahntahn!

Check out the Steeltown Sports blog for the audio.

For those of you not familiar with the Pittsburgh (or Pixburg) dialect will probably not understand this. Make it your goal to visit Pittsburgh, and some of these things will be brought to light!

Monday, December 22, 2008

'Tis the Season to forget blogging...

Or something like that. Yes, basically, I forgot to blog. But things have been more and more busy, as the holidays often are. I have only one Christmas gift left to buy, and a plane to jump on tomorrow morning to beautiful, sunny, 80 degree weather! I never thought I would look forward to a sunny, warm Christmas, but after these few days of frigid temperatures and an all-together gloomy season so far, I would be happy simply to see the sun! In fact, the sun is such a novelty right now that my dog will lie in the little, teeny patch of sun that comes in the window onto the carpet in the living room. (My house is angled poorly for winter sun, but boy does it rock in the summer.)
When I talked to my mom yesterday, she said Emma had just finished her half-marathon (yay, Em!) and she did awesome, and now they were down at the hot tub, reading and relaxing. That sounded absolutely wonderful to me, so I can't wait to get down there and take it easy. Granted, there are so many of us in the little condo that I sleep on the floor on a mattress in Emma's room, but I can't complain because it's Christmas and I'll be home with everyone!
I also got cute and beautiful gifts yesterday from friends at church: thank you Tyler, Tori, Jenna, Emily, Maxine, and Debbie! I love them all. And last night, a fun present from Jim & Suzannah: a chance to play with little Dylan for a few hours! It was fun to watch her get startled by the noisy wind we were (are) having...she kept looking around and saying, "bah? Guh?". I commiserate with her - it was so loud! Only a Steelers win could have made the day better.
Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Power of the Girly Candle

I have a candle in my office. Which means that Jim and Mark have a candle in their office as well, and they used to say "aww, don't burn the girly candle" when I wanted to have a nice smell. So I would wait until they were out of the office for the day, and then light the candle (Creamy Nutmeg, from Slatkin & Co.). And slowly, the candle has won them over...Mark more than Jim. Jim thinks it smells good and everything, but Mark yesterday walked in and said the candle smelled really good and "made him feel like it was still Thanksgiving".
Amen. The candle makes the work day better, hands down.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lamest thing ever

So, I sent my first accidental email today. I mean, I've sent emails accidentally before, but it was always that I pressed "send" when I hadn't typed anything yet or something. But instead, today, I meant to forward an email and instead I replied, and it is no good. :( It was not a mean email by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn't a professionally written, properly sent email. Here's the stage:
I got an email from a very nice man wishing to be of some help to the camp through his skills and abilities. He has written a book, and is an accomplished physician and teacher, as well as a Christian, and now he wants to give back.
I was so excited! I started to write back to him to get in touch about opportunities. Then, halfway through, I realized Pat might want to talk with him regarding the capital campaign, etc. so instead I decided to forward the email to Patrick, suggesting to him that this man might be a great person to train staff for O-week, or to help as a nurse during the summer, or to help us raise some money for the capital campaign, because he probably has some great connections through his writing career.
Now, none of that seems too bad, right? But to me, it feels terrible mercenary and unprofessional to send to someone outside the organization, which I did...when I replied, instead of forwarding. I feel terrible! I would call if I could, but he didn't leave contact information at all. I always check and double check my emails...almost always, the spell check stops me, so I get a second to think. But of course, not today, because the world is my enemy. Now to tell Patrick.
I spent some time trying to figure out how to retract my email, but decided it would just be better if I sent an apology, which I did, and I will just pray for a pleasant reception.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mouse update

I got one. This morning.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mouse in the House

There used to be this really funny TV show in Disney called Mouse in the House and it was all about Mickey, like a variety show with cartoons and songs. It was so fun!
Do you know what's not fun? Actually having a mouse in the house.
I don't like the idea of poison in my house, just because I can picture myself accidentally eating it or my dog sniffing it out to devour. Also, I don't love the idea of having anything die in my house - especially in my walls, where it might be smelly. But my house mice seem to be particularly resistant to peppermint oil, which is what we use at work to keep mice out - and works fabulously! The mice at my house have eaten 2 cups of my long grain brown rice, which I love because you can make any meal go twice as far if you eat it over brown rice. Anyway, I've strategically placed poison where the mice can get it but my dog cannot, so hopefully tomorrow morning I will wake to a clean, uninhabited pantry.

Also, today's adventure was a pig roast at Lowe's. Yup, you know Lowe's - you buy house paint and insulation there, and I ate pig there today. There was a Commercial Partner's lunch today, and a bunch of us went down. Additionally, two of the representatives to commercial groups are Tony and Tim, who go to my church and I see every Sunday. It's always fun to see church friends out in the community - a reminder of how God uses each of us as ministers, even if we wear a tool belt instead of a preacher's collar. Did I mention the pig was good?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Volunteering = making friends

I know a lot of people my age are probably dealing with a lot of the same things I am - getting adjusted to being in the work force and not being surrounded by other young adults to hang out with. That's pretty normal. But thank goodness for church. My church, Charter Oak has been such a blessing! I have been going there for almost a year now, and the different ministries that I've been volunteering have really helped me find a home there. Going to a big church was overwhelming at first because I felt all alone and out of place for a while, though everyone was friendly. But once I joined my small group, and especially since I've started with the kids' ministries, I feel like I have people to talk to during coffee hour, and I've actually had a mom threaten to send her kids to sit with me in church when they misbehave! Working with kids really does help you to know adults, too, because you meet the other leaders and all the kids' parents. And if the kids know you, the parents do.
So if you're out there feeling out-of-sorts or disconnected from your fellowship or your church, jump in and volunteer in any way you can! It really allows you to develop a community of people so church isn't just showing up for worship and then sneaking out the back. I wish I had learned that earlier - it would have made my first few years of college much more smooth.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So fun

There's a local church leadership group here for a retreat and training this weekend. They're in the room next to my office right now, and they are hilarious. It's such a blessing to witness a church staff that works together well, serves a huge congregation, communicates easily, and has a blast doing it. They are laughing in a "pee-your-pants" sort of way playing a game together. It's so refreshing to see a group of people that glorify the Lord together and truly enjoy it!

Ballad of the Plagued





Blow nose.




Do nothing.


I'm sick. But God has maintained my sense of humor throughout this cold.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Requiem for a Machine

My MacBook, at two years and four months, has bitten the dust, kicked the bucket, and said its final goodbyes.
Well, not really. The hard drive is full to bursting (and I don't have much stuff), the airport doesn't work, the optical drive scratches my DVDs (yes, when I put in a new DVD, it comes out with scratches). At that point, the Apple Genius told me it would be best to get a new hard drive (third one)...but of course, if I did get a new hard drive, it might not fix it, and then I'd have a new hard drive that I didn't need. And that was all before the battery (already on my second one!) was no longer recognized by the system and fails to charge. Woohoo.
Long story short, I'm selling it for parts and finding a new laptop. And not necessarily a Mac. I know they are top rated in many ways, but I have been repeatedly disappointed in the quality of basic functionality of the machine, as well as the helpfulness of the Apple store locally (and frankly, the one in Chicago). Thankfully, in those situations, my dad has been there to have a heart-to-heart with the manager to get me the stuff covered by my warranty, or else I've cried, which is almost as effective with "computer nerds". ;)
The only thing that has me considering another MacBook is that 1. Apple is releasing a new notebook computer tomorrow, supposedly, so the MacBook prices may drop after a month and 2. I bought my MacBook when it was a brand-new laptop for Apple, and the kinks hadn't been worked out. 3. All my stuff is in "Apple" format (including some iMovies that I've made, but can't alter because my hard drive is so full) and some stationary templates for work through Mail.

The cons? 1. My first MacBook was a gift, which is why I could afford it. :) 2. My work computers are all PC's and my parents both have PC's. 3. I'm not sure that I can afford a Mac with good features AND the apple care for three years, which they've proven is a necessity (even since my parents have offered to cover half of my purchase). 4. It broke a lot. A LOT. I'm three hard drives later, two batteries later, an optical drive that worked for a year, and an airport that hasn't worked consistently since last June, despite many a visit to the Shadyside store.

At the very least, it's frustrating. I really find a laptop to be good when I travel so much because it helps me to work from my promo locations, to find myself when I get lost (thank you, Panera in Herndon, VA) and to fill up time in between interviews at a coffee shop in Rocky River.

So, what should I do? Anybody have a consumer reports membership that they wanna lend me? ;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Fort Days

I love Fort Ligonier Days. It's less a celebration of a battle and more an excuse to have a parade and eat a ton of food. It's basically the best weekend of the year, except for the weekend that we have the ice carving contest and then all the really bad kids come through during the night and knock over the sculptures and then we installed a webcam to catch the miscreants every year. Back on topic, Fort Days is that time of the year where we celebrate Ligonier's history, which this year hits a milestone at 250 years (just like Pittsburgh). So while Fort Days is always a blow-out, taking my town of 1250 people to roughly 100,000, this year is bound to be even more intense. Things I'm most excited for? The gyros sold by Antiochan Village (a camp down the road), chocolate covered strawberries on a stick, everything at the Sand Hill berries booth, fresh buckwheat flour, and hanging out with my sister and hopefully Suzannah and Dylan for a while. It's going to be great!
Want to know more? Check out for the aforementioned live webcam (no, I wasn't kidding!).

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Trying a new recipe tonight! Roasted Butternut squash and feta pie. My favorite part? All I have to get is a premade pie crust and I'm ready to go - I have all the rest! I'll let you know how it turns out. Tonight is cooking & cleaning night after all...Thursdays are just that way. It's easy to get pumped to clean with an episode of the Office to look forward to. :) And I can further indulge in my Jon and Kate Plus Eight addiction, of which I am sufficiently ashamed. Those kids are cute.

Picking a new template

Hey all. Things might look weird for a few days because I'm experimenting with new templates, and I can't find one that I like. So please be patient as I shuffle things around. :) Should be up and running soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Idlewild Trip

On Saturday, Kaylin and I went to Idlewild Park's "Hallowboo" celebration. It was great! We trick-or-treated at the Storybook Forest, and rode on as many of the rides as we could stomach (literally - we both get motion-sick on rides!), and ate a ton of tasty, terrible-for-us food.
It was a wonderfully nice day - the sun was out, the temperature maybe hit 70 degrees, and there was a light breeze - just enough to make us wobble a bit on the ferris wheel. After filling ourselves with cotton candy, lemonade, dippin' dots ice cream, and Potato Patch french fries, we headed home to a delicious dinner of potato soup, homemade bread, and hubbard squash (is that how you spell it?).
The best part of the day was just hanging out with Kaylin and talking about our families and friends and just having "girl time" in a fun place. This summer, we went to a movie, and now we've been to the theme park, so next time we're planning a sleepover, complete with "Enchanted" and a living-room picnic. We're even going to invite Mara, Kaylin's (almost) four-year-old sister to stay. It's good to have girl time! I'll post pictures from the park when I have my camera handy.

Friday, October 3, 2008


So, a month ago I was really excited for the vice presidential debate. And then last night when it came on, I was mostly just bummed about having to wait another week to watch the Office. I watched a few minutes of the debate and then got bored, believe it or not. I am ready to vote, I am ready for the "politicing" to be over, I am just tired. I'm excited to see how our country will change following this election, but I am also fairly confident that the change will not be the great and monumental transformation that both parties have promised, so mostly I'm just ready to stop with the talking and start with the voting. :) And while I do have convictions regarding my vote and who I would prefer to see in the White House, I just can't seem to justify the time and frustration that this campaign has caused for myself and others. I have had people who I love and care about completely ignore me during this campaign because of my lack of passion for one candidate or another, I have been called an idiot because of choices I make and how they influence the way I vote. It's also been very clearly implied that because I am voting the way I feel called, I am not a very good follower of Jesus. So I'm pretty much ready to just vote and have it over with. After all, there's going to be slander and party politics as much after this election as before, regardless which candidate is selected by the American people, which makes it difficult for me to get incredibly excited about watching two candidates battle it out behind a podium for 90 minutes.
That all said, I will definitely read the transcript of the debate because 1)I do think it's important to be up-to-date on what's going on and 2) for some reason, written word makes my skin crawl less. :)
I would love to sit down with Sarah Palin and talk about her family, her faith, how she makes her marriage work, and swap recipes (and hopefully acquire some ways to prepare moose). I would love to sit down with Joe Biden and talk about growing up in PA and Delaware and our mutual love of sports. I just don't feel like listening to them talk about foreign policy right now.
So instead, I turned my volume off and read my latest Newbery Award Winner. Ahh, kid's books.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

front row!

Emma and I won the Wicked lottery last was great! We sat in the very front row, which was cool because you could see the performers facial expressions. I enjoyed this experience way more than any other musical theater experience (short of performing, of course) because I could actually see actors emitting emotion. Even the best actor in the world can't communicate a wink to the second row of the balcony without it looking completely comical. It was so fun! Of course, going to see musical theater always reminds me that I want to be on Broadway, or at least be a part of a musical again someday. I love to sing and dance, so it would be a blast...but I haven't done either in a performance venue in a long time. Going out to see others perform just reminds me of how much I miss it! But that's a testament to the great job that the company did last night at Wicked in Pittsburgh.
But for now, I'll be a camp director and reap the benefits of making lots of phone calls and emails to recruit campers for the Kingdom! :)
Thanks to my sister for a fun night out last night! Love you, Emma!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Raiders

Something has been bothering me. In the big picture of life, it's not that big of a deal. But in the world of football, it really gets on my nerves. Here it is: why is Lane Kiffin being fired? I know his team, the Oakland Raiders, are not playing well. They haven't been playing well for many, many years and Coach Kiffin has only been there for a year, yet he is expected to be fired today in the middle of the season because his team has gone 0-4. That's just ridiculous. And here's why. Lane Kiffin (or any head coach, for that matter) is not the problem with the Oakland Raiders. They could hire Bill Belichick and nothing would get better because the problem is Al Davis, the owner of the team. He is too involved in the day-to-day coaching decisions that should be the responsibility of the head coach, in this case, Lane Kiffin. It is impossible to run a team (or any organization) with the confusion that the staff and players have to deal with. Who's really in charge? Do I listen to the coach or the owner during practice? The coach has no choice, really, about what the owner says and he can't overstep his bounds in that situation. So the team members don't have a clear leader, the coach can't garner any respect from them, and the lines of communication are a mess. No wonder the team is falling apart, and no wonder Lane Kiffin is being fired. If the owner of a team isn't willing to let the coach do his job, then the team will never be functional, much less sucessful.
Al Davis is the problem at Oakland. I'm sure Coach Kiffin has made mistakes, but I think he could be a good head coach in the NFL if he were actually allowed to be one. How frustrating for the players and fans of that team. Even with our terrible offensive play last night, I'm thankful that I was born a Steelers fan! The Rooneys have done a terrific job and I am confident they will continue to operate that way, regardless of ownership.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Small group

I teach small group at church for fourth grade girls. They are sweet and adorable and dying to talk to a "big kid" like me, which is fun. :) They also talk ninety miles a minute about anything in the world, and are VERY high energy. I love talking with them! But it does make for a difficult setting for our small group - especially since they've just come from sitting still for half an hour for large group. I've been experimenting with ways to make our time productive as well as social. The results so far: Lesson planning is helpful, but not tremendously; a different location helped as long as there were NO distractions (water fountains are too much of a distraction); board games involved too much time between turns so they got overexcited; today we did Christ, Community, Challenge cards. (They're something we do at the camp to have kids set goals for themselves). They actually listened, spread out quietly, and filled out their cards well. It was fun to see what they wrote. I gave them examples of goals, and let them read mine, but they each came up with one true original goal somewhere on their cards. One girl wanted to "do my part to make our group less noisy", another "I want to find out how to be friends with God", and another "I want to listen more and talk less". It was so cute! Now I am trying to think of a way to keep them engaged in reaching those goals, and continuing to check back and hold themselves accountable. I know it's doable, but in only 20 minutes a week? It's tough!
Any suggestions for me?
I'm off to Pittsburgh for a promo/reunion in the South Hills. Have a great Sunday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My cooking habits

So, something I love is with the Ingredient search function. I can type in whatever I have in my fridge that is about to go bad, and they will give me a list of recipes. (Just for reference, don't type in zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes because nothing really has all three that still sounds tasty). So instead, I'm cooking up some chocolate zucchini bread to bring to work and give to friends (I have one big zucchini in my fridge), roasted garlic potato wedges, and salsa. I try to use Thursday nights for my cooking for the next week, and since it's just me, I usually make one dessert and one sizeable entree (this week it's hamloaf). I can adjust from there, but mostly I just eat the same thing every night for the week, but mix up the side dishes. :)
Anyway, because I'll have used up all of my ingredients from the market for the past two weeks (kale, zucchini, potatoes, fresh peaches, apples) and my brown rice from the food co-op (rice pudding, this tasty pea stir-fry), I can try a new type of produce this weekend. Turnips, here I come. Just kidding. But who knows what will be next? It's almost butternut squash season....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thursday Night

Now, it's not for sure or anything, but basically, Emma and I are entering the lottery for Wicked Tickets on Thursday night. If we win the lottery, we get two front row seats for twenty-five dollars, which is a steal! Especially since the show is leaving Pittsburgh next month. If we don't win, well, we'll do something else fabulous. But wish us luck!
My dinner last night with Emma was great - we went out to John Harvard's Pub near Hidden Valley Resort. I had a five-dollar coupon, and Em was in the mood for a good beer, so we stopped by. It was really great! LOVED the lobster bisque, and our waitress was just wonderful - loved talking about her kids. Then Emma bonded with Angie, my little dog, and headed back to the big city. It was great to see her and hang out - a perfect birthday celebration. Thanks, Emma!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our Very Special Dinner

Jim called and invited me over to have dinner with he and Suz and Dylan. Jim's a hunter, and he was trying out venison ribs that night for dinner and wanted a few brave souls to test them. It was a great dinner - fresh, sweet honeydew melon (the best I've had), a mixed green salad, fresh homemade whole-grain bread, and ribs. The boys loved the ribs, and Suzannah and I ate our own servings, but weren't blown away by them. It would be worth trying again, though, because I typically love venison.

But then it struck me. Deer season was over about 10 months ago, and won't begin again until November 23 or so. Where did this deer come from? Jim follows the law carefully, and would never hunt out of season. So I asked. Jim said the deer was in their yard and it was injured, so they called the game commission and they came and shot the deer. Why was the deer injured, you ask?


Not road"kill" exactly, more like road"wound" or road"maim", but it all boils down to the fact that the venison I ate for dinner was hit by a car about eight hours before right off Route 711. Evidently, the camp has a scavenging license so that we can clean up our roadsides. However, it also means we can eat anything we clean up. So thanks to someone's Chevy truck (who am I kidding...this is Western PA, it was probably a Ford truck), dinner is served.

I hope you all enjoy that story.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Little dog

I got a little dog this week. She is eight years old, a beagle, and I adopted her from an animal shelter in a nearby town. She's very sweet, her name is (and has been for eight years) Angel. I think I might start calling her Angela, because then she would be named after my favorite character from The Office. She's been very kind and sweet, but is a little afraid of small children, so we're going to the obedience trainer to take care of that (chances are, she was abused at her last house, because she gets very, very afraid when I say "no" to her). She's very mellow, and likes to go for walks and sleep on the furniture (that's next on the obedience list). Currently we are working on sitting outside the kitchen when I'm in there cooking instead of right under my feet, which she is adjusting to nicely.
She's very fun! I'm excited to have a "roomie". :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

My weekly Wal-Mart experience

I don't love Walmart. I'm not really politically opposed to Wal-mart, but I generally don't enjoy going there because it's crowded, there are never enough lanes open, and the store is a magnet for small children throwing fits. Also, you can never find an employee when you most need one. So I don't love going there. But because I live in a tiny town, sometimes I have to make a trip to Wal-Mart to get even the most basic items . This week my trip was quite fun. Despite the fact that I wasn't able to purchase the item I needed (rubbermaid containers) because they had all been shelved without UPC labels, one man brought me joy.
I'm walking down the aisle by the kitchen utensils, and I suddenly hear behind me (in ringing, clear tones) someone singing "We Bow Down". Not quiet, not under his breath, but right out there for all to hear...but not quite at "crazy dude" level either. The best part? I turned around, and he's clearly hard-core biker. Head to toe in leather, boots, a vest with fringe, and a 'do-rag that was all black with big, yellow crosses on it. It was the best! He looked like a big thug biker, and he was singing to Jesus in Wal-mart. It made my day! Keep on singing, man.

Thanks to Suzannah for the encouragement to share this story with the world.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ah! My fingers!

So, part of coming home from vacation after a long summer of work includes cleaning house. Like, really cleaning house. Yesterday, it took me two hours just to tackle the bathroom and the kitchen, but man, do they look good. All the nasty little bugs of the windowsill, bleached shower curtains, and everything smells wonderfully clean! Now on to the living room (which means vacuuming...I hate it) and the hallway, which needs a lot (A LOT) of work. I don't even want to think about the front yard right now - weeds, weeds, weeds!
But it's such a good feeling to have the house clean!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Dining Hall

Outside my office right now is the sound of a huge machine digging holes in the ground. It's really cool, because it means our new dining hall is going to be built for next summer, and it's really terrible, because that noise will be going on all day, every day for the next seven or eight months. That's a lot of noise outside my office. Jim and I have considered changing the "no iPods in the office" rule because of the noise issue. It will be strange.
I had a great small group last night - I just love the ladies that I get to meet with, and we're doing a new study that's all about humility. It has some pretty intense reminders of how pride really looks, and we all had a hard time even confronting the aspects of pride that we deal with daily. It is really good to meet in a group like that, though, to be reminded that the daily struggles I deal with are not mine alone. It's just been great to meet at Kate's and talk about life and faith and pray together...maybe we'll even do some singing next week. One of our focuses this week is to remember God's holiness, so maybe I'll pick some songs that we can sing together.
Okay, time for working.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tasty treat

I got up early this morning to watch a little about Hurricane Gustav, and then Daisy and I got bored a little while in. The tragedy of working at camp (for me) is that I can't stop waking up at 6:40 every day now, so I've been getting up early every day, well before mom and dad, and then getting a little bored. So today, I felt like I finally knew where they lived and how to get to Starbucks - so Daisy and I took a ride. We jumped in the car (well, I jumped, and Daisy needed a lift - that happens when you're an old dog, I suppose), and waved to Latisha (the security lady at the gate), and rolled on down the road just about a mile to the hoppin' Starbucks. A cool surprise was that my gift card had a ton of cash left on it from Easter, and so my Vanilla Latte was free. :) And Daisy got a little doggy treat from the girl at the drive-thru window. A fun outing for both!
Now it's time for eggs benedict, a trip to the beach, and a little prayer for the families evacuating to escape Gustav (including Pawpaw and Grandmaw and Uncle Russ).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Two days in to vaca

Vacations are nice...already, we've done a ton and Emma is now on her plane back to Pittsburgh. Last night, we hung out with my Dad's sister and her family, and with Ga, and it was a blast! We played some Cranium and chatted and ate lobster tails, fried fish, and lots of other goodies. It was great!
I'm also writing my postcards home to my small group girls - I'm so excited to meet them. I grabbed a stack of fairly non-descript Florida postcards, and somewhere in that pile I accidently picked up one with a half-dressed man in it. I'm just glad I checked before I wrote and mailed it out! :)
Today, Mom and I will go to the gym and just take the rest of the day in stride!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

We made it!

Emma and I made it to Florida. Granted, it's pretty dead right now and gloomy, but the sun has just broken through and the intercoastal waterway is sparkling outside the window. We're planning to hit up the tapas place today, and then hang out this evening.
Yesterday's trip was great, surprisingly. Definitely ordained by God. We arrived at Pittsburgh in plenty of time to enjoy a quick chips and queso at Qdoba, and then jump on the plane to Atlanta. In Atlanta, our flight was listed as being an hour delayed, so we headed down the hall to grap an appetizer and a drink during the three-hour layover. Well, turns out the TV monitors were wrong, and the flight was leaving on time, so we loaded on the plane and headed out to Jax only about 10 minutes behind. Turns out we were one of three flights that hadn't been cancelled to Jacksonville all day - we barely made it. The flights all around us and behind us were cancelled for the evening. It's so good to be here!
Even if the sun doesn't shine on the beach all week, it doesn't matter, because I'm relaxing! It's the best.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Nice Trip

I'm getting ready to go to Florida! My parents and I ate at this wonderful tapas restaurant last time we were in St. Augustine called "The Tasting Room". It had delightful dishes, from a Smoked Chorizo Platter to Balsamic Manchengo Cheese with Mascerated Cherries to Tres Leches Cake. It was amazing. And so this week, when I go to Florida, and Emma comes along, we will be begging to head back town to St. Augustine and the Tasting room for some delicious tapas.
Also, while I'm in Florida, I will be eating seafood with the Crisps, most likely, and enjoying a nice trip down the Itchetuknee River!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


God has used many, many people to show me his love, to remind me how His love works.

When I started attending NCC in Illinois, I got connected to the worship ministry there with a lot of amazing people - Mike, Jen, Ron, Karen, Todd, Laura - it was my first, real, connection with a faith community in college and it changed my life. The drummer, Todd Mitchell passed away last night. I won't presume to know the Mitchells really well, but I remember a few things just from being in that worship team community for a year: Paula and Todd were a great example to me of a loving, Christ-centered marriage; Todd loved his three little guys - Sam, Luke, and Jackson - as much for their mischievous acts as for their adorable smiles; Todd loved to make music, listen to it, explore it, be creative with it; and Todd loved the Lord and others with his whole heart. I learned a lot about the kind of musician I wanted to be from his attitude and approach to music ministry.

I can't begin to imagine how Paula and the boys are feeling, and I'm basically terrible at offering words of comfort, so I won't try. All I know is God is good and present and loves us. Pray lots.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fourth grade, here I come

Tonight marks the official beginning of my career as a fourth-grade small group leader. And by career, I mean the unpaid, give-of-your-time sort...I think they call them "volunteers". I am looking forward to meeting my co-leaders of the fourth and fifth grade classes. We're using a promiseland curriculum (from WillowCreek Church & Zondervan publishing out in the good old IL).
It will be a totally different undertaking from what I've just come out of...all of the preparations will be done for me, and I am responsible for making a connection with the kids. This will be fun, almost like getting to be a "counselor" for these girls. Pray for me and for the girls that will be coming into my class!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Two more days

Two more days until camp is over! I am sad and happy - but my friends leaving is okay, because they're just a car ride away, and it will surely be nice to have a clean, quiet home for a bit. Although if given the option, I would rather have my house full of wonderful people than empty and neat! Things I'm looking forward to: sleeping, eating good food, visiting my parents, visiting friends, talking to Lindsay, having a pet, painting my room, hanging out with Coop and Suzy and Krista before she leaves, getting started with teaching my small group at church (and meeting my co-leader!). Lots of things.
I'll write more when summer is officially over! :)

Thursday, May 29, 2008


So, I've been reading Job a lot lately. It's really great. But I'm reading Job, and it's gotta be tough to be like Job, because you are being faithful, but still you're suffering. It's totally the worst feeling ever. And Job has all these "friends" who tell him stuff like, "You are not telling the truth - you're a big sinner, and God is judging you for it" which is such a huge lie, because Job was super righteous. And this other dude, Elihu, told him that the Lord can't twist justice, so what He's doing must be fair and just repayment for Job's terrible sins (Elihu right about a lot of things later on). But none of those guys were absolutely right. In the end, Job was the only one with the right idea - he just praised the Lord even as he questioned what was happening to him (you know, boils, scars, his whole family wiped out). I think the really hard part for Job was loneliness, like what you're going through now. I mean, it had to be hard to watch all of his earthly life fall apart, but I think that what he hated the most was the separation from people who were supportive - his "wise friends" didn't do it, and he felt far from God, and his whole family is dead. He was even outcast from society because of his illness. He was so lonely. Job asks these questions of God, and goes everywhere from other faithful believers to garner advice and guidance. But these guys don't know God's character at all, and at the end we learn that the man who is suffering, whose only friends have turned on him and condemned him, gets blessed with even more awesome stuff than he had at the beginning. And he got three daughters with rockin' names (Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-happuch). Anyway, what I think is cool about the book of Job is that we have this paragraph at the beginning that's all about how awesome Job's life was, and then a paragraph at the end that tells us how awesome his life becomes. But the other forty-two chapters are all about loneliness and suffering. God has got to be telling us something there. Why would he focus like, ten lines, on prosperity and then pages and pages on suffering? And loneliness specifically? I'm pretty sure he knew we were going to suffer more acutely from loneliness than many other worldly concerns. I mean, think about it. We were created to be in perfect community with God, but that's impossible because of sin. So ultimately, what we suffer from is separation from God because of our sin.

I was just talking to a friend this week about loneliness and how tough it is to be around people but still feel alone. And I was reading Job at the same time. I'm not a theologian or anything, but I like Job and thought about him some.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Roadhouse Pizza

There's a new pizza place just a mile from my house. And it's owned by Carol & Dave, whom we love, and there's a ton of variety on the menu. And even though all the food there is great, today I want to write an Ode to Stromboli.

Oh, Stromboli, you're smaller than I expected
Yet the 10.99 I paid for you was not too much.
Your round, crispy, doughy outside conceals your inner beauty
The beauty of Dave & Babies buffalo chicken artichoke dip.
Though the waitress said you would feed two or three
Krista and I wanted one for each of us
Waiting for you by the arcade was not so much fun
I learned that I should never have an air hockey table
Or male children.
You are the perfect excuse for eating bad stuff
I'm basically eating dip, but it's listed under "Entrees"
You make my mind come alive with possibilities
of ways to eat other bad thing wrapped in dough and call them "dinner"
Nutella stromboli, meringue stromboli, Yucatan hot bean dip stromboli
So many choices you offer to me
April makes a good stromboli at the camp, too.
I can no longer settle for simple dinner options
Stromboli you did this to me.

So I hope you enjoyed that. Things are tense getting ready for summer camp; we all need a little giggle.

Also, there was a picture but blogger won't let me upload today. sorry.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Waiting for Baby

Today baby Adleigh is coming into the world - we think. Sandy and Pat are at the hospital awaiting the newest member of the Myers clan (and with six of them now, it really is like a clan). It's a very high tension day for us here, too, waiting for news and thinking about how cute she will be and what she will wear and how she will be the best behaved baby and will sleep full nights starting tomorrow. Well, maybe not that last one. I've gotten to wait for many babies this year, and it's really exciting to be waiting for one more sweet little girl to come into the world! It's so fun to think that just five months ago, we were making Christmas tree ornaments and Kaylin remembered to make one for Adleigh - but she didn't seem quite real yet. How cool!
God Bless baby Adleigh.

I felt like a new template

Every once in a while, I feel like getting a new template. Today is one of those days. Well, actually, I feel like buying new clothes, but a new template is better because it's free and I don't have to iron it. I hate ironing stuff.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Appalachian Service Project

Tonight is a very big night. If you eat at Chick-fil-a in Greensburg tonight between 5-7 pm, your money helps missions! That's right, my church ( is fund raising with Chick-fil-a tonight. With a COC coupon, your meal still costs full price but 20% of your payment goes straight to Charter Oak's Appalachian Service Project. This mission trip sends a group from COC to Kentucky, WV, Tennessee or VA to build homes & do work to improve living conditions, as well as connect with the families in the area. It's a really cool idea! Plus, I get to enjoy chicken and a tasty milkshake and know I am helping people in my church to love people through this mission. I like that even those who are unable to attend the trip are able to be missionaries.
So eat up!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


There are not many places where you can order a nice, hot meal and get an Arnold Palmer (1/2 tea, 1/2 lemonade) while waiting for your car to get gassed up. Or even to make-your-own milkshake while you check out what's going on with Brangelina and baby Shiloh. But at Sheetz, you can do it all. Today's menu? The not-so-healthy pepperoni and provolone 6 inch sub with a bag of french onion sun chips & a Lite Arnold Palmer made with green tea (that means the tea inside is green and pic of Arnie on the outside has a green background instead of black & white). Excellent.
But while I was catching up on Ashlee Simpson's upcoming nuptials, I also was able to make a phone call, think about adopting a German Shorthair puppy (they look cute even though I know they're insane), and contemplate whether a chocolate-chocolate Krispy Kreme is actually better than a classic glazed. Jury's still out on that one.
I think the traditional Sheetz clientele is interesting, too. At least the local one. In the time period I was there, I saw a local Giant Eagle employee, a mom and her three kids getting slushies, a guy buying a half-moon-pie and chocolate milk, and a dude loading up on cigarettes (filtered, at least).
So as I enjoy my delicious tasty food, I will try to forget that Sheetz sells inappropriate magazines in their stores, and simply appreciate the convenience and variety that it Sheetz.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Floridays! :)

I'm in Florida! It's so wonderful to be away from work for a little while (even though in my mind, I'm occasionally still there). Mom and Ga and Barbara and I went to Sonny's yesterday, and last night to SIngleton's (our favorite Seafood Shack). It has been great. And right now, I'm watching the sun rise over the intercoastal waterway, and it's all misty and beautiful. And of course, the dog is here trying to find any scrap of food that could potentially have ever fallen to the floor. She's gifted.
Off to St. Augustine today. I've got a lot of fun pictures, I'll put them up later!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


So, I went to watch baskeball last night with the Myers...and we had delicious fiesta lasagna! Way to cook amazing food, Sandy - especially while you're eight months pregnant. I got to spend time playing piano and singing with Mara, Braden and Kaylin, and managed to narrowly avoid an allergic reaction to the cats. But it was fun to talk with Sandy and watch the game with her and Patrick. Plus, Kansas won the game, which was pretty cool considering they started it with their biggest deficit of the tournament. Such is life...and basketball. :)
It's nice to live in a community of people that you work with and even like sometimes (just kidding, y'all - I always like you). It's nice after about nine hours of work to sit back, talk over dinner, play with funny, cute kids, and then eat brownies and talk all the way through a basketball game. And then go home to a nice warm bed...then kicking the cat out of my room (she likes to sit in the window and meow at the birds that live in our bushes).
A good day!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Quest for WIreless

So, typically, Ligonier Camp is a little behind in its technological advances, and today was no different. Except...well...except that we found out today that we have a wireless network that no one knows about and that we can't find a router for. But it's real because I'm using it to type this right now! And using my phone.
This weekend was a blast for Emma and I! She was in a Brazil show on Friday at Pitt and she did a great job, despite the classic "Brazilian organized event" (and we use the term organized very very loosely) with its complete lack of programming. :) And the ever-popular Maple Syrup Festival - we ate lost of pancakes and sausage and coffee and made friends at our table. The line was over two hours long, and it wrapped all the way from the back of the BR lodge around the circle and back to the Wax Candle booth! It was forever long, but so worth the wait! Plus, you got to check out all the craft booths as you passed, so really, it was a great marketing thing for them. Otherwise I probably would never have purchased my two mulberry-scented pine cones. Hey, the really do smell great!
This coming week is crazy - it's camper email time. What's the best part about campers? They are excited about camp! What's the worst part about campers? They forget to sign up until you remind them. That's my job!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My office is so clean!

That's right, all you doubters - the office is clean! Well, mostly. It's organized, at least. And we might even get some fish to live in Jim's "Deathquarium", but only with the understanding that he may not touch them. (If he does, they die.)
It feels better and more productive to be in an office that is clean and organized. I have gotten more done since the clean, and it's wonderful!
Today's my first day for the kids' ministry at Charter Oak, and I'll get to be a table parent for their dinner (as a guest tonight). And then I'm on the Sex Panel for PrimeTime to talk about purity with Jr. High girls! Whoa. Pray for me. :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Beautiful day!

I woke up this morning to a lovely sun rise and cool air and birds singing outside my window. And, lo and behold, my morning glories are 3 inches tall by now, and I also have little hollyhock sprouts and, new this weekend, snapdragons and shasta daisies! I can't believe they're actually growing. This makes up for the time in second grade where my bean never sprouted (sabatoge, I know it).
Maybe I'm destined to have a green thumb after all!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I forgot!

My plants sprouted today! We have hollyhock and morning glory growing. :) Yay!

I'm Such A Girl!

I love this movie so much, and my roommate and I have watched it over and over again since this past Thursday. I guess I could just chalk our love of this film up to "loving Disney princess movies" and "Patrick Dempsey is attractive", and those are certainly aspects of it. But I think it communicates some strong ideas for girls to look at (because you're not getting a teenage boy within 100 feet of this film).

First of all, Gisele's (played by Amy Adams) innocence is not so overdone that you find her irritating - she just seems genuine and loveable. At one point, in what we would call naievete, she says, (while weeping) "Well of course they're in pain, they're being separated forever and ever. What kind of place is this that people are married one day and the next day they're not?" I think it's sad that we've gotten to the point that divorce and anger don't cause us a moment's pause, when we should be mourning the love that's changed. Girls shouldn't expect perfection (which the film does depict to some extent), but it's good to dream about the perfect man that God has for you to be with forever in marriage.

Secondly, the transformation of the male lead, Robert Philip (played by Patrick Dempsey), takes him from being the traditional cynical divorce lawyer and single father, ready to take a non-romantic step and propose to his girlfriend of five years, Nancy, to being a still rational guy, but also a believer in true love and the transformation it can bring to life. Not unlike a fairy tale. It's fun to see how his harsh edges are mellowed by the Gisele character. At the same time, Gisele maintains her ideals for love and family and happily ever after, but it's mellowed by the realization of the ways that life isn't perfect, and how some people aren't what they seem. The maturity of both Robert and Gisele balances them into more compassionate, loving people.

The movie is called "Enchanted" because that's what the Gisele character does to those around her - she's enchanting to them. Isn't one of our roles to be a light for Christ? I mean, that doesn't always mean that we'll be singing musicals in Central Park, but we are called to love others unfailingly in imitation of Christ. Anyway, once I watch a movie a number of times, I have to rationalize why I'm not outisde jogging or something, so that's where I went with it. :)

All in all, it's a cute movie. And safe for kids to watch! As I was watching it, I realized how I haven't had a lot kids' movie time lately. I used to babysit for the Jones kids in Illinois fairly regularly, and that's when I got to see all the cool kids' movies that were out. Now I have to make myself do that!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Worst. Blogger. Ever.

Hey, y'all! Sorry I'm so stinking bad at blogging! I don't have internet at my house, and since my last post I haven't had any time to go and grab internet elsewhere. Wow. Insane!
Here's something cool: I got new furniture! It's all set about the living room and my bedroom and everywhere - and an island will be in the kitchen when I get back home next week. I am looking forward to being settled! Also, I'm looking forward to painting - one room down, six more to go (somewhere around there!).
I'll put up some pictures - what a blessing that my parents and I are both moving: they into a smaller home in Florida, and me into my permanent home a the camp. That means that while my parents have surplus of furniture, I have a paucity. (Ten points for the use of paucity). So things worked out perfectly, and while I will miss them, I am happy to have my "childhood" sofa and beds and stuff at my new grown-up house.
Check out my gardening stuff too - I'm trying to cultivate a green thumb in myself and beautiful things in my garden! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My flower bed overhaul

Here's a before and after shot of my front flower bed (well, one of them). I worked hard after work today to make it look cleaned up and ready to grow things. There are crocus and iris and daffodils coming up. I"m excited for "real spring".

Hopefully, I will recover from lugging gigantic bags of soil out of Lowe's today...people actually watched me in the parking lot trying to wrestle those bags into my car. It was funny, but I felt stupid laughing at myself even though I was in my head.

P.S. No update on the seeds I planted - I think it's nearer 7 days for germination, so maybe nothing for a bit yet.

A Green Thumb?

So, I've become inspired to grow a garden. That's right! So I spent hours today poring over books about planting seasons, and the latest freeze in Zone 5, and shade plants vs. sun plants and what kind of garden I would like best!
Well, as to what garden I like best, my house is very cottage-like, and I don't have a lot of time for upkeep, so I think that a cottage garden will work well because it's designed so that there's always color and the plants keep a majority of the weeds down. Also, lots of perennials avoid extra planting in the fall. Great fit!
I also based my plant choices from all of the books that I loved to read - Anne of Green Gables, etc. - and planted (indoors under a heat lamp) impatiens, sweet williams, morning glory, snapdragons, narcissus, spearmint, lavendar. All things that look beautiful and smell lovely as well. I can't wait! I won't put up a picture yet, because nothing is growing, but i"ll keep you updated!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

How did this happen?

So, basically, I became a sports fan. I mean, I've always loved the Steelers because who couldn't? They're wonderful. But my life has changed significantly in the realm of "sports fan" since college, and I'm not completely sure why. But it all started with the 2004 Steelers and Big Ben and the 15-1 season, and then White Sox winning the World Series, and then Pittsburgh winning Super Bowl XL...and during that time, I started to listen to Mike and MIke on ESPN (Chicago's 1000 AM) and I joined the official Chicago Steeler's Fan Club. Basically, as my friend Allan says, "You're like as much of a jock as you could be without actually playing any sports." I love to watch sports! And it has helped me to be more comfortable making small talk with people when I'm out at camp fairs and things, so I guess it's a good thing. And sports are a nice, relaxing sort of thing to watch.
The reason I recognize this is because my latest genre of reading has been "Sports Biography". I just read this book about Bobby Jones called "Grand Slam" and it's great! I love it because not only is it a book about a golfer, but it's about the historical context of his life (World War I) and about his faithfulness to his wife and to what he believes despite being the greatest amateur golfer of all time, and essentially the "rock star" of his time. Anyway, I totally recommend it.
And on a side note, Frank Caviezel, who playes Bobby in the feature film, has a lovely smile and is quite good looking. I'm a fan.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Auntie Leeanne

What a privilege to share in the love of a little baby girl! Since little Dylan Elizabeth has come into the world, I have been so blessed to watch her crinkle up her eyes and sleep and fuss and wave her arms around and have tummy time and burp and look at her mommy and daddy. And just this week, I saw her laugh and giggle when a bunch of girls from the local youth group were playing with her and loving her. What a precious little girl! How great to be able to be "Auntie" Leeanne (for those of you who don't know, she's not really my niece at all) to a wobbly-headed, blue-eyed giggler who just rolled over for the first time! :)