Monday, April 30, 2007

Tidbits of Spring

Oh, I love this time of year -- Spring is such a time of refreshment in so many ways! God knew we needed seasons! Tonight, we had a chance to be out and enjoy the weather at our church's softball game. Brian is on the team. It was so fun -- the first game, and we won! The score was unreal: 30-20!!!! Brian hit one single, two doubles, and one triple! Here are some pics:

I guess we live in the country a bit, huh? Brian in left field

Brian coaching first base

Some of us fans

Brian getting ready to put away the "Wrath" bat

Us, after the game

Well, talking about refreshment, I think both Brian and I needed refreshment after this past week and weekend. Last Saturday, my grandmother had a stroke, and was quickly declining. We had a few visits to the hospital, and family came in town. It was hard to personally dwell on how much my "Grammy" has meant -- practically raising me at various points in my life. And, it was hard to watch my "Pop-Pop" go through the process of preparing to lose his wife of almost 60 years. It was an intense week. Thankfully, my Grammy is hanging in there, and has been making some improvements.

Later in the week, our dishwasher overflowed onto the kitchen floor -- in full-force -- for the 3rd time! It was like a little Niagra Falls coming onto the floor. I think we've gone through about 15 paper towel rolls on that floor recently. Today, it apparently got fixed -- for the third time. We'll see. Thankfully, we've been home to clean up the water each time it's overflowed.

Then, on Friday morning (after a night of lots of rain), we woke up to an inch of rain water in our basement. I felt so bad having to wake Brian up with bad news. I had gone down to get Bisquick in the basement for waffles because we were having my brother and his family over for waffles and strawberries. Thankfully, I decided to work from home. We had 4 trucks in our driveway at one point -- all doing something different to dry-vac, tear up carpet, do mold-treatments, install a new sump-pump, . . . We did have some damage -- one side of the basement is finished with a sofa, coffee table, bar, t.v., stereo; the other side is unfinished, but it had everything I had just moved over from my dad and step-mom's house. So, we had to empty all the boxes because the bottoms would simply give-way.

So, needless to say, Brian and I were eager to relax -- as much as we could -- this weekend and tonight. I worked on the outside of our house on Saturday -- powerwashing, weeding, hedging bushes, planting seeds -- with the help of my sister and dad, while Brian worked and had softball practice. Then, we enjoyed some volleyball yesterday afternoon, after church. And tonight, we enjoyed some fellowship outside at the softball game. Praise God -- His beauty and refreshment can really encourage our hearts.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Junior High Girls

This past Friday night, Brian and I both had a chance to enjoy the junior high from our church -- Brian had the boys at our house for a sleepover, and I was with the girls at another house for a sleepover. The guys had good manly-bonding time (as Brian's post explains below). And, the girls had a great time -- but, surprisingly not girly. The sleepover began with a fierce competition -- the Rolling Cows vs. Bouncing Purdles . . . don't ask how they came up with these names. We started off with a DDR (Dance-Dance-Revolution) competition -- most of us not being too experienced at such "dancing."

Then, we did a relay race -- with the batton being a full 2-liter Coke bottle -- around the entire neighborhood . . . at 10:30pm! I must say I did a full-out sprint in order to catch our team up, and we won! (I have shin-splints as a result now :). I'm not competitive or anything :)! We then did a trampoline contest, seeing who could continue jumping the longest without getting hit by the balls in the net.

A fondue dessert was a nice treat at the end, and then a talk about modesty and discretion -- not just outwardly, but inwardly. The girls were really taking hold of it. And, we talked a bit about dating/relationships, even though, oddly enough (but thankfully) none are really into boys yet. Then, we played Cranium . . . and we're getting late here . . . started at 1am! And, I must admit that our team won -- I love Cranium, especially the word worm things.

I crashed after that, but of course the girls watched a movie even after that. We enjoyed homemade waffles the next morning -- a secret recipe of a family in our church.
Then, Saturday night, it was ladies night at our house -- with some college friends coming over for dinner. Rachel Watanabe (lovingly termed, Rachie-Racherton) was in town -- visiting the area as she anticipates going to Westminster in the fall. It was so great to see her, and Amy Claire and Monica. Fun times.

We had SUCH gorgeous weather this weekened, I tried to soak it all up! It finally felt like Spring -- sunny and in the 70s/80s. Hopefully, it will stick around for awhile :).

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My first post

Welcome to Brian's first post!! First I need to thank Matthew Smith for getting this all set up for us, It looks awesome!
So last night we had a Guys night at our house with the Jr. High youth group. (all the same guys that are in the Sunday School class I teach) Mary went over to where the girls were having a similar night, so it was just the men. We had a home run derby in the backyard, chucked some horseshoes, threw footballs and enjoyed the beautiful weather. After it got dark we came inside and everyone made their own pizza.

So they made a little bit of a mess.....It's guys night, who cares, we don't need napkins or silverware, we got sleeves and hands.(he he) It's guys night do what ever you want I kept telling them. I think it was great for them to have a night to just let loose, hang out and enjoy male fellowship. Don't get me wrong it wasn't just a night filled with belching, scratching and sports. The real reason we had the night was to take time out, look to God's word and see what does God say makes a Real man. While the world tries to tell these guys they are a man if they are physically strong, good at sports, have sexual conquest, and are financially successful, God has a totally different idea and so should we. God's word tells us that a man loves God's word, prays, has a cause bigger than himself, loves others, serves, leads others, and does all things for God's glory. We talked about how you need to be discipled, and looked at how great men don't just burst onto the scene, they aren't born that way, you need to be discipled and trained. Joshua had Moses, Samuel lived with Eli, Elisha had Elijah. Even Christ, While his life was more than 30 years only about 2 years was spent in his ministry and Luke tells us that he grew in wisdom, stature, and favor of God and men. Then just before his ministry begins, he is tempted by Satan, his "training was now complete, he was able to identify us and begin his ministry as the Messiah. We then looked at Joshua and his training under Moses, lessons he learned and was able to put into action later, and his training is completed as Moses gives some of his authority to Joshua before all the people.
Then came the big topic.....girls and dating. We had a great time talking about all sorts of things and how to date in a God glorifying way. The boys didn't have much to share in this area, I think that for some of them girls just aren't on the radar yet, but the were listening and that is what is important. All in all it was just a great night of guy fellowship we stayed up real late, had a camp fire ate till we were stuffed, drank tons of soda, and there was nobody to tell us we couldn't. It was just an awesome chance for me to really bond with the boys I lead each Sunday in Sunday School and I hope it will help foster relationships that are solid, with open communication that lasts far beyond the time they spend in my class.
Stay tuned for information on the softball league I am in this Summer, we will post the schedule and we hope that anyone who is local can come see us play. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Praising God.

It was sobering to hear about the VA Tech shootings. It's strange how we sometimes think small southern towns as being "safe" and exempt from something like a mass shooting. Personally, my sceptic side usually dispells that notion though . . .

My first thought though was: Praise God for keeping my brother John safe. John is getting his doctorate in mechanical engineering from VA Tech, and he and his family live very close to the campus. Immediately, I played through all the what-ifs in my head as I heard about so many people who lost loved ones in the tragedy. I am reminded again how thankful I am for John. John and his family.

It has been sad to watch the videos about Cho, the shooter also. There are hurting people everywhere, and unfortunately VA Tech happened to be Cho's outlet of rage and anger. I can only imagine how different VA Tech has already become, just in these few short days . . . and, probably will never be "the same" again.

John asked for prayer -- for the families who have lost loved ones, for the student body, for his local church that reaches out to college students, and for the town as the recover.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Reading. The News.

I have realized that I need to read more, and I want to keep up on the news/current events more. It really is something I see important in order to be relevant in today's world, and to continue to be educated and challenged . . . let alone from learning how God wants us to better serve and pray.

I find it hard with such a busy schedule to know how to commit to finding time for both in my day. Do any of you have a hard time finding time? My problem: I have a serious difficulty with staying awake reading after about 9:30pm; I can be doing something else, just not reading. And, it is regardless of what I'm reading.

I find that I have to be forced to read, for example needing to read for a Bible study or Sunday school class or for leading a lesson. I recently joined a women's Sunday school class; they are studying Peace Making Women.

Just this Sunday afternoon, I sat down to read the first chapter, and it was amazing -- refreshingly reminding me of different Scriptural truths that I needed to hear again. I'm really excited for this class.

So, where do you find the time to stay committed to reading and catching up on the local/national news? I'll catch snippets as we get ready for work, and similiarly as we prepare dinner, . . . but not much in between. Do you get/prefer the news from the newspaper, internet, radio, or t.v.? And, how often do you get to read a book that you are going through?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Birthday girls. Funny faces

27. I really can't believe I just turned 27. Brian will always jokingly reminds me that I'm older than him . . . and closer to 30 . . . getting close to 30 just feels weird . . . mostly because I don't feel that different. Either way, I'm enjoying life and happy to be celebrating! My birthday celebrations were great -- starting off with my family, then Krissy and Tamara (and kiddos), then a dinner with Brian, then dinner with my mom, then lunch with Amy Claire . . . and then a huge surprise party at our house that Brian planned. What a blessing . . . I'm probably spoiled, huh? :). It was such a fun . . . wow, 2 weeks really. Thank you all.

And, here is a little birthday tribute to my little niece, Ansley -- our birthdays are two days apart. She was the flower girl in our wedding -- the cutest. And, both of us like funny faces. (Mine is probably more scary than funny. Brian can tell you how goofy I am . . . in another post :).

Friday, April 13, 2007


Kudos to Matthew Smith for creating this great site for Brian and I. What a great wedding gift idea. I hope you all enjoy the site as much as we do.

Well, we're pumped to start this. I (Mary) have found such a great community through these blogs -- keeping up with long-distance friends and making new ones. It's wonderful to be encouraged and challenged by other people's daily lives.

Much more to come. Four months of marriage = lots to tell.

Here is a picture from Easter -- Ohanian's, Hand's, and Love's all at our house.