Monday, April 28, 2008

Fun with kids

This past Friday night, we had my boss (from my prior job) and his family over for dinner. I had become really close with my boss and his wife during the 4 years that I worked for them after college. They currently live around the corner from us, but they are planning to move to SC in the next few months. It’s exciting to hear how God is leading them. (AC, they will be in Columbia which I hear isn’t far from Greenville . . . we’re toying with coming down next summer to visit you both :). Well, we knew that they would be bringing their 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter for dinner, which we looked forward to. So, my husband in true PE-teacher-fashion, prepared the house with various stations where they could play. It was great. There was a mini-bowling set up in one corner of the living room, in another area was coloring sheets and crayons (the coloring sheets Brian printed from online), in another area there was cup-stacking, and then on the deck there were bubbles to blow (and I’m probably forgetting another station). Here are some pictures:

The real competition seemed to end up being who could be the most soapy
Gotta love those puffy cheeks My "old" boss and his wife

Brian was sure to entertain those kids, and it enabled me to really catch up with the husband and wife. Oh, and another highlight of the evening: I had strawberry pie for the first time – it was excellent! I love when other people bring dishes that I never make!

Then, on Sunday, our church had a potluck dinner followed by a presentation by the church kids. There was catechism reciting, Scripture reciting, Scripture read in various languages, and lots of musical performances. This may sound so weird, but I absolutely love these nights. Even weirder, I was smiling so much the entire night that my jaw hurt (and it hadn’t hurt like that since our wedding over a year ago). I think I’m nuts. I can’t help but praise God when I watch those little kids use their talents and abilities. They worked so hard. Here are some pictures.

Some of the kids
Some brothers reciting catechism Megan singing, Beautiful Savior
Oh, and at the end of the evening there were awards for people who work with the children on Sunday evenings. Some of you may know, but my husband leads the gym time for the children (K-5th grade). And, most often you’d think of church gym activities for kids as rather unstructured and thrown together. Not my husband! Brian is always brainstorming new games, and teaching them sportsmanship and new skills, and stretching their teamwork. Kids flock to the gym. And, apparently the first question that the kids ask each Sunday night is, “Is Coach Brian coming tonight?!!!” (Brian even drinks his coffee every morning from a “Coach Brian” mug that some kids made for him for Christmas). Funny thing, Brian loves being with the kids as much as they enjoy him. And, he rarely misses a Sunday night – not even a handful of times per year. So, last night my husband got a standing ovation from the church and a card signed by the families with a gift card. And, as he came to sit back down, all the kids had their hands out to get a high-five from him. I sat there praising God.

One last thing: a shout-out for Brian . . . Way to finish out your 20-credit semester! His last final is on Friday! Woot, woot! We will be celebrating!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Here are some random events and thoughts from this last week . . .

* Ever been to the Melting Pot, and thoroughly enjoyed yourself . . . but, felt gorged for days? Well, that was me. It was hilarious to watch my grandpop . . . as he questioned why we pay to cook our own food. He ended up liking it . . . I knew he would

* I must say that I absolutely love my church senior high girls more and more. I love hanging with them and learning and teaching. We're good 'ol friends! We had a blast on Saturday morning at our house: brunch, Bible study on the topic of comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-11), then we worked on a project for our Mother-Daughter Banquet coming up in May. They make my heart full of joy.

* Birthday money . . . it's a great thing. Need I say more. Well, okay . . . I did a little spring shopping on Saturday. It was a real treat!

* Spring weather -- the sunshine, the smells, the crispness of the morning, the windows open, the smell of fresh cut grass, seeing tulips whenever I exit the house, . . . all too beautiful for words and refreshing to my soul.

* Stink bugs . . . you know if you got them. Uhh! They stalk me! This is a really gross story, so skip down if you need to: I was getting ready for bed recently (mind you, Brian was asleep). I see one of the these wretched bugs crawling across the mirror. Tissue in hand, I prepare for the kill. This time I was a little to confident of my squishing abilities. I turn the tissue toward me as I squeeze and whaaaaamo . . . stink bug guts fly ALL over me: my face, glasses, hair, lips . . . and I didn't even scream because my husband needed his zzzz's. Wow! That repulsed me! For days, I could see the wiped off bug guts on a tissue in the trash can. I had to do a little trash-rearranging.

* American Idol . . . we're sucked in. I never have been before. David Cook, you got it.

* The older ya get, the more aches and pains. Even though I work out faithfully (or so I like to think), I have begun to get sore whenever I do activities that are out of my normal routine. It never used to be that way! And, that proved true again this weekend at the batting cage. My fore arms are sore, but it was worth it. It was memory lane.

* I really like this Mexican Rice Skillet . . . been in the fam for years (from the Roane family):

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 cup chicken broth
2 medium red peppers, diced
1 cup of frozen/canned corn
1 cup rice (uncooked)
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup of sharp cheese, shredded

1. In a large frying pan, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, water, and salt.
2. Cook until water is absorbed.
3. Add broth, peppers, corn, and rice. (Don't boil). Cover and simmer for 20 minutes without stirring until liquid is absorbed.
4. Remove from heat. Spread sour cream over top, and spread cheese on top.
5. Cover and let stand 5-10 minutes until cheese melts.
6. Serve in the frying pan. Yum!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Creeping toward . . . 30?!!!

It's true . . . I turned 28 this weekend . . . 30 isn't that far anymore. Crazy. Bri's facebook status was, "I am 2 years younger than my wifey for the next 8 months." Oh, he sure loves to rub it in :). (I get to tease him about all his gray hair though). We know we're really still "young" though . . . and we're still spunky (or we think we are :).

My birthday celebrations were wonderful, thanks to my amazing husband (and many cards and packages from friends and family), . . . if you will, let me brag just a bit about my hubby . . .

I woke up to this in the kitchen, featuring a gift certificate for a couples massage!
Since I've organized all my craft stuff, my hubby started using it. Shh, don't tell anyone. He was very proud of this card, as was I!
Some flowers to show off the sunshine
We then enjoyed a breakfast at Dunkin Donuts, a place we both love . . . and a treat when you're on a budget. Then, we ran some fun errands together, enjoying the sunshine. We got a few things at Home Depot to assist my gardening once we got home. I did a few hours of gardening (while Brian had church softball practice), and my sun-starved skin loved it, except for a small portion of my lower back that got burnt -- oh well! Then, Brian came home and made this masterpiece . . .

California rolls (only thing not homemade), accompanied by mango mojitos -- my favorites!
Bri at work
I couldn't help but capture the sunshine -- it's therapeutic for me
And, waalaa . . . the meal: Applewood Smoked Bacon-wrapped Filets, Brussel sprouts, rice, artisian garlic bread, and salad (with homemade dressing).
The filets, upclose and personal

It was better than a restaurant, . . . but then again, Brian has worked in restaurants . . . so, I'm spoiled. Then, we had molten-lava chocolate cake for dessert with a movie. Bri, you know me SO well -- the whole day was perfect!

Well, so far 28 has been great! Thanks again everyone!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Trust in God

This was the theme of our youth retreat this past weekend. We were up at His Thousand Hills (retreat center) in Wellsboro, PA (in northern PA, just 30 minutes below New York). It was such a great weekend. Brian was one of the speakers, highlighting Romans 8:18-39 and touching on God's complete sovereignty, infinite wisdom and perfect love. It was great to chew on later that morning during devotions. Trust is something we need to learn in every phase of life. And, it leads to glorious joy and freedom in Christ.

Well, I could talk for hours . . . there were many highlights to the weekend: bonding as we did a low-ropes course in the woods, exploring nature in the "Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania" with a tour guide, having a camp fire with s'mores, losing my voice from cheering on people on the bungee run, getting chin-splints from rollerskating so much, feeling sore from hiking so much, talking and talking, enjoying our stay in the "Plaza", watching 50-some youth praise God during worship, eating way too much food, and snapping 200 pictures . . . here are some snapshots for you . . .

The view in the morning from the cabin
Brian and his low-ropes group
Mary with her low-ropes group
On the hike . . . on a dead tree . . . when I got a mud-sogged shoe
Great guys . . .
Bri on the bungee run
Oh, did I forget to say that Brian made a bungee-run record? His prize: a massive pancake
Oh, we love these girls . . .
Nancy, Sue, and me . . . all leaders . . . I love them!

There are two new posts below too :)

Google Reader

Anyone else out there discover Google Reader? For an avid blog-reader like me, it can take me so long to catch up on who posted what and when. (And, I sure don't like to miss anything, especially new pictures :).

Well, let me tell you, forget those long hours of searching . . . Google Reader does it for you! For me, since I have a gmail email account, it's all linked together.

How to do it:
- Go to
- (Set up was next to nothing for me because I have a gmail account)
- Click on "add subscription" to add the links of the blogs/websites that you like to track
- wahlah, you're set and you just come to this site to see if new posts have been added

It's great. Thanks to Denise, she tipped me onto this cool tool.

Drama Queen

My little sister Joy was in her school play, Bye Bye Birdie. Brian and I got to see her performance as Rosie on the last night! (Ya gotta love her wig). It was so fun to be there and see all the talent in the kids. And, I must say she had quite a group of fans: 16 people! Afterwards, a group of 15 of us went out for dessert . . . nothing like a milkshake and fries just shy of midnight.

Here are some pics from the night: