Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ready for some heavy reading?

We've been busy lately,
hence the few posts.
Read until your heart is content.
6 posts below.

My husband, the chef

Our church has an annual Mother Daughter Banquet every year, and this year the theme was Seasonings of Life . . . and the verse "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). And, we decided to do an Iron Chef cook-off as some entertainment for the evening. We asked 4 men from the church to be the "Iron chefs." I made aprons with the senior high girls, and they even had chef hats to wear. It was so fun.

Brian was one of the competing chefs. The men were each given $25 to provide 5 appetizers in 30 minutes for the judges. Brian chose to make his amazing steak medallions: filet wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon, and topped with crunchy onion straws. And, he had some flare that he added for presentation. It was amazing. And, it was so fun to watch all the men making their own creations. A good church friend was the MC. The evening was a blast!

I sat with my step-mom and sister Joy.

After the meal, the ladies had a time of worship (which I helped lead) and we then listened to a speaker. The lady that spoke was great: using the illustration of food as a common idol for many women . . . and how we love to create other idols that we think can solve our problems and satisfy us . . . but, really it's only the Lord and feasting on His Word that truly satisfy. In her ending prayer, she prayed, "Lord, help us not to fear the future and our future sin, but help us to trust in your power and strength to overcome." Those were words that I needed to hear. I think the more aware I become of my sin year after year, I have the tendency to fear my capability to sin. Praise Jesus for His power in our lives. My prayer is, "More of You, and less of me."

Cory's baby shower

One of my co-workers is expecting her first child, and I thought it would be fun to throw her a shower. It was fun planning the surprise with the other office ladies. We were even able to get her husband to come. She was so shocked! I made my first diaper cake for the shower (thanks to Denise for her instructions). Well, really Brian and I made it. We needed two hands.

One of my co-workers thinks I need to start a business making these cakes. I took it as a compliment, but thought it would be hilarious. Then, as more people at work asked if I could make one for a shower they are going to, the wheels started spinning in my head . . . and I was thinking, hmm, maybe I should begin advertising. My dad has always told me I should start my own business selling hand-made stationary/cards/invitations, framed art, . . . and now diaper cakes. We'll see. For you regular blog-readers who see some of the pictures I post of my makings, what do you think? Should/could I start a business selling these things? These cakes would only really be sold to locals because they would be a logistical nightmare to transport far. Either way, I have 1 diaper cake order already for this summer :).

I also made some chocolate-covered strawberries
The spread
The parents-to-be
Opening gifts

Mini golfing

We came home early from the beach on Saturday because we had Couples Fellowship that night. We decided it was time for a social, so we all enjoyed some mini-golf and then a BBQ and game night at our house. It was such a gorgeous night. Brian got 3 hole-in-ones . . . it was nuts! He beat me of course, but not by much :). The picture to the left are some peeps in a cave, where one of the holes was . . . crazy.

We love our couples small group. I wish I took more pictures of the night, but I only have a few pictures from mini-golfing.

David, Mike and Me (trying to figure out what I'm doing)

My Brian

Jenna and me

Ocean City, NJ

Brian and I have been SUPER busy lately, especially with Brian finishing up his 20-credit semester. And, we were in SUPER need of a little vaca together. We had a blast at a friend of our's condo in Ocean City, NJ a few weekends ago. We drove down on a Wednesday night and came home on Saturday. It was so refreshing to enjoy the beach, good food, each other, good books, and television (something we don't watch very often).

On Thursday, we went to the Chatterbox (photo to the left) for breakfast and did a little Mother's Day shopping. All the sudden, we saw the sun come out in full-force, so we practically ran back to the condo and got into our bathing suits and headed to the beach. It was honestly so hot and sunny! It was such a treat to soak in some rays, especially for my Casper-like skin. We were the ONLY people on the beach, and I mean ONLY! You ask why? Well, even though it was a beautifully hot sunny day, it was incredibly windy . . . so, windy that we got completely sand-covered. When Brian looked over at me and saw that the sand was beginning to give me a 5-o'clock shadow on my face, he figured it was time to pack up. It was so sandy that I couldn't even open my eyes or mouth -- you could call us insane and desperate for the beach :). We decided to head back to the condo, and we simply laid out on the 3-floor deck. Ahh, sand-free at last! Not really, we were still caked in sand, but we were at least not adding to it. (It took me 3 days to become truly sand-free . . . it was all in my scalp, ears, nose, . . . everywhere!).

We also enjoyed the boardwalk and some pizza at Mack & Manco's. Oh, that is the best pizza! Some other highlights of the weekend: Mallon's sticky buns, dinner at Island Grille, seeing the Iron Man, reading the Bible together, feasting on homemade guacamole with fuzzy navals, and napping whenever we wanted!

We think vacations are super-dooper!

Long-lost best friend

I was best friend's with Amanda in middle school, but we had lost touch when we both started different high schools. She was successful in hunting me down this last fall, and it has been wonderful reconnecting. She and her husband are expecting, so I had the joy of attending Amanda's shower in early May. It was so wonderful to see her family. I have such fond memories of hanging out with her sisters and going to the beach with them often.

Amanda and her sisters
Opening presents
Part of my gift. She loves Disney

The Shover's

Brian and I had the joy of attending Mike's graduation from Philadelphia Biblical University (PBU) in early May. Brian and Mike went to high school together and have been going to PBU together this last year. During this last year, Mike and his fam started attending our church, and we simply have grown to love this family. They are part of our church's Young Couples group. And, their two girls are precious. And, since Mike joined our church's softball team, we all do a lot of cheering together.
Mike, we're excited for you, . . . but Brian will surely miss you. He won't have a chapel buddy anymore. Blessings on what God has in store for you all.

Friday, May 2, 2008


At 9:33 AM I walked out the door of the Biblical Learning Center at PBU and did my best William Wallace impression FREEEEEEDOOOOOMM! After what has been a very long and by the end wearisome semester, I am finally free... for three and a half weeks that is. In the rush to finish school as fast as possible, I took 20 credits this semester, I hope to never do that again.
Now I love to read, but this semester ended up being a bit ridiculous. My required reading included Genesis - Esther, a 750 page Human Development text, Pilgrim's Progress, The Wise Woman, The Little Princess, The Man Who Was Thursday, War in Heaven, Out of Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Till We Have Faces, The Four Quartets, and various other text book reading. IT was exhausting, it was frustrating, and many days I felt like I actually learn more when I am not in school.
Among the frustrations there were many bright spots and breaths of fresh air. In February I had the opportunity to spend two days in an elementary school teaching adapted physical education. I must admit I had some reservations to go in an work with kids with various disabilities, unsure of my own abilities to relate with the students and relate PE and sports to them. This anxiety quickly ended as the kids came in and I found that it was just the same as working with kids who don't have disabilities. Love them and share your love of sports and activities with them. My favorite class ended up being a class of five boys who were all autistic. It was amazing to see the difference between the Teacher I was working with, who had a love for these kids, and their regular teachers, who viewed it only as a job. I got to play with them, chase them, teach them to use words to express themselves, engage one boy who always keeps to himself in a group game (he talked in class for the first time ever the following week) it was all so awesome to see kids grow and make progress, not just in their abilities to play sports or participate in PE activities, but to learn about relationships, communication, and motor skills that will help them in their daily life.
Another teaching opportunity was through something called Kid's Sport. This is a program my school runs that serves the double purpose of providing PE for home school kids and providing us with opportunities to grow as teachers. I had a class of about 18 students from age 13-17, can be a tough group. The 6 year old group is tough because they are all over the place, my group is tough because they are worried what others will think about them, or question why they should do an activity, or try to figure out what they can get away with. Most of this is solved by my physical size, booming gym voice, and the beard helps too. It ended up being a great time to teach and participate and coach these kids. Many of them do not have a regular PE teacher and have poor motor skills, many simply lacked the confidence in their abilities and just need someone to be their fan. One example was a day when we were playing flag football. Everyone had to rotate through playing QB and I kept encouraging one girl to take her turn (I saw here throw in the practice drills and she was amazing tight spiral and all) she kept saying no I can't I'm not good at it. I told her she was and this went on for most of the class. Finally everyone else on the team had been QB and she was the only one who was allowed to be QB under the rules we had. One last word of encouragement and she ends up throwing the game winning TD as the class period ended.. AWESOME!! (and a big high-five) This is what I love about PE encouraging kids, teaching life skills such as teamwork, sportsmanship, relationships, health and wellness, things that can transfer into everyday life regardless of your career or age. I love giving word of encouragement, the high-five, and see kids smile and see that they really can do these things and have their sense of confidence and self worth grow. No offense to other school subjects but it is not often that a teacher says "Awesome! that was great how you filled in that scan tron sheet! High-five!"
I am excited now for a great summer, time to relax, read some books I have been wanting to read for a long time, get back in the gym, and gear up for two semester worth of Greek this summer. I am really looking forward to OBX and our little Ocean City trip next weekend. Well gotta go, check for my next post, probably about 6 months from now as the trend has been going.