Monday, September 29, 2008

Don't worry . . . we're still alive!

I know . . . you were doubting it.

We're still alive! September has flown by! Check out the 4 posts below.

(Here we are in Long Beach Island, NJ . . . two weekends ago on a youth retreat).

6 Random Things

You guessed it . . . I've been tagged. Here are 6 random things about me (Mary):

1. I just recently started loving cottage cheese . . . protein-packed goodness!

2. I'm just getting into swimming . . . for fitness. I'm excited. I need to get a cap, goggles, and serious-swimming suit.

3. For as organized as some people may think I am, my desk is rarely not messy. I like to think of it as orderly chaos.

4. Brian and I just started teaching the 9th/10th graders at church together this fall. We're loving it. We're doing a New Testament survey.

5. I enjoy cooking everyday. I love creating. I love planning meals. I love eating. I love making my husband happy.

6. I'm starting to lose the curl in my hair. They say your body has 7-year cycles or something . . . all I know is that after 28 years my hair has had enough. It wants to only be kinda-curly now.

I am tagging:

Riggall Family Happenings
Thirsty for Grace
Well Perhaps

1. Link to the person who tagged you. 2. Post the rules on the blog. 3. Write six random things about yourself. 4. Tag a few people at the end of your post. 5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged.

Braces update

My blog peeps . . . this is exciting news . . . my top two front teeth touched my bottom two front teeth. You might say, big deal . . . well, you need to get to know me better. My jaw has issues. My front teeth haven't touched in years . . . like 5 years! Weird, I know. (When they touched for the first time, I emailed Brian with "breaking news" and told all the ladies in the office . . . they all know my struggles . . . they were so happy for me . . . lol)!

So, all the braces/oral surgery/rubberbands/annoying flossing mess is going to end soon . . . my ortho man said before Christmas. (Insert Hallelujah chorus please!) No more constant headaches and teeth pain and pins in my jaw . . . I don't know what I'll do with myself. No, I know . . . smile all the time (without having my lip catch on my brackets), not worry about huge hunks of food getting stuck in my teeth, not sleep with a banded-shut mouth, and eat all crunchy things!

Eagles fans? Um, yeah!

Ok, let's not talk about the game against the Bears last night. I could say a lot . . .

You could call us . . . um, serious Eagles fans. Did you know Philadelphia fans are some of the most loyal (and crazy)?

Anyways, we like any occasion for a get-together. We hung out with the Shover's recently for a game. We love this family! (Here, Brian is with Mike).

Ivette and Me

The cutie girls . . . getting to stay up late

Snuggling on the couch


September is a month of birthdays around here -- at least 4 in our immediate family. So, that means celebrations for us (and gift-giving)! Forgive me for not documenting all 4 . . . my mom's, Brian's dad's, my sister Joy's, and Gramma Ceil.

My sister just turned 14! I can't believe it! We celebrated with family and close family friends, the Pennington's.

Here we are waiting for gift-opening

Dad, Ralph, and Phil

Joy and Me - the braces twins

For Brian's dad's birthday, we took him to the Battleship New Jersey for a tour. It's the largest battleship in the U.S. It was incredible! I loved touring it. Here is the beast . . .

Us with . . . about 1/10 of the ship

Happy Birthday all!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My preaching husband

You might have a few questions from the title, especially if you know that Brian hasn't attended seminary or been ordained. This was a unique opportunity that arose. An older couple from our church vacations in the Poconos for the summer. And, the area in the Poconos is really a summer-vacationing town. Very few people live there year-round. That being the case, the small chapel in the town is only open during the summer. And, recently (and unfortunately) the pastor's wife has become ill, and the pastor decided to step down to care for her. Needless to say, they needed to fill the pulpit for the summer. The couple from our church, particularly the wife has gotten to know Brian well this summer through another ministry. Well, the wife asked if Brian would preach one Sunday, specifically last Sunday. And, Brian was more than happy to. Brian actually has given many "talks" and "sermons" for various church ministries (i.e. at nursing homes, at our homeless ministry dinners, youth retreats). He really enjoys it, and I must say he is captivating. Brian spoke on the unchanging character of God, and how that is the foundational for our trust and reliance on God. He looked a bit at culture and how it is constantly changing, especially in today's post-modernism. I was reminded again that God is the Creator and I am the creature . . . and His sovereignty and love are most beautiful when we learn to trust and realize He is in control.

The church was on this lake

It was gorgeous

Walking back up to the church

Because Brian was preaching (more than an hour away from home), we decided to make a weekend of it in the Poconos area. We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast, which we loved. (See the pictures below). It was a very unexpected fun get-away!

The B&B: The Hillard House

The front porch

Swinging and reading the newspaper

The vintage elevator that carried our luggage

Afternoon refreshments

In the music room

Our room

The flowers at our incredible breakfast . . . I will spare you all the food pics :)

From the garden

I love gardening and filling the house with flowers. The beauty of flowers blesses me. And, the rising sun shining on them is stuning!

Every two weeks . . .

I set up barber shop in the kitchen (don't worry I clean up well), and Brian's gets a snip-snip. One thing Brian does not lack: hair. I made money in college cutting hair, and I love doing it. It took awhile for Brian to let me take the sissors to his head, but now he sold. We can save a good hunk of change doing the cuts at home. And, it's a creative outlet for me:).

Can you tell we staged this?

Ta-da . . . he has a nice wave in the front . . . gel fixes that (and hides the gray :)

Moments later . . . in his favorite tv-watching position

Aww . . . asleep? Isn't that uncomfortable?