28 June 2009

Back from camp...

So I've been absent from the blogging world because of preparing for and being at Junior High Camp. We took 78 seventh and eighth grade students to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas. Brian Hunter was our evening speaker and he did a phenomenal job at connecting with the students, making the biblical principles he was teaching applicable and understandable to them, and was a lot of fun to hang out with! His wife and kids were awesome, too.

Aaron Wagner was our worship band and they are old friends of Justin's and were at our Disciple Now this past March. They did a phenomenal job as well.

But now, it's back to a more "normal" schedule. So, I should be back to blogging more regularly!

19 June 2009

Raw cookie dough can kill you? (Jim)

Well, I'm a little nervous. Apparently, Toll House Cookie Dough has been contaminated with E. coli and eating it raw has hospitalized some people.

I ate four of those little chocolate chip squares (before baking) last night! I'm telling all of you this so that if I end up dead from cookie dough poisoning, you'll know who to blame!

ON a serious note, every time I see one of these stories I become more convinced that eating processed, packaged, or pre-prepared food from an industrial food source is a bad idea (and that's before you consider the ethics of how factory food is made and what it is doing to our bodies).

Hopefully, I am not on my way to food poisoning from cookies!

18 June 2009

Street View, Camps, and Crisis

Google's Street View Car: Take a look at the vehicle that's looking at you!

If you click on the above link, you will see a picture of a car who, and many others like it, drove up and down most every street in the United States to bring you "Street View" on Google Maps.
A cool feature, but is it really that necessary? I haven't had ANY time yet where having it on my iPhone has made a big difference. But, it's cool to look at pictures of places where you've been out of town and where your friends live.

Okay, enough about that-
I have been overwhelmed and stressed to the max (at least until Wednesday) and all details have been finalized for Junior High Camp 2009. Our theme is "The City" and we are spending 4 days and 3 nights at the Great Wolf Lodge, in Grapevine, Texas. We are taking 110 people and I'm excited, but pray and hope I haven't overlooked everything. Basically, camp for me will be fun once the last child has gone home Friday night.

Today has been a testing week- there are issues going on for both Jim's family and mine, and it's just been a hard week. But, we are looking to the Lord for comfort and guidance.

10 June 2009

Community (Sarah)

Community is something that I've been thinking about a lot lately. To be more specific, community in the church/among Christians.

I guess the first time I really remember thinking hard about community was when I started dating Jim. He still lived in the wonderful city that is Austin, Texas, and on Tuesday nights, he had Community Group. It was a group of people from his church who met together and discussed the deep things of God, the hard things of life, and had lots of fun doing it. All of them are still good friends (and I am happy to be apart of that group by marriage). How could you not want that?

Then, I started thinking about the friends I have in my life. I have my best friends from high school whom I still keep in touch with, but they don't live in Wichita Falls (actually, that is false: Kimberly does, for the summer!) so it's hard to have "community" with them. I have my best friend Amber, who lives here, and although I tell her she doesn't count because she married my cousin (therefore becoming family) she does count bigtime! We've also been hanging out with Brady and Melissa some, which has been awesome! And, I can't forget my hilarious friend Lindsay, who has become dear to me, but will be moving on at some point. PLUS, there are numerous couples, for whom we babysit their kids, dogs, or houses, or any combination of the three, who are also special to us.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that life is just better when you have people doing it with you. Saying that I don't have friends would be a complete lie, as seen in the above paragraph. But having people who are doing life with you is something on a completely different level. To add another dimension to it all, having people who are Christians to do life with you is something that is hard to find!

As the administrative assistant for the college minister here (who happens to be Brady that I spoke of earlier) he wanted to start a midweek get together for the guys during the summer. Jim jumped at the opportunity to pour into lives what had been so lovingly poured into his from his group in Austin. The women's mid week group followed. We both meet on Thursday nights and are both going through the book of Ephesians.

But this is more than a Bible Study. We had our first meeting last week, and I was in charge of leading the group. In doing my studying, I found an interesting article. It was called "10 Ways to Avoid Building Community in the Church." It sounded interesting, so I looked at it. Although it is written from a sarcastic point of view, it was one of the truest, heart piercing things that I had ever read. You can look at it here. I have been guilty of at least all of those at some point in my life, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. So, we were going to make this group different. This group was going to have to commit to coming, commit to praying for each other, and commit to discussing what we were talking about. It wasn't going to be a come and go when you feel like it. Sounds harsh, doesn't it?

Well, here is how it is in my mind: Community is something God wanted for us, according to Acts 2:42-47. But, it doesn't come easy, as don't most things for which are "good" for us (reading the Bible, praying, obeying, etc.) because we have to set aside time and put forth effort. Community is no different. So, just like you have to commit to reading your Bible everyday, you have to commit to being apart of a community. So, as we continue on the quest, I'm interested to see what happens. Interested and excited! Life is hard enough- going at it alone is harder, and so I want to be apart of a community who will come alongside me when I need it, and whom I can do the same thing for.

Update on Life (Sarah)

I haven't been doing a very good job of uploading to the blog.
But life has been busy.
While there are lots of things on my mind, the thought of sitting down to write them are like the first steps when you set out to write a lengthy research paper. I know once I get started, it will be easier, but it is just daunting right now.

Last night was the first night in a week that Jim and I slept in our own bed with only our two dogs next to us (on the floor of course!). And it will be the last for a while. Sure, there will be some days here and there, but mostly, life is busy right now. It's summer, I guess!

Some things I want to blog about in the coming days (which will actually probably be weeks):
  • Community
  • Homeschooling
  • Parenting

Some weighty subjects, that I don't even feel I will scratch the surface of, but want to get it out, anyway.

05 June 2009

Random Thoughts on a Friday (Jim)

Since it's a random thoughts post, I thought we should go bullet-style:

  • Re-reading The Fitzwilliam Darcy Trilogy and had a thought: if people drank as much in real life as they do in 19th-Century literature, I think that half the population must have been perpetually intoxicated. Explains a lot about history, actually...
  • Watched three different Harry Potter movies over the weekend. Those are the best book-to-movie adaptations I've ever seen. I absolutely LOVED them and cannot wait for the newest one to appear on July 15.
  • Will probably lose all of my pepper plants to little pests called aphids. Bummer...
  • Ran 4 miles in 44 minutes on Sunday; that 11-minute mile pace is what I'm shooting for at this point so I was excited!
  • Food poisoning equals no fun.
  • Watching more than an hour of cable news at one time is bad for your health and could potentially make someone go insane!
  • Pandora is (as I think I've mentioned before) AWESOME! If you're looking for a station to listen to, try Julieta Venegas. Trust me...

Happy Friday!

01 June 2009

Not Me Monday

Today's NOT ME MONDAY post has been compiled over the last couple of weeks- 

I did not leave raw chicken and beef in their grocery sacks on the table after I dropped them off at home one Tuesday. I was running errands, and did the shopping on my lunch break.

The next morning, I took a shower and was shaving my legs, when all of the sudden the water goes cold. I did not just decide to not suffer through it and only shave one leg. Even if I had, I definitely would not have worn cropped pants so that it was noticeable.

Last week, I did not make two huge mistakes in a row using Hotwire.com for the first time. After booking a hotel room for one couple coming to camp with us, I did not book a second hotel for only one night when I should have booked it for two. Then, I definitely did not go and rebook another night, without changing the dates. This (if I would have done it) would have left me with three different rooms for the same night instead of the one room for one night and another room for two nights. I would not make such a huge mistake. It also did not take me about 2 hours to beg and plead with hotwire.com to allow me an extra "courtesy" refund to make everything right.

Quick Garden Update (Jim)

Happy Monday! I wanted to put up a few pictures from the garden taken on Friday morning.

Pictures of flowers from one of my cucumber plants (top) and one of my pole bean plants (bottom). One of the most educational and surprising things about gardening has been the beauty of the flowers on vegetable plants. I'm an ignorant city boy and had no idea that tomatoes came after flowers or that cucumbers would produce these beautiful golden yellow blooms before producing fruit. Fun, no?

Check it out...BEANS! The excitement of watching something grow from seed to this is fantastic!
That's all for now...