Saturday, December 15, 2007

Some School Funnies

Two posts- one night :) I'm on a roll....

Yesterday at work, I had a funny conversation with one of my students. I had promised my student that after finishing the required work I would let this student get on the computer to "play" the educational computer game that our district has purchased for internet use. However, when I tried to log this student in, I was unable to do so as the site was down. I explained that the computer wasn't working... and promised computer use when the site was working again.

A few minutes later, I called the student over to me to take an Accelerated Reader quiz (a book quiz on the internet for you non-teachers out there). The student was aghast and said, "Mrs. Anderson, the computer is working- look! Now, I can get on it!" I tried to explain in kindergarten language, "Well part of the computer is working so we can play this game (everything is a game in kindergarten- it's very motivational), but the other game is broken." My student replied, "It must be working. Look at it!" To which I replied the kindergarten equivalent of "Tough luck." How do you explain the internet to a five year old????

After this conversation, I began typing in this student's ID on the log in page, which is first initial-last name. Turning to a friend, this student replied matter-a-factly, "Mrs. Anderson doesn't know how to write all of my name." How easily we forget who has taught us what we know!

The Best Chrismas Pageant Ever

I love that book. I don't remember when I started reading it as a child, but my family had a copy which I read every single Christmas. Even now, every time I read it it makes me laugh and cry.

When Eric and I started dating in 2004, I discovered much to my shock that Eric had never read the book much less heard of it and decided to remedy this at once. I bought a copy and read it to Eric, mostly at various parks around Dallas since we were dating with no place to go, and he enjoyed it. So when Christmas 2005 rolled around, I read it to him again. By Christmas 2006, we had a tradition and were able to have a place to actually read it in- our home... though I think we may have finished it with his family in Colorado.

This year, I will be reading the story to Eric again, maybe as we drive to Dallas as fast as we can. Tonight though, we had the pleasure of watching two of our youth girls perform as Imogene and Gladys in their high school Christmas play. Girls, you did great! Everyone else- "Hey! Unto you a child is born!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Guess They Are Listening

Teaching kindergarten, I often wonder if my words are falling on deaf ears. I feel that I repeat the same phrases daily... so often in fact that I have considered investing in a recording device. I often wonder at the end of the day if they have gleaned anything from their seven hours they just spent in school. I still don't know the answer to that question in its entirety, but I do know they must at least sometimes listen.

At lunch today as I was eating with my students, one of my students (who often needs just a little extra time for mastery) was talking to a friend. This student pointed to the lunch special of rice and said to the friend emphatically,

"This is rice. Now, what is this???" A classic Mrs. Anderson phrase if ever there was one.

The friend promptly answered, "Rice."

The student finished, "Good job. It's rice."

I had to laugh. They may not be engaged in meaningful learning, but at least they are picking up on my mannerisms and sayings.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Recap

Eric and I have unpacked the suitcase, and we are back from our Thanksgiving excursion up to Knoxville to visit my dad's parents and some of my extended family. We had a good time hanging out with my grandparents, going up to Gatlinburg (think Branson), enjoying the fall leaves (which stayed just long enough for us to come and see them), hanging out with a dear friend at ...mmm... Starbucks, and watching a lot of football (yeah Aggies!). It was a good trip.

This morning at church one of the elders told Eric that he needed to stop dragging me from home for all of these trips... haha, they are still getting to know me. Where do we go next???

Thursday, November 15, 2007

If Only I Could Do College Again...

At the youth retreat two weekends ago, I had an interesting experience. By "interesting" I mean funny and awkward.

On Saturday afternoon, another youth sponsor approached me while I was talking to some of our youth and asked me if I would help tie water balloons for an upcoming game. As my job was to "help out," I of course agreed. As I began tying the balloons, he profusely thanked me for my help and said that I could take some balloons to throw when we had finished. I thought this was a somewhat odd request- I didn't need to be bribed and why would I want to throw a water balloon at one of our youth???

I continued tying balloons, and he told me to give some to my friends to tie. I explained that I didn't mind and thought that friends was kind of a funny word to use.

I continued tying and breaking water balloons all over me (I was pretty drenched when I finished. Tying water balloons is not for wimps my friends!) Somewhere in this conversation, he looked at my RUF shirt I was wearing and the following conversation ensued:

Sponsor: "Ruff" What's that?
Me: R-U-F (I thought he was making a joke. I mean after all we are at a PCA deep south retreat. And he looked like he was still in his late 20's.)
Sponsor: Okay, R-U-F what's that?
Me: Oh sorry, I thought you might have heard of it. Reformed University Fellowship. It's a college ministry associated with the PCA that I was in in college.
Sponsor: Were in or want to be in?
Me: (our whole interaction starting to make sense) was in
Sponsor: (astonished) How old are you?
Me: 23 (Slightly irritated after getting about 5 comments a week on how young I look from everyone and their barking, unleashed dog in Greenville)
Sponsor: Oh, I thought you were a high school student.
Me: ha.ha.ha. (Hopefully it was convincing).

That was kind of the end of our conversation. We kind of avoided each other after that. I will spare you the rant I gave Eric, but I will say two things:
1. I may look "young," but I would like to hope that I do not look 6 years younger than I am.
2. I know my husband is not a millionaire, but come on, I do have a wedding ring.

I guess though, if looking young made you able to keep doing college.... I'll take it. Oh, and no one is allowed to post comments about how one day I will appreciate looking younger!!!

Past Due

Well, Eric and I haven't written at all in this glorious month of November... so I will rectify that :)

I have always liked November a lot for several different reasons-
* It is the beginning of the holiday season. I get excited about seasonal decorating and trying to find gifts to match family and friends ( I have always loved giving gifts that are creative or suited for the person or maybe just plain "cute").
* I love Thanksgiving... I might even dare say it is my favorite holiday (much to the angst of one friend who declared it a "Male Holiday"). I have a lot of wonderful memories with my grandparents and family making food, watching the Cowboys play, hiking in Sedona, and playing football outside. And now as a kindergarten teacher I get to relive all those projects like "Indian" vests, headresses, turkey creations, pumpkin pie cooking...
* I love the weather- it's finally turning cooler (for Texas and now Alabama) and it finally feels like the season of fall.

Well this blog was supposed to be what we have been up to so I will type on . . .

Our kittens are well loved and doted upon. They went to the vet today- all healthy which is good because we are attached. Having pets is quite the responsibility- it is our first step towards parenthood. So far they have not destroyed anything... but they do like to pull our internet cord out of the computer which unfortunately frustrates Eric much more than me.

I went with Eric and the youth on a youth retreat at the beginning of November. The retreat was good. I am not the "youth leader" type in many ways, but it was fun to go and spend time with our youth and be a help to Eric. I will create another post about my funny experience there.

My grandparents from Arizona came to visit us last weekend... and brought us a 1986 Plymouth. We are stylin with it. It is always such a blessing to spend time with my grandparents, and it was good to show them our life in Greenville.

Well this post is getting too long (there is probably etiquette about this sort of thing). So I will end it :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Newest addition to our family...

Nope...not pregnant, just the two cutest, cuddliest, kittens ever!

Since moving into a real house Nicole and I have increasingly thought about getting a pet. Coinciding with this desire was a family at our church whose cat had a litter not too long ago. It didn't take a whole lot of convincing on their part for us to agree to take these two kittens off of their hands. We're not sure exactly but we think they're around 6-8 weeks old. Here are some pictures for you.

Nicole has named the white and black one "Pounce" and the smaller, gray and brown one "Cuddles" - I'm sure you can figure out why :)

We're really happy to have them so far.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


greenville is funny to me these days....

Yesterday my school had an assembly to help all of us "Just Say NO" to drugs. Our featured speakers were the Tiger mascot (always a favorite) and the homecoming king and homecoming queen from the high school. The Homecoming king- the quarterback. The Homecoming queen- the cheerleading captain. Classic.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Only in Greenville...

So, I have a funny Greenville moment to share :) Today, I learned that you can change the dates of holidays to better fit your schedule...

I was in a grade level meeting this afternoon planning our "fall festival" when I heard a co-worker mention that the kids were going to be crazy next Wednesday, October 31st due to trick-or-treating. In agreement I said, "Yeah they get pretty excited thinking about going to get all that candy." My coworker then corrected me, "Well, they'll have already gotten their candy the night before." I then asked, "Oh is there some community party on the 30th?" And all my coworkers informed me of the following: No, there is no party; however due to Wednesday being a "church night," the powers at be in the community decided that Halloween will be observed in Greenville on Tuesday, October 30th. So if you want to dress your kiddos up and go out, you better be ready... the bell at the fire station will ring at 6 p.m. when you may begin asking for a free candy handout and you better be heading home at 8 p.m. when that bell rings again.

I kid you not... this is for real, though I had a hard time convincing Eric. At least, I can celebrate "Reformation Day" on October 31st with a good conscience ;)

I wonder when Thanksgiving will be...

Update! I found the link from the city's website on Halloween's date

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The 99-1 Circus

I just discovered this education article, and all I can say is Amen, Amen, and Amen!

The title is "Are Private Schools Really Better?"... but note what the article is really about :)

*Particularly note the comments on testing and why there is a gap (I guess I agree with those Democrats and teachers unions!)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

What Would You Do With $16???

So... a school funny :)

This past week I have been collecting field trip money to go see a Winnie the Pooh play at a very nice theater in Montgomery... which because it is in Montgomery and is nice costs $16 per child.

Money has trickled in slowly (no surprise there), so on Wednesday this week, I hadn't yet received much money... however, I soon realized that this did not indicate the money hadn't been sent by mom or dad.

I have several spacey children (after all they're five), but I have one sweet student who is classic "space cadet*" at its best! For example, if I was to say "go to your seat," this student might end up over by the trash can, carpet, or maybe even the cafeteria if I'm not careful to pay attention. So on Wednesday, we did our typical afternoon routine: get our your backpack, get our your snack or snack money (a quarter to a dollar usually). *SC got very excited during this process and started shouting, "Look Mrs. Anderson... look at how much snack money I have!!!"

And as you've guessed... she did indeed have $16 worth of well "snack money." It was quite a disappointment for her to learn that the money was actually her field trip money... good thing we found another dollar for her in her backpack :)

Oh the fun of teaching pre-logical thinkers :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Nerd post

I don't really claim to be a hardcore nerd, nor a particularly "gifted" nerd (as in being more skilled in nerd-related feats than other nerds), but every now and then I enjoy building a new computer. I can thank John Deng for instructing me and helping me build my first computer back in high school, and I feel pretty confident making hardware upgrades/swaps on my own. I am not intimidated by choosing between a "OZC GameXStream OZC600GXSSLI ATX12V 600W Power supply" versus a "Rosewill RP600V2-S-SL 600W SLI Ready-ATX12V V2.01 Power supply".

So, it was finally time for me to rebuild my computer, as my previous one was approaching 5 years old in some areas (processor, most significantly). I purchased for my new build:

* AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0Ghz processor
* 2GB (2 x 1GB) of Corsair 240-pin DDR2 800 SDRAM
* Sapphire Radeon X1950GT 512MB video card
* Samsung 500GB 7200RPM 16MB cache hard drive
* a new case (Cooler Master RC-690)
* the Rosewill power supply referenced earlier
* ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 motherboard

I received all of these parts from right before heading out of town for Caleb and Laura's wedding so I wasn't able to put it all together until returning to Greenville this week. I began building the system as usual and soon ran into a problem: my power supply seemed to be not working. I tested my motherboard with my old power supply to make sure it wasn't a MB issue. Frustrated, I RMAed my power supply to Newegg and purchased a new one at Best Buy. However, when I tried my new power supply out I still wasn't getting any juice to my motherboard.

Next, I did what any would-be nerd would have done: I googled it. After searching the internet for some time I was left feeling somewhat frustrated and at a loss for what to do - "could both my power supplies have been busted?" I wondered.

Eventually, I discovered that everything ran perfectly outside of my case (i.e. when my motherboard was touching no part of the metal case). This is more or less what my computer looked like at this point. Yes, my motherboard is sitting on top of a piece of cardboard. I figured the problem at this point was some kind of electrical issue between my motherboard and case, since both power supplies had been verified to work properly when my motherboard was not touching my case.

Last night, I had a sudden burst of inspiration while I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep: what if my my case screws used for mounting the motherboard were causing some kind of short! This afternoon I tested my theory, and sure enough the issue was two minor mounting screws I had screwed into holes on my case which did not line up with corresponding screw holes on my motherboard - thus these two brass mounting screws were directly touching the motherboard itself, causing the power circuit to short or something (I'm not an Electrical Engineer, so I don't really know). I removed the offending screws, mounted my board, made my wish, and flipped the power switch - success! The motherboard light came on!

And thus ends my saga - my new computer is now fully functional and residing within its case as it should, and I write this blog entry from it :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Reminders of Love

Sappy title I know... but today has been a good day. I am sick and as I have always loved to sing "all by myself..." as Eric is away at a wedding, so I've been feeling a little on the lonely side. But God always knows what we need, so he brought me these reminders today of people that I love:

7-UP: Having had the pukes, I have been drinking some 7-Up. While drinking some today, I suddenly thought of my grandma and grandpa who are the only people I know who drink 7-UP for fun. I have very fond memories of mixing the coke and OJ at their house for a fun drink... I love my grandparents.

Nice Girls Don't Cry: This is a book I have been trying to track down, and I was finally successful! My dear friend Bethany recommended it to me, and I enjoyed it. The book speaks of becoming a woman who lives life using the gifts that God has given her, fearlessly and without trying to be someone else than who God has created her to be... thanks for the truth reminder friend!

Chinese Barista: When ordering a drink at Starbucks today, my barista was teaching her coworkers Chinese (ni hao- hello and bu-yao- I don't want it)*. I asked if she was from China, and she said she was... I told her about my dear friend teaching English over there. It reminded me of Julie, Chase, Megs (my lovers of China) and of our flag football teams (I don't want it... want it).

African purse: When checking the mail today, I received a gift from my dear friend Sarah who recently returned from Sierra Leone. I love the purse, and I am inspired by your passion dear friend!

Vanity Fair: Once upon a time, some Aggie girls and I were going to do a book club over this book... haha, it never happened! Our club ended the same night it began, though the time we did it was fun! I finally broke down today and rented the movie... having never gone farther than chapter 10. This one is for Liz and Lindsay!

These may seem silly, but these reminders were a blessing from God today of good times and good friends.

*I apologize for any butchering of Chinese spelling or meaning

Sunday, September 16, 2007

In Need of Nashville

This week, Eric and I were in need of a "get-away-now" kind of weekend, so Thursday night we got out the map and decided which BIG city we would be traveling to. Yes, big.... being children of suburbia we needed to find a place where we could relax and where no one would know who we were and also wouldn't care. We looked south- there were storms, so turning our eyes north, we saw Birmingham, Atlanta, and Nashville. Birmingham was too Alabama and what's in Atlanta (???), so Nashville it was. After work on Friday, we headed out with one goal in mind- Relaxation. We stopped in Nashville at Panera Bread (mmm) and arrived late into our nice hotel in Nashville. On Saturday, we saw the Parthenon replica and enjoyed absolutely gorgeous weather in a beautiful park (this may have been the best part to me)! We also made a stop at the country music hall of fame, which was actually quite interesting with lots of neat replicas and enjoyed some time downtown. After an early dinner, we headed back since Eric has to work on Sundays, feeling very relaxed. Thanks, Nashville.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Recent Activity

Nicole tells me that I should blog more. In no particular order, here are some things that have been going on recently.

* We got a new A/C unit, which is working just fine so far. An unexpected benefit is that it seems to be creating lass rattling noise in the air vents as well.

* I'm about 1/5 of the way through Harry Potter #7. Yes, I know, I'm months behind everybody else, but I hadn't yet read the 4th, 5th, and 6th books (the last time I touched Harry Potter being on a family car trip when only the first three had come out), and I've had to make time to read/ re-read the first 6 before I could start #7. I didn't enjoy the books very much when I originally read them, but I've really liked #'s 5, 6, and 7 (so far). I think this is for two reasons: 1) Because I was still an adolescent myself when I originally started reading them and thus was unable to appreciate the humor with which Rowling deals with adolescence in her books. 2) The second half of her series seem to be in general more complex and entertaining to read. Both when I originally read #1 and #2, and the second time I re-read them more recently, I got the distinct feeling that I was reading the same book twice with slight variations. As a side note, I've managed to keep myself free from any sort of book 7 spoilers thus far, and am hoping to keep it that way. Unfortunately, I had the ending of book 6 ruined for me some time ago (and it would have happened at least 2 or 3 times more I can think of between then and now anyway).

* I've begun participating in a mentoring program at Greenville Middle school. On Wednesdays I will have lunch with a handful of "high-risk" students. I'm looking forward to this and think it will be both enjoyable and a great time to try and develop some meaningful relationships with these students.

* Nicole and I had our first "small-town" High school football game experience when we went to the Fort Dale Academy season opener a couple Friday nights ago. I found it to be pretty enjoyable, but it was distinctly different from my own memories of High school football games. They have no band so they just played the fight song, "Hey song", and others through the PA system. There were lots and lots of little children and families there, which was also different. The game itself, however, was just about how I remember it: lots of options, outside pitches, and lobs to the sideline. High school football is pretty scrappy, but I enjoyed watching the game nonetheless. One of our youth is the kicker for the team (previous soccer player) and he had a couple of great looking fieldgoals. I'm hoping to get to go to a Greenville HS game here pretty soon (it will be different, I know).

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ahhh Education

I was browsing the internet on my day off and found some interesting articles.

Read this in light of the fact that all my students are African-American

(and check out the demographics of Greenville)

Read this about the nationwide teacher shortage.

(I know my teacher friends can agree.)

Many people probably see this post as irrelevant... but what happens in education now will affect our children (regardless of how we will choose to educate them). Vote wisely :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Killer Ants

Turns out the problem with our A/C unit was that it had been infested by ants. Thankfully, Alabama doesn't seem to have the fire ant problem that Texas does, but there are massive amounts of little black ants everywhere...including our old air conditioner.

In other news, we're kicking off our first Wednesday night youth program in two days.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Live from the Hampton

Well our A/C unit has failed us. It ka-putted somewhere in the middle of the night on Friday, though it took us until mid-day Saturday to realize it for sure. Saturday morning, we woke up, and I dropped Eric off @ the gym and made my way to our friendly Wal-Mart. When I got back, I turned down the air, but because I was "playing house" in the kitchen over the hot stove, I didn't realize the air wasn't actually working until later when Eric got home. We escaped the heat and spent the afternoon in Montgomery (as always I am thankful for Starbucks) and returned home since we were having a couple* over for dinner. We ended up eating outside, which was nice, but that night I had a very hard time sleeping. This afternoon, Eric and I went home after church, grabbed our stuff, and lived up at church so we didn't have to be in the heat. And now, we are at a hotel, graciously paid for by our landlords. Hopefully, we will be back home in the cool tomorrow. :) Sometimes, I am just so thankful that I live in the 21st century.

* The couple I referred to is in their twenties and w/o kids... it's very exciting indeed :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Grace in Alabama

Tonight, Eric and I had the privilege of getting to hear the band Indelible Grace perform. For those of you who aren't good ol Presbyterians or RUFers, they are a band that has taken a lot of the old hymns and rewritten them to new tunes. It was a youth group event, and I guess hearing them play is one of the perks of being the youth director's wife! It was enjoyable to listen and sing the music and was closer to my much missed days of JBU worship than many of my more recent worship experiences.

When I sat down to write this blog, I was thinking about what to "title" it... does anyone else ponder these things???... and realized that this is indeed a day where I have needed much grace and have needed to give grace at my job and within the church. It is so easy to sing about it sometimes, and yet so hard to turn around and give it when you feel wronged by another. It's easy for me to think about giving Eric or close friends/family grace (maybe because I have to give/receive it much more frequently from them), but it is much harder to even stop and realize that I need to give my students grace, my co-workers grace, and my acquaintances in the church or community grace. How thankful I am that Christ did not just die for his disciples!!! May God give me grace to see how I need to show HIS grace to others.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Circle K Ranch

Still no A/C in my room, though the bus line flowed much smoother today (thanks to an hour long practice in the morning). I'm still feeling overwhelmed and having doubts of my ability as a teacher, but I read an encouraging article last night about faith in the PCA magazine and am trying to remember that my faith is not in my ability but in God's work in me. Please pray for me in my new job!

Now for the promised pictures (see above). Our school decided upon a "Read Around the Town" theme, each teacher had to pick a "store" or "place" that could be represented in/near a town. Since the pet shop was already taken (bye-bye old frog theme), I decided to draw upon my "Texas years" and became the Circle K Ranch (K for Kindergarten). Thanks to the help of my sister-in-law Ruth, I was able to produce the above product. We'll see how long it lasts! As Eric said, "If I was a kindergarten boy, I would want to punch that haystack. I still want to punch that haystack..." :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The First Day

How is the best way to describe "mass chaos?" How do I even begin to describe first day for the teacher, first day for the students, and a room with a broken A/C unit.... I don't. I'll spare you :) But I do have cute door decorations ... it's a western theme for all of you Texans! Pictures coming soon!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

My Collection

Some people collect things... antiques, books, decorative items, license plates, movies... I collect teaching licenses. Today, I made the next big step towards my third one- I took another teacher test. Which means that if I pass, I will have acquired 3 teaching licenses in less than 2 years. This was done by graduating in Arkansas, moving down to Texas, and now of course moving to Alabama. As I apply for the certification process in each state, I have to laugh... to be a teacher in Arkansas I had to write four hours worth of essays on how to teach, in Texas I had to take a multiple choice test that included questions on music and art, and for Alabama I had to answer college level questions such as "What is the process in reproduction that forms the zygote.... " ( I hope we don't go there in my kindergarten classroom...) Their only common thread is that they each cost a lot of money. Assuming I passed this last test (come on Biology 101!), it means that 3 states will have deemed me to be a "highly qualified" teacher each with highly different standards... and hopefully in the process of studying for all of these tests I won't leave any students behind ;)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Only in Alabama

Today Nicole and I drove to Birmingham and picked up my older sister who is visiting us for a week. On the drive, I spotted two things which struck as me as very "Alabama."

1. A large white billboard which read:

...including a picture of a little red devil

2. A massive Confederate flag waving right off the side of the highway - not on a building or by a building, just waving.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Geek Squad

On Wednesday night Nicole had the youth group girls up at church for "girls night." They were making prayer journals and hanging out, and I was in my office working on my lesson and just being around in case they needed anything. I went out to get some cookies and popcorn, and two of the ladies presented me proudly with the following:

For those who don't know - this is a geek squad man. They cut him out of one of their magazines and he now sits proudly atop my computer.

Don't you wish you were so lucky.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

In Memory of Chucky

Ever since I was a little little kid, I dreamed of having a cat. Not a dog (I was and am in some ways still terrified of them), but a sweet cuddly cat. Much to my delight, my wish was granted on my 10th birthday when my parents told me I could get a kitten of my own. Soon after, I went with my mom and younger brother to a pet shop to look at kittens, convinced that I would take one of them home with me. I saw this one kitten that I liked, but my mom had doubts because it seemed somewhat skittish and aggressive. We left the pet shop so I could think it over and then returned back for one more look. While we were there, I looked up to the top of the cages and saw a cute little orange and white striped kitten, and I fell in love. I wanted to name our new kitten Chuckster (don't ask why, who can explain the rationale of a ten year old mind?), but my mom said calling "Hear Chuckster, Chuckster, Chuckster... " would be hard to say (she was right)... so though his full name was Chuckster Paul Chaffey we just called him Chucky.

Chucky was a great cat. He was a Manx mix meaning that he had the great personality of the tail-less Manx but with a tail. He liked to eat, so he was a rather large cat, but he also had a very friendly personality. When workmen came over, he would purr and roll over and roll around in their took kits; he was content to be constantly held by my brother and I, and he even went on walks (which is a story for another time). He was born April 1st of the year I turned 10; so since we shared the same birthday month, it has been easy for me to remember his age.

I saw Chucky in May when Eric and I went to see our parents, and he was still as great a cat as ever. This past weekend, my parents let us know that he had stopped being interested in eating and was hardly moving around, and yesterday, it was time for him to go. He's been my only pet I've had and lost, and I think that he will be hard to replace. Maybe your first pet is always the best.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Very Blessed Weekend

This weekend Eric and I were deluged by friends, and it was wonderful! We went down on Friday for Daniel (friend of A&M) and Allie's wedding since Eric was one of the groomsmen. Because James Fields was a groomsman as well, I got to spend quality time hanging out with my good friend Kara who was also enjoying the benefits of being the spouse/date of someone in the wedding party.

Rabbit trailing... I have decided that filling the role of "spouse" is one of the best roles to be at a wedding. You get to enjoy all the benefits of the wedding party- hanging out with good friends, gettting to witness up close the bride and grooms excitement, going to all the parties- without any of the responsibility- walking down the aisle without tripping, etc. It's even better as a "spouse" rather than just a "date" since you get to simply enjoy the wedding, reflect upon your own, and say a prayer of thanks that you never have to plan another wedding ever again (or at least for 20 odd years if you have a daughter)! And we're off the rabbit trail...

It was great to see Kara as well as the other College Station women, and as we talked late into the night as the boys did bachelor party things it felt like we had never left CS. It was also a blessing to see all of Eric's close friends from college, all of whom I like a lot. Seeing Eric with them this weekend made me feel so thankful and full of joy that he was blessed in college by being given a group of godly friends and roommates. John Ferguson, Eric's A&M RUF pastor, was also there to officiate the wedding (as he did ours). It was great to see Eric surrounded by all of these people who have had a significant impact on his life, which I get to enjoy the benefits of. When we returned home to Greenville, we were able to bring 3 Aggies back with us and were also visited by my JBU friend Megan (see earlier post).

God truly gave both of us what we needed this weekend- the opportunity to enjoy time with people who know us well and who are mostly our own age :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


It's starting to sink in that Greenville, AL is really our home. The people from church have from the beginning been very welcoming to us, and we've enjoyed getting to know people- younger people and older people that is. But last week, I did meet someone my age or relatively close to my age for the first time (one of my coworkers at my new teaching job). It was funny, but I didn't realize that this was true until it happened. Maybe it was b/c I had gone to see friends on my Arkansas road trip or maybe I had gotten used to being the oldest "twenty something" in our church -Eric being the youngest :) . So, I began musing on some differences between being young to mid twenties and being "older" with a family.

- We plan events and activities mostly on the spur of the moment with a day's notice considered "in advance." They plan events for the following month.

- We claim the simplistic style of furnishings by necessity and marvel at how much stuff we have accumulated since the dorm room days. Their children ask when we are going to get some furniture for our home.

- We see buying a dog, furniture, or a car or landing a "real job" as a significant milestone that is only to be rivaled by purchasing a house. They assume all of the above.

- We predict who will be the first to have kids. They are busy driving them to soccer practice.

This is not a great list... just some differences I've noticed between where Eric and I are at and that of the general population of Greenville. I know it will change me... the "how" is yet to be determined :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Movie Mishap

Nicole and I have enjoyed our subscription to Blockbuster Movies over the past year or so. In College Station, we had a Blockbuster store just down the road from us, which made switching out our movies really convenient. Unfortunately, there aren't any Blockbuster stores in Greenville (in fact, there's just one movie rental place as far as I can tell), so our only option for movies with Blockbuster is to receive them via mail - which, so far, has taken around 4-6 business days.

All this isn't really so bad, because Blockbuster recently updated their subscription plans to where you can only pay for by-mail service, not the mail and in-store service. It's a little bit cheaper and it fits our needs so we're happy with it.

Now - the real point of this post is to relate a movie mishap we had last night. The way Nicole and I handle our movie queue is to put a whole bunch of them into it at one time (say like 20-30 movies) and then wait until it gets low again to add more movies. Sometimes we like to watch kids movies, so we had some of those added. A few days ago we noticed our next movie we were to receive was Lilo and Stitch - "great!" I thought, "I've never seen that one!"

Unfortunately, we didn't receive Lilo and Stitch in the mail yesterday, but rather...Leroy and Stitch, another in the long line of Disney "straight to DVD classics" (along with the likes of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea). Turns out in my rush to add movies to our queue, I had added the wrong movie with a deceptively similar title.

Needless to say, Nicole and I opted to not watch it and read Harry Potter books instead.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Nicole's New Job

Today, after many months of waiting and praying, Nicole got a phone call from the principal of W.O. Parmer Elementary school here in Greenville. She will be teaching Kindergarten again this coming year. We are very excited about this and it's a huge blessing and answer to prayer. For those of you who have been waiting on this job with us, thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement.

Nicole says: "bring on the kiddos!!!!"

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fourth of July *Greenville Style*

Yesterday Eric and I headed out to the annual "Fourth of July Bash" that is given by one of the couples who goes to our church, and their place is pretty much the coolest "home" I've ever seen. For one thing, they have this log cabin that looks absolutely beautiful in the dark, but it's their backyard that everyone comes for. They have backyard "toys" that could rival a summer camp, including a water slide, rope swing, zip line, high dive, and various boats to travel across their lake in! We had a great time hanging out with the youth and some of their families and tried our hand at some of the backyard activities. We both did the rope swing (though I don't think I breathed during the split second free fall), and the more adventurous one of us (that would be Eric) went across the zip line simply holding onto a t-bar. I also enjoyed my trip across the zip line- with the company of a harness :) After dinner, we enjoyed a miniature replica of an Aggie bonfire as well as a pretty awesome (if not dangerous) fireworks display. It was a really fun day, though I confess I don't know how many patriotic thoughts went through my mind during the celebration... the Fourth of July is a funny holiday...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Memoirs of my College-esque Road Trip

This past week I went on a grand tour of Arkansas. It all started when I mentioned to Eric on Sunday afternoon that I had actually thought about going to surprise my college friend Megan who was returning from a year in China at the Little Rock airport but had decided it was too far to go. Eric, however, enthusiastically encouraged me to go, so about noon on Monday I headed towards the Little Rock airport to meet Megan at her late night flight. A couple- well actually 3- wrong turns later, I surprised her at the airport along with her parents and 3 other college friends. We had a great time helping her get over her 1/2 day difference in jet lag and mostly it was just such a wonderful time to hang out with friends who know you so well! I was in the process of deciding to return home on Wednesday when I decided to make a detour up to East Arkansas to visit my relatives in Jonesboro. This was most random of all as I was not very close to them growing up, but I had a wonderful day and a half visiting my aunt, uncle, and cousin and her family. Her kids were particularly cute- and helped make the trip even better as I could spend my whole life playing with kids! I returned home on Friday night.... tired, happy, and very much missing Eric! As a side note- I did not get lost on the way home!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"My grace is sufficient for you..."

Since arriving in Greenville, I've taught three Sunday school lessons, three Sunday night lessons, a week's worth of VBS to 4th-6th graders, and led numerous discussion/devotional times during RYM. This has been a difficult transition for me, because I am not a gifted nor well-trained teacher.

On more than one occasion, I've been tempted to become frustrated with my inability. My lessons are too long, too boring, too short, lack application, or are just hard to follow in general. But, in all of this, my encouragement comes from Paul's words to the Corinthian church in I Corinthians 2:1-5

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

I don't always do a good job of this, but I do feel like I am learning and that God is teaching me. My goal is to endeavor to present Christ in all of my lessons. I want to show them how much I need Jesus so God will use the testimony of His grace in my life to work in their hearts.

RYM in Review

Last week Nicole and I traveled to Panama City Beach, FL with 4 students from the church for RYM Jr. High camp ( We had a great time, and it was fun to start building relationships with some of the youth and to be back at the place where we have fond memories of RUF Summer Conference(s). I was very impressed by the main speaker and seminar teachers and felt that they did an excellent job of relating well to the Jr. High students and also presenting solid, Biblical teaching.

Here are a few pictures from the week:

Myself with our four students plus one other guy (the one in the blue shirt was from another group). Every afternoon, instead of just having free time, all of the students were split into teams of 10-15 people led by different youth leaders and competed in MegaRec: various competitive events which went on all week. At the end of the week the top 2 teams played each other in a all-out-night-sand-dodgeball-match. Our team did really well, but we managed to only place 3rd and missed the dodgeball game by a few scavenger hunt items and one lost game (we went 5-1 for the week).

One of the games we played for MegaRec. Think of it like half-court water polo with a giant beach ball. We beat the team that ended up placing 2nd overall in this game with a literal last-second goal.

On Thursday, most of the groups went to Shipwreck Island, a waterpark in Panama City Beach just down the road from where we stayed. Nicole and I relaxed at the wave-pool and floated around on the lazy river while the youth waited in long lines and got even more burnt. We had a great time.

This a shot of the meeting room where we had our large group every night.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Just War Theory

I love our new home. I love the cute paint, the plantation shutters, the deck, the floors, the kitchen... I love everything about it- and apparently I'm not the only one. Three weeks ago we were attacked. It started out small- an ant here, an ant there, two ants here, three ants there- but it was a big deal to me. I can get along with bugs just great- if they are outside. But bugs in the house had to go. So acting upon the just war theory, my understanding husband accompanied me on a friendly Wal-Mart trip, and we came back with ant bait and spray... and the war began. The next day as I was modeling the good "wifely" practice of doing the laundry, I reached into my tub to pick up my dryer sheets and let out a scream. A HUGE spider was in the tub, wedged in the corner where it would be difficult to kill without it escaping. I panicked and calmed down enough to call Eric at work, who once again with much understanding told me to try and kill it with the spray. This only infuriated the HUGE spider, however, which started running around the tub. I have to admit I was pretty hysterical. A long story short, he came home and killed it (did I mention it was a HUGE spider????). But the final straw came when we got home from RYM- ants had invaded our cereal box in the cupboard. So we made the call. The bugs have invaded, but we will conquer. Terminix is coming tomorrow :)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A New Beginning

Welcome to Eric and Nicole's new blog. Here, you'll be able to read all about our adventures in Alabama. This coming week we'll be taking some youth down to the beach for summer camp, so it might be a quiet start to things, but look for some more informative posts regarding our past three weeks shortly thereafter. God has been good to us and has been blessing us in many ways.