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!