Sunday, January 25, 2009

On a Roll...

What a faithful blogger I have become! haha... just you wait til the craziness of February!

Speaking of roll, do you remember when we used to take pictures the "old-fashioned" way using film? Yeah, yeah I know some of you still do. Anyways, I was reading my kids a book where the main character had to go develop a roll of film. I was trying to explain what it was to these children of this century... they didn't quite understand I don't think.

Speaking of picture taking...
So my friend Mary is an amazing photographer and friend! I've been so excited to watch as her hobby has turned into an amazing opportunity for her to shoot pictures for others! This is an unashamed shout out to go check out her breathtaking photos here!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

On How to Stimulate American Businesses

Eric and I were graciously given two different gift cards by two reputable (and sweet!) people for two different reputable eating establishments for Christmas. About a month ago, Eric and I decided to use one of the gift cards to go out to eat after church. I ordered our food and gave the lady the card. When she swiped it, she said, "Oh, there's no balance on it." I explained that we had just received the card as a gift, and her response was sorry... next time you get a gift card make them swipe it back through to make sure the money is on the card. So I paid for our lunch.

I thought this was an anomaly, but last night after a long day at work, Eric and I decided to cash in on another gift card to the other restaurant. We ordered; we went to pay- and same thing. The card had zero balance, and we got the lecture on how we need to make whoever swipes the card double-check the balance. As if we had been the ones to purchase the card in the first place. So being the ridiculous late hour that it was, we paid for dinner and left.

So businesses, the moral of this story is the best way to stimulate your economic growth is not to wait for free money from the government via the American people. Rather, get the money from the American people themselves. Encourage them to buy gift cards, swipe them incorrectly, pocket that money, and then probably the money of the person who's too tired to cancel their order.

My book will be selling on Amazon shortly. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

As all of our "blog-ites" know, we are happy that Barack Obama became our nation's 44th president. I pray that he leads our country well. I would not desire the job of president (at all!), and I believe it takes great courage to accept that kind of responsibility. I pray that he and his family remain strong through the grueling years ahead. I pray that decisions he makes will be just and will help those in need. He will fail all of us (for some I recognize he has by becoming president), but I pray that God will give him the grace to lead our nation well.

On another note, how awesome that we got to witness the first African American president take the oath of office! As a teacher, I teach on the Civil Rights and every January and February the injustices done by our country are brought to my attention. Living in the South last year, I read several books borrowed from Eric's African American history class and thought on injustices that still seemed too big to overcome. How neat that my class composed of first graders who are of European, Latin, African, and who knows what else descent could watch Barack Obama swear in as president. It makes me feel slightly less hypocritical telling my students they can be anything they want to be. It also reminds me that there is hope as I think on other injustices currently carried out in our world. And it reminds me of my ultimate hope- that one day Christ will return and there will be no more pain and no more tears. And we will lie down with a lion... and with each other.

One last note from President Obama's inaugural address:

"To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds..."

It has been so encouraging to know that the church has begun this work. But there is so much more to do. It inspires me as I prepare for Sierra Leone. I hope it inspires all of the American church.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy MLK Day!

Nineteen days ago, I had wanted to do a Happy New Year's post... but I didn't. And then I wanted to post about a lot of other things happening to us Andersons... but I didn't. But with no school today, I thought I would catch you up on my thoughts and life happenings.

First, I would like to thank Martin Luther King Jr. for giving me a day off of school. On a more serious note, I will stop and be thankful today that God used a flawed and sinful man to bring truth and accomplish great things, and I will let it remind me that though sinful and flawed myself God can still use me to accomplish His purposes.

If you are a blogger, what are the people called who read your blog? For all you faithful blog-ites, you may remember that I mentioned adult-like decisions that Eric and I were pondering. Well, we are planning on buying a house. In fact, our bid on a house was accepted, so pending inspections and everything else, we will be homeowners! (Which is kind of crazy, I may add!) It was a HUD home, so we got a good deal but it will involve some work before we can actually move in. Pictures and more information to follow.

I am planning on returning to Sierra Leone this summer. This deserves it's own post though... and I will share more of my thoughts on this later.

I am excited for today. I have high hopes of reading some good books that I have started but have not yet finished. I have a problem of starting a million books but not finishing them very quickly. Here is a list of the books I am currently reading:
Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller has been a breath of fresh air to me. I am enjoying his candid writing style, and he makes me feel not quite so crazy for some of the thoughts I have on Christian living. My only regret is that I haven't yet finished the book.

Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is the book we're reading for small group. The jury is still out on the book, though I'm becoming convinced that I may have to subscribe to his message that husbands need unconditional respect. Discussion on the book has been excellent, but I'm not always the best about reading before we meet. (See below.)

The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey is another book I'm reading for my teacher's book study that meets after school at Starbucks. The jury is still out here too; though there may be a theme developing between book studies I'm in that I don't do the best job of reading for. Since this book study began first, I have read all but one chapter of this book. Turned off by his dimissal of the Apostles Creed as something Christians say that is less than genuine (though it often is), I am beginning to get over it and enjoy the book again. It may be a little too emotional and not enough theological for my taste... but he had a great chapter on grace that I enjoyed!

Mockingbird by Charles J. Shields is a rough biography of the author of my favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Eric bought it for me as a surprise B&N purchase, and though I'm still working through it (Chapter 3 is not enough to give an opinion on it yet) the gift meant a lot to me.

I don't claim to be a book critic (you're probably supposed to finish the books first), but as you can see I have things to think through and books to read, so I will leave you with this:

May we strive towards showing the peace and love that are from God on this MLK Day!

New Picture...

... so you can feel cold too!

I have to say, though, I can live with Denver weather. Sure it gets cold (and I've heard we've had a mild winter so far), but the sun makes all the difference! I've heard that Denver gets 300 days of sun a year, which I can definitely live with!

The picture was taken on our first snowshoeing adventure! It was fun; I'd do it again.