05 November 2008

Presidential Meme

Over at Making Home, Jess did a little meme about the various presidential elections she has lived through. I thought it was cool, so I've blatantly copied her :)

My thoughts on this election
I wish I could have voted for Obama. I really do - to be apart of the group that elected the first biracial president - how could would that have been - except for the fact that I couldn't vote for him. Why not? Not because he's biracial - that really means little to me, in fact it kinda excited me. Not because he's a democrat - I'm actually registered as a democrat! Why then? Simply because of his staunch pro-choice stance. You may say I'm making too much of one issue and perhaps I am ... but I like to think that had I lived in the 1960s I would have made too much of the one issue of segregation or had I lived in the 1920s I would have made too much of the one issue of women's suffrage... But that aside, Obama is now my president and I am commited to praying for him. Praying for him to have wisdom in guiding our country; praying for his safety; praying for the health of his marriage; praying for God to draw him close to him.

A Quick Review of the Elections of my Life

1980: Ronald Reagan
1. I REMEMBER: absolutely nothing
2. I WAS: 22 months old
3. DURING THAT 4 YEARS: My family moved from Merryville to Nashville, I learned to walk, started school, learned to read.

1984: Ronald Reagan
1. I REMEMBER: nothing, again
2. I WAS: in first grade
3. DURING THAT 4 YEARS: I got my ears pierced, learned to ride a bike, started attending Scottsboro First Baptist Church, celebrated when my sister got married, cried when my mom went into the hospital for the first time (of many) in my life.

1988: George HW Bush
1. I REMEMBER: not a lot, except that I thought Dukakis was a funny name - yeah I know, really mature :)
2. I WAS: in fourth grade
3. DURING THAT 4 YEARS: We moved to Jackson, then back to Nashville, Dad fell on the jobsite and was in the hospital, celebrated when my neice Angela was born, cried when my dog Bear Baby died.

1992: Bill Clinton
1. I REMEMBER: that our school held a mock election and I was on Ross Perot's team.
2. I WAS: in 8th grade
3. DURING THAT FOUR YEARS: I started driving, was horribly rebellious towards my parents, had my first two boyfriends (who each contributed to my rebelliousness), won the geography bee at school, stopped going to church (due to my rebelliousness), then returned to church (due to God's gracious pursuit of me).

1996: Bill Clinton
1. I REMEMBER: being upset that I wasn't quite 18 yet and hence could not vote.
2. I WAS: in 12th grade.
3. DURING THAT 4 YEARS: Graduated High School, Started College, I lost my mom to the horrible consequences of diabetes, Truly committed my life to Christ, Grieved alongside my best friend when she lost her mom.

2000: George W. Bush
1. I REMEMBER: voting for the first time - yahoo!
2. I WAS: a senior in college.
3. DURING THAT 4 YEARS: Graduated College, Started my first teaching job, Was Baptized, Went on my first mission trip, Felt called to Missions, Moved to Louisville from Nashville, Started Seminary.

2004: George W. Bush
1. I REMEMBER: wondering if this would be my last election in the states or not.
2. I WAS: beginning seminary
3. DURING THAT 4 YEARS: Traveled to Jamaica, France, Peru, and Montana, Learned so much and grew so much in the LORD, Graduated Seminary, Got Married, Started teaching again.

14 October 2008

Using that Seminary Degree

So, while I do LOVE my teaching job - part of me does at times feel bad about not being in full-time ministry during this period of waiting until James' graduates and we can go overseas, Lord willing. Anyway, today I realized that I am putting that M.Div to good use afterall.

Exhibit A: The first graders actually ask some rather deep questions about theology. Granted, they don't exactly know they are asking deep theological questions, they're just curious and wanting to know. But today alone I answered questions related to the Total Depravity of Man, Inherent Sin, Inherent Guilt, Propitiation, etc... Now, I will say I didn't use those exact terms in my answers for if I had, the first graders would have been slightly confused, but it was a deeply theological discussion nonetheless.

Exhibit B: Last Friday, Eduardo and the crew weren't able to make it to ESL so James and I took to the streets. We went to various companies frequented by hispanics to hang up ESL fliers. In God's faithful providence, we were able to connect with a lady who is an apartment manager of a predominently hispanic apartment complex. We followed her to the complex and had a converstaion with a Cuban-American there who doesn't have a clear understanding of salvation by faith in Christ alone. Please pray for Raul as the Lord deals with his heart.

Exhibit C: Working at a Christian school I am surrounded by Christ-centered conversations daily, particularly among the teachers at lunch-time. I am praying for more opportunities to encourage my fellow believers towards biblical womanhood.

So, I don't feel so bad afterall - I believe God is using this season of my life to show me that ministry doesn't have to be necessarily a paid/full-time position, but it should be something that characterizes my life and flows from what I do. I am grateful to the Lord for his faithful instruction and leading me to understanding this.

25 September 2008

One month later ...

I can't believe I haven't posted in a month - geez.

1) Happy Birthday to my Sister, Sharon!

2) I am LOVING teaching 1st grade. God has blessed me with an incredibly sweet group of students - they are eager to learn, loads of fun, and sssoooo energetic - I LOVE it!

3) Life is good - thanks for stopping in :)

26 August 2008

Trusting God in Transitions

Last fall when I was preparing to graduate and knew James and I would be getting married the next Spring, I began sending out my resume to every school I found find contact info for in Louisville and nothing ... so when I was offered the full-time position at my current place of employment I gladly accepted.

Last Friday, I received a phone call from a school needing a first grade teacher. We met Friday afternoon, talked several times over the phone that weekend and met again last night. Viola! I am their new first grade teacher.

This position is such a blessing from the Lord in so many ways:

1. I will make there in 9 months what I make here all year. Which means even though they don't offer insurance, we'll be able to afford adding me to James' school policy.
2. I LOVE teaching and this is a job that will actually use my undergraduate degree.
3. I LOVE missions and this school is very missions-minded. They were begun my returned missions in 1924 and take 2 international trips each summer and do mission projects throughout the year. This will allow me to use my graduate degree!
4. The drive will be the same, so no extra gas expense.
5. The hours will be better - I'll be home by 3:30, 3:45 every afternoon verses 5:30, 5:45 - woo hoo!
6. Can we just even mention all the teacher holidays and Christmas breaks, Spring breaks - yeah :)

So for those of you who prayed so hard for me I thank you so much! Praise God who answers our prayers with exactly what we need!

Check out my new school.

20 August 2008


"The city of Louisville, Kentucky is an odd metro-suburban mix of stark industry and fine thoroughbreds and rock and roll fevers. It's a place with no labels. It's not the South, it's not Chicago, and you don't think of it as you think of New York or LA. It has some Southern romanticism to it, but also a Northern progressivism, this weird urban island in the middle of the state of Kentucky that has always provided a fertile, often dark, bed. Louisville and the surrounding areas are the center of massive creativity and massive weirdness. The place has its flaws: You move away, but you're always going to come back."- --My Morning Jacket

18 August 2008

Newlyweds - 3 Months!

For our one month anniversary, I posted on 10 things I had learned about James in that previous month. Yesterday was our 3 month anniversary and as I reflect, I notice that God has taught me so much about myself, most of it is not pretty but I do have faith that He is working on me, using marriage for my good and his glory.

10. I am a domestic nerd. You know the term "domestic goddess" - yeah I will not claim to be one of those but; I am a domestic nerd. I make lists and calendars for everything! Presently there is an August calendar on the fridge with all the meals planned for the month AND I'm actually looking forward to planning for September.
9. According to James, I say certain words funny. Yeah, funny coming from the mountain man from WV. I can't recall the words right now, but I'll post on that later.
8. I have learned to enjoy Westerns. *Silence from the crowd* I know - crazy what you do for someone you love!
7. I have learned to like talking on the phone. James calls me randomly throughout the day. I have learned to enjoy and look forward to these little interruptions throughout the day.
6. I have no rhythm. So, I knew that before we got married, but James in his naive hope thought that perhaps I was being modest. Yeah right!
5. Deep down I really am a girl. I think I spent 29 years of my life being so independent, so self-reliant, that I'm almost denied being a girl. What I mean is, I was always trying to be tough - one in control. I'm learning how to lean on another - depend on him, which is strengthening my dependence on God. So all in all it's a very good thing :)
4. Apparently, I too snore and sometimes talk in my sleep. This, of course is according to James and I'll beleive it when I see documented proof!
3. I am a decent cook, sometimes - ha! With the exception of an undercooked pork loin and some burnt garlic bread, I've done pretty good so far, if I do say so myself.
2. I am very much loved. James loves me SOOO much - more than I ever thought a person could. He is always first to reconcile/forgive if we disagree. He constantly seeks ways to serve me and do little things for me. I am very loved!
1. I am much much more sinful than I had ever thought before. Yes, so some of you may be thinking, "yeah we knew that!" But seriously, living with another human 24/7, particularly in the close relationship of husband and wife, I have learned that my selfishness, stubborness, pride, tendencey towards self-reliance and independence, controlling nature, etc... run much deeper than I had ever imagined. I am thankful to God for pointing out to my sin and am trusting that He will continue to shape and mold me into the person he wants me to be!

13 August 2008

Post about Nothing

I really don't have anything to say ... sad huh? So here's some random things running through my head.

  • I wish our sad little rabbit ears picked up NBC so I could watch the Olympics ... oh well.
  • This week we're driving to South Point OH for James' aunt's birthday - fun times - I'm very excited. AND we got her a super cute gift :)
  • School starts next week for James ... so he'll then be super busy reading, studying, etc ... I really need to get on that reading list of my own.
  • I wish I could have gotten a teaching job this fall, but I'm trusting God to provide and making the best of my current job in the meantime.
  • I really like my new ESL student - she's very smart, eager to learn, and sweet.
  • I need a hair cut, badly.
  • I bought new shoes and some new shirts this past weekend - woo hoo!
  • Free Dessert night at Marks' Feed Store is great, except when you stuff dessert on top of an already full of BBQ belly, then it's not so great.

That's about all folks ...

11 August 2008

Pray for Courtney

Courtney's mom lost her battle with cancer on Saturday evening. While I grieve for Courtney's loss, I join her in rejoicing over her mother's faith in Christ and his salvation. Below is an email from Courtney announcing her mother's passing. The funeral is tomorrow, please remember her family in your prayers.

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from his hands
Til he returns, or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Mom passed away August 9, 2008 at 7:00pm. She waited until after Tabetha returned from her graduation in Atlanta. I can only imagine what she is seeing now, but I know that she has heard the words “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.” She is laying her crowns at the feet of Jesus and He is showing her the mansion He built for her when He ascended into heaven. Mom is home and for this we rejoice.

The words above are from the song, “In Christ Alone” written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. It is one of my personal favorites and recently it has reminded me of Mom and her life. She lived in the power of Christ, with the knowledge that death had no hold on her. The power of Christ in her was to have no guilt in life, nor fear in death. Dad, Tabetha, David, Granny, Granddaddy, Uncle Paul, Aunt Ann, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we will see Mom again. We will be reunited with her in Heaven and she is already experiencing what we all dream of. We rejoice that she is in Heaven. We also mourn the fact that we will never again have the joy of her presence here on Earth.

We already miss her dearly, and though we are comforted in our grounded Hope we are also saddened that this world has lost a truly wonderful person. Our prayer is that each of you will join us in worshipping our Father and Savior in eternity. Since we, as a family, first learned of Mom’s illness we trusted God had a perfect plan and that He was in complete control. My personal prayer is that you have been able to experience the peace and joy that Mom had in life. Please do not go another day without the assurance that you will spend eternity with God in Heaven. As we have learned, there are no promises of tomorrow.

On July 28, 2007 we had no knowledge of cancer. Mom had been given a clean bill of health in June and she had recently hiked a mountain. July 29, 2007 we learned that Mom had tumors in her brain and her prognosis was grim. If there is one thing that we can all learn from this fact, it is that our life is a “vapor” and there will come a day when we have to face our eternity. Will you be ready like Mom was? Do you have no guilt in life, no fear in death because you stand in the power of Christ?

06 August 2008

Pray for Courtney and her mom

Please pray for my friend, Courtney and her mom.

Courtney's mom was diagnosed with brain cancer last year and Courtney subsequently moved back home and has been her mother's primary care giver since then. It would appear that her mother's last days are coming and the Hospice workers have told them to "prepare".

Good News is that Courtney's mom is a believer - so please pray for comfort, as little pain as possible, and wonderful times with her family these last days. Pray for Courtney, her dad, her sister, brother-in-law, and nephew as they minister to her - ask that the Lord would give them strength and courage and be able to be there for her.

Check out their blog here.

04 August 2008

If you want to be a Watermelon

This Sunday, the youth came over for "National Watermelon Day"

Seed Spitting Contest

Steal the Watermelon

"Watermelon" Toss

Eating Contest

Group Pic

After the Watermelon Party, we went to visit A,
from our Sunday School class who is recovering from spine surgery.
We had a Watermelon Party in her hospital room :)

31 July 2008

Up for the Challenge

30 Day Husband-Encouragement Challenge.

So technically I'm on day three, but slightly behind on posting to brag about my sweet husband - oops!

Proverbs 31:11-12 "The heart of her husband safely trusts, so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."

It is my prayer and desire to be this kind of wife. Sadly I can say that in our 2 1/2 months married, I haven't consistently done this. I think being 29 and having lived on my own for 7 years has made me obstinant in many areas - ha! Sadly it truly is no laughing matter as marriage calls you to put away any selfish desires or independent thinking and truly think/live for the two of you. So I am intentionally seeking ways to do him good, to build more trust, to encourage him in all his endeavors, and to be more gentle.

Galatians 5:13b "Through love serve one another"

James is a master at loving me through service. Whether it's small things like opening the door, or bigger things like fixing my car - he is always eager to do things for me.

I Corinthians 13:4 "Love suffers long and is kind."
Philippians 4:19 "And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

James is very considerate of my needs, usually quite sensitive. He tries to be proactive in doing things that will help me and is always willing to help when I ask him to.


29 July 2008

27 July 2008

More Peru Prayer Requests

Pray that God will send other teams to minister and share the gospel with the people of Cuzco, Peru.

Praise God for the workd that he is doing among the people of Cuzco, Peru and the workd that is still to come.

Ask God to teach you ways to go, give, and share in mission opportunities in the future.

Pictures coming soon!

26 July 2008

Peru Prayer Request #14

The team is returning home! Pray for safe travel and opportunities for them to share about their trip.

25 July 2008

48 hours to go

In exactly 48 hours (hopefully) James will be home from Peru - yahoo!

I have to say that distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder, at least in my case! I have been terribly lonesome at home, even with keeping myself busy with cleaning and talking to friends on the phone - it's just not the same.

I do hope he's had a great time. I haven't heard from him since an email last weekend, but I know this week has been busy with ministry. Today he should be in Machu Picchu - I'm totally jealous! I'm looking forward to hearing all about the trip, what he's learned, and seeing how the Lord has used this time to grow him personally.

Thank you all so much for praying! Keep it up - when he returns, he has 2 weeks to finish all the assignments from the class and the assignments required for the Supervized Ministry Experience class - that equals one book review, three personal reflection journals, one ministry notebook, and any left over reading.

Peru Prayer Request #13

Pray for the team as they prepare to travel home. Ask God for safety, patience, and rest.

24 July 2008

New ESL Student

So last night was my first lesson with my new ESL student, MG.

She is adorably sweet and her English ... totally rocks. Last night we did a simple English evaluation then spent the rest of the time talking about Louisville, answering some of her questions about life in the USA, etc... I must seriously buff up my lesson plans and think of ways to challenge her - seriously, her English is that good!

Pray for me as I seek to teach and minister to her. Right now she's quite lonely - only been here a month and has zero friends. So it's a perfect opportunity to befriend her and hopefully share the gospel with her on top of helping her improve her (already excellent) English skills.

Woot Woot! I'm excited :)

Peru Prayer Request #12

Pray that God will strengthen and bless the church leaders and local believers and give them boldness in sharing his word.

23 July 2008


I've never been a reader - I've always loved books, but never could seem to finish one. All that changed once I started seminary as I forced to read books; actually finish them, I've really loved them.

Now that I've graduated and been out in the real world for 7 months, I've let my reading slack - sadness :(

James will start school in the fall I would like to help create an atmosphere condusive to studying for him. Therefore, I have decided to read again - if I'm reading that should motivate him to read and it will help me not to distract him with TV.

Our church has a women's book club and though I can't attend (due to teaching ESL) I thought it might be nice to following their monthly reading plan:

August - Biblical character
September - Women's Issues
October - Mystery/Adventure
November - Arts & Crafts
December - Biblical Commentary
Any book suggestions? Preferrably things that can be found at the local library as we'll be spending enough cash on his books for school. Thanks in advance!

Peru Prayer Request #11

Pray for the health of the team. Ask God for wisdom and boldness in sharing his message with the lost of Cuzco.

22 July 2008

Peru Prayer Request #10

Ask God to prepare the hearts of those that they will meet in sharing his word through storying.

21 July 2008

Tongue Twister

Ok, this is random ...

Our pastor's name is Tom
Our education minister's name is Todd

I used to occasionally mix up their names by accident.

Well, our minister of music John and his family recently left to take a church in Connecticut so we have a new interim music minister and his name ...


Yep, so our staff now includes: Tom, Todd, and Tog

I think they did this on purpose :)

Peru Prayer Request #9

Pray for the team as they go out to share through Chronological Bible Storying. Pray that they would not be nervous, but that they would be excited to share the hope found in our Savior.

20 July 2008

Peru Prayer Request #8

Pray for church services and church leaders. Ask God to bless their ministry among the people of Peru.

19 July 2008

Peru Prayer Request #7

Ask God to keep the team healthy and energized in order to effectively complete their tasks. Also pray for Dr. Sills as he leads the team. Ask God to bless the family members in the US and to keep them safe and healthy.

18 July 2008

Phone Call

Last night, James called from Peru. We only talked for 6 minutes as I have no idea how much receiving an international phone call on our cell phone will cost. But it was soooo good to hear his voice.

He's loving it in Peru, which makes me very happy as I loved it when I was there last summer! He's learning a lot, not only about Chronological Bible Storying, but also about personal holiness, sanctification, and the immense task that is before all Christians.

Next week, they begin going out into the villages to share their stories. They are in groups of three, with each group sharing three stories. They will tell the story in English and then it will be translated twice: first into spanish, then into quechuan. Pray for them as they go out.

Specific Prayer Requests:
One teammate in particular is having some health issues - so please pray for that person. Two other teammates are having some personality conflicts - so pray for them as well. Above all, pray for receptive hearts as they hear the stories of God.

Peru Prayer Request #6

Pray that the light of the gospel will penetrate the darkness of false religion. Ask God to give the team opportunities to share his love and message of salvation.

17 July 2008

While the cat's away ....

.... the mice will play.

Well, that's the cliche at least. And I have to say that I have been keeping myself busy while James has been out of town. I've been helping out at my old roomie's VBS all this week, which has actually been a ton of fun - 5th graders are cool :)

On tap for this weekend - maybe a quick trip to Nashville, though with gas prices at $4.20/gallon, I'm reconsidering that idea. I may just stay home and clean and organize (which is desperately needed)

You know how most houses have a junk drawer - growing up, ours was in the kitchen ... well in our apartment the guest bedroom has become the junk room. Everything from random wedding gifts we're not sure where to put, to old clothes we no longer wear, to boxes and boxes and boxes of James' belongings. I seriously want to get this room clean and organized before he comes back. After all, we have friends coming in August that will need a place to stay :) So that's what's on tap for next week.

The first few nights he was gone, I had trouble sleeping. More trouble sleeping when he's away than when he's here and randomly talking in his sleep! Two nights this week I've fallen asleep in the living room in front of the TV, to wake up hours later with weird stuff on the set. I need James here to tell me to take my contacts out and go to bed! Oh and I haven't had a home-cooked meal this entire week - in fact I haven't even eaten at home once this entire week. Granted that's mainly b/c I'm up in Indiana at Colgate every night for VBS, but it has taught me that marriage has made me a healthier eater.

P.S. Today is our 2 month anniversary. I snuck a hand-made card in his luggage - I wonder if he's found it and will read it today :)

Peru Prayer Request #5

Pray for wisdom, comfort, and blessings for the IMB missionaries in this region of the world. Ask God to bless their ministry and protect them as they share his love with the lost of Peru.

16 July 2008

Peru Prayer Request #4

Pray for the pople of Cuzco. Ask God to prepare their hearts to hear his story and the message of salvation.

15 July 2008

So, since I have the evening free anyway ....

I'm starting a new part-time job.

Two hours, two evenings a week I will teach ESL to a sweet lady from Mexico, who actually lives down the road from James and I. Hopefully I'll help her adjust to life here in Louisville and strengthen per proficiency in English.

It is my prayer that God will use this opportunity not only to help her, but to also improve my ESL teaching skills, to better my spanish, and for an opportunity to share the gospel.

I praise God for this opportunity not only to serve and learn, but to also make a little extra money for our monthly budget. Yay for his provision!

Peru Prayer Request #3

Pray for Dr. Sills as he teaches the storying class. Pray also for the team that they will understand the significance of this class and apply it later in the trip.

14 July 2008

Peru Prayer Request #2

As the team arrives, ask God to help them to adjust quickly and to get the rest needed for the upcoming tasks.

13 July 2008

Peru Prayer Request #1

So, James left today for a two-week mission trip to Peru. The GCC at school created this prayer calendar and I wanted to share it with you.

The prayers for today are:

Pray for the safe travel and sensitiveity to the Holy Spirit as we encounter others. Pray that God will prepare the hearts of the people of Peru, to hear His word.

Team Members to Pray for:
Dr. Sills, Jim, Anthony, Bethany, Aaron, Rhonda, Lisa, Julie, David, Emily, Mike, Grant, Julie W., and James.

11 July 2008

What I did today

wore all black
created a cow mask from a paper plate
donned a "eat mor chikin" sign
GOT FREE CHIC-FIL-A for lunch!
And ... I even talked my boss at work into doing it too!

04 July 2008

Happy Independence Day

Today as we celebrate the freedom we enjoy in the USA - I am reminded that my true freedom comes from the freedom I have in my dear Savior, Jesus Christ.

John 8:30-36
As He was saying these things, many believed in Him. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
"We are descendants of Abraham," they answered Him, "and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can You say, 'You will become free'?"
Jesus responded, " I assure you: Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever. Therefore if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.

02 July 2008

Newlyweds - 46 days - Things are looking up

Things are turning around:

The auto shop called to say I had a busted brake line. Total cost for them fixing it would be $170. I was thinking "GREAT" but James was like "WHAT?" Apparently this is something James can fix and the part is only $40 so YAY for marrying a man who can work on cars!

Newlyweds - 46 days - Not so much a good day

One of my co-workers at work has strep throat. Apparently another co-worker has been feeling ill for a few days and working anyway - yeah thanks. Last night I had a HUGE headache and a slight fever - no throat soreness, so maybe I'm in the clear?

This morning, the brakes on my car died. They'd been bad for a while, but I had ZERO brakes this morning when I was trying to leave for work. So, James brought me to work ... a non-sick co-worker is graciously driving me home and my sweet Honda is now sitting at Huestis' Auto Shop awaiting diagnosis. It is our prayer that it's not a serious thing, preferrably one that's cheap since we're poor!

Good News : James found his passport today. Yep, silly boy misplaced it in the whole wedding/moving thing and has been on a desperate hunt to find it as he departs for Peru in exactly 11 days!

01 July 2008

Happy Birthday Mary

Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday dear Mary

Happy Birthday to you

In honor of Mary's birthday, here are 29 things we love about her:

1. She loves Jesus :)
2. She loves to laugh.
3. She loves her brother, James a ton!
4. In addition to loving him, she likes to pick on her brother, which makes me very happy.
5. She has a heart to serve others.
6. She loves Keith, her husband a lot.
7. She's a proud "Marine Daughter".
8. She desires to share the gospel with those around her.
9. She's as short as I am - sorry, Mary but that makes he love you all the more!
10. She has fabulous red hair - oo la la
11. She's a good friend.
12. She's thoughtful - like the sweet scrapbook she made for James & I for our wedding shower.
13. She reads my blog - look you're famous!
14. She loves her local church.
15. She's happy to be my new sister :)
16. She helped make the flowers for our wedding - which were gorgeous by the way.
17. She's a fantastic aunt to Devon.
18. She prays for us. (we pray for you too!)
19. She's excited about our future in missions.
20. She seems to truly enjoy life.
21. She's got mad Scene-It skills!
22. She writes me emails, which I adore.
23. She once drove 6 hours to be with her brother on Thanksgiving.
24. She has a great sense of humor.
25. She takes good care of her family - Proverbs 31 :)
26. She teaches the children at church to love Jesus.
27. She's been sweet to me ever since she first met me, even though I was nervous about meeting the family. Thanks for taking it easy on me :)
28. If she weren't my sister-in-law, I'd choose her to be my friend.
29. Today is her birthday and everyone deserves love on their b'day!!!

Mary - we hope today is great! We love you and miss you!
Come visit us ANYTIME!!!

Ahh, sibling love :)

30 June 2008


Today, I officially became a Kentuckian! After an amazing time at the KY DMV - seriously, it was amazing - I am the owner of a shiny new KY Driver's License and Louisville Voter's Registration - all in under 15 minutes. Seriously, back home this would have taken at least an hour - I'm quite impressed with the KY DMV.

I'm kinda sad to have given up my TN-DL...but I still bleed Orange - Go Vols :)

Next on the agenda - switching all my bank stuff over to my new married last name - ohh fun times :)

27 June 2008

Looking Forward

What's up with us this weekend:

Friday - Hanging with our Cuban friends and watching The Incredibles or Cars - not sure which one yet :)

Saturday - James has to work and Melissa hopes to sleep, rest, get ready for Sunday, do nothing - ha!

Sunday - after church, we're driving to Mt. Sterling KY to meet James' family for a quick visit before Mary's b'day, James' b'day and his departure to Peru.

Fun Times!

Living God's unshakeable truth at Outrigger Island

26 June 2008

Free Will! (In Central Park)

The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival is presenting various plays of Shakespeare's free this summer ... so the other night James and I went to see Julius Caesar. It was quite good - they condensed it a bit and it kinda seemed to have an Asian theme in the costuming and music, but nonetheless it was great!

Check out these highlights:

The stage at the ampitheatre in Central Park

Portia begging Brutus to tell her what's going on

*blurry* Caesar
The attack!
"Et tu Brute?"

25 June 2008

Newlyweds - 39 days

The other night as we slept :

James: "How big is the cave?"

Melissa: (startled awake) "Huh? What?"

James: "How big is the cave? Is it big?"

Melissa: "What are you talking about? What cave?"

James: "It has to be big because he and his whole family stayed there once."

Melissa "Yeah, okay."

I think next time he talks in his sleep, I'm going to play along with the conversation ....

23 June 2008

Newlyweds - 37 days

Random Update Time:

I'm seriously sleepy this morning. It's VBS week at church and last night, I had the blessing of teaching 13 2 & 3 year olds about God taking care of people just as he took care of the Israelites leaving Egypt. Who knew toddlers were so exhausting? I don't think any of them sat longer than 2 minutes all evening ... whew! There are some other wonderful teachers in the room - I'm amazed at how Tara interacts with the children - how caring she is and persistent in telling them about God while they play. Being a mom of 3 young girls herself, she is a role model to emulate in this area, I do believe.

James has been working with the Bluegrass Getaway Vacations for about 2 weeks now. He seems to really enjoy it, his coworkers are nice and they have a lot of fun. Last week, his boss encouraged him to enter the Watermelon Eating Contest while at the Bullit Co. Fair and may I proudly announce that my husband came in 3rd place - Good Job Honey! I can't believe he gets paid to do this-Ha! The one big bummer of this job is the hours - 5-10pm. Which means that when I get home at 5:30, I don't see him until 10:30 or so -- so we eat late, end up staying up too late then I'm sleepy at 6:30 when it's rise & shine Melissa, time for work! But it's just for the summer and God is so faithful to provide this extra income that we really shouldn't complain.

James has taught the Middle School Boys two weeks now and that seems to be progressing nicely. I really enjoy the fact that we get to study our lessons together and collaborate on ideas and such. We've been teaching them together as he's still learning names, etc...

Prayer Requests:
Pray for two of our youth who are moving at the end of this month - one to Cleveland, OH (sad to say goodbye) and one to another home here in Louisville due to her parents' divorce. This same youth whose parents are divorcing is also facing surgery in July for her back - she was in gymnastics for years and has several vertebrates that are out of whack so they are putting a rod in her back - ouch!

Keep praying for Sarah as she and her family grieve the loss of her father.

Pray for Mrs. Kay as she's at Super Summer with her youth this week. She's never been to a camp like this, so she's kinda nervous. Also, remember Mr. Marvin as he's home-alone while she's away.

Still about $300 away for James' Peru trip - we're trusting God to provide :)

Check back in tomorrow - I hope to have exciting VBS pics!

20 June 2008

That's Me!

Ok, so I was bored and took a personality test online. Check it out, sounds surprisingly accurate ...

ESFJ: The Helper

ESFJs are helpful people who place a high value on harmony. Paying close attention to people's needs and wants, they work well with others to complete tasks in a timely and accurate way. ESFJs follow through on their commitments. They like closure and prefer structured, organized situations in which warmth and compassion are shown. They contribute to others by anticipating their day-to-day concerns and handling them with warmth and efficiency. ESFJs are at their best in organizing people to get a job done.
ESFJ children want life to be uncomplicated, secure, harmonious and structured. They are usually responsible, reliable, and cooperative. They thrive in situations in which there is consistency and personal attention. They enjoy the acceptance of others and will work hard to gain that acceptance. ESFJ children are concerned about doing the right things and pleasing their elders.
ESFJs follow the rules and tend to accept them as fair and reasonable. They admire people and teachers who are warm, friendly, and concerned. They are concerned about the feelings of others and like to help out when possible. They begin early to assume responsibility for the welfare of others. They believe it is necessary to give as well as to receive and will often volunteer their time and talents in service organizations.
ESFJs radiate warmth and fellowship, and generally fit in well with their classmates. They value the traditional things that teenagers do and may be involved in various clubs and teams. Their friends often turn to them because of their listening ear and helpful nature.
Often the lives of ESFJs follow a traditional pattern. In adult life, ESFJs take their parent, spouse, employee, or community volunteer roles seriously and are committed to them. They are sensitive to the needs to those around them, sometimes more attuned to others' needs than their own. They gain the respect of others because of their helpfulness, pleasantness, and ability to get things done. They carry out their commitments and are often in charge of events. Mature ESFJs often structure both their work and personal lives so that they can meet the needs of others.
Learning and Working
ESFJs learn best in structured situations where they know what they can expect. They like to schedule their learning projects so that they can plan ahead to complete their lessons. They become uncomfortable with continuous interruptions and changes when they are trying to finish what they have started. Even more importantly, however, they want to like the person who teaches them. The teacher-student relationship is helpful to them in doing their best. When there is disharmony in the classroom, it interrupts their learning process. When their work is criticised, even constructively, ESFJs may feel demoralized until they get it right and the teacher acknowledges this. Because they tend to personalize the feedback of their teachers, it is important for them to know teachers' expectations so that they can work to meet them.
Learning tends to be a personal experience for ESFJs. This attitue, combined with their ability to follow through and meet deadlines, results in a conscientious and effective student. ESFJs often enjoy studies about people and their well-being, and are usually less interested in theoretical and abstract subject matters. They like active learning activities such as field trips, experiments and group projects that get them personally involved with others.
At work, ESFJs contribute their ability to cooperate with others and to complete tasks in a timely and accurate way. They respect rules and authority, and handle daily operations efficiently. They tend to be well informed and up-to-date on organizational actions that matter to people. They do what they can to make sure that personal relationships are running smoothly. Because they pay close attention to people's needs and wants, they are often involved in work activities that meet people's practical, day-to-day desires.
ESFJs prefer occupations that allow them to provide direct and personal, yet practical, help to others. Occupations that call for organization and goal direction appeal to them. They are especially careful not to waste time or resources; to do so would go against their nature.
Some occupations are particularly appealing to ESFJs: childcare worker, dental assistant, elementary school teacher, home economist, nurse, office manager, radiological technologist, receptionist and secretary, religious educator, speech pathologist, and other occupations that allow them to help others and serve their values directly.
For the ESFJ, love means warmth and commitment. When ESFJs first fall in love, they show this warmth and concern for their partner in many tangible ways. They will send cards, notes, flowers, special gifts, and other mementos of their affection. If the partner casually mentions a desire for a specific thing, they will try to find just that thing. Once committed in a relationship, ESFJs tend to stay with it even when there is inconvenience to them and perhaps longer than may be healthy. They are able to bring out the best in their partners, even though it may mean putting their own needs second.
Because ESFJs are caring individuals, they expect to give and receive in their relationships. Because others may not be as thoughtful as the ESFJ, it is a possible source of disappointment to them if they expect the same awareness and caring on the part of the partner. Being practical and realistic, they may not always like effusive shows of affection and prefer moderation instead. ESFJs may be more loyal to the relationship or to the institution of marriage than to the person. ESFJs may take the end of the relationship as a personal failure.
ESFJs, when scorned, hurt all over and may need to take time to get over the relationship before pursuing a new one. They may too easily and incorrectly blame themselves for the unfavourable outcome and recall instances when perhaps they were not as giving as they might have been. However, ESFJs' standards for giving in a relationship are likely to be above those of some other types. At their worst when scorned, ESFJs can become spiteful and critical of the partner. Because ESFJs are keenly sensitive to others and are tuned in to emotional needs, they really know how to hurt a person in the rare instances when they choose to do so.

19 June 2008

Newlyweds - 33 days

Now that I am an old married woman, I'm becoming domesticated.

Gone are the evenings when a frozen waffle and handful of M&Ms are considered dinner! In an effort to be a good wife - to keep a clean home, cook good food, etc... I've found blogs that have aided in my sanctification in striving to be a godly wife.

Here are a list of links I've found useful. I thought I'd share them with you - they are each chock full of useful information, time saving tips, etc....

Girl Talk Blog - These girls talk about everything! From recipes to schedules to encouraging your husband ...
The Perfect Pantry - cool cooking sight - it's inspired me to be more creative and organized in the kitchen.
Femina - this lady is so wise and has great insights on being a wife, cooking, children, etc...
Revive our Hearts - I heart Nancy Leigh DeMoss! Here daily telecasts are quite encouraging - right now she's finishing up the book of Esther - encouraging women to be God's woman in God's timing - to remember that God is in control of EVERYTHING! We all need to be reminded of that from time to time.
101 Cookbooks - Self-explanatory!

If you've got some sites that have been helpful to you - feel free to comment below and share the love!

17 June 2008

One more Month Anniversray Post

I thought it would be fun to list some interesting things (10 to be exact) that I've learned about James in our first month of marriage:

1. He talks in his sleep - A LOT!

I was originally worried that his snoring would keep me awake, but apparently he only snores when he's sick (Thank Jesus!) BUT...the boys talks, randomly in his sleep. Weird stuff too!

One day he asked me what I was doing with those plants. "What plants?" I asked half-asleep. "Huh, what?" he responded "You asked me what I was doing with the plants - what are you talking about?" at this point I was awake and irritated as it was an ungodly hour "I don't know" he said then fell back to sleep.

Also randomly in the middle of the night he'll tell me he loves me -- though it wakes me up which annoys me, I love it!

2. He's happy when he wakes up.

I am usually like "Ugh" when I get up out of bed and he's like "Good Morning, I love you." At first this annoyed me because it's like 6:00 AM - it is NOT "good" morning at 6:00 am, but I've grown to enjoy his chipperness.

3. He folds his socks funny.

It's actually not a fold, but more like a knot. He ties his two socks together - strange!

4. Cereal does not qualify as a good breakfast for him.

For the girl who rarely even eats breakfast (though I LOVE breakfast food), I've learned to serve him by preparing an actual breakfast on Saturdays - not simply a bowl of cereal. Last week - chocolate chip (well, acutally Hershey Kisses) pancakes and bacon - yummy :)

5. He can make the bed, but has yet to master putting the seat down.

In my effort to civilize the boy, I believe I may have possibly trained him into making the bed each day - been a week so far :) The toilet seat - a whole 'nother battle.

6. He is meticulous!

I thought I already knew this about him, but now that we actually live together and see each other every day, I have realized that I didn't know the half of it! Putting our apartment together, organizing, cleaning, hanging stuff on the wall, etc...the boy is so detail-oriented when it comes to "fix-it" kinda stuff. I'm more of the "Oh this'll do OK" girl but he makes sure it's done perfectly right, even if it takes what I think is FOREVER. I am grateful for his attention to detail - it helps balance out my work fast, faster, fastest tendencey.

7. He doesn't know how to turn off the smoke detector

Confession - yes, I have set off the smoke detector with my cooking. But funny part is that James couldn't get it to go off. No matter how he pushed and prodded the thing -- BBBBEEEEEEPPPP it continued to go! I had to go get my step ladder and do it myself - hee hee! I think he's figured it out now, though.

8. He doesn't like fresh tomatoes, but will eat stewed tomatoes.

A tomatoe is a tomatoe right? What's the difference?

9. He appreciates good food.

When I do cook a good meal - which surprisingly happens quite frequently - he is sure to verbally express how much he likes it. From "hmmm" to "yumm" to "this is good" - I know when the food is good. On the flip side, silence while eating usually means it's not the best - oops!

10. He is a better husband that I had originally imaged he would be.

He is patient and kind towards me, particularly when I've had a stressful day at work. He is supportive, particularly in my search for a different job. He works hard, as evidenced when he comes home at 10pm sweaty from working that evening. He hugs me a lot, which makes me happy. He desires to serve others and is always willing to lend a hand. He prays with me at night and forgives me when I fall asleep as he prays - oops! He helps me study for my Sunday School lesson and brings out insights I hadn't thought of (BTW - he's starting to teach the Middle School boys so we'll get to minister together some more - yahoo!) He likes my dad which is an accomplishment on its own - he treats him with a great amount of respect and listens to him even when it's the same story we heard last time we visited. He's great!

Newlyweds - 1 Month!

Happy 1 Month Anniversary to us!

Here's some pics of things we done, places we've been, stuff we've seen in the past 30 days of matrimony:

Dinner out :)
Our church officially signed a covenant with the hispanic mission - woo hoo!

WARNING: James without a shirt!

James working diligently to put together a bookcase. Apparently working without a shirt on makes this easier?

He looks like he's naked, but trust me he's not.

Using one of the shelve supports as an oar as he's in the bookcase boat.

Silly boy!

Before we jetted off on our honeymoon,
we hit up NashVegas for my neice's high school graduation.

Angela getting her diploma.

Angela with her parents, my sis & bro-in-law

Angela & her boyfriend, Patrick - isn't he a cutie?

Angela & Andrew: My niece and nephew are BEAUTIFUL/HANDSOME and SMART.
Can you tell I'm the proud aunt?


UTK Class of 2012

The Earth Keepers

My step-mom has a blog.

She's big into the environmental movement and taking seriously the cultural commandment of God to be a good steward of our planet. The blog is pretty informative - with tips on how to reduce energy, waste, care for our planet and save money while doing it!

16 June 2008

Urgent Prayer Request

Please pray for my dear sweet friend and former roomie, Sarah. Her father passed away this weekend unexpectantly. This follows just one day after the loss of her aunt - so needless to say this will be a trying time for their family.

Specifically pray for:
-comfort & peace
-safety as they travel to Oklahoma for the funeral and back
-favor with the Greek teacher as Sarah will most likely miss the next two weeks of class
-favor with various life insurance people, social security department, banks, etc...as Sarah and her mom begin the task of informing everyone and getting the finances in order.

13 June 2008

Newlyweds - 27 days

Just a few random updates/prayer requests:

1. James begins his job at the fair tonight - pray that he does well and holds up in this crazy heat!
2. Interview on Monday - good job, great pay, ok hours.
3. Driving to Nash-Vegas Sunday to see my dad for Father's Day - hope that goes well.
4. Cicada in my car is dead, at least I think so - I haven't seen or heard him...now the recovery mission begins.
5. We had a meeting last night for James' trip to Peru - I'm totally jealous that I'm not going to get to go....anyone got 2K and wanna send me??
6. Apartment is a disaster zone - that's what I'm be doing after ESL tonight, while James is at work.

Yeah, I think that's about it ... ta ta for now.

12 June 2008

Driving with Open Window + Cicada Season = Scary drive home

If you were in L'ville right now you'd hear the cicada song - kind of a chirping, buzzing thing. Plus, you'd see the trees alive with them crawling all over the branches and see them flying clumsily throughout the sky. Normally, I don't mind them. Actually, I think they're kinda cool - it's neat to see something God created that only appears every 17 years or so. However, yesterday I had a close encounter with a cicada.

Let me set the scene:

In an effort to conserve on gas ($4.00/gallon) I often drive home from work with my windows down so I don't have to cut on the AC. When I do this, I take the scenic way home straight down Shelbyville Rd as to avoid my hair coming a rats nest if I were driving with windows down on the interstate. Normally, it's an enjoyable time - me, the radio blasting, wind in my face, etc...

As I was sitting at a red light, a cicada decided to fly straight into my car. It hit me on my left arm. Startling me, I screamed then looked down to see an upside-down cicada on my lap. Not thinking, I swatted the thing and it landed between my seat and the car door. Opening the door, I was hoping to gently (well, maybe not so gently) scoot it out the car. But as you would know, the light changed and I had to drive on. "Not a problem," I thought "I'll swat him out at the next light (less than 50 yards away)". Well by the time I got to the next, which literally couldn't have been more than 2 minutes, that little booger had moved. Now I had a live cicada loose in my car. I wanted to keep the windows down in case he flew out but now everytime my hair move and swiped across my neck or shoulder, I was cringing thinking it was that awful bug.

Then, I began hearing his song. "Where is he?" I kept thinking - checking my rear view to see if I could see him coming up to attack. I did eventually find him - in the back dash.

Apparently they don't teach anything about the properties of glass or cars in cicada school. The poor thing was now screaming his song and futily fluttering against the back window trying to escape - he could see the outdoors, but just couldn't get there. Exhausted, he would momentarily stop and sit on the back speakers and pitifully chirp before trying again.

I drove all the way home - a good thirty minute drive - with my stow-a-way staring at me as I stared at him in the rear view mirror. When I got home, I tried to get him out, but scared, he kept flying - not out the windows mind you, but under the seats, to the front dash. Eventually, I gave up and went in. Hopefully in the night he found freedom through the crack in the window I left for him.

So, in the future know that driving with your windows down in cicada season is not the best idea unless one wants a close encounter with the little things!

11 June 2008

Newlyweds - 25 days

I came home yesterday from work to a sweet surprise.

My dear husband was cooking dinner ... not only that, but he had also picked some flowers for me and had picked up around the apartment.

We had baked tilapia - yummy! Then afterwards, he rushed me out the door for another "surprise". We went to see Nim's Island at the dollar theatre. I had wanted to see it for a while and though it wasn't as good as I had expected, it was the dollar theatre and it was a sweet surprise nonetheless.

10 June 2008

Newlyweds - 24 days

Yay for our God who provides!

You'll remember from last week, our excitment then frustration at the security job offer. Well on Monday, the security place offered James a position at the airport. Slightly more money, but not as good hours and well, it's the airport, which means the risk of actually needing security assistance is higher than our quiet campus.

However, over the weekend while at church, James and Steve started talking and Steve told him about a job he works at during the summers - handing out info on vacations to people at various county fairs, Six Flags - KY Kingdom, Bats games, etc... Pays the same per hour as the security job, with the opportunity to make extra money if you get people to sign up. The technical title is "lead generator".

He had an interview this afternoon and is planning on taking that job over the security job. It'll be a more flexible hours, he'll get to work outside (which James loves as long as he remembers his allergies pills), and he'll get passes to go to the fairs, games, etc... how fun!

Thank you for your prayers! If you would, keep me in your prayers as I have an interview for a teaching position this week ... I'll keep you posted.

Honeymoon Pictures

James and I wisely decided to go on a honeymoon a week after our big day. This allowed us to rest a bit and get some stuff put away at the apartment so we could enjoy being away without thinking about all the stuff to do at home. We spent three days in Northern KY/Cincinnati.

We stayed at the First Farm Inn - and had a great time! We fished. Well, James fished as he caught like half a dozen fishies, not sure what I did could be defined as fishing, but I did catch one! We caught a Reds game. We went to the Creation Museum, the Krohn Conservatory at Eden Park and saw the Butterfly Show. Then before we left for home, we went horseback riding , which I loved!

Creation Museum Highlights:

The Apostle Paul
Adam & Eve, note the strategic placement of hair - ha!


First Farm Inn

James and the house dog, Fluffy!
They became fast friends - Fluffy followed him everywhere! The main house - beautiful, isn't it?!
I love hammocks!
I LOVED being out in the country, made me miss home!

Krohn Conservatory

Now, I love butterflies,
but if this monster flew towards me, I'd be scared -
it was as big as James' hand!

Reds Game

Horseback Riding

Not this kind, silly - though we did have fun on the "horse swing" while we waited for Mrs Jen to go round up the horses from the other side of the pasture.
Me & Sage - please ignore the hat hair on my part! Who knew riding caps would make your head sweat that much! Sage was a great horse! I got him up to a canter, which is faster than a trot - it was great!
James & Sam. Sam was one ornery horse. Mrs Jen put James on him because she said he usually did better with guys, but not so much with James. James would give him the "walk" command and Sam would literally look at him then start eating grass - ha!
James doing carrot stretches with Sam.

Thanks for popping in and we'll more updates soon!