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!

Wedding Night Pictures

Our first two nights as a married couple were spent at the Inn at Woodhaven.
It was great to have such a relaxing couple of days following all the wedding hub-bub.
Enjoy these highlights:

The main house

Our room, the Cupla Room

Our room Standing under the arch outside

09 June 2008

Newlyweds - 23 days

Wedding pictures are up!

Billy Grubbs Studio did an excellent job! I've never claimed to be photogenic, but somehow Billy made me look less goofy, which is typically how I appear in photographs - ha! Email me for the password, if you want to peruse the snapshots.

Also - congrats to my friend Stefanie for being accepted into law school. Yahoo! Good job Stef! We'll be praying for you as you juggle being a wife, a mom and a law school student this fall! I'm proud of you.

06 June 2008

Newlyweds - 20 days

::UPDATE:: Small snafu, James arrived at the campus for duty and was informed by the supervisor that they won't accept students as security guards...so, he's called the agency to see if there is another assignment. Small snag in the process, but I am confident God will provide. And maybe this different assignment will be better hours and better pay :) We'll keep you posted.

Praise! James got a summer job. He'll actually be working security on campus!

We are very excited and this is an answer to much prayer!
-It will help provide for us financially
-It will help us pay down his student loans, making overseas service in a few years a better reality
-The location is ideal on our campus:
-Less than 2 miles away, gas expenses will be low
-Our campus is so safe, and now that it's summer, it'll be basically dead with half the students gone. this way I won't have to worry as I would if he were at a different, dangerous location.
-They've agreed that it's OK for him to be off the 2 weeks for Peru!
-If he likes the job and continues in the fall, he'll be able to take more day classes, making graduation closer.

The only downer, it's second shift, 3pm-11pm so with me working 8am-5pm, I be alone in the afternoons. Now, I realize second shift is much better than third shift, so trust me when I say I am counting my blessings there. I guess I was hoping for a 7am-3pm shift ... oh well. This will allow me to get housework done while he's at work and it's not that hard to stay up until 11. I could always break up my sleeping into two 4 hours blocks, 7-11 and 3-7.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers!

And God will generously provide all you need - 2 Corinthians 9:8

05 June 2008

Newlyweds - 19 days

I'm smart ... see!!!

You paid attention during 86% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

03 June 2008

Newlyweds - 17 days

And we're back ...

The honeymoon in Cincinnati was GREAT! I love Love LOVE horseback riding. Seriously, if you live in the L'ville area and have a horse (which considering this is Derby City shouldn't be hard to find) I want to be your friend!

Now I'm back at work ... which stinks because James is home (seriously working on trying to NOT be jealous of this situation). He's busy assembling our new bookshelves and cabinet and hopefully clearing out our junky guest bedroom and cleaning/organizing a bit. Our place is a disaster zone and I can't function in such a mess.

On another note, we have spiders. I have killed, well actually I have screamed then watched James kill, probably about a dozen spiders since we moved in there. The courtyard is quite wooded, so it's expected that spiders would make their way in, but this is weirding me out! Of course, with as messy as things are right now, I'm not about to call the manager to send out exterminator, he would be appalled for sure! I guess this is preparation for the mission field, spiders are everywhere I suppose, except Siberia ... hmmm, that sounds good to me!

I'll post pictures of our honeymoon soon, well as soon as I find my camera cable in our big ole' apartment mess!