Saturday, April 29, 2006

Easy Breakfast Casserole

I had a grand plan this morning. Ryan was on call until 1pm, so I decided to whip up a wonderful meal for him to come home to. "Easy Breakfast Casserole" PERFECT!!

I was excited, I browned the Jimmy Dean Sausage, made some home-made sourdough crutons, mixed in some cheese...but didn't have enough, so then I shreaded some twist-ems cheese sticks to make up the difference. After that I reached in the fridge for the eggs...Oh no, how can we be out of eggs?!?! No problem, Ill just run to the store, get some eggs, and be back before Ryan gets home.

Phone rings....its Ryan. He tells me that he is so hungry he might die, so I happily explain that a wonderful breakfast casserole will be ready as soon as I get home from the grocery.

Ryan is eating a bowl of cereal.
I finish the recipe, add the eggs, mix it all together, then look at the recipe to see how hot to make the oven.


WHAT?!?!? Sometimes I amaze myself...and in this case, I amazed my starving husband as well.

The good news is that tomorrow we will have an awesome casserole waiting for us after we get home from church :o)

Friday, April 28, 2006


Kem Meyer told me to read this book...and I am so glad I did! This read is going to help me market myself better, ultimately be a better person and impact the world in bigger and better ways.

The following are a few of my favorite excerpts.

* Value-added: The value with you inside a situation is greater than the value without you.

* You are fun, you are interesting, you are valuable; you take people places they have never been beofre, you show them books they have never heard of, you introduce them to people they never dreamed they would meet-in short, you are the equivalent of a human theme park.

* The difference between ham and eggs. The chicken in involved, but the pig is committed.

* Bob Marley once sid that he was tormented by his inability to fix everything. Sometimes that's how we feel about out careers. we are tormented by our potential. It never seems realized. We sense we could be doing better. But when I am out being a lover, a one-man value lab, I am at ease. I am not tormented by my potential; I am motivated by it, I am excited by it, I know I am developing it better than I ever could in that old world, where my potential meant so little and my golf score meant so much.

* (On Networking) The more people you know and, specifically, the more people who have already had positive dealings with you, the more confidence you'll have as you spin your web out farther and farther.

* Just because we're at work doesn't mean we're not human; sometimes we need someone to touch us, to make us smile, to make us feel better about ourselves. According to Mother Teresa, the greatest disease in the West is not tuberculosis or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, uncared for.

* Since people are basically utilitarian, they value others for their ability to fill these basic needs. When you do, you're providing a service no one else in business offers. You become the person who makes oth people feel good. It's as if you were selling a product worth a dollar, for a penny. In fact, your compassion makes others view you in a way that money can't buy. You are so money you don't even know it!

* The other day someone asked me, "Where do you get all your energy?" Without a pause I replied, "From the feedback I get from other people." It is my fuel. I live to create value in people's lives and I measure myself by their reactions. I'm a love merchant. I trade intangibles. I can trade that currency to infinity.

* But a smile equals a smile. It is highly likely that as we stop and share compassion with others, giving them all our ebullient energy, people will like us back. Sharing compassion is a contagious activity. You will experience more hugs that are exclusive to you. You will see more smiles than other people. You will be touched more. You will have more excellent experiences in a world where excellence is rare.

* By expressing your compassion, you create an experience that people remember. When people remember you, it's good for your business.

* Be constant. Stay focused. It's as though every time you touch people in business, you are running for president of their heart, and you've got to keep your campaign promises.

* Maybe they think that love isn't the killer app - ruthless gamesmanship is. But if you are sincere, at some point most people will break down ans realize it's not just about the business at hand, it's about love.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Citizen's Arrest

You know Gomer Pyle, on the Andy Griffith show. I thought of him yesterday because everything in me wanted to run around my town yelling "CITIZENS ARREST, CITIZENS ARREST"

Our silly neighbors won't move poor Bryan and Michelle are nomads, living with only the clothes on their back waiting around for my neighbors (who were supposed to be out on the 15th) to move out! It is ridiculous!

Because of this insanity, I realized that if I wanted to call the police...the only way I know of to reach them is dialing 911. I never learned how to get ahold of them for a non-emergency situation.

Is that something they should teach in schools? Or maybe people just figure that no one would want to talk to the police if it wasn't an emergency.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Stanley Steemer Makes Couches Cleaner!

I love Stanley Steemer! They are here right now cleaning/sanitizing/and deoderizing our couches. Let me just say, I might become a yearly Steemer customer...someday...when we have carpets.

Until then, Ryan and I will be relaxing on clean, germ-free couches. :o)

I can't wait for him to get home and see what a great job they did! He is going to be so happy! He might look happier than he does in this picture, in which he is sitting on dirty germy couches before Stanley Steemer came.

Josh Garrels NEW RELEASE

Josh Garrels just released his new album "Over Oceans" which is avaiable to pre-order at

This guy is really good. My favorite song is "Alelluia" from his Stonetree Album. You can listen to it on his website.

He graduated from Penn High School with me and now is a pastor/musician in Indianapolis.

I think we should book him for a concert at Lifeline or Oasis.

Doesn't this picture make you wish it wasn't 36 degrees and rainy outside?

Monday, April 24, 2006

How A Donut Hole Ruined My Day...

Did you ever notice that one donut hole can throw off your entire day of good eating habits? I gave into the pressure of "Employee Appreciation Week" by indulging in one of the complementary donut holes in the break room this morning. Thats right, I had one at 9am. After that, I just kept wanting one more...then it was lunch time, but I couldn't stop thinking about the donut holes that were sitting on the break room table just waiting to be I had another after lunch...then around 3:00 I cracked. All I wanted was for the donut holes to be gone...and eating them was a great way to rid them from my sight.

And that is my story of a single donut hole ruining my day.

Thought for the Day

As Thomas Merton put it, "A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying Him." In the same way, we fulfill our calling by being excellent at whatever God created us to be.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Streaming Sermon

Today's Service from GCC is already viewable on!

Ryan and I are thinking about setting up a sattelite site here at the house. We'll invite our friends over, set up some folding chairs in front of the computer, have people bring snacks...

Its gonna be awesome!

New Neighbors

Here they are, Our new neighbors, Bryan and Michelle Scheffers.

Our old neighbors, who set their move-out date for April 15th, decided a week ago that they would rather stay to the end of the month. Then they had the nerve to tell Bryan and Michelle to move all of their stuff into the designated area mapped out with masking tape on the floor. Amazingly, they did it. Which is why you see the huge pile of everything behind where they are standing. We are believing that one of these days, the old neighbors will realize that Michelle and Bryan have moved in and perhaps, will decide that they should have moved out on the 15th when they said they were going to.

And another thing, We opened our blinds today to put in the AC unit, and look what we found on the windowsill!

A mother bird, sitting on her nest.

Ill have pictures of the babies soon.

Spring Cleaning

We did it! We actually took a whole Jeep-Load of clothes, shoes, appliances, and furniture to GoodWill yesterday. I don't know what got into Ryan, but after a year of trying to get him to go thru his old stuff in the closet, he finally did it!

I am so happy. We now have room in our closets, and can now fully utilize what once was poorly used storage space. Cleaning our entire house together from top to bottom yesterday was one of my favorite things we have done since moving in... ("together" being the key-word)

Our neighbor Andrea is moving, so she gave us her couch...which Ryan immediately vacuumed as soon as we got the door closed after bringing it in the house. I have Stanley Steemer coming Tuesday to do the proper clean on it.

After today, when we re-arrange our living space, Ill post a picture or two so that you know what our new, old couches look like :o)

Gas Prices are Kicking Our Budget.

Chicago moved from 21'st highest gas prices in the nation up to 11th over a weeks time. Gas went up 3 cents overnight here!

As you can see, this station says $2.97 for regular. It was the cheapest we could find.

I am disgusted.

Luckily I have a sweet car that has great mileage. We rarely drive Ryan's Jeep anymore.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Restart Your Engines"

Indiana spend $90,000 to come up with thier new slogan "Restart Your Engines," which is replacing the former slogan "Enjoy Indiana".

When asked if they like the new slogan,
22% of people voted "No!"
23% liked the old slogan better.
55% Didn't like either of them. (This is the category I am in)

Click here to cast your own vote.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ryan, what are your hobbies? "I like to ride my Bike."

Yesterday the weather was nice enough for Ry and I to take a bike ride. 10 miles later, I realized that I am not ready for Bike The Drive yet.

This is a picture from last year's Bike The Drive. The city of Chicago shuts down lakeshore drive 15 miles in both directions for the 30 mile morning ride for thousands of bikers. I only had one crash...when a crazy lady turned into my wheel, but all in all it was a great day. Our friends Scott & Lisa Biked the Drive with us. What a day!

Uncle Hunter in Relevant Magazine

Yep, many family members have been in the national spotlight lately...including Uncle Hunter (known to most as Dr. Joel C. Hunter Pastor of Northland Church in Longwood, FL) Click here to read his recent interview with Relevant on the Evangelical Climate Initiative.

Nametags...wear them right or pay the price.

I just found out, as a subscriber to the weekly Building Front Porches E-Zine from, that Scott had his nametag tattoo'd onto his chest under the exact spot where he always wears his nametag.

This guy is serious about always having his nametag on.

Click here to read his article on "The Seven Deadly Sins of Inneffective Nametags"


You can now click on and watch the Easter weekend services at GCC. Each week the new, most recent service will be available to watch by the following Tuesday.

They let Dad use a hand-held mic this weekend, which enhances his story-telling ability with sound effects. You will enjoy this one.

"Doing things is what I like to do! YES!!"

There is somethings strangely profound about the new Dunkin' Donuts commercial. "Doing things is what I like to do! Yes!!" I am more of a Krispy Kreme gal myself, but whenever I hear that song I realize how much I am someone who likes to do things too!


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


After last night's thrilling episode of 24, I decided it's inevitable that Audrey Reins is going to die. All of Jack's love interests get killed off in one way or another.

My guess is that it will happen today sometime.

Get sometime...24....

Easter Weekend

Over 10,000 people showed up for church at GCC this weekend! Ryan and I were there with our friends Michelle and Bryan, contributing to the record :o) They are going to be our new neighbors starting next week! Yippee!

After church on Saturday, it was off to Marshall to visit the Cox Family. Christopher was looking snappy with his vest from Goodwill.

This is Sarah. She is going to marry Kyle and in 39 days we're going to be sisters. Ill blog more about them when I have wedding pictures to show you.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Tim & Tony's NEW Podcast is now available!

Click here to listen to the newest podcast. They cover some info about Easter Weekend at GCC and make their "What are you doing?" phone call to Kem Meyer.

Here carpie carpie carpie...

As promised, here are some pictures from the weekend carp-shooting extravaganza. We blamed the barometric pressure on the fact that we didn't see many. It was a fun day, filled with polarized sun glasses, Mongo swamp water, and Johnny's alergies.

Ryan was geared up and ready to go! As you can see by this picture, he is hilarious.

My brother Aaron is one of the only people I know who can climb trees in flip-flops. He is a natural born nature boy.

Here is the whole crew. Pictured from left to right, Ryan, Andy, Nick, Aaron, Robbie, and JohnBoy. Good Times.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What should I be when I grow up?

These last few months have been...interesting. Lets just day, I am not exactly sure what I should be when I grow up. At this point, my goal is simply that I would keep doing the next right thing, and that every job I have would make me a better person and allow me to make a good contribution to the organization, and especially to the world as a whole.

In youthgroup, that was our thing, that we would be world changers. Actually, I had a T-Shirt from an Acquire The Fire convention that proclaimed in flourescent letters that I was a:

"Fire Breathing
Devil Stompin'
WILD kind of Christian"

So, in my efforts to be a world changer, I am curious as to what you, my wonderful readers, think I should be when I grow up.

Here are some ideas that have been given to me so far

*Work for the Circus
*Saturday Night Live
*Anchor the evening news
*Give trolley tours at the Zoo

What do you think I should be when I grow up?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Easter Weekend

I am excited about Easter Weekend. Ryan and I will be driving to Michigan late Thursday night when he gets home. Friday morning the fam is heading to Mongo for some Carp Shooting, which I will document and blog about later.

If you want to know more about Mongo, Indiana, click here to read about the most recent UFO sighting there.

On Friday night, two of our friends, Brian and Michelle are driving down to come to Granger with us on Saturday for the first week of the DaVinci Code series! Click here for more info on the weekend series at Granger Community Church.

Brian and Michelle are going to be our new neighbors! They are moving right next door on the 2nd floor! We will live in one half, and they will live in the other. They went to Hope College too, but we didn't really know them when we were there. Luckily we get to know them now :o)

After church on Saturday we are going to Marshall to spend the rest of Easter with Ryan's family. This is a picture of his family, taken last summer at the Lake.

Should be a great time!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Spoons and Molds

Yippee! Yippee! The ceramic molds have been picked thru and are finally diminished. As you can see, we only have a few left. Each of those big cardboard boxes were full, and now they are all only about half-full of old, used, or broken molds.

Also, a bunch of school districts and park districts in the area have been taking our Spoon Noodlers! Wayne and I have been delivering them to happy event planners, teachers, and charities all over the place. One non-profit giving to other non-profits. It's a beautiful thing.

Now that you see a picture, does it make you want to have one?

Too late...all 50,000 have already been distributed.

I am a Truck Driver

This week I have become a Truck Driver. I have been going thru driver certification for the Army Vehicles. Pretty much, after all that I have learned, I could technically go to the DMV and get my CDL license and become a serious semi-driver. I hear they make good money :o)

At this point, the biggest vehicle that I will be driving is the 24 foot truck. So far, I have only been behind the wheel of a canteen, pictured here.

The guy who certified me said I did incredibly well considering the biggest thing I have ever driven was the Astro Mini Van that my family had back in the 90's.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Corporate Blogging

This whole "blogging" thing has really got me thinking. In my short life as a blogger (almost 3 weeks) I have been completely amazed by the communication hurdles that blogging can overcome. I have this, my personal blog...and I have been wondering why I don't start another blog for my volunteers. It would be better than a newsletter (which is old-school) better than emails (which get deleted or never make it to their inteded recipient) and better than a website (because of the interactive capabilites). I think a blog for Emergency Disaster Services would allow the EDS volunteers access to info about upcoming volunteer opportunites, see photos of the volunteer responses, and would allow them to talk about their experience in a safe place afterward with others who experienced similar things.

As Emergency Disaster Services, we respond to disasters in and around the Chicago area. These can be anything from a fire in a city apartment building, to a bomb threat, to a tornado or flood. Outside of our area, we have been asked to respond to Katrina, by packing food boxes and hygiene kits which we sent down to the Gulf Coast Region. In a 5 month time frame, over 50,000 personal hygiene kits and 30,000 food boxes were packed by volunteers at our EDS Distribution Center. Obviously, the volunteers would have a lot to talk about.

There are different categories of volunteers.
* The Canteen Volunteers are on-call certain nights each week in case of a fire. These are dedicated folks who respond at all hours of the night. They are trained, are committed, and come to the EDS team meetings. Many of them are still responding in the Gulf Coast right now.
* The SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) volunteers can be located anywhere. Many of them have radio equipment in their homes and serve when lines of communication are down. For example, when Katrina hit, the cell towers were down for weeks, and the SATERN team was responsible for the search and rescue of thousands of survivors.
* Special event volunteers are the ones who come in and pack food boxes after a disaster. They are a magnitude of people who give an hour, a day, or a lot of days packing food boxes, answering phones in the national call-center, or doing whatever needs to be done to help with disaster response. These are the ones that I think will benefit most from the blog.

Because of these thoughts, Corporate Blogging has been my research topic of the day. What I have found is only a scratch on the surface, since blogging is fairly new to most people, but this is some great info for anyone thinking of starting a corporate blog.

Thomas Nelson Publishers made a list of guidelines for their blog that they are starting. These would help anyone thinking of doing such a thing.

Business Week-online gave these "Six Tips for Corporate Bloggers"'s Charlene Li seems to have some insight as well.

I know many of you are wishing that I already had my business blog started, but I have to get the idea approved by the board before I can do anything :o) Until then, Ill just keep learning how to do my corporate blog right when I finally have one. Ill keep you posted.

Sunday, April 9, 2006


I think I found the solution to reading in bed while Ryan sleeps. This tiny book light should do it! Yippee! Im going to try it out tonight.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Flash-Back Friday

This is a segment I am going to call "Flashback Friday" in which I will discuss things from the past that I am embarrased by, proud of, or are worth laughing at.

Come with me to the late 1980's. I would like to tell you about a decision I made to get only my bangs permed. It was a horrible choice, which I realized on the drive back home from getting them done. I went out the the swingset in the back yard, hung upside down by my knees, and tried my best to straighten the bangs by pulling downward and using the forces of gravity.

My mom told me that it would loosen, that the curls would eventually fall out. What we didn't realize at the time was how long the perm would actually last. This picture was taken years later.

The only story I have ever heard of someone with worse hair than I had was my friend Andrea from Hope College. She had what she called the "Short-Long." Her hair was parted on the side, the long side hung down to her shoulder, the short side was a couple of inches long and the back half was shaved. The best part was that her mom shaved the words "RAD DAWG" into the back.

And thus ends the first segment of "Flash-Back Friday"

Traffic Friends

This morning I dicovered something strange during my morning rush-hour commute. I noticed that for the last few months, I have been travelling the same route at the same time as thousands of other Chicago commuters. Amazingly, during this time I have formed strange relationships with a few drivers who I see multiple times each week. I don't know their names, what they do, or who they are...all I know is the car they drive...and that I feel they are my friends. I actually get a little bit excited when I see them and feel that I should smile or wave. How have these traffic relationships formed? Would I know these people if they weren't in their cars? NO! Would I recognize them on the sidewalk? NO!

Pretty Strange.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

That guy with the nametag...

In my efforts to become a better Manager of Volunteers, I came across something wonderfully different, something that made me smile. This site i came across actually made me laugh out loud with sheer happiness. It makes me happy when people do things that other people might not do. It makes me happy when I know people are doing their best to make the world a better place, even if it is something little.

This guy Scott Ginsberg has worn a nametag all day, every day since November 2, 2002 to encourage people to be friendlier and more approachable.

His site is and you will find lots of neat stuff if you go there. Infact, I have decided that his site is worthy of being on my "neat links" list.

Someday, I would like to come up with an idea like Scott had. A simple idea that changes the world, is worthy of international recognition and speaking engagements. :o)

I Moved!

Today I completed my move from the big-wig corner office to the cozy one down the hall :O) "Why the move?" You ask. Well, Paula will be working here at the Salvation Army for a lot longer than I will, so it is only right for her to get a promotion. I am adjusting well to my new space. I put up my pictures of Ryan and my calendar, both of which make this feel more like home.

Ryan is doing incredibly well considering the fact that he has been getting up at 4am and not getting home until 7pm. He stood in a surgery for 6 hours straight yesterday. I asked him what he would do if he had to go to the bathroom...he hadn't thought of that. Yesterday at dinner time he could hardly eat because his clock is all wacked out.

My clock is a bit wack as well. I have been going to bed by 9:00...but not getting up until 6am. This is a lot of sleep. I thought I might try to read in bed while Ryan was sleeping, but that didn't work out because the smallest amount of light messes up his perfect sleeping conditions. Tonight I am going to read on the couch for awhile...and then sneak as quietly as I can into bed without disturbing him.

There is a lot of adjusting going on in our lives. That is all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006


Have you heard about the new exhibit opening at Shedd Aquarium? The worlds largest lizard (a 130 pound Komodo Dragon) will be making a first-time appearance in Chicago. The exhibit opens this weekend on April 8th.

I think I will try to get some tickets.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006


Today has been pretty good. Ive been eating white cheddar rice cakes (which I love), people have been coming to pick up ceramic molds and Spoon Noodlers (which is good), and to top it all off, the sun is out. It is ony 47 degrees, but from in here looking out my office window, I have convinced myself that it is in the mid 70's. I can't wait for summer! I can't wait to get my t-shirts out.

Ryan started his Surgery rotation, which will be three months of craziness for us. He will be at the hospital from 5am-7pm every day! So far, he seems to be doing well. If anyone has some tasty, easy, mostly healthy recipes they would like to share, I would gladly accept them.

Now, don't be fooled, I am not a chef by any means....I am simply hoping to have dinner on the table 6 out of 7 nights a week for the next three months. Thank the lord for one Date Night a week! Take note that throughout our marriage so far I have not succeeded at the cooking dinner every night thing. So I am open for suggestions.

Please keep in mind that you are sending recipe ideas to the girl who was looking for scallions in the sea-food section and could not find "oleo" anywhere in the store. Keep it SIMPLE!

I am off to the grocery.


On Wednesday of this coming week
-- at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be:

01:02:03 04/05/06

That won't happen again until 2106 .

[You may now return to your normal life.]

Monday, April 3, 2006


This is hilarious! I am still laughing...
Click HERE and they will generate slogans with your name.

* Choosy mothers choose Amber.
* The future's bright. The future's Amber.
* Plink, Plink, Amber...
* Amber: the other white meat.
* It's Amber-lickin' good.
* Behold the power of Amber.
* I'm not gonna pay a lot for this Amber.
* Please don't squeeze the Amber.

And last but not least:
* I'd like to buy the world an Amber.


I love my RELEVANT magazine! Infact, the last issue had an article about my friend Josh Garrels from High School! CRAZY! Click on his name if you want to check out his site or listen to some of his music.

648 Miles

This weekend was a blast! Ryan got home from Colorado Friday morning so when I got home from work on Friday night we got in the car and drove to Michigan. Early Saturday morning we woke up, ate some eggo waffles, got in the car with Dad, went to pick up Angela and Johnnie, and headed to Troy, Michigan to spend a day with my brother, Aaron.

We got to Aaron's just in time for lunch. Checked out "Outdoor World" - of cou
rse, went to the mall where Aaron works (which is only for the elite, rich and famous. We felt like poor people the whole time we were walking around. I didn't know I had to get my hair and nails done before going shopping). Aaron ran into Heather Locklear the day before we got there. Ryan did some secret shopping at Abercrombie. Ryan's report to Aaron was that no one said anything to him during his walk thru the store.

After that, we called Sandy - my roomie from College who came out to meet us for dinner at Mongolian BBQ. Sandy is hilarious! She is a gym teacher for 7th and 8th grade girls - only she actually participates in all the activities that she plans for her classes, including the daily push-ups.

Dad got us some hotel rooms for the night, and the next morning we got in the car and drove back to Chicago. On the way home we stopped to check out the Michigan Whitetail Hall of Fame you can see from the pictures.